A few months ago I noticed that TOS (The Old Schoolhouse Magazine) was having "auditions" for their 2010-2011 Homeschool Crew and I wistfully thought how much fun it would be to try out new products and give my opinions about them. Now, I like to write. If you have read any of my reviews here, you will be able to tell that. And I like to share my opinions...who doesn't? I even enjoy using the internet. Truth be told, the whole appeal of the "blog" idea didn't really sink in for me until during my last pregnancy when I was on limited activity and had extra time on my hands (you can visit my Blessing Farm blog if you want the details about that), but after watching the movie Julie and Julia, I had to admit that blogging might be fun to try.
However, busy as I am with six kids, managing a 15 acre hobby farm complete with animals and gardens, and trying to set up my homeschool-for-free website (PLEASE go check it out by clicking on the link in the sidebar), I wondered if I had time to even think about trying out. Finally, I decided that if I tried, and made it, that would be like God giving me his approval. If I tried and didn't make it, then that would be like God saying "maybe next year." I put time praying into this to keep the ball in His court, asking Him to move or not move, and set about the business of filling out the initial demographics sheet.
A few weeks later, much to my surprise, I received a notice that I had made the first cut. Wow! It was even better than when I made the Cross Country team in High School, because then they were so hard up for female runners, they took anybody, and I was still very excited about it! This time it was somthing in my demographics, I guess, that worked in my favor and gave me the opportunity to show what I could do when it came time to review a real product.
So I reviewed the test-products and those are the first two reviews you see here. I did not review them in a positive light on purpose, in case you are wondering. I reviewed them fairly, based on my use of them, and the benefit to my family. What would be the point of doing a review if it is not unbiased? That, my friends, is called ADVERTISING. In any case, I sent in my reviews after proofreading them at least a dozen times each (yeah, that was overkill, but I was nervous) and then I waited and waited and waited for what I figured must have been the usual amount of time for notifications of acceptance to be made and still I hadn't heard one way or another.
Awwwww, I told myself. I guess you didn't make it this time. Bummer. Oh well. I told myself that it was all right to not make it, because it just meant that God decided I wasn't ready for this. Too much to do, too little time, and all that. I was still a bit sad. Wouldn't you be? But I decided to be patient, to learn more about blogging and the internet, and then maybe next year I could try, try again. So I stopped checking my emails every day, twice a day for that acceptance e-mail, got busy putting in gardens and playing outside with the kids. My husband's grandmother passed away and he went away for a week, which made our schedules here that much more crazy and I spent a whole week without even loggin on once.
Then one night, when I was having trouble sleeping, I happened to check my BILLIONS of emails (okay, that is an exaggeration, but there were at least three hundered), and lo and behold, there it was...an email telling me I made the TOS Crew. Yahoooooo! I can't tell you, how excited I was. Yippeeeee!! I was nearly doing cartwheels in the upstairs hallway, but our hallway is pretty short and I would have wound up falling down the stairs instead, so I thankully refrained. It was at least midnight when I found out, so I couldn't call anybody and share my good news. How frustrating!
Instead, I sent a prayer up to heaven thanking God, because I figured He had decided it was a good time to take this task on and made this opportunity possible. Wasn't that nice of Him? He does the nicest things for us, both big and small. I pray that I will always be mindful of the things He does for me and not forget to thank Him. I am so grateful that as my site, homeschool-for-free is growing, I will also be sticking my toes in the waters of this new forum. I am thinking this will be a good year in our homeschool. Adventures await around every corner!
In any case, here I am, suited up and ready to take on the waves...of curriculum samples, new ideas, enrichement activities, and so on. My mailboxes, both physical and virtual are open and waiting for things to inspect, examine, and ponder. Be prepared for some fun reviews and I hope some interesting dialogue. I'd love if folks would feel free to toss in their two or three cents on the products I am reviewing, or if anyone has a particular interest in a book or topic we come across, perhaps you can give me a heads up and we can do a virtual discussion group centered around it.
The possibilites are endless...don't you just love that? I do.