Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quick Update: March 2017 {Severe Anemia Awareness}

Monday I went to the doctor for the first time in years for myself.  I've tried for a year to get this appointment and finally got it. I definitely wasn't going to miss it.

This appointment was to establish a physician for me and to obtain a physical which I really needed since I haven't been to a doctor outside an OB in forever.  My checks for my pregnancies were also fine and blood work was always good so I never worried about it.  I'm rarely sick.

The check up went well. I love the new dr.  She's so sweet and really listened to my concerns.  She went through all the details.  She issued an EKG to check my heart after my blood pressure dropped on Saturday for no apparent reason.  She also had blood work done to check that everything was okay.  I left happy with my appointment with her.

This morning, I received two calls on my cell phone which I never get calls on.  I assumed it was from the GYN I was being referred to by the doctor and I was sleeping with Laycie beside me so I didn't want to answer and disturb her.  I figured it could wait.

When I finally did get up, I realized it had been the doctors office.  My dr and her nurse had both called and their voices sounded really concerned.  I immediately gave them a call back.

My blood work showed that my hemoglobin level is very low at a 7 and my cell count is down as well.  This explains why I have been so very tired lately.  It also explains why my BP dropped as it did.

So the doctor has me scheduled for a blood transfusion tomorrow.  Iron is not an option for me as I'm allergic to it and it gives me severe migraines.  And I definitely can't keep going with a low blood level.  She really wanted me in today but they weren't able to fit me into the schedule until tomorrow.

I've never had a blood transfusion that I can remember.  I'm told it's like getting IV fluids.  I'm hopeful it is.  I'm scared it isn't.  But overall, I'm looking forward to my levels being corrected and to feeling better so I can get back to my job as Mom.  It's hard to be down when you're the Mom of children who have special  needs and who need you.

I'm praying the kids remain stable and no seizures happen while I'm dealing with this.  God is usually good to us and keeps things in control so I know he's got my back.  I'm hoping one transfusion is all I need and that my GYN appointment comes up with answers for my health that I'm needing so we can get back to a normal life again.

For now though, I wanted to update.  I'm taking my phone and iPad along tomorrow so I'm sure I'll be online trying to keep myself occupied but I won't be back here for a few days.

Until next time...


Math Mammoth: Light Blue Series for Grade 1 {Crew Review}

As a homeschooling Mom, I am always looking for products which are easy to use with my children but are also thorough for their education.  We were introduced to Math Mammoth years ago through the Homeschool Review Crew.  So when this vendor came up for the year, I knew I wanted to do this review.

What We Chose for Review:

I chose the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for Grade 1 for our review.  This was the perfect grade level to use with Laycie.  We've been working on Math concepts in her homeschooling but I felt she was ready for something a bit more structured and I wanted to cover a few things she still gets mixed up about like money and time.  This grade level provided just the right mix of things for us to work through.

What We Received for Review:

For this review, we received the digital download version of Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for Grade 1.  This was a downloadable link which gave us access to all the files we needed to use this curriculum.  This series is a full curriculum, containing a full set of concepts for the grade level.  Once these files are downloaded you are able to immediately get started.

To begin, you can locate the User Guide file which explains what you need to do to use the curriculum.  This document shares the basic principles for using Math Mammoth then goes on to explain how to use it, how to set the pace for the curriculum, how to use the tests that come with this curriculum and so much more.  There's also review of the curriculum included and a worksheet maker for extra practice in learning.

Lessons in this curriculum are designed to be used over a span of several days with your student.  Each lesson contains several pages to help your student thoroughly learn the concept being taught.  These lessons are very easy for the parent/teacher to teach the child and help them complete.  In fact, there is no teacher's guide for the lessons.  You and your student just work through the course.  And yet, these lessons are still challenging enough for the student to learn from.  

Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for Grade 1 contained two worktexts for our lessons: 1-A and 1-B.  1-A was for the first semester of learning and 1-B for the second.  There are also answer keys provided in a separate file.  Tests are also provided but these are completely optional for your use.  They could instead be used as review but there are also review lessons included with the curriculum for you to use.  Editable versions are also included.

The chapter on Money is included in a separate file as well and can be used for different grade levels.  This chapter covers different currancies from different places around the world.  Tests are provided for this chapter as well.

How We Used This Product:

This was a pretty simple product for us to use in our lessons.  I was already looking for Laycie a program for Math and we've had such a great experience with Math Mammoth in the past that I knew this would be a great fit for her.  The lessons don't require a lot of time which doesn't overwhelm her with her ADHD.  The worksheets keep the concepts simple and the instructions are easy for us both to follow.

