Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas at home

This year Monster asked Santa for 2 things. Disney Infinity 2.0 (the new one) and a Lego Batman 3 game for the Xbox. That was all he wanted from Santa so that is what he got! A few little treats in his stocking too! Then he also had some presents from Mom and Dad. He goes back and forth on which is his favorite, but I think it was the ipad mini. 

Then Grandma, Aunt Resa, Uncle Brad and Kinley came over! 

Needless to say, I think the kids made out this year! We got Kinley a Karaoke machine this year for her to sing her heart out with!! 

After our Christmas here, we left Christmas night and headed to Houston to surprise my mom. She was expecting us to come in Friday afternoon, but we were able to drive up (getting there at 1am) sneak in, and go to bed without her hearing! She was surprised the next morning when Monster walked downstairs and she saw him! It was worth that drive! Christmas in Houston post coming soon! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Around the World UK

This week for our Christmas Around the World project we have studied the United Kingdom and China.

Monster has learned that in China not a lot of people celebrate Christmas. Christmas trees (plastic ones) can be made in China but most of them have no idea what the tree is for that they are making!

In the United Kingdom we learned that this is where sending Christmas cards started! How fun is that! They also eat roasted turkey and veggies! For his project to go along with this Monster made a few Christmas cards.

My little Angry bird working hard! He is almost done with all his LifePac books for 2nd grade! This week he learned about the correct way to write a letter and address an envelope! As well as getting all his spelling words correct! 

Making his Christmas cards! 

We are still working this week and will take next week off for Christmas and then depending on how things go we may or may not do school work the week after Christmas. Tomorrow we will be learning about how America celebrates Christmas and I bought him the new DVD from Whats in the Bible called Why we call it Christmas! He has no idea and I am very excited to show him I got it! Membership Review

I am very excited to announce that I have been chosen to be on the Review Crew for the The Old Schoolhouse! I am very excited to have been given this chance.

One of the first things I have been given the chance to review is a Yearly Membership to the is the curriculum site for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It is a Christian based program. Review

One of the first things I noticed about this site is how easy it is to get around on. They even have a new members area to help you out and give you some pointers! On the home page they have easy access to areas for each age group. 
  • Teachers
  • Pre-K/Elementary
  • Middle/High School
  • Parents
  • Online courses
  • Dailies
  • Resources 
If you sign up for a year membership you get:
Complete access to everything on, over 100 FREE courses and so much more! 
  • Art
  • Foreign Language
  • History
  • Math
  • Language
  • Science
  • Printables
  • and much, much more
One of our favorites is the Dailies. These are activities that you can follow along daily with. Start at the beginning or pick up right where they are. I really want Monster to learn about the states and some important events and these dailies look like just the area I need to help Monster with this!
This is just the Pre-K/Elementary area too! The Middle School/High School area has even more areas to cover with your children! Right now they are even offering some new classes. You can check those out here:
Since Monster is only 7 years old, I focused in the Elementary area. One of his favorite areas was the animated books. He loves stories and he could read them all by himself, but listening to them online was a huge plus as he really enjoys listening to audio stories.

I have been going through the website and making plans for what we will use for History since our other curriculum did not work for us. I am very excited to use this site to help him learn about Classical History. There are a total of 29 lessons for the Classical History. One of the topics in Egyptians and this has been on my list to teach but I could never find great lessons for his age. With it is set up to be used for Elementary through High School ages, plus it has activities including writing and reading with videos here and there.

I am very excited to try out the other online classes with Monster as well.  I love that the classes are not live classes and that Monster can start at any time. I also love that some classes are only weeks, while some might take a full year. I think this is great with the younger ones. Start them off with the courses that only take weeks and then move them up as they progress. So far this site has been amazing and I can't wait to see how much more it can help with our homeschooling journey. 

You might be wondering how much this membership will cost you. I am here to tell you a great price for everything you get!

Right now they have a wonderful deal.

 Membership is $12.95 (per month) or purchase a full year membership and save 10% and you only pay $139. HOWEVER!! Right now they are offering a wonderful discount! A full year membership for $64.25 (that is 50% off!!!) or if you decide monthly is what works best you can save 40% and pay $7.77 each month. One of the best things about this is you don't need a membership for each family member. You buy one membership and it works for the whole family. How great is that! 
You can ORDER HERE now through Christmas to get this savings! Review Review
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Around the World in Mexico

Well, it has been a busy day today. Monster finished up his Unit 6 section 2 in Lifepacs today. He asked me if could start section 3 and I told him after he got all of his work done for the day if he felt like doing it he could. He is playing on the xbox right now... I did go ahead and ask him to spell out his spelling words for next week to see which ones he would need to work on... he got them all correct. He only has 7-9 Lifepac books left and then 10 is a review one it looks like. He told me he wants to get them all done. I am not sure how everyone else would do this but I am letting him do these at his pace. He is understanding all the work as well. I guess it is time to start looking for 3rd grade Language Arts now... 

