Thursday, December 30, 2010

2 Free Interactive Storybooks

Story Time For Me is giving away 2 FREE multimedia storybooks for kids- the stories are wonderful and engaging with excellent vocabulary. These interactive storybooks are truly a first rate selection of well written literature aimed at 2 age groups, preschool-4 and 4-8.

With features such as word or phrase highlighting, auto read or manual modes, clickable keywords to hear repeats, and vocabulary picture associations your child will grow in their confidence as a reader. Additional functions such as polls, activities and community videos, discussion questions and an art room expand on each stories theme and really let a child indulge in their own creativity.

I love this site and my 22 month old will watch and repeat the words when I click on them. It really is a great way to expand her growing vocabulary. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think about it.

Mandy

So many thoughts

running through my brain. I am having some trouble focusing on any one thing. It’s like the craziness of the holidays has engulfed me. I have schoolwork to correct, a house to put to order, a tugging pain in my heart for a unknown child in the Father’s arms, a rebellious son wreaking havoc, thoughts of inadequacy, and physical ailments to top it all off. In short I am exhausted, cranky, frustrated, angry, sad and my back is killing me (ice is my friend right now). I hopefully will be able to form a coherent thought in the next few days. Right now I just want to point out I have some reviews coming up, we had a lovely Christmas that turned into something  atrocious, and we were all sick with head colds. Happy New Year everybody! May this year be the last year I give Santa credit when it is God who is Glorified.  We are so very blessed by the Almighty even in (especially) our times of suffering.

Mandy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Christmas Card to You

We love and appreciate you all.

Some of you only know us through this blog and others are frequent visitors to the various homeschool yahoo groups I am on and we have gotten to be closer. Some are also friends on Facebook and Twitter and have shared in some of our ups and downs as we share in yours. I am glad to call you all friends. Some of you are even my friends IRL (in real life) and I cherish those friendships as well. God chose each and everyone of you to be in our lives for a reason and for that I am grateful.

You have blessed us in ways unimaginable, oh Lord. Your angels here on earth hold us when we feel far from you.

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
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Merry Christmas to all my Earth Angels!

Mandy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Caught Santa Contest


Imagine the look on your child’s face when you can give them the proof they need to keep the belief in Santa alive. ICaughtSanta.com does just that by combining your room photo and their Santa pose into a picture that is truly worth a thousand words. They have other characters you can catch if you are not of the Santa persuasion too!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oliver’s Labels – Tomoson Review


I have kids, kids tend to lose things. Lost things can be a big problem.
Oliver’s Labels = problem solved
Found-it_SampleLabel
Oliver's Labels makes high quality waterproof labels and tags to stick on all your kids' stuff. Our labels are dishwasher & laundry safe and will never fade, scuff or peel.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tiny Planets – TOS Review

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Product: Tiny Planets Website
Company: My Tiny Planets Ltd.
Price: Free to various pricing options.               Ages: 4-12
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I’d like to introduce you to a couple of my friends. Meet Bing and Bong, the loveable duo who takes your child on a trip around their galaxy. Along the way your child will be able to visit 6 planets, learning “to think for themselves, assume social responsibility, take care of our planet and learn about the mysteries of space.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

ALEKS – TOS Review

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I always hated math in school. It was truly my worst subject. Not because I didn’t understand it but because early on I was taught to hate it. I remember it well. I was in 2nd grade and was so proud of myself for finishing more than I had to. When I turned it in and my teacher saw I had done more than assigned she rapped my knuckles with a wooden ruler. I was mortified and from that day hated math. As I progressed in school I only did just enough to get by in all subjects and math remained my worst subject. I would avoid it and subsequently get behind.
Fast forward 25 years and I am teaching my children math. My oldest seems to fly through it and my middle child drags his feet. I have used a few different types of programs to try to fix what the schools missed (with my oldest, 9th grade) and broke (in my 3rd grader).
Enter ALEX. I love this program…

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I gave Joy to the World when I....

birthed my 3 beautiful children. My daughter, who is almost 2, & my sons, who are 8 and 15. We have had our ups and downs with medical issues and money problems but through it all my children have reflected God’s love. They are so happy all the time even if something less than what they expect has happened. I sometimes think God gave me this particular children just so he could see me laugh. All of my children have a humor streak a mile wide and for that I am grateful. I love to hear my 8 year old laughing turned high pitch squeal, to see my 15 year old  with tears streaming down his cheeks while laughing without sound, and to watch as my giggly baby girl chases everyone who will be chased. All ending up in a pile of laughing children on the floor. Yep, I thank God for the joy he has sent to this world through me, he knew I would need it.

