Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God’s truth


You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you
(John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: 'I can't go on'
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it
(Roman 8:28 )

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
(Hebrews 13:5)

XPress Lounger

xl-mainimage-green-lg Move out simple camping chair – here comes the XPress Lounger!

As RVers we were looking everywhere for a camping chair that will be small in size and still comfortable when you sit on it.   While looking for products over a RV site, we discovered the XPress Lounger and were thrilled about it after watching their video.

One day, I decided that I would try to request one for review.    And the company graciously send me an XPress Lounger for the purpose of this review.

Honestly this is the best design we have ever seen so far.    An RV is fun but with a family of six, we need to be wise with our space and most chairs are bulky and heavy.    And the XPress Lounger can be folded so well that we won’t worry about the space taken in the RV.    Actually, with the Xpress Telescoping Technology™, the Xpress Lounger™ folds down to 1/16th of its size - about the size of a laptop case.

This chair is ideal for camping, fishing, tailgating and RVing.    There is a beverage holder and a media pocket on one side and with the XPress telescoping technology is can be fold in three easy steps.  Check out this video to see how it is done!

The chair is quite comfortable.   My husband and I both tried it in our house as the camping season is finished (actually we close our RV last week-end!).   We are looking forward to use the XPress Lounger when we RV next year.   It would be nice to have a chair that doesn’t take much space when we travel with it.   We are always looking for ways to reduce the weight that we pull and this chair is wonderful for that. 

As much as we love the chair, we do have a little suggestion for the designers of this wonderful chair.   The only thing we find is missing would be a strap to help carry it on your should or your bag.    The chair is not heavy per say but when you have four kids and are going to a concert in the park for example, you need to hold the hand of the little ones.   And carrying the chair in your hands as well as holding a child is just not feasible.    So having a strap will solve the problem and would be a nice addition.   The strap could be remove anytime (not fixed on the chair).  

The company is also going to release another version of this chair in 2011 called the XPress Lounger XL which will support up to 300 lbs.  

This review was possible because I received a copy of the XPress Lounger in exchange of the review.

Weight capacity:  250 lbs
Weight of the chair itself: 9 lbs
Seat height: 17 inches
Seat width: 20 inches
Folded dimensions:  17” x 2” x 16”

Evian New Limited Edition Bottle by Issey Miyake


New designer bottle celebrates evian’s “Live young®” partnership
with fashion icon

evian® Natural Spring Water has partnered with world-renowned fashion icon Issey Miyake, known for his innovative and minimalist style, to unveil its fourth annual limited edition designer bottle. Miyake joins an inventive and celebrated line-up who have unveiled designer bottles for the brand since 2008, including Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Paul Smith. 

This new bottle design is decorated with an imaginary, shimmering flower; a symbol of youth and the evian signature clip_image004message, “Live young.” The inspiration for the bottle sprung from the Pleats Please line for which Issey Miyake is known, emoting a modern and functional design that has attracted the attention of the fashion-conscious public across the world. 

"evian encourages everyone to live life by seeking memorable experiences, trying new things, and seizing every moment.  The Issey Miyake bottle design, glowing with both optimism and freshness, is a perfect pairing with the brand," said Jerome Goure, vice president of marketing for Danone Waters of America, Inc.  "This simple yet vibrant creation uniquely decorates our all natural and perfectly pure evian water – we are thrilled to add it to our collection."

This 750mL bottle will be available at select Canadian restaurants and retailers in time for the holidays. For more information on the collaboration, including a special Issey Miyake animated movie, visit

About evian®

evian® is all natural and perfectly pure.

Every drop of evian is filtered naturally through layers of glacial sand during a 15+ year journey deep in the heart of the Northern Alps, giving it the purity and taste that nature intended.

Visit, and for more details.

My Thoughts

This bottle is interesting.   Apparently it is perfect as the ideal present for your foodie, fashionista, designer or holiday hostess.  It is very nice to look at and once you have drank the water contained in it, you could easily turn it as a vase. 

2010_09_28_12_23_00Apparently, the annual evian designer bottle tradition began in 2008 with a limited edition bottle designed by Christian Lacroix, in 2009 by Jean Paul Gaultier, and followed in 2010 with Paul Smith.  Honestly, it is the first time I learn about this special promotion.   But the look of the bottle is so beautiful that I am participating in spreading the word about it.   

We are not a family who would buy water –especially not at restaurants.    This bottle is interesting but it would be nice if the whole idea of a limited edition bottle would be attached to a cause like building a well in a third-world country for people to have clean water.   I think this would motivate the people to participate more and feel good about spending 5$ on water.   Evian would have to post pictures of the building project and the people who beneficiate from it on their website.    Honestly, water is such an important aspect of life that it would be good for Evian to be associate to such a cause.

The limited edition bottle by Issey Miyake will be available at select Canadian restaurants and retailers in time for the holidays with the suggested retail price is $4.99 CAD per 750mL glass bottle.

