Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

For the last couple of months our family has been going through a nutritional overhaul! LOL! We've always been healthy eaters-my girls eat almost every vegetable, we hardly ever fry foods (even though we live in the deep south where EVERYTHING is fried) and we drink lots of water. After starting with a new chiropractor we were encouraged to go on a sugar free/gluten free diet. At first I thought this would be the end of the world! After a couple of days I realized that it wasn't so bad. Just because we gave up sugar didn't mean we couldn't have sweets. I went to a class that showed me how to make nutritional sweets with xylitol (yes, they are super yummy). We've changed to gluten free pasta too. Life is good!

So…when I got word that I would be reviewing the book Nutrition 101: Choose Life! I was very excited. This would fit in perfectly with our new lifestyle.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a three-in-one family nutrition and health program for all ages that presents the major body systems, how they function, their common health issues, the benefits of good food and the consequences of bad food. Its 448 pages include into six units:

1. The Brain and Nervous System
2. Digestion and Elimination
3. Respiration and Olfactory
4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems
5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
6. Endocrine System and Emotions

Biblically based and packed with hands-on activities, science and art projects and nearly 80 family-friendly recipes, this program teaches and reinforces the why's of what we should eat, not just "because I said so." Containing a complete reference guide filled with nutrition facts, charts, practical tips and an exhaustive index, Nutrition 101: Choose Life! will serve as a constant resource for improved health and abundant living.

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Today's children (in public, private and homeschools) are required to read and study many books written on science and biology. They learn about the body systems, organs, health issues and theories on how to live longer. Why then is disease increasing at an alarming rate in this country? Why, with all the drugs and state of the art diagnostic tools are we sicker than ever before? The American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Cancer all state the most important thing we can do to prevent and even "cure" these diseases is….CHANGE THE WAY WE EAT!

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." ~Psalm 139:14 This is why Nutrition 101: Choose Life! was created-to help families, especially children understand the real relationship between food and our bodies. The purpose of this book is to teach you how to feed your family more nutritious meals while on a budget. It's Biblically sound help from real families and expert counsel about real food.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is offered in three formats: the e-product (CD-ROM)-$79.95; a full-color, professionally printed hard copy-$99.95; and in a combination of the two-$129.95. The CD-ROM and book contain the same information, so the value of having both is the flexibility to use the e-product to reprint individual copies of the recipes, shopping lists, charts and any other relevant pages and still have a bound book to enjoy. Because the curriculum is designed for both elementary and secondary students, customers can use it for multiple years ... and then with their grandchildren.

I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. It was so much more than I had initially thought it would be. I have a BS in nursing and have studied all the systems of the body thoroughly. The authors of this book did an amazing job presenting the body systems in a way that a child could understand. That with the combination of the recipes, projects and activities makes this a must have for all families. My favorite part was how they tied scripture into each section, showing that this is not just their opinion, but God's plan.

You can read more opinions of this book at:

I received Nutrition 101: Choose Life! for free to review from the authors and TOS. No other compensation was received. This review is based on my personal opinion only.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

KinderBach Review

Our family currently has 3 children in music lessons (violin). We know how expensive it can be to give your child this opportunity. We think it's very important for our children to be exposed to music as a part of their overall education. What do you do if you can't afford private lessons?

Classroom KinderBach is a music program for early childhood education facilities, homeschools or community centers. The teacher's materials include teacher aids, lesson plans, teacher's guide – everything needed to give quality preschool piano lessons to groups of children or just one child. Ages: 3-7

Online lessons start at $7.99/mth

DVD and CD packages-$40.45

"KinderBach is designed to provide an introduction to music using the keyboard or piano. First and foremost, KinderBach's primary goal is to ensure both student and parent have fun with this curriculum. Hundreds of hours of professional video instruction coupled with printed materials in the form of PDF files provide hours of well planned exercises. All student and teaching aids can be constructed from the PDFs. Children just love the games and puzzles too.

Thousands of families have used KinderBach successfully. The Learning Center on the website is a recent addition to our products and we look forward to your reviews and suggestions. All you need is a computer and an inexpensive keyboard or piano to play during the lessons."

It's as simple as that! KinderBach allowed us access to their site for free (thanks also to TOS). My first grader enjoyed adding piano lessons to her daily schedule. The lessons were short, fun and best of all-easy.

You can read more KinderBach review at the Crew Blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

GoGo Kabongo Review

Launched In fall of 2010, GoGo Kabongo Is a fantastical world where kids can:

• Play challenging learning games

• Solve Exciting mini--‐quests

• Create A their own avatar

• Make reading--‐ready comic book pages

• Build and ride in a custom skate park

• Meet friendly, zany characters

In addition, parents can access activity reports on their child's in--‐game progress, resources from learning experts, and skill--‐building activities to try at home.

Target audience-ages 4-7

Price- First habitat, Laughter Lake is free. Additional habitats are available at an introductory price of $4.95 per habitat. No subscription fees ever.

Kabongo presents three fun-filled learning habitats: Laughter Lake, Galaxy Garden, and Twister Top. Here children can play challenging learning games, solve mini-missions, and discover lots of other hidden surprises. Along the way, children will meet a host of friendly characters who are always there to help and share a laugh. Each of GoGo Kabongo's learning games! Addresses a specific cognitive skill and adapts to the child's level, so they are never too easy or too hard, inspiring self-confidence and independent play. Critical thinking skills children learn and practice with GoGo Kabongo:

• Focus and attention

• Letter and pattern recognition

• planning

• Listening comprehension

• Phonics and phonetic awareness

As they play and learn, kids are rewarded with cool online collectables. For instance, kids earn interactive stickers, which they can use to create their very own comic book scenes, or skate park ramps to build and ride in a custom skate park.

