Monday, December 9, 2013

New Dining Room Table

I have been wanting a new dining room table, but couldn't seem to find one that I liked or that would be the perfect size for my awkward shaped dining room/eat in kitchen.  I have been following Ana White's projects for quite some time, but haven't braved doing any of them yet.  I have never done any kind of wood project before, with the exception of helping hubby hold something while he nailed it or something, so this was a whole new element for me!

I decided on Ana White's Farmhouse table.  It was the perfect length, however I did adjust the width a bit, I  wanted my table a bit wider than hers.  I actually used three different tutorials from Ana White's website for this table as I liked different features in the Farmhouse Table, the Updated Farmhouse Table (using a pocket hole drill), and another from a guest post.

Due to the lack of the lumber type/size that I wanted to use at our local HD, I ended up using 1 2x10 for the center and 2 2x8's on both sides of that and a 2x8 for the breadboard ends.  This project was much easier than I expected it to be, and I am now in love with wood projects!  The hardest part of this table was the same as everyone else said it would be, notching out the legs for the stretcher and apron.  Aside from that this was pretty simple.

What the table top looks like on the underside with all of the pocket holes.

Hubby helped me with the table, I planned to do it all myself but it was very nice having help.  I had never used most of the tools that were needed for this so help was a must for my own safety, ha ha!

We picked wood with some nice size knots in it to give it plenty of personality.

Sanding the table, and sanding the table, and sanding the table.  

Starting the tedious job of staining.

Putting the 2nd coat of stain on.

Sanding after the 2nd coat of stain.

3rd and final coat of stain on and drying.

Close up of the bottom of the table, we only put one coat on the bottom and love how the grain of the wood came out.

For the finish we went with MinWax Jacobean.  The color came out MUCH darker than we anticipated, but I am so glad that it did!
Dining room before.

Dining room after.

Close up of the stain/table top.

We have a lot more plans for the dining room, here is my Pinterest board of my plans for the dining room!  We plan to make the matching bench to go along with the table for one side and 4 parsons chairs on the other side of the table.  I am still trying to decide the fabric for the parsons chairs, and find some chairs for cheap to refinish and reupholster with it.

A review of A Tale of Two Kingdoms and God's Unfolding Story of Salvation by Heather Kendall

Today I get to tell you about two books that I was given the opportunity to review, both by Heather A. Kendall.  God's Unfolding Story of Salvation, a Bible study, and A Tale of Two Kingdoms, an accompanying book to go with the Bible study.

God's Unfolding Story of Salvation is a 38 lesson Bible Study for older teens and adults.  This is meant to be studied at your pace.  I think this would be great for a group Bible Study, personally.  I have not done many Bible studies in my life and I would have preferred to study this along with a group to talk this over and dig deeper into the thoughts of others, and myself.  This is a really neat study as it's not topic centered, but rather goes into a deeper look from Genesis all the way to Revelations.  This book gives you a small tidbit of information, you will need your Bible heavily for this study, and you do the research to dig deeper and study on God's Salvation.  I actually chose not to do the Bible Study just yet, as I want to start it in January and use it for a full year and really get to dig into this study, I am excited about starting this in January and will certainly update once I've been using it longer.

A Tale of Two Kingdoms is an accompanying book to go with the Bible Study, or can be read alone.  It doesn't go right along with the Bible Study, but is a great resource to use with it.  This is a very in depth book, and I would not recommend it for someone just starting to dig deeper into their faith and the Bible.  This is certainly for someone with a lot of experience with Bible Studies and a good sense of the Bible, or to be used along with Gods Unfolding Story of Salvation with a group Bible Study.

You can purchase these books from Heather Kendall's website by clicking here.  You can purchase the Bible Study for $22 which includes shipping and the accompanying book for $23 which also includes shipping.

Heather Kendall has done a wonderful job writing these books and I definitely encourage you to head on over to the Mosaic Review page and read the other reviewers thoughts on these books to see if they would be a good fit for your Bible Study or a great Christmas present for someone special in your life!

Friday, November 29, 2013

My Little Pony: Party of One by PlayDate Digital

My Little Pony: Party of One is an interactive app for preschool aged children.  Twinkle Toes is 9 years old and is a HUGE MLP (My Little Pony) fan!

When I saw the opportunity to review this app, I was all for it!  This app goes along with one of the MLP episodes, Party of One, which Twinkle Toes has seen multiple times, like every other episode.  It's really cute how the book app goes along with the episide.  Not only is it a book though, it's interactive where the children can click on different things on the pages.  Your kids will love to hear their favorite Characters come to life in this app!  There are different sight words in the story and at the end of the book there is a "Sight Word Round Up" for the kids to click on each the picture and it will tell the word.

