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Nerd Family Things: November 2008

Nerd Family Things

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Location: Fresno, California, United States

A homeschooling, conservative nerdy mom of 4!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Missing Link: Found

I recently read a novel called The Missing Link: Found by Christina and Felice Gerwitz. One of the things I liked about this book before I even opened it was the fact that it was written by a homeschooled teenager with the help of her mom. I also like the fact it is about creationism and features a homeschool family. But now onto a review of the actual book;).

The book is a very easy read that is aimed at preteens and teens but I am thinking that my 7 year old will enjoy it. It is a fast paced action mystery that deals with evolution issues. I found the plot to move quickly and it really draws you in. It is a book that is a fun read that is great for kids who love to read or ones that find it a struggle. I love the fact that it give a great amount of factual knowledge that can even be a jumping off point for research or a unit (There are even study guides that go with the series). I also like the fact that there are 2 other books so far in the series.

The only down side is that there are some editing errors but I have been told it is going to be re-edited. Overall I really recommend this for the pre-teen or teen in your life either as a gift or just because!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wii Game Giveaway!!!!

For those of you who have been living under a rock and without a calendar..... Christmas is coming!!! In the spirit of Christmas I have a Nintendo Wii game to giveaway!

The Game Factory has published a great family friendly game called Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons. This is the perfect family game because it is for ages 3+ and can be for anywhere from 1 to 4 players. Build-A-Bear Workshop® entertainment experience allows up to four players to name, groom, feed and dress their bear using the revolutionary Wii™ remote. The game allows players to join their customized bear on adventures to explore islands, meet inhabitants and help furry friends.

Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons allows full interaction between the player and her/his furry friend in a variety of 20 fun mini-games, from throwing Frisbees to ice-skating. Four islands season-themed wait to be explored and six treasure spots hold magical chests! Developed for children and families, Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons packs fun for the whole family and allows players to take full advantage of the unique features of the Nintendo Wii™ game system. It is available at Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart and others.

Charity and Cool Stuff!

Build A Bear will be auctioning off celebrity-built Build-A-Bear Workshop bears, along with autographed copies of the Build-A-Bear Wii game. These bears and signed games will be on eBay's Giving Works to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. These one-of-a-kind bears were built by celebrities like Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott, the Jonas Brothers, James Gandolfini, Melissa Joan Hart, Bonnie Hunt, Mitchel Musso, Meaghan Jette Martin and more.

Win it!

How would you like to win a copy of Build A Bear Worshop: A Friend Fur All Seasons for your family? To enter:

* Stop by the Build A Bear Auction before Dec 3rd and check out the cool bears they have.
* Then come back and mention in comments which bear is your favorite. That’s it!
* A random winner will be selected and notified on Dec 7th.
* The winner will then have 3 days to claim their prize.

To earn extra entries, you may do one or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra ticket but you must leave a separate comment for each one.

* Subscribe to my feed.
* Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back here and to The Game Factory.

This giveaway is open to addresses within the US and Canada. Please leave a way to contact you in case you win.

(This is a FRN post)

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Have Hairy Legs?

I saw this advertised on Facebook and had to check it out. A bit kooky but if you are tough enough I guess it could be good. I do hate shaving my legs......

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One2Believe Nativity Set

When NerdDad and I got married, broke and straight out of college, I started thinking of getting a nativity set. Originally I wanted one of those real nice porcelain sets but then I realized that isn't any fun. I wanted something that my kids (whenever they would arrive) wouldn't break. Now I have kids (boy howdy do I have kids;) and still needed a nativity. Well you can imagine then how happy I was to receive Tales of Glory Nativity Play Set to review.

At 17 pieces I was amazed what a large set this is for only $18 at Christian Book Distributors. My older 3 kids (7, 5, and 3) immediatelyy started playing with it. And when I say immediately, they took each piece as unwrapped and started playing with them. There are enough groups of characters that each one of them could be responsible for a group in the role play. This set also looks great up on my piano.

I know you may be asking about down sides. Some people may have issues with the fact that it is made of pvc and in China but these aren't issues at all for us (but I wanted to put it out there for the rest of you). My only issue it that there are some pointy party that are hard so I can't let the 1 1/2 year old play will them. But that isn't a big deal beacause it is almost impossible to find a good set for under 3.

One2Believe also makes a variety of other toys that kids love. It is nice to see action figures that are Biblical and the P31 dolls are adorable. 1 thing to watch. The nativity set is $24.99 at the One2Believe site and only $17.99 at Christian Book Distributors. I personally go for the deal so don't shop on their site unless you can't find any of the other toys anywhere else.

I highly recommend this Nativity Set and I urge you to pop over pick this up for Christmas, the sooner the more play time you have!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

And Then Mama Said....

