Crystal Abel
  • Female
  • Rainier, Oregon
  • United States
  • The Eccentric Eclectic Woman

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Food For HOT Weather...

Started this discussion. Last reply by Crystal Abel Aug 15, 2008. 1 Reply

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As a member of the Mom Bloggers Club, you also can become an exclusive member of the Social Good Moms, a group of over 1000 mom bloggers who spread the word about great causes like child hunger and maternal health. Will you join us?
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I am a wife to a loving husband and am a mother of 4. I have two highly active boys named Delbin and Jaedan and two girls that love everything with princesses, ponies, and pink named Teela and Zari. My special needs; medically fragile; daughter named Tatiana passed away in 2010 at the age of 6 and we all miss her sweet spirit, gorgeous smile and red curls. I also have a large dog and a mini pony. I love all things organic, natural, and whimsical. I have a PR friendly blog and love to review things that are family friendly.
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Aquasana Glass Filter Water Bottle on Kickstarter

 Have you heard about Aquasana on Kickstarter?

Austin, Texas-based Aquasana, leaders in water filtration, announce the launch of a new Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a revolutionary water filtration bottle.  Offering on-the-go hydration with the best bottle filter on the market, this bottle will change the way people stay healthy and hydrated.

The Aquasana Filter Bottle pairs smart design with high performance filtration never before available in a bottle. The Aquasana Filter Bottle outperforms the competition delivering professional grade water filtration right at your fingertips.  It reduced lead and chlorine, plus over 99% of bacteria, virus, and cysts from drinking water.
Designed to be the longest lasting on the market, the filter inside the bottle will last for 80 gallons. It’s also eco-friendly: just one Aquasana filter bottle will keep 640 disposable plastic bottles out of our landfills.  The Aquasana Filter Bottle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand, and is available in shatter-resistant borosilicate glass or BPA-Free Tritan™ plastic.  It also comes with a premium silicone sleeve to provide protection against breakage and a nonslip grip.

The Kickstarter launched May 1, 2015, with a goal of raising $25,000.

Funds raised will contribute to the development, production and marketing of the Aquasana Filter Bottle. The product is scheduled to be shipped in August 2015.

Based in Austin, Texas, Aquasana is leading the charge to make high performance water filtration available in every home.  Your body is made up of 70% water. Aquasana wants that 70% to be the best water possible. From whole home filtration to drinking water systems and shower filters, Aquasana has your back, and every other part of you covered.

Aquasana’s leading products remove over 60 harmful contaminants from water including chlorine, chloramines, herbicides, pesticides, industrial solvents, lead, and mercury. Aquasana water filters are engineered to preserve the healthy minerals in water, which include calcium, magnesium and potassium, resulting in healthy, great-tasting water.  For more information visit

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I found out about this Kickstarter Campaign through an email from PR. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post; however, they have told me that samples of the Aquasana might be available to me for review at a later date.

Win a DCKids and WBKids Mystery Toy Gift Basket!

Check out some of the great new videos from DCKids & Warner Bros' new Youtube channels - included are favorites such as Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends and Scooby-Doo! There will be many more updates over the next year, so don't forget to subscribe to their channels! Enter to win a gift basket below!

Batman Unlimited

DC Super Friends


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Prize: 5 DCKids & WBKids Mystery Toy Gift Baskets containing a minimum of $50 worth of gifts chosen by the staff of WBKids & DCKids. (Not Necessarily The Toys Featured In The Image)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. This giveaway is done by DCKids and WBKids, not by me. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this post and hosting this giveaway. Flight and Metamorphosis DVD Review

My family and I had the privilege of watching the Flight AND Metamorphosis DVDs for this review to use in conjunction with my own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. is a Christian based company that develops family-friendly movies. They have children's Christian movies, apologetics, educational, Christian history, biblical movies, dramas, romance, action and other feature films. They focus on bringing these wonderful wholesome films to their viewers.

My family are all fans of documentaries that teach about science and nature. Both Flight and Metamorphosis are two separate DVDs that are from The Design of Life series by Illustra Media.  This documentary series explores creation and helps make a scientific case for Intelligent Design. This is a step in a different direction than that of the usual Darwinian evolutionary science documentaries than we have seen in the past, making my job a little easier to try to explain the differences of opinion to my kids as my family doesn't subscribe to the belief that humans came from monkeys. These films are both around an hour long. They each have a narrator and speakers in different scientific fields of expertise that talk throughout the films about each subject. The footage taken for each documentary is amazing. They also take some of the footage and show you a perspective that cannot be seen with the naked eye through animation, microscope, and imaging software. The background music for each was very nice as well.

The Flight DVD is all about the wonders of bird's flight. It is the first volume in this series. It starts out with the egg and the developing embryo of a bird inside. We watch while it develops inside the egg, first just a few cells, then more until it starts to actually look like a bird. This is a complex and remarkable process in of itself. The bird finally hatches and the process of gearing up for first flight emerges. Flight for a bird is way more elaborate than one just sees from the outer surface. We get to see the inner workings of the birds with their skeletal, feather, and muscular structure and how very important these are for flight. I didn't know how intricate feathers really are until watching this film. After learning about how and why flight for birds works the film goes into three specific types of birds: the hummingbird, starling, and arctic tern. It talks about each of these birds and their unique characteristics: the hummingbird's unique flying skills, the starling's amazing acrobatic flight in groups, and the arctic tern's migration from pole to pole. As Flight closes it confirms Intelligent Design as being the only logical way that flight for birds happened.

