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Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Lesson Planet - This is a Poor Sad Story
Mood:  blue
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

Let me tell you a story...a poor sad story. 

There was once a poor homeschool parent whose son was studying United States History. This son loved to read. He read almost everything that he could get his hands on...when he wasn't playing his video games of course. This wise parent thought that, since his son liked to read, he should try to use curriculum that involved interesting books. He found a fantastic history curriculum that did involve reading good novels and doing some unit studies. But...alas...this parent couldn't buy all of the materials for the poor pitiful son that so needed them.

"Not to worry," the father said to himself. "I can make my own unit studies to fill in the gaps. They can't be that hard to put together."

But oh how mistaken he was. Try as he did, he could not find anything but bits and pieces of unit studies to use with his knowledge yearning child. He found what he could and presented it to the boy. The poor child dove in to what his father gave him, but, like a hungry urchin that is only given a few tasty morsels to eat, he longed for more. Alas, the father could find no more, nor could he afford to buy the expensive food for thought that was recommended. The child would just have to wait and make do with what he had.

Then one day, along came a stranger. This stranger was no ordinary stranger. Her name was Brenda. It was her job to assign new and exciting homeschool items to a group called the "TOS Homeschool Crew". She reminded this poor father and his son that they indeed were part of this TOS team and should cheer up for help was on its way. She then proceeded to hand them a package. It looked just like an ordinary package on the outside, but to this poor homeschool father and his son, it was like holding a package of gold. For inside the wrapper was a piece of paper. On this paper were two words, both of six letters. The two words were "Lesson Planet". With a quizzical look on his face, the father looked up to ask Brenda what these peculiar words meant. But, she was gone. Gone like the wind to help another struggling homeschool family. 

But what was the father to do with these words? How could they help in his dilemma? After much thinking his highly intelligent son suggested Googling the words on their computer. Soon he typed in the twelve letters and clicked on the first entry that came up. When he did, the most amazing thing happened. It was as if this poor man and his lad had lived their life in black and white and everything was transfigured into a colorful new world.

It wasn't their physical world that had been transformed, however, it was their homeschool world. You see, Lesson Planet is a lesson plan site, that had lesson plans for everything! Quickly the father typed in Canada. Canada was one of those pitiful unit studies that the diligent father tried but failed to put together for his son. Immediately after typing the words, 5976 lesson plans came into view, along with 425 worksheets and 90 websites about Canada. And the lesson plans were diverse! They had studies for all grades and all levels. They had lesson plans for Canada in general or for specific things regarding Canada. There were plans for Canadian geography, history and social studies. There were worksheets for famous people or national parks of Canada. They even had things that talked about the agriculture, forestry or farming in that great country that is to our north. The man was amazed, and soon his son became excited as well. Next they looked up World War One and World War Two and got similar results. A search of South America was just as fruitful. And it was all organized so nicely.

They searched and they looked and they dreamed all day. His father had never seen such joy and excitement in his son. Until, suddenly, the father noted that his boy was silent. As he glanced around he noticed tears trickling down the lads face. "But Father," the poor boy said softly "how much does all of this cost? We surely could not sell nearly enough eggs at the market to afford such luxury." Sadly the father nodded his head, clicked off the computer and they slowly went off to bed. They never expected to see the wonders of Lesson Planet again.

That night, however, the father had a dream. He tossed and turned in bed and kept hearing voices. They were the soft voices of Brenda and her kind boss Heidi. They kept saying "Check the price! Check the price!" Finally the father could stand it no longer. He quietly got up, went to the computer and clicked it on. He typed in the name of the wondrous Lesson Planet website and fearfully clicked on the pricing information. For a moment he couldn't fathom what was staring him in the face. He adjusted his bifocals to make sure that he was seeing it correctly. But, no, he wasn't incorrect! It was true! The price was only $39.95 a year! "Why," the father thought "that is well within our meager homeschool budget!"

Suddenly the father heard a sound behind him. It was his son. "Father?" the boy asked with a concerned look. Quickly the father got up and embraced his son. There were again tears, but this time they were tears of joy. And they were streaming down both of their faces. Finally, a miracle has come. A miracle that could now enable the son to have the education that he so richly deserved. An education that would allow the son to go on to college and bring his poor family out of the impoverished state that they were presently in.

Later, the father went back to bed. This time he slept peacefully and had wonderful dreams. Again they were of our heroes Brenda and Heidi. They were giving the father a command. "Tell them!" they said. "Tell the world! Tell them that they, too, can be blessed by Lesson Planet. All they have to do is click here or on one of the hi-lighted links above. Tell them that we have also spread the joy of Lesson Planet to other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew and you can find out what they think by clicking here." And so the father did. He spread the news far and near. Over hill and over dale. And he and his son lived happily ever after.

The End

The story you have just read is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Oh, all right, the story is about me and John Allen. There were no dreams, there were no tears and we don't sell eggs at the market Frown. The rest is true, however. At least almost Wink. Happy Homeschooling!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free limited time membership to Lesson Planet in order to try out and review on my blog.


