Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 12: Write a poem to someone you love

I am not poet.  I'm going to use Michelle's idea.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 11: A bucket list of things you want to do before you die

Be a real witness for Christ.
Travel with my family around the country in an RV.
See my kids have kids of their own.
Visit places where Jesus walked.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 10: songs you listen to...

This day is supposed to be songs I listen to when I'm happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad.  Honestly, I don't head to music when with these feelings so I'll just list some of the songs I love at any time.

Sanctus Real--Lead Me
Johnny Diaz-More Beautiful You
Matt Maher-Hold Us Together
Brian Doerksen-The River

Mighty to Save
In Christ Alone
Beautiful, Scandalous Night
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just an update

A large part of why I keep a blog is so that I can look back over it to remember what we've been up to.  As much I love scrapbooking, I'm slow at it.  It's much faster to type out a quick post here and there on a blog.

I will be 16 weeks pregnant on Monday.  I was hoping that by this time, the morning sickness would be gone, but alas, it isn't.  It has improved but I still feel bad when I wake up in the morning and it takes food and time to start feeling better.  The evenings can be pretty tough too.  Some evenings all I can do is lay on the couch and watch TV that doesn't require me to think (HGTV mostly).  Most nights I'm in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 and fall asleep quickly.  I don't miss the insomnia I would occasionally get.  I am up several times in the night for a bathroom break but I'm usually able to fall right back to sleep.  I try to make sure I get a nap in every day.  It really helps me-it only takes a 30-60 minute nap to help.

Although we aren't getting as much school done as normal, we are keeping up with the most important things.  I've adjusted a bit and have the kids doing more on their own than I used to have them do.  They are old enough but I miss reading and working with them. 

This week was a quiet week.  Creative Princess had a cold so we skipped gymnastics on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I wasn't about to figure out if there was ice on the roads so we stayed home.  (I didn't want to end up stuck somewhere.)

We did get a bit of snow on Wednesday.  I let the kids go out in the AM and I'm glad I did.  By noon it was mostly gone.  The weather was weird that day-rain, snow, hail.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 9: Something you're proud of in the last few days

Hmm..This one is tough.  Since the title doesn't say something I'm proud I did, I will say I'm proud of Creative Princess's attitude at her gymnastics competition.  She had the biggest smile there during her routines.  She didn't get upset at all when she came in last on one of the routines.  She worked hard.

Now, if I have to come up with something I'm proud of about me...the past few days, even few weeks, have been pretty ordinary.  I'm proud I've managed to get out of bed every day, that we got some school work done and there were at least a couple of times that I forced myself past the morning (all day) sickness to get some things done around the house.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 8: Short term goals for this month and why

Since Feb. is almost over, I'll have to do a short term goal for March. My goal is to get the kids' rooms completely finished-unpacking and cleaned out.  Along with that, the goal includes filling at least a box or two with things they can put in the garage sale.  They definitely have too many things!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 7: A picture of someone that has had the biggest impact on you

The person who has had the biggest impact on my life is Jesus.  It is my desire to live my life for him.

Second is my husband.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 6: Favorite superhero and why

It's taken me awhile to get to this day because I don't like these types of questions.  I don't have a favorite superhero.  They aren't real and I really try to avoid cluttering my life with unrealistic views of people.  So I'm going to preach.

There is only one real superhero.  Jesus.  He came to earth as a human-being fully human and fully God.  He is the only human to never sin.  He died on a cross so that we can have a right relationship with our Creator.  He rose from the grave alive-the only human to conquer the grave.  He lives in heaven.  He is my Savior and my ultimate goal is to follow Him.

Stylish Blogger Award

Wendy at Homechool Blessings awarded me this Stylish Blogger Award.  It's been fun getting to know Wendy a bit through the Homeschool Crew. She is the first mate in charge of our mini-crew and she has been very helpful! Thanks Wendy!

