Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Sunday

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

We didn't get as much done as I would have liked to in the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday. The children made palm branches in children's church, so I didn't think they would appreciate making them again at home as we have done for the last few years or so. We did make some pictures of Jesus riding into Jerusalem though. 

I got the idea for these pictures over at Training Happy Hearts. She had linked up to the Hopping Along to Easter Blog Hop a couple of weeks ago with her Planning a Hands-On Holy Week post.

We spent the rest of our week visiting with my oldest daughter who was visiting and trying to finish our Y unit, plus work on our Transportation activity that went along with our Poppins Book Nook theme of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." Stay tuned for that post next week. We did finish our Y unit which means we are now done with the Kindergarten curriculum from My Father's World. We will be starting 1st grade tomorrow. Tabitha and Amelia will both be using it. More on that later this week. 

Yesterday we dyed our eggs for our egg hunt today. We don't teach the children about the Easter Bunny, as we focus on the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus. However, we do allow the children to hunt for eggs, as we feel they are a symbol of new life, which Jesus gives to all those who believe. We also give the children baskets, but they know they are from us. 

Dyeing Eggs

Egg Hunt

Hopping Along to Easter 2014: Week 4

Tots and Me
Welcome to the fourth and final week of the Hopping Along to Easter Blog Hop hosted by Tots and MeWalking in Faith and Angels of Heart

Can you believe that Resurrection Sunday is here? Whether you would like to share your preparations, your recipes, your crafts or a post related to this week's topic, we ask that you include the Hopping Along to Easter Blog Hop Button or a text link back to the hop, and head on over to any of our blogs to link up.  It can be as long or short as you want it to be.

Please take the time to visit the blogs of those who have linked up.  Leave a comment.  Follow them.  Wish them a Happy Easter.
Don't forget to follow the hostesses.  We will gladly stop by your blog and follow you back.

Here is this week's question:
How did you celebrate Easter/Resurrection Sunday?  

Do you have your children hunt for eggs, do you read the Resurrection Story, do you attend a Sunrise Service at church, a regular church service?  What will you be doing to make this year's Resurrection Sunday special?

We are looking forward to reading your posts, visiting your blogs and following you.

(Please be aware that irrelevant posts, links to your main blog instead of a specific post and giveaways will be deleted. Please only link up posts relevant to the weekly theme. Thank you for your understanding.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hops: April 18-20, 2014

Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me, Rena from An Ordinary Housewife, Erin from For Him and My Family and Aurie from Our Good Life

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

Please note, there are 3 linkies, please scroll down to the 3rd one to link up giveaways! Thank you so very much!
(Giveaways linked up to either of the other linkies will be removed. Thank you for your understanding.)

We would love for you to stop by all the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week. This week we are featuring Kim from Heart of a Philanthropist.

Heart of a Philanthropist

 Here's what she has to say:
"Hi, My name is Kim. I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool my ten year old son. It is important to me to show my son that we need to help others. Since I do not work outside of the home, I had a hard time finding ways to donate to my favorite charities. However, I am online all the time. I love to share important information and my love of the Lord with others. Blogging was a perfect opportunity to earn some money, impart knowledge to my readers, and tell them Jesus loves them. That is how Heart of a Philanthropist ( was born. HoaP donates all of its funds to Typhoon Yolanda (#Haiyan) relief and Village of Hope orphanage. If you would like to see where HoaP makes its donations or to make a tax deductible donation to its cause, please go to you for your time and God Bless!"

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife, For Him and My Family and Our Good Life then please head on over to our Featured Host and follow as well. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me

If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me

We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Satisfying Our Curiosity with Curiosity Quest DVDs {A TOS Review}

Curiosity Quest Review
It is no secret that we love watching educational programs in our home. Of course, I am sure the children would love it if mommy and daddy would let them watch other cartoons, but we have made the decision to fill our children's minds with knowledge if they are going to be sitting in front of the television. The children don't really get an overload of tv time anyway, as they are only allowed to watch 1 or 2 shows a day while I am making lunch, plus one movie a week on our Family Popcorn and Movie Night. I was excited to learn about this new-to-me program called Curiosity Quest and thrilled when I found out we were going to get a chance to review 2 of their Combo Packs for the Schoolhouse Review Crew: DVD Combo Pack- Swimmers of the Sea (Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, Salmon) and DVD Combo Pack-Produce (Mushrooms, Cranberries, Orange Packing).

Curiosity Quest is a program that heads on out into the real world to help satisfy the curiosity of its viewers. The show is designed for children ranging in age from 7-14, but this mom found quite a bit of her curiosity being satisfied and the younger girls enjoyed them as well. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes long. In the 6 seasons of the program, which can be found on some PBS stations, they have covered quite a few different topics. You will discover various episodes in each of the following topics:
  • Animals
  • Instruments
  • Recycling
  • Food
  • Sports
  • Careers
  • Environment
  • How To
  • Vehicles
In each episode, the host Joel Greene introduces us to the topic at hand in the form of a question from one of their viewers. He then takes us on location to find answers, not only to the original question, but to others that come up in the course of the episode. Each show follows a similar format. After sharing the viewer question, we find out a bit about the location he is visiting and Joel heads behind the scenes. There are also several "Fun Facts" shared during the episode and questions are asked to children on the street to see what answers they come up with. In some of the episodes a little "ding" sounds if the child's answer is correct.

