Friday, January 31, 2020

Level 5 Gymnastics

D at her last Level 4 Gymnastics Meet!

Even though D has been training for Level 5 gymnastics for a few months, she competed her last Level 4 Meet last weekend - which makes her officially, officially Level 5!  I'm so proud of her and how hard she has worked.  She came home with 3 medals - all around, floor and beam.

Below you will see a video of her doing back handsprings at practice today (she was able to do 7 in a row before she ran out of room on the gym floor).

Saturday, January 25, 2020

A's Sweet 16 Birthday Party

A at her party!

We had A's Sweet 16 party today and it was so fun.  She hung out with her friends, ate lots of snacks and pizza and enjoyed plenty of "sweets" as well.  They played cup pong, Apples to Apples, and I made a fun saran wrap ball game for them to enjoy also.

Birthday Decorations

A posing with some of the food.

A's cake looked like a conversation heart.

Conversation Hearts

 A with her cake.

Blowing out the took a few tries 😉

Our cup pong table

Our Saran Ball

I filled this with all kinds of goodies - lots of different candy, gums, rubber ducks, miniature poppers, push pops, chapstick, manicure set, mini squishies, squishmallows, dollar bills, $2 bills and the inside grand prize was a heart shaped purse with $16 cash and candy inside.  I think the girls had a good time playing and everyone left with some goodies!

 A with her friends...

Farewell Twilight


I'm sad to say that Twilight passed away yesterday.  She hadn't been quite acting like herself for the last few days and she never really recovered.  I'm wondering if she possibly had a cold.  B had her for a little over a year, which seems too short.  She was a very friendly hamster and our family will miss her, especially B.

We buried her in our backyard in a heart shaped box.

 We had a small ceremony for her.

B is going to make a stepping stone to mark her grave.  Losing furry friends is hard.  How do you deal with losing a pet?

How I will remember Twilight.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Happy 16th A!

Miss A is 16!

Sixteen years ago today I became a Mom and it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.  I'm so proud of who my daughter is today - she is smart, gentle and kind.

Chicken Minis

If you know A, then you know she loves Chick-fil-A!  So we ordered a tray of chicken minis to celebrate her for breakfast.  My kids really wish these were available for purchase all day (Please Chick-fil-A 🙏) .  A opened a few presents from her siblings.  I love how thoughtful their gifts were.

A wearing her present from F.

One of the perks of homeschooling is that your birthday calls for a school holiday.  I had the kids work on a few basic subjects and their CoOp homework but otherwise they had more time to chill and celebrate today and A was thrilled about that!

A with her bundtlets

A brand new Nothing Bundt Cakes opened up near us and they sent us a free coupon for a bundtlet.  I took A to pick one out and they gave her another free one when they found out it was her birthday!!  They were so sweet :).

 A chose a Confetti bundtlet

And a Classic Vanilla bundtlet.

We had Panda Express (another of A's favorites) for dinner while we watched the movie Wonder as a family.  D gave the DVD to A as a birthday gift :).  David took A out after the movie for dessert and gave her a beautiful ring.  A you are truly amazing!  I look forward to celebrating you even more at your party this weekend!  16 is pretty SWEET!

CompuScholar Python Programming Review

Did you know that the most popular introductory coding language taught in universities in the U.S. is Python?  I didn't.  So, what is Python?  Python is a general-purpose programming language that's easy to use and versatile.  CompuScholar Python Programming is a one-semester online course designed for students in middle school and high school (grades 6th - 12th) that teaches core programming concepts using Python.  It's a great introduction to Computer Science!  Your student will both create and run code directly in your web browser.  When Timberdoodle offered us the chance to include this course in our homeschool this year, we jumped on the opportunity.

A working on Python Programming via our desktop.

We had A (10th grade) start the program first.  She is well over halfway finished at this point and now B and C (8th and 7th grade) are also working through CompuScholar Python Programming and I couldn't be more thrilled.

What topics are covered?  Topics include printing and user input, data types and variables, logical expression and flow control, debugging skills, lists and loops, working with numbers/dates/strings, writing and using functions, simple object-oriented programming and more!  While I understand some of this, programming is not my specialty.  I'm thankful that with CompuScholar Python Programming it doesn't need to be.  This course both teaches the material and auto-grades everything (lessons, quizzes, tests and coding projects), score!  This is a huge blessing to me.

How does it work?  Students write code directly into the online Python engine so no local software installation or file management is needed - another huge plus!  Each chapter includes lesson exercises as well as graded activities.

A's Character Art Activity from Chapter Three - Above you can see her code that she wrote into the Python engine.

Her program prompts for your name when you run it.

Above you can see her program when it has finished running.

Above you can see A's dashboard.  This was when she first started this program so she was at 0% with her progress.

Here you can see that she is 64% done with the program at this point.

She currently has a 94.61 in the class.

We can also get an overview report of all of her grades - quizzes, activities, tests, etc.  You can see some of them above.  I really appreciate this.

A is really enjoying this program and she should finish it soon.  She is also on course to get an A (hopefully A+).  She told me that she enjoys the structure of the course - she watches the lesson video, then she reads the lesson text which recaps the video with additional information, she takes the quiz and completes the activities and exams as instructed.  It's a great self-study and self-paced course that counts as a 1 semester or .5 credit course (~ 90 hours).  Once enrolled students have access to it for a year so that gives them flexibility with their pace.  CompuScholar Python Programming has been a huge blessing for our homeschool family!