This review was possible because I received a limited edition evian bottle in  exchange of a post to promote it..

Lego Games

Did you know?   Lego has released a new selection of products – games.  Yes family games made of Legos.   Isn’t it totally cool?   I’m speechless.   I’ve seen the DVDs and the Nintendo DS/Wii games but it never occured to me that we could have family games from Lego.  A whole set of games will be available (see the website).   For this specific review, I have received the Race 3000.

About the game

2010_09_29_06_26_27 Race 3000 from LEGO® Games: A new way to play!

Introducing LEGO® Games, the world’s first collection of games that you build, play and change. With the unique buildable LEGO Dice and changeable rules, LEGO Games is a great way of having fun together with family and friends.
Do you have what it takes to cross the finish line first and win the trophy? Use shortcuts, overtake or turbo boost past your opponents to get in front and change lanes to avoid the oil slicks in your way. The LEGO Dice brings a new twist on a classic racing game for 2 to 4 players. Game play approximately 20-30 minutes. Included in the box:1 buildable LEGO Dice, 1 rule booklet , and 1 building instruction booklet.

My Thoughts

I find it took a long time for Lego to come up with board games.    Since a few years, I have the feeling that they are expanding their ideas and it is all for the better.   Video games, movies, books and now board games based on the Lego blocks can be found everywhere.2010_09_28_19_21_38

Before you start the game, you need to build it.   And this can be done easily with the instructions when you play for the first time.     The racing track is interesting with turns, a pit stop, shortcuts and all.   The most interesting part to build was the little cars.   I find they 2010_09_28_19_21_46are totally adorable.  

The game itself last about 20-30 minutes depending of the rules you are following.  There are a general set of rules which explains the basic of the game and on the other page you can discover how to make your own rules with the different options like the pit stop or the shortcuts.  The designers of the game have thought of all the details of a racing track including the flag, the trophy and the commentating tower.   

The only thing that dumfounded me for a little period of time was the dice.  But if you take the time to read the rule booklet slowly, you will understand it.   It is simple really when you get it.   The dice is a build-to-go kind of dice.   Every game will have a different dice as you add the pieces as you play.   Interesting and very innovative.   So when you roll the dice, whichever car has a color on this side can advance.   Pretty neat don’t you think?

You will find extra pieces in the box for in case you lost some.   But even so, I would recommend to play this with your kids (especially if you have little ones like we do) so that you can make sure the pieces doesn’t disappear mysteriously.  

My husband and I played with it and enjoyed this new way of playing board games.   We are so pleased with it that we can’t hardly wait to give it to the boys at Christmas.    We thought this was so out of the ordinary that it would be a wonderful surprise for them.  

Our suggestions for the creators of this Race 3000, would be to make an another pack available to create a bigger race track – like an add-on package.    Then the game would last longer.  

I am so excited about these products that I am seriously considering getting the Creationary game for Christmas.    It also gives me ideas for my nephew.  

RACE 3000
Price 26.99 Cad.
Ages 7 – 12
Number of pieces:  166

This review was possible because I received a Race 3000 from Lego in exchange of my opinion.

Race 3000 and all other Lego games can be found at any places where you can buy Lego products. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Exploring nature in our city

This week’s question on the blog cruise is:
“How do you do nature studies where YOU live?”

Nature studies can be done everywhere we go in our city.   We are blessed beyond measures with a greenbelt around our city.  You can download the all seasons trail map here.

Not only that but there is a multitudes of trails and parks where we can go an explore around.  Look at what I found on our city’s website…

  • More than 850 parks within City boundaries

  • Maintains 2,853 hectares of parkland

  • 6, 648 hectares of natural parkland

  • 9,501 hectares of open space

  • 234 km of trails or 0.27 km of trails per 1,000 persons

  • So there is tons of opportunity of exploring and discovering nature around us.   Within a 10-15 minutes drive you can find nice trails and go explore with your family.   

    One of the special places I would love to go (yes in 10 years living here, I still haven’t find the time to drive the 40 minutes to go there… shame on us!) is the Mer Bleu area.  

    We are also within driving distance (about 30 minutes) from the famous Gatineau Park which is Canada’s Capital Conservation Park.  While there you can also visit the Mackenzie King Estate which would include a bit of history in the homeschool.

    Even in my own neighbourhood, there is one walking trail within 5 minutes of our house – literally!   
    Honestly, there is no reason whatsoever to not study nature in our area.  There is plenty to do and it is good exercises too.

    During winter, we could go skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway and enjoy the Beaver Tails.  

    Our Museum of Nature has just reopens its doors this past spring after major renovations.   We haven’t had the time to visit it yet but I am planning to go to it during the school year. 

    And to complete our time to study nature, we are blessed to have the visit of wild rabbits in our backyard as well as some birds.    So every once in a while, we observe the rabbits and enjoy their presence.   This year, we also had the privilege to see a squirrel running on the fence.   The kids were pleased to see that little animal.  

