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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carlito C Caterpillar's MathHouse Games Review and Giveaway....




My homeschooling readers (and moms of preschoolers) are going to LOVE this!  Math lessons you can do at home to give your little ones a head start.  Math is notoriously labeled as hard or hated, especially by girls.  But it doesn't have to be hard or hated.  Math can be fun!  Especially if you use a multi-sensory teaching plan.  Multi-sensory teaching looks a whole lot like play time and is used in many preschools and even in therapy plans for developmentally delayed children.  Carlito C Caterpillar's MathHouse Games are based on Domenico Marcario's Sensory Math Teaching System. 

Who is Domenico Marcario, you ask?  He is the creator of C3pla Sensory Math Teaching System, a retired high school mathematics teacher, and a full-time passionate grandparent!   Domenico's program utilizes the natural way children learn--with sensory play.

Carlito C Caterpillar's MathHouse Games is a system of staged games, a total of 20 steps with two games per step.  That's 40 games!  Each step covers quantity, numeration, and operations.  Keeping the focus on play, these games allow the child to remain an active participant during learning.

The C3pla website has additional information on the background of this system of learning, as well as support, reinforcement, and downloads to use with the cards. 

The Games come as a set that contains the following:

•30 double-sided, full color, illustrated Game Cards

•Related editorial information explaining to parents The What, Why and How of Each Step

•Each 8" x 4" loose leaf card is printed on heavy card stock, lacquered to help protect from spills and ring bound to keep together and facilitate play



I was eager to try this product with my little one.  As my readers know, he has Autism.  However, he is considered very high-functioning.  He is smart and is busy working on Kindergarten readiness skills.  I was thinking these games would come in handy.   After looking them over, it seemed that there were several activites we could begin right away.  We started at the very beginning with the quantity games "Alike It or Not" and "Hungry Lion".  I'm not so sure he fully understands the latter, but I know he will with practice.  It's just a matter of time.

I am excited to see my little one growing and learning!

Visit the C3Pla website and check out Carlito C Caterpillar's MathHouse Games.  You can purchase a set of these game cards for only $23.95.  That's a complete early childhood basic math curriculum for less than twenty-five bucks!  (They also have a Facebook page.)

You can also enter to win a copy of the MathHouse game cards here!  Yep, I'm giving away a copy starting right now.  Just leave a comment to enter.  Open to US residents over 18 years of age.  If you are interested in bonus entries, you can:
  •  follow this blog via GFC
  • 'like' Carlito's Facebook page
  • follow me on Twitter (LisalynSchaffer) and tweet this giveaway
No pressure.  :o)  Just a comment is good enough for an entry. 

Giveaway ends at 11:59PM next Tuesday, October 4, 2011.  Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced here on Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

Thanks so much to Propeller for sponsoring this review and giveaway.





Disclosure of Material Connection:



I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for 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, September 27, 2011

How I Spent my Summer Vacation....







School is back in session, Labor Day has come and gone, and we're all back in the rhythm of life after summer vacation.  Since I obviously did NOT spend my summer, blogging, I thought I'd share how I spent my time over the past three months.

You're thrilled.  I can tell.

Honestly, I want to blog about the summer so I can remember.  I mean, that's why I started blogging in the first place.  As a diary of sorts.  It wasn't about pageviews, followers, reviews and giveaways....it was about memories.  So, with that said...

We kicked off our summer just a week or so before school was out by attending the MAAR first annual Charity Golf Tournament for Make-A-Wish.  This was so exciting!  The tournament funded wishes for three kids, but my little one was the guest of honor at the tournament, the only wish kid present to receive his wish publicly.  I posted a snippet about the gifts he received in this post back in May.  It was the coolest party and I want to post a separate entry with all of the details and photos.  I don't want to forget any of the details! 

Two weeks later, we were on our way to Orlando, Florida thanks to MAAR (Memphis Area Association of Realtors) and Make-A-Wish.  Our whole family boarded a plane early one morning (a first for most of us!) and arrived at Give Kids the World Village in time for lunch!  There were tickets for Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens in Tampa, and many other local attractions.  With all of the activities they had planned at the Village, it was too much! 

In a good way. 

My little one's wish was to meet Buzz Lightyear and meet Buzz, he did.    It really was a once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I will be posting more detailed posts about the trip, because I want to remember every last detail.  Not to mention the 1000 photos we took. 

No, I'm not kidding.

Two weeks after that trip, we had planned another family trip to Las Vegas.  This was a cross country driving trip with lots of sight-seeing.  As the time drew near, I came down with a bad cold.  It wasn't super bad, but bad enough that I knew I didn't feel like riding in a packed van for days.  So, I bowed out.  I decided to stay home with my two youngest kids while the others went ahead with the trip. 

