Thursday, September 30, 2010

The King's Christmas List Review

When little Emma and her puppy suddenly get an invitation to the King's birthday party, they knows they must find some kind of present for Him. Emma gathers up a gift, her warm shawl, and of course her favorite teddy bear. On the way, she gives away everything she has brought along to people in need, until she arrives at the King's party empty-handed.

This book is the perfect length for young elementary age children, and I think the parable is simple enough for them to easily comprehend. As little Emma arrives at the party, she notices that everyone seems to have forgotten that it is the King's birthday at all. Emma and her pup go to ask the King why no one is celebrating Him, and what she finds out is relevant to us all.

This is a delightful story with a very important message for today's young ones. Illustrated with sweet pictures and set in a magical snowy land filled with talking animals, this would make a perfect Christmas gift for any young child. While the main character is a girl, this is in no way a 'girl's' book, and would be perfect for any child who has started to forget that Christmas is about Jesus.

I plan to wrap up several books that focus on the true meaning of the holiday, and let the kids unwrap them to read on Christmas Eve. This book will be a perfect addition!

I received this book in return for my unbiased review,
and I will receive no other compensation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Of Habits and Jungles

Inspired by Charlotte Mason and my husband, I have decided to start learning a new habit every month, one for me and one for the kids. Last months habit was a great success, so I think I will try to keep it up! It is not hard if you do it one day at a time!

The connection to Charlotte Mason is obvious, I think, but why Isaac? My husband decided to start living a healthier lifestyle, and to start he went cold turkey off all pop. (Soda, coke, whatever you call it. ) He came in one day and said he is marking it on the calendar, and he is not having any more pop. Those first days were hard for him and he checked off every one in triumph. As it got easier, he would forget to check off several days until now he is not checking them off at all. What does that mean? It's a habit! Now he has not had a drop of soda for over 2 months, and he feels great. What's more, he has lost over 40 lbs!

So, what is my habit for October? Playing with the kids. I am going to check off every day that I remember to play with them for at least an hour. Not playing games, not taking a walk, sit down on the floor, do whatever they are doing PLAYING.

Today, we played like we were in a jungle.... CJ killed a giant snake (a tree branch) because he is "a good 'ttacker"... we built a fire of sticks and cooked it... we ran from mountain lions and the 'king of the jungle' (Whatever that is, they never would tell me).... we spent the night in swingset and we woke up frightened because our fire had went out and animals were closing in.....we made a huge iguana for breakfast, and covered it with delicious spices.... in short? We had a lot of fun. Even me. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We saw Jupiter- AND moons!

Last night before bed, I read that you could see Jupiter well with your naked eye now- so I went running for the binoculars and headed out. It was supposed to be a very bright star... well was it ever! It was the ONLY star I could see, since the moon was still so bright.

You were supposed to be able to see 2 moons with binoculars, but I decided to try the camera instead. My steady-handed husband took these pictures, since our exposure times were 2 seconds each. It is truly amazing to take a picture of a bright star and have it show up with not two, but four moons!

The planet Jupiter with 4 moons.

00 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We also had to take a few shots of the almost-full moon while we were out there, of course.

00000 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Friday, September 17, 2010

Download-N-Go Autumn Treasures Review

The days are crisp and there is a different feel in the air. The leaves start to change, almost unnoticeable at first, as the green of Summer gives way. The restless wind begs you to walk through the crunchy leaves and
golden grasses. You really, really want a juicy apple. Then, one day, you hear it. The first geese are singing their unmistakable chorus.

Autumn is here.

If you love fall as much as I do, Autumn Treasures is one unit you do not want to miss! What is there to learn about Autumn? Well, how about Johnny Appleseed, (history) migration (science and geography) and, of course, harvest! Void of the expected 'Pilgrims-and-Thanksgiving' theme, this unit focuses on Autumn itself- what causes it, what it is, what it effects.

I thought that this Download-N-Go was more of a FUN based unit, personally. It didn't go into great depth into the various topics, and had a lot of fun projects- nature walks, leaf rubbings,
lots of pictures to draw. This is perfect if you want a relaxing week to just enjoy yourselves and celebrate the new season.

