And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Balance

Ahh it is almost the New Year. I was really a grumpy person throughout the Christmas season this year. I just could not get into the spirit of things. I wanted Christmas to be over and done! I even took down the tree and all the decorations the day after Christmas. It felt so good to pack it all away. I hope this was just an off year for me and that in 2012 I will resume enjoying Christmas as my favorite time of year! Anyhow I am really looking forward to sweeping 2011 off my feet and embarking on a new year with new plans and goals!

My word for 2011 was purpose. Looking back over the year, I think we did a good job of being purposeful with our time and resources. We spent more quality time together and with others and we found activities that had a purpose other than pleasing us. We could have done more but purpose will continue to be a work in progress for us. I think our biggest accomplishment was letting go of several fluff activities and that gave us more time for purposeful activities. I also put a lot of purposeful planning into homeschool this year and it has really shown. Things have flowed smoothly even though we have become 3 in the schoolroom instead of just 2. I also "repurposed" some of the rooms and spaces into our home (like the schoolroom) and that has been a wonderful blessing to all of us

.

I have been praying and listening and waiting and God has given me my word for 2012. It will be balance. I am the serious parent, the one who stays on task and tries to keep everyone else there, the one that scoffs fun for responsibility. I need to better balance that. Fun activities can be purposeful and are important not only to my health and stress level but also to the other family members. This year I hope to balance some fun with our responsibilities and also to encourage the other members of the family to do the same.

Hubby and I have set some lofty New Years goals and we will both need lots of balance to accomplish them. We are coming up with a healthier eating plan for the whole family, and he and I both are setting a goal to lose 50 lbs each. It will not be easy but after losing 30 lbs 2 years ago, I know we can do it! We also have big plans of getting our finances in order and we are praying some big things to God for Him to help us succeed in that area. The economy issues have not been kind to us and after struggling for 3 years, we need God to intercede in that area.

Balance is an important goal in every area of life, we need to learn to be balanced in our temperments, our diets, our finances, and more. Balance is also necessary in our lives as we strive to serve the Lord while living in the world.

Are you making any goals for 2012?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still Emotionally Involved





When I read When the Heart Cries, I became totally involved in the story of Hannah Lapp. Very few series grab my attention and hold onto it like the tale of Hannah, a young Amish girl who suffers a terrible attack and ends up shunned by her community. After finishing the first book in the series, I quickly scooped up the second and finished it in one night. I could barely wait for the third installment to arrive in the mail! When the Soul Mends did not disappoint. Although I was feeling very impatient in finding out Hannah's end result, Cindy Woodsmall did a terrific job of weaving the tale and leaving me guessing about Hannah's future until the very end.

What a mess things have become as Hannah is drawn to return to Owl's Perch after a frantic call from her sister Sarah. Hannah doesn't want to leave the comfort of her home and her life as a nurse and student. Hannah is quickly confronted with all the pains from her past- Paul, her Daed, Sarah, and the community that is still shunning her. How will Hannah work her painful past into her content present? How will she balance her life with Martin versus the care her sister needs? Will Hannah run away again?

The Sisters of the Quilt series is one I won't quickly forget. The stories are intriguing and well written. Cindy Woodsmall has a great voice to share the Amish community with the "Englischer" world. Pick up the series today and you won't put it down until you reach the very end!

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Biblical A-Z for Littles


There is nothing better to get a preschooler or kindergartner's attention than a big colorful flip board! I was so excited when I saw A is for Adam! It is a homeschooler's dream! This colorful BIG flip board book covers the alphabet from A to Z using the book of Genesis to correlate a story to each letter. Of course it begins with Adam and it goes all the way through "Z is for Zip, so quick will it be, When Jesus comes back for you and for me." Each letter is given a full size colorful illustration and a "quick guide" for discussion, verses, questions, activities, etc. If you want to expand this beyond PreK or K, there is an additional page of discussion and more for each letter.

The more I explore this teaching tool, the more excited I get! The possibilities for using this to learn are endless. This resource is perfect for homeschool, Sunday school, before bedtime devos, and more! If your child isn't quite ready to learn letters yet, use this to introduce the beautiful illustrations and stories from Genesis. With all the activities, discussion ideas, and more, this book will last you a long time. Once Speedy is reading, I will use it for daily short readings for him since the wording on the pictures is only a sentence or two.

Master Books brings us so many great homeschool resources and this is just another fine example!

 I received this book for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinons are my own.

We Can All Use a Little Help....



One of my favorite books of all time is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is a terrific book and I'm constantly recommending it.  When I came across Happily Ever After I was so excited to see another marriage book by Gary Chapman. I will be the first to tell you that reading books about marriage should be a constant. Marriage is not easy and if you wait until there's a problem, you're going to need a lot more than a book to help you. I'd say marriage is mostly a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and Hubby and I have had our share of each over the past 10 years.

Happily Ever After contains six steps to make your marriage successful. Mr. Chapman explores each step in length with real life stories, tips, and applications. From conflicts to intimacy to in laws, it feels like he covers it all. The conflicts chapter had to be my favorite. I think we all probably know these things but we all need reminders so we can use them. My spouse is my mate for life and I want our relationship to be at its best.

Of course the number one need in every marriage is Christ as the center and Mr. Chapman certainly understands and implements that. If I was the one doling out the advice my next would be "Love your neighbor as yourself" and as our Sunday School teacher says, your closest neighbor is your spouse. That's about the extent of good advice except read Happily Ever After and then pass it to your spouse so they can read it also.

I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Triple Action



Are you looking for a laundry detergent that is easy on your wallet but tough on stains? Look no farther than Purex Triple Action! I was so excited when this bottle arrived just in time for the holidays. Apple and Speedy love to dress up for all the Christmas gatherings but they are messy eaters when there are so many desserts around! I cringe everytime they pick up a plate wearing their holiday best. However Purex Triple Action let me relax the last few weeks. It got every crumb, art mistake, and more out of their clothes. It was gentle on Apple's intricate dresses but tough on Speedy's dirty knees on his pants.

I used it for mine and Hubby's clothes too (since I throw all our clothes together) and it worked great. Generally smell is a concern after being in and out of families homes with pets, cigarette smoke, and more. This was the first holiday where I did not have to run some clothes through the wash twice. As expensive as detergent and electricity is (not to mention time) I do NOT want to do a load more than once! I was so pleased with the Triple Action.

