Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for a ‘Buck’ (Plus a Summer Challenge)


Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you'll hear for the next few months is, "I'm bored!"? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:
—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.


Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:
  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways
When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you'll receive:
  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week in Review: May 11-15

Not many have entered yet, which increases your chances to be blessed with this incredible CD! 

Now onto our week...

So this was the start of our week. Standardized testing!
Yeah, I know, not super exciting, but it isn't too bad. The girls don't mind and it is a nice deviation from our normal routine. Grace isn't quite old enough, much to her disappointment. The funny thing is that for all the stress so many of my friend's kids are under with testing in traditional school, my girls really do find it kind of fun. I make sure they know it doesn't really count for anything, it is just a way for me to see what they have learned and what we may need to work on some more. Rose has finally moved past her struggle with timed tests where she isn't so stressed out about how much time she has left. I found out Beth is doing all of the math in her head and getting it right, which is just incredibly exciting for me!

We test because I do like to know where they stand academically, but also because it is required in our state. In the past I've used Seton Testing Services which I still highly recommend. This year we opted to use the older CAT Test provided by Christian Liberty Press. I liked it much better and it is a bit more academically expectant than the newer tests. I'm very interested to see how my girls score on this.

Since the first two days were testing  I opted to work on the basics for the rest of the week and finish up a few things we didn't get to last week, but no new unit in our Heart of Dakota Guides. Here is a mish-mash of the learning we accomplished this week!

Little Miss Grace was over-the-moon to start using the All About Spelling tiles this week!

She also had a lot of fun using the abacus to work on some math facts. This is such a great tool and the girls love when they can use it for their math work!

Fundanoodle handwriting just keeps getting better!

Beth did a lot of her work in other areas of the house this week. Reading outside, handwriting in the kitchen, and sometimes in her bedroom. I forgot to get pictures of her doing all of those things! She did math in our school room so that's what I have recorded. 
Beth is very mathematically minded and does well, but gets distracted sometimes, maybe because she feel sit is too easy, but she almost never makes a mistake except for not writing down the "what" for word problems. By that I mean if her answer is dollars or cats or chips, she usually forgets to include that. We're working on it though!

Rose had some notebooking to finish up from her last unit. She really likes the notebooking which I require to be completely in cursive. 
We had a lot of bumps along the way with math over the last couple of years, but Rose is doing great now. Her confidence in math builds every day and she doesn't dread it nearly as much. Not to mention the tears have finally subsided when it comes to math! 

I hope you all had a good week! I'd love to hear about your standardized testing. Leave a comment if you test telling me what you use and when you test. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life Recorded: May 10

I'm striving to work more consistently on our family scrapbooks. I'll share some of my completed pages here and include the links to the kits I use for digital scrapbooking if they are still available. 

Right now I'm working on our 2008 Scrapbook...yup, playing catch-up! Rose is two and Beth is 10 months old. Oh how the time flies. This is why I scrapbook. Yes, it is fun and relaxing, but most importantly I am recording the memories of our life for our girls as they grow up. They love looking back at the books I've completed...smiling...laughing...remembering. They read the stories behind the photos with joy and share them with friends and family. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to create a legacy for them through scrapbooks.

365Unscripted: Stitched Grids Bundle by Traci Reed

Week in Review: May 4-8

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

We had another good week although we got a little off track towards the end. Some unexpected doctor's appointments came up and we had to compact our days a bit at the end of the week. I also only remembered to get my camera out one day, just so you don't think my kids wear the same thing every day or something!

Before I go into our about a giveaway?!?!?! Just click on the CD cover below to see how delightful this CD is! (You'll also get to hear my three darlings sing!)

Now me as we review our week!

Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 14

Grace begged me to read her history this week. She reads aloud which is good because I can make sure she is understanding what she is reading. Her favorite story this week was when Jesus had the children come to Him even though His disciples said He was too busy. This is such a good reminder for me too. In the busyness of our days I can't forget that Christ made children His priority and made sure they knew it. I need to follow His example in this more fully.

Rose helped Grace with her handwriting on this day, helping her make sure she formed her letters correctly. We still love Fundanoodle and Grace is much happier now that we are moving more quickly. I would have her practice the same letter more than one day in this book at first because she needed shorter amount of practice in order to stay neat, but she has matured past this and does one letter every two days with Handwriting Without Tears on the in-between days.

We are moving right along with All About Spelling, level 1. She reviewed her phonograms herself some and did a great job with that, so we moved onto segmenting words by each letter. Well be moving on to actually using the tiles next week which she is very excited to do.

Bigger Hearts for His Glory: Unit 25

Since we had to catch up some during the week Beth read this history assignment by herself. She loves finding each of the numbers on the map in the Journeys in Time book for each reading. This is her favorite of the history books.

