Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I am sat in my living room, snuggled up with Little J watching Mary Poppins. It is Little J's first time watching this classic. I love sharing things like this with my children it makes old things new again. Don't you love good, clean, fun entertainment. It is true that some things can really span generations. My five year old is laughing and giggling just as I did when I watched it for the first time.
My parents are over and we went for a walk this afternoon enjoying the unseasonably warm day. Jam found a whole shell of a snapping turtle. It was a perfect way to spend the last day of the year. I find my parents very inspiring, I caught them holding hands during our walk...Love it.



Whatever you are doing this evening, I hope you are spending time with those you love.
Happy New Year - from my home to yours!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best Friends - 22 years

My husband and I went on our first date on my 16th birthday. We got engaged on my 20th birthday and married six months later.

We have been through a lot together, happy and sad; Samuel our stillborn son, the death of our beautiful Heather, a miscarriage, and our three beautiful children who bring us happiness every day .

I look forward to many more years together.

Happy Anniversary












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Friday, December 27, 2013

Random 5 December 27

 Merry Christmas

1. I have taken a little time of this week from the blog, school and online media. I feel a little out of touch today. However it has been wonderful. I can't wait till New Year for another little holiday.

2. I have to share this awesome review of the year that I have printed out this pin for myself. It's a really cool New Year's Resolution form that is really simple. I love the kids one here. I recently found this blog (where the printables are found.

Thirty Handmade Days

3. I decided to finish my Random 5 by picking some of my favorite pictures of my phone. These are the gifts we gave for my Young Women at Church. The theme for the year is “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32) aren't they cute.



4. Do you remember this game... Little J found it in the closet and he challenged Dad to quite a few games. It's an action picture so please excuse the blurriness.


5. My husband had to come and rescue me on Christmas Eve because I got a flat tire. Luckily he was able to bring our car pump and then we could drive it to get it fixed (so we didn't have to change it ourselves.)




The Pebble Pond

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Random Five Friday December 19

FIVE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS

1. Dad was given an opportunity to ring a bell this morning, he volunteered to collect change for The Salvation Army. The kids thought it was great. Little J had great fun putting all of my change into the bucket.


2. My friend dropped my a cute gift today. Don't you just love cookie mix in a jar. My pictures not brilliant but it was really cute, and I had to share.




3. This week we finally got the kids back in their own rooms. Dad started to build the wall that created the room last Saturday. Jam moved in Monday night. Monday lunchtime Dad and I had a brilliant idea for Boo's new bed (as the double bed was moved into Jam's room). Dad built the frame with Boo's help in 2 hours. The space under her bed is now the beautiful home to her American Girl Dolls.


4. I am SO excited to see my Mom and Dad tomorrow. They have been working away since the summer, and they are coming home for Christmas. Little J has been counting down the days of their return, instead of Christmas. He really is SO cute.

5. I received something fun in the mail today. I am excited to try it Fysiko Eyelash Serum I was told it takes about 4-6 weeks to see any results...watch this space.

Check out what others are saying in their Random 5.

The Pebble Pond

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Friday, December 13, 2013

A Big Year for Lily and A Surprise for Lily - Review

This last year my daughter made a new friend Lily Lapp. We were asked to review the first two books in the the series, you can read our review here.

Boo drove me crazy wanting to read the next two books in the series. I had planned to buy one for her birthday and one for Christmas, however I was offered both books to review. Needless to say we were both thrilled.

Boo is eleven just the same age as Lily in the last book so it was easy for her to relate so I will turn the time over to her;

I love the Life of Lily series it has been one of my favorite. In the story Lily's cousin moved away, I know what it is like to have your cousin move away. My cousin moved twice each time further away, but I get to see her more than Lily saw her cousin, which was once a year. I also know what it's like having all brothers. I have an older brother and a younger brother. I wanted a little sister, but wouldn't trade my little brother for anything. I have read all of the Little house on the Prairie books, and Lily reminds me a little of Laura in those books. I love learning how different people live. I live near an Amish community and sometimes when I see the young girls I imagine that they are Lily, and what their life is like.  I really hope that there will be more books in this series, I would like to read about Lily's teenage years; dating, marriage, and children. It would also be a great movie.

I like these books because I firmly believe that we can learn compassion and understanding from learning about other lifestyles. As Boo said above, we live near an Amish community. I go to my favorite Amish country store 'Lilac Lane' on a regular basis and so my children are exposed to the Amish a lot. This book has helped Boo understand more about how they live and why.

