Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: July 26, 2017 (w/linky) : Enjoying God's Adorable Creations

On Saturday I decided to go to the Y for the Body Pump class as I haven't been able to go since before my surgery. I took the back way home because of the balloon rally, and I was treated to this sight:





That same evening, we went to the balloon rally. While we were anticipating the balloon launch, the children noticed this frog in the river.


From way up here:


How? I'm not sure. Can you see it?


How about now?




Then, we headed over to the playground for a while, and we spied this little guy.








The next day, Tabitha borrowed my camera to take some pictures of a mushroom on the side of the tree. I am not sure if she noticed the slug or not, but I thought this was a great capture.


Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.
No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Littles Learning Link Up: July 25, 2017


 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

Not a lot of change since last week. We are still enjoying the summer reading programs at our two local libraries. Last week's Wordless Wednesday again featured some of the fun we have been having. The children made crafts with recycled water bottles, built wind-powered cars with Lego blocks, and participated in a couple of STEM challenges (building the strongest toothpick/marshmallow tower, and building the longest paper/Dixie cup bridge). 

The older girls were at camp last week, so we didn't really get any further in our Greek lessons. However, I did send them emails a couple of times during the week and sent along some Greek words for them to translate. They had a blast at camp and did NOT want to come home. Especially because they knew we were starting our summer session of school this week. I just reminded them, though we school somewhat during the summer, we get to take breaks when the local schools are still in session. I think they are more understanding, now that they realize we have a very flexible schedule thanks to homeschooling. 

Harold continues to use the R.E.A.D Curriculum Notebook from The Crafty Classroom. Though there are days he grumbles a bit because he has to do work, once he gets started he does a wonderful job. And he is so very proud of his work and the crowns he gets at the end of each unit. He's even been wearing them when we go places (like the library for Lego club).


He even had three of them on at once yesterday. I had to snap a picture (or 3).



Hannah is still using English on a Roll. Plus we have been getting artsy with the products from ACTIVA. My Fishy/Under the Sea Literature and Craft Round Up featured the aquarium diorama we are creating with the Rigid Wrap and Celluclay from ACTIVA. In the van we have been enjoying listening to "In the Reign of Terror" from Heirloom Audio Productions. We also have a fun Memory Deck to play card games with to exercise our brains.

We started our summer school session yesterday and will continue into August, then we will take another break before starting school in September, like we did last year. I have had to schedule this around summer reading programs, camp, and VBS. We are working on finishing up ECC with our lessons on Australia and I hope to spend some time doing all the hands-on science observations from the different units that we didn't get to through the school year. 

Let's take a look at that review schedule:

Last week I posted my review of the movie Trust Fund from Mapelle Films. This week I will be posting my reviews of Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTIVA Products and the R.E.A.D Curriculum Notebook from The Crafty Classroom. The review for English on a Roll will go live next week.
In August I will share my review of Heirloom Audio Productions' In the Reign of Terror, and Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! from Greek 'n' Stuff. Plus, I have just been assigned to review The Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking. That review will post later in August.

Some things I would like to share with you:


I also started a new weekly feature called Fun Fiction Friday, where I share the books the older girls and I are reading, sharing their thoughts on the books, and possibly even a review of a Juvenile book I am reading. 

This Saturday I will be starting Picture Book Saturday. This post will feature the picture books we read during the week, with the children each sharing which one was their favorite.

Hoping to make both of these consistent, weekly features here on Tots and Me...Growing Up Together. 

Are you running out of ways to keep your children busy this summer? Check out my Summer of Fun Round Up:


Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 6 wonderful posts linked up. Sadly, there were no clicks, so I will only be sharing a randomly selected post this week.

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:


Thaleia from Something 2 Offer shared Back to School Tax-Free Weekend.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.






Monday, July 24, 2017

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- July 24, 2017


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaway
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Fun Fiction Friday - July 21, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday
July 21st, 2017

Welcome back to Fun Fiction Friday.

In my Fun Fiction Friday I share the books the older girls and I are reading, and a short review of a Young Adult or Juvenile book I have finished, if applicable. I will also ask the girls to tell me something they would like to share about the book they are currently reading. As I am also reading books for adults, I have started my book blog up again. Last week I shared my Friday Finds, Book Beginnings on Friday, and The Friday 56 in my Friday Fun post. I will also be sharing my reviews of any adult books over there. If I do, I will share links to those reviews in my Fun Fiction Friday post. 

I am currently reading four books. Well, sort of. I haven't gotten much further in three of them. I did finish Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones, which was one of my four last week. This week I have been focused on The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, because I have to return it to the library. 



The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer was a book I spied on display in the children's section of the library. Knowing how much I enjoy shows like Once Upon a Time, I was definitely intrigued by this tale where the two main characters find themselves in the Land of Stories by falling into a fairy tale book their grandmother gave them. I'm about halfway through and hope to be able to share my review next week.

