A new Time4Learning Review

I’ve done a review before for Time4learning.com  However this one is betterWinking smile

We returned to T4L a few weeks ago for Alexander and David.  In  an effort to minimize daily stressors with 7 children under 8.  Oh yes, I said 7 children under 8.  Currently our children are:  1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 6, 8.  We have a placement of 3 foster children.  That’s all I can say about them.  Laws won’t let us post any more info. 

First off, I have incorporated the wonderful spelling lists for 1st grade provided right from the parents section in t4l directly into spellingcity.com  Each week I make a list of 10 words from the provided list from t4l (which I printed and put on my fridge for easy reference) and assign Alexander 10 activities to do with spellingcity.com  daily. 

Second, t4l also provides a reading list to coincide with each chapter in their lessons.  I place a request with our local library from the provided t4l list and each week the children read the books during their quiet times and  Dan and I read a book before bed.  I love that T4L provides the lists making our days go very smoothly. 

This time around, I have printed the lesson planner and also posted on the fridge so I know how many of which subjects to give out daily.  It really only took a few minutes to print out and compute how many assignments per subject daily.

Have I mentioned yet how easy T4l is?

Alexander is retaining all of his daily assignments and we are able to discuss at the dinner table what he has learning throughout his lessons.  It takes him a few short hours to complete his work in the morning.

To simplify things even more; I’ve ordered both boys Barnes and Noble’s Nook  Color.  The Nook also has a “read to me” feature that we can get library books downloaded to and they can enjoy some school books that way as well.  With 7 young children-I work to give each child one on one attention and they are also learning to work independently.

I grab a Bible verse from Heart of Dakota’s lessons plans and Alexander does his handwriting that way-we also grab Bible lessons from HOD as well.  Time4Learning doesn’t give their 1st graders history/social studies assignments.  We are reading through HOD’s history books this year.   I’m excited to see how T4L does history.

Each  day I check Alexander’s work.  Anything that has  a score of 89% or less must be re-done.  I’m able to view his grades and see which assignment number I need to re-assign to him.  I did send an email to Time4learning.com today asking a few questions.  I hope to update with their answers shortly.

#1 Time4Learning has a section where you can “assign” your students their work.  I know I have asked in the past about this feature-I believe it has something to do with another company.  I would LOVE to see T4L subscribers have access to this feature-it would be incredibly handy.  The second question was, there are some days that I simply don’t check his work-if I don’t check his work that day-I’m unable to make the reports section backdate.   Rendering me unable to have him review past work needing improvement.  I’m hoping I’m doing something wrong-I’ll be sure to update that response as well. 

I did this review on my own.  The first time I did a review (albeit a poor one) I was paid $25 from T4L.  This time, I wanted to give a more detailed review and express how simple it is even when you have a house full of young children.

We are paying $34.95 a month to have two children use Time4Learning.com  when you add up the curriculum you would purchase elsewhere, this is an economical way to go!  Not to mention, you do not need to have all of the money up front to get started.  I absolutely LOVE time4learning.com.  My children (almost) never whine when it’s time to start school.  Alexander often does more than the required work daily and he and David enjoy playing on the ‘”playground” together when the other kids are napping.

Way to go Time4Learning.com!


Aging Out

I’m just posting a link directly to Adeye Salem’s blog.  She has a plea out for children aging out of the system in desperate desperate need of families. 

Please hop over and check them out.

Please share the link on your own blogs to get their faces out there.  More exposure gets the kids a better chance of having their forever families find them.

Even if you don’t adopt them-please please please pray over them!!

Prayer is God’s love language, it’s so powerful.



A Shoe Review

I haven’t blogged in a long time –and I start again with a shoe review?


First off, I was not paid for this review by any means, I just want to share great running shoes.

if you know me, then you know I’ve been training for a long time.  I’ve lost 40 pounds (almost) and dropped about 4 pants sizes and still going!!  I work out 6 days a week.  In December I did Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 (AMAZING!!) and now I’m back to half marathon training.

Like many runners, I suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.  I ran an awesome 5k on December 3rd and haven’t run again until this past Monday.  I thought if I took the month off (and still trained) but took it easier on my heel it would improve.

That didn’t happen.

I read about a splint in Runner’s World that I may try in the next month or so.  I know it’s available at our local Gingerbread Running Store.

We had a foster girl with us over Christmas (sorry no pics allowed) and she wanted shoes.  So we bought her a pair of Nike’s.  Famous Footwear was having a BOGO half off sale so I got a new pair of running shoes (the soles were falling off my current pair, totally time for a new pair, but I did get them on EBAY for like $11 and I wore them for almost 2 years-not complaining!!)