    I think it is a blessing in itself to see nature through the eyes of a child.   It amazes me how much they get excited for little things – even ladybugs.

    Earlier this summer, we discovered a dead dragonfly when we came out of the house.  How it got on our porch we have no idea but having the opportunity to see one up close was wonderful.   While on vacation, we found a dead butterfly stuck in the front of our truck.  Once again, it was a good opportunity to see one close and discover the fragility of its wings.   I am planning to pin it in a special frame.    Should be a fun activity don’t you think?

    A few years ago, we participated in an activity at Petrie Island (totally at the other side of the city for us) on turtle hatching.   We learned about turtles and went on to try to discover a nest.   My kids did found one and we also found plenty of left over egg shells as well.   It was fun.    

    The following spring, as we were opening our trailer for upcoming season, we witnessed a turtle laying her eggs in the ground.    It was priceless and a wonderful opportunity to complete the previous activity we did back in the previous fall.

    There there is the fishing.    The kids loves to go on the boat with daddy and spent some time on the lake at Logos Land.    They have the opportunity to observe fishes, turtles, frogs, a family of loons (every year) and more.   This year, my 2nd son, Dominic, even saw a water snake during his one-on-one time with daddy.  And when we were at Science North in Sudbury, the kids had the opportunity to touch a variety of animals – water snakes, flying squirrels (which we didn’t know existed in Ontario), turtles and much more.

    When you go out with your kids, don’t forget a camera to snap9-21-2010 7;00;35 AM memories.   Recently, we started some sort of nature journal and are collecting trunk samples of trees we encounter.   We also stencil the trunk as well as a leave.  When we get back home, we try to find the type of tree and write it down on the page.   This way the kids are  discovering a new way to learn about trees. On the right, you can see the example of a paper birch (Betula papyrifera).   Did you know that this tree was used by Native peoples for birchbark canoes, baskets, and message paper?  (See the pictures below - taken at Elliot Lake Uranium and Mining Museum)

    Discovering nature is easy.   Take the time to bring your kids outside and walk in trails.   Get a book about trees, birds, plants, and animals to learn the names of them.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010


    4887_115547979459_38613369459_2842804_6565230_n I’ve discovered Ecojot through a friend who posted something about them on facebook.  I decided to ask if they would be willing of sending me some products and in exchange I would blog about it.   Well they agreed and I received a 6x9 Kids Sketchbook as well as a 9x12 EcoKids  from them.

    What is ecojot?
    Ecojot – is a Canadian company who makes acid free, processed chlorine free paper and board.    All glue and ink are vegetable based which means it is biodegradable.  No new tress are used to make the paper and the paper mill itself is powered by Biogas harnessed from a nearby garbage site.   Ecojot products are designed, printed and made in a sweatshop-free environment in Canada.

    the Jane Goodall InstituteChimp4blog
    The Jane Goodall Institute is a non=profit organization that empower people to make a difference for all living things.   Ecojot has a partnership with JGI and have created wonderful journals, sketchbooks, and notebooks with four endangered or threatened animals.   The chimpanzee, giant panda, sumatran rhino and whooping crane can be found on Ecojot products.   From the sales of these products, a royalty will be paid to the JGI to help conserve these and other endangered species.

    Buy 1, We give 1 program
    Too many families cannot afford the costs associated with sending their kids to school, and without the proper tools to learn, the chance of success is dramatically decreased.   Ecojot has a new campaign that delivers workbooks to children in need.   Consequently, with the sale of every 5x7 journal, jumbo journal, eco kids sketchbook and eco studio sketchbook, Ecojot donates a workbook to a child in need.    

    In 2009, Ecojot donated kids sketch and scrapbooks to The Tunahaki Centre for Development – an arts-based center for street kids in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.  Ecojot is partnering with the following 3 organizations: Veahavta – Kinderkits Program, Free the Children, and The Stephen Leacock Foundation for Children.
    My Thoughts
    I am quite impressed with the quality of the products I have received.   As I mentioned above, I have received two different sketchbooks to review.  These are perfect to use when you do nature studies and drawing things you see around you.    The sketchbooks are bright and very colourful.  They are a pleasure to look at.

    As a mom who homeschool her kids, I am always on the lookout for products that will make our days more fun.   These are definitively wonderful little books to bring with us.   The kids can doodle in it and color wonderful pictures for us.  Or it can be used by an adult who is discovering drawing and want to have a book to explore the possibilities of a variety of pens, pencils, pastels and so on.

    Personally, I particularly like the big size sketchbook.    I was actually looking for a sketchbook that I could use when I found myself inspired.  Sometimes it happens during a church service and I don’t always have paper with me.   Now I have no excuses….  

