The Great American Road Trip Casting

rv_mtn1This seems so ideal for a homeschooling family to get involved in. It sounds like an absolutely blast. Wish we qualified but since we don’t I hope one of you will!

NBC’s New Hit Summer Show “The Great American Road Trip” is now scouring the country for seven great families!

Each Chosen Family will drive from the East Coast to the West Coast for as long as 5 weeks in a motor home supplied by NBC. Along the way each family will compete against the other families in fun, unique challenges.

Each Family will recieve a stipend of two thousand dollars per week of participation. Major Grand Prize for the Winning Family! Tutors will be supplied for school aged children.

Each family considered should have at least 2 kids between the ages of 11 – 16.

Families must be available from mid-May through June 2009.

To apply please send an email ASAP to TheCastingGroupInc@yahoo.com

Music Ace Deluxe

madbox-300As you all know, my kids love music. My oldest plays the guitar and my youngest is a walking dictionary of classic rock (ugh, am I that old that Bon Jovi is classic?). Since my youngest has very poor fine motor skills though due to both of his disabilities (spina bifida and autism) it has been hard to really teach him an instrument. But, he is very interested. So, when I was contacted by a very nice PR rep for Harmonic Vision and asked to try Music Ace Deluxe I was thrilled. Harmonic Vision claims:

“This interactive program gives homeschooling parents a fun way to bring music into their kid’s (aged 6+) lives. The game-type Windows and Mac-compatible CD-ROM features 36 self-paced lessons shored up by games that introduce kids to the basics of music — rhythm, pitch, note reading, listening and the keyboard — while entertaining them at the same time.”

and it certainly delivers. My youngest (10) and I sat down to do a few lessons together before I turned him loose on it alone. He seemed to really benefit from the visual clues given in the pitch lessons. And even I learned some new terminology. Maestro Max (the animated teacher) provides a fun and non threatening way for everyone to learn music theory.

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So, would I recommend this? Absolutely! Music Ace Deluxe is available directly from Harmonic Vision, http://www.harmonicvision.com for the MSRP of $79.95. More importantly, it is available from other sources such as http://www.amazon.com and http://www.jr.com/ for between $45 and $50. Also, a Homeschool Instructional Guide is available for download at no charge from the Harmonic Vision website for owners of Music Ace Deluxe. I love it when companies realize the power of the homeschool community and provide products tailored to our needs!

Not Ready To Write

Wow, was it really two weeks ago that I wrote so flipantly about the possibility of small things going wrong in my life? How petty it all seems in the light of the last two weeks.

I can’t write it all now. I don’t have the strength yet. I want to write a brave and flowing post about all I have been through and I am sure that I will but for now a few details to friends and family will suffice.

If you remember in my last post I was commiserating that my dad was back in the ER. Well, later that day I was casually talking to my mom and mentioned how odd it was that my brother had not called to tell me about Dad. He was the first line of contact for the hospital since he lived there. She thought that was odd too and we talked about how sick he had been with the flu. She had the flu as well but Monday night she went and dropped off some chicken soup for him at the door. He called her later and thanked her. But, since Dad was taken back to the hospital Tues morning we had been dealing with that. My brother called my mom every night to say good night and he didn’t call her Tues. Wed. morning she went to check on him and found that he had passed away in his sleep (we estimate now it must have been later Monday night). The official cause of death was that he had a heart attack, with his heart and body being weakened by the flu.

I was in Phoenix within hours. I stayed the week and then came back and got the boys. The boys and I flew back the next morning and stayed the next week. Connor helped to carry the casket at his first and hopefully last military funeral.

I moved my dad from the hospital and into a permanent VA Nursing home while I was there. My boys said what was probably their last goodbyes to him.

Tears are falling so I will stop now but I will post again as I get through this. I have a lot to say about it. I just can’t now.