The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Saturday, December 25, 2010

Title: Wits and Wagers Family
Target Ages: 8+
Format: Board Game
Price: $14.00



This review is for a board game by North Star Games. It is a trivia game based on another game by North Star Games ... Wits and Wagers.


The Queen's Overall Assessment:
We are not big gamers around here. The children just aren't to an age that they can play independently and independent is what they want to be! 


For the game, there is a set of trivia questions that have a number answer. Each person writes their number on a dry-erase card and conceals it from the others. After everyone has written an answer, the answers are revealed and lined up lowest to highest. Then, each person is to place their "meeples" (game markers) on the card(s) that they think have the best answer. The card closest to the correct answer without going over is deemed the winning card. A correctly-placed large meeple is worth two points and a correctly-placed small meeple is one point. The first person to score 15 points is the winner. 


We are not big trivia buffs. I was able to correctly answer some questions on kitchen equivalents and Thanksgiving trivia that we had just covered in school ... but we forgot to place our meeples before the answer was revealed and I got no points. The pop culture questions and historical trivia questions were just silly (sometimes correct) guesses. The princess practiced writing whatever number popped into her head and Prince Charming and the prince tried to fit as many zeros as possible onto their cards. We had fun family time, and that's what matters. I even caught the prince and princess "playing" the game the next day and making up their own questions and answers.


We'll be using this game more as time goes on. We'll just have to brush up on our trivia and maybe have friends over to make the teams more competitive. 


Other Homeschool Crew Members reviewed this product. Be sure to find out what they thought at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free game with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.




The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Title: "Good Morning, God"
Target Ages: 1-8
Format: hard-covered picture book
Price: $14.00



This review is for a wonderful devotional book entitled "Good Morning, God" by Davis Carman. The book is published by Apologia Press, a well-known publisher of homeschool and spiritual books.


The Queen's Overall Assessment:
We loved this book. The story is a prayer diary of a little boy's day. During that time, you learn what he did during the day and how his parents were teaching him. The sweet, gentle story is perfect for cuddling up with your little one and learning about God. 


The book can be used as a stand-alone story or as a daily devotional for you and your child. We first read it as a story. Then, we came back and used it as a devotional. We read each day's prayer story and used the devotional questions in the back of the book to spur discussion. 


The prince and princess both enjoyed this book. The questions were on a level that could be easily answered by either child. The story was engaging. The illustrations were wonderful. There were black and white sketches of the child's activities and color sketches of the family engaged in worship activities. 


Apologia Press also offers a coloring book to accompany the devotional book. The coloring book is $4 and can also be ordered from Apologia Press


Other Homeschool Crew Members reviewed this product. Be sure to find out what they thought at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free book with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.




The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't forget to vote for The Cow Queen for the

Vendor: KB Teachers
Target Ages: preK-12th Grade
Format: website
Price: free watermarked pages, 1 year subscription/$29, 2 year subscription/$49


This review is for a website of printable worksheets to use in schooling or giving extra help to your child. This site has some free pages to use or a subscription gets you more choices without a watermark.


The Queen's Overall Assessment:
I used this website for the princess' basic letter and number recognition and practice. I found several pages to use with her. For the prince, I found a few items to use for math. I have some printed out to use in the coming weeks for our math subjects. There were worksheets for English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and more. I was really hoping to use it more for the prince, but the pages seemed to skip from Kindergarten level to 3rd grade and up. 


My favorite part of the website was the auto-generated math worksheets. I selected the skill to work on, the level of difficulty, the orientation of the problem, and clicked KB Teachers' print button. I could then click on a single button to generate a new worksheet to print. I could go on all day ... if I wanted to. 


In the KB News section, the folks at KB post of their new additions. This is where they post their holiday worksheets and more obscure holidays of note. Did you know November 3 was National Sandwich Day? The folks at KB Teachers did, and they gave you links to learn more about it. You can even sign up for their newsletter, and they will let you know when they post new things. I have already printed coloring sheets and mazes for Thanksgiving week. If I can just make the prince and princess understand that they will have to wait to do them ... 


