Friday, March 30, 2012

TOS Review: I See Sam


For this review, we were provided set 1 and 2 of Academic Success for All Learners' I See Sam's Little Books.  I personally chose these two sets for both my struggling reader and my upcoming reader to use.  The stories were wonderfully simple enough for my struggling reader to read to his little sister.

The Little Books program is a sequence of 141 color coded books in 8 sets from Kindergarten to 3.6 grade level of reading.  Each separate set contains 27 books.  The book sets are correlated for Core Curriculum and the No Child Left Behind mandates.  Every book builds upon the previous books in the series to create a balanced reading program for children.

These book sets are printed in black and white but filled with lots of interesting pictures, as well as many Dolch words which my struggling reader greatly needs practice in.  The books encourage improvement in phonemic awareness, comprehension and fluency in reading.  They definitely helped improve my son's confidence in reading and we truly loved reviewing these book sets in our home.



These books can be used individually or in a group setting by teachers, parents, older peers and more.  Each set of I See Sam's Little Books cost $30.  You can purchase these book sets from Academic Success for All Learners online at www.iseesam.com.  For more reviews of this product please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog!


*Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free for review by Academic Success and the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion in a blog post review of this product.




  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TOS Review: Action Alert



Action Alert is a downloadable safety program protecting children from online dangers while using the computer.  This program has been featured on NBC's The Today Show and has won multiple awards for it's easy to use, protective programming.

Action Alert has two versions available: a free download for immediate use and the Maximum Protection download for the ultimate online protection for your children.  This program allows remote access, allowing you to monitor computer usage from your phone when you are away from home, as well as shutting down your computers system if inappropriate access is found.  Activity alerts are also programmed to be sent to your phone or email as you see fit.  Video recording is available with this program so that you can see who is using your computer and what is going on while you are away from home.

Site blocking, content filtering, keystroke logging, time allowance and email and chat logging are also provided with this program.  These things combined allow parents to protect their children from the online dangers of today such as sexual predators, inappropriate behaviors and sexting, over sharing, gaming addictions and much more.

Action Alert can be purchased and downloaded from their website for FREE download or $29.99 for the Maximum Protection program.  To read more reviews of Action Alert please visit the TOS Homeschool Review Crew Blog.

*Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free in exchange for my honest opinion shared in a blog post by Action and Alert and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Quick Look at Homeschooling

So I need to make a blog post but I'm sitting here distractedly watching my sweet almost 4 year old cut up pieces of morning art project on my brand new couch, gritting my teeth hoping she doesn't miss and cut a hole in it!  She took it upon herself to make a beautiful chalk drawing on a sheet of yellow construction paper.  Her new obsession is cutting paper into tiny little squares.

She amazes me.  She is smart as can be.  She even amazed her therapists yesterday as she worked through her tasks with ease and brilliance of memory.  *Yep she gets that from me!* LOL

She's finally finished her artwork and now she is carefully carrying it and her tiny squares back over to our dining table where she was supposed to be working in the first place.  Her chalk rolls across the table and she runs to the other side to retrieve it.  "I got it Mommy," she excitedly tells me.

This kind of stuff is exactly why I choose to homeschool.  If my children attended public school, I would completely miss out on these precious moments and they would miss out on this time with me.  Not to mention my little Laycie would miss out on her special creative moments like the ones she's had this morning.  And it's the same for my other children.  This is what homeschooling is all about.

I must say this is not the post I intended for this morning but I guess God had different ideas for me!  I'm finding following his lead is much easier than I once thought and my life is much better for it.  The joys of my days are found in the Love He has blessed me with.

What is joyful to you today??

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 26th - Epilepsy Awareness!!!


It's March and Epilepsy Awareness Day is quickly creeping up on me.  It's March 26th but for us Epilepsy Awareness is EVERY day.  It's a daily part of our life and something we never take for granted.

When you live with a seizure disorder you know a seizure can happen at any time of the day.  I went shopping in Walmart one day when my sweet Mimi was a baby.  Before I could even get started with my shopping she had a seizure in my arms.  Needless to say we immediately went home.

My precious Laycie has fallen to the floor in the bathroom, bumping her head on our bathtub when she was just a baby learning to pull up with me nearby.  It was unexpected and there was no warning her seizure was coming.  I'm thankful every day that she is okay.

