Thursday, February 28, 2013

Does breakfast have to be an expensive rush? Not with #BreakfastSavings

just for u savings
 Breakfast can be the hardest meal to fix in a rush and on a budget, but it doesn't have to be thanks to Safeway and this week's promotion.

  I recently took my son to Safeway to pick up a couple breakfast items that will make our mornings smoother. Normally I would coupon match and spend time on Safeway's Just for U sight to rock the savings, this time it was right after homeschool co-op so all I had was the weekly circular. I love the side bar ads (underneath they show the $5 Friday deals that are always winners). This week (February 27- March 5, 2013) is an awesome Buy 4 Save $4 Rise and Shine Savings.  I knew we needed some breakfast stuff for my picky kiddo (he doesn't like eggs, doesn't like pancakes, not a huge milk drinker, etc..)  So with the circular in hand we headed into our local Safeway store 
 Thankfully we found Milk on sale as well as cereal bars, yogurt, cereal, and even some vegetarian bacon.
My awesome little helped loaded all the groceries onto the conveyor belt for the cashier, glad he was there to see exactly what was available and what he got since he is my picky eater. I was also glad he could see the prices and the value of those various items as we shopped the store.  I usually just type in my phone number as soon as the cashier starts my order, but since my guy was with me and I wanted him to see the values I waited until the last minute to put my number in. 
We started with just under $30 in groceries and ended up just under $20, when we got home he made me check for coupons I might have that could have saved us more, I found a couple valued at about $1.50 or so, next time.
Our quick shopping trip sure made this morning's breakfast easier and affordable, two things that make this homeschooling mama a lot happier.
With great deals and our pantry organization projects breakfast is now a lot less stressful.
You can check out more pictures from our breakfast journey on Google
I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Safeway #cbias #SocialFabric

Monday, February 25, 2013

4th Grade Math with A+Tutorsoft Inc

While we do a lot of hands on math using several different programs, I was excited to introduce Cameron to some more educational computer time. 
Schoolhouse Review Crew
Thanks to A+ Tutorsoft Inc., I have been able to do just that. We have been approaching math in a more traditional way using theA+ Interactive MATH 4th grade CD. The program is interactive as the child listens to the lesson and watches the instructions and math problems on the screen. Each lesson also has a question and answer section instead of traditional worksheets. 
Since this is a new way of doing math for Cameron, I was thankful to see I could still print the worksheets. This was especially helpful on units he needed additional practice on. I set the expectation of 85% correct at the end of each lesson, if he got fewer than that correct I printed the lesson for us to work on together.
A+Tutorsoft MathWe only had to print out 2 of the lessons before he realized that if he paid a little more attention he would probably get enough right that he didn't have to sit with Mommy and redo the assignment.. We scheduled Math as part of his work at least 3 out of the 4 school days a week and will continue this way for another month or two before we decide if we are going to adjust his schedule. 
Who knew 1 CD could change the way this crazy boy would think about Math. Instead of "blowing through" a worksheet, he actually had to sit and listen to the instruction and work through the problems. 

 A+ Tutorsoft Inc. has both the CD curriculum and as well as an interactive online program for 1st grade through Algebra 1 to cover your complete Math needs. A+ Tutorsoft Inc. has generously given our readers a bonus coupon that can be used through March 31,2013 giving them 50% of their order. Use promo code SPOFFER50 when you check out.(the code is case sensitive). The online program is available as a monthly , quarterly , or annual subscription starting at $19.95 a month. The CD program is available beginning at $99.95. That coupon makes this an awesome deal, a full year math curriculum for under $50. If you aren't sure if this program is for you , they have a download trial  on their website. I can't wait to see how much more progress Cameron makes this year with his math. 

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Scripture 2/24

Proverbs 3: 5,6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding , in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.

Sometimes it is hard to trust him, you think you know what is best for you or your children, but God knows much better what he has planned. When we trust him, he makes his plan available to us.

Mom fashion: new make up? #MagicBBCream

I tried out the new MAGIC Skin Beautifier  B.B. Cream from LOREAL Paris courtesy of SheSpeaks.  I don't use a lot of make-up, but I am always on the look out for something to use as a basic tone and something that will give me an even color with out looking obvious and without looking too caked one..

 L'OREAL's new MAGIC Skin Beautifier  B.B. Cream says it is a 4 in 1 product that primes, perfects, hydrates, and corrects. Retailing for $10.95 for a 1.0 FL. OZ.

