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Friday, May 31, 2013

Nothing New

I thought I would report to you that there is nothing new going on here.

We are still trying to sell our house.

My house is still clean most of the time.  (It really is sort of a wonderful thing.)

We have had 28 showings.

We have had 0 second showings.

The feedback we have gotten is that our backyard and kitchen are beautiful, but the house is too small.  (I can't really fault those reasons, since that is pretty much how I feel about the house too.  Although, I thought that the reason I felt it was small was because there are 8 of us living here....I figured a "normal" sized family wouldn't think it was small!)

We are finishing up our school year.  Everyone except A-girl is done for the year.

I can't do any planning for next year because all of my school stuff is packed away to make it look like a homeschooling family with 6 kids doesn't live here.

Since my house is always about 15 minutes away from being clean, I don't have a lot to do around here.  (Sort of a crazy feeling that I could really have company over at the drop of a hat....and they could visit every level of our house and I wouldn't have to be mortified...not even once!)

I have banned the children from eating or snacking in areas of the house that are carpeted.  They are miserable and whiny.

I have learned that I really like having my bed made....something Rainman and I never, ever used to do. (Aren't you proud of me, Mom?)

I am sort of stuck in limbo physically and mentally.  Not enjoying that at all.

I am trying to have faith in God's timing as we have found a house we really love and our contingent offer has been accepted....but nothing can happen for us....or the other home owners, until our house sells. 

I lay this at God's feet about 10-12 times a day.  Why so many times?  Because I keep picking it back up and walking away with it to worry, back it goes with my apologies to Him.

If you are the praying sort, please pray for our whole housing situation and that we will be financially ready and mentally ready when everything falls into place.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


This is a review of

Doesn't a Simplified Pantry sound nice?

How about a Simplified Dinner?

I am living a somewhat more simplified life these days.

Well, sort of. 

I mean, about half of our "stuff" is packed away so we can pretend that a homeschooling family of eight doesn't actually live here....thus, making our home much more marketable to a new family who may want to live here!

So, yes, my life is a little simpler.  I can pick up and clean the house more quickly.

But, in some ways it is a little more complicated.  We usually buy quite a bit in bulk, from toilet paper to carrots, but pretending we don't really live here sort of puts the kibosh on buying that 50 pound bag of potatoes and having it take up residence partly inside the pantry and partly on the kitchen floor.

So, anything that might help simplify things and still get my family fed, sounded great.

We got a chance to try three products by Mystie Winkler.

Simplified Dinner - Gluten Free

Paperless Home Organization

And, the one I opted to try out.... Simplified Dinner option. 

I was intrigued by the concept of paperless home organization....but it scared me more, I like my hand held, physical sheets of paper with lists on them, you, I opted for food instead.  Emoji

(See?  Doesn't it just send chills of fear down your spine?  No?  That is just me?  Oh....nevermind.)

Okay, so you are probably thinking....."whoo hoo....another cookbook to clutter up my space and I will maybe use 1 or 2 of the recipes in it."

But, you would be wrong.

This is where I may fail a bit in trying to explain to you just why I liked Simplified Dinners so much.  But, I will try.

It isn't just the recipes (which everything I tried was good). It isn't that the recipes are earth shattering or new and exciting (because a lot of them were things I had at least heard of before).  The thing that I liked the most about Simplified Dinner is......the way it is formatted.

I know that sounds weird and it is why I can't really explain it to you.

In addition to agreeing with Ms. Winckler's reasons for simplifying everything from what she keeps in her pantry, to her recipes....and even the thinking part of cooking, she organizes things the way I like them organized.

I mean, in the first part of the book, she is talking about how she really simplified and starting cooking with few ingredients and she found that it brought her freedom.  Which is exactly the opposite of what we have been told.  She talked about the overwhelming amount of choices at a grocery store and with her simplified approach, she could peacefully walk past 90% of the stores offerings because "that is not part of the plan."

