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My Pregnancy Journal 12/5/12

My Pregnancy Journal 12/5/12

35 Weeks

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Yep, I totally got the date wrong last week on the title.  That pregnancy brain has totally gotten the best of me!  I can hardly remember what I want to do just a minute later these days.  Without the trusty Reminders app on my iPhone I would be a disaster!

I can finally say I am 35 weeks.  Yea!  Only 5 more to go, but I am so hoping just to go 2 more weeks.  No reason other than before Christmas and the craziness of the musical the rest of the family are in would be really nice!  Otherwise I might as well hang in until my due date!  Don’t you love how I think I am in control of this labor and delivery?  I am so not!  However, I am huge planner… so being pregnant and waiting to go into labor really stretch me to trust in God’s perfect timing.

My ankles have started to look like elephant legs, which is really not pretty.  I am going to spare you having to see a photo of them!

I will show you a photo of the baby blankets I made last night for the baby.  We know we are having a boy, and right now we are leaning towards the name Lincoln.  We have had it picked out for 6 years, but our last 2 babies have been girls!  I’m getting a bit nervous that it might be becoming a popular name with the movie just coming out.  We really try to stay away from popular names! If you have any suggestions for middle names leave me a comment.  All of the kids middle names are biblical.  Boys have disciple’s names (Matthew and Andrew) and girls are Joy, Faith and Grace.

We have thought about James, Nathaniel…any other ideas or suggestions?

Back to the blankets….I love the size of these blankets, they are great for covering up while nursing.  They are about 40″ x 40″.

These are my favorite blankets for babies!  I make them for everyone I know when they have a baby.

This is the only picture you are going to get this week….I tried to have some photos taken of me the other day to post here, but I deleted them all because I thought I looked so tired.  I’m sure that is the case, I am tired!  However, I just couldn’t bear to post them of me.

I got tomorrow to my midwife and start the weekly appointments.  In case you are wondering, I deliver in the hospital with a midwife.  I think of it as the best of both worlds!  All 5 labors have been natural with no drugs.

Well, thanks for hanging in with me to the end of this post, I know it is pretty random…kind of how my brain is rolling these days!

Once again, make sure to check out what others are saying in their pregnancy journals over at My Joy-Filled LIfe!

Vocal Coach: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Vocal Coach: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Sacha’s<25: The Vocal Coach Singer package teaches good vocal technique whether you are wanting to learn for speaking or singing.

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

Is it worth our time?  10 stars
Did it help us learn? 9 stars
Is it worth the money?  9 stars
Is it useful to me? 9 stars
Practicality-  9 stars
Quality-  9 stars
Kid Rating- 8 stars

 From VocalCoach.com:

Vocal Coach Singer is the most complete instructional singing system available with the equivalent of over $2,000 worth of personal coaching time. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, Vocal Coach Singer teaches and builds upon the fundamentals essential to an accomplished singing voice. From posture to performance our tested and proven techniques will help you deliver your songs with consistency and confidence!

With our easy-to-use step-by-step singing lessons, you’ll hear AND feel the difference in a matter of days! This is the only course you’ll ever need to not only learn to sing your best, but also maintain your singing voice for years to come.

Vocal Coach Singer Includes:

7 Training CDs:

  • Getting Started
  • Complete Breathing
  • Complete Warm-Up
  • Complete Tone
  • Complete Expanding Your Range
  • Complete Diction
  • Complete Performance

4 Workout CDs:

  • Daily Workout High Voice 1 & 2
  • Daily Workout Medium/Low Voice 1 & 2

Plus these great educational tools:

  • Guidebook – Full-size Instructional Guidebook to Ensure Success
  • Printable Lead Sheets – each exercise in our course, plus track lists
  • Personal Singer’s Journal (Getting Started Journal & Workout Journal) to Track Your Progress
  • Vocal Coach Song Evaluation – Evaluation form to enable you to make more intelligent song selections

Our Experience:

We recieved the downloadable MP3′s of Vocal Coach Singer from the Vocal Coach.  If you didn’t already know, our family is really into participating in musicals.  My husband is also a performer for a living!  Currently all 5 of my kids and my husband are in the middle of rehearals for the musical, Oliver.  Because they like singing and performing I thought Vocal Coach Singer would be a great product for them to try out.  It is geared for Middle School level through Adults.

