Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fiber One Chewy Bar winner is...

Congrats to 

Judy S. 

Look for an email from me very soon.. You have 48hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Thank you to all those who entered! Look for new giveaways soon! 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TOS Review: DIVE Imagination



I’m so excited to be telling you about this product. We struggle with Science.. not that we don’t like it. Just because for some reason, its hard to do sometimes. This year, we have been meeting with another family for science class. This has helped to keep me doing it often, and on track. Plus the kids have way more fun, when there is a few more people to do it with. This year we have touched upon so many subjects.

I’m sure you are asking yourself what is Dive Into Your Imagination. It was started by Anne Crawley. She started Dive Into Your Imagination to try and give the new generation a different view of the ocean.


Who Lives in the Sea, is one of three DVD’s offered by Anne Crawley. You can also find Dive into Diversity, and What makes a fish a fish. We were able to check out Who lives in the sea. On this DVD, you can learn about Dolphins, Sea Lions, Seals, Nudi Nudi Nudibranchs, Whale Sharks, and so much more. The DVD is only 45 Minutes long, and is broken into 8 sections. They are not super long, which makes them great for kids who don’t like to sit still. Yet, they still are pack full of information. They can be seen in English and Spanish. These DVD’s are geared towards children ages Pre-K and up. You are able to get PDF Educational Guides to go along with each DVD.


My thoughts:

First off I was super excited to watch this just cause I found the cover to be very catchy. Loved how bright and eye catching it was. Another plus for me, was that they are short clips, so if you have kids who are not fond of sitting still. My kids loved watching this DVD. They really enjoyed it, and they retained so much information. They are still telling people little facts they have learned. Another bonus was the amazing PDF Educational Guides. They are jam packed full of information and activities. They are also made for multiple age groups. Which for me is really helpful, since I teach 3 different grades. It is broken into 2 different groups, Pre-K and Kinder guide, and the 1st- 3rd grade. Some of the information you will find in this guide, is vocabulary, discussion questions, and book recommendations. As well as lots of activities, such as puzzles, math, and more! I also love that it gets the kids to use their imagination!!! Some of the answers to the questions I asked were great, and made us all laugh!


The Monkey’s Thoughts:

We really loved the DVD. I like all the cool pictures! I really learned a lot. They make the activities fun, and I really like doing them. I hope that my mom gets the rest of the DVD’s.



You can purchase these DVD’s for $19.95 each. The Educators Guide is a bit pricey (however, there is a lot of information in it) at $299 for all the guides for each DVD. Or you can purchase just one for $70. Right now if you purchase any one of the DVD’s and mention in the comments that you homeschool, and would like to have a PDF version of the Educators Guide. Anne Crawley will send it to you free!!!  *** Important*** Don’t order the guides from the annecrawley website.


Want to see what the rest of the TOS Crew thinks??!


* Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Who Lives in the Sea, and an Educator Guide as part of the TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Simple Woman’s Daybook:








May 28th, 2012

Outside my window...

It was overcast most of the day.. think we saw some brief sun for a few minutes. (I still managed to get a sunburn though)


I am thinking...

I have so much to get done this next two weeks.. I really need to get a move on.

I am thankful for...

My mom, trying to make my birthday special for me yesterday..

From the learning rooms...

We started back to school this last week.. It was a really busy week... but we got a lot done. I think our new year is going to be very challenging but good. If you want to see more about what we have been up to, swing by our school blog HERE.


From the kitchen...

We had pasta salad, and hot dogs for dinner tonight. Simple and quick! Smile 


I am wearing...

Jeans, my brownie troop t-shirt, and my sneakers

I am creating...

Lots of summer plans, school plans, and so much more!

I am going...

to have a fairly easy week, but busy.. We have to finish getting our Educational Fair stuff prepped.. and I need to finish up our portfolio's for this year together for review..


I am reading...

The next book in One for the Money Series! Really good!

I am hoping...

That I don’t go to crazy this week..


I am hearing...

My kids snoring..

Around the house...

I have laundry, dishes, mowing, and so much to be doing

One of my favorite things...

Spending time with my family.. We have had a really nice weekend. Looking forward to many more this summer!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

We have school work, library, doctor appt, lawn to mow, friends to visit, and my birthday dinner this weekend.. (a bit late, but can’t wait)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My son putting flags on the veterans graves, in honor of memorial day!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal









In my life this week…


Wow, what a busy week we had..

4H, where we got to blow up soda bottles..(does it really get any better than that?


We were suppose to have Girl Scouts, but my Co-leader was sick.. so we didn’t go. Instead we had a picnic at the park, and I took some photo’s of 2 of the monkeys!




