Monday, July 29, 2013

Girls Rock Brick!

Girls rock brick, that is!
Remember the brick walk from last summer? 
This is from last summer's major project- tons of bricks, sand, even pick-axes! 
We have enjoyed every square inch of it. Well, we had enough to do a short section to the right of the porch. I'm done with all of the painting on the outside of the house that I can do, so while the men-folk worked on that, Flower and I got down in the dirt, dug a walk-way and filled it in with brick. 

We did actually recruit Cub to help once he was done doing detail painting on the eaves. He didn't jump up and down or anything at the thought of having to help with another project. Luckily, we were almost done when he came on-board.

And here it is. So, why didn't it take forevah like the 30' brick walk?  A) we just went about 6' towards the side yard 1) because it's not used that much and 2) we were running out of brick (we reclaimed it from a building being torn down in town about the same age as our 85+ year old house) and B) we know what we're doing. We didn't use pegs and twine to mark off our walk, we just eye-balled it from the west side walk and lined it up with the main walk, dug, smoothed, laid out brick, smoothed the foundation more, re-laid brick, picked it up, smoothed it and then re-laid brick  (no, that wasn't a typo- getting it even is the tricky part!) and then sanded it in. I also transplanted some of the volunteer marigolds that came up in the little planters we made. 

This is the non-cleaned up version of the front view- still lots of mess from painting, and buckets from dirt hauling, but it gives you a good idea of what the walks look like. 
Total love. 

 2 days, 2 girls. Ka-bam. Do we rock brick, or what?!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Isaiah 54:17

Preach it, Brother Joel Chernov! 

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, thus saith the Lord.
Rise UP! 
For the Lord, Your God is fighting for YOU!
Stand UP! 
For the King of Kings is standing for YOU!
FEAR NOT people of God. 
It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord!

Jimi Lu, Steph and Miriam - Thank-you for reminding me of the Real Things and for friendships that span decades and the continent.

Linking up with Jennifer

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reviews and More

 photo TC-JP_MED_zps53521e2c.png
School this week has been limited to review products, which means that our lives are enriched and we are learning and growing beyond our own little perspective. I feel a little, wee bit, hardly-at -all-guilty over saying  that these products are "excellent" but once you get your hands on them, you'll see for yourself just how amazing they are!

Computer Science Anyone?TeenCoder is just the thing. A wonderful, much needed addition to the homeschooling market, especially for non-techno families like ours. You are going to want to check this out!
Global Art
Who doesn't love Art and Geography? If you don't, we need to chat! Global Art will keep the inspiration flowing!
125x125 Button (be sure to imbed your affiliate code)
Circle Time is one of those must reads for homeschoolers. Organize your day around your family and get more done than you thought possible!
Christi the Coupon Coach's Couponing Made Simple will help you re-think how you shop. We have some crazy shopping challenges and I've emailed Christi about them. She is a wealth of knowledge and a shopping hacker and will teach you how to be one too. A must read for anyone buying groceries these days!

There's more coming up: a documentary on Almanzo Wilder, Notgrass History, Bible Study for All Ages and Understanding Child Brain Development, with more coming after that!

Good Stuff.
best edtech
And one more amazing list from Spritti-bee: My Big-FAT Homeschool Links List.

3 sides of the house are done, leaving one side and the windows on the front porch. 
Next up, the stairs. More sanding. More stain. Fun times. 

Why do I so love this picture?! 
Funny Californian Giraffes Joke Image

Finished The God King- another winner from Bethlehem Books; historical fiction about the Egyptian King mentioned in 2 Kings, along with Hezekiah, and the Assyrians. Great story-telling with a riveting plot.
We are currently reading the Magna Charta by Doughtery. Interesting look at the Middle Ages. 


Ready for school in the fall? 
Tell me what you are looking forward to most, a new tool you've discovered or a field trip you're going on.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gryphon House: Global Art - TOS Review

 photo gr_zps4f060fb6.jpg
publishing has an amazing catalog of fun things for educators. If you are a lover of things that instill discovery, creative play and education, you are going to love their catalog!

is just one of the books they offer and we had the pleasure of reviewing it.
Global Art
The first thing that happened to the book after we opened the package  was that Flower took off with it and disappeared for just over an hour. She reappeared later with projects she was interested in sticky tabbed throughout. Believe me, more pages were tabbed than not. She has slowly, but surely, been doing the projects she was interested in!