Since I keep saying that these units can be used longer then one week, I thought I should actually bite the bullet and try it. :) Autumn Treasures was a perfect Download-N-Go to do that way, since there is no animal, person, or place of the day- it could be broken up anywhere. We did it really informally, without planning each day ahead. I just stopped when I thought we had done enough, and we ended up having 3 extra days. It worked out really great!

4267 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere1234 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We had a lot of fun with this, collecting leaves, watching movies, and drawing a LOT. Now Bop wants to tag Monarch Butterflies after learning about their migration. While watching one of the gorgeous slideshows of autumn landscapes set to music, CJ said in a solemn voice, "It's so beautiful it makes my heart hurt."

The lapbook pieces for this unit were almost all in black and white, so it is a good choice if you don't have a color printer. There are a lot of subjects here that could be used as rabbit trails for more in-depth studies, if your kids are interested in them. Things like the Monarch migration and Johnnie Appleseed could spin off into units of their own, later!

We got a wonderful and timely gift from my sister-in-law.....
dozens of ears of sweet corn!
This tied in great with Day 5. Talk about hands-on! :)

6758 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

0987 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We enjoyed doing Autumn Treasures, and taking a few more days for it made it more relaxed. This is a great time to buy this unit- the Autumnal Equinox (And the beginning of Autumn) is next week!

If you want to read more reviews for this product,
you can find them at the DNG blog.

Hurry over to the Download-N-Go Store
for the Autumnal Equinox sale!

You can get this unit 20% off until September 24th,
to celebrate the beginning of the season.

I received this product free of charge for review purposes. I promise to be honest and fair in my reviews, and I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. You can visit the Download-N-Go blog to read more reviews on this product.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Christmas Prayer Children's Book Review

What do you picture when you hear the word "Christmas"? I picture snowflakes softly falling, Christmas carols playing, and a nativity set. Most kids look at Christmas more as a winning lottery ticket then the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Help your little ones remember the real reason for Christmas with this book.

This story is a prayer, told from a child's perspective as she acts out the first Christmas story. She thanks God for all the REAL gifts of Christmas; Mary, the wise men, the donkey, and more. The story is simple and sweet, and fun to read aloud. I was surprised at it's size, it is larger then most board books and would be too big for all but the biggest stockings. It is perfect to unwrap and read on Christmas Eve!

Illustrated with charming, simple pictures, this book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers alike. It is a board book with a soft, padded cover, perfect for tiny hands. However, the story is told in rhyming text that older preschoolers will find equally appealing. And the message of this gentle story is relevant for us all, as we ponder the miracles of our Lord's birth. If you are looking for a great gift for one of the precious little ones in your life, this is sure to be a perfect choice!

I received this book in exchange for my unbiased review-
I will receive no other compensation.

I review for BookSneeze

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


OK. I will admit it. I don't like math. I never did. Blame it on the math program I used. Blame it on my Mom. (no offence to my Mom, :) She hated math as much as me, so maybe she passed it on. ) Blame it on my laziness. (I could take 2 hours to do half a math lesson.)

But, whoever you blame it on, it still means that I was less then enthused when I saw this product. A box of cards, with numbers on them. You add, subtract, multiply and devide to play the game- not my idea of a fun afternoon!

But, after hearing how many people played it online and got addicted, I figured I had better go into this with an open mind! (You can try the online version, too!)

So what is Pyramath? Like I said, a bunch of cards with numbers on them.... but really a lot more. This is one of those games that is SO simple you will think it cannot possibly be entertaining, but it is! Basically you start with a line of cards, and you use one of the four math
operations to figure out which cards you can pot on top of them. If you have a 3 and a 2, you can place a 5, 1, or 6 on them. Then, you keep building until you have a pyramid!

I ended up really liking this game. It's FUN! Bop really enjoyed it. I had to help her with all of the bigger numbers, but she did a lot more of them then I thought she could. I got my hubby to play it, too, and he really enjoyed it! That is saying something, for a guy who doesn't play card games. :)

I honestly cannot say that this game helped Bop memorize any math facts, since she is just too young to have all of her addition facts memorized, in any case. BUT after having played it quite a few times (with her and alone), I can say it helped me! I have several facts that I KNOW I knew at one time, but now they are just.... well... let's say I shelved them. :) This game really helped me and I want to keep playing it every few days to get better.... maybe after I have the addition facts all down again, I can memorize the multiplication facts. *blushing*

If you have elementary age children that need drill work, or even older kids that could use some speed, this game is an excellent tool for the price. (Only $6.96- can't beat that!) There are several variation included, and with half an imagination, you will come up with many more. You can play it without turns, to increase speed, or one at a time to be fair to the youngest players. If your siblings are all busy making a relief map of Ethiopia, you can play alone.... If you have a LOT of siblings wanting to play, make it a tournament!

