Friday, March 15, 2013

Feature Friday

I have decided that I want to share the blog love with the world!  I am going to start picking blogs that I know and love and share them with you on Friday's for you to check out.  Make sure you check out the Pinterest Board where the features will be pinned.  Did you miss last week?  Find it HERE

This week I would like to feature a blog with you that I had a hand in designing!  I worked with Heather at UpsideDown Homeschooling to create her blog design.  I am thrilled that she loves it and has continued her working relationship with me.  I love reading her blog and gain wisdom and insight from it regularly.  She is great for networking and just a sweet person.  Go check out her blog and tell her hello!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


WE ARE MOVING!!!  Keep your eyes peeled for some changes!  xoxo

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Inspired Wednesday 3/13

Welcome back to Washed Up Inspired Wednesday!  If you missed last week find it HERE and HERE.

Let me inspire you:
Last week I featured a blog post on math fact memorization.  You can find it HERE.  I had been thinking for a long time that the memorization of math facts is essential to learning advanced math like multiplication and division.  The math program we use (and do love) does not really teach memorization.  It is basically the same kind of work each day leaving S very bored.  So I decided to set it to the side and focus on memorization.  Here is what I did -
I gathered her fact cards that came with the Saxon Math 2
I got the first 3 sets out
I made 2 small post it spots on the table.  One labeled 'Know' the other 'Don't Know'
She went through each card and we sorted them in piles as we went.  She knows all of her 0's, plus 1's and doubles!  WOO HOO!!!
Next I printed out a skip counting drill sheet for her to circled all of the 2's. Then I had her recite them to me.
Tomorrow we will work on her adding 2's cards and work on those until she knows them by heart.  From there we will go to 3's, 4's, etc... until she knows them all.  
I will also have her practice skip counting 2's, 3's, 4's, etc... until she knows them by heart (Isn't that basically multiplication anyway?!) mixed in with the addition memorization.

Then we will move on to subtraction and counting backward.

Featured post from 3/6:
Forgiveness is HARD!  It is something that I wasn't really taught much about.  I love this post because she gets real about forgiveness.  Go check it out yourself.  I think you will enjoy it!

Giveaway this week:
Custom Blog/Email Siggie from Tatorbug Creations 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link Up:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3in30 - March update

Our Good Life
I am not a morning person.  I have never been a morning person.  I love staying up late and sleeping in.  With that said, last week I did not get up early every day like I had hoped.  This time change is also killing my early morning wake up.  I am going to get it though.  I know I will!!!

The sink has been free of dirty dishes for over 2 weeks now!  WOO HOO!!  This is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  I am no fan of washing dishes but I am making myself clean the kitchen before sitting down each night.  Hubby is very impressed!  ;)

Reading!  YES!  Now, that is one that I have accomplished.  I read 2 books over the weekend.  I am in the middle of a series.  It isn't the typical stuff I read but this has more of a Twilight(ish) feel but with different kinds of characters than vampires.  Let me know if you want to know more about that and I will link you to the books.

Now, I may not be where I want to be but I am on the right track.  I am praying more, cleaning more, and spending more time with my family.  Not too shabby, eh?!

How are you doing with your goals?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Create Your Own Story - Free Download

It is no secret that S loves horses.  It is also no secret that S hates writing. But she does like to come up with short stories.  So I created this for her to come up with her own short story about a horse.  She dictated and I wrote it for her.  She had a great time with this.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

I would love to hear how you use this!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Feature Friday

I have decided that I want to share the blog love with the world!  I am going to start picking blogs that I know and love and share them with you on Friday's for you to check out.  Make sure you check out the Pinterest Board where the features will be pinned.

The very first blog I want to feature is A Nest in the Rocks.  I am choosing this blog because Amy has become a dear friend and supporter of mine.  I enjoy working with her on Wednesdays for our Inspired Wednesdays Blog Hop.