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Mandy

Friday, December 03, 2010

Toms of Maine Buzz

I love finding new things that fit wonderfully into my life. Tom’s of Maine is one of those things. They are a company that makes personal care products with our future in mind. From using natural ingredients to ingredient disclosure Tom’s is helping to do their part to conserve our resources and be responsible.
tomsofmaine
 
Tom’s of Maine:
 Toothpaste, Dental Floss,    Mouthwash, Deodorant, & Soap
 
“Good people making
Responsible Choices

Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers - TOS Review

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I love printables and KB Teachers has plenty of just that. The fact that I can pop on over to this site and find a specific worksheet has saved me oodles of time.  I homeschool our 2 boys, 7 years between them, do you know how hard that is to find stuff for them both in one place? KB Teachers has thoughtfully helped me in this regard. They have worksheets, clip art, activities, crafts and my favorite, web quests (online info treasure hunts ) geared to ages pre k-12.
This is far more than a simple worksheet generator. You can tailor multiple activities to create a complete unit study or use a few to review it’s up to you how you use it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Write Foundation- TOS Review

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I was very excited to receive this writing curriculum for my 15 year old reluctant writer. It is presented as a pick up and go type of product, yet I was overwhelmed at first, it's a lot to prep and understand before you get into it.  I was hoping this would work for our family but it did not. My son actually said he hated it and it made him not want to write even more. I would say he was exaggerating but he actually said how much he hated it, every time I pulled it out it was a battle.
I asked him what he thought the problem was and he said it crams too much together. I think he is correct but it is more the way it is laid out, very step by step. This seemed like overkill to him, I think. Other families may need this for their children, however.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Elmer’s and Xacto-BZZ Agent Review

A few month’s ago I signed up to be a Buzz Agent. It’s basically a word of mouth campaign for various products. I have been using the newest kit set to me, which includes the Elmer’s and Xacto products pictured below.
elmersBzzKitIt really is no surprise that this crafty momma loved doing this Buzz Campaign. I think my favorite item was the corner punch, so smooth and easy for even my kiddos to use. I also really like the Craft Bond Glue Pen. Only the right amount right where you want it. Working with my boys to make birthday cards this worked out so well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MFW-ECC

I had fully intended to use this blog as a weekly record of sorts for what we are doing in My Father’s World - Exploring Countries and Cultures. Well  that has not been happening. It seems my boys would rather stretch everyday out as long as possible. I find it harder to get up and started on time and I am almost dreading each day. I don’t think it has anything to do with the curriculum but with me needing more sleep and the boys getting away with too much. I am going to try to do better about posting a weekly or bi-monthly wrap-up.

We are in Week 6 and visiting Mexico so here are some pictures of that and what I have since Week 1.

100_3348                           United States Meal

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       Apple Pie                                    Southwest  Fiesta Dip

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Quilt Blocks                         Working on Primary Language Lessons

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Working hard during Weeks 3 & 4

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Working on Weeks 5 & 6

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                                   PINATAS!!!

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Mandy

Man In Training

There are so many things I wish for my oldest son on his 15th birthday. My first baby is becoming a man and I see a glimpse of who that is. A protective, caring, passionate man with a heart for God but still immature in his faith. He has a ways to go but has come so very far.

Do not despair for He is not finished with you yet! The Lord has great works for you, and I can’t wait to see what you become.

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This past year has been a trying one, with being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He has been strong in Christ and determined to persevere. I am proud of my young man!

Mandy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemaking Haven

 

Week 2 in the challenge says this:

Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, Making_Your_Home_a_Haven_Fall_2010classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. As the wife/mother, work on gentleness this week.”

So that is what I am going to do. This should be easier for me as I am very drawn to music and it soothes my soul. I think I may download a few songs to the mp3 player so as to free up the computer. A mix of Celtic, worship, and lullabies will do the trick I think.

As for this past week I have struggled but it has been easier to get back on track once I see my candle. I am praying every time I see it. However, I am also cursing it when things are not going well. I hope to change scents this coming week and maybe that will make a bit of difference It’s not as though I dislike the one I have but it is a little too subtle in my opinion.

So here’s to days full of peace ahead!

