Saturday, July 28, 2018

Blogging Through the Alphabet: K is for Kitchen sink

This was one of those weeks! So, no fun Pinterest activity this time around. There was no way I could get to it with the jumble of mess in the house, and the reason for the jumble of the house was the kitchen sink.

We discovered the kitchen sink was leaking badly. I had noticed some leaking previously, like just some dampness, but could never figure out where it was coming from. Well, that dampness turned into buckets full of water (over a long amount of time), and needed to be figured out now. I had to clear out the whole sink area, and Mike had to get under there and figure out where it was coming from. It was not coming from any of the pipes. That would have been easy. We figured out it was coming from the faucet. Well, we could have just changed the faucet. That would have been the next easiest thing. No, we don't do easy around here. We'd been eying a kitchen sink at Costco recently (before this happened, how ironic), and decided to just replace the whole thing! Now that it's all done, it was a good decision. Especially looking at the condition our old sink was in. Chipped and stained everywhere. And, yes the faucet didn't always work very well, but over the 2 days of working on it we were seriously wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.

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Replacing a kitchen sink is not as easy as it looks. I went to pick up the sink at Costco on Monday afternoon so Mike could work on it that evening. He was really hoping it would take only one evening. Pfft! No way. at 10:30pm he needed to call it quits. The sink didn't fit exactly in the hole, so he had to do some cutting, and sanding to get the hole a little bigger. I wish I would have gotten more progress pictures.

So, Tuesday we were without a sink. We had a sinkhole in our kitchen! (ha ha). It was so weird not having a sink. I can't tell you how many times I turned around to dump something or put something into that hole. Such a habit! Thankfully we have a laundry sink just a few feet away in the laundry room. That was the only reason we survived this day. It was a pain to walk that few feet, and to remember to do so, but thankfully we only had to do it only for a day.

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Finally it was getting closer to get the sink in. Mike came home a little earlier from work on Tuesday afternoon to get started (and hopefully, finished). He was also able to buy some better saw blades to cut a little cleaner. So, waiting really worked out well. A new day, and a little rest made it easier to get through. The new sink looked so pretty waiting to be put in.

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This faucet looked amazing. I am so excited to have such a fancy thing. It even has a built in soap dispenser that fills from the top!

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Finally the new sink is getting assembled because the hole was big enough at last. Putting the sink in was a 2 person job because we had to do it without getting the sealing putty all over the place.

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Like I said, I didn't get nearly enough progress pictures. This makes it look easy. All the plumbing took some time to get it back in order too. He even had to make a Bi-mart run to get a longer pipe for one section that didn't quite reach.

Ta da! I really love my fancy new sink. It feels so new and works awesome. 

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That concludes my blogging through the alphabet post for this week. Hopefully next week I can be on time!

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As always, you can link up with the co-hosts...


Friday, July 27, 2018

Smart Kidz Radio (A REVIEW)

Smart Kidz Radio

When my oldest was little, and even when I had more young children, I always thought it would be a good idea to have a children's radio station. Some days I really wished we had something to flip on that wasn't just a regular radio station for my young kids because the music can be so questionable. Since there was never such a thing we always made sure to have CD's along with us. Smart Kidz Media has come up with something kinda like what I was thinking for so many years. They have a new thing called Smart Kidz Radio. It's an online live radio feed with kids "edutainment" (learning) songs playing 24/7.

Smart Kidz Radio

To listen to this free kids radio station all we had to do was sign up by creating an account. When we want to listen all we have to do is sign in and the radio screen pops up. It looks like this...

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It has a large pause button to easily pause the live feed. It's colorful, and the music is very fun. I would love to be able to take this along with us anywhere. It needs an internet connection, so I guess anywhere we have an internet connection, it would work. I even have the technology to have it playing in the van if I use my phone's data. When all my children were little it would have been a great thing. Now I have older kids that won't go for it as this music is definitely for the younger crowd. But, I think I could get them all to listen to the podcast fairy tales. Yep, there are fairy tales too, and they are very fun to listen to as well! Alice and Wonderland, Cinderella, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel, and more. I love the old fashioned narrator voice too. They would make a good bedtime story too.

