The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Look

Guess what? My blog has a new look. Since the site I was using for a background was changing codes, I decided to change as well.  So don’t worry, it is still the Clark Clan, just with a slightly different look.

ClarkClan Craziness

Same Great Content, Brand New Look

Monday, July 19, 2010

Checkers Fun

One of Rebekah’s favorite presents that she received for her birthday this year was a Princess game set.  It has about eight different games.


I took this picture as she and Ben were playing checkers. Ben was using the blue princess checkers (of course) and Rebekah was using the pink.  They were having so much fun together. It is hilarious to watch them play and try to figure out where to move so they can jump each other or avoid being jumped.  They don’t even realize they are learning strategy. This game set also comes with Bingo cards and a spinner to use as the caller.  The two of them had played it together a couple times when they asked if I wanted to play with them.  This is when I discovered: their homeschooling education had let them down.  They had never played Bingo before and did not know how.  They were simply spinning and putting a marker on the picture the spinner pointed to.  I had a hard time explaining, and then patiently explaining again that they not only had to match the picture, but it had to be under the letter (B I N G or O) the spinner was pointing to as well. With Ben and Rebekah, you never know what is going to happen next.



     In this review I will be looking at The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner June 2010 Module titled Travel the World. This is an e-book download, available from TOS Magazine's Schoolhouse Store for $7.95.  For those who may be fuzzy on the concept, an e-book is one you buy online, download to your computer, then either read it on your computer screen or print it out, your choice.

     The name on the e-book The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner threw me until I researched exactly what the product was. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine publishes a series of unit studies called The Schoolhouse Planner each month from July of one year to June of the next. I reviewed the last module of the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner , which is the June 2010 Module.

     For those who may not know, a unit study is a study focusing on one topic. The topic for the June 2010 Module is  Travel the World, otherwise known as geography.  I was able to use this product with all four of my children at the same time.  I had printed out a black and white version so I could have a hard copy to go over and mark important points.  When we used it together, I set my laptop on the kitchen table and we were able to group around it.

    As I expected, with my 12th grader and, to a lesser extent, my 9th grader, this unit study provided a good, solid geography review.  With my 2nd and 3rd grader, we were able to go more in depth with geography than we previously had.

     My kids all liked the beginning section on latitude and longitude.  They really enjoyed the game link provided to practice finding coordinates.  Because we have a globe and wall maps as suggested, they were also able to see and trace the latitude and longitude lines.  They were able to see exactly where the Tropic Zone, Frigid Zone, and Temperate Zones are located.

     The study then moved on to the continents.  The younger kids really enjoyed the song provided to remember the names of the continents.  With each continent, there is information to read aloud and there are links to maps, information about geographic features and of course games.  I also gave them the print out coloring pages of each continent that is provided. This way they could color the continents while we were reading the information and they were waiting their turns to play the games.  In all honesty, I did not make my 17 year old son color, but all the rest like to color. I ask a lot of questions about what we are reading and to keep it interesting my oldest son kept track of “pointless points” to see who answered their questions correctly.

     Other aspects of this product that I liked were: the included worksheets and coloring pages and the high school expansion section.  There were word searches,word scrambles, crossword and rebus puzzles and fill-in the blank pages.  There were copy work pages, both manuscript and cursive. Also, answer keys were provided for the worksheets. For the high school expansion there was extra information, a Geography challenge and report topics.

  The only drawback to this product for me was, the amount of ink it takes to print out the book.  But thinking about it, this was my first time using this series.  The next time, I will have a better idea of what it entails and may not feel the need to print everything out. It is nice to be able to order an e-book and have it available for download immediately.

     As you can tell, I really enjoyed using this product.  It made a great summer study. The study for us, only took about an hour and half a day for about 4 days.  It was so interesting and something that my various age children could all do together.  I found it very unusual to find something that would be a benefit not only for a 12th grader but also a 2nd grader.  This was the first time other than worship and read aloud books they had been able to sit together for any type of lesson.  All in all, I think I will try another module of the planner in the future.

