Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gathering the Threads {Review}


The third and final installment in the Amish of Summer Grove series, Gathering the Threads continues the story of Arianna Brenneman, caught between the English and Amish worlds.  After discovering she was switched at birth, Arianna is blackmailed into living with her English family for a year.  But when she convinces her English father to allow her to return to the Amish, Arianna discovers that she doesn't fit there like she used to.  Longing for the simple life that she knows, but conflicted by all she's learned, Arianna must discover who she is beyond all the labels.

Skyler Nash also finds herself struggling with the switch.  Now clean and sober, Skyler is afraid of what Arianna's return could mean for her.  Will the Brenneman family ask her to leave?  Will she be rejected again?  As she struggles to find her place in the family, Skyler continues to work the family business, but also look for her own path.

Can these two girls find their voice in a clash of cultures?  Or will the adjustment be too much?  And what about Quill, Rudy, and Jax?  Will Arianna's sister still work toward leaving the amish?  And will Celia continue to cope with her illness?  

With so many well developed characters, Gathering the Threads certainly doesn't lack for storylines.  While the majority of the book focuses on Skyler and Arianna, there are a variety of well-developed characters to keep the book going, showing the depth of this author.  This book in the series is particularly interesting because it brings up the conflicts between the two worlds and their way of thinking.  Woodsmall does this with such compassion for both sides that she's able to develop arguments without belittling either viewpoint.  

Gathering the Threads is a wonderful way to finish off the series.  I cannot recommend The Amish of Summer Grove series highly enough.  Very well done!

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy for this book for review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lydia's Spring Performance {6/24/17}



Lydia's Dance Performance for Spring 2017

Lyrical Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XyS7oT2ps8

Broadway Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq46xKK5HGQ

Acro Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIjZpUt-INk

Ballet Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Wxjoc6kes

C O N N E C T
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Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Pop Tune by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Weekend Links












This Week:

What I'm Cooking:
It's cooled off a little bit here.  The A/C is actually getting a break once in awhile.  But we're really trying not to heat up the house too much.  So dinners have been super simple and light.  One of the meals we prepared this week was a chili lime fajita salad.  We seasoned some chicken and veggies with chili powder, cumin, lime, oil, etc and then cooked the fajita toppings.  We also prepared extra marinate as a dressing and served it on a bed of lettuce.  We kept ours pretty simple, but you could dress it up with tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, etc.  It was light and summery.

What I'm Loving:
I'll be honest... I'm loving sleeping in.  I'm a complete night owl, but being a homeschooler, I have to be up with the kids and tackling our day.  We can kind of do school on our own schedule, but the afternoons/evenings are filled with team practices, etc.  So I try to get us moving in the mornings. 

But over the summer, that all changes.  I get a chance to catch up on a ton of reading, watching TV, indulging my night owl tendencies, and sleeping in.

What I'm Reading:
Well, I started a review book, but I had to put it down.  It was just too much.  It's a book based on the French Revolution and right off the bat, it was just too graphic for me.  It's very rare for me to not finish a book, especially a review book.  So I'm really struggling to commit to it.  I haven't been able to pick it up the last couple of days.

What I'm Doing:
We've had a pretty quiet week around here.  Dance classes and workouts went on, but I think the kids were feeling tired like I was as well.  So we spent a lot of time at home this week: board games, baking, hide and seek, water balloons.... They had a lot of fun.

What I'm Watching: 
I'm back to watching Little People Big World.  It's interesting to see how this family has changed and evolved.  Sad at times, comforting at others.  I've been doing some binge watching!  :-)

What I'm Enjoying:
playing in the sprinkler... ice water... easy summer schedules... snuggling with my kids...
nights where everyone is at home... 

What are you up to?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Library Bag Haul {7/13/17}



 Books we're checking out from the library...

Previous Library Hauls:
10/10/13: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXKkrKF-TBI
8/20/14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXKkrKF-TBI
2/23/15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9izvYrb_2XQ
8/29/15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWMqZSmF_Zg
2/23/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_1AhUGk4YI
6/9/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko6z5JrBkFw
8/20/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prxWcFDoZ54
11/9/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGbwjVk0Ao8
12/18/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5Rcdbs33yk

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I'm Cooking:
Well, since it's supposed to be 108 degrees today, I really don't want to cook anything.  :-(
But kids have to eat so what do you do?
We've been making lots of marinated veggie sandwiches.  We just chop up tomato, cucumber, and avocado and marinate in balsamic vinegar.  Then spread a pita with either pesto or hummus and pile on the veggies.  It's quick, easy, and refreshing.
We've been eating lots of these sandwiches with watermelon, pineapple, whatever kind of fruit we can get our hands on.