    I also liked the fact that the products are 100% recycled and produced in an eco-friendly paper mill.   And to have the designed made in Canada as well is wonderful.  I am also impressed with the fact that the company is involved in helping kids in need and giving them the tools to help them to learn.  I applaud the initiative of the people behind the company.

    Wondering where you can buy these wonderful journals, notebooks, sketchbooks…?   Go to and select the country you live in.   I personally discovered that they are available all around the capital region in Canada.  WoW!   As you can see they are available everywhere!

    This review was possible because I received some products from Ecojot

    Ecojot is giving one of my readers a beautiful jumbo journal for my readers.  The contest is simple,  follow the steps below to get a chance to win.

    1) Go to and tell me which style you would be interested in buying if you were at a store that sell these.

    This entry is mandatory before proceeding further.

    More entries opportunity if you do the following…

    2) Follow the Ecojot blog at and let me know about it.
    3) Like Ecojot on facebook and let me know about it.
    4) Follow Ecojot on twitter and let me know about it.
    5) Follow Canadianladybug Reviews! on Blogger (see right side of the blog) and let me know about it.
    6) Like Canadianladybug Reviews! on facebook and let me know about.
    7) Follow me on twitter and leave me your twitter ID.
    8) Blog about this contest and give me your link in a comment.

    Don’t forget to include your email for each steps.   No email means I will have to pick someone else.    I need to be able to contact you if you win! will be use to determine the winner.  You will have 48 hours to contact me and give me your mailing address so I can send it to my contact at Ecojot which in turn will ship the jumbo journal to you!

    Open to US and Canadian residents ONLY.

    Deadline:  October 4, 2010.

    The Church History ABCs

    9781433514722 The Church History ABCs – Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of the Faith
    Written by Stephen J. Nichols
    Illustrated by Ned Bustard
    Published at Crossways

    About the book

    Dramatically converted on the stormy seas, a slave-trader-turned-abolitionist penned the best-loved hymn of the Christian faith.   A church father was arrested and martyred for teaching the truth about Christ’s incarnation.   Captured by pirates and shipped off to Ireland, a priest baptized thousands of pagans, from paupers to princes.  Now who ever said church history was boring?

    The Church History ABCs is a fun way for kids to learn about great figures in Christian history.  Twenty-six heroes of the faith march through the alphabet, boldly telling their stories in language children can understand.   This wide range of characters – men and women from across the centuries, from all over the globe – reflects the breadth of church history and reminds children that these great figures of the past were living, breathing people who lived and died for the glory of God.

    Who is Stephen J. Nichols?

    Stephen J. Nichols has written twelve books, including Heaven on Earth and The Reformation.  He is a researh professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster bible College and Graduate School.

    Who is Ned Bustard?

    Ned Bustard, a graphic artist, has written and illustrated many children’s books, including Ella Sings Jazz, The Story of Sir Galahad, and The Sailing Saint.

    My Thoughts

    How old should someone be expose to church history?   That is an interesting question.  I believe it should be done as early as possible but up until now there wasn’t a book to help children to grasp the history of Christianity at their own level (or at the very least I am not aware of such a book).    The Church History ABCs is introducing the children to the history of Christianity while going through the 26 letters of the alphabet at the same time.

    Honestly I was impressed by the book.   It is quite a large book but the hardcover is so nice to have with many kids in the house.   Hardcover books are sturdier that paperbacks I find.   So I was pleased with the quality of the book.    The colors are very attracting for children and the text is written for them to understand the basic information about these historical figures.

    This book not only presents the heroes of the faith throughout history but also gives nouns that start with the letter covered as well.   Part ABC book and part historic book, this book will find a unique place in the bookshelves of homeschoolers.   It is a versatile book as it can be used with kids of different ages.   For older kids you can even ask them to do a research paper on a particular historical person to deepen their learning.   

    Here’s an interview with the Illustrator – Ned Bustard.

    Why is a children’s book about church history so important?

    As we’re both homeschooling dads, obviously we believe that teaching kids is important – our families’ lives are all oriented that way.  Also, our actions as parents create the culture of our families and those elements combine to create our kids’ identities.   Therefore this book helps kids see themselves as part of the family of faith.  And we’re even more convinced of the importance of this book now that it is done and we’ve seen our kids read and interact with the material.

    How did you choose which historical figures to include in the book?

    Steve started the process on the back of a bulleting one Sunday at church years ago.   After his preliminary list, we discussed between us how to make the choices cover as much church history as possible.  We wanted to paint as rich and diverse a story as church history actually is.   Also, we had some pet favourites – for example our wives are both big fans of Anne Bradstreet and I love anything Irish - so Patrick was a must (sorry Polycarp)!

    Who is your favourite person in church history?

    Growing up my favourite person in church history was my grandfather.  He was a preacher for forty years and taught for (what is now) Philadelphia Biblical University.  Who I am is shaped in many ways by who he is.  In the book, my favourite is Edwards, because of all Steve has taught me about him through his books and through our discussions about Edwards while I was working on his illustration for this book. 

