Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up - February 26

No, I haven't forgotten that I'm only halfway through our Williamsburg trip, but I figured in the interest of not getting hopelessly behind, I'd better go ahead and write this past week's wrap-up while it's fresh in my mind. Then I'll continue with the Williamsburg posts as I have time.

So let's see . . . we got home from Williamsburg and I promptly came down with a cold and short-lived stomach bug, sigh . . . Sassy had been congested while we were in Williamsburg, so I assume I caught that part from her. MiniMe and I both threw up the same night, so we either ate something that didn't agree with us or caught the same bug. Thankfully Rodney was able to work from home the day after I was up throwing up, so I could sleep in and generally just rest.

Otherwise, we were busy this week with unpacking and getting re-settled into our routines. I also spent some time catching up on blog posts. And figuring things out for the Ocean-theme we're going to be doing in Little Bit's class at church starting in March.

We also started reviewing a new history curriculum so I spent some time getting that figured out, and how to integrate it with what we're already using.

As we're starting to see some nice spring-like weather, we make sure to take advantage of that and grab outside time whenever the weather is nice. Little Bit is loving swinging and generally trying to keep up with her sisters.

Thursday we visited our neighbor, Miss Judy and the big girls were riding bikes (our yard and driveway are all steep hill, but Miss Judy lives at the top of the hill where it's nice and flat for bike riding. So the girls like to take their bikes up and ride up there while Little Bit and I visit with Miss Judy).  Sassy came in and said that Ashlyn had fallen off her bike and wouldn't get up, said she needed mommy. So I went out to check on her. She was mostly ok, but was wearing slip-on shoes and one shoe came off as she fell and she'd stubbed her big toe into the pavement and bent the nail way back, split it. It was pretty icky looking though, of course, a messed up big toe is better than broken bones and such so God is good! Miss Judy drove us home and suggested that I have MiniMe soak her toe in Epsom salts and then elevate it. MiniMe freaked out at the idea of putting her toe in water of any kind because she's had little cuts and scrapes before that hurt when you put them in water but she finally did and it was rather humorous to hear her screaming and freaking out as she lowered her foot and then silence and grudgingly admit that it didn't make it hurt any worse LOL. She soaked her foot for awhile and then settled back in the recliner and we watched 19 Kids and Counting. 

Friday Rodney took Sassy and Little Bit to his mom's but MiniMe decided with her hurt toe that she'd rather stay home with me.Which kind of messed with my plans to do some birthday shopping, but oh well. I did have a couple errands that I had to run and she came with me on those but probably overdid it, when we took the bandaid off (that I put on right before we went to the store) at bath time that night there was quite abit of  blood on it, so the walking around must have bumped it around some.

Saturday night Rodney's SS class had a get-together at our neighbor's house. Sassy and MiniMe ended up spending most of the evening playing Monopoly with some of the other people who were there. I declared it "math class for the week" LOL. Little Bit had a great time playing with her friends, watching Mickey Mouse, eating tons of food, and having countless stories read to her. A good time was had by all, and nobody seems any the worse for staying up well past their bedtime with the festivities.

And that was our week last week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

TOS Crew Review: Reading Eggs


I love being on the TOS Crew, and most of the time I get "veto power" on review items that I don't anticipate b being a good fit for our family. And my first reaction when Reading Eggs came through was . . . not a fit. Afterall, the stated age range is 4-7 and it's for those learning to read. I have a 2 year old and two almost 9 year olds who are reading chapter books (sometimes entire books in a day, if Mommy doesn't expect them to do annoying things like chores).  But Reading Eggs wanted a LOT of reviewers, so the Crew asked those of us without children in the ideal age range, to at least consider this review. So I looked at the site, and signed up for the free trial. I was pretty sure, even without looking at it, that anything "learning to read" would just frustrate the big girls. But I wondered if it was something that I could adapt in a way that Little Bit could have fun with it. After looking at the free trial abit, I decided I could. So I said that, if needed, I could review this with my 2 year old .And we were asked to review it.