This is not your average "craft" book. Each chapter, of which there are 7, one for each continent, lists project, activities or inventions categorized by country. For instance, in chapter 1, "Africa" you will find things to do from Ghana, Zambia, Mali, Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, etc. with no less than "130 art ideas from around the world." That's a lot of art, but then it's a big world. Each chapter begins with a short description of the continent, and then a selected bibliography. Each page is a separate project that includes a globe graphic with a star on the country that the project originates from In addition, each country has a "Did you know?" question, which, of course, my "Momma, did you know...?" kiddos loved.
The book is coded using icons indicating experience level needed for the projects, art techniques that will be utilized in each project and the ease and difficulty in preparing for each project. What this means is that even if you are art-phobic, there are projects in this book that will turn out amazing. Even if you are a professional artist, you will find projects in here that will challenge and inspire you! Could it get any easier?
Scarab stones from Egypt.
We've used this book this summer as an interest led guide. Flower, or Flower and friends, pick a project and go to it. Some have been quick and easy, others have take more time- like the "walled city," - the creation of a town, using small boxes, which has been an on-going project. I recognized many old favorites that I hadn't thought of for years; "ice block" sculptures and "soap snow" from Antarctica, pressed flowers from Germany and "stuffy cod hanging" from Fiji. Many of these projects I did with my older kids and it's been fun to revisit them with my youngers. The cool thing about this book is that there are so many wonderful, fun projects all gathered in one place, under the global flag. Love that.

The indexes categorize the book so that you can use it in whatever manner you want: by art medium, experience level, preparation level, by country or continent.
This is a terrific book to use in conjunction with a geography, history, art or unit study. We'll be studying geography in the fall using one of two curriculum's, and we'll be doing a lot more Global Art as we do.
This book is available for Price: $16.95, from Gryphon House. And don't forget to check out their Free Activities; catalog;

Content -excellent
Presentation -excellent
Organization -excellent


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fearless Roofers

You are probably sick of seeing pictures of my house by now. Sorry, but this is what has consumed our summer world. Some day soon, we'll move on to other things. But not yet.

And besides, this picture is really about the yahoos on my roof. Yahoo #1 and Yahoo #2- my boys. You can't really see it from here, but that roof is sloped. There is not a flat part on it. Same with the back porch roof (off to the left in the picture) and the 3rd floor dormer (see those windows on the 3rd floor? Behind them is our walk-up almost finished attic). Feeche and Cub have no.fear when it comes to the roof. They walk to the edge and haul stuff up and go back and forth, like they're on land. No fear. I mean, n.o.n.e. I do. It's not fear of heights, it's fear of falling, 'cause I seem to have developed a gift for that, even while on level ground. Even with that I got on the 2nd floor roof not once, not twice, but 3-count them- 3 times to paint. See all of that gorgeous color between the windows on the second floor? Yours truly did that. And I lived to tell about it. Not bad for a 50 year old with a trashed knee. Dr. Dh did rig up a rope so that I could cling for dear life, which I did, while holding the paint, and a brush, and my breath. Good for me, right? I get the amazing Mom medal of the month, right?!

It's almost done. Thanks, in large part to the Yahoos on the roof. 

Circle Time- TOS Review

Preschoolers and Peace

Kendra, of Preschoolers and Peace, has written a terrific little tome called Circle Time. Circle Time is an easy to read, 33 page e-book that will give you the tools to organize your day around your kids, instead of around your curriculum, or what everyone else expects. Basically, it takes the concept of "morning meeting" and makes it accessible to homeschoolers, giving you the tools to personalize this concept for your homeschool, your kids and your life-style, regardless of your kid’s ages, stages or abilities.

Kendra encourages Moms' to think big about their homeschool and what they want to accomplish in it. She includes some great printables (and who doesn't love those?) that help you organize all of the big ideas you have, including memory work, prayers, Bible Study, read-alouds, and more. In fact, whatever you can imagine, can literally be part of Circle Time. One of my favorite pages in this e-book was the printable titled, “Independent work/Group Work.” I’m a big picture kinda gal, and this is just the sort of chart that will make my 5 x7” index cards obsolete! Organization AND good looks, all at once.

