Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CrossTimber ~ A Review


A special gift for the special person in your life can be purchased at CrossTimber. I had the opportunity to gift my daughter with her very own Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse. CrossTimber offers a wide variety of gifts such as Name Plaques, Multi-Name Plaques, Name Coffee Mugs, Name Meaning Coffee Mugs, and Names of God gifts. 


I ordered the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse for one of my daughter's. Her birthday is in October and I thought it would be a perfect gift. My daughter loved her framed plaque and bookmark. She is an avid reader and loved the personalized bookmark with her name. Karis is not a common name so this was extra special. 



The ordering process is simple and easy. You are given many choices, upgrade offers, and additions that you can add to your order. The options truly make for a very personalized, unique gift giving opportunity. The ordering process took me under 5 minutes. Customer service is prompt. I had an issue once my order was placed, which was my mistake, and the issue was corrected promptly. Shipping took a bit longer than I anticipated but since this was for a review and so many were reviewing I am sure that is what delayed the order. 



Browsing through the selection of products, there are lots of great choices. This is a family owned company.


While my husband thought the quality of the product was very nice he was a bit concerned with the follow through of the name meanings. My husband holds a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary in New Testament with an emphasis in Greek and Textual Criticism. He said, "The definition of the Greek word that lies behind the name Karis is terribly flawed. The name is correctly described as having Greek origin. The problem is the company claims to provide academic research; however, the feel-good meaning ascribed has no relation to its Greek foundation. The name Karis is essentially a transliteration of the Greek word charis (χάρις). Charis means grace, so an appropriate definition would have been an easy-to-grasp explanation of grace which is unmerited favor. The shortcoming of the flawed definition is actually seen in the verse used. The flawed definition of charis cannot be validly used in John 1:16. Thus, with a little 'academic research', this fatal flaw in the product could have easily been avoided."

Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of the plaque and bookmark that I received. It was definitely gift worthy. 


Through December 4th, CrossTimber is sponsoring a name gift giveaway!! Click here to enter!


To read more reviews click here.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Middlebury ~ A Review


Middlebury Interactive Languages offers a wide variety of foreign language programs to help your child learn new languages. My 10th grade son had the opportunity to use High School Spanish I (9-12 grades) to begin his high school foreign language requirements. Middlebury offers digital language learning courses in Spanish, French, German and Chinese. The courses are offered for elementary, middle, and high school levels. Middlebury Curriculum provides the student with versatile implementation options in an immersive, online, interactive environment. 


High school students are introduced to Spanish by focusing on four key elements:
  1. listening
  2. speaking
  3. reading
  4. writing

Your high school student does not need any prerequisites in order to start High School Spanish I. Middlebury does have this disclaimer on their site, "Middlebury Interactive courses are not credit-bearing. We align our courses with the standards of the leading world language and digital learning organizations (ACTFL and iNACOL)."

Each unit begins with Unit Objectives. There are 36 units in the High School Spanish I course. Each unit is broken down into five lessons lessons. For each semester there is a midterm and a final exam. Each lesson is broken down into areas such as:


  • Warm-Up
  • Matching
  • Speaking Lab
  • Grammar
  • Synthesis
  • Vocabulary
  • Conversation
  • Listening and Writing
  • Pop Quiz
  • Teacher Tip
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Culture
  • Mexico
  • Pronunciation
  • Journal
  • Conversation Station
  • Task Based Activities






  • Automatic Grading



    Overall, my son is pleased with the progress he is making with regards to learning the language. Learning a new language is definitely time consuming. He has found that using a program verses taking an actual class does pose challenges. He is adjusting his pace in order to make sure that he acquires the necessary mastery over the language as it builds. Sometimes he has found it helpful to listen or repeat certain lessons or parts of lessons in order to grasp needed concepts to successfully move on. He likes the variety of ways that the program utilizes to teach the language. My son really likes history and geography so was very happy that these elements were included within the lessons. He does feel like not enough time is spent on mastery before moving on. He mentioned that the speaker speaks faster than he would like. 

    From the perspective of an educator and parent I feel that Middlebury does a good job at presenting the material in a way that sets a student up for success. I really like that the program automatically grades and keeps track of your students progress. Every once in awhile there were glitches where my son was not able to click certain things or advance within the program. Obviously, taking a foreign language on the computer verses a physical class has it advantages and drawbacks. 

    Back in 2015 my younger children had the opportunity to learn Chinese with Middlebury. They enjoyed learning the language. 

    To read more reviews click here.

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    Monday, October 24, 2016

    If You Were Me And Lived In...........

    Carole P. Roman has a wonderful book series entitled, If You Were Me And Lived In...... that can be purchased on Amazon. These books introduce children to the lives and culture of countries around the world. 


    Did you know that Norway is known as "The Land of the Midnight Sun." It has 343 lakes and two rivers. Your child will learn some very interesting history behind Norway's currency and why some of the coins have small holes in the center. After hearing about the Snowhotel your child be begging to experience this building made entirely out of snow and ice. 


    Did you know that Istanbul is the only major city that sits on two continents, Asia and Europe? If you were a girl you would most likely play with a bebek. Wonder what that is? Well, you will have to read the book to figure it out. Turkey celebrates Children's Day!! 


    India is the second most populated country in the world. Hundreds of movies are made in Bollywood.  Holi is an amazing two day celebration where everyone dresses up in white clothing and then people throw colored powder and water at each other. Doesn't that sound fun?! 


    Peru is home to some of the world's oldest civilizations. Lima, the capital of Peru means talker. If you visited Peru you would definitely not want to miss seeing Machu Picchu. For dessert you might eat picarones, which are fried doughnuts, yum! In February you would celebrate Carnival. Everybody has squirt guns, water balloons, and buckets of water. How fun does that sound? 

    These books provide a great introduction into other cultures and ways of life. Your child will definitely not be bored. After reading these books my 3rd grader was ready to learn more about these countries. I have decided to take a week for each of the above countries and create fun lapbooks, try out some recipes, learn a bit more with regards to their geography, languages spoken, and other traditions. 

    There are more books within this series. Check them out!! 


    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    God's Amazing Creation

    God's handiwork is evident even in the unique details of these amazing flowers.