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Friday, 20 August 2010
And Now It's My Turn to Present An Award!
Mood:  happy
Topic: General

As I've mentioned in a couple of posts this past week, I have been blessed by a couple of my fellow bloggers with two blog awards. They each come with a few things that go along with the acceptance of the award. The first award that I'm going to focus on is the "Sunshine Award" given to me from a great blogging friend Sheri from Homeschooling on Wing and a Prayer. Sheri actually maintains three or four different blogs and does a great job with each. I don't know how she gets it all done. Anyway, Sheri obviously hasn't seen me lately. Sarah says I have been anything but Sunshiny. In fact, she says that I've been downright grouchy! Oh well. Thanks for thinking of me Sheri! Please click on the link above to Sheri's blog and pay her a visit. You won't be disappointed.


Criteria Number 1 - I have to tell you seven unusual things about myself. Okay, here goes.

     ~I play a half dozen different musical instruments. Unfortunately none of them very well.

     ~I spent four years of my younger life in Peru, IN - Circus City. It just happens to be a railroad town where many a circus had their winter headquarters. Because of that many circus performers retired there. About 50 years ago, some of the retirees decided that they wanted to start a community circus. It has been going ever since. Only school aged kids perform. It is a big thing with scholarships awarded and everything. I always wanted to be in it, but, alas, we moved away too soon.

     ~I love to act - no, not act up - to act. I have been in a few rather large productions (at least large for our area). I love it, but don't have time to do it as much as I would like.

     ~I am turning 50 this year Frown.

     ~I didn't get married until I was in my early 30's.

     ~My beautiful wife is 10 years younger than me.

     ~I worked at Disney World for 13 years and, for the most part, loved it. No, I didn't play Goofy! I worked in the shops.

The other part of the award is more fun than talking about myself. I get to present it to seven other deserving blogger. So, here they are:

     ~The first deserving blogger is Penny, my First Mate from last year. Penny was so helpful last year and has since become a great friend. She has a daughter who is autistic and is a wealth of information on autism. Please visit her site, Not New to Autism and tell her I said hello!

     ~On the homeschool crew we have two fearless leaders. Both of them work tirelessly and many times without thanks. What a lot of folks don't realize is that they have families of their own with children that they homeschool, and they maintain blogs of their own. So, in order to brighten their day, I am giving them both the "Sunshine Award" for all of their hard work. First our Chief - Heidi. Heidi is fantastic and takes a lot on her shoulders. Please visit her blog, Reviews by Heidi, to give her some encouragement.

     ~Second, is Brenda. Brenda does a lot behind the scenes as vendor liaison. She is in charge of scheduling reviews and working with the great companies that send us the products to review. She's having eye surgery this Monday, so encourage her by visiting her blog, Garden of Learning, and pray for her on Monday.

     ~Mrs. White has a fantastic blog that you will want to visit. She was a fellow crew mate last year and is a fellow First Mate this year. She has a lot of great ideas on her blog and a lot of spiritual insight. Please check out her blog, The Legacy of Home.

     ~Out of all of the folks that I know in the blogging world, I have known Merit the longest. We actually went to college together. She has a fantastic blog, Mission Possible, that you won't want to miss. Check it out.

     ~I have know Charity for almost as long as Merit. Charity used to go to the camp that I worked at for over 25 years. She and her husband are hoping to adopt very soon and she has a blog dedicated to that, Hodges Adoption Journey, and another blog where she writes about homeschooling. Please visit her blog and encourage her.

     ~Finally, last but certainly not least, is Matt's blog, entitled Matt's Losing It! Matt was brave enough to join the crew this year so I have another male to commiserate with. It's nice to know that there are other men out there that homeschool and blog about it as well. 


