Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our New Little Friend

It's that time of year again here in MO, the turtles are on the move. Today the girls found the first cute little guy of the season. Check him out and let us know what you think. 

At first he didn't want us to see him.



He decided we could have a little peak and he poked his head out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Devonian GREEMU Review

Greemu Devonian Review

Great new product by Devonian it's called GREEMU and you can find it at

What is GREEMU you say. It's a beauty oil that is made from a blend of butters and plant oils that replicates the fatty acid composition, properties, and texture of emu oil. It's basically a non animal version of emu oil. 

I love Emu oil I used it all the time, on everything from my dry cracked hands to small kitchen burns. How ever I do know some people like a non animal derived products.This is probably the next best thing if you would like to go the Non animal route. I love all the ingredients in GREEMU, I have used each one individually and they are all wonderful. When put together in a blend they are just yummy.  First impression: I though it was bit heaver than Emu oil it hangs out on the skin a tad longer. I also thought it was slightly sticky for a few minutes. Neither of these things really bothered me. The color is about the same I compared it to two different Emu Oil brands. 

I tried it as a facial moisturizer for several weeks. I found it to be to heavy during the day, but I did like it as a night time moisturizer. Since it's a bit heaver than standard emu oil, I found that for me it worked best as a lip moisturizer. It seems to penetrate well and is helping to keep my chronically dry lips stay a bit softer. I have been using it on my lips for about 4 weeks and I am now thinking of getting some refillable lip gloss tubes on amazon so I can carry some in my pocket. I have also been using it as a cuticle cream in the evenings. I work with my hands a lot and I find my cuticles very dry and ragged. A little dab in the evening seems to be helping smooth them out. It comes in a 4oz bottle and a little bit goes a long way. I can see this bottle lasting me quite a while. I also used GREEMU as an additive in my lotion, so far it is looking promising. I used the same recipe and simply swapped out the emu oil for the GREEMU. The lotions consistency, feel and moisturizing abilities seemed to be about the same.There was no real noticeable difference. I have used Emu oil on healing scars and scrapes and had good results but I have not yet tried GREEMU on healing scars and scrapes mostly because no one has gotten any boo boos. 

Greemu Devonian Review

If you are looking for an alternative for Emu oil GREEMU is the way to go. The other Crew Members also tried out GREEMU and I would love for you to click the banner and see what they have to say. 

Greemu Devonian Review

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writers in Residence Apologia Educational Ministries Review

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

Learning to write is just plain hard for some kids. While my oldest has a wonderful imagination she has a hard time getting her thoughts together. I was excited for her to try out Writers in Residence by Apologia Educational MinistriesThis curriculum is for grades 4-8. My oldest will be in 4th grade in a couple of months. But I felt good starting it a tad early. This is a writing based language arts program. It teaches students everything from sentence structure,to capitalization and usage. This program is designed to help students learn how to create engaging stories that you actually want to read. It has a biblical based framework that I of course love. 

Some of the main features that drew me to Writers in Residence:

  • It's a complete writing curriculum covers grammar, punctuation and capitalization. I don't have to teach a separate grammar class.

  • It has an answer key and teachers book so I get the help I need to teach well.

  • It's got color and the assignment topics are FUN !

  • It's and all in one student text and workbook.

  • The student text is easy to understand.

I am going to admit she was a little intimidated when she saw the size of this

student book. This thing is huge compared to the other books we have been using this year. The reason its so big is because its both the student text and the workbook combined into one. After some assurances that she did not have to complete the entire book tell the end of 4th grade she calmed down. Now that we have had it a while I would have preferred a separate student workbook. It would make managing the book easier. The student text/workbook gives a suggested daily schedule. It is set up to be a 4 day a week program. I started her out on three days a week because I was afraid she would get overwhelmed. We are working up to the 4 day a week schedule that we will use in a few more weeks.  Each unit has a different theme or topic that they write about. As you work through the unit it builds from simple bite sized assignments that eventually give them the steps put together a hole story. Each day starts out with a lesson that you have to read. Then it gives an assignment that goes along with it. The first unit was themed When I was Young. The first assignment was thinking of a special place and writing it down. (Super Girl chose the Campground as her special place) The second assignment was making a memory chart. A memory chart was new to me but it was effective. It had her write down her favorite place at the top. Then it had her add in things like Favorite person or people, favorite thing you did with them, any specific details that she could remember. This simple assignments helped her get started and not feel afraid of writing. It broke it down into steps and that is exactly what she needed. 