The rules to follow for those receiving the Stylish Blogger Award are:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.
7 things about me:

  1. As a child I always wanted to be three things-a wife, a mom and a teacher.  As a homeschooling mom, I get to be all three.
  2. I'll turn 40 just a few weeks after this baby is born.  I never thought I'd have a baby after age 35.
  3. I come from a family of girls.  I have three sisters, five nieces, three great-nieces and a daughter (total-12).  I have zero brothers, one nephew, one great-nephew and one son (total-3).  
  4. I enjoy scrapbooking and card making.
  5. I lived in Japan for three years when I was young.  I believe I was 5 when we left.  My little sister was born there.  I spoke Japanese a bit while there but now only remember my numbers 1-10 and a few words.
  6. I don't care for gardening-my thumb is black in that area!  I do have one plant I've had for about 10 years.  It lives even though I can go a month without watering it.  
  7. I'm looking forward to getting to "do preschool" again with baby #3.  I love preschool!

The blogs I'm nominating:
Got Chai
My life as a helpmeet and homeschooling mom of many
Excuse the mess, we're making memories
To the Sea with me
Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound
A Little Bit of Amber
Humbly Walking...
The Bayley Blatherings
Four Giggling Monkeys
Anderberg Family Blog
In the Moment

Friday, February 11, 2011

TOS review: The Curiosity Files: Quicksand

The Curiosity Files are a group of e-books put out by the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. From their website:

Professor Ana Lyze and her research “spy” team specialize in the obscure, the weird, and abnormal, creating wild easy-to-use lessons encompassing a full range of educational demands and delights!

What's so fun about these files is the topics are subjects that are different from your everyday subjects.  Currently there are 9 topics in the Curiosity Files:

  • Blue Diamond
  • Dung Beetle
  • MRSA
  • Puffer Fish
  • Red Tide
  • Zombie Fire Ants
  • Blue-footed Booby
  • Cicada Killing Wasp
  • Quicksand

I was given a choice of which file I would like to review and chose Quicksand.  

The 82 page, colorful e-book is filled with information, worksheets, projects, copywork, experiments and other fun things you can do to learn about quicksand.

We started by reading the "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Quicksand" section.  This part is written in a question and answer format where the questions are being asked by someone I think is an upper elementary student and the answers are given by Professor Ana Lyze.  I then gave the kids the "Let's See How Much You Learned" quiz and we talked about the answers.

After this introduction to quicksand there are numerous pages to expand your study into a full unit study.  There are pages on math, vocabulary, writing, spelling, copywork and even a bit of geography. And I can't forget there is a nice Bible section too. (Quicksand in the Bible you ask?  Maybe not, but how about a comparison of sinking in quicksand and sin?)


We did most of the math sheets and I chose a few others for the kids to work on.  Their favorite worksheet was a TV schedule.  On the schedule were lots of shows about quicksand (Mystery at Quicksand Isle was a favorite) and the kids had to answer questions about it.

There are also several science experiments and fun projects to do. One of the fun projects we did was make edible quicksand (and I even remembered to take pictures of the kids making it).  I don't know any child who doesn't like to make something sweet to eat. 

I love that this is a complete unit study that you can use for all your kids.  Your preschoolers up to even early high schoolers can enjoy this study.  You can take a week or two off school and just study quicksand.  My one complaint is that the pages meant for printing are in color.  I would prefer to have them black and white to save on ink (however, maybe there is a way for me to print in black and white only on my printer but I don't know how even if it is possible.)

The bottom line is we enjoyed this study and I would recommend it!  We have already downloaded a couple more of the Curiosity Files to work on soon.

You can purchase a bundle pack of the Curiosity Files for instant download $46.00 (or $49.00 if you prefer to have them on CD).  The Quicksand unit is $6.95 at this writing.  Check out the website for the prices of other Curiosity Files.


Go here to see what my fellow crewmates had to say about The Curiosity Files.

