Friday, May 25, 2012

TOS Review: Dive Into Your Imagination

Having lived on the coast when I was a child, I have always adored the ocean. Though my boys have never been to the beach for more than a day or two, they have developed a deep love for it as I have. We've called Farm Boy a "fish" since the first time he got in a pool. He is fascinated by all creatures but has always loved fish and especially ocean life. When we received our Dive Into Imagination DVD, he immediately fell in love with it and began planning a field trip with Family Divers. (He was devastated when he found out that we couldn't budget for that this year!)

What to Teach When
The Dive Into Your Imagination DVD series is geared toward younger elementary, grades K-4. The Study Guides come in Pre-K and Grades 1-3 age ranges.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?

DVDs start individually at $17.99
Guides (printed version) $299.00
PDFs $69.00

For the month of June, you can also get FREE shipping as a reader of a TOS blog!!!

The Guides are amazing. Yes, they seem costly as a homeschool family who has to budget, but let me tell you that they are WORTH IT!! The information put forth in these Guides are worth their weight in gold!!

Skills covered include:
"Art, Language Arts, Geography, Math, Music, Social Studies, Movement, Teamwork, Collaboration, Character Building Skills, Imagination Play."

lesson plan for each chapter, a materials list, activity stations such as

As followers of this blog and The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, you can get the Guides FREE of charge by telling her you are a homeschool parent. Just put that in the "notes" sections when you order your products!! 

Other Products 
The entire line of Dive Into Your Imagination Products are available online on the website.

Check It Out


Final Word

On a personal note, this is my last review with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. For two years, we have had the privilege of reviewing numerous products. My time has been a blessing but as my children have gotten older and their homeschooling more intense, I felt a tug at my heart to step down. This completes my commitment to The Old School Magazine and though I will miss getting surprises in my mailbox, I know to is the right decision for my family in this moment. Many, many thanks to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes for homeschooling families across the world.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Dive Into Diversity free of charge from Dive Into Your Imagination for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, May 11, 2012

TOS: Library and Educational Services

It has been a while since my kids begged daily to watch a school DVD. As soon as they saw we were reviewing Go Science from Library and Educational Services, they did just that. Begged me. Every. Single. Day.

In our homeschool, science DVDs are usually limited to inclement weather days and then it is usually something from a website. Since most science doesn't come from a Christian background, we end up in a lot of discussions about why the earth isn't billions of years old.

Now, I have a better choice. Library and Educational Services wholesale distributor of educational and inspirational materials. They sell only to qualified wholesale buyers such as homeschool families, missionaries, daycares, churches and church leaders, libraries and the like.

It was so hard to choose between just two of the DVDs offered. All of the themes are so interesting (especially to little boys!)
Vol. 1 - Motion
Vol. 2 - Simple Machines, Sound, and Weather
Vol. 3 - Magnetism, Electricity, Engineering, and Design
Vol. 4 - Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences
Vol. 5 - Air and Flight
Vol. 6 - Water, Space, and Solar System
The Go Science series was originally produced for a "religious television program." Throughout the series, science is presented from a creation standpoint, which is challenging to find in homeschool science curriculums.
What to Teach When
The Go Science DVD series is appropriate for ages 5-11.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Go Science 6-DVD Set

Individual Volumes

Other Products 

Library and Educational Services offers many products for the homeschool family including books, curriculum, CDs and DVDs and numerous other products you would generally find at a Christian bookstore.

Check It Out
A preview video from Go Science Volume 3 - Jacob's Ladder is available on the Library and Educational Services website.

Final Word
My boys are begging for the entire Go Science series. We are going to add it to our wish list for next year.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Go Science Vol. 1 and Vol 2 free of charge from Library and Educational Services for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TOS Review: Judah Bible Curriculum

We've all heard never judge a book by its cover. But if you are anything like me, you've done it time and time again. It never fails that when I receive an ebook with a simple cover that I do judge. And this time I judged harshly. Then as I began looking into the meat of the curriculum, I judged again. And then, the light came on. 