What I'm Loving:
This past weekend was a four day weekend for us since 4th of July was on a Tuesday.  As many of you know, my husband worked at the same job for nearly 10 years and just switched to a new job last November.  In his old job, he never had holidays off.  So this year for him to have 4th of July off was incredible.  We packed the weekend with visiting family, swimming, going to a hometown parade, watching a baseball game, and seeing fireworks.  So we're really loving having Daddy home with us and making memories.

What I'm Reading:
oh, my!  Cindy Woodsmall has a new book coming out in Aug and I was picked to be a part of the launch team.  So I've been devouring this book.  It's book #3 of a series that I've previously reviewed here and let me tell you.  It does not disappoint!  Hoping to have a full review for you next week.

What I'm Doing:
Oh, it's been time to start thinking about next school year.  Hard to believe that the summer is already half over.  I had previously purchased most of our curriculum for next year.  But still had a few things to fill in so I purchased those this week.

What I'm Watching: 
We finally started watching the past Amazing Race season.  The kids and I have been pulling them up on CBS.com and watching them in the afternoon.  Interesting twist to have them paired up with complete strangers.  I don't know if I could do it.

What I'm Enjoying:
The Pool... The Lake... Any Water of Any Sort :-)... enjoying an evening with baseball friends... lazy mornings... A/C... the summer reading program...  

What are you up to?



Thursday, July 6, 2017

One Second Every Day {June 2017}

One second every day during the month of June... enjoying the lazy days of summer... lots of swimming, dancing, camping, and great play time!

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

Music Attribution:

For Mimi by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Homeschool ABC Collab: Y is for Youtube Homeschoolers



 This week... I'm talking about finding encouragement and inspiration from other Youtube Homeschoolers.

Join us in this new youtube collab exploring and celebrating the ABC's of your homeschool.

This video gives you the information you need to join us. Any other questions, let me know.
Homeschool ABC Collab Intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-kVcpEeZ3c

Homeschool ABC Collab Letter Y playlist:

Homeschool ABC's Collab- Letter Z is for... will be posted on Tuesday July 11, 2017.  Come back with your links to be added to the playlist.

Full Time Wife Life:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAukJr-7bZM
Joyfilled Journey:
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJoyarmstrong1
Just Sew Trish:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ScrapbookTrish
Pepper and Pine:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN7Jb3UtsPmdSCmb0IPmT_Q

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Weekend Links



















This Week:

What I'm Cooking:
We are eating these amazing Chicken Pesto Sandwiches.  It this fantastic combination of yummy sourdough, pesto, mozzarella, and fresh veggies.  They are so yummy and easy to throw together after a day at the lake.

What I'm Loving:
I am loving having time with the kids to just be.  We're taking time to just explore our interests and learn new things.  Noah's been working on card tricks, Lydia's been crafting, and Josiah's been reading like crazy.  Me too.  We've just been really enjoying the time.

What I'm Reading:
I just finished Sacred Parenting this week.  I can express enough how transformational that book is in my parenting journey.  Really... you have to read it.

Since then I've picked up the latest Cyndi Woodsmall book.  It's an early release review copy and I'm already sucked in.  I can't wait to share it with you.

What I'm Doing:
Well, here we are, nearly half way through the summer.  And I feel the weeks flying by.  I've been ordering the final books for our fall homeschool, and working on a bucket list for the rest of the summer.  

What I'm Watching: 
Little People Big World of course.
The summer is kind of a down season for us and I'm always looking for a new series to pick up.
What are some of our favorites?

What I'm Enjoying:
The lake... swimming... sleepovers... watching my kids' imaginations blossom...

What are you up to?




2017 June Bookmarks

 photo IMG_2478_zpsczopbrsn.jpg

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for June was Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.

