Thursday, September 20, 2007


How do cute stuffed animals transform into an online animal world? With Webkinz, of course. Webkinz are collectible stuffed animals, much like beanie babies. Although unlike Beanies, Webkinz give access to an online world. Made by Ganz, these adorable animals come with codes for the owner to gain access to Webkinz World. Great idea.
Like I mentioned previously, one of my girlfriends sent us three in the mail. Lucy Goose, Hopscoth the Bunny and Roaring Lion. The kids and I eagerly set up our new rooms. On Webkinz, each animal is given a room that you can decorate as you wish. Each animal comes with 2000 kinzcash. You determine how to spend your money. Buying a bed and bathtub can quickly eat through your cash so on webkinz there are MANY opportunities to earn cash. You can get a job. Every 8 hours you can do your job and get cash. Do it well 3 times and you get a promotion, making more money the next time you do that job. You can play games at the arcade. Family friendly games! The better you do the more kinzcash you can earn. You can take surveys or spin the Wheel of Wow. But my favorite way to earn cash is Quizzy's Corner. A trivia game that is by age and subject. Every right answer earns you $5. Get it wrong and it eliminates your answer and still can get you cash. So even if you have no clue the answer, you can work through the responses until you find the answer. It is like test taking with no penalties for incorrect answers.
The makers of Webkinz wanted this to be a kid safe environment. And I have to say, as a parent I am thrilled with all the safety features they put in place. For one, they have a chat area but it is pre-made sentences. Easy for kids just learning to communicate over the internet. Then there is a Chat Plus option that parents must approve. But even there the kids a restricted on what they can say. Unacceptable words turn red and the message will not be sent. No personal names or numbers are accepted. Meaning no kid can give out their name or address to online predators.
All games are appropriate so there is no need to filter.
The only thing I do not like is the room theme option of a wizard. We are not into wizards, although I do understand many kids are into that. My kids know that wizard stuff is a no go for their rooms, and they seem to be fine with that.
Bonuses of playing:
Understanding of responsibility- You need to take care of your pet. Indicators tell you if it is happy, healthy or hungry. If you click everyday on the daily Kinzcare you earn cash and a free food item.
Knowledge of keyboard- I taught our son his username and password. By typing them in he is learning his way around the keyboard. The other day he completely shocked me when he was able to spell his 14 letter username from memory. Amazing! Made me wonder if he has a photographic memory. I plan to change his password periodically to words I want him to know how to spell and type.
Money management- You have to have money to buy food and furnish your home. If you spend it frivolously you will have to work harder to get more cash. It is a great model of how we need to prioritize our money. You need to eat more than you need new clothes. You can expand your home with new additions, such as rooms to make into a kitchen or bath. Or get an outdoor space so you can grow a garden or get exercise outside. These things cost big bucks, so plan and save to make it happen.
Generosity- You can make friends. You can send your friends letters and gifts. The kids love to do this. And boy do they get excited when they receive a letter.
Learning- With Quizzy's corner I read them the questions and they answer. Things I want my kids to know are being introduced to them in the context of fun.
Easy to use- Even little girl, nearing 4 can completely navigate her way around.
Fun- It is so much fun! Safe fun. My kids love it so much that it has become the most effective discipline tool I have.

Where else can you go to hunt for gems, make recipes or sort boxes to be shipped? Only in Webkinz world. If you have any questions I would love to answer them. For those considering purchasing a Webkinz for themselves or their kids, check out the parents area of the website for a tutorial. For a store that sells them near you, check out the store finder on the site. Most Hallmarks will have them. Hope your family enjoys it as much as we do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Pledge Allegiance

The last couple weeks we have been working on the Pledge of Allegiance. This morning I noticed that the boy followed along nearly word for word. After telling him good job, he starts again. Reciting it on his own as proud as can be. Here is his version.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of United States of America.
And to the Republic that which it stands
One nation
Under Arrest
and Under God
And indivisible
And justice for all

I love this kid.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What I Have a Blog???

Wow! I never intended to be so negligent of this blog. But it does appear that I have done so.

101 Things I could post about if I took the time. Life is still happening. Let's give little tastes here and there. And then I will try harder to post more consistently.

Wonder why you have been seeing less pictures these days?
My camera is pretty much DEAD. I can charge it all day and it turns on for 3 seconds not even long enough to take a picture. Shot I buy a new battery or a new camera. Still debating so still no camera. Thankfully my parents and sister-in-law have taken pictures of recent events so we are not completely without photo documentation of life.

Wonder what little girl has been up to?
Amazing growth! In a matter of a couple days she absolutely blossomed. My sister had passed along her daughters smaller bike, albeit without training wheels. Well, needless to say, little girl was not dettered by the lack of additional wheels. For a couple days she shooted about with her feet trying to find her center of balance. Then one day she asked my to help her for a second. 10 minutes later she was riding ALL BY HERSELF! Starting and stopping. She really can only do straight aways as she still wobbles but she is riding BY HERSELF and she is still three. Now that is amazing all in itself. But she did not stop there. That same day she climbing the fireman's pole in her brother's room. 6 feet straight up. Amazing. AND THEN, the next day we were at my mom's and she starts swinging and pumping ALL BY HERSELF. Awesome stuff. It is like her body turned on a switch and said, 'hey let's go to the next level here.'

