Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ripple Along the Shore---Review for Summer Reading!

I just read Ripples Along the Shore: The Quilted Heart Novella Three.

So, yes, I read the last book first. 

Now, onto my review.

First, it is a e-novella which means short. It was a very quick, easy read available on Kindle.

Second, the story line occurs after the Civil War in the city of Saint Charles, MO which now is basically a suburb of Saint Louis but when the story takes place, it was a day trip up the Missouri River. This book focuses on Caroline Milburn and the others in the quilting circle. The city and the individuals are in the process of rebuilding and restarting their lives after the war.

As a standalone story...well, I figured things out but it would have been better to read the others first. I figured out who was who and the back story but it would have been easier to know because while the story features Caroline the others play major roles. 

The story itself was nice but not deep. The Bible and God were mentioned occasionally but not enough for me to consider this book of any spiritual benefit or interest. I would consider it mostly just a romance novel without s*x. 

It was pretty obvious where the story was going, but it still just ended kind of abruptly and unresolved in my opinion. The characters where stereotypical and not very deep.

Nothing terribly bad about the story but nothing terribly good either.

This book was given to me through Waterbook Multnomah's Blogging for Books for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

VBS last week

Mija attended a VBS last week. We are very picky about letting her attend a VBS. We have to know the church, it's beliefs, and if it actually practices what it believes. 
Saddle Up your Horses and get on over to SonWest Roundup
This VBS was a new experience because it was at an inner-city church. Intrepid mija knew no difference. It was a church. It was VBS. That was all that mattered.

Her class sang the plagues of Egypt to the tune of
The Twelve Days of Christmas. 
Well, I'll take that back. She wanted to make sure the church "believed right" before we went. 

It is such a blessing to see her evaluate a group or church based on their doctrinal stance rather than location or skin color!

We had a great time. I said we because they actually offered an adult class during VBS. I've never seen that before but it was very well attended.

Oh, over a thousand dollars was raised for a missionary and about a dozen souls saved during the week!


Monday, June 24, 2013's Can't Make it to Convention Event--THIS WEEK

CurrClick: Can't make it to the conventions? Stay Home & Shop and find hundreds of products up to 70% off and a freebie-filled convention bag. Go to for more information.

Looking forward to some of these speaker sessions:
Monday, June 24th
7:00-8:00Charlotte Mason Style HomeschoolingShining Dawn Books
8:00-9:00Living MathShining Dawn Books

Tuesday, June 25th
7:00-7:30 Lapbooking with All SubjectsA Journey Through Learning
7:30-8:00The Most Important Concept in Science EducationElemental Science
8:00-9:00U.B.U. – No More Cookie-Cutter

Wednesday, June 26th
7:00-8:00Helping Students Create Relationships with the Books They
8:00-9:00How to Teach Homeschool ScienceElemental Science

Thursday, June 27th
7:00-7:30How to Keep your Homeschool Afloat, When Your Life is Sinking A Journey Through Learning
7:30-8:00NO MORE TEARS with Multi-sensory Interactive MATH!A+TutorSoft Math
8:00-9:00Creative Nature StudyShining Dawn Books

Friday, June 28th
7:00-8:00Social Sciences in High School (Psychology, Sociology)
8:00-9:00A Powerful High School

Reading Kingdom Review

Everyone knows that I am the queen of all I survey, so it was a natural step for mija and me to spend some time in the Reading Kingdom.

Reading Kingdom is an online reading program designed by Dr. Marion Blank who is considered an expert on reading. She developed this program after perceiving deficits in phonics and whole language. The program is based on the patented program Dr. Blank has developed.

The program is designed for preschool-third grade or ages 4-10. The program starts with a skills survey that is supposed to assess reading skill and keyboarding skill. In fact, if keyboarding skills are lacking, the program will start addressing that issue first. The major part of the program consists of five levels. 

You can find out more about the program by watching this video

The program has some cute animation and graphics. It needs very little parental control because the program is in charge. 

That is the first feature I dislike.
One of the benefits I derive from homeschooling is controlling or leading my daughter's learning. This is not possible with Reading Kingdom. The extensive [read long] skills test places the student in whatever level the program determines. To adjust levels, you must contact Reading Kingdom. They are speedy in response, however.

I had to contact them twice to raise mija's level. Mija just finished third grade  but can read at a 5.6 to 6.0 level. The program put her on level 1 initially because of typos. Eventually we moved to level 5 which would be considered third grade according to the program. It was better, but still below her.

Another feature I personally did not like was the reading program itself. I learned to read in the "Dick and Jane" era of the early 70s. It was all sight words. We did not sound out words; phonics was taboo at this point. This program reminds me of that. Words are learned/memorized and then a book is read. 
Book 18
Page from a book on level 3

I am not a world-renown reading specialist. I do not claim to be. Both mija and I, however, found the drill work extremely tedious and redundant. The same format of introduction and review is used for each lesson and each type of lesson is repeated several times for each word. Maybe if it had been more her reading level, it would have been more entertaining and challenging.

