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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Liquid Purex Crystals #Giveaway #PurexCrystals

As a Purex Insider, I received a free bottle of this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 



Purex Crystals are awesome. They smell amazing. I have no complaints about Purex Crystals at all, but I was super excited to see new Purex Crystals ScentSplash. This is Purex Crystals in liquid form. It smells just as great! 




You put your laundry in the washer and add this fragrance booster right in with your detergent. It couldn't be any easier to use.


Purex Crystals ScentSplash eliminates laundry odors and leaves your clothes, towels, and linens with a fresh scent. Your clothes will smell great for days. Nothing better than pulling out workout clothes and they have a freshly washed scent. So much better than the "just left the gym" smell!

Purex Crystals ScentSplash can be used with any detergent. This in-wash fragrance booster is now available in stores. It comes in Fresh Spring Waters, Fresh Lavender, and Fresh Mountain Breeze scents. I want you to try it too so I've got 3 coupons to giveaway! 3 winners will be selected to receive one coupon each good for a free bottle of Purex Crystals ScentSplash. Enter for your chance to win via the easy Giveaway Tools widget. 



Planning for the Planner Who Loves to Plan

{Contains aff links.}

I love to plan. It makes my little planner's heart so happy to write things down and check them off. I write down and have a plan for bills, meals, grocery lists, homeschool goals, my husband's work schedule, my own work schedule, church activities, etc. etc. etc. I really could go on and on. I use 2 things to keep our lives "in order". My first and favoritest thing is My Well Planned Day planner. The second is a GIANT whiteboard in our kitchen. I also have some calendars around the house but the 2 biggies are the planner and the whiteboard.

I add colorful tabs to mine!


My Well Planned Day holds most of the things I listed above. I plan out our school year way in advance. In fact I've already got my 2015-2016 planner, and I've started the basic outline of our school year in it. I use pencil because things change, and I like the ability to erase. Today is the very last day for you to get 20% off your own Well Planned Day planner. If you are a homeschool parent, I encourage you to take a look at the Well Planned Day and the other products offered by HEDUA.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rest

Genesis 2: 2-3  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


When our kids were little, Sundays always included a nap. We'd go to church, have a nice lunch, and then tuck them in for their afternoon nap. During the time they were both asleep, Hubby & I would nap or watch football or some other relaxing activity. Then we'd go to a night service or just enjoy an evening at home with the kids. Even when Apple grew out of the nap stage, we'd have her lay down for quiet time while Speedy took his nap. Somehow we've moved away from that. Speedy outgrew naps and we started going to a different church so our Sunday routine changed. Now Hubby works some Sundays, and Sunday has become a day to go to church and then come home and catch up on everything that needs to be done. 

A couple of things have happened recently to make me ponder our Sundays. First, a very wise friend told me she's using Sundays to rest. I'm positive this friend has plenty of housework and kid stuff she coul be doing on Sundays but instead she's following the Biblical principle of rest. Second, I realized just how tired I've been, and I told you all about it. 

When you work at home, home is not a particularly restful place. It's hard to sit and relax when there is a pile of laundry to be done, a sink of dishes, a pile of work, a list of reviews to do, and a pile of homeschool things that need attention. There's always a list of errands to run, a grocery list, a meal to be made, and on and on. I've felt a lot of stress lately over my never ending to do list. Even when we were out of town I felt the stress of the things I was NOT doing while I was gone. 

When I started praying about it, I remembered my friend's statement about rest on Sundays. I remembered that God gave us the example for a day of rest. I remembered all the Sundays we spent resting. I decided to give my Sundays back to the Lord. We will worship on Sunday morning and rest on Sunday afternoon and evening. My husband is very supportive of this plan. Even though he works some Sundays, he knows I need rest and he is much better at resting on his days off than I am. 

Today we picked up some foods that didn't require much prep for lunch and dinner. We had a nice lunch, and I sent the kids to rest while I laid on the couch. Now you know when we strive to follow a Biblical principle, we are met with resistance. My resistance today included the phone ringing many, many, many times and neighborhood children knocking on our door many, many, many times. I will not give up! I intend to continue to rest on Sundays. Hopefully we will work out the kinks and get better at it. I'm praying that it will translate into more peace during the week for us. Being busy all day every day certainly hasn't been working. 

