Thursday, September 30, 2010

CSNstores Giveaway Coming Soon

I’ve been given the opportunity to host a giveaway for CSN stores. I’ve done reviews for them in the past and have been very happy with the vast selection of merchandise and the customer service. CSNstores is actually a network of over 200 stores that enable you to shop for anything  from cookware to science kits to a bookcase headboard!

Stay posted. I’ll have the giveaway details up in the next day or two!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegetable Soup

We made vegetable soup this afternoon—lots of it! Emily said, “Mom, you should take pictures of the soup like Dad does for his blog.” (I will point out that my husband’s favorite blog topic is food pictures.) So here we are:







After tonight’s dinner, we had 10 containers of various sizes for the freezer….and a nice feeling of accomplishment!


Winners! Flexi-8 and Wholly Guacamole

The winner of the Flexi-8 Giveaway is: Comment #6  Anne

The winner of the Wholly Guacamole giveaway (Grand Prize) is:  Comment #18 John/SB

Wholly Guacamole Runners Up are:

Comment #29  5Webs

Comment #155  Michael

The winners have been notified.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The One Year Mother Daughter Devo

The One Year Mother Daughter Devo, by Dannah Gresh and Janet Mylin presents a fun new twist to devotional books.


This book is not just for women and not just for kids,tweens, or teens. It is intended for moms and daughters to read together. Each devotion includes a Bible passage to look up and a devotional passage that is sure to capture the attention of tweens. The sidebar on most days features “Girl Gab”—questions for the mom answer and for the daughter to answer or discuss or a quick activity to do together. A couple times a month a “Kicking Kraft” activity reinforces the theme for the day.

I think this book will be a favorite in our house. On day 2, Emily asked, “We can keep this book after we’ve read it, can’t we?” I love the discussion topics that will help Emily and I know each other better and to grow in our faith together. I’ve noticed that Emily really enjoys hearing about my experiences, especially when they involve stories of when I was little.  We are enjoying that the activities and stories vary from day to day—one day, we may be discussing what makes us feel anxious; the next, we may be having a rooster-crowing contest or posting a Bible verse by the sink. Today, we looked up the meanings of our names, prayed for each other that we would live up to those meaning, talked about God giving Abram a new name and how God will someday give us a new name written on a white stone.

Most day’s readings can easily be completed in about  10 minutes, with no preparation. I love that, because truthfully, anything that is labor or time-intensive is likely to be skipped on busy days.

I think the target audience for this book is 9-12 year olds, but older and younger girls might enjoy it just as much.

I received a review copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

Flexi-8 and Wholly Guacamole Giveaways ending

My giveaways for Flexi-8 and Wholly Guacamole will be ending tonight, so this is your last chance to enter!  These are great prizes and the Flexi-8 has low entries at this point.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Emily played goalie last night for the first time. She’s a bit too timid for the position, but did pretty well….  Some of the kids on the other team looked more like 14-15 years old instead of 10 and 11, so she was a bit intimidated!







Friday, September 17, 2010

Five Question Friday


1. What is the first nightmare you remember?

Not really a nightmare, but I had this weird reoccurring dream/out of body experience when I was a child. I would be up at the ceiling in the corner of my bedroom looking down on my sister and I sleeping in our side by side twin beds. Then, suddenly I would spin around the room and eventually end up back in my bed.

2. Even if you’re not a sports fan, what is your favorite sport to play/watch? 

I am definitely not a sports fan, but I enjoy watching ice skating and gymnastics.

3. If you could pull off one piece of trendy fashion, what would you want it to be (jeggings, hats, thigh high boots, etc.)? 

I’d like to wear fun hats, but I would feel too self conscious doing so. I’m a blend-into-the-woodwork kind of person. I just bought some skinny jeans….I’m not sure if I like them yet or not. They are pretty tight!

4. Did you make good grades in school?

Yes, mostly A’s. I was a conscientious student.

