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Fragrance Friday {Scentsy Pick of the Week} Jumping Jellybean

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This week I am featuring one of my all time favorites from the Spring/Summer catalog…Check it out below!

For a few years now I have been selling Scentsy smelly stuff and pretty household decorations to those around me. I LOVE the scented wax and all of the pretties that go along with them!

Warmers
Scented Wax
Room Sprays
Scent Paks
Buddies
Laundry Products
Bath Products

Today I am sharing my pick of the week from the current Scentsy catalog, along with the product link on my direct selling site.

- This week I have picked * Jumping Jellybean * as my Scentsy Scent of the Week -

I hope you find something you LOVE and please feel free to message me with any questions about the Scentsy products or the company itself, I would be happy to help!

You can visit my personal Scentsy site, Mama Loves Smelly Stuff, any time to check out the current specials, place an order, set up a party and so much more!

In His Grace.

Callie

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{Product Review} Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster

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I am a squirrel. No, really. I am a squirrel named Jacob.

Okay, well, obviously, I’m not a real squirrel, but in The Woodlands I am. Along with my youngest son Joseph. Oh yeah, and my daughter Ana is a squirrel too, named Jason….okay, let me explain.

We have been reviewing Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster and what a fun program we have found!

I might have mentioned a time or two how much I appreciate the brilliant minds that are in the world and sometimes we are blessed to get a peek into that brilliance. The program is computer based, an online computer based program to be exact. You will need any computer and internet access for this to work for you.

MamasCoffeeShop-Orphs

After you get setup and paid, the system will prompt the admin (parent) to add the child to the system. The child will have access via the same email address but under a different password. Pretty cool system feature right there! What a pain to try to remember each and every username AND password…

Once the child begins, they are asked to pick their character’s name. Each child is a squirrel, no other options, but they do get to choose the name, so that was pretty neat. The next part that they get to do is begin reading. Now, this is a story called The Treasure of HighTower that will need to be read before ANY activities can be completed.

MamasCoffeeShop-Orphs-Reading

Each chapter has a questions/answers section at the end, under the guise of completing jobs. The only way that they can complete the jobs is if they are attentive throughout the previous chapter.

So far, Ana has completed a few chapters, it is a long process since she is a slow reader, but she is trying to make sure that she understands what she is reading. Once the reader completes a “job”, they get gold stars, which in turn is their “money” to buy items.

The reason that the student needs the money is because their character is in the process of helping orphaned mice (Orphs), they need their stars so that they can provide for their Orphs. Entirely too cool! They must complete their jobs, get paid, then use their stars to purchase, food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, protection, and fire for their Orphs.Game Map Orphs of the Woodlands - Mama's Coffee Shop review

What I have seen so far, this online program is educational, uses critical thinking, planning, and fun, all rolled into one!

Here are some of the Skills that Ana has had to use so far to complete her Jobs:

  • Vocabulary and Language – new words and their meanings, comprehension, synonyms and antonyms
  • Math – place value, how to write out numbers as words, basic algebra, geometry
  • Critical Thinking – managing the Orphs, what to do, should I?
  • Life Skills – recipes, ingredients, and why the foods are important
  • Science – fulcrums and levels, acidity, base
  • Memory Skills – remembering information about certain characters
  • Character – values
  • The Arts – quotes by famous people

MamasCoffeeShop-OrphsProgressReport

For Ana, this is a bit of an overwhelming program but only because her reading level is adequate. Therefore her reading comprehension is still not completely developed yet and she tends to skip over things she doesn’t understand. Now, she would never tell me that, but from using this program myself, it is obvious that there are still gaps in her comprehension skills.

When she sits down to use this program, she easily will sit for an hour because she needs that much time to read through the pages in each chapter. She is one that likes to complete a chapter so that she doesn’t forget the material, but again, there are still gaps with the amount of information that is provided, as she isn’t always able to answer all of the questions correctly.

MamasCoffeeShop-ReadingOrphs

As the parent, I get progress reports emailed to me (see image above) about the work that has been completed as well as the upcoming work that will be shown to the student. As a homeschooler, I appreciate the level of involvement that Star Toaster provides for the parent. I am then able to access the student accounts and view what they have completed, as well as the right/wrong questions and answers.

