Playing the Same Old Game: Catch-Up

It’s been a bit of a long time since I’ve added anything here – and this addition is just for my mom. :) Lots of stuff has happened since I last posted – we’ve had Christmas, a new year, 3 birthdays and a whole lot more…

Wendy is now 8. Willem is 6. Patrick is 11! We’ve been so busy with school and scouts and learning to ride bikes. It’s been very hectic and very wonderful. I am so proud of my babies – Wendy can ride her bike all by herself. Patrick crossed over to Boy Scouts and earned his Arrow of Light. And Will? Well, he’s just one of the smartest kids I know!

Pat built himself a hand plane – and it was highlighted on the Wood Whisperer’s blog. He then built one for one of our friend for his birthday. He’s also been busy building planter boxes for me, which the kids like to hide in. :)

I have had all kinds of medical concerns over the last several months – and they all came to naught. Thankfully! I had to have a breast biopsy, which was kinda scary once it was all over (the first time I had time to actually think about the implications of having breast cancer) – until I found out for sure that the sample they took was benign. I did have to have a bit of cancer removed from my forehead, though, which was also kinda scary – but (again, THANKFULLY!) it was the best kind of cancer you can have – I mean, if you have to have cancer at all.

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day recently. I love my husband. I love our kids. And I know they love me. I hope, mom, that you know I love you. I also hope that you had a terrific mother’s day. I miss you.

And did I mention that we have 3 new family members? They are Sweet Pea, Phineas, and Mr. Squid. They are furry. They are fuzzy. They are cute. They are smelly!

20

05 2012

Terrific Friends

I just wanted to say thanks to some of my terrific friends – Renea and Lei. Renea and Brad had an extra set of tickets for a concert this past weekend and invited me and Pat to tag along. Wonderful. It gets better, though. In order to be sure we could go, Renea got together with Lei to find us a sitter for the kids! Too much! All I had to do was show up at my front door (Renea drove!) and have a good time. Mission accomplished – thanks to Renea! and Lei! I love you, girls! Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was a terrific show – so much talent! Oh, and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. What a great night!

15

08 2011

Tiny Dancer’s Finale

My Tiny Dancer’s recital was a couple of weeks ago. Sorry for not posting this sooner. This year was quite a step up – Wendy danced in the recital with the older girls, and I didn’t get to sit with her. All the dancers were kept backstage this time – which is how I remember ballet recitals being for me. Wendy handled it very well even though she doesn’t like changes. They even threw a last-minute change at her with the finale and she took it in stride. What a big girl! I love my Tiny Dancer! The picture to the left is Wendy’s first glimpse of Pat coming down to the stage to collect her. Do you think she loves Daddy? I sure do!

We are giving ballet up for a bit – hopefully only a year or so. Enjoy this video  (Click on the photo to the right for the video) and be sure to listen to the very beginning for a special message from Will to Wendy. :)

Click Me!

20

06 2011

Daddy’s Hands

Mom and Dad

Holly Dunn sings a song entitled “Daddy’s Hands,” some of which I have included below:

I remember Daddy´s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

This song reminds me of my very own father, and I often cry when I hear it. As a child, I always knew that my parents loved me – something I definitely took for granted. Parental love is something you only understand as a parent yourself, and I lament now that I ever took my father’s (and yours, mom) love for granted.

I imagine that I love my children as much as my dad loves his – and the power of it is overwhelming. Thanks for all the constant sacrifices you made for our welfare, dad, and thanks for always loving us, no matter how stubborn and hard-headed we were! Oh, and thanks for THE advice that has guided me throughout my life – “If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough!” :)

Dad is such a terrific man – and a super-duper father. Happy Father’s Day to the best dad I could have ever asked for! I love you, Dad!

19

06 2011

REVIEW: Pearson EnVision Math Grade 1

I was asked to review EnVision Math Grade 1 by Pearson. EnVision Math is a consumable workbook for grade 1. The book is in a neat-o format – it is wide landscape. The student gets to tear out one sheet each day, fold it in half, and complete the four pages – they end up with a regular-sized paper booklet to complete each day. Let me say that the book itself is very visually engaging. The content, however, is not engaging enough for my first grader. Actually, I let my 5 year-old work through the pages in the book, which he enjoyed immensely.

