Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer giveaway hop- Desert Intrique

2nd Annual Summer Giveaway Hop 
Co-Hosted by Mary from BookHounds & Forever Young (adult).

All links are book related for your summer enjoyment!! While you are visiting A Year of Jubilee Reviews please check out my other giveaways on the left sidebar!

Desert Intrigue is up for graps thanks to Linda Clarke Weaver. She is offering 2 e-copies of this book. 
Desert Intrigue is the 4th in the series about John and Julia Evans. Each book has taken the Evans family on an adventure laced with mystery! Each has been a page turner and I have so loved this series!
Desert Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans
ISBN: 978-1-47008-421-9

When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2012

Corkor- Iphone Case Sponsor Review

Corkor® is an eco-friendly company with environment in mind.
As Portugal has the largest cork oak landscape in world, we have decided to offer our customers natural, sustainable and eco-friendly products made of cork.
Corkor® collections are from Portuguese cork oak trees and locally handcrafted.

Green and Yellow Pendant Cork Necklace is made of zamak and has a cork necklace! Have you ever seen a necklace so fun! Great pieces of jewelry from Corkor but that isn't all they carry.

iPhone 4 case made out of cork! How sweet and eco friendly is this! Beautifully made.
- Designed for perfect fit of iPhone 4 and 4S
Slim design and hand made for better quality
- Bottom opening for battery charge
- 123mm (4.8in) x 74mm (2.9in)

This beautiful pouch has a unique pattern due to its veggie material; it is made of natural cork, which is one of the greenest products, as it is recyclable, sustainable and animal's cruelty free.
This pouch was designed to perfect fit iPhone 4 or 4S with 123mm (4.8 in) x 74mm (2.9 in), features a handmade slim design, ideal for pocket.
There is an opening at bottom for battery charge and easily device removal. Lining is made of a very soft fabric to protect from scratches.
Beautiful stitches to give it some character.
It has a great natural looking and a premium quality. 
Cork is also very easy to maintain as new, just need to wipe with a damp cloth with a PH neutral detergent and the dry it with a soft and clean cloth. Cork protects against heat and doesn't fade.

Cork is very lightweight and durable. The naturalness of it is very eye pleasing! This is a high quality phone case that will bring inquisitive looks when you use it! 

Want to win an IPhone case??  Corkor is offering an IPhone case like this during the Back to School Scramble beginning Aug 1st! $35 value. 

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions. I received the above to review. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

The Flizbins: Cowboys & Bananas

The Flizbins: Cowboys & Bananas

Bridgestone Media
"Great songs, fun dances, and crazy banana showdowns await in Cowboys & Bananas, the second adventure for the musical praise band The Flizbins. First, SuperFin, the greatest Flizbin superhero, saves the day when Hero City's cleaning robot goes haywire. Then, through a wacky and woolly retelling of the story of the lost sheep, Finley and the band discover just how important they are to God, even if they aren't superheroes.

Starring a cool band full of catchy songs and moral messages, The Flizbins is an award-winning children's show that features live action characters and a furry puppet named Finley. From Charity, the purple-clad guitarist with a talent for creating new dances and songs about Jesus, to Tim, the band's bassist with a charming Aussie accent, The Flizbins and their tree fort-dwelling friend present positive role models for youngsters. BMG also carries the first episode, Pirates & Cupcakes."

 "Mom I don't know how they make it so good with the puppets. I don't know if it is a kid in the suit or just a hand one." Son age 10

"I love the music!", Daughter age 7 as she dons her cowgirl hat. They even have them get up off the couch and learn a good ole cowboy dance!

3 short shows so you can keep the attention of the smaller set, but exciting enough for older elementary kids.
Faith based fun, dove approved for all ages.

The Flizbins take a tried and true approach to the retelling of Bible stories and applying them to young children today.. puppets!! I sit here while my young ones watch and hear them laugh! Real actors, and puppets are a combination that even the best animation can not beat!!

