Monday, August 31, 2009

Hank The Cowdog (A Review)

Our family opened this package with a lot of enthusiasm! Seeing all the animals on the cover of the CD, Tales and Tunes from Hank The Cowdog($3), and the horse on the cover of the book, The Case Of The One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse($4.24) and of course seeing the game Tornado($12.99) definitely caused some excitement. We have what I would call a small farm so I knew the kids would easily identify with the characters.

Well, the theme behind Hank the Cowdog is a great one. Happenings on the ranch are all told from this dog's perspective who has quite a sense of humor. The CD takes you back to the days of old-time radio with characters voiced by the author, John Erickson, plus some neat sound effects.

I always try to skim through books and CD's before sharing them with my children and I will have to be honest and say that there was too much skimming even in the beginning of the story to be able to read it to my kids. They are still young and impressionable and there are a few too many words used in a way that I don't want my children mimicking. Even my 6 yr. old, who walked in the house while I was listening to the CD made a comment about something that was said not being very nice. I would think older children would really enjoy the stories without being as influenced. This is my humble opinion and you should definitely investigate for yourself if it is suitable for your family. There are samples available on the website to listen to and here is the one of the book I reviewed.

Now the game, Tornado, is a whole different story! All of my kids, even Elijah (almost 2) has fun using the spinner and we all enjoyed sending each other back home. The game pieces were fun to look at: Hank, Drover and Buzzard. The game has become a great incentive for getting schoolwork and chores done! I love the way it is small, not a lot of pieces and the game folds up into a nice travel case. For young kids it is nice because you are reviewing colors and counting. For Redd, my 6 yr. old, it was a good chance to introduce the concept of even and odd because that is part of the game when you land on the Tornado spot. And Elijah, he gets the biggest thrill out of the spinner!

The website is easy to navigate, the prices are good and if your family does enjoy reading this series of books, there are a lot of neat things featured like games, a quarterly newsletter, and a members only club you can join. It even looks like there was some type of writing contest and the winner's stories are available to read. If you have a school or group that enjoys acting, there are plays and musical comedies to choose from that include a script, song CD, sheet music and fundraising ideas. The author, John Erickson may be contacted using email, phone or fax.

Hank the Cowdog series, published by Maverick Books, is a popular series throughout the country and Erickson is a cowboy who writes about the life he knows and loves, an important trait for anybody that wants to pursue writing as a career!


Printable coupons

Dial foaming Handwash
55 cent off 1 brick coupon

Carefree Product
$1 off 1 brick coupon

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fiber One Giveaway Winners

Winners of the Fiber One Giveaway
cdziuba, kristy, and janelle
Please respond within 48 hours.
Timestamp: 2009-08-31 00:49:28 UTC


Honey Kix Giveaway Winners

Winner of the Honey Kix Giveaway
judy brittle
Timestamp: 2009-08-31 00:43:21 UTC
Please contact me within 48 hours.

Thanks and Congratulations!

Trix Gift Basket Giveaway Winners

The two winners of the Trix Gift Basket Giveaway
Tamara B. and cdziuba. I will be sending you a email shortly, please respond within 48 hours!
Timestamp: 2009-08-31 00:09:58 UTC

Thanks and congratulations!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Web Design For Kids (...And Curious Grown-Ups!)

I was pleasantly surprised by this product Web Design For Kids (And Curious Grown-Ups!)
I would have loved to have had this last year when I started my blog. As many of you know who have been my subscribers for some length of time that I am not a computer expert and learning how to do things with my site has been slow-going. Earlier this year I looked into redesigning my site and would have loved to do it myself versus paying somebody but got discouraged with how complicated everything looked. Then I got pregnant, had morning sickness and all hopes of redesigning were put on hold.

I believe this DVD is going to change all that! I began watching it and of course the words HTML instantly brought back the feelings of discouragement but that feeling quickly turned into hope and then real excitement when I went to my computer with my notes and Redd, (my 6 yr. old)
and started a site about airplanes. I didn't think he was paying much attention to the DVD until he started repeating some of the lingo heard on there. He helped me type in a lot of the code and picked the colors and background for the site. Of course, Rusty (my 4 yr. old) now wants to make one about sharks and Dixie wants to make one either about horses or animals in general.
Dixie has taken a lot of computer classes during her schooling but this is new for her and she is pretty excited about being able to work on one. We all want to design one for my husbands brick masonry business!

The easiest way to use this DVD in my humble opinion would be to have a way to watch it near your computer. Our computer is not near our TV but we just took notes, pushed the pause button and worked that way.

