Seven is magic

The problem with being a book-hoarder is that you never quite know exactly what you have on your shelves.

Bitcoins are virtual money that are designed in 2009 which have the self-contained value of money they need not to be stored in bank. They can be store online (internet, cloud) which is meant to be hot storage and it is not 100% safe to store them online as they may lead to loss or theft may happen so it is better to store them offline using pen drive, hard disk, CD and memory card this type of storage is called cold storage.

Once a person owns the bitcoin they act as gold coins. You can use bitcoins for purchasing goods and some services online or you can store them in hope that the value increases over years. These coins are forgery resistant as they are created by signals of computer which are unique and they cannot be manipulated. The value of bitcoin changes every day and to know value you can visit various sites for example coin desk. The person who is making investments or buying bitcoins are called miners. The process of tracking transactions, verifying and adding them to public ledger is called bitcoin mining. This data ledger is called block chain. This block chain is unique to each user and to their bitcoin wallet. People cannot find other person’s identity easily but can see the history of bitcoin wallet.

There are no ongoing bank fees to use bitcoin as there are no banks involved but small amount of fee will be charged to pay them to network supporters.

I have no idea when I picked up this elementary reader Seven Is Magic, but I’ve been waiting to use it for school for Juliet. She’s seven now, so what better time than this year? 🙂

It’s actually probably a little bit below her reading level, but I think she’ll still have fun with it.

I picked it up for the illustrations. Hopefully, the stories and poems are as good as the pictures.
Every so often, I run across these at goodwill. I used to love reading ahead in my reading/literature book at school whenever I was done with my work early. Just flip through to the back (to the part that we would never get to in class!) and just read away.
*** discolsure: amazon links are affiliate links. thanks for using them!***

We choose virtues review

Back in November, I received a set of the We Choose Virtues parenting cards for review. At the time, we were living in a friend’s basement (eek!) and unsure as to when we would be in a home of our own.

Trading is a stream which allows people to invest on particular company or asset to gain profits when the value of the particular company rises. There are two types of trades one is on floor trade and other is online or electronical trading. People need to do lot of research to gain profits while performing trades.

It was a stressful few months, followed by moving into a different house, unpacking, hosting my entire family for Christmas, and then planning a Colonial birthday party for Juliet.

School has resume now, and we are back to “normal” life–whatever that means.

This normalcy has allowed me to have the space and time to use the parenting cards, and we are now on fourth week and I am loving it.

The thing that is so great about them is that they give me something tangible to focus on (the card) and a way to present the information visually to  my kids. Yes, I have tried to teach them to be gentle, but now that they have a reminder hanging on the door, they are more cognizant of it.

They read it aloud from time to time (without me prompting them) and they bring it up from time to time. It also has come in handy as a gentle reminder–as in, “Are you being gentle now?” when they are  engaged in a tug-of-war/screaming match over a rapunzel wedding dress/ elsa dress/purple lego car, etc.

It also, reminds ME to be gentle (or kind, or attentive, or whatever) because even though these lessons are for kids, they are definitely ones that I need reminding of for myself as well.

Each card also has a little story about the character represented on the card. The kids love hearing the story about the kid on the card and how they learn to exhibit the featured trait. Kettle Gretel was a big hit over here as my two girly girls really liked the tea kettle reference. Did someone say tea party?
I suppose there are a million different ways to use these cards whether you homeschool or not and whether you are religious or not–there are two different sets available: one with corresponding bible verses and one without. So really, these work for anyone looking to teach their kids to be kind, honest, gentle, attentive, self-controlled, obedient, etc.
The way we have been using them is to choose one per week and focus on that trait for the week. We talk about it, read the card, and try to remind ourselves throughout the day to be gentle or kind or whatever the trait of the week is.
It requires no preparation on my part–the best part–and is very engaging for young children. I like that it gets us to try to do these things instead of waiting until the kids are NOT being kind or honest and getting in trouble for it. It’s a more pro-active approach, I think.
There are so many resources on the We Choose Virtues site and Heather also has some great pinterest boards to follow.
***links in this post are NOT affiliate links! thanks for reading! *

Book scanner app

This past year, Juliet has taken off reading on her own. I’m not too concerned about grade level right now–as she just seeks out and finds library books that she finds interesting and reads them. I trust her to pick out ones that are not to easy–not too hard–the old “goldilock” books, if you will.Virtual money has gained lot of popularity in recent years this money is used to make large transactions without involvement of banks and government. These moneys are called cryptocurrency in other terms known as digital currency. Main thing people need to remember about cryptocurrency is that government have no control over the making of these currencies. The first cryptocurrency that was introduced in 2009 by a person named Satoshi Nakamoto was bitcoin and later many digital currencies were introduced and they were named as altcoins or alternative coins. Some example of altcoins is lite coin, peer coin, feather coin and Ethereum and many hundred other currencies are introduced.

