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Monday, February 28, 2011

Toothpaste & Mouthwash Review and Giveaway

I had the opportunity to use TheraBreath Toothpaste, Oral Rinse, and Fresh Breath Lozenges with the entire family. I have never heard of TheraBreath before, but I love their products. We will definitely be purchasing more.

TheraBreath was created by Dr. Harold Katz to help his own daughter with her problem of bad breath. The exclusive formula has been used by over 1,000,000 people since 1994 to solve their problems with bad breath and unpleasant mouth taste. Their products do not contain harsh chemicals like alcohol, saccharin, sodium lauryl sulfate, benzalkonium chloride. If you have any questions about the TheraBreath products you can have a live chat to get them answered right away. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee on their products.


The Fresh Breath Toothpaste~ My husband has very sensitive gums and the dentist has recommended that he use toothpaste without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. He has tried every brand of toothpaste that we could find with and without this, but none of them have helped. He noticed a huge difference once he started using TheraBreath Toothpaste. I noticed that my mouth feels cleaner longer. Even my 6 year old likes this toothpaste. It has a mild citrus mint flavor, but doesn't have an overly sweet taste.

Fresh Breath Oral Rinse ~ The oral rinse tastes a lot different from regular mouth wash. It contains no alcohol so it has a very mild flavor that my kids even liked. I have never found a mouth wash that my younger kids would use until now.

The Fresh Breath Lozenges ~ The orange mint flavored lozenges are individually wrapped mints that are very easy to take along in your purse or pocket. The mints work in three stages to make sure your mouth feels fresh, moist, and healthy, unlike any mint I have tried. I always keep a pack of gum in my purse for when I feel like I need to freshen my breath. I usually don't like mints because they tend to taste to sweet and I feel like I have to keep using them to retain fresh breath. I didn't have that feeling with these mints, they do freshen your breath.

Alaina, my 6 year old daughter loves the packaging, they come in a box that can be opened to use like a dispenser. She wanted the container to be kept on a little table we have beside our door in case people that came to our house wanted to have one. My daughter-in-law liked them so much she would grab one every time she came over. My daughters friend came to visit from CO and she had a sore throat, she tried them and she said that they felt good on her throat & took a hand full for her trip home. Since they are individually wrapped Alaina would also put a mint beside every plate when she set the table for dinner, so everyone could have fresh breath.
Now to the fun part! Two lucky people can win a toothpaste and an oral rinse.

Here's how to enter:
For your first entry visit the TheraBreath website and tell me what you would like to try from them.

Additional chances to win:

  • Follow me with Google Friend Connect.
  • Follow me with Networked Blogs.
  • Like TheraBreath on Facebook.
This giveaway will be open until Monday March 7th at midnight. I will announce two winners on March 8th.
I received TheraBreath Toothpaste, Oral Rinse, and Fresh Breath Lozenges free to use in our household in exchange for my review of their products.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Teacher's Toolbox


The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has done it again. If you currently have a magazine subscription the Teacher's Toolbox is free to you. One of the best things about this resource is that the information is provided by homeschool families that want to help you in your journey through school.

Each month you will receive tons of FREE resources. A monthly history calendar with activities and lessons for each day, delicious recipes, ebooks, crafts, printable worksheets, unit studies and so much more. You will also be able to look at every digital TOS issue ever created!

Wow that's a lot. If you are not already a subscriber what are you waiting for. Subscribe today for $29.95 and receive 19 free gifts plus access to the Teacher's Toolbox.

I am very excited to be part of this project as a Star Contributor to the Teacher's Toolbox.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Long Awaited Day


I love being with my kids, watching them grow, taking on responsibilities, hitting those milestones that lead them to becoming responsible adults. The anticipation that builds and the excitement in their eyes is part of why I love being a mom.

