Sunday, September 30, 2012

Box of IDEAS -Salt TOS review


SALT who would have thought such a small word with have so much to it!

Geared for ages 9-16, these modules work wonderfully with the entire family in a Unit Study format.
Yep, there I am again, with those unit studies. You have got to love how God created each family to homeschool in a format that is unique to their homeschool and situation. I love the variety!
So you know Unit Studies are kind of my 'thing'. I honestly never would have given so much time and interest to SALT. I was seriously skeptical when I heard I was reviewing a unit on salt. I am amazed at the amount of information that Box of IDEAS supplies us with in regard to SALT.

So what is Box of IDEAS? It is a look at a simple subject like SALT, where you take the history, science, language and more of it and explore deeper. It is an avenue for getting kids off the TV, computer, etc and finding out information on their own.. to spark their interest in something they normally wouldn't consider exciting!

You can choose to receive a physical box with all of the papers and activities you need for each of the 10 modules. You will have to supply your own pencil, and a very few things to do an activity. For the 10 modules in Salt, the only thing I needed other than a pencil was water, a measuring cup and a freezer. It is helpful too if you have internet access for some of the further study options.
You can also purchase the pdf download instead to print of things as you go.
I actually preferred the box version, because given my time restraints, it is much easier to grab a bag out of the box, which you can use in any order, and take it and run!


The physical box sells for $79.00
The pdf download of the same unit is $49.00

In the physical box I received 10 individual modules, or bags. Each bag is labeled with exactly what I need, including the Title of that day's study. There is a quote on the front of each bag that you can utilize as a subject starter, a writing prompt or just for oral recessitation.

The titles in the Salt box are as follows.. (told you I couldn't believe there was so much to know about salt!)
*The Salt March
*Preserving with Salt
*Producing Salt
*Science of Salt
*The wall that Salt built
*Need Salt
*Very Salty
*Salt of the Earth
*The History of Salt

 With a simple definition of Salt from Merriam Webster, "a crystalline compound NaCl that consists of sodium chloride, is abundant in nature, and is used especially to season or preserve food or in industry —called also common salt" it has been wonderful to delve much deeper into it!

In Need Salt we learned that the recommended daily sodium content is 2300mg. We filled out the Let's Eat Menu Planner for the day and had 3500mg easily! Without even adding salt. What an eye opener for the kids and myself. 

Salt of the Earth required us to get out the handy atlas to find some of these countries on the map. Great geographical study for us!

These modules are all about SALT but can be used in any order and for any length of time. Spend as little or as long as you like on the activity based on how your children are enjoying it. Searching the kitchen for salt on food labels may excite your kids more than learning about the political conflicts arising from Salt or vice-avers. That is the beauty of Box of IDEAS is that is has an aspect to appeal to everyone.

Some ways to use this program:
1.I can also easily take one of the modules with us when we go on a trip, to keep the kids up to speed with learning.
2.We can utilize them once a week in the summer for additional learning.
3. I can pick one of the components to go along with something we are already studying, to give it just a little more depth
4. I can take it to my Co-op class for younger kids, water one of the modules down a little bit and hook them into thinking a bit deeper about Salt.
5. Too nice to be inside, grab a bag and head to the park for school for a few hours. Everything you need is in the bag (except for one unit.. and that one you may want to stay home since it requires the freezer)

What other fun subject does Box of IDEAS offer??

Eleven (what?? yes that is right.. things with the number 11 in them!)
Quilting (I am so all over this one)
Laundry (this could be an answer to prayer.. you think?)
World War II (for those with a more serious side)

upcoming units are
Pearl Harbor (which some of my Crew-mates reviewed)
and more

I sure hope they keep coming out with more unique studies like the ones they already have. Something different that you really wouldn't think about studying.
We completely enjoyed our study on salt, and may even consider ourselves experts now :)

As a member of the TOS review crew I received a physical box from Box of IDEAS to facilitate my  honest review. Please see what my friends have to say about Box of IDEAS by clicking on the banner below.


Ecobears by Yvonne Wright and David Sterricker

 Ecobears is a concept created by Yvonne Wright & David  Sterricker in 1996. They use these darling bears to help celebrate awareness of using alternative materials and solar energy. The characters in the stories seek to help the climate. Yvonne has created the stuffed version of Ecobears with hemp, recycled cotton, and recycled wool, the first of it's kind in the 20th century to utilize such fabrics in a toy!

The first Ecobears book is based on these ecofriendly toys, as they go on action packed adventures to protect their planet Vynen, and share their knowledge with Earth. 

