A Very Heartfelt Thank You to all of my Readers. Mood:
happy Topic: General
Recently I told you that I had an announcement to make. An announcement that some of you will like, but, I'm sure, some of you will roll your eyes at.
Well, the big announcement is that I will be staying on the TOS Homeschool Crew as a First Mate this next year. That mean's I will be reviewing more great products for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike, and I will be mentoring some new reviewers that will have just joined the crew.
We still however have the end of this year to complete. I, as of this post, have four more reviews to write before the end of the month. In wrapping up this Crew voyage we did have some end of the year things to do. One of those things was to vote for some awards that we are giving to the great products and companies that we reviewed this past year.
This past year has been an amazing year. I have grown as a person because of being part of such a wonderful team, and I have learned so much from them. My blog has grown as well. There have been so many new folks who have begun to read my blog this year. I appreciate all of my readers, it has been an awesome year. Lastly, our family has grown because of all of the great products that we have found and used that we probably would have never dreamed of buying before having the opportunity to review it.
Being a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew has been a very unique experience. I don't think that I realized how much being on the Crew has done for us until actually voting for the awards that I mentioned above. After voting, I wrote a post on the Crew forum about the Tinkel experience with trying to vote for the best products from this past year. I thought that I would post it here as well. Some of it you will not understand because it was written about things that are unique to the homeschool crew, but I think you will get the idea of what this past year has meant to us. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Well, the Tinkel family finally voted yesterday. We had a lively discussion for a little while and filled in many spots. Then the two youngest left and it was just John Allen and I to choose the rest. Finally we got down to the last one - The Crew Favorite. I shooed John Allen from the room because I really wanted to think this one through. After all, I was choosing the one product that was generally liked by all and the one that I felt had the most impact on our homeschool this year (at least that was my criteria). I couldn't make up my mind, so I decided to go through the list and write down the ones that stuck out in my mind. Well, that did ALOT of good! I managed to narrow it down to 16 items !
But, a funny thing happened when I began to read down through the "short list". As I was reading each product and thinking about how they impacted our homeschool, tears began to roll down my cheeks. I thought about traveling in the car listening to Hank the Cowdog, and how Grandma was "driven up the wall" with the crazy songs that the kids kept singing. I recalled how excited the kids got when their basic math skills improved after working with Barnum Math. I remembered snuggling up on the couch and listening to "Sarah's Wish". The memories and the tears flowed as I thought about the different things that really motivated my teen-age son and the things that made an impact on my asperger's child's learning. I even shed some tears when thinking about Time4Learning and how my preschooler really fell in love with learning because of that product. All of the tears really made me think about how much of a blessing the crew has been this year (and that I probably should start taking my anti-depressant again ).
So, after all of that, what did I finally choose? What was that one product that really effected our homeschooling for the better? The one that may not have been the absolute favorite of everyone, but that all agreed that they liked and thought it was worthwhile? Well can you believe it was Sue Patrick's Workbox System ?!? Yep, it was the one that really did transform our homeschool for the better...even with the adaptations! Sue won out!
With that being said, I need to thank you all, again, for a fantastic year. You all along with the wonderful products have meant more than you will ever know (at least this side of Heaven). I'm looking forward to more great things to come.
In conclusion I wanted to thank all of you dear readers for also sticking with me this year. For those of you that do not homeschool and do not have children, I appreciate you wading through the posts that you weren't interested in. For those of you who do enjoy the reviews, thank you for all of the encouragement during the year. I'm looking forward to another great year with many exciting things for all of my readers so be ready for another wild and fun ride!
Are You A Homeschooler? Quick! Look! And, no, it's not a review! Mood:
a-ok Topic: Homeschool Helps
What am I missing this week? What is the one thing that I would be at if I could? The Schoolhouse Expo! Unfortunately, we have Vanderbilt today to get the ball rolling at the Autism Clinis for Jacob. Tomorrow Jacob goes to the ENT for a followup after his Tonsillectomy and then goes to the Physical Therapist to see if he needs PT as well as OT. Then, on Friday, Jacob and Joshua both go to OT. Needless to say, our week is shot! Well it doesn't matter, you can't go either ! All of the tickets are sold. You can, however still roam around the vendor hall...and it's free! Here is a little blurb about the vendor hall that I am shamelessly copying and pasting.
If you're researching or buying homeschool curriculum, you have to check out the Vendor Hall at the Schoolhouse Expo! It's open to everyone. Browse through companies such as Rainbow Resource, WriteShop, Apologia, Latin Road/Phonics Road, Multiplication Shake, Go Phonics, and MANY MORE!
Latin Road/Phonics Road has freebies in their booth. Rainbow Resource has a free shipping offer. Spears Art Studio has a free CD. Real Science by Gravitas has a 25% discount coupon.
There is just so much to see. Stop by and meet the virtual hostess from each company, browse their selection, and look for "conference specials".
So, I promise that I won't look at the speaker schedule, because I'm sure I will be in tears at all of the things that I am missing. I will, however, enjoy roaming the vendor hall in my free time! And you can too. Just press on the link above and have fun.
