Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Break Time Game

We were at McDonald's recently and I picked up a game!  Yes, you read that right, a game.  The game was a perforated pair of dice.  After popping out the card-stock shapes, you fold them into cubes.  I used a little clear tape to secure the tabs.  Here's the end result with the remaining card stock.
Now, here's the game:  One of the die has exercises on it like sit-ups, squats, leg lifts.  The other die has silly sounds on it like meow, bark, etc...  What you do is roll the dice and then do the exercises while making the silly sound.  As you can see from the picture, McDonald's called the game "Sounds Like Fun!"

This would be an easy game to make at home.  I did a post a couple years ago about making dice if you need some help.

So, these dice sit on our kitchen table ready to be rolled when we need a break between lessons.  Sometimes, especially with boys, you need to break up all the seat work with something fun and active.  "Sounds Like Fun!" is fun and active and won't take too much time away from lessons.  It's just the break we need in order to refocus on the next task.

I had a friend who had a son diagnosed with ADHD.  She was advised to keep an exercise bike or a trampoline near their lessons area so that he could burn off some energy when he needed to.  I think this game could be just the ticket for a child who needed to burn off some energy.  I know it's fun for us!

What have you tried to break up your lessons?  I'd love some other ideas!

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Music from Vineyard

I recently received a copy of Vineyard's new worship CD, "I Love Your Presence."  This is a worshipful and singable CD.  On it are a few worship songs that I remember singing years ago.  I am sometimes frustrated by the choices worship leaders make.  Just because a song is popular on Christian radio doesn't mean it's a good choice for a worship service.  The songs on this Vineyard CD are perfect for a worship setting.  So you can have your own little worship session with songs that are easy to sing along to right in your kitchen.  Most of the songs have very repeatable lines that you will pick up right from the start.  And, as I said earlier, there are some familiar songs "I Love Your Prescence" so I didn't have to wait to learn the CD in order to be able to worship along with Vineyard.

This is not a CD that will get you dancing.  It is more mellow in tone, worshipful, but mellow.  And, although it was recorded live, you don't hear a lot of crowd sounds, clapping, shouting, ect... That may distract from the tone of the worship.  Everything about the way this CD was arranged lead me to worship our Lord.

Here is what Vineyard is saying about this album:
I LOVE YOUR PRESENCE was recorded live at the Burn Bright: Worship and The Kingdom Of God conference, hosted by Vineyard Worship. Several hundred worship leaders and worshippers gathered in the Arizona desert to explore the nature of God’s kingdom through music and teaching with some of the Vineyard’s most gifted communicators and musicians. This inspiring collection of songs recorded live at the The Vineyard Church North Phoenix will immerse listeners in the powerful worship that was the highlight of the event. I LOVE YOUR PRESENCE reminds us to not just think of worship as singing songs, but also laying down our lives for Him.
But wait!
As I said before, I downloaded the MP3s of this worshipful-album, and NOW I have the opportunity for YOU to win a free download of this complete album as well!  Here's what you have to do to be entered to win:

  1. leave a comment on this blog post and you will receive one entry.
  2. follow me on Networked blogs, then leave a comment below saying you've done so, and you earn another entry.  If you are already a Networked blogs follower, leave a comment saying that and I'll give you that second entry.
  3. friend me on google friend connect and leave a message below that you've done so and you get a THIRD entry into the contest.  If you are already my google friend, leave a comment saying that and I'll give you a third entry.
  4. Friend me on Facebook (Lori Lynn Lydell) and leave a comment below...a fourth entry.  If you already are my friend, just leave that as a comment and I'll give you another entry.
  5. Follow me on Twitter (lorilynnlydell) and leave a comment below...a fifth entry!  if you already follow me on Twitter, just leave that as a comment and I'll give you another entry.
But don't wait to enter.  These entry opportunities are pretty easy to do, so why not do it today?  You could be the winner. This contest will end on Tuesday, February 7 at 4:00 PM Eastern.

As I used to always say in my reviews, don't take my word for it.  Find information about this new CD here.  Join Vineyard on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  And if you don't win the giveaway download, you can find this album on iTunes here.

So, don't wait!  Enter the giveaway to get this great source for worship and inspiration and check out Vineyard's latest offering, "I Love Your Presence."

disclaimer:  I received a free download of the Vineyard Album, Love of God, in order to complete this truthful review.  This is my true opinion and has not been influenced by receiving a copy of the album at all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What I'm Readin' - Deadly Disclosures

Deadly DisclosuresI received a copy of the e-book "Deadly Disclosures" from Creative Conversations for Christmas.  They didn't require a review of the book, it was just a present.  So I started reading it last week.  THAT was a big mistake.  For the last two days, as the boys were trying to figure out Algebra I and II on their own...I was reading.  When I should have been sleeping because I needed to get up at 5:30 AM to get some work done...I was reading.  Instead of picking up the few groceries we need this week while the boys were at their youth group...yeah, I was reading.  Well, I finished last night and I couldn't wait to tell you about it.

