Friday, December 31, 2010

Living Life on Purpose

That is something that I have worked very hard to instill in my children. My belief is that you should not simply allow life to run you over, and simply live in a state of reactionary responses.

There is a saying, "Those who aim at nothing, hit it every time."  That really does help explain part of what I am talking about. If you choose how you are are going to live your life, before you find yourself in a set of circumstances, when difficult situations arise, you, most likely, will choose an appropriate response.

Let me give you an example...say you are choosing to live your life in a way that will honor God in all things that you do. That would mean that would use the bible  as your guide, and set out on your journey.

So when you find that someone is unkind to you, you will remember that in 1 Peter 3:9 "Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."  So then, you may decide not to retaliate at the person that has been unkind to you.  You may decide to smile and be kind, in spite of their behavior.  Now to some, that will seem crazy, however, there is peace in knowing that you are choosing to obey God, rather than live as a slave to your emotions!

I have found that when I have allowed myself to fall prey to my emotions, in the end,  I generally am riddled with guilt. It is much better to live a measured, thought out, purposeful life.

Now the question is, how in the world to help your children understand that they can control their responses. This is our current goal .. choose each of our responses carefully. There are a few tools that we use around our house that have been helpful for to aim at keeping on track....

One of them is this Acronym:


Everything you say needs to be

True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind

Not just one of those things.. ALL of those things!  That is quite convicting, is it not?

I know that I really need to THINK before I speak, if  the words that I am going to say are going to abide by those simple guidelines!

One of the other Acronyms that we try to live by is...


Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.

If you are truly living your life putting Jesus first, as He put you before Himself, when He died for your sins. And then, putting others needs before your own, you will find that you are no longer 'fighting for your rights'. Here in America, we are famous for fighting for what is rightfully ours. How about, rather, allowing God to work in your life, better, through your life.

It is amazing that when you stop focusing on your own needs, and focus on the needs of others... your needs first, will simply diminish in significance and second, you will find the the good Lord will bless you beyond measure. He knows better what you need, than you will even know. Trust Him, and not lean on your own understanding!

Usually, when you are obedient to serve others, before yourself, you will find the act of serving others, will bring you more joy than you could possibly imagine. Why not practice the art of serving others, on the very family the Lord has blessed you with?

How do you teach kindness and service in your home? Please leave me comments and tell me all about it! I look forward to reading all about it!

God bless you and your family!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Awesome Deals to be had over at The Schoolhouse Magazine!!!

I know, I share a lot of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine information with you all. I just can't help my self! As a long time subscriber.. since 2005, and now a 3rd year crew member, I just simply understand the value and quality of what you  receive when you subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Just when you feel like you are the only homeschooler who has ever felt discouraged, a magazine arrives, and their is an article about a homeschooler who not only experienced what you are going through, but includes how they conquered that trial! What a blessing!

I know that budgets are tight everywhere.. well at TOS, they have made it quite affordable for you to subscribe with them! Right now you have 3 options!

Check out the awesome deals at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!! 3 awesome choices!! You can get a one year print subscription for $7.95 OR pay $19.95 and receive the Cranberries and Cream Tote & Cranberry Christmas with your subscription OR you can pay $37, get the tote, Christmas book, Magazine and a planner of your choice! Remember, if you already subscribe, this will extend your subscription!

You can click here to read all the details!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Comfort Food

As I started to sit down and write this post, I was going to talk about how busy we are this season, however, what I realized, is that we are really not all that busy with seasonal activities, we are just busy with our life. Sure, there have been a few parties and activities that we have attended, however, they have been in lieu of normal activities, so really no extra activity there.

We have had some extra fun activities, such as a trip to Disneyland and basketball tryouts, however, other than that, it has just been our normal busy lives!

All this to say, when our family is very busy, I tend to cook less and less! I mean really, who has the time, or the energy? However, your body does  not feel well after several meals of eating on the go. So, you pay for that 'so called' convenience food!  Perhaps with lethargy, or at it's worst, with indigestion! So what is a family to do?

Well, it's quite simple really! Plan ahead, and cook at home! Not only will you provide a more nutritious meal, you will also save money! However, there is another added bonus! There is something so gratifying, when you have prepared something for your family with your own hands, versus using fast food.. or simply only using canned, boxed or frozen foods! ( ie. processed foods!)

This weekend was fun! I made home made pizza for the kids. I know not the healthiest of food choices, however, I know what is going into my pizza's, versus what is going into the pizza from the pizza parlor, or the grocers freezer! And really it was not hard to make at all. I simply made the dough in the bread machine, rolled it out in to 3 pizza's and topped it with their favorite toppings! The kids LOVE IT! ( Sorry, I forgot to take photos!) I spent much less money than I would have if I bought 3 pizzas! Now I say the kids loved it, because, I do not eat pizza! I love pizza, however, my digestive system does not agree.. ;-)

So I took the opportunity to test out a recipe from Shelley at One Roast Vegetable.  I have been taking her FREE class called Fresh from the Freezer and I have learned so much! ( You too can sign up for this class today! For every 250 subscribers she has, she will create another video! We are at video #20) Anyhow, she sent out a message, I believe to all her subscribers offering an opportunity to test one of her recipes. So, I took her up on it!  I made a recipe called 'White on White Quiche'.  And let me tell you, it was delicious!