Think You Can't Do It? Yes You Can! Mood:
incredulous Topic: Autism Awareness
If they had an "In Tears" emoticon, that would be what I put right now. As many of you know, I've been reading about the amazing Vogel family who bicycled across the US and is now bicycling down the Pan-Am Highway. While reading through the journal of their trip, Nancy Vogel happened to mention another amazing family - the Hoyts.
Life is not always easy. I know that and you know that. With one son diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and another being tested for the same, and all of that after our oldest child battled a rare form of childhood cancer when he was younger, there are some days when it is a battle to just put one leg in front of the other. Sometimes I wonder how I will go on. I'm not saying that I will never have any more of those days, but after reading about Dick and Judy Hoyt and their son Rick, those days will be fewer and farther between.
Because of lack of oxygen during birth, Dick and Judy Hoyt's son Rick was born a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Although rick couldn't walk or talk and it was suggested that he be institutionalize, Dick and Judy saw much more than a crippled child. They soon discovered how bright he really was. With the use of special technology, he became able to communicate and soon it was learned of his love for sports. Wanting his child to be able to achieve all that he was capable of achieving, Dick devised a way for his son to enjoy athletics. The following is a short video of Rick and his dad completing the Ironman Triathlon - yes, I said the Ironman Triathlon. Watch it with a box of tissues by your side and with the thought, no matter how hard things seem to be, all things are possible. If you think you can't do it - Yes You Can! After you've dried your eyes, you can read more about this amazing family by clicking here. But watch the clip first. You'll be glad you did.
I Feel Pretty... Mood:
a-ok Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I feel pretty,
Oh so pretty,
I feel pretty
And I pity
I feel BeeYoutiful too!
No, that isn't a typo. BeeYoutiful is a wonderful little company that is committed to "Healthy Living for the Real World" They sent our family a product that they call "Tummy Tuneup" to use. Tummy Tuneup is a capsule that is promoted to settle upset stomachs and keep you from getting stomach bugs that go around. What really caught my eye, however, was that the main ingredients are all Pro-biotics. You know, those things that a famous celebrity is advertising that are supposed to be in some new fangled yogurt? Supposedly this new yogurt is supposed to help you with your irritable bowel syndrome among other things. Well, you know that I am approaching 50 years old, and that...ummm...syndrome is beginning to effect me a bit. So, I was more interested in that part of it than the upset stomach part.
Actually, Tummy Tuneup does contain 8 different pro-biotics that are the opposite of anti-biotics. I have learned so much during this Crew year that I had never known before and this little tidbit is one of the things that I learned. It seems that there are good bacteria and bad bacteria in our bodies. Now, when there is a balance of the good and the bad, then our bodies are OK. Unfortunately, the refining in some of our food products is done by chemicals that destroy good bacteria that we need. On top of that, the increased prescriptions of anti-biotics effects our bodies as well. These antibiotics are not discriminatory. They destroy both good bacteria and bad bacteria. That worsens the problems. That's why we need pro-biotics (good bacteria) to supplement our diet. They help our digestive system to work better.
Well, let me tell you that they work. At first, I did feel a little funny after I took them. But, after all, they are getting your system back into some regularity. What the pro-biotics are actually doing is destroying bad toxins that have been stored in our body. That process was making me feel a little queasy (not really sick, but queasy) for the first couple of days. After that, I began to feel great. It was getting my digestive system and intestines back in shape again. And, with a family that has a history of colon cancer on both sides of the family, having a healthy, happy colon is important to me ! Tummy Tuneup can also be used to stave off the bad stomach bugs that seem to flourish during all seasons of the year these days. I am really pleased with this product!
In fact, I am really pleased with this company! They have been great to work with (each Crew member had a choice as to what product they wanted) and their product was really good.
Now they recommend taking one to two capsules three times daily for adults and 1/2 to 1 capsule for children. Even infants can take Tummy Tuneup. However, I only took one capsule a day and saw improvement in my health. Others only use Tummy Tuneup when they feel sickness coming on. And the prices are very good. A 60 capsule bottle is only $18. That would last me almost two months!
As I said before, I really recommend this company. They are a Christian run organization and are very nice to work with. To find out more about this company and their other products, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. As I mentioned before, other TOS Crew members reviewed other products. You can find out what they had to say about the products that they reviewed by clicking here. And now, since I just reviewed and recommended a health product for the whole family, I'll close by saying...Happy, Healthy, Homeschooling.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew BeeYoutiful sent me a free 60 capsule bottle of Tummy Tuneup to try out and review on my blog.
Check this out! What a hoot! Mood:
a-ok Topic: General
What a hoot this is. This San Fransisco film was done just days before the 1906 Earthquake. Notice all of the people looking in wonder at the camere wondering what in the world it is. Obviously this is not something that was usual back in those days. It is really funny, but sad as well. This area was destroyed by fire due to the earthquake. It's also sad to look at all of the people, epsecially the children, and wonder how many of them survived. Otherwise it's a fascinating look at life in a large city during the early part of the last century.