Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Sneak By Evan Angler

I'll start by saying that this book is a sequel.  If you've not already read the book "Swipe" then start your journey here-   I fell in love with the Swipe series with the first book.  My 13yo son has read along with me (actually he's read MUCH MUCH faster than me!)  since the first book and he, as well as I, am excited for the sequel!  This series is a young adult dystopian adventure series, that will likely captivate you and your children.   As I mentioned before, I'm not a big fiction reader.  I tend to prefer to read for information, but every once in a while, i delve into a fictional book, usually of a similar genre, and this was just perfect for my current fiction delve.  

The story surrounds the protagonists, Logan and Erin, as they deal with their own family situations and catastrophic result of Logan's failed mark appointment.  I don't want to say too much, for fear of spoiling the story, but i'll say this.  Angler is a skilled storyteller, one who is more creative than I can fathom being in devising intricate and elaborate story lines and leaving you wanting to find out what happens next!  

I will say that as a writer, i noticed some flaws in the series, First, it is pretty simplistic, language-wise, however, it is marketed for preteens so that would make sense.  Also, the situations in the story seem prone to be a bit far fetched and even sometimes unrealistic, (taking into consideration the genre).  My major complaint is that I find it really hard to tell who's speaking, with a preponderance of quotations, often back to back, its hard to tell WHICH character is speaking.  I've found myself stopping, and trying to figure out who said what, quite often.  But i'm a writer and a language snob, so take it with a grain of salt, and do NOT let that stop you from experiencing this fabulous series!  I reluctantly give it 4 stars due to the issues mentioned above, otherwise it would be a 5 star book easily.  LOVE it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How about a RADICAL Christmas this year? Part 1

Last year, we did something crazy.  We decided that our family would no longer be purchasing Christmas gifts.  CRAZY, right? I mean how could our children live without "A Christmas"?  Well, see, that's the thing... that expression really bothered me...  A CHRISTMAS? What is Christmas anyway? a big STUFF GRAB? is that what i wanted to teach my children about Christ?  Nope.   We'd agonized about what to do about Christmas for a number of years, pretty much our whole adult life, much like Halloween.   We'd gone to both extremes,  ALL Christmas is ok- santa, toys, everything.- to NO Christmas is ok- treat it like a regular day, blow off the cultural stuff.  NEITHER felt right.  We've experimented with a number of inbetween happy mediums-  Celebrating with gifts, but forgoing santa and secular holiday music-  Doing the same but working REALLY hard to inject extra "Jesus" into it.

But we never really felt... right...  

Last year, a bit late- already into the buying seasons, i read this article.

And it finally CLICKED.  WHO'S BIRTHDAY IS IT?! Do I get presents on my husband's birthday? NO.  Does Elliott get presents on ASHER'S birthday.  YES!  HAHAHA...  But that's because they are twins.  Does Annabeth get presents on CHLOE'S birthday? Nope.   

Why would WE get presents on JESUS' birthday and how could we really, truly focus on HIM when we were focused on spending our resources on other than HIM. 

How do you suppose my children responded, last year, when we sat them down and told them what our plans were.  That there would be no more Christmas presents for them?  Yeah, initially it didn't go so well.   But watching the Advent conspiracy video   and when we talked about what it meant to be Christian- to REALLY be Christ centered, even the naysayers would not deny that what we were doing was right.  We prayed for peace and contentment, and now, a year later, we are all excited about our special date, later in December, when we better know how much we can budget, to sit down with our World Vision catalogue, some hot cocoa and Christmas music and rejoice in our wealth and our ability to make a difference for others this year.  

 Not that we are against gifts- gifts are fun! our family still sends gifts and that's ok.  I know that sometimes it can be a real blessing to give to others and we plan to do so also- we will be making presents for within our family and outside our family too, and baking cookies and caroling and sending cards.  The biggest difference is our focus, and where we spend our money.  Now this year is a bad example, because this year, we most likely will NOT have money to spend period.  Well, probably we'll have a little, and i'm trying hard to not be perfectionistic about it- Is it any kind of big deal anyway? Can our family really make any kind of difference?? (these are the thoughts that run through my head)  And i think the answer is a resounding YES!!

