Sunday, July 27, 2014

2013-2014 Field Trip Review

Wow! Looking back I can't believe how many field trips we took this past year, but hey, it's all a part of this homeschooling thing, right? The year prior I had taken the kids on field trips during the work week with other moms and my children's friends. This year, we tried to have more family focused field trips and I found the experiences to be so much richer! From Northern Virginia, to DC, all the way to Pennsylvania, our school year was full! Maybe this next year we will focus on local venues, or, maybe not!!

An uphill battle. Worth every step, but unless you know the shuttle schedule and plan accordingly, it is quite the hike. The kids loved the lions, monkeys, snakes and the prairie dog play area in the middle of the park!

Politics isn't reserved for high school in this school. We start them out young!

An inspirational experience, that was needed on so many levels.

Who says you can't make visiting family an educational field trip opportunity?

My favorite experience of the year, by far. Planning on returning in the near future!

If you have any field trip suggestions within a day's drive from Southwestern Virginia, clue us in, we just might go for it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Online Back-To-School Resources

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

Whether you are looking for a cute backpack for your little girl this school year or a fun lunch bag for your growing boy, consider shopping online before attempting to face the crowds in the stores this August! I was out and about the other day and heard a mom talking to her son while scrolling her smartphone, "well, looks like your backpack will be arriving on Wednesday!" Listening to that conversation made me realize, that wow, I am old! When I was a kid, we would head out to the store at the end of summer, trying to beat the crowds, hoping to find a decent book bag still on the shelves! My, how things have changed! 

So before you head to the stores consider online shopping.

5 Online Back-To-School Resources

5- Dick Blick If you need colored pencils, stamps, or markers, Dick Blick's online clearance section has you covered! 

4- Crayola Store Save 50% off storewide at Enter code SUMMER50 at checkout. Offer ends 8/31/14. *Excludes sale items. 

3- Alpha and Omega And, For you homeschool shoppers, here's a summer deal for you!
Purchase Alpha and Omega homeschool resources and receive 10% off with coupon code SAVEBIG!

2- Rainbow Resources
If you are looking for NEW homeschool materials for a discounted price, I've been pleased with Rainbow Resources in the past. They have an extremely large selection of materials!

1- Amazon
Need I say more? Books are a no brainer with this one. I recently bought Farmer Boy for only a penny. And of course, Amazon is so much more than books. Whether you are looking for new or used products, I would suggest checking here first, and if you are an Amazon Prime member then you'll receive FREE shipping on all eligible items!

Monday, July 21, 2014


Have you ever tried selling children's clothes online? I have. Yikes. Unless it is an amazingly popular brand name, most of the time there wouldn't be a single bite! Well, how cool would it be to have someone do the work for you and YOU receive 60% of the profits? I'm liking the sound of this. Less work, less clutter in my house, lets get started! Loteda is a brand NEW site dedicated to selling children's clothes by the LOT. 

What if I said you could pocket 90% of the funds? No problem! All you have to do is take the pics yourself, upload them and you'll receive an envelope in the mail to ship it to the buyer! It is simple. Check out the video below to see how it works!

First: Organize your gently worn Newborn- 5T clothes into lots. By gender and season.

Second: Take a pic of each item, fill out a form and upload your lot.

Third: Once your LOT sells, you'll receive a prepaid shipping bag for your items.

Finally: Drop it in the mail and receive a check for 90% of the sale price!!!

Now, the fun part, buying the clothing! I'm excited to know there is another online option for buying children's clothing by the LOT, by the season! 

Coupon Code
20% off your total purchase. 
Use code: SAVE20
Expires 8/31/14

Disclaimer: I will receive a gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions stated are my own.

Coobie Seamless Bra {Review}

I have an issue with bra straps. I don't know about you, but I feel like they are constantly falling down my shoulder. I'm always trying to fix them. Sometimes I'll see photos of myself and say, "Hey! Why didn't someone tell me my crazy strap was showing, geesh!" So, recently, I finally found a bra that doesn't pose this problem! Coobie Seemless Bras stay snug and fit no matter how active I may be! 

