Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cooper and Me Review! and give-away.

contest closed..

There is a great series of books called Cooper and Me.  There website can be found here.  From their website:

Explore life along with Cooper, a fun-loving black Labrador Retriever, whose entertaining adventures help kids navigate the emotions and challenges of everyday living. Created by mother-daughter team Monique and Alexa Peters and inspired by their real-life family dog, Cooper and Me provides adults and children with opportunities for meaningful conversation and tools for constructive problem-solving. Kids will laugh at Cooper’s antics, and adults will appreciate the resilience nurtured in their children.

I was given an opportunity to review Cooper and Me and the Winter Adventure.  This is a sweet story about how Cooper and Bella get lost in a snow storm.  It is a VERY loose social story about making proper decisions.  I say it that way because I am not a huge fan of social stories so I like that this was 'framed' with animals and then you could steer the grand conversation, if you wish, to your own child.

Kiddo very much enjoyed this reading.  He can read chapter books but we still enjoy reading picture books together.  It is a rhyming book with fun graphics.  The back of the book contains bonus pages.  These includes an "Information about Me!" page where you can fill in the blanks.  There are several pages of 'curriculum' but if you know me, you know I prefer to just see where the discussion leads.  Kiddo enjoyed reading this over again a few times after we read it together.  It  book sells for $12.99 on their website.

Now for the nuts and bolts.   First, they have a facebook group where they give information and run promotions.  They also tweet.  Also, through February 2012, $1 of every Winter Adventure book sold will go to advance research and treatment of pancreatic cancer, via the Lunstgarten Foundation.

And, and you will have to work fast on this one, Cooper and Me is offering an Exclusive Deal for the blog readers.  If you make any purchase of $25 or more at, you will get free shipping.  This is good until December 15, 2011.  The code for his is SPECIAL.

And, yes of course, there is a give-away via the folks at Propeller.  So...
1) Leave a comment
2) Facebook this blog and leave a comment
3) Tweet this blog and leave a comment
4) Re-blog..and leave a comment.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's The Thought That Counts....

So I have been struggling with 'commercialism'... and how Christmas seems all about 'just more stuff.'  Not wanting to shop, being stressed about it, not even wanting anything really....  Then I received two surprise birthday gifts from two friends....

I realized it wasn't of course about the gift.  But being thought of.  The mug was actually something I have of those ceramic traveler jobbies.  This is a friend I only see a couple of times a year and she did not know I had wanted one! But it was so sweet and warmed my heart.

The earrings I spied last summer at an art fair when I was with a friend.  I loved them but couldn't see buying them.  My friend had gone back and purchased the earrings..and held on to them for many months.  She had wanted to give them to me several times since but held on to them to surprise me for my birthday.

Both of these are friends who I don't generally exchange gifts with.  It was fun to be thought of.  (Perhaps one of my love languages IS 'gifts.')  So I guess I am not 'anti-giving' anymore.  Because it isn't about the gift.  It truly IS the thought that counts.  Off to make a list and check it twice.....

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kid budget- Review

I have had the opportunity to review Kid budget.  From the website:

Kidbudget is fun, ,engaging, and entertaining. The workbook is full of activities, games, riddles, and more. Kids learn basic concepts like needs vs. wants and how to set goals. It is more than just a budget, it is a complete money management system.

What they say is true.  We received everything seen in the picture below:  The Vault, pouches, workbook and wrist band.

This program is very engaging to the kid and we will be using it over the next few months.  If you are familiar with envelope systems this one is similar.  The pouches serve different purposes:  long term savings, short term goal, fun money and giving.  If you know us, we like to tweak and as we go through the workbook we will likely change these up just a bit.  It is adaptable.  The workbook has sections to describe each one and also information to develop those goals.  Each part has fun activities as well... jokes, mazes, and lots of great graphics.  There are many charts and descriptions in how to track your money, plan for savings and also discussions on how to make money.

I love that this gives a foundation for what to do with your money.  Last week our homeschool co-op had a stop and shop.  We made a food product and I tried to get kid to understand 'profit' versus what we had to spend to make the product.  He just was not grasping it and it was resulting in 'difficulties.'  I finally said, "Ok we are partners.  We will split 50/50."  That he understood.  This week we are going to figure out what our total was, split it and then use the envelope system designed in this product to perhaps target some of these funds for various purposes.  At least that is the plan.

The one thing I would have liked was to have giving as the first pouch described in the workbook.  Kiddo really struggles (as most ADULTS do) in this area.  This section gives ideas on places to give and also a place to put the percentage you are going to give.  I might just do this section first if I can get away with it.

