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Friday, August 30, 2013

Dumbing Down Relationships?

Do you ever feel like you don't measure up? How about feeling like you measure up too much?

 That's how I'm feeling right now. For awhile now actually. As I'm growing older, I'm noticing how my friendships are more like acquaintances. Talking superficial topics, nothing to risk exposing ourselves of pain, hurt or disappointment. I know for many years leading back to the first friend I've ever had, I've been crushed by friendship breakups. I know in part, it's life's cycle, but to always have it happen, it's heartbreaking. I put my all into all friendships no matter how many I have, and how long they last, which usually never is reciprocated. By the end, I'm used and thrown out like yesterday's trash.
 
I'm to the point of not sharing anything about myself because it ends up being used against me in the future. I met someone new on my birthday. We had coffee together and I thought we hit it off. I now believe I overshared. I told her about my life, my accomplishments, and my letdowns in life. Now there is silence on the otherside of this relationship. Another piece of me, thrown away.
 
What's my version of a friend?
 
 My version of a friendship consists of trust, sharing, intimacy, laughter, and growing old together...when the going gets rough, they are the first person you call, day or night!
 
Is that too much to ask in an age where social media dominates our true face to face relationships?
 
You've got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging, Pinterest.. and I know there is so much more. In the homeschooling community you have The Homeschool Lounge and tons upon tons of forums to choose from in any topic you can think of. So with that, why is America, me included, feeling so alone?
 
My husband keeps expressing to me that you'll only have acquaintances and not the friendship I describe above. People that come and go in your life and to expect true, deep, meaningful relationships is more of a myth than truth. A thing of the past.. Something made up for the movies?
 Have we really denied ourselves in today's culture actual intimate relationships?
 
Have we let go of one on one relationships for social media? A false sense of closeness, friendship, togetherness? We now can share our feelings within seconds with Facebook and Twitter.
 
Does that really fill us up each day to know that we are truly, deep down, loved and cared for because we were able to share it in cyberspace?

I highly recommend everyone who uses social media to read this book below. It truly changed my view of the social media epidemic..

Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media
 
I guess I'm old fashioned. I WANT the relationship I've described above. I don't want superficial talk about the weather and how your grass is growing. I want to be intimate with friends. Sharing our lives together, crying together and laughing together.
 
Is that really too much to ask of today's society? Is there really time in others lives to stop, slow down, making room for other people in your day to day lives?
 
We are more ready to dive into doing something, filling our to do lists full and making zero room for relationships. I notice in the homeschooling community more than any area of my life. We are working so hard to give our kids the best opportunities and to overachieve above and beyond private and public schools that we don't give ourselves time to actually care about relationships outside our immediate family.
 
Do we really want to sell ourselves short and give no room to the joys of friendship?
 
Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loves at all times."
 
God designed us to be intimate with others. He desires us to love our friends and neighbors. If we don't have friendships, then how can we really read this scripture and truly apply it to our lives?
 
I found a quote by C.S. Lewis that says “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

What a wonderful thing to picture. I desire that.
 
Lately though, I've felt like my life to others is too perfect. My own father in law said that too me. Yep! Told me if his life was as perfect as ours then he wouldn't know what to do with himself. Can you believe to get that kind of talk from your own family? Well, I have and then some..
 
I've had other people, not related shy away from me because of my accomplishments. Should I have to hide who I truly am around others to make them feel better about themselves? I try really hard to have compassion for others, to not judge others, but lately it seems that's not the case for me.
 
Nobody really wants to get to know me? Me on the inside.. The intimate me! My feelings, likes, dislikes. They just see what I'm DOING. Painting my cabinets, organizing my house, cleaning, simplifying, making cakes, running, eating healthy, baking and cooking. The list goes on.....

I feel like I'm putting forth the effort 95% of the time and getting just 5% in return. Reaching out to them, either by phone calls, emails, trying to visit, inviting them over.. but it falls short when it's time to return the gesture...
 