Alaina hit one big milestone today, she got her library card. In the eyes of a 6 year old this is quit an accomplishment. Being the youngest of five kids, she has wanted one for years. Her sisters had clued her in on what she needed to accomplish to get one.
  • First you have to be able to write your name on that tiny line. (With 10 letters in our last name that is not easy). She practiced over and over to get it small enough.
  • Second you have to be able to write your address and phone number.
  • Third it has to be very neat, so the librarians can read it.
When we first got to the library there was a line at the counter, so we picked out our books first. Alaina chose some of her books and then realized that there wasn't anyone at the counter. She wanted to get her card now instead of waiting until she was ready to check out. The librarian gave Alaina a form and a pencil and she very proudly carried it to a table. (She is to short to write on the counter).  The first line was for her name, she wanted to know if she had to write it little on that line. She filled out the form and at the bottom it asked for her signature and she wanted to know if it had to be little. (She was worried about rule number 1). She gave her form to the librarian and she gave her a card and a pen & I told her this is where you will have to write your name little. She was so careful & wrote so small that she only used half of the signature line. (I'm not sure I could write her name that little). All of her practicing really paid off.


We headed back over to the children's room to finish picking out books. Her sisters were discussing how many books they brought back and how many they could check out today. Alaina holds up her card and asks "How many books can I get with my card?" She was thinking it worked like a gift card!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kid Scoop

PhotobucketOne of my favorite things about homeschooling is watching my kids finally start to read well, and to get to that point it helps to have some fun activities to encourage them along.

Kid Scoop has been encouraging kids to read for over 20 years with the sale of over 7 million copies of their newspaper each month around the world. There are 2 parts to the Reluctant Reader Solution one online and one offline.

With the online part you get 12 full-color issues of Kid Scoop News. Each issue is full of articles, puzzles, mazes, drawing and writing activities, and an idea calender.



The offline part contains 365 worksheets divided into categories covering different topics. Some topics are holiday, sports, animals, and many more. You may download a sample and see a complete listing of topics by visiting here. The lessons can stand alone or used to enhance things you are already studying and they meet state educational standards.




I used Kid Scoop with all three of my daughters, ages 6, 8, and 9. My 8 & 9 year old girls are already reading above their grade level, my 6 year old knows all her phonics, but still reads very slow. She just needs to get a lot of practice and that is why I volunteered to review this product. We have been using this for less than a month so I can't really say that it has improved her reading, but it has introduced her to some new vocabulary. She loves to color and she really enjoys some of the puzzles, so she is motivated to use the worksheets. I think over time this will help her to like reading. Even though my other girls read well, they are completing the worksheets and enjoying all the activities. It is nice to see them learning while they are having fun.

To get a years worth of worksheets and the online newspaper for $97.00 visit here.  There is a 365 day money back guarantee. You can use the program for a year and if your child doesn't enjoy reading more, or doesn't actually start reading on their own you can get your money back.

If you would like to see what other TOS Crew members thought of Kid Scoop sail on over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.
As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I received Kid Scoop to use with my children in exchange for my review of their product.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cicada Killing Wasp

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! They are everywhere. Some are more pesty than others, but they all have their purpose here on this earth. Isn't it wonderful how God designed everything to work together to balance things out?






There are times we need to balance out our school year by taking a break from our regular curriculum with a unit study. A unit study is when you take one topic and study about it while you incorporate all your subjects. This time we used the Cicada-Killing Wasp Unit from The Curiosity Files, available from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

The UNL Extension Horticulture website says that the Cicada Killing Wasp is the largest wasp species in Nebraska. I find that very interesting since I have never heard of them, so I learned right along with my kids on this one.

We learned the characteristics of these wasps, what they are good for, how to find them, what they eat, how long they live, what their enemies are, and so much more. We are really looking forward to the rise in temperature and the snow melting so we can get outside to complete the lab portion of this study.


