Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TEACH Magazine Special

I don't know if I have every told you - I know I have but here goes again - I LOVE TEACH magazine! The encouragement applies to my duties as wife, homemaker, homeschooler and godly woman! Each issue contains so much encouragement! Every article makes me feel like I have had coffee with my best friend. I can't say enough good things about this magazine, but NOW they are offereing a super special deal - and a free gift (just for my readers!).

Subscribe to TEACH Magazine for 1, 2, or 3 Years for an Unbelieveable price of $20.09 per Year (Savings of up to 23% off!)


You can choose any bundle from our list of topics such as Marriage, Godly Women, Family Dinners, Quiet Times, Prioritizing, Chores (plus 8 more topics) for only $20.09 Bundles purchased separately, you would spend anywhere from $50 to $100 or more. Our bundles sell regularly for $34.97 but with our special promotion, they can be purchased for $20.09.

Enter my name (Carie Shinn) in the notes section when you check out and you will receive a FREE copy of Teaching Children Responsiblity.

"Today irresponsible children are the norm. We are not surprised to see teens with underwear showing yet we are surprised to see children with good manners. Most kids seem to believe things are the parent's jobs and they have no need to be responsible. Yet responsibility is not something you can ignore for 18 years and then think they will just begin to act responsibly because they are "grown." It is up to parents to teach their children how to be habitually obedient. Teaching Children Responsibility, shows you how to go against the flow and raise children that see beyond themselves, are courteous, and respectful. You will love this book!!! Value: $12.97 "

If you want to get your free gift you MUST enter my name in the notes section at checkout (Carie Shinn).

Look What I Got!


My friend Sheri blessed me with this blogging award....the very first that I have EVER received. I am so thrilled :) Thank you Sheri! You have truly made my day!

I am going to pass this award on to some great friends of mine:
Keeping the Home
Crystal Wetherholt
All Things Feminine
Higher Up and Further In
Ship Full O'Pirates
Team Bettendorf
Country Mom
Our Plain and Simple Life
The Wrights
Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

This is what you need to do...Thank the person who gave the award to you, post the award on you blog or on a post, nominate 10 blogs which show great attitude/gratitude, link to the people you chose on your post, and comment on their blogs to tell them about the award! =:)

I can't wait to see who the rest of you nominate! Have a GREAT day!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Super Savings Saturday

Their were deals to be had in town yesterday. I posted the pictures on my facebook account, but here is the run-down on what we got and what we paid. Saving money is FUN!

Items bought:
10 bags of Kraft shredded cheese
10 blocks of kraft cheese
5 64 oz. bottles of Welches grape juice
18 Hormel complete meals
2 bottles Vitamin water
6 jars Ragu spaghetti sauce
2 jars skippy peanut butter
10 bags quaker rice snacks
26 tubes colgate toothpaste
1 case Luvs diapers
1 20 oz Pepsi (dh was thirsty)
1 Burt's Bees lip gloss (for my mom)
Total Cost of all items (at sale prices): $129.21
We used 67 coupons total.
We shopped at Walgreens, KMart (double coupons this week) and Krogers (mega sale) today. We have also been working all week getting fabulous deals at Walgreens on Ragu, Skippy peanut butter and Pepsi. We didn't get a picture or total on those deals because they were all done over several days, but we have gotten a lot of stuff for almost no money!

In case you wonder what I will fix with all of this mismatched food, don't worry! We have been shopping this way for 18 months now and have managed to stay stocked up on various items at various times. I will try to post my menu plan on Monday.
My total grocery budget for this pay-period (2 weeks) was $150. I spent $74 last week and $55.21 this week for a total of $129.21 - below budget. WooHoo!!!!

All About Homophones

Remember how excited I was about All About Spelling? Let me introduce you to All About Homophones!

All About Homophones is a program that can be used for grades 1-8 to introduce and explain the concept of homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently) to your students.

