Friday, October 29, 2010

Buckets-O-Fun: Your Kids are Gonna Love This!

YuckBuckets-O-Fun, the company has been around for about 4 years.  As a company though they are sending their products in a new direction with an emphasis on science projects for all ages. They have teamed up with a veteran science teacher and they have launched a series of projects that highlight four different Yuck slime products slimy, snowy, chunky and saucy. This is a product your kids are going to love. My kids (11,8) played with this stuff for hours!  Enough said to make your kids happy.
Sticky YuckAs a parent, I found it easy to mix and turn into a learning experience.  The product comes in granule form, like white sugar, and is nontoxic and biodegradable. The instructions for mixing each type of Yuck are clear and easy to follow. We talked about polymers, chemical changes, evaporation, toxicity and how this might effect the environment.
But, as a mom, I did find it hard to clean up, you cannot wash this product down your sink. My kids did not like going outside to wash everything up. I  have to say in the interest of honesty, that I am the kind of parent who takes my children away from home to do messy crafts. Here are some thoughts from more open-minded parents. Your kids will love it.
One pound of Yuck sells from $16-20 dollars depending on the type. Our samples came with a list of fun games and a science worksheet  to help you use the product in an educational and fun manner.My children really liked the Chunky Yuck and the Sticky Yuck.  This is definitely a great gift, party and rainy-day activity that your kids will love!

You can order free samples from the company:


6436 SE 134 th Ave.

Portland, OR 97236


503-760-8880 (local)

503-761-2052 (Fax)

Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how I used the product within my family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Introducing: PG Key SafeKey

 PG Key was developed by Brothers Mark and Brian owner operators of IT based businesses for about 20 year. Brian was being approached by frustrated parents struggling with the challenges brought on by new technology. Mark and Brian were in a position to recognize the need for a comprehensive, but exceedingly easy to use solutions for parents (or anyone) worried about the many dangers kids face online and frustrated by the challenges of parenting when it comes to the family computer. Not to mention that as dads of kids between 6 and 11, they were especially aware of the new risks created by technology for children and modern-day parenting...
That being said, I hate adjusting my technology because when I make a change it always involves a phone call to customer support. Usually that involves hours of time fixing things back. With the PG Key, it did involve a phone call to customer support, but it just took 5 minutes. Thank you technical support person, you know who you are! The technology is plug and go. I had to make a call so that I could adjust the PG key not to block all of my blogging websites.
After that the PG Key did block sites of questionable content. You can set the key to the level of monitoring you want on your computer. You can also set it to monitor just certain users. The PG Key does record the sites you visit. The PG Key worked just as described. When the Key is removed the computer is "locked" so you can control time usage. The search engine worked also in blocking questionable content, so well that I adjusted the control to the lowest level. It also recorded the sites our family visited (up to 60 hours of computer activity can be recorded and easily reviewed by parent.)
I also agree with the thinking behind the design of the key "stay involved in your children's and teen's online world. We know you can't monitor your children's computer activity all of the time, which is why we created SafeKey, an easy-to-use solution to help protect your children, be alerted to dangers and help make sure they are using the computer securely and responsibly."
I found that the PG Key did meet all of the promises made. I have an 11 and 8 year-old. I still have reservations about relying on technology to protect my children's computer time. We have our computer in a family area, my children are not allowed to "surf" the Internet, and we do not belong to any social networking sites and while I found the Key worked as described, we may not have pushed the boundaries that say a "teenager" would.
My final recommendation would be this is a definite must for families where there cannot be close supervision. The price is affordable at $49.99 plus tax which is a one time payment, no month to month fees which is good, you can check out the free trial or you can purchase locally by getting a store list from the company. So you really can't lose.

Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how I used the product within my family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BookSneeze Review: Where Hearts Are Free

Recently I received a complimentary copy of  Where Hearts are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons. This is the third book in the Darkness to Light Series. In this novel we are introduced to Bridget Barrington. The story takes place in Philadelphia in the 1700s.  Ms. Parsons combines history, mystery and romance into a poignant story. 
There is mystery and tension as the various characters are challenged by circumstances to make godly choices. Questions raised are what expectations should parents have as their children contemplate marriage? Do our beliefs matter as long as we believe? How can we fulfill our obligation to Cesar and God?
We see Bridget learn to balance her desire to be a faithful daughter and aspiring wife with her natural desires and the social expectations of the day. Her spirituality is highlighted in her desire for guidance and wanting to be a person of faith. The characters are well rounded, and even though this book is part of a series, you do not feel that you are missing something from the previous books.
This is a wonderful book for a rainy day or to take on vacation. The plot gently progresses to a sweet and satisfying conclusion.  I would caution there are scenes that depict aggression. I have to say though that I am going back for books 1 and 2!

Where Hearts Are Free
Golden Keyes Parsons
Copyright 2010
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 978-1-59554-628-9

I received this book free as a member of BookSneeze.