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Families Again
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

To the Green Bay Packers. I was kind of for the Steelers because I used to live just a few hours away from there, but I congratulate the Packers for a well played game and for being the new Super Bowl champs!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:55 PM CST
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Saturday, 5 February 2011
Attention my northeastern friends...Have I got a deal...No Two...NO THREE deals for you!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Giveaways!


One of the big things that I can remember from my days of teaching school are all of the fundraiser activities that we had. One of the things that was really becoming popular when I stopped teaching was "Box Tops for Education". What you do is collect "Box Tops for Education" labels from General Mills products and turn them in to the school of your choice. They, in turn, can turn them in to General Mills for cool things for their school. I even hear some homeschool groups are doing it now!

Well, now the popular northern food chain "Shop-Rite" is getting into the act. I'm sorry my southern friends, but there are not Shop-Rite food stores down south but they are popular in the North Eastern parts of the United States. We know about Shop-Rite because that's where my sister shops in New Jersey. For the next several months, Shop-Rite has a deal going on with Box Tops for Education. Instead of trying to reexplain it to you all, here's what the "MyBlogSpark" folks sent to me about this wonderful opportunity.

Now through September 30, 2011 visit ShopRiteShopOnceGiveTwice.com to register your ShopRite Price Plus Card. Check back each month for participating products and great savings. When you purchase any 5 participating products on or before the end of the month using your ShopRite Price Plus Card, let the giving begin. With a qualifying purchase of 5 participating products you earn 5 Bonus Box Tops to be electronically added to your school, and $0.55 will be donated to the ShopRite Partners in Caring Fund. A few of the great items for February include some of your favorite products like, Cheerios, Wheaties, Nature´s Valley Granola Bars, Fiber One Bars, and Fruit by the Foot.

And if that´s not enough, be sure to enter the ShopRite "Shop Once. Give Twice." Sweepstakes* by filling out the form on
ShopRiteShopOnceGiveTwice.com for your chance to win one of 10 Grand Prizes of 5,000 Bonus Box Tops for the school of your choice!

*No purchase necessary for the Sweepstakes 

Isn't this really neat! You can help your local school or homeschool group while saving on great products for yourself. AND - you can enter a sweepstakes to boot. Remember, there is no purchase necessary for the sweepstakes.

Okay, that was two things. You may be wondering about the third thing. Well, for participating in this MyBlogSpark promotion, I have been given a $25 ShopRite gift card that we plan on using the next time we go to New Jersey. AND...I've been given permission to give another $25 ShopRite gift card to one of my readers! Here are the rules for the giveaway:

1. Leave a comment saying which of your favorite General Mills´ products are you excited to see featured in the "Shop Once. Give Twice." program at ShopRite (worth one entry).

2. Leave a comment telling in what ways does your family enjoy giving back to your local schools or homeschool group? (worth one entry).

3. 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).

4. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the Networked blog button or the Google friend requests in the left column and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth two total entries - one entry for each).

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

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

7. Twitter 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).

8. Blog about this give-away and leave three comments with a link to the post (worth 3 entries).

I'll be drawing for the winner sometime on February 15 - what a great day after Valentine's Day Gift. So you will have 10 days to enter, blog, follow, etc. Who knows, you may be the winner!

General Mills and ShopRite gave me one gift card to keep and one to giveaway as part of the MyBlogSpark program and my review of the ShopRite "Shop Once. Give Twice." offers.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:17 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 5 February 2011 11:22 PM CST
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Friday, 4 February 2011
Ever Dream of Being an Archaeologist?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review




I remember a friend of mine from my Florida Disney days. She was the neatest lady. She had one child, a daughter, and would make a homeschooler proud. Only she didn't homeschool! But she would do the neatest things with her daughter. One time she told me about a trip that they had made to an archeology site. You could actually go there and learn how to be an archaeologist. You could even dig! AND, it was in Florida. I had never heard of such a thing. I always dreamed of someday taking my children to such a place, but, alas, we moved to Tennessee and, as far as I know, there are no archeology sites close to us.

So my dreams of taking my kids on a dig had to be put on hold...until Roman Town came along! Roman Town, created by Dig It!, is a really cool game. After you apply and are accepted as a new archaeologist you are sent to an archaeological dig near the city of Pompeii in Italy. There you are welcomed by the professor who puts you right to work supervising a team of diggers. Do you give them one of the hand pics so that the work goes quickly but risk missing small pieces of artifacts or do you hand them a trowel, a tool more likely to find small pieces but is also very slow moving? After you have passed out the tools the work begins. When a worker finds something, he stops to allow you to do the fine work of actually digging up the artifact. Be careful! If you don't get there fast enough, the opportunity may pass and you'll lose out.

Once you dig up the artifact, the professor, along with the help of two mischievous Roman children who have miraculously survived thousands of years, will help you identify what you have found and tell you what it was used for. After all of your workers have found all there is to be found, you are sent to sort your finds. Are they pieces of pottery? Glass? Metal? Mosaic? You have to decide and put them where they go.

Then you are off to the Lab to analyze all of the artifacts. How do these artifacts compare to items of today? Have you recovered enough pieces to reconstruct the item? Do you know how to use it? Where in the room did it go? You will find out all of these things and more. You'll even find out how to play an ancient Roman game! Learn all you can about your finds - do the matching activities and word finds - because when you are done, you will be asked to complete a fill in the blank report telling how much you have learned. Then, your off to excavate another room that holds more fascinating artifacts and gives you a lot more fascinating activities to do.