(As part of the TOS crew, I was given a free download of The Curiosity Files: Quicksand in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Homeschooling has been a bit lax around here.  We've always been pretty relaxed with our schooling (I just don't stress over the occasional missed day) but with as sick as I've been feeling, we've gotten a bit off track on a few of our regular subjects.  I'm super thankful for being on the TOS homeschool review crew.  It has helped keep us on track.  I make sure we are working on our review products.

Yesterday, I realized, my kids are old enough to be doing so much more on their own.  Well, I've known this for awhile, but I love sitting with them and reading to them and learning right along with them so most of our joint subjects are done together-with the three of us.  So I sat down with the kids and told them we are going to start a short ecology/pollution/conservation unit for our KONOS co-op.  (We took the month of Jan. off and the first part of Feb.)  I told them to look through a handful of library books I got and to write about what they learn. 

Here's what I love--my kids got started immediately.  They were both excited to be able to do what they want for a report.  It was fun to see them excited about learning something.  I did remind them that they needed to read the books and write down some new things-they can't just write what they already know.  Creative Princess eventually found her own animals book because she wanted to read more about the Panda and why it's endangered.  She brought the book in the car for our errands.

I've been thinking about what to do for next year.  With a newborn, I know I can't do exactly what we've been doing because of the amount of time it takes me.  So, next year, I plan to have one math and one language arts type curriculum for both kids.  I will choose an on-line math program.  The language arts is going to be harder to find what I want.  Then once a month the kids will get a subject to study on their own.  I'll give them a list to choose from (if I don't Creative Princess will always choose something with animals.)  Then they will have options of how to study and compile what they have learned.  Some ideas: lapbooking, oral report with a poster board, written report.

I'm looking forward to this. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 5: a picture of somewhere I've been

Two years ago we took a trip to Norway, with a side trip to London and Paris.  It was my favorite family vacation.  I really enjoyed the time with my family!

Geiranger, Norway-a fjord

An old fort in Oslo, Norway

The view from the fort in Oslo

Hever Castle, Kent, England

Leeds Castle, Kent, England

 The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

The view form the Eiffel Tower

Monday, February 7, 2011

TOS review: VocabAhead

Vocabulary is not a subject we do on a regular basis around here.  But I know that once the kids are in high school and looking at taking the SAT or ACT or any other standardized test  for college, they are going to probably do a bit better if they study some vocabulary.  Enter VocabAhead-a SAT vocabulary building book.

VocabAhead uses pictures and sentences to help your child remember what a word means.  The words are organized into groups of 10 with a review sheet after each set of 10 words.  Each word contains the following:
  • the definition
  • the part of speech (verb, adjective, etc.) 
  • a cartoon with a sentence that uses the word
  • a couple more sentences showing use of the word 
  • a list of synonyms 
  • a list of antonyms

There is no pronunciation guide in the book however.  I can't really figure out how they chose to group the words.  They aren't alphabetical and I don't necessarily see the 10 words in each set belonging together however I don't see this as a problem.  There is an index with the words in alphabetical order so you can easily locate any word in the book.  With 30 units, there are 300 words in this book.

Here are a couple of examples  (Let me mention that the book contains only black an white drawings):

When you purchase the book, you can also download MP3's and videos of the words for free.  The video/MP3 download file is rather large and takes some time to download   These come in alphabetical order.  The MP3's can be downloaded onto any MP3 devise (Ipod, Ipad, MP3 player, etc.)  The MP3's are an audio of what is written in the book.  The videos show the word and definition and then the picture you see in the book while someone reads what is in the book.  There is no action so it's hard to really think of these as videos.  The advantage of both the MP3 and video is that you are able to hear what the pronunciation of the word is and they both give you auditory learning.  The extra advantage of the video is you can see the word while listening giving you a visual component to help you memorize the word.