I do get overwhelmed with too many choices.  I had a love/hate relationship with Perkins back in the day.....because while I loved their food and have a lot of great memories sitting there and chatting with friends....their menu had too many choices.  It stressed me out.  So, I would end up ordering the same thing....every time.

So, I get it.  Simplifying and limiting yourself can be freeing.

Okay, so I want to make it clear that Ms. Winckler isn't advising you to cook the same 10 meals in rotation either.  She has a lot of options and variations on her menu items.  She also has more ideas and recipes that she shares on her blog

So, for how the book is laid out, each page has a basic way to make something....say a crockpot meal.  So, there will be steps 1 through 4 on the basics of putting together this meal.  Then underneath,  in little box thingies, there are the specifics for the different meals.  So, if you want to do the sweet and sour pork, you skip step 1 and follow the specific instructions for steps 2-3.

All the recipes are like this....same basic step by step the top....then, recipe specific ones down below.  They are not page long recipes.  They aren't even half a page long.  They are little boxes a little big larger than a mailing label long.  Simple.  Easy.  Do-able.

This was the part of the formatting that I really liked.

The more I have been reading about genetically modified foods and the whole farming industry, the more I really want to go back to eating simply.  I want to get away from relying so much on processed foods to quickly feed my family....but don't want to stay in the kitchen for longer than I already do either.

These recipes were good.  They had normal people ingredients.  The process was simple.  There is variety so you don't get bored.

So, I am not sure if I was able to convey the beauty of Mystie Winckler's  Simplified Dinners, but I hope so.  For me, where I am right now, it was just what I needed to get us through this transitional phase of our lives....but, I have come to like it so probably won't just be used in transition.

In this case, don't just take my word for it, you can look at these sample pages from her Simplified Dinner or the gluten free version.

You don't get glossy pictures of the recipes, in this book, but that is fine by me.  If it means I can get the ebook for just $12.99, then I am totally fine with no shiny pictures!  But, I actually get to share a coupon code with you, so you can try the books out and get 30% off.  Just enter TOS2013 at checkout!  But it is only good through June 3rd, so go ahead and jump on the Simplified Dinner bandwagon.  I did.

Other TOS Reviewers were not afraid to try the Paperless Home Organization and had reason to try the Gluten Free Simplified Dinner options.  Go see what they had to say.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One More Birthday Post.....

This time it isn't one of ours though.

S-girl has a friend whose birthday was also in April and she got invited to the party.  She was very excited.  We ended up with a house showing, so I took the rest of the kids over to my friend's house and S-girl and I went all alone to the party.

Yes, just the two of us.  It was a strange and beautiful thing to dedicate all my time and attention to just one little human being.

We had fun.

Can't remember if I told you...but she lost one of her front teeth!

They had this huge bouncy pillow thingie....lots of fun....but hot feet.

At the end of the party, all the little girls got to pick their own pint of strawberries.

She had a blast. 

I had fun just walking from activity to activity with her....just holding hands.  Just she and I.  We were even a little separate from the other kids and moms at the party sometimes.  I felt sort of bad....but  I was having a such a good time just paying attention to S-girl that I decided I didn't care if people thought we were the weird homeschool family, you know?

She didn't have to give up her spot for a more depending or in need sibling.....which she has to do a lot and she is so laid back and kind hearted that she almost always gives up her spot easily.   I think we both liked having time just for each other.

I love you S-girl!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Learning In Spite of Labels

This is a review.

Do you think it is possible? 

Can you learn in spite of the labels you have been given...either by yourself....or others?

Author, Joyce Herzog, tackles this issue and gives real-life tips to make it possible, in her book Learning In Spite of Labels.

I will be honest, when I received this book, I was surprised that the book was really intended to be used with special education or learning disabled learners....somehow, in my researching this book, that little fact escaped me.  Emoji

 But, Joyce Herzog explains that we are all learning disabled in some way or another.

For example, I am disabled in my learning of algebra and gardening without killing everything, and,  Rainman is learning disabled in the art of fixing little girls hair and music.

