All The Things

A lot of friends have noticed I’ve taken a step back from social media and blogging lately. Some have emailed concern, others encouragement, and I give the same response…sometimes life just gets crazy and you‘ve gotta put first things first. Ya know?  It’s been one of those seasons here.

Busy. Crazy. Good. And social media had to take the back seat.

There has been so much going on here in the Pitt household, I wanted to take a moment to fill in y’all on all the happenings. Because first and foremost, you are my people :-) . I appreciate that you read my blog, and subscribe. And, as it’s been since the start, this is where I share me. Not just the latest and greatest products I’ve found.

So what’s been going on?

2:1 PLANNING

2:1 Conference

Even though I haven’t been on social media that much. I’m still busy working! The 2:1 Conference is less than 45 days away and I truly believe this is going to be our best year yet! The speakers, the attendees, the message…I get goose bumps thinking of it.

Seriously, you need to come to this event. It’s life changing and blog changing. And I don’t say that lightly.

NEW BUSINESSES

 

Last year, I started a new security business. I know that sounds crazy and straight out of left field, but I assure you it’s not, No really! My husband has been in this business for 20 years and I’ve learned a lot just from conversation and observation.

And because, like most bloggers I’m a serial entrepreneur, when the opportunity presented itself to bootstrap my own start-up I just went for it. So, now I’m the CEO of Enterprise Security Solutions, and Shane works for me.  It’s interesting, and somewhat strange to have my husband working for me. But, the business is growing and we’re excited about the future!

TEEN MOVES

All three teens have moved out. What a whirlwind that has been! Fun, excitement, and yes, some tears.  Just so there’s no confusion in the who’s who, let me explain for my newer readers.  Shane and I have a 19 year old son, Fox (in addition to our 2 other children, Bram who is 8 and Amelie who is 3).

In addition to our children, we were given the privilege of raising my husband’s two younger brothers, Lawrence and Billy, for the past 6 years. It was an adventure I wouldn’t trade for anything, I love them like crazy and am thankful for the time we had them in our home.

However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without struggle. Billy struggled the most; he never really felt at home here though it wasn’t for my lack of trying. I have not and will not share online about Billy’s struggles, they are his story. However, there came a point when I no longer felt comfortable having him in our home. That’s why, when he had turned 18 and completed 11th grade, we made the painful decision to have Billy leave.

It was not a decision we came to lightly, I shed many tears. But I wholeheartedly believe Shane and I fulfilled the duty God asked of us and it was time for Billy to move on. He’s now living in Florida with his father and new step mother. I’m sure he’s loving the Florida weather!  He’s a sweet young man and I ask that you would join me in praying God would intervene in his life and show Himself mighty.

Then, there’s Lawrence who is now 19, dating an awesome Christian girl and working a full time job while living in a nearby town.  He moved out a couple months ago. He’s ready to take the reigns of his life.  Shane and I are standing back, enjoying watching him spread his wings and start to fly.

We can’t take credit for the man he’s becoming, but it’s nice to know we played a small part.

And then there’s our son Fox.  He just moved out last weekend. He’s also dating a wonderful Christian girl (more about that below) and working a full time job while living in a nearby town.  He’s also 19 and absolutely chomping at the bit to be out on his own, and be his own man.

Again, it’s so fun to watch him spread his wings and start to soar.

WEDDING PLANNING

Fox and Justina

I think most of you know by now my son Fox is getting married this year…the weekend after 2:1.  I told the couple they could set the wedding for any weekend except the 2:1 weekend and they chose the very next weekend. For Real.

If you’ve ever planned a large event, or a wedding, you can imagine how busy we’ve been LOL.  But it’s all good.  Things were coming together nicely, but then there were….some changes (see below). So now, they’re considering just saving money and going to the Justice of the Peace.

CALL ME GRANDMA!

A few months ago, I learned I’m going to be a grandma!  Yes, my son and his fiancee are expecting a baby.

After I got over the initial shock, and honestly some disappointment too (they’re still so young and unmarried), I fully accepted the excitement that a grandbaby has to offer. My daughter-in-law, Justina is due in February and something tells me they’re going to have a boy.

But I guess time will tell.  And honestly, my gender guesses are often wrong. Ha! But, you dear reader, need to brace yourself for an onslaught of upcoming grandbaby photos because I’m going to be ridiculous, I’m sure.

NEW WEBSITES

Young Grandma

As I mentioned earlier, as a blogger I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur. When I found out I’m going to be a grandma, I couldn’t help but think that I’ll be a young grandma (I’ll be 37 when baby arrives).  And, my friend Toni of the Happy Housewife, just became a young grandma as well.

Grandmas are no longer wrinkled and clad in polyester! We’re young(ish) and vibrant. And by golly we need a website for the modern grandmother!

Thus was born Mod Granny.  My favorite designers and tech geniuses, Honey and Jonah of Honeycomb Design Studio are working on the website now. So watch for my ModGranny.com launch, coming soon.

MORE BABIES!

PittBaby2016

Last, but certainly not least, just saving the best for last…  A few weeks after I found out I was going to be a grandma, I also was surprised to learn I’m also going to be a new mother!

I’m pregnant!!! Surprised and over the moon excited!!

I’m currently 12 weeks and due March 16th. After some rough days with extreme nausea, and months of being utterly, overwhelmingly exhausted, I’m starting to feel better and my energy is returning with the second trimester.

Something tells me I’m going to have a girl, but again…you never know.

I’m due about 3 weeks after Justina. Plus, my step-sister is also expecting and due in January.  So, from January through March, it’s going to be babypalooza around here!! I’ll be using the hashtag #PittBabyWatch2016 to share updates on this little one. <3

So what do you think?  All this is a good excuse for stepping away from social media for a bit, right?

Dig-It! Games Mayan Mysteries Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was given the opportunity to review Mayan Mysteries from Dig-It! Games. Below are my thoughts about this online game that was created to be both fun and educational.

Mayan Mysteries Game

What do homeschoolers always say?  That learning should be fun! Right? So why is it we often have an aversion to online or video games? I don’t know. I think maybe it’s just the stigma. You know, from back in the day when video games just meant eating pac-dots.

Now games have so much more to offer! Dig-It Games takes you on an archaeological adventure and into the Mayan civilization through a series of puzzles and clues which help the player solve mysteries. It’s critical thinking and history combined.

What I Liked

Historically Based

Dig It! Games Review

After the player navigates a series of common-day challenges they are transported back in time. While there is a fun storyline and adventure, Mayan Mysteries Online Game has done a good job of sticking to what is know about Mayan life. Players get to explore what we know about the daily life of the Mayan people. They learn about social structure and the political culture.

This is all done with a “broad brush” and fun fashion. However, I like this approach because it’s easy to tie in the game with our other studies.

“Dig” Deeper

Online Mayan Game

As I was saying above, it’s easy to tie in this game with other studies to dig a little deeper (see what I did there 😉 ) into this fascinating period in history.

Dig-It Games provides an in-game encyclopedia which includes over 450 interesting tidbits for the player to use and expand. In addition to the encyclopedia, you can take advantage of provided maps and quizzes. So, this can truly be incorporated as part of school.

So ahead, assign your child to play Mayan Mysteries Online Games for an hour. That’ll teach them a lesson! For real.

Affordability and Convenience

Dig It! Games Review
Mayan Mysteries Online Game is available to play online, or you can download it on your iOS device. Your child has the ability to play wherever they can get online. I personally think this would be a great way to keep kids busy learning when mom is busy – like when you’re waiting for other children to finish up at co-op.

Or when you need a quiet moment to balance the checkbook. Just sayin.

To download this game for a single user, the price is only $3.99.  That’s highly affordable!  Even large families can’t argue with that deal.  However there is also a classroom edition for $189.99.  This could be a great investment for a school or co-op.

Versions I’d Like To See

At such an affordable price, and the wealth of educational material, it’s hard to pick any drawbacks for this game.

However, I always give balanced reviews so if I had any constructive criticism it would be that I’d love to see a less reading-intensive version for younger learners. Or, a version that would better cater to struggling readers.

The Mayan Mysteries Online Game was created more for upper elementary students. While my 8 year old, new 3rd grader can enjoy the game itself and the myriad of activities, I would love to see a version he could play by himself with little prompting from mom. And I know he’d enjoy it too!

