icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Purex~Let's Be Honest!

On April 30th Purex launched it's new Let’s Be Honest promotional campaign featuring Second City Comedian Molly Erdman. This is a funny series of short video vignettes sharing honest moments that reflect the ironic truths of everyday Life, Laundry, and Whatever.

Here's the exciting part of this campaign- Everyday one lucky entrant will win a year’s supply of Purex detergent!

Through mid July, there will be new funny videos uploaded every few days at http://www.purex.com/, plus posts on Facebook and promotional tweets on Twitter. The daily sweepstakes will run through July 24th.

Be sure to go to http://www.purex.com/ to see these fun videos and enter the sweepstakes!!

The Winner Is........

The winner of The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie is #25, Janet!! Congratulations Janet and thanks to everyone who entered!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

That 3-digit number.......

Right now, we are in the middle of refinancing our house.  It's not fun, but hopefully we will be able to get our interest rate down by 2%, which is a pretty big savings in interest over a 30 year mortgage!!  We don't finance things often, and like to save up and buy with cash instead, so we don't pay too much attention to our credit score-until now, of course!!

Our 3-digit credit score isn't low, but it could be higher.  Your Credit Score by Liz Weston is free right now for Kindle on Amazon!!  This e-book is usually $19.99, and will teach you how to improve your score. Hurry and grab this book while it's free!!

Free Kindle Books!

I got a Kindle from my sweet family this past Christmas, and I love it!  I currently have over 300 books on it, and they were all free!  That's right, I have never paid money to download anything to my kindle.  I have a few favorite sites that I get free books from, so I thought I'd share with you. 

New Free Books for Kindle Discovered for you Daily is my favorite-this site is usually updated daily and has a big selection.

Family Fiction has a free Christian fiction page for e-readers, not just Kindle but Nook and more.

Amazon's Best Sellers-top 100 free is updated several times a day.

Of course, you can also check out books from your local library, but usually you can only keep them for a limited time. 

Do you have a favorite free Kindle book site??  I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Curriculum Review~God's Great Covenant

We've recently begun using a great bible course for children, written by Claire A. Larsen and published by Classical Academic Press.  It's called God's Great Covenant and is intended for 4th grade and up, but I have been using it with my 3rd grader with success.  There are two old testament courses available for 2nd-3rd grade and up, but the course we are using is God's Great Covenant New Testament 1: The Gospels

Using stories, worksheets, memory verses, devotional guides, quizzes, maps, and a little boy named Simon, children will follow the story of Jesus, the Messiah and King, as He is born and fulfills all God’s promises. 36 weekly chapters are included in four themed units:
*Jesus, the Son of Man
*Jesus, God's Servant
*Jesus, the Messiah
*Jesus, the Son of God
Here is a look at a sample worksheet:

The student book is consumable, and is written in slightly larger writing perfect for younger students.  Click here for a sample from the student book.

God's Great Covenant New Testament 1 student edition is $26.95.  There is also a Teacher's edition available for $29.95, which includes the entire student text plus answer keys and additional information. For only $9.95, you can also purchase an audio file of all the readings from the book.  The best deal, to save 15%, is to purchase the New Testament bundle for $56.95, which includes the three products mentioned above. 

I am really impressed with this curriculum, and can see using it as a family bible study as well as during school lessons.  It is thorough, well laid-out, and rooted in scripture.  I look forward to ordering the Old Testament studies as well.  Classical Academic Press has many products you might be interested in. 

To read more TOS crew reviews of this product, click here.

*Disclaimer: I received God's Great Covenant: New Testament 1 in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review and Giveaway! The Forgiven Duke

The Forgiven Duke is the second book in The Forgotten Castle Series by Jamie Carie. It is due to be released to the public in July 2012, but I had the chance to review and advanced copy, and now you can win a copy yourself!

About the Book:

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

You can find out more information at these websites:

Facebook: http://jamiecarie.com/books/the-forgiven-duke

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiven-Duke-Forgotten-Castles-Novel/dp/1433673231

Website: http://jamiecarie.com/books/the-forgiven-duke

I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgiven Duke, and look forward to the 3rd book in the series coming out next fall!


I have one copy of The Forgiven Duke to give away! 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

Please make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. The winner will be drawn at random on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at midnight MST. Good luck!

“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.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Product Review~Just for Men Autostop Haircolor

My husband Jeff and I are at the age, unfortunately, when gray hair is appearing more and more frequently.  Of course, some people aren't bothered by this and consider gray hair on men 'distinguished'.  If you would rather not have the gray, Just For Men has a great product for you!

New Just For Men AutoStop hair color is a foolproof, easy way to get rid of gray hair.  There is no mixing required-you just comb it in and shampoo it out.  Only 10 minutes from start to finish!  This hair color is gentle too-no peroxide or ammonia. 

Smiley360 sent me one each of the five colors currently available-Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Real Black, and Jet Black.  Jeff tried the Dark Brown.  The kit contains the one application tube and a little comb that screws on top of the tube.  It was super easy, and the results were great!  The sprinkling of gray he had was gone!