I really enjoyed this book even though none of my children are learning disabled in the traditional sense of that terminology.

I mean, I took 4 pages of notes as I read this book....and I honestly don't have any kids that would traditionally be considered learning disabled.

If you have a child who you have been told has some sort of learning disability this book is for you.

If you have a child......this book is for you.


I found so many little gems of ideas in this book.  Some common sense.  Like, only have as many rules as you are willing to enforce.  Or, stop if it isn't working.  Genius, right?

Some just plain creative.  Put smiley faces on the inside arch of shoes....if shoes are on the correct feet, the smiley faces will kiss each other.  Or, putting a green dot in the left margin of a piece of paper and a red dot in the right means that is the side of the paper you start on.

Ms. Herzog has experience and numerous degrees under her belt, but talks like a regular person.....who loves kids and wants them to succeed beyond their wildest imagination.

We all want the best for our kids and she gives us real, easy to follow examples for helping them on the road to success academically and, really just in plain, old, life. 

Who knew that I was a "love 'em and shove 'em" parent?  I didn't.  But, I am and Ms. Herzog explains why it is a good thing. 

In general, I think Ms. Herzog makes teaching your learning challenged child - doable.  She takes things in small steps that starts with simply loving them.  What is the first subject to teach them about?  God.  The rest will come.  Plain and simple.

Again, even though none of my kids have traditional learning disabilities, I took a lot of notes and got a lot of ideas and goals.  Like, from her Twenty-Five Teaching Techniques That Work - #22 - I will stop thinking grade levels and grades and begin to think in terms of learning and progress.  I fall into this trap too often with my kids.  I need to let them master a subject.  Period.  The move on, irregardless of where we are in the school year.

I loved the whole Teeny Tiny Tip section, which is just general living life ideas so you can have less drama in your day.

I loved Chapter 11 - which is titled:  A Person, Not A Problem!  I can't even fully explain why this chapter touched me.  Just the switch in perspective it showed me...and I don't usually think of my children as a "problem".  (It really made me think about all those aborted babies that people think of as a problem...not a person.)

She has chapters on the law, learning styles in addition to the information I have already mentioned.  Chapter 14 has mini-biographies on people in history who struggled with various learning problems.  People like:

Michael Faraday
Thomas Edison
Helen Keller
Ben Carson
Chris Burke
Chuck Yeager

(The links are to a Wikipedia page, in case you aren't familiar with who they are and perhaps, with what area/areas they struggled.)

She has a section on ADD/ADHD and I agreed with most of her opinions.  She also has a section about what is considered "normal" in child development.

Like I said, I found lots of stuff I could use with my kids. Lots of stuff.  I highly recommend this book if you homeschool.  I also highly recommend this book if you don't homeschool and your child has been labeled as having some sort of learning disability.

I loved this book.  It really was filled with practical teaching tips and a Christian perspective of the subtitle said.  If I haven't convinced you yet, go download a free sample portion of the book. 

You can get a copy of Learning In Spite of Labels for $15.00

Joyce Herzog has a ton of other offers available on her website and the TOS crew got a chance to choose which of her books they wanted to review.  Go take a look and see what they thought


Monday, May 20, 2013

Science, Naturally....

This is a review of a fun little book called, One Minute Mysteries:  65 More Short Mysteries That You Solve With Science!

It is from a company called, Science Naturally.

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One of their tag lines on their website is "Bridging the gap between the blackboard and the blacktop".  I love that, because it is so necessary not to just teach your kids book smarts, but street smarts too.

The book we got to review, 65 More Short Mysteries That You Solve With Science! , is actually the sequel to 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Science!  Both books were written by the father-daughter team of Eric and Natalie Yoder.

Apparently there are a lot of scientific mysteries floating around the world!

Okay, so what is this book?

They are little short stories...and, by short stories, I mean 1-2 page stories that have a little "mystery" that can be solved using basic science knowledge.  Sometimes the "mystery" was so basic, we didn't really think that it could be the answer to the problem....but it was.  Once we sort of got the swing of it, we had a lot of fun.

