Showing posts with label paperboy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paperboy. Show all posts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Write With World: A New Writing Program


As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the products with my boys and share my honest opinions with you. When I was offered a chance to review a writing program that was published by World News, I jumped at the chance. 


Before Dave Ramsey showed up in our household, I was a regular subscriber to many magazines. World was my all time favorite news magazine. It was the one that our whole family enjoyed. In fact, Little Guy is the only fortunate one to still get God's World, the kids version of it. Since I loved the content of their magazines, I had great expectations for their writing program. I was not disappointed, and neither was Paperboy. To him, it was a welcomed respite from another program that he had grown weary of.

Write With World has a vision for their writing curriculum. I am in complete agreement with this.
"Write With World aims to produce young writers who love writing, can write effectively, and intelligently share ideas, beliefs, and their worldview. We hope to support a generation of young believers who aspire to use their writing skills in the service of God's kingdom and explain effectively the reason for their beliefs."
Write With World is designed for middle school students. Paperboy, being in tenth grade, found this easy, interesting and is completing it at a much faster pace. Before you gasp in horror that he is using a program for younger students, don't worry, he is writing and enjoying the process. In addition to using this program, he is writing a story on his own, for the simple joy of writing. He has turned the corner from a reluctant writer, to a student who writes daily without being prodded. Mom is happy!

Write with World artfully draws the students in, assigns writing in small bites called capsules and prompts fantastic discussions about the writing process. I feel this curriculum would work wonderfully with boys who don't necessarily have a long attention span or a love for writing. This program will teach your children important critical thinking skills. Home school parents can feel confident teaching the mechanics of writing because of the thoroughness of the curriculum. As they challenge students to craft their writing, they cover fundamentals without drill.


Just what do you get with this writing program?
For $95 you receive a student workbook, and a teachers guide. You will need a notebook for the student's writing. You also will have access to a support forum, student samples. This is designed to be a one-year program, a second year is already available. You can order this great curriculum here.

If this program sounds like something that would work for your family, see the sample lesson. Or better yet, see what other crew members had to say about their experiences with the program. They have tried this with a variety of students ranging from 4th grade to high school level. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions in this post are my own.       
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaching our Teens, a review: The Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the products with my boys and share my honest opinions with you. Paperboy was the fortunate participant this time.

Paperboy laughed when he learned his next course would be "The Art of Argument." He felt he already possessed great skill in that area. He was confident this subject would be a breeze. I was looking forward to gaining new communication skills and perhaps reaping the rewards of the great lessons learned. 

Classical Academic Press describes this program as:
Junior high aged students will argue (and sometimes quarrel), but they won't argue well without good training. The Art of Argument was designed to teach the argumentative adolescent how to reason with clarity, relevance and purpose at a time when he has a penchant for the "why" and "how". It is designed to equip and sharpen young minds as they live, play, and grow in this highly commercial culture. This course teaches students to recognize and identify twenty-eight informal fallacies, and the eye-catching text includes over sixty slick and clever, “phony advertisements” for items from blue jeans to pick-up trucks, which apply the fallacies to a myriad of real life situations. 
Don't let the publisher's description of 7th grade and up fool you. For students who have had no training in informal logic, this is a great place to start. Paperboy confessed to me in the car that he reads it slowly as it is challenging to digest. He felt it has already helped him to see how foolish some of his arguments have been. Many times he has fallen for propaganda from a talk show host and not clearly understood the issues.

When you purchase the Art of Argument Basic Bundle for $88.95 what do you receive?

The kit comes with a teachers manual, the student text book and a set of Dvd's with over 5 hours of instruction.

  • The Dvd lessons are taught by two teachers as they discuss the terms with four students. The lessons are 15 to 30 minutes long. The student's input and discussion of lessons are a great substitute for a co-op class. The video is professionally produced, yet it is obvious they didn't edit it too much. The replies of the students ranged from simplistic to well thought out responses. 
  • The 230 page student workbook is divided into three units which contain 6 chapters and cover 28 fallacies. Covering two fallacies per week worked for our family. The workbook includes open ended questions, highlighted vocabulary and continual dialogue with Socrates. The book uses fictitious ads to represent each fallacy. This visual is an extremely effective method. It also incorporates some humor into the lessons.
  • The new and expanded teacher's guide includes the student text with answers, chapter and unit tests. Honestly, I have never been taught informal or formal logic, so I can't imagine not having the teacher's guide. 

