Monday, January 26, 2009

The Cruel War

I have mentioned before that my children use the Amblesideonline curriculum in combination with other resources. One of the items on the curriculum that we haven't always been good at following through on is folk music study. So I'm playing around with different ways of sharing folk music with my kids. Several people have shared with me that they find youtube invaluable for this. So I offer here a youtube video that I particularly like of this semester's selection, "The Cruel War" a song that dates from the American Civil War.

The Yummyfun Kooking Series

Cooking is one of my children's all time favorite activites. Mine too truth be told! I recently ran across this trailer for a cooking show for kids that I know they will love. I haven't got my hands on one yet, but I thought you all would enjoy hearing about it. I hope to give you a full blown review soon!
Meanwhile check out the site here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day Freebies

We have a wonderful opportunity right now to watch history happen right before our eyes. My children and I will be watching the Presidential Inauguration together tomorrow during school time. If you are planning to do the same here are some freebies from one of my favorite online stores, Currclick:

2009 Presidental Inauguration Lap & Note Pack by This Lap & Note Pack is perfect for exploring the history behind the Inauguration of US Presidents.

This Pack includes Lap & Note Sheets and Suggested Answers as well as Inauguration Fact Sheets to help you and your student learn about this historic event.

This is a gift to you from Teacher Book Bag commemorating the occasion. "We hope you and your families learn as much about past inaugurations, the inaugural process, its celebrations, and the American presidents. "
And after (or before) you watch the festivities head over to Krispy Kreme where they are giving away one doughnut to every customer in honor of the Inauguration!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My husband and I try to take time out every year to explain to our children why our nation sets aside a day each year to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you do too you may like this book. It provides and excellent overview of Dr. King's life and explains simply the Civil Rights movement. You can also find other recommendations here and here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Magazines

I kind of have a problem when it comes to magazines. So it's all the better when I can get them for free. Today I ran across three that looked good and I thought I'd share.

Money Saving Mom posted about Woman's Day and Wondertime for free. You have to fill out a little survey but it's short and doesn't ask for too much information. I felt it was worth the time for a free year of magazines!

Creative Living Media is an Australian publisher of craft magazines. They are offering their magazines free as digital subscriptions. I am in love with digital subscriptions. They look great on the screen and you can save articles on your computer. No paper to throw away! The offer a quilting, beading, papercraft and general craft magazine. You can only choose one for your free subscription. You get 6 months free and if you send a note to a friend telling them about it you get another six months.

Here is a tip for your magazines when your done. Take them to Half Price Books and sell them. You won't get much but usually enough to buy ANOTHER magazine there! Sort of the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Tea Month

I learned recently that January is the official tea month. This is something I am happy to celebrate! In case you haven't noticed, I am a tea lover. My avatar attests to that. I love all things tea...drinking it...items to make tea...teapots...all of it.

There are a few places that are celebrating tea month with some freebies. First today is a tea party at Starbucks. I'm not a big fan of Starbucks, but I'll be glad to partake of their free samples of tea and pastries today. Check your local store to see if they are participating and hurry because it's today only!

If you have a Border's bookstore in your area you'll be interested in this coupon for a free pastry or second beverage when you purchase one. Border's is a favorite of mine because they combine my favorite drink with books and magazines! Two great loves together.

Another reason I like Border's is because they serve my favorite brand of tea, Republic of Tea! If you sign up for Republic of Tea's catalogue you'll receive it in the mail about monthly with a free tea sample. Morroccan Mint is my favorite but I also love the Tangerine Green and Orange Blossom white. I've bought tea online from R of T for years and always had a good experience.

I hope you'll raise a cup and join me this month in celebrating tea!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Banning Books

Those of you who follow this blog know that I am a lover of old books and ephemera. I frequent library books sales, thrift stores and Half Price Books looking for older books to share with my children or for myself. So I was horrified to learn recently that on February 1o, 2009...just about a month away, I won't be able to do these things anymore. Please read the article I've reprinted below from the Homeschooler's Notebook to find out more and what you can do about it.

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned
By Heather Idoni of
Added Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned
Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.
Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.
What does this mean to the homeschooling family?
Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books! Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army. Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.
No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" -- libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.
(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".)
Just how serious is this new law? has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manufacturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.
I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.
(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.)
So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children’s books? Or that homeschool curriculum business? Or your EBay business selling children's items?
ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:
1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.
Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009. Or email:
2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa- tion, just enter your zip code.
3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
4) Sign the petition.
5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.
For the complete story, read the following links:
Consumer Product Safety Commission Summaries on Legislation Index page for Children's Products Containing Lead; Lead Paint Rule and other rulings
Office of the General Counsel FAQ on retroactive inventory require- ments -- The use of forward effective dates appears to force current inventories to adhere to the ruling on February 10th, 2009
Specific FAQ on their interpretation of books and other media to be included in the testing of lead based products
Effective Date: Lead content limit of 600 ppm becomes effective 180 days after enactment. An advisory opinion regarding the application of the new lead limit to inventory existing at the effective date can be found on our web site at
Getting the Lead out: There is no lead in children's books
There is no lead in Children's books: From a Pediatrician

Inspired Eye Images

Inspired Eye Images is an inspiration site which features original photographic art "devotionals". The goal of this site is to offer inspiration and encouragement through the power of the visual image and “good words”– (Anxiety in the heart of a person causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25.) By subscribing to their monthly email newsletter which will start in January, you’ll receive a fresh, original image with an inspiring message that you can print and put on your desk, fridge, bathroom mirror, etc... You will also receive priority notice of special offer downloads; special pricing on framedprints, greeting cards, devotionals, photo books and journals; and have the opportunity to enter their quarterly print give-aways.

If your looking for a calendar or perhaps have created your own and need some nice visuals, visit the site at .

Where in the world is Jill?

Yes, I do believe in blogging without obligation but I've been gone so much lately that I thought it warrented an explanation! This fall I went through two surgeries on my hand. The first of December my husband had emergency gall bladder surgery. Then of course the holidays happened. It has been a busy BUSY time for us, but with grace from God, we got through it. So the New Year is bringing us a fresh start and I look forward to posting more here too. Happy New Year!