Purex always is a great value with a price way lower than most competitors. I tried Mountain Breeze scent and thought it was fantastic but Purex offers Triple Action in several scents and varities like Natural Elements. Purex Triple Action is good for all machines including HE. Look for coupons and special sales on Purex items in your local Sunday papers.

Purex provided a free sample of their Triple Action laundry detergent so I could write a review. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own. I love being a Purex Insider!

Little Scientists



My kids take after my husband in the science department. I'm not a huge science person. I always made good grades in science but it's a little too.....messy for me! Plus I just don't think my mind operates the way "scientists" do. I found a Science cheat sheet though! World of Science is a big ol book of scientific facts based on Christian principles! It is filled with section after section of eye catching pictures and mind filling information. Given the chance, Hubby would sit and read this cover to cover!

Apple and Speedy love science. They go on walks with Hubby and learn all kinds of little intricate information about rocks and leaves and the sky. Now they can reinforce all that information with this book! While we are totally enjoying the Science co-op we are in this year, the curriculum we are using is fantastic but it isn't all inclusive since it is for a range of ages. Now when Apple asks one of intense science questions, I can look up the answer in minutes! I'm so thankful for the extensive index in the back.

World of Science is divided into section and includes science project ideas and more. Learn how sharks sense electrical signals and how the North Pole moves. This is a terrific resource for homeschoolers, families, or just those more scientifically inclined than I!

I received this book from New Leaf Publishing for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Emotionally Involved



I love to read and there's nothing better than a great fiction story that I can fall right into. When the Heart Cries did more than draw me in, I fell into this book! I picked it up planning to read just a little and then go to bed. I stayed up past midnight finishing it! It's been a long time since I got so emotionally involved with characters. Cindy Woodsmall paints a beautiful portrait of an Amish girl who is set apart.

Although Hannah is stepping outside of the norm, she is woefully mistreated by circumstances beyond her own control. The journey that she takes emotionally and physically following her abuse is heart wrenching. The series of events that take place are so frustrating as she is met with misunderstanding after complicated misunderstanding. Just when you think it can't get any worse, new tragedies strike her family and then Hannah. Cindy Woodsmall again has done a great job of bringing you into an Amish community. This story focuses mostly on one family but you can see the influences of the bigger group.

If you looking for a fiction read that you won't be able to put down, pick up When the Heart Cries. Make sure you have a few hours to finish it!

I received this book for the purpose of review from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Please take a moment to rate my review.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Really?!?!?!

So I just caught a preview for a new series that will be airing soon. It's called "I Hate My Teenage Daugher" and the description basically said the series is about 2 single moms that allow their teen daughters to do whatever they want. Sigh......and we wonder why our teens are all rebelling, why the family structure is totally breaking down, and why we can't communicate with our children. Here is the show's information site http://www.fox.com/i-hate-my-teenage-daughter/.

Dear Hollywood, we have NO NO NO NO NO use, need, or want of these ridiculous shows. If you can't do any better than this then please just rerun episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show", "The Cosby Show", and "Little House on the Prairie." Thanks. UGH!

#Smurftastic


 
Have you seen the Smurfs movie? We were given the chance to hold a Smurftastic bash complete with coloring pages, blue foods, the movie and more!! Our original party plan had to be cancelled due to obligations this time of year, but we were able to host a fun sleepover with some favorite friends!!

The kids enjoyed blue punch, blue yogurt, blue and white cookies, and popcorn with blue M&Ms! They were so excited! They watched the movie and then colored some of the great coloring pages we were sent. Their favorite scene in the movie involved a Smurf loose in a toy store! Everyone wanted to buy him!

This movie is fun, family friendly, and made me remember all the great times I had watching the Smurfs as a little girl! It's available now on Blu Ray and DVD!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Old Navy Bundle Up Bash

I was SO SUPER EXCITED when I was given the opportunity to host an Old Navy Bundle Up Bash! Old Navy and Crowdtap gave me the opportunity to take 3 friends into my local ON and have a great Girls Night Out!! We spent a couple of hours in the store, trying on TONS of great clothes, laughing, chatting with employees, and eventually choosing an outfit each to take home. The managers and other employees were so accomodating. They made sure we had everything we needed and then set us free to invade the store, take tons of pictures, tweet live from the party, and try on almost everything in the ladies department!!

Right now Old Navy is FILLED to the brim with cute hats, cuddly sweaters, fantastic jeans, and lovely scarves! Between the 4 of us I think we tried on everything! We planned out all sorts of different looks from super casual to super dressy! Our favorites were jeans paired with all different sorts of shirts and sweaters with hats, gloves, and scarves to accessorize!

Is that the Wendy's girl?

Sherri actually tried on jeans!!!

She got mad model moves in her green sweater!

Hoodie style!

My mama got all bundled up!

This was the 70s look!


 I was going for the snow sled look..... could only pull it off in the Antartic!!!


Here is a much cuter look on me but everyone else was looking for more great clothes so I had to take my own picture!!



At the end we were all so excited!!!!! We were given coupons for one outfit each and we loved choosing them!! Total saved thanks to Old Navy and Crowdtap- almost $400!!!! THANK YOU ON & CROWDTAP!!!!!!



If you want great clothes at reasonable prices for the whole family- check out Old Navy! If you want to try free clothes and more check out Crowdtap!

I received coupons for free products in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and I was not required to blog about it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NLT Bible Giveaway.....plus a chance for an Apple iPad 2!!!!!!

WOW look at the details of this Giveaway by Tyndale!!!!


We wanted to let you know about a great giveaway happening over at the New Living Translation Facebook page!!!

Here are the NLT Facebook page giveaway details:

Starting on November 29th until December 24th at the New Living Translation Facebook page we're giving away lots of great prizes and something free for you just for singing up.

By visiting the giveaway entry page (located on the NLT Facebook page, the link is under the profile picture) and entering your name and e-mail address you'll be entered to win the following prizes:
One random person each day will win a Life Application Study Bible Family Pack (Guys Life Application Study Bible hc, Girls Life Application Study Bible hc, Student's Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible Large Print hc).
One Random person each week will win an Apple iPad 2!

Everyone that signs up gets a free download copy of the Life Application Bible Study – Book of Luke!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Didn't Know That!