The scoop neck pictured above is extremely comfortable! I received two of them and was extremely impressed with both the quality and the comfort. A wide array of colors and designs are available including tie dye, jade, hot pink or deep teal. 

~ What I Loved About This Product ~

The Comfort: This product is extremely comfortable, you can barely tell it is there. It is a one size fits all deal or you can order a full size for only a couple dollars more. 

Washing Machine Friendly: I've had this product for several months now and have had no problem just tossing them in the wash with the rest of my laundry! Easy! No wires, no issues with the shape getting messed, no problems!

Variety of Uses: For one, it can be used as a sports bra. It also can be worn discreetly under a swim suit for added comfort. Also, it can be used as a camisole for those shirts that run, well, a little low. Instead of finding a tank top or cami, a solid color black or ivory Coobie Seamless could be worn under your shirt to provide extra covering in a way that no one could tell it was a bra!

The Price: Easily affordable at only $20. A surprisingly low price for such a durable bra.

I would encourage you to check out the Coobie Store or request a catalog! Both are filled with not only bras but legwear, pants, wraps and more. 

Disclaimer: I received (2) Coobie Seamless Products for the purpose of this review through the US Family Guide Blogger Program. All opinions stated are my own. 

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Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Thanks!

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

Crazy as it may sound, a majority of the materials for my oldest are Abeka this year! He thrives off of it actually. I know it sounds structured for me, but I just use it as a framework and flow from there!

My first grader is all over the board this year since he does well with plenty of hands-on activities! And, my pre-schooler will have a blast with the letter of the week lessons that her older brothers did when they were her age!

Aaron: Grade 3

Bible: Scripture Memory System/Veritas Press
Science: Abeka 3
History: Abeka/Veritas Press
Language: Abeka 3
Writing: Writeshop
Spelling: Abeka 3/Spelling You See
Reading: Abeka 3
Piano: Hoffman Acadamy Online
Math: Abeka 3

Michael: Grade 1

Bible: Scripture Memory System/Children's Bible Read Aloud w/Notebooking

Science: Bob Jones 1
History: Golden Prairie Press
Phonics/Reading/Spelling: Abeka 1
Writing: Abeka 1/Writeshop
Piano: Hoffman Acadamy Online
Math: Abeka 1

Tirzah: Pre-K 

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool: Getting Ready 1
Letter of the Week Activities
Abeka K4 ABC/123

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Office Max Perks


It's not as good as it sounds. So, when we first heard about the fact that you can receive $2 for every used ink cartridge you bring in we were thrilled! We have piles of old ink cartridges and basically thought that we could recycle them to receive some store credit.


That's how it is pitched, but you have to read the fine print. First of all, you can only cash in 10 cartridges a month. (yeah, we had a lot more than that.... long story). So, we arrive at the store, were told we could only cash in 10 for that month, which we did. 

Then... once you bring in the 10, you have to wait a whole month for your Max Perks card to be credited. 

THEN.....the only way to redeem the store credit is to print out your rewards from online and bring it into the store with you. Which is fine and dandy, but when we went to print it out (a month later), we noticed that the credit is "locked" until you spend money at the store on an unrelated purchase! Soooo the more you spend, the more your store credit is "released." 

In all my bargain shopping days I have never seen so many hoops to jump through, just for a deal. It's worse than a rebate! So, that's my rant of the day. Stay away from the Max Perks cartridge return, it's not worth it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

If in Doubt, WAIT!

I know when I see other homeschool families pins on Pinterest and photos on their blog I get excited. "Wow, that looks fun," "I could do that!" " That would fit perfectly in our homeschool!" Then, reality hits. The price tag. It doesn't matter how "cheap" and "frugal" the craft or activity is, most of the time you will need to BUY something to make it work. And the little things add up. A can of spray paint here, some glitter glue there, before you know it you've completely spent what you normally spend in a single grocery trip buying materials for your homeschool!

