Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Do you ever feel LOST?

Do you ever just feel LOST when it comes your child's interests? 

Boy I do! 

In recent years we've gone through Skateboarding, BMX biking, Minecraft, Xbox, Playstation, Painting, and now Photography...

Gone are the days when he would he turned to ME for all the answers. Now I find myself turning to him most days. 

When did these roles change? 
When did Google become my new best friend when it comes to just carrying on a conversation with my son?

Well I am choosing to embrace this season in my life. To stretch myself in areas I never thought I would. You'd think with a boy, I might have had an idea about a few of these, but things are so much more technical these days. It's not JUST riding a bike... 

...it's gears and bearings and grips OH MY!

I encourage you to jump right in there with your children. Get some grease on you hands, paint under your fingernails and learn a few terms that you'll NEVER use in conversation with your peers.

Your kids will love you for it and you'll have spent some truly precious time watching them learn about things they are passionate about if even for just a month or two (as is often the case in my home).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Adventures!

In just 4 days it will be an entire YEAR since I last posted here... WOW! This last year of my life has been a whirlwind! So many HUGE changes! Big things are in store for my little family and I'm so excited to bring you along on the journey!

I guess first things first...
I am longer with my publisher and am going out on my own! For the time being you can find my stuff at CurrClick.com and TeachersPayTeachers.com. I will be spending the summer working on product development and plan to have a tons of new stuff ready for the Fall, so keep your eyes peeled! 
These are the links to my stores at both Currclick & TpT:

CurrClick                TpT

Another fun adventure I am taking is my new Etsy store:

I'll be selling many different items from home decor to headbands and more! I will also be taking on clients for wedding and other special events creating one of a kind fabric flower arrangements, bouquets, boutonniere and corsages. 
Check out my store HERE!

I'm so excited to share all of this fun stuff with you, so be sure to check back often!
Be sure to "Like" my Facebook Page, The Owl Hollow to get up-to-date information from both The Wise Owl AND Whimsy Owl Originals! 


Friday, June 7, 2013

REVIEW ~ See The Light: God's Runaway Story & Art Lesson

I had the pleasure recently of reviewing this wonderful art DVD and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! My child is 11 yrs. old and often times wants to skip straight to the drawing but this product was so captivating that it held his attention all of the way through the story telling!

The disc begins with the telling of the story of Jonah and his attempt to flee from God's call to Ninevah. As the narrator engages your ears, the artist on the screen engages your eyes. Each scene is illustrated before hand, but as the story is told, a shot of a live drawing comes in and out between the scenes. Your child gets to watch as the artist draws out one illustration of the story while viewing others so not to get bored with only watching the live shots.

After the story is completed, you move on to the lesson portion of the disc. This particular disc was broken out into three different lessons, each given by different instructors with their own style and technique.

These lessons not only teach step-by-step instructions for how to produce each piece of art, but they also teach the students about the different tools and techniques they are using, all the while reiterating the bible lesson the pieces are illustrating. I loved that each lesson used different styles and supplies so the student gets the opportunity to test out several different skills.

The bonus material is interesting as well. There is a terrific section on Salvation that is told in a manner that the children can understand and relate to.

The only thing I would have like to see would be some better camera angles in a few areas. Some of the shots seemed to be just off from where the child would be able to get a good view of the example.

Overall this was a wonderful product and we will definitely be doing more of them!

The series can be purchased from See The Light as a 5 disc boxed set for only $74.95, or you can purchase each story disc individually for just $14.99 each.

**Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for a fair review through the Gabby Moms Program. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Healing Hearts with Helping Hands by Lorrie Flem

How many times have you wanted to reach out to someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one and just can't decide how, or exactly what to say or even when to approach them? Well, this latest book by Eternal Encouragement's Lorrie Flem, Healing Hearts with Helping Hands, it the perfect answer to all of these questions and more! 

Lorrie will take you through all of the possibilities available to you, while discussing the proper etiquette all along the way. This book will provide you with terrific ideas for serving others, relevant to many different situations, as well as helping you to know just the right words say or not to say.

 Lorrie sheds a new light on many of the "go to" sentiments that everyone seems to say when consoling someone in pain and explains why these may come across as insincere. She also offers suggestions of more appropriate things to say and reminds the reader that the importance isn't always in what they said but that they are there to listen.

This book is full of ideas, recipes, card sentiments and meal planning, that make reaching out less of a chore and more of a blessing for both yourself and the recipient.

Those of you who follow this blog have probably already read the post I wrote about this several weeks ago, but I feel it fits well here and there may be someone new reading today who needs to hear it.

