Archive for July, 2010

Jul 30 2010

PBS Invention Contest

PBS Invention Contest


Looking for something fun to do with kids of all ages this summer?

Fenway News Online reports that Design Squad, the PBS engineering reality competition series, is offering kids a chance to get in on the action this summer.

The 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition challenges kids, ages 5-19, to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into out-of-the-box inventions. Three winners will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and appear on an episode of Design Squad.

Twenty-five finalists will be featured on the series website and will receive a Design Squad t-shirt. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010. For more information go here.

Photo by PBS.

276 responses so far

Jul 29 2010

Let’s Get Ready Series Review and Giveaway from Multiples and More!

What a fabulous review from Amanda at for the “Let’s Get Ready” series of books! 


And guess what?  YOU can win a set of them!   Just click on the image above and follow the instructions for the giveaway.  Hope you win!

16 responses so far

Jul 28 2010

Join us on 07/28/10 with the WINNER of the Business Baby Shower, Robyn Pellei of

“Ready To Learn Mom” with Stacey Kannenberg Radio Show at 10 CST/11 EST every Wednesday!  Join us on 07/28/10 with the WINNER of the Business Baby Shower, Robyn Pellei of  Robyn talks about winning and how she manages her 9 kids, ages 1 to 10, while running her business!!!   Oh my, 9 kids under 10!!!

About Robyn Pellei:


Currently, I am a very busy lady with a great life!  And, I have sneaked out on to my screen porch to steal a moment to write.

My days are filled with smiles, laundry, school work, emails, business calls, diapers, snacks, hugs,  coffee and prayers (lots!).

“What am I doing?” and “How do I do it?” are questions that I ask myself and often hear from others.

I have 9 adorable children that range in age from 3 months to 9 years!  Please, pick up your jaw and stifle your laughter.  I am not a comedian, though that may be my next venture!  I started making products when the needs got so great in my home that I had to do something to make things easier.  Necessity truly is the mother of invention.   Oh, I also homeschool our kids…they are all in 4th grade this year!  And, I am the wife and life-partner to a wonderful husband.  I have friends that are amazing and a squad of cheering family members.

So, you know all about who I am now – a wife, a mom, a teacher, a CEO, and a friend.  Today’s popular term for all of that is Momprenuer.

In my prior life – the BK (before kids) one – I was a nurse, an emergency room nurse to be specific.  I also worked really, really hard and got my masters degree as a family nurse practitioner…funny, I never practiced in that role.  OK, not so funny, but I just couldn’t do it.  I had my first child just two weeks after I graduated and I was sooo tired of school and honestly…I wanted to stay home with my little guy.  So, I’ve got that in my back pocket and of course, I use what I learned everyday.  A very expensive education to be a mom!

And before all of that…

  • grew up in a small town in Virginia, that qualifies me as a Southern country girl – sort-of.
  • lived a “normal” faith-filled life with a fun family and many years of school and good friends.
  • spent half a year in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa with a missions organization (YWAM) running a small clinic.  I lived in a real hut for 2 weeks – so cool!
  • met the man of my dreams in the ER and married him a year later.  He’s the one that I look at and get pregnant!

Now that we are all caught up, I will be sharing my everyday experiences and loads of tidbits that I have and am learning.  I will try to be mostly informational, as there are lots of TV shows you can watch if seeking drama.  You will hear about how I manage to do most of this stuff and keep myself and our family together.  We adopted two of our children internationally, so I will write about that sometimes too – though not very often because I don’t want it to seem like there is a difference in our family.  Nothing so different, just a wonderful way to come together.  My faith is very strong, honestly – it is only by staying close to my Creator that I am able to be or do anything that I am today.  So, you will catch that strength running through lots of what I write.  I have nursed all of my babies, even got the chance to nurse our adopted boys for two days – so special!  And of course, you will hear lots about daily life with the kids and managing a business.  I am not politically minded, so you won’t hear much about that from me and I refuse to write anything about my marriage (except the great stuff!).  My marriage is sacred and I wouldn’t want to cause any discord – I can manage that well enough on my own!

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and hearing about your experiences, questions and thoughts.  Please try our products and tell your friends about them!  For more information about Robyn’s products, please visit

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

13 responses so far

Jul 23 2010

Let’s Get Ready For Back-to-School

Check out Learning and Laughter with Louise and her favorite Back To School Products:





8 responses so far

Jul 22 2010

Let’s Get Ready to WIN with The Celebrity Café!

Published by under CVP Contest


Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! & Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Applauded and approved by parents, kids and educators for ages 2-8, these award-winning, state-approved books are perfect to get kids ready for Kindergarten and First Grade!

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!

