Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Best Pencil Sharpener Review

We've been homeschooling for 9 years now and every year I try out a new pencil sharpener.  I hope that this will be the one that works out for us but it never is, BOO!  I know that a pencil sharpener doesn't sound like that big of a deal but when you and your children are constantly sharpening pencils and they break during the process or come out uneven it becomes very frustrating.
   Here's a picture of several of the sharpeners we've used over the years.

Both of these pics were taken after we sharpened the pencils with our regular sharpeners.  Notice how the bottom picture the top pencil was sharpened unevenly.  That was from our electric pencil sharpener that we bought this year, it doesn't work very well. At first I thought that some lead had gotten stuck inside and wasn't letting us sharpen our pencils to a nice, pointy tip. Unfortunately, that was not the case.  The electric sharpener just eats up half the pencil and the tip never gets very sharp.
My friend ShaRhonda over at The 4-Crow's blogged about her experience with the Quietest Pencil Sharpener Ever. I was intrigued and to be honest a little bit jealous but she mentioned that Troy at Classroom Friendly Supplies was looking for people to spread the word about their pencil sharpeners.  I knew I could definitely do that so I sent an email and right away I heard back that a pencil sharpener was on its way to me.  I felt like a kid in a candy store when the sharpener arrived, we pulled out all of the pencils we could find and started sharpening and WOW was I impressed!
Not only is this the quietest sharpener but it's the VERY best sharpener I've ever used.  It kind of made me feel nostalgic and brought back memories of the pencil sharpeners that we used when I was in school.

 Check out the points on these pencils after using the new sharpener, AMAZING!!!!
 I love the Firehouse Red, you also have the option to choose Cool Blue, Groovy Green, Midnight Black or Precious Pink.
 I love that the shavings tray is nice and deep so you can sharpen a ton of pencils before you have to empty it.

 This sharpener has a fantastic feature, you don't even have to hold the pencil to sharpener it!  What will they think of next?

All of this for only $24.99, I think that's a wonderful price for this quiet, precise sharpener. Since the owner of the company is an elementary school teacher he knows exactly what you go through on a daily basis sharpening pencils in the classroom and he has found a wonderful solution.  Just click on this link and you can purchase your own Best Pencil Sharpener too!

You can also check them out on Facebook
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time Travelers History-Hopping John

Each week as we've been traveling through the US Civil War we've enjoyed learning about different leaders, Civil War vocabulary words, different battles, slavery, women of the Civil War and we've had some fun along the way.  During our first week we made the recipe Hopping John, it was pretty good.  I'm sure it's a shocker for some of you but I've never had black eyed peas before (gasp).  Kylan and I liked it but Makenzie didn't care for it at all.

6 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (reserve 2 Tbs. drippings)
 2 c. water
 1 lb. black-eyed peas
1 c. rice
 1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

     If using dried black-eyed peas, soak overnight and drain in the morning. Bring a fresh 2 cups of water to a boil. Add peas, rice, salt, pepper, and drippings to the water. Return water to a boil, stir, and turn burner to simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook another 25-35 minutes or until all water is absorbed and rice is soft. Stir in crumbled bacon and serve.
For those of you that are wondering about our choice of curriculum it's Time Travelers-The Civil War by Homeschool in the Woods.  No, I'm not getting paid for this nor did I receive any items for free.  I just love this so much that I want to share the info with all of you!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Time Travelers History-Lighting the way to freedom

In our study of the Civil War we've been learning about the Underground Railroad and how runaway slaves would risk so much to escape slavery and find freedom in the north.  One way that we learned about was a lantern was hung in a window with the big dipper on it, this was a symbol letting the "train conductor" know they were still on the correct path.  Lighting the way to freedom, the North Star in the lantern would show which way the railroad was heading.  To make your own Freedom Lantern you need to freeze a can full of water and a printout of the Big Dipper. Make sure you don't forget this important step or your can will end up being smashed in.  You need a large nail for the North Star and a smaller nail for the rest of the Big Dipper.

Using rubber bands secure your printout to your can.
 Turn it sideways and carefully hammer the large nail into the North Star and the small nail into the other stars.
Make sure an adult is present to help you, next remove the paper and rubber bands and run the can under warm water. The ice should easily fall out, dry the can but be very careful around the edge so you don't cut yourself. 

Next we attached wire handles and placed a small votive in the bottom.  Light your votive and place in a dark room.  Be very careful the tin cans get very hot and can burn you!

In the next couple of weeks our family will be traveling to see some Civil War sites and in November we're headed to a reenactment of the only Civil War battle in Oklahoma (was Indian Territory at that time).  We can't wait!
Thanks for reading,

PS I forgot to mention that we're still using Homeschool in the Woods' Time Traveler Series and we LOVE it.  For less than $30 it was well worth the money and I'm highly considering the purchase of the Industrial Revolution and WWII series.  If you've used them I'd love to hear what you thought!

Friday, October 04, 2013

Rufus and Ryan- Go to Church children's book review

 About the Board Book-
In Rufus and Ryan Go to Church! Ryan explains to his stuffed monkey, Rufus, what is happening as they attend church on Sunday morning. He lets Rufus know when it's time to sing and to pray and to be quiet.
About the series: Rufus and Ryan is a new series of board books for preschoolers, featuring Ryan, an energetic little boy, and his stuffed monkey Rufus. The series focuses on religious and church concepts, as well as character traits and development. The text is presented in young Ryan's voice as he teaches Rufus about the things he is learning himself. In about 150 age-appropriate words, author Kathleen Bostrom brings a delightfully light touch to the text as she provides an introduction to practices and experiences that many children are exposed to long before they understand why. And children everywhere will relate to the idea of explaining their surroundings to a favorite companion as they go about their daily activities.

My Opinion-
Rufus and Ryan is an adorable series of books that would delight any young child.  We received Rufus and Ryan Go to Church! and it was really sweet, the basics about how a typical church service would go.  This board book is very sturdy and would be a great addition to a young child's home library and is sure to become a well loved book.  The book is about Ryan (the little boy) taking his stuffed monkey Rufus to church with him, most children will be able to relate to the book as Ryan explains the church service to his stuffed monkey.

Also available is Rufus and Ryan say their prayers.  I haven't seen that one yet but I'm sure it's a adorable as this one.

Meet the author:
Kathleen Long Bostrom- is an accomplished author who has written numerous children's books, including Sunrise Hill and Mary's Happy Christmas Day. She lives in Wildwood, Illinois, with her husband and three children.

and the illustrator:

Rebecca Thornburgh for more illustrations click on her link!
Thanks for reading,


The Flirtation Experiment-book review and giveaway

About the authors:  Lisa Jacobson  is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of Club31Women.com, an online community of Christian women aut...