Super Bowl Dip

Kerry Beck No Comments

Patriots - Giants Dip

Last time Patriots played Giants, I made this 7 layer dip. I used a cake decorating tip with sour cream to decorate. The x’s & o’s are black olives. Pretzel sticks for the goal posts
Layers under the guacamole, from the bottom up:

Refried Beans
Sour Cream
Green Onions
Grated Cheese

What Is Your One Word For 2012?

Blog Candy, Homeschooling, Kerry Beck, Moms 43 Comments

I’ve thought about this for awhile and am having a hard time coming up with just “one” word to sum up my 2012 new years resolution.  I keep trying to decide between Faith & Focus.  My friend, Maggie Hogan of Bright Ideas Press, suggested I hyphenate those words as faith-focus. So, I’m going with “faith-focus” for 2012.

Why Faith – Focus?

God has truly challenged me to grow in my faith these past few months.  I feel as though the last several years have not been very deep in faith.  Since my gift is service, I have found ways to serve those around me.  I know this is part of growing, but I really want to deepen my relationship with Him.

I just finished reading Lou Holtz’ biography. (For those of you who are not sports enthusiasts, like myself, Holtz is one of the most winning coaches in college football).  Holtz shared that his wife spent an hour a day in prayer.  I remember spending more time in prayer when I was single and am challenged to do so again.  So, I am publicly stating that I want to grow my faith by spending more time in prayer with my Lord.

lou holtz

Another lesson I learned from Lou Holtz is about prayer.  Lou & his wife prayed before accepting a new coaching position (and he moved alot in his career – 11 moves in 43 years).  He mentions this throughout his book.  When he was released from University of Arkansas, he was asked to visit Minnesota the very next day.  Minnesota offered him the head coaching position.  When he returned to the hotel with his wife and kids, they could not decide if this was the right move.  So, Lou told everyone to go & pray for 30 mintues.  They would come back together in 30 minutes and  make a decision at that time.  In their family meeting they all came together with peace that God wanted them to move to Minnesota.  What an example of prayer.

Not only do I need to grow in my faith, I need to stay focused on what’s most important.  I can talk all day long about priorities and organization.  I can even make daily lists and get LOTS accomplished.  However, many times I wonder if I’m accomplishing the right things.

Back in October I listed 3 goals I wanted to accomplish by February.  I posted those goals next to stay focused.  I have so many ideas in my head that I want to accomplish, so I can get sidetracked.  The other activities are good, but not always the best.  Posting those goals in a place I saw it everyday reminded me of what is important.

I’ll let you know that I am right on track to finish my 3 goals.  Two are already done & the last one will be finished this month.

This week, I’ll be posting my 3 goals for 2012 next to my desk.  I will see them every day.  I might even post them in the kitchen because I spend lots of time in the kitchen.

How will I decide what my 3 goals will be?

I’ll be sharing some ideas on goal setting over the next few days.  In the meantime, I will start with “prayer”.  I will be praying all week to decide exactly what direction God wants me to go in 2012 viagra generique sildenafil.  I’ll post those goals next to my desk and I will continue to pray for God’s guidance on a daily basis.

Having said that, I am not so rigid that I might not make a change this summer…if & only if I pray about it.  I want to stay in tune with Him this year… Faith – Focus for 2012

How about you?  

What is your word for 2012?

Post a comment.  I will randomly choose one to receive my ebook, Let’s Get Organized.  You have until Friday, Jan 6 to leave your word for 2012.  Once you leave your comment, enter again by clicking FB like or tweeting.  Just use the buttons above this post to fb or tweet.

Reading Challenge for 2012

Kerry Beck, Reading 6 Comments

This post includes 2 challenges.
One for 2012.
One for 2011 – to win my book, Becoming a Homeschool Pro

2011 Challenge

If you’d like to enter to win my book, all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog sharing your favorite book of 2011.  I’ll be picking a winner on Tuesday, January 3.  You can see my favorites of 2011 on the post below.

2012 Challenge

After I posted my favorite books of 2011, I read a comment from my friend, Paul Evans.  So far, he’s read 82 books this year.  WOW!!!  His goal next year is 104 (2/week)

I’ve read 41 books this year.  Will finish one more today/tomorrow to make it 42 (1/2 of Paul’s reading list).  I’m not sure I can make it to 100 next year, so I’m making my goal  manageable & public.  My goal is to read 52 books in 2012 – that’s 1 book each week. I think I can do it, even though I plan to start with Atlas Shrugged (big book, small print that I gave Steve last year).

