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

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!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Things Change!


When I started staying at home, Apple was just 3 months old. Things were so very different then! We didn't know any other stay at home moms at the time. We didn't have any regular activities. The only schedule we needed to stick to was Hubby's. He worked at night and so we tried to be home at lunch time everyday because that was our big family meal for the day. I remember being so bored. I cooked almost all of our meals, we went to the store several times a week, and we watched a lot of Sesame Street and Price is Right. I remember longing for playdates, sports, activities,etc. My house was always spotless.

Boy have things changed! Life is just so busy! I think more than ever I understand adult concepts like enjoying peace & quiet. I always thought "old" people that liked quiet were crazy. I usually had the TV & radio on and I was on the phone! Who would like quiet. Raising my hand!! Me. Over 30 me. I LOVE and savor quiet these days (because it don't ever happen!). Around this time of my life, I wondered why anyone would dislike shopping. What was wrong with these people?? I loved to shop. I loved Walmart, Kroger, Kohls, etc. I enjoyed just walking around with Apple in a stroller "window" shopping. Yeah........I don't love that now. I *DREAD* the store. Any store. I had to go to Sam's and Walmart with my kids today. I think getting a tetanus shot would have been more fun. It's not that my kids are horrible in stores. They aren't perfectly behaved at all but they're decent, it's just no FUN! I make a list then I can't concentrate on the list for making sure they are with me and not breaking anything. So it always takes FOR.EV.ER. Then when I get to the register I've forgotten 15 things I need, but it just isn't worth it to go back (nevermind that means a whole other trip to the store). Then the total at checkout just makes me wanna pass out or grasp my chest and yell "I'm coming Elizabeth" in Redd Foxx fashion.



Nope, life isn't the same! But I love every moment with my two rambunctious bundles of joy! I try my best anyway...... and I join the ranks of "old" people...........

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Positive Game



I typically don't play games on Facebook but when I learned about A Better World, I was intrigued. This is a totally different game concept. It is what I consider a "living" game- one where you create a character and then play out scenarios via that character. A Better World embodies several different games in a new way. In this game, the goal isn't violence or mindless play, but positive attitudes and encouragement.




You create a character (avatar) complete with outfit, house, etc and then go about the village or town. There are 15 separate areas to play including your home, a chat room, a garden, and a Gratitude Grotto- a place to express things you are grateful for and to encourage others in the things they have gratitude about. The whole game focuses on expressing thanks, compassion, love, doing good, being postitive, etc. If you don't log on for a couple of days, you get a storm cloud over your character and must do extra positive things to get it to go away. The game isn't just about doing good online, it also encourages good in real life.


You get a Daily Bonus just for logging in and you can complete daily missions to earn Do-Good Gold. Your Do-Good Gold is usable throughout the game as a currency. Buy items for your house or garden or give a gift to a friend! Some features also use Facebook Credits. I think you could play A Better World for a very long time without getting bored. To get the most out of the features, get your friends to play with you!

I have enjoyed playing with my character Maggie. I think this would be a great game for the preteen and teen crowd. It has great features comparable to some of the other garden, pet, and life games. As with most Facebook games and apps, I did run into a few glitches. Most of the time exiting the game and re-entering took care of the problem. Do not expect this to be a Christian game. While it does incorporate many Christian ideals- charity, love, compassion, doing good- it has more of a new age positive feel to me. There are some "magical" qualities to the game. However I feel like it's a good game and does reinforce positive ideals. This game would be a great reminder to "do good" on a daily basis and it's fun to be rewarded online for good things!

You can find more screen shots here and a trailer for the game here. To find A Better World and play click here! After you play, come back and let me know what you think about the game! Be sure to check out the "Department of Do-Good" to tell what good you've done in real life and the Arcade to play some great games!

 "I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A BetterWorld. I received a $50 gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Score Some Great Deals!

