Thursday, August 27, 2015

The wonderful world of home repair!

We have been having trouble with two of our out side doors for some times now. They were old and splitting and they didn't shut or lock. We finally decided that it was time to replace them. Off to the home improvement store we went. We came home with two doors they don't quite match the other two doors in the house but it was the closest thing we could get.

We set off to tackle the first door. Upon removing the moldings we discovered the rough opening was 1 1/4 inches smaller than the actual door. Apparently the original doors had no frame. They used the rough opening as the frame for the door. Time for a major renovation project shhh don't tell my mom we are trying to keep the hole we are going to rip out the wall on the down low.

The last major home renovation project me and my dad did together left us with out a kitchen for two month. Yup that's right my mom cooked for us on a BBQ in the back yard for two month. So I am sure you can see her distress at finding out the new door wasn't going to be a quick 3 hour project.

OK never mind she caught me with the claw hammer in mid swing with a gaping hole in the dry wall. Guess the secret is out of the bag. We are ripping down the wall. Well at least part of it.  (picture half sobbing half laughing mom here)  Then we turned off the electrical had to re route a double light switch and an outlet. Opps its getting dark guess we will board up the hole so the raccoons cant get in and try to finish it tomorrow.

Fast forward about 4 days we are finally getting back to the door project. (Hey I had 10 acres of lawn to mow and a birthday party to host) We since this is essentially a three story house and the door is on the middle floor. We had to jack up and support the top floor so that we could install a new king stud. Rip out the to shore header. Build a new header and install new jack studs. All while keeping the top floor from falling through to the middle floor.

I am proud to announce that the TOP flood DID NOT fall in !!!!! The header is safely back in place and our wall now sports two extra studs.

Next up actually installing the new door in the hole lets hope this doesn't take a week.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dark Rising a Book Review

Last year I reviews a book called Dark Hope I was the first book in the Archangel Prophecies series written by Monica McGurk. It was an amazing book and I spent all year waiting for the second book to come out. Well book two is hear and it is called Dark Rising and you are going to want to buy it.

This what the Back of the book says:

Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom?

The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven’s Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life, instead, so that the artifact won’t fall into enemy hands?

The epic narrative introduced in Dark Hope continues in Dark Rising as Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny.

Sounds totally cool right? When the book showed up in the mail a few weeks a go I couldn't wait to get my grubby little hands in it. Unfortunately I was already working on a review so it had to wait a little bit. But as soon as I got started on it I couldn't put it down. It took me about three days of reading in the evening to finish it. Dark Rising is a great addition to Dark Hope book one of the series. Dark Hope left me wondering what was going to happen next. Dark Rising continued that story as Hope traveled the world looking for the Key. On her journey she discovers how strong she is. She learns of love, loss and what the meaning of sacrifice is.  Like the first book I was very pleased with Dark Rising. It drew me in to the story I could picture my self as Hope. I love a book that allows me to do that. The language was clean, I do not recall finding any bad words which I appreciate greatly. There was one or two sexual references but nothing descriptive. There were a quite a few scripture references but I didn't check to see if they were all accurate. 

In the back there are questions & topics for discussion. These are great if you are doing a book club of if your teen will be doing a report on the book. The author also included an Author Q&A section which I found interesting. Last but not least is a teaser, the very first chapter of book 3 Dark Before Dawn. I love that she included this its got me all excited for book three to come out and I am sitting here wondering when it will be released.

You can order the book in either kindle version or paperback HERE on amazon. The Kindle version is $ 7.99 and the paperback is $14.32. I found the price to be in range of other paperback of this size.

If you read book 1 Dark Hope you are going to want to order Dark Rising as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the Author so that I am able to review the series. I may have received some monetary compensation for the review.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday

Today is Hot Rod Girl's Birthday. She is turning the Big 8. I cant believe she is already 8 years old. We had both the girls party on Sunday and I though I would share a picture of Her cake.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl I hope your day is Amazing.

Alpha Omega Publications Review

Alpha Omega Review
I have been looking for a first grade phonics program for snoopy. When I received word that I would be reviewing Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set. I jumped up and down and squealed like a 3 year old getting candy. Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set is a Alpha Omega Publications product. It can be found at first grade phonics and reading set currently sells for $106.95. The set includes a teachers guide, two student work books and two readers. There are 160 lessons in the set. It utilizes a spiral learning format and teacher led learning. Both the work books and readers are in full color. You can find the scope and sequence by clicking this Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and you will see it.

We have been using 1st grade phonics with my now 6 year old. We do the lessons daily, and She is absolutely in love with this set.This is the very first things she grabs when we start class. Each daily lesson is several pages long. A daily lesson is 4-6 pages long and they hold her interest well.  She is workbook kind of girl especially if the pages have color on them. I like that it uses a spiral approach so that she is constantly building on what she already knows. We have just reached our second test and she has done well. I am so proud of her.  The test has given me a good idea of how well she has understood the material we have covered so far.  So I feel safe continuing on with the program at the pace we have been using. I have noticed an improvement in her ability to sound out words. She is using the phonics skills she has learned so far to figure out those tricky words.