Here are the shoes:


Mine are Gray and Lime green and I LOVE them!  I have to say, after logging a small 8 miles this week (I’m starting over in my half marathon training) it seems as though my heel pain is actually improving.  They are by far the best shoes I’ve ever worn to run.   They are really soft when my feet strike and I think my stride may actually be getting longer??  I’m not sure about that one, and I’ve noticed with different shoes my stride changes.

I will also say they ran small.  Mine are a size 8.  8!!!  I’ve never ever worn an 8.  I’m normally a 7 or 7.5 so be careful when you buy them. 

That’s all for now…I will be getting caught up over the next week or so (hopefully).  But if you’re interested in what we’ve been up to, head over to Pinterest and see my boards!!


I am copying this post DIRECTLY from Adeye Salem’s blog http://www.nogreaterjoymom.blogspot.com

December 14, 2011


A couple of mornings ago I woke up to an e-mail in my inbox.  "A boy needs help!" I read through the information and my heart broke.  Not really knowing what my role was at that point, I prayed and trusted the Lord that He would send the right family.
I prayed the entire day on Monday for him.  I checked in later that night to see if the many prayers being prayed on his behalf had been answered yet.
No, they hadn’t!
Tuesday morning came and all I could think about was this poor young man.  I started thinking about when I was a teenager, and what a blessed life I had–a warm bed, food in my tummy, the opportunity to go to school, and people who loved me.  I put myself in his position and I felt physically sick.
You see, life as this one young man knows it is about to change.  Drastically!
It was then that I knew that I knew that I needed to come to you, the amazing readers of my blog, with another rescue mission.  I realized that, knowing all I know about him, if I choose not to advocate for him, well, I may just regret it for the rest of my life.  I knew I had to try to help, and I also knew that you guys would be so faithful to rush in and help.
Friends, this time a young man, just fifteen years old, is literally on the brink of an absolute catastrophe!
This is Jonathan.  I don’t know anything of his history, only that he is an orphan in Eastern Europe.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

On December 31, 2011, Jonathan will turn sixteen.  A huge birthday for most teens.  But a dreaded day for this young man. Soon after the day of his sixteenth birthday Jonathan will be given the "gift" of his freedom.  Together with a small bag which contains all of his earthly possessions and about $30 in cash, he will be set free–no longer to be taken care of by a state orphanage.
Sadly, not!
Unfortunately, most of the children like Jonathan who "age out" of the system literally have nowhere to go.  They are left on the streets to fend for themselves. With nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to, many end up in the trafficking industry. The majority never make it past their teen years. It is the sobering reality of most orphans who are forced to leave the only place of safety they know.  The statistics are staggering.  It is one of the many reasons adoption advocates fight so very hard to get children out of orphanages before it is too late. They know.
Here’s the thing…
Jonathan has a matter of DAYS to find a family.  Mere DAYS!
In order for this boy to be rescued from a life that few of us can even begin to imagine, a family needs to step forward in the next few days and commit to him!  I’m told that as long as there is a commitment and the I600 visa is applied for, he will be kept where he is, and the adoption can be completed later.  That’s the good news.
Right now what is needed is a family who has adopted internationally before.  From the contact I have been given, "He needs a family that is married, can travel, and has a homestudy that can be used for immigration approval and is willing to apply for immigration in the next week.  If a family is ready to apply they will work directly with the facilitator who knows him."
One week!  A visa HAS to be applied for in the next week in order to save this boy!
Here’s a little we know about Jonathan:
"Jonathan is apparently a very, very good boy. He has a great sense of humor which has been confirmed by other kids in his class and two children who were recently adopted to U.S. He loves to work on a computer, takes part in virtually all theatrical performances organized at the orphanage, just a great actor, very calm when not on stage, never gets in trouble, loves sports and plays soccer, played basketball and trained in light athletics, studies at good level. Jonathan is respectful to adults and older children. He is obedient and always ready to help. NEEDS A FAMILY to file for immigration ASAP, can adopt later. BEGS translator when he visits if he has found his family yet, desperately wants to be adopted. Can be chatted to on Skype as well as email."
Oh, God in heaven, surely someone can go for this precious young man before it is too late?  Surely he can be rescued in time?  My heart cannot even bear the thought of what the alternative is.   
Many, many people have joined in to spread the search for Jonathan’s family as far and as wide as is possible.  Many are praying and interceding on his behalf.  Will you please join in?  Would you use your blogs and your social networks to share Jonathan’s desperate need for a family?  It is only going to take ONE family to rise up and say yes.  Just one. Surely between all of us we can help one boy to be united with his family…and spared the future he is rapidly heading toward?  I have to believe it.
I believe with all my heart that we serve a God who LOVES to show His miracle-working power through seemingly impossible situations.  He loves to show His power, His glory, and His faithfulness when all the odds are stacked up against us and things seem so dismal.  Of course He can do this! 
Thank you so much for joining us in the search for Jonathan’s family!  I appreciate it more than you will ever know. 
Please, I’m begging you to share his story wherever you possibly can!  It is the only way his family will find their son.
If anyone would like more information about adopting Jonathan, please contact Amy at waitingchildren@gmail.com