Judah Bible Curriculum uses the bible as the textbook. This to me is profound. Using the concepts presented in the program (teacher's book) students learn how to study. Then the students implement those concepts as they learn more and more on their own.

Throughout Judah Bible Curriculum, one phrase that is repeated often is the need to "turn on the light" in regards to learning. Though the title says "curriculum" it is more of program. The program is not really something you, as the teacher, teach. The program teaches the teacher how to teach and how to encourage her students to learn key bible truths on their own. 

I received a digital copy of the program as well as audio files. There is a learning curve associated with the program (read that as preparation needed!!) The audio files include eight hours of training material for the teacher. JBC isn't something you can open up and just start doing. But once you understand how the program works, and the students grasp the concept of how to learn on their own, the program is easy to implement. It is almost comparable to an immersion language curriculum where it is what you do naturally, 24-7.

The program is divided and then subdivided to allow the teacher to choose which aspects the homeschool will cover in a particular year. There is a specific recommendation for the first year the curriculum is used and then the following years allow more freedom to choose in the key themes. The first year is foundational and explains a lot about how the program is implemented through the Principle Approach. 
Principle Approach refers to a philosophy of education whose content and methods are designed to build character in teacher and student capable of sustaining liberty.
The bible is covered in each of the two semesters in a school year: the first semester covering the old testament and the new testament covered in the second semester.
There are five themes of the bible covered throughout the entire year, every year, deepening the knowledge of these themes and their "keys." There is also a weekly theme focus within the five themes.
One or more keys are covered per week (key individuals, key events, key institutions, key documents) depending on the weekly theme.

One challenge we faced with this program is that there is quite a bit of writing involved. This can be adapted to suit the needs of the student younger (which we will have to do even next year.) Students who struggle with fine motor skills and handwriting could even do the writing work on the computer or dictate to an older sibling/parent. And of course, notebooking is a great way to utilize the program for younger one. The teacher has to locate coloring sheets, crafts etc for the younger students but it is well worth having the themes laid out for you in the program.

What to Teach When
Judah Bible Curriculum spans the ages from K-12. If you have read my blog at all, you know that I love, love, love multi-age curriculums. Each year expands and deepens the growth and depth of learning of how to learn the Bible.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
$69.00 (hardbound)
$44.00 (digital)
I paid $15 at my local big box copy center to have my PDF file printed with a decent slick cover and coil binding. 

It is important to note that while I feel this program itself is impressive, what you receive is rather unimpressive in the way it looks. Be prepared to delve into learning how to teach the program and plan ahead. (Do not open this the week before you want to start it. It will overwhelm you and may very well run away from it screaming! If you are willing to learn it though, it is a great bargain for the amount of information and years of use!)

Final Word
I cannot wait for bible class next year! 

I strongly suggest that if you are interested in Judah Bible Curriculum, that you purchase it now and take the summer to grasp the program itself. I only had a few weeks to understand and implement the program. JBC is a program that should not be jumped into lightly. And one that I think has the potential to change the lives of students and their teachers!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Judah Bible Curriculum digital and audio files free of charge from Judah Bible Curriculum for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: God's Great Covenant

This is our third year homeschooling. Not counting the first year where I was figuring things out, I gravitated towards a mostly Classical education for my boys. Though it was an adventure trying to figure out the various curriculum choices for our homeschool, we have stayed mostly Classical except for Bible. I honestly didn't know a Classical Bible curriculum existed until now. 

The God's Great Covenant series by Classical Academic Press is a foundational Bible course for children. There are three volumes with the Old Testament begin divided into two volumes. There are 36 weekly lessons, or chapters, a full year curriculum. 

Each lesson is divided into three sections: Memory Work, Storytime and Worksheets. This allows saturation of the subject throughout the day and week. The Devotional Guide was also included for the entire lesson (chapter.) I would have expected a devotional guide to allow for daily reading or activity. 

