Friday, August 28, 2015

Dig-It! Games TOS Crew Review
Learning through playing educational games always makes my kiddos happy. My kids have been having a lot of fun pretending to be archaeologist while playing Mayan Mysteries (Online Game) and Roman Town (iOS App) with Dig-It! Games.
Mayan Mysteries (Online Game)

This is intended for 5 th through 9 th grades. This is an online game for your PC or laptop. You are transported back in time to find Ladrone and the mythical city of Ich’aak. You are an archaeologist exploring the Ancient Mayan culture. You have to navigate yourself through puzzles, maps, calendars, pyramids, ancient Mayan games, Mayan math concepts, and much more. You get to find out about the Mayan culture by reading snippets and comics about the Mayan civilization. 

You play a variety of games or challenges throughout answering multiple choice questions and solving different types of problems along the way.
There are 8 Mayan cities to discover throughout this game. There are several puzzles to figure out. While you are stopping the looters you are learning about the Mayan culture and the history of this ancient civilization. 
Dig-It! Games TOS Crew Review
 Little Man had to locate several countries in South America.
I downloaded this on my desktop PC and Little Man who is 9 played with Mayan Mysteries several times throughout the week. He enjoyed playing and even got stuck several times with some of the games. They had us stumped at times and we had to think to solve some of the mysteries. That is a good thing as being able to solve a mystery easily is no fun. Little Man enjoyed playing Mayan Mysteries and what he called the, “digging challenges”. He is actually a bit younger than what they recommended.

Overall, he did well with the problems. Like I said, he did get stumped a few times. He had the skills to do the reading to help solve the problems throughout the game.
Roman Town (iOS App)

This is an App for your iPad that can be downloaded at the iTunes store. This is also meant for 5 th through 9 th grades. I assigned my 12 year old Bug to the task of playing Roman Town (iOS App).
She loves history and problem solving. The game uses several skills in strategic thinking, memory, math, logic, and much more. You play ancient Roman games and learn about the day to day life of the Roman culture.

Several mini games throughout to keep you busy like identifying an artifact, Calculi, Roman Numerals, Concentration, Pipes, Dots and Boxes, Knucklebones, Code Breakers, and Mazes. They are lots of fun. 
Bug enjoyed all the games overall. Bug has several learning challenges and lots of things can be challenging for her. She doesn’t give up easily. She was frustrated beyond reasoning with the Roman Numerals. You have to translate the Roman Numerals into our current number system. It was timed and that is when she got extremely frustrated. Just when she figured it out it would go on to another problem. She was pretty upset that she couldn’t get pass any of Roman Numerals.

My Overall Thoughts of Dig-It! Games

I love history and learning about Ancient Civilizations. I like that my kids are exposed to it in an interactive format. My kids seem to really soak it all in like a sponge when they get to play and learn at the same time.

I would of love to have some kind of feedback on how well my kids did on several of the levels of learning. I wasn’t sure if they got some concepts or if they just got lucky figuring it out. I would love to see a weekly report to track each area. I am still very pleased with everything I just like to see if they are learning concepts and improving along the way.

My kids gave Dig-It! Games an A+ and will continue to play both games until they solve the mystery.

Don't forget to stop by and see what others with the TOS Crew have to say about Dig-It! Games!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Bee Round-Up

A few weeks ago Bug and I answered a call to help with a massive bee accident. It was down the road from where we live and we had nothing else going on with our schedule. We decided it was a perfect time to learn how to work a bee accident/swarm.

We were the first beekeepers on scene. What we didn't know was that it was all over the news. We heard about the accident online from our local bee club. It was a media circus with several news channels and the local newspaper.

A large bee supplier company had dropped some hives when they transferred bees from a broken down trailer to another one. They left the bees and ran over many with a fork lift. Come to find out some of their bees escaped up the road at another location the same evening. It also generated a stir at a local fire work stand and people were getting stung.

Bug and I calmly walked over to the light pole with out our suits on to assess the situation. I knew right away I had to get on the phone and call other beekeepers. I didn't have enough equipment for this many bees. It was enough bees for several hives. They were just the workers and I didn't think they had a queen but, I was unsure.