The way I look at it, is, if I feel like I NEED it NOW, then I probably shouldn't buy it! It's like when I take my kids to the store. They see a shiny new something or other and just HAVE to have it. Of course, I nipped that in the bud immediately and say, we are just looking, if you want something just add it so your wishlist. And believe it or not, it works!!

I've learned to simply take a mental note of what I want and then wait. And wait. And wait. 

When I go "back to school" shopping for our homeschool I have a mental note of what I need. Supplies, storage units, etc. Then, I choose to be creative. For example, today I was looking for a decent white erase board. Rather than going to Office Max and buying the top of the line model, (Even though I wanted to, I mean a white board IS kind of essential!) instead I hit second hand shops. I didn't find a state of the art new board, but I DID find an easel in good condition with a white board on it. And, get this, for only $1.95!!

Perfect! Now, not all my great finds come so quickly. Often times I do have to wait. But it usually is for things that I don't need right away anyways. I would have loved to decorate our space with nice curtains the day we started homeschooling. But curtain rods add up. We have close to 30 windows in our house. Buying rods and curtains adds up and fast! So, the homeschool room windows have kind of been put on hold. Fortunately, today, I found roads at 95 cents a piece. And just enough for the homeschool room and stairway windows leading to the room. A much brighter price tag than $6 a piece for new ones. 

Remember, I am a THRIFT schooling mom here. If I think I can find it at a lower price, I am willing to wait! My advice to help you avoid paying full price is to wait it out. Be patient and keep your eyes open for used or clearance items!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WriteShop {Review}

WriteShop Review
I am extremely thankful to have been chosen to review an exciting and effective writing program called WriteShop. I chose to begin my second grader with book B and received two digital products, the
Primary Teacher's Guide: Book B- Digital PDF ($29.50) and the Primary Activity Pack: Book B- Digital PDF ($4.50).

Writing. Yikes. The second most difficult subject to teach my seven year old. Next to spelling, but I guess the two go hand in hand. Copy work is no problem, writing words to practice his handwriting whether print or cursive is not the challenge. The struggle is CREATIVE writing. To be honest, this was quite a shock to me. My son has quite the imagination and uses it vividly. He is always creating or engineering something. It's just getting that creativity to flow onto paper that the battle would begin. And I mean battle. 
I would ask him to write just a few sentences on a topic, and not have to worry about spelling, and he would just freeze up. And, not just for a minute, but for fifteen to twenty minutes we would be sitting there as I waited for him to finally come up with something. 

The problem?

I realized at that point, he needs to be TAUGHT creative thinking skills to develop into a creative writer! It does not just come naturally. Personally, I have a passion for writing, but someone nurtured and developed that in me.  Sure, I have a long ways to go, but when I look back at my education, I was blessed with several quality experiences that challenged me to develop strong writing skills. 

One memory in particular comes from my elementary school experiences. In fourth and fifth grade I remember what was called, "Writing Workshop." The primary focus of this time was to put aside everything else and simply focus on writing. I recall working on rough drafts, final copies and even sending our work home with the teacher for her to "publish." At that time, all that meant was she would type our story up on a typewriter and bind it with a cover made from wallpaper, (yes, I said typewriter, I'm really showing my age now!) We were so proud of our work and to this day I can remember what I wrote about for that project!

There was something powerful about "publishing" our work that drove us to complete our assignments with fervor and determination. I have now found a program that reminds me of my positive childhood encounters with writing in WriteShop! Depending on the age and ability of your child, you can begin your child in different levels. I began my seven year old in Book B. Book B is geared towards children ages 6 and 7. It is ideal for students in first or second grade or can be successful used with a reluctant third grader. Now that I am aware of this program, I plan to begin my younger kids with Book A as soon as they are ready. Even though it is completely doable to begin in Book B, I think my kids will have a richer experience starting for the beginning.
WriteShop Review
WriteShop Review
I received the PDF downloads of the books. Recently, with PDF's I have been saving the teacher guide's on an e-reader and printing out the student sheets. But with this program, next time I think I will buy the teacher's guide. There is SO much to this guide, that I was constantly scrolling through to read or re-read something that having a hardcopy on hand would be extremely helpful!
WriteShop Review

At first when I looked at the worksheets, I thought to myself, "wow, there really isn't much to this!" I liked what I saw but there weren't many pages. Then, I realized, after reading the teacher's guide, that the meat of this program is not the "worksheets" but the activities involved. This program is very hands-on and involved and requires prep work on the part of the parent. Normally, programs that require a lot of prep work on my part stress me out, but since I am determined to see my children succeed in writing, I figured I might try it out! There are three different tracks you can use for this program and I chose the slower track that has you use WriteShop three times a week. 

