You Win: Erin Condren Planner

The Stauffer Home is giving away a fantastic Erin Condren Teacher Planner and you can be a winner! It looks just like the one here. Isn’t that gorgeous? I know I could stand to win one of these to help organize my homeschool and my life. There are going to be seven winners and the giveaway ends June 15.  Head on over to the blog and enter and grab a $10 off coupon for Erin Condren when you sign up to their email list.

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Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Three pages in I knew this book would be on my top ten list for 2015.  Halfway through the book I knew it would be in my top three for the year.  When I finished I knew it was one of the best books I’ve read ever.  Y’all I read a minimum of 50 books a year.  Some years I read more than 100.  But hands down this book is in my top five ever.

Annihilation is the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. I have the other two on hold with the library and will be picking them up on Tuesday.  I couldn’t be more excited. This volume is told from the point of view of a biologist entering Area X with several other scientists.  For reasons unknown all the scientists on this particular mission, the twelfth since the discovery of Area X are all women.  No names of characters are ever given adding to the heightened sense of dread and horror.  If you like sci-fi and suspense then this needs to be the next book you read.

I would compare it to The Ruins by Scott Smith and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Some of the reviews on Amazon say they were disappointed that there was no conclusion to this slim novel.  I found however all of the story I needed to be told. Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Product Review: Red Barron Pizza

Last night we had pizza for dinner! My kids and I love pizza and we usually have it once or twice a month. Sometimes I make it homemade, sometimes we get take out, and occasionally we do frozen pizza.  Red Barron Pizza was kind enough to send me a coupon for a free pizza and some $1 off coupons as well for their new Brick Oven Crust line of frozen pizzas.  Unfortunately, the Brick Oven Crust is not available yet in my area, but fortunately, the very nice cashier at Food Lion allowed me to use the coupons on the Classic Crust pizza. Because they were on sale for 2 for $7 I got two pizzas for $2.50! Excellent deal!

My kid’s favorite pizza toppings are meat and more meat. I prefer veggie pizzas.  I chose the Red Barron Classic Crust 4-Meat Pizza for the kids and the Red Barron Classic Crust Special Deluxe pizza for myself.

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Since I worked yesterday and we had ballet in the evening I decided it would be the perfect night for pizza!  I turned on the oven to pre-heat at 4:30 and slid the pizzas directly onto the racks at 4:35.  By 5:00 they were perfect.  Here is the 4-Meat right out of the oven.

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As I cut into them the crust made a nice crisp crunch sound and there was no excess moisture you see on less quality frozen pizzas.

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My youngest child had two small slices pre-ballet.  She said it was, “delicious.” As soon as we got home from ballet she was asking for more!

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I packed myself a slice of the Special Deluxe along with some dried veggies and trail mix to have while I waited at ballet. I’ve found that I’m not hungry enough to eat before ballet but that if I wait until after ballet I’m starving so better to pack a light dinner with me and then have seconds if needed once I get home.  I too loved the taste of this pizza!083_640x427

My older child liked both the 4-Meat and the Special Deluxe.  The three of us finished off both pizzas.  I kind of wish we hadn’t have finished them last night though because I’d love a piece this morning for breakfast!

You can find out where to purchase your own Red Barron Pizza and check to see if the new Brick Oven is in your area. I’d love to hear what you think.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”*

Book Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Yesterday I taught basic Mouse at the public library. While there I checked out an arm load of books.  Last night I asked my youngest to grab a book for me to read as I was in bed.  I nearly finished Stargirl then but was just too sleepy.  I finished it in about thirty minutes today after homeschool.  It was fabulous!

Stargirl by Jerry  Spinelli is about a 16 year old boy going to a typical high school in Arizona.  One day a new girl arrives. Rumored to have always been homeschooled Stargirl is different in all kinds of ways.  She doesn’t walk through the halls she dances.  She sings Happy Birthday to people in the school cafeteria while strumming a ukulele.  She has a pet mouse that travels everywhere with her. The students become fascinated and horrified by her in turns. It’s a great book for the middle school set or the YA lover.

Check your local library or buy your copy on Amazon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thoughts on Technology

Recently my oldest child, D, turned fourteen.  I’m a member of an online women’s group for women that all had babies in 2001. We’ve been together since 2000. Of the group I’m the only homeschooler. A few days ago they were discussing the fact that many of their teenagers have been given laptops in school and their younger children iPads. The ones that don’t have this were bemoaning the “backwardness” of their school systems. So I had a talk with D about it. Does she feel disadvantaged to not have an iPad or laptop (we have a home desktop)? She thought for a moment and said, “No way. I know how to use technology. When a friend has some new gadget I can always pick it up and learn it in a few minutes, but those school kids don’t know how to look up a word in a dictionary or find a book at the library (she did 6th and part of 7th in public school). The technology is great but real books don’t need to be upgraded and don’t get old in just a couple of years.” I said that by the time she’s in college probably everything will be e-books for her textbooks. She said, “It’s ok, I’ll figure it out. You’ve been teaching me all this time to learn for myself.”

In the end I think it is important for children to use technology in a general way but I believe technology changes too rapidly for school systems or me to invest in the technology on a constant basis. However, the basic fundamentals of how to learn never go away. What do you all think?

Hello Internet

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for several months now. I don’t think I’ll have any followers but apparently talking to yourself online is considered far more sane than talking to yourself in real life.

I’m a mother of two. I work part time from home. I home school. To make ends meet I also dog sit and enter a lot of contests.

I love books and words and sewing and fabric. I’ll try to keep the blog updated with what I’m reading and sewing. And sometimes the dogs I’m sitting.  Who knows maybe I’ll even think to put in home school activities.