Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD Review and Give-a-way





"Cutting down trees? Hanging stockings? Santa Claus? What do any of these have to do with Jesus' birthday?  More than you'd think! 
Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer along with intrepid newsman Buck Denver and all his friends on an amazing journey into the world's most popular holiday! Sure, you know the Christmas story. But do you know the story of Christmas? Don't miss the whimsical, educational, Christmical party to end all Christmas parties as Buck Denver Asks … Why Do We Call It Christmas?"

Contains the following topics:
-Where do we get the word Christmas?
-When was Jesus born?
-What do Christmas trees have to do with Jesus?
-Who is St. Nicholas?
-What is Hanukkah?
-Who is Emmanuel?
-Luke 2 Story

Official Website: Click here!

My Review:

The kids and I sat down to watch this together.  It had so many great teaching opportunities.  The beginning with the boy in the van had us cracking up.  I had neglected to tell them the story of Saint Nicholas and they really were interested in that and asked me lots of questions.  It made me rethink how we might do our stockings this year too.  The puppets were very entertaining and did keep us interested and laughing.

The Christmas Tree story was very interesting too - I learned several things that I did not know.  This DVD did a great job telling the stories of the traditions behind Christmas.  In my opinion, this is a great way to start off the Christmas season.  I would buy this and watch it early in December and watch it every year to remind us why we do what we do and why we celebrate the way we do.

About Why Do We Call It Christmas: Approx. 60 minutes






Share, Post, Like, Tweet, etc:




I have one to give-a-way!  If you would like to enter just leave your e-mail address.  And you can leave a comment about your favorite Christmas tradition too.

The give-a-way ends on 11/24/14 at 9pm EST.


The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.

I'll email the winner, and then he or she will have 48 hours to reply before another winner is randomly selected.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Paleo Menu Plan - 11.2.14

Back at it folks, I'm making my menus again. 

I try to have green smoothies at least once a day - spinach, carrots, an apple, some frozen fruit of some kind.

Here is this week's menu.  Some are even Whole30 compliant.

Breakfast:

Paleo sausage egg mc"muffin"

Bacon and eggs and green peppers and apples

My fried potatoes, sausage and eggs skillet (It is basically Pioneer Woman's Breakfast Burritos without the cheese and without the tortillas)

Sausage Egg Cups

Paleo Pumpkin Waffles

Lunch:

Lunch is honestly just mostly leftovers from supper or if we fill the grill for the week, we have meat or chicken and then a green smoothie or salad and fruit.

Supper:


Glazed Pork Tenderloin, steamed veggies and baked potatoes

Ultimate Paleo Chili and Paleo johnny cakes

Spicy Sticky Coconut Honey Chicken and stif fry veggies

 Bacon meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes and green beans

Crispy Chicken dippers, homemade fries and spinach salad

Paleo Orange Chicken and stir fry veggies and fried cauliflower rice

Leftover Day

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Well hello

I have been a super lazy blogger right?  I have lots to talk about but I just haven't been talking about it - to the computer anyway.

To catch you up - I have lost 20 lbs. eating Paleo - woot woot.  I will try to talk more about this later.

I'm homeschooling three out of my four kids - aren't I a little crazy?

And I'm also a real estate agent now!!!!!!!!!! 

I have been a tad busy and I'm trying to figure out balance but it is getting slowly better. 

I hope to keep in touch on here more often if anyone is still out there.

I will leave you with a picture of me and the kiddos.  We did it for Light it Up Red on October 15th for dyslexia awareness which you know I'm passionate about!


 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Paleo and some Whole30

Hey I got a new laptop so I thought I would try blogging more regularly again.  Especially since I now do this crazy Paleo thing.  I am posting my menu plan for the week.  I post way more on Instagram so if you want to see that just click the link.

Here is this week's menu.  Some are even Whole30 compliant.

