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Families Again
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Viva La Patria Bolivia
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

I put "General" down as the topic for this post because I couldn't figure out which Topic was really the best to put down. Do I put "BCM International", because BCM has a very large and fruitful ministry in Bolivia? Do I assign it to the "Compassion International" category because that is where our compassion child, is from? Should I put "Ministry" since everything we do we consider it to be ministry, including sponsoring Marcelo? I couldn't decide so I just put general.

Anyway, on to what this video is all about. I got the link from my friend Kee's who sponsors many Compassion International children in Bolivia. It is of a famous patriotic song from that country. First the video featuring the song and scenes from all around Bolivia.


Now for the translation:

Viva mi patria Bolivia
una gran nación
por ella doy mi vida
también mi corazón.

Esta canción que yo canto
la brindo con amor
a mi patria Bolivia
que quiero con pasión.

La llevo en mi corazón
y le doy mi inspiración.
Quiera mi patria Bolivia
como la quiero yo.


Long live my homeland Boliva
a great nation;
for her I give my life
as well as my heart.

This song I sing
I dedicate with love
to my homeland Bolivia
which I passionately love.

I bear her in my heart
and give her my inspiration.
May you love my homeland Boliva
as I love her.

For more information on BCM International or on Compassion International just press on their names and it will take you straight to their websites. For more information on our ministry here in Livingston, please click here to go to our prayer letter blog.



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Posted by tink38570 at 2:07 PM CST
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Saturday, 20 February 2010
Men's Monday Meme - I have failed!
Mood:  down

Yes, I have failed. Not only have I been late, again, to post my new question, but I also haven't answered the past two questions myself! Ah, well, I will try to catch up someday. This does bring me to what I might consider the question of the week. To try to make up for being late, this is an easy question and I will leave it up until Tuesday at midnight. At that time I will post a Hot Topic Question!

So what is the fitting question for this week? Here it is:

What is the biggest blunder that you have made in your life?

Now to remind you of the rules.


  1. This is a man's meme, so the answers must be the answers from a man. Either the man can answer on his blog, or a wife can interview her husband for her blog. However, if the wife puts it on her blog, she must stay true to what her husband said.
  2. You are encouraged to put one of the Men's Monday Meme buttons found to the left on your blog. Just copy the code below the button of your choice. The more folks who link, the more readers you may have to visit your blog.
  3. You may answer the question any time during the week up through next Monday (Tuesday for this week). After you answer the question, add the address to your post to the Mr.Linky below. If you could, please only add the direct link to the post to make it easier for readers to find the entry.
  4. My answer along with a new question will be posted next Monday. The new Mr. Linky will be added at midnight Monday night.

And here's the Mr. Linky -



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Posted by tink38570 at 11:04 PM CST
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Friday, 19 February 2010
Write Like a President - Use Zeezok's Presidential Penmenship
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


One of my son, Joshua's main problems is his handwriting. One of the reasons that he has such difficulty is his asperger's syndrome. His small motor complications really hinder his ability to write. We have used various methods and approaches, but it is still hard for him to write legibly.

I was excited when I heard that we were receiving Zeezok's Presidential Penmanship Italic Style to try out and review on my blog. I was very unknowledgeable regarding Italic Style writing until I did some research. Italic Style printing looks very similar to regular block printing except for two things. It is a little more slanted, and it has a "tail" at the end of some of the letters. Here is a small sample from one of the first grade lessons:


You can see that the t's and f's are a little more curved than they are in regular block print. One of the reasons that they do that, however, is to make a better flow into cursive writing. They take the same letters as above, but connect them. Here is an example of Italic Cursive writing.This is where you'll really see a difference between Italic style and regular cursive.


I was really intrigued by this because I was dreading having to teach Joshua a completely different way to write in a couple of years since he is having such a difficult time with print the way it is. With the Italic style, he will just have to learn how to connect the letters that he already knows how to form.

The Italic style of printing and writing is not unique to just Zeezok, however. Any company can put out an Italic Style writing program. Let me tell you why I think Zeezok's is a step above the rest. 

1. I really like the progression. At the very beginning of each weeks writing assignment is the quote that the student will be using for the week. The above are examples of that. The next step is what I really like about their printing pages. The student has to fill in bubbles to learn how to form the letters properly. Here is an example:

As you can see, there is a starting point for each letter so that the student knows where to begin. The writing is also done in very guided balloon type bubbles so that the student knows exactly how a letter is to be formed. 

The next day the begin tracing letters like this:

They do that for the rest of the week until Friday when they are given blank lines for them to write the passage without aids. 

The cursive writing begins in third grade and has a very similar procedure except they skip the bubble step. After all, the student already knows how to form the basic letter. So, the whole week they tracing, until Friday when they must write the passage on their own.

2. The second thing that I really like about this curriculum is what they are writing. Outside of the Bible, I can think of nothing better than to write some of the greatest quotes from our United States Presidents. Along with the quotes above from George Washington, there are famous sayings from many of our other countries leaders. Many of them are very Christian quotes like the following from John Quincy Adams.

 Our Constitution was made
only for a moral and religious
people. ~ John Adams

And the next quote:

It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. ~ G. Washington

In this day and age of political correctness, and trying to rewrite our countries history, this is a great way to instill within our children the religious foundations on which our country was founded.

