Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wordless Wednesday



We had Christmas pictures taken this week.. My friend is an amazing photographer and we wanted to help her business during this pandemic.   I'll post our actual portraits next week, but until then.. hopefully this will give you a little giggle at our expense. 



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Wordless Wednesday



Friday, or the first time since March, the family got to go out and eat dinner in a restaurant.  Sadly, it will be the last time for the year - just as places were getting to open up, our Governor issued a new Stay at Home order closing restaurants and allowing take out only.  But, I think the kids were thrilled to be able to get out of the house for dinner for the first time in 9 months.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

CrossTimber (A Homeschool Crew Review)


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

What is in a name??  When naming our children, we often put a lot of time and effort in finding the perfect name.  Does it sound good with the last name?  Do the initials spell anything bad?  Will other kids that my child goes to school with make fun of her if I name her after Great-Grandmaw Helga?   I know I spent much of the 10 months of pregnancy with each child worrying about the perfect name but I never gave much thought about the meaning of each name.   When it came to my youngest, I opted for Ashleigh because it was a combination of two cities in North Carolina where my husband was from - Asheville and Raleigh. Jordan turned out to be a name that I liked alot from the TV show Crossing Jordan.  I thought they worked well together, and so that was her name. For all I knew, that perfectly sounding Ashleigh Jordan could mean "Child who eats bad sushi".. I just never gave it much thought beyond how it sounded with our last name.

I was given the opportunity to receive an 8x10 Plaque Print from CrossTimber with the meaning of Ashleigh's first and last name and I am happy to report that her name definitely does not mean "Child who eats bad sushi".  In addition to the plaque, we were also given a set of the AmazingName Print Activity Sheets.

CrossTimber  offers a large array of personalized gifts that feature the recipients name meaning as well as the country of origin from where the name derived.  They also include inspirational verse from the Bible that pair well with the meaning of the name.  They offer a number of various gift options: Plaques featuring a single name (in either 5x7 or 8x10 sized options),  Name Plaques featuring up to three names (in the 8x10 option), Coffee Mugs, Music Boxes and animated cartoons featuring the recipients name. They also offer plaques that feature the Names of God.  For this review, I was offered my choice of an unframed 8x10 plaque with my choice of up to three names on it.  There were many different design options I could pick from with options such as faith inspired designs with crosses, beaches and mountains for backgrounds, elegant Celtic style backgrounds featuring Celtic knots and crosses, and pretty butterfly backgrounds in a wide array of colors. 

In the end I opted for the Silverblue Butterfly design option with Ashleigh's first and middle name.  She loves butterflies and that Blue butterfly was just too pretty. I knew she would absolutely love it.  

 Once the design was selected, ordering was easy.  There's a selection of frames you can pick from if you want your plaque to arrive already framed, as well as some add on options such as matching bookmarks that you can pick.   After carefully typing the names I wanted on my plaque (and double checking for spelling to be sure that I didn't fat finger a typo), I was done.  

About two weeks later, I received a large mailing envelope in my post box.  The envelope was well reinforced with a very thick sheet of cardboard inside, so that it maintained rigidity to keep it from being bent or folded while in shipping. Inside was both the name plaque and the AmazingName Activity sheets. 

The plaque itself is printed on high quality glossy paper. My phone sadly does not do it justice.  The colors are bright and vivid, the lettering is crisp and it really turned out pretty.

As you can see, Ashleigh Jordan does not mean "girl who eats bad sushi" but instead her first name, derived from Anglo-Saxon means peaceful, concord, harmony and healing meadow.  Her middle name is Hebrew meaning river flowing down; humble before God, and lifted up with grace. Seeing the meaning of her name, I do think her name is quite fitting for her.  For the most part, she's a peaceful child, but she can be untamed like a river, for sure.

In addition to the plaque, our package also contained the AmazingName activity sheets.  These were super cute and contained a wide array of mazes, word find puzzles, writing practice and coloring sheets that each incorporated her first name into the activity.  

Ashleigh immediately took the more adult style coloring sheets which had a mountain scene as well as some mandala style animals. Unfortunately, as she is still working on them, she refuses to allow me to post her incomplete work.  

We really like the products that we have gotten from CrossTimber, but this time and in the past.  Four years ago we had the opportunity to the 5x7 plaque.  At that time, I decided to also purchase one of the coffee mugs that they offered, as I was going to give the plaque and the mug to my husband as a birthday present.  The plaque has been in our glass cabinet since we received it and the colors of the plaque look just as good as the day we received it.  My husband has used the mug almost daily for his coffee and with the exception to a chip on the back from when he dropped it one time, it has stood up well to daily use and still looks amazing as well. So I know the plaque for Ashleigh will be something that she can keep and enjoy for many years to come.