Classical Academic Press has a catchy slogan: Classical Subjects Creatively Taught. I agree, the thought of teaching logic and studying Socrates with my son, wasn't something I was looking forward to. The Art of Argument has definitely changed my mind. Classical Academic Press has a web site for students to practice their work. They offer free wallpaper background for students to remind them of the fallacies. There are more books in this series to carry your children through formal logic. You can pick up your own copy of The Art of Argument here. And lastly, don't just accept my persuasive argument for it, see what other members of the crew thought about it here.

Thanks for stopping by,  

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Solving the Biology Problem

Paperboy has finished his Biology 101 course, in about 8 weeks. Before you gasp in wonder at how amazing he is, catch your breath. The truth is the course was way.... too....easy. I should have known when Little Guy, who is only in second grade, was enraptured by the movies. I'm all for enjoying the process of learning, but now we have a problem. He still needs a biology credit. I understand he won't need 4 years of AP science for his career as an electrician, but I must insist on two high school level sciences, one with a lab. So in the middle of his 10th grade year we are restarting Biology.

I was about to go online and order another program. The one I looked at may not be a right for him, so before I drop another penny on high school curriculum when I already own Apologia Biology, I decided to Google it.

I am amazed at the courses available online. For free. So many colleges are offering their courses on the web. Anyone can access these courses. They are not taught from a Christian perspective, but I am confident in Paperboy's ability to spit out the bones.

I discovered most of these at the Homeschool Diner. In 2007, Julie Shephard Knapp compiled an excellent list including some free resources. Five years later, there are many other free sites. Kahn Academy is one incredible site that has taken off in the last few years.For the self-motivated student there is the Online Biology Book from Michael J. Farabee, Ph.D of Estrella Mountain Community College. NROC has a great selection, while Hippo Campus has 3 Biology courses to choose from.

I have settled on this online Biology from Open Access. Here's the course description:
 The Biology course is a first-year course in biology at the high school level. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to algebra, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, analytically, and verbally. The course uses four themes to organize important concepts throughout the course: science, technology, and society; evolution; the relationship between structure and function; and science as a process.
The Biology course involves the scientific study of living organisms. The course considers the interactions among the vast number of organisms that inhabit planet Earth. It presents the basic form and function of these organisms, from cells to organ systems, from simple viruses to complex humans. It delves into interactions between organisms, and between an organism and its environment. It also looks into how biotechnology is used to improve our health and daily living.
Hopefully, this will not be the adage, you get what you pay for. In a few weeks, I'll let you know what I really think!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Sculptors

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Homeschool Conference Take Aways, Random Plans

Thankfully, I don't let my emotions run the show. Because there were many swirling around on the day I left. My thoughts were filled with homefront details, stress and dreams of military boarding school. My arrival was marked by peace and gratitude. I felt grateful for my dear friends who dropped me off at the hotel. My quiet enjoyment was temporally rocked, but all was settled.

I was ready to formulate my plan for next year.  I needed this time so I could touch, hold, read, analyze and sniff some books. I was in the right location to do it.

I first must make a public apology to the vendors. I know I have disappointed you. Normally, I drop hundreds of dollars and need a rolling cart or a strong husband each day to carry my purchases. This time I needed neither. My trusty orange backpack remained half empty. Forgive me?

This was a year of changes. I finally have figured out my strategy for Random. He loves learning on the computer and using online programs. He just had said to me "I regret not doing more online classes earlier."

Well, my teaching style cringes at the thought of a child hunched over a computer all day. My perfect homeschool family fantasy involves all of us sitting in my sun room discussing the Animal Farm and politics.  He, to put it bluntly, likes me to be his mother, not his 24 hour teacher. We are ready for the transition. I'm checking out online and computer options. We haven't made a firm decision yet, but we know it's the right direction.

He also is trying his hand at computer programming with a free program called Alice. I was introduced to this at a lunchtime seminar and knew Random had to do this. He has already commented that it is a challenge. Yeah! Alice is described as:
Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience. 
Back to the convention...I thought I'd share some of the goodies I did pick up:

Because Little Guy's new hobby is all about rocks, I hand picked each treasure and added a detailed Dover coloring to call it curriculum. Total for the thrifty minded: $2.50 rocks, $2.50 for the clearance book.

Paperboy will remain in Math-U-See, he gets the weird shaped book. How's that for a geometric optical illusion?

We all fell in love with these movie guides last month. The boys and I each picked a title, thanks to my cell phone. The convention special was buy two, get one free at $12.99 each.

The Gman and I have a new $5.00 stapler for the office that won't be easily stolen. 
This was purchased at the hospital gift shop where I met Marge, Heidi, and Katie for lunch one day.

