Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spanish for You - Estaciones REVIEW

Spanish for You is a unique program that takes a whole new approach to teaching Spanish.  Imagine finding a curriculum that isn't designated to a set age or grade.  A curriculum that can be used for multiple levels at once, from the same book.  A curriculum that offers a book as well as a full audio recording of the book both in a native speaking voice and a non-native voice that offers slower pronunciations for clearer understanding. 

Author, Debbie Annett, MSEd., of has tried very hard to create just that in her Spanish curriculum, Spanish for You.  She has used this program herself for more than 4 years, but the curriculum has only been available for sale for less than a year.  Her goal of making an affordable curriculum is one that she takes very seriously.  The artwork for the books, done by her own daughter, brings a more relaxed appeal for the students.  The black and white pages allow for students to get more hands' on by coloring the pages if they'd like.  Her choice to offer some of the materials through downloads via PDF and MP3 formats allows the user to print only what is needed, when it is needed.  Using any of the books in any order allows the cost savings of not having to stick to strict schedules and programs.

The books contain instructions and guidance for the teacher and the student.  Each workbook is able to span a full school year with 4 instructional days per week.  The books take on a whole new approach in that they teach common language based on a theme, rather than parts of speech or functional phrases.  It builds skills and familiarity for the formal instruction of older grades. While grades 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 are designated for the worksheets and activities, the material can be adapted for earlier ages.  The worksheets are geared towards the reading and writing skills of each grade range, but are totally flexible.  The author describes her curriculum as a "middle of the road Spanish curriculum" that tries to balance the European Spanish with North and South American Spanish so that a student may be able to function with any of the variations and dialects.  Her position on language learning is that a student must have continued exposure and repeated practice rather than just occasional practice for fluency.

There are currently 2 full programs available, Fiestas (Celebrations) and Estaciones (Seasons), and Viajes (Travels) coming in June 2013 with a trial version available right now.

Included in the curriculum:
  • Soft cover book (e-book available for trial packages)
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades ordered (full package of all grades available) PDF download
  • Self Checking worksheets PDF download
  • 2 Audio files (one of the other reading with slower pronunciation in non-native speaking voice and the other in a native speakers voice) (MP3 download)
  • Activity pictures (to use for activities or making flash cards PDF download

Optional teacher lesson plans for classroom use are available separately on the website.

The trial packages start at $9.99, the regular packages are $39.95 each or $64.95 for the entire Grade 3-8 collection of a book.

Personal reflections:
My experience with this program is a bit hard to describe.  I love the concept, I love the layout.  I am still a bit of a "fuddy duddy" and like paper.  As much as I love my computer, I like having hard copies.  Having downloads has great advantages with only needing to print what you need at a time, but feels like a bit of a handicap to me.  I had the unfortunate experience of having a little one use my computer unattended and delete my files at one point.  That turned into a great opportunity to see how the customer service skills stand up behind this new curriculum.   I quickly emailed Debbie, and she was gracious and understanding and took care of my needs within hours.  Her customer service was amazing!  I love having the audio files to listen to  in both voices, because to me, it was overwhelming to open that book for the first time and see words in Spanish with no idea how to pronounce them or even identify them (yeah, picture that deer in the headlights look, it may have been me!). Sure there are English words there, but my overwhelmed mind didn't see those right away.  The non-native recordings include instructions in English, which was much more appealing to me as a total beginner.  I can see the ability to go through this book twice, the first with the English helps, and the second in only the native speaking narration for even greater retention.

With a wee bit of planning and preparation, it was easy to take this curriculum "on the road" and adapt for a recent road trip that was a 3 hour trip each way.  Had I thought ahead, we could have used an MP3 player, but my laptop played the audio files just fine.  Having that portability is very welcome.  The more exposure I have to this program, the more I appreciate it and like it.  I am slow to change some things, and while I would like to see the program offered on a disc as well as just downloads (because I don't do change well with how I handle my curriculum, not because it would in any way improve the program), I am glad I had the opportunity to try this one and look forward to seeing how this new curriculum takes off.  It makes me think of "tv Spanish meets Spanish 101" and bridges the gap in between for younger students who are not ready for the formal instruction, but are beyond learning a simple word or phrase with their favorite cartoon characters.  As a parent, this approach is more relaxed feeling and more practical for those with a more casual interest in language learning.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


We were recently traveling for regular appointments, and ventured on a slightly different path from our normal route.  This detour allowed a bit of site seeing and re-visiting some old stomping grounds from my childhood.  Funny how things can change so much, but still be the same.  See this church?  That was my grandmother's church.  She died almost 20 years ago now, but that church somehow brought some of those memories of my childhood back as if they were yesterday.  This quick "drive by" picture just is not nearly adequate for the story it tells me.

