Monday, October 2, 2017

Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes CD Review

Laurie Berkner has just released "The Dance Remixes" of 14 of her most beloved songs for kids.  Laurie realized that many of her fans had now grown into teens and she wanted to update her songs to reflect the new sounds of her award winning favorites.  She remixes her songs into Electronic Dance Music (EDM).  Kids will enjoy the upbeat sounds including Latin-flavored and some old time fiddle music.  Laurie shines in this new album because of her timeless appeal. 
My kids and I first heard Laurie Berkner on CD at a library story time singing "We Are the Dinosaurs."  It has been so fun to see her develop her songs into great dance music.  She is funny, talented and has her own style.  We recommend this new CD for your dance parties.
*I was given a complimentary CD for this review.  All opinions are my own.*
"The queen of children's music."
-- People Magazine

"The Adele of the preschool crowd."
-- The New York Times

NEW YORK -- Take 14 of The Laurie Berkner Band's most beloved songs for kids, give them a modern-day twist, and remix them into electronic dance songs that all ages will adore.  That's the recipe for legendary children's musician Laurie Berkner's new album, Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes, set for release on September 22.

Says Laurie Berkner, "I first thought of making an Electronic Dance Music album of my songs when I realized I was getting a lot of YouTube and Twitter followers who were teenagers. They had grown up on my music and were writing comments like 'You were my whole childhood!' or 'I've always loved your songs and still do.  I'm so glad I found you on here!'  So, I started to think about ways that I could connect more with those kids.

"I had also noticed how popular EDM was with toddlers and preschoolers, as well as their parents. EDM is so infectious, it almost dares you to TRY not dancing to it!  Suddenly the idea of making EDM remixes of my classic songs emerged as the perfect way to combine new music for young kids and their parents with a nostalgic gift to teens who were still fans."

Engineered by three-time GRAMMY winner, Dave Darlington, Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes presents an exciting new take on songs that have become early childhood cornerstones for an entire generation, now remixed as great dancing tunes for toddlers, tweens, teens, and beyond.  Older kids will fondly recognize the catchy songs they grew up with, like "Victor Vito," "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)," and "My Family," while preschoolers new to Laurie's music will have great fun boogieing to all the infectious beats.

The album features a variety of EDM styles in remixes, from the foot-stomping fun of "We Are The Dinosaurs" to the Latin-flavored "I'm Gonna Catch You," which showcases not only Laurie's delightful vocals but also some timely barking from Winston, Laurie's cocker spaniel. Certified kid favorite "The Cat Came Back" even gets an irrepresssible EDM makeover, topping the chart for artful creativity with the various layers of the song melting into each other and "meows" aplenty.

Super popular Laurie Berkner classic songs, like "BOOTS," "Rocketship Run," "Drive My Car," and "Shake Your Body Down" are also included, bringing instant nostalgia to older listeners and introducing the inimitable Berkner sweetness and radiant good humor to babies and toddlers of a new generation. This is Laurie Berkner music like it's never been heard before!

A former preschool music teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music twenty years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the "kindie" music genre and was crowned "the undisputed queen of kindie rock" by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, "Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups."

Visit for more about The Laurie Berkher Band, including press photos and tour dates.  Media assets and press photos are also available on the website of Laurie's distributor, Razor & Tie, at

Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes will be available for download at all digital retailers, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more. Physical CDs will be available at all Laurie Berkner concerts and at

Monday, August 28, 2017

{Why} Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy Book Review

{Why} Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy

I am so glad I was chosen to review this book by September McCarthy about motherhood. I have felt so often that I'm a failure and what I do is so mundane and it doesn't really matter.  I can't believe that I think and feel these things because I love God so much and I want to follow and obey Him.  But I get overwhelmed and frustrated and I begin to go down the wrong path.  This book was a compilation of many different thoughts for moms who feel these things.  

September takes her experience as a mom of 10 and her passion to encourage moms and wrote {Why}Motherhood Matters because it does, much more than we can ever think or imagine.  I felt like I was sitting across the table from this sweet mom as she told me many stories of her motherhood, lessons she learned, ideas to inspire my motherhood, ways to love to my kids and husband and myself.  But most of all, to keep my mind and heart focused on Jesus who gives me the strength and grace to be the mom He created me to be.  

Throughout the book September inserts specific Bible verses that pertain to the topic in the chapter, practical steps to take toward the the topic, questions to think about, her own parenting principle and a special prayer.  Each chapter had a different theme.  My favorites were: Why Overwhelmed Does Not Have to be Your Middle Name, Why Most of Motherhood Will be Spent on our Knees, Why a Tired Mom Can be the Most Influential Mom and Why It's OK to Say No to Your Children.  But one of my favorites is shared in the video below read by another author (Wendy Speake who wrote Triggers) who shares Why The Yelling Mom Can Find Hope and Help.  Click HERE to see video.