Needless to say my days are filled with overprotecting and over-watching my babies.  I am not able to send my girls to visit at their friends homes without being nearby.  I cannot allow them to play out of my sight for long.  I have a constant vigil to ensure they are indeed okay and safe in everything they do.

This doesn't mean I don't allow them to be as normal as possible.  Emma has been wanting to learn to ride horses since she was 3.  We are currently looking for a stables that can accommodate her Epilepsy, as well as protective equipment to keep her safe, even though she hasn't had a seizure since she was 4.

Laycie plays hard in all she does as she wishes to do.  She goes boating with her Daddy.  Her life is as normal as it can be without over-doing it.

But as they do things, their Epilepsy is never forgotten.  It's always present and we leave it to our Neuro and God to keep our girls healthy.

This March 26th isn't the only day you should share Epilepsy Awareness.  You can start today by sharing your story with others.  You can share about seizures and what to do in an emergency; seizures can happen to anyone at anytime and any age.  Learn, share and spread the word today!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekends in the Court

It's the weekend.  Time for catching up and family.  Time for play and fun.  Time for relaxing, movies and reading.

That's what our weekend consists of this week.  Josh and I have been busy breaking in the new furniture by simply sitting in the living room watching tv, playing on the laptop and reading.  The kids have helped by reclining and watching tv along with us.

Josh did a little fishing today in our pond.  Then he came back to the living room to re-do the line on his rod.  He's really enjoying his new camo chair.  So much that he took a two hour nap in it today.

Since everyone is home on the weekend, it doesn't allow me time to get a lot done.  When everyone is here it's utter chaos but loads of fun.  Everyone has a different thing they want to do and they enjoy doing it.

This weekend has been a fairly lazy one for us, except for moving in and setting up the new furniture.  The rest of the weekend has been spent doing our own thing.  But overall it's been spent relaxing together.

How have you spent your weekend??

Friday, March 9, 2012

Children are a Gift

Lately I've had a lot of thoughts that I have wanted to turn into blog posts but by the time I get here, I forget what I have to say.  I feel God speaking to me, asking me to speak out, yet I keep putting it off.  Bear with me as I try to catch up with my emotions and brain.

All over the internet, I see Mother's complain about being Mothers.  I am also guilty of complaint.  Many of today's women don't see the Glory they have in the job of raising God's children.  They see their wants and needs above that of their young.

I often see Mother's who cling to the ideals of the life they are missing.  I hear comments on how they need a break or to simply go out.  Yes, a break is a nice thing to have.  I completely agree but honestly, it's time to bring the Glory of God back into your home by embracing and loving on the babies He has gifted you.

There comes a time in life when you must grow up and realize what you are missing out on by going out every Friday or Saturday night.  Making excuses to do so is just that, an excuse to escape what you were meant to do.  And why?  Because you claim you are too stressed out to continue.

What if you changed that thought though?  What if you began to see JOY in your life and in your children?  I read online the other day a comment that said to place your hand over your heart and feel the beat, to feel your purpose and know you are alive for a reason.  And you are.

Your purpose as a Mother is to RAISE your children, to provide them the teachings of the Lord (or of your beliefs if they differ from mine).  Your purpose as a Mother is to educate your children in the right way and how to avoid the wrong ways.  It is not to pass your children off to someone else so you can do as you please.  Those days left when you chose to have a child, adopt a child, or even become a parent to a child that isn't yours.  Those days left when God chose you to do this important job for him.

This is a JOB, not a HOBBY.  This is a REQUIREMENT, not an OPTION.  You cannot just be a parent when you chose.  Once you are a Mother you are a Mother forever.  Your children should be what you HAPPILY choose to live for, not what you dread.

Children are God's Light, shining every moment of the day.  They are a joy to have around.  You only have them a short time.  Do you really want them to remember you as a parent who simply shoved them off?  Or do you want them to have memories of a Mother who followed God's orders and gave them the love and grace He himself gives each of us daily?  I'm personally aiming for the later.  What about you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Homeschool is Not School at Home

I was on Facebook today, as I often am.  It's my outside link to the world!  Anyways, an image was being shared about Homeschooling.  It related that Homeschoolers are NOT trying to do school at home but are instead trying to do Homeschool.  It completely reiterated my beliefs of education.

I believe education should be a natural process provided for children.  It should not be a routine of learning things that are not of interest or that are not necessary.  It should not be rote learning and memorization of facts.  Those can be learned while doing interesting things very simply and easily.

When I first began homeschooling my son, he was just a little boy.  At the time, I was convinced, mostly by others who were involved with Public schooling, that our school needed to be just like the public schools, in a classroom setting with specific curriculum.  Boy was I ever WRONG.

As the years passed, I began to learn more and I began to understand the learning differences in my children, I came to realize that I didn't want a public school education for my children.  If I had, I would have sent them straight to that big yellow school bus that carried them to that brick building everyday.  I didn't choose that and that was not something I wanted for their education at all.

What I did want was for my children to learn naturally.  I wanted to instill a natural curiosity about life and how and why things work as they do.  I wanted them to feel a sense of accomplishment as they figured out and learned these things seemingly on their own.

I also didn't want my children to feel pushed educationally.  I don't ever want them to feel like they are having to do work above their skill levels before they are ready.  During this journey of homeschooling we have had many challenges but all along, I could hear God directing me to just keep trying and remain patient.  I didn't always listen.  I often fell into the "he should be doing this by now" trap.  "She is more than ready for this, why isn't she doing it."  The reason is because God wasn't ready for their minds to open to those things. He had other plans for them in life.  He wanted them to remain children, just as I did.

As I began to follow the paths opened for us in learning and I began to learn more about these things I thought I should be pushing, my children began to learn.  They began to show strengths that I thought they were missing, yet were learning all the time.  They began to learn independently in things that interested them most.  All I needed was to be patient and as always the Lord would provide.  And he has!

It is a joy to see my children today.  It is a blessing to see how much they have learned and how far each of them has come.  They are each very different in their learning styles but they are each learning just fine.

School for us differs every month, as they need it to.  One month we may watch tons of movies on subjects we are interested in or may need to learn about because it goes along with our learning process.  The next month we may do tons of worksheets to learn.  And the very next months may contain tons of books that we read together.  How they learn the lesson is not the important part.  Learning the lesson is what's most important.

Right now I am once again re-arranging curriculum.  This past month has been a video lesson month for us but now my children are requesting book work and worksheets to do.  They are ready and need this.  I'm fine with this because they are willing to do the things necessary to learn more.  The video's have peeked their interest in learning and they are ready to learn even more.  For us, games work the same way.  They enjoy learning through educational games on websites and DS games they have.   All these things work together for us educationally providing Homeschool.

Education was not meant to be a routine schedule provided in an institution.  Education is a process that is taught 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as learning comes up.  It doesn't stop when you walk out of a school building and it isn't the responsibility of a teacher to provide to a child.  It is a parent's responsibility to ensure your child knows how to learn all day long, as learning never stops.

This is homeschooling for us here at Luv'N Lambert Life.  What is homeschooling for you? <3

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Look Forward

I am at a point in my life where I need to decide what my future holds.  My days of carrying babies to love are almost over.  My mind is questioning what to do next and all the time I'm listening to what God asks of me.

When I had my son, I knew he would not be my last baby.  When his sister came, I knew then too there would be another.  It was then that I realized my heart was set on four.  Then came my third child, my beautiful little girl and after her birth, I knew then too there would come one more.

Over the past four years, I have wondered when God would gift me this blessing he had promised.  Last year I had a dream and I knew it wouldn't be much longer but in God's time that could seem like forever.  Here I am now, carrying my sweet promise from God and feeling he or she grow bigger and stronger every day.

I hear people saying "God should be allowed to choose how many babies will fill your womb."  I do believe that but at the same time I also believe he does indeed tell you when the time has come to move to the next stages of life.  I feel that having four c-sections puts me at high risk for birth and that though God has his hands on me all the time, he doesn't want me to risk this vessel, this life or this job he has bestowed lovingly upon me.

At this time, I am 90% sure that this will be the last baby for me.  This will be the last little being I carry beneath my heart.  I am saddened to give up this gift, this joy that God has given.  At this time, I'm looking forward.

I'm thinking of the enjoyment of watching my children continue to grow in faith and love for one another.  It is over all too fast and I want to be able to enjoy these last moments of their youth before they are grown.  That is difficult to do when pregnant Momma doesn't feel like even getting out of her bed as I have felt for most of this pregnancy.

