30 September 2015

A Little Newsy Post

Do you remember how I used to have a post up about Elf almost every week?  He'd ham it up for the camera, and I could tell you all sorts of cute things about him and his day.  Drat!  He doesn't really like to be blogged about much any more.

Recently, he became a father at the tender age of 15.  And it's all because of public school.  See, he's taking a Child Development class in the high school.  This is the plastic baby he brought home for a weekend.  He named her Gregory.  Because it's a good name.  There's a reason children have two parents and often, it prevents little girls from winding up with names like Gregory.

Anyway.  The "baby" cries and has a sensor of some kind.  You have to feed it, change it, and rock it and burp it at seemingly random and inconvenient times.  It's a technological leap from the hard-boiled egg I carried about when I attended high school.

 In other news, lately I have been having some bad luck with Amazon.  Take a look at the cute Baffin slippers I ordered for Woodjie.  Within three days of wear, they were totally shredded.  And my finish dishwasher cleaner.  I can't say enough good things about that product... when it arrives in one piece.  This time, unfortunately, one of the bottles busted in the mail and damaged everything else in the box.  I couldn't return something drippy (the box was ruint!). 

Good luck finding a human in Amazon customer service but I did succeed eventually.  I've gotten a refund on the slippers and my new cleaner shipped out nicely.  Hopefully that's the end of that because I love Amazon. 

24 September 2015

Checking In.

When you're tired, preheat the oven to 350 and give the kids bagels they decorate themselves.  Emperor has discovered he loves jalapeno peppers with just about everything.
I haven't written anything of substance in some time because I don't want to blog when things are depressing.  I've been struggling with a number of health issues that are not getting better.  It seems every specialist has his own take on things, orders more tests, and finds more stuff wrong with me!  Ha ha!  Well, I suppose I'd rather know than not.  It's nothing that will kill me in the immediate future, but down the line if I'm not managed well.  And it's several different things (including autoimmune) and our insurance company is fighting us, refusing to pay for needed medication. 

My husband D is looking at the bright side of things - I am already getting back enough medication money-wise that it more than offsets the premiums he pays each month.  So.  Yippee?  Jackpot?

So I promise I'm not trying to ignore you, friends.  I hope to feel better and be more of a good bloggy friend and blogger in the next few months.

Here's a picture of a turtle we found wandering about recently.  They are surprisingly heavy and have claws, but a good nature.  This one is also pretty fast!  He can crawl at about the pace of a person's slow stroll.

The Very First Christmas

You'll want this for the little person in your life.  I know there are about a billion retellings of the Christmas story, but this one is truly special.  It combines the friendliness of the Berenstain Bears with the Truth of the Gospel in a way that isn't cutesie or preachy.  It's really precious.  I'm giving it five stars.

I like the Berenstain Bears ordinarily, but this book is in my top three faves.  Even my 14-year-old was admiring the illustrations and enjoying the book.  Jan and Mike Berenstain put a great deal of thought into every phrase in the writing and every expression on the bears' faces, the colours used... everything.

The actual storyline is just as you would expect.  It begins with Mary being visited by an angel and ends with Joseph being warned in a dream to take his family and flee.  No crazy embellishments, but they did leave out the bit about how Joseph was told not to worry about Mary being a strumpet and to go marry her anyway.

I have the highest praise for this book.  It retails for just under $4 USD, but I found it on Amazon this morning - with Prime shipping included - for just over $2.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

13 September 2015

The Beginner's Bible: All About Jesus Sticker and Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible:  All About Jesus Sticker and Activity Book is a shiny 16-page workbook your four- to eight-year-old will enjoy.  Activities range from word finds to sticker "puzzles" and are easy enough that most younger children will be able to do this book on their own.

There's a little bit of Bible history tucked here and there in the margins - including notes about John the Baptist, the loaves and fishes story - and incomplete pictures for your child to finish with a sticker or a drawing of his or her own. 

This book would be appropriate for a new homeschooler - use it with your kindergarten teachings to reinforce colours, numbers and matching skills.  It'd also make a great small gift for a child on birthdays, holidays and car trips.  Rose is enjoying this book very much.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

07 September 2015

Dear Fat People

You are ugly.  Lose some weight.  You take up too much room and you're lazy and disgusting.  Oh!  But I only say that because I really care about you and want you to be around for longer.  :)

Love, Nicole Arbour

04 September 2015

Horizons Phonics and Reading Review!

Decorating the book with stickers.  Making faces.  YES, he is wearing Super Mario jammies and a swimming shirt.
This is it.  Usually Woodjie hates reading, but the Horizons set I just bought for him really seems to be working well.  He likes to talk about the interesting things he's reading about, such as howler monkeys or Mt. Everest.  Don't let that sourpuss face in the pictures fool you; that's just him goofing for the camera.  You should see the crazy pictures I didn't post!

The set comes with two half-year readers and workbooks. Having a new reader and workbook for the second half of the school year is a nice touch. Getting something new in the middle of the school year to decorate, and being able to keep the old reader and workbook, will be exciting.  Having two smaller sets also prevents the workbooks and readers from being too unwieldy.

The workbook exercises are friendly and easily introduced.  They pretty well exactly match the readers in tone and colour.  The teacher's manual has some interesting class ideas and things to talk about, but parents who have been homeschooling for a while probably don't need it.  It's just the sort of thing a beginning homeschooling family would appreciate, however.  When I first began homeschooling, I used those manuals almost like a script.  Now it's just sort of second nature.

For an advanced reader, buy at least a grade up.  For a struggling reader, you'll probably want grade-level material, but check samples just to make sure. 
The entire set.  I separated "first semester" from "second semester" with the teacher book in the middle so you could see clearly what's included.

Woodjie at work.  The cloth on his head gives him something to pull on besides his hair.  It's working moderately well.

02 September 2015

Homeschool Field Trip - Weston Red Barn

Can you tell it was sunny?  Look at those squint-y faces!
 Yes, the apples are ready to be picked!  We got some buckets and ran out to the orchard.  It's pretty sunny and hot, so I suppose the crowds haven't figured out that it's time yet.  We had the place to ourselves (except for the workers).

More info on their website here if you're interested.

Bringing apples up the hill.

A partial view of one of the orchards.

These chickens were loose and foraging.

A view of the barn from the orchard.

There's a cute country gift shop inside.  Right now they are selling "cider slushies" as well.

Peaches are ripe!

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...