5. What magazines do you subscribe to?

Quite a few right now because Katie had to sell magazines a year ago for her senior year fundraising. Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Family Fun. Most of these subscriptions will run out soon. Plus several free ones from Focus on the Family, Costco, T Rowe Price, etc.

Join in Five Question Friday here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bathroom Remodel

When Allison arrived home in August for a 5 week stay, she asked if she could replace the dirty, worn-out bathmats in the kid’s bathroom. Knowing that she hated the bathroom decor, I suggested that she remodel the whole bathroom. She loved the idea and came up with a plan. It turned out that she was so busy working (med. school family practice rotation) that I did all the work! She served as the interior decorator and  pretty much chose the colors and decor, while I provided the labor!


Dated green wallpaper, cream and navy curtains, seashell decor, rusty brass light fixture and tarnished brass drawer pulls, chrome towel holders and faucet—We never quite realized how mis-matched this bathroom was!





We replaced the light fixture, drawer pulls, towels, bathmats, and curtains and painted the walls yellow and the woodwork and cabinets white. Everything is in a black, white and chrome color scheme. The bathmats did get replaced, and are black. (Ignore that woman behind the curtain!)

I was pretty proud of myself for changing out the light fixture without a glitch. I’m pretty competent at wallpapering and painting, but  am generally inept at any kind of “fixing” and electrical work.

It looks so much bigger and brighter now!






Flexi-8 Giveaway


I’ve never worn my hair “up” much. When I put it in a ponytail, I always end up with a headache within a few hours. The same for claw clips, plus I think they look kind of sloppy.

When I saw the Flexi-8 clip, though, I knew I wanted to try it! Flexi-8 Clips are absolutely beautiful and can be used to wear your hair in many different ways—ponytails, half-ponytails, French twists, and more.















The Flexi-8 clips consist of a figure-8 shaped barrette made of wire and beads and a sturdy metal clip that easily and securely slips into place. The barrette looks rigid, but is actually very flexible. The clip is permanently attached to the barrette, so there is no way to lose it.  Flexi-8 clips come in 6 different sizes and it is very important to carefully read the site and watch the sizing video to choose the correct size. You will probably need a smaller size than you expect!

I received 5 sizes to review—the mini, extra small, small, medium, and large. My hair is of average thickness—not thick, not thin. The mini was perfect for pulling back my hair on one side. The extra small was great for a half-pony tail in the back, but could even be used for a full pony tail or for pinning all my hair up. The small was really best for my hair, though. Emily has very thick hair, and she will be able to use the medium and large clips.

This is the Large Flexi-8 in Emily’s hair. It took me less than 30 seconds to put her hair up.


I absolutely love these clips. It was quick and easy to put my hair up with them and, even better, very comfortable to wear. I could wear one all day and not even feel that it was there—no headaches! Emily said the same thing.

Flexi-8 is a “mom and pop” business that began with the products being made in a garage. They depend on word of mouth advertising and personal sales instead of mass production and impersonal marketing methods.  Their beautiful products are well worth checking out!


Flexi-8 has generously offered to give away 2 Flexi-8 clips to one of my readers. To enter, you must visit, watch the video and tell me which size you would need. Then tell me your favorite design in the size you chose. Winner will be chosen by on Sept 28.

For additional entries:

1. Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

2. Blog about this giveaway. (3 entries)

3. Visit my Super Star Speech blog  and leave a comment there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National Guacamole Day! Giveaway!

Did you know that Sept. 16 is National Guacamole Day? I didn’t until now, but this makes it a good time to post my review of the Wholly Guacamole (and Salsa and Queso) products.


I love avocados and guacamole, so I was thrilled to try out the Eat Wholly product line. I was shipped a cooler full of Eat Wholly products – guacamole, salsa and queso. I wasn’t sure exactly what they would send, so this was a great surprise!