I was talking with some friends recently on how those in general education tend to focus on teaching to test but not on practicalities.  We homeschool and so tailor our education to what is needed at the present time.  But I actually think special ed in the schools has a leg up on the practical.  They spend TIME doing things like budgeting and money.  This is a very good tool for the home educator- either in a home or co-op/class setting- to teach a child about the 'money flow.'   It could also be very beneficial for those in public or private school to reinforce or expand upon the 'use' of money; special or general education.  This could be an 'after school' or  summer activity.  Families have various thoughts on things like allowance but at some point a child will need to learn how to handle their funds- whether it be from an allowance or simply from gifts they have received for their birthdays.  This is a good tool for that.

Specifically for special education, I think that this tool is quite useful.  Some may find it busy and in fact some kids in special education need plain black and white with very simple steps.  But I think this can be used as a tool that perhaps you expand upon where needed.  My kiddo found it fun and fairly easy to understand.  Again, just today, I was chatting with some friends on particular math programs, and there are some good ones out there, but some of the best are lacking in the practical.  This could fill that gap easily.

The Kid Budget system is $29.99 plus $4.95 shipping.  The component are also sold separately.

I received this free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The Winner of The Christmas Lodge is Nick and Catherine.

The winner of the Worship CD is Tammy from Aut-2-B Home.

FFH Christmas CD still out there for grabs and only ONE Entry!!!!!

Nourish MD...Real Appetizers eCookbook

I had the opportunity to review another of Nourish MD's eCookbooks....Real Appetizers.  As in the other cookbooks, she covers the basics of eating REAL food in a step by step approach so that you can become more of a REAL food eater each day.  They talk about REAL foods, fake foods and then those that bridge the gap.  I like that this is not an "all or nothing" deal.  While it is ideal to move more and more to REAL foods it is not practical to do that 100% all on the first day.  (We can all probably recall a diet that we have done that way and it lasted three days.)

After the explanations, each cookbook follows with many recipes and in this case REAL APPETIZERS.  This would be an awesome addition for the holidays.  (There is also a holiday cookbook!)  Below is the table of contents and you can see the mouth watering choices available in this book.

They make adaptations for those that need to be gluten, casein or other 'free.'  The description of each eCookbook indicates how many recipes can be made gluten, casein or meat free.  I haven't tried any of these yet as we just had Thanksgiving and I am still working off the leftovers but I have made quite a few recipes from other REAL books and they do not disappoint.  I will update this post as I make some appetizer treats.  The grilled steak sticks sound really tasty.  Might even make those for dinner some night!

You can buy the eCookbook here.  Also join their facebook page.  They regularly have specials for both new eCookbooks and bundle packs of several (or even all) of the eCookbooks.

I received this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 24... Thanksgiving

I sat down this morning to make a list of 100 things I am thankful for.  Got called away at 60 and will get the other 40 later.  Big and small.... It started in my mind because a friend posted that she is thankful for her oven.  They recently moved and their new home did not have an oven..and today they have one.  The first on my list is warm house.. the second is oven.   I don't think I appreciate the things I have.  I thank God for my hearing...because my son can't hear without a cochlear implant (of which I am thankful!)

But do I thank him I can walk, talk, see, smell, taste?  

Taste.. gotta go write that one down.  I didn't this morning.  I have a friend that can't taste very well.  I often stick my foot in my mouth saying, "I made this really great recipe.  I think you would like it."  But I forget she can't taste.  And so I am thankful for her overlooking the fact that I do this..probably more often than I realize...

People do the same to me.  So I am thankful that I have been more FILLED with God's goodness and grace and am more able to pour it out on to others....

So I am not going to share my 100 list with you.  It's kind of private... at least parts of it.  But it is a super good exercise.  I found the above graphic online.  I love it... I might do that!  It gets you into the more creative side of your brain when you do exercises like pictures.  And so I am thankful for both sides of my brain (because not everyone has that luxury)... off to write that down.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 23- My mom... and life!

So today is my birthday.  Twenty nine- plus a few.  Can you spot me in the picture above?  That's my mom.  So thankful for my mom!!  Thankful for life.  Thankful for the life that God has given me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 22- Technology

I have already thanked God for cell phones, cochlear implants etc..  But today I am thankful for technology in general.  Phone is officially busted.  I must get a new one.  "To iPhone or not...that is the question."  Was thinking of the kid- and the cochlear implant and what might work best for him so I dashed off a note on my facebook and had many responses.  Yes the iPhone can work well for those with hearing impairments.  But DID YOU KNOW that cell phone companies have 'texting only' packages for those that do not use voice?  and DID YOU KNOW there is a new phone captioning technology out there?  I am going to find out more about that later.  I am sure there is much more I don't know.