The book contains graphic organizers, worksheets (divided by grade level and homophone pairs), crossword puzzles (each grade level has a worksheet; some have 2 or 3), and card games (with instructions for the games and how to make the cards). The teaching tools section in the back contains a list of books that can be used to teach homophones, homophone tongue twisters, riddles and puns. The answers for all worksheets and puzzles can be found in the appendix. The book ends with a comprehensive list of homophones arranged alphabetically. All of these pairs are not used in the worksheets, but can be studied and used in the graphic organizers, lists and games for further study.

Marie has arranged this program to be used in a teacher directed way. There are no lesson plans or daily schedules. You can use this program in any way that suits your curriculum or teaching style.

Once again, I am impressed with the way this program reaches students of different levels and learning styles. Any family that is interested in homophones, or struggling with them will benefit from this helpful resource!

All About Homophones is available at the website for $32.95 (softcover) or $27.95 (ebook download). Marie offers a satisfaction guarantee!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Running Errands

We spent all morning running errands.

I hate for our normal daily activities to be interruped, really for any reason, so if we have to go out.........we GO OUT.........and try to get everything done all at once. Normally this would make me a nervous wreck, but today everything seemed to go fairly well.

We started at the post office, then went to the vet for Sadie's scheduled grooming. Then off to walgreens to pick up pictures and pepsi and drop movies at Family Video. I had packed school with us so we went to the library. The boys seem inspired on days that we do things differently. Yesterday, school took 6 hours. Today we were completely done in 3......HOURS. Can you believe the difference? I don't know what causes it, but I wish that I could convice them to do that more often. Once they were finished with school, we joined the preschool story time and the boys played a game of checkers before we left. We picked up Sadie and went to a different town to pick up my new glasses. I am not sure that I like them. They are bigger, bolder and a different shape than any others I have ever had. One minute I like them, the next I don't. It is a good thing my prescription doesn't change and I have 2 other pairs to wear.

We managed to make it home at 11:30. Leftovers for lunch! Got Norman off to work (back to 2nd shift) and then finished school. I have been bumming around on the internet while Bear sleeps. The older boys are working on rocks that have been polishing for what seems like forever. I am trying to track down an old friend. His daughter passed away and I am hoping to get in touch with him. Funny how it is so easy to lose touch? If you are reading this, Dan, we are praying for your family!

Supper at mom's tonight. I think fried chicken (per Lee's request). Last week ended up being an emotional mess, I am hoping that tonight is uneventful.

Better get back to the search. Have a good evening!

Ultimate Women's Expo

I just got an email from my friend, Cindy Rushton. She was telling me all about her Ultimate Women's Expo. She has just finished adding all of the resources into the members only Membership Site. Actually, she is so "pumped" that she has just shared a sneak peek into her Membership Site.

You see one of the neat things about the Ultimate Women's Expo is that everything is ONLINE indefinitely. Cindy builds a private, exclusive Membership Site that includes everything from the UWE in one place--it has audios (from all of the sessions and from the bonus gifts that her speakers give to us), ebooks, articles, printable planning pages, cookbooks, on and on. I can't believe all of the things that we receive for only $19.95. It is truly ULTIMATE!

Anyway, back to the reason that I am sharing with you...
Cindy just sent me permission to give you a sampler of one of her free gifts that is included on the Membership Site. I am so excited to give it to you! It is a audio and ebook set that she actually sells on her website, but she is giving away on the Membership Site. Here is the link:

Fill-R-Up! Taking Care of Mom!Audio Workshop Download With Cindy Rushton

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the tremendous calling of womanhood? Do you consider this one of the most demanding, yet rewarding roles you will ever fill…yet that send shivers down your spine? Join Cindy as she exhorts you in this high calling. Digging deep in the Word of God, you are sure to find this workshop to touch the depths of your heart. This workshop was birthed as a result of Cindy’s heart cry during times she has found her OWN cup empty! The biblical insights are sure to draw YOUR heart to your Heavenly Father AND to those you are pouring into. Join us as Cindy ministers encouragement and direction straight from the Word of God to your heart, soul, and mind.
Download by Mp3

Isn't that FUN?
You know the saying that a picture captures a thousand words,well...what about a a gift like this??? And, just think...this is only ONE of the awesome gifts included on the Membership Site. There are hundreds more!
Take my word for it, you will WANT to purchase this set and access all of the wonderful resources. Grab your set here:

PS! Enjoy the Preview Chats for free this week! Tune in here:

Monday, January 12, 2009


If you haven't heard about this new law yet, I am pretty sure that you are living in a bubble (or very, very busy!!!!) but this law was passed last year to ensure that products sold to or for children didn't contain lead. It really is a good IDEA, but this law has been very badly worded.