Be sure to check out the other fun products from BrainyAttic, including I See Cards, Fractazmic, and Prime Bomb. If they are anything like Pyramath, I have no doubt that they would all be quality additions to your homeschool.

Go to the TOS Crew blog to read the other reviews,
and don't forget to check out that online version of Pyramath!

I received this product free of charge
as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,
for review purposes. I promise to be honest
and fair in my reviews, and I received no
other compensation in exchange for my review.
to read more reviews on this product.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We have a winner...... for Pizza Party!

And the prize goes to............


Thanks for playing, everyone, and check back soon for more giveaways!

Sorry I still have not figured out how to get the stuff to post in my blog. :(

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Favorite Websites for Free Interactive Learning

I have always thought that young children should NOT spend time in front of the screen- whether computer, TV, or video....

However, I have also always been a parent that believes in doing what WORKS. And for a lot of kids, learning with fun games WORKS. Visual kids love the stimulation, kinesthetic kids get to move, and auditory kids can HEAR instead of read.

So this week I decided to take a new approach to math and phonics- online games.

Here are a few of their favorites:

Starfall Almost everyone has heard of this one, but it is too good to leave out. Beginning phonics instruction, starting with letter sounds. Goes all the way through blends and digraphs. You cannot use this as complete instruction, probably, but it is a lot of fun and especially helpful for learning letter sounds.

Sheppard Software This site has TONS of games. Some of our favorites for schoolwork are the Early Math Games, Preschool games, and the animal games. There are a lot of 'fun' things here, too, like online painting. Don't miss this one!

Fun 4 The Brain This site is really easy to navigate, and it has lots of games in lots of subjects. If you want games that are FUN but still contain real learning, this is the place. We especially like the math drills, because in a lot of the you can pick one set of facts to learn about at a time. Perfect for MUS drill work!

Tree House Weather Kids This is not really a game, but it does have a lot of interactive learning going on. Weather, seasons, temperature and more.

KOL jr. This site has fun games in several subjects. They are not as flashy as some of the other sites, but they are still fun and the kids enjoy them just as much. We like "Learn Your Letters" and "Ant Parade".

WordWorld (PBS) This is just a part of the PBS kids site, but it is one of the best for learning. There are several games in the WordWorld section, but the kids like the Letter Pit and the Rhyming game the best.

Ziggity Zoom These games are best for the younger kids, or as a break from school. They aren't really learning games. :) They also have coloring pages and stories on the site, along with other fun things.

Primary Games This is another site with LOTS to look through. I haven't spent much time on here, but it looks like it has a lot of potential.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cast of Characters Book Review

Do you find you have a hard time connecting with the people we all know from our favorite Bible stories? Do you start seeing them in the same light you would a fairy tale character? People whose life begines and ends in that one story, people with few enothions, who were there only to fulfill their designated part in the story? People whose lives are really just a part of a play?

Well, in a way we are all just parts of God's grand play. But if you want the chance to feel like you are THERE- like you are walking down the dusty roads of Galalee with Jesus, or standing in the shadow of the great pyramids with Joseph, or sitting in the ornate palace of King David- You need to read this book.

Filled with stories from the Bible that are true to the scriptural accounts, yet also full of speculation about the LIVE of ordinary men and women. This book will place you in the shoes of people you see everyday on the streets. Hurting people, needy people, hiding people. People who need Jesus.

This book will help you feel the things they felt, and you will see how very much like US they really were. We are all the same, after all. We all feel the same emotions and search after the same things, and we all have sinned and are in desperate need of a savior. I really liked this book. When I first got it I thought I might offer it as a giveaway on my blog... but I don't think I can part with it! I know I want to read it again, and if you are looking for some reading that tastes like a novel, but reaches out and touches your heart with the true love of Christ, this is it!