We had 3 doctors appointments this week that kept us on the go..

Visited with family a couple of times. (some of which I hadn’t seen in 10 yrs!!)

Despite the busy week, we had a great time!



In our homeschool this week…


This was our first week of our new school year! I can’t believe we have been homeschooling for going on 3 years! It has been a hairy ride at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I haven’t started our new year up yet, but will be getting to that soon.. You can see some of the highlights from last year here at our school blog.


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

I’m hoping to have some exciting things to share… We are hoping to go to a State Park, we are going to be in a parade…


My favorite thing this week was…

Spending time with family that I haven’t seen in a long time.


What’s working/not working for us…

We are loving doing a co-op with another family for Science!



Questions/thoughts I have…

I just wante d to spill my news! I have been working on a project for a few months. Now that I have been homeschooling my kids for a couple of yrs, I really am disappointed that there is not as many opportunities to find used curriculum for us up here in the sticks! Smile So, my brain started working, and I tossed a few ideas around with some friends. Then I got my break!  I am starting a Used Bookstore/ Used Curriculum Store! I’m super excited, but hope that it can survive. Its going to take some creative thinking on my part I think, but I am willing to try! So, I’m always on the look out for some great book, or curriculum deals. If you have anything you want to get rid of, whether you just let me know and I can see if I can afford it or not.. Or if you just don’t want to deal with it, and would like to donate them… Please send me an email! I’ll keep you posted on how things go!



Things I’m working on…

Lesson Plans, Summer Plans, Plans for my store, and some fun in-between!


Books I’m reading…

I’m reading a new author Janet Evanovich and her book One for the Money.. (which I loved the recent movie about)



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fiber One Chewy Bars Review & Giveaway:


Check out the New Fiber One Chewy Bars. They come in a few different variety’s. Chocolate, Strawberry, and PB&J.
As a mom, I’m always worrying about my kids getting enough fiber in their diet. Lets face it, fiber usually does not come in the most appealing flavors. Lol..  So, when great products like this come along, I’m eager to try them.
We are also super busy, so bars are awesome to grab and just throw in my purse, or bag to bring with us on the go.
Fiber One Bars contain 20% of the daily value of fiber, and 10% of your daily value of calcium. They are only about 100 to 110 calories, and contain NO High Fructose Corn Syrup. (for me this is huge) With only 7 or 8 grams of sugar.

Thoughts of my kids:
They tried them today for a snack.. and really seemed to like them. My middle daughter like the peanut butter and jelly one. Then my other two enjoyed the Chocolate. They said they taste delicious.. Great for an on the go snack, which we are always in need of.

Thoughts of me:
I also tired them today.. and I have to say I really like the chocolate ones. I love that the kids like them, and they are good for you. I’m excited to have a new product to add to our on the go bag, and snacks for busy days!

Now for the best part… One of my lucky readers will be able to win a Fiber One Chewy Bar Prize Pack.. (pictured below) 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Menu Plan Monday






A few days late..

On the menu for this week..




We had dinner at a friends house…



Stuffed Peppers, and Asparagus



Roast Chicken, Stuffing, Carrots, and Cole Slaw…






Baked Ziti, salad






Something with leftover chicken… not sure what yet. Smile 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal






In my life this week…


We have been rather busy..

we have been cleaning up and cleaning out stuff we don’t need anymore..

we had some appts..

we had some fun playing in the sun..

we watched movies when it was raining…


In our homeschool this week…


We were off… we did do some reading.. and have been working on 4H fair entries, and stuff for our educational fair.

I have been putting together our new years stuff for our first 6 wks, as we are starting school back up tomorrow.. (Still not sure about this, a bit behind) or the next week.

Knowing me I will pull together enough for next week… I’m a stick to the plans kinda girl!


Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…


Do what works for you… cause it doesn’t really matter in the end what works for anyone else!


I am inspired by…


all my long time homeschooling friends.. and my supporters.


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…


This is another crazy week…

We have 4H, and Girl Scouts..

3 doctors appts on 3 different days…

playdates, birthdays, and school concert (for a friend) to go too..

Parks, and playgrounds to go to if the weather stays nice!



My favorite thing this week was…


Spending time with friends in the beautiful weather! Love days like that!


What’s working/not working for us…


Getting rid of the clutter, and weeding out the things we don’t need.

I like less mess!


Questions/thoughts I have…


Any ideas where you can find used curriculum, or where I can sell my curriculum.


Things I’m working on…


Figuring out where we will school this fall, while we are still moving and redoing things in the house.