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen is a Christian Historical Fiction book. A couple of years ago I read another book by Julie Klassen and really enjoyed it, so I am hoping I will enjoy this one just as much. I haven't gotten very far into it as of yet. 

I am rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. It has been years since I finished the series and haven't reread it yet. Used to be, between the release of each book, I would reread the books. When I was talking to someone a couple of weeks ago, I realized I had forgotten quite a bit about the books. Especially the last couple of books because I hadn't read them as much. 

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore was a suggestion by the librarian the other day. I wasn't going to read it right away, as I have a slew of books out thanks to the Summer Reading Program for adults at my one library. But while I was sitting in my car I started reading it because I didn't have Time Stoppers with me. I was hooked at once. As it is a Young Adult book, I will probably share my review over on Me, Myself, I Read (and Write). 

Tabitha and Amelia were at camp this past week, so they didn't really get any reading in. I'll make sure they have something to share next week. 

Fun Fiction Friday
Book Review



Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones is a book that a fellow homeschool blogger brought to my attention. It is a juvenile fantasy book. Anne Nobody and Jamie Hephaistion Alexander both live in the same town, though they don't know each other. They have both had horrible childhoods. If you think Harry Potter had it bad, well, it isn't near as bad as what these two children have had to deal with. Annie is an orphan who has been passed around from foster home to foster home, never having a place to call home, always treated bad, especially in the new home we see her arriving at during the beginning of the story. Jamie on the other hand lives with his "father" and "grandmother," though as you read the book you learn they are probably not his real family and are raising him for something quite sinister and disturbing. 

The first eight chapters detail the horrid situations Annie and Jamie are living in before they are rescued by a girl on a hovercraft snowmobile. A girl who ends up being a dwarf and who takes them to a hidden town called Aurora where all sorts of magical creatures live. 

However, their thrill in finding this new world is short lived because they learn of a danger that is trying to destroy the town and the people who live there. A danger that is now threatening because the protection around the town has been stolen (though it never is explained how it could have been stolen if it was a protected town to begin with). But, if you were paying attention earlier in the book, it is easy to figure out where the protection is and what they are going to have to do to get it back. So, the children who only just arrived in Aurora suddenly need to leave to get it back and save the town. Fortunately, Annie discovers she is a Stopper and can stop time, and probably has other powers we don't really understand yet. Though at the beginning of the book it is made clear that there is something magical about her. 

Both Annie and Jamie, along with Eva the dwarf and Bloom the elf, plus a dog named Tala work together to save the town. 

I really did enjoy this book, though as I was writing the above information I realized there were some things that were a little too convenient and almost feel as if the book is rushed at points, even though it is a 367 page book. This is the first book in this series, though it is a new series and I am not sure how many books there are going to be. I do know the second book recently came out, but I am not able to get my hands on it yet. I am hoping the library gets it soon. 

Some of the things that these two main characters go through at the beginning of the story are quite disturbing and scary. In fact, I would think those who foster might take offense at how awful foster homes are made to sound, as Annie is told she is a "nobody" by everyone, including the social worker. Though I can't help but wonder if that was done to protect her from being discovered as it appears she is going to be quite powerful. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't see why she had to be treated so cruelly. Jamie is also mistreated and neglected, never having enough food. The reason for this really is quite disturbing as I mentioned, but I am not going to give it away. 

The magical town of Aurora sounds like a lovely place, though I didn't quite feel it was fleshed out enough. They arrived in the town, met a bunch of people that I was having trouble keeping straight, and suddenly the "bad things" arrived and they had to leave to save the town. Though they had just run away from the horrid situations and were supposed to be finding refuge in the town. It almost seemed a bit impossible that they were capable of these feats after years of being told they were nothing. They didn't have a chance to grow into these news roles, they just suddenly went from down trodden, abused, neglected children to heroes in a matter of a couple of days. 

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book. It's just now as I am writing this review that I realized it does have some downfalls. Not to mention our heroes end up having to turn into criminals by stealing a police car at one point. 

All in all, Time Stoppers was a fun book, one I had trouble putting down. It moved fast, maybe too fast at times. And it might be a bit disturbing for younger readers.  I let my daughter read Harry Potter when she was 7 1/2 I believe. I think this may have been too scary for her at that age, though I think she would enjoy it now at 10 years old.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #161: July 20, 2017

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around July 20th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted July 21, 2013
R is for Rice and Rainbow Sensory Fun


Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:




To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: July 19, 2017 (w/linky) : More Summer Reading Fun!

Yep, we are still having fun with our summer reading programs. And they are keeping us quite busy.

Art with recycled water bottles:






Lego Club.
Building a wind powered car:










STEM challenges!

Building towers with toothpicks and marshmallows.




Testing to see how many pennies it would hold:


Attempting to make the longest bridge with 4 Dixie cups and 6 pieces of paper.


Now their group moved on to making the toothpick/marshmallow towers.




More testing:




Harold's bridge. He lost his partner as she went to build with the Lego blocks. So mommy might of helped him lay his papers together. But it was his idea on how to fold it.



Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.



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