These books were written by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Lily Lapp books were inspired by Mary Ann's Amish childhood. She grew up in Pennsylvania, Old Order Amish, raised by two wonderful parents and had five little brothers. Most of the stories (not all) happened in real life. When I told Boo this it made her love the books even more! Mary Ann is no longer Amish and blogs over at A Joyful Chaos.
Suzanne's Grandfather was raised plain, which is where her interest in the Amish began. You can contact her at www.suzannewoodsfisher,com.

I have requested these books at my local library, as I thing more girls should read these cute stories.








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Random Five - December Friday the 13th

Random Five - Friday the 13th

1. I'm not superstitious so the fact it is Friday the 13th doesn't bother me at all.

2. The kids made Gingerbread Graham Cracker Houses today. This year everyone worked on their own - even Little J so some of them turned out better than others.


 They made a huge mess, and the houses...well like I said they had fun.

2. For once I am prepared in advance. thanks to my awesome secretary I have the Christmas presents for the Young Women in my ward (the name of a specific church area in the LDS church) made and wrapped. I am SO excited.


3. Dad has been working on Jam's new room. Last Saturday the wall went up and this morning he put the first coat of paint on. Hopefully next week I will be showing you the inside of his new room. Jam has been so patient. We moved from a small 4 bedroom house to a larger 3 bedroom. Luckily there was space to make Jam a bedroom. It's been nearly 6 months and I am ready to have the boys in their own room, and I know Jam is too.



4. I downloaded Funnix Math (It's free until Dec 20). Little J is really enjoying it.


5. It's been raining here all day. We are supposed to get a wintery mix as the temperature drops. Hopefully it won't snow too much as we have our Church Christmas Program tomorrow night.




The Pebble Pond

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Enid Blyton books edited or removed from schools

I grew up reading and being read too. My Mom used to read me the classics written by Enid Blyton. I spent my childhood reading about Felicity and her adventures at Malory Towers, The Secret Seven, Famous Five, and by far my favorite The Magic Faraway Tree.


I feel very sad that such classic books are being edited and made 'politically correct'. I read that schools in England are having to take some of these classics of their shelves to become eligible for a 'race quality awards'. You can read the article I found here.
When I read books to my children that contain terms or vocabulary that we don't use anymore. I feel it is my job to explain it to them. I don't think it's right for others to make that decision for me.

What do you think...

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Poetry Sunday - Stopping by Woods in a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost

When I was in school my Mom signed me up for a 'Speech and Drama' class. I think that she wanted to rid me of my Yorkshire accent. Which unfortunately didn't work that well, until we moved to the US. Now I have a Yorkshire/US drawl when I am in England people think I sound American and here people always ask me where I am from. When I say the name of my town, they look at me weird and then say...no before that.

Anyway on of the poems I had to memorize in class was 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' by Robert Frost.

We had our first snowfall today so I thought I would share;

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Random Five Friday December 6th

Random Five Friday 

December 6th

1. The kids and I went on a spur of the moment field trip today. Our local university has a rock climbing wall. They recently purchased small climbing harnesses - Little J approved!


 2. I work with the Young Women of my church. Wednesday I gave some of the girls a hot-gun and some baubles and asked them to make something that looked like a tree, as a centerpiece.  This is what they made - pretty good right.


3. It's a tradition here to put up our Christmas tree December 1st. It was fun, this year the kids did all the work, except for the star (You can't tell well from the picture but Little J needed a little help from Daddy).


4. I made Weight Watcher's Chilli for dinner tonight. It's one of our favorites.


5. We went for another one of our walks Saturday. Dad even packed up Turkey sandwiches and included some of our favorite sparkling apple juice. The kids thought that was awesome. Little J found a rock he said looked like a 'Continent' he insisted on carrying it all the way home.


It's been a fun week.

Pop over to The Pebble Pond to check out more Random Five's.




The Pebble Pond

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Monday, December 2, 2013

A+ Tutorsoft Cyber Monday and Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway

A+ Affiliate Banner! 

Don't forget to enter the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why I Give - Activity Book - Review and Giveaway




We love reading books and making crafts. So when we were asked to review a copy of the book Why I Give - An Activity Book


We haven't had time to do any of the activities in the book yet. We do have some picked out to do in the month of December. To be honest we don't start any Christmas festivities until December 1.

