Friday, December 28, 2012

Post in Pictures

I am busy enjoying time with my family and I admit to ignoring the blog slightly. Back to some sense of normalcy next week, I promise! Until then...a few pictures to keep you amused~

Christmas Eve


All it takes is a helicopter to make my man smile!
My sweet girl, who keeps my blog in order, turned 15 this month as well!

Things to come in January-
Fun Fridays- Favorite "Read Alouds" for families
A book Giveaway
Guest post by my oldest
And a No-Spend January challenge!

Monday, December 24, 2012

From our home to yours...

Merry Christmas!

yes, when there are six of you, perfection is not the goal!  ;)

See you back on Friday!  Until then, may you enjoy this season of joy and hope with the people that mean the most to you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Tree, A Homecoming and other random stuff...

Well, I should start with the homecoming...

Can you find her under the pile of boys?

She's back!  Woo hoo!  Can I just say it is so nice to have all my little chicks under one roof.  College may be good, but having everyone home is even better.  ;)

And then there is the last tree which I refused to put up until she got home.  All decorated and NOW the season can begin.

Not safe, I know, but someone was holding onto him!

We have been busy making cookies, sewing, singing, reading, watching Christmas movies and just being together.  Oh, how I love this time of year.  It is a time that forces our family to slow down and remember what is important in life.  Activities and endless busyness may be short term fun, but there is a danger in allowing even the good things in life to crowd out the BEST things.  I encourage you, my friends, to remember that FAMILIES, no matter what that looks like in your lives, are the BEST things!  Take time to enjoy them this special holiday season.  Hold them close and tell them you love them.  We all need to be reminded.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fun Fridays- CD Edition

No giveaway on this one friends, but I do have another audio series I want to share with you...Jonathan Park!

Remember how I said the boys learn history from Odyssey?  Well, this is our science!  OK, not really our science, but close.  My oldest son is a walking encyclopedia these days and any time I ask where he knows something from he was on Jonathan Park.  Or better yet, when I try to teach him some new, cool thing he responds, I already know that!  Yes, you guessed it,  from Jonathan Park!

Here's why we love this is based on Creation Science!  That to me is worth its weight in gold.  It is challenging to find science related materials that do not spout evolution out as a fact.   No worries here.  The episodes discuss what the Bible says in reference to all facts discussed, and when arguing against evolution are very straightforward in their explanations.  Pair that with drama and adventure and you have a happy family!

And a bonus- when you visit the Jonathan Park website you can download homeschool study games, get ideas for activities tied to the different episodes, listen to the week's adventure and get a peek behind the scenes.
There are several series now, each containing 4 Cd's.  You can buy them from Vision Forum, as well as other Jonathan Park merchandise. 
While the boys in your family may be particularly enthralled by Jonathan and his escapades, these are worthy of whole family listening and been known to keep us busy on long road trips! Give them a try and let me know what you think.

This post is our personal opinion only and was not written for Vision Forum or any Jonathan Park affiliate.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And the winner is...

Tim-Melissa Williamson!

I have sent you an email!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



Comment at this link for your chance to win The Adventure in Odyssey Christmas Classics Cd set.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

EVERYWHERE you turn!

Yes, I do have a slight obsession with Christmas trees.  Do not tell my husband!  OK, he knows, but please do not mention it or ask how him many we have, as it tends to get him started on a speech about his crazy obsessed wife.
It all started with this...

Actually, it was a lot smaller one (now our Angel tree, but I digress) and stayed up year round with a few Americana ornaments on it.  I loved it.  We lived in Colorado at the time and it just felt homey to me.  Then a few loving friends started to feed my fetish and we HAD to get a bigger tree.  I mean, no one wants a crowded tree, right!  And for the record, I do not leave it up all year anymore, though I may have been tempted once, or twice.

The Nutcrackers started in my dancing days.  My mom gave me a new one each year I danced in the ballet.  I have fed my own fetish since then, thank you very much

Then there is this one..

My cross tree.  It actually started out smaller too (see a trend here?), but because friends love me they have helped me cover a bigger tree.  Not blaming them; just saying!  I love this one too!  Makes me smile every time I pass it.  It reminds us of the Savior for whom this whole season is about!

"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!" Luke 2:11  NEVER FORGET why we have a reason to celebrate!

Then came this one...

Our angel tree.  I just had a lot of angels, friends, and they needed somewhere to go.  So I put them on the once-Americana tree.  See, re-purposing at its best!

Then there is (stay with me), the kid's tree.

