Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Homeschooling Mother’s Journal:



August 31, 2013



  • In my life this week…

It has been another crazy week. . .
Lots of Appts at the first of the week . . .
School started for Middle Monkey. . .


  • In our homeschool this week…

We have been cursing along
I’m kinda nervous to say it is going good,
and have it backfire on me.
So far, so good though!

Great things happening this year!


  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Take time to enjoy the things they really want to study
We follow a science book, but if the subject is one
they want to spend more time on, we stop and
explore it more.
Like right now, we are breaking to learn more about
rocks, and hoping to do some mining if I can find a place!



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

This next week,
we have a couple more doctors appts,
we are going to spend a family day together,
starting our new year of Co-op,
taking a field trip on Friday,
and a Family Reunion.


  • My favorite thing this week was…

Seeing the huge smile on Middle Monkey’s
face on the first day of school!



  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Going to the library!



  • Things I’m working on…

Paperwork, reorganizing



  • I’m cooking…

Pizza Casserole



  • I’m grateful for…

My wonderful kids!



  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

Buying them Froyo!



  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

More organizational tools!



  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

    First day of school           


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: Eye-Dancers


We read through books super fast in this house. We are always looking for something new to read, which isn’t always an easy task. Recently, I was offered the chance to review The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. Fedison.


About the Book:





Synopsis- Four seventh-graders are transported to a strange world, and the only one who can help them find their way back home is the mysterious little girl with the swirling, hypnotic blue eyes. Along the way, they must confront their insecurities and fears, learn to believe in themselves, and accept themselves for who they are.

This book is geared towards young adults. My 11 yr old loved it!



Our Review:

My 6th grade boy, and I read this book. I read it first, and then he did. I’m not usually much of a sci-fi fan, where he is. However, I really enjoyed this book! Michael Fedison is a really great Author. Both my son and I commented on the fact that he is a great writer, gave the book an interesting plot, and he really got the characters true to their age!


We really liked that each boy had to over come a problem and learn how to handle it. Mitchell struggles with lying, and a speech impediment. Ryan was a follower, so he didn’t make his own decisions. Marc always thought he was right, and didn’t allow others to suggest ideas or solutions. Joe was very selfish.

I especially liked that the ghost girl’s name was Monica (the same as mine). We loved to see how the boys worked together to find her, and had to learn to control their flaws to accomplish that.


Monkey Man really enjoyed that the story took place in another dimension with a different timeline. He loved how the boys changed throughout the story. He said he was really impressed with how well the characters were on target with their age group. That is sometimes hard to accomplish. Another big hit with him was the book cover art work! That really caught his attention.


We don’t want to tell you to much about the story!



Be sure to check out this 290 pg book!

Right now it can only be purchased as an E-book. You can get it for $2.99 thru Amazon.


We really think this would be a great addition to any middle school child’s reading library!





*We were given a free copy of this book by Michael Fedison in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkey’s.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Donkey Kong Country DVD Review:


When I was a kid, and yes that was really a long time ago . . . I had the Donkey Kong game on the Nintendo. I loved it, but I could never conquer it. When I had kids of my own, I got it again for the DS. I still can’t get very far!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review the Donkey Kong Country Movie which is came out on DVD on August 20, 2013!!! Of course I had to check it out! I knew, my kids would just love it too.




What I got :

  • Donkey Kong Country DVD
  • 80’s Party Supplies


The party supplies were a pretty big hit with my girls! Little Monkey, loved the glasses!!



Little Monkey thought the fish net gloves were just “SO COOL”! Wouldn’t they be shocked to know that back in the 80’s they were super popular?!




About Donkey Kong Country DVD:


The movie is based on the cartoon series, and the popular video game. I never saw the cartoon series when I was growing up.


The DVD includes four episodes and runs approximately 90 minutes. The four episodes are:

  • Bad Hair Day
  • Ape Foo Young
  • Booty and the Beast
  • Barrel, Barrel, Who’s Got the Barrel

It is an animated movie, that looks a lot like a video game. Which makes sense, so its not super high quality. All and all if you ever played the video game, I think you will relate to this movie more. It really reminded me a lot of it, and it had the same cute music.

