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Families Again
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
What I'm Reading (and am About to Read)!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

Yep, it's time for my monthly (or bi-monthly...or really whenever I get around to it) post on what the Tinkel family is reading right now! Actually, this time around, it's going to be mainly me (Tim) and one book that John Allen is reading.

Now, if you have read my previous "what I am reading" posts, you know that I am almost never reading just one book at a time. Well, this month is no different. In fact, I am reading several at a time, put several that I was reading to the side, and have several that are on my "to read right away list". Reason being this crazy book review group that I am working with.

Oh, okay, First Wild Card book tours aren't crazy, it's really just me that is crazy. I'm crazy because I've been signing up for too many books of late which makes my reading schedule quite hectic.

If you'll look over in my side Amazon widget, you'll see all of the books that are in my life right now. Some, like 1776, I have put to the side. Those you already know about so let me highlight the ones I am presently engaged in reading.

Iris: Trophy of Grace: I am really enjoying this book. It not only is a good read, but it has really gotten me to thinking about my ministry to children. I won't say too much about it right now, because I am reviewing this book for First Wild Card blog tours and I don't want to spoil the review. Nor do I want to say too much about what the book is about. All I can say is it's one of the best biographies I have read in a long time. I really think you would enjoy it.

Unshaken is another great book that I am reading right now. It's the story of Dan Wooley's survival of the Haitian earthquake last year. Dan was on assignment for Compassion International (is it any wonder why I like this book Laughing) and had just returned back to his hotel when the quake hit. It's one of those "hard to put down" books that I am really enjoying. It's hard to go back and forth from Iris (mentioned above) and Unshaken. They are both fantastic books!

The Young Carthaginian: I think I mentioned in my last "what are we reading" post that John Allen had just finished reading G. A. Henty's book - The Cat of Bubastus. Well, he liked it so much, we decided to begin to read Henty's books in a chronological fashion. Henty wrote historical novels and we found a list of his books in historical order. The Cat of Bubastus just happened to be the first one on the list and we are studying world history this year anyway, so I just had him read the next one in line - The Young Carthaginian. He is enjoying it as well. We're finding out that you really can't go wrong with a Henty novel.

None of the rest of the family is reading anything significant at this time - well, I guess Sarah probably is but I can't keep up with her. Joshua is using a reading curriculum right now from a company that we are reviewing with the TOS Homeschool Crew. Look for that interview coming up in a few weeks.

In the meantime, check out all of the books in my Amazon side panel. Those are all of the books we are currently reading or about to read. Be advised, though, that, just as yesterday with Swagbucks, I am an Amazon affiliate and if you click on one of the books and end up buying it I will get a percentage of the sale.

So, what have you been reading lately. Leave me a comment and let me know. Happy Reading!

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:38 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 February 2011 9:14 PM CST
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Monday, 7 February 2011
Have You Forgotten About Swagbucks?!?
Mood:  happy
Topic: Affiliates

Search & Win

Have you forgotten about Swagbucks? Well, I haven't. You remember what they are don't you? You go to the Swagbucks website or, even better, you download the Swagbucks toolbar and do all of your searches using their search engine. Then, you win Swagbucks! Yep, just for searching! Oh, there are other ways to earn them. You can take part in surveys, search for secret codes, or do a host of other things, but the best way is just to search using their toolbar. That's basically all I do. Then you can turn in your "bucks" for almost anything. There are literally 100's of prizes. Almost anything you can think of. I turn mine in for Amazon gift cards and I have purchased gobs and gobs of books this past year from Amazon. And, I get them all for free! Just because I searched the internet using the Swagbucks search engine. Want to get in on the act? Just click on the above banner and it will take you to the Swagbucks website. In the interest of fairness, though, if you sign up for Swagbucks after clicking on the banner, I will get the credit for telling you about it and get extra "bucks". If you would like to go and sign up without me getting the credit Cry you can click on this link - www.swagbucks.com - and it will take you to the same page as the banner but without my affiliate code attached. Whatever you do, though, go to the website and sign up. You won't regret it!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:58 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 February 2011 12:00 AM CST
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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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