Saturday, April 30, 2011

And the Sabadil Winner Is...

Comment #5: Crissyanna said...I have liked Boiron on FB.

I used to pick a winner and I have already notified her via email.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Sabadil Giveaway via Our Homeschool Reviews and thanks again to Boiron for allowing me to offer this great product!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up #20

It's been about a month since my last Weekly Wrap-Up (did that just sound like a!)  Well, even though I haven't posted what we have been doing, we have been doing more than just hanging out at home.  ;) 

A couple weeks back we finished up Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory!  It felt so good to finally have completed it, but a little bittersweet because my daughter's favorite subjects are history and science and those are done for now. 

We are still finishing up a few things before second grade is completed.  We still have about a month's worth of math left in Rightstart C.  Thankfully these last lessons are easier and mostly review so there haven't been as many meltdowns.  :)

I decided to pull everything from the shelves we forgot about did not finish and work through them for the next couple weeks.  Pictured below is All About Spelling 2, Daily Word Problems 2, Capitalization and Punctuation 3, Explode the Code 4, and Think A Minutes. 

She is also reading a couple books right now.  The first is Andrea Carter and the Family Secret.  It is book 3 of the Circle C series.  She's read the first two already and enjoyed them. 

The other book is called Flying Ace: The Story of Amelia Earhart.  She is going to be in a Living Wax Museum in a couple weeks and Amelia Earhart is the historical figure she chose to be.  She will be working on writing a speech for the next two weeks.  We've already put together a cute costume and she is excited!

To complete our year we will be working on a Salt Dough Map of the Mediterranean (since that is the area we focused on most this year).  I've never done a salt dough map so this will be interesting.  I'll post about it when we get it done. 

Our calendar is absolutely full for May and June.  These are always our busiest months!  Here's what we have coming up (which I'll hopefully write more about as they happen):

*  She is going to be in a Nic at Night Play at our church next Saturday.  She has a speaking role and will be singing, so we'll be practicing lines a lot this coming week.

*  Soccer is ending this week but Summer Swim is starting.  I have to go by the Y today to sign her up.

*  My baby turns 8 next week...ahhh!  Where has the time gone?  I'll be working on creating the most SPA-tacular party!  Can't wait to see it all come together!

*  She has a dance performance in two weeks.  Should be fun!

Oh, that was only two weeks worth...and I didn't even mention the three field trips coming up.  ;)  Busy, busy...

How was your week?  Thanks for Joining Our Homeschool Reviews and for more Weekly Wrap-Up, this week I am linked up with Kris over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Latin's Not So Tough Review

Latin's Not So Tough is a multi-level Latin program brought to you by Greek 'n' Stuff.  Greek 'n' Stuff offers products for both the Greek and Latin languages, along with a few Bible studies.

Back in September I received Latin's Not So Tough Level 2 Student Workbook, Answers Only Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD for Latin Levels One, Two, and Three.  My daughter, age 7, has been working through the workbook.

Latin's Not So Tough has six levels.  Below is a short description of the first three levels.

Level 1: Latin alphabet, diphthongs, special consonants, matching, fill in the blank, fun activities, and flashcard pages. {for early elementary only}

Level 2: Latin alphabet, diphthongs, special consonant review, read and write Latin words, matching, fill in the blank, fun activities, puzzles, and flashcard pages.  {for students who have completed Level One/mid elem students}

Level 3: Latin alphabet and vocabulary review, 1st and 2nd declension nouns, three special case uses, first conjugation verbs, present active indicative, read and write simple Latin sentences, matching, fill in the blank, fun activities, puzzles, and flashcard pages. {for students who have completed Level Two/upper elem students}

You can find further descriptions of all six levels here.

As I mentioned, we received Level 2.  The letter I received with the program stated that the target age for Level 2 is early elementary, especially 6-7 year olds.  They recommend that older students using this program begin with Level 3.

My Thoughts:  Latin's Not So Tough is definitely a no frills Latin program. There is no DVD with someone explaining the lessons and no CD with children singing silly Latin songs.  The book is spiral bound and has simple black and white pages.  The first 10 pages of Level 2 include the Latin alphabet and copywork and almost all of the rest of the book is vocabulary.  Each vocabulary page starts out with the word and definition, and the following activities are related to matching that word and previous words with their meanings. 