You may purchase a copy of the workbook directly from Pearson. Each copy is priced at $34.47, which does include digital system access. I was not given access to the digital system, so I cannot comment on that portion of the program. I noticed on the Pearson site that there are several additional components that you may purchase to accompany the workbook. Again, I was not asked to review any other components, so I cannot comment on their necessity or usefulness.

This is my last review for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. Thanks for reading and learning along with me this year. It has been a pleasure to be a member of the crew – and I hope that I was able to provide my readers with some useful information.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trial of the product in exchange for my genuine and unbiased review.

 

I was asked to review EnVision Math Grade 1 by Pearson. EnVision Math is a consumable workbook for grade 1. The book is in a neat-o format – it is wide landscape. The student gets to tear out one sheet each day, fold it in half, and complete the four pages – they end up with a regular-sized paper booklet to complete each day. Let me say that the book itself is very visually engaging. The content, however, is not engaging enough for my first grader. Actually, I let my 5 year-old work through the pages in the book, which he enjoyed immensely.

You may purchase a copy of the workbook directly from Pearson. Each copy is priced at $34.47, which does include digital system access. I was not given access to the digital system, so I cannot comment on that portion of the program. I noticed on the Pearson site that there are several additional components that you may purchase to accompany the workbook. Again, I was not asked to review any other components, so I cannot comment on their necessity or usefulness.

This is my last review for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. Thanks for reading and learning along with me this year. It has been a pleasure to be a member of the crew – and I hope that I was able to provide my readers with some useful information.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trial of the product in exchange for my genuine and unbiased review.

23

05 2011

Will is Good. God is Great!

.handsome-will had his dental surgery today. He had no idea what was going to happen, and I am thankful Pat and I decided on that course. He was skipping and playing and being his normal self. The ONLY issue we had was that he didn’t want to put on the hospital gown when it was time. Pat convinced him, though, that it was very “fashional” to wear hospital-issued duds. I have to say that all the staff we encountered today made this whole thing much easier – they were all kind and helpful. Plus they let us know how things were going during the surgery.
Will ended up having 5 teeth removed, one baby root canal, 5 crowns and one filling. That sure is a whole lot when you consider how very young he is. I must admit that I was extremely anxious when I woke up this morning – and during my prayer time God was merciful enough to send His peace upon me. He gave me several small signs that made me know His presence and that He was indeed in charge. God is merciful. God is great! Thank You, God, for preserving my baby boy today during this procedure. Thank You for steadying the doctor’s hands and for guiding him while guarding Will.

One of the Offenders!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank God for the generous and kind friends He has sent our way. Thank you, Renea, for keeping two of my other treasures today while I had my hands full with the littlest one. It was reassuring to know that Wendy and Patrick were being well cared for today. Uh-oh, I think I hear the Tooth Fairy! :)

20

05 2011

REVIEW: GoTrybe

GoTrybe is a great interactive, online workout and fitness destination. Sign-up is simple as is the navigation. And I can assure you that Wendy thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent with the site!

GoTrybe was created to get kids of all ages moving. You create your own workout at your own level from the oodles of video segments available at the site. Each segment of the workout is led by an exercise specialist. It’s super-easy to put a good workout together – the site guides you through choosing a segment for each section of the workout, including warm-up, cardio, strength training, and flexibility. Once you have put your workout together, you simply click on the “Start Workout” button and follow the trainers on-screen.

So many aspects of the program are wonderful. There is a huge variety of segments to build new workouts all the time – so the kids don’t get bored! There is no special equipment to buy – at least not in the workouts that we did. Also, you can do your workout anywhere you have access to the internet! Wonderful! No more worrying about how you’re going to stick to your schedule while you are out of town.

The program is broken into three age levels:

ZooDoos up to 5th grade
Trybe180 6th-9th grade
Nextrybe 10th-12th grade

Wendy and Will and I chose to be in the ZooDoos. The workout times and components are adjusted for each age level, so there is no thinking or preparation required on mom’s part. :) GoTrybe has made getting and staying fit almost ridiculously easy!