Do you take a day of rest on Sunday? I'd love any tips you have to share!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What I've Learned About Homeschool Conventions

{Contains affiliate links.}

Or I could have titled this post: When the Internet Makes You Forget Common Sense.

I was all hyped up for TTD Nashville. I wanted to be ready. I had no idea what to expect at a homeschool convention. I've drooled over the idea of TTD for 2 years, but I was at a loss as to what to pack, plan, wear, bring, etc. So I took to the internet in search of information. The TTD website provided a tentative schedule well ahead of time. A TTD Facebook group talked hotels, Opryland features and costs, special meal prices, and more. A few blog searches provided posts of what to bring to convention. This is about the time I lost my mind.



*Idea: You must bring a bag or rolling suitcase or shopping cart to convention. My own personal truth: I brought my largest 31 tote. It holds a lot. It is hard to carry through a crowd and up an escalator, and into tiny exhibit hall vendor booths. What I should have brought: The free tote bag they gave me at check in.


*Idea: You must bring lots of snacks and water bottles. My own personal truth: We aren't snacking people. We didn't have the kids with us (even if we had them they would have been in the children's program and wouldn't have needed our snacks). I lost my mind and brought crackers, peanuts (and then I panicked over possible peanut allergies and put them back in the car the first chance I had), mints, gum, Jolly Ranchers, 2 HUGE reusable water bottles, and who knows what else. I kept all that in my giant 31 bag. Since I didn't have anything else in there. What I should have brought: A giant thermos of coffee. Coffee was available in Opryland but one had to pay a kidney and walk very far to find it. Plastic cups were provided at the water coolers in each room, but I never even got a drink from them so I was just carrying around empty bottles. Lunch. I should have brought lunch. I will bring that up again in another post. We did eat a few Jolly Ranchers and mints. Those would have fit in our pockets.


*Idea: You must bring a sweater because all the rooms are freezing. My own personal truth: I rarely ever freeze. I am generally burning up. Why? Why did I think this would be an exception? I had on long sleeves with a hoodie at the first session. The lady next to me (and the room was packed so I mean RIGHT next to me) and I took turns fanning one another. It was hot in there. Very hot. In every room. I was hot. I never needed a sweater. I needed a tank top. What I should have brought: Cuter, less casual clothes. I was dressed fairly casual both days because we were doing a lot of traveling. The jeans and capris were fine (I thought) but I wish I had taken nicer tops to wear. Cool, short sleeve tops.


*Idea: The exhibit hall is full of vendors and deals and you will buy all your curriculum there. My own personal truth: I had a long list of items I intended to buy at convention. I made a scan of the vendor list but didn't spend any real time looking at the list and making myself a detailed list. As a result the vendor hall was a scary, packed, confusing place for me. I've been in the homeschool and curriculum review game for awhile so I'm fairly familiar with most vendors. I went expecting huge deals and discounts and I only found 1. I could have found 2 but I got sidetracked and overwhelmed and spent more on one item than I should have. It was $5 cheaper one aisle over. I also didn't purchase one item because it wasn't discounted and I knew it was online. When I got home I realized that the s/h charges equaled the discount so I didn't save anything by buying from home. I had a HUGE bag and barely bought anything there. What I should have brought: A clear detailed list with the booth I needed to visit, items to look at or purchase, and prime prices. Also I went with cash because of our budget and several booths would only accept cards. Lesson learned.


*Idea: ?????? My own personal truth: I don't remember seeing anyone talk about shoes. I had this idea of sitting in sessions. Not an idea of walking miles and miles back and forth and here and there and yonder (remember I was searching for coffee). What I should have brought: I changed into sneakers fairly early, but I should have worn them all along or other very comfy shoes. I could have carried many pairs and choices in my giant bag if I'd only thought of it. You're gonna want to wear comfy shoes.


