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2013 Year in Review

2013Review

The year 2013 brought us a lot of changes in the Hopkins household. 

 

January ~ I started this silly little blog a year ago!! Can you believe that?? I was just going to do this as a fun way to keep up with the changes in my kids and now it has opened so many new doors for me and the kids that I couldn't ask God for anything better! Not only did I start my blog, but Moe Man started his homeschooling journey with the littles at that time…sort of. We took a lot of time to just "de-school" and learn interests.

 

February ~ Nothing too crazy happened. We had some fun with learning about each other and how we liked to learn…it was a fun journey that I am glad we decided to take.

 

March ~ This month brought about changes…My hubby had his birthday! But my Great Grandma passed away… It was something I knew was coming, but I still wasn't ready for it. I wrote a little about her right here.

 

April ~ April brought the fact that within 3 months, Moe Man was doing grade level math…something that was too hard at the public school. He was having fun and actually enjoyed it!

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May ~ Little Miss turned two this year! I don't remember where that time went…but it went quickly!

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June ~ The hubby and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary in June. We have enjoyed so much together and it has been a wonderful journey to be on with him! 

 

July ~ July went by so fast…I don't even know what we really did! I know that we did some school throughout the summer, and July is when Moe Man was working on his Hands on Equations math. This was something we both enjoyed and something we will continue to use on our homeschool journey!

 

August ~ Ray Ray turned 5 this month! I was shocked that he is that old already! We took our yearly trip to Wisconsin Dells and than started school during the last week of the month. I have a 7th grader and a Kindergartner!

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September ~ Moe Man turned me into a mother of a teenager this month! We officially became mom and dad to him in November of 2007 when he was 7 and I am so happy we did this. He has been such a blessing and joy to us. He has taught us as much as we try to teach him 🙂

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October ~ We had snow in October! I was not happy about that…but the kids loved it! It didn't last for long, but seemed to be a preview of what was to come. We have had a fair amount of the white stuff this winte so far, and usually get more during the second half :-/ 

 

November ~ November is National Adoption Month…It is when we adopted Moe Man. November is also the month where I found out that I get to be a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew in the upcoming year. Another door that was opened for us through this blog! So thankful for things like this.

 

December ~ And here we are! This month has come and gone so fast. We enjoyed lots of time with family and friends. And we were able to celebrate the birth of Jesus! 

 

The year went so fast that I am scared for the upcoming year. I am looking forward to all the challenges that the year will bring. The ups and downs and all that I am blessed with. I want to thank you all for hanging out with me this year and I can't wait to share more with you next year!

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Celebrate Jesus ~ Review and Giveaway

Celebrate Jesus: An exciting Advent Journey for families.

(Affiliate Links are used in this post. I earn a percentage of the sales when you click through with my links. These earnings help make it possible for us to continue to homeschool and run this site.)

 

What do you do for Advent? How do you keep Christ in Christmas? Are you still looking for that one thing that will work? Why not try Celebrate Jesus, Light of the World!

 

Amy Blevins over at Homeschool Encouragement has taken the time to write down what works for her family and is sharing it with all of us! This is not a program where you will have to plan for days before each day and spend tons of money just preparing to do a fun activity. There is no stress over doing everything! Amy gives you tons of ideas, but tells you right away that even her family doesn't do it all!

 

CelebrateJesus

Now, I know Advent doesn't "start" until December 1st this year, and I will be honest when I say that the kids haven't started using this program yet. Even though they haven't used it, does not mean that I haven't been reading the daily plans already 🙂

 

I like to make sure that I know what we are doing before we do it. Like I said earlier, Amy made this program so that us moms don't have to do much planning. We get to spend that extra time we would spent on planning reading the scriptures before hand and spending our quiet time with the Lord first. 

 

In this 81 page eBook of Celebrate Jesus, Amy has included a master supply list for the 24 days of Advent, daily scripture readings and activities for all 24 days, 24 pages of copywork and 13 different recipes.

