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Friday, 11 December 2009
Tektoma - Boy Does God Have a Sense of Humor!
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now. I used to be one of those people who said "My kids will never do that!" or "I can't believe that they allow that to go on in their house." Of course, I said those things before I had children. And, you can probably guess what happened. You can be assured that with an asperger's syndrome child in my home that my kids frequently "do that" and many unusual things are allowed to go on in our house. I thought that I had learned my lesson and would never make a blanket statement like that again.

Well, open mouth, insert foot, a couple of months ago it happened again. I was asking my boys what things that they really wanted to learn in school this year. I wanted to know their interests so that I could adjust my homeschool teaching to their likes. After all, isn't that one of the things that makes homeschooling special? During our discussion John Allen divulged that he would love to learn how to program his own computer games. In my usual "I think I know it all but God is about to show me something" wisdom, I said "John Allen, that's something that you have to go to school a long time to learn how to do. Maybe we can look into taking a basic computer course at the local community college in a couple of years." When I was discussing this with a fellow Homeschool Crew member she said "Oh, my son has been programming his own computer games since he was 9 years old. What you need to look into is this...and this...". Well, I listened with half an ear but I was still skeptical.

Then, Lo and Behold, but what to my wandering eyes should appear, but an email addressed to the TOS Homeschool Crew from Tektoma. It seems that Tektoma was sending me a free three month subscription to their...you guessed it...game making tutorials so that I could review it and write about it on my blog! Boy does God have a sense of humor, and, boy do I need to keep my big, fat, mouth shut and just rely on God!

John Allen was thrilled when I told him what we were going to be reviewing and Tektoma has not dissapointed. You've seen the commercials featuring the guy offering a free tutorial CD for about any computer program. You know, the one who feels so sure that you will love it that you will buy more of his tutorial CD's for other things? Well, Tektoma is kind of like that. It runs on your computer and takes you step by step on how to build a video game.

Of course, when you get a powerpoint tutorial, you need to have the powerpoint progam to be able to use it. It wouldn't do you much good if you didn't. Well, that's the same way with Tektoma. You need to have some type of game making software so that the Tektoma game maker tutorial will help you. They work with Gamemaker, and had us download Gamemakers free game making software program before we began.

After you download the necessary items, the fun begins! Take a look at the great types of games that you can build. I like the way that Tektoma has different levels and tells you exactly what type of game that you will create and what it entails.



John Allen began with the "How to Make a Racing Game" tutorial because, being the kind sweet boy that he is, he wanted to make a car game for his brothers who love racing games (and, it helped that I threatened him to within an inch of his life if he didn't Wink). Anyway, after an initial period of getting used to the tutorial and how it works and after a few glitches that we had to work out (nothing major, just me being a non-techy type person) John Allen was on his way. Tektoma explains it so well, and the Gamemaker software was so easy to use, that he was soon well on his way to having a great Car Race game. All of the things were right there that he needed. He was able to place walls where he wanted, program the cars to do what they should, even put trees, bushes and other landscaping around his track to pretty it up! I would post the game right here, but, unfortunately, we have had a bout with the flu (twice Frown) so it isn't quite done yet. I will post it in the very near future.

I am amazed at the quality of work that he has done in such little time! This is fantastic. He now wants to create his own games and put them on a website that he built himself (using that other fantastic product that I reviewed earlier)! I can't wait for him to begin building more advanced games. While I'm not thrilled with many of the fantasy games that you can buy for game systems, perhaps he could build a Christian fantasy game. I've already talked to him about that. 

I'm also impressed with the safety of Tektoma. There is a forum where you can ask more advanced game makers questions, and there is a question and answer section on the main site. Everything that is sent in to one of these areas is completely moderated so that even a young child can use it and you don't have to worry about unsafe content.

Tektoma offers a free 14 day trial so that you can try it out. Afterward, it is only $14.95 a month or $140 a year. To get to their great website, just click here, or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. To find out what the other TOS Crew Members are saying, just click here. This is something that anyone would love, not just a homeschooler. Hey! It would make a great Christmas gift! Happy Homeschooling.