If you have checked out how much information comes with this product you will see that there was no way for us to get through it all before we needed to post our review.  I listened to the Introductory informational as well as most of the Breathing and Diction portions of this program.  I am very eager to get the rest of my family listening.  In fact, as much as this product is geared for singers, I think that this is really going to help my 11 year old with a few words she just pronounces weird.

I downloaded the MP3′s to my iPhone so I can listen to them where ever I am.  I really enjoyed listening to them.  The segments within each CD vary in length and I love that I can see how long they each are.  Some segments are short and just a minute or two in length.  These are usually exercises that he is walking you through doing with him.  Some of the instructional segments run 5-9 minutes each.  Chris Beatty does the majority of the speaking, while Carole chimes in with quick questions for Chris to answer or things she wants to add.

We are really looking forward to working with these CDs more once we are all finished with the musical we are all in.  12 hours a week between driving and rehearsals doesn’t leave much time to practice our vocal techniques.  These will be perfect for us once the show is over and we are still looking for ways to improve and grow!

What I liked:

  • Quick and easy to download.  When I saw how many files it was I was afraid it would take hours.  They downloaded quickly and were easy to start listening to.  Even a non-techie person like me was able to figure it out!
  • This is a great value for what you would be paying for private lessons!  A perfect thing for a large family especially.  This will also be a great way to see which kids are actually interested in putting the time in to learn good vocal technique!

What I didn’t like:

  • This is probably just me not knowing how to organize the files on my computer….but they are all out of order.  They look perfect on my iPhone and are categorized by CD perfectly…just not on my computer.

To sum it up: Looking for a way to learn good vocal technique (for Middle School to Adults) without paying and arm and a leg?  Look no further!  Vocal Coach also has products available for Elementary age kids!  Check out his kids products here.

 

The important information:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vocal Coach Singer training package

Order from: VocalCoach.com

Price: MP3′s-$99, CD’s-$119

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

 

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

 

Kinderbach App: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Kinderbach App: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Sacha’s<25: The Kinderbach App contains video lessons, games, and activities for beginning learners ages 3-7 to get a music education and learn some beginning piano.

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

Is it worth our time? 5 stars
Did it help us learn? 6 stars
Is it worth the money? 6 stars
Is it useful to me? 5 stars
Practicality- 5 stars
Quality- 7 stars
Kid Rating- 5 stars

Last January I had the opportunity of reviewing the online version of Kinderbach.  You can see my review here.  Since that time they have now come out with an iPad/iPhone/iPod touch version of this popular music program.  I was very eager to get to review this product since we love our iPads and I would love to have more educational type apps for my kids to use.  I planned on using this app for my 3 and 5 year olds. We were given Classroom Kinderbach:School Version to review.  This meant that we received all the content of the entire app at one time for one price.  Then there were no in app purchases that needed to be made.  You also have the option of download the app for free (gives you just the first 2 lessons and 1 game) and then you are able to do in-app purchases to buy more lessons or levels at a time.

My 5 year old has been begging to learn piano because her 3 older siblings play and take private lessons.  I am not ready to pay for lessons for her quite yet.  I figured this would be a great way for her to get some music education to get her ready for lessons.  This program includes so much!  From the Kinderbach website:

KinderBach’s App for iPad or iPhone brings the teachings of Karri Gregor to your device. The KB App features Levels 1, 2 & 3 and offers a year’s worth of entertaining music education for 3 to 7 year old children through video, interactive coloring pages and games. Miss Karri introduces preschoolers to the keyboard characters with stories and fun tunes. Kids will enjoy playing simple songs, identifying music direction and pitch, learning rhythm notes and their beat value. Levels 1 to 3 cover proper hand and finger position, as well as note reading by pattern for voice, and keyboard. 

While we found that there is great content included in this app we found it was not quite as simple/quick to use as we thought.  Videos have to load individually the first time they are clicked on.  I had downloaded the app before leaving for the night with the girls, thinking they would use it while we had to wait places.  This wasn’t the case and a bit disheartening for them.  If you don’t have internet or 3G connected to your iPad the videos won’t play until they have been loaded the first time.

The program has 3 levels to complete and each level has 10 lessons in it.  Each Lesson is supposed to take a week for your child to work on.  Within the lesson there is a game, print out, and then an intro video and 4 more videos.  The videos are perfect for short attention spans.  Each video seemed to span between 2-4 minutes.  The videos are filled with fun cartoon characters, catchy music and a very nice teacher!

