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Some of the links on this blog 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/or 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.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

D is for Dolphins

Blogging Through the Alphabet


Our Dolphin Excursion (above).  This was a previous field trip, C and I took a boat ride out to swim with dolphins in the wild…so cool!  Z really wanted to go as well, so I booked a tour for him and my husband, unfortunately it was rescheduled TWICE b/c of weather, and then when they finally went they didn’t see any dolphins Sad smile    This was another awesome trip set up by one of the mom’s in our homeschool group who got us an amazing discount! 

PicMonkey CollagePicMonkey Collage

Above:  Dolphin Quest (Honolulu, Oahu).  One of the amazing moms in our Homeschool Group made arrangements with Dolphin Quest for some Homeschool Days (and discounts!).  This is the 3rd year our group has worked with them (only the 2nd time we have attended).  They give classes on sea animals, taking care of the oceans, etc…  and then the kids get dolphin encounters.  They get to pet them, feed them, and give them hand signals to do tricks.  We also had a Sting Ray demonstration.  It is always a hugely successful and fun field trip. 

Sometimes we like to tie our Field Trips into our studies, so here is what we did for dolphins this year! 

Dolphin Units – Preschool with FREE Printables
Early Elementary Dolphin Unit

D is also for DELIVERY – as I’m scheduled to deliver baby #4 today!!  Wish me luck!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Poppins Book Nook: Seasons

PicMonkey Collage seasons

Seasons a Kane Miller title

Four Seasons Printable Packs -

This Reading Mama 
PreK and K Sharing

Spring Activities: 
Kite Making
Birds & Bird Nests
Rain Printables
Rainy Days Pinterest Board
Spring Sounds
Planting Seeds

Summer Activities:
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
Beach Ball Play – Beach Activities
Ocean Sounds
Watermelon Themes

Fall Activities:
Husking Corn
Apple Themes
Pumpkin/Gourd Themes
Sorting Leaves
Counting Acorns

Winter Activities
Snow Sensory (fake or real)
Winter Themes

All encompassing
Dress Me Dolls
Season Sorting Cards/Items
Seasonal Trees Art

Seasons Pinterest Board

*With baby due any day, we have not actually done this unit yet, but will be…so I will post pics of our activities after they are done….but wanted to share my ideas with you.  The Pinterest Board is a great place to see where a lot of my ideas stemmed from!

Giveaway located AFTER the link up....don't forget to enter!!!


Poppins Book Nook Bloggers

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom3 DinosaursMonsters EdChestnut Grove AcademyGrowing in God’s GraceRoyal Little LambsLife with Moore BabiesTeach Beside MeThe Usual MayhemMum CentralFantastic Fun and LearningKathys Cluttered MindToddler ApprovedGrowing Book by BookAdventures in MommydomB-Inspired MamaEdventures with KidsLearning & Growing the Piwi wayA Gluten Free JourneyPreschool Powol PacketsTo The Moon and BackOur Craft ~N~ ThingsFresh Farm AdventuresAre We There Yet?Afterschool for Smarty Pants

Have an activity that fits the theme??  Post it here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frugal Halloween Tips–Guest Post

Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids- and their parents. But, costumes and candy and decorations can get expensive, and costs add up. With a little planning, having fun for Halloween doesn't have to break the budget. Here are some frugal ideas for enjoying the Halloween fun.
Costumes: Costumes are fun, but trying to buy them for one child, much less several children, can be very expensive. There are ways to enjoy dressing up for Halloween without spending much money.
    * Buy costumes at the end of the season. Immediately after Halloween, pick out some costumes from the greatly marked down costumes that are left. Then they can be used to play dress up throughout the year and can be worn for the next Halloween.
    * Use what you have. Dressing up doesn't have to involve buying a costume. There are all kinds of ways to use pieces of clothing around the house to come up with a costume. This site has some great ideas for using things around the house to make costumes.
Candy: Don't wait until the weeks before Halloween to buy candy. Use coupons and shop all year long. Stock up on candy after other holidays when it is on sale. Most candy doesn't go bad. Chocolate candy can be kept in the freezer to it fresh. When Halloween rolls around, you can use your stored up candy for parties or to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
Decorations: As with costumes, decorations don't have to be purchased. They can be made from things you have around the house. I don't really like scary decorations. We usually just let the kids each carve a pumpkin. But if you do enjoy having some decorations- creepy or just fun-this site has some great ideas for using what you have around the house.
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. In her (very spare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and homeschool materials. You can visit her at As We Walk Along the Road.

FREE APP ALERT–Eggy Alphabet by Reading Eggs (iOS & Android)

I have reviewed 2 Reading Eggs apps and have been very pleased with them…get this one now while it’s FREE to check it out for yourself! 

Eggy Alphabet app FREE for only 1 week!
Download today - offer ends 4 November

Eggy Alphabet – our fun educational app for the iPad, iPhone and Android – is available to download for FREE until 4 November! Normally $2.99, your friends can also download Eggy Alphabet FREE – simply forward them this email!

This offer is for 1 WEEK ONLY so download Eggy Alphabet app from iTunes or Google Play today!

About Eggy Alphabet for the iPad, iPhone and Android

Key Features

  • Suitable for ages 3+
  • Covers all upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
  • A total of 208 activities to complete plus The Letter Game.
  • Choice of accents – Australian, English, United States.
  • 3 difficulty levels – Egg ratings to be earned for every level.
  • 18 wonderful Egg Critters to unlock and hatch.
  • 624 Golden Eggs to earn.
  • Each child can have their own account.
  • Progress tracked for every account.

