Monthly Archives: January 2012

Have you checked your spices recently?

Have you checked your spices recently?

 

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I have been trying to think through the organization of my kitchen recently to make it more space and time efficient.  Tonight, I decided to swap the towels and spices to different drawers.  It made more sense to keep the spices near where I actually cook!  Anyways, while I was reorganizing I realized I had a lot of spices that were old!

Here comes my public service announcement….check your spices.  If they are old, throw them away.  Most of mine had expiration dates printed on the bottom of them….do you think 2008 might be too old to keep?  LOL!  I think I had about 15 spices that were way too old to keep!  (As in I labeled them at my last house 5 years ago)  UGH, don’t tell anyone, OK!

Anyways, thought I would remind you to check those spices. It really only takes a second, but you will feel like you accomplished a lot.

OH, by they way…see the yellow spice jars?  Yeah, those are for one of our favorite meals.  If you haven’t tried the Greek Chicken Wings, you really should!

Happy Sorting!

Happy 1st Birthday to Home in the Trenches

Happy 1st Birthday to Home in the Trenches

Today marks exactly one year since my first blog post.  I hope that it has been a blessing to you!  I pray that it is encouraging, informative, and helps you in your journey as a mom!  I never set out to be a blogger.  It happened because a few people were asking me questions and it was easier to post them on a website than Facebook.  Totally a God thing.  I have designed this place all by myself and am really bad at technology. (Believe me on this one!)  It really is true that with God all things are possible!  It is only through Him that this site exists!

Thanks for spending time with me this year.  Please pass my site or Facebook page along to your friends and family.  I’d love to encourage them too this next year!

Also, if you wouldn’t mind taking a second, could you leave me a topic that you would like me to cover this year!  I would love to do that!

Kinderbach: A TOS Review

Kinderbach: A TOS Review

Kinderbach: A TOS Review 

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Sacha’s<25: An online or DVD based piano curriculum for beginning learners ages 3-7.  It includes over 22 hours of video instruction and activity pages to go along.

Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)

Is it worth our time? 8 stars
Did it help us learn? 7 stars
Is it worth the money? 10 stars (if you are comparing it to actual piano lesson costs of $10-$20 a 1/2 hr)
Is it useful to me? 8 stars
Practicality- 8 stars
Quality- 8 stars
Kid Rating- 9 stars

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Your children ages 3-7 will have a blast singing, dancing, making rhythms, learning piano, coloring and hanging out with Karri and her cartoon friends.  I was given an online subscription to review.

My children (Faith, 5 and Grace, almost 3)  beg me to “put on Dodi,” otherwise known as Kinderbach.  They  whiz through 2-4 lessons in a sitting.  The program is set up by weeks, within each week are 4 short lessons.  The first lesson in each week is just a short introduction to tell you what you will learn that week.  (about a minute long) The next lessons deal with piano keys, high and low notes, rhythms etc. The ones we watched ranged from 3-7 minutes in length. I appreciated how the lessons are laid out.  Lots of songs and are taught in a way that a child can understand!

Now, don’t think that you can just pop in the DVD or click on the video online and leave your child to themselves.  I found that it was best to do it with them….they still had questions and needed help with things at times.  But, it is really fun to do it with them!

If you are wondering about DVD or online lessons let me give you my 2 Cents!  I found it was really nice to have my piano keyboard right in front of where we watched the lessons.  This was great to do right in front of the computer.  However, if your piano and computer aren’t in the same room you might want to think about what is best for you.  The prices are very different based on what package of DVD’s you buy or how you do an online subscription.

You might be wondering if you need a piano for the lessons?  No, you don’t…a keyboard would work and really the beginning lessons can be done without a keyboard.  They are even slowly converting all the lessons to be able to be viewed on an iPhone/iPad/iTouch!

From the Kinderbach website:  

KinderBach uses playful characters to teach note reading, rhythm, singing, and composition. Give your children the best foundation for brain development, all from the comfort of your own home! Level 1 to 6 covers proper hand and finger position for the music scale, as well as staff note reading by pattern for voice, and keyboard. Click here to check out their website and see a video introducing Kinderbach to parents.