The darker part on the right is what I knew as that church, the part to the left has been added on some time more recently than Grandma's funeral, but I do not know when.  Even though it looked so different, it was still the same.  That warm, welcome place with so many years of confirmation pictures to thumb through in the poster size flip folders that hang on the wall.  I am sure they have a technical name, but I've never known what that may be.  Most of the aunts and uncles were in there somewhere, if we took enough time to look.  This was the place where many quilts were pieced together for birthdays, graduations, weddings, or just because.  Grandma and her "church ladies" as we all knew them, were always busy doing something to help others, and they often worked as a team.  There were Mother's Day Brunches that were served by the men.  For many years, Grandma won door prizes because of the size of our family.  I can still remember all of us dressing up and "girls", our moms, and then Grandma.  What a treasure she had, we always filled several seats.  I remember the laughter, the smiles, the warm welcomes, and the praise for her large family...there were, after all, 14 children to her credit.

Just a mile or so down the road is the cemetery where my dear Grandmother's body was laid to rest, but for some reason, the church is the place that tells her legacy to me.  Thinking of all the baptisms, the confirmations, the prayers that happened there for her family.  I stand in awe of this small town church and all the events it has held for our family.  Even more so, I stand in awe of the legacy of a dear woman who made this place as important as her home, and took her family there as often as she could.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A personal update from "Aunt" Mae


As of this evening, April 16th I have gotten 55 orders for over 300 bars of soap not including the back ordered soaps.
April 8 ~ 20 orders
April 9 ~ 10 orders with 3 still unpaid
April 10 ~ 4 orders
April 11 ~ 4 orders with 1 still unpaid
April 12 ~ 7 orders
April 13 ~ 4 orders with 1 still unpaid
April 14 ~ I'm closed
April 15 & 16 ~ 10 orders with 8 still unpaid
(I had a show on Monday and didn't get a chance to process any orders)

The orders from the 8th & 9th were shipped out on the 9th. The 10th & 11th's orders were shipped out on the 11th. The 12th, 13th & 14th's orders were shipped out on the 15th. One order from today included a pair of my earrings.

Out of the 13 scents available I have sold completely out of 6 of them. The Oatmeal, Milk & Honey scent sold out in two days and I have 6 - 8 back orders already.

There were a total of 26 donations between April 8 - 15th not including the generous donations from you sweet ladies prior to the blogging giveaway and the generosity of the sweet lady who paid for the giveaway items and shipping costs.
I have received offers of free website design from 2 people (one was before the giveaway went live and she is working on it already), an offer to take product pictures by a photographer, numerous offers for free advertising, one lady said she was passing my information on to all her friends, one person interested in becoming a Young Living distributor, 1 Lilla Rose hair clip order and lots of love and prayers.

14 people signed up for my Aunt Mae's newsletter.
145 signed up for my blog newsletter (Honey From Flinty Rocks).
3 signed up for my Lilla Rose hair clip newsletter.

My son made (to my specifications) a rack to hold my tissue paper to make packing orders for shipping easier and less back straining. I organized the shelves where I keep my soaps so I can store more in the same space and have room for my other products.

Ladies, I thank you for all your efforts to help me by getting the word out about my financial situation after my beloved's death and to promote my soaps. The world will know you are Christians by the tremendous outpouring of love you have shown to me.

I love you and will be praying for you each by name over the next few weeks. ♥

Now, for a more personal update: 

Mae added a few more soaps to the line up a few days ago.  I was too sick to bother posting, but here they are now!
1) Beach Breezes
2) Bordeaux Blend
3) Black Amber & Lavender
4) Champagne
5) Winter Grapefruit

Do you need the link again?  Sure! I have it right here:  Aunt Mae's

To those who prayed, entered, bought soap, or donated, I want to say thank you.  Mae is a dear friend and Lilla Rose Consultant, and it is only a blessing to be able to help her as she tries to get on her feet while still freshly grieving. 


P.S.  The winners of the drawings have been chosen but are being verified yet as of the scheduling of this post!  Stay tuned!  There were thousands of entries among the various blogs!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't forget! Party and Giveaway going on!

