Category Archives: homeschooling

Learning About Science From WriteBonnieRose {Review}

We like to add fun subjects like science to our summer studies so I was excited to receiveΒ Learning About Science Collection, Level 3 (Cursive)Β fromΒ Β WriteBonnieRose!

I have done one other review of a WriteBonnieRose publication, you can read it here.

“The Artist” is my most enthusiastic science kid, so I was certain he would enjoy doing Level 3 of the Learning About Science Collection. I let him look over the options once we received our download for the purpose of this review, and he decided he wanted to begin with Life Science: “What’s Going On Inside Plants?’

Other topics in this series include:

  • Earth Science, Discovering Rocks, Minerals & Crystals
  • Physical Science, Energy And It’s Many Forms
  • Earth Science, Exploring The Earth’s Land forms
  • Earth Science, forecasting & understanding the Weather
  • Life Science, Kinds of Animals & How They Live
  • Life Science, Life in the Oceans Hidden Zones

Also included in our download is a four page pdf with a goodly amount of categorized web links to add in when we want to find out more in a given topic.

Each one of the “workbooks” from WriteBonnieRose is around 20 pages in length. They can be printed out and used as worksheets, bound together as a book, or simple stapled in a top corner, as we did. Eventually, we will remove the staples, and then either 3-hole punch to put all together in a notebook or maybe I will take them to be spiral bound as a complete book.

As I said above, “The Artist” was interested in starting with “What’s Going On Inside Plants?” workbook. I am very impressed at what he was able to learn that he didn’t already know from it! A few evenings ago, for some reason the topic of fungi came up at supper (you just never know what you will be discussing at supper when you have a bunch of boys! πŸ™‚ ) I said that i thought maybe moss was a fungus, and “The Artist” immediately said no, moss is a non-vascular plant. When I asked him how he knew this, he said “I learned it from WriteBonnieRose! Here is the page that he was referring to:

Bonnie Rose 3

Here is the cover of the workbook “The Artist” has been focusing on:

Bonnie Rose Cover

I did manage to get one picture when he was actually working on, and coloring the workbook pages:

Bonnie Rose 2

One thing we really appreciate is that these are labeled as “levels,” as opposed to grades. My kids are age-wise older than the third grade, but they have different levels of abilities depending on their individual delays. This was perfect for “The Artist,” because he loves science, and he absolutely prefers to learn in bite sized chunks.

Write Bonnie Rose

Bonnie Rose is a writer. She was never homeschooled, and never had any children. She ended up writing for the homeschool community because she loves children, and is a supporter of homeschooling. Another author suggested that she go to a homeschool convention, where she picked up a free copy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She ended up volunteering to write for Schoolteachers.com, an educational website developed by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

Bonnie Rose is an excellent writer of educational materials, and I very much recommend her!

To read about what my fellow crew members think about this and other levels of Learning About Science Collection, please click on the banner just below!

Learning About Science collections {WriteBonnieRose Reviews} 

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Filed under Bonnie Rose, home education, Homeschool Science Curriculum, homeschooling, Homeschooling Science

Digital Science Online: Visual Learning Systems (My Review)

My four boys and I have been having lots of fun using Visual Learning Systems as a group for a little over a month. We received a subscription to both the Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) and the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12)

The Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5), is divided into two sections. One is primary, which would be the grade K through 2 collection. This included well over 50 units of study, contained within the following subjects: physical, earth, life, and health. This is a great section if your children are in that age/grade range, there are tons of beautiful videos, animations, photos, and activity sheets, etc.

WE did not use this section, because my kids were beyond it, for the most part, but I really wanted you to know that it is there, and that it’s GOOD.

We HAVE been using the elementary a lot, because, frankly, I thought it was the best way for us to work as a group, something which many of my readers know that we enjoy doing. The elementary section of Digital Science Online has subjects like physical, earth, and life, with subtopics or units within them. As with the Primary section, there are lovely, well made videos, animations, photos, worksheets, and hands on activities in some areas. It’s meant for grades 3 through 5.

We have, for the most part, enjoyed this, except for having to crowd around one computer (something I will also address a little later). It was very impressive how, when we would choose a subject, there would then be a list of sub-topics within that subject, effectively giving us a unit study, already all organized for us! The reason I like this aspect so much is that all four of my boys really, really enjoy watching science and nature programs on television. The problem with that though, is it’s hard to put together a group of programs at the same time which would work together as a topical unit.

