Star Toaster Orphs of the Woodlands ~ Review

Star Toaster Review
Star Toaster  has developed an online educational resource and game called Orphs of the Woodlands that I was able to review. I was excited for this opportunity because I thought Jahnna would enjoy an online game that incorporated learning into it. She likes fantasy stories and I figured this would be a good way to increase her vocabulary. Orphs of the Woodlands is recommended for grades 4-7 and is set up as a 60 day subscription for up to three students for $19.99. If you would like to continue your subscription you can purchase a thirty day extension for $6.99 for up to three students. There is a free trial for the first 100 pages of the story if you’d like to see how your students will do before buying.

The program starts out with your student naming a squirrel who will go on to fight the Night Creatures who are terrorizing the Woodlands. During the course of the story the squirrel becomes responsible for the Orphs and learns to love them. Through the course of the story there are different learning opportunities and games to play. There is math, science, life skills and more that are incorporated into 66 math jobs, 66 vocabulary jobs, 62 thinking skill jobs, 32 science jobs, 29 language jobs, 19 character jobs, and 6 art jobs.

Star Toaster Review

Things did not start off well with Jahnna and this program. For some reason she was really miffed that there was only a boy squirrel for a character. She tends to hold onto her grudges for a long time and I really think that small detail influenced her from the beginning. Jahnna reads incredibly fast which can be a great thing most days. The first day Jahnna started the program she sped through it at her regular speed and when I got her first progress report I noticed she has rushed her way through things. I was not happy with her over that. Once I had her slow down and really get into it she enjoyed it a lot more. Her favorite parts were the recipes because she loves to cook. I had her copy the recipes by hand in her own cookbook to improve her handwriting. She liked that even though she is usually a fan of writing things down.

Jahnna finished the program so quickly I decided to see if Riley wanted to give it a try. Riley is in second grade but reads at an advanced level. She didn’t care that the squirrel was a boy and loved the story. So far she has finished two chapters and is quite proud of some of the new words she has learned. Riley loves the math videos which I thought was kind of funny to be a favorite part. She insists that she likes them though.

My overall impression of Orphs of the Woodlands is very good. I love the detail and thought that went into the story line. The illustrations are beautiful and there is plenty to learn. This should be considered as a supplement to your home or public schooling. This is a fantastic program for boys who is was designed for but also for girls as long as they don’t hold a grudge over the squirrel being a boy! If I could make a recommendation to the developers at Star Toaster it would be to include that as an option in the future. The grade recommendations are fairly appropriate but I would not hesitate to recommend it for an advanced second or third grader. If you think it might benefit your child but aren’t quite sure definitely sign up for the free trial.

If you’d like to connect with Star Toaster on Social Media they are on PinterestFacebook, and Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out what the other members of the crew thought about this review.

Star Toaster Review
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Don’t forget to use coupon code NEWSLETTER on my Butterfly Express Essential Oil site to get 10% off of everyday BE prices.

4 simple steps to stress free homemaking

Are you a stressed-out homemaker? Don’t stay overwhelmed! Check out this free eCourse: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking

Are you tired of getting behind on laundry?

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen clean?

Does the dinner hour have you harried?


If so, you cannot miss a FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

Control My Spin’s Holly Dvorak, a popular speaker and home management coach, and her long-time homemaking mentee, Erin Odom, of The Humbled Homemaker, have put together this eCourse to help curb homemaking overwhelm and give you the tools you need to run your home like a well-oiled machine.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking will not take you long to complete, but what you learn through it can totally revolutionize your home.


What comes with this eCourse?

  • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them. But they each pack a punch!
  • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
  • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

What rewards can you earn?

4 steps overlay image 650 x 351

We let a sampling of bloggers get a sneak peek at this course, and this is what they had to say about it:

Kayse Pratt

“I absolutely loved the course! It was so encouraging for me to hear someone else’s homemaking struggles, and the tips I learned are so practical, I can implement them immediately! Each video is less than 10 minutes, and well worth your time. I’m recommending it to all of my friends!” ~Kayse Pratt, blogger at Kaysepratt and author of Worth the Fight

Angi Schneider

“I was really encouraged by the videos to really think about the little things that make my day go smoother when I do them. Thank you!” ~Angi Schneider, blogger at Schneiderpeeps and author of Hope: Thriving While Unemployed

Jill York

“I cannot tell you how much this simple free course has helped me already! I’ve watched them with my oldest daughter, and we are putting them to action! The motivation it provides can be life-changing! It made me really look forward to digging into the rest of what’s in the bundle.” ~Jill York, blogger at Jill’s Home Remedies and co-author of Homeschooling Day-by-Day

Kristen Smith

“The four mini lessons taught in this eCourse aren’t overwhelming, won’t load you with guilt, and are really doable. There’s also room to tweak the lessons for your family’s unique needs, which I appreciate as a homeschooling mom of give younger children. Instead of feeling like a failure by watching it, you feel motivated to make the small changes that Holly explains.” ~Kristen Smith, blogger at Smithspirations and author of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here, now, or click on the button below! 

Click here for immediate access!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site!

Night At The Museum #VocalPoint ~ Giveaway

We recently had flat Dexter come pay us a visit courtesy of VocalPoint. Riley was obviously excited as you can tell frothier picture below.


Flat Dexter made it to our house today! #VPMovieNight can’t wait to have family night tonight.

