Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday August 23nd, 2019...Morning Thoughts

Balloons are bad for the environment!

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

I hate balloons. I didn't as a child, but now that I know how much they are bad for the environment and that some balloons are even made by children in 3rd world countries, I despise them. They are supposed to be a symbol of happiness, but how can I be happy when they do so much damage. I recently saw a documentary about the children that work in balloon factories. They do not get to know the joy that balloons usually bring. They breathe chemicals all day from the fumes and latex. People are also so careless and let them go into the heavens because they think it is fun to watch, but it is detrimental to animals and pollutes the earth. Wildlife gets entangled in them, chokes on them, and dies from getting strangled by them. Balloons whether made of Mylar or latex are not biodegradable and contribute to our litter problem as well. This is why I do not buy balloons any more for parties. It is all so very sad and certainly nothing to celebrate.

I want to make some things for my garden and orchard. Here is the list:
  • Compost tea maker
  • Worm Vermiculture Bin
  • Rain collection system off the roof
  • Bat House(s)
  • Better Chicken Coop
  • Aquaponics with home grown Tilapia

I would also love to get my garden and orchard up to specifications so that I can have certification with:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday August 22nd, 2019...Morning Thoughts

Our economical Chevrolet Impala with Coastal Playground Whale license plates.

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

We exchanged our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica van in for a 2018 Chevrolet Impala recently. We hated the Pacifica. It had so many issues even though it was brand new when we bought it. It was the single most worst purchase ever. We were glad to get rid of it even though it could hold our whole family. Our Impala drives like a dream. It is a wonderful car and it was still under warranty when we traded it in. We got a few minor things fixed on it, like: the temperature gauge wasn't reading right. Now it is perfect. It saves us gas money and is eco-friendly because it uses less gas as well. Besides helping the environment with our purchase of a more economical vehicle we are also helping support Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute with our purchase of our new license plate. The “Coastal Playground” license plate features a mother gray whale and its calf swimming somewhere off the Oregon coast. The plate also has a lighthouse and rolling waves in the distance. Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute will receive $35 of the $40 surcharge on each plate, which will help the school fund research and education projects.

My hair is starting to go grey. I knew this would happen eventually. I don't know if I want to just let it go grey naturally or cover it up and be a red head :) I have always wanted to try henna hair color. Is is more natural than the chemical hair dye and better for your hair. Maybe I will take the plunge.

I want to start growing sprouts again. I used to grow different kinds, mostly: mung beans, alfalfa, and broccoli, and lentils. We have a Kitchen Crop 4-tray Seed Sprouter. I loved adding nutritious sprouts to soups, salads, sandwiches, stir-fry, bread, omelets, and more.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TV Store Online Hoodie Review and Giveaway!

TV Store Online is a great online store that has quality licensed merchandise from TV, movies, comic books, and 80's themes. There is stuff from Disney, Hasbro, Nintendo, Marvel, Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. You can find a number of accessories, clothing, footwear, pajamas, robes, costumes, shirts, leggings, etc.

MLP FIM Fluttershy Hoodie. Super Cute!

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I am a Brony, a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that is outside the target demographic of little girls. Practically my whole family are into the animated TV series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or MLP FIM for short. We go to Seattle Washington every year to participate in Everfree Northwest, the MLP convention out there. Sometimes we even cosplay characters from the show. I have been wanting to get a Fluttershy Hoodie ever since the first convention because Fluttershy is my favorite of the mane six ponies.

MLP FIM Fluttershy Hoodie front.

For this review I picked out a Fluttershy Pegasus Face Butter Yellow Hoodie with Mane and Wings in Junior Women's XS to review. The XS fit me a bit snug. This hoodie comes in XS-2X in junior sizes. I love that this hoodie is super soft inside and has pockets to keep my hands warm. It is butter yellow which matches Fluttershy's actual color and has Fluttershy's cutie mark on one of the lower sides. The hooded sweatshirt is made from 80% Cotton and 20% Polyester. The draw string hood has adorable ears and a pink mane that comes down the back. This hoodie also has a pair of yellow wings on the back because Fluttershy is a pegasus pony. The zipper pull has one butterfly from Fluttershy's cutie mark and her sweet face on the chest. I cannot wait to wear this to Everfree NW next year!

MLP FIM Fluttershy Hoodie wings in the back.

I recommend TV Store Online for all your fan apparel needs for the entire family. You can even all match or be is all up to you. They have so many different items to choose from there is bound to be something that would be perfect for gifting.

MLP FIM Fluttershy Hoodie has pockets and a cutie mark.



Prize: A Shirt or Hoodie of your choice from TV Store Online
Who Can Enter: 18+, USA and Canada Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. 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.

Wednesday August 21st, 2019...Morning Thoughts

Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi.

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

I noticed today that there was water coming out of a pipe that is in back of out heat exchanger to our heat pump. I let my husband know. He said that it looked like a water main break in the same pipe that feeds water to the sink in our bathroom that has been used constantly since we do not have a sink in our kitchen because of a kitchen remodel. So now we have to get that repaired as well and the new line looks like it is going to go through part of my garden. Those plants will have to be removed to make way for the new plumbing.

We usually go to Sushi on Wednesdays at the semi new Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse And Sushi restaurant because they have 50% off part of their sushi menu then. I look forward to it every Wednesday. We probably won't be going today though because of everything that is going on.

I need to water my houseplants. They look thirsty. I have a Crown of Thorns, Pothos, Thanksgiving Cactus, various succulents and hens & chicks, Aloe Vera, Finger Jade, Spider Plant, and an Orchid that has never boomed. I would love to add to my collection.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday August 20th, 2019...Morning Thoughts

Trash on a beach that could harm wildlife and wash into the ocean.

