Monday, January 30, 2012

A Minnie Birthday!

Buttercup turned 4 on Thursday!
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 She helped me make these cupcakes for her real birthday! Photobucket
On Sunday we had a party with the extended family!
 Buttercup is in love with Minnie Mouse, so that was the party theme. Photobucket
The Crew!
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 Party favors!
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Cake time!
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekly Wrap up!

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted one of these. We started back to school on the 2nd of January and school has been going reasonably well. Buster just finished unit 20 of Bigger Hearts and we have been having a great time learning about early US history and important historical figures. Sweetpea is in unit 9 of Beyond, and Buttercup is in unit 9 of Little Hands. I decided to put Drawn Into the Heart of Reading on hold for a little while and I just put all the books I want Buster to read before the end of 3rd grade in a bucket and am letting him choose what to read. He has really impressed me by reading 4 books in the last two weeks. Sweetpea is getting better at reading herself and is almost done with the third Christian Liberty press phonics reader. I just finished reading the 21 balloons to Sweetpea this week and she absolutely loved that book! Buster started basketball today and we will get back to swimming next month. Buttercup will be starting swim lessons too. For some reason I have not taken any pictures of school this month, so instead I will show you some pictures of the snow we had and you can see Buttercup's 4 year old pictures here. She will turn 4 on Thursday!
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Buddy didn't like the snow on his boots.
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After this we had to come in for some hot cocoa and watch Martin's I have a Dream Speech!
Buddy loves his new boots from Grandma and Papa!
For more weekly Wrap ups visit

Look who is turning 4!

A sweet little Buttercup!
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We Choose Virtues! TOS Review

We Choose Virtues is a complete Character training curriculum for elementary students. 
"We Choose Virtues was created by Heather McMillan, my wife of 20 years, out of her love for children and her desire to see them reach their personal potential. As a preschool teacher and a children’s pastor, it concerned her how often she came across children whose lack of self control, honesty and perseverance was almost debilitating. How could they succeed in life without the skills that come from good character?" 
The goal of We Choose Virtues is to instill values, Character, and good virtues into children from a young age. This is accomplished through colorful character cards, fun activities, goal charts, and more. We Choose Virtues focuses on 12 main Virtues: Diligence, Helpfulness, Perseverance, Gentleness, Contentment, Attentiveness, Honesty, Kindness, Self Control, Patients, Obedience, and Forgiveness. Each virtue is represented by a colorful cartoon character, and a explanation of what that virtue means. For example on the Diligence card it says, "I am Diligent. I start fast, work hard, and finish strong. I am NOT....slow to get started or lazy, and I don't quit early." They offer a whole host of colorful posters, cards, incentive charts, and teachers helps to guide you in teaching the 12 virtues. You have two choices for the products Faith Based(which includes scripture references), and non faith based(that contains just the character traits).

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketFor the purpose of this review I was sent a set of the Virtue Clue cards featured above as well as a PDF of the other items pictures. The Coloring Book, Teachers Handbook, and Assessment chart. Sweetpea absolutely loves the virtue cards and had a great time picking a new virtue to practice each day. She even got all of the other kids involved and had them pick one as well. The coloring book was also a hit with Sweetpea because she loves to color. The book contains a picture to color for each virtue as well as a few worksheets. The Assessment chart is meant to be used as a way for parents to asses how well each child did at the end of the day with their virtue. As for the Teacher's Handbook I felt like I really could not do much with it because of the limited resources we were given and it seemed that much of it was geared towards a classroom setting. Non the less this is a 56 page PDF that explains how to implement and use their character training products. You will also find a plethora of fun activity suggestions in the Teacher's Handbook. If you want to find out more about We Choose Virtues be sure to visit their website. As far as product pricing goes you can pick up a set of the Virtue Clue Cards for $5.99+SH right now, they are normally $7.95, The Teacher's Handbook PDF is $4.99 or $19.99+SH for a hard copy, and the PDF coloring book is $3.00. They also sell a large selection of other products and complete classroom kits. The other products I received are free downloads always available.

I received The Virtue Clue Cards, and Teacher's Handbook Free of charge from We Choose Virtues in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given.

To find out what other Crew members are saying visit the Homeschool Crew Blog!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Deep the Father's love for us!

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross

My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Stuart Townend

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maestro Classics, Swan Lake! TOS Review

Yet again we had the opportunity to review a CD from Maestro Classics! This time we received The Story of Swan Lake. This 54 minute CD contains; The Story of Swan Lake(a fully narrated version of Tchaikovsky's ballet), Tchaikovsky's Life, Speed Metal Swan(The music modernized), About the Music, "Tchaikovsky Wrote A Great Ballet", Want to have some fun? Prepare to Perform, and "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet" Sing-along. As you listen to the CD you will enjoy all of the music of Swan Lake accompanied by the story, Learn about Tchaikovsky life, and more.Maestro Classics has a whole line of CD's intended for children ages 6-12, and I believe Swan Lake would specifically appeal to girls interested in Ballet. Sweetpea loved it and recognized the songs right away from her ballet DVD's. Buster also enjoyed it because the story does have action as well. His favorite part of the CD though was Speed Metal Swan. Maestro Classics also has available on their website free Homeschool Music Curriculum to accompany all of their CD's.The Story of Swan Lake is a fun way to introduce children to classical music and composers! Photobucket 
"The Story of Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s greatest ballet score, is the tale of a prince who falls in love with a beautiful princess. The princess, however, has been turned into a swan by an evil magician, and only the prince’s love can break the spell. This narrated version of the classic tale for children is sure to delight all who love ballet and enchanting storytelling."
If you would like to here a sample of The Story of Swan Lake or find out more about the CD click Here! It is available from Maestro Classics as a CD with a small book for $16.98, or as a MPS download for $9.98. As a special this month if you buy the CD you get a free download of the Swan Lake Orchestral version. While you are visiting the Maestro Classics Website be sure to check out all of the other great CD's they have for sale. Also check out Maestro Classics on Facebook and Twitter.
The Story of Swan Lake CD was given to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review no other compensation was given.

To read what other Crew members thought visit the Homeschool Crew Blog!

Friday, January 6, 2012



We three kings of Orient are Bearing gifts we traverse afar. Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light.


Born a king on Bethlehem's plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never Over us all to reign.

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light.


Frankincense to offer have I. Incense owns a Deity nigh. Prayer and praising all men raising, Worship Him, God on high.

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light.


Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume Breaths a life of gathering gloom. Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light. 


Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice. Alleluia, alleluia! Sounds through the earth and skies.

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light

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