Pages That Might or Might Not Be of Interest to You!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Okay, so I have been super bad at drawing winners to the give aways on my blog.  Bad blogger, bad blogger!

But, I have drawn the names of the winners for The Shunning and Jeremy Riddle's CD

and they are...

The Shunning DVD...KyAnn


Jeremy Riddle CD...Karen

I will notify both of you by email to get your information. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers Timberdoodle Review

I was really excited when Timberdoodle asked me to review A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers.  We really love music and have it going almost all the time.  We listen to all kinds of music from classical to pop to country.  I really do mean that we listen to all kinds of music!  So when I was given the chance to get some history added in to our listening pleasure, well can it get any better than that?

A few years ago I taught a class on music history and this curriculum would have saved me so much time.  I would have had all the resources and information at my fingertips rather than chasing it all down on my own.  If only I had known...

But anyway.  Now I know that Timberdoodle has an amazing study on composers I will be telling everyone about it.  It is amazing!  There is so much included in this curriculum that I'm not sure you can get all the information the first time through.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that you could do it several times and pull more out of it each time. 

This is one of those studies that falls into the Classical method and can be used for several levels of learning, so if you have multiple kids in multiple grades you can still use this curriculum to its full benefit.  I love it when a curriculum helps me in my homeschooling efforts.  :-)

Let's get down to what is in The Young Scholar's Guide to Composers.  First of all there is a letter to the Teacher.  Don't skip this letter!  There is very useful information in there that will make you life a little easier while teaching this material.  Next up is the Introduction.  This is a "must read" section as well.  The how's and why's are addressed in this section as well as a way to schedule your week.  If you are like me, then having this schedule listed out will be uber helpful.  I am so appreciative when a curriculum writer gives me some help with scheduling-not that it has to be done that way, but a place to start is helpful.  There are many more helpful suggestions in the Introduction, so don't skip this part either.  ;-)

Another section I just loved was the Student Introduction.  It is written to the students and will help them start to get a grasp on what they will be learning and why.  I think when  curriculum writes an introduction to the student like this, they already have a leg up on the competition.  Students want to be talked to not talked "down to" and this introduction definitely assumes the student is serious about learning.

This program includes:
  • 32 Weekly Lessons
  • 26 Bios of Famous Composers
  • 6 Eras of Music Explained
  • Easy-to-Use Comparative Timeline
  • Easy-to-Use Maps
  • Composer Info-Cards & Game Directions
  • Note-taking Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Answer Keys
  • Listening Suggestions
  • Intricate Coloring Pages
  • Resource Books

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?  Well, it is! 

Now, this study is geared for 4th-8th grades but it is easily adaptable for older and younger grades with very little extra prep work.  It sells for $31.50 on the Timberdoodle website.  But you can also get it at the Bright Ideas Press website.  This is a whopping 298 pages of material set up and ready to use.

Even if you don't have music lovers in your house like we do, this study will be useful and enjoyable as a means of studying music and its Creator.  I highly recommend this study of composers. 

If you want to check it out for yourself, head on over to the Timberdoodle website or the Bright Ideas Press website and read more about it.  While you are surfing the web checking out this awesome study, don't forget to check out the Music for Homeschoolers page at Timberdoodle and to ask for a FREE catalog!!

The coloring pages are wonderful!  They give just that little bit of extra to the studies and really bring the lives of the composers into focus.  They help to make it "real." 


As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers in exchange for a frank and unbiased review

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And that's why...

Monday we took our 6yo to the allergist.  It wasn't my first choice but she has been fighting with a cough since December.  She had the virus we all had but hers triggered an asthmatic response that wouldn't go away no matter how we treated it.  She has coughed constantly for the last nine months and we were all tired of it. 

So, our family doc sent us off to the allergist to get checked out.  They did some breathing tests and then did skin testing.  I wasn't too hip on the skin testing because this child has never had any allergy symptoms before so I thought it was a waste of time and money.  (and we don't have a lot of money after the last medical outgoings)

But, we let them do it in hopes of finding out how to help our Bean.  When they started drawing the grid on her back,, I knew we were in for it.  Her skin is so fair that the marker caused red welts.  Then they started the tests.  They were testing for 38 allergens.  I am not even kidding.  So, I had to hold my baby girl while she cried so they could stick her 38 times. 

So not cool.  She was so brave and didn't even move.  She just laid there and cried quietly.  Half-way through she asked for a break but then let them finish and and  just cried softly.  It was heart breaking.

Not too long after they were finished her back looked awful.  The nurses were clicking their tongues and saying that she was reacting to all them wildly.  ALL OF THEM.

