Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Busy Lives of The Bryan's

I've totally and completely L O S T my desire to blog, write, review, and create over the past couple months.
Have you ever fallen into survival mode?
Been so busy that you get done and do just what needs to be done?
That's me.
I've made time for family and friends, afterall, that is what's M O S T important.

I miss my blog.

Now don't misunderstand my loss of desire to blog, review, ect as a bad thing.
Our lives have been great! Just busy and at the end of the day (when I usually blog) I have chosen to fall into bed instead.

So what's been keeping our family so busy?

Birthdays!! Summer is filled with all the girl's birthdays in our family - including mine!
May, June, July and August. We have one or two every month.

The baby of our family, Marlee, turned FIVE!!!
We've made several trips to the beach! Our favorite place!!
Celebrated the 4th!
My our first (and only) Grandson turned ONE YEAR OLD!
But what has been the biggest time consumer over the past month is...
We are building on to our home!
It's been an amazing process and one that would never have even started without the skills and ambition of our friends (family really). We are eternally grateful!
We have a long way to go, but every time I walk outside and see the progress being made I feel like I have to pinch myself. I just can't believe this is really happening!
In a nutshell, this has been our lives over the past few months.
Busy and Blessed.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing Fiction (Iin High School) - Review

A couple years ago one of my children used -
This was a class offered at our homeschool co-op and I was anxious to try it out.
We loved it and had much success with this workbook, so when I was given the opportunity to review another item from Sharon Watson I "jumped" at the chance!
A little about Sharon -
She homeschooled for 18 years. During her children’s school years, she taught literature, composition, and Indiana history to homeschool students, led a homeschool group, and established a group where there was none. Since then, she's enjoyed teaching middle school and high school composition, fiction writing, and literature to homeschool students.

 Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life will help students
I've written many times how difficult it's been for me to teach math to my children. I find it very difficult to teach a subject I dislike so much.
English is where it's at! I love to write and read. I could spend hours a day teaching and talking to my kids, BUT I found that just because I love a certain subject, doesn't mean my kids will. And that can make me feel like I'm teaching math!
If they just don't get it or in some cases, don't want to get it, there can be some frustrating moments.
It's exciting when you come across curriculum that captures the attention of your children.
Writing Fiction is just that, in fact my oldest daughter who graduated in 2012 and is in her 3rd year of college LOVES this workbook! She would have loved to use this when she was still in high school and really would have benefited from it as she is now a writing major.
Writing Fiction has 13 chapters that cover:
Facts About Fiction
Point Of View
Fairy Tales
Characters And Characterization
Beginnings And Endings
Getting Published
This year long course will give your child/student skills needed for writing short stories and novels. 
Writing Fiction works best when done with a group, but since we are no longer part of a co-op, I found that working with all my high school kids together would be beneficial.
We liked that we were encouraged to use a wide variety of short stories, novels, and movies.
We found some great ideas and even though we are done with school for the year, we are anxious to pick this back up in the fall and will be able to use what we learned in other areas of our schooling.
You will definitely want the teacher's guide to go along with the student workbook and I love the way the teacher's guide is laid out and easy to follow.
Writing Fiction is for your students in grades 9 - 12. The student workbook is $25.05 and the teacher's guide is $9.95. Both available HERE!
Practical, easy-to-use writing courses for homeschools, Christian schools, and co-ops by Sharon Watson.
Please visit our site to read other reviews and thoughts on this curriculum and more offered by Sharon Watson.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I had the most beautiful Mother's Day yesterday!
We spent the day - the weekend actually - at the beach with family and friends.
Shopping, playing in the ocean and sand, boating, eating lots of good food!
It was a perfect weekend...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Iesodo DVD Reviews

Iesodo Faith and Love DVD's
Meet Iesodo (pronounced Yay-Sa-Doe), a wise dove whose name means "The Way of Jesus"! He and his lovable feathered friends live in the Holy Land in a beautiful Cypress Tree on the shores of a vast Lake (or as we know it, the Sea of Galilee). The birds are an unlikely group of friends, and though they have their differences, they have one thing in common: since they met Iesodo, their lives have never been the same!
These are both super sweet movies that my kids love to watch again and again and I love them watching them. So many times I feel I have to sit and watch a movie with my kids due to how inappropriate kid movies can be today, but not with the Iesodo films!
There are three different DVD's in this series called Believe, Faith, and Love.
The run time is about 50 minutes and can be purchased on Amazon for $14.99. These DVD's also include really great bonus features like Bible verses, music videos, songs, and more! There is even a discussion guide available on their site at
While on the Iesodo site, please check out the fun and games section where you can download coloring pages and crafts your child will have hours of fun with.
These are wonderful DVD's that will teach your child biblical values.

