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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Well Planned Day Planner

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Are you a homeschool mom & blogger who wants to win a new planner? 
Or a homeschool mom looking for a great planner to help you stay organized and on track?  

If yes to either question, check this planner out by clicking the picture or link.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My dependable giver

Isn't it great how we have someone always within listening distance?  Whenever we need him, we just call out his name.  He tells us that we can ask anything, the desires of our hearts and he will give it to us, according to his will.  Wow.  We even have a way of predicting some of what our future holds!

No, I don't have a personal Genie in a bottle.  Nope, no magical potion.  Nope, no crystal ball.

We have our Lord Jesus Christ!

He is always there when we need him:

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 

Even when we are alone, he is here:

Romans 10:1 "Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved."

These are my favorite verses in the Bible.  It tells you everything you need in life:

Psalms 23 -
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right path, for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

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If you need something, ask for it.  If it is accordance with his shall have it, in his time.

His timing is perfect, like him.

Saying this prayer, Psalms 23, reminds me that he is always here.  He is protecting, looking out for our best interest and he has a plan.

 All scriptures taken from the NIV.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Is A Father?

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Happy Father's Day to my dad, the father of my children, and all the father's out there! 

If you look up 'father' in the dictionary, the first meaning listed is: a male parent.

Being a father is so much more than being a parent.  This is what a father is in my eyes:

a caretaker
a lover
a man who loves his wife
a protector
a man who takes care of his family
a man who places his family's needs above his own
a nurturer
a helper
a mentor
a counselor
a teacher
the head of his household
the financial advisor

I could go on.  My point is that a father is so much more than that.....a father.  Anyone can be a 'dad' and have a child.  But these things listed above is what makes a dad, a father.

Thank you to my Heavenly Father for giving me such a wonderful earthly father & an earthly father in my children.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gotta love has its cons :/

I love this time of year.  All the fruit and veggies are growing good.  The warm breezes are flowing through the air.  You can hear the leaves swishing in the wind.  No more wood burning stove, warm clothes, snow boots (or mud boots) and no more chilly mornings.  I just love it.

But, like everything else, there comes a few cons to the season as well.  Bugs I don't mind too much.  I absolutely hate spiders, but I have three boys that are designated super spider killers ;)  It's snakes that I cringe upon.  EEEEKKKKK!  My middle son loves them.  He reminds me every time I threaten to kill the icky yard intruders, that they eat mice.  My response is .... so does my outside cat!  I do not like snakes!  Sorry to all those snake lovers, I just have a fear not to mention they give me the creeps!

So, on with my story, I went out to make sure the chickens had plenty of water one warm afternoon last week.  I opened the coop door and took of my sunglasses to see in there.  I just happened to look up and this is what I see.

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I stared, puzzled and still blinded by the sun from taking off my sunglasses.  I ask myself, is this a piece of stripping/seal or something of a construction nature hanging from the ceiling?  As I realize that what I am looking at is a snake, I scream!!!!!!!  My snake lover son comes out to rescue me.  It was a small snake, but still......eeeewwww.

I am telling all, that if this snake would have fallen on me, I would have had a heart attack and died right there in the chicken coop!

Again, I do love this weather, but it comes with some cons :/  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Memoria Press TOS Review

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I received The Complete Set of Prima Latina 
for review.

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The Complete Set Price (shown above):  $90.00

The Complete Set includes:

Teacher Manual
Student workbook
Pronunciation CD
3-Instructional DVD's

Recommended for grades K-3.

You can purchase just the Text Set for $32.95

The Text Set includes:

Teacher Manual
Student workbook
Pronunciation CD

You can also purchase extra items such as: CD's, DVD's, flashcards, certificate of completion, copy book, etc. separately if desired.  Click HERE to see the list of what is offered as well as pricing.

This is what we received - The Complete Set:

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What Is This? -

This is a full Latin course for students.  The workbook contains 25 lessons and 132 pages.  Each lesson contains vocabulary words, writing assignments, and prayers to learn.  The DVD's have each lesson explained & taught by a professional Latin teacher. 

