Friday, July 25, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ July 25th

The Pebble Pond

1. I went this week to get my bridesmaids dress. Shoot me now. Just kidding. It's not THAT bad. Did I mention that the other bridesmaids are 21? I did. I know. On to better news, my workouts are going awesome! I have lost 3 pound this week! I finally am off that plateau I was on. Thank goodness because I was starting to get discouraged.

2. I know I will be asked...Here is what I have been doing.
~ I have been eating healthy. Not always. I did have a Klondike bar the other night.
~ Taking Creatine. To help me build muscle faster. I want this flab on my arms GONE by December 6th.
~ Protein shakes. Once a day usually.
~ Weight training. I have a Total Gym and 10 pound weights. Gotta use what you have!
~ Running. Only a mile or two a day.

3. Our mower broke. Half way through the mowing. Blah.

4. I dyed my hair dark brown like I do every few months. My natural brown is a really ugly, dull brown. Anway, it was WAY TOO dark. So I put medium brown on it. Nothing. I have dyed my hair since I was in my teens and I have never had this problem. So I used some Sun In to try and lighten it up just a bit. I sprayed it on a brush and just ran the brush through my hair. Trying to make it look natural. Nothing crazy. Ha. Right now, my hair is approximately 4 different shades of brown.

It's ok...you can laugh.

5. I have a fun photography project coming up soon. It's a secret so I can't tell you yet but trust me when I say....I'm excited!!! :)






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SchoolHouse Review ~ Apologia Educational Ministries (Flourish)

If you are a homeschooling mom, like myself, you will love this book I have been reading. I was given a physical copy of Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate from Apologia Educational Ministries. It is a little less than 300 pages. It is geared toward homeschooling moms that have a home business but it is a wonderful read for ANY mom who homeschools her children.
Flourish Book Review

There is a total of 16 chapters:
~ An Invitation to Flourish
~ Change Your Mind to Change Your Time
~ The FREEDOM Toolbox
~ Where Did My Time Go?
~ Aim High : Setting Goals
~ What Do I Do Next? : Seven Essential Planning Tools
~ We Interrupt This Program
~ It's Time for an Attitude Adjustment
~ Oxygen Masks and Monkey Bread Days
~ Training Your Children
~ Making Memories
~ Managing Your Home
~ All of Life Is Learning
~ Solo Act: Flourishing as a Single Mom
~ Home Business
~ Moving Ahead

Each chapters is broken down into segments and there are inspirational quotes throughout. It is an easy read but full of information! At the end of each chapter there is a section called "Take Action". It helps you to apply what you read to your life. Loved that part! I walked away from this book feeling armed. I've been doing this homeschooling gig for 10 years and I learned so much.

Flourish Book ReviewMary Jo was handed a life that she didn't choose. Her husband left when she had 4 young children. She was left wondering how to do it all. How to homeschool and support her family. How to be everything to everyone that needed her. Her story was enough to make me dive into this book. (That and the beautiful cover!) Although I am not a single mom, I still have a lot on my plate. I could relate to many of the things she was struggling with.

I don't know about you but I know I have a hard time getting everything done in a day, a week, a year! I feel like I am always behind. Always playing catch up. This book helped me to figure out what was important and what I needed to set to the side to make life run a bit smoother.

I don't think I can pick a favorite chapter. I really enjoyed all of it. Our new school year is fast approaching and I have been knee deep (or maybe over my head!) in curriculum choices, 2 children in high school (EEK!) and schedule changes. I actually feel peace about those decisions. Peace that I CAN do this. I CAN make this happen and do it good. It may not be perfect and life might give me lemons here and there but it is possible. Mary Jo gives you the tools to make it possible.

If you are anything like me and you need a boost going into the new school year or just love to refresh yourself in encouragement, then this book is for you! Mary Jo shows you how to do it. Not how do it "all" but do what is important.

You can purchase your copy for only $15! Also be sure to check out what other women on The Crew had to say by clicking the banner below. 

Want to connect with Mary Jo? Here you go!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SchoolHouse Review ~ HomeSchoolPiano

I have a houseful of people (young and old) that would love to learn to play the piano. Recently, I was able to review an on-line course called HomeSchoolPiano ~ Complete Set of Books from HomeSchoolPiano. My whole family was extremely excited about this review. Including myself!

