Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bloggers Wanted - Conscious Box Giveaway

Mama's Mission is proud to bring you this wonderful and exciting eco-friendly giveaway!!


I am looking for bloggers to help promote.
The blogger who refers the most people will be offered some free links (and/or refunded for any purchased).
Free Twitter or Pinterest with Announcement post (or a $5 waiver fee is required) Additional links are available for purchase starting at only $1 Co-host spots are available for $10 and includes 3 links, waiver of announcement and host page.
The Conscious Box giveaway will begin on August 15th at 12:01 AM and end at 11:59pm on August 31st
This giveaway will be open to residents of the United States only!

Sign up here.

Grab your announcement post here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Children Learning Reading Program Review

Reading is such an important skill. I remember Mr. O Learning to read effortlessly when he was about 3 1/2 years old. I thought it would be the same with Mr. R. He turned 4 in March and hasn't shown much of an interest in reading unlike his brother.
I was excited to get the opportunity to review a reading program for children - the Children Learning Reading Program. There is a very in depth introduction which explains phonetic awareness and systematic synthetic phonics. I learned a lot. At the same time I'll admit that I was a little overwhelmed. I wanted to jump in so I read about blending and got started. There are 28 lessons in stage one. Starting with the letter A.
The lessons are very quick and can be incorporated into everyday interactions. This is so important to me because sometimes Mr. R can be somewhat resistant when he knows I'm trying to teach him something new. He'll make silly sounds and dance around. We were able to go at our own pace and we spent several days on each lesson.
I like that the proper pronunciation is included with the program. I had no problem downloading them and listening to them on the computer. The program also includes stories associated with some of the lessons as well as nursery rhymes and sight words.
I would suggest buying or making a set of alphabet flash cards. These will come in handy for practicing each letter and can be placed side by side to create more complex words. I've made a set that I put in my purse for when we are out running errands or before we get served at a restaurant.
I've seen some good progress from Mr. R. I know the more I work with him the better he will become. I'm confident he will be reading by the time he starts Kindergarten. I also know that his little brother will be able to get a head start.

You can connect with the Children Learning Reading Program - 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. O

Today my first son was born. Today he turns 7. His is a true blessing and I love him so much! I'm amazed at the young man he is becoming. 

Happy Birthday Mr. O, Mommy loves you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

ABC Mouse 1 Year Membership Giveaway

Sponsored by: is a monthly subscription program that has no advertisements or pop-ups for children who want learn and explore on their own or with their parents in a safe and secure online educational environment. It's recommended for children ages 2-6 from Preschool- Kindergarten. With over 3,000 activities your child is sure to have fun learning. As a parent helping our children learn is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

Home page

To see more about ABCmouse you can read Simply Southern Couponers full review.
We are excited to have the opportunity to give one of our viewers a chance to win their very own membership to ABCmouse for their child to enjoy. 
These days kids are becoming more computer savvy. I know my boys enjoy having computer time. I like to make sure they are on websites that are educational as well as fun. ABC Mouse fulfills both of theses requirements! 
Event Details:
July 22, 2013- August 5, 2013
Open to US and Canadian Residents. 
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 
Prize: One lucky winner will win a (1) Year Membership code to
To enter please use Rafflecopter form below. All winning entries will be verified. 
Simply Southern Couponers is responsible for prize fulfillment. Winner will be notified by email and Prize will be sent via email.  
Thanks to our Sponsor and a great group of blogger friends for helping us promote this event. Be sure to stop by and visit each of them. 
If you are a company and would like to see your products on Simply Southern Couponers please contact Jennifer at
Giveaway Disclosure

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reading Kingdom Review

Reading Kingdom is described on their website as an award-winning online program that teaches children 4-10 to read and write to a 3rd grade level. The program is based on the work of Dr. Marion Blank from Columbia University, one of the world's top experts on reading and language development. It uses her patented and research based "6-SIM" (Six Skill Integrated Method) technique that yields incredible results. Mr. O and Mr. R both signed up to use the program.

Reading Kingdom starts with as assessment to determine the appropriate level for each student. It instructs the parents to not help with the assessment so it gives an accurate level placement. Mr. R took it first and seemed to be able to complete it without any problem after I disabled the right click ability on the mouse. It started him on Seeing Sequences (which teaches visual sequencing skills) and Letter Land (which teaches keyboarding skills). I agree this is the level he needs to be learning. Mr. O took it next and I felt that the assessment took a bit longer for him to finish and he was starting to get tired. He was placed in the Reading/Writing Level 1. I think this is a little under where he needed to be, it seems to be a repetition of what he already knows.

It is recommended that each student spend 4 days a week on the program to see the benefits. This was no problem for Mr. O and Mr. R. They would ask almost every day to do their Reading Kingdom. They like how it shows their progresss after each session. I like that the graphics are fun and age appropriate. Here are a couple of examples from the program.

