Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Third Birthday, Nathanael!!

My middle child is now 3!! How did that happen?
My silly, sweet, goofy boy is a joy to me. His sense of humor is really developing as well as his cognition. He loves to sing and eat and pretend he’s going to work. He still gets frustrated easily, but he’s more able to deal with it now. He tolerates his brother and loves his sister. He can count to 20, as long as 18 and 19 aren’t needed. I love this little boy!
“Knock knock. Who’s there. No thanks, I’ll have a peanut. Hahahaha!” 2012-06-01 Nate and Liam (8)
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Here’s the post from last year.
2011-05-30 Wedding (39)
And here’s the post from his first year
2010-05-20 Outside (10)
To read the story of his birth, go here.



~S

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday–Camping In South Dakota

Last weekend, we took a family camping trip to South Dakota to meet up with my stepdad’s family for a little family reunion. Thanks to Buela (my mom) and her magic cabinet full of gear for all, we had a very enjoyable time camping with three littles and a husband who doesn’t love camping. We camped at a group campsite with about 40 people total. We even made it to Mount Rushmore. It is very pretty in the black hills and we can’t wait to go back again! It was also nice to escape the smoke from the High Park Fire, which I heard was really bad while we were gone.

2012-06-16 Flom Family Reunion (3)
The view from our campsite

2012-06-16 Flom Family Reunion (10)
Cousins playing

2012-06-16 Flom Family Reunion (11)
Sleeping baby. He did great in the napping in the camper.

2012-06-17 Flom Family Reunion (10)
When did she get so strong?

2012-06-17 Flom Family Reunion (16)
"Swimming" in the lake

2012-06-17 Flom Family Reunion (22)
“You must pay the bill”

2012-06-18 Flom Family Reunion (14)
Buffalo Crossing.

2012-06-18 Flom Family Reunion (44)
Um, yea. I think you can guess where we were.

2012-06-19 Flom Family Reunion (5)
Are we home yet?

 

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–IXL.com

Speak Up Saturday

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Practice makes perfect, and IXL makes math practice fun! IXL allows teachers and parents to monitor the progress of their students and motivate them through interactive games and practice questions. Widely recognized as the Web's most comprehensive math site, IXL offers a dynamic and enjoyable environment for children to practice math. Students who use IXL are succeeding like never before.

Knowledge isn't the only treasure on IXL...

In IXL, each grade level has its own themed game board, filled with awards and prizes, so practicing math is like one big treasure hunt. But you only win when you excel!

Every time you achieve one of your math goals, whether it's mastering a skill or practicing for a certain amount of time, you just might have a surprise waiting for you. In first grade's jungle game board, you might unlock a wild animal, or in the kindergarten toyland game board, you could stumble upon… wait, we're not telling. Keep practicing, and see how many prizes you can find!

Reaching goals the fun way

IXL is not just about helping your child learn math — it's also about helping your child learn to love the subject. Unlike traditional workbooks and drills, IXL's practice game boards engage students in their math lessons. As they work for hours to uncover new prizes on their game board, they'll be gaining new math skills and confidence along the way.

IXL.com provided reviewers with a six month full access subscription so that we could get a real feel for their service. Their website has a ton of skills available to practice for each grade level, broken down by grade and by standard, such as Time and Counting up to 20. They have the standards that are to be met for each grade for each state listed on their website for your reference as well.

The things that I enjoyed about this service:

  • There was a ton of different skills available to practice for each grade and for each standard within that grade.
  • The practice problems were right on as far as skill level and interest level.

Things that slightly annoyed me:

  • While I appreciated that each of the skills was available individually, I would have also liked a guided practice of some kind, more like an overview or an integrated practice set. 20+ problems of the same skill gets rather old by the time you get to the middle of the problem set.
  • There is audio available for each problem, but you have to click on the speaker icon for every single one. Given that she’s in kindergarten, I think it would be more appropriate for it to just speak automatically, especially at this grade level. 

This might just be my style (or perhaps my laziness), but when I use a program of any kind on my computer for teaching, I would like to just set her to it and go work on something else while she’s having screen time. This service is not good for that. BUT if that’s not important to you, then this service might work great for your family.

Overall, this service is useful if you need extra practice for any of the skills at any math level pre-k thru 8th grade.

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You can sign up your child for either $9.95 monthly or $79.00 per year. Additional children can be added to the account for an additional $2.00 per month or $20.00 per year. Special pricing is also available for schools.

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~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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Speak Up Saturday - TOS Review–Creation Illustrated

Speak Up Saturday

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Our Purpose…is to share the wonders of God’s creation. By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace. Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigor’s of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.

We received a full year’s of issues of Creation Illustrated, which is four issues. Each issue includes sections about nature, scripture, and living. The photography is beautiful and the layout is easy to read.

The things that I enjoyed about the issues that I read:

  • Facts about the animal or place that was featured
  • Enough pictures to keep my 5 year old engaged

Things that slightly annoyed me:

  • Not written at an adult level, even though it’s touted as “for all ages” and “a replacement for National Geographic”
  • Can there be a thing as too biblical? It seemed forced in some of the articles I read, and that’s just not necessary. Let God’s creation speak for itself without forcing the point.

Overall, this magazine was enjoyable. It was perfect for my kids and I am happy that we get to read about all the features for months to come.