Homeschool Piano Review

HomeSchoolPiano is a wonderful program that allows you to learn the piano from the comfort of your home. If you are mom of many (like myself) you know the joy of not having to drag all the kids away from home for music lessons.

Each lesson is an on-line video that can be watched as many times as you want. They are all different time frames (roughly 10 minutes) but each lesson is to the point. They are taught by Willie Mylette. He makes the lessons fun and enjoyable. When you watch the video, you feel like he is actually talking to you. Not at you or to a group of other people. It feels like you are engaging with him even though technically you are not.

The lessons are for all ages. Child to adult. Anyone that wants to learn to play the piano or play it better.

The lessons are broke up into 4 parts. 

~ CorePiano
~ Book 1: Perfect for Beginners
~ Book 2: Building a Foundation
~ Book 3: Unlocking the Pianist Within

Homeschool Piano ReviewThe CorePiano takes your through the very basics of learning to play the piano. We were taught how to sit properly at the piano, how to "grab" the keys, the music alphabet...just to name a few. HomeSchoolPiano's method is to follow a 6 step cycle for their lessons. They are Technique, Rhythm, Ear Training, Reading Music, Song and Improvisation.

Starting with Book 1, you print out a e-book to go along with the on-line lessons. Obviously, each lessons builds on the last lesson. All the way to becoming a great piano player!

I really appreciated the basics of this program. It is very easy to use and follow. I am clueless about music. I love music but have never learned a thing about it. It's a little bit difficult to help your kids learn something if you are clueless as me. This program starts at the nitty gritty. I love learning along side with the kids. Even if they already knew more than me. (Humbling....to say the least! ;))
I also love that we can go back to each lesson. I have used other on-line programs in the past and once you are done with a lesson, that's it. I hate that. Sometimes I need a repeat! I have 5 people using this program. We try to sit down and watch each lesson together but that is not always possible. So we are working at our own pace.

I try to have each child watch a lesson at least 3-4 times a week. Plus practicing every day. At this point everyone is still really excited to learn. I am hoping that does not change!

We definitely give this program a thumbs up! We will continue to use it until and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. No special equipment is needed. Just a piano and internet access. That's it!

HomeSchoolPiano has two payment options:
 ~ Success Package (One payment of $299)
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. 
 ~ Payment Plan (Payments of $99.97 per month for three months):
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ July 18th

The Pebble Pond


1. I am really slacking on this blogging thing. It isn't because I don't have anything to write about. I just am just in a rut. Kind of feel like no one reads it anyway or cares. I know..pitiful, huh!?

Note to self ~ Must do better!

2. My garden is doing amazing this year! I didn't kill anything! How's that for awesome!?

3. We still can not find a house. I am so upset about it. We need to move. We need vehicles but we are trying to hold off until we buy a house first. Babies can't happen until we buy a house. I NEED a house! Is it too much to ask for a decent price, in the country, a little bit of land and neighbors not on top of us. I mean really????

4. I freaked out a little about Alyssa starting high school. I was having a complete melt down. I am better now. I am still sad she is that old already but as far as the teaching goes I am ready! I think.

5. Did I ever post any pictures of my sweet nephew? I can't remember. He is 2 weeks already. I just want to kiss him and smell him! Germany is so far away. For now, I love me some Skype and Facebook!





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~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
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~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ July 11th

The Pebble Pond

1. School planning. That has been my life for the last few days.

2. My garden is full of weeds. Would you like to come and help me pull them? I would love the company.

3. I am in awe of how cool the nights are right now. I actually have a sore throat from having our fan on. Weird. Usually it is so hot at night I can't sleep.

4. Brian got 3 days off last week and a day and half this week because a machine at work broke down. It has been nice having him home. Not so nice on the pocket book.

5. I used to love to be tickled. Brian used to hold me down and tickle me until I cried. I now hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it! Isn't it funny how we change? Brian hasn't caught on to that fact yet.

Want to join us?
Here are the rules. They are simple.
~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
~ Add a link back to me somewhere in your post.
~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!
~ Visit, Visit, Visit! Have fun encouraging each other. :) 

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