I’m reading…


Another series by Sherryl Woods


I’m cooking…


Not sure what is on the agenda for tonight.. but tomorrow is Stuffed Peppers


A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

For all those who fight for our freedom everyday!



Friday, May 18, 2012

TOS Review: Write Shop Junior D


As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention a few times, that my son HATES to write. I have tried everything. He loves to read, but can’t stand to write. After complaining a few times, I’ve realized that my son is not alone in this. I’m starting to think it is a common thing among boys.
We have gone through a few writing programs, and some have been ok.. They would work, but not as good as I was hoping for. This has been a very frustrating thing for me. As a newer homeschooling mom, I’m always worried that I’m failing in some area.
We recently had the chance to try Write Shop. I choose Junior D Level for Monkey Man, since he is in 4th grade but reluctant to write. Upon first receiving it, I have to say I was really excited. I liked the look of the book.

Write Shop is designed to help Junior High and High School kids in a step by step way. By engaging lessons they learn four most common types of writing, descriptive, informative, narrative, and persuasive. How do they do this? By teaching them the basic building blocks, brainstorming, writing, editing, and revising.
Write shop comes with a activity book, student workbook, and a teachers manual. However, the teachers manual is the key!


Monkey Man’s Thoughts:
He wasn’t completely on board. It took a lot of pushing to get him to even try it. After a few days of working with it he became a bit less against it.
He told me this week that he enjoys the activities.

My thoughts:
I like how it is broken down. There is  a cool book that they make as a reference guide. So when they question where for example an exclamation goes, it would show you, and give you an example. Plus it gets their creative juices going.

I’m not sold that he is out of his writing funk, but he has certainly found it to be a bit fun. I think there is hope yet!
I really like this product, and think that it would be a great product for anyone to use. I am really thinking of buying more of the elementary books soon for my girls. This would be an amazing addition to our curriculum.

If you are interested in buying Write Shop, you can purchase it here. You can get the Teacher’s Book for $39.95 hard copy, or e-book for $34.95. The Activity Book is $39.95 hard copy, or $34.95 for an e-book. There is also a Time Savers Pack book that is $13.95 hard copy, or $13.95 for the e-book.

WriteShop is offering my readers a 15% discount if you order something before June 15, 2012. Using the coupon code CREW15

See what other TOS Crew Members are saying about Write Shop.

*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Write Shop Junior D in exchange for my honest review as part of the TOS Crew. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Second Cheerio's Winner

Since I was sick, and my brain apparently wasn't working properly.. I never chose my 2nd winner for the Cheerio's Giveaway! Late... but the winner is ...


 Rachel Honsvick DeMille


Look for an email from me soon.. 

Again, I apologize.. and hope everyone is having a great day!  


TOS Review: CapJaxMathFax







What is CapJaxMathFax you say?? It is a program designed to help your child learn their facts with short little drills. It was developed by Jack Fretwell. He started with a Masters in Educational Technology and spent thirty years in education and computers.

What can you learn with CapJaxMathFax? They focus on Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Cause lets face it, without those you really can’t get much further in Math. :-)

How it works:

You install the program, then sign in. Then you choose what you want the child to start with. After that you can choose what level you want them to begin with. Such as single level or double digits. Let them begin!! You can see more of an overview here.



I started Monkey Man at the beginning cause in my opinion you can always use practice. So he whizzed right through Addition and Subtraction of course. Then he started on Multiplication, which is where he needed the help. He can’t seem to remember the table very well. It is really the only area that he struggles with really badly in math. However, when you try to get him to study them normally he would fit me tooth and nail.

After being able to use the computer.. and practice on CapJaxMathFax he has had a lot more fun with it. He still has trouble, and is slowly progressing but I have seen a difference.

Monkey Man’s thoughts…. He says the best part for him is that he likes that it doesn’t take forever. He likes that he can play for a few minutes at a time.

My thoughts… It’s a great concept. They get to practice without it being to much like work. They think it is fun. I also like that I don’t have to come up with the facts. The program does it for you. So, he can get on while I’m working the with the girls, and practice. Which causes less chaos in my day.


Check out some of what you will see…






Here are a couple screenshots….







You can purchase CapJaxMathFax for $29.95.  For this price, I think it is worth it. Especially if you have more than one child. This would be useful for any family.


See what other TOS crew members are saying about it.


*Disclaimer: I was given a subscription in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.