This app, of course, if not my 9 year olds level, but she still had fun reading it.  It's a running joke in our house that Twinkle Toes is like Pinkie Pie.  Not only is she full of energy, but she LOVES to plan parties and have a good time, just like Pinkie Pie!

You can check out a video of the app here.  And you can hop on over to purchase the app from the app store for $2.99

I definitely think that your preschool aged children will have a blast with this app!

You can head on over to the Mosaic Review page to see what my fellow reviewers thought of this as well!

Friday, November 8, 2013

What's Going on in my Neck of the Woods!

So, it's been a little over a week since I gave up Facebook and I'm going to have to admit that I am loving it!  I will say, due to a couple of things that I am involved in I did have to have a Facebook account and I was making my poor hubby's phone blow up with notifications from when I commented on things that a lot of others had to comment on also, from his account.  So I created an account strictly for these things that I was required to have a FB account for.  I have one friend on there, my hubby of course, and that's how it's going to stay.  So, with that being said, if you are a friend of mine and have noticed my face pop up on Facebook, I promise you that I am not ignoring you and I didn't close my personal account to avoid any of you, really!

Over the last week I've had a lot of family time, I've noticed that I've gone to bed early, woken up before my alarm every day, my shoulder has been feeling better, and my attitude from more sleep has been better.  I have had time to spend quality time with my precious family, gotten tasks done around the house, and have gotten a lot more done at work!

I think I told you last week that I was making a new dining room table, this is the one!  I planned to do this all on my own, but quickly learned that I must have someone watch over me, I didn't even know how to change the drill bit in the drill (I know how now!!!).  Hubby and I got the legs of the table cut last weekend, and this weekend I am going to be working on putting the legs together and making my cuts for the stretcher board and the side aprons.  We have decided on a stain color for it, it's called Jacobean, it's really pretty and makes me think of coffee!  Who doesn't love a dining room table color that reminds you of coffee!!

Last weekend we had to go out and buy a new freezer, it's hunting season here in Georgia and hubby brought home a nice size deer and we had no room for the meat.  Certainly no argument from me that we had to buy a new chest freezer for that reason.  Hubby made delicious venison cube steak the other night for dinner and I have decided that venison is my favorite meat.  Doesn't hurt that it's super healthy for you either!  I'll have to post a pic once we get it back from the taxidermist, we decided to have him mounted to put him up in our living room, because who doesn't love a deer staring at them all the time, ha ha ha!

Monday, Twinkle Toes and I went to the park for Homeschool park day, no one else was there that day so we took advantage of the beautiful scenery and took some more photos.  I am amazed every day at just how beautiful fall is!  Living in Florida almost all my life sure has made me cherish the fall season!  My allergies have been crazy the last few weeks, but that's ok, at least the scenery has been majestic!  The trees are all losing their leaves now and they will soon be dormant, but the upside to the trees being dormant is that we have a seasonal mountain view from our house, I can see some bonfires coming up soon, wrapped up in blankets in front of the fire and fun family memories being made!

This girl seems like she is growing faster than I can even blink.  She will be 10 in a few months and one of my two reasons to slow down life and enjoy it!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stepping Back and Reflecting on Life

As a stay at home mom, homeschool parent, work from home mom, and house wife I have a lot of things to do.  One thing I don't do is leave my house very much.  I am not a parent that chooses to enroll my child in a ton of things and cause our schedule to be so busy that it stresses us out.  We all three prefer a laid back schedule and more spur of the moment stuff.  Now, because we are home all the time (and I work a full time job from home) I am on the computer at least 8 hours a day, I am on Facebook well over 1/2 of that.  Yep, over 4 hours a day on Facebook.  I don't know how this happened, I guess just over time.  We moved to a new state last year and I started being on more to stay connected with my friends from our old state, then the beginning of this year we bought a house in a new city and I am on Facebook to stay connected with our friends and life in that city.  Somewhere in these moves I became addicted to Facebook.

So, I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account for the month of November, and possibly longer depending on how November goes. (I closed my Google+ and Twitter accounts a few weeks ago)

Typically during the Month of November I do "30 days of what I'm thankful for" posts on Facebook.  Day 1-Thankful for... and I do that each day throughout the month of November.  Since August I have been praying about this and thinking about this and fighting myself about this, it's been a hard decision and I've even gotten some not so nice remarks from friends about it!!

Instead of 30 day of thankfulness posts, that typically just about all of them have to do with my wonderful family, I will be deactivating my Facebook account and spending the time to reflect on my life without Facebook.