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

Yesterday when I brought my Klean Kanteen water bottle to Dutch Bros to get a drink refill we exchanged conversation like we do with the staff. This time though the guy working the drive through window told me about his bracelet ๐Ÿ“ฟ he was wearing that he bought on 4Ocean. He told me that every bracelet purchased they remove a pound of trash from the ocean. They also give back to wildlife as well. Each bracelet has a different colored cord made from recycled plastic bottles and beads made from recycled glass bottles ♻️. He had bought one that benefited sharks. I think I might purchase a dolphin one to help 4Ocean fund their cause.

One of my biggest pet peeves are cigarettes ๐Ÿšฌ. I do not smoke and have never seen the appeal to it. To me it is a nasty habit that needs snuffing out. I have tried to understand why others around me do, but I guess I will never understand. I am allergic to tobacco smoke. I had asthma as a child and my grandmother smoked inside her home, so when ever we visited I would be bombarded with second hand smoke. She would try to take it outside while we were there, but the smell was in the walls, the furniture, their clothing, etc. I loved visiting her because I loved her, but I remember wishing she would quit smoking ๐Ÿšญ and that my grandpa would quit chewing tobacco. I wanted them to live longer. My grandma died when I was young. The cigarettes probably didn't help her. I also hate when smokers throw their cigarettes on the ground. Don't they understand that is littering!!?? The cigarette has a filter made of plastic that is not biodegradable. Not only that, but some of the chemicals that make up cigarettes are toxic to wildlife and can contaminate ground water and the environment.

My friend and I were talking about my desire to go plastic free and she said that she is using cloth menstrual products and love them. I had looked into cloth pads when I was doing cloth diapering with my kids, but I never took the plunge for some reason. I did previously try a menstrual cup but I fell out of habit of using it and since I have such heavy flows the menstrual cup was a bit impractical. I would like to once again pursue the cloth pad option instead. Regular mainstream feminine products cause so much waste and the companies that make them do not have to disclose what they actually make them out of. This information is not listed on the packaging and apparently doesn't have to be since they are considered a "medical device". I would feel better about using organic cloth ones that I could wash and reuse. They would be better for the environment and my health.

I hope your Tuesday is wonderful and relaxing.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday August 19th, 2019...Morning Thoughts

My Klean Kanteen water bottle. "More Ocean Less Plastic. The 5 Gyres Institute".

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

I purchased this cute little frame ๐Ÿ–ผ️ in Ohio at Goodwill when I was out there visiting my husband's family. It is gold with small carved flowers. When I got home I realized that one of the pieces of art that I was looking for a frame for fit this perfectly and so I unstapled the back and placed the art in it. Then I used painters masking tape to hold the back to the frame. I did not want to staple the back to the art because that might have ruined it. I hung it up in my bedroom, but it fell apart off the wall yesterday. I am really glad it didn't break because it has a glass front. The back piece unfortunately only has a small sawtooth picture hanger on the back, but it didn't want to hold the weight of the whole frame. I think I need to find something that is more secure and maybe attached to the frame itself instead of the back. What do you use that works well and is secure for hanging your frames?

Yesterday I was very proud of myself. I finally remembered to use my reusable bottle at Dutch Bros for my Iced Apple Juice Chai I usually get. I wasn't sure they would fill it because it isn't one of their cups with a Dutch Bros logo on it, but they did. Unfortunately the drink I get is a 32 ounce usually and my reusable cup is a 27 I was missing a little bit, but at least I am helping save the see, I watched them mix the drink and they used a plastic cup to do so, ugh! I might have to forgo going to Dutch Bros altogether. I could get the Oregon Chai and Apple juice at the store and mix it at home myself. I would miss the fun people working at Dutch Bros though and my husband loves going there. He probably won't ever stop getting his drink (a peppermint sprinkle freeze with whip) from Dutch Bros in a plastic cup with a plastic straw ๐Ÿฅค...unless Dutch Bros decides to change for the better. I wish corporations would be more environmentally conscience.

I also got some groceries yesterday at Winco and didn't use any bags ๐Ÿ›️ because I had forgot the reusable ones out of the back of my car again. I was loading my groceries into my cart and the cashier asked me why I wasn't using any bags. I said I wanted to be eco-friendly, but forgot my reusable totes and I was just going to load the groceries into a foldable, collapsible crate I have in the trunk anyway. We, however; forgot a few groceries and so we came back and this time I was prepared. I brought the totes into the store with me. I am becoming more consciously aware of all the plastic and Styrofoam packaging around me. I had to buy toilet tissue ๐Ÿงป and the affordable stuff is all wrapped in plastic...wish it wasn't. I really don't know why it has to be.

Happy Monday beautiful people! I hope your Monday is wonderful!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday August 18th, 2019...Morning Thoughts

Zari and her favorite zebra things.
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Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

My daughter, Zari, absolutely loves zebras ๐Ÿฆ“ and zebra print stuff because Zebra starts with Z just like her name. We currently have a wall going up to her and Teela's room that has a huge zebra art piece. She was looking for zebra things while we were at the Farmers Market yesterday and I found a perfect little art piece that she fell in love with. We have yet to find the perfect wall for it, but I think that I might paint a wall in their room and place it above their rolling clothes rack.

I had a spider ๐Ÿ•ท️ come down on its web from the ceiling while I was sitting at my desk and I felt a bit like Miss Muffet while she was eating her curds and whey. I freaked a little. I, however; have this cool little spider/bug catching device that I got a while back from blogging. It has a long handle on one side and a cup with a magnifying glass ๐Ÿ”Ž on the other. The handle has a lever that you slide and when you do you slide the cup closed or open depending upon the way you slide it. I have become a lot braver since I got this. I got that out, scooped up the spider, and escorted it outside.