    How do you think this book can benefit a homeschooling family?

    First, it is helpful because it can be engaged in so many ways depending on the age of the child.  For very young kids the book can be read quickly by just reading the opening bits (A is for…).  Slightly older children can have the entire page read to them.   Finally, children who are reading on their own can read the book for themselves and read the back matter for a deeper understanding of these historical figures.  Also, there is a list of the people in the book in chronological order to help homeschooling parents weave these stories into their classroom history lessons.   Another way to integrate church history into homeschooling is found on our website ( ): on the activities page parents can download (among other things) handwriting practice pages that go with the book so that penmanship and church history can walk hand in hand.

    What did your kids think of the book?

    I have three girls so the spiders, daggers, pirates, and such didn’t resonate with them as much as they do with Steve’s boys.  My teenager said the colors were great and thinks it is cool that it is hardcover.   My middle daughter said she likes it a lot but thought it took too long to be printed.  And my youngest like the pretty girls in it and “the funny parts Dr. Nichols wrote”.

    This wonderful book is definitively a must for homeschoolers who wants their kids to learn more about the various Heroes of the Faith throughout history.    It is a beautiful introduction to it and hopefully will spark their interest in learning more about those who followed God in the past.

    This review was possible because I received a copy of The Church History ABCs from Crossway.

    The Church History ABCs is available everywhere even at

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Schleich figurines

    75 years ago, in 1935, Friedrich Schleich founded a company.   This company has created wonderful figurines starting in the 1950’s and since then they are very popular.   What started as the development, production and marketing of figurines like The Smurfs, Snoopy, The Muppet Show has been expanded back in the 1980’s with the addition of a variety of animals.   In 2003, the selection of Schleich figurines grew once more with the Knights, the Wild West collection and the Elves.

    elephantKnowing that the figurines are made of plastic,  you might wonder about safety of the product.   No need to worry here as it seems that the company has taken the initiative to thoroughly test within the headquarters as well as independent testing companies to ensure the safety for kids of all ages.
    We were blessed to receive a number of animals to review.    So imagine the surprise it was for my two younger kids to get a box with beautiful animals in it.    They were ecstatic!   It didn’t took too much time for them to go grab the ones they already had and bring the menagerie together in the living room.  

    okapiThe kids particularly loved the horses and the elephant.   Me?   I love the okapi and it made me want to learn more about this out-of-the-ordinary animal.  

    These little figurines are perfect for any kids from 2 years old to 99 years old (what can I say, I am totally loving them! – and by the way I am still far away from 99 ponyyears old *grin*).    They can also be a perfect gift for a special need child.   How do I know?   My nephew is a special need child who loves his Schleich figurines.   Being a child who loves animals, it is always a joy for him to receive some for his birthday and Christmas. 

    Recently we visited the Toronto Zoo, imagine our surprise when we saw Przewalski horses there.   We knew that one of the figurines was a Przewalski horse.    The kids were excited about this fact only.    A rare breed, Przewalski's horse also lives underPhotobucket the aliases of Asian Wild Horse and Mongolian Wild Horse. Never successfully domesticated, many of these horses were displayed in zoos instead. Similar in stature to other horses, Przewalski's is stocky and fairly short, standing only about thirteen hands tall. Living in groups with a male at the head, these horses traverse their own range but are more protective of their mares in the wild.

    Fun Facts: Przewalski's horse is the only "wild" horse left on the planet.

    Here’s an image of the other animals we received.    Aren’t they simply amazing?

      gnu gnu calf    donkey piglet

    Schleich figurines are so realistic that they make a wonderful addition to a homeschool environment.   Whenever you want to learn more about an animal, you can read a book and have the figurine next to you!  
    You can discover the variety of figurines available at .

    Schleich figurines can be found everywhere – ToysRUs included.   Prices will vary depending of the size and the complexity of the animal.

    They have many creatures already made.   I hope that they will continue to expand the number of them.   Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a platypus being part of their collection.  

    Disclosure: This review was possible because I received some figurines from Schleich while participating to the TOS Homeschool Crew 2010-2011.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Jackson Jones

    0310720796 Jackson Jones: The Tales of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish
    Written by Jennifer Kelly
    Published at ZonderKids

    About the Book
    When Jackson climbs into his great aunt's hair, untold adventures await!
    Sometimes you have to get lost to figure out where you're going.

    All Jackson wants is to be the hero, just for once in his life. The hero who steps in at the last minute to save the universe. The hero who saves the entire village from a raging fire. Great Aunt Harriett is always telling him find his own story, but so far his story doesn't seem very exciting.

    Until he falls into Great Aunt Harriett's hair, that is. There Jackson will encounter a world of elves, trap doors, bubblegum-blowing birds, hairy-backed spiders, kangaroo meat, and perilous danger which requires … a hero.

