Friday, December 23, 2011

Here With Us

I love the music at our church. I am thankful for such Christ Honoring Music. And at Christmas time, that is no different.

Take a moment and enjoy some wonderful music!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HELP! I Hate Math! What's a Homeschooler to do?

I admit it, I am a homeschooler, who really just hates Math! So when I come across a product or resource that can help me, help my children grasp math, then guess what... I LOVE IT!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew we were sent a nifty card game to review called Fractazmic, by I See Cards. Let me tell you, these were a hit!

Fractazmic is a card game designed to reinforce fractions and measurement in a fun and non-threatening way! The point of the game is to create 'hands' or 'sets' where the player will combine the fraction cards to equal the sum of 1.

One aspect we really were thankful for, is the fact that the fine people of I See Cards also created a FREE online version of the game, which really helped my daughter with understanding the point of the game, and helped her, in turn, play the card game.  Not all children will need to do that, however, my daughter was rusting on her fractions, ( me too... really thankful for the pictures on the cards!) so by playing online, she built her confidence and then her success at the card game soared!  The best part about Fractazmic is.... it's FUN!  You can play at home, or take it along with you when you have to wait for appointments, etc... since it is simply a deck cards, it is very portable!

Also, she would 'play' by herself practicing putting hands, or sets together!

I would highly recommend this game for any child of any age that is struggling with their fractions!

Please visit I See Cards, to see their entire line of Math Cards, and you can pick up your own deck for... $6.95.  You also have the option of buying a 5 deck pack for $ 30 and a 10 deck pack for $55. If you have a larger family/class, or would like to give these as a gift this would be a wonderful way to save a little!

I See Cards has an entire line of  math card games, as well as, a card game to help children with English/Spanish.  All are affordable, you can purchase one deck or a bundle!

And don't forget to visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about I See Cards!

***please note: I was sent a complimentary deck of Fractazmic in exchange for my honest opinion. No other form of payment was offered or accepted.  Opinions shared here, are my own, and do not constitute a guarantee or a promise of service. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catapults, Trebuchets and Kids.. OH MY!!

With 3 teenage boys in the house, you are sure to hear the excitement as they learned they were going to build machines that will hurl objects across the room! And that is exactly what happened as we set out to build  our Catapult and our Trebuchet that we received from Pitsco Co. in our Medieval Machines Pack!  

In this pack you receive much more than expected, not only do you receive just about everything you need to build both of these kits (minus glue, wax paper and a tool or two) you also receive a 'teacher' book of sorts.

The information in this book not only will give your students the history behind the Siege Machines they are building, the book also provides experiments that can be done with the machines you just created! While on the product page of Pitsco, it states that the product is geared through middle school. Within the teacher book, they include National Standards through the 12th grade.

I actually had my 11th and 12th grader work on the the projects on their own. Here is the Creative Learners take on each kit...

Catupult -  The instructions were easy to understand - the hardest part of building it was 'trying to get the dowels inserted'.  The boys had to use much effort on that aspect. However, the end result was great! They loved launching the clay across the room.. and the rest of the children were able to join in on the fun!

Trebuchet - This one took  a little longer to build. My son mentioned that the wording of the directions were good, however, he found the photos confusing. However, they were able to get it together working as a team.
In the end, once again, the children all took part enjoyed flinging projectiles across the room! I mean really, what child doesn't enjoy being able to launch clay into the air.. with permission!

You can get your own  Medieval Machines Pack for $21.95.  Be sure to check all the Pitsco has to offer while you are on their website!

Hop on over to the crew blog to see what my crew mates are saying about Pitsco!

Happy launching!

**Please note***As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a a complementary Medieval machines Kit for review purposes and exchange for my honest opinions.  No other form of compensation was offered or received. The opinions within this post are mine, and do not constitute a promise of service or guarantee results.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Bonnie Hunt Show

I have to tell you... I loved the Bonnie Hunt Show, and still miss it! It was a bright spot in our day! We would DVR it and watch it in the evenings. And both the kids and I LOVED it! We were fortunate enough to even go and see tapings of the show several times! All the people that worked on the show were awesome! 

What I liked the most was her good clean humor and her love of family! 
Here is a segment of Ask Alice on The Bonnie Hunt Show. Alice is Bonnie's Mom and 
she is a riot! This little segment reminds me of what happens when all of my cousins and I get together.. 
I hope you enjoy this clip!
Sure did make me smile! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Math Mammoth Sale - Today is the Last Day!!

Today is the last day of the sale at Math Mammoth.  Use coupon code THANKSGIVING to get 25% off your purchase at Kagi Store.  This includes all downloads & CD's sold at  The sale runs til December 5th. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

FREE Digital Christmas Magazine

The wonderful people of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine have done it again! They have put together an amazing FREE resource for you, and just in time for Christmas! 

They have put together a Digital Christmas Magazine chock full of traditions and recipes! 

You will find your favorite TOS staffers, homeschool main stays.. and even some of my crew mates! 

This interactive digital magazine is sure to please! Get your copy today!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's a Family Thing

I stumbled across a picture of my Aunt today while poking around Facebook. When I saw it, it reminded me of how much I look like her.. and have my whole life.

So I decided to make a little page commemorating it!

I love you Aunt Sue! I am honored to be your niece.. and your 'twin'!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Teacup

Recently our church had their annual Ladies Retreat. This actually was the first time I was able to go, thanks to a wonderful friend who sponsored me! We had such a lovely time of fellowship, and the sessions were God honoring and filled with convicting and helpful nuggets!

One thing that I did not find until we returned home, was a wonderful little story that was tucked inside our notebooks. The author is unknown, but the message was very timely for me! It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I am so thankful that the Lord knows what I need, and when I need it.

I thought you all would enjoy reading this little story as well!