 This is where we put all those homemade ornaments- think glitter, sequins and lots of glue and all the Disney and Sesame Street ornaments that have been given to the kids.  They eventually will take some of those with them as they leave the house, but let's not talk about that now, please.

After years of spending a ton of money on fresh trees, my wonderful hubby bought me the tree of my dreams for Christmas a few years ago.  hmmm. Maybe he thought that would stop me from buying more.  Anyway...

Here is a picture of it from last year.  We have not put it up this year yet because I REFUSE to do so until our oldest gets home from college in 4 days!  4 DAYS YA'LL!!!

There may or may not be a small tree on the front porch and there is one in my oldest's room, but that is it!  Really!  For this year!  Next year I am thinking a forest of a few trees together could be really cool.  Don't 'ya think so?

Then there are the nativities.  Well, next year I will show you those.  ;)

And just so you do not think we are all about decorations and stuff let me tell you a few little other tidbits!  We love the Advent season as a time to be quiet, reflect on God's love and to remember that He came to earth as a baby to save us all.  Every year that time looks a little different for us, but this year we have begun a new book called Jotham's Journey.  So far- LOVE IT!  There are a few in the series and I know you can rotate through them for several years.  Even our olders love read-alouds by candlelight at Christmas.

And as far as gifts...
I am an only child, so I grew up with a lot of presents everywhere.  My mom and step father spoiled me, in a good way, and I have wonderful memories of Christmas with them.  That being said, we have FOUR kiddos, not one, and knew we needed to scale back.  So in the past few years we have cut presents down.  We try  to stick with:
 Now granted, sometimes the wear or watch (also read) is sometimes a few things wrapped together, but we want the children to understand that it is not all about the gifts.  The "wish" is often their special gift.  In addition to that concept, we have asked Grandparents to keep things small and contribute money to our vacation fund.  The years that has worked we have given them photobooks with pictures of our fun as a thank you.  Our goal is to create memories, not collect things!

Things!  Oh, don't get me started because that is a whole new series I hope to attack in January!  Jesus did not die on a cross so we could have things!  He did so so we could have life and have it abundantly.

So while I assemble and decorate my many trees, may I never forget that true joy is not in the pretty things that please our eyes, but in the ONE that holds our hearts!  JESUS!

This post is part of a Sharing Christmas blog hop that will go live Saturday the 15th.  Come back and enjoy all the links to wonderful Christmas posts by my CREW buddies!

We are also linked up to The Modest Mom website today!  Check out her 12 Days of Christmas sale and giveaways!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fun Friday, CD Edition and a second giveaway!

We tease a lot in my house that what History my sons know they learned from Adventures in Odyssey.  Sad to say, that may not be far from the truth!  We started collecting this series years ago when the girls were small and they listened to them on- wait for it, TAPES!  Now we have graduated to CDs- lot and lots of them.

Do you have any?  They are about a great little town called Odyssey and a fun place called Whit's End.  Through the magic of imagination, the characters visit all sorts of places in many different time periods.  Lots of fun fiction telling lots of fun real facts!  And all from a Christian point of view.  Though my older son listens to them almost every night before he goes to bed, we also listen to them when we are traveling.  It is one of the few series I know of that is enjoyable to listen to at any age.

In fact the kids have listened to them so much they can name a CD and start reciting it. It has become sort of a game in my house.   It is like living with a group of actors around here.  Cute most of the time, annoying, well sometimes!  ;)  But I can say, there are far worse things to have memorized and I love that they can listen to something that has good clean fun, biblical morals and standards and teach a little history on the side.

This week for you I have Adventures In Odyssey Christmas Classics, a collection of 12 Christmas episodes, to giveaway!  Have fun entering!

Product Details

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

And the Winner is...

Sarah A!
Congratulations Sarah on winning The Brinkman Adventure CDs!  I have sent you an email.
Thanks to all who entered!  Pop in tomorrow for my next giveaway!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back on CREW!

You may have noticed that there are no upcoming reviews listed for January.  They are coming though, and I cannot wait to share with you all the exciting vendors that are scheduled for the new year.


Yes, I have been invited back for another year of The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review Team and I am so honored.  I work with about 200 other people, guys and gals, who have a love for homeschooling and want to pass on news of new and old products alike that have blessed our lives.  Remember though that not all the products reviewed are for homeschoolers exclusively!  Last year things reviewed ranged from classic homeschooling materials to new apps to voice lesson Cd's to videos and games for the whole family.

