Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #20: October 30, 2014

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 October 30th 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. 

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.

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:

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

Meg from Homeschool Gameschool shared her post 

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.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Educational Treasure Hunts from Clued In Kids {A TOS Review}

Clued In KidsReview

Since the girls were younger we have done different types of scavenger hunts to enhance our learning experience.  We hunted for letters, shapes, and colors to name a few of our fun hunts. Recently, I introduced the children to hunts that are more of a treasure hunt variety, hunts where clues have to be solved to find the treasure. When I learned about Clued In Kids I thought it would be a great opportunity to have fun together while learning. Clued in Kids is a new company that was launched by Helen Bertelli just last year. It was her childhood dream to create hunts and I think it is wonderful that she has been able to fulfill that dream with these fun hunts. There are a wide variety to choose from, and thanks to being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was able to choose 2 to review. With the girls' help I selected the Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book and the Baseball Treasure Hunt.

Clued in Kids offers several different kinds of products. We were able to try out one of their PDF printable hunts (Baseball) and a Clue Pad hunt (Princess Treasure). They have hunts is several different categories, including: Holiday/Seasonal, Nutrition-Themed, Sports, and Education Related. Additionally, they have Greeting Cards and actually sell treasure chests filled with "treasure." We did not use their treasure, though I could see it being really fun for a party. I went to the store and purchased hunt-related prizes I thought the children would enjoy. I'll share what prizes I chose later on in this review. 

The PDF Printable Hunts are downloaded onto your computer and you can print them out multiple times. The only supplies needed to enjoy these hunts are a computer with printer (and ink of course) plus a pen or pencil for the children to write their answers down. The Baseball Treasure Hunt was 8 pages in length, though I only printed out the 7 pages that had the clues and the answer key. There are 2 clues per page, equaling 12 clues in all. I just had to cut them apart on the dotted line. 

The picture below shows 2 sheets of clues.

As you can see, there are several different kinds of clues in each hunt, and some are easier to solve than others. The Baseball Hunt contained several different baseball-related decoding clues (some involving math problems), hidden picture clues, answer the question clues and more. Once, instead of trying to decode a clue, the children had to sing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" to receive the clue directly from me. All of the answers to the clues lead to the next clue and ultimately to the treasure. 

There is a space on the top of each clue to write a child's name, so each child gets an equal amount of play time and to ensure harder clues go to older children. On the bottom of the clue the parent/hunt leader is told where to hide the clue. This is what makes it a snap to set up the hunt. All you have to do after cutting the clues apart is go hide the clues. This takes less than 10 minutes. Your job is then over and the children's fun can begin. 

As this was a baseball hunt I decided to get the children some bouncy balls as their treasure. We had a fun-filled afternoon that started with the hunt and continued on into the park to play with the balls. 

The Clue Pad Hunts are softcover physical books where you tear out the clues. Like the PDF Printable version we have 12 clues with a place to add a name, clues/activities, and instructions detailing where to hide each clue. The setup instructions and answer key are also included. The major difference in these clue pads is that they can only be used once. They are slightly smaller than the half-page printed clues, but it really isn't noticeable. Of course, you will not need to have a computer or printer to use these hunts; however, you do still need a pen or pencil for use while decoding.

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book is full of princess-themed clues that are similar in type to the Baseball Hunt. There were lots of fun clues to solve: decoding, patterns, mirror image, hidden picture, telling time and more. We also had two princess activities. The children got to practice their curtsying (bowing in Harold's case), and they got to work on their posture by balancing a book on their heads while walking.

We made an adventure out of the Princess hunt. The girls were all princesses and their brother was a knight complete with sword and shield. Daddy was the dragon who stole their treasure and they had to follow the clues to get the treasure back.  Technically, daddy has multiple personalities. He alternated between helpful daddy and roaring dragon keeping them from the treasure. Like the Baseball hunt, I alternated the clues between the children, trying to give the easier ones to Hannah and Harold (who was quite adamant that he wanted clues as well). Each time a clue was found it was brought back to the royal dining room so we could figure it out. As we headed up the stairs to retrieve the treasure (on the washing machine) we encountered the dragon again. Fortunately, Harold vanquished him with a few swings of his sword and we were able to go and get the treasure.

The children are enjoying their new stickers and albums. 