These are the books I read this month:


Habits by Charlotte Mason-- This is the first volume of the Charlotte Mason writing.  We use a little Charlotte Mason style education in our homeschool, particularly in history.  So I was curious to explore more of the philosophy.  This book is about establishing habits in not only the homeschool, but the home.  And what really struck me was that it also focused on the parents.  I find that to be so true.  A good place to start in understanding more of the Charlotte Mason philosophy.


The Outdoor Life of Children by Charlotte Mason-- so this was book 2 of the Charlotte Mason series and one that I was really excited to delve into.  I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more outdoor studies with my kids and this is one of the major tenants of the educational philosophy.  This book in particular focuses on nature study and getting kids outdoors.  Great advice!

What We Read With The Kids:


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate-- I don't know what I expected from this book, but it wasn't quite what I expected.  But in a good way.  We've been reading through the Little House series and they can be pretty heavy.  But this one was so funny.  Heartfelt, sincere, and sweet.  A great book for reading aloud to younger ones, but even my seventh grader enjoyed it.


Run with Me by Sanya Richards Ross-- See my review here.



Our suggested reading for June was Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas--  When I picked up this book, from page one, I remember how important this book is to my parenting journey.  A way of thinking, rather than a how to, Sacred Parenting focuses on how God matures us through parenthood. Think you've got it all figured out?  Have kids!  What if parenthood was less about raising kids and more about drawing close to the Lord?  Well guess what?  It is!  Top five parenting books in my opinion, if not the top book for any parent.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas

Also don't forget to come back on July 28th as we discuss Paris for One & Other Stories by JoJo Moyes.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Physics Quest Kit Unboxing



We love these Physics Quest Kits!  They're always fun to complete and include everything you need.  Let us show you what's in the latest box!

Physics Quest Kits Request Form:
http://www.physicscentral.com/experiment/physicsquest/index.cfm

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Run with Me {Review}


From a young age, Jamaican-American sprinter Sanya Richards Ross has been chasing the clock.  Starting at the tender age of 7 years, Richards Ross felt at home on the track.  With a supportive family behind her, she quickly moved up the ranks, finally becoming No 1 in the world and on the road to the Olympics.  Through it all, her gaze never wavered from the one who gave her this gift.  And throughout this memoir she continually turns her story back to the Lord.

Based on the 4P's of her training and preparation (push, pace, position, and poise), Sanya Richards Ross tells her story of young racer, immigrant, record breaker, and finally Olympian.  From the heartbreak of Jamaican boos to the triumph of a victory lap, her story honestly tells of both the highs and lows of track and field.  Purposely written to an 8-12 year old audience, Run with Me is a story meant to inspire a generation to pursue big dreams without loosing their faith.

Having two kiddos within the 8-12 year old range, I was excited to review this book.  I was even more pleasantly surprised to see how much focus there was on following the Lord.  Every step of the way, Richards Ross brings us back to how the Lord gave her speed and she wanted to use it to glorify him.  She shares about her own self-doubts and hard work that put her on the path to the world stage, and how she ultimately made peace with God's love outside track and field.

A few days ago, I put this book in my 9 year old daughter's hands.  Typically she loves historical fiction, but she's a dancer and I thought she'd appreciate the focus on training and sacrifice.  Needless to say, she's actually enjoying it and especially likes the focus on growing with the Lord.  It's exciting for me as a mom to see good books out there, encouraging our kids to work hard, go for their dreams, but still find their identity in the Lord.  This is one such book.  Highly recommend it for the preteen, early teen years.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June Homeschool Favorites



 Some of our favorites this month in our homeschool!

May Homeschool Favorites:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWu8tGjCxxA

Original Creator: FullTimeWifeLife
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIwT8Shrs-A

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor

Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I'm Cooking:
We've been cooking lots of fresh salads.  The days are getting warmer and fresh produce abounds.  So we've been making lots of salads and trying several new dressing recipes.  We made one last night with avocados and tomatillos.  It was so yummy.  Lydia declared the salad her new favorite.  So that's a win in my book.

What I'm Loving:
So many things... but what am I REALLY loving?
Time to bake and cook with Lydia and time to create projects with the kids.
Just time in general... time to get things done, bills paid, clean the house... love the extra time!