Mandy

Buckets O Fun- TOS Review

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I have to admit my kids loved this one but I hated it. I don’t like messy things that are potential hazards for my baby. I was given Buckets O Fun’s Yuck products to review, it is a super polymer and it is generally pretty safe however my 19 month old kept trying to eat it because she thought it looked like food. When fully hydrated the Yuck is ok but since it absorbs water the dehydrated powder is very dangerous to little kids.

However I feel that this product would be great for teens and even adults for some good old fashioned messy fun!

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We did try to grow a seed in the saucy yuck (four consistencies are available, saucy, sticky, chunky, and snowy) but it never sprouted.

I feel this would be an excellent product for us in a few years when my baby is a bit older. Yuck can be dyed and it makes quite a lot of product when hydrated. I see pink snowball fights in the not so distant future.

The Yuck product’s are easily rinsed off with a hose but do not wash it off in the sink as it can clog the drain. It will dry out and rehydrate with the rain but eventually will biodegrade, so it makes a great gardening product to prevent underwatering your plants. I think that is what appeals more to me.

Yuck runs from $16 per pound for the chunky stuff to $600 for 50 pounds of the sticky Yuck. Buckets O Fun is a company selling products geared toward fun activities for group events.

Please be sure to check TOSCrew for others experiences with Yuck!

Mandy

Disclosure: I was provided a sample of products in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was provided.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PG Key-TOS

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Have you ever logged on to your computer to check your email and saw something that made you wish you never opened it it the first place? How about thinking your teen was all snug in bed but come to find out he has found some sites that are disgraceful at best.

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We all want to protect our children’s minds and a having a computer in the home is making that job near impossible lately.

I hope none of you ever have to deal with this, but we have. My oldest has been caught looking for porn. He doesn’t do it regularly and I honestly think it is a case where some (public school) friends have put him up to it. I find it disturbing though, as I password my computer, it has been right under my nose.

This was not recently but about a year or so ago, yet I still always wonder if I am being vigilant enough. So now that I was asked to review the PG Key I am grateful. I had never heard of it before but it sounded promising. You can block certain things, keep record of what is being accessed just by watching screen shots like a video, and get email alerts to certain activity.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time 4 Learning

Awhile back I did a review for TOS Crew for Time 4 Writing. The company saw my review and now I've been independently invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as an online homeschooling curriculum, a web based afterschool tutorial or an online summer program. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homemaking Haven

 

Since I am trying to create a more peaceful atmosphere here and seeming to fail miserably I thought I’d do this challenge.

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So First thing is to light a big candle somewhere conspicuous and pray for peace in my home every time I see it. I will be trying to go out and get my hubby’s favorite scent tomorrow. Hopefully I can remember to light it everyday.

Mandy

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I have been selected

for 2 Blog Awards by two dear bloggy friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seeing the Creator’s hand in your lives reminds me to try and always look for it in mine. Please stop by and say hello to

Wildflower Paths who gave me this award.

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and My Heart’s Desire who gave me this one.

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This is my first time being awarded anything and I feel so very blessed for these. I have always loved to write and to be able to share my life with you all has been the very greatest gift I could have. I hope my little blog has blessed you in some way.

I understand I am to list 7 things about myself and then pass this on, so here we go.

1. I live by the verses Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible” and Phillippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

2. I went to school to teach but left disillusioned with the school systems political agendas.

3. It took me 8 more years to bring my children home.

4. I have 3 children and an angel in heaven and God willing I ain’t done yet.

5. My favorite color is purple.

6. I am a total tomboy.

7. I love to reorganize things but usually make a bigger mess doing so. I am a perfectionist so if I can’t get it perfect it stays in flux until I can!

And now I will pass the awards on to 5 people each.

One Lovely Blog to:

ourcrazylifeandbeyond.blogspot.com

proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com

duggarsblog.blogspot.com

beckydays.blogspot.com

fisheracademy.blogspot.com

The Versatile Blogger to:

1princeand3princesses.com

angelsofheart.blogspot.com

boardinginbedlam.blogspot.com

valerie-thebishopswife.blogspot.com

isabelroberts.blogspot.com

I know I am supposed to do 15 but that just seemed to be too many at once. I know, I know I am a rulebreaker. Well, everyone enjoy showing off your new awards you earned them!

Mandy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Take a Little Trip

So this year’s annual vacation trip was to Metropolis, IL. My family is big into Super Heroes and comic books, so this was a natural choice. We went over C-Man and Daddy’s birthday week as a special treat. We found an awesome restaurant that we are used to seeing in the form of ice cream at the zoo here at home, Dippin Dots. Oh my word they have the best soup and sandwiches ever. We also discovered Fort Massac State Park, a very important site during the American Revolution. We will going back just to explore the park as soon as we can. Unfortunately we made a very quick tour of the park so no pictures this time. I did however gets pics of our favorite Man of Steel.