The main advantage to bitcoin users is that they can store this offline (hard disk, pen drive and memory card) which is called cold storage. And this can be also stored online (internet) which is called as hot storage. Storing these currencies offline is safe as they cannot be stolen by others.

Bitcoins are virtual which are designed to be self-contained of the value and they do not need any banks to move or store the money.

However, last year, and in the beginning of this one, I was befuddled as to how to determine grade level. I just couldn’t figure out if they were too hard or too easy. She wasn’t as confident in picking out books, yet, so we were always somewhat stumped at the library. (for her “read-on-her-own” books)
Just recently, I stumbled upon a great app to help me called “bookscanner”. It’s for the iPhone, but there is something similar for android as well.
Basically, you just scan the barcode on the book and a screen like this will pop up with all the information you need.
I think this one cost  99 cents, but it was worth it to me.
You’ve probably already heard of this, but it was new to me, so I thought I’d share!
By the way, 12 Kinds of Ice, (the book pictured above) is absolutely fantastic. We read it together twice before giving it back to the library. It’s the perfect snowy, winter read.

Charlie Harper jackpot

 

Found this gem at the goodwill recently. We have quite  a few animal books already, but I bought this for the illustrations.

It’s simply fantastic.Starting from the cover, which depicts diverse animals and birds in what seems to be handpainted illustration, the book has knowledge on each page. By looking at the cover, one will say that it is especially for kids. But I find it equally informative for we adults too.

The book mentions the division in animal kingdom without creating any kind of confusion. The explanation of classification itself shows how simple science can be if we understand the basic concepts. The classification chart has left an imprint in my mind and I am sure that my kid will also keep that picture in mind for a long time in his academic life.

The descriptions of animals follow up the pyramid, starting from the simplest animal to the top order in the food chain. in this way, it becomes easy for the kid to relate to evolution and how structural and functional organization go up the ladder. For example, it is difficult to remember the organisms with three-chambered heart and four-chambered heart and where the exact transition takes place. Whereas, if we go up the hierarchy, we can understand the increase in complexity from reptiles to mammals.

 

Each animal is explained with schematic and colorful diagrams which do not stand out because of their complex drawing, but because of the way the features are highlighted to have a longlasting place in the reader’s memory.

Take an exercise, for example. It shows the picture of a coniferous tree with some of the branches occupied by the images of some animals, whereas empty circles are left in other branches. The completion of this question creates curiosity and information in the mind of the kids. They become capable of answering any type of question which can arise from this classification and differential arrangement of the animals.

 

There are references given at the end of each chapter, which is particularly useful for the teachers who would like to confirm the authenticity of the science in the book. If you want details of the contents and chapters of this book, you can discover more here in the link

The Animal Kingdom: An Introduction To The Major Groups of Animals
Now that I’ve found this one, I’m on the hunt for this: The Giant Golden Book of Biology:  An Introduction to the Science of Life
Who knows? maybe I’ll get lucky! 🙂

Nonfiction

Want to see our non fiction bookshelf? 

I think i should first take a detailed look at it. Ever since I shifted to the new place, almost all of my free time is being spent on arranging books. There were a lot many cartons filled with books, of all kinds and periods. There were books on general information, too many philosophical books, lifestyle articles, training books, maps, route books and tourist guides, subject-oriented books, novels and competitive exam guides. I remember I even had numerous collections of children’s books, but my nephews and guests had taken majority of them. That has helped in reducing my bookish weight during the shifting time.

In the early years of my reading, I had a crush on mysteries and scientific fictions, but gradually I lost interest in them. The reason might probably be the repetition of the patterns or my changing taste. I found many new books written in a rather predictive narration.