It is a privilege to get invited back to use these products with my family and let you know what I think!  I thank those of you who have commented in the past on reviews I have written.  I consider it a way to give back to a community of friends that have blessed me greatly for over 13 years.

 If you have any ideas on how I can improve my reviews, or things you would like to see added, I am always open to suggestions.

 Get ready to an exciting 2013 and THANK YOU Kate, Debra and Marcy for having me back!
I am taking it easy this month, so see 'ya back here on Friday for another Holiday Giveaway!  Don't forget last Friday's giveaway closes this Thursday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun Friday- CD Edition & a Giveaway

unitybridgeintothewildDangerous Waters Out Of Control
It is probably not news to most of you that we do not have cable.  Nope, not a lot of TV watching going on in the house.  (Except for an occasional football game for my hubby or Netflix, or family videos.)  BUT, we do listen to A LOT of Cd's!  A lot!

So the first one I want to introduce you to is a rather new-to-us series, but one of our favorites!

Meet the Brinkmans and The Brinkman Adventures!

These Cd's tell real stories of missionaries, with a few dramatized "extras" added in.  As a matter of fact, you can read the true facts about the episodes on the Brinkman Adventures website, something that really helps bring these stories to life for your child, allowing them to see the real people behind many of the names.

From funny happenings to hair raising adventures, I think most any child would love this series.  We have about worn our set out and are anxiously awaiting a second series which is in the works right now. 
You can listen to episode 9 here!

And so for a little Christmas treat, you can enter to win a complete set of The Brinkman Adventures here!  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giveaways coming!

Starting this Friday, our Fun Fridays- CD Edition will be about some of our favorite family CD series with a giveaway the first two Fridays of the month... just in time for a Christmas treat! 

 Hope you can join us!


Dangerous Waters 

Monday, November 26, 2012

How We Spent Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving a few days late!  I pray it was a blessed one.  The posts you have seen the past few days have been scheduled because we have been in Washington DC since Tuesday.  Yep, flew our oldest into Reagan National Airport and then hid away with her in a hotel until we put her back on a plane this morning and then came home ourselves.  We are exhausted, but had a FABULOUS time! 

I had told myself prior that dropping her off at the airport would be so much easier this time since we will see her in three SHORT weeks, but who was I fooling... it was still HARD!  The good news is she is doing well, has not decided while she was gone that she does not like us, and, did I mention, comes home in THREE SHORT WEEKS!

The other good news is you CAN do Thanksgiving in a hotel room!  Really!  I did cook the turkey before we left as well as the rolls and two pies, but everything else I took.  Pretty sure the people at the hotel thought we were moving in to stay!

See this small space...that was all there was, friends!  It was tight but it worked out fine.

Here's our makeshift table for six! With the fabulous husband setting the table.

SCP even said it was one of the best Thanksgiving meals we had ever had. ;)

Just goes to prove it IS about the people you are with, not the food.

 I will bore you with a few more pictures; some of us and some of the sights.  CP and I had not to been to DC in years and the kids have never been there except when passing through so we decided before the military sends us somewhere else next summer we better do the tourist thing while we are semi close.  We had relaxing mornings in the hotel, then visited a few places leisurely.  Fun, but low key.  Even managed to squeeze in a visit with some dear friends one day.  I could not have asked for a more perfect holiday and I am thankful for the time we had together.

Praying yours was blessed as well!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fun Friday- Final Holiday Edition

I hope that this post finds you all happy and recovering from the food induced coma of Thanksgiving! ;)  

But, what I really pray for is that you had time to reflect on all you have to be THANKFUL for and enjoyed time spent with those that mean the most to you!  I will fill you all in on our special Thanksgiving on Monday!

Until then...

Here is one last holiday favorite recipe that is fairly new to us.  It was printed in the Parent Life magazine about two years ago and was listed as a Cooking With Kids activity.  My kids love mints but most recipes are pretty involved, so we loved this simple to make treat.  You will notice ours are white... this is simply because we are trying to eliminate red dye, or any other color for that matter, from our 5 year olds' diet.  They really are pretty colored and one day I am going to stop being lazy and look into natural food colorings.  Ask me next Christmas if I got around to it!

Peppermint Creams

1 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
4-6 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
food coloring (optional)

Sift sugar into a large bowl and gradually add milk and peppermint, mixing with a wooden spoon.  The mixture should come together like a dough.  You may need to use your hands to mix in the end! To knead, work on a clean surface sprinkled with confectioners sugar, until smooth.  Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.  Transfer carefully onto parchment paper and let dry overnight.

