The “August Edition” LootPets Giveaway Time

Once again I am so honored to team up with Melissa @ Deliciously Savvy for the LootPets Giveaway.  Being such an animal lover, addict, oh okay, obsessed freak, this is always a great post for me to included in.

So make sure you enter the drawing and GOOD LUCK!!

The “August Edition” LootPets Giveaway (5 Winners $125 TRV) ~ Ends 8/16

lootpetsaugustgiveawaybuttonDeliciously Savvy is hosting another giveaway for LOOTPETS Monthly Subscription Crate! This is a fabulous Geek and Gamer Gear Subscription Box designed to gift your Furry BFF’s with cool gear each month! The box is always valued at $50 + In products that are collectible and unique! This giveaway is for the unknown “August Themed” box and there will be 5 winners! TRV $125! No obligation required….the winner simply receives a LOOTPETS Crate for their Furry BFF! Enter Today and Good Luck!

Read My Review HERE!

Need One Now? Use Code savvypets for a $3 Discount at Checkout Today!

Sponsored By:LOOTPETS (LOOTCRATE)

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted By:

Daily Deals from a Nerd Mom // Lisa ~ Queen Of Random // Heartbeats~ Soul Stains // My Silly Little Gang // Michigan Saving and More // IMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways // Capri’s Coupons // PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies // Amy & Aron’s Real Life Reviews

PLUS a Big Thank You To All Of The Bloggers Helping To Promote This Super Awesome Giveaway!

LootPetsLogoFACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ INSTAGRAM

PAST CRATES THEMES:

janart111

January 2016 ~ INVASION Theme

janpast111

FebCrate111

February 2016 ~ DEAD Theme

FebruaryPast111

march123

March 2016 ~ VERSUS Theme

pastmarch111

quest111

April 2016 ~ QUEST Theme

past-pets-quest-franchises

What will the next LOOTPET Subscription Box from LOOTCRATE be?

5 Lucky Winners Will Each Win a LOOTPET Subscription Box For July! Total $125 RV!

And Now The Giveaway!!!

GiVeaWAY_BannerDay

Giveaway Dates ~ 07/20 9PM EST until 08/16 9AM EST

Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only.

Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 9AM (EST) on 08/16/2016.

Good Luck! Enter Below

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!

By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! Good Luck & Thank You!

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Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” Week #39

wake up

Tweet #wakeupwednesdaylinky     Welcome to the 39th week of Wake Up Wednesday “Linky”  We are so excited to have you all party with us. Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party. Last week we had  406 awesome … Continue reading 

My Love for County Fairs & Marietta County Fair Book Series Giveaway

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This post is sponsored by Authors of the Marietta Fair Series. My opinions are 100% my own. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here. Well it’s that time again for so many country folk like me. What you say? … Continue reading 

Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” Week 37

wake up

Tweet #wakeupwednesdaylinky      Welcome to the 37th week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky”    24 Blogs  –  1 Party &   Giveaway We are so excited to have you all party with us. Thank you so much to all those who participate … Continue reading 

This Momma’s Meandering Mondays Week #62

Welcome one and all to This Momma’s Meandering Mondays #62 and I want to offer a great, big thank you in advance to all of you who link up with us! It has been a great honor and blessing to a a Guest Host this past month with Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings. Thank you Stacey from the bottom of my heart, I have met so many new blogging friends, and I have learned so much that it is beyond amazing how I feel.

 

Week #62 This Momma’s Meandering Mondays

Now…let’s get the party started and come on in and join the fun by linking up your favorite posts! We had an absolutely awesome week last week! Share the fun and make some new friends, find a new yummy treat, or find a wonderful new craft idea to make. This is a great way to grow in your friendships! But before we start this party…Grab a badge!

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Today, I would like to now give a warm Meandering Mondays welcome to our new co-host for the month of September…Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom!

Giveaways4momVictoria

Victoria is the owner of Giveaways 4 Mom. She is a full time work at home mom of three young boys. She started Giveaways 4 Mom to show moms that they could indeed win online giveaways and over the years, it has evolved into so much more. In her free time, she loves taking her boys to events and amusement parks.

This will be the last week for our co-host for the month of August, so be sure to stop by to read the wonderful guest post that she did, just click on the link below…Welcome Miranda from Grace and Gravy!

blog profile pic Miranda

Miranda is the author behind the blog GraceandGravy with a side of life! She is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday! Miranda resides in Arkansas with her sweet husby William that she has been married to for 15 years and a homeschool mama to kiddos Keegan and Lindy. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about blogging, reading, crafting, cooking, planning/decorating, and learning to be a more self-suf​ficient Homesteader.