For only $25 our family can contribute to clean water to prevent disease- CLEAN WATER

The global sex trade is a thriving business.  I look at my sweet girls and think of how grateful I am that we live HERE, where i'm not forced to make the decision to sell my precious daughters to be sexually exploited or face not having food for any of my children to eat.  $35 can  restore physical and spiritual health to rescued girls by providing things like safe shelter, medical care, nutritious food, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and when possible, reintegration with a loving family. 


I think our gift of 3 ducks, costing us $18, about half the cost of pizza night at our house,  will mean a lot to the family who receives eggs all year long, and ducklings to sell to pay other family expenses.

Even WE can do this!!!! 

I challenge you to join us this year- To make a commitment to making memories with your family, and using the bulk of your money spent on gifts to give to Jesus, by giving to the least of these.


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:39-41

Here are some resources to help you do so-

Stay tuned for how to make Christmas special for your family, coming soon- in part 2.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making your own Abacus/Abaci

So when i took Annabeth and Nik to therapy, i asked their therapist, Judy, what I should do about annabeth's issues with understanding borrowing and carrying in subtraction.  we've been on it a while and she's JUST not getting it, at ALL.  So she recommended we use an abacus to help her visualize better the idea behind subtraction, so I remembered that Right Start has a really good curriculum for that, and even a book specifically for the abacus.  So searched online and happened upon a post on the Well trained mind forum about someone who made her own abacus using the instructions she found on a blog.  Well the blog was an old geocities blog from many years prior and wasn't there, but she'd uploaded a picture of hers and from that it was super easy to figure out how to do it, so i bought the supplies yesterday and today, inbetween my nap and our evening church services I DID IT! Follow through is not my forte these days, so i'm particularly proud of this :)

I made a bunch, i'm contemplating giving one to Judy, as  a thank you for all her awesome work with my kiddos, which would still leave me with 3 which i think is enough.    Together, it cost about $12 with no sales or coupons at JoAnne's so not bad for 4 abaci!

What you need:

50 blue beads (i ran out and used green for 2) and 50 yellow beads for each abacus
I bought a 1 lb packaged of assorted ones for $6

10 1/8 inch dowels.  I bought 2 packs of 22 for $1 each

4 large craft sticks per abacus.  they are like popsicle sticks but thinner and wider.

Glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks. i used more than i expcted, but i was careful to blob it on, that stuff is like cement if you blob on enough.

So all you do is sandwich the dowels between the two craft sticks liberally slathering with glue gun glue, being careful to work quickly, as it dries fast,  then add the beads, then add the other two craft sticks.  My dowels came in about 12 inch segments.  with the blue beaded ones, i cut off about an inch and a half, but by the time i got to the green i was impatient and didn't.  I'm not sure it matters either way.  

I"m pleased with how they turned out! they are super strong :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Today's art project

Hey all! I thought i'd pop on and share our first fun half of the day!  I have a friend who makes these amazing, stellar, end of the week posts on her blog about all the cool stuff they've done, but i know there's no way i'll keep it all together in my mind, let alone be together enough to get it all done, so i'm going to be posting as time allows and as inspiration comes.  So today was definitely one of those inspiration days! Yesterday i had to have the "even though we homeschool, that doesn't mean you get to lay around in your jammies all day.  And actually i threatened to remove their afternoon free time if they didn't start getting UP and dressed in the morning!  And it worked and we were able to start promptly after ash got on the bus this morning, YAY! and we had a particularly long Bible study time and a great discussion.  it was about Holiness- what it means, and also about the flood and the history surrounding that.  At the end the older two wrote in their notebooks about the flood and i had Annabeth and Leif draw about it, and their interpretations were so hilariously different.