Seriously?  Oh please.  When they finally started 'reading' the test they were saying that she was highly allergic to all 38 things they tested for.  Whatever.  The totally lost me right then and there.  I didn't believe another word they said. 

They ended up saying that she was allergic to the dog and grass and trees.  Um, hello!  We have always had a dog and she has never exhibited ANY symptoms of being allergic to her.  The dog even sleeps with her sometimes.  NO reaction.  This child also regularly rolls around in the grass and climbs trees of every kind-NO reaction.  Ever.  So how can she be so highly allergic to all these things?

They couldn't answer my questions.  But they wanted us to set her up with shots.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I have to admit that some not so nice things went through my head and Steven had to talk me back from the ledge by this point. 

No, we aren't going to do shots for our healthy child.  Thank you very much.  We left with some inhalers, prescriptions, and a whole lot of confusion.  I immediately called our family doctor and set up an appt to talk about everything.

Short story-don't worry about the so-called allergies.  If she isn't exhibiting any symptoms, don't treat it.  We are however treating the asthma.  Yes, she has a mild obstruction in her airways but nothing big.  She has an inhaler to use every day and one for emergencies(which we don't think will ever happen).  We don't have to go back to the allergist, which is a good thing because I wasn't going to anyway!  We will watch her and re-evaluate in a few months to see how her cough is doing.  If it is better we will taper the meds off to try and eventually stop them altogether.

I am completely comfortable with our family docs determination and am so glad we checked with him before deciding on anything. 

Now the rest of the week can just slow down and go back to normal.  Actually, not normal...I want downright boring!!  ;-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

TOS Review Aletheia Magazine

When you have a teen that loves to write or draw it can be hard to find an outlet for them to use their talents.  There aren't many opportunities for our children to get published or have their writing read by others.  That experience can be invaluable if your teen is serious about writing.  Finding a trusted outlet can be even harder.

Aletheia Logo - Oval border

Aletheia Magazine could be just that outlet for your teen writer or artist. 

Aletheia Writing Magazine is a quarterly publication focusing on the literary and artistic works of Christian teens, ages 13 to 19*.

We are excited to offer Christian teens a healthy platform in which to express themselves, especially in a culture that so definitively shapes and saturates their worldview with unhealthy imagery and values.

Moreover, we're interested in publishing teen work in a quality manner while preserving its honesty and integrity- we're not interested in dumbing down or overly sanitizing the writing we receive.

But whether teens use their writing to explore the darker realities of life or celebrate the brighter ones, their writing, in the end, must contain hope.

In addition to the literary and artistic expressions of Christian teens, each issue offers a variety of unique features: a Writer's Challenge, the Featured Contributor, a book review, Glory to God for the Beauty of Nature, Ancient Ink, and an interview or other feature for edification and enjoyment.

Check out their FAQ page to find out more about them and to find out how to submit your own work to Aletheia.

What did we think about Aletheia Magazine?

My 13yo daughter really enjoyed it.  She couldn't believe that other teens had their stories published and that it was a possibility for her as well.  She liked the variety of stories and seeing so many different artists represented. 

I thought Aletheia Magazine was very well done and was/am amazed at the opportunity for young people.  It is an appealing layout that is well done.  I really enjoyed seeing the different articles by so many different people/ages.  In the issue we reviewed, there was an interview with a graphic artist that is sure to inspire future artists in their pursuits.  I also enjoyed the Featured Contributor article where a teen is featured and able to tell about themselves.  In this issue there is a great story written by a 15 yo and illustrated by a 17 yo.

Aletheia Spring 2011 Magazine CoverWhere else can talented teens get this kind of experience?  Amazing!

I have to say that another thing that I loved was that the advertisements didn't over-power the rest of the magazine.  They were there but not pages and pages of them.  The real focus of the magazine is the articles, photographs, and drawings. 

Aletheia Magazine is geared toward 13-19 year olds, so if you have a teen that loves to write, draw, or take pictures check out this magazine!  Subscriptions run $26 US and $29 Canada for four issues a year(which of course includes S&H as magazine subscriptions usually do.)

If you want to read what other Crew Members thought of Aletheia, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**I received a copy of Aletheia Magazine through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


These are just a preview of the pictures our fabulous photog friend Kyann Raye took of the girls.  Our family photos are coming soon.  I honestly can't wait!!

Aren't these fabulous?  I think so.  Of course the subjects are beautiful anyway so the pictures couldn't help but be good! ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Catching up with Pics

Well, I have been taking pics on my phone and on the camera but I just haven't taken them off the devices and put them on the computer.  :( 

I seriously need to do that.  Don't tell Steven how behind I am, he doesn't like it when things are falling behind.  ;-)

I did, however, get some of them off of my phone today so you will get to see those!