Armed with the idea that this could realistically be the answer to my search , I used the product for a little over 2 weeks I tried the product.
Day one

Day 16

After 2 weeks I noticed my skin was drier than before causing the make to look caked on although skin an even color even my husband said it looked like I was wearing make-up which is not the goal. I want it to look natural.  I did find that the coverage of certain issue spots was effective while not making it obvious that I was trying to cover something up.  I've spent most of my make-up years searching for a good color and I have to say that L'OREAL provided a good color with this product, a basic color. I will continue to use MAGIC Skin Beautifier  B.B. Cream  on occasion but will be adding a stronger moisturizer before applying. 
For daily wear though,  I think I will stick to the my more basic option, a little moisturizer, lips and eyes and leave it at that. 

1 week later back to the basics, no foundation other than moisturizer

I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are that of this blogger, no monetary compensation was received.

Friday, February 22, 2013

No more tears with Handwriting without Tears 2nd grade

Handwriting is a very personal thing in my world. Your signature and how to write tell those around you something about you, so I asked my boys what kind of impression people would have of them with their handwriting the way it is? They both realized it wasn't going to be a very positive one.
Thankfully I was able to tell them we would be focusing on handwriting a lot this year and would be introducing them to a new program, Handwriting Without Tears
We would be working through the Second Grade  with both boys, since both boys' handwriting left a lot of be desired. 
Nathan started out the program with a bad habit that I must take full responsibility for , writing in all capital letters. Cameron likes to write capital letters when and where ever, making reading some of his work difficult. Thankfully,  Handwriting without Tears has a wonderful teacher's manual that lays out each of the letters and tricks to easily teach the boys.  I decided to have Nathan work on Printing Power and Cameron work on through Kick Start Cursive since he is already in the 4th grade but hasn't worked with cursive very much. 

We started out with a little frustration from Nathan as he thought he already knew how to write, thankfully as we got into the book he realized he needed some work.  One thing he is frustrated with is the smaller lines in the 2nd grade book, but I have told him if he would like bigger lines I can make him some paper to use for copy work and creative writing.  He is really catching on to the cues in the book and with only a few reminders is seeing a lot of improvement in his readability   He was crazy happy about writing his name on the front cover of his book, we decided to hold off writing in the inside cover until his penmanship improves, kind of a before and after look at his writing. 

 Cameron has been very happy with learning cursive using the Kick Start Cursive even if it is a 2nd grade level and is even looking forward to starting another level later this year. I am so grateful for being able to be flexibile with the boys and show them that labeling doesn't have to mean anything. It is just a guide and a starting point. 

The teacher's manual retails on their website for $9.25 and the Printing Power Plus which includes both the printing and cursive books in a bundle is $10.25.
Handwriting without Tears has a full range of Preschool - 5th grade penmanship programs and various manipulatives to enhance the child's learning of letters and words. 
We have been very happy with the program and will be purchasing additional books for both boys to work through. 

 Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Journey through God's Great Covenant Old Testament Volume 2

Last year we reviewed Classical Academic Press'  God's Great Covenant New Testament and enjoyed working through the program, so when we were given the opportunity to review another selection from the program I was happy to jump in to it with Cameron.  It actually worked out perfectly as we have finished up the Exodus and are moving forward with Bible history so to incorporate God's Great Covenant, Old Testament Book 2: an elementary grades Bible program.
God's Great Covenant Old Testament

We decided to spend a little more time than suggested on  each lesson, reading and listening to the MP3 lesson from the book , but also reading the stories directly from the Bible, and reading the stories in various other Bible Story books we have.

The Teacher's Edition , has lots of ideas to help your student learn as you read the lessons together with some wonderful thoughts. The one thing that I had to get use to, the teacher's edition  was printed landscape instead of portrait.  Made it easier to pick up when the 2 books (teacher vs. student) were on the shelf together. Thankfully it just fit on the shelf of my bookcase , still not sure how I feel about the manual printed landscape, but it isn't anything that changes our opinion of the program, just something to get use. 