Eventually, though, with the exception of “The Puzzler”, the boys really wanted to have a go at the higher level, which I’ll talk about in a bit, because truthfully, I thought only “The Artist” would be able to handle the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12).

How wrong I was!

As I mentioned back at the beginning of this review, we were also given access to the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12).

The Secondary Edition has considerably more units of study, with a great number of sub-topics. My kids liked the longer videos, which, once again, I must complement. They are quite beautiful.

I have asked them to stay away from some sections of the biology units, after they pointed them out and said they didn’t think they should look at them. I was very proud of them for this actually, as it shows they have been listening to us and to their teachers at church when we discuss what is or is not appropriate for them.

There are also areas in which evolution is used as a given, where we believe, and teach, from a Creation world view. It was very interesting, however, to listen to everyone of our boys, at different times while watching different sections, saying things like “That’s not true, there’s no millions of years” or “Evolution isn’t real, we know that”. πŸ™‚

The Secondary Edition also has worksheets and such, but these are really beyond any of my boys other than “The Artist”. I DO find that “The Batman” and “Mr. Loquacious” can do a lot of them orally, though.

AS I told you above, I really thought it would be better to use this program as a group, because as often as possible, I prefer it when we can do that. This DID work, for a while, but lo and behold, just today, they asked me two questions:

Will this work on our tablets?
Can we do it separately so we can choose our own topics?

Well, guess what, it works on the tablets! I hadn’t even tried, because I’m used to things like this being mostly for iPads, which we do not have. WE have Android Tablets. SO, I told them I would try it on mine first to check, and if so, we’d see if it would work on theirs. It did! πŸ™‚ Since I had never actually set up separate student accounts because *I* wanted this to be a group learning thing I thought my kids would love to do this together, I chose to call customer support, given that I had forgotten how to set up separate log ins. Guess what found out? Well, while yes, I CAN do that, I don’t HAVE to! They can all log in using the information I used for the one log in, and they can all do it at the same time, on their own tablets or a computer. YAY! The customer service is wonderful. The first person I spoke with was named Louise, and the second was Emily, because they handle different aspects within the company.

One of the reasons I was so pleased to discover that this could be used on their tablets, all at the same time, and that they could be doing different subjects at the same time, as well, is that now, we don’t have to have a “discussion” about what we will learn about “today”. Being able to use the tablets in this way is a definite plus as well for the family who travels, because their children will be able to take this beautiful program along, and learn science their way. It would be great if you’re staying somewhere with provided wifi, and much better than spending all your in room time just watching television.

ALL in all, we really, really like this program. I even had one child come back inside from playing to ask if he could do some more science on his tablet! What better rating is there than that, right?

Want to see what my fellow Crew members think of Digital SCience Online? Just click on the banner right below!

Visual Learning Systems Review

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Fix It! Grammar . . . A T.O.S. Review

In all of the years of working on the education of my kids here at home, we have never, ever actually used a formal grammar program. Or, for that matter, ANY written grammar program, to be honest! I have basically practiced an informal method of correcting their spoken grammar as a part of our daily life, something I will continue doing, as I believe it works quite well for SPOKEN grammar. However, “The Artist”, who was the student reviewing a fiction writing course last year, really wants to go back to it, and to learn to be better at writing stories, so I thought that the opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Teacher Manual] (Book 1), along with Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Student Book](Book 1), would perhaps be a good thing for him. I took a look at how it worked and decided to give it a chance.

This grammar program is from the very well known Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).

IEW is a company I personally have never really taken the opportunity to really check out, because I was afraid it would be too difficult for my special needs guys. However, I am extremely glad we were blessed with the opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar, because it really works, in just minutes a day!

Here is the basic concept . . .
Method: modeling proper grammar within stories. Instead of being taught a grammar rule, and then being forced to practice it with a bunch of exercises, followed by the next grammar rule, over and over (Lather, rinse, repeat, so to speak) in Fix It! Grammar, the grammar rules are taught as they are needed, within the context of a story that builds upon itself until, at the end of the lesson book, the student has written correctly, the entire fairy tale used at that level.

The Process: 15 minutes per day. The level we received is giving us 33 weeks of grammar instruction and practice, in only 15 minutes per day, and 4 days per week.

