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Families Again
Monday, 19 December 2011
Finally the True Story!
Topic: General

No more teasers. Yes, of course, that was me in thase ridiculous platform boots. Why was I wearing them? Well, this is little known fact number "who knows what"...

I enjoy acting!

We have a fantastic drama committee in a local church, First Baptist of Livingston, that, thankfully, allow folks that don't necessarily go to their church to participate.We used to go to this church years ago, and still love the people. We are still friends with the pastor and many, many folks that attend there. But, because of various reasons, the Lord brought us to another church. Anyway, I digress.

The drama team for First Baptist graciously still invites me to join them in some of their major productions. This is our fourth of fifth time doing "A Christmas Carol" and I revised my dual role of "The Ghost of Christmas Past" and, later, "The Undertaker". The folks who direct and put on this program are fabulously talented and the setting on the stage are first rate. The stage has three smaller revolving stages on it. Each side of the stage has a different scene. My oldest, John Allen, was a stage hand this year and helped revolve the stages between scenes and acts.

These pictures are from our final dress rehearsal. Yes the tall white gowned person is me. The only thing missing is my makeup. Sorry, I can't reveal everything. You'd have to come to one of our productions to see me in full gear! Enjoy the slide show!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:27 PM CST
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Sunday, 18 December 2011
Vintage Remedies - Get Back to A Healthier Lifestyle!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


I remember growing up on a small farm when I was a boy. It was my grandfathers farm. We had moved back to the house that my grandfather owned - the house that my mother was born in, when I was in second grade because Grandpa was getting older and needed someone to take care of him. At various times, during the ten years that we lived there, we had cows, goats and pigs, but we always had a pony or two and we always had chickens. We also always had a very large garden. Every summer I would be down in the fields working with Grandpa. Grandpa would hitch up the pony to the old fashion plow that he had and we would plow the fields that way. We would grow hay for the ponies and all sorts of good things to eat. We grew green beans, corn, potatoes, rhubarb, mint, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelon...you name it, if it grew in central Pennsylvania, it was in our garden. Grandpa even financed a strawberry business in order for me to make a little money during the summers. Harvest season was always an adventure. We would sit out in the yard and snap beans. Dad was always busy cutting thing up with the electric knife. Mom was busy freezing and canning the vegetables. The rest of us stayed busy picking the crops and bringing in the hay. It was a busy time, and hard work. I didn't appreciate it until much older. Grandpa was very old fashioned and could be pretty stern and rough at times. He was, however, very loving as well. 


It was also a very healthy lifestyle. We had fresh eggs and vegetables either straight from the garden or preserved using old fashioned methods with no chemicals and artificial preservatives. We would often have meat from grass fed or natural fed cows, pigs or chickens. We didn't go out to eat much, because there were no places to go out to eat in the small town where we lived. We didn't have as many processed foods because there weren't as many on the market.

When unhealthy foods finally did make their way on to store shelves, the research wasn't there to tell us these things were bad.  Pre-packaged ready to eat foods; microwaves; things that lasted longer on the shelves - they were all great! Weren't modern things wonderful? Weren't we making leaps and bounds in the world of science and food preparation? It was truly the best time of our lives!

It wasn't until years later that we realized that things weren't as great as we thought they were. Oh, many of the advances in technology were awesome and great, but many of the things that we thought were fantastic really weren't good at all. Not for us, and not for mankind!

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no green earth fanatic who thinks we should limit the population so that we can save the world or something as equally extreme, but, I do believe that God gave us our bodies and our planet, and we shouldn't be flippant about the things that we put into our bodies or into our environment. But, is it too late? After all, a whole generation or two has grown up with this unhealthy living. Have the old, healthier ways, been forgotten? Can we relearn them? Can we blend the old, healthier things with the good technological advances that have occurred these past four or five decades?

I think we can, and so does Jessie Hawkins and the folks at Vintage Remedies. Vintage Remedies began in 2005. Here is what the Vintage Remedies says about their beginning:

In the summer of 2005, Vintage Remedies was established to be the part hobby / part occasional job of founder Jessie Hawkins. She would offer her consulting services for local families and professionals that needed to learn more about healthy and natural lifestyles.

