Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1st Birthday

We are home and settling back into a routine. I have major housecleaning to do! We are enjoying the last few days of Norman's vacation too!

Norman Matthew will be celebrating his first birthday tomorrow! I can't believe it has already been a year. He already looks like a "toddler" rather than a baby and I am so sad that he has grown up so quickly!

He really took to Nemo at Disney so he is having a Nemo birthday! Amazingly, we never owned that movie, and it is difficult to find now. I bought KMart's last copy :) He is getting a look-and-find board book, wooden stacking pegs, stuffed Nemo, Nemo bathtub toys, Nemo movie and Shamu bucket hat (couldn't find Nemo!). That seems like a lot, but he didn't get any souveniers on the trip because they were all for his birthday :) I figure he would like to unwrap them!

So, I need to get to work. I promise to be blogging regularly soon. I have lots of new reviews to post, so watch for that!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sea World

I wanted to make a comment about Sea World and forgot in my previous post.

We were so impressed with that park for many reasons. Right off the bat, they earned our respect. For those that don't know, Sea World is owned by Anheuser-Busch (the beer company). Anyway, we got there at opening, just like we had at all the Disney parks and we were greeted by the playing of our National Anthem. Disney didn't do that at any of their parks......its a small thing, but none-the-less.....

And, just before the Shamu show, the show "host" thanked all of the service people in the audience and had them stand so that we could thank them ourselves. I thought that it was impressive that they took the time out of their busy show schedule to do that and it really meant a lot to me.

Anyway, that is some things that really impressed upon me about the integrity of the company. I know they sold out to a foreign company and all, but anyway...........

Going to bed now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Walt Disney World and Sea World

Well, today I am sitting in our hotel suite, typing away. I just got done packing up our stuff for our long trip home. This vacation has been wonderful and I am so very glad that we were able to come. Norman, the boys and I have all said that we will have to come back but there are several things that we would do differently.

First, next time we come, we may skip all the hype and just stay at the beach. Our favorites were Caspersen Beach near Venice and Siesta Beach near Sarasota. I have never been so relaxed in my whole life. Siesta Beach was my favorite....the sand was white, the slope was VERY gradual and the sunset was beautiful. Norman and the older boys spent hours searching for sharks teeth at Caspersen Beach. We have half a juice bottle to bring home!

Second, if we ever do choose to come back to Disney, we will completely skip MGM (Hollywood) Studios and Epcot. We were not impressed at all. We loved Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. So, that will be the plan for next time.

Sea World was fantastic. Our tickets gave us a 2nd day free and we went again today and spent a few hours, but it probably wasn't worth the $15 parking. We got everything done in one day. And it is absolutely worth it to see both Shamu shows (Believe and Shamu Rocks). They are different and NOT to be missed.

We also believe that it would be worth it to pay for a Disney resort hotel if you plan to go to Disney. We didn't realize, but resort guests get to enter an hour early and stay 3 (THREE) hours later. The crowds would be so much smaller!!!!! So that will probably be part of the plan next time.

Universal Studios got skipped this time. A lot of the rides had height restrictions that wouldn't have allowed Greg to ride. Next time, we will probably go there. We also skipped GatorLand....we are just too tired.

The mall at Lake Buena Vista (outlet mall) isn't worth your time. The only thing that redeemed them was that they had an Old Navy.....but I can go to an Old Navy in Terre Haute so........

If you want to see, my pictures are on facebook....sorry, though, close friends only. You know...the privacy thing. When I get home I may try to post a favorite or two here, but it is a pain to upload pictures on blogger and a breeze to get them on just doesn't seem worth it to do it here. Sorry!

Also, I have learned that Starbucks is my friend!!!!! My goodness, I am addicted. There is one down the block and I love the Caramel Macchiato. Yummy!!!!!

I will be back up doing product reviews, homeschool posts and housekeeping stuff next week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Choose

  • to love my Lord and Saviour with my heart, mind and soul
  • to conceive, birth and raise any children God blesses me with
  • to dress like a woman
  • to dress in a modest style
  • to submit to my husband, allowing him to lead our family in God's will
  • to homeschool (with my husband's blessing) my children, training them in the way that they should go
  • to pray for the best and prepare for the worst

Every day that you and I live our lives we have a multitude of choices to make. Some of these choices are trivial and some have eternal value. All of our choices should reflect God's love and our obedience to Him. What do your choices say about you?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Note from Psalm

Psalm 27 (NAS)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, the stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me; And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.
When Thou didst say, "Seek My face, : my heart said to Thee, "Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek."
Do not hide Thy face from me, Do not turn Thy servant away in anger; Thou hast been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up.
Teach me Thy way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path, Because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

***I am waiting God. Show me!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Missing Friends

I am wasting time on the internet today. I am moody I guess. I just spent several minutes searching facebook for people that I used to know. How sad is that?

That got me to thinking do our relationships develop and grow and then die so suddenly? In high school I had good friends. Upon graduation it was like someone flipped a switch and "poof", they were gone. We all went our separate ways. We all grew up and developed into the people that we are today. Most of my classmates I don't miss at all and a few I miss terribly.

I guess that we learn, as we get older, to guard our relationships more carefully. They need to be tended and worked at, rather than dropped when it gets hard or inconvenient. I guess that is part of getting older and wiser :) I am melancholy today, aren't I? Oh well, I suppose I just need to get OFF the internet and get back to packing.

Wait! The packing is done! WooHoo! The cleaning, however, isn't :( So, off I go!
Have a good day!