First, I went to the store and bought a shoe organizer (as suggested in the teacher's manual) to use in our writing center. I then stocked it, as was suggested with stamps, letters, paper, colored pencils and such. As you can see, there is much room to spare to add more in the future!

 I then created a word wall next to the organizer with just a few words.

The power of the word wall. It is amazing what this wall can do. When my son is presented with a topic to write about, the word wall helps him come up with ideas and it helps him to feel confident that some of his words are spelled correctly. This confidence helps him to more along with his work. He is able to be creative with minimal guidance! 

He also created a binder with flowers that consist of different word families. He really enjoyed making these and it is suggested that he makes more as time goes on. He loved the hands-on aspect of the cutting, gluing and creating the flowers. Then I would write the word family sound in the center of the flower and he had a blast coming up with words to place on the petals and leaves! This is a great tool for him to come back to when he needs help finding words to use, especially rhyming words for a poem.

One of his projects included learning about space. Below is his version of a space ship with a story inside about going to Jupiter! One of my favorite aspects of this lesson was how he was encouraged to diagram his writing. First, you provide the student with stars. Then, you have them write a main idea in the center with supporting ideas within the five points. These ideas are then used to write a story. This helped guide him along with his writing, again, giving him the confidence that he needs!

There are so many aspects to this program that have been very beneficial to my son. One, is the use of picture books. In one lesson he was encouraged to learn about how to write a story simply by looking at a story that he is already familiar with. Another, was when he learned about writing a letter. It was practical and engaging. We posted butcher paper on the wall and reviewed the parts of a letter. By the end of the lesson, my four year old was even able to recite the parts of the letter from the cute poem used in this book!
I look forward to continue using this program with my son and can't wait to start it with my younger ones! My son's confidence in writing has certainly been strengthened thanks to WriteShop!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Moving Beyond The Page {Review}

Moving Beyond the Page Review

Moving Beyond the Page is a research-based curriculum that strives to challenge students to reach their highest potential in education. This is a complete curriculum, however, individual units in the areas of language, history or science can also be purchased separately. They can be used as unit studies in addition to your regular studies. Depending on your preference, you can purchase an online curriculum guide package with physical elements mailed to you that coincide. Or, if you prefer the hard copy curriculum guide package, that is available as well! For our online experience, we chose the Language Arts Package: Tornado / Online and our hard copy package was the Social Studies Package: Communities Change Over Time.

Moving Beyond the Page causes children to think critically, use research and create with their own hands, in a literature-rich environment. Although opportunities are provided in every lesson to work on physical worksheets, the highlight of the program is when the child literally moves beyond the page, using the world as their classroom!

Social Studies Package: Communities Change Over Time
Ages 7-9

What is Included:

 Physical Curriculum Guide

 A Street Through Time 
by Dr. Anne Millard and Steve Noon

by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes
This unit consists of nine engaging lessons.
Communities Change
Elements of Culture
What is a Civilization?
A Street Through Time
Cultures Around The World
Ancient Civilizations
Medieval Times
America Yesterday and Today
Technology and Transportation

The way it works is you receive the materials listed above in the mail. The guide is 121 pages long and includes a write up on how to use the program, a list of the required books/materials by unit, a list of vocabulary words with definitions, and detailed lesson plans. Within the lesson plans are both the information for the teacher and the worksheets needed for the student. The book is consumable, you are not allowed to make copies, so one needs to be purchased for each student. The way that I used this with my seven year old was I would tear out the appropriate pages for the day and then read from the book as we would go through each lesson. Most lessons are designed to be completed in one day, although some are broken up into two separate days. 

