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Monday, August 26, 2013

Our Daily Homeschool life!

I love reading about other homeschool families. It's interesting how vastly different each home can be. That's the great thing about homeschooling, each family can work in a way that will cater to their individual children instead of trying to fit their child into the mold of everyone else. I am not anti-public school, we just feel like homeschool is what's best for our child.

My son is in the 11th grade for the most part, that means that in some subjects he might work slower on it or in some cases has been on a different level for a class. Being an only child, he really needs the outside community for social activities. We have always been a part of a homeschool co-op. We've done the huge ones and now we are in a small group with maybe 60 kids. I love the group we are in. We meet once a week and have not only academic classes, but also focus on the social part and allowing the kids to be creative and form lasting friendships.

This year my son is taking classes in a variety of ways. He is taking Chinese through a virtual school here in Florida. I'm thankful because there's no way I could help him with this! (and he'll tell you this too!)  He has Computer Technology which we are using great online videos and activities. Then we have the regular book work classes also.

We are pretty relaxed in our day. I see this as both good and bad. We sometimes get busy with life and forget to do something or put it off and all of a sudden it's bedtime:)  For the most part though it works great for us. I babysit full time so I get up earlier, but my son (being a normal teen) usually gets up by 11am, gets something to eat and starts on his work for the day. Some classes are daily, some are a few times a week.  He works pretty much independently except for certain parts of classes.  He works on getting stuff done throughout the afternoon. He knows there are no video games and limited phone usage until he's done. We started doing this to give him the responsibility of how long school takes him. Some days he's done in less than 2 hrs, some days it will take all afternoon into the evening.

For me, I can't imagine sending him off for 8+ hours a day. I love having him home and seeing first hand what he is learning, what interests him and having the extra time when schools done to hang out, relax, see him dive into a good book, spend time with friends or head to the theme parks.

On a day he got done early, we had a lot of time and we were able to play a great game of Settlers of Catan. He loves strategy games and this one definitely adds thinking into it.

I'd love to hear about your day in the comments!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

      At Christmas time, a little boy wants his Dad to tell him about the Christmas Star. Dad is ready with a wonderful story. He tells his son about Little Star. Little Star is the smallest star and spends his time lonely, and ignored. He wants so much to help and be a part of things. He knows that there is a King about to be born. He follows Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem.
      What he discovers is how alike he feels to Mary and Joseph. They are also ignored,poor, and not taken care of. Little Star is amazed to find them similar to himself. He knows how they feel. He knows that the baby being born is the King.
      Little Star realizes after the child is born, that he came to bring the message that everyone is loved, and nobody should be ignored. When he realizes the King is cold, he burns bright so that he can help keep the King warm. By doing this, he burns himself out. What we find is the story finds itself back in the cozy home of the boy and his Dad. The boy hears the reason the star is shining on top of their tree each year.

      This is a wonderful book! I loved the message and the idea of telling the story from the stars perspective. What an amazing way to demonstrate the reason Jesus came to Earth.
      Mark Elliott also did an great job on the illustrations. The pictures are gorgous. They remind me of a painting. They help bring the reader into the story so they can hear the message underlined in the story.

This is a book that would make a great addition to any family's Christmas library. What a special gift for any child! It is available Sept 1st. Great with Christmas season just around the corner!

Disclosure: I received an ebook copy of the book through being a part of in order to do this review. No other compensation was given and my opinions are always honest and my own.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Awesome UGLee Pen!


I was excited when I found out I would have the opportunity to review the UGLee Pen. A major reason for my interest was the fact that my son hates to write and always complains about how it makes his hands hurt. I was curious to know if an ergonomic pen would really help his coordination enough to make writing less stressful.

When I received the package, I was thrilled to find 3 pens in it! That was a wonderful surprise with the amount of writing we do as a homeschool family.  I immediately gave one of the pens to my son to use while he did his school. His opinion was that he still prefers pencils since he has to make corrections often, but when he does use a pen, the UGLee Pen does have a comfort he enjoys. He did feel like it was so different it was hard to get used to, but that also was a good thing because it showed the fact that it was different from any other pen.

I also took the time to do my writing for the day with the pen. I have to agree. It was a very notable  difference in the feel of writing which was good. I also have issues that make my hand hurt after writing a long time, and this pen helped alleviate the pain where I got more done. The gel type grip not only allows for a snug hold on the pen, but the physical movement of using the pen feels more relaxed.

