Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keeping Our Children's Hearts

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you are one of the most unpopular people in the world? Or at least the most unpopular person in your own home?

We've been experiencing some growing pains.

The baby, who is really now a toddler, gets into everything. I mean everything. This is my only child who has been a true climber. No playground, no matter how high, daunts her. And, yes, she does prove the need to screw bookcases into walls. This will be the child who breaks her leg or her arm or needs stitches.

Mary is turning into a true drama queen, the slightest provocation sets her off. And every single disappointment, no matter how insignificant makes this the "worst day ever." Was I like that? I sure hope not. Somehow, I don't think I would have dared, but if I did, I owe my Mom a tremendous apology.

Peter is, in many ways, just like his older brother at this age. Only Daddy will do. He is lovable, but incredibly, incredibly stubborn.

David is turning into a sullen, resentful teenager right before my eyes. And he's only 10! A large part of this is the number of major changes that have happened over the past year and a half. A new baby sister. A major move, and being forced to leave his best friends behind. Living with grandparents. Another move. Death of his great grandmother. And yet another move.

And now we expect him to be more responsible, more grown up, more reliable...it's just plain revolting.

I don't have his heart. I don't have his respect. We need to do something about that. While the academics are important, they are pointless if I lose my boy, and I can't possibly be an effective teacher, anyway, without his respect. So, the next several weeks we will be focusing on rebuilding our relationship.

What do you do to keep your children's respect? How do you speak to their hearts?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tropical Traditions Skin Care Package Winner!

The winning number is:


And it belongs to:
heartnsoulcooking said...

Follow Troptraditions on twitter
heartnsoulcooking[at]gmail[dot]com

Congratulations, heartnsoulcooking!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Ever-Durable Corelle

I love my Corelle dinnerware...how many plates can stand up to being dropped on the floor, smacked against a stainless steel sink, or even thrown across the room (by little hands, not mine) for almost 10 years? I think we've only ever had one shatter in all that time. And guess what? CSN Stores carries Corelle! I've got a product review coming up from them, maybe I'll add something to my set. Or maybe I'll try out this yogurt maker:


Or something totally different. What would you like to see me review?

Disclosure: I will be reviewing a product provided by CSN Stores in an upcoming post. I have received no other compensation.

Our Week in Review











Giveaway: Go-Gurt Back to School Gift Pack-CLOSED


Go-Gurt, the yogurt that goes with you...even in your lunchbox.

As a homeschooling Mama, I don't pack school lunches, but I do pack snacks for our many outings and sporting events...it's nice to know that if I freeze Go-Gurt ahead of time, it'll stay cold until we reach our destination.

And if I choose Simply...Go-Gurt, it's free of high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial colors and flavors...just simply yogurt. I like that.

The kiddos enjoyed trying out the Simply...Go-Gurt Mixed Berry. Mary likes the smooth texture (she hates chunks in her yogurt). David likes the cornball jokes printed on the individual wrappers. And Peter, he just likes yogurt...but he does prefer it in a bowl. Somehow, the idea of trying to gently squeeze it into his mouth...nope not going to fly. So much for portability.

While I like the convenience, not so crazy about the small amount per serving. Each individual package holds about 2.25 oz (a little more than a third of the size of a regular single cup of yogurt), not very much for growing bones. Good, maybe, if you have kiddos with small tummies you don't want to fill up before they eat their veg, but these left mine hungry for more.

At $2.99 for 8 servings, I think I'd prefer to buy regular yogurt, but I'm cheap:-) A good product to be on the lookout for sales and super coupons, I think, especially if you're planning a long car trip.

One of my readers is going to receive a Keeping Cool in School Prize pack from Yoplait and My BlogSpark, featuring a coupon for FREE Go-Gurt and everything else you see here:


Here's how to enter:
Deadline: Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 (midnight EST)

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment telling me where you'd take your Go-Gurt.
Important: Please be sure that I have a way to contact you if you win. If your email is not visible in your profile, please put it in your comment. Thanks!