Although I know it is important to have a good understanding of Latin vocabulary (which is what this book provides), I still wish there was more to it.   Something to really get my daughter excited to complete it. 

It is also important to note that Latin's Not So Tough only includes the classical pronunciation.  I personally do not think pronunciation is that important, but some may be interested in a program which offers both classical and ecclesiastical. 

Thoughts of a 7-Year Old:  It isn't as fun as it looks. I think that it's sort of boring, even though it has some games. 

Find Out More:  You can learn more about this product and others at the Greek 'n' Stuff website.  The Level 2 Student Workbook is $18.95, the Answers Only Answer Key is $4.00, and the Pronunciation CD for Latin Levels One, Two, and Three is $10.00.  You can also purchase a full text answer key, quizzes and exams, and flashcards on a ring (which I would recommend over the ones in the book).  Also available are Latin "Starter" Sets and "I Want It All" Complete Latin Sets

My Crewmates are also reviewing Latin's Not So Tough, so you can check out what they think HERE.

Disclosure: This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Covergirl Natureluxe Review

CoverGirl has a new makeup collection hitting the stores called Natureluxe.  If you are in the market for a new brand of makeup, listen up because this collection may be perfect for you.

Included in the collection is the Natureluxe Silk Foundation.  Some great features are that it

* Provides a smooth, silky feel
* Contains refreshing cucumber water to help balance the creaminess on application
* Made with hits of jojoba and rosehip extracts
* Available in 14 shades ranging from light to dark tones
* Oil-free, SPF 10 and dermatologically tested
* Suggested retail $11.99

I received the color "310-flax" and it ended up being a nice match to my skin tone.  I have applied it a couple times and like it's smooth feel. I did not have to apply a lot of it and it spread nicely.  I have another brand of liquid foundation in a similar bottle and this went on my skin much easier. 

Also included in the collection is the Natureluxe Gloss Balm.  Some features are that it

* Combines the sheer color and shine of a glass with the soft moisturization of a balm
* Available in 16 versatile, beautiful shades
* Formulated with SPF 15 for added protection
* Suggested to retail for $6.46

I received the color "215-hibiscus".  Although this color was a little bright for me, I like that is goes on like a gloss. Many times I will apply a color of lipstick and then add a clear gloss over it.  This gloss balm is perfect for me because it is the only thing I need.

I want to add that I don't normally wear makeup, and when I do, I like it to blend well and look natural.  I also tried to take several pictures of myself wearing the foundation and gloss but none of them came out very good, so I'll spare you from looking at them.  ;) 

Disclosure: I'm a BzzAgent and this product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.


Peace by Prayer

Philippians 4: 6-7 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Today in Bible study we talked about presenting our requests to God.  I've read this verse many, many times, but someone in class pointed out verse 7.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

So it's not a coincidence that we feel more at peace once we stop being anxious and give our prayers and requests to God. 

Are you feeling anxious about something?  Is it hard to stop thinking about it?  Hard to stop worrying?  I know I have felt this way many times!

Pray tonight and present your requests to God.

Thrifty Thursday

Happy Thrifty Thursday!  Below are the deals for today.  If you find something else, let me know!

My Giveaways
Sabadil Allergy: ends 4/29
Baby Bond Nursing Sash: ends 5/2

Amazon Deals
Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

FREE Can of Fancy Feast
Here is a coupon to get a FREE can of Fancy Feast cat food at PETCO on Friday, 4/29 ONLY.

FREE John Frieda Sample
Get a FREE sample of John Frieda Root Awakenings on 

If you've never tried it, Groupon negotiates huge discounts—usually 50-90% off—with popular businesses. They then send the deals to thousands of subscribers in their free daily email. I use it quite a bit and have gotten some really good deals.  Join now! 

FREE 5-Count Package of Zyrtec
Go here to get a coupon for a FREE 5-count package of Zyrtec (up to $7.00 value). You will see this offer in a banner ad on the upper right side of the page.

Swagbucks = FREE Gift Cards! 
Swagbucks allows web users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day, like searching the web and shopping at their favorite retailers.  You can redeem your currency for fun prizes, like amazon gift cards.  I use Swagbucks (instead of Google, Yahoo, etc) for all my searching and you can too!  Join now! 