ABC Reading Eggs apps also available for Apple and Android devices 

Download Eggy Add to 20 for iPad and iPhone for only $2.99

Download Eggy Vocabulary for iPad and iPhone for only $2.99

Download Eggy Phonics 1 for iPad for only $2.99

Download Eggy Phonics 2 for iPad for only $2.99

Download Eggy Numbers for iPad and iPhone for only $2.99

Download Eggy Words 250 for Apple and Android devices for only $2.99

Download Tap the Cat for iPad for only $2.99

Download Reading Eggs Spelling for iPad for only $2.99

Download Eggy Alphabet for FREE now or for more information please email us at apps@readingeggs.com.

The websites where children learn to read!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Share it Saturday

Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop
new share it saturday hosts
Please visit my co-hosts:

Karyn from Teach Beside Me
Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road

Sorry that I haven’t had highlights the last couple weeks, I’ve been busy getting ready for baby!  She will be here NLT this coming Tuesday (10/30) and then hopefully soon after I’ll be able to get back into a groove!
In the meantime, PLEASE, continue to link up your awesome ideas and activities, and visit the many others that link up also!  I see so many great ideas…Know that even though I am not featuring them as usual, I am pinning them!  So hopefully linking up is bringing you lots of traffic and inspiration to others, because I know they inspire me!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Field Trip #105 Friday Blog Hop

Field Trip Friday!
A Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

Please stop by and visit my co-hosts blogs and give them a shout out!

Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos
Misty @ Mimi's House

Pumpkin Patch Hawaii Style – Our last Pumpkin Patch trip in Hawaii, since we are moving back to the mainland in the spring.  I have to say, it is definitely a different experience here!

PicMonkey Collage

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE



    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Review: diary of a REAL PAYNE from BARBOUR Publishing (TOS REVIEW)

     photo hdr_logo_zps1a1dd930.jpg  photo ProductImageHandlerashx_zpsdee6635f.png
    We had the opportunity to read Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story by Barbour Publishing.
    The first of a new series, this is a cute story of a 10yr old girl named EJ (Emma Jean).  EJ’s father is a preacher, her mother works in the church nursery; they are a wholesome Christian family.  It’s a very clean, Christian based book, which was a breath of fresh air!  (Sometimes good, clean books are hard to come by, as I’m sure we are all well aware). 
    EJ keeps a diary, from which this book is based.  Each chapter begins with her diary entries, and then goes on to tell a more detailed story of the events (many of which are quite humorous). She lives in a small town, but she surely has BIG dreams!
    I have all boys, and though I found many of the chapters cute and interesting, they (including my husband) felt this was a “girl book”, and that girls could better relate to the stories then they could.  My oldest son is 7, and I don’t feel like he was able to relate to the story at all, possibly because she is older, and possibly because she is a ‘girl’. 
    The book contains many life lessons, most of which are spiritually based.  For example coming to realize that someone she doesn’t care for much is in need of help and trying to figure how best to help the individual.  It was a great lesson in Christ like love and service. 
    The book is recommended for ages 8-12, though it could quite easily be enjoyed by all ages.  The reading level is on par for an 8-10 year old.  My 7 year old, could have read it on his own, though he is quite picky about which books he chooses to read himself (therefore he did not). 
    Stay tuned for Book #2, which is scheduled to be released in March 2014.  Titled Church Camp Chaos!
    This book can be purchased from Barbour Publishing for $4.49.  A great price for 192pages of an enjoyable story!

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    Monday, October 21, 2013

    C is for Culture Swap and Continent Boxes

    Blogging Through the Alphabet

    We recently participated in another Culture Swap.  We have participated in a few (both out of country and in the United States).  They are lots of fun, and a great way to get items for our Continent Boxes!! 

    Here is what we recently received:

    Hong Kong
    culture swap 1

    culture swap 2

    If you are interested in participating in a Culture Swap as well, you can get more info at

    Worldwide Culture Swap Blog or

    Culture Swap Facebook Page

    Culture Swapper

    I will warn, it can get pricey…especially shipping items overseas.  I typically use a small flat rate box and put as much in as I can fit.  (Items in Hawaii are expensive too, especially b/c most are ‘tourist’ items).  I typically send, pencils, aloha shirt shaped notepads, macadamia nut candy, American flag, some American change, key chains, post cards, a book, shell lei, piece of volcano rock, piece of coral.  I have also made printable materials about Hawaii that I share. 

    For more information about Continent Boxes see these posts:

    CGA North America Box
    CGA Asia Box
    CGA Australia Box

    Living Montessori Now Continent Boxes

    Our boxes are a constant work in progress, we are continual adding to them.  They are a great way for my kids to explore other countries/cultures. 

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Share it Saturday!

    Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

    new share it saturday hosts
    Please visit my co-hosts:

    Karyn from Teach Beside Me
    Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
    Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
    Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
    and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road


    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Field Trip #104 Friday Blog Hop

    Field Trip Friday!
    A Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

    (does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

    Please stop by and visit my co-hosts blogs and give them a shout out!

    Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos
    Misty @ Mimi's House

    I got a great reminder on one of the benefits of homeschooling this week…I made the mistake of going to the museum when the public school kids were on fall break….and it was opening week for the LEGO exhibit!   ahh!

    Needless to say, we didn’t stay long, since we have season passes, we will go back later…but the kids did have some fun for about an hour.

    C fell in love with the Lego Titanic!!


    **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE


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