REVIEW: Super Star Speech

This review is way past due.  It started with me somehow missing the product over email (it wound up in cyberspace) and then proceeded with me dealing with the adventures of first trimester hyped up with progesterone.

But now, I’m ready! 

Super Star Speech is a new at home speech program.  Josiah’s adorable and he’s four and he hasn’t quite gotten his “l” and “r” sounds.  Super Star Speech has a book to help address that issue.

Zoe was three when someone recommended I have her tested for speech.  She had just a few sounds, like Josiah, that weren’t quite there.  She was tested and qualified and we went through a year of speech therapy.  And it really helped.

With that bit of speech background, I knew that Josiah was a little behind but not that bad.  We can, for the most part understand him.  When I received the book, everything in it was a lot like what I was told Zoe had been doing in her speech sessions.  I was really impressed with the professionalism yet ease of guiding a parent in to helping children learn and speak certain sounds.

I received the Superstar R&L because I knew that was where Josiah’s weakest points are.   When I read the introduction, I realized that those two sounds are really attained until about six or seven years of age.  Josiah’s four, but I knew,  that a bit of gentle coaching would help him attain those sounds he’s missing.  Plus, to teach him properly to read, it really does help if he can form all his consonant sounds orally.  Our school schedule has changed just enough that I’m able to work in the Superstar here and there throughout our weeks.  As the year, progresses, I fully anticipate seeing his speech improving!

I really wish that I had this program when Zoe was younger.  I searched everywhere for an at-home program but had no luck!  I’m so glad this resource is now available!

The book lays out just how to teach certain sounds.  It provides games, a list of words that both start with the sounds and have them in the middle.  There are also lesson plan sheets.  So, you can cater each lesson to the need of the child.  The books are available in spiral bound for $18.95 or you can get the e-book version for 30% less at Currclick.

You can also go “like” Super Star Speech on Facebook as well!

Disclaimer:  This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by: Super Star Speech for this review.

Review: No-Work Spanish Audiobooks

Recently, our family has gotten involved in a Spanish speaking church.  Basically, we hear of a need and if we can feel it we try to do so.  So, this has landed Mark in a few weeks doing audio for their services and now we’re all involved helping with the ESL (English as a Second Language) classes they are offering.

Now, before you think we’re all bilingual “good” homeschoolers.  We’re not.  Mark took some Spanish in high school.  I took French.  I can tell someone they are going to the pool and something else I learned from a song that is not too nice but that’s it.  And it’s in French.  Mark can start a conversation in Spanish and he can understand more than he can speak.

I’ve been working, on and off, with the kids on teaching them Spanish.  So, I was excited to get a chance to review this new audio concept by No-Work Spanish.  Here’s how it works.

You order the CD (or the download) and put the audiobook in an appropriate device and listen away.  We received Yaks March on Washington and Poster Girl.  And, to remember to listen to it, we’ve been listening when go to and from ESL classes.  The story is read in English one line at a time and then immediately repeated in Spanish.  At the end of the chapter it is read completely in Spanish.

The actors reading did a great job and kept it entertaining.  While, I probably wouldn’t recommend this for a sole curriculum, this is a easy and fun way to reinforce Spanish that you may already be working on.  Listening to one time is not enough.  It’s a good idea to listen two or even three times.

Vocabulary lists are available for each audiobook and the full book is available in pdf form on the CDs.

Currently, there are three audiobooks out with more to come.  They range in price from $21.95 (for two CDs) to $8.99 (for downloads).  They can be ordered from No-Work Spanish.

Keep updated on when new titles come out by going to the No-Work Spanish Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by: No-Work Spanish for this review.

Review: Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski

Giveaways going on now!  Don’t forget to sign up to enter here and here

I’ve listened to Mike Yankoski’s story several times on radio broadcasts.  The first time I heard him several years ago, I was intrigued by what he actually did for several months and was very interested in his book.

Under the Overpass is narrative about being homeless, written from a first hand perspective.  Mike and a friend, Sam, ventured out in to the world from May 2003 to November 2003 as homeless men.  They lived it, walked it and traveled it, with nothing but their guitars and their backpacks.  They sang for food, begged for food, and even did a bit of dumpster diving.  They met everyone from Bible believing homeless men to crack addicts.  They lived it.  For real.

Their goal was to see life from the perspective of someone who is homeless.  To see where they could fit in, what was being done, could people without homes really be helped.

This book is real, and alive and really relays the issues that people without homes deal with.  Or what they had dealt with.  The choices they made to get them where they are and the choices they are making to get them to a better place are all laid out in this book.

I highly recommend this as a great example of what life is really like on the streets.  While they admit, they were well supervised and at any given moment could have walked back into their “old lives,”  they also know that their view on people was forever changed.