This unit contains 88 colorful pages in a PDF form to be viewed or printed with Adobe Reader. It is recommended for ages 8 to 13 and up. I used it with my 6, 8, and 9 year olds & I would be the "up", because I also learned from this study. We covered all of the following subjects:
  • Bible
  • Math
  • History
  • Geography
  • Literature (with a book list)
  • Writing- focusing on essay writing and commas.
  • Spelling & Vocabulary
  • Copywork - to help our penmanship
  • Science
  • Art- crafts, coloring pages, and a snack recipe
There are also:
  • Discussion questions
  • Fun activities and games
  • Lapbook/notebook pages with links
  • Internet resources and video links
  • Special needs
  • Answer key
You can view a sample here.

Are your kids curious about the world around them? Professor Ana Lyze the character from The Curiosity Files will help keep them busy with 9 titles in the series. Her research team specializes in the bizarre to help educate your children about subjects you may never think of. You can get The Curiosity Files™- 9 Pack Bundle CD for $49.00. You can also buy them as an ebook for immediate download for $46.00. The titles are available individually, but the prices vary from time to time with all the sales they offer at The Old Schoolhouse Store.

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The other 8 Curiosity Files are:
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We are looking forward to completeing more of these units, I have already purchased MRSA, the Red Tide, and Dung Bettle. The members of TOS Crew reviewed different titles from The Curiosity Files, so head on over and see what was said about some of the others.
As a member of TOS Crew I received the Cicada Killing Wasp Unit to use with my children free in exchange for my review of the item.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken Chili

Some people like to plan their menus for the week or month but I like to cook what I feel like eating. Sometimes I decide the night before what we will have for dinner the next day or sometimes in the morning when I get up. Once in awhile I will plan ahead, but not very often. I like to shop in bulk so I usually have just about everything that my family likes to eat.

Morgan texted yesterday and wanted the Chicken Chili recipe so she could make it at her apartment, so guess what I was in the mood for today?

Chicken Chili
1 lb. of chicken cooked & cut up (sometimes I boil the whole one & debone it)
1 onion
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon oil
2 cans of great northern beans or dry beans soaked & cooked.
3 cups of chicken broth
2 cans of chopped green chilies 4 ounces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces of noodles (we like to use radiatore)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

~Saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is done. (or boil whole chicken)
~Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings, bring to a boil
~Add noodles reduce heat cook til noodles are tender
~Stir in sour cream & heavy cream
~Serve
Homeschool Review Crew Winter Cooking Inspiration

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Walk week 15

I'm so excited about the Blog Walk this week because I'm on it! YAY! That means visitors, I love company. I'm going to be visiting all 9 of the other blogs this week to see what they are doing.

1. Heritage Homestead and Homeschool Academy
2. The McClanahan 7 - This is ME!
3. The Happy Homeschool Mom
4. Books \'n Other Stuff
5. The Midlife Housewife
6. Because of Our Children
7. This Day Has Great Potential
8. Ladybug Chronicles
9. Freelance Homeschool Mom
10. Ben & Me

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winner

Congratulations goes to Kristi over at Clothesline Musings for winning my CSN $35 giveaway! Maybe she will stop over and let us all know what she buys with it. Happy Shopping Kristi.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dig-it Games!

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Do your children love computer games? Are they into history, archaeology, or adventures? Do you think your kids should be learning while they are playing games? Then Roman Town is a game for you. My three girls ages 6, 8, & 9 really enjoyed playing it. My 9 year old got the most out of the game, she learned a lot about archaeology and improved her vocabulary. My 8 year old needed some help on the reports with the vocabulary words. My 6 year old like digging and doing the puzzles, but someone else had to complete the reports for her.

In Roman Town from Dig-it! Games you are the Archaeologist, you learn about the Romans, how they lived, what they ate, and how they played.  You manage your team of diggers while you learn the techniques of archaeology. Roman Town brings history out of the museum and makes it real.
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Your digging site is Fossura, a Roman town destroyed in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted. You chose what tool you want to use while you dig up your priceless treasures. Discover items the Romans used in their daily lives such as coins, pots, vases, mosaics, and bones.


