Friday, March 30, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–I See Sam

Speak Up Saturday

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I received a great set of Little Books from Academic Success for All Learners. Kahlen and I really like them!

From the Publisher:

The Reading for All Learners “Little Books” program is a sequence of 141 color coded books. There are 8 sets of books from Kindergarten to 3.6 reading level. Each set contains up to 27 books.

The Little Books were researched, revised and field tested to provide high success and fun learning experiences in beginning reading. The series directly correlate to core curriculum and mandates set by No Child Left Behind. Each book is built on the skills learned in previous books. For high success they should be taught in sequence.

The Little Books are used successfully around the globe in a variety of settings. Schools use them in small group instruction and for individual needs. The instruction can come from teachers, parents, paraprofessionals, parent helpers, older peers, anyone! They are inexpensive, easy to use and the research is solid. They work!!

We have tried several other easy/beginning reader books with no interest or success. The first time we sat down with the first book from set 2, we spent half an hour talking about the first few pages, which go over words that will be in the story and words that will be introduced in the book. A week later, she read the entire book to her daddy, much to the surprise of both of them!

The stories are still basic, and not that interesting for adults, but she really likes them, better than other ones that we’ve tried especially. She really wanted to know what happened in the story, which kept her reading even when it got a little more challenging.

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We received sets 2 and 3 based on the assessment guide that they have available for free. Each set retails for $30 and contains up to 27 books! They also have several free resources, including flash cards, instructor guides and more.

I am very glad that we have so many of these books and can’t wait to work through them with her, and then use them again later with my other kiddos.

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See what other crew members are saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wordless Whenever–Kahlen’s Haircut

So, it’s not Wednesday…but I have a good story for ya.

I know every little girl, or nearly every, gives themselves a hair cut at sometime in their lives. Kahlen’s turn was yesterday.

She doesn’t nap anymore, but she is still in her room for two hours for rest time. She actually sleeps about 2 days a week, and her attitude is just better when she gets a rest time.

So, yesterday. She took some “supplies” to her rest time, which I didn’t know about. She had a skein of yarn, a roll of tape, and scissors. After making some lovely streamer decorations for her room, she gave herself a nice haircut. In the front. On the sides. And in the back. A huge chunk out of the back. I didn’t take any before pictures because she was horribly embarrased. After I calmed down a bit (I told her it looked really bad, is that mean?), I took her to Cost Cutters. She’s now sporting a cute short summer bob. The stylist was able to layer it enough to disguise the chopped parts, except for the bangs where there’s a nice hacked part right in the middle.

Ah well. Hopefully this will be the only time…

2012-03-25 Kahlen's Hair cut (2)2012-03-25 Kahlen's Hair cut (1)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–Action Alert

Speak Up Saturday

Photobucket I was asked to review Action Alert as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. Here’s a basic overview:

PhotobucketI generally do not like programs like this one because they slow down your computer too much. However, after my computer got infected by a virus earlier this year, I was open to trying it. But, like most anti-virus, anti-spyware programs, this one just didn’t work for me.

I had it installed for a few weeks, and in that time, I noticed a dramatic decrease in speed of my browser and my computer in general. It also kept causing my browser to crash. How do I know? After I uninstalled it, I stopped having problems. I also did not like the way that it took over my start page on my browser and was really hard to get rid of.

At this stage in my parenting, I’m not concerned about internet dangers. My kids are not allowed to use the computer without me present because they are 5 and 2. Maybe in the future, when they are a bit older, I will be more concerned and look into services like this, but right now, it’s not relevant to me and it’s too invasive.

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See what other crew members are saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday–March 19th

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
I thought it would maybe help with our mealtime foolishness to bring back Muffin Tin Monday, so here we are.

We’ve been talking about Ancient Maya civilization as part of our Tapestry of Grace curriculum, so I loosely based our lunch around that today.

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We had quesadillas, southwest chicken, corn, sour cream, and apples (because that’s what I had)

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The kids enjoyed it and ate everything in record time. For dessert, we had a tortilla with butter, cinnamon, and sugar on it, yum!

~S

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

Speak Up Saturday

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From the Publisher:

How much money would it take for you to betray the truth?
Ex-homicide detective Ray Quinn never had glamorous thoughts of the life of a private investigator—but being cornered in a bathroom stall by the enraged philandering husband of a client? That’s something he could live without. Retired from homicide and living with a painful disability, Ray’s options are limited. Stick to the job, keep impetuous sidekick Crevis alive, and spend quiet evenings with trusted pal Jim Beam, that’s about the best he can hope for.
As a new client emerges, Ray finds himself in an impossibly large boardroom holding a check with enough zeros to finally lift him from his financial pit. The job seems easy enough: find Logan Ramsey, an ex-cop turned security officer who’s taken off with sensitive corporate information. But few things are easy in Ray’s world, regardless of the amount of zeros in the check.
In what should be an open-and-shut case, Ray stumbles across Logan Ramsey in a seedy motel room. Only Ray wasn’t the first to find him. Now Logan’s dead, the client’s information is nowhere to be found, and Ray’s employer is less than forthcoming with the details. Suddenly the line between the good guys and bad guys isn’t so clear. With a foot in both worlds and an illuminating look at an unhappy ending that could well be his own, which will Ray choose?