Now here is the great thing, I had never eaten a quiche, let alone made one! I have made and enjoyed a fritatta, but never a quiche, so this was a first. And also, this recipe called for parsnips... do you know what parsnips are? I had heard of them, but I had never laid eyes on one, let alone consumed one! Did you know they look like white carrots?

Anyhow, here are a couple of photos of my finished product!

While I was cooking on Saturday, it has inspired me to get back into the habit of cooking every single day! Really, this comes down to planning. If I can plan ahead, I can work cooking into my day! Really.. it comes down to living out what I teach my children to do, which is, living on purpose! We should live out every aspect of our lives, on purpose! Not allowing, in this case, our schedules to dictate our lives, rather choose how we are going to live, and to do so, on purpose!

If you feel so inclined, leave me a comment, telling me your families favorite comfort food! Feel free to share recipes, too!!

Be well, be blessed, and live on purpose!!!! And make some comfort food for your family!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sale at Growing Healthy Homes!!!!

Last year, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to review the curriculum Nutrition 101: Choose Life!.  My family thoroughly enjoyed working through Nutrition 101 with my children. You can read my review here. Since that time, I have also enjoyed  their other products Gentle Babies, and Raw Food Feast.

Now, the reason why I am telling you all of this, is they are offering a discount, greater than any discount I have ever seen! 20% off any of their items!! I worked a homeschool convention in their booth, and the discount was 10%, however, until the end of December you can purchase Nutrition 101: Choose Life! at a 20% savings!  If you have been thinking about purchasing anything from Growing Healthy Homes, now is the time to do so!

Here is the info I was given by Growing Healthy Homes! I hope that you will be blessed by this generous offer!


Receive 20% off Nutrition 101: Choose Life! and any products from Growing Healthy Homes by using the discount code 20TOS10.  This offer is valid from December 15 through December 31, 2010, for unlimited uses.  Purchase products for your home and send gifts to your family and friends!  Blessings from our family to yours!

Friday, December 17, 2010

TOS Crew: Wits & Wagers Family

Recently, my family had the opportunity to review a game from North Star Games.  We received Wits & Wagers Family. It could not have come at a better time! Just in time for the holidays.. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years!  The times when you are getting together with family and friends!

We put this nifty game to good use during our Homeschool Group Family Feast! A group of about 7 or so girls, ages 6-12 gathered in one of the bedrooms and played away!  What was the verdict? They loved it! They had no idea they were helping me review the product.  My daughter's take.. ( 11years old) was "It was fun!"

Several days later we sat down together as a family and played the game together, so I could have first hand experience with the game. And I agree with my daughter, it was fun!

What is awesome about this game, in my book, is that it really is a game that the entire family can play, and you do not even have to be 'smarter than the average bear' to play!

A question is read, and everyone writes down their best guess.. to questions like.. "How many times does the average person blink each day?"  After all guesses are written down, you place them in the middle in numerical order.  Now here is the wager part, each player, or team, is given 2 meeples ( markers) and with the meeples you place them on the answer you think is closest to the correct answer. They do not have to go on your own. Nor do they have to go on the same space. So if you think Little Johnny knows more than you do, you can choose his answer! Players are awarded points according to which meeple is on the correct answer, as well as if you guessed the correct answer!  The first person to 15 points WINS!!!!

Wits & Wagers Family, is sure to incite riotous fun!

To learn more about Wits & Wagers Family please visit North Star Games . You can purchase Wits & Wagers Family for $19.99 at Target Amazon and other local toy retailers.

Don't forget to visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates thought about Wits & Wagers Family!

***Note, we received a Wits & Wagers Family for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the game. All opinions express in this review are my own!  These opinions do not express a guarantee from the vendor. ***

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apples Apples Apples Plus a Pillsbury Giveaway

Recently, I was sent a Pillsbury “Love the Pie” prize pack which includes a VIP coupon for a free sample of Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crusts, a pie dish, and apple themed kitchen items. I also received an additional prize pack to give away to one of my readers.

In exchange, I was supposed to go out to an Apple Orchard and pick apples and bake an awesome dessert. However, I have failed!! We jsut never made it out to the local apple orchards. However, never fear! I decided to make an apple crumble out of store bought apples!

Now, I did not use the pie crust, yet! I plan on using the pie crust in the near future.  I decided to make the crumble for Thanksgiving, to accommodate a diabetic family member.

So here is how I prepared the crumble.  First I gathered my apples....

And then I gathered all the supplies I needed.....

The next step was to peel and core the apples, and then slice them.....

Next, I placed the peeled and sliced apples in a bowl... and added powdered stevia,  Cinnamon, a little bit of flour. and butter and mixed until the mixture covered the apples.

Next I mixed together, oatmeal, a little bit of brown sugar, vanilla and butter. And then I crumbled it over the top of the apples. I must tell you I forgot to take a picture as I took it out of the oven. Now the one thing I know is that I should have put some foil over the top, because the top burnt a little bit.  The apple crumbled turned out delicious!