Should I stop what I'm doing? No... I want others to accept me for who I am. I want to do the same for others but I feel like nobody wants to give me a chance to do so.
 
Has my life always been this way.. NO!!! I've been on my own since before I was 17. I've had to grow up quickly in a difficult world. My first marriage ended in an ugly divorce, ripping my family apart and taking my beautiful daughter away from me for 12 years was not easy. It was heart wrenching and physically, emotionally and mentally painful each and everyday.
 
Nobody sees that. Nobody takes the time to see the trials that I've gone through, that my family has gone through to make it to who I am today... They truly believe deep down, that I've always been this way.
 
I've not always been organized, I've been divorced, filed bankruptcy 12 yrs ago because I was not diligent with money, I ate junk food, fast food, drank soda, didn't exercise, my house was a mess, I was 35 pounds overweight, I had depression for over 2 yrs, and we had little to no extra spending money. I even had to work outside the home when my children were young. When I first got married, I had no idea how to cook and to make it from scratch would of made me laugh. I spent more time ordering out food than using my kitchen to cook. I used to joke all the time that if I was running it was because someone was chasing me..
 
Now look at me.. This just shows that you can change. I owe every change I've done to my almighty God.
 
  • I'm now diligent with our finances.
  • We are now debt free and owe only on our house.
  • My marriage is stronger than it ever has been (15 yrs + )
  • I let go of fast food and soda back in 2005
  • Started exercising and now love to run and lift weights
  • My house is no longer a mess because I got tired of wasting time looking for stuff
  • I lost 35lbs because I wanted a change for myself
  • I no longer have to work outside my home because my wonderful husband provides enough for all of us.
  • I found out I LOVE TO COOK.. from scratch.. whole unprocessed foods (why? watch Food Inc. and SuperSize Me)
  • I had to go on medication to get out of my deep depression but with God's power I was able to let go of that and heal naturally back in 2007
  • 3 yrs ago I really took simplifying my life seriously because I was overwhelmed by too much stuff and activities. I was reviewing curriculum, books, taking care of the house, homeschooling etc etc. I knew I needed a change when right after I woke up, I wanted to go back to bed.
  • I chose SIMPLIFY as my word for the year. Everytime something came up, I would say, "Does this simplify my life?" If the answer was no, then the answer was no to whatever was trying to pull me in.
  • It became a habit after 12 months of asking that question. This also meant stuff in my house. I went from room to room and cleaned out EVERYTHING. Dump, thrift store or sold a ton of stuff. Now everything has a place. If I buy something else now, if it doesn't have a home, then something else has to go or I don't buy something new.
This has taken me YEARS to get to where I am today. One thing at a time, one step at a time, one decision at a time. Failing, succeeding and failing some more. I'll never be done with this because I'm a sinner, with faults, and I tend to slide back into old habits but I find the strength from God to perservere and move forward.
 
I'm not perfect.. I just would love to find someone else not perfect like me, so that we can share our lives together. I hope someday I will find such friendships...
 
 
 

Homeschool Mom's NIV Bible Review

 
About this Bible:
 
Heartfelt Inspiration to Revive, Encourage, and Strengthen the Homeschooling Mom
If you’re on an airplane, you’re instructed, in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, to put on your own oxygen mask before helping your child. The reason? If you don’t have a supply of oxygen, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
The same is true for the rest of life: you can’t give what you don’t have. And as a homeschooling mom, you pour yourself out every day for the sake of your children. Yet how do you fill yourself up? Where do you get your spiritual oxygen? Now you can be filled and restored by the original Bible for homeschool moms---with a full year’s worth of encouraging daily devotions placed alongside the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible. These heartfelt, practical readings written by Janet Tatman, a former homeschooling mom, cover topics such as finding strength to keep motivated, avoiding burnout, staying focused and committed, navigating the needs of toddlers while educating siblings, managing schedules, delegating tasks and chores, setting boundaries, and most importantly, maintaining proper soul care while juggling educational and household responsibilities.
The words of these devotions will breathe life into your soul so that you can successfully run the race.
Features:
  • 365 daily meditations with prayers written by Janet Tatman, a veteran homeschooling mother with more than 25 years of experience homeschooling
  • The full text of the clear, accessible New International Version (NIV) translation
  • Foreword from Vickie Farris, author, homeschool mom, and wife of Michael Farris, founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association
  • Topical index

