Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

MamaBuzz Review: Sixty-Minute Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet by Cass Foster (giveaway CLOSED)

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to teach Shakespeare to my children, the easy answer is not to teach him because I’ve never been able to quite grasp any of his plays beside Romeo and Juliet.  However, I also know that a good grasp of his works can be beneficial especially as my oldest loves anything to do with literature and the arts – so I was able to review the abridged version of Romeo and Juliet by Cass Foster and the Sixty-Minute Shakespeare book.

This was perfect for a girl who isn’t quite old enough for the entire story of Romeo and Juliet but could do with a little look into the famous playwright and one of his greatest plays.  The book is a short 74 pages and while it’s condensed none of the play is lost in this abridged version, which makes it great for those young ones who want some knowledge, school class rooms to work on scenes, or even short productions.

I like how in the beginning some ideas for scenery, pacing, two recommended websites for more information on Shakespeare and his plays, images and themes to be on the look out for throughout the story.  There are even two pages with famous Shakespeare quotes, which is a nice touch.  In the footnotes section on each page, as needed, there are words that are defined if they are not familiar to the modern reader.

The whole set (6) sells for $45.89 or you can purchase them individually for $8.99 at Get Shakespeare/Five Star Publications.  I mentioned above about producing the play but I must add that Dramatic Publishing owns the production rights and they must be contacted before a production is performed for viewing.  I think these are great for anyone’s library and especially for the homeschool family who may want to briefly touch on Shakespeare without going into every facet of his plays.

**This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by Five Star Publications for this review, no other compensation was given and a positive review was not expected.


I have one copy of the Sixty-Minute Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet for one of my fortunate readers!  The giveaway ends 9/21/11 at noon EST and is open to all U.S. Residents ages 18 and over.  Make sure to leave me an email so I can contact you if you win.  First entry is mandatory.  Leave a comment for each entry.

  1. visit Get Shakespeare and tell me one other of the Sixty-Minute Shakespeare you’d like.  (The contest is only for the Romeo and Juliet)
  2. Like Five Star Publications on Facebook
  3. Like me on Facebook (see left sidebar)
  4. Like Five Star Publications on Twitter
  5. Share on Facebook, Twitter or Blog (use the buttons under the post) and leave a comment for each way you shared for a total of 3
  6. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (see left sidebar)


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MamaBuzz Tour: "The Lion's Deceit" by Mpho Otukile

This is a very cute children’s book that has African animals as well as a strong moral theme.  The lion is lazy and wants a fast way to find food without having to go out and hunt for it, so in cahoots with another jungle animal they lure unsuspecting animals to the lion’s den and there he no longer has to hunt.  This tale is based on an African story and is now put into picture book form for children of all ages.

Colorful with bright and vibrant colors really adds a nice touch to this short book.  Even though you know what the lion is doing in his den the children never see any blood or graphic details of the hunt or lack thereof.  All three of my children enjoyed this book and found it interesting as well as short enough to hold my very active new 5 year old.  My 6 year old was a bit taken back when she realized the lion was eating the other animals so it also opened up a discussion about how animals hunt and eat each other.

I really liked the strong moral objective which somewhat ties in to Scripture about if a man doesn’t work he shouldn’t eat.  In the end the other jungle animals catch on to what is happening but I won’t tell you what happens to the lion – you’ll have to grab your own copy to find out.  The author, Mpho Otukile comes from Botswana on the southern part of Africa. She grew up listening to stories around the fire passed on through the generations and wants to pass these strong moral on to others.  She now lives in Winnipeg where she lives with her family and writes.

The book can be purchased from Village Life Books (ships from Canada and part of the proceeds will go to a program called Books For Africa), or from Create Space.  If you order from Create Space my readers can get a 10% off the order by using code 2LU4EXJM You can follow Village Life on Twitter or on Facebook.

**I was given a copy of this book from Village Life Books in exchange for my own opinion, no other compensation was given on implied.

