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Monday, May 25, 2015

Build a Menu: May Sale




Are you always looking at the clock at 4pm and saying “Ohhh, what I am going to cook for dinner??” Is mealtime at your house a little bit chaotic?? Would you like to trim the chaos and know ahead of time what is for each meal of the day??

Build a Menu is a WONDERFUL Meal planning website that will help you out of those “ruts” of figuring out dinner plans at the last moment, and helps avoid the “drive thru” meals due to convenience.



Build a Menu is simple to use and you can have a weekly Menu and Grocery List done in about 15 minutes a week.



Build a Menu has something for everyone, including Healthy Lifestyle Recipes and Menus.
  • Budget Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Low Carb
  • Gluten Free
  • Allergy Friendly (No Dairy, Nuts, Gluten)
  • Vegetarian
  • Clean Eating
  • Slow Cooker
  • Grill-A-Meal
  • Your Choice of Sides
  • Trim Healthy Mama Friendly

Build a Menu is having a HUGE sale right now, through May 29th. You can get a Yearly Membership for $35!! BONUS: Buy the Classic Plan and get the “Done 4 U” Plan for FREE. The “Done 4 U” plan is sent out every Friday, so you have a back up plan in case you can't plan your own.



Build A Menu Features:
  •  New recipes are always being added
  •  You select a Charitable organization for part of your membership fee to help
  •  You can add your own recipes to your menu
  •  You can create a list of Favorite Recipes

My new favorite feature is:
Mobile Apps now available in iTunes and Google Play Store.
Have access to your Menu and Grocery List on the go!!

Don't miss out on this WONDERFUL sale for an amazing Menu Planning Tool! Click the banner below to get started now! Don't delay, the sale price ends May 29th, 2015!!

 


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

2015 FREE and Frugal Summer Fun


My favorite time of the year is upon us, SUMMER TIME!!! I know for many parents they are left scratching their heads "What I am going to do with my kids all summer??" Well, I have complied a list of FREE and Frugal Summer Fun Ideas!!


                   National Programs for All:




Cinemark Movie Theatres will have the Summer Movie Clubhouse. Movies are shown on Wednesday at 10am. You can purchase a 10 movie Punch Card for $5 or pay $1 per show. The rates are per person.

Regal Movie Theatres have the Summer Movie Express. Movies are shown Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am. Cost is $1 per person per movie.

Classic Cinemas has Wednesday Morning Movie Series. Movies are $1 per person per movie.

Marcus Theatres has the Summer Movie Series. $2 movies on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday from June 15th until August 13th.

Check your area Movie Theatres for more Deals and Summer Movies!


FREE or Frugal Bowling:

Kids Bowl Free is a wonderful site that lists many "Independent" Bowling Alleys in all 50 states. Sign your child up and they get 2 FREE games a day. Shoe rental is not included, but usually inexpensive.

AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowl are now a combined company, although they keep separate names. The Summer Bowling program for both can be found here. Summer Bowling Games does have a one time cost per child,the cost does include Shoe Rental for the entire summer. Sign your child(ren) up and they receive 3 games a day through Sept 7th. AMF Bowling also has an Adult Bowling Pass, cost and rules vary by area.


Free Roller Skating:
Kids Skate Free is FREE Roller Skating and is gaining in popularity, like the Summer Bowling Program. You can register at the location nearest you and each facility runs the program independently.


Barnes and Noble: The Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program: have your child(ren) read any 8 books. The child(ren) will get a FREE book from Barnes and Noble once the list is complete.

Half Price Books: Feed Your Brain is the Half Price Books Reading program Children need to read at least 15 minutes a day and 300 minutes per month during June and July, turn in form and receive Half Price Book Bucks. Each child can earn Book Bucks each month.

Check your local Library to see if they have a Reading Program going for the summer. Most libraries have a FUN program each year!




Apple Stores: Apple stores offer FREE workshops for Kids 8-12. The kids will learn how to use iMovie and how to make their own films. Sign up HERE!

Windows Stores: Microsoft offers FREE SummerCamps for kids ages 8-13. Kids are divided into 2 age groups 8-10 and 11-13. The "camps" offered include Coding. Sign up HERE!