This program is incredibly easy to set up and to work through! If you have the student book, then your student will need a note book divided into two sections, which are Rewrite and Vocabulary.

On day one of each week, your student will read and correct ONE sentence. Yes, one. He or she will read the sentence, look up the bolded word in a dictionary and write the best definition which fits within the context of the sentence, and write that into the vocabulary section of their note book. This will be built on each day until at the end, they have their own vocabulary dictionary to refer to. Then, he or she will copy the sentence for that day into the rewrite section of their note book, using double spacing.

On days two through four, the student will use the abbreviations at the top of the page, as well as the provided grammar flash cards to help them remember how to mark the section. As with day one, the student does their “rewrite” in the notebook, writing with double spacing. They are to use their best handwriting, so this is also a nice addition to the day in giving them that particular practice!

While we received both the Teacher book and the Student book (both are very nice, spiral bound books), If you prefer, you CAN just purchase the teacher book at the cost of $19.00. The teacher book comes with a license allowing you to download the student book and print as many copies as needed for use within your own homeschool family. The Student book, available for $15.00, is well worth it though, depending on how much it costs for you to print, and whether or not you have more than one child. I happen to have four boys, so knowing that I can print it as needed when each of them is ready for this, makes this a bargain for me.

A placement test is provided if you are unsure where to begin your student, however, like many people, I chose to begin with book one, so as to create a good foundation upon which we can build with the levels which follow. There is also a webinar available to introduce you to Fix It! Grammar, along with how this program differs from traditional methods of teaching grammar.

Fix It! Grammar is intended for 3rd grade and up, but as I said, I personally think that if you, like us, have not done a formal grammar program, it’s best to begin at the beginning.

What did we think of it? Well, I find it incredibly easy to use! “The Artist” really does not enjoy being MADE to write, although he enjoys writing on his own time, so this was the perfect choice for him. I mean, really? One sentence per day? Even my lazy writer who constantly complains about his hand cramping from too much writing, is fine with this! He really doesn’t mind giving up 15 minutes out of his day, and when he is finished, he will have completely written the entire fairy tale himself, with correct grammar! The only real problem we have is keeping him from reading ahead to see the rest of the story, lol!

You will find IEW on the following social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
You Tube
Vimeo

Bottom Line? Not only do I very highly recommend Fix It! Grammar from IEW, I think we will be continuing with it level by level. It is a very painless way to learn written grammar, and frankly, I like that. There is no reason education HAS to be dreary, if there is a better way, and this is definitely a better way, in my opinion.

Other Review Crew members have been reviewing this and other levels of Fix It! Grammar, so please click on the banner below to find out what they thought!
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Filed under education, Fix It! Grammar, Grammar The Easy Way, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Institue For Excellence In Writing, Language Arts, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, special needs education, TOS Review, writing fiction

Experience History Through Music . . . My Review

I am so excited to bring you this review of Experience History Through Music, which is just now being released by noted homeschool author Diana Waring!
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I grew up in a musical family, with a father who was very much an amateur historian. Everyone in my family except for me played an instrument. I sang. I have been taking piano lessons over the past few years along with my two oldest kids, which made the three books in this series even more fun for me, and for my kids.

Experience History Through Music contains 3 book/CD sets:

America 1750-1890:The Heart of a New Nation
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From the French and Indian War to the first transcontinental railroad, America is a chronological tour of American history through its music.

Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West
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America’s westward expansion is amazingly rich in stories and songs. In Westward Ho!, you will find the pioneer spirit that stirred the hearts of thousands of Americans to leave the safety and comfort of home expressed in folk songs of or about that time. Now you can experience the pioneers’ adventures, dangers, joys, sorrows and hopes as you join in and sing along.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
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The well-loved stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder will come to life all over again as you listen to the songs that were a part of life for the Ingalls and thousands of other pioneering families. Written by William Anderson, noted Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, the book also includes beautiful photos by internationally known Little House photographer, Leslie A. Kelly.

It is really impossible for me to choose a favorite. This series of three books with accompanying CD’s is a must have for anyone who enjoys history and music, whether they are homeschoolers or not. I was not homeschooled, but I believe that if this series had been around when I was a child, my dad would have bought them for sure.