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Posted by tink38570 at 10:52 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 13 December 2009 10:20 PM CST
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Thursday, 10 December 2009
Meme Meme, Meme Meme, Please Forgive Meme, Meme!
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

No, I'm not practicing for a vocal concert. However, I do love to sing (I guess I've just revealed another of my secrets!).

What I am doing is asking for forgiveness for forgetting to announce this before today. I'm taking part in another Carnival, but, it is run much like a Meme. Now, you might be asking "What's the difference". Well, a Blog Carnival is usually run just once or twice a month. There is usually a host blog that you send your post's link to. They will then make up some cutsie little blog post to introduce all of the submissions for that month.

A Meme (pronounced just as it is written "me me") is much like a Carnival, but is usually every week. And, the host usually has something right on their blog called a Mr. Linky or a MckLinky to put your link on.

The new Carnival that I sent my post to is called "Works for Me Wednesday", and is run much like a Meme but they call themselves a Carnival. So, maybe there really isn't that much of a difference!

Anyway, the reason that I am apologizing (and the reason my mood says "irritated") is that I usually remember to put up the Carnival/Meme's button right away, but this time I forgot. Yesterday was the opening day, and I haven't put up a link to it until just now! So, here it is. Again, it's called "Works for Me Wednesday", and is on the "We Are THAT Family" blog. Please visit it. You can get to it by clicking here, or on any one of the hi-lighted links above.

Don't forget to check my post along with all of the rest of them. And, while your at it, vote for your favorite Meme Badge for the new Meme that I am beginning next week - Men's Monday Meme

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Posted by tink38570 at 3:07 PM CST
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Wednesday, 9 December 2009
The Crud - Part 2
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: General


Last night was not a good night! First, the wind was howling and it was raining cats and dogs. Joshua wandered into our bedroom and said "mommy can I sleep with you?" That left me out in the cold. Thankfully, John Allen wanted to watch TV, so I put him on the couch and went to his bed. I woke up from a sound sleep to hear John Allen calling to me. He had gotten sick in the middle of the night, and, you guessed right, he vomited all over - 3 times! Then Jacob woke up screaming! It was not a fun night. Right now I am dozing while typing this and fighting to stay awake to finish it. Tomorrow's another day. I have to be up at 5 to be able to be at a Bible study by 6. Then home again and Sarah leaves for a Bible Study. That, along with trying to get ready for our annual Holiday Meal this Satruday makes for a very busy week!

Thanks for all of the votes so far in the contest! Keep voting!

NOTE: Boy oh Boy, I must have been tired. I took a look at this just now (the next morning) and found a bunch of errors Surprised! I corrected most of them except for the status. Can you tell that I didn't know what crushed out meant Undecided? I thought it meant something like tired...LOL...Laughing! Oh well. I left it up there so that we all could have a good laugh! Anyway, John Allen is feeling much better and everyone seemed to have a better night last night.

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:28 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 10 December 2009 10:10 AM CST
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Tuesday, 8 December 2009
An Exciting Announcement!
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Men's Monday Meme
In my ever zealous attempt to make my blog more visible to others, I went looking for a meme that I could participate in weekly. A meme (sounds just like it's spelled - "me me") is a weekly post that someone puts on their blog. It usually has some type of theme like "Wordless Wednesday" where every week on Wednesday the blog author posts pictures that tell a story - no words needed. The author can then put a place at the bottom of their post where others can sign in and give a link to their own Wordless Wednesday post on their own blog.

Unfortunately, most of the meme's that I found were geared toward women. So, I decided to start Men's Monday Meme.

Here are the rules. Men's Monday Meme is going to take the form of a weekly question for men. It may be a fun question, a question about family, a spiritual question, really anything that pertains to a man. Either the man can answer it on their own blog, or perhaps as a guest on their wife's blog, or a wife can ask her husband the question and then blog about it herself. The only stipulation is that a woman must stay true to what her husband said (no cheating ladies Laughing).