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There is no 'guessing' on the correct pronunciation of the words being taught.  The lessons are presented clear, slow and professional but still fun for the student.  The teacher in the DVD videos pronounces the word (with it's meaning) slowly, then has the child say them a few times with her, then the student says the word by him/herself.   

The Complete Set comes with a pronunciation CD.  It is a convenient way to listen on CD player in your car during travels, at home or in the classroom.  

The teacher manual is identical to the student workbook but contains the answers in the book as well as instructions on how to teach Latin.  

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The course teaches grammar overview, tenses of verbs, cases of nouns, student goals, and much more.

Throughout the student workbook, the student will review the vocabulary words in the previous lessons.  For example, each day, the lesson will have the student review the vocab words from the lessons prior with a short writing assignment.  Then after lesson 5, the student with review the first 5 lessons again before going on to the 6'th. 

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The flashcards are another way to 'refresh' the lessons.  

Click HERE for a sample of the Teacher Manual, Table of Contents or a sample of Lesson 1.

How We Used This -

I used this 3 days per week with my 10 year old son. 

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We placed the DVD in the player each day and watched and listened to that days lesson.  

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Then, we followed the instructions on doing our workbook assignments and practiced our speaking.  

What I Thought -

This was very easy to use and to teach.  The DVD Latin teacher was very easy to understand and her speech was very clear.  I really liked how the lessons contained review in each one.  Repetition is very important with this course.  I really liked the way it reviewed throughout the book.  One of my pet peaves with curricula is that some give you new things to learn without going back to refresh on previous lessons.  This was not like that at all.  Even the DVD lessons reviewed things.  

Overall, I feel anyone could teach this course.  You don't have to be an English professor to teach a Latin.  All the parent does is follow along with the student.  An older student could probably do the course themselves.  

I personally enjoyed teaching or should I say 'learning' this course.  My son and I both learned a great deal.  The diphthongs were expecially important with us.  My son struggles with reading a bit and this helped with figuring our where a word comes from and gave him an idea of what the meaning may be.  This makes the reading easier for him to not just sound out a word, but figure out the 'root' or meaning of that word and apply it to the story.

I recommend this to anyone who has a struggling reader or anyone who just wants to learn Latin.


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Friday, June 7, 2013

Birdcage Press TOS Review

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I was sent 'Go Fish for Ancient Egypt' for review.

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Price:  $10.95
Recommended for ages 7 and up.

What Is This? -

This is not just your ordinary 'Go Fish' game.  It teaches facts about Ancient Egypt using strategy and memory skills with each and every game played.

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Pictured above is the playing cards & book that comes in the set.

Each card has an Egyptian symbol with a word and it's meaning.  The cards have clear text and very vivid, colorful pictures.  

The cards have 7 categories.  


For example, this card pictured below is in the 
'Symbols' category.  The symbol is 'Scarab'. 

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Below the picture on the card, is the description and definition.  Like this:

Magical Beetle
Scarab amulets were magical and sacred charms in the shape of a beetle. They represented fertility and rebirth and were used for protection, in life and after death.

Then it lists 5 other 'symbols' in the category.  For this particular card, they are Ankh, Hieroglyphs, Sphinx, Uraeus, and Wedjat.

You can play the game a few different ways.  You can play the traditional way of asking for just the category, which is 'symbols'.  If your oponent has any of the cards in that category, then he/she hands over the card.  Or you can be more specific and ask for a particular symbol.  For example, if I had this card above, I could ask for any one of the symbols, like "Do you have the Sphinx card?".  My opponent would respond.  If he/she has the card, they hand it to me and if no, they would tell me to 'go fish' like the classic game. 

The book that comes with the game contains what each of the cards are and their meaning also with playing directions.

How We Played / Used the Product -

I played this with my 10 year son and my 14 year old son joined in a few games.  Each time a card exchanges hands, we would read the card aloud to learn about each one.  We played the more extensive way being more specific on which card in each category we wanted. 