My Thoughts on this Bible:
 
I was so excited to find a devotional bible for homeschoolers. Over the years I've had a Women's and a Mom's Devotional Bible. Both, encouraging. The mom's devotional helped me through the younger years of mothering but now going into my 10th yr homeschooling it's wonderful to find encouragement, scripture references and prayer suggestions that fit my current season of my life.
 
With the help of a well known curriculum publisher, Alpha Omega Publications, and a long time user of their curriculum, helps homeschool mom's like me find words of encouragement through the devotions and through scripture during this critical time in our lives. Helping us to build up our children, our faith, and our family. One devotion at a time. I look forward to reading every single one of these this coming year. Bravo to Zondervan, Alpha Omega Publications and to the author of the devotions, Janet Tatman.
 
I received this wonderful bible free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards Series #2)
 
About This Book:
 
The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?
On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?
 
My Thoughts on This Book:
 
I have fallen in love with Amish Fiction and Cindy Woodsmall knows how to draw a reader into the Amish style of life. Captivating from the very beginning, I couldn't put it down until the end. I can't wait to get the next book in the series... I chose to read this book first as I was struggling to get my first book copy to show up on my Nook. I didn't feel like I truly missed any major story plots by reading the second one, first. The author really helps tie in the other book but not become too wordy!
 
I've heard though, the first book really helps you understand the characters of this book better so once I get my issue taken care of, I plan to read the first book before finishing the series with book 3..
 
A great read! I love Cindy Woodsmall's books and this is no exception..
 
I received an e-book copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cabinet Remodel Complete

After 9 solid days working on the kitchen cabinets, they are finally done. This was a labor of love. 46 doors and 14 drawers later plus the cabinets themselves.. After deglossing, painting two coats on each surface (waiting 2 hours between each coat), then adding the glaze ( waiting 8 hours for it to dry), then moved onto the Top Protective Coating (waiting 12 hours for it to dry) Then was able to add new hardware and handles to finish off the look..
 
I was in love with my kitchen before just due to it's size, but now I LOVE MY KITCHEN. I've been in it each day since it was done, baking my heart out!!
 
With the new beautiful wood floor my husband put in for me, now the cabinets all done, new walls done, painted, crown moulding added, chair moulding and wainscoting added, new windowsill/trim, new handmade Roman Shades, and new light fixtures.. I can't get enough of this beautiful room!!
 
Here below is some before and after photos of the cabinet transformation!!

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Before viewing the entire kitchen

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Before- Left side of kitchen

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After- Left Side of Kitchen

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Before- Our food pantry (was a TV cabinet). Didn't go that well in the kitchen as the coloring was more cherry and darker than the cabinets

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After- Food Pantry is now the same color as cabinets, blends in like it belongs in the kitchen

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Before- Right Side of kitchen

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After- Right side of kitchen showing island all done, sporting our new moulding & light fixtures as well
 
Last on the list of things to do in the kitchen???
 
New countertops
New backsplash
New sink/faucet
Need to add frosted glass to doors above stove
New appliances (Oven, Refrigerator, Dishwasher)
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Student Photos

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It's the third week already in the Not Back to School Blog Hop.. This month is just flying by for me.. We still haven't officially started school yet. Our homeschool start date will be Monday August 26th.

This week is Student Photo Week..
 
