Monday, November 28, 2011

A Week After Vacation

Well, it's been a week since we got back from Florida.  My mind was in a fog for two days when we got back because I didn't want to get back to Pennsylvania.  The whole time we were in Florida it only rained a short time one morning.  We spent the week at Disney World and one day at Cocoa Beach.

 As we drove out of Florida, I almost cried.  I felt like I was leaving home forever.  On the way home, we talked about moving down there.
We watched the temperature drop on the thermometer on our car as we headed north.  Once we entered West Virginia, we were greeted by fog, rain, and very cold temperatures.  This picture is of the fog lying in the valley as we climbed the mountain in W. Va.

I can't say enough good things about our trip this year.  We did a lot of things we hadn't done before.  Some were corny like The Enchanted Tiki Room.  Other things were never really missed all the other years we had gone like Stitch's Great Escape.  My cousin convinced us to see The Country Bears Show.  Um, well, it was a classic, I guess.

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village.  We ate at Sanaa, the restaurant on the first floor of Kidani.  I was a little apprehensive about eating here because I have some really picky eaters in my family, but I think it was the single most enjoyable experience I've ever had a Disney restaurant, maybe any restaurant.  Our service was spectacular (thank you, Ken), and the food was different and delicious.  I had Tandoori shrimp.  We sampled African breads and dipping sauces which were all wonderful.  One was a bit too spicy for my liking, but I don't do spice.  The decor and atmosphere were so inviting and comfortable.  If you ever go to Disney, I HIGHLY recommend Sanaa.

The day before we left we ate at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney, a place I had always wanted to go but never got around to.  It is an Irish pub, very quaint and authentic inside.  I had a lobster and avocado salad sandwich.  Oh my, was it just scrumptious!

I have almost 1000 photos from our trip, so I will have more to share in the days or weeks to come.  Suffice it to say, I may soon be posting the progress of our move to Florida.  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Keyboard Town Pals Review

This program claims it teaches children to type in an hour on a QWERTY keyboard.  I agree that it does. My 9-year old daughter completed every lesson in less than an hour. This was not my intention, but when she saw what the program was like she wanted to finish it and never return to it. The website states, "We have replaced [the stress normally associated with typing] with adorable puppets who sing and dance. It was these puppets that made my daughter quickly go through every lesson. They state it is best for beginners ages 6-12. It seems it would be more appropriate for children ages 4-6. The puppets and ther opening sequence to the program are very juvenile. My boys, who are older, begged me to not make them do this typing program. Despite it being so juvenile, however, my daughter, a month later, was able to remember where every letter on the keyboard was.

I would encourage you to watch the video of the PALS method before purchasing this program because, even though it works, you wouldn't want to spend your money on a program your kids wouldn't use due it seeming to be more appropriate for a young audience.  This video is available at PALS Tutorial.

Keyboard Town Pals has a lot of different products for sale.  The "Learn To Type - Web-Based" program is $30.00.  It comes in English, French, and Spanish.  It works with PC or Mac and requires a broadband internet connection and the latest Adobe Flash player.  It is a single user license.  The same program sold as a bundle includes the concentration card game, coloring book, and stickers, and currently sells for $30.00 as well. The CD-ROM version for either Windows or MAC is $35.00.  The CD bundle is $45.00.  The CD with one companion item is $40.00.  The coloring books, digital and hard copy, are available separately as are the stickers and concentration card game.  The puppets with script are available for $70.00.

Keyboard Town Pals can be contacted via their webpage with any questions.  They can also be reached at 1-866-200-8881.  There is free shipping on all orders now.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free of charge in order to provide an honest review.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fallingwater and Ohiopyle

Pennsylvania is such a rich state. It is full of wonderful history and beauty.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to Fallingwater with my homeschool co-op and then afterwards to Ohiopyle with a few friends.  Here are some pictures of our day trip.