I was going through some of my old photos and wishing that I had long hair again. I used to have hair that went down to my tush, but I cut it ๐Ÿ’‡ short back in 2014 and it hasn't grown very much since.

I feel like such a hypocrite! I just got a FinalStraw a few days ago in the mail. It is a neat foldable, collapsible, reusable straw complete with drying rack, cleaning squeegee, and case. I used it yesterday for my Dutch Bros drink, but I still felt bad because my cup and lid was plastic ๐Ÿฅค. I keep forgetting to bring my reusable cup. I also have an abundance of reusable grocery bags/totes that I have yet to use. People (and that includes me) these days are just not wired to do this naturally, but I would like it to become habit for me. I really want to change, but change is hard and sometimes I don't know where to start. Then there is the rest of my family that still uses all kinds of plastic stuff...and they say they care, but don't seem to want to change. Baby steps ๐Ÿ‘ฃ though and maybe, just maybe, I will inspire them to do the same for themselves.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday August 17th, 2019...Morning Thoughts

My goofy fur baby Prince.

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

I love going to the Farmers Markets. They are so much fun and I love seeing all the local farmers, gardeners, beekeepers, and artists there selling their wonderful plants, art, and homemade items. We have gone to the Clatskanie Farmers Market this year a lot. They have the "Power of Produce" program which provides kids 4-12 free $2 tokens for edible plants or food that has been grown. We bring our daughters, who are 11 and 8, so they can get something while they are there. The one across the river from where I live has their market on Tuesday as well and I need to remember that.

Longview Washington Squirrel Fest is today! I plan on making a point to getting over there to look at the fun vendors. Even though I love the festival, I don't really like the squirrels least the ones we have at the farm. They are ground squirrels and like to dig in my gardens, under my trees, and under my home. They cause all sorts of damage and are very destructive even though they are very cute. We have an over abundance of them as well because we have a lot of old growth walnut trees on our property.

I have a ginger root that has sprouted. I need to break off that part and place it in a pot of dirt. Hopefully it thrives.

I love indoor houseplants and would love more to add to my growing collection. If anyone would like to send me cuttings I would be very appreciative. ๐ŸŒฑ

I am glad I took the Master Gardener course a while back. That was sure a wealth of information and I learned a great deal. I am also so glad that my husband was able to take the class with me. He is always so very busy, it is hard to find time to do things together anymore.

I need to start exercising regularly. I have a hard time being motivated enough on my own to do so though. I wish I had a friend that I could start exercising with. ๐Ÿ’ช

I wonder if it will rain at all this week. The sky looks a little angry over by the bridge, but that might clear up. Hopefully it does before we go to the market.

I love my dog, Prince. He can be a big goof sometimes, but he is the best dog ever and I am glad he is ours. We rescued him from a shelter about 10 years ago. He is a great companion. He is part standard poodle/part coonhound. He has soft floppy ears and a long tail that always is wagging. My kids adore him too. He is laying right next to my chair right now all curled up in a large fuzzy ball. He flipped over this morning so I could rub his belly and when I did it was all wags. ๐Ÿพ

Happy Saturday beautiful humans. I hope your day is filled with things that bring you joy & a happy heart. ๐Ÿค—

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday August 16th, 2019...Morning Thoughts

My photography of one of my zinnias with a lovely moth on it.

Things I’m thinking this morning in no special order....

I should really start doing more art. I used to draw a lot in high school and art was and still is my favorite subject.

I wish I still had a violin to play. Delbin, my son, will rarely let me play on his. I used to play in 6th-12th grades. I miss it so very much. On that note ๐ŸŽต I want to someday be able to read music. I have a gift of being able to play by ear.

My garden is looking better and better all the time. Although I would like to plant more flowers and next year I need to start earlier with the veggies. Here is a photo I took of one of my zinnias with a lovely moth on it.

I love the art that my friends have made me. I also love all my artistic friends that I have made recently. I hope to someday fill my home with gorgeous art.

I am craving zucchini ๐Ÿฅ’, and since I neglected to plant any this year I hope some of my local friends see this and have some extra for me ๐Ÿ˜€.

My kitchen still isn't done and I have been without a kitchen sink since April. On the bright side I am supposed to get my new kitchen cabinets in sometime this month...and then hopefully they can be installed.

The Hepa filter I have is always so very loud and it is right next to me when I am sitting at my desk.

Thank you to my friend, Amber Bryce, who inspired me to do this today. I hope I can keep it up.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Memoria Press Third Grade Literature Guide Set Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Third Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press which includes the Charlotte’s Web Literature Guide Set for this review to use in conjunction with our own curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Memoria Press is a family-run publishing company that produces simple and easy-to-use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools. It was founded by a woman named Cheryl Lowe in 1994. They currently have preschool through ninth grade in most of their curriculum and some through twelfth grade. They also cover subjects in: Classical Core Curriculum, Latin, Classical Studies, Christian Studies, Logic & Rhetoric, Phonics & Early Reading, Penmanship, Literature & Poetry, American & Modern Studies, Writing & English Grammar, Science & Math, Greek, Modern Languages, Educational Resources, eBooks, Special-Needs, and Art & Music.