I was blessed to meet Carrie from Keyboard Classroom. Paperboy will be her next guinea pig product tester to improve his typing skills. Look forward to an upcoming review of Keyboard Classroom.  I'm excited about this opportunity, and it may be in the interest of marital harmony that the Gman will be my next student.

I have so much more to share about MassHope, look more conference fun next week.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bearing fruit in due season

This post is part of The Christian Home, an online magazine hosted by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home. Please visit her site to read more of The Christian Home issue #10.

Here in the Northeast, when we buy fruit, usually it is not ready. I am forever on a quest to buy avocados at their perfect ripeness. It's a challenge to me.

It reminded me of my parenting ten years ago. I was trying to pick ripe, perfect, adult-acting children, when they were basically children. I don't know why I did this. I can't plead ignorance, I have a degree in early childhood education. I should have somewhat of an understanding of how a typical five year-old acts. I was trying to pick the fruit too early. Nothing is so dissatisfying as biting into an unripe cantaloupe. Blech. That's just what I was doing. I was becoming bitter that my children were not angelic beings and ceasing to experience the joy of being their mom.

When my middle sons were about 4 and 5 years old, going out in public was such an ordeal. I was continually plagued with bickering, disobedience and always stressed out. I constantly worried about my kids. I thought hopeless thoughts. I was discouraged. I had a vision, if they were this misbehaved now, what would they be like as teenagers? I had a serious problem of unbelief.

When buying a mango. I'm still learning, I have to give it a gentle squeeze. They can be very unpredictable. Usually, if I can wait a few days, the mango is delicious. My patience means, less eating of bitter things.

I've entered in that season and it's a blessing. Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised. I had to leave the boys alone, again. I ended up staying out longer than expected. The home was intact, there were no calamities or injuries. Things were smooth. Little Guy was well-behaved.

For that I am grateful.

It's the season now for ripe fruit.

I'm seeing it and it's pleasant. My middle guys are now 13 and 15. I enjoy their company. I'm at peace when their friends are over. They act their age. They still are boys, but they have matured. When we are out they no longer are climbing under the clothes racks in stores. The tables have turned, I tend to embarrass them, now.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Latin Alive: A review

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you. In today's review, Random and Paperboy had the opportunity to try this Latin  program.

Just the facts about Latin Alive 1 by Classical Press:
  • The bundle pack includes the teacher guide, student book, 7 Dvd lessons and a pronunciation cd.
  • 29 lessons classically taught, in seven units, with tests. An average lesson is 30 minutes.
  • $139.95 for the bundle pack, products may be purchased separately.
  • Latin Alive 2 available.
  • Appropriate for grades seven and up. Students need no previous knowledge of Latin.
What I liked about Latin Alive:
  • Everything! I'm serious. In one word: Thorough.
  • The lesson starts with Great Seals, a motto or United States symbol. I love the tie in with modern day symbols, this appealed to the boys, also.
  • Karen Moore, the instructor, is engaging and correctly assumes, in our case, that the student or the parents are unfamiliar with any of the terms. Because of her clear precise teaching, I finally understand declensions, first conjugations and can parse a verb. Random doesn't have to be led by his confused mother anymore. I have Karen Moore to boost my confidence tackling a subject that intimidates me. If I ever meet her at a homeschool convention, I will be sure to hug her and buy her some grown up chocolate. 
  • I loved the format of the lessons. She breaks each one up with assignments, bits of history, chants and pronunciation. Since it was on the long side for Random. we just take it in smaller chunks each day, rather than the whole lesson at once. There is an easy way to do that with the formatting of the Dvd's. There is also a recommended schedule on the web site.
  • Student book. This is meaty, the only thing is I need two, the boys can't keep sharing. I have not been letting them write in the book. There are available worksheets at the website to use and forms from the teacher book to practice declensions, conjugations and sparsing of verbs.
  • There was no need to purchase additional resources. This is my pet peeve about bundle packs. They only recommended a Latin/English dictionary which I did buy. We haven't needed to use it yet, but, I am glad to have it. My boys are more comfortable utilizing an online dictionary.
  • This meaty program will count as a high school language credit. Completing this course will be a challenge for my boys.
  • The variety of the lesson content: Oral practice, parsing and labeling, Latin passages, culture corner, interesting reading passages, tests, and my favorite culture corner. Here the students learn about the Romans and their everyday lives. Now if I was teaching in the true classical sense, I would get my kids out of their Early American History lessons and go back to studying the Romans. Nevermind.
  • Random enjoyed choosing his new Latin name. He decided to take Julius Ceasar. Paperboy is simply Matthias. Salve, nomen mihi este Teresia.
  • Headventureland hosts an online game called Flash Dash to practice the vocabulary taught in Latin Alive. As a companion to the curriculum, you choose which book, lesson#  and the level of difficulty, it quizzes the student on the words. 