Here is a wonderful guest post that she contributed to my site a couple of weeks ago, called, “Ten Things I Want My Children to Know About Me“! Such an amazing post from the heart!

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Now stop in and say howdy to my linky party partners in fun…

The wonderful Jessica from The Wondering Brain and Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures.

The Wondering Brain200

Epic Mommy Adventures

Grab a badge and join the party!

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Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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Miranda’s favorite post came from Ten at the Table with the post “Stromboli Step by Step!”
Saying, ” I am such a bread lover and enjoy any type of pizza/sandwich style food. This recipe is so doable especially in a hurry!”
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Natasha’s favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
Saying, “I am a stickler on manners with my son. It is very important to me that he is a mannerable young man – making sure he says Thank You, Yes please, You’re welcome, Bless you, etc. I definitely see that there is a lack of children being polite and mannerable, and growing up that was such an important factor with my grandparents and parents. Therefore, I want to encourage my son to do the same. Thanks for sharing this great post!”
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My favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
What a wonderful post! I see so many children that have long since passed the toddler stage, with absolutely no manners and no respect, and it saddens me greatly for the state of future generations. It makes me feel so wonderful, when my own children at 12, 14, & 21, still use the manners and respect that they have been taught since birth. Thank you so much for sharing!
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Congratulations to all of you amazing and wonderful linkers! Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

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I am looking for October co-hosts for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays? If interested, please drop me a line at ssgannett@gmail.com. I would love to have you along for the ride! You can also check out my sponsor page for more info.

Now let’s get this party started!

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Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

2. Please follow our Host’s

3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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Welcoming you to link up all of your favorite sites for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 62, for more opportunity to Meander around and share the love! So happy Linking everyone!

Blog Link Up:

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Facebook Link Up:

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Twitter Link Up:

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Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” #30

   
  Welcome to the 30th week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
32 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  437 awesome linkups!   
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
DSC_0043
Today I want to share my front porch with you. My accessories have both complimenting and contrasting colors in them. I wanted them to work with my house color (Cabot exterior latex stain in Spruce Blue.) and not clash.

Glass Insulator Lights

Glass Insulator Lights
Today, I thought I would share with you some of the lights what we installed in our new house! 

Carrot Orange Bread

from Wendys Hat

Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze
Created a special treat today that I know you will love.  I’m calling it my Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze.
 
Even though my Peach Cobbler was a failure this week, living in Georgia: I HAVE to can peaches each year. Now, we have a ton of Summer Georgia Peaches for the next few seasons thanks to successful canning. 

Whipped Feta Dip from The Pink Recipe Box

Whipped Feta Dip | www.pinkrecipebox.com

Sometimes I feel like the recipes I share with you guys are too simple and too fast to 
call them recipes. Today is one of those days. 
 

Thrifty Thursday…Glass Mushrooms for the Garden

from Artistic Endeavors Inc 101

A trip to the thrift store with my daughter yielded supplies for a quick garden project.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

from Upstate Ramblings

Slice of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Pizza makes an good family dinner, because it is not only quick to make it is cost effective too.  But always serving cheese pizza is boring, so I like to change it up with some different toppings.  A few weeks ago I made Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, and the family loved it!

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos Recipe

from A Mom’s Take

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
While I grew up eating what I now refer to as the American version of a beef taco, I found as an adult that I much prefer the milder flavor and taste of a traditional shredded beef taco.

DIY Citrus Avocado Face Mask

from Robyn’s View

Citrus Avocado Face Mask
Avocados are rich in moisturizing oils and healthy fats that you skin will adore. When you combine avocados with the skin brightening properties of citrus, you have a face mask that can’t be beat!

DIY: Cucumber Mint Body Scrub + Free Printable Labels

from Living Frugal with Erika

diy-cucumber-mint-body-scrub-3

I know that we all need a little relaxation from time to time, and what better way than with a DIY Scrub? Not only is this perfect for relaxing at home, it also makes a wonderful frugal gift idea! Take an afternoon and create this easy DIY Cucumber Mint Body Scrub

 Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub

from Living Chic

coffeesugarscrub

I have been obsessed with Homemade Body Scrub recipes lately. I decided to whip up a Coffee Sugar scrub recipe of my own this morning. It is so easy and very inexpensive.

