Wordless Wednesday - Retro Camping

This is what I'd like to camp in.

retro camping

For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.


Wordless Wednesday - Puddle Reflection

puddle reflection

For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.


Wordless Wednesday - Sox


For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.

Wonder Maps - A Review

Bright Ideas Press LogoBright Ideas Press has an exciting new program called Wonder Maps. This comes from the same people who created Illuminations (you can see my review of that here. I think that Wonder Maps has to be the best thing since sliced bread. I can't tell you how many times I've been in need of a particular map and had the hardest time locating one. But no more, because Wonder Maps covers all the bases for your map needs.

The Wonder Maps program is installed on your computer and when you open it, the Home page comes up in Adobe Reader.
opening page

You then have the option of choosing from World Maps, United States Maps, Historical Maps, and Thematic Maps. In total there are over 350 customizable maps available to you. Once you locate the map you want in the appropriate section, you then have the flexibility of tuning various layers on and off, depending upon your particular needs.

For example, if you are studying US Geography, you can print out maps for each child with all the relevant data; state and city names, rivers and their names, capital locations and names, etc. Once you're ready to quiz or test your child, you can go back to the same map and turn off those layers, leaving you with a black and white outline map to print out.

Perhaps you need an historical map. In that section, there are four categories, The Ancients (Creation to 33 A.D.), The Middle Ages (33 A.D. to 1456 A.D.), The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations (1457 A.D. to 1707 A.D.), Revolutions to Rising Times (1708 A.D. to present).

Now let's say you want specifics about the Aztec Empire. You simply go to the Renaissance option and scroll chronologically down to the desired map.

You may now select the layers you'd like to have on or off to customize your map. There is also a Modern Overlay which will show you what the map looks like in modern times. This can provide a very interesting perspective as you study historical maps.

The Thematic Maps section includes Biblical maps, Chinese Dynasties, Native Americans, Explorers, American History, World Wars, and 20th Century Treaties. Additionally, if you use Mystery of History or All American History (Bright Ideas Press), you can easily locate the maps that coordinate with those programs.

There is also a Teacher's Guide page on the Home site which provides you with additional resources; quick start guide, video tutorial, user manual, bonus MP3 workshops, and other helpful resources.

There is so much flexibility and so many map options available and yet the program is only $49.95. This is a product you will be able to use for many years, grades, and subjects. It's not consumable and you can print as many different maps as you need, or just review them on the computer.

Learn what other TOS Crew members had to say about Wonder Maps at the TOS Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: I was provided access to Wonder Maps to utilize their program for review as a member of the TOS Crew. The opinions stated here are my own.


GoTrybe - A Review

GoTrybe is an online, interactive social community dedicated to the health and wellness of our youth. Their mission is to change some of the normal sedentary screen time into activity and health education. If children are going to spend time in front of a screen, why not make it productive?

You child will have an online account with GoTrybe where they can will have access to fitness, nutrition, motivation and wellness information. He or she can personalize the experience with a customized avatar and My Page. The fitness portion can be individually designed for each child, including instructional videos. They offer reward points as your child completes his or daily exercise program. The points can be redeemed for enhanced online rewards such as avatar upgrades.

GoTrybe is made up of three Trybes for kids to join:

ZooDoos up to 5th grade
Trybe180 6th-9th grade
Nextrybe 10th-12th grade

While I had hoped this would appeal to my not very active teenage son, since he loves all things computer related, I just couldn't get him on board with this. I imagine that it would be a little easier with younger or more motivated children.

You can find out more about the program and sign up for a free one-day trial at the GoTrybe website. If you want to subscribe, it's $19.95 for one year.

Learn what other TOS Crew members had to say about GoTrybe.com at the TOS Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: I was provided access to the GoTrybe site to utilize their program for review as a member of the TOS Crew. The opinions stated here are my own.


Be Prepared

We were heading out for dinner tonight and I was waffling about whether or not to take my camera with me. Not the little point & shoot, as that doesn't bring on the waffling. The D-SLR which is probably part of the reason my shoulder's a little sore. I even took it out of my bag and left it on the table. Then I waffled again and put it back in my bag.

That was definitely a good move.

On the way home, we saw this on the horizon, so John quickly changed lanes and pulled off into an office complex. We went to the far east side and found a balcony we could stand on and watch the moon come up over the bluffs.

moon rising 1

moon rising 2

full moon

So glad I waffled in favor of the camera.


Wordless Wednesday - Apple Blossoms

apple blossom

For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.


Hair Groove

As much as I thought this would be a progressive posting project, it wasn't. No matter. Back in January, I started the process of helping my hair be curlier which I shared in this post. Here's a shot of my hair the day I bought the book. Rather undefined and sort of frizzy. Not awful, but not what I wanted, either.

before hair

After the first week, I saw some definite progress. It turns out that many of the things I'd been doing to my hair for years are totally wrong for curly hair. So I was my hair's own worst enemy.

day 8 pic

I've still had some up and down days with a little more frizz than I want, but for the most part, I seem to have accomplished that which I set out to do.