Author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and Diana Waring’s History Revealed world history curriculum, Diana discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.”
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Beginning in the early ’80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high-schoolβ€”the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was honoring Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history), Diana cares about how people learn as well as what they learn. Audiences on four continents have enthusiastically received her energetic speaking style.

This is MY first experience with anything Diana Waring has written, and I’m very impressed. These books are easy to read and understand, and each song has a short, two page segment explaining the historical aspect of it. The CD is bound into the back of each book, and the books each contain sheet music for the songs, so that we can learn how to play them! In fact, here is a quick video of “The Artist” playing “Boll Weevil”, from the “Westward Ho” book:

There have been days when we did several more than one segment, because it really didn’t feel like school work! We love the music, and it’s so much fun to learn the history behind each song in the series. Our country has used music for all of it’s history, to tell the sad tales, the happy stories, and to tell history itself. I’m very glad we’ve gotten to be a part of it by reviewing the new series “Experience History Through Music”, and being part of the book launch for this set.

I encourage you to get these book/CD sets soon! Each one retails for $18.99, but through this July only, you can get the entire set for $50.00!
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As always, I’d love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss an update! If you DO enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and give it a “like”. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Diana Waring, History, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Music

Progeny Press . . . A T. O. S. Review

My children and I have been given the fun opportunity to review a study guide from Progeny Press, our first time ever! πŸ™‚

Progeny Press Review

Progeny Press gives us the chance to study works of literature from a Christian perspective, which I do appreciate. Their guides do use the NIV translation of the Bible, but in the “Note To Instructor” section of the Study Guide, it is clearly stated that the study can be used with any version of the Bible. My family prefers (and always uses) the King James Version.

Because we already owned the book and had been needing a push to get it read, I chose the Study Guide for “The Courage Of Sarah Noble“, which is currently available for the cost of $11.99. This is a downloadable product, so there are no shipping costs, plus, you have the advantage of using it for more than just one child if you like.

The Courage Of Sarah Noble, The E-Guide is suggested for lower elementary (grades K through 3), and my kids are older than that, but we quite enjoyed it anyway. My guys are special needs, two of them still struggle with reading, and the others with thinking skills, so it was a good fit. I would definitely put the reading level of the book at the upper level of the suggested range, but that could just be because “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” still struggle somewhat when it comes to reading, and “Mr. Loquacious” dislikes reading altogether! We did think it was a pretty good book, which is based on a true story, something that all of my boys thought was really “cool, mom!”

The book “The Courage Of Sarah Noble” is about an eight year old girl in the year 1707, who goes to cook and clean for her father when he builds their family a home in the wilderness of Connecticut. During her time there, she learns the meaning of trust and friendship as she gets to know the Indians living nearby, and stays with them when her father goes back to get the rest of the family.

The pdf Study Guide is 39 pages long, and if you have reluctant children when it comes to handwriting (or are not proficient with it), the guide is set up so that they may type in the answers, and then print out the pages to keep in a notebook, portfolio, or any type of records you like to keep.

Within the study guide, there are “Before You Read” activities, such as defining a word, looking up a place on a map, or speculating on the “why” of something you will be reading about.

There are “As You Read”
Activities, such as making a list of how many times Sarah reminds herself to “keep up her courage”, and holds her red cloak. We are asked why she holds it, and what it reminds her of.

As we read the book, the study guide broke it up into two chapters per session, with pages for vocabulary, questions, and Bible passages having to do with something in those two chapters.

Question and answer portions we generally do orally, because we like to do unit studies together, and because it makes it easier for all to participate, no matter what their writing or thinking proficiency happens to be.

Finally, there are “Activities, Arts and Crafts” which relate to the book, and which your kids may find to be lots of fun. There is a crossword puzzle, a game that Sarah played with the Indian children, instructions for an art project to create a picture of Sarah and her father, a craft project in which the child can build a pretzel log cabin, and a recipe to make corn meal biscuits.

Finally, our study guide gave us a list of suggestions for further reading, plus an answer key for all of the questions in the study guide.

