Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Delbin's 1954 Ford Customline Fixer Upper

We purchased this 1954 Ford Customline for our son Delbin. He is 14 now, so he has two years to fix it up with his father before he gets his license to drive it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine Review... Why I Took This Back to the Store!


We bought my daughter Teela a Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine Model A2207 (the new model for 2014) for Christmas this year. This gift was intended to be an pleasant experience for her to begin to learn to sew. Instead it was an utter disappointment. I guess I should have known since it was a "toy", but I was expecting something a lot better from Singer.

Teela posing with the toy sewing machine she received for Christmas before the headache began.

Problems we had:
  • The machine runs on 4 x 1.5V LR6 "AA" batteries that are not included.
  • On/Off switch is hard to push into position.
  • The machine is very loud while running.
  • The tension is difficult to get right and the tension dial comes off completely if dialed too much.
  • Thread breaks easily while sewing with the machine.
  • There is no bobbin, so no under/bottom threading to lock top threading to fabric.
  • Both the zigzag and chainstitch comes out/unravels too easily.
  • Can only "sew" light fabrics and paper crafts.
  • It is nearly impossible to re-thread or change the needle. You need to unscrew the guard/protective cover every time you need to re-thread the needle or change the needle. This is very time consuming and requires a small screw driver the sewing machine doesn't come with.
  • Spool compartment and storage compartment is hard to open and close.

Things we liked:
  • It has cute alluring designs and packaging.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It has a carrying handle.
  • Safety guard over the needle doesn't let little fingers be sewn.
  • Pressure foot can be lifted up and down with a lever on the back like a real sewing machine.
  • It comes with project materials (2 pieces of fabric that are already sized correctly for the project, 1 ribbon, 1 flower applique, 1 butterfly applique) and instructions to make your own bookmark.
  • It comes with operators manual.
  • The spool compartment holds 3 spools of thread that are included.
  • Has a small storage compartment that holds a measuring tape, needle threader, and plastic needle that also comes with the machine.
  • Foot pedal is sized for little feet.
We were both very frustrated and annoyed with the Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine. We couldn't even finish the bookmark project because the stitches kept coming out. Then the thread came completely out of the needle and I had to try to re-thread it. After trying for about an hour to do so, I gave up. We ended up taking the toy sewing machine back to Walmart and getting our money back. I do not recommend this toy sewing machine to anyone!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I purchased this product myself and wanted to post this information to advise my readers of my thoughts about it so that they wouldn't go through the same headache as I did.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Christmas Goat

Our new friendly goat to munch down some briars on our farm. He came with the name Uncle Si (Duck Dynasty), but is called Goatee or Hedge by my kids.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mrs. Cavanuagh's Chocolates Review

This review is sponsored by Mrs. Cavanuagh's through USFG.

I love getting chocolates as a gift, but really, who doesn't? Mrs.Cavanaugh's Famous Chocolates have been a family owned and operated business since 1964 and proudly made in the USA. I received 1 LB (a box of assorted chocolates and 4 different bars) of Mrs.Cavanaugh's Famous Chocolates FREE with FREE shipping to try out and review on my blog. These were all scrumptious! You can tell they package these with love.

The boxed chocolates was their 9oz Most Famous Milk and Dark Chocolates (Mixed Chocolates). They came in a fancy gold and burgundy box. These fine chocolates also came with a sheet that said what each chocolate was if you didn't want to be surprised. The boxed chocolates are to swoon for! They are really the best boxed chocolates I have had! I was so pleased with the quality and variety. This assortment is great for everybody who loves chocolate confectioneries because of its wonderful variety of dark, milk, and white chocolates as well as ones with nuts and other fillings. My favorites in the boxed chocolates were the coconut ones.

I received 4 bars: Milk Chocolate Mindy Mint, Milk Chocolate Caramel, Dark Chocolate Roasted Almond, and White Chocolate Almond Coconut. These were very crunchy and chewy. I don't care for white chocolate too much, but I liked it with the coconut and almonds. My favorite out of the bars, though, was the dark chocolate one. I love dark chocolate the best and wish this one was the coconut one instead of the white chocolate.

