Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs...For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:1-2, 5

Monday, November 29, 2010

Life over the past 5 weeks...

Over the last five weeks our 3 year old has been in a Spica is a cast that goes from his chest to his toes. Why you ask? He broke his femur (thigh bone). How you ask? He was at the park with his grandparents and fell off a chain bridge thing and just simply fell wrong. 

Here is a picture of him...sorry it is sideways for some reason I can't rotate it.

At the hospital...

It has been interesting to say the least...
Yes...he can barely fit in his carseat, all the straps are pulled out as far as they can be. 
Yes...he is awkward to hold and a bit heavier.
Yes...he gets pulled around in a wagon.
Yes...the diapering is a little awkward as well, 2 diapers, one stuffed in the provided hole and one on the outside.
Yes...the cast does have a tendency to stink at the diaper area.
Yes...he is dealing with it wonderfully.
Yes...he has gotten around the last few crawling, standing holding onto something, and rolling. is expected that he will pretty much need to learn to walk again.
Yes...he may have a noticeable limp for up to 6-12 months.
Yes...he will completely recover from this and in another year it will be a distant memory.

hubby made a chair and table for him to sit and play/eat at

What I am thankful for?
...that he is only 3 years old
...that I can still carry him around
...that he still is his fun, entertaining self
...that he wasn't potty trained yet, so no regression there
...that God is teaching me more and more...compassion, sacrifices of motherhood and service (to name a few)
...that my older kids are learning more about compassion and service
...for my church body...many were wanting and willing to help with whatever we needed
...for my hubby's work...they sent a weeks worth of freezer meals

In another week or so he will be getting the cast off...what will happen that day?
...he is going to get a very long bath, complete with a good scrubbing with a loofa sponge or something!
...he is going to wear a shirt and pants!
...snuggle time!


I pray that you had a wonderful day of Thanks! We in-laws came up from Oregon to stay a couple days with us. We were originally going to have a non-traditional dinner, but my hubby wanted the turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. So, Thanksgiving morning or rather around noon my hubby came home with a turkey and we began preparing all the food, we even made 3 pies! We were all eating by 6pm...not bad I'd say.
I have been wanting our family to be more thankful, so since the beginning of November, each of us think of one thing that we are thankful by Thanksgiving we had 125 things (25 x 5, my 3 y.o was a little young to participate). Some of our things were the same, some were for very small things and some were for big things.

Another thing that was fun this snowed! It did finally melt away later in the evening on Thanksgiving, but the couple days before the kids got to sled down the hill by our house. Here are a few snapshots...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bright Ideas Press

Tyler at Bright Ideas Press gave the TOS Crew 6 options to choose from…I chose Christian Kids Explore Physics Book and the accompanying Activity Book. It is geared for 4th to 8th grade, so it is at the higher grade of my kids, however we did do Unit 1. The price of the book is $34.95 with the Activity Book at $12.95.


You can see Sample Pages and Table of Contents here.

{ The universe that we live in is the result of God’s thoughtful design and careful building. Physics gives us a glimpse into the materials, laws, and structures of that universe. Behold the wonders of creation with this series of 30 easy-to-understand lessons for grades 4-8. Each lesson helps develop an understanding of matter and energy and the rules they follow. Exploring physics is an exciting adventure! }

What the book contains...
There are 30 lessons within the 6 units, which include: The Foundations of Physics, Matter, Mechanics, Matter in Motion, Energy in Motion, and Electricity and Magnetism.
Each lesson contains a Teaching Time, a Review It section, Hands-on Time, a Think About It section and Unit Wrap Up questions. It also has a scripture, vocabulary definitions (called Name It), and fun facts (called Discovery Zone) in the margins. The Activity Book is a downloadable book that consists of coloring sheets, the Hands-On worksheets, Review It questions, and Unit Wrap Ups...which I feel is easier for printing purposes.

