Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns { Review }

Today I get to talk about an awesome website that I never knew existed or would I have probably visited but wait and let me explain!

Can you sew? I can't! I have tried simple things like straight stitches across some curtains for my school room and bathroom and that's about all. I normally take all the short cuts I can because I am just scared and normally don't know what I'm doing! 

The Schoolhouse Review Crew had Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns come up for review and there are a few things that sparked my interest with this right off...

1 - Lexi is just now at age 10 getting into American Girls and the 18" dolls; she has always been a build a bear kind of girl and has just asked for her first American Girl for Christmas.

2 - The site said it covered all the basics and included videos on each process, so I figured there was the key for me to actually be able to do this!

So after I got choose to review this I have to admit I WAS SCARED TO DEATH! Sewing just does that to me. Alexis was thrilled because we actually only have 3 or 4 outfits for her dolls that she has, so she was excited to get some more!

I must tell on myself here - Funny he - he moment... My sewing machine was ancient; it was passed down from my grandmothers aunt! After trying on it first and having major issues just trying to get it working my husband graciously let me purchase a new one for Lexi and I to have!! 

What did we receive?

12 months’ worth of online access to "Learn How to Make Doll Clothes Video Course with 8 Free Doll Clothes Patterns". The patterns include:

 How to Make Doll Clothes Video Course and 8 Free American Girl Doll Clothes Patterns

Sports Shorts
Crop Top
Halter Top
Summer Nightie

This is recommended for ages 8 and up!

How much is it?

How we used the item?

At first we just logged in and got ourselves familiar with the website the first day. Then we started watching some of the videos. I must brag on the details and techniques in each video, with me having no real knowledge of sewing and watching the videos with Rosie I learned a ton! At first the videos help you learn all the basics about sewing, helpful tips on setting up your sewing area. Then it helps teach you how to print out the patterns and use them against your fabric. She helps you learn about stitches and how to keep them straight along with hems. Elastic is something I've never worked with and I shouldn't have worried to much because she covers everything! She taught how to choose the elastic, types of elastic and how to thread it. Just in the beginning courses I learned more about sewing than I ever thought possible. I am grateful for the knowledge from her introductions. The great thing about each step is it's broken down in to small videos so you don't get overwhelmed with it being 30 minutes long, each video is anywhere from just seconds to 5 or 6 minutes. You can always stop and go back over any video that you need replayed.

Now once we had watched all the courses for How to Sew Doll Clothes we moved on to the Course Bonus Patterns which are listed above. 

First we watched all the videos about the pattern we were making (all of them). Then we went back and printed the patterns out, we made sure that they were measuring the proper length and then cut them out. Next we moved on to cutting out our fabric which we had lots of fun picking out for different things at Wal-Mart. After we had all the pieces together the way the video had instructed and it was time for the sewing to start we would take the video and watch it again then sew the instructed parts. We moved on like this each step we needed to sew. The videos where normally only about 2 minutes long and then we would sew and move on to the next step. Finally, guess what? We would have a completed piece and move onto another clothing piece.

We ended up making several shirts in different patterns and we totally got better as we made more. We actually only made one pair of shorts because Lexi got the idea from playing with some I hadn't completed yet that we didn't have to finish them because it made a skirt for her dolls, which she loved! So yes we altered the pattern for my daughter. We have only made one nightie because I just ran out of time but we will be making more for sure! She also had the idea that the nightie pattern could be used as a dress for Sundays. Love her thinking.

What we thought?

Over all I must just say how relieved I was to know how easy this actually was after getting started. I can't tell you enough how her videos walk you through EACH STEP. She will not leave you asking a single question. 

This was perfect for Alexis and me to bond over. Both of us had to learn new things, be patient with each other because being a new sewer and the short fuse I'm known to have, this took a lot of patience! I done well and Lexi helped me honestly a lot! She didn't sew a lot just because she is only 10 but she cut patterns, cut fabric and helped pin fabric together and of course she picked what each clothing piece was going to look like from our fabric choices.

I have to recommend this to everyone. She can teach anyone no matter the age. Her videos are complete and I just am happy with everything from her website.

Alexis and I loved it.

Click here to read more reviews from The Schoolhouse Crew.


Project Genius Light Kit - EEME { Review }

EEME provide science kits for children to have hands on learning. These kits help with creativity, curiosity and communication. Jack is the founder of EEME and when his child was born he saw a need for educational toys that would help involve hands on play with a deeper knowledge of why things work the way they do and the how explained.

What did we get?

We received one physical Project Genius Light Kit. This kit is for ages 7 - 12. This is the first project in the subscription phase. The kits come with everything you need so no dash for anything - You can start the day it comes!
How we used it?

