Friday, September 25, 2009

One Awesome Photographer

Okay, so we fought as little girls. Who didn't? But as grownups, even though we live hundreds of miles away, and we only talk when our busy schedules permit, I am in awe of my big sister. My mom and I used to joke growing up that I would have a farm and a dozen children, and my sis would live in France and send us fancy perfume. Well she doesn't live in France, and she probably could care less about fancy perfume, but nevertheless, she still has done some amazing things! This mom, teacher, sister, daughter, auntie, friend, photographer (and who knows what else she has up her sleeve!), captures hearts on film. Looking at her photos, you can almost tell who a person is, what they're thinking, what they love! This is not just a shameless plug for a unique photography business, but a salute to my big sister.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Growing Healthy Homes Review

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Nutrition 101: Choose Life "written by a team of four mothers, this program is designed for positive, effective, long-term, healthy lifestyle changes."

The 448 page e-book that I received to review is a biblically based health and nutrition curriculum that is amazing! I began the program as a read-aloud to my 7 and 4 year olds and I quickly realized it was a bit above their heads. They did enjoy looking at the illustrations of the body systems, however, and I know we will be using this program as they grow a bit more.

But, all was not a lost cause, because the curriculum is perfect for me at this point in my life! As an allergic, migraine-prone, asthmatic mommy, and health-nut-wanna-be, this curriculum is everything I have been looking for and more. With 6 units, it is suggested to be completed in a year, covering one chapter a week. The units are:

Unit 1: The Brain and Nervous System

Unit 2: The Digestive System

Unit 3: The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems

Unit 4: The Muscular and Skeletal Systems

Unit 5: The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems

Unit 6: The Endocrine System and Emotions

Each unit contains discussion questions, activities, recipes and additional resources.

But wait! That's not all. In addition to the units on anatomy and physiology, there are oodles of appendices with an extensive array of helpful charts with topics including Vitamins and Minerals, Nutritional Recommended Daily Allowances, How to Select Fresh Produce (with photos!), Sleep, Asthma and Nail Health. Betcha didn't know that your nails can serve as an "early warning signal for your health."

I took copious notes, and plan to head over to my local health food store to pick up some essential oils and herbs for my asthma and allergies as soon as I have a few extra bucks! I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

Now for the low-down. As much as I love this program, and will more than likely continue to use it over time, I found it a bit pricey. You can order the CD-ROM for $79.95, the book for $99.95 or the book/CD-ROM combo for $129.95. Simply go here.

If you're interested in checking out what my other Crewmates have to say about Nutrition 101:Choose Life, click here!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Singing for His Glory

New Life Voices had a performance this weekend in Campbellsville, KY. Here are a couple of photos. Hopefully I'll get some music on here soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Studypod Review

So, Butterbean doesn't study yet. It's perfectly okay, though, because this innovative company called Genio has created something that has way more uses in our house than just for studying! It's called, Studypod.

It's this ingenious little gadget that we received in the mail to review. When we first took the Studypod out of its box, what first struck me was the feel of it. It's sized and shaped like a book, sleek black in color (although, it comes in blue and pink too), and the texture is really cool.
Genio describes Studypod as a "book holder designed for students." It was developed by a teacher, and designed to hold books or papers at a comfortable level while working. It holds your book open so your hands are free for typing or writing. (or for me, feeding a baby!) It's super simple to set up. You pull out the stand, open the Studypod, and lock it into place. After you fold down the built-in shelves, you sit your book or paper on top. Then you fold over the page support arms to hold your book open, or your paper in place. Butterbean (7) and Middleman (4) both easily set it up. It has a cute little velcro mesh pocket inside for storing items too. The Studypod has come in handy for holding my guitar book open (yes, I am attempting to learn the guitar...hahaha). However, my favorite use so far is as a cookbook holder. Everytime I have baked, it never fails, I am propping my cookbook up; usually with the oatmeal container behind it, and cocoa in the front. Then inevitably, something slides on the counter, and the cookbook falls over, knocking the vanilla or cocoa powder with it! So not only has the Studypod made my recipe reading easier, but it's made my counters cleaner too!