Our Thoughts:

My Monkey’s really loved watching it, and they did a lot of laughing. We thought it was super cute. I was a bit thrown by the outfit Donkey Kong’s girlfriend is wearing, and the dancing she was doing, but the kids didn’t really notice I don’t think. I don’t remember if this was in the original video game or not.

All and all, we really had a fun 80’s night watching Donkey Kong Country!


You can get this DVD at most retail stores for $9.99!


You can find more information at Kaboom Entertainment!




*We received the Donkey Kong DVD & Party package from Phase4Flims in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkey’s.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Homeschooling Mother’s Journal:


HMJ SUMMER logo landscape



August 24, 2013


  • In my life this week…

    Wow, where to even begin!
    It was crazy!
    Lots of doctor appts,
    shopping, time at the lake,


    birthday party,
    parade, and fireworks!

  • In our homeschool this week…

    The kids are doing really well.
    We have finished our 8th week, and
    really not much complaining at all.
    I’m shocked!

    Monkey Man has been working hard on his
    subjects, and looking forward to Co-op starting
    in another week.

    Little Monkey is doing great, although
    we haven’t added all of her subjects in yet.
    I’m still working on history for her, and she is
    waiting for Co-op to start as well.
    She is really enjoying Time4Learning
    (Look for a review on that this week)!

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, or help.
This week I reached out to the lady who does
our Portfolio Reviews, and she gave me some
great ideas!


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

This next week, we have a few more doctor appts. . .
Middle Monkey has Voice Lessons . . .
Middle Monkey starts back to Public School . . .
Hope to do a “Not back to school “ day with my kids!

  • My favorite thing this week was…

Kayaking with the family! We had a blast! So much fun!





  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

A combination of parade, birthday party, and Fireworks I believe!



  • Things I’m working on…

paperwork, plans for Girl Scouts, and reorganizing!


  • I’m cooking…

We are having a BBQ at a friends house tonight!


  • I’m grateful for…

A wonderful summer, but sad to see it come to an end.
Fall is my favorite season, so I look forward to that now!




  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

Ice Cream, and Fireworks!

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

    I want to get one of these but in a less girly color
    for my Monkey Man.


  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

    The bear we saw at the fair!         


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Schoolhouse Expo is almost done. . .


Expo 2013 Special Event



The Schoolhouse Expo is almost over. Tomorrow is the last day for you to listen in on some really good speakers. You can purchase a ticket for $24, and that gets you access, plus you can download any you missed and listen to them later.


You can hear a few more speakers tomorrow from 1pm-8pm (EST). I really enjoyed listening to Terri Johnson speak about “Facing the Giant . . . Homeschooling through High School”. It was a very informative talk.


Friday I am looking forward to hearing Hal & Melanie Young speak on “Writing/Publishing Workshop” at 4pm EST.


Here are a few more speakers you can hear on the last day:

  • Davis Carman
  • Malia Russell
  • Jay Wile & Diana Waring
  • Heather Laurie
  • Molly Green
  • and Rachel Ann Rogish


Hope you are enjoying the Expo as much as I am!



* Disclosure: I was given a ticket to the Expo in exchange for promoting the event. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkey’s.

2013–2014 Curriculum



If you homeschool, you know one of the hardest parts of homeschooling is picking the curriculum!


If you read our blog often you know that we are already in our 8th week of school in our new year. However, I wanted to share what we choose for curriculum for this year!

It’s hard to believe that Monkey Man is in 6th grade this year!

Here is what I chose for him this year:

  • Daily Language 6th grade
  • Growing with Grammar 5th grade (he is a bit behind in grammar)
  • Life Pac 9th grade Algebra (but ahead in math)
  • America the  Beautiful History
  • KidCoder
  • World Geography (@ Co-op)
  • Poetry
  • Creative Writing (@ Co-op)
  • Food Science Nutrition (@ Co-op)


  • Piano Lessons
  • Boy Scouts
  • 4H


Little Monkey is in the 3rd grade this year. Man time is flying!!!

