Ariel, The Call Duck

003This is Ariel.  She is a Call duck.  She also happens to live in our house and share a room with my daughter.  How did this happen you ask?  Why do I allow a duck in my house?

Well, let me start off by telling you all about Ariel’s first couple of days with us.  The person that incubated her egg, called us to let us know that two ducklings had hatched.  We gleefully went over to her house and brought those ducklings home, only four hours old.

However, only one of those little ducklings survived.  She was too small to go outside with our big ducks and chickens, so my daughter decided that she would stay in the house with her.

022We bought her a plastic bin to live in.  My daughter has decorated the whole tub with lots of stickers, which Ariel playfully nibbles at.  Ducks taste everything, much like a baby.  It’s really their only way to learn what something is, if you think about it.

This sassy little quacker may only be slightly bigger than my hand, but she is a stubborn fighter.  She is often seen running through the house, head low, mouth open in a silent hiss, scolding us for whatever we may have done.  She’s a bossy thing.

Ariel is my daughter’s best friend.  Her baby.  She sleeps in that bin next to my daughter’s bed every single night.  When we traveled to Montana last Summer, the duck went with us.  She really didn’t mind the traveling.  Montana she seemed to be okay with, but in Moses Lake, WA, she didn’t like being in the hotel shower.  We stayed there for a couple of nights on the way home.

She even went into a gift shop with us in Montana.  We couldn’t keep her in the car, it was too hot and she quacked like crazy!  So we put her in the little stroller that she is in at the beginning of this post.  I covered her with a baby blanket, and pushed that thing around.  No one ever knew!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little post about Ariel.  I’ll probably share more about her in the future!

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Book Review: The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer

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In this book, you’ll soar in the sky on an adventure on a flying carpet as you learn the history of the Middle Ages.

The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer was the second book in a series of History books that we use for homeschooling.  She includes religious aspects, including Christian religion, which I enjoy to add to my teaching.

Learn about the fall of Rome, the rise of the Muslim empire, the plague and King Henry VIII in the pages of this book.  Mrs. Bauer does a wonderful job of creating a story to keep young ones interested in History.  The book also is interesting and filled with facts that are new to many adults.  As we have read through these books, I have enjoyed our journey.

We look forward to starting book number 3, which we will be getting to in a few weeks.

I can’t wait to see how Mrs. Bauer will bring to life the Early Modern Times.  I’m expecting it to follow suit with the first two books.

For younger children, these books are easy to follow.  My children are a little bit older but we want to finish the series out.  They enjoy listening to History be brought alive through Mrs. Bauer’s words.

hitheredanielleleigh

Very Late Update on Our Farm

cand197qWe are slowly creeping into Spring here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our baby chicks have grown into young adult hens and roosters.  The tulips in the front are exploding through the dirt to reach for the sun.  And we’ve actually seen the sun and not just buckets and buckets of falling rain.

Homeschooling is going along pretty smoothly lately.  We still have our little bumps here and there.  But I can see the progress that have been made and it is very encouraging.

We just finished the History book that we have been reading for a while.  This would be the second book in the series written by Susan Wise Bauer.  The enjoyment that we get out of reading these history books beats any text book, any day!

I have a few videos, well, about 24, lined up on YouTube for the kids to watch before we start reading again.  This is basically to go back through the times that we’ve learned so far.  The kids like the change of pace.  I’m not sure what they will think of these videos though.

The guy seems a little cheesy to me, but hey, kids like cheese, right?!

Anyway, after we are finished with the videos, we’ll start reading The Story of the World book three.  I really can’t see starting a different History program now.  We will finish this out with book four when we’re done with three.

Watch soon for a review on book three.

I have tried to schedule our days a little more.  Mostly because I have so many things to do, that if I don’t follow a schedule and work on certain things at certain times, I’ll just run around like a tazmanian devil and accomplish many areas of nothing.

And of course, it doesn’t work at all on days like today, when I just do not have the motivation to do anything.  The kids wanted to take off President’s Day, like public school students, but I had said no.  This morning, my body was screaming YES!

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Life on the farm goes on though.  The animals don’t stop laying eggs or ahem…depositing waste, just because I am not motivated.  And today was one of those days that work on the farm needed to be done.  I’m very thankful that the sun was able to hang in the blue sky, with very little clouds dancing in front of it.  It made working outside just a little exciting.  But just a little because I was still freezing cold.

I was also able to visit with the girls and roos while I was out today.  Even snapped a photo of one of the babies that we had last Summer.  She turned such a black that she is has glossy green feathers.  Very beautiful.  I named her Raven.  She is almost completely black, except for a little bit of white on her legs, and maybe beak.  And that’s only been the past couple of months, before she was all black.

So while we all anxiously await Spring here, we’re taking the time to enjoy the beauty and crispness of Fall.  Hope you are also enjoying your Winter!