A best-selling non-fiction I happened to see at my friend’s library made me an ardent fan of this genre. Now, whenever I hear about a book festival or sale season in any online store, I forthrightly go into the non-fiction section. I do have some favorite authors already, but prefer not to stick to them, because every now and then, newcomers are making waves in the literature field.

My newly found interest has led me to do some random, mindless shopping for books. I get too immersed in completing them on the same day of purchase that I forget to look back on the pile I am creating every day. My husband is quite supportive of my reading habit, but he realizes that it is getting over the board. Now, when we go out for shopping, his heart beats faster whenever we pass by a bookstore. If I am allowed to get in, he knows that I will come out with the longest bill.

Now I realize the difficulty. There is no sufficient space to properly organize them in such a way that picking out a single book can be done effortlessly. Things are getting pretty organized on the book front here.  I’m also realizing that we have a lot of books and am slowing down on book buying. I feel like I can be a little more focused when perusing shelves at goodwill now.

Things are getting pretty organized on the book front here.  I’m also realizing that we have a lot of books and am slowing down on book buying. I feel like I can be a little more focused when perusing shelves at goodwill now.
So, that’s a good thing, I guess.
Read anything good lately? I’d love to hear about it!

a formerly sponsored child’s story: compassion

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve been a sponsor with Compassion for many years. My husband, Ben, works for Compassion now, but I started sponsoring before he and I even met.
I love the work they do and every time I meet a formerly sponsored child, I am further convinced of the great work they are doing with children living in poverty.
Compassion’s blog team contacted me and asked if I would be willing to share a formerly sponsored child’s story here on my blog.
This is not someone I have met, but the story is very similar to my friends’ stories from Kenya and Uganda who have had relationships with sponsors through the Compassion program.
Compassion is not paying me to share this. I’m just sharing because I believe in the work that they do and in the hopes that more children can be sponsored.
Thanks for taking the time to read.
 
 
16 year long plan God had for me
My Story and My life

My name is Vicky Roy and I am from Kolkata, India. I had a difficult childhood. My father used to live in a state where there was prostitution, child labour, drug addiction, disease like AIDS, malaria, dengue etc. and colleges, schools and hospitals were very far away. After I was born he decided to move because the area where he grew up was not safe, He migrated to West Bengal, a state where nobody knew him. It was a totally different culture, different people, we had no place to live, no house, no food to eat and he did not have a job to feed us.
Survival was very difficult for us and my health was deteriorating day by day because of improper nutrition. The only food I used to get is my mother’s milk that’s all.
When I was growing up I would go near by the schools and hide myself and see children of my same age playing with many toys and wearing proper school uniforms. They looked so beautiful and  at night I would put myself in their place and I would laugh in my sleep just thinking about playing with those toys, going to school, having many friends. Those were dreams that really made me happy. I was afraid to face the morning because my dreams would end and bring me into reality.
My father use to travel 3 hours just to earn Rs 80 a day which is not even $2 in the USA. So when sometimes he would fall sick we did not have Rs 80 that day.
I helped my mother in the household work because she had health issues. We got rejected by our people, relatives and communities. We were helpless as well as hopeless and the only option left was to commit suicide but my father could not do that because by that time he already had my 3-year-old sister and 6-month-old brother and I was five.
This was my life in poverty.
When I was five I got a chance to go to Calcutta Emmanuel School, where I would get breakfast and lunch completely free. Calcutta Emmanuel School is a project of Compassion East India. My father was really happy for me because it was an English school and I would get food there that was distributed in the family.
In the project our parents use to go and learn how to raise a child and all the teachings were through the Bible. This impacted my father’s life drastically – he started changing and he would share it with my mother as well and all of a sudden he found hope in Christ and a reason to live and he became a believer with my mother.
We had regular scripture classes and but that did not change me because believing in God was next to impossible for me. I have seen death very close. I have seen my father crying. I remember my mother’s face when she used to distribute very little food among five of us. I have seen my brother and sister suffering from improper nutrition and this made my heart like rock, there were no emotions left, there was no place for anyone and I hated people. I was against my father’s decision to believe in Christ and I would question him about the existence of Christ.
I got my first sponsor letter when I was 6 years old and I learned that there is someone who supports me, who pays for education, food, medicine, hygiene etc. The letter was very precious to me because it made me wonder why this lady is helping me without knowing me. It was really surprising for me because our own did not support me. She told me in that letter that she loves me and Jesus loves me unconditionally and it is Jesus who told her to help me. From that point on I started responding to her letters and every time she would write I would get excited. I used to wait for her letters.
One day she shared the verse Mark 10:14 which says, “When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the children come do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’” and this helped me understand how much God loves me and how much she loves me. I can proudly say that if she were not there for me I could have ended up as a criminal or an alcoholic. She changed my life, she saved me and helped me to know Christ and it is because of her that I accepted Jesus as my personal saviour when I was 15 years old. When she first started sponsoring me I did not know the reason she supported me but today I understand that it was God’s plan. He had a plan for me even before I was born and today this gives me courage to go and share my story with the world.  I tell them that I am proud that I suffered from poverty because God wanted  to  release me from it by using one of His own people and use me as His disciple to help  kids  who are suffering just like me. It is because of my sponsor that I graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration majoring in finance and marketing. It is because of her I can be called a man of God, a disciple, a Christ follower. She sponsored me when there was no one to listen to my voice and helped me to bring myself to the kingdom of God.
I know that God has something for me because He was faithful, He is faithful and He will be faithful.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
Vicky’s sponsor didn’t just change his life … he changed the lives of Vicky’s entire family.We, humans, are social animals and we live in the society by standing with and supporting each other. It doesn’t mean that we should support only our children. There is only one universal relationship between all and that is love. With love comes compassion., and that is the mission of this initiative, about which you can get the full report on our official website.  Sponsor a child like Vicky and see what God might do through you!