The first product we tried was the Classic Guacamole in the 100 calorie snack pack. The flavor was excellent, with little chunks of avocado in the dip. There was a little more onion flavor than I prefer, though. The package size was perfect—just the right amount for Emily and me to finish off in a sitting (although I could have eaten it all myself.) Since the packages, once opened, should be eaten within 3 days, I loved having a packet that was just the right size for a serving or two. The box included 6 snack packs.


This is the snack pack serving.







A few days later, we opened up several more of the dips and had a tasting party!

DSC08498   DSC08495

We tried the Classic Guacamole-everyone liked this. One of my daughters doesn’t usually eat avocados or guacamole, but she enjoyed it too. We enjoyed the Wholly Salsa (medium). It was very chunky and rather spicy—about at our limit. I think the hot variety would be too spicy for our tastes! The overall favorite was the Wholly Queso Blanco—Absolutely wonderful! The entire container was finished off in just a couple of days. I kept having to chase the kids away from it, saying, “Leave some for me!” The Wholly Queso Classic was also very good. It was very mild in flavor.

My first impression of the Spicy Guacamole was that it was way too spicy. I like a mild guacamole. But….it was strangely addictive! I found myself really enjoying it. It’s great with chips or to dollop on a green salad.

The next day for lunch, I made myself a cheese quesadilla with Wholly Salsa and Wholly Guacamole—delicious!

The Wholly products are all natural and made without preservatives. The Guacamole is made with a minimum of 90% avocado. These are definitely quality products that I will be buying more of!


homegating (hóm gât ing) verb;

  1. the act of hanging out with friends while watching favorite sport;
  2. to sit on comfy couches; to eat, to drink, and to make fun of people who sit in parking lots

Wholly Guacamole is a sponsor of a brand new site devoted to throwing the perfect football watching party at home—  This great site is packed with planning and entertaining tips, recipes, product coupons, and prizes. Test your football knowledge or brush up on the basics with the trivia and quizzes.  Look for Wholly Products $1 off coupons now (click on “team”)  as well as a SPECIAL coupon on Sept. 16—National Guacamole Day!

Another coupon is available from the Wholly Guacamole Facebook page!

Giveaway—3 Winners!:

The EatWholly company is allowing me to give away some GREAT prizes! The Grand prize is a cooler packed with EatWholly products and other fun stuff! There are also 2 runner-up prizes of  2 free product coupons! To enter, tell me which product you’d like to try first or which Wholly Guacamole dip is already your favorite. Winner will be chosen by on Sept. 28.

Additional entries:

1. Tell me a party tip from

2. Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

3. Visit my Super Star Speech blog and leave a comment.

4. Blog or post on Facebook about this contest. (3 entries) Please leave a link.

5. “Like” Wholly Guacamole on Facebook.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Garbage and Recycling Field Trips

Last week, our homeschool group took field trips to find out what happens to our garbage and trash. First, we visited the Garbage to Steam Plant. We learned that this is the only facility in the state that burns garbage and converts it into steam energy. The kids got to see the huge mountain of garbage being “fluffed” by a giant claw before it moved along to the incinerator.



Just a bit stinky!!!


We then drove down the road to the recycling plant, where the kids learned all about the importance of recycling, which items can be recycled, and what can be made of the recycled goods….new cans, carpets, countertops, and so on. There was a large viewing window that enabled us to see the machinery that sorts bottles from cans from paper, and so on.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Easy Lunchboxes Deal

I reviewed Easy Lunchboxes last month. You can read my review here.  They are a great “green” way to take lunches. Apparently, the sales have far surpassed the company’s expectations and they have just sold out of the container sets. However, for anyone who orders the container sets now, Easy Lunchboxes will include a FREE cooler ($7.95 value)! The bad news is that you will have to wait until mid to late October to receive your items, but this is a great deal!

The Church History ABC’s (Review)

A is for apricot, apple, and Augustine—Africa’s ancient bishop.”

B is for boat, berries, and Anne Bradstreet, America’s first bard.”