Teachers at home and in schools love it! It’s not a storybook or a workbook; it’s a book that covers the curriculum: the alphabet and numbers in and out of sequence, left and right, shapes, colors, high frequency words, positional words, opposites, rhyming, let’s read a story and so much more. It’s all in one engaging book illustrated with Mrs. Good, the teacher and six adorable Cedar Valley Kids that you simply read to children to learn.

Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Follow along with Ms. Best and six new Cedar Valley Kids and Yodie the Coyote who makes learning vowels and consonants, vowel sounds, compound words, contractions, the solar system, counting money, measuring, fractions, adding and subtracting and more exciting for everyone!

To learn more visit these mom-created, 100% made in USA books, visit:

Prize: 1 set of books: Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! & Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!
Sponsor: Cedar Valley Publishing
# of Winners: 1
Start/End Dates: 7/14/2010 – 9/30/2010

Click Here to Submit Your Entry

8 responses so far

Jul 21 2010

Join us on 07/21/10 with TV Celebrity, Author, Design Expert and Syndicated Columnist, Kathy Peterson

“Ready To Learn Mom” with Stacey Kannenberg Radio Show at 10 CST/11 EST every Wednesday!  Join us on 07/21/10 with TV Celebrity, Author, Design Expert and Syndicated Columnist the amazing Kathy Peterson Inspired of the Balancing Act & Town & Country Crafts with Kathy Peterson.  She will share her NEW designer outdoor furniture line and her Craft for Health Blog as a Craft Practitioner with Crafting Handmade Health!

About Kathy Peterson

Kathy Peterson is a highly published and sought after Celebrity Spokesperson and Design Expert who offers an easy lifestyle approach for casual living, decorating, painting, crafting and entertaining. For the last decade, she has been featured weekly on her national TV series Town & Country Crafts with Kathy Peterson reaching 15 to 30 million HH broadcast on The Family Net TV Network and other cable networks. Kathy has written 5 design books and she is consistently quoted or featured in numerous shelter, trade and women’s magazines. Her licensed designs have been included in 150 Oscar Bags and she has made 100+ guest TV appearances on HGTV, DIY Network, TNN, Discovery Channel, PBS, E! and network affiliates.


Kathy Peterson’s clever approach to home décor and inspiring DIY projects has helped people discover their own personal creative style. Kathy’s fun and decorative approach is reflected in all her DIY projects using simple, colorful and creative methods.

Kathy began her career working for Hank Williams, Jr. as an assistant then later went to work for The Grammy Awards in Nashville, Tennessee where she worked on music showcases and memberships for four years. Thereafter, she went on to become a successful national television producer, director and writer producing the long lived PM MAGAZINE lifestyle TV series. In 1984, Kathy Peterson Productions, Inc. was launched where she produced hundreds of corporate videos for large corporations. She also produced and directed numerous television segments directing Ed Begley, Jr., Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Sam Snead and other celebrities.

Today, Kathy Peterson Productions, Inc. ( focuses on celebrity spokesperson services, creative design, product launches, licensing, product development and consulting, television, endorsements, and publishing. In addition to her diversified career, Kathy also was a successful retailer of a small antiques business selling and hand painting vintage furniture and accessories before shabby chic became a trend.

For the last 20 years, Kathy has resided in South Florida with her husband Tom of 20 years along with her four step children. Although born in Minnesota, she considers herself a southern girl having lived in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

164 responses so far

Jul 15 2010

15 Tips for Traveling with Your Little Ones by Blythe Lipman from Baby Instructions

Dear Parents,

Summer is here and many of you will be traveling with your babies and toddlers. Thought you would enjoy this article.

15 Tips for Traveling with Your Little Ones

If you are planning a summer trip with your baby or toddler, make sure to plan ahead. Here are fifteen sure-fire ways to make traveling easy and fun.

1. Before your trip, visit the dollar store and stock up on coloring books, paint with water books, and age appropriate toys for your toddler. And save them for a trip.  There is nothing better than something new!

2. If you have a small video player, stock up on age appropriate movies for your little one. Baby Einstein has some great videos for a younger baby.

3. If you can plan your plane schedule around your child’s nap-time, your trip will be a breeze.

4. When traveling on a plane, feed the baby while the plane is taking off and landing. This keeps the Eustachian tubes open so the baby’s ears won’t hurt.

5. When traveling on a plane with a toddler, it’s sometimes difficult to sit still during take-off and landing. Give him a sippy cup and some goldfish crackers and play a counting game with the crackers. It will be fifteen minutes of fun, instead of fifteen minutes of tantrums.

6. Always take a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes and socks for your baby or toddler. Spills happen in the blink of an eye.

7. Remember to take a change of clothes for yourself on the plane. There is nothing worse than meeting the family smelling like formula.