One of the highlights of this unit was the use of the book Weslandia. I had never heard of this book and was pleasantly surprised! A young boy is different than the rest of his classmates, he stands out. Then, summer rolls around and a whole new world is opened up to him, in his backyard. By the miraculous planting of a seed, this boy is able to create his own civilization. He makes his own clothing, produces his own food and is able to find entertainment all in this one plant. The interesting thing is, this doesn't make him stand out anymore but it draws the other kids in! The story is inspiring and thought provoking. And.... right up my son's alley! 

What I loved about this lesson, is that it encouraged him to thrive off of the knowledge he already had, but it challenged him to gain new understanding in the process. He learned a new term, "civilization," and what it means. He also expanded his knowledge on the use of natural resources which he had a small grasp on before. Then he was able to connect these two concepts. One of his favorite parts of this lesson was actually creating his own civilization. His civilization had it's own alphabet, lived in bamboo homes, provided jobs for others and for fun the kids would see who could eat the most blackberries or raspberries!

When learning about natural resources, he took his worksheet outdoors to see what could be found and how they could be used to survive! This seven year had some fun with this activity!

He found garlic!

"I'll toss the rock to kill animals" ~ Aaron

"And use a stick to spear fish!"

He also grabbed our new favorite meal additive- lamb's quarter, an edible weed!!

In addition to the books provided, some lessons recommend using your own books, or ones from the library. Fortunately, I had  If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Days on hand. This resource tied in perfectly when my seven year old was learning about culture! He was able to compare America today and America in the past. He read through the book and was able to easily pick out differences in clothing, food, transportation and jobs.

When learning about cultures other than our own, he enjoyed creating a Brazilian tambourine. For this lesson, several crafts were suggested but I chose to stay away from ones such as the Kenyan mask, which  conflicted with my personal religious beliefs. That said, I appreciate the variety of hands-on activities provided in each lesson so if you feel the need to pick and choose, you don't feel as if you are missing out on anything! The experience of the activities in these lessons are rich and meaningful and don't take too much time! Honestly, no more than 45 minutes would be spent each day and the time would go by quickly since it was always jammed packed with a variety of  both writing and hands-on activities.

Brazilian Tambourine

What I enjoyed about this craft, was that it was a perfect fit for all three of my children. I asked each of them to go find a "y" stick in the backyard as I set out a hammer, nail and bottle caps for each one. They then carefully pounded the cap flat and struck a hole in the center of each cap. They loved the independence of working with tools with this craft as well as the beading element!

Another activity that provided independence was when my son was able to pick an ancient civilization to study. I provided him a list of different cultures and he chose Ancient China. He was able to research and learn on his own terms. The primary project for this lesson was a diorama. Rather than the typical shoebox style that I remember creating in school, he went for a pagoda version!

Ni Hao!

Language Arts Package: Tornado / Online
Ages 7-9

What is Included:

Online Curriculum Guide

by Betsy Byars

How The Turtle Got It's Shell
 by Justine Fontes

There are some pros and cons to choosing an online curriculum guide as opposed to the physical copy. For one, the price. You basically cut the price in half when choosing to work online. And, you are able to print out as many copies as you want for your family with the online version. Even though I enjoyed having the hard copy for the history unit, using the online version worked great for the literature unit for us. I chose to use this unit with all three kids since we enjoy doing our literature studies together when possible. Since the guide is available online with login info, I simply bookmarked the page and was able to access it as we studied the unit together. I printed out the worksheets for all three kids ahead of time and each day we would sit on the couch as my seven year old would read a chapter. Actually, we are working on his reading comprehension skills, so call me a stickler, but I would have him go off and read the chapter alone first. Then, he would come back and I would ask him the questions for that chapter. Then, he would read it aloud to the rest of us! Sounds intense, but that's the format his second grade reading program used and I wanted to continue it partway through the summer to keep him on track and ready for the upcoming year!

