What. A. Week. (& some encouragement)

The past couple of weeks have been something else, BUT, we made it. Eventually, I might muster up the energy and strength to tell our story but on today I’d like to share a few things that have kept me moving forward.

  1. I’ve enjoyed several podcasts that have encouraged our family and friends during this time. Currently my only two subscriptions are Pastor G. Craige Lewis and Chrystal Evans Hurst. I enjoy the unfiltered word shared by Pastor Lewis and Chrystal makes each podcast feel like girl talk.
  2. I’ve been grateful for listening ears and the hugs of friends and family. Truthfully the entire month of April and the last two weeks of March had me making crazy faces. If it wasn’t for great friends and phenomenal family, I’d never have made it.
  3. Quiet time is a must! When everyone is still sleep in the morning and once the house is settled at night, I pray and listen. This ensures I begin and end my day in peace.
  4. Finally, laughter, laughing, and more of each has been quite helpful. It amazes me how a smile turned into a snicker can end in gut bursting laughs. I’m grateful for jokes, riddles, silly things, and the tickle monsters that have made us laugh this week.

Hope you find these tidbits helpful during your trying times. These will even work on a good day! Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you all up next week.

Ta’Neisha K.

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Review: Apologia Anatomy & Physiology Course

Our oldest son has thoroughly enjoyed his science experience while using Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. Apologia did an excellent job structuring the scientific components and including the word of God in this curriculum. Let’s dive right into our thoughts on these products!

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text: This book includes over 250 pages of information for your student to discover, perform projects, and gain a clear understanding of anatomy and physiology God’s way. It is filled with a myriad of vivid illustrations and diagrams that allow the surrounding paragraphs to come alive to any student reading. Throughout the book, there are several helpful hints for the children including reminders to explain what they learn to someone else, key vocabulary words in bold print along with their definitions, a subject index, and narrative questions. The “Try This” and “Project” opportunities are scattered within the pages and each offers a deeper understanding of the lesson via crafts, experiments, and discussion. The 14 lessons cover various body systems, nutrition, health, how God designed their immune system, embryology and much more.

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD: Having the physical textbook was great but being able to listen to the text was truly grand. This audiobook is read by the author, Jeannie Fulbright. The past month has been extremely busy for us so we’ve had school in the car twice each week. It has been great to have the MP3 version playing while riding from various appointments and meetings. This format would also be beneficial to auditory learners and slow readers. Parents of students with disabilities that make reading difficult might also prefer this version. This is an MP3-CD that will only play in an MP3-compatible CD player or on a computer. Be sure to check your vehicle capabilities if you plan to travel while learning with this version.

“I think the textbook is really cool because it gives you a lot of stuff to think about with your body and opportunities to test the theories that you think of with exercises. The audio version was easy to listen to and follow along with. I prefer the textbook at home but on our busy Doctor’s appointments days it was good to have the audiobook as well.” Bear, age 10

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal: Seeing my son use this journal frequently was my favorite part of using this curriculum. He took notes while reading and conducting experiments, drew pictures, learned provided vocabulary words, completed puzzles, and practiced writing via scripture copy work. The journal includes a complete syllabus for your child with each assignment, project, and reading scheduled. There are also reminders to narrate the text, meaning your student must explain what they have read to someone. The narration is perfect practice for comprehension and public speaking, of course. Bear writes large, even in cursive so I allowed him to narrate the answers to the review questions too. The notebook also includes an answer key and mini flap books that will be created while using this curriculum.

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal: The junior version of the original notebook is geared towards younger students still new to writing or children with limited writing skills no matter their age. This was also designed for students with learning disabilities. The beginning of each session has two coloring sheets for the students to complete while listening to the audiobook. The children are still given activities to complete but much fewer crosswords and overall writing time. The miniature books are still included but the aforementioned review questions are not.

“I think the notebook comes in handy for you to write what you learned in the lesson and what you think including whether you agree, disagree, like, or don’t like it. So far drawing the pictures is my favorite part and I try my best to make it look realistic.” Bear, age 10

Overall, Apologia has definitely won me over with this elementary science course. Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology takes your child on a journey from the history of medicine, through cells, DNA, and on into the body’s systems. Recently Bear was hospitalized and because of this course, he understood his diagnosis and treatment plan. I’ve found that the textbook (or audiobook) provides the details while the notebook activities give children the chance to illustrate their understanding. The whole curriculum uses the immersion approach to explain how and why our bodies work with language and activities appropriate for elementary aged children. The consistent acknowledgement to God for designing our bodies and creating everything was also a daily reminder of how magnificent he is. Finally, I was happy to see a science curriculum where the items needed for experiments are inexpensive, can be easily found in stores, or are most likely already in your home.

