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!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Week in Review: August 10-14

Well we started back school this week! It went really well and we accomplished so much that I forgot to take any pictures until after we were done on Friday! 

Monday was a bit slow as Grace has moved up into the Hearts for Him Through Time series from Heart of Dakota and Rose is working though a very different set of courses this year as she prepares for dual enrollment next year, Lord willing. 

 Here is a run down of most of our week. This week we will add spelling, grammar, and writing as last week I needed the extra time to help the girls adjust to a few new things.
*Confession: everything is posed because I really just forgot all about pictures!*

Rose is doing a combination of courses from Master Books and Schoolhouse Teachers to fill in a few gaps for classes before we move into a dual enrollment setting. So far she is really enjoying them! 

Beth is completing Revival to Revolution this year with Heart of Dakota. She was in the groove this week and finished first every day. She's one to get up early, even before me sometimes, and start on school right away so I'm not surprised. Her routine is also pretty much the same regarding school so no real learning curve for her. 

Grace is having the bigger learning curve of my three this year. Heart of Dakota is amazing and I particularly love the Hearts for Him Through Time series that she is just venturing into. She is totally soaring, but understanding all of the independent work is just taking some time.

We've schooled with Heart of Dakota from the beginning of our journey and I could not be more pleased. I know the Lord led us to this curriculum because I really didn't search around a lot. At the time we began with Rose, she was about 2 and a half. I just wanted something structured to tell me how to help her learn through play. Beth was just an infant, we had made a move, and I felt like I wasn't giving my little girl who soaked up learning everything that was best for her. I stumbled upon Heart of Dakota in a catalog as they sold through 3rd party companies back then. I read the description and immediately knew this was it! I even had several of the books that were recommended already. Now here we are, 13 years later and it is beautiful!

I would love to hear how your week went! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Force of Nature: An Honest, Unsolicited Review

Force of Nature
I review quite a few things on this blog related to homeschooling. This time I want to share what we are using to clean our home with these days: Force of Nature. I absolutely love it for many reasons. 

NOTE: This is not a product I received for free nor was I asked to review. I just was excited to share a cleaner that is on the EPA list approved to kill that wretched virus we are all dealing with in one way or another AND one that was as safe as this is! 

Force of Nature uses salt, water, and vinegar, already mixed in handy dandy little capsules. You simply add one capsule to the bottle and push the button on the machine. That's where the magic happens. The water is electrolyzed by the machine and the combo of safe household ingredients creates a powerful cleaner.

This is considered an all-natural cleaner and is completely safe for kids, pets, and everyone else. There is a very slight chlorinated smell, but this is completely normal because of the chemistry that is happening between the water and salt. Because it is the right balance of ingredients, this is a non-toxic cleaner that is stronger than the ones full of chemicals. 

I have been using it everywhere! 
Kitchen Counters and Sink
Butcher Block island
Kitchen Table
(Sprayed onto a cleaning cloth first, not directly onto the piano!)
Kitchen and Bathroom Floors
Door Handles

It says it is safe for fabric as well, but make sure to test that in a small area before you try it everywhere. I haven't had opportunity to use it on fabric yet. 

I took about a month to read and learn about this company as well as the science behind the cleaner before purchasing. I read and read and read...from all different sources, not just from their website. When I finally purchased it, I was feeling quite confident in my decision and even more so now that I've used it in our home. 

Disclaimer: I do not make any commission from this referral. I do earn free capsules if you click on it and purchase. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Adventures inOdyssey: Jay Smouse bringing Smiles!

Jay Ice Cream Character Headshot 

We are often introduced to new characters in Odyssey. One of our family's new favorites is Jay Smouse! Here is a descriptoin of Jay directly from the Adventures in Odyssey website...

"Jay might call himself a bully, but it’s only in his own mind. He likes to torment kids with his nicknames and attitudes, but most others don’t take him seriously. He is often his own worst enemy—getting himself into crazy situations of own his own doing. He sometimes hangs out with Vance King, though even their relationship can be adversarial."

The factor that gives us delight is the comedic nature of this character. The actor (Whit Hertford) brings a likability to a character with a bad reputation. My husband especially really likes this character. When we are traveling and we ask what everyone wants to listen to, he will frequently respond with, "Anything with Jay!" 

Here are some of our favorite Jay Smouse episodes. 

1. Stage FrightBarrett is excited about getting the lead role in the school play. But when his first practice is interrupted by a mysterious booming voice, Emily must investigate the "phantom of the school play.
2. How to Sink a Sub
 When Katrina becomes their substitute teacher, Jay and Valerie rouse the class to revolt, even persuading Olivia to help with a plan to get Katrina fired.

3. Unbecoming JayJay schemes a way to ditch his cousin Cindy by leaving her with Barrett, but Priscilla grows jealous of the new friendship. 

4. Mistaken for Good
 Jay's visit to a nursing home takes an unexpected turn when an old woman mistakes him for her grandson -- and offers him money as a birthday present.

5. Groundhog Jay
 After Jay pushes Priscilla into an unexpected trip in the Room of Consequence, the two of them experience the same event over and over again.

6. The Friend Formula
 Riley is new to town and hoping to find some new friends. For advice, he turns to an unlikely (and unreliable) source – Jay Smouse!

7. Walk Worthy
 Buddy and Jay explore what it means to live with integrity as members of a wilderness troop for boys.

There are many others, and honestly anything with Jay Smouse is good for a laugh and a lesson! Explore some of these stories and more with an Adventures in Odyssey Club membership

Disclaimer: In exchange for promoting The Adventures in Odyssey Club I receive a membership to The Adventures in Odyssey Club. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Peek into our Weeks: July in Review

July, much like the rest of the year, has been anything but normal. We tried to have as much fun and normalcy as we could. Here are a few highlights.

We had a short trip to Florida and our kids got to spend a little time with their cousins. One of the fun moments was the cousin band! The kids worked to learn a couple of hymns on various instruments. It was really beautiful. I played piano and everyone not playing sang long.

Since we were unable to take any trips away this summer, Daddy thought camping in the backyard might be a fun distraction for a while! So the tent was setup and the girls had a couple of nights camping. Penny, our puppy, happily joined in the fun!

One thing the girls have enjoyed this summer is building and creating. They have been writing novels and movie scripts, building with Legos, and creating lots of art. We may not be having official school, but we are definitely learning and creating! 

We had a pretty big milestone for this sweet girl. She turned 13 and is growing in grace and beauty. She loves writing epic novels, cuddling our pets, reading, and laughing.

So those are a few glimpses into our month of July. There are many things we wished we could have done...swimming, the water park, the amusement park, more time with family...but we have chosen to focus on the blessings and are thankful for technology to allow us to communicate and play games with family.