Makes 20-30.  (if you do not let your children eat the dough while working, that is!)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter Rest

Winter is a time for God's creation to rest and repair.

Don't you love that?  I found that quote in one of my 5 year old's science books and it struck a chord with me.  Maybe that is why winter is my favorite season.  I do, after all, sometimes need to rest and repair.  How about you?

Do you need rest-
from saying YES to everything and everyone
from the hustle and bustle of your family's endless activities
from the hurtful words of one who forgot to be kind
from an addiction that you cannot seem to conquer
from the lies you allow Satan to speak to your heart
from a hurting world
from a job that seems thankless
from friends who take more than they give
from facebook, twitter and yes, even bloggers

Oh friends, there is so much out there that we sometimes just need rest from.  I pray that in the upcoming month as we celebrate our Savior's birth you will allow winter and the One who created it to be a place of rest for you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Going Courting...

"Going courting, going courting, oh it sets your senses in a whirl..."

Or at the least puts a weird look on all your friends' faces when they hear the word!

Courting.  Ummmm...WHAT?!?!

We have seen the faces, we have seen the glazed over eyes and we have heard the protests.  So, I have come to set the record straight.  Hear me say that again, I have come to set the record straight...not to argue, not to appear better than anyone else, not to change your mind.  The decisions you make are up to you, and are hopefully made with guidance from the Holy Spirit.  But, because we get asked so often, I thought I would take a moment to explain what our family believes. 

Nope, we do not allow our children to date at a young age.  Nor do they want to date. Usually the motive for dating is fun and it is usually temporary. In our opinion, there is nothing casual about finding a spouse, therefore there is not a reason to casually go out with numerous people, especially at a young age.  Giving numerous people their hearts is not what we want for our children.  What we do encourage of our children is to find who they are in Christ and establish their relationship with Him first and foremost.  Then, to get to know people and make friendships that will last a lifetime.  We pray that those friendships are based on like- mindedness, a genuine concern for each other, and a devotion to the Lord.  Our children have found beautiful relationships through the years with both boys and girls using those criteria.

It is our hope and prayer that if the Lord sees fit, one of those relationships with someone of the opposite sex will begin to develop into more than a casual friendship.  At that time, after prayer and consideration of both our children and the other family involved, we will allow our child to enter into a "courtship".

Does that equate to just sitting on the front porch or in the front parlor?

Of course not.

But instead, "seriously and prayerfully considering whether or not you are called to the sacrament of marriage." Dennis Gundersen

See, for us that is the bottom line- are you meant for each other?  Is this the one that God has meant for me? Are you ready to serve the Lord together?  Are you ready to serve each other?  Are you ready, emotionally and financially, to become a family unit?  And yes, for the romantics out there, do you make each other happy?

But we are trying to teach our children that while physical attraction is indeed important and created by God, there are equally important factors to consider.  Things that hold a marriage together when the star lust wears off.  Are they taking the time to "discuss things that will help you decide whether or not you are compatible in areas like finance, household responsibilities, childbearing, child rearing...everything." Gundersen  Anyone that tells you those things are not important and worth talking about are feeding you a line!  Relationships based on feelings alone will come and go.  Ones grounded in the Lord will last forever.  Now THAT is romance.

The other thing we encourage with courting is family participation.

No, we do not intend to spend every minute with them...  BUT, we do intend to be a part of the process.  How exactly that looks will obviously be dependent on the unique situation of each child.  Here's what I would say to those that roll their eyes on that point...
I do not intend to  choose any of my children's spouses, but why would I not give my opinion and guidance? You see, I have been doing that for years, on various subjects.  Yes, I like that haircut.  No, that outfit is not acceptable.  Yes, that is a good idea.  No, that was not the best choice.  Why would a good parent all of a sudden say to their child, good luck on that one when considering one of the most important decisions of their lives.  Makes no sense to me.

The other thing that parental involvement does, in my opinion, is to help protect hearts from being hurt.  My husband and I came from a dating background.  We did date each other on and off for many years before getting married,  and YES, our marriage turned out great, by the grace of God.  But that does not mean that there were not a lot of hurting hearts along the way.  We want our children to learn from our heartaches, trust that we have a little more knowledge, and accept our authority and guidance in the process.  We want them to adore ONE person with all of their hearts, not just the piece that is leftover after many failed relationships.

Do we have all the answers?  No! Do we know exactly how this will all flesh out? I wish! We are still figuring it all out and have yet to walk down that specific path. In the meantime...