You know that title has to be the start of something good! I just read the most delightful book to my preschooler and my kindergartner by Gena Suarez.
Little Splish is dealing with the same issue that my kindergarten NerdPie has. He can't read, others around him can and this makes Splish very self conscious. This wonderfully illustrated book kept both of my young kids enthraled and encouraged them. It was also great to see a book that focuses on a homeschooling family and one that is sweet and caring. You know that it is really special when the mom reading it walks away encouraged and inspired.

When you order this book from The Old Schoolhouse Store you also get a free pdf activity guide. It is 36 pages of different activities that you can use for different grade levels. There is simple copy work(single sentences about the books), more complex copy work (about about frogs and their life cycle), coloring pages, alphabet maze and ant body diagrams.

If all this isn't enough there is more. Right now when you order you can have the book autographed by the author. You just tell her who to sign it to.

This is a great gift (especially for under $10) to that child you want to encourage and with Christmas coming up......

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Better Way to Get NerdThings

For those who haven't gotten the hint. I like books. No...I love books. NerdDad loves books. A great date for us is dinner and going to the book store (dorks we know). So when I was sent information on Homeschool Library Builder I was quite interested.

This site rocks! They have all kinds of books including many that are homeschool necessities. They also have some out of print books and ex-library copies. The site has a revolving inventory so they may not have every book you want and you need to check the condition (they carry both new and used books) of the books but the deals and customer service make up for it. For example they have a 99 cent copy of The Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens and a 75 cent copy of Caddie Woodlawn in the clearance bin. Also, if they don't have a book you need just ask and they will go looking for it.

They also have a free membership program where you can get a frequent buyer program and referral program (so if you sign up please use NerdMom as your referrer). They are also very charitable. They have a holiday section where all the proceeds go to the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.

So go check out this great site and maybe get a little bit of your Christmas shopping out of the way for the child you always want to encourage to learn.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Amusing Math Module

I recently got my hands on The Old Schoolhouse's November module, Amusing Math. It correlates with their awesome planner (you may recall my review of that back in September) but you don't need the planner for this 48 page module.

Basically this a lighthearted math unit that would work across quite a few grades. This has sections on math games, multiplication, math jokes, shapes and telling time. It not only has activities in the module but it also has links to other free and fun resources. I love that it even has different levels of copy work and word searches so you could make an entire unit from it.

With the holidays coming up, and the crazy schedules, it is a perfect time to take a little break from the normal routine and spend some fun time learning. Go check it out because at $7.95 it is a deal!

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Monday, November 10, 2008


I recently was given the opportunity to evaluate a new learning resource. is an Internet directory. What makes this special is that this directory has over 2300 different links that have been vetted and organized by subject and age group. It also has a search box that lets you do keyword searches.

So what do I think about it? I think that the Table of Contents feature is really good. She has everything outlined out and you can go pick a subject either to look for a sight/worksheet/activity or plan a whole unit with.

If you are not comfortable jumping into the goo that is the Internet this is a great tool. If you want a safe environment where you know that you will only find family friendly sites, this is for you. If you are very Internet savy and have time to dig through the dregs to find the jewels, then you might be wasting your money.

I think that this site is overall very solid and it will continue to build upon its foundation. HelpMe2Teach has a great price structure that enables you to try this out for a short term or they also have a great sale (through the end of December) of buying 1 year and getting 1 year free with the code TOS. Here is the price structure (not including the sale):

1 year for $29.95
3 mos. for $15.95
1 mo. for $9.95
3 days for $4.95
Price includes Quarterly Newsletters and FREE research for anyone with a paid one year subscription or longer.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Unique But Interesting

I know people who love edges and people who love edges. But I never thought about there being a pan.

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Amazon Bargains!

I was perusing the Amazon Friday Sale and found some interesting things. So here they all are!

(Normally $127.99) (Normally $44 and so cool!)
(Normally $168 and I think I am buying it. You can put it in the over up to 450 degrees!!!!)

So there are my hits from the Amazon Friday sale. What are you still doing here?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great Gifts for Christmas!

Shannon over at Rocks at My Dryer asked for a list of great gifts. So here are a few we at the NerdFamily love!

First up is Blokus Classic. We all love this game. NerdDad and I can play against each other and the 7 and 5 year olds can also play. It is great!

We are also huge Mega Bloks fans! These big blocks are great family fun. They are safe for all our kids (down to less than a year and a half) and what else can you use to build arches big enough that the kids can crawl under?

SET Game is a great game because it can be as simple or hard as you would like it to be.

Quadrilla Marble Railway is an awesome family gift. It is composed of different pieces so you can make a new set up everytime. In addition to cool marble fun it also teaches logic and a bit of science. There are also many pieces so it is an awesome gift tradition to start. Then you can just gift them a new piece every gift occasion.

I also love giving books like Usborne Encyclopedias and The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set because they are books that appeal to everyone in the family and can be read (many times) together.

So there are just a few gifts I love! Click on my gift worthy category to see a few more.

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