Secular Schooling, Love, Family, Friends, Playing, Cooking, Baking, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Music, Dance, Traveling, Reading, and Volunteering


all while living with Chronic Illness

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm Back, I've Grown, I've Changed, I'm the Same

Hi everyone,

Well it's been almost a year and a half since I last blogged and what a roller coaster ride it has been. It has been a time of great personal change and growth, I've come out the other side bruised and battered but stronger and more confident in myself.

I've learned I can't love someone enough if they don't love themselves, I can set boundaries for myself of what I am willing to do and that is my right as a person. I can listen to others but don't have to make their reality my own. I am worth fighting for.

I am again becoming the same strong confident person I was when I was younger and I have missed me. I don't know how I got lost, I think it was incrementally, powered by emotional and physical exhaustion and guilt.

I still have a long ways to go in combating negative self talk but feel I have the tools and support to get me back to the woman I know I can be, for myself and for my children.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

AlphaTots App Review

AlphaTots by Spinlight Studio

Price: $2.99

This is one of Yellow and Reds favorite apps! They can easily navigate through it without adult help, which I am finding out is a very good quality. Once the child picks a letter, the letter is shown in upper and lowercase and the narrator repeats the letter name and sound. Then there is an activity associated with it using the chosen letter. The activities are interesting enough to keep the child's attention and keeps them coming back for more. There is also an alphabet song that shows the upper and lower case letters as it is sung. I was surprised how much my kids like the song and will listen to it over and over again. Graphics are very cute and child appropriate. This is definitely worth $2.99. 

Skills Reviewed: A-Z letters and sounds, upper and lower case letters, alphabet song.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Endless ABC App Review

 Endless ABC by Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

Price: Free for limited time 

This is a ridiculously adorable app the kids and I both enjoy! Each letter of the alphabet has a vocabulary word starting with that letter the child can choose from. Once the child chooses a letter the monsters bring in the letters and scatter them across the page. In the center is an outline of the word and the child moves the letter into it's proper position. As they are moving the letter it wiggles and makes a monstery letter sound. Once they place the letter in the correct position a woman's voice names the letter. Once the word is completed, the word is repeated and the monsters act out the word as the definition is read by the narrator.

Skills reviewed: Letter sounds, letter names, vocabulary (more advanced then most ABC apps)

Bought an iPad

I took the plunge and bought an iPad. I knew the battle was futile as soon as I walked into the Apple Store. All those smiling faces and friendly salespeople were just too much for my already weakened condition.

So as you can imagine I have spent the last few days at the iTunes store looking at educational apps for the kids. It didn't help that we are all feeling a little under the weathers so it was a cuddling and movie watching weekend.

I am going to try to write reviews on the apps we're using. Looking on-line and in the app store I was completely overwhelmed by the choices available! I hope they will help others in their quest through the mountain of educational apps.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbye Enbrel, Hello Humira

Enbrel and I have parted ways after I developed a fairly severe site-injection reaction. Oddly enough, I didn't have a reaction in the beginning when most people get them, but started getting it around month 5. My Rheumatologist had me start taking Benadryl and Zantac on shot day (in addition to the Claritin I already took daily). That worked for a couple of weeks but then I had to start taking them the day before, day of, AND the day after my injection. So for 3 days of every week I was a very drowsy/loopy lady :-). The last shot I injected ended up with a 5" diameter injection site reaction and the beginning of swelling in my hands and feet. As you can imagine, my Rheumy said I was done with Enbrel.

So Humira and I have been dating for the past 8 weeks. So far, we are starting off slow, but I am hopeful it could lead to something more. So far no site-injection reactions! Please keep your fingers crossed that it starts working soon AND I don't have an allergic reaction to it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bedtime Math

I stumbled across Bedtime Math while reading the It's Working for Me Blog, and was intrigued by the name. Bedtime math, what in the world could that be?

Each day there is a new word math problem presented and three challenge levels: Wee Ones (preK), Little Ones (K-2nd) and Big Kids (2nd +). Obviously those grades are approximate and you can choose whichever problem(s) would be a good fit for your child.

They also offer a free PDF calendar that you can add your own stickers too, to show which days your child completed the problem.

I think Blue might really enjoy this and the word problems are on fun topics and don't feel too "school-y".

Thursday, December 6, 2012

History Odyssey Timelines

I just received my History Odyssey Timelines from Rainbow Resource and they are lovely! I ordered both the HO Timelines and the HO Prehistory Timeline.

The HO Timelines has 4 timelines included: Ancients (6,000 BCE to 500 AD), Middle Ages (AD 500- 1600), Early Modern (AD 1600-1850) and Modern TImes (AD 1850 to 2020). Each timeline has 7 rows with small labels on the far right and left:

-Wars and Conflicts
-Inventions and Discoveries
-Eras/Reigns Dynasties
-General Events
-Men and Women
-Art/Architecture and Literature

I also purchased the HO Timeline Sticker Pack with 200 black and white stickers. There are 50 stickers for each time period covered and has an explanation on the back of who/what the sticker is and the dates associated with it. There are no stickers for the prehistory timeline.

The Prehistory Timeline covers 2 milion BC to 7,000 BC. It is approximately 4 inches longer than the other timelines and does not have the titled rows.

After receiving the timelines I took them straight to Office Depot and had them laminated, hopefully this will increase their chance of survival with my three little ones! The total for all five timelines to be laminated was $42.29. I used my Office Depot Star Teacher reward card and saved about $7.50, this is a benefit available to homeschoolers and is easy to sign up for online.

Next step is to find a wall space big enough for all of them!