But the REALLY cool thing we did today was art! We worked with soft pastels, which are a GINORMOUS MESS.  You'll see my 3yo in the pic below looking like a chimney sweep, and the real life 3yo was even messier than the pic showed... but anyway, here's what we made

We got the idea for this project from the AMAZING list of pastel projects from Hodgepodge   We did specifically the draw a fall fruit project.  Leif chose an apple and the rest of us did a pumpkin.   I loved having a step by step picture tutorial, what a great help!  We'll most certainly be employing their projects in the future! so much fun! even if we do have a thick layer of dust on our carpet i'm sure! 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Homeschool Loop Schedule; How to make one, and why.

I discovered the idea of the loop schedule for homeschooling last spring and i keep coming back to it when my current plan isn't working as well as i'd like.   I just finished making mine, and I thought i'd share the awesome benefits of a loop schedule and how I went about making mine.

Why use a loop schedule?

I don't know about the rest of you, but my schedule is PACKED.  i'm homeschooling 5 this year, with one in college and one in special ed preschool, and there's a LOT to get done.  I find when i'm placed in a box of a list of things to get done, one of two things happens.  
1.  I rush through our subjects, not giving them the time and attention they deserve, or leave a child not fully understanding a math concept, for example. 
2.  We give each item on the list the attention it deserves but then have things left over on the schedule undone- which means, we either need to remember to do it on another day- and then get behind on THAT day, or skip it!  This is where we usually end up, and it usually means we end up neglecting certain subjects, artist study, art, music, and critical thinking are our go-to neglectees.  And as far as i'm concerned that is NOT cool. 

How to design a loop schedule?

I read a number of different posts and forum topics on loop scheduling and none were quite what I was looking for, so i opted to reinvent the wheel.  Here's what I decided to do, with help from my genius child who has not yet had all his brains sucked out by his children. (he doesn't have any) 

Step 1.  Make a chart in whatever word processing program you use, I used Word Starter.  Make headings of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  (you will end up deleting these)

It will look roughly like this- 

I kept it small and without a lot of detail so you could see closely what I was doing.  The reason I listed headings even though I was going to delete them later, is that it provided me a mental picture of what would be scheduled in that "perfect week" and how to space them evenly.  For example, if i were to do  history 3x a week, like you see on the schedule, if it were a regular schedule, M, W, F, would work just fine, but since its a loop schedule, the Friday history would be really close in proximity to the Monday history, so what i did was schedule History at the end of monday, and the middle of wednesday, and the beginning of friday.   After that, I added in other subjects where they fit best.  

Step 2.   Remove all the days of the week.  Number each item (optional) 

Here's what mine looks like. 

I could BARELY fit it with the snipping tool, so you'll see it started to cut off "nature study"

This gives you a list to work from. 

Step 3. Convert to a circle visual (optional)

I am omitting this step for me, because I think the list will work just fine- but if you'd like a visual, this is the idea.  It shows you also the problems i ran into trying to schedule straight on the circle and why a list, at least in the beginning is preferable.  

Step 4: Make lists of each subject

Finally you just need to make a list of each topic and what you will cover.  I've not done this part yet, and i might just "wing it" but i suspect that it will work better if its brainless- So i'll eventually end up making lists, and I'd urge you to do so as well.  OR just do the next thing in the subjects where its already brainless, like if you use just one math book.  (I like to complicate things by using several, plus living math literature)

How to use your loop schedule

Now that you have a loop schedule, you are all set.  Start on number one.  Go through as much as you want to on that day.  Start over the next day where you leave off.   *IMPORTANT*  At the start of the next week, take over where you left off, NOT at the beginning of the list or else you will miss out on whatever you didn't get done.  

One final note-  You may decide there are subjects you just plain want to be sure to cover every day.  For us those subjects are  Bible, including Bible study, memorization, and alternating days we do Biblical history and Biblical Worldview.   So we'd start our loop schedule after the daily items.  You may decide LA and Math need  to be done daily, which is totally fine.  Do them before you start the loop!  