There are 6 games include in the app.  2 games are introduced in each level.  However, your child can also click on the game button at the opening of the program and see all of the games.  The Train game has a glitch that they are currently working on.  Unfortunately, right now it shuts down the entire app. No problem, it isn’t one you need right away when you start the program and customer service has been so great in dealing with the issue. We found that some of the games really couldn’t be played until you had reached certain levels in the program simply because you wouldn’t have enough information to know how to play them.  We found it was best just to click on the game button within the individual lessons to make sure you were playing the right game for where you were in the program.  The first game is adorable and helps your child learn the numbers of their fingers…a must in beginning piano lessons!  They put their hands on the screen and tap the correct fingers on special characters when the game tells them to do so!

The print button is to airprint any printables that you needed for that individual lesson.  We weren’t able to use this feature because we don’t have a printer that is compatible.  Very cool idea though!  We would have needed to purchase the pdf’s to go with each level.  They are available on the Kinderbach website for $1.99 each.

 

What I liked:

  • Same content that we were getting in the online program, but at a fraction of the cost.
  • The music is super kid friendly, along with the videos.  My 3 year old sees a picture Dodi (the dog from the program) and immediately says, “Dodi” with a huge smile on her face.
  • There is a keyboard that they can use with on the bottom of the screen! Perfect size for their fingers!
  • You can download the app for free and try out the first 2 lessons and first game for free.  Once you decide you like it you can either purchase the entire program at one time ($26.99) or purchase individual lessons for $.99 or individual levels for $8.99.
  • Great customer service.  Karri (the founder of Kinderbach) has always been quick to respond to me when I have had a question.

What I didn’t like:

  • The videos seemed to take a long time to load.  This was really frustrating to my girls.  They did not have the patience to wait for them. (I found it best to click on each of them and let the load while they weren’t with me, then they would be loaded for the next time they were going to work on this program….a bit time consuming for me)
  • I figured the games would be stand alone games….there was really no way to play the Musical Memory game without doing the lessons first as you were to match a character to special letter they each represented. The games are very integrated into the progression of the lessons.  No biggie, but important to know!
  • My Ipad doesn’t airprint.  There are activity pages to go with the lessons.  Unfortunately the only way to get these pages if you can’t get them to airprint is to purchase the pdf books.  Not a huge deal, priced at $1.99 per level, but a bit of an inconvenience.
  • Unfortunately, I don’t have 3G on my iPad.  This means that in order for my kids to use this app I either have to preload the individual videos or have to be on wireless for them to load.  Just takes a little more forethought in planning!
  • I couldn’t find a way to “mark” or keep track of the lessons that we were on.  Every time you open the app you have to remember where you were and click on it.

To sum it up: 

My overall feeling is that this app would be really a great thing to have if you are wanting to introduce your child to basic music education.  Also, you can’t look at the price of this as an expensive app.  This is just like their online program content but at the fraction of the cost!  If you are looking for something to learn piano, this is not the app you would use.  It doesn’t go over technique and the onscreen keyboard is nothing like a real keyboard. Better go find a living breathing piano teacher for that!

The important information:

Kinderbach App

Order from: the iTunes store! or Kinderbach site will take you there!

Price: The Classroom:School Version-$26.99, You can also download the app for free with the first 2 lessons.  Then purchase individual lessons for $.99 or individual levels for $8.99.

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

 

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

Schoolhouse Teachers: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Schoolhouse Teachers: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Schoolhouse Teachers: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Photobucket Sacha’s<25: A monthly subscription blending home learning with the latest technology provides you with plenty of learning opportunities for your entire K-12 homeschool (also great planners for teachers and students-my favorite!)

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

Is it worth our time? 9 stars
Did it help us learn? 9 stars
Is it worth the money? 9 stars
Is it useful to me? 9 stars
Practicality- 9 stars
Quality- 10 stars
Kid Rating- 10 stars

What is Schoolhouse Teachers?

SchoolhouseTeachers.com was created with the vision to provide quality homeschool materials from the best teachers in many subject areas. We offer daily, weekly, and monthly lesson plans and activity ideas.

The tagline “Blended Learning, Innovative Education” means so much…..

“Blended learning is the use of both classroom teaching and online learning in education.” Our approach believes in the combination of face-to-face learning—i.e., home education and homeschool co-op settings—combined with the latest in technology. And that’s where innovative comes in. We’re using the latest in technology: online learning, E-Books, apps, back issues of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine archived, and more. And there’s much more (video, audio files) to come.

