Tuesday, October 30, 2018

CCD~ All Saint's Day Party

Every year around Halloween and All Saint's Day, we have a party in our CCD class.

We start out each class talking about Halloween, All Saint's Day, and All Soul's Day. I want the kids in my class to understand the Catholic roots of Halloween and the importance of the feast days of All Saint;s Day and All Soul's Day. 

While we waited for all the kids to finish arriving, the kids worked on coloring in a picture for All Saint's Day. I used this one from Catholic Playground. Catholic Playground has a wonderful selection of ideas on how to celebrate All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day for children of all ages.

For my class and for my own kids, I found this wonderful book explaining how Halloween has many Catholic traditions. You can find and print the booklet over at Look to Him and be Radiant. This site also had a fantastic selection of activities and worksheets for helping kids learn about All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.

We always play a few saint theme games! Many of these games I found online while doing a search on Pinterest. 

Pin the Shamrock on Saint Patrick

Saint Anthony's Lost and Found

With this game, we teach the children all about Saint Anthony and his little prayer.

Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony,
Please come around,
something is lost and can not be found!

I fill a wrapped box with some goodies and styrofoam peanuts. The kids reach in without looking and retrieve a prize.

The Saints Candy Guessing Game from Catholic Inspired

This is a fun game for the kids and they get to eat the goodies when we are done. It's easy to do. Print out the labels from Catholic Inspired, tape the labels to the jar, and then fill the jars.

I had the following saints.....

Our Lady of Mount Carmel....Caramel candies
Saint Isidore.... Candy Corn
Saint Thomas Aquinas....DumDum lollipops
Saint Peter.... Swedish Fish or Goldfish
Doctors of the Church.....Smarties

Musical Chairs to When the Saints Go Marching In

This is always a fun game. It's just musical chairs to the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In.

Saint and Symbol Match Up Game from Catholic Playground

Saint Ring Toss

For this game you'll need some smaller saint statues, preferably plastic ones, and a few glow-in-dark necklaces. 

Form the necklaces and then have the children try to get the ring around the saints. Simple, easy, and fun!

After the games, we have a few treats to eat. Cupcakes, chips, pretzels, and candy. I try to have a variety of items so everyone gets something they like.

Till Next Time,


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Review~ Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures

Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

Adding a variety of resources to our homeschool lesson is essential to us in order to avoid a dull, boring lesson. Most students don't want to spend all their time reading textbooks. We were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to review Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures.

Missionary Stories

Brinkman Adventures is a thrilling radio show filled with adventure and excitement for children of all ages. The missionary stories are true and current, but told through the eyes of the fictional Brinkman family. The Brinkman Adventures series were created by Beachglass Ministries. Beachglass Ministires is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian origination that strives to encourage the next generation of Christians. 

Underground Risins

For this review, we received a link to download Season 6: Underground Rising. This adventure can also be purchased in CD form. Buyers will get 6 episodes on 2 CD's. The digital download cost $19.99, while the physical CD's cost $23.99. 

Season 6: Underground Rising contains 6 episodes that lead listeners into more than two hours of danger and adventure.

55~ Dutch Underground Part 1 (World War II)
56~ Dutch Underground Part 2 (World War II)
57~ Twice Born Fly (Alaska)
58~ I Wonder Why? (Missionary family in India)
59~ Free Burma Rangers Part 1 (Missionary work of Dave Eubank)
60~ Free Burma Rangers Part 2 (Missionary work of Dave Eubank conitnued)

We listened to all 6 episodes together. Even though the kids are getting older, they still enjoy having a variety of learning tools available to them. Our favorite episodes were the two about World War III, Episodes 55 and 56. While listening, we were transported back in time to war-torn Holland. During these two tales, we met Reng and Lynn VanKesteren. We witnessed their struggles and determination during this horrific war. We saw why it's important to stand up to evil in this world. 

These two stories went well with our history lessons from last year (which we finished up over the summer). Having the previous knowledge of this part of history helped Michael and Therese understand the fear and decisions this family faced. Therese is currently finishing up a novel about a young German girl in World War II, so these two stories went along great with that story. When learning about history, she hates reading dry, boring books, so these real life stories about real people told in a engaging way help her learn more about history and understand it. It helps give her a deeper appreciation of it. I love seeing her become involved in her lessons and stories. Even more than that, I like seeing her enjoy learning about history!

What We Thought of Season 6:Underground Rising?

I love how these stories bring history and missionary work to life for their listeners. They are filled with love, sacrifice, and heroism. Each story brings scripture and prayer life up front and in center. They truly show how faith can be a part of our daily lives. This helps young people see that it is O.K. to have a strong sense of faith and to share your beliefs, while respecting and loving others. 

An added bonus I loved about this program is the real life stories. This is really my favorite part! If you head over to the Brinkman Adventures website, they have a tab that leads readers to a page with the real life stories told during the adventures. This is wonderful way to bring history to life for students. It allows them to see that this is real and not just an entertaining story. The page has pictures, podcasts, and stories from the people that actually lived through these adventures. These real life stories are a fantastic way to encourage young men and women. It helps them see that some things are worth fighting for!

Just For You....

I'm thrilled to be able to offer my readers a 10% off  coupon, so they too can dive into the adventures. Just head on over the Brinkman Adventures and enter in FALL10.

Check out what the rest of the crew team had to say about this amazing adventure!

Till Next Time,

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Let's Read About Fall!

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you.

Fall is a favorite time of year around here. The reds, oranges, and yellows bring the forest to life. It's hard not to love fall when you live in the mountains. The leaves change colors, squirrels scamper about searching for nuts, and the deer visit daily in the front yard. We even get to spot the Pileated Woodpecker a little more now that the leaves have started to flutter to the ground.