Monday, May 14, 2012


May 14th, 2012

Outside my window...
I'm hoping it will be as nice today as it was this weekend. :)

I am thinking...
Man, I really hope to feel better soon. This cold hit me hard, and I was looking forward to a fun weekend with my kids.. Sad it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. :(

I am thankful for... 
the amazing opportunities for me and my family.

From the learning rooms...
We have finished this year.. I can't believe we made it through another year! We are starting to really get this down now... I still stand behind this being the best decision I have made for my children. I am so blessed! Stay tuned, we start our new year in a couple weeks! You can see more here.

From the kitchen... 
We are having hubby's birthday dinner... since he wasn't able to do it on his birthday Friday.. (he was at Boy Scout Camp Training)
So we are having on his request.. Cheese Burgers, and Homemade Fries!

I am wearing... 
My jeans, t-shirt, and sweatshirt

I am creating... 
Nothing at the moment...soon to be working on a color scheme for rooms.

I am going...
To be less busy this week... lull before it gets crazy again. 

I am reading...
Just finished the last book in the Hunger Games Series yesterday.. Now moving on to a new series by Sherryl Woods.

I am hoping...
that its not as rainy this week... I miss being outside.

I am hearing...  
my kids getting ready for 4H, and reading!

Around the house... 
I need to do dishes, laundry, and general cleaning... since I didn't get anything done this weekend. UGH! I didn't want to get behind but couldn't bring myself to do it.

One of my favorite things...
Being with my family! I love that I get to spend my days with my kids.. I couldn't imagine sending them to school for 7 hrs a day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: 
4H,Library, Appointment, Grocery Shopping, playground, visit a friend in the hospital, gardening, and enjoy my days!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... 
I don't have one, cause my Laptop is at the "Doctors"  


Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal:


In my life this week…

We had 4H..
Doctor appts..
Lots of rainy days..
Geography class..
Science class.. 
Planted the garden.. .
and have just rested..

In our homeschool this week…

We learned about geography.. were rivers go, states, mountains.. and Cinderella stories from around the world. 

In Science class we learned about acids, and cleaned pennies, and made them blue. Then we watched more history on Rome.. 

Got some ideas for our Educational Fair entries. 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Planning really does help... I have found that to be a huge help to me this year. I'm already planning for next year which starts in a couple weeks. :) 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week we are ...
going to 4H...
and that is about it.. 
Slow week for us... next week not so much! 

My favorite thing this week was…

would have to be making our mugs.. the kids had such a blast. Would love to show you pictures, but they are on my other computer which is dead right now.. (sniff, sniff) 

What’s working/not working for us…

making the most of our fun field trips! 

Questions/thoughts I have…

Anyone else starting their new year soon? 

Things I’m working on…

Our schedule/curriculum for next year! Looking good so far! 

I’m reading…

Reading the last book in the Hunger Games Series... I read them all in like a week! Good books! 

I’m cooking…

Not sure what we are having.. something easy.. but I'm leaving that up to my kids and hubby! HAHA! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cheerio Winner....


You have won my Cheerio's Giveaway! Please look for an email from me, and respond in the next 48 hrs or I will have to choose a new winner. Thanks to everyone who entered. Look for new giveaways soon! 


PrintRunner Giveaway Winner


You have won my PrintRunner Giveaway! Please respond to my email in the next 48 hrs, or I have to chose a new winner. :) Thank you to everyone who entered. Look for new giveaway soon! 



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The winner is….



Congrats to



Look for an email from me. You will have 48hrs to respond or I will choose a new winner.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and hope that you check back for some more fun giveaways soon!



Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:







In my life this week…

Has been a bit nuts!

We had 4H…

A picnic…


went to a play…

had a visit with a friend…

science class…

a trip to the greenhouse (my dads) ..

and to finish off the week a birthday party!

In our homeschool this week…

We worked on the norm… English, Math, History, and Science.

We saw a play called “Skippy John Jones”. It was so CUTE!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Embrace your field trips.. Make them a day trip. If its in the middle of the day, pack a lunch, maybe stop at a local park, or playground. Make them fun.. and enjoy!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week we are doing Pottery in 4H…

more appointments…

a geography class..

and lots of stuff in between…

and daddy leaves for Boy Scout training for the weekend.

My favorite thing this week was…

By far the play.. it was just so darn cute, and funny!



What’s working/not working for us…

Having fun!

Questions/thoughts I have…

What fun things do you have planned for the summer? Anything special?

Things I’m working on…

Getting our curriculum ready for next year… trying to decide if I want to switch anything.

I’m reading…

Starting on my last book in the Chesapeake Bay Sherryl Woods.

