Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our 30th Wedding Anniversary in Branson!

Hey neighbors!

We made it!  And today is actually our anniversary!  I just have to tell you a little about our trip.  We left at 5:30 Saturday morning.  We did a quick Hardees drive thru for breakfast and continued on our way.  Now, I want you to know that I LOVE to stop at yard sales and often can't.  So, on the way to Branson, my husband and I stopped at some yard sales.  Not alot, but we managed to fit a few in!  And yes, we did buy a couple of thing!

We had lunch in Springfield at Longhorn.  I will be doing a separate post on this, but I will let you know, they are one of my favorite restaurants.  Our server was great!  I also gave my husband a special gift there, but, that is another post.  Are you getting curious yet?  You will have to stop in again!

We arrived at the hotel around 5:00 pm.  After checking in, we decided to relax a little bit and we had our leftovers from lunch for dinner.  Still the best!

Sunday we decided to attend a church nearby and we were able to hear Tim Lee a Vietnam Vet give his testimony.  Very interesting.  And much to my son's dismay (he wasn't here), the church was cleaning out their library to make room for new books, so they had a book sale.  We purchased 5 boxes of very good books for .25 each or 10 for $1.  Not a bad deal!

Lunch again was Longhorn in Springfield.  As I stated above you will find out more in a separate post. After lunch we visited some Antique Malls.  I love to wander through these, looking for unique items and realizing that toys that I once played with are now considered antiques!  We had a great time and returned to the hotel to relax the rest of the evening, after a quick stop at Coldstone.

Monday morning we went Branson Cafe for breakfast and then on to Butterfly Palace, yet again you will read more in another post.  We visited Charley's Grilled Subs for lunch.  Ohhh this was good.  A Philly Cheesesteak!  We wandered the old downtown stores a bit and then went back to the room for a break before dinner at Dixie Stampede!

Now it is Tuesday.  Today we had a quick breakfast and then drove to Silver Dollar City.  Any of my neighbors been there?  You need to visit sometime.  For lunch we went to Cracker Barrel.  That pretty much brings everyone up to date.  Now, be sure and keep an eye out for these other posts. They will be going up soon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Coldstone in Branson MO

Hey neighbors!

My posts for this are definitely not going to be in order.  We are having a GREAT time here in Branson for our 30th wedding anniversary, AND I found out that Branson is celebrating 100 years!  Anyway, I have loads of information to share with you!  We arrived here Saturday evening and have done a little exploring, some relaxing, and definitely some eating!  One of the places I want to share with you is the Coldstone in Branson.  It is only a short distance from our hotel, so we purchased our favorites and brought them back to our room to eat.

Now, first off, I have to admit, I broke my diet for this.  I mean Chocolate ice cream with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is just about tops!  My children LOVE Coldstone also, but they missed out this trip!  My husband chose the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Signature Creation!  Oh.. they were soooo good.  The employees in this store were both pleasant and efficient.  The young man who made mine even entertains a bit by tossing the creation in the air and catching it in the cup.  Occasionally behind his back.  I was impressed.  He did this with several while we were there and didn't drop one!

Now, I am sure that most of my readers know about Coldstone, but just in case, here is a little information.  When you enter the Coldstone Creamery, be sure to look around, they always have signs, showing and describing their Signature Collection.  If you don't see what you want, you can create your own.  After deciding the flavor of ice cream or Sorbet that you would like, then you have to decide what you want to add in.  Cookies?  Peanut Butter?  Cherries?  Strawberries?  Fudge? Brownies?  There are so many options to choose from.  Not only is that a difficult decision, but then you have to decide what size you want!  Like It, perfect for me!  Love It a nice medium size!  Or Gotta Have It!  This one is so you can have leftovers later!  Just kidding, it is possible to eat the whole thing, or maybe share with someone.  You can watch them prepare the ice cream right in front of you.  They scoop the ice cream onto a cold stone, hence the name, and then add your ingredients, and blend them into the ice cream. Now, ice cream is not all they have to offer.  They do have ice cream cakes, Smoothies, Shakes, Cupcakes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