And then I got really sick.  That "I can't get out of bed" sick.  Near 104 temperature for 3 days.  Two urgent med visits, an ER trip, breathing treatments, inhalers.  I.mean.sick.  Sick enough that my 10 yr old said he was really getting tired of seeing me in that bed.  I blogged about my hallucinations here.  This illness took over most of my summer.  It took me weeks to recover!  I can't remember ever being so sick.  And so alone.  With two needy little kids.

While I was sick, I watched Hoarders on Netflix.  I needed something to watch that I didn't have to think about.  I watched that show and started noticing little things around my house.  Like the growing pile in the corner of my bedroom, my overstuffed closet and laundry room, the garage...oh the garage....    And I got worried.  I vowed to clean up my act as soon as I could stand up for more than a minute of two. 

And I did it!  Well, I'm working on it. 

Thanks to our tax refund, we made plans to use some of the money for backyard fun.  When the Vegas trip was history, we picked up our new patio table and umbrella set, and our new above ground pool was installed just in time for the 4th of July.  We also built a small deck by the pool.  It was money well-spent.  We have had so much fun playing in the pool this summer.  The younger two boys took swimming lessons and now had their very own pool for practice.  Turns out the whole family loves the water, but I think my little one loves it best.   Seriously....we swam nearly every single day of July and August. 

Putting a halt to swim time a couple of weeks ago was a real drag.  We can't wait for next May!  Next year we hope to add to the deck we built, cover the patio, and plant some flowers and shrubs back there.  I'd also like to have a comfy outdoor sofa.  And the little boys would like a play fort.  We'll see.  In the meantime, it's time to break out the firepit and roast some marshmallows! 

School started here the first week of August.  That seems so early to me, but it has been that way for years.  My boys are finishing up their first 9 weeks grading period already! 

We really did have a summer filled with fun.  The sickness wasn't fun, but we still managed to work around it.  I'm so thankful for family activities and fun-filled summer days. 

Now I'm looking forward to the splendor of Fall. 

Happy Fall, y'all!








Sunday, September 25, 2011

Theo DVD Giveaway Winner.....












It would have been better if there had been a little competition, don't ya think?  Oh, well.  A winner is a winner, though, and I know that Stef and her boys are gonna love Theo!

Thanks to The Propeller Group for supplying the DVDs for this giveaway.






Thursday, September 22, 2011

Focus on Autism--From Denial to Devastation to Discovery (Part 2)


 (Click HERE to read Part 1--Denial)



Autism Awareness images
Part 2--Devastation 

dev·as·tate verb \ˈde-və-ˌstāt\

1: to bring to ruin or desolation by violent action 
2: to reduce to chaos, disorder, or helplessness : overwhelm


Shortly after we began the evaluation process through our state's Early Intervention program, I remember a sweet angel of a face tilted upwards, earnestly telling me something important in that sweet jibber jabber I knew so well.  I remember wishing I had a clue-any clue-that would help me unravel the string of thoughts he was trying so hard to put forth.  A relative watched and asked if I thought he would ever talk.

The question shocked me. 

Not talk? 

That had never crossed my mind.

"Of course he will," I said confidently.  All false bravado on the outside, but inside, from my brain to my heart to my very soul, the wall I had so carefully constructed between my sanity and the word AUTISM came tumbling down.   The rocks and bricks etched with denial fell and fell, leaving me bruised and battered. 


And in shock.

My self-created world of safety was obliterated.  I kicked and screamed and fought it like a wild ninja on the inside.  On the outside...I watched his every move.  And I knew.

And I was devastated.

How?

Why?  Why such a heavy burden?  First his heart and now, this.  For nearly three years I had lived thinking his heart would keep him from living a normal* life.  I was so wrong. 

Then came the devastated anger.  You know...that anger that makes you throw things. 

Yeah.  That anger.

I spent the following weeks and months wallowing in devastation.  And truthfully, there are moments now when it washes over me like waves crashing against the beach at high tide, covering all of the beauty that shows in the daylight.  It leaves me gasping, struggling to breathe. 

But only for a moment at a time, and for that I am truly grateful.

We didn't hear the official Autism diagnosis until three months after our initial appointment with Early Intervention.  Once the diagnosis was confirmed, we were able to move from devastation to discovery.   I learned so much in such a short time.  Enough to push for Autism assessments for another son, and to once again hear an Autism diagnosis.  And enough to know how to move from devastation to discovery all over again.



*normal--whatever that is!












Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--25 Years!




September 20, 1986




























Gosh, I just can't believe it has been 25 years! 

Time flies.

Seriously.






Sunday, September 18, 2011

As Promised....Theo DVD Review and DOUBLE Giveaway!