The program also claims to teach writing and grammar. I did not see that. I definitely see how it teaches keyboarding but not writing. The grammar aspects are never addressed but again drilled. For instance, if you do not type a capital at the beginning of the sentence you will be marked wrong, and so you figure out that you have to type a capital there. Same thing with punctuation. From what we experienced, the reason for it was never explained. To me, failing to explain the how and why is not teaching grammar.
Until 2
The little aliens were cute.
I could go on, but I think I have shared enough for you to get the idea that I did not like the program on the whole.


Model Cindy Crawford and other really like the program!

You know your child. If learning or reviewing reading this way sounds helpful, go for it. It is a quality product and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into it.
Signup for the Reading Kingdom

It offers a free 30 day trial. Try it out and see what you think! 

Or try it even longer. Lorrie Flem is having a giveaway on her blog this week (June 24-28) for a 6 month subscription. It might be just what you need to keep reading fresh during the summer or even as a curriculum come fall. So check out Randy's Rib to enter!

You can find out more about Dr. Blank's philosophy on teaching reading by checking out the Reading Kingdom  site  or by reading her book The Reading Remedy: Six Essential Skills That Will Turn Your Child Into a Reader. 

I received a free subscription to Reading Kingdom through the Gabby Mom program in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Last minute CVS run---Savings of 76%

Used and Kansas City Mamas to make a run before the sale ended this week.

Gain or Ajax Dish Liquid – $.88 
$.25/1 Gain Dishwashing Liquid from 5/12 PG Insert 

Final Price: $.63 

V05 Shampoo or Conditioner $.82
$1/4 Alberto V05 Shampoo or Conditioner from 6/16 SS
Final Price: $.57 each

Gold Emblem Candy $0.99 (treat for my hubby)
$0.25 coupon from Coupon Machine
Final Price: $0.74

My retail total was $7.02, but I paid $1.65. That's a savings of 76%.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

For Women Only--review and GIVEAWAY!!!

Thankfully, sometimes it easy to tell when God is trying to teach you something...

Like when the book in review for Gabby Moms is the same book in review for Blogging with Books.

It is obviously God's way of gently saying...PAY ATTENTION WOMAN!!

I actually read the earlier edition of For Women Only
and it was very informative and convicting. I did not think I would need to read it again. 

I was wrong.

Reading For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition was very informative and convicting AGAIN. It dusted off some things I learned previously and reinforced some thing I was doing correctly. It also convicted me again on somethings on which I need to continue to work.  

It also showed me what a blessing my husband is because he gives me credit for doing better than what I know I am doing, and he shows me more about himself than some men mentioned in the book.
Shaunti Feldhahn
For those you do not know about the book, Shaunti Feldhahn shares her findings about the inner-workings of men. Things men assume we know that we do not. Things that are part of how God made them.

She found all this out by doing a lot of research with thousands of men.

Do not let the word "research" scare you off. It is not a dull read at all. Shaunti does a great job of not only explaining her findings and what they mean but also of  helping us find applications. What good is knowledge without the wisdom to use it?

I also appreciate that while there is a lot of research put into this book, it does not come off as psychobabble. It is practical and Biblical.

Remember that husband I am blessed with having? He actually read For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition to help me with my review.

He found a few surprises out about me like listening does not mean fixing and security means different things to women than it does men. He personally was blessed by realizing that when the Bible says somethings are common to man that it really means somethings are common to man. He was not the only man to have certain issues or ideas.

Oh, and get this. For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition actually has a quick start guide! Is that book for men or what? 

We both totally recommend these books. It would be great for premarital counseling and for those of us married folks who want to continue to grow our relationship with our spouse.
For Women Only, For Men Only, and For Couples Only Video Study Pack
Not only have they come out with the new editions, but also a DVD study which includes a men's study, a women's study, and a couple's study along with a leader's guide and a copy of each of the books. My husband is excited at the thought of the are visual you know!

In fact, here is a sample clip from one of the DVDs.

Now, here is the great news about the giveaways!
First, Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement is giving away the whole DVD study set on her blog. 
Go HERE to enter that giveaway. (You bet your sweet bippy I entered.) Oh, Lorrie's giveaway ends Saturday, June 22, so hurry fast.
While there, make sure to sign up for the free online magazine at Eternal Encouragement.

Now, on to my giveaway!

There will be two prizes. 

  • First place will win a copy of both For Women Only and For Men Only.
  • Second place will win a only copy of For Women Only.
  • Drawing is for US residents only.
  • Drawing will end Sunday, June 30 at midnight.
  • Winner will need to return my email within 48 hours of me contacting them or will forfeit the prize to another.
Okay, got it? Here's the Rafflecopter!