Now if you are interested in winning a Pillsbury “Love the Pie” prize pack for yourself. All you need to do is ......

~ Leave a comment, tell me what dessert you would make with your pie crust.

~Leave a comment, tell me your favorite apple dessert.

~ Follow my blog.

~ Repost this on Twitter.

~Repost this on Facebook.

~ Get 5 entries in you blog about it.

I will be drawing the winner on Dec. 20th. Please be sure to include a way for me to contact you, or your entry will not be counted.

Thank you and good luck!

****And the winner is...... Debra!!!  Congratulations!!!****

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Graphics Toolbox: Free Webinar and Creative & Educational Gift Idea!!

Tis the Season to Give a Creative & Educational Gift to  Your Homeschooler

NOW is the best time to introduce you to Graphics-Toolbox! Graphics-Toolbox is an easy-to-learn-and-use graphics design program.  By purchasing Graphics-Toolbox during the Christmas season, you are not only giving  a great gift, but you are also sparking the imaginations and broadening the education you are already providing your children!  It is also perfect for scrapbookers, hobbyists and small businesses; therefore, a GREAT gift for the whole family.

Give your family the gift of creativity  ~ Order by December 20th and receive free shipping.  Visit our website for more information and project ideas

As a homeschool mother and group leader myself, I see that we as homeschoolers often lack in the area of Technology and Graphic Arts.  With Graphics-Toolbox we can enhance the level of work our children are producing, as well as teach them skills they will use in their future college and professional careers!

I invite you to see below some of the Christmas Cards that were created by new users.

Here at Great Software Tools, we pride ourselves on Customer Service.  To that end, we would like to offer an opportunity for you to see some of what can be achieved with Graphics-Toolbox.

FREE Informational Webinars

We are conducting a webinar, specifically designed to show you how to incorporate Graphics-Toolbox into your homeschool.  We will share with you projects created by students of all ages, from elementary to high school.  We will also show you how you can use Graphics-Toolbox for all subjects and learning abilities. The best part is that kids enjoy using Graphics-Toolbox! It allows them to create images and presentations that far exceed their expectations ~ bringing hands-on learning into the 21st century!

Introduction to Graphics-Toolbox:  Where Learning & Creating Click!

Tuesday, December 14th, 11:30am PST / 2:30pm EST

We will be hosting the webinars through The  webinar has limited capacity, so please email us to sign up and then make sure you attend.

We will accept you on a first come basis and the scheduled attendees will receive a confirmation e-mail from us with a link to the meeting.

Send your request to As a bonus, all attendees will receive a free downloadable bundle that includes step-by-step directions and the files needed to create a dynamic and comprehensive homeschool project.

The audio through is very good and if you have a headset on your computer you can hear and talk directly through the service.  If you do not have a headphone, you can use your telephone to call into the meeting as well.  Generally you will be asking questions through a chat box, so if you do not have a mic on your computer you can communicate with us that way.

I look forward to your feedback and hope to be "meeting" you soon!


Jennifer Southern

Friday, December 3, 2010

TOS CREW: Master Innovations

Introducing Master Innovations creators of the master Ruler!  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, our family received 2 Master Rulers, one standard and one metric, along with a workbook and a poster.

So, you may be asking yourself, what is a Master Ruler, and what is so special about it? Let me tell you , this ruler is not your mother's ruler! (or even the one from your childhood!) I remember when I was growing up, all those little lines on the ruler, really, did not mean anything to me. Really, the only ones I paid attention to were the whole inch, 1/2 inch and the 1/4 inch.

With the Master Ruler, it clearly shows you and teaches what each line means. Not only as it impacts measuring, but it correlates it to fractions! How can it do that? Simple, really... they have used clear overlays, each marked with one particular line, 1/16, 1/8. 1/4, 1/2 up to 1 inch. When they are all laid on top of each other, you can see what you would see on a standard ruler. However, as you flip away the over lays you can easily see each measurement. It helps that each measurement has it's own color, as well.

Here, take a look at the ruler...

It is really amazing how simple this ruler has made understanding fractions. When I was a kid, I hated fractions! Oh, how I wish Master Ruler was around then! I have been using this with my daughter, and it has been a joy to watch the light bulbs go on for her!

Here you can watch a video, clearly showing how you can use Master Ruler in your math class!

You can purchase the Master Ruler and workbook for $15.95! A very affordable tool!  Please visit their website to see all the other helpful tools they have available. And watch your children fully engage in their math studies!

Don't forget to visit the Crew Blog to see what my Crew Mates have to say about Mast Innovations!

A Day in the Life of Creative Learners

??We had a fun little discovery today! Yesterday, my daughter borrowed my calculator, and today, she does not know where it is. So we were searching the internet for online calculators. ( This particular computer does not have one in the accessories section)

As we were searching we discovered that you can actually use the google search bar as a calculator! How cool is that....

Here check out a shot....

You simply type in the equation, no need to press enter, it will automatically start to solve the problem for you! What a neat resource!

Happy Homeschooling!