The instructions teach you about basic HTML code, adding pictures, coloring letters and backgrounds, making text move across the screen, making text larger or smaller, adding different fonts, and much more. The only software necessary is notepad and internet explorer which are already on your computer if you have a windows operating system! There are several examples of actual kid-created HTML sites here and a short demo of the video here. Take a look!

This particular DVD shows you how to create an webpage but not how to make it available for the world wide web to see. Their next video that will be out before the end of this year goes into that type of information. Any other questions you have are probably answered here but if not you can use this email address:

The original price of the DVD is $40 but a temporary price of $19.99 plus $3.99 shipping and handling is available. The product may be ordered online here or by calling Click Drag Solutions 24 Hour Call Center Toll Free Number: 1-866-932-9122. Friendly operators are currently standing by (24 hours a day/ 7 days a week!) to take your order!

One aspect of this company that I thought is very important is their attitude towards
giving and charities. Please take a moment to read more here.
Here is the fruit of our labor: Red's first website, I Love Airplanes! Those of us doing these reviews got a nice tip from the company on how to make this a real website for free and because of advice I learned from the DVD, I was able to go on the online and look at codes on some simple websites and figure out how to put a link on the page to direct readers to a couple of different printable coloring page sites. Exciting stuff!
Big Thanks to Web Design For Kids for the opportunity to use this product in our home and a Thank You also to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for giving moms like myself the chance to be a part of the TOS crew!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Quarter Mile Math (A Review)

The Quarter Mile Math program by Barnum Software is another awesome product I have had the privilege of using with my family. In fact I have been using it myself to brush up on math skills that needed some dusting off.

This program to me takes the concept of using flash cards to a whole new level. The purpose of this software is to help students make their math skills second nature. Young and old students have so much fun they don't realize that it is the same as timed drills done on paper. The program uses riderless horses and dragsters which speed up as the right answers are given. There is sound available for each of the events if a player wants that. The top 5 average times are saved for each player and a player can compare just his scores or compare his scores to other siblings/friends.

My 6 year old has gone from having no computer skills to being able to click on the program from desktop all the way to being able to play a game! The first couple of days all he wanted to do was the easiest skills so I pushed just a little for him to try harder skills and soon he was asking me if he could try different skills. Redd prefers to not hear the horses galloping or the cars racing and keeps a close eye on whether or not he is getting faster.

My 4 yr. old is totally different! He loves the sound effects and takes his sweet time finding the numbers or letters on the keyboard but has definitely improved on knowing where the numbers are. There were even a few numbers that he has been getting mixed up when we are doing 'bookwork' and they are no longer an issue!

When my 2 yr. old walks by the computer he says 'horse?' or 'game?'. So I start the game and guide his fingers to the number and try to get him to repeat the numbers after me.

Dixie, my 10 yr. old is in public school during the week and with us on the weekends so she will be brushing up on her speed in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

I have used the program myself and my kids think it is cool to see me type fast and really love it when they can tell I have a slower time! There are even a couple of skills like base 2 and base 10 that I honestly do not remember learning but am challenged to learn when I get a chance.

The software is available for purchase in several different ways in order to suit your families needs.
Quarter Mile Math Deluxe Bundle
: You choose the subscription fee of:
--- $2.95 per family per month
--- $19.95 per family for one year (save $15.45 over one year) and
--- $34.95 per family for two years (save $35.85 over two years).
Quarter Mile Math Standard Bundle (Grades K-9)
--- $89.95 (covers 300+ topics and over 70,000 problems)

And Guess What?
Quarter Mile is offering a discount for my readers!
Get $5 off any product (Standard or Deluxe)until September 30, 2009. Simply type the code-
-in the "Referral Code" section of the order form.

Go here to see what your family might be interested in. I personally was sent the Deluxe Version which for some reason was not agreeing with my computer so the company sent the Standard Version overnight for me to try and that worked! The Quarter Mile Math website provides a comparison chart for the Deluxe vs. Standard versions.

I was very impressed with customer service. I received prompt return emails and phone calls! It is always nice to talk to a live person!

The website also features helpful resources for homeschooling and teachers such as printable progress charts, a tips and info newsletter, and instructions on how to hold 'tournaments' with family members or friends. The program can also be used by public and private schools.

This software is also unique because it integrates all learning styles and is effective for a wide variety of students such as Title 1, gifted, special ed., grade level, etc. The skills covered are ones students will most likely encounter in grades k-9.

So, rev up your engine or saddle up your horse and head on over to The Quarter Mile Math site, watch a demo, and take a look around!