The Church History ABC’s, by Stephen J. Nichols and Ned Bustard,  is a picture book for elementary aged children that profiles 26 heroes of the Faith. This is a fun way to introduce young children to names and people that are an important part of their Christian heritage.  I have to admit—when we first received the book, I wondered, “Is there really a famous Christian hero for every letter of the alphabet?” I turned to the back of the book to look at some of the less commonly used letters…sure enough—Z is for Ulrich Zwingli (Swiss reformer), X is for Francis Xavier (missionary to Asia),  Q is for Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who provided sanctuary for Huguenots. Fun!

The book provides learning on a variety of levels. Young children can be read just the opening A is for…. ditty on each page. Older children will enjoy the longer paragraph that gives more information on each church hero. And the back of the book includes more facts on each hero that will be of interest to even older children and adults.

The Church History ABC’s website features handwriting pages, coloring pages and other activities that coordinate with the book. Even more fun! This book will be a well used part of our library.

My only caution—if you are not Protestant, this might not appeal to you, since many of the featured heroes are the Protestant reformers—Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, Knox…. Of course, more ancient heroes of the faith are represented as well, such as Augustine, Hippolytus, Ignatius, and St. Patrick.

I received a free review copy of this book from Crossway as part of their Book Review Program.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Molly Teaches About Emergency Preparedness

Can you live for a month or more on the stores from your pantry and freezer?

Does your family have a fire escape plan?

Do you have emergency winter supply kit for your car?


The September theme for Molly’s Digest is Emergency Preparedness, so this issue is full of handy lists and instructions on that subject.

The “Begin With the Basics” article this month features ground beef—how to buy, cook, and store it. Ground beef has always been one of our staples, but it has actually only been in the past few years that I thought of cooking a large batch at one time, then storing it in the freezer. It is so quick to zip up a batch of spaghetti or tacos for a quick meal when the meat is already cooked! The article expands on this concept with recipes for seasoned ground beef and meatballs to freeze ahead.

The “Something Old, Something New” article, as always, was great—melting old candles into new canning jar or mug candles. Again, something I already do, but I learned some ways to improve my technique and make them prettier. This, of course, tied into the Emergency Preparedness theme as well, since candles are an important thing to have on hand in case of power outages!

Molly’s September Digest also includes recipes, calendars, home organization pages and more. It can be purchased at the Old Schoolhouse Story for $4.95. A Molly’s membership is only $3.95 a month and includes additional free resources.

I received Molly’s Digest free for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back 2 School Giveaways—Last Group of Winners!

I had several giveaways ending last night. Thanks to everyone for participating! It was fun, but I’m ready to slow down a bit on reviews this month!

Reading Detective software: #32 Angela C.

Frecklebox: #34 Nicole

Charm Factory: #110 Joy

Smart Knit socks:  #43 Susan

The winners have all been notified.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fun with Simple Machines

Emily has been studying simple machines for the past few weeks. Her “texts” for the study have been a unit from Switched on Schoolhouse Science and a workbook that I downloaded from Currclick. But the really fun part has been Simple Machines lessons with K’nex!


Lever mobile, wheelbarrow, balance, catapult, and door (Levers)


Wishing well (Wheel and Axle)


Ferris Wheel (Wheel and Axle)


Measuring Wheel (Wheel and Axle)

She had a lot of fun using this to “measure” distances on a map.


Sailboat (Pulley)


We will be learning about gears this week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

I have a lot of giveaway winners to announce today.

The winner of N-fini Shapewear is: #30

Huguette E. said...

I'm a new blog follower via GFC


The winner of Tukaiz Personalized Notebooks is: #32

Terri Johnson said...

Well, I'm torn between a couple of them - the boat in the pond and the clown fish. Very cute


The Canson/ Eric Carle art pads winner is:  #48

Soggy Cereal Mom said...

Entered BA's Junk Ball giveaway

The Mabel’s Labels winner is: #12

belgd said...

Like mabels labels on facebook


The Colonial America book winner is: #55

✿Heαther✿ said...

I'm a follower!

The winners have all been notified.