This is a wonderful pen especially for those with issues which physically make writing a chore.

I have already determined the UGLee Pen will be my "go to" pen from now on. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Canvas Print Giveaway!

Here is a great opportunity to enter to win a FREE 8x10 Canvas Print!

What a wonderful way to capture memories!

 The giveaway runs from Aug 22nd to Sept 5th.
This giveaway is open to those in North America. check out my full review of the product Liven it up with Easy Canvas Prints

Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Liven it up with Easy Canvas Prints!

I was honored with the opportunity to do a review through Easy Canvas Prints. I love to display pictures throughout our home of special places we've been. For the most part, all our artwork comes from my husbands photography.

The picture I chose for my review is one that was taken at our pool when we first moved to Florida. I love this picture and the canvas was amazing at bringing out the colors. The way the canvas wraps the picture around the sides allows the viewer to see the life in the picture.

The canvas is well built and sturdy. It arrived carefully packed in material preventing damage to the canvas.  You can see how it's attached from the picture of the back.
I recommend checking out Easy Canvas Prints for your next canvas. You can help showcase artwork with these beautiful canvases.  Their website is professional quality and instructions for creating your canvases are easy to follow. Time to go create!

Disclosure: I received a free 16x20 canvas print in exchange for this review. My opinions are my own and my reviews are always honest.

Easy Canvas Prints Recommends:
Bumper Sticker Maker
Banner Maker custom shirts
Custom T-Shirts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Walk Through The Dark by Eva Piper

A Walk Through The Dark is a story of faith, trust and learning to rely completely on God.  This book is a companion book to her husband's book titled "90 Minutes in Heaven". If you haven't read that book, I suggest you do. It's also amazing! The two books can be read in any order.

In this book, Eva Piper has learned the hard way how things can change in a matter of minutes. One day she is a teacher, mother and wife going through daily life. The next day, her husband is injured in a horrible car accident and life is turned upside down.  Eva finds herself completely out of control. She finds the only way to survive is to put all her trust in her loving God. Her life already focused, her instincts take over. God speaks to her heart that things will be okay, and she trusts that. What she doesn't realize at the time is how long it will take to get to there and how hard the road will be. She faces situations which in hindsight make sense, but at the time are hard to accept.

Eva has to become the decision maker in what are the hardest times she has dealt with. Through the struggles she learns confidence in handling situations, which allow her to share with others and others to share with her. She finds a part of herself she never realized was there.

I can't imagine someone going through such trying times without the foundation resting on God. Eva Piper is a strong example of what a wife is supposed to be and what she should do. Love unconditionally. I find her to be a great inspiration with a wonderful testimony.

Although everyone struggles with different things, what she teaches us is how our faith deepens when we only have our faith. At times when we have no idea what to do, God shows us.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. I guarantee you will not read this and come out unchanged.

Disclosure: I received a free print copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review. My reviews are my own opinion and may differ from others.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

ZooGue IPhone 5 Social Pro Case

Great News for IPhone 5 owners! A protective case which allows for comfort along with protection.  These cases are a cross between hard and soft cases meaning it allows for a soft and comfortable feel to it, complete with side grips, without compromising the needed safety coverage.

The case fits the phone snugly and is easy to take on and off. It's slim and sleek nature will not get stuck in your pocket. Unlike some of the hard and larger size cases, this case is just what you need!

The ZooGue Cases provide access to all ports and volume buttons, and comes in a variety of colors. 

I was thrilled to  have the chance to try out and review these cases. They are exactly as claimed. They are a hit in our family. The are very easy to use. I was given the awesome opportunity to receive 3 cases to check out. We got the Black, Red and Pink. My son quickly staked claim to the black one. The picture above shows the phone with the red cover. It was the easiest to show the look of it. It covers the back of the phone only. I kind of wish there was some front protection also, but I am very happy with them. 
Here's a look at the back side. As you can see, my son gives it a thumbs up! 
You can find the phones at I highly recommend these cases for any IPhone 5 fans out there! Great Product!