What to Teach When
The God's Great Covenant series is designed for elementary students grades 4 and up. 

Each chapter uses maps, memory work, quizzes, and devotional guides to offer a complete curriculum for students. A teacher's edition is available which contains the entire student text and additional helps and answer keys.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
God's Great Covenant New Testament $26.95
God's Great Covenant Old Testament 1 or 2 $22.95
MP3 files $9.95

Other Products
Classical Academic Press is a Classical curriculum company with emphasis on the study of languages and logic.
Song School Latin
Latin for Children 
Latin for Teachers
Spanish for Children
Greek for Children
Tin Bot French Language Reader

Headventure Land is a free online collection of skill building games to practice languages.

Check It Out
Samples are available in PDF format for each book.

Final Word
This is a great resource and curriculum for anyone wanting a specific plan to follow. However, because it is much more intensive than the previous Bible curriculums we have used (which were geared more towards a daily devotion time) sample guideline for a week suggesting when to do each part of the curriculum would have been most helpful. The curriculum is laid out beautifully and doesn't require a lot of teacher prep but because the curriculum is so thorough, a lot of materiel is covered in various ways.

I also prefer a loose-leaf notebook design rather than the large workbook-style soft cover format. Because the worksheets require a good bit of writing, the workbook is difficult to write in and frustrating for younger children. A loose-leaf format would have also allowed for easier continuity of the week's work rather than flipping back and forth between the Storytime, Memory Page and Worksheet pages.

Overall, I was very impressed with the curriculum. Because my children are younger than the suggested age, it was extremely challenging to utilize it to its full potential. I am looking forward to using it as a complete curriculum in a few years.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received God's Great Covenant New Testament free of charge from Classical Academic Press for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TOS Review: Bright Ideas Press Biology

Born out of the need for Christian science curriculum in her own homeschool, author Stephanie Redmond wrote the Christian Kids Explore series to span multiple grades and ages. Geared towards grades 3-6, we were, at the end of second grade able to enjoy hands-on projects such as making our own terrarium and 3D Cell Model (a timely project for Easter's leftover jelly beans!!!!)

I love the materials list available for each unit. The ease of use, along with little teacher preparation time, make the Christian Kids Explore series a winner in my book!

What to Teach When
Christian Kids Explore is geared towards grades 3-6 but can adapted to use with younger student to span multiple grades.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Christian Kids Explore starts at $29.99. Downloads are available for the Student Activity Book starting at $7.95. These are helpful for those of us without copiers!!

Other Products from Bright Ideas Press
Christian Kids Explore
Mystery of History 

Final Word
We love it!! We plan to use Christian Kids Explore Biology for our science curriculum next year!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Christian Kids Explore free of charge from Bright Ideas Press for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This Blog is Not My Home, Part 2

Last fall, I told you that this blog was not my home. I moved my heart out (of this blog) and did the things that really count in my life. Homeschooling, building forts, looking at the stars, hiking with my boys.

But then I moved in again. 

And I need to move back out.

So I am re-posting the original "vacation sign." I have some review commitments left for The Homeschool Crew at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, but after those are fulfilled I won't be posting regularly. After two years on the crew, I will not be continuing as a Crew member next year. I continue to post every other month at The Happy Housewife as a cooking contributor.

I will not be continuing The 12 Months of Christmas Series. If you blog and are interested in adopting the series, please contact me.

originally posted October 18, 2011
It's not my job either. I thought I wanted it to be my job.

I love writing. I love blogging. I love the blogging community. But I love my children more. I love my calling more. And my calling is my children.

A few months ago I began consciously noticing how much I was on the computer while my kids were awake. Then I noticed things that didn't get done because I was blogging. Or emailing. Or Facebooking. Or reading others' blogs.

Then I started thinking about the legacy I was leaving for my children. Did I want them to remember me on the computer? Or Facebooking on my  phone? Or blogging?

I started listening to myself ...
"Let me just finish this post."