Since Little Bit is only 2, and we're a laptop family, I decided not to try to teach her to use the mouse and navigate on her own. I think just understanding where to go when would have been abit challenging for her, and add in the touchiness (ha ha) of a touchpad on a laptop, and it just seemed abit much to try to teach her (she's a master at navigating her games on my phone however LOL). So, we used this as a Mommy-Daughter time a few times a week for the last several weeks. I ran the mouse, and let Little Bit tell me what to click. I did "prompt" her sometimes.

PhotobucketReading eggs is an online program to teach reading by moving through a "map" and cracking each egg open as you go, by doing a variety of online activities. Little Bit loved being able to see what animal was in each egg as she cracked it open. And I was surprised at how quickly she picked up on, and was able to do, the early lessons (we only went through the first 8 or 9 lessons, but she's TWO!) As long as the lessons were focusing on a single letter, she was able to pretty consistently pick out the correct letter. Though she thinks it's great fun to see what computer programs (and smart phone games) do when you pick the WRONG answer, so sometimes it was hard to tell which she was doing. However, when she consistently picked all the answers BUT the correct one, before choosing the correct one, skipping over the correct one, I figure that's a pretty good argument for her knowing the correct answer but wanting to see what the program did if she clicked on the wrong ones LOL (and in case you're wondering, in most cases, the wrong answer(s) made a different sound and encouraged her to "Try again").  The last lesson or two that we worked on were starting to move into word recognition (simple words like am sam bat . . . ) and she struggled more with that, so I've backed off and not suggested we do Reading Eggs the last few days, I'd just as soon not move on to a point where she's frustrated with not understanding and I think that's where we were headed.

But did I mention she's 2? So that's not at ALL a criticism of the game, just where we're at with things. She has LOVED playing Reading Eggs and had a pretty long attention span with it, often as long as I was willing to sit and click things for her. I was impressed with the way this program subtly reviews information from previous lessons without making it redundant to the point of being boring. 

You can see pricing for Reading Eggs here. Subscriptions are $9.95 per month with discounts when you sign up for 6 months or a year.

I think Reading Eggs could probably be included with most learning styles. Obviously if you prefer to limit your child's computer time, it won't be a good fit. For a child in the recommended age range, you should be able to pretty much "turn them lose" with the program. It does assume some skill sets that I'm not sure are a safe assumption for those on the lower end of the age range. There are dot-to-dots to draw the letters, so there is an assumption that the child can count and recognize numbers. 

There is also another part of the website, called Reading Eggspress to reinforce skills for older children. There are also books available from the site.

All in all, if you're looking for a way to use the computer to teach, or reinforce early reading skills, this is a great option! 

Be sure to check out what other Crew Members thought of this program, including how it works with other ages of children. 


Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg - Day 3

Our third day in Williamsburg our first stop was the courthouse. When we'd been there the day before, the girls found out that they would be "holding court" the next morning so they were anxious to see that. It was still pretty chilly so Little Bit is snuggled in the stroller under my wrap (she rode in it on my back some this week, and actually nursed to sleep and napped in it one day, most we've used the wrap with her in a long time LOL) being entertained by the fact that she's wearing mittens LOL. I snapped the picture to show a friend that we're still getting good use out of the hand-me-down stroller she gave us when the twins were probably younger than Little Bit is now, but it's a cute picture, and proof that Little Bit WAS with us that day so I'll include it LOL.

Another stop that day was the printing office. It's only open in the mornings so we made a point of going there right after court. The girls spent quite awhile asking questions and listening to the printer. There was a nice fire burning in the fireplace so I was pretty content to let them stay in there as long as they wanted LOL.

We also talked to an employee who said they used to do a "Felicity Tour" where they pointed out buildings similar to the fictitious ones in Felicity. She pointed out that a house similar to a merchant's house, and also mentioned that the pictures of "Merriman's store" in the book are patterned after the Prentice Store. So of COURSE the girls wanted to go to Prentice Store but when we got there, the store was closed that day, so we went to Tarpley's store instead. The lady there pointed out that the picture in the book is kind of a "melding" of Prentice Store and Tarpley's store because in the picture, the building is Prentice Store but there's a porch like the one on Tarpley's. She also told us that to get a better idea of what it would have been like INSIDE a store, we should go to Greenhow's store. So we added Greenhow's store to our "to go to" list.