 

So where do you like to go on a tank of gas or less?

Mandy

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tag You're It: I Want To Know

Briana at I Can't Decide tagged me to play this game.

How did you meet your spouse?
In college I had a friend who had a bit of a lethal attraction type of crush on him. I found him intimidating (he was ex-military at the time). We started moving in the same circles and finally after he graduated and was about to leave the state we fell in love.

Birth weights of your children?  - 8lbs 1/2 oz, 8 lbs 2 oz, 9 lbs 5ozEaster through May 2010 077

Favorite Subject to teach? – Art and Latin   

Friday, October 08, 2010

Being Made New

I recently was introduced to NewCreations a wonderful website that sells modest women’s clothing. I have in the past tried to wear skirts but never could find any I enjoyed wearing. I just never felt comfortable in them. Part of the reason being that I am plus sized and most companies are not really creating modest, fashionable clothing for plus sized ladies. Lately God has put it on my heart to be more of a modest lady and watch what I wear so as not to cause others to stumble. I never thought I would ever have that problem, thinking instead that I am not desirable. God has been working in that area of my heart too! It seems as though the two came crashing together in my life,

Thursday, October 07, 2010

All Connected

So I have my blog here, and I have a Facebook account you can friend me by using the badge at the left. I also have my Twitter up and running, also on the left if you want to follow my tweets. I added Networked Blogs to my Facebook and linked it to here and Twitter. Anything I am forgetting? Hoping I did it right and everything will post like it should when I post here.

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Mandy

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Do hard(er) things

Sometimes as parents we must do hard things. I think as Christian parents we called to do harder things. Things that others, who are while they may claim to be Christian are actually worldly, look down on us for. Unfortunately I am too familiar with the show of contempt and disrespect for my convictions as a Christian mother.
I have been told I am to strict, too hard, selfish, and more. I think the one that gets me the most is being called selfish. Am I selfish for expecting the best out of my children. For expecting them to follow God’s word am I too harsh? Well I should hope so. I expect obedience and there are consequences otherwise. I and my family live for Christ. The bible is God’s infallible word on how we should live.
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” (Colossians 3:20)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Zoe and Sozo Publishing A Book Review

HSCrew468x60Animated Yay! My favorite topic, books! I love to read and discovering great books is a wonderful way to spend my evenings. I grew up immersing my self in great fiction. I spent many nights up until dawn lost in a world of make believe.
I received a copy of the first book in The Peleg Chronicles called Foundlings to review. It is a New Earth, Creation based, Historical fiction story set in the years after The Great Flood and the Dispersion at Babel. There is no magic, no evolution, no humanism, just Noah’s God.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Join CHSH and win!!!

2 Friends + 2 newCreation Skirts = 2 CHSH Winners!

CHSH and New Creations (your source for high quality, modest apparel) have teamed
up to give 2 CHSH members each a beautiful New Creation skirt!
Click here to see all the details!
(Friends must join between Sept 4th - 30th, 2010 - USA shipping addresses only)

So I am inviting you to join CHSH and have a chance to win one of these beautiful modest skirts. Leave me a comment with your profile name once you join.

CHSH is Christian Home School Hub and is a great place to connect with others who share your interests!

 

 

Mandy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salem Ridge Press Review

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Today is my birthday and I don’t think I could be more pleased to introduce you to
Salem Ridge Press
A re-printer of many fine old books, mainly selections from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. This company is one of my favorites to buy living books from. We use Charlotte Mason methods here at Miskatonic Prep and they always have the perfect books for our needs.
Salem Ridge Press was founded by homeschool graduate, Daniel Mills. He has founded this company on the principle outlined in Philippians 4:8, what we read matters and what we put into our minds forms our character and ideals. Though not all selections are specifically Christian all have strong moral values and encourage positive character development.
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I received 3 books, 1 soft cover and 2 eBooks, to review. Most books are available in either soft cover or hardbound editions. I was thrilled to be able to physically handle Out of the Mouth of Lions by Emma Leslie. The cover was wholesome and not too thin like some paper backs I own. I especially liked the little extras found in the illustrations and definitions at the bottom of each page introducing ne words to the readers.The copy itself was in pristine condition and in a very pleasing easy to read font.  It is a wonderful story of perseverance through adversity, persecution, and trial. A great example of the long-suffering character we should achieve.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Math Tutor DVD Review

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http://www.mathtutordvd.com/
1-877-MATH-DVD (6284-383)
Pre-Algebra I
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My older son was helping with this review and while we were optimistic it really fell flat. I really enjoyed the brush up on Pre-Algebra myself, my son however has just finished it. Here is what he had to say about the Pre-Algebra I tutor DVD:

  • The first 8 1/2 minutes is an intro and it was spoken very quickly, I got bored with it.