Breakfast:

Eggs, salad and fruit

Paleo sausage egg mc"muffin"

Bacon and eggs and green peppers and apples

Sweet Potato and apple hash with bacon

Lunch:




Lunch is honestly just mostly leftovers from supper or if we fill the grill for the week, we have meat or chicken and then a green smoothie or salad and fruit.

Supper:





Beef and cabbage stir fry

Bunless burgers with sweet potato fries and a spinach salad

Asian meatballs and cauliflower fried "rice"

Cracklin chicken, roasted veggies and fruit salad

Chicken (Leftover from Cracklin Chicken), salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce bowls

Out to Eat

Leftover Day

Menu Plan Monday for the week of July 28/14

  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Money Chore Chart




I decided it was time to start this.  It was fairly easy to do and I used what I had on hand. 

What I used:

Foam board
**Library pockets
Card stock
Laminator
Glue


http://www.mathworksheets4kids.com/counting-money/chart-coins-bills.pdf

I printed this on card stock and then laminated it.  I cut it apart and glued it to the front of the library pockets.  (Click on it to download it).




I then downloaded this chore stick printable and then laminated it and just cut them out with my paper cutter (into rectangles and not just the sticks that would take way too much for me).  She has a slightly different tutorial for how she did it.


Basically I cut the foam board to fit the side of my shelving unit.  I hung it by rings and Command hooks.  I glued on the title at the top.  It was from here.

I measured it so that the sticks could fit in the library pockets and not be too tall.  I glued them on with Elmer's glue.  I kept three pockets at the top and put the kids name on it.

I then printed the sticks and laminated them and cut them apart.  I gave each one a value and wrote that on the back.

I then glued on the money values that I printed earlier to the other pockets.  I just did $0.25, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, $10.00 - to make it easier.

Then I put the corresponding job in its value pocket.  I have one reader and two non-readers but the non-readers just grab one and ask me what it says and I tell them.  If they don't like that one they put it back and grab another one.

I also put a couple freebies in there - if they pick those they get money for no work (just for fun).  If I think of something that isn't on the printable I just grabbed those bigger Popsicle sticks and wrote it on there.

When they complete a chore, they put it in their name pocket and at the end of the week or end of every two weeks - we count up the money and pay them.  I usually do every two weeks.

That is how it works.  So far so good.

There are chores they do that they don't get paid for - things that just help the household run  - like make their bed or empty the dishwasher.  These chores are just a little above the daily chores.  I pay bigger money for things I hate to do like clean out the vehicles or scrub the shower.

**You can find library pockets on Amazon or at a school supply store.

Do you do money chores?  How do you make it work?


 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Homeschool Year in Review: What Worked and What Didn't {Homeschooling and dyslexia}

This was our first full year of just homeschooling our oldest son.  I thought I should do a wrap up of what worked and what didn't so hang on.

Oh the plans we make. 

I started out telling you about the curriculum we planned to use.



Then did an update towards the middle of the year.  If I could say one thing about homeschool is that you will change things - a lot.  Because you don't know what works with your child until you try it.  Never be afraid to change.  If a curriculum isn't working, find one that does.  I sell and buy on Ebay and Amazon so I never really lose much and sometimes I even make a gain!

Here is what did not work:

Konos - A newbie homeschooler should not use this curriculum.  It requires a lot of planning and I was not prepared for it. 

Math - Math U See.  We finished one level and got about half way through another level but there were just too many tears and frustrations and I knew we had to make a switch. 





Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears - he finished it but did not retain it.  His handwriting was still pretty horrible the first half of this year.

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 1 - he went through this and did not retain most of it.  But I think it is an excellent program and we will go through the last half of it and go slower.  He probably could start level 2 but I want to be sure he has it first.

 Science - Supercharged Science - he was just too young for this but I'm keeping it to use later.

You are probably wondering what in the world worked.