My husband worked on this with my boys while I was gone with Lexi to gymnastics one night. Kyle is 13 and Zachary is 8. Kevin registered online to be able to enter in the website to watch the videos. The boys started out by watching videos online at EEME with Kevin. 

There were several videos to go through for each step for the process of getting the LED light together. The videos are each different amounts of time taking almost an hour in total from start to finish. In each video he explained the different routes of electric current and how to connect them. 

At the end of some of the videos there would be questions asking to see if you were understanding how the current was traveling and the negative and positive connections (just for example) and then you would have 3 choices to see if you had really been able to understand the process. If you were incorrect it told you it would give you another chance.

The photo resistor made the kit more interesting by using the dependence or absence of light in the room to either brighten or dim the LED light bulb. They played with the lighting in the room to test out the impact of the resistor on the kit.

Our thoughts?

Kyle really enjoyed the hands on approach but Zachary got bored with all the videos and didn't really comprehend it well.

The videos where confusing for the kids because the connecter wires were different colors in the videos than in the kit we received.

Almost every step he stated that it would help to have an adults help with connecting the wires, which actually got on the boys nerves and they repeated it for him most times. Although, the kits are intended for the parent to help!

The bread box has numbers and letters on it and for each step he guides you through a number and letter to place the wires in but the letters and numbers are extremely hard to see on our kit. 

Overall the kit was interesting and very informative. Kevin (hubby) and Kyle learned a lot from it and enjoyed spending the time putting it together, while Zachary wanted to go play instead of helping. We may actually consider getting the next month's subscription at some point because Kyle loves hands on projects like this!

How Much?

EEME is a monthly subscription that can be canceled at any time. The monthly fee is $18.95. Each month you will receive one kit to your doorstep, you can look here for more information on the kits to follow the first month.  They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee refund so you feel safe about getting started with their company and product.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

VocabularySpellingCity { Review }

  VSC Logo 300x300

We have been using VocabularySpellingCity for a couple years now just on the basic free account. Through the TOS Crew review team we had an offer to review a one year premium membership!!

I was so happy. We love playing games and learning. There's honestly nothing better really. My kids are 13, 10 and 8 and the age range for the site is from K - 12.

VocabularySpellingCity is an interactive game based website. They are dedicated to helping students, teachers, parent-teachers, and school systems. They are an award-winning site with ongoing introduction of new features, many based on input from existing users.

 The site was launched on the web as Spelling City in 2008 and has grown primarily through word of mouth.  In 2009 they hit over a million unique visitors! 

Spelling City became VocabularySpellingCity in January 2011 to reflect the addition of significant vocabulary capabilities. They pride themselves as being amongst the best value in education.

(DD playing her favorite game, Hang Mouse. She really cracks up with the hat and mouse, she has busted out laughing from it many times.)

One awesome feature from the premium subscription is that you can make and customize spelling lists for each student! I was able to make spelling lists for all 3 of my kids in just minutes from using some of the lists that VocabularySpellingCity offers, just click for it to import to the student and it goes.

I was able to make an assignments list for each student too. I was able to choose up to 10 activities, not just spelling word lists, for them to do and complete in order of my choice. This was helpful for me to allow them on the computer and me already know what they are going to be doing. Before the premium membership I would have to come back and forth a lot to change activities so I was very pleased to find this feature. It helped me save time and I was able to work with my other children while one child was working through their assignments independently.

Another piece of VocabularySpellingCity my kids enjoyed was having their own way to sign in to their assignments. Each child got a username and password. For my children this was a first, because they aren't allowed on the computer without parents but since it's an educational game site they enjoyed picking some interesting words to use!

  They offer games in Vocabulary, Spelling, Writing, Parts of Speech, Handwriting, and Alphabetical Order.

You can play for free but there are many perks to having the Premium Membership. One - its pretty cheap for the year, only $29.99. This is for up to 5 children. You get individual log ins for each child, premium learning games, no advertisements (which is huge for the attention span of some children!!!). 

Once a parent has activated the Premium Membership, the parent enters the students' names. When students arrive on VocabularySpellingCity, they can log in. This will take them to their parent's homepage. All of their activities will be recorded. Their spelling test results will be recorded including the score and the words that they spelled correctly or incorrectly.  

Here is what the website has to offer:
Over 42,000 spelling words with customizable sentences and definitions

A real person who says each word and sentence

Free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists

Teacher training videos

Free printable handwriting worksheets

Free teaching resources with lists and lesson plans

Twenty-five games to play online or to print such as:

Alphabetical Order, Unscramble, Parts of Speech, Hang Mouse, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, and Vocabulary Test.