In Math we worked on ordering mixed numbers. Again, he knew this and got it all right. So we went to the next lesson which was using a large square, rectangle and a small square to show how many 100's, 10's and 1's there are in a number. Again, very easy. We both can't wait until he learns something he doesn't know and might actually have to work at it. Times tables and Division is coming up. We are also working more on fractions. I am glad he is doing so well in Math since I have never been a fan of any math! 

History. We are doing our Christmas Around the World. Today he researched Mexico. He colored the state flag in his folder, found out some important information on how they celebrate Christmas, looked up what they ate for a traditional Christmas feast and learned how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish! Feliz Navidad!! As a bonus project we read a little story on why poinsettia's are the Christmas flower and where they came from. He got to draw out a poinsettia on his canvas and then use watercolor crayons to paint it in! Mommy really had to take a step back and let him have complete control over this project. I wanted this to be his art work. I could hear him in the room saying "no I need to make this leaf bigger" or " I can fit in 6 small leaves around the larger leaves", I am so proud of how it turned out! 

Love their art supplies! 

We are using Why Christmas for all of our Christmas Around the World research! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This was at 10:00 a.m this morning... I love that he has the freedom to sleep in. 

Yesterday, I brought out some play snow I had bought last week to try out. I have seen this done on other blogs and really wanted to try it out. We bought ours from Dillards Department store. It was less than $5 a can! 
It did not fluff up nearly as much as I hoped. I even used the whole can. I was a little disappointed in that. Monster did say it did feel cold like snow. I tried it and sure enough it was cold even though we used room temperature water with it. 
Feeding the dinosaur snow. 
All full! 
BRAIN FREEZE!!! This is my favorite! 

Today we worked on fractions in Math. Monster is doing well so far with this thankfully. He also worked in his Lifepac Language book. He also finished up his Sweden folder for his Christmas Around the World project and watched a video about St. Lucia Day (December 13th). Tomorrow we will be doing Mexico. I have a painting project for that one so I can not wait! We are also still working on our postcards for our exchange we are apart of! Monster has really enjoyed this. 

Have a great rest of the day! 

Monday, December 8, 2014


I can't believe we are already in December. These last two weeks have been so busy for us.

Right now we are still working on Math. Monster is finally getting into some stuff that is not repeat and I can tell he is liking it more in Math. I also found a new little trick with him. If I time him and act as though it is a race he quickly gets his worksheet done. Before, it was taking him an hour or more just for one worksheet. Now, it is about five minutes. Yes, he gets them all correct! He knows the work and I think that is why before it was taking him so long because he was bored. Since we are getting into harder stuff maybe now he will be more interested!

In Language he is still working in his Lifepac workbooks. He is on workbook #6. Most of it he can read the directions and still do on his own. Which I like. If he has trouble or needs help with something he asks and I explain. So far with Spelling he has only missed like 3 out of all his Lifepac books! Right now he is working on Poetry and Rhyming in the books. As well as more contractions.

Reading for now is all free reading. I am thinking after the holidays starting him on the Chronicles of Narnia books he will be getting for Christmas. Just trying to find a study guide for his age range! It is mostly for older children but I am wondering if there is something I could create maybe to help him.

History we are currently studying Christmas Around the World. Last week we studied about The Netherlands and how they celebrate Christmas. Monster created a little suitcase out of a cereal box. We used file folders to put all of our information in them for each country. This week, we will be learning about Mexico, China and Sweden. I already have planned for Mexico for him to draw on a canvas and paint a Poinsettia. He is taking a art class so I am hoping he will enjoy this at home!

Here are some fun photos of last week working on Christmas Around the World: Netherlands (these are all instagram photos so sorry the quality!)

Making his suitcase! I will share the finish product next Christmas Around the World post! 

I went to Mardel and bought Veggie Tales version of St.Nicholas...because it was the ONLY thing I could find about St. Nicholas in the stores. I was very disappointed. 

He did puzzles and games online about Netherlands. 

Making his wooden shoes for his folder. Next year I will be prepared and have actual wooden shoes! If I can find a place that sells them.... 

This is his finished folder! 