Optional additional entries:
  • Follow me in GFC (1 entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post (3 entries)
  • Enter my giveaway for a 6-DVD set from the History Channel, ends Monday Aug. 30th (1 entry)
Disclosure: I received the free prize pack shown and info about Go-Gurt from Yoplait and My BlogSpark, including a coupon for free Go-Gurt. I was not obligated to review this product or to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. The giveaway prize pack is also made possible by Yoplait and My BlogSpark.

Giveaway #9: Freedom---A History of US by Joy Hakim-CLOSED


The last on the list is: Freedom---A History of US by Joy Hakim. Would look nice on your coffee table.

This is the companion book to the PBS series. Hardcover, excellent condition. The dust jacket is just a little rough around the edges from being moved. This originally retailed for $40. A nice, conversational overview of American history. Intended for grade 7 and up.

Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pardon My Goof

I just realized I had the deadline dates right but the days wrong on my giveaways for this week (oops). All fixed.

Welcome to My Week of Giveaways, Clean-Out Hoppers





This week, to celebrate my Birthday Bash, I'm having a week of curriculum giveaways. Posted so far (these are all gently used curricula):

Before Five in a Row and Writing Strands

Peterson-Directed Handwriting

Making Math Meaningful (Level 2)

Making Math Meaningful (Level 3)

Building Thinking Skills

Christian Kids Explore Physics

Freedom: A History of US by Joy Hakim

And if you are looking for something brand-new, I kicked it all off with:

A 6 DVD set from History Channel

Update: Commenting on this post will not enter you. If you want to enter any of these, please click the links to visit the the separate posts. Thank you!

Giveaway #7: Christian Kids Explore Physics- CLOSED


Up 7th is Christian Kids Explore Physics (recommended for grades 4-8):


Retails for $34.95 new. Corners are badly bumped (I received it that way), but it is otherwise in like new condition. You can read my review of Christian Kids Explore Physics here.

Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes. This was a former review product.

Giveaway #6: Critical Thinking Co., Building Thinking Skills Book 1- CLOSED


And our 6th giveaway is Building Thinking Skills, Book 1 (grades 2-3):


You can read my review of Building Thinking Skills here. This retails for $29.99 new, it is in excellent condition.

Here's what you need to do to win.


Deadline: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes. This was a former review product.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Day in Our Homeschool

Not Back to School Blog Hop




I could have given you a list of academics for a day...but that wouldn't really be the whole story, would it?

Please pardon any literary license I take here..I didn't take notes at the time and sometimes my memory is a little more (or less) vivid than actual events. Memory is funny that way. It's not really what happened at a particular moment in time or place, but part of the grand picture of who we are.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our day started at 10 am. That's about 1 hour after is was supposed to start, but definitely an improvement over the 1st day back to school.

Our day also started with a prayer. We all need our Lord's guidance, so we ask for it together.

As it's our first week back (we took the summer off this year...I'm never doing that again, but that's a topic for another post), we are working on a gentle transition back into the swing of things. Our days will be a bit less in intense than usual for the first week or so.

First, I worked with Mary on her math (RightStart B, Lesson 2), while Peter practiced his cutting with a Kumon workbook (I love these) and David worked on his first assignment from Ignite Your Writing (word replacement to use more interesting language...he had a ball with it). Emma busied herself by looking coy every time I took a pair of scissors, pencil or book away from her or scolded her.

Number of times I smirked and had to contain myself while trying to recite the rhymes from Mary's math lesson: 1

But only because my dear hubby had not left yet and reminded me of the importance of not undermining the curriculum by laughing at it, ahem. I'm so grown-up.

Hubby left to prepare for his first day of school the next day, so I had to be on my best behavior after that.


Number of times Mary declared, "I hate this math?": 1

David finished his writing assignment before we finished math, so I handed him his handwriting (Getty-Dubay, book E).