Circle Time e-book includes ideas for getting your kids on board, what to include in your Circle Time, what to do with older kids, strategies for a peaceful time together and more! This book is a must read for every homeschooler (and definitely every Mom of pre-schoolers!) to give them the tools to manage their kids and their time in a way that accomplishes what they hope to; getting the things done that you set out to do!  

We have actually done Circle Time in the past, when we were part of a classical community. Basically we would gather every morning to go over our memory work, geography, and time-line cards. My kids are all 3-5 years apart in age, and gathering together for something common was a great way to touch base and feel like we were all part of something greater than the individual parts. We still do a ton of memory work, but we haven’t gathered together for it for a long time. Mainly because the kids all get how to memorize and they all do so at their own pace. Flower memorizes math facts more quickly than Cub and he memorizes poetry faster than she does and Feeche blows them both away in speed and accuracy. It’s been one of those things that have “slipped” since the house-fire.
Kendra’s e-book has inspired me to think, and put into action once again, this great concept and expand it beyond our original memory work. Our list includes chants for Latin, Lingua Angelica songs, geography, Bible verses and prayers, art cards, The Hebrew Alphabet and more. Your list will look totally different than mine. And isn't that one of the great things about homeschooling? It's personalized. I'm also working on re-producing a notebook for Circle Time. I had one pre-fire. And, I had one for a co-op that we did too. We actually did Circle Time as a group and gathered for songs, prayers, memory work. So, don't think Circle Time is limited to just your family. This is a great concept for co-ops, class days, camps and Sunday Schools.
And, of course, we always have a trusty read-aloud going on. I haven’t thought about read-aloud time as Circle Time, but it is. We often gather in my room at the end of the day, the kids sprawled on our huge bed with art supplies while I read. Dad is often reading the Bible, while listening in on the story (one of the benefits of being an auditory learning- you can "listen" to more than one thing at a time!), and then we do Family Prayers. Circle Time? Yes. It’s more than what you might expect.

If you want to get more done this year, Circle Time is one of the best investments you can make. This is a quick read, but a very worth-while one. It basically teaches you how to organize and manage your homeschool day around Circle Time, allowing you to accomplish more teaching, more learning and more togetherness. What could be better?
125x125 Button (be sure to imbed your affiliate code)
Check out Kendra's blog, Preschoolers and Peace as well as Circle Time Resources for more inspiration! Circle Time is available in  PDF format and immediately downloadable for  $4.99 from the Preschoolers and Peace web-site.

Content -excellent
Presentation -excellent
Organization -excellent


Monday, July 22, 2013

Middle School Plans - Logic Smogic Stage!

I guess it's time I started thinking about what we're doing for fall. We are still pretty immersed in what we are doing for summer 'round here. Namely, painting our huge old barn of a house, sorting, purging, finishing up projects and getting ready to sell. Oy vey. We need to have at least a garage sale or two and clean out a couple of out buildings. Summer is always when it is absolutely delightful out here and the thought of moving on is seasons and all of that. And fall will certainly be one. We'll only have 2 students in our little homeschool on the prairie. Weird enough. I haven't had only 2 students for over 18 years. Should be a breeze, right? Of course right! 
Here's what I'm thinking so far.
Cub's 8th grade plans
Math: Finish Saxon Alg 1/2, cont with Learn Math Fast. Grid Perplexors, continue with Java and Android Programming
Latin: finish First Form Latin/ Start 2nd Form Latin; Cont. RS German
Writing: MP's Grammar,  IEW high school Spelling and Vocab, IEW theme book probably - or Writing With Skill II, Grammar of Poetryy (Matt Whitling's course (reviewed here) all dressed up with a video to go with- I'll be re-reviewing this, too, so stay tuned!)
ScienceHigh School Biology
History: Dorothy Mills History, MP Geography II, Old Western Culture from Roman Roads Media -I'll be re-viewing this soon- it looks GREAT!). 
Bible:  MP Christian Studies IV, personal devotions
Logic: Traditional Logic MP 
Memory Work: a combo of stuff from curriculum, etc. 
Drama and Shakespeare Camp