Classic Academic PressCameron worked in the Student book while Nathan listened and answered questions.  We both really like how the review pages are set up to easily match the lesson. Not only did Cameron work on his listening skills for retention, but he also learned how  to skim a page if he needed to go back to find an answer. I love when a program ends up being cross curricula. We have been focusing on Samuel not only in several Bible studies, but also historically so the first lesson got a lot more attention then the others. 
I love the MP3 audio files that are available as a downloads, it gives us a chance to listen to someone other than Mommy reading the lessons. We can listen to the lesson at home or via the laptop on the road or at the park. As we continue with this program the rest of the year, we will be using the MP3 audios more and more and is a value at only $9.95.
I thought about if I couldn't afford it would it make sense to only buy the student book for $22.95, the more I thought about it the $44.95 bundle price for both books is really a value and I don't think I would be able to teach the program as well without the teacher's manual.  If I had the budget I would add the Timeline and Map set that covers all three books in the series for only $36.95, especially if you are planning on using the entire series.

The Schoolhouse Review is reviewing the Old Testament books as well as the Song School Spanish program. Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew


disclosure: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Steakhouse dinner at home

Lately if and when we have gone out to dinner, I have been less then impressed.
So I decided to do a steakhouse dinner at home.
Broccoli with cheese sauce, brown rice cooked in beef broth, and a Top Sirloin steak medium grilled on a hot BBQ topped with shitaki mushrooms and red onions in a balsamic reduction. It was pure heaven and since the broccoli and onions came from a gleaning project, the rice was given to us, etc.... the total meal for all 4 of use was less than $20. (steaks priced out at around $8.00) (beef broth was made from neck bone this past fall and stored in the pantry and the cheese sauce was a simple sauce of milk, butter and a small bit of cheese, not super heavy).

It had all the flavor of a steakhouse meal with out the huge price tag.

Homeschool Computer Center

We are in transition right now, but the boys needed their own computer center set up
Outside my husband is lowering the floor in the loft to create the office/ man cave so in the mean time the office soon to be bedroom for N is on hold and the office (still to remain office just becoming Mommy's) is the center of all things computer and networking.
Two weeks ago I moved the bookcase from the bedroom to the office to start setting up books in a more organized fashion. This past weekend I realized I needed to get the boys' computer center up and running , so quickly converted the middle of the bookcase to a computer station. The monitor and speakers are sitting at the center most spot on the bookcase, leaving 2 shelves above for Mommy's Bible study shelf and Teacher's manuals on a shelf with a 3 drawer piece to sort loose papers in for now.
The end table setting in front of the bookcase include a drawer where I hope to store the keyboard (not the one pictured) so we can use the top of the table for the music keyboard as we begin a new music program with the boys. Thankfully there is also a shelf on the bottom to hold some school books, making it easier for the boys to find some of the community books. Since the whole set up in very short, I added a wooden step stool as a temporary chair. The Computer itself is set up next to the bookcase out of sight but still accessible.

I am hoping to set up a small desk for their computer once I have the layout of this small room figured out, but for now this will work.

Sunday Scripture 2/17

Unionvale Homeschool
This week my list of inspirational scriptures grew as the week went on, I finally settled on one to share.

Psalms 86:6
King James Version (KJV)

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

Prayer is a powerful thing and been on my mind a lot lately.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday Valentines blessings

Thankful for the blessings of my boys and their great big hearts today.
Yesterday afternoon on our way home from homeschool co-op we stopped at the Dollar Tree so the boys could do some shopping.  This morning they gave me my present; a chocolate bar with almonds, red roses , and a card.

Cameron made me breakfast in bed (MorningStar Farms sausage links, toast, and orange juice)

Here is the front of the card they gave me.
and the inside of the card.
I asked them if they read the card and they said yes, it was the only one they could find that wasn't funny or too lovey dovey.

I have such sweet boys some days.

Valentine's Day

For the last 8 years my husband has brought home a card and a cute little stuffed animal for Valentine's Day. This year he stepped up and added a dozen red roses to the trip.  I'm pretty blessed to have him in my life.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Aplogia: Anatomy Science Lessons appropriate for kids

Schoolhouse Review CrewOn my wish list last summer as we headed out to our local Homeschool Conference was a science curriculum where we could study Anatomy and Physiology without the focus being on diseases so much but focused on God's amazing creation. At the conference I showed my husband a couple of different ones but he didn't feel at the time any one of the variety we looked at really stood out. He said we should wait and pray for direction.  So we started summer school without a science curriculum just doing a variety of experiments and videos going with what the boys showed interest in.
When the 2013 Schoolhouse Review Crew lists started coming up I was excited to see Apologia Science listed and when the review options came up I read the descriptions of each of the various products in the series to my husband. He had me read the Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology twice to him.
I was elated to hear the energy in his questions about the program as I downloaded samples from the website. I was even more eager to introduced the boys to the program.  I knew we would be receiving the Notebook (4th -6th grade)  Textbook, and MP3 CD audio so I ordered a Junior Notebook (k-3rd grade) for Nathan to work on with us.

Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CDThe boys have enjoyed the mix of Mom reading or listening to the MP3 CD audio. It is nice to have the option to listen the the MP3 if I need to do something. Also they can follow along in the book while the CD/MP3 track is playing on the computer. Listening to the author, Jeannie Fulbright read the book is a nice change of pace for the boys. They also thought it was neat that they were listening to the author read to them.
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

The book arrived and we dug in. Both boys have previously had a human body class in co-op so we decided to work through the book with our eyes open for new material. Both the boys were very excited about the skeletal system so we spent some extra time studying Lesson 2.  We found the easiest thing to do was have the boys coloring a picture or doing something like drawing pictures while the lesson is being read (either by Mom or listening to the CD).  Since this is our first experience with a science textbook in our homeschool journey I wasn't sure how they would handle this style learning for science.  With a variety of "Try This" activities in each lesson, we had plenty of time to stop and try something new and talk about what we learned.  This next week we will be finishing up Lesson 4 about the Digestive system and the boys are already planning what they want to do for their project: Design a Digestion Theme Park. The book has this as something inside with construction paper , but my boys are thinking obstacle course in the backyard., so I told them as long as Daddy gives them the ok, go for it.

Homeschool ScienceOne thing I really appreciate about this book is the Creation Confirmation; connecting what they are learning to God's perfect design. Hearing it from Mom and Dad or in church is one thing, but when you incorporate it into their daily learning it begins to really sink in. Also incorporating the Notebook journals into the textbook really helped the boys see value in their work. With the Personal Person Project they are piecing together a miniature example of themselves.

Since Cameron is older and using the regular Notebooking Journal (4th-6h grade appropriate) I printed off some coloring pages for him to add to his journal (he still really enjoys coloring pictures that coordinate with his lessons, I may even buy him a human anatomy coloring book to finish with this book)
Overall we could not be happier with this program. It is easy to use and incorporate into our schedule, the textbook lists all the supplies needed for the various activities in the book and except for a couple of experiments the supplies are usually something we have in the pantry or school room or can easily pick up at Walmart or similar store.
The Textbook retails for $39.00, the notebooks $24.00 and the MP3/CD $29.
For us this is a value in that both boys are learning from the textbook and CD and each has their own personalized Notebook.  I am actually planning on another Exploring Creation through.... set for next year , just haven't decided which one to do with the boys.  I will be reading the crew's reviews of the other books to see what my fellow crew mates think.
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

Schoolhouse Review Crew
disclosure: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Scripture 2/10

John 8:58
Verily, Verily I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

I love this passage, it simply tells them that before the man you so highly regard  , Christ was and will always be.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday full sail ahead

Cameron and I talked about his schedule over the weekend and I showed him what he would be working on for the week. He was impressed with the number of items we would be working on reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew and was actually happy with the full load that I set before him.
A+ Tutorsoft math and Essentials in Writing both are computer based / Video based programs he is working on, so part of his morning was at the computer watching videos and interacting with his math program.

This morning was a review of his God's Great Covenant lesson from last week so he worked through that at the table while I worked with Nathan on Math.
Finally the cursive work from Handwriting without Tears rounded out the morning.
He is actually looking forward to tomorrow's schedule of Apologia Science, finishing up the God's Great Covenant Review pages, another round of Essentials in Writing and A+ Tutorsoft math. 
I can't wait to share the full reviews of these products and more with you over the next few weeks.

Build and Grow Workshops from Lowe's

We haven't gone to a Build and Grow Workshop for a while, so I decided to register the boys for some of the upcoming workshops.
I love that I can register the boys and fill our the waiver form online.
Here is a look at what is coming up for the awesome Build and Grow program at Lowe's

Wheel of Love: Saturday February 9, 2013 just in time for Valentine's Day

Monster Jam Featuring Grave Digger, February 23rd

Monster Jam Featuring Monster Mutt, March 9, 2013

I highly recommend registering early online so you don't miss out.
My boys love making the various projects and it gives them something fun to build and bonus it is free. I have a list of things I need to get at Lowe's so we will pick up a few things while we are there as well...

While you are registering for the clinics there are a couple fun building projects listed including one for a wall sized coloring picture for a party.  Looks like a fun idea to me.