Friday, November 21, 2014

Skylanders Party

Two years ago my son had a Skylanders themed birthday party. I am just now getting around to posting pictures on my blog. :) I can't believe it's been two years!

This is the food/favor table. There are white chocolate covered pretzel rods (Tree-Rex laser arms), smashed sheep cookies, TNT candy (Boomer), Fireball candy (Hot Head), Pop Rocks (Crusher), and treasure chest favor boxes.

I made the cake with buttercream frosting tinted to match the Skylanders Giants colors. The bottom is covered in grey sugar crystals.

I used a flower cookie cutter to make the shape of the smashed sheep. I then decorated them with royal icing.

Close-up of the food.

Another close-up.

Treasure chest pinata. I think I found it at Hobby Lobby.

Sheep toss game. I drew the chompy and cut out his mouth. I made the bean bags with the heads of the sheep.

This is a game based on the character Wrecking Ball. The kids all got sticky hands and they had to see who could pick up the most pony beads.

Maybe in another two years I'll get around to posting his Minecraft 7th birthday party! :)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Second Grade

Last week was our first official week of school. My little guy is a 2nd grader. I think Homeschooling makes the time feel more appropriate and less like a whirlwind. I don't say "Where does the time go?", because I know where it went. I have the lesson planners to prove it. :)

I am so grateful for all the resources I have found and won for homeschooling. I won $150 to All About Learning, which I used to buy the All About Spelling curriculum 2-4. I won several virtual books and resources including memberships to ShillerMath and AMT. I recently won a Bible Bookcase and I can't wait to receive it. I also won curriculum from Knowledge Quest, two great books from YWAM Publishing, and a prize package from Philosophy Adventure. There were other things, but I can't remember them all. That sounds terrible, but it's not because I'm swimming in prizes. I am just so shocked when I win and then I forget to keep track of everything. I'll update if I remember anything else. I'm also going to try and do reviews for everything as well.

This is our first year of doing our own thing, so to speak. For K-1 we used K12 online school. It was nice to have everything provided, for free, but it wasn't a good fit for us. We felt so rushed and I never felt like DS was able to grasp everything before we had to move on. In contrast, our first week this year  has been such a relief. We move at DS's pace and focus on things he's genuinely interested in. He doesn't beg to not do school. He enjoys it.

Outside of the resources I've won I have amassed a large amount of worksheets and such from online sources. I follow lots of homeschooling blogs and I live on Pinterest. You would be amazed at how many resources you can find online, free! Some of my favorite sites and blogs are:

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teacher's Notebook

Hip Homeschool Moms

Blessed Beyond a Doubt

Free Homeschool Deals

Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies

These are just a couple of the many resources I take advantage of. I have also found good deals from Amazon, local stores, an area Teacher store, and even thrift stores.

Overall I am so excited about this school year. I am praying that God will equip me with the knowledge to teach and instill in my son a desire and capability to learn.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

YWAM Publishing Review

As a part of the first giveaway I won, I received two books from YWAM Publishing. They are from the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. They are biographies of George Muller and Gladys Aylward.

They are suggested for ages 10 and up. My DS is a little too young for them, so I decided to read them myself.

They were both fantastic. I didn't know anything about Gladys Aylward and a little about George Muller. After reading these two books I feel like I have a good knowledge of them both. The books are well written and kept my attention throughout. I honestly could have read another book full on each of them.

I am definitely going to buy more books from YWAM Publishing. I can't wait until my DS can enjoy them with me!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I won again!

I was absolutely shocked to open an email today notifying me that I had won another homeschool giveaway! God must be trying to tell me to keep going down this path because I never win anything....and especially not twice!! :D

This time the giveaway was from Jodi Mckenna. The giveaway was for an All About Learning $100 gift card! The first giveaway I won had a $50 gift card to All About Learning, so that gave me $150 to use. I could have cried!

I used the gift cards to buy All About Spelling levels 2-4 and the interactive kit. My DS is a great reader and speller so I skipped level 1. Now we are set for the next couple years on spelling curriculum. I went from being totally stressed out about where to even start on our homeschooling journey to having one curriculum totally taken care of! Praise the Lord!!

I can't think Jodi, Jill, and All About Learning enough!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I won!

I can't believe it! I actually won something. This is a rare occurrence, so I wanted to share it. A few days ago I received an email from Jill Craft of Blessed Beyond a Doubt that I had won a huge homeschool curriculum giveaway. I was a little worried it might be a spammy/advertising thing. It wasn't. :)

I was SO excited. We are looking into doing our own thing for DS in 2nd grade and have nothing right now. This prize couldn't have come at a better time. Now we have a chance to get our hands on actual material without breaking the bank. It's a good opportunity to try out some of these materials too.

I received the e-books from Map Trek/Knowledge Quest today. They look very thorough and have a lot of information. I am excited to go through them. I love e-books for the cost, especially; but I also love the ease of use and that fact that they save a lot of shelf space! :)

I cannot wait for the rest of the materials to arrive. Before this all happened I was really dragging my feet on researching curriculum and dreading getting started. This gave me the boost I needed to begin this new journey!

Thanks to Jill and all the sponsors of this amazing giveaway!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our homeschool journey

Long before we had our son, we discussed schooling options for our future children. From the very beginning my husband and I both agreed that homeschooling would be best for our family. When the time came we decided to start with K12 OHVA. This worked well for Kindergarten. It was a little tough to keep up while trying to focus on things that my DS needed extra help with. I figured it would get better in first grade. Unfortunately it only got worse. We have struggled this year to keep up with all the work and requirements. The worst part is that I feel like we have to rush past things that my DS really needs extra time with. This has led to me looking into building my own curriculum and leaving OHVA. I loved having all the free resources, but in the long run I think my DS will do so much better if we can build a curriculum around him.

The biggest problem I am facing right now is the overwhelming amount of information and resources to filter through. We aren't able to spend hundreds (even thousands!) of dollars on materials, but we want to give our DS the best education we can. Praise the Lord for the dedicated and hardworking homeschool bloggers. I have found so much through them! Of course the challenge is going through it all and putting it to use.

My Pinterest page has exploded with all the homeschooling information!

Some of the best bloggers and sites I have found are:

Free Homeschool Deals

Teachers Pay Teachers (Plenty of free and cheap resources)

CurrClick (Some free resources)

These are only a few of the sites I use. I wouldn't have enough room to list them all. I tend to use these three the most.

I am overwhelmed, but hopeful. I need to start reading, sorting, planning, and most importantly; praying. It is going to be a long summer!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Minecraft Birthday Party

So, this year my soon-to-be 7 year old has requested a Minecraft party. This might be one of the easier parties I've done. Since everything is blocky, it's not too hard to make your own decorations and things. I've found lots of great ideas already on Pinterest.

As I get things done I will post them. Here's hoping he doesn't change his mind before the end of February!