We made sure to visit the Governor's Palace this day, because it was the day that they were demonstrating chocolate making in the Palace Kitchen. The girls each got a turn at using the huge mortar and pestle to grind the cocoa beans into cocoa nibs. And then when we stopped back by the kitchen after our tour of the Palace, they actually got to help melt the chocolate (but those pictures are on my dad's, and I think Rodney's, cameras, I was keeping Little Bit entertained at that point). Apparently, they don't normally let the kids do that part, but the chef made the mistake of telling MiniMe that she wasn't strong enough to do it, so of course she had to prove them wrong. And did, quite well LOL. And of course, if MiniMe gets to do something, Sassy's not going to be left out.

The girls had alot of fun touring the Governor's Palace too. The tour guide was "in character" and wouldn't admit it wasn't 1770 or whatever year he said it was (quite afew places there are doing that now, but each building is a different year so I didn't bother to even pretend to try to keep track of which ones were which) so when MiniMe expressed "concern" about the governor having so many weapons in his entry hall, that he could use against the colonists, and the tour guide pretend he couldn't fathom why anyone wouldn't be loyal to the governor. So MiniMe told him she was "from the future" and that soon the colonies would be at war with England and France would be their allies. I wasn't sure how he felt about her taking over his tour like that (there were quite a few other people on the same tour), but as we walked to the next room he made a point of telling one of the "servants" in the house about "this young lady who claims we'll soon be allies with France, can you imagine?" So I figured he must be ok with it if he was going to encourage it LOL. At the end of the tour, once we were outside and he would admit it was 2012 LOL, I stopped to ask him what HAD happened to all those weapons when the war started (the governor had fled by then, so the colonists used them, if you wondered) and he told us how much he'd enjoyed having the girls on the tour.

Another stop that day was the colonial gardens. There wasn't a whole lot going on there since it's still pretty much winter but there were some plants growing in "greenhouses" (with windowpane lids to let in the sun and trap the warmth) and the girls got to water the plants.

We also went to the shoe maker, but he didn't seem especially interested in answering our questions, so we didn't stay long. And finally, we made another stop by the bindery in hopes that they would be ready to tool the leather on the book they were working on earlier in the week. But no such luck, sigh. The guy there seemed pretty impressed that the girls were interested enough to come back to check though :)

And that was Day 3.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TOS Crew Review: Beeyoutiful


We usually review homeschool products for the TOS Crew, but every once in awhile we get to review something that is equally of interest to everyone. This is one of those reviews!! Beeyoutiful offers a variety of natural health products that they have found work for their families, and want to make available to everyone. The Beeyoutiful site also has tons of INFORMATION about natural health, which is right up my ally! 

I was sent Tummy Tune Up ($18) and a Peppermint Lip B.A.L.M. ($3)

Thankfully we didn't have any big "tummy bugs" to truly test out Tummy Tune Up during the review period, but MiniMe did have one day where she woke up complaining that her tummy hurt. I gave her a Tummy Tune Up, she took a nap, and woke up saying that now her tummy hurt because she was hungry. So it at least seemed to help. Regardless of a direct cause/effect type of help. I love what Tummy Tune Up is!!! It's basically super duper extra strong yogurt in an easy to swallow pill. Which is great since my big girls refuse to eat yogurt (sigh). I'm a strong believer in the benefits of the active live cultures in yogurt, kefir, etc. In our modern world that views bacteria as bad . . . EVERYTHING is antibacterial these days, even some fabrics! We seem to have forgotten that there are also GOOD bacteria! And without those, you can't be healthy! Yogurt is one source of those good bacteria (kefir is an even better source, but even more of a challenge for me to get any of my family to eat). And especially when we need an extra immune boost overall, or there are stomach bugs floating around, yogurt has been my go-to cure for years! So it's been really frustrating to me the last couple years when the big girls decided to flat out refuse yogurt (but don't tell them, I make my ranch dip with yogurt instead of sour cream so that gets it in them once in awhile anyway). Even when they were complaining of tummy upset and I could say with pretty good certainty that yogurt WOULD help, they won't eat it (Little Bit, on the other hand, eats 2-3 bowlfuls most days. We get plain yogurt and I either stir frozen blueberries into it or an all-fruit jam, and she gobbles it up).  So, now I can get them the benefits of yogurt in a pill that MiniMe swallowed easily. I  LOVE that!!!