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sample worksheet

 What I liked:

  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee! (not that I think you would need it)
  • Free Online Trial Check it out here!
  • The online lessons are well organized and easy to navigate.  Printable coloring sheets that correspond with the lessons are able to be printed from the same page that the lesson is on. (no searching around the site to find the matching lesson coloring page)
  • Easy to use with multiple children.
  • My kids enjoyed the lessons and would ask for more.
  • My older 3 kids are in private piano lessons, while I am not ready to pay for the younger ones to take lessons, nor do I think they are ready…this is a great way for them to get an introduction to piano and feel like they are taking lessons like their older siblings.  Much more laid back in approach and more “play” than instruction!
  • It is fun.  I don’t think that my children knew that they were working at learning things!
  • Parents do not need to have a musical background.  (I have been playing some instrument since I was 8, but it really isn’t needed by the parent to get their children started here)

What I didn’t like:

  • While I found some of it to be a bit cheesy/kiddy..my children did not.  I would just be aware that if you are planning on using this with a child maybe ages 5 or up that you may want to try the free trial just to see what they think.

To sum it up: If you are looking for a way to start your children (ages 3-7) off with music instruction but aren’t really ready to put them into private lessons this is a great way to start! Personally, I don’t think children really need to take private lessons before this age.  If they are begging to start piano check out this program and they can learn at their own pace until you are ready to take the plunge into private lessons.

 

The important information:

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Order from: Kinderbach— http://www.kinderbach.com/

Price: 

WEB BASED LESSONS:

* Access to all web lessons (over 240 sessions!)
* Accompanying downloaded PDF pages

$7.99 a month – Billed in a one time annual payment of $95.88 (Great Value! Save 60%)

or $19.99 monthly subscription – Billed monthly for a year (12 separate payments)

DVD BASED LESSONS:

Packages run from $55.95-$222.88 Please click here to check out all of the package options.

To read other TOS Crew reviews of this product click here.

 

Disclosure/Disclaimer:  I received the above product free of charge for review purposes.  I am only expected to give an honest review.

Pig Out!

Pig Out!

Here’s a great idea for an easy and cheap meal…Not to mention that your kids will think you are really cool!

Occasionally we have had a really big meal after church on Sundays and not really been ready for another meal in the evening, but needed to eat something. Sometimes, I just can’t come up with a quick meal for lunch during our school days. Here’s where Pig Out comes into play.

The kids named this meal Pig Out. What is Pig Out? I am glad you asked!

Essentially it is a meal of fresh fruit or veggies cut up, cheese, crackers, popcorn etc. (whatever you have on hand) Today for lunch we had popcorn, cheddar and colby jack cheese and crackers. Along with that we had cut up orange slices (can I say super cheap and delicious this time of year?) along with grapes.

Sometimes it has been cucumbers, carrots, celery and peppers with ranch dip and cheese and crackers.

Occasionally, I serve it to them on individual plates like the above photo.  Other times I set the food out on really pretty platters on the middle of the table for everyone to choose exactly what they would like.

It is really whatever you have or are in the mood for. And it is healthy too. Why don’t you try Pig Out this week and see what your kids say!

My Crazy Week and Relying on God

My Crazy Week and Relying on God

I haven’t been blogging much lately.  I am sure that you have noticed that.  I have really been trying to get my life in “order”, or at least feel more in order.  After Christmas and having the majority of my family in a Sound of Music with a local community theater life has just seemed a bit chaotic.

The only reason I tell you this is because over and over I hear friends tell me I have it all together and wonder how I get it all done.  I don’t!

This week has been especially crazy.  I dropped a log on my foot on Tuesday…that put me out of commission the rest of the night.  Wednesday one of the kids went into the basement and informed me there was water everywhere.  I was sure hoping they were exaggerating, but they weren’t.  Something had broken on our water filtration system and shot water everywhere.  I had to shut off the water and call the company to find out what I could do.  All while my daughter was in the middle of a shower. (she wasn’t too happy when she had conditioner in her hair and no water left).  OH, did I mention all this happened while my husband was out of town?  I have very slowly learned to try to take it all in stride.

I know that as I try to “get my life in order”, God has different plans.  He doesn’t want me to rely on myself and my schedule and my plans.  He wants me to rely on HIM! What can you do to trust in Him and not lean on your own understanding today?

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.