More than just Valentine's Day!

Today many people celebrate. People eat chocolate, send cute little cards, and plan romantic dates.

 We don't just celebrate Valentine's Day today!

My family celebrates today as well but we celebrate something else.  Something much more special.  It's all about Love.  Eternal Love.

7 years ago on Forgiveness Sunday my family was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church.  My husband and children were baptized and the six of us Chrismated.  This took place before Liturgy and at Liturgy we had our first communion.

On February 14th we became Orthodox!

Forgiveness Sunday marks the beginning of Lent.  During the special vespers service we transition into Lent.  It's a beautiful service.

This year Forgiveness Sunday falls a little later in February.  On that day we'll remember that liturgically that is our anniversary.

Today my husband and I will have a little date.  We'll eat steak and shrimp and watch an episode or two of Doctor Who.  (I'm thinking the Christmas Special with River Song sounds perfect). Yes we'll celebrate Valentine's Day but as we enjoy our steak and shrimp we'll also be thinking of something much deeper and far more important.

In Him we have Eternal Life


Five Minute Friday: Crave

Some friends of mine from the Homeschool Review Crew like to participate in the Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Heading Home.  The idea is to set a timer and write for 5 minutes. This week's word is "Crave".


The first thing I think of when I hear "crave" is food.  Food cravings. Craving is not just wanting but has the connotation of needing. When I can tell I am getting dehydrated I don't say that I crave water.  I say I need water.  But when I say someting like "I am craving Chex Mix" it is not just meeting a need such as hunger but meeting some type of psychological need?

I've heard it said that craving specific foods may indicate that your body needs something that is in those foods. I don't know if that is true or not but I know that when I say I crave something it is more than just an intense "want".  I don't just want the Chex Mix.  I can't be sure that I need the Chex Mix but other snacks are just not going to satisfy the way a handful of crunchy cereal snack.

Five Minute Friday: Tess's Thoughts on CRAVE at CirclinThroughThisLife.com #fmfparty

Craving isn't just about food though.  I sometimes crave some aspect of Divine Liturgy.  This week I've been listening to my Church's CD because I wanted, no, needed, no was craving the beauty and worship of Divine Liturgy.  Something about hearing the familiar voice of my priest and familiar hymns meet this need more than listening to Ancient Faith Radio.

When thinking about "crave" I also thought about it terms of relationships.  A young child craves the attention of her parents. She both needs and wants the attention. I found myself craving some extra time with my husband.  Life's been crazy.  We've been stressed and I was craving some simple time alone.  Just Honeybear and me snuggling on the couch watching Netflix.


Come join in the fun! Click on the button below to read more thoughts about "Crave"



Personalized Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber {Review}

Christmas is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to be thinking about a special personalized gift for the loved ones on your list!

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have had the opportunity to choose from a variety of name meaning gifts including a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber. I want to share my experience with all of you.

CrossTimber review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

Before I could order, I had to choose. I was torn. We were given the opportunity to review ONE gift. How was I going to choose? I could not make up my mind. I started by emailing John at CrossTimber.  I shared with him that I was having a difficult time making up my mind. I have four daughters so I didn't want to pick one of them and not pick the others so I went in a different direction. I gave John my husband's name and my name. A couple's name plaque would be nice! My niece had gotten married only a few weeks before so I asked about her name and her new husband. Maybe I would get them a framed plaque.  But wait we have a young godson. This could be a most excellent and meaningful gift for a godparent to give to a godchild.

I felt bad for giving him so many names. I really wanted to see what name meanings he had and what verses he would use. That information would help me pick my review product.  My list didn't daunt him at all!
First off, we LOVE sharing name meanings, and always have!  In fact, that’s why we made our very first name gifts for some peers who tried to convince me they were my enemy… so I blessed ‘em with NameCards!   http://meaning.name/RE/driversed.html  That said, here are some name meanings!!
He didn't just give me the name meanings! He also gave me the Bible verse that he would use for each name. I liked that.  I liked seeing the connection between the meaning of the name and the verse that would be printed with it. He also made suggestions of which design and size might work best for each name!  I did appreciate having some direction when looking over all the different choices available.

I still struggled with what to choose and came back and asked about more names as well.  John at CrossTimber was very patient and very quick to respond to all of my emails.  I even asked about surname research.  This what he said:
Ah, surnames!  Most surnames, we can research, but some are so far removed and altered from their roots that it’s difficult to nail down a very accurate meaning.  In those cases, we often suggest a strong family Bible verse in place of the meaning.  However, that’s not the case for {lastname}. 
Finally I decided that I could not choose just one item. We discussed different options for ordering more than 1 item that has the same name and design. When my cart did not reflect the savings I was expecting, John reassured me that he would manually make the adjustments and send me an invoice.  He got my total to me very quickly and I was able to pay using PayPal which I really appreciated!

Remember I asked about surnames?  And he had something for my last name.  Here is what he had:

Surname  Name Meaning with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

*sh* don't tell but we ordered one for ourselves and two additional ones since I could get them for just $5 each to give as gifts! I will have to get frames for these.

Speaking of frames.  The other items I ordered?  I chose the Frame Artist's Choice option for each of them. The Frame Artist will choose a frame that compliments the design you choose.  Originally I thought I might just order prints for everything but then I realized that for just $5 more per plaque I could have them choose a frame that would compliment the color and style of the design I choose and I would not have to go shopping for a frame myself.

