Saturday, April 30, 2016

Planner Love! Check out my Discagenda by Dokibook!

I am a planner girl at heart.   I've always had some kind of planner.  In the past I would just print off a monthly calendar and write in our plans or I would just have a notebook that I wrote in my to do lists.  Either way it has always been pen and paper for me.  I just don't need one more thing to keep track of on my phone or computer.

Recently I somehow stumbled upon a whole new world of planner girls.  They have hashtags like #plannercommunity #planneraddict #plannergirls #plannerlove #plannersgottaplan and so on.  I was quickly drawn in.  I had never heard of Dokibook or the Happy Planner or Erin Condren.  I had a simple planner that my boss bought me for work.  It was simple, but it got the job done.

I live a bit remote, and although we have a small office supply store in our town, they only have boring black planners or diaries as they call them here.  After oohing and aahing over all these planners on periscope and instagram, I decided to contact Dokibook and asked if she would allow me to do a review for my blog of her planner.  She so graciously sent me a Turquoise Discagenda

Let me just quickly add that Doki is such a wonderful person.  Some things have recently happened to her products, but she has rose to the top and refuses to spread hate.  I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her company, and let me add, I know of one thing she is working on, and you will want to buy it.  I cannot wait for it to come out.

But for now, let me share with you my new Discagenda...

This is my discagenda when it arrived.  It arrived with a few other packages, what a happy day for me!   Opening the package from Doki is part of the fun!  And she gets bonus points from me just for her packaging!

It came in this beautiful box.

And was wrapped with pretty tissue paper.  She even sent matching tab stickers.    The other stickers are to cover over January-April 2016 and make them January-April 2017, so they don't go to waste.  How thoughtful!

Here she is!

Look how beautiful!

It has little pockets on the left for business cards or whatever you would like to put in there, and it also had a side pocket where you can put papers or stickers.  The planner itself can come out of the cover and be carried separately, but why would you?!!

I'll be so kind to show you inside the planner...

There is a page in the beginning for your to write your address and other personal information which is why I didn't post a photo of it.  :)

2016-2017 yearly calendar

There are tabs across the top and down the side that separate the months.

After each monthly planner page, there are weekly planner pages.  The sections are for morning, afternoon, and evening.  Which works great for me.  I use morning for our homeschool stuff, afternoon for appointments or other things going on, and evening for our evening activities.  Genius, I know!

In the back there are recipe pages.

And to do lists.

Here is my planner set up for next week.  I didn't think I would use stickers, but I bought a few sets to see how I'd like them. I've decided I like my planner so much more with pretty stickers! 

There are many great places to buy stickers,
one of my favourites is
She sells stickers that fit the dokibooks.

All in all, I am so thrilled with my Discagenda by Dokibook.  The quality of the cover is amazing.  It easy to wipe off if it gets dirty.  It's not real leather, but even the feel of it is so nice.  The pages are a good weight.  You won't have to worry about pens bleeding through.  I am really picky about my planner, but I can't think of anything that I would change about this one.  I just love it and want to carry it everywhere and show everyone.  Haha! I'm not weird, I promise.  Well, maybe a little. 

Also, just because I found this fascinating, the word doki in Japanese means the sound your heart makes when it is in love.  How beautiful is that?!

This planner was given to me to review for my blog, but the thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.  Thank you, Doki, for making such a great product!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Couch 2 5K Graduate (again)!

Here we are at week 1.

We were running 1 minute intervals and thought that was hard!

And here we are at the end of week 9.   

We ran 30 minutes!

It is such a great feeling after a 30 minute run.  It's hard to believe what our bodies can do.  I know my pace isn't fast, I know I didn't break any earth-shattering records, but I ran 30 minutes!  I plan to keep running, at the moment we're going to work on running the entire 5k.  I'll keep you posted.

Here are some of my favourite quotes to keep me going...

Be stronger than your excuses. Fitspiration, training quotes, motivation, running shoes, fitness.:

Some of the best things about running. Running quotes, running tips & running destinations <3. For more running and exercise related posts check out

Be a runner with this Running Program for Absolute Beginners!:

Free printable of Isaiah 40:31 Bible verse:  "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (KJV)   (pink, green, and aqua floral):

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Do you remember receiving your first Bible?