I am thankful that texting is the 'way to communicate' now.  It is my kid's preferred way to converse with someone not in the room and apparently this is the way most kids talk now.  He is not 13 but he does have a fake FB account so that he can IM those few friends I have allowed him to have.  I know he would have a crack up time IMing his cousin but he'd probably get them both in trouble!  (I picture them both at their respective kitchen tables where they are suppose to be working but are texting instead.  I actually like that picture... it is a picture of 'normal.')

So although I do have a love / hate relationship with technology such as face book and video games..  I am so thankful for those things that continue to increase the availability of the world to my son.

For now I am pretty sure I won't get the iPhone.  Kid is not 'quite' there needing it yet.  (I still want one but can't use him as an excuse.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

FFH!- Christmas CD! And a Give Away!

I had the opportunity to review a wonderful new CD from FFH.  I had a friend (10 years my junior) ask, who is FFH?  Who is FFH???  I loooove them.  I just looked at their music page.  It does appear that I have one of their first CDs.  I guess that dates me.  They are great.

The album is full of all the favorite Christmas songs put to familiar and new tunes.  Glorious Impossible and The Birthday of the King were new to me and both are lovely songs.  Below is a listing of the tracks.

I am sitting here blogging this with the songs playing in the background.  This would be a fabulous addition to your Christmas song collection.  I honestly don't know what else to say other than these are a fresh take on songs we love to hear this time of year.  Poke around on their website and listen so some of the previews of the tunes.  I think you will love them.  I know this will be playing on our mp3 this season.

You can facebook them here. And of course you can tweet them.  

Tracks or the whole album can be purchased on itunes.  Tracks are 99 cents each or $9.90 for the album.  But Propeller is sponsoring a give away of a downloadable version of this CD.  If you are interested please do one or all of the following.  (Please...leave a way for me to contact you.  The winner of the last drawing had to forfeit because they did not leave contact info.) Leave a comment for each thing you do.

1. Leave a comment.
2. Re post on facebook.
3 Tweet this post.
4. Blog this post.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services 
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 21- Thank God!

Joyce Meyer has a lot of 'sayings'... one of her favorites is, "I'm not where I need to be but THANK GOD! I'm not where I used to be."  And Thank God indeed!  Today my phone died.  It fell.  And it was already literally hanging by a thread.  THANKFULLY I have a husband who 'takes care of things' and he programmed his old phone and within an hour I was powered up.  The phone dropped..and it broke.  Two years ago I need a new phone and I am not going to tell you how that came about.  Lets just say that although today, I had a mini wig-out about no phone, two years ago the wig out came before the new phone was needed...and that's all I'm going to say.  ;)  So..although I am still a work in progress, I am so thankful for the grace and mercy and forgiveness God has given me to get me where I am today.

(I suppose upon reading this I should also be thankful for my cell phone.  I have a love hate relationship with technology.  I found myself accidentally leaving mine at home one day and was decidedly uneasy!  Sad... very sad... )

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 20- Friends.. and a reinforced kid proof swing

So thankful for friends in general but today a friend sent her husband over to help and I am super thankful.  He came over about a month ago and reinforced the swing set (where the hanging swing is on the right) because, if you know my kid, he gives things a beating.   Every time he would swing, I would fear it was going to break like a twig.   Today he did the left half and lengthened and reinforced it.  It is now useable with a tire swing!!!  Before this time he would have hit his head trying to go out of control.  He also connected the two structures to give it more...structure.  AWESOME.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 18- Good Family Entertainment

This year I have had the awesome opportunity to review for Propeller.  I am not even sure how it happened except that I followed God's leading about what to do this year and as soon as I let one thing go, another thing popped up.  (hmmmm......)  So mostly these have been products that are just for me and I think God was sending a message.  Just this morning I was listening to Joyce Meyer talk about how we need to love ourselves.  The verse about "love your neighbor as yourself" depends on that!  God has provided some really cool Christian entertainment so I could just sit back and relax from time to time.

THERE IS CURRENTLY A CONTEST on Revolution Worship CD and The Christmas Lodge DVD.  Link up and comment THERE to win.