I received this product for Free in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award


Thank you to Tumbleweed News for awarding me The Versatile Blogger award.  It was quite a surprise.
There are three rules to keep this award going.
1.  Thank the person that gave it to you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along.
So here goes: 7 things about myself.
1. I am a wife of 18 years and have 4 kids, two boys and two girls.
2. I have been an Air Force dependent my entire life and lived in 10 countries and states. Thank you to my dad and husband for serving.
3. I am also a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).
4.I enjoy sewing and reading as hobbies.  I also like scrapbooking, but have not had the time or space since we moved here.
5. I worry too much. But I confess my sin and try to remember Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
6. I enjoy playing games: card games, board games, Wii games.
7. I enjoy taking walks, both on my treadmill watching TV and outside.
There 7 things about myself.  Thank you again to Tumbleweed News for the award.
Now I am passing the award on to:
Lisa's Lighthearted Library Log
This blog is just starting out, but has very good library information in a fun way.
A Stable Beginning
I enjoy reading this blog that I learned about through being on The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I love reading the adventures of her girls.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Delicate Balance

     One of the hardest things about being a parent for me is knowing when to hold on and when to let go.  This week, I practiced letting go, a little.

     My oldest son is 17.  He will be attending the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  The Gatherings are held every 3 years and are attended by about 30,000 youth and leaders.  They are wonderful experiences, full of worship, servant events, music, speakers and fun.  I have attended the LCMS Youth Gatherings four times, both as a youth and an adult leader.  I am so excited for my son to be able to have this experience.

    So, on to the letting go part.  We moved to a new town a year ago.  Because he had raised all the funds for this trip with his former youth group he was going to travel back to Great Falls to be part of that group.  Wonderful idea, great fun for him, he can see all his old friends, but, to get him back was a problem.  I finally settled on sending him back by bus, mainly because the cost was cheaper than any other way. I kept telling myself and him, what a great adventure it would be, 21 hours on a bus.  But when it came down to dropping him off, at midnight no less, at the Boise bus station, I wanted to change my mind.  Now he is in Great Falls, he made it just fine, had a great trip, was even able to meet a lady traveling with her father, who homeschools her kids. 

      I am so glad I stuck with the choice.  It was hard on me to let him go. It ended up being a great choice for him.  Self-esteem isn't taught by telling your child how great they are, but by letting them experience things for themselves.  This experience has been great for him. It has helped him to grow up, which is my goal as a parent.  And the best part of all, his adventure is just starting. He is now reunited with his friends and will have a great time at the Gathering.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

Everywhere I turn in my house, I see boxes.  Once again, the Crazy Life of the Clark Clan has struck.

     Around the first of July, I had a phone call.  The lease for the house we are renting is up around the beginning of August.  We were planning on going in to sign a new lease when "the call" came.  The people that own our house are moving back and do not want to renew our lease.  What does this mean? 30 days to find a house and move. 30 days to come up with new deposits while the deposit on this house is tied up until after we are out. So, boxes, boxes everywhere and no new house.

     The bottom line, What does this really mean? TRUST Trust that God will never leave us nor forsake us. Trust that he sees and knows and most of all cares. Trust that even though I may not know where we will live, God does. Trust that God will supply all my need!

     Do we know into what house we are moving? Not yet, but I know God knows, and it is enough.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Yesterday was Rebekah's 7th birthday.  Hard to believe the "baby" ("don't call me that, I am not a baby") is 7. Rebekah is so much fun, kind of crazy and has very strong ideas about what she likes.  We always say she keeps us on our toes.  You never know what she is going to come up with, both to do or say.  In our house we always say Rebekah's motto is "It is better to ask forgiveness, than ask permission". 
     Rebekah has a "thing" for flip-flops.  I have never bought her a pair.  I have an aversion to little girls in flip-flops. Kind of weird I know, but it is one of my little quirks.  That being said, my youngest child talks about them all the time.  She notices them on everyone, looks for them in stores and is always trying to wear her big sisters (who, by the way, hates them).  So, when Sarah and I were looking for a cake to make for her, we found this flip-flop cake.  We knew it was perfect, and kept it a secret from her.  She loved the cake, but even more, she loved the pair of flip-flops I bought her.  She seemed to have a great birthday. At her party, she was able to have her other request of a pinata.  We had kids of all ages come and help her take a whack at it, from 3 months up to her big brother of 17.

               Friends, Fun, and Flip-Flops  What could be better?