A free forum and newsletters

We have really enjoyed VocabularySpellingCity for years and the premium membership was wonderful! I can see where it is totally worth the money to purchase. It helps save time for everyone involved and in my house of 5 I need all the time I can get!

My kids asked to use VocabularySpellingCity and loved seeing what I had for them to complete. Of course their favorites where all the games, I honestly don't know if they realized while playing the games they were learning (he-he). 

They now offer apps for the Kindle, iPhone/iPad and Android devices!

Go on over to The Schoolhouse Review Blog and read what others thought about VocabularySpellingCity! 

hey now offer free apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and even Kindle - See more at:
hey now offer free apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and even Kindle - See more at:
hey now offer free apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and even Kindle - See more at:
hey now offer free apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and even Kindle - See more at:
hey now offer free apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and even Kindle - See more at:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew Taking Applications!!!!!!!!

Alright guys, if you were all like me 2 years ago when I heard about this I was jumping up and down ready and waiting to jump aboard. I can't tell you how great this experience has been. It's helped my family be able to provide wonderful material to my children while reviewing. It has helped my budget. Personally, it has actually helped my blogging and writing! Hey - I'm just being honest. This is a crew that helps you just as if they are family. I love them very much and have a deep respect for all of them. 

This is your time to get in on the action and figure out just what you need to know and what is expected of you.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew will be taking applications for the 2014 Review year from October 24 - November 8!

Are you a homeschool blogger?
Are you a curriculum junkie?
Do you enjoy writing reviews?

Then you might be perfect for the Crew! 

Some requirements for being a part of the Crew include the following: 
First of all you must be a homeschool mom or dad. You don’t have to homeschool all of your children, but you must homeschool at least one.

You must be willing to use the review products for about six weeks in your homeschool, before writing your review. Review periods have deadlines and requirements for the reviews. You must be willing to follow these requirements. No, that doesn’t mean you must write a positive review. But it does mean that there are certain elements that are required. And the deadlines are firm. If you are often late for deadlines, the Crew is probably not for you. 

You must have a blog on which to publish your reviews, and be sure you have an active blog with a following. By active blog, I mean that you should be blogging regularly, at least weekly, about your family and homeschool (in addition to your reviews). Your blog should have followers —  RSS feed or email subscribers, as well as in social media. The Crew does not accept brand new bloggers who just set up their blogs for the purposes of applying to the team.

Are you using social media to promote your blog? Activity on at least one social media platform is a requirement to serve on the Crew. Which one is up  to you — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google Plus are the options. You will need to be willing to promote your reviews there and post a widget or plug-in publicly on your blog, indicating how many followers you have in social media. 

You must be willing to check into the Crew's Review Management forum. This is where information is disseminated to the team. The leadership does everything possible to make things easy for us, outside of writing the actual review, but you need to be willing to participate by checking in almost daily. 

Sample reviews are helpful. If you’ve never written a review on your blog, go ahead and write one for curriculum you are currently using in your homeschool. This will help the leaders see how you approach writing reviews. 

Why should you want to be a part? 

Honestly, I have to say this crew has been a true blessing to my family. It has allowed me to try new curriculum and publishers that I never knew even existed. It has helped me to understand and have a better grasp on how my children learn best because we are always having items that apply to different topics and learning styles. The crew has really catered to my curriculum budget as well. I have really been able to supply wonderful material to my children during the smallest budget this year and for that I am truly grateful.

Our Crew of over 250 review bloggers has been serving the homeschool community for more than 5 years. As a respected review team, we take this job very seriously and will insist you do as well. The leadership provides an incredible amount of assistance to help us be the best bloggers, homeschool parents, and of course, reviewers we can be. They provide a mentoring program for new members, a social media networking group, many blog and social media tutorials, and lots of incredible opportunities for our team, including blog carnivals, the opportunity to guest post on the Crew blog, and the blessing of some incredible friendships.

How can you apply? 
After making sure you meet all of the requirements, if you believe you would to an asset to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and wish to join us, please click over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to apply.

Come be a part of The Old Schoolhouse family!

As you can see this is a huge blessing to all involved! Good Luck!


Weekly Wrap Up 8

This week has been full of fun and work. 
Here is a peek into our week.

 Here is a cute picture I got of Daddy reading and working on his homework.

This happened Tuesday. M.A.T.H. is her enemy. At least she thinks it is sometimes. I don't normally have these issues with her but any day that Daddy is home and she is " in that mood " this happens. She didn't know how to do her math and she got mad because I wouldn't tell her the answer and instead I wanted to show her how to work it out. When she started crying I am done with her and no one is allowed at the school table with wet eyes. So she goes to take a break and Daddy decided he would work with her but still through her "fit". She finally got finished with the ONE problem that was the problem!!!!!!!