At first it was believed that this law would prohibit resale shops selling children's clothing but I recently read an amendment that seemed to be working towards changing that. I didn't exactly understand what the rule would be for resale shops and I hope that they word it so that it doesn't cause any problems in that arena.

However, many, many small homeschool businesses are being forced to close up shop. I have received 2 emails today; 1 from Homeschool Radio Show and 1 from Hands and Hearts saying that they will be discounting and discontinuing their products due to this law. I imagine that there are others.

I have happily ordered several times from Hands and Hearts and it makes me sick that their history kits will no longer be available.

For a complete overview of the law, its ramifications for small businesses and what you can do to help you can go HERE.

Also, Hands and Hearts History Discovery Kits are only going to be available while supplies last so if you were wanting something from them please don't hesitate to grab it up now. The Estes family has been such a blessing to me and I am hoping to send some business their way. Their products are GREAT!

I will try to update on any changes about this law. I am sorry that I hadn't posted earlier. We have been busy!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Odd Hours

It was noticed by one of my commenters that my dh works "odd hours" - 2nd shift. She said her husband did too and was relieved to find another homeschooler whose dh didn't work 9-5 hours. Let me tell you, it is great to meet you too!

My dh currently works 2nd shift as a correctional officer. He leaves here at 1:30 p.m. and gets home around midnight. Some days he works a double shift and doesn't get home until 8 a.m. We are so thankful for 2nd shift though, because 3rd shift is almost impossible!

It took me a while to figure out how to make homeschooling "work" around my dh's schedule. Here is what we have so far :)
We school main subjects in the morning. Math and language arts are the "main subjects" in my homeschool. I say that because if you can read and do math you can learn anything else. We school from around 8:30 till around 10-10:30. Sometimes the boys finish up independent reading after that, but I am usually done by 10:30. That also happens to correspond with when my dh gets up (unless he works a double shift - more on that below). The boys do their chores while I cook lunch (the big meal of our day because that is when dad is home) and then they are free to visit with dad and play. We eat lunch together as a family almost every day. When dh leaves for work at 1:30 we do the rest of school: read aloud, science, history, geography, art, music, etc. NOT all on the same days or even same weeks! That is the allotted time for such subjects. This time is also when Bear takes his nap so that works out well. Dh has gotten into the habit of putting him down for his nap while I clean up from lunch and that has been such a blessing for me! School is almost always done by 3. We eat a light supper. I call it "fend for yourself" LOL Our evenings are filled with things like reading, playing, drawing and TV/computer time. We are all in bed when dh gets home from work. He "decompresses" alone when he gets home and comes to bed around 2 a.m.

When dh worked 3rd shift it was very difficult to get schooling done. My husband has a very hard time going to sleep in the daylight. We never really could be quiet enough so that he could go to sleep. Most of the time we ended up leaving the house for a few hours and came back after he was asleep. At that time the boys were younger and we did all of our schooling in the afternoon after dh was asleep. That way he was able to spend mornings with the boys.

Frequently, dh works double shifts. He will get home at 8 a.m. and will have to leave again at 1:30 p.m. Those are days that we have to be very, very quiet. The boys don't spend much time with dad and we eat without him. He will eat after he gets to work. Otherwise our schedule stays the same.

Another hurdle that we have crossed is the fact that my dh has Thursday and Friday off each week. On those days we school in the mornings only. At this time we do not school on Saturday or Sunday. We attend church on Sunday. Saturdays are for cleaning and other projects that I need to do. Sometimes we will completely take off on a Thursday or Friday but we try to make that the exception to the rule.