FREE Sample Roundup 
For anything I missed, you can get your FREE sample roundup from Deal Seeking Mom!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Joe-Joe Nut Review and Giveaway

A book review from our 7-year old daughter:

This is The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill book series, Case #2: Mineral Mischief.

Detectives Joe-Joe Nut the squirrel and Biscuit Bill the duck are solving the case of Maple Moo’s missing rare mineral. They question five suspects, Brutes and Betty Beaver, Candy Cardinal, Liam the Llama, and Huck Moose. And, they question one extra suspect- a lion named Arsaelan. Will they find who stole it? Or will they leave this case open forever?

I like Mineral Mischief because it is exciting and very silly with little sayings like, "Have we heard of a toothbrush?" I learned a lot about rocks that I didn’t know. I probably would have never known there was a rock that could float!

There are also two experiments at the back of the book and a fun facts section called "Did You Know?" Both talk about rocks and minerals.

My Thoughts:  I think my daughter summed up the storyline nicely but I also wanted to add that this book would be great for any child who is interested in rocks and minerals and learning more about them.  It can definitely be a starting point for further it's a fun mystery too.

Find Out More:  You can find out more and purchase The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut & Biscuit Bill Case #2: Mineral Mischief and others in the series from the author's website.  Renee Hand is an award winning romance novelist and children's author. 


So, here's how to enter to win The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut & Biscuit Bill Case #2: Mineral Mischief!  For each comment, you will get one (1) entry.  

1. Visit Renee's Children's Book Review blog and follow her using GFC.

2. Follow my blog using Google Friend Connect.

3. Subscribe to my blog by email though Feedburner.

4. Like my Facebook page. 

5. Follow me on Twitter @OurHSReviews

**Remember to please leave a separate comment for each entry**

One random winner will be selected using on Friday, May 6, 2011. (U.S. Entries only.) If I am unable to reach the winner within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you (either an email address in your comment or on your profile).

Disclosure: This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.


Wordless Wednesday: Missing NYC

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Importance of a Thorough Review

I subscribe to many blogs in Google Reader and one of my favorites is  IEAR stands for I Education Apps Review.  It's basically a community effort to grade "Educational Apps".  The community (you and I) submit reviews to IEAR and they publish them, with a link back to the reviewer's website.

I have downloaded many of the free apps that they have rated 4 or 5 stars. 

Recently a free app called FotoFarm was submitted by a reviewer and was rated 5/5 stars.  It was said to use the strictest setting offered on Google SafeSearch to block unacceptable images when students are looking for pictures.

I thought this would be great for my daughter and downloaded it onto my iPad.  While she was in another room, I tried it out.  My first search resulted in appropriate images so I proceeded to search again.  My next two searches came up with some results not suitable for children.  I then deleted the app and shared my findings with both IEAR and the reviewer.

I went back today to see if anything had come about from my comment.  I found that IEAR took the review down all together and the reviewer updated her review to reflect this new information, giving FotoFarm 1/5 stars.  You can read her review here.

My reason for writing about this is not to point fingers.  I recommend and many of their reviews come from this reviewer.  I think it was just an oversight and I am glad she corrected her review and left it up for others to see.

My reason for writing this is to remind myself (and others) of the importance of a thorough review.  Every time I receive a product, I make sure I use it as much as possible before the review is due to be published.  If I do not have a set deadline, sometimes I don't post a review for many weeks, just so I can get good use of it.  I never write "informational" reviews, unless that is what the vendor requests. 

So I hope this article has shed light on a few things.  For one, maybe you have found a new educational app review site that you end up loving like I do.  Secondly, don't just take one person's opinion of something as around and read many reviews to get a good feel for a product.  And lastly, as much as I love reviewing products, I take it seriously and hope that is portrayed in my reviews.  :)

Skin MD Review and Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Skin MD Natural to try out their Shielding Lotion.  I've been using it daily for about 3 weeks now and I have to say, I'm really impressed with the results.

I want to tell you a little about it first, before I explain how I've been using it.  Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion is for the face, body, and hands, and it works to prevent dry skin and shields sensitive skin.  It's recommended by dermatologists because of the success it has had in helping to treat and prevent eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and many other skin conditions.