The question will be posted every Monday and the men will have all week to think about it and post their own answer. Although it is called Men's Monday Meme, you can post your answer anytime during the week up and through the next Monday. I will post my answer the next Monday along with a new question for the next week. I know that folks are busy, and Monday's may not be the best day for them to post, so that's why I am letting them post anytime during the week.

All I ask is that you grab the Men's Monday Meme  badge and post it on your blog so that your readers can link back to the master list on my blog. I think this will be a win-win situation. I will gain more traffic on my blog from the folks you send my way, and then folks will see your blog linked on my page, and, hopefully, visit your page. Since this is a men's meme, which is unusual, we could both reach an entirely new audience that we haven't reached before!

Hmmm! I mentioned a Men's Monday Meme badge, but don't have a badge yet. Well, as a promotion for the first week, I'm letting you all pick the Men's Monday Meme badge! Below you will find six badges. All you have to do is look at the badges, pick one, then sign the MckLinky below. The number to to use is the one directly below the picture. Thanks for your help. I'll announce the winner next Monday along with the first question!







Note: Sorry for any inconvenience. I'll get this MckLinky thing sooner or later. It's a good think I do most of my blogging late at night when not many folks are on! It should be working correctly soon. Thanks for your patience.

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Posted by tink38570 at 2:10 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 9:54 AM CST
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Monday, 7 December 2009
Meet Mwende - What Do You Think She Wants For Christmas?
Mood:  happy

I talked to my friend Kees Boer today. Kees is the person who introduced me to Compassion International. He told me the story about a little girl from Bolivia who he was able to find a sponsor for. He told me that when this little girl found out that someone was going to sponsor her, she jumped up and down like a kangaroo because she was so happy. You see, the average family in La Paz, where this little girl and our Compassion child, Marcelo, live has a monthly income of $67. Now I know that the cost of living in Bolivia is less than in the US, but even at that rate, it is very hard for a family to live on. The parents often turn to alcoholism. Many fathers leave their families. Often a girl will become pregnant at the age of 13 or 14. They then have to leave school and try to find a job to support their new child. But, then, they must leave the child while they work 12-14 hour days to make very little. The child is then raised by the folks left behind in the slums where they live, and cycle begins all over again. When you help a child with Compassion International, you help to break that cycle. Your monthly support of $38 helps to provide them with a good food and clothing for the present and Bible teaching and a good education so that they can break the cycle that they are in. However, most importantly, your letters of encouragement and love will help to break the cycle of low self worth and low self esteem. It will show them that somebody loves them and thinks that they are worth something. It will show them that the love of God does exist.

This is Mwende Mumbe. She is from Kenya. Her birthday is July 2, 2000. Here is some information about Mwende:

  • Mwende lives with her mother. Her duties at home include carrying water. There are 6 children in the family. her mother is sometimes employed as a farmer.
  • As part of Compassion's ministry, Mwende participates in church activities. She is also in primary school where her performance is average. Hideandseek is her favorite activity.
  • Because of your sponsorship, Mwende will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
  • What more could you want for Christmas than to share the joy of sponsoring Mwende and know you are helping her learn and develop physically, mentally and spiritually?

What do I want for Christmas? I want to find a sponsor for Mwende. I can tell you by experience that sponsoring a child with Compassion International is one of the greatest joys that you could ever have. Just today John Allen wrote another letter to our child, Marcelo. Would you please pray about you possibly sponsoring Mwende?

It may seem strange that I put that my mood was happy at the top of this post. I'm happy, though, because I know that someone is going to sponsor Mwende and that she and her family will get the help that they need. If you are interested in sponsoring Mwende, please leave a comment below, or contact me through Facebook or Twitter. For more information on Compassion International, please press here. I have more information on Mwende that I would be more than thrilled to send to you. Sending the information does not obligate you to sponsor her, so if you are interested in more information, please ask. You can use it to pray that someone would sponsor her soon, or perhaps God is leading you to sponsor her. At any rate, would you please pray for a sponsor for Mwende soon? Thanks for your prayers. I will keep you updated!  

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:57 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 7 December 2009 10:45 PM CST
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