This is Theo....


Check out the quality of this animated Biblical DVD/teaching tool.  It's really good!  The creator, Michael Joens, has worked on many big name projects in the past, including 'The Adventures of Odyssey'.   Oh, and 'My Little Pony'! (I had to mention that one. You can read all about Michael Joens here.)

Having created the Theo character back in 1978, he had to wait more than 30 years for everything to fall into place before he could bring Theo to life.   And now he and Whitestone Media bring you "Theo Presents", a series of animated videos dedicated to teaching young children all about God's Word.

I was given a copy of episode one:  'Saving Faith', along with a bonus... 'Good News'.  Included in the DVD pack was a special teabag....what a nice surprise!  You can see a clip of 'Saving Faith' here and you can also download 'Good News' free!  Check out the quality---you will enjoy introducing your children to Theo and his friends.

I sat with my youngest son and watched the DVD a couple of times.  He is definitely an animation lover.  The animated characters grabbed his attention immediately.  I'm sure we will be watching Theo together many times.
If you know what I mean...  And you probably do if you have kids who watch animated shows.  Over and over and over....

The quality is amazing, the concept is admirable, and the message is spot on.  Two thumbs up for Theo!

And here's something else that I thought was really awesome....   

The Buy 1 - Give 1 campaign!
For every Theo DVD purchased, Whitestone Media and Child Evangelism Fellowship® will send a child in need their very own copy of Theo. You can log onto TheoPresents.com after making your own purchase, and select the region of the world you'd like another copy of Theo to be sent.
Plus....wouldn't  Theo be great for Sunday School?   Lifeway seems to agree...check out the Theo Sunday School curriculum here.

Theo just came out last week.  In conjunction with the new release, (and thanks to the Propeller Group) I have not one, but TWO copies of 'Saving Faith'/'Good News' to giveaway!

Entry is easy peasy....just leave a comment on this post. 

For bonus entries:

-Follow this blog on GFC-leave comment here.
-Visit Theo's Facebook page and 'like' it-leave comment here.
-Comment on Theo's Facebook page that I sent you-leave comment here, too.
-Tweet this contest and include @LisalynSchaffer and a link to this post-leave comment here.

The Rules:

Must be 18 years old or older.
US residents, only.
Don't forget to comment separately for each entry.
2 winners will be chosen via Random.org.
Winners must respond within 48 hours or new winners will be chosen.

This giveaway begins NOW and ends at 11:59pm on Saturday, September 24, 2011.
Winner will be announced Sunday, September 25, 2011.


GoOd LuCk!!   And spread the word!






Disclosure of Material Connection: 
I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for 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."



Friday, September 16, 2011

MIA...aka Friday Ramblings



So. 

You're still here.

Hard to believe since I've been MIA for nearly a month.  Really, I've been MIA all summer.  I never intended to be so 'blog shallow'.  It just worked out that way. 

Just so you know...   I do have a few things in the works.

Like,  a couple of book reviews, a DVD review and double giveaway (coming this weekend!), a cool math game review and giveaway, a few posts on Autism (that have been in the works for months), a summer descriptive, and of course, a full detailed diary of my son's Make-A-Wish trip to Orlando back in June.  Speaking of Make-A-Wish, I've been asked to be a MAW e-ambassador, so look forward to some cool wish stories in the future.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you believe that two of our 3 computers bit the dust in the past few days?  It's true!  

When you have 3 boys fighting over the one that's left and it belongs to YOU, well, what do you do?  You hand it over so your boys can do schoolwork, play Minecraft, add to itunes, post on Facebook....you know, the important stuff! 

Which leaves me with very little time to play work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I do have an excuse for the past couple of weeks. 

Oh, and before that I was busy decluttering. 

You see, I was sick most of the early summer.  I sat around watching Netflix and staring at this growing pile of stuff in my bedroom.  I vowed that I would tackle it and every other pile in the house as soon as I was well again.

I'm proud to say that I did just that.  I still have 2 closets and the garage left, but I've made great progress!  Not a chance I'll be picked for an episode of Hoarders, no sir.  Not anymore.   

Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT bad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I lost my camera.  The new one.  Well,  *I* didn't lose it.  I put it on the shelf for safe keeping.  It disappeared. Hence, this photo-less post.  Do you know how hard it is to blog without a camera??  I'm thinking maybe it will reappear when my son cleans his room.  

Like that's gonna happen...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Speaking of said son...he has joined a new band and will be playing his first public gig with this band TONIGHT.  On Beale Street.  Yes, THE Beale Street.  Pretty exciting stuff for a teen guitarist with big dreams.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since it's time for my little one's school bus, I'll wrap up my ramblings for now.

Thanks for hanging around during the drought.

Seriously.



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