My kids LOVE animals. No seriously they LOVE LOVE LOVE learning about animals, seeing different kinds of animals, and asking millions of questions about animals. Hubby is very interested in reptiles and has owned several different types of reptiles over the years so I think they got their fascination from him. Anyhow when this HUGE book called World of Animals arrived with a very cool picture of a tiger on the front, Apple & Speedy were stoked! They plopped down and dug right in.

World of Animals is full of interesting animal facts. What poisonous fish is considered a delicacy in some Asian countries? What bug surrounds itself with a froth known as "snake spit"? These and many more unusual facts can be found throughout this reference book. Best of all the book is broken into sections by animal classifications which we just studied in our homeschool science co-op! So the book begins with protists and ends with mammals! And within each animal group the pages are broken down into specific animals like African monkeys and colubrid snakes. This is just a terrific reference book that will supplement so many science curriculums and studies.

I may not be as obsessed with animals as my kids are but I love books like this on our homeschool shelves. That way when my kids are asking those million questions that I don't know the answer to, it's right at my fingertips! There is something timeless about opening a book to find an answer!

I received this book from New Leaf Publishing for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Is it December?

Seems like I was just posting the woes of it being November and here it is December already! We've even had a snow already which is just unheard of in TN! It was a couple of inches of accumulation and my kids loved every minute of it! Apple will probably live in a state that gets feet of snow at a time when she is older. She just LOVES it. Speedy likes the snow but hates the cold so it's a short lived romance for him.

Anyhow we had a lovely Thanksgiving and we were able to enjoy 3 feasts with different parts of the family. I went Black Friday shopping which I have done every year for at least 13 years but may never do again after this year (that's a tale for a different post). The kids and I had a nice long week off to celebrate our thanks and the turkey. And now my shopping is mostly done, the wrapping is caught up until more packages arrive, and tonight we will go to our first Christmas party of the season. But we will and it will be a clear definition of a new semester.

Speedy has begun Math U See Primer and he is really enjoying it. He's finishing up his 5th lesson and has done very well. He will be finished with our modified version of Hooked on Phonics PreK before we go on Christmas break and he's looking very forward to beginning the "purple" Hooked on Phonics. He is progressing much better than I had expected he would. Speedy is enjoying school and has gotten right into the habit. The only place that his progression is painfully slow is writing. He just has little to no interest in it. He's never enjoyed coloring or drawing and it really shows now that he is beginning writing. He can write his name but he doesn't like to so he never does. I've really been pushing him to practice, and he just makes it a very painful process. Sigh......

Apple's painful process is still math. I think it always will be. She has the ability but just no drive. We are still working through Math U See Beta and she will be finishing it up in the spring. We will then move straight into Gamma. I think to keep her on track with math, it will have to be constant. No long summer breaks for math this year. She is doing very well with an English textbook, a Spelling textbook, a Social Studies textbook, and a Health textbook. I have those lessons laid out for the rest of the school year and she will be completed with some of them by spring. She's still consuming books. We went to the library the Wednesday before our Thanksgiving break and I let her get 8 books. I was hoping they would get her through the week we didn't have class. Instead she was finished with all 8 by Sunday night and our break didn't begin until Monday! We are blessed to have TONS of books here at home and many of them she still hasn't read. She is also still reading her way through the Little House series. She's a big mystery book lover and those are the ones she seeks at the library.

Together they completed their Science co-op lessons and we will begin a new book in January! This school semester has really gone well. We've had some tough days (didn't think Apple & I were going to make it through subtraction with regrouping earlier this week) but we have more good days than bad. I can really see that they are learning and I love spending time with each of them. Budget restraints have kept us at home more than ever before but it's been a blessing.

We began our Jesse Tree yesterday and they just absorb the word of God. They love each little symbol and it's wonderful this year to see them rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get Fresh!







How often do you need to freshen up but you don't have time for a shower? Or you get ready to head out to dinner and realize your kids smell like little wet puppies? Qwik Shower is the perfect solution! These aren't just wipes! These are HUGE wet clothes with a lemony fresh scent terrific for a quick clean up!

Hunter Hubby is ready to put a few of these in his hunting pack. It's hard to wiped up after prepping a deer but these big wipes are sure to get him cleaned up. I wish we had these when soccer was happening as well! Since there was soccer every Saturday, we almost always needed to be somewhere right after a game. Qwik Showers would have been fantastic for getting Apple and Speedy cleaned up before they changed clothes.

In this day and age, we are all on the run. It's inevitable that we will have times we need to clean up but we won't have the time or resources to do it. Qwik Shower Big Wet Wipes are individually wrapped so you can stick them in your glove box, diaper bag, purse, wallet, or other convenient places. They are also great for your kids to carry to school to clean up after gym class!

Qwik Shower Wipes are affordable and can be purchased online here. Free shipping is available on their site! Qwik Shower is also generously going to give one Carter Chaos reader a 6 pk of Big Wet Wipes! Follow the easy peasy Rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway! 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sponsored by Tomoson.com

Princess Apple

If you've been reading my blog any length of time at all you know that 6 yr old Apple fancies herself a little princess and she LOVES to read. She absorbs written words as though they were food to her soul. As an avid reader myself, I can attest that good books can be food to the mind and soul! When I say Sheri Rose Shepherd's new book His Little Princess: Treasure Letters From Your King, I knew Apple would want to read it. I didn't expect it to be such a wonderful treasure!

The idea of princesses is becoming overused to an extent. Princesses are a HOT trend right now and it seems as though there are princess themed everythings! We try not to overincourage the princess idea with Apple because....well because she can be quite the diva and it isn't always lovely and cute. This book however does NOT emphasize a demanding diva who gets all her wishes. No no! This lovely read is letters "from the King." Little letters to encourage your princess to dwell righteously in the eyes of God. Each letter is mirrored by a pray for your princess to pray. Both the letters and the prayers reflect teachings from the Bible and will encourage your daughter while teaching her or reminding her of God's commandments.



With 50 letters and responses, your daughter can reread these words again and again. Apple has seen the book but I haven't let her begin reading it yet. I'm going to encourage her to put it on her nightstand and read a letter and prayer every morning before she gets out of bed. What a wonderful resource to help her begin having a private morning devotion!

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It May Be UGLee But It's Comfy!