This is a book I will pick up and read a chapter from when I need encouragement or wisdom.  Motherhood is much harder and more emotionally, physically and spiritually draining than I ever thought.  But it is the sacrifice that God has called me to.  As September says, "Motherhood is an incredible labor of love- and in the scope of eternity, it matters more than you know."  I will not give up and I will stay strong in the Lord because I know it matters for eternity.  

Find more information at:

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book for a launch team review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lesson Planning! (another video!)

Hi Friends, I had some questions about how I do lesson planning.  I hope this short video will show you how quick and easy it is and how I can make weekly notes to remember everything that happens or what needs to be done.

Student Planner that I use from Queen Homeschool.  

*Affiliate links*

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Heart of Dakota 1st Grade: Little Hearts for His Glory (videos)

Hi Friends, I shared a bit ago that we are using Heart of Dakota this year for our curriculum.  I was getting a bit exhausted piecing together different curriculum especially for science and history.  I was a teacher and I really like to include these as subjects even though we experience nature and visit museums, it's just fun to explore more with books too.

So, my daughter will be in 1st grade and I made a special notebook for her to use with Little Hearts for His Glory.

So, there you have it!  I'm excited to start planning and preparing and experiencing Heart of Dakota with my daughter.  The lesson guide looks amazing and I know we will have a fun year together.

Extra curriculum we use: 

*Queen Homeschool:  Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 2 and the Student Planner

*Math Mammoth 1st Grade (we will probably only do Book A this year)

I look forward to sharing more of what we will be doing this year in our homeschool.  Have a great day!

*Some Affiliate links*

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Heart of Dakota 3rd Grade: Bigger Hearts for His Glory (videos)

Hi Friends!  I am getting ready for the new school year.  I did share on my Facebook page that I will be using Heart of Dakota this year for both children.  I just received my last shipment of books, so I wanted to share these videos with you.  We will be starting school at the end of August and as usual I am much more excited than the kids.  My plan for the first day is for them to look at all their new books.  They have not seen them yet.  I've been hiding them!

Heart of Dakota website:

Have you used this curriculum or heard about it?  I've been looking at it for quite awhile, but I just now started researching it more and I really like the values and the organization as well as all the BOOKS!!

I will be sharing our first grade curriculum soon.

For information on:

*Math Mammoth

*Here to Help Learning (Paragraph Writing)

*Queen Homeschool products I use: The Student Planner and Language Lessons

*All About Reading and All About Spelling products I use.

*Some Affiliate links*

Monday, July 31, 2017

Gospel Centered Mom by Brooke McGlothlin Book Review

I'm so excited to be part of the launch team for Brooke McGlothlin's new book, Gospel Centered Mom.  This post was inspired by the book.  To join us and learn more about it and be part of it, click here:  

Brooke's new book, Gospel Centered Mom: The Freeing Truth About What Your Kids Really Need is a challenge for moms to stop living the ME Gospel and live out the True Gospel.  This means that instead of focusing on ourselves we are to give ourselves up for the sake of Christ.  We are called to embrace our need for Jesus alone and stop taking on all the pressure of responsibility to churn out "Christian" children.  We are to fight for our children, not against them and realize that there's more than just now (  We are not called to be perfect, we are called to pursue God and grow deeper in love with Him.  And He will be the one who works in the hearts of our children.  Brooke shares raw and real situations that have brought her to her knees not only for her children but also for herself.  She shares many practical ideas along with the hard truths and the beautiful truths for moms to develop a Gospel Centered life.  It is when we let go and let God that we will truly find the freedom to be able to understand that the Gospel calls us to serve in a greater way for a greater cause.  

I was challenged to live my life in a way that fully embraces the Gospel for myself and to place my hope and faith only in Him.  I know that I am not called to change my children, but to live so my children see that I am changed by the power of the Gospel.  I want to be desperate only for Jesus.  He is to be my prize, not health, wealth, happiness, freedom or safety, just Him!  And the best way I have found to fight for my children is being in prayer.  

As you learn to anchor your life in the Gospel you'll find increased freedom, purpose and joy in motherhood.  Get Brooke McGlothlin's book at

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book for a launch team review.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sibling Conflict Course opens on June 1!

Do you have two or more children?
Do your kids get along ALL the time?
Or do they have sibling conflict which causes parent anxiety and distress?

I can answer that I have two children and they do not get along all the time and I get anxious and stressed at their behavior.  I would really like to know what I can do to help them.  

Wait, I just read about this online course called Sibling Conflict from the authors at Connected Families.  Hmm, I really enjoyed their book called Discipline that Connects With Your Child's Heart.  I value what they share and I have used their techniques in my parenting.  I'm sure this new course will add many more tools to my parenting kit.  

What about you?  
Do you see yourself in these situations?

Situation #1 - 
The kids are fighting - again! The harder you try to make it stop, the worse it seems to get - and the kids seem more and more resentful. 
Situation #2 - One minute they love each other and the next minute they’re arch enemies. The older they get the louder and angrier it gets. You hate the way this affects everyone’s mood, including your own.
Situation #3 - Time-outs, required apologies, and firmness temporarily curb the fighting, but it soon comes back with more intensity. 
Situation #4 - Your young kids are beginning their rivalry and you worry where it’s heading if you don’t learn some better strategies.