FREE Family Fun Festival at Millennium Park begins June 22-August 23. Check out the info and Schedule HERE. We went to this a couple summers ago and it was soo much fun! My boys LOVED it!

Zoo Fun:
Lincoln Park Zoo is FREE year round, although parking can cost a "pretty penny". GREAT zoo to visit and have fun at.

Brookfield Zoo has a cost associated with it. You can visit your library in the City of Chicago and in the Suburbs and get a Pass that allows for FREE admission for a limited number of people in the family. Our family buys a yearly membership which not only allows for unlimited FREE admission but also FREE parking. We live only 5 minutes from the Zoo, so the cost is worth it because it pays for itself in 2 visits.

The Cosley Zoo is a small Zoo located in Wheaton, IL. The cost is FREE for kids 17 and under, $5 for Adults and FREE for residents of Wheaton.

Museums around the City:
Museums very rarely have FREE days in the summer. Residents of the City of Chicago can get FREE admission to most of the City Museums using the Kids Museum Passport. Each pass generally admits 4 people FREE and one must be an adult over 18. Some passes have different restrictions.

Suburban residents can visit their local library to see if they are a participant in the Museum Adventure Pass. Many different Museums are included and most passes are valid for Buy 2 get 2 FREE admissions.






The Chicago LakeFront has many Beaches and FREE swimming available. For a listing of Chicago Beaches and locations check HERE.

The Cook County Forest Preserves have 3 Aquatic Centers. There is a small FEE for these attractions, but it is very inexpensive. Adults (12 and up) are $6, and kids 4-12 are $4, 3 and under are FREE. Check out the locations and more info HERE.

I found a really nice listing of Aquatic Centers all around Chicagoland HERE. The Aquatic Centers do have an admission price and each varies by location. The listing covers many areas of Chicagoland! Many Suburban Park Districts have turned their "Pool" into AWESOME Aquatic Centers, so check the Park District websites.

Our favorite Park District Aquatic Center is The Oasis in Bloomingdale. The summer of 2015 the Oasis will have 3 “Discount Days” where admission is only $1 per person ALL DAY. The Discount Days are June 26
th, July 15th and August 5th.

Also, if you are looking for an indoor Pool fun there are a few around Chicagoland. A favorite of my family is the Oak Brook Park District Aquatic Center. Also, Splash Landings AquaticCenter in Glenview and Pelican Harbor in Bolingbrook.






The only time I went to the Forest Preserves growing up, was for Picnics. I was so excited, a few years ago, to discover there is SOO much more to the Forest Preserves then just “picnics”. I have since discovered the Nature Centers and Programs the Forest Preserves have to offer. Events that I have seen listed: Astronomy Nights, Campfire Nights, Butterflies, Family Fishing Days, and MUCH more!

NEW for 2015 at Cook County Forest Preserves: Camping for Families and Individuals. The Cook County Forest Preserves have 5 campgrounds that will be open for Families and Individuals to rent for a night or 2 or however long you want to. The prices are very reasonable. Tent and RV sites and also cabins are available for rent. Check it out HERE.

Here are the websites for the different Forest Preserves in and near Chicagoland.
Check them out for FREE or Frugal Family Fun for the summer.

I also discovered a couple of Nature Centers within Park Districts in the Chicago Area. Lake View Nature Center in Oak Brook Terrace and Lake Katherine in Palos Heights.

LakeView Nature Center is bringing back Wild Wednesdays. The event is FREE and on a drop in basis, No registration required. Check out the websites for more details on the program. Summer Time Nature Fun is a wonderful thing!!




Check your local Library for FUN activities like Movie Days, Story Time, Arts and Craft time and much more. Libraries are a GREAT resource for FREE family fun, including Family Game Night a couple times a month.





Park Districts all over offer Movies in the Park at least once a month during Summer Months. Our family enjoys going to Movies in the Park. The movies are mainly from the summer before or a couple years back, but being outdoors, after dusk, watching movies with the family and neighbors is FUN. The really cool thing is that since Movie in the Parks are FREE and open to the Public, you can visit other parks, not just those from your town.