*Idea: Make a list of choices for the speakers you want to see. Pick 2nd and 3rd choices in case your first choice is full. My own personal truth: I printed the first and second schedules that were released on the TTD page and made some notes on a few of the times slots. I had no idea how many sessions would fill up and so I was scared to get stuck on a session plan. Plus I wasn't sure if my husband would want to stay with me or go his own way (things we should have talked about but....ya know). So I had cryptic markings and I never printed the final schedule. We ran sort of willy nilly. I don't really do willy nilly. What I should have done: Made a definite schedule for myself. There were no sessions that were so full that we couldn't get in at all. We almost missed one session that was really important to us because we lost track of what we were doing. In the future I will have a very set schedule and then we can veer from it if necessary.

Doing something for the first time is always a learning experience. I'm sure my second and subsequent times will be learning experiences as well but now I have a better idea of what I want to do for future conventions. I do recommend you search the website, look for Facebook groups or pages, and read blogs (like this one!) about convention suggestions. However, don't go all crazy and forget your personal preferences and be rational about your wants and needs.

Review: Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap #Giveaway


I received this product free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.



I love a good hand soap. I'm home most of the time, and I'm constantly washing my hands. It is especially important to me to have a good hand soap in the kitchen. I really want my hands to be clean while I'm cooking and cleaning. Dial has a new Boutique Collection and Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap is the first one I've tried. 

The soap cleans really well with its scrubbing properties but has been super gentle on my hands. The scent is favorable and not overwhelming. My kids and husband have also been using this new soap and are enjoying it as well. It is a thick soap so it isn't disappearing too quickly.

It is available in a couple of other scents. I have a coupon for one free bottle of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap to give away to one of you! Use the Giveaway Tools widget to enter. This will end very quickly so enter now!



What No One Tells You

I remember all the advice. ALLLLL the unsolicited advice I received while I was pregnant with our oldest. It seemed that everyone I encountered had some opinion on childrearing that they felt compelled to tell me.

*Always keep socks on them even when it's 105 outside

*Never feed them any solids before 6 months old

*Feed them cereal the minute they pop out

*Paci vs. no paci

*Keep it loud when they sleep

*Make it as silent as a tomb when they sleep

*Have another right away

*Never have another, 1 is plenty

You know. You've heard it all too. Now that I have a kid that's a whole decade old (how did that happen??), I reflect on what people never told me. Like that tired would be the norm. Evidently forever. I really thought I'd only be exhausted until I got them to sleep through the night. For a time that was almost true.

It isn't true anymore. I'm exhausted. Everyone I know my age is exhausted. Why didn't anyone tell us we'd be so tired???

Some are tired because they still have babies waking up during the night. Some are tired because someone in their house is always sick. Some are tired from working swing shifts. Some are tired from working more than 1 job. Some are tired because these short people ask 9 million questions a day and want to be fed continually all day long. All day. Every day.

Do you remember your parents being this tired? I don't but I'm sure they were. I do remember one friend's mom who continually looked a little glassed over. Now I know it's because she was so TIRED.



So if you don't have kids yet or are new to the parent game, let me warn you. You will be exhausted for a loooooooong time. It doesn't matter if you....

*Stay at home or work from home or work outside the home

*Breast feed or bottle feed

*Co-sleep or crib sleep

*Public school or private school or home school

*City or county

*Organic or non-organic

You're going to be tired. There's nothing you can do. It just will be. 1 kid or 19. T-I-R-E-D.

Just thought I'd give you a heads up because no one told me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brave Girls are Back

I received a copy of each of these books for the purpose of review as a Tommy Mommy. All opinions are my own. 

When I told you all about the book Brave Girls Bible Stories back in October, I told you 2 new Brave Girls devotionals would be available in the spring. Brave Girls Faithful Friends and Brave Girls Better Than Perfect are now available. Each of these devotionals is set up for a 90 day study which is just the right length of time to hold the attention of a young lady. The target age is 7-11.