Play Outdoors made an announcement on their Facebook page today. They will be closing as of Oct 31. Check their website here http://www.playoutdoors.com/category/shop-by-type.aspx to shop their special sale. They have a variety of items from boots to glasses to hats to toys.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Old Navy Activewear

Crowdtap and Old Navy sent me an AWESOME opportunity to try Old Navy's activewear! I received a pair of compression pants and a matching Go Dry tank. I am so impressed! I wore the outfit to Zumba tonight. I was a little nervous because usually I get way too hot when I wear pants to work out. I shouldn't have been worried. The compression pants are so thin and they wick away the moisture so I wasn't overheated at all (at least not from my clothes!). In Zumba we are constantly moving. There isn't a lot of repetitive motion, instead I'm bending, kicking, punching, lifting my arms, turning around, etc. That means most workout clothes require constant adjustment. This new outfit didn't require much adjustment at all. I've seen lots of talk about sizes on these new activewear pieces. I've put back on a couple of pounds and I wanted the outfit to be as modest as possible so I went up one size on the pants and top. I was pleased that I did. Everything was well covered but didn't seem slouchy. I will say the pants are about 2 inches too long. I can't really roll them up because of the material they are made of so I forsee that they will be worn in the very back from stepping on them. Here's a pic of my outfit! You can't see it here, but the top of the pants has some pink trim! I was sent a coupon to share also so one of my besties was able to try an outfit as well. She is an active Crossfit participant and she loves the Compression pants and Go Dry top too! Activewear is on sale this week at Old Navy so get you some!!! Wanna try great samples too? Check out Crowdtap! There is a direct link in the sidebar.






Sunday, October 16, 2011

Full of Goodness




I've told you about Klout perks before. In case you didn't get my other hints, you should totally join Klout! All you need is a social media account so if you are already on Facebook or Twitter, you're in! Klout measures your online influence and then along with some great companies, rewards you with perks for having an online presence. My latest perk is the best I've gotten so far!

I knew I was getting a Chiquita perk but I wasn't sure what it would involve..... coupon for free bananas maybe? Boy was I pleasantly surprised when this HUGE box arrived at my door! I got a box o swag! It was chock full with:

A wooden banana hanger (I just priced those the other day!)
A over the shoulder backpack
A reusuable grocery sack
A reusable water bottle
A pencil
2 temporary tatoos
A t-shirt
An umbrella
Chapstick (which my kids promptly fought over)
And a coupn for FREE Chiquita bites!

So guess what.... Chiquita does more than bananas! Don't feel bad, I didn't know either! They have "bites" which are prepacked fruits & veggies like pineapple and carrots, avocados, bananas, pineapple, and juice + fruit duos! My kids love fresh fruit and veggies but I am always looking for time savers and easy to grab snacks. We are really looking forward to trying the bites and juice + fruit duos. What great snacks and lunch bag goodies!

Thank you Chiquita and Klout for the fantastic perks! Want to know more? Find out your Klout score at klout.com and find Chiquita on Twitter @Chiquita!

A Day at the Farm 2

Last year I told you about our fantastic farm field trip here. Friday we went back to the same farm for another field trip and it was just as terrific!!!!

We hit up some of the cool photo op areas!

The play area was still a big hit!

There was a new bouncy ball rodeo area!

My kids wanna know when can get our own corn box.

They did the pony ride this year!

Hey mom check out the cotton field!

Speedy was upset that the pumpkins were dirty.



We had a GREAT time!!! Field trips are the BEST!!!

If you haven't been to a local farm, I encourage you to check one out if there is an open one in your area! They love to show off what they do and many of them are open to the public this time of year. This farm we went to is one of several in our area that offer these activities. They also have a country store, sell fruit, veggies, and flowers, have horse riding lessons, and offer packages for birthday parties, family reunions, and more!

No Elbows on the Table!




Life is busy and crazy and CHAOTIC! We want to teach our children so many things. I want them to be educated in Science, Literature, Mathmatics, the arts, and more. I want them to have a firm foundation of Biblical learning. I want them to play and understand sports. And in the midst of all of that, I want them to be well mannered. Manners are so overlooked in today's society. Parents are so overwhelmed with all the other calls of the world that manners have taken a seat in the caboose of this crazy train of life.

Because of this lack of manners, customer service has gone astray and strangers treat each other with disdain instead of respect and politeness. So many people in the world are all in a tizzy about "political correctness" but no one bemoans the lack of common courtesy for others in everyday life. Americans worry more about offending a specific race, gender, or lifestyle than offending people in their daily routines. Bad manners offend me! I do not want my children offending others by a rude mouth, a disrespect for elders, or a lack of common courtesy.