After reading this book, I can see people in a new light.  Each person was created in God’s image.  There are no accidents in the creation of humans.  As I read I remember what I always say to Mark, “Each person has a story.  And I love finding out about it.”

I definitely will view the plight of the homeless in a different light and pray that I can teach my kids to do the same.  Whether it’s by choice or circumstance, God has a plan for all of us.

Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski can be purchased at Amazon.com and other book stores! 

(Disclaimer:  Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski was provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah for Blogging for Books)

REVIEW: Manhattan Toy PJ Tots and another GIVEAWAY!

Update:  I had a little bit of health issues the past couple of days, so I wasn’t able to encourage everyone to come and enter to win, so here’s a second chance.  This giveaway will stay open until Monday, April 25th.  

I know…another giveaway!  So, that way if you don’t like my stuff,  you may like their’s!

But first, I have to tell you about this adorable toy from Manhattan Toy.  We love Manhattan Toy.  Zoe has Groovy Girls dolls that we’ve picked up from here and there.  They are those soft stylishly dressed dolls that aren’t covered in oodles of “make up” nor try to look older than they actually are…anyway, we’ve had those for several years.

They’ve come out with a new product for toddlers called PJ Tots.  And I just have to tell you that these little dolls are equally as adorable as the Groovy Girls.  We got Bonnie Bunny in the mail about a week ago and since Ceili Rain laid eyes on her, she hasn’t let her stray far.  As of right now, she is the “go to” baby when she’s looking for one (she calls all dolls baby so it’s a toss up for a little bit as to which one she is referring to).

PJ Tots are soft plush dolls.  They have a little bit harder heads but no small parts so little ones can not choke on them.  And the hair is a soft felt like material, so no fuss of pieces laying everywhere or tangles or such.  Ceili Rain’s “baby” has adorable sewn on pink heart pjs and little bunny ears!  Too cute.

Manhattan Toy also sent PJ Tots Bunny’s Snuggly.  I’d love to say that Ceili Rain thoroughly enjoyed this.  But she didn’t.  But I did!  And so did the rest of the kids.  When Ceili Rain isn’t looking, they sneak the doll and the snuggly and stick her in and out of it.

So, the Bunch gives this toy a might hearty thumb’s up!  If you have a child who loves her “babies” like Ceili Rain, this toy will rock her world.  The price is not too shabby either.  The accessories start at $8 and the dolls start at $12.

But, don’t take my word for it.  Straight from the baby-addicted toddler’s mouth:

PJ Tots Review by Ceili Rain from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

And that’s what it’s like to interview a 2 year old.  I apologive deeply for the nose swipe and finger dig.  I’m not sure what that was about since she has not had a runny nose nor has she done that in a very long time.  And yes, we had a little talk about the disobedience there at the end.

And now to the giveaway!  Manhattan Toy has graciously allowed me to do a giveaway.  To enter for a chance to win a PJ Tots doll:
1.  If you have a Facebook account, like Manhattan Toy on Facebook.
2.  Follow them on Twitter if you have a Twitter account.
3.  If you don’t have a Twitter account or Facebook, or if you want additional entries, go to Manhattan Toy and browse around, then come back here and leave a comment letting me know what you just think is the most adorable toy they carry.

A random winner will be chosen on April 22nd, April 25th.
Disclosure:  This product was provided by Manhattan Toys for Mama Buzz review purposes only.

REVIEW: SpellQuizzer and an Apology

First of all, I have to offer up a deep apology to Mama Buzz and the people at SpellQuizzer.  I know that I have an obligation to Mama Buzz and to the company whose product I review and I am deeply sorry for missing getting this review up yesterday.  I try to be extra careful that I get the reviews in on time.  But, for some reason I missed getting this up.  Please, please forgive me.

Okay, now that that is done, let’s discuss SpellQuizzer.  This is a homeschool mama of many dream if ever there was one.  SpellQuizzer is a software program that allows a teacher (that’d be the mama in most cases) to input the spelling lists from their specific curriculum to quiz a child.  But, they also have spelling lists available online to import or export with other users.

Now I mentioned that this is a good buy for homeschoolers.  But, I believe parents who have children in public/private or any other school could use it as well.  Just import the spelling list and let your student quiz on it.  You can record specific words in any manner wanted or needed.  Silly voices are a must to get your young scholar to giggle and learn the word at the same time.

In our curriculum we use, Spelling Power.  This software would be a great benefit in that I can record their list and they can take their tests on line.  SpellQuizzer is meant to be used with any curriculum.  On their site, they have downloadable lists for spelling words and at least one other homeschool curriculum.

The software can be used in a 30 day free trial and can also be purchased at SpellQuizzer for $29.99.  I highly recommend this and will be using it to aid in our current curriculum.!

Happy Spelling!

*This is a very late MamaBuzz Review and SpellQuizzer was provided free for review purposes.

