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La La Logic {Review}

4/29/2015
La La Logic Review

Bo and I been reviewing the Preschool Curriculum by La La Logic. Designed for ages 3-6, it helps develop thinking and logic skills in preschoolers.

Get Oily With Free Shipping!

4/24/2015
Have you thought about taking the oily plunge, but need an incentive to help jump into the oily world?


Now through the end of the month, enjoy free shipping if you order a Young Living Premium Starter Kit!

By registering to become a Young Living customer, and choosing to get your oils at wholesale prices  by purchasing one of the Starter Kits that Young Living offers, you are entitled to several benefits:

  • Wholesale Pricing: Save 24% off retail pricing on Young Living products as well as opportunities for exclusive specials and promotions. 
  • Essential Rewards: With this optional monthly ordering program you can earn up to 20% of your order back as points that you can "spend" on oils.
  • Generous Compensation: If you should choose to build a business with Young Living (totally optional!), you can take part of their compensation plan. 
  • and more!  



The Premium Starter Kit ($150) includes the Everyday Oils Kit, and contains 5ml bottles of:
  • Peppermint (great for a pick-me up or to aid digestion)
  • Thieves (immune booster)
  • Melaleuca alternifolia (mix with baking soda and sprinkle on carpet or in stinky shoes!)
  • Stress Away (ease tension of a hard day)
  • Lavender (boo-boos, burns, cuts, scrapes, stings... think First Aid kit!)
  • Frankincense (ease tension, great for skin health and wrinkles)
  • Joy (uplift and rejuvenate - great with epsom salts in a bath or wear as perfume)
  • Lemon (great in water to detox, refreshing and tonic, also great for acne)
  • PanAway (soothing)
  • Purification (great for bug bites!)
The Everday Oils Kit alone retails for $170.72 and is included in the Premium Starter Kit!


The kit also comes with the Home Diffuser (or the Bamboo Diffuser for a $10 upgrade) and the Basic Starter Kit, which includes Citrus Fresh, essential oil samples, 2 NingXia Red samples, and information to teach you all about your new oils!

The oils are really wonderful and the kit is an amazing deal ~ a $300+ value for $150 (plus shipping and tax). If you want to become a Young Living wholesale member, I highly recommend this kit! And now through the end of April, your shipping is free!

If you would like to learn more about the oils in the Everyday Oils Kit, I invite you to listen to this Everyday Oils Kit Class ~ This is a 40 minute oil class that shares some ways you can use the Everyday Oils.


You also get a free gift from me!

  • Welcome gift: I send all of my new members an oily welcome gift if they order the Premium Starter Kit the same month they enroll as a Young Living Member. I am currently sending the Quick Reference Guide for Essential Oils ($16.95 value) so you know how to use your oils! If you purchase an Essential Rewards Kit when you purchase a Premium Starter Kit, I will send you the full size Reference Guide for Essential Oils ($36.95 value)!
  • Oily Support: My personal support, an invitation to join our private Facebook support group, and access to regular online virtual classes for you and anyone you'd like to invite. These classes are a great way to learn about essential oils and to also teach your family and friends about them. I highly recommend you take this class if you are interested in essential oils! The classes include fun giveaways and incentives and share how you can find wellness, purpose and abundance with Young Living Essential Oils. 


This Sign-Up Link will take you directly to the sign up page if you would like me to enroll and sponsor you. In order to get the discount on the kit and for future orders you will want to select "wholesale member." The Premium Starter Kit is only available to wholesale members.


There is no commitment to ever buy again, or to ever use your account for anything other than for personal use. I love that! If you want to keep your account active, you only need to purchase 50PV a year (that's $50 in essential oils). Learn more here!


Lately, in my oily world...

I have been diffusing Peace & Calming on sunny days to help us all focus on school and not the beautiful weather! Now that Peace & Calming is out of stock until the fall (due to crop failure from too much rain), I am turning to Citrus Fresh, which contains Orange - one of the calming oils in Peace & Calming. It is an uplifting blend and has been perfect for this busy and stressful season of my life. I also ordered Tangerine, the 2nd main ingredient, and so far I haven't had to break out the Patchouli yet (another calming and relaxing oil). :)

I've been using Peppermint in a capsule for digestion, and in the case of the other night, a rare occurrence of acid reflux that woke me twice. After the 2nd time, I asked my husband to bring me peppermint, water, and the wedge pillow to sleep on!  I'm out of Ningxia Red and missing the energy support these days, but sure enjoyed an hour long nap on the couch today with the sun shining through the window on me!