Ok, so Deadly Disclosures is mostly a story about Special Agent Dinah Harris of the FBI.  A series of tragedies make her life unravel and she's destroying herself and her career.  Then, the secretary of the Smithsonian museum goes missing and she is pulled back into being an active agent on a dangerous case involving very high-profile people.  Two mysteries unfold, they mystery of Dinah's past, and the mystery of the secretary's death.

What follows is a gripping story that also reveals the truth of creation vs. evolution, and the infallability of the bible.  Although all the factual parts are presented as part of the story, I found Deadly Disclosures to be so thought provoking.  I highlighted quotes that convicted me about public education/government schools, the proof of creation, and the truth of God's word.  I always like to give you at least one quote I collect from what I read.  For Deadly Disclosures, it was hard to narrow it down to one quote.  But here's one:
"Actually, God created an earth that was perfect in every way, " explained Sandra. "There was no death or suffering in that world.  But we ruined it by rebelling against Him.  So really the fact that there is death and suffering in the world is because of us."
Isn't that thought provoking?  And it's a great response to that age-old question, "If there is a loving God, why does He allow suffering and death?"

Now here's the cool part!  If you want to read this e-book it's available for $.99 right now! But you've got to hurry.  It will only be at this price until the 31st of January.  Here's the links:
Barnes & Noble
Answers in Genesis

This book would be appropriate for a High School student, but I wouldn't go much lower than 9th grade.  There are murders discussed in some detail in the book.   But if you let your high school son or daughter read it, I guarantee that you will have some excellent discussions after he has read Deadly Disclosures. After you or your family read, come back and tell me what you think.  I was hooked!  Were you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fun for a Monday

We recently took one of our favorite field trips to the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  I took a few pictures, mostly animals, but I want you to see this video.  It's of the little duckling slide.  I couldn't get very close because this venue attracts a lot of crowds.  But if you watch closely, you'll see the little duckies going up and down the slide.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Down

"Unveiling the Kings of Israel" is a non-fiction book by author David Down.  Published by New Leaf Publishing, this book is a beautifully illustrated defense of the Old Testament.  "Unveiling" shows through archaeology that the stories of the Old Testament are verifiable today.  And it does so through thought-provoking text and really great visuals

This is a very visually appealing book filled with pictures and maps and lots of images to put an exclamation point on the points made in the text.  Sit the book on your coffee table or sofa and your high school children, young adults, and adults will be drawn to open it and peruse.  The book may even appeal to a thoughtful Junior High student or Middle schooler.  Once they peruse, they will be pulled into the text.  It's a beautiful book.  And it's not too much to digest.  There are only 165 pages, including appendices.  LOTS of valuable information to solidfy the truth of the Old Testament are found in Unveiling the Kings of Israel.

David Down has another book called "Unwrapping the Pharoahs."  It is mentioned and shown in the back of  "Unveiling the Kings of Israel."  I can imagine that it follows along the lines of Unveiling the Kings of Israel.  Since Unveiling was such a great book, I think I'll be looking for Unwrapping too.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review from New Leaf Publishing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Easy Applesauce

It all began with this:
And ended with this:
We had a bag of apples, I think they were gala, that were starting to bruise a little and get mealy.  So I tried a little experiment.  I cored all the apples and cut them into smallish pieces.  I left the peals on the apples.  You can't really tell it from the bottom picture, but the applesauce had a lovely pink color from the apple peels.  I turned the slow cooker on medium and left the kitchen for about six hours. The results were delicious.

Since the apples I used were already a sweet apple I didn't use any sweetener at all.  The beauty of this applesauce is that it's pumped with fiber and ZERO Weight Watcher's points!  The only drawback was that I kept the peels in the sauce for the fiber.  The boys didn't care for that.  When I do this again, I will puree the sauce at the end to break the peels up and blend them into the sauce a bit.

I will definitely do this again.  Even adding a drop of vanilla or another of your favorite flavorings won't add any Weight Watcher's points.  And you can buy a bag of apples for $3.99.  That's a good deal for a big pot of yummy applesauce!

Anyone else got a good weight watcher's recipe/tip to share?

Seeds of Turmoil by Bryant Wright

Origins of the troubles in the Middle East:

  If you have ever struggled to understand what is going on in Israel and the many conflicts in the Middle East, then Seeds of Turmoil by Bryant Wright is the book you need to read.  This book is written in an easy-to-read format.  It comes from a biblical standpoint to explain the troubles and how they originate from what we read in the Old Testament.  This book ties the bible directly to the current conflicts.