Today is the Apologia facebook party with Mosaic Reviews!

If you aren't familiar with what this one is all about, go back and read my review of the planning system, you won't be sorry you checked this one out!

Click on the picture for the direct link to the party!

While I am set out to remind you of all the great things I have been lucky enough to be involved with these past few weeks, don't forget Mae's soap giveaway!  You have 2 days left!  Mae has been blessed with more than 30 orders and several donations so far. 

This is just one of many varieties of soap that Mae makes, it may or may not be available at this time, but there are several great options to choose from at any time!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner System - REVIEW

Homeshooling requires planning and record keeping to some degree, no matter what style or method a family uses for getting the job done.  I recently had the chance to review the entire "Planning System", created by Debra Bell, famed author (at least in all of the homeschooling circles I have ever been involved with!) of The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling. These resources, as well as many others can be found at Apologia Press' website,

This was quite a challenge for me, as:
a)  I am NOT a planner, contrary to popular belief
b) I already have a calendar full of items that I carry in my purse and have filled with scattered things all the way through next fall
c) I am NOT, I repeat, NOT a planner.  Did I happen to mention that already?  Ok, sure, I note times and dates of events, but I am truly a "fly by the seat of my pants and go with what works today" kind of person.  If something requires planning and preparation, I can do it, but it is not my natural tendency and takes discipline to get those things done.

The items in the picture are the items I received for review. 

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner   $28  If you click on the link, you can find a sample as well as Table of Contents links.

This planner is great, not only for homeschool records but as an all around planner.  It includes a yearly calendar, month-at-a-glance, and weekly options to fit your needs.  There are record keeping pages, as well as goal setting and summary/journal spaces to document memorable moments and achievements. 

The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens  $19  There is a sample view on their page for this one.This planner contains space and tips for record keeping for graduation, tips and reminders for topics such as algebra, spelling rules, grammar rules, etc.

The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students  $19

This planner is a great starter for the younger students or the no-fuss, no frills type of student.  It contains a month at a glance page, but focuses on the weekly and daily planning.  There are many great resources in this one as well.

You can find them all, as well as the alternate designed cover version of the Ultimate Homeschool Planner on this page.

I could write pages and pages and pages about this, but my natural tendency towards being a bit verbose is getting the best of me lately, so I will keep it short and sweet as much as I can. 

The most notable things for me about each of these planners:

1. The covers of each of these planners is plastic.  Not just card stock or tag board, but plastic.  The kind that can be wiped off when you KNOW you will spill something on it... what? that only happens to me?  Come on, now...tell the truth... I am sure it has happened to someone else before.

2.  The Ultimate Homeschool Planner has POCKETS!  I *love* pockets.  Notes, scraps of paper for reminders, stickers, assignments, paperwork needing to be done, you name it, I keep it with my planner.

3.  The resources!  From the snippets of trivia, to scripture, to words of encouragement, all 3 planners are liberally adorned with these extra tidbits of knowledge and encouragement.  There are teaching resources and tips in the Homeschool Planner, there are charts and maps and "rules" pages in both the Teen Planner and the Student Planner.

4.  The dates have to be filled in.  I *loathe* having to do that with a planner.  Or at least I used to.  After listening to Mrs. Bell on the webinar for those of us who participated in this review, it became clear that it was a concern for her and her partner (Zan Tyler) in this project as well.  The reality is, if the planners are dated, they have an expiration date and things get wasted.  With this method, you don't have to worry about waste.  You can pick it up in August and not lose the first 7 months of calendar, and in turn, the publisher also has no waste.  Her suggestion was to have a child fill it in.  I LOVE that idea!  And I have changed my mind about having to fill in those dates. 

5.  My teen daughter was immediately in love with the Teen planner and until writing this review, I haven't been able to see it again.  She took it, compared notes on my desk calendar, consulted me for details on bigger appointments and events, and took off with hers.  This independence was one of the goals Mrs. Bell had with this system, creating independence in learning.  The goal of the products is that I could compare with her to make sure she is being held accountable for her work and time, but we haven't had that need in a printed form in our house, it happens regularly throughout the day, every day.

