Saturday, May 28, 2016

Nature Study and Interview with Linus

We spent Thursday outside for school. I used a nature study at Schoolhouse Teachers to start us off on our fun. It was about evergreen trees. Thankfully my sons and husband transplanted some trees for us last year and they have done quite well. Why do I say thankfully? Well, we have these all over the property but we would have had to walk quite far to see them, these were transplanted down our driveway.

We started by looking at the pine trees down our driveway. We touched the needles, we felt the bark on the branches, and we smelled them to smell that minty smell they produce. Then the boys sat down and drew the tree they found the most interesting. Our younger son was all about this tree. He was drawn to it (no pun intended).

The clover are blooming all over our property, much to the joy of our chickens. They love this yellow clover so much. 

The ladybugs like it a well. It's easy to find them milling around the clover and tall grass.

Just getting outside helps my sons so much. It helps calm them, helps them focus, and just seem to help them overall. So going outside to study in nature is a wonderful thing. We often go outside to do other study time as well. Math in the grass, language arts at the picnic table, or ready by the pond. It's one of the beauties of home education. I love that we have so much land to explore in our home school day and we use it often. But sometimes all we need to do is step outside our front door and take a few steps down the driveway.

Interview with the Little Misters (Linus Edition)

Q: (Me) Can you tell me what your favorite part about being outside is?
Linus: I like seeing what God created. I like all the green stuff and in the winter I like the snow. (poor kid, doesn't get much joy in the winter where we live)

Q: Can you tell me something you have learned from being outside or doing school outside?
Linus: Oh, just how animals create things. Like spiders and how they make webs and birds and how they make nests.

Q: How does going outside make you feel?
Linus: My body feels fresh and good. I get my energy out. Sometimes I get tired. I feel relaxed.

Q: Do you like having school inside or outside better?
Linus: Outside!

Q: Do you have any advice for families that don't go outside for school or anything else you want to add?
Linus: You need to get outside because you can see what God created and just explore. Your kids would feel happy.

And with that he had to go to the restroom and it ended his train of thought as happens with most 8 year old children. I can't stress enough how important going outside is. From the basics of vitamin D, and just breathing in fresh air to the way our bodies change when we are in nature, things we can learn, and how we can interact in God's creation. God designed us to be in nature. The garden of Eden was not the high rise of Eden. So, take a minute and get outside today. I know we will be doing just that.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Children and God

Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. Luke 9:46-48

Jesus spoke about children and used children as an example in His teachings often. This wasn't by accident. Jesus did NOTHING on a whim. He had a purpose for every example, ever story, every word He said. He used a child, probably a very young child, to make His point with His disciples. This child was probably one they would have passed by without a second look. Or, they might have looked over, smiled at the game he was playing, and then walked past. But Jesus saw this child very differently. He saw the lesson to be learned.

These men were standing in the presence of our Savior and instead of just listening and learning and helping they were debating on who would be greater. Hello, if you don't know the answer, JESUS.

I see this story from so many angles.

1) I see a Savior who loves us so much He will continue to teach us over and over and over. He taught the disciples so many times, and continued to do so even until His last day on earth. He is so patient with us, so kind, so merciful.

2) I see a Savior who expected us to get His lessons and start living them. He didn't let us wallow. He said "here's how to live, now go do it."

3) I see a Savior that saw the inherent value in children. They were not little things that would eventually have worth when they could have a job, contribute to society, or bear a child. They had worth and value right where they were.

This is so important for us, as adults, to learn. We need to heed His advice, but we also need to know that when we mess up (and we will) He is willing to be there to guide us back to the narrow gate. He loves us and wants to be with us. He will keep teaching if we are willing to listen.

But, we have to start listening. We can't keep making excuses. Oh, I am speaking to me here more than anyone else. We have got to start looking at what Jesus is showing us and then just do it. No excuses, no buts, just do it.

Last, we need to value children. We need to love them, teach them, guide them, and disciple them. They have worth from the second they are conceived. We need to remember that because Jesus worked hard to not let us forget it.