I want to include the things I didn't like, because I need to be strait up with you.
  • The plastic case that holds the dvd's is flimsy.  The plastic rings are broken. The Dvd sleeves inside need the punched holes reinforced. I'm sorry that's all I could find. 

Years ago, when I considered their Latin for Children, I decided to wait, since my boys were still mastering English grammar. I am thankful for this opportunity to try it with my boys, it has given me the tools I need to teach Latin. They have made this language "alive" for our family.

Don't just take my word for it, see what other crew members thought of this and other products from Classical Academic Press here.

Thanks for stopping by, Teresia, a.k.a.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Just how can I really make money from home?

This post is part of the fourth issue of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home.

Making money from home ads are everywhere. Who can you believe? How can you earn money while staying home with the kiddos? Here's a list of ways Terri G. has actually made money. I can honestly say I am not doing any of them now, but they have worked for me in the past.

  1. I have raised chickens and sold eggs.
  2. I went door to door in  my neighborhood selling Avon, pushing my baby in a stroller.
  3. I have decorated and sold wedding cakes.
  4. I have hosted home parties and sold Discovery Toys.
  5. I have run a licensed daycare out of my home.
  6. I have answered telephones for a landscaper, very short-lived.
  7. I have set up appointments for Electrolux vacuums, another shot-lived job.
  8. I have sold Usborne books the year I first began homeschooling.
  9. I have filled out surveys in exchange for Border's bucks. You must be thinking, "she will do anything to support her habit", almost.
  10. I have sold clothes to a consignment store, my aunt would supply the clothes, I would wash and press them.
  11. I have sold things on eBay.
  12. I have sold books on Amazon,, and used homeschool curriculum sites.
  13. I have held a few yard sales.
  14. I have sold cookies in a jar.
My sons have done the following things to earn money:

  1. One is currently working as a busboy and a dishwasher, see paycheck above!
  2. Sell handmade sports pillows.
  3. Assist a quadriplegic man at scrabble and bridge tournaments
  4. Sell newspapers.
  5. Work as an electrical apprentice.
  6. Mow lawns.
  7. Sold donuts.
There is an interesting article from Bob at Christian Personal Finance on making extra money at home. I have tried a few of his ideas, in fact, I think I have been involved in about 7 of them. Stop by this website, it has oodles of great articles to encourage a thrifty lifestyle. On Fridays, they have a special feature, free stuff Fridays.

How about you? Do you have creative ways to earn money? I'd love to hear about it. 

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My iPhone delivered

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Monday, January 24, 2011

My Story Monday: The Angry Paperboy

It was his third day at work. His Mom and Dad have other commitments in their life. Ones that aren't to be interrupted to chauffeur him home from work. He was glad they trusted him at only fourteen to work and arrive home safely. Dad remembered to give him a set of keys to get in the house just before he dropped him and his bike off. After hovering over a toaster for 4 hours making wheat toast, white toast and dry toast, the cool outside air felt refreshing. For about a minute. This December day was frigid. Riding his bike home from work wasn't the same as last summer. The seven mile ride in the 30 degree weather made it unbearable. At least the intermittent hills kept his body warm. He rode as hard as he could up and coasted down the hills squinting. The wind was tearing his eyes. He couldn't wait to get home.

The Doorknob by eyebright, on Pix-O-Sphere

He parked his bike out back and tried the key. 

"What the heck is wrong with this key?" He tried it again and again. And again. Rage was clouding his mind.


"That's o.k." he thought. I can break in. He tried the other three doors. No way. Maybe the key fits in the back door. 

Wrong again.

He was cold and really angry. Self pity was creeping up on him, but anger won out. He threw the keys accross the walkway into the leaves that had collected in the side yard. That was stupid. His dad will not appreciate it if he lost his set of  keys. He had to find them. His parents wouldn't be home for at least another hour. He had an hour to find the keys. Getting inside became an old thought.

Now he was livid, hot from anger. But still cold. Rustling through the leaves desperately looking for the keys, he was too frustrated to pray. He finally found the lost useless keys and strangely, a plastic case.

"What's this doing here?"

He picked up the garage door opener. He was inside in a moment.

"Thank you God!"

