Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thrift Schooling Grand Opening GIVEAWAY

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Reading Horizons At Home

Welcome to Thrift Schooling's 
Grand Opening Giveaway!! 

One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is watching my 

kids learn how to read. The first time they read a sentence, 

on their own, is priceless. I love these beginning years, 

teaching and training the basics to help build a strong 

foundation so they eventually  will become strong readers. 

My husband and I both love to read, books flood our living 

room, dining room and, well, the whole house. Even with 

resources galore on the Internet, as far as reading goes, 

there is nothing more satisfying than a good old-fashioned 

book! As parents, our hope is to grow our children into life 

long learners and in order to do that they need to obtain 

the basic, every day skills involved with reading.

Since my children are raised in a home with tons of books at 

their fingertips, with a typical homeschool mom that comes 

home with literally a crate full of books from the local 

library weekly, you'd think osmosis would set in and they 

would automatically know how to read. Well, in a sense, 

yes, they are exposed to reading and books which has 

helped them tremendously but there is one key element 

missing. The WHYS. That's right, the WHYS of reading. The 

rules, the pronunciation and basic phonics. 

I've noticed with  my five year old, who is turning into an 

excellent reader, that because of his extensive vocabulary 

and understanding of the world around him he, can figure 

out most simple words in an easy reader. These books 

usually have pictures to help figure out the words, are 

rhyming and include the basic sight words used in reading. 

This type of reading is important and has its place but what 

is important for a beginning reader to understand is why a 

word sounds the way it does. Of course, there will always 

be exceptions to the rules, which can be frustrating for a 

young learner but learning the basic rules of phonics can 

help a reader become more fluent in their learning.

Currently this year, I am using a supplemental reading 

program to help not only my five year old, but my four year 

old as well learn to read! I was excited to receive the 

Reading Horizons Homeschool Intensive Phonics Teacher's 

Kit to use this year in our homeschool, courtesy of Reading 

Horizons at Home!

Reading Horizons uses a research-based approach created 

by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham known as the Orton-

Gillingham Approach which is a proven way of learning how 

to read.

 6 Key Features to this Approach
  • Language-Based: Helps to understand the nature of human language
  • Multi Sensory: Action-oriented teaching methods
  • Structured, Sequential, Cumulative The elements of the language are taught systematically. Students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. Then they blend the sounds into syllables and words. 
  • Cognitive Readers study the many generalizations and rules that govern its structure in reading.
  • Flexible: Is able to meet an individual students needs.
  • Emotionally Sound: Students gain skills in each lesson bringing them a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

When you order the Homeschool Intensive Phonics Teacher's Kit you will receive the following in a nice durable black tote holding your entire coursework of materials (pictured below). 

Kit Includes a Five Unit Reading Program 
You can currently

You'll receive:
1) Discover Intense Phonics For Yourself: Teacher's Manual Elementary Education Vol.1 (408 pages)
~ A Foundation For Grades Kindergarten through Third: Lessons 1-30
~ Includes a Step-By Step System
~ Teaches 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, 5 Phonetic Skills and Two-Step Decoding of Multi-Syllabic Words

2) Discover Intense Phonics For Yourself: Teacher's Manual Elementary Education Vol.2 (820 pages)

~ A Foundation For Grades Kindergarten through Third: Lessons 31-83
~ Includes a Step-By Step System
~ Teaches 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, 5 Phonetic Skills and Two-Step Decoding of Multi-Syllabic Words

EXTRAS include 

~ CD Rom with printable worksheets, games, activities and spelling lists

~ Little Books Readers

~ Sound Essentials Workbook for First Grade and Up (hard copy version of the CD Rom)

~ 14 Posters

~ Reverse Learning Cards

I love using the hands on approach these materials have to offer.  Although, I do know many homeschooling families are utilizing the computer as much as possible. Reading Horizon's Computer Software teaches the same skills and would be a wonderful tool for a parent of several homeschooled children to have the online version of the program to use for an emergent reader needing to learn these basic skills. 