Apple can always use some faith filled advice on friends. Navigating the waters of girl friendships can be difficult. Faithful Friends has 8 sections of various friendship topics like "God Is My Best Friend" and "Friendship Fixers" Each section is then broken down into days. The days have a Bible verse, a short devotional, and a prayer suggestion. Some also have fun activities like fill in the blank or crossword puzzles.

Better Than Perfect focuses on some important values like truth and faith. It is broken into 6 sections such as "Body Builders" and "Character Quest". The days are broken down similar to the other devotional with a scripture, devotional, and prayer suggestion. Some pages also include places to do fun things like journal or take a quiz.

We use devotionals daily during our school time. I've let Apple scan through these, but I'm going to put them away for her until she's ready for a new devo for schooltime. She's excited to have a new book with the Brave Girls, and I think she will really enjoy both of these. These would make EXCELLENT Easter basket additions and I wish I'd thought to keep them from her for a few more weeks! If you have a girl that would love these, enter my giveaway. One reader will receive a copy of each of these 2 devotionals. Enter via the Giveaway Tools widget. The Brave Girls devotionals are also available in stores.




My Experience at TTD Nashville #TTDNashville

Contains affiliate links. 

Teach Them Diligently Nashville was fantastic. It was my first homeschool convention, and I learned so much! This won't be my only post about TTD, but I want to give you an overview of our experience.

The conference ran from Thursday to Sunday. I wish we could have gone to all 3 days, but Hubby had to take off work to attend with me so we were only there Friday and Saturday. We left our house very early Friday morning to make it to Nashville in time for the first session. Our kids stayed with Papaw and Nonna while we were gone (thanks grandparents!). See how excited we were?!?!?


The Opryland Hotel is a gorgeous venue. A huge gorgeous venue with lots of walking. So much walking. And water! Beautiful water and scenery is everywhere. Which almost makes you forget all the walking. Almost. 



Our very first session on Friday morning was packed. The room was full. Jen Lilenstein of Kidzmet.com did a presentation on "How Personality Type Impacts How Your Child Learns Best". Her talk was so inspirational. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I know my children are total opposites, and I'm different than both of them. I just haven't really considered how that affects our school time. I bought a copy of Jen's book, and I am looking forward to utilizing her suggestions.

We got in several more sessions on Friday including front and center for the Benham brothers! After reviewing their book, I was very excited to hear them speak in person. They did not disappoint. We also heard Ken Ham speak on Friday. His room was so crowded that we were on the back in the floor against a wall. It was totally worth it to hear him though!


After some breaks and a trip through the exhibit hall, we sat in on a Rachael Carman session as our last for Friday. She is so funny and so real. I hope to read her book soon, but I forgot to pick it up at the convention. 


That evening we went to Murfreesboro to stay the night. We were able to stay with some family friends. I was very tired when we got up Saturday morning, but I was ready for another great day!




When we got back to Opryland, I found the place to pick up my blogger nametag and t-shirt! YAY! Dr. Dobson was suppose to be the big speaker that day, but he was unable to make it to Tennessee. Instead we got to see the Benham brothers again! They were just as great the second time and gave a different talk.


We actually ended up cutting our time at the convention short. I was not feeling well Saturday after the Keynote, and Hubby and I were both so tired that we left. It was a hard decision to make because we really wanted to stay and enjoy more of the conference. You know how some sermons just leave you feeling physically exhausted? That's how we felt. That coupled with a real lack of sleep for 2 nights in a row and a long trip just did us in. We went and had a nice lunch, hit the McKay's bookstore, and headed home. 

I can now say with confidence that you should absolutely attend a Teach Them Diligently conference if you have the chance. There are 3 more this year! Each one is sure to be filled with encouragement for homeschool, parenting, Christian living, and more. 

A special thanks to David and Leslie Nunnery and their family for all the hard work and dedication to provide these special conferences. 



Monday, March 23, 2015

The Orphan and the Hobo

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


Did you read Pippi Longstocking as a child? I did. I was always thrilled with her freedom and wild ideas. She was the opposite of me, and I just found her delightful. Did you know the author of the Pippi Longstocking books wrote other books for children? I didn't! Evidently Astrid Lindgren wrote many other books. I can't wait to find more for my children to read. Our first new Lindgren find was Rasmus and the Vagabond.



