Friday, October 22, 2010

Fit Mommy Friday

Denise of Got Chai? and Mrs. White of The Legacy of Home have challenged the other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew to a 10 week Fitness Challenge.

I am accepting the challenge.

I actually have been working on this area of my life, but have hesitated to share my efforts on my blog. Really, it's much more interesting to just tell you about my kids and the fun, interesting things they do - but this will help me enjoy those fun interesting things so much more!

I definitely need to lose weight - that's no secret - but I just haven't made an effort since MT was born. When Kirk decided he wanted to play football I realized that I just did not have the energy to maintain our current activities and handle the schedule football requires. So, I joined another homeschooling mom, who has become a dear friend, and walked twice a week. That was in June. We walk a hard, fast two miles every Tuesday and Thursday.

After a month of walking, I was feeling so much better that I decided to add a little something to my routine. The church where we walk has advertisements for Personal Trainers and I decided to call and set up an appointment.

My first session with Jenny included 60 lunges and 60 squats (and that was just the first set of reps!). I could barely walk for three days. I returned with the intention of asking if I could do just 30 and work up to 60, but she had a whole new exercise routine for me. Before I realized what was happening I had done 72 of each! And - I could walk afterward! I go now once a week and do strength training. She is so encouraging and pushes me far beyond what I think I can do.

I am joining this 10 week challenge with two goals:

1. To add one more day of exercise to my current 3 days per week. I will be starting with a goal of 10 minutes on that day and intend to work up to 30 minutes by the end of the 10 weeks.

2. To lose 10 pounds by the end of this challenge. I have only lost 2 pounds since June, so I am setting this goal low so I don't get discouraged!

Each Friday I will post an update and let you know how I am doing. ~Any encouragement is much appreciated~


BrillKids Little Reader Learning System

MT and I have been using BrillKids Little Reader Learning System. MT is feeling very grown up having his own “schoolwork” on the computer. BrillKids Little Reader is a program designed to teach babies and young children to read.

I downloaded the newest version of Little Reader and began to play with the program. I thought I would need some time to understand how to use the program, but honestly – it is such a simple program that very little preparation is necessary. Just sit down with your little guy (or gal) and start lesson 1.

I watched MT’s reactions as he went through each lesson and at first was worried that he was only hearing the words and watching the photos and video clips. Then I got to the Action Words part. The Action Words part is great because the word is presented on the screen in clear solid color type against a white background and an arrow moves under the word as it is pronounced. Then the word is followed by a photo of a child or animal and a short video clip demonstrating the word.

Little Reader teaches commonly used words, including action words like kick or wave, parts of the body, and animals (MT’s favorite part!). The photos change each time, so it is not repetitive. For example, when the word “bird” is presented there is a photo of a Cardinal, but the next time “bird” is shown, it is a photo of a crow or a parakeet. That element of surprise kept MT’s attention.

One of the most interesting options of Little Reader Learning System is the option to personalize your child’s curriculum. You may add your own photos and videos and add photos of Dad and Mom or other relatives.

Little Reader Deluxe Version
 BrillKids Little Reader Learning System Basic sells for $149.00 (basic is download only) and the Deluxe version is $360.00 (the in-your-hands physical copy with all of the flashcards, books, activity sheets, etc!). The BrillKids website also has many free downloads, including printable flash cards, writing sheets, and readers as well as powerpoint flash cards.

I encourage you to download the 14 day trial version and see if this product is a fit for your family. (Note: the trial version includes Little Math as well!)

Also check out what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought about Little Reader by clicking here.

**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stitching, Sketching, Scrapping Sunday October 17, 2010

Welcome to a late post for Mama Manuscripts Stitching, Sketching, Scrapping Sunday! Yes, I know it is Monday, but pretend for just a moment that it is still Sunday and take a look at my craft for this week.

Maggie is a member of a Girls Missionary Auxilliary (GMA) group at our church. Each year the girls complete a “step” beginning with Maiden and ending with 5 Queen steps. Maggie completed her Lady step this year. The girls are recognized for passing their step during a coronation service.

The coronation service is very special and the girls get to wear beautiful dresses. Maggie chose her pattern and fabric and although I was a little skeptical about her color choices I sewed the dress she chose. Wow! Her color choices were perfect for her coloring. She got numerous compliments on her medieval type dress from the other girls and several adults.

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