Other blog posts on Loop Scheduling

Thanks for reading and good luck scheduling!  I'll post later as to how well its working for us!! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: The MoneySmart family system By Steve and Annette Economides

I have loved the Economides' books since they first came out.  I have their two previous books, also family financed based.  And I admit that i was fascinated by a couple who's name was "Economides" who wrote about money!   Too much for my little brain i guess :)  Anyway, I loved this book as much as I loved their previous books.  I think The MoneySmart family system is a GREAT addition to anyone's family library.

The author's write in an engaging way about why its important to raise money smart kids- they talk about the implications of children who are crippled by this lack of skill.  But they take it a step further and not only talk about WHY your kids need this skill, but give practical examples of how to practically implement this skill in your home! I found many great ideas that I will use in my family, as we definitely have "issues" in this area.  I love how the authors come from a background of a large family without a lot of money.  This I can relate to, and it not only makes them more credible, but means that they are providing the valuable information that us family people NEED.  I don't want to know about investments right now or building or maximizing our portfolio! i just want to raise children who love the Lord and who use their money effectively for HIS purpose.  Their system is one that shows me how to do that! Additionally, It also teaches responsibility all around.  And its doable being quite broke, as we are constantly!

I give the MoneySmart family system a 5 star review!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our first day of school!!!!

And it was a SLAMMING success, by my standards!  Despite it being a bit of a difficult day sending Ash off and all!  

First, I'll post pics of all my beautiful kiddos, click to make them bigger if you'd like. 

         Isn't he a sweetie.  I <heart> my sweet Ashie.  He got to experience the schoolbus for the first time today... more on that later.  Next is Elliott, who is looking JUST like his Grandma Lois these days! holy cow! 

Next is Leif, Annabeth, Chloe, Nik and Alex :) 

And a couple of group pics, since it took 2 to catch everyone's face :)

So, we did pictures, and got Asher ready for the bus.  Then I brought him out to the bus.  I had been preparing him for a few weeks... talking about how a school bus would come to our house, and how it would pick him up, and he'd say "Bye bye mommy!" and go to school on the bus.   

Well, today came, and the bus pulled in...  after a wow... and a point by ash.... 

And then I walked him, no- nearly dragged him to the bus! his reaction was NOT what i'd expected. but he did get on the bus and I walked in with him and talked to him as he buckled in.  Poor guy was pretty shell shocked...   

It was hard- both Elliott (his twin) and I were bawling our eyes out. But we survived and had a pretty fun day.  

We started by sorting through papers, labeling dividers and making covers for everyone's binders.  We then did our Bible time, and our study in "Leading little ones to God"   Then we had some yummy cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa for snack. I think that will be a new first day tradition.  

Then everyone went outside and ran around, I finished binder work and when they came back in, we moved to the couch for read aloud time.   We got a total of 4 books read (or a chapter or two read, depending on the book) which I felt great about for our first day! 

Reading aloud is our primary goal for this year- there is SO MUCH great literature out there, and a good book is so inspiring, transformative, and all around FUN!  I'm loving independent homeschooling this year and am so grateful to not have to have so much accountability.  I love that we can learn what we want, when we want, and use as much "religious" material as we want! 

Ash made it home! and Elliott gave him a GIANT hug.  Everyone was so happy to see him!  He seemed really shell shocked and didn't seem happy to see us, but i suppose its the crazy newness of the whole experience...     

What was funny was he spent the entire afternoon/evening singing "Bus bus bus buh buh bus" to the tune of "the wheels on the bus"  I guess i know what song they did in circle time at school!  He's so musical :) probably a musical genius :) autism does have its benefits!  

Its never felt so good to rock my sweetie to sleep... ahh... i love my ashie... 

All in all, it was a good day.   Hopefully the first of many! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting ready for school!!!!!