I recommend this series for your home library especially if you have young children!
Visit Bridgestone Media to pick up your copy!!

Knock Knock Sponsor Post

"Knock Knock was founded in 2002 by Jen Bilik with the mission of creating witty, design-driven gift products and books, along with anything else that might strike the Knock Knock fancy.

Our products aspire to bring humor, function, organization, and aesthetics to everyday life. We believe that people are intelligent enough to appreciate wit, wordplay, and conceptual thought. Whether we’re producing sticky notes or a volume of thoroughly researched nonfiction, we strive not to dumb down as we create. Our sensibility remains proudly distinct."

With the philosophy that humor makes everything better, Knock Knock has created FUN products with a function!.

Knock Knock NotePads   creative, and large enough to actually get some use out of! I hate those tiny notepads that I can only write a couple words on. I have the All Out Of notepad sitting in front of me. My 10 year old saw it and said, wow that is big!! You got it son, just like we need. Easy to check off boxes for things we are out of rather than searching the house for paper to start a list and try not to loose it. Super beneficial for families!

Other notepad titles that caught my fancy!

High Five Nifty Note
In my Humble Opinion
Guilt Trip
The Long List/ The Short List
Passive Aggressive note
and so much more!

Academic Planner, Your days are numbered.. literally
Perfect for the scholar as he/she heads back to school. Great for Mom to use to help figure out everyone's coming and going as the new year kicks in! 18 month planner.

Knock Knock has great gift ideas!! Funny books, and assessors to fit your witty and humorous friends! 
Life is short, get out there and laugh a little!!
I am tired of downloading everything off the internet! I love cute notebooks, notecards, sticky notes. I don't want to always be printing my own out! Knock Knock will take care of that for you!

Functional, and FUN.. that is what Knock Knock is offering my readers!! They have a summer shipping special right now with free shipping with $35 purchase.

Check out their blog @ http://www.knockknockstuff.com/blog/

Knock Knock on Facebook

Knock Knock is a sponsor in the Back to School Giveaway Beginning Aug 1!!
Be sure to stop back to win!!

I received products from Knock Knock in exchange for an honest review. 

Shufflin' Feet Game Review & Giveaway

Rooster Fin games are easy to learn, easy to play. Geared for ages 8+ these games are great fun for the whole family. 
We had the opportunity to play Shufflin' Feet with the kids!

"Shufflin’ Feet™ is the funny game that takes unexpected twists on every turn! The players compete to win chips by playing higher valued cards than their opponents. But on every roll of the cube, a player’s card can suddenly slide away to another opponent. Quick wits and a little luck can leave any player in position to win on any turn. It depends on which direction the feet shuffle!"

There was some strategy to be learned but once the younger ones caught on to it, it was a pretty balanced game. Not too intense for the small ones. Fast paced, and fun to play!

Enter to win a copy of Shufflin' Feet for your next game night! Use the Rafflecopter for entries. USA only. Ends Aug 13. 

Gummy Lump Guest Post

Batteries NOT required

I am starting to sound like my Mother, “When I was a kid we didn’t have….” Wii, PlayStation, video games, iPhones, etc.  This coming on the tail of hearing the kids once again say, “Mom we need more batteries”!  Crazy Wii remotes and gadgets. 

Really, when I was a kid we didn’t have all this technology stealing our time. We had to do things like use our imagination and if we wanted to play a game we had to work together rather than with a cyber-friend, and get out an old fashioned board game. I ran down to our basement and eyed up our board games, well over 50 games on the shelf. There may be one or two that need batteries for those noisy buzzers, but for the most part they are self-contained and ready to play. 

The games I love most are the ones that the whole family can play.

 Sometimes they end up teaming up with an older reading sibling.

I love to play with them and that helps too to curb any potential disagreements. They do well on their own but there are a few who are pretty competitive. I love to see my younger children playing funny word games with my older ones, and then the older ones jumping in and playing a younger game for the sake of the small ones.  Large families sometimes have different dynamics to keep everyone happy.

