Monday, July 19, 2010

Review for Travel the World (June Module for TOS Planner)

Good Morning Friends! You may remember that I mentioned a few posts ago that I'd be reviewing some homeschooling products for The Old Schoolhouse this year? Well, we've had our first product for a few weeks now and we've really enjoyed it!! I was surprised because I really thought my kids would balk at doing schoolwork during the Summer, but once we got into it, they really did like the content.

We received the June Module for the The Schoolhouse Planner. From what I understand, the Modules, which are published monthly, come as an add-on for the Planner but they can also be purchased separately. They are basically supplemental unit studies in the form of an e-book. Honestly, I didn't think I'd like the e-book format, but I was wrong. It is fully printable because it's a PDF document (so if you are a fan of the hard-copy like I am, you've got that option), but surprisingly, I didn't feel the need to do that. It was very easy to read and there were several clickable external links available which made me happy just keeping it on the computer.

Speaking of links, this module was titled Travel the World which means that it was all about geography. Here is a picture of the children playing a game from a link provided which helped them solidify what they learned about latitude and longitude:

They really enjoyed this game!

There were several printables available as well. My children range in age from (almost)14 down to 7 and there was everything from coloring pages and easy lapbooking activities for the youngest, to challenging word searches for the older ones.

I was thoroughly impressed with the plethora of information and activities that we had access to for the price (I received mine free in exchange for my honest review), but this is something I would have purchased for my Crew, hands down.

Some of the things we covered were: the definition of geography, the features of a globe, what the earth's "axis" is, latitude and longitude, hemispheres, and all of the major bodies of water and the continents. It was chalk FULL of information... I can't say that enough! It was perfect for a Summer learning diversion.

Here is a rundown of the specifics if you want to check this out:

Item: Travel the World (June Module for TOS Planner)

Publisher: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

# of pages: 56 (in e-book format)

Price: $7.95

Age Range: It is stated that it's meant for all school-aged children (K-12), but I would say that those from grades 4-8 would benefit most.

My Overall Rating: I give this one 4 stars out of 5. Like I mentioned earlier, you just get so much information for the price. If you were purchasing this as a book, it would easily sell for over $20.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh, the Madness

In my wildest imagination, I couldn't make up the things I see/hear on a daily, and sometimes even hourly, basis. Having a brood of boys (and sometimes my girl shocks me, too) is not for the faint of heart, dear innocent ones.

This is my "Exhibit A" for July 12, 2010. I walked into *MY* bedroom to merely fold a pile of laundry when I saw this odd scene on, and apparently hanging from, my north-facing window:

Upon closer inspection I discovered, what appeared to be, utter carnage. No mercy. No survivors... and a wad of chewed up gum right behind the morbidly twisted leg of the soldier on the right.

And LOOK at how FILTHY all that war made my windows!!!! It looks like they haven't been cleaned in a YEAR. It's absolute chaos around here, folks... CHAOS, I tell ya!!

I feel like I'll just.... JUST.....

....go get my bottle of Windex and a piece of t.p. for the gum and move along with the rest of my day.



Thursday, July 8, 2010


Just wanted to let my precious bloggy friends know that a decision has been made about our potential move to another state (see previous post). It is NOT happening. God has clearly closed that door and we are very grateful for a decision.

There are still changes on the horizon, of course, but we are both at great peace. God is good. Mark's office is will close in December of this year, and he will keep his job until then, thankfully, but he will start looking for another one right away.

Please keep praying that we would continue to clearly discern God's direction in the coming months. We still have many decisions to make and a few possible hurdles to jump (i.e. what to do about another vehicle, since he will obviously lose his company one), so we'd love some continued prayer support.

Thank you all so much for your kind words in the comments on the last post and on Facebook. You have blessed me immeasureably.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Ugh. Where to begin?

I must admit, when things get hard, I tend to shy away from this blog. Part of it is because I know that it's not always wise to share every single personal thing with the randomness that is the Blogosphere. Just like I wouldn't walk up to a perfect stranger and, upon introduction, blab every detail of my life, I try to be somewhat judicious about what I share on the World Wide Web.

Another part is that it's just my personality. If you don't already know it, I kind of have a penchant for the lighthearted. Yet, life is rarely completely lighthearted so rather than shy away and lock down, I'm going to share some of the more serious and personal happenings as of late:

Mark was informed 2 weeks ago that his office will be closing. We are not sure of the exact date in which this will take place, and he is employed until that time, nevertheless our employment future is uncertain. At the time that this information came in, the corporate office offered him another position in a different state. We are not opposed to a move, even though our hearts are very much here in Alabama, because, ultimately, we know that we must go where there is provision for our family. However, what they are currently offering will not be enough for us to make it in an area with a higher cost of living. Bottom line, we are still in negotiations.

On top of that, Mark cannot pursue (as aggressively as he would like) other job options locally because the "official announcement" had not been made and a definitive date has not set from Corporate that this office is shutting down. It's unnerving because, in this economy, jobs aren't exactly plentiful, so he'd like to get started, but to leak the information could get him fired thereby losing the small severance that he was promised should the other position not work out. So, to sum things up, we feel like we are in a highly charged period of "hurry-up-and-wait".

Which, can I just say, is SO NOT my strong point?

Hello, my name is Gayle, and I like to be in control of my life. I like it when all of the loose ends are neatly tied up and I have a semi-clear picture of what things are looking like on the horizon. I like feeling secure, and I like not worrying that our bills will be paid, and that our friends and family are just down the road, and that church is on Sunday at 10:45... I like those things.

But, I've also been a Christian for awhile now, and I can sense when God is working on me pretty clearly. It's very obvious that being impatient and having control issues are not befitting of a follower of Christ for starters. Plus, I can quote a ton of Scripture to counter each thing that I said in that last paragraph. Ironically, I taught a class on the very day that we got this news about trusting God in ALL things because everything is meant for our ultimate good... ~grin~ (I actually think it's wonderful and amazing how my Father had me utterly immersed in His Word over this in the weeks that preceeded this.) I know the Scripture. I know the answers. And it all boils down to one thing. Faith. But, I've gotta tell ya, sometimes exercising that faith and hard-core trust is hard!

That's where I am. I'm desperately wanting to trust and to not fret or be anxious. I want to be like a little child who knows that her Daddy is absolutely going to take care of her because His love is so unfathomably deep. I want to be content in any and every circumstance even if that means a big ole move, or a season of unemployment (one of my biggest fears). I want all this head knowledge to transfer to my anxious, sinful heart so that His goodness will be apparent to all that are in contact with me.

But I'm not quite there.

And then I feel terrible about it, because y'all, God and I have walked some seriously hard roads together before and never once... NOT ONCE... has He failed to come through in a mighty way. So, why should I even consider that this time we're all going to fall flat on our faces? I don't know.

My point in putting this on here is twofold:

1. To ask you to pray. The majority of you that come here are Christians and I have a pretty strong feeling that I'm not the only one to have experienced this, even if the circumstances are entirely different... there is nothing new under the sun. So please pray for us as we walk this thing out.

2. To have it all spelled out, so that when we get to the other side (whenever that may be), we can look back to see how He worked it out. Because He will. My head surely knows it. :)

Thanks for reading and much love,