The Teacup - Author Unknown

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores.  They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups.  This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup.  They said, “May we see that?”  We’ve never seen one quite that beautiful.”  As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke,  “You don’t understand,” it said, “ I haven’t always been a teacup.”
“There was a time when I was red and I was clay.  My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, “Let me alone,” but he only smiled, ‘Not yet.’
“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and suddenly I was spin around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting dizzy!’  I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’
Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat.  I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door.  I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips, as he shook his head, ‘Not yet.’
“Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There that’s better,” I said.  Then he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible I thought I would gag.  ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried.  He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’
“Then suddenly put me back into the over, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate.  I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet!’
“Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it.  I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf.  One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’  And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’
“‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up.  I know it made you dizzy to spin around the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.  I knew it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.’
“‘ I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life.  And if I hadn’t put you back in the second over, you wouldn’t survive for a very long because the hardness would not have held.’
“’Now you are the finished product.  You are what I had in mind when I first began you.’”
Jeremiah 18:6
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Reading Game - A TOS Review

I LOVE IT!!!!  I can't contain it until the middle of the post! I had to tell you right off the bat, The Reading Game is awesome!!

The game is designed for children ages 4 and older. I did not intend on using this game with a small child, but I intended to use this game for a few of my special needs students who are just really struggling!

I am so very pleased with the results. The Reading Game consists of 6 levels of playing cards and 6 reading books, as well, as the instruction book, that you will need in order to play the game.

So how does this game work? Within each level of cards ( Red or Skunk or Book 1) , there are 6 levels of cards. You and your student play one level at a time, which consist of 10 cards. You lay them down in 'Match Game' fashion.  You and your student take turns flipping cards. When you match the cards you say the word out line a couple of times, clearly. You play level one and level two. Playing each level until your student has mastered those words. When you feel they have mastered those words you have them read the 'test sentence' that is in the instruction booklet. You continue in this fashion until all six levels of cards in that level (Red or Skunk or Book 1), you then you have the child read Book 1.

You can see here a bit about how to play the game.


Here is what I found. When my student used to work on reading, they would read in a sing song fashion, almost whining. No matter what we did. However, this time around, they read pronouncing the words clearly and with confidence. This is a HUGE improvement. When we completed one level, they eagerly asked to play the next one! This is BIG!

Whether you are working with a brand new reader, or a reader with special needs, The Reading Game can help.  Each of the six stories introduce the student to 30 new words.  The creators of the Reading Game believe that ANYONE CAN LEARN TO READ. Some may take longer than others, but through this method, that will hard wire these words into their brain, they will indeed learn to read.


The Reading Game is available for $24.95 and would be a wonderful addition to any homeschool or family that has a student who is learning to read!

Take some time to check out the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about The Reading Game!

***Note: I received a free copy of The Reading Game in exchange for my honest opinions of the product. No other form of compensation was offered or received. These opinions do not constitute a guarantee or promise of service.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Movie Night - Game of Your Life - A Review

I have really been enjoying the fact that NBC, Walmart and Proctor and Gamble have taken a step in the right direction and have offered these awesome Family Movie Nights on primetime TV!  What a departure from what is normally available. This is the 3rd time that I have been able to review one of their movies, and I have to tell you that I have loved every one of their movies. You can read my first reviews here and here.

Game of Your Life, is indeed another wonderful movie. The main character "Zach Taylor wants to become a successful video designer, but he has to pass the infamous freshman project which eliminates more than half of the class within the first three months.  Zach must make a decision that not only  affects his future, but the lives and livelihoods of the people around him as well. It's a revealing story that recognizes the magnitude behind the choices we make and the importance loyalty plays in making good decisions."

As a mom raising teenage children, ready to be launched out into the world, I really enjoyed watching how Zach learned to navigate life. The life he left behind, and the life he wants to lead. The choices set before Zach would be difficult for a well experienced adult to navigate. No matter the choice he made, his choice would impact those around him.


You can watch Game of Your Life Friday, Dec 2nd, on NBC at 8pm. You can learn more about Family Movie Night by visiting their website. Next Friday, gather your children and enjoy a wonderful movie that the entire family will enjoy!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time Timer a TOS Crew Review

Have you noticed that this year on the crew, we are reviewing some fun items, that are not simply curriculum. But, items that will help to enhance our homeschools!  Recently, we were able to review the 3 inch Time Timer, a nifty timer that not only counts away the minutes, it also helps children get a grasp of how long the time really is.  When I first read about this timer I was excited to  perhaps get the chance to use it in my home.

I have a child that has some issues with time. When I say issues with time, I am not talking about simply telling time, I am talking about 'feeling time'. Does that make sense to you? If you have a special needs kid, this probably make s a lot of sense.

My son, simply cannot wrap his head around segments of time. By using the Time Timer, he is able to see the time count away!  When you set your timer.. you see it here set for 30 minutes, the face is covered in red with the designated time. As the time 'ticks' away, you will see the red get smaller and smaller. And when time is up.. the red disappears. This helps any child see the length of time they are measuring.

Here you can see some of the many ways you can use the Time Timer!

Piano Lessons

Computer Time

Reading Time

Video Games

TV Time

Assignment Timer

Speech Therapy Timer

Chore Timer

Overall, I really did enjoy the Time Timer. There were however 3 little things that I had issue with. First, the battery is very tricky to get in. We were able to get it in, however, at one point we needed to replace the battery ( we put in a used battery in the beginning) so we needed to struggle with it again.  The second small thing was the fact that when the timer 'beeps' you hear simply 2 little beeps.  I actually missed the beeps a few times. If you are across the room, you will not hear it.  Now both of those things are relatively small items. If you are sitting at a desk or piano, etc...  you can be near the timer in order to hear it when it beeps.

However, if you are teaching a special needs child, the last thing that I need to note is that the timer is 'backwards' when thinking about a clock face.  When looking at a regular clock face, minutes 1- 30 are on the right side of the face. However, on the Time Timer, minutes 1 - 30 are on the left hand side.  For some special needs students, who will be using this tool independently, this could cause confusion. However, for students, without special needs, this would not be an issue. So, you will need to decide if this would be an issue for your family.

All in all, I like the Time Timer... hop on over to the crew blog to see what my crew mates are saying about the Time Timer.

And don't forget to visit the Time Timer Website to see the other Time Timer options available! Including Time timers for your computer, iPhones and iPods!  You can purchase your own 3 inch Time Timer for $30.00.

**Note, I was given a free Time Time for purpose of review. No other compensation was offered or received. Statements made in this post do not constitute promise or guarantee of service.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Math Mammoth - Make it Real Learning Math

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have had to opportunity to review for Math Mammoth in the past.  You can read that review here. This year when speaking with Maria Miller, the creator of Math Mammoth, she shared that she was carrying a product line this year called Make It Real Learning  by Frank C Wilson.  So this year, my review is covering 4 products in this program.

