Friday, May 18, 2018

Tour Guide by Cheri Magill CD Review & Giveaway!






Being a mother is one of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences. With each child, I've learned new things about myself and children in general. Even after four kids, I still don't know it all. In Tour Guide, Cheri Magill brings motherhood alive with her beautiful, enchanted voice. It is truly a  magical homage to raising children celebrating the highs and the lows. She gets toddlers and she gets the craziness of raising little ones. Through all that she also makes good music! The songs are catchy and a delight to listen to!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Love Inspired Blog Tour & Giveaway!






love inspired summer reading




One of my favorite parts of summer is reading. I will often stay up super late and read - always wanting to get to that next chapter. I have done this since I was a little girl and the tradition lives on. I hope to read at least fifty books this summer and have the kids do at least the same.

I was recently sent four books from Love Inspired. The books are all unique but share a faith based theme in each. Two were part of the 'Heartwarming Inspirational Romance' line and two from the 'Love Inspired Suspense'. We were asked to read at least one for this review and I choose The Rancher's Secret Child. This book was the perfect short read at 215 pages. One thing I loved is how fast the story progressed. The characters are introduced and we quickly get to the conflict. We learn a lot about the characters too, they are well established and written. With the books being shorter in length there isn't a lot of useless story-lines to detract from the main focus which is the secret child in this case. I really liked that. I loved how author Brenda Minton dealt with the main characters internal conflicts and resolved them while incorporating a believable outcome, romance and weaving faith through-out. I'm already working on my second book Bound By Duty and I can tell you I really like the Suspense series as well.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Book Spotlight: You're My Little Cuddle Bug #WIN








 You're My Little Cuddle Bug is just about the cutest book perfect for spring. Each page takes you through different bugs with sweet rhyming story. My 2 year old loves to look at the different bugs and have me tell them what they are. We also point out Mommy and Baby. The pages feature bright colors and adorable bugs. A great book for cuddling and reading before bedtime.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Summer Brain Quest Giveaway!






 It is a known fact that taking a summer break from learning results in loss of acquired skills. To combat this the best thing you can do is keep kids doing just a little bit each day. In our home we make weekly trips to the library to keep the reading going (besides we love books!) We also incorporate a summer learning workbook. Summer Brain Quest is a fun way to keep skills sharp.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Book Review: Mama's Belly






 Adding another child to the family is a wonderful and exciting experience. I remember when I was pregnant with my second and I worried about how I would love another as much as my first. I was sad that I had to leave my oldest to stay in the hospital because I had never left him before. Then X was here and I couldn't imagine our lives without him. My love was not divided it multiplied. Not just mine but his dad's and his brothers.





 We added two more children over the years to our family growing to four children altogether. I love having a large family. I love that they all have built in friends for life. I was recently sent Mama's Belly by Kate Hosford. This is one of the most beautiful books written on pregnancy for a child. It is real and yet so sweet. Big sister narrates her experiences and questions on what is going on with Mama and the arrival of her new baby sister. I love the part where she talks about how tired Mama is. That is the raw truth about pregnancy. It is hard for us Mama's to do it all while growing a tiny human.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Where Do You Get Curriculum?

curriculum homeschool shopping


 One of the biggest questions I get asked is where do I get my curriculum. I think this is one of the scarier parts of homeschooling. Most of the time people are curious in the sense of who provides curriculum to homeschoolers. In NJ we have to purchase our own. That may vary in other states but that is how it is here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Review: Sarabella's Thinking Cap



Children book Sarabella's Thinking Cap



 Kids should be dreamers. They should want to grow up to be the impossible. I love seeing little one's imaginations come out. One season one of my sons pretended to be Santa for three whole months. He was about 3 years old and he had the whole character nailed. He wore a Santa hat and two Christmas stockings for his costume. He spoke in a low voice and said "ho,ho,ho" after everything. It was hysterical and imaginative!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

FAIRY MOM AND ME by Sophie Kinsella


~ Book Spotlight ~







 As you know I am a boy mom. Occasionally some really cool girl related books and toys come my way that I like to share with you, my readers as I know many of you have little girls. Fairy Mom and Me by Sophia Kinsella is a new chapter book for the 7-10 crowd. This book is magical in nature featuring a Mom who is a full on real fairy. Mom struggles with her magic and that where the humor comes in. If you like a little magic in you books you might want to check this one out!


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Book Review: There's Nothing To Do










 How many times have my kids told me they are bored or have nothing to do? We have endless toys, art supplies and the dreaded whole OUTSIDE! With summer break around the corner I'm expecting this to come up a lot again. The thing is when kids are left to be a little bored that is when they usually come up with the most wonderful plans and have the best days! Which is exactly what - There's Nothing To Do! by Dev Petty - shares! This book is hilarious fun and has a wonderful lesson about finding things to do!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Mother's Day Pay Pal Cash Giveaway!