So here is a list of products I have reviewed this year with links to the reviews.  If you want some great family entertainment then peek in on these links.  They could make some nice Christmas presents as well.  I will keep this post updated with a link on the sidebar so that you can refer to future products as well!

The Grace Card- DVD
Game Time Tackling the Past and Walking in My Shoes-DVDs
Theo-Children's DVD
Ginny Owens-CD
The Shunning-DVD
Jeremy Riddle-CD
The Mighty Macs- At The Movies
Brittany Hargest- CD
Revolution Worship-CD
Christmas Lodge-DVD

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 16- "the team"

Over the years we have had various professionals and other people involved in the care of Andrew.  There have been a few 'misses' but many have been 'hits.'  I hesitate to list them all since I would probably miss quite a few.  You know who you are.  But we have had doctors, OTs, PTs, Speech therapists, autism consultants, swim teachers, teachers (both in and out of the public schools), friends, neighbors, relatives...  all who love my kid for who he is.  Not who he 'should' be.  

 As of late we have a new babysitter/respite worker with us.  You know someone is a good fit when, after your child has hit her (more than once) she tells him as she is leaving, "no.  We didn't have a bad day.  We had a few bad moments but we had lots of fun too."  Yes she is the latest edition to the team and I am so thankful for that blessing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 15- My hubby

Today I am thankful for my hubby.  I have lots of lovely pictures of the two of us but this one makes me smile.  It was years ago maybe??  We have been married over 19 years now and it has been a wild ride.  God is again good...very very good.

 I feel a returning to the 'fun times' of our youth.  But in a different way now that we know Jesus "20 years better."  There is a verse in the Bible: "May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth."  (Proverbs 5:18.)  I don't think hubby  exactly wants all of how I used to be..... but I think we both want to return to some of that joy.  I have just finished reading Nehemiah and in chapter eight it talks about joy and celebration.  (This will be another post on how I ended up in Nehemiah...God story.)  But I want to celebrate the victories and the progress we have made.

I love you my hubby.  So very very thankful for him and how God made him.  We make quite a team.  God knew what he was doing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winner- Brittany Hargest

And the winner is...

Well the winner WAS anonymous.  No name and no email so I did put a note on the blog for someone to claim that comment and they did not so this is draw number two.  This time it was another anonymous but she did leave her contact info.  It is Tricia from Warren.  Congratulations!!!!  You will be receiving your CD from Propeller.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 13- Keeping the Sabbath (not what you think.)

I bet you think you know what this will be about.... rest.  And how I am thankful for rest.  And how the Sabbath refreshes.  Well I am thankful for rest and refreshing.  But that is not what this is about.

Today I went to pick up a roaster that a friend was giving me.  (That will be blogged later this week.)  It was out a ways from where I live and there is another family that lives out that way so I decided on a whim to give them a ring.  I prayed that if we were suppose to go there that they'd pick up the phone and welcome us.

It is VERY rare that you can get anyone to do anything on a spur of the moment.  I figured this might not work but still I decided to give it a shot.

And... for the first time (in a long time anyway) they had decided to take a Sabbath day.  To stay home and just hang.

And it was such a GIANT blessing for me.  I was with Andrew and I had pocketed the iPod touch so he'd have something to play so I could visit, but the dad took Andrew and his two year old out in the back yard.  And... I was able to visit for over a half an hour with my friend.

Many of you might be saying..Whoop Dee Doo.  But I can assure you this was a giant deal.    With a special needs kiddo, you RARELY get to go ANYWHERE with your child and do the 'normal' thing of chit caht with other moms.   Since this was foreign to me it took about ten minutes for me to just relax and enjoy myself.

And Andrew had a wonderful time.  A CALM wonderful time playing in the back yard.  I was amazed at the interactions...and not only that but there was something that had bothered him during the visit (I can't recall now what it was) but he said, "even though XYZ happened, I still had a good time."  THAT is rare as he focuses on the 'bad' thing that happened.  I see a shifting in Andrew and am so thankful for that.  (That will be a later post too I would guess!)

So for all of you that do Sabbaths out there- God is blessing others through you and in turn God will bless you.  God is good.  Very Very Good.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Question on a comment on a contest I had.....

Someone wrote as a comment in one of my contests: "I follow you on GFC and Facebook".  It is from anonymous.  Who are you?

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge November 11- Veterans

Today I am thankful for our veterans who have served our country.

My son did the above at a Treats for Troops event with our homeschool co-op.  It seemed like good photos to include here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails