Friday, October 20, 2017

Beowulf's Grammar Giveaway!

 Guest Hollow is one of my favorite homeschooling resources. I love sharing how their high school Chemistry changed our whole schooling experience around. Now my big kids love science. This year they are doing Physics and I never have to worry about them actually doing their work because they are excited about learning.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thomas Nelson's KJV Know the Word Study Bible.

I'm a bit of a bible snob and also a bit of a collector. I was just talking about this with my Pastor's wife recently about how privileged we are in America that I have the freedom and ability to own many bibles. I have a bible I bring to church that is thin and light weight. I love it because it is easy to carry along with the diaper bag, pocketbook, and baby. Then next to my bed I like to have a study bible for doing my bible reading and study. I honestly haven't found the right one until now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Coming Soon! Holiday Gift Guide 2017!

Every year features some of the best and often unique products perfect for gift giving. They range from items for kids to adults and even stocking stuffer ideas. It is a fun time with lots of giveaways- You won't want to miss it.


Interested in having your product featured? You can reach out by email to - and tell me a little about your product. This will determine if it is a good fit and if there is room during the holiday gift guide as spots fill up fast!

I'm looking forward to another wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Having that special person - your best friend - is such an important part of life. We have talked to our kids about choosing a friend that is worthy (and being a friend that is worthy). Someone you can trust with your secrets, who has your back and is a help. Of course you want them to be a hoot to be around and someone you want to be around.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It's Not Jack And The Beanstalk

This post contains affiliate links

 The classic story Jack and the Beanstalk is completely retold in It's Not Jack And The Beanstalk. This hilarious rendition takes us along the traditional story with lots of twist. The inclusion of a narrator telling the story and the characters pipping in with their thoughts lends to the hilarity. Seriously, we laughed as we read this one. I loved how we could talk about the traditional story and then the changes. It gave us the idea to do the same kind of thing with some other classics and make up our own endings for those. I also love the characters in this book because they come up with solutions to the problems and of course it has a happy ending for all.

Monday, October 9, 2017


You know there are some trailers that you watch and they just move you to tears. You haven't seen the movie yet but you know it is going to be something big and something that touches your heart. That is exactly how it was for me when I saw Same Kind Of Different As Me. RenĂ©e Zellweger shines on the screen. I can't wait to go see this one on October 20th! 

Bible Verses for Hard Times

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When times get tough it is an automatic response to look for comfort in God's Word. I can't count the number of times when my heart was troubled over something and I opened Psalms or Ecclesiastes seeking peace and hope. Of course prayer is a big help during those times, however adding scripture to that prayer time seems to help my heart so much more.

 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. - Psalm 34:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.       - Romans 8:28
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven - Ecclesiastes 3:1 
(but keep reading past because it is some of the most beautiful and helpful scripture in all of the bible. 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. - James 1:2-4

What is your favorite verse for hard times?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Friday, October 6, 2017

Homeschool Update with Lots of Pictures!

 This post contains affiliate links

 We have had a fabulous start to school. We have had one visit to the nursing home to sing, went to a college field trip and an apple picking field trip. It is a wonderfully busy time of year!

 We've been plugging away school as well. I think this has quickly become one of my favorite years. The big kids love their courses with Notgrass and Guest Hollow. Memoria Press for our first grader is going well too. It is a little bit overwhelming the way you have to jump for guide to guide for the work but I'm getting a hang of it. Jace loves the read alouds and all extra fun stuff from the Enrichment.

We learned about Apples and did a craft.

We had a tea party and learned about tea plants.

We made our own ink while reading Ink Garden.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sports Illustrated Kids Hockey Then to Wow!

 We are a hockey family. I think that hockey actually trumps football in our house. When my husband and I first started dating we went to many hockey games seeing the Philadelphia Flyers. Living in South Jersey that is my local team and I tend to support the home team. My husband is a big New York Islanders fan. Can you imagine the competition on game day here? We were fortunate to travel all the way to NY to see our teams play there as well as seeing them many times in Philly. We used to go see the Philadelphia Phantoms with the boys when they were still local but sadly they moved to another location. All that to say - we love hockey!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Best of Halloween with NCircle Entertainment!

 October is here and that means it is time for Halloween! We do things a little differently at the Rup House. We try to keep things on the not-so-scary side. So the kids get to dress up but we don't do anything gory or scary. We go trick-or-treating for a little bit through the neighborhood then come home and pass out candy. It has worked well for us these past 17 years. I love to put on a big pot of meatballs for when family and friends stop over. There is something warm and hearty to eat along with the candy!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

#PRHpartner Spreading Kindness In An UnKind World

 Yesterday, kids across America learned of another heartless tragedy. It is getting harder to explain bad people to my children when they don't even begin to grasp that concept. They hear about things like the Las Vegas shooting and they are left with many questions. How could someone be so evil. What do we do if we are in a similar situation. How do we make the world better.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Holiday Fun with Disney Mickey Mouse Merry & Scary

 As we enter the holiday season one thing we love to do in our house is pullout the seasonal books and movies. It is a wonderful way to add to the festivities. Even the big kids will come sit and watch their favorite characters from when they were little if it is a holiday movie.

Disney Mickey Mouse is a newer show on the Disney Channel. This is totally geared towards older children (the ones that outgrew Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.) Having a 6, 15 and 17 year old - we were excited to discover this series. The fab 5 have a totally vintage look to them but the cartoon itself is very modern. They have bigger antics and lots of comedic stints. The characters sing, dance, shove and shout which frankly cracked us all up.

October Read Alouds for Fall

I love pulling out seasonal books to go along with our regular reading for the month. We've been changing out our book bin monthly and that system works to really get to see all the wonderful books we have. Honestly, my shelves are pretty extensive but I do also utilize the local library to supplement. This list also includes our books that go along with my son's first grade curriculum.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat

 Halloween is just a little over a month away and that is the time we start going into planning mode for costumes in our house. Surprisingly we have one kid all set with things he had around the house to dress up as a favorite Star Wars character and I think a second kid is going to modify last years (Star Wars, again) costume. That leaves my two little ones. J-man wants to go as a pokemon and I think that he will be wearing his Pikachu pajamas. That leaves me with the littlest one to decide on. He is either going to be an Octonaut or someone from Star Wars (go, figure) because those are his two favorite things at the moment.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!

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 In New Jersey we experience the most wonderful change of seasons. Winter is cold and often we get snow and ice. Spring brings new blooms and often rain as the weather changes to milder temperatures. Then summer hits you with a blast of heat, perfect swimming weather. Lastly, Fall - my personal favorite season- brings cool temperatures but not too cool and the changing colors of the leaves. It is a wonderful state to live in. In One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! by John Micklos Jr and Clive McFarland we go on a counting journey through the seasons.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Scary Tales with Fearsome Creatures Of The Lumberwoods

Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to get in the mood than sitting around a campfire and sharing scary tales. I have one son that loves to hear creepy, scary tales. It can be hard to find kid-appropriate stories that have that have that scare factor but don't keep them up all night shaking under the covers!

Monday, September 25, 2017

How To Prepare For Fall Cold Season

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 Once back-to-school season hits it is inevitable that sickness will spread. In fact on my facebook thread just this week I've seen post of kids missing school already! Part of the reason is people don't keep home when they are ill. Kids are in a closed classroom and germs circulate all day. Another - perhaps the biggest - reason is that kids get tired with the new schedule change. Sleep is essential to health!

How To Prepare For Fall Cold Season

Keep A Well Stocked Medicine Cabinet

We do mostly 'crunchy' methods for wellness and sickness. I have several oil diffusers, essential oils, preventative vitamins all in abundance in my medicine cabinet. I also keep a few traditional things for just in case. Fever reducer, cough remedies. It is so much easier to have these things on hand and be prepared than to have to run out at 10 o'clock at night and try to find what you need.

Get Rest

Sleep is everything! I always seem to get sick when I'm not able to get my normal amount of sleep. It is also restorative and helps you body to heal.

Essential Oils

Add them to your life. They are amazing. I use Plant Therapy because they are reasonably priced. There are many brands out there that will tell you that they are the best but do your own research. Look for independent studies.  I like to keep the kids safe oils on hand because I can use them for the whole family. Sniffle Stopper and Germ Destroyer are my two go to products we use all cold and flu season.


I'm a firm believer in supporting your immune system before you get sick. Now, I'm not a doctor and I recommend that you speak with yours before taking any supplements but in our home we use Vitamin C and D3 for all of us. I truly believe this is the one area that helps keep us well and fight colds fast. We also add in zinc (for us older folks) when we feel something coming on.

 Drinks and Foods

Keeping some bone broth or every chicken noodle soup in the freezer is a great way to prepare for sickness. Hot drinks (like soup or tea) really help when you don't feel well. Having a well stocked freezer can mean the difference of having to go out or not. I also keep ginger ale and gatorade (I know not crunchy but they make me feel better and it is rare I have them) on hand.

 You Might Like These Post:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Friday, September 22, 2017

3 Tips For A Healthy Scalp with Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo

 A Rup Life received product to facilitate this review

 As the weather changes it affects skin. I always start out with drier, tighter skin and have to pull out the big guns for skin care during the fall and winter months. Then my scalp starts to suffer too. Flakes appear. I know it is not something people like to talk about but it happens. I have found a routine that helps ease the impact of that colder air on my hair.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Matthew West All In

A Rup Life received free product to facilitate this post

I didn't grow up in church. At 16 a good friend started taking me to youth group. At that time I had been searching for something I just didn't' know it was Jesus. A year later I asked Jesus to save me and he has transformed my life. Before Christ, I was a daredevil who would try just about anything. I lived hard and fast. My mom died when I was 17 after battling breast cancer for years. I didn't realize at the time how much that shook my world. I was forever seeking approval from other people. Always longing to fit in.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Dance Remixes by Laurie Berkner

 A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post

 Laurie Berkner has released an album that is completely different! The Dance Remixes is basically that. Laurie has taken some of her best songs and revamped them to upbeat dance songs. This album is the kind of thing that makes you get up and MOVE! You won't be able to help yourself. This is the kind of music that you would hear at a club (but completely on a kids level!) I imagine that the older kids who grew up on Berkner will like this album too because it is fresh, reinvented and totally cool!
I was so happy to hear my favorite song - The Cat Came Back - redone. It is so much fun!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mentally Prep for Homeschooling

If you were to look on Pinterest or at any of the Mommy homeschooling blogs you would think that everything is perfect and wonderful every day. That every homeschooling Mom wakes up at sunrise and prepares a healthy, home cooked meal. That she has her lesson plans all set to go. That her kids wake up and spout their latin verbs while brushing their teeth and happily doing their chores. That Mom is dressed to impress, as are her children. That she has an immaculate home. Her youngest would have a day filled with stories and hands on activities. Painting, play dough, and an assortment of Montessori style projects keep that rascal busy.

Well, I'm here to tell you that is a bunch of phony bologna! Most of us are balancing a ton of stuff and just trying to get by. If I'm working on a lesson with the teens it usually means my littlest is playing in the toilet. Dinner is often takeout or grilled cheese because both are easy to get going after a long day. My teens tend to wake before me most days because I'm up all night fighting the littles to sleep.

Don't get me wrong, I love our crazy, chaotic life. It just isn't pinterest worthy. I saw a meme that said something like - I always wanted to be a pinterest Mom, turns out I'm more of an amazon prime mom - this IS ME!

So, when the days are long and the worrying sets in what do I do  to mentally prep for homeschooling? I've learned some things that help me. Trust me I often have to remind myself. Especially at the beginning of the year when getting into a routine can be stressful. When it takes two days to do one days work because the curriculum is so new.

Mentally Prep for Homeschooling

Start with prayer (personal time)

I find that this is the biggest key to our day going smooth. When I start my day off with prayer time (and devotions) my mental state is always considerably better than the times it doesn't happen.

Start the kids with prayer

The days we meet around the table or on the couch and take time to talk about the Lord and pray together tend to start smoother. Maybe it is that attitude adjustment first thing in the morning, I'm not sure but I know it works.

Be prepared to let things go

It is impossible to do it all. There just isn't enough time to do everything. I had to give myself permission not to do everything early on. I prioritize. It helps. I set out each year, week and day with a list of expectations to accomplish but I know that some days it just won't happen. Things come up. Relatives visit, kids get sick, sometimes a lesson is hard and needs extra time. It is okay!

Start with a clean atmosphere

I struggle with this one but it is one area I'm working on. If I start the day with a full sink of dishes it seems to take all morning to get that done. We try to straighten before bedtime so we are waking to a fairly clean house. Now don't get me wrong my idea of clean is not perfect. It usually means the dishes are done, floors are clear and swept and table is clean and wiped. It isn't a whole lot to ask for and every one pitches in.

What do you do to mentally prep for homeschooling each day?

Check out these additional homeschooling post: received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Disney's Elena of Avalor Celebrations to Remember

Now on DVD!

Elena is one of the newest Princesses on the Disney Channel. On her show, Elena of Avalor is learning to navigate her role in the kingdom. This new DVD Celebrations to Remember features 4 holiday episodes. We've really liked watching to learn about holidays we didn't really know about like Carnival. One of the conflicts they work through is how everyone has their own traditions and how to mix it up so that everyone can celebrate happily. I love that! (Makes me think of when two people get married and they have to create their own traditions.) This is a neat addition to our holiday movie collection. Elena is such a sweet character and she has a heart of gold - something I love my children seeing on screen.