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This company has won several awards for their educational games.  The Ancient Egypt Go Fish game has won the 2010 Parents' Choice Silver Award.  Click HERE to see the awards this company has earned.

What I Thought -

This was so much fun!  My sons and I really like it.  I liked that each card has complete details on what it represented.  My boys loved it due to the Egyptian teachings.  They both love to learn about how thee Egyptians lived and this was great!  Each card was so colorful and fun!  The text was clear and everything placed so it can easily be read.

This game isn't just for ages 7 and up in my opinion.  My teen played it with us and it was so much fun!  

This game puts a whole new spin on the classic Go Fish game!  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an educational game learning about Ancient Egypt!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Just not my day

Yesterday, being the wonderful wife that I am, decided to help my husband out and mow the lawn for him so he wouldn't have to that night after work.  We have a John Deere rider so it really isn't hard and I enjoy doing it, shhhhh.  Well, I had just finished hanging out a load of clothes on the line, then hopped onto the lawn mower to begin.  As I am coming up to the clothesline, I put my arm out to move the clothes out of the way, and my husbands jeans decided to attack Mr. John Deere.  The jeans swooped up into the lawnmower and then the engine quit.  I was so worried that I 'hurt' the lawn mower but the jeans, of course, got the raw end of the deal. 

After untangling the jeans from the blades of Mr. John Deere, I proceeded to hang them on the line ...... for show I guess. 

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Doubling over with laughter (now that I know the Mr. John Deere was fine) looking at what was left of the jeans, decided to leave them there until my husband returned home that night.

When my husband returned home, I walked him out to the back yard and proceeded to tell him that I had a small issue with the lawn mower that morning.  I told him that it and the clothesline had a fight and the mower won.  He looks at the line and says nothing.  I see the grin coming over his face, so then I said, "I can sew them for you if you want".  lol. 

I am so glad my husband has a wonderful sense of humor.  He says, "I did need a few more pairs of jeans.  I guess I definitely need to buy them now".

I love my hubby.  He knows that this is life and is so thankful that I am helpful.....even when I mess up a time or two.  :)

Christianity Cove TOS Review

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I received The Divine Dozen: 12 Parables of Jesus Every Child Should Know & Fruits of the Spirit Activity Kit from Christianity Cove for review.

Price:  The Divine Dozen $24
           Fruits of the Spirit $19

Both come in pdf downloads.

Recommended for children of all ages.
I used this with my 10 year old so I would say elementary age works well.

What Is This? -

Christianity Cove is a company where you can find all kinds of Sunday School lessons, activities, crafts, games, skits, and fun ideas to help teach children God's word.  They help you teach children so they can understand things of the Bible easily and then apply it to their own lives.  I used this several times a week with my 10 yr. old son until we finished the lessons.

The company offers Bible lessons, etc for teens as well.

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The Divine Dozen is filled with lessons teaching the 12 parables in a way that children can understand without any harsh images but focuses on the positives.  They take everyday situations and use them to teach the parables.  

Here is an example of one of the parables:

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In this above lesson, Parable 3, it teaches the warning signs that God gives us.
It gives you the lesson capsule (which sums up the lesson for you), the scriptures you'll use, the materials for a demonstrations, and finally the preparation.  Everything that YOU, the teacher, needs to say is in bold type!  You just read and let the children answer and/or comment.  After you read the lesson (while performing the short and easy demonstration), you will then give the children a worksheet like this one below.

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There are several different printable worksheets throughout the parables.  Some others are word searches and unscrambling letters to make words.  

The demonstrations are pretty simple.  For example, the parable above you would have two small boats and some water while discussing the story about two men who went out into the water with a storm coming.  One man noticed the signs of the storm, the other man chose to ignore the signs.  These are great ways to teach children about God's 'warning signs' and why they should be followed. 

The Fruits of the Spirit Activity Kit is filled with the fruits of the spirit explained with 15 activities for them to remember and understand.