Atlas Shrugged

Other books on my bedside table:

Brenda Warner biography

For Christmas, I gave this to my oldest daughter who is almost finished with it.  She says she can’t put it down. Read it all the way to Houston & back yesterday.

tim tebow biography

I gave this to my middle daughter and will have to wait until she is finished to read it.

18 Minutes Find Your Focus

Recommended by a friend

They say you are more likely to accomplish your goal if you make it public.  That’s why I’m posting it here, on twitter, and on facebook.

What is your reading goal for 2012? 

Feel free to post a comment below and let us know.


My Favorite Books of 2011

Blog Candy, Book & Curriculum Reviews, Kerry Beck 38 Comments

I read some great books in 2011…and I re-read some of my favorites.
Here are my top picks.
BTW…read to the bottom to find out how you can win my book:
Becoming A Homeschool Pro

wins losses lessons

Although I’m not quite finished with this book (should finish tonight or tomorrow), this may be my favorite of 2011.  Did you know Lou Holtz was 135 pounds, struggled academically and had a speech impediment in high school?  He is currently one of the most sought-after motivational speakers.  He is honest about his life and we can all learn from his story.

Read lessons I learned in Jan 2 post…about prayer

power of positive thinking

FANTASTIC.  I thought this was all about “me” & selfish positive thinking.  However,  it really has alot to do with God, Scripture and following the verses to think on positive things.  Great reminder for all of us.

One Yard Short

Lots of people live life “one yard short”. Les Steckel tells his life story and how God worked in his life to prepare for ministry to others.  Great for sports lovers, but also for men who struggle in feeling like nothing ever goes right.

zig ziglar

Love this book!  Truly rags to riches, but Zig knows who carries him always – Jesus Christ!
Zig is honest with his readers, sharing the good & bad stories of his life.  He willingly shares his weaknesses, but also shows how God uses his strengths.  He is honest about his middle years which tell of his chasing shiny objects.  Zig also shares the importance of his family, both his wife & kids.  Very encouraging to see a man who finds success in the middle of his life.

How Did You do It Truett?

Quick Read…
Quick overview of how Chick fil A began
Great principles to base your life and business. He truly walks the talk!
This would make a great gift for a young person as he addresses young people and how teenagers could use these principles.  I also read his biography which is EXCELLENT!

How to win friends and influence people

Love this book.  You should read this once a year.

Cereal tycoon

Inspirational & Encouraging. Truly a man who ran his business with Christian principles. Biography of founder of Quaker of Oats. I needed a new book to read & found this on my shelf.  So much better than I ever anticipated.

Favorite book series I started re-reading this year

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind

I read one new book in this series and re-read 2 books.
They are so much fun, an escape from reality. Fun to read & laugh!

At Home in Mitford

Father Tim & Mitford are so much fun to read…and a great encouragement to me.  I have about 3-4 more to finish re-reading the entire series. I read about one each month.

One of my favorite lines is the prayer Father Tim learned from his grandmother:
“Lord, let me be a blessing to someone today.”

What are you favorite books of 2011?

Post your book title as a comment.
I’ll randomly choose one of them to win a copy of my ebook,
Becoming a Homeschool Pro. 
I’ll choose the winner next Tuesday, January 3.

After you post a comment, you can also enter to win by clicking fb like or tweeting this post at the top.
This will give you additional entries to win.

Our Family Dog, Midnight

Kerry Beck 1 Comment

I mentioned in my email today that I would post my pics of Midnight since not everyone gets pics through their email.  Here’s what I wrote…

I must confess this has been an emotional week.  Our family dog, Midnight, was almost 14 years old.  We found a mass on her liver and had to put her down on Wednesday.  It’s been a bit strange to walk around our home and not have her with us.  I didn’t realize how much of our family she had become.  Memories lurk in every corner of our house and throughout our neighborhood where the two of us took our daily walk together.

I wanted to share a picture of us at Easter.  Everyone teased me because I wanted our dogs in the picture. Now, I’m so glad I did.

