Tag Archives: blogging

“Love” from Music Machine ~ God’s love weekly Crew challenge

I saw the title for this week’s Crew challenge and immediately thought of the song “Love” from the album Music Machine. Our girls loved the album; still do, actually.

We enjoy singing along with these songs about the Fruit of the Spirit. The one titled “Love” has the following lyrics.

Love, love, love makes people happy.
Love, love, love makes people free.
Love makes people do the things they know they ought to do.
Love is doing things for you and me.

Love, love, love makes people friendly.
Love, love, love makes people kind.
Love makes people do the things they know they ought to do.
Love is helping those who fall behind.

We need more love. It’s easy to see.
We need God’s love. That’s the way it should be.

Love, love, love makes people thankful.
Love, love, love makes people share.
Love makes people do the things they know they ought to do.
Love is showing others that you care.

We need more love. It’s easy to see.
We need God’s love. That’s the way it should be.

Love, love, love makes people happy.
Love, love love makes people free.
Love makes people do the things they know they ought to do.
Love is doing things for you and me.
Love makes people do the things they know they ought to do.
Love is doing things for you and me.

You can find a recording of this song several places and the Agapeland CDs are still sold many places, found by a simple search.

“Love” starts at 26:32.

God’s love is not something to take lightly and when we are trying to show God’s love, there are so many simple things we can do. Grand gestures are fine but God’s love is really about the small things – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentlesness, self-control. Okay, maybe not that small, but they aren’t the grand gestures that so many people tend to think of when trying to show God’s love to others. Focus on the fruit of the spirit and it will guide well to God’s love and sharing it with others. Makes me consider writing another series on the fruit of the spirit for my girls to do, since the previous one was for a much younger audience than they are now.

Don’t forget to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read other’s writings on God’s love. There are as many takes on the topic as there are people writing on it so enjoy!

Lori, At Home.

Winter Education Doesn’t Have to be Different

You know, I struggle to think of education during different times of years as different. And that is okay. I can stay the course and be pleased with that choice.

We often see others posting of all the great things they do differently for a change in season or a holiday or what-not. At that time, it is easy to let the monster of comparison creep in. But don’t, y’all! We are not all the same. I am speaking to myself here. Just this morning, I was thinking how I needed to get the girls outside more because they aren’t “active enough.” But my girls are; just in different ways than that parent was talking about. I was letting comparison slip into my thinking and my decisions. Bad choice. That seldom turns out good for me. 🙂

So, what does winter education look like? Well, it looks like regular school days for most of the time. It looks like more breaks and a few special, fun activities. We do tend to do more puzzles. We take more holiday time off. In a “normal” year, we spend some time with family and visit NM, where we get to see good snow and do some hiking and maybe visit a museum or two. But, really, those kinds of things happen other times of the year, too.

So, winter education is really no different for us here in central Texas. And that is okay. So, to the mom or dad who is looking around, get some ideas but remember you know best what works for your kiddos. Mine need routine and time in the dance studios. Time outside doesn’t rejuvenate them like others say their kiddos need. Give mine a good song and a barre for their rejuvenation. Pick and choose what is right for your students and don’t waver in your thinking just because someone else posts a fun looking idea. You know. Stay the course.

Lori, At Home.

Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew for their monthly blogging challenges. This week is How do you homeschool in the winter? Head over to the blog to read up on lots of ideas and takes on this theme.

Candy Corn and Orange Tea

These really do have a common bond – orange. That is the challenge for blogging this week and it got me to thinking about likes and dislikes. (Insert Friends quote here, if you are a fan.) We tend to be very distinct in what we like and what we don’t.

Like – Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea

This is a beautiful orange flavored tea. Tazo is the brand. I seldom splurge on things but this is one I have started splurging on. Yummy, sweet, and a nice citrus smell wake me up in the morning with a smile. This is a joy for me. The pretty orange color is just a bonus. 🙂

Dislike – candy corn

About all candy corn has going for it in my opinion is sweet. Even that is often corn syrup so I stay away from it. But it is a definite favorite with everyone else in our household. In fact, three of them spent some time this morning after we returned from the grocery store taste testing two different brands because, well, why not?