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:28 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 20 August 2010 11:38 PM CDT
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Thursday, 19 August 2010
Prop up Your Feet and Enjoy a Homeschool Conference from Home!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Helps

Last year, I had he extreme pleasure of going to my first homeschool convention in Cincinnati! It was a blast and I'm looking forward to going again. However, big homeschool conventions only happen once a year, and the expense of going to a big convention can only happen once a year. Wouldn't it be fun to be able to get a refresher without all of the fuss of making hotel reservations, soothing tired feet, and rushing to make sue there's enough room in the session that you want to attend? Well, recently I was asked to promote a way that you can do just that! Instead of making hotel reservations, make reservations for the:


It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

Save $5 per ticket! Register between August 16 and midnight August 22, and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free E-Books.

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.

Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our children's education to best meet their needs.

If you cannot make the Live event,  then the October Expo To Go is just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This week only, pay just $14.95!

You can visit either of these links to get more information.

Now, all of the above stuff is their advertisement, but remember I promised long ago that I would always give my honest opinion and I would not promote  anything that I did not believe in on my blog. In the past year an a half I have grown to love The Old Schoolhouse and all that it represents and does. They do quality stuff, and their Expo's are no exception. What they promote above is what they will do. So, put of your dogs and give he Expo a try! See you there!

In full disclosure, I am receiving free Expo-To-Go tickets in exchange for this post

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Posted by tink38570 at 5:01 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 August 2010 5:18 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 18 August 2010
It's Good to Have Friends in High Places!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

Take a look at the boy above! That's our sponsored child, Marcelo. That's from the photo taken to update his Compassion profile. They take a new picture every two years and send a copy to their sponsors. We received that one a few months ago. This past summer our friend Kees, a compassion advocate, spent a couple of months in Bolivia working with Compassion. He was able to travel and visit a lot of the centers where the Compassions kids go on a weekly basis. Including the one where Marcelo goes. He wrote to me recently to tell me that he was able to talk with Marcelo for a little while and take some pictures of him AND get a video of him! We were so excited. Kees called me on the phone a few days ago to tell me that he had left Bolivia and to be looking for the photo of Marcelo in the next few days. I asked him where he was and he said HOLLAND! It's not every day that you talk for a half an hour to someone in Holland! He was visiting family and friends there (that's his home country) before flying back to the U.S. Unfortunately, since things are a little different in Holland than the U.S., he won't be able to send the video to us until he gets home to Florida. We can't wait to see it. I wanted to share the new photo with you now though. Remember, Bolivia is south of the equator and the seasons are opposite there so it is winter right now - hence the coat and scarf. In fact, La Paz, where Marcelo is from, is one of the coldest spots in Bolivia. There is much sickness, especially in the poorer areas like Marcelo's, since many houses, including the one Marcelo lives in, do not have heat. Please pray that they will stay warm and not become too ill. And thanks for praying for all of our kids - Marcelo from Bolivia is the one that we actually financially sponsor and we have four correspondence kids that we don't sponsor financially, but we are the ones who send letters to them, encourage them, and mentor them. Their names and countries are Feyber - Colombia, Somi - Indonesia, Emmanuel - Tanzania, and Ismael - Nicaragua.



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Posted by tink38570 at 10:55 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 August 2010 9:50 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 17 August 2010
I'd Like to Thank All of the Little People!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

I've been given another award! And, I haven't even officially told you about the last award! I'm way behind, and I'm not going to be able to officially tell you all about them even tonight. Life is driving me crazy these days and I feel like I am so behind. Which, is one big reason why I so appreciate these little pick-me-up awards that these great folks are giving me. I promise I will cover both awards later this week so keep watching. Anyway, this award is the...

And it was given to me by a great blogging friend of mine Jennifer at Creative Learners. Please click on her blog address and leave her a comment as a thank you for me. You'll be doing me a favor and checking out a great blog all at once!


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:07 PM CDT
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Monday, 16 August 2010
Life's Ups and Downs & A Great Giveaway!
Mood:  a-ok

Let's play a homeschool guessing game:

  • In the ups and downs of life you need this.
  • As you go through the peaks and valleys of life this is for you.
  • During the high points and the low points of your homeschool day this will help. 
  • As you zoom through your school year you will surely use this.
  • Even with all of the curves that come your way this will be wonderful for you. 

Have you guessed it yet?

So what is this wonderful product that will do all of the above?


It's the Download N Go unit study, Roller Coasters!

Now, let me tell you, this unit study will really give you a lot of thrills. It is jam packed full of 98 pages of fun! All right, let me give you my personal opinion. I have done two or three Download N Go unit studies, geared toward first through fourth graders over the past year and I'm going to be doing a lot this year. Supposedly the author, Amanda Bennett, wrote these studies to be done in five days. However, I'm here to tell you from experience that there is no way on this green earth that you can do everything in the Download N Go unit studies in five days! There is enough to fill two weeks. It's for that exact reason that I'm glad that they give us two weeks to review the Download N Go studies.

Okay, I know what Amanda is thinking. She's going to make sure that there is enough for every kind of learner in her studies and then the parent can pick and choose what to do. So, that's exactly what we did. Roller Coasters has five units in it (one for each day):

Day 1: What Is a Roller Coaster?

Day 2: The History of Roller Coasters

Day 3: People and Places of Roller Coasters

Day 4: Science Secrets of Roller Coasters and Rides

Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Roller Coasters

One of the most unique features is that Amanda has put in automatic links to everything that you need. You just download the Download N Go, click each day, and there will be links to all of the information that you need for that day - and links to a lot of other fun stuff as well. Joshua really enjoyed seeing the videos that were taken by people riding the roller coasters and he especially liked the video of the backyard roller coaster that someone had built! All of the links to dictionaries and other fun information about roller coasters were great as well. In fact, everything you need is right there. You don't need anything else but the download of this study.

Another really neat feature of these studies is the way every subject is interwoven - especially social studies and science. I'm going to tell you a little secret. Because I was reviewing this Download N Go, I felt like I should try out everything. That's a mistake I will not repeat! There is so much that even after a week, we are only about half way done. But, so far Joshua has already learned to locate Russia, France and, of course, the United States on a world map; he's learned about climates in these countries (yes believe it or not that has to do with roller coasters); he's learned about the historical times of the first roller coasters; and more. It's amazing how much information that the author can weave into a study. Along the way Joshua is also learning new vocabulary words, science terms, dictionary skills, and more. And, did I mention that each study has a lapbook that goes along with it! Yep, and each of the lapbook components are right there. There's no hunting around for this flapbook or that pocket. It's all included.

As you can tell I'm really impressed with these studies. And, they are inexpensive! Each Download N Go Study is only $7.95! They're even cheaper if you buy one of the bundles. All you have to do is to click here or on any one of the links above to get to the Roller Coasters Download N Go page and check it out.

If you'd like to find out more about Roller Coasters or any one of the other great Download N Go product click here. Or, to find out what some of the other Download N Go reviewers think about this great product click here.

Still not convinced? How about a free copy of Download N Go's Roller Coasters to try out for yourself? Well, I'm giving away one and there are a bunch of ways to win. Here's what you have to do to get your name in the drawing.

1. Leave a comment below telling me why you would like a copy of Download N Go's Roller Coasters (worth one entry).

2. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the subscribe button at the end of this post and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

3. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the Networked blog button in the left column and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

4. Become a fan on my Families Again Facebook page by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

5. Follow me in Twitter by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).

6. Twitter or Facebook about this give-away and leave a comment with a link to the post(s) (worth one entry per day. Must make a separate comment each day).

7. Blog about this give-away and leave three comments saying that you did (worth 3 entries).

8. Become a fan of Download N Go by clicking on the Download N Go Facebook button in the left hand column and leave two comments saying that you did (worth 2 entries).

The drawing will be Friday, August 27, so enter, tweet, facebook and blog quickly! Thanks.

As a member of the Download N Go review team I was given a free copy of Roller Coasters to use and review on my blog. They have also allowed me to give one free copy of Roller Coasters away to the winner of a drawing on my blog. No other compensation was given and this review is my honest opinion of this product.

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:20 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 20 August 2010 2:50 PM CDT
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