And, for our kids, they need to know they have worth simply because God loves them. He sees them not as the kid with braces, that funny kid who walks oddly, or the slow kid who can't keep up. He sees a beautiful child and longs to help that child grow in Him and His favor.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bugs Invade

When we first moved to our home it was a brand new home. No one had ever lived on this property before, at least for as long as records go back. So, when we first moved in here we had a little varmint issue. UGH! But, "butter sticks" under the house, a few mouse traps inside, and a good cat outside ended that and we never had another issue. It's not uncommon to have mice when you live on a lot of acreage (400 to be exact) where they have had to work so hard for food and suddenly food is plentiful so close to them.

Fast forward 5 years. We have no more issues. We get the occasional fly. If we leave our front porch light on at night and open the door a moth or June bug will fly in. But you get that in the city and a fly swatter and remembering to turn the porch light off before opening the door takes care of that.

Then we went away for a few days a month ago. We came home to fleas. I will NOT put up with fleas. I freaked and immediately thought to board our cat, go back to my Mom's with the kids, and to flea bomb the house. Then cooler heads prevailed and I realized we didn't want those toxins in our home and I started to research.

Here's what I found, it works fast and it works well.

We used this on our carpet. I will say, it does contain SLS, but since it was going to be on our carpet I bypassed the issues with that and used it at night when we went to bed. You can put this on your cat/dog if you need to. We have an inside cat and I used other things on him.

On our cat we used a flea comb. This works VERY well and fast. You simply comb the cat and the fleas are pulled off the coat. Make sure to have a glass of water with soap in it to dip the comb between strokes. This will kill the fleas found on the comb.

But this, THIS was the big guns. Every natural website I read said this was what you wanted. I told you I don't mess around with fleas. I wanted them gone, yesterday. This Aspectek Sticky Dome Flea Trap (wanted you to have the name so you could find it online) is a very simple set up and extremely effective. You simply plug this unit in and the little night light bulb comes on (you can replace the bulb as needed with an inexpensive night light bulb that you can find at any store like Walmart. The bottom has a very sticky disk in it that captures the fleas when they jump in to get to the light. When I say sticky, I mean STICKY. So, don't touch it. Yes, it comes off your hand, but you need a vegetable oil type oil to get the residue off. And, if paper touches it, forget it. That puppy is stuck. This works fast. We paid a lot of attention to it that first day. Within a minute or two we already had a few fleas. 

We are now fully flea-less. Whew. Since we had those hit so unexpectedly (we have never had fleas before in our home), I decided to leave them up until the end of the season. We come in and out a lot. If there were fleas inside, there must be fleas outside. I don't want them carried inside. 

Oh, last tip on this for your outside fleas. We use food grade diamataceous earth outside to control fleas in our yard area. We use it near our pets living areas and use it in their bed area and on their backs for flea control. We always make sure it's food grade even though we don't use it internally (you can and it works great for many types of worms, toxins, etc). You can find dosing for this online. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Prayer Request

I value and cherish the prayers of fellow Christians. If you have a minute today, please lift our family up in prayers. God knows the need.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 1 Timothy 2:1

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Here We Go

Life has been nuts.

Starting tomorrow life is going to get nuttier.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Knowing I can't stop some of the insanity, I try to limit it where I can. For instance, on Sunday we start our 1950's experiment. I am actually looking forward to it. Yes, I am looking forward to less television, more outside time, more family time, more down time. No, I haven't lost my mind.

Another way we slow things down is with school. That means I let my kids do some of the direction that our lessons go. With that comes things like Reading Eggspress. It's the bigger kid section of Reading Eggs. My sons love it.

But not everything is computers and tech. Today, for example, we needed to work on spelling. I didn't pull out the spelling lists, I pulled out the games.

Yep, I played Scrabble with my sons for spelling and it was fun. The best part is, I only won by 14 points. I had HORRIBLE letters. Seriously, at one point I had an O, A, and 5 I's. Did you know there are only 9 I's in the game. That's a lot of I's to have. But, I love winning by only 14 points and I love losing to my sons even more because I don't let them win. They earned it.

Tomorrow we start on some new items for our sons medical issues. It's a good thing. It will really help them, but it's something new to learn and more things to add to the day.