Eliana is loving the Ortho Ease Sport Massage Oil for occasional growing pains. It is a calming blend of Wintergreen, Peppermint, Juniper, and Marjoram in a carrier oil. The carrier oil makes it super easy for her to apply herself, and (thinking it wouldn't be as strong, I was wrong!), it works great.

Jordan, my oldest, also loves the massage oil for his back with Panaway (in the kit).  He also uses Lemon for acne at night. Valor is another favorite of his, too. He also carries an oily keychain with 8 different oils.

Bo asks for Lavender for just about any boo-boo (I keep it in a roller bottle diluted with olive oil). At night he asks for his "sleepy oy-yals." I mostly use Lavender and Orange, but if he's especially restless, I'll use Lavender and Cedarwood.

Are you oily? What have you been using lately? Would love to hear! Not oily? Would love to have you join us!

Disclaimer: This product or information is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. 

Please also note that while I think essential oils are wonderful, it is very important to educate yourself on how to use them properly, so I'd love to have you join us for a class! 

Corduroy {B4FI♥AR}

4/17/2015
~Bo is 4 years, 2 months here~

Our row of Corduroy in pictures. 
































Delightful Links:


Corduroy is a Before Five in a Row selection. There are a lot of Fun Things to do with B4FIAR, but the most important thing is to cultivate a love for learning. ♥

The Way They See It ~ Preschool Art with ARTistic Pursuits {Review}

ARTistic Pursuits Review

I love the heart of ARTistic Pursuits and their focus on helping children see art through awareness of the world around them in The Way They See It (Preschool). The title of the book is appropriately titled in that the book shows you how we, as adults, can nurture this awareness.

Written for ages 3-5, The Way They See It requires children to makes sense of the world around them by thinking, seeing, smelling, feeling, and drawing conclusions on their own about what they sense, and then talking about it. In other words, art in this book focuses on the process of the art, not the end result.

Orphs of the Woodlands {Review}

4/15/2015
Star Toaster Review

I'm so excited to share my review of Orphs of the Woodlands, an online educational resource and game by Star Toaster.

In this unique online reading program, your child is the main character - a gray squirrel who has been orphaned by Night Creatures. His dream is to one day fight them, but on his quest to become a spy, he finds himself responsible for a settlement of orphaned critters, called orphs, that live in the woodlands.

A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Friday Q & A}

4/10/2015
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! 
Join the blog hop to read more!
Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

What does the whole day look like (not just school)?  
My teen boys get themselves up and off to school, often before I even wake or around 7:30. This morning I have been up since 5, but I went to bed at 9pm right after our Passover service. I had oiled up with Lavender and Peace & Calming and was ready for bed early! Dylan fell asleep in the recliner in the living room and woke me up at 11pm coughing. I gave him a glass of water with lemon oil in it and a throat drop and then oiled his throat with Lemon and Purification and went back to bed, falling asleep listening to my Bible app.

I started listening to Mark chapter 1 when I woke at 5am, but decided to put Psalm 119 on my app so I could fall back asleep (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible). I was too awake, so I got up, took my vitamins/supplements, grabbed my morning yogurt (Triple Zero), and sat down to brainstorm what to write about for the Real Life Homeschooling blog hop. I'm tempted to just not do it. My camera battery died this week half way through my "week in the life." Confession: I'm a blogger, but I'm not a writer! I blog because it's easy to document my life. But, I don't blog because I am a writer.

I hear Dylan stirring in the living room. He lets me know that they have early out today, and that he's tired. I encourage him to make it through the day, with lots of fluids and then rest for the weekend.

Today is not a homeschool day. We finished early this week because last night began the Passover and tonight begins the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread - a 7 day festival to the Lord in which we learn spiritual lessons by doing physical things. Performing the task of deleavening our homes and avoiding leavening for a week reminds us to vigilantly watch for sinful thoughts and actions so we can avoid them. Of course, we will still sin. Our observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread helps us realize our crucial need for Jesus' help in overcoming our weaknesses, and this is reflected in the second aspect of how God commands that this feast be observed. By eating unleavened bread throughout the seven days, we focus on the "true bread from heaven" filling our lives with the unleavened bread of life, Jesus Christ.