Then came the media circus. Of course I had no make up and I had just got out of the shower when the call went out. So I am the bee expert suddenly! I was able to stay calm and look like I knew what I was doing. This was the first time we had done anything like this.
 Beekeepers to the rescue! They faithfully came after I called!
 These two hive boxes are filled with bees. Unfortunately, this wasn't what we took home. The rule of thumb is that the first beekeeper on scene takes home the majority of the bees. I didn't have enough equipment and told him that he could have them. I need to save up and sell more honey to purchase more hive equipment. 
 We took home a nice nuc of bees. I would estimate around 20,000-30,000 bees. If it wasn't for these bees one of our hives would of died. It helped her survive until their new queen emerged and began laying eggs. I basically combined the hives by added newspaper between the hives. By the time they chewed through the newspaper they were us to each others scent and didn't kill one another.
 One of the reporters from a local news channel was quite uncomfortable around all the flying bees. One of the beekeepers gave her a bee suit to put on as she was panicking and swatting at the bees. Several reporters got stung numerous times.
 The first site of the bee accident got a lot of social media attention. Along with Bug as the local newspaper did and exclusive on her. It was her age and collecting bees that made it more news worthy. The story line read,Young Beekeeper helps contain Massive Bee Accident" They asked her, "aren't you afraid of bees". She told them, "I am fearless" and "I was just born that way".

Due to the social media attention one company donated a $500 check to our bee club. We had nothing to do with the first site but, we got invited as we helped with the second site clean up.
 Love the Thanks for creating a "buzz" about our Product.
The donation is going to go to starting a youth program scholarship if it is approved by the members. It would help youth like Bug with a hive and all the equipment along with a mentor for a year.

That was our great adventure that was all the buzz this last month. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Where Do We File Kitty

Mercy likes to explore and gets into all kinds of trouble around the house. From Lego tables mishaps to getting into things she shouldn't be into. Much to everyone's amusement.
 Don't let that cute and innocent face fool you. She is conspiring to get into something big.
 I needed to get something out of the file cabinet. Guess who decided to file herself?

 Except how do I file kitty? C for cat, K for kitty, or M for Mercy? Well obviously she doesn't know how to spell because she is right after the Lego instruction guides. She is close to the letter M.
 Lots of fun in a filing cabinet. A dangling key is entertaining for Mercy.
 Okay, just way to cute.
 I thought she was planning on getting out.
 Maybe not.
 I guess I won't be closing the drawer after all.
So adorable. I just want to kiss and hug the daylights out of her! All curled up and cute. She had a nice two hour nap in the filing cabinet.
 Then today she jumped in my crate that I keep the kids finished school work in through out the school year. I think Mercy is trying to tell me that she needs to learn how to spell as that is where she settled in for a nap.
 She's getting sleepy! To much exploring with all the boxes and packing going on.
 Mercy is giving herself a bath and slept for a few seconds as the kids woke her up as they were amazed and couldn't contain themselves with all the cuteness going on.

 She decided that she's not quite ready to learn spelling. It's too much work and she really needed a nap.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow Book Review

 Heartbreak Trail
Andrea Carter can ride, rope, and cut out cattle with the best of her brothers’ ranch hands. Yet, her mother has always held the family’s youngest daughter back from fully participating in ranch activities.

With the approach of her fifteenth birthday, even the ranch boss, big brother Chad, can’t deny that his baby sister is better at ranch skills than some of his cowhands. When Andi announces that her quinceaƱera birthday wish is to join the upcoming cattle drive, her family is stunned. But after further discussion and multiple newspaper clippings about spirited women who balked at society’s expectations, even Mother agrees that the only way to get this cattle-drive notion out of Andi’s head is by letting her and her cousin Levi go along as Cook’s helpers. Andi is elated. What can go wrong on a two-week drive to Los Angles?