All in all, I am impressed with these products.  They are not a great fit for our family at this point since we have systems in place already that work well for us and it is hard to change mid-stream.  I can see great potential for the yearly switch over for us though!  I would LOVE to see the Homeschool Planner available in a smaller size, for my own personal preferences.  I carry a planner with me everywhere and it needs to fit in my purse.  I don't personally do well with one at home and one with me, I inevitably forget to transfer info, and I can't seem to practically manage a separate planner for each "section" of my life.  This planner would do GREAT with that, it is too large for the purses I choose to carry. 

To learn more about these great products and how to make the best use of them, find Mosaic Reviews or Apologia on facebook and join our party!  On Friday, April 12, 2013, at this link:  The party starts at 9pm EST!

****Please, accept my apologies for the lack of more detailed pictures.  Apparently, my camera has decided that all the great pictures I took should show up blurry :(  I am a bit more than disappointed with this, and hope to have the problem solved soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A very special Review and Giveaway

Aunt Mae's

I have teamed up with some amazing ladies (see the list at the bottom!) to help out our dear friend and fellow Lilla Rose consultant, Mae (look down past the Rafflecopter widget to see Mae's story and understand what this is all about!).  As a blogger, I was given a bar of Mae's hand made soap to review and participate in this project.  I have not been compensated in any other way for my time.  My goal is to help Mae build her business and support herself and her son.

My friend Paula, over at Whole Intentions (link at the bottom in the list of fellow bloggers) shared this great intro to Mae's soaps as she coordinated this giveaway: 

Have you read about all the harmful ingredients in store-bought soap yet the thought of making your own is too intimidating? Would you like to wash with a gentle lather safe enough for a baby's skin? Then let me introduce you to Mae’s Handcrafted Natural Soaps.

These natural soaps made with real tallow will delight your senses! Mae lovingly makes all her soaps in small batches to ensure the highest quality. She uses the best of the best ingredients: real tallow is gentle on your skin while at the same time is used for the bar's hardness, which means it doesn't get mushy in the shower. Olive oil is added for further gentleness along with a touch of coconut oil for a fluffy lather.

Cranberry-Fig-resized-300x199Only high quality soap scents or essential oils are used, and even then they are added with a light hand. Mae's bars give you an absolutely delicious scent you can enjoy in the shower, without becoming obtrusive during the day. Even her coloring agents are of a natural origin. These unique combinations make long-lasting, gentle bars that your whole family will love.

The fragrance that I received was Winter Grapefruit (not currently in stock on her website).  The various selections are quite unique, and I have to admit, I am a lover of hand made soaps and have not seen any of these combinations available before anywhere else.  I am absolutely thrilled with the quality of the soap, the fragrance was not overpowering or under-done.  Although some in my house would disagree about this particular fragrance being pleasing, *I* loved it!  The color of the soap was gentle and subtle.  The packaging was simple, yet elegant in design.  I really appreciate that Mae has taken the time to include a batch number on the label, so that she is able to keep track of any variations and concerns.  Mae's pricing is very competitive with what I have seen both locally and on the internet, at $4.95 for a 4 ounce bar.  These bars are hand cut, so there may be some variation in the exact weight of each bar.  Shipping costs are at the mercy of the postal service current rates, but Mae does what she can to get you the most for your money.  This makes a great opportunity to do a co-op and order with friends or plan some hand made gift giving.  ~Stacy~

You Can Win Natural Handcrafted Soap!

Would you like to win some of Mae's Natural Handcrafted Soap for yourself? Well, here's your chance! Enter below and be one of SIX winners for a $25 credit that you can use to chose your favorite soaps from Mae's delicious selections. Please note:  you must be 18 or older, and this is only valid for U.S. residents... take a brief moment to read the rest of the rules before entering, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aunt MaeThis review and giveaway is on behalf of a dear friend and sister in Christ who unexpectedly lost her beloved husband in February of this year. He left Mae and a young son behind, reeling from their loss.

Mae’s husband had been out of work for a year, living off of a small military pension. The family, understandably, had to cut back on expenses - one of which was their life insurance policies. His sudden death now leaves Mae and their son with very little income (less than a couple hundred dollars a month). Because of different personal situations, she is currently ineligible for benefits like Social Security. Mae homeschools their son, and thanks to The Home School Foundation, she will receive a grant to cover homeschooling supplies and curriculum. She is asking the Lord to provide for her son and herself through her small businesses, one of which is making soaps and other body products.