I recently broke my arm and have had a pretty difficult time accepting the limitations it has caused me. My church family has stepped in and cared for myself and my family in ways I could have never imagined. One evening, when speaking with a very special friend about how uncomfortable it was to be on the receiving end of such amazing gifts she sweetly reminded me not to rob other of the blessing of being able to help my family and I. I had never thought of it that way, but it's so true. No matter how awkward we may feel bringing a meal to a family or offering a shoulder to a recently widowed friend, once we leave, though our hearts may be grieving for those we love, they are also full of joy for the service we were able to give in God's name.     

This book has given me a new perspective on doing just that, reaching out to others and serving them in the name of the Lord. It has taught me how to simplify and really nurture the soul of those I love in a time when that's really all they need. 

You can grab this book for your Kindle at Amazon for just $.99 May 1st through the 3rd here. If you don't wanna wait it's still a terrific buy at just $3.99 regular price!

Don't have a Kindle? That's ok, check out how you can still get this and other eBooks right here

Check out Eternal Encouragement Magazine for great advice on being a better wife, mother, homemaker, friend and more, all from a Christian perspective!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Where are your manners?

This is my Braydon! I talk about him often on here because... well, let's face it... my world revolves around him. LOL 
He's handsome,



 and down right silly!

And I am steady finding these random streams of photos in my phone that he took when I wasn't looking! These are just a few, I promise there are TONS!
Well, this post is not a run down of ALL his attributes, today I just wanna talk about one... his manners. Particularly his manners in public. I have always had very high expectations for how he interacts with adults, whether they be people he knows, or perfect strangers. One thing he is ALWAYS doing is holding the door for people. Many times I will get all the way to the car before I realize he is still holding the door open for droves of patrons as they file in an out of an establishment. 

NOTE: This is where I will be climbing onto my soapbox and it will very likely not be pretty, so I will understand if you need to turn away...

First of all let me say my sweet little boy has been raised not to expect anything in return for his kind gestures. He knows that manners are not an option in this house AND that he was created in the image of his Lord. That kindness to strangers is a terrific way to show them God's love. So, this rant is really for my sake more than his!

I watch him there, smiling sweetly as he selflessly stands there holding the door for as long as he's needed, never complaining or groaning at the endless masses of people who move past him as if he's not even there. I watch as these people shuffle by without so much as a thank you. Our world today had become such a selfish place, where people are in too much of a hurry to politely comment to an 11 year old boy who is so excited to be of service.

I watch all of this and I pray for my son. I pray that he doesn't become as jaded to the kindnesses of the world as the people who pass him by with no regard. I pray that he doesn't grow weary of serving others. I pray that his sweet spirit will not be broken by the carelessness of the world around him!

So, as I shake my virtual finger at those of you who forget to encourage our youth, I ask for you to be more aware! Pay more attention to the children around you and tell them when they've done a good job! Pat them on the back and thank them... OFTEN!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Helping Hands at Home Review

Well here it is... my first review of 2013 for Gabby Moms!
 Helping Hands at Home
Helping Hands at Home

This eBook was such a fun read. In typical Lorrie Flem fashion, it was down to earth, to the point and full of her special spirit. Lorrie and I live two completely different lives but her products always have a way of connecting with me right where I am!

This eBook is a terrific "how-to" about getting your kids involved in keeping your kitchen and bathroom clean. Lorrie breaks the approach down into three easy steps.
These steps are clear and concise and relate to just about every family, big or small.
The first step is my favorite as it is all about motivation. As a mom, I often forget that MY attitude sets the mood for the whole family. This eBook offered me a nice reminder about attitude and even ways to implement it and benefit from it.

Not only does this book break out three steps of how to get your children involved, but it also provides detailed descriptions of each cleaning step and how to instruct your child in every area. These instructions are given for both the kitchen an bath!

Lorrie also provides the reader with recipes for homemade cleansers and soaps. This is especially nice for the frugal mom. She even breaks out the price of store bought laundry soap versus the price of homemade to help you better understand your choice.

This product was especially helpful for me, as I have been struggling with a broken arm that recently required surgery. I have needed the help from my son over the last few months, and this book gave me the tools to get him started in a way I could teach and he could understand.

Helping Hands at Home is on sale right now for the Kindle for only $.99 at Amazon, so there's no reason not to go grab it!
I promise you that once you read something Lorrie has written you will become fast friends with all her products!

**Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for a fair review through the Gabby Moms Program.
I hope you enjoy this review and will add my blog to your Google Reader or subscribe to the RSS feed to receive reviews in the coming months.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CurrClick LIVE Open House

If you are a homschool mom, there's no doubt you have stumbled upon CurrClick at one time or another. If you're a homeschool mom like ME, you stumble there several times a month! :) CurrClick offers us moms a great way to grab great curriculum on the cheap! They bring hundreds of publishers together in one place, all for our convenience!
Well, I'd like to invite you to an Open House event for a side of CurrClick you may not have seen before.
CurrClick LIVE!
CurrClick LIVE is a platform that offers online classes to homeschool students of all ages! Click the image at the top of this post to get signed up for the Open House and you will be emailed a list of all presenters and teachers that will be there to provide you all of the information you will need to understand how CurrClick LIVE works, all from the comfort of your own home!
Plus there's a chance for you to win a CurrClick gift card! you can't lose!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Backseat driving my child's education...