8. Bring lots of healthy snacks for your toddler whether you are traveling by car or plane. Buying them at convenience stores can get very costly.

9. Bring extra formula for your baby when traveling. One spill could result in lots of tears.

10. When staying in a hotel, bring along the lullaby CD that you play at home. Most hotels have CD players or you can request one. There is nothing more comforting than the sounds of home.

11. And don’t forget to bring your toddler’s favorite lovey and bedtime book along.

12. Try and stick to your bedtime rituals while away the best you can. Consistency makes everything easier.

13. If your toddler has a difficult time falling asleep in a different crib or bed, let him listen to your Ipod. He will be snoring away before you can count to ten.

14. If you are staying in a hotel and are going to hire a sitter for the evening, ask that she come and meet your children a few hours before you leave. It is worth it not to have that dreaded phone call to come back.

15. Don’t forget to bring along extra batteries, photo card for your camera and protein bars for you.
Have Fun and Happy Traveling!!   


Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over twenty-five years, she wrote her third award-winning book, HELP! MY BABY CAME WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS which is available at  and all major bookstores . You can hear Blythe’s weekly radio show on Mondays, 11am EST @  Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. ©Blythe Lipman 2010

2 responses so far

Jul 13 2010

Join us on 07/14/10 with the inspiring Amy McCready

“Ready To Learn Mom” with Stacey Kannenberg Radio Show at 10 CST/11 EST every Wednesday!  Join us on 07/14/10 with the inspiring Amy McCready Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and Today Show Contributor helping us with the entitlement epidemic, spoiling our kids and how to stop the nagging, yelling and screaming to become an empowered parent!

About Amy:


Parenting expert Amy McCready has been creating and delivering training programs for over 20 years in Fortune 500 companies and community organizations.

Amy founded Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc. in 2004 and developed the popular and successful Breakthrough Course that has changed the lives of thousands of parents through in-person seminars, speeches and online parenting training webinars.

Due to demand from parents around the country and abroad, Positive Parenting Solutions Online was developed in 2008 to give parents everywhere the skills, knowledge and tools to correct their children’s misbehaviors permanently without nagging, reminding or yelling. She speaks to them “one-on-one” through the most advanced and thorough Web 2.0 parenting course available today.

Amy McCready is frequently asked to provide expert parenting advice for print and online parenting articles. She is a sought after speaker, writer, parenting coach, trainer and most importantly – Mom!

Amy received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Penn State University and is certified as a Positive Discipline Parent Educator.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Amy at:

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

11 responses so far

Jul 12 2010

Let’s Get Ready For Math Fun!

This post comes from Mashable

Rebecca Zook is an online female math tutor who has been helping students get math into their brains for seven years. She blogs about learning at Triangle Suitcase.

We’ve sorted the contenders from the pretenders and found five genuinely fun ways to help your kids learn math this summer. These unique technologies go way beyond the world of flashcards, and use surprising tools including rap music, adaptive technology, psychological research and wailing guitar solos.

They’re fun. They’re easy to use. And they aren’t lame.

Multiplication Hip-Hop for Kids


Have you ever wished your kids could learn their times tables by rapping? Well, the wait is over. A remix compilation like no other, Multiplication Hip-Hop for Kids sets the multiplication tables to popular hip-hop songs. Each track starts with an inspiring intro (e.g., five seconds in the style of Mystikal: “Too fly to slip and slide, because we don’t cry, we multiply”) before launching into a times tables rap.

Unlike any other math learning tool, Multiplication Hip-Hop for Kids includes not just one, but two rap versions for most of the times tables, so your kids can learn their 11s either in the style of Lil’ Wayne, or set to 2 Pac’s “How Do You Want It.”

And though many times tables learning tools stop at the 10s, Multiplication Hip-Hop for Kids goes all the way up to the 12s, which means your kid will be more prepared for multiplying dozens than you ever dreamed possible.

With syncopated rhythms and high production values, you and your kids will feel proud to blast these tracks this summer while cruising around in your spinners.

Price: You can download the complete MP3 collection for $24.95, which includes the study guide and 13 bonus multiplication video games. Or, download the MP3 albums individually from Amazon for $8.99 each.

Rockin’ the Standards


If your kid is more of a rocker than a rapper, try Rockin’ the Standards, the educational rock sing-a-longs created by veteran elementary school teacher Tim Bedley.

This ruthlessly kid-tested, surprisingly listenable MP3 album includes skip counting songs for the 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and 9s, as well as succinct, memorable songs about math concepts like angles, perimeter, place value, and area.

Most of the tracks are set to familiar tunes, so your kid can skip count their 9s to a hard-hitting version of the “Hokey Pokey” or their 6s to a highly-electrified version of “Row Row Your Boat,” interspersed with air guitar-worthy solos.

