Saturday, February 10, 2018

Standardized Tests (ACT/SAT)

How does your homeschool plan incorporate college-entrance type tests like the SAT and ACT? When do you start having students take them?

For our children, we start with the PSAT in 10th grade (to kind of get used to taking a standardized test) and also we have them take the SAT in the spring of 10th grade, as a kind of freebie, no prep, no stress (other than having to find their way around the school, figure out how to fill in the answer circles, etc).  We'll see how that works for my second child!

For my first child, it worked great, she scored a nice score on that 10th grade SAT, and then when it came time to take the SAT in 11th grade, there was not as much pressure as she had already received a pretty good score. With more math under her belt she easily scored a little bit higher.  She also took the ACT and loved it, thought it was easier (for her) and scored a really nice score as well. She is taking it again today, trying to up her score by 1 point so that she can qualify for $2000 more a year in scholarship money.

My second will be taking his first SAT this spring, we'll see how this method works for him!

As far as prep goes, we didn't do any SAT or ACT prep with any of them (other than regular homeschooling of course!) and so far so good.

How about you?  I'd love to hear what other homeschoolers do for these you do prep? When do you have your students take them? Other insights? Thanks for sharing!

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Hearts Entwined by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears -- my REVIEW

Hearts Entwined is a collection of "novellas" (aka short-ish story/books --they're not really short stories, but not full books either!) by four different authors.  The book is labelled as "A Historical Romance Novella Collection." Each novella is written by a different author, most of whom I've read their material before.  The "theme," if there is one, is that they have something about thread/knots/string within the pages (at least three of them do, I can't remember if "Bound and Determined" did.

The first story, The Love Knot is about a woman who receives a huge surprise and also is given the opportunity to rekindle a lost romance.

The second, The Tangled Ties That Bind features Maggie, an aspiring doctor, and Connor, an aspiring husband.

The third, Bound and Determined, follows a soldier who is on a strange mission to accompany a retiree, his fleet of camels, and his daughter across Indian territory.

The fourth, Tied and True, is about a woman who wants to marry a man, that man thinks he is beneath her and refuses to marry her, so she takes extreme measures to make him agree with her.

The four novellas make up a regular-sized book. They are not very long, and if you are looking for something short, you might like these.  For my taste, they were a bit short to really develop characters or the story as fully as I might have hoped. I actually found the book quite dull--basically just short romance stories of wooing or being wooed. Not exactly my cup of tea.  Each was different, set in a different era of history, in a different locale, but just not what I like to read. There was a teeny bit of adventure sprinkled throughout, but just pretty much basically quick romances. Maybe that's what you like, and you'll like these stories!  They are "clean" and not filled with objectionable language or material, and that is a good thing.

So basically, not my favorite, I probably wouldn't have finished it had I not committed to review it, but nothing objectionable.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Does the whole family have to get sick?

So often when one member of our family gets sick, the rest will follow shortly. This is pretty frustrating, right??

My husband is recovering from brain surgery and two of my kids are sick with stomach bugs!! :/ of now, one end of the hall is healthy but recovering from surgery, the other end of the hall is fighting the stomach bug. (and the other daughter hasn't come home from work yet...praying that she's healthy!)

Any tips for keeping the germs to one side of our small house? :) (aside from washing washing washing hands and sanitizing everything I can!)

Prayer. That's what it is, I guess. God is sovereign, He is in control, He will get us through this!

Suggestions welcome, though!! :)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Quick breakfast for hospital waiting :)

Tip for the day:  instead of buying something pricey to eat when you're waiting for someone in surgery or some procedure, take a packet of instant oatmeal and a spoon with you! Most of those places offer you free coffee or tea--just get the hot water you'd use for tea and mix your oatmeal in!  Hot and tasty food that'll fill you up and give you some energy (and save you money!)

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Monday, January 29, 2018


You know what's important about trust? Having something/someone to put your trust in! Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds and commands us to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

Friday, January 26, 2018

PSA -- if you're sick, stay home!

Seriously, folks. This is not a "macho" issue, or a "I powered through it!" status opportunity. With the flu and cold season upon us, if you are sick, just stay home! Do not go to church, to school, to work! You do not know how many people you will come into contact with who cannot get sick--maybe they have a medical condition or are taking chemo or something.

This is on my mind because as my husband is awaiting brain surgery (in 3 days!) a co-worker of his came in to work today when he wasn't feeling good, and the rest of his family has a stomach bug. Seriously??? What was he thinking! He ended up going home early, but hopefully he hasn't infected his co-workers, especially my husband who CANNOT (please, Lord!) get sick right now.

Also -- employers, please take this nasty flu into consideration when your employee is not feeling well--really think long and hard before you guilt them into coming in regardless of what virus they're carrying around with them. You may be saving yourself from illness too!

Anyhow, enough for my rant. I'm just frustrated. Thankfully we have a God whose plan will succeed, and hopefully He will keep this illness from our family! :)

Amazing blue feathers!

Bird feathers run such a beautiful spectrum, from brilliant yellows and oranges to deep reds to outstanding blues! This week I was preparing a lesson for my 4-H Club and learned something amazing and new about bird feather colors and want to share with you!

Some bird colors are from pigments, much like our own skin and hair colors. Some are dependent on what they eat (kind of like people...remember when you fed your baby a diet really heavy in carrots and their skin took on that orangey tinge? Still makes me laugh a little!)

But...the BLUES!!! Think of a gorgeous blue colored bird -- bluebird, bluejay, indigo bunting...there are many...

These beautiful blue colors are not created by pigments, but rather by structure!! Think of a prism or something like that which allows white light to be split. Blue feathers are made to appear blue by the actual structure of the feather!

As I was reading, I saw that if you view these "blue" feathers when lighted from the front (as we usually see them) they appear beautiful blue, but if viewed while backlit, they will just have a dull color. Of course I needed to experiment with this...Check this out!!

See this beautiful blue-green feather!
 Here's how it looks when lit with regular light, from the front.

But when I held it up to a window,
so that it was backlit with sunlight, look how dull it is!

Those two pictures are the same feather, the same orientation, looking at it from the same side...the only difference being that the lighting in the first was just regular room lighting, and in the second it was lit from behind!  

I also tried it with a flashlight, with similar results!  
Looks so pretty in regular room light

When lit from behind the blues disappear...

This one shows the difference, same feather, just part is backlit and
part is lit from the front!

Anyhow, I thought that this was pretty cool and would recommend you looking into it further! Here are a couple of good resources for you to read more about it:  and

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