So how do I incorporate manners into our everyday learning? Well I like to think I exhibit good manners to my children on a daily basis. I wasn't necessarily "taught" manners as a child so sometimes I need some help. For Apple, now is the time that we are beginning to refine the things she has already learned. Now that she's 6 we can move beyond basic instruction and rules to more complex ideas. Enter 50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know. 50 short, simple lessons on manners presented in a way that "young ladies" can grasp. I believe the recommended age is 8 and up but Apple is grabbing right on to this book.

I incorporated it into her homeschool time last week and she can't get enough! Each thought is presented in a short chapter and it's easy to understand. Each manner is also related to real life right now. Do you want your daughter to understand how to receive a gift, how to accept a compliment, and how to introduce a friend? Simple concepts but obviously often overlooked in teaching our children. Politeness should never die or disappear. Well mannered children will grow into well mannered adults that will have a better rate of success in their jobs, families, and futures. I love reviewing these ideas with Apple and I always enjoy a compliment from a stranger about my children's manners.

Now all we need is a book of 50 things every young man should know........



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.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time Savers

We all need to save time. Life is hectic and we don't want to waste any of the time God has given us. I love spending time with my children and I want that time to be fun, not stressful and rushed. One great new company I've found to help me save time is Lovable Labels! They have SO many great products to help you save those precious moments!

First off they make several styles of great, durable name labels. Get some of these personalized for each member of your family! In sports, school, church, daycare and more, kids are required to have their name on everything from their sippy cup to their sweater. If you purchase any of their multipurpose labels, you can quickly tag all those little items your children need to take out of the house with them. Lovable Labels also makes 2 different types of clothing labels and a variety of personalized tags that can easily hang from coat zippers. No more looking for your child's bag or trying to guess which cup is theirs!



Next check out their safety products! These are fantastic! There are specialized products for allergies or other medical information. Just as exciting, they offer Kid Bands! These are disposable bracelets complete with your child's name, phone number, or anything else you'd like to add. These would be a great resource for field trips, vacations, amusement parks, etc. Even an older child could forget their phone number in a scary situation.

The last one I want to describe for you is for teachers or homeschoolers. Lovable Labels  has created a classroom bundle. It includes over 300 labels to be used in a classroom or daycare! What a great way to teach site words AND to keep that classroom organized and tidy! I love this package and I could see using it in our schoolroom.

If you are looking for any type of personalized labels or children's items, check our http://lovablelabels.ca/. They have given my readers a code to receive 10% off any one product!
Just use the code "EdieCLB1"!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Warm Cup of Yum!



Have you checked out Green Mountain's Fair Trade Certified coffees?  There are some great flavors available and they come in bags AND in K-Cups! Y'all know I gotta have my K-Cups! I had the privilege of trying Sumatran (bold & amazing), Our Blend (medium), Vermont Country Blend (light and tasty), and Colombian (my new favorite for everyday). Each one was great! None of them were bitter which happens with some brands and flavors.

I was glad to know they were Fair Trade Certified. Here's a few important facts about their Fair Trade products:


  • Farmers are paid a fair price for their harvest


  • Farmers can invest their Fair Trade premiums in their communities and businesses


  • Farmers must adhere to a number of environmental standards


  • Fair Trade Certified farms must follow strict labor laws and practices


  • Fair Trade investments and requirements help create high-quality coffee


  • If you are looking for some great K- Cups to try, take home a box of Green Mountain Fair Trade. You can also buy online at http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/Coffee/K-Cup-Colombian-Fair-Trade-Select.


    I received this product due to my affiliation with bzzagent.com. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    History in a BIG BIG Way!!!!



    Are your kids interested in History? Do you want them to be? Seriously the Big Book of History is a 15 FOOT fold out time line of history! Kids will go crazy over this thing! The book opens up and you can go page by page (sort of ) or pull the whole thing out for a 15 foot long timeline. It begins with creation and has a ton of information from there all the way to 2010. Each page/ section is full to the edges with historical information, dates, and more.

    Want to know what's included? Here's a sample selection: Cain & Abel, Homer, differnence in B.C. and A.D., gladiators, King Arthur, League of Nations, eruption of Mt St Helen, and MUCH MORE! All the information is bright and colorful to help designate the different facts and selections of information. This is a homeschoolers dream. We could begin with one thing at the beginning of the school year and stretch out the studies all the way through May. In fact, I'm planning to do just that next year! Until then we will pick and choose certain selections to study in depth. This is an exciting History lesson from a Christian perspective.