Photobucket I wasn't sure I'd like the lip B.A.L.M. I generally make my own and I'm pretty particular about consistency and ingredients. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's the right balance of not melting if you hold it for a few minutes, but not so hard that it just sits on top of your lips. And the ingredients are similar to what I usually use when I make it, I was especially happy to see that it is "flavored"/scented with essential oils, not the more typical, chemical-based flavor/scent oils. I've been enjoying using my lip B.A.L.M. and will keep Beeyoutiful in mind as a place to get good lip balm when I don't have time/energy to make my own.

In addition to these products, Beeyoutiful carries a variety of Bath and Body products, Essential Oils, Nutritional Oils, Supplements, Books, Baking Supplies, Teas, and Appliances.

Other members of the crew received different products, so be sure to check out all the reviews, here, to see a variety of opinions on a nice selection of Beeyoutiful's products.


Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product(s) free of charge in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Williamsburg - Day 2

Our second day in Williamsburg was much warmer, and not as . . . mucky since the snow had pretty much all melted the day before. We started our day at the blacksmith shop and then moved on to the Wythe house. We were lucky enough to tour the Wythe house while "Mr Wythe" was home. He told us about his ideas for teaching law . . . he'd have made a good "homeschooler", his ideas were very "hands-on". He conducted "moot courts" and "moot legislatures" on days the real courts & legislatures weren't in sesson so his students actually got to try their hand at the things they'd be doing as lawyers. Novel idea isn't it?
 Since it was such a pretty sunny day, we took a few minutes to run around in the gardens behind the Wythe house, and visit the chickens, before heading on to the . . .
 . . . basketmakers (and since these pictures show them off, and it's my blog, so I'll brag if I want to. See the cute shawls I knit for the girls? I'd made myself a bigger version of MiniMe's purple one before Christmas and MiniMe kept trying to steal it. So, since it's a pattern that knits up really quickly, I made one for her, and a pink one for Sassy, for Christmas. When we realized how well they went with the colonial dresses, and that it was going to be cold enough to need SOMETHING over the dresses when we were there, I decided last minute to knit one for Little Bit too. I let her choose her yarn, she chose a light lavender color. I was planning to knit it on the drive to Williamsburg, but forgot the needles I had used for the other too, so her's ended up knit on smaller needles, which made it a tighter weave, and shorter. Even if it had been longer, I think I still would have opted to stitch it together into a poncho/cape so she didn't drop it and drag it on the ground.

Another stop that day was the Magazine and Armory. Where the gunpowder and weapons, and general army supplies, were stored. 

Walking from the magazine to the courthouse, we walked across the town "green". Apparently the miles we were walking wasn't enough to burn little girl energy, so they burned some extra energy running around on the green.

No visit to the courthouse would be complete without playing in the stocks.
 Little Bit INSISTED she could be in the stocks too LOL.

 She decided the leg stocks were more her size.

While big sisters were in the court house pretending to be a judge or lawyer or some such (I think my dad got pictures of that, but I forgot to download the pictures off his camera before we left), Little Bit entertained herself with a stick. We also had a fascinating conversation about horse poop and why the horse left it's poop in the middle of the street. I LOVE two-year-olds!
 Other places we visited on day 2 included the weavers (small bit of trivia . . . one reason hemp fabric isn't as widely used as it could be is because it wears so much longer than cotton. Manufacturers don't want that because it means less repeat sales), the cooper, gunsmith and foundry, Everard House, and another stop at the coffee shop (the girls (and the rest of us) like the colonial "chocolate" drink they let you sample at the end, and each tour guide gives different information so we learned new things each time too).

 For variety, I showed Little Bit how she could stand on the "step" on the back of the stroller (a leftover from when I had 2 toddlers but didn't want to mess with an actual double stroller) part of the time. She thought it was great fun to ride on the back and tell Mama to "go fast!"
 And when she got tired of riding, she ran along beside for awhile too.
And that was day 2 . . . 3 more to go!