This is what we did…
I printed out a coloring sheet that goes with Unit 1, which is really an overview of the whole topic of physics. As they colored, I read to them each of the 3 lessons in Unit 1, asked the Review It questions, and then did the Hands-on portion. I worked with my 3 older children...grades 2, 3, 4.

What do I like about it?
I love that it is a christian book. I love how it talks about our Perfect Creator, who is a God of order and purpose. To quote the first couple sentences from lesson 1, "When we study science we get to know more about God and appreciate His power and greatness. Since God created the whole universe, any science is really learning more about the things God created." I love how it is really easily understandable. My kids were interested and I could keep their attention. It could cover all of the learning styles...visual as it has pictures interspersed, as well as them reading it themselves as opposed to me reading it to them, auditory it could be read aloud from a parent as I did or the student could read it aloud to themselves and kinesthetic with the hands-on activities. As we did the first unit I was excited to keep going and (re)learn about the exciting world of physics...but then again I love science!

If you want to read other TOS reviews on this product or other homeschool products go to TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer---I received this curriculum for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers


Home of the best worksheets and printable activities on the web



I was given the opportunity to review KB Teachers. It is a website that gives you access to lots and lots of printable worksheets for grades K-8 and maybe preschool. It has math, language arts, science, social studies and seasonal sections, as well as, other miscellaneous sections. With the math section you can generate math fact or money worksheets specifically designed for what they are working on or needing review in. There are alphabet worksheets for the preschooler and kindergartener, as well as, grammar worksheets for the older grades. You can get a 10 day trial period to check it out for yourself. It cost $29 for 1 year and $49 for 2 years, which I think is reasonable since you can use it for such a wide range of ages. KB Teachers also offers a 30 day money back guarantee. Anyone can have free access to the website with some free worksheets and areas, but to get the full access and worksheets without the watermark you need the premium membership.

What I really liked about it was the worksheet generators. I perused all the sections and their seemed to be an unlimited amount of options. They even say… “If we don't have it, we'll create it - or help you find it”. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to do worksheets for everyday or for review…or just for fun themes or unit studies.

Benefits of KB Teacher, taken directly from the website, so I didn’t get it wrong…

{ For Parents, Teachers and Educators
* One click worksheet generators and alphabet factory
* Create an unlimited number of engaging printable activities - For all ages and grade levels
* No watermarks and unlimited access
* Exclusive
graphics and clipart - Decorate your websites, Blogs, activity sheets etc...
* Diverse educational resources - From simple ABC worksheets, to 20 pages exams
* Intuitive activities online or off - At home, at school or in study hall
Free 24/7 Support - If we don't have it, we'll create it - or help you find it
* Answer Keys - Proofed and checked quality materials you can trust
* Updated regularly - New features and member created content added every week
* Nothing to download, instant access - From any internet connection

Access content based on standards set by the following organizations
NCTE National Council of Teachers of English
NCSS National Council for the Social Studies
NSTA National Science Teachers' Association
NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
ISTE International Society for Technology in Education

As a KBTeacher you will
* Join an online community that shares knowledge and makes learning fun
* Increase technology awareness
* Encourage collaboration
* Engage students in learning
* Diversify educational materials
* Structure activities online or off
* Combine traditional and progressive teaching techniques }

If you want to read more reviews on this product or other homeschool products go to TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer---I received this subscription for free for my honest review.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Corps of Re-Discovery

I was given a cornhusk doll to review from Corps of Re-Discovery.


Here she is…isn’t she cute! These dolls, learned by Iroquis indians, gave colony and pioneer children something to play with that was made out of the limited materials that they had. It is a kit that gives you everything you need to make it, except a needle and thread. Each doll is $4.50...originally $6.50, so apparently they are on sale right now.  It was relatively easy to put together. It, of course, came with instructions on how to assemble the doll that were mostly easy to understand. I am a visual person so it took me a little reading, re-reading and looking at the little hand-drawn pictures to get it right, as the pictures were not necessarily next to the steps. I am not sure what age group this is for as far as doing it themselves, but with a good amount of adult help and supervision it could be for ages 7 and up.                             