Flower's 6th Grade Plans
Math: Finish Saxon 7/6, move on to Alg 1/2 (this is my mathy child) Grid Perplexors, Fallacy Detective
Latin: Latina Christian I and II or First Form, Rosetta Stone German
Writing: IEW theme book, MP's grammar, Mary Daly's Complete book of Diagrams, Spelling of some sort.Grammar of Poetry
Science:  Continue reading through the Tiner series.
History: Notgrass American History (reviewing this soon- good stuff!), SOTW 1-4 CD's
Bible: MP's Christian Studies IV
Memory Work: a combo of stuff from curriculum, etc. 
Drama Camp

As always we'll have a read-aloud going, along with plenty of personal reading. These days we are randomly reading through our library. We lost hundreds of books in our fire, and just purged several hundred more. What's left are the hard to find and the totally loved that we-can't-bear-to-part-with. Cub and Flower are alternatively choosing what we read, with a Mom pick thrown in every now and then.

Not sure what we are doing this fall as far as any co-op or class day involvement. Waiting to see what happens with the house and where we end up  in the fall.

What's up with your fall planning for Middle School? Did you find something great? Hop on over to Teach Them Diligently and link up or find more great ideas! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Homeschool Programming- TOS Review

 photo logo_zpsfc09b7b4.jpg

Homeschool Programming offers computer programming courses for kids and teens. Written by homeschooling parents with degrees and professional experience in computer science and electrical engineering, this series offers a great product at a reasonable price to the home school market. We had the privilege of using the TeenCoder Java Year Pack which includes both the  TeenCoder Java Series and Android Programing courses.

 photo TC-JP_MED_zps53521e2c.png         photo TC-JP_MED_zps53521e2c.png
The lessons come as a PDF down-load. In addition, we were sent the instructional videos.

 photo TCJVYP_CD_zps7749a5f3.png

The meat of the program is in the student manual. The videos, while not imperative to the success of the program, are well done and a good introduction to each lesson. The first lesson introduces the languages and then the lessons take off from there. Each chapter requires the student to do a hands on programming project with each lesson gaining in complexity, building on previous skills the student has acquired. The Java course is something that any teen can get started on. The Android Programming Course, however,  builds on what your student has learned in the Java Programming Course; they must first "become familiar with the Eclipse development environmnet taught in the Java course, as well as be familiar with how to write, run, build and de-bug Java applications." Both courses are formatted similarly with each chapter including text, great visuals, and a hands on project. I love that; because the kids don't have to spend time learning the formatting of the course, but can get right down to business learning how to program!

One of the the things I appreciated most about this program was the step-by-step instruction AND great visuals provided in the manual. Each lesson is clearly explained so that the student knows what to expect and what his programming should actually LOOK like.  This was especially helpful to me and one of my sons, who are both visual and big picture learners. Tell us what it should look like when it's done right and we'll learn faster! The pictures show what your screen will look like, where to click, and what to expect. To which I respond, "pshew!" For those who don't need such step-by-step visuals, it's easy to just read and program.

My boys (ages 18 and 13) were thrilled to have the opportunity to build on the basic programming they already knew. They found this course easy to understand and implement.This is the kind of computer programming course that we've been waiting for: affordable, comprehensive and accessible, even for non-techno geeks like our selves! Computers are foundational to modern life and you'll want your kids to have a basic understanding of how they work and how to make them work for them. The TeenCoder Series allows you to do that. It's been a really busy summer with work, painting the house, etc. but this has been a curriculum that hasn't been a drag on the system. The kids are eager to get to it because it is challenging and rewarding.

Because I'm the furthest thing from a techno-geek, I'm going to let you see what's included in these programs for yourself! Take a minute and check out these links:

TeenCoder: Java Programming

Table of Contents
Sample Student Lesson
Solutions Overview
Sample Activity Solution

TeenCoder: Android ProgrammingTable of Contents
Sample Student Lesson
Solutions Overview
Sample Activity Solution
Java Coder is 16 chapters of solid programming goodness and the Android Programming 15,  making each a semester credit (1 carnegie unit). Put them together and you have a full high school credit, prepping your student for the AP exam.