 

Funfetti Cake Bites

Funfetti Cake Bites
We love dessert at the Smith House, and though I’m obviously not a professional baker, I still enjoy whipping up some sort of sweet treat to share after dinner.

How-to: sew a soft ball

from Green Apple Colttagesoft toy ball

Another baby boy was born on the very day I posted a picture of a home made soft ball  I had sewn for my nephew. A perfect opportunity to sew another one, don’t you think? This time, I added several loops.


Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

 

from Cooking with K

Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

Have you every heard of yellow squash in a quick bread recipe?  I was first introduced to it last summer  by my daughter.  I love to bake with zucchini in bread, but never had made any with summer yellow squash.

 

The Last Wall in my Kitchen!!

from Debbie Dabble

Finally, I would like to share with you the last wall in my Kitchen……

And wrap up my Series on my Kitchen where I shared One Wall at a Time……

Every weekday I get an email from Short Daily Devotions, this one yesterday really touched my heart and spoke to me. I really want to share it with you today.

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You can enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway



Target, Amazon, Starbucks Giftcards

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

 

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.

 

 

  • Please Link to your family friendly post 

 

 

  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional

 

 

  • Please No adult content blogs

 

 

  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)

 

 

  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

 

 

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

 

Fresh, Fried Okra & Fresh, Fun Photos

okra1redo

 

You might remember a TBT I posted a while back titled “Children of the Okra”.  It was an old post that I re-shared about an awful experience in the Okra Jungle, helping my dad.  I get chills just thinking about that day.  I swore, Yes I swore, I would never eat okra again, but somewhere between then and now the thoughts from that day became less frightening and Fried Okra starting sounding appealing again!

A few weeks ago my dad brought over a few bags of okra that had finally decided to produce.  Well, I certainly couldn’t pass it up so I decided to conquer my fear of okra and fry up some for dinner.  My family was extremely pleased that my fear of okra was gone, because they had been missing my Southern Fried Okra for sometime now!

I got to work right away cutting it up, bagging most for the freezer and saving a bowl for dinner.

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My okra batter is pretty basic.  But it sure is good ole southern amazing!

What you need:

1 cup corn meal

1/2 flour

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup buttermilk

(0r 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp on vinegar, let set for appx 3 mins)

2 eggs

2 cups of cut okra

okra3

What you do:

Get your pan of oil hot and ready.  (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven Skillet)

Slightly whisk your cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers together in bowl.

In a separate bowl mix your milk and eggs together.

Add appx 10 pieces of okra into egg/milk.

Using a metal spoon with holes, scoop up okra and let mixture drain for a second before adding to the dry mixture.

Completely cover in the dry mixture and add to hot oil.

Fry until golden brown and crispy!

Continue until all okra is fried.

You will LOVE this okra!  And to make it extra amazing, dip it in some good ole ranch!  Yummo!

Don’t get much better than this here is the South!

 

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This week it’s all been about Freshness, including Fresh Photos!

Lindy - 1

My daughter Lindy Photo taken by Carosello Fete Photography

 

So to go along with my Fresh, Fried Okra, I wanted to share with you some Fresh, Fun Photos taken by my friend and amazing photographer Erin Wilson.

Erin Pic

Erin, from Carosello Blog is a handmade business owner, wife, mom and word mispronouncer.  She  blogs about her favorite things, cooking, business life, decor, DIY and personal style. She just moved from Oklahoma to Boston-ish and then back down to Arkansas. She has been a big city gal most of her life and now living in a quaint little small town. She just bought a new house and are deep into renovating madness. Erin always love a good cardigan, pink pedicures, liquid eyeliner, hot tea and exploring all things local.

This past week, Erin captured some amazing shoots of my daughter Lindy.

I think I will cry now.

She looks way to grown up in this pictures!

 

Lindy - 21

 

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lindy3

 

lindy4

 

I can’t believe this shots!

My baby isn’t a baby anymore ):

You can also find Erin on Facebook.  Head over and show her some Bloggy Love!

Hope everyone enjoys the Freshness this week!

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Week #29

 

               
Welcome to the 29th week of Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
32 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
 
 
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  422 awesome linkups!   
 
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
 
 
 
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
 
Gourmet S'mores
Another chocolate recipe; no one is more surprised than I am, but when you find a fun recipe it needs to be memorized. It is really easy. Easy is my favorite kind of recipe. Since I can’t eat graham crackers or chocolate (they both contain soy), I felt compelled to write about my workaround. This recipe uses cocoa powder and I substituted gingersnaps for the graham cracker. I think they should be called Gourmet S’mores.
 
