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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blend Giveaway

Alaina gets excited over the simplest things. One of her favorite items that we receive in the mail is cereal. This time we got to try Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends, and the box didn't last long. My girls aren't normally big fans of coconut, but they loved the flavor & flakes that are in this blend.

The New Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends contains crispy mango flavored flakes with real coconut shavings and coconut flavored granola clusters.
  • 10g Whole Grain
  • 120 Calories
  • 6g Sugar
  • 9 Essential Vitamins & Minerals including 60% Daily Value of Iron
  • 4 Wholesome Grains
  • Heart Healthy
    • 0g Trans Fat
    • 0.5g Saturated Fat
    • 0mg Cholesterol
  • WIC Eligible
Purex has teamed up with Honey Bunches of Oats & Outrigger Hotels and Resorts to launch a prize giveaway.
  • One Grand Prize winner will receive a four-night stay at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach for 2 people.   
  • Five 1st Place winners will receive a one-year supply of Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent & Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends.
  • One hundred 2 Place winners will receive coupons for Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent & Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends.

    Enter Below
 February 13-April 19, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: As a Purex Insider I received a free box of Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends from Post to try with my family. My participation is voluntary & I received no other compensation, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Escargot & Pineapple Stir Fry

Alaina has been in the kitchen again. She loves kid cookbooks because there are so many pictures. Awhile back she looked at a cookbook from the library that had escargot for lunch. I can't remember what they put in theirs, but we used tuna salad in our snails.
We thought they were so cute.

Tortilla Shells
Whole Pickles

~ Mix tuna with some mayonnaise so it will stick together. (or however your kids like it)
~Next spread the tuna on a tortilla shell.
~Roll up the tortilla shell and cut into 1 inch wide pieces.
~Slice pickles diagonal so they will stand up.
~Place tuna roll & pickle on plate & add toothpicks.

 Alaina also turned her pizza into a rat face.

This week Alaina didn't choose a cookbook from the library, so she used one we already owned. She chose to make Hula Stir Fry out of the New Junior Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens.

My kids are always helping in the kitchen, so Alaina didn't need a lot of help. I cut her chicken for her, but she cut all her other vegetables. We have tried several recipes from this cookbook & have enjoyed them all. The instructions are very detailed, so if you are not used to being in the kitchen you will know exactly what to do.

Of course we didn't follow the exact directions. My girls love the flavor of garlic, onions, & ginger root in any stir fry. So here is our rendition of Hula Stir Fry.

Pineapple Stir Fry

1 Pound Chicken
1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 Onion
1 Small Bell Pepper
2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
1 Teaspoon Chopped Ginger Root
2 Carrots
1 8 Ounce Can of Pineapple Chunks
2 Packages of Ramen Noodles
1/2 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Stir Fry Sauce
2 Tablespoons Garlic Sauce

~Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
~Cut onion, bell pepper, ginger root, and crush garlic.
~Cut carrots into bite size pieces.
~Heat oil in large pan or wok.
~Cook chicken until done.
~Add onions, garlic, ginger root, and carrots and stir fry until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
~Add the water, sauces, and the pineapples with the juice.
~Break ramen into smaller pieces and add to pan making sure noodles are in the water. Do not use the spice packet.
~Heat til liquid boils and noodles are tender, about 3 minutes.

A+ TutorSoft, Inc.

It is so nice having at least one kid that really likes math. Alaina is my only one who would rather work on math problems than any other subject, so when we started talking about using A+ TutorSoft, Inc. she was thrilled.

A+ Interactive MATH is a Multi-Sensory interactive computer math program for grades 1-6, pre-Algebra, and Algebra 1. It can be purchased as a Software CD or an Online Edition.

Alaina has been using the 3rd grade Online Edition. It was very easy to get started. I was given a login that took me to the parent account where I can manage my students. I could then assign Alaina her own user name and password.

