Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Dial Kids Body & Hair Wash

Do your kids go through tons of soap when they take a shower or bath? It seems like mine are always using mine up! I hate to buy anything good, for fear they will waste it.
As a Purex Insider, I recently got the chance to review Dial Kids Body & Hair Wash. Our family loves Dial products anyway, so we were excited to try this.
Dial has been around for 65 yrs developing personal care items. They have once again developed a product that is so much easier for parents. They have two different designs.

One for ages 2-5 which is great for kids that are not quite ready for the stregthen of adult soap. It is a tear free body and hair wash, with a light scent. This one comes in Peachy Clean!

Then there is the one designed for 6+ that has a more mild cleansing without drying their skin formula. These come in a Watery Melon, and Berry Cool scents. Here are a few other great benefits of them:
  • Tear Free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No artificial dyes
  • Ph Balanced

My kids love these! It is a one stop kids wash! I love that my son can get in the shower now, and only have to worry about one bottle he needs to use for his body and hair. Makes him more independent, and my life easier! He also loves the scents they offer! His favorite so far is the Watery Melon.

You can purchase these family soaps at your local Walmart, Target, or Drug stores.

Or two of my lucky readers will win a coupon for a free bottle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Dial Brand provided me with a sample of Dial kids body and hair was in exchange for my product review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Disney’s Shake It Up: I <3 Dance CD



Shake It Up I Heart Dance Album Sampler


What kid doesn’t like Disney right?

I recently received the Disney’s Shake It Up: I <3 Dance Cd to review. My girls went crazy! Once I opened the package and they saw what it was, they were jumping up and down, begging for me to play it.


My girls have only seen Disney’s Shake It Up! Show a couple of times, but knew who the stars Bella Thorne, and Zendaya were immediately! Guess I’m out of the loop! Ha-ha! On the Cd you will find a collection of 12 dance tracks from their third season of the show.


Here are a few of the stars you will hear on Shake It Up: I <3 Dance Cd. There are songs from Bella, Zendaya, Selena Gomez, Roshon Fegan, Caroline Sunshine, and Bridgit Mendler.


My girls loved the Cd, and beg to play it in my car all the time. I have to say their a a few songs even I have become fond of. It is a great little Cd. The girls favorite song was “Contagious Love” by Zendaya and Bella Thorne. I think I can sing the whole song now. (But I won’t cause my voice is horrible)


You can purchase the Shake It Up: I <3 Dance Cd from Amazon or iTunes for $9.99. Great gift idea!



*Thank you to Child’s Play and Disney for sending us this CD for review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkey’s.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:









  • In my life this week…

We have been super busy..
Being that it was vacation week..
playground fun…
riding bikes with friends..
Great week!!



  • In our homeschool this week…

We took the week off..
since middle monkey doesn’t have school..
Enjoying the great weather outside..
and having fun!




  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Have fun with when time allows!



  • I am inspired by…

My children on a daily basis…


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

Next week middle monkey goes back to school..
we have softball practice, dance, girl scouts, boy scouts,
Co-op, and 4H.
Plus we will be having more fun with friends!



  • My favorite thing this week was…

Celebrating Monkey Man’s 11th Birthday!



  • What’s working/not working for us…

    Getting ourselves completely reorganized
    before starting our new year..

  • Questions/thoughts I have…

Do any of you have big plans for the summer?



  • Things I’m working on…

Reorganizing the kitchen now that the cabinets
are all moved, and the new wall is in.

  • I’m reading…

Nothing at the moment… but I am looking to
start a new series.


  • I’m cooking…

BBQ Chicken, summer squash and green beans


  • I’m grateful for…

My kids… they truly are amazing!



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

My Monkey Man being silly!



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Monkey Man turns 11!!!



Where have the years gone? My oldest is just growing up on me so fast! Hard to believe it has been 11 years already! I remember him being born like it was yesterday. He was so tiny, and handsome with his head of hair.



Hunter front close up


He is such a loving boy. He is a joy to be around, and never a dull moment. However, he really is all boy!


How he fell asleep 2010


Super smart, and eager to learn. He amazes me everyday with the knowledge he has! Monkey Man absolutely loves to learn history and science. I hope that he keeps this ambition for knowledge.




