Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Do you grow marigolds in your garden?  Is it because they repel some garden pests? Besides that, I love the color interspersed with my veggies (and weeds, haha!)  My husband likes them in the garden because they remind him of his Grammy who used to grow them annually--and our friends who have an organic farm use them to dye their wool yarn! 

These are some we picked for her to use to dye yarn with--the huge pile of flowers smelled absolutely gorgeous! :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Psalm 100:2 says, "Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!"

Am I serving the Lord when I do something (helpful to someone else) begrudgingly? 

Interesting question, I think.  This past week I have had many opportunities to help out others in their times of need...and sometimes I haven't had the best of attitudes about it.  I've said to myself, my kids, and my husband, "this is one of those 'Serve the Lord with gladness' times" as I've grimaced and gone forward.

But is that really serving the Lord? It's certainly not "with gladness" ~~ but helping others in their times of need...that's serving the Lord, right? 

I guess I need to work on that "gladness" part and make sure I'm following that whole verse.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

GrammarPlanet --my REVIEW

Do you excel at grammar? How about your children?  Whether your child is homeschooled or traditionally schooled, you may be interested to learn about this new online product from GrammarPlanet!  It's quick (recommended 10-15 minute a day), nicely taught through videos and short summary pages, and the exercises and tests are simple to complete online.


We were fortunate to be in on the beta testing of this engaging grammar program, and I have been impressed with not only the program itself, but also with the responsiveness of the creators.  My children have taken pretty thorough grammar classes through their elementary and middle school years, but I do not want them to lose those skills as they go through their high school years.  I think this program will be a great way for them to keep that learning fresh in their minds, and will supply a review for them which is easy to use daily.  We plan to keep it a daily part of their schooldays this year.

An amazing part of the GrammarPlanet program is that it is FREE!!!  It is supported by advertising, and yes, there will be advertisements on the students' working pages.  If that bothers you or your student, you can opt for the paid subscription, which frankly is very inexpensive.

If you have students younger than mine, or some who are less adept at grammar, you could use this as a learning program--the videos and accompanying explanation sheets and exercises are a good way to learn these elements of grammar as well.

So how does it work?

Each unit begins with an informational sheet for the student to open and print to reference during the lesson.

After they print the page, they read it and then are ready to watch the lesson.
The pages and the video combine to teach the student the information needed for that lesson.  The student follows this by proceeding to the exercises, where they are asked to pick out the different parts of speech in the sentence (the ones which have been taught to that point).

If the student makes errors, those are pointed out, along with the correct answer.  
Something really neat is that the parent, when signed in as the parent/teacher account, can view their students' progress, including the specific exercise answers and what the student got correct and incorrect.  

Parents are also kept informed via email regarding the regularity with which their student logs in to use the program.  If a student makes too many errors on a lesson or test, their account is locked until the parent resets it.  That way the parent has the opportunity to help their student understand a concept (or just remind them to SLOW DOWN and do it right!)

If a student doesn't understand or remember something, the videos and papers are available to them at any time.

Tests...oh yes, I did mention those, right? The tests are similar to the exercises, they just don't have the instant response.  At the end of the test the student receives his or her grade and may review what they got right or wrong (parents can view that as well).  The grades are compiled on a page the parent views.

Each lesson only grades the information that has been given to that point.  A student who has learned the parts of speech elsewhere might get a little frustrated if what they know to be true is not included yet (such as marking a predicate adjective as an adjective and getting it wrong because it hasn't been covered to that point), but hopefully you and they can take that into consideration when viewing results.  

Overall, as using GrammarPlanet as a grammar program as a refresher/reminder course for my high schoolers, I have been very happy with it.  We plan to continue it throughout the schoolyear for my 11th grader and 9th grader.  

One reminder on ads--if your child is annoyed by the ads (which allow them to offer it for free) -- there will soon be a paid membership which will eliminate those ads.  It sounds like it will be very reasonably priced, too.  

If you want to read about what others thought about GrammarPlanet, please click on the link below!

*Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Alright people!  Here is my public service announcement for the day:

Please RSVP!

What do I mean? Well, when you are invited to something, please let the host know as early as possible whether or not you are going to attend.


It is very difficult to plan a large event when you do not know whether there will be many or few people there.

Twice this week I was in charge of events which required an RSVP.  For one of them, only one family out of seven told me they were going to be there (and then six families plus ours showed up!!)

It's just respectful.  Don't feel bad if you have to say no, that will help the host as well.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Science Fair--starting early?

Okay, so sadly I'm editing this post :( Unfortunately the project that she has planned out all summer and has just begun--is not allowed.  I just heard from the ISEF (International Science & Engineering Fair) that the material she was planning to use, cyanobacteria, is classified as a phba--potentially hazardous biological agent -- and in order to use/culture something like that, a student must be doing their research at a research institution, in their protected laboratory.  She wasn't.  We are homeschoolers.  We do not have a research institution at our disposal.

Ahhhhhh :/

What do you homeschoolers do regarding scientific research projects for your high schoolers? Ideas or suggestions

My daughter has decided to do a science fair project on a "summery" topic--meaning that she needs to do the research now!  She got right in there and wrote up a method and has begun doing her research!  Wow!  No procrastinating...hopefully!

How nice it will be in the springtime when she has this project already completed and can pull it out and enter it! 

I'm hoping that her verbal presentation will be just as fresh then, having done the research so far in advance.

Here's hoping that she gets good results!

I'm not going to say what the project is yet--hey, it's competitive!!

How about you?  Have any of your children begun science fair research earlier than last-minute?  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

As the Tide Comes In -- my REVIEW

Are you looking for a good book?  I have a recommendation for you!  As the Tide Comes In is written by Cindy Woodsmall and her daughter-in-law Erin Woodsmall.

In the beginning of this book readers get to know Tara Abbott, a young girl who has had a beyond-difficult life growing up -- and then takes on a huge challenge for the good of others.  The book continues and she experiences fulfillment and unimaginable tragedy.  (I'm trying to not give you too much of the story!)

Following this tragedy, she slips into a kind of altered state, in which reality and a dream world coexist and fight to come out on top.  In this fragile state, Tara meets a group of older women and one of their sons who take an interest in her and help her to navigate this phase of life that she's in.  These women are a quirky bunch and the author helps you to know each of them :) They have good hearts and intentions and exert a bit of their influence on Tara and her future.

I know this sounds very brief, but I really don't want to give you more information about the plot.  It is an amazing story and I want you to be able to experience it for yourself through reading your own copy!

The characters in the book are nicely developed and appealing to the reader.  Even those who are not as "nice" fit nicely into the plot and round out the story.  There is a lot of emotion in this story, and the reader will feel quite a bit of concern for the main character as she struggles and develops. It has amazingly sad parts, tender parts, sweet parts, tragic parts, and so much more! (and a happy ending, yay! Hold onto that hint if it feels like it's getting too heavy or sad!)

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to other readers!

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.”