“I think this entire system works because the book gives great detail but the notebook allows you to break down what you’ve learned. Plus, you can always come back to your notebook and look at everything you’ve studied.” Bear, age 10

Be sure to CLICK THIS HYPERLINK TO READ REVIEWS about this curriculum by the Homeschool Review Crew

Make this week awesome,

Ta’Neisha K.

Just for today…

I don’t have much to say for my post this week so I thought I’d just share couple of throwback videos to encourage you. I found myself viewing these often since last month and hope that they strengthen you as well.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Review: Princess Cut & Purity

Discussing sexual purity with your children at any age might seem a sensitive topic to some. But, as believers, we are encouraged to start this process very early on so that when our children mature into young adulthood they have a clear understanding of what the word says and how to apply the principals. That’s why I was truly excited to watch and review the Princess Cut movie by Watchman pictures.

Princess Cut is a movie about a young Christian woman dealing with the process of being pursued and dating. So many things were touched on during this film. Since I don’t want to give away the plot here are a few details on the topics covered.

  • HOME SWEET HOME

The first thing that I noticed about this movie was that the young lady was still living at home. In this day and age, people are so set on pushing their children out of the house when they turn 18, upon the revelation that they are grown adults. I was elated to see that she was still at home and her family was still a major part of her life with her father being the forefront. I was also grateful that he wanted to meet the men that were interested in her and as a result of those conversations he was able to tell her who was good and bad. You are never too grown for parental advice and while your parents are alive you should appreciate their presence and wisdom in your life.

  • FAMILY FUELED FAITH

Another thing that was fascinating to me was that the whole family supported her desire to live for God and save herself for marriage. Her youngest brother even puts out a newspaper add about her ability to make delicious mac and cheese. This shows that what the parents are speaking and living is being soaked in by him. Her father’s love was portrayed when he worked hard to provide but was still present in their lives. A mother’s love and comfort were showcased by being there as a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear when she needed to vent.

  • FRIENDS OR FRIENEMIES

This film touches on parts of friendships that can be quite sensitive. Sometimes your friends appear to have your best interests at heart but their secret desire is just to keep you on the same level. Your friends should honor your decisions, especially as a Christian, and they should also act accordingly. Insecure friends will also try to use you to act out their desires.

  • LOVELY LOVE STORY

I thought it was so fitting that the love interest was not initially desired. I honestly think this seems to be the case for a lot of successful relationships, mine in particular. The chase makes the love story all much more intriguing, funny, and memorable in movies as well as a real life. Plus we know what we “allegedly want” but God knows what we actually need.

  • DATE TO MARRY

I enjoyed the repeated standard for abstinence (celibacy was also touched on) and I was proud of her for holding true to her convictions. We also teach our children not to kiss prior to marriage because it can lead to so much more. Finally, I was happy about the importance of dating with the intention to marry. I believe that if more Christians held to this standard during their pursuit of others then we would have more successful marriages. It is truly sad that in this day and age the Christian divorce rate is the exact same, and higher occasionally than that of the United States.

Overall Princess Cut by Watchman Pictures was fun to watch and should spark a conversation about purity with older children. This can also be a great opportunity to discuss celibacy amongst family and friends as well as young adults. I’ve already watched it twice and have several friends interested in purchasing it too.

CLICK HERE to read additional reviews by the Homeschool Review Crew.

Currently, this film is available in DVD and Digital formats. You can also purchase the soundtrack for this film. Check out the trailer for this film via this YouTube video.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Memoria Press, Music Appreciation I Review

When I was in school, one of my favorite classes was music. I enjoyed singing all styles, playing instruments, and everything that encompassed this great form of art. My joy for this class was reignited when this review provided the opportunity to teach our oldest Music Appreciation I from Memoria Press.

Music Appreciation I introduces your child to great pieces of Western classical music and their historical context. It also covers various foundational musical concepts including notion, pitch, rhythm, form, and melody. The materials for this course consist of the student book (one per child) and audio companion CD set. The provided materials are pretty much ordered chronologically to portray both the history and evolution of music overall.

During this course Bear enjoyed delving into the popular pieces of music and breaking them down. We used this material three times a week and even the preschoolers enjoyed how each lesson started by listening to a piece of music. After listening on Tuesdays he would read the chapter and follow up with the corresponding tracks on the compact disc. If the reading portion of the chapter was long then I would have him split it up over two days. On the third day, usually Friday, we would listen to the initial piece of music again, review the information learned as well as any important terms, and complete any review questions provided in the text. Every few chapters I was able to test his comprehension using the provided exams. The book includes seven review tests and their answer keys.