Read the rest of my guest post here at Gummy Lump Blog!! Leave me a comment over there with what you think, and your ideas for battery free fun!!

Go Raw! Living Foods

go raw, Pioneers of the finest hand-crafted, certified organic, raw living foods available!

 Want healthy and tasty!! Go Raw is the company you want to be snacking with! Interesting, live foods that if you plant it, it will grow! Now that is living. Some of the snacks you need to develop a taste for I think. I haven't gotten over the curve with just one of the products and that was the Spirulina Energy Bar or the Spirulina Super Chips. We must just not care for the Spirulina. Everything else we taste tested we enjoyed.

The kids really loved the Super Cookies and I felt great about them eating them!
The Flax Snacks were a hit with the whole family, they particularly liked the pizza ones! 
The Live Pumpkin Bar was one of my favorites. I have been working on loosing weight and these snacks were a perfect supplement to my day!
These would be a fantastic addition to the kid's lunchboxes this year! Let's seek to feed our kids healthier lunches rather than all of those processed foods!


100% ORGANIC Certification
Sugar Free
Gluten Free
Soy Free
Nut Free (Nuts don’t sprout!)

More about the Go Raw Company:

Manufacturing Facility:
We have our own Raw- Vegan, gluten-free, wheat free, nut free and dairy
free food manufacturing facility located in beautiful Mountain View, CA.
We do not co-pack and our facility is strictly for Go Raw use only.

X-Ray Machine:
We have implemented an X-Ray machine to scan for any foreign particles
that may have tried to sneak in. We want our final product to be of the
upmost highest quality possible and are taking every precaution to achieve
this. This X-Ray machine has been approved by our Organic Certifiers and
is completely safe.

Washing of the Seeds:
Washing of the seeds is taken very seriously here. Seeds are from the
ground thus very dirty. We want to ensure that they are completely clean,
so we have a special seed washing machine that thoroughly washes them 3
times in purified water.

Sprouting: While all raw foods contain enzymes, sprouts are the most
enzyme dense food on the planet. The most rapid part of growth of a plant
is during its initial stages as a sprout, dehydrating the seeds at this
stage of their cycle preserves this precious state and passes along these
vital enzymes.

Once our seeds have been sorted, washed, and sprouted, we mix in the other
Organic ingredients.

Hand Spread Products:
Products are shown with the utmost respect and carefully spread out onto
trays by hand.

Custom Dehydration System:
We were unable to find a dehydration system that lived up to our standards
so we custom designed our own. Our Dehydration system is fully regulated
and controlled to maintain the proper humidity, temperature and water
activity levels to achieve a superior product. Our Dehydration system
maintains an average temperature of 97 degrees, ensuring that our sprouted
seeds are still alive and well. If you plant them they will grow!

We understand that many people are concerned about the health risks of
agave nectar. We have decided to remove agave from many of our products
including our apple cinnamon cereal, chocolate cereal, and the chocolate
cookies. We have realized that fruit based sweeteners are the healthiest
option, thus we have started implementing them into our recipes instead.
Another change to be noticed is the size of our bars. Previously at 51
ounces each, they were intended as a meal replacement with a higher retail
price point of $2.99. Now at 12-14 grams each and a lower retail price
point of $1.29 consumers won’t hesitate to grab a few.

2012 has already been an incredible year for Go Raw. We have secured our
products into conventional grocery store chains including Kroger’s, and
Safeway’s across the US. Our sales continue to increase significantly, and
with that comes an expansion into a larger, eco-friendly Californian
facility expected to happen in 2013!

 Shop Online

Go Raw on Facebook

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions. I received the above to review. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Higgs Phonics Learn to Read in 40 Hours or Less

Higgs Phonics is a scientifically based reading instruction system. In 40 hours readers become proficient readers!  It consists of three Volumes and a Teacher's Manual.

