Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Craziness Continues

The past two and a half weeks or so have been a major whirlwind of activity.  We had Thing 1's birthday, MY birthday, then Christmas.  Besides that, I have been busting my pregnant behind to try and get the house into some semblance of organization in preparation for Voom and for first grade (starting around April, we are going from our very unorganized unschooling approach to a more classical lean with organization and schedule-type things going on)

In the next couple weeks I am expecting a package from Rainbow Resource of things I had the chance to order ahead of tax-time (yay!), and then I can add the gear of planning school stuff to the rest of the gears slowly getting into motion.

And there are two days left before the new year begins!  Where did this year go?  Thing 1 turned 6, Thing 2 turned 1, and Voom is over halfway through baking!  Link and I bought a house and went through the lovely process of moving (always loads of fun there... NOT) and getting settled into actually being homeowners (can't just call maintenance when something goes wrong, have to figure it out or hire someone ourselves).

And through all of this, I am still managing to work on getting the downstairs cleaned, like I said a few weeks ago needs to happen.  I'm also working on the upstairs as well, although my original plan was one floor at a time.  I can just only handle working on the downstairs for so long before I start to go crazy from a lack of scenery change ;)  Because of this, the playroom is clean and organized (or was the other day when I walked out of there...)

Aaaaand of course, the crochet continues!  Always have to have something going for crochet :)  (I DID manage to make a hat for Link, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and a set of mittens for Thing 1 and Thing 2 all before Christmas)

Now I am off to go continue working on my house, clean my desk for the 50th time this week (where does all of this stuff COME from?!) and contemplating what my resolutions should be for 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


And the crazy thing about this picture?  It was taken about 8 hours ago and the snow hasn't stopped!  We've got a good foot or so of snow right now and it's STILL GOING!

This is an area not prepared for this sort of thing (there's general panic when there's a dusting) so it's been pretty much a ghost town from what I can tell.  We stayed home all day so I can't be sure lol

Thing 1 and Link built this snowman around 11 (a couple hours after the first picture was taken) and the whole bottom section of him is covered now and you can't see the laurel on his head at all.  He's just a mound of snow in the back corner from what you can tell, although you can see the arms still ;) (he's like some poor hiker trapped in the snow... poor thing!)

Monday, December 20, 2010


Only 5 more sleeps until Christmas!

Good thing I'm pretty much ready except for a couple small crochet projects I need to get done ;)

Well, and waiting for a box from my parents to come in (I have gotten all of the other boxes they sent, but the one with Thing 1's birthday stuff and all of the Christmas stuff in it is taking its time to get here...)

I don't think Thing 1 has ever been this excited about anything in his life.  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy because Link and I like to make Christmas all about the kids :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tiny Planets


Recently Thing 1 and I were given the opportunity to play a bit on Tiny Planets, an award winning website for ages 4-12. 


When you sign up, your child has what is called a "Cadet" account, which is managed by your own parent account.  I LOVE this.  We use a number of programs around here that involve a parent account above the child's, and it just makes so much sense to me.  Especially since in the case of sites like Tiny Planets, there is a paid service.  The Parent account is able to add purchased "keys" to the Cadet accounts, rather than an adult having to log onto the Cadet account directly and purchase the keys.  And if you have more than one child playing, you are able to manage all of those Cadet accounts from your one Parent account.  So no logging into numerous accounts for you to manage the Cadet accounts.  You can purchase and distribute keys all from the comfort of your own login :)

The Keys, which while not 100% NECESSARY for the website to be used, make the Tiny PLanet site a bit more interesting and fun, are purchased at the following prices:

10 keys- $1.95
25 keys- $3.95
85 keys- $9.95
250 keys-$25.95
600 keys- $49.95  (That is a LOT of keys, but there is a LOT of content you can unlock with them!)

Once you have your accounts set up, the site is divided into six sections, Tiny Planets TV, My Tiny Planets, Tiny Planets Books, Tiny Planets Fun, Tiny Planets Lab and Tiny Planets Learning.  A few are pretty self explanatory (like the TV one).  My Tiny Planets is the section where Thing 1 and I spent most of our time.  And it was in fact both of us because the navigation was a bit much for Thing 1 to have been able to handle (honestly, it was tough for ME at times... it was similar to in video games where there are icy sections... lots of coasting involved).  In My Tiny Planets, you have your own spaceship and even your own planet which you earn stars to purchase additional upgrades for by playing various mini-games.  You can purchase some of the upgrades with the previously mentioned keys as well, further expanding the customization options for your child.  This is also the "social" area of the site, where your child can make friends with other cadets.

On Tiny Planets TV, you can use the Keys to purchase videos to watch.  There is one free one, and then after that, the videos cost at least 5 keys to unlock.  Tiny Planets Fun contains Bing and Bong's individual corners, containing games and coloring pages respectively.  Tiny Planets Books is similar to the TV section, where you have a couple free samples, and the other books are purchased using Keys.  Tiny Planets Lab has the new games to be tested out, a link to find out what else is new, and access to the blog.