Here are a couple of frames that I received that I really like. These are my two favorites!

Redwood Decorated Frame of the Name Plaque with Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Frame Artist's Choice for Name Meaning Plaque with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Here is the gift that John from CrossTimber really helped me with.  He suggested the design.  I think it turned out fabulous!

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse! Read he review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

CrossTimber is a Christian family owned and operated business. In addition to the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse they offer personalized mugs, name cards, bookmarks and even music boxes! The customer service is better described as customer care. With all of the email exchanges I didn't feel like he was trying to sell me something more but that he really wanted to help me choose something I would love.

I recommend getting your favorite beverage and spending some time checking out the website. I found the Name Meaning Articles fascinating. I also recommend reading about Driver's Ed which is how CrossTimber got started!

My husband and I are so pleased with our order that I am considering ordering more items to give as gifts!

Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber  #hsreviews

Click on the Banner below for an opportunity to win your own Name Meaning Gift!  *Giveaway hosted and sponsored by CrossTimber*

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

Take a moment and read about what the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have to say about the gifts they received from CrossTimber.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Find CrossTimber on Social Media

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber

Crew Disclaimer


George: Give me your attention!

I am generally too wordy for a wordless post but I'll keep the words to a minimum!

I present to you the lonely cat who demands attention.  Want to work?  Better give him attention first.  He's going to hold the computer hostage until you give him what he wants.

Happy Mid-Week!


Internet Accountabilty from Accountable2You {Review}

Today I want to tell you about a program that I wish I had years ago when my girls were just entering their teenage years.  As they began to be more independent with their school work and using the computer , I would have loved a program that created an atmosphere of building trust. Something that wouldn't necessary restrict their internet use so much that they felt constrained or couldn't do what they needed but one in which they knew mom would know what they've been viewing. Something that I could use to teach them responsibility for their actions and keep them accountable.

Internet Accountability for the whole family! Reviwe at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

Through the Homeschool Review Crew I have found that program.  Accountable2You is an internet accountability software application that you can install on your computer, iPad, KindleFire, or smart phone.  They offer 4 different plans:
Individual Plan, Family Plan, Group Plan, and even a Small Business Plan. I chose the Family Plan.

Homeschool Review Crew ~ Accountable2You Review

This program provides accountability but does not filter content. They do have suggestions for free filtering programs that are compatible with Accountable2You.

So how does it work?  After setting up my account as the primary account, I added users and then I added devices. For each device you can set up accountability partners. I like that you can have more than one accountability partner and you assign accountabillity partners by device not user so you split up the accountability duties between different partners or have multiple partners for each device. With the Family Plan you can have up to 20 devices.

Internet Accountability wiht Accountable2You! Review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

The program has a built in database of objectionable words. As the administrator I could add objectionable words for each user.  I can also add non-objectionable words. If a user adds non-objectionable words to his/her list the accountability partners receive an email. I like this feature because it means that my children can not just add words to the non-objectionable list to bypass the system without my knowing about it. I can not access the extensive pre-set database but I do like that I can add objectionable words for it to watch for and I can add non-objectionable words to reduce the number of hits.

At this time I have not added any non-objectionable words and I have only added "objectionable" words to play with the feature. Words such as "breast" and "sex" are already in the database. How do I know this?  Because my husband has gotten alerts about my viewing habits! One of friends posted about breastfeeding on facebook and someone in the comments typed it as breast feeding which triggered an alert.

Alerts are rated as Questionable and Highly Questionable. When adding each device you can set the alert rating multiplier: Strict, Normal, Less Strict.  These ratings are based on Accountable2You's keyword research.  You can change the Alert Rating Multiplier at anytime. When adding words to the Objectionable list, you can also set the adjustment to be Questionable or Highly Questionable.

Report Summaries can be emailed daily or weekly.  There is an an option to have Questionable Alerts emailed when questionable activity occurs within the last hour.  Another option allows you to receive a text message for any questionable activity in the last 5 minutes.

Lots of Report options with Accountable2You!  #hsreviews

Other features of the software available with the Family Plan include the ability to set time limits per account and to use GPS Location Tracking.

I love that this works on my KindleFire.  I can set up child accounts on my Kindle through Amazon but those are two restrictive for my high school student. I end up having to give her access to my profile anyway so that she can access her British Literature Anthology or other school books I have put on the Kindle.  With Accountable2You on my Kindle, she knows that if she wanders into other apps or uses the browser, I'll know about it. It keeps her accountable.

The Individual Plan and the Family Plan are very similar.  With both you can you have multiple devices per user and multiple accountability partners. The primary difference is the ability to have multiple users and to set time limits.

Accountable2You a Homeschool Crew Review #hsreview

The Group Plan is perfect for church groups or Bible Study groups whose members wish to have more accountability with their personal internet use.

Small Business owners who do not want to worry about the FBI knocking on their doors because of employee illicit use of the internet on company time may find the Small Business Plan perfect for them!

Some members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed the Individual Plan or Group plan while others reviewed the Family Plan.  Click on the banner below to read what they had to say!

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Visit Accountable2You on Social Media:

 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/accountable2you
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/accountable2youllc

Crew Disclaimer