What a sweet little girl.  Love the cuddles!

Where's Bug?

Lots of giggles...

Where's Bug?

There she is!  We love our blanket!

What a big girl eating her samwich!
Yum, Yum, Yum!

Oh no, look what I can do now....
Oh yeah, nothing is safe now.  ;-)

I'll just stop for a minute and love on my blanket.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TOS Review Tri-Cross

Tri-Cross Logo

Is there a better way to get a family together than sitting and playing a board game?  The laughter and memories are priceless.

But, I have to admit that when I received this newest game I was not imagining the fun, family memories we would make playing it.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to even understand it!  There were a lot of directions and even a CD to watch to teach you how to play the game.

Oh My Word.  To say I was intimidated was the understatement of the year!  I put it aside until I could work my nerve up to try it.

It was actually my 9yo that prompted me to open it up and give it a try. lol  She loves strategy games, I don't.  Not normally anyway. 

We opened the box and talked through the directions together and just started playing.  In a matter of minutes we were in a fierce competition to see who would win!

I'd like to say that I won all of the games, but Peanut is a determined player and fought back to beat me half of the games we played.  :-)  We had a ball and didn't stop playing for quite a while.  Then we started teaching my 6yo how to play and the two of them kept playing while I got to watch.  Priceless!


Tri-Cross is a great game that really is easy to learn.  Don't let the instructions turn you off before you have a chance to play it.  There is a lot of information in the instruction guide, so I suggest you take it in pieces and just start playing.  What's even better is if you discover how to play it as a family, working it out as you go.  You are sure to make memories by doing it that way.

You can buy your own Tri-Cross game at their website for $24.95 for the regular board game.  But, you can also buy a wooden version for $35.95 or the Eco-Edition version for $19.95.  The ages recommended for this game is 10 and up but my 9 and 6yo did just fine with it.  It is set up for 2-4 players.

Tri-Cross Eco Board Game

As well as the regular board game we received to review we were able to review the Eco-Edition as well.  This is a great version with a cloth playing board and a drawstring sack for the pieces.  It is a super convenient way to take this game on the road.

Head on over to the Tri-Cross website and have a look around.  Don't forget to check out the FAQ page and the How to Play pages

Just look at some of the awards Tri-Cross has received:
Dr. Toy Winner - Green Product 2010Mom's Choice Awards 2010 

Go check it out for yourself and introduce your family to what will surely be their new favorite game.

Don't forget to head over to The Crew Blog and see what the other Crew Members thought about Tri-Cross.


** I received Tri-Cross Games for Competitors through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The winner for the Ginny Owens Get in I'm Driving CD is:

I usually find new music at the libraries I frequent. I don't trust iTunes because I don't like a lot of the content they select so at the library I know I can see exactly what I'm getting.

I'd like to win this for my oldest DD for Christmas :D

The winners for the THEO DVD's are:





I will email you to be sure you see that you've won!!  I love giving things away, it makes me feel like Santa Clause.  heehee

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jeremy Riddle CD Review and Give Away!

More music!  Yay!!  Up next for your listening pleasure is the new release from Jeremy Riddle entitled Furious.  Don't freak out, it's not heavy metal with lots of angry screaming in it. lol  It is actually an easy listening album of praise music.

This album was a little harder for us to get into but I can totally see having this album playing in the background while I am doing my Bible study or devotion time.  It is mellow and full of wonderful lyrics about Christ and His love.

Vineyard Worship artist and worship leader Jeremy Riddle has announced the release of his new studio album entitled, Furious.  The album is set for release on September 20 via NewDay Distribution.

Riddle began production on the album nearly a year ago with Dove Award winning producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, David Crowder Band) at the helm. Cash’s contribution forms the backbone of the album which also features production from Bobby Hartry, a long time Riddle collaborator.  The project follows Prepare The Way: Live, an album recorded in front of a live audience in Corpus Christi, Tex., earlier this year from Vineyard.

Riddle describes Furious saying, “It’s hard to come up with words that depict the magnitude of Christ’s love – the depth and width of it. Furious doesn’t work outside of the context of love; we tend to translate the word as angry, but I see it as a super-powerful force; stronger, deeper, broader than our vocabulary can fully describe."

Four years on the road as a touring worship leader eventually took its toll on Jeremy, so in January 2011, the former jr. high youth pastor came on staff as worship community pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. Working under pastors Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy facilitates a worship community of over 200 people within the church.

“My wife (Katie) and I have always had a heart to serve the local church and never wanted to do the full-time travel thing for very long, so it felt like a good time to transition into something different,” Jeremy says. “I’ve developed such an appreciation for the fruit that has been sowed from my life – personally and artistically – by being part of a local community.”