You know, tonight I was watching Mom's Night Out on DVD and the Mom I most identify with is talking about how she's stress paralyzed. Her husband looks at her like she's nuts and tells her he doesn't think that's a thing. I am here to tell you, it's a thing. Anyone who doesn't think so is either not a parent or ... well, they just aren't a parent. I have been stress paralyzed lately. But, I am moving on from that towards stress upwardly mobile. I am working on seeing the beauty in the chaos. God is not the author of confusion, so anything I am stress paralyzed about is just satan working on me and me not focusing on God. It's me taking my eyes off of Him, looking down at the water I am walking on, and starting to drown. If I simply lift my eyes up and fix them back on my Savior, I will rise to walk in His strength and power. And that's where I am today.

Yep, it's a good day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Memoria Press Astronomy Review

My family was given the chance to review the Book of Astronomy Set from Memoria Press recently.  Considering where we live, this seems like a very good fit for a natural segue into science. I mean, 400 acres in the county with nary a city light in sight. It's the perfect classroom for astronomy.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

In this set I received the student book and teacher's manual for this set. It's a nice deal for $31.90 since you get an entire year of science from it. In this book you learn about constellations, stars, zodiacs, and the solar system all tied together with Greek Myths. It is designed for third grade and up and I think that age level is appropriate for the information presented and in the classical manner in which it's given. It is divided into 4 sections and you end up covering all the zodiacs if you complete all sections.

You will be learning/teaching such things as the brightest stars in the night sky in order to locate constellations, magnitude of stars and their brightness which actually helps you move into those 15 brightest stars.

If you have more than one child that will be in this study, you will only need purchase extra student books. It is a study that will interest older kids as well. Younger children will appreciate it but I think the student book might be a bit difficult for them on their own, though working WITH an older sibling might be a nice way to handle that issue.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

Now, I said this is all you need for a year of science. However, there is a suggested book for use if you want. It's especially helpful if your child has not studied any mythology or you are not very well versed in the stories themselves. This book is D'Aulaires Greek Myths. We didn't purchase it, but it's mentioned as an option if you want to dive deeper into the myths, the specific reasons behind the zodiac names chosen, etc.

Once you have started on the book and had gotten to know some of the information, you can then take that knowledge right out your back door and put it to immediate use finding constellations in the night sky. Be warned, kids have an automatic in to stay up late. "But Mom, it's SCHOOL WORK". How do you deny that one? Ha ha.

Our Thoughts:

My kids love studying the stars. Ever since we moved out here they have been fascinated with constellations, stars, their names, and locations. They pick it up so naturally so this type of study was excellent for that natural curiosity.

However, I was not a big fan of how much it was tied to Greek Mythology. While I understood and know where the names come from, the stories themselves, and why those types of names were given, we personally were not excited about the depth of mythology knowledge given at such a young age. We prefer to keep that for later in their educational careers, so we won't continue this study beyond the review phase. However, if you like or want to introduce your kids to the Greek stories, this would be an excellent way to do that.

There was quite a bit of writing with this study. Honestly, it might be nice to make this a handwriting portion of your day, especially if your kids aren't really into writing a lot. Or, you could do it orally. We are homeschoolers, there are always ways around those types of issues.

If you would like to follow Memoria Press online or check out more information on these items, please find them at the following social media sites:

Memoria Press Facebook
Google +

If you would like to read more reviews of the Book of Astronomy Set and Memoria Press' other items, click the graphic below for more wonderful bloggers thoughts.

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our 1950's Experiment

I read an article about a family purposely moving away from the busyness of life back towards a slower pace for the summer. I liked that idea. My husband liked that idea. We decided it was time to embrace that idea.

We decided to do our own little experiment with slowing down in life and getting out of the hustle and bustle of daily living and also getting out of the way kids play these days.

Even when I was growing up (far from the 50's, think 70's and 80's) kids played different. We played outside all day long coming in long enough for a meal and a drink of water. Oh, but not too many drinks or your Mom would get upset you were coming in and out so we often used the garden hose for a cool taste of water. We used our imaginations more, ran more, climbed more, and just were far more physical. Sure we played with toys, but that was often outside too. I remember my doll in my basket on my bike, skating with my jump rope as a tie with my friends. It was just different.

With that, we are turning off the TV for this experiment. You didn't sit around all day watching TV. You weren't in you room playing Lego all day. TV will be a treat throughout the week for a special show. We only have DVDs, no cable, so it won't be hard to do that. Kids can play Lego if they still want, but they are going outside to do it most of the time.

