Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

“Travel Kits” For those long and not so long trips!

 Travel Kits is an e-book created by Donna Rees for the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Store. The cost of this, 93 page, e-book is $12.45 and it can be used to bless family, friends, and neighbors over and over.travelkits_cover_sm
Travel Kits are uniquely designed kits to make travel fun for kids and easy for adults. There are no two alike, or at least there shouldn’t be :-)
Basically you chose a basket, box, bucket, or any container large enough to fill with the amount of ‘goodies’ you want to include. Then you start filling the container up with things the kids will enjoy and that will occupy them for the long trip ahead. This makes it easy for parents because when the kids are happy, we are happy :-)
This book gives you step by step instructions with lots and lots of details and ideas for creating a Travel Kit to suite your need. Donna Rees has even included ideas for mom, dad, and the family pet. What child wouldn’t be thrilled to give spot a new fetch ball to play with on vacation?
Some ‘goodies’ you might include in your travel kit would be snacks for the ride, travel games, small cars, color books, crayons, reading books, music cd’s, books on cd, etc. You can even include things for them to use when they get to their destination, such as  balls, pool toys, hair bows, bracelets, etc.
After choosing your container, purchasing and wrapping your goodies, the final step will be deciding how to distribute them.
For this there are numerous ideas. A few that I liked in particular were:
  • Having them take turns opening a ’goodie’ every 30 minutes and sharing whatever is inside. This would work well for snacks only or if you purchased identical gifts and wrapped them together (such as 3 cars in a pop tart box, one for each boy).
  • Draw names until everyone has opened a gift, then start over
  • Let them open a gift when you cross the state line, hear a certain song on the radio, see a certain color car, get a trucker to honk his horn, etc.
Ms. Rees has a very long list of ideas for distributing the goodies. You will have no problem making this fun for all. You can even use a variety of ideas she’s given or come up with your own. It’s all about having fun without alot of stress!
She gives you all the information and tips you need to make a wonderful travel kit for your family or another family that you want to bless. You can put alot of money into it or you can head on over to the dollar store and create something that will be sure to put a smile on you child’s face.
In addition to the basic information to get you started some other areas covered include:
  • The Package: large and small creative containers
  • The Presents: snacks, crafts, books, music, puzzles, toys, hats, electronics, games, and using your imagination!
  • Different Themes
  • Travel Websites: these are great websites with information about the state(s) you’ll be traveling thru
  • Recipes for including homemade snacks
  • Preparing your vehicle
  • Checklist for packing your vehicle
She closes with tips from fellow travelers and a book list for different age groups.
This e-book is well laid out for those that are not good at coming up with ideas. For those that are very creative and able to use their imagination you can create your travel kit without the aid of this book, but you’d be missing out on some great ideas, wonderful websites, and sweet recipes.

If you'd like to see what others are saying about this product please Click Here.

**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can I just say God Is Good!!!

I serve an amazing God! I am so humbled when I think of being His chosen one! HE CHOSE ME!! Why? I’m so unworthy! And what keeps me amazed is the patience He has for my growth (or lack of growth). It seems I take for ever to learn the simplest things.

I’m so thankful that He picked me up from enemy territory and set my feet upon the rock! I was not looking for Him but He came looking for me and I’ve never been the same!
Thank you my precious Savior and Friend!

Free Giveaway! Jump Start Get Moving Wii Game

I am super excited to share my family’s experience with the new Jump Start Family Fitness Wii game and to offer you a chance to win your copy of this very energetic game!
This is a brand new game that just hit the stores on June 15. The retail price is $29.99 and it’s rated E for everyone! The ‘hostess’ of this game is none other than Brooke Burke from Dancing with the Stars. She also has her kids featured in different games.
100_0984 I asked my kids what they thought of the game and my 10 year old said “it’s alot harder than some of our other Wii sports/fitness games.”

100_0977 My 8 year old had this to say about it: “It’s fun! Very Fun! And active!” And I can attest to the fact that it will wear you out. We all agree it’s an active Wii game, unlike some of the games out these days.
Iceskating Step Aerobics
There are lots of options that allow you to customize your play. To get started you decide if you want to do drills which practice on one particular skill, or routines, which consist of up to 5 drills that play in a row without a break.
There are 7 categories and in each category there are several games to select. For example the 7 categories are Basketball, Racing, Football, Boxing, Balance, Volleyball, and Baseball. If you choose Baseball you then decide if you want to play Catching or Bating. Another example would be Volleyball, and then you decide if you want to Bump, Set, or Serve.
If you decide to do the routine, then you have more options and alot of workout time, lol. The way my boys did it was to start out doing drills in the different categories and then move to the routines once they became good at the drills they had practiced.
Baseball CatchingFootball Tire-run
Another neat thing is that after you choose your game(s) you get to select the arena you would like to play it in. There’s a place to meet every persons interest from Farm to Space and everything in between.  There are 11 to choose from.
What I like about this game is it keeps track of how many calories you’ve lost during each session. Now that’s good stuff! I would like to note that in order to do some of the games, such as step aerobics you will need the  Wii balance board.
If you’d like to have a copy for your family just leave me a comment letting me know who you’d like to play it with. And for an extra chance in the drawing become a google friend follower. If you’re already following, leave me a comment to let me know :-) I will draw the winner on Aug 1, please be sure to leave an email address or check back on Aug 1 to see if you’re the winner.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of JumpStart Get Moving: Family Fitness at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products' abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free
product provided.

