Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Sweltering in October

I spoke too soon last week, fall was just toying with us.   We went back into the high 80's with 90% humidity this week.  I had to cut the AC back on on Saturday...and noticed that it was blowing hot air...then it stopped running.   I was livid, because we'd just had it serviced on Tuesday.  I called the company, they sent someone right over to find that the original service man 1) wired something backwards and 2) forgot to plug something else back in.   I can assure you that particular service man will never step foot back in our house again.   The house finally cooled off, as did my temper.  (Being real ya'll.)

Olivia spent all day Saturday at a hunter's safety course.  She had to do several hours worth of homework before the class, then she was in class from 8am-4pm.  She really enjoyed the whole day, only missed one on the exam and was asked if she'd like to help teach future classes.
 Sunday evening the local FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) hosted a "Fields of Faith" event at one of the local high schools.  It was scheduled to be held on the football field, but rain caused us to have to move the event inside.   There was close to 600 people in attendance.   The band was awesome, the speaker had a powerful message about God's love and then the youth who were counselors got to pray with kids and adults who came for prayer.   Both of our girls were praying with people and I just sat at the top of the bleachers and watched them as they wrapped their arms around hurting kids and teens as they prayed with them.   

Monday our local public schools were out, and I ended up having an extra teen with us all day.  The girls still had a full day of school, so Rebecca spent time working on Spanish and math review while she was here.  I was surprised at how much Spanish I remember from high school, and I was actually able to help her with some things she was having trouble with.   Later in the afternoon, Olivia had her last volleyball practice of the year.

Tuesday was a regular school day, followed by volleyball team photos for Olivia at 3:15pm.  Her last regular season game of the year was at 5:30.    Then at 7pm Lindsey and I had volleyball practice with our team.  
The VACA JV volleyball tournament started on Thursday night.  Olivia's team was defeated in the semi-final round, so the season is over for them.    Lindsey's team plays Saturday, then we practice two days next week and head into our tournament on October 21.

Friday (today) we have co-op until noon.   My husband is running his second 5K this weekend, so we have to go pick up his race packet in the evening and then we're in for the night.   I've enjoyed volleyball season, but its been hectic and I'm ready to have some evenings at home for a while (a short while, but still).

Academics are going ok.   Algebra II isn't going as smoothly as I'd hoped it would.  Other than that one gosh awful subject, everything else is moving along smoothly.   Olivia even finished her 1/2 credit economics course this week!

Here are a few other articles from this week around the web.  Here on the blog I shared a review of the book Why Motherhood Matters and check our my article Life Is A Puzzle over at Homeschooling With Heart.

How has your week been?

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Brinkman Adventures - Season 4 (Review)

We've become quite fond of audio dramas.  Our most recent review was Brinkman Adventures Season 4 from Brinkman Adventures.  As the title indicates, there are three other seasons, none of which we've heard before so this is all new territory for us.
As the name indicates, this audio drama series follows the lives of the Brinkman family as they serve God stateside and in foreign lands as missionaries.   Disclaimers are given before each new drama, explaining either that the episode you are about to listen to was either based on a real story, entirely fictional, or a mixture of both.   There are also warnings at the beginning of some of the episodes warning children under 10 to make sure they are listening with a parent.   The reason for this disclaimer is that in some of the stories, you can tell by the sound that someone is being physically hit.

The stories are a blend of drama, humor and God's Word coming together to paint the vivid mental images for the listener. You'll get an inside "look" at what it is like to  rescue modern day slaves in Cambodia, encounter and defy a witch doctor in the Congo, and talk to persecuted Christians in various foreign lands.   You'll also learn about the family's personal lives from small acts of disobedience in children (and the resulting consequences), an older daughter planning a wedding and the birth of a new baby while stranded in a campsite.  Now some of the stories are a bit exaggerated with the amount of freaky mishaps, but that adds to the Brinkman family aura as they all tend to be a bit accident prone.  

We put the audio dramas in the family van and listened to the stories as we traveled to and from volleyball, church and any other outing.  If I went out alone I had to promise to cut the CD off so that nobody missed a single word.   Even my husband enjoyed listening as he drove.  Each adventures is roughly 30 minutes in length, so we could pretty much hear one full session on a round trip to and from the grocery store.   I like this idea because you're not having to wait for a long road trip to hear what happens.

I highly recommend the Brinkman Adventures for family entertainment, with strong Christian beliefs and Biblical truths that are undeniable.   These are also good ways to make our children more aware of the plight of fellow believer's around the world, and an example of how to respond when things aren't going as planned.    A definite two thumbs up!

