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Scrapping Again – MagsGraphics – Halloween Horror

Well I finally got some scrapping done this month.  I had a major external crash.  Things I thought were backed up weren’t .  So I lost almost two years of layouts which was pretty discouraging.  I lost some pictures but most of those were back up so it could have been so much worse.  So now on to this post.

Halloween Horror by MagsGraphics

This time of year there are plenty of cute kits out there for Halloween but what if your kids are older or you have some adult holiday parties you would like to scrap about.  Now you have this great options with Halloween Horror by MagsGraphics. This kit comes with darker more subdued colors and some wonderful creepy and gross elements.  There are also some fun word art cards as well.

I used this kit to create a two payout from Hannah’s involvement in Camp Fire’s Haunted House last year.  (Already working a collection of pictures for this year.)

Every night she worked she played different “characters”. Over the two weeks I captured several different looks. Using a Chrissy W template and the fonts Postino Std. Italic and KFFrangipani Rose regular to create a collage of her different looks.

#magsgraphics #halloween #halloweenhoror


The second page features more of the “back story” of her haunted house work.  I also tried to capture some of the images of all the background work needed to pull off this great yearly event.  I tried to couple some papers with the pictures using the Chrissy W template.  I moved the ghost paper around so that it matched the look from the photo next to it.  The fonts used on this page were Tekton Pro Bold Extended and Segoe UI Bold Italic.

#magsgraphics #halloweenhorror #halloween


So if you are looking for something a bit darker for your Halloween layouts make sure you check out MagsGraphics – Halloween Horror.

#magsgraphics #digitalkit

#FTCdisclaimer #digitalct

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MagsGraphics – Beach Fun – Review

MagsGraphics = Beach Fun

I am reviewing this great kit that would work well for any number of Beach Fun pictures but I found that the colors and many of the elements could also be used in completely different ways as well.

#magsgraphics #beachfun I created a two page layout of my city tour of Singapore.  It was a free tour given by the tourist board from the airport.  It was very interesting to see all the different areas and to learn so much about Singapore.

#magsgraphics #beachfunI used Chrissy W templates.

BeachFun copyFonts used Minon Pro Bold and Gaudy Old Style Bold for page 1 and Litho Pro Black for page 2.

#FTCdisclaimer #digitalct

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Dynamic Literacy – WordBuild – Foundations Level 1 – Review

JazzEdge  Review

The Company

Dynamic Literacy helps your child build their vocabulary in a systematic way.  You learn three roots to these you add three suffixes and now you have added twelve words to your vocabulary bank.  When you learn three suffixes you are up to forty-eight words.  As you can see as you continue to add to your bank of roots, prefixes, and suffixes the words your child can define grows by leaps and bounds.   This is so much more effective than just memorizing a list of words.

Dynamic Literacy has both workbooks and an online learning experience.  You can check out the videos on their website for even more information on the program and how it works.   Their website also includes samples for you to take a peak inside the workbooks.

JazzEdge  Review

WordBuild the Product

We are reviewing the WordBuild Foundations Level 1 – Combo Edition comes with three different items.  It comes with the Teacher Edition, Basics Student Activity Book, and Student Activity Book.

The Teacher Edition comes with all you need to teach the Foundations Level 1 program.  The instructions include how to use the Basics Book along with a day-to-day guide for the Student Activity Book.  It also includes the answer key, tips for teaching the program, and periodic tests.  Each lesson has a copy of the student page where the answers can be found, ideas for teaching, the words to use when giving the assignment, and discussion.  There are also Making Connections for ideas for further study.  Each lesson also includes a list of words for the concept of the week.

The Basics Student Activity Book can be used for as much time as needed to either teach or review basic concepts for building vocabulary such as compound words and leads children gently into learning suffixes and prefixes as a way to build vocabulary.  It is 20-pages long.

Student Activity Book is 184 pages,  Each lesson is designed to be completed over a 5-day period.  You can complete the assessments found in the teacher edition after every six lessons.  Some of the activities students complete include a Square that has the suffix or prefix in the center along with eight roots that help the student make new words and get them thinking about how the parts go together to grow new words.  They also work on Affix Adders which help them explore how to break words apart and put them together.  With the magic square they have the chance to see if they can match up words to their definitions.  It is a self-checking exercise because if they get the right answers the magic square will add up properly.  The word search is a fun way to review and think about words they have explored during the week.  The finally exercise helps build comprehension.

#wordbuilders #foundations #hsreview #vocabularyThoughts On Use At Our House

At our house Hannah spent a couple of days completing the Basics book and then started on the Student Activity Book completing one exercise per day.

There are several advantages to WordBuild Foundations Level 1.  I love the idea that introduces words in their parts and helps children to see how to build them.  Every week the child can add many new words to their vocabulary.  Hannah really appreciates that the activities don’t take up a lot of time.  Also, I like how easy it is to teach each days activity and because it doesn’t take up too much time Hannah is willing to complete it each day without feeling overwhelmed.

JazzEdge  Review


WordBuild Foundations Level 1 – Combo Edition sales for $82.99.

More Reviews from the Crew

Dynamic Literacy has several different products so click the graphic below to check out other reviews from the review crew.

Dynamic Literacy Review
#disclaimer #reviewcrew

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Between and Rock and A Hard Place – Being Transparent

2015-05-20 20.06.46Being Transparent – My Inner Struggles

It has seemed that this year has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and right now it seems that I am seeing the dips or maybe it’s the heart stopping fearing of the next drop to come instead of just enjoying the ride right now.  It has seem to be one thing after another and I finding it hard to catch my breath or find my center.