A little about Coldstone Creamery:
Through almost 20 years of serving up the finest ice cream, cakes, smoothies and shakes, some things have certainly changed. And frankly, some things haven’t. Ever since we opened our first store back in 1988, we’ve been serving up what we refer to asCreations. In other words, if you want it in your ice cream – you get it. By mixing nuts, fruits and candy into our smooth and creamy ice cream on a frozen granite stone (around here, we call it “the stone”) we're actually more like ice cream artists. Over the years, we’ve stumbled on a few concoctions of our own that we call our Cold Stone Signature Creations. Ice cream for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch, and a sensible cake for dinner? – Who says you can’t eat this amazing ice cream for all three meals?

Now, I will tell you, I highly recommend the Coldstone Creamery in Branson MO.  And one neighbor is going to receive a $20 Gift Card to Coldstone.  No, you don't have to use it in Branson, but you could!

Be sure to check out their Retro Classics for $4.99.  Classic Turtle Sundae, Classic Banana Royale, Classic Root Beer Float, and Classic Hot Fudge Sundae.

Disclaimer:I received no monetary compensation for this review.  I did receive a Gift Card for Coldstone for review purposes.  All quotes in red are from the Coldstone website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Zane Education

Hey Neighbors!

Here is a really good site for homeschoolers!  It is the Zane Education website.  We have a subscription to the site and it has LOADS of material on there for you to use.  My daughter, who loves history, has enjoyed watching several of the history videos on there.  We will be incorporating more into the school year.

As everyone knows, my youngest daughter LOVES history!  So, not only is this great for school, but she has been watching some videos on her own.  And enjoying it!  I am sure she is going to benefit from Zane Education.

DO you have a visual learner?  I have one and this is perfect!  Please check out their page on Visual Learning, here.  After viewing the videos, there are quizzes for your child to take based on what they have learned.  Zane covers just about every subject you can think of, with 260 curriculum topics.
Library Skills
Religious Studies
Social Sciences

Then there are 23,000 curriculum based questions used throughout the quizzes.  You can use all the quizzes with a free Basic Membership, but honestly the videos are a big benefit, and well worth the investment required for a full membership.  Zane can be used by homeschoolers, students with special needs, or to help your child strengthen their knowledge in a subject.

For the Christian Homeschoolers, I suggest you view some of the videos ahead of time as Zane does include evolution.  Which we personally disagree with.  Most of my children are old enough to catch things like that and bring it to my attention.  The videos themselves are pretty basic, but do include the monologue under the video, so children can read along.  This can help a student who is not advanced in reading. If you are looking for something exciting and flashy, Zane is not for you.  I did have a hard time enlarging the video.  Apparently they can only be watched in the one size.

For just $8.99 a month you can add Zane Education to your curriculum lineup.  Be sure to visit their site to learn about the different pricing options. Use is as the framework for your classes, or use it as fill-in.  No matter how you use Zane Education, it will fit in to most homeschools.  As I stated earlier, I will be using Zane more this year with my other children too!

Be sure and check out what other Crew Members are saying by clicking on the banner below.


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

AstroBrights is Perfect for School Crafts!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Hello Neighbors!

How are all my Neighbors?  It has been really nice here these past few days.  It has been pretty cool outside, and is supposed to stay that way for a few days.  Have any of you heard of AstroBrights papers?  I hadn't before, but this has all changed now!  AstroBrights comes in 23 different bright colors to make sure your ideas get attention.  They are the perfect paper for home, school, and office projects.  That is what makes AstroBrights so unique and different.  You can use for them for brochures, flyers, invitations, etc.  We would probably use these a lot on our Craft Nights.  Perfect for Scrapbooking, and making homemade cards.  Great family time!

Make sure you enter the "Give a Brighter Year" Sweepstakes.  You can win school supplies (valued at $30,000) for the school of your choice and a cash prize!  This would be a GREAT way to get school suppies for your favorite school.  Go enter now!

They are also running a family friendly activity, "Make Something AstroBright".  It challenges your creativity and you get a chance to win AstroBrights Paper and other prizes.  Fun for the whole family!  Turn a Family Night into Craft Night as a Family Project.  Share your craft projects with pictures and videos.  If you share anything on Twitter or Pinterest make sure to use the hashtag : #goastrobrights.  