Homeschooling is possible when the father works 2nd shift. It is important to remember when planning your school schedule that your children need to spend time with their dad, especially if you have boys! Don't force school for the whole time when dad is home. Try to allow time for daddy pursuits! We pray that one day dad will have "normal hours". It will be several years. For now, we have learned to function around his schedule in a manner that works for all of us. Be creative!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Perfect Homeschooler

Will the perfect homeschooler please stand up?

Now, please go somewhere else. I am not worthy to be in the room with you!

Ok, now, for the rest of us, lets lay down the myth of the perfect homeschooler.

1. Most homeschoolers don't get EVERYTHING done, every day. It might be studies, meals, cleaning or ministry that slides but something probably goes every day. That's ok. Just keep doing the next right thing!

2. Most homeschoolers think that someone (or everyone!) is doing it better than they are. Guilt runs rampant among homeschooling mothers.

3. Most homeschooling mothers have had a bad day......most have had that bad day sometime this week.

4. Having a bad day doesn't mean that you are a failure or a bad mother. It doesn't mean that you should send the children out to meet the bus. It means that you need to pick up where you are at and start over.

Ways to combat super-homeschool mom myths:
1. Spend time with God every day. He is the super-homeschooler!
2. Remember that nobody is perfect. You aren't perfect, your children aren't perfect and your homeschooling friends aren't perfect.
3. Do the next RIGHT thing. This is my motto for the year. Remember that the next RIGHT thing might be to take a shower, read a book or take a walk. Mothers need a break too!

I am the mom of 3 rambunctious boys. Many people tell me my life must be very exciting. It is! Yesterday I baked cookies while the boys drove the Little Tikes Jeep through my kitchen. My kitchen is only 3-3.5 ft. from counter to counter. I had to stand very still and hope that the older ones were steering! At any given point in time, there are dirty rocks, dirty ATV helmets, dirty socks and shoes on my kitchen table. Yes, we eat and have school at this table! I count it a GREAT day when I can see the table, bar and living room floor before I go to bed. Many days I wonder why I even bother, but, I just do the next RIGHT thing!

God has great things planned for me and my boys (and my husband too!). I am blessed to spend every minute with them. Your children are a blessing too! God has great plans for them and you! We don't need to be the perfect homeschoolers. We just need to roll with the punches and keep doing the next right thing!

***I got "The Next Right Thing" from the new First Place 4 Health book by Carol Lewis, available as part of the First Place 4 Health member kit....available at CBD.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Day in the Life of Us

Candy posted about her day today, with pictures and everything. I am skipping pictures because it drives me batty to upload them here, but thought that I would share a fairly typical day at our house!

6:00 a.m. I got up and read Genesis 10-15 and Psalms 7 and 37. Then I walked a mile with my new Leslie Samsom DVD. Bear still wasn't up so I read some from my First Place 4 Health member's guide.

7:45 I woke up the older boys and then Bear woke up. We knew he was up because he was turning the light on and off. Luckily his dad slept through it! I made Bear and I eggs and the boys ate breakfast and took showers. Greg did Math (Aleks) first while Lee did spelling (All About Spelling) then they switched and worked in Handwriting all the while (Italic Handwriting).

10:00 I started baking chocolate chips cookies. Norman wanted to take some to work so I needed to have them done before he left. Bear was more than happy to lick the beaters and the older boys played while I baked. Then I fixed broiled chicken breasts, mac and cheese and mixed veggies for lunch.

11:30 Norman got up. The older boys were outside trying to get their 4-wheelers to start so he went straight out to help them. Bear and I ate lunch. When Norman came in he joined us. The boys ate later, after they were done riding.

I did laundry while Norman gave Bear a bath. I also got the kitchen cleaned up from lunch. At 1:00 Norman took Bear to bed for his nap. I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. Norman left for work at 1:30.

1:45 The boys and I started school again. We are using Further Up and Further In as a unit study during the month of January. We are reading The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. While finishing that up, the UPS man knocked on the door. He had Rock Band! So after school the boys finished their chores and cleaned up their room and happily played rock band.

Bear slept until almost 6 so I read part of a book, did some internet stuff and relaxed. I don't always get that opportunity. We had supper when Bear woke up ( a hodge podge of leftovers and quick fix items) and then the boys happily played with the great big box that Rock Band came in for about 2 hours. It is amazing what happiness a big box can bring to 3 boys! They also drove Bear's Little Tike Jeep around the house. It isn't an inside toy but they sure think that it is. LOL I was able to get some more reading done and a card of encouragement written for a friend.