Number of groans: 1

We finished up and switched, Mary doing her handwriting (Getty-Dubay, book C: "I hate this handwriting, uhhg! I liked the A & B books better!"---today she was loving it: "I don't like writing really big, this is better than the old books"), and me doing math with David (RightStart Transitions, Lesson 2). Peter, believe it or not, was still cutting. And pasting.

And Emma was still not interested in blocks or dollies. Biting erasers off of pencils is much more fun.

Number of mouth sweeps performed so far: 0

But only because she had already spit the eraser out.

Mama: "Ok, everybody, let's take a break and have a snack."

Mary: "Mama, I wish I could have some hummus. Oh! I know! You could make some hummus."
After checking my pantry: "Sure, why not."

One can of drained garbanzos, 1/4 cup water, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 t granulated garlic and 1 T lemon juice (all whizzed together in the food processor for about a minute) later, we had not exactly hummus, but an excellent bean dip.

Mary: "Mama, this is the best hummus EVER!"

This from the girl who hates beans or legumes of any kind (I don't think she even likes peanuts). I think I'll try kidney beans with cumin and lime next.

They ate it all, every last smidge, with tortilla chips. Emma gave it a taste, but she really doesn't get dip yet.

So the kiddos took a short play break while Mama cleaned up the debris of living, learning and eating.

After the break it was on to New World Explorers (a Time Travelers unit study from Homeschool in the Woods). We had a somewhat lively discussion about how sailors didn't really think the world was flat and that they were going to sail off the edge into the mouths of sea monsters. (The flat earth myth is one flaw in the curriculum, but easy to work around and I'm using it as a teaching moment---how misconceptions are perpetuated over time...David is very passionate about it, which is a good thing). Peter started drawing ships and sea monsters. And more monsters. And wouldn't stop. He's filling a binder. Fast.

We reviewed the continents and oceans and also learned about some of the reasons explorers explored. We made our first mini books for the accompanying lapbook.

Time for lunch.

David: "But, I'm not hungry!"

Mama: "Well, it is 1 o'clock, if you don't eat now, you won't eat until dinner after soccer practice (7:30!)."

We have a rule in our house: if you skip a meal, no snacks til the next meal.

David: "All right! I'll have a snack. Hrmph!"

When did he turn 13?

After lunch, the little ones colored maps labeled with the continents and oceans. Mary read the labels to Peter. David identified the continents and oceans on a blank map and labeled them. Emma "colored" a map, one crayon in each hand. She also munched on a crayon.

Number of mouth sweeps so far: still 0

But only because the crayon was already reduced to smithereens. Nothing like having purple wax caught in your teeth to give you a gruesomely cute grin.

It was at about this time that Mary first asked me how long til soccer practice (3 hours).

Time to make the Spice Cookies (to go with the explorers exploring for a better spice/silk route).

Now, I was intent on everyone helping with this, and they all did mix, but David was more intent on teaching Peter how to draw faces.

"That's too round, it should be an oval. Like this." Erases Peter's circle and draws an upside down egg-shape on his paper.

"That's too BIG! You won't have room for the iris." Erases and redraws a pupil.

It's amazing how much alike Peter's and David's finished drawings were. {wink}

Restraining ourselves from "fixing it" is hard for us adults---imagine how hard it is for a 10-year-old. But I know that Peter benefits from the attention.

Mary: "How much longer til soccer? Should we start getting ready, now?"

Mama: "It's still a couple of hours, why don't you all go and read your books."

David and Mary scuttled off to do their independent reading. Peter continued on his mission to fill the binder, including notes for the inner pockets explaining that this book has sea monsters and monsters and pirate ships in it, but no dinos. Em, well Em tried to help by pulling DVDs and books off the shelves.

Mary: "Is it time, yet?"

Mama: "Not yet, but let's be sure we have all your gear together."

We got together shin guards, socks and cleats, and unwrapped the new soccer balls, one size 3 and one size 4.

Emma grabbed one of the balls, dropping it in front of her and kicking it across the room, squealing in delight. Everyone joined in. My kitchen is not made for this. Ack!