City of Chicago: Millennium Park will be hosting the Chicago Summer Film Series on Tuesday evenings from June 23- August 25th. FREE Admission and the movie begins at 6:30pm. The listing for the entire SUMMER FILM SERIES.

Surrounding Suburbs:
Bensenville:
June 5th: Frozen Bensenville Water Park
July 10th- The Lego Movie Diorio Field
August 14th- Monsters University Veterans Park


Berwyn:
Kriz Park, 15th & Maple
June 18th- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
July 16th- Paddington
August 20st- Cinderella

Proska Park, 31st & Wisconsin
June 12th- Frozen
July 10th- The Lego Movie
August 14th- The Incredibles

Brookfield:
Jaycee/Ehlert Park, 4315 Park Avenue
June 19th- The Amazing Spiderman
August 7th- The Lego Movie

Downers Grove:
Fischel Park
July 16th- The Goonies (30th Anniversary of Release)
August 20th- Toy Story (20th Anniversary of Release)
September 17th- Back to the Future (30th Anniversary of Release)


Elmhurst:
Wilder Park
June 12th- Big Hero 6
July 10th- Homeward Bound
August 14th- Monsters University

Forest Park:
Park District of Forest Park, 7501 Harrison
June 5th- Book of Life
June 19th- West Side Story
July 17th- Cars
August 7th- Captain America
August 21th- Despicable Me

Joliet Park District:
June 19th- Maleficent Hartman Rec
July 10th- Box Trolls Theodore Crossing
July 24th- Big Hero 6 Preservation Park
August 7th- Frozen Inwood Park

LaGrange Park:
June 12th- Big Hero 6 Sedgewick Park
July 10th-Box Trolls
August 7th- Annie (new version)


Lombard:
Lilicia Park, 150 S. Park Ave.
June 24th- Muppets Most Wanted
July 15th- Paddington
July 22rd- Box Trolls
July 29th- Big Hero 6

OakBrook Terrace:
Hertiage Park, 1S325 Ardmore Ave.
June 24th- Into the Woods
August 4th- Big Hero 6

Oak Forest:
Central Park, 15601 S. Central Ave.
June 26th- Lego Movie
July 24th- Penguins of Madagascar
August 21st- Big Hero 6

Oak Lawn: "On the Green", 9446 S. Raymond Ave.
June 19th- Lego Movie
July 17th- Big Hero 6
August 14th- Muppets Most Wanted

Palos Heights:
Memorial Park
June 18th- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
July 23rd- Big Hero 6
August 6th- Monsters University

WestMont: 
Ty Warner Park, Plaza Drive and Blackhawk Dr.  8:30pm
July 24th-Big Hero 6
August 7th- Wizard of Oz

Willowbrook:
July 17th Big Hero 6 Borse Park

Woodridge Park District:
June 5th-Muppets Most Wanted Westminister Park
June 12th- Frozen Ide's Grove East Park
July 17th- Planes: Fire & Rescue Windy Point Park
July 24th- The Goonies Castaldo Park

Check your local Park District, as I only searched and found a few suburbs. Park Districts are a wonderful place to have a Family Movie night and it is FREE!




More places to find ideas for Family Fun and Family Activities:

Pinterest: Ohhh, the wonderful resources you can find on Pinterest. Do a search for “summer fun _____” and you can find resources for your city or town or idea. I have found many great ideas on Pinterest. I even have a Summer Fun Board.

A GREAT resource for Chicagoland parents is Chicago Parent Magazine. The magazine comes out monthly in libraries in both the City and Suburbs. The magazine publishes a calendar in the back of each monthly edition with Family Fun activities all around Chicagoland. 4x a year(one for every season) they put a special edition called Going Places. It is a BIG listing of their monthly calendar of events. Check out the website and pick up a copy of the monthly magazine and the Summer Edition of Going Places for some GREAT listings of Family Fun. (not all events listed are FREE, but many are). I LOVE Chicago Parent magazine, it is a GREAT resource year round! Do a google search if you live in another state, near a BIG city. I know cities like Dallas, New York and others have a "Parent Magazine", like the sister magazine to Chicago Parent.