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MamaBuzz Review: Super Star Speech: Speech Therapy Made Simple (discount code)

Does your child have a speech impediment or even just a not very clear way of saying a certain letter or letters?  Then I suggest you look in to Super Star Speech, which is written by Deborah Lott who is a licensed speech language pathologist and also has a Master’s degree in Education/speech pathology.  Deborah Lott knows that most parents can’t afford a private speech therapy tutor nor do many homeschoolers want to go through their public school systems, and as a home educator herself, set out to make a program that parents can do on their own, at home, with no training and do it inexpensively.

Each of my children have a certain way of pronouncing letters that make them sound odd, such as my son, if you asked him to say “lilly” it would sound like “wiwly”.  My oldest if she says “Christian” it sounds like “Kristen” and vice versa, my middle daughter has a range of trouble letters especially those that are combined like ‘sh’ so if she says my son’s middle name, Ashe, it well sounds like something she shouldn’t say.  These are not issues that will keep them from leading productive and long lives but as my oldest is finding out, can be slightly embarrassing especially when she is corrected by friends.

Enter Super Star Speech, I choose the e-book titled Speech Therapy Made Simple which encompasses letters and combination sounds; P and B, T and D, N, K and G, NG, F and V, L,  SH, CH and J, TH, S and Z, and R.  There are individual books titled Super Star R and L, Super Star S, Z and Sh, and a set of all three.  Since I have three children all with varying degrees of issues I chose the all inclusive one that can help with all three of my children, especially at this time, my oldest since she seems to be more bothered by it.

Don’t be worried if you have no training with speech therapy, this book is written for the parent who has no idea how to get started.  Isn’t that like most of us when we began homeschooling?  We learned and we are succeeding – this is the same idea, we do it because our children need us too.  You will start out reading the introduction where the author will help ease your mind and get you ready to begin speech therapy with your child or children – it is very fear calming.

After the introduction, you’ll read through the articulation test, and I recommend reading this through two or three times before actually doing the test and making sure you have any copies you’ll need for your child(ren) before getting started.  Complete, step-by-step, directions are given for administering the test as well as recording the responses given (a sample filled-in response sheet is included).  The response sheet is given for ages 3 through 7 years, however I had no issues using it with my 9 year old.  The therapy plan is also included, again with clear instructions, and lesson planning forms to carry forth the therapy and recording results.  Also included are therapy games and activities, as well as practice pages and 240 picture cards – all to help in the therapy.

There are three ways to purchase the book, the ring (spiral) bound version for $18.95, 3-ring binder for $22.95 and the e-book version for $12.95.  All three ways will make copying the pages needed for your children easy and effortless and no risk of breaking the binding!   Right now through August 20, 2011 there is free shipping with the United States and for my readers you can get a 20% discount on purchases at Super Star Speech by using the code: mamabuzz , again that is only for purchases made at Super Star Speech.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I received a copy of this product from Super Star Speech in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given or implied.

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MamaBuzz Tour: Addie Slaughter: The Girls who Met Geronimo by Susan L. Krueger, Ed.D.

Addie Slaughter: The Girl Who Met Geronimo is a book that is written in the first person narrative from true stories as told to Adeline Greene Parks by her mother, Addie Slaughter and interviews with Arizona Culture keeper Dr. Reba Wells Grandrud, the John H.  Slaughter ranch historian.  Follow the intriguing story of Addie Slaughter from the loss of her mom to her moving on to become the wife of a doctor.

Children and adults alike will learn that history isn’t boring,  especially when the children ‘see’ it through another child’s eyes that actually lived it.  This will prove anything as boring as readers experience a brief stay in the ‘pest house’ and encountering life with a step-mom and Native Americans.  Vivid imagery is formed while reading the account of Addie’s life in her words as lovingly retold by the author.