Butterbean may not be a studier yet, but he does read and do copywork.
He loves building with legos. (See the Studypod holding up his instructions?!)And he is a magic trick fanatic ("Mommy, I'm turning the Studypod around so you can't see what I'm going to do.") As for my family, we love the Studypod, and I truly can see us using it for a long time to come!
For more info on Genio's Studypod, check out their website here. Normally the Studypod sells for $19.95. But if you're reading this review on my blog, you get a $5 discount! Just type in the code TOSBLOG5 when you order yours here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse™ Magazine for only $7.95!

Homeschooling is a Labor of Love, and the Old Schoolhouse™ Magazine is celebrating your hard work as a parent by putting their one-year print subscriptions on sale!

For a very limited time, you can subscribe or renew for $7.95! (US only). International customers can subscribe to the digital edition for only 7.95!
You can buy a gift subscription for friends, too! To gift a subscription:
1. Go to the one-year subscription page (US only).
2. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
3. Enter the name, address, email and phone information for each recipient
4. Click "Add this to my cart."
5. The information will display in your cart and simply proceed to check out.

There are only 2000 of these available, and they are going quickly! Your subscription begins with their Fall Issue.If you live in an international location, you can subscribe to their digital edition for only $7.95! It's the same great content as their print magazine, except it is instant and interactive!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Potted Plant

I was interviewing a family not long ago for childcare for their little one. The mom asked me "So, how do you go to the bathroom?" Well it took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about, because around here, it's known as the "potty." Yes, believe it or not, I have even asked store clerks before "Excuse me, where is the potty?" Back to the story. The woman's question was valid. After all, I take care of 6+ children all day all by myself. So when I can go to the potty, it's important to try and make sure everyone is occupied. Today the necessity came up and I placed 8 month old baby in her playpen. Everyone was busily playing. When I came out, the first thing I saw was the baby looking out giggling uncontrollably. The second thing I saw was a trail... of dirt... from the potted plant... all the way across my living room. The third vision was two little boys looking extremely guilty (Babyman and his 2 year old buddy), with their clenched fists gazing up at me as if to say "It wasn't me!" After several deep breaths, the broom and the dustbuster, I think I got most of the dirt cleaned up. I wonder if I'll find any under the couch cushions two weeks from now?!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Band-aids

So, have you heard all the hullabaloo about mommy bloggers? Apparently we're a hot commodity. Oh, and we should be edited... censorship? I am not on that bandwagon. I don't think enough people even read my blog to worry about what I say. Plus, somebody, somewhere is going to be offended by something someone says!
Now I have heard that big companies have been giving mommy bloggers things for advertising on their blogs. And I say, Band-aid brand, if you are reading my blog, feel free to send me some free band-aids and I will gladly publicize you!!
As a mama with three little boys, boo-boos are inevitable. I swear, I just bought a box of 80 assorted band-aids two weeks ago. Butterbean just used the last one because he cut his finger on his tape measure. I think I should own stock in Band-aid!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Busy bees

Compared to a lot of families we know, we are really not busy people. We have purposely tried not to involve ourselves in a ton of activities so that we would have time to just be. But every time I look at our calendars (yes, that's plural on purpose... we have the family calendar on the bulletin board, Butterbean and Middleman each have a calendar for school items, Daddy has a pocket one; and I have my planner) the days are more and more full! I just don't know how we have time for our jobs, schooling, Cub Scouts, New Life Voices, The Old Schoolhouse Reviews, The Great Postcard Exchange, geocaching, blogging, staying involved in (my) online groups and hanging at the YMCA. Not to mention the fact that every weekend we try to overhaul our house! I am desperately trying to declutter to simplify our lives. I don't know if it's even possible. Hero and I are both chronic pack rats!