View a sample lesson here                                                      Purchase Software for $199 here

This curriculum encourages many multi-sensory activities including "board" time. Each lesson encourages you to have each student standing at a board while you dictate to them. This keeps them active and involved. You can use this program for multi level grades at the same time between grades Kindergarten through third grade. This works great in my case since I am currently teaching my two boys, one is in first and the other is in kindergarten.

My First Grader. I say the letter blend twice, he repeats it once and then writes it while standing at a white board.

My kindergartner. I say the letter twice, he repeats it once and then writes it.
My kindergartner learning his basic letters and sounds.

Helps my first grader with handwriting practice.

Reading Horizons also provides Webinars that you can join live or watch later. Past Webinars include,

**Giveaway Time**
One winner will receive the same Homeschool Intensive Phonics teacher's Kit that I reviewed above!
Open to US residents 18 and older only

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Mystery of the Cross by Judith Couchman: Review and Giveaway

I still remember when The Passion hit the theaters. You know, the movie directed by Mel Gibson about Jesus' crucifixion. It sure did cause  controversy in the media but needless to say, it was a powerful depiction of what Jesus endured. 

I was in Bible school at the time and a small group of us were on a team that traveled to different churches. On one of our days off, we went to see the film. I'll never forget walking into the pastor's home after the movie, all somber and sober as if we just returned from a funeral. The looks on our faces were intense and nobody spoke a word. Our leader, who had stayed back with his wife, took one look at us and said, "you do know that Jesus rose from the dead, right?"

At that moment it hit me, the cross is an integral part of the Christian experience, but the story does not end there. The power lies in that fact that even though he endured a terrible punishment as an innocent man, Jesus did indeed rise again that we might bear His name and be a part of His bride, the church, for eternity!

When I began Judith Couchman's book , The Mystery of the Cross, I was curious as to what the focus would be. Would it leave me questioning at the cross, or remind us that Jesus has power over the death, the cross and the grave. Well, I was not disappointed! I was pleasantly surprised how the author could portray such an intense event in history in such a beautiful and life changing way! 

The book is divided into forty chapters. Each chapter focuses on a piece of art or historical reference to the cross throughout Christian history. What I love about the layout of the book is it could easily be used as a reference book for a Christian school or college. The chapters each have their own focus and would be a great resource book. Each chapter is short, concise and to the point. She begins with historical information and at the end of each chapter she always sums it up with a message of hope. The cross is a sobering subject to contemplate, but there is  hope, and she reminds you of that at the end of each chapter. 

My favorite chapter was "A Cross for the Darkness" which focused on the oil lamps of biblical times. It brought many Scriptures to life and was an intriguing read. The chapter about the disciples and how many of them died on a cross as well was eye-opening. 

Each chapter included a small piece of artwork in the beginning. The images were small and it would have been nice to have some larger images and maybe a few more, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Books pictured are some examples of her work, not necessarily the books included in the prize 

Enter Rafflecopter Below to Win!!
Prize: One Winner will receive 3 different autographed books from author: Judith Couchman!
 Open to USA and Canada. 
18+ or older to enter." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

** I received a copy of the above book for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, the views expressed above are entirely my own**

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blissful Bump Giveaway Bash


Teen Toddler Newborn is celebrating a pregnancy with a giveaway event! Some of the sponsors include Everly Gray Maternity, Fairhaven Health and L'ovedbaby! They are looking for bloggers to celebrate with them this coming NOVEMBER!

If you are a blogger, you can Co-host the event for FREE by posting all of the giveaways! You will receive two links on the Rafflecopter as well as links in all of the giveaway posts and a FB or twitter follow page host opportunity!


Bloggers can participate for FREE in just 1-3 of the giveaways without committing to all of them in exchange for 2 links on the Rafflecopter form!For all of the details and to sign up click HERE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fully Alive By Ken Davis Review

I had the privilege to hear Christian comedian Ken Davis speak about a year ago. This guy is hilarious. No joke. This guy had a crowd of thousands of women laughing so hard, we were crying. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. Usually when you hear a comedian it can be entertaining but then the perversion or cussing always creeps it way in there, ruining the whole act! Not with Ken Davis. He's clean, funny, and not cheesy like some Christian comedians out there. 