Printable Coupons

Whole Foods Market
Print this coupon to get a free Fiesta Bouquet or $5 off a bouquet at any Whole Foods Market.
Good till 9/15.

Honest Beverages (Healthy drinks)
Several coupons to choose from!

$1 off 1 Destin product (brick coupon)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grapevine Studies: Old Testament Overview (A Review)

Earlier this year I applied for and was accepted to be a member of the TOS crew. This is a group of mainly homeschooling moms who will for the next year be reviewing products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. You never know what you are going to get with this type of opportunity but I have been excited to receive some awesome products that are making up a big part of our curriculum this year.

My first review is with the company Grapevine Studies and their product,

I don't know about you, but I love curriculum's that draw in an array of subjects and this Bible Study does just that. Students get 50 lessons which encompass Bible History, art, science, math, memory verses, and review questions/answers. The ages recommended for this study are 5-7 but I have a four yr. old who is doing this with my 6 yr. old and I am even going to print out some extra sheets for my almost 2 yr. old because he likes to 'draw' too! You could even engage an older child by having them read the actual Bible account to the younger children and since the art is stick-figuring, the older child could also share in the teaching of that!

Grapevine Studies offers several ways of purchasing this curriculum. The Teacher Book and Student Book may be purchased in physical or e-book form. I am personally using the physical form of the Teacher Book and the e-book form for the student worksheets. I am not always crazy about e-books but in this case I like it because my boys are making their own 'history book' that can be read aloud later on to younger siblings or used to show family members what they are working on. The prices are as follows:

Beginner Old Testament Overview Student: $19.95
Beginner Old Testament Overview Student e-book: $19.95
Beginner Old Testament Overview Teacher: $29.95
Beginner Old Testament Overview Teacher e-book: $15.95

The only additional resources a teacher needs are a Bible, something to draw on such as a dry erase board or a chalk board (even just a piece of blank paper will work!) The student mainly needs a pen or pencil! It's that easy! Depending on the child and the time frame you can keep the lessons really simple or make them more involved by adding colored pencils, looking up words, looking up bible verses, etc. Reviewing could be done in the form of questions and answers, daily devotionals, or a child teaching lessons back to you on the dry erase board (most children and even adults like drawing on these!). I'll be honest and say that with 3 boys six and under and one baby on the way that many days I have really appreciated the 'short and to the point' approach this curriculum offers!
Grapevine Studies offers many other products for all age levels. They also offer a free weekly newsletter that during the summer featured a freebie e-lesson each week. The website frequently features free or low cost e-lessons! They have a free one right now on Ruth here. There is a sale page which happens to be offering some discounts on the very products featured in this review. I have also been given a discount code to share with you which will take 30% off of your order! Here it is: crew9. When you place an order, there is a box at checkout that says 'Enter your coupon number' where you can type crew9.
So dear readers, take some time this week and go over to Grapevine Studies and let me know what you think. Have any of you used products from this company before? I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wednesday, August 26th:
Ballistic Homeschooling (mp3 audio seminar)
Have you ever had a war break out in the middle of history
or had a math lesson last three hours? Listen to this excellent
presentation from a mother that has taught six boys at one time from
Kindergarten to 12th grade share how to turn wiggle worms
into scholars and boys into real men!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Free Bible Study
4R Bible Study On Engineering
Just click on 'free stuff'
Wondering how to "4R" a subject? This free 4R Bible Study on Engineering shows you how to Research, Reason, Relate and Record a career choice. Since the Bible is God's mind concerning everything, we should be able to document any subject.

Printable Coupons
General Mill's coupons from Eat Better America

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Freebie
Down On the Farm Notebooking Pages
(Just click on 'free stuff')
Notebooking pages that will compliment any study relating to farm animals. Three notebooking pages and one coloring page for each animal included.
Farm Animals Included:

Sample with coupons
Sign up here for a Fiber One Sample with $5 in coupons

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free sample
Nutlands Free sample

School Freebie
All About My Family Notebook
Have your children create a notebook about the most important people in their lives, their family! Your child could interview individuals from your family to learn more about their heritage, add photos and write biographies of those who have passed on. There are pages for them to add personal information about themselves to pass down to their future children. They might choose to create a family tree on poster board or a wall with all the people they have learned about. Children love to hear stories about their family and this notebook could be a way to collect and keep these stories alive for future generations!