***Edited*** The winner is Kimberly from Until The Day Dawn. Congratulations Kimberly! Hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my kiddies have =)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pretzel Recipe

I found this pretzel recipe on another blog, Along the Way and since I'm visiting 20 blogs this week, I was afraid I'd forget where I saw the recipe. I really want to try it so I'm posting it here to remind me :-) Thanks Cindy


What You’ll Need:

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup baking soda

4 cups hot water

Optional: 1/4 cup kosher salt

Optional: melted butter and cinnamon and sugar

What You’ll Do:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.

4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. We made most of ours into pretzel sticks.
5. Once you have shaped all the dough, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Optional: Sprinkle with kosher salt.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

7. Optional: melt butter and dip pretzels in butter then in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Equipper Camp and Eye Surgery…one crazy week

We have had one crazy week. Last Monday I decided I would go with my husband to a camp that was taking place where he works. It was kind of a last minute thing and the reason I decided to go was because I wanted us to all be together as a family before he left for his mission trip to Nicaragua on July 12.

The kids were happy to tag along to this Equipper Camp and it turned out to be a blast for all of us, as usual! The purpose of the camp100_0936 was to ‘equip’ the teen and pre-teen kids to be Intense, Intentional, and Surrendered in their walk with the Lord. We did special projects such as interviewing different age groups about their walk with the Lord and passing out bottles of water with Bible verses thru out the community. This picture shows my oldest giving a mail carrier a cold bottle of water with an encouraging scripture attached.

Thursday was the last day of camp and my husband started having some trouble with his right eye. He said he was losing sight in the corner of it. He called the dr’s office but his dr was on vacation, and since Mark was heading out of the country the next week the receptionist scheduled him for two weeks. That was a mistake.

Friday it got worse and all of a sudden at 5pm he had lost about 1/2 of his vision in that eye. We had the on call ophthalmologist meet us at his office and he immediately sent my husband to the hospital. He had a detached retina and needed surgery pronto!

By the time we got the kids dropped off and to the hospital (which was 1 1/2 hrs away, our local hospital doesn’t perform this procedure) his retina had crossed the center of his eye. So “the horse was out of the barn” as the dr said. It was still necessary to do surgery quickly but unfortunately the damage may be irrevocable.

Surgery was performed Saturday and the attending physician gave us more hope than some of the other dr’s we’d spoken with. He stated that about 85% of these cases regain some of their vision. This was fantastic news because when it happened to my husbands Dad he lost his vision in that eye.

Hubby is recovering here. He didn’t get to go 100_0966 with his team to Nicaragua. We were very disappointed about that, but we know God is in control of it and we praise Him that this happened before leaving the country.

It will be some time before we’ll know how much of his vision he’ll recover and we’re praying it will be a good outcome.

Now that I’ve had a chance to stop and catch my breath, I realize I didn’t do the TOS Blog walk this week or last week. Oh well, maybe I’ll catch up next week :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Camp Week

Last week my 10 and 8 year old boys were away at Day Camp from 6:30 am-5:00 pm daily. That left my 4 year old son, 3 year old daughter and me. Boy was the house quiet last week :-)
We missed having the older boys here to boss us around (;-)), but at the   100_0876 same time it was kind of fun to be able to enjoy the two younger ones alone.
The night before camp started my oldest son informed the 4 year old that since they were going away he would be in charge. “You can do whatever you want, you even get to decide what y’all have for lunch, because you’ll be the oldest!” My husband and I got a kick out of this because my oldest son does try to be in charge, I struggle daily to keep the reins. I’m not a natural born leader and he is. I’m not a leader but I am stubborn so I don’t give in easily!
The funniest part of that was when my 4 year old woke up Monday morning walked into the living 100_0879room with a cookie in his hand and plopped down on the couch to begin his morning munch, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do. When asked why he was eating a cookie on the couch for breakfast, he reminded me that his older brother wasn’t there so he was in charge and could do whatever he wanted! I cracked up, then I sent him to the table to eat breakfast (and no, it wasn’t a 100_0877cookie)!                                                      So while they were gone we swam each day, played outside often, watched too much TV, ate snacks we loved, enjoyed peace and quiet (I realized a lot of the strife was coming from the older kids, *gasp*) and anxiously awaited our older guys to come home in the afternoon. 

Although it was good for them to be away from us for awhile, it’s sure nice to have them back home again!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

~~Talk About Craziness~~

1776 was a spectacular year, and it's a smashing, save-more-money price! Grab your subscription to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine during their four-day Fourth of July sale, and check out July4th140x180Buttonthe craziest price on July 1 only! Receive a 2-year subscription, free Homeschooling with Heart tote bag, and five FREE E-Books for just $17.76! While supplies last. U.S. and Canadian residents. July 2 through July 4 the unprecedented savings continue. The sparks are flying at TOS Magazine . . . join in the celebration and savings! Get the details here

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