 Beth does not care to read A First Book in American History herself so she will often color a colonial coloring book while I read to her. I'm fine with her coloring or drawing while I read as long as she can accurately tell me what I read to her afterwards. If she cannot, then she has to read it on her own again and then tell me about it.

I love this picture. Beth twirls her hair all the time while she studies. This is just her normal thinking state. She also tends to pace while she recites verses for homeschool or for Awana at church. She's very studious these days and works hard to finish quickly most of the time, which is nice as I think ahead to Preparing next year and the big jump it is to that guide.

Creation to Christ: Unit 8

We started off the week with Arithmetic Village and King David Divide to practice more division and learn about remainders. These sweet little books teach the concepts behind the traditional math so clearly. Rose is 9 and I wasn't sure she would want to use this, but when I asked her she was really excited.

Rose still completed her Math Mammoth pages. I'm very excited that she finally realizes she is not "bad" at math. This has been something I have been trying to help her understand since we started homeschooling in 1st grade. Because she struggled with the pressure of timed tests she believed she wasn't good at math. At some point in the last couple of weeks she looked up at me during her math lesson and said, "Mommy, maybe I really am good at math. What do you think?" Oh yes, sweetheart! You are very good at math! I'm so grateful she has finally realized her ability is not measured in a timed test.

For story time this week Rose read the Book of Ruth. We used I Am Ruth, an incredible book from New Leaf Publishing which includes amazing photography as well as cultural and historical background information on each chapter. The entire book from Scripture is included. I had Rose look at the pictures before she read the chapter and she really enjoyed it.

I love, love, love how independent Rose is becoming through Heart of Dakota. I still oversee her learning and we discuss what she is learning, but as a 9-year-old 4th grader she is becoming more and more in charge of her own knowledge. I'm merely a facilitator. What is really cool is that she now knows how to find out information on her own when she has a question. She understands to look words up in a dictionary, information in an encyclopedia, and even more details in resource books using the index. What is even better is that it is her idea to look things up instead of just asking me the answer. I'm more than happy to help her, but seeing her mature in this way because of Heart of Dakota is such a blessing.

Here is our history project for the week. She loves the projects. Rose parted the red sea with paper. I love that I just give her the guide and the materials and she can usually figure it out on her own. Learning at its best! 

I had some great health news this week as I anticipated the possibility of another thyroid surgery. It was heavy on my mind and made it hard to focus. I also had some news about a good friend that grieved my heart. Our neighbor from Florida and one of my students when I was teaching full-time early on in our marriage lost her baby unexpectedly a few days ago from either SIDs or a medical complication. My heart grieves for this family. If you have a moment, pray for this family as they grieve the loss of their beautiful baby girl, Ella.

Lightening Bug Lullabies: A Review AND Giveaway!!!

Our family loves music. All three of my girls play the piano and sing their way through life, sometimes familiar songs and sometimes their own made-up tunes. We listen to everything from classical to KLOVE, but the girls enjoy music geared towards them. One of our absolute favorite singers is Mrs. Kate Carpenter. Her music is loved by children all over the world...I know because her grand-kids live in in Ecuador! 

Mrs. Kate's music glorifies God and His creation in each note. She has concerts in all sorts of venues including churches, schools, nature centers, libraries, and festivals, drawing a crowd at each event. Our church had the opportunity to host her a couple of years ago and all the children who attended had a fun-filled time!

Mrs. Kate's newest release is Lightening Bug Lullabies. I have to say, this may be my favorite! Of course, I feel that way every time she has something new. The songs are perfect for bedtime with just the right mix of cheerful and relaxing tunes that will soothe your little ones to sleep.

We allow our girls to listen to stories at bedtime on the weekends, but on school nights we only allow them to listen to lullabies. They ever since we received this new collection of music they have listened to it every night...every night. Even on the nights when they listen to stories, I've had whichever girl was still awake come and ask if they could put Mrs. Kate in the CD player for them to fall asleep to. This is a true sign of how lovely it is. They usually want something new every couple of nights, but after several weeks they are still enjoying Lightening Bub Lullabies.

We were delighted on day when they were singing one of the songs in the car. They graciously let me video them again at home so you could hear one of their favorite songs from the CD.

Adorable, right? Now don't you want to hear your little ones singing this? To get these songs for yourself you can visit Mrs. Kate's website or download from any major internet store including iTunes and CD Baby. I assure you that you will be blessed by all of her music and especially this newest release. 

Now, thanks to Mrs. Kate's generosity, ONE of my readers will be blessed with a copy of the Lightening Bug Lullabies CD! Enter below! 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Lightening Bug Lullabies to review from Mrs. Kate Carpenter. This review is my own opinion and I was not required o write a positive review. 


Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!