Monday, August 17, 2009

CurrClick Freebie and Printable Coupon

CurrClick Freebie of the week: Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs... every child seems to go through a stage of loving them! We've made our Dinosaurs Learn 'N Folder to take advantage of this love. Your child will learn about these creatures, how they ate, where they lived, how we have come to know about them, and much more. There is no reference to dates so you are free to insert your family's personal view of the age of the earth and when dinosaurs roamed it.
This Learn 'N Folder is made up of 36 mini-books that fill 3 folders.

$1 Off any ONE (1) Lifeway Product
A delicious probiotic dairy beverage with 10 active cultures, much more "friendly" bacteria than found in yogurt and has tremendous health benefits.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fiber One Yogurt Gift Basket Review and Giveaway

O.K., the last two reviews and giveaways should have you really ready to sit down and enjoy a healthy breakfast/snack. A Fiber One Yogurt should do the trick! See what Lisa Lillien, AKA Hungry Girl, has to say here:
Fiber One yogurt, the only leading nonfat yogurt with 50 calories and 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of the Recommended Daily Value), is also a good source of calcium and vitamins A and D, making this an all-around great choice for dieters and those watching their weight. Each cup includes the creamy, delicious taste you expect from Yoplait, and you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying it. Fiber One is available in a variety of flavors including, Strawberry, Peach, Vanilla and Key Lime Pie.
My kids prefer the vanilla:

My kids also loved the utensils sent in this gift basket. A spoon, fork, and knife all in one utensil. They said that was cool! I personally like to grab a Fiber One yogurt when I get up in the morning to keep me going till I get the kids their breakfast!
Would you like to win one of these packages? MyBlogSpark will send 3 of my readers a
"Healthy & Fit Weight Management" gift bag that includes a Fiber One yogurt VIP coupon (good for a free 4-pack of Fiber One yogurt), cooler pack, and other storage items for you to carry your snacks and yogurt- it's great for work and other on-the-go activities!

You can also print an $1 coupon off of the yogurt here.

To earn entries to this giveaway you may leave comments for any of the following:
1. Leave a comment letting me know you are a subscriber.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you are a follower.
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
4. Follow me on twitter.
5. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
6. Answer the following question: What is your best healthy snack advice?
This giveaway will end August 24, 2009.

I hope you are enjoying all of these great giveaways! I sure have appreciated getting the gift packages in the mail and want to say THANKS to MyBlogSpark for all these opportunities!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Honey Kix Gift Basket Review and Giveaway

Well, did the last review and giveaway post on the Trix Gift Basket make you hungry for breakfast? Get ready for another tempting breakfast idea from General Mill's Honey Kix Gift Basket offered by MyBlogSpark.

Redd LOVES honey so he was probably the most excited about the neat honey container shaped like a bee hive!

Elijah is trying out the new bowl and keeping the cereal safe in this awesome storage container.
Rusty, well, he has a sweet tooth and loves when he can add 'sweeteners' to his cereal!

MyBlogSpark has offered to give one of my readers a Honey Kix prize pack that includes a coupon for a free box of cereal, a honey jar, a set of colorful cereal bowls, a container to take your cereal and milk on-the-go, and a great container to keep cereal fresh at home.

This would be a great gift basket to share with your family or a nice gift idea for a friend that has small kids!
To earn entries for this giveaway, leave a separate comment for each one.
This giveaway will end August, 24, 2009.
1. Leave a comment letting me know you are a subscriber.
2. Leave a comment letting me know you are a follower.
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
4. Follow me on twitter.
5. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
6. Answer the following question: What is your tip for getting your family off to a good start in the mornings?

Have fun!

Friday School Freebie 8-14-09

Friday, August 14th -
Songs from Calico Spanish (mp3 audio)
Are your kids learning Spanish this year? A great way to teach them is through
these "teaching songs" on the new Calico Spanish CD, "Mi Guitarri". Today we
feature three full spanish learning songs from this new collection, plus a PDF
guide to Spanish teaching resources. Check it out!

Printable Coupon
Sobe Water B1G1 Free Brick Coupon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trix Gift Basket Review and Giveaway

This review opportunity given to me by MyBlogSpark was deliciously fun and provided us with an excellent art lesson for the day!
What kid doesn't like the taste of Trix? Just look at these happy faces and know that our morning started off great!

To top this off, a great learning experience was enjoyed by all of us with the following items: a thick pad of art paper, watercolor paint, watercolor pencils, brushes and a nice red box to store the art supplies in. Here's our results:

Elijah, of course, provided us with this one:

Here's Rusty at work:

Here's Redd:

So, wouldn't you love to win one of these?

I hope so, because MyBlogSpark has offered to give away a gift basket to two of my readers!