This year, i've spent the last couple mornings watching the school kids with their new backpacks, new shoes and clothes, headed off to school, and have been able to say that my children are NOT among them!   This year, we are super blessed to again get to homeschool!  Not that i'd change last year, necessarily.  It was a tactile learning experience in a way that would likely have not had the same impact, had we not experienced. Scars remain, namely in my extremely independent 6th grader, and my fragile 3rd grader, but we are together and can work through them.  Last year at Brigadoon, which is a wonderful elementary school with a very homey, community feel to it, my children were blessed with teachers and administrators that honestly cared for them- They really went out of their way for my children and we were blessed to have them  I'm sad that Asher, my 3yo will not be able to go to preschool there, but his new teacher, Mrs Michelle, seems quite capable and hopefully can handle my thunderbolt of an energetic guy.

I am super excited.  This year, HOPEFULLY will prove to be easier and less traumatic than last.  I say hopefully only because my sweet lil' Ash is going to be in preschool this year, which is only 3 hrs a day 4 days a week, but being barely 3, it still concerns me.  Thankfully, extended day doesn't start for a couple months, which is great, at that point we get to decide if he'll be in it- which i'm leaning toward and Andy is leaning against, but i think the deciding factor rests on how well Ash does in preschool.   If he's still screaming to not get on the bus (which i fully expect the first few days, but after that, no clue!) then that might be a good sign to us that its just too much for him right now.

This year my student line up includes ALL my children, for the first and last time.  (i guess not at all if you could ash being in PS)  Included will be Alex, 12th grade, who will be enrolled in Highline community college  with a full load again this year, but will still be doing critical thinking, Bible, and Theology at home.

   Nikolas, 8th grade, who has learning issues, I suspect he has disgraphia and discalculia, but i've never been able to confirm that.  He works at about grade level in writing/LA, maybe a tad below, and quite a bit below in math- namely because he's entirely stuck on memorizing addition/subtraction/multiplication tables.  However, he has a GREAT vision therapist who is helping him with tracking, to help increase his fluidity in reading, which he does well, but slowly- and is helping a TON with his math.  She's recommended we take a break from the curriculum and work on the process of math more, helping him understand the process inside out and learn the multiplication tables.  So that is what we will do. I have high hopes for him, because aside from being super smart, and creative, he's also got a GREAT attitude and is an incredibly hard worker .

Chloe is my upcoming 6th grader, who like her siblings is super smart.  She, despite having aspergers, is gloriously on level in both math and language, actually reading at a high school level and she will be starting Saxon math 76 this year, so actually she's ahead in that too.  HOPEFULLY she will thrive with that . For some reason she really did NOT like teaching textbooks, so i switched her to Saxon since she catches on easily and i figured would be fine doing independent math that is very thorough.  My biggest struggle with her  this year will likely be helping her to remain focused on being a part of a family and not so much doing her own thing and running with it.  I think school has really encouraged an "its all about me" attitude with her that i'm not liking.  

Annabeth, 3rd grade,  is my more neurologically severely affected child, who reads but struggles with fluidity and REALLY struggles with math.  Her thinking skills are where you can really see the most problems.  Her therapist (same as Nik's) did an test with her last year and asked questions that completely made me cry, like "What keeps a dog warm?"  Annabeth's answer- "his toy"  "What causes a ball to roll?" Annabeth's answer- "There's something in it"  "What makes ice melt" Annabeth's answer "water"  It was so so sooo hard seeing her like that, and knowing it really is consistant with the norm for her.  Thinking is so important, and left unchecked, I would have serious fears for her future.  In fact, even now i have serious fears for her because we have NO IDEA why her brain works the way it does and we have no clue if what we are doing will help her.  But at least the program her therapist has prescribed has shown short term effects, so we are left with that, and prayer that my beautiful daughter will not, in fact, be intellectually handicapped forever.   Her therapist has discovered that she needs an enormous amount of physical activity.  Thankfully she's drawn to physical activity anyway, but during her school day she will be 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, all day long of formal academics, the off time being involved in an organized physical activity, like jumping on the trampoline, or playing wall ball, or jump rope, etc.  Praying hard for my sweetie. 