Kids need more motivation? When you sign up, you create an avatar. You earn points for each workout and nutrition activity you complete online – and that earns you points to buy things for your avatar. Not exactly a new tack, but a very effective one, at least in this family.

There is lots of research behind the GoTrybe program, and you can view the information at their website. GoTrybe has partnered with key providers in the nutrition and fitness arena to ensure that all the information is as up to date as possible, and the latest fitness information is used to create all the workout segments.

You can sign up for a membership directly through the GoTrybe website. The price is $19.95 for a year. If you want to try GoTrybe for a day, use “GETFIT” as your promo code. As I said earlier, sign-up is easy. You and your kids have nothing to lose (or maybe you do – weight!) and bunches to gain, so why not give it a try?

I will leave you with this reminder direct from GoTrybe: Remember, we encourage everyone to: GO get active, TRY something new and BE your best!

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trial of the product in exchange for my genuine and unbiased review.

11

05 2011

The Most Beautiful Lady I Know

My mom is the most beautiful lady I know. I don’t mean just on the outside, either – she is the most beautiful woman on the inside, too! Most everything I know about being a real lady and a good and loving mother I learned from her. I know I don’t tell her often enough how much she means to me, so I am taking my opportunity to do so on this Mother’s Day.

My mom had a pretty rough childhood, but she never let that disable her. What a testament to the fact that we can all rise above our circumstance and be truly good people. Thanks for having me, mom, even though I was unexpected (but never unloved or unwanted!). You can’t possibly know and appreciate the sacrifices that a mother makes until you become one yourself – and I am proud to say that I have learned from the world’s best sacrifice-making mom. My kids benefit from the things my mom taught me – and for that I am eternally grateful to my mom for being herself and to God for providing such a wonderful example of beautiful womanhood. God bless my Mom!

Please note that my Dad is totally awesome, too, but his turn isn’t until next month ;) .

08

05 2011

She’s so Knotty!

It clicked! And then she went to town tying every shoelace she could find! Wendy is a bow tying nut now. :) How wonderful!

07

05 2011

REVIEW: Yesterday’s Classics Kindle and EPUB Format Books

Yesterday’s Classics republishes “classic books for children from the golden age of children’s literature, the era from 1880 to 1920.” Fortunately, our family discovered Yesterday’s Classics several years ago and has been reading these wonderful books since.

These books really are wonderful. But now something else is wonderful, too – Yesterday’s Classics is offering its entire collection in Kindle and EPUB format! Now I can take an entire library of great children’s books with us wherever we go – and I do. We read all over the place, and when the children get older, I can see them each with their own Kindle so they can take books with them wherever they go (we LOVE my Kindle in this house!).

Yesterday’s Classics books are great, and there are enough to keep even a voracious reader busy for some time – 225 so far in Kindle or EPUB format. There are several reading levels and genres – from fairy tales to history to science and back again. Each book is a reprint of a classic title. I am a confessed book junky. I own several thousand books. I also own a Kindle and several hundred (at least) books in Kindle format. Believe me, then, when I tell you that the ebook version of the Yesterday’s Classics titles are extremely well done. The books take advantage of all the Kindle has to offer in the way of screen resolution and text resizing. Also, the books offer text to voice, so even my .blessed-dyslexic can read along!

As I mentioned before, we have used Yesterday’s Classics books in our homeschooling for the last several years. Each book we have read so far has been wonderful – and kid friendly. I don’t have to censor them much, which is a blessing. I also know that they aren’t tainted by “new” history teachings and a progressive agenda. Plus, Tapestry of Grace uses lots in their recommended readings, so we really get our money’s worth.

Thanks, Yesterday’s Classics, for offering these books in Kindle format – and for making them accessible and affordable!

You may purchase individual titles directly through Yesterday’s Classics, prices vary. Right now, though, they are making an offer that is not easily refused. Yesterday’s Classics is offering ALL 225 of their books in Kindle or EPUB format for $99.95! That’s much cheaper than purchasing each title individually, let alone buying each title in hardcopy. The great thing about this offer is that you can use all of these books even if you don’t own a Kindle or EPUB reader – the Kindle reader app is available for your PC for free! What’s not to love?!

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trial of the product in exchange for my genuine and unbiased review.

04

05 2011