Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Virginia Soaps and Scents

As part of the Old Schoolhouse Crew for this year I have been privileged to review some really neat products. I believe that last year the Crew asked if they could review some more personal products and I believe their prayers were answered. Sometimes it is nice to try out some new things especially those with oils in and no nasty additives. Those of you who know how adamant I am about additives and not using them in foods or beauty products please take note of the products I will tell you about below.

The company who sent me the small guesthouse packet of different soaps and laundry detergent is called Virginia Soaps & Scents. Their story is somewhat unique to most of you but not to me. Their new adventure into the soap business started as a result of the loss of something precious to their family. Their youngest granddaughter passed away suddenly as a result of a tragic car accident. They spent a long period of time mourning and grieving whilst ministering to their daughter and grieving themselves. To get back into the homeschooling way of things they started a unit study on Life in the Colonial era in the state of Virginia. During the study they experimented in making lavender soap. They were amazed at what they had done and then experimented some more, and it finally evolved into a home business.

This is an amazing story to me as I continue to work on my feelings of grief over the loss of my son Brendon from cancer. I have not found a way yet that definitely I can use to glorify God and honor our son at the same time. I am still searching for ways to use Brendon's legacy and helping people and our family at the same time.

Anyway in the small packet came 3 soaps Oatmeal Milk and Honey, Coconut Lemongrass, and Fresh Orange. An additional soap called "Shampoo Bar" and a small sandwich bag of "Laundry Soap Kit." I have tried out the Lemongrass and the Fresh Orange soap on a daily basis in the last few weeks and find they are smooth to the touch with a pleasant smell and enough bubbles to get me clean. The Oatmeal and Honey Bar I am waiting to try later when the other two are finished. I have noticed that these soaps do not dissolve into pieces as soon as they get wet which is a plus.

I gave the Shampoo bar to my husband to try first. He used it two or three times, went back to his shampoo, then a few more times and then told me he was done with it. That is because it caused his head to itch and flake. My 8 year old son liked the bar but he said he did not like the feel of it in his hands. Go figure on that one! I guess change is hard for him. I used the bar on my 2 year old and he was fine with putting it on his wet hair and then rubbing with mommy to get his hair nice and clean. He smells fantastic and has had no problems with his skin itching at all. I have tried the Shampoo bar at least 5 times and it seems to work best when I do not put conditioner in my hair afterwards. I have tried to do it both ways and even after 3 days it still feels good and clean. I guess for two of us it is a winner.

Last but not least is my adventure into using the Laundry Soap Kit. Our small sample kit made a half gallon of soap which is being kept in a re-used 1 gallon tub I had. This soap does not have any suds so you can not see any bubbles in the washing machine but the laundry (and diapers) come out clean and smell great. I did have doubts about this but am happy with the results. The overall cost of using this laundry soap is between 4-7 cents per load. That is inexpensive in this day and age. I am currently using an organic laundry soap powder to do everything so saving some dollars would make sense in this area of our home!

Virgina Soaps and Scents carries regular sized 4.5 oz bars of soap and the Shampoo bar is 5.5 oz and can last for as long as you would normally use a 32oz bottle of shampoo. Most of the soaps are made from Coconut oils, olive oils, and essential oils. The one thing I did notice was a lack of specific ingredients listed for the bar soaps and shampoo soap. I would like to see that listed on the website or the packaging. The reason being that I have family and friends with allergies to products and I am unable to purchase things for them without knowing what the product contains. I know tha tI can call or email the company but it is easier to be able to look at the site and decide if this product is able to meet our needs. I would also like to know where the ingredients are from as do now wish to support a country or business that is not taking care of our environment at the same time as making money off of it.

The price of the soaps ranges from $4.50 per bar to buying 3 for $12.00 or buying 4 and getting the 5th one for free. The Shampoo Bar costs $5.50 or 2 for $10.00. Shipping and handling is reasonable too. I did notice they have a Shampoo, body and shave or All-in-One Bars for $4.50 too. This is useful for those children going away to camp or for college students, or a husband travelling on business.

I better finish this up and go catch some beauty sleep for another homeschooling, cleaning and fun day tomorrow. I do think you ought to check out these products and maybe even order the Sampler basket and see for yourself how you like these soaps or give some away for Christmas too.

I am a reviewer for the TOS Crew and so what I have said above is my opinion. Please do the research for yourself and some more reviews can be found at the TOS Crew blog at

Thanks for reading and keep reading and learning every day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review: Amazing Bible World History Timeline

As part of the Old Schoolhouse Crew I have received a wide variety of products and this one shown on my left would have to be one of the hardest to review so far.

When I first opened the chart to see what it entailed I was amazed . The only space to view this Timeline would be on my big double bed or the living room carpet. With a toddler running around, the bed won out! I was then able to walk around the chart from each side and read small pieces of text.