I have found that once the Jobs (questions and answers) have been completed, there is no way to go back and correct them later. This is difficult for me as I would like to be able to go in with my student and help them better understand the required work, then have the option for the student to redo the Job and see if the reworked subject is now more understandable.

I think that having that option would help to create pride in ones work instead of not being able to go back and correct their mistakes. I see how the program requires the comprehension and the ability to retain information, but I think it would be a helpful alternative for parents with struggling students.

MamasCoffeeShop-OrphsSkills

The grade range suggested is for 4th-7th but from our experience, this program is well suited for students that read well. Ana would be considered on the low end of this spectrum. This program most assuredly tests the readers with all of the large vocabulary words that are sprinkled throughout the pages of the story. This Orphs of the Woodlands is for the student that is looking for adventure and will work hard for the rewards.

Since this is a program that requires reading skills, Joseph and I have been completing this together. I am reading it out loud to him and then helping him through the questions and answers. If he gains nothing else, it is well worth the read. This is an adorable story that will enthrall your listeners (and readers) with the imaginative and diverse creatures that they will get to meet. Joseph has very much enjoyed listening to the story and often begs me to read for a bit to him.

We are thankful that this program is offered because it challenges the student to get involved, not just construct and destroy as some other programs do. The reading section is full of vibrate descriptions and fun characters, this is not a drab school program, this will totally captivate your edger reader.

A subscription is offered for 2 months that allows you to add up to three child accounts. After your two month period ends there is an optional month-to-month subscription available.  But right now, Star Toaster is offering a FREE Trial for you to test our their program. This FREE trail allows you to read the beginning of the story and complete the first lesson.

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Ana, Joseph, and I are looking forward to working diligently through the rest of the program, and learning more about the Orphs and what is in store for them.

We hope you enjoyed this latest review, please see what the rest of the Review Crew had to say.

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If you would like to keep up with Star Toaster via social media, follow the links below.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/startoaster/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/startoaster4kids

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StarToaster

Please come back soon so you do not miss what we review next!

In His Grace.

Callie

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{Product Review} New American Cursive: Penmanship Workbook #1 from Memoria Press

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My daughter Ana has recently began to take notice of her penmanship, and she would like it to be better than it currently is. She (and I) were recently able to review the New American Cursive: Penmanship Workbook #1 from Memoria Press. And what a treat this has been for her!

Don’t you just love meerkats? We certainly do and we both thought that Mr. Meerkat from her penmanship workbook was absolutely adorable! This cute and helpful character makes this writing process much more fun instead of the tedious task it used to be.

MamasCoffeeShop-Memoria-MrMeerkat

Each lesson was easy to understand and she was able to complete them on her own. This spiral bound book made it simple to flip the pages and move onto the next lesson with ease.

MamasCoffeeShop-MemoriaPress-CursiveWorkbook

For Ana this workbook was to help her improve her cursive handwriting, as well as reinforce her technique, and she was able to complete a few lessons at a time. But, I truly think that for the beginner that is going to need to adjust their posture, workbook tilt, and how to hold the pencil, this is going to be an excellent first cursive handwriting course.

The lessons begin with technique, paper tilt, pencil grip, and then repetition. Each lesson was set to show the student how each letter is formed in cursive, such as say the letter, feel the letter, then write the letter. This constant repetition is a wonderful help that allows the student to visualize the cursive letters and how they relate the print letters they know.

MamasCoffeeShop-Memoria-CapitalN

Ana was able to sit and practice with her workbook for just a few minutes a day. The lessons were easy to understand and took just a small portion out of her day. She liked the fact that there were other things to do to break up the work in her workbook. After some of the lessons she was given blank space to draw her own letters and pictures. She was also encouraged to circle her best letters once her work was completed. This helped her critique her own work and helped her focus on what she could improve.

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I found that she had a hard time unlearning how to hold her pencil when writing. Because each person learns to hold the pencil in the position that feels the most comfortable for them, this was something she tried to overcome when using this lesson workbook. She holds her pencil up higher than the curriculum suggests, so she tried to adapt, and she did better by the end of this workbook.

As she worked her way through this workbook she was shown over and over again how to tilt her workbook (or papers) so that her letters were formed correctly, how to correctly write her letters individually as well as to write her letters in connection with the other letters, and to  grade her own work. This allowed her to feel more confidant in her abilities and allowed me to guide and instruct her with less correction. Yes, I did guided her and helped her to understand what was required but since she can read she was able to complete her lessons with minimal assistance.