It is almost 9 and time for bed. Norman is home tomorrow so I don't know what he has planned. I am going to throw the diapers in the washer and hit the sack! Have a good night!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Giveaway winner!

The winner of my very first giveaway is..........


Thanks to everyone who played along. Carla, I will be contacting you sometime today or tomorrow for your address.


KinderBach is an interactive online keyboarding program for preschoolers. I guess that is simplifying a little.....KinderBach is so much more!
Listening games, worksheets, singing and piano keyboard exercises combine to show preschoolers ages 2-7 basic music information.
The website is very well laid out and seems to be fun for preschoolers (my little one is to young and my older two weren't really interested). I think that it is a very intriguing idea! I can't imagine anything more convenient than music lessons AT HOME!
The lessons were fun and lively......I found them hard to resist!
In addition to the lessons, there is a place just for kids, with games, songs and coloring sheets.
Parents don't need to worry about previous musical experience....KinderBach is set up so that there is no parent instruction necessary. You can learn right along with your child if you wish.
The best part that I can see is the money back guarantee! You can try a free week's worth of lessons online as well. Also, if you don't have good internet access they offer their program as DVD lessons as well.
The cost is $85.95 a year, or $14.95 billed monthly. I can tell you from experience that this is far cheaper than in-person lessons. And you don't have to leave the house!!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Reading Through the Bible in a Year

My main goal for 2009 is to read the whole Bible through. I have attempted to accomplish this before, but haven't been successful. This time I will read one Old Testament book and then one New Testament book. I am hoping that will keep me from getting bogged down.

I thought that this was a great article on Bible reading and study.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Kids Wealth

Teaching Kids to Spend Less, Invest, Live Their Best and Help the Rest

Are you looking for a complete program that will teach your children money management and the skills that are needed to do it? I have just what you are looking for!

Kid's Wealth is a complete (very complete) program for ages 4-12 that teaches basic money management and the mathematical skills required for budgeting. The Kid's Wealth money kit includes EVERYTHING you need to teach your children how to handle their money. All components are contained in an expandable file. Each month (or payday - whenever) you child distributes his money into different durable vinyl "wallets". They are labeled wealth (savings), learning, plan (long-term purchases), fun and angel (charitable giving). Also included in the file are stickers, a calendar, kid's guide, parents guide, calculator, and pencils. I told you that everything was included!!!!! The money kits come in 2 colors (blue and purple) and are available for $39.95.

For additional learning opportunities, might I suggest the Kid's Wealth Tracker Books? These workbooks are supplements to the main program. The workbooks are age appropriate and include games and activities that will help children learn the mathmatical concepts behind budgeting and how to track and plan for their money. The books are colorful and well laid out. I can't imagine using the program without them! They are available for $7.95 each.

I have looked at many different budgeting program for children. Some are similar to Kid's Wealth, but I haven't ever seen such a complete program! All of the components are made from quality materials to last your children for a long time. At our house, we look forward to watching our money grow!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I want all of us to have a great start to our new year, so I thought that I would hold my very first blog giveaway. Sounds like fun, huh?

So, starting tonight through Sunday at midnight, please leave a comment telling me at least one of your goals for the new year. I will draw a name on Monday morning and you will win......

drumroll please...............

A Child's Heart - God's Garden
Amending the Soil of the Child's Heart Session 1
by Crystal Wetherholt

This is a CD of the first session of Crystal's popular parenting series. Crystal is a good friend of mine and has been so gracious to provide this CD for my giveaway. If you want to see more about this series, be sure to check out Crystal's website.

The rules are simple. Leave a comment with your first name and email addy and tell me about your goals for the year. If you are selected, you will need to provide me with your full name and address so that I can send you the CD. You will get one entry for doing that and one entry if you refer a friend (have your friend do the same and list your name and email addy as referal for your credit). I want this to be fun and I want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to get this great resource. Please tell ALL your friends.

Have a great weekend!