Thursday, January 28, 2010


I bought these to put up after we took down the Christmas ornaments.
I needed something new to put on the wall.
January and February can be so depressing.
They were reduces to like $0.25 each.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

L2L #1Challenge

This is our very first L2L Challenge. Literature to Life by Jacob – a passage will be given from a book or piece of literature of some sort. For each chapter, verse, sentence…whatever – take a picture to illustrate it. This forces you to create some sort of image to convey some sort of message. No skipping over a portion of the literature – just give it your best shot to illustrate it. In the end, it’s fun to look over the images and combine them with the text to create a photo journal. You have one month to complete it. Your job is to interpret the scripture below with images.
Bible Verse
Ecclesiastes 3:6 – “A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;” –The Bible

click picture above to see it larger


TOS Homeschool Crew Review - Keyboarding for the Christian School


Keyboarding for the Christian School  and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version are bare bones programs on how to learn typing. They are sold as pdf e-books. Both programs focus on mastery of the keyboard using the touch-typing method and drill practice using Scripture references.  Each lesson begins with an introduction of two new keys, followed by a review section for previously learned keys, and half the lessons include optional timed typing drills.

The Elementary version starts slower and with a color picture of the keyboard that is handy to print out each color goes with a finger and so the kids can see what fingers type which letters, numbers and other things on the keyboard. A piece of this colorful keyboard is included with most of the lessons also. They give a lot more step by step instruction in the elementary version too that is helpful for beginners to touch typing.

The upper level program also covers the following topics:
  • MLA Reports
  • APA Reports
  • Bibliography
  • Business Letters
  • Envelopes
  • Proofreader’s Marks
  • and more


  • a bare bones product
  • no bells or whistles
  • levels for elementary students on up to High School
  • no games or music to distract students
  • teaches lots of extra kinds of topics that will be useful in High School and College

  • words per minute and accuracy must be calculated by the student or teacher
  • no fun games, bells, or whistles to make things interesting
  • more work for the teacher keeping track of things
So you see some of the pros and cons depend on what you are looking for.

How we used this product
     Nathan used the upper level program and Christopher, since he has not had any typing instruction really, tried the elementary level. We were not able to afford to print the pdfs. Ink, the cost of it, and a shortage of $$ is an issue around here. I had the boys open the pdf in a window and make that window half the length of the desktop and as wide as the desktop. Below that they opened a publishing program (Open Office for us) and make that fit the other half of the desktop, and type in there. It is not the way the owner/writer intended but it worked for us.

What we thought about it
The boys like the product well enough. Christopher is happy with his hunt and peck typing for now. He will be required to do a 1/2 credit of typing during or before High School whether he likes it or not.

I am sorry to say that we prefer and will continue to use our purchased computer program that has lessons, timed testing, and games included in the program. I have used this program to teach each of my 3 older children and will use it for Christopher also. I have enough work to prepare for without keeping up with the kids typing practice and lessons. I like giving them a goal for their grades for typing and an amount of credits/time to have to complete and then let them use a program that will track their needs and prepare lessons based on the weaknesses they have. Our program also gives words per minute, accuracy and adjusted words based on the first two numbers, for each lesson. It is easier for the kids and I to track their progress. The kids like the bells and whistles of our program. They like the fact that they can choose their own music to type to and even download extra music if they want. The games aid their learning and make the practicing fun.

On the website they make this statement "Why choose a printable e-book versus a web-based program?  Think about the things you type.  Are they readily available to copy from the screen or are they something that you are looking at on a piece of paper?  Usually you are typing something from a rough draft.  If the lessons are only available on the computer monitor; your student will not get the needed skill of transferring information from paper to the computer." 

I talked with my older daughter, Rachel, about this, since she did the program that we have that is not printable; but on the computer. She said, and I agree, that if you learn to type without looking at your hands then it is easy to type from a written product like a report or personal writing. She was not taught to type from print material but because she was taught not to look at her hand when typing she can type from any print media.

I will probably assign some of the later lessons on things like Reports and Business Letters for Nathan to make sure he has covered those things.

Out of five stars the boys and I give Keyboarding for the Christian School products:

Both versions of Keyboarding for the Christian School are available as e-books.
Keyboarding for the Christian School for grades 6-12 is $15.95
Keyboarding for the Christian School - Elementary version is $12.95

Check out the FREEBIES tab for free sample lessons and other items.

Keyboarding for Christian Schools is offering a discount for $5 off of your purchase of $12.95 or more but it is only available until February 28, 2010! Get the code at the top of the page at Keyboarding for the Christian School.

2010 NEW YEAR SPECIAL: Purchase both the Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition and the Elementary Edition for only $22!  

OR Christian Keyboarding is offering a special Homeschool Teaching Package which contains the revised version of Keyboarding for the Christian School, Teacher Tools, and lessons Romans Road Enumeration and Columns (2003 and 2007), for a low price of $27

I do not know how long these specials will last so if you are interested buy soon. 

Other Products and Specials
  • New Product: Keyboarding Lesson Plans for the whole semester for only $9.95
  • Columns Using Word 2003 and Columns Using Word 2007 are now available for $3.95 each  
  • Creating Tables in Word 2003 or Creating Tables in Word 2007, Purchase either for only $5.95
  • For only $14.95, receive seven of my teaching tools (Curriculum Guide, Homework Ideas and Links, Syllabus, Quiz Ideas and Links, Technique Checklist, Teaching Tips, and an additional assignment) to create and teach your own Keyboarding class. Purchase the Teacher Tools and the E-book for your student or purchase a class set of e-books and the Teacher Tools for your school!
  • Sign up today for her monthly newsletter with free download or sample!
Check out the other reviews of the Keyboarding for the Christian School products here at the Homeschool Crew Blog.

***Keyboarding for the Christian School provided me with the Keyboarding for the Christian School and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version, both in pdf e-books, so that I could do my review. Though I received this product for free I have given an honest review of them here in this post.




    This was part of my lunch today.
    I did not enhance or poke holes in him, I only cropped the photo.
    He came out of the pickle jar looking just like this.
    He just made me smile. I hope he makes you smile too. Free Userbars


    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    365-24-26 Groundbreaking

    Groundbreaking for our...

    The golden shovels are ready!

    An award to the Pastor that founded our church, Pastor Frisbie.
    The new family center will be named after him.
    Pastor Frisbie, the one in the tan coat and hat, is receiving it from our assistant pastor, Bob Green. The award was announced by our head pastor, the one with the microphone, Pastor Bill Schlonecker.
    My batteries ran out just after this and so I missed getting a picture of Pastor Frisbee being the first to break the ground. Maybe I can get one from a friend at church and add it in here later.

    I ran to the car and back, getting my new batteries, in time to get some pictures of others digging.

    This is Pastor Bob Green.

    This is the head of the committee for the new building.

    This is our longest serving elder.

    Our head pastor, Pastor Bill.

    This is a great picture.

    Some of our congregation.

    The Pastors, Elders, and Deacons.

    Jessica, Mrs. Kaatz (our growth group leaders wife and my ladies Bible study leader) and Rachel at the groundbreaking. I almost choose this one as one for the 365 project. I love how this photo turned out.

    The BIG digger... ready to go any day.

    Fellowship after the groundbreaking.

    I choose my favorites for the 365 project and put the others up for my memory and for my friend Michele (one of the few that reads my blog that I actually know in person, and a member of my church) who did not make it to church that day. Also for anyone on my Facebook account that might like to see them.

    I hope you, my other readers, enjoyed the pictures, too. Remember this is also to fulfill one of my goals for the year from this post 2010 Goals and a review of last years progress

    • Continue blogging and remember it is supposed to be for fun and for the records for my family.
      • write more consistently on my blog at least 3 posts a week

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Simple Woman's Daybook - Jan. 25, 2010

    FOR TODAY... Monday, January 25, 2010

    Outside my window... rain and wind - lots of both

    I am thinking... that it is hard to get going and do school on a day like this. I want to just watch movies curled up on the couch and eat lots of goodies and drink hot chocolate.

    I am thankful for... a pantry and freezer full of food thanks to trips to Shady Maple and BB's

    I am wearing... tan slacks, whit turtleneck, green long sleeved shirt over that, fuzzy blue slippers. Does your work outfit include fuzzy blue slippers?? LOL

    I am remembering... my devotions, I love the book we are reading, and we are almost done reading Psalms. It is so hard to stop reading and put it down and move on to homeschooling.

    I am going... no where this week.

    I am currently reading... The same books as last week: Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell, The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins, a book I am reviewing for a lady on one of my Yahoo groups and my devotional books: A Praying Life, and Stepping Heavenward. Plus - Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman. I have and have read Kevin Leman's book Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, so we will see if I like this book and if any of the techniques work. I first heard of this book over at she is discussing it on Monday's over at her Blog Frog community.

    I am hoping... to have time to scrapbook this week. I want to join

    over at Branch of Wisdom this coming Saturday...
    a good motivator to get one of my goals for the year going.

    On my mind...I need to stop this blogging and get to homeschooling the boys.

    Noticing that... we have a leak in the basement due to all this rain. My hubby will have to deal with that. We put a bucket under the drip for now.

    Pondering these words..."Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!"
    from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, page 240.

    If only I could remember and fulfill these words in my own children's lives. I am so selfish.

    From the kitchen... leftover Apple Cake that Rachel made to take to Growth Group last night and pizza or pizza on mini bagels for lunch, both thanks to the trip to BB's on Sat. My kids have meal plans all made out for the next two weeks, no more last minute decisions and, "What should I make for dinner?" questions.

    Around the house...planning to put away the Christmas stuff tonight... we have been planning to do it for weeks and we keep putting it off... hopefully it will actually get done tonight.

    One of my favorite things... cuddling and watching movies on a rainy day... to bad I have to teach school.

    From my picture journal... 

    Jessica, Mrs. Kaatz (our Growth Group Leader's wife and leader of the Ladies Bible Study I go to at our church) and Rachel at our church's groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
    I will be posting a lot more pictures of the groundbreaking later today on another post. Check back for that if you are interested.


    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    The Mother’s Heart Magazine

    I am not sure how many of my readers has heard of this magazine or seen a copy. There are come great articles in here. And the price is right... FREE! So since they just sent me a new magazine and told me to pass it on to my friends, I thought I would post about it here on my blog.


    The Mother’s Heart Magazine Issue #50 just released!
    Download your subscription issue by clicking here.
    Subscriptions are available online

    A Special Note to Our Subscribers:

    Due to some great people who support our vision and ministry, and due to a great God, we are now able to offer The Mother’s Heart magazine totally free.

    Over the years, our prayer has been, “Lord, how do we get this message into the hands of those who need it?” And this seems to be the answer to that.

    The media does a number on motherhood. I remember Dr. James Dobson saying that if the media did to dentists, what it does to mothers, no one would go to the dentist anymore, and no one would become a dentist anymore.

    And we, at The Mother’s Heart magazine, are here to offer a different view. A perspective based on the Bible. A lifestyle not based on the media’s interpretation of motherhood, marriage, relationships, the role of a woman. But based on the joy of following God’s ways. Of serving our families. Of joyfully laying down our lives to give to them. Of focusing on our homes.

    So, to help us celebrate this new turn in our paths, please send this information to anyone you know who needs encouragement. Who needs affirmation that the way they are going is good. Who need help learning how to be a mother, how to discipline their time, create a schedule to get things done, keep the house clean, get the schooling done, and have a joyful attitude all the while.

    Let’s join together in making a difference: in our own families, in our communities, and around the world.

    And join us in praying for this ministry, for our family, and for the lives we will touch.

    Mark & Kym Wright
    & Kyds
    PS - you are now automatically enrolled in our new distribution list for free subscriptions, so you do not have to go through the process of signing up. Please let all your friends know that this great magazine is now free just for asking.

    The Mother's Heart Magazine
    is dedicated to serving and encouraging mothers in the many facets of staying at home and raising a family. It deals with practical and heart issues of moms - and dads. There are columns on child raising, husband and wife relationships, herbal healthcare, and adoption. Regular features include crafts, educational helps, trusting God for family planning, infertility and scheduling. Plus Kym shares many of her household forms created to make life easier: children's measurement forms, library form, chore charts, homeschooling and more.

    Mark & Kym, the editors of The Mother's Heart Magazine, have 8 children (7 biological, and 1 adopted). They have a love for mothers that desire to stay home to raise their children, and for the husbands and daddies of these families. It thrills their hearts to see parents turning their hearts to the home.
    Their Mission is to 1) honor and obey God, 2) encourage mothers that it is okay, and godly to stay home and raise these little and big ones of His, and 3) assist the daddies in their roles as bread-winner and family leader.

    View our new team of outstanding columnists here!

    See our inventory of beautiful, reformatted back issues here!

    Subscribe online here!

    Learn how to use an eBook here!

    Remember - The Mother's Heart is now absolutely free!

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    Update On Our Car

    I thought I would do an update on what is going on with our new van. First I thought you all might like to see our new car. I don't think I ever posted a picture. We call it the chameleon van because in different lighting situations it looks different colors!Free Userbars

    Tuesday I called the DMV and they said there was already an investigator on the case. The owner is quitting the business and evidently someone else called to complain. They are looking for the owner. He cannot be found, anywhere! Things are not good! Sad Smileys The lady I talked to took my information and said she would have the investigator call me.

    The state investigator, who was already assigned this case, called me and took our information. They said we would have to have the car inspected again because there was no record of the first inspection. My husband ran it through inspection, not the dealer, so we know that it was done. I wrote down all the details to tell Court. When Court came home I told him about having to have the car re-inspected because they could not find a record in their computer. He decided to check the VIN  number, since that is how they find records for the car. The number he had written down on the paper for me was copied from a paper we got from the dealership, and they copied the VIN number down incorrectly. So I quickly called the DMV, they were open for only another 10 minutes, and they looked up the correct VIN number and said we did not have to have it re-inspected.

    Then since we were gathering the things we would need for the DMV, Court looked at the insurance card. We must have given the same paper from the dealer with the wrong VIN number on it to the insurance company, because the insurance card had the same wrong #. That means, technically, that we did not have insurance on the van. Indifferent Smileys We called the insurance company and they said it would be no problem. We could come right down and they would print new cards for us. So off we went.

    We got to the insurance company and got the cards. We went out and got in the car and started to leave and the car stalled. Luckily we were still in the parking lot. Court pulled over and tried to start the car. It would not start. Free Emoticons OK Lord, we are trusting you with this car... what are you doing now? We waited a few minutes and it still would not start. We tried 3 or 4 times, waiting between each time. There was a Pep Boys a couple of stores down and so we got out and walked over. We bought some dry gas stuff and talked to one of the guys about another problem Court was having with an accessory he bought for the car. We walked back to the car, put the dry gas in, and it started right up. Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus. Happy Smileys My husband does not think it started because of the dry gas but just because it sat long enough. It has not stalled since then. Who knows why it did it that night??? Was the Lord allowing this further test to see if we were going to keep trusting him like we said we would??? I don't know. We may never know.

    We stopped at McDonald's to grab something to eat because we had not expected to be out that long. Before we left we saw a friend from church walking our way. Court talked to him for a while. Then we left. On the way home we stopped at Staples.

    Wednesday afternoon as soon as Court got home from work we gathered the paperwork and went to the DMV. Wednesday night is the only night the DMV is open. Only one day before our tags would run out. Unfortunately, I forgot my drivers license Embarrassed Smileys and so Court had to go back home and get it for me while I waited, hoping he would be back before they called our number. He had plenty of time. It takes so long at the DMV. They called our name. We told them our situation and long story short....oh, this has already been a long story Ashamed Smileys in order to not lengthen it more... after a few phone calls to verify the situation with the dealer, we were able to get a new temporary tag for 60 days. It cost us $10.

    The bad part is we still do not have our car title. Free Avatars The dealer has that and he can't be found. So technically we do not own our car yet. We also can't get a registration until the title is changed over to our name. We are trusting the Lord. He gave us peace when we prayed to him about the car before we purchased it. If something goes terribly wrong he can replace it. Please continue to pray that the state investigator will be able to locate the dealer and get him to pay for our title transfer and registration and tax to the state. We already paid him the money for all that when we bought the car, we paid him with a check. It could take months. Pray this all gets settled within the next 60 days. If is does not all get settled within 60 days we will have to get new temporary tags again. They will not cost anything the next time. 

    Thanks for caring and keep praying for us,

    365-19-22 Fathers, Food and Fun + our assignment for the week 365-*23 Content

    So sorry I have not posted my pictures for a while. The week has been crazy. Well this should catch me up.


    These are the binoculars my dad carried in WWII.
    They are covered with leather that has worn off some.
    I am not sure why one side turned green, some kind of reaction with the metal or something.


    These are the same pictures but, they have been corrected by my dh.

    Fun -
    learning to sew

    Christopher doing his first sewing project.
    He has wanted a bag to hold his Bible for church or
    anything else he wants like his reading books.
    It is a bag like Indiana Jones uses in the Indiana Jones movies, it is made of denim. I will try to get a picture of him with his bag tomorrow.


    A trip to BB's yielded this bounty of food.
     The brown bags and cooler have freezer and refrigerator stuff.
    The other bags have dry goods and canned goods.
    We go to BB's once every 4-6 months.
    The assignment for this week was...

    Emotions and Expressions - this is about finding different people and capturing their emotions or expressions in at least one image that week. Your assignment, if you so choose to play along is to find: CONTENT

    The picture above is content for me. 
    A basement that will have selves full of food for the coming months...

    but we were supposed to take a picture of an emotion on the face of a person so...

    I captured this!

    Jessica and her daddy!

     Have a great Sunday.
    We are having the groundbreaking for our new addition to our church tomorrow. I should have some great pics to post.


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