We pray for our children and we pray for their future spouses.  We are learning along the way and appreciate other families that have decided to navigate the same path.  There is no right way or wrong way to "court".  After all, it is just a man made word.  Our prayer is that we will make it a God honoring journey!

There are MANY resources for families concerning Biblical Courtship.  I encourage you to explore as many as you can to find what is right for your family.  If you find one that tells you EXACTLY what to do and how to do, put it down and find another resource!  Follow God, not man.  He will provide the way!

Remember, it is not what you call it that's important, it's what you do and why that's important.

Resources for you to consider-
Courtship-Does it Really Work by Mark Fox (CD)
Courtship or Dating - So What's the Difference? by Dennis Gundersen (See my review here)
Before you Meet Prince Charming- Sarah Mally

Song credit-
Going Courting- from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

This post is linked up with Caroline at The Modest Mom!  Visit her site, you'll love it!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun Friday- Holiday Edition

What would the holidays be without cookies?  Here are two of our favorite.  Would love to tell you where they came from, but I have used them for probably out of a magazine from ages past.  Both are quite simple but still yummy!

Vanilla Thumbprints
makes 3 1/2 dozen

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup apricot or raspberry jam

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl with an electric mixer. Cream using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated (dough will be soft)
3. Roll 2 teaspoons of dough between your hands into a 1-inch ball. Repeat spacing 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. With a floured  thumb, make an indentation in the center of each ball of dough. (I use the end of a melon ball scooper!)  Fill each indentation with 1/2 raspberry or apricot jam
4. Bake at 350 about 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown around bottoms. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Peppermint Cookies
makes 3 dozen

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 crushed peppermint candy canes or mints. divided

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Beat shortening, brown sugar, sugar, milk, vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture at low speed just until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup crushed candy. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately sprinkle each cookie with about 1/4 teaspoon crushed candy. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to rack to cool completely.


 photo 9c2d3d39-9e5d-4351-b060-d6251ee13eaa_zpseda17cd5.jpg

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CREW Review- Vocal Coach Singer

Can you sing?  Nope?  Me neither.  I have always wanted to and I sound pretty good in my head, but the reality is that somehow that talent skipped me.  My girls, luckily, are a different matter. My middle daughter really loves musical theatre, so when the opportunity came up to review Vocal Coach Singer, she said, SURE!

 VocalCoach_vocalsinger.jpg photo

Meet Chris and Carole Beatty of Vocal Coach. The Beattys have been coaching singers of all experience levels for over 30 year and have developed several teaching programs, to include one we recently had the opportunity to review-  Vocal Coach Singer.  Vocal Coach Singer is a 12 disc singing instruction program designed for ages junior high to adult.

 Here is what you will get:

7 Training CDs:
  • Getting Started
  • Complete Breathing
  • Complete Warm-Up
  • Complete Tone
  • Complete Expanding Your Range
  • Complete Diction
  • Complete Performance

4 Workout CDs:

  • Daily Workout High Voice 1 & 2 for the tenor/soprano range.
  • Daily Workout Medium/Low Voice 1 & 2 for the bass/baritone/alto range.


The first thing you will want to do once receiving this set is listen to the Getting Started Video.  Here you will find 11 short introductions of each section explaining how to use them.  Then you are on your way!  It is that easy!

While the Beattys encourage you to have fun, this program is intended for those who have a desire to improve not only their voices, but their technique as well.  They suggest that you devote at least two sessions as week to the program at 45- 60 minutes a piece.  With the program comes a guide book with many helpful techniques and suggestions to get started.  There are also journal pages to help you keep track of your workouts and progress and an evaluation page to help you analyze the songs you sing and choose the best song for you.

 VocalCoach_Logo.jpg photo
So how did this work for us?  When we received the set, we downloaded it and watched the introductions together.  My daughter and I then listened to the breathing section and practiced together.  Once we got past the giggles because we looked silly we did fine.  After that, she preferred to do it on her own without mom watching.  She is 14, after all.  So 4-5 times a week she would proceed with the next part.  Her biggest complaint on this was she was never quite sure how long to work or where to stop.  (There is just something about a homeschooler that often needs a schedule and this program simply does not have one.)  The Beattys suggest you just work through at your own pace, returning often to the first three sections since they help lay the foundations.   While my daughter did enjoy working through the various exercises, she expressed concern that if she was doing things wrong she would have had no way of knowing.  That being said, I think we would have greatly benefited from a video in which she could have watched the Beattys teaching.  One thing this program did do, that I liked the most, was encourage the student, teach a lot of techniques that we were not familiar with and give her the excitement to continue to practice and learn.
You can order the Vocal Coach Singer 12 CD set for $119.99 or the MP3 version for $99.99.  Chris Beatty is also available for private or online vocal lessons.
To see what fellow CREW members thought of Vocal Coach Singer, as well as the Teaching Kids to Sing program, geared for children ages 5- 6th grade click on the banner below.