Chicago Kids is a GREAT online Resource to find fun and activities for Kids and Families.

KidWinks is another WONDERFUL resource for Family Fun Activities. KidWinks has a weekly email that they send out year round, just sign up for it.

OakLees Family Guide is yet another Family Fun Resource. OakLee Family Guides are available in Libraries and other places all over Chicagoland. Their website is also filled with VALUABLE info!

KidList is a “new to me” site that I just discovered this month. The site has lots of great ideas, links and info about events in the Western Suburbs.

Our family also loves Summer Time Fairs and Festivals. Neighborhoods, Towns, Cities and more have some fun Fairs and Festivals. We really like some of those that "take us back in time" like Old Fashioned Days, Cival War Days, etc. Make sure to check local towns, cities and neighborhoods for local Festivals and Fairs. Also, many towns and villages have "Downtown Fun" nights once a week. Check your own neighborhood for Family Fun events.

I wish EVERYONE an AMAZING, WONDERFUL, FUN FILLED Summer! The BUDGET doesn't have to go BROKE for Family FUN. Time Spent with your children and/or as a family is the important thing, Enjoy your SUMMER 2015!!


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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GoodBye 2014: A month by month Recap of 2014




I came into 2014 filled with optimism, happiness, looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. I had even picked a "Word for 2014" and was looking forward to seeing that bought into our life. Well, 2014 proved to be the WORST year of my life! A recap of my year, month by month.

January: 
January started with BITTER cold and ugly weather. The weather was so cold here that someone coined the word "Chiberia" and Chicago Public Schools closed for 2 days, which followed by almost all schools in Chicagoland area closing for 2 days.

January 6th was the first below Zero HIGH temp for the day and also the day we began having issues with our one and only vehicle. Harlin was driving to work and it began overheating BAD. He made it to and from work that day, but it was a struggle. We decided it probably was best not to drive it until we got it looked at. Harlin was able to get rides to and from work during the BITTER cold. We would eventually find out that the Head Gasket blew on the van. We use mobile mechanics and would not be able to get the van fixed until Mid-February when the funds were available and our mobile mechanic had a garage to work from. January was difficult because we were without a vehicle until Mid-February. The BITTER cold and 33" of snow that fell that month made for difficulty getting around and even doing basic things like getting groceries. THANKFULLY, friends and family helped us by taking us grocery shopping or Harlin stopped at Aldi, across the street on his way home from the bus stop.

I had made a decision on which "Healthy Lifestyle" plan I wanted to work on and requested a book "Trim Healthy Mama" from our local Library on January 15th. The Library system of 80 libraries only had 2 copies in the system and there were 6 requests for the book.

February: 
My life would come to a screeching HALT when I received the most devasting and life changing news EVER. My Wonderful, AWESOME, Dad passed away unexpectedly on February 4, 2014. My Dad had been in a nursing home since May 4th, 2013 but we thought he was doing soo much better. He was on 3 day a week dialysis since 2007 and he missed going to Dialysis on Monday February 3rd because he wasn't feeling well. I did talk to him on Monday, but he didn't tell me he hadn't gone to dialysis. The nursing home and my Dad called my mom at 2:30am on Tuesday the 4th as he was being transferred to the hospital. My Dad ultimately had a heart attack on his way to the hospital and his heart just gave out. He was only 62yrs old and he was an AMAZING Dad and all around person.

Here is what I wrote on Facebook that day: 
Today has been the HARDEST day of my life. My Dad passed away early this morning.

My Dad was the Kindest, Gentlest, BIG Hearted man. He was a HARD worker and LOVED his family, friends and LOVED talking to people he met "on the street". My dad taught me, my boys and many others, and taught by example one of the GREATEST lessons ever: Give to others and take care of others before yourself. I will miss those daily, even up to several times a day, phone calls. He had the BIGGEST smile and could make anyone smile and laugh with him. He was an encourager and all around GREAT DAD!!

My Dad LOVED the Eagle. I am reminded of this verse today:
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
He is running and not weak, he is walking with ease and no cane anymore. My dad SOARED to Heaven today and until we meet again: I LOVE YOU DAD!