So what is orange in your world? And is it a like or a dislike?

Lori, At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew challenge to see what other folks have found to fit into the “orange” category!

Looking for More Friends ~ Join the Homeschool Review Crew

(*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through a link and choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you!)

Looking for More Friends

I’ll put the info here so you don’t miss it! Applications are open and it might be the best fit for your family! Check it out by clicking through to see. But read on, too, and see how the Homeschool Review Crew has influenced our family and our education. If you aren’t sure – keep reading. Maybe I can convince you. . .

I have been working with the Homeschool Review Crew almost since we began homeschooling the girls. Miss E had just started “fourth grade” and Miss L has just started “second grade.” Miss J was still a preschooler who had fun with everything. The having fun part hasn’t changed but she sure has – now she is a very confident “fourth grader.” Miss E is in high school and Miss L is in junior high! Life as part of the Crew is just what we do – Crew schooling!

And you know what? We love it! We are at the slow part of the year for the Homeschool Review Crew so we aren’t reviewing hardly any products at this point. Miss E asked just the other day when the next product was coming in for a review. When I told her it would be a couple of months as the years changed over, she was really disappointed. She has loved the products that we have reviewed over the last year or so that were for her, so much so that she made sure she got do to coding this year for her high school work (Thanks Code For Teens) and that she had access to all of the audios we have (Thanks Heirloom Audio and Brinkman Adventures). Additionally, Logic is on her weekly agenda and her algebra class is a previous review product that we have pulled back out. She is working through a speech class from SchoolhouseTeachers. Her Latin is from a Crew review (Picta Dicta) and she looks us the Daily Writing from SchoolhouseTeachers each day. Chemistry (Friendly Chemistry) is found on SchoolhouseTeachers, also, though we bought the extension for the course from the company. Her course load would be totally different without the Crew!

Miss L’s school work looks quite a bit different but she enjoys doing things for the Crew, also. Practice Monkeys is a current review for live online violin classes. She is taking a Marine Biology class from a company that we reviewed a couple of years ago (Supercharged Science). She uses SchoolhouseTeachers to find information for the history that she designed on Parties Through The Ages. Her language arts is made up of Dynamic Literacy, Phonetic Zoo, Grammar Planet, and some writing that she does.

Miss J’s classes are arranged due to some Crew vendors, as well. Mind Benders is probably her favorite and these come from The Critical Thinking Co. (We did not review Mind Benders but because I liked what I saw on from the company in reviews we did, we were more than happy to purchase their products.) She works on Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia and we have printed a few history worksheets and found some links on SchoolhouseTeachers to supplement the readings we do. She is also doing the current Practice Monkeys violin review.

Do you all see what a lovely and varied course load the girls get due to the vendors from the Crew? We have such benefits! These are just a few ways in which the Homeschool Review Crew is a lovely place to be a part of. To name a few others:

  • friendship – I have some wonderful online bloggers who are dear friends that I would not know if not for the Crew.
  • mentorship – The Crew offers an amazing wealth of knowledge amongst the bloggers and they offer you support and encouragement. The forums available open up areas of growth that I had no idea I would grow in and yet I have. From homeschooling to blogging to writing to starting a business, the mentoring I have found on the Crew is amazing.
  • encouragement – The encouragement is unmatched anywhere else. The ladies on the Crew are there for you when you need it. Whether it be prayer for strength to get through a tough day or a group to pray for you over the course of a year when your husband is deployed or a medical emergency or a decision you are anguishing over, these folks with offer encouragement and advice. On top of that, there is no judgment. They are truly an amazing group of ladies to be a part of.
  • understanding – Crew schooling is a big of different beast in the world of home education. The Crew folks get that and they are all doing it, too. So, when someone questions your choice to change your kiddos curriculum mid-stream (hey – you have a math program to review, you have to change for a few weeks!), the Crew understands and supports you on that. They also have advice and ways to make things work that others might not have thought of.