Consequently, several of the tracks on Furious are also featured on Be Lifted High, the most recent album from Bethel Church.

“These songs are a reflection of being part of something bigger than just me,” Jeremy says. “Through some significant growth in understanding and living out humility from a very independent place, I’ve shifted into a place where I can’t even claim this record is completely inspired by me. There are so many elements of the album that could never have flowed from me had I not been connected to people walking out life with me.

If you want to check it out for yourself, head on over to one or all of these websites and hear it for yourself.


**Better than that, if you want to win a copy leave me a comment telling me your favorite praise and worship song and your email.  :)  I will draw a winner on Sept. 25th.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Shunning DVD Review and GIVE AWAY!

My girls have been talking about this movie for a while now.  They saw it when they were at my mother's house and I have been aching to see it.  I guess I got my chance! lol

When we sat down to watch this movie I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was pretty sure to expect some tears but not the frustration I felt.  The tears came because it is a well done story/movie and I cared about the characters.  The frustration came because of the ending.  I won't tell you what happens, you will just have to watch it for yourself.  :-D 

I do recommend this movie, even with my frustration!  It opened up some dialogue with the girls and was eye opening to understand others' beliefs and ways of doing things.  I know this is one that will be pulled out again and again.

If you want to get your hands on a copy of this movie, you are in luck.  I have one to GIVE AWAY!  Yup, that's right.  To enter tell me your favorite author and leave an email addy.  I will draw a winner on Sept. 23rd.

Beverly Lewis' The Shunning - About the Movie

Before she succumbs to cancer, the dying wish of Laura Mayfield-Bennett is to be reunited with the daughter she never knew. Unfortunately, that daughter, Katie Lapp, is a member of the Amish order. Katie is about to be married, but uneasy about the path ahead.  Now she discovers the secret her parents have kept from her: she's adopted.
The film is based on the celebrated first novel of the best-selling "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series from author Beverly Lewis. Stars Danielle Panabaker & Sherry Stringfield.

BEVERLY LEWIS - Author of "The Shunning"

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books.  Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide.  A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Lewis to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with "The Shunning," which has sold more than one million copies.  In 2007, Lewis' "The Brethren" was honored with a Christy Award.

Lewis has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC.  Lewis lives with her husband, David, in Colorado.

Visit her Web site at for more information

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

Friday, September 16, 2011

TOS Review-AIMS Education Earth Book

Science is one of those subjects that you can never have too many resources for.  There are so many available that it's hard to know which one to choose.  AIMS Education Foundation can help with that!  They have many books to offer to use as your core or just as a supplement.


A little about the company:

In 1981, 80 elementary and middle school teachers who shared the dream of giving students a strong hands-on foundation in math and science came together at Fresno Pacific and wrote the first AIMS’ activity books. Teachers loved them! Students learned more, learned in greater depth, and enjoyed learning. The word spread, and soon teachers across the nation were using AIMS to engage their students in hands-on learning.

Today, with pacing guides to follow and testing schedules to meet, teachers have less freedom to take advantage of teachable moments. Yet hands-on experiences are needed more than ever! So AIMS remains dedicated to producing math and science materials that will engage students and build conceptual understanding. 

As a non-profit foundation, we are motivated by a passion for teaching and learning, not by profit. Our home is still on the campus of Fresno Pacific University. We are committed to doing what’s best for students, and we never tire of helping them experience the joy of learning. 

AIMS Education Foundation offers many books in the Math and Science fields to assist teachers and make the subjects more interesting to students.  Each lesson has a page directed to the teacher.  It contains Learning Goals, Materials Needed, a Key Question, and more information to help in teaching the subject.  There is also a Procedure section that walks the teacher through teaching the class step by step.  Then the rest of the lesson is filled with Hands-On activities to back up what has been taught.

PhotobucketThe book we received, Earth Book, is all guessed it.  The Earth!  It is geared for grades 6-9 but I have to say that my 8th grader found some of the activities to be too young for her; they were activities that my 4th grader preferred.  Other than that, this book is filled with some pretty great information and I would definitely use it as a supplement to our current curricula.

Another added benefit of this book is the CD that is included at the back of the book.  On the disc is a copy of the worksheets used in the book so you can just print off however many you need and leave the book in tact.  You gotta love that!

This book sells for $49.95 and is 446 pages long.  It is filled with 48 activities to make the learning stick.  To find out more information about this book head over to this page.  Or, if you would like to find out what other books they offer for Science or Math head over to their Store page and see for yourself just how many they have to offer.

You can also head on over to the Crew blog to check out what books other Crew members received and what they have to say about them. 

Here are a few of the books The Crew reveiwed:


**I received a copy of Earth Book from AIMS through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.