 

My favorite part of this whole thing…the master supply list! I don't have to read days ahead when I head out to the store! I don't have to make a quick run to get one or two things! I can bring this master supply list with me and get everything for the whole week. This may sound like a small victory to some, but those of you who do know what I am talking about, know how huge this is 🙂

 

Each day in this Advent program contains scripture reading, questions to review what you just read, table time with your Advent wreath and an activity. All of this is just wonderfully laid out and flows together. There are songs that you can sing or listen to each day. Amy gives you a site where you can find almost all of these songs for free, and I am seeing some of them on YouTube also that the kids are already listening too (make sure you preview them first for inappropriate commercials or ads).

 

Daily activities scare me…will I be crafty enough to make it work? Will the kids like what I have planned? How much is it going to cost me to make a mess? Amy doesn't include any of those types of activities in this program! These are fun to do activities…I can pull these off! Using simple things like construction paper, markers, scissors, beads and pipe cleaners (and these are for multiple days, not just one!) to make the different projects happen…I have all of these already!! This takes the fear and worry out of  daily activities for this mom!

 

The recipes in here are yummy sounding! Yes, I used the word yummy 🙂 Amy's Peanut Butter Fudge and only 7 ingredients to boot?!? Yes please! I am excited to try the recipes with the kids and love that Amy left some blank recipe cards in there also. I am not a baker, but with the kids I have started to work against this and learn new things with them! What better time to try, right?

 

We have started using more and more copywork within our homeschool, so to see Amy include that in the program was wonderful! Moe Man is working on making his handwriting more neat. Using this system seems to help him figure out how the letters really should look, and he loves to sit down and focus hard on it. Ray Ray is still learning and just likes to copy. Why not give him bible verses based on what we are learning about that day for Advent to help him copy the right way. I love seeing the little pictures at the bottom of each page. We love to color, so this is a perfect way to end their copywork for the day!

 

Celebrate Jesus is available in either KJV or ESV and the copywork is in manuscript (printing). Either one of these versions are only $4.99 and you can find them by clicking on the picture at the top of this page or this one below.

 

 

Celebrate Jesus an exciting Advent celebration for families.

 

Amy has been generous enough to offer a free copy of this Advent program in the version (KJV or ESV) of your choice to one lucky winner! Enter below for your chance to win! I will draw one winner on Saturday, November 30. 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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10 of My Favorite Pictures

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday (now List It Tuesday) in awhile. I am going to have fun with this one and do a favorite pictures post. Well here it goes. My favorite pictures as of today!

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Little Miss loves to color! 

 

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Ray Ray loves listening to Moe Man read

 

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When your son tells you at 8am he wants to color Noah's Ark, you let him color Noah's Ark!

HubbyandI

I love this picture of us from last winter…

 

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Moe Man and his Adventure Bible, who knew that I could enjoy this as much as him!

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Who said read a-louds had to be done by mom or dad? Moe Man does good too!

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This will always be a favorite of my great grandma and me


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And now Moe Man has a good one with his great, great grandpa

WordlessWednesday

 

Daddy teaching Little Miss gun safety

 

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I smile every time I look at this. She is just begging to feed the deer!

 

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Daddy and Ray Ray reading science, he loves learning with daddy!

 

There they are…my favorite 10! I could post a lot more, but it might get long 🙂

 

 

List_it_Tuesday

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Feeling Special

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I know, not everyone really enjoys the whole "trick or treating" but we do it. And we enjoy it!

This year the youngest two went out and about while Big Kid stayed with my mom handing out candy to the multitudes of kids!

While we were out, we met up with my aunt and uncle and my two cousins, who happen to be about the same age as Ray Ray and Little Miss.

We got to go see my great grandpa, their great, great grandpa. How many kids get to say they have a great, great grandpa? 

This man is my hero…if I can do HALF of what he does at his age, I will be content! 