The Clued in Kids Hunts are suitable for children in a wide age range. The two we reviewed are labeled as being for ages 4 and up. Some of the activities in the Baseball Hunt were a bit more advanced (mainly the math decoding clues), so it is beneficial to have older children involved in the hunt who can help the younger children. Of course, as homeschoolers, we are used to having the older children help the younger children, so it worked perfectly. Even teens in the family could get involved by coordinating and helping out. Younger children will definitely need the instructions on each clue explained, where older children can take off and go with it. 

The children have really enjoyed these hunts, as did their father and I. They loved finding the clues and decoding them. They seemed to be at just the right age (7, 6, and 4) to solve the clues. Even though Harold participated, he really didn't understand the clues, but he did get a kick out of having his own clues and circling the correct answer when I showed him what to do. Not only were they exercising their brains, they were getting a physical workout in as well. The children were up and moving, running up and down the stairs for the Princess Hunt, not quite so much for the Baseball Hunt. (The amount of exercise your children receive would depend on the layout of your house of course.) Mom and dad were following right along. This was mainly to get pictures. I do feel they would have been able to have completed the hunt by themselves as long as they worked together. Having the names on the clues also helped the children to not fight over who would go and get the clue. The one who was deciphering the clue would be the one to physically pick up the next clue and hand it to the one named on it. 

I did want to mention that when you print out you hunts you may want to make sure you don't have your printer set to "fast draft" as I did. There was a hidden picture clue in the Baseball Hunt that didn't come up dark enough to be able to find the object, and I didn't realize until it was too late to reprint it. It is situations like this that made me thankful there is an answer key.

I would definitely recommend these hunts for an afternoon of fun or for an exciting addition to a party. It takes about 8 minutes to set up the hunt and then we spent between 20 and 30 minutes enjoying the hunts each day. Of course, that wasn't the end of the fun, as they were then able to spend some time enjoying their treasure. 

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book sells for $8.99 and the Baseball Printable Treasure Hunt is $5.99. I do have to say, I wish all of the hunts had a printable option. I am not usually one who likes to use my printer ink, so I will opt for receiving/purchasing a physical product; however, the ability to use the PDF Printable hunt again in the future is definitely a bonus in this situation. 

How would you like to try out one of these hunts for yourself? Clued In Kids is offering a free Homework Reward Printable Treasure Hunt if you sign up for their newsletter.

You can also stop by the Clued In Kids blog to discover their Christmas offerings and a treasure chest giveaway!

In addition, you can find Clued In Kids on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My fellow Crew Mates have been reviewing a wide variety of these Treasure Hunts. Don't forget to stop by and check out their reviews.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: October 29, 2014 (w/linky)- Little Teachers

The other day the older girls decided to teach their younger siblings. Tabitha was in charge of teaching Harold, and Amelia was in charge of teaching Hannah.

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


Workbox Wednesday- October 29, 2014

Welcome to Workbox Wednesday! 

We didn't have anything new in our workboxes this week. How about you?

If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

Please don't forget to visit my co-hosts at Chestnut Grove Academy and Line Upon Line Learning.

Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc. The favors will be returned! Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

What is in your workboxes?

Chestnut Grove Academy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Discovering the Truth About Our American History with Anthem For a Nation {A TOS Review}

New Liberty Videos Review

I love learning about the history of our great nation, though I haven't always been a huge fan of history. It definitely wasn't my favorite class in high school. However, as I have gotten older, I have come to recognize the importance of knowing the truth of our great land. These days American History has been skewed to make us believe that America was not built on Christian principles. I hear it all the time and I just can't understand how people can be so blinded to what our true history is. It is obvious to me that there is a different history being taught to children these days. That is why I was thrilled when I was given the chance to review the new documentary DVD, Anthem For a Nation from New Liberty Videos

As a freedom-loving, patriotic, Christian American, I loved the idea of watching this DVD whose purpose is to relight "the torch of America's liberty." What has gotten me so passionate about this video? It is my great privilege to share this with you now. 