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids - Chapter 4

I’m playing “catch-up” with my posts for the How to Have aH.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids bookclub. . . week before last I had misplaced my book so couldn’t read, much less blog about chapter 4. Then last week I didn’t have an internet connection except via my phone, and much as I love my readers, I didn’t feel like typing book reviews on my phone’s keyboard. So here we are . . .  

So, chapter 4 is the “R” in the acronym H.E.A.R.T. and stands for Release Them To God.  This is something that I, and I suspect many Christian parents, struggle with. It is soo  difficult, to remember that we are raising God’s children, for HIM. We don’t have to have all the answers, God does. . . and on that note, here are some of the quotes that stood out to me in Chapter 4:

  • These kids we refer to as ours are not ours. They are His. . . . and He has assigned each child specifically to you and your family for the purpose of living and acting according to His perfect plan.
  • We must therefore release them to follow God with reckless abandon and to seek His plan for their lives.
  • It’s not a question of whether or not you trust your kids. The question is this: Do you trust God?
  • What I have found is that when you raise kids to think of heavenly things, to consider God, to love Him, and to seek Him – well, then anything could happen.
  • God wants us to experience creation as a profoundly personal expression of His love, of His desire to have a personal relationship with each of us.
  • I know [my daughter] will be safer in the middle of God’s will than she would ever be living across the street, God loves her more  than I could ever possibly try.
  • We need take care of our children as if they were our own while being ever mindful of the fact that, from the beginning, they were never ours to keep.
  • Release them to God. They are His, and He will take great care of them.

I loved some of the practical examples in this chapter. Things I’ll be implementing in our home include:

Waking my children in the morning by saying: “What might God do today to show you His love? He loves you so much!”

During our discussions when discipline in necessary, “You know, God loves you. He has big plans for you. World-changing plans. I can hardly wait to see what He has planned. I am praying for you”

Starting conversations with my children by asking “What is God showing you lately?”

I can’t wait to see how my children respond to these questions and statements! I’m sure they’ll spark some great conversations with my chatty little girls, but I also pray they will be a stepping stone toward a closer walk with God for my children, and a good, frequent, reminder to myself to release these precious children to God daily!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Williamsburg - Day 1

First I have to brag just a tad on the awesome timeshare condo we were blessed to stay in while down there. We have an old long-time family friend (as in, I've known them since I was 3 or 4 years old!) who have a timeshare with a location in Williamsburg and they gave us a great rate. We had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo. I kept meaning to take a picture of the big girls' room, it was an adorable little 3rd floor loft with matching twin beds. They LOVED it!

So anyway . . . Colonial Williamsburg. . . last year for the girls' birthdays, my mom gave them the promise of making them colonial dresses, and she finished them a few months ago, so we had them for this trip. The big girls wore them every day (we had a washer & dryer in the condo), Little Bit only wore hers one day, and that's the day we had them pose for pictures, so we'll start with the picture of all 3 girls in their dresses, even though it wasn't the first day.

It snowed a good part of our drive down, though thankfully the roads weren't bad. Our first day in Williamsburg was still COLD! Much to the girls' annoyance, that meant wearing coats over their dresses, but we had a good day despite the cold.

One of their favorite places to visit was the Bindery. Both of the men we talked to there were really great, not only at answering the girls' trillions of questions, but also at making it fun. They were also fascinated by the process, to the point that we went back later in the week in the hopes of getting to see them doing the leather decorating (tooling?) but they weren't doing it until after we left.

Other things we really enjoyed the first day included

The Capitol building. We went to it the first year (when the girls were 6) and the tour was just way over their heads, and honestly, that one was abit too detailed for my interest level as well. This year we started out good, with the person at the gate engaging the girls in conversation and teasing them, which they love. The tour guide also was excellent, giving us plenty of information, but making it interesting. It also helps that the girls are older, and we had just been learning about the revolution, so that helped them have the background to not only understand, but also participate in the discussions.

The Milliner shop. So cool! The woman in this shop took time to answer our questions thoroughly, and pull out examples of what she was describing, it was great!