You can read about the impressive before and after skin care case studies on their website. 

Some things I really like about this skin care product include:

* It has no greasy residue
* No fragrance
* It's free of parabens, petrochemicals, and dyes
* It's also vegan, cruelty free, and eco-friendly

Ninety-three percent of the ingredients in Skin MD Natural are all natural and/or plant-based natural ingredients. The balance are food grade or medical grade products that are on the Food & Drug Administration's most safe list.

My Thoughts:  I don't have any of the skin conditions mentioned above, but I do have dry feet from walking barefoot and in flip flops.  I've been using the Shielding Lotion on my heels and my skin looks and feels so much better.  My heels were very dry and cracking.  I'm amazed that almost all the cracking has cleared up!  I'm pretty impressed with the results and definitely have not had results like this with other lotions.  I would recommend this product to anyone with dry skin or other skin conditions. 

Find Out More:  You can find out more about Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion on their website.  Skin MD Natural Original Formula is $18 for a 4oz bottle and their Sun Protection Formula with SPF 15 is $25 for a 4oz bottle.  Both should last from 1 to 2 months with daily use.  Use code NEW11 for 20% off your order through 5/9!  You can also use their store locator to find a store that sells it near you. 


So, here's how to enter to win one (1) 4 oz bottle of Skin MD Natural Shielding LotionFor each comment, you will get one (1) entry.  

1. Like Skin MD Natural on Facebook.

2. Follow Skin MD Natural on Twitter.

3. Follow my blog through GFC.

4. Like my Facebook page.

5. Follow me on Twitter @OurHSReviews.

6. Subscribe to my blog by email though Feedburner. 

**Remember to please leave a separate comment for each entry**

One random winner will be selected using on Friday, May 6, 2011. (U.S. Entries only.) If I am unable to reach the winner within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you (either an email address in your comment or on your profile).

Disclosure: This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2011

And the Socks4Life Winner Is...

Comment #35: Misty said...Following you on FB

I used to pick the winner and I have already notified her via email. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Socks4Life Giveaway via Our Homeschool Reviews and thanks again to Socks4Life for allowing me to offer this wonderful gift certificate!

And good news...I'm extending the deadlines for my current giveaways due to low entries!  So if you have not already entered to win Sabadil Allergy or the BabyBond Nursing Sash, go and enter now!!

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 i have seen this meme on several blogs and thought i would join in.  it's called miscellany monday and it's from carissa over at lower case letters.

i though i would go ahead with the lower case letter theme for this is harder than it looks to not hit the shift! 

i went to bed with a headache and woke up with one too.  :(  i took some excedrin and i feel a little better.  must have been from an overload of sugar yesterday...i'm trying to stay away, but i swear i keep hearing the reese's calling my name...

i was so excited when i walked into wal-mart this morning at about 10:30 and it was empty.  i had to do our grocery shopping and i can't stand it when that store is crowded.  it made me happy!!  :)

we went to the beach on saturday and did not reapply our lotion as early as we should have.  hubby, who was out surfing got quite red.  our daughter got her first touch of pink in a few places where her bathing suit met her skin (thankfully it was minor).  i got just a little pink on my back, but i stayed under our tent for about the last 45 min. 

while laying there, i smelled something familiar.  i looked over to the teenage girls next to us and i couldn't believe my eyes.  they were actually spraying on the banana boat oil, spf 2 or 4, in that yellow and brown bottle.  i remember using that when i was can never forget the smell.  i was just so surprised, especially with what we know about skin cancer.  We were using spf 30 so i can only imagine how red they were going to be.

Menu Plan Monday - April 25

Since Easter was yesterday I had to do my grocery shopping this morning.  I decided to head to Wal-mart to check out the leftover Easter clearance.  Everything was 50% off so I picked up a few things for next year and also some things for our daughter's 8th birthday party coming up.  It's going to be a spa party and the colors are the same.  More on that later!  :)

I was already at Wal-mart so I just decided to shop there for groceries instead of Publix.  I didn't have a list so I just winged it.  I have no idea what day we will eat these meals, but I have the ingredients for them all.

