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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Watch Me Learn

A random thought while driving and listening to my kids...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Redbox Instant By Verizon

My family loves standing in front of the big red box at the grocery store and choosing a movie to take home for the night.  I love the convenience they offer - not having to go in the store or wait in line for my rental or return.  When I heard that Redbox was now available to stream right to my television, I was thrilled! 

My happiness was short-lived.  It was simple to set up my account, but I was never able to log on to my account using my laptop.  When I'd try to log in, the site didn't recognize that I had created an account.  I could log on and watch movies using my phone, but that also proved to be frustrating.  I expected to be able to watch a plethora of free movies (since I would be paying a monthly fee for the service), but the availability of free movies was very limited.  I do like that Redbox has seamlessly integrated their catalog of movies so that if you found a movie you wanted, you could easily see if it was available to stream instantly or reserve for pickup at the kiosk.  I also like that the low $8 monthly fee also includes 4 rentals at the kiosk each month.  If you used those rentals, you've already made good use of more than half of the fee you paid.

The bottom line is this - there are some definite kinks to work out with this new service.  I hope they get the problems worked out quickly while they have a great reputation.

If you'd like an opportunity to try the service for yourself, head over to Redbox Instant by Verizon's beta page and sign up.

I tried this service free of charge in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.  If you'd like to try products for free, become a BzzAgent.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Writing for Real Life

I can't say that any of my kids truly love to write.  My oldest has recently found a passion for writing plays, but it isn't because she loves to write.  It's because she loves to tell stories.  Because good grammar, spelling and communication are important to me, I have learned to sneak writing into my kids' daily life as often as possible without being completely obvious.  Here are just a few opportunities for writing:

Thankful Journal: We have a thankful journal that sits on our mantle.  Sometimes we sit together as a family and one person does the writing as each family says what they are thankful for.  This is a good opportunity to practice listening as well as writing.  Other days we just write our own entry in the journal as the desire strikes.  One of our daughters enjoys reading the journals as she settles down each night.  This is also a great keepsake for our family.

Shopping List:  We always have a shopping list posted on the fridge.  As someone notices that an item is needed, he or she is responsible for recording the item on the list. 

Cards/Letters:  My crafty kids love to make cards for people.  They are also expected to write a note inside of each card.  Each week we send cards or letters to two or three peeople for birthdays, anniversaries, get well, thinking of you or just because.

I'd love to hear how you incorporate writing into the daily life of your family.