At the back of the book there are more detailed pages that explain how each letter connects with either a smile, or a grin, or a jump. These were neat explanations that showed how each letter connects to the other letters in a word. There are also more pages that have copywork on them as well as blank pages that are able to be reproduced for extra written practice.

This workbook is geared for young students that are just beginning to learn cursive, but I think it was a wonderful practice workbook for Ana. Overall, this was a wonderful workbook that encourages the student and I will be looking forward to using it with Joseph when the time comes.

Are you curious to see what other products the Crew reviewed from Memoria Press?

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Would you like to visit more with Memoria Press and keep up with current products, visit them on social media by following the links below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Memoriapress1/posts
Instagram: https://instagram.com/memoriapress/

I hope you enjoyed this latest review that I was blessed to share with, please visit again soon to see what else comes our way!

In His Grace.

Callie

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{BookLook Blogger Review} The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country by Mike Berenstain

God Bless Our Country The Berenstain Bears | Mama's Coffee Shop BookLook Blogger Review

I don’t believe that you can ever go wrong with a Berenstain Bears story book and this one is no different.

The kids and I really enjoyed one of the newest books that we reviewed, The Berenstain Bears in God Bless Our Country.

The story is fun and lovable as all the other stories written by the Berenstain family. I would like to note that this book is plainly written from a Christian point of view and the story even speaks about that fact that Bear country was founded on Christian principles. A huge A+ from me on this aspect of the book. I noticed that the book is considered a Living Lights™ book, which states that this Berenstain Bear book is to help children learn how God wants them to live every day….and I think it is wonderful!

The pictures are bright and colorful which makes reading this to younger children so much fun. Their little eyes are drawn to the beautiful pictures and it makes it easier to keep them still long enough to read the words to them. As a mama to littles, I appreciate that the pictures are still as engaging as they used to be.

This book takes us through the Bear Country history as the Bear family gets ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. It is a well written story that shows how faith was involved in the creation of their country, a wonderful representative of how the United States was founded the same way. We see the family participate in numerous patriotic celebrations and how pride in ones country is fostered in the young bears.

In the back of the book there are some questions to ask your children, to help with comprehension of the story. There is also a nice addition of two activities that your children can do. And the most fun, there is a set of 16 stickers for the kids to use in the middle of the book.

We all enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of these Berenstain Bear books from Mike Berenstain.

Come back soon to hear about the latest book we have on our book shelf.

In His Grace.

Callie

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Why We Use Technology in Our Home School {Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop April 2015}

Mamas Coffee Shop - Real Life Homeschool -Technology

There are a lot of reasons why most people do not use electronics in their homeschool. We use them and we use them a lot.

I came to there realization a long time ago that I just don’t know everything. (Surprising I know.) And since my children are growing up in this amazing electronic age that we are in, we figured, why not tame the beast instead of letting it control us.

So, since there are waaaaay smarter people than myself, and since computers, phones, and tablets are in and around us constantly, why not utilize them for our benefit?

Mamas Coffee Shop - Using IXL in Our Homeschool

It all started way back when…when Isaiah was little, like really little, maybe 3 or 4 years old, with the JumpStart computer CD-Rom program. This thing was AH-mazing! Isaiah loved it and would happily sit and play. I figured there was something to this technology thing, so he blazed thorough all of those CD-Rom games in the next few years and the amount of information he retained was astounding.

From there it just seemed normal for each child coming into the “schooling” age, we would let them “play” on PSBKids and other fun sites that were age appropriate.

Well, I have to say, since finding out that the internet is filled with a plethora of brilliant people willing to share their knowledge (KhanAcademy.org) we as a family have been using computer programs for years.

My oldest blew through the Aleks math program because it is all self paced, he has since moved from Aleks over to Khan Academy for his math and now the Aleks program is used by my daughter, Ana. She uses the Aleks most of the time for her math and it is sometimes supplemented by IXL.com. I figured once she has reached her pinnacle, the Aleks “class” will be passed down to Joseph.