Each course is $75 for the course or $90 for the course and the video. Buy the TeenCoder Java Year Pack (both the Java Programming and the Android Programming) for $130 for both course or $155 for both courses with the videos.

This is another exceptional product, making a complex subject accessible and readily successful for anyone. If you don't have computer science on your schedule for the coming year, make room, and add in KidCoder or TeenCoder!

For even more information check out Homeschool Programming Newsletters, Programming Resources and Sample Pages.
And be sure and read what the rest of the Crew thinks about this great company!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sorting, Painting, Reviewing

The house. Yes, we are still painting the house. The scaffolding is gone and the men-folk are scaling tall ladders and dangling from the eves (literally). It is 90% finished on 2 sides and 3-tone on the others. Great look, eh?

 We've been doing reviews, yes we have!
Picaboo Yearbook -  you want one, yes, you do!
High School Science- Biology - a CM approach- you will LOVE it! (we did!)
Christi the Coupon Coach -got coupons? Chrisit save 70-90%! Crazy!
Coming up a.s.a.p: TeenProgramming, Circle Time and Global Art. I've got about 8 more scheduled for August- you won't want to miss them. It just blows me away the quality and diversity in the homeschool market- loving it!

"My child is gifted" - just wow. This kind of entitled, carp attitude- that "kids" should have any and everything just 'cause they are so "special" is what is killing families and kids spiritually. Yep, the bar for "gifted" just drops lower and lower. What ever happened to "honest, with excellent work ethic?"Matt is my hero of the day.

The walk-up, room in the attic is clean, sorted, almost empty. The dry wall is mostly sanded and the bad taping mostly re-done. Still a bit to go and then paint (and then the flooring and stairs-argh) and then 1 more room D.O.N.E. Ka-bam!
Summer school?  We've been painting and doing yard-work- the ruined side/back-ish yard from the new sceptic is actually sporting grass, the huge garden is grassed over and most of the dead trees are down, the fields are hayed and the bales gone.
In addition Flower has practically memorized Usborne's First Book of Shakespeare, along with several chapter books. Cub just blew through Lawhead's Merlin. And I've been reading Living Emblems: Ancient Symbols of Faith by Garr. Great stuff; paradigm shifting. Goes hand in hand with Pagan Christianity.
Have you started planning for next year, yet? I have vague ideas floating around but that's about it. Only 2 kids in the fall- which is totally weird. I have a couple items I want to buy (the siren song of the Memoria Press catalog gets me every time) but I have mostly what else we need. I do want to find a great artists study- anyone know of one?
Blog love.
Mark your calendars!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christi the Coupon Coach- TOS Review

 photo christithecouponcoachlogo_zpsbe2a70cc.png

Are you a couponer? I've tried it but always give up.  My friend Howie Morgan calls little scraps of paper, "Devils' food" ('cause they always get lost) and I think coupons fit neatly into that category. So, it was with some reservation that I read Couponing Made Simple  by Christi the Coupon Coach. Christi is a Mom of four, living on a budget, like the rest of us, and a dedicated couponer. She shares a simple method of organization that keeps those small scarps of paper (i.e. coupons) neatly organized and easy to get too! For some people, that alone is worth the price of this book!

In order for couponing to justify the time it will take, you need to be a savvy couponer. Christi gives a quick overview of how to do this here and a detailed explanation in her book, Couponing Made Simple. Christi claims that you can save 60-70% on your groceries almost painlessly. The key to successful couponing is what Christi calls, "Stacking". It's a simple 5 -step process:
1. gather your coupons
2. check the sales
3. go shopping.
4. "Stack": sales, coupons and rebates - find an item on sale, use a manufactures coupons, a store coupon and a rebate.
5. Watch your savings roll in.
You might have to turn your menu planning on it's head in order to coupon. In other words, you'll shop based on sales,  rather than by what everyone wants.

 photo christithecouponcoachbook_zpsfd7911d1.jpg

Christi also advocates "Celebrate and Share." Using her method you'll be able to afford and obtain items you might otherwise have been unable to. Celebrate! And, you might also be able to bless others with items that they couldn't afford. Share! Love these concepts. And I love how Christi actually implements them. Beautiful!