This DVD contains 10 "scenes" or chapters, which flow seamlessly from one to the other. Additionally, there are special features at the end of the program. These can be selected from the menu or you can just watch the DVD all the way through. 
Here is the list of scenes:
  1. Opening
  2. America the Beautiful
  3. One Nation Under God
  4. A Christian Nation
  5. A Nation Adrift
  6. The War on the Unborn Child
  7. Have They Died in Vain
  8. America You're Too Young to Die
  9. The Rebirth of America
  10. God Bless the USA
There are two Special Features. 
  1. The story of Hanzi (Maria Anne Hirschmann) who tells of her life in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia
  2. The story of Kitty Werthmann who grew up in Austria under Hitler's regime
The video opens with a medley of "This is My Country" and "This Land is Your Land" as scenes of America's vast, majestic countryside along with aerial views of some of our great cities are shown. The viewer gets a sense of how grand our land is and is reminded that it belongs to us as Americans. As a part of this land, we should know it's true heritage so we can pass it on to our children, and that is just what this DVD helps to do. 

There are many questions asked in this documentary to help make the viewer realize what makes America so special.  Among these questions, at the beginning of the program, we hear what I feel is a very important one. "Why have we prospered?" The answer is what I have already felt in my heart. We discover that this land was dedicated to God 400 years ago by the English settlers in Cape Henry, Virginia when they planted a 7 foot oak cross in the earth. 

Throughout the video we are shown how our Founding Fathers were not only men of God, but they founded this country on the Word of God.  First of all, in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence we find these words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." These men believed in God. Our rights in this country come from God. Our freedoms are due to the Founding Fathers basing our foundation on God. 

We are shown how the history of our country is a bold adventure. Less than 100 years after America declared its independence, 32 million immigrants had found their way to these shores. They were coming to a nation that was built on Christian principles, a land of freedom. Ellis Island is described as a "stepping stone to freedom" and the "Plymouth Rock of the 1800's."

As the new scene starts, we are treated to more breathtaking scenic views of our great land as the song "America You're Beautiful" is played. We hear how it is a privilege to live here in this beautiful land. The song leads into a brief study of how this land is truly "One Nation Under God." 
As much as people want to deny it, by watching this video you can see that our Founding Fathers did build this nation on God and His word. Alexis de Tocqueville was a great political thinker and historian who visited our country to find out what the key to our country's greatness was. He concluded that it is because we are one nation under God. It is believed that he stated, "America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."

There are quotes shared from our Founding Fathers that demonstrate their belief in the sovereignty of God. Our government buildings contain quotes from these great men and from the Bible itself. I have heard it said, very often these days, that our Founding Fathers were not Christians and yet, there is so much to prove otherwise. From inaugural addresses throughout history to the Constitutions of all 50 states, there are references to God to be found. I have also heard that the Bible has nothing to do with our Constitution. I was amazed to find out how false that statement is. The Preamble of the Constitution shows that these men founded our country on the Word of God. 

In case you haven't read it lately, here is the preamble to the Constitution which gives a summary of the job of civil government:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The DVD then goes on to show how all the main parts of this Preamble are based the Bible.  Here, let's break it down. 
  • "Establish Justice"- 1 Peter 2:14
  • "Insure Domestic Tranquility"- 1 Timothy 2:2
  • "Provide for the Common Defense"- Romans 13:4
  • "Secure the blessings of liberty"- 2 Corinthians 3:17
Even our system of checks and balances, our 3 branches of government, comes from the wisdom in the Bible found in Isaiah 33:22. 

As the DVD continues the viewer becomes aware of so much more of our Christian heritage. We see that prayer has always played a part in our government. There were even church services held in the Capitol building in this country's early years. There were times in our country's history when federal funds were used to build churches and congress had Bibles printed and given to military and schools. Yes, you read that correctly. At one point, our government was supplying Bibles to schools, a place where they are kept out of in present times.  Our Founding Fathers truly were men of God.

There is one scene that has stuck with me since my first viewing. I don't know if this is just a coincidence or if it was truly designed this way, but I found this very powerful. It is said that the buildings around the National Mall in Washington D.C. are arranged in a specific shape. The White House is to the North, The Capitol is to the East, the Jefferson Memorial is to the South and the Lincoln Memorial is to the West. If the map were to be turned so west points up, here is what you will see from above:

And in the center of the cross was placed the Washington Memorial, which is the tallest building in the city. 

Even more amazing is the plaque that was placed on the top of the east facing wall. A plaque that states, "Laus Deo" which means "Praise be to God."  