Mamas Coffee Shop | iPad Use in Our Homeschool

We have used the following programs at some point or another, most are computer programs, some even are iPad applications:

  • Aleks.com
  • IXL.com
  • SpellingCity.com
  • LaLaLogic.com
  • KhanAcademy.org
  • Doodling Dragons (iPad app – Logic of English)
  • Talking Fingers (iPad app)
  • PBSKids.org
  • Middleburg Interactive (languages, we took French)
  • SchoolhouseTeachers.com
  • Hooked on Phonics (iPad app)
  • Phonograms (iPad app – Logic of English)
  • Minecraft (computer, tablets, and phones)
  • Nova Elements (iPad app)
  • Startoaster.com
  • WWF Together (World Wildlife Fund – animals)
  • ABC Mouse
  • Kindle (books and PDFs)

Again, let me reassure you that our children are not computer zombies, we use technology to help with the many things that our children would like to learn about. The fact that computer skills are going to be a part of their everyday lives, they might as well learn the skills here, and with the direct overview and intervention by the ones that love them the most, me and daddy.

They still do plenty of written work, math problems must be scratched out on paper before they can answer them correctly via computer. Spelling tests and grammar is usually practiced with pencils and paper as well. Bible verses must be handwritten, that makes it “stick” better anyway. They write stories, they color, they paint, glue, cut, and oh my, so much more!

We also use chalk boards, white boards, pens, markers, highlighters, colored pencils…we are not bound by this technology.

Mamas Coffee Shop | Under The Table with Computers to Homeschool

I, for one, am not opposed to technology (well, ya know, because of FB, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest…and this blog, lol), but I do believe that there is a limit to what each person should use, especially our children. Technology is but one of the most amazing ways that we are able to homeschool, because the internet and these educational programs bring the genius people, these “tutors”, straight to my house. My time, my terms, my rules, therefore it is excellent.

Just to share, not all of the above programs worked well for us, we tried and tested some and they just were not the right fit for our budding learners. But if they worked for you, YAY! Because as we all know, not everyone learns the same.

The absolute best part about using technology though, it travels well. Sooooooo, when daddy has time off, we can travel with him and STILL make time for school. The kids hate me for it, but this homeschool mama thinks that it is brilliant!

Thanks for spending the week with me and checking out what Real Life Homeschool looks like at my house!

See you soon.

In His Grace.

Callie

To see what Real Life Homeschool looks like in others houses, visit some of my fellow TOS Review Crew mamas:

Indy Homeschool
The Open Window-An Autism Blog
Creative Madness Mama
Hopkins Homeschool
Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Our Journey
Crystal Starr
A Little This … A Little That
For the Display of His Splendor

 

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My Husband and Homeschooling {Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop April 2015}

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When I first started to write this post I was thinking about all of the ways I could help you convince your husband to let homeschooling become a part of your life. Then I realized that every single husband is DIFFERENT and that wouldn’t do any good.

Then I was thinking about sharing how my husband feels about homeschooling and a little bit of background, so you can understand why and how we pull this homeschool thing off.

The Background Story

My wonderful, loving husband was born and raised in New Jersey. Have you ever met anyone from New Jersey?! Well, here is a tiny peek into the culture that these people come from.

  • They are impatient
  • They are always in a hurry to go/get places
  • They are loud
  • They are opinionated
  • They are always right (at least my husband always thinks HE is right)

Okay, so that gives the type of culture he grew in. Let me pile on top of that, he is full-blooded Portuguese (that should read, tight knit family type). And he went to Public School his entire schooling years. And he had never, ever, Ever, EVER met anyone that was homeschooled, was homeschooling, or even considered homeschooling…until he met me and my family.

This is the man that played recreational soccer from the time he was 7 years old all the way through high school, with the same guys. This is the man that was in French Club, Chorus, Marching Band, Drama, and went to every dance ever offered. He dated numerous girls, went out with friends on the weekends. He had his own sports car at 17 and never had to do much of any school, because he was bored out of his mind, and everything was easy. So he filled up his time with other activities.

This is the man that I had to approach with the very idea of homeschooling.

I had prepared myself. I read every book I could find, I researched, I read articles, I asked my sisters, I prayed, I was preparing for battle…or so I thought.

When the time came for us to enroll our oldest in school, I had doubts. I prayed about it, I talked to my husband about it, and even spoke with a Kindergarten teacher at the local school. The only reason I even spoke to the Kindergarten teacher was because my husband asked me to. Just to find out what types of things the kids were going to learn in their first year of school.