A shot from this morning:

Curly hair experiment results

Interestingly, I'm actually happier with my hair than I've been in years. I've always been so incredibly fickle - wanting my hair to look different every few days, if not sooner. I've been wearing my hair the same way since the end of January. That's over THREE MONTHS! That has to be an all-time record for me.

Perhaps I've found my groove.

Follicle-y speaking anyway.

My hair groove.

One groove down.

271 more to go.



Mother's Day

mothers day

It was a lovely Mother's Day this year. I was able to sleep in while John cleaned the kitchen and dining room for me. We had lunch at his mom's and all of his siblings were there, which is always loads of fun.

We made a quick stop at the grocery store for frog eye salad ingredients and headed home. The only thing I had to take care of was making the frog eye salad. We already had some steaks and bacon-wrapped chicken for grilling and my mom and sister brought the rest of our BBQ dinner (chips, broccoli, and cookies).

Getting some vitamin D for Mother's Day, while reading Crunch Time.While John was cleaning up the grill and patio (first use this year), I was able to take in some Vitamin D and relax with the latest Diane Mott Davidson book, Crunch Time, something I don't get to do terribly often.

Everyone came over and we had a lovely, enjoyable evening on the patio. The weather today was absolutely perfect. We never got the winds that had been predicted. John handled the grill and the rest of the dinner was simple and delicious.

No filter. I also super love our blue skies in Colorado.

Once everyone went home, I hung out with the guys while they watched River Monsters. Not my favorite show, personally, but they love it. I kept my nose in a magazine whenever the creepy critters show up onscreen. LOL!

All the way around, it was a nice and relaxing Mother's Day.


The Birds

The birds of our neighborhood have taken an interest in us this year. More than just we like you cause you give us birdseed interest. They now stare in the windows at us. They've been on the window ledge in the living room, perched on patio furniture peering in the sliding doors, and then this.


I was sitting at my desk, working in peace and quiet, when there was a thud on my window. I turn to see what it was and this robin was sitting on a branch which was bouncing up and down from its rather heavy landing. I think the robin whacked into my window! What in the world is going on here?

Yesterday, one of the little finches was perched on the same window ledge, peeking in the window while the boys and I were doing Bible. This is getting very strange. The bird feeder has been empty for a little while, but I refilled it. And the robins never get any food there anyway, since they're so large.

But this? This is just weird. I am not inviting them into my house.

Although the cat might enjoy it.


Less is More: Linens

Once upon a time, John and I had plenty of bath towels, very few sheets, and a reasonable amount of kitchen linens. We received bath towel sets aplenty as wedding gifts. Along the way, the towels decreased, as did the sheets. In fact, we lived with one set of sheets for a number of years. The downside to this is that you have to wash, dry, and get them back on the bed pronto. Either that, or pull out the sleeping bags.

Over the years, we acquired quite a few hand-me-down linens from my parents. Which was great. And then one day, the linen closet(s) said, "We've had enough. We are too full." So purging the linens has been on the proverbial To Do List for some time.

I actually started to the purge some time back, but being the I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects, I didn't follow through. In this case, that turned out to be a good thing. Because when I actually tackled this for the second time, I had a plan. A solid, strategic plan.

Instead of following my normal M.O., I sat down with pen and paper and made a list. I wrote down each type of linen we have; Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Washcloths, Queen Sheets, Twin Sheets, and so on. Then in each category, I thought about the amount we ought to reasonably keep. For example, in the Queen Sheet category, we need two sets - one flannel (cold weather) and one cotton (warm weather). I did this for all the categories.


In the meantime, I washed and folded ALL THE LINENS and piled them on my bed. I also put on a movie, because I couldn't possibly get through all this without some sort of entertainment. It was a big job. And no, I did not get a photo of that pile. I think I was distracted by the movie.

Anyway. Once I had my nice folded piles of linens, I pulled out the list and went to work. Queen Sheets? Two sets. I pulled out my favorite flannel set and my favorite cotton set (well, the flannels are actually ON the bed, so I left them there). All the rest went into a donation bag. Ditto with everything else.

I am happy to say that all the linens now fit in the closet space and we gladly donated two big bags of linens to the thrift store.

giveaway linens

I was so proud of myself for coming up with such a terrific strategy. In the past, I just look at everything and keep what I like. Well, that hadn't panned out so well, as it always left me with more than I needed. I'm planning to apply this to other areas of stuff as I continue to purge and pursue my Less is More lifestyle.


Wordless Wednesday - Bouquet


For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...