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Here is an example of how they use grapes and raisins to explain how when we are pulled away from the vine, which is God's word, we are pulled away from him.  When a grape is pulled from the vine, it will start to dry up and eventually die.  That is how we are spiritually.  When we drift away from the Lord and his word, we will spiritually dry up.

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There are 2 object lessons.  These can be taught in 10 - 15 minutes each.  This one above, gives a list of materials you'll need, a teaching script, and the lesson.  You can tweak it to your needs or use it just as written.  They also give you snack ideas, which there is no cooking required; they are very simple and yummy! 

What I Thought -

I think this is awesome!  The parables really got the point across with my son.  These lessons could be used in a whole large classroom or just a one or a few students.  The lessons were easy, very little prep time.  I really liked the analogies that were used.  They were easy for children to understand.  

Being a former VBS director and Children's Church teacher, I really liked how these 2 products taught God's word with such truth and simplicity.  Things do not have to be complicated when teaching things to children.  You just need to find a way to 'connect' God's word to their everyday lives and this company has accomplished that.  I highly recommend this to any Sunday school teacher, Children's Church director, VBS director, homeschool mom, etc. to use to teach their children God's word!


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Monday, June 3, 2013

Motherboard Books TOS Review

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I was sent (via pdf download) for review

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Recommended for children 8-12 yrs. old

What Is This? -

This is a 60 page pdf format ebook that teaches children how to create a webpage.  It comes with step by step instructions for the child to follow.  The ebook includes a free 30 day trial software offer to CoffeeCup HTML editor.  The author recommends  that the parent download or at least the child have supervision while downloading.  (After the free trial, the CoffeeCup editor is $49.)  This will help your child build their own website.  You will need one of the following programs to run the CoffeeCup HTML editor: Windows XP, Vista or later.  

There are 10 lessons in this ebook.  
Here is a list of the Table of Contents:

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This ebook also includes an instruction manual for parents and internet safety, which is really important these days, as well as a troubleshooting section in case you have any technical difficulties.

How We Used This -

Below is a picture of the step by step instructions that my son followed.  The instructions have pictures that are very clear examples of what you will be seeing while downloading and creating different texts, backgrounds, etc.

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Here is the instruction step that showed him how to add a picture.  He just downloaded a picture that he wanted to use, and followed the directions in the ebook to connect it to his webpage.

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This was a fairly short project.  I believe it took my son just a few hours to complete this.  He has had some internet experience though, but I think anyone new could operate the program pretty easily.  Although, we did run into a small issue.  After creating the web site, he went back to access it (a few days later) and the CoffeeCup program wouldn't open up.  We unfortunately lost the work but I think it was due to some computer issues on the laptop, not the program itself.  It wasn't that big of an issue since we were finished with the review and product, but I felt it is my responsibility to mention. 

On the website, they offer a FREE 'Internet Scavenger Hunt' (valued at $10) when you sign up for the occasional newsletter.  This is recommended for children 12 and up.  (To access this free offer, click 'The Internet Scavenger Hunt' icon below or click HERE.  You will have to scroll close to the bottom of the page after clicking to view the offer.) 

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The Scavenger Hunt is just that, a scavenger hunt on the world wide web.  This program gives you questions to answer using the internet.  There are a few rules.  One rule being that you cannot use the same website more than once. 

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What I Thought -

I was really impressed that my son could create such a web page with such little instruction.  It was really easy!  In this picture above, he is creating it on his laptop while reading the instructions on my pc.  He just followed the step by step instructions!

This was pretty cool.  The instructions were so easy and presented with the perfect step by step instructions.   

Keep in mind that the CoffeeCup HTML editor is only a trial.  It will expire in 30 days.  This is a great deal since the program itself costs $49 after the trial.  

I liked that the project was a short one.  This is good if you only have one pc or laptop that the whole family shares.

The scavenger hunt was cool too.  Both of these 2 programs are a great way to get kids off computer games and turn them onto something educational!  I would recommend to any homeschool family or student who needs to learn about internet web page building and/ or just exploring the world wide web.....safely of course.


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