I don't quite remember receiving my first Bible, but I remember as a teen I had wanted a particular study Bible.  I'm not sure why, but I really wanted this particular study Bible.  One evening I was at an auction with my pappy, this is something we did together quite often.  As we walked around looking at the things that were to be auctioned off that night, I found the exact Bible that I had wanted in a box with other odds and ends.  How strange, but I was so excited to find it, and I told my pap that I wanted it.  So, when the auction started and that box came up for people to bid, my pap started bidding.  It went higher than he wanted to pay so he didn't win the auction, and I was a bit disappointed.  I wonder if he was disappointed he didn't bid one more time.  He never said, my pap was a quiet man, but the man who won the auction came over to us and asked what we wanted in the box, we told him the Bible.  He was interested in the other odds and ends and just gave me the Bible.  Isn't God good?!!  I still have this Bible, and will always treasure it.

Shane, Mishai, Oscar, Patrick, and Shatin

Last week at Teen Group we gave our teens their very own Bible.  We will being teaching them how to take care of it and how to use it.  They were so excited to see their name written on the front page.

We were so thrilled to see them walk in on Sunday morning for church proudly carrying their Bibles.  Oh, how I pray that the Lord will work mightily in their lives and use for His service.  This is our next generation, maybe the Lord will call one of these young men to be the next pastor of Barunga.  Will you pray for them, too?

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Life has been so busy lately.  Between church on Sundays, Kid's Club on Wednesdays, Teen Group on Fridays, Scouts two evenings a week, other church activities, homeschooling, and just normal life in general, we haven't had time to stop and breathe.  This week is school holidays, and we (well, at least me and the kids) are just relaxing.    Oh, how we really needed this!  Tomorrow the kids and I will be having a fun day out, I'm sure I'll post photos.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Trigger Memory Co. {TOS Review}

The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

My son has been enjoying our review of Times Tales for The Trigger Memory Co.  He just started 3rd grade at the beginning of the year, and his regular math curriculum was starting to introduce multiplication, so I couldn't wait to get started with Times Tales.

We were given the digital download version which included two files with videos and three PDF files with printables (tests, crossword puzzles, flashcards, and a cube game).  We don't have the best internet and the first file with the video did take some time to download (like 12 hours), but a week later our internet went to NBN (Australian) and the second download only took about an hour.  There are some great homeschool programs out there and they can be quite expensive.  Even if the curriculum is great, we can't always afford it.  But this is a great program that is also affordable!

Times Tales is a fun and creative way to learn the upper times tables.  By using stories with fun characters, my son has learned his upper times tables by simply watching two videos and doing some worksheets.  It covers these math facts: 3x6, 3x7, 3x8, 3x9, 4x6, 4x7, 4x8, 4x9, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9,
7x7, 7x8, 7x9, 8x8, 8x9, and 9x9.

An example of one of the stories:  Mrs. Week (represented by the number 7, because there is 7 days in the week) and Mrs. Snowman (represented by the number 8 for obvious reason) were driving and the speed limit was 55 mph, but they were going 56 mph.  So, here you have 7x8=56. 

When doing the review, if my son got stuck on 7x8, I'd just remind him of the story, and he'd immediately remember.  It was fun watching his brain working.  We finished the videos about 2 weeks ago, and I just asked him what is 7x8 and he immediately said 56!  Thank you, The Trigger Memory Co., for making such an awesome product!

It is recommended that in the first week, you watch the first video and do the worksheets and flashcards.  The video has places to pause and not go any further until you've answered the problems correctly.  My son had to do this about three times, but then got the hang of it when he realised the purpose of the stories.  After they have completed the first week, give it a week or so to do the second video.  The videos were engaging and fun to watch, and I found my 13 year old watching as well. 

I've been sharing Times Tales with all my homeschooling friends, and some of them have already purchased the program.  My son has loved the program, and has asked to watch the dvd's several times.  For just $19.95 (download version) you child can learn his upper times tales in no time at all!  We highly recommend Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co.

The cube game and one of the tests.

Find The Trigger Memory Co on facebook.

For more reviews...
Times Tales by the The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Logic of English {TOS Review}

Logic of English Review
For the past several weeks my son and I have been working through Essentials 2nd Edition from Logic of English.  I was so surprised when we received the package and all it contained.  There is just something wonderful about receiving packages in the mail, especially homeschool curriculum!  This is everything they sent us...

Logic of English Review

- Essentials Teacher's Guide, Volume 1
- Essentials Student Workbook, Volume 1 (student consumable)
- Spelling Journal (student consumable)
- Morpheme Cards, Set 1
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Spelling Rule Flash Cards
- Grammar Flash Cards
- Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards
- Phonogram Game Cards: Bookface
- Phonogram Game Cards: Manuscript or Cursive
- Phonogram Game Tiles
- Spelling Analysis Card
- Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference

Essentials 2nd Edition by Logic of English is a VERY thorough program for teaching reading, grammar, and spelling.  It is geared for ages 7 and up (they have a curriculum called Foundations for the younger years).   I took roughly two weeks to read through the curriculum and get a feel for the workbooks, cards, and games.  We started the following week, and I'll be honest, after about three weeks of using the curriculum, I'm just now feeling I got the hang of it.  There is a lot information, and it seemed a bit overwhelming, but my son's reading and spelling has grown by leaps and bounds in just the past few weeks.  We plan to continue using Essentials 2nd Edition by Logic of English.