David: "Hey, why don't we go play soccer out back."

Mary and Peter: "Yeah!"

Mama, smiles: "Good idea!"

So, they grabbed their crocs and headed out back.

About 10 minutes later: "Is it time, yet?"

Mama: "Soon, go play."

Another 5 minutes.

"Is it time, yet?"

Mama sighs: "Ok, let's get your gear on."

I got David and Mary guarded, socked and cleated just as Daddy walked up the back walk. At this point Peter declared: "I'm going, too!"

Mama: "Um, sure, ok."

And I sent them all off with Daddy. Except the sleepy baby, who better to keep me company when I checked my email.

I've Got Some Good News!

After 2 months of dealing with dial-up...hubby broke down and signed us up for cable internet. Not cheap (especially since we don't have cable TV), but the only real option in our area. I've just gone from 54 kilobytes/second to 1.6 megabytes/second...It's good to be back.

Giveaway #5: Making Math Meaningful, Level 3- CLOSED



And now we have Level 3 of Making Math Meaningful:



This gently used set includes:
  • Parent Book
  • Student Book
Generally in excellent condition, but the first 3 student pages have been filled in (in pencil, but graded in ink). No other marks, writing or highlighting. Corners have been a bit bumped from moving. Very usable.

Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes.

And How Was Your Monday?

So, Mama realized at about 11 am Monday morning...that's right, about 2 hours AFTER we were scheduled to start our first day of school for the new year, except that we hadn't actually started because everyone (yes, really, everyone) overslept. Even Mama.

Might have had something to do with that cold brewing in her head. The one everyone else had last week. And everyone (yes, really, everyone) was in a grumbly mood. Even Mama.

But I digress. Fully 2 hours into what was supposed to be a fun and productive 1st day of school, Mama realized that
  1. Tuesday was the first day of soccer practice for both David and Mary.
  2. Exactly 2 shin guards had been located since the move: 1 peewee and 1 youth size.
  3. Exactly 0 of the 2 pairs of soccer cleats in the house actually fit any feet in our house.
  4. Nobody knew where any of the 5 or 6 pairs of soccer socks are.
  5. And that the closest place to buy soccer cleats was 30 minutes away...45 in traffic.
We did have a good 2 hours of instruction, followed by lunch, some much needed rough-housing and a quick nap in the car (not me, the littles).

Too bad I forgot to bring Emma's stroller to the mall.

It would have come in handy when I parked the car near Sears on the wild guess that maybe (just maybe this once) the shoe store I needed would be at that end of the mall. Or maybe even Sears would have the cleats (you never know).

So, we got out of the car and scampered into the mall, through the Barnes and Noble because David just had to get a first-hand look at the Nook. Idle curiosity, or is he working on his Christmas wish list already?

And found the mall directory. Wouldn't you know it...the Payless and the sports shoe stores were at exactly the opposite end of the mall.

It's my own fault, you know. Since I never shop in the mall, I haven't a clue where anything is. At least I knew Payless was there.

Of course, I had to add to the distance by going all the way to the back of Sears to their shoe department just to make sure they didn't carry any cleats. After all, you never know. Nope.

I'm utterly amazed that no matter how much I carry around 25 lb. toddlers, I still have the upper body strength of a lettuce leaf.

You'll be happy to know that after our 5 mile jaunt to the other end of the mall and back we had 2 pairs of cleats. And a pair of church shoes. And a pair of "crocs." They were having a sale.

Next was a hop across the street to get the shin guards, and socks.

Life is good. It amazes me that I can decide that I need something, right now...and I can get it, right now.

We truly are blessed.

Giveaway #4: Making Math Meaningful, Level 2- CLOSED


Our 4th giveaway this week is for the level 2 set of Making Math Meaningful
from Cornerstone Curriculum:


The set includes (retail new would be $45):
  • Parent Book
  • Student Book
Gently used, with no writing or highlighting, though they have been bumped a bit after several moves and each has a place on the front where some scotch tape is stuck on (you might be able to see it in the pic).

