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Families Again
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Something Exciting is About to Happen!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: General

Something exciting is about to happen! I can't tell you what it is yet, but it has something to do with what is below. I'll announce more in the coming weeks! 

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2011 7:50 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 11 October 2011
This is Fun!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

It's a breath mint!

It's a candy mint!

It's a breath mint!

It's a candy mint!

It's two...two...two mints in one!

Do you remember those old Certs commercials? I'd post one, but I'm afraid that it would age me Surprised! Besides, this post isn't about Certs, but it's about something that really is two things in one!

How about this new commercial:

I just saw that commercial on television. Weren't the actors fantastic?!? Surprised


Actually we really enjoyed making that video, but we have enjoyed playing with the Scruble Cube even more.

And, what we said in the video really is true. It's fun, challenging, and actually can be used in homeschool. The Scruble Cube website, which you can access by clicking here, has lesson plans for using the Scruble Cube for language, math...even science!

Scruble Cube retails for $24.95 and is available at many popular retail stores. Or, you can buy it online at www.scrublecube.com.

As usual, many of the other reviewers on the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed Scruble Cube and you can find their reviews by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free Scruble Cube to use with my family and give my honest review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:41 PM CDT
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Thursday, 6 October 2011
HELP! My laptop's been taken over...
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Family
...by little heathens called children. Strangely they look amazingly like my boys! These onery beings are using it for everything from playing games to homeschooling. At this very moment I am.typing on my tablet. Hopefully soon I can reconfiscate my ACER and post something worthwhile.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:35 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011
This is Really Cool Dad!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

Aletheia Logo - Oval border  

Now, I don't know about you, but when one of my kids says something like "This is really cool" to me, I stand up and take notice.

Especially if it is something educational!

ESPECIALLY if it is my teenage son saying this about something educational!

That's what my teen son, John Allen, said about Aletheia Writing Magazine, a new quarterly Christian magazine that features the artwork and writing of teenagers. Aletheia (pronounced - Ah-LAY-thei-uh) is so new that it has only published three editions so far. Some members of the TOS Homeschool Crew received the fall edition and we were also given the code to read the summer edition online as well. Also, the premier, spring edition is available for all to sample on the Aletheia website. So, we got to look at all three!

I must say that I am very impressed with this magazine. Each copy is chock full of poems, short stories, artwork, photography and even book reviews - John Allen really liked the book reviews! All written by teen-agers. I really like the fact that Aletheia is a magazine where a Christian teen can write about their beliefs.

Don't get me wrong, however. Writings sent in by contributors don't have to be syrupy Christian writing. In fact, the publishers don't want sentimentalism, apologetics or preachiness in the things that they publish. But, stories and poems sent in have to "convey a message of hope".; After all, they say, "This is what differentiates Christians from the rest of the world- they have hope."

And, that is exactly what I saw. Messages of hope that were done very well. This is no classroom newspaper where everyone has something published whether it's good or not. Everything about this magazine is well done - from the poems to the photography to the pictures done for the stories to the stories themselves. And, as I said, it's all done by teens.

Pictures and stories...that may make someones heart beat a little quickly. It would mine. After all, if I had to have pictures for stories I'd be doomed. I can't draw and I don't know anyone that has the time to illustrate a story for me. Well, with Aletheia, you don't have to be a  good illustrator to submit a story, and you don't have to have a story to submit drawings. They will match up good drawings that have been sent in with submitted stories and poems. If you're the type of artist that they think would match up well with a story, they may even contact you to completely illustrate that story!

And, don't forget the photography. They have two categories for budding picture takers. They have a fun contest called "Photo Write". A black and white photograph is printed (taken by a teen of course) and readers are challenged to write a poem about the picture. There is also a ""Glory to God for the Beauty of Nature", feature where you can submit a colored photograph.

Has your teen read good book lately? Why don't they write a book review and send it in? Who knows? Their review may be published. That was one of John Allen's favorite parts. Remember, I mentioned a few months ago that he was asked to be a teen book reviewer for a company? Well, that hasn't come to fruition yet because of his computer problems. But, the book review section in Aletheia has inspired him once again. He's going to send in a book review. I'll let you know what happens.

Aletheia Spring 2011 Magazine Cover 

Here's a few other things that John Allen said about this great magazine:

  • "The artwork is amazing."
  • "The poetry is really cool."
  • "I like that it is a Christian based magazine where kids can send there stories, art and poetry and actually have it published."

If you want to know more about how to submit something to Aletheia, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Don't think that you have to be a creative writer, artist or photographer to enjoy this, though. It's one of those magazine that is just plain fun to read. And, although it is published for teens and everything in it is done by teens (have I mentioned that before?), adults would enjoy it as well. Aletheia is very reasonably priced at $26 a year (prices include shipping and handling). Let me know if any of your kids are published and wish them "Happy Writing" for me!

As usual, a bunch of the TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed this product and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent two free copies (one physical and one online) of Aletheia magazine to use with my teen and give my honest review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 3:42 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2011 9:44 PM CDT
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Monday, 26 September 2011
He Escaped and Sarah Cried
Mood:  happy
Topic: Ministry


We had a surprise visit the other day.

Sarah and I were standing outside of the mission and "R" pulled up in his truck. "R" is young man who used to come to our Bible club years ago.

He seemed excited to see us. We hadn't seen him in quite some time so we were thrilled to see him as well. 

He said that he had come to visit his mom and decided to stop by to see us as well. We warmly greeted him and asked what he had been doing lately. He answered that he was living in Algood with some friends. Algood is a town about 15 min. away from us.

He was now working at McDonalds and had saved up enough money to buy this truck. It wasn't anything fancy. Just an old red truck. But "R" was proud of it. It was his!

After a few more minutes of conversation "R" said that he had to go and pulled away.

Sarah and I both looked at each other. We were speechless, but we both knew what the other was thinking.


He had escaped the projects!

So many times we find that living in a low income housing area is generational. Generation after generation kids grow up there and then end up living there themselves. That's all they've known. They don't know any better. They don't know that there is a world out there that is different than the world they live in. They see the struggles that their parents (or parent, or grandparent(s), or aunt and uncle) go through and they think that life is hopeless. They are destined to live there as well.

Sarah and I have always tried to teach them that, with God's help, they can escape. God has a wondrous, special plan for each one of them. Perhaps God wants them to be a minister or missionary. Maybe God wants them to be successful business men and women and use their money and influence to tell others about Him. Could some of them be future doctors or nurses? Or, maybe a teacher? If they obey God's calling, God can use them to do mighty things.

Sarah tries to teach the mothers and grandmothers that things don't have to be the same way for their children that it was for them.

It's hard to break the mold. It's difficult to break out of generational curse that has been on their family for years. But, with God's help, they can break free!

Later that day, as I was driving through the projects, I saw "R's" mother and sister sitting on their front porch. I stopped to talk for a minute. I mentioned that "R" had stopped by to see us. She told us that there were two reasons for his visit that day. One, to see her...and two, to stop by and see us.

When I got home I told Sarah what "R's" mom had said. Again, we were silent. Then tears began to stream down Sarah's face.

With God's help "R" had escaped!

And Sarah cried.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:41 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, 26 September 2011 12:18 PM CDT
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