Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tears in my Coffee


Grief is a funny animal. It has no rhyme or reason, and it certainly has no time table.  It can hit you like a ton of bricks at the most inopportune moments, and it can all at once make you sad for the loss yet grateful for the time together. 

I grabbed a spoon out of the drawer the other morning to stir my coffee and right there in the kitchen, I starting bawling, missing my grandparents so much it hurt.  I have inherited many of their kitchen silverware pieces, and this spoon was one of those simple, yet prized possessions.



I am so grateful I was raised by them, as they became such a steadying force in my unstable childhood.  As an adult, the voice I hear in my head when making decisions is not that of my parents, but of my grandparents.  WWMSD--(What Would Mary and Sam Do?)--really does sometimes cross my mind.  And I smile at the memory of them giving me a hug--or in Granny's case, a swat on my backside--and helping me figure out my current crisis.  

For all of you who completely understand loss and pain and grief, I know you know how it feels. One minute you're crying over missing them and the next minute you're laughing over a sweet memory of them.  

Let me encourage you all--Hope has a rope! Every single day we wake up, we find ourselves one day closer to our loved ones in heaven! We are one day closer to healed, perfect bodies! Focusing on what is to come is an amazing way to view this difficult life because we, in our earthly state, see so much of the bad, but God wants us to see so much of the good still present on this side of heaven.  

We must hold onto the rope that connects us to heaven, where the joyful eternity with our loved ones by our made-whole-again sides will be all we know.   No more tears, no more terrorists attacks, no more evil.  Just beautiful reunions with those we miss so much! 



“God doesn’t expect you to be happy about what has been torn from your hands—whether it’s a marriage, your health, a job, or someone you love—but if you are willing to trust him, he can turn trash into triumph.” ~~Levi Lusko, Through the Eyes of a Lion

"He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.” Rev 21:4 


©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Last Ride by Susan K. Marlow {A Review}



It is no secret that we are huge Susan K. Marlow fans in this household--we've been reading Circle C Adventures books for over five years now.  It's been fun to watch my daughter grow up as the main character in the books does as well.  

In this installment, Andrea Carter (Andi) is now 16 years old, becoming more and more independent, and facing some of the toughest challenges to date.  As her cousin Daniel's family sends him to the ranch for 'rehab', he brings with him tons of mischief and criminal behavior which wreaks havoc on the family business and into Andi's personal life. 

After a horrible accident injures Andi and her beloved horse Taffy, Andi must face one of the hardest physical and emotional comebacks of her life.  Learning to forgive is harder than she could ever imagine.  I love the honest way Andrea must face that task, as it strikes a nerve for all of us who have struggled to do so.  


Weaving intrigue and human struggle through her stories, author Susan Marlow is the best at helping young adults learn to filter tough challenges through the light of the Lord.  One of the best benefits to Mrs. Marlow's books is her equally well-done study guides.  These are free, full of supplemental learning opportunities which help the story come to life even more for the reader.  Here are some sample pages from the 41-pp study guide for The Last Ride: 

As always, I highly encourage your young readers to grab all of the readers offered by Marlow. Parents, you do not have to worry about what your child may be reading--it's a safe zone here!  You can purchase the entire series in Circle C Milestones on Amazon or through Susan's author site found here.  This installment does not disappoint, and my daughter and I both can't wait to read the next chapter in the series, Courageous Love




©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Friday, January 27, 2017

If You Give a {Teenage} Kid a Camera.....

If you give a teenage kid a camera....


She'll see signs of life in the middle of winter....



And that boundaries can be really good things.





She'll see that some things get more beautiful with age...



And that trusting God can be the best place to find rest.






She'll notice the lazy dreamers....



And the hard workers... 




She'll notice patterns designed by a Master Artist....




And ladies out for a morning stroll. 





She'll be blessed to consider far away adventures...  




But be very content to be a present-day follower.  



♥ All photos by Abbey Grace, age 13 ♥






©2017-2018 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com.  Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Logic of English Essentials 2nd Edition {A Review}

Looking for a solid language arts program for your students? You owe it to your child to at least take time to consider this amazing program from author Denise Eide---Logic of English.





I reviewed an earlier version of this program a few years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing the updates in this edition of Essentials.  As an older child, Abbey is on the upper end of the age range for this program,  but that allowed us to focus on the Level C, and really discover new facets of it.  But let's start at the beginning......