Make sure you go check out the sweepstakes.  Even if you don't win, you still spend all that time together, as a family!  Leave a comment and let us know if you enter.


Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life And Life Insurance

How many of you have life insurance? How many of you would like to have life insurance but don't think you can afford it? Well, if you already have it but might want to change over to a cheaper policy rate, this company might be for you. Or, if you don't have any and have been searching for the best rate there is, you might want to check it out too:)

Term Life Insurance Rate Company does almost all your work for you. This company works to give you the best rate and they do all the searching through several insurance companies to make sure you get exactly what you need. There is a form you fill out where you can get an instant life insurance quote so you have an idea of what you are looking at. The form isn't that hard to fill out and then viola! Your part of the hard work is done. Sure you have to arrange payment but otherwise, they do the work of finding the right insurance policy for you and your family.

So, if you are looking for a good insurance policy rate, check this site out. You never know when you might need it and it is always best to be prepared.

Brought to you by Term Life Insurance Rate Company and Blogsvertise. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lovable Labels Back to School!

Hey neighbors!

Is anyone thinking back to school plans yet?  Are you buying supplies, curriculum, or clothing?  How about a great way to label your child's belongings.  Lovable Labels has all your labeling needs under control.  They carry labels for books, lunch boxes, clothing, even shoes!  And they have many designs and styles to choose from.  We received their Back to School Pack!  It is filled with over 165 labels!

My daughter is going to be labeling everything!  I know she will be using some to label her books!  She loves to read and has a huge collection of books.  And of course she will be labeling her favorite clothing.  She also received 2 cute bag tags, so she can "label" her backpack.

Since we are doing a major overhaul of their bookshelves, we will be labeling some books with these stickers.  We are also going through clothes, toys, and shoes.  One big bag already to get rid of and 2 large bins of books.  Yeah!

Lovable Labels are durable and hold up well.  We have used them previously and my daughter LOVED them!  Personally, I think labels are great especially since I have 6 children that each came in pairs.  2 girls 2 years apart, then 6 years later 2 boys 2 years apart, and the 2 years later, 2 more girls 3 years apart.  So of course we had multiple duplicate toys, matching outfits, and of course shoes close to the same size.  These would have been perfect then!

Lovable Labels Back to School Packs are $44.95 each.  This includes:
15 Regular Sticker Labels
80 Slimline Sticker Labels
48 Press n' Stick Clothing Dots
12 Shoe Labels
2 Mini-Metal Tags (Chains included.)
12 Square Labels

With Lovable Labels you can also host online parties, have a fundraiser, or even become an agent.  You can find all the information about these programs on their website.  And be sure to connect with them through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Take a minute and tell them you heard about them At the Fence.  If you order from them share a photo on Pinterest of your child using some of the Lovable Labels.

Lovable Labels are microwave and dishwasher safe, waterproof and UV resistant.  The Clothing Dots are washer, dryer, and bleach safe.  And the Clothing Dots just peel and stick on.  And the Shoe Labels are made with a special perma-grip backing and are supplied with a clear protective cover to ensure durability.  Shaped to fit inside the heel.

Lovable Labels does Allergy Alert Labels and Medical and Vital ID Wristbands.  You can order all their products online and have them delivered to your home!  Start getting ready for school early!  And to help you out, here is a special code from Lovable Labels for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more: BTS201238. This coupon is valid until September 30th, and offers $5 off any purchase of $25 or more.

One neighbor will receive a Back to School Pack.  Be sure to enter!

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this review.  I did receive a Back to School Pack from Lovable Labels.  All quotes in red are taken from the Lovable Labels website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mastering Essential Math Skills

Hi Neighbors!

How are you all doing this week?  My son has been working on our latest curriculum up for review, Math Essentials.  The actual books we received are, Mastering Essential Math Skills, Book 2 ($33.95) along with the Problem Solving.  He did it more as a refresher course over the summer.  The Mastering Essential Math Skills is not just another math book, it is a system of learning.  Each day has five key parts.  Step one is the Review Exercises.  After they have spent enough time on reviewing, they move on to the Speed Drills.  Next is the Helpful Hints, where the student receives a tip or hint on how to solve the problems.  After reading the hint, the student moves on to the new material for the day.  This is followed up with one word problem.  To complete a daily section should take approx. 20 minutes.