When I received the opportunity to review one of his latest books, Fully Alive, I was excited. Busy with home schooling, housework and such, I certainly was in the mood to dive into an easy, entertaining read!  I wasn't disappointed. The author's writing style is easy to follow and  his stories enticing. One thing that surprised me, was that the book had a more serious overtone. The book follows Davis' personal journey on realizing what it means to become more, "Fully Alive." He definitely puts himself out there and shares his hurts, pains and struggles throughout his journey. I'll give anyone credit for that, for opening up to encourage others to join the path they have taken to a better life. 

Davis shares his weights loss journey primarily and continues on with his spiritual journey to becoming more "Fully Alive." He says over and over in the book that it's not meant to be a weight loss book, but I think since that is what jump started his journey, it almost comes across as one. He definitely brings some different angles on how to be more "Fully Alive," in other areas of your life, but the area of weight loss seems the primary focus. With that said, I would recommend this book for someone looking for encouragement who is planning on starting their own weight loss venture!

 My only concern is that I was surprised that the author mentioned how there are no scriptures in the Bible concerning exercise when  there is at least one. 1 Timothy 4:8 says, 
For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

I received this book for the purpose of the review free from I was not paid and the opinions stated are my own. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mohawk Rug Giveaway

Have you heard of Mohawk Industries yet? Mohawk Industries is one the worlds most largest floor covering manufacturers and distributors and they are the leading producer of yarn, ceramic tile, area rugs and bath mats. Mohawk headquarters is located in Calhoun, Georgia. 

They manufacturer and market woven tufted broadloom carpet, area accent rugs, and mats and a variety of hard surface flooring products. 

Mohawk flooring has 125 years of history for excellence and is a lasting part of the American floor covering industry. Since their inception in 1878, Mohawks products have made them the most recognized carpet brand in history. 

The key to their success is the 25,000 employees that work diligently to produce, distribute, market, sell and support an expansive line of products. The men and women of Mohawk use state-of-the-art equipment to produce yarn that is used to tuft and weave the carpet and rugs and to create ceramic tile. They  apply a cutting-cutting edge logic to transport yarn and finished goods from across the country. They have developed award winning designs, customer-friendly marketing strategies and they also have committed customer support. 

Mohawk sells floor covering and textiles for every room in your home and also for every commercial application. They have hardwood flooring, ceramic tile flooring, stone and marble flooring and they also have an exclusive distribution agreement with Congoleum. Vinyl sheet flooring is among one of the newest Mohawk products offered. What's also great is that Mohawk now offers woven bedspreads, tapestries, sheet flooring, pillows, throws and window blinds. 

You can find Mohawk products in major retailers across the country and the world.  There products can be found in Target, Home Depot, Bloomingdales, Macy's, and many other locations

Check out Elitemama's Blog for the full review!

Enter to win a Mohawk Area Rug worth $99
Winner will get to choose a rug of their choice
Open World Wide
Giveaway ends 9/25
Just enter the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Bloggers Wanted: Reading Horizons Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway

Reading Horizons Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway

Free blogger event. You will receive one link at no cost as a thank you for participating in this event!

Prize: Reading Horizons Curriculum Pack

The event dates:  10/1 - 10/14
Giveaway is open to US only

Requirement to join:

* Announcement post (html found here - ANNOUNCEMENT POST HMTL OR you may elect to pay a $3 fee to not post the announcement)

* Agree to post the giveaway html on October 1st and promote at least 3x a week (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc)

                                                                                                   Payment by Paypal only to toadnose76 at yahoo dot com

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Soft Scrub Review and Giveaway (3 WINNERS)



As a Purex Insider I had the wonderful privilege of reviewing the new up and coming household cleaners from Soft Scrub! I received full sized samples of  Soft Scrub's Total All Purpose cleaner and Soft Scrub's Total Bath and Bowl.

