Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blueberry Picking 2014

The kids and I went with my mom to do our annual blueberry picking back at the end of July.  (Turns out I found a pile of blueberries in my freezer when it died this summer, so didn't really need any...but it's fun!) 
 
This year the tractor and wagon was back!  Blake really missed it last year and kept asking when it was coming even though we were right by the front.  I think Morgan was happy to have a ride too...look at that smile! :-)
 Sweater is on inside-out, but at least the blueberries won't be staining the 'right' side! ;-)

 It was warm enough that the sweater came off anyway.  Look at all those blueberries!
 They love sticking their little faces in these. This year they're both tall enough that it actually worked! :-)
 And since we didn't fill ourselves up on the berries, we went out to eat afterwards.  The kids were spoiled with their own bottles of pop.  It made them feel pretty special!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Fizz, Boom, Read!" Summer Reading Program 2014

The kids and I did A LOT of reading this summer!  Within the 2 months that our library's summer reading program ran, I read 24 hours to the kids.  Morgan ended up with nearly 74 hours, so 50 hours of reading on her own!  Blake ended with about 29 hours, which was mostly from what I read to him, but Morgan read some books to him too without me.
 
It's really fun reading with the kids, but a couple things made it a little extra fun this summer.  The library's summer reading program theme was science, which the kids LOVE.  They kicked off the summer reading program by having the Michigan Science Center come and do all sorts of neat fire-type reactions.  I have to admit that it was pretty awesome!  I was so involved that I almost forgot to take pictures, but got a couple at the very end. :-)
 
 Beyond the kick-off, the library then had a different science activity almost every Friday.  We missed the first one where they were making lava lamps, but we made it to make terrariums.  (FYI-I can not keep house plants alive...they died, we replaced them, those died...I gave up!)
 
There was a sink/float activity that I didn't get pictures of.  Basically the kids put different things in water to see what would sink and what would float, then they experimented with different candy to see what would sink/float.
 
The kids also made what is a lot like silly putty one Friday.  That was pretty cool...as you can see from Morgan's expression :-)

Another Friday, we had some friends over, and they went with us to do some solar activities.  The kids made bracelets with beads that changed color in the light and raced solar cars. :-)
 
The last 'science' activity was mostly using pop and having it react to things.  The best one was using pop and Mentos and seeing the pop shoot WAY up in the air! :-)
 
The library ends the summer reading program with a picnic each year and this year they had a local place come and bring some exotic animals.  I hadn't heard of most of the animals before and it was really neat learning about each one!
 
There were also prizes drawn after the picnic and Morgan happened to win one!  It just topped off a very fun reading program this summer.

The other thing that made reading extra fun for us this summer was reading some classics and then having movie nights to watch the movies based on those classics.  These are the ones that I can remember reading: Little Women, A Little Princess, How to Train Your Dragon (saw the movie first, then wanted to read the book) and The Secret Garden.  It seems like there were more, but those were the main ones.  I think we read some of the stories that the Disney Princess movies were based off of too.  We also read Farmer Boy, (we had read Little House in Big Woods this past winter), and I hope to read Little House on the Prairie soon too.  I hope to track down some of the TV episodes so the kids can see those after we read it.  We had SO MUCH fun doing this, I hope to do even more next summer...if I can wait that long...it might end up being an ongoing thing.  ;-)

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Bible Times" Review & GIVEAWAY (10/1)

*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.



About Treasury of Bible Stories:
Children ages 4 to 8 will be delighted by these rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations. Featuring lyrical stories full of lighthearted moments, this colorful collection of Magnificent Tales is perfect for reading out loud. As families read these stories night after night, they will make memories together while learning about the Bible.

Check out the book trailer!

My Review:
I thought I had a favorite storybook Bible, and no other could possibly come close, but the Treasury of Bible Stories is now another favorite!  The kids and I both got caught up in the stories as we read them each night.  The rhyming was just so creative, and fun, that many times they begged me to read "just one more"...several times in a night...and we'd end up reading three or four stories!!  Most of the stories were short, only taking about five minutes to read, so reading several was never an issue. ;-)

The kids enjoyed the Treasury of Bible Stories so much that I thought I'd ask them what they'd say about it:

Morgan:  "People would love to read it!"
Blake: "It's really FUN!"