Laycie worked on these pages daily for the most part.  There were a few days we missed due to life but overall she worked straight through them.  She enjoyed some of the online games that were included as suggestions to complete and practice throughout the lessons.

Mostly we just enjoyed the simpleness of the program.  The clean lines of the worksheets and the designs of the objects and animals used to represent the math problems kept her from feeling overwhelmed, yet there was enough color to keep it interesting for her.  It fit very well with our laid back, eclectic, delayed academics approach to learning.

Where You Can Buy This Product:

You can buy Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for Grade 1 for $37.50 for the Full Grade Set as a digital download.  You can buy just Worktext Part 1-A or Worktext Part 1-B for $18.75 each.  You can also purchase this product on CD for $42.50.  Printed copies are also available in various places mentioned on the Math Mammoth Website.

Math Mammoth offers other grade levels as well for all grade levels.  The Light Blue Series offers curriculum for grade levels 1-7.  A placement test is also available for help in choosing the right level for your student.

Don't forget to check out the other Math Mammoth products available as well!

Where Else Can You Find This Vendor:

Click Below To Read Other Reviews For This Vendor:

Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth Reviews}


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

God's Nudges {Epilepsy Awareness}

Sometimes God alerts us to dangers that may be happening around us.  I'm always thankful for these little nudges that let me know when I need to pay extra attention.  Especially when these little instances have to do with my children.

Last night, I tucked my kids into bed.  I said their prayers with them and kissed them.  Then I went to take my bath as usual.  Shortly after, I began to relax, I heard Laycie cough.

It was an unusual thing, as once she's out, she's usually out for the night.  But last night, I just felt different and I knew I should check on her.  So I did.

She was asleep in her bed, snuggled in but something told me to wake her anyways.  When I did I found she had the paths of tears coming from both of her sweet eyes.  As she opened her eyes to look at me, I saw her eyes were red.

She had no idea why I was waking her.  She didn't know she had coughed.  She didn't realize she had been crying.  I asked was she okay and she responded but her answer didn't make sense.  I'm not sure if she had been dreaming or if this incident was seizure related.

This is the life of Epilepsy.  Outwardly, you see a child who appears normal.  A child who plays with her siblings, sings, jumps, runs like normal.  But beneath the surface the normal child ends.

From my experience, I have no doubt this was seizure activity for Laycie.  Her emotions, her responses on waking, her movements all point to something being "off" for her.  It wasn't a seizure itself but activity in the brain that can lead to a seizure if not recognized and paid attention to.

Sometimes we miss these small signs that the Monster is nearby.  We don't always catch those little things before the big ones happen but they are important to learn and to recognize.  By catching her small responses, I am able to snuggle with her to calm her.  I am able to see to it that she rests a little more, sleeps in and takes a nap if she needs it the next day.

Sometimes just simply laying beside her and holding her can help her drift into a deep sleep that allows her tiny self to reset.  This simple reset can help keep her from having a major seizure and that's always the goal.  If she's restless, we can find a relaxing activity which for Laycie is usually just being held and shown love from Mommy.  I can also apply our essential oils, either our frankincense roll-on or our lavender, to relax her and help her drift into sleep again.  Just these simple things can help.

There have been so many nights that I have laid awake in the last 14 years as a seizure Mom simply listening to my children breath.  There have been so many days when I have watched my children like a hawk judging what for us is seizure activity and what isn't as well as what's different for this child versus their sibling.  Epilepsy manifests into each individual person differently so it's important to learn these small points, as well as the larger triggers for yourself or your child.  Learning their personal quirks and triggers can help you to stop the onset of a major epileptic event for that individual.

And always pay attention to those little God nudges.  Don't second guess His reasons to alert you.  Go seek out what it is He wishes to make known to you.  You simply never know when one of those nudges may save your life or that of someone else you love.

God bless,


Home School In The Woods {Crew Review}

Home School In The Woods
HISTORY Through The Ages Project Passport World History Study
Ancient Egypt

Digital Download $33.95

For this review, we were gifted a digital download of Home School In The Woods' HISTORY Through The Ages Project Passport World History Study for Ancient Egypt.  Home School In The Woods offers several Project Passports for you to learn through such Renaissance and Reformation, The Middle Ages and their newest study Ancient Greece.  They are currently working on creating a study for Ancient Rome as well.

These studies are wonderful! They are thorough in design and so very easy for anyone to use.  Everything you need to learn about the particular time period of history right in one place.

The Product We Chose:

We chose Ancient Egypt for our Project Passport because we simply love learning about Egypt.  Plus my little ones were asking me lots of questions about Egypt at the time.  It's such an interesting time period of History.