These last few months have been pretty crazy in our home. Most days are spent helping mom get things done, or doing them for me, and homeschooling has really not been on the agenda. But much to my surprise, learning has continued and possibly relished even without my scheduled instruction. I have always heard of unschooling, but the views and opinions on the subject are so widespread and diverse that it has been hard to wrap my mind around it. Having life basically throw us into unschooling has forced me to embrace it and acquire my own opinions about it. That being said, I am still understanding, building and shaping how it works for my family and some days are better than others. 
Even at my most relaxed, Braydon has researched, inquired and grown in so many areas. He has learned how to do laundry from start to finish. He has learned how to cook several items on his own, using a gas stove no less. He has researched the muscles, tendons and such in the shoulder to better understand my condition. He has even spent time scouring the internet on several different topics in order to help me in writing new lapbooks. Despite having complete freedom to choose what he watches on TV, more often than not, he chooses to watch educational shows or documentaries. He has spent countless hours teaching himself about hunting, survival techniques and weapons both new and historical.
Granted, after my arm is feeling better we will begin doing experiments and projects again, but I am so impressed with his ability to take his education into his own hands that I am comfortable allowing him to continue choosing what to and what not to learn.

I encourage you, if you feel like something is lacking in your homeschool, to give unschooling a chance. Just take a few months off of form learning, let you kids be kids and sit back and see what happens. Children are always wanting to understand the ins and outs of things, so let them! Let them play and get interested in what they like, then be ready to help them find their answers. After all, can YOU recite all of the presidents in order of their presidency? Is there a time in your life where you needed that information at your fingertips? I believe most of you would say no and in today's world the answers to these questions are just a few clicks away.
The time we are living in offers unlimited resources to our children, wouldn't you rather they learn how to access this information and research what they need to know, instead of pushing them to memorize these facts while stifling those things they are truly interested in?
There may be days were all they want to do is watch TV or play games, but I assure you most days this will not be the case. I would also tell you to USE these days to your advantage. There is something to be learned in everything they do, be it academic or social, there IS something there! This is will also give you a chance to really get to know your child. Invite them to aid you in what YOU do each day, this could spark a love of something they may never have thought about before. I have realized that this broken arm may have put a kink in MY life but it has lit a fire in my child they may very well lead him to a PhD. Give your child the benefit of the doubt and they just may surprise you.

Gabby Moms 2013

I am so excited to have been chosen to be a 
2013 Gabby Mom for 
In depth reviews on some terrific 
products coming very soon! 
Check back often! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Empty Schedule, Full Heart

As I pull into the driveway last night around 8pm, I was reminded of how long it's been since I was out after dark for something other than dinner or a movie.
There was once a time when our nights were filled with sports practices, PTA meetings, grocery runs and things of this nature. Our days were so full of doing life that our evenings had become just overflow of that. We were always running around trying to catch up and never slowing down to enjoy the life we were racing to catch.

The last three years have taught me so much about myself, my son, our family and what really works for us. More on this in my nest post, but for now I'll just say that I have learned alot! The most important thing that I think I have learned is that this is the only family I will ever have and I will only have them for as long as the Lord lets me. Why would I want to spend my time rushing through each day just to get ahead on the next when I could slow down and learn everything there was to know about these gifts that God has given me?

How did we get so caught up in things that bear such little fruit? Well, we just went with the flow, like many of you, we just did what everyone else was doing. Breaking away from that was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Removing myself from circles that didn't agree with the changes I was making, stepping down from positions I held in groups and clubs, putting God back into the center of our family and changing our view of education for our son. Collectively, all of the changes brought so much joy into our life.

Nowadays we spend our evenings chewing our dinner together as a family as apposed to inhaling it on the way out the door. We enjoy weekends working together around the house or running errands instead of rushing to and from sports games. Most importantly, Braydon and I spend our days together, we have lunch with my husband every single day, and he is learning how to live life at a speed where it can be enjoyed.

I'm so grateful that I made these changes when I did, before it was too late. Before Braydon had already learned the patterns of a crazy, worldly lifestyle that he would carry into adulthood.

When Randy and I got married I didn't understand "family". I thought our job was to grow up, leave our homes, have a career and get married. Children would come or they wouldn't, parent would be visited or they wouldn't. Even after Braydon was born it was several years before I realized what a precious gift family truly is.

I regret the time I missed with my mother-in -law, I regret not having more kids for Braydon to have a large loving family, I regret alot of things... but what I DO NOT regret is changing my life so drastically for the sake of family!

Love your family and don't rush through life. The only thing better than today is eternity with our Father, so slow down and be blessed by today.