Easter 2011
Midnight is the black lab in the middle.  Sasha is our grandpuppy that Jesse (son-in-law) is holding

July 4, 2011
My niece dresses up Midnight :-)

We got such a kick out of Kaylynn dressing up Midnight that I had to take some pics.  So glad I did.

Thanks for all the well wishes, comments & emails we have received.  I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Curriculum Connection Summer Sale

Bible, Curriculum Connection, Homeschooling, Kerry Beck, Math, Raising Leaders, Specials 1 Comment

We have lots of used books and curriculum. Instead of taking them to the used bookstore we want to help homeschool moms that read this blog.

Take advantage of these special prices by clicking the title of any of the items. That will automatically put them in your shopping cart. This is a first come first serve sale. Most items have only 1 copy. We will do our best to keep this page updated.

All Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) items listed are not used but are apart of our “Scratch and Dent Sale.” There are very limited items on this and once the “Scratch & Dent” items are sold we will no longer offer the IEW products at the price listed.

Feel free to share this post with your friends and family.


Math-U-See Advanced Math Kit – USED

$15 for ALL items listed below.  Add to Cart

Includes the following:

Training Videos (2)
Teacher Manual
Extra Practice Sheets


Mega Memory by: Kevin Trudeau – USED

$20 for ALL items listed below. Add to Cart

Includes the following:

Audio Tapes
Pocket Guide


Visual Manna – Dinosaur Art Project Book by: Sharron Jeffus – USED

$1 for the book.  Add to Cart


DSST (Dante’s Subject Standardized Test): Official Test-Prep Guide by Peterson’s (2001) — 2nd edition – USED

$5 for book. Add to Cart


Advance Placement Examination Guide: Microeconomics & Macroeconomics by Richard Sattora and  Research & Education Assoc. (2004) – USED

$5 for book. Add to Cart


Essentials: Business Law 1 – Quick Access to the Important Facts and Concepts by William D Keller and Research & Education Assoc (2002) – USED

$3 for book. Add to Cart


Peterson’s PSAT Success 2002 by Shirley Tarbell & Byron Demmer – USED

$5 for book. Add to Cart


Saxon Algebra 1 Kit by John H. Saxon Jr. — 3rd Edition – USED

$40 for ALL items listed below. Add to Cart

Includes the following:
Student Textbook
Answer Key
Solutions Manual
Test Forms


CLEP Principles of Management by: Donald E. Hovey Ph.D. – USED

$5 for book. Add to Cart


CLEP: Official Study Guide by CLEP (2004) – USED

Includes: Workbook along with Sampler CD

$5 for book. Add to Cart


7 Undeniable Truths of Home Schooling CD by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn – USED

$10 for CD. Add to Cart


Phonetic Zoo: Level C — DICS ONLY – USED
By: James Webster & Andrew Pudewa

$45 for CDs. Add to Cart


Accelerated Distance Learning by Brad Voeller

$9 for book. Add to Cart


Word Roots B1 CD by Critical Thinking – USED (CD Only)

$10 for CD. Add to Cart


Vocabulary Roots 2 by Sam, Max & Bryan Burches – USED (2003)

$5 for book. Add to Cart


Our Mother Tongue Answer Key by Nancy Wilson

$3 for book. Add to Cart


Rules of the Game 2 Teacher Key by Mary Page, Peter Guthrie & Sloan Sable – USED (2002)

$5 for book. Add to Cart


Student Intensive Continuation Course B-1 Workbook by Excellent Resources – USED

$15 for workbook. Add to Cart


American Government – Teacher’s Edition by BJU Press – USED (2nd edition)

$10 for book. Add to Cart


Maximum Speed Reading by Howard Stephen Berg – USED

Includes the following:
4 Discs
Bonus Disc

$15 for entire set. Add to Cart


Webster’s New World Thesaurus by Charlton Laird (1974)

$1 for book. Add to Cart


Character-Based Writing Lessons by Daniel Weber (IEW)

$20.30 for book. Add to Cart


Teaching With Games Set by Lori Verstegen (IEW)

$31.50 for set. Add to Cart

Includes the following:
Teaching with Games Teacher Book
2 disc DVD set


Bible-Based Writing Lessons by Andrew Pudewa & James Webster (IEW)

$20.30 for book. Add to Cart


Classical Rhetoric through Structure & Style by Adam Muller (IEW)

$20.30 for book. Add to Cart


Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons by Lori Verstegen (IEW) – 1st edition

$14.50 for book. Add to Cart



Update from Kerry

Kerry Beck No Comments

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey last month.  We are using your input  in several ways.