The 3rd grade Online Edition recommends a 29 week lesson plan. There are 15 chapters containing 5-12 multi-media lessons per chapter. The student also has access to 130 online worksheets, 15 online exams, plus printable worksheets and exams with step-by-step solutions. A+ TutorSoft will keep track of grades from the online worksheets and exams, and a Certificate of  Accomplishments may be printed. A reference section containing 9 pages of math helps including charts, shapes, formulas, math fact tables, money values, and units of time and measurement is also available.


I started Alaina at the first chapter and every day she would log herself in and select the chapter & lesson that she was ready to work on. As the lesson is read to her each line of text is added to her screen so she can read along. She is very good at addition, so the first couple of chapters were very easy for her, but she really needed a refresher on her vocabulary. After the lesson is given there are a series of questions to answer. Some of them are multiple choice, and some she just entered the correct answer. She was a little confused with the multiple choice questions at first, because she wasn't familiar with them. She wanted to click on the first answer that was correct & sometimes the answer would be more than one or all of the above. It didn't take her long to catch on. She has been enjoying this program, and said today that she wants to keep using this instead of going back to her regular math curriculum.

During the lesson when a problem is answered correctly the child is rewarded with a smiley face that pops up and gives the them a 2 thumbs up. If the questions is answered incorrectly the student is told that it is the wrong answer and they are immediately shown how the problem should be worked.
There are several things that I really like about A+ Interactive MATH. My favorite thing is how Alaina knows right away if she answered the problem incorrectly. That way the mistakes are taken care of immediately before she finishes all the problems and then realizes she wasn't doing them right all along. I think the format for the lesson is great, I like that one sentence or line is given one at a time while it is being read. This allows Alaina to see, hear, and read the lesson. I think that would also help a child who gets overwhelmed with too many instructions at once, because they can't see how long the lesson is. The Refernce Sheets were so handy I printed them out, so everyone could access them easily.
 The Online Subscription for 3rd grade and all other levels is available at a Monthly Rate of $19.95, Quarterly Rate of $49.99, or a Yearly Rate of $124.99. The Software CDs are available for $99.99 or the Premium Software CDs are $124.99.
The Online Homeschool Curriculum can be tried for 1-month free of charge. If you are not sure what grade level to start your child in, there is a free placement test available. This chart comparing the 2 Software CD choices and the Online Edition can help you see the differences of each.

A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. has given me a coupon code for 50% OFF good until the end of March. This code is good on any product from A+ TutorSoft and for as many as you would like to buy.
Promotional Code: SPOFFER50 
Members of the SchoolHouse Review Crew received A+ Interactive Math grades 1-4 of the Online Edition and the Software CD. Sail over to the Crew Blog to read more reviews.
Disclaimer: As a member of the SchoolHouse Review Crew I received a year access to 3rd grade A+ Interactive Math from A+ TutorSoft free of charge. I am not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Classical Academic Press God's Great Covenant

"Classical Subjects Creatively Taught"

Studying the Bible is not only a big part of our homeschool, but it is also a big part of our lives. We have family devotions every day & I taught my kids to have their own private time reading their Bible as soon as they could read. For family devotions we have read straight through the Bible, studied topics, people, or individual books, but for school it is nice to have a curriculum. The last couple of months we have been using God's Great Covenant from Classical Academic Press.

We have enjoyed other curricula from Classical Academic Press in our school and God's Great Covenant is just as good. We received the Student Workbook, the Teacher's Edition, and the MP3 files. It is recommended for children in grades 3-6, and I have been using with all three of my girls ages 8, 10, & 11.
God's Great Covenant Old Testament 2 Student Workbook is $22.95 and contains 298 pages. It covers the books of 1 Samuel to Malachi, and is divided up into 5 Units. 
  • Unit I: The Early Kingdom...The God Who Anoints
  • Unit II: The Glorious Kingdom...The God Who Blesses
  • Unit III: The Divided Kingdom...The God Who Reigns
  • Unit V: The Remnant Kingdom...The God Who Judges
  • Unit IV: The Exiled Nation... The God Who Restores
Each Unit is divided up into 6 or 7 chapters, and is set up the same way throughout the book. The suggested schedule has each chapter lasting a week while spending about 20 minutes a day. In each chapter we are given the Lesson Scope, Theme, Memory Verse, Key Facts, Things to Remember, Message From the King, a Story, and Worksheets. In the back of the book there is a glossary, maps, quizzes, memory verses, and more. A download of the Table of Contents and the first Unit are available free of charge.