Many of you know, I am a homeschooling mom with little ones to tend to. One of the first questions I ask veteran homeschool moms is, "when do you find time to clean?" I mean really clean. In our house we've pretty much got the "picking up" routine down pat. I'm talking about the actual cleaning that involves some elbow grease. Responses I've heard fall along the lines of the following:

~ Take a day off from your homeschooling routine and just clean 

~ Stay up super late at night

~ Don't worry about deep cleaning at all. Ever.

Yikes. Not a fan of any of these responses. 
There has to be a better way. 

We live on a few acres and are try our best to enjoy the land. Whenever I can get my kids outside, I can. The one thing with that is, they know that they MUST wash their hands when they come in! Which tends to lead to quite the muddy mess, and often! 

Once I used the Soft Scrub Total All Purpose on these sinks, the results were effortless! You can use the "spray" or "foam" option, I personally like the foam. Just spray on the foam, clean with a damp cloth and you are good to go!

 The results made me smile! Tackling the bathroom doesn't seem so intimidating anymore. The Soft Scrub was not only tough on the stains in my sink, it was gentle on it's surface. You can even use it to clean the toilet! That's right, the trigger even sprays upside down to get into those hard to reach places! I loved that I could use just one cleaner to clean my bathroom instead of having to get out a million product to get the job done!
Right now, over at Soft Scrub they are holding a Sweepstakes with $3,000 in prizes! One winner wins $1,000 and 50 others win $40 each! Enter now for your chance to win!!

Want a chance to try out one of their products yourself?
 Enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win 
1 of 3 FREE PRODUCT COUPONS from Soft Scrub!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Soft Scrub provided a free sample of the products mentioned above to Thrift Schooling so I could review them. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ultimate Sack Giveaway

I remember my first beanbag I received at Christmas as a kid. Jean material style.Loved coming home from school and relaxing with a good book in my beanbag chair! I so have been wanting to get some for our homeschool room for the kids to enjoy during independent reading time. If I went with the Ultimate Sack I wouldn't need some, but just one! These things are huge!

You haven't experienced comfort until you've kicked back in an Ultimate Sack giant bean bag chair!

Each Ultimate Sack is filled with high-quality, shredded foam that conforms to your body. They adjust to every curve, giving you the most relaxing spot to settle down in.

Available in 3 different sizes; 4 foot, 5 foot, and 6 foot. Plus, 10 standard suede color covers, 9 fur covers and 6 passion suede colored covers.

To learn more about Ultimate Sack bean bag chairs, check out my recent review.

Want to get your hands on one of these amazing chairs?

Enter to win one below...

This event is hosted by Bella Savvy!

Co-hosted by Dixielands Deals, Stay A Stay At Home Mom, and Schmoozing with Betsy.

Sponsored by Ultimate Sack!

One giant 6 foot bean bag chair with fur cover to one lucky reader in the color of their choice ($389 value).

Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18+ and ends September 19, 2012. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.


A huge "THANK YOU" to all of the lovely bloggers who are helping to promote this awesome giveaway!
~ Disclosure: I received no compensation for this promotion. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. Bella Savvy is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. ~

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Love and Respect Experience by Dr. Emerson Eggrichs

Over the past few years our church has offered different classes for the married couples to take on Wednesday nights. One of the first ones I remember was Fireproof, based on the movie that had come out around that time. The movie and class were refreshing since there aren't many good Christian movies out there.

Then came the Love and Respect class with the Eggerichs. A DVD series talking about Love and Respect among married couples. Next to pastor Wayne Holcolm from The Door Fellowship in Williamsport, PA, this series is one of the best teachings I've heard on marriage in my few years of marriage so far! Dr. Emerson and his wife really hit the nail on the head on this one! After watching these classes you know exactly what they mean when they say things like, "the crazy cycle," "not wrong, just different," and "pink versus blue." These terms are used throughout the book so if you haven't taken the class you may feel a little lost.