If you need Level 3, stay tuned!

Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Difference Between the First and the Third

When David was about 2, every morning when he woke up he would ask for a cookie.

"Cookie? Cookie?"

And point to the cabinet where he knew I kept them.

They were just those non-Oreo cookies. You know the kind I mean.

And I would give him a cookie. He'd smile and eat the cookie. And never ask for another cookie until the next morning, when we would start the new day with the same ritual.

Peter (almost 5): "Can I have a cookie, pwease?"

Mama: "Sure, here you go."

Peter: "Now some milk."

Mama: "That's not how you ask."

Peter: "Some milk, pweease!"

Mama: "Try again."

Peter: "Pweease, can I pweease have some milk pweease?"

Mama: "Here's your milk."

Peter (licking his milk mustache): "Can I have a cookie, pwease?"

Giveaway #3: Peterson-Directed Handwriting- CLOSED


The 3rd giveaway is for Peterson Handwriting, Level 2 (read my review here):


This set contains (everything is in excellent condition):
  • Teacher's Manual
  • Student Book
  • Animated Letter Cards on CD-rom
  • CD of songs
  • 1 adhesive paper positioning guide (sheet had 2, 1 was used)
  • 2 triangular pencils
Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes. This set was a former review item.

Giveaway #2: Before Five in a Row and Writing Strands Level 1- CLOSED



My second giveaway for this week is:



This great set of books to use with your pre-readers/writers. Included in this set (all very gently used and all paperback):
  • Before Five in a Row (you can read my review here).
  • Blueberries for Sal (one of books used in Before FIAR).
  • Writing Strands Level 1 (includes the spiral-bound manual and audio cassette).
  • Freddy & Hortense a Sticky Romance (from Writing Strands)
One of you will win this great set!

Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, no exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: All items are from my own bookshelves. I did not receive any of them for giveaway purposes. Before FIAR was a former review item.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giveaway #1: History Channel's Instant Expert DVDs- CLOSED


When A&E asked me to host a giveaway of the History Channel's Instant Expert DVDs, there was only one catch: I had to post it before Sept. 1st. It couldn't be more perfect, just in time for my Birthday Bash!

This is a set of 6, brand-new DVDs. Retail value, about $80. The videos vary in length (the average is about 90 minutes) and are suggested for Middle School to High School age students. Each includes an on-screen interactive quiz, as well as a very brief (one folded sheet) Teacher's Guide with suggested books, projects, discussion questions, and links to informative websites for further study. Production quality is high, as you've come to expect from the History Channel. Format varies a bit from DVD to DVD, but for the most part, there's a good mix of interviews from experts, computer graphics and dramatizations to keep your students' interest.

I enjoyed previewing Egypt, hosted by Peter Weller (I said to my hubby, "No, way, it's Robocop!" at almost precisely the same time he said, "It's Buckaroo Bonzai!"---all kidding aside, Peter Weller actually is a respected scholar, wink). In spite of some obvious CGI and a few awkward moments of Weller huffing and puffing himself up and down shafts in a pyramid while trying to talk, the production is nicely done. Not, by any means, an incredibly in-depth study, but a good starting place to inspire further research. There are plenty of nuggets here, especially on Egyptian architecture and I liked the way they placed each of the Pharaohs in time.

I can't wait to watch the rest of them. And one of you will get to watch them, too!

EGYPT

Through cutting-edge digital graphics and interviews with noted Egyptologists, EGYPT explores the civilization’s awe-inspiring engineering accomplishments, chronicling the pharaohs and feats that helped build the world’s first superpower. (from the cover)


BEOWULF

The legend of Beowulf, the Viking world’s most famous warrior, is the ultimate tale of courage. Pit against thirsty invaders, barbaric monsters, and a fire-breathing dragon, BEOWULF emerged as Norse mythology’s greatest hero. (from the cover)