The part of the website that I could not totally understand was not having a search box. KB Teachers believes that a well-developed website should lead you to what you need in 3 clicks or less. Sometimes even three clicks is too many when you are trying to do a lesson with one student and want to find a quick coloring sheet for a younger child. This week, if I could have just typed in "ladybug" and found a quick one for the princess, my headache would have been a lot smaller. KB Teachers is working on a website re-vamp. So, maybe that will be on the new site.


Other Homeschool Crew Members reviewed this product. Be sure to find out what they thought at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free membership with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.




The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Friday, November 19, 2010

Time is running out: Don't forget to vote for
The Cow Queen for the







The prince has been in rare form with his Tiny Talk lately. Here is just a sampling of the funny things:





We were working on his Latin assignment (watch for the review on this one). The directions said "circle yes or no"  The question was "sunt means there are".
Prince: I'm just going to circle both. 
Me: No, you can't do that. It is either "yes" or "no". 
Prince: Is there a "not really sure?"
****

We were on the way to church, and the princess asked if I knew any monkey songs. The closest I could come to a monkey song was "10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed." (In hindsight, I should have made it 5 Little Monkeys) We I sang through all the verses. As I got to the last few monkeys, I would stop to let the children say what the doctor said. The last monkey to fall of the bed became the prince's turn to be the doctor:

Me: Mama called the doctor and the doctor said ...
Prince: I'm tired of you calling me all the time.
(laughter)
Prince: ... and how do you get Monkey blood out of the carpet?
****

As we were talking about Veteran's Day, the prince asked who we knew who were veterans. We listed a few. He knew that Prince Charming's dad was in the Army. He asked about my dad. 

Me: He was in the Reserves.
Prince: What are the Reserves?
Me: They train people to be like people in the Army and keep them ready. If they don't have enough Army people, they call the Reserves to help.
Prince: So, he just sat around playing video games until they called?
Me: No, they didn't have video games back then. He was farming.
Later that night as he was preparing to brush his teeth...
Prince: So what do the "preserves" do?
****


I'm linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday so you can see what other cute things the children are saying. 



The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't forget to vote for The Cow Queen for the

Target Ages: K-5th Grade
Format: hands-on craft 
Price: $5.50


I'll admit that I was a bit apprehensive about getting a tomahawk kit to review. I knew that this would become the prince's project and could only see it as a "weapon". Boy, was I relieved to find that the tomahawk blade would actually be made of leather! 


I thought this was an easy and fun project for K-5th grade students. (I put those ages because I think that an older child would want a real blade on the tomahawk. The Corps of Re-Discovery has those too.) While I needed to help the prince with securing the leather strap that held it all together, he was able to do the rest on his own. It was no time at all before he was attacking the banister rail with the tomahawk! I would have taken pictures of the process, but it was out of the package and together before I thought of it.


Oh, the packaging ... Does anyone like those toys and supplies that you buy at the store that have twist ties everywhere and extra cardboard to make the product stand up for display? I don't! When my children get a new toy, they want to put it into action right away. The folks at Corps of Re-Discovery must have that kind of child too. The packaging is really simple. A plastic bag and a piece of paper. Can you imagine? You just open the package and read the directions. You are done with construction almost as quick. 

Other Homeschool Crew Members reviewed this product. Some members reviewed other products by this vendor. Be sure to find out what they thought at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free kit with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.




The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Monday, November 15, 2010

Don't forget to vote for The Cow Queen for the

Why would you possibly think anyone had access to my luggage without my knowledge?

I'm linking to  A Beautiful MessAnd Miles to Go, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

 

date Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't forget to vote for The Cow Queen for the






Have you noticed that the toys and activities that come with kid's fast food meals are not always geared toward the pre-school set? I have. 


This week, the princess got a cardboard hand puppet with her cheeseburger meal. You had to punch the puppet part loose from the cardboard sheet. It was one of those tuck-slot-a-into-slot-b kinds of things. She found the package on the table just before supper and asked if I could put it together. I told her that I would, but she would have to wait. 