I learn something new everyday. I really do. I set up a facebook account the other day to stay in contact with a friend who is moving. And today, I figured out how to upload pictures to facebook! Let me tell you, it is a LOT easier than doing it here. So, I will probably be doing most of the pictures over there. The photo album is accessible to friends only, so you will need to add me as a friend. You can search for Carie Shinn. If I find you non-threatening :) then you will be allowed to view my pictures! Fun huh?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Training Sons and Training Daughters

I just got my ticket to Cindy Rushton's new online Talk-A-Latte study - Training Sons and Training Daughters. We will be gone, but everything is recording and will downloaded to my IPod at a later date. I can't wait to dig into the great topics that she is covering!!!

Some of the topics include:
Mothering: Step Up to the Call
Training Sons
Training Daughters
Ministering to the Heart of Your Child, Teen and Young Adult

That is just ONE day's worth!

I can't wait to get started! Won't you join us? Feel free to check it out!

What is on Your IPod?

I thought that I would try a new thing every week where we can share what we are listening to. It doesn't have to be on your IPod, that is what I listen to most of the time. Please feel free to share what you are listening to on the radio, CD, TV, mp3...whatever!

I am still listening to the seminars from the Ultimate Homeschool Expo. I am slow....I know! I also added some country music and like to listen to that while playing outside with the boys.
I am also loosely following the news. That is scary stuff!

What are you listening to???

Saturday, October 04, 2008


It looks like Saturday again :)

We have finished planning for our upcoming trip. We will leave next Thursday morning. I will have my computer with me and will occassionally update about all the fun we are having.

Today, Greg has a soccer game. For some reason Lee's game got rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. I don't want to go to a game tomorrow so I will see if a friend can take him. I am going to be doing laundry and start packing. And cleaning. I think that I will begin in our bedroom and bathroom since that will be "grand central" for the packing. Norman and the boys cleaned out the van yesterday and put the 3 person seat in the middle - leaving the other one out. Then Norman took it to town and vaccumed and washed it (3 times). It was dark when he got back but I am sure that it is beautiful!

I decided that I wasn't going to get on the internet this weekend, but habit prevailed and I was here before I realized it. Now, I am getting off here and getting to work! I am probably not getting back on until MONDAY. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

As most of you know, I am part of a marketing focus group for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. In case you didn't know, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is a fabulous resource. They provide their magazine in a print and digital format for their subscribers. In fact, I did a review of the digital magazine if you want to check it out. I can't express enough how much this magazine has helped me over the years.

I wanted to tell you all about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Fall Special.

You can get two years of the magazine, 6 fabulous physical gifts (no downloads!) worth over $120, plus the current issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine that is full of ideas for the new school year, so you start receiving your magazine in a flash! It really is one of their best deals ever and you don't want to miss out. In fact, they've got a really cute Homeschooling with Heart totebag (valued at $13.95) for the first 1000 to subscribe. About half ofthem are gone, but you should still be able to get one if you hurry!(They will remove the info from the subscription page when the bags are all gone.) The total value is over $212, but you receive it all for only $39 - 50% off of cover price! Plus subscribers get their online monthly Teacher's Toolbox which focuses on a different topic each month, giving you words of encouragement, hands-on teaching ideas, book recommendations, field trip ideas, and a bonus download item.

This is a great value for your homeschool buck! I keep all of my back-issues and reread whenever I need a little "brush up" or encouragment. The articles include product reviews, unit studies, mom encouragment and so much more.

So, if you are interested in checking out this fabulous resource you can go HERE. Act quickly before they run out of these totes.....I hear that they are sooo cute!!!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday in Review

I am going to try, every Wednesday, to post a review of something that I have found helping in my home or homeschool. Sometimes, these will be curriculum reviews that I have been asked to do for TEACH magazine or The Old Schoolhouse magazine. Sometimes, it will be something that I have used independently and found useful. I hope that you enjoy the reviews!

Help Me To Teach

I was up way into the night last night checking out this resource. Normally, this is NOT something that I would have bought. Essentially, it is a search engine of web links to pages sorted by topic or subject. First, I searched for American History. I was amazed at the results! There were informational sites, timeline sites, game sites. A search for "math" revealed worksheet making sites, online review game sites and how to teach fractions sites. When I searched for "geography" I found sites on maps, cultures, and more games. Impressive!

I am a "hold something in my hand" type person. I am not sure how much of this I would use in my day-to-day teaching if it isn't something that could be printed out (and there was a lot that could be). However, I am exploring the possibilities of allowing my older son to use this site for RESEARCH. I hate letting him search using Google because of the possibility of questionable content, but these links have all be checked out by the site owner before posting. Fabulous!

Also, through this site I have found enough math review games, geography games and worksheet makers to keep us in math review for a while. Everyone needs math review, right?

I will admit that I came to this site figuring that I was not going to be impressed. Boy was I wrong! Help Me 2 Teach claims that you can find a whole year's worth of study materials using their site alone and I believe that to be absolutely true. The cost for the site subscription is 3 months for $15.95 and 12 months for $29.95. That is an unbelievable deal for 12 months of school! With a subscription you will also receive a monthly newsletter that is filled with more wonderful information (this month was fall and spring equinoxes) and topical links (hurricanes and tornados).

To try the site out, you may purchase a 3 day subscription for $4.94 or a 1 month subscription for $9.95. I am sure that if you give it a try that you will not be disappointed!

If you are interested in reading other reviews of this product, feel free to check out the TOS Crew blog!