Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Review of Girls of American History Curriculum

Girls of American History

When I was contacted about writing a review for Girls of American History Curriculum which was chosen as one of the Top Picks of 2015-2016 in the Homeschool Curriculum Guide I was very excited to take a look!

Two of my girls are turning ages nine and seven this fall and I had been thinking about what history I wanted to study with them. I had pretty much settled back on American History since I already owned the entire Sonlight Core D American history package. However, I wanted another way to make it more fun, more hands on, more "girly", although boys needed to enjoy it too, since our youngest son, turning five would be joining in as well.

I was asked to pick any of the units I wanted. I chose to review the first one since that would be the one I would likely start with.
The website, although it is set to be updated, was pretty user friendly. The author of this curriculum, Justine Gamble, has done a great job explaining how the units work based on the fictional book series centered around the popular American Girl collection.
The first unit is titled "Nez Perce-Kaya®" and covers the time period starting with the Native Americans in 1764. The units are broken up into six week studies. Each week covers which book to be read, a craft and field trip to go along with each story.

Justine also offers other great resources to supplement the hands on experience such as History Pockets and the popular Draw Write Now series including which books that include the crafts for each unit.

In addition to these outside resources for purchase Justine also includes fun FREE resources. That was a nice bonus to see lists to FREE resources to supplement each unit study.
A weekly plan and schedule to implement this enrichment history course is also included, which I really loved.

When you purchase a unit study you have special access to even more online ideas! Justine will send you an email with your special code to access TONS more fun stuff to enrich your child's learning! Some of the fun crafts (with links to find the supplies to make them) for this unit are:basket weaving, drawing, make a canoe, make a teepee, necklaces, cave paintings. Field trips suggested were to visit a fish hatchery, create your own Pow Wow, as well as additional video sources.

Justine suggests that this curriculum can be both an enrichment curriculum to go alongside another core curriculum you are studying, or it can be stand alone by adding a few sources to it. It can also be used in a co-op setting with so many fun hands-on ways to learn and expand children's knowledge of American history!
I look forward to updating this post with pictures of our fun!

If you would like to make history more hands on, fun, and grab the attention of both young girls AND boys why not check this out for your family?

Girls of American History Collection
You can learn more here!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Essentially Pregnant!

Yes it's true! We are expecting baby number 8 in December! We are very excited to welcome this new life into our family and I am particularly excited to welcome this baby as my first essential oil baby! 

An essential oil baby? Yes, an essential oil baby! 

But what exactly are essential oils?
Glad you asked!
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts that are naturally found and distilled from different parts of a plant, including leaves, flowers, twigs, bark, peel, and roots. A plant has oil sacks in these various parts which help to protect it from disease--and we can receive the same benefits!!

But wait? You read somewhere on the internet that essential oils are not safe for pregnant women?  I am here to share that CPTG Essential Oils ARE safe for use during pregnancy.

Hop on over to my Essential Oil Blog to learn why I trust and use them while I am pregnant. See what plans I have to use them before and after the delivery too! CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

8 Ways To Jump Start Your Spring!

I don't know about you, but this Winter of 2015 has been a really tough Winter! We have had SO. MUCH. SNOW! It has been SO COLD!
I am ready for Spring!

(This is a photo I snapped of my father's garden LAST Spring 2014)

I thought I would share some of my family's ideas inspired by tips from the new Living magazine on "Getting the Most Out of the Spring Season" on pages 16-17.
Here are your
8 Ways to Jump Start Your Spring!

1. Make A Plan

Grab a pen and start writing down the things you would like to accomplish this Spring. Are you going to tackle a garden this year, or maybe try a new method of planting tomatoes? Write it down and set some goals! Other items on your list might be clean out the garage, or maybe you're going to be adventurous and build a chicken coop like us! Whatever project you have been dreaming of, make a list and develop a plan, or it won't happen.

2. Declutter and Organize

Every home will feel brand new with a bit of clutter removed and better organization. In our family with seven kids this is our biggest issue, clutter and lack of organization, but I'm working on it!
Shoes, muddy boots, Spring jackets mixed in with snow pants (are we really going to need these again next week?!), along with toys and homeschool clutter, ugh! My new motto after having baby number seven became this:

"If you come to my home and it's clean, you are blessed. You are a special guest! If you come to my home and it's messy, you are blessed. You are family!

However, I really do enjoy living in a clean home ALL THE TIME! Our new essential way of living has truly inspired me to tackle this daily chore of cleaning and organizing one small project at a time.

Here are a few of my favorite natural cleaner recipes you can try for yourself at home.

Floor Cleaner
10 drops of Melaleuca essential oil
1/4 cup Castile soap
1/4 cup Baking Soda
Mix in a bucket of water and mop.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner
12 Drops of any citrus essential oil
4 tsp white vinegar
Water to fill a 16-20 oz spray bottle

Read the rest on getting a jump into Spring over at my new blog dedicated to just living naturally,  EVERYTHING ESSENTIAL FOR ME

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Amazing Love by K. Dawn Byrd A Review

When Valentine's day was fast approaching, LOVE was in the air!