"I need to send one more email."
 "After I finish reading this, we can do that."

Or do I want them to remember we played? And built forts. And created art.

Do I want them to remember that I was there for them - not just caring for their daily needs, but getting down and living life with them. 

This blog is not my home.

This is.

And this.

Amy at Raising Arrows wrote on a similar subject this week.

It took me over a month to get this post ready since I am only writing now when my kids are not awake. I have some reviews and other commitments that will take precedence over more personal posts, however, know that I am not abandoning my blog. I just have more pressing things on my plate at the moment.

Like homeschooling my boys and building forts. :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

TOS Review: Amazing Animals by Design

I was always an animal lover growing up. There was always a chance I would bring home some injured or lost creature upon returning home from a day outside. Farm Boy is very quickly filling those same shoes I walked.
He gravitates towards anything fuzzy or furry or feathered or finned. He loves baby animals especially, whether breathing or in print. Most of our read alouds contain some kind of animal. He is thrilled with our most current review.
Amazing Animals by Design is the first book of Debra Haagen, a chaplain's wife, homeschool mom and fellow TOS reviewer! Beautifully illustrated Amazing Animals by Design tells the story of a trip to the zoo from a Christian perspective. 

The author found that the books in children's programs and church as well as in her own children's collection were based on evolution, not creation. After being unable to find storybooks from a creation viewpoint, she decided to write her own! Amazing Animals by Design introduces young children to the concept of Intelligent Design.

Amazing Animals by Design is available in paperback from Tate Publishing for $8.99 or as an eBook for $7.99.

Connect with author Debra Haagen
Amazing by Design Blog:

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a digital copy of Amazing Animals by Design free of charge for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, March 26, 2012

TOS Review: Action Alert

On evening while visiting my husband's parents, my youngest was playing a simple computer game on a harmless children's website. He was happy and the adults we talking. Suddenly I hear a loud racket from the speakers and a slightly shocked gasp followed by a "Mom!!! HELP!!!" I ran down to find he had accidentally clicked on an ad for an online role-playing game that was certainly not child friendly.

Action Alert could have prevented that little incident. And now that Farm Boy can get into the web browser on his own, pull up his favorite sites and download PDFs directions for his beloved Legos, I know I need protection to keep him (and my computer) safe.

Action Alert is absolutely amazing. A fully customizable program that allows parents to restrict websites, time limits and social media. It records everything that happens and when. I was stunned watching a playback of the video recording feature.

I love that Action Alert provides Facebook security. We have a few years to go before my kids can get on Facebook, but seeing what my friend's kids post makes me glad there is a way for me to keep tabs on my own kids (and their friends!)

Another incredibly helpful feature is the instant alert notification through text messaging or email! Action Alert will alert you to things you want to know about. AND you can even shut down the computer or set it to disable if according to how much security you enable.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Action Alert is available for one account on one computer free of charge. To upgrade to Maximum Protection (multiple computers and accounts, customizable and social media protection) is only $29.99.)

Check It Out
Check out the website and download the free version.

Final Word
My computer will never be without online protection and Action Alert is my choice to keep my kids safe!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a download of Action Alert free of charge for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, March 23, 2012

12 Months of Christmas March 2012 Linky Party

This post was late getting up due to an emergency trip out of town last week.

March is here - only nine months until Christmas. I plan to have all my Christmas presents made by August. That's only five months away! How are you doing with Christmas gift making?