When I started this book, I really wasn’t sure I was going to like it. It took awhile for me to get into it honestly. It’s written in the first person, which is a departure from most books that I read. However, I kept reading, and I’m glad I did. The second half of the book picked up speed and was much better.

It’s a basic old fashion gumshoe novel, unraveling more than one problem one thread at a time. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and the character development. So much so that I plan on reading more of his books, especially the first Ray Quinn novel, The Night Watchman.

If you like mysteries without romance, read this one!

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~S

It would be a great help to me if you would please rate my review. I get the chance to review more books based on my rating, and there are cool contests and such. Thanks!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday–March 7th

2012-03-05 School in the living room (4)

Making school work for us. Nate stayed entertained for 45 minutes, a new record! Lap desks are my new best friend :)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tasty Tuesday–Teriyaki Burgers

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to another week of Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
There’s a recipe index under the food tab above if you’re ever looking for a recipe I’ve already blogged.
Every Monday, I plan on trying a new recipe. If it goes well, that’s what I’ll be posting on Tasty Tuesday. If not, I’ll post a tried and true (i.e. something I don’t have to think about too hard) ;)

I found this recipe in my basic cookbook. You know, the one you get when you get married and don’t know how to cook much (or at least how to come up with a good menu, etc). The one I have is The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book. I’ve had it for ten years, and it’s a fine overview cookbook. I modify most of the recipes I find in it, but it’s a good starting place.

Anyway, burgers. I’m trying really hard to eat less dairy because it seems to upset Shane’s tummy, poor boy. He’s a spit-upper anyway just like his sister was, but anything I can do to make it better, I’ll try. So, you’ll notice on my menu that there is not much dairy involved in any of the recipes this week.

Teriyaki Burgers

{Ingredients}

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use turkey)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

{Directions}

  • Mix all ingredients in medium bowl
  • Form into patties
  • If you’re using turkey, I recommend flash freezing on a cookie sheet or cutting board before cooking. Takes about 10 minutes to firm up the meat and it really helps them not to fall apart.
  • Bake, fry in a skillet, or grill as you see fit. I like them baked because they don’t take any attention.
  • Serve with a big salad or fresh hamburger buns, yum!

~S

Linking up at Beauty and Bedlam and It’s A Blog Party

Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday–March 5th

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I’m back! Or something…we have to eat, and I’m tired of eating whatever my husband feels like cooking (usually noodles and sauce or hamburger helper Smile)

We’re still having some meals delivered to us from our fabulous friends, but not every night. So, here’s what I’m making this week:

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Teriyaki Burgers 
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Meal from a friend 
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Tacos 
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Dinner at my mom’s because my sister is going to be here from out of town for just a few days. 
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Noodles with Quick Bolognese 
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Roast Chicken and Vegetables in slow cooker (having my sister and some other fam over for dinner)
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Meal from a friend

I’m also making a batch of Non-Sticky Caramel Corn this week, and hopefully some Crackers too (If I make it to the health food store for more nutritional yeast. Can’t find it at King Soopers Sad smile).

So, what are you having for dinner this week?
Link up at Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie or leave me a comment!

I have a recipe index, just for recipes that you can find on my blog. You can also get to it by going to the food tab above.

~S

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review-K5 Learning

Speak Up Saturday

Another review…I promise to post some pictures or something this week!!

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What is K5?

K5 Learning is an online reading and math enrichment program for kids in kindergarten to grade 5. Watch your children master reading and math as they work at their own level and their own pace through a personalized program of over 3,000 interactive multimedia tutorials and activities.

Designed principally for after school study and summer study, K5 is also used by homeschoolers, special needs and gifted kids. K5 helps your children build good study habits and excel in school.

We had the opportunity to review another online math and reading program. This one has 4 reading and math programs: reading, math, spelling, and math facts. We tried both the reading and the math sections.

While there wasn’t anything I (or Kahlen) could put my finger on, we just didn’t really like this program. It didn’t hold her attention. She “played” for five minutes, then asked to do something else. Usually she’s up for any screen time I’ll give her, so her reaction was a bit unusual.

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They offer a 14-day free trial, so go check it out for yourself! Maybe it will appeal more to your little one than it did mine.

See what other crew members are saying here.

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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