Once I relayed all of the requirements that a Kindergartener would need to know to my husband and voiced my other concerns about our son being labeled, he said, “Let’s give this homeschool thing a try and see how it goes.”

And so it goes….

How We Pull This Homeschool Thing Off

I am the primary teacher around here. I don’t know if that is true because I intentionally took the responsibility or what, but that is the way to works around here. Since I am the one home all of the time, it just made more sense to be the one to continue the education of our children.

If I can teach little people to count, learn colors, talk, go potty, be sweet to the animals, and so much more…than how hard could homeschooling them be?

It seems that I am always in consult with our School Principle (lol, that would be hubby) though, as I still often doubt my abilities to teach our children. I sometimes fail to see the progress when I look for it and this kind man will stop and point out the beauty that I have missed. Through all of these years, he has “heard” me as I quote things I have read…

“They will learn to read when they are ready.”

“Children develop at different stages.”

“Each child is a custom, God-designed creation, each one will blossom when it is time.”

He lovingly has reiterated these things back to me over the years.

He is my steady rock. He is the one that proclaimed to his mother that THIS is what we were going to do, and nothing she said could ever change that. He is the one that stands proudly in front of his family and friends and touts the intelligence of his children. He proudly proclaims that he loves that fact that his children know as much as they do.

We have learned to relax a lot over the years.

He takes the children along on trips to the store, where they can discuss whatever project he is working on. He takes them hunting (yes, even our daughter) with him. He teaches those basic life skills that only he can teach to our kids, like how to use tools correctly and how engines work. He talks about his job as a pilot and all of the physics and math that goes along with his job. He talks about politics, ancient history, time travel, theory, how to build things, the abstract, the reality, the mundane and the intense.

I don’t think that he even realizes all of the homeschooling he takes part in.

We just live life and teach in the moment.

Yes, we use books, paper, pencils, and computers even.

But so far, this is how we manage to pull off this homeschool thing.

And I am so amazingly blessed that even all these years later, there isn’t much concern from the principle about how much school got done today. Because he witnesses so much when he is home. And I thank God for that every day.

In His Grace.

Callie

Visit some of my fellow Review Crew mamas to see more Real Life Homeschool:

Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Double O Farms
Simple Living Mama
Fried Clams and Sweet Tea
This Sweet Life
A Net In Time
Counting Pinecones
Some Call It Natural
Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
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Allowing Creativity and Imagination to Flow at a Moment’s Notice {Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop April 2015}

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I have often been amazed at the creativity of my children. I firmly believe that allowing them to be independently creative increases their ability to reason and work through problems.

And all because we homeschool.

I knew when my oldest was young that we had a comedian in our hands, and through the years I have been blessed to witness his fascinating imagination. He has been writer, producer, director, and actor in numerous plays that have been performed over the years.

My husband and I have been blessed to see a Thanksgiving play, a Christmas play, a play about a king and a knight, and an off-the-wall play about an evil scientist and a criminal. Looking back, I wish that I had taken videos of these plays, but I was usually informed of them mere minutes before they took place.

I do have this one though.

This is one of my favorites with my daughter and youngest son. We picked up the hand puppets earlier in the day, and I am so glad that I did! What fun they had, and me too!

Now, when I say letting the creativity flow, let me explain that a bit more. First off, we “do school” way more than it would seem. But since we “do school” enough in my opinion, I try to allow for extra time for drawing, painting, outside free time, singing, dancing, and all around imagination play.

Through the years I have noticed that the more that my children have to sit and “do school” the less they seem to actually retain. So, for a while now, my husband and I have relaxed the reins a bit and have allowed for more free time. In return for this free time, the children now will do school with a much better attitude and will retrain so much more information.

Call it what you will – Unschooling, Eclectic, Unstructured, Relaxed, Lazy even. But this is what is working for us. We have happy, creative, smart, funny, independent children. And for us, that is what is important.

Since we have relaxed our structure and allowed more imagination and creativity, I have seen my children bloom.

I have playwrights.

I have artists.

I have Thinkers.

MCS-Thinkers

I have manuscript writers.

I have painters.

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I have sculptors.

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I have bakers.

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I have comedians, actors, and makeup artists (all rolled into one).

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I have inventors.