I was so excited to receive the UGLee pen to try! I am a very organized person so I'm constantly making lists and writing things down for bills, errands etc. I also write quite a bit during our homeschool time while grading papers, writing plans, etc. When I opened it.... well it is UGLee! HA! However I was immediately impressed with the comfort grip. Speedy said it was sticky and to an extent it is a funny texture. WARNING WARNING- ladies do not put this bad boy behind your ear or anywhere near your hair. I learned the hard way that it tangles into hair easily. I actually learned about 3 times before it stuck. I'm always on the go so I usually stick a pen into my hair. Not anymore with this one!

Although I rarely was able to get it to write on the first stroke, the UGLee pen gives you smooth ink once it gets going. The ink doesn't smear or smudge at all. The fit into my hand was perfect. I actually don't have the "traditional" grip when I write. Instead my writing utensils lay on my third finger. This was the first pen I've ever found that was truly comfortable and didn't leave a harsh dent in my finger after excessive writing. The UGLee pen would be great for students that take lots of handwritten notes or anyone with carpal tunnel or arthritis. Speedy and Apple both gave the pen a try and had great results. It is a wonderful tool to help them get the correct grip and not take after mommy's weird one!

Hubby took the pen to work with him for a few days and he was impressed as well. He takes many handwritten notes throughout the day and always has a pen in his pocket. He liked the ergonomic grip as well and found that the pen worked well even with his heavy pressed writing style. He and I also were both pleased that it is a click top pen and not a twist top or capped pen. That's important for busy parents on the go! UGLee pen has graciously offered to giveaway a pen to one lucky reader! Follow the easy Rafflecopter form below for your chance!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.comhttp://www.tomoson.com/?code=BOTTOMc775a10d380647a240d7a398a922956a">Tomoson.com>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Brrrrr!!!

It is coooold in TN this morning! Theres frost on the ground and a chill in the air! I can't complain too much because it's been unseasonable warm lately. However I have such a hard time getting into the holiday spirit when the weather isn't right. One of my favorite cold weather treats is hot drinks. In the winter we drink coffee (of course), hot tea, and hot chocolate by the bucketfuls. I love a good hot drink when I'm coming in from the cold outside. I had a special winter coffee drink at my favorite coffeehouse yesterday afternoon. It was so good, but pricey. The local coffeehouse is pretty far from my house and the cost makes them a rare treat. What do I do all the days between?

I make some great coffee at home in my Keurig. I love my coffeemaker! I can get TONS of varieties of coffees and other hot drinks. I complete everyone with a splash of liquid Coffeemate. Coffeemate comes in so many different flavors as well. I can get my favorite holiday flavors like Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice. The different flavors of creamer are so fun to mix and match with the different flavors of coffee. I've found some GREAT combinations like Gingerbread coffee with Honey Vanilla Creme creamer! FANTASTIC! I save so much money making coffee drinks at home and I save time and gas! I also use Coffeemate to give my hot tea a little extra flavor.

To  make your own great coffee drinks at home to help you survive the cold weather, pick up some Coffeemate available in powder and liquid forms. Leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite cold weather drinks!


I'm a member of the Coffeemate Brew Crew. I receive points for activities like these.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keeping A Good Attitude #HasbroKREOsets




When you have children, bringing them joy during the holidays is such a wonderful feeling. I love my children's excitement over all the wonders of Christmas! However as an adult who has lost several close family members in recent years, Christmas can be bittersweet. I miss my dad & my grandma so much, it can be hard to focus on the positive side of things.

The ways that we keep the joy in the Christmas season are:

  1. We focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Each year we add in more traditions to keep our real focus of the season on Jesus. Just reading the Bible verses about His birth brings hope and faith into our hearts. Doing our advent tree and all our fun Christmas crafts on Jesus keep our minds and hearts focused on all of our many blessings.
  2. I'm excited to try some new traditions this year! I'm really thinking of doing a 12 Days of Christmas where we take inexpensive but thoughtful items to those we appreciate. One each day will keep our hearts and minds in the right place! Great ideas for those to bless: Pastors, firefighters, police officers, librarians, bank workers, postman, etc. Bringing joy to others always gives us joy!
  3. Smells of the season! We all know that smell can trigger happy memories and really get our Christmas juices flowing. We've already been doing some baking and cooking. My kids really love to get involved in the kitchen and it's a great way for us to create new memories and spend some special time together!
  4. Time Together- just spending time as our family of 4 helps us to focus on family, commitment, and love. Even if we are all just sitting and enjoying some Christmas music together, we are sure to have great conversation and a few laughs!
Keeping the right spirit of the holidays doesn't have to be expensive, overwhelming, or planned down to the second. Giving yourself time to relax and enjoy the season with your family is the best mood booster of all! Just take a few minutes every day to clear your mind and think of a fun activity to enjoy with your family! If you need to make a list now, cut the ideas into strips, and drop them in a bowl. Then when you need a quick boost, pull an idea out and get to having fun! This could be a drive to look at Christmas lights or a few minutes of Bible reading with your spouse. Tis the season to be Merry!


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hasbro blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points and a KRE-O gift. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Hasbro. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Makes Scents! #SeventhGenerationScents

What are your favorite smells? Do they remind you of a particular place or time? Smell is such a strong sense and it connects to our taste buds, memories, and more. Sense of smell isn't taken for granted in my family! Hubby had a head injury before we were married and he lost his sense of smell for a very long time. In fact it's never completely returned and it made a big difference in his sense of taste. You'd be amazed how often we smell things, until you can't! I have some big pots of soup cooking right now and the smell fantastic!

Seventh Generation understands the importance of smell and they have a new line of liquid dishwashing liquid in natural scents. You can check them out here or enter to win a trip! My favorite smells are mostly food smells. Just a whiff of bananas and I think of my grandma's banana pudding. The smell of the river reminds me of fishing with my daddy. The ocean smell brings back great memories from recent family vacations. A particular cologne reminds me of the days of dating Hubby. Baby powder makes me think of Apple and Speedy when they were tiny. The smell of a baking turkey brings back all the wonderful holidays at my mom's house.

The best scents in nature are the smells of pine trees. They take me back to camping with my family when I was little and playing with the pine cones and needles. They invoke memories of special Christmas trees and Christmas memories of the past. They even remind me of the pine scented air freshners that everyone used when I was a kid. We had a fake tree for several years but even then I bought pine scented candles to get that fresh pine smell. Now we are back to a real tree and the wonderful aroma that goes with it. Something about the earthy natural smells just reminds me of God and the intricate details of His great creation, down to the smells He gave us to enjoy.