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II - for grades 6-11. $4.99

Sets, Probability, and Statistics I - for grades 6-10. $4.99

Linear Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. $4.99

Linear Functions II - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. $4.99

What is the one thing that most students ask when it comes to math class? When am I ever going to use this? Make it Real Learning makes the purpose of math very clear, by giving them real life situations and showing them how to put the math they are using in the classroom into action.

This is such  a wonderful skill to show your children. I know that my children do not LOVE math, so showing them the purpose of math is key to their success. And Make it Real Learning makes that happen.

In Fractions, Percents and Decimals II, which is geared for grades 6 - 11 your children are going to put those skills to use in figuring; temperature conversions, figuring housing costs, real estate investing, sales tax changes and much more!

Sets, Probability and Statistics 1, geared for 6- 10th grade, your student will look at snack foods, fast food restaurant items, license plates and phone numbers, to name a few, to learn how Sets, Probability and Statistics applies to everyday life!

In Linear Functions I and II, which is designed for students taking Algebra 1 & 2, your student  will put to use these skills while figuring the best cell phone plan, figuring income increase rates, in order to still qualify for government nutrition programs, calculating carbohydrates for diabetics and much more.

As you can see, by using these workbooks, your students will get hands on experience with math in real life! Each of these E-books  are 46 pages and would be considered supplemental, rather than a full curriculum.  However, for my children they did help to cement the skills they were covering in their main curriculum.

To check out the full line of Make it Real Learning and Math Mammoth products visit their website.  As usual, don't forget to hop on over to the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about Math Mammoth!


**Note, I was provided free copies of the items describe in the review, for the purpose of sharing my honest opinion. No other compensation was offered or received.  Opinions stated here, do not constitute a guarantee of service or outcome.**

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thomas Kinkade's: The Christmas Lodge ~ A Review and a Giveaway!

(Contest is now closed)

Thanksgiving is now just around the corner..... can you feel it in the air? It is the feeling of the Holiday Seasons!  Thanksgiving and Christmas bring families together in a way that no other time of year seems to!

This year, there is a sweet DVD available that you and your entire family can sit down and enjoy together!!! It is The Christmas Lodge, presented by Thomas Kinkade.

Here is a bit about the movie from the producers:

Thomas Kinkade presents Christmas Lodge: a place where a heart-warming past and loving future meet for one remarkable group of people. During a weekend trip to the mountains, Mary (Erin Karpluk) finds herself at the now- dilapidated lodge where she spent the holidays with her family growing up. She becomes determined to restore the building to its former glory. Inspired by her grandfather and guided by her grandmother in heaven, Mary throws herself into the project, and during the process finds herself drawn to Jack (Michael Shanks), a handsome man who loves the lodge as much as she does. Historically unlucky in love, this chance encounter allows Mary to renew her faith in life and discover her one true love. For an uplifting story about the importance of faith, family and the true holiday spirit, go to the Christmas Lodge.


So what is the Creative Learners take on The Christmas Lodge? We loved it! We give it 2 thumbs up! When we sat down to watch it, it was a chilly afternoon/evening, perfect for snuggling together to watch a movie!  The Christmas Lodge is sweet, family friendly, funny, interesting and above all, it brings the message of hope, family and love to life!  We enjoyed watching as the story, rather, the history of The Christmas Lodge unfolded. It was awesome to see  this family join together and work as a team! We loved the relationship between the main character, Mary,  and her grandfather!  So often, in movies today, the older generation is cast to the side, and often made fun of and put down. In the wonderful story, Mary and her family, honor her grandfather, and their families vibrant history! This is something that our families need desperately today. The Christmas Lodge modeled that beautifully!

The Christmas Lodge would make an excellent Christmas gift for someone in your life! You can purchase The Christmas Lodge and several retailers, including Christian Book, Amazon and Walmart!

To learn more about the movie, visit the Christmas Lodge Website!

I am thrilled to let you know that I have one copy of The Christmas Lodge DVD to giveaway!  It is simple to enter this contest.... simply leave one comment per day to be entered. If you would like, let me know why you would like to win... perhaps who you would give it to.. Limit is 1 entry per 24 hour period per email address. And winners will be announced and contacted via email on Wednesday November 23rd! Just in time for you to cross someone off your Christmas Shopping List!

And the winner is Kristi! Thank you everyone for participating! And congratulations to Kristi!

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bower Books - The Person I Marry

What a wonderful treat The Person I Marry, by Gary Bower has been to read. This 'picture book' is wonderful for all ages!  And that is because of the content. This is not a silly picture book for the toddler set. Though, your toddler would benefit from learning these principles contained within the pages of this beautifully illustrated book!  The Person I Marry, however, I would say, is a book that will help future husbands and wives make the the most important decision of their married lives. Choosing a spouse!

In the world around us, our children are often sent confusing messages on what is the kind of person they should marry. Throughout The Person I Marry, the reader is guided to look at the quality of the charcter of the person above all else.

The Person I Marry, is filled with gems throughout, here is my favorite page! I feel as though these characteristics are so very important!


Watch this quick video, to hear excerpts from the book, and to see some of the beautiful illustrations.




A Great Wedding Gift for the Happy Couple!
(Give an adorable book instead of a card that will be thrown away!)
An Amazing Character-Building Tool for Kids!
(Remind your children that the INSIDE matters more than the outside!)
An Excellent Conversation-Starter with Teens!
(Discuss important topics in a NON-THREATENING way!)

You can purchase The Person I Marry by visiting the Bower Books Website. This hardcover book, is available to $11.99.  While you are on the Bower Books website, please take some time to peruse their entire line of products.


You will find that each of their books are filled with heart! With your families best interest in mind! You can be sure that these treasures will help edify your child and your family!

Their other titles include:

What do Hero's Wear?

There's a Party in Heaven!

And wonderful board books -

Mommy Love and Daddy Love

Bower Books even offers Free Shipping of orders of $30 or more and, you can even request an autographed copy!