Saturday, February 8th we had a Visitation and Service for my Dad and it was very well attended, even though there was a snowstorm the entire day. I am VERY grateful for all you supported our family during that week and the weeks and months to come.

The rest of February was a blur. We did get our van fixed and the head gasket replaced around February 15th and that was a blessing to have our vehicle back in working order.

March:
I began a "mentoring relationship" with someone from our church. She and I meet a couple times a month and she has been an encouragement to me for this entire year, even through the trials of 2014.

Nothing else significant happened in March or nothing that I can recall. March was still a blur and I was still very heartbroken over the loss of my Dad. I continued to wait for the "healthy Lifestyle" book to come to the library and was in touch with the library often in regards to the hold up.

April:
April was a VERY difficult month. My Dad would have been 63 on April 12th. My mom, siblings, grandkids, spouses and I all got together and visited the Cemetery where my Dad's parents and many other relatives are buried. My sister had picked up my Dad's ashes that day before coming to the Cemetary. We "buried" some of my Dad's ashes at the foot of his parents headstones. We all shared our favorite memories of my Dad. Very windy day, but a BEAUTIFUL sunshine day. We went back to my mom's place where we ordered Pizza and had Pepsi, one of my Dad's favorite meals.

We received our Income Tax Refund and we took care of some annual payments and more. I bought my own copy of "Trim Healthy Mama" and also ordered some of the items needed/wanted to make the lifestyle change happen. I also went shopping at Costco and Sam's Club for healthy groceries and more.

I began coming out of my "hiding" in April and getting energy back.

May: 
I began what would be about 2 months of Drs. Appointments and check ups and blood work. I always do yearly blood work and more due to the health issues in our family history. I see my Primary Doctor and a couple of Specialists to check up on a few things.

I began the "Trim Healthy Mama" lifestyle change on May 12th and it has been wonderful. Trim Healthy Mama is a simple plan to follow and I don't ever feel like I am on a "diet". It is NOT a diet as it is a Long Term, Lifestyle change.

June: 
June started out OK, but the middle of the month bought sorrow and grief once again. June 15th, Fathers Day, I was "talking" to my cousin via Facebook on how she was doing as we both lost our Dad's within that year and it was our first Father's Day without our dads. Later that evening I would receive a message from her sister that Erin had been rushed to the hospital and was in critical condition. 24 hours later my 39yr old cousin passed away from undetected heart blockage. Erin Kathleen and I were always VERY close growing up and I have AWESOME memories of her and I. She is truly missed.



July: 
July things were starting to look GREAT. We had started to take care of things for our household and began a mission(to revealed hopefully in 2015) and I was getting back into our routine.
Our household came to a screeching halt once again on July 18th when a family member decided to make a phone call that could have destroyed our household. I am glad the phone call was filled with LIES and UNTRUTHS, as this "BULLY" was only being spiteful. I knew that even though the actions of this family member were spiteful, I needed to forgive them for their actions, even through the whole TRIAL of their action of making a lied filled phone call. I choose to do that and continue to do so. We would ultimately be put through 2 months of CRAZY stuff and proving the phone call was made up of LIES and Spitefulness. We succeeded in proving the family member was being Spiteful and made up a BUNCH of lies. God is GOOD to our family and we had him on our side!!

August: 
We had to keep "low key" this month as we continued the battle that was bought on by a family member who was spiteful.

September: 
We began our routine for the year and things were going smoothly. We awaited the word on the outcome of the Phone Call filled with lies and we received the notice on Sept. 19th that we were CLEARED!! God is GOOD!

Sept 20th, I was gone for the entire day and come home to find that our Main PC had CRASHED!! I tried everything I could to revive it, but couldn't. I started using the boys computer in the front room, but it just isn't the same. I was glad for my phone and tablet as I still had wifi access in our household.

October: 
October was a good month! My BIL found an AWESOME Mini-Van for a WONDERFUL price and helped us secure it and helped us make it a "new to us" vehicle. We had expressed interest in getting a "new to us" vehicle in the Spring, but he helped make it happen way sooner! I put our 2000 Oldsmobile Silohoutte for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp. I priced it at $1,200 as our goal was to get $1,000. 2 weeks after posting the van for sale, it sold for $1,000. The girl who purchased it had NO vehicle and her dad is a mechanic and could help with the "quirky" little repairs it still needed.