The Mastering Essential math Skills Book Two is designed for Middle Grades and High School.  the Problem Solving workbook covers Graphs, Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, and Percents.  The larger book, Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2, covers: Whole Numbers, Fractions Decimals, Percent, Geometry, Integers, Charts and Graphs, and Word Problems.  also included is a Mastering Essentials math Skills DVD.

With the included DVD, your student who is motivated would be able to work through this book by themselves.  Now, having six children, 3 of whom have already graduated, I am aware that some students can do this, while others need that extra push.  And obviously you need to be available should they get stuck. The program is designed to prepare children for Algebra.  It is a one year course, although some will be able to complete it in less time.

This is a worthwhile program to prepare your student/s for Algebra.  I am having mine write answers in a separate notebook so I can use this for younger siblings.  So be sure to visit their website.

Then take a minute to click the banner below to see what other crew members are saying!


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mouth Man

Hello Neighbors!

How is everyone?  I have another fantastic product to share with my neighbors.  MOUTH MAN!  Mouth Man is the Original in Animated Apparel!  we chose the bear!  Remember, bears are my mom's favorites! You could have quite a bit of fun if several people had one!

Here is how Mouth Man got started... "The Concept......  One day, on a short break from touring, Ross was visiting friends in Arizona, sipping coffee and "just hanging out" ... as his friend's kids were tearing around the house doing something they referred to as the "JAWS"... According to Ross, the kids were running through the house in a single line..arms crossed one over the other , elbows splayed out in front, and opening and closing in a chopping fashion... and making monster noises.  He thought it was cute, and didnt think much else of it..... until another day...  some 20 years later, when that very memory just arbitrarily "popped" into his head... Ross "hugged himself" in the same fashion those kids did years ago, and thought..."hmmmm, it would be cool if there was a shirt with a graphic on the sleeves that would form a face with a mouth that would open and close when you put your arms together!"  That was the lightbulb moment for Ross Valory! 

These are really fun!   The way they look when you cross your arms is so interesting, and they would make a great gift.  Anybody would love to have a Mouth Man shirt.  Children and adults alike!  The children hoodies ($29.99) are available with a Raptor, T-Rex, Shark, Frog, Cobra, Gator, Tiger, Orca Whale, XOXO Heart, Skeleton, Dragon, Dolphin, Sock Monkey, Bear, Triceratops, and Lady Bug.  The Adult hoodies ($39.99) have a few less choices. Be sure to visit their website and see for yourself!  Not sure which one to choose?  Give a gift certificate to Mouth Man.

Seriously, take a look at the Mouth Man shirt.  My little sister put the shirt on and even though it was big on her she thought it was alot of fun!  Even the back of the shirt looks nice.  We used my brother for the actual pictures!

Mouth Man gave me a coupon code for my Neighbors to use!  It is 20% off the entire order, and is valid until 8/15.  The code is : "fun01"

One Neighbor will receive one Mouth Man hoodie in their choice of style/design and size!

30th Wedding Anniversary!

Hey Neighbors!

I want to update you a little early.  Starting Saturday the 28th, I will be gone for a few days for our 30th Wedding Anniversary.  My husband and I are going to Branson, MO.  But don't worry I didn't forget about you!  My daughter will fill in a little bit, and of course I will post a few updates!  there will even be a couple of Branson related giveaways!  So keep an eye out.

After we return, I will be posting about our new deck out back and our porch out front!  I think you will enjoy this one!

Please continue stopping in, even though I am gone.  Thank you for all your support!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hear Builder by Super Duper Publications

Hello Neighbors!

My daughter has soooo enjoyed this one from Super Duper Publications!  It is called Hear Builder Auditory Memory.  This is a program on a CD that has 5 activities that will help children with their auditory memory, closure, and comprehension skills.  In the program your child becomes a Recall Agent and help save Memory Town from the wacky plans of Dr. Forgetsit.

