A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cleaning Up Broken Glass

I had Luke standing up, holding on to the end of Katie's bed while I dressed Katie the other day.  He was startled, let go, and went over sideways, straight as a board.  He hit his head on the wall, knocking off this picture that was hanging above Katie's dresser.

Having a bunch of boys, I've had to clean up a lot of glass over the years.  Mostly, it's been over linoleum or tile.  We've shattered a LOT of Corelle dishes!  I can usually sweep up the mess and warn everyone to put shoes on until we're sure we've found all the pieces.  

This time, however, I was over carpet.  Kneeling here, looking at picking up all these shards, I had a brainstorm.  

This may look like duct tape, but it's a horribly cheap, shreddy stuff that is more like lousy packing tape.  I'm super disappointed with the quality, so I didn't mind sacrificing some for picking up glass.  (And it was actually perfect, since it cuts so easily, I didn't have to send someone to find me scissors, I could just cut the tape with a piece of glass.)

I used the tape to stick to pick up the glass so I didn't have to potentially cut my fingers over and over and over again.  Afterwards, I vacuumed, of course, but I was pleased with how well this worked out.  As I said, simple idea, but I thought I would share it with you for the next time you find yourself cleaning up broken glass.  

There's a happy ending to this story.  Paul took the picture out to the garage and painstakingly picked all the broken glass out of the frame so we could hang it up again.  What a great Daddy!  

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our 2014 Chinese New Year Celebrations

I like this holiday because it's 15 days long, so I can stretch it out and do what I can without having to stuff it all into one day.  

Despite my best efforts, there really isn't a great picture of Luke in his silks.  

He enjoyed out dinner out, but he kept Paul hopping.  Paul was shoveling in food as fast as he could, and Luke just slurped it all down.  

Sam's hat did not go over well.  

While we were waiting to adopt Katie, we sent her a CNY 2013 care package using a service in China.  The orphanage staff returned the dress and purse to us when we met Katie.  

Right before heading out the door to dinner.  

Paul said, "How about just the Chinese kids?"

I tried.  Really, I did.


This will have to do.  Reminds me of their Christmas picture, actually.  

The girls wore their matchy dresses to church.  They really are stinkin' cute, aren't they?  

Paul handed out the red envelopes that I had filled with chocolate coins.  

We went over the proper way to receive something that is handed to you (such as a business card), by taking it by both corners.  

Well, most of them got it.  

And the chocolate coins were a big hit.  

Another day, we had Year of the Horse cupcakes.  

Which were gone so fast, I barely got a picture.  

We do have one celebration left, but it's not until next month, so I thought I'd share these with you now.  

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where Courage Calls review and iPad Mini GIVEAWAY

My first exposure to author Janette Oke's books was at my grandmother's house.  She belonged to the Guidepost book club and had collected quite a few of them.  Many of those books now reside in our home library.

If, like me, you grew up reading When Calls the Heart (and the rest of the Canadian West series) in junior high, you'll want to read this newest offering from Janette and daughter Laurel Oke Logan. Where Courage Calls is the story of Beth Thatcher, the "niece" of Elizabeth Thatcher from the first four books.  It's a special companion story to the Hallmark TV series.

While there are many similarities initially, to the two women's tales (pampered young lady leaves overprotective family to go teach somewhere uncivilized) this book is worthy of reading on it's own merit.  I knew I liked it 23 pages in, when I ran across the words, "...we spend the rest of our lives basing the way we think about our families on what we thought happened--instead of what really did."  Um, yeah.  Guilty!  I could go off on a tangent there, but I won't.  Suffice it to say, I love these little nuggets of wisdom that made me think as I enjoyed a good story.

I liked this book and would give it two thumbs up.  I hope there is a sequel at some point to continue the story line with now familiar and beloved characters.

Since Brianna has read the Canadian West series books, I asked if she wanted to read Where Courage Calls when I was finished with it.  She devoured it in a day, enjoyed it immensely, and now has a thing for Mounties.

Ready for the big GIVEAWAY??

Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.
One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

You can read an excerpt of the book here.  I received a free book in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was offered.  I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Leather Charm Bracelet

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

We received this pretty leather charm bracelet from Penny Auctions Canada.

Here's an overview of how Penny Auctions Canada works.  When I checked out the site, there were lots of interesting items up for bid, besides just these cute bracelets.

Front view

Back view

Penny Auctions Canada is offering my readers two exciting discounts!  5 FREE bids, just register for an account and then email and ask for them, AND an exclusive promo code, Tomoson25, which will get you an additional 25 free bids with the purchase of a 25 bid pack.  Go check out Penny Auctions Canada and see what sort of deals you can discover.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

EEME STEM Science Special Offer

Last October, we did a review for EEME.  Eli totally loved the product, so I subscribed for him.  Each month, he receives a package of components to create a new project, with the help of the online video instruction EEME provides.

I love that I don't need to know how all this stuff works for Eli to be able to learn it!  You've probably seen the statistics that there are going to be tons more STEM jobs looking for workers by 2020.  I feel like I'm giving Eli a leg up by letting him pursue an interest in the STEM field in a fun and engaging way.

EEME has now launched a new option, whereby you can purchase a bundle of 5 projects instead of a monthly subscription, for 20% less than the subscription price, and get FREE SHIPPING.

You can check out EEME's happy customers on Facebook and give them a Like while you're there.  Please consider adding electronics to your student's education with EEME.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up 23 - Signs of Spring

Yesterday was a gorgeous 70*.  As I've mentioned, right about this time each year, I start to think I might survive homeschooling after all.  We got OUTSIDE for park days not once, but twice this week!  My bulbs are sending shoots up.  Spring is coming!

Another blog I follow mentioned XtraMath, a free program online.  She referred to it as a "math vitamin," and that's what we call it, too.  Just a few minutes of speed drill each morning to freshen up the basic math skills.

Jack continues to work hard at Word Building (spelling) and still gets horrible test scores.  However, Eli is reviewing a brand new spelling program that I'm very excited about, and I think I'll be switching Jack over to that next school year.

I mentioned that we got out a couple times this week.  It was good for all of us.  The fresh air and sunshine felt wonderful, and getting the chance to talk to other homeschool moms helps me feel like a real person again.

This other little 3 year old is just 6 months older than Katie, and it was so cute to see Katie tug at her and say, "Come on!"  Katie hasn't had much opportunity to play with other kids her own age since we got her. She hauled off and smacked my friend Sarah's son recently, so I was a little concerned for her social skills, but she did great today.

Even Lukey got a ride on the airplane.  I was asked today, "Is he like this all the time?"  In a weird way, it validated that yeah, this is not fun.

Another mom took this pic with my camera.  :/  You kind of have to press the button half way to focus.  She took several shots of all the kids, and none of them turned out.

(Brianna shot this as we were leaving)

This week we continued our standardized testing online.  Brianna needed test scores to get into "real" school next year, so hers are done and she's all registered.  Eli and Jack are still working on theirs.  (The tests are about 9 sections.)  I love having them online, but I think I was more disciplined about it when we got the box in the mail and had to send everything back by a deadline.

Little Miss Muffet has been leaving her "take home folder" at school.  I told her last time she left it that if she left it there again, she would have to write sentences to help her remember.  She was Not Happy to discover that I was serious about that.  --Lest you think I'm being mean, her homework is in that folder.  When she leaves her take home folder at school on a Friday, we miss out on three days worth of opportunities to get that packet done.  

We had a visit from Annaliese, which was nice.

Looking at the week ahead, we'll wrap up King David and move on to Solomon.  I'll have to see if I can find some craft to represent "riches".  We also have a new game to play this week.  Looks like we have another whole MONTH of Children's Homer.  There are some lovely tongue twister names in there, and the grammar makes me a little crazy (saying "builded" aloud makes me cringe) but at least it's a read aloud that doesn't make me cry like the Patricia St. John books did.

Linking up with Great Peace Academy and:  
For the Display of His Splendor

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