We did find someone to take a look at our main PC. He is a friend of a friend. He at first thought it was not recoverable, but he tinkered with it some more and recovered all our Files and got it up and running again. Cost $150. We havent' been able to pick it up yet, as the funds are not there, but we soon will.

October 27th our Router DIED so we had NO internet access at home now. We purchased a new router a week later but still could not get things to connect. Wifi was not consistent and there was NO internet to the boys PC.

November: 
We were without internet access ALL month as we still couldn't get the router working properly.

Broken family relationships would come this month, broken as in disowned. The broken relationships were not my call, but once it happened it released a lot of anxiety and more and gave me a sense of relief. Sometimes getting "toxic people" from your life is a WONDERFUL thing! The "Bully" was bullied and didn't like it and disowned family.

My BIL would call and say "I have an opportunity for you and Harlin. He had another GREAT vehicle at another GREAT price. This vehicle would become Harlin's vehicle and a second car for the family. Having a Second car has been wonderful. We were thinking about second car come Spring, but it happened now and it has been AWESOME.

Thanksgiving Day: We spent it at home, just the 5 of us and I liked it that way. Low Key day with lots of memories.

December: 
WOOHOO!! Harlin had someone from church come over and get our new router up and running. We still don't have our Main PC back from the repair guy, but the boys CPU is being used as the main PC right now. We now have FULL internet access.

Christmas Day: The boys didn't get everything they wanted from their list, we would need mega money for that to happen. We had a good day and went to dinner at Harlin's Brothers place.

New Years Eve: We are having our traditional New Years Eve. Finger Foods and Snacks, Watching Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve and local countdown coverage and having fun today at home!



2014 has had more Trials then I have ever had in my Life. 2014 has been a BAD year for many, including myself, and I have been wanting it to be over since March. I am glad to see 2014 come to an END!!

I am not making any Resolutions or promises for 2015, as 2014 taught me our best laid plans are not God's plan. I can make promises and resolutions, but God's plan will always come to fruition before our plans. I am praying for God to move in our life next year and help us have an AWESOME year! We do have some Goals that we would like to achieve next year, but we have to follow God's plan and if our goals align with his plans, it will all happen!!



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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mosaics Review: Wizzy Gizmo Fast Track Bible Pack




I recently received a product from Wizzy Gizmo that has been a wonderful addition to our Home and Homeschool. Fast Track Bible Pack is a set of 27 cards, each card has information on the New Testament books of the bible.



The Fast Track Bible Pack cards are 2 sided, colorful, medium sized Flashcards. The Front Side consists of a summary about the author the Book, how many chapters the book contains,  and a Key Verse. The Back of the card has been catergorized to make it easy to follow. The catergories include:
Outline, Key Chapters, Key Passages, Key Doctrines, and Key People. The set retails for $14.99 and is a great value.




I really LOVE that the set is made of high quality card stock and very durable, especially with boys using the set. My boys and I have really enjoyed using the set, and it has been extremely helpful to my 11yr old as he is a Struggling Learner. The set is easy for him to follow and comprehend, something we haven't seen for him during Bible Study time. I also have learned a few new things by using the cards with my boys, which I am also loving! We have been using the cards are part of our Bible Study time in our Homeschool day, but there are many other possible uses from them including Family Devotions, Individual Devotions time, Youth Group time and more. We are excited that Fast Track Bible Pack has been a wonderful addition to our Bible Study time and our family life.

Are you interested in learning more about Fast Track Bible Pack? Check out the product page HERE. The Product Page is filled with info on how to use it with the different ages of the family and how why the product is useful.

Wizzy Gizmo has many other products including Audio Dramas and Book Series, all geared to helping your children and family grow in their faith by planting themselves in God's Word.

Where to find Wizzy Gizmo on the web: 

YouTube

Wizzy Gizmo is a company is prides themselves in helping children and families learn the Word of God and their products are AMAZING!