As you can see it is shaped in a 3/4 circle format. Most of the information is in very small print and I had to use a magnifying glass to read some of the details listed.

The Timeline covers what happens during the History of the world as we know it through our Bible. The creators used history books, encyclopedias and other historical documents as well as the Bible. The formation of the different nations is noted and compared with what was happening at the same time in different parts of the world. It reveals information on the Pharaoh's of Egypt, the Chinese Empire and some references to Buddhism too. This may be a deterrent to some families who want to purchase this Bible Timeline for their studies. I would not recommend this product be used with younger children as they could easily be distracted by the other cultures instead of just sticking with the Bible facts. One needs to have a good strong faith in Jesus Christ and a good knowledge of the Bible to not be waived by any one thing you may observe on this Timeline.

For me personally this chart is so big and has too much detail for me to absorb. I found that overwhelming. The part I liked was being able to see who else lived at the same time as some of my favorite Bible characters. I also noticed on how people's lives definitely got shorter the more modern the world became. I am not a history fan so my interest was not too deep.

This Bible History Timeline is definitely for a person who loves Theology and history all wrapped up together. My oldest son is only 8 but as I agreed to review items for older students too I have done that with this product. I do know personally a few folks in the ministry who would just love to have a copy of this product. Perhaps they will be borrowing mine in the next few months or years!

I have been able to review this Bible Timeline as part of the 2009/10 TOS Crew and the thoughts expressed above are purely my opinion. This Bible World History Timeline sells for $29.97 plus a small fee of $6.00 for S & H. Currently on their website they are offering some free downloads which includes interactive maps of the Holy Land (valued at $14.97) that can be viewed on your computer, and a file of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Click on over to the Crew website by and read some of the other reviews written by my fellow bloggers of the Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. The website for
Amazing Bible World History Timeline is . Enjoy reading.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Remembering my son Brendon Knight

Dearest Brendon,

Oh my precious darling! How we miss you so very much. Your smile, your hugs, your kisses and your laugh. You are always an inspiration to us all even now that you are not on earth. I am sure you are having fun with all your buddies up there. There are so many who are your age that it will be a good party for you.

Daddy, Daniel and I really miss you sweetheart and we look forward eagerly to the day that we get to see you standing waiting for us to enter heaven too. It will be like a blink of an eye to you but a very long time for us! :) ( ) Love and hugs from us darling boy - Bub!!!

The day here on earth is rainy, wet and windy. Thank you Lord for the rain and the storms in our lives that make us aware that a relationship with You is not just about the good times but about the valleys too. Jesus is the real thing. If you do not have an living, breathing relationship with the Lord Jesus then you need one. Jesus is the only person who really truly believes in you and will stick by you 24/7. Jesus loves you - He really does. You know who you are and please contact us or someone who knows the Lord if you need help getting to know Him.

Thank you for all of your messages from those on Facebook, in the visitors book, and emails. Walt and I are grateful for the love still shown to us. This year has been long and yet gone so fast.

Love Mummy, Daddy, Daniel and Andrew.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Prayer Request for Tiffany

I just wanted to ask my readers far and wide to please pray for a friend of mine from my MOPS group called Tiffany B (name withheld). She fell down the stairs today and is still unconscious. She was holding one of her children in her arms. Her daughter is ok but Tiffany is still out and not moving much at all. As a MOPS group we are devastated by this. It seems sickness, disease and all kinds of stuff are against our little group that is so strong for each other. We must be doig something right in the spirit. Please lift her family up in prayer and her especially for the Lord to let her gain consciousness. Her husband works and goes to school 2-3 nights a week and they have two partially special needs children.

Thank you so much.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Review: Sarah's Wish

I recently was privileged to sit down and read on my own a marvellous book called "Sarah's Wish." It is written by author Jim Baumgardner and published by Tate Publishing. I took the book with me on our vacation and definitely shut myself up in my room with a view of the mountains and my eyes on the text (mostly). I was hooked from the first few pages of it. No I am not just saying that but really loved this book. I have not read a book (fiction) by myself for about 3 years. that is too long of course.


I am not going to let you know everything that happens but just give you a tast. the story is obviously about Sarah, a young lady who is in a tragic accident with her mother. She is left an orphan. She is taken in by a lady called "Granny' who is so funny and has a character all of her own. The book is set in the early 1800's when states were being set up but also there was a lot of slavery going on in the USA. Granny and Sarah's mother were both involved in the hiding and moving of slaves called the "Underground Railroad" movement.

The book shares some of the adventures of Sarah and Granny and their dealings with the authorities both good and bad and some of the slaves too. There are two other books in the series called Sarah's Promise and Sarah's Escape. They both sound exciting and I guess Mr Baumgardner is still looking into writing more. If I had daughters I would not hesitate to order this for Christmas for them! They are learning history and a little geography and some old American English all at the same time.