I look forward to enjoying every minute that's left in this pregnancy.  Every kick, every roll and every sweet second of this child's life inside of me.  I look forward to holding this baby, to looking in his or her eyes and seeing the gift God has given me once again.  I look forward to hearing the cries, kissing the cheeks, and wiping away sweet baby tears.  I know until my grandchildren come it will be the last time for me, like this.  My heart tells me so and surprisingly as sad as I am about it, I'm ok with it too.

My children need me.  My children love me and I love them.  The time has come to continue growing them in the Lord and guiding them daily.

I look forward to it and I embrace the stage of life before me.  Growing old with Josh and our children and loving our Lambert Life everyday. <3

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Family Update

Wow, life has been so busy lately!  I'm already in my second trimester.  My babies have all had birthdays, except my littlest and hers is next month.  I've got reviews to do out my wazoo.  But you know what.  It is all worth it to me.

In the past there were days when I had nothing to do.  The kids and I would both end up bored wishing for somewhere to go.  Now we have a guarantee that every Tuesday we will have therapy for both girls.  They really enjoy that time.  And usually right after we go by our library to find fun books to read for the week.  Sometimes we go every two weeks just because we can't manage to read them fast enough!!

And weekends that aren't raining bring loads of outdoor fun, like our recent zoo trip and our upcoming beach visit.  Weekends that are raining bring spring cleaning and house organization that is much needed too!!  Though I must admit that is everyone's least favorite part of the week.

In school, we are learning about America's beginnings, particularly in relation to Georgetown where we now live.  There is so much history to be found here.  It's really a never-ending school day with all the lessons we can find in this area.

We also have two desktop computers now for Winston and Emmalee to do schoolwork and have a little fun too.  One for girls, one for boys.  It will be nice to have them get on with only a little arguing!  Plus they can both work on school programs at the same time.  Bonus for me!!

I have some upcoming reviews and giveaways.  A few movies and books.  I'm really behind in reading and reviewing them though.  Pregnancy has left me tired and nauseous, not wanting to do a lot of anything.  But I'm trying to do my best to stay on top of everything I  need to do!

My little bean is now 13 weeks.  Second trimester!  I'm so thrilled.  I feel the baby kick, though no one else can.  Usually late at night.  Nausea is getting a tiny bit better but some days are much worse than others.  I'm still working on choosing a name and figure that will come after we find out if it's a boy or girl - at the end of the month or sometime in April.  Right now we are just all excited to be expecting another sweet angel to add to our beautiful family.

I have a few things I've been wanting to write about but nothing I have managed to get written here.  I just have too much keeping me busy.  Hopefully, I can get them out soon though.  I know I'm being directed to.

So that's pretty much it.  This is our busy, hectic life right now.  The kids and I are trudging along somewhat happily and very much enjoying the breaks when we get them - like today where we are just lounging around.

Hope you are all finding the busy-ness of life worth the journey as we are! <3

TOS Review: K5 Learning



K5 Learning is an exceptional website that focuses on teaching Reading and Math skills to younger children.  Through programming personalized for your child, K5 Learning is able to allow your child independent education leading to excellent education.  This program helps your child develop early study habits while learning at their own pace.

Children work independently for varying amounts of time in a safe online environment.  There are no downloads and nothing to install for using this program.  K5 Learning offers more than 30,000 tutorials and activities allowing personalized, interactive learning with full instruction for your child in Reading, Spelling, Math and Math Facts.

K5 Learning offers a 14-day free trial offer on their website as well as package deals.  You can purchase a monthly subscription for $25 and $15 for each additional child, or a yearly subscription for $199 and $129 per each additional child.   For more reviews of this product please visit TOS Homeschool Review Crew Blog!





*Disclaimer - this review product was provided to me free for review in exchange for my honest opinion from K5 Learning and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TOS Review: Reading Eggs


Reading Eggs is a fun reading experience for children learning to read.  This interactive learning website is one your child will enjoy using every day.

Reading Eggs helps build reading skills for children ages 3-8 at various reading levels, with 100 lessons to keep children enthralled.  Reading Eggs focuses on providing much needed skills in comprehension, spelling, writing and more.  Fun games allow the child to learn enjoyably as he/she works through each lesson and rewards children with cute animations as they learn.



When your child begins Reading Eggs they are promoted to complete a test allowing the Reading Eggs program to choose the correct placement for the child.  This allows your child to learn on their level so they don't get bored with things that are too easy or frustrated with things that are too hard.  This also allows the parent/teacher to see what level their child is reading at so they are able to focus more on necessary lessons to encourage learning.