Then you have Tiny Planets Learning, which is the educational section.  This area contains puzzles and lesson plans.  This is the section with educational material regarding such things as science and numeracy, and social and emotional development.  These lesson plans DO utilize videos and books from elsewhere, so you will need Keys if you want to do all of these lesson plans.  You can explore the website without using these lesson plans, but the lesson plans tie things together rather nicely.

All in all, we enjoyed this website.  We focused on free content while exploring, so I know that Thing 1 and I would've enjoyed it even more with additional content available.  Perhaps sometime in the future the Keys will give Thing 1 incentive to do his chores or something.  Who knows?

If you want to learn more about Tiny Planets, go over there and explore a little yourself!  If you'd like to know how my other Crew mates felt about this, head on over to the Crew blog and take a look.

Disclaimer: I received this opportunity in exchange for my honest review.  I received no other compensation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Thing 1!

Today, my darling Thing 1 is 6.  SIX!  How did this happen?!

So, here is a look back at him from when he was a wee bit smaller.

This is obviously from the day he was born, waaaay back in 2004!

His first Christmas!

And here is one from today, before opening gifts.

And another one from today, he wanted to go out in the snow.  He did eventually zip up his coat, I promise.  And he came back in before the ENTIRE back yard was covered.

My dear Thing 1, who wants to be a pirate (for today at least) is getting big soooo fast!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Works in Progress

My Current project list is a bit... uhm... crazy.

You see, I have this tendency to have numerous projects going at once, so I can work on what strikes my fancy at that moment.  You'll see what I mean with this list...

Bells Ornaments for Mom
Afghan for parents (going to restart this one, I didn't like how it was coming out)
Blanket for Thing 1
Washcloths to use up my cotton yarn

Things I need to get started on at some point after at least a couple of THOSE are done include

Thing 2's blanket
Other ornaments (I don't really have much by way of describing this, sorry)
Blanket for Voom
Hats and Scarves and such for family
Other ridiculously cute baby stuff for Voom

And thanks to the internet, I am always always ALWAYS finding new stuff I want to make.  No wonder Link is always threatening to ground me from the internet!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh the Chaos!

I am not an organized person.  I never have been, and try as I might, it will never come naturally to me. 

I have accepted this.  I really didn't have much choice BUT to accept it.

This is made worse by the fact that I enjoy doing all sorts of different hobby things.  The current BIG one, which has taken over most of the others, is crochet.  I have tons of yarn, tons of ideas, notsomuch time, and even less natural ability to keep it from taking over the HOUSE as well as my free time.

Add in the school stuff, and two VERY active children and my first floor looks like a disaster zone.

Soooooooooooooo, in the next month or so, I am planning on getting things cleaned up.  Once we can afford to, the school area/my desk are getting a major overhaul, but I need to get stuff thrown away/donated/stored before that can happen.

I just hope the overhaul can come sooner rather than later.  Thing 2 has taken to climbing up on Thing 1's desk and turning the monitor on and off because it has a button.  (We've had to disable the power buttons on all of the computers because Thing 2 has a major love of buttons, and my desk chair can't be pushed in because otherwise he wreaks havoc on my entire desk)

But the current motivator is to at least get things manageable in the meantime.

When I can drag myself away from my crochet.  (I seriously have five skeins, 3 different TYPES of yarn on my desk, including one attached to a project I'm currently working on)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Really Trying!

I am really trying to get back into this whole blogging thing.  Since I had been wanting to keep our big announcement a secret for a while, and I have a HORRIBLE time keeping secrets like that when I'm excited (Link got his Christmas present the day it came in, rather than waiting a couple more weeks or so for Christmas, because I couldn't wait any longer)

I am even trying to get posts lined up to post on different days (something I've never done for non-review posts before) and that should help.

Maybe if I get into the hang of it NOW I'll be able to do a 365 sort of thing come 2011!  That'd be awesome :)

Good Morning, God


 Apologia Press is known for publishing such things as the Exploring Creation... series of science books and their Apologia Academy online.

But did you know that also publish picture books for younger children?



Good Morning, God, by Davis Carman, is one such picture book, available in hardcover for $14.00 from Apologia Press.  With a target audience of ages 1-8, this is a great way to introduce the concept of loving and thanking God every day to a young child.

Aside from the beautiful illustrations (which you can get in coloring book form for $4.00 from here), it is a short and sweet little run through a week in the life of a small child.  (There is even a picture on the page discussing the school room that makes it pretty obvious the family in the story homeschools!)  And while for the older end of the target audience, this may not seem like much, at the END of the book is a page for each day, with questions and scripture reading suggestions so you can expand on the daily worship concept with your children.  So you can use this as either a sweet little bedtime story, and leave it at that, or you can expand upon it and turn it into a mini study for your children.

This is certainly a sweet, well-written and beautifully illustrated book.  If you don't believe me, you can see a sample here :)  Or you can go and see what other Crew members thought of it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no charge for the purpose of this review.  The opinions in this review are mine and only mine and I received no other compensation for providing them.