A Nest in the Rocks is a great place to find homeschool resources, book reviews, recipes and so much more.  I urge you to check out her blog and follow along with her and her homeschool journey.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wishing on Willows - GIVEAWAY!

You can find my full review of the book HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given this advanced reading copy to giveaway as I chose.  

Time for Learning

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. This online curriculum can be useful for those wanting homeschool materials or for those seeking help with topics such as homeschool record keeping. Find out how to write your own review!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inspired Wednesday 3/6

Welcome back to Washed Up Inspired Wednesday!  If you missed last week find it HERE and HERE.

Let me inspire you:
My daughter is 7.  When she was big enough to pick up a pencil she started drawing.  She hasn't put that pencil down since.  She is very creative and has a great eye for detail.  To keep her love of art and the creative juices flowing I try to keep a few things handy.
Some of her paint supplies.
1. Paper - lots and lots of paper -  spiral notebooks, white paper, colored paper, paper in different sizes and shapes.
2. Scissors - regular scissors and fancy scissors
3. Crayons, Marker, Colored Pencils
4. Paints - acrylic, water color, and tempera
5. Extras - oil pastels, sharp pencils, colored ink pens, highlighters

I keep most of these items down low on shelves and in bins for her to be able to use when she wants.  She usually just uses a spiral notebook and mechanical pencil. We have a few instructional books on drawing but she loves to come up with her own thing.  Usually it is horses and barns.
Her drawing of a horse.  She is learning how to shade.

I think that encouraging her love of art and creativity will spark her love of life and living.  I want to keep that spark alive for her and inspire her to achieve anything she wants.  So for now we are encouraging art.

Painting a fish for her daddy's birthday.
Featured post from 2/27:
I chose this link as my feature because we are starting to memorize our addition facts 1-10 and this post hit the nail on the head for me.  I was debating whether or not I felt it was important.  Go read it for yourself and see what you think!  I would love to hear  your thoughts!

Giveaway this week:
A copy of Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Facebook Fan Freebie

I have created a fun freebie for all of my Facebook Fans!  Want to snag it?  Click on the image below to be linked to my page and get it there!  Thanks for being a fan!!!

Reading Eggs

I wrote last week that we were changing up the way we do school around here and that I had purchased something new for S for reading.  She was struggling with some words and blends that I *thought* we had covered.  She was very unhappy with the way we were doing reading and asked me to purchase Reading Eggs for her.  We had a trial version of it last year and it was a hit.  So the hubby and I discussed and decided that it would be a good purchase for her.  I contacted the company and they extended a discount to me!  I was able to get it for 25% off (then noticed it was 50% off on Zulily a week later! ha!).

Reading Eggs is an online reading curriculum.  It offers one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own pace.  It was developed by teachers and focuses on core concepts including phonics and sight words.  It even helps with spelling and some grammar.  As of now there are 120 lessons in Reading Eggs and it is growing!

Reading Eggs offers a FREE 14 Day trial.  You may then purchase your subscription or cancel.  I think it is wise to take advantage of that offer before plunging into this purchase.  Make sure your child will enjoy working on the computer each day.

S and I talked about how she wanted to start the program and we both decided to retest her in.  She didn't test in as well as I had hoped but it was where I had figured she would be *sigh*.  She has not looked back!  Not once!!  Each day she completes a new lesson and is excited to see what is inside of the "egg" that she is working to hatch in that lesson.  The other day it was a horse.  I am sure you can imagine the level of excitement!!!

This is not all that she does for reading each day but it is the bulk of the learning that she does.  We also do read alouds and she has unit study work that includes reading, vocabulary, etc...  I think her reading is improving each day.

I am in no way shape or form affiliated with Reading Eggs.  This review was just for inquiring minds.  I was not compensated or asked to do this review.  I just find this program to be beneficial to my family and wanted to share it with YOU!