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Book Review: The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr

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When I saw this book on the list of books for me to choose from to review, I knew that I had to have it.  Hoping with all hope that it would be the kind of reference book on Herbs that I have been searching for.

Lucky for me, I could finally stop searching!

This book has brought information together that I have found spread from here to there in the herbal-book-knowledge world.  There is a lot of information, but it’s not altogether.

And the photos in the book?  They are expressive!  I am in love with the photos throughout this book.  There are some lovely presentations of recipes and herbs that almost make me wish that I could frame them and have them hung.

Included is a very thorough list of herbs and quite a bit of information dedicated to each one.  There are lists, recipes, gardening tips and pages that explains the terms that you will find useful to know in the world of herbs.

Two of the particular pages that stuck out at me is Getting to Know the Major Herb Families which breaks down the members of the families.  For example, the onion family is

really a subfamily of the lily or amaryllis family…is known for it’s pungent flavor.  Useful members include chives, garlic, leeks, onion and shallots.

The other page that I found interesting was a list of what gives herbs their flavors.  There are so many, I had no idea!

The only complain that I really have about this book is that the type and text is very small.  This makes it difficult reading for me as the book is too big and heavy for me to hold up with my neck problems, but the print is so small that I have to be close.  Reading at a desk is the best way for me with this book.

Definitely one that I would recommend for those interested in knowing more about herbs.

**Disclaimer:  I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Christmas Gift

Just Because

0144I don’t really have a topic for today’s blog.  I just feel like blogging.

Yesterday’s holiday was a smooth and wonderful day in our household.  We do not host a huge dinner for everyone, although, everyone who would like to come over for dinner is welcome.  Usually the only guest that we do have is my father-in-law.

Hubby is in charge of the turkey.  He is every year.  I like that.  I do not like turkey.  I make myself a ham to eat and this year I even made my own glaze for it.  (Not like it was hard.)

Thankfully both of my children are old enough to help out with all of the responsibilities, and still young enough that they enjoy helping out.  They set the table last night and my daughter had folded up the napkins in a triangle shape to sit on our plates.  My son said the evening prayer.

I am trying to take it easy stress-wise.  Last Wednesday found myself in the ER for seven and a half hours.  I have been having some heart issues.  Skipping beats along with racing and pounding.  I had narrowed it down, myself, to anxiety and panic attacks.  After it started skipping 10 beats a minute, I went in.cand

The ER staff wasn’t worried that my heart was skipping beats.  When they finally put me back in a room, which was 6 hours after I had checking in, they ran tests and took x-rays.  They diagnosed me with Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC), told me to follow up with my dr and head home.

I knew that I wasn’t dying.  But the purpose of me going in to the ER was to get some kind of meds into me before I could get into my dr.  I was tired of feeling my heart skip a beat.

But I wasn’t that fortunate.  I was however, fortunate to get into my dr two days later.  She believes that it is caused by stress and anxiety.  I pretty much know what my stressor is, so she told me to make that happen less often.  She also prescribed me two meds to help.

The really bad part is that I have had to cut back on my caffeine.  The flavor of coffee that I prefer is not made in a decaf.  It’s just awful.  *sigh*

*Taking a sip of my freshly brewed decaf and not feeling as much pleasure and comfort as my regular coffee.*

With that, I am signing off.  For now, I’ve got to go add more French Vanilla creamer to my coffee….

Christmas Angel

Book Review: Watch for the Light by Plough Publishing House

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Before I begin writing my review, I must admit that I have not been able to read the book cover to cover yet.  Although, I am dying to!

This book was received in the mail yesterday.  It was the perfect day to have it arrive because it is daily readings for the Advent and Christmas season.  As God’s wonderful Hand guided this book to my house to appear on the same day that the devotions started, I knew that this was a good sign.

Last night, I read November 24 daily reading.  Written by Christph Friedrich Blumhardt it speaks of what the Advent really is.  Definitely a good reminder to our weary hearts and our busy lives.

Today’s reading was a poem by Sylvia Plath.  While I am not one who likes poetry.  Or even understands it.  I tried my hardest to put the pieces together and came out with my own interpretation of it.  I suppose that is the beauty of poetry and art.  One sees what they see.

I skimmed through the book, without spoiling any of it for myself, and am very pleased.  I am looking forward to spending my Advent season reading these daily devotions to uplift and encourage my spirit while I am trudging through the shopping centers or dreading that family get-together.

If you have the opportunity to get this book and read it, do it!

*Disclaimer I was given this book to review by Plough Publishing House as part of the Handlebar Team in return for my honest review.

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Book Review: The Book of Revelation Made Clear by Tim LaHaye & Timothy E. Parker

There are few people that I have met who truly understand the book of Revelation.  I am one of those who do not understand it all.

I have received a book to review from BookLook Bloggers and am very thankful for it!

