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Showing posts from August, 2015

Beginner's Bible: Wild About Creation

Bright, happy animals and colourful scenes abound throughout the book.  Your 4 to 8-year-old will appreciate the easy-to-do tracing and matching activities and have fun with the stickers.  Like most workbooks for younger children, there are also colouring activities, a maze and a find-the-difference included.

What you see here is the cover, but inside is very much like the cover.  Very friendly, cheerful, easy-to-do for children on their own.  "Stocking stuffer" is so over-used, but it could be that or a party favour or better still?  A travelling book.  Something to keep a little person occupied and learning at the same time. 

No deep or controversial theology is included in the text of the book.  It's pretty much about how God made everything, things were happy and great, and in the last two pages?  Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (pictured as a pomegranate!) and were banished.  I'd recommend this series as a small gift for children.  Woodjie loves his and ha…

Iowa Open 2015

The Good Knight Dala Horse in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Ask an Autism Expert

I've been asked to do a post about helpful resources for helping autistic people.  This is one of those times I wish I had "the answers."  I have lots of helpful suggestions, and I'll pop a few here, but every child is different and the saying goes that if you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism.

I have four diagnosed children, and two who are, shall we say, eccentric.  So I can tell you each child needs something different from parents, and when you're dealing with an older child, the best way to know what that is is to ask him.  It's such an obvious answer that often we forget it!

Lately we've been having trouble with Woodjie pulling out whole clumps of hair and he has bald patches all over.  He picks the hair off his body and his eyelashes.  He twists his skin as well, so sometimes he looks like an abused child.  In speaking to him, he is not sure why he is doing this, and he does want to stop.  That tells me it'…


How quickly we take our blessings for granted!  Every little happiness we receive from God should inspire us to be grateful and mindful of others who don't have as much. 

Thankfulness has to be one of the more difficult virtues to cultivate in young children.  I chose to review Eileen Spinelli's Thankful book because the coming season is a time where we're slowing down and counting our blessings. 

Thankful is a prose-y poem meant to be read slowly and savoured with the accompanying illustrations on each two-line page.  You'll find as you go along that simple, usual things can inspire gratitude.

Archie Preston's artwork will make this the sort of book you'll want to display on top of your bookshelf during the fall season for children to "discover." I think the style is very much like Quentin Blake's.  You'll enjoy how the pictures and the words compliment one another.

It's a nice sized hardback with glossy pages and a good quality.  There a…


Rose had to work 13 weeks for this brand new dolly.  I figure the kids earn about $2 worth of prizes each week, and they can buy stuff at the store and save it until it's earned.

Do you Swap and Shop on facebook?

I'm a local swap shop "member" mostly for the entertainment value.  Every now and then a poster will come through with breaking local news and post about that.  Interesting if somewhat unreliable news source via some guy's brother who knows this other guy who knows the fellow featured in the news story.

Right now, someone's online trying to sell a comforter with a five-inch rip that is covered in dog hair for $50.  She's selling it because it's too thick for her and her boyfriend (presumably b/c they get too hot at night?  Must we know?).

Another lady runs around with a bucket of used hairbrushes and offers give unlicensed haircuts in your home.  She's posted several selfies of herself in sweatpants and a uhm, very form-fitting T-shirt modelling "bridal" hairstyles.  An updo will run you only $20!  She can drive right over and work tonight if you like.

What kind of town is this, anyway?  But I have to read the boards.  Just. Can't. Stop.


The boy is not sick.  That's his "concentrating" look.

Back - to - Homeschool Clothes Shopping.

Are you all done with your back-to-homeschool clothes shopping?  Do you need a jumper like the one I'm wearing in the picture above?  You can actually buy 'em on etsy and be just like all the cool kids. 

Or maybe you want a more modern T-shirt from zazzle with a homeschooling slogan.  Notice how they try to get you to "accessorize" your shirt with a pair of jammie pants?  Stereotypical, maybe, but I wonder how many sales they get.

And then there's Amazon.  Our buddy.  You can buy Homeschool Snowboarding pants for $270 and get *free shipping!*  Pretty exciting, huh?

"No amount of snow nor rain can mess up your day off when you've got the Homeschool Snowboarding Heavy Days 3.5L Pants. It's almost difficult to have a bad day out on the hill when you have a 3.5 layer shell with 37.5 technology bringing supreme waterproofing and breathability to tackle godly amounts of rain, sleet, hail, pow, and anything in between. Homeschool's packed this th…

Vegemite a "Precursor to Misery."

And not because it tastes like pureed roadkill with bitter herbs.  No.

From what it sounds like, Aborigines get drunk off it or something.  It's ok for white people to buy this rancid stuff from the store, but apparently there are aboriginal communities in which alcohol isn't allowed.  Seriously.  Some blonde guy named Nigel gets to be the indigenous affairs minister of the country because he's really in touch with stuff like that and that's what he said. 

When I read stories like this, I'm not sure if I should feel insulted that Aborigines are assumed to be such stupid people or if I should be outraged that suburban kids, in some horrible expression of reverse racism, are subjected to Vegemite on toast each morning.

The Berenstain Bears' Harvest Festival Book Review

You practically smell the fall spices while reading The Berenstain Bears' Harvest Festival book.  The bears visit Farmer Ben's place, pick pumpkins and apples, take a hayride, and thank God for all His Bounty. The illustrations are just as you remember them from your own childhood, but Mike Berenstain is continuing the line started by his parents, Jan and Stan, in 1962.

There's nothing not to like about this book.  It's a longer storybook for children ages about four to eight. The book contains no objectionable material and no conflict whatsoever.  It's just a story about how the bears enjoyed their day out together as a family on a fall day.  Mike Berenstain interjects more faith and Christian ideas (such as thanking God or saying grace) than his parents did, but for all that it should be an easy and friendly book for all faiths.

I'll even go so far as to say that Mike Berenstain did an even better job on this than the original series for friendly story lines…

Woodjie Recites the Preamble!

Woodjie can say the Preamble, too!  Please leave him a comment!

Rose Recites the Preamble!

Guess what we're learning about in history?  I don't think the children understand the importance of the Constitution just yet, but we're working on it.

Old Pic

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Mary Jane Albert (Cunningham) was born in Pennsylvania in 1856.  She is my paternal great-great grandmother.