Overall I was amazed at how Bear enjoyed listening to and learning about classical music. After a few lessons, he was able to recognize popular pieces from commercials, movies, and some of the video games that he plays. I’ve also noticed him using the terms in regular conversation with his siblings, father, and I. I do believe that he has grasped the concept of this course which is to truly appreciate music. Having the younger children watch an episode of Little Einsteins while brother completed his assignment helped keep them engaged. They were also introduced to the same various music vocabulary and popular pieces by famous composers. At the end of this month, our family will be attending the local Arts & Jazz Festival to hear the various musicians and bands play. I’m also making plans to attend a school Orchestra concert with Bear next month as an additional music-related field trip.

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Since 1994, Memoria Press has continued to produce easy-to-use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools. Music Appreciation I and the other various items used by the Homeschool Review Crew are definitely no exception. The company’s standard, commitment to excellence, and sincerity are the reason why we will continue to use their products.

Be sure to CLICK THIS HYPERLINK TO READ REVIEWS about other products offered by Memoria Press

Make this week musical,

Ta’Neisha K.

Review Crew

You. Are. Beautiful.

Earlier this week Princess was chatting with Kevin and he asked: “Who’s the prettiest girl in the whole wide world?” She proudly responded, “ME AM!” This moment had me completely amazed because even in her toddler language she could proudly express that she was loved. I enjoy watching her beam with confidence because her father finds her completely beautiful. Even when he disciplines her, Kevin always reminds her of how valuable she is. It is such a blessing to watch her receive the same loving kindness I have over the years.

Moments like these can just be appreciated naturally because they are so precious. You can also take the spiritual application and be reminded that your confidence should come from your father. Your father is there to love you completely and discipline you appropriately because you are beautiful to him. My confidence has never been in question because my father instilled those values consistently. I am so grateful for my loving father and I know I am beautiful to him.

On the other hand, there are those that did not have the best (or any depending on the circumstances) relationship with their father. I can only imagine the wounds that come from the situations but do note that everyone has issues with their parents growing up. Also, find hope that though your physical father may not be up to par your spiritual Father will never fail you. His love transcends time, space, and long before you were even created he has loved you perfectly. You too should walk with confidence because you are beautiful to Him.

One of the best gifts we have as Christians is God the father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. We are beautiful because we were designed in the image of the creator of all things. God has parented us well before our own parents were created and that simply blows my mind! He gifted us the Holy Spirit to guide us, speak truth to us, and strengthen us to speak truth to others. Most importantly he gifted a salvation through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Even in correction, God’s love is shown because the word clearly states time and time again that discipline is love.

Finally, I know that God believes that we are beautiful because of forgiveness, grace, and mercy. None of these things are deserved but the Lord freely gives them to us a myriad of times. Then after we use those up he comes in and does it again. He is the perfect epitome of the definition of love. He is patient. He is kind. He is faithful. He is God.

I could go on forever about how amazing he is! But instead, I will leave you with a reminder from the little girl in my home (and the little girl inside of me). Look up at your Father and smile sweetly because you are loved and beautiful.

You can catch some more precious moments with our Princess via this recent YouTube video.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 KJV

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

9 Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:5‭-‬6‭, ‬9 KJV

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Psalm 139:13‭-‬16 MSG

FREE Family Fun at the Arena Game

Recently our family with blessed with several free tickets to arena games over the weekend. We had a awesome time attending games on Saturday and Sunday evening.

The football game layout was very casual where the players actually talked and interacted with the audience throughout the game. One of our friends is a coach and we were able to talk with him several times. It was amazing to be so close to the action, here the actual plays being called, and watch the referees have discussions over calls. They also let you keep any ball that landed in the audience our oldest, Bear was happy to be given the final game ball. After the game you’re also allowed to go out on to the field where the players hang out and sign autographs.

The basketball game is totally different when it comes to the atmosphere. Since the court is smaller they have areas for and workshops set up on each side of the court. Children are able to go down and spend the entire basketball game hanging out, building things, and are even given snacks. The building activities were awesome because they were made with kits provided by Home Depot. Home Depot also brought volunteers to work the stations while the children played. Most parents let their children go down alone but I prefer to go with my children and ensure their safety. If you arrive to the game early your children also get to participate in the opening. Here is some footage from our fabulous weekend.

If you have a arena teams in your area we definitely recommend checking them out. Not only did we receive free tickets for this game, they also passed out free tickets for the subsequent home games. We are able to enjoy the rest of the season for free!

Totally unrelated but here is the winner of the Pencil Grip Inc. Magic Stix Markers giveaway. Winner has already been contacted, replied to email, and her prize is on the way.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.