Here are the choices we picked for her:

  • Daily Language 3rd grade
  • Daily Grammar 3rd grade
  • TouchMath 2nd grade (she is almost finished)
  • Logic of English Cursive
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Time4Learning
  • US Geography (@ Co-op)
  • Creative Writing (@ Co-op)
  • Art (@ Co-op)


  • Piano Lessons
  • Girl Scouts
  • 4H
  • Taekwondo


Together we do a Life Science. We will also be finishing up Apologia Human Anatomy!

There is what our year looks like!

When do you start? What is your favorite curriculum to use?

Monday, August 19, 2013

A day in the life of the 3 Crazy Monkey’s:



Our days are just that very crazy! Most typical days for us start pretty early. . .


I’m one of those mean moms that make my kids get up by 7:30am! Why?! Well, if I didn’t they would sleep till noon, and my whole day would be wasted! I like to get up and get moving. I want to finish what we need to get done, so we can have fun. Don’t you?


So, our days start around 7:30am for two of my kids. My day on the other hand starts far earlier, at like 5:30am. I get up, and take my hubby to work, and then come back to get my Middle Monkey ready for school. I take her to school, chat with her teachers, and head back home. (So, you all don’t think I’m some crazy mom, my sleeping kids are with my mom!)

After everyone is dropped off where they belong, I wake the other two up and get them moving. Our morning routine is:

  • Take shower/ Get dressed
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Do Chores
  • Start School


If they get right to their work, and don’t argue, or procrastinate we are usually done school by 11-11:30am. At that time we break for lunch. If they have any labs, art, or experiments to do, we do them after lunch.


The kids then get to play for a couple hours, or run around outside. Unless we have afternoon commitments like, piano, or 4H. By the time these are done, we have to go pick up Middle Monkey from school.

After we get back from that, I feed them a snack. (As you know kids are always hungry!) I help Middle Monkey with her homework, and we prep for any night activities we do, like Boy Scouts, Dance, Taekwondo, etc. If we don’t have anything, I am usually leaving at this point to go pick up hubby.

Then its time to make dinner, and the kids to wind down from the day. They are all in Pj’s with teeth brushed by 7pm. Sometimes they watch a short cartoon, or they go in their room to read for a half hour. Really depends on their attitudes most nights. Lights out is no later than 8:30pm.


Then I finally get my quiet time, to work on my blog, watch TV, read, or prep the next days lessons.


What is your typical day like?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:



HMJ SUMMER logo landscape




  • August 17, 2013

  • In my life this week…

We have been beyond crazy
when will it slow down?!

Had a fun day at the fair!






This week we had lots of appointments,
Co-op meeting (but everything is in place for this year
so excited)

Afternoon at the Lake,
played at the playground,
went to lunch with my Monkey’s!

Did some freezer cooking. . .

And today I’m at a family reunion!




  • In our homeschool this week…

We started back up this week after our 2 week vacation.
The kids have officially started their 7th week of school
for the new year!


The week was really successful!

Monkey Man really is doing good with his Life Pac math, and
America the Beautiful History! He seems to be enjoying his selections.



Little Monkey is doing great with her subjects,
and really liking the extra Time4Learning computer supplement.

I’m eager to see how next week goes!



  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Don’t be like me, and put off getting your Portfolio done,
I’m going to just squeak by this year. ::Sigh::



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

This week we have another really crazy week ahead!

Piano, Library, Doctor Appts,
Portfolio review, more appts, Parade, and
Birthday party this weekend.



  • My favorite thing this week was…

Going to the fair with my Monkey’s, and seeing how good they did.

Our 4H group placed 3rd on Educational Display, 3rd in People’s Choice,

and the kids got mostly 1st place ribbons.

In the Fair Exhibit Hall, I got 2nd place on a photo,
Monkey Man got a 2nd & 3rd place on two photo’s,
and Middle Monkey got 2- 2nd place, and a 3rd for three of her

So very proud of them!


  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Seeing the demolition derby at the fair.
They loved it, and we had so much fun!