The videos and MP3's were a bit dry. I would have loved to see the video have a bit of action and the reader be a bit more expressive.  But I can still see the advantage of using both the MP3 and videos to add the auditory and visual learning capabilities.  The website has numerous videos for you to check out here.

Precise Prince told me he thought the book was like a dictionary.  Precise Prince reads the dictionary for fun sometimes so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I simply had him study the 10 words throughout the week, using the videos and MP3's as he chose and then gave him the review at the end of the week.  (I didn't download the MP3's on anything so he watched the videos and listened to the MP3's on our computer.) He did ok on the reviews though he usually missed a couple of words that were similar in meaning to one another.

Our opinion is that VocabAhead is a good resource that can be used to learn SAT words-with or without using the videos or MP3's. Precise Prince will continue to look through the book on his own, much as he does the dictionary.  I should mention here that Precise Prince is a bit under the age this book is geared towards.  He's 11 while this book is geared toward  upper junior high and high school students studying for their SAT tests.  I know we'll use this book as a resource when the SAT's get closer. 

You can't buy VocabAhead directly from the website.  Their product page directs you to here to Amazon where you can purchase the book for $12.95.  VocabAhead also has DVD-Rom that contains 1000 SAT words with videos and MP3's.  The cost starts at $24.99 on Amazon.

Click here to see what my fellow crewmates had to say about both the VocabAhead book and CD-Rom.  

(I received a free copy of the VocabAhead book in exchange from my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

TOS review: Dig It! Games


I've said it before, and I'm saying it again-I love learning through games-on-line games, card games, board games.  So of course, I was excited we got to review this product!  Roman Town from Dig It! Games is a game that combines archaeology and the computer.  It's a supplement for any study you may be doing on ancient Rome.

First, a quick how-to.  You begin Roman Town by joining an archaeological dig.  Using your mouse, you oversee your employees "digging" in the dirt at the site until they find something.  Once they find an item, you click on the person to investigate.  You are given information on the item that was found and then you continue supervising your employees.  I should note here that you are reading information about the artifacts that your employees are finding so this game is geared toward children who can read on their own.  Once all the artifacts have been found on that particular dig (there are six) you move on to some games and other info.  You play a couple of games-there are 6 levels and each level is a little different.  The games may be putting together a 3-D puzzle, hangman, a word search, or something else.  You then have a fill in the blank quiz you need to pass before moving onto the next level.

Precise Prince loved this game and finished it in a few days.  Creative Princess didn't enjoy this game as much as Precise Prince.  I think it's because the excavation section is pretty tame-there isn't a lot of action and you spend some time reading about the artifacts.  She did like the game-it just isn't her first choice when I allow screen time.  I also think if we were studying ancient Rome as part of our regular curriculum, she would have liked this game more.   I played the game too and am about half way through it-I am enjoying the game. 

The website states the game is for ages 8-88.  I think most children reading on their own would enjoy this game and some younger children would enjoy playing it with a reader sitting along side them to read to them.

Roman Town is a fun game to supplement any Roman study you are working on. The current price is $39.99 but until February 21, 2011 you can use this code (TOS2011) and get Roman Town for the price of $19.96.  Click here to purchase. (It's currently available for the PC only.)

Click here to see what my fellow crewmates have to say about Roman Town.

(I was given a free download of Roman Town in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 4: A habit I wish I didn't have

The problem here is which one to choose.  I'm going to choose the one I'm not having trouble with now.  The habit I would like to stop is eating junk food after the kids go to bed.  I'm not having trouble right now because the morning sickness has it made it so that I really don't want junk food 98% of the time (occasionally during the day when I'm feeling well I want something small). Normally however, the kids go to bed, I eat junk food.

Day 3: A picture of me as a kid-coming later

Day 3 is supposed to be a picture of me as a kid.  This would require me to find one (shouldn't be too hard), scan it and post it.  The scanner is upstairs, I'm downstairs.  So, I'm postponing this one until I get to it.