On the morning of December 6th, 2014 Monster awoke to find treats in his shoes. I did explain to him that we normally don't celebrate this holiday, but since we were learning about it I wanted to do something special. I made sure to let him know these were things I placed in there. but it was still the tradition of what St. Nick would do in the Netherlands. 

This will be out last week at co-op also until the new year! I plan on having Monster take off the week of Christmas but that is all. We can still do work since we will be home! I am throwing in fun projects here and there too to keep him busy! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

We Choose Virtues (Review+Giveaway)WINNER ANNOUNCED

I am very excited to share this product with you. We Choose Virtues is a character building based educational program. It is designed to help build up biblical virtues in your child/children. 

We received the Homeschooling Kit (retails at $98.99) which includes:

Reusable tools:
Consumable tools:

 WCV PDF downloads that included (retails for $7.99): 
  • coloring pages 
  • teacher handbook
  • butterfly award
  • family assessment
  • songs to go with each virtue

The program has twelve biblical virtues:
  • Honest
  • Content
  • Helpful
  • Attentive
  • Gentle
  • Self Control
  • Kind
  • Patient
  • Forgiving
  • Diligent
  • Obedient
  • Perseverance

We are in an apartment and because of that we do not have a homeschool room. I hung our posters and charts up on Monsters closet door so they were in an area he could see and be reminded of the virtues. 

I used page protectors cut in half to hold the cards I really wanted him to focus on and would rotate them out as needed. 

For the songs, parent cards, flash cards, stickers, and review notepad I placed them all in a binder to pull out and have out for our lesson. 

Monster and I worked together to fill out his monthly assessment for the first time. We discussed areas he already did really well in and other areas he really needed to focus on and work on. 

1. I love the little flash cards that we got. On the front everyone starts with " I am" and I just love that! Instead of me telling my child how he should be, the card reminds him of who he is and can be. On the back of the flash cards it has a little saying for each card and then says the things " I am not" to go along with each card. Plus, a bible verse on each card that represents the " I am". 

The flash cards also came with a game card with a few different games to play with the flash cards! I love that the cards can be used in different ways! It is a great way to get the family involved also! 

A really cute thing about the card, on the front of the card is a character. Each character has a fun name! For instance, on the I am Honest card you have Hockey Stick Nick! Monster said it would be really fun if they had either small finger puppets or even regular puppets for each character! I thought that was a great idea! How fun would that be to use each character to act out ways to be an " I am" kid! 

2. The parent cards are great! I love that it gives me ways to guide my child. From teachable moments to a little story about the characters ending in a question to lead a discussion on the virtue! 

3. I love surprising Monster at the end of a good day with a virtue review note. I will put them in places so that he finds them when he is least expecting it and so that he knows that he is being watched all through the day to see if he is showing his good virtues. 

4. The 100 days of virtues chart has been great!! I love sneaking the stickers on there when I feel like he has really shown how well he is doing. One of his biggest challenges this month has been being content. So we have talked about that one a bunch! With Christmas coming up we, as a family, talk about being content with what we have. We talk to him about others not getting much for Christmas and how he should be content with the things he does have. He is working hard on this one :) 

I would recommend this to all families looking for a great way to teach their child/children about virtues! 

Two thumbs up from Monster too!! 

Another great thing about this product is it is not just for homeschooling families! Nope! All families can use this in their home! You can also use this in the classrooms or even Sunday school rooms! They also have tools for youth so they can follow along too! They are never too old to work on their virtues! 

You can check out all their resources HERE 

Hope you're still hanging in because I am excited to announce that the wonderful people at We Choose Virtues are letting me giveaway a set of the Parent Cards and the WCV PDF bundle to download! How exciting! I am going to make this sweet and simple. 

Here is how to enter: ( UPDATED: Winner is Rebecca Xavier)

1. Check out their awesome website and tell me one thing you learned or one thing you would love to order. ( that will get you one entry!)

2. Check out their Facebook and give them a shout out thanking them for this awesome giveaway! (that will get you another entry, make sure to leave a separate comment for that one letting me know you did that!)

3. Follow Monster and I on our journey! You can follow using Google+ or Facebook (that will get you a 3rd, separate entry!)

Giveaway will end 11/30/14. Make sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win! You will have 48 hours to claim your prize or another winner will be selected! US ONLY

Don't want to wait...want to order today? Use coupon code: VIRTUE15 for 15% off anything in the store! BUT WAIT...there is more! 

That is right! Black Friday thru Cyber Monday you can save 30% off your shopping cart! How awesome is that! Just make sure to use the promo code! Only one code per order! 