Now, we live where it gets to be 110 degrees during the day, so we will have to come in during the hottest part of the day since I have one son with heat tolerance issues. But, other than that, we are gearing up for fun in the sun this summer starting next week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

All Cooped Up

We have chickens.

We had a temporary coop made from our old coop from our last chickens.

It wasn't good.

It's roof was low.

We had given away our hen house so we were using a very rigged up house that was super basic with no laying boxes.

It wasn't good.

That's all changed now.

We spent 2 days putting together my husband's idea. Well, not two. We spent yesterday morning at church, but came home, at lunch, and back out we went.

The chickens are delighted. No, really, they are cracking us up with how they are acting in their new super coop. It's not done. The house you see at the end of the pictures below will be fully enclosed soon and we will be putting skids on it so it can be moved around the yard from place to place. This will keep them on fresh grass with fresh supplies of bugs.

The coop with the girls and our one roo inside. You can see the house at the end partially covered (it has a roof and 3 half walls.) Not bad. It's so nice out now we didn't even want it finished yet so we are waiting to buy more wall material. It has an arched roof on the entire yard so nothing can get into the pen with the chickens. At the end where the house is, there is a very, very thick fabric waterproof tarp that will give them extra shade and weather protection.

This is the gift my boys made for their chickens. It's a roosting tree. Simple 4"x4" in the ground with 1"x1" posts all around at different heights. The last picture will tell you what they thought of it, so keep reading.

Inside the pen - you can see a bit of the detail of the ramp and awning better. See that big gray thing right in the middle there? That's my second favorite chicken equipment ever. It's a double walled chicken watering can. When you take the top off one wall comes with it. You fill the can with water for the chickens and no water comes into the drinking trough area until you put that lid back on all the way down. So you can move it where you need and nothing spills. It has a handle inside of it so you can move it with the lid off. It has a handle on top so you can move it with the lid on and it locks so the lid won't come off. It keeps the water so clean and fresh (much better than the plastic ones) and holds a lot of water. Never thought I would be excited about chicken accessories.

So, I said the watering can was my second favorite item, here's my first. It's our laying boxes. Yes, that is a cord in the picture. It will be tacked up today. We bought these at a second hand store this week. My husband had been eyeing them and we were actually able to make a deal with the woman that owns the store (it's a really nice store, a fun place to shop for cute things for your house and adorable new clothing). He had some items that are similar to the metal things she sells (her biggest business) so the price was taken way down after we traded those. We attached it to the house so it wouldn't move no matter how rambunctious the girls got and filled each box with nice fresh hay for them. Now we just wait for eggs.

Back to the roosting tree. We looked outside last night as we walked past the kitchen window and here's what we saw.

Sorry the picture isn't very good. It was very dark and I used my cell phone. First the rooster got up on the top of the tree and strutted his stuff. He was acting like he was king of the world up there. It was hysterical. This picture was taken about an hour later and you can see one hen on the arm on the left. Then that's a hen on the tallest point. Right next to her (we are moving left to right) is our rooster. Then three hens on the right side of him. They were there until after we went to bed last night. So, I think I would call that a hit.

We have another roosting bar closer to the hen house, one built into the frame of the hen house, then each level of the hen house has one on it. So, roosting is an easy job for them with many locations.

That was our weekend. What did you cook up this weekend for fun?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The School Issue

Sigh, I am just tired of this. I am sick of our nation thumbing their collective noses at God. If a person wants to defy God and choose hell, that is their choice. I am sad for them. I share the Gospel with them. But, in the end they have the right to choose Heaven or hell. However, this is just going too far. We are mocking our God, our Creator. We are pointing and laughing at Him as a nation. We are saying, "rain down the fire God, you don't scare me" and, honestly, I am ready to duck and cover.

It's one thing, as a business, to say "you can use the ladies or men's room, we don't care". It's another for our President to threaten and bully the welfare of our kids (money to the schools) in order to FORCE his personal agenda into the hallways of their schools. And that's what our President is attempting right now. Who cares what you think, do what I say or lose money for kids education.

And the Christians in this nation are pulling their kids out of public school so fast it would make your head spin. They are boycotting Target, so it's a no brainer to boycott public education facilities. RIGHT?

Nope. They are sighing and putting their kids back on those same big yellow buses each morning. Because, you know, free education.