The website goes on to say that her consulting work quickly grew into a part time online school to teach more individuals about healthy living and then, even more quickly, turned into a full time business. Since then, over 500 individuals have gone through her courses and she has begun writing books for all ages.


Recently I received the book Vintage Remedies for Guys a healthy living workbook for boys ages 7-13. This neat workbook can be used informally in your home, or, more formally as a one or two year homeschool course. This great book has 18 chapters that are divided into three sections. Section One: Food, Nutrition and Culinary Skills covers such things as Healthy Drinks, Snacktime and Growing Your Own Food. Section Two: Health and Body talks about Healthy and Clean Bodies, Immunity and Prevention, Coughs and Colds, and Summertime Fun among other things. Finally, Section Three: Natural Living covers things such as Hospitality, Cleaner Cleaning and A Natural Home.

Joshua, our 11 year old asperger's son and I have been slowly going through Vintage Remedies for Guys and have so far covered the first two chapters, "Real Food", and "Kitchen Basics". We have loved the easy conversational style of the writing and have learned so much. Joshua has learned the history of real foods and processed foods and has learned how to identify real foods. He has begun to learn how to cook with real foods. Already we have made homemade pizza and baked bread together and we are going to learn how to make cheese (YES, I said cheese) and homemade yogurt soon! All using natural ingredients! Of course, all of these new things that we are trying require parental involvement. That's why I'm saying "we", but I am learning just as much as Joshua and having just as much fun.

It really is fun to learn about living a healthy lifestyle, and this book is fun to learn with. Each approximately ten page chapter begins with a conversational style four or five page explanation of the topic. Some chapters then have a fun one page "tips" section such as "Tips in the Kitchen" or "Tips for a Great Appearance". Then the really fun part begins - the projects. I've listed some of the recipes that we have been trying out (or will be) in the above paragraph, but not all of the projects are food recipes. Some aren't even recipes at all. In future chapters we'll be learning how to make our own natural deodorant and natural cleaning spray but we'll also be going on a "field trip" to our farmer's market and learning how to make "Green Gifts". Finally, each chapter ends with a section for parents who might be using this book for homeschooling or for leaders of a group that might be working through this book together. The appendix of Vintage Remedies for Guys also includes Chapter Quizzes, a section for family, homeschool and group scheduling, and a section that talks about further learning.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book so far. I've been slowly striving to get back to a healthier lifestyle for a long time, and this book has helped me to accomplish that as well as teach my children how to start when they are young. It has also provided some great discussion times on how folks used to live and to talk about how I used to live. Now, mind you, I'm a little older than the average parent of young children, but you could always use this to open up conversations with grandparents, older neighbors or older folks from your church. The Vintage Remedies website lists this book for $45.00. Just click here or on any of the hi-lighted links above. They also have a Vintage Remedies for Gals and a Vintage Remedies for Kids book that others on the TOS Homeschool Crew have reviewed. You can find their reviews by clicking here. Vintage Remedies sells so much more than homeschool curriculum, though. They have book and courses on all aspects of healthy living. And, they are just a plain old great company to work with and buy from. Check them out today. Happy Homeschooling and Happy Healthy Living!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free copy of "Vintage Remedies for Guys" in order to try out and give my honest review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:11 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 19 December 2011 12:00 AM CST
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Thursday, 15 December 2011
Who is this man?
Topic: General

Why is he wearing those ridiculous platform boots? Where is he? What is he doing? Tune in tomorrow for the answer to all of those questions and more!


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Posted by tink38570 at 11:32 PM CST
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Fractazmic is Fantastic!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Last year, we...err...I mean the father and his son...had great fun reviewing Pyramath. If you recall, Pyramath was a great game, made by "I See Cards" that helped you learn your math facts in a very entertaining way. Well, this year some of the TOS Crew Members were given another set of cards by "I See Cards", but it wasn't Pyramath...it was Fractazmic.

Like Pyramath, Fractazmic is another "I See Card" addictive game to help you learn basic math. This time it's fractions that you are learning.