There are multiple ways to sign up for Reading Eggs.  Monthly, every six months and yearly rates are available. The current rate for one year of Reading Eggs which allows full access for one student to the website is $75.  Discounts of 50% are currently offered for each additional student added in a family.



You can read more reviews of Reading Eggs on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew Blog.





*Disclaimer - Reading Eggs was provided to me free for review in exchange for my honest opinion by the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.  All opinions are my own and no money has been exchanged for this review.

My Sweet Laycie

Laycie is my beautiful 3year and 10 month old daughter.  She is my baby girl.  She's a joy to everyone who knows her.

The day Laycie was born her big sister Emmalee took one look at her and deemed her our Angel.  She definitely is.  She has blessed each of us more than we surely deserve.  She was sent straight from Heaven above.

Laycie starts her day by seeking out her brother first thing.  She loves their special morning time together.  She has him fix her cereal and milk and he always happily obliges.

After that she finds me with a beautiful smile, saying "you awake Mommy?"  "You ARE awake Mommy... good morning!" with a laugh.  I love it when she tells me that!!  I love to hear her say it almost as much as I love her "I love you, I like you, Mommy".  She is precious my sweet girl.

The next thing she asks me is "Where is my Dahee?" (Daddy)  "Is Dahee at work?"  "Yes, Daddy's at work." "Oh," is often her reply.  "Do you miss Daddy?"  "Yea" she tells me.

When it's time for her medicine she is always ready and willing to take it.  She knows it makes her feel better.  She doesn't mind.  She's taken it since she was a baby so it's a routine part of her life.

Laycie spends most days alternating between each of us.  She was born into family and she doesn't know what alone is.  She chooses by the minute who she wants to be next to and she loves spending time with everyone of us.  We love spending time with her too.

Last month, Laycie started doing preschool work.  She is learning her colors and shapes.  She is learning concepts.  She is learning to pronounce her "p's", her "k's" and her "g's".  She loves to learn.  And every night she loves telling her Daddy what she has learned that day.  And of course he loves to hear her.

When Daddy isn't working you can bet you will find him and Laycie somewhere together.  She is his shadow when he is at home.  He doesn't go far without her at least knowing where he is at.  She loves her Daddy and he loves her.

When Laycie was born, her bassinet carried the last name Lambert.  Today I believe that was a promise from God because not only is it her Mommy's last name but it's her Daddy's too.  One day Laycie will carry that last name once again.  In her heart, she already does.

Laycie doesn't know much of her past.  She's three.  There's no need to tell her about the then.  For her there is only now.  Now, living in the home she will grow up in for life, with her Mommy and Daddy and her Bubba, her Sissy and her Justain.  Now, living next door to her Mama, her Grami and Grumpy and behind her Papa's pond and her Maw Maw's house.  She talks with her Nanny, her uncle Lance and her Aunt Terris and cousin Megan on the phone every chance she gets.  These are the daily consistancies in her life.  This NOW is her life.

I daily thank God for this life, for this child He has blessed me with.  There was a time I wasn't sure if I'd ever see her again.  There was a time that I worried that the abuse she was being raised in would catch her before I could save her from it.

I would give my life for all my children.  I will fight for them forever.  There is nothing I would not do for them.  They are my life and all I want is for them to live their's happily and in a safe, protective environment.

I'm thankful this is the only life Laycie knows, the only one she remembers.  I am thankful she has a Daddy who is here with her every day, who would give his own life for her.  I am blessed to see the love Josh has for our daughter, blessed that she is able to know the unconditional love of a father and family as she has.  This is the life and family she was meant to have and she loves every single minute of it.

Laycie, our Angel, has been more of a blessing than I could ever have imagined.  Blessed I am to be able to call myself her Mother.

<3

A note about Copyright

Just a little reminder...

ALL personal photographs provided here on Luv'N Lambert Life are property of Dana C. Lambert, owner of Luv'N Lambert Life the blog and website, and legally copyrighted.  Please do not copy, share, save, etc. any photos that are personally mine from this website.  Doing so is punishable by law.  You may seek permission to obtain photos by contacting me personally.

Thank you,
Dana C. Lambert
Owner of Luv'N Lambert Life

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