  • Things I’m working on…

Finishing up some stuff for Girl Scouts,
getting some meetings prepped,
getting our calendar in order for the start of our crazy
and still reorganizing!



  • I’m cooking…

Nothing tonight, we are going to a family reunion.
We will be stuffed from all the goodies!




  • I’m grateful for…

The amazing things we have coming up this year!



  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

By taking them on a picnic, and swimming at a local
Lake, with friends.



  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

Oh my! I just got to look at an IKEA catalog
this week, and I found so many awesome things I would
love to have!



  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

    Ready for the 4H parade!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Schoolhouse Expo Info

Expo 2013 Special Event

I’m getting excited that the Schoolhouse Expo is getting closer, what about you? I mean with my busy schedule, you can’t get much better than being able to attend a conference from home. The Expo starts August 19 and goes through the 23rd. Runs from 1pm-8pm (eastern time) everyday!

Check out some of the great speakers that will be there:
  • Dean Butler
  • Barbara Beers
  • Jessica Hulcy
  • Tyler Hogan
  • Kim Kautzer
  • Jay Wile & Diana Waring
  • David Gibbs, III & Christine Field
  • Malia Russell
  • Jennifer Courtney
  • Hal & Melaine Young
  • Andrew Pudewa
  • Antony Kolenc
  • and more!!!

That is just a few of the many speakers that will be talking during the Expo all week.

I’m looking forward to hearing Barbara Beers speaking on Spelling & Grammar & Latin, O MY!. Jessica Hurley on Multi-Level Teaching, and Hal & Melaine Young on Writing/Publishing Workshop, just to name a few.

Be sure to stop by and sign up for the Schoolhouse Expo. It’s just $24 for the week, and there are so many great speakers. Sign up here. You can listen while your doing house work, or the kids are taking a nap! (Here’s to hoping yours still take a nap, mine don’t) 

* Disclosure: I was given a ticket to the Expo in exchange for promoting it. All opinions are 100% mine and my monkeys. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

TOS Crew: Notgrass Review




History is a favorite in our house. My son and I absolutely love to read and learn about history. When we were offered to review America the Beautiful curriculum by Notgrass Company, we jumped on it.


About the Notgrass Company:

They has a wide selection of curriculum choices, like Art, Economics, Government, English, and more! Most of their products are meant for Middle School children to High School children. They do have some products for K-8th as well. The Notgrass family started homeschooling in 1990, and first began to publish in 1999. You can read more about each family member here.


America the Beautiful Curriculum Package:


America the Beautiful was written by Charlene Notgrass. This is meant to be one year, American History, Geography and Literature course rolled into one. This particular curriculum is geared toward 5th-8th grade.

Helping your child move through the American History chronologically and helping them remember key events, people, and places!

This curriculum package offers 6 books with it:

  • America the Beautiful Part 1
  • America the Beautiful Part 2
  • We the People
  • Maps of America the Beautiful
  • Timeline of America the Beautiful
  • America the Beautiful Answer Key


Now I will tell you a bit about each one!

America the Beautiful Part 1 & 2 are really nice hard cover books. They both have 75 lessons covering life with Europeans, to the civil war, America’s expansion into the lands west of the Mississippi river, and ending with the modern times. Part 1 is 452 pgs, and Part 2 is 572 pgs. Both containing very pretty color and black and white photos.

We the People is also a hard cover book, with black and white photo’s. This book has a collection of 150 original journal entries, newspaper articles, poems, songs, and more from American History. It contains 220 pgs.

Maps of America the Beautiful is full of 30 maps drawn just for this curriculum for your child to complete with each lesson. It is paperback and contains 61 pgs.

Timeline of America the Beautiful is another paperback book with facts that go with the lesson for your child to be able to produce a timeline. This book is 57 pgs.

America the Beautiful Answer Key includes all the answers from the Timeline, Lesson Review, Vocabulary Assignments and Student Workbook! This book contains 55 pgs.