    Want to learn more? Visit New Leaf Publishers for all the information you need and to purchase the Big Book of History.


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

    Ready for a Holiday Romance?


    Cindy Woodsmall bring us another Amish romance with The Christmas Singing. This is a short, ficitional novel about Mattie. Mattie is a baker who is creative and fun and a little scatterbrained. Her lack of caution leads to a change in scenery for her. She goes for an extended visit with her family and is forced to face her former flame. Gideon wronged her in the past and now she must see him almost daily in their small community. Will she ever forgive him for the pain he caused her?

    This book has little to do with Amish tradition but it is set between two Amish communities. A light fiction, it is a very quick read. Although the title is about Christmas, the focus is on the relationships of the main characters, not about the holiday. An intriguing story with a mystery and then anticipation of the outcome of the story, it is a good read. I enjoyed it and was able to finish it in one sitting. I liked Mattie (or Mattie Cakes or Mattie Lane) and I was envious of her creativity. The characters were easy to imagine and understand although a couple of the characters were severely underdeveloped and probably could have been left out.

    Cindy Woodsmall certainly has an easy way of introducing us to Amish girls and helping us understand their mindsets and lives. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of her Amish romances. The Christmas Singing was a great little novel and if you've never read Cindy Woodsmall's work, this would be a terrific one to begin with!

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

    If you'd like to continue seeing these types of reviews, please take a moment to rank my review!

    My Face Hates Most Products




    My skin and I have a love/ hate relationship. I'm over 30 and now I'm dealing with acne (shouldn't this be gone by now??) and wrinkles (where'd those come from???). I was always under the misrepresentation that I'd have beautiful, flawless skin from 20-49. Sigh...... I was horribly misinformed. So I've tried lots of skin care products from the department store counters to the beauty aisle at the dollar store, I've tried almost all of them. The problem doesn't lie in just the acne/ wrinkles battle, I also have semi- sensitive skin. Whenever I've done a beauty quiz in a magazine, none of the answers exactly describe my skin. I have some oily and some dry areas (but not exactly in the T-Zone format) and I have some sensitive spots while other areas I could use an electric sander and be just fine.

    When BzzAgent gave me the opportunity to try Burts Bees new Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin, I was onboard! I'm frugal and I don't enjoy plopping down money for products that may or may not work for my skin. I was so excited when I received a full size bottle of Facial Cleanser and a full size bottle of moisturizer! Now I was just wondering if it would work.......

    The label says its made with all natural ingredients (99%) like Cotton Extract, Yucca, and Rice Extract. It's great to know I'm putting natural ingredients on my skin and not harsh chemicals formulated in a lab, but would it be strong enough to combat my acne? The first thing I noticed about the face was was consistency. It's very thick and creamy. As I applied it in the shower, I noticed there wasn't a lot of foamy lather but it smoothly spread all over my face. I washed with my fingertips and wondered whether it was working because there was no burn at all. When I got out of the shower my face felt clean but not tight like most cleansers leave it feeling. When I put the moisturizer on, it felt a little like Heaven- cool and refreshing but light. The moisturizer bottle is great too, it's a little pump bottle so there's no waste.

    After using the wash and moisturizer all week, I am hooked! My skin feels and looks great! I had a sick child all week and a major lack of rest but my skin looks refreshed! These products are going to be great for anyone with sensitive or semi-sensitive skin! The line also includes Eye Cream (I've gotta get some!) and Night Cream. Each items is less than $15 and is available at Target and Walmart!

    Burts Bees is a brand I've trusted my lips to for years, I'm excited to add more products from their company to my bathroom drawer. It's a long lasting company whose products aren't going to disappear tomorrow (like so many beauty products do). I know many of you suffer from sensitive skin or multiple skin issues like I do and I would gladly recommend Burts Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin to you. If you're ready to stop looking for the right products for your skin, look no further!

    I'm a BzzAgent and I was given these free products for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. #imabzzagent

    Storyland Yoga DVD Winner!

    Congrats to entry #11 Sarah Kay for "liking" Playful Planet on Facebook you have won the Storyland Yoga DVD!! Thank you to all who entered! Keep your eyes here on the Chaos for another giveaway coming soon!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Reassurance



    Sometimes we all need a little reassurance of our place in this world. Even our little ones need to be reminded that God loves them all the time. Little Hermie is back to provide a prayer of reassurance. Another great bedtime story for toddler, Thank You God For Loving Me by Max Lucado is a prayer from Hermie. A simple pray with some big meaning!