 

Tags Galore!

Mixed Media Tags, vintage ephemera, Faber Castell Pitt brush pen
I added some vintage inspired ephemera to each tag with gel medium and highlighted them with either a charcoal pencil or a black Faber Castell Big Brush.
 
 
Doing Good: A Seed Grows in Columbus - An Organic, Urban Garden Feeds a Community's Growth
There is nothing more powerful than a woman on a mission.
 
 
Great resource if you're trying the 3 Day Potty Training Method with your toddler!
I’ve been kind of a skeptic of the “3-day Potty Training” methods everybody posts on Pinterest.  I mean really, who believes that you can undo a lifetime of diaper use in less than a week?  Well, it turns out that toddlers are smart cookies.
 
 

10 Family Dinners That Start with Ground Beef

10 Family Friendly Ground Beef Recipes
If you have a large family or a big group coming over for dinner, you might set right to work cooking up recipes for tacos or making up some hamburger patties. But, what if it’s just you and your small family of 4? What then? You need an action plan and a bunch of family-friendly beef recipes!
 
 
20 Tips for Preparing Your Child to Start School - http://ourlittlehouseinthecountry.com #startingschool #backtoschool
Dealing with the emotions of starting school (kiddies and parents!)
 
 
The other day one of my kids brought a paper snowflake from school.  They learned how to make these at school in one of their art classes.Then I remembered making these as kid myself. We used to make a bunch of these and glue them to a string to make a garland/bunting to decorate the house
 
 
How to Reupholster a Dining Chair Seat + Dumpster Chair Reveal // Budget Girl --- My first try at reupholstering anything. It turned out so much nicer than I imagined! #chair #dining #reupholster #upholstery #decor #furniture
Remember my dumpster chair? I finally finished it! Are you ready? 
 

DIY Ribbon Organizer Tote

This ribbon organizer tote is easy to make, inexpensive and stackable. I contemplated other storage methods that involved affixing the ribbon spools to a stationary rack, (wall-mounted, etc.) but opted for the flexibility of being able to store and use the ribbon in a variety of locations with this system. 
 
 
I love DIY projects as much as
the next gal, but I hardly ever have a few good free hours to devote to getting all the supplies together and completing the project and making a good old mess.  I wish I did but I just don’t.  So when this DIY project popped into my head I knew it was just for me-cute, fun, simple and quick!!  
 
 
Raspberry and Mint Scented Water
We all know the importance of hydrating ourselves, but do you actually do it?  I know I don’t!  Water is so blah tasting, so why not spruce it up by infusing it with fruits and veggies.  I figured I would give it a try and if  nothing else, my kids would enjoy it.  Besides it looks so pretty, doesn’t it–kinda makes you want to drink it.  Here are 10 hydrating infused water recipes that look tasty and easy to do.
 
 
Eggplant Rollitini Pasta & Fruit Punch in a Pinch
Take a break this summer and make it a summer night in with this phenomenal dinner and cocktail combo that we’re sharing with you today.  We all need a new recipe from time to time, and I can tell you that I for one am always up for trying a new girlie drink!
 

If You Can Color in a Coloring Book, You Can Paint

Painting is so much fun. I think you’ll enjoy it too. Tole painting allows you to create really 

beautiful and unique things for your home and makes wonderful gifts for friends and family. So grab your surface, your patterns, your paint and your brushes and lets begin this adventure together!

 
 

 

 

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You can enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway



Target, Amazon, Starbucks Giftcards

 & 

   $50 in Prime Ad Spaces

 
 
 
 

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.


< span style="background-color:white;color:#2c2b2b;font-size:12px;line-height:18px;">Please
 visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

 

    • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.

     

    • Please Link to your family friendly post 

     

     

    • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional

     

     

    • Please No adult content blogs

     

     

    • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)

     

     

    • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

     

     

     

    Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

     

    Angel

     

     

     

    Splash Math Review and Giveaway

    splashmath

     

    Can you believe it, it’s that time of year again.

    The time that children dread and parents celebrate.

    Yes, thats right!  A New School Year is here.

    From some, that time has already begun.  For others, like myself, as a homeschool parent, I am still planning and preparing to begin soon.

    I enjoy putting lessons together, finding the perfect curriculum that fits my children’s  learning style.  One thing I have learned over the years of homeschooling, is that every child is different.  Just because one style fits one child, doesn’t mean it will fit the next child.  Math always seem to be a subject where I have to try several methods of learning before I find a good fit.