We are well into Unit 1 but it's going to take a while for us to complete Writers in Residence. It has been so good for her she is finally understanding the writing process and I am pleased that she is not dreading writing assignments quite so much. We hope they come out with another level for next year. I would love for everyone to click the banner and read some of the other Crew reviews on Writers in Residence.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

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Monday, April 18, 2016

A+ Interactive Math Math Mini-Courses Review

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Introducing Math Mini-Courses from  A+ Interactive Math.  A+ interactive math is now offering a way to close learning gaps. They offer 20 different Math Mini Courses. Each course offers an in-depth review of math concepts from a basic to advanced level. You get 1 year of access to the online courses and prices range from $9.99 to $19.99. You can review the course as many times as you like with in that year. 

With a Math Mini Course you get video lessons, interactive Review, Worksheets+test, automatic grading and printable reports.

We used Elementary and Middle School Division for 1 parent/1 student. We also received the Money Mini Course for 1 parent/student. 

The Elementary and Middle School Division course covers a lot. It starts out with an introduction to division and moves on through division in relation to subtraction and multiplication. Then Division using objects, and travels on through to end with dividing a 4-digit number by a 2 digit number. As a mom who does not excel in math I was pleased to see how it broke things down and that the lessons built on each other. I though it was fairly simple to follow. The lessons are clear and were easy to understand. 

When they log in it takes them to a main dashboard from there they can select the video lessons w/interactive review. Printable work sheets and test and a how to get started video. You can also view a PDF of the lessons. The girls start with the video lessons w/interactive review. I have them complete all the lessons and reviews before they move on to take one of the test. I did find the printable worksheets to be great. They fit in with the lessons and help to reinforce the concept that was being taught. We have used a lot of printable work sheets. 

Our only real complaint is on the video lessons. You have to remember what lesson you completed last. It does not automatically progress to the next lesson when you log in the next day. My daughter has to write down what lesson she did or she forgets by the next day. Not a big issue but some sort of check off would be helpful. You also have to click update lesson status so that it marks that you completed the lesson and marks down a completed date. They also must click the frog to submit an answer on the Interactive Q & A questions.

We also had the opportunity to try out the Mini-Course Money, This starts out with counting pennies, nickles, dimes etc. and continues through to making change and ends with calculating sale prices and interest rates. My 6 year old is working with this one. The beginning lessons on counting and making change are great. She is doing well with them I am pleased to see her money counting abilities are getting better.  I like how it progress through the course. Each lesson is building on what they learned before. The graphics are great. She loves that the Interactive Q&A  questions are corrected right away. How ever the interest rates are a bit over her head. 

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Jr Treehouse Masters

Have you ever seen Treehouse Masters on Animal planet. I am sure most of you have seen the show at some time or another. In case you haven't its basically its a show about the building of treehouses. Most of them are grand treehouses that have things like tv's, plumbing, insulation etc. My girls have taken a liking to the show. Surprisingly enough it has inspired them in new way and big way. They have been bitten by the treehouse bug. Every where they look on the property they are trying to figure out what tree would make a great treehouse. They are not looking for grand just something to climb around in. Maybe camp out in during the summer when the cousins sleep over. They would like a pulley so they can raise and lower things to the top and a roof to keep them dry when its raining. They can envision a low table and some fluffy pillows to sit on and do classwork. Just your basic kids stuff. No matter how much I wish I could give them this dream, this single mom just does not have the money to build such a thing right now. So for now the girls have accepted that a tree house is just not something mommy can do right now. Today while I was working in the garden two little voices ask can I have this stick of wood. Sure I said just don't hurt your self on it.  I went on with my work. A few minutes later hey mom can I have this other piece of wood. A few minutes later how about this piece of rope? my youngest yells dangling a 4 ft piece of rope from her hand. Now I am curious as to what they are up to. Dusting off my hands and jeans I follow the sound of little voices, they were not arguing or fighting they were sounds of two sisters working together.  This is what I discovered in the only tree in the yard that is low enough for them to climb. My two JR Treehouse Masters hard at work trying to build that little treehouse dream. Its such a small tree it doesn't really fit in the tree most of it is on the ground. It's a dogwood so I don't think it could sustain the weight of a treehouse but they are giving it there best. They are doing so well working together and trying to figure things out. This is one proud momma I only wish I could help them build them an actual treehouse.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Homeschool Copywork Review