Curiosity Quest Review
We started by watching the Swimmers of the Sea DVD. This Combo Pack includes the episodes Penguins, Sea Turtle Rescue and Salmon. I thought the children would enjoy getting to learn a little more about penguins because we had studied them with our P:Penguins unit. Our focus a few months ago had been on Emperor penguins, but we also learned that there were penguins who lived in different climates than what people usually think of when they think of penguins. So, it wasn't new information to them when we were introduced to the Magellanic penguins in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. However, we did learn quite a bit from this episode. Some of the questions that were asked include, "What do penguins eat?" "What is a molt?" "What does a penguin sound like?" "What do penguins feel like?" and "What is husbandry?" It was really fun hearing the children's answers to these questions. I liked that the girls could see that it is okay not to know the correct answer to a question, that that is how one learns. Joel had the opportunity to learn about what penguins eat and to actually feed and touch the penguins. 

I figured they would want to watch one episode at a time. They surprised me by continuing to watch the DVD, finishing Sea Turtles and Salmon in one sitting. The only problem was, mommy wasn't in the room to watch along with them, so we had to watch them again so I could be able to share about the DVD in this review. Not that it was really a problem, the girls are really engrossed when they sit down to watch them. And I can see why! I found it quite fascinating to see the sea turtles who were being rehabilitated at the Sea Turtle hospital after being rescued. I was surprised to learn that it is actually illegal to even touch a sea turtle without a proper license like the hospital had. I think we all enjoyed seeing Joel get right into the water with the Salmon at the fish hatchery in Alaska. They also seemed to know quite a bit about salmon already because of an episode of another show they watch.
I did want to make sure they were actually retaining the information, so I had the girls write down 1 to 2 sentences about something that stuck out to them from each episode. Amy from Homeschool Encouragement has a free Sea Creatures Notebooking sampler pack available, so I downloaded it and printed out the relevant pages. Yes, there is a slew of information and they couldn't remember everything, but I was pleased with the details they could remember at their age. 

This is what Tabitha chose to write about:
Penguins: 100 Fethers per square inch, Need vitamins
Sea Turtles: Weigh 300 pounds. Sea turtles can swim 35 MPH.
Salmon: King samon are relest when they aer abote two.
(King Salmon are released when they are about two.)

I did have to help Amelia a bit more by asking her some questions, and she wasn't as interested in filling out the pages, so I didn't push it. She only finished one sheet so far.

This is what Amelia chose to write about:
Penguins: Penguins eat fish whole. Penguins are black and white so they can blenb (blend) in. 

One concern I did have was that sometimes as Joel is discussing these facts, some of the details get lost in the conversation and the girls aren't sure they have the correct information, such as knowing for sure how much the sea turtles weigh.

The other combo pack we reviewed is Produce, which includes the episodes Mushrooms, Cranberries and Orange Packing. We were learning about Vegetables with our V unit, so I thought this would be relevant as well, even though none of the episodes were technically about vegetables. 
Curiosity Quest Review
I wasn't surprised that they weren't as interested in seeing produce packaged as they were about the animals. They are not that fond of mushrooms, but I think they were intrigued by how the soil is prepared and how they are grown, they also seemed to enjoy seeing Joel learn how to harvest the mushrooms.  We found out that the decaying hay stinks, and that it is really cold in the fridge where the mushrooms are placed after they are harvested so it stunts their growth.  I do wish there had been a little more detail in what "ingredients" are added to make the soil. Mommy was thrilled to finally find out why the people in cranberry commercials are standing in flooded fields of cranberries and how they are harvested.

I made some notebooking pages of my own for the produce episodes.

I think one of the aspects I really loved was the fact that these episodes are unscripted. Joel is right there in the thick of things, learning right along with the viewer. There is so much energy involved as he gets involved and gets his hands dirty.  You get to see his genuine reactions to what he is experiencing.

Also, there were a couple of times that we were left scratching our heads with the information that was introduced. For example, in regard to the Penguin episode we learned that male and female penguins were able to be told apart by their wrist bands in the aquarium. Unfortunately, this doesn't tell us how they can be told apart in the wild.

One important thing to note, each DVD did have a mention of prehistoric times and millions of years. The Sea Turtle episode mentions that sea turtles were around during the time of the dinosaurs. This would have been fine, if they hadn't mentioned the millions of years. The children and I just quickly discuss how the earth is only thousands of years old and it would make sense that sea turtles and dinosaurs would be together. Prehistoric times were also mentioned in the mushroom episode.

The episodes we watched in the combo packs are also available as individual episodes. You can purchase the combo packs for $24.95 and individual episodes are $19.95. They also offer Homeschool Memberships where you receive 2 episodes a month plus appropriate curriculum for each episode to enhance your learning. Monthly memberships are $24.99 and annual memberships are $264.00.

You can find out more about Curiosity Quest on their Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube. Don't forget to check your listings to see if your PBS station carries Curiosity Quest. Unfortunately, we don't have satellite or cable any more, so I am unable to check if they are available in our area.

Don't forget to stop by the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what other members of the Crew think of these Curiosity Quest DVD's.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: April 16, 2014 (w/linky)- Happy Birthday Hannah

Hannah is 4 years old! Already! Last year I asked:

How did that happen??

And now another year has passed? Where has the time gone?!?

My little girl has grown so big. 


1 Year Old

2 Years Old

3 Years Old

Happy Birthday Hannah: 4 years old!

Visiting family we haven't seen for a while.

Grandma was a life saver. All I had was a frosted cake. She supplied the candles and Strawberry Shortcake figurine.

Out for ice cream.

She opened her presents from Grandma Piccione and her sisters the next day.

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


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