Mother's Day Giveaway paypal




 I became a Mother the moment that second line popped up on the pregnancy test. It was something I had dreamed about and hoped for from the time I was a little girl. I didn't dream of weddings and marriage but I had visions of holding a sweet baby and being a parent (with my husband.) I remember my husband even gave me a Mother's Day card that first year even though I was only 5 months pregnant! He knew how much being a mother meant to me.

Mother's Day PayPal Cash Giveaway


I remember that feeling of my life changing. I couldn't wait to count toes and see first smiles. Of course my dreams were all about the good times and sweet moments. Then my first was born and let me tell you he was actually an angel baby! He slept well and was sleeping at night by 3 months. He was bright and talked super early. He was the easiest baby we've ever had.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Homeschool Graduation Checklist










We have our first homeschool graduate coming this spring. I am so excited for him. One thing I get asked all the time is about graduation. Homeschooling high school is mystifying for many. So I created a sort of checklist of ideas for those last minute things you might want to do for your graduate. Keep in mind this is an extensive list and we will not do all of them so choose what works best for your family!

 Homeschool Graduation Checklist


 This post contains affiliate links



  • Homeschool Diploma - In the state of NJ the parents issue the diploma. We have ours already to go. 
  • Cap and Gown  - We will be ordering a black set.
  • Senior Pictures - I plan on taking the bulk of these myself but we may go ahead and do a traditional headshot at our local target. I have seen the trend to go to a nice location with several outfit changes and do a whole session - that is something I can do myself with my camera so I plan to do it that way. If I didn't have a camera I would hire a professional. 
  • Announcements/Invitations - we will be doing some sort of mail out and it will feature a picture from our session. 
  • Graduation Party - This can be as big or as little as you like. We are hoping to have a nice sized party with a theme (per the graduates request!)
  • Ceremony - Our son asked to opt out of a ceremony. Two options for us were to do one with our local homeschool group that offers it or to have a ceremony at home (like we did with kindergarten.  
  • Class Ring -  We will probably make this our gift to our graduate. You can order them on Walmart. I know it was a huge deal when I was a senior to get mine and I still have it. 
  • Senior Trip - We are hoping to take a mini-trip either with just the graduate or the whole family. Haven't determined what exactly yet but we want something special for him.



Everything above is more of the celebration aspect but maybe your wondering about HOW to graduate your child. 

  • Transcript - we will be using HSLDA to do a completed transcript. (This is the final record of what is finished.)
  • College Applications - we did not have to do those for our student as he is taking a year off to work then plans to attend some sort of trade program. We would have submitted those in the fall of senior year.
  • End of Year Testing - We have a few final exams to finish
  • SAT/ACT - Last chance to improve those scores is Spring of senior year
  • Senior Thesis/ Large Final Projects  - These should be something that is being finished up about springtime for the graduate.  
  • Goals Next Steps - The graduate should have some sort of plan for the future. It took some time to figure out where our son was headed but we laid out our family guidelines and expectationsfor the next steps, let him think and pray on those then had a serious talk and came up with a plan. This type of talk happened many times over the four years of school but now in spring with graduation almost here we have a finalized plan. 
  • Finish Date - We gave our son a clear date to have all his work completed. It was a lot to accomplish but he really matured and stepped up this year and is on track to finish strong.





ARupLife.com DID NOT 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 Amazon.com.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Molang Giveaway! Plus FREE Printables!






Molang is back for another season in the DVD Molang Season Two. There are 52 episodes and over 3 hours of watching! This show is adorable. Molang is a round, fluffy rabbit and his friend Piu Piu is a sweet yellow chick. What is unique is they don't really talk on this show (think Minions style) but it is very easy to follow along with what is going on. My 2 year old and I giggled along the episodes we watched.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Defeating Negative Thoughts with Captain Snout!






 Teaching kids to hear a positive inner voice is so important. Having four children over the years I've heard their negative concerns and had to address them. In Captain Snout And The Super Power Questions: Don't Let The Ants Steal Your Happiness, author Daniel G. Amen, M.D. addresses some of the top negative thoughts that threaten to steal a child's joy. Guess what - they often sneak into parents thoughts too!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Curriculum Review: Traditional Spelling I from Memoria Press



I love Memoria Press. I feel like it doesn't get enough credit in the homeschooling world against other more known curriculum companies. We have enjoyed our Kindergarten year and now feel the same about first grade. I love watching my 7 year old giggle while reading his literature and march around as he masters his recitation. It has been a good year!




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations Review & Giveaway!