    Who is Jenn Kelly?
    Jenn Kelly lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolutely nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.

    She blogs at

    Our Thoughts
    Different.  Innovative.  Out-of-the-ordinary.   These are the words that came to my mind when I was reading the book.   It has humour and a wonderful teaching moment in it.   It would be a great read-along with the whole family.  

    The way that Jennifer has decided to write this book is very different to what we are used to.   Somehow, she speaks to you throughout the book and interact with the reader.   And if you know Jennifer, you can easily realize that there is a bit of her in the book.   I was trilled to discover a new side of her while reading her book.  I knew she was talented in many things but now I’ve discover a local writer that has a ton of potential as well.   

    My son, Alexandre – age 9, grabbed the book while we were on vacations and devoured it.    Every minutes he could take it, he would read.   You could find him laying in his bunk bed in the trailer, the book in his hands and reading avidly.   He read through the book within a week.   Impressive.  Here’s his thoughts about the book…
    I really liked the part where Jackson goes to the cafeteria and eats a lot of meat and candies.  Than he became sick.   After he ate vegetables, he felt better!  That part was so good I read it twice!
    Alexandre really enjoyed reading the book and he is also looking forward for the 2nd book of the adventures of Jackson Jones.   After he finished it, he passed the book to the next person in line to read it – my husband.    LOL   By the time Christmas arrives, I think the whole family will have read the book as I am planning to sit down with the younger ones to read-along with them.

    When I asked Alexandre which character he liked the best he couldn’t answer me.  Why?  Simply because he liked them all.   Each character in the book is unique and different.   Personally I like Jackson a lot as he reminds me of myself a little bit.

    The book contains a lesson on how important we all are and how the author made us the way we are for a reason.    In a time and age where bullying is rampant in schools, having a book that remind us that we are special is priceless.   I would recommend this book to any child.    Yes there are elves in the book but I wouldn’t take it too literally.   Jackson Jones is a very good book that has a wonderful lesson in it.   And mind you it is easy to see that the Author is the Creator – God Almighty.   

    The book is so different that what we usually find in the bookstore that I wouldn’t be surprise to see this coming as a movie eventually.    So many books are made into movies now and this definitively would make a wonderful little movie for children to watch.    

    I know that Jennifer is currently writing the second book of Jackson Jones.   I am waiting patiently (okay not so patiently…) to read it.  I can’t wait to see what other adventures Jackson Jones will have in the future.

    This review was possible because I received a free copy of Jackson Jones: The Tales of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish from ZonderKids.

    Jackson Jones: The Tales of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish is available everywhere even at

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    My Favourite Homeschool Resources

    This week question for the blog cruise is:
    “What are your favourite resources for  ____ age/grade?  (age/grade that you are teaching)”
    Well first I have to tell you that I have four kids.   Their ages are 2 (almost 3), 4 (almost 5), 6 and 9.
    So technically I have a toddler going on to become a preschooler, a senior kindergartner, a grade 1 and a grade 4 students.   So here are my favourite homeschool resources for these grades. Notice that I have a SPECIFIC GRADES section and an ALL GRADES section.
    Toddler/Preschool 51B1  CUsCL__SL500_AA300_  Passe-Partout videos. Blocks. Puzzles. Crayons and paper.   You name it you got it.   This is the age where a child will play more and discover.   I would read and read and read more.   Learning the colors and forms as well as alphabet and numbers would be on the priority list.  Jasmine is in that age group and I know that I need to spend time with her alone.   One on one is important at any age and I don’t want her to feel that I don’t take care of her.  
    Kindergartner AlphabetBeatsDVD3dSetpicturesm
    Last year I had the privilege to review a wonderful product that teaches the child to write the alphabet.   I received the lowercase DVD and it was a wonderful addition in our homeschool.  Jérémy was in preschool when we product tested it and he loved it.  Even Jasmine who had turned two back in December would sit with him and repeat after the TVTeacher.   It was adorable and learning was there.   LOVE IT!   To read my review about alphabet beats please click here.
    Rocket_hero Rocket Phonics for an introduction of phonics and reading.    I am planning to use this with Jérémy on a more regular basis this year.  To read my review of Rocket Phonics, please go here.

    GRADE 1 To improve reading in English, I will continue using Rocket Phonics with Dominic.   He is getting there and is looking forward to go buy his own Bible with Dad (with lunch included).   It is a tradition for us when a child is able to read by himself.   
    ImageTool For French reading, I am using Je Lis, J’écris…  from Guérin.  They have various books for all levels of primary school.   Dominic will start with book 1 this year.   