I have master builders.

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I have big dreamers.

MCS-Builders

I have any or all of these on any given day.

And since this is the way we are heading with our homeschooling, I have children that when “things” just click, they can whiz through grade levels at a blistering pace. Math that was a struggle is now finished for the year. Reading that was non existent is fluid and graceful.

Let them be little is a phrase that I used to think was foolish. But now, I see the beauty in the relaxed state that we live in.

Our children can spend hours upon hours outdoors, building, creating, and using their God given imagination. They can do anything.

This is why we let the creativity and imagination flow at any given moment in our Real Homeschool Life, for us, it is just our way of doing things.

And it works.

Homeschool isn’t always about “doing school” at home. It is so much more.

In His Grace.

Callie

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the Blog Hop to read more!

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Easy 3 Ingredient No Bake Decedent Nutella Dessert {Recipe}

Mama's Coffee Shop 3 Ingredient No Bake Nutella Dessert

Y’all listen to me now.

I know that I often say I love an easy recipe. But this time, seriously, this time, this is so incredibly easy that my 7 year old could make it himself.

3 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.

THAT. IS. IT.

I promise.

So, a little back story. I was checking into how to make a New York Style cheesecake for my hubby, because he LOVES cheesecake as much as he loves this raspberry dessert. So, because my mama always said that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I set out to see what all I would need for cheesecake making.

Considering I got some springform type pans for Christmas, I figured I should make hubby something he really loves.

So, as I’m tooling around Pinterest I know for sure that I want to add Nutella to this cheesecake. Did you know how many people had this same idea?! Good Gravy y’all, there is like a 1,000 recipes for this kind of stuff…

Mama's Coffee Shop Close Up Nutella No Bake Dessert

Anyway, I run across a no bake type of recipe (my favorite kind!) and realize that I really want something close to the original type of New York style cheesecake. You know, just cheesecake, no crust, just smooth, creamy goodness.

So, I decided that I would use my ramekins that I just got the other day (they were on sale, I promise!).

After I grabbed my ingredients, mixed everything in the Kitchen Aid, the most time I spent actually making this dessert was the time I had to take to put it into the ramekins. Seriously.

Serve this at your next dinner party, smooth out the tops if you like, and you will be the talk of the town!

Mama's Coffee Shop-Nutella-NoBakeDessert

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 (13 ounce) container of Nutella
  • 2/3 cup of powered sugar

Directions

** The cream cheese MUST be at room temperature, no cheating! Otherwise the creaminess will be a no go. The cream cheese must be completely soft for this to work correctly. **

Put your cream cheese into the stand mixer and blend until creamy. Add in your Nutella, scrapping the sides of the jar to get every last bit, and blend until mixed well. Make sure to scrap the sides of the mixer so that everything gets mixed in, otherwise you will have some spots from the cream cheese.

Add in your powered sugar and after it is mixed well, let it blend for at least a minute or two so that extra air gets in the mixture.

Using a scrapper, put this decedent mixture into your waiting little dishes, or ramekins, filling them completely.

Put the dishes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, so that it will solidify. Once the 2 hours are up, grab a spoon and enjoy!

Mama's Coffee Shop-Nutella-Dessert

This decedent dessert is now on our MUST MAKE list and once you try it you will understand why!

The smoothness. The creaminess. The Oh My Gracious, roll your eyes, deliciousness.

It’s like mousse. No, it’s like cheesecake. No, it’s like…

Pure Decadence!

Seriously, you will thank me!

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts once you make this recipe.

I look forward to sharing my next recipe soon, so stay tuned.

In His Grace.

Callie

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I Have No Patience or Me Time But I Still Homeschool {Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop April 2015}

MamasCoffeeShop-RLH-PatienceTime

Often times I hear the mummers, they go like this:

“It must be so hard to homeschool.”

“I have no patience, I could never homeschool my kids.”

“How do you get any time alone?”

“Don’t you miss going to work?”

“I would have no idea what to teach.”

“I’m not a teacher, I don’t have a degree.”

“How do you do it?”

“God bless you, I could never homeschool.”

These are just a FEW of the comments I hear or have heard in the past.

In this post I am going to address just TWO of them: Patience and Me Time

I have to be really honest here. My husband and I have been homeschooling our children now for 8 years. I am by no means a “veteran” homeschooler, but with this many years under my belt, I have learned a few things.