In this book, the 9 year old Rasmus is growing up in an orphanage. One day he decides to hit the road. When he runs away, he finds himself lonely and very afraid until he meets a hobo named Oscar. Oscar is an interesting character with a big heart. The two find themselves in some serious trouble. How can an orphan runaway and a vagabond prove themselves innocent?

This book is fantastic. It is fun and imaginative. It takes children far outside their normal world to a fantasy story that is just within the realm of possibility. Being inside that realm is what makes this story the most fun! My 10 year old daughter consumed this book and my son has already asked to read it as well. It's 180 pages and should be a good read for the mid to upper elementary crowd.

What was your favorite book or series as a child?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ice Cream Sundae Bar


Apple requested an ice cream sundae bar for her 10th birthday party. I thought it was a great idea! She's way beyond cartoon characters and we don't do big hype over certain actors, actresses, or musicians. That leaves party themes a bit limited. An ice cream party was just what we needed!

I found some great ideas on Pinterest and added them to my Party Ideas board. Then Apple & I sat down together and made a guest list. Next I filled out invitations (purchased at the Dollar Tree) and got those in the mail. Apple & I made an extensive list of fun ice cream toppings.

By her own initiative, we found some amazing glass ice cream sundae dishes of various sizes to borrow. They were all so beautiful and made lovely dishes to hold the toppings. I didn't want them to get broken so we made sundaes in disposable bowls. However, we also borrowed some banana split dishes from the same person and several party guests did put them to good use.

Apple requested that her Nonna make the cake and of course she did. We had 2 cakes, 2 gallons of vanilla ice cream, root beer (for floats), and other sodas and juice. For toppings we had:


*Oreos
*Chocolate Chips
*Marshmallows
*M & Ms
*Whipped Cream (in a can)
*Maraschino Cherries
*Peanuts
*Chocolate Syrup
*Caramel Syrup
*Bananas (for banana splits)
*Waffle cone pieces


I even made a fun ice cream craft I saw on a couple of different pins on Pinterest! If it was easy enough for me to make, then anyone can make it.


The party was a huge success. Everyone had a wonderful time making their own sundaes!

Oh and we had treat bags. Unconventional ones. Apple isn't really into little toys anymore either (at the old age of 10) we did a big bowl of candy (Jolly Ranchers, butter mints, gum, and lollipops) and put some cute treat bags out. The kids (and some of the adults) filled up a bag of treats to take home.


What is your favorite birthday party theme?






Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Online Math Review

My kids love computer games and really don't feel like they are doing school when they play educational games, so I was happy for the opportunity to do a review for GPA LEARN. Their online math game GPALOVEMATH is a fun way for students to learn and strengthen math skills. This program offers math for students in K-5th grades. Everything about the program is available online so there is nothing to print out.


Critical Thinking Company Review

When you register a student, they have access for one year to all of the levels. That's a great bonus because your child may be behind or ahead of their grade level. Apple and Speedy both played GPALOVEMATH for the last few weeks, and they were both ahead of their level. The lessons were rather easy for them both. Apple needed to stay on 5th grade because that's the highest available level. I had Speedy stay on 2nd grade because he did run into some material that he needed to review. There is a recommended order or you can do your own order. Each level has 3 paths. The colored paths represent the types of lessons. I decided to keep them on the recommended order. They were fine with that until they realized sometimes it blocks them from going ahead on some paths until they complete certain lessons. You can see in this screenshot that Speedy can't go any further until he completes more of the blue path. They are continuing to move ahead but they've both fussed a little when their favorite path gets blocked.