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Mom Moments"

So this past week has been a week of "mom moments". I'm getting ready to start my son homeschooling for 11th grade. As much as I love how independent he is becoming and how he works on most of his school on his own, It really hits me this year how quickly it has gone. We no longer spend each day learning through games, and sitting on the couch together. Now he is in classes that fit more his interests and ones he needs my input less...which for some of them is great because I couldn't help much. For example, he is taking Chinese 1 this year through an online school. He's been working on it for 6 weeks. I can't help him at all on this! Thankfully he has a great teacher who will break stuff down and help him when needed. It's fun for me to watch him learn on his own and see the satisfaction of knowing what he has accomplished.

So after thinking on this, we spend Fri and Sat celebrating with a friend who graduated this past year and is now heading to college. Wow..this was a huge wake up call for me. It's a little scary to start seeing his friends leave home knowing it could happen with us in a couple years. I don't know what my son will do about college, work or wherever he is called to, but I know that he can't stay home forever:)
As much as I would love that.

I think as a homeschool mom it's even harder to let our kids grow up. They are with us 24 hrs a day, so we aren't as used to them being gone every day. I am thankful to have this time and to have the foundation for a lifelong friendship when my son grows up.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hot New Coupons today!

Wanted to share some amazing deals with you!  Great deals+Great products...can't go wrong! 

Back-to-school Supplies - For Lunches
Storage + Baking + Protection
Beauty-Care Products
Vitamins + Wellness
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through these links I will receive a small commission which I use to help support this site.

Philosophy Adventure Homeschool Curriculum and Mega Giveaway!

You may remember that back in May I participated in a group review and giveaway for Philosophy Adventure. This is a wonderful philosophy course for homeschoolers which helps students learn the truths and how to stand up for them.

Through this curriculum you will help your student learn about major philosophers in a wonderful and unique way.  The book is set up to be user friendly. Each philosopher is broken down into sections in clear and easy to follow ways. You will find interesting reading and information in each section, followed by discussion, maps and exercises to help cement the information into your brain.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to learn which Biblical Characters were around in the times of the philosophers? In this well thought out curriculum you will find out!

This program allows for  you to pick and choose into a 1 credit class, or you can gain 1/2 credit for World History, Speech, Critical Thinking, and English.

I feel this curriculum is a great way to introduce your student to some vital information in a unique and creative way. I highly recommend this and encourage you to check it out to see if it's a fit for your family.

Now it's your turn for the opportunity to win some great prizes! What a great way to start a new school year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of the Philosophy Adventure Curriculum in exchange for my participation of the reviews and giveaways. My reviews are always honest and my own opinion.

Neocell Beauty Bursts Giveaway!

Great tasting soft chews that help soften your skin and work to give you the beautiful skin you desire! Thankful that something that's great for you is enjoyable to take!

March-May2013 753 NeoCell Beauty Bursts: Gourmet Collagen Soft Chews are available in both the super fruit punch flavor and the fresh mint chocolate flavor. The NeoCell Beauty Bursts include a Skin Rebuilder (Collagen Type 1 &3), a Skin Hydrator (Hyaluronic Acid) and a Collagen Enhancer (Vitamin C). There are 60 soft chews in each package and the directions recommend taking 2 to 4 chews daily. The NeoCell company shares about the product's highlights on the packaging stating what's included: Collagen Type 1 &3 for firm, smooth skin & strong hair and nails; Hyluronic Acid for skin hydration and renewal; and an all natural formula bursting with delicious flavor. Vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen in the skin. Together these three nutrients work together to build beautiful skin from the inside out! Isn't that amazing?! It's awesome that something so tasty can be so good for you! March-May2013 752 I encourage you to follow NeoCell on their social media channels and be on top of the latest products, awards they've earned and possible coupon offers or giveaways! Facebook Twitter YouTube


Sponsored by: NeoCell Corporation
Coordinated by: Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou
Prize: One winner will receive a pack of NeoCell Beauty Burst soft chews
Location: Open to USA
Age: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Void where prohibited.
Date: This giveaway starts on Aug 1 at 12:01am and runs until to Aug 8th at 12:01am.
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the mandatory entries. Once completed, the additonal optional entries will be unlocked and you will be able to continue earning additonal entries to increase your chances of winning.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Lost Island of Book Reviews did not receive any compensation for this post except for a link on the giveaway form. Love2EncourageYou and Lost Island of Book Reviews are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.