- Writing articles to discuss topics you asked for
- Finding guest authors for topics you asked for
- Planning our free homeschool webinars to cover your topics of concern
- Creating interviews with homeschool experts with YOUR questions

Yep, that’s right!

We are doing all those things, writing articles from our own experience and asking our fellow homeschool friends ( speakers and authors) to answer YOUR questions.  Over the next several weeks, you can find articles, webinars and interviews that cover as many topics as we can cover this summer.

At the end of this summer, we will be interviewing experts to help you prepare for a new school year in September.

Even if you homeschool year-round, this information will help save you time, energy and thoughts.  It will give you more time to enjoy your kids and your family.  You won’t have to spend hours looking for your answers.  Just sign up for our blog post updates and you’ll be notified every time we answer another homeschool question.

How do you get our blog updates?

Find the box at the top of this blog and give us your email.

We’ll email you every time we have an article, answer to your question, summer family activity or summer recipe.

As soon as I get this posted, I’ll be posting the answer to this question:

“What subject should continue through the summer?”

Next week, I have a special guest who will teach you more on this very subject.  Save Thursday, June 23 at 2pm EASTERN time and join us!  Mark your calendars NOW-June 23.

Kerry Beck

ps.  If you have a topic or question you want covered, please post it as a comment on my blog.

Quiet Weekend

Kerry Beck No Comments

hunterfootballActually, my weekend didn’t begin quietly.  Since Steve is out of town dove hunting, I rode with friends to Hunter’s out of town football game.  It was a bit noisy as we cheered his team.  This is the first game I’ve taken pictures.  In the 2nd quarter I thought to myself, “I’m not going to take a picture of this play”.  Wrong Decision.  Hunter intercepted the ball!  As a proud mama, I’m pleased to say he’s made an interception in 3 of the last 4 games.  WooHoo!  I quickly texted Steve & our daughters.  The girls wanted regular updates since they couldn’t make the game.

Now, to the quiet portion of this weekend.

Yesterday was one of those lazy days.  Steve was hunting & Hunter was at football practice & SAT review.  I enjoyed myself as I created several photo greeting cards for friends & family.  Hunter & I ate a quiet dinner and then I watched a chick flick at night while he worked on his thesis.

As much as I enjoy the quiet time at home, I miss my husband.  I know it’s only been a couple of days, but that’s the beauty of marriage…oneness and knowing something is missing when one of you is gone.  I realize how much I love being with him and enjoy our conversation.  He challenges me and I am a better wife as a result.  He is thoughtful, caring & loving.  When he isn’t here, there is an emptiness in my life.  I look forward to spending tonight with him, so we can pick up where we left off.

Lazy B Labor Day Weekend

Holiday, Kerry Beck No Comments

Steve & I spent Saturday evening at our property, the Lazy B.  It’s about 20 minutes out of town and terrific relaxing place.  Steve loves to go out there for target practice.  But the last few months our dog gets scared when he shoots and runs away.  So Steve has not taken him out there.  Since I was going with him, we took Midnight and my job was to keep Midnight from running away from our 30 acres.  (And keep her calm)  Midnight loves the water and looked like a pig when she got out.  I wish I had the camera after she rolled in the dirt.

For the most part, I settled in by our pond, read some books & did some thinking.  It was so relaxing!



Tuesday Tips – Panic-Free Pickup

Home organization, Keeping My Home, Kerry Beck 1 Comment

You’ve just gotten that call from an unexpected friend or family member that they will be over in 20 minutes…and your house is a mess! You go pick everything up and throw it in a random drawer or cabinet. After your company leaves, you start to look for the TV remote or cell phone or book that you’re reading and you have no clue where you put it. Does this happen to you? Here’s a simple solution: Keep one of those over-the-door shoe holders inside the entry closet or utility room. Stick everything in there when you need to clean up in a hurry. Then you will know exactly where you left your stuff after your company leaves.

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