The best part is that the kids are learning the Bible stories and having fun at the same time! What a wonderful way to experience the bible for the kiddos!

I also wanted to share a portion of the story "Every Beast Times Two" (Noah's Ark), so you could get a feel for the rhyming in the Treasury of Bible Stories and, also, why the kids and I couldn't help but chuckle now and then:

"For days and days they'd huddled close,
all cozy, safe, and well.
Now, men and beasts were getting bored,
and things began to *smell." 
*Emphasis added...because it's more fun to read it that way ;-)

Such a fun storybook Bible!!  I highly recommend that this be added to your children's home library so it can be enjoyed over and over again!

Buy It!:
The Treasury of Bible Stories released on September 1st and can be purchased at Christianbook.com for $14.99!!

GIVEAWAY!:
One lucky reader is going to win their own copy of the Treasury of Bible Stories!

To enter to win leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address with the comment, so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Extra Entries:(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)

*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
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Open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen shortly after and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Hero" Review and GIVEAWAY! (9/28)

*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the following film in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way.

About Hero (from the press release):
From producers of Alone Yet Not Alone, comes a heartfelt movie about legendary small town baseball coach, Joe Finn (Burgess Jenkins, Remember the Titans, Nashville, The Shunning), who after taking his shot as a scout for the big leagues returns home to discover the damage he's done by leaving his family behind. Now on a quest to rebuild his relationship with his son David, Joe forms a new baseball league to reinvigorate the underdog little league team his son had been coaching. Together, as father and son, they try to put away their differences and help bring their ragtag team of ball players, “The Gappers”, to victory.

Check out the trailer!

My Review:
This is such a wonderful movie to show the importance of fathers in their son's lives.  Even strained relationships between fathers and sons can heal and become something wonderful later in life.  It's not something that I can completely understand, being a girl and all, but I can definitely see how our son is a completely different little man when he's with his Dad...there is something special there...

I also liked how, in the movie, they stressed for the boys to work hard and be the best baseball players that they could be....how it's important to have fun, but it's really fun to win and know the work you put into it to get there.  It's definitely something to be proud of! :-)

Hero is a great movie and I highly recommend it....for dads especially! :-)

To learn more about Hero, check out the website here: http://www.herofamilymovie.com/HERO_Movie_Official_Site/Home.html

Buy It!:  Hero can currently be preordered through WalMart.com for $12.96.  It will be available to purchase in stores on September 16th.

GIVEAWAY!:

Congrats to comment #8, Rosey!

One lucky reader is going to win their own copy of the Hero DVD!

To enter to win leave a comment below. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address with the comment, so I can contact you if you're the winner.
Extra Entries:(1 extra entry per method. Leave a comment for each.)
*Subscribe to my blog in the upper left hand corner.
*Follow me through Google Friend Connect
*Follow me on twitter.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment
*Follow me on
Pinterest
*Pin an image from this post to one of your boards
*Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post and let me know which post.

Open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. Giveaway will end Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be chosen shortly after and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise I will have to choose a new winner.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

4-H Fair Projects 2014

Our county's 4-H fair was back in mid-August.  The kids are still too young to show their own animals at fair, but are enjoying being Cloverbuds right now and taking 'still' projects.  They are both getting anxious to be able to work hard in their project areas and be able to compete with other kids their age to earn bigger ribbons though! :-)

MORGAN'S PROJECTS
Rocks & Minerals
 

Photography

Arts & Crafts: Jewelry (pendant)

Arts & Crafts: Painting
 
Woodworking (Morgan took scraps of wood and created, and painted, this herself.  Had some help nailing it together though.)

 BLAKE'S PROJECTS
Rocks & Minerals
 
 Woodworking (Blake also took scraps of wood to create this and painted it himself. Again, he had some help with nailing it together.)

Birds Project
 
Judging was on a Saturday and we made it back to the fair on Monday to see the sights and ride the rides.  Since the kids are 4-Hers, they get in free all week, plus get one day of riding rides for free, so we make sure to take full advantage of that! ;-)  In a couple more years I'm sure we'll be spending all week at the fair taking care of animals....the kids are really pushing for those cute goats the neighbor has-lol!  They just have to convince their Dad... :-)