    I came across Splash Math, and I instantly fell in love.

    Splash Math is Interactive Math Lessons for Elementary School Students Grades K-5 at every Skill Level. The Interactive games and rewards, motivate children to learn, practice and improve their math scores. Splash Math is available at home on the computer, on the iPad, on Chromebooks, and in a Classroom Edition for Teachers.

    Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.29.08

     

    I love how visual the lessons are, how the audio helps explain the instructions clearly.

    Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.31.08

     

    Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.30.56

    But I also love how, as a parent, I receive a weekly report via email on the progress of my child.  It explains what lessons have been completed on each level and the score for each.

    Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.36.16

     

    Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.43.47

     

    And Splash Math even offers A Summer Program ,an 8-week review program to halt the Summer Slide (students lose 2-3 months of math competency during the summer break if they don’t practice regularly).

    Splash Math is perfect as a Full Curriculum or as  Supplemental Lessons.  Even though my children are past Grade 5, I was so interested for my tutoring students.  It fits perfectly for their needs.

    I highly recommend this program for everyone.  But children who need more visual learning will excel with Splash Math.

    I am so excited that Splash Math has teamed up with GraceandGravy for a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a free Splash Math Program!  How Awesome is that!

    Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link to Enter!  And Good Luck!

    *Winner will be notified on 8-16

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    *Review is solely based on my own thoughts and opinions.  I was not paid to offer my review.

    10 Things I want my Children to Know about Me

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    Twelve years ago I stood at my Aunt’s grave. as tears flowed and shadows of uncertainty fall on my momma’s face. I wondered to myself, “Does my momma have regrets?”, “Is there questions she never asked her sister?”, “Are there words she never said?”.   I looked at the grave and back at my momma and I realized those were the same questions I needed to ask myself.

    See, as we were burying my Aunt after her loss with cancer, my momma was dying.

    She also had cancer and even though at the time I didn’t know how soon it would be, I still knew she would be leaving me soon. Some might say I was being too negative. I say I was preparing my self for the inevitable. I was the baby. I was not ready for my momma to leave. But nothing I said, nothing I did, was going to stop her from dying. If I didn’t prepare myself for her death, it would be her death that would defeat me.
    That night, after the funeral, I asked my momma and my three sisters if we could start having mother/daughter outings. Just to spend time together, to connect with each other. So on Friday Nights we all would go out.  Sometimes to eat,  to visit someone or shopping. But mainly to talk and make memories.

    I asked a lot of questions.
    I wanted to hear stories of her childhood and teenage years.
    I wanted to know what it was like when her and my dad married?
    Why did they wait til almost 40 to have me?
    What was she passionate about?
    Did she have any regrets?
    We continued this tradition for about six months until the time came when she was too sick to leave the house. Three months later she was gone.
    I am so thankful for that opportunity I had to share those moments before it was too late. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Life is always so busy, moving so fast, that I begin to ponder if I would have an opportunity to share my life with my children. What if tomorrow don’t come for me? Would they know stories from my childhood? Would they know the story about me and their dad? Would they know what I am most passionate about? Would they know that I love them with a love so pure that only a mother can experience?
    I really am not so sure. Life becomes stressful, and my days run into nights and it seems to never stop. I decided I didn’t want this moment to pass. If for some reason I never had the chance to talk to them about me, then I wanted to document it for them.
    So what do I want my children to know about me?
    1) I AM NOT A SUPERHERO! I do not have super powers. I am human. I am not perfect. I am flawed. As a mother I need you to know that I am just a person who makes mistakes daily. Who will always make mistakes. I try my very best when it comes to your life not to make to many messes but I can’t promise it will always be rainbows and butterflies, there will be days of dark clouds and storms but I will love you every day reguardless of the situation.

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    2) God will always be #1 in my life. No matter how much I love you, and believe me when I say I love you so much it hurts sometimes, God will ALWAYS be at the center of my life. God entrusted me enough to bless me with you all. He gave me life that will continue long after this chapter ends. There was a time that God was not my center. I was mad and angry, so I ran far away from God. But what I realized is that God gives us free will. He doesn’t control us, he loves us and gives us freedom to come to him, and even through the bad, he never left my side. I need you to always make sure God is #1 in your life as well.