Leif, 1st grade,  is partly a really easy child, partly a really difficult child.  He's super smart, above grade level in math, not sure how much yet, but i might have another Alex on my hands.   Reading he does well when he chooses.  He had a burst this summer and all of a sudden started reading much better, which has always been my experience with teaching kids to read.  The difficulty comes with his personality.  We have suspicions that he might be an aspie like alex and chloe, but are not sure, and are not sure if we want to "go there" with seeking a diagnosis and all that . He's just quite difficult, his personality is darker than the others and hes' very resistant to much of what i want to do with him, though he tries hard.  We'll see!  

Elliott might be reading in the next year or so... yeah, he's barely 3.  But he's incredibly bright.  I'm looking forward to some good quality one on one time with that little guy to start the day.  I think he will really thrive in our home setting.  

Asher, described above :)

This year, our main curricula is Organic Homeschooling.

  I love that this is a very gentle, easy program that focuses on reading aloud real, good quality books.  The overachiever in me screams out that i want to do much much more! But when i look back at my attempts to do "more" i see inconsistancy, many false starts.  THIS is doable, and its a wonderful progam.  I am SO EXCITED for this year!

I'm not sure how to make the intro video show up on the blog, but you can click here if you are interested to hear more about OH.

I'm most excited about Math-It and Pre Math-It which are pretty much EXACTLY what N and A's therapist want them to learn, in GAME form :)  Math It and Pre Math it

Math is the main subject we are supplementing in-  For annabeth, we'll start the year, in addition to Math it and Pre math it, with Jump at home math
Once we get caught up on the remdial stuff, with the exception of Chloe, who's using saxon, Alex, who's completed the entire Teaching Textbook series,  we'll be using  Teaching textbooks 3 and 7 with Annabeth and Nik.  This Curriculum is WONDERFUL.  Its wonderfully self-teaching, and self scoring... ahh... busy homeschool ma's dream :)

This year Leif's main math curricula will be Critical thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning level B, which he's about half way through from last year.  I have mixed feelings about it and probably won't buy the next level, unless we buy a core set from Timberdoodle in the spring, which we may well.  Its just pricey, and it seems like such a waste, all those pretty pictures, just to get marked in and thrown away...   Last year we were using Meridian Parent partnership, so it didn't matter that it was an expensive curriculum, but this year it does, since we are independent.   It is a good curricula though, and perfect for Leif, who learns math SUPER fast and doesn't need a lot of review.  We also will be doing some Life of Fred, and a few other math curricula since i'm a curriculum addict and buy it for fun <------- NERD!!!!! :)

For phonics for Leif, i'm using Happy phonics from Love to learn.  Which i LOVE.  its a game based phonics program that Leif is going to totally eat up.

Much of history Bible and Worldview is covered in Organic Homeschooling, but for my middle schoolers, i'm adding in some real literature from Simply Charlotte mason.  This handbook covers Modern times plus the Epistles and Revelation, which is AWESOME because we are covering Revelation in church also, so this will be timely.  

We'll be reading about both American  and World history from this time period,

And the Bible studies look so fascinating!!! i'm psyched about this year!!!

I know that eventually i'll be adding in more, likely using leftovers from previous years and i'm trying to get myself to be ok with not doing so much "MORE" since what we are doing is fine, and much of the reason I chose this plan is to be able to allow them to each follow their own bent.  Like for example, Nik will spend a good chunk of his free time working on his novel writing curriculum The One year Adventure novel.   And chloe will likely read and read and read.  And annabeth will do flips on the monkey bars, and Leif will play like a 6yo boy aught...  ahh.. i LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Swipe by Evan Angler

Enter the world of Logan Langley- a time in the future, the specifics of which are not revealed, but much has changed.  He is 13 years old and about to receive the "Mark"  (Read- mark of the beast of Revelation) There is, however a conflict.  His sister, many years ago went to receive the mark and never returned.  Additionally, Logan has the strange feeling that he's being watched and followed.  Along with his new, more sophisticated friend from the capitol of the new nation, Evan will seek to figure out what in the world is going on- before its too late. 