For more information about CrossTimber and the many options they have for gifts for your loved one, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media sites:



 Members of the Crew were given their choice of either an 8x10 plaque or a combination of Name Bookmarks and NameCards in their design of choice.  Be sure to click the banner below to see what everyone chose and read their reviews today.

Name Cards, Bookcards, Activity Sheets & Plaque Personalised Gifts {CrossTimber Reviews}

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Julie Naturally (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. 


Growing my understanding of the Bible has become a priority in my life lately, especially with the uncertainty of today's world in many different climates.   Lately, I find myself drawn to the words of the Apostle Paul and the letters he wrote. 


 Because of this, I was pretty excited when I was given the opportunity to review two Bible studies, Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle  and Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians   from Julie Naturally, both of which focus on two of the letters written by Paul.

For this review, I have worked through the study over the book of Philippians. This study is a 4 week survey of the entire book of Philippians with daily reading and questions to help understand both what Paul meant as well as how one can apply his words to our lives each day.  Each week the study provides a reading assignment that focuses on approximately one chapter of Philippians, dividing the reading over the course of 6 days.  By the end of the study, the reader will have read the entire book of Philippians.  


The daily lessons take roughly 10-20 minutes in total depending on the reader and how in depth with their answers they get when answering the questions, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule. On the 7th day, the study offers a cute coloring page (for the Philippians page these were various heart pictures to color).  Also included in the study were four weekly Bible verses for memorization.  These were easy to print out and to place in areas where one can see them and review them over the course of the week to help remember them. 

The Book of Romans study follows the same format with a few exceptions.  Rather than 4 weeks, since the book of Romans is significantly longer than Philippians, the study is 8 weeks in length.  In addition, the Romans study also has 8 videos available on the website under the members area that has author Julie Polanco discussing the weekly reading.

How I Used It

Because these were digital PDF files, I found it really easy to print these out, punch holes in them and put them into a 3 ring binder.  The Philippians study was the smaller of the two studies, which was 45 pages in length while the Romans study, being a longer study, was 97 pages to print. I was easily able to print out both studies and put them inside of a 1 inch binder that I use for my current Bible studies, making it easy to keep it neatly together and accessible. I simply placed a black piece of cardstock between the two to keep them separate. 

I found the breakdown of this study to be a good pace, without too much reading each evening.  This was extremely useful as I'm doing another study at the same time as I actually am the Women's Study Leader and spend my Bible time also preparing for each week's study. This study was easy to fit in during my evening time and was not overwhelming with reading as some other Bible studies that I have done in the past. 

Each portion is labeled for the week as well as the day of study.  For six days out of the week, you're given a portion of the bible to read, followed by a few questions that ask you to think about the passage, what it means to you, and what we can learn from it to apply to our lives each day.

On the 7th day, rather than reading, you are given a drawing to color and enjoy.  For the Philippians study, these drawings are hearts of various designs.  The drawings are not really intricate,  unlike some of the more complex adult coloring designs, but they are fun and a good relaxation activity to do while focusing on what you learned through the week. 

The Romans study also contains drawings to color on the 7th day of study each week, however, these contain Bible passages to focus on while coloring. 

I really liked the memory verse memory cards that were included with the study.  The kids are required to memorize a verse every week, so I really liked them seeing that Mom was also working on scripture memorization.  There are four verses for memorization for the Philippians study and eight for the Romans study (one for each week of their respective studies).  None of the verses were especially long or difficult for memorization. 

 I enjoyed printing out the verse and placing it on my fridge (because lets face it, most of a mom's time is spent in front of the fridge) so that I could review it and eventually test myself each time I was in the kitchen.  I made a point of reviewing the verse prior to each time I opened the fridge.

I was only sad that I do not have a color printer as the purple water color background is so pretty.  One thing though, is I had to print a second set of the memory cards because they are printed on the same sheet as Week 1 Day 1's study.  Not a big deal. 

Overall, I found this to be a great study for the book of Philippians.  It focuses on joy:  the joy of giving, the joy of believing, the joy of service, and even the joy of all circumstances, even suffering.  Paul is the perfect teacher to remind us not only of his joy in suffering, but in Christ's suffering for our sins.  I really enjoyed this study and look forward to starting the Romans study as well as watching the accompanying videos the author has provided.

#hsreviews #julienaturally, #juliepolanco, #faithjourneys

To find more information about these Bible studies, as well as other products by Julie Polanco, please visit her website.  You can also find more information on the following social media sites:



 Members of the Crew have been using one or both of these studies during the review period.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.



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