 I was looking for a good book about love. 

The title of this book, "Amazing Love", 

first caught my eye because I do believe in God's amazing love

 and it's one of our very favorite worship songs to sing any time of day!

"Amazing Love! How can it be? That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing Love! I know it it's true! Now it's my joy to honor you, in all I do!"

(For your listening pleasure!)

But back to the book!

The cover was a little more intimate than the typical books I read, but the story intrigued me as it is presented as a modern day tale of the Bible's story of Hosea and Gomer.
I remembered bit and pieces about Hosea's story about how God told him to marry a prostitute and so I thought it might be an interesting read to see what a modern day interpretation might look like.
 I was not disappointed!

This book covers so many difficult topics including rape, incest, abortion, prostitution, all things I know nothing of but since I knew it was a Christian book I decided to keep reading.  It was easy to get drawn into the character of Dee, named after the Bible character Delilah, and really feel for her horrible past and her desire for the all American dream to be fulfilled.
This book is definitely for mature readers and may be a bit too edgy for some. Overall, though, it helped me to understand the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer better as the character, Gabe, the local pastor wrestles with his feelings and learns the harsh truths that love is often painful and requires a sacrifice. A far cry from the "Valentine love", I was hoping for, but still a good read, nonetheless!

About the Author:

 K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including, historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"

Twitter: kdawnbyrd
Pintirest: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd
I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Another Round With Mastitis! Ouch!

Let's face it, a breast infection, aka, mastitis, is no picnic on the lake!

This is my seventh baby I have nursed and inevitably I always come down with mastitis at some point with each breastfeeding baby.

Sometimes several times throughout the months we are nursing I will get these infections seemingly out of the blue. They are quite painful and frankly, this is why men do not nurse babies, mastitis HURTS!

But I press on and thankfully I know the early signs of mastitis so I've never had to go on antibiotics to clear them up.

What it is: "Mastitis is a breast inflammation usually caused by infection. It can happen to any woman, although mastitis is most common during the first 6 months of breast-feeding. It can leave a new mother feeling very tired and run-down. Add the illness to the demands of taking care of a newborn, and many women quit breast-feeding altogether."  (WEB MD)

Pain, swelling, redness, tenderness in the breast tissue are all telltale signs of a breast infection for me.

How it happens: "Mastitis most often happens when bacteria enter the breast through the nipple. This can happen when a nursing mother has a cracked or sore nipple. Going for long stretches between nursing or failing to empty the breast completely may also contribute to mastitis. Using different breast-feeding techniques and making sure your baby is latched on properly when nursing will help with emptying the breast and avoiding cracked nipples." (Web MD)

So this morning when I woke up with these symptoms I knew I had better take care of myself today and fight this head on.

I am not a medical professional. I'm just a mom to seven kids whose found a way to manage mastitis at home without wrangling my kids to a doctor's appointment for a seemingly embarrassing issue that can turn quite painful and lead to further complications Oh, my breasts! But for the love of these precious babies I will not quit! Talk to your medical provider if you have serious health concerns. This blog is not meant to diagnose or treat just to share my experience with essential oils!

(Here is baby number 7, Julia Rebecca)

At the first sign of a breast infection, the first thing I always remind myself to do is DRINK WATER and NURSE, NURSE, NURSE, on the very breast that hurts. It hurts like heck, but it's the only way to guarantee the breast is being emptied of the infection. I don't worry though. That little precious germ harboring child who probably gave me the infection to start will not be harmed by nursing from the infected breast. She will still be getting all my amazing healing properties from the breast milk.

A warm shower and rest will often help with the soreness and I've even applied a warm compress I make by simply taking a wet washcloth, warming it in the microwave and placing it in a ziploc bag and applying it to the swollen, tender breast. 

Today, however, I have even more options! Since using essential oils I have a whole host of new natural options to help whatever is ailing me!

Lavender and Invigorating Blend are recommended. I just so happen to have BOTH on hand and I was doing my little happy dance (despite my pain) because I LOVE knowing I actually have an oil on hand WHEN I need it!

Lavender is a very soothing essential oil.

 It helps calm and promote freedom from pain.

Invigorating Blend is a blend of oils that help to soothe the skin and the senses.

 With its powerful blend of Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin,

 Bergamot, Tangerine,Clementine, as well as a hint of Vanilla

 this works to knock out infection and soothe the breast tissue. 

I also placed a few drops of Oregano, Maleleuca, Protective Blend and Frankincense in a gel capsule and took these internally to help my body fight off infection. Again, LOTS of water on top of this and I am feeling a lot better this afternoon!

To learn more about Essential Oils click below!


To read my other blog dedicated to Everything Essential and oils click below!