In addition to all that is listed above, you can also purchase two other books to accompany your curriculum. Those two books are:

  • America the Beautiful Student Workbook
  • America the Beautiful Lesson Review


America the Beautiful Lesson Review contains daily reviews of the lesson your child just read. Literature questions, weekly quizzes, etc. This book is designed more for the 7th-8th grade levels. It is spiral bound and contains 110pgs.

America the Beautiful Student Workbook has some extra things on the side for your child to enjoy. Making the work a bit more fun, with drawing assignments, codes, puzzles, and more. This is geared more towards 5th & 6th grade students. This also is spiral bound and has 150 pgs.





How we used the program:

As soon as the box arrived, we were super excited to break into it. It was like Christmas for Monkey Man and I.

The day after it arrived we put it on our schedule for our school day. We chose to read the lessons together. As we love to learn together, and discuss the things we learn. Ask each other questions, and find the answers.

After we would read a lesson, Monkey Man would then work on his lesson review, and map activities. He keeps a separate notebook for his vocabulary assignments. He enjoys the extra puzzles, so on the days we are not reading a lesson, he works on those, and reads his Literature that goes with the previous days lessons.  We used the materials 4 times a week, but only read a new lesson 2 times a week.


Monkey Man’s Thoughts (11yrs old):

He really enjoyed it, he is excited to keep using this curriculum all year. He loves the books, and the pictures that are in it. As far as History curriculum goes, he told me this is his 2nd favorite, maybe even first, it was a tough choice. He also really enjoys the We the People book that accompanies the curriculum. He says that he loves the little extras he gets to read in there.




My thoughts:

I love that there is not a lot of prep work to go with this curriculum. Essentially if I am busy, he can take the book and go read his lesson and to the work all on his own. We really have enjoyed reading this, and learning about American History. I to, am anxious to keep using this during this school year. I have to say, this is my favorite History curriculum so far!


I would say that it diffidently stays true to its age group. It was a bit to hard for my 3rd grader to do. She still sits in and listens sometimes when we are reading the lesson, but just a tad bit over her head still. We plan to keep it for her to use in the 5th grade though!

I loved the extras that accompanied it too. It wasn’t to much, or overwhelming they all seem to fit in nicely, and just give it that little extra, without it becoming to much!

The lessons are just the right length for them not to be to much as well. Overall I really love this program, and would recommend it to any homeschooling mom! As a still pretty new homeschooler myself (4th year and still trying to figure it all out), I think this is a great choice. Not to overwhelming, not a lot of prep, and not to frustrating.



As prices go, you really have to choose what works for your family. I am willing to pay more for something if I feel it is a great fit. Or if I can use it for more than one child. This absolutely would be something I would splurge on. I think it is totally worth it!

America the Beautiful Curriculum Package : $99.95

America the Beautiful Student Workbook : $11.95

American the Beautiful Lesson Review : $9.95



See what the rest of the TOS Crew members are saying about Notgrass!



Friday, August 9, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal



HMJ SUMMER logo landscape





August 9th, 2013



  • In my life this week…

It has been a rough week
I have been not feeling well
We have had a lot of appointments this week

We prepped for the fair that started yesterday!
Set up 4H displays, and prepped junior division art work.

Spent some quality time with my Middle Monkey

Enjoyed time with my family!


  • In our homeschool this week…

This was our last week before we start up our next
6 weeks of school this next week.

I finished up curriculum plans, and we just tried to relax.

Have you started yet?


  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Enjoy the small things.. Don’t let them pass you by!


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

This next week we will be back on our school schedule,
and getting middle monkey back on her school schedule,
(her public school starts Aug 28th)

We will be going to the Fair tomorrow to see how we did on
our projects. And enjoy sometime as a family.

The kids have piano and voice lessons.

Doctor appts, library, and more play dates before the summer is over!



  • My favorite thing this week was…

A stress free day with my kids, after a morning of OT with Middle Monkey
She really is making good progress!

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Playing at the playground!


  • Things I’m working on…

Finishing up some copying for school,
Doing some paperwork,
and cleaning up.

Instead of spring cleaning this year, I’m doing fall cleaning!


  • I’m cooking…

We are having Cabbage Rolls (for some of us)
and pizza casserole for the rest of us! 


