Friday, August 31, 2012

The Sugar Creek Gang--Review and Freebie!!

When I was excited when I found out I could review The Sugar Creek Gang. It brought back memories of listening to the Moody radio version of it. I can't even say "Sugar Creek Gang" without thinking of the theme song!
If you listened to it, you got the whole list of characters and what they do. It's a gang of boys...from back when a gang wasn't a bad thing...who have adventures and learn about God.

I was also excited because mija loves listening to stories. Oh, sure there's Odyssey and Gilead Lane, but I think she's probably the only 7 1/2 year old who looks forward to listening to Unshackled from Pacific Garden Mission! We also listen to audio books in the van as we travel. Currently, we are listening to Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.

So, we sat down to listen to The Sugar Creek Gang. I played on Pinterest and mija working a puzzle with my hubby. It is not dramatized with different actors, but instead read like an audio book. I will say he did a great job with all the characterizations. We all enjoyed listening although mija was a little disappointed there were no girls! ;-)

Very wholesome stories. No "attitudes" that you can even find in some of today's Christian radio dramas and cartoons. Great integration of spiritual and Biblical principles and practices. 

This series is being read directly from the original books, so you could even read the book as you listen. It might be a fun way to integrate some literature. Make sure to get the originals by Paul Hutchens.

Here's the great news, you can actually download the MP3 version of the "Swamp Robber," which is the one we listened to, for FREE!!  Yup, you can download both parts of the story HERE for FREE

I also have a deal for you! Thanks to Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement, you can get $12 off each set you purchase with the code Lorrie12. 

Enjoy some time with Bill, Poetry, Big Jim and the others down at the Sugar Creek!

Friday Funny--Grades

Does everyone grade? What kind of scale? What kind of grades? What age? What subjects? Dish! ;-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Airwick--$2.00 coupon

Air Wick® has partnered with the National Park Foundation to capture the spirit of our nation’s pristine treasures so you can enjoy the scents of fall in your home. Join and get $2.00 off 2 products from the National park fall collection. Just click the picture below!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bill Nye the Science Guy--Creationism will cease to exist

Not really a surprise, but Bill Nye posted last week his thoughts about the dangers of teaching our children creationism. Here's his video, so you can see for yourself.

I hope his confession doesn't scare you all! Personally, I think we're continue to watch his stuff, especially the earlier stuff, but will continue to watch it with discernment. I've already been training mija to look for keywords of error like "millions of year" when we watch or read something. 
The Creation Museum posted a video explaining how Bill Nye is wrong. Nothing like using a PhD in Biology from Brown University and PhD in Molecular Genetics to make you point!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chore Charts--some ideas from Pinterest and what I'm using

Some of you were watching me on Pinterest the other evening, because I received comments about all my chore charts pins!  I was researching! I'll share some of my pins with you and then what I decided to try! If you want to see them all (and more as I come across them), follow my Pinterest board, Child Labor Rocks!

Now, for what I decided to use... That's right! It's online! Meaning I don't have to make anything. It's free to use. Mija thinks it's cool because she gets to go online to check her "jobs". 

  • You set the chores/jobs.
  • You determine the points for each.
  • It allows the child to save, share, and spend.
  • They can spend their points on activities or items you select, or items you select from like books and games.
  • One point would equal one cent if you use money or purchases as an incentive.
  • You can add or subtract points on your own based on attitude or other actions (good grade, helped without being asked, etc.). 
We've only have used it one day, but it's seems to be a hit. We've started only with a few basic things until we get used to it (although she's already asking for more jobs, so she can earn more points). Since we're uber-poor, we have not selected anything from Amazon to purchase. We've have selected rewards such as making cookies, going to the park, or game night. We've also given her the option to save in her savings account or give to church. That will cost us a little money when she does those.

I'd love to know what you all do for chores! And I'll see if this online chore program works past day one! ;-)

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Free Vistaprint Calendar back until Friday, Aug. 31

I've shared this deal before and it's going again. Remember, it doesn't really need to be a back-to-school can also be a Christmas gift!! ;-)

- Choose from a variety of themed designs for the perfect look
▪ Customize individual dates with personal events: birthdays, anniversaries & other occasions
▪ Add fun icons and text
▪ Upload up to 13 of your favorite photos for FREE
▪ Select your starting month and year
▪ Order today and receive in as few as 3 Days

Shipping starts at: $5.32

An Education Contrary to the Will of God

I subscribe to I received emails with audio links from various pastors (including mine) recorded sermons. I don't always listen to them because of time and, well, just listening to a sermon is hard for me, but I'm working on it.

It did catch my eye, however, when I saw the title "An Education Contrary to the Will of God" with a tag of "Government Schools".

The message is 37 minutes long. I listened to it while I played worked on Pinterest. He makes a lot of truthful and insightful points although he does it in a very judgmental way. BUT maybe those who don't see the dangers of the public school system need to be challenged. I don't know.