The main point of the series is that women have a need to be shown love and when they are, they will in turn show respect. In the same sense, men have a need to be shown respect, and when they are, they will in turn find it easier to love. Sounds easy? Well, no. Which is probably why the rate of divorce is so high in this nation. The battle between the sexes seem to continue to rage but this couple shows us how to stop the craziness in a practical and Biblical way. This series is needed in this nation and offers hope to many in a difficult place. 

The Love and Respect Experience is a devotional based on this series. If you haven't taken the class it may be a tad difficult to understand everything the author is talking about, but not impossible. Much can be gained from these devotions. And the great thing about these devotions is there are only 52, not 365 like most devotionals. It is set up so you and your spouse can read them together or separate and come together to pray and participate in a practical application each week. 

My favorite part of the book was when Dr. Eggerichs says that nowhere in the bible are we commanded to have devos with our spouse! So true! Yes, we need to read and study God's word alone, but we have such a misconception that if we aren't reading with our spouse everyday of our lives we are failing in our marriage. This devotional doesn't put a guilt trip on you for not reading everyday with your spouse but encourages you to strengthen your marriage through prayer and practical application based on Scripture.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Amazon Instant Giveaway">

Welcome to the $200 Instant Bucks Amazon Giveaway!

Thank you for stopping by another fabulous event hosted by,">Jenn's Blah Blah Blog
and">Diva Fabulosa!  This time we bring you the $200 Instant Bucks Amazon Giveaway!

Check out our wonderful co-hosts">Parsimonious Pash
,">SmartySaver,">Colleen's Book Nook,">Mom Always Finds Out
, and Mukhang Pera.
We would also like to thank every blogger that is taking part in this event!   

We couldn't do this without everyone!  Thank you to all our fabulous readers for allowing us to bring you these awesome events!  It's because of you that we do what we do day in and day out!  A HUGE Thank You to our Amazing Readers!

Thrift Schooling is excited to offer this awesome opportunity to our readers! Scroll down to enter via Rafflecopter!

About our Sponsor:

Instant Bucks - If you haven't heard of Instant Bucks, keep reading and we'll fill you in!

Instant Bucks launched in May 2012 in Southern California.  Instant Bucks is a consumer loyalty site that offers amazing rewards for completing research surveys, online shopping and so much more!  They strive to bring you new daily opportunities to earn online rewards and save money.

Instant Bucks is an online community that rewards you for doing things you're already doing online.  Why not get rewarded?  With Instant Bucks you'll earn online rewards for completing tasks such as:

  • Easy Surveys

  • Watching Videos

  • Sampling Products

  • Shopping Online

  • Coupon Clipping

  • There's a variety of ways for you to earn online rewards.  They also offer a fast turnaround on rewards and plenty of opportunities for you to earn those awesome rewards.

    As a member of the Instant Bucks Community you'll:

    • Earn virtual currency called "Instant Bucks"

    • Refer family and friends and earn.  There's no limit on what you can earn from referrals

    • No limits on reward redemption

    • High paying offers

    • Once you build up your "Instant Bucks" you'll be able to trade them in for great prizes such as:

      • Gift Cards - Wal-Mart, Amazon, Restaurant and more!

      • Hotel Stays

      • Airlines

      • PayPal Cash

      • Shopping

      • iTunes

      • Coupons

      • A special thanks to Instant Bucks for making this event possible!  They're generously offering one lucky person the chance to win a $200 Amazon Gift Code!  Thanks, Instant Bucks!

        About the Giveaway

        Giveaway will run September 1, 2012 12:01am EST - October 1, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.  One lucky person will have a chance to win $200 Amazon Gift Code, must be at least 18 years old to enter, and is open to US residents.  To enter use the Rafflecopter form below, GOOD LUCK!

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        Disclaimer:  Thrift Schooling is not responsible for shipment of prize, nor did I accept any form of payment to promote this event.  All entries will be verified.