So, I tried it. I really did. But our in the middle of nowhere sorta high speed Internet made searching for coupons on -line tedious. In addition we are on a limited diet, eating mainly organic meat and vegetables (no dairy, sugar, gluten, corn, tomato, soy). I was encouraged to coupon at the local (45 minutes away) drug store and see the savings rack up on toiletries but honest to goodness, we just don't buy a lot of drug store products. The crunchier we get, the less consumer-oriented we are.  Furthermore, we live way out of town and shop once a week. I usually run all of my errands on that day, so going to 2-5 different stores, in addition to regular stops makes it  impossible to get everything done in the amount of time I have, meaning I have to pay for gas to get back in to town, or we are missing items we need each week.

In addition, I already shop sales (caught an amazing $1/gallon for BGH- free milk last week!) but the majority of places we do shop don't take coupons (Farmer's Market, Co-op, Sam's) or rebates. This book did encourage me to think about what places do though, and I did score a $35 rebate on a 5 gallon bucket of paint last week at the local UFixIt Store.

So, here's my thought. This is a great method even if I didn't personally save 70% on my groceries (and please, if you find a coupon or rebate for organic, free-range meat or vegtables, please, please tell me!).  I still found a lot of value in reading the book and re-thinking how we are shopping; considering ways in which we can save, even given our limited and expensive diet. For those who don't have such limited restrictions, I highly recommend this book- great consumer ed for all ages!

The paperback  is currently on sale for $18.00 through Amazon, while the ebook format for kindle is available for $4.99.
Content -great
Presentation -excellent
Organization -excellent

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Picaboo YearBook- TOS Review


 photo 67706_520522131306078_514079593_n_zps2983de7c.jpg
 Picaboo Yearbooks is a totally cool, innovative, on-line program that allows schools, teams, clubs and even (gasp) homeschooling families to create amazing, professional quality year-books for an incredibly reasonable price.

 photo picabooyearbook_zps0e1af50a.jpg
We had the privilege of creating and receiving a 20 Page Softcover Yearbook.
I wanted this review, and I wanted it bad. Why? I used to be a scrap-booking wild woman, along with my Mom, mil, Daughter's and Sisters. Our family had a whole bookshelf dedicated to our scrapbooks that included family history, trips, etc. that my kids would go through regularly. I had scrapbooks my Mom made for us and with my older Daughters (my mom is deceased). All of them were lost in our house fire 3 years ago. I grieved, big time, over those lost albums, and I've been too busy since to really get back in to it. But Feeche graduated just a few weeks ago and I wanted to make a scrapbook for him for graduation. Feeche's high school years have been consumed with things related to the house fire- moving and moving and moving again, construction, sorting stuff, acquiring new stuff, etc. I wanted something tangible to commemorate some of the happy, fun things that he's done (like the 9 Plays he performed in, TeenPact, Campaigning, Challenge, Ballroom Dancing, etc.etc.). And I did, with Picaboo!
This is an on-line program that you log into to get started with. The program is fairly simple once you get the hang of it. I won't lie, there is a bit of a learning curve, so watch the Tutorials! It's not that you'll mess things up, it's that you'll MISS all of the very cool things you can do to personalize and decorate your book.
It's this easy:
1) upload pictures
2) choose a page lay-out from 1-5+ picture per page- easily modified to add or delete pictures from
3) insert pictures, positioning them as you like
4) insert text, choosing the font and size of text- position the text box as you like
5) decorate pages and covers.
6) Order and wait for the happy day when your Yearbook arrives.
Book vs. Yearbook
The big difference between a book and a yearbook is that several people can work on a yearbook at the same time. The program allows the yearbook coordinator to oversee the entire project, while section"managers" have access to specific areas of the yearbook. Once a section is complete, the coordinator can "close" that section, making it ready to up-load.
What does that mean for the homeschooler? Well, "Year Book" would be a great class to add to any co-op, allowing the kids to create a yearbook, with the help of an older co-ordinator. The price is amazing, and definitly less expensive than a scarpbook might be, once you add in pages, paper, stickers, etc.
In addition, you can add 4 free personalized pages in each student's yearbook, even adding QR Codes that allow you to add videos to your pages. Anyone can contribute pictures, allowing a broader range of  images to choose from.
Also, a fun feature on the yearbook site is the Potrait Manager. I made a page like this, with a whole series of fun and zany pictures and captions and love how it turned out! If you used this for a co-op you could have a page per class.
Picaboo commits to a 3 week turn-around from the time of upload to time of delivery. We were thrilled to receive ours in less than 2 weeks. And we were thrilled with the finished product! It is lightweight, but very well-constructed, the pages are thick and archival quality and the picture clarity is superb. In addition, the back-grounds and wrap around cover were totally appropriate for a book dedicated to a nature loving male. Our cover is glossy (you can choose matte or glossy) and customized.
We'll be making more Picaboo books in the future. Not  only is this a perfect idea for a co-op or class-day, but for any kind of  club or camp. Check out the Picaboo idea page!  In addition, it's a fun way to make a memory book for reunions, birthdays, weddings, etc.  And folks can order from the store-front on thier own. Meaning (drum roll, please) you don't need someone to collect the money and distribute the yearbooks (unless you choose to), and also, family and friends from across the country can order a yearbook, too! And, obviously, it is the perfect way for homeschooling families to create memories of thier rich and vibrant homeschooling life.
The ONLY thing I did not absolutly love about the product, the service and the company was missing out on all of the great fun of sitting down with my scrapbooking pals, talking about pictures and memories. Barring that, Picaboo Yearbooks are a 100% winner, in my (year)book!
Picaboo Yearbooks start at $8.49 (20 PAGES) + shipping costs($8.99) .
Content -excellent
Presentation -excellent
Organization -excellent