CompuScholar Python Programming is an outstanding component of Timberdoodle's 11th Grade Curriculum Kit.  If you have a middle schooler or high schooler looking for a self-paced introductory course to Computer Science I would highly recommend this one.

{Update:  A, B and C have all finished this course and they all received an A+.  I'm so proud of them and it was super fun to see them work together on the final project where they created a Dog Trick School.  I really appreciate that this course graded almost everything for me!  I did have to grade the final project though.}

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the CompuScholar Python Programming in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Penguin & Moose Book Review

{We were so blessed to be a part of the book launch team for Penguin & Moose by Hannah C. Hall!  We received this book in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are our own!}

You will definitely want to read this whimsical story to your little ones!

A closer view.  This story was written by Hannah C. Hall and Illustrated by Anna Chernyshova.

The premise is simple.  Penguin has a big problem - he wants to fly but he doesn't know how.  Luckily, he has a great friend, Moose, who helps him try to figure his problem out.  

Inside our book

Another peak inside...

Things do not go as planned.  A disappointed Penguin discovers that he has something far greater than the ability to fly - a fantastic friend!  Children really grasp this simple yet powerful story.  I love the whimsical illustrations by Anna Chernyshova that fit perfectly with the story.  This is a really fun read.

Check out the sweet book trailer below and let me know what you think.

Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from Review

{Disclaimer:  I received a FREE Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  This post contains affiliate links.}

I am loving the variety of Elementary Homeschool Course, Middle School Homeschool Courses and High School Homeschool Courses available with the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from  This is on online membership that contains downloadable, printable elements as well as online classes and video components.  There is so much available on this site it is truly amazing. offers a full curriculum for every grade beginning with preschool through high school, including electives.  This Ultimate membership gives access to all the site's content, allowing customization for every child, all at one price!  That's especially awesome if you have a large family like I do.  SchoolhouseTeachers works great as a primary curriculum and can also be used to supplement as needed.  I really appreciate that every course is designed with a Christian worldview.

Focused Learning Centers

I'm really like the idea of the focused learning centers.  If your child needs help in a particular area whether it be math, reading, foreign language, science, college planning, etc., the focused learning centers can help.  They will direct you to the courses, lessons, and articles that can help you teach your children who are struggling.

Literacy Center

The Literacy Center is also great as it helps you to improve your child's reading and literacy no matter where they are.  You will find links, techniques, and strategies to guide your children in reading instruction.  There's a great guide that helps you pinpoint exactly where to begin based on their ability.  F is considered an Early Reader while G is an Emerging Reader.  I have access to lots of resources to use with them including activity sheets and audio files.

Preschool Playground

I'm really loving the Preschool Playground.  There are tons of tools and academic resources that can help you make the most of your time with your littler ones.  You will find resources for Bible, Language Arts, Multi-Subject, Numbers/Patters/Cognitive Skills, Manners and Healthy Habits, Arts/Crafts/Music, Science, Motor Skills, Social Studies, etc.  And there is always help available if you have any questions or need to chat with customer service at any time.

Here you can see resources available for Preschool Language Arts.

Video Library - Above you can see a few of the options for Kids and Art.

The video library is another wonderful member benefit.  There are numerous videos that span several academic areas along with entertainment, marriage and parenting, and Bible study as well.  You will gain access to hundreds of streaming videos from providers like, City on a Hill, Discovery House, Drive Thru History, RightNow Media and more!  The video library rounds up all the videos in one location for easy access.

There are really too many resources to name.  I did want you to know that there is a whole planning section that includes record keeping, scope and sequence, a schedule builder and lesson plans.  Check out the short video below to get an idea of how you can use these lesson plans in your homeschool.

Not only is there a plethora of content on SchoolhouseTeachers, there is also so much flexibility with this membership.  You can pick and choose and build your own curriculum or you can follow the information within the Scope and Sequence to put a subject or grade together - it is super customizable and that's a win for everyone.  I really appreciate that I can search the site by grade level or individual subjects.  I'm really excited about diving in and using this resource more in our own homeschool this year!  I hope you will check it out.  You won't regret it.

{ - Every Subject.  Every Grade.  Every Student.}

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of SchoolhouseTeachers.

Online Homeschooling For the Whole Family { Reviews}

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

F's 6th Birthday Party - Nerf Gun Theme

F turned 6 today!

F is now 6.  We celebrated today with a Nerf themed party for him, his idea.  Wow, he is growing up fast.  I think all the kids had a blast with all the Nerf guns and targets.  Thanks to everyone who was able to celebrate with us today.  Enjoy the photos!

Birthday Banner

Party Decor

Party Backdrop and Target Practice

More Target Practice

I bought fluorescent target stickers and we used them all over.  Here you can see we placed them on red cups.

And here they are on a cut-up pool noodle.

3D Printed Targets

Safety Goggles

Stevie Dawg!

D and E with their goggles on.

Our Bucket of Nerf guns for everyone to use...


Mega Bullets

Mister G

C with his giant Mega Nerf gun.

Target practice

More practice

Party Fun

 F's chocolate cake

The side had his age and name.


In honor of F turning 6, we served 6 different flavors of Blue Bell Ice Cream: Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Cream, Peppermint, and Rocky Road.  I look forward to watching you grow this year F!