I love other smells too. I love the smell of a freshly cleaned house, the bread baking at my favorite sub shop, my favorite perfume. My kids love the smells of new playdough, crayons, and warm cookies. My mother in law loves magnolia candles for their unique smell. Who doesn't love fresh cut grass, a cake baking in the oven, a fresh Christmas tree? Tis the season for scents and smells and laughter and fun.


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Friday, November 11, 2011

Caring Cross Review & Giveaway

http://www.tomoson.com/?code=TOP1e3508a7289b3e90dfa5ad74c174fe85">>


As the Christmas season approaches, thought of Jesus and His birth and death are constantly around. I think of the sacrifice He gave for us and I think of His birth in a manger. What a timely event to receive a My Caring Cross in the mail. When I opened the package and first held the cross in my hand, it's beautiful craftsmanship and smooth, cool finish was soothing. Knowing that it came from Bethlehem makes it even more special. My children have been enarmored with the cross, running their hands over it and commenting on it's design. As you can see from the picture below, its a large piece, basically hand sized.



My Caring Crosses are made in Bethlehem, each from a single piece of olive wood. The crosses are made by a Christian artisan in that area. They make beautiful gifts, wedding favors (complete with a cream colored bag & personalized card for each one), and fundraising items. You can purchase them in quantity for your missions trip fundraising, church programs, youth group, etc. I think they would make beautiful guest takeaways at any wedding, baby shower, or other event. I wish I had known about My Caring Crosses when my dad was in the hospital all those months before his passing. It would have been a beautiful piece to leave with him. They would also be lovely for your children to keep in their rooms. When our children have bad dreams we always encourage them to pray and this would be a nice reminder next to their beds. The crosses are a good size but would easily fit into your bag or purse to carry with you.



If you would like to purchase these as a Christmas gift, now is the time! You can order them on the website My Caring Cross and right now they are running a special! You can purchase 2 crosses complete with bag and scripture card including postage for only $10!! That is a fantastic price. To take advantage of the special follow this link http://www.mycomfortcross.com/Special.html. There is also a special for 8 crosses for only $32.  My Caring Cross is also generously giving away one of these beautiful crosses to one Carter Chaos reader. To enter simply follow the simple Rafflecopter instructions. Don't worry, if you purchase your crosses and then win the giveaway, My Caring Cross has agreed to refund up to $10 off your purchase (for the giveaway winner only).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.comhttp://www.tomoson.com/?code=BOTTOM1e3508a7289b3e90dfa5ad74c174fe85">Tomoson.com>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Sponsored by Tomoson.com


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Wait?




Kelly & John Rosati have 4 adopted children. Each of their adoptions is a unique story of God's plan. Written from Kelly's perspective, this true life story tells of the Rosatis' lives, adoptions, and work in adoptions. It is wonderful to read about the movement of God in their lives and to understand where each of the 4 children came from. Orphan awareness is something that Hubby & I have been learning the last few years. His trip to Africa to serve orphans, international and domestic adoption and foster care by close friends, and more have really opened our eyes to the world and it's children.

While we do have to "wait more" due to financial circumstances, we do consider that fostering or adoption may be in our family's future. This book doesn't lay guilt on anyone that does not feel called to adopt or is not at the right time to adopt, it just lays foundation for praying for orphans and opening your heart to God and what He would ask you to do. It isn't a pretty story they share where everything is perfect. In fact, Kelly Rosati shows the good and the bad of fostering and adoption. I think it's a clear and relevant picture.

If you have ever considered fostering or adoption, especially if you do foster or have adopted, or if you just love to hear the stories of God, check out Wait No More. It's a quick read that will stick in your heart for a long time to come.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easy Peasy!

http://www.tomoson.com/?code=TOPda34778a5a2fee8f1fc74bed18a9221e">>

I've had the opportunity to review some great products, but few have been as useful as the slice™ Safety Cutter - Great for couponers. This product is perfect for clipping coupons. I used it last night to clip 5 inserts. With scissors, my hands would have been hurting after the second insert. I got through all 5 and my hands weren't cramped, pinched, or hurting at all! It worked great. It takes a little getting use to as you hold it flat on the paper and the angle takes a little getting use to. Once you adjust your depth perception, it's so easy! You just cut straight across the lines. It also takes a little practice to get the right amount of pressure. Too much and you're cutting 3 layers in, not enough and you're barely scoring the paper. However once you adjust your pressure, it works so easily. It fits either lefties or righties and it's designed for an easy grip.

I think my favorite feature is the size. It will slide into my binder so easily! In fact, I'm glad there's a key hole so I can add a ring! I don't wanna lose it. It also has a magnet so you could easily hang it on the fridge. The ceramic blade is safe for even kids to use. The price is affordable at only $5.99 each! These would be great Christmas gifts for your favorite couponers or friends! See the slice isn't just for coupons! It can also be used to open packages. All parents need one of these for all those pesky plastic packages Christmas morning!





You won't be disappointed with the slice and neither will your fingers!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

History From Cover to Cover




Decision Points by George W. Bush is a personal account of history by a US president. Whether you agreed with Bush in his presidency or not or whether you voted for him or not, this is a great account of things in the first person. I really enjoyed that the format of the book is not chronological but it is set up in chapters by important events or decisions. You get to follow the President from his beginnings all the way through the end of his terms. There are also 2 fantastic photo inserts with many pictures in each.

I've always been interested in the Bush family. I dressed up as Barbara Bush for a school presentation in 6th grade. I did powder in my hair and everything! While I didn't always agree with the decisions of George W., I did vote for him and I know he will always be an important figure in history due to his seat during 9-11. This is a great account of his view of those events, including his memories of the day and the days following. Along with Sept 11, he speaks of the war, Katrina, choosing Cheney and more. If you are interested in politics or history, you will enjoy this account.

It's a long read but there is a lot of ground that he needed to cover for the book to be effective. I did at times feel as though President Bush was trying to implore me to agree with all his decisions. I don't think agreeing or not agreeing with him matters much at this stage of the game, but I think it would be unusual for there not to be some persuasive language. I've always enjoyed history and I will keep this book on my shelf to read excerpts to my kids as they get older and we discuss the events of September 11 more. It is a day no one will ever forget that was alive on that day.

Excerpt and more information is available here.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Can You Wrap That & Put it Under the Tree?