Monday, July 15, 2013

King Lear, Shakespeare!

The 5th Annual homeschool Shakespeare Camp delivered an outstanding performance last Saturday night!

Move over Rodgers and Hammerstein: It's the Caitilin and Ana Team! For the 5th Consecutive year, Ana and Caitilin have created an amazing Shakespeare experience for local homeschoolers- this year it was King Lear, Shakespeare! Ana is the production person behind it all; getting emails out, making costumes, co-ordinating times and place, getting t-shirts and making sure everyone is fed and hydrated.  Caitilin directs. Such a short sentence for such a big job. This year was not without it's challenges, last minute drop-out performers, hot temperatures and hot-headed high-schoolers. Not to mention that King Lear is not the easiest play in the world to get behind. Everybody is betrayed, maimed or dead at the end. Fun times! Six days of 6-8 hour practices, culminating in a 2 1/2 hour performance. It drew the largest audience yet, with lots of locals pulling up lawn chairs to join in the fun.
Both of my boys on stage at the same time. The King of France, Duke of Burgandy and King Lear; Shakespeare loves the nobles! We had 6 pairs of siblings in the play. Amazing talent!
Props and costumes are all made the week of practice.

(And this one's from Jannell : )

Cordelia is rescued by the good King of France (wait, is that an oxymoron?)
Doesn't Cub make an adorable King of France (that was in the prior scence), the evil Duke of Cornwall?
The wicked step sisters.
Oh, wait. They're sisters. I kept thinking Drizella and Anastasia every time they were on stage.
LOVE this shot! HAHA.
King Lear going a little mad.
This one's from Ana
Yep, he's going.
Sword play. But, of course.
No one dies quite like Mr. S- who also died as Banquo in MacBeth.
What's a tragedy without someone losing their eyes?
Ministering to the mad King.
Cordelia returns.
And dies.
Yep, she's dead already. Along with most everyone else, including King Lear.
T-shirt signing is all part of the show, right? King Lear, by Shakespeare. An intense tragedy, made all the better by our talented cohort of thespians!
Want to read more about Shakespeare or our amazing Bardologists?
For more scintillating snapshots, stop by Ana's blog who has several posts of King Lear, Shakespeare and more on her blog!
And a  huge Thank-you and big hugs to Ruth, whose took all of these great pictures (except for the 2 by Ana)!
PicMonkey, LOVE.