Monday, March 4, 2013

3in30 - March 2013

Our Good Life

I have been seeing the 3in30 Challenege all over the internet.  So I decided that it would be a great place for me to start some new goals and maybe stick to them.  (You know I am not very good at sticking with it.)

So, here is are my goals for March, 2013

1. Get up with the Hubby each morning and start my day.

2. Keep the kitchen clean (aka wash the dishes!!!)

3. Read at least 2 NEW books this month.

So, those may sound a bit silly but I am starting with those to start small and here is why...
 I do not get up early enough each day and I am hoping that I can start getting up earlier each day to get things going and stay on task, get my vitamins in, and get work done before Hubby comes home in the evening.

I am NOT a fan of doing the dishes.  I don't have a dishwasher so I have to wash by hand.  But I have found that I don't mind doing them so much when I keep them washed and wash them as I go.  I have also found that I LOVE my new dish drying mat.  I threw out the old dish drainer that took up all of my counter space (no joke I only have about a foot and a half) and laid the mat down.  I am able to get the dishes dried faster on the mat, therefor I can put them away faster and have access to my counter top.  That my friends, is a beautiful thing! ;)

I have received a couple of books in the mail recently and I have been hoarding some up on my Kindle app. I want to go through them and get them read. -- So that I can justify buying more! HA!

So, what are your goals for March?

This post is linked up at #3in30 Link Up!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Insta-Fridays - Linking Up

You can find me on Instagram @WhereHeLeads

S and I having a crazy silly hair day!

NEW-ness!  Some new books that I have added to my shelf to read in March.

N working feverishly on his Turtles Lapbook.
Find the Lapbook he was working on HERE.

9PM and I print out a lapbook.  Yep, I am a homeschooling mom!

Color, Cut, Paste, Repeat

My new oh-so-ugly shoes that are oh-so-comfy.  Isn't it the way they feel that counts anyway?!

I caught them!!!  They were snuggled up doing Reading on the PC.  Be still my heart!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wishing On Willows - Review

I talked about Wishing on Willows Here too.
Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
*Blurb taken from the website.*


I loved this book. 
Wishing on Willows paints a beautiful picture of a small town.  Katie's words draw you in and make you want to read more and more.  I was worried very close to the end of the book that I was going to be left wanting more.  That was not the case. Katie finished the book perfectly and I was able to close the book feeling like Robin and Ian were a small part of who I am.  Don't you love books like that?

If you want a copy of this book you can pre-order it right now and get a gift!  Find more details on the website HERE and place your order.

Want to preview the book before you buy?  Guess what! YOU CAN!  Find the preview of Wishing on Willows HERE  (at the bottom of the page).

Don't forget to sign up for your welcome packet while you are on the website.

I was given an advanced copy of Wishing on Willows to review and promote.  The opinions expressed are my own.  A positive review was not required.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Inspired Wednesday 2/27

Welcome back to Washed Up Inspired Wednesday.  If you missed last weeks link up you can find it HERE and make sure to check it out HERE as well.

Let me inspire you:
This week I want to talk to you about family fun night!  I must admit that it has been a while since our family has had a family fun night.  It is something I want to take place each week but my family is not very good about keeping a schedule.  We are more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of family.  Last night we just picked up and drove 40 minutes to the Bass Pro Shop to grab a few deals they have during their Spring Fishing Classic.  Since we left before dinner we even ate at the restaurant inside the store.  It was a special treat for our kids since we do not eat in restaurants very often.  

Last month we had a ton of fun playing Electronic Monopoly together.  Even though the kiddos are small and the game lasts a very long time, they really had a great time.

A while back I made a batch of cupcakes.  I pulled out the decorating kit and we all went to town decorating our own cupcakes as a family.  We had a ball doing it and had a yummy snack when we were done.

It is easy to find fun and special ways for your family to connect.  Supper around the table as a family, day time trips, board games, etc...  The point is, make sure you are taking the time to have family time.  It is important that you get together and enjoy each others company.  You wont regret it!