To enter this giveaway you may earn one entry for each of the following:(Remember to leave a separate comment for each one!)
This giveaway will end August 24, 2009.
1. Let me know you are a subscriber.
2. Blog about this on your own site and leave a link in your comment.
3. Let me know you are a follower.
4. Follow me on twitter.
5. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link in your comment.
6. Answer the following question: What colors would your kids swirl together to make a new trix combination?
7. Answer this question: Do you have any creative ideas on how to display kid's artwork?

Good Luck!

Thursday School Freebie 8-13-09

Thursday, August 13th -
Drawing For Beginners (PDF ebook)
A small boy was asked: "How do you draw?"
He answered: "I think... and then I draw round my think."
This excellent book by Dorothy Furniss is a great introduction to drawing
and sketching from life and from your imagination, and the tools you draw with.
Lots of great illustrations too.

Printable Coupon
B1G1 free Coffee-Mate Stick Paks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday School Freebie 8-12-09

Wednesday, August 12th -
Raggedy Andy Stories (PDF ebook)
The delightful sequel to "Raggedy Ann Stories" featured here two weeks back,
with tons of beautiful illustrations and wonderful stories of the Raggedys and
their make believe friends.

Printable Coupon
All Small & Mighty $1 coupon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday School Freebie 8-11-09

Tuesday, August 11th -
Building Toy Boats (PDF ebook)
Classic guide to building and sailing your own miniature toy boats and other
floating craft.

Printable Coupon
Vanilla Soymilk $2 Brick coupon

Monday, August 10, 2009

Printable Coupon
Pert for Men $1 brick coupon

Monday School Freebie 8-10-09

Monday, August 10th -
The Perseid Meteor Shower! (links & PDF ebooks)
One of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year occurs Tuesday
and Wednesday of this week!
Here's all the info you need to get out and enjoy these cosmic fireworks.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday School Freebie 8-7-09

Friday, August 7th -
Something To Do, Boys: A Book for Wide Awake Boys (PDF ebook)
A huge collection of hands on projects and activities for boys (and girls) who
love to make things and create their own fun. Fully illustrated plans for building toys and models, games to play, food, art, nature projects and much more. Excellent old-time collection of way cool stuff!

Get Free Lunch Bags when your child enters the Step Into Reading Summer Reading Challenge!
Participants who read at least three (3) Step into Reading books and list the titles on the entry form will receive one pack of lunch bags per person. While supplies last. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Lunch Bags available beginning 9/1/2009.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday School Freebie 8-6-09

Thursday, August 6th
AUDIO: Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin (mp3)
There are numerous time-honored stories which have become so incorporated into
the literature and history of our culture that a knowledge of them is an indispensable part of one's education.
Today's resource is this great audio collection of five classic stories from
Baldwin's book, read for you by homeschooled kids. Great stories and great readings! Don't miss them!

Get $55 in coupons from Nabisco
Go here!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Curr Click's Weekly Freebie

School Freebie from CurrClick
Preschool Printable Alphabet Worksheets
Two sets of printable writing worksheets are provided - emergent writing worksheets for beginner writers, including patterns and other fun activities with letters and more advanced alphabet worksheets for children that are ready to write letters between the lines.

FREE tips and advice on teaching preschoolers, teaching handwriting, teaching left-handers and more are also provided to help make you a more knowledgable and confident teacher for your child.

Special Offer on Ensure® Shakes
Coupons for a Free Shake and Savings on a Six-pack!
Getting your hands on one of the creamy, delightful flavors of Ensure is easy. Just answer a few quick questions to receive two coupons — one for a free Ensure 8-fl-oz shake and one for savings on the many flavors and varieties of Ensure six-packs. (Only one submission per household. Applicable within the United States only.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday School Freebie 8-4-09

Tuesday, August 4th -
The Critter Construction Book (PDF ebook)
This little book was originally produced by the author and her son for a group
of preschool HeadStart children and was designed specifically so the kids could cut out the
shapes and then create the "critters" herein with their parents. New designs have been added to the originals over the years until now there is an entire menagerie of critters to create. See
if your little ones can put together the ones here... and perhaps create some new ones on their

Sample and Coupons from Arm & Hammer
Request your free sample here:
Go here for $11.50 in printable coupons.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday School Freebie 8-3-09

Monday, August 3rd -
Mary Frances' Adventures Among the Doll Poeople (PDF ebook)

In this classic volume Mary Frances learns some very practical lessons about
while setting up a household for her own homeless family of dolls. If you've
never met Mary Frances,
check out this delightfully written and beautifully illustrated lesson book!

Free Sample of Honey Nut Cheerios and $1 coupon
Go here!