Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween {2011}

Another fun Halloween ... our good friends throw a wonderful party each year. There is lots of yummy food for dinner and then we all head out to trick-or-treat the neighborhood they live in.

Many of our closest friends attend each year and the kids have a blast!

The theme this year amongst my kids was to dress like one of their best friends ...

{Pictured above - Ava Mae with her best friend, Maddie Bell - they were Rockettes. Pictured below - Devin with one of his best buds, Clarke, as Boston Red Sox players}

This year Lexi won the costume contest for the girls ...

{Pictured above - Lexi with one of her best friends, JK. Trick or Treating. Pictured below - just some of the ten pounds of candy loot my kids brought home.}

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Fall Baseball Season Comes to a Close

Today was our last day of Fall ball for the season ... my husband and son both agree that it always ends too soon.

The players on the team decided it would be fun to end the game by dumping the cooler on the coaches ... though with temps in the 50's and a party at a restaurant right afterward we offered up another option ... silly string.

Our pizza party afterward was fun ... time for awards and to say goodbye until next season. This was another great team with super nice kids and parents. We hope to see them all back this Spring!

{And what would a baseball end of season party be without friends to be silly with}

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Nature Walk

Thursdays are our day for Nature Journaling ... some weeks that means more than others. {Many times I just ask the kids to head into the back or front yard to observe nature and journal.}

Today, we headed to the creek at the end of our cul-de-sac. We always love to see the changes that each season brings.

{On our way back home, we stopped to observe this honey bee in a rose.}

Monday, October 24, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Northstar Game's ~ Wits & Wagers Family

Our family has really enjoyed board games lately ... and, while I love games like Monopoly they can seem to drag on and on. Recently, we were given the opportunity to review a new game ~ "Wits & Wagers Family" by Northstar Games. We were immediately hooked! Even our youngest child, who was too young to play the game {game is best for 8 and up}, got into the action by keeping score.

The great thing about this game - not only is it fun, enjoyable, and easy to play for everyone, it is also fast paced.
<span class=
Another bonus, being able to open a new game and have everyone playing within just a few short minutes. Here is how easy it is ...

1. Choose a card from the deck and ask a question from the card.


2. Have all players write down a numerical guess on the dry erase boards provided.


3. Players then reveals their guesses and each person bets on which answer is correct {
many times I knew my kids would know answer to something I did not like "How many official Disney Princesses are there?"}.

4. Award points to the players who bet on the correct answer and the player who gave the correct answer.


Too simple ... we have played multiple games and they have never lasted more than 15 or 20 minutes.
Our family gives it 2 thumbs up ... in fact, when I told my son I was sitting down to write this review he wanted to make sure I included how "awesome" this game is. Wits & Wagers Family is best for 3 - 6 players and can be found at local retailers and online. We saw this game on the shelf at our Target store for $19.99. I think it would make a great Christmas gift!

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of Wits & Wagers Family by Northstar Games? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

&&&&<span class=


Disclaimer:
I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a free Wits & Wagers Family board game, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the game.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Apologia's - Educating the WholeHearted Child

<span class=
Just starting out homeschooling or been in the trenches for awhile? This is the book I would point you to Apologia's ~ Educating the WholeHearted Child! In this newly updated 3rd edition {376 pages}, Clay and Sally Clarkson delve into the world of homeschooling - bestowing on us their knowledge from years and years of homeschooling.

This is a book that I just cannot put down every time I pick it up to read. So many great ideas and wonderful insight and while I may not agree 100% with everything the Clarkson's have written in the way they have chosen to homeschool I still walk away with some great tidbit or something new I want to give a try.

One of my favorite tools in the book is a section on how to decipher your child's learning style. You can make your homeschooling life so much more pleasant by knowing what style learner your children are. I also love all the forms in the back of the book - a great resource! {One thing I have definitely learned in the five short years we have been homeschooling - learn from those who have gone before me and do not try and reinvent the wheel.}

From the book cover:

Since 1994, Educating the WholeHearted Child has been a trusted guide for thousands of homeschooling families. This extensively revised and expanded third edition provides a solid biblical foundation for educating and nurturing your children's hearts, minds and souls.

You will discover how to:
  • Make your home and family the heart of your children's education
  • Train your children to become creative, self-directed learners
  • Enrich life and education with living books
  • Identify and work with each child's learning style
  • Help your children love to learn as naturally as they love to play
  • Gain confidence to teach with practical, commonsense methods.
I think every homeschool could benefit from having this book on their shelf! I know I will be referring to it for years to come. To purchase your own copy {Cost: $22.00} head on over to Apologia's site. You can even read a sample chapter or take a look at the table of contents.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of Apologia's ~ Educating the WholeHearted Child? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

&&&<span class=


Disclaimer:
I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a free copy of Educating the Wholehearted Child, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the book.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Annual Halloween Party {2011}

Today we hosted our small homeschool group for our annual Halloween Party. It was another beautiful fall day and the 25 kids had a great time playing, snacking, and participating in the costume contest.
{My friend, Jamie, getting all of our kids ready for the group shot ... so nice to have a professional photographer in our group!}

{The judging begins ... my friend, Christi, once again graciously agreed to be the judge.}
{Our winners ... Princess Leah and Erragon}

So blessed to have such great families that we get to do homeschool life with!

{Some of my dearest friends!!! Three of which are pregnant ... so excited to be having so many new babies in our group. My friend Rebecca is actually past her due date - hoping her new baby arrives soon!}

{Ava Mae and her best friend, Maddie Bell, are Rockettes this year!}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Field Trip {Burt's Pumpkin Farm}

Our field trip for October was to Burt's Pumpkin Farm ... it is located in the North Georgia Mountains and is a working pumpkin farm {not a farm where pumpkins are brought into and sold like another farm we have frequented each fall}. So worth the 1 1/2 drive ... it was so scenic and the leaves were just beautiful!
Three days ago the weather was warm ... not so much today. When we arrived at the farm temps were floating below the 40 degree mark. Thankfully, we were able to duck inside one of the buildings and get some warm popcorn while we waited for our field trip to start.
The kids enjoyed the hayride and picking out pumpkins. We brought home four sugar pumpkins, a grey pumpkin and a bright orange pumpkin.

{Above: Lexi posing with one of her good friends - JK}

{Below: kids posing with some of the gorgeous pumpkins ... Ava Mae had on an adorable Halloween outfit - unfortunately, she was too cold to remove any of the layers that were covering it.}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Timothy Service Project: Operation Write Home

I love that Timothy requires a service project from each class every semester and I always look forward to having my kids participate or coming up with an idea for the class I am teaching.
This semester I chose Operation Write Home for my Rubberstamping Class. I felt the service project tied in well to what the class was about.

Operation Write Home is a wonderful non-profit organization that sends hand-made cards to military units serving overseas. {There are no card stores in Baghdad.} It allows the service people to choose a card to mail back to the States to their family and friends. Having a brother who served two tours in Iraq I know how appreciated these types of services are.

The deadline for Christmas Cards is October 31st so we decided to go with that type of card. The girls did a great job prepping and helping stamp the cards.

Hoping these cards bless some of our brave troops overseas!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful Fall Day at the Ballpark

I love fall baseball ... especially when the weather cools off and our views around the ballpark look like this on a cool crisp Saturday morning!

Congrats to the Tigers for a great win today and to Devin for pitching an awesome 2 innings!!