He loved this





Happy Birthday Monkey Man!


We love you!

Friday, April 19, 2013

TOS Crew: Progeny Press Literature Guide- Things Fall Apart Review



Literature is a very important part of reading I think. I have a hard time teaching it though, or knowing what is good literature. Recently I got the opportunity to review a literature study guide “Things Fall Apart” by Progeny Press.



Once I knew we were going to be reviewing the Things Fall Apart Literature Guide, I went on to our State Library site, and requested the book. It arrived shortly after. The book Things Fall Apart is written by a Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. He recently passed away.

I decided to read this book with Monkey Man, since I had not heard of it before. The book is brings to light the contrast between two worlds in Africa. A world of superstition, and wars; versus the new world of Christianity, and education. This book was first published in 1958. Monkey Man had a bit of a hard time getting into it at first, but we pushed on. He had lots of questions, and not always ones I could answer, but we did our best to find an answer. I think this book really brought some things into perspective for him.


About the Product:


To go along with reading the book we got the study guide for Things Fall Apart from Progeny Press. The guide is more geared towards high school students. Monkey Man is not a high school student yet, but reads at a high school level, so this worked ok for us. The guide leads them through the book chapter by chapter. It breaks it down like this:

  • Vocabulary- Fill in, matching or Multiple Choice
  • Questions- These are deep questions to get them to think
  • Analysis- These bring out concepts like paradox, and irony  (this is where Monkey Man got thrown for a loop)
  • Characterization- Here they usually compared or contrast two characters. He really had to think sometimes on these.
  • Dig Deeper- Here they used scriptures
  • Optional Activities- This brought more discussion ideas, and in-depth study. He had no problem with the discussion in this book.


We really had some great discussions with this book. He got more out of it then I would have thought possible. This study guide is meant to be used for 8-10 weeks. Our time spent on it was around 30 minutes each day, once we answered the guide questions. This is easy enough for a child to use alone as well, very self explanatory. There is an overview at the very end, that we used as a discussion but you can use it as a final test as well. Lots of additional resources listed as well.


Our Thoughts:

Monkey Man was not a huge fan of the book. He liked the way the study guide was laid out, and how it was really easy to use.

I was happy in the end that we read the book together because it had some tough subjects like spousal abuse, marriage customs, and suicide. These are obviously not topics we talk about often. He did really good with asking questions and making sure he understood.

The study guide really helped. It helps the child to understand the book as well. Great tool for literature studies. I would recommend them to anyone! I think we are going to get the Hobbit one next!




Progeny Press offers the book Things Fall Apart incase you can’t find it at your local library. The book sells for $11.95.

The study guide is $18.99 for Instant Download, $18.99 for a CD, or $21.99 for the printed book.


You can reach Progeny Press by email at

or call them 1-877-776-4369

or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.




Check out some of the other reviews from the TOS Crew. Others did reviews on the Hobbit, Treasure Island and more!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

TOS Crew: Knowledge Quest- Sacagawea History Read Aloud



Now History is one of the most favorite subjects in our house. We love to learn about the past. We recently got a review from Knowledge Quest, which we are already familiar with. What we hadn’t seen before was their interactive history books. Therefore we couldn’t wait to read Sacagawea: Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know.


Knowledge Quest was founded by a homeschool family that was looking to provide good solid resources in history and geography for other homeschoolers out there. Check out more about the Johnson Family here.




About the Product:

Sacagawea is a 4 book interactive history novel written by Karla Akins. This is a great read aloud for History. Since we were on break during this review, and weren’t working on any particular part of History we just dove right in. I downloaded the book to my computer, and transferred it onto my kindle. So we could have options to read it anywhere.

This book is told in the first-person narrative, like she is telling the story to her son. The monkey’s loved curling up on the couch for some reading of this book.


How we used it:

Like I said we just dove right in. We would read sections of this book every other day. While I was reading it with them, they would keep a list of words they didn’t understand. After we were done reading for the day, they would go look them up. If they still weren’t quite sure what they meant, we would sit and discuss them. 