My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014 http://www.mrscavanaughs.com/

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this complimentary chocolate as part of my participation in The US Family Guide Blogging program. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. No other compensation was received.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Betty Crocker Holiday Baking Review and Giveaway #GetYourBettyOn

This review and giveaway is sponsored by Betty Crocker.


I love to bake, especially during the holiday season. I, however; don't like being stuck in the kitchen all day cooking, baking and cleaning when I could be spending time with my family. This is why I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my kids and the extra help is much appreciated.

Besides my kids, Betty Crocker™ is also giving me a hand with all of my holiday baking needs. They sent me a lovely gift basket filled with wonderful items to help me Get My Betty On. They also are providing me with another gift basket to give away, so keep reading to get your chance at entering.

Get Your Betty On and start baking something with your kids this holiday season to make some memories, help them develop their skills, and create a love of cooking/baking together. Betty Crocker has pulled together a helpful online Kid's Christmas Cookie Corner featuring their Top 10 cookies for kids and short, inspirational/how-to videos on each. They also have a whole cooking/baking section to help get your kids in the kitchen and excited to help.

Jaedan mixing up some ingredients in the kitchen.

My kids have lots of fun in the kitchen as you can tell. They love to help with cooking, baking, and the preparation of food. I feel this is an essential thing to learn and keep building upon so that they can eventually make healthy meals and desserts all on their own for themselves and their own families when they are older. This is a skill that will follow them over to when they are older and have a place of their own.

Teela licking the batter bowl clean.

My favorite thing to bake with my kids are cookies. Even though baking/cooking with kids can become messy it is also fun and rewarding. When kids cook or bake in the kitchen they learn valuable skills like how to: read and follow directions, measure and count ingredients, be creative, have time management, and problem solve. They also gain visual perceptual and spatial perceptual skills (pouring, fitting cookies on a tray, sprinkling, flouring, etc.), and lots of coordination skills (washing, mixing, kneading, sieving, rolling, shaping, mashing, tearing, squashing, spreading, cutting, etc.).

Teela helping in my mom's kitchen.

Connect with Betty Crocker™ on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube (use #GetYourBettyOn to show how you are celebrating and enjoying making goodies this holiday season).

Betty Crocker Holiday Baking gift basket contents.


The Betty Crocker Holiday Baking gift basket includes:

  • Kitchen tablet stand: This is a sturdy red plastic stand for using with your tablet computers. It makes it easy to take your tablet into the kitchen with you if you have a recipe to look at while you are cooking or baking. Since it is made of plastic it is easily cleaned if any ingredients get on it. It has nonskid rubber feet that helps it not slide or tip on your counter-top. You can also easily recharge your device on the dock slot because it has a hole where your chord goes through to the back.
  • Betty Crocker™ Mixing Spoon: This is a sturdy red plastic mixing spoon with the nostalgic Betty Crocker logo on it.
  • Betty Crocker™ Oven Mitt: This is a very nice red oven mitt with the Betty Crocker logo on it. It has some grippers on it to help hold onto your hot pots and pans better and a loop to hang it.
  • “Get Your Betty On” Apron: This is a very attractive red apron that reads “Get Your Betty On” and has the Betty Crocker logo on the front of it.
  • Gingerbread Cookie Cutter: This Wilton cookie cutter is a metal gingerbread man and is the perfect size for yummy cookies made by little hands.
  • Betty Crocker™ Sugar Cookie Mix: This sugar cookie mix is great for cutout sugar cookies. 17.5 oz bag makes 36 two inch cookies in about 20 minutes. Just add one stick of real butter and one egg. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix: This mix makes delicious moist chocolate chip cookies. 17.5 oz bag makes 36 two inch cookies in about 20 minutes. Just add one stick of real butter and one egg. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting: I am not much of a frosting fan, but this frosting is pretty good. If you love vanilla frosting this is yummy. You can use this 16 oz tub of frosting for 13x9 inch cake 8-inch or 9-inch 2-layer cake or 24-32 cupcakes. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Holiday Recipe Booklet 2014 – feat. The Top 10 Cookie Decorating Ideas of 2014: This little booklet cookbook has some very cute recipes to get your holiday baking started.