12 Months of Christmas March 2012 Linky Party!!
If you have been sprinkling Christmas throughout the month and want to share what you are doing, join in the fun! I'll leave this up for a week so you have plenty of time to get your post up.
Starting in April, The 12 Months of Christmas Series will be hosted at my new blog, The Nomadic Homestead. I've wrestled back and forth with moving The 12 Months of Christmas over there and finally decided that for my sanity, I need to move it. This blog will always be here but I will not be posting as regularly over here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Date Box - 12 Months of Christmas Series

I loved the idea of A Year of Dates from My Mix of Six but found it too late to create it for Christmas 2011. For Valentine's Day this year, I created my own version of A Year of Dates. I purchased a lidded basket. Inside I put a few of his favorite things and a homemade card. The card contained a simple poem telling him I would fill it with items for one of our date nights freeing him from the planning and the inevitable "What do we do??"
A Year of Dates from My Mix of Six

The Date Box

Starting in April, The 12 Months of Christmas Series is moving to my new blog, The Nomadic Homestead! I have been working behind the scenes over there since late January and it is finally up and going. I will be posting less here and more over there. Don't miss out on the fun! Come take a peak at

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mama Jan's Sugar Cookies - 12 Months of Christmas Series

Photo by Boomette

Nothing says Christmas like homemade goodies and this month's recipe is sure to a be a favorite.

This recipe comes from the student assistant of my mother-in-law quite a few years ago. If baked on stoneware, they turn out very soft. A metal cookie sheet makes them crispier.

Mama Jan's Sugar Cookies
½ cup butter, softened
1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
1 cup sugar (I used evaporated cane juice.)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour, sifted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
Cream together butter and sugar.

Add egg and mix well.

Sift dry ingredients together and blend into sugar mixture. Mix well.

Add extracts and blend well.

Cover with plastic wrap or in an airtight bowl and chill one hour.

Roll out on a pastry cloth to thickness of half your little finger and cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 400F for 8-10 until edges are golden.
Originally posted on

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TOS Review: Creek Edge Press Earth and Space Science

Our homeschool is very eclectic, but definitely Classically-influenced. I don't fully utilize any Classical style but certainly follow more Classical than anything else. That being said, I think any homeschool could benefit from the Task Cards from Creek Edge Press

Task Cards are basically just what they sound like. Each card has a group of tasks for students to complete. Task Cards are available in a variety of subjects including science, social studies, music and art. The tasks can be done independently if the student is old enough, with a group of students in co-op or homeschool or with assistance from mom.

For more information on the Task Card Approach, please check out the articles on the Creek Edge Press website.

If the Classical-Charlotte Mason-Montesssori style isn't for you, Task Cards are also great for workboxes, independent work, and "extra credit." 

What to Teach When
Task Cards are non-consumable which makes them a great value for multi-level homeschools. Younger elementary children will need assistance and direction while older students can complete the tasks on their own. The science and social studies Task Cards are designed for elementary grades and the music and arts cards can be used from elementary through high school.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Science Task Cards $18.00
History, Geography and Culture Task Cards $20.00
Music Task Cards Sets I, II, III $32.00
Art Task Cards Sets I, II, III $32.00

Check It Out
There is an extensive Task Card Gallery online where you can see how other homeschools have used them.

Final Word
Oh how I wish I had had these when I planned our school year. We will continue to use these throughout the rest of the year and on into next year. I LOVE these Task Cards!!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Earth and Space Task Cards free of charge from Creek Edge Press for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Initial Ornaments

A few years ago, I drooled over these adorable Monogrammed Family Ornaments from MADE. I loved how the letters filled in the entire space of the circle. I loved the idea of making them for gifts as Dana described, one for each member of the family (and a star!) I love the contrasting thread that made the letters pop!
Monogrammed Family Ornaments from MADE
But it was too late in the season when I found them to make them as gifts that year. Here is our version:
I used contrasting thread and hand-cut the letters. Unfortunately, I had to use my sewing machine due to my carpel tunnel acting up. It is impossible to do hand-sewing or knitting (and sometimes even typing) during a flare up! Even my cutting isn't the best during a flare up. Yuck!

What do you think?

Friday, February 24, 2012

TOS Review: Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is an online reading program. It covers the basics of reading through in a fun format and reinforces skills that are already in place. Reading Eggs has three levels: First Steps (ages 3-4,) Ready for School (ages 5-6,) and Fun Practice Makes Perfect (age 7-8.)