First off, my decision to homeschool was not a spur of the moment thing. This was a long year long debate, mostly internal, but a debate nonetheless. See, I have homeschooling sisters and I myself was homeschooled for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. So, I wasn’t coming into this “homeschool thing” blind, I knew a little bit about it.

The years that I wasn’t homeschooled, I went to “regular” school. Public and private Christian schools. See, I had a taste of every school there was. And looking back, honestly y’all, I now believe that if I was never homeschooled during those precious puberty years, I would not be the woman I am today. Growing up is hard enough with all those raging hormones, but being subjected to multitudes of children going through the same thing, at the same time?! I never would have made it out unscathed.

Public school was when I was young, in a very small country school. Yes, there were tough times, but nothing compared to what it could have been. The high schools years I went to a small private Christian school. And for your information, I learned more inappropriate things there then you could even imagine, because teenagers are teenagers no matter where you go.

So, with all of this past personal experiences I thought for sure that regular school was the way to go. My kids would be just fine. My husband and I even moved into a subdivision (planned community) directly across the street from an elementary school and a high school.

The closer the time came for us to enroll my oldest into school, the more doubts I was having about this whole school thing. I felt the Lord pressing on my heart more often than not. I knew that my son was full of energy, bouncy, full of a thousand and one questions…and from all the articles I was reading at the time, I just knew that my son would be labeled ADHD. Not that this doesn’t exist, I know for fact that it does, but I also believe that it is often mislabeled for many boys.

So, talking about homeschooling with my husband over weeks and weeks, I kept saying how I just think that we should homeschool. The time to pre-register for Kindergarten and I really didn’t want to go thorough with it. But my husband wanted to make sure that homeschooling was the right thing to do, so he asked me to talk to a Kindergarten teacher to find out what K kids learn by the end of the year. Long story short, our son already knew 8 of the 10 required items for Kindergarten. Hubby said we could try homeschooling, thus began our journey. And we are still “trying” this homeschool thing, every day.

Secondly, each individual MUST make this homeschool decision based on what they truly believe is best for their family. Not everyone is led to homeschool, I realize that, but PLEASE, stop giving excuses where there are none. If you really want to homeschool you make ways to overcome the obstacles. Time. Finances. Patience. Teaching.

Patience

For instance…I have ZERO patience…Zip…Nada…Zilch.

But, I LOVE my children, regardless of how much they wear on my patience. See, I have a hidden secret. You might know it yourself, but I will share anyway. I pray to the most patient God. He sees me at my worst and He knows that I can only homeschool these children if I rely on Him. I pray A LOT I tell ya. Before battle, in the midst of battle, after battle…yes, I said battle because sometimes it feels just like that.

Do I lose my temper? YES

Do I yell and raise my voice? YES

I have even run around acting like I was going to pull my hair out yelling at the top of my lungs. (Not my finest moment, but truth nonetheless.) And through each moment of weakness, it has given me ample opportunities to show my children that 1) I am human 2) that you apologize and ask forgiveness for wrong doings, and 3) I need God and His unending GRACE.

Me Time 

Lastly, and this one really gets me going y’all – when do I find time for me? This one makes me want to crick my head and question, Really?! Me time?! That is a worldly distraction that the devil tries to impose on all mamas. I know that I need quiet time in prayer and Bible reading. But apart from that time, I don’t have “me time”. Yes, I make grocery store runs, Walmart runs, and the occasional trip to the library alone, but these are few and far between.

You are probably asking why, so let me tell you why. First and foremost, these children are my first responsibility as a mama. There is little time for me and that is okay. God intended that these children need me. I am their one constant in this life. The source that will never lie to them, cause them to think less of themselves, encourage them, comfort them, kiss booboos, spank a rear end when needed, guide them, direct them, pray with them, pray for them, teach them what is truly important in life. Tell me when there is time for me…right, there isn’t.

But yet, there is!

God provides me with the time I need, just when I need it. Since God is all-seeing and all-knowing, He is always ready for me, when I need a moment. I homeschool these children to the best of my ability, and He sees that. He sees the time and effort I put into each of them, and in return He provides me with “me time”. I have a bathtub, I can spend time with my hubby, I can read a book after they are in bed, I can snuggle in bed for a few extra minutes in the morning. So, enough with the what about me time questions already, the Lord provides for those that ask Him. This is just another excuse that is hindering you from making the homeschool decision.