I received this book free from I received no other compensation and this is my unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nature Study Tuesday- Silverleaf Maple

The other day when we had to run into town, I decided to take the kids to the park. Since we live in the country, we don't get to the playground very often, and it's a treat. It was a beautiful day, not hot at all, and the hint of fall hung in the air and danced through the leaves.

After we ate our lunch of cheese and crackers, we wandered around for a while, enjoying the weather and each other's company, chatting about the things that we saw. The kids were especially intrigued by the tiny maple suckers that were popping their heads up all over the lawn. (It seemed to have been awhile since they had mowed. )

We talked about how the Silverleaf tree makes 'baby trees' from it's roots, instead of from seeds, and we were all amazed (Yes, even Mom) at the SIZE of that tree's root system! Then we decided to see how far away the roots really did go, and we found a sucker about 75 feet from the parent tree. Wow!

zzzz by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

While we were looking for baby maple trees, we noticed some locust tree suckers as well, and so we got to see how this tree has a MUCH smaller root system. The kids thought it was so neat to see that not all plants grow from seeds.

A tiny white eggshell

zzzzzzzzz by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We also found a bunch of pinecones and juniper berries, so we got to see the difference between pines and ceders. Later at Grandma's, Bop can RUNNING in, all out of breath and excited. When I finally got her to calm down, I realized she had found a Silverleaf in Grandma's yard, and she had recognized it herself, from the velvety silver leaves! Yay her, yay me!

I snapped this one of Baby Girl watching a road grader go by. :)

zz by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere


zzzzzzzz by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Spherezzzzzzzzzzzz by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Spherez by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Download-N-Go Pizza Party Review and Giveaway!

aa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

Its time to stock up on pepperoni and mozzarella!

It's time for a PIZZA PARTY, of course! A Download-n-Go Pizza Party, the best kind; who can argue with learning while you eat? This unit is piled high with delicious toppings: The history of pizza, famous Italians, science experiments, lots of fun things to draw, tons of movies, and, best of all, LOTS and LOTS of recipes!

Once again, we really enjoyed the movie links. They really let us BE THERE- in Italy, in the back of some obscure chef's restaurant, in a test kitchen. We (including Mom) learned a lot about Pizza, but that barely scratches the surface of what is in this unit. If you are wanting to go 'around the world' with DNGs, this is what you want for Italy! It would also
be great to follow it up with a study of the Early Church and the travels of Paul.

Because I like to eat, and I have to fix meals every day anyway, We had PIZZA every day this week. OK, we didn't actually have pizza every day, but some form of pizza. You will find plenty of inspiration in this unit if you want to do the same thing. We had dessert pizza, breakfast pizza (for lunch) and yummy pizza rolls. It was fun! Now, I want to try an authentic Italian pizza- thin dough, with tomato slices, fresh mozzarella slices and basil leaves.

There is a LOT of history in this study, with a 'Famous Italian of the Day' to learn about. Our favorite was Antonio Vivaldi, the writer of the famous 'Spring' concerto. I had never heard of him before *blushing* but I have certainly heard that beautiful music! The kids sat for a long time listening to his music.

Bop also really enjoyed the drawing pages in Pizza Party, especially an assignment to draw herself in the pose of the Mona Lisa. There were not as many activity sheets in this unit as some of the other, which may be a useful thing if you are wanting to save on some printing costs. I find it hard to NOT print those fun activities if they are there! :D We really enjoy them, since they give some hand's-on things for the younger ones to do. There are LOTS of drawing activities, though, and pages for each one of the 'famous men', with pictures. My kids thought it was funny that they had such long beards!

We also had a lot of fun doing an experiment (instructions included) with yeast. I had the kids taste it, so they could feel the bubbles popping on their tongues. :D Mean mom, I know. I don't think they will forget what yeast does now!

aaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphereaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

If you are looking for a comprehansive study of Italy for your elementary students, this may be it! There is a famous place to study each day, a famous Italian to study each day, and that doesn't even begin to cover it. Again, I found myself wishing I could use Pizza Party for 2 weeks... or even a month.

aaaaa by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

See the funny grin? He just circled the ice cream cone,
because that is something he wants to eat on a pizza :D

Pizza Party is ON SALE today and tomorrow for only $5!!


The great people at Download n' Go have again offered to give a copy of Pizza Party to one lucky winner at each review! To get a chance at this giveaway just leave a comment letting me know your FAVORITE pizza topping/style.