To Read more Reviews about Wizzy Gizmo Products: Home & School Mosaics



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Friday, September 12, 2014

Home School Adventure Co. Giveaway


WOW, check out this AWESOME giveaway by a WONDERFUL company, Home School Adventure Co. Home School Adventure Co. is a Family Run business and the products are OUTSTANDING. I have had the pleasure of using and reviewing products from Home School Adventure Co. and each one is always challenging and a wonderful addition to our Homeschool Curriculum. You can see my reviews of Home School Adventure Co. products and the enthusiasm we have for them here:  Mere Christianity Journal and Philoposophy Adventure. 

Home School Adventure Co. is ready to release their latest biblical worldview resource -- Creative Freewriting Adventure - A Journey Into Freewriting! Creative Freewriting Adventure is a collection of thought-provoking freewriting exercises designed to inspire creativity and critical thinking, even in reluctant writers. The official release of this wonderful resource will be at a Facebook Party on Thursday, September 18, 9 PM ET. I've heard there will be lots of prizes given away that night (and some free stuff for all guests, too). I hope you will join me! You can RSVP here. I am joining author, Stacy Farrell, and Home School Adventure Co. to celebrate the release of Creative Freewriting Adventure with this impressive giveaway, valued at nearly $300! One winner will win PRINT copies of all of HSA's resources, plus 4 biblical worldview books and a lovely
canvas tote bag.


Creative Freewriting Adventure Giveaway -- Winner will be announced at the Facebook Release Party on September 18
 

 Here's what you could win:

Creative Freewriting Adventure - A Journey into Freewriting ($21.95)

Bring joy and excitement into your student’s writing with these simple-to-execute (yet significant) writing exercises. No prep required. Just grab a pen and paper, set a timer, and have fun! Writing can be hard work. Good writing most often results from much rewriting, and much rewriting can make a writer weary. Since Philosophy Adventure students polish one primary writing assignment over the course of several weeks (supported by clear step-by-step instructions and seven writing checklists), we created freewriting exercises to offset their hard work with play!

***

Philosophy Adventure™ — Pre-Socratics Complete Set with Resources CD  ($89.95)

DO YOU NEED to teach advanced writing and speaking skills? DO YOU WANT your students equipped to discern truth as ungodly messages bombard them? DO YOU WONDER how to cover all they need academically as well as practically? Philosophy Adventure may be your solution! Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

***

Mere Christianity Journal and Softcover Print Bundle (Journal & Book) ($38.95)

Have we forgotten whose we are? In this “Age of Tolerance,” Christians are in danger of forgetting (or never learning) what distinguishes a Christian worldview from other worldviews. The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview. A companion to Lewis’s classic work, the Journal can be used for independent study with teenagers or adults, or as a group study in families, homeschools, co-ops, classrooms, Sunday school, and small groups. This bundle contains the Print Edition of the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal with a softcover edition of Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis’s original work.

***

Philippians in 28 Weeks -- Scripture Memory Resource ($28.95)

What does it mean to love Him with all your mind? The Bible is banned in many countries. Countless believers have sacrificed their freedom—and many, their lives—to spread the message of God’s love and salvation contained within its pages. Are we exercising our freedom responsibly? Memorize the entire book of Philippians in 28 weeks!

***

The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions ($28.95)

How do you train a heart? George MacDonald's The Wise Woman enchants readers while it contrasts the ugliness of pride, selfishness and conceit with the beauty of humility, sacrifice, and compassion. The Wise Woman is a perfect story for a family to read together curled up on the couch under a warm afghan or after a meal. (It is only fair to warn you: once you read the first chapter, you might not put it down. More than one mom has stayed up late to read after her children have gone to bed.) Read each chapter and discuss the literary analysis questions and vocabulary. Clear writing requires clear thinking. The exercise of formulating and writing answers will strengthen your students’ thinking and communication skills. Middle school and high school students create a profound keepsake as they write their answers in the book. By offering students 16 to 24 literary analysis questions per chapter, this 160-page spiral bound edition teaches critical thinking in a way that is engaging and transformational.

