Friday, May 31, 2013

Blogging around the Alphabet - K is for Kangaroo


K is for Kangaroo

We love the zoo. It is our go-to we need a day off lets make it a field trip day. We have an annual pass as we go SO often, at least once a month as a rule.

We all have our favorites. I have blogged about the elephants and their painting skills here. Little J always requests a visit to the Tigers, they are Daddy's favorite too. Boo's is the Red Pandas and Sea lions (I think it will be the Penguins as soon as the new exhibit opens) Jam has too many to count, he thinks the Meerkats, Rhinos, Polar Bears, and Tigers, well basically anything.)

I personally love the Kangaroos. They have a huge area at our zoo and are not confined at all.  When we ride the train we go right past them, and there is a really nice shady area with large rocks to sit on where you can watch them - and eat your lunch.

Over the years we have spent a lot of time with these kangaroos. I LOVE them. Last time we went the zookeepers had some kangaroo fur so the kids could see how soft they were.

Check out what others are saying about the letter K here.

©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

See The Light - Repeated Sweets - Review

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My children LOVE to paint, they never turn down an opportunity to get out our paints and brushes. When I was offered a chance to review a DVD art lesson by the company See The Light I jumped at the chance.

Dave and Pat Holt are the driving force behind this company, they are joined by an excellent group of artists and musicians to share biblical principals and art in a way that complement each other perfectly.

We were lucky enough to receive our first choice Repeated Sweets I chose this topic because I wanted to do this with both my son Jam (12) and daughter Boo (10) and of course sweets, cakes, donuts and ice cream would appeal to both of them.

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My children were very excited for this review, this excitement increase the day my husband brought home a dozen decorated doughnuts for the kids to use as props. Unfortunately they were all eaten before they were drawn and so my husband 'had' to bring more home. I think he enjoyed this part of the project the most.

Repeated Sweets teaches watercolor techniques in the style of American Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. The DVD contains 4 lessons each giving step by step instructions on how to create your own masterpiece. We decided to watch the video all the way through before we started to paint. This gave us the time to really focus on the instructions before the real fun started.

Pat Knepley is the Master Artist for the Art project DVDs produced by See The Light and my children took to her instantly, she has an excellent way of making you feel she is in the same room working right there with you. Although the video material mentioned previous lessons using phrases like "remember when we learned about" they were followed with enough review information that my children had no problem following the directions. However if you used the course in the proper order then this would help tie techniques together.

After watching the video lessons my children were ready to put the techniques to work.

They decided on what kind of 'sweet treat' they wanted to draw, while re-watching the first lesson made their templates and then traced them on to their paper.

After this the awaited moment of painting began they started with the 'Flat Wash'. My children found it very difficult to wait in between each stage of painting. We have decided that watercolor (done correctly) takes a lot of patience, which of course is an excellent virtue to have.

 After leaving the flat wash to dry it was time to paint the actual sweets.

Boo managed to sneak down to paint before I could get a picture so we only have a couple of Jam painting his donuts - his sweet treat choice.

This DVD is in four lessons each focusing on a different part of the project. It is recommended to allow 1 hour per lesson.

1. SELECT MOTIF AND DRAW(23 minutes) 
3. PAINT IN THE DETAILS(31 minutes) 

The DVD is suitable for ages 10+ and retails for $14.99 or available as a box set for $99.99

Our Masterpieces

Jam chose Doughnuts

Boo chose Ice-Cream Cones

All of the projects available are;


We have tried other art DVDs in fact both children got one each for Christmas. This DVD is far superior to any other we have tried so far. I have even recommended this DVD to my Mom who likes art too.

Members of the Review Crew tried different products including one on 'cartooning' check out their reviews here or click on the link below.


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©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

Random 5 Friday

The Pebble Pond  


1. I am running my first giveaway check it out here.

2. I am SO sick of rain, thunder storms and tornado watches.

3. My niece is coming to stay next week. Her mom and sisters are off to girls camp. Little J said "she is staying for nearly a whole week. Isn't it AWESOME" (to my English relatives - Yes he is a cowboy boot wearing, 'awesome' saying, Red White and Blue American boy) Don't you LOVE it when cousins are BEST friends.

 4.  I am gearing myself up to cut Mojo's hair today - since it is raining AGAIN and we can't go to the water park - I am grumpy about the rain today.

5. Mojo's favorite toy is a duck.

Check out what others are saying today here.

©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

UGLee Ergonomic Pen Review and Giveaway

 UGLee Pen Home

I was recently given the chance to review an amazing ergonomic pen. Well when I say I got the chance to review the pen it is a little bit of a joke. As I haven't had much chance to use it at all.

My oldest son Jam was waiting anxiously for these pens to arrive. We are currently working on another review for a well know writing program. During the first lesson the instructor mentioned that he prefers his students to use pen instead of pencil. How can I argue with that... So the instant the UGLee pen arrived my son and daughter grabbed one each.

I must say the few times I have used it I LOVE IT, my children LOVE it too. They have refused to use any other pen since these have arrived.