He gardens…this year it was just tomato plants in straw bales but he still gardens, he cans…everything!, he bakes, he freezes what he won't use, he cuts the yard and keeps his house clean. If I wasn't a homeschooling mom to three, I would say he does more than me (I call it even right now). 

How does he do it, he was raised that way. Hard work was the only way to get anything. And as a homeschool family, I am glad we get to do "school" with him whenever we want. My kids are learning from him and he is learning from them. 

So on this fourth day of thankfulness in November, I am thankful for the elders in my family who can continue to teach me and my children every day!!

Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop
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The Kids of Hopkins Homeschool


kids

So here I am. Thinking, what can I write about? Do you know what I thought about? I haven't really "formally" introduced you to the kids that make up Hopkins Homeschool!! Well, here they are!

 

BigKid2013

 

Big Kid is 13 and in 7th grade this year! I can't believe how old he has gotten already!! We are coming up on our 6th year anniversary of our adoption day of Big Kid! He has always been a part of our family, but he has been our "son" now for six years. We started our homeschooling journey last year during the middle of his 6th grade year. Since that time, we have watched him change into a kid who asks questions again. Opening his mind to new ways of doing things and watching his aha-moments has made all the tough times worth it! We love seeing him become a man, but at the same time we love seeing him still be a "little kid" with his brother and sister! He loves to read and loves to read aloud to Ray Ray and Little Miss. Big Kid is our animal kid. He loves each one of them in this house and loves helping the neighbors with theirs too. His hobbies seem to change with the months. He loves to watch Star Wars, but also loves a good cartoon too!

 

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Our little Ray Ray! Always keeping us on our toes! He is 5 this year and sort of doing Kindergarten 🙂 He loves copying his big brother. He was a little slow getting into the school thing this year, but is now all about showing us what he can do! He has gotten into following the words as we read, and we get yelled at if we don't do that. Counting has turned into a game that he is always wanting to do…by ones, twos, fives and tens. He is finally starting to like to color, but it has to be boy stuff! Just like his brother, Ray Ray loves to watch Star Wars. He is starting to like Bakugan (a little ball that transforms into something to "battle" each other), and runs around finding all the magnetic items in the house that his little Bakugan can stick to. And a silly story about the picture, just a few days after mommy took this picture, we came back here with daddy. Ray Ray did a big boy jump and fell in, just behind where he is sitting here. Daddy became his real superhero when he went to rescue him, only to hurt his knee in the process. Like I said, always keeping us on our toes!

 

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Little Miss, our 2 year old who acts like she is 12! She is all girly with painted nails and pretty hair, than you blink and she is full of mud while shooting zombies with a nerf gun! Yes, she is ours all the way! Little Miss is full of energy and fully independent. She knows what she wants and goes for it, no matter what anyone says. She copies the brothers with their school and has surprised us with how smart she is! Although she will watch Star Wars and can name all the characters, she would rather watch Little Mermaid or Snow White. She is daddy's little princess and knows it 🙂 

 

So there you have it! The kids that make this blog happen. Each one is an individual who makes this family perfect. I couldn't imagine a day without them and love them all so much! 

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My Beloved and My Friend ~ Book Review

 

 

MBMF

Every girl dreams of being married to her best friend for the rest of her life. That one person you can share everything with and be the most comfortable around. But what happens when life takes over and everyone gets "too busy" for each other? That is where this books comes into play! 

(I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that. I was not required to write a positive review, I just did what I wanted to do!)

My Beloved and My Friend: How to be Married to your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses can be pre-ordered here for $12. And for that price, you can't go wrong!

Hal and Melanie Young have been married for almost 30 years and are still in love! Who better to get advice from! This advice ranges from "Leaving and Cleaving" all the way to "How to Fight so You Both Win", and who couldn't use that bit of information?! 