I love Christmas, always have however I feel that the world is taking this special time of year and turning it into a time of greed and I want, I want, I want. Anything that helps teach our children that this season is worth more than that. This book definitely talks about why we should give to others and has a ton of ideas of things that children can easily make for others by themselves. There is also a lot of scripture references, I wish however there was a choice of translation. We personally just use the KJV not the NIV version used in the book.

Some of the projects the kids have picked out to make are;

Bottlecap magnets (our local craft store sells them for 25 cents each)
Secret Center Book
Essential Oil scented heating pad

The ideas in this book are very cute, there are coloring pages, crosswords and journal pages for your kids to use.

The book is currently available for $1.99 until Monday December 2. You can always win a copy by entering my giveaway below.






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Friday, November 29, 2013

Random Five Friday November 29

1. This Thanksgiving was the first that the five of us spent together without any other extended family. It was different, but still good. Dad and Jam spent Thursday morning playing flag football with some friends. I can't complain at all that he left me cooking dinner, as he had already prepared the Turkey, and made the most amazing stuffing.

2. Thursday afternoon after we ate dinner, we went out for a walk. The countryside around us is amazing. I love having an excuse to take more pictures.





3. My youngest is ALL boy. Sometimes he reminds me more than others... He found something that looked REALLY interesting and insisted on digging it out.


4. I heard that my local Walmart had about 4,000 people fighting for bargains on Thursday, while I was out on a beautiful walk with my family. I know my memories of Thanksgiving will be a lot more meaningful.

5. I woke up this morning and decided to pop into Walmart as my husband wanted Turkey sandwiches. The place was SO quiet (it was 9:30 am) and I actually went around what was left of the sales and got everything I had wanted, without any of the stress or lack of sleep.

I have missed all of my extended family this year, however it has still been a perfect Thanksgiving.

Check out others Random Five.


The Pebble Pond

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013


Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours


Count your many blessings; name them one by one...


and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fels Naptha - Purex Insiders Giveaway

I love making my own laundry detergent. However when I get a good deal on laundry soap I don't see the point. However I always keep the ingredients in just in case,  mainly because deep down I am a little bit of a prepper.

I have tried the homemade liquid detergent but to be honest it is just too gloppy for me, and so decided I had to find a better way.

After a little research I found a cool website and blogged about their recipe here.

You basically need 3 ingredients so it's really easy to keep the supplies at hand.

1. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2. Borax
3. Purex Fels- Naptha soap

I have heard that you can make laundry soap with different bars of soap but personally I think the Fels-Naptha has the best results with stain removal. It really works great and even my majorly fussy ex-Tide loving husband loves the results. I have even used the bar for stain removal when I had enough of my Purex tabs and didn't need to make soap. (As a work from home, home-school mom I have to pick and choose sometimes.)

Have I mentioned the smell... I love the smell of the Purex Fels-Naptha and so does Little J our resident smell expert. He is forever saying..."I smell something..." the big kids sometimes call him 'sniffer' because well, if there is a new smell, he will definitely be the first one to smell it.

 
There are so many uses for this soap from washing clothes to dishes and just about everything in-between.

Don't just take my word for it. I have a coupon for a free bar of Fels-Naptha for one of my readers.





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Tyndale Direct & 12 Days of Christmas


Tyndale Direct

Tyndale Direct  is a new website where you can find awesome, gift suggestions, and a special selection of books etc direct from the publishers at awesome prices.

PLUS from December 2nd - 13th they are having a Deal of the Day promotion just for you.

There are selections for everyone including the hubby and kids.



 So what you waiting for...go check it out.

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Another quick reminder - Aplustutorsoft Giveaway and Thanksgiving Sale



Just another reminder about the huge sale going on over AplusTutorsoft.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for using my affiliate link if you make a purchase.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Aplushomeschool.com Black Friday/Cyber Monday Special

A+ Affiliate Banner! 

I had to let you know of the awesome deal over at Aplushomeschool for Thanksgiving. Use my link above to get an additional 60% off. Remember even if you want to buy for next year that's OK because the subscription doesn't start until it's activated.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Random Five Friday November 22

I am late doing my post for today because I have been preparing for Boo's birthday party.

1. I made a Pinterest project for her birthday cake.


 2. They are all out making smores. That's eleven, eleven year old's (and we didn't even plan the eleven eleven thing).

 
3. It's 8:32 and Little J is playing Jam's DS which is not a normal thing - but it keeps him from bugging the girls.

4. One of the HUGE highlights of my week is that I was invited back onto the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I have loved this last year, and I am so excited to see what next year holds.