The difference between this book, Tornado and his reading assignments last year is the fact that this is a chapter book. This happens to be the first chapter book he has ever read as a whole! He was so proud of himself when he finished this book, on his own! The story line was engaging and fun with some twists and turns in the end. 

Would I recommend Moving Beyond the Page? Well, I already have! I reviewed some of their studies last year and have raved about them to fellow homeschool moms that I know! My only concern with this program is some of the extra resources that were recommended. From a creationist standpoint, both A Street Through Time and How The Turtle Got It's Shell mention time frames that are against new earth creationist thinking. I simply adjusted those lessons to line up with our way of teaching and moved on! The quality of the material presented is rich and informative and I would use this company again if I needed a good, hands-on unit study to keep my busy boys (and their little sister) engaged!

Read about other Crew Members experience with this program by clicking the banner below. 

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

*HOT* July Groupon Deals

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Groupon isn't only the hot spot for local deals this summer. This July, between now and July 27th, you can book an amazing stay in one of the following exotic locations! 

Because you know you want to get away, so why not book now? Or...  just dream a little with me fellow homeschool parent, dream with me!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ragamuffin DVD {Review & Giveaway}

A new documentary based on the life of Rich Mullins, Ragamuffin is now available on DVD! Personally, I have fond memories of Rich Mullins and his music particularly in the early nineties. When I think of his most popular song, AWESOME GOD, I am immediately taken back to the basement of my childhood church where I would spend many Sunday evenings singing "when he rolled up His sleeves, He ain't just putting on the ritz, our God is an Awesome God!" With acoustic guitar in hand and overhead projector lighting up the wall with the lyrics, our youth group of about 30-40 young folks would sing along with our youth pastor. He would then exhort saying how our God truly is Awesome and we shouldn't use that term lightly, since God indeed is the only One that can truly be proclaimed as Awesome!
Fast forward five years, I had found myself a college graduate who had experienced a whirlwind adventure throughout that season in every sense of the term. Relatable music was hard to find at that point. One album that I did find solace in was The Jesus Record put out by the Ragamuffin Band 10 months after Rich Mullin's death in 1997. This album in particular spoke to me, especially the song, My Deliverer, which actually had the voice of Rich Mullins on it that he had recorded in an abandoned church before his death. I would hear the words to this song, "My deliverer is  coming, my deliverer is standing by" and would not only be humbled but try to put life into perspective, remembering the fact that tomorrow is promised to no one! 
The movie Ragamuffin shares about the strengths and weaknesses of Rich Mullins, a Christian recording artist. The film is rated PG-13 since the weaknesses are in fact shared, in some pretty strong detail. Rich Mullins was known for being real, honest and transparent before his audience. This movie portrays that the primary pain that he held was from a broken relationship with his father. You will witness swearing, anger, smoking and alcohol abuse in this movie. The swearing was primarily his father and only in a few scenes but the drinking and smoking is throughout the majority of the movie.
I went into the movie curious. This iconic figure in Christianity, what was he like? Well, he wasn't perfect. Are any of us? This movie shows how God has a plan for any and everyone and will use them no matter how messed up their life may be. While watching the film, it was clear that the struggles that Rich faced were rooted deep in the pain from his broken relationship with his father. I kept watching the movie thinking, that the main sin in life is not the drinking or the smoking but the unforgiveness that one holds inside. The Bible says that God will only forgive you as much as you forgive (Matthew 6:14). Unforgiveness is dangerous territory and can lead anyone astray. I kept watching the movie, not distressed so much by Rich's struggles with alcohol or smoking but more so with the unforgiveness. I kept waiting and hoping that it would be dealt with and he would come to peace with how his father had treated him, and according to the movie, he did, (in quite an interesting way, too).
Even though I know that some of the greatest of the great Bible heroes fell into sin, such as King David and Moses, I also know that our God has the power to change people. This movie kind of gave the impression that it's okay to be a sinner and stay a sinner and God still loves you. Even though you did see a change of heart towards his dad (which is huge!) you never really saw him stop living in his sinful ways. He certainly had a gift and a call of God on his life but we have to remember that the gifts and callings are without repentance (Romans 11:29). I think the message of the gospel is yes, Jesus loves us, but He loves us so much not to leave us where we are but to take us out!