Okay – do you see? These are amazing people to work with. I am blessed.

I could have written this post a hundred different ways because our family has been truly blessed to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew. And do you know how I found them? By reading through a post like this. They are currently accepting applications to add to our team. We want you. Click through this link to see if you think you might want to apply and then do! Make a spur of the moment decision and apply. It might just change your life.

At Home.


Balancing Diapers and Deadlines ~ a Crew review


We all have times where we have to balance a load of things – from work to children to studies to teaching to daily chores to, well, you name it. We all have it and this review was an easy to process online course that helped me to think through some of the day-to-day that bogs down through time. Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is a fully-online, reading-based course that takes you step-by-step through daily life and choices. Brought to you by Lisa Tanner Writing , there is something for everyone in this course.


Lisa Tanner is a mom and business owner. Working from home with 8 children around her, she has had to think carefully about how to help it all run smoothly. Now, I don’t have 8 children that I am trying to mother and educate and help guide but I do have three. And with this blog, I have business-like items I need to consider and plenty of deadlines I have to keep in sight. And we live in a house we would like to have somewhat neat and tidy with laundry we would like to not wear dirty. 🙂 So, there was a lot in her course that touched my daily life.

Once you purchase the course from Lisa Tanner Writing , you will have access to the entire course right away. You just start at the beginning and go through it one online-page at a time. After each page, you click a box that tells the program to mark that section complete and you will be able to find where you are the next time you log in. There is no need to write it down; just look for the little green check marks next to the titles of lessons to see what you have finished.

Table of Contents showing completions

There are 6 units, in addition to an introduction and a closing thoughts. Each of the units has several chapters in it and each one of those has at least one activity that will help you put your thoughts and ideas down on paper and make the decisions that need to be made. These action steps are small and easy to accomplish.

I worked through this course a little at a time. I would sit down with my notebook and pen and some tea. After logging in and pulling up the next chapter, I would read the ideas and personal testimony Lisa shares. Then I would look at her action step for that topic. Some of these steps took just a couple of minutes and others took a bit longer. Many were things I was already doing. (Yay for feeling like I was on the right track!)

morning routine

Many topics had print outs to help you with the action step, whether it be a schedule or a sample of her schedule or a checklist or something else. From making a plan for the day or figuring out the laundry or scheduling tasks related to the business, there were plenty of ideas, suggestions, and personalized discussions, making this an easy to read and implement course.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is designed for anyone who has multiple parts of their life that they are trying to keep in order, particularly if you are running your own business and trying to grow it. Now, at this moment in time, I am not actively trying to start or grow a business but there were a lot of action steps that did apply. Some of these included were thinking through a morning routine or scheduling quiet time. Maybe you need some ideas about how to schedule your meals (insert the lesson here about the year long menu!) or getting your children involved in helping with your business.

2018-10-28 22.28.07

There is something here for everyone, even if you feel like you have your life running smoothly. The thing is, we all have places in our lives where we can improve our systems or get our children more involved. The ideas and baby steps included throughout Balancing Diapers and Deadlines will help you and your family.

At Home.

Please make sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew anchor post for Balancing Diapers and Deadlines reviews by other families, many of whom are growing their business. See how this course from Lisa Tanner Writing  can help you!



The Old Schoolhouse

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love the company that I review for. The Old Schoolhouse is a wonderful company and our family has been super blessed by being a part of The Homeschool Review Crew. (Yes – that is a new name but what we do has not changed, nor has the company we are a part of.) When I first applied, it was on a whim and with the expectation that they would laugh at how small my blog was. I was shocked, surprised, and thrilled when I got back a response after my test review that I was being offered a spot on the Crew. It was such a joy and has been one ever since.

Review CrewWith the Homeschool Review Crew looking for new members of the team and accepting applications, TOS has issued a press release. I thought I would share that with you.