Adventures in Advent

Oh wow.  Please have you gotten the ebook I’ve suggested yet?


We have done 2 days so far (third one is tonight)  I know we’re behind but we’ll catch up.

For us it’s about the family time-concentrating on Jesus and the growing excitement of celebrating his birth.  Which always makes me think about Easter.  My most favorite holiday. 

Here are a few pics of our adventures in Advent:


This was day 1 (I think we started on day  3 in the book) where Zecharias became mute.  So we made 4 Zecharias’ . 

The next day Gage says, “Zecharias couldn’t talk because Jesus punched him in the mouth.”

I think Gage needs to hear that story again.  Clearly he was not paying attention.  Seriously, I’m just excited my two year old knows some characters in the Bible, sees his family reading the Bible and sharing the times together.  The Biblical details will all come out with exposure. 


David was waiting to start day 2’s activity-however we still needed to read the story first.


We talked about Gabriel-so we made angels.  I hot glued some hooks to the back and the kids hung them up on the tree.


After we made the angels, we made apple cider floats.  You find them on my Pinterest board. 

New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time again.  A time where people are ready to start fresh, make some changes, and hopefully stick to them.

The majority of people do not stick to their resolutions.  I’m not much of a resolution maker myself.  Not for any other reason except Jesus died  to give us a fresh start every day.  With every new morning.  It’s coincidence I’m working on creating a new habit at the same time as everyone else. 

It’s nothing fancy.  I’m going to work on having all gifts I give in 2012 be handmade.

The challenge?

I’m not crafty.  Like at all.

So yesterday I bought crochet needles and two things of yarn.  I checked out a youtube video on how to start-then it all came back to me.  Like a nightmare-or a dream-I can’t tell. 


If you knew my Mother, you knew she was born with the ability to practically make anything.  She sewed, crocheted, quilted-whatever. 

I did not get that gene. It skipped right over me. 

However, the memories of having my mother try to teach me stuck in my brain somewhere-hidden for more than 20 years. 

So now I’ve asked my husband for a sewing machine for Christmas-and I’m going to learn.

Yesterday I practiced the single stitch crochet over and over again.  I made 4 finger warmers for a baby!


You can see from bottom to top that each time I improved.  I’m starting to figure it out.

Also, a special thanks to Pinterest  for allowing so many creative people share their talents so I can look good. 

I’m also not planning on waiting until the new year-I’ve already started.  Teachers presents, gifts for my friends and family…I’m pretty excited.  I just hope it sticks and it’s not a whim. 

Happy crafting!

Keeping Up

Pinterest. I had NO IDEA what it was up until two weeks or so ago. Now it’s where I get all my ideas.  From foods, to the awesome advent devotional we are doing nightly with the kids after dinner, to crafts and Christmas presents for my friends…it’s amazing.  I also love the “pin it” toolbar added so I can easily pin things to my own board for future reference as I’m out an about in the cyber world.

So, on days (like tonight) when I’m prepping for a specialist appt, and the bedtime chapter in our new book was a bit longer then normal, and I don’t want to upload any pictures from my phone to update my blog—check out what I’ve pinned on Pinterest  and you’ll see what we’ve been  up to.

We are all enjoying not schooling in December and spending the time in absolutely blissful family time.  It was a great idea to start in July to have this month off to focus on the real reason for the season.

BTW, in case you haven’t yet—PLEASE get the $4.99 ebook Truth in the Tinsel  http://truthinthetinsel.com/buy-the-book

it’s so totally worth it.  I’m hoping to grab some more time this week to really dive into it-I know there’s some things I haven’t done yet.

oh and come find me on Pinterest   http://www.pinterest.com/dziagwax6