I decided to just post a picture of all three of my kiddos instead of each of them individually.. This was taken last October. We won't have an updated one until our first snow fall. This year I'd like to take our family photos in the snow.. Last year I wanted them with the leaves changing and I loved them since Fall is my favorite time of the year.. 

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My oldest.. DD18 will be Freshman at Montana State University-Great Falls getting her Associates Degree in Graphic Design.
 
My middle child- DS14 will be a Freshman at the local high school. His first ever in public school. This was a hard decision and NOT one we took lightly. We pray that this will only be a year and that things will work out with him by next Summer for him to return to homeschooling. All in God's timing!
 
My youngest- DS11 will be my only one homeschooling this year which has been awhile since I've just homeschooled one. He will be entering 6th grade, his final year in elementary school. He's looking forward to the one on one attention that he'll be receiving this year as he's never had that being the youngest. I pray this time with him will allow him to shine and find his strengths.
 
Please leave a comment that you've stopped by from the blog hop or if you've come across my blog. Would love to hear from you and please leave a link, I'd love to stop by your blog/website..
 
Many Blessings <><

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel Days 1-2

I am hard at work redoing our kitchen cabinets.. Nothing like updating and painting 45 cabinet doors, cabinets and 13 drawers to make you go "what was I thinking?"... I love my kitchen and after we put in our new wood floors we knew back in March that it was going to be too much wood. So, when we purchased the flooring we also purchased the kit and new hardware to refurbish our kitchen cabinets.

We are using the Rusto-leum Cabinet kit.. It's a four step process and let me tell you it's VERY time consuming so if you want to do this, make sure you have AT LEAST a week to devote to it. If you have as many cabinets, drawers and doors as I do then you will need at least that long, maybe more. 

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First things first.. Mapping out your kitchen. With as many doors I have I needed a game plan so I could put them back where they came from.. (So all the holes for the hinges match up)
 
I drew out my kitchen and then numbered all the doors, which I then put sticky notes onto corresponding doors. I took off all the hardware (hinges and screws) and placed them into a dixie cup labeled with the same number as the door. (We are replacing the handles with something new so they all went into a large ziplock bag and we will be donating them to Habitat For Humanity Restore here in town.) We have kept the hinges as they go real well with the new handles.

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I decided to work on one section at a time. For the first day I chose the top cabinets along the wall by the sink, and oven. It ended up being 13 cabinet doors and two sets of cabinets to start out with.

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Stage One of the process is DEGLOSSING the cabinets and doors. This means some scrubbing to get off the gloss and to remove any dirt, grease etc from everything.. Then, it's taping time. I had to tape everything that I wasn't going to paint which was just inside each cabinet opening. The kit has just enough to paint front/back of doors and the outsides of the cabinets (not inside)

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Stage Two.. Base Coat.. We chose Antique White as our base coat since it matches our trim throughout the kitchen/dining room..

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Just a few of my doors all lined up... Base Coat complete

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Stage Three- Glazing the cabinets. I chose the technique where you apply with a sponge brush the glaze and wipe it off with the rag thats provided in the kit. I know the pictures above are hard to see the results but they look beautiful.. They now look like custom cabinets.
 
I will be adding the final Stage.. Stage 4 today which is the Top Protective Clear Coat and then it will sit for 12 hours and we'll then be able to hang it all up with the hardware.
 
It's coming along nicely. Today is Day 3 and when I'm done with it, I'll post what I've completed thus far.. Here above was my first two days of work.. It's a lot of work, but it's looking great so far!!

Homeschool Room Reveal

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I am a bit behind in posting our school room for this week's Not Back to School Blog Hop. I'm completely engrossed in painting/staining my kitchen cabinets.. So I have a few minutes to share our room. I'm actually excited about sharing our room this year even though it's the same space. I remodeled it this past Spring so it's so nice and inviting now. The room used to be our dining room but we've turned it solely into a homeschool room and now our family room is our dining room..

