Friday, November 09, 2012

Madagascar on Jumpstart

I was asked to do a review of the new MadagascarTM section of JumpstartTM.  It is available at The MadagascarTM section is modeled after the Central Park Zoo from the film.  It starts off with you going around the zoo and looking all the stars of the film, Alex, Melman, Gloria, Marty and the Penguins, play games, and you learn interesting fun facts about each of the animals. You then go on a train ride through Paris, France and Switzerland to Italy.  Italy is its own interactive area.  There are all sorts of games and videos.  You can even climb the Leaning Tower of Piza.  My 9 year-old son, Gabe and my 12 year-old son, Sam love the game.  Here are some thing they think about MadagascarTM section:

Gabe: "I like Europe a lot. I like how the city is laid out. They have lots of stuff like canals, gondolas, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa."

Sam: "I like the Transmorpher in the Penguin Head Quarters.  If you collect the right amount of things, you can mix them in the Transmorpher and turn people into animals."

Our only complaint about the game is that you see Paris and Switzerland, but you can't go visit them or any other country in Europe except for Italy. 

It is an absolutley wonderful interactive.  My family loves it.


Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by JumpStart in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Oldest Wooden School House

Well as Sam kept saying "since we are homeschooled we have to check out a school house on vacation"  My boy thinks that he is so funny.  In reality I would love an area like this to school the boys in.  With some more modern features though.  :0)

 This was the yard that classes happened in sometimes.  The view is from our staircase in the hotel.  We were right next door.
 This was actually taken from our window in the hotel.  We were so close to it and the funny thing was that when we first got there we tried finding it on the map.  We could not find it, some miss readings were happening.  LOL.  The building in the picture is actually the kitchen/teachers lounge for the school.
 This was actually taken to the front of the school house.  If you see there is a chain wrapped around the house.  It is attached to the anchor right behind Sam.  That was ment to keep the house safe during hurricanes.
 This was the list of the last students to attend the school.  They were the class of 1864. The years written next to their names were actually the year that they died.
 The yard had several statues of like this.  They were of different people that had effect on our education system.  I do not remember his name for the life of me.  The flag though tell me he was from Honduras.  Each of the statues had the country flags next to them.
 My guys just relaxing in the back yard.  I would love to do schooling in the yard.
 There was beautiful plants all over the yard.  The kids even loved the little animals such as the lizard Sam found in the plant below. 

The yard had so many statues like this all around.  It was Gabes favorite part.  He must have taken 25 to 30 pictures of all the different ones. 
Sam's favorite part was that when you finished the tour they gave you a diploma.  He thought that was so cool that he got to graduate.  See I said he was a funny boy.  Still got a couple more years before he actually graduates. (Thankfully)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fort Castillo De San Marcos

Well after a partically rough tax season we finally got away for a much needed break, even if it was just for two days.  We went to St. Augustine.  It was absolutly wonderful time.  I feel that I need to sort the trip into multiple entries.  This is because Gabe discovered that it was really fun to take pictures and he took pictures of EVERYTHING.  If he was not in the picture it is a good chance that he took it.  He kept holding the camera and calling it his precious LOL.  I am trying to narrow it down to pictures that I think everyone might like.  The kid did not make it easy, he took over 500 pictures and most of them were really good (don't worry I will not show all of them) 
To start with I thought I would share pictures from the fort.  Hands down it was probably the kids favorite part.  Gave actually wants to work there when he grows up.  :0)

 These top three shots were just random shots from around the fort.  It was really beautiful there.  We arrived on the first day and could not go on the top because they were having thunderstorm warnings.  Our pass (only payed for the adults, kids were free) lasted for a whole week.  We could come and go as much as we pleased.  So after exploring the inside for a little bit we decided to head back to the hotel and came back the next day. Really glad that we did.  We arrived at the opening so no one else was there yet and the kids got to talk with a park ranger a little bit.  When the park ranger heard that they were homeschooled he gave them each an activity book about the fort. 
This whole section was all about the cannons.  The kids loved the cannons. (good thing because the town had cannons all over the place.) 

 This picture is really neat because you can see where all of the cannon balls have hit the wall over the years. (just click on the picture to make it larger for easier viewing.)
Saying good bye to the Fort.  We had to put a limit on it because the kids did really love it and wanted to keep going back.  We had to little time there and wanted to see so much more.  I will actually put a link for the museum that was right across the road that we went to.  It was the Pirate Museum.  A very cool museum that I highly recommend.  My only problem with the museum is that we were not allowed to take pictures.  So sorry no pictures.  Check here though if you want to learn more about the museum.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sam turned 12 ..... wow

Wowee your turn your head for a second and your baby turns 12.  I do not know who told him he could get so big but he went and did.  He is now almost my hieght, his shoulders are getting so broad.  Guess I better get use to it. 
 His birthday went really well.  He had a lot of fun.  Whad his gifts in the morning for him.  Gabe gave him the new Serpents Shadow book.  The really special thing was the horse that he made for Sam out of peg beads.  It was completly his design and he did it all by himself.  Sam recieved a few different books.  His favorite item though was the calligraphy set and his new legos.
For his outing we went to the movies.  The Avengers opened that weekend so we went and saw that.  He even had a new Avengers shirt (made by is dad) that he got to wear.