(ok I wrote the above post last week, and it's November 3rd already so I'll update)

I deactivated my Facebook account late Halloween night.  The 1st was very weird not logging on to see what everyone was up to, and it was even more odd not to post photos to FB throughout my day.  But, it's the 3rd now and honestly I'm not even missing it too much.  I was expecting to have major Facebook withdrawal symptoms and to have a hard time adjusting to life without FB, but it's been a nice change.

Today hubby, Twinkle Toes, and I went out and found a beautiful place to take some fall photos.  We had a blast!   The picture below is of Twinkle Toes exploring while out taking photos today, I loved this photo, it was one of my favorites of the day!

After taking photos we stopped by the local hardware store and got some lumber for a project we are working on.  We are making a new dining room table using these plans from Ana White's website.  (I am a bit obsessed with her website, it's pretty awesome for the do-it-yourself person!

So, that's what's going on in our world these last few days and what is coming up!  I'll be trying to update the blog more often now that you can't keep up with me in other areas of social media!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Light for my Path by Davis Carman

Blessed are those who keep his statues
and seek him with all their heart-
they do no wrong
but follow his ways.

Psalms 119:2-3

Today I get to tell you about a wonderful book that we got a chance to review over the last few weeks.  A Light for my Path by Davis Carman, published by Apologia

A Light for my Path is a children's ABC book written with a beautiful Biblical view based on Psalms 119.  Davis Carman has done a wonderful job reinforcing the alphabet by creating a full spread of two pages for each of the 27 letters of The English alphabet showing the letters in capital and lowercase and with a full page spread photo of each letter, with either a plant or animal to correspond with each letter from A-Z. 

The author has given instruction on how to use this book and the history behind why Psalms 119 was chosen for this book.  Since Twinkle Toes is older, we read this together and from the first few sentences she was drawn in to every single word.  

The second half of this book teaches us the full 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and has Psalms 119 printed throughout the pages from Psalms 119:1 through Psalms 119:176.  We read through the entire book when we read it, but again Twinkle Toes is older, if your child is smaller you might want to read through the English alphabet each time you read it and a different Hebrew letter each time you read it together.  This will give you a chance to talk about the verses that have been read and more of a chance for smaller minds to pay attention and take in what you have read.  You can of course read this however you like and what is best for your children :)  

Twinkle Toes very much enjoys reading this book, and has even started to read it to our animals.  Here is Twinkle Toes reading A Light for my Path to our dog Cupcake.  Our animals get a lot of reading aloud done to them, Twinkle Toes loves to read to the animals and even makes school work for them to do, because the animals must learn too!

We have absolutely loved reading this book together and will use it for many years to come!

You can head on over to Apologia's website to see more about this book and purchase A Light for my Path.  At a price of $14 I find this book a great price and another valuable book to add to our home library! 

curious what my fellow reviewers thought of A Light for my Path?  You can read their reviews right Here

Thursday, October 3, 2013

iTooch by eduPad Review

eduPad has created a fun way to learn on your tablet or smart phone, iTooch is an app for learning Math, Language Arts, Science, Health, Music, and even French!  

Available for Apple, Windows and it's now available for Android devices!

I will have to say, I was happy to hear that it was available for Windows phones/tablets, I have a Windows phone and have a hard time finding some of my favorite apps on there.  For the purpose of this review I used my iPad so we would have the bigger screen to see/use it.

When asked to do this review I was actually pretty excited because I happened to already have this app for Twinkle Toes on my iPad!  I like to keep educational stuff on there for when we are out and about so that she's not just playing Angry Birds all the time!!

When logging in you chose what subject you want to work on that session and it will bring you to your progress chart, you can only play a certain number of levels in the free version, they do have free and paid versions of the apps, we only used the free versions.  (it takes a lot for me to actually purchase an app, I have only purchases two apps in my over 4 years of having a smart phone!)

This app is really neat because it's fun, colorful, has fun sounds, and is easy to use!  If you get the answer correct you get a check mark, if the answer is incorrect it gives you the correct answer.

I find myself when I am bored logging in and playing the games myself, nothing wrong with continuing education as an adult, and it's funny how many simple things that you learn as a child that you forget as an adult.  (I get answers wrong often, ha ha, it's like that show Are you Smarter than a 5th grader)


-Easy to use
-The graphics are great!!  (Lets face it, if it's not pretty to look at it's probably not going to get used, right??)
-The have some free stuff to use to see if you will really like it


-Cost of the paid apps- They run from $4.99 and up for each subject of each grade!  If I were to purchase an app, I would prefer to purchase the app and not have to make an additional purchase each time I want to use something else in the app.

That's really the only con that I could come up with, it's a really fun app for adults and kids!

Curious if this is the app for your family but not yet ready to make the plunge?  Head on over to the Mosaic Review page and see what the others reviewers thought of iTooch!