Here's the link to the audio. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Duct tape or Duck tape---either way it makes great projects

Mija has discovered a new craft. Duck Tape. 

Let me clarify first. Duct tape is silver and practical. Duck tape is made by Duck brand and comes in a variety of colors and patterns like these:

Printed Pattern Duck® brand Duct Tape
It's not your father's duct tape!!

This new interest started at Father's Day when we went to Michael's. She was able to make a Duck Tape wallet! HERE are the directions we used. Here's what her finished gift looked like.

Quite the diva, I know. And yes, she decided on pink and neon for her father's Duck tape wallet. 

Now, the fancy Duck tape is not cheap at least for a family with an unemployed father!! It costs about $5 a roll, but you do get more than one project per roll. Well, I found directions for an extremely easy pencil case. Then I found some Duck tape at Family Dollar for less than $4 a roll. Not a big selection, but at least some choices other than silver!

Of course, mija chose pink.
Here's what you need for this project:
Duck tape of your choice, a Ziploc Slider back quart size, and scissors. Any kind of storage bag would work as long as it has a zipper. Quart size is the perfect pencil case size. 
Next, you start putting the tape on the bag. I recommend starting at the zipper and putting it right up to the zipper. Any extra length can be wrapped around the edge, but make sure it's not too much.

Then do the other side the same way!

Once both sides are covered, take a piece and fold over the side edges to make a clean and finished look.

Here is what it looks like once it's done.

Now, if you know girl's this age, you know that it can't be left plain. So, I found a few Sharpie markers and let her "finish".

Flowers and hearts are a must in decorating!

That has been our Duck tape expedition, so far.  Have any of you made projects with Duck tape, yet?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Well Planned Day software Giveaway WINNER!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Science Experiment Guide----FREE

I mentioned Supercharged Science as something I'm using for science this year. 
It's taught by Arura Lipper, an actual rocket scientist! Well, today, I have a freebie I can pass on from Supercharged Science! It's one they sell for $25 but you're getting if for FREE.


Science Experiment Guide ($25 value)
This experiment guide includes:

  • Over 30 complete experiments...
  • Defy gravity as you levitate water
  • Crush a soda can using a few drops of water
  • Make an indoor corkscrew roller coaster
  • Stick you kid inside a real bubble
  • Grow crystals overnight
  • Create and crack you own geodes
  • Build a flying machine that shouldn't be able to fly at all
  • ...and much more!
You kids will be so jazzed about science that they'll be betting to learn more. Click HERE to get the Science Experiment Guide. This eBook download comes with bundled with the Rocket Scientist Newsletter, which includes a weekly free science experiment in your email box.

And what's cool is that she tries to use things you already have around the house! It's so easy and convenient!

Grab this freebie now. I'll also let you know about her next free class when it gets closer.

Link to:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Artists and Authors--Learning Character Through Drawing (GIVEAWAY)

ARTISTS and Authors
I was excited when I learned I would get to review Artists and Authors by Eternal Encouragement. I had already purchased the book earlier this year with plans to use it for mija during the school year. I just pulled it out earlier than I had planned (thanks to my moving strategy). I decided the best way to review it was to use it!

Let me tell you a little about it first. It's a little spiral-bound book that allows your child to draw a picture that goes along with each little devotional written by Lorrie Flem. It can be done daily or as you see fit. 
It covers:
  • 24 character traits
  • The Fruits of the Spirit
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Five Holidays
Each page doesn't take much time at all which is really nice for a younger child. The spiral-binding makes it lay flat which makes it much easier to read and especially to draw! 
What also makes it nice is that each page can be dated, so you can end up keeping it as, well, a keepsake.  You'll definitely want to do so. Let me show you why.
One lesson deals with how big God is. Lorrie mentions how the Bible says that God uses the Earth as a footstool and instructs the child to draw a picture of God using the Earth as a footstool. Here's what mija drew:
How could you not love it!!  It's God's foot resting on the Earth!! She even put continents and oceans on the Earth! LOVE IT!

I decided to let mija write her own review. Here is what she wrote.
I like to draw. That is why I like this. I think it's cool!

There is also a counterpart book entitled Authors and Artists. For that book, they write a little bit about the small lesson. It's recommended more for ages 7 and up.
I wanted to mention it because Mrs. Flem is giving away one of each on her blog Randy's Rib.
Here are the links to the giveaways.
Remember, Authors is the one the child writes. Artists is the one the child draws. Enter for both because I know you'll want them both!

Although I had already purchased my own copy earlier this year, I did receive a copy for free in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Coupons for Meat! Hormel and Lloyd's

Moving Home and School & Well Planned Day Giveaway reminder

Photo courtesy of Home Educating Family 

Today I'm posted over at Home Educating Family Blog. It's entitled Moving Home and School. It's about a few things I did during our recent move to help prepare for this coming school year. It really has helped! We're ready to go!

Please check out my article...HERE

Also, don't forget my giveaway for a subscription to Home Educating Family's planning software "My Well Planned Day." The giveaway ends this Wednesday, Aug. 22 at midnight.
Here's the link to the review or
Go ahead and enter now if you haven't done so already!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Funny--Scary with an easy donut recipe

BUT, if you are brave enough to open the package, you can actually make some easy and yummy donuts!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday Coupon Preview

Sunday Worship Notes for kids in church

We attend a family integrated church, so mija has been sitting in the service since she turned four years old. Many families start before then.

I won't go in depth for the reasoning of family integration, but here's some basics. It just means that the family is recognized as the main source of evangelism and discipleship for our children. We know what our children are learning because they are right there with us. Having families together in the service has worked for millennia, why wouldn't it work now? Our church isn't as dogmatic as some since we do have separate Sunday school classes and offer AWANA, but the philosophy is that of being a support to the parents not the source for the children. We have really come to appreciate it. Mija thinks Pastor Tim is the best pastor in the whole world!

I'm always looking for ways to encourage her active participation during the service. She was very excited when I presented her with this worship note for kiddos I found!

Here is what her paper looked like from Sunday. 
The Tigger sticker was her addition! The only thing she didn't like was the squares for song numbers. Since we don't use hymnals, she thought they were wasted space! All in all, I don't think she did a bad job. Can you tell the message was about praying? ;-)

If your children are in the service, what do you do to help them focus and learn? Is there anything you would change or add to this worship note if you were to make it?
I'd love to hear idea!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. I included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post yesterday..."The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine" and how'd you do it?
This is a good quote. I think it's true. I think disturbing your routine means to give yourself challenges. Reading a different author or genre of book. Trying new recipes. Trying new ways to organize or clean. Growing and experimenting definitely keeps your mind from being sluggish.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?
I do appreciate good, fried chicken. Oh, and McDonald's french fries. The thought of frying food doesn't sound great currently. The person who lived in this house before FRIED EVERYTHING. We moved in to find about an eighth of an inch of oil in the bottom of the oven!  I'm not exaggerating. It's been a real pain trying to get it cleaned. There is still so much baked on, I'm afraid to do a self-clean! Poof! In home fire pit!

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?
Yes, I did have an allowance. I truly don't remember what I did with it. I rarely had to save up money for anything because, well, I was spoiled. I was a granddaughter being raised by two grandparents. All I had to do was ask and look cute and my grandpa got it for me. 
Now, we currently do not give mija an allowance. We still haven't figured out how we want to do it! For chores, not for chores, for special jobs but not chores, how much, etc.  Definitely would appreciate any ideas you all have!
The fact we don't give allowance is probably why the
tooth fairy is so generous!
4. What's something you wish you knew more about?
Wow, I can't think of anything I want to know more about. That's not to say I know it all, but right now, I want more time to master what I'm already doing and learning!

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?
You know, I can honestly say I can't think of anything I'm too old to do, BUT there are things I'm too heavy to do.  That's frustrating. Amusement parks. Community theater. Learning to belly dance. I don't think I'm too old for any of...but too heavy.

6. What's song you think has a great first line?
First line? All the songs that keep coming to mind are story songs. I like story songs. So, I first lines that are battling for first place include:
Her name was Lola...
My father married a pure Cherokee...
The marchin' band came down along Main street...
Daddy was a cop on the east side of Chicago...
I think the winner is the this last one.
Is this the real life?
Okay, definitely dating myself with those. Can you name the songs? I'll give you help with the last one.

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other you write, who is the audience in your head?
First, I was just writing for myself. My blog started just as a place for me to store articles and thoughts and if anyone else read along, it was okay.
Now, I do think more about my audience. But since I kind of picture my audience as people like me, I guess I'm still writing for myself! What a narcissist! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Don't forget to enter or share about my giveaway of a year subscription to My Well Planned Day software!  The giveaway ends next Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don't be nutty—get a coupon for 70 cents off new FiberPlus Nutty Delights! Get Your Coupon!

New FiberPlus Nutty Delights—chocolate and nutty crunch? Yes, please. Get 70 cents Off!

"Not" Back to School Hop--School Room week

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I've written before about where learning takes place. I know some home educators have special rooms set up much like a classroom. I was a classroom teacher for about 8 years, so I know all about setting up a classroom. I choose not to follow that style for our homeschooling. I focus more on the word "home" rather than "school."  To me, comfort is one of the advantages of educating at home.

The majority of the time, we are at the kitchen table. I know it's not very original, but it works!
It has good lighting and plenty of room. While it is not an "official" school room, I have been known to put up posters or pictures of what we are discussing. 
Sometimes the sofa or chair feels more comfortable for "formal" classes especially so you can cuddle while reading.
Mija and Abuelita

Of course, any part of the house is fit for learning.
And there are times she learns outside of the home at the library, field trips, of course, ballet.
So, I don't have any special location or secrets of organization. I have a pile of books and supplies, a home, and the world at my disposal!

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