As I had stated this is an interactive book, so that means there are links in the text of the book that you can click on and it brings you to more things to learn about. My kids loved this part, and it truly did help make the history come more “Alive”.



You can purchase each book separately for $1.49

or you can buy the whole set for $3.99


Our Thoughts:

I’ll be honest. I wanted to read this book as much as my kids. History has always been a thing I’ve enjoyed. This book is meant for kids 10 and up.. but my Little Monkey who is 8 really enjoyed it too. I think the higher age level is due to reading difficulties or some words that would be hard to understand.


My monkey’s really loved this book. It took them about 2-3 weeks to complete. We took our time going over it. They said their favorite part was definitely the interactive links. However, Monkey Man said he just enjoyed it because it was a great way to learn about Sacagawea. He LOVES history!

This is a great stand alone book, and could be turned into a unit study very easily. I think this is a great product for anyone to read. Even the price is really reasonable!


Contact Info:

You can find Knowledge Quest here.

On Facebook and Twitter

or you can call them at 1-877-697-8611



See what the rest of the TOS Crew is saying about this Interactive History Novel.



Friday, April 12, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal




  • In my life this week…

Wow, has it been crazy..
Floors being ripped up,
walls being painted,
Hanging out with friends,
breaking my phone..

Just having fun,
Seeing friends,
Starting Softball,
working hard…


  • In our homeschool this week…

We are still on “Summer” Vacation
but we are still doing some reading,
math, and just having fun!

Plus we still attend Co-op!



  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Don’t try to take on to much school
when you are in the middle of tearing up your house..
valuable lesson of the week!



  • I am inspired by…

Myself this week..
Remembering how strong I can be…
Even when I think I am weak.



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

This next week is
Middle Monkey’s School vacation week.
So we are going to be
playing in the dirt,
visiting playgrounds,
Going to Co-op,
Birthday parties,
and just having a blast!!!



  • My favorite thing this week was…

Spending time with my monkey’s…
They really are my WHOLE life!



  • What’s working/not working for us…

Designing our new school
room.. is really working for us.
I can’t wait to see the finished product!



  • Questions/thoughts I have…

Have you finished your year yet?




  • Things I’m working on…

Putting together an Angry Birds Birthday Party this weekend!
Putting my kitchen back together..
Painting more walls,
and just relaxing!



  • I’m reading…

Nothing this week, been far to busy!



  • I’m cooking…

Tonight I’m going out with my Girl Friends
and we are trying a Mexican Restaurant



  • I’m grateful for…

Some old friends that have come back into my life,
especially since I really need them right now!




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

    My Cookie, so happy to be done with them for another year!!!


Friday, April 5, 2013

TOS Crew: Computer Science for Kids Review



Monkey Man likes computers, he gets that from his dad. Hubby went to school for fixing computers, so needless to say he spends a lot of time on them. Needless to say when we got the opportunity to review Computer Science for Kids we jumped at it. He asked to review the Beginning Microsoft Small Basic.


About the Product:

Beginning Microsoft Small Basic is a program that consists of 11 chapters. These lessons range from 22-109 pages. Each one explains in pretty simple terms how to build a small basic application. Essentially meaning your child will learn how to do program design, text window applications, graphics window applications, and some small basic language. It also has a couple of detailed computer programs to show the fun of small basic programing. Those include a savings calculator, number guessing game, card game, a state capitals game, and more!



How we used the program:

Since I am not the computer genius of the house, my hubby downloaded and setup the program. Then he clicked through some of the curriculum to see what was involved. Monkey Man was very anxious to check it out. He was right over our shoulder the whole time!

After it was all installed, hubby gave Monkey Man a quick over view of how to get around it. Then he was set loose! He found the history to be very interesting. He kept asking me if I knew things. . .

He was surprised to see what the very first computer looked like, and thought it was hilarious I had seen one before. Apparently I’m now very old! Ha-Ha!

Since Monkey Man is very good with math, he did very well with this. I was afraid it would still be very over his head. Boy, was I wrong! When he finished any programs he wrote, he was very quick to show me. He was super excited that he was able to do it all by himself. A few times, him and daddy had a great time playing around to see what different options she could come up with!