The book is intended for about ages 8-12, but, we used this as bedtime reading.....for everyone.  Even D-man would join us once in a while!  We would pile into my bed and I would read aloud the story.  It took us a few stories to figure out exactly where we should stop and do our sleuthing, but we figured it out.

The book sat on my bedside table until one just......disappeared. 

It was another mystery to be solved.  Dun, dun, duuuuuuh!!

Actually, A-man took it....apparently my reading 3 or 4 a night wasn't enough for him, so he took it to his bedroom to read some more.  The only problem was when we went back to read the stories to the other kids, he would already know the answer...and sometimes he couldn't stop himself from blurting them out....which sort of ruined everyone's fun.

These stories are short and sweet, so plan on reading more than one in a sitting.  Every single time, I would be faced with a chorus of "just one more". 

Was it a little tactic to stall bedtime? 




But, it that horrible that they go to bed 10 or 15 minutes later because their mom is reading to them and they are learning a bit more about science?

Nope.  I didn't think so either.

The only thing I might change is for them to put in a STOP sign where you are supposed to start figuring out the answer before you plow ahead and accidentally read the answer.  Like I said, it took me a few stories, but I did figure out to stop at the bottom of the first page, on my own, so I didn't give away the answer before the kids had time to think.  It really wasn't rocket science....but apparently, by bedtime, I am a little slow.

I will admit that I didn't know all the answers to the mysteries, so that made me feel a little dumb...but when I did know the answers, I had the sense that I was really, I guess things evened out.  Emoji

On the Science Naturally website, you can try the "Mystery of the Month" too to just sort of try your hand at what these books are all about.  And, I don't have an iphone, and ipad or any of those fancy schmancy things, but if you do, they have a FREE app based on their 101 Things Everyone Should Know books.

You can get this fun little book for $9.95.  But, if you are interested in a few more books from Science Naturally, they have a coupon code that will give you a discount. 

Just use the code 3SPEC to purchase any 3 books on the website for $19.95 plus $2.95 shipping. (a $12.90 savings)

They have a few book sets I want to tell you about too.  There is the Smart Kid Set, which has two of the short mystery books and two of the 101 Things That Everyone Should know for $34.95.  The I Love A Mystery set is $24.95 and has the two mysteries you solve with science books and one book that solves mysteries with math.  That one sort of scares me, but maybe I would know more math than I thought????

I really just think these are fun little....(don't really realize that I am learning something)...kind of books.  I mean, if a book is stolen from you by one of your children, I think that is a pretty good indicator that it is a great book!  Perfect for every family....even if you don't homeschool!

Take a look and see what the other TOS reviewers thought of this fun little book. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spanish For You! (and me)

This is a review of Spanish for You!

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For this review, we were able to use the Estaciones - or seasons book and lessons.

A-girl, like all of my kids, has sporadically had foreign language as part of our curriculum here at home. 

Spanish for You! has lessons for grades 3 through 8, so I decided that A-girl would be our guinea pig for this one, since she is in 7th grade and will need foreign language credits when she gets to high school.

Because of our crazy life right now and trying to sell the house, I asked A-girl to be somewhat independent in her studies.

It worked out pretty well.

Spanish for You - Estaciones photo spanishforyou-estaciones_zps3adcc14c.jpg

We got a physical lesson book, but then there is a downloadable component too, which includes worksheets and audio files so you can listen to how things are supposed to sound by native speakers. 

We got everything downloaded that we needed to, I showed A-girl where she could find everything she needed and off she went.

Here are some sample pages from the Estaciones lessons.

Remember, this program can be used by grades 3-8, so, she just started by looking at the lesson plan specifically designed for Grades 7-8 and dove in. 

I love that the lesson plan spells out exactly what to do on which day.  It is designed to be worked on 4 days a week.  But, A-girl usually did 3 days a week and just did the day 4 work on her day 3.