  • Started the year facing sinus surgery which was an epic battle with insurance to get it all approved in a timely matter due to upcoming travel.  But in the end it worked out and the surgery went better than expected and the recovery was complete.  And that should have been the end.  A very happy ending to a 2 year health battle.  But it wasn’t because once that was cleared up it was discovered I was still having a few of the symptoms we all assumed were related to the sinus problem.  I was still getting a funny taste in my mouth, I have an ongoing scratching throat, and a swollen gland.  It is now believed to be an issue with salivary gland most likely a stone.  So I now begin a new journey of insurance approvals and a CT scan to determine what is next.
  • Hayden finally got a job and I was doing the mom happy dance only to have him be laid off two weeks later because of equipment failure on their part.  My mom heart just breaks because it seems that this kid never catches a break.
  • I had a wonderful time meeting my brand new granddaughter Lillian and that was a joy but also bittersweet because I know that she will often live far away from me.
  • I have been working more hours and have been having trouble motivating the younger two to be consistent with the school.  Thought I found something that would work but it turned out to be a bust.
  • I was so excited to be asked to remain a member of the Review Crew for 2015 and looked forward to the unique perspective of a working homeschool mom.  I felt privileged about being that voice.  I felt horrible to have to tender my resignation and will have more review to post before I am finished.
  • Mommy guilt.  I love my job but feel guilty that I’m not home.  I feel guilty that I spent money on school material that are being wasted.  I feel guilty that I wasn’t as active as I felt I should be as review crew member.  I feel guilty for having to take so much time off for surgery and my trip.

rockhardplace copyLooking for the Positives

There was a day a couple of weeks ago that I was ready to find a dark corner and just hide.  But after a good cry in the bathroom for about 30 minutes I realized that life must continue to march forward and that for now it is a struggle to look past the lows I must fake til I make it and try to reflect on the positives as well.

  • I have a great group of online friends who have listened to me vent a lot this year and have been there with prayers and encouragement.  I have felt every bit of that.  And while I don’t always respond with a comment know that I take all of you to God in prayer as well.  Often during prayer time a name will pop in my head and I will pray for that one even if I don’t know why.
  • Lillian is coming to visit here in August and bring her mom and dad with her.  Caleb was able to get some leave so I will actually have the whole family here.
  • I am able to know recognize when I am pulling back and closing up.  And while I can’t always stop it and I can be honest with my family and usually not get so far off track like I used to.
  • I am continue to declutter in small daily doses.  Progress is slow but forward moving.
  • Because I will be working 40 hours a week this summer I can afford to send the kids to the Camp Fire activities they were both most interested in.  Two week trips for each of them. One shared trip and one trip without their sibling plus Hannah will be doing several day and half day service projects.
  • While Hannah is not at Camp Fire we will be trying something new to see if I can reignite her love of learning.  She is really interested in the idea of monthly crate boxes and while she would like to belong to the Candy Club I have instead signed up for Little Passports USA Edition, Tinker Crate, and Doodle Crate.  (Also, there are referral codes so if you decide you want to try let me know.) The Little Passports is a bit young for her but it looks like fun and was something she saw last year at FPEA and has wanted to try ever since.  I found the other two on a blog post and they look really interesting.  I found a few others that I liked but especially Groovy Lab in a Box and Bits Box but felt like I got my variety for my dollars for now with what we have chosen.  I will pay by the month until I see how it works but I’m hopefully this might work for us.  (If you have other suggestions please leave links.) I think the consistency of doing the same thing while it being new and fresh each month might be a great option for Hannah.  Plus of all my children she has really been the one to most enjoyed planned out hands-on activities.  I love the idea that it comes ready to use out of the box.
  • I’m really pleased with how A+ Math Placement is working and will continue to pay for that to help fill in math gaps for both of the kids.
  • While I don’t always take and post pictures daily to Instagram just thinking about the possibility of posting something has made me more aware of the world around me and the blessing in the little things that often get overlooked.
  • I’ve committed to short-term daily Bible readings using some of the Bible Reading Plans on my Olive Tree Apps.
  • I’ve worked out a plan to catch up on my big to be read pile of books by limiting new purchases, by rotating between old and new stuff, and by giving myself permission to set aside a book after a couple of chapters if it just isn’t doing it for me.  I got several free books when I got my first e-reader.  I hate to waste but I give myself permission to delete it from my reader and move on.
  • Hannah has made a new local friend and I’m so excited for her.

Setting Future Goals

So that’s my world right now.  I am looking for the positives and trying not to deal in the negatives.  I pretty focused on just getting through the here and now but I do want to list some future goals to keep moving forward.

  • Exercise – nothing fancy maybe just going back to doing work outs with the Wii and walking.
  • Drink More Water – yeah seems simple but I can’t seem to keep it consistent
  • Don’t dropping the ball on things that are working.
  • Helping Joshua decide what the next best step is for him.
  • Continue to blog even without the obligation of review crew.
  • Scrapbook more.  I see how much my children love looking at those memories.  I need to just keep at it.  Starting with new stuff and working on old stuff.  A little at a time but keep at it.

Join the Discussion

Feel free to comment.  If you have other learning crate ideas, especially if you have either tried them out or know a place to get better prices please let me know.

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