Take a moment to visit the Crew Blog to see what my Crew mates have to say about this precious book!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Excellence in Literature - Introduction to Literature

As a homeschooler with a house full of high schoolers ( and 1 middle schooler) , who happens to be studying literature this year, I was incredibly thrilled to learn that we were going  to review Excellence in Literature 's Introduction to Literature by Janice Campbell.

EIL, is geared for students grades 8-12, and even has an honors option. With EIL, your child will learn to think and write analytically. Additionally, while the author gives instructions for the assignments, you will not find included lots of background information or lengthy introductions. However, you will find that the author has provided links and resources for the children to research and flesh out these pieces of information on their own.  She also let's the student know that it is their responsibility to read through Introduction to Literature. Why? The author is encouraging the students to become responsible for their  own education! This is an idea that I have been working at conveying to my children, so this is an idea I stand behind!

There are 9 units in Introduction to Literature. These units are designed to be done in about one month. However, you could easily adapt the units to fit the needs of your family. Advance the units at a quicker pace, or space the units to fit the needs of your household. With the  Honor's Option that is available, in order  to earn advanced placement or college credit for the class,you will also need to take an AP or CLEP exam.

As a mother of several children with dyslexia, I appreciated that she also encouraged that if you needed to, you may listen to the longer unabridged versions of the books. For many children with Special Needs, having to read these complete literary works would be too daunting. Allowing for the audio versions brings them within reach of many more students! The author also provides additional 'reading' in each section. This will help contextualize the works of literature that they are reading.  Also, this course assumes that the student has the necessary skills in grammar, spelling and mechanics. If your student struggles in these areas, there are some suggested resources available.

Author Janice Campbell uses this quote in the Introduction to the program;

Learning Philosophy

Learn (lûrn) v. 1 To acquire knowledge of or skill in by observation, study, instruction, etc. 2 To find out;ascertain: to learn the facts. 3 To memorize. 4 To acquire by or as by practice: to learn good habits.Webster Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary: Encyclopedic Edition 1971

With this in mind these are the units that are covered in Excellence in Literature.  ( From their website)

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Understand the process of writing, including the use of tools such as a writer’s handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus.

  • Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the periods studied.

  • Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.

  • Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.

  • Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.
    Unit 1: Short Stories by-
    • Sarah Orne Jewett: A White Heron
    • Edgar Allen Poe: The Purloined Letter (This one is not scary, if you're concerned about that.)
    • Guy de Maupassant: The Diamond Necklace
    • O. Henry: The Ransom of Red Chief
    • Eudora Welty: A Worn Path
    • James Thurber: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    Unit 2: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
    Honors: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

    Unit 3: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
    Honors: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

    Unit 4: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
    Honors: Shirley or Villette by Charlotte Brontë

    Unit 5: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
    Honors: Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot

    Unit 6: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Honors: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Unit 7: Animal Farm by George Orwell
    Honors: 1984 by George Orwell

    Unit 8: The Tempest by William Shakespeare
    Honors: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

    Unit 9: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    Honors: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Note: Books listed in the table of contents above are focus texts only. Context readings are assigned within each unit.

I feel as if we have just been able to get a taste of Introduction to Literature in the time that we have had it. However, I have liked what I have seen. I have really appreciated the way the the author gives the student just enough information, almost like bread crumbs, that keeps them searching down the path. Teaching them to keep their eyes open as the read to notice, perhaps, the style of the writer, or something about the time frame the book is written.

I look forward to completing Introduction to Literature with my children over this school year.  Introduction in Literature is available in Ebook format for $27, and in print form for $29 plus shipping and handling. You can visit their website for more information on Introduction in Literature, as well as, their full line of Literature products.

You can even follow Excellence In Literature on Facebook!

Please stop by the crew blog to see what my crew mates are saying about Excellence in Literature.

**note: I was given a free copy of the e-book Introduction to Literature, in exchange for my honest opinion. This post serves to meet that requirement. All views expressed herein are mine and mine alone and do not demonstrate and guarantees or promise of service. No other form of payment or compensation has been offered or accepted.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Say Anything

I was first introduced to the North Star family of games almost 2 years ago, when I was given the opportunity to review Wits and Wagers Family, you can read that review here.  I will tell you that our family still enjoys playing Wits and Wagers Family! This time around, I have the chance to review Say Anything!

I must say that we love this game as much as we do Wits and Wagers! It is quick, fun and the whole family can play!

Here is how North Star Games describes it:

"Say Anything is a light-hearted game about what you and your friends think.  It will get people talking, laughing and having fun in minutes.  Enjoy it with three to eight family members or as an hilarious party game with adults.  So dig deep into your heart or just come up with something witty - this is your chance to Say Anything!"


Geared for ages 8+ for 3 -6 players. This is a quick game, you can play start to finish in 10- 25 minutes depending on how many players are participating. Each player takes a turn reading questions. These are hard hitting questions like... What would be the worst fruit to accidentally sit on?  or What movie character would I least want to be? or Which famous person should never be allowed to rap? While the remaining players quickly write down their answers.  The question reader ( or judge) secretly picks their favorite answer.  The remaining player then place their 2 tokens on the card or cards they think the judge will pick. You get points for guessing correctly and for the judge picking your answer!

Our family of all ages had a great time playing this game, and it did not take too long to play. Which for our busy life, is the kind of game we need! We laughed as we looked at the answers that each other came up with. At first, some were trying give sort of serious answers, which quickly morphed into who could come up with the wittiest answer!

This would make a great came for the holiday gatherings coming up. I think we will break this out on Thanksgiving Day!  As well as a wonderful gift for the family for Christmas!


You can purchase online for approx $19.99 at various retailers, such as Amazon,  or you can go here to find a store near you!

Don't forget to stop by the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about.... Say Anything!


***Note: I received a free copy of Say Anything in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation has been offered or accepted.   The views expressed here are my personal opinions, and do not constitute a promise of service or guarantee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Memories - Giveaway Winner Announced


I would like to announce the winner of the MyMemories giveaway..... Julie from A Teaching Heart!

Julie, I hope that you enjoy your My Memories Suite!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Marshall Publishing - George Washington Carver


As a family of homeschoolers with a myriad of special needs learners, we often look for ways to get information into our children, without having them to read it out of dry textbooks. We have utilized audio and video methods many times over the years. However, we had never heard of Marshall Publishing.