People, people. Wake up. It's not free. I mean, take out the whole "you are paying for it with your taxes" line. You are risking your kids and their futures with this junk and experiments You are signing your children up to be guinea pigs in an experiment that God has already said is dangerous and wrong. We know how it ends, so why even put our kids through the test. Oh, and the line of "well, my child can be a light on the hill in the dark schools" no longer works. This has gone beyond that. Yes, you can still witness to other kids. But it's time to realize this is not the place to tempt our children and allow them to be pulled into the world's anti-God ways. This is too dangerous. We wouldn't send a 10 year old into a war zone, why would we send him into this battlefield? Even God pulled Abraham and His family out of Sodom and Gamorrah before He destroyed it. It was time to move on, dust the feet from your sandals. And, this is even more important because these are kids, not strong men and women of God.

I like what Israel Wayne had to say about it in his confusion (which seems to be as deep as mine on this one),
Many Christians will boycott Target over the transgender bathroom issue, but will they ever boycott government schools over the same issue?
I don't think so. For reasons I don't begin to understand, most Christians are tenaciously addicted to their government school habit.
I don't think there is ANYTHING at all the government schools would EVER do that would EVER make most Christians remove their children and pay for their own child's Christian education. Sad, but true.
80% of Christians are still committed to government matter what.

Think about it folks. If you want to exact change in your public schools, rip your kids out. If every professing Christian did, I promise you there would be huge changes. Either they would implode or they would change their tune begging for you to return. Either way, your kids would be safe from harm, would be well educated, and would be taught Godly principles by example instead of worldly principles by force.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

In Pursuit of ARTistic Pursuits Inc. (Review)

Many of you know how much my older son likes to draw. With that in mind, our family was blessed with the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits Inc  Elementary Book 4 - 5 Book One. This is a homeschool curriculum for those artistically and not-so-artistically inclined. Yes, Mom, even if you can't draw a straight line you can help your child grow his knowledge and skill in art.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

ARTistic Pursuits Inc Elementary Book 4 - 5 Book One helps kids look at items in their environment in a different way, a more broken down way. Instead of saying "draw a tree" or "draw a farm", it takes each item to show you the various "parts" of the item. Take a dog, for example. You have shade, texture, and the outline. You don't draw a dog, you draw the various pieces of it and end up with a dog. It really used an artists eye to help kids develop their own artistic eye.

Not only does it help a child break down what they want to draw in order to draw better, it gives wonderful examples throughout of other students work and professional pieces. So, a student will have an example of the types of works others have done in the same style. It's great to have art appreciation with art "how-to" all in one place.

My kids enjoyed the pace of the lessons. They started to see lines in their everyday life, shading everywhere, and texture of items they have never seen it in before. They started to do their own steps in their fun art outside of school.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

They also really liked getting to use "REAL" art supplies. We try to give them better quality items, but there were a few pieces I haven't seen since my days in art classes. They got to use some items I used in my honors art courses and they are in elementary school. I was concerned about this at first, but they really took to them and listened to me when I talked about the care of their supplies and the use of them. Another thing I liked as a Mom was that the supplies didn't cost me an arm and a leg and I was able to find at Hobby Lobby. They give you exact brands which makes shopping for the supplies a breeze.

Each unit, such as space, line and shape, texture, value, contrast, form, balance, rhythm, edges, overlap, and depth helps kids to take their pieces one step further, to use these different techniques to create more mature looking pieces of art.

Another aspect I liked was that my younger son who is not as artistically inclined as his older brother was able to not only keep up but was able to get better in his own skills, enjoyed the lessons, and wanted more. He didn't get frustrated because of the level it expected, but our older son didn't feel he was being held back at all.

Last, but far from least, is that this is easily a program for the entire family. I loved art as a child and young woman, but I sort of slacked off since having kids. I started to get the yearning to pull out my kids supplies and start working on honing my semi-forgotten skills. I found that the lessons quicker moving for me as it was more like a refresher course, which I loved.

If you would like to follow ARTistic Pursuits Inc online, check them out below:

ARTistic Pursuits Inc Facebook

After you have checked out my review, click the graphic below to read more reviews of this book and on their other books on different levels and topics.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

Things We Say ...

Sometimes I wonder if the things I say in my home are so ridiculous that people would find them nuts or would all moms understand. So, here's my rendition of "she said what" from this past week.