Learn more and follow Dig-It! Games on social media:
Dig-It! Facebook
Dig-It! Twitter
Dig-It! YouTube

To see what others have to say about Dig-It Games Mayan Mysteries and Roman Town Games, click the Schoolhouse Review Crew image below.

Dig-It! Games Review

Disclaimer

The Conversation | A Book Review

CCBookLead

I’m always excited about the items I get to review as part of the TOS Review Crew. There are so many great books and studies out there. However this book had me squealing with joy. I couldn’t wait to dig into The Conversation by Leigh A. Bortins, founder of Classical Conversations.

Why do you ask? I’ll tell you. But first, let me share the premise of this great read.

What is The Conversation?

The Conversation was written to challenge, inspire and encourage families with high school aged children. So many families quit homeschooling at high school. Some times there are valid reasons. Other times it’s out of fear or misconceptions about what high school requires.

For some, quitting at high school – just when our children are becoming critical thinkers and conversationalists – means we miss out on opportunities for deep conversations and stronger relationships.

Why Was I So Excited To Read This Book?

The Conversation

My answer is really two fold. First (drum please)…we’re starting Classical Conversations in the fall!!!! I am beyond excited. Classical Conversations is something I considered for my eldest, but never got around to “trying out”. Now, I’m jumping in feet first with my 8 year old, Bram. The Conversation is the peek behind the curtain I was looking for.

It gave me insight as to what to expect in our Classical Conversations journey. I could see the grand vision, of what I’m working toward. I loved that.

Second, I just came out of the fun but sometimes tumultuous years with our “first round” of kids. We had three teen boys at once. Hello. Did you hear me? Three teen boys.  Yes, I will gladly accept that glass of wine… 😉

While I loved my time with them, I know I could have done a better job. Two are now out of the house, and the third will soon be married and off on his own as well. I know I did a good job, but there’s always room for improvement, right? The Conversation gave me the encouragement and building blocks to up my game for the “next round” of kids as they grow into high school age.

There are a lot of amazing nuggets in this book!

Bits of Wisdom

Allow me to share some of my favorite quotes from The Conversation with you. Here is just a sampling of what really grabbed me and shook me as a mom and home educator. I love a good quote, don’t you??

We must teach our students to be both wise and humble as they attempt to separate truth from lies and persuasion from manipulation.

Hello? Does that not ring with truth? Especially in this day and age! I want, desperately want, my children to know the truth when they see it. And to have discernment so they won’t be lead astray.

When we have difficult days, I don’t give up and let someone else have the privilege of leading our children. Instead, I recognize that difficulties are promised to each of us and avoidance doesn’t lead to sanctification.

Ohhhh, my spirit is groaning with this one. Yes, yes and amen! I am 36 years old and I am just now learning this deep down in my heart. I’m finally (finally!!) beginning to understand that life challenges are just that. Challenges, not the end. And, that challenges don’t mean I’m an awful person, it means God is refining me in the fire.

Parents who have worked with their children in high school will agree: we have failed, we have won, we have died, and we have grown. We realize homeschooling classically as Christians had little to do with our children and much to do with our own sanctification, and we are grateful for all of it.

There isn’t anything I can add to that truth. It just is.

Why Should You Buy It?

Classical Conversations

Well, if the above wasn’t enough to convince you, let me say that if you are a Classical homeschooler, even a little bit, you NEED this book. It does a fabulous job of dispelling the idea that this style of learning is simply memorization, it’s so much more. It gives you hope for homeschooling the high school years and the road map to quality conversations with your children.

Not only is the Classical method clearly explained, The Conversation demonstrates how to weave this method into your everyday life.

If you’re one of those parents (like me) who often feels you’re not doing enough, you should read this book. It’s about Classical learning, simplicity, effectiveness and glorifying God in all we do. It’s about looking for Him in all we see.

Now, I’m even more stoked about beginning Classical Conversations this fall!!

If you’d like to see what others are saying about The Conversation, click the image below. Or, you can order your own copy now for only $12.00 (it’s on sale!)

Classical Conversations Review
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