The Courage Of Sarah Noble, The E-Guide from Progeny Press is very thorough, and we really liked it. I particularly like that it is from a Christian perspective, and that we are not locked into a specific Bible version. It was definitely “tweak-able” for my special needs family, and also for my “King James Version only” family. I also appreciate that as far as I can see from looking at the various titles available, if you do not already own the book you are interested in studying, you will most likely find it at your local library, which definitely saves on the cost! πŸ™‚

Check out Progeny Press via the following social media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/progenypress
Twitter – https://twitter.com/progenypress
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/progenypress/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/ProgenyPress

100 Review Crew members reviewed a variety of Progeny Press Study Guides. To see what they and their children thought, please click the graphic below!
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Filed under Courage of Sarah Noble, education, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Progeny Press, Review Crew Post, TOS Review

What On Earth Can I Do? A T.O.S. Review

In our homeschooling family, we have really loved all things from Apologia Educational Ministries, so I was very excited to be given the chance to review for you the fourth volume in their “What We Believe” series, which is designed to aid you as you teach a Biblical world view to your children.

Volume 4 is titled “What On Earth Can I Do?“, and teaches a Biblical worldview of stewardship. We received the entire set in our review package, as listed and pictured below:

The main text “What On Earth Can I Do?” which is a very nice hard bound book, with just under 300 pages, and retails for $39.00

The Notebooking Journal, spiral bound, 236 pages, which retails at $24.00

The Jr. Notebooking Journal, also spiral bound, 184 pages, which retails for $24.00.

and the “What On Earth Can I Do?” Coloring Book, which is softcover, 64 pages, and retails for $8.00.

This curriculum technically has eight lessons within it, but they are broken up into small chunks, so if your family is like mine, you can really take your time with it. The eight lessons are titled with the following:

Your Story Or God’s Story?

Who Put You In Charge?

Will You Be Found Faithful?

Where Is Your Treasure?

Where Does Your Time Go?

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Why Isn’t It Easy Being Green?

What Will Happen When The Master Returns?

Each of these eight lessons is, as I mentioned above, broken up into several segments. You can either quickly complete each one within a couple of weeks, or you can take your time, allowing yourselves to really dig in deep with questions, discussion, and following rabbit trails.

The first half of the book follows a family during World War 2, and we are really seeing it mostly from the view of the children. At first, I thought it might be too heavy for my children, but it wasn’t. They were very saddened by what was happening in the story, and in the true, historical things we read about, but it did spark really good discussion and questions. For example, in our church, we have close friends who are Messianic Jews, and “Mr. Loquacious” asked me “if L. and E. and Miss S. were alive then, would they have been in danger like that too?” So we discussed what kinds of changes World War 2 made in the world.

The second half of the study follows another set of siblings, this time in Africa. We have not gotten to that part yet, but we look forward to it!

Each lesson contains several important components:

The Big Idea (introduction and brief overview of what has already been learned)
What You Will Do (learning objectives)
Short Story (this is where we read more about the children featured in this section)
Think About It (comprehension questions)
Words You Need To Know (vocabulary words from that lesson)
Hide It In Your Heart (memorization verses)
Integrated Learning (articles related to an element in the short story or tied to the lesson)
What Should I Do? highlights a godly character trait that the child should demonstrate as the right response to what they have learned.)
Prayer (conclude the lesson with a prayer to thank God for the gifts He has given, and all He has done.)
Parables of Jesus (a retelling of a parable of Jesus, imagined from the perspective of one of the characters in the parable, giving cultural details to better help the child understand what is happening.)
Going Deeper (discussion questions to encourage children to think about the parables of Christ and what they may mean for us now)
House Of Truth (Beginning in the first book of this series, the student is given instructions on building a “house of truth”, with one section being built in each book.)

We are very much enjoying “What On Earth Can I Do?”, and really looking forward to completing it. We like very much that it is written to children, and that the stories about the siblings featured are written from their perspective.

While my kids, with their delays, vastly prefer the Jr. Notebooking Journal, I will tell you that the Notebooking Journal is quite nice! For the older child, there is more writing, the puzzles are a bit more difficult, and it does not have the coloring pages that the Jr. Notebooking Journal has. It does have the mini books to make, which are then glued to specific pages to keep.

In the Jr. Notebooking Journal, the puzzles are easier, there is a lot less writing, there are plenty of coloring pages, and it also has the mini books to make and keep.

The coloring book has many of the same coloring pages as the Jr. Notebooking Journal, and would be a wonderful addition to use with the very young child who would then have something related to do while the older ones are reading out loud, and working on the lessons in the curriculum.