Tomorrow I am going to start sharing the photos from our trip to St. Augustine.  Great trip!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Last of the dance photos

My word I had a lot of dance photos this year.  The boys were involved in so much this year.  We are hopping to get them down to two days next season.  Who knows though they love dance so much..  The following photos are from the rehersal nights.

Acro Class -- song "Splish Splash"
Sam's Ballet -- Song "Chopsticks"

Gabe's Ballet and Jazz classes -- songs "Jack in the box and Rock around the clock"
Tap class -- song "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup"
The finale -  Song " Shop Around"

Up tomorrow -- Sam's birthday (that was on May 6th so I am a little behind)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recital rehersal ---videos

So many dances the boys were involved in this year.  The theme for the recital was shopping, they broke it into different sections you might find at the mall.  To start off with at the top was Sam's ballet number done to chop sticks (food court)
This was Gabe's Jazz number.  It was Rock around the clock (The clock shop)
Sam was a teachers assistant this year.  He helped in a class of 3 and 4 year old girls.  They loved their Mr. Sam.  They preformed a tap number to the pizza song. (food court)
The boys both did Acro again this year.  They preformed to Splish Splash. (house wares)
The boys did a Tap class together this year.  It was a more advanced year so the kids did alot of partner work for the first time.  The song is a Coffee in a Cardboard cup.  (foodcourt)
Gabe's ballet number was jack in the box.  (toys)
The finale was done to shop around.

I hope you forgive for the poor taping.  They are still worth watching though. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dancing in the park...

We were trying to save a little money on the Dance photos this year so we tried to take our own.  This also gave the boys the oppurtunity to do the poses the way they wanted.  It was alot of fun to see how they let go and pose.  To start off with at the top is the boys in their tap costumes.
Posing in the Acro costumes.
Gabe in his Jazz and Ballet costume.
Gabe in the Tap.
Sam in the Tap.
Sam in the Ballet.

Check back tomorrow for even more dance.

Dance Season 2012

Oh things have been so crazy around here especially over the last month and a half.  I wanted to share photos of the biggest things that we have gone through during that time.  There are alot of them though so I thought I would break everything into multiple entries so people are not so overwhelmed, because there is ALOT. 
I thought that I would start with the photos of dance this year.  The boys just had their recital yesterday.  It was a great year for them and it was wonderful to see everything they learned this year.  I plan on breaking this into the todays sections of the photos that they had done at the studio, plus two more sections.  I am going to share the photos that I took of them in their costumes plus the videos of rehersal practice.

Sam in his Tap costume.
Sam in his Acro costume.
Sam in his Ballet costume.
Gabe in his Jazz/Ballet costume.
Gabe in his Acro costume.
Gabe in his Tap costume.
My handsome boys. (Tap costume)
Gabe and his Jazz/Ballet class
Sam and his Ballet class.
Sam and Gabe with their Acro class
Sam and Gabe with their Tap class.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A test..

I am just testing right now to make sure the blog is still working.  I took the picture of the boys this morning in case anyone was wondering if they still looked the same.  They are just as handsome as ever!  Hope to be back soon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

HyperBlast 2

I really liked HyperBlast 2 on the iPad.  It was challenging on the point of eye hand coordination and math skills.   You start by choosing one of eight math sections, such as addition, then your lesson, such as sums to 24 or sums to 8.  Finally you select the level of difficulty of the course.

Your character rides a spaceship through a tube and you collect shields(they give you energy) and avoid obstacles/aliens.  You gain points by shooting the aliens.  You rotate the scooter around the tube by rotating the iPad.  When you get to certain points in the tube you have to answer math questions from the octopus kind of alien.   The more questions you get right the more points and bonus blast shots. The points that you get at the end of the level get added up and these points can be uploaded to the Mathblaster website and be used for the the games on the website.

My 12 year-old son and I found HyperBlast 2 to be a very entertaining and challenging game. You can find the game at iTunes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What are these two making now!?!?

I LOVE my boys but they can do some things sometimes that makes me stop and say "what are these two making now???"  I thought you might like to play along this time. 
They need safety googles if that helps, probably not though.

Here is some of the supplies that they used.  Lots of wood and some files, drill, and a saw.

They spent time sawing at the wood (Dad was always right next to them for safety)

Sam even got to use the power drill, only with his dads help though. (mostly so mom did not have a heart attack)
Finishing up at the end.  Filing and screwing. 
Oh there is an elastic, any guesses yet.  No?
Sam assembling the end of his.
Surprise they built their very own catapults!  They love them so much.  After all you need a good sturdy catapult when you want to attack a castle.

Don't you think it is huge, that is our car next to the wheel.  LOL  These were actually kits that we got at Wal-mart.  It is from the company Red tool box.  They have lots of other projects on their site if you want to check it out.