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Posted by tink38570 at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 29 April 2010 8:38 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Thursday's Child - Heroes Don't Always Wear Capes
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Compassion International

I know it's a little early for Thursday's Child, but I wanted you to read this post. Digest it tonight, then I will post a follow-up post tomorrow. The follow-up post may not be what you expect. In fact, if you follow me on Facebook, you will get a hint of what tomorrows post will be all about. What I want for you to do tonight, if you will, is to read the following post, pray about what God would have you to do with it, and then stop back by tomorrow for the follow-up. Here's the link. Because of copywrite issues, I can't just copy and paste it here. Sorry for any incomvenience.


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Posted by tink38570 at 8:40 PM CDT
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Monday, 26 April 2010
The Tinkel Spring Ministry Newsletter
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Ministry
Hi all! Sarah just finished a new newsletter and I have posted it on our newsletter blog. Click here for the link. Most of you know that Sarah and I are full time missionaries and direct a ministry to the low income folks that live in our town. You can access all of the newsletters that Sarah has written since we began this blog by clicking on the Prayer letter link to the left.

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:07 PM CDT
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Tales from Terrestria - Quest for Thunder Mountain - Review By John Allen Tinkel
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


Okay, so it's not totally by John Allen, but most of it is! This review was actually due while we were away at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. While there, it was suggested that since John Allen read the book, he could help write the review. We both thought it was a great idea!

Now, I'm going to be honest, when John Allen first handed me this review, this very cynical father thought he had copied it from someplace. I mean, it was just too good! However, after much questioning, a little looking around, and a little thinking about it, I realized that there was no way that this was written by anyone else but him. First of all, there were too many spelling mistakes. John Allen is smart, but not that creative to misspell all of those words on purpose. Second of all, no matter where I looked I couldn't find anything that even looked remotely like that review. Oh ye of little faith. I was flabbergasted then, and as I reread it, I'm flabbergasted again. 

Anyway, when the TOS Homeschool Crew heard we were reviewing some of Ed Dunlop's Terrestria books, the Crew forum lit up with excitement. I had never heard of them before, but so many of my fellow crew mates had not only heard of these books, but they or their kids had read them. They raved about them. They were all excited. Not only were they excited, however, John Allen was as well. Although he had never read any of them before, the description of these books seemed to be right down his alley and, true to form, they were. He was totally immersed from the start. He loved them! We received books 1 and 4 from the "Tales from Terrestria" series. The books in this series compliment "The Terrestria Chronicle" series. Some of the Crew families got books from the "Chronicle" series...a series that you need to read in order, and some got books from the "Tales" series. Those books don't need to be read in order. 

When a parent doesn't have to tell his child to read a book, when that child just reads without asking, then you know the book has to be good. And read he did! He read and read and read! And wanted to discuss every chapter with me that night! I figured that these have to be good if he wants to do that. A thirteen year old wanting to discuss a book with his father? How unreal is that. Anyway, this is just his review of the first book in the "Tales From Terrestria" series. The review from the fourth book, "The Isle of Dragons", will be coming soon.

So, without further ado, here is John Allen's review:

Tales From Terrestria - Quest for Thunder Mountain is a book I read for school this year. It is about Gavin (A young minstrel) who takes a journey to Thelma Mountain to find the will of his king (King Emanuel). The Quest is very adventuresome and interesting. As you go along you will find that Gavin meets 3 friends along the way, and some enemies also. As they go along the enemy (Argamer) makes many attempts to stop them. This book has every thing a young reader wants: adventure , action, comedy, and even romance. It also has many enemies and monsters like solders, dragons, castles, robbers, and even slaves, but they trust in King Emanuel, his book, and the Dove to keep them on the right path and keep them safe. This book is great for a young Christian reader, and their parents to. It is a chance for them to learn about God in an interesting way.

Now, when I was in seventh grade, I don't remember writing anything like that, but I'm a little partial Wink.

The "Tales From Terrestria" series, and "The Terrestria Chronicles" series are both available by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. The individual books from both series are sold for $7.99 each. You can also buy the three available books for the "Chronicles" for $19.99. Visit the website to find out about other great series of books by Ed Dunlop along with coloring sheets to go along with both of the Terrestria series. Here is the link to find out what the rest of the TOS Homeschool Crew had to say about both of these series.

Stay tuned for John Allen's review of "The Isle of Dragons". Until then, Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a copy of books 1 and 4 of the "Tales From Terrestria" series in order to read and review on my website.


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Posted by tink38570 at 3:10 PM CDT
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Sunday, 25 April 2010
Over the River and Throught the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Family


Have you ever noticed that a lot of great memories always originate from visits to the grandparents. They did with me. Of course, how could they not, when you lived with one of your grandparents for ten years of your life. When I was in second grade, we moved into to the home where my mother grew up to help take care of my aging grandfather. We lived there for ten years, and boy do I have stories to tell of planting gardens, taking care of animals, bringing in hay, etc. etc., but those are stories for another post.