Memoria Press Third Grade Literature Guide Set with Novels

The Third Grade Literature Guide Set consists of four student study guides and four teacher guides for use with classical books that would be slightly above the average third grade readers comfort level. This is supposed to help challenge them and give them a deeper understanding and satisfaction of reading classical literature in turn developing the student into superior readers. The reading guides require one to read while having an active, perceptive mind that is challenged to think, compare, and contrast. The guides focus on vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and composition skills. These student study guides are all consumable workbooks and have Teaching Guidelines at the beginning to help you through each lesson. Each lesson correlates with a chapter in the book. Some of the guides even have Enrichment activities throughout them to go into even more depth into learning. You can get a feel for content by downloading one of their samples on the site. The set we received did not include the classical books, but you can purchase them separately, check them out of the library, or get the whole set with the novels from Memoria Press. All the guides go well together in this set because of their wonderful classical nature. Each book is intended to take 6-7 weeks.

Third Grade Literature Guide Set Contents:
  • Farmer Boy Student Study Guide (91 pages, 29 chapters, 3 quizzes and a final, vocabulary crosswords, and an appendix)
  • Farmer Boy Teacher Guide (135 pages, 29 chapter lesson key, quiz review key, vocabulary crosswords key, appendix, discussion questions key, quizzes and final test, quizzes and final test key)
  • Charlotte's Web Student Study Guide (74 pages, 22 chapters, 3 quizzes and a final, vocabulary crosswords, and an appendix)
  • Charlotte's Web Teacher Guide (117 pages, 22 chapter lesson key, quiz review key, vocabulary crosswords key, appendix, discussion questions key, quizzes and final test, quizzes and final test key)
  • A Bear Called Paddington Student Study Guide (25 pages, 8 chapters, and an appendix)
  • A Bear Called Paddington Teacher Guide (50 pages, 8 chapter lesson key, an appendix, and a teachers key: discussion questions key, quizzes and final test, quizzes and final test key)
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins Student Study Guide (50 pages, 20 chapters)
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins Teacher Guide (77 pages, 20 chapter lesson key, and a teachers key: discussion questions key, quizzes and final test, quizzes and final test key)

Charlotte's Web Student Study Guide, Teacher Guide, and Book.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Memoria Press was very generous in sending us the entire 3rd grade level set, even though they knew I would not use more than one book title during the review period. For this review I picked out the book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White to use with the Charlotte's Web Student Guide and Teacher Guide. I was fortunate enough to already have had the book on my shelf and Zari had not read it yet. The Teacher Guide, which had all of the answers in it for the Student Study Guide was a tremendous help and even though I too decided to read the book along with my daughter I could see that you could use it even without reading the book yourself. I remember reading this book a long time ago, but it had been a while for me.

Zari doing the Charlotte's Web Student Study Guide.

My daughter, Zari, is going into third grade so naturally we used this with her. I wanted to also know what was going on in the book so I read each chapter before she did. We went chapter by chapter through the book this way. After each chapter we would work in the Charlotte's Web Student Study Guide on the pages that correlated with the chapter we just got done reading. The student study guide is a consumable workbook and this particular one was one of the longest in the set with 74 pages. Zari did fairly well with the reading, vocabulary, and comprehension. She needed a little help on the composition part of it because of sentence structure. I did not do any of the Enrichment Activities with Zari yet because I wanted to make sure we would have time to do the rest of the Student Study Guide. However, the enrichment activities, like: drawing a spider diagram sounded like a lot of fun. The enrichment activities include composition, copywork, dictation, research, mapping, drawing, poetry work, literary terms, etc. We will come back to these and do them too at a later time.

Charlotte's Web Student Study Guide Layout and Book.

I was amazed at how complex these Student Study Guides were. The questions were very well thought out and challenged my daughter to think a lot more for each answer than she is used to. The Teaching Guidelines at the front of the Student Guide was very helpful at showing us what the sequence of things should be. It says to first review previous vocabulary orally, chapter plots, characters, settings, before reading each consecutive chapters. Then after the review of the previous chapters you are to look at the study guide and preview what is in it for the next chapter you will be reading. While the student reads they are to make note of the vocabulary words in the guide and where the comprehension questions that come up are. After reading you do the student guide with your student. It says that third graders should have help occasionally to come up with synonyms and forming good sentences orally before writing them down. Each lesson has sections on Reading Notes, Vocabulary, Comprehension Questions, Quotations, Discussion Questions, and Enrichment. The accompanying teacher guides definitely help me as they have all the answers in them. We also loved looking through the appendix as it has fun extras like: a biographical sketch about the author, about spiders, poems that go with the story, and parts of a spider.

I highly recommend the Memoria Press Second Grade Literature Guide Set to anyone who is homeschooling or doing supplemental work at home. These Literature Sets would also be great during Summer Vacation if you don't homeschool. The classical education is some of my favorite literature curriculum in my eclectic afterschooling ways. Everything that I have tried so far from Memoria Press I have loved. They have wonderful curriculum for k-12 homeschooling. Thanks again Memoria Press for being so generous in giving us the opportunity to look over the whole set. We can't wait to start Farmer Boy next in this set!!

Third Grade Literature Guide Set with Novels is $125 and without Novels is $95.

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First to Tenth Grade Literature Guides {Memoria Press Reviews}

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Rome Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Project Passport World History Studies Ancient Rome from Home School in the Woods for this review to use in conjunction with our own curriculum at home. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Home School in the Woods is a family run business that creates Christian based history curriculum for homeschooling. This curriculum immerses your student in the topic. It is very hands-on with lapbooks, timelines, recipes, art, creative writing, notebook projects, dramatized audio theater, maps, crafts, projects, re-enactments, file-folder games, vocabulary to learn, etc.

There are icons that help along one side and buttons that link to nice clear photos of the finished projects.