Do you ever make wishlists? In general I don't (although recently I made one on Pinterest!) but last year I emailed my mom a wishlist. The only reason I sent it was because she says I'm hard to shop for. Psssh, yea right! HA! Anyhow I was pondering on wishlists and Christmas and gift ideas this morning and I decided if I was going to make a wishlist this year, it'd be really different. I think for a lot of families it'd be different. So here's what mine would look like this year (assuming anyone would be buying me gifts):

  • Pay one month's utility bill
  • a gift card from the grocery store
  • Pay my house taxes for the year
  • A year's supply of toliet paper
  • A year's supply of detergent
  • Freezer meals
  • Large quantities of food staples
  • A half a cow (processed please)
  • Pay off one of our debts

You see while some people are in the world having 10 million dollar weddings that last 72 days, there are many of us still struggling from the economic downturn. There are many of us living on insanely small incomes, incurring extra debt along the way for necessities. Now we are supremely blessed that we haven't lost our home, we haven't had to declare bankruptcy, we haven't lived without anything we've needed, but we don't expect Christmas to be the same this year. We've changed the way we live and what was once deemed a need is now deemed an extravagance. We know we aren't alone in this struggle. We don't expect Christmas gifts for ourselves this year and our children know this year won't hold the bevy of gifts they've come to associate with Christmas. We will spend loads of time with family and we will enjoy every moment.

We will celebrate Christmas for what it is: a rememberance of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What are you doing different as a family this year? Has the economy changed your traditional view of the holidays?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Visual Carnival (Calling all Cooks)

Have you tried Pinterest? I'm in love. I'm a very visual person and I like to do things quickly, Pinterest satisfies both. Basically you open your page and see all sorts of pictures. Each picture is then linked to the person's board that pinned it. Click again and you go to the original page. If you are crafty, there's tons of stuff for you. If you like style or design ideas, get to looking! If you like to cook...... oh. my. goodness. There is SO much AWESOME stuff!

The ones that pop out are the fantastic pictures that link you to amazing recipes! Keep looking and you will find TERRIFIC cooking tips. Seriously. I have so many cool recipes pinned that I can't wait to try! For my first Pinterest recipe, I decided to try this Oreo mini-Cheesecake recipe (Thanks FormulaMom!). First to crunch up the Oreos, I used a tip I had found on Pinterest. The tip was "to make shredded chicken like restaurants use in their recipes, use the paddle on your KitchenAid mixer. Put the cooked boneless chicken in while still warm and turn on."

This is what the paddle attachment looks like:





So I thought, wow if it'll shred chicken, I wonder if it will crunch Oreos?


Heck yea it did! In seconds! I was so excited! So the mini Oreo cheesecakes were FAB.U.LOUS! I can't wait to make them again! And for dinner.......


I decided I better try shredding chicken. It works so well! I am kicking myself for standing around with 2 forks trying to shred chicken when I've had this mixer for like 5 years!!!!!

BTW I used the shredded chicken to make some great BBQ chicken. I put the already cooked, shredded chicken in the crockpot with a mix of BBQ sauce & Country Bob's. Then I put some onion in for extra flavor. Let it simmer on low until dinner time then served as sandwiches with mayo or ranch (depending on the family member). It was tasty and perfectly shredded!

PS Pinterest is still invite only right now. If you need an invite, send your email address to carterchaosblog@gmail.com and I will get ya one! :)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Unwritten Rules

The Social Moms writing prompt of the day is The Unwritten Rules of Playdate Etiquette........





As a stay at home/ homeschooling families we have been involved in many "playdates" from MOPS to church group to homeschooling field trips/ co-ops. We encounter so many different moms, kids, dads, and families in these groups. They are a great way to socialize, relax, learn new things, and meet new people. However we've all been in groups or situations that make us uncomfortable. I think that the type of group you are in or meeting with would determine the rules.

If I was writing a set of etiquette rules for hanging with me & my kids it would include:

* No foul language or unsavory conversations. I hate that I'd even have to include that but I am AMAZED at some of the things I've heard in the presence of kids.

* Dress yourself & your children modestly. Again should go without saying but it doesn't. It gets hot in the south but if you can't wear a bra under your tank top, put on a tshirt & a bra! Also speaking of modesty.......

* Breastfeeding isn't appropriate in front of children that aren't your own. Now I know I will step on some toes here but hear me out. I breastfed my kids but I didn't do it in public or in front of other kids. Another Social Moms contributer said it like "unless the playdate was all La Leche League members, do NOT breastfeed in front of the other mothers or children." And I will agree with her. If it's all babies and the other moms are comfortable, okay go ahead but when you have older children, they really don't need to be exposed to it. It makes them uncomfortable. Most places have a quiet area or corner where you could go to be alone to feed your baby. I took my babies to the car if we were in a public place that didn't have a quiet area. I could turn on the heat or air and the radio and be all modest and they could have a quiet meal.

* And still speaking of modesty, it's best to change your children's diaper away from the view of older children. We have a boy and a girl so they have a good idea of the difference in the sexes but families of all boys or all girls, haven't usually approached that yet. It's best to go to the restroom. Plus that gets your little one in the habit of modesty!

* Take care of your own children unless you specifically ask another parent to keep an eye on them. Now that my kids are older, I'm a little more lax with this one, but I shouldn't be! You should always (even with your spouse) bring attention to the fact that you are walking away or are distracted. This is so important for your children's safety! Simply let another adult know to have eyes and ears on your little one before you take a phone call or a bathroom break.

* Bring snacks, drinks, etc for your kids. Again one I tend to be lax about but I really try not too! If you are going on any outing with your kids, you should have snacks and drinks for them. A water bottle goes a long way. It's guaranteed that kids are going to get hungry while they are playing. Bring some snacks or keep some in the car. It makes it easier on everyone!

These are just a few of the rules I'd post if I was the playground monitor! I'm sure there are tons more that could be added! It would be great to have rules about playground bullies, certain off limits "words" for the kids, etc.

Nothing Says Fall Like.....

Each year for the past 10+ years, we have been involved in an annual chili competition. It began with my mom's old church looking for fall activities for families other than Halloween festivities. It's been held at different houses over the years. After that church disbanded, the tradition was carried on by family. This year was our first year to host the competition.