Nathan is up and asking for a ride to school.

Dylan already called for a ride from a friend that lives down the street.

Luke and the younger kids are still sleeping.

Friday is my prep day. I prepare meals for the Sabbath, but to be honest, I have barely made an effort in this area lately. I have been keeping meals very simple on a daily basis. I am making more of an effort today since tonight is the first day of Unleavened Bread. However, to keep it simple, I bought a case of Matzah for the family and a box of gluten free unleavened crackers for me. To make it special, I have a boneless leg of lamb and rib eye steaks to grill. I'll make potatoes and buttered asparagus. I do not have a dessert planned, but will try to think of something simple. (I forgot about the asparagus and made a creamy corn casserole that I could stick in the oven).

My house downstairs is clean because I spent all day yesterday cleaning and deleavening before making it to Nathan's soccer game. Laundry is out of control, but that is normal in a family of 8.
Earlier this week, I had a talk with Luke because he doesn't think our life is normal. I assured him - I grew up in a family of 8, and THIS IS NORMAL!  He grew up in a small family whose house was always clean. He and his 2 sisters attended public school and his parents worked all day. Hello! An empty house stays clean! A homeschool house does not. Not only that, there is more wear and tear on a homeschool family's house because they are home more. I've especially noticed this. I've washed walls and trim so much that I'm wearing the paint off. We do a really deep clean twice a year - spring cleaning/deleavening and back to school cleaning - so I can start the year off with a fresh clean house, but throughout the year, it is hard to keep up with and I've accepted this as NORMAL.

I ended up taking Dylan to school because he missed his ride.

Malachi is up reading the Bible on the couch and Jordan is making his coffee. He has school then work today.

And I'm about to go make breakfast. It's 8:00am.

How do I plan my day? 

I pray for the Lord to order my day and I prioritize.
  • breakfast
  • clean up
  • school
  • lunch
  • finish school
  • free time
  • chores
  • blog, work online
  • soccer or activity
  • dinner
  • clean up
  • bed
On week days, meals, meeting the needs of my family, school, maintaining the house, my work, and soccer are a priority.  (Note: I did not say cleaning the house, but maintaining the house - since we deep clean once a week, this means picking up after ourselves, cleaning up after meals, and picking up stuff, in other words - general tidying up). 

Today, since it is prep day, I will focus on making sure the house stays clean, preparing food, and getting my fabric ironed and cut for a FIAR Quilt Swap I am participating in.

How do you find time to cook, clean, blog, plan school, etc. how do you balance it? 
I keep meals real simple. Even on Trim Healthy Mama, I don't make a lot of extra fancy meals that require a lot of prep time. I save my energy and creative cooking for school projects and special occasions.  
We deep clean once a week, and "spring clean" twice a year. Then throughout the week, we simply maintain. If we are having company, I make an extra effort to tidy up. And I like to tidy up before school starts because it drives me nuts to try to do school in a messy house.  
I have been working hard to get rid of clutter the past few months after realizing that most of our time cleaning was just dealing with STUFF. This has been ongoing for several years, but stuff always creeps in. Since we've gotten rid of a lot of stuff, and stopped buying a lot of stuff, it's been easier to keep the house clean. My next move is to minimize our clothing. 
My husband does most of the laundry. I do my own, help Elli with hers, and the boys are supposed to do their own, but Luke washes his and the boy's clothes, towels, and blankets. I usually do sheets and change bedding. He is strict about towels. Each of us has our own towel or two and for awhile he was hiding the extra towels for the downstairs bath so they wouldn't get used. I try to keep those separate so I have them when I need them now. Colored towels stay upstairs and cream colored towels stay in the downstairs bath. I keep a hamper for whites in the kitchen and try to run whites when it is full - my husband does the whites last and that is what I need the most, so I try to run those. Necessity is motivation! 
This all started my first year on the Crew. I was in a little over my head and he offered to help. After my year ended and I stepped down, I offered to stop blogging to do the laundry, but he said no. I still offer from time to time, but he maintains that blogging is a good outlet for me. 
My husband and children help out a lot. We all have assigned chores. Now that my older boys are in public school, they don't have as much time and are tired when they do. They just want to "chill" or do homework. Everyone has a dish night and I can usually get them to do that, but I can't get them to keep their room clean. 
To be honest, I often day dream of having more time to clean my house and do other hobbies I enjoy. I want to knit and sew a quilt. I want to get caught up on my Project Life albums. Every year for the last several years, I say to myself that this will be my last year of regular blogging. But one thing or another keeps me going.