What fun things do you do as a family?  I would love more ideas to start doing with my family.  Share them in the comments below and make sure you link up to the post!!!  After linking up make sure to grab the button from the page in the menu above "Inspired Wednesdays" so you can show others that you linked up!

Featured Post from 2/20:
In this post, she talks about how her family works out a cleaning schedule and sticks to it.  I know that is something that my family needs.  Go check out her post and be inspired!
Make sure to grab the "I was featured" button from the page above.

Giveaway this week is -
A Customizable All-In-One Planner from yours truly!  I created my planner out of necessity.  I needed something that I could open and go right to what was to happen that day/week without using several other planners.  I tried it all from a paper planner I found at WalMart to the My Well Planned Day.  I love my planner and hope that the winner will enjoy theirs as well.
After entering the giveaway on my blog PLEASE make sure that you hop over to A Nest in the Rocks blog and see what she is doing for Washed Up Inspired Wednesday.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Learning Along

Today N, my 5 year old son, got angry.  He wanted to do math like his older sister.  He wanted to do addition and subtraction.  If you have followed along for any length of time you know that he is just kind of trotting along with the flow doing school here and there.  He is not enrolled and I am not pushing him to do work along side her.  So, today when he was upset about not being able to do her math with her we seized the moment and got to work on counting and number recognition.  These are the moments that homeschool moms live for!  The ones where the child leads the way and shows that he/she is ready to learn a new concept.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson

Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson is a follow up book to The Circle Maker.  The 40 days come from when Jesus set off into the wilderness to pray when he was being tempted by satan. I must admit that this is the first book by Mark Batterson that I have read.

I was drawn to the title because I am constantly struggling with prayer.  I struggle with when and how long and sometimes with even what I should pray about.  I have found that this book is a great tool for people like me.  Mark lays out exactly how we should pray, when we should pray (not a set schedule), and who we should pray for.  He shows great examples of his faith throughout the book in his own stories and stories that others have sent to him.  He parallels each of the days lessons, if you will, with a Bible verse.

Through this book I have found a new way of journaling my prayers and feel as though my prayers are more personal and more in tune with how God would like me to pray.  Thanks to his prompting of me to journal I am also able to keep up with prayer requests of people that I come in contact with throughout the day.  I just write it down and pray over them during my prayers.  I am able to go back and see how God has answered my prayers.  I look forward to going through this book time and time again to reveal new truths each time I read it.

If you are struggling with prayer or want to draw closer to God in how you pray I do recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, February 22, 2013 - Review

*image from

A family member subscribed to for N to use.  I was thrilled because I had been eyeing it for some time I just wasn't sure if we should move ahead with it or not.  Have you hear about  I will tell you a bit about it. is a computer based Pre-K - K learning website.  It is subscription based and does not have pop-up ad's or insite purchases.  If you are like me, that is a huge relief.  Children are engaged in fun activities from singing songs, completing puzzles, to building a hamster cage.  You can set up the program so that you child may earn tickets for each task they complete.  Some tasks earn more tickets than others.  The tickets can then be spent "shopping" for fish supplies, hamster supplies, or decoration for their virtual room.  It is fun stuff!  N loves his hamsters.  He has a collection of 3 with different tubes and tunnels.

*image from

How we use it:
N is required to complete a lesson a day.  The lessons are found in the learning path and are made up for fun activities for him to complete.  Once he completes the entire lesson he is then allowed to go back and explore the map, do extra lessons, go "shopping", or take care of his fish and hamster.  He has free reign of the game after the lesson is complete for about 30 minutes or so.  

What N thinks:
Most days I only mention that it is time for him to complete his lesson and he gets right on it.  He is able to use the laptop or the iPad (it syncs to his progress).  He gets a kick out of the fun songs and puzzles.  He is currently working on making a habitat for his hamsters and is collecting tickets to earn more tubing for their mazes.