The lessons involve a character(s) giving them an overview of a math concept and then issuing some type of challenge to go along with the game. In the 5th grade level, Nina and Dino are trying to defeat Dr. Division. Nina and Dino present a short cartoon lesson then the student does a few practice problems and then a quiz. In the 2nd grade level, Adirehs is a surfer on an island. Her lessons focus on cooking and guessing animal friends. After the lesson, the student does practice problems and a quiz. The lessons go through about 4 examples for each type of problem before the student moves on to the practice. My kids figured out fairly quickly that they could completely skip the instruction and/ or the practice to go straight to the quiz. 

I like that the lessons are short and easy to understand. Also, I like that the math concepts are broken down into small, easy to learn lessons. I'm glad the student is able to practice (with 3 life lines) before attempting the quiz. This is a program that a student can use completely on their own with little to no assistance from the parent. That's a HUGE plus as I move my kids to becoming more independent workers. I like that they are able to move between levels and that the subscription is for a whole year. I see this being very beneficial during summer break. The kids will be playing while keeping their math skills sharp. This can be used 1 day a week or 7. Over the last few weeks, I had the kids both work on it 3-4 times per week. 

Speedy liked that at the end of each lesson he could move Adirehs and her hot air balloon up and down around the mountain.


Apple and Speedy both LOVE LOVE LOVE that there are prizes. The parent can set up various motivational prizes like staying up late or a monetary reward. The website itself also offers fun rewards like Toys R Us gift cards! Apple and Speedy both have taken advantage of the gift cards and are so excited to go and buy something! I appreciate that I could change the motivations to things that were the right fit for our family. I also like the gift cards because that pushed them to want to play and do well on the quizzes. I should mention they receive points for every quiz they take. The better the score the higher level of points they achieve. You will receive an email (if you want) after every quiz telling you the score and how many points they received. If the kids score too low they will be prompted to try the lesson over before moving on in that path.




Now there were a couple of things we didn't like about the program. The voices on the lessons are very electronic/ robotic sounding. It is very distracting. I've heard that the program is working to improve the voices, but I did not get confirmation on that myself. You can turn down the volume and read the words on each lesson instead but that may get confusing if it is a new concept for the student. The lessons don't play straight through. The student must click an arrow to move ahead or back. I can see why the program is set up this way, but I think my kids would prefer it just to move along like a video. 



Those are just personal preferences and don't really impact the educational quality of the program. I did need to contact customer service one time for a question, and they were so prompt and polite with their response. That is a huge plus for GPA LEARN! We used this program on our Windows laptop through Chrome. We never had any technical issues. The program can also be used on MAC, Apple iPads, and Samsung Galazy Tab 4. I think this is a beneficial online program for homeschooling family and public/ private school homes. I'm looking forward to continuing to use this program as extra math practice outside of our regular school time. 


See what other Crew members thought about GPALOVEMATH:



GPA Learn Review
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Crew Disclaimer

Benham Brothers

I received a free copy of this book from BookLook bloggers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Many of you probably remember the story of the Benham brothers. These twin real estate businessmen were slated to have a show on HGTV. Members of GLAAD found some news stories where the brothers had shared their faith and caused an uproar until the show was canceled before it ever aired. David and Jason Benham have penned a book, Whatever the Cost, to share that experience as well as their history in baseball and business.


The Benham brothers will be at Teach Them Diligently Nashville this weekend so I was excited to read this book ahead of hearing them speak. Honestly this book is so much more inspiring than I expected it to be. The Benham parents did a great job of raising their boys to serve the Lord. I cannot wait to apply some of their principles to our own family like going the extra mile and serving others. Those are concepts I think most people want to teach their kids but this book includes some great hands on ways to incorporate them. There are parts of the book I've bookmarked to read to the kids.

David and Jason also do a great job of sharing their experiences and the things God has taught them along the way. They are very open about their own mistakes. They explain how easy it is to allow a career or job to become an idol. God's word is so clear against anything coming before Him, but we often find ourselves worshiping money or our career or other things besides the Lord.