The Project Passport World History Studies are a virtual trip through history. These are recommended for grades 3-8. There are two different versions you can purchase, a CD version or a digital download version. With the CD version everything that you access and print is on the CD. With the digital download version you download a zipped file, place all of the contents into a folder on your computer, and access it by the start.htm file that is in that folder. We received the digital download version. This "trip" is supposed to last roughly 8-12 weeks depending upon how quickly everything is completed. For Each Project Passport World History Study you make a passport and "luggage" folder to hold some of the stuff you print off and make along the journey. Each "trip" has 25 chapters called "stops", where you observe action-packed events and meet fascinating people along the way. At each stop you come to there will be "Guide Book Text" which is information for the student to read about a certain topic explored and a "Travel Itinerary" that covers the project choices and directions. There are also helpful icons that let you know what you will be doing and color photos of all the completed projects so you know how they are supposed to look like when finished. There are a lot of printables of information and projects to do. Masters are available for all printables. There are so many things to do on the trip, for example: creating a "Scrapbook of Sights" (notebook for storing the notebook projects), dining on local cuisine with the "Dining out Guide" (recipes to create food and drink that was popular in the area at the time), taking pictures ("Snapshot Moments in History" scrapbook timeline), reporting on important people and happenings (a newspaper creative writing assignment - In the Ancient Rome study it is called "The Roman Tribune"), making "souvenirs" to remember your stay (craft/art projects), dressing like the locals (clothing of the era: fun dress up craft), making a lapbook, playing games (file-folder games), collecting postcards, listening to tour guides (dramatized audio theater - there are 8 of these), and so much more!

We found that there was a lot of preparation that needed to happen before getting started. There is a lot of things needing printed, items needing prepared for crafts and other projects, and general preparation of materials before one can begin the journey. The Travel Itinerary and Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary helps with this a lot!

You will need a few items to get you through the lessons:
  • Working Printer
  • Color and Black Ink for the printer to cover all the printing that will be happening
  • White and Colored Printer Paper
  • White and Colored Cardstock (this is best, but admittedly we didn't have any of this and used only white printer paper and it worked OK)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Guide Book (teacher binder for Introduction, Travel Tips, Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary, Travel Itinerary, Guide Book Text, and Additional Resources)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Scrapbook of Sights (student binder for all notebook projects)
  • Colored File Folders or Colored Pocket Folders with Fasteners
  • Scissors and/or an X-acto Knife (when using an X-acto Knife you will need a thick piece of cardboard or self healing mat to use as a cutting surface)
  • Crayons, Markers, or Colored Pencils to color the pictures, if desired
  • Glue
  • Other Craft supplies specified for each of the different projects that your student wants to do
This is what the Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Rome covers:
  1. Laying the Foundation (Packing for the Trip)
  2. Out with the Kings, In with the Republic!
  3. More than Just a City
  4. A Mediterranean Power
  5. The Republic Begins to Falter
  6. Julius Caesar and the Fall of the Republic
  7. Everyday Life - Part 1
  8. Everyday Life - Part 11
  9. Business, Taxes, and Coins
  10. Law and Philosophy
  11. Education, Oration, and Literature
  12. Science and Medicine
  13. The Arts
  14. Architecture and Transportation
  15. Religion
  16. Warfare
  17. Augustus and the Empire
  18. The Julio Claudian Emperors
  19. The Year of the Four Emperors and the Flavians
  20. The Five Good Emperors
  21. Too Many Emperors to Count
  22. From Constantine to the Barbarian Invasions
  23. Rome and the Bible
  24. And What Happened After?
  25. The Final Stop - Packing Up!
How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I enlisted my daughter Zari who finished 2nd grade this past school year to learn about Ancient Rome, the newest Project Passport Study from Home School in the Woods, since she loved listening to and helping out with the other studies before. This is supposed to be for 3rd through 8th graders so she did need my help with some of the more advanced projects and writing assignments and it took her a lot longer to get through some of the stops than it might have taken for my older kids. I learned quite a bit too while helping her with this study.

Zari coloring the Scrapbook of Sights Cover.

This study, like all the other ones we did, was jam packed with information. I am glad that I already had experience doing this type of program because everything seemed to go faster. The instructions are not hard, but there is a lot of things to set up and print out initially and throughout the be aware of that and set some time aside initially to get things done so you are not overwhelmed. We still have not gotten through all the stops, but we have enjoyed everything that we have done thus far. I love that it is from a biblical Christian perspective too.

Zari making the Roman Clothed Paper Dolls.

Zari really liked our project time together. She loves art and making things. She loved dressing up as a Roman Woman. Dressing up in period clothing is a great way to learn history. We are on a very tight budget for everything, including afterschooling, because my husband is doing school himself and not currently working so we don't have a lot to spend on extras at the moment. Because of this our dress up didn't look quite like the one in the picture. We used sheets instead of muslin and it was a reasonable facsimile...hey, we improvised with what we had. The other project that was her favorite was the "Roman Clothing & Accessories" paper dolls. She learned a lot about: how the Ancient Romans dressed, what they believed, what they ate, what wars they had, what their homes looked like, what jobs they had, what they used as transportation, their currency, their education, and so much more! There were so many projects to do to go with all the reading, creative writing, and listening to the audio tours. We did so many fun things and learned so much about the culture so far. I can't wait to get all the way through the whole program with my daughter. We really want to try the recipes "Recline and Dine" cookbook. It is great to add interest to history with recipes. in the We are looking forward to learning more about Ancient Rome.

Zari dressing up as a Roman Woman.

I highly recommend the Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Rome from Home School in the Woods. This is great for anyone homeschooling who might need some help with teaching Ancient Rome in a highly educational, fun, and very hands-on way. This would also be perfect for those wanting something fun to do with their kids in the summer time. I am looking forward to reviewing more from Home School in the Woods in the future.

