Fun September

We had a fun month this month. Here are just a few things we enjoyed as we said goodbye to summer and started our school year.

Visiting the beach one last time:

Stood in line for five and a half hours to meet one of my favorite authors (Nicholas Sparks):

Playing at the park:
Going on a field trip:


The Presidential Game ~ Review

Take a glimpse into our home and you can usually find someone in our house playing a board game. My boys love to compete against each other and play a board game any chance they are given. When I was given the chance to review The Presidential Game, I knew my boys would love it before we even received it.

About the game:
The Presidential Game is a board game that includes red and blue chips, a tablet to keep score, die for each player, and politics cards. This game is appropriate for ages 11- adult and for 2 or more players. Each player or team decides what party affiliation they will have during the game.  The players each roll one dice to see who goes first.  After finding out which player goes first, each player or team will then decide how many weeks to campaign or fund-raise. A 30 week game should last approximately one hour. With each roll of the die, the player must decide if they are going to go to the states for fundraising or campaigning. If the player decides to fund-raise in one of the four states listed, they are allowed to pick one politics card. They must either play the card right away or they can keep it for a future turn.

How we used the game:
When it first arrived, we wanted to play right away. One of my boys was finished with his school work for the day, so I let him play me first. We unloaded everything, read the directions, and began to play. My boys, ages 10 and 11, have also played this game whenever they have had the chance. I used this game as a great opportunity to once again go over the election process with my sons. They did remember quite a bit from last years election. They knew it took 270 electoral votes to become President. They also knew that a person must campaign and fund-raise in each state in order to get a person’s vote. This was also a great time to introduce my (almost) 8 year old daughter to the election process. She did not play, but she did like to watch us play.

What we thought about the game:
We enjoyed playing The Presidential Game, but had a little trouble understanding the directions at first. The directions that came with the game did not specify how many dice to roll to fund-raise. I did find online instructions that specified to only roll two die. The directions also did not say if only one color could be on each state. For instance, if red had 5 votes, but blue wanted to place 6 votes, are we suppose to remove all of the red? We did play it both ways. Our first few games, we kept both colors on each state. After I read the FAQ page online, I realized that maybe we are suppose to remove the color that is not in control of the state. I was also confused on how to use the paper tablet that came with the game. I wasn't sure what to subtract and what to add, so we ditched using the paper and brought up the web calculator on my iPod touch. The calculator worked great on my iPod, but I kept forgetting to change what week we were on, so the first time, we only played until someone had 270 electoral votes. All other times, we kept up with what week we were on and it made the game play run much more smoothly.

 iPod Pictures

We really enjoyed playing this game once we got the hang of it. My boys love competing against each other. They try their best to strategize to win their 270 electoral votes by the end of the game. We give this game 5 stars!

The Presidential Game is available for $35 plus shipping on their website.
Click here to read what the others on The Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about the game.



Autumn ~ My Favorite Time of Year

I love this time of year. I know I made a similar post last year, but it never gets old. After enduring a hot, North Carolina summer, it is refreshing to be able to step outside and be able to breathe. It also makes sleeping at night more enjoyable. I also love trying out new recipes during the cooler Autumn days. My favorite Autumn recipes are anything made with pumpkin.

We usually grow our own pumpkins during the summer. We are then able to freeze the flesh and have fresh pumpkin to use all winter. I freeze it raw and steam it right before I need to use it. It worked out well last year.

Since, it is almost fall, I was craving something made with pumpkin last week. We never got a chance to plant any pumpkins this year as it rained almost every single day. If we had planted them they probably would not have turned out anyway from having too much rain. I had to buy canned pumpkin, something I have not had to do for about three years. I decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake (recipe below). It was delicious. In fact, it was so delicious, I almost forgot to take a picture. 

My kids enjoy the fall just as much as I do. They love to go to the nearby state park to hike. They love being able to go outside and not be eaten up by mosquitoes. They love eating pumpkin goodies too!

Since we do live in Eastern North Carolina, fall temperatures sometimes do not come until mid-October or even later. I remember some years wearing shorts on Thanksgiving Day! We will still start eating fall weather foods and goodies before the temperatures get cooler. When we have fresh/frozen pumpkin, I usually have something made once a week. I make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and even pumpkin flan.

We will really miss having our fresh pumpkin this year, but maybe I can get some from the grocery store. It won't be the same since we didn't get to grow it, but it will be nice to have a few fresh pumpkin pies this year.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

One graham cracker pie crust- I made my own by processing graham crackers with melted butter. Melt butter, grind up graham crackers until fine, mix together, press into pie plate.

1 can pumpkin or 2 cups fresh (steamed and pureed) pumpkin
1 block 8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine eggs, cream cheese, and sugar. Beat with an electric beater on medium until smooth. Add pumpkin and spice. Continue beating until well blended. Spoon mixture into pie crust and bake for 40-45 minutes or until set. Let cool and refrigerate.

Click here for a printable recipe


Field Trip Friday

This past Wednesday was free homeschool day at the aquarium. We had such a great time. Here are just a few pictures from our day.


Book Review ~ Finding God in the Hunger Games

finding god in the hunger games

I read The Hunger Games trilogy about a year ago. When I saw this devotional available, I knew I wanted a chance to read through it. Finding God in the Hunger Games, written by Selena Sarns, is a 30 day devotional. This devotional takes you through each day with a different concept from the Hunger Games books. The author draws a parallel between the author of The Hunger Games and the Bible. Each devotional is only two to three pages long, which makes it very easy to read in a short time.

One of the devotionals in the book tells about how Katniss took her sister's place in the games, and tells us how God can do so much more for us. He sent His son to take our place, so we can live in heaven with Him forever.

The author uses several versions of the Bible throughout the devotional. Also at the end of the devotional, we are left with a "final thought," a short quote that sums up the devotion.

I really enjoyed reading through this devotional. It helped me in my daily walk with Jesus. I especially liked that these were not long devotions and I could read through one in about 5 minutes. I would recommend this devotional for teens and adults. Although, I think my 11 year old would also enjoy reading through this devotional, since he recently read through The Hunger Games trilogy.

I received this book through bookcrash.com in exchange for an honest review.


Back to School Boogie Contest

Boogie Wipes is having an awesome contest for teachers.  You can enter to win Boogie Wipes for your classroom or, if you are a parent, your child's classroom.

Here are the prizes:
  • 1st prize: 1 year of Boogie Wipes, $500 check, pizza party, and other Boogie goodies
  • 2nd prize: 6 months of Boogie Wipes, $350 check, Boogie goodies
  • 3rd prize: 3 months of Boogie Wipes, $200 check, Boogie goodies
You can only enter once. Contest closes on 10/31/13. Winners will be announced 11/15/13. Good luck. 

I received this information as being part of the Saline Ambassadors program. I was not compensated for this promotion in any way.


See The Light Art Giveaway

Note ~ This post contains affiliate links.

We are super excited to announce that we are giving away (1) Art Class - 1 Year set, Volumes 1-9 to one fabulous family. We have never given away an entire set before, but Autumn is approaching and we want to celebrate the magnificent season of change.

This months special is 10% off the Art Class - 1 Year Set (Volumes 1-9).
Use Coupon Code: SEPTEMBER
Offer is good thru September 30, 2013. This would make a wonderful Christmas present for the whole family.

Now for the Giveaway!

See the Light will be giving away (1) Art Class - 1 Year set, Volumes 1-9 to one family. We will be picking a random winner September 15 at 11:59p. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Legal Disclosure: No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited. Valid only in the United States. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter and will be notified within 48 hours of the contest’s close. Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and the act of liking a Facebook page is not required to win.



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