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Nancy Pearcey Book Bundle ($63.98)

Nancy R. Pearcey  is scholar in residence and professor at Houston Baptist University, where she is also director of the Francis Schaeffer Center for Worldview and Culture. She is also a fellow at the Discovery Institute. Previously she was the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute, where she taught a worldview course based on her book Total Truth, winner of the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best book on Christianity and Society. She has also served as professor of worldview studies at Philadelphia Biblical University, during which time she wrote her most recent book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning. This bundle of books written by Nancy Pearcey includes: The Soul of Science - Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy Total Truth- Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity Saving Leonard0 - A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning

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Home School Adventure Tote Bag ($18)

vistaprinttotebag

This duo color canvas tote is roomy enough to hold all of your Home School Adventure Co. reasouces! Sturdy and fashionable, it is emblazened with the Home School Adventure Co. logo on one side, and the words, "Cultivate and defend a biblical worldview" on the other.
 The winner of this giveaway will be announced during the Creative Freewriting Facebook Release Party on Thursday, September 18, 9-10 PM ET. Please join us on the Home School Adventure Co. Facebook wall that evening to find out if you won! (Winner does not need to be present to win.) Be sure to RSVP here.

CFA FB PROMO
   

 To enter the giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter below. U. S. residents, age 18 and older please. Other terms and conditions are located in the Rafflecopter.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: More Blood What does School really do to your kids?

More Blood is the most controversial book on education ever written. It has the power to change the conversation about school forever. And while More Blood is non-fiction, it is anything but dull! Personal stories, forgotten histories, secret motives, and dark sciences make this book a true page-turner. The deeper you read, the more that's revealed. More-Blood-Web

More Blood
is broken into three parts: The Place Without Love, The Evolution of Tyranny, and A Programmable Man. When you get to Part 3, you won't want to believe what you read, but won't be able to help reflecting on it for the rest of your life. Part 3 will blow your mind! You'll never look at school the same. If you have school-aged children, you must read More Blood – you have to know what school is really doing to them!

 

Click here to read a free sample

Part 1: The Stairway to Hell.

In it, you'll discover a taste of the stories that bring this book to life. More Blood is available in Paperback for $17.99 and digital versions for $9.99.
 

Join the Discussion!

Whether you agree or disagree, you voice is important. Over the next few months, Britton will be speaking about topics in More Blood and we'd love for you to join the conversation! On Sep. 11, at 8:00 p.m. we are teaming up with the iHomeschool Network for a LIVE interview to talk about two major myths of public education. Or, make your voice heard by using #MoreBlood.

RSVP for the event on Google+ or watch it on YouTube!

myths-public-education-event


If you'd like more information, or to see upcoming interviews with the author, just click here to subscribe.

More Blood Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of More Blood! 9 other people will get a digital copy of More Blood.
100 amazon-gift-card giveaway


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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Preview: Messy Beautiful LOVE,


Ohhh, the dreams we have about marriage, when we experience our "first love". I know many dream of a "Perfect Spouse, Perfect Children, Wonderful house with a picket fence, etc." The reality is that Marriage takes a lot of work and effort and the expectation for Perfectionism can create chaos and other issues. We have to surrender our "dreams" to God and allow him to lead and direct our marriage to have a Beautiful Marriage. I got married on August 1, 1998 and our marriage is still a "work in progress", as I continue to learn on creating a beautiful marriage and surrendering to God. I am a Perfectionist by nature and I have learned over the years how much of a hindrance that is to the marriage.



I am VERY excited to be part of the Launch team for "Messy Beautiful Love" by Darlene Schacht. I received a PDF copy of the book for being a part of the Launch Team and I am currently diving into the book, which is AMAZING! The Release Day is September 16th, but you can Pre-Order NOW




A special package of FREEBIES have been put together, as a THANK YOU, for those who Pre-Order. Check out the wonderful, encouraging, assortment of "Freebies"!!




I encourage you to take a look at the website for the book, Messy Beautiful Love and download a FREE chapter. I know that you will be encouraged and uplifted from this book.


I pray that Marriages will be renewed, uplifted and transformed and experience the Messy Beautiful Love!!



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