You can purchase the download version of the Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Rome for $33.95 and CD version for $34.95.

Download the scope and sequence, listen to a sample audio tour, see photo examples of projects, and watch a video of "What is a Project Passport" when you click the link above, to get more of an idea about the program.

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Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Home School in the Woods...
World History (Project Passport), U.S. History Studies (Time Travelers) and Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures  {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Ugly Christmas Sweater Pajama Review and Christmas in July Giveaway!

You know how around Christmastime some people get dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters and get pictures taken?? Well Ugly Christmas has taken that one step further with their ugly Christmas pajama line. They even have hoodie footed pajamas and pajama pants that are National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Grinch, Fortnite, and Star Wars, themed! These are perfect for boys and girls, men and women, children and adult.

I picked the Snowmen and Candy Canes Black Ugly Christmas Pajama Suit with Hood. I tried a small, but had to send it back to get the extra-small because it was huge on me. The extra-small fit better, but was still a bit long because I am fairly short. I found out that these tend to run big. They are also fairly roomy. They come in XS all the way up to 2XL!

Me snuggling my dog in my new pajamas.

The footie pajamas are so comfortable and very soft. I love how cozy and warm they are. These are perfect to lounge around the house in. Right now my home is air conditioned because it is July and hot outside. Since it gets a bit chilly sometimes inside right now this is just perfect. I love to snuggle with my large dog, Prince on my bed while reading in these hooded pajamas. This is so comfy to sleep in or watch movies in as well. I can definitely see myself wearing this year round. This will be absolutely perfect come fall and winter when the temperature is cold and nippy outside.

So cozy and warm to sleep in.

I love these footed pj's especially because of some great features it has! These have a wonderful hood with a drawstring so that your head also stays nice and warm. It also has deep pockets! On the front it has a zipper that zips both up and down, so it is very accommodating. On the backside there is a funny zippered trap door butt flap ๐Ÿ˜œ. 

Ugly Christmas Pajama Suit features:
  • Cozy, warm, and comfortable footed pajama
  • Front of jumper zips both up and down
  • 100% Polyester
  • Has hood with drawstring closure 
  • Has zippered trap door
  • Has pockets to keep hands toasty
  • Perfect for winter, Christmas holiday season, gag gifts, white elephant gifts, and Christmas in July!
  • Unisex

I love wearing my new pajamas around the house. It even has a hood to keep me warmer.

I love the pattern of the snowmen, candy canes, snowflakes, and poinsettias that the Snowmen and Candy Canes Black Ugly Christmas Pajama Suit with Hood sleepwear has. It is very festive and not at all cheeky like some of the other designs on the website. I would not be embarrassed to wear this around the house in front of friends and family because it is super cute.

I love the Snowmen and Candy Canes pattern on the Pajamas. It is so festive.

I recommend Ugly Christmas for all your ugly Christmas sweater and pajama needs for the entire family. You can even all match or be is all up to you. They have so many different ones to choose from there is bound to be something that would be perfect for gifting. Perfect for Christmas in July celebrations too!



Prize: A pair of lounge pants or pajamas/jumpsuit of your choice from Ugly Christmas
Who Can Enter: 18+, USA and Canada Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. 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.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Review

This post contains affiliate links that will benefit the blog. My family had the privilege of trying Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia for this review to use in conjunction with our own curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. is the #1 publisher of creation-based science and Bible curriculum. They focus on Christian based homeschool curriculum. Their products are all taught from a biblical worldview. They have creation-based science, apologetics, language arts, Constitutional Literacy, and resources and books to help homeschooling families succeed.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition by Sherri Seligson is a creation-based general science curriculum consisting of a Student Textbook, Student Notebook and Solutions and Test Manual with one Test Packet. It is geared towards 7th grade to help students transition out of elementary to middle school, and to prepare for high school. Students will explore a wide range of science topics such as earth science, chemistry, physics, life science, biology, marine science, environmental science, science and creation, etc. This is great for homeschool science for middle school.

This Basic 3rd Edition Homeschool Science for Seventh Grade Set includes:

  • Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Student Textbook
  • Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Student Notebook
  • Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Solutions and Test Manual with one Test Packet
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Student Textbook is a hardbound textbook. This textbook has a total of 14 lessons/modules that explain general science and its many wonders. The book starts out with Apologia's Instructional Support that explains the curriculum parts. It then has a student notes section about the book with a course overview, activities explanation, lab equipment needed, and a description of learning aids available. Then it goes onto the table of contents. Each lesson has: a “Quaestio” which is basically means question in Latin, "What To Do" sections in green boxes, "Explore More" sections in purple boxes, vocabulary words in blue bold text, color pictures and charts, Experiments located on grid paper, Creation Connections and Think About This in gold text, "On Your Own" (OYO) Questions and writing prompts in dark blue boxes; and at the end of each lesson: Summing Up, Answers to the "On Your Own" Questions, and a study guide. At the end of the textbook there is a Lab Supply List, Index to help find things in the book, and Image Sources.


  1. The History of Science - Search For the Truth
  2. Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
  3. Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results
  4. Scientific Analysis and History
  5. Earth Science - Astronomy
  6. Earth Science - Geology and Paleontology
  7. Earth Science - Meteorology and Oceanography
  8. General Chemistry
  9. General Physics
  10. Life Science
  11. General Biology
  12. Marine Science
  13. Environmental Science
  14. Science and Creation

The Student Notebook is spiral bound which makes it easier to lay flat and stay open. This is a required consumable workbook and each is intended to be used by a single student with the textbook. At the beginning of the notebook there is an Introduction. This Introduction has Parent Notes, About Not Taking, About Experiments, About Grading, Grading Experiments, Experiment Grading Rubric, Recording Grades, Experiments, Exams, Grade Recording Chart, Student Notes, Taking Effective Notes From Science Texts, and Lesson Schedule. The middle section of the workbook consists of: What To Do prompts, Vocabulary to be defined, Summaries to be filled out, OYO questions to answer, History of Science timeline instructions to follow, etc. for the student. The last section in the workbook is the Appendix with a Lab Report Checklist, Lab Report Grading Rubric, and Image Credits.