What I chose to do was to have “The Batman” take turns reading with me, and we would all discuss the questions in the text. “The Artist” was chosen to work in the Notebooking Journal, “The Puzzler” worked in the Jr. Notebooking Journal, and by his own request, “Mr. Loquacious” worked in the coloring book. He doesn’t like to read or write, even though he can do so.

We will be continuing on with “What On Earth Can I Do”. I am extremely impressed with it. The only “con” for me is the usual one, that the Bible verses are never from the King James Bible, something I find very frustrating, given that it is the one version that you do not have to pay for the right to copy. At the same time, it did give my kids more practice looking up verses, as I prefer them to read them from the King James Version! However, when the Bible verse is a clue to a word in a puzzle, it’s harder for the kids if the puzzle uses a different version. With this one exception, I really love this curriculum, and highly recommend Apologia Educational Ministries!

Check out Apologia on social media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

To check out what other crewmembers thought of “What On Earth Can I Do?”, please click the graphic below!
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Filed under Apologia, Christian Worldview, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, TOS Review, What On Earth Can I D?, What We Believe

Feeling Sad and Nostalgic Today . . .

Two years ago, I left my very best friend “Annie’s” house for the last time, because we were getting ready to move from Michigan to New Mexico, for my husband’s job. At the time, she and her children lived about two and a half hours west of us, having moved to be near her family about a year after the death of her husband. We had for years, spent our kids’ birthdays together, either at her house or at our house. It was the best thing, too, because she and her children love my kids, no matter what their differences and difficulties have been, and always treated them the same as any other kids, even though they aren’t. That has not always been the case in the lives of my children. Kids can be so mean, once they realize another kid is different, you know?

So anyway, we realized that there was no way we would be able to go there in June for the birthdays of her two oldest, which are two days apart, and since “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” share a birthday in May (being twins, you know), we decided to go and spend a few days at our friends’ home in May, and just do all four of the kids’ birthdays over a couple of days! Over the years, we were often able to visit for 3 or 4 days at a time because we both homeschool.

We did my boys birthdays on Tuesday, the 15th.

My friend is really awesome at making themed cakes. This is what she did for “Mr. Loquacious”, who really wanted a Lego themed party . . .
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For “The Puzzler”, who loves all things Thomas The Train, this is what she made . . .
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Here I am with the kids, waiting for the candles to be lit . . .
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And here is my dear friend, getting the candles ready for the birthday boys. The picture is a little blurry, though!
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My boys, very happy with their the cakes . . .
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Later, after presents, because we ALWAYS do “Pin the something on something”, I had ordered a pin the Lego shark in the water kit and a pin the smokestack onto Thomas set. Here are all the kids with the Lego mask blindfolds on, trying to hit the right spot.

“Mr. Loquacious”
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“The Puzzler”
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“The Batman”
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“The Artist”
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Next up, we have my Friend’s children . . .

“J. L.” . . .
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“L. E.”
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“L. A. ”
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Here’s how they all looked in the Thomas blindfolds . . .

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As always, I had ordered goodie boxes with themed favors, so each kid got a Thomas one and a Lego one!
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So, that was the party for my twins, on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the 16th, we had a birthday for “J. L.”, and his sister “L. E.”, whose birthdays are two days apart. Their birthday was chocolate theme. You can’t go wrong there, right? πŸ™‚
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Everyone loved their parties, and their presents!

Wednesday evening, we went to my friend’s church, Midland Baptist Church. While we were there, we got somebody to take one final picture of “Annie” and me.
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The next day, the 17th of May, 2012, we had to leave and go back to Port Huron, so I could get to work on packing and readying for our moving sale. I had done absolutely fine the whole time we were there, but when it was time to leave, the hardest thing was to not cry. And I didn’t, until we were out of sight of the house, then the sobbing started, so I pulled over and sat for about 30 minutes until I was OK to drive.

I miss my friend “Annie” so much. For years, we had been each other’s support system, we both have been raising challenging children, although the challenges were and are different. We always knew we could call on each other if we needed someone to keep our kids when we had to do something. In fact, she kept mine for 4 days when I went for my bariatric surgery in 2011.

We began as unlikely friends, who became very close. “Annie” has been my confidante, my Titus 2 woman in my life. I will always love her, and all of her children, so much, and will never stop missing them.

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