At its core, Logic of English (LOE) is an unbelievably detailed phonetic learning program that helps students learn the correct spellings of phonic sounds from the very beginning. Learning how to spell the sounds the students hears sets them up for later success in reading and in spelling.  LOE breaks down the mechanics of learning in ways that no other current program on the market can match. 

Check out the scope and sequence for even more details

Here's how we used it

In the Teacher's Edition (a must have), the lessons are broken into sections based on the skill level of your students--Levels A, B, and C.  The method for learning to spell includes saying the word, finger spelling the word, analyzing which phonogram to use, writing the word, and then analyzing the word for which part of speech it is.  This method works many different parts of the brain, and this is part of what makes it successful. 

We chose to focus on Level C because of Abbey's age and skill level, but I also want to share with you some of the amazing components of the system for all levels: 

Phonogram cards--Coordinating perfectly with the lesson plans, each week your child will be learning new phonograms and the sounds each letter or combination of letters make.  Remember, this work may seem tedious, but there is a method behind it and trusting the system is crucial to success.  I highly recommend purchasing the LOE app for your phone or tablet, because the phonogram cards coordinate nicely with it as well and it adds another level of learning to the mix. 





  • Essentials Teacher's Guide, Volume 1--The newly updated teacher's guide is so well laid out and user-friendly, I consider it a must-have to be successful with this program.  It takes out the tough work for you, and allows you to teach LOE like a pro! 


  • Essentials Student Workbook, Volume 1--You'll need this workbook and a spelling journal for each student in your home, as they are consumable, but you will be glad they have their own space to write and learn and grow in their language mastery. 
  • Spelling Journal--Three levels of spelling lists are included. Definitions and Greek and Latin roots are discussed, and parts of speech are also addressed. It's a spelling list on steroids--it's awesome! 


  • Spelling Rule Flash Cards--These are an amazing reference for the entire program and beyond. We will be referring to these for many years to come.  



  • Grammar Flash Cards---Another wonderful resource, these flash cards cover the basic rules of grammar, and I allowed my daughter to keep them with her on her desk as she worked through the program. 


  • Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards--Once your students have mastered the basic phonograms, they are ready to move to these advanced combinations.  I recommend not skipping purchasing this set. 
  •  
  • Morpheme Flash Cards, Set 1--We used this set more than any of the others, because we focused so much on spelling and vocabulary. These are just chock full of information on each card. They are color-coded and help students learn roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and how they all work together.  My daughter's spelling ability increased exponentially over the three months we used this! We spent a lot of time discussing each root and its meaning, so that when she sees that root again, she can have a better understanding of what the new word may mean.  I was so pleased with her amazing knowledge of vocabulary as well. Even if she wasn't necessarily using the new words each week in her normal conversation, she would recognize it when she heard it in other conversations in person or on television.  


  • Phonogram Game Cards--Throughout the program, games are interjected to help your students really solidify in their minds, the concepts they are learning along the way.  The game cards and games tiles are used in a very purposeful manner and not JUST for filling time and space.   They are available in manuscript, cursive, and standard bookface. 

  • Phonogram Game Tiles---These color-coded tiles are super helpful for teaching your younger ones--The set includes all of the 74 basic phonograms taught in Logic of English® curriculum, not just the A-Z letters!

The bottom line: 

       My daughter who is now an 8th grader, who had been a struggling reader, has a much better understanding of the English language, is a  much better reader, and even increased her spelling skills--a feat I did NOT think possible at the beginning of the school year.  

    The entire set of Essentials 2nd Edition is currently on sale for $198 and includes all of the    above, plus more! You can also purchase each item individually on their website.  Do yourself a favor and read more about the 'how' and 'why' it works so well!  



©2016-2017 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Feathered but not Tethered


This telephone pole which sits next to our driveway is the vantage point of so many types of birds. On any given day you can hear woodpeckers knocking, observe mockingbirds and bluebirds fussing at each other from the power lines, or see beautiful doves resting for a moment before loudly fluttering off. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older, but I absolutely love to bird watch.   They are such amazing works of God--their colors, the way they move, the sounds they make.  I just love them!  





But beyond their beauty, they are also teaching me that it's okay to stop and rest sometimes, and getting to that vantage point is more than it seems.  Yes, those spiritual highs in our life are great, because they refresh our souls, but we simply can't stay there too long.  Life won't allow it.  From those high points we can observe what is truly happening in the spiritual realm all around us, and we can gain perspective.  We realize the battle never ends. At least not on this side of heaven.  It is exhausting, isn't it? 