Each DVD has two inspiring stories from the Bible with fun characters and catchy songs that will teach your children while they are enjoying this fun movie!
Love Episodes:

“Birds of a Feather, Fish Together”– The wedding of Freddie and Fiona finch is headed for disaster!  Iesodo steps in to calm everyone’s ruffled feathers and make the event a success.

“Love Your Enemies”– Zack, the tax collector, doesn’t play by the rules.  Iesodo shows the flock that treating those who are mean to you with kindness really does make a big difference.

Faith Episodes:

“Miracles are Everywhere”– A big event is happening!  Thousands of birds from all over the world have gathered to meet Iesodo, but food is scarce and the flocks are getting hungry.  Iesodo provides in a way no one could have expected.

“The Wind and the Rain”– The flock is soaring through the sky on their way back to the Cypress Tree when a sudden storm approaches out of nowhere!  Trapped at sea and frightened, they learn that when you have faith, anything is possible.

If your family enjoys fun, wholesome entertainment you need to check out Iesodo!
I received a copy of each of the Iesodo DVD's Faith and Love in exchange for my honest review. A positive review in not guaranteed. All thought and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Bigger Family

When my husband and I married we both already had children.
Within the first two years of our marriage there were adoptions all around. His kids, my kids, somebody else's. It was a modern day "His, Mine and Ours" happening. 
By our 5th wedding anniversary the "ours" started coming into the family with the birth of the first of three more children.
By 2009 we had decided our family was complete (with the exception of fur babies).
We often talked how quiet our home would someday feel when all the kids were grown.
How busy things were, but some day it would slow down and we might even be bored!
As our first and then second child left home we started to rethink our thoughts years earlier.
Could we have been wrong?
Will our home ever be quiet?
Would our crazy, busy lives ever slow down?
With two now out on their own, it sure didn't feel any different.
And then it happened.
Something we thought we had years to prepare for. Something we forgot to take into consideration and realized our excitement for quiet peaceful days were never going to come.
And just like that our family grew.
But not just Grandchildren (which we completely adore) but our children's significant others!
This past Christmas we had two more "children" around the tree Christmas morning.
So one night I laid in bed thinking as I usually do and started the math.
10 kids
10 spouses
IF they average 2 kids each
Plus me and my hubby
OVER 40 people to our immediate family.
I've rethought how our lives will be and this is what I came up with.
We will forever be surrounded by children.
Our home will always be filled with noise.
And for alone time my husband and I will travel!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale with Electro-Mechanical Weight Dial
This sleek looking scale came at the perfect time as my husband and I are working on dropping some extra weight. In addition to watching our diet and exercise, we now have this incredibly cool scale sitting on our bedroom floor for weekly weigh ins.
I don't usually leave bathroom scales sitting out, but the modern design of this scale was too cool to keep away.
I appreciate the two options for reading the scale.
The way it lights up when I step on it.
It's very accurate and consistent.
Large dial and digital display.
Very durable.
Weighs up to 400 pounds.
Large foot plates - even big enough for my Grandson to be weighed!
The scale runs on 3 AAA batteries and automatically shuts off to conserve the life of the battery.
I really love this scale and am looking forward to using it for many years to come.
You can purchase the Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale from Amazon by clicking HERE for the affordable price of $29.95.
Visit the Ozeri web site for other great products HERE!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Baby

My 10th child, Marlee will be 5 the end of May, but I feel very confident that she will forever be known as "the baby" in our family.
She has many other names we refer to her as -
A Handful
The list goes on AND on depending on the day and what she got into.
I think in the crowd that lives in our home, she feels the need to make her presence known.
And she is very good at it!

She has gotten into more "trouble" then my other nine children combined!
Notice in the picture above she didn't just decide to color her face instead of her paper, but also gave herself a haircut.
Marlee is sassy!
Doesn't like clothes!
Likes to show us her food.
Is super silly!
Likes to grocery shop with blue hair.
And just when I'm at the end of my rope because she used the frig as a bathroom, ate my contact lens, painted her tongue with nail polish, filled my clothes dryer with noodles, fed the dog my new make up brush, and has me on a first name basis with poison control...
She looks like this -
So sweet, so peaceful, almost angelic enough to make me forget all those naughty things she did. I'm sure one day - ONE DAY, I'll look back and remember all my Marlee stories for her children AND pray she has one just like her!