The General Science, 3rd Edition Test Pages and General Science, 3rd Edition Solutions and Test Manual are packaged together. The test pages has a test for the student to complete after each module. This comes in a softcover and is in black and white. Within the solutions manual are answers to the study guide, summary and tests. This comes in a glossy softcover and is in black and white.

Author Sherri Seligson on General Science's Big Ideas:

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I used this curriculum with my daughter Teela who is going into 5th grade and 11 years old. Even though this is actually for middle schoolers I think she did well with the content, but some of the lessons took her longer than it suggested, especially since she was distracted with summer. It suggests the each lesson/module should take about 2-2 1/2 weeks to complete, working four days a week for 45 minutes to an hour to work on this so the student completes the course in 33 weeks. For this review we did this for about five weeks starting at the beginning of the book, which got us through Lesson 1 (The History of Science - Search For the Truth) and Lesson 2 (Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method) during the review period.

Explore More activity about the distribution of food coloring in both cold (Teela's right) and hot (Teela's left) water.

The textbook has a lot of wonderful full color pictures and charts that make the learning a lot more fascinating. You could make spelling lists with the vocabulary words from each chapter too. I love the wonderful lesson by lesson lab supply list located in the back for knowing what to have on hand for the activities from each lesson. It is super helpful! Having an answer key for the "OYO" question sections was a tremendous help to me as well.

General Science Experiment for Surface Tension of Water

We loved using the link to the course website that is referenced in the textbook. It had a lot of fun third party websites that contributed more information to the study of different things. We especially loved links on: How to make Ancient Egyptian Papyrus, Model Si Nan of Han Dynasty, Greek Philosophy, Roman Coliseum, The Copernican Model: A Sun-Centered Solar System, Galileo Journey to Jupiter Project, Video about Surface Tension, Medical Evidence in the Old Testament, Mars Global Surveyor photos, online tour of The Lowell Observatory, Mars Rover Mission, Great Salt Lake State Park, etc. There was a lot more too.

Teela reading the textbook.

The Student Notebook is all in color like the textbook. I like that they also have activities that included science Experiments and Explore More sections from what was taught in the textbook. These were lots of fun and were hands-on way of learning the material. Teela loved these the best.

Teela working out of the Student Workbook.

Having the Test Pages and Solutions and Test Manual was very helpful as well. These come shrink wrapped together. I didn't have to print these out myself and had them for Teela to work from. I am glad that these were given in the set we received.

I love the Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. I would recommend this highly to anyone searching for a creation-based curriculum about general science for middle school grades in homeschool. Apologia also has other great homeschool curriculum for science as well that I would love to check out and some others that I have reviewed here.

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Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Basic Set is $119.

An MP3 audio CD and a Video Instruction Thumb Drive are also available for purchase as well to accommodate all types of learning styles. We; however, did not receive either of them for this review.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition...

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}

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Monday, July 8, 2019

JORD Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose Watch Review and Giveaway! #JORDWATCH

Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

My Favorite Accessory: A Watch by JORD

Jord (pronounced Yode) is a watch company based in St. Louis, Missouri. The name Jord is Danish for Earth. The watches are made of natural wood and other materials that make these timepieces unique and sophisticated looking.

Features I love about Jord watches:
  • The watch band may be sized for the recipient.
  • Most watch backplates can be engraved.
  • All Cedar humidor presentation boxes are engravable, as well!
  • Most watches have additional options for customization -- mixing and matching faces and woods!
  • They have a domed sapphire crystal that sits atop the clocks face for a transparent view. This is second only to diamond in hardness and scratch resistance. It also resists impact and abrasion really well.
  • They come in a variety of sustainable woods to choose from, like: acacia, bamboo, olive, purpleheart, zebrawood, ebony, and more.
  • Every watch comes with free worldwide shipping, a 1-year warranty, and hassle-free returns & exchanges.

I love the way this watch looks great with everything!

The Cassia is one of Jord's newest collections of women's watches. It is their first watch collection with a full Roman numeral dial. It is a 40mm, 2-hand classic quartz minimalist watch. It displays hours and minutes with the hands. This lovely timepiece comes in four different colorways that feature beautiful grained woods, muted dials, and luxury watch components.

JORD Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose Watch and what it comes with.

About the Cassia:
  • With the Roman numerals it is easy to tell time with and so much classier than digital.
  • This lovely timepiece is great to wear dressed up or dressed down. Looks great paired with any outfit.
  • The metal and wood link interlaced band is seamless and has an ingenious anodized buckle that easily deploys open with a pinch of two metal clasps. It is effortless to get on one handed.
  • Easy to set the time with the crown, the little knob on the side of the watch. Just pull it out and twist until the hands come into position to set the time, then push it back in when done.
  • The full uninterrupted spherical case is made of wood and has an engravable metal core backplate.
  • The domed sapphire crystal sits in a bezel-less design and protects the watch's inner workings.
  • Features the Citizen Miyota GL20, Battery [silver oxide SR621SW (equiv)] Powered Movement (tuning fork type Quartz Crystal with a frequency of 32,768 Hz OR 1.35 V).
  • The Cassia is splash-proof but should not be submerged in water (3 ATM).
  • The wood is hand finished and pretreated with tung oils.
  • Lemon or orange oil extract is best for cleaning the natural wood.
  • When storing this timepiece, avoid extremely hot, cold, and excessively dry/humid environments.
  • width: 40mm, case thickness: 10mm, band thickness: 13.8mm, band length: 203mm
  • Comes with a storage box, display pillow, extra links and pins for band, 100% natural finishing oil, cleaning cloth, and care booklet.