God's Great Covenant Old Testament 2 Teacher's Edition is a softbound book containing 298 pages and is $24.95. It is set up exactly like the student workbook. Each page contains all the text from the student book,  but with Parent and Teacher notes included on the side margin. You can download the Table of Contents and the first Unit free. 

God's Great Covenant Old Testament 2 Audio Files are available as an MP3 download for $9.95. There is 3 hours of Bible Stories read by Christopher Perrin. This is the exact story that is included in the curriculum, and you can listen to a sample of chapter one

I used this with all three of my girls together. They like to snuggle on the couch while I read the bible story or the selected bible passages, and while discussing the theme, memory verse, and key facts. Then they would complete the worksheets on their own. Some days the girls liked to take turns answering the questions out loud, but there is such a wide variety of worksheet formats that they liked filling most of them in. The worksheets included fill in the blank, crossword puzzles, matching quotes, scrambled words, and more.

Throughout the book is a fictional character named Tobias. He is included to capture the attention of the children & he does. My girls, especially Alaina, love the little guy, and all the other cartoon characters and pictures. 

The bible stories are written directly to the student and make a wonderful read aloud. So far we haven't found anything to be contrary to the Bible. I really like how the suggested schedule has you read the story the first day & the Bible passages the second day, because I want to teach my girls to check the bible to make sure what they read and hear is true to the Word of God. 

I really like the Key Facts. They are listed in a chart and contain Bible references to look them up when there is a specific one. The chart makes it so easy to go back and study. 
I love the Teacher's Edition to this curriculum. It is so nice to be able to see the exact page that the girls are looking at. I like that they can follow along in their book while I read the story or if we take turns it is easy to switch. The student page in the teacher book is smaller with notes to the teacher on the side. Each note is numbered with a corresponding number on the student page, so you know exactly when to talk about it. Some pages contain blank lines to add your own notes. 

Christopher Perrin was a very good choice to read the stories for the audio files. He has a great voice, and is very pleasant to listen to. The MP3's contain only the story section from the book and can be listened to straight through like any audio CD. We did not use the audio files every day during school, because we like to discuss things while we read, but we enjoyed them for entertainment. We love to listen to recorded stories & audio dramas while we clean house or during trips in the car and this makes an excellent addition to our library. 

  "Classical Subjects Creatively Taught" is Classical Academic Press Motto. It describes the essence of what they publish. 
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received God's Great Covenant free of charge to use with my children in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dry Idea Giveaway

I love offering giveaways & I have another one for you. This time it is the new Pulse Activated Dry Idea. This new Advanced Dry antiperspirant & deodorant will give you 24 hour protection & is hypo-allergenic. It is available in Unscented or Powder Fresh and Cotton Dry scents.

I have been using the Fresh scent and have really liked it. It has a slight scent that is not overpowering. I also think this is great because it is hypo-allergenic.

I have 3 coupons for the new Dry Idea Advanced Dry valued at $5.50 to giveaway to three of my readers located within the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dry Idea is also running a Dry Idea Sweepstakes. There will be one lucky grand prize winner who will receive $500. There will be 10 2nd place winners who will receive $50.

Disclaimer: I received Dry Idea Advanced Dry to use so I could write my review. All opinions are my own & no other compensation was received.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

V is for Valentine's Day Anniversary!!

I cannot believe that I am old enough to have been married for 23 years, but I guess I am.

Mike & I were both stationed at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan. He was already there when I arrived & the first time we met we were firing the M-60 at the firing range. Once I was assigned to my flight with the 475 Security Police Squadron, Mike just happened to work the same shift.

One day a fellow coworker congratulated me. I was puzzled & had to ask why. He said he had heard that Mike & I were getting married. I'm sure I looked shocked because Mike hadn't proposed!! When I asked Mike about it he said that he loved me so much he wouldn't take no for an answer.