Psalm 139:1-4

 O LORD, you have searched me 
and you know me. 
 You know when I sit and when I rise; 
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 

 You discern my going out and my lying down; 
you are familiar with all my ways. 
 Before a word is on my tongue 
you know it completely, O LORD.

This is a true story, I praise God as I see my children experience His hand touching them. This is an answer to my prayer. "Oh Lord may our children know you and see you move as I have so many times. Let it not end with my generation."

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Monday, November 15, 2010

Learning styles: Can you hear what I am saying?

When I first began homeschooling, I had no clue about different learning styles. This little bit of knowledge could have saved me hundreds of dollars in curriculum. It could have saved me hours of my life spent in unproductive lessons. Like many first time homeschoolers, I over-bought curriculum based on great reviews, other family's choices, the well intentioned The Well-Trained Mind and slick websites. If I had understood the concepts of learning styles, perhaps I would not have hoarded collected so many different programs. Oh well, at least my friends can be blessed at our annual homeschool curriculum swap.

Paperboy is an auditory learner. Our first years were spent using Sonlight curriculum. He soaked in each read aloud. He played with legos or other "hand toys" while absorbing great historical fiction. His gasp of history, science and grammar was acquired only by hearing it. He still spends time in his room listening to books on tapes, Old Time Radio Shows and talk radio.

As he has grown, he has moved away from this style of learning. Now that he is in 9th grade, he can't escape the textbooks and the increased amount of reading. While he has made the transition easily, I still look for ways to enhance his studies. Here are a few things we are using this year:

  • He listens to Dave Ramsey on Xmradio. This financial advice from a Christian perspective is invaluable. He hears stories from listeners who have overcome debts and those who are just creating a plan. I wish I had heard Dave's advice when I was a teen.
  • We own the MP3 of his science textbook. This is a bonus, because he hears the terms pronounced correctly. He can load it on his Ipod if he needs to take it with him. He doesn't use it for every chapter, but he can listen to it during lunch. Multi-tasking!
  • I still go over his Rod and Staff lesson each day with him. He is capable of doing them on his own, but we have found if he hears the rules or concepts a few times, his work contains less errors.
  • His Latin program pronunciation cd is loaded on his Ipod. I have learned Latin this year along with him. We practice the flashcards together every other day.
  • We still look for great books on tape or cd. We are blessed to have a "whole house stereo system", we can listen to books as we move from room to room. 
  • We have always enjoyed Homeschool Radioshows. This is a free site, you can sign up for their mailing list and you won't miss out on any of their shows.
Maybe you haven't discovered the learning styles of your little ones. There are plenty of books devoted to this topic. I found this little gem online. This confirmed what I already knew about myself, I am a combination of an auditory and visual learner, who is not afraid of hands on learning.  I have checked this book out of my local library so many times. It has questionnaires about your teaching style and your child's learning styles.

Something Sweet for All Learning Styles

My dear friend Lizzie from A Work in Progress has compiled an amazing list of free homeschool resources. She has skillfully arranged these resources by historical periods and subject matter. I love her little comments about some authors. She has shared an extensive list of audio resources that are available for free. Stop by here. But be forewarned, there are too many great sites. I cannot be responsible for your neglected husbands, children, or home schooling as you discover these treasures. 

Just for fun, I saw this cartoon on a girly blog I am following, 3G=Growing Godly Girls. There you can find some great hands on, a.k.a. kinesthetic learning activities for your little ones.

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday... Paperboy sets a record

I know it's the end of October, but this he-man isn't scared of a little cold water.
Notice my silly brother in the appropriate fall clothing.

Wait, I have to check the temperature. 
50 degrees, it's 18 degrees higher than a pure H2O ice cube.
I know that because I am home schooled.

Up, up and away.

Wait boy! I didn't get anymore shots, that was too quick.

O.k. Paperboy, you were the last one to swim for the year.  
Can we close the pool now?

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge-"begin the story" edition

My story is historical fiction...

I woke up in a strange but amazing place. Everything was made out of Legos. They even let 12 year-olds drive. It was so wonderful until........

Welcome to this week's The LEarning Never Stops Photo Challenge :)

I finally posted a photo for Jen's photo Challenge. The deadline is Sunday night and the weekends are always so busy, I forget to post.

This is strait from her Blog. Stop by, she has some fantastic photos and some great homeschooling posts.

  • The theme is "Begin the Story" pick a photo that could launch a story, and-if you'd like, add a starter sentence to get the imagination going. Or, choose a photo that would grace the cover of a storybook...or- come up with something that to you says, "begin the story".  I can't wait to see what you come up with!

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at