I received free copies of the books for me review from both the Gabby Moms and Blogging for Books.

Giveaway Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still a lot of Free Flatbread left...grab yours!

There are still hundreds of thousands of free flatbread left!! Grab one.

Math Trick for Leap Year

leapyear4.gif - 12.2 K

I've been dealing with insomnia the past few days. It leaves me a lot of time to think. Not about anything important mind you, just a menagerie of miscellaneous minutia I know.

One is how to know if any year was or will be a Leap Year.

I picked this up somewhere along my teaching career!

If the last two digits of the year are 00 or end in a number that is evenly divisible by 4, that year is a leap year. 

1700=leap year because the last two digits are 00.
2016=leap year because 16 is evenly divisible by 4.
1965=not a leap year because 65 is not evenly divisible by 4.

Yup, this is what I did the other night while I was not sleeping. 

Then I got on to the year 2525 which lead me to begin thinking about...

See, you really do want me to sleep! ;-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Check out my "UGH" piece

I wrote "More Than an Inconvenience" for Eternal Encouragement, but also got to share it on my friend's blog Biblical Counseling for Women.

I was really humbled and honored that not only Lorrie Flem posted the piece, but that my friend, Julie Ganschow of Reigning Grace Counseling Center also asked to post it.

Go check it out at...
Biblical Counseling for Women

Saving On-the-fly Money at CVS

Been dealing with a questionable scab and spreading rash-type thing.

It started with the small black scab, developed into the redness around it, then started a rash going around the opposite eye and then starting to spread to the  eye on the same side. I ended up taking her to urgent care last night.  

This picture show the rash has lessened greatly after two doses of steroids (I know. I know.) The redness around the little black scab is about as worse as ever.


What this post is about is saving some money at CVS.

We needed to purchase some hydrocortisone cream for face. I hadn't checked out the CVS deals yet, but I noticed that there was a tag advertising $2 in ECB when you purchased certain CVS brand products.

The cream was included in the deal. It was $4.99. We needed new band-aids, so I grabbed a $2.67 box. 
I got the ECB when I check out meaning that I got the box of band-aids for only $0.66! 

Can't beat really cheep band-aids when saving on-the-fly at CVS!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I have a winner!

Here's the winner of a copy of The Fourth Fisherman.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homemade Laundry Soap

I've heard of homemade laundry soap for awhile, and then I read about it in Lorrie Flem's Chore Bundle which I reviewed for Gabby Moms. I've seen the same recipe several other places, so I thought I would try it.

And Lorrie and others have said that it's save to use in an HE washer.
Here's what you need.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
2 cups (1 bar) Fels-Naptha soap

First, you grate the bar of soap. It took me about 10 minutes, but I was distracted several times.
Yes, it looks like grated cheese. I just used my regular grated and it cleaned up fine. After all, it just soap!

Then you add the other two ingredients and mix. It'll look like this.
One thing we noticed was you may need to mix it up before you use it because the powders can settle. 

You only use 2-3 tablespoons!  Yup, that's all. 

The total amount for all the ingredients was about $9.00. I have enough of the two powders for at least 3 more recipes. That means I will end up paying up $13.00 for 128 loads of laundry or $0.10 a load. Powdered Tide with Bleach (which is the quality Lorrie to which she compares it) ends up being $0.30-$0.70 a load.

We've been using it and have liked it mighty fine!

We've also been using white vinegar as fabric softener in the wash and it also works!

Love it when you can go more natural and cheaper at the same time!!

125 Titus 2 Tuesday Button

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Price Chopper--saved almost 70% on groceries

Thanks to Kansas City Mamas I was to save some money on groceries this week. Here's what I did.

Watching my Daughter's Spiritual Journey

I mentioned earlier this year about some evidence of mija's spiritual growth.

Well, her journey goes on.

Back in the previous post, she was thinking about baptism. Well, she took active steps to pursue it. She told our pastor she wanted to get baptized. She met with our pastor to discuss it. She wrote her testimony and turned it in.

And last night, she got baptized.

Here's one proud and God praising momma!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday Websites--Bible

Today I thought I'd share some websites and blogs that help teach Bible. These could be used for homeschool, family devotions, Sunday school, etc.

Bible Fun for Kids--A cute Genesis Lapbook with cut and glue pages at this link, plus other things on their site. Make sure to follow them on Pinterest for tons of ideas.

Calvary Curriculum--Curriculum for Old Testament, New Testament, in English and Spanish, and even some topical studies. Each study addresses a variety of ages as well. has pages of Bible-based pictures to color. Tons. Old Testament. New Testament. People and events in the Bible. Passages. Ten Commandments. More.

Head Heart Hand--Bible reading plan for kids.

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