As you can see, the situation is dire for this sweet widow and her son, but we know that God is able to do more than we could ever think, or ask (Eph. 3:20), and we hope that you will consider joining up with us to help our dear friend by supporting her business.

We're asking you, dear readers, to seriously consider the call of James 1:27—to care for widows and orphans and consider Mae's Handcrafted Natural Soaps for your next soap purchase.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1: 27

Anyone who knows Mae is touched by her. She is an incredibly godly woman, who acts as a Titus 2 mentor to those who know her. She is loved so dearly and we want to do all we can to support her during this incredibly difficult time! Please pass this on by sharing this giveaway on Facebook and Twitter.

If you'd like to give a donation, you can send via Paypal to Please remember to choose "Personal" giving so the Raymond family doesn't incur fees with your donation. If you need more details on how to do this, please contact and she'd be happy to send you directions.

A big thank you to all the bloggers participating:

Ann @

Anne @ Authentic Simplicity

Tara @ Everyday Ramblings of My Life

Jill @ Jill's Home Remedies

Sara Elizabeth @ A Mama's Story

Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife

Renee @ I Am The Clay

Del @ Devote & Seek

Jill @ Blessed Beyond a Doubt

Rebecca @ Rebecca's Ramblings

Hilary @ Accidentally Green

Marci @ Amazing Graze Farm

Susan @ Learning and Yearning

Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker

Justyn @ Creative Christian Mama

Chelsea Rebecca @ For Unmarried Christian Women

Chelsea Rebecca @ Hearts for Home

Paula @ Whole Intentions

Amy @ A Heart Surrendered Blog

Bambi @ In the Nursery of the Nation

Dana @ Clan Chris Dean

Kristen @ Smithspirations

Caroline @ The Modest Mom Blog

Alicia @ Walking In Faith

Stephani @ The Cheapskate Cook

Amber @ Homemaker by Choice

Marci @ Thankful Homemaker

Katie Sullivan @ Brighton Park Blog

Anjanette @ Raising the Barrs

Pam @ Mom Does Reviews

Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage

Stacy @ Something Whimsical

Natalie @ Visionary Womanhood

Paula @ Beautiful Life of Joy

Rachel @ Of Love and Beauty

Reagan @ The Arsenal

Kelly @ Generation Cedar

Kelly @ Practical Savings

Stacy Karen @ A Delightful Home

Kristen @ Five in Tow

Diana @ A Little Bit of Spain

Elizabeth @ Yes They Are All Ours

Jacque @ Deep Roots at Home

Karrilee @ Abiding Love, Abounding Grace

Karrilee@ Blessed Memories Scrapbooks by Karrilee

Shawnee @ The Apronista

Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

Janine @ True Aim Education

Kathryn @ Singing Through the Rain

Alicia @ Fun Reviews and Giveaways

Deborah @ A Delightful Glow

Stephanie @ The King's Bookworm

Christy @ The Simple Homemaker

June @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Shadedlily @ With Them

Joy @ Artful Homemaking

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I am up to something else today...go check it out!

Every month, I have an article over at Homeschool Mosaics about Unschooling.  Some may consider my family unschooling, some may consider us eclectic...some may just not want to say what they think, but we do choose a non-traditional style of learning. 

Today, I discussed our curriculum, or lack of it... you can find that article and my others over at Mosaics.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 1, 2013

We Choose Virtues REVIEW

  Virtues are a quality or trait that is desired or considered good by moral standards. (My paraphrase of the definitions on several websites)  Virtues are something that has to be taught and practiced and modeled.  Heather McMillan of We Choose Virtues saw a need for students to have a formal, structured, focused approach to teaching virtues to young children.  She developed the various products to help parents and teachers as they work with their students to instill these core traits in different teaching settings.  I have to admit, while I knew the virtues themselves, the term "virtue" hadn't crossed my path enough to stick, and I had to go look it up and figure out exactly what a "virtue" meant.  I mean, I had heard of the virtuous woman of Proverbs and all, but what did it really mean?  yeah, go ahead, laugh at me.  I sure did. 