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we were given the opportunity to review a George Washington Carver Educational DVD.  We sat down as a family and watched and learned about George Washington Carver. We thoroughly enjoyed learning about his life, and his career. A wonderful treat, was toward the end of the DVD, there was actual film footage of George Washington Carver speaking.

As a family, we have our own garden, and we have been striving to have a healthy diet. The interesting thing is, that many of the things we have learned about healthy soils and healthy plants, George Washington Carver, either discovered or taught on. It was neat for the kids to see that and make the connection for themselves.

The video is not high paced, or high impact, so small children may not be able to sit still. However,  I would say if you have an upper elementary all the way up through high school and beyond! There are little nuggets sprinkled throughout the DVD.

George Washington Carver is available for $19.95, However, Marshall Publishing is offering my readers a 15% discount, which brings your price to $16.95 plus shipping and handling.  Please use coupon code TOSC1 at check out to receive you discount.

While you are on the Marshall Publishing website be sure to see all they have to offer! Here you will find their Educational Historical Documentaries.

You can also follow Marshall Publishing on Facebook!

Be sure to visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates are saying about George Washington Carver and Marshall Publishing!




Friday, October 21, 2011

Mighty Macs - A Movie for the Whole Family

Do you have plans for the weekend? How about a movie date night with your entire family?  The Mighty Macs, is a movie that you can feel comfortable watching with all of your family members.

We were recently given the opportunity to preview The Mighty Macs, prior to todays' theater release. And I must tell you,  my daughters and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this moving together. It is inspirational and exciting!

What did we enjoy about this movie? First, It was based on a true story, which is why I wanted to watch it with my daughters. I want them to remember that they have been blessed with many talents, and it is up to them to use their God given abilities. And this movie does a wonderful job showcasing a group of women, who, in the midst of diversity, learn how to rise above it and believed in themselves, and worked together for a common goal!  Second, it was about women's basketball, and with an aspiring women's athlete, I knew that she would love to see other women doing what she loves to do! And, finally, I love that I did not have to shield their eyes, or divert attention or mute one single time, throughout the entire movie. It really is a movie that can be watch by the entire family!

Let's make a point to support movies like this! Let's show the movie industry, that there is a large market for uplifting, inspiring and wholesome films!

The Mighty Macs - Opening in Theaters today, October 21st - check your local listings!

Rated G

Take a moment to watch The Mighty Macs Trailer:


Here is a little about the movie that was shared with us from the producers:

"It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!"
You can learn more about the movie by visiting these websites!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Educating the Whole Hearted Child

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we were given the opportunity to review Educating the WholeHearted Child written by Clay and Sally Clarkson and published by Apologia Education Ministries. I must tell you, that this is a whopper of a book (376 pages), and  I have only begun to scratch the surface of all that this book has to offer. In this review, I will do my best to convey all that the amazing book has to offer.

This book can easily be called the How to Homeschool Manual.  I have found many of the thoughts that  I have had about homeschooling over the years have been contained in this wonderful book. The interesting thing is that I had never heard of this book, and I discovered that this book has actually been around since 1994, and recently has been completely updated! I wish that I had known about this book, back when I first started homeschooling my children 12 years ago.

Clay and Sally Clarkson share with you, how their family integrated "Real Books and Real Life" into their homeschool and their family, creating a "Vibrant Center of Living and Learning". One thing that is stressed throughout the book, is that their intent is not that you follow their model exactly. They want you to allow God to be the center of your home, and to lead your homeschool. The information shared between the covers of this book, should serve as tools for you to use.  I love this! Often times as homeschoolers, we get so caught up in how others do things, and trying to recreate their homeschool, that we neglect to lean on God and allow Him to design our homeschool.

Here are just a few of the topics covered in Educating the Whole Hearted Child:

~ Learning at to Home with Christ

~ Shepherding Your Child's Spirit to Long for God

~Living and Learning Together at Home

~ Creating a home You Can Learn Within

~ Understanding Your Child

~ The Study of the Bible

~The Study of Living

~Keeping the Vision Alive

And much more!!!

Her you can see chapter one and the complete table of contents to get a taste of all that this books has to offer.

In addition to these, you will also find a section in the back with some very useful forms!  While there are some of the forms that you would expect in a homeschool book, the forms that most impress me ( which are most of them) are the ones that not only on focus on say a chore that needs to be done. But it also reminds the child (and us) of why they are doing those chores. The Check Me Out Dependable List is designed to train and reinforce good habits in your children, rather than discipline them.  Next to the list of morning chores it says " Sow your seed in the morning"...  Evening it says, " And at evening let your hands not be idle"... and  All Day says, " Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God".  I like that A LOT!!  It is a reminder to us, as parents that we are to be focused on the heart of the child, not simply the behavior.  What a wonderful tool!

As you work through this book, you will find that any question that you have had, has been addressed. From homeschooling methods, to how to pick out a curriculum, to learning styles, to planning, to individual subjects and so much more!

Please take a moment to visit Apologia and take a look at this must have for every homeschool! You can purchase your very own copy of Educating the Whole Hearted Child for $22 on the Apologia Website.  Apologia, also offers a fill line of Science Curriculum, Apologetics and Geography Resources and much more!

Take a moment to visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about Educating the WholeHearted Child.


**note: I was provided with a complementary copy of Educating the Whole Hearted Child in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions shared in the review are my own, and do not constitute and guarantees or promises. No other compensations has been offered or accepted.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Memories Review and Giveaway!!!

I was recently given the opportunity to review My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software. Now before I begin, I feel that I should tell you a few things, I think you should know about me. First, I am NOT a scrapbooker! Moreover, I am a photo taker, that has hundreds of photos, on my camera, on my phone and on my computer ( files and on places like facebook) and I even have crates, yes crates filled with photos that have not been cataloged, categorized, or put into albums... I believe about 25 years worth...

As you can see, in the world of scrapbooking, I am a novice! So the following review, is from a beginners point of view!

With all of that said, when I heard about My Memories, a digital scrapbooking program, I was excited.I thought that maybe, just maybe, this program would help me to organize the memories that I cherished enough to take a photo of!  My Memories is a digital scrapbooking program that gives you the tools to save your photos in fun ways. In addition to typical looking scrap book pages, you also have the ability to save them in a slide show or movie and set them to music and a myriad of other options.

