icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: February 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


About a month ago I was given the opportunity to review the educational website Time4Learning for a month in exchange for a review.  Well, that month is up, and it sure went quickly!! 

Time4Learning is for homeschoolers as a curriculum or supplement, or for children in school whose parents want them to have some extra instruction.  I used it with Chad, who is in 2nd grade but has some delays/learning disabilities.  He is at a 1st grade level in most subjects, but a little bit ahead in math and behind in language arts.  This program appealed to me because you can change the grade level of their instruction, to customize it for your child's needs. 

When Chad first was told about the program, he grumbled a bit, but as soon as he saw the colorful videos and graphics, he was hooked!  He enjoyed the independence of being able to move around the site himself, without needing Mom's help.  Here's how it works: the parent can go in ahead of time and set up what they want the child to work on in that session.  You can also set up how many minutes you want the child to work on lessons, and then how many minutes they get of playground time.  Chad loved the playground!  There were so many fun games to choose from. I also liked that since I could go in ahead of time to decide what he would work on, I could supplement with books that went along with the lessons for when we have our reading time.

For the most part, Chad could navigate himself around, and I appreciated that the lessons are said aloud for the child.  The only time I needed to help was when it was quiz time.  I would come in to read the quizzes for him.  One problem I had with Chad was he sometimes didn't pay much attention to the lesson, but focused more on watching when he could click the arrow to move ahead.  That is impulsivity on his part though; I'm not sure that there is anything in the program that could be changed to help with this problem. 

With my situation having a chronic disease that leaves me having days where I am in pain and have no energy, this is the perfect solution.  I could do our regular curriculum when I was feeling well, and on days I wasn't, Time4Learning was there. I was very impressed with Time4Learning and plan to continue using it to supplement our homeschooling.

**The author’s opinion is entirely her own, the content was not written byTime4Learning, but the writer was compensated.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Target clearance and coupon deals!

I do a lot of coupon-clipping, clearance and sale shopping to save money.  I find lots of deals, many free or almost free with mfg and store coupons and sales. I do plan to do a few blog posts on my coupon/shopping method soon. I have lots of ideas and methods that have evolved over 22 years of marriage, and want to share them, along with plenty of blogs and websites that help me out. There are so many awesome people out there who have very helpful sites!

This was my haul from Target:
Here is the breakdown:

Lampshades-we have needed them in our bedroom for a long time, but $30-$50 for  two lampshades just seemed ridiculous to me, and wasn't in the budget.  There were only two of these left, in the EXACT size/style we needed!!  I was SO excited.  So anyway...
Lampshades reg. $14.99 ea. clearance $3.74 x 2=$7.48
Quaker Oatmeal giant 22pk reg. $4.64 ea.  clearance $3.24 ea. -$1.00 ea. mfg coupon=$2.24 x 2=$4.48
Ladies shirt reg. $10.00 clearance $2.50
Colgate toothpaste 6 oz on sale for $2.19-$1.00 mfg coupon-$1.00 Target coupon=$0.19
Carefree pantyliner $.99-$1.00 mfg coupon=$0.01 overage
Jif Peanut Butter-this is the big 2-pack of 80 oz (40 oz each) you would buy at Sam's, etc. for around $7-8.
$6.99 reg. $1.74 clearance x 2=$3.48.
Total regular price of items was $70.88, my price (before tax) was $18.12!!!! That's a 75% savings!  

But, the Target savings don't end there!!!  After I left, the incredible savings on that peanut butter kept nagging at me.  I have a 19yo son who just moved into his first apartment and would live on peanut butter.  So.... I went back and bought 10 two-packs!!!
10 x $1.74=$17.40.  That is a lot of peanut butter-twenty 40 oz. jars.  But when you consider the regular price was $70 (75% savings), that is a huge savings and Nick will have peanut butter for a long time! Actually, I'm not sure about that 'long time' part.  You wouldn't believe how fast that boy can go through peanut butter.  Let's just say this: he will have peanut butter for a while, thanks to Mom and Target!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review-What's He Really Thinking?

'How to be a relational genius with the man in your life.'  That is the subtitle of this book by  Paula Rinehart.  It intrigued me.  This book is written from a Christian perspective, with biblical and scriptural examples scattered throughout it.  The author uses real-life illustrations, which I always enjoy reading in a self-help type of book like this.  Somehow the real-life examples help me understand the point the author is trying to make even further.  'What's He Really Thinking?' is mostly about the male-female relationship from a marriage standpoint, but also talks about other male relationships, even a man's relationship with his own father.  There are appendixes at the end of the book that are helpful: Praying for the man in your life, and Understanding this man.  Then after the appendix is a 'Relational Genius Guide' with questions to answer from each of the chapters in the book. 

I did enjoy this 'What's He Really Thinking?', and while I can't say there was information that I felt I didn't already know, the way the author presented the information was a great reminder of how we are different and how to best handle those differences. Paula Rinehart has cute little boxes on most pages with key points in them, and I really liked how they were presented.  An example from the chapter 'Understanding Your Influence': 'We are better able to love what we understand.  And loving and being loved is the main way we reflect the glory of God'. I did take quite a few notes from this book, and I would recommend it to others, especially young couples who are just starting out.

 Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review-The Goodness of God

I've just finished reading 'The Goodness of God' by Randy Alcorn.  This book was life-impacting for me.  It is a condensed version of his book 'If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil', which I plan to read next.  'The Goodness of God' is not long-118 pages, but there is a lot packed in those pages.  It is a book I will definitely come back to reference in the future.  I think most everyone, at one time or another in their life, questions why there is so much suffering and evil if God loves us so much.  Randy Alcorn answers that question with many different scripture references and examples throughout the book. 
Here is an excerpt from the back cover: " For those times when we're wounded by broken trust, assaulted by disease, or victimized by evil-or when we're crushed to see such things happen to people we love-Randy Alcorn offers something solid to hold on to."  I have a chronic illness, and this book has helped me to now have solid scripture references and understanding for why God chose me to live this life.  I would definitely recommend this book to hand out to anyone who is dealing with grief, suffering,or illness. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bible in 90 Days-day 36!!

Wow, I can't believe we are at day 36 in this journey!  It has been a great experience so far, and I have a feeling it will only get better.  These initial books of the old testament have a lot of history and laws in them, which can get kind of boring.  So far I have read from Genesis to Nehemiah, and today is Esther and starting Job.  That starts the 'Books of Poetry' of the bible-Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and song of Solomon.  I'm really looking forward to this next week of reading, it should be a nice change from the rules and history.   One thing I am surprised about is the amount of killing/fighting/death in what I have read so far.  I had no idea the magnitude of it.  God would command a king, and an entire village would be wiped out.  I knew that happened, but there is a lot more of it than I realized in these first books of the old testament.  I'm learning a lot about faith and sacrifice.  It is awesome to realize I am more than 1/3 through the Bible!  It hasn't been all easy-I have gotten behind by about 3-4 days a few times now, and it is a lot of work to catch up so I am trying not to let that happen again!