My paternal grandparents were also an adventure. All of my cousins on my mom's side were older than I was, but I had two cousins, both girls, that were my age on my dad's side. We always met up at Grandpa Tinkel's house on Orchard Street in Wabash, Indiana. Grandpa always wanted people to know that Wabash was the first electrically lighted city in the United States. He was proud of that fact, along with the fact that he was born on Groundhog Day. Yes, Grandpa was quite a colorful character. He was a retired school teacher and a retired minister and did he have stories to tell. And, others had stories to tell about him as well! I loved the house on Orchard Street. It was a neat place, but, those are stories for another day as well. The tale that I want to weave today is of our visit this weekend with the Grandma's.

We always say we are visiting the "Grandma's" because both Sarah's mom and grandmother are widowed, so, Mom moved in with Granny some years ago to help her out. We always have a blast at the Grandma's house. It has a huge yard to play in and a big basement that the kids can play in and explore. We even brought Jojo this time to play with Sarah's sister's dog who was also here for a visit. Unfortunately, Phebe and Jojo didn't hit it off to well but they tolerated each other. That should have tipped me off that it was going to be one of those weekends.

Despite Jacob's surgery on Thursday, we decided to come on Friday because we knew that bad weather was going to hit on Saturday. We thought that the storms wouldn't arrive until later on so we set out to visit Sarah's brother and then entertain the kids at the bowling alley. Sure enough, no sooner had we left Uncle Franklin's house that we heard thunder. A quick stop at the grocery store and then, to Joshua the bowler's dismay, we came straight back to the house. Joshua was only consoled by the fact that we promised to try again Sunday afternoon if we could. We tried not to frighten the boys, but shared with them that some thunder storms were coming and we wanted to be home.

And came they did. Actually they weren't too bad right where we were, but all around us were thunder storm warnings and tornado warnings until 3 am in the morning. I'm always the designated storm watcher, so I was up the whole time making sure that we were ready to head to the basement if need be. Thankfully that didn't happen but a stormy night is always an adventurous one. 

Today began as a fairly good day. I stayed home from church sense Jacob had had a bad night. By noon, however, everyone was set to go bowling, and sense Jacob had been medicated and felt much better, he would not hear of us leaving him home. So, off we all went to the bowling alley leaving a disgruntled Phebe and Jojo staring at us as we drove down the lane. After bowling, out to eat, then to a park to let the kids run off some energy and on home. Phebe met us in the driveway, but no Jojo.

After we checked to make sure Granny hadn't left him in the house, we began to search and holler for him. Soon, the neighbors came out and said that they saw him run down the railroad tracks that parallel the road about an hour before. I jumped in the car and went on a chase. "Surely he couldn't have gone that far" I thought, but in the pit of my stomach I knew that he could be lost forever. With my windows down and me yelling, I drove down every road into every housing development along the tracks. No Jojo. Finally I saw a man on a mower and asked him if he had seen a little black dog run by. My first lead! He had seen him...two or three hours before that. Two or three hours! The neighbors were a little off! Jojo could be anywhere. Seeing the panic on my face, he said that I might check the animal shelter across the road just a little ways further down from his house.

The gate was shut, but a girl was coming out of on of the buildings. When she saw me she walked my way. After a quick prayer, I asked if anyone had turned in a little black miniature pincher an hour or two before. I said that we had been visiting my in-laws and he had run away. I told her his name was Jojo. I waited, and to my relief she said that someone had dropped him off earlier that afternoon and went into the building to fetch him out. I nervously waited. Could she have been mistaken? Could it be another dog that was picked up and dropped off? A few minutes later I had my answer. Out she came with our Jojo. Immediately upon seeing me, he ran to the gate wagging his little stubby tail and barking excitedly. She said I owed her nothing, she was just glad that Jojo's owner had found him. He was almost two miles away from Granny's house when he was found!

I excitedly called Sarah and told her the news. The boys, who had been in tears but were now joyous, met us at the end of the drive. After watering the very thirsty and tired Jojo, we took him in for the day to rest. Granny doesn't like dog's in the house, but this was an exception. Even she seemed to be happy that Jojo was home. He is asleep on the bed beside me even as I type. All I could think of was the Disney movie about the two dogs and a cat who had gone in search of their master. Jojo, the faithful puppy, had gone in search of us.

Thank you, Lord, for helping us to find Jojo. You care even about the little things, Lord. Thank you also, Lord, that, just like Jojo, you loved us enough to search for us. Only, you didn't just search for us, you died on the cross to take our punishment. Thank you for giving us faithful Jojo, but thank you even more for faithfully loving us enough to provide a way that we can get to Heaven. Amen 




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Posted by tink38570 at 11:41 PM CDT
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