 My son loves hands on activities. I'm always on the look out for easy to do crafts and hands on projects that use things I have around the house. When we received the Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations: 60 Ultimate try-something-new, explore-the-world activities, I knew my son would be super excited.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Book Review: High Cotton by Debby Mayne




 I have really been into contemporary Christian novels lately. I went through a historical fiction phase but now it is all about contemporary for me. This is my first book by Debby Mayne and I'm sure it won't be my last. High Cotton is the first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion series.  We meet several members of the Bucklin Family as they all are anticipating another family reunion. Set in a southern landscape the values of Sweet Tea and bringing your best dish prevail as story points - I only wish I had a few recipes from because the food read wonderfully and I have to admit I would have loved to try Missy's chili!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

First Steps of Homeschooling










 Homeschooling is growing. Parents are unhappy with the current school systems. Heavy workloads, crazy testing and safety are among top concerns. I can't say that I blame parents for questioning these things. We were once private school parents and we were happy way back then until our financial situation changed and we needed an alternative. I then started researching homeschooling. Our first year was wonderful and a bit rocky but I wouldn't change it one bit. We are on our 6th year of homeschooling and I've learned a lot. 




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: His Risk by Shelley Shepard Gray







 Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite Christian Authors. Her series The Amish of Hart County has been a such a delight to read. It has a wonderful contemporary feel while keeping us in the Amish community. Her latest book in the series - His Risk - is another wonderful addition. This time we see a focus on Calvin Fisher who we met in his brother's story - His Guilt.  I love when we get a sibling story because we get to see where previously beloved characters' lives have gone. This book was a wonderful addition and had that edge of suspense that we've come to love from Gray.  Calvin had a very rough upbringing and left the Amish community at a young age. His life is not your typical 'good boy' so it is interesting to see how he reconciles his past with the present all while keeping his dangerous double life from coming unhinged.

Friday, March 16, 2018

NCircle Entertainment Easter DVD Giveaway!









 Easter is just around the corner. One thing I love to put in my children's baskets is new movies. It is a great addition to the candy - especially since we do limited amounts of candy. Just a few of their favorites and usually a small toy, a movie and a t-shirt. We try not to go to big for Easter but we still want it to be fun. This year I will be including Guess How Much I Love You An Enchanting Easter in my youngest son's basket and his older brother will receive Floogals Project Egg Hunt.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Curriculum Review: Acellus Online Curriculum


homeschool power online curriculum


**Update** Acellus changed their name of their homeschool program to Power Homeschool on 4/20/2018 - The program seems the same so I want to keep this review as is and it will also help people to find the program that only know it as it's former name.


One of the first questions I get asked about is what do I use for curriculum. I have seen over the years that many parents are looking for online curriculum and self-grading. There are a few companies out there and a new one has been getting a lot of buzz -Power Homeschool (formally called Acellus). I was very curious about this company because it was being asked about constantly on the homeschool facebook groups. So I decided to give it a try with my senior.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 Trailer!!!








My kids are super excited about the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph! We all loved the first one and the trailer looks hysterical!!


RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet—the netizens—to help navigate their way, including a webite entrepreneur named Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site “BuzzzTube.” Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Cedar Rapids,” co-writer “Zootopia,”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.












ARupLife.com 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 Amazon.com.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe Party and Prize Pack Giveaway





I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe. I guess I expected all sappy stories I didn't think it would give the grit and truth of marriage. The hard work side of things. This book totally surprised me. Not only are the stories truthful they are relatable. The stories shared are heartwarming and transparent. It is not all kids who met in high school and knew they would get married right then and there, and definitely not all roses. Some of the romances took time to develop. Each of these couples started out with strong faith or found it along the way.

I really enjoyed reading this book and getting a glimpse into each romance. While this book shares short stories about each couple it also has a devotional aspect taken from each stories theme. I liked that duplicity of the book. I think this book could really inspire people who are looking for a partner but losing hope. I've talked to many young friends who feel like they might never find love and I always say - in God's Time - but it hard to hear that from an old married lady. This book will inspire hope and they can see real stories from all ages and all situations. I plan on recommending it - often.

My Real-Life Romance Story

I had always dreamed of being married and being a Mom. At 20, I was a little lost in life, working and going to college I was looking to firm up my walk with God. My Mom had passed when I was 17 and my new step-mom went to a very conservative church. I had attended a few times but really didn't see any college and career aged people to identify with (little did I know they were all involved with serving in the various ministries and not in the morning services.)

I don't know why and can only credit The Lord but I decided to give that church another shot, a last final shot. I started attending and getting acquainted with some people. That week was revival services and so the week was full of services. I met my husband that week but I had no idea it would be him.  I actually asked him out one of the nights and he turned me down. I had asked him to go trick or treating (which was taboo as no one really celebrated in our denomination - which I didn't know.) The next night he realized I was serious about going out and asked me if I would like to go. He likes to say when he realized I had asked him out he thought he had missed his opportunity.