Pictures through out the book are from the families album and the collection of Dr. Grandrud, each also has a caption that gives details of the pictures.  An included curriculum guide is perfect for expanding upon this time period in history.  There are pre-reading activities such as previewing some vocabulary that may be unfamiliar, preview family names, and others.  During reading activities are mapping, discussion questions and making a T-chart.  There are also post reading activities and options for further study, perfect for the family who just wants to study more about life in the Old West or a homeschooling family who wants to do more in depth study with a living book.

This is a relatively short book at just 64 pages and the chapters are very short, so depending on the child’s attention span this book will be able to keep their attention accordingly.  You can find purchasing information from Five Star Publications and it sells for $15.95.  A wonderful resource or just an exciting book for the young people in your life to enjoy history in a new way!

**I was given a copy of Addie Slaughter: The Girls Who Met Geronimo from Five Star Publications in exchange for my honest opinion, positive or negative,  no other compensation was given.

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MamaBuzz Tour: No-Work Spanish

My children seem to enjoy learning languages, especially my middle who is 6 and has been doing Spanish in our co-op and Latin at home (she has also requested French and Greek!) so when I got the chance to review the Spanish audio CD’s through No Work Spanish I had to take the chance.  The CD’s are an immersion approach to learning Spanish, which means that while listening to full sentences in Spanish it is also preceded by the same sentence in English.  I was given Yaks March on Washington and Poster Girl to listen to and try out and was very impressed with the sound quality of the CD’s, Poster Girl has 2 CD’s and Yaks is on one.

The nice thing about No Work Spanish is that you can try it for free!  You will be sent the first three chapters of one of the books via email so you can get a feel for the audio before you buy.  Each book is read by a different person so that the listener can also hear different pronounciations so that you’ll get the complete effect of the immersion technique of language learning.  There are different purchasing options and depending on which one you choose the price will vary from $9.99 to $21.95.

These are a wonderful for the family on the go wanting to learn a new language or to help those who already know some Spanish to have a better understanding of speaking Spanish.  All three of my children enjoyed the stories and when I stopped them they kept asking for them to be turned back on.  I thought it went a little fast but again I was listening while driving and concentrating on the spoken words isn’t my forte when driving as I need to focus on the road.  I will definitely be using these time and again as we move along in our Spanish studies only using them in the house instead of the van so I can learn it too.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was given copies of the audio CD’s from No Work Spanish in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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MamaBuzz Review: Manhattan Toy (Boysterous Action Figures/Giveaway)

In raising boys it’s hard to find toys that build them up in being a boy and when I had the chance to review the Boysterous Action Figures put out by Manhattan Toy I couldn’t wait to present them to my son who is 4 and let him begin using these soft, posable action figures that don’t promote violence but still lets a boy be a boy.  We were given the Goalie Gavin action figure ($18.00), Slope Shreddin Sean ($18.00), Extreme Sports Zone ($30.00) and my son has enjoyed playing with them ever since he got them last Saturday.

The Extreme Sports Zone is an awesome storage and play system that goes along with the Boysterous action figures.  One side is a soccer/football/hockey zone and the other is a half-pipe.  The whole Zone zips and Velcros closed to store the action figures and their accessories in one handy carry case, perfect for car rides, hotel stays on vacation or to take to a friend’s house.  My son does have a bit of trouble in getting the Zone zipped up just right but with a little help he can get it – now if I can just get him to keep the action figures in it!

 The action figures are very soft and durable posable toys that can handle the rough housing that the boys can dish out while playing as boys.  With the magnets in the feet of the figures they can stand on their snowboard or ‘kick’ the soccer ball.  Since they are posable the boys can make them look like they are executing kicks, runs or jumps and get in on the sports action without the competition.  These are great toys for the little boy in your life who enjoys sports and needs a soft toy that is geared for boys.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was provided the above items from Manhattan Toy in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

Giveaway Info!!!

One winner will win one action figure.  Contest ends April 22nd at noon EST

Must be a U.S. resident age 18 or over.  Must do #1 before any other. Leave a comment for each entry.