I am a terrible non-fiction reader.  But I did find this book easy to read as I began it.  Since I am such a terrible non-fiction reader, completing the book was a total challenge.  But, if you are interested in the current political scene and conflicts surrounding Israel, this is a great primer.  This is not for you if you have already studied the conflicts and happenings in the Middle East.  It is the basics and originations of these conflicts.

"Seeds of Turmoil" by Bryant Wright is available at most major book retailers:
Christian Book Distributors
Barnes and Noble

If you would like to better-understand how all the turmoil began, pick up a copy of "Seeds of Turmoil" by Bryant Wright.

Disclaimer:  I received my copy of "Seeds of Turmoil" by Bryant Wright free of charge from the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze review program in order to complete this honest review.  My opinion was not influenced by any outside sources.

I review for BookSneeze®

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking at the Stars

We have spent a couple weeks looking at the stars and watching the moon around our house.  It's really been fascinating.  And the Celestial Almanack has facilitated our time spent stargazing.

Have you heard about this new resource?  It is a beautiful book.  The graphics are absolutely striking.  And the text is so easily understandable.  The author, Jay Ryan, has years and years of astronomy experience, which shows in the text of this e-book.  At only 17-pages, you can easily print the Celestial Almanack, but it is very graphic heavy, so consider your ink cartridges.

To use the Celestial Almanack, I did print a copy for the boys to look at and I sent a copy to my Kindle so that I could read along as we read through the e-book together.  During the day, we read portions of the e-book and then around 7 PM, we head out into the backyard to spy the constellations we've learned about.  We even took some dark construction paper and chalk and mapped a constellation the other day just to see what we remembered.

There is a calendar at the beginning of the book that tells what to look for on different days of the month.  This includes the moon-phases.  It has made us SO aware of the moon, it's location and when it sets and rises.  You wouldn't believe the crazy times the moon sets and rises!  The boys can actually tell me what phase the moon is in right now.  Which I think is so cool.

The Celestial Almanack by Jay Ryan and Fourth Day Press will have monthly editions that you can purchase (really reasonable for only $3 at Currclick) to stay abreast of what's going on in the night sky.  I plan to stay with this resource every month.  We've always wanted to know more about the constellations and now we've found the perfect resource to use to teach us just what we want to know.  It's easy to read, beautiful to view, and a bargain!  It has been so easy to use this resource in our homeschool.  It doesn't add a lot of extra time to our day and we're really learning.

So check out The Celestial Almanack.  The February issue should be published really soon and I just heard from Jay Ryan that "There is a very exciting conjunction of Jupiter and Venus coming together in the evening, and I want as many people as possible to be watching."  I'll be watching.  Will you?

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the Celestial Almanack in order to complete this honest review.  What you see here is my truthful opinion.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

Well, I just finished reading my first book on my Kindle.  And I'm so glad that I picked "The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck" by Kathleen Y'Barbo.  It was an excellent book, so I'm glad it was the first I read on my new device.

Charlotte Beck is a Colorado debutante in the late 1800's.  While visiting family in England, she pushes her step-mother to allow her to attend an evening event even when she may be considered a bit too young and impetuous for such a grown-up affair.  Of course, she ends up in an embarrassing situation with the host of the evening, the Viscount Hambly.  Recently returning from war with his troubled twin brother, the Viscount has troubles of his own and is totally annoyed by this young American. Their interactions continue over the next few weeks and they are never pleasant for either party, but they were completely entertaining to read.  When Charlotte's father gets involved in their relationship negotiating a marriage, the situation gets even more complicated.  But you have to read the book to find out more about that.

I found "The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck" to be completely charming.  I was in love with Charlotte from the first paragraph.  She's stubborn, smart, impetuous, and talented.  And the book itself is charming.  Since finishing it two days ago, I have spent a lot of time remembering different parts of the book, especially the ending, with a smile on my face.  This book was entertaining, but it also reminded me that God's plan for my life is the one that matters.  I was reminded by Charlotte that we can make lots of our own plans, but as Proverbs states, it's the Lords plans that prevail!

Of course, I collected several quotes from this book, but I will share with you my favorite,
"Faith isn't a feeling," he said gently. "If it were, we'd all lose and gain it every time the winds changed."
You should read "The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck."  You can read the first chapter of the book here.  I was hooked from the very first paragraph. Read it.  You will be glad you did!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm in the New Issue!

The new issue of The Old Schoolhouse has been released and you can read it for free.  I got the chance to write an article for this issue all about playing games to learn math.  You can read the entire magazine here.  Check it out!