Wonder how school has been going?
It is going pretty well. DS is doing first grade work. So far he seems to be grasping it. Not all that excited about how many times he is expected to write his name (at least 5 times a day.) He has been doing really well with all the new demands of first grade. At times it is hard sitting still for longer periods. We try and mix it up but book work requires table time and that requires sitting. I am SO thankful little girl is to the age of interest and ability to sit at the table. She loves school and wants to be there at the table. A huge blessing for me. Some of my friends have been struggling with younger siblings, balancing demands of little ones with the teaching of the older. So I am very thnkful that both are doing school, although little girl is not expected to participate as much as her brother she seems to bee eating up all that is being taught. She can count to 50 and I believe this is completely because she soaks up everything being taught to her bro.

Wonder what has sucked lately?
Anxiety. The boys
In late July we went to a large family gathering. Sometime during the day he went to the bathroom and could not figure out how to open the antique lock on the door. He was trapped inside crying until someone heard him and talked him through how to get out. Unfortunately he did not tell us of this experience until nearly a week later. We were somewhere and he started freaking out that he might not be able to get out. Which made no sense until he told us what happened at my uncles. A few weeks after that he went ballistic on his dad that he was going to get locked in an unfamiliar car. It came down to the fact that he was scared he would not be able to open the door. The anxiety has been showing up at church, when he moved up to a new room and different environment. He was crying so hard the leader returned him to my husband. When I talked to him later he was afraid that dad would not be able to find him in the new room. Needless to say we had a LONG talk about how we would never leave him and we would search endlessly until he was found. And that we know how to ask for help. Which brought us to our next issue. Enrichment day. Our home school coop has an enrichment program that meets every Friday. I signed out family up back in the spring for this fall semester. A new experience, in a new building, with new people. In light of the new anxiety I was not looking forward to it. He would tense up at the mere mention of enrichment day. So during our long talk we talked about what his concerns were for enrichment day. The unknown. Friday came and we went early to take a tour. I showed him every room he would use. Offered for him to check out the bathroom and explained his schedule. Then I bribed him. No computer for the entire weekend if there were any fits. The bribe worked. The tour and explaining worked. His leader stood up to take him to his first rotation and he gave me a kiss and said see you later. He had a great time. Gym, Art and Michigan History. He was full of excitement as he should me his project and shared facts he learned about Michigan. While this anxiety has had it's sucky moments I think we may be on our way to licking it.

Wonder where we send most of our computer time?
Hmmm. A girlfriend of mine sent us a package recently. In it three stuffed animals. A goose, a lion and a bunny. Not just any stuffed animals but Webkinz. We totally and completely love them. They deserve their own post. Maybe that is what I will write about tomorrow. I really will try and write tomorrow.

Loves to all!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


30 is Fabulous!
Funny but it feels ALOT like 29.
My aunt told me "Age is mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
To me age doesn't matter. But it was a great reason to have a party and invite all my girlfriends over. YEAH! Because I love Mexican food we had a Fiesta. I love my girlfriends. Without fail I laugh so hard I cry when I am with them. I have some as my son would say "stinkin' halarious" friends. Thanks ladies for making my day.

Monday, September 03, 2007


The following tribute was posted in our homeschool support email. Original author not noted.

On July 13, 2007, Dr. Raymond Moore, known as the grandfather of the
homeschool movement in the United States, died at the age of 91. Today
many homeschoolers may not be familiar with who Dr. Moore was, but in the
early 80’s when many of us first learned about homeschooling it was Dr.
Moore that sparked our interest. Dr. Moore’s research in the early 70’s
and articles published in the 80’s showed that early institutional
schooling was not necessary for a successful education. Dr. Moore’s first
interviews on “Focus on Family” (in 1982) exposed millions of people to
the idea of homeschooling. Personally, those interviews were the ones that
started our journey into homeschooling. These conversations had great
influence on those who eventually became leaders in the homeschool
movement. Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, commented that “Moore was
responsible for exposing our family to homeschooling in 1982. He has a
deep love for children and remained passionate that parents should be
their child’s primary teacher.” (Washington Times Op-ed; Honoring Moore’s
Achievements, August 20, 2007)
Dr. Moore, and his wife Dorothy, faithfully served the homeschool
community for over 50 years, traveling across the country to many courts
and hearings to testify as an expert witness in homeschool cases. The
Moore’s testified in state legislatures when bills were introduced to
legalize homeschooling and spoke at many conferences encouraging families
to educate their children at home. Dr. Moore’s influence will be missed.
For more information on Dr. Moore and his contributions to homeschooling
visit: Listen to the original broadcast on Focus
on the Family at