    In the same style as Thank You God For Blessing Me, this installment has Hermie reminding your little one that God is with them all the time and that He loves them in all situations. What a great book to provide reassurance to tots as well as continue the theme of teaching them to pray. Reading all these wonderful stories and simple prayers to your children will make prayer time second nature to them! Hermie has become a familiar trusted character for teaching children that even the smallest among us has God's attention!

    Another great Christmas present or stocking stuffer! Thank You God For Blessing Me is geared towards the toddler crowd. They will "oooh and ahhh" over the cute illustrations and the text is short enough to keep their attention!



    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.”

    Keeping Healthy #lysolcoldandflu

    How do you keep your little ones healthy? As the seasons change, with the falling leaves always comes runny noses and coughs it seems. Even at the soccer game yesterday, one of Speedy's teammates had a bad cough. Speedy was in his face several times asking him if he was okay. As proud as I was of his compassion, I don't want those germs coming home with him! To keep the whole family healthy we:

    • Keep hand sanitizer on hand! While I never promote overuse of hand sanitizer it is great to have on the go for restrooms that are out of soap or other nasty situations. We keep one small bottle in my purse and a larger bottle in the car.
    • Teach our kids to cough into their elbow and to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing.
    • Keeping hands to ourselves. Now with a 4 and a 6 year old, this is one that needs constant reminder but I think keeping hands to ourselves is not only nicer, it's less germy!
    • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Some days its hard to find time to keep the house clean but mopping the floor and using Lysol wipes on the counters and frequently touched places will stop the spread of germs! The kids help me clean all the time. They can assist with laundry, dusting, wiping the tables, and more! Get them involved!
    • Learn about germs. We frequently discuss germs and how they spread as a part of homeschool health. It's important to inform your children so they can make good decisions!
    • Healthy food equals healthy bodies! Get all those fruits and veggies into them that you can! The vitamins and minerals that are naturally in those foods will help their bodies fight away any germs they come in contact with!
    • Daily vitamins are great supplements especially in the cold months. Vitamin C comes in great gummy forms now that even the kids will love!
    No one likes spending time in the doctor's office. Keeping your home supplies with medications, tissues, Lysol wipes, and healthy foods will keep those doctor's visits to a minimum! Take time now to prepare for the cold months and the colds that always come with it! If you shop for those items now, you can likely get them on sale with a coupon and you won't be stuck scrambling if a cough hits in the middle of the night. Also make sure to keep your doctor's office phone numbers and hours in a convenient place so they are ready if you need them!




    “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Spend Daily Time Getting to Know Jesus



    Do you want to know Jesus more? Do you want to take a daily walk with Him? Do you need a book to guide you through a daily devotional time? Take a look at the Life Applicaton Study Bible Devotional. Designed to be used with your Life Application Study Bible, this devotional focuses on Daily Wisdom From the Life of Jesus. Short daily tidbits lead you through 52 weeks of devotional time! What a wonderful time to spend a year with Jesus! Whether you are a seasoned Christian or new to the teachings of Jesus, you have much to gain through this study. The format is appropriate for private time only or as a weekly group study. Either way 6 days a week you will learn more about Jesus, His teachings, and His purpose. Most days are only one or two pages. There are key verses, personal questions, and more to walk you through this study.

    I really like this devotional. It's not overwhelming in length or nature. It is simple little bites of the nourishment Jesus gave us. All the information is embedded in the Word along with a few historical tidbits. This is so much more than just reading the Gospels or reviewing the New Testament. This is a time to decipher the messages Jesus delivered. For a Christian, daily time with the Word and in prayer is a must. Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus is just perfect for that. It is not set up by specific dates so you can begin anytime during the year.

    This would be a great purchase for yourself or as a gift for a spouse or loved one. If your spouse needs a new Bible, I would recommend purchasing the Life Application Study Bible and Daily Wisdom From the Life of Jesus as a gift!

    I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the receipt of this book.

    Perks

    I was recently given a fantastic perk from Klout and Ecomom. I received a $25 credit and I flew straight over to their site to choose my perk! I was excited to see many familiar brands and good prices. I choose a Piggy Paint gift set. I'm quickly amassing Christmas gifts! There were so many wonderful Piggy Paint sets that it was hard to choose! I did make a choice though and was please that my perk covered shipping and handling as well.

