Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Skating in the Park


Our city opens an outdoor skating rink each year during the holiday season. This year, my three girls and I tried it out and found it to be a lot of fun! The rink was smaller and more crowded than the indoor rink, but the atmosphere was great. The air was 50 degrees, so it was quite pleasant. I even got too warm to wear my jacket after a while. As it became dark, we were able to see the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree display nearby in the park. I think this will become a new annual holiday tradition!

IMG_2078photo 2

Monday, December 29, 2014

If He Had Not Come (Review)

If He Had Not Come, by Nan F. Weeks and David Nicholson, is a sweet Christmas story that is sure to be enjoyed by all ages. The story was originally written in 1938 by Ms. Weeks, and has been republished by Nicholson, who added illustrations and devotional material.

The premise of the story is that a little boy, Bobby, reads the words, “if I had not come,” from John 15:22 before bed. He then dreams of a world that has never known Jesus, a world with no churches, no Christian hospitals or homeless ministries, a world that exhibits little kindness or compassion.

I enjoyed reading this book with my daughter. We’ve read many Christmas-themed books, but this stands out with its unique plot.My teen enjoyed the book too, so this isn’t just a story for young children, although young children would certainly enjoy it. We read the book and discussed the “interactive topics” and “going deeper” questions one night for our advent devotional time, discussing all the ways we thought our world and our lives would be different if Jesus had not come to earth. The illustrations are sweet and old-fashioned, suitable for a book that is set in the 1930’s.

I read the Kindle format of the story, but would recommend the print version. On my 8.9” Kindle Fire, the pictures were very small. If I held the Fire vertically, the pictures were on a separate page from the accompanying text. In landscape, 2-page view the pictures were on the facing page, but not full-page size as I would have expected.

Other than the formatting oddities, I do recommend If He Had Not Come, and we will certainly read it again next Christmas.

I received this book free in exchange for my honest review from BookLook Bloggers.



We just concluded a wonderful Christmas week. Both of my older girls were home for the whole week, and John Michael, who lives in town came over several times. Allison’s boyfriend, James, was also here for most of the week. It was wonderful to have all my family home at the same time!

On Christmas morning, Allison made us Eggs Benedict. Yum! It’s such a treat to have someone else cook!


Everyone was slow to rise, and by the time we’d finished breakfast, it was well after 10:00. We opened stockings, then gathered in the living room for presents.



The after mess!


We went to my parents’ house in the afternoon for a delicious ham dinner.


I am so blessed to have my wonderful family. My heart is full.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cherry Bon Bon Cookies

This is a recipe that we make every year for Christmas. It’s one on our all-time favorites, and also makes a pretty and delicious gift. We always double or triple the recipe.


Cherry Bon Bon Cookies

Mix:  1/2 c. butter

          3/4 c. powdered sugar

          1 tsp. vanilla

           1 1/2 c. flour

           1-2 Tbsp. water

Drain  a 10 oz. jar of maraschino cherries and spread cherries to dry on a paper towel.

Roll dough into balls, flatten, then wrap each piece of dough around a cherry. Bake at 350 until set, but not brown (12-15 min.).

After cookies have cooled somewhat, dip into thinned green icing and set out until frosting has hardened.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SchoolhouseTeachers.com SALE

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

I’ve shared before how much I love SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This site includes a wealth of teaching resources and lessons, including homeschool planners, complete courses, supplements. I’ve especially enjoyed using the literature and writing lessons, but your child could study marine biology, sign language, or architecture. Looking for ideas for hands-on science activities or art instruction? You’ll find that here too.

Right now, SchoolhouseTeachers.com is running a sale until Christmas with up to 50% off membership rates, so it’s a great time to try it out!

Many  members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have written reviews this month, so you can find out more before you commit!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mermaid Crazy


I have been so so so busy for the past few weeks making mermaid costumes. This is my first time to be on the retailer end of the Christmas rush and it has been crazy! Lots of  little girls are asking Santa for mermaid tails this year!

I’m still trying to carve out some time each week to spend on Christmas baking and “fun” activities. We went to an ice skating show last weekend that one of Emily’s friends skated in and I’ll be hosting a church youth group party at our home next week.  Both of my “big” girls will be home for the week of Christmas, so I do plan to close up the “mermaid shop,”  relax, and take some time enjoy my family by next weekend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Biology Lab—Mitosis and Meiosis

Last week for biology lab class, I brought out the Play-Doh  and had the students reenact the processes of mitosis and meiosis with the dough “chromosomes” and paper “cells”. Hands-on activities seem to engage them well and help them understand the material better. I’m glad I had the Play-Doh inspiration!

Forming chromosome duplicates


Cell Division during Mitosis


Then we took out the microscope and identified and drew phases of mitosis in Ascaris cells. They looked briefly at the Allium root tip cell slide, but we ran of out time, so they didn’t draw those cells.

We’ll be taking a break until January. The students will skip ahead and do Module 9 (Evolution) on their own since there are no experiments in that chapter. In January, we’ll learn about Genetics and do some fruit fly genetics experiments.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Big Sale at Currclick

End of Year Sale

Save up to 70% at Currclick for Cyber Monday. This great sale begins on Dec. 1 and continues until December 14. I always love Currclick’s sales. They’re great opportunities to stock up on downloadable products for now or the future.

Don’t miss the Doorbuster Deals….up to 94% off on Monday only, from 9:00am to 3:00pm CST.