Product Reviews

There’s an App for That

I got an iPhone about a year ago and I have to say that I love it. It’s a great tool for keeping up with dates, taking a quick pic on the go, having fun while waiting, doing research online, entertaining younger kids, and much more. I’ve been amazed by the selection of apps and always love hearing what apps my friends use.

For a long time, I couldn’t find a blog reading app. (Sometimes it’s all about just using the right words when you search.) But I recently discovered Feedler RSS that syncs perfectly with Google Reader and keeps all of my favorite blogs at my fingertips.

Here are few of my other favorite apps:

  • TextNow Free– This is what I use for texting using our WiFi connection since we don’t get a cell signal at our house. Works great!
  • PageOnce Money & Bill – This is how I keep up with when our bills are do and when they are paid. The free version is able to sync with most online accounts, but I was having trouble finding the app in the App Store earlier.
  • 5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite Free – I really love being able to listen to our local weather spotters LIVE when bad weather is happening.
  • HoursTracker – Perfect for keeping up with the time worked on various projects! This one wasn’t free, but I liked being able to export my times in various ways. If you really just need the tracking capability, the Lite (free) version might work VERY well for you.

What are your favorite apps? I haven’t even gotten to my favorite games or apps for the kids. I guess I’ll save those for another day!


The Handbook of Vintage Remedies

The Handbook of Vintage Remedies
by Jessie Hawkins, MH

This 270 page handbook is cram-packed with natural remedies for everything from ADHD to yeast infections. Written and organized in user-friendly style, you’re sure to find yourself thumbing through it time and time again as you take care of yourself and your family. Wondering what to do, when your child is complaining of an earache? You’ll find answers here. Looking for recipes to make your own bug repellent spray? They’re in here too.

Plus, I loved Jessie’s handy list for stocking your own herbal medicine chest and the recipes in back for natural household cleaners and bath products. This book really does cover it all with a practical and trustworthy approach.

I found a really interesting tidbit in the Cold/Flu section that seems especially timely with Easter (and the accompanying candy approaching). Jessie says,

Additionally, I find it a strange coincidence that the winter viral season often begins right around the time Halloween candy is distributed and often ends right after New Year’s or Valentine’s Day. During these closely set holidays, we are prone to indulge in extra sugary treats. Sugar products lower our immune systems by up to 40% for up to 4 hours after intake. When we combine a decrease in immune function with close indoor interaction with other individuals (and their assorted germs) and other holiday stresses, it really is difficult to wonder why we become ill every year around this time.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I think you’ll find yourself thinking that about the whole book. You’ll want to have your pen and a highlighter handy so you can mark the pages as needed and make your list for your next trip to the health food store.

You’ll find a wealth of other helpful information as well as ordering information on Jessie’s website.

What I’m Reading

A friend just loaned me an awesome book, The Duggars: Twenty and Counting. I have been just totally enjoying it. It may be one that I decide to buy a copy for myself just to be able to refer back to it at times. It’s just so full of encouraging information!

Here’s part of the description on Amazon:

The Duggars share, with humility and humor, the family routines and guidelines they’ve learned through biblical study and trial and error — ideas that can help make your home a place of peace, love, and support:

– Financial lessons for debt-free living

– Organizing systems for a clutter-free home

– Homeschooling methods and schedules

– Training tips for little ones

– Relationship builders for older children

– Favorite Duggar family resources

See why I like it so much? It’s a perfect read for this time of year!

Anyone else reading something they’d recommend right now?

Product Review: Leahy Live DVD


Nile Media


Box 23050
Nashville, TN 37202-3050

wonderful DVD of the Leahy Public Television Special on WLIW New York
is outstanding! Leahy is a Canadian Irish family of 8 musical
brothers and sisters who have been playing music their entire lives.
Now adults, the Leahy family is absolutely energizing and will amaze
you with their talent. They seem to be able to do it all! Fiddle,
step dancing, vocals, percussion, and piano. They definitely have
some very talented genetics coursing through their veins!

father was a fiddle player in the original Leahy band while their
mother was a step dancing champion. They grew up working together on
their farm by day and singing and dancing at night. Their joy,
energy, and confidence makes for an outstandingly enjoyable video.
With a style which includes just about every musical genre – pop,
Celtic, classical,jazz, and country, Leahy will set your feet to
tapping and hands to clapping.

their performances, they exude a love for not only music, but for
their family as well. What a wonderful way to see the difference that
parents can make in their children's lives, and how their family has
been able to take their love of music and performing and create
something that will bless and inspire delighted audiences worldwide.
I am so thankful that I was introduced to this group. They are an
absolutely heartwarming breath of fresh air.

their website
for information on upcoming performances and shop for their
merchandise at their online store.

Review by Nancy Carter, HomesteadBlogger Senior Editor, November 2006

Product Review: Baby Kong

A homeschool author mailed me a copy of his book and asked if I'd be willing to look at it and share about it with you all so being one who always enjoys a good book, I was happy to oblige. So without further ado…

<a href=”” title=”Photo Sharing”><img src=”” width=”177″ height=”200″ alt=”baby_kong” /></a>

Baby Kong
By Scott Stroud
Home's Cool Kids
4145 Fremont Ave No
Minneapolis MN 55412
Price: Hardback $9.95

How many of you have dealt with a busy toddler that just kept getting into everything while you were trying to homeschool the older ones?

That's the storyline for this neat children's storybook, Baby Kong, written by Scott Stroud, homeschool father of 4.

Baby Kong just keeps going around getting into mischief around the house while Mom is trying to do lessons with the older children. He plays in the potty, draws in his brother's math book, and knocks over his sister's block castle. His mother is about to pull her hair oub, but finally they soothe the savage beast when they all decide to just sneak up on Baby Kong and have some fun tickling him.

The author comments at the end of the story that this story expresses how God has overcome our sin with His love and how sometimes only an abundance of love can break through to our energetic little ones!

I know for years I have heard many new homeschooling moms asking if there were any children's storybooks that portrayed homeschool families and Scott Stroud is here to provide just that!

Baby Kong is very well done with great illustrations and a lot of heart that we can all appreciate!I am so happy that someone is writing these types of books and look forward to reading more. Check out their website to preview or order the book yourself.

Review by Nancy Carter, November 2006