    I opened the door today and was surprised to see a box from Ecomom! I only ordered 6 days ago and it was already here! I was a little puzzled by the size of the box though. I thought wow that set must have been bigger than I thought! I opened the box and pulled out a HUGE wad of paper. Hmm.... all that was under it was another HUGE wad of paper. Was the nail polish under the paper? No. It was wrapped up in the midst of the 2nd HUGE wad of paper. Glad it didn't get lost!

    Now maybe it's just me but this seems like a whole lot of packaging for that little tiny gift set of polish. Don't get me wrong, I'm super glad that my nail polish wasn't broken when it arrived, but this seems like serious overkill. Not great for a company with "Eco" in the name because eco says eco-friendly to me, and this ain't it! Even if I give the benefit of the doubt that this is all recycled packaging (and I don't think it is) this is still wasteful.

    Ecomom, please re-evaluate your packaging and shipping materials.

    (Totally pleased with every other aspect of your company!!!)

    I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.                       

    Perfect Pumpkin Cookies



    What kid doesn't love cookies? Mine sure do! When these fun box arrived at our door, my kids weren't interested in what was inside......they were fighting over the box! It is a really cute box. We will be using it, maybe in the schoolroom where everyone can enjoy it. By the way, even Nonna was begging for this box! But I digress, when I opened up the box, the kids were drooling!





    These Halloween cookies from Smiley Cookie were so perfect, I hated for them to be eaten! With candy corn eyes and nose, who could resist? Since the pack held 12 and we didn't need to eat 12 by ourselves, I packed them individually in zipper bags and we took them for a snack at soccer practice. I think I just became the favorite mom of the whole team! They couldn't wait to tear into them! All the other moms wanted to thank me for making them...... I could have taken credit but I refrained! I happily shared that these special cookies could be purchased from Smiley Cookie! All of the children and their siblings really enjoyed the cookies. It's hard not to smile when you are eating a Smiley Cookie!



    Speedy is not a fan of candy corn so he happily ate around the candy corn and then shared those with Mommy. None of the kids even complained about the lack of chocolate! My kids tend to do that with snacks/ treats that are not chocolate.


    I had saved myself one at home so that I could give my opinion too! I am not a big fan of sugar cookies and I wondered how fresh they would be. I was pleasantly surprised! The cookie was tasty, the frosting was not waxy, and they were as fresh as any I've brought home from the local store. Along with the great taste, I'd say the other HUGE advantage was having them delivered right to my door! How convenient! We are always needing snacks for sports teams, mommy groups, playdates, parties, etc. Smiley Cookies would work fantastically for all of those occasions!

    If you need the perfect Halloween cookie, a Halloween Party Snack,  or even a Halloween Gift Basket then look no further than Smiley Cookie! They also have everyday Smiley Cookies and other special occasion treats!


    You can find Smiley Cookies at any of the links above and on Facebook! Smiley Cookie has graciously extended a special offer for the Carter Chaos readers. Simply "like" their Facebook page and you will automatically receive a coupon for 20% off on any of their Halloween Cookie Gifts and Baskets. Use this link http://www.facebook.com/smileycookiestore?sk=app_107611949261673to receive the special deal!



    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 1, 2011

    Word of the Day

    con·sid·er·ate

    adjective
    1.
    showing kindly awareness or regard for another's feelings, circumstances, etc.: a very considerate critic.
    2.
    carefully considered; deliberate.
    3.
    marked by consideration or reflection; deliberate; prudent.

    (from dictionary.com)
    Do you teach your children to be considerate? Are you considerate? This is an undervalued concept in our society. This idea of "considering" others feelings has been discarded. It is easy to consider our own feelings, wants, and needs. It is hard and takes effort to consider someone else's point of view, emotions, or circumstance. It is easy to negate our own responsibility because we've had a bad week or hard day. What about the person you are letting down? What if they had a bad week or hard day too? Did you consider it?
    Our children watch our every action. They are learning (or NOT learning) to be considerate based on my actions (your actions). If they see me being considerate of other's feelings and I cover consideration with them as a moral then they will grow up to be considerate people. If I don't show that example and never outwardly express concern for the feelings of others then my children will not either.
    We want to be like Jesus. We strive to follow Him. His death on the cross was in consideration of us and our sins.