Mad Science Know Magazine

September 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books, General Information, Science 

At the end of last school year, I made the decision to do a "Mama school" for my son. I knew that if he wasn't challenged during the summer, he would lose some of the skills that he had so painstakingly learned in preschool.  Together we chose topics that interest with him and I spent oodles of hours prepping preschool lessons for us to do.   As I prepared these lessons, I realized that most of them dealt in some way with science. 

I am definitely a "humanities" kind of girl so this science thing is a challenge for me, but I love the fact that my little guy has such an interest in it.  Recently we discovered a magazine that is perfect-it's called Mad Science KNOW Magazine.  The magazine is colorful, informative, and most importantly, age-appropriate-for kids ages 6-9.  My son is a huge fan of experiments and the magazine contains easy experiments with colorful pictures.  You can check out the website here.

If you have a 6-9 year old with an interest in science OR you have a child who you want to instill a love of science, you will love this magazine published every other month.  It's fun learning, but shhhh!!  Don't tell your kids there is learning involved!

TKDDaughter gives the KNOW Magazine:

BBMReview Brown Belt Award

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by  Mom Central on behalf of Mad Science and received the products necessary to  facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me  for taking the time to participate."

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books 

I love buying parenting books.  Anytime a new issue comes up with my son, I head to Amazon to find the plethora of books that will solve all of my problems.  I wait patiently for the book that will bring peace and happiness back to my house.  The day the book comes, I head to bed early with book in hand, ready to have all of our issues resolved.  A few days later, and only a few chapters in, the book begins to collect dust.  Therein lies the problem with parenting books-you feel a gusto when first approaching the book, but reading an entire book and expecting to remember all the techniques is near impossible. So, I give up and the problems remain.

You will not find this problem with You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing  Your 4-12 Year Old by Betsy Brown Braun.  Braun encourages you to use the book however best works for you. She suggests that you choose chapters for issues you want to work on with your child.  I like this approach.  The book does not have to be read cover to cover before you can begin using the techniques or ideas presented.  I headed right away to the chapter self-reliance and then the one on independence. We are raising an only child (not by choice), and we worry about his ability to be independent and happy.  Braun is encouraging and provides practical ways to deal with your child.

Ours son was also diagnosed with ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and while we're not 100% sold on this diagnosis, he does exhibit many of the indicators of this disorder.  Braun's ideas fit in with other experts on ODD.  She reminds us that kids are kids and that we adults need to relax, too.  Perhaps the greatest reminder for me was that we are their models and that kids pick up on our stress.  Obvious, I know, but in the heat of the moment, I get wrapped up in my emotions and react and I forget how detrimental my reaction can be-and this is even more detrimental with a child with ODD. 

Braun speaks to the reader on a grounded level. You sense she has "been there, done that" and is not passing judgment.  The tone is friendly, firm, and encouraging.   I found the book to be a refreshing parenting book.

TKDDaughter gives You're Not the Boss of Me a:

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of HarperCollins and received a copy of You’re Not the Boss of Me to facilitate my review. Mom Central also sent me a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Lakeshore Christmas (The Lakeshore Chronicles) by Susan Wiggs

November 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books 

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by MotherTalk on behalf of Lakeshore Christmas and received a copy of the book to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

What is it about small town America that draws us towards it?  Is it the simple life that we really all desire, or is it the honest people we imagine living there, or the great sense of fellowship?  I find myself drawn to stories set in these small towns, being pulled into a life I think I would enjoy immensely. 

Lakeshore Christmas, part of The Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs, delivers that small town feeling at a time of year that reminds us what friends, faith, and simplicity really mean in our lives.  The characters are typical, but that's what makes them so endearing to us…the reserved librarian with a past, the Hollywood star/rocker with a heart of gold, the struggling teenage mom, the bad teenagers who find the right path. And of course, the conflict…

At the heart of the story is the town Christmas pageant, the one thing that can save the characters and the heart of the town.  In the end, miracles will happen and it makes the reader believe again in the goodness of others. 

Lakeshore Christmas makes you want to get those decorations out and start baking cookies.  Grab a cup of tea and your coziest blanket and enjoy a heartwarming and fulfilling novel! Thanks for MotherTalk for hooking me up with yet another delightful read!

TKDDaughter gives Lakeshore Christmas a:

BBMReview Brown Belt Award

“Daniel X: Watch the Skies” by James Patterson & Ned Rust

August 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books 

If you're looking for a teenage friendly alien hunter, you're not going to find any better than Daniel X. Daniel returns in this sequel to the first alien hunting book, on the hunt for Space Alien #5. His journey is not your typical Star Wars-ish adventure.


Set in "Holliswood" and reeking of aliens and society's current craze with reality television, Patterson and Rust have created yet another enjoyable and adolescent friendly novel that both boys and girls will enjoy. The best thing about these books is that there is no shortage of aliens, which means the series will surely continue on for quite a while.

What's great about Daniel X books is that they are smart, entertaining, and seem to relate well to younger generations without seeming contrived. Patterson and Rust are good at nailing the sarcasm of a teenager without sounding mouthy. And what parent can resist a main character who conjures up his parents for advice whenever necessary?

An added joy in this book, at least for me, was the mention of martial arts several times. Although it only stayed on the surface and didn't delve any deeper than that, the mere mention of Daniel X using martial arts techniques to defeat evil aliens made me happy.

My only potential criticism or more of a concern actually, is that over time, the books and Daniel X's adventures could become a bit formulaic. But for now, it works so read away.

Although in the first book, Daniel X only has an imaginary girlfriend, in this book we have a bit of a love story that is super sweet, but not over the top. With electric eels, electric first kisses, and electri-charged aliens, this book is one you'll want to put on the list for your kids. With manageable chapters and a fast-paced story, Daniel X: Watch the Skies is another Patterson success. Thanks to for the opportunity to review this book!

BBM gives Daniel X: Watch the Skies. . .

BBMReview Brown Belt Award

The Classical Three Section Staff

June 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books, Fitness, Martial Arts, Sports 

I've played with a lot of weapons in my day, but the three section staff is a scary one. Does any other weapon scream quite so clearly "hey, hit yourself in the head!"

That's why I decided to check out "The Classical Three Section Staff" by Rick L. Wing.


I had my reservations about the book at first because it seemed like a normal color-by-numbers martial arts text (show a couple pictures, explain some foot positions, call it a day).

Although "Three Section Staff" does follow a pretty standard setup, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the content. The author provided excellent information about the history of the weapon and wrote in a very approachable manner. At no point did Wing try to sound like the master of all things staff.

One of my favorite parts of the book was in the beginning when Wing discussed the hand positions used with the staff. Seeing his pictures and examples of how the postures could be used was very enlightening.

Example of a Three Section Staff

Rather than trying to pass on a whole "Style", Wing geared the bulk of his book around a single two-man form. The form is a sample combative engagement of the three-section staff vs a spear. As Wing explains it, the techniques contained in this single form allow the practitioner to understand the core principles of the weapon. Therefore, the methods used here can be used anywhere.

The pictures contained in the book are very well taken and the angles help demonstrate what is happening. Although I personally haven't learned the form contained in the book, I have gleaned a lot from the ideas discussed.

Right now in my training I am not trying to become an expert at three section staff. If I ever did want to significantly increase my proficiency, I would certainly use this text as a highly valuable resource.

Overall, Ikigai108 gives "The Classical Three Section Staff"…


Would you like to purchase this book? Check it out here!

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