For more chances, you can do any or all of the following: (and trust me, you want as many chances as you can get!) REMEMBER TO LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH METHOD OF ENTRY. This way you will get another chance at winning with each entry.

  1. Blog about this giveaway. Leave me a separate comment with your link.
  2. Follow me. Leave me a comment letting me know, or letting me know that you already follow.
  3. Follow me on NetworkedBlogs. Leave a comment letting me know, or letting me know you already follow.
  4. Post about this giveaway on Facebook. (An easy way to do that is to post the link.) Leave a separate comment telling me you did that.
  5. Leave a separate comment letting me know which DNG you would most like to have. You can see them all here.
  6. Follow Download n' Go on Facebook, and leave me a separate comment telling me you did that. You can click on their Facebook button on my sidebar to do directly to the page.

The drawing will take place on Friday, the 10th of September.

For more chances to win this unit, go to the DNG blog. The other reviewers are offering giveaways, as well!

I received this product free of charge for review purposes.I promise to be honest and fair in my reviews, and I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. You can visit the Download-N-Go blog to read more reviews on this product.


Friday, September 3, 2010

My Newest Treasure- Perfect for Play Dough!

I was eying this neat treasure last year, but never got around to buying them. We have almost NO cookie cutters, to the point of me fashioning a pumpkin and a leaf from tin cans. (No, they didn't really look like a pumpkin or a leaf when I was done.... more like an apple and a Christmas tree.)

So when I saw the box of 101 cookie cutters on clearance yesterday, for 50% off, I jumped on it! Than, of course we had to make some new play dough. It was time for some in FALL colors, anyway!

play dough 2 by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere


play dough by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

They are so much fun for play dough! But I am also thinking of all the cookies we can make. I am not very good at sugar cookies, I always make them a LITTLE crispier then they were meant to be. But, maybe now I will get enough practice to make really yummy ones.

Oh, and yes, I will wash them before going from play dough to cookies. :)

Our Play Dough recipe: (definitely not original, but the best I have found)

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
½ cup salt

Mix together in bowl or saucepan.

1 cup water
food coloring

Mix food coloring into water

1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
Scent (Optional)

Add scent if you want, such as essential oils, candy flavoring, or peppermint oil. If it is oil based, mix it into the oil. Add water and oil to dry mixture. Mix until smooth. (Small lumps are OK) Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will get VERY lumpy at first, then smooth and when it has cleaned the sides of the pan and has formed a solid ball on the spoon, it is done! Let cool and enjoy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I need help with my timeline!

I have this nice, long, stairway wall that is perfect for a nice, long timeline...

but I am just not sure how to set it up. I want it to be on the wall, not in a binder, since my kids are still young. I think it would be impressive to be able to actually SEE the distance between things.

I was thinking about making an A.D. side and putting B.C. on the other side, so there is more room.... I just don't know.

What do you all do?

If you have a blog post about it, leave me your link!
Thank you!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

National Geographic Map Giveaway!

Wow, this looks so neat.... almost makes me sad I can't enter. :) Oh, well, I am here to tell YOU about it so you can enter.

If you have been reading my blog for very long, you may already know that I love maps. Really, really love them. However, we do not have a lot of maps. We have some children's atlases, and a small wall map that I printed off of a website. But we don't really have any real, colorful wall maps. You know, the kind you can look at for ever and still not begin to get a picture of the vastness of the world? The kind you run and check, during those strange dinner conversations, where someone wonders where such and such country is? (OK, maybe that's just us....)

I am ashamed to admit (Hanging my head) that we don't have one of those. Or a globe. Have you seen the prices of those things?? We are going to have to put a globe on our Christmas list, because I am not going to spend $125 bucks to get a good one right now.

So, if you are in a similar quandary, you NEED this giveaway! You can go to Download 'N Go's blog and sign up. There are four different ways to sign up- if you do all four you will increase your chances of winning! These are high-quality children's wall maps from National Geographic.

You can read more about them if you go to National Geographic, or just go right to DNG to sign up!

P.S. If you don't want to wait, or take a chance on missing out on these great maps, you can get a discount code through DNG for FREE SHIPPING on any order from National Geographic! I wonder if I can use this? Maybe it's time to get that globe...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...