A photo posted by erinamundsen (@erinamundsen) on

We had so much fun watching Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb together as a family. Colby doesn’t usually watch what ever movie we watch together. He typically has his own  movie going down on his mat but he even watched it and was laughing at Dexter’s antics.

VocalPoint sent us the movie, microwave popcorn and bags and flat Dexter. Riley had fun playing with Dexter and teasing her brother and sister with him. John and I both loved the movie. It is hard to carry a movie to a sequel let alone a trilogy so my expectations weren’t high even though we loved the second movie. I shouldn’t have worried.

This will probably seem a little weird but I haven’t watched any movies with Robin Williams in it since his death. It made me so sad to think about. This was a perfect send off in my opinion. I’ll admit I cried a little at the end.

Jahnna was hoping that there would be a way to make a fourth movie but understood that it was definitely over. We’ve enjoyed each movie so much that they have truly become family favorites.

VocalPoint has generously offered to send you the same thing so it can become one of your family favorites.
Be sure and check out my other giveaway going on for a Mini Starter Oil Kit from Butterfly Express.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s Giveaway Time!

John has had pretty severe neuropathy over his forehead, stomach and back since his initial brain surgery. I’d dabbled in essential oils and used them on myself and the kids but he never had any interest. He would say I was witch doctoring them or voodooing them up when he saw me putting oils on anyone. It’s not that he didn’t think it was bad he just didn’t really see the point.

One day when he was really complaining about his head and how much it annoyed him I said “Why don’t you try putting some Paine oil on it” He felt almost immediate relief so he kept putting it on every time he felt a tingle start. After about a week he was only putting some on every three  to four days. From that point he was hooked! At this point I had just signed up with a brand new oil from a company that I had really been drawn too. He wasn’t interested in those ones at all. He knew Butterfly Express oils worked and he was sticking with them.

He put in some orders and then we went to a conference and were talking with some people with a BE booth. She mentioned how to get started selling the oils because John was so enthusiastic about them. Turns out we weren’t far off from that level so we placed another order and here we are!

I decided to go ahead and have a website built specifically for the oils we sell. You can buy them directly from Butterfly Express or we are going to offer them 10% below retail cost every day on our site. It won’t be hard to remember because it’s the same name as this site except it’s instead of .com.

Today to kick off the launch of the website I will be giving away a Mini Starter Kit ($45) 

This kit includes the following 6, 10ml oils:
LeBreezey,LeDeeper,LeDeliverance, LeMillenia, Lavender, Peppermint pip

This kit also includes: 
1/2oz Miracle Salve, 1/2oz Almond Oil, and 1/2oz Coconut Oil

Gah! I can’t get the giveaway form I made to load so to enter here is the link 

Side note does anyone know a good giveaway entry form that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg each month? What do you use?


Greek Morphemes Lessons ~ Review

Ready to Teach Review
Ready to Teach generously allowed Jahnna and I to review the Greek Morphemes Lessons (It’s  NOT Greek to Me!).  The program comes with two physical books (teacher and student) and a thumb drive  filled with powerpoint presentations and interactive activities. In previous versions of the program a CD was provided instead of a thumb drive. The program is for middle school or high school students and is $69.95 + $12.75 s/h. 

The student workbook contains worksheets for all the lessons and blank flash cards for each morpheme and definition. Each lesson has different colored flash cards to keep them all straight. The instructor manual has pre-printed flashcards, a weekly plan, lessons and answer keys, review activities and tests and answer keys.

Both the CD and the thumb drive we received had the lessons in an easy to use format. Jahnna had never used Powerpoint before so I quickly showed her what to do and after that she was good to go. I think she was annoyed at first with the slideshow view and having to click through it herself but when I explained that this would give her time to think about things or to go faster so she wouldn’t get bored it made more sense to her.

Jahnna is almost 12 years old and reads far above her sixth grade level. She uses large words and I always have people commenting about her use of advanced vocabulary. I find it kind of funny because I don’t notice it. That being said it amazes me when she doesn’t connect similar words by looking at their roots. When I showed her the student manual she rolled her eyes over worksheets but halfway through the first lesson she mentioned that it wasn’t as boring as it looked at first. We haven’t done a lot of worksheets with her so I took the eye roll with a grain of salt and hoped that once she got into the lessons the content would make up for it. My expectations were definitely met!

Ready to Teach Review

To start off the weekly lesson we would look at the morpheme and talk about she thought it would mean. Once we talked about that she would write down the definition of the morpheme and cross reference it with the dictionary definition. When that was done she would write the word in a sentence. I think her favorite part of the lessons would be to match the words with a slightly different definition. Sometimes I would hear her laughing about the differences. I love that she is old enough to recognize the differences and appreciate the subtlety of the humor.

I will confess that she never could get into the flashcard portion of the lessons. Flashcards drive her crazy so I didn’t really push it too much.

I laughed pretty hard when she got to the word megalomaniac and remembered that it was in the movie Megamind. That became the word of the day that day. Riley got in on the megalomanic action and they both had Colby laughing so hard he had the hiccups!

I have really come to appreciate Greek Morphemes Lessons (It’s  NOT Greek to Me!) and the highly effective way vocabulary is taught. I will be getting her the Latin Morphemes Lessons next year so she can continue building on her vocabulary skills. 

Be sure and check out what the 49 other crew members had to say about their experiences during the review period.

Koru Naturals Review
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