  • WIN IT
    Prize: Betty Crocker Holiday Baking Gift Basket

    I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review and an opportunity to giveaway products for free to a lucky reader. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review and giveaway.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Wordless Wednesday Abandoned Nest

    Abandoned nest made of straw and mud that my son Delbin found on the ground near this fence post on our corral.

    Delbin placed this nest up on the post to keep it safe and out of harms way.

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review


    For those of you who are new to my blog, I would like to tell you a tiny bit about my children and my homeschooling methods. I have two older boys. Delbin is 14 and Jaedan is 12. I also have two girls. Teela is 6 and Zari is 4. I am a huge fan of hands-on learning, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, Classical, Waldorf, and Montessori. We are kind of a geeky family with a huge love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We also love reading, history, art, and music. We love nature, the great outdoors, and to go on educational/fun field trips together. I homeschool with an eclectic flair. I take my homeschooling methods and curriculum from many sources. I am now a new member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year. I am meeting some wonderful new people that homeschool as well. I am grateful to be on the team. As part of the perks of being a member, I get the opportunity to test out and share with you some great homeschool products, curricula and websites.

    The first review is of an online school of sorts called SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I was given a Yearly Membership so I have some time to explore it a bit. I have had only 2 weeks to delve into it so far. So for now, I would love to go over the basics about it, what my family and I like about it thus far, and why you definitely should be checking it out for yourself.

    I have poked about in the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website now that my family has a subscription and basically have come to the conclusion that I can only skim the surface for this review because of the vastness of what they are offering. The SchoolhouseTeachers.com website has literally over 100 courses! This online learning is wonderful because once you start the membership you have all their Christian homeschool curriculum right at your fingertips. You don't have to search the whole of online to track down wholesome classes for your homeschooler.

    Once I got my subscription and logged in I could see that the website is fairly easy to navigate. This internet-based homeschool is organized and arranged by: teachers, age group (Pre-K/Elem, Middle/High School, Family/For Parents), and dailies. They also have a section for resources and course offerings. The courses range from core classes to electives and go from preschool to high school age...although I saw a few I would love to try myself. I believe that there is something for all ages and grades, really. Some of the classes are only a few weeks long, but others can take a lot longer. Many of the lessons are printable, downloadable, and have elements in them, like videos, that interact with your learner.

    Like I mentioned above my family loves hands-on learning, so we decided to try some Science Experiments from Jason Lindsey of Hooked On Science that are in the lessons section of the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website. We could have picked others from the archives, but we had all the ingredients for the two listed in December, so we picked those to try. We did the Orange Flash one and the Pinecone Hygrometer one. There we learned why oranges are flammable and how to predict the weather with pinecones. It was really fun and we learned some neat science.

    Pinecone Hygrometer science experiment

    Jaedan and Delbin demonstrating the "Orange Flash".

    Here is a short video of my kids doing the Orange Flash. Because there was fire involved I was close by to douse the flame if something happened, but my boys were very professional and they did very well with it. I was the one shooting and narrating the video. Sorry about the low quality, I am a bit new to doing videos so bear with me. I hope you enjoy it...
    video



    The dailies are short lessons that you can do daily with your children. There are a lot of different schoolhouse dailies to choose from. We found games, history, copy-work, art, science, spelling, grammar, writing, etc. while we were looking through this section. My girls did an ABC With ME: History lesson in the dailies section. This has a history lesson for every letter of the alphabet. We learned about Abraham Lincoln for A and they colored a printed picture of him from the lesson. The lesson linked to other pages that had pictures and descriptions of places and other things that had some significance to Honest Abe. All my children liked seeing these places in photographs and learning about them. It would have been neat to see them in person, but this was the next best thing.