Later, as I was putting it together, the prince asked how it got ripped. (The poor tiger had his tongue ripped out/off.) I said that I asked the princess to wait and she didn't. Then, the princess said, "I don't like to wait. It takes forever."


****

As I was brushing the princess' hair, I told her that we were going to the store to get a gift for Ms. K's wedding. The conversation went like this:
Me: When we are done at the doctor, we are going to the store to get a present for Ms. K's wedding.
Prince: You know what would be the best present? 
Me: What?
Prince: Love
Me: That would be a great present. I think that is what ya'll are going to get for Christmas.
very brief pause
Princess: Nope. No love for Christmas.
She has yet to learn that Christmas is the greatest love of all ... but she will.


I'm linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday so you can see what other cute things the children are saying. 



The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
After running errands this morning, I took a moment to catch my breath and check my email and online forums. One of my cyber-friends told me that the Homeschool Blog Awards voting was open. Just out of curiosity, I went to the awards site to see what all the hub-bub was about. Well, I found out that I am part of the hub-bub! 


The Cow Queen was nominated for Best Blog Design award!!  I can hardly believe it. In all of cyberworld ... of all the homeschool-related blogs, I am one of the nominees. You can go there yourself to see, if you don't believe me. While you are there, go to category #3 Best Blog Design and vote for The Cow Queen. In my acceptance speech, I'll be sure to give credit where it is due.


Now, most all of the blog awards that I encountered since beginning blogging in March, were just for fun ... a chance to get to know each other. Well, this one is different. There are REAL prizes. I was excited to see The Cow Queen as a nominee, but REALLY excited to see the prizes. So, if you can take a moment to vote for The Cow Queen, you will make me extremely happy and you will be adding to the learning experience in the royal classroom. Thanks for your help.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank you to everyone who entered The Cow Queen's first giveaway. There were 79 entries. 79!!!! I am blown away!


The Random Number generator selected ...

#55 Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads who said "I would probably look at getting a K'nex set for my daughter for Christmas. She's been looking at them lately."
Congratulations Heather!!!


This was so fun. I am looking forwarded to doing more giveaways. So, stay tuned!


Thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring the giveaway.


The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Saturday, November 6, 2010

Well, I'm finally back to give you the sequel to my Shopping, Shopping, Shopping post. I finally decided to purchase a Hamilton Beach 4-quart crockpot. I had a 6-quart, but thought the smaller one would work better for certain dishes and certain occasions.


I ordered the crockpot on a Monday and had it by Thursday of the same week. I put it into use that weekend. I've used it several times since then and am very happy with it. It is just the right size to feed our family and not have too many leftovers. I also love the little gasket around the lid. Some dishes like to sputter as they cook and this prevents that. Oh, and it has clamps to hold the lid on if you want to transport the crockpot. It only has low, high, and keep warm settings. There is not an automatic timer, but I'm usually around to turn it down or off. 


I'm still cruising around the CSN Stores sites to see what else I like. Right now, I have my eye on one of these upholstered headboards.  I think that leather is a great decorating accessory for The Cow Queen.


I'll keep my eye on that one. For now, it is your turn to pick out what you like. The nice people at CSN Stores are going to give one lucky reader of the The Cow Queen, a $35 gift certificate to use at one of their more than 200 stores.


Here is how to enter: (leave a separate comment for each method of entry and make sure I have a way to contact you)

  • Just tell me you want to win
  • Go to CSN Stores and tell me one thing you'd get with your certificate
  • Follow The Cow Queen (or tell me you already do)
  • Post this giveaway on Facebook
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Tell me your favorite post from The Cow Queen (This is worth two entries -- leave a separate comment for each entry)



This giveaway will end Friday, November 5, 2010. The winner will be announced Saturday, November 6, 2010. I will used random number generator to select the winner.


I love giveaways so I am linking to I'm Lovin' It, Feature Yourself Friday, and Friday Favorites


Disclosure: CSN Stores sent me a gift certificate to try their site and review a product for them on that site. The review on this site was not required or affected by their generosity. CSN Stores is providing the giveaway prize offered above.   