FRENCH REVOLUTION

The story of THE FRENCH REVOLUTION is an epic tale of political rebellion and economic upheaval. From the grandeur of Versailles and the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, to the disintegration of the revolution nearly a decade later, THE FRENCH REVOLUTION details this pivotal period in European history. (from the cover)


THE MAYFLOWER

The epic saga of the pilgrims and their journey to and colonization of the New World is one of the fundamental narratives of our nation. THE MAYFLOWER explores the true story of the pilgrims and how the colony’s saga continued in the decades after their fateful voyage. (from the cover)


BEN FRANKLIN

Narrated in a straightforward, conversational tone, BEN FRANKLIN features in-depth interviews with renowned biographers and historians, as well as on-location reenactments shot in high-definition, for a truly remarkable walk in this founding father's footsteps. (from the cover)


THE STORY OF OIL

An energy source unrivaled in efficiency and power, oil is the driving force behind today’s industries and economies. THE STORY OF OIL traces the story of oil through the centuries, from its birth deep in the dinosaur-inhabited past to its
ascendancy as an indispensable ingredient of modern life.


Here's what you need to do to win.

Deadline: Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 (midnight EST).

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment on this post. (That's really it!)

Note: If your profile is not public or does not show your email, please please please type your email into the comment. If I can't find your email, and I draw your entry, I'll have to draw a new winner, not exceptions.

Optional additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Grab my Birthday Bash button (right sidebar) and put it in your sidebar. (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC. (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. (1 entry)
  • Blog about the Birthday Bash at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, linking to my main url. (1 entry)
Disclosure: I received a free set of 6 DVDs (the DVDs spoken of in this post) produced by the History Channel from A&E. The winner's DVDs will also be provided by A&E. Opinions expressed are my own, I was not required to provide a review of the product.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review and GIVEAWAY: Tropical Traditions Moisturing Lotion CLOSED


If you are looking for a lighter version of TT's Moisturizing Cream I reviewed earlier, the lotion is a great, all natural alternative. (Read on to find out how you can win both!)

Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Lotion 100% Pure for Hand, Face, and Body
Ingredients:
purified water, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, organic jojoba, emulsifying wax (plant-based, no soy), grapefruit seed extract, and Organic Virgin Palm Oil.

The lotion has the same yummy looking buttery color and a slightly more subtle coconut smell. It rubbed into my face pretty easily, leaving a slight sheen which disappeared after several minutes. This would work great under a mineral makeup, especially if you have slightly dry, slightly mature skin (hmmm, how would I know that).

It comes in one of those bottles with the top you push down on one edge to open. A little messy to use...I would love to see this in a pump.

Buy It: Right now they are having a Buy One Get One Free Sale (expires Aug. 22)! You get two 8 oz. bottles for $21-22 (depending on the "scent").

Or buy the Moisturizing Lotion and the Cream together in a set for $20.78-23.33 (depending on the scent).

Or...
Win it!

Tropical Traditions has agreed to give one Moisturizing Skin Care package (including a 4 oz. unscented Moisturizing Cream and an 8 oz. unscented Moisturizing Lotion) to one of my readers!

Deadline: August 27, 2010 (midnight, EST)

Ok, here's what you need to do:

Mandatory to enter: Go visit Tropical Traditions and tell me about another product you'd like to try. (1 entry).

Note: If your profile is private or your email is not visible in it, you must leave your email in your comment to enter.

Optional additional entries:
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for free product.

Happy Birthday to Homeschooling Hearts & Minds!

Would you believe that tomorrow will be the 2nd anniversary of my very first blog post?!

Next week, I'm celebrating with...

a week of curriculum giveaways!

After 2 years of curriculum reviews plus my own book addiction (I really need a 12-step program, really), our bookshelves are simply full to overflowing...I need to purge.

I've got some great things to giveaway. Some are gently used. But there's a brand new set of...oops, almost gave it away. Come see me on Monday!

Here's my button for the event, feel free to add it your sidebar (just link it to http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/)---it'll give you a headstart on entering the giveaways:





Review: Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Cream


Tropical Traditions has an all natural line of skin care products containing their fabulous coconut oil, including their 100% Pure Moisturizing Cream for Hand, Face, and Body. Natural skin care always gets my attention.