Learn about planet Vynen where purple mountains and clear seas are home to neon birds, insects, and momomouths. The Ecobears are guardians of Vynen.
Such description in this book! You can visualize the planet of Vynen, and it is just beautiful!! I love the imagery that David Sterricker provides in this utopian planet.
It is very futuristic in it's telling, with the bears being much more advanced in conservation than the earthlings are. They get ready to embark on a journey to earth, when they discover their enemies Dilus and Krakkov have united and formed an alliance together. These enemies are against conservation and carrying for resources and now they are double trouble and on earth!

Action packed and paged turning, will the Ecobears be able to help Earth and capture Dilus and Krakkov?
What will the people of Earth think of the 'Vynen Tree Propagation Capsule"?
This books ends with a definite adventure lying ahead!!

You can read more about Ecobears and their creators at

Read more about how Yvonne and David live off grid in the North of Spain and each ecobear toy is made with solar energy!

This bear "Harvest" was the first bear made in 1996.
Take a look here at all of their beautiful creations!!
Print off a cute coloring page for your Eco loving kiddos!!

Ecobears is a Registered Trademark - All Rights Reserved.

Ecobears on Facebook

  Thanks so much to Ecobears for the opportunity to review this wonderful story book!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

HeavenScent Soy Candles Review & Giveaway

Fall is in the air, and so is the wonderful scent of 

HeavenScent Soy Candles has been pouring soy candles since 2005. They offer candles from tealights, votives and jar candles. You can purchase candles in a large variety of sizes; 3 oz, 6 oz, 10 oz, 16 oz, and 26 oz. They carry over 60 scents to choose from!! How will you ever choose! 

Soy candles offer a much cleaner burn than traditional parafin wax candles. You do not get the soot like you do with wax candles. I have found the soy to be just as full of fragrance, if not more than wax candles. The scent lasts right to the last burn. 

Perfect for fall was Spiced Orange that I got to try out! Some spiced scents can be overwhelming and I have to only burn them for a short time. This one however I didn't have any trouble with. It was just enough orange and spice combination without smelling like artificial scents.

Some other great scents for Fall are
Harvest Spice
Autumn Afternoon
Cedar Scent
Fireplace Embers
Mulled Cider
Mountain Lodge
and more! Some super Christmas scents as well!

I love burning candles in the fall and winter, they give the house such a warmth and homey feeling. Why not stop by Heaven Scent Candles and pick up some for yourself or gifts this holiday season!

Heaven Scent is offering one of my readers a 
$25 Gift Card to their webstore!!

Use the rafflecopter for easy entries! US only. Ends Oct 13th
Visit Heaven Scent on their social media sites!


Heaven Scent Soy Candles on Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nature's Notes by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards

Nature's Notes
Bite-sized Learning and Projects for All Ages
Award Winning!!
The 2012 PREFERRED CHOICE AWARD (Kids Educational Books category)

The photography in this nature book is amazing!! Such a variety of plants and animals that you can easily explore in nature. It encourages young ones to get out there and search themselves for some of these beautiful and even squeamish things.
Encouraging kids to get out there and find nature, so needed in this generation of video games and computer craze. 
One of the chapters was A Trip to the Park, so off we went with book in hand to explore our park. 
 We found lots of plant life, and birds galore who wouldn't stay still for a photo shoot. The pond however gave us a great look at some birds!
This spiral bound notebook is perfect for taking with you to the park, nature center or even your backyard. It includes:
Fun with Flowers
Take your Best Shot on how to photograph nature
What's Bugging You?
This is for the Birds

The trip to the park chapter coves reptiles, water critters, and frogs!
Very thorough in it's scope of natural finds.   This book is a must have! Great reference for some of those things you discover. Also there are fun projects included like how to press flowers, and feeding hummingbirds. 

Fall is the perfect time of year to get the family outdoors and exploring. Be sure to pick up a copy of Nature's Notes to take along with you!! It includes note taking and sketch paper in the back for you to journal your adventure.

Check out their website Butterfly Nature for more books, and great information on these photographers! 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Shoes for Crews Review & Giveaway

Tim has to wear Steel Toed boots to work, and has since he became a Paper Engineer 17 years ago. He has been through many boots in his career! When I was given the opportunity to review for Shoes for Crews I figured it was a perfect opportunity for him to help me with my review and Shoes for Crews Workboots.

He has had the Expedition Steel Toe boots for nearly a month now, so a great test of their quality with hours on the job. He even took them to Brazil on a business trip, so these Shoes for Crews have been on a trip!

The first thing Tim noted was the excellent traction! Shoes for Crews has patent pending SFC V-grip outsoles, tested for keeping you on your feet even in extreme conditions. Safety in a work setting includes great traction as you walk through spills, paper pulp laying on the floor, and more. The traction is outstanding in these shoes. This same SFC V-grip is used in the other slip resistant shoes for men from Shoes for Crews as well! Tie shoes, slip ons, boots.. each one is perfect for your workplace in it's traction and great fit.