The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Saturday, October 30, 2010

Title: PG Key
Vendor: PG Key
Target Ages: all
Format: USB plug-in
Price: $49.99 0ne-time fee

The prince and princess do not use the computer much. The prince still uses Read, Write, and Type and likes to play one other game. So, he wasn't going to be much help with this review. Prince Charming and I know that the day is coming when we will need some cyber-supervision and we decided that we would test this product and really put it through the paces. 


The Queen’s Overall Assessment:

The PG Key is easy and simple to use and helps protect your children from internet dangers. The setup was simple: insert the PG Key into the USB port and follow on-screen prompts.

Now, that sounds simple enough. Mine didn't work that way. After almost an hour on the phone with customer support, we determined that the problem was on my end. The very nice support person said it was something in my virus protection program. So, after I removed and re-installed my virus checker everything was fine. 




Here is how you can use the product:
Time Lock: You (the administrator) can set when and for how long the product is used. I have ours set for a time limit on the children's user account. Prince Charming and I can still use ours whenever we want. Do you have a child who likes to sneak down after bedtime and play online games? Just take the PG Key out and they can not access the web.


Safe Search: You can enter websites that are "blocked" or those that are "allowed." Since I think it is easier to approve a few sites than to imagine all the ones to block, I went that route. A password has to be entered to access sites that are on the blocked list or not on the allowed list. When the prince and princess are older, I will change the settings to allow for web searches for research. 


Alerts: You enter key words and/or phrases. When these words are used, you receive email or text messages letting you know. This does not block searches for those words, it just alerts you. So, a teen who searching for questionable information can still get that information. But, you will also have the reports to begin dialogue on whether or not you think it is appropriate. 


Session Recorder: The program will make screen shots of what is viewed. This includes online sessions and even stuff on the word processor. This will be 60 hours of information before it begins to record over itself.


The problems that I was having with my initial set-up involved my anti-virus program. The PG Key was not blocking sites and was not sending me the email messages. Customer support was wonderful about trying to find the cause of the problem. When they saw that it was not related to their product, they sent me in the right direction to correct it. I appreciate that. Most calls to customer or technical support are very frustrating for me. This was not the case. It was actually an enjoyable conversation ... like talking to a friend. Since he asked that I call back and let them know how it works, I still have to return the call. This makes me think that they really care if and how their product works.

Be sure to check out the other reviews at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free kit with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.



The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Wednesday, October 27, 2010




With elections quickly approaching, campain signs are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. One day, Prince Charming's father was riding with us when he noticed that one of the signs he put up the previous day was missing. Since then, the prince has been on the look-out for other signs for that candidate. One day, he noticed the smaller print on the sign.
Prince: "Mama, what does 'U.S.' stand for?"
Me: "United States is one thing that it can stand for. (gramatically incorrect, but that's how we roll sometimes) Where did you see it?"
Prince: "On the (candidate name) sign." 
Me: "Yes, it stands for United States. He is wants to be a United States Senator and help make the laws."
Prince: "Wow. That's a big responsibility."
Me (half chuckling): "Yes. Yes, it is." 
And who says "wisdom comes with age."

I am The Cow Queen and I approved this message.


*****


This past week, we started reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie on t.v. and have the boxed set of books from my childhood. The prince has seen an episode or two. 


I love the family-value stories from childhood that have been replaced with mindless drivel in books and t.v. When we read or view something that is not appropriate behavior, we talk about how it is disrespectful or "not nice."


 In the second chapter of Farmer Boy, Almanzo is told to leave the pie alone, or he will spoil his supper. Almanzo didn't think that made any sense. Then came the line:
"But of course, he could not say this to Mother; he had to obey her without a word."
Just then, the phone rang. As I went to answer it, I said (sarcastically), "Gee. Imagine that. Obeying without a word." (something we have been working on). Then, the prince said, "Mama, that was back in the old days." Oh, yeah?


I'm linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday so you can see what other cute things the children are saying. 

The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Tuesday, October 26, 2010





More than likely you know from where babies come. I got a whole new perspective during a conversation with the princess. 