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. a resource for support and encouragement for homeschooling families, is printed annually and available in a free quarterly digital format online, or by free app for tablets and phones. The Homeschool Review Crew is part of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. The Homeschool Review Crew is a viral marketing network made up of homeschooling families that use, review, and share about home education products. Crew members must apply and applications are being accepted now.

To be part of the Crew you must be a homeschooler and willing to use the review products with your students for about six weeks in your homeschool before writing your review.

You must have an active blog on which to publish your reviews and have at least one social media platform. You will check in on our Review Management forum, have access to sample reviews, and we provide mentoring for new members, a social media networking group, blog and social media tutorials, and lots of great opportunities.

In 2016, 75 total reviews were run, including products from some well-known companies like Homeschool in the Woods, Apologia Educational Ministries, Memoria Press, and Math U See, as well as products from lesser-known companies like Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmaker, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids, Star Toaster, and ArtAchieve. It is possible to review full curriculum packages like Writing with Sharon Watson or a music program from Zeezok Publishing. Smaller curricular items like books from Carole P. Roman or a unit from Progeny Press are also reviewed. And some items, like audio dramas from Familyman Ministries and Heirloom Audio, personal care items from Koru Naturals, or games from Simply Fun and Chara Games, are just a lot of fun! As a Crew Member, you can set your interests and your own limits on how much you can handle. Some Crew members reviewed 60 or more products in 2016. On average, reviewers completed three reviews per month.

After making sure you meet all of the requirements, if you believe you would to an asset to our Crew and wish to join us, please read more on our blog, or fill out our application. If you have questions, feel free to email Debra Brinkman.

As the number of homeschoolers and the diversity of curriculum continue to grow, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and the Homeschool Review Crew are in place to help home educators worldwide produce students that are in high demand in the workplace as well as in colleges and universities across the country.

Team Member
The Crew will be accepting applications for only a short while longer. I don’t, at this time, know the exact date that applications will close but I would not expect it to be much longer than the end of this week (first week of Nov). So follow those links above and find out if the Homeschool Review Crew and TOS would be a good fit for you and then fill out the application. Take a chance; you never know.

(psst – and tell them I sent you)

At Home.

Life Without The Crew


No, we aren’t leaving. Let’s get that out of the way. At least, I hope not. We are definitely reapplying!

That being said, I am ever so thankful that I don’t have to home educate without the Homeschool Review Crew. I don’t really even know what that looks like! You see, we made the decision to homeschool the girls at the end of a spring semester. I started blogging at that point, mostly as a way to document and share what we were doing and the fun we were having. We started their official home education in August of that year. I heard about the Homeschool Review Crew in October of that year – two months after we had started school. We were accepted to be a part and in November we were a part of the Crew.

So you see, I don’t really know homeschooling without the Crew. They are a lifeline for me. They are a support group for me. They are my friends, my co-workers, and ever so much more. They challenge me to be better each day. They challenge me to strengthen my blogging skills every single week. They read what I write and share their thoughts. They are my community and my online family. They are important.

The Homeschool Review Crew is currently accepting applications. I highly encourage you to apply if you are a homeschooling blogger. I truly had no idea what I was getting into when I applied and it was the best mistake I have ever made. I am all around much better because of this amazing group of women and one man. 🙂

And we have been the recipients of amazing products. Check out this list of reviews we have done! Some have been a perfect fit and are still part of our daily or weekly school work. Others have not and that’s okay because we learned something and we found out something that doesn’t work for us. That is a huge blessings because it also shows us how it might work for other families.

This post from the Homeschool Review Crew details all the requirements but ask yourself these questions?

Do you homeschool?

Do you blog?

Do you enjoy curriculum?

Do you enjoy telling others about what works and doesn’t work for your family?

Do you like to write?

Do you like to share?