HubbyandI

 

 

I have been married to my best friend for the last 8 and half years. We were friends for at least 3 years before that. We have been through ups and downs and sickness and health. I love him as much today as I did 8 and half years ago on our wedding day, but this book still helped me with things I didn't even know I should be focused on. I really loved the help Hal and Melanie gave when it comes to temptations, (which is not just what you think either!)  "The Five Finger Fist to Fight Temptation". They have used this for themselves and to help their children fight temptations also. This is something I remember on a daily basis, and I am teaching our kids too!

I would recommend this book to everyone! When I say everyone, I mean, those who are still dating and not yet married, all the way up to those couples who have been married 30+ years and want to re-ignite their friendship with their spouse and best friend.

 

 

BookLaunch

 

Want to read more reviews on this wonderful book? Head on over here and check them out!!

 

Disclosure

**Update** Head on over to enter my giveaway for a download of the ebook and audio download of the ebook right here!!!

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October in Minnesota

 

OctMN

October 20, 2013

This is a crazy sight to see!

We woke up and seen flakes, but those flakes got bigger and bigger. This is not something I really care to see.

I live in Minnesota.

I hate snow.

But the kids love it…

 

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When Daddy asked Little Miss what the snow tasted like she said, a snow ball 🙂 And than he asked Ray Ray what the snow tasted like, he said "Winter"…smart kid!

I am fine with winter in the winter, but in my opinion, October is a little too early! Here's to hoping it doesn't keep up like this all winter! I do like a few more nice days in the 40s before pulling all this winter stuff out. But at least the kids are having fun!

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Hearts for Home Blog Hop #38

HFH

Welcome everyone!! Don't forget to head over Upside Down Homeschooling to read about the Host and Co-hosts of this Blog Hop!

 

The most popular post from last week was:

Simple-Writing-Lesson-9-Use-a-spelling-dictionary-for-kids

Help Young Writers Edit: Get a Spelling Dictionary for Kids! from The Measured Mom

 

A few of my favorites were:

 

* Bible in a Year with Your Kids Intro Post from Growing in God's Grace

 

* 31 Days of Emergency Preparedness from Mama Kautz

 

* When You've Reached Your Limit from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

 

Congratulations if you were featured this week!! Grab a "I was featured" button to proudly display on your blog!

 

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com/hearts-for-home/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r505/upsidedownhomeschool/HFHFeature_zpse5060e68.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Now, for the blogs for this week! Hearts for Home Blog Hop is for any post that shows your heart is in your home. It can be anything like homeschooling, homemaking, parenting, marriage, faith, family, friends, you get the idea right? We just ask that you would link back to this blog or display the Hearts for Home button within your post or on your sidebar.

 

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com/hearts-for-home/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r505/upsidedownhomeschool/HFH150_zpsf22ef64f.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Here we go!! Go ahead and link up your family friendly post below!

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Hearts for Home Blog Hop #33

HFH

Welcome everyone!! This is my first week doing this weekly blog hop. I hope you will join me and visit all these other wonderful bloggers and see what is happening with everyone! And don't forget to head over Upside Down Homeschooling to read about the Host and Co-hosts of this Blog Hop!

 

The most popular post from last week was:

Homeschool Spaces

Our Home School Spaces with From The Mrs.

 

A few of my favorite posts were:

Congratulations if you were featured this week!! Grab a "I was featured" button to proudly display on your blog!

 

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com/hearts-for-home/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r505/upsidedownhomeschool/HFHFeature_zpse5060e68.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Now, for the blogs for this week! Hearts for Home Blog Hop is for any post that shows your heart is in your home. It can be anything like homeschooling, homemaking, parenting, marriage, faith, family, friends, you get the idea right? We just ask that you would link back to this blog or display the Hearts for Home button within your post or on your sidebar.

 

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com/hearts-for-home/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r505/upsidedownhomeschool/HFH150_zpsf22ef64f.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 

Here we go!! Go ahead and link up your family friendly post below!