It's a pretty big deal with 4 catergories, blind judging, prizes, etc. It's always a fun time for the whole family. It's really the quintessential fall activity for us. There's also always a bonfire, smores, etc. We had such a good time this year! There were about 50 guests and 12 chilis were entered into the competition. A majority of the night was spent outside despite very cold temps.

We have a small covered patio at the back of our home. It's gotten a lot of use the past 7 years! It was the site of the chili judging and the food tables for the cookoff. I was SO glad I had our ACDelco AC354 LED Mini Aluminum Camping Lantern that was recently sent to us for review. Although the patio has a light fixture, it got very dark very quickly. When it came time for the judging, it was too dark for them to see their tally sheets! I set the Mini Lantern on the table and it was almost as good as inside light!



Not only does it put out some great light, it's so compact! It didn't take up hardly any room on the table at all! Once the judging was over we moved it across the patio to a table where several families were eating. After that I picked it up and hung it from a tree in the yard so everyone had a well lit path from the patio to the bonfire.





I cannot wait to take this lantern camping next year. Big gas lanterns are a pain and we've had several battery operated lanterns that are just too heavy. This one is so portable and light. It comes with a utility clip handy for hanging it on your belt loop or backpack or tree! It's cool to the touch so you don't need to worry about the kids grabbing it. It is versatile and could be used for many scenarios. We live in a tornado prone area and one of these mini lanterns would be a great addition to our safe place in case the electricity goes out.

It has a bright light function, dim light function, and a blinking signal function. You can purchase one through Amazon for less than $16! Terrific Christmas idea for the camper or outdoorsman on your list!

I received this product for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in anyway.

Handy Little Light



When I was sent this handy little ACDelco AC323 flashlight to review, I knew it could best be reviewed by Hubby. Hubby doesn't get a lot of mention here on the blog but this is his time to shine. Hubby is an avid hunter and works in the law enforcement arena. He loves flashlights. He typically keeps 10 flashlights on hand. Hubby has flashlights everywhere from his cargo pants to his car to his hunting backpack. He can tell from looking at a flashlight if it will be reliable or not. He was immediately impressed with the AC323. It is compact as you can see in his picture with his walkie talkie. It holds 3 AAA batteries and is a BRIGHT 1 watt.


 As he is a man, he felt it necessary to put it through some rugged testing. He left it outside on a cold, rainy night to see how it would hold up to moisture. It held up just fine! It worked on the first click in the morning. He packed it in it's holster and took it on a special quota hunt for a weekend.


Hubby found a nifty place to prop it in the tree he was hunting from. While waiting on the deer to show up, he took a pic for us! He dropped it from the tree stand, it hit every branch on the way down, and still worked when he tried it! (He is really rough on equipment but there wasn't even a dent in it!) The holster can keep it secure whether walking across a creek or on his duty belt. At less than $17, this little flashlight will be a great stocking stuffer for your Hubby!

You can purchase the ACDelco A323 on Amazon.com!

I received this product for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine or my husband's and were not influenced in anyway.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Can it Almost be November??

I don't know where this year has gone but I want it back! It has just flown right by. Thanksgiving is only 4 short weeks away. Eeeek! Okay well complaining and whining are just wasting precious time. So I will give you a homeschool update/ recap.

Speedy is doing great. He has pretty much all of his capital letters down pat to recognize and know their primary sound. He still gets a little mixed up with a couple of them but I know with repeated study, he will have them all soon. We've already began the Hooked on Phonics PreK Level 2 with him in our adjusted manner. I'm desperately trying to get my hands on a Math U See Primer set and a set of MUS manipulatives for him. I think he's more than ready for more math. He's definately my mathmatically minded child. Writing is still a slow process for him. He just doesn't have much patience for it. We practice on his name and letters 1-2 times per week but any more than that is just frustrating for him. I'm trying to take deep breaths and not push it because I know he will get it. Other than that he's been polishing up tracing, cutting, shapes, colors, dot to dot, mazes, that sort of stuff. He always participates in some physical activity, handwriting, & music with Apple. We have one more session of our homeschool Science co-op to finish up The Animal Kingdom. After the first of the year we will do Weather & Water and then hopefully a late Spring/ early Summer session.

As for that, this year we took a whole summer off for Apple. We stopped in May and left it alone until the very end of July. Now of course kids are always soaking in and learning and we hit a few "field trip" like stops in that time frame but we had a summer break. We both enjoyed it but I did work with Speedy some along the way. I think however given their boredom towards the end of July, we will readjust this year. We do a LOT of swimming, playdates, etc in the summer and I think that's essential. With that though, I think we will have some school through the summer next year. We will definately need big breaks but especially for math with Apple, I think we will do some reinforcement.

As for Apple, she has continued to do well in pretty much every area. She's on book 4 of the Little House series and she's read a slew of other books from the library. We've pulled in an English textbook on the essentials of writing like nouns, subjects, predicates, etc. She's still practicing handwriting and frankly needs a lot more practice. She's zooming through her Social Studies text book and extra workbooks. She's doing 3 separate bible devotions/ manners materials throughout the week. Her struggle area is still math. I hate to even call it a struggle area because I think generally for her age range she's doing really well. I'm really working with her to let go of counting with her fingers though. She is about halfway through Math U See Beta and she really likes it. I wish we had the manipulatives because I think they are key and I'm working on getting a set. We've already purchased the Gamma set for her. Because we have her enrolled with the state as a second grader, I really feel like she should be finished with Gamma before next fall. So she should be able to begin Gamma in the spring (if we stay on schedule) and then finish it up through the summer. I'd also like to work on her handwriting in the summer through book reports, etc if she hasn't shown a big improvement in it by then. (I'm a planner in case you can't tell!) She loves the Science work and can't wait to do more of it.

So that's where we are, in case I get so caught up in holiday that I forget to tell you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Different Way



"Most people join a group because they simply like everyone there or because they have something in common. And that is a community of sorts. But add intentionalit, and it means that somebody seriously commits to a group of people and sticks with them even when there is tension and misunderstanding." Going Deep by Gordon MacDonald

I was a bit incredulous when I began reading Going Deep and realized it was going to be a fictional book. However I was quickly drawn in, especially when I read the quote above. Gordan MacDonald brings what are fresh ideas to me and my idea of church. He isn't changing the Bible or changing the message of Jesus, but he is suggesting that church needs to go a different route. I've been a part of several churches and I've never seen any of them do a program like this. Most churches focus on the number of people in the building, not the spiritual condition of the ones that are there (paraphrase of another line in the book).