I’m cooking…

Not sure what we are going to have tonight.. maybe pancakes! Smile 

I’m grateful for…

Great friends… they have a great way of making you feel better even when you don’t know you need it.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Another one from our play we saw…


Friday, May 4, 2012

Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 yrs!!!




On March 12, 2012 Girl Scouts officially had its 100th Birthday! Can you believe that? 100 yrs of Girls learning to be strong, determined, responsible adults. I’m very proud to be part of this huge group.

Our local Service Unit got together with a neighboring one, and we set to work on a 100th Birthday Celebration. I not thinking clearly again, decided to help with this committee.

After months of work, and lots of people putting in some work, we had our Celebration on April 21st. It wasn’t exactly what I was thinking it would be, but it was a nice event, and lots of Girls attended.

One of our local Juniors designed the patch for us, and she did an amazing job. What do you think?



There were decade tables set up… Here is the one my Co-leader and I worked on (mostly my co-leader, did I mention she is amazing?)


We did origami for our activity…



Others did planting flowers, coloring, jump roping, mini sit-upons, and such.

They had a really cool era room, with stuff from way, way back! Isn’t this Brownie Uniform cool? I wish that they still had the jumper.. I think it is cuter than the skirt they have now.



It was a long, but nice day. The girls had a blast!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

PrintRunner Postcard Giveaway: started as one of those small times shops, that grew to be a bigger dream. In ten years they became one of the foremost quality printers in Southern California.  Their commitment to provide best value and high quality full of color printing and affordable prices made their company grow. They are located in Chatsworth, California.


If you are looking for custom printing postcards, Posters, Calendars, or Business Cards check out PrintRunner. So if your looking to print online, give them a try.

Ready for the giveaway??!
Here are the Details:
One of my lucky readers will win 100 5x7 Postcards, 4/0 Front Only Printing, 14Pt. UV Coating on Front, with rounded corners. They will be ready to ship in 4 Business Days.
If you have won anything from PrintRunner in the last two months, you are not eligible.
*Giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Monkey Man moves up in rank…



Its that time of year again… Monkey man, had Crossover this past weekend. It was a crazy weekend, at that.. but I was able to pull it all together, and make it on time to his Crossover. (I hate missing anything that my kids do)

This year, really wasn’t a huge deal.. as he moved up, but it isn’t a huge move. This year he was in Weeblo’s and so at crossover he moved to Weeblo 2. Which is where he will be for another 6 months (possibly a year, depends on what they plan on doing) and then he will move to Boy Scouts.



I can’t believe he will be in Boy Scouts next year. It seems so weird to think that he is getting that big on me. I love to see him gain that independence through Cub Scouts though, and that he and his dad enjoy so much together with it.


He earned the scroll for wearing his uniform to every meeting this year.

Here is to another year of Scouts!!!


Check back this summer, to hear about our crazy two weeks at Cub Scout Day Camp. Hubby and I are both volunteering this year… and the theme is the Wild West! Should be interesting!

UPrinting Giveaway:


Have you ever heard of UPrinting? Let me tell you a little bit about them. They use vegetable/soy based inks. Along with recycled paper types. You can see a proof before you order. (that is huge for me, I hate getting something and not being happy with it) If you need help they have 24 hr Customer Service.
I found their website very easy to use. It is very self explanatory. On the right, they have a list of all their current promotions, so you don’t have to go searching for them. Plus a section with all their popular items, if your not sure what you want to get.
They also offer free sample kits, so you can see what their papers are like. This is great for any business.
I’m thinking of getting this picture as a Print Canvas what do you think?? To put on my new living room wall..
091211 023 edit1

I’m excited to be able to offer one of my lucky readers a print canvas!

Here are the details:
One lucky winner will receive a 16x20 Rolled Canvas Print. Which you can add a 2-inch border, or no border. It will be a 1 Business Day Turnaround, and Free Shipping.
Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.
  1. This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above.
  2. No prize substitutions allowed.
  3. Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period.
  4. Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cheerios Giveaway:


You know one cereal I don’t ever think gets old, that me and my kids will always eat is Cheerios! We love them! Cheerios have so much versatility to them.. We love to eat them plain, with a bit of honey or sugar, with banana, blueberries, strawberries, or even raspberries. The combinations are endless!


Well now, you can go to your favorite club store and buy Cheerios in there new packaging. They are 2 boxes, that can come apart, for easier storing and pouring. Plus it minimizes the packaging, and air in the bags, so you get more product. Check it out here.

You can currently buy them at any Sam’s, Costco, or Bj’s store.

Best part!!! Two of my lucky readers can win new 2 box cheerio packaging.