The cabinet-maker. I wasn't with the girls as much in this shop, there was an area more out-of-the-way with extra chairs, so I was sitting there when I wasn't chasing Little Bit (Mom got stuck with most of the Little Bit chasing, because she's Little Bit's favorite). But we were in that shop for over an hour! So needless to say, the girls enjoyed it.

We also enjoyed the silversmith, wig maker (the girls were very excited to get to go here, when we've been in Williamsburg before it wasn't open on a day we were there), post office, and coffee shop.

Where In the World Did I Go?!?!

Wow, I get behind sometimes, but I think it's been awhile since I've been THIS far behind!!! Not sure what happened, except that having the month of January with very little travel and such spoiled me, so when I did start traveling again, the blog was what slipped to the wayside, sigh . . .

So real quick (and then I'll do more detailed posts over the next several days/weeks):

This past week we went to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown (that one I have a good excuse for, the timeshare didn't have free wi-fi, so I only had internet access on my phone, I love y'all but not enough to type entire blog posts on a touch screen LOL)

The week before that I was getting ready for that trip AND planning out next month's Sabbath School theme for Little Bit's class (have to get back on that now that I'm back home).

The week before that we traveled with hubby/visited my parents for a few days.

and I don't remember anything before that, I think that pretty much gets me back on track.

One final thing: the book I was blogging through. In my last minute packing for the trip to my parents I misplaced the book so I couldn't blog about it for chapter 4 (week before last) because I couldn't find it to read). I found it as I was packing for the Williamsburg trip, and read chapters 4 and 5 on the trip, but obviously couldn't blog about them without an internet connection. I *did* type up the basics of the blog post in Word (this is where someone points out that if I used Live Writer I could have had all the posts all ready to go, but I'm without internet so infrequently that I've never bothered to learn it, and didn't think to donwload it before this trip. I *should* download it now, so that I'll at least have it available if I feel up to learning it next time I'm in that situation), so I should be able to get both of those posted sometime this week.

So that's the quick and dirty summary to let my readers know that I haven't fallen off the planet.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TOS Crew Review: Celestial Almanack

I have to admit, I know NOTHING about stars, but when we had the chance to review the February Celestial Almanack, I thought it looked like something the girls would enjoy that and that we could all learn about together. This is SUCH a cool product!!!

I had NO idea that 2012 is a year when there will be at least 3 rare sky events. 

1) the Jupiter-Venus conjunction on March 15 (once every 24 years); 
2) the annular solar eclipse on May 20 (once every 18 years); and 
3) the transit of Venus on June 5 (last one til 2117!). 

In the message that the author sent us along with the product, he says "I'm absolutely frantic about trying to make sure that every single American, besides homeschoolers, finds out about these events and how to observe them! Thanks for your help in making that happen!"  I thought that was soo great, that he feel so passionately about helping others learn about the wonders of the sky.

We have a really short turn-around on this review because Mr. Ryan (the author) wants to get the message out NOW! After all, that Jupiter-Venus conjunction is coming up. And while I'm sure it will be addressed in more detail in the March Almanack, he does include the information in the February edition as well, and suggests watching these two planets, starting NOW so we can see them move closer together as the month progresses and on into March.

So, I received this ebook on January 31. Opened the file to see what it was like, and proceeded to sit and read most of it in one sitting, trying not to brush off the 3 little people who live in my house and seem to think I should do things like feed them and such LOL. A quick glance at the weather report showed a chance of clouds for the next several nights. So since January 31 was clear, we started right away! After dinner I read through the first part of the almanack with the girls and then we headed out to see what we could see. The girls immediately picked out Orion all on their own. They were SOO proud of themselves! Next we looked for Jupiter and Venus but because of clouds, or trees or something, we could only see one of them. I still haven't found the second one, I *think* we're seeing Jupiter, but that's alot easier to determine when I can see them both. 

The next night there was some clouds, but it wasn't too bad so we moved on to finding more constellations. We found Canis Major, and I'm pretty sure we saw the brightest star in Taurus (the rest were hiding behind the clouds, or too close to the bright moon).