    Daily: ABC With Me: History

    Zari wanted to do something on her own online and since she is preschool age we quickly found something fun in the Resource section of the site. We picked through and found the EZ Storybooks from EZTales. These are interactive stories that are put to animation and narration. A lot of these stories underline the words as they are said and she can click the words again with the mouse to hear them repeat. This is great for early readers that are just starting out like my Zari. What is also very nice about it is that she gets practice clicking the mouse and using the computer as well.

    EZ Storybooks on SchoolhouseTeachers.com

    WHAT WE WOULD LOVE TO DO NEXT:
    There are a lot of other lessons and dailies that I would love to try out over the span of the year with my kids. These all interest us to some degree. Take a look and see some of the lessons we would love to do next.

    In Electives:
    A lot of electives look like fun. I would love to do the Beginning Sewing: Historical Costumes classes with my kids because we all love to cosplay and learning how to sew some neat costumes would be fun. Since we live on a farm and are just starting to learn the ropes the Homesteading classes would be of interest to me and my family. Nature/Outdoor studies sound right up our ally too since we all love being outside.  I would love my boys to take the Whole Foods Cooking class because they need to have some practice in cooking more and since they love to cook I think they would really enjoy the lessons.

    In  Foreign Language:
    My boys have both had an interest in learning Spanish so I am pleased to see a Spanish course in this section. My husband brought home a Spanish program to learn once, but it was a disappointment because of the over use of the word beer and many references to drinking. I know this will definitely not be a problem for the lessons on SchoolhouseTeachers.com because of how they are family oriented and Christian based. I would also love to encourage my boys to take the Hands-on Hebrew courses along with me.

    In Music/Voice:
    Once I get a new full size violin I would love to brush up on my technique because it has been a while since I played. I also would love to check out the guitar lessons since I have a guitar and have been wanting to learn to play it.

    In Reading Writing, & Spelling:
    The Literature Kits look wonderful! They start the course focusing on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and have hands on activities, recipes, history, geography, Bible, language arts, science, etc. in an all encompassing course. In the Dailies section we want to try the Ditch the Desk lessons. These are hands on and have a little bit of everything: reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and more to broaden our connection with the world. Pre-K Activities: Read and Play would be so much fun for Zari and I to do together. It is also listed in the Dailies section and has a list of stories to read to your preschooler along with activities games, and printouts to do with them that go with the story.

    There are so many pockets on the SchoolhouseTeachers.com that I have not even gotten a chance to unearth yet in the two weeks I have had it so far. I definitely haven't mentioned everything. I am going to love exploring more and expanding both mine and my children's learning. I know I can count on SchoolhouseTeachers.com to have wholesome Christian based lessons which save me time, resources, and money.

    Watch the video and see more about SchoolhouseTeachers.com:



    SO WHAT DOES THIS COST?
    Normally SchoolhouseTeachers.com is $12.95 per month for a monthly membership or $139 per year.

    Right now through Christmas Day (at 11:59pm ET) SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a sale!! Save 40% off the regular price! This is only $7.77 per month!! Or save up to $74 on their regular price by choosing a yearly membership for ONLY $64.26 per year! Don't delay because this sale won't be around for long. Just click the image below to save now!

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    Follow Them:
    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SchoolhouseTeachers/
    Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tosmag/schoolhouseteacherscom/

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    Crew Disclaimer

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    50% Off Melissa & Doug Toys on Amazon.com Today Only!

    This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Today only, save 50% on select Melissa & Doug toys. It's their Gold Box Deal of the Day.

    This one-day offer is valid on December 4th, 2014, or while supplies last. Discount is already included in the current Amazon.com price. Applies only to purchases made from Amazon.com and does not apply to products purchased from third-party merchants on the Amazon.com website.

    Go here to get Christmas for your little ones early: Melissa & Doug Sale!


    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any compensation for doing this post; however, this post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014