Once all the lessons are completed in Reading Eggs, a student can continue to Reading Eggspress for ages 7-12. We chose to review Reading Eggs for Music Man and the 14 Day Trial of Reading Eggspress for Farm Boy.

What to Teach When
The levels are put into place to give you an idea of where the students usually start. However, each student takes a simple multiple-choice test to place them at the correct lesson.

I did not like how loud the announcement was when a question was answered incorrectly. I jumped every time the buzzer sounded. Once three incorrect answers are given, the test was over and placement was made.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Reading Eggs Subscriptions
12 Month $75.00
6 Month $49.00
Monthly Recurring $9.95

Other Products 
Reading Eggspress

Study Island 

Check It Out
Get a free 14 day trial on the website. The reading test is included so your child starts at the correct level.

Final Word
Music Man has never asked continually to work on anything. But he loves Reading Eggs. He doesn't understand all the extra stuff you find in typical computer game play like personalizing the avatar and buying items for his "house." But the lessons are engaging enough and the treasure box prize after completing several lessons is fun to work for.

One day during the review period, Farm Boy and I were working hard on something together and I set Music Man up on Reading Eggs. He worked through about a half dozen lessons over the course of a couple of hours. I had to make him stop for lunch. :) 

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a subscription to Reading Eggs free of charge from Study Island for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

12 Months of Christmas February 2012 Linky Party

Wow! February flew by and it's time again for our linky party! How have you sprinkled Christmas throughout the month of February? 

Snowball Balloon Ornament

Vanilla Sugar

A Photographic Gift 

12 Months of Christmas February 2012 Linky Party!!
If you have been sprinkling Christmas throughout the month and want to share what you are doing, join in the fun! I'll leave this up for a week so you have plenty of time to get your post up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TOS Review: Beeyoutiful

Over the years, I have developed an extreme sensitivity to chemically produced fragrances and cleaning products, as well as artificial flavors and colors in food. This severely limits the items many women love to use like candles, air fresheners and even bath products and perfume. Any time I am able to locate a naturally scented product that I can tolerate, I stock up while singing its praises.

Beeyoutiful products, my friends, are getting some praises. Oh, they are lovely! I recently sampled two Beeyoutiful products, B.A.L.M. and Tension Tamer.

First, let's talk about B.A.L.M. This all-natural lip balm has only four simple ingredients: shea butter, beeswax, essential oils and grapeseed oil. It is amazing. It glides on and makes me feel, oh, so, rich. And it lasts a long time both on your lips and in the tube! With those other lip balms I often had to apply and re-apply. Beeyoutiful's B.A.L.M. stayed on and lingered on my lips. :)

I also sampled Tension Tamer. Oh how I L.O.V.E.D. this!!

Tension Tamer is an aromatherapy oil that helps alleviate tension. I love aromatherapy which to me is so much better than chemical air fresheners anyway!! 

Years ago I had something similar and while I liked it, that product did not relax me as much as Tension Tamer. I was super stressed the first few times I used it. And honestly I wish I had remembered it before I got super stressed. However, last night in the midst of a headache, I pulled it out and wallah! Headache alleviated. Seriously. I could feel the tension melting away.

Now my menfolk noticed the scent immediately since it is strong - not bad, but you can smell it. But the scent is yummy - a blend of wintergreen and peppermint. (Beeyoutiful  products are all natural so I can tolerate them!!) None of my menfolk are huge mint fans so I did not use it on them at all during the sampling period.But I am planning to try it on my oldest when we go back to the orthodontist!

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
B.A.L.M. in Peppermint or Orange $3.00
Tension Tamer $11.00

Other Products 
Beeyoutiful has many different types of products including bath and beauty, nutritional oils and supplements, baking supplies, and essential oils.

You will also want to sign up for their newsletter. It is PACKED full of great recipes, remedies and information for the natural household. I have learned quite a bit from reading the back issues. I wish I had gotten them sooner (like the beginning of winter's cold season!)