    GRADE 4 EG4TED  For English grammar I really like the Easy Grammar products.    I discovered them through a friend of mine and Alexandre loved it last year.   Even I learned during the last year when we first tackled this curriculum.   So this year, we are doing the grade 4 book and I expect that we will learn more interesting lessons in English grammar.
    I will also continue with the Je lis… J’écris… for Alexandre this year.    His reading has blossomed with this product and I am satisfied with it.
    MATHEMATICS logo5 Maths.   Yikes I hate it at one point in my life.   But I have discovered a wonderful curriculum that will use multi-sensory tools and will help the student to engage visually, auditory, and kinesthetically throughout the lessons.  Here’s how they describe Math-U-See.
    “Math-U-See is broken down to teach students specific skills that build as the student progresses. This systematic and cumulative approach uses a definite, logical sequence of concept instruction. The Math-U-See system is structured with step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, and practicing concepts.”
    Math-U-See information can be found at their website -
    FRENCH image As you might know, French is our mother tongue.  We live in a city/country who is predominantly English.   Consequently, we want our kids to be able to read, write and converse in both official languages.   We searched for a few years before finally discovering the products we particularly love in French.   
    Les Éditions de l’Envolée have some interesting curriculum that is reproducible (which is a plus for us).   The best part is that I can buy the ones I want via internet in PDF files directly.    For our French grammar products, I am using the Grammaire series which will go from grade 1 to grade 6.    The also have interesting products about coloring the grammar which my kids loves.  
    9782895813934 For French writing and reading comprehension, we have discovered a wonderful curriculum which contains two years per binder for a total of three binders for the whole elementary levels.   À Vos Marques contains reading and writing exercises to do with your child (reproducible).   This year Dominic will go through the grade 1-2 book and Alexandre will go through the grade 3-4 book.    Next year I will have to purchase the grade 5-6 binder.
    AWANA AwanaClubs-Logo Okay I admit that this is not a curriculum per say but it is a great activity for your kids to participate.  Not only will they make friends with others kids but they will learn more about the Bible and memorize scriptures.   I know that I also learned a lot last year when my kids participated for the first time.   They are so looking forward to go this year.   Jasmine will be in Cubbies, Jérémy and Dominic will be in Sparks and Alexandre will be in T&T again this year.    Mom and Dad will have a dating evening which sounds fantastic to us!   A date a week – can we ask for more?  
    HISTORY MOHVol1-2ndEdCover This year I am also planning to incorporate more history.   I had started Mystery of History two years ago but being new at homeschooling, I quickly put it aside because I wanted to concentrate on reading, writing and arithmetic.   Now that I am more comfortable with the basics, history will be more fun to enjoy.  What I like about this curriculum is that the same lesson can be done by various grades with less or more complicated tasks depending of the age of the child.   To learn more about Mystery of History, please click here.
    GEOGRAPHY MapsCDcovers Geography is another subject that I am incorporating this year.   And I have been blessed beyond my expectations with a variety of wonderful products since January (and it didn’t cost me much).   Most of the products I got I received for free at a time when I was wondering how in the world I would include geography when we didn’t have much money.   My favourite product is the Old World Style Maps from Homeschool In The Woods.  I am impressed with the quality of the maps and the activities linked with the learning.    I hope that someday this publisher will create a similar product for Canadian geography!
    SCIENCE If you are looking for a science curriculum with creation flavor in it, I would suggest that you look into the products that Master Books have.   They have wonderful books on Creation for various ages, physics, chemistry and much more.    I’ve reviewed a few of them in the past two years on Canadianladybug Reviews! – to access them click here.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World

    raising-godly-children Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World
    Written by Ken Ham & Steve Ham
    Published at MasterBooks

    About the book

    “As you take God’s Word and apply its eternal principles to the everyday issues you face with your family, you will begin to create a godly heritage – a legacy that will impact that generations to come in ways you never dreamed possible.
    -Ken Ham

    Christian families are struggling in a culture hostile to Christian values, and increasingly find themselves searching for answers and strategies to be more effective. Parents also face a disturbing trend of young people leaving home and leaving the church – and want to insure their children have a strong foundation of biblical faith and understanding. Discover how to create an incredible faith legacy in your family! Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World presents empowering insight for:

  • Surviving the culture wars as a family
  • Educating children – the Bible offers guidance
  • Practical tips for raising spiritually-healthy children
  • Solutions to the root cause of dysfunctional families
  • Discovering biblical authority as a parent
  • Discipline – necessary and lovingly administered
  • Ken Ham is joined by his brother, Steve Ham, in presenting this powerful look at how the principles and truth of Genesis are vital to the strong and lasting foundation of a family. Sharing their own stories of growing up in a “Genesis” family and sharing this legacy within their own families, it is an intensely personal and practical guide for parents.

    Who are Ken Ham & Steve Ham?

    Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis-U.S., the president of the Creation Museum, and a popular Christian speaker. He is the author or co-author of many books, and is heard daily on the radio program, “Answers in Genesis with Ken Ham,” on more than 300 stations worldwide.

    Steve Ham contributes to the Answers in Genesis ministry through Raising Godly Children, speaking, writing and curriculum development. His passion for apologetics and creation evangelism resulted in the development of the “Answers for Life” evangelism tool used to help many people come to know Jesus Christ as their saviour. He and his wife live in Brisbane, Australia, with their two children.