Here are the 5 essential listening activities in HearBuilder Auditory Memory:
Memory for Numbers (3-7 digits)
Memory for Words (3-5 words)
Memory for Details (1-4 details)
Auditory Closure (sentence completion)
Memory for WH information (2-3 sentences/2-4 questions)

You might be wondering, what is WH information, I did at first.  It is Who, What, When and Where.

With this program you can monitor the progress of 4 children.  I also like that there are different levels of difficulty.  You can choose Play All, Beginner, Intermediate, advanced, or Expert.  Along with the ability to print progress reports, you can also add background noise to give children practice listening in noise.

This program is one I will be using quite a bit this year.  My daughter is actually asking to play this one!  The program is recommended for grades K-8th, so you can use this at different levels with different children.

You can purchase this CD on the Super Duper Publications website for $69.95.  Now through August 31st if you use the code BLGAM30, you will receive a 30%  discount.

Be sure to click on the banner below to learn more about HearBuilder Auditory Memory.  And to read about some other Super Duper Products.


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Beat the Heat of Summer with Carmex!

Hey neighbors!

Carmex sent me this really neat Beach Bag along with six of their Carmex Sticks with SPF 15.  One of which is their new Pomegranate flavor.  Just what I needed to beat chapped lips this summer.  I don't know how you are, but I have a tendency to wait until my lips are chapped before I think of applying any protection.  And to think I grew up in Florida!

Anyway, I received this brilliant, yellow beach bag with a small zippered change purse with one each of Original, Cherry, Strawberry, Vanilla, Lime Twist and Pomegranate.  Each of the Carmex sticks are made with an ultra-moisturizing formula and SPF 15 Water Resistant Sunscreen.  I love it!  I think I will take the tote with me on our next trip!  And of course I will carry the Carmex sticks in my purse.

I LOVE the Carmex sticks.  Not only do they come in great flavors, they work!  I can tell the difference when I am wearing Carmex.  My favorite has always been Cherry, but there are none that I dislike.  The Pomegranate is GREAT!  Which is your favorite?

Be sure before you head out this summer that you have stocked up with Carmex sticks.  Have a couple in your purse and toss one or two in the glovebox.  You definitely need them if you are heading out in the sun for the day!  Use it BEFORE you need it!  Protect your lips rather than trying to repair them.

One neighbor will receive a Carmex kit just like mine!  Be sure to enter!  And check out their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive a Carmex kit for review purposes.  All quotes in red are taken from the Carmex website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Southern Belle Costume!

Hey neighbors!

My daughter loves nothing better than playing dress-up.  Some days she changes in and out of costumes almost all day long.  And of course each costume requires different accessories and even accents!  I was really excited when BuyCostumes.com.  She loves having tea parties and wearing very frilly, lacy costumes.  Anyway when I saw the Blossom Southern Belle Dress I knew she would be overjoyed!  Not to mention it is in her favorite colors!

Opening the package.
Getting ready!

She has had so much fun since this came in.  I didn't even let her know about it until it arrived.  This is the Blossom Southern Belle Adult Costume ($59.99) from BuyCostumes.com.  Now she just needs the gloves and matching parasol.  She spent the day flitting around the patio!

Included with the costume:
The Southern Belle Adult Costume includes a darlin’ violet dress featuring a light pink underskirt, matching corset belt and a large hat featuring ruffle trim and sheer ribbon wrap.



I am going to keep my eye out on their site.  They have many other costumes I know my daughter would love to use for dress-up.  Not to mention that we occasionally do a family play.  Last one was in an old west setting!  Gunfight and all!  Do any of my neighbors do anything like this?  Or do you have a child that likes to dress-up?  If so, stop by the BuyCostumes.com website and see what they have!


BuyCostumes.com carries adult, children, teen, and even pet costumes.  Yes, there are some we personally would not use, so use discretion when looking around.  You are sure to find a costume you like.  You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.  If you visit their site and find a costume you like, leave a comment and let me know.

Twirling a bit!

What do you think?

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive a costume for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are mine.