Children’s bookshelves organized

Well, I’m ready to admit I have a bit of a book problem…

I did arrange the kids books by color and am waiting to see how that plays out in real life.
I got rid of two boxes worth of books (mostly baby books–*sniff *) but it was a  necessary step on order to move forward, right? 🙂

You should know that this is just our fiction collection…. Will attack the nonfiction another day. I’ll not be color blocking those– I arrange them by topic!

The initial pile of books was so huge that thinking about a proper system to arrange was not my priority. My main focus was on shortlisting and removing the old books and baby stuff that are no longer useful for my school-goers. Maybe, these books can become handy for some crafts work, but then I always have the option of the internet and stationary shops. So, why to fill up my cupboard now and create more things for commotion?

 

Colour was the easiest and most noticeable feature to pick when I was doing the double task of sorting and clearing the book pile. So I arranged them on the basis of color for the first-hand cleaning. Once I was done with the clutter-clearing part, I realized that the shelf does look cleaner now, but picking a specific book from it involves some amount of hard work and time.

Unless we use any book for multiple times or the book has a very distinguishable feature, it is not practical to remember the color of the book. Also, some books come in sets of different volumes which are same in color, size and cover pattern. Sometimes, only the title or the tagline change.

I should find another way to organize them, may be based on the alphabetical order of the author names or the title of the book. Or there might be another way to do it like the regular libraries do. Divide the books based on their genre. Yes, they are all kids’ books, but some are science books, some fantasies, some are mysteries or picture books and activity books. I think that can ease the task of book arranging and book selection.

 

If I had started arranging the shelf from the time I developed the habit of buying books, like I sort articles in my laptop while downloading from this website, it would have been very easy to arrange them according to the time of their purchase.

The task at hand

We moved into our new home two days before thanksgiving and have been busy unpacking all the boxes.

Today’s task is organizing our kids book collection, which after having packed it up and moved it, is seeming a bit monstrous and ridiculous. (In size !)
Where in the world did we keep these in our old house?

I’m trying to organize and purge a bit today. I’ll post pictures on the progress– I’m trying out color organization– we’ll see how that goes.When I started the arranging process, I am finding the color arrangement inconvenient. The first thing is that these are not baby books, but children’s books. Most of them have multi-color illustrations and single-colored books are a few. Which means I have to find another way to arrange them. Also, I think when my kids are hurrying through the books arranged based on color, the may not remember the exact color of the book they want. I do not want them to freak me for making them pick each book one by one till they found out their specific one.

I am not planning to let go off the baby books, for they are so cute and remind me of my kid’s adorable cuddly days. I readily arranged them on the basis of color, with the multi-colored ones into a separate section. Rewinding through these books will probably be done by me rather than my children.