A-girls opinion of this language program was overall pretty positive.  She said that it wasn't as boring as some other language lessons she has done.  She also liked that the "textbook" was so small.  (I think she thought that it was going to be pretty easy because it is such a skinny book.)  The book is small - but let me tell you there is a lot packed onto the pages.  Plus, since you have all the additional audio files and download components, like worksheets, the size of the book is deceiving!

I really liked that the program was organized so well that she could tackle it on her own, without me having to breathe down her back.  The lesson plan really lays it all out, so there really isn't a question of what to do next...or a question of whether you are doing this right....or not.

I remember sometimes all I did in Spanish class was conjugate verbs.  Spanish for You! covers that, but, you don't spend the whole time conjugating!

Available through their website are lots of games and activities to use along with the lessons too! Much more fun than 30 minutes conjugating verbs, right?   They even have free worksheets that you can access through their site, even if you aren't using their program.

I like that it is theme based on not knowledge based, if you know what I mean.  Instead of trying to figure out if your child is a beginner, or at intermediate level, you can pick something you are interested in and learn the Spanish words around that your desired grade level.  We picked Estaciones (seasons) just because Rainman is a weatherman!

The tag line on the book is - Learn Spanish in a simple, effective, and affordable way! 

This is a simple way to learn Spanish. 

It seems to be an effective way to learn Spanish, but.....

......that last one - affordable - is key for many homeschoolers because most often, we are on a very limited budget.  There are great curriculums out there for everything, including Spanish....but some of them also cost an arm and a leg.  Spanish for You!  doesn't.

You can get the Estaciones package for the individual grade levels for  $39.95.  If you want a package that covers all the grade levels and has everything you need, that is $64.95.

The TOS Reviewers got to try some of Spanish for You!'s other offerings.  Go take a look at what they thought of this affordable way to learn Spanish.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Papa's Pearls

This is a review of a book by Diane Flynn Keith, called Papa's Pearls.

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This is a wonderful, little gem of a book.

The subtitle is - A Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren.

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What I took away from this book is that we should all write one of these books about our parents.

I am fairly sure that Diane's "Papa" didn't know he was giving her the inspiration or catch phrases for a book she would one day write about him.  He was just being himself.  He was just sharing what he truly believed. 

This book is really sort of a love letter from Diane to her dad....her Papa.

But, I know if that is what I say it is, I will be limiting the people that continue reading this review...and also those that would consider purchasing the book to read it.  And, if I did that, it would be a shame.

Because......this book is inspirational.  It is thought inducing.  It made me want to be a better mom.  It made me want to be awakened every morning with a backrub.  (Read the book and you will get that last one....because, seriously....that is how I want to be woken up!)

Papa's Pearls gave me ideas of ways to handle things with the kids....and sometimes, even confirmed that somethings I am already doing or saying were good things.

In many ways, Papa reminded me of my dad.  That sort of no nonsense, do what needs to be done, kind of true man.

Papa would say to his children, "You know that I love you, right?"

I feel like I could turn this review into a long list of quotes from Papa.  Some really are just common sense, but since there doesn't seem to be a lot of that in the world anymore....somehow the sentiments seem more earth shattering than they should.

But, I don't want to give you the quotes without giving you Diane's stories behind them.  They make them real.  They make them personal.  They usually awakened a story or two in me of something my mom or dad did. 

But, most of all, it inspired me to make sure that my kids know I love them, that I have their back, and, that sometimes it is okay to walk away from things.

I actually used Papa's "You know I love you, right?" phrase recently after A-girl and I had a disagreement about some clothing choices she wanted to make.  She was not happy with me.  She really didn't agree with what I said, and sort of huffed out of the room angry with me.  When she got to the door, I stopped her and said, "You know I love you, right?"  She said a sort of mumbled, "Yeah".  But, she got it.  Papa helped remind me how important those words are...especially when you get into tense situations with your kids.