  • Lesson 1 on Real Numbers- very dry but thorough, lecture no exercises. I found it difficult to stay focused on the audio. Now this is just my son for the most part. I believe, for all of those who are strong auditory learners this will work very well. I know my son and he is very hands on just like his mom, lol! If we had a couple of exercises to do during the lessons it would have made it a huge hit!
    They do have a worksheet CD for $24.99 for Basic, Algebra I, and Algebra II math available. All DVD’s include a 100% money back guarantee to raise your student’s grades.
  • Saturday, September 04, 2010

    Easy Meal Planning

    I am in love! I have stumbled across a wonderful site that not only plans your meals but plans your grocery shopping too. The best part is the sales are already matched up for your store. If you are like us and have recently taken a hit in the pocketbook this will be a lifesaver for you.

    E-MEALZ EASY AND DELICIOUS DINNER RECIPES

    It only costs $15 every 3 months and to me that is worth it. I spend so much time either trying to decide what to make or trying to find the cheapest stuff in the store. I usually end up getting take out which is not at all cheap or healthy. Not to mention I am not being a very good helpmeet or mother.

    I really hope this website is as much a blessing to your family as it has been to mine.

    Mandy

    Disclosure: The link contained in this post is an affiliate link which all members of emealz.com are eligible to use upon enrollment.

    Friday, September 03, 2010

    Labor of Love

    The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is offering some crazy prices on their new subscriptions but it’s for a limited time only! Right now through the 15th of September you can get a 1 year subscription beginning with the Winter 2010-2011 issue for only $7.95 and if you like you can add the current issue to that for only $12.95 total. What an awesome deal!

    You better hurry though it’s only good until September 15th and only for the first 5000 sold. This offer is good for both USA and Canada residents. What a way to refresh and renew at the beginning of the year, and the whole year through!

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    You can bet I’ll be getting mine too.

    Mandy

    Disclosure: As part of the TOS Crew I have posted this advertisement and in return have will receive free Expo-To-Go tickets.

    Time 4 Writing

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    http://www.time4writing.com/ 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (during the first 14 days)
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    Time 4 Writing is an online, subscription based, Instructor lead writing courses divided into 3 grade levels. Each grade level is further broken down into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced courses. On each Grade Level page there is a explanation for each course.The multiple courses for each level allows you to really focus on specific needs.
    We chose the course ES- ES1-Sentence Structure for my DS8. It is a good fit for him as he is new to typing and still learning how to properly construct more complex sentences. I really enjoyed our use of this program. It uses short, fun lessons which my son really liked.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    100 + Followers Giveaway

    I promised to let you know what my giveaway was today so here it is. I have been putting together something special to offer as a printable possibly to sell. Nothing huge, mind you, but as my husband will be losing his military enlistment in a week or so, something that might help us bring in a little extra $$$.
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    As a homeschooling family sometimes finding that quick extra to aid in learning can really take a long time.  As we are going to be learning about Geography this year with My Father's World I thought landforms would be something we might want a little “more” of.
    I had my boys take some index cards and tape them on our map as land-form labels last year. I kept those up for a good length of time this year as an introduction. I realized my youngest had no idea what those words meant and then it hit me to use those labels as a match game.
    I hope to be able to continue to be inspired to make things like this (and to have the time) and that you enjoy my work. I have added place names to the picture cards so you can have fun identifying places that have that particular land-form as a part of it's geography.
    Please note I spent my time and energy creating these and request you not attempt to resell it.Any questions please contact me at http://www.emptymelord.blogspot.com/.
    So there you have it. A sneak peek at my first product, now time for the contest. All you have to do is leave a comment with your thoughts. Please be gentle!
    Add 1 entry for each of the following, leaving a separate comment:
    1. Follow my blog
    2. Share my contest by posting about it with a linkback.
    I will choose a winner by random.org at 10pm on Sunday Aug. 29 and announce it on Monday morning, Good Luck!
    Mandy

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