They fit fantastic. I ordered based on his typical shoe size, a bit leery about ordering shoes online without trying them. No need to worry, they fit just perfect. Plenty of room in the toes and good ankle support. If for some reason they didn't fit great after 60 days you can return them risk free. Take a chance and try these number one slip resistant shoe.

Compared to other steel toed boots, these were about the same in weight. You have a little extra added with the steel of course but they compared nicely to others he has had.
The leather is the kind that will take a polish well if you are the type that needs to keep your shoes neat and polished for work.

The price is outstanding! $79.98 for this pair of shoes. We typically buy at a Farm supply store and these same style of boots would easily be $135 or more. There is a 'boot trailer' that comes to the mill to sell boots to the workers, since it is a requirement that they have them. The boots from the trailer are easily twice the price of Shoes for Crews, and aren't near the great quality.

The only concern Tim had with these shoes was that the top eyelets were not hooks. Typically he has had hooks in the top which provides much more ease in getting your foot in and out of the boot without having to loosen the laces. It also saves on wear and tear on the laces. He has noticed that the slacking them in and out of the eyelet is the potential life shorten-er of the laces.  The friction tends to wear them out much quicker. Easy to replace the shoelaces of course, but that was the one thing he would change if he could.

Shoes for Crews has been a fantastic find for my husband and the work environment. I am going to be looking to Shoes for Crews for my boys as well once they start working summer jobs. I love that these have the #1 slip resistant traction, and the price is so affordable!!

Want to win a pair of shoes for yourself?  They don't even have to be steel toed boots!! Men's and Women's shoes available!!
 Visit Shoes for Crews on Facebook
Enter to win using the Rafflecopter
US only
Ends Oct 13th

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kansas City Homes for Sale

If you are looking for new home I strongly recommend finding a realtor first thing. There are many Kansas city homes for sale, along with other areas in the nation.

I think packing up your family and moving has got to be one of the most stressful events in life. If you were to take a survey of life expectancy and it lists the stressors, moving would surely be on it!

We recently moved, and when you do not want to move, it is even more stressful. The market these days is forcing people in the workforce to move to remain employed. My husband’s company in OH shut down, closed the doors, no more work. We loved living on our farm there, but without a job there was a sure move in sight. We were blessed that hubby found a new job within a month! We however had to move out of state for the new job. 

I started looking online for houses for sale, trying to learn the area, and doing the research on my own. Talk about more added stress. I made lists, and remade lists, over and over.  

We came down for 3 day house hunting trip. 3 days, to decide our future. I certainly didn’t want to stay in OH while hubby moved to KY, much like many of his co-workers were doing. 

We were assigned a realtor by the company, and so glad they chose one who had great experience. She had grown up in the area, knew it like the back of her hand, and was able to arrange for us to see a plethora of homes in the short time we were in town
Having a realtor helps relieve some of the stress of moving! When choosing a good agent you will be able to see much more of the town in a shorter amount of time. You can learn of the different ‘pockets’ in a neighborhood; the older side of town, the newer developments, the wealthier areas, etc. 

Not only was our realtor able to help us find a home perfect for us, she was able to help expedite the paperwork to close in just 3 weeks. Having knowledge of the different players in a closing of a home allowed us to close on Christmas Eve!! Allowing our family to be ‘Home for the holidays” even if the house was empty!!

 This is a sponsored post for Remax, however, all the opinions expressed are uniquely my own.

Music Together Early Elementary Music Program




Music Together
Bringing Harmony Home

PhotobucketMusic Together is a music and movement approach class, that began being offered publicly in 1987 and continues to be used nationwide. It is a program geared for toddlers/preschoolers and their parents. It is utilized in preschool programs, family classes, childcare centers, music therapy, classrooms and homeschools.  Music Together trains teachers who want to utilize this program in their schools/churches and offers support to them as they develop their class.
As a homeschool Mom with the Review Crew on The Old Schoolhouse I was able to review ;Music Together Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers   ($29.95) and Music Together Family Favorites CD (physical CD $14.95)and incorporate them into our family on a smaller scale.
I believe God has created us with a song in our heart, the desire to worship Him through music. I can see that in my own young ones at church as they desire to learn the songs. Making a joyful noise is second nature for them. Music Together helps to funnel that energy in expressing their emotions and feelings through song, movement and musical instruments. Training ground for Praise and Worship, with basic songs that speak to their age level. This program is geared for infants from birth to youngsters around age 7 or Kindergarten level.

I only have 1 child that fits into the recommended ages of this program, year old. The Hello Song is utilized to greet each child as they come into class, since he is the only one it did make us laugh that we sang hello to everybody. We think that the big brother and sister need to join in! Such fun for him that he was the focus of the music and they had to 'help' him with his 'school'!!