The only negative thing I have to say is that, when I threw one of my pens in my bag (yes...hiding from the 4 year old) the squishy grip did pick up little bits of fluff but other than that we loved it!

The UGLee pen was invented by Dr. James Lee (and named after him - not it's looks).

Don't just take my word (or my kids) for it read more testimonials here.

UGLee pen is offering my readers a chance to win a set of three pens for yourself - so enter below for a chance to try these amazing pens for yourself.

©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

Friday, May 24, 2013

Random 5 Friday

1. I need to stop play Candy Crush.

2. I am SO ready for a long weekend. I love it when we have an extra day together. Little J asks Dad every night "Is tomorrow a holiday or do you have to work?" He is SO excited that Daddy will be home for three whole days.

3. We are using IEW and TWSS from Excellence in Writing the Jam, Boo and I are LOVING it. Grandma, Grandpa and Dad are enjoying the emails from Jam and Boo that contain little paragraphs practicing their new writing techniques. (review to come in early July)

4. Little J has learned that after May comes June. This fact has been memorized because he is SO excited that we have a English visitor (my niece) arriving in June. He walks around the house saying "It's May now but next is June and that's when my cousin arrives" they met for the first time last January (the kids first trip to England) and he loved her instantly.

5. Talking about our trip to England last year I have to tell you about the best two kinds of potato chips on the planet, Monster Munch and Hula Hoops yummy.


©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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

At the kitchen table

Our table is definitely a gathering place. Little J and his Play-Doh and Jam and Life of Fred. I love that they can work so closely.

Blogging through the Alphabet - J is for Jam

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Last week my friend from Sagecroft Farms came over. We meet together most weeks to work on science with our children. You can see some of our adventures here.

She has been busy making Jam (YUMMY) and brought me some to try.

Caramelized Onion Jam

It was divine, my husband spread some on a pork roast before we baked it in the oven and I can't describe how Delicious it was. (Both because of the Jam and because I didn't have to cook the meal). The only draw back is that the Jam was opened before I could get a cute picture. Jam (yes that's his nickname) finished it off in a cheese sandwich and he LOVED it! My friend said it is awesome spread on top of cream cheese on a toasted bagel. However it was ALL GONE (thanks to Jam and his sandwiches) before I could try it.

My friend has LOADS of different kinds of Jam that she makes on her farm. She will be selling a lot of it at Parkville Farmer's Market near Kansas City this summer. If you live close by you should definitely pick some up!

Check out her Facebook page here and keep up to date with the adventures of this jam making, livestock raising, egg collecting, homeschooling Mom! If you ask her nicely she may even mail you some.

Here is a couple of pictures from her page to get you in the farming mood.

Now I just need some more jam...

Photo: Miss Ruby

 Photo: Sagecroft Farms will be offering pasture raised chicken.
We raise our chickens outdoors on pasture. They are surrounded by portable fencing, to protect them from predators and have portable housing so that they can be protected from the elements. Both the fencing and housing are regularly moved so that the birds always have access to fresh grass.
 Our chickens are never treated with antibiotics, hormones or other medications. Nor do we add any growth-promoting additives to their feed.  We feed certified organic non-soy feeds that produce moist tender meat. 
Our customers appreciate our chicken because of their unbeatable freshness, superior taste and the fact that they're healthier for you.  
We raise a limited supply of chicken. So we recommend that you contact us in advance to reserve what you'd like.

Check out what others are saying about the letter J here.

©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

Schoolhouse Library - New Resource


I have just found out about a new resource I wanted to share with you.

This is another awesome site brought to us by the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine if you remember I blogged about this magazine here.

This resource looks awesome and is available for a one time purchase of $25.00.

For this you get 175 eBooks, audio books specially designed to offer home school support from a variety of  popular home school publishers. There are also study guides, lap books, timelines available.

Here's a list of examples...

      • 2 Study Guides from YWAM
      • Draw Write Now Sampler E-Book by Barker Creek
      • Heroines of the Past-Victorian unit study from Amy Puetz
      • Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History from Knowledge Quest
      • Teaching Writing E-Book from WriteShop
      • 15 audio E-Books from My Audio School in history and literature
      • A Glimpse at Carnivorous Plants Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child
      • Video from Jessica Hulcy on  “Learning as a Family”
      • From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms from Mary Jo Tate


Covering 25 topics there is bound to something for everyone. Remember this is a 'one time' fee - no monthly access fees.

©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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blogging through the Alphabet - I is for Ice Cream

 Blogging through the Alphabet - I is for Ice-cream

Blogging Through the Alphabet

I am behind...yes it's been one of those weeks. 

In our little town we have a little ice-cream shop that opens for the summer only. All year my kids say is it open yet?

To tell the truth I hate soft serve ice-cream, give me Ben and Jerry's any day. However apparently it is not summer until my kids have ice-cream at the little store in town.

This is where Grandma comes to the rescue.  Yesterday we took out lunch to the park and while we were there Grandma said to the kids she would buy them a Creamy Freeze on the way home. Little J was SO excited (so were the older kids but they control themselves a little more).