Dinners Over the Weekend:
Over the weekend we made a fruit and veggie platter for dinner: Carrots, Cucumbers, Mango, Pineapple, Kiwi, Prosciutto, Mini Pitas, Hummus, and Ranch Dressing.  We had enough to eat it Saturday and Sunday night. 

Dinners for the Rest of the Week:
Pasta with Crescents
Chicken Potted Pie
Beef Chili or Beef Tacos with Corn Bread
Chicken Enchiladas
Shrimp Pasta
Frozen Pizza

Healthy Choice Frozen Meals
Grilled Cheese, PB&J, and leftovers

What's on your menu for the week?  For more recipes or to link up, click the picture at the top.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

I haven't posted about our activities as much as would have liked this Lenten season.  Here's a recap of some of the things we have been doing and what we have been up to this weekend.

We watched the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure each day it was posted.  Our daughter really liked to watch these videos and enjoyed listening to the children.

We used the Printable Lenten Calendar for Kids to count down the days to Easter.

Yesterday was Good Friday and we decided to make homemade pretzels (to remind us of arms crossed in prayer).  We got this idea from Catholic Icing's post: Holy Week Food Ideas.   We had a great time making them, and with daddy's help, they actually looked somewhat like pretzels. 

Today is Holy Saturday and we made Resurrection Rolls.  These were also fun to make and much easier, in my opinion, than the resurrection cookies (which would never come out right for me).  After about 12 minutes in the oven (fast forward 3 days), we saw Jesus was risen!  Alleluia!!

We also watched The Gospel of John tonight (minus the crucifixion scene for young eyes).  If you haven't watched it yet, it's a great movie!

And finally we dyed Easter eggs, finished our countdown to Easter on our calendar, and cleaned up the house for the Easter bunny.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!!

Top 25 Homeschool Blogs

Circle of Moms is hosting a contest to chose the Top 25 Homeschool Blogs.  There are many great homeschooling blogs listed.  If you have some time, take a look at the list and vote for your favorites...and if you are reading this post, hopefully mine is one of those. 

Voting ends May 11, 2011 and you can vote once per day! 


Friday, April 22, 2011

See the Light: Art Class Review

Do you want to teach your children art but you aren't quite sure where to start?  Would you love to find an art program that is Biblically based, geared for elementary to middle school aged children, and taught using simple step by step instructions?  If so, I may have just the thing for you!

See the Light: Art Class is a nine-volume DVD collection of 36 step-by-step art lessons.  Each lesson only last about 15 minutes, builds on the previous one, and leads the child through basic art skills to advanced techniques. 

I received a copy of Volume 1: Art Lessons 1-4, which cover: Tools of the Trade, Lines, Contours and Composition, Draw What You See, and a bonus Chalk Lesson.

Pat Knepley, a See the Light Master Artist, teaches the art lessons and does a wonderful job.  She is very engaging and easy to listen to.  My daughter enjoys watching her teach.

My Thoughts:  My daughter and I watched Volume 1 together.  Pat starts very simply by explaining the tools needed and how the line is the most fundamental element of drawing.  Then she moves nicely into two drawing lessons.  Both lessons were easy to follow and fun to complete. 

I like the fact that included with the lessons is, not only art history, but also Biblical truth.  Pat seems to incorporate Bible scripture seamlessly into the lessons. 

I also like that each lesson builds on the other.  I would have liked to have watched some more lessons to see the progression, but since I only reviewed Volume 1, I cannot speak for the rest.

The only complaint I have is that they do not have the option to purchase the DVDs individually, they are only sold as a set.

Thoughts of a 7-Year Old: I like the See The Light art DVD because it told me how, by looking at things, to draw. It taught me how to draw my favorite shoe (with excellent results!!). I learned how to draw an apple too, also by just looking. I love the pictures I drew. 

Find Out More:  You can find out more about the See the Light: Art Class series at the See the Light website.  The nine-volume DVD series is available for $99.99.  You also have the option to purchase an Online Monthly Subscription for $10 a month.  The subscription gives you immediate access to the first four lessons and then each month thereafter your subscription unlocks the following four lessons.  If you would like to check it out first, here you can view the first three lessons.  You can also request Volume 1, the same DVD I am reviewing, FREE

My Crewmates are also reviewing See the Light: Art Class, so you can check out what they think HERE.

Disclosure: This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.