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We've redone the windows, put in baseboard and crown moulding, added the cool sentiment above the window for encouragement, painted all the walls to match the adjacent living room and added a new light fixture. All the cabinets are organized, all curriculum that we no longer need is taken out including supplies that are too young for my kiddos to use anymore.
 
This cabinet houses supplies on the bottom shelf, paper, folders etc on the top shelf and future curriculum in the middle shelves.

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The sentiment over the window says "Dream until, Your Dreams Come True"

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This is pretty much where we store all of our curriculum that we are currently using. Teacher's guides and school books are all here including reference materials such as dictionary, globes, microscope, thesaurus, etc.
 
Thanks for stopping by and checking out our schoolroom. Would love to hear from you. If are stopping by from the blog hop, leave a comment with your link and I'd love to check our your room as well.. Many blessings <><

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Curriculum For Sale

Here is a list of all the curriculum, schooling supplies, supplements, games etc that I'm selling to make room for 2013-2014 school yr. The prices below do NOT reflect shipping costs.

You will need to leave a comment below with your zip code for exact media rate shipping costs if you live outside of my local area of 59405. (My comments are moderated and will not be published so your info will not be made public)

I will accept Paypal Only unless you live local and then CASH will be accepted. Feel free to make an offer. I'm open to anything reasonable as I need to make room in my homeschool room asap..

 Please don't hesitate to ask any questions! Thanks!

COMPLETE CURRICULUM IN ONE:

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Learn at Home Grade 3 Complete Curriculum Set
No writing, ready to use in excellent condition
Asking $7.00

GRAMMAR / ENGLISH / LANGUAGE ARTS:

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JacKris Publications
Growing with Grammar Level 6 (grade 6)
Complete One Year Grammar Curriculum
Brand NEW- Everything you need is included
Student Manual, Student Workbook, Answer Key, TESTS
More info on this curriculum HERE
Asking $23.00
 

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JacKris Publications
Digging Into Diagramming
More info on this curriculum HERE
 Brand NEW
Asking $9.00

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Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary Level 5 (grade 5) Answer Key
Like New
Asking $1.00
 
 
ENGLISH STUDY GUIDES/HELPS:

 
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Taking the Mystery out of Teaching Reading in 6 Easy Steps
NEW- includes CD to teach the 83 Sounds of the English Language
Asking $4.00

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Alpha Omega Publications
Language Arts 100-800 Diagnostic Tests
No Writing- Great condition
Asking $1.50

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Evan Moor Developing Reading Skills Level C
NEW
Asking $3.00

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Evan Moor Grades 1-6 GIANT Write Every Day
NEW
Asking $3.00

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Evan Moor Poetry Patterns & Themes
Grades 3-6+
NEW
Asking $3.00

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Grade 3 Flash Kids Reading Comprehension
NEW
Asking $1.50

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Spectrum Test Practice Grade 5
Brand NEW
Asking $4.00

LITERATURE STUDIES:

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A Guide for Using The Phantom Tollbooth in the Classroom
Guide Only- NEW
Asking $2.00

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A Guide for Using The Whipping Boy in the Classroom
Whipping Boy- Softcover
All in excellent condition
Asking $6.00 for both

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A Guide for Using The Cricket in Times Square in the Classroom
The Cricket in Times Square-Softcover
Both in excellent condition
Asking $6.00 for both
 

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A Guide for Using The Witch of Blackbird Pond in the Classroom
The Witch in Blackbird Pond
Both NEW
Asking $7.00 for both

LEVELED READERS:
 

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Compass Classic Reader- Level 5
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
NEW w/ MP3 CD
Asking $2.00 

ENGLISH STUDY AIDES/SUPPLEMENTS:

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Brain Quest Grade 5 Ages 10-11
Asking $1.50

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Story Elements Foam Dice Grades K-5
New- Asking $2.00
 