What I'm Reading:
I'm still slowly working my way through Sacred Parenting.  It's my "daytime" reading.  It's so deep and full of such truth.  I like to read it in the afternoons when I'm still awake.

I'm also reading a review book that is an autobiography of a famous athlete.  It's good, but much lighter.  So that's my "before bed" reading.  :-)

What I'm Doing:
As much as we've had time lately, we've also been filling that time.  We had a friend spend the time this week.  We went swimming, Josiah attended VBS, we explored a new bookstore, and we've just stayed busy.  Plus last weekend, we went camping. That was just good wholesome family fun.  Really wonderful.

What I'm Watching:
I've been going back and watching old episodes of Little People Big World.  I hadn't watched for several seasons.  But something peaked my interested recently, so I went back 4-5 seasons and I've been catching up on the family.  

What I'm Enjoying:
Pesto Chicken Sandwiches... Swimming... Craft Projects... 

What are you up to?



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Homeschool ABC Collab: W is for Wings of Summer



This week... We're sharing with you our experience at Wings of Summer.  We learned a ton and had some really cool experiences!

Join us in this new youtube collab exploring and celebrating the ABC's of your homeschool.

This video gives you the information you need to join us. Any other questions, let me know.
Homeschool ABC Collab Intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-kVcpEeZ3c

Homeschool ABC Collab Letter W playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdEwsx69jopsM__VfXLf_bmBJfIZIfba_

Homeschool ABC's Collab- Letter X is for... will be posted on Tuesday June 20, 2017.  Come back with your links to be added to the playlist.

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

Walk In The Park Full by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I'm Cooking:
We've had an unusual week.  Hot to cold and rainy... so we've had a varied diet.  Last weekend, we made orzo salad with tomatoes, spinach, olives, peppers, and feta.  It was yummy, and a nice light dinner after swimming in a friend's pool.

What I'm Loving:
Summer rain... it's been a cool rain here for the last couple of days.  We've been spending more time outside despite the rain and it's been a nice refreshing reprieve before the heat hits again.

What I'm Reading:
I'm reading a Charlotte Mason book on habits.  There's a lot there to think through so I've been taking it slowly.  Same with the bookmark book for June (Sacred Parenting).  Slow and steady... good, but deep.

What I'm Doing:
We've been filling our days with visiting friends and reading lots of good books.  Just this week, I spent time with a Mommy friend while the kids played and then we went to the Children's Museum for a playdate.

What I'm Watching:
We've been watching tons of Friends episodes.  Gotta love Netflix!  :-)

What I'm Enjoying:
Summer rain... swimming... baseball friends... board games... story time at the library... 


What are you up to?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

One Second Every Day {May 2017}



 May kept us busy!  With three kids, baseball in full swing, and finishing up the school year... Mom and Dad were just trying to keep up!

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Homeschool ABC Collab: V is for Various Things



 This week... I'm chatting it up about various things.. volcanoes, vacations, and Veritas Press.  What are our vacation plans for the summer?  Will we get to hike volcanoes?  And does anyone have experience with Veritas Press in their homeschool?

Join us in this new youtube collab exploring and celebrating the ABC's of your homeschool.

This video gives you the information you need to join us. Any other questions, let me know.
Homeschool ABC Collab Intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-kVcpEeZ3c

2015 Homeschool Collab: Volcanoes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOXQGaskbK8

DITL 9/15/15: Hiking Volcanoes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3ZJF4ncONQ

DITL 9/19/15: Lava Tube Exploring
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOFj3yqTytg

Homeschool ABC Collab Letter V playlist:

Homeschool ABC's Collab- Letter W is for... will be posted on Tuesday June 13, 2017.  Come back with your links to be added to the playlist.

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Ebb Tide {Review}


When tragedy strikes the close knit Amish community, Sallie Riehl freely gives her finances, and travel opportunity, for a little boy facing healthy challenges.  After spending years saving for this trip, she finally concedes that it may be time to be baptized into the faith.  But when the Logans offer her a summer nannying job at the sea, Sallie sees this as her last opportunity to travel.

Determined to have this last adventure and then settle down, Sallie embraces every opportunity, enjoying her nannying job, exploring the seaside town, and striking up a friendship with a young biology student named Kevin.  As the summer goes on, Sallie begins to question her decision to join the Amish community.  Is this desire to see the world simply because of Kevin?  Or does the Lord have plans for her that she can't even imagine?  

