Reviews

I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TOS Review: Time Timer



Ok, nifty gadget alert!!  Have you ever seen something at a store and thought, "Of course!  Of course someone has not only patented THAT but produced it as well!  I've thought of that very same gadget a hundred times!!!!!!"  This is one of those gadgets....the Time Timer.

About a month ago I received this timer in the mail (the 3' model/smallest). 

 My first thought was, "How am I going to use this with the kids?  It's just like any old kitchen timer!" Ohhhhh not quite!  You see, later that same evening, my precious girl got in the shower.  Approximately 52 minutes later, she got out after much fussing and needless hot-water running in the kitchen! (Yes, I am THAT kind of Momma!  I also opened their pjs when they were babies to get them to stay awake for me to feed them!  There- now your opinion of me is completely ruined!)  This has been an ongoing battle with Precious for about 3 years now- when she started taking showers.  We've begged, cajoled, and just plain yelled.....to no avail.  Hmmmmm.....

The smaller timer was perfect for me to sit on the mirror ledge where Sweets could see it while she was showering.  The ingenious thing about this timer is that, with a red panel, you actually SEE the passing of the time.

The red diminishes as the time passes.  Abby knows now that she has a quarter of a "red pie" when she starts her shower, and when she's down to a sliver- that means its time to rinse the conditioner out and turn the water off.  She's doing much better with the timer!  There is also an alarm that will sound at the end of the set time period. 

The timers come in three different sizes and range in price from $30-$40.

Thoughts and opinions:
  I can honestly say that the Time Timer has alleviated a smidgen of my being "the bad guy"!  I no longer need to fuss for Abs to get out of the shower!  I'm also starting to use the Time Timer for lessons and reading time- so I look forward to the same results in those areas as well.
 There are two tiny things I do want to make sure to mention.....One is that the alarm is barely audible.  It sounds once and often we never hear it.  The other is that the battery resides in a deep covered well in the back of the timer.  It doesn't take much jarring at all to dislodge it so if your timer suddenly stops working, please check to see if your battery needs pushed back in.
  As always, if you purchase a Time Timer, please let me know your thoughts!  And certainly pass on any other ideas for incorporating it into the day!
Disclaimer: As part of The Old Homeschool Crew, I was given a 3' Time Timer in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I receive no compensation or commission.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet Exhaustion....





There comes a point when a fainting couch is in order.......
Image Detail

Darlings, NOW is that time!  And it's not the children or the husband or the house that's causing such fatigue.  No it's three simple letters...
O........C.......C........

Image Detail
THIS is why I do this every year (for the 15th year!)  Look at that smile! Operation Christmas Child collections for 2011 end tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will spend a FULL day at our Birmingham Collection Center (Mt Brook Community Church) accepting cartons of boxes received from all over the metro area this past week- watching volunteers load semi trailers to the brim. Hopefully Prayerfully, 35,000 shoeboxes. This year has a twist, this year I'm the Captain of the ship.  Praise God I have one FABULOUS crew to help me out!  My area team co-ordinators are phenomenal.....just thinking of them makes me smile.
For now, I am going to go do laundry, read to my kids, and pack our stuff up so we can be out of the house before the kids are usually out of bed.  I'll post again tomorrow with some pics of the joy that causes my sweet exhaustion.

Monday, November 14, 2011

TOS Review: Keyboard Town Pals

I had the opportunity to review a children's typing program, Keyboard Town Pals, recently.  Here's what the website had to say about their program:

The Keyboard Town PALS Learn to Type program teaches your child to type in one hour.

Today, typing properly is a lifelong, necessary skill for success in school and at work.

■Our Mission: Our mission is to teach young children to type on a Qwerty computer keyboard in the fastest, easiest, and least stressful way. In only one hour Keyboard Town PALS’ “Learn To Type”software is able to achieve that goal.


■Stress-Free: We have eliminated the stress normally associated with learning to type and replaced it with adorable puppets who sing songs and tell stories in a relaxed learning environment. Our system has no boring drills or exercises. No mindless games. No nerve-wracking timed-speed tests. We have even deactivated the delete and backspace buttons since mistakes are never counted and scroll right off the screen. Learn more about this method.


■Wholesome: We are dedicated to developing educational software that you can depend on; wholesome products that will help you do your job as a parent – the most important and rewarding job anyone can have.


■Self Motivated: Your child will become an eager participant in the learning process and will be self-motivated to learn and complete the program.


■6 and Up: Keyboard Town PALS is best for the beginner audience of kids ages 6-12 and those with learning differences. All you need is a kid, a computer and an hour.

These are some of the characters introduced:



The main character is "Sunny"


Prices range from $30-$45

My thoughts and opinions...........

Friends, I do not endorse this product.  I could not MAKE Ben sign on after half of the first lesson and he was 6!  It is geared more to 4 year olds in my opinion, possibly even 3 year olds!  Certainly NOT the 6-12 age group suggested.  The characters are far from "wholesome", as you encounter a character VOMMITING in lesson 3!  Also, in lesson 5 the characters taunt and tease some unknown character which disgusted me. Also, just so you know, Ben firmly believes that Sunny would scare small children.

Hard as I try, I can not find one thing positive about this product- which may end my reviewing career- but honesty is, and forevermore shall be, the best policy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting in the November mood.....

Ahhh....after a much needed blog break (Weren't all of those reviews INSANE??!!)  I am back to share with you a few crafties I am pondering.  Now don't get me wrong- our handy craft this month is leather tooling (Anyone seen my leather tooling kit??? Just a few tubs left to unpack...) so I'll be working on that with the kids, but I have found some super cute ideas that I am interested in trying with the kiddos.

Wanna see 'em???

 Love this Berry Wreath over on Martha Stewart.  The fabulous part is the berries are pom poms you "dye" and glue on to a willow wreath!  Easy peesy!  And those trivets?  They're just wooden blocks covered with velvet!  Genius!

Check out how adorable these are!  Mel over at One Crafty Mumma has done it again!  I swear I wish she were my neighbor!!  You can catch the tutorial here!
Owl ornaments

Now I don't think this one would be for the munchkins to attempt, but it is just so lovely I had to post!

Jessica over at Sew Homegrown whipped this beauty up!  It cost her less than $20 to make!!!!

Birds speak to me.  Christmas, Easter, Independence Day- you can use them for any holiday.......well ok, maybe not Independence Day so much. ;o)

And now.....the icing on the cake!  Or pie, as it will be!  Get ready to drool my friends......

Do you know what this bit of loveliness is?  This, Dearies, is Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake!  (Who would have thought of putting all of that yumminess together?  They need a pat on the back.......maybe even a kiss right on the lips- but seein' as how I've yet to taste it, we'll hold off on that one!)  This little delight is brought to you by the girls over at Our Best Bites. (Though they say they got it from the cover of the Betty Crocker Holiday Mini-Mag!)  Oh...must....try....this....one!!!

I hope you're a smidge inspired!  I hope we can unearth our crafting supplies soon and get started on some holiday projects.  Nothing soothes my soul more than a good craft, a cozy Cainberly, and a nice cup of cider.