Spell-ominoes Game Cards
New- Asking $2.00

SCIENCE:

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Apologia- Exploring Creation with General Science 1st Edition
Multimedia Companion CD, Textbook, Solutions & Tests and Daily Lesson Plans
Some highlighting in a few modules but no writing and it doesn't affect the curriculum
Asking $20.00 OBO

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Alpha Omega Publications
Science Grade 8 Teacher's Guide- Excellent Condition
Asking $1.00
 
Grade 8 Science Experiments DVD- Excellent Condition
Asking $5.00

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All four books $1.00 each in great condition
The Young Naturalist-SOLD
Flowers-SOLD
CARS-SOLD 
 

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Sticker Book- Ocean World
a couple stickers have been placed but otherwise excellent condition
Asking $1.00

MATH:

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Switched on Schoolhouse Grade 3- 2001 Math CD's
Complete Year.
(This year doesn't need start up disk- just put in and it runs without it)
Compatable w/ Windows 98
Asking $5.00

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Quarter Mile Math Computer Software Curriculum Program
Both NEW
Level 2-
214 topics- whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, math strategies, estimation, integers, and equations. Has 33,000 problems
 
Level 3-
Topics cover decimals, percents, integers, and equations. 29,000 problems
Compatable w/ Windows 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista & 7
Macintosh System 8.x to OS X ( This will not work on Macs w/ Intel Processors)
Asking $5.00 each 

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VALUE Math Division Game
NEW unopened
Asking $4.00

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VALUE Math Multiplication Game
Unopened NEW
Asking $4.00

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Math- Self Checking Skill & Drill Flip Overs
Has four pages to flip and learn
MONEY- Counting Coins
NEW
Asking $1.00

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Math- Self Checking Skill & Drill Flip Overs
TELLING TIME- Hour, Half Hour, Minutes
Has four pages to flip and learn
NEW
Asking $1.00

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Math- Self Checking Skill & Drill Flip Overs
SKIP COUNTING- 2's through 10's
Has four pages to flip and learn
NEW
Asking $1.00

GEOGRAPHY:


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Evan Moor- Nigeria Vol 4 Around the World-
Literature Based Multicultural Unit Study
Grades 1-3
NEW
Asking $1.00

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Hands on Study of China Packet includes directions, literature to read, projects to make
NEW
Asking $1.00

BIBLE/PARENTING: 
 

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God and Church Program for Grades 6-8
NEW includes two student workbooks and counselor manual
Created for Protestant and Independant Christian Churches
This can be used in a church, at home, homeschool bible study etc
Asking $4.00 for set of 3

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God and Life Program for Grades 9-12
NEW includes two student workbooks and counselor manual
Created for Protestant and Independant Christian Churches
This can be used in a church, at home, homeschool bible study etc
Asking $4.00 for set of 3 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE:

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French Activity Book and CD w/ Fun Songs that Teach 100+ Words in English/French
NEW
Ages 5-12
Asking $2.00

MISC:


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Scholarships 2013
Great Condition
Asking $2.00
 
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Evan Moor Theme Pockets- June
Grades 1-3
Includes Amazon Rainforest, Artists, Farmers Feed Us
Can be used anytime of year
NEW
Asking $3.00

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Alpha Omega Publications
Lifepac Study Guide pack 40 Total sheets
Asking $1.00

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Unschooling Handbook Softcover- Great Condition
2 Bumper Stickers- "It is an honor to be an unschooling family"
Asking $4.00 for all

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Cub Scouts Academics and Sports Program Guide
plus
How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide
Great Condition
Asking $2.00 for both

GAMES:

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America's Spirit- Gently Used-
Asking $1.00
 
Bingo-USA- Like NEW-
Asking $3.00
 
In a Pickle- Gently Used-
Asking $1.00
 
Knowledge- Great Condition-
Asking $3.00
 
Which Way USA?- Like NEW
Asking $5.00