What I think:
I love this program.  It seems like a fun and solid way for children to learn without spending hours and hours of drilling.  N seems to be picking up on things that he just wasn't "getting" before this.  It is fun and engaging for him since it is on the PC.  With it being a computer program I am able to turn it on and go about my business.  I am then able to go back in as a parent and check his progress and see what he has complete, what needs work, and print off fun worksheets to go along with what he has already learned.
I feel like this program is doing exactly what I had hoped it would do.  I plan to continue with this program through til the end.

If you are thinking about using this curriculum for your children I think it is a great idea and I highly recommend it.

I was NOT asked to review this program.  I have no affiliation with  I just wanted to share my opinion about this curriculum with other moms out there who may be on the fence or are just looking for something fun for their littles to do.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Right now you can get PICKnSPELL for kids for iPhone for free!!

My Heart

It is no secret that I didn't want to homeschool my children.  I would look at homeschooling moms and wonder why in the world they ever made that decision.  Why would they keep their children home and not around other children?  Wouldn't the children suffer some sort of social delay?  Would they really learn anything?  I bet their moms have perfectly clean homes, bake their own bread, sew up their own clothing.

Then one day while out to lunch, with 2 very special women, God spoke to my heart.  He convicted me right then and there about homeschooling my children.  I came home and half expected my husband to laugh at my notion.  To shoot me right down and insist they our children attend public school.  You know what he did?  He said he couldn't agree with me more and was completely on board.  I set out that evening researching and connecting with other homeschool moms.  Guess what!  Turns out that most homeschool moms have messy kitchens, laundry piled high, finger prints on their front doors and full hearts.  They are busy teaching, leading and working with their children.  Most of the moms I have spoken with say they wouldn't trade one day of homeschooling their children for anything.

And those unsocialized children?  They are some of the most polite, well behaved, and respectful children I have met.  Seriously!  My mom commented the other day that a homeschooling family came into the hospital where she works and the teenage son spoke to her with respect.  He helped his mother with his younger siblings and conducted himself in a manner most of the staff in her office was not accustomed to.  She said she beamed when he told her that he was homeschooled.  That day she got fully on board with our families decision to homeschool.  Would you believe that my in-laws are my biggest cheerleaders?  It is true.  I was blessed with 2 amazing parents-in-law.  They have supported our decision 100% and back us up.

God gave me a calling 2 years ago to stay home and teach my children.  He set this in motion and saw to it that my support system was completely in place.  I pray that this is your situation but if it is not, I pray that God will give you an awesome support team.  Reach out to other homeschooling mamas (you are welcome to shout at me!) for help.

Remember we are in this together.  God created us to lift each other up, to come along side each other, and lend a hand.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inspired Wednesday 2/20

Welcome back to Washed Up Inspired Wednesdays.  If you missed last weeks link up, find it HERE.

This week I want to talk to you about thinking outside of the box - the curriculum box!  
If you are like me each year before school starts you have a nice list of all of the curriculum you are going to use for the upcoming year.  You purchase it, stack it nice and neat and start making plans.  Then school starts.  You work away at your plans and then the bumps start.  Then you hit the road blocks.  The days end in tears (and your child is crying too!).  Sound familure?  Well I have been there.  As a matter of fact I was ready to throw my hands in the air recently and so I stopped and prayed.  Then it hit me... I am homeschooling!  I call the shots!  I can change things up to make school work for us not us work for school. So I talked to S.  She told me what she liked about our current situation and what she didn't.  Turns out what  I thought she was enjoying was no fun at all for her.  So we cut out lapbooking and the way we were doing reading.  Instead we started using notebook packs (I got the horse one from Hands of a Child - more on that in another post) and we got a 1 year subscription to Reading Eggs (more on that in another post as well).  So far we have had great success in our homeschool days.  Saturday S joined me in the classroom, fired up her laptop and started a reading lesson.  When her Daddy stepped in from outside she was none to happy with me for allowing her to do school work on a Saturday!  lol!!  That just tells me that she is liking the new direction we are heading.