Smart Kidz Radio


Eventually, there will be some On Demand availability. That is where the cost will come in. I believe the On Demand will only be available for purchase. But, isn't it great, you can try out the radio now, for free! Just go and sign up.

Smart Kidz Radio

This is a great thing available to children. Now they have their very own kind of station to listen to, and all of the songs have a good message, or an educational content. I can't think of a better way for kids to learn something in a memorable way. The songs are all catchy, and fun. I imagine I'll be hearing songs repeated even when the station is off. I have a 7 year-old that loves this stuff still. He's not too big yet.

If you want to see what the other crew members had to say about this fun musical review, you can click on the banner below.

Smart Kidz Radio Homeschool Reviews
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Northwest Treasures (A REVIEW)

Northwest Treasures

Today I am sharing with you a resource for all things geology. Northwest Treasures offers a lot of curricula and information for various geological topics including rocks, minerals, dinosaurs, fossils, and volcanoes. We were given Dinosaurs and the Bible A Six-Part Class for our main course to review, and we were also given Taking the Mystery Out of Geology for a short introduction to geology. These are a part of their online class offerings. Some of the other crew members have received Geology and Apologetics A Six-Part Class for their main course.

Dinosaurs and the Bible Online Course

Dinosaurs and the Bible

This six-part online class is split up into 6 videos, giving a total of 1-hour and 49-minutes of "class" time. There are worksheets to go with each video, and each video ranges from 16-21 minutes long. The videos, once purchased are available via vimeo to watch for a 6-month period from date of purchase.

The video topics include: How we got the modern view of dinosaurs, classification, the dinosaur rush, extinction of dinosaurs, dinosaurs and the ice age, and fossils. The recommended ages for these videos are Grade 5-adult. I'd very much agree with this as it is a lot of information, hard words, and concepts not easy to understand.

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My very incomplete worksheet of questions from lesson 3. I missed some points, and had planned to go back and fill them in. This shows what the worksheets look like, and how much detail and information is in the videos. It is a lot to catch and remember. A comprehensive exam is at the end of lesson 6.

How did I use this? I watched these videos myself. I wanted to see what they presented before I showed my children, and I'm glad I did as there are some things belief wise that we don't agree with. With that said though, I learned a lot. I really like how he presented the information with lots of slides, pictures, and visual aids, and it all gave me something to think about. I learned some interesting things about paleontologists from the past that I didn't know, and just general facts about dinosaurs, fossils, and geology that I found fascinating. If you have beliefs that differ from his, it's still an interesting series of videos even if you just get some great facts about dinosaurs and the history of paleontology.

Take the Mystery out of Geology Online Course

Taking the Mystery Out of Geology

This video is a 20-minute video that outlines the basics of Geology. It lays it all out there. Some of the big scary and weird words that Geologists use, and the basic beliefs that you need to realize when studying Geology. A good portion of this video talks about the timeline of the creation of the earth, and a young earth view. I can't agree with most of this video, but it does give a good overview to prepare you for the rest of the Dinosaur and the Bible course, and the views that are presented in those.

What did I think of these videos and courses? They were very thought provoking, and full of information. While I personally wouldn't use these particular videos for my children, there are some other great curriculum resources from Northwest Treasures that I'd love to try out. They have kits of rocks and fossils. Like real ones. For example, they have a Geology for kids sample kit with various rock samples. That looks pretty amazing. If you are a Classical Conversations family, they offer kits to go along with those studies. They also offer a Pre-K-3rd grade series Geology for "Little Eyes."

If you'd like to see what others had to say about this curriculum you can click on the banner below.

Online Geology Classes{Northwest Treasures Reviews}
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Monday, July 23, 2018

Nature Study: Oregon Coast Quests

We went to the coast last Monday, just for the day. It was a beautiful day, and one of the things we did was a quest from our Oregon Coast Quests Book. We bought the first edition (2013-14) several years ago, and had only done 2 quests a few years ago. I decided it was time to pull it out again for our day trip, and I'm glad we did because most of what we had planned for that day didn't pan out.