There are some very basic templates that come with the program, however, in addition to these, they have a free kits section available on their website, that will give you quite the catalog of embellishments, templates and background papers to choose from. All for free! Plus they have many affordable kits available for you to purchase as well.

So now, here is the question, is My Memories easy enough for a novice like me to get the hang of? The answer yes! There was a learning curve, but I would say that is more about me trying to be creative, versus the program being difficult to use. While there were many times, where I sat looking at the screen thinking... okay, I don't know where to begin, thankfully, many of the templates available through My Memories, have built in creativity.

However, when I just started working with the program, first I would pick the template that I wanted to use, and then as that opened up, I started thinking about what photos, and what I wanted to convey with that album.  And by doing that I would then select the photos to get ready to be placed into the scrapbook.

When I am ready to place the photo, I simply drag it into place and it will auto fit into the template frame. Also, if you don't like how it is centered, you can 'nudge' it into the position you like.  You even have the option of changing the order of how items are 'stacked' on the page.  Which one is in the very back and how the others are layered in front.  By using s few of these very simple options, each of these pages that you see here, were built!

What you see throughout this post are some of the pages that I created while using My Memories.


Here is a screen shot of the control panel within My Memories.

On the left of the screen shot, are additional template options available through My Memories, and on the right, you find your controls for adding, background papers, embellishments, word art, music and much more!  On the bottom, you will see each of the pages you have created in the album that you are working on.

The page I was working on in the screen shot, used a blank template, I added a background paper, the flowers and the wording.. this was one of my first attempts at being creative, from scratch.

The biggest plus of all, is the affordablity of the My Memories! You can download your My Memories Suite for $39.97!

But that's not all!!!!

I have some even better news! First, the fine people from My Memories have provided one copy My Memories to giveaway to one of my readers !!! I am so excited for you guys! I know that you are going to love this program! Second, if you are not the reader that wins a free copy, never fear! I have an awesome coupon code for you!

Visit their website and type in this code STMMMS66766 You will receive   a $10 discount off the urchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!  This is amazing! And makes My Memories very affordable for EVERY family!


If you would like to enter to win your own My Memories Suite, here's how:

Leave a comment, tell me how you plan on using your product!  - 1 entry

Follow this blog - 1 entry - (leave comment)

Follow this blog's Facebook Page - 1 entry (leave comment)

Contest closes on October 25th! Winner will be announced and contacted within 48 hours of contest closing.



**Note, I was given a free copy of My Memories in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions that are expressed within do not constitute a guarantee or promise of services. Additional copy of My Memories has been provided at no charge for a giveaway.

No purchase necessary to enter, must be 18 years old to enter. Void where prohibited.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grape Vine Studies - Joseph Bible Study - NEW Product Review!

As you may have learned from my review of Grape Vine Studies a few years ago, I really love their products. I was introduced to them while working on the TOS Homeschool Crew, and I was given the opportunity to review their product. You can see my review for them here.

I have been able to review Grape Vine Studies newest bible study on the life of Joseph! This is a Multi- Level  Bible Study, which means you can use it with many ages. We actually used this with Jr. High and High School Students.  This particular study is not geared for the high school set. So we did some modifications to the study, which was super easy to do! 

We followed along and worked together. We stick figured, and we memorized verses, and we answered the questions, and we plotted on the time line, however, we also added things, like looking words up in the concordance, and writing out those definitions, and instead of simply drawing their 'favorite' parts of the lesson, which we still had them do, we also had them write about it.

If you are a larger family working with many age levels, Grape Vine Studies makes it easy to have a bible study TOGETHER!  As I mentioned in my original review, I had never understood what the point of drawing the stick figures. I had heard about this program for years, and I just did not get it. However, once we received the product and really began to dig in, what I found is that my children, LOVED to draw what they were learning. And it provided them a way to connect to the stories they were learning. And we did this together as a family, and it promoted great conversation. Which was a wonderful launching pad point for them!

You  can learn more about the complete line of Joseph products by visiting Grape Vine Studies, prices begin at $11.95 which make it very affordable!

And please take a moment to visit Grape Vines Studies to see their full line of products! You won't be sorry! In fact, you'll be glad that you did!

The fine people of Grape Vine Studies has offered my readers a 20% coupon on any item not already on sale. Simply use Coupon Code blog55, this coupon is good through October 31, 2011.

*note** I was given a free copy of Joseph in exchange for my honest review of the product. No other form of compensation has been offered or received. All opinions expressed here are my own, and do not constitute a guarantee. **

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cooper and Me - Book Review and Giveaway

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a children's picture book, both written ( actually co-written with her mom) and illustrated by an 11 year old girl. I firmly believe that we should be inspiring our children to live life to the fullest and to pursue with great fervor what God has called them to do. With that in mind, I was excited to see the creation this bright young girl has come up with.

Before I give you my take on this book, I want to give you the official word from the publishers;

"Cooper and Me was illustrated by 11-year-old Alexa Peters and co-written with her mother, Monique Peters.  The idea was inspired by Alexa's own experiences on her first day of school.  A talented young artist and writer, Alexa wanted to give back to others in a meaningful way through her art.  Starting at a very young age, Alexa created illustrated stories about her daily experiences, and from the pages of her sketchbooks came the idea for her first book, Cooper and Me.

Through rhythmic verses, Cooper and Me tells the story of a young girl who is nervous as her first day of school approaches.  She is frightened about leaving home and doesn't want to go without her best friend, her dog Cooper. Fortunately her mother finds the perfect solution to help the little girl overcome her fears – a small replica of her beloved pet she can take to school with her.  In Cooper and Me, the story of a child’s fears about starting school has evolved into a timeless tale about overcoming separation anxiety and trying new things – basic emotions all people experience throughout their lives – but this time, written by a child, for children.

The story behind Cooper and Me also offers an inspiring example of families working together to help others.  In addition to helping young children gain emotional resilience and confidence through their books, Alexa and mom Monique wanted to go beyond that to help less fortunate kids.  Their search for an organization to which they could donate a portion of the proceeds from the Cooper and Me book led to a charitable alliance with the Happy Hearts Fund, founded and run by Petra Nemcova, the supermodel who was directly affected by the tsunami in Thailand. Happy Hearts improves children’s lives through education and sustainable programs in natural disaster areas."