Everything Essential For Me

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Measles Outbreak? Vaccines? What's A Mom To Do?

I have been vaccinating my kids on schedule for 18 years.
All of seven of my kids are up to date on their shots. In the last few years I have been questioning vaccines though. As a homeschool mom, I am always studying! With such high rates of autism and other neurological disorders how can a parent NOT be concerned about what we are allowing nurses to inject into our precious little babies?
But with the newest outbreak across the country of measles many parents are rethinking their desire to NOT vaccinate.

After signing up as a Wellness Advocate in July of 2014 I am learning so many more natural alternatives exist to help in so many areas of health concerns. First and foremost, our bodies are amazing! God gave us these incredible bodies to help heal from injuries and ward off disease.

 It really amazes me and I actually blew my doctor away at my 6 week post-partum check up after my 7th c-section how quickly my stomach healed from surgery.

So I'm joining this vaccine discussion. I'm researching a TON!
I don't want to subject my healthy children to anything just because the doctor says it is safe. I am completely aware of all the potential toxins put into vaccinations as well. That information is readily available on the internet.
We do not get flu shots as I feel they are unnecessary and don't often work to prevent the flu. I have also begun to space out vaccinations on my babies. It's hard to ignore the reports and side effects of these vaccinations from parents across America though. There are many health concerns that could possibly be from vaccine injury but it's hard to prove.

I'm so thankful I have discovered essential oils and I can help my children both before and after their vaccinations. You may be against vaccinations, or sitting on the fence about them. It's a hard call for a parent to know what the right answer is. My decision has finally come down to this, take it slow, you can always go back and vaccinate, but you can't undo damage done from a vaccination. Eat healthy and use detox protocols to help your children rid their bodies of anything that could harm them.
Here are a few things to look into when considering a detox for your kids or helping them heal from vaccines.

Frankincense Essential Oil prevents infections and repairs DNA damage, and can also soothe pain and inflammation around the injection site.

Helichrysum Essential Oil has anti-catarrhal, (anti-mucous), anti-coagulant properties which make it effective for detoxification of the blood, lymph, and liver.

Lavender on injection site to relieve pain.

Protective Blend starting one month before vaccines to build immune system.

Lemon in water to help protect the brain from neurotoxins.

Digestive Blend to ease "tummy trouble" following vaccines.

Respiratory Blend to open airways following vaccines.

Cilantro Essential Oil to rid the body of heavy metal toxins contained in vaccines.

Another step often overlooked is that even before you vaccinate you might want to also consider reducing your overall family's toxic load by decreasing environmental toxins from conventional household cleaners, synthetic personal care products and processed foods.  

Protective Blend toothpaste: fights harmful microbes in your mouth. Adheres to a strict "none of the bad" philosophy and is safe for children. 

Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate: use for all household cleaning to fight harmful pathogens without destroying the beneficial colonization. A little bit goes a very long way!

Protective Blend Throat Lozenges: These are NOT your average throat lozenges! They are worth every penny! I take these when I feel a tickle in my throat, meaning a cold is coming on. I used these last week while my kids were sick and really felt it act like a powerful karate kick to knock out my cold coming on! 

Protective Blend Foaming Handwash: Better than antibacterial soaps for killing harmful pathogens on your hands without getting rid of the good microbes your body needs to stay healthy.  

If you are ready to help YOUR family on a natural journey to wellness, your purchases today help my family too! Become a wholesale customer to begin purchasing these oils above today! 

This post is linked up over here at:

Rens Redeemed

Hop on over to check out other bloggers sharing their essential oil journey!

A Little Faith Can Move A Mountain

"I've seen dreams that move the mountain,
Hope that doesn't ever end,
Even when the sky is falling.
I've seen miracles just happen,
Silent prayers get answered,
Broken hearts become brand new!
That's what faith can do!"


My oldest daughter, now seven, was picking out this tune on the piano this morning and it hit me again, SHE is my dream come true! I remember after my tubal reversal and suffering a miscarriage hearing this song by Kutless and it brought me so much more hope. I would work hard to raise the three amazing boys God had already blessed me with but I would not give up on my dream to have a daughter. I remember looking out at the White Mountains of New Hampshire as I drove my son to another baseball game.

     I was thinking about how this song tells us our faith can move mountains.

Well, I don't think my faith actually moved THIS mountain but it did overcome fear and doubt. The day God gifted me a precious baby girl I had prayed so hard for was a dream come true for me.

Every baby is a precious miracle and gift from God. Some gifts arrive, however, after a long walk in the desert of the unknown.

What dream has God placed in your heart that you have yet to see fulfilled? I believe if it is your dream and doesn't go against God's will, your dream is God's gift to you and only He will fulfill it when He knows you are ready to receive it! Often we are the ones standing in our own way of receiving the very thing we are longing for! 

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
                                                                                                                                      Matthew 6:33