Lessons are not super long, so he usually does a couple at a time. He is almost completed with the whole book. He just has so much fun, he sometimes plays with certain lessons more than others! Since daddy has background in computers if Monkey Man had trouble with the computer vocabulary he would ask him. This was a great program for him to do, and get to see a bit more inside look of what a computer programmer does.



Our Thoughts:

Daddy thought that the program was a pretty nice setup. He was happy to see Monkey man trying it out, and said it was easy to set up.

Monkey Man really enjoyed the program. Stumbled a few times, not reading the directions quite right, but over all did well. He had lots of fun creating things, and showing off his work. He also liked that it was not long and drawn out. I think that was one of the main things that kept his attention. He didn’t have to spend hours at it, if he chose not to. Each lesson is suppose to take you around 3-6 hours. I would say it took him about 2 hours per lesson, but he would then play around with it more. So in total he probably spent about 5 hours per lesson with it.

I have been reading the e-book when he is not using it. I must tell you just browsing over that I have learned a lot. I actually have considered giving myself a shot at it, see how bad I do. It’s a pretty neat program!!!




I find this to be pretty cost-effective. It is $59.95 for the downloadable e-book (on sale until 7/4/13 for $34.95) The e-book is over 500 pages. The second semester is the same price and on sale right now as well. I am thinking of getting it for Monkey Man.



See what the rest of the TOS Crew had to say about it!




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TOS Crew: A Journey Through Learning Review




When I first started homeschooling and heard the term “Lapbooking” I was like  What the heck is that?  I was completely lost. It even sounded weird. I decided to look into it, and very happy I did! I’m sure you are still asking yourself what is a Lapbook? Well, it is a very unique hands on way of learning. It is kind of like scrapbooking a subject!


This past month we have been working on a review from A Journey Through Learning. We started with their Knights and Castles Lapbook. I decided to let my 6th grader pick which one we would start with. He loves middle ages, and was very eager to dive right into this one!



How we used the product:

Upon receiving the lapbook, I went over the material. I like to look it over see what is involved, and if we can add anything to it. I printed off the nessecary pages they needed to put it together. I only make one copy of the information, and either I read or they take turns reading it. After reading it, we have a discussion on what we just read. Going a bit more in detail about it, or if one child knows more about something we let them educate us more.

After we have all our supplies gathered up. Which for a lapbook all you need is some file folders (we use plain), glue stick (or sticks!), scissors, markers or crayons, and pencil. Since we only have a black and white printer, my kids like to add color to their lapbooks. If you only do a few things each day the lapbook will last you about a month. We enjoy them so, that we usually do a bit more. This one only took us 3 weeks to finish, however one week of time was cause we read a bit more about the subject.

The Knight and Castle Lapbook was 51 pages, and includes extra resources, and reading list. It is geared toward Grades 2-7.




Astronomy and Space photo astronomylapbook_zps68bf09d3.jpeg



Since we finished that one before our review time was up, we also started the Astronomy and Space Lapbook. This one is also geared toward Grades 2-7 and has 76 pages.

We haven’t finished it yet, but have gotten a good start.




Our Thoughts:

My kids give this a total thumbs up! They love lapbooking! It brings the fun back into school. We don’t do them all the time, but like to slide them in every once and a while to break up the everyday hum drum of text book work. If your looking for something to help you change things up a bit. This is the way to go!
Little Monkey says she loves it because its like doing crafts. Monkey Man says he finds it more interesting than just reading the book.




I enjoy it because even though you are digging out a few craft supplies, the mess is minimal. It is pretty easy to follow the directions, so I don’t have to always be right there to help them. Monkey Man lots of times will help Little Monkey to do hers, which is nice. They work well together on them. I also love that we can make it as big of a study as we want. You can just leave it at the lapbook, or you can find extra reading and resources to make it more, depending on your mood. We are certainly fans of lapbooking and would suggest it to any of our readers to give it a try!



You can purchase Knights and Castles  and Astronomy and Space for
Instant Download- $13
CD- $14
Printed –$21

They have a wonderful selection to choose from as well.


See what the rest of the Crew is saying about them!