This Christian life makes it hard to take deep breaths sometimes (a lot of times).  I just want like a whole week with no work issues, no fires to put out, no migraines, no sadness.  (A girl can dream.)  But we all know God has called us to live in a fallen world, and to be salt and light for those who are struggling even more than we are.  

He has called us to soar.  

So take off, my friends, and go spread your love in this hurting world! 


“You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world?" Matthew 5:13

"They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31




 ©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot~~11/29/2015

"I must consume the abundance of moments now. Days I am overwhelmed wanting to write the music of my life in a slower tempo, yet this is the glorious dance of now. So I shall dance in bare feet, for I am on holy ground." ~~Ann Voskamp
















Joining my friend Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life for Sunday's Blog Hop called Scripture and a Snapshot.  Do yourself a favor and click through to see some lovely, lovely shots from other bloggers across the Web! 











©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

{Review} Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow (Kregel Publications)


To say my daughter Abbey is a reluctant reader would be a major understatement.  She didn't start reading fluently until she was seven years old, which wasn’t a big deal, but finding a book series on which she could get focused and interested was tough.  Thankfully, we were blessed to discover Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Beginnings series, and the delightful Andi (short for "Andrea") Carter and the cast of characters in each story.  Abbey fell in love with reading!!  We are huge Susan K. Marlow fans in this household!   Abbey has now read every book in both the Circle C Beginnings and the subsequent Circle C Adventures series. 

When we heard Kregel Publications was publishing a new series of Susan K. Marlow books about Andrea Carter called Circle C Milestones, my child was sincerely thrilled to be chosen to review the first offering of the new series, Thick as Thieves.  You can read that review here



When Abbey realized we’d get to review the second installment Heartbreak Trail, she was once again eager to see it arrive.  She watched the mail like a hawk and quickly ran off to start reading it. We are homeschoolers, so once it arrived, I loved allowing this to count as her literature credits for the next few weeks.  

Heartbreak Trail  by Susan K. Marlow takes place in 1880s California. Andrea Carter, her mother, and Andi's older siblings help run Circle C Ranch.  In this new installment, 15-year old Andi gets permission from her mom to accompany her older brothers on a tough cattle drive.   Andi quickly learns how tough and dangerous this adventure can actually be. Having to deal with a pesky cowhand, Andi is forced to rely on God and her brothers even more.
Threaded throughout the novel is the sense of family and trust.  As a parent, I just love this theme.  

Abbey's words: I feel as if I have grown up with Andrea Carter. She is my favorite character in each book.  In Heartbreak Trail, I loved how exciting the story got once the cattle drive members crossed the river.  After I finished each chapter I couldn't wait to start the next, and I really can't wait for the next book! 


Susan K. Marlow weaves a ton of wholesome mystery, suspense, humor, and adventure into each chapter, holding the reader captive. 
Best of all, the FREE study guide for Heartbreak Trail, also written by Susan K. Marlow, has been an absolutely wonderful way to review the material, learn vocabulary, study history, learn more about horses, do math, engage in critical thinking, and more! 


We chose to do the study guide after Abbey completed reading the entire book, but it is set up in a way which will allow you to review every 3 -4 chapters if you prefer.  I printed out the 44-pp PDF, used my 3-hole punch, and placed all the sheets in a binder.   Here's a few excerpts to give you an idea:










And on my own, in conjuction with an English lesson on which we were working, I had Abbey create a new book jacket for the Heartbreak Trail: 




Parents, I wholeheartedly recommend this and any of Mrs. Marlow's books for your child.  BOTH boys and girls will enjoy it, because there is plenty of action for both. Heartbreak Trail is recommended for ages 12 and up, but younger, advanced readers can enjoy this as well, or it can work well as a family read-aloud.

Heartbreak Trail, in softcover format, retails for $9.99 + $2.50 s/h and can be autographed by Susan K. Marlow herself.  We had the entire set of the Circle C Adventures (the previous series) autographed and personalized to Abbey, and recently had some personalized for Abbey's friends as a birthday present. They were thrilled!  Click HERE for that option, or you can purchase from Kregel PublicationsCBD, or Amazon.  

Just go buy it, and do it NOW!!! 





FCC Disclaimer: Kregel Publications provided me with a free copy of Heartbreak Trail in exchange for my honest and thorough review. They did not tell me what to say or how to say it. No other compensation was given.



 ©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

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