I will do my best sharing the curriculum and how we used it, but I also encourage you to go check out the website.  There is so much more information over there. 

Teacher's Guide Introduction
There is roughly 40 pages of introduction material (hence, the two weeks in took me to prepare before we started).  This includes how Essentials is designed to teach multiple levels of students, the scope and sequence, the importance of teaching phonograms, why handwriting is important, a spelling analysis, tips on making a schedule, tips on how to teach, and so much more.  I find myself going back to these pages often.  There is just so much great information here.

Placement Test and Pre-Lessons
To start with there are three levels: A, B, and C.  There is a placement test you can have your child take to determine which level they need to follow.  My son is Level A, which also means we can use this curriculum for a few more years as well.  As mentioned, Logic of English is beneficial for families who have several children, you can use the same curriculum for all of them and do it together.  There are also 10 pre-lessons.  These help strengthen any foundational skills your child may be lacking before you start lesson 1.

The Lessons
The teacher's guide is hardcover and over 600 pages!  It's colourful and well laid out.  You will find all the lessons in the Teacher's Guide.  The lessons are easy to follow and completely scripted for the parents.  I often read ahead just so I knew what we'd be teaching the next day, but I often just read right from the book.  Meaning no lesson plans!  The lessons are very detailed and well marked.  There are lots of Teacher Tips throughout the lessons, along with optional practice ideas.

Each lesson is divided into five days.
Day 1: Essential Concepts. Phonograms, Exploring Sounds, Spelling Rules
Day 2: Building Words. Spelling Journal, Spelling Analysis
Day 3: Words in Context. Spelling Game, Grammar, Dictation
Day 4: Words in Action. Vocabulary, Dictation, Composition. Optional: Essentials Reader
Day 5: Check Your Understanding. Formative assessment

It took us roughly 30 minutes a day to do the lesson, some days we would spend a bit longer if I felt it necessary.

There are 30 lessons in total. 

One of the things I do love about this curriculum, is the teaching of the spelling rules.  They do not encourage sight words, which I always struggled teaching my children these because they always want to know why.  Logic of English teaches you the why.

The Student Workbook
The work book is a simple with black and white pages.  My son didn't seem to mind this so much.  The Teacher's Guide explained what pages in the workbook to do, and the pages are well numbered with the lesson number and level on each page.

There are spelling lists each week.  Each level has a different spelling list.  I don't want to go into all the spelling rules they use to teach spelling, but let's just say I'm learning some things!  They teach the part of speech, syllables, finger spell and cues, and just so much more.  Like I mentioned, they don't teach sight words, they teach why we spell the words the way we do.

The flash cards are amazing, although there are heaps of them.  Here is how I have it organised now, this may change down the road, but it's what works for the time being.

This was probably my son's favourite part.  The games!  At first I thought he might not be interested in them, but he really enjoyed them and learned so much.

Essential Readers
We were also given the download for the Essential Readers.  This is optional to the course.  It is a reading comprehensive supplement.  It is designed to help meet the needs of the older (age 8 and up) struggling reader.  It provides great reading practice.

My Summary
I am completely in love with this curriculum and plan to continue using it.  My son is constantly spelling words and telling me the spelling rules.  I have seen a definite change in his learning since we started this curriculum, and it shows me that it works!

To read more reviews for Logic of English click the link below.
Logic of English Review
Crew Disclaimer

Thank you, Logic of English and TOS, for this great opportunity to review this product.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Couch 2 5K

If you recall a two years ago I was doing the Couch 2 5K (C25K) program.  I ran up until my brother came to visit (by then I was onto the 5K to 10K), and started running with him, but we quickly realised we don't run at the same pace.  :)  Him fast, me slooooow.  So, we started another exercise program together and I never got back to running.  A few weeks ago, I met up with a friend and we decided to do the C25K program together.  It's been a huge help running with a friend.  Knowing she is there waiting for me at 7am helps motivate me to get out of bed, and the same for her.  The accountability is awesome.  We are currently in the middle of week 5, and bracing for our 20 minute run on Friday.  But I can't wait to be able to say, "I ran 20 minutes!"  I'm just curious, who else has done the C25K and stuck with it?