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After you dig up your artifacts you complete the Old and New puzzle by matching the old items to it's modern counterpart. This really got my girls thinking about the differences in lifestyles.





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Once you dig up all the pieces of an object, or mosaic you can put it together On the 3D Reconstruction.



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In this puzzle you take the modern day objects out of the picture.





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After finishing your dig and your puzzles you must complete the report correctly before you can move on in the game. If you pay close attention while you are digging you will hear vocabulary words that you will need to fill in the blanks of the report.

Roman Town was designed for children age 8-88 by a teacher to help them in problem solving, and analytical thinking. It introduces Archaeology in a fun way for the whole family. You will enjoy the full excavation experience from start to finish while learning accurate information about Roman life and history with authentic artifacts and realistic backgrounds.

Roman Town volumes 2 and 3 are in the early stages of development but every time you play the original Roman Town you uncover different artifacts so your game is always different.

SALE, SALE, SALE!! Roman Town from Dig-It! Games retails for $39.95 but if you order by Feb 21, 2011 you can get it for only $19.95. Use promotional code TOS2011.
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System Requirements
• Windows Vista/XP/2000
• CPU 800 Mhz; RAM 412MB; Hard Drive 350MB

"I really like to dig and find the pieces of mosaic or pot so that I can put it together. I think the reports were a little hard to remember the names of all the items. My favorite mosaic from the game had a garden with a bird bath. My favorite find was the blue glass vase. I like the Old and New game because I never thought about how the old object compared to ours today. Putting the mosaic together was so much fun because I like to do puzzles." ~~ Amber, age 9


Read what other TOS Crew members and their kids thought about Roman Town here.
As a member of TOS Crew I received a free download to Roman Town for use with my children in exchange for my review of this product.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homeschool Day Book

Homeschool Day Book Record Keeping
In the state of Nebraska we are required to teach our elementary students for 1032 hours and secondary students for 1080 hours per school year. If you are like me this is the most tedious part of our school, but a couple of weeks ago it got a lot easier. I have been using the Homeschool Day Book to keep track of what we have accomplished each day. This hasn't taken the place of my actual planner, I just input how much time we spend each day on each subject and I can find out the total amount of time on the reports. It is so much easier now to add in our field trips and extra activities that we are involved in.

When you first start the Day Book downloads very quickly, and there is no loading time when I open the program everyday. On the initial start up you add your students and subjects. On your daily entries all you have to do is click on the child/children and the subject completed. You can add a title, the time spent on the subject, and any comments that you would like to remember about this entry.



Click to enlarge image.


You can see a monthly calendar to check attendance for each month.
 Click to enlarge image.


It is very easy to manage your kids, subjects and entries. You can even change your system settings to create a backup or restore from a backup. You can generate reports by attendance, entries, time spent per date, and time spent per subject for each child. These reports can also be printed to be filed away with each child's work for the year.


Time Spent Per Date, or Subject for each kid.

Click to enlarge image.


I have never used a program to actually keep track of the time we spend in school, so I am really loving this program. There is a free trial of the complete program for anyone who would like to try The Homeschool Day Book or you can purchase this program $39.00.


I will receive one free licence for The Homeschool Day Book in exchange for my review of their product.

Blog Walk week 14

One thing I have really liked about being part of TOS Crew this year is getting to know so many new people. Here are the ten blogs I will be visiting this week, so grab a cup of coffee and join me on my blog walk.

1. Homeschooling In Nova Scotia, Canada
2. Clever Title TBA
3. Until the Day Dawn Weblog
4. RubySlippersSchool.com
5. Smooth Stones Christian
6. Clothesline Musings
7. Four Little Penguins
8. Laurie's School Days
9. Sunshine to Flowers
10. One Big, Healthy Family
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