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Creation Illustrated is published quarterly in the United States with a cover price of $4.99.  You can subscribe online for the following lengths/rate:

  • 1 year    $ 19.95
  • 2 Years  $ 37.95
  • 3 Years  $ 53.95

Those who pay now with a credit card will save another $5.00 per year per subscription.  Canadian Residents will need to add $5.00 for postage, those living in other foreign countries will need to add $10.00.

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, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday–High Park Fire

Okay, so I have two WW posts this week. After we got back from the Fire Hydrant 5k, we saw a plume of smoke from the mountain directly to the Northwest of our house. It has since become a 46,000+ acre fire. At one point on Sunday, we were concerned that our house would fall within the evacuation area but it never came down from the mountain. The smoke has been awful at our house; we’ve spent a bunch of time at my mom’s house about 20 miles away. Here are some pictures that hubby and I have taken so far

2012-06-10 High Park Fire PanoPanoramic view from my front porch on Sunday afternoon.

2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth (2)2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth (3)2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth (4)2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth (5)2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth (57)2012-06-11 High Park Fire from Horsetooth

Tim went up to the reservoir by our house to take all the above pictures. That night, I went about a mile from our house, not up on the reservoir, and took these. I had the help of a massive zoom lens and someone who knew how to use it thanks to some random guy who was also taking pictures. Still, it was too close for my comfort.

2012-06-11 High Park Fire at Night (1)2012-06-11 High Park Fire at Night (2)

The fire continues to burn, but they’ve called in all the help now. At last update, there were 1200  personnel working 24-hour shifts to get the fire contained and protect the structures within the burn area. We’re praying for rain here and would appreciate if you could join us in that.

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Wordfull Wednesday–Fire Hydrant 5k

On Saturday, we all ran in a 5k to benefit the Larimer County Humane Society. This was the first 5k I ran two years ago, so it’s one I’ll probably keep running it for nostalgia’s sake.

This time, Kahlen came with me. I borrowed a jogging stroller so she could ride some and run some. My sister-in-law also joined me. 2012-06-09 Fire Hydrant 5k (14)

Tim ran it in just over 26 minutes, go hubby! 2012-06-09 Fire Hydrant 5k (7)

The boys went with Grammy and Grampa in the walking section. (Um, I took this picture while jogging with my compact camera. Don’t judge)

2012-06-09 Fire Hydrant 5k (2)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Monday, June 4, 2012

Menu Plan Monday–June 4th

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We’re having pretty simple food this week. Kahlen has VBS and there’s a few other things going on this week that just make it busier than some, so I’m trying to make it easier on myself.

Here’s what I’m making this week:

Mix-it up Monday (something new) ~ Basic Casserole
Taco Tuesday (Mexican or Oriental) ~ Mexican Lasagna Doubled, so I can give to a friend who just had a baby.
Wow Wednesday (Date night or something like restaurant food) ~ Chicken Couscous
Simple Thursday (Crockpot or less than 30 min prep) ~ Dinner at my mom’s house
Favorite Friday (A family favorite) ~ Hamburger Helper. I have a baby shower that I’m hosting, so daddy gets to make dinner.
Lazy Saturday (leftover buffet) ~ Lentil Stew and Kielbasa
Saucy Sunday (Italian) ~ Chicken with Rosemary Sauce

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

TOS Review–Who Lives in the Sea?

Speak Up Saturday

Dive Into Your Imagination was started by Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, to bring the ocean to children in all its beauty and color. Her goal is to help children (and adults) love the ocean and thus be inspired to protect and care for our environment and ocean.

In her training and career as a print and broadcast photographer, Annie traveled the world and discovered the magical world of the ocean. Ocean Annie lived and worked around the world as a scuba diving instructor and sailor, underwater photographer and cinematographer. She has poured her knowledge and experience into her own company, Dive Into Your Imagination, which features many resources sharing her love of the ocean and its inhabitants. One of these resources is a series of award winning DVD’s aimed at preschool and elementary students featuring her exquisite photography and demonstrating her love for the ocean and the life found in it.

We received Who Lives In The Sea? from Dive Into Your Imagination for review. We also received a PDF that goes along with it, containing activities and additional information for each chapter of the DVD.

The cinematography in the DVD is beautiful. You get to meet whale sharks, octopus, blue-footed booby birds, and more. There is a ton of information about each animal that is presented. The chapters on the DVD are reasonable in length and kept both my kids interested for a reasonable amount of time (20+ minutes for my almost-3-year-old).

The Educator’s Guide PDF came with a huge amount of information and activities for each chapter. The dolphin chapter alone was 32 pages! The disadvantage for me was that it is set up for a classroom, so I had to modify the activities to be able to use them for just one, maybe two kids. But other than that, the guide was very helpful and had good activities.

These products are fun and engaging. They teach your kids (and you!) a ton about the ocean and animals that live there.

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Each DVD retails for $19.95. There are 3 DVDs in this series. You can see a video preview of this DVD here.

The guides are available as a printed version for $299 (for the whole set of them) or as individual PDFs for $69.95. As a special for the Homeschool Crew and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and followers Annie Crawley of Dive Into Your Imagination, she will gift you a set of PDFs with purchase of the DVDs. When you place your DVD order, just let her know in the notes that you are a Homeschool Parent!

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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