Portions of this book really did remind me of my dad.  My dad always talked about "trigger words" and the power of words.  He always encouraged us to speak positive things about ourselves and our situation (even if that wasn't necessarily what we were feeling at the time).  He said the positive words would sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy for us.

Papa was like that too.  He was "fantastic".....even when maybe he wasn't.

He would just "Doodle-lee do it!"

I highly, highly, highly recommend this book.  I really sort of recommend it for anyone - whether you are raising kids now and need some ideas.  Whether you have already raised your kids and want to walk down memory lane a bit - or even get some ideas on parenting your grown children....or ideas on grandparenting.  Or even if you don't even have kids yet....that might be the best audience yet to be inspired by Papa. 

Or maybe reading this book will inspire you to write down some stories from someone in your family to pass along their wisdom to another generation!

It really is a great book.  It is only about 100 pages of easy reading stories about Papa, his choices and life lessons about parenthood and even being a good spouse. 

You can get a copy directly from the author (autographed) for $21.97 - which includes shipping and handling, or, you can get it through Amazon for a little less.

Diane Flynn Keith has other websites that you may want to check out, in addition to Papa's Pearls.  Here are a few of my favorites: - is just what it sounds like. - Check out her article entitled "Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd - And Yours Will be Too"  I especially like this thought from that article - Speaking about homeschooled children......They haven't been conditioned to be passive and compliant or dependent on others to tell them what to do or how to spend their time. They are not powerless. They have the choice to remove themselves from bad situations or people and change the curriculum when it's not relevant, interesting, useful, or meaningful.

Take a look at what the other TOS Reviewers thought about Papa's Pearls.

Monday, May 6, 2013

April Birthdays - Part 3

Okay, let's finally finish off April, shall we?

L-girl turned 11 this year!

Just rolled out of bed for this one!
Our birthday tradition used to be that the whole family went out to a restaurant of the birthday person's choice.  But a few years ago, when I stopped working, that became a luxury.  So a new tradition of just the birthday person and a parent getting to go out was born.  I actually like our new tradition better (even though I will admit that I am not picked very often among the children...oh, well).
But, L-girl picked me and she chose a new place that we hadn't been, but had heard great things about called Cheddar's.  On the way, I pretended to get a little mixed up in my driving and get lost.  I pulled into a parking lot and said, something like, "Hang on a sec..I have to think for a minute about where we are...."  Then, I turned the car off, turned to her and said, "Do you want to get your ears pierced?"
She did.  Ear piercing is something that I have a "you must be 11" for, so we had talked about it, but were planning to have Grandma do that as her gift when she came to visit.  But, then Grandma's plans changed and we didn't know when she was coming.  I knew L-girl was bummed because A-girl had ended up getting hers pierced a little before her 11th birthday to coincide with Grandma's visit.
L-girl being in the middle has to make a lot of compromises and adjustments to her life because she is from a large

We had a great lunch together.  Just chatting and thinking and making imaginary plans for our new house.
We went home and had her cake...she picked this flavor....
It was yummy.  Sweet and tangy.

S-girl took a page from D-man's book and gave her a "gift of herself" kind of present.
It was a good day....just ask our little photo bomber!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Home School In The Woods-Composers

This is a review for Home School in the Woods.

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Every spring, I sit down make a list of what I thought went well in our school year. I also use that time to make a list of topics or subjects that we didn't cover or something I want to cover in the next year.

For the last 2 years, orchestras and classical music has been on my list.

Yes, 2 years.  I know. 

I was reading something and it talked about the woodwinds section....and the brass section....and the percussion section and I thought, "Oh no.....I haven't taught my kids that!  I better do that next year!"  And then, next year comes around and it somehow falls off the to speak.....

But, this year we got to try a product from Home School in the Woods.  (For the record, I love the name of that company.  It sort of brings to mind what I want for my in the woods.  I used to love to take my freshly checked out library book out into the woods and find a comfy place to sit down and read.  I would look up and around long enough to enjoy the birds and squirrels and just soak in the beauty too.)