I love several of his concepts even if they are presented in a ficitional setting. Basically he and his wife Gail take on a small group of disciples to meet with once a week and try to make "deep people" out of them. The difference from a typical small group or discipleship class is that they choose these people based on their spiritual "growability." They are looking for those that are on a path for Jesus already, not just leaders but those that have great spiritual gifts and are seeking Jesus in their lives. They make the class a priority, drop other church ministries for it, and ask for complete commitment.

The book hits on the ministry of Jesus as a rabbi and gives great information about what that meant and why his relationship with the apostles was the way it was. Now this is a ficitonal book so there was little discussion of opposition. He did reflect on a few negative or less than ideal situations. The book is also wordy. It took me about 3 days to read it and that's unusual for me. I wanted to devour this book and instead I had to take huge bites and then digest for awhile. I think he could've cut the book by 1/4-1/3 and not lost any of the important things.

I like his idea, I like his model, and I could see it working. I wish it had been a true life story where he could give us more concrete ideas of exactly how it would go down. I will be passing this book along to ministry leaders I know and I would recommend it to any of you that care about your church and want to see people really leaning into a relationship with Jesus.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pam Mission



I got this great mission package from Pam and Smiley 360! It came with a Pyrex dish, a spatula, and coupons for FREE Hunt's tomatos and a FREE can of new & improved Pam cooking spray. I love to cook so I couldn't wait to get started! The first test was an upside down pizza casserole. I didn't get a picture of that one because it all disappeared so fast!

 It was a very good and simple recipe:
Saute some chopped onion, bell pepper, black olives, and pepperoni slices in a spritz of Pam
Sprinkle in some pizza seasoning
Coat your glass dish with Pam (the new spray nozzle works great!)
Spread those sauteed items in the bottom
Cover with Ragu or pizza sauce
Sprinkle on a whole bag of cheese
Unfold a can of crescent rolls across the top
Bake at 350 for about 15 mins or until crescents are brown
Scoop & serve!

My dish cleaned right up with no stuck on cheese or anything! So next I tried my meatloaf. Now we all know meatloaf usually leaves a crunchy black/ brown crust around the bottom. Not with new & improved Pam!



The Pam even worked great on a disposable aluminum pan! I froze that portion for later so we'll see how it works after reheating. I was so impressed with the dish after all the meatloaf was gone. I ran the spatula across the dish and all the gunk leftover from the meatloaf came right off!! 



You can "like" Pam on FB to read even more about the great new improved formula! Get a coupon and learn more here http://carterchaos-ecarter.blogspot.com/2011/10/pam-mission.html!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homeschool Wiggleworms




So occasionally when we are homeschooling, the wiggleworms visit (not to be confused with The Wiggles, they are in the Barney catergory- not allowed in our home!). When the wiggleworms come we have learned that it's best to get them out rather than try to ignore them. I have a new weapon against those pesky wiggleworms- Groove Kid Nation "Music in Motion." This CD is filled with 10 cool kid's songs that kids (especially toddlers and preschoolers) can get up and shake a leg to. The music is not annoying but fun and upbeat. The familiar lyrics will even have mommies singing along!






These songs are fun, have a great beat, and they are educational too! The songs incorporate instrument identification. Your child can begin to learn the difference between a drum sound and a bass. There are also movement instructions in different places to keep your little one in motion. The songs are mostly original with some familiar lyrics sprinkled through out. Your child will be grooving in no time! We used this a few times last week when the wiggleworms snuck up on us and Apple and Speedy loved it! I liked that it was a mini music lesson and got a little energy out so they could focus again.




You don't just get the CD, you also get a 10 page illustrated booklet so your kids can "meet" the characters from the songs. They look just like Apple & Speedy, don't they! You can also visit
Groovekidnation.com for even more resources like listen and learn instruments, lyric finders, and other info you can use with your little ones. You can purchase the CD on the website and hear the songs for a sample. "Music in Motion" is a great CD for your little ones. If you homeschool, I totally recommend it to combat those pesky wiggleworms!



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Word of the Day

re·spon·si·ble


1. answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management (often followed by to or for )
 
2. involving accountability or responsibility
 
3. chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for )
 
4. having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action
 
5. able to discharge obligations or pay debts. (from dictionary.com)

Responsible. Are you responsible? Are you teaching your kids responsibility? My two main focuses on responsibilty today are answering other people and planning. If someone takes their time to leave you a personal phone message, text, Facebook post, Tweet, whatever, you should be responsible enough to answer them. If whatever they were relaying to you wasn't important to them, they wouldn't have relayed it. If your children repeatedly see you ignore someone's calls, messages, texts, etc then they will think it's okay to ignore others, including YOU. My time and resources are limited (this will come up again in a minute) and I don't send many frivolous messages or texts so if I message you, be considerate and responsible enough to respond. Show me that you are responsible and considerate.
(It goes with our previous Word of the Day: Considerate.)

Second, responsibility includes planning ahead, considering others time and resources. If you need me to make a dish, volunteer in some capacity, help you with a project, etc and you have known about it for 3 months, don't ask me the day before. Don't push it to the side in your procrastination pile (responsible?) and then get upset if I won't/ can't help you. Now there will always be situations when things come up last minute. I understand. However more and more often I am seeing that people wait until the last possible minute to start recruiting help for different things. My time and resources are limited (sound familiar?) and I need to plan ahead whenever possible. I spend a good amount of time teaching my kids about the importance of planning ahead to buy groceries, make a weekly/ monthly calendar, get projects done on time, etc and when someone calls me at the last minute it makes me cranky and I have to rush around to get resources together. Then my kids think I'm irresponsible because I'm too responsible to explain to them that it's someone else's fault.

Please be responsible and considerate. It will improve your relationships. It will make a HUGE difference in your children, their attitudes, and their futures. Responsibility is lacking these days. It's lacking in workplaces, it's lacking in churches, it's lacking in relationships, and it's lacking in leadership. Let's step forward and be an example to those around us. Let's show others that Chrisians aren't all talk, and no action. Let's be responsible.

** Personal side note, if you are a member of a church or a regular attender (more than 2 times a month) it is your RESPONSIBILITY to get involved and find a place to give your talents whether it's the nursery, an usher, a Sunday School teacher, or someone who volunteers to take out the trash each week. Get involved and be responsible!!!