"Don't eat the cat" - said to my dog as my cat ran past

"No, you can't do your homework. I want you to go play for a while." - said to get my kids OUTSIDE. They love it outside, but this week has been an inside week for them. Agh!

"Then he whispered 'heavy kittens' to me in his sleep" - I have no where to go with this other than to say it was about our youngest son Linus.

"Stop licking your brother" - sadly said TWICE this week, once to each child and, no, not on the same day.

"Do you want help fixing the car" - said to my husband. LOL, like I could help fixing the car!

Why do we moms say these things like they are completely normal conversation and never bat an eye when it comes out of our mouths?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Zeezok Publishing LLC Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades Review

MUSIC! We absolutely love music in our home. When we got the chance to review Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades  from Zeezok Publishing LLC, we were all so excited. The fact that our sons were starting to really get into their instruments made the timing perfect. Want an even better timing issue? My son was learning one of the songs that's on this set and in the book we chose to study first.

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

I don't want to just spill who we studied, I will give you hints.

- This composer came from a family who loved music maybe even more than my family does.
- He once was very hungry and played a violin in order to get his dinner. 
- In his day he was compared to Handel with many saying Handel was the closest in skill to him.

Any guesses?

I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Our first study was Bach! Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach known for such pieces as his Minuet in Gmaj which just happened to be the piece my son was learning on piano at the time.

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}
Let me start with what you get with the set we received called Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades.

You receive individual biographies for 7 different composers. Composers such as Mozart, Schubert, Bach, Beethoven, Paganini, and more. You receive activities for each composer. You will study geography, history, vocabulary tied to music, instrument studies, and even recipes from the period your composer lived. Did I forget to mention the CDs that go along with the music study? And last, but far from least, are lapbook downloads for each composer in this study. This is truly, truly a complete set. It's music appreciation the fun way.

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}
What We Thought:

I will admit to be a bit biased on this since we love music. But, I also wanted to make sure this was a quality product that would not short change my kids or bore them which would turn them off of music appreciation for a long time. I am happy to say I was not disappointed.

Each section has topics that really dive into each composer's life and music, but also uses their lives to teach important issues such as character. We learned about humor, hospitality, and more. I liked that the kids really started to appreciate the person behind the music they played and then learned bigger lessons from their lives.

For the biography we read it together. But, I took this chance to let each of my son's read aloud which they loved skipping that activity later since they normally have it as a separate topic each day. They would take turns reading and then I would read to end the chapter.

My kids (10 and 8) really got into this study and would ask me very good questions about Bach that went beyond the book's deep story. We took this chance to work on projects outside of the study. Now, I remember music appreciation, as does my husband, and it was NEVER this fun. I could have appreciated that class a lot more if they had used Zeezok Publishing LLC's study.

The study for Bach included science projects (yes, science) that the boys found fun and they actually learned from it. When we moved outside they found some metal on our farm that had been oxidized just like the church and, because we had studied the WHY behind it, they immediately were able to share with Grandma what had happened.

Did I mention recipes? Yeah, well, buy a bigger belt. Once we work through the entire series we will have eaten through 7 composers.

By the way, one comment my kids made was about the music itself. After my younger son got over his excitement that he already knew a piece by Bach, we started to listen to pieces he hadn't learned or didn't know. Both of my sons said at different times that they liked this music that it was famous. I told them it was. My older son said, "yeah, it's very famous, cartoons play it all the time". Ha ha. Well, at least I can count their DVD time with cartoons as educational. But I did use it as an opportunity to start to find Bach's music in our daily lives, and the boys were shocked how often they heard his pieces. I can't wait to listen to some of the other composers and do the same thing.

The Zeezok Publishing LLC's Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades is a wonderful bargain. Normally this is $207.62 set but Zeezok has discounted it and it's on sale for only $169.99. That's a bargain considering everything you get and the fact that it pulls in science, history, cooking, etc.

If you would like to check out Zeezok online, please check them out at:

After reading my post you might want to check out what other bloggers are saying about Bach and other composers in this study by clicking the graphic below.

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Vaxxed - Trailer Included

I am sure many of you have heard of the new movie that came out called Vaxxed. If you haven't, the trailer is below and you can check out their website.