Summer has begun
Check out more alphabet posts here

©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

Friday, May 17, 2013

Random 5 Friday

1. Today has been another crazy day. I am actually sat in stand still traffic trying to get to my niece's graduation party.
2. Thankfully everyone is behaving and no has said the two worst phrases..."Are we there yet" and "I need the bathroom"
3. My niece has a full swimming scholarship to BYU we are very proud of her, she is awesome.
4. Little J just said "are we there yet?"
5. Boo is enjoying the extra time in the car. Mainly because they are only allowed game boy time while traveling.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blogging through the Alphabet - H is for House Hunting

Blogging Through the Alphabet


It has been a crazy week. We accepted an offer on our house and then have spent a whole week looking at other peoples houses trying to find one we wanted to buy.

My husband travels an hour each way to work. I know that may not seem a lot to some people however he is also on call A LOT and if there is a problem - he has to fix it which may mean he has to go in to work.

He has been driving for a year and we are ready to stop. The kids are ready to spend more time with Dad too.

The one thing I find interesting (while spending so much time in other people's home) is how different we all are. Although basically homes are the same - Walls, Kitchens, Dining Rooms, Living Rooms, Bedrooms, Bathrooms. There is a huge range of tastes.

Some people obviously have no problem with letting people walk around their filthy smelly homes. On top of that they feel that someone might want to spend money purchasing said filthy smelly home.

I have looked around so many homes in the last two weeks I feel justified in saying... If you have a house to sell please clean it (a little at least) before you let people in.


©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

Monday, May 13, 2013

High School PREP GENIUS - Review

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My husband and I are originally from England. We never attended an American High School. Now we homeschool our children. So when it comes to preparing my children for College here in the US we are quite clueless.

I was recently given the chance to review a book from College Prep Genius called High School Prep Genius

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Price 29.95 - paperback

The book was written by Jean and Judah Burk a mother and daughter team. Jean Burk is the author of College Prep Genius and has written articles about the SAT and PST/NMSQT, college prep and scholarship search techniques. She homeschooled both of her children. Judah Burk is the daughter of Jean Burk. She graduated summa cum laude from her University with a B.A. in mass communications and went on to receive a Master's Degree in international relations with a 4.0 in 2012.

About the Book

This book is designed to be used by the student to help them make choices that will ultimately prepare them to attend college. Each chapter is written with the student in mind. However the book does stress that the best way to use the book is for parents and students to read it together. If reading it together is a problem the student should read it first and then the parent. Although we homeschool the book does contain information that is relevant to any form of education public, private, charter or homeschool. The writer suggests to ignore or adjust any part of the book that does not apply to you.

How I used this book;

The first thing I did with this book is read it cover to cover. A lot of the information given I can't use right now (Jam is only 12) however I firmly believe that preparation is the key to success.

I found the first section of the book very interesting. Pages 15-44 talk about making a college and career notebook.

It gives very specific instructions and advice on doing this, as well as a guide to the classes necessary in high school.

This is the part of the book that I found most helpful right now. As Jam and I discuss courses that he may want to study over the next 6 years.

There are checklists, recommended plans, credit logs, summer plans, and templates for everything you will need to help your child be successful in recording and planning his high school career. There are college application check lists, scholarship and financial aid checklists, form suggestions to help with recording volunteer and extracurricular activities. There is sample resume/brag-sheet information.

Jam and I read pages 44-49 together. These pages are entitled '7-8 Student Timeline: Before High School Begins'. We both learned a lot. We didn't realize that the college scholarship search can start as early as 7th grade (Next school year for us). This subject was talked about more in Chapter 17 'Paying for School.

Since Jam will be the age for 7th grade next year I this was an awesome book for me to read to get a head start understanding High School requirements. However I did most of the reading of the book as I want to allow Jam to relax and enjoy life at the moment.

The book answered a lot of the questions that I had (and many that I didn't know I had). I love that each chapter has a 'Think About It' section for the student and a 'homework' section for the parent.


The give you an insight into what the book includes here are the titles of the chapters.

1.Personal Development
2. Interests That Make You Interesting
3. Own Your Beliefs
4. Building A Healthy You
5. Your Financial Independence
6. Building A Strong Support System
7. Academic Development
8. Effective Studying
9. Tests and Papers
10. Getting Organized
11. High School Mechanics
12. Going Beyond The Basics
13. Future Development
14. Choosing a School
15. Standardized Test Prep
16. College Applications
17. Paying For School
18. College Essentials

Appendix A - How to Build A Home school Transcript
Appendix B - Talent Searches
Appendix C - Great Books To Get You Started
Appendix D - Reduce Anxiety Through Relaxation Techniques
Appendix E - Admissions Terminolgy

I will definitely will be referring to this book a lot over the next 6 years. I found it a little intimidating at first but also a wealth of information for anyone with a middle school - high school age student.

Check out what others on the crew think about it here.


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©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

Math Essentials - Math Refresher for Adults {TOS REVIEW}

Anyone who knows me knows that math is not my favorite subject! Any math questions from high school definitely get directed to my math-l...