To read other Crew member reviews, click here.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Why Motherhood Matters: An Invitation to Purposeful Parenting (Book Review)

Sometimes, I receive a book to review and it's like pulling teeth when I try to read it.  Other times, once I pick up a book I can't put it down until I'm finished.  Why Motherhood Matters: An Invitation to Purposeful Parenting by author September McCarthy definitely falls into that last category.

The title, while not misleading, doesn't really do the book justice.   When originally looking at the book, and agreeing to review it, I thought it would be a feel good, I'm OK-you're OK kind of books. In reality, the author pulls  back the curtain on motherhood and deals with some of the serious issues moms deal with like insecurity, comparison, wanting to pack up and leave home when it all gets to be too much.  Didn't see that one coming, did you?   Yet, I'd be willing to bet you've felt that way at some point, but goodness we can't admit it, right?

It was refreshing to see that someone else dealt with some of the same internal and external issues of motherhood as me, and not only survived but came out victorious.  But even better than knowing someone struggles, McCarthy gives you some step by step ways to walk out of those dark days and places, without walking out on our families.  (Phew, right?!)   In addition to walking you through your own issues, she gives you some pretty straightforward information on dealing with bad attitudes in kids (and yourself), the importance of Bible study as a family in the home, and a not so gentle reminder that your husband should still be your heart throb.

About the Author:  September McCarthy is a writer, speaker, popular blogger, wife, and a home-educating mother to ten beautiful children. She is juggling the stages of motherhood, from adult children to toddlers, and is now a grandma to two more blessings.

September also blogs regularly at One September Day ( where she encourages women to be brave and to embrace the gifts that God has placed upon them to hand the torch of the Gospel to their family and those around them.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Fall Returns

The weather has finally caught up to the calendar here and fall has arrived!   The temperatures are dipping very low at night, the days are crisp and cool and now the leaves are starting to change.  Thankfully this all happened prior to our pumpkin patch trip, so it was very enjoyable!  There were pumpkins and gourds as far as the eye can see, and look at the mountains and sky!

Lindsey has been taking a sewing class through 4H for the last few months.   She's make a pillow, cinch sack and a couple of head bands in class.   This week she realized one of her pajama bottoms needed mending and she asked me if I could fix it, then she said "Wait, I know how to do this now".

She's been quite the little hands on person this week.   She created a salt dough model of a flower for her botany class.   The stem was a bit on the chunky side, but she still had fun making it.
In my co-op botany class, I assigned all the kids the task of  growing and monitoring seedlings for the next couple of weeks so that they can get a better understanding of the various stages of plant development.   I gave each student a bean seed and two variations of corn to grow.   We started last week and discussed some of the happenings this week
This is a great hands on project for all ages.  Simply fold up a paper towel so that it fits inside a Ziploc bag, add a row of staples across the bad 2 or so inches from the bottom, drop the seeds on the staples, and add water below the staple line. Close the bag and tape it to a window that gets direct sunlight.  You should start to notice changes within the first 24 hours or so.
Do you find it's harder to find hands on projects for the middle school/high school age? 

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Fall Has Arrived

Even though fall arrived a couple of weeks ago on the calendar, it's been a bit slower going in our weather.  We did have a teaser early on and then the high temps and humidity roared back in.

Saturday we  woke up to much cooler weather (like a 25 degree drop from Friday), and after our volleyball game and lunch we headed out to meet my brother at the pumpkin patch.   The weather was perfect, cool and crisp.   Neither girl listened when I said wear pants not shorts, they regretted this decision after being out in the patch for a while.  Like my Momma used to say, "When you don't listen, you have to feel."
Sunday morning we woke up to our first frost of the year!   Talk about a big change in a 48 hour period.  Nobody balked when I said put on pants and a jacket before heading out to church.

Monday was another beautiful fall day.   I swapped out Lindsey's summer clothing for her fall stash.   I'll work on Olivia's later on, as she tends to wear shorts later into the fall due to sports.  I also put some fall decorations in the front yard, and changed my big garden flag (which I forgot to take a photo of).  I need to buy a couple of mums when I'm out and about this week.
I've not taken many photos of my gardens this year, not sure why, it just didn't happen.   So here are a few of the remaining plants.   My asters are stunning, and have multiplied a great deal since last year.
 A few of my Zinnias are still holding on to the very end.   This is probably my favorite type of annual, they produce such a wide variety of colors and height in the garden.
 Nothing at all "homeschool" related in this post....just "home", and I'm good with that.   Do you decorate for fall/harvest at your  house?

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