What is the Creative Learners take?

Cooper and Me is a sweet story , that would definitely speak to the child who is apprehensive about starting school. However, it would also speak to any child about to start out on anything unfamiliar. Perhaps camp, or their first overnight trip, etc.. My children are too old for picture books, however, another reason why I thought reviewing this book would be fun, is that my 12 year old loves to draw. And considering this book was illustrated by an 11 year old, I thought this might serve as inspiration. And it has! She has been seen, more often than before, with pad and paper in her hand, sketching to her hearts desire!

Even if your child does not have to itch to be an artist, I think simply seeing that another child has accomplished their goal, can inspire our children to reach for theirs!

If you have a little one in your family, this cute little story would be a wonderful addition to their library. BONUS: in the back of the book, there are learning pages! There is a page where the child can fill in the blanks, telling us all about their first day of school. As well as, several more pages with lessons to be gleaned from the story, that will help extend learning and conversation between parent and child! On the back cover, they even have included a free Cooper and Me Theme song download!

Now here is the good news for you and your little one! I have a copy of Cooper and Me to give away! Here is how you enter:

Like the Cooper and Me  Facebook Page - 1 entry

Leave a comment, tell me about the child you would like to give this book to. How old are they, and why you think they would enjoy it! - 1 entry!

Blog about this giveaway - leave link in comments - 1 entry

Tweet about this giveaway - leave link in comments - 1 entry

Share about this giveaway on Facebook - leave link in comments - 1 entry

Follow this blog - you can choose to follow in more than one way.. Blog Frog, Networked Blogs, Google Friend Connect - 1 entry per method ( leave 1 entry per method in comments)

Follow this Blog Page on Facebook - leave username in comments - 2 entries

Contest will close on Thursday October 20th 10 pm ( Pacific).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

No Purchase Necessary, entrants must be 18 years or older.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Professor in a Box - Principles of Marketing a TOS Crew Review!

As our family/homeschool matures, our interests evolve. Currently, our teenagers have some home businesses that they are trying to get off the ground, as well as, the home businesses that I have.  So as you might have guessed, when we heard that Professor in a Box was on the the line-up with a Principles of Marketing course, we were praying that we were chosen to do this review! And we were!!!!

What exactly is Professor in a Box? Professor in a Box is a company that I was introduced to a couple of years ago, here on the crew. ( You can read my review here! )At that time we reviewed their Financial Accounting Program. Both programs are geared for high school students, or adults that are preparing to take the CLEP test in either of the subjects available. Even if your student is not preparing for the CLEP test, they are getting college level material, additionally they are learning self study skills as they navigate the program. These were the very skills that I used when I took my online college courses.


Here is what Professor in a Box has to say about the Principles of Marketing~

"Principles of Marketing, by Julie Pirsch, Ph.D. is a challenging college level introductory Marketing course similar in content to the first marketing course taken by all students in university and college schools of business across the country. Principles of Marketing is also known as Basic Marketing, Introduction to Marketing, Fundamentals of Marketing, Marketing, or Marketing Principles. Any high school level student with basic reading and math skills can handle this course.

This course was created as an elective for high school students interested in pursuing a career in business and for students interested in taking the CLEP Principles of Marketing Exam. On a more formal level, this course provides students with a description and evaluation of the ways in which goods and services are developed to meet customer and consumer needs, and how they are distributed for domestic and international consumption. It examines the economic, government, social, and other environmental forces in relation to the marketing function, placing emphasis on relevant social problems and responsibilities."        

So what is the Creative Learners take?

The Principles of Marketing is a very thorough and extensive program. There are 19 chapters, presented over 28 lessons. Each Lesson has a lecture, online resources,  a review of the key concepts of that chapter and a chapter quiz. There are also 3 exams, after chapters 5, 11 and 19.   By the end of this program you should have learned all the required material to pass the CLEP test for Principles of Marketing.

At this point, that is not our goal, we are simply looking to grow our own knowledge. We have already achieved that, and we have yet to complete the program in it's entirety.  The program covers everything from market research, branding, product development, retailing, pricing, advertising, personal selling and much much more! As you can see, even if you are using the Principles in Marketing simply to learn to help your business, it would be well worth the investment!  This program is clearly designed for the college level, however, the manufacturers state that anyone with a basic reading level can complete this course.  You can view Chapter 1 here.  Here are the online resources that are given for the course.  To see if it woudl be a match for your students.  The Principles of Marketing presents the material in a simple straight forward manner, however, I found that  Professor Pirsch is very engaging and easy to listen to.

The program is presented as a power point type presentation, that the Professor is lecturing over. At certain times, she will have you pause the program to complete a specific assignment. Once completed you resume the presentation. The quizzes provided are also in what appears to be an interactive powerpoint type  presentation. It auto corrects as you go through the quiz, and will give you your results at the end. Letting you know if you  passed or failed.

Over all, our family has enjoyed this program, and we have expanded our knowledge in the area of Marketing!




Principles in Marketing is available for $119.99 at the Professor in a Box website.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.


And don't forget to check out the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about the Principles in Marketing!

**note: I received a free copy of Principles of Marketing for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and do not convey a guarantee of result.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Scruble Cube

What in the world is a Scruble Cube? Take a look at the video below, and see for yourself!

As you can see, this is a game that takes word building to a whole new level. Our family was thrilled to learn that we were on the list to review Scruble Cube!

When the package arrived, we tore it open and began to play right away! Scruble Cube is a very versatile game you can play with friends or you can play on your own.

As you see from the video, the Scruble Cube is a cross between a Rubiks Cube and the classic board game of Scrabble. You build words, the longer the words the more points, if they travel over more than one side, bonus points... plus there are 2x and 3 x letter score 'squares' available as well.  This game can become very competitive. However, on the other side of the coin, is that this can also be a game that you can take on the road, or in a doctor's office, and your child can play by himself, or several of your children can pass the cube along and build words, whether or not you decide to keep score.  And for added challenge you can use the included hour glass, and limit the amount of time you have to create your word.