Kyle on the other hand made a 100 and I just wanted to brag on him for it. So many times he is so close to making a 100 but misses a word problem or does the wrong function on one problem and it messes him up. YAY KYLE!!

Guess what we are doing?

Carving our pumpkins!

 Aren't they just awesome...


 Working on our Mystery of History timeline figures. Kyle does awesome at drawing and I gave him a hard one!

 A mummy

 Another brag - Zachary finished all of his Handwriting without Tears this week!! Great job Zachary!

Daddy's bible study time with the kiddos at night.

 Zachary is on lesson 8 in AAS 1!! He's doing great.

 Alexis working on her LLATL.

 Kyle enjoying Vocabulary Spelling City! Review coming this next week!

I started work this week in the evenings and Kevin has been working a few doubles so please always keep my family in your prayers. 

This week is our last Coop class and I am happy and sad to see them coming to an end.

Mattie was over for Wednesday school and here are a few cute pictures of what she had to do.

 We colored some awesome fall leaves, This girl loves to color.

 Counted to 100 and then she kept going! Smart one here!

 Tracing these lines are her favorite. Each week she asks if I have any.

 We had a shadow match to complete and she really enjoyed this. Once we matched them we glued them back to back so she could play with them and they wouldn't make a huge mess.

 Learned a little about pumpkins and traced Pp's and the word PUMPKIN.

 Spotting G's.

 Last she practiced writing her name. Mattie is doing so great and I love her so.

I hope each of you had a blessed week and enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hashbrown Casserole { Recipe }

This recipe is a family favorite because long ago we loved eating at Cracker Barrel, don't get me wrong we still love eating there but with 5 people and the closest one over an hour away it is just not something that happens often and before we moved last July the closest one was 2 hours away! 

So since this is one of Kyle's favorite items to order when we go I tried to learn to make it at home. I searched high and low for a recipe that wasn't complicated and one that sounded good.

Finally, I found one on Paula Dean's website and although I love her version I have altered it a little to suit my family better.

You Need:
1 package of shredded hashbrowns (frozen)
3 cups cheddar cheese
10oz can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
1/2 an onion chopped small

Mix all (except 1 cup of cheese) together and place in casserole pan. 

Bake on 375 for about 45 minutes. 

When there is about 15 minutes left I take out and top with the 1 cup cheese. 

 My family sure does. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless (not really) Wednesday Week 8 - Field Trip

Last week we set out on a road trip to enjoy some beautiful family time and scenery. We started on our way to Natural Bridge, VA. The trip took almost 5 hours but we had lots of silly time together while driving and stopping.


We stopped on a few attractions on the side of the road along the way. Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, one of the two left standing! It was beautiful to see.

 Wooden nails!

 Then we went to Murray's Mill and again beautiful scenery.

 Lunch time = Picnic.

 Finally in Virginia!

 The motel has such charm!

I have to say it was everything was beautiful. I called ahead of time and asked about homeschool discounts and man I am so glad I did. I was able to get the combo ticket for all of us which included the admission to Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge Caverns and guided tour, Butterflies at the Bridge, Cedar Creek Nature Trail and Monacan Village, Wax Museum, Drama of Creation and entry to the new Jefferson's Playground all for just $14 for Kevin and I and $13 for the kids. We saved enough to be able to stay in their cottage for $50 that night!! If you are going to try to go make sure you ask them about their homeschool discount!

The first place the kids wanted to go was the Wax Museum. We actually loved this so much. The boys begged to go in the next day too. So we got our fill of wax!

 Can you say BUTTERFLIES??

 Now finally to see God's beauty! 
The Natural Bridge!

 Behind us is the falls.

Now the real reason we came. Last week we learned about Stonehenge. I posted on Facebook about our studies and had a friend tell me about this replica. After looking it up and talking with her I knew I wanted to go. We arranged to see the other attractions because we didn't want to drive 5 hours just for this.

Foamhenge is a life size replica of Stonehenge in England. The kids didn't expect it to be so large. We enjoyed looking at this. If you ever get to the area it's free!! 

We found this neat feature going to a state park for a visit.

Finally the Caverns! I have to say the pictures did no good. We went down so much it was incredible. We went down 347 feet!!! Best Caverns so far!! 

 Look - Just look what we paid for gas...... $2.99 (UNDER $3)!!!!!!

And our last stop before coming home was for Zachary - Tastee Freeze in Galax, VA! He has ate here since he was in my tummy! This is his favorite place but we don't get to go often because it's to far.