I began the Higgs Phonics with my 7 year old daughter who doesn't not know how to read much more than 3 letter words. The program encourages you to start with Volume1 regardless of your age or abilities. For some students they will get through Volume 1 really fast, and let them. Other young students may need a little while to secure the basics of the Alphabet.

My daughter enjoyed her time in Vol 1. Because it is summer we didn't get to progress beyond Vol 1, but are going to utilize Higgs Phonics for her primary phonics curriculum this year as a homeschooler. This program works great for homeschooling, supplementing for public school, or even as a classroom of readers.
Higgs phonics serves as a solid beginning for learning phonics through their interactive and multisensory approach.
The volumes have every thing you need for the child to learn to read. The repetition and drills, along with daily practice are going to be key. We weren't able to devote the time needed right now, but I am hopeful when we start 'back to school' that this program is going to be very helpful with my young daughter. If my 9 year old continues to struggle I may have him go through this program as well.

Volume 1 - Working Out With The Alphabet A must-have for beginning readers or review.  For use in school or in the privacy of their home. Includes alphabet letter shapes, consonant and short-long vowel sounds. Over 300 fun packed exercises. Guaranteed to keep you busy! Fun and easy to do!

Volume 2 - The Word's Greatest Secrets For 3rd Grade reading level and up.  Great for foreign language speakers.Volume 2 teaches little-known phonics rules and decoding skills. Guaranteed to take all the mystery out of reading 90% of all English words. Blends, diphthongs, digraphs and lots more will leave you a fluent reader. Over 500 skill building exercises!

Volume 3 - All the Parts of Language ArtsTeaches students about prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Includes lessons on dictionary skills, eight parts of speech, and punctuation. Writing & spelling traps are thoroughly explained. Meanings are given for over 80 root words, prefixes and suffixes. After completing the series, fluency in reading will greatly improve. Well over 2,500 words to decode!

Teachers Manual
The Teacher’s Manual enables the teacher to feel confident, secure and well prepared in guiding their students through each volume. It presents a road map and framework for teaching phonetic-based reading skills. Students become actively engaged in the learning process, whether in class or in independent reading. The Teacher’s Manual also includes reproducible class and student evaluation forms to help educators evaluate students. This will assure that the students are reaching the progress goals of the curriculum.
Purchase your set here
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.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Before Ever After- Samantha Sotto

Before Ever After
Samantha Sotto

Samantha Sotto is an excellent storyweaver!
Max takes his tour group to unusual spots, out of the way of the typical tour route. He tells his tour group about the characters of the past, the memories of those who were at that particular place before them. Samantha Sotto then uses the next chapter to jump back in time to the actual account. We see the story Max has given the tour group, unfold before our eyes. Weaving these characters together in a type of genealogy spread out over hundreds of years. Each story connect to each other, Max beginning at the end with Isabelle. 

This tour group is where Shelley first meets Max, her forever after. Something is different about Max, yet Shelley can’t help but find herself falling in love with him. He promises her now, engraved on her wedding band, as she learns that is all they have. 

Now Max is dead, killed by a bomb and Shelley is struggling to move on. Three years and still the grief is so much a part of her life. A knock at the front door, a man named Paolo with an eerie similarity to Max. He shows her a photo of his grandfather, Nonno- her Max! How can this be when the man standing before her is close to her own age?

Time travel? Science fiction? Wormholes? What is Max’s story?
Those questions keep you turning the page, and unwilling to set down the book! Paolo and Shelley travel to find out what Max’s secret truly is. 

This book is so good I was tempted to turn to the end to find out what happened! Such impatience on my part, but I didn’t. Samantha kept me reading right where I was by keep each story weaved interesting and mysterious in itself. 

Very creative, unique and thorough story!

Victoria Chart Company Sponsor Review

"The Victoria Chart Company™ was founded in 2004 by Victoria Ballard. Like any parent who wants the best for their child, Victoria wanted to do all that she could for her two children, particularly, her son who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months.

Victoria discovered that a reward system she developed worked fabulously well for her children. It built their self-esteem helping them to become confident and, most importantly, proud of their progress.