The set comes with two student readers. These readers are another great benefit of the program. Each daily lesson has a corresponding story. Each story is labeled with the lesson, so your child can match up the story with the lesson that they did for the day. Snoopy is already reading well on her own but these stories have helped to reinforce the phonics lesson of the day. Each days story uses the phonics lesson that they learned in the work book. So they are getting lots of practice and she loves the stories. She says they are funny and enjoys telling us all about them.

This set also includes a Teachers guide. I haven't had many teachers guides, so I don't have a lot of experience judging if one is good or not. But I found this teachers guide to be very helpful. It offers teaching tips on one side of the page and the other shows an answer key for the student work books. The answer key is in the form of little pictures of the student workbook pages, with the answers filled in. I personally like the teaching tips. I am good with phonics, but some times I like to have a different way to explain something just to be sure she is really getting it. I have no real complaints other than the little pictures of the student work book pages could be slightly larger. So that I don't have to put my glasses on to see the answers.

Snoopy has really enjoyed the program and nothing makes me happier than to see my kids enjoy learning and reading. Please click the link below to see some other great Alpha Omega product reviews from the Crew Members.

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Monday, August 10, 2015


Its Snoopy Girls birthday! My baby is turning the big 6 in the morning. She has been excited about turning 6 for weeks now. But tonight as I tucked her in to bed and reminded her I was headed down to start her birthday breakfast. She pulled me in real close and whispered mommy "I just don't think I am ready to be 6 just yet. But I sure do want those cinnamon roles you are making for me in the morning."

The Lord has blessed me with an AMAZING daughter. My days would not be the same with out her.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Windows 10 installed and nothings smoking

I bit the bullet and downloaded Windows 10 today. This was a scary download for me. I was worried one of my older homeschool programs would not be compatible. But I hated windows 8. The download and installation took forever about 5 hours. Downloading and installing was straight forwards it just took forever. But we are up and running again and so far nothing has crashed. It appears to be a blend of windows 7 and windows 8. Its is much easier for me to navigate than windows 8 was. I am not sure I like the new Microsoft Edge yet only time will tell. So far I am a little frustrated that Norton will not work on it. I am hoping Norton or Edge will come out with a fix for the problem soon. All in all I just though I would tell everyone that I made the upgrade and nothing blew up or started smoking.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
School is in full swing here in our home. The girls are getting back into the grove of it all and I am back to trying to figure out what cool bonus science project we are going to do for the week. This is where the Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers book comes in. It is a Science Unit Studies book For Homeschoolers and Teachers. The vendor is Funtastic Unit Studies and at the time of this review the book is selling for $16.95. You can get it at several different places just go to the vendors site above and they have the links to order. This book provides science unit studies for children ages 4-13. The first 4 chapters are units designed for ages 4-7 and the second 10 are for ages 8-13. The book contains 20 chapters in all. Each chapter teaches basic science concepts that use items you most likely already have in your house. Some chapters also have worksheets and test.
Chapters are:
1. Our Senses
2. The Human Body
3. Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
4. Animals
5. Insects and Their Kin
6. Fun with Magnets
7. Stars and Planets
8. Health
9. Beginning Plants
10. Animal Ecology
11. Insects
12. Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
13. Atoms and Molecules
14. Matter
15. Chemistry Fun
16. Weather
17. Forces and Motion
18. Simple Machines
19. Light and Color
20. Plants II
The book has quite a few unit studies in it and I had to explore the book before deciding which we wanted to do.  My sister got the girls dino dig kits a few weeks a go. They have now gone dino crazy so we chose do to the Dinosaur and Prehistoric Life unit study. It is geared for ages 4-7 so it fit the girls age range. We spent around a week on the unit and the girls really enjoyed it.
At the beginning of each unit the book will give a list of materials that will be needed to complete the unit. I love the list it makes it easy for me to get everything together before hand. So far most of the items are things we have already had in our house. I did have to buy cream cheese because well I made cheese cake with it before we got to that part of the unit. Who can blame me though its cheese cake right.
There are 6 parts to the Dinosaur and Prehistoric Life unit. Each part has some directions and several activities that you can do with your kids. The unit also gave some suggestions for additional learning resources. Like movies that might go along with the unit or finding books at your local library. We were able to collect books from the library and located the Magic School Buss movie that this unit suggested. We did all the activities suggested in the unit. We found the activities to be easy to follow and understand which is great for my younger kids.  
We did all the activities in the unit but these two were our favorite. The #1 favorite was the Bagel Stegosaurus. We cut a bagel in half then used carrots for the head and tale and apple pieces for the spines. Cream cheese held it all together. The girls have made these several more times for breakfast since we did this unit. We also made dinosaur eggs using small plastic dinosaurs that I just happened to have in the prize box and some grated soap. We used Ivory left over from a previous experiment. They formed it around the little dino's and then they used it to wash their hands. The more they washed the quicker they got to the dinosaur.

  Over all Funtastic Unit Studies offers a good amount of unit studies for its Price. I like that I can use it for more than one grade level. The author does offer some freebies on her site I would like to suggest you to try them out because they are fun:  
Freebies:Here's a link to a page  that has two free pdf units from the book:

And here's a link that has some other, unrelated, freebies:
Historical Chapter Book
I would like to invite everyone to click the link below and see what the other Crew Members had to say about Funtastic Unit Studies. There are so many different unit studies I am sure they all tried something different.
Funtastic Unit Studies Review  
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