The JORD Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose Watch.

I received the Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose watch. I have not worn a timepiece since I was a teen, so this is such a great treat. I have been eyeing Jord watches for many years because of their gorgeous designs and natural look.  I got this one sized to my wrist (15 1/4 cm). I love this wristwatch's color. It reminds me of rose gold which I love to wear as jewelry and the large walnut trees on my farm. This watch is of wonderful quality and craftsmanship and I believe it will last a long time. The band and clasp is so much better than others I have seen. This is a lovely and unique piece that I am glad to have in my collection and since I have been wearing it I have received many compliments.

Early morning styling with my JORD Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose Watch and cardigan.

I have partnered with JORD to give you this giveaway.

Prize: Winner receives $100 off any watch in Jord's collection.
Host: Jord
Selection Process: The winner will be emailed after the contest has concluded, provided all deliverables have been met. All other entrants will also be emailed a consolation 10% off gift code.
Where to Enter: Go to this link and fill out the form to enter.

Lovely with other jewelry too.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. 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. Winner of the giveaway will be handled by Jord.

Wooden Wrist Watch

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set Review

My family had the privilege of trying the student guide, student workbook, and teacher's guide from the Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set produced by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources for this review to use in conjunction with our own curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Hewitt Homeschooling was founded in 1963/64 by Carl Hewitt and Dr. Raymond Moore. Their primary function has shifted from working with public education to now focusing on home education. Because of Dr. Raymond Moore's publications and books about home education this foundation became at the forefront of the homeschooling movement. They produce high quality curriculum that follows a balanced, flexible approach to homeschooling. Some of their products include: Lightening Literature, Unit Programs/Studies, My First Reports, Hewitt Readers, "Best" Literature, Math-It, Winston Grammar, State Chronicles, etc. They serve parents with students from kindergarten through high school.

The Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set is what we received and it is composed of the Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Teacher's Guide, Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Student's Guide and the Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Student Workbook. You can instead purchase the Grade 7 Lightning Literature & Composition Pack that has all the books that you will need for your student to read as well as what is also in just the set. These books, short stories, and poems are all reasonably and affordably priced if you purchase them on your own. Some are classics and others are new to us.

Students read in the following order:
  • “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Various poems from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
  • "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” a short story by Stephen Crane from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • Various poems from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

The Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Teacher's Guide is easy to follow, clear, and thorough. It includes an introduction of how to use the guide and a weekly lesson planner at the beginning. It contains answer keys to the comprehension questions and the workbook pages as well.

A page out of the Student Guide.

The Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Student Guide is guide that contains for each chapter: an introduction for the student to read before starting, vocabulary, comprehension questions, a literary lesson, a mini-lesson, and writing exercises. If you follow this you will easily have a complete literature, grammar, and composition curriculum for the whole standard two semester, 36-week school year.

The Lightning Lit: Grade 7 Student Workbook is a consumable workbook that has all of the workbook pages that should be done for each chapter before the writing exercises in the student guide. There are seven types of workbook pages: [L] exercises relating to the major literary lessons, [M] exercises relating to the mini-lessons, [C] activities that allow the student to practice composition skills, [T] thinking skills pages, [G] exercises the review grammar and mechanics, [P] puzzles, and [E] extra-challenge pages. The first five are mandatory for the student to complete. The last two are optional.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I used the Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set with my daughter Teela who has just finished up fifth grade and is 11 years old. She is a strong reader and so these books are fairly easy reading and comprehension for her. She; however, is not as good with the grammar or composition so I got this for her to strengthen those. We also love to do summer reading programs and this has just fit into our summer reading quite well so far.

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set with my dad's passed down The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book.

I found that the book selection was very appropriate. I remember reading some of these as a child myself and enjoying them. We started with "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and after that started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I was happy to have had some of the books in our library at home. The others I found online or will be checking out from our city library. Teela had not read either of these before, but I had. We found the whole of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" online. My copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and a copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) was actually given to my father at age 11 by his parents (It still has the inscription on the inside cover where it says this.) and passed down to me when I was young. I love that I get to share this part of my history with my daughter.

Part of the schedule of semester 1.

We worked on this 3 days a week instead of the 5 days a week that is recommended because it is summer. I had her read the short stories/books to herself. Then we followed the schedule that was given for doing the work. I really loved that the whole schedule was mapped out for us. This made it easier for us to know what we should be doing each week.

Teacher's Guide, Student Guide, Workbook Ch. 1 contents.

There was a lot of writing and other work though and frankly I think it was just too much for Teela especially since she was being distracted by summer things. Even though this is above her grade level I believe if she buckled down to do it, she could. Her favorite parts were the reading, discussion, crossword puzzles, and word searches.

Teela working on the Gr 7 Lightning Lit workbook pages.

Overall, I am pleased with the Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set. It is a great English homeschool curriculum that can be personalized and tailored to the student. We liked how it was laid out and the flow of the lessons. We will be reading the other books needed for this set at a later time when Teela isn't so distracted.

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The Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 3 Pack w Book of Poetry (comes with all the books, but one that is out of print) is $137.50. The Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 3 Set: Teachers Guide and Student Workbook is $71.01. Prices are accurate as of date of this post.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Hewitt Homeschooling...
Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}

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