*I was sent the above product, free of charge, for an honest review of the product! All opinions in this post, on the product are mine and Monsters! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Will it sink or will it float?

Monster and I worked out of the Magic School Bus Science kits we get each month. Today, we talked about water. The first project out of this lesson was a simple one. Does it sink? Does it float? We talked about how items that float are lighter than water, while items that sink are heavier than water. 

He learned that most plastic is lighter while metal is heavier. He actually really enjoyed this one and even played with it for awhile after the lesson was over. 

(I wrote the name of the item and the material while he checked off if it would sink or float.) 

Batman Tuesday

This morning, before he started his school work, he wanted to play Batman. So, I let him.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Oreos...need I say more. They are my favorite. They are Monsters favorite! Although, he likes the mint and I like the double stuffed! Today I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of him eating his snack.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas gift list for Monster

Christmas is coming. Seems like it always sneaks up on us. We say we are going to shop year round and then we don't.

This year Monster will be 7, almost 8, by the time Christmas gets here. He is growing up and growing out of the little kids toy section.

His Christmas list this year ( yes he already has one written) includes:

  • Legos (Chima)
  • Lego Batman set 
  • Minecraft game for xbox360
  • Minecraft play sets (is this an actually thing?)
  • Lego Harry Potter book (This one)
  • Lego Batman Book (This one)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia set (which is Aunt has already gotten for him) :) 
  • Ipad Mini (ugh!) 
His biggest thing is the ipad. I know it would be great to have and it would actually help him with some of his schooling too. He could download educational apps and even books. It is just the cost that gets me.

I have been looking at other non battery items too (ya know just in case).

Crystal Climbers from Lakeshore
(those are actually on sale right now for $12.99!!!)
George Washington's spyglass
Brain Splatter ( would actually make a great stocking stuffer!)
Smencils Pencils (another stocking stuffer idea)

Can I be honest. It is hard looking for products for the bigger kids. I want something I know he is going to play with and enjoy. Right now his closet is full of imaginext sets that hardly get used. I want to sell them, but he isn't there yet. I am hoping the closer we get to Christmas the better I can get at convincing him. 

Can you believe I am even having a hard time finding good stocking stuffers. I am trying to stay away from candy or things that are little and will just get lost. I love the smencils. He has one he got and he loves it so I know I need to get him more of those. Still looking for some other ideas that would work for him though. 

Do you have any ideas? Please let me know in the comments below of any items you think are great for Christmas gifts! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

We are back!

Did you even notice we were gone? We took last week off as a breather. We enjoyed the cooler weather here in Texas too.

(I took this outside of where we live. The leaves are FINALLY changing colors. The watermark is because I posted it on my Facebook photography page) 

We did go back to our old town Wednesday night for their Trick or Treat on Main Street they do every year. Monster doesn't do Halloween, so I thought at least this way it is a community event. He doesn't like the scary... well anything scary. Wednesday night afterwards, Monster and I went and had a dinner date together at Logans Roadhouse. I wish I had picture to share, but this time I left my camera home so we could really just enjoy being together.

This week we are getting back into the groove on things. I mean as I type this he is snoring away in my bed. It is 9:07 am. I love homeschooling.

I also am working on a product review that will be up by the end of the month. I really think everyone will love this product and I will be able to give out discount codes!!

This morning I also woke up to some great news and can't wait to be able to share it with my readers! I promise as soon as I am allowed I will share!

Stay tune because there will be more to come this week.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last game of the season

Monster decided early in August he wanted to play flag football. So we took leap and signed him up. He did really well and had a ton of fun. He made some friends and learned a lot. Here are a few pics from his last game. (We play on a church team and play (most of the time) other church children).

This one is my favorite even though it isn't clear. You can just see how much fun he is having.

Getting ready to pass it. 

He learned all about blocking this year and how to anchor his feet.

All Ready.

We really had a great team this year. I am glad he stuck with it and really learned to enjoy the game. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday 10/23/14

Monster has really been into the movie National Treasure (1st and 2nd one) the last few days. This morning it was the first thing he wanted to do when he got up. We really did not have a lot to do today so I went ahead and let him start his day with this movie. 

Next week we will be taking the whole week off just to have a break. I figure we need it and I already have all his work planned out and he should be done with most of it by April. I think breaks are good for everyone. We will still be going to co-op on Friday and I will still do some fun stuff with him during the week.  

Watching so closely with his chocolate milk mustache! 

Being silly. 

He stayed like this for about 2 mins.

Don't forget to check out my review on Beakers-O-Fun and grab your discount code before the offer expires!