Here is the boy version…


Corps of Re-Discovery has many kits that would be fun for any child to play with. I look forward to getting some more items for my kids, since we are studying American History this year. I think the boys will be interested in the coon hats...Davy, Davy Crockett man of the wild frontier!

I would recommend this company and their products if you are looking for inexpensive items to do hands-on projects with your children.

If you want to read other reviews on this product click here. Or you want to see reviews on other homeschool products click here.

Disclaimer---I was given this product for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Collector by

I was given the opportunity to review Book Collector from the larger company If you go to the website, try a free trial and see for yourself what you think of it. I was quite delighted by Book Collector. At first I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but when I downloaded Book Collector, I realized how cool it is. It cost $24.95 for a Standard edition and $49.95 for a Pro edition, we received the Pro edition for this review. You can also purchase a scanner to easily scan the ISBN numbers, which, I think, I will at some point purchase. One of the great features is that when you either manually enter the book titles, authors, ISBN numbers or scan it, it will show the cover of the book a description about the book, as well as, list your books as pictured below.


It was very easy to enter my books and it doesn’t take long to enter them. You can enter them one by one or multiple books at a time. I haven’t entered all my books yet, but I think that when I do it will be awesome to be able to print out the list or go to my file and see whether I have a particular book or not. For an added $9.99 you can get an app for an iTouch or an iPhone, I don’t personally have either of these, but you can look at your file on it also, which is especially handy when you are at a bookstore or wherever. It is a great benefit to those who have a large library of books or intend too:) Book Collector works with Windows or Mac. not only has the Book Collector, but also Music, Photo, Movie, Comic, Game, and MP3, though you do need to buy either the Standard or Pro edition for each of these. I also noticed that you can link any audio books or e-books that you may have. By linking them to your Book Collector you can listen to or read them right from Book Collector. I just linked a whole bunch of my e-books and it worked great…though I will admit it took me a few attempts to figure out how to open the link. There is a little symbol that looks similar to the this one with a little arrow that goes up the middle of the circleimage click it and it should open the file. 

Are you wondering what the difference between the Standard and the Pro edition is?

Book Collector Standard vs Pro feature comparison
Standard $29.95                                  Pro $49.95
They both have these features…
Catalog your book collection by typing ISBNs, author & title or by scanning ISBN barcodes.

Full access to the online book database for downloading book data and cover images.

Full support for CueCat, Opticon C37 and Opticon OPN-2001 barcode scanners.

Automatically catalog eBook and Audio Book files by scanning your hard-disk.

Add and Edit Books, then browse, sort and group your books in List or Image View.

Use the Quick Search box to find books in your database.

Print book lists, with any column selection or sort order.

Add multiple books in batch using the Queue Mode of the Add Books Automatically screen.

Modify your book entries in batch, using the Edit Multiple Books feature.

Only the Pro edition has these features…
Export data to the CLZ Books mobile apps (for iPhone).

Publish your data to your Book Collector Connect account.

Integrated Loan Manager: keep track of who borrowed your books.

Graphical Statistics of your data.

Filter screen : create advanced search filters, using AND, OR and brackets, and save them.

Save your own field sets for Columns and Sort Order.

Choose your own Folder fields for the folders in the tree panel.

Extra User Defined Fields, plus rename any other field to your own liking.

Print Customized Lists and Details Pages using XSL Templates.

Export book lists and detail pages in HTML format, for uploading to your own website.

Export book data to XML and Text (CSV) formats (for use in Excel and other software).

I would recommend this to anyone who has a larger than normal library of books. I often browse used bookstores or thrift stores for books, especially for my children to read now or in future years. I have on more occasions than I care to admit, wondered if we already had the book…so I love the idea that I could potentially print a list (or you could use the mobile app) to see whether I already have the book.

Disclaimer---I received this product for free from the vendor in exchange for my honest review.