icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Miracle for Jen

I just read a wonderful, inspiring book-Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick with John Perry, which I received from Tyndale House Publishers.  This is a true story about a family hit by a drunk driver, and their 15 year-old daughter's struggle to survive.  The Barrick family was strongly grounded in their faith, and they had to learn to accept God's new plan for their life.  Jen, even when barely conscious and unable to recognize her family, would praise God for hours from a semi-comatose state.  When not praying and singing to God, she would be drooling and unable to form words!  Her praise to God was clear  and loud! 

Reading about the Barrick family and their faith and strength during such a horrible time in their lives was definitely inspiring. They prayed for a miracle, but God didn't always answer their prayers the way they expected.  You won't be able to put Miracle for Jen down!!


I have one copy of Miracle for Jen to give away! If you win, you will receive a certificate to mail in to Tyndale for your copy! Here is what you need to do to enter:

1. Just leave a comment below! Read anything good lately??

For one additional entry each, you can do the following (must leave a comment for each entry with a link, if applicable, letting me know what you did):

* Follow me on GFC or Linky Followers (on right sidebar)

* Follow me on Twitter (right sidebar)@athenalang

* Tweet about this giveaway

* Blog about this giveaway

* Post on Facebook about this giveaway

The winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at midnight MST. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Winner of The Woodcarver DVD!!

And the winner is..............#35, Robin!!  Congratulations Robin and thanks to everyone who entered.  Check back later today for a giveaway of a great book!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shutterfly Yearbooks!!

I graduated High School many years ago, but every few years my old Yearbooks catch my eye and I peak through them.  I also love looking at my parents' Yearbooks-it's a window to a time in their lives I wasn't around for!!

Now, photo yearbooks are so easy to make!  We used to only have them for High School, but now, thanks to Shutterfly, you can make them for all your kids' years of schooling! You might be thinking-Wait, but you homeschool!  Yes I do, but many of us homeschoolers are part of co-ops and other support groups.  These yearbooks would be perfect to preserve school memories and friends!
Shutterfly Yearbooks make it easy and affordable to create a Yearbook for your child and their school! Use their specially designed page templates with the all new Custom Path to create a unique and special memory! These award-winning books are printed in color and professionally bound. The colors look rich and vibrant!

You can get a Shutterfly Yearbook for up to 75% off, as low as $5 per Yearbook!  You must contact Shutterfly for a quote.   This is really neat-your Yearbook is saved forever and you can re-order it anytime! Also, it only takes about 3 weeks to receive your Yearbook once you've ordered it!

Go ahead-check out Shutterfly Yearbooks at their website.  Also, follow the Shutterfly Social Channels:

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Plentiful Day of Samples!

All of these samples were in my mailbox the other day!  Usually the samples trickle in during the week, but every once in a while-BAM!  A bunch come at once and it's like Christmas! Samples are much more fun to open than bills!!

Here is what I got:
*Tide Pods
*Everpure Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-in Treatment
*Feminine Hygiene products
*Clean & Clear Body Wash
*Beneful dog treats
*Origins Weil Skin Correcting Serum

 There are several reasons I do get samples, and here is a post about why I do and my favorite sites to get samples.  Go take advantage of all the free samples out there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review and Giveaway! The Woodcarver DVD

My family enjoys watching movies together at home.  Our youngest is 9 years old now, and is just beginning to enjoy some of the same movies we do.  The Woodcarver, with John Ratzeberger, was a great movie for our entire family to watch together. About the movie, which was just released on March 13 by Faith and Family Films:

"Matthew Stevenson is a troubled kid from a broken home. When he vandalizes the local church to get back at his parents, Matthew has to repair the damage to the church to avoid criminal charges. While working at the church, he meets Ernest (John Ratzenberger), an accomplished wood carver who created the intricate woodwork decoration that Matthew destroyed. Ernest has become something of a hermit, but reluctantly comes out of reclusion to help repair the church. Now Ernest and Matthew must work together to preserve the church's beautiful antiquity, and along the way, they also manage to restore their faith in God and in life."

The Woodcarver has great messages in the storyline that are important for us all to reflect on, such as God not always answering our prayers in the way we want or expect.  The actors did a wonderful job portraying the characters, and the movie sparked some good conversation among us.  This will definitely be a movie we watch again!   If you are interested in buying The Woodcarver, you can purchase it at Christian Cinema for only $10.92. 

Now, for the GIVEAWAY!!!  *look at the end of this post for another way to win*

I have one copy of The Woodcarver DVD to give away!  Here's how to enter:

1. Just leave a comment below!

For one additional entry each, you can do the following (must leave a comment for each entry letting me know what you did):

* Follow me on GFC  or Linky Followers (on right sidebar)

* Follow me on Twitter (right sidebar)@athenalang

* Tweet about this giveaway

* Blog about this giveaway

* Post on Facebook about this giveaway

The winner will be drawn at random on Monday, March 26, 2012 at midnight MST. Good luck!