So, what is this exactly? Well, it's pretty much exactly what it says. It's an "Almanack" telling the specifics of what will be happening in the sky this month. Almost all of what is discussed can be seen with the "naked eye" (this, apparently, is what "classical astronomy" is, have I mentioned that I know nothing about these things?). So that means you can fully use this without going out and buying a telescope or anything. There is at least one page where there are pictures showing what you will see with plain old binoculars, or a simple telescope like some people might have at home, and then also a picture of the same thing taken with the Hubble Telescope. But since it gives the pictures, while, if you have binoculars or a telescope, it would be fun to see for yourself, you don't HAVE to. 

This is a product that can be used with any learning style and any teaching style and anyone, NOT just homeschoolers! After all, you can see things in the sky best at night, so being gone all day to school and work and such doesn't matter. There are no lesson plans or anything, this just clearly, and simply explains a TON of information about what we can see if we take the time to look up. And at only $3 this is an awesome deal!! I'm excited to learn, along with my children, about all these amazing things God created that I've never taken the time to really notice. And I've already decided that we'll continue to get these in future months to continue our learning journey. I just noticed that the website lists the ages for this product as being for "Parents, 11-13, and High School", good thing I didn't notice that before I said I wanted to review this LOL. Although I guess I'm a parent, so it still works. Now I do agree that if I were to just hand the Almanack to my (almost) 9 year olds, they would probably be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information packed into this small book, but as something for us to learn TOGETHER, they are certainly not too young to benefit from it. Even Little Bit (almost 3, but she THINKS she's as old as her sisters) is having fun trying to see the stars we're looking at when we go outside each evening.

So don't wait, you've already missed the first couple days of the month, seriously GO GET YOUR COPY OF THIS!! It's soo awesome! 

Some other pertinent information: This is an e-book, it is specific for February 2012, so in that sense it is "consumable" once this month is over, it's going to be a "history" book LOL. In addition to these Almanacks, available from Currclick, you can see more products by the same company on their site: Fourth Day Press. I actually looked at their book, Moonfinder, at the homeschool convention I attended last spring, and considered getting it, now I'm wishing I did, and will probably be adding it to our wishlist for this year's convention :) 

I do think it would be cool if the almanacks were offered as a subscription to get the whole year, that way I don't have to remember to go to Currclick at the beginning of each month and order the next one, but for now, I'll try not to complain, hee hee. 

If you'd like to see if my fellow Crew mates were as impressed with this product as I was, you can read their reviews here


Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. Links to Currclick are affiliate links.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids - Chapter 3

This week over at The Pelsers we're talking about chapter 3 of  How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids.

Chapter 3 is the A in H.E.A.R.T. and stands for "Accept Your Children"

There were SO MANY great quotes and reminders in this chapter, I'm just choosing a few:

  • We may think we've accepted our children and all their uniqueness, but they know better. (pg 92)
  • Genuine acceptance of our kids means a radical change of perspective -- a  paradigm shift. It means seeing our children as gifts from the hand of the living God. (pg 100)
  • [My children] were not sent to bring me glory. They were created to bring glory to God. (pg 104)
  •  God has a plan, and I can allow His peace to rule simply by resting in His plan (pg 106)
  • It is not your job to tear down your children. You are to build them up. Have you ever taken that little face in your hands and said, "I am so glad God sent you to our home. I am so excited about everything He has planned for your life. And I am so honored to help you in any way I can. You add joy to our home."? (pg 107)
  • We must seek God first when it comes to molding our children, or we will make the mistake of molding them into our image instead of His. (pg 108)
  • Accepting God's will for the lives of our kids means thinking outside of the box--way outside. (pg 115)
  • The thing I want my kids to hear more than anything else is that the God of the universe loves them. (pg 117)
There is soo much great stuff in this chapter, I feel like I'm only scraping the surface here. So important for me to remember that it's "not all about me". Several years ago I received an e-mail forward, or maybe it was posted on a message board I read, I really don't remember, but I *do* remember the jist of what it said. Thanks to the power of Google, I found it again today, here it is: Cathedral Builders. I loved the reminder when I first read it, and I still love it now. Reading this chapter reminded me of it.

One thing I needed to hear from this chapter is the recurring theme of letting GOD mold them. This is something I struggle with, and a reminder I definitely needed.