These are all indications that you might fit in well with the Crew. Head over and check out the application process. It is open for a couple of weeks but don’t delay. Do it now so you don’t miss that window of opportunity. If you are like me, if you put something off and say “I’ll make time for it later”, it is likely that the deadline slips by and you don’t even notice until it is too late. Don’t let that happen with this opportunity to apply to join an amazing, encouraging group of homeschooling bloggers. Your support community is awaiting! Don’t delay.

Not convinced it is for you? Or maybe you are convinced and just want to get even more excited? Read about what others have to say regarding their participation with the 2016 Homeschool Review Crew.

What being on the Crew means ...At Home.

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2016 Applications

Have you wondered about how our family became a part of the Review Crew? Have you seen the products we are blessed to review and wondered how to be a part of something like this? Well, now is the time to check it out in full. The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew is accepting applications for the 2016 Review Crew. We have already gotten a peek at some of the vendors that are on the list and it is exciting!!!

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2016 Applications

So what does the Review Crew offer?

  • Friendships – With so many families on the Crew, you find amazing friendships that will strengthen and encourage you and your family.
  • Prayer – This group has amazing prayer warriors. I know that when I request prayer for something, I have a hundred or more families in prayer for the situation I share. God hears and answers. This group is amazing in this respect.
  • Encouragement – Whether it is a hard day, a hard week, or a hard season, you will find lots of folks that will step right up to encourage you and give you strength when you need it to press forward through the trials.
  • Hope – Let’s face it – there are times when our hope fades. There will be someone who is ready to share a hope-building statement or story with you just when you need it.
  • Knowledge – I don’t know about you but I find my shortcomings amplified often. The Review Crew is able to lift me up and help me find the knowledge I need to overcome those places where I am short at any given time. Whether it is educational knowledge or home making knowledge or Bible knowledge, there is someone on the Crew that can help you and everyone is willing to do so.
  • Products – Our educational experiences are so rich due to the amazing products we get to review as a part of this group. Many of these we would not even know about. Others are just way out of our financial reach. But with this group, we get the benefit of being able to use tremendous products by tremendous vendors.

This combination of things make the Review Crew an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Check it out. Be prayerful about the decision because it is work. This is not a simple add-on to the family and homeschooling. It takes time and work but it is so worth it!

You can find out the details on the Review Crew blog. If you are at all curious, please go read about the opportunity. And if you apply, please share that I sent you! (Just ’cause, you know? No, I don’t get anything but they do want to know referrals, I guess.)

Requirements? Find them here. (Plus a quote from me!)
Ready for the application? It is here. Go apply! You won’t regret it.

At Home.

Quote – July Blogging Challenge

I have joined with other Review Crew bloggers for a July Blogging Challenge, hosted by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential. Today’s challenge word is “quote.”

I can’t choose a single one of anything “favorite” so you’ll get more than one.

For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.

For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

” . . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

– depending on what you are looking at this is attributed to Ambrose Redmoon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Meg Cabot. Regardless, I like it because we have to overcome ourselves to stand in the face of fear and conquer it. And you conquer it by figuring out what is better than fear itself.

I would love to hear your favorite quote, if you care to share it. Join me tomorrow for the next post in the July Blogging Challenge.

July Blogging Challenge

At Home.

An Upcoming Christian Parenting Book

I am excited to share with you about a new book I’m starting this week — Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  Doesn’t that sound amazing? Isn’t that what we all want and desire? Kids acting responsibly with their actions and choices?

$150 preorder

God’s Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. Motivate Your Child is a practical book that explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.

This is the newest book by parenting experts, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN from the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), also authors of The Christian Parenting Handbook.

In order to motivate parents to Pre-Order the book, the NCBP is offering a $150 package of resources for FREE! There are video, audio and print items that can be used on a variety of devices. This package of resources looks absolutely amazing. I am loading up my Kindle with the audio already. You can learn more about this package on the Book Website.

You can Pre-Order the book now from any retailer, and then follow the instructions below. But this offer won’t be around forever. It is only for Pre-Orders. Don’t miss out.

Pre-Order from Amazon

INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to gift@biblicalparenting.org. The NCBP will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January 31, 2015.

At Home.


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