What We Received and How It Works:

This study was sent via my email with a download link that gave me access to all the files needed to use the program.  Once downloaded, I was able to open the file and find the start file which provides the specifics to using the study.  The introduction and all the linked files are set up in the start file.

Opening the start file, you will find information on how to use the study, tips to get through the program and additional materials and books you may need to complete your lessons.  Most of these items you will have on hand or be able to borrow from your local library or purchase at your local store.  I did have to purchase a folder to use for the passports but these were really inexpensive at Walmart.  You could also adapt and use card stock or a  file folder instead.

Ancient Egypt includes 25 stops or lessons that are intended to be taught over a period of 8-12 weeks depending on how you space it out.  The time frame is completely up to the parent/teacher and how the student learns.  You can choose a slower pace and expand your lessons very easily with books and extra internet research or you can work faster, using just the program and what's included to quickly complete the program for a thorough study on Ancient Egypt.  It's really all up to you.

We chose to take our time on this study because I really wanted to hit some key points for the younger kids and I wanted to reteach some areas of interest to the bigger kids that we didn't cover with other lessons on Ancient Egypt.  My aim was for them to really take in the history and enjoy it over flying through the program.  In doing this, I was able to stop as needed and explore more on the history that truly interested us.

Each of the 25 stops covers an important part of Ancient History.  Each stop also has an interesting aspect to aid in teaching the topic.  Some stops have audio, some have stories, some have wonderful projects to complete such as the Sovenier Craft Card for Dress Like An Egyptian which has both a girl and boy version for fun.  The instructions to make these projects are all included and the materials needed are usually on hand as I mentioned previously.  Only one or two things will need to be purchased for completion of a project and many of these items can be worked around simply by using a different paper or material to complete it.

The Project Passports do include a timeline and figures for you to keep up with who is who in your lessons.  These timelines can be used for any parts of history and reviewed in other lessons or Project Passports.  They are a great addition for you and are really simple to put together.

Maps are also included in the Project Passport to help you and your students see exactly where History happened as you learn.  They too are simple and easy to use, can be printed for multiple use.  We like to laminate these when we finish them so we can go back to them again and again for future use. 

How Did We Like It:

Honestly, I absolutely loved our Ancient Egypt Project Passport from Home School In The Woods and so did our kids.  I like having all the activities in one place, easy to put to use.  I enjoyed having all the book suggestions to go on so I could easily pull out a story to build upon our lessons.  And the projects were so much fun to complete.

My kids looked forward to listening to the lessons provided in the program.  They really looked forward to the activities and enjoyed the hands-on learning experience they received while we worth through our Project Passport.  They have asked to complete more Project Passports on other subjects as well.  I'm thinking Ancient Greece will be next for us.

How We Used it:

The past few weeks have been pretty busy for us so I didn't get to use this one as I had intended but I found it was easy to adapt for us.  We had planned to use our Project Passport more often but unexpected appointments caused us to slow our pace even more completing less of the program than I had hoped for our review.  We were still able to work through most of the stops each week, completing 1-2 stops per week.  My goal had been to complete 2-4 stops per week and more as we worked through the program.  I am still thrilled with our results though.  And as you see this program can easily be adjusted to work for you and your family as it has for ours.

To Purchase Your Own Product:

Home School In The Woods' HISTORY Through The Ages Project Passport World History Study for Ancient Egypt for $33.95 for the download that I received.  You can also purchase a CD version for $34.95 plus shipping.  There are other Project Passports available for purchase as well at similar prices.

Where Else Can You Find Our Vendor:

Click Below To Find More Reviews Of This Vendor:

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Busted Laptop {Thoughts From Me}

The most important tool for a blogger and reviewer is the device they use for writing their posts.  When something unforeseen happens to that device, the blogger's world spins out of control.  Material things should never be important but when your career depends on that device it becomes the most important thing you own.

Today my laptop screen bit the dust.  I turned it on to find the screen completely busted because someone carelessly stepped on it even though they were aware it was where it was at the time.  And this wasn't a little person but someone who had sense to look and see where it was, who knew it was where it was kept at, who knows I use this laptop for my blogging and photography careers.

So this post is coming to you from my busted laptop via it's tethered computer screen.  That's right, my portable laptop has now been downgraded into a desktop.  It's been suggested the repair cost to fix my poor sweet Karolina could run around $300.  So now I'm torn between simply repairing her and replacing her.

Now to find the positive in this:  I'm thankful I can still access my computer files since many of my reviews are stored on this laptop.  I'm thankful I can still access my photos which I recently saved and stored on here.  I'm thankful I can still manage to write my blog posts and reviews, one of which will be coming tomorrow or by Tuesday at the latest.  Not being able to do these things was one of my major fears in finding my computer damaged.