  1. Visit Manhattan Toy and tell me what toy you’d like (it doesn’t have to be a boy related product)
  2. Follow Manhattan Toys on Twitter
  3. Follow Growing For Christ via GFC, see left side bar
  4. Tweet about this giveaway; leave link and you can tweet once a day to earn extra entries
  5. Like Manhattan Toyon Facebook
  6. Like Growing For Christ on Facebook (see left side bar)
  7. Follow me on Twitter
  8. Follow me on BlogFrog (see left side bar)

MamaBuzz Tour: TheraBreath (review and giveaway)

I think everyone has a concern that their breath may stink when they go out or start a conversation – I know I do – so when I had the chance to the review TheraBreath brand I was excited.  TheraBreath was designed to provide a way to solve bad breath and a bad tasting mouth (I myself am making no medical claims, however TheraBreath does offer a gauruntee on their products).

I was given three products to try and the first is the toothpaste – which has been specifically designed to target the bacteria that cause bad breath.  I was a bit skeptical at first since you are supposed to use this on a dry brush, I much prefer to use a wet brush but for the sake of the review I followed the directions.  I must admit I was very pleased (my children still can’t get over the dry brush thing and they haven’t used it) even the flavor was pleasant, not overwhelming or too strong like most other toothpastes on the market.  The toothpaste sells for $10.50 for a 4 ounce tube and it does not contain alcohol, saccharin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Benzalkonium Chloride.

The next product was the oral rinse, this is to be used in conjunction with the toothpaste and for best results be used twice a day.  I did not follow all the directions on this one, meaning you’re supposed to rince twice – one as a swish and the second as a gargle.  I’ve never been one to gargle as it’s too easy for me to swallow whatever it was I was supposed to gargle.  This has a very mild mint taste and does not burn – which is great if you’re sensitive to that.  It does contain baking soda and while I did know that I couldn’t taste it, but I also do brush with baking soda on occassions for whitening power.  This sells for $10.50 for a 16 ounce bottle and like the tootpaste does not contain the following: alcohol, saccharin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Benzalkonium Chloride.

The next was the TheraBreath mouth watering lozenges which sell for $13.00 for a 100 piece box.  These are wonderful!  I don’t normally enjoy orange or citrus flavors but combined with the mint it made for a very mild taste which was perfect for me.  Since there is no regular sugar it is approved for diabetics which is also a great thing for myself.  I did allow my children to try these and while my oldest does enjoy them the other two thought they were “hot”, meaning for their senistive mouths they had too much mint.  I like to carry a couple in my purse at all times.

The other item of interest to me is that the ingredients used in most of the products are natural – there are no artificial sweetners like splenda, aspartame, etc which can have harmful and unpleasant side effects.  The use of natural sweetners like sorbitol, xylitol and rebiana is an excellent form of sweetner without being bitter or unpleasant.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was provided TheraBreath products by the TheraBreath company in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

Giveaway Time!!!!

This is open to U.S. residents only and adults ages 18 and over.

One of my readers will win 1 tube of the above mentioned toothpaste AND 1 bottle of the above mentioned oral rinse.

You must do #1 first before doing the other entries

To enter do one or more of the following and leave a seperate comment for each one before April 11, 2011 at 12 noon EST

  • Visit TheraBreath and tell me what product you’d most like to try and why.
  • Follow TheraBreath on Twitter.
  • Follow TheraBreath on Facebook.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Leave me a link to your tweet.
  • Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect, Blog Frog or both (see left side bar)
  • Like my blog on Facebook (see left side bar for Networked blogs)

Again this open to U.S. residents ages 18 and over – winner must respond within 48 hours or they forfeit the prize and another winner will be choosen

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MamaBuzz tour: Five Little Bunnies

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Five Little Bunnies from Twin Sisters Productions, which is a delightful die cut board book with included CD that has music and a PDF document of the Five Little Bunnies lyrics, that includes all 20 song lyrics.  The book and CD is geared for ages 0 to 6 years, however while my 4 year old son really, really enjoyed it my 6 1/2 year old daughter found it too simple.  All three, including the 9 year old enjoyed the musical CD though and loved dancing to it.