  Light the candles, prepare the feasts and share the fun of Celebrations to Remember.

Join Crown Princess Elena, along with her family and friends, as they honor the past, rejoice in the present and greet the future with music, laughter and love. Whether celebrating Navidad, Dia de los Muertos or Carnaval, new and older traditions alike play a part. And even though everyone doesn’t always agree on the best way to get the party started, one thing is perfectly clear: holidays aren’t about what you do; they’re about the special people you spend them with!

The Day Henry Met..? Season 1

 Every day Henry meets something new! I wonder what Henry s going to meet today? Henry is a 4-year-old boy who always wants to learn and find out more. In each episode, Henry has a friendly chat with whatever he meets and discovers something new... Hello, Whale. How do you stay under water for so long? Hello, Car. What makes you go so fast? Hello, Moon. Why do you only come out at night? No matter what Henry meets, they re always delighted to talk, laugh and share their amazing world with him. After finding out so many amazing things about his new friends, Henry lets his imagination run wild and imagines himself... As a knight rescuing the missing sword... As a singer performing in a band... As a deep sea diver swimming along sea creatures... As a fireman rescuing others... As an astronaut flying to the moon... And more!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September Reading for Classical Education

One of our favorite parts of the school day is pulling our books out. I utilize, Amazon and our local library to keep the book bin fresh with holiday and classic books! This is what we are reading for September:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Animal Planet Snakes! & Bugs! Chapter Books

 Chapter books are an important part of reading when kids are little. We have a whole shelf devoted to these types of books. Most are fictional stories which are wonderful but we don't have too many non-fiction. When you have a kid that loves facts and learning all about the world around them that can be challenging. Animal Planet chapter books are perfect because they are focused on amazing facts and the animal world.

Friday, September 8, 2017

What's Your 9/11 Story?

 I can still remember that day so clearly. I was home with my first born son, who was just 1 years old. I was sitting on the couch nursing him while watching television. Back then I would watch those morning talk shows because that is what my Mom did when I was growing up. I remember them breaking away to news that the first tower had been hit. I then called my Mother-in-law on the phone and was telling her what happened when we watched the second plane hit. That was the moment things truly became scary because the realization that this was no accident set in. I remember being so fearful. My husband was working on a military base that day and this was before cell phones. I was worried something would happen at his work, after all we are in NJ which is not that far from NYC. That day I sat glued to the screen. It was all that was on television. In fact television eventually stopped. Most stations went silent and off air during the upcoming days. This was life changing and the entire country took notice.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Read Alouds for Littles from ZonderKidz was sent product for review

 As we transition into our new school year we have been updating our book bin with new books. My littlest loves reading time he loves going to his bin and pulling out his favorites. I let him pick on of his favorites and then I pick one or two. I love the special time of cuddling together and reading a books.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hard Candy Launches 2 New Fragrances! Pink and Black! #review

 Hard Candy just keeps bringing us some amazing new product launches! They are the company for affordable and on trend beauty. Now they've jumped into the fragrance game with two new scents. Pink is a sweet cotton candy type scent that smells amazing it is light, fresh and airy. While Black is more sophisticated and deeper in scent. It still has that cotton candy vibe but more mature. Honestly I love them both! I received Pink in the Body Mist which is a great easy formula to apply and touch up and Black in the Eau De Parfum which looks beautiful in the dark packaging.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

12th Grade Curriculum Choices

I cannot believe my oldest baby is entering his last year of school. I can still remember dropping him off to kindergarten and all the crying. The crying was on my part - he was a champ! Our Pastor at the time said to me that I would be crying on the first day but soon I would be crying for them to take him off my hands. That day actually never happened. I never liked sending them off to school. I dreaded that first day every year. When we became homeschoolers 6 years ago - that was one of the best parts for me. Getting to be with my kids every day is such a privilege. I'm so happy I am the one that gets to share their day.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

9/1 Force Friday 2!! #starwars #forcefriday #thelastjedi #disneystore

 My kids are so excited to go to all the local events for Force Friday II! Last time we went to Toys R Us at midnight then Target at opening and The Disney Store in the afternoon. I *think* that is the plan again this year.


  • Get there early - there will be lines! 
  • Be camera ready - last time my kids ended up on the local news 
  • Download the Star Wars app before you head to the store 

 Scan the above picture with your Star Wars App to unlock a sneak peak at a new character!!