So, you think you want to homeschool but you just don’t think that you have the patience or you are concerned about me time. Well, listen up mama. This homeschool thing isn’t a trend, it isn’t a do until you get bored thing, it isn’t a try it and see how it fits kind of thing either, at least not for me.

God. He is the reason I can homeschool. And the reason you can too.

He is all powerful.

He is grace giving for the bad days.

He is forgiving to the point of forgetfulness.

He is true love, without exception.

He is the best listener.

He answers most every question in double quick time.

He is reassurance when days are too hard.

He is quiet when you just need to vent.

He is compassion when you don’t think you can go on with this homeschool journey.

He heals broken hearts when things didn’t go as planned.

He sends along a burst of peace and joy when something just clicks in those little minds.

He is EVERYTHING in this homeschool thing.

I hope this gives you a better peek into our Real Homeschool and please feel free to asks any questions you might have and I will do my best to answer them.

In His Grace.

Callie

Visit some of my fellow homeschool mama that are participating this week in our Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop:

For This Season
Unexpected Homeschool
For Him and My Family
As We Walk Along the Road
Growing in His Glory
Homeschool Coffee Break
Daily Life
There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Proverbial Homemaker
ElCloud Homeschool

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the Blog Hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

 

 

 

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Life Skills 101 {Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop April 2015}

MamasCoffeeShop-RLHBlogHop-LifeSkills

I may not say that when the kids help me in the kitchen or around the house is school, but actually it is.

Helping in the kitchen, helping with laundry, sweeping, washing the dishes, or cleaning the bathroom are not just chores because you are part of the family.

They are Life Skills.

These “chores” are designed to help our children learn the importance of completing tasks as well as help them be competent in these tasks. Because at some point, even if this mama doesn’t even want to go there, these children will one day move out on their own.

They will be required to care for themselves in every capacity and what better time to learn life skills than at home. Where mistakes can be corrected, skills can be improved, and the “make sure it is done” thought processes can be instilled.

Will they screw up even out on their own, of course. But by being a constant now will make it easier to be a constant later in life too.

So, here are just a few ways that we do real life homeschool.

Just don’t tell my kids that it is school, okay?!

Washing Dishes

MCS-Washing Dishes

Helping in the Kitchen (Cooking and Baking Skills)

MamasCoffeeShop-HelpingInTheKitchen

I know that many people would say that this isn’t really homeschool, but seriously, what better place to learn these vastly important skills than at home?

As parents, my husband and I pray that we do the utmost for our children. And this is just one of the ways that we exercise our parental duties.

Encouraging our children in everyday life skills so that they will be compete and able once they leave our cozy, little nest.

We know how hard it was when we left our parents homes, and we are trying to make the transition an easier one than the ones that we had.

I for one never quite learned all the necessary skills to be a good wife or mama, so I place life skills at one of the topmost skills my daughter (and sons) must learn to be functional adults, when the time comes. These may seem like old fashioned ideas, but most children nowadays have a selfish, lazy attitude and we want our children to understand the value of working hard and completely tasks. And the satisfaction that goes along with a job well done.

Here is a Basic List of Life Skills we Practice:

  • Sweeping the Floors
  • Vacuuming
  • Cleaning the Windows
  • Cleaning the Bathroom
  • Washing the Dishes
  • Loading/Unloading the Dishwasher
  • Sorting Laundry
  • Washing Laundry
  • Changing Bed Sheets
  • Making Beds
  • Clearing the Table after a Meal
  • Dusting
  • Putting Books, Toys, Shoes Away
  • Caring for Pets (Feeding, Providing Water, Cleaning Cages)
  • Basic Home Repair (Learning to Use Tools)

This is just ONE way that we do Real Homeschool and I hope you come back to see my other posts during this Blog Hop. See y’all next time!

In His Grace.

Callie

Visit some of my fellow homeschool mamas bloggers to read more!

Every Bed of Roses
Ben and Me
Footprints in the Butter
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Raventhreads
Counting Our Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Ozark Ramblings
Chestnut Grove Academy
Only Passionate Curiosity
Farm Fresh Adventures

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the Blog Hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

 

 

 

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