    My Thoughts

    This book is a definite must have for any Christian families.    I didn’t know what to expect and I must say I am impressed with the information found in this book.   As we face more and more post-modern thinking, we need to be prepare and stand on a solid rock.    There is no place for indecision and hesitation when it concern the raising of our children.

    The Ham brothers open up on their own family life as youngsters and as parents as well as give solid biblical teaching in this book.    They cover a multitude of subjects from the teaching our kids about God, the role of the father and mother, discipline, and much more.    They even cover the touchy subject of education.   I say touchy because people will judge homeschoolers for not sending their kids to school and homeschoolers might judge the others for sending their kids to school.   Ouch!    Personally, I respect the fact that some people prefers to send their kids to school.   We, however, have chosen homeschooling for various reasons.   But the more I discover what is going on in the school system and what might come in the future, I am glad to have followed God’s lead on homeschooling.

    While reading this book, I received confirmation on some things we are doing as well as I took in some advices on changing other things in our family.    I want my kids to be more knowledgeable in God than I was (they already are in many ways) and be able to pass on their faith to their own kids eventually.   I pray that God will continue to guide us in our parenting job.

    The century we are living in is a tough one.   Lots of events makes me wonder where our society is going.  But having a book like Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World is uplifting and confirms some of our decisions in training our kids.  I am strongly recommending this book to anyone who wants to stand firm and face the world.   Preparing our kids is an important task.   If you want to have some sound advice, check out Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World.

    This review was possible because I received a copy of Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World from MasterBooks.

    Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World is available everywhere even at

    Elliot Lake Campground


    Welcome to Elliot Lake, a small Northern Ontario town recognized for its retirement community.   We stayed in the two from September 12 to 15 of the year 2010 since my husband had to meet with clients for a contract he was working on.

    2010_09_12_15_40_10 The Westview Park has 18 daily sites located in the City of Elliot Lake itself.   The fees when we stayed there were 25$ per day for a tent and 30$ per day for full service RV.    However, please note that not all the sites are full serviced.   A limited number of them are.    But there is a trailer dumping available on site.    2010_09_12_15_40_52

    Some of the sites are not well thought we found because the electrical plug were quite far from the sites.    Also, the sites are backing the highway. 

    A park is located across the small highway and you can go swim, launch your boat or even play in the park with your kids.  Showers and a comfort station is also available on site.   But no laundry facility.   Except if you go in town that is… 

    2010_09_12_15_39_56No internet connection was available either.  Which wasn’t a big deal for a few days.   The whole campground is not levelled.  Some spots are quite straight but most of them are going on a slope which can be tricky when you are parking an RV.

    The site is open from May to October.  

    Personally, we wouldn’t stay day for an extended period of time.  It is great for when you are passing through the town though.   Please note that payments must be made at the welcome centre of the town.  They will give you which site you are assigned.   

    2010_09_12_15_40_16 2010_09_12_15_40_22

    Diamond Earrings


    I recently had the opportunity to check out a new website where you can buy diamond earrings online.  

    The site will eventually be an earrings ecommerce store but they figure the best way to get the word out would be sending out some earrings to bloggers willing to promote their site.

    The idea is simple.  You pick the earrings you would like to have and pay online.   And they would ship you the earrings.   Now, mind you, this site is currently in construction so it is hard for me to determine the prices of the earrings.   The pair I received is not read diamonds… Obviously.   But still they look nice and seems to be mounted on high quality tips.   You see, my ears are sensitive and when the tips are not of high quality, I will have a reaction.   But it has been two days since I’ve put the earrings on my ears and no reaction yet.    So I can justify that the tips are good. 

    For the promotion of the site, I received a free simulated diamond earrings.  


    IMG_4208 Want to win a pair of earrings?  Well my contact at will send to one person a pair of simulated diamonds.    The contest is simple,  follow the steps below to get a chance to win.

    1) Tell me why you would like to have the earrings.

    This entry is mandatory before proceeding further.

    More entries opportunity if you do the following…

    2) Follow Canadianladybug Reviews! on Blogger (see right side of the blog) and let me know about it.

    3) Like Canadianladybug Reviews! on facebook and let me know about.

    4) Follow me on twitter and leave me your twitter ID.

    5) Blog about this contest and give me your link in a comment.

    6) Become a member of LobsterNetwork and leave me your ID.  It’s free and you will be able to share your books/DVDs with friends or family!   Check it out!

    Don’t forget to include your email for each steps.   No email means I will have to pick someone else.    I need to be able to contact you if you win! will be use to determine the winner.  You will have 48 hours to contact me and give me your mailing address so I can send it to my contact at which in turn will ship the earrings to  you!

    Open to US and Canadian residents ONLY.

    Deadline:   September 25, 2010.