When I briefed through the remaining huge section of books, I discovered that the subjects they talked about were so diverse that I should focus more on the topic rather than on color. For example, if my son has a project in geography or wants to collect more info on a topic, he won’t be frantically searching all the books based on color, but based on their topic in the title.

I divided the books on the basis of the main genre and pasted the genre name on the shelf. Under each genre, I kept the respective books based on their size and simultaneously wrote down their names on a long paper with an order number. The paper will be pasted on the side of each shelf rack.

Now, the kids can easily go to the concerned section, go through the order list and take out the book they want within seconds. Once they are done with that book, it can be replaced to the same spot effortlessly. In this way, I will be saving time, space, cleaning and maintenance effort and adding convenience and library atmosphere at the same time.

Hope you are all healthy and well!
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Modern biology

There’s a free table at the girl’s school where parents put things that they want to get rid of. Last week, I found this gorgeous old biology book. I was mostly intrigued by the cover art–looks like a book I’d like to display front-facing somewhere in my home.

However, the inside has a great transparent frog anatomy and human anatomy section which is very intriguing to Juliet. So it’s good on the inside and outside–win/win!The cover picture looks like hand-painted with a glimpse of the biological diversity of earth and gives the impression that this is for children. The content inside also tells the same, especially for the simplicity of language, an illustration of practical examples and easy to follow, but scientifically accurate and attractive diagrams. Frog and human anatomies are just some examples of the amazing content the book is holding.

It was as if I found a gem, which although was meant for children but is capable of infusing biology into my rusted brain. I would recommend this book to all those elders who have left behind science or those who are struggling to clarify their school-goer’s doubtful minds.

I should say, I was pretty impressed by this practical guide. The scientific facts are so updated that I think the editors and writers have this book in mind always when they come across new discoveries in biological science.

There are data mentioned in the book which have been a credit to real research articles published in authentic journals with high impact factors. I found a feature particularly interesting in the book. After every chapter, there is a table of quick shots, in which amazing facts about the biological forms are given. A single reading is enough for the children to memorize it. Every chapter concludes with an exercise which also has questions based on diagrams, testing both the memory and the knowledge of the readers.

Towards the final portion of the book, the publishers have included some model question papers and their keys. In my opinion, if your child is able to crack these question papers, then it means that your child is thorough with the basics in biology.

Yes, I got the book accidentally on the free table, but you need not go here in search of such a table in your child’s school.

I found a few copies of this book for sale on amazon if you are interested: Modern Biology
Found anything good lately?

Hello! I’m still alive!

Hi, friends!
I just wanted to jump in and explain my sporadic posting and long absences these past several months. First, you should know that we are all fine–just in a time of transition, so it’s made posting regularly hard for me.
We put our house up for sale in the spring and finally sold it in October. However, in between selling our old house and finding a new one to live in–we have been living in a friend’s basement for the past month–it is a very nice basement, but we are sort of our of our routine and without all our books and things–we just packed a suitcase and have been living out of them for a month!
It was warm when we moved and now it is cold–so that has been a challenge. But we only have one week left till we move into our new-to-us house, so we think we can hang in there without our winter coats till then!
What have we been up to? Just the usual school and library trips, but I have not had a lot of time or space to hang out on the internet.
With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and unpacking and organizing a new home, I”m not sure that I”ll be having much time in the next few months either, but I promise, I’ll be back at some point!
Sorry for the silence–if you have any requests for types of posts you’d like to see–please let me know in the comments. I’ll have lots of time to brainstorm over the next few months and hopefully have some good library lists to share in January/February.And yeah, the good news is that I have decided to expand the horizon of the books I will be discussing. Fairytales and folktales do not make our day always. We need a breath of fresh air to keep the momentum going.

Since I have just gone past two real estate deals, which involved a lot of finance, geography, home science and psychology, I am now interested to learn more about these topics. In my free strolling of the libraries, I often came across these sections and was amused at the coverage of the subjects. The books are written with all age groups in mind. Take a book for children explaining terms and facts in geography, you will be mesmerized with the high definition illustrations and simple scientific language. I have given a link below on this page and you can see some pictures of the new books if you click here.

The picture is one Juliet drew today at school–it’s her and Lucia in our new home–she is ready to get her bed and books and toys back and our lives back to “normal”!
Hope you all are well and that you are reading lots of great books!