One of the features that I like is the ability to switch between an on screen and physical keyboard. They also have an option to use Reading Kingdom on an iPad. The one improvement I would like to see is an increased speed when going from page to page, some of them felt like they took a long time to load which can lead to frustrated kids. So far they each completed the level that they started on. I've certainly seen an improvement in Mr. R's reading ability. Overall I think it is a great addition to their reading education.

You can connect with Reading Kingdom:



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Toys are Tools - Kaleidograph

As you know I love to enter giveaways, and today I was a winner at Toys are Tools. Jenn, the editor, gives wonderful reviews of games and toys. Here is what I won.

Please click here to read the review or take a moment to visit and see all the wonderful products and ideas she has. What are your thoughts on Kaleidograph? Is there another review you thought was awesome?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Breastfeeding Poetry

I've breastfed all three of my boys. Mr. C is still breastfeeding. This video is wonderful! I love the poetry. I've become more comfortable in public but I still worry a little that someone will say something. Honestly I try to avoid breastfeeding in public now because Mr. C is so big, and he isn't always focused. I've tried using a cover but it just seems like more hassle than it's worth.
How do you feel when you nurse in public? Or how do you feel when you see a mother nursing her baby?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bloggers Wanted - ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse Logo

We're excited to announce an amazing giveaway for a One-Year Subscription to ABC Mouse. 
Giveaway scheduled to start 7/19/2013 and end 8/2/2013.
Sign-Ups end 7/17
Open to US & Canadian residents only.
Grab announcement post here or pay $5 for non post. 
Co-host $5 (4 links, link on giveaway) No host pages at this time
Additional Links $1 each (3 max)
Send payment via PayPal GIFT to
Referral Prize: Free Co-host spot!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July and Independence

The other day the boys and I were having a discussion about why we celebrate the 4th of July. It led to us defining what independent means. Here are some of the things Mr. O said he could do independently:
Play with toys
Read books
Make my beed
Brush my teeth

Here are a few thing Mr. R though of:
Put away clothes
Clean up toys
Take a bath

Seeing this list makes me realizes how fast they are growing up! What other aspects of Independence Day would you try to teach young children? I think we'll try to discuss freedom next.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 7/3/13

Fourth of July Crafts

Last night we sat down to do a couple of the crafts from Carefree Crafts. Mr. O finished his dinner first so he chose first. He decided on the popsicle stick flag. Mr. R wanted to make the windsock. I love how everything I needed is included in the kit. I didn't have to search for glue or markers.

Mr. O was able to make the flag with very little help from me. We hung it on our front door with a magnet.

Mr. R needed a little more help coloring the windsock. He did about half the coloring and I filled in the white spots. At first I was taking the backing off the stickers, but by the end he was doing this by himself. We have it hanging off our balcony railing.

The kit also comes with suggestions on how to explain the 4th of July to kids. There are still four crafts left in the kit. We are going to try to finish a couple more today.

I'll also try to post photos of the finished projects after I get my camera battery charged.

What are your favorite crafts? What crafts did you like when you were a kid? Do your kids have a favorite craft or activity?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Schedule

With Mr. O being out of school for the summer I thought I would try to create a better schedule at home for us to follow. Something that would resemble a school schedule but with more flexibility and fun.

Our daily schedule look like this:
8 AM Morning routine
9 AM Reading programs (you'll get to hear more about this soon)
10 AM Snack & outside time (weather permitting)
11 AM Clean up
11:30 AM Lunch
Noon Quite time & nap for Mr. C
2 PM Story time with snack
3 PM Clean up (again)
3:30 PM Free time
5 PM Dinner

Some of our evening already were scheduled so I just needed to fill in the blanks. Here is what I came up with:
Monday - Martial Arts
Tuesday - Craft Night
Wednesday - Martial Arts
Thursday - Family Game Night
Friday - Family Movie Night
Saturday - Unscheduled
Sunday - Visit Family

So far so good. We haven't followed it exactly but at least we have a plan. I have the most trouble getting myself to go outside with the boys. I make excuses.

Do you make a plan for your summer days or do you let the days take you where they may?

Monday, July 1, 2013


I don't think I ever properly introduced myself. So for the start of the Ultimate Blog Challenge I thought I would give you some information about myself.
As you have probably guessed just my my blog title I have three boys. Mr. O is 6 (soon to be 7), Mr. R is 4 and Mr. C is 1 1/2. We live in the Pacific Northwest. I've been married to my husband J for 8 1/2 years. We met in Colorado while we were in college. I have my Master's in Counseling.
I have lots of interests and hobbies, too many to count! Just to list a few: I love crafts, reading, education, giveaways, family games and movies. I think I have a lot to share, but I often get stuck in the middle of my ideas. Like now, I don't know where to go from here. I guess this is good for now. Let me know a little about yourself and thanks for joining me on this adventure!