Final Word
I loved the Beeyoutiful products we sampled! I think you will too.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a selection of products free of charge from Beeyoutiful for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday Sale for Everything Beans Book!!

Today only get the Everything Beans for $3.00!! This is a huge savings since it is regular priced at $9.95.

This is one of my most favorite ebooks, one of most favorite cookbooks in general and one of my my most favorite food bloggers. Kitchen Stewardship my go-to for cooking beans.

Check out my reviews on Kitchen Stewardship ebooks:
Smart Sweets
A Camping We Will Go

To get Everything Beans for $3, use code: NOTAFISHFRY.

This site uses affiliate links. Any purchases made through affiliate links support this site and my family.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

TOS Review: Apologia Who Am !?

Last year we had the opportunity to review Who Am I Volume 1. We loved it and we thrilled when Who Am I Volume 2  came up for review this year. 

The Apologia series What We Believe is four part curriculum that teaches students what we as Christians believe and how to apply that knowledge to their lives.

What We Believe Series
Who Is God?
Who Am I?
Who Is My Neighbor?
What on Earth Can I Do?
One of the best things about this year's review was receiving the Audio CD in addition to the hardback curriculum. Since my boys are still young, the audio CD gives me a break. I can pop it in and let someone else read! The Audio CD contains the entire text. My boys are very audio learners and after reading as much as we do in our literature rich curriculum, I love having the option of not having to read!

What to Teach When
The What We Believe series is the "first-of-its-kind family-inclusive study." It is designed for students ages 6-14  and is written to the student.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Who Am I? $39.00
Who Am I? Audio MP3-CD $19.00
Who Am I? Notebooking Journal $24.00
Who Am I? Coloring Book $8.00

Other Products 
There are many different aspects of Apologia including Christian based curriculum for Science, Writing, and Geography.

Apologia Academy looks like a great option for high school science and apologetics.

I have been collecting the Exploring Creation books since we began homeschooling. We are using Exploring Creation with Astronomy this year and my boys love it!

Check It Out
A sample lesson is available for you to download as well as the Table of Contents.

Final Word
We love Apologia. This book is no exception. I really love that it can span across different ages and allow young ones to work along side older ones.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Who Am I Vol. 2 free of charge from Apologia for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Photographic Gift

The saying goes "A Picture is Worth 1000 Words." That pretty much sums it up. As someone who lost most of her baby pictures when her childhood home flooded and I was away at college, photographs are extremely important to me. But I digress.

Photographs are important. My kids are in the middle of their elementary years. They are literally changing befor emy eyes every single day. I thought they changes alot as babies. But again, I digress.

Something I have been done for a good many years is to take a picture of my boys at Christmas. We haven't done the the Christmas card thing since I hand-embossed all out cards one year and then forgot to send them. I now just take a photo each each and give it as part of the Christmas gift. I like to frame them and everyone gets the exact same thing - a posed, happy, close up of my boys' faces. (Well, except for this year. Totally never got around to doing them this year. Then I thought I'd send them for Valentine's. Now I am shooting for Easter. Moving on.)

My plan has always been to display them year-round but pull them front and center to decorate my mantle during Christmas. And, now that you know I have fake families in my frames, I need to take my own suggestions.

I actually take another picture in the summer for my husband's birthday, which is exactly six months later in June. I have even taken the summer picture in the same spot for the last few years down at his parents' house. This makes the would-be display really special since we can see the growth of our boys. (Again, with the take your own advice, and frame them, Dawn!! I do have one photo of my boys in the half-bath - the company bathroom.) I love walking in there to see it and always love seeing the photographic gifts at our families' houses too.

A photograph is a gift that will be treasured. A few times over the years the photograph was the only thing we could do for our families due to finances. I plan to continue this tradition throughout the years and give my boys a set of theior own when they leave home.

Do you give photographs as gifts? Have you ever received one? Are they as treasured in your family as they are in ours?
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