This course will help to answer these and many more questions.  Parents will be taught the Peace Process which is practical, easy to understand and implement.

Here are the course session titles: 
Session 1: Getting “Unstuck” from Sibling Conflict
Session 2: Taking the Step from Crazy Mountain to Calm 
Session 3: Building Understanding Around Sibling Conflict 
Session 4: Facilitating True Conflict Resolution
Session 5: The Superpower of Celebration

If this course appeals to you, be sure to register before June 30 (the last day to register before the course closes).

*I am an affiliate for this company.  Thank you for your support.*

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Our curriculum choices for 2016-2017 Kindergarten

Here are my choices for Kindergarten curriculum.
OK, this is going to sound like a LOT, but I don't do everything everyday.  See below for weekly schedule.  Sorry that I'm so late in sharing this, but we have really enjoyed the curriculum we have used this year.  Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks!

*Grapevine Bible Study- Old Testament Overview
*Character Concepts- Character Trails
*Morning Time- verses, poems, songs

Language Arts:
*Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 1 (I love how this program is designed.  My son started here and is now on the 4th book in the series.)

-All About Reading Level 1 (LOVE this program!)

-Reading the Alphabet- we do this off and on
-Reading Lesson- slowly working through this book
*Skills and Math- Rod and Staff Preschool books
*Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears (I love this way of teaching handwriting!)

*Math Lessons for a Living Education Volume 1 (I used this with my son and we really liked it, but we have an older edition).

*Give Your Child the World- reading books from different countries
*Nature Friend Magazine
*A Living History of Our World Volume 1

I also use Usborne books and I read aloud  A LOT (see ideas from Read Aloud Revival).

*Piano- PiAnimals
*Swimming co-op
*Kids Cook Real Food
*Homeschool co-op

Reading Bear- FREE

Each morning at breakfast I read from Nature Magazine, The Story of Inventions (Usborne Books) and we listen to Daily Audio Bible for Kids.  After breakfast we do a few chores and then we start Morning Time.  We spend 15 minutes quietly reading and looking at books.  Each child has their own box of books.  Then we have 15 minutes of moving and dancing.  After that we sit on the couch and read from a book recommended by Give Your Child the World (we are reading through books from a different continent each month).  We also are memorizing famous paintings with Usborne art cards and we read a page from the Usborne Encyclopedia.  Then we move to the coffee table and go through our Morning Time notebook with songs, poems and verses.  We then do our Grapevine Study (Stick figures through the Bible).  We have a little break and snack.  Then each child moves to their independent work.  My daughter usually finishes earlier than my son, so then I move on to her one on one work with me.  We do Handwriting Without Tears, All About Reading and some math skills.  Then she's off to play!  We do a few of the other things listed here and there.  It's been a fun year so far!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Our curriculum choices for 2016-2017 2nd Grade

These are the curriculum choices for 2nd grade.  See below for a weekly schedule.

*Grapevine Bible Studies- Old Testament Overview
*Character Concepts- Character Trails
*Morning Time- verses, poems, songs

Language Arts:
*Language Lessons for the Very Young Volume 1
*All About Reading Level 3
*All About Spelling Level 2
*Handwriting- Printing with Pictures Book E
*Creative Writing- Here to Help Learning- Paragraph Writing Flight 1 (I love this approach to teaching creative writing!)  Here is my son's first story: click HERE to see video

*Math Mammoth for 2nd grade (My son has really done well with this curriculum)
*Xtra Math- He finished the addition section!
*Math Wrap ups

*Patterns of Nature- Rod and Staff 2nd grade
*Nature Friend Magazine

*Which Way USA
*A Living History of Our World Volume 1
*Our Father's World - Rod and Staff 2nd grade
*Give Your Child the World- reading books from different countries

*Piano- Hoffman Academy
*Swimming co-op
*Kids Cook Real Food
*Homeschool Co-op

*Xtra Math

Weekly Schedule:

Morning Time (includes Bible)
Daily Learning Notebook- Clipboard with various independent work pages or books
One on one time with Mom for Reading, Spelling, Creative Writing, History

We also added gymnastics to our Spring PE program

Swimming co-op in the Fall
Electives- Cooking, Piano

Homeschool co-op
Library day

As you can see we are very busy.  I would love to share more of what I do in my homeschool, but I'm so focused on my kids during my homeschool day and I do lots of cooking, cleaning, working out and I always feel like I can't keep up.  My husband also needs me to help in things he does around the home like the garden, canning and dehydrating.

If you want to keep up with what we are doing, you can follow my FACEBOOK page.  It's much easier for me to post a few pictures and share what we are doing rather than writing up a blog post.  So, please check out my page and see what we are doing.  I would love it!

I hope this has given you some ideas for what you can do in your homeschool.

I'm sorry this was shared so late in the year, but I hope it gives you some ideas for what you might like to use with your kids.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

(some affiliate links)