I found out that there is a new updated edition available (2017-2018), so I picked that up while we were at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. I am glad I did because there are some new quests added and a few of the existing quests had significant changes. These quests are a great way to explore the coastal areas of Oregon, and they are a lot like letterboxing. (which we also love to do)

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We chose to do the Hatfield Marine Science Center Nature Trail quest. I had no idea this little trail was there! It is kinda between the HMSC and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I love that we discover things we wouldn't otherwise know about. We've gone to the Oregon Coast Aquarium area for years, and didn't realize this was even there.

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This boardwalk was pretty neat, and had such a pretty view. As you walk, the quest has things to read about the nature around you and what you are seeing. Lots of great questions and conversation pieces to talk about with the kids as you go along.

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As we went along we used the clues in the quest to find letters. At the end the letters spell a hint as to where the box is hidden. We found the box, and there is a stamp inside to stamp in the back of our book. There is also a place to sign and date that we found the box.

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Then we explored the area. There was a place to walk out by the water. The boys also found this neat log to play on. 

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The challenge: who can stay on it longest?

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It was a little windy!

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If you are local to the Oregon Coast, and want something fun to do while exploring new areas, these Oregon Coast Quest books are a great idea. Only $10 for the book!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Libraries rock

Libraries do rock!! 

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And so do their cool summer programs!

Blogging Through the Alphabet: I is for Imagine Dragons

I am a lot late, I know. I'm really trying to figure out how it is I have so little time and so much to do everyday. Someday I might figure it out! But, better late than never!

One of the reasons I was so late on the letter I was because it was a hard letter! I really was stumped on this one. As I was thinking about the things that start with the letter I, I thought of Imagine Dragons. It's my son's favorite group, and he sings their songs all the time. So, I thought it might be fun if there was something on Pinterest that I could find to do with an Imagine Dragons song. In my search I found this video of a 4th grade class singing and using bucket drums for the song Thunder by Imagine Dragons.



I knew my boys would enjoy doing this! I played a karaoke version of Thunder on the TV and we tried it out. Here is our version. I know it's not the best recording, and they aren't that exciting to watch, but I wanted to put the video up to show that they did it! They didn't want to try re-recording because they were in the middle of something when I had them come sing. Summer is so distracting!


Well, that's the letter I, Pinterest edition! I'm sure most of you have already linked up to my co-hosts:



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Math Refresher for Adults (A REVIEW)

Math Essentials

I love math. Those are not words I would have used in High School for sure, but now as a n adult I really like doing math so my love for it has grown. Am I good at it? That's another question for another day, but I am good enough to help my younger children in their homeschool math. It's the older kids' math that I really struggle with, so it's time to go back and learn it all again! Or at least refresh my memory! I was able to do just that with this review. I received a copy of Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials. It is the perfect refresher for this tired Mama brain that often can't remember how she did things back in her school days.

Math Refresher for Adults

I received the physical copy of this book, and it can be used either as a workbook, or you can copy the problems out onto a piece of paper so as to not mark it up. I chose to use it as a workbook. I started at the beginning, and was kind of dreading the simple adding and subtracting problems. But, as I started working through the problems I realized it was really great for my mental math. I started thinking how fast can I do these problems, and it became a challenge because I was doing them fast, and getting them right. I was not fast as a kid. This was amazing reminder to not stop learning or relearning as an adult.

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Each page is broken up into sections. There is a review section. Then a helpful hints box, which is usually the refresher we need to remind us how to do the problem set in the lower section.

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There is also a small box for notes. This is handy for working out problems, or writing down things you want to remember. The note box is not very big, and I could see how it might be beneficial to put all the work on a separate piece of paper for more work space especially as you get farther in the book. It does go through fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra. It's a very quick, brush over the basics of a lot of math, but packed with a lot of information and problems to work through. Definitely a great way to get your brain back up to speed on math!