Ages: 2nd through 6th grade.

Price: You can download the entire album for $2.99 from digstation. It’s also available from Amazon for $8.99 or iTunes for $9.99. Download the lyrics for free here.

DreamBox Learning


In this online program, kids choose from among 500+ math games while exploring a virtual adventure park full of pixies, pets, dinosaurs, and yes, pirates.

Even though it looks like it’s “just a game,” DreamBox learning works as a stand-alone math curriculum, unlike most math computer programs. Many of the games use colorful visuals to illustrate the concepts behind them, or let kids use on-screen manipulatives to build the problems.

DreamBox’s adaptive technology also sets it apart. Based on your kid’s answers, DreamBox adjusts the difficulty, number, and type of problems, as well as feedback, pacing, and hints to individualize the learning experience.

Ages: K-3 (4th and 5th grades in development).

Price: $12.95 monthly for one kid, $19.95 monthly per family.

KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun


Do you wish you could give your kids a talking calculator that animates whatever mathematical operations they enter into it? Or flash cards that, when you flip them over, use animation to illustrate the math problems on the other side? Were you hoping to spend only 99 cents? Look no further than KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun.

This iPhone and iPad app for kids ages 2 through 10 uses animated lessons, flash cards, and puzzle games to teach number recognition, number tracing, counting, and sorting, as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Your kid can choose between six themes including sports, springtime, outer space and birthday (with candles and cupcakes).

Unique one-touch age-based settings let you configure the appropriate skill level. Not to mention, it’s currently the only math app that lays out long division problems the way they’re taught in school. No wonder it’s been on the top 100 list of iPhone apps for eight consecutive months!



While there are many computer games in the world, Brainology is the only one that’s been developed by leading motivation psychologists Carol Dweck and Lisa Sorich Blackwell. This interactive online program boosts kids’ math scores by dealing with their underlying mindsets about intelligence.

In the program, two cartoon characters, Chris and Dahlia, receive brain challenges from a floating, talking brain orb. Then, with the help of cartoon neuroscientist Dr. Cerebrus and his brain laboratory, they discover how the brain works.

At key points, the animation sequences pause and your kid gets a chance to conduct interactive “experiments,” reflect on what they’re learning in their e-journals, and play games that reinforce what they’re learning about the brain. At the end of the four-level program, kids attain the status of “Brain Master.”

It’s not specifically about math, but Brainology teaches kids basic neuroscience to help them learn what may be the ultimate lesson: We’re not limited by what we already know, because we can grow our intelligence!

Ages: Middle and high school.

Price: $99 per student for home use. Sibling and bulk discounts available.

Know of any other educational websites, apps, or downloads that are great for learning math? Share them in the comments below!

121 responses so far

Jul 07 2010

Join us on 07/07/10 with the incredible Hilary Bilbrey

“Ready To Learn Mom” with Stacey Kannenberg Radio Show at 10 CST/11 EST every Wednesday!  Join us on 07/07/10 with the incredible Hilary Bilbrey who is the Chief Inspirational Officer and Founder of Inspired by Family and Trademark U.  Hilary has her own show on HerInsight on Toginet, What’s your Story?  Friday’s at 9 CST.   It’s time to share Hilary’s amazing story; how she became a Children’s Safety Author after her son was severely burned; her love for mentoring teens; her passion for teaching leadership skills and so much more!  Hilary’s website is at

Hilary holds English and Education (Secondary English and Drama) Degrees from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and advanced degree from Cambridge University, UK. Through her own family’s experiences, Hilary continues to find comfort in writing children’s books as a way to both heal emotionally and also to help other families going through similar situations.


Her first published book is Little Jake Learns to Stop a joint effort with Dr. Pamela Beyer, Psy.D.. Her second published book, Brecker Bunny Leans to Be Careful! she joined forces with the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety. She is certified in The Virtues Project and speaks to various organizations and schools throughout each year. Her leadership, peer mediation and kindness programs have had amazing impact on both students and parents alike. Hilary currently lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband, Jeff, and three children, Breck, Jake and Faith. They take advantage of the Northwoods and water as often as they can.

Although the seeds of Inspired by Family were planted years ago, it was during Hilary’s own healing process after her oldest son’s severe scalding accident that she was led to find comfort in writing and public speaking. Often in sharing our stories we can find a sense of unity and acceptance. Through the enthusiasm and creativity of many friends, Inspired by Family was created as a forum to provide hope, courage, determination and peace to children, parents, educators, organizations and communities. Our services and products address a variety of issues from succeeding with ADHD to coping with severe burns to simply becoming a better parent, educator and global citizen. We are honored to be of service to you because it is only in service that we can fulfill our own true purpose.

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

19 responses so far

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