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Families Again
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Do You Pinterest?
Topic: General


A couple of months ago one of my online friends asked if I did Pinterest. I had no idea what they what they were talking about. Then I found out that a bunch of my online friends are really into Pinterest so I thought I would check it out more. It intrigued me at first. I thought it was a neat concept. For a little while I was "pinning" a lot of things. Then, to be quite honest, the luster wore off and I haven't pinned anything in weeks. Really, all I was doing anyway was just using it as a glorified "favorites" tab.

What am I missing? I know there must be more to it. I really do want to take advantage of it in the right way. How do you all use it? What can you do with it? Is it more than a glorified "favorites" tab? Please leave me a comment and let me know. I'd love to learn more.

Oh, and by the way, if any of you want to befriend me on Pinterest, my pinterest ID is - tink38570. I'd love to hear from you.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:49 PM CST
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Wednesday, 21 December 2011
The Best Christmas Video I've Seen in a Long Time!

I'd never seen this before, but apparently it has been around. I love it! Enjoy.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:22 PM CST
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Tuesday, 20 December 2011
The World's Greatest Stories
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


A couple of years ago we had the great pleasure of reviewing a book series where, when it came time for the books to be put on tape, the author read his own works. The fun thing about this children's book author was that he used a different voice for each character in his books. The results were hilarious and very entertaining. It made the book on tape a lot of fun to listen to.

Imagine how entertaining the Word of God - the Bible - would be if the reader used different accents and voices. If it were done half as well as the author I described above, then children would flock to it. Well, that's exactly what George W. Sarris and the folks at "The World's Greatest Stories" has done. George W. Sarris has taken the Bible and read it like a real storyteller. Here's an excerpt from the website of "The World's Greatest Stories":


I couldn't agree more with that description. The day that I received our copy of Volume 1 - The Prophets, we had Bible Club scheduled for that afternoon. I decided to scrap what I had planned and have the kids listen to the stories on the CD. They loved them! They didn't want to stop listening to them. Even the adults in attendance enjoyed them.  I had never heard something like this before and neither had they. I was hooked immediately.

The World's Greatest Stories is new, but George W. Sarris is not. He has been around for many years entertaining folks with his storytelling style of reading the Bible. And, that's exactly what he does. I may call it storytelling, but that's just the way that he reads the scripture - in a storytelling fashion. He is actually reading from the Bible, and paraphrasing or reading from a children's storybook. In fact, there are two versions of each volume available - a King James version and a NIV version. Actually, he isn't reading when he does the recordings at all. That's because he has memorized each passage so that he can concentrate on making it come alive. He has meditated and thought through each passage that he reads.


So far there are six volumes with more planned. We received volume one, but I'd like to order more. Here's what they have available right now:

Volume 1 - The Prophets

The Blazing Furnace

The Handwriting on the Wall

Daniel in the Lion's Den

Elijah & the Prophets of Baal

The Prophecy of Jonah

Volume 2 - The Life of Christ

The Real Story of Christmas

The Baptism & Temptation of Jesus

The Healing of the Blind Man

Things Jesus Said & Did

The Real Story of Easter

Volume 3 - Beginnings

In the Beginning

A Lame Man in Lystra

A Jailer in Philippi

The Story of Ruth

The Raising of Lazarus

Volume 4 - Joshua & Esther

The Battle of Jericho

The Book of Esther

Volume 5 - Joseph & His Brothers

Joseph & His Brothers

Volume 6 - Defeating Giants

David & Goliath

Namaan the Leper

Micaiah the Prophet & Jehoshaphat the King

The Sacrifice of Isaac

Gideon & His 300 Men

I'm not sure how long each of the CD's is, but I know ours was over an hour long. As mentioned before, each CD comes in either King James or NIV and you purchase them in either CD or audio tape. But, here's the best part. Each CD is only $7.95! You can find out more about The World's Greatest Stories read by George W. Sarris by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Also, other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed different versions and you can find out what thy had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of The World's Greatest Stories Volume 1 - The Prophets in order to use and give my honest review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 5:19 PM CST
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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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