I was piddlin' in the kitchen, half-way prepping to make cinnamon rolls to take to our church Harvest Festival the next day. The princess came over, sat at the table, and held a board book that she found earlier in the day. It was a small book of colors that featured small children on each page. Then, she said, 
"Mama when you want to have a baby you go to the hospital because that is where pregnant ladies go to have a baby and they put the baby in a thing that looks like a fish tank but it doesn't have any water in it because the water is in a bottle for the baby to drink and sometimes it has a straw in it so the baby can go 'slurp' and get a drink when it wants to ..." 


(I apologize for not using punctuation, but I don't think she used any! --- Come to think of, I guess it wasn't really a conversation either.)



*******

The next day, I had just finished mixing the cream cheese frosting for the cinnamon rolls, when the princess asked if she could lick the beater. I said she could. As I tried to scrape most of the frosting off the beater, she said, "I can lick it off faster." She's such a good helper.


I'm linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday so you can see what other cute things the children are saying. 



The grass is green. It’s good to be
 

date Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I was never good at sports. I'm just not the athletic type. I don't even like watching sports. Well, Very Blessed Mamma over at Training Children Up For Christ tagged me. Now, I have been sucked in to a game of cyber-tag.


Here's how it works. I answer 8 questions and then tag 8 others and ask them 8 questions as well.

Here are the questions that I am to answer:


1. Why do you homeschool? When it was time for the prince to start Kindergarten, we didn't think he was ready. Compulsory age in our state is 7, so we decided to keep him at home and see how homeschooling would go. He had also been to speech therapy at the public school he was to attend. I was not happy with the level of security that I found there.



2. How do you make time for reading the scripture? Unfortunately, I don't find a lot of quiet time to spend in reading scripture. We use a bible-based curriculum, and I get a chance for discussion and reflection from that. I also joined First Place 4 Health through our church. It is a bible study weight loss class that meets once per week.


3. What is your favorite subject to teach to your children? I love reading with them. I don't love all the complexities of our language, but love helping them find joy in a book. Their imaginations can take off from there.


4. Do you like to cook? I like to cook, but I'm allergic to eating.


5. Do you have a home business? I guess you could say we have two home businesses. We have a service industry that puts Prince Charming on the road a lot. We also have a farm from which we sell 100% Grass-fed Beef and U-Pick Strawberries.


6. How do you incorporate family bible time? We use a bible-based curriculum. I like to include Prince Charming when we can, but mostly this is during school time. We use a bedtime devotional that the children love. We also discuss "what would Jesus do" when a situation arises that needs biblical direction.


7. Do you have a specific verse that you hold to for your home or homeschool? There is not one specific to our homeschool. For our home, there are probably many. We try to raise our children to be good Christians and good Americans.


8. What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Believe it or not, farm. During the summer, we like to go to the corner store (about 5 miles away) to get a cold drink and a snack. We, then, just drive around the farm looking at the cattle and the grass that they need to grow. The prince actually learned to count, by counting cows to make sure they were all there. The prince's favorite outside time is when he can help Prince Charming "do stuff."


Now, I'm going to tag these ladies. I hope they'll play along:


Simply at Home
The Joys of Homeschooling
Homeschooling, Autism, & "Stuff"
Peace Creek on the Prairie


Now, for the deep, dark secrets that I want to know:

1. Do you plan to homeschool "forever" or just for a season?
2. What is your biggest homeschooling challenge, and how do you handle it?
3. If you have multiple children, how do you find one-on-one time for instruction? (I mainly mean for younger children and reading.)
4. How do you find time for your own pleasure reading?
5. How do you find any time for yourself?
6. What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe? (you can just put the title, if you want -- I know where to find you ;) )
7. Why do you blog?
8. Boxers or briefs? Just kidding ... sweet or salty ... your favorite snack.

See, I told you I wasn't good at sports. This game of tag has taken me 5 days to do, and I still feel like I didn't make it worth the price of admission. Let's see if the folks I tagged can pick up the game.

The grass is green. It’s good to be
 


date Monday, October 18, 2010