When we decided to get married we agreed to do the legal thing at the American Embassy in Tokyo & we thought we could have a ceremony or reception later when we visited the states. Since we didn't need to coordinate with anyone, we decided to get married on Wednesday February 14, 1990. Life happened & we never had that opportunity to have a ceremony later.

A trip to the American Embassy is probably like going to the court house. We had to travel to Tokyo & we needed to take two witnesses. Once we got there it was very simple. They asked us if we had ever been married or divorced, had us sign the paperwork & pay our fee.
We were married!
I didn't get a proposal or a wedding, but I do have an awesome wedding certificate and I got to honeymoon in Tokyo.

Monday, February 11, 2013

U is for Underway

The new Schoolhouse Review Crew year is Underway. Apologia is the first vendor, and there will be 100 reviews added by Friday.

The elementary curriculum that is being reviewed is the Exploring Creation series, which includes the Human Anatomy and Physiology, Zoology 1 Flying Creatures on the Fifth day, Zoology 2 Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day, and Zoology 3 Exploring Land Animals of the Sixth Day. Members of the Crew received the text, and the Notebooking Journal or the Junior Notebooking Journal.  
  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
We are not on this review, but we already own all of the selected titles. They are among our favorite science texts. I'll be reading some of the reviews, won't you head on over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog and read some with me.

Blogging Through the Alphabet
Thanks Marcy

Friday, February 8, 2013

20 Mule Team BORAX Review & Giveaway

I have used Borax in the past and I knew it could be used as a Laundry Booster and as a cleaner, but I didn't really know anything about it or what exactly it was.
20 Mule Team Borax is 100% natural mineral found in the earth. It is produced by the evaporation of seasonal lakes. Once removed from the ground it is washed, dried, & boxed. There is nothing added. It will naturally soften your hard water to improve you laundry detergent's power, and it helps keep stains from being re-deposited onto clothes.
I like using Borax in my laundry, and to get stains out of my carpet. My kids like to use Borax to make goop, and to form crystals. It can also be used to clean your garbage disposal and toilet bowl.
I have 3 coupons valued at $3.50 to giveaway to 3 of my readers from the United States. Enter the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Borax provided me with a free box of Borax so I could try it. I am not required to write a review & all opinions are my own.

The 5 Money Personalities Giveaway

 Do you and your spouse disagree about money? Maybe you speak different love & money languages. Scott & Bethany Palmer shows us how to learn what our money personality is in their new book The 5 Money Personalities.

Once we figure out if we are a Saver, Spender, Risk Taker, Security Seeker, or Flyer we can start to work together as a couple on our money issues. Throughout the book are Make It Happen activities where we are given things to work on or think about. If you and your spouse fight over money issues you will be able find out where that conflict comes from & hopefully fix it.

"The Money Couple", have dedicated their lives to helping others strengthen their relationships with the 5 Money Personalities. With 43 years of combined financial planning experience, they launched "The Money Couple" and are regulars on national TV and radio and speak internationally about love and money. Scott and Bethany enjoy an active lifestyle in Colorado with their two young sons, Cole and Cade. 

I have one copy of The 5 Money Personalities to give away. Enter the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I received The 5 Money Personalities free of charge as a Propeller review and giveaway in exchange for my blog post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LIbrary Cookbooks

My girls love to visit the library & we try to go once a week. Almost every week one of my girls will choose a cookbook. A couple of weeks ago Alaina picked the Sesame Street cookbook B is for baking. The first day we came home, she marked all the recipes she wanted to try with a sticky note. One of the recipes she has made is the Abby Cadabby's Disappearing Strawberry Muffins. We kinda have a problem in our house of following a recipe exactly as it is written, so I will share with you what we made & you can check your library to see if they have this cookbook to make the original.
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
2 cups of fruit (any kind)

~In medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (first 7 listed above).
~In a large bowl mix the yogurt, oil, and egg.
~Stir the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until mixed.
~Add fruit. The original recipe used strawberries, Alaina wanted to mix her fruit, so she used strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries.
~Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.
~Makes 12 muffins or 24 minis.
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