Ok, so I'm not a fiction reader much at all.  Honestly, i read for information.  I watch television for pleasure! That's not even entirely true, because I DO enjoy reading for information.  Anyway, I got this book from Book Sneeze on a whim, having been a fan of the "Left Behind" series years ago.  And what i found when i added this ebook to my ipod was quite a page turner.  In the genre of apocalyptic dystopia, this book is unique and inspired.   I have to say, i was quite surprised as it wasn't what I was expecting.  It seems secular in its approach- Christ was not mentioned at all, you'd never know it was based on a Biblical future event at all.  The futuristic elements were cool and mostly pretty believable, though a bit Cliche.  (nano ink, nano-this, nano-that) I really enjoyed reading this as an ebook in particular, as the couple times when i forgot who a character was, i was able to search the name and immediately come up with the backstory, where as with a regular in-hand book, i would have looked, and looked and eventually just given up. 

Now, if you are like me, you will tend to get all cerebral and point out all the inconsistancies and microscopic flaws in the story, the semi-believable characters, the odd scenarios, but I found if i just kicked back and allowed myself to believe the story as it rolled out before me, I really really enjoyed it.  It took me a while to get to reading it, but only about 2 days in between family obligations and late nights up reading to finish it.   I read it and EAGERLY awaited the sequel to come out.  I am giving this book a full 5 stars, not because it is perfect, but because it was entertaining and succeeded in holding my very fleeting attention, AND because I was so eager to get ahold of the sequel.  This book is marketed toward middle school age kids, but I really enjoyed it.  I think its range is quite wide, in appeal.  I have no hesitation recommending "Swipe" to readers ages 11 or so on up. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Monday, July 30, 2012


Hey all! i'm doing a big clean-out and will be posting some stuff for sale, homeschool stuff, diapers, etc.  I'll be updating this page periodically, so please check back!! Sorry for the weird formatting! ugg.

Prices do not include shipping, but i'll ship whatever way is cheapest, usually bookrate for books and media, or fedex ground for big stuff or first class for little stuff.

I'd also be willing to trade for Life of fred books, queen homeschool items, and other stuff... i'll add as i think of it :)  If you'd like anything, please email me at

My American Journey history kits.  I THINK these are out of print

Calvert 1 i think? enrichment workbook $5 
This is what the above history kits look like , they include a  nice hardcover book, workbook, character trait, cards, primary source documents
An assortment of mothering magazines in well used condition, mostly old ones, 16 total  $10 for the lot


$5 for the lot

the two workbooks on the right have writing, the left do not.  $10 for the lot

Dead animals- ugg. for dissecting, 4 of them, starfish, perch, grasshopper who's leg fell off and clam free with purchase

GC  $3


$10 in binder


the kind of counting blocks with the little circle- bin not included  $3

A different kind of counting blocks- big circles $3

Big lot of covenant home curriculum items- i started collecting these and then just gave up and started buying all put together curricula :) $20

This is the majority of what is needed for Hewitt homeschooling preschool plus, missing 2 books and will add "for the child's sake" for $5 if wanted  $45 lot

Partial lot of CHC  preschool, some of the workbooks compromised, main books are in good shape $20

$10 good condition

$5 good condition

$4 good condition

$5 excellent condition- AMAZING book.

$5 good condition

$4 good cond

$5 for set of 2




$8 set/new


$20 ec

$5 ec





$10 like new




















6th grade winter promise program guide with worksheets $10
Bum genius all in ones-  gently used, they were our backups so they didn't get hit as hard as our flips  velcro is worn , varying degrees, but still all works well, below is an example of one of the more worn ones.  $10 each plus shipping,

Cutey baby all in 2s  these are SUPER ABSORBANT. the one downside is the velcro is not so great- not worn out, it just wasn't great to begin with, but ive never had them fall off...  $7 each or all 3 for $20

bum genius 4.0 i think...  excellent condition, barely used, with insert $10

Dream eze large, AIO these are fabulously absorbant and trim.  the downside is they take a while to  dry , some staining,  $5 each. 

BSWW medium, this has a wide size range and these are in excellent condition! excellent quality  $5 each  2 AVAIALBLE, 2 have SOLD