The object of the game is to create as many hands as you can by combining different fractions of the same color to add up to one. There are three colors - suits- of cards. The sixteenth suit is red and contains the cards 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2. The blue suit is the twelfths suit and has 1/12, 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, 5/12, and 1/2. Finally, the green suit, i the tenth suit and 1/10, 1/5, 3/10, 2/5 and 1/2.  You are dealt seven cards and you continue to pick up and discard until you can put down enough cards of one color to add up to one! Beware of picking up from the discard pile, because if you do, you have to use that card right away to form a hand (group of cards that add up to one). The rules are even lenient enough to say that you can pick up a card way down in the discard pile if you find that you need it. BUT...if you do you have to pick up all of the cards on top of it as well.

Here's another way to play Fractazmic. This version is called "Trap", but it will give you an idea of what the game is all about.

It sounds like fun, and it is! Imagine the things about fractions that your child will learn while having a blast!

With Fractazmic you learn fraction equivalents:

How many fourths are in a sixteenth?

How many thirds are in twelfth?

What is two fifths if I convert it into tenths?

You also learn to add fractions:

Does 1/2, 7/16 and 1/16 add up to one?

What about 1/2, 2/5 and 3/10?

Or, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/2?

And, the really neat Fractazmic cards make it easier for the kids. Take a look at the picture below and you'll see why.


Do you see how the blue cards had eggs in an dozen egg carton since the blue cards deal with twelfths? The green cards have a water bottle measured out in tenths, and the red card has a ruler that has the usual sixteenth lines on them. Those are visual cues for younger children to look at if needed.

Can you imagine the things in life that this will apply to? Do you remember using some of these skills while baking or building? What if you've lost your 1/2 cup measure, but you have your 1/3? Could you still bake? Do I have enough 6 1/4 inch tiles to cover a 6 x 6 foot space?

Since my two young ones aren't in to fractions yet, I played Fractazmic with John Allen. Even though he is in ninth grade, now, he still has a difficult time converting fractions in his head. This game was excellent for him. I'm going to teach Joshua how to play next. I think if I teach him the "hints" and perhaps play the game a little differently he will really enjoy it. There are a ton of different versions to this game, along with some other ideas for learning fractions on the Fractazmic website and in the free downloadable materials that are available there.

Oh, and do you remember the addictive online version of Pyramath that I played and played and played? You know, the one where you could win a free deck of Pyramath cards? Well, I See Cards has an online version of Fractazmic as well. It's not played quite the same way as the regular version, but you'll get the idea of the game. Just click here - but be warned, it IS addictive!

But, never fear! If you don't win a free deck from the online game, the decks are very inexpensive. They are just $6.95 per deck! That's cheaper than most learning games. Just click here or on any one of the Fractazmic hi-lighted links above to get to the Fractazmic website. You can also check out links to some of the other great I See Card games by clicking here. And, as usual, some of the other TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed Fractazmic as well, and, I hear, came up with some interesting ways to use the cards to teach their children all about fractions. Just click here to get to their reviews. Happy Homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free deck of Fractazmic cards in order to use and give my honest review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:34 PM CST
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Wednesday, 14 December 2011
On the 6th Day of Christmas...
Topic: Ministry

...my true love gave to me:

Six Turkeys Cooking (Only 12 more to go!)

Five People Cleaning (Three were Tinkel kids and they actually did a good job!)

Four Trips to Hardware (For parts for the broken furnace - See below.)

Three Cats a Eating (Only one was ours and they were eating the bones from the cooked turkeys.)

Two Tired Tinkels (Both over the age of 30.)

And a broken furnace in the basement! (Thanks Harley - a good friend of ours - for working on it and putting up with one very unhandymanish person helping.)

Yep, this was my day to day. Can I add in play practice, passing out flyers, deboning turkeys, decorating, and, and, and, to the list? The next two days aren't looking much better! Please pray that everything will come together for the big meal this Saturday. We already have about 150 take-out plates to shut-ins and the elderly that we are delivering meals to and we aren't finished!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:32 PM CST
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