Overall, I've been a big Beverly Lewis fan for years.  She is definitely the queen of Amish fiction.  As far as this particular book goes, the nannying storyline and Cape May setting were well done, as well as the conflicting love story between Sallie, Kevin, and Perry.  Near the end of the book, the storyline started to lag.  It wasn't really clear how Sallie came to her final conclusion, and the ending seemed rushed.  Not the typical wrapping up of a Lewis book.  Overall it was good, but I'd probably wait to pick this one up at the library or at least wait for the price to come down.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Last Day of School and Too Cool for the Pool? {DITL 5/26/17}



 In this Day in the Life... we shop for our reading rewards at Barnes & Noble, hit up the park, enjoy a poetry tea time, and realize the weather is too cool to swim????

C O N N E C T
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Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Safety Net by Riot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

One Fine Day by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Weekend Links












This Week:

What I Made:
We made lots of memories this week.  We started out with a 3 day weekend that was a blank canvas: no plans, no agenda.  And quickly filled it up.  Saturday we took a family hike to some waterfalls near the lake.  It was a moderate hike so even my 5 year old did well and we got some gorgeous photos.  Lots of fun!

Sunday we met some friends for a BBQ and swimming.  Our church friends were kind enough to open up their hope and the kids swam, and swam, and swam.  While I ate way too many cherries.  I love this summer fruit season.

And then on Monday, we met some more church friends at the lake and hung out for 6 hours.  The kids played and played in the water while Mom and Dad got to relax.  It was a lot of fun and a good way to top off the weekend.

What I'm Cooking:
We're in a funny season right now.  Typically I'd be switching over to fresh sandwiches and salads, but we actually got rain this week.  So it's been a funny mix of crockpot soups one day and then a summer salad the next.  This weather is keeping me on my toes.

But one thing never changes:  Pizza on Friday Nights!  :-)

What I'm Loving:
I am so loving having open days to pick and choose as we will.  Now, this is a two-edged sword.  Days are open and free, but we still need some structure.  So we're starting to hit the swing of things with a loose schedule, but one bigger project to complete each day.  We're enjoying it.

What I'm Reading:
Wow!  Just !WOW!  So I'm started the June Bookmarks selection (Sacred Parenting) and I'm remembering how life changing this book is.  It's been easily 4 years since I read it.  Amazing!  I'm only on chapter 2 and already feeling super convicted.  In a good way.  :-)

What I'm Doing:
This weekend is a little open.  Today we're going to the library and story time.  My Kindergartener has really missed going there.  And hoping to do a little hiking again this weekend.  We need to get some yard work done.  If anyone knows anything about fixing a sprinkler system, call me.  :-)  And I know Lydia is dying to go swimming!

What I'm Watching:
I finally watched the finale of Once Upon a Time.  Sad, but satisfying.  I know the show will continue, but it will certainly be different.  Love this show!

What I'm Enjoying:
summer rain... lazy days of summer... summer salads... library time... family hiking... 

What are you up to?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Speed Cleaning/ Power Clean Before Fun!/ Power Hour {6/1/17}



School's Out for Summer!  Which means it's time for mom to get this house in order!  Doing some quick (speed) cleaning before heading out to go waterfall hiking.

Style Mom XO: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgYmsFQfpkQ7Sq8_i5Vca6g

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

Bounce Ball by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) 
Source: http://www.twinmusicom.org/song/255/b... 
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Homeschool ABC Collab: U is for Update!



This week I'm sharing with you the highs, lows, and all the in betweens of our 2016-2017 school year.  What curriculum did we like?  What did we hate?  And what are we looking toward changing next year?

2016-2017 4th Grade Curriculum:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myr_TrHlrGg

2016-2017 Kindergarten Curriculum:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQVb4xLroZY

Join us in this new youtube collab exploring and celebrating the ABC's of your homeschool.

This video gives you the information you need to join us. Any other questions, let me know.
Homeschool ABC Collab Intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-kVcpEeZ3c

Homeschool ABC Collab Letter U playlist:

Homeschool ABC's Collab- Letter V is for... will be posted on Tuesday June 6, 2017.  Come back with your links to be added to the playlist.