Andi quickly discovers that a cattle drive is a dirty, dangerous business with little sleep and the same food day after day. Between late nights, dust, mosquito's, and an abrasive cowhand trying to win Andi’s attention, it is definitely not a holiday. Andi grimly determines she will stick it out. When a river crossing goes wrong and Chad is shot in a gunfight with suspicious men who have been shadowing the herd, Mitch the trail boss finds himself dangerously shorthanded. Andi and Levi can no longer just give Cook a hand. It’s time to pitch in and help Mitch get their cattle to market―any way they can.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in the Circle C Milestones series. This can be read without reading any of the other books in the series. I would personally recommend you read all this delightful series.

It’s for kids 8-100 years old. No, I didn’t error on a number as this is a great series that even us older folks like!

This is set in the 1880s in California on a working ranch. Andi Carter is a spunky and spirited young lady who loves horses and a good adventure. Lots of adventure in this face pace series that is hard to put the book down.

I have to date read all these books to my 9 year old son and 12 year old daughter. They get real excited when a new book comes out. We have enjoyed reading about Andi and her family and watching her grow up within the pages of the book. My kids give it an A+.

This is a wonderful wholesome Christian book. The stories have strong moral values and promote a Christian lifestyle.

Saddle up and begin a wonderful adventure. Other series are Circle C Adventures with a new book from author, Susan K Marlow with Andrea Carter’s: Circle C Beginnings, Circle C Adventures + Tales from the Circle C Ranch, and of course this series: Circle C Milestones. She even has a boy series; Goldtown Adventures.

Disclaimer: I provided an advanced reader copy of this book from Kregel Publication for free in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were not subject to editing from the publisher.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Our House Sold

Our home sold less than 12 hours on the market. It was the first showing and they offered full price! Wow!

It's a bittersweet happiness. I am a little sentimental. I have raised my kids here and have so many precious memories within our home. I have put a lot of elbow grease into remodeling the home and not to mention my garden!

Now, we are looking for a home. The area that we want to live in isn't a big housing market with it being a small town. The two houses we looked at looked much better online.

One house which was gorgeous and when I walked in I thought, "this is the house"! The home has some major foundation issues that is far beyond our income to fix.

The other home we loved did have a leak in the basement. To what extent we are inquiring more about it. It has some nice features but, also needs some updating. We want to see it they are willing to come down on the cost. We wait and see. 

I think we will most likely be living with my in-laws for a bit while we look for a home. Pray that we find a home quickly and where to live. We really want to be out of Wichita.

Catbird Singing Amish Horse Series Book II by Thomas Nye Book Review

Lenny Gingerich leaves the interstate during a storm and finds himself 100 years in the past, or so it seems. An accident leaves him stranded on an Amish farm. Within days, he is driving a six-horse hitch and caught up in an old-fashioned love triangle. Bishop Mose tells Lenny to stay away from the girls, but try as he might, that is not easy. Lenny and his sidekick, a dog named Russell, both have a knack for getting themselves into trouble and everything becomes a tangled mess. While farming with horses, Lenny hears a catbird singing beautiful spring songs, which turn into an annoying meow as summer heats up. Life becomes difficult for a young man who doesn't understand catbirds or Amish girls.

My thoughts:

I was excited for the second book in this delightful series. I enjoyed the first book, “Under the Heavens”. This is a stand-alone book if you haven’t read the first one. However, many of the characters are introduced in the first book. I enjoy it when you get to glimpse into the lives of the characters that  you have met in a previous books. It’s like an old boot and just plain old comfortable!

I really enjoy Thomas Nye’s writing style. He is very descriptive without being overwhelming. His writing style is different and refreshing from the norm in the Amish genre. I love the horses and his love for them shines through the pages of Catbird Singing.

I’m not going to give away too much of the story so you will have to get yourself a copy.
I love it when the author has a way of bringing out the characters and they feel like your next door neighbor. You can’t help but not to have heartfelt feelings for the characters. Lenny is back and is now a young man. Except this time he has eyes for an Amish girl, Leah. One problem for Lenny is Bishop Mose. 

Lenny’s love and bond with horses helps him through some tough times. Catbird Singing also has a wonderful life lesson intermingled throughout the pages along with Christian values. 

I hope that Thomas Nye has more books planned in the future. Thank you for another amazing story.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  


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