When your 4-year-old has a genetic skin disorder that affects over 50% of his body, you spend of lot of time applying skin care products to his skin. And wondering how healthy and safe those skin care products are. The skin is our largest organ and it absorbs enough harmful pollutants from our environment without us coating our bodies in things like petroleum (you know, Vaseline, Aquaphor, mineral oil).

But Peter's skin requires a heavy-duty moisturizer and keeping his skin constantly "creamed." Every cream we've had any success with (including the medicated ones compounded by a pharmacy) uses petroleum as a base. It has plenty of staying power...almost too much (it's impossible to totally wash out of clothes---I can't tell you the number of garments I've had ruined by hugging my little boy---busy prints are my friends). Finding a natural product that won't expose my child to harmful chemicals and will wash out of his clothes would be a dream come true, if it had enough staying power...can you imagine creaming up over half of a wiggly little boy every couple of hours...every day?

So, I was very eager to try Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Cream and see how it stacked up against less natural alternatives and other natural products I've tried.

Ingredients:
Purified Water, organic Virgin Coconut Oil, plant based emulsifying wax, palm stearic, grapefruit seed extract, beeswax, organic Virgin Palm Oil.

The cream is very thick and about the consistency of softened butter. It feels like butter butter going on, too. A little dab will do ya, really. Get too much on and it won't soak into your skin. And it smells like coconuts! We received the unscented variety, which simply means that no essential oils have been added for scent.

TT's Moisturizing Cream rubs in easily, leaving a slight waxy sheen that disappears over time. In terms of staying power: it'll hold up to about 2 hand washings if I use it on my hands (and I'm not real thorough washing my hands). After applying it to Peter's forehead---it didn't last long. His forehead was as dry as it was with no product at all about an hour after applying the cream. Subsequent applications had the same effect. But Peter's a special case, his skin soaks up cream like a sponge.

At $12.99 for 4 oz., this wouldn't be a very economical choice for his skin. It would have to be reapplied constantly and a jar wouldn't last long. It is a nice hand cream, though, and he loves the smell. I can see using it just for his hands.

The cream does not make a lasting impact on the texture of the skin itself...once it rubs or washes off, there's no lasting benefit, even when used over time. I didn't expect any, though, this acts more as a barrier cream, trapping in moisture, rather than something that will sloth off dead skin (no fruit acids or other alpha hydroxies).

Buy it: 100% Pure Moisturizing Cream is available from Tropical Traditions (with or without essential oils) in a 4 oz jar for $12.99-14.50.

Stay tuned to find out how you could win some!

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for free product.

The Answer to Yesterday's Puzzle

Did you figure it out?

I'll give you a hint:





It's the lock to one of our pocket doors.


The bolt (bottom left) was frozen.
Some crusty residue I scraped off unfroze it,
but it wouldn't stay in a locked position.
Can you see which piece is in the wrong place?

It's that silver piece with the hole in it that should be over a pivot point (fulcrum).

The kiddos spotted the problem right away.
We had fun taking apart the lock and actually seeing how all the parts work.

What do you have in your house that you can take a part
and turn into a science lesson?




Thursday, August 19, 2010

Giveaway Scout

Every heard of it? You can subscribe to Giveaway Scout and they'll email you with free updates on new giveaways available on the web...how cool is that?! But what's even cooler is that you can sign up your blog for FREE and they'll update their subscribers all about your giveaways. I've got a few giveaways coming up (I'll be telling you about them real soon)...maybe this will save me some time signing Linkys? I'll let you know.

The Beautiful Blogger Award


My good friend Sister Tipster over at Tellin' It has given me the Beautiful Blogger Award! I'm honored, thank you so much sweetie:-) Head on over there for some great money saving tips and insightful homeschool reviews.

Now I'm, ahem, supposed to tell you something about me. Hmmm...