I pray for God to make provisions for me to either fix my screen or buy a new laptop as soon as we are able.  I've been looking at a few for the kids but my personal computer has major needs that theirs do not such as a monitor that projects clear imagery for photo editing and storage for using programs that we need for both reviews and photo editing.  Whatever happens though, I'm just thankful for being able to still use this computer for now with my desktop monitor so I can do the things I need to.

Now I'm off to bury my sorrows of the day with some junk food and a movie of some kind.  Until the next time...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Times Tables The Fun Way {Crew Review}

For this review, we were gifted an online subscription for Times Alive from Times Tables The Fun Way.  Let me tell you, this one has been a lot of fun for us to do!  Times Alive makes learning Multiplication fun for everyone.

Times Alive teaches your child their times tables through online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way.  These animations bring learning to life for children, making it easier to memorize their multiplication facts and remember.  The characters make learning multiplication not so scary and the fun songs are catchy so that children's can easily remember what it is they are learning.

About This Product/Online Subscription:

When you go to your Times Alive account, you will log in with your user name and password.  Once that is entered you will log in with your child's name.  From there, you are taken to a page that allows you to complete lessons to learn.

The first lesson is called Pre-test Nuts and Bolts. This is basically a little test to show what you already know about your Multiplication facts.  Let me say, when I did it, I had forgotten quite a bit!  Glad I can use Times Alive to brush up on my Multiplication facts as well!

Throughout the lessons you will find movie clips from the adorable Times Alive characters... think Numbers come to life.  There are also songs clips to learn the multiplication facts.  Guessing games to test what you know and painting fun just to give a fun extra element to learning.  Periodically there are Progress checks which are basic review of all the things learned through using Times Alive as you go.

All the learning activities are presented on the main log-in page with a quick key guide to help you understand what you are looking at.  When an activity starts there is a bubble circle that is blank.  When they finish half an activity, the bubble is then half colored in yellow.  When the activity is done, then the circle is colored completely in yellow with an A inside.

These online animated lessons cover the times tables from 0-9 in multiplication facts.  A parent or teacher can print a child's progress report from the students main page as well to keep for record or to show changes the student has made in their learning.  You can also find a printable list of the program's directions on this page to help you learn how to use Times Alive best for your student.

A Little About My Past:

Growing up, Math was my least favorite subject.  It just was not for me and still today it's my least favorite.  Because of this, I'm always looking for programs that make teaching math to my kids easier for me.  Times Alive is one of those!

(Believe it or not, I was a Math-a-lete in Middle School.  Don't ask how that happened because I still don't know.  That's a story for later on.)

When I was growing up learning my math facts, I had the hardest time learning multiplication.  I could divide long before I could multiply which is kind of weird because the two kind of go hand in hand.  The only way my teacher could get me to grasp my Multiplication concepts was to send me home with a multiplication program like Times Alive that taught me my Multiplication facts through song.  It was the best thing ever and without it, I'd probably still be struggling with Multiplication today!  So when I learned we were going to do this review for Times Tables The Fun Way, I knew it would be a great way to learn, a great program for my kids and even great for me to brush up on my long-forgotten Multiplication skills.  

So on to...

How Did We Use It:
This was easy for us to implement into our day to day life.  I simply handed the kiddos the computer and said, "let's do something fun!"  Even as Eclectic Unschoolers, this program worked out great for us.  We signed in and played around with the program.  The older kids sort of made it a competition to see who knew more.  They laughed when the simple mistakes were made and corrected each other.  They helped each other solve the answer to that fact together.

Then there were the videos.  The little kids looked forward to seeing the characters.  The big kids didn't mind listening as well.  But those songs... those were the things we repeated until we learned the fact we were on.  All four kids, 4-16 enjoyed listening and learning together.

So we are still using this, every few days to review what we know.  Is it the way it's intended to be used?  No way, but we've made it work for us.  Would I pay for it if I wasn't doing this review?  Yes, I sure would because it's something my kids enjoy and have learned from.  It was really easy to make it work for us!

How Can You Get Your Own Subscription:

Times Alive from Times Tables The Fun Way is available for $9.95 a month with a one time $6.95 set up fee.  This gives you access to the full online program.  It can be used with multiple children.  You can cancel at any time.  Sound and Video are required to use this program on any computer.

You Can Also Find This Vendor On:

To Read More Reviews Of This Product:

Times Tables the Fun Way {Review}


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Love February 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday {February 8, 2017}

Love is sitting at home on a Saturday watching TV with you...


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