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This book is definitely a refresher. You have to have some basic understanding of most math concepts. It doesn't really have a lot of in depth tutorials on the why or the how. Just hints and reminders of concepts, and lots of problems to work through. But, it does build on the previous pages/concepts within the book, and flows through many different concepts really well.

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I highly recommend this book for any homeschool Mom or Dad, or anyone wanting to refresh their memory for the joy of just learning. It's also great for anyone who is preparing for a test for a job, or a job that requires a lot of math. There are many reasons that adults still need to do math! Just try it out! You'll be amazed at how much you remember, and how quickly it comes back.

If you'd like to see what other crew members thought about this Math Refresher for Adults you can click on the banner below.


Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bible Study Guide (A REVIEW)

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

We try to start our mornings off with some reading and learning from the scriptures. It doesn't always happen, but when it does I love having something to guide us through it, and help the children to understand better what they are reading when they read the Bible. With that said, I was happy to try this Bible Study Guide For All Ages for this review. With the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) level, I was able to have a guide for both my middle boys (who are 2nd and 5th) that they could do together. One thing I loved most about this Bible Study Guide is that it can be used with whatever version of the Bible you want! We use the KJV and it worked just fine.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

We received 2 physical copies of the Student Pages for the Intermediate Level. It was so nice to have these! These pages are truly fun to do! Even my boys loved them, and it really helped them to grasp some of the details of the scripture reading. Each lesson has a front and a back of the page to work on. We did the reading together, and then kinda worked through the worksheet together. We actually would work on the back side first, and then flip to the front side for the time line, application, and memory work.

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This is the back side of lesson 1 for my 2nd grader. We started with this part as it focuses more on the details of the reading.
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This is the front side of lesson 1 for my 2nd grader. This is the time line activities, and the application part of the lesson. It includes memory work, thinking, and active activities.
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Front side of 5th grader's worksheet, lesson 1.
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Back side of 5th grader's worksheet, lesson 1.
These student pages also came with a Teacher Guide that looks just like these pages, but with answers, and some extra teacher notes in the margins. It was nice to have a reference, and some additional guidance for me as the teacher.

To give you an idea of how we used the Student books here is some of it in action. We would read, and then the boys each worked on the worksheet on their own, using the Bible for reference, so they could look back through the story if they needed to. I would have to help remind them where in the story to look if they needed it.  If you can tell from the pictures below, the pages of the student books are nice and big. Not a standard size, but a little longer than a normal sheet of paper. That way it's all big enough to get their own drawings and answers in there. Each of my children just used their own scriptures.

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We were also blessed to receive some extras with this review including a Timeline set, Summary Cards, and Wall Maps.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

The Large Summary Cards have a summary of each book of the bible on them, and what happened in that book.


Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Wall Maps and Timeline Set.

The Wall Maps and Timeline Set are big posters to go up on a wall, and there are labels for the children to put on each as they go through each lesson. The specific labels to use are all mapped out in each lesson, so you can prepare the right labels for each lesson. There is also a special binder included for the labels to be stored in until they are used. The labels are put up with some sticky tack so that they can be moved or reused in later lessons. The size of the Timeline is 76"x25." The Wall maps are 38"x25," and 19"x25."

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

My 2nd grader just loved the Timeline set. He had so much fun helping me get it set up. We decided that the hallway would work best for our timeline. I would have loved to have it out in the living room, but it would have been too high for little people to move stuff around.

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The initial set up took a bit. We had to have a lot on there to get ready for the first lesson. Once we got all that set up it didn't take long during the lessons to put up the few labels that go with each lesson.

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The label binder (laying there in the picture) is so great. It gives details on where each thing goes on the Timeline. I was able to get it up and going pretty fast.
I love the pictures and words on the Timeline. It was all laid out, easy to read, and find events.

Overall, I love this Bible Study Guide for kids. It's so interactive and hands on. I am even learning little details I didn't always remember! If you'd like to see what others have to say about this Bible Study Guide For All Ages click on the banner below.


Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}

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