Sadly, our Christian heritage has been crumbling away in recent times. It began with the removal of Bibles from public schools in 1963 and has escalated from there with more and more anti-Christian court decisions. As the religion of humanism has been creeping in to our country there have been devastating results, such as: teen sex, abortion, rape, STD's, drugs, alcohol, murder, and high school drop outs. 

According to the DVD, when Roe v. Wade was decided, the "court omitted 2000 years of Judeo-Christian influence and reached back into paganism to find a basis for its moral judgment." The results of this tragedy were illustrated in a most powerful way. The viewer was asked to close their eyes and imagine that each metal BB hitting some metal was equal to 10,000 lives lost to war. You will hear a couple to about 56 BB's hitting for each of the wars America has been involved in. In comparison, the amount of BB's representing the war on the unborn child seemed unending. Needless to say, it was a very powerful illustration. 

We then come to a very profound question. We know that these men and women who have fought for our freedom have made enormous sacrifices. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice. And the question is asked, "Have they died in vain?" And another question, "Have we preserved one nation under God?" Little by little we have turned from a country that was unashamed to thank God to a country that thinks it doesn't need God. As history has shown, when nations turn their backs on God, he let's them go. This little nugget of historical truth leads right into another moving song titled, "America You're Too Young to Die." 

The viewer is then admonished and told we are all to blame for the state of our country. The conclusion is that we can not continue to sit idly by and allow evil to win. The revival of our great nation is going to be found in God's people putting their hope in him and by rising up in prayer. The main program ends with the song, "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. This song has always been very moving to me and I love that it was included in this DVD.

Additionally, we can find some very important warnings by listening to the special features. You will hear from 2 ladies who have first hand experience with the Nazi regime and have some very important insights into our country and the way it is headed. 

There is so much more that I obviously can't share it all with you here in this review.  This is a program that is approximately 42 minutes long and the features are both about 20 minutes in length. Hopefully this has whetted your appetite to discover what else you may not know about the history of this great country. If you would like to get a glimpse of what our country was really built upon, I would highly recommend Anthem For a Nation. This is a very powerful program with breathtaking video and moving songs, along with wonderful narration sharing the forgotten details of our Christian heritage. I found myself moved to tears several times along with getting chills from the realizations. 

I received a physical DVD to watch with my family. Though the material contained in this disc is meant for the general audience, I would recommend viewing it first by yourself and then sharing the parts you feel comfortable sharing with your children. There are scenes that will be over the heads of young children, and some that contain subjects you may not feel comfortable sharing with them. For my husband and myself, these would be the chapters "A Nation Adrift" and "The War on the Unborn Child" as we feel the children are too young to be dealing with the subjects of sex, drugs, murder and abortion. We had begun by watching the DVD with the children, and then realized we probably should shield them a bit. Obviously, this will be up to the individual family.

This is a wonderful program that shares the true foundation of our country and one I firmly believe all Americans should watch. If you would like to watch the preview, you can find it on YouTube
You can purchase Anthem For a Nation for $19.95.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Toddler Ideas Tuesday: October 28th, 2014

Welcome back to Toddler Idea Tuesdays! I hope you will join with me again in sharing the fun activities, crafts, and lessons that you are doing with your young children. 

Today I wanted to share the craft I did with the preschool group at our homeschool co-op last week. We made Paper Collage Pumpkins. You will need:

Green construction paper
Pumpkin template
cardboard stem
different shades of orange paper
orange marker and crayons

I used the marker to make vertical lines.  Then I colored it in with orange crayons and glued it to the green paper.

Then I glued the paper pieces to the pumpkin and glued on the stem.

The children had fun coloring and gluing this simple craft.

Now onto:

Toddler Idea Tuesday Features

On my last Toddler Idea Tuesday post, there was only 1 wonderful post linked up. 

Check out this fun idea:

Rena from An Ordinary Housewife shared her post titled: Fun Friday: DIY Sandbox.

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your toddlers and preschoolers? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas board 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 toddler 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 toddler, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Sunday 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.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- October 28th, 2014

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me and Emily @ Emily Reviews

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

Our co-host this week is Mellissa from Something Like Life.

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

Pattern LA Transitional Diaper Bag (5 Runners Up will receive a TT Essentials Cosmetics Bag)
US only Ends 10/27

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me & Emily @ Emily Reviews along with Mellissa from Something Like Life.

Related Posts with Thumbnails