Overall GoGo Kabonga is a colorful, fun website where children can easily learn. My 7 year old enjoyed playing there thanks to a free subscription from GoGo Kabonga and TOS. (We received no other compensation. This review is based on my opinion of the site).

You can read what others thought of this site on the Crew blog.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quilt of Dreams

I am blessed with so many wonderful friends. One of which makes me happy and sad. When I first met her she scared me! LOL! We're total opposites. Physically we're different-she has fair skin and is blond and well...I'm not. :) As far as personalities-she's a very strong, opinionated woman. She's not afraid to speak up and she works well under pressure. Me, well, I'm a little quieter, more timid (kind of) and just not the leader that she is. So, what do we have in common? We're both nurses (well, I was), we have girls and we're both very tender hearted.

The one thing I've figured out about Cheryl over the years is that she may have a hard exterior, but I've never met a woman with a kinder more giving heart. She's been through a lot in her life. Some of which I can't even imagine. Yet she's chosen to take the high road and find the good in the not so pleasant. She's a go-getter, a terribly hard worker, a wonderful mom and wife and the most amazing friend. She's always there for me. I know that if I need her all I have to do is pick up the phone and call. She would be here in a heart beat if I asked her.

Only one problem....she lives over 2000 miles away from me. :( I'm in the deep south and she's on the prairie in Canada. I get to see her for about 2 weeks every year. That's it. She's been to my house once. I talk to her often, email , text and think about her daily. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God put her in my life for a reason. She's truly a rare treasure to me.

So...when her birthday came around I wanted to do something special. That was hard because I didn't know what to do. She's very good about inquiring about me but doesn't like to dwell on herself.

I like to sew things. I don't think I'm creative or talented. I just know that I put a whole lot of love into everything I make. I hope those who receive my gifts can feel it.

For Cheryl I chose a mini quilt. She likes old things. She appreciates handmade gifts. The fabric I chose is my absolute favorite. I've been saving it up. It depicts scenes of Paris, one of my all time favorite places. Why would I choose this for someone who is in Manitoba, Canada? Because one day in the future I'd love to go on a trip with her. Somewhere fun and different where we could really get to know each other while experiencing something new. How fun would that be?

Therefore I made a quilt that she could look at and I could remember. Hopefully every time we think about it we'll dream about the time we may be so fortunate as to travel together and grow in our friendship.

But if it never happens I'll be completely happy. She's such a breath of fresh air, a kiss from heaven that's been shared with me. Such a dear and loved friend. I SO look forward to those 2 weeks every fall and truly cherish them. Happy birthday Cheryl.


Look who just learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Mark and I started reminiscing about when her sisters had accomplished the same feat...and even when we as children had finally mastered the two wheeler. I recall such a sense of freedom. I could go so fast and so far. It was truly a monumental time in my life just as it is now in hers. One more step along the path of growing up. For now I'm enjoying watching her. Every spare moment she's on that bike. It's such a sweet time. Makes me smile to watch her.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zeezok Publishing Review

Zeezok is a company that's been around since 2003. They offer several items including High School government curriculum, Great Composers Series, various lapbooks and ebook guides. There newest product is the ZGuide. These movie guides are a great way to incorporate media (a powerful teaching tool in our increasingly electronic society) into any curriculum.

Each ZGuide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities for an in-depth study of the film. The topic overview puts the film in historical context, giving a student with no prior knowledge of the topic important background information. The one-page movie synopsis provides a more detailed explanation of the movie's storyline than typically found on the back cover of the video case or on movie review websites. While watching the film the first time through, students answer the movie review questions. This assignment forces the viewer to become an active learner rather than a passive observer. Nine additional activities provide interdisciplinary educational opportunities built around the movie's themes. Certain activities require the student to use outside resources (library, internet, etc.) to learn more about the topic. Several of the guides contain related memorization selections, combined with a public performance option, to develop the student's mental powers and public speaking abilities. Creative and critical writing assignments nurture the student's confidence in putting their thoughts on paper. Every guide contains a "hands-on" activity for the kinesthetic learner, designed to develop the student's artistic talents. The "Worldview Activity" goes to the heart of critical thinking by asking the student to evaluate the actors' attitudes and actions. "The Filmmaker's Art" activity focuses on movie-making techniques and their effect on the viewer. Parents and siblings can contribute their thoughts with the "For Family Discussion" section at the end of each guide. Many of these discussion questions relate to moral or philosophical dilemmas present in the movie.

For my review, Zeezok and TOS provided us with the movie guide for One Night with the King (which is a movie I highly recommend). The topics included in our guide were: Ancient Persian History, Ancient Jewish History, Loyalty, Results of Excessive Pride and Desire for Revenge , God's Providence.

The age level for this guide is High School.

Price- $12.99/ CD

My opinion- this is an incredible way to get the most out of quality movies. So many times we sit and watch but don't retain. Using this guide will allow you and your child/student to thoroughly discuss the topics of the movie. I highly recommend it.

The goal of ZGuide is not just supplemental educational activities but to teach the viewer to think critically. This is an important concept for any age.

If you'd like to read more reviews about Zeezok check out the Crew blog.

*For the purpose of this review I was given a free movie guide from Zeezok. No other compensation was received. This review is based on my personal opinion only.