  • I’m grateful for…

The progress my family has made this last week.
We still have so much more to overcome, but we can do it!



  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

We took them to lunch after setting up the 4H displays at the fair.
They deserved it after having to rewrite fair cards, after mom forgot the
the others at home.

Plus they were being rewarded for doing so good this year at the other fair!
Monkey Man got 6 first place ribbons,
Middle Monkey got 8 first place, and 1 second place,
and Little Monkey is still a cloverbud so she doesn’t place, but still did awesome!


  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

Some new bookcases, and paint colors!


  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

    A sneak peak at one of Middle Monkey’s watercolors.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

rosieMADE Review: Bubble Bath Milkshakes



I love bubble baths! I mean really what woman doesn’t right? So, when I was offered the chance to review Bubble Bath Milkshake, through rosieMADE (a company that supports women & moms, right here in the USA) I was excited.


Bubble Bath Milkshake is made by Beau Bain. First off, I have to say I LOVE the packaging! It is all cutely put in a cup to look like a milkshake.





The top has a loofah on it that looks like cool whip!




Inside the cup, is roughly a dozen little bath fizzes.




This is a great product for the woman in your life. Whether it be your mom, grandmother, best friend, daughter, teacher, new bride, etc. This would be the perfect gift!

The best part is this product is made without all those harmful chemicals. No added extras or animal chemicals. They are all eco-friendly.


To use these bath fizzes, you just drop one or two (your preference) in your hot bath water. They fizz a bit, and leave you with a few bubbles. These leave your skin feeling so soft. I will warn you though, they smell absolutely amazing! My kids couldn’t stop smelling them!


To Buy:

You can purchase them here for $15! You can get them in two flavors, Cookies & Cream, or Vanilla Cappuccino!



From now until August 31, 2013 you can get an additional 10% off your total purchase if you use the coupon code RRCrew713!




*As part of the Rosie Review Crew I received this product for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Schoolhouse Expo Ticket Giveaway

Now that I told you a little about the Schoolhouse Expo yesterday. I’m here to offer you a chance to win a ticket to the Expo for your own.

Incase you don’t remember, the expo runs for a week August 19th-23rd, from 1pm-8pm each day. There are 30 speakers you can listen to! 

One of my special readers will have the chance to win a ticket! That is a $24 value!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: In exchange for running the giveaway, I am getting a free ticket to the Schoolhouse Expo. All Opinions are 100% mine or my monkeys.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Schoolhouse Expo

Schoolhouse Expo

I have to tell you as a Homeschooling parent, I would love to attend the Expo’s and Conferences. However, due to raising costs of everything we can’t afford for me to do that.

Do you wish you could attend one? Have you ever been to one? If you have, what was your favorite part?

Coming up in just a few weeks is the Schoolhouse Expo on August 19th- 23rd! What is so great about this one? Well, you can attend it right from home. You can sit and listen while sipping a coffee, and take notes. Or you can listen while you are working on housework. Either way you don’t have to leave home! It runs 5-days and will have speakers from 1pm-8pm. There will be 30 wonderful speakers to enjoy.

The cost for this amazing opportunity is just $24!!! Be sure to sign up soon!

I will be posting more information as it gets closer!

Also check back tomorrow for a chance to win one Expo ticket.

*I am writing this in exchange for admission to the Expo, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

TOS Crew: Legacy Documentaries



From the TV show, to the books we absolutely love the Little House on the Prairie.  Right now Little Monkey and I are reading the books, given to us by a dear friend. I love that we have that special time together each day to do this.


Therefore, when we got the opportunity to review the Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder DVD, by Legacy Documentaries, we jumped on it!


Legacy Documentaries was started by Dean Butler and Rick Okie. He has produced close to 8 hours of DVD bonus content for the Little House on the Prairie series.


About the DVD:

The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder is told by Dean Butler, who you may know better as Almanzo Wilder in the Little House on the Prairie. The documentary is a really fascinating story about Laura’s life. I enjoyed seeing that come to life. This was done really well, and brought them right into your living room, for you to get to know them.