Here is what worked:



History - Story of the World curriculum - We love this curriculum.  Absolutely love it!  He enjoys the stories as do I.  We did do it along with Mystery of History but I felt that that curriculum's stories weren't as in depth as Story of the World but we do use some of the biblical ones to use along with Story of the World. 

Phonics - Toe By Toe - We just recently started Orton Gillingham tutoring so I do Toe By Toe on our non-tutoring days.  He has improved one reading level and we aren't half way done with this book.  I can't recommend it highly enough for dyslexics.

Writing - Writing With Ease - I love this curriculum.  Also, my son's handwriting has improved with the copywork he has done while using this curriculum.  And he loves all of the condensed version of the classic stories.  Most of the time he begs me to finish the stories because they are usually started on Day 2 and finished on Day 4 so we often do those days together.

Grammar - First Language Lessons - I love this curriculum as well.  The lessons are short.  There is so much repetition which is so good for my son's short term memory.  Dyslexics usually have a bad short term memory.  It is not my son's favorite subject but I allow him to answer questions standing up or walking around and he is getting really good at remembering the poems.

Science - Science in the Beginning - I am really blessed in this area because I actually share history and science with my friend.  I teach history to my kids and her's and she teaches science to mine (and her's) and I love her choice of curriculum.  My kids are learning and applying so much.  I love this science.  Each lesson is short and almost every one has a hands on activity!  Perfect my kids.  And my kids love it too.

Math - Right Start Math - I cannot say enough good things about this curriculum too.  It has been wonderful for my son.  He not only gets the math problems right he can articulate the reasoning behind them and he often does it without me asking.  I am blown away at his progress!  And no more tears and he seems to enjoy it and I never thought I would say that about math.

Handwriting - Cursive First - this is great for really teaching cursive.  It shows you the movements of the letters by using a clock as a guide which is also good for my dyslexic.  We also write in salt first and then on paper.

Notebooking and dictation - these two things I use in almost every subject.  We notebook almost everything.  He retains it better and I can look back on it.   And since he is dyslexic and it is a little tougher for him to write, I write a lot of things for him.  There are times I have him write but I don't make him write over two sentences.  He will get better and write more but we are just going slow.  I don't want him to hate it.

We do other things too that are working well like Song School Latin and a typing book.  But I don't feel I have used them long enough to give a complete thumbs up.  I came to them later in the year.  Although we are continuing to homeschool in the summer.

Isn't it funny that it is technically the end of the school year I finally feel like we are in a good rhythm so I'm not stopping now! 

I also wanted to add that just because some of the above curriculum did not work for us does not mean it won't work for you.  Of course, each child is different. 

Tell me what worked for you and what didn't?

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A review of the show - Signed, Sealed, Delivered



I have seen this show advertised quite a bit but never sat down to watch it until now.  I am so glad I did.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered 
The new original series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group's leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.
The show aires SUNDAYS, 8/7c on Hallmark
 
 
My Review:
 
The episode that I watched was about a letter that was delivered to a girl with down syndrome and the things that happened because of that letter.  It was such a heart warming story.   It kept me engaged the whole time.  I kept pausing it when I had to leave the room because I did not want to miss a moment of it.  It is a show you can watch with your family and not be worried about what they will see.  I believe that is very important.  I am so glad they made this show!
 
The characters were encouraging and even used Scripture in the show.  The music was also great - the song at the end was one that I had heard before and loved.  

Please go to the website to watch past episodes and find out when new ones are airing.  You won't be sorry.  I am so excited that a show like this is on! 
 
 
**This incredible series even incorporates scripture in its themes and in the conversations between characters.  In FACT, The American Bible Society has built a bible study to go with the series, 
Isn't that great? A seven-day Bible reading experience to dig deeper into the meaningful biblical themes revealed in each episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
The Bible Reading Experience is free and currently available for one week only. We hope to see the American Bible Society reading series continue and value your support. Please share this with your readers and urge them to sign up!




What about you, have you watched this show yet???