The following video gives you a great idea of what Roman Town is like.


Roman Town is really a great game. John Allen and Joshua both enjoyed it, and I even loved playing it. Learning is a lot more fun when you are having...well...fun! The creator of this game is Suzi Wilczynski an actual archaeologist. She has done a fantastic job of making it realistic and mind challenging, but also very enjoyable. It is geared toward children in 5th - 8th grades, but, as I said, my second grade asperger's syndrome child loved it and his old geezer father did as well! So, as the company says, kids from 8-88 years old enjoy playing it.

Roman Town usually sells for $39.95 and comes in CD form from the company. The system requirements are as follows:

System Requirements
• Windows Vista/XP/2000
• CPU 800 Mhz; RAM 412MB; Hard Drive 350MB

You can find out more about this great company by clicking here or on any one of the links above. BUT WAIT! That's not all! From now until February 21, 2011, if you use the coupon code TOS2011 you will get a great discounted price of only $19.96! That's half of the regular price! I'm here to tell you that this game is well worth it. Also available to buy is a downloadable Educator's Manuel for you home educators that may want to expand Roman Town into a whole unit of study. The cost for the Educator's Manuel is just $19.95.

As always, a whole group of TOS Homeschool Crew members evaluated this product and you can find their reviews by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free download of this product (sold as a physical product not a download) in order to try out and review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 7:00 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2011 11:43 PM CST
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Thursday, 3 February 2011
Sarah Was Gone Again Today
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Ministry

Sarah was gone again today. She's been gone a lot lately. Let's recount the past week or so.

Last Thursday she rearranged the boy's therapies so  that she could take one of her ladies, "G", to the courthouse in the next county to see her daughter in court. It seems that G's daughter had violated her probation and G went to see if she could do anything to help. G, by the way, is 67, has outlived two husbands, and is one of the hardest workers that I know. You can regularly see her at 4am walking the streets in the project (low income housing area) and picking up the trash. Yes I said 4am! Then, during the day, she volunteers her time to help the maintenance men clean and fix up the apartments after someone has moved out. G offered to pay for lunch, but Sarah wouldn't take her money. Instead, Sarah treated.

Sunday, of course, is Mission day. Sarah is over at the mission early to spiff up and begin the meal that she is going to serve the folks who come that day. She has her computer with her so that she can study her lesson that day. She spends time greeting the people as they come - sometimes a half hour early just to talk. She is still smiling and greeting as I run with the van picking up folks that need a ride. After the meal, I take the kids and Sarah teaches the ladies. She  loses track of time and ends up being late to help with the youth at our church. That evening she tells me that she doesn't even know what she said. It just seems like the Holy Spirit took over.

Tuesday afternoon she's out with some of her ladies again. Helping them run errands and doing some shopping for the mission. That afternoon we have Bible Club and, of course, another meal. Sarah is once again in the kitchen cooking. Bible Club went great, and so did the meal.

Yesterday she mentioned that she loved her ladies but was glad nothing was planned for the day. This morning she gets up and she and the boys attend the Thursday morning Bible study that they have been going to for the past few years. It has a fantastic homeschool group that the boys love. When she finally gets home and props her feet up she gets a phone call. I hear her say "Give me about 40 minutes and I'll be there." It seems that another one of her ladies, "L", was in tears. She had taken out a loan and, when she went to pay on it, the people wouldn't take her payment. Sarah went with her to the loan office to find out what was going on. She was able to explain to L and they got everything taken care of.

Tomorrow, after she takes the kids to therapy in the morning, she's taking "A" into Cookeville. A doesn't have a car and her daughter has a birthday coming up so she's taking her shopping.

So, Sarah will be gone again tomorrow. She's been gone a lot lately. Thank you, Lord, for my wife, Sarah.

Sarah and John Allen at a recent youth event.


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:14 PM CST
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Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Well, I wasn't going to say anything but...
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

We did it again! We've taken on another correspondence child from Compassion International. If you remember, Compassion has many companies (or even individuals) that give quantities of money to sponsor a child or many children but can't are aren't willing to write to that child. Writing to the child is a big part of Compassion's ministry, so, Compassion began the correspondence program. That's when another sponsor can sign up to write to a child that doesn't have anyone that writes to them. You then become that child's correspondence sponsor. We sponsor one child through Compassion - Marcelo from Bolivia and have four other boys that we correspond with - Feyber from Colombia, Somi from Indonesia, Emmanuel from Tanzania and Ismael from Nicaragua.

Well, John Allen and I had a great idea for a Christmas gift for Sarah. We requested another correspondence child and, you probably can guess from the font color, this time it's a girl. We thought that perhaps a girl would make Sarah a little more interested in Compassion. Up until now she has listened to the letters and prays for the kids, but the writing has always been mine and the boys thing. Well, she's promised to write to whomever Compassion sends to us. We didn't get her for Christmas, but received word the other day that Niyonsenga "Yvone" from Rwanda is our new daughter!

Sarah was particularly excited that she goes by Yvone because Yvonne (two n's) is a family name. Both her mother's and sister's middle names are Yvonne and I think it goes back even further than that. Anyway, here's our new Yvone's picture and information. She is 13 years old and her birthday is June 20. Please pray with us as we write and try to disciple Yvone. Her father is dead and, although it seems her mother is alive, she lives with her grandmother. Thanks for all of your prayers for Yvone and our other Compassion children. If you want to know more about the Compassion program please click here. You  won't regret it!

Niyonsenga Yvone




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Posted by tink38570 at 10:48 PM CST
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