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!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Planet 316: A TOS Review Crew Review

Planet 316
Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316
Our household is always trying to find a balance with technology. My husband and I enjoy playing games in the evenings as we wind down and we allow our girls a limited amount of time each day just for fun on their tablets. We live in a technological society and we feel it is beneficial for our kids to learn to navigate some of this now while they are young. We do place very strict parameters on the games they play and are more restrictive in this area than most families we know. When I heard about Planet 316 I was intrigued because of the inclusion of Bible verses in their app Daily Bible Jigsaw
I enjoy playing this game in the evenings. I'm very busy during the day between homeschool, the English class I teach, and teaching piano lessons. I feel like I have to engage and interact constantly throughout the day, so being the introvert that I am having a little time to play gentle games that are not intense and don't involve a lot of strategy. I enjoy puzzle type games but had never tried a puzzle building app. This was a lot of fun for me personally as I enjoy building puzzles in real life. 
 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316
Daily Bible Jigsaw  is available in multiple formats. You can find this app via Facebook, the App Store, or Google Play. I appreciate it when apps are available in different places because I use an iPad and my girls use Android platform tablets. For this review we all used  the iPad. You simply drag pieces together in order to have them click into place. Pieces are easily rotated by tapping. Once you get some pieces connected you also can rotate these connected pieces if you need. There are also extra helps you can use at the top of the screen which cost coins from within the app.
Everyday there is a new puzzle available. You can go back and play previous puzzles from each month, but this does cost you puzzle coins. You can earn these coins throughout completion of the puzzle, by watching advertisements for other apps, or through payment. (I would caution allowing your children to earn the coins through watching advertisements without supervision.) You can use the coins to buy helps during the puzzle play, but this was not something I cared to do. I like the challenge of figuring it out on my own. I preferred to use the coins for completing previous puzzles. 
 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316
My girls also enjoyed playing! The fun of this game is the challenge of completing the puzzles. Once you complete the puzzles you are rewarded with a beautiful picture and an encouraging verse from Scripture. The inclusion of encouraging Scripture is a unique aspect for this app. It is rare to find an app of any sort, short of Bible study helps, which includes anything Bible related. After enjoying this app I'm intrigued by what other games Planet 316 has created. 
Here is an excellent view of what this app has to offer! 
Don't forget to see what my Crewmates have to say!
Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week in Review: April 17-21

We took a bit of a break this week from Heart of Dakota and just focused on the basics. Our week was going to be a little busy in the evenings because of Global Focus Week where we hear how God is working through our denomination and international workers around the world. I had to finish post production of the radio drama my Junior High English class creates every year. We were also excited to have my in-laws come in at the second half of the week! So as you can see, this was rather a busy week. One of the incredible blessings of homeschooling with Heart of Dakota is that when we have an "off" week my girls are still working hard, just not as hard as normal. They always keep working through their mathematics and language arts, so we stay on track with those. 

That being said, very few pictures were taken this week!

Playing Catan with Grampy and Grammy! 

Global Focus Friday evening meeting

A quick view of my radio drama editing. This is just the initial edit using Audacity. When I got through the final edit there were 10 or more layers of what you see here! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Preserving Memories: Disney Trip Pages

I've been busy, busy, busy this week! I still had a little time to scrap which is a wonderful stress release for me! I deviated from my 2016 book for a bit though. It was nice to do something a little different!These are a couple of pages from our 2015 Disney trip. I'm trying to get that done as well because my girls have been asking about it and I am nowhere near done! 

 Kit: Return to Mermaid Lagoon and Build a Princess from Britt-ish Designs

Stitch Element: Magical Scraps Galore

Monday, April 17, 2017

Preserving Memories: Family Scrapbook 2016

I'm feeling great about being almost done with 2016, but boy am I behind on 2017! I'll have to get started on that one soon!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Peek at Our Week: April 10-14

Happy Resurrection Sunday! 

We had a lighter week this past week. Each of the girls did half of a Heart of Dakota unit this week and will finish the other half next week. We had dentist appointments and a day planned with friend on Good Friday morning as well as services at church Friday night. The girls still had school work every day, but it was a little bit lighter on Thursday and Friday. 

Beth (4th grade): Creation to Christ Unit 10

One of the fun aspects of homeschooling is the various mediums the girls use for learning. One of their favorite things is when they listen to the What in the World? CDs from Diana Waring's History Revealed. Both Beth and Rose listen to these as a part of their Heart of Dakota studies. They enjoy them tremendously. And of course they enjoy listening in their bedroom! It's not always neat, but it is cozy and their favorite place to study when appropriate. Usually they listen to CDs or read up in their room.

Rose (6th grade): Resurrection to Reformation Unit 30

Rose is such a diligent worker these days! She has learned that if she just buckles down and focuses on her work she is easily finished by lunch. One of the fun things I'm starting to see is her retention of the history she is studying. There have been quite a few moments in the last few weeks when she would mention something she learned outside of our school time. We were playing a new game with my parents today called Codenames. The idea is to try and get your teammates to choose word-cards based on single-word clues you give. Several of her clues were related to her studies in history with Heart of Dakota! It is a joy to see her retaining, but also enjoying what she's learning. 
Grace (1st grade): Bigger Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 4
Grace is significantly more independent with her schoolwork than her sisters were at her age. I have absolutely no doubt that this comes from watching her older sisters become more independent. Like most younger siblings she is always looking for ways to be more grown up and like her big sisters. I am still highly involved in her learning process, but she often likes to read her history on her own. Since she is reading 4-5 levels above grade-level this isn't an issue in any way. She also is very good to ask about words she does not yet know. Is it any wonder she's constantly amazing us with the vocabulary she uses?
Our sweet pup, Penny, is ever present with us during our studies! You can see Beth playing with her with her feet while she is reading! She is such a good little doggie and our girls absolutely love her!

 We ended our week by spending Friday morning with good friends who were off from their traditional school for spring break. They have three girls close in age to my own and we had such a great time with them. Their mom is a very good friend of mine and we often talk about the benefits and struggles of our different educational choices. She relayed the most interesting story to me about her daughters. She said that inevitably the topic of homeschooling comes up within the traditional school setting and most of the kids make comments about how weird homeschoolers are. She said a wonderful side benefit of the friendship our daughters have formed is when people say things like that they are quick to respond with statements like, "Weird? We have friends who are homeschooled. They aren't weird!" I also love that my girls have friends from all different styles of education. We talk openly about why we homeschool and how they are feeling about their studies. They know we will always make the final decision about their education, but they also know their opinions matter to us and it helps for them to have friends from many different educational backgrounds. Inevitably, they tell us how much they love homeschooling and their friends sometimes ask their parents if they can homeschool. I know it may not always be like this, but I'll take it for now!