Just For Men Autostop hair color is available at drugstores and retailers nationwide.  Click here for a $3 off coupon you can use on your next purchase!

*Disclaimer: Smiley360 provided me with this sample in exchange for my honest review.

Review~Clever Dragons

I'm so excited about this website!!!  It's called Clever Dragons, and is a boys-only website for K-8.  There is also a website for girls called Always Icecream!  It can be really hard to find websites that your child enjoys, but still have an educational component that parents want.  This isn't just mindless computer play.  Clever Dragons is a perfect mix of fun and education!

In exchange for practicing math, language arts, geography, science, typing and more, boys collect gold coins.  With their coins, boys can build castles, play fun games, and feed their virtual pets!  Chad loves games like this, where he can earn the chance to design and buy items.  Here is Pet World, Chad's favorite place!

As a parent, there are lots of features on Clever Dragons that I appreciate.  You can set the grade level(s) you want your child working on. There are no ads, all memberships are traceable, all content is moderated and monitored, and you get to choose what features you want to let your son use.  You get a weekly email showing you everything your son did, and if you choose to let your son communicate with other members, you see who he communicated with as well.  The safety features are certified by Privo Kids, in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.      
Membership to Clever Dragons is affordable! A monthly membership is $5.95 (first month only $.99), an annual membership is $47.40.  There are also lifetime memberships available: $119 for one child, or $259 for a Family membership for up to four children!  You can also get a free trial membership. Another great feature?  Satisfaction is guaranteed at Clever Dragons!

As you can tell, I'm really impressed with Clever Dragons!  I think you will be too-check it out for your boy(s), and check out Always Icecream for your girl(s)!

*Disclaimer: I received a membership to Clever Dragons in exchange for my honest review. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Curriculum Review: Christian Kids Explore Biology

Finding a good science curriculum that your kids enjoy and fits your beliefs can be difficult.  This past year I have been using a secular science curriculum, which has been fine, but I prefer a Christian-based science curriculum.  I was interested in reviewing the Christian Kids Explore Science series by Bright Ideas Press, hoping I would find a better fit for our family. 

 Bright Ideas Press publishes Christian Kids Explore Science, which is an award-winning series written by Stephanie L. Redmond. This series of four books is written for grades 3-6, but can easily be adapted for younger or older. These four books cover one year each of Biology, Earth & Space, Chemistry, and Physics.

Christian Kids Explore Science is 'unabashedly Christian' with a classical flavor, and contains 35 weekly lessons (suggested teaching twice weekly), all well-laid out and easy to follow for the teacher, with minimal prep time. 
We had the pleasure of reviewing Christian Kids Explore Biology, which is $34.95.  I was very impressed by the way the book and lessons are laid out.  There are 8 units consisting of 35 lessons.  Lessons consist of teaching time and hands-on time, as well as  coloring pages, vocabulary words, memory work, puzzles, review sheets and quizzes, creative writing assignments, and plenty of scripture throughout. There are 8 appendixes: Reproducible Forms and Maps, Memorization or Reference Lists, Scripture Memory, Instructions and Art for ABC book, Coloring Pages, Recipes and Supplemental Activities, Answer Key, and a huge supplemental book list!  These are the 8 units included in the Biology book:

*Biology Basics
*Plants in God's World
*Birds of the Earth
*Mammals in the Wild
*The Human Factor
*Reptiles all Around
*Insects High and Low
*Water Creatures

You can also purchase a digital download of all of the activity pages from the book, so if you have multiple children you can make plenty of copies.  Click here for a sample week from Christian Kids Explore Biology

What did we think of Christian Kids Explore Biology?  Well, I wish I would have had it at the beginning of the school year-it is awesome!  This curriculum was just what I was looking for!  I love how well laid-out it is, easy for Chad to understand, and there are plenty of activities to do. I was really excited by the supplemental book list too!  As Chad is in 3rd grade, this book series will be perfect for us for the coming years.  Check out the Bright Ideas Press Website for this and more great educational products!  Click here for more TOS Crew reviews of this book series.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of Christian Kids Explore Biology in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Winner of Miracle for Jen book!!

In case anyone is wondering, the winner of Miracle for Jen was drawn and notified.  Amanda was the winner!  Congratulations Amanda, and thanks to everyone who entered.  I'll have another book giveaway (fiction) next week, so check back!

An Unplanned Break

Obviously, I've been gone for a few weeks! This wasn't planned, and wasn't enjoyed either.  First we had an emergency with our oldest, and then my pain management doctor finally got approval to switch my pain medication.  I had been on the same medication for 5+ years and it was not as effective anymore.  So, we switched to something new and it was a nightmare!!!  It has taken over a week for my body to withdraw from the old and adjust to the new.  I was completely useless to the world and in agony 24/7. Easter dinner and baskets and eggs and all that didn't happen. I am thankful it is over (mostly, a few symptoms still lingering) and don't ever want to do that again!!