Homeschool Copywork Review

What homeschool mom doesn't love good copywork. I am excited to be using Homeschool Copywork we received a  Lifetime Membership and its awesome. This is basically a site where you can print some really great copywork. I am so happy I don't have to make to copywork my self any more. Copywork not only helps kids with handwriting but it also builds good punctuation and vocabulary and reading skills. The Site has something for most grade levels. We found Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Junior High-High School. We found copywork based around things like the human body, the Wright Brothers, lots of different scripture copywork sets. There are also character building pages. Not all of the copy work is scripture we did find some that were things like, poetry from Emily Dickenson and Lewis Carroll.We also discovered some different holiday themed sets that looked good.

Due to the girls ages and grade level we really only got the chance to use the Early Elementary Copywork section. I did explore the other levels just to see what was offered that we might be able use in the future. The Human Body pages will come into use soon enough.

Copywork is not the girls most favorite thing to do. I hear a lot of But MOM! when I pull out copywork pages every week. So when I first
approached the girls with this coppywork, I started them out with Dragons of the Bible Copywork, notebooking, and coloring pages. I started with this one because they both love Dinosaur's and I though it would be a fun way to kick off copywork. They both love dragons and dinosaurs so I figured it would be a hit. This set has 22 verses of the Bible that have to do with "dragons" (aka dinosaurs) These verses give proof to the existence of "dragons" aka dinosaurs and this book is based on creations science. It has both print and cursive in and full size dragon coloring pages. It contains 154 pages. I liked the cursive pages the best since that is what we are concentrating on right now. I have been satisfied with the verses they chose. We did find that on some of the longer verses the girls would run out of room on the lined portion. We have been printing some of the blank notebooking pages to give them extra room. My youngest would like smaller lines but that is just her personal preference. They are both enjoying the beautiful artwork that they are getting to color when they finish the copywork. Here is one of the Dragon pages that my oldest did. As you can see this verse was from Malachi. She was not happy with it because she didn't think her writing looked nice enough. I encouraged her to practice more and allowed her to select the next copywork page that interested her. I found that letting them choose what page to do next helps them to stay more interested.

I let the girls flip through some of whats offered and they are excited to do some of the holiday themed copywork pages. We found a Thanksgiving and a Christmas that look very nice. The Christmas one could easily be used as an Advent and comes in ESV and KJV. I was very pleased to see the Thanksgiving copywork pages. The scriptures that were chosen are beautiful and capture the real meaning of Thanksgiving. The pictures on all the pages we looked at were beautiful and offered the girls some coloring fun to enhance the activity.

Not only are the girls getting handwriting practice but they are also getting great scripture lessons and a little art all at the same time. Other crew members have tried out other copywork pages so you will want to click the banner below and see what they thought.

Homeschool Copywork Review

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Picture Monday

Today is Picture Monday. Its raining and the kids are busy with school.These are just some fun pictures that I took last week when the weather was nice. Me and the girls went exploring just for fun. Take a break have a little fun and go exploring. Don't forget learning happens out side the classroom to.

Friday, April 1, 2016

For the Month of APRIL TOS and I are offering up these three products for Free!  That's right they are FREE !  We would love for you to follow my blog and like TOS on Facebook. Then at check out simply use the code JBCREW16 at check out.  

April Fools

Happy April Fools Day ! 

Let the Fun Begin ......

The girls woke and walked around the house for 20 minutes before they realized they had marker mustaches. They burst out laughing. Just wait tell they find out the juice is really jello and the water faucet is going to sip out green water. 

Have a fun day everyone!