Anyway,  this company specializes in hands on history and timeline lessons.  They have lessons from the Great Empires, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression, and,what we got to use, Composers.

The Composers lessons are something called an Activity Pak (or a Lap Book) and is designed to be hands on.

Ours didn't look as pretty as that when it was done...partly because A-man is not big on coloring and partly because I had packed up all of our "non-essential" supplies to get the house ready to sell.  Which included our file folders.  So, we improvised, as any good homeschooler would do, and used cereal boxes....not as pretty, but just as effective in the long run.

Here is the start of his Collection of Composers and his facts about Leonard Bernstein, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Ludvig von Beethoven.

Underneath each picture, A-man researched the composers and wrote some basic facts about is what he had to say about Leonard Bernstein.  This was probably his favorite project from the Activity Pak options.

My favorite part was that this Activity Pak included audio files, so we could play snippets of some of their more famous pieces.  I didn't have to go try and find them somewhere on-line on my own or dig out my old CD's of what I played at my was right there in an audio file on my computer.

I will say that A-man did not exactly follow the exact directions for his lap book.  He took the basic premise, asked A-girl to help him and off they went.  They jumped in where they wanted to....with the composers.....I showed them how to access the audio files on the computer and gave them some suggestions for finding out about the different composers and they were off.

Not exactly picture perfect like the example shown above from Home  School in the Woods.  But, he knows a lot more about classical music and even modern day composers than he did when he started.  So, I am happy.

There are 6 official acitivities (plus 2 bonus ones) included in this Activity Pak and A-man and A-girl only scratched the surface so far. 

This is a really fun, hands-on way, to get to learn about new things.  Next time, I will probably supervise a little more closely so he adheres to the directions....and even where to start.  But, again, he is actually learning stuff and asking questions when he hears classical music now.

We didn't get around to working on the orchestra material in great detail....but I have it all now, so it is ready for us, when I can find my file folders again, right?  I am intrigued by the different orchestra seating there was for the different time periods and types of music.

When their Activity Pak is completed, it will have sections on Music Appreciation, Music Vocabulary, Pieces with Purpose and all your information on the Composers.  It is actually pretty detailed stuff.

The Composers Activity Pak is designed for grades 3 through 8  and costs $18.95 or $19.95 depending on whether you want the downloadable version or the CD version.  The audio files do make the download version pretty big, so if that is a concern for you, you probably want to go ahead and get the CD version.

Home School in the Woods let the TOS Review Crew try different acitivty paks....and, believe me, a lot of theirs are pretty like the example (not like A-man's cereal box interpretation!)


or.... go take a look and see that they thought of Home School in the Woods.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Birthday Part 2

Yup, I is May now.  It has been busy around here with the house and everything.

But, here is a belated look at our 2nd birthday in April!

A-girl is officially a teenager!  Sniff....sniff....

Poor girl has allergies this time of year.

You can see just past her plate that S-girl's cake has not yet been consumed by us...since their birthdays are only 4 days apart.  Also, on a side note...take a look at my counters...even though A-girl is blocking a good bit of look at them when we are trying to sell the house...

Actually, I even remove the coffee pot for showings!

Anyway, back to A-girl!

She adores these guys.....

and these guys.....

So, what is a mom to do?  This.....

First let me explain a bit...not all of my cake exited the pan I ended up with a stage for the boys....putting on a special show for purple A-girl.  Definitely not my prettiest cake.....but A-girl loved it.  The only boy with a mouth is her favorite....can you guess who he is?  Or which one is Harry?

She really loved it....and actually took the boys off of her cake and they are still sitting on her dresser.  A little gross?  Yes.  But, I take it as a compliment!

Our resident photo-bomber was in fine form that day.....again....

She wrapped her gift for her sister herself....can you tell what it is?  She used a pull-up....a new one, of course.

D-man gave his usual cheap, teenager gift....

L-girl gave her a really funny gift, but I don't have a good picture of it handy....I will see if I can find it and show you later.

But, a good time was had by all on April Birthday, Part 2.