We did end up going trick or treating that week - our first date! We dated almost 3 years to the day, which included going to church and serving God together. We of course got married and had our family. I'm amazed still at how it all worked out. I would say I was looking for love at the time but I didn't really think I would find "the one". It was the type of romance that built over time with our friendship being the most important part. He is still my best friend and the person I want to spend all my time with. <3 br="">





I'd love to hear your Real-Life Romance - Please share in the comments!




romance pin2


Additional Information:

Whether you're single and looking for a reason to believe in love or a parent watching your own child fall in love, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe will inspire you to believe in life-long love. This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Don't let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people-knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

Join Rhonda and other real-life romancers on March 6 for a Facebook Live party, plus enter to win the Make Your Own Real-Life Romance prize pack!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of Real-Life Romance
  • A $50 restaurant gift card
  • A $25 movie gift card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6. The winner will be announced at Rhonda's Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rhonda and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!









ARupLife.com 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 Amazon.com.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Our Favorite Books for St. Patrick's Day #readaloud



 We are not Irish in our home. However on St. Patrick's Day - EVERYONE - is Irish. I actually never celebrated this holiday until about 10 years ago. My very Italian  Aunt had married an Irish man and every year he would make a nice meal of corned beef and cabbage for her. When he passed the day was sad because of the sweet memories. So we made a tradition of having her over to celebrate. I made her corned beef and cabbage (even though we really don't like corned beef.) She would bring the Irish Soda Bread and I would have Irish Potatoes.



This year we will have a little party. I had gotten some hats and stuff last year on clearance at target dollar spot. The kids all have shirts (actually from last year too!) I plan to make cabbage but probably ham steaks because I like those better with it. Jace and I are going to do some crafts and make Irish Soda bread from an easy kit I got at Aldi. Of course there will be Irish potatoes and lots of fun reading!!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Review & Giveaway: Ellie, Engineer




 The last two weeks I've been watching the Olympics. During that time I was truly amazed at how strong our women athletes are. Just in snowboarding, all the flips and the power. They worked hard, trained harder and it was amazing to watch. I love that in 2018, little girls are growing up knowing they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.




Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Welcome Little One Review & Giveaway!







 Having a new baby is one of the most special moments in life. Capturing those little moments is one of those things all mothers do. I have keepsake books for each of my children and I love to look back over them to see their milestones. National Geographic presents Welcome Little One: A Keepsake Baby Book  a beautiful and unique memory book. This book includes beautiful color pictures of animals, famous quotes and plenty of space to record all of your child's special moments. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

#PRHpartner Book Review: HOOT & PEEP: A SONG FOR SNOW by Lita Judge




Hoot and Peep A Song for Snow
by Lita Judge

 The weather is cold in New Jersey. We've had a few snow falls but of course we were all sick so we haven't had the chance to enjoy playing in the snow. Hopefully before Spring officially hits we will have a chance to play outside and enjoy the fluffy stuff!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Minnie: Helping Hearts Review!






 We love Minnie in this house (and Mickey!) We had a Disney themed first birthday for my youngest son because we love Mickey and Minnie so much. He has clothing, toys, movies - you name it! We were recently send the new Minnie Helping Hearts DVD which is part of Mickey and the Roadster Racers. This was our first time watching this series and my seven year old was very excited to see some new characters. (That was the first thing out of his mouth.)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Trolls Valentines Printables!!








My kids LOVE Trolls! The new series is adorable and fun too. Enjoy these free Printables!!



ARupLife.com 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 Amazon.com.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Season 2 Volume 1 DVD Review & Giveaway!





 In our homeschool we read a lot of books one series that has been part of our science education is the The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! We've enjoyed many of the books but our home library and public library does not have the entire collection. We were sent Season 2 Volume 1 DVD to review and it has been the perfect addition. It contains 20 episodes and is helping us supplement. Another thing I love is it gives us a different kind of media to add to our day. It is nice to switch from books to video. The videos are fun and engaging while having my son learn a ton or "A LOT" about many subjects. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Minnie Helping Hearts DVD & Free Printable Activity Pages!!





The Happy Helpers are on their way!  When their friends need help, these two BFFs are at the ready! As the Happy Helpers from Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Minnie and Daisy can complete any task at hand, whether they are babysitters, personal assistants, or cruise ship directors leading the Valentine’s Day dance contest! Every day is an exciting new adventure and you can always count on the Happy Helpers to show up with happy hearts and helping hands!

DVD Releases February 6th!!  Just in time for Valentine's Day! 




Download Activity Pages



Enjoy the free printables by clicking on the image above!


ARupLife.com 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 Amazon.com.