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    3) My heart is filled with compassion. Sometimes I feel like my heart is breaking into a million pieces over the sorrow that I feel for children who have lost their parents to addictions, neglect or abuse. Those children who just want to feel love again and a sense of security. The homeless people on the street with no family or warm bed, that for one reason or another has lost their way, from a failed marriage, a job or even an illness and now they are alone and burdened. For the elderly people, who on their face shows years of hardship. From the cotton fields, to the coal mines, farms and factories they have worked their fingers to the bone to supply a roof over their families head and food on the table. Those same people, much like my daddy who would give you the shirt off his back with no questions asked. For the people in the third world countries who never have the opportunity to freely worship Jesus. Who so many will never know the love that he has for them or hear the stories of his miracles.

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    4) Animal Rescue burdens my heart. Yes I am an animal lover. And yes I know you make fun of me because I show you a thousand pictures a day of all the dogs who need a home, or the ones who have been adopted. Animal neglect and abuse lays heavily on my heart. And yes if there was a way, I would bring them all home. I know you think I’m silly for supporting so many rescues and shelters but what you probably don’t know is how many tears I have cried knowing an animal has been put down for lack of space at a shelter. How my wish is that all shelters would become NO-KILL, that all animals would have a chance to feel love and be loved. And when it’s my time to go, I would like that instead of flowers being sent, that a donation for an adoption would be made in my memory instead. And that I believe with all my heart that animals are sent to us to help us thru a hard time when we are not willing to let anyone else in.

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    5) Children’s Ministry is my passion. I will always be thankful for the wondeful leaders and teachers who saw a raw gift in me and took a chance on helping me grow as a Children’s Leader. And even though I knew after a season in my life, that full-time ministry was not what God had intended for me in our family, I still love to be involved, creating programs, putting ideas and events to life. Being able to be a part of leading a child to Christ will always be worth the sacrafice of serving an extra service or spending an extra day preparing lessons and activities. Use the gifts and talents God has gave you for his good. And if the season your in is not one to use your gifts, continue growing your faith and your walk with God until a new season approaches.

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    6) I will never regret Homeschooling you. Being able to teach you about life has been such an incredible blessing. Spending the days beside you as we learn together will be a gift I will always treasure. Watching you each grow into young adults might have been missed if we didn’t take the opportunity in front of us to school at home. I have enjoyed all the field trips we took together. I am not scared of the adults you will become. I know you will succeed at anything you put your minds and hearts to. And I am so proud of who you both are becoming.

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    7) I would give you the world if I could. Not because I think you deserve it. Not because I think you have earned it, but because I love you enough that I want you to see first hand how unfair and cruel this world can be. Don’t set your eyes on worldly desires but on God and his promises. The world will fail you, but God never will.

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    8) I loved my life as a child. It was a happy and carefree time with chasing fireflies in the summer and rabbit hunting with my dad in the winter. Watching tornados form the top of the celler and big family dinners and reunions with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Plastic water slides down a hill and pizza/french fries on Friday Nights while watching Full House. My playhouse out back with homemade curtains from my sister and tomato and salt rock soup. Swimming at the Lake, family trips to Dog Patch and weekends spent reading my new books. I may not have had big things or big trips, but I had family and love. Those are the things I remember the most.
    9) I knew the first time I saw your father I was going to marry him. We met at a factory job when I was 19. There was something about the way he talked to me, that made me feel safe and content. I felt like I was home with him. It is a love that will last. Not always perfect but by morning the sun is always shining again. I will always be thankful for the love we share, for the home we built and the life we have.

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    10) I have dreams. My dreams consist of following God’s plan for my life. Of course I have visions or ideas of one day owning a Tea Room, finding an old 1900 Farmhouse to fix up/live in and to own a Dog Sanctuary. I would also love to visit London, Paris, Venice, Maine, Hawaii, Seattle, The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But I know as long as I follow God’s plan for my life, I will have no regrets at the end. Just know that you are my dreams. You are my life.

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    I completely understand if you don’t quite know what to do with all this information right now. But there will come a time in your life when you will be so thankful and grateful that you have my dreams, visions and stories. That there won’t be regrets on knowing what I was like as a child, or why I love animals the way I do, or what did I really think about homeschooling you.
    Just know this was from my heart, for you to cherish and love.
    I have no regrets in my life. There is no choices I would redo. Each struggle, each heartache, each laugh and tear has formed us to the family we are. Enjoy your life. Love deeply and have no regrets about anything. Remember we are just passing through so make as many memories as you can, serve as many people as God allows you to, and always strive to be better tomorrow than you were today.