Monday, April 23, 2018

Fundraising for Burn Camp 2018

This Saturday will be the 2 year anniversary of Audrey and Beverly's burn accident.  As hard as this journey has been, I am so thankful and grateful for so much, especially our family and friends!  A is officially on her last pair of medical compression garments, they have been a second skin for her for so long.

Camp David 2017

A, B and C were able to attend the Texas Burn Survivor Summer Camp last year (it's an amazing camp for burn survivors and their siblings - a safe place for kids to just be kids). Due to funding issues this year they are asking campers to raise funds.  A, B, C and D are hoping to go this summer.  I am putting the link here to share with everyone.  Please do not feel any pressure from me.  This is just an opportunity.  If you do donate, I can promise you that this is an amazing organization and my family has benefited greatly from them and I am so thankful they exist.

To find out more or donate - check out our fundraising page here.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Like Arrows in Theaters May 1st and May 3rd & Giveaway

Those that know me, know that I have a thing for arrows.  I love them!  David and I actually refer to our children as arrows occasionally.  So I especially love the concept of the upcoming movie Like Arrows.  It's a film about a pair of parents trying to figure life out.  When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy.  They realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives.  FamilyLife's first feature film explores the joys and challenges that come with raising children.  Charlie and Alice learn that knowing and living by God's Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family.  Like Arrows is executive produced by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, and FamilyLife's Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine.  This parenting movie will release in theaters for two nights only - May 1st and May 3rd.  This film will release as part of a significant new parenting initiative called FamilyLife's Art of Parenting, which will also include a free online video series and an eight-session small group series.  Check out more about the Like Arrows Art of Parenting resources here.

This is not a nationwide movie.  To find out if Like Arrows is playing near you click here.  I'm excited as it is playing in multiple locations near me.

I had the privilege of seeing an advanced prescreener for Like Arrows and I really enjoyed it.  Like Arrows is named for Psalm 127:4 (Like Arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one's youth).  I found many of the scenes and characters to be very relatable, especially as I am in the midst of this journey through parenthood.  I felt that overall this film was pretty easy to watch and enjoy and was a realistic representation of parenting in the trenches.  There were a couple of times that it became obvious that the movie is promoting a specific program, which caused me to momentarily pull away from caring about the characters but they jump right back into the storyline and allow you to get back into the movie.  A huge plus for this is that the parenting initiative plugged has a free online video series and small group series with the FamilyLife's Art of Parenting.  So it's a movie with follow-up resources, that is unique and rare and I'm on board with that! 

Ready for a giveaway?  I'm giving away 2 Fandango codes so you can see the movie yourself.  The codes will be emailed to the winner.  Winners are only allowed from the continental U.S.  Enter below and good luck!  This is a super fast giveaway so enter now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Dissection Night for Ch A

A has been participating in the Classical Conversations Challenge program this year.  Last week she participated in dissection night and I was able to stay and observe.  I have always enjoyed dissections and it was so fun to watch the students, especially as the night progressed.  At first, A was a bit timid with her specimens but it was awesome to see her and her partner really press in and by the end of the night their faces were so animated with excitement - I love this kind of hands on learning.  They dissected a sheep pluck and a cow eye.  Warning - dissection photos ahead so if you are squeamish prepare yourself.

A sheep pluck (contains trachea, lungs and heart)

I love that they spent some time sketching and taking notes.

Removing the heart from the pluck

A holding a sheep heart

Cutting the heart in half

Inside view

Examining the inside of the sheep heart

Comparing a sheep heart to a human heart

A piece of sheep heart (for comparison later)

Dissecting into the trachea

 Trachea dissection

They used a hand pump inserted into the trachea to manually inflate the lungs.

Cutting a lung in half

Inside view of a lung

Comparison of a piece of heart tissue vs a piece of lung tissue (the heart piece sinks and the lung piece floats)

 Dissecting a cow eye

 Cow eye with lens detached (looks like a white marble)

 Inside the cow eye

 Another view

Note - I forgot to mention that A broke her dominant arm a few weeks ago so you see her in a lovely purple cast above.  Thankfully, she can still write and play her flute!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Timberdoodle's Pathway Readers 1st Grade Set Review

Pathway Readers

I want to share with you a fun reading program that E just finished as part of her homeschool curriculum this year, Timberdoodle's Pathway Readers 1st Grade Set.  This set is one of the many treasures you will find within Timberdoodle's 1st grade curriculum kit.  This set contains three readers: First Steps, Days Go By, and More Days Go By.  Each book has a distinct outside color making them easy to differentiate when on a shelf (red, blue and green).  However, within each reader it contains black-and-white sketches.  This set is geared towards 6-7 year olds in 1st and 2nd grade.

E reading First Steps

Here you get a peek inside the book.

E's reading and writing has really exploded recently and it has been so fun to watch.  Reading was very challenging for her at first and she struggled with "not knowing everything".  Sometimes she was scared to try.  As E began this series, I really enjoyed the confidence it gave her as she mastered each story to press onward and even read other books and stories for fun.  She laughed and smiled as she worked her way through these lovely stories about farm life, harvests and family.

E and G in the allergist waiting room.

She was eager to take these books along for allergy appointments and general outings so that she could read to me and her younger siblings!

A peek into Days Go By.

Finishing this set!

Another thing about this set that I loved was the reading comprehension that it fosters.  I love how the stories are continuations of the first ones and I really enjoyed hearing E tie things together from each of the stories and even the separate books themselves.  And when I say continuations I don't mean that they pick up exactly where the previous story left off but that you have to remember the characters and past adventures.  When I asked E what she liked about these books she said, "EVERYTHING!"  So there you have it.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the Pathway Readers 1st Grade Set for a discounted price in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Patience Is A Virtue And The Miracle Season Trailer

I wanted to share The Miracle Season trailer with you today.  The Miracle Season releases in theaters April 6th and I'm excited to see it, just a few more days!

The movie is about tragic loss but also how we can find hope and light is some of the darkest seasons we face in life.  When C first started baseball, he was taught the basics.  On his first few teams they didn't count runs, they didn't count outs, everyone got to hit and run the bases.  This was great for learning the game but then C wanted to play "real" baseball.  So we switched leagues.  He was on a team that didn't win a single game.  And C learned how to lose gracefully and cheerfully.  It was character building in a great way.  Although that was a tough season C was patient and stuck with the game he loves.  He has been on several teams now, always diligent to show up for practices and games and hoping to play well.  And he has had some amazing coaches along the way.  C is now on the best team he has ever been on.  The other night he hit a double at his at bat and I couldn't be more proud of him.  It's not the winning or losing that matters the most.  It's how you play the game and more importantly how you treat others while doing so.  I'm grateful for all that baseball is teaching my son.

As promised, check out the trailer for The Miracle Season below.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Grace Hill Media for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  By sharing this information with you I will receive a $30 gift card.  All opinions are my own.