7 things you might not want to know about me:
  1. I'm a major pack rat. OK, I'm getting better. But will someone please tell me what I'm supposed to do with that Memories book I've carted around for over half of my life. You know the one I'm talking about...it's got colored tassels pictured on the cover and my dead pressed prom corsage glued into it and signatures from a bunch of people I couldn't bring myself to name except under hypnosis.
  2. I have a BA degree in English and Philosophy.
  3. My least favorite household chore is washing the dishes. No, it's cleaning the bathroom. No, it's picking up folding laundry. Ok, it's a toss-up.
  4. I can't drive a stick-shift.
  5. My favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, though I'd prefer it with hot fudge and pecans (but I could really go for Stone Creamery's Mudpie Mojo right now).
  6. 3 of my 4 kids were delivered by VBAC and 2 of them without pain meds of any kind...and if you think child-birth doesn't hurt...well, let's just say you'd be wrong.
  7. I've been known to cry during movies.
And now 7 bloggers I'd like to share with y'all (in no particular order):
  1. Confessions of a Redeemed Diva
  2. Linda's Lunacy
  3. Janette's Sage
  4. Hearthside Homeschool Reviews...and more!
  5. Blog, She Wrote
  6. Learning to Be Thrifty
  7. Farm Girl in My Heart

Everyday Learning


Can you and your kiddos tell what it is?

And can you see what's wrong with it
(or, at least one of the things that's wrong with it)?

Answer (and story) tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Winner!

Sorry folks, thought I had posted this, but it was still stuck in draft (and you thought I knew what I was doing:-)

The winner is:



matt4melis


Congratulations!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Expo is coming, the Expo is coming...


...and if you sign up between now and midnight, August 22nd, you will get $5 off your entrance fee!

That's only $19.99 for 5 days of talks by inspiring speakers:
  • Dr. Jay Wile- Be Open-Minded, but Don't Let Your Brain Fall Out
  • Todd Wilson- Lies Homeschoolers Believe
  • Diana Waring- A Life-Changing Quest: The Adventure of History
  • Zan Tyler- Avoiding and Overcoming Homeschool Burnout
  • Eleanor Joyce- Writing for Pleasure and Profit
  • Dianne Craft- Identifying Your Child's Learning Glitch (and what to do about it at home)
  • and many more!
And you won't believe the freebies you'll get with your Expo ticket, some real first class stuff to download (valued at over $200).

Plus, all the sessions will be available later as mp3's...so even if you can't attend every session Live, you won't miss a thing. You can listen to them over again in the car, or while you're mowing the lawn, or on the French Riviera.

Can't make it to the LIVE Expo at all (maybe you really are going to be in France that week)...the Expo to Go will get you all the mp3's when they are available. Sign up this week and pay only $14.95.

You can read all about the Schoolhouse Expo and buy a ticket here...but hurry, there are only 750 LIVE tickets available, and they are selling fast.

Disclosure: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the opportunity to post about a couple of upcoming events for The Old Schoolhouse in exchange for an Expo to Go ticket. This post helps to fulfill my end of that bargain.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our Students 2010-2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop



Here's the crew...you can just tell they are going to be trouble, can't you?



David (age 10, grade 5)/ Emma (age 16 1/2 months)

David's special interests: engineering, architecture, computers and generally how stuff works. He's an avid reader, Lego builder, and Nerf Combatant.

Emma's nickname: "Squeaky."
She doesn't talk yet, but has no trouble getting what she wants
with clicks, whistles, squeaks and gestures.
Is she part dolphin?
And, if that fails, her amazing spaghetti arms come in handy.



Mary (age 6, 1st grade)

Mary's special interests: dance, music and reading.
Mary is most interested in proving that she can do anything her 10-year-old brother can do.
We love her single-mindedness highly motivated attitude.


Peter (almost 5, Kindergarten)

Peter loves loves loves to draw
and to start theological discussions while on the potty.
Keeping him engaged will be a challenge.

Good thing I have plenty of drawing and toilet paper.

It should be fun.