Member Benefits and Privileges….

Daily, weekly, and monthly lesson plans and assignments are available 24/7/365 at the all new SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

1. Members-only access to lesson materials in these subject areas: Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Geography, History, Home Economics, Literature, Math, Music, Reading, Writing . . . and so much more!

2. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine delivered straight to your inbox, monthly.

3. All The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine digital back issues—easily searchable, a fantastic feature that enables you to go directly to articles of interest.

4. The Homeschool Minute™ weekly E-Newsletter.

5.  Download all five Schoolhouse Planners—the Parent version (hundreds of pages), all Student planners (3 versions) and the Special Needs planner.

6. 12 E-books from the Schoolhouse Store—one per month during the first year of membership.

7. All available TOS Expo-To-Go recorded sessions—including all future recordings, for the duration of membership.

8. After 12 months of uninterrupted membership, you will receive a $25 gift certificate to the “Totally TOS” section of the Schoolhouse Store.

The 2011-2012 Schoolhouse Planners, filled with scores of articles, helps, tips, calendars, and more—literally hundreds of pages of homeschool helps—are now free and yours to download!

Our Experience:

When I first logged on to this amazing site it was a bit overwhelming.  There is such a vast amount of information and planning and lessons.  After spending a bit of time looking around I was really impressed with how there really is something for everyone.  There are lessons that come up monthly, weekly, and daily! The lessons are provided by amazing teachers such as Terri Johnson, Diana Waring, Michelle Miller, Andy Harris and Kim Kautzer—just to name a few!  As a parent/teacher I can log onto my account and look for lessons that we want to cover or even daily activities I want my students to work on!  Just to name a few-filmmaking, lapbooking, and voice lessons!  I really enjoyed watching some of the filmmaking lessons! Wow, these aren’t lessons you can just find anywhere, not to mention for this price! Of course, there are all the usual types of subjects as well—history, grammar, chemistry, economics, writing, literature. I want to mention here that some of the lessons are video based and some you just print out and go from there!

One of my favorite aspects of this membership is the planners are now included.  In past years I have paid $30 for a planner for me and another $10-20 for each age group I needed planners for!  No more!  Free with your membership!  I love these planners.  The teacher planner is 800+ pages—choose the pages you need and print them out.  They are also editable—I would type in our weekly lesson plans and print out copies for my kids! There are planner pages for your homeschool as well as your household!

Daily plans include–writing, math, grammar, today in history and much more.  I will definitely be using some of these this year with my kiddos.  Daily grammar explains a grammar rule and then has practice exercises to go with it! There are also 10 copybooks available if you want your child to work on copy work…no more needing to hunt down what you want them to do, these are all put in once place and nicely laid out!

All I can really tell you is there is more on this website than you could ever need and it is updated daily to include new content.  Also included are all the back issues of TOS Magazine–my favorite homeschooling magazine—this is a goldmine right here!

What I liked:

  • The value here is amazing…so much information and lessons for $5.95/month!
  • The variety of the lessons provided–film making?, voice lessons?, as well as the traditional subjects.
  • It really is a one-stop shop for all your homeschooling needs, and the best part is you only pay 1 low monthly price!
  • There are daily lessons as well as weekly and monthly-something for every type of homeschool.
  • Love the planners!!!!
  • Love the back issues of TOS magazine as well as the new monthly digital magazine!
  • Some of my favorite homeschool curriculum writers are teachers here!

What I didn’t like:

  • hmmm, hard to find something!

To sum it up: For just $1 for the first month you can try out this amazing homeschool resource.  I highly suggest you do yourself a favor…it will save you time and money in the long run!!!

 

The important information:

Schoolhouseteachers.com

Order from: http://schoolhouseteachers.com/

Price: $1 for the first month, $5.95 for each additional month….sign up for a year at a time and there is an additional discount!

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

 

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

The winner of the One and Only Miss Violet Remy Giveaway is…

The winner of the One and Only Miss Violet Remy Giveaway is…

Cristy S.!  Congratulations you won!  You are the winner of Home in the Trenches Giveaway of the ebook The One and Only Miss Violet Remy!  Angie Renich-the author-will be emailing you the gift link to download the book from Amazon. Your comment was chosen through Random.org.

Thanks to everyone for supporting Angie in her first novel and Home in the Trenches!
If you haven’t already purchased a copy, please head here and do it….you won’t regret it!