When the kids were little, I loved curling up on the couch or the outdoor porch swing and reading books about fall. Like every other child, they had their favorites and wanted to read them over and over. So I though I'd share a few of those books that bring back so many wonderful memories for us.

Mouse's First Fall


I Love Fall!


We're Going on a Leaf Hunt

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Bear has a Story to Tell

Autumn Story

Flower Fairies of the Autumn

Leaf Man


Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf


Too Many Pumpkins

Till Next Time,

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review~ CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games

CashCrunch Careers

Recently, the kids and I were given the chance to review CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games. The main goal of this career test is to help us see who we are and what type of job we may be great at. For many of us, this has been done in the opposite manner. Study, get the qualifications we need, and then head out to find a job. Never really knowing whether we like that particular job or not. Crazy, huh!

CashCrunch Careers

CashCrunch Games was founded by Paul Vasey. Being a former business teacher, Paul Vasey quickly realized that many students associate money with math and quickly become intimidated. Their fear of math made the idea of dealing with money terrifying. He wanted to change that. With just the basics, he wanted to make the concept of money easier to understand and easier to use. He created fun games to help students master the concept of money.

CashCrunch Junior~ A physical board game for elementary and middle school aged students
CashCrunch Senior~ A physical board game for high school and college aged students

CashCrunch 101~ An online game for high school and college aged students

For this review, we received three codes in order to take the online test at CashCrunch Careers. CashCrunch Careers uses research from the U.S. Department of Labor and recruitment tools from the corporate world to create a wide database of information for all the questions students and parents have about careers and futures.
The questionnaire contains 75 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Our choices will reflect our personality traits, preferences, and abilities. I instructed both Michael and Therese to answer the questions as truthfully as possible. I did like how they could hover over a word to see the definition. This was exceptionally helpful fro Therese. Based on the answer we gave, CashCrunch Careers compiles a list of careers that match our own personalities and our work style and ethics. We each received a report that was broken down into sections.

Career Work Style

Motivators & De-Motivators

Career Attributes

 Career Match

The report list 20 careers that would be a good fit. They are ranked in order of suitability for the survey taker. From there, we had the opportunity to explore the careers further. When we clicked on the Explore Careers button, we were taken to another page. Here we could learn more about each career. We could read various job descriptions detailing the different tasks that would be performed at that job. It also went on to tell us what attributes, work values, and skills we needed for that particular career. They even included a tab with a list of colleges in the United States that currently offered that degree. Finally, there was another tab with a video that explained more about that career and the skills we needed to perform that job.

CashCrunch Careers is part of CashCrunch Games. For $99, we will have access to our reports anytime. It seems costly, but they do provide tone of information for us. Now that we've completed the survey and read about our results, all we have to do know is log in and head to the "My Locker" section. Here is where we will find all our information stored. I'm hoping this will come in handy as the kids get older and start to look at colleges and possible careers for there futures.

What Did We Think of Cash Crunch Careers?

First off, I have to say, I was shocked to see all three of us receive basically the same list of jobs. I can understand Therese and I getting similar results since we are alike, but Michael's results shocked me a little. All his top jobs were management. This is not him. If he was stuck in a office/managerial type job, he would suffocate and dread work every day. He loves animals and the great outdoors. Find a mountain top and you'll most likely find him there. I found the test lacked results for nature loving  and artistic students. I felt the survey didn't take into consideration the students talents and interests. The test seems more focused on students looking for careers more in the business world.

Michael"s Thoughts~ 'I wouldn't do any of those jobs!" The only job he saw himself maybe doing was being a farmer or rancher. This was because it involved animals and the outdoors, but he doesn't really want to do either one. He did feel that his list of Career Attributes was accurate...attention to detail, independence, dependably, etc. I will agree it did correctly figure out what his motivators and de-motivators are.

Therese's Thoughts~ "Nope, no way!" She felt the list was all wrong. She was shocked by the amount of jobs that would require math skills. She doesn't hate math, but she definitely doesn't want a job focused on it. The only job she thought even remotely would be a fit for her was retail sales manager and that's because she loves fashion. I have to say her report was probably the most inaccurate. Her motivators and de-motivators were off a little as were her career attributes. This may be in art that she is young and still figuring out who she is. It wold be interesting to see how she tests again in a few years.

My Thoughts~ My was pretty accurate. I've managed various retail stores and homeschool co-ops over the years. My top careers listing were management and education. I manage my home and teach my kids. I enjoy working with others and being in charge. I can handle stress well and love all the little details. I will say I was shocked about the farmer and rancher on my list, but hey I do have chickens...so maybe I'm a little farmer. I took the test to see what I may like to do once the kiddos head off to college. I know I don't want to head back into the retail world...been there, done that. After seeing my results, I still don't have a clue but I do have 6 more years to go.

Be sure to read what the rest of the crew had to say. Just click the picture below and off you go!

Till Next Time,

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Our Favorite Halloween Books

Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you.

Over the years, we've read a lot of fun books together. When the kids were little, I would add a collection of seasonal or holiday books to our bay window. The ledge on the bay window made a great books shelf.  It held plenty of books and was easy for the kids to reach. I always wanted to encourage my kids to read and I felt this was a great way to do it.

Here our a few of our favorite Halloween books......

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat

It's the Great Pumpkin , Charlie Brown

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin


Clifford's Halloween and Clifford's First Halloween

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

Queen of Halloween 

The Teeny Tiny Ghost


Corduroy's Halloween and Corduroy's Best Halloween 

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

What have been some of your children's favorite Halloween books?

Till Next Time,

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