****Guess What??  Doreen over at Our Homeschool Ohana is also giving away a copy of The Woodcarver!!!  Here is the link for her giveaway: http://www.ourhomeschoolohana.blogspot.com/2012/03/woodcarver-dvd-review-and-giveaway.html
If you go over and enter at her giveaway, come back and let me know you did and I will give you one additional entry!!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sharing Smiley360

 I just became a Smiley360 member! Sign-up for free at http://bit.ly/lTDqVw
 Be heard. Be happy.   Try free, full-sized samples of products and share your opinion!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Little Break.......

My youngest and I are taking off on a week-long break to visit my parents and enjoy the California sunshine. It's snowing like crazy here in Utah, so it will be a welcome break! I'll be back around the 15th with a new giveaway for you!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Product Review~K5 Learning

Members of the TOS crew were recently given the opportunity to use and review K5 Learning, an online after-school supplemental study program.  Lessons are available in math, math facts, reading, and spelling.  
First, Chad was given math and reading assessments.  Parents are able to view the results and see exactly what grade level their child is at in each area.  Chad thought the assessments were too long- he was moaning and complaining about halfway through.  What is nice about the assessments and this program, though, is that the material your child works on after the assessments is entirely assessment-based.  Children are not just given work that corresponds with the grade they are in.  Also, the program adjusts to how your child is doing, making problems harder or easier if needed.  Below is an example of  reading assessment results:
K5 Learning lessons are multi-media, which always works best in our house.  Your child can work independently-I only needed to help Chad a few times.  There are fun games to play as rewards, and Chad enjoyed designing his own Avatar to use in the program.  Parents can check their child's progress at any time.  The characters used throughout the lessons look modern and fun, although Chad complained about a few voices being 'annoying'. 

The price for unlimited use of all K5 Learning programs is $25/month for the first child and $15/month for each additional child, or $199/year for the first child and $129/year for additional children.  You can see how the pricing works here.  For my family on a limited budget, this price would be too high for us, especially since it is a supplemental program and not a full curriculum.  I'm sure for some families K5 Learning would be the perfect after-school program. Before deciding for yourself, you can get a free 14 day trial!  Be sure to check out K5 Learning's website for sample lessons, an introductory video, and FAQs. 

Click here to read more reviews of K5 Learning from the TOS crew. 
Disclaimer: I was given a free trial of this program in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Product Review~Reading Eggs

If you've read posts on this blog, you most likely are aware that we have really struggled with Chad and reading.  He is 9 years old now, but at a 1st grade reading level.  He didn't learn to read in kindergarten or 1st grade while at public school, and since homeschooling he is reading and progressing, but very slowly.  Which. Drives. Me. Crazy.  When he was little, Nick (now 20) just caught on immediately and read like a pro.  Alyssa (now 17) needed more instruction and practice, but was an eager learner and didn't take long.  So I really haven't had experience with this frustration.  Now, he does have dyslexia, so I know that doesn't help. 

We have been focusing most of our energy on phonics and reading, and he is getting there.  But like I said above, slowly.  I've found a few great programs that I love and are working, but the problem is Chad doesn't like reading or learning to read or any of it.  So it has not been a fun situation for either of us.  Until I had the opportunity to review Reading Eggs the past few months!
Reading Eggs is meant for kids age 4-8, and there is a program for older kids (7-12) called Reading Eggspress.  It is an online world with games, songs, stories, and more where you learn to read!  There are currently 100 lessons-Chad took a test and was placed where he needed to start, on lesson 67.  I liked that he didn't have to sit and do lessons he didn't need.  He does several activities and games for each lesson, and is rewarded with golden eggs!!  These eggs hatch into avatars for your child to decorate and dress.

Just above is a screenshot of a learning activity.  I asked Chad what he likes about Learning Eggs, and he said 'Everything'!  His favorite activities are dressing up and buying things for his avatar, going to the toy store, earning eggs,  and the rhyming games. I asked him what he dislikes and he replied 'Nothing!  I love Reading Eggs!'  Is that awesome or what???  Whats nice is that he can do Reading Eggs all by himself, without me helping him.  He even woke up early one morning and asked if he could 'play' Reading Eggs while I was making breakfast!!

There is so much for kids to explore at Reading Eggs-Chad has been using it for two months now and is still discovering new things to do!  I have definitely noticed an improvement in his reading ability. The parents dashboard is a great tool to show you where your child is at in the program, and what they have been learning with each lesson. Click here to try a sample lesson. Click here for FAQs about the program.

Reading Eggs is affordable-online subscriptions are $9.95 per month, $49.95 for six months, or $75 for one year! Click here to purchase a subscription. There are also sibling discounts. Along with the online program, you can also purchase book packs, activity books, and flashcards.  The online subscription comes with free worksheets to print out too! You can get a 14 day trial subscription to try it out yourself.  I definitely recommend Reading Eggs if you have a beginning or struggling early reader.  We plan to purchase a subscription when our trial runs out!

Click here to read more TOS crewmember's reviews of Reading Eggs.

Disclaimer: I received a temporary membership to Reading Eggs in exchange for my honest review.