This man certainly touched my life and many others and his life surely is a testimony that God is bigger than us and our shortcomings, I just think the movie may have focused a bit too much on his sin rather than who he really was as a Christian.
Interesting Fact About Rich Mullins
Did you know that he took a vow of poverty and only took the amount of money from his fame and fortune that he needed to survive? The rest he gave to charity. He never knew how much he really made. 
Check it Out For Yourself!
You might be interested in seeing what it was like for someone in the Christian music industry. The genuine struggles of having a call of God and dealing with the pulls of the power and fame that can come with it. 
Enter To Win a Copy!
Enter the Rafflecopter Below to Receive a Copy of Your Own!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Test Linky

Splash Valley {Review}

If you're looking for a way to beat the heat this summer AND keep your kids occupied, then you need to be sure to head over to Splash Valley! The heat has been quite a challenge this summer. Even though we have central air, I do NOT want to be cooped up inside having the kids playing video games all day and driving each other bananas! We do have a creek on our property but the ticks have been crazy this year so we haven't been able to enjoy it as much as I had hoped!

So this week, our family of five packed up our car and met up with some Roanoke friends at Splash Valley! That day in particular was calling for a chance of thunderstorms, which made me nervous! But, they do offer rain checks or let you swim in their indoor pool if it isn't too crowded! Earlier in the day, I was sure to call their Automated Phone Line (540) 387-6455 ext. 5.  This way, I was able to find out if they were open that day before beginning our hour long drive out there!

My Four Year Old, Taking It All In!

My kids were not strangers to the place, but it HAD been over a year since we had visited Splash Valley! When we arrived, they felt right at home! We arrived, already wearing our suits so the kids could jump right in on the fun! They do have changing rooms available equipped with showers if needed! One thing to note is that food or drinks are NOT permitted into Splash Valley. Even before we entered, we were asked that if we had any food or drinks that we had to leave them at the gate or go back and put it in the car.

Be sure to check the website for pricing information. Also, if you are a Roanoke County Resident then you always receive $2 off your admission AND you can enter an hour earlier than regular opening time!

Taking a Plunge on the Kiddie Slide!

Fortunately, for the little ones who can't swim, there is a kiddie area with slides, spraying dragons and more! It is plenty to keep little ones occupied. It's only ankle deep and parents are required to stay with their little ones, although their are plenty of lifeguards throughout the place.
Speaking of lifeguards. One had to rescue my seven year old. Don't get me wrong, he's a great swimmer, it's just the red slide can be intense! You see, there are two large slides for anyone over 48 inches tall. The red one is a crazy spiral that drops you into a pool of 8 feet of water, with water rushing down! Now, my son can swim, and when you enter the pool you obviously can't touch and need to swim to the edge of the pool. He got caught in a bad place with the water rushing down and couldn't figure out where to go! Lifeguard to the rescue. Fortunately, he was never scared or traumatized, but he did avoid that slide for the rest of the day! So, I would suggest for reluctant swimmers (or parents) to start your kids off on the green slide and see how they do!

Dad, having a blast!
In addition to the kiddie area and the two large slides, is a deeper pool that turns into a lazy river. In this pool is a medium sized slide that my six year old enjoyed! The kiddie area was too little kiddish for him, but he wasn't big enough for the larger slides, so this area was perfect for him! He loved just swimming around in this area with his friends!

For a separate price, you can head to the Green Ridge Recreation Center (where Splash Valley is located) on a rainy day and enjoy an INDOOR waterpark experience! Included, is one large water slide, a hot tub, lazy river and kiddie area!

To stay up to date on the happenings of Splash Valley or Green Ridge Recreation Center be sure to follow on Facebook!

Disclaimer: My family received free admission for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated are my own.

  Thanks for visiting! Feel free to comment below!
~ Heather @ Thrift Schooling ~