It is 9:00 am. I made steak and eggs for breakfast (Luke and I shared a steak that I had planned for tonight). Elli and Bo just wandered down stairs. They were all snuggly and warm. Bo likes to snuggle in the morning so Elli crawled in bed with him to snuggle and take her time waking up.

Jordan came back home - no school today, oops!

I peek into my Young Living Virtual Office and am blessed to see a new member under one of my legs. I get so excited because I never EVER imagined I could do this, but God is doing this with me, so yay! Sharing my passion about oils has been rewarding, my oils are paid for, and I have enough to bless others and invest back into my business. In fact, I have a special going on right now that involves free coffee! :)

9:15 Luke says goodbye for the day and is heading off to work.  I can hear him talking to Jordan in the living room about trucks before he leaves. I talk to Jordan a bit before he leaves again.

Kids have scrambled upstairs to play. The kitchen needs attention and I tidy up the living room and wipe the table in the dining room.

Now, this is the time when I'd start school (this is generally around 9 or 10). Since there is no school today, I had planned to go iron my fabric then think about meals, but when I went upstairs I decided I needed to take a shower and get dressed for the day. :)

It's 10:30 and kids are happily playing and making lots of noise in the living room so I send them outside to play. It's 39 degrees but sunny.

They play outside for 30 minutes and are back in. In the meantime, I've been distracted. I replied to two text messages, started checking my email. Talked to Jordan and went digging for a postcard for him to send to a friend (I used to collect them). Then the kids start playing at the table and the next thing I know Bo is screaming bloody murder and my ears are ringing. Malachi grabbed his Playmobil guy, and Bo did not like that. Yikes. I put that fire out, then finish reading email (but not dealing with it). I need to do something to feel accomplished so I'm about to get off here and go iron fabric!

Well, it's 3:00 and I got my fabric ironed and my squares cut for Volume 3. That was hard! I messaged a friend and she called me to help, but I had already figured out one book. Then got to the next and was a 1/4 inch short of making my last square, so I ironed and cut the fat quarter that I originally bought for this row.

Boys came home from school about 2:15 then took off to hang out with friends for a couple hours.

Luke came home and was willing to help cook dinner, so I threw together a creamy corn casserole (frozen corn, butter, cream cheese and sour cream in a baking dish), made whipped butter jam thumb print cookies with Malachi, and boiled macaroni for crockpot mac and cheese for church the next day, then ran to the store to buy rotary cutter blades and a bigger cutting mat. I ran into my friend Kim and she had my Core B books in her van for when she saw me next, so I grabbed those and headed home. Luke was making french fries with the potatoes and corn casserole was done, but the lamb had not been started. Oops! He grilled that and we ate later than we planned. Jordan didn't hear us call him to dinner, so Luke thought he went somewhere. (Jordan has a lot of freedom, but unless he communicates with us, we don't save dinner for him or track him down). Well, he was upstairs in his bedroom with earphones in his ears and didn't hear us, so came down to eat after we were done.

I'm pretty sure I went to bed early this night too!

This week:

A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Monday}
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Tuesday}...
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Wed & Thurs}...
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Friday Q & A}

For a trip down memory lane, our day in the life series in the fall of 2011:

Day in the Life: Monday
Day in the Life: Tuesday
Day in the Life: Wednesday
Day in the Life: Thursday - No School
Day in the Life: Friday


Day in the Life torturing over. :) I will resume my weekly blogging next Friday, but since we took a week off of our normal studies for Spring Break this week, I will take that time to get caught up on blogging and share our row of Corduroy! 

Thank you so much to those who have followed along and commented this week! It helps to know I'm not torturing all of my readers. 

A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Wed & Thurs}

4/08/2015
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! 
Join the blog hop to read more!
Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Without my camera... woe is me! My posts for Wednesday and Thursday were somewhat lacking, so I combined them into one post. So thankful I only post homeschool updates weekly! I could not do this on a daily basis regularly. 

Wednesday

Today we finished up Unit 4 in Bigger Hearts for His Glory and wrapped up our school week early so we could prepare for the Passover tomorrow.