The system worked so well that she has dedicated her time to creating tools for parents and professionals to help children and their families realize the power of developmental progress that comes from the simple process of Encourage & Praise™."

 As the summer draws to a close, this Vacation Journal will help your young ones get some of their greatest memories saved for a lifetime on paper. With 7 days to complete your child can capture the highlights of their summer just in time for back to school. 

Age specific Reward Charts, a great back to school organizational tool! My Growing Up Chart is geared for ages 4 and up, perfect for your early elementary children. Stickers galore for the little ones to work toward their goals!
They also have Meal Planners, Credit Charts and a Goodnight, Sleep Tight Chart.

Award Winning Products

award winning reward charts
A great tool for positive reinforcement.
award winning reward charts
Help your child excel and build self-esteem.
award winning reward charts
A range of specially designed age-appropriate reward charts.
award winning reward charts
Customizable to your child's specific needs.
award winning reward charts
Visually appealing for children
award winning reward charts
Effective for special needs including ADHD and autism.
award winning reward charts
Provides easy-to-use tools for parents, caregivers and professionals.
award winning reward charts
Our charts are safety tested and made in the USA

Check out the Victoria Chart Company Blog for help in using the charts and great back to school ideas.

Victoria Chart on Facebook  get a 15% off coupon on facebook!

Watch for the Victoria Chart Giveaway in the Back to School Blog hop beginning Aug 1!

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions. I received the above to review. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

Schoolhouse Teachers.com

Something needs to change in the way of my organizing our homeschool. When I had primarily elementary aged children it was ok to be more eclectic or even unschooling oriented in our structure. Now with 2 in high school, 1 in junior high and 2 struggling with reading I feel I need to kick the organization into gear, which for a type B personality is feeling a titch overwhelming. 

I was thankful to have the resources available at Schoolhouseteachers.com, though I must admit they were a bit overwhelming at first. My eyes scanned the information; where to start, what to look at, what items to incorporate in our school and with which children. Taking a deep breath prayer sent to God, “Please guide me in the resources and organization that You would like me to glean from”.

When I first opened up Everyday Easels (http://schoolhouseteachers.com/category/everyday-easels/) I saw a study on a painting of Daniel Boone. We just so happened to move to KY recently and Daniel Boone is revered strongly around here. I had hoped to give the kids some KY history this year, and this will help not only in the history portion but in the artistic realm as well. A great aspect to my soon to be homemade unit study!

The 2012-2013 teacher planner is exceptional. I looked through it, and because I have an older printer and didn’t want to print the entire book, wrote down the number of the pages I did want to print out for my organizing this summer. The planner alone for Non Schoolhouseteacher members is $39 @http://schoolhouseteachers.com/2012/07/purchase-the-2012-2013-schoolhouse-planners/
Well worth the membership for the planners alone with over 800 unique pages to print to customize your own planner.

But what else do you get if you are a member of Schoolhouse Teachers? Honestly more than I even have time to look at and they keep adding more!
You can get a site tour here 
Here is just a small list of some of the topics and helps they have for you as the teacher.
Career Exploration

Click these links for sample lessons

Sample Writing Lesson
Sample Math Lesson
Daily Unit Study

Also you have access to all past and current The Old Schoolhouse Magazine! I even put an app on my phone to read some of the articles. By far my favorite magazine for homeschoolers!

This website is for all teachers and homeschoolers. Whether you are a new homeschooler just breaking ground with a preschooler or K to an experienced homeschooler with teens ready to leave the nest, you WILL find a vast amount of information that you personally can utilize.

They also have a monthly theme with book recommendations to take with you to the library. The month of July was foreign language. The outline for a complete unit study for all ages. I love how this is going to change monthly as I am a huge unit study lover! I can easily adapt some of these themes to my Homeschool Co-op Class.

Sign up now for only $1 for the first month, $5.95 each month after. That is such a fantastic deal given all of the new information you can utilize including the planners!


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.