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Bright Wish by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

June Holidays and Homeschool Ideas

Look for a few ways to add some fun to your homeschool?  Here are just a few of the holidays and fun days you can celebrate this month:

June 2nd--Donut Day
*Make some Apple Cider Donut Holes
*What about some Baked Churro Donuts?

June 3rd--National Trails Day
*Organize/ take part in a trail volunteer clean up crew
*Find a new trail to hike
*Purchase a new wildlife guide and see how many plants/animals you can identify on your hike

June 8th--Best Friends Day
*Send a small gift/card to your best friend
*Phone an old friend
*Find a pen pal

June 15th--Nature Photography Day
*Create a nature photography challenge list
*Take an online photography course

June 18th--Father's Day
*Fill out a Father's Day memory sheet
*Draw a Father's Day portrait
*Create a Father's Day gift

June 24th--Great American Campout Day
*Put the tent up in the backyard
*Make s'mores in a solar oven
*Go Camping!

What days are you celebrating this month?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Our 2017 Summer Bucket List

Summer is here and we're creating our Summer Bucket List!  The kids have things they want to do, and we want to swim... A LOT!  But for those warmer days and planning purposes, we're putting together a variety of ideas for the months ahead.  Here's what we have so far:

Make galaxies in bottles
Make solar system bracelets
Complete the Barnes & Noble reading challenge
Make edible solar systems
Read The Black Stallion
Do 25 Days of Drawing challenge
Try frozen yogurt/fruit treats
Hike Brandy Creek Falls
Make homemade ice cream
Go camping
Try Foam paint
Become a Junior Ranger
Complete the library reading challenge
Make 4th of July crafts
Visit a National Park
Try grilled fruit
Make homemade granola
Read By the Shores of Silver Lake
Learn to use a compass
Explore tide pools
Have a water balloon fight
Visit the Farmer's Market
Make a fun fruit dessert
Hike a volcano
Camp out in the backyard
Find 3 new places to explore around town
Learn about ocean animals
Hike Crystal Creek Falls
Stay up and star gaze
Visit the Icee Shack
Read The One and Only Ivan
Make popsicles
Take swim lessons


Friday, May 26, 2017

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I Made:
You know Lydia and I ... we've been in the kitchen.  Today is actually our final day of the school year so I baked chocolate chip zucchini muffins for breakfast (a family favorite) and we're trying a new ice cream recipe: fresh mango!  It should be good.  I sampled a little.  :-)

What I'm Reading:
I just finished Atlas Girl that was the bookmarks selection this month.  So good.  A little quirky, a little off timeline... but good... like deep thinking good.

What I'm Doing:
This is our first weekend without baseball.  I almost don't know what to do with myself.  But today, we're celebrating the end of the school year.  And this weekend, we plan on doing some hiking to some waterfalls.  I'm excited.

What I'm Watching:
Not a whole lot really... Oh, I've been watching old episodes of Little People, Big World.  I haven't watched that show in years, but got sucked back in so I went back several seasons and I've been binge watching.

What I'm Enjoying:
Homemade Ice Cream... good friends... cool evenings... 

What are you up to?



2017 May Bookmarks

 photo IMG_2478_zpsczopbrsn.jpg

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for May was Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga.

These are the books I read this month:


Are My Kids on Track by Goff, Thomas, and Trevathan-- See my review here.


What We Read With The Kids:


On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder--  We are book #4 of the Little House series and the kids are soaking it up.  Especially my 5 year old; he loves them!



Our suggested reading for May was Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga--  This book was so good.  Memoir written in rich language, Wierenga explores a life marred with imperfect people, an eating disorder, and trying to make sense of a loving God in an unlovable world.  Leaving home at a young age, Wierenga finds the love her life, but learns that battling her demons will follow her.  And when her mother is diagnosed with brain cancer and she's needed at home, those demons continue to follow along.  Written in a nonlinear, quirky, thought provoking way, Atlas Girl discovers that sometimes the last place you want to be is the place that will heal you.  Meant to be read slowly and savored, Atlas Girl is a great book for gaining deep perspective.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga.

Also don't forget to come back on June 30th as we discuss Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.
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