Water, Water Everywhere Part 1

Technically, this could be Part .5 and Part 1. You know, like a little prequel.

It has rained almost every day this summer. We have a pool for the first time ever, and we were only able to use it four or five times because the weather just won’t let up. Bennett wanted to go to the pool on his birthday. I checked the radar. Nothing there. Checked the forecast. Nothing until late in the afternoon. So around one o’clock, we step out the door, already sunscreened and ready to go — and it starts raining. Check the radar again. Nothing. It’s not storming, so we went to the pool anyway, and it stopped after a few minutes, but really? Poor Bennett still hasn’t had a birthday party this year because we planned to have it at the park and we couldn’t work it out on a day when it wasn’t raining. (The Atlanta area has already received more rain this year than we get in a average year.) Fortunately, so many other things have been going on that I think he’s forgotten about it.  Continue reading

The *Real* Saga of Candy Crush

So, the latest time-wasting trend to sweep Facebook (as if you’re not wasting enough time if you’re on Facebook in the first place) is Candy Crush Saga. I resisted for months because I already played Bejeweled Blitz and who needs another time-sucking game?

Then my kids spent a week with their dad and it rained all week, so rather than being anything remotely resembling productive, I read books and played computer games all week. In other words, I took a vacation. I was so bored “vacationing” that I started playing Candy Crush Saga.

Apparently some kid is trying to help unicorns and bunnies and dragons. Who cares about all that stuff?

Let’s talk about the real saga of Candy Crush.

First, you start playing and it’s all so easy, and you can’t figure out what your friends are talking about. You replay levels just so you can get three stars.

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Woo hoo! I got three stars!

Continue reading

TOS Review: Understanding Child Brain Development DVD

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I’m going to try not to gush in this review, but it may be difficult, because I was fascinated by the information in this DVD. Understanding Child Brain Development from The Family Hope Center will provide important information for parents of children with special needs of all types, as almost all disabilities are caused by neurological disconnect of some sort. Continue reading

Bloggers Wanted: Second Annual Celebrating Womanhood Blogging Event



Hosted by Living, Learning, and Loving Life, Cabin Goddess, and Tea with Dee.


Yes, we’re taking over the internet again to spread positive messages about women. Last year, a few of us got fed up with all the negativity aimed at women and decided that for one day, we wanted to flood the blogosphere with something positive. We had so much fun and such a great response that we decided to do it again this year.

For one day, we want to drown out negativity and celebrate the beauty and pride of women.

These days it seems that some people want us to be ashamed of being women. They want us to believe that we’re less: less intelligent, less important, less human. There is so much negativity out there. For one day, we want to flood the internet with positive messages about women.

Continue reading

TOS Review: Reading Kingdom

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If you’ve been following my reviews this year, you know that one of my favorite features in a learning product is a placement test. Parents can never be sure exactly what our children have learned or retained, especially if you’re, um, eclectic as we are. I love Reading Kingdom because the first thing the student does is take an online evaluation. RK can be used for Preschool through third-grade reading levels, so children with better reading skills may have to sit longer through the evaluation. Bennett was still at the Pre-K level, so it didn’t take long for the program to determine what he did and didn’t know. Continue reading

Kid Quotes (8/14)

A while back, Chick-Fil-A was giving away plastic brain sections (not as gross as it sounds) with their kids’ meals. We really don’t eat out very often, so Blake only ended up with one piece. Jack mentioned that he had the same issue when he was little, except his was a space station. B didn’t quite get it, so he asked if J had another piece of the brain. “No, I didn’t have a brain when I was little….Wait. That’s not what I meant….”

Jack was telling me about building a giant creeper in Minecraft. He said he was going to have to either make it larger than he intended or take it apart, because he had messed something up and its butt was too big. “Yeah, he made the big atestine too big.”
Continue reading

TOS Review: Bible Study Guide for All Ages

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Today I’m reviewing the Beginner and Advanced levels from Bible Study Guide For All Ages. BSG takes you through the Bible with lessons that are easy to understand, yet include all the information you want your children to take away from a Bible study. This program can be used in a home or church setting.

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The Beginner level is targeted for ages four through Kindergarten, but can be used for ages three through first grade. This level includes simple memory work, applications, and an illustrated story. You can see an example of the Student Page here. Each lesson is two pages, as shown. If you order the Beginner Starter Package, it also includes Timeline cards for a fun and easy way to learn Bible facts one at a time. BSG also has a CD of 90 children’s songs.

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Bennett (5) liked the illustrated stories, but he wasn’t very interested in the rest of the lessons. I think this might be better suited for children who don’t have as much previous Bible knowledge. I had trouble keeping my kids engaged because, at 11 and 5, they’ve had almost-daily Bible reading and lessons all their lives, and they already know all the stories and “trivia”.

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I liked the CD, and Jeffrey was okay with it, but Bennett did not like it at all. I think something about the male voice set off his sensory issues. I honestly have no idea what the problem was. I only mention it, because as a mom of kids with special-needs, I know the strangest things can be an issue. You can listen to a sample of the CD before you order.

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The Advanced level is targeted to students in fifth and sixth grade, but again, can be used for children a little above and below these grades. The Advanced level lessons include more involved memory work, applications, a timeline, and an illustrated story. You can see a sample here. You can order the Basic Edition Advanced Starter Pack,which includes Advanced Student Pages lessons 1-104,  Bible Book Summary Cards, and the Children’s Songs CD Set.

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There is also a Premium Edition Advanced Starter Pack, which includes Advanced Student Pages lessons 1-104, Advanced Teacher Key lessons 1-104, Unlabeled Wall Maps and Time Line, Label Book (volume 1), Label Packet for Lessons 53-104, Bible Book Summary Cards, and the Children’s Songs CD Set.

I liked that the welcome pages in the box included easy-to-follow instructions for how to work with children on multiple levels. This made it much easier for us to incorporate this study into our daily Bible time.

How to get it

Beginner Student Pages $5.95 for each set of 26 lessons
Beginner Time Line $24.95
Children’s Songs CD $19.95
Beginner Student Pack $63.20
Advanced Student Pages $5.95 for each set of 26 lessons
Bible Book Summary Cards $24.95
Advanced Starter Pack (Basic Edition) $63.20
Advanced Starter Pack (Premium Edition) $138.32
All prices current as of this writing and are subject to change.


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