REVIEW VLOG: Pirose Nursing Cover

My first ever video blog post…well, this cover needed a little more interactivity.  But, please keep in mind that we have been out of town for the weekend with at least two wee ones who were coughing so much they couldn’t sleep well.  So, needless to say, I look a little rough.  Focus on the product though…focus…focus…(pay no attention to that handsome man in the background.  He’s in black so you might not be able to see it…he’s the awesome tech dude…I think I like him!)


Review: Pirose Nursing Cover by Reno Rose from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

Here’s the “professional” video put out by Reno Rose. 

You can check out ways to wear the nursing cover here.

To purchase a Pirose for Nursing cover, click here.  They retail for $35.  You can find Reno Rose on Facebook and Twitter (which I still haven’t figured out).

So, how did that go for my first ever video review?

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Reno Rose for this review.

Review: God Gave Us the World

God Gave Us the World

Take beautifully illustrated work and add words of truth from God’s Word and you get God Gave Us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergren and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant.

God Gave Us the World, follows Little Cub and Mama as they discuss why God made different bears and why God made everything and made it all so different.  Mama, with the wisdom from the Bible, always supplies Little Cub with the answers to her many questions.

We’ve enjoyed at least one other book from the “God Gave Us” series.  Our children truly enjoy the art and stories and we’ve read them time and again.  You just can’t go wrong with adorable cuddly polar bears.

It would be nice, though, to see Papa Bear, as one of the main characters.  In both of the books we have, Mama Bear seems to be the one with all the answers while Papa just smiles in the background.  

We truly recommend God Gave Us the World.  Go here for more information about the author, Lisa Tawn Bergren.  You can also check it out on Facebook and at Multnomah Publishing.

God Gave Us the World can be purchased for $10.99 and can be purchased at Random House.

Disclaimer:  This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by: Multnomah Publishing for this review.

Review: Where the Jewels Are

A story about princesses, who can go wrong with this?!  Zoe has always been fascinated with princess stories.  It could be because we’ve always told her she was our princess and that when she asked Jesus to come into her heart that she would be a child of the King of Kings and would be His princess.

So, when the opportunity came up to review Where the Jewels Are and because we all love to read, I jumped at the chance to read and review it.  The tale is about a princess who is seeking a precious jewel. She has a faithful and loving Father who seeks out the best for her.

I thought the tale was very well written and quick to the point.  The book is very short and easy to read. 

After I finished the book, I passed it on to Zoe who read it rather quickly (she’s a fast reader) and exclaimed that it was great and she would love to read more of these!  Ace also enjoyed the book and gave two thumbs up and is interested in more (particularly boy ones, go figure).

The book is short enough that an early reader could get through it with little problems.  It’s also well priced.  At $5.99 plus shipping, you can be brought into a whismical tale of a little girl and the love her father bestows on her all the while teaching her to love and be content with what she has on hand.

  For details on how to purchase this gem (pun intended) visit Diana Symons website.

Review: Adventures in Odyssey: Cause and Effect

Okay, I was super pumped to get a chance to review this CD.  We are big Focus on the Family fans and the kids have shown much interest in Odyssey stories when we’ve downloaded their free podcasts.  So, I finally got the chance to see how they would enjoy a full cd!

Before I get to their review, let me give some detail about what my sleep deprived brain is talking about.  Adventures in Odyssey is a good ol’ fashioned radio broadcast for children that teaches Biblical characteristics.  It centers around Wit’s End, a soda shop, and the issues that kids typically deal with in their homes, schools, and Christian walk.   Adventures in Odyssey is full of laughs, adventure (hence the name), and some really talented voice actors and actresses.  The Cd we reviewed, Cause and Effect, deals with relevant issues including fear, truth and friends.

This was our first full on experience in Odyssey (the fictional town discussed through out the series).  We jumped right in with “The Mystery of the Clock Tower.”  And we couldn’t stop listening!  The kids were hooked from the very beginning.  Each episode we’ve listened to (and that would be almost the whole cd) has been funny, engaging, and teachable.  We received the cd in the mail the day before leaving on a road trip (yep, another one…because we don’t travel enough…wonder if the Duggars would sell us their big charter bus).  The kids watched some DVDs but we spent most of the trip listening to and discussing the episodes from the Adventures in Odyssey CD!  The cd reiterates what we are already teaching the kids and weaves Biblical truth into a story that is fun and engaging and tangible!

I highly recommend Adventures in Odyssey:  Cause & Effect and can’t wait to finish the cd and get another one for our family road trips!  With five hours of episodes, this could last a long time…or very little depending on what your travel is like!  The CD can be purchased at amazon.com for $16.95 plus shipping.  Follow the link above to check it out!

(Disclaimer:  This is a Mama Buzz review.  I received this product from Tyndale Publishing to review on my blog.)