5. My niece who swims for BYU swam in the same heat as Missy Franklin at a UNLV swim meet in Las Vegas this weekend. She was stood on the blocks in the same heat as a an Olympic swimmer. You have got to love college swimming.

Check out what others have said for their random five by clicking

The Pebble Pond

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

School House Review Crew ReviewBlue Ribbon Awards - Plus our Homeschooling Favorite Resources

Schoolhouse Review Crew Favorite Reviews 2013 
Blue Ribbon Awards


This year has been our first on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. It has been a huge blessing to our family, and the year has flown by. I have come to know and use some amazing curriculum and books this year, so many it's hard to count. I think we have done 30 reviews since last November. I said 'we' because I couldn't have done it without my kids. Everyone on the crew voted in the Blue Ribbon Awards there were lots of categories to cover all of the many products we reviewed throughout the year.

So I decided to write a top 10 list - that is if I can keep it to 10. I don't consider these in any particular order as some of the reviews are so different it would be very difficult to match them against each other. So a lot of these in my list are products that we are still using or completed.

1. Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics (this links to my review) We love this curriculum and are still using it - full swing. In fact we got together with our science buddies and did more experiments today.

video

2. Notgrass - America the Beautiful (this links to my review)
This American history curriculum is definitely a keeper. I actually invested in an extra set of books so that I could use it with both my older kids. We use it on a slower schedule because I have added it long term to our schedule. The kids LOVE it too.

3. Baker Publishing Press - Life with Lily (this links to my review)
Boo loved these books so much she is currently reading the last two in the series - review to follow soon. All I can say is SHE LOVES THEM.

4. Aplus Tutorsoft (this links to my review)
Boo has been using this program all year along with our favorite Life of Fred. Boo finds it a great program. I love that since we have been using the online version it is also self-grading.

5. See the Light - Repeated Sweets (this links to my review)
The kids were so proud of their project. I am probably going to get another one of these sets for Christmas. The quality of the end project was amazing, literally if you follow the instructions your child can produce a great painting. I would LOVE the whole set.

6. Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns (this links to my review)
Boo loved this review, I know we will be continuing to use these patterns for years to come.

7. Institute For Excellence In Writing (this links to my review)
This has got to be one of my favorite reviews ever. We need to get this back into our regular schedule, the improvement I saw during the review period was amazing.

8. VideoText Online Algebra (this links to my review)
Jam has been using this every week since we started the review. He loves it. 

9. Diary of a Real Payne - True Story (this links to my review)
Boo loved this book. In fact she is convinced that the heroine would make an awesome American Girl Doll (Movie too).

10. Reading Kingdom (this links to my review)
Little J has great fun with this program and we use it just about everyday.

I have realized that 10 was a crazy number...there are so many more reviews I loved. To read all of them click on my 'review' tab at the top.

The official award results came out this morning  check out the Official Blue Ribbon Awards.


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Monday, November 18, 2013

The First Christmas Night- Book Review and Giveaway

 The First Christmas Night- Book Review and Giveaway

I recently received a copy of The First Christmas Night written by Keith Christopher and illustrated by Christine Kornacki. When I first opened the packaging I was absolutely thrilled with the quality of the book. The illustrations are amazing and the quality of the book itself is wonderful. In fact for the sake of this review I almost wanted to put up my Christmas Tree just to take the 'perfect' picture. 


 The First Christmas Night 
Written by: Keith Christopher 
Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki
Publisher: Ideals Books
Hardcover: 32 pages 
$16.99

I love poetry and that is just what you will find inside this book as you read it you can feel the musical influences. Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. Keith Christopher is served on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Remember I mentioned how I loved the pictures, well Little J loves books and because he is just starting to read, pictures are very important to him. He loves this book and enjoys having it read to him as long as he can see the pictures. The illustrator Christine Kornacki developed a love of art and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford she began illustrating children's books including the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal's Children's Books. Christine's recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile (which Boo love's). 

This book was written for children aged 4-8. The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read.
You can buy it here for $16.99 or enter my giveaway below to win a copy for Christmas.

Stay Connected
Facebook - Ideal Books
Ideal Books - Website

This book is going to be an important part of our Christmas celebrations this year.




©2011-2013 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author Chickensbunniesandhomeschool.blogspot.com