For those of you who don't like this style of writing, Zeezok has the same Presidential Penmanship program available in other styles of writing such as

  • AB (A-Beka) Handwriting Style
  • BJ (Bob Jones) Handwriting Style
  • DN (D'Nealian) Handwriting Style
  • HWOT (Hand Writing Without Tears) Handwriting Style
  • ZB (Zaner Bloser) Handwriting Style

You can access examples of the different styles of writing by clicking here.

One small warning. This is not a writing program that teaches the formation of each letter individually. It does not contain letter a practice sheets, letter b practice sheets, etc. The first sample above is from the first week of grade one printing of the Presidential Penmanship program. If your child is not familiar with the basic formation of the different letters, then I would recommend covering them first before buying this program.

I would definitely recommend this program, and, from what I hear from the other Crew members, any of Zeezok's items. Other TOS Crew members reviewed other items and there reviews can be found by clicking here. Zeezok's Presidential Penmanship is priced very reasonably. You can either purchase ebook downloads of the different grade levels (1-6, Junior High, Senior High) for $9.99 each, or purchase the whole set as an ebook download for $39.99. If you would like, you can also order the whole set on CD for $39.99. There are sample pages for all of the Presidential Penmanship styles that you can download and try out before purchasing by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Again this is one of those products that can be used by homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike so ~ Happy Home Educating.

As a member if the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Zeezok's Presidential Penmanship Italic Style CD in order to try out and review on my blog.








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Posted by tink38570 at 10:30 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 20 February 2010 12:49 AM CST
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The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling - It truly is the ultimate!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

When I first began homeschooling, I got online and read every web article that I could. I checked out books from the library. I combed through homeschool catalogues and I talked to every homeschooler that I could find. I wanted to gain information about every aspect of homeschooling. I sure wish I had this book, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling to refer to.

This book has everything! Now, let me tell you, that some TOS Crew Members read this book from front to back like a novel. I, however, decided to review it more as a reference guide. As usual you can see what the other Crew members wrote about The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by clicking here.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling has a whopping 509 pages with 34 chapters that are divided in to 9 sections called "Parts" a 10th Part serves as a resource guide. Here are the very informative 10 Parts.

  • Part 1 - Homeschooling: Is it for You? - Seven chapters discussing the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling and what it takes to have a good homeschool.
  • Part 2 - Choosing a Curriculum - Five chapters on choosing the right curriculum for your children.
  • Part 3 - Organizing and Planning - Two chapters that cover the homeschool environment and setting up your homeschool day.
  • Part 4 - Preventing Burnout - Contains five "Burnout Busters".
  • Part 5 - What to Teach - When and How - Two chapters that talk about what to teach when, and guidelines for teaching each of those subjects.
  • Part 6 - Homeschooling Teens - Four chapters on something that I am not ready to tackle but will have to all too soon.
  • Part 7 - Computers in the Homeschool - This very interesting subject has three chapters.
  • Part 8 - Creative Solutions - Three chapters on working with toddlers, transitioning from school to home (boy do I wish I had that one a few years back) and working with the reluctant reader.
  • Part 9 - Measuring Your Success - Another three chapters on this controversial subject - Do we test? And if we don't how do we know if we are on track?
  • Part 10 - Resource Guide - The great aforementioned three part section.

Debra Bell, the author, is a seasoned homeschooler, and what I like about this book is that she uses experiences, both good and bad, from not only her own homeschool, but the experiences of other homeschools as well. The book is very easy to read, and is laid out with wide margins to take notes. Five icons ~ ones for Suggested Readings, Websites, From the Bell Files, Voices of Experience and Buying and Resource Information make it very simple to find something you need within each section of the book.

The only small (very small) warning that I have to make about this book is that the author uses a lot of categorizations in her book. Although she warns that no- one will fit into a single category, it's hard to not get discouraged when you or your child don't automatically take on all of the characteristics of a certain group. You have to remember what she states. No one is going to fit into an exact category. Each child is unique and you have to treat them that way.

I would highly recommend this book for any homeschoolers shelf, or even the shelf of those who are thinking about homeschooling. It is published by Apologia Press the makers of the great Apologia Science Curriculum (can anything bad come from Apologia?) and with a price of just $20 this resource can't be beat. Once you purchase the book, there is even a password to a secret section on the Apologia website that lists national, state and local organizations as well as suggested homeschool companies and a lot more. How cool is that? You can access the Apologia website for The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted sections above. Happy Homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free copy of "The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling" to try out and review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:58 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 19 February 2010 1:02 AM CST
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Thursday, 18 February 2010
World Math Day - Try out Mathletics for Free!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


If you read the Mathletics review that I did recently but weren't sure if you wanted to spend the money to try it out, here's a way to try it for free. I just got this email today. We are going to try to join in. Whey do you give it a try as well? Here's the email with a link to for more detailed information.



World Math Day is free and lots of FUN!


Join us in a celebration of numbers as students from

around the globe unite in their quest to set a world record

in answering mental arithmetic questions. Be a part of

this great education event involving more than 2 million

students from over 200 countries.


It's Free and Fun!


• Brand NEW format.

• World Math Day is the education event for the world!

• Your students will love it! Be part of setting a world record!

• It will create an amazing buzz around Math

• Designed for all ages and ability levels. Simple to register and participate. All you need is internet access.

• Great prizes

• And it’s absolutely free!!


HURRY, registration closes March 2nd 2010



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:45 PM CST
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