Follow the links for details and info:

As a member of Mosaic Reviews, I was given the opportunity to review the Virtue Flash Cards ($14.99 value) as well as a single Parent Card ($34.99 for the set) and electronic files of:   Coloring Pages ($3.00 downloadable), Butterfly Award, Character Assessment   (FREE), Product Comparison Chart (FREE), Memory Verses, Bible Heroes, and Truths (FREE) and the Teacher's Handbook ($5.00).  Heather sent an introductory email with great details and helpful hints for using the materials she sent.  I am a paper and pen kind of gal, so even though Heather said it was not needed, I chose to print the teacher's manual as well so I could flip through it at will.  Besides, I had just purchased a new printer that was able to do double sided printing, and I had to try it out.  I have to say, it was worth it. 
If you'd like to see more reviews of the We Choose Virtues (WCV) products from other Mosaic Reviews team members, to go Mosaic Reviews and look for the We Choose Virtues post.

Technical info: 

The materials through WCV are offered in 3 formats:  secular, King James and NIV.  I received the secular version.  The cards we secular, but the parenting card does contain one Bible verse.  The coloring pages were completely secular as well. 

Many of the items are available as a digital PDF file for downloading and printing.

Several of the items are free.  Prices and needs will vary, but if you have to start somewhere, you can manage to get the basics covered with the flash cards.

For the month of April, We Choose Virtues has a special.... use the code HOME20 during checkout for 20% off your Homeschool Kit order! 

Any other products, or after the month of April, you may use the code VIRTUE15.  At this time, there is no expiration date on this code!

During our conference call, Heather did give hints that new products are in the works, and the product line will be expanding  in the future!  Be watching for updates!

Personal Experience and Opinion:

We started with the Character Assessment in our family, and all children, ages 4-15 were required to rate themselves at the beginning of our adventure with the cards.  Notice the dark marks on the left.  This was the self scoring of our class clown, fun loving, mischievous little boy who often finds himself on the receiving end of extra chores, reprimands from older siblings, and lots of one on one training on days when his impulses get the best of him.  I was amused and shocked at his brutal honesty in this assessment.  He giggled his way through, somewhat out of silliness, somewhat out of embarrassment as he was the last one to complete this and he was well aware of the expectations.  Each one was read aloud to each child to help them "score" themselves.  No, he really isn't a difficult child, but one who embraces life with all of the gusto he can manage.  That somehow translates into trouble maker, even though he doesn't usually intend to end up that way.

The circles to the right are after some practice with the cards and reviewing expectations.  The improvement was significant within the first few days of use. 
 The use of the coloring pages and the cards has become a daily thing at our house.  The children are helping each other memorize what they see as weaknesses among each other. 

The thing I am finding most impressive with the use of these cards is that my kids are taking initiative in areas that I have not seen before.  I woke yesterday morning to find that the garbage had already been taken out, the birds fed and tended, and school work being done...yes, even on a holiday that landed on a Sunday!

I have to admit, when I first heard about this review, I wasn't all that excited.  I guess I didn't really see a need for more "flash cards".  I am a trailblazer who has to be different and not do things like everyone else, and the thought of flash cards brought up images of drills and repetition.  These cards are NOT like that at all.  They are bright, colorful and "friendly" in both their illustration and approach.  They *can* be done by the old drill and recite method, but they do not HAVE to be.  Phew!  Now that I got that out of the way?  I can tell you, I was thoroughly impressed.  These cards came at a time when they are very much needed.  Refer to picture number 1.  That sweet little boy was not lying.   He has not learned self control, and for whatever reason, we hadn't found the right methods to teach it to him either.   I can't say that the cards are miracles, but they are a welcome tool. 

If I were to never have received another item, the Assessment itself would have proven very beneficial.  It is what got my kids and myself thinking about our intentional choices and actions.  They are working on their perseverance and diligence now without me prodding them along.  This was a welcome surprise!

While Heather suggests starting with the 3 basic rules (Obey, Be Kind, Be a Helper), we did not do that.  I let the kids lead the way on this one since they dove in so heartily with the assessments that they took off on their own.  I just sit back and watch, and give suggestions along the way since the older ones are leading the younger ones naturally, and the younger ones are holding the older ones accountable on their weaknesses. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to review these products and really enjoy them.  I wasn't sure which version would be the best fit for our household, and the secular version is good for us.  I will say that if someone is not wanting any scripture or Bible references, they may want to contact customer service before ordering to be sure they get exactly what they want.  Heather's faith is very clear, and the Bible provides so many passages that support these virtue lessons, that they are heavily blended.  While this is a big bonus to some, it may be a bit of a deterrent for others.  I can tell you from listening to Heather during the conference call that she cares deeply about teaching virtues and will do her best to help you.  Please, contact her or the rest of her team if you have any questions.