I say ALL of that to say this... Do not let your curriculum drive the bus.  If things are not working do not be afraid to change them up.  How do you change things up if things are not working for you?  I would love to hear about it.  Please leave me a comment...

Also, don't forget to grab our button from the page "Inspired Wednesdays" in the nav bar above!

Featured Post from 2/13-
I loved this posted because I use routines instead of schedules myself.  I am not one to be tied to the clock on a daily basis.  It just doesn't suit my personality.  To learn more about how she uses a routine in her homeschool and her daily life go check out her post. 
Make sure to grab your "I was featured" button from the "Inspired Wednesdays" page in the nav bar to put on your blog! 

Winner of the Custom Blog Siggie Is:
Renee Gotcher - Renee, you will be contacted via email by Amy at A Nest in the Rocks.

This week our giveaway is from Amy at A Nest in the Rocks, and let me tell you, it is AWESOME!  She is graciously giving away 2 copies of Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson.  (I am currently reading and reviewing his new book about prayer! ;) )  Enter below and make sure to go to A Nest in the Rocks and thank her for this great giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Inspired Wednesdays 2/13

Welcome to the second installment of Inspired Wednesday's.  If you missed last week (our launch) go check it out HERE.

Today I want to share a fun and super easy craft project with you.  If your kids can draw or color they are capable of completing this project.

While shopping the other day we saw some Crayola Brand Fabric Markers ($3 and change for 10 markers!) in the coloring isle and my S just had to try them out.  So we found a tShirt ($3 and change in the craft department) and decided that we could try them out.
The front of her shirt.  I am sure you are not shocked that it is horses!!
The back of the shirt.

The directions on the box are simple... put something between the layers of the shirt (we used cardboard).  Color until your design is complete and then heat set.  They offer 2 ways to heat set on the box of markers we bought but I suggest you read the directions on your box and follow them for color retention.

S sporting her newest creation.
The back of her creation.
After the shirt was heat set S wore it all day long!  She loved the project so much we went that next evening and bought another shirt for her and one for her brother.

N's tShirt.  He has taken up a liking of turtles.
The back of N's shirt.  I helped him with the word Turtles.  Otherwise it is his own creation.
NOW!  On to the fun stuff...

Today's Featured blog is............
She writes about a great giveaway she was hosting last week.  She shared one of her favorite artists and giveaway his CD.  Go check it out.  You may find a new music artist to listen to.

GIVEAWAY!!!  You can enter here to get a CUSTOM blog siggie designed by yours truly!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Off the Hook - No crochet this time.

My clever way of keeping up with my dusting cloth that I use daily at my computer desk.
I love microfiber cleaning cloths.  They clean EVERYTHING.  I use them wet and dry.  I use them with cleaners and with just plain ol' tap water.  I love to use them on my electronics because they do not scratch but they buff and shine the screens.

I keep one at my desk to clean my computer monitor, cell phone screen, dust the desk, clean my glasses, you get the point.  The trouble is, I often cannot find it!  So I decided tonight that I would fix my problem with one quick stitch!

1 Microfiber Cloth - I a pack of 2 at the Dollar Tree for $1!
4" piece of ribbon
Sewing Needle
Thread to match the ribbon/cloth.

I heat sealed my ribbon piece.  That keeps it from raveling on your finished piece.

Decide where the ribbon would work best.  I decided to put it in the corner .  I thought about maybe the middle of one side but changed my mind.

Add a few stitches.  I went in a crisscross fashion and then back and forth.  Its a bit caty-wampas.  :)

Hang it close to your desk.  I used the nob of the door that incloses my PC tower.  I think I will get a 3M hook for the inside and tuck it in there so I don't have to fold it up on itself.