Disclaimer- Our family received the downloadable version of Vocal Coach Singer in exchange for our honest review of the product.  Opinions expressed are our own and were not influenced by the company in any way.

Monday, November 12, 2012

CREW Review- Growing Up Wild

WOW!  We have found a new favorite for family night!  And yes, we all want to move to the jungles and be missionaries.  Well, OK, some of us more than others, but I won't name names!

Meet the Wild Family from Growing Up Wild!

That's Hudson, Morgan, Asher, mom and Dad and Kian.
Like us they are an ordinary family that loves the Lord.  Unlike us, He called them into ministry for Him to the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, to spread the Gospel to the Wano people.  The 5 videos, each running about 45 minutes each, are a result of 3 years of hard work by the family themselves to help the viewers better understand the life of a missionary, to better understand the life of the Wano, and to challenge children to "impact the world for God's glory".

Recently our family received Volumes 1 and 4 to review.

 Home Sweet Hut- Get a glimpse of The Wilds' every day life and where they live
Supply Trip- How do the Wilds get their food?
Sun and Water- How these elements of nature affect the Wild family

Amazing World Around Us- Meet many jungle animals
Adventures in Culture- Highlights the culture
Tribal Calling- How the Wild family received their ministry calling

What sets these DVDs apart, aside from their amazing videotography and professional editing, is the fact that each set comes with a second CD that includes an Activity Guide for parents and educators to use to further the discussion and learning. Loaded with ideas for hands on projects, written assignments and field trip ideas, these Activity Guides contain web site links, charts to fill out, things to ponder and above all Scripture to inspire you.  My favorite activity was figuring out how many supplies you would need for three months in the jungle and how much it would cost you.  It really makes you start to think about true needs versus wants!   If Unit Studies are your mode of teaching, these Activity Guides will keep you busy, or you can, like us, watch the videos during family movie night as a time of reflection, learning and entertainment.  The possibilities are endless!

Note- If your family is uncomfortable with native people scantily dressed, you may want to view these DVDs first before sharing with your children.  Also, in Vol. 2, Adventures in Culture, you will see the boys get their noses pierced.  It is not for the faint of heart, but my boys were impressed. 

You can buy each of the Growing Up Wild DVDs for $18.99 a piece, or save 15% and buy all five for $80.99.  For a sneak preview of several of the videos go here and enjoy!  That is all it took to get us hooked.

We enjoyed these immensely and have added the three we don't have to our Christmas list.  I think you will find yourselves watching them a lot!

To see what fellow CREW members had to say about Growing Up Wild, click on the banner below!  Several CREWMATES were able to use the Growing Up Wild videos in their church for mission related projects.  You will enjoy reading about the fun snacks they served and how they brought the videos to life with the children they worked with!

Disclaimer- We received Volumes 1 and 4 of Growing Up Wild in exchange for our honest review of the products.  Opinions expressed are our own and were not influenced by the company in any way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun Friday- Holiday Edition

Happy Fun Friday friends!  So here's the second holiday treat for you.  If you missed the first one, just click here to catch up.  There's just something about trifles that just speak holiday to me, maybe it is the red berries.  Plus, they seem to feed a larger crowd.  Another warning- this is not the dessert to make of you are on a diet!  Just saying!


Holiday Brownie Berry Bowl
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg (4-serving size) Raspberry JELL-O  (we used strawberry)
2 cups ice cubes
1 baked 9-inch square brownie layer, cooled, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups cold milk
2 pkg (4-serving size each) Vanilla Jello pudding
2 cups raspberries (we used strawberries)
1 cup thawed Cool Whip topping

Stir boiling water into dry gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add ice; stir until ice is completely melted and gelatin starts to thicken.
Place brownie pieces into 2-1/2-qt. serving bowl; cover with gelatin. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Pour milk into separate medium bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with whisk 2 min or until well blended. Spoon over ingredients in serving bowl; top with layers of raspberries (or strawberries) and whipped topping. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to serve.
Makes 15 serving, about 2/3 cup each.