Science Notebooking

Since we were so close to finishing One Small Square: Seashore, I went ahead and finished it taking us through Day 2 of Unit 5. I'm really excited to start our next science book!

Vocabulary Notebooking

For Artistic Expression, Elli designed an Indian blanket. 


She added to her Timeline. We didn't do Math or Reading today. 

I made cultured veggies last week after wanting to for a long time and after reading that Fermented Vegetables are the Ultimate Super Food and they were ready to try today! 


I used Mercola's Kinetic Culture recipe, but instead of ordering the Kinetic Culture, I used four Complete Probiotic capsules in celery juice for my starter (since he used that before marketing the Kinetic Culture). It is good! I especially like having the veggies with some salt and pepper and olive oil to balance out the vinegar. (The veggies would be great on a salad.)

We went to Homeschool Swim at the Y...


because I knew my friend, Jenny, and her kids would be there. 

I invited them over after swimming, knowing they were staying in town for church. We had popcorn (with butter) for a snack and I put out a plate of celery and ranch and then peanut butter when the ranch was gone (I bought a BUNCH of celery to make the starter for the veggies and had lots left over). The kids played while we talked. 

Legos and army guys. :)

Bo, Malachi and Eliana with Jenny and her 7 kids.

Then Eliana had soccer practice, but Malachi missed his because we both forgot (that happens often).

Dinner... oh, dinner! I was supposed to make Taco Soup for Nathan's soccer team dinner! I cooked up some hamburger and made a big crockpot full of taco soup, grabbed a bag of tortilla chips, a bag of shredded cheese, and a container of sour cream, Luke came home to watch the kids, and I ran it up to the high school... only 5 minutes late... and the dinner was over. Practice got out early and they had to clear the cafeteria for an orchestra event. And of course, nobody wanted to eat Taco Soup for days, and I didn't think to freeze it. 

I don't even remember what else happened that night. I may have gone to bed early!

Thursday 

Today was simply a crazy day of cleaning, attending Nathan's soccer game, and then rushing home to prepare for the Passover service. (Leftover taco soup for dinner). We had a solemn Christian Passover service that consisted of foot washing, unleavened bread, and "wine." Then I went to bed early.

I started my day by ironing Nathan's dress pants, blue shirt and gold tie (Bronc colors) so he could dress up for game day. He is on the Varsity team, and they dress up on game day. Kids played all day (inside and out) and I cleaned all day, having them help me with cleaning projects here and there.

Oh, and my Premium Starter Kit from Young Living came today! Yes, the same kit I promote here and in our classes. I really do think it's a great deal and have been wanting another one for awhile and they are finally back in stock for members! Yay! I got the Bamboo diffuser this time to compare to the Home Diffuser. Love! I set it up right away and diffused Frankincense all afternoon.

Selfies at the game while waiting for Nathan to go in. 
It was cold! We are all snuggling under Jordan's soccer blanket that I borrowed for the game.

If you look closely, you can see where Bo cut his hair and I still haven't fixed it yet! I found a chunk of hair in the upstairs sink the night before and wondered who it was from! 


My boys play soccer year round, but Spring Soccer is the busiest season in our lives. 

Real life homeschool confessions for today...

Since I'm lacking in photos (not even one of the house all clean, boo!), I'll share a video that my son took of me without me knowing. It's a small glimpse of the real life that happens here, including me {totally} distracted on my iPhone texting and a glimpse of my messy kitchen!

In the video, Dylan is asking me what time dinner is, how long dinner will take, where's Pop... and he's videoing me because he KNOWS I'm distracted, lol. But I did not know he was videoing until after he showed me the video later. It's comical, because he asks me a question and it takes me forever to reply.


Video courtesy of my 14 year old son

I had spent the afternoon out at my friend Jenny's house and had lots to catch up on - on my phone AND in the house.  I had started dinner and had a few texts to reply to. A homeschool mom/blogging friend sent me a pic of her Math U See manipulatives with the text "Homeschool nerdery :)" Hehe! So in the middle, I ask him if there is a nerdy icon on my phone to reply with. {Why isn't there one?!}

I don't think he grated the cheese for me.

Thanks for letting me share! Only one more post to torture my poor readers with and I don't think I shall do a "day in the life" for a LONG time. 

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