Saturday, August 25, 2018

Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?

It's been over half a year since I've written a post here. I've spent some of that time trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog, or even if I want to keep the blog at all. What started as a place for me to share my life/thoughts/etc., became a huge problem for me.

First, I lacked a focus. The place became a product of my attention deficit tendencies. I jumped from topic to topic - life stuff, recipes, homeschooling, spiritual thoughts, and so on. Things here became so scattered and unorganized that it became difficult for me to even focus to share my thoughts or even to know what I wanted to share my thoughts about.

Second, I got caught up in the numbers. How many people read my post? How many comments did I get? Did my post/picture get any pins on Pinterest? Can you see where this is going? While readers are an important part of the blogosphere, I got so caught up in how popular I was (or wasn't), that I didn't write just to write, which was why I started the blog in the first place. Writing a post began to feel like a chore - something that I had to do instead of something I wanted to do.

So why am I sharing this? After my blogging vacation, I want to come back and write again. I miss the creative process that happens in my brain when my fingers are tapping on my keyboard typing out a post. I am a little (a lot) eclectic in my life in general, so trying to decide if I want to have a specific theme or focus here is difficult.

Friday, January 26, 2018

I Surrender - Maybe, Kind of, Sort of

This week's prompt at Five Minute Friday is "surrender." Five minutes of writing - not worrying about grammar, punctuation, or editing - just getting thoughts out. Here I go:

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

It's a beautiful hymn, and one I love to sing. Sadly, I stink at putting the concepts into practice. It's not that I don't want to. I want to surrender everything to Jesus; I want to give Him everything. But then my control freak tendencies start to take over.

This is what tends to happen in my brain:
"Jesus, I'm struggling with xyz. I'm giving this to You because I know You have my best interest in mind. You have a plan for what I'm going through. BUUUT, what if I did abc, I'm sure that would help this situation out. Sure, self, I'll just take care of this one part (or continue to worry about this one tiny aspect). Jesus, you can have everything else, though. I trust You."

So what is supposed to be me surrendering everything to Him winds up with me holding on to a corner, a tidbit, just a tiny piece really. And I know that ultimately that means I'm not giving Him anything - I'm not truly trusting Him to take care of me, to lead me, to care for me.

Surrendering it all is a daily struggle for me, but one that I am steadily working on.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

One of the most intimidating aspects of homeschooling for me is homeschooling my high schoolers. Trying to make sure they get a strong foundation in the courses required for high school graduation and college admissions can be quite daunting. I truly appreciate good quality curriculum that will help me teach my high schoolers what they need. The literature aspect of the English credit is extremely important so I was excited to have Ballerina use Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis from Writing with Sharon Watson.

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack Review

My girls love being creative - drawing, painting, basically any kind of crafting makes them happy. I don't mind the creativity (in fact, I encourage creativity), but I do mind when that creativity leaves a crafting mess in its wake. Anything that helps lessen the destructive mess that my girls "create" makes me happy, which is why I absolutely love the Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kid Niche Christian Books Review

One of the most important things I want to instill in my children is the desire to want to know God. Spending time in God's Word as well as in prayer each day is a critical aspect of our homeschool. It is my job as their mom to teach my children how to study their Bible and how to pray. A helpful resource for doing that is Weave Your Word in Me - Part 1, a prayer curriculum for upper elementary and tweens from Kid Niche Christian Books.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our homeschool by purchasing through these links.**

Sometimes I wish I had small children around my house all the time. Not because I don't like my children and the ages they are now; trust me, I am LOVING their ages now. And not because I'm ready for grandchildren; I'm not that old. No, it's because there are so many fun products out now that I wish had been available when my children were small. Thankfully Sassy is still young enough to get to enjoy some of these, like The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

For this review, we received
  • The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors
  • The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit, which contains 3 grips: The Crossover Grip, The Pinch Grip, and The Original Grip
The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors
Let me just say, I wish the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors had been available when ALL of my children were small. These things are amazing! The blades are completely encased in a plastic shield so there is absolutely no way that a child can cut his/her fingers. There is also a blunt tip so they can't hurt themselves by accidentally stabbing themselves with it either. There is a relatively narrow area to slide the paper into to be cut, which would have made it so much more difficult for my children to cut their own hair if we had had these way back when they did things like that. (Oh the stories I can tell about those haircuts...)

Sassy really likes how easily they cut. Because of the design, the blades stay sharp.

The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

I really appreciate the 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit. The 3 steps are
  1. The Crossover Grip - The finger guard on this grip keeps the fingers in the correct position for writing, keeping them from crossing over each other.
  2. The Pinch Grip - This grip has a smaller guard that keeps the fingers in the correct position and allows for good control of the pencil.
  3. The Original Grip - This grip helps prevent the bad habits from forming during early writing instruction. 
Had we had these grips when Sassy was younger, I would have had her using the Original Grip when she was learning to write, and I'm sure her handwriting would be much neater now. Thankfully, though, the Pinch Grip is working well for her. She's been using this on her pencils and she likes it. Eventually, I think she will be able to move to the original grip.

According to her, the Pinch Grip is helping her keep her fingers from crossing over. It keeps her thumb resting in the right spot and from pressing into her other fingers when she writes. It has made writing much more comfortable for her, and she feels like she writes much better now. 

You can learn more about The Pencil Grip, Inc. on social media:

Are you interested in what others have to say about The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reading Eggs Review

My children, like most children, love to spend time on the computer. When I can pair their love for computer games with my need for them to get an education, it's a win-win. I really do want them to enjoy reading since that is a skill that will take them far in life. Sassy has really enjoyed doing online reading and playing reading games using Reading Eggs.

Reading Eggs*

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