Included in the first book Sarah's Wish is a link in the back page to an audio download of the story so you can let younger one's listen to it or copy it onto a disk and play in the vehicle or MP3 player. I am sure that I will be purchasing more of this series in time. Sarah's Wish sells for $9.99, the audio CD's from the website are $16.99, or all three of the above books I mentioned for $39.95. Shipping and handling is free on most products. Here is the link to their website ( )or you can link to the Homeschool Crew review site to what other folks are saying about "Sarah's Wish" at
I have a freebie for my readers, perhaps some of you already have this. It is a Autumn lapbook or workbook for your younger readers or older perhaps. We have already done one of these and used some ideas from this Autumn Treasures book to add to ours too.

I love lapbooks and so does my son. He does a lot more reviewing of his work this way by looking at the pictures and sharing with family what 'he' has put together!

Whether you are home schooling or not this is for you all to share!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Review: Guardian Angel Publishing

I have five books to review from the above Publisher who have an amazing standard of work. These books were all sent to me in eBook format but are available on CD or in print for additional costs.

The first review is for a book titled “Earthquake!” After re-reading this little 30 page book I can see it is an easy to comprehend narrative of the how’s, whys and what to/ what not to do’s of earthquakes. The information provided is brief and to the point. It covers what happens during one; shows areas of the world mostly likely to be in earthquake zones; what to do before, during and after an earthquake in order to stay safe and healthy.
This short eBook sells for $5.00 and downloads easily. Print copies are $11.95 plus $5.95 for S&H. CD format available for $9.95 plus $5.95 S&H.

The second book I read is titled “Gifts From God” authored by Cynthia Reeg. This book is pure pleasure to look at. It is refreshing to see children being talked about as gifts through one of the pages. Photography is exquisite and professionally finished thanks to Photographer Mary Sue Roberts. The Scriptures are set into the photographs and are encouraging to the reader. It sells as a PDF file for $5.00. Once again a CD or Print Book (8.5 in x 11 in) is available for extra.

Thirdly I read “Maybe We Are Flamingo’s”. I liked this colorful and humorous story of 2 flamingo’s born into their flock, but not realizing that they were supposed to be a different color for a year before they turned pink. The story explores their different ways of finding out what they need to eat and how to live before they turn pink. They learn about themselves by asking questions and watching others. They decided to be themselves and not to try to be anybody else. That is something we should all learn!
An eBook format is $5.00 whilst print and CD copies are additional. This book is able to be downloaded to an iPod or iPhone to be read whilst waiting at a doctors office or in line at the store or bank. That is a useful feature for those who are able to utilize it.

My fourth adventure into these books was “No Bones about It - The Sum of Our Parts.” This book is full of light humor and easy to understand facts and explanations, as well as some crazy pictures set up in a rhyme format. The point of the book is to help the student learn about all the bones in their body. By working it ‘s way from the head to the toes the rhymes help the student remember the names of the bones. Once the book is read through a few times it begins to stick in your mind. I wish I had had something like this to help me in biology when I was a teenager!
My son was not interested in this book too much so I will probably reserve it for next year’s curriculum. I intend to print it out anyway and put it in a folder for me to just pick up and read sometime when he is bored! As a PDF download for $5.00 it is an easy addition to any science or Biology curriculum.

Hamster Holidays” I think was the most enjoyable book out of all the ones I was blessed to receive. This is a delightful read for both young and old alike. The arrival of it in my Inbox was great as my 8 year old and I have just started the journey into Nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns etc. This is a hard road to take for boys I think! The book gives an index with meanings of nouns and adjectives, different kinds of nouns and then places them in the poem format. The different grammar expressions are in different colors to make it clearer to the student to identify the nouns and adjectives. One reads the antics of the Hamsters during all of their holidays whilst learning at the same time. There is a brief study guide at the end of the poems to reinforce what the student has learned with the answers included.

I did happen to have some time today to look over the website for and see a wide variety of books to help all kinds of learners both classic, eclectic and those that just get it any old how! A few freebies are available too. This is a well organized website with some video clips of most of the PDF books. the other reviews from the rest of the TOS Crew for 2009-10 are on the following link at the Homeschool Crew website :

These products were sent to me as I am part of the TOS Crew for 2009/10 and the above review is my opinion.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vacation and the Smokies

Well the weather has been fantastic. the drive down took about 9 hours with stops for stretching and food breaks. We are doing ok. I was sick for 3 days with flu and nausea! It was awful. Our condo is at the top of ski Mountain road which is treacherous with hairpin bends and oh my goodness. We still have to visit the grocery store today and pick up some things. Just wanted to let you know we are doing ok.

Views are great and we did a 3 mile hike today and Andy walked most of the way!

I will update more when I get back to civilization as WE know it.....