Overall, we give Scruble Cube 2 thumbs up. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention our misadventures with Scruble Cube. Our Cube arrived, and we began to play.... and I told my children to please be careful because it was a review item... and one afternoon, I was playing with it ( not the children... me.... ) and I manipulated the cube and all of a sudden it was in what seemed like hundred's of pieces... I was MORTIFIED!!!!!

I quickly emailed the the fine people that make Scruble Cube, and the customer service was TOP NOTCH!!! And they shipped out a brand new cube out to me, no problem! The president of the company emailed me, and assured that the new cube was from a different batch.

Upon receiving our second cube, we played with the cube, and I made sure NOT TO BE SUPER CAREFUL! I wanted to know for sure that the cube could withstand the wear and tear and bumps and bruises of a regular family.. and guess what... that cube really held up to the many hands of our family!

Please visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates are saying about Scruble Cube!

Scruble Cube is available now online, and available for $24.95.

**disclaimer- I was sent a free Scruble Cube in exchange for my honest review. This post fulfills that commitment. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own and offer no guarantee.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Every Right to a Beautiful Life: Team Miranda Sarah

What happens when two childhood friends connect on Facebook?  For the answer, we will have to go back to the very beginning.  Okay, maybe not the VERY beginning!

My friend Maura and I met in the 7th grade.. and in typical fashion we had lost touch over the years. The last time I had laid eyes on her was at our 10 year high school reunion.. and no, I am not going to tell you how many years ago that was!

And then through the marvels of Facebook, we connected once again. And it has been so nice to be able to catch up and keep track of the goings on in Maura's life, as I follow her Facebook page.  By doing that I discovered that Maura's daughter Miranda has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, or Juvenile Diabetes. I also learned that Maura and her family and friends, affectionately known as 'Team Miranda' walk each year at Dodger Stadium to raise money for JDRF to raise funds to find a cure!

This year my high school aged boys and I started a homeschool home business of creating memory videos. And about that time, Maura posted her, "It's that time again" letter about the upcoming Walk for JDRF Los Angeles.

And the wheels in my head started to spin... not always a safe thing...

Anyhow, I sent Maura a message, and asked her about creating a video to help raise money for Team Miranda at the walk coming up. And the rest is what  we would call, history!

The video you see below, is the result of a long time friendship.  It is amazing to know that God puts in your path, the people you need in life, long before you know that you need them. I am very thankful for my friendship with Maura, and I am thankful that we have had this time to share together as we worked on this video.

Please take just a few moments to watch 'Every Right to a Beautiful Life: Team Miranda Sarah'.  And then we ask for 2 things from you.

First, if you are able, would you please consider giving to Team Miranda Sarah?  No donation is too small!

And second, would you please share the link to the video with your friends and family? Would you please post it on your Facebook pages, your blogs, and your twitter accounts?

Any help that you can give, is greatly appreciated!

Doesn't every child have Every Right to a Beautiful Life?



Monday, October 3, 2011

Food Matters - Week Long FREE Screening!! You Are What You Eat!!!

Right now there is a free screening going on of the movie, Food Matters.

You can see the trailer below....



What is Food Matters?

" 'Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food' - Hippocrates. That is the message from the founding father of modern medicine echoed in the controversial new documentary film Food Matters from Producer-Directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch.

With nutritionally-depleted foods, chemical additives and our tendency to rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to treat what's wrong with our malnourished bodies, it's no wonder that modern society is getting sicker. Food Matters sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide 'sickness industry' and gives people some scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.

"With access to better information people invariably
make better choices for their health..."

In what promises to be the most contentious idea put forward, the filmmakers have interviewed several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.

The focus of the film is in helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by our modern medical and health care establishments. The interviewees point out that not every problem requires costly, major medical attention and reveal many alternative therapies that can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than conventional medical treatments.

The ‘Food Matters' duo have independently funded the film from start to finish in order to remain as unbiased as possible, delivering a clear and concise message to the world. Food Matters." - From the Food Matters Website.....

You can find Food Matters on Facebook!  And there is more info on their website!

Now you have been commissioned! Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about Food Matters, and let's take back our health! After all, when we are feeling at our best, we are able to live out the purpose that God has called us to!

Be well and God Bless!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TOS is Going Digital!

Check out all that the new TOS magazine is going to offer as it goes digital!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

TOS Crew: Aletheia Writing Magazine


I actually first started hearing about Aletheia in my role of Homeschool Group Leader. They had contacted me and asked if I would share information about their magazine directed at Christian teenage ( 13-19) writers. At the time, I thought that the concept of a magazine whose purpose it is to help inspire kids to write, by providing a place for them to be to be published was wonderful! And I did share about their magazine with my group.

So when we started the 4th TOS Crew voyage, I was thrilled to see that they were going to be on the line up.

As members of the TOS Crew we received two copies of the magazine. One in print, the Fall 2011 issue and an online copy of the Summer 2011 issue. Additionally, the Spring 2011 issue is available for you to view.   So, in essence we had 3 issues to peruse to give us an accurate feel of all the Aletheia has to offer.

What is Aletheia?  Here is how they describe themselves;

"Aletheia Writing Magazine is a quarterly publication focusing on the literary and artistic works of Christian teens, ages 13 to 19."

"In addition to the literary and artistic expressions of Christian teens, each issue offers a variety of unique features: a Writer's Challenge, the Featured Contributor, a book review, Glory to God for the Beauty of Nature, Ancient Ink, and an interview or other feature for edification and enjoyment."

In the Writer's Challenge, for example, the teens are given a photo and they are asked to write a story or a poem about the photo and submit it to the magazine.

After looking through the issues of Aletheia, I must admit, that I have not enjoyed every story. I am not pulled in, to each of every story, however,  I do believe that the idea of this magazine, a place for Christian Teens to express themselves, to help inspire them to pick up the pen and put it to paper, is priceless. This is a magazine that should you have it lying it on the coffee table, your teen would see the hope they would have to possibly be published.  And that hope, could inspire them more than a simple writing assignment ever could.

Please take some time to check out the free sample Spring 2011 issue, and see if this is something that would suit your family.  Aletheia is published quarterly and is available for $26 US and $29 Cananda, which includes shipping and handling.

Visit the Crew Blog to see what my Crew Mates are saying about Aletheia.