Even my youngest daughter at 8 yrs old, after reading a few of the books with me, has really enjoyed getting a closer look at Laura.

This documentary is recommended for kids ages 8-13 being the target audience. However, I our whole family really enjoyed this.

I’m really happy with the amount of information we learned about Laura, and her family. My kids are still talking about it. They went into the library and was discussing some of it with the librarian last week. It was so cute!


You can purchase Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder DVD for $24.95

You can also purchase Legacy Documentaries, Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura DVD for $21.95



See what the rest of the TOS Crew is saying about this documentary.






The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:


HMJ Logo Large Summer





  • In my life this week…

This week has been crazy. . .

We went for a Hike,

Tubed down the river for the afternoon with friends. . .

Then we had 3 days of Girl Scout Day Camp (that I helped run) . . .

A day of appointments, and trip to the park. . .

So we are relaxing for a couple days now, before another

busy week ahead.







  • In our homeschool this week…

This was our first week of vacation from our new year.
Other than Monkey Man making up a few grammar
sheets, we did nothing that pertained to school.

Have you started yet?


  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Plan out your sessions, or year… Either way
it is when easier, than winging it.

I love my planner, keeps me so much more relaxed
when things get crazy!



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

This week, we are going to be wicked busy again.

A couple days of set up for the fair, for 4H!

A doctors appt for me,
Dentist, maybe a day trip,
OT for Middle Monkey, and
an eye appt for Little Monkey,
a couple meetings,
and hopefully some fun!



  • My favorite thing this week was…

Tubing down the river with friends . . .



  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Girl Scout camp for the girls, and for Middle Monkey
spending time with Grammie.



  • Things I’m working on…

I am working on our new curriculum plan for the
the next six weeks.



  • I’m cooking…

Pizza is what is for dinner tonight!



  • I’m grateful for…

the amazing opportunities to do things with our friends.
We have had a very fun summer!



  • I’m praying for…

My best friends family this week


  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

with a picnic and a trip to the playground!



  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

A trip to somewhere . . . but it ain’t happening anytime soon.


  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

Playing with my camera again…


Thursday, August 1, 2013

TOS Crew: Gryphon House Review

Art is such a wonderful thing. I have 3 kids who really love to dive straight into art! This past month we have been reviewing the Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from around the world by Gryphon House.

Gryphon House was established in 1971, and started distributing quality children’s books. Today they have nearly 200 titles.

About the Book:
Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World is a 190 page paperback book written by MaryAnn Kohl, and Jean Potter for grades K-5.
This book has lots of art projects using painting, drawing, printing and construction. It includes 130 art ideas from around the world. It covers 7 continents, has a few projects for each one. Each page shares with you a bit about where the craft originated from. There is also an icon for each one to give you a skill level.

What we thought:
As soon as my kids saw this book, they took off running with it. My middle monkey couldn’t wait to see what it had to offer. They all looked through it, telling me the ones they thought they would like the best. Once I wrestled it back from them (HAHA), I looked through the book myself. Upon first glance, I was really impressed with the number of projects, and what they had to offer.
For the purpose of the review we did a few projects (but of course I can’t find the photo’s I took), but since Monkey Man is doing World Geography this year, we are going to tie a few more of these in with that.
Their favorite one so far was doing the Scarab stones from Egypt. They had fun creating those, and then they put them in our garden for decoration.
This book has helped us with some bored rainy days this summer as well. Never know when you may need to pull out a great project to work on.
My kids love this book!

My thoughts:
I really like how this book was laid out. Easy directions that were step by step with illustrations. The materials were all mostly ones I would have on hand, or easily could be found. Which is huge for me, since I don’t like to have to look for rare items, or spend a lot of money on things.
I also think this book would be a great addition to a history curriculum, or geography. As I stated above, we will be using this with Monkey Man when he starts his World Geography in a couple weeks. I’m very excited to be able to tie some of it in.
Overall, I think this is a really well done book. We all have enjoyed it very much!

You can purchase this Global Art for $16.95 from here.

You can find Gryphon House on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. For more books and ideas!

See what the rest of the TOS Crew had to say about this review.