Tim LaHaye is an author that I have read several books from.  Mainly from The Left Behind series.  LOVED those books!  He joins up with Timothy E. Parker to teach everyone about the book of Revelation in the Bible.

Each chapter relates to a chapter out of Revelation.  It starts out asking questions with multiple choice answers.  After that each answer is shown with a Bible verse and then explained, and the correct answers are given.

The book also includes tables that help to explain several details of Revelation.  I found them to be easy to understand and helpful to the content.

This book would be great to do as a group study or just to read as devotions in the morning, as I did.  The Book of Revelation Made Clear is a book that will stay on my book shelves for sure!

I recommend this book to all!  If you have any desire to search for the knowledge that the Lord blesses or if you just want to have some questions answered and understand things more clearly, this book is for you!

**Disclaimer:  I got this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Fearless by Eric Blehm

If you would like to read a book that displays perfect and awesome examples of determination, faith and being the best that you can be, you will definitely want to read Fearless by Eric Blehm.
From his integrity to his failures, Adam Brown wanted his story to be told.  All of his story.  Family and friends of Adam tell this tale of fierce loyalty that became a SEAL for the United States.  Adam gave his life for the country that he loved.
As I read this book, I thought about the wonderful legacy that Adam left for his children.  I know that they are proud of their daddy, not only know that he sacrificed his life and died a hero, but also that he was a caring and sympathetic human being.  From helping those less who were bullied to putting shoes on the bare feet of children.
As a Christian, Adam credited God for everything.  He showed examples of the love that Jesus had for others, especially the unfortunate.
I recommend this book to any one who doesn’t mind being influenced to challenge themselves or trust wholly in the Lord.

**Disclaimer:  This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Homeschool 2014

As I sit here and scroll through my Facebook feed, I see a lot of moms worrying and feeling anxiety over their children going to school today.  I ask myself, why do they put themselves through that?  I know, to each their own.  But I still wonder.

My concerns for school this year are finding a math and english book that I can afford to buy for 6th grade.

That’s all I need for this school year.  What an awesome feeling really!  Only a couple of items for the whole year.

My son already has all of his books because he just uses what his sister has already used.  I don’t need to get school clothes because we don’t have a need for those.  And materials?  I believe I have plenty to see us through for a while.

I had decided to delay my school start up in English and Math for October because I was supposed to be working most of September.  Unfortunately things happened that created it near to impossible for me to work.  So, I can now replan my plan.

I had planned for History, Bible and reading already.  Although, we are already behind because I wanted to start 2 weeks ago.  But again, things happened that delayed it.  

Fortunately, it’s my homeschool, so I can do that.  

My planning for now will not require much history because I believe it’s not needed at this moment.  My daughter likes to play school, as most of us do or did as children.  But she has a very strict way to play it, and the same goes for how she plays house.  She likes it to be very realistic.  

She plans out her day and schedule according to how a real public school would be.  She then plans out each class and subject matter, along with giving herself little assignments.  This is the very reason why I have always kept all kinds of books on my homeschool library shelves!  She has learned a lot on her own by reading history books, social studies books and lots others.  

This is homeschooling people!!

Another thing that she likes to do is make a plan and schedule, along with assignments for her brother.  So when he plays with her, (when he can stand the strict schedule for a whole day!) he also learns.  

Daughter has gone online to see what the middle school here has for classes.  She then makes her classes as similar as she can to that school.  She wakes up at 7am, gets ready, pretends to “go to school” and plays that schedule for most of the day, if not all.  It is so weird to me that she can be so strict in her play and imagination, but not in her real life.  

But she does make my job easier this way.  *wink wink

Of course, this kind of play will not last a full year, so I will have to do some work.  

Just knowing that they are learning is all I need to feel accomplished at homeschooling.  I don’t care about grades, how they compare to other children or if they can remember dates and numbers.  They are learning.  And most importantly, doing it on their own.  

Self-guided learning.  What more could a homeschool parent ask for?

favthingsdanielleleigh

Book Review: Get to Know King David by Nancy I. Sanders

_240_360_Book.1268.coverHere is the third book in the series written by Nancy I. Sanders. 

For the other blog posts and reviews I have done on the books in this series, I have mainly focused on content and information included.  This time, I would like to focus on the outside of the book. 

The cover has a very nice feel to it.  It’s that grippy plasticy stuff.  I LOVE the feel of this stuff, whatever it is called.

The graphics on the front and back cover are beautifully illustrated and colored.

These books will be able to stand a little bit of roughness to the covers.  It is thick enough that it won’t rip easily and will be a little bit more resistant to bending.

That seems perfect for young readers! 

I definitely recommend that these books be on any homeschool Christian bookshelves. Even personal home libraries!  Young readers can learn while they are reading a beautiful and easy gripped book. 

I don’t believe that we will get the last book of the series, because my son isn’t interested in reading that one and my daughter is a little too old for them. 

**DISCLAIMER – I got this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

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