The CD has a reading of the story, so if mom needs just an extra couple minutes to throw in a load of wash or needs to wash a few dishes then she can put in the CD and the child can follow along in the book.  There is some music behind the reading on the CD but it wasn’t loud enough to detract from the reading and provided just enough extra-oomph to get the child engaged in the story.

There are 19 songs (20 if you include the read along) on the CD which are familiar child songs like:

  • I Can Wiggle
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Apples and Bananas
  • Down in the Valley
  • Down by the Station
  • and more!

The songs are great to get the children up and moving and there is nothing objectionable to the songs or the story, in my opinion.  My son really enjoys the cute bunnies and counting along with me as I read the story to him.  For our family music and learning go hand in hand and this is a great book to add to our day.

You can purchase this book at Twin Sisters Productions it is regularly $9.99 and right now is $6.99.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was given a copy of this book from Twin Sisters Productions in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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Mama Buzz Review: RelaxZen

I was given a product to try from RelaxZen which was a sample of RelaxZen Night and RelaxZen Day.  I like to try products that say they’ll help increase my energy or help me sleep since I’m a busy mom who goes in a thousand directions at one time!  The price of the shots depends upon where you buy them at and you can see a listing of where they are available on RelaxZen’s website.

The ingredients in the RelaxZen Day are the following:

  • Acai Extract
  • Passionflower Extract
  • GABA
  • L-Theanine
  • L-Threonine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12

The RelaxZen Night has the following ingredients:

  • L-Threonine
  • L-Theanine
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Chamomille Extract
  • GABA
  • Pantothentic Acid

Both of these are supposed to increase focus and help you be more alert, be more productive, reduce stress and fatigue as well as balancing your mood.  I must admit while I didn’t feel any effects from the Day shot I did feel a bit more calm and relaxed after taking the Night shot.  I will venture to guess this may be because I’m not using it long term and so there wasn’t enough in my system to become effective, but I can’t say for sure, as I said I did feel calm and relaxed after using the Night shot.

The drinks did have a pleasant taste to them so it wasn’t difficult to drink them and they are easy to drink in one swallow.  However, it is sweetened with sucralose and for those with sensitivities to artificial sweeteners this may not be a good thing.  While it does contribute to there being zero carbs and zero carbohydrate, it’s not good for those like me, who may be sensitive to even a trace amount of this sweetener.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was given two samples from RelaxZen in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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MamaBuzz Tour: Tales from the Throne Book 1 "Where the Jewels Are" by Diana Symons

I’m always telling my girls that they are Princesses – not the Cinderella or Snow White or even Fergi kind – but a real life, bona fied Princess because their Father is a King!  What a beautiful way in getting girls and even boys to realize their true worth and what they really need.  While we know there are things we want and that’s okay but we need to learn to also keep our wants in line with our financial abilities and in line with the Lord’s.

A very easy read, begining readers would enjoy reading this by themselves with help from a parent or a parent could enjoy reading it as part of girl time bonding or as a family read.  The chapters are short and easy to get through so if you’re reading it before bed it’s easy to read a chapter a night.  The illustrations are simple but yet beautiful in the black and white, they remind me of engravings of old and my girls really enjoyed them.

Unlike other fairy tales with scary magic and make believe ogre’s there is none of that in this story.  Diana Symons has done a wonderful job in making this Christian children’s book really Christian – not just with a stamp of Christian on the cover to sell it – I look forward to getting the rest of the series as they become available.  A wonderful story and a powerful character building book is all wrapped up in the covers of Where the Jewels Are.

You can purchase Where the Jewels Are for $5.99.  You can add Diana Symons as a friend on Facebook and follow KingdomPen on Twitter.

If you want to see what others have to say visit MamaBuzz.

**This is a MamaBuzz Review.  I was provided a copy of  Where the Jewels Are in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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