I really enjoyed this book and as I said found it inspiring. I've encouraged my husband to read it, and I've got the Benhams marked as one of the sessions we will attend this weekend. It is a great reminder that we are in a battle on earth and as Chrisitians we must put God first in every aspect of our lives.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Budget Battle



I just realized I haven't done a budget battle post in a bit. I know you all know I bounce from project to project and idea to idea, so I didn't want you to be worried that we had abandoned the budget. We were able to mark off the first goal on our very large, colorful budget bound chart. We paid off 2 small items on our list. Doing both of those has energized us. It's good timing because we have a couple of trips coming up, and I want to make sure we stay in budget even when we are out of town.

One thing that has threatened to cost us unexpected money recently (twice) is overdue library movies. The library nearest us has a fantastic movie selection but only allows 2 days before they must be returned. Each late day incurs a $2 fee. Each child gets a movie, forgets to tell me they did, the movies are suddenly 2 days late, and we are in the hole $8. However both times this has happened the library has dropped all fees due to closings for ice and snow. The Lord is good to us! Even on snow days. We have laid down a "no movies from the library" law indefinitely. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and an antenna for local channels so we aren't completely without movies and show.

Have you had any unexpected situations lately that have (or could have) cost you money?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Glowing Easter Eggs


Egglo Entertainment Review
It is almost Easter so this is a great time to give you my review of the products offered by Egglo Entertainment. As a member of the review crew, I received a dozen Glow in the Dark Egglo EggsThe Egg-cellent Easter Adventure bookEgglo Treasures Scripture ScrollsEgglo Bible Verse Stickers, and a digital copy of the Egglo Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt Event Curriculum. As soon as I opened the package, I knew my kids would have so much fun with these products!


Here are some of the eggs I received. They came in pink, green, blue, and yellow. All of the eggs glow (after being "charged" by light) and some of them have a lovely raised cross on them. The glowing eggs represent the light of Jesus. So awesome!



The tiny Treasure Sticker Scrolls are so cute and each has a Bible verse printed on it. Apple and Speedy both really enjoyed opening the scrolls and reading the verses. The verses also come printed on the Bible Verse Stickers. The eggs are just the right size for holding a scroll, a sticker, and a small piece of candy.


Egglo Entertainment Review
The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure by Darcie Cobos is the story of Pascal, Anastasia, and Hardy. The three cousins find themselves on an Easter treasure hunt full of glowing eggs and scrolls. We've had too many days cooped up in the house so reading the story aloud to the kids was a great boredom buster. I read the story while they snuggled up and looked at the pictures over my shoulders. Now that they are 7 and almost 10 this doesn't happen very often! They really got into the story and were guessing the answers to the clues along the way. When we finished reading the adventure, we had an adventure of our own! I hid the eggs around the house for a fun, indoor, glow in the dark Easter egg hunt. You can't tell in the pictures because of the camera flash, but I hid the eggs in totally dark rooms.   





Who wouldn't like a night time pj clad egg hunt?

As you can tell from their smiles, they both LOVED this activity. The Egglo Eggs gave us some fun entertainment while Hubby was at work. When our egg hunt was complete, we sat down with The Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure Egglo Program Guide. This digital curriculum is packed full of useful materials for hosting a big Easter Egg Hunt (for church or a family gathering, etc) or just having a dicussion with your kids at home like we did.  

Egglo Entertainment Review
When we sat down together, I used the questions included in the guide to talk with Apple and Speedy about the story we read. There is also a page of questions about John 18. This list encourages discussion about the Easter story in the Bible. I started to read John 18 to the kids, but I decided it would be great to really test their knowledge without reviewing the story. To my delight they were able to answer almost every question! These resources made it easy and fun to get my kids ready for Easter as we continue through the Lenten season. It is so important to remind them every year that we celebrate Easter as a day to remember Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and resurrection. 
If you are interested in using Egglo Eggs for a larger gathering, the program guide includes invitations, coloring pages, snack and decorating suggestions, a devotion, and some really great group activities. It isn't our year to host the egg hunt at church, but if we do in the future I already know what I will be doing! These eggs and tiny treasures are for kids of all ages (I would only recommend the scrolls for those past the age of mouthing small objects). All the printables in the guide are great, and I'm sure we will be using some of them in our home school time as we get closer to Easter. 
The real reason we celebrate Easter gets so easily pushed to the side. The excitement over plastic eggs filled with candy can quickly overshawdow our joy that He has risen. These glowing Egglo eggs are such a visual reminder that Jesus is our light that shines through all the darkness. Because these products are unique, they are sure to capture the attention of kids. Apple is going through her confirmation class at church right now and my plan is to put one of these eggs in each of the confirmands goody bags. I love that they will each have a little sticker and scroll in their eggs. I can't think of a better gift to encourage them!
See what other members of the Crew thought about the Egglo Entertainment products:

Egglo Entertainment Review
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Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Amazing Body Wash to Combat the Cold

I received a free bottle of this body wash for review. All opinions are my own. 

Is it cold in your neck of the woods? It is so much colder than normal in Tennessee and we had several inches of snow this week! Where is the sunshine? I need my flip flops. I need a pick me up. I have a bright, shiny Dial pick me up in my shower that is giving me a smile even on these cold days. Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash with Marula Oil is so wonderful.



This sunshine in a bottle has an exuberant fragrance that reminds me of summer and fun. It is a strong fragrance so if you have perfume sensitivities this body wash might not be for you. Personally I love perfume and I love the scent of this Dial body wash!



This cold, icy, snowy weather is not kind to my skin. This body wash is keeping my skin moisturized and feeling great. That is so important in the winter and becomes more important each year. What is up with mid- thirties skin? I'm glad I have products like this to make me feel better in my skin and about my skin.


I was worried that "with Marula Oil" might mean icky, sticky, overly oily body wash. It absolutely does not. This is a thick gel body wash that lathers up perfectly. I do not feel oily at all after using it. This fresh body wash just leaves me with soft skin and a smile. Dial also makes also makes a Miracle Oil hand soap!


Would you like to try this new body wash for free? Enter via the Giveaway Tools widget for your chance to win a coupon good for a free bottle of Dial Miracle  Oil Body Wash with Marula Oil. 3 winners will be selected!




Everyone Needs a Friend

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.



Who doesn't need friends? We were all made for relationship with others and with God. Kids want and crave friends but can often have trouble as they navigate the waters of friendship. In this new book by Andy Andrews, we meet Henry Hodges and learn he needs a friend. We aren't told why Henry is so lonely....maybe he just moved...maybe he just realized he needs a friend. Either way Henry is without friends and his parents want to help him.


One of the jobs that comes with parenting is assisting with friendships. It's in the invisible manual you didn't get at the hospital when you had your bundle of joy. However, it is still a big part of parenting. Sometimes your kids won't have any friends. Sometimes they won't have good friends. More often they will have arguments with their friends. They usually don't know how to handle those situations on their own so we as parents have to step in for the assist. It is tough and there often isn't an obvious way to help, but you figure it out. Henry's parents are ready to help him find a one of a kind friend. Henry thinks of many friends he might like (a goldfish with antlers!), but at the animal shelter, he finds a lonely pup who needs a friend just as much as he does. 

This is a fun book with a wonderful message. Henry Hodges Needs a Friend and he gets one! There is a whimsical feel to this book with a sad beginning but very happy ending. Speedy really liked this book and has already read it a couple of times. This is a good book for beginning readers or to read aloud. I think boys and girls will equally enjoy this book. It might be a fun gift for your child before adding a furry member to your family. 

You can preview Henry Hodges Needs a Friend and you can enter to win your own copy! Please use the easy Giveaway Tools widget to enter today.



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hurry!

Contains affiliate links.


Hurry over and buy your Teach Them Diligently registration before the price increases in a few short hours!


TTD2015 250 Square

This awesome convention will be in 4 different cities and will have special activities for moms, dads, kids, and teens!

The Peace Jar

Because sometimes it takes an old pickle jar......







Filled with strips of paper with consequences on them like....

  Apologize to your sibling


  Clean a Closet


  Write an Apology Letter


   Wash, Dry, and Fold a load of Laundry

 
   Wipe baseboards




To get through to short people that PEACE is a big deal in this house.