Now, before you jump on the "vaccines don't cause Autism" bandwagon, this isn't about Autism. In fact, Autism could have never showed up on the scene in our nation and this conversation would still need to be had. This is so beyond Autism that it's not even funny. This is about cover up from those who we have set up to help us make informed decisions about our health care each day. We are supposed to be able to trust these guys and, instead, we learn they are lying to us.

Check it out. Check out the trailer. If you are so inclined to participate in this conversation, find a showing near you like I will be doing this weekend.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kwik Stix - Or, Hello Messless Painting

My family received the chance to review Kwik Stix 12 Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc.. If you are not familiar with Kwik Stix 12 Pack, let me share that with you. Kwik Stix is a solid tempera paint product. They roll up and down similar to a glue stick and are completely mess free. No, seriously, I rubbed my fingers across my son's paintings and nothing, and I do mean nothing, came off on my fingers.
Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review
Kwik Stix 12 Pack is real tempera paint, so you get the deeper color and coverage that you would expect from the liquid form we all know and love hate because of the mess. They dry in 90 seconds, though they didn't rub off on our skin in far, far less time than that. There would be smearing if you rubbed the painting before the 90 seconds. You can use them on paper, poster board, cardboard, wood, and more. 
As you can see, the Kwik Stix 12 Pack comes with a nice rainbow assortment of colors, including white. We pulled these out of the box the minute they came to our home, my boys were excited to use them. Since they pulled them out so fast I didn't have paper ready for them so they painted on the back of the shipping box. Hey, an artist finds a canvas anywhere he is. 
Next we pulled out the included paperwork to check it out and see if there were any rules for use. I mean, mess free painting had to have those stipulations you expect. Mess free only if ... fill in a list of rules that make it impossible to really be mess free. Nothing, no rules existed, just open, twist, and have fun. 
We noticed they included a small practice sheet, if you will. It had a very simple dot-to-dot just to let your child familiarize himself with the feel of the paint stick. 

Next Daddy drew my younger son a basic picture to let him start practicing right away. Our son was ready to get started. He drew a large face for him to create with and customize. 

One thing we noticed when he was painting the hair was that if you painted with a lighter touch, you actually got a lighter color of the paint and if you painted with a heavier hand, you got a darker color of paint. That was a nice unexpected benefit.

Oh, another tip we discovered was if you want a truly lighter shade of the color, paint with the color you want. Let it dry for the full 90 seconds. Then paint over it with the white stick. This will make it a lighter shade, lightness depends on how much white you apply.

So, did he like it? Yes. He immediately flipped the page once he was done with the face and drew a tractor to paint. 

We used a nicer end pad for these pictures, but even printer paper could have handled the paint since it's not wet when applied. As you can see my son is wearing a turquoise shirt. Once he was done painting, he still had a turquoise shirt and clean hands. I let him sit on my sofa to paint and my sofa is still brown even with pink, red, and green paints being used. 

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review
So, what did we think overall? Here's our pro and con list:
  • 100% mess free. They weren't kidding on this one. 
  • Almost completely smell free. I have a very scent sensitive nose and had to smell hard and long to even get a whiff of anything. 
  • Bright colors that truly give you the feel of real tempera paint. 
  • These would be GREAT for travel. You wouldn't have to worry about any mess and they are fun. 
  • If I had to make a poster or paint a large area on a canvas, this would be my first choice. It would be perfect for that situation if you were an adult and wanted to use them as well. 
  • We would have liked a few more color choices, but what was provided was a very good assortment, so I have a hard time putting this as a con.
  • Detail work wouldn't happen with this, at least not for kids my kids age. Maybe if you had the dexterity if a teen or so you could work a detailed paint job. I liken it to fat kindergarten crayon is to typical thin Crayons as these are to a paint brush. 
Want to add just one more fun thing about The Pencil Grip, Inc.? They sent one of their fun pencil grips for our family to try. After all, that's what they're known for, ergonomic pencil grips. I personally liked the grip and feel of this one they sent to us and use it on my pencils.

If you want to know more about Kwik Stix or The Pencil Grip, Inc., you can check them out at their online resources below:

Twitter @ThePencilGrip

You can also order these on Amazon at Kwik Stix 12 Pack Amazon Page

Now that you have read my review, why not pop on over and check out what other bloggers had to say about this fun new way to paint. 

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review


Random Acts of Boyhood Copyright © 2012 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template