Music Together lists specific techniques and types of activities to utilize with each of the 19 songs.
*Finger play used in rhythmic rhyme, helps children discover all that their hands can do with music
*Instruments & Props such as egg shakers , rhythm sticks, scarfs and more. (recommended for use once or twice in a 30 minute session)
*Lap songs are snuggle, cuddle type of songs where you hold the child and dance to the music with them in play
*sit and Sing as if around a campfire
*Taps and claps, to the beat of the music
And many more!
Fantastic program for children with special needs.  Music is accepting of all children and they are free to enjoy right where they are at.
Each of the 19 songs provide the teacher with:
*Activities suggested for each of the age groups.
*Piano music and information for guitar
*What instruments are used in the CD recording
Most of these songs will completely new to you as they were written by founders Kenneth Guilmartin and Lili Levinowitz. I only recognized "I’ve been working on the railroad”!
You can download individual songs or the whole CD on your MP3 player for just .99 cents each
 ( Click on the link to listen to a sampling of each song as well!!

“Music Together encourages family participation in spontaneous musical activity occurring within the context of daily life.”

You can listen to the songs available on the Family Favorites Cd by clicking on this link.
If you order the Songbook and CD combo (K0227) you can save $5 over buying them separately.


See what some of my other Review Crew Mates have to say about Music Together by clicking on the banner below!


As a member of the Review Crew I received product from the Sponsor in order to better facilitate my honest review. All opinons expressed here are solely my own.

Glastonbury by Donna Fletcher Crow

Donna's love of history comes to life in this over 800 page book on the legacy of the Christian faith. Beginning with Joseph of Arimathea from Biblical times and travelling 1500 years to the dissolution of the Glastonbury Abbey in 1539.
There have been many books written on the Glastonbury Abbey and the time of the early Christian church. This novel by Donna Fletcher Crow is indepth, full of visually stimulating words depicting the history of the time, and draws you into the story.
It is a LONG read. Not one of those kind of novels you take to the beach and expect to be finished before you leave. This is the type of book you snuggle in by a warm fire, and transport to the past!
This book is an epic tale, and truly a wonderful work of art!

From Goodreads
"It was a sanctuary from the world--and a silent witness to it all

As the legacy of faith passed from generation to generation, each era of believers found refuge in Glastonbury. In its story you will experience the faith that gave Joseph of Arimathea and his family courage to claim new land for Christ. Relive the persecution of St. George and St. Patrick during their captivity under the Roman Empire. Ride along with King Arthur on his historic adventures and discover the spiritual fortitude that enabled him to become the greatest leader of his time. Witness the rekindling of Christianity with St. Augustine of Canterbury. Be inspired by the faith of the remnant in the midst of the Dark Ages. Watch the upheaval under the rule of Henry VIII that led to the Reformation. And as Christianity triumphs over the darkest moments of its history, you may even find your own spiritual roots.

An epic novel of the history of the faith"

 Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 35 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning GLASTONBURY, The Novel of Christian England is her best-known work, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history.

 I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Packaways Reusable storage box

Reusable Plastic Multi Purpose Storage Box
It folds flat when not in use!

Packaways is a brand new Storage Box that ships and stores in the flat position. When needed, simply press on opposing corners and the bottom "Automatically" folds into place and locks. When not in use, simply press on the bottom and the box folds back down flat for easy, out of the way storage. Ideal for homes, apartments or living quarters where use is intermitent and space is tight. Many applications: Moving; Back To School; Organizing The Kids' Rooms; Basement or Garage; Seasonal Items, etc. You can color code your things or have the colors match your decor. Proudly Made in the U.S.A. from durable corrugated plastic. Great for harsh storage conditions or long-term storage since moisture and humidity won't effect the integrity of the boxes. Will last hundreds of cycles under normal circumstances. Many, many useful applications. Comes with 2 Wipe Away Panels that allow you to conveniently identify the contents of the box.

Though I love to store things in cardboard boxes, because I love to reuse them and get a 2nd wind from them, there are times it is more pertinent to use a plastic tote. When the boxes get too humid it leads to moisture in the box.
The ease of this one is wonderful for me to carry supplies to my homeschool group class. I was able to put all of my supplies in it, close down the lid, grab the handles and take off. Super easy! Then when I unpacked it I could unfold it and slide it under my bed for storage. Out of the way, and not taking up space.

These stack easily for storage though and I love how you can easily write on them. Do you know how hard it is to write on moving boxes that have words already written all over them? I can't remember what I wrote when it is so cluttered. Super product for getting organized.

Visit them on Facebook Packaways

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