The Metamorphosis DVD is all about the beauty and design of butterflies. It is the second volume in this series. In the film it shows the anatomy of a butterfly, how and where they lay their eggs, the emergence of a caterpillar, what caterpillars do most of their lives, the making of the chrysalis, the transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly, and Monarch migration. Both the complete transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly and the Monarch migration are very amazing things to behold! The fact that the caterpillar is made into a totally different insect is unfathomable especially if you try to factor natural selection in as a just can't, there is no way. There are way too many factors that happen perfectly every time for it to be something other than Intelligent Design. Butterflies cannot be formed by mere chance!

My family watched both of these DVDs together. We liked the spectacular footage and great musical scores used in both movies. These can be compared to something from National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. I love this type of high quality, family-friendly films and I cannot wait to see more of what produces. We did notice that there was no mention of God in this film other than the words Intelligent agent/designer, but regardless of this these films have further cemented our belief in Intelligent Design. These are great for Christian based homeschooling. God's creations are so intricate and incredible!

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Homeschool Legacy Forest for the Trees Once-a-Week Unit Study Review

My children and I had the privilege of testing out Homeschool Legacy Forest for the Trees free for this review to use in conjunction with my own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Forest for the Trees is a once a week unit study by Homeschool Legacy. This is a 4 week study that is geared towards second through twelfth graders. It has an option to use this to help your child earn a badge in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls or a project record in 4H, if your child is involved with any of those. I was given the option to get this in digital or physical format. I chose the physical format.

Fig Tree that we recently replanted.

Unit studies provide us with an in depth view of a certain focused theme and has us do many different subjects surrounding it. For example; with this Forest for the Trees unit study we were doing science projects, math, history, reading, etc. As a homeschooling family we love unit studies!  It gets us away from some of the more mundane work we sometimes have to do in our schooling at home and gives us a chance to dive into some hands on studies. A lot of time unit studies also let us get out in the field to learn.

Measuring trees and tree stumps & counting rings.

Now that the weather is getting nicer my family can partake of all of God's glorious creations even more. We love nature unit studies because it means going outside, exploring, discovering, learning, and breathing in the fresh outdoor air. We try to do nature studies a lot because they are a great break from being cooped up indoors, bookwork and online work. Trees are certainly a very important part of God's creations and with Forest for the Trees Once-a-Week Unit Study we got to learn a lot more about them. Forest for the Trees definitely gave us the motivation to get outside and learn about the surrounding local trees that we have here in Oregon, Washington, and right in our own backyard!

Forest for the Trees art project: tree bark rubbings.

Forest for the Trees is a fun, creative, hands-on study about trees. It has a total of 4 weeks of study: Week 1 is Tree Identification, Week 2 is Tree Anatomy, Week 3 is What Trees Give Us, and Week 4 is Forests and Forestry. In every section this unit study has a list of reading and video choices along with some required reading that helped with the unit. These are listed by their Dewey Decimal number as well so the can be easily found in the library. Daily activities include independent reading and family read-aloud from required books. Forest for the Trees also has once-a-week activities that include: family devotionals, science experiments, outdoor nature studies, reading assignments, art, field trips, history, life skills, language, vocabulary, research assignments, math, physical, etc. I liked that the unit studies from Homeschool Legacy are Christian based and have scripture devotionals in them too. At the end of each weekly lesson there is a section called Stump Your Dad Trivia with a interesting question and answer fact.

My boys and firewood from local trees they stacked into a fort.

This particular study of the trees had us save and document what we found in a notebook, a tree nature journal of sorts. We were told to gather specimens and/or sketch or photograph different parts of multiple trees around us. With the tree identification guide books they listed for us to use we could identify the particular tree we were looking at by the characteristics of the specimens and information we gathered. All the art, history, math, research, language, vocabulary and science experiment findings were also put in the notebook. We had fun adding to it little by little and piecing it all together.

Teela helping with the Transpiration science experiment to show that tree leaves breathe.

We did a lot of fun stuff while we learned about trees. My kids loved the science experiments the best! The science experiments were all very easy to set up and do. We learned about deciduous, coniferous, botany, dendrology, osmosis, transpiration, condensation, photosynthesis, chlorophyll, symbiosis, germination, etc. For art we drew a tree and parts of trees, did tree bark rubbings, and took photographs to document trees and yummy apple recipes we made. We also measured the girth of trees and learned about counting tree rings to see how old they are. We climbed trees too. In the first week we learned all about tree identification and used the field guide quite a lot to try and identify trees in our area taking a lot of samples and specimens home to add to our notebook. The second week we learned all about parts of the tree and did a lot of art and science experiments. In the third week we learned about the many things trees give us like food, paper, rubber, and wood. In the last week we learned about deforestation in the forests and the Giant Sequoia Redwoods.

We are in love with the Homeschool Legacy's Once-a-Week Unit Studies now that we have tried Forest for the Trees out for ourselves. We learned so much and had a lot of fun doing it. We hope to be able to try more of them out in the future for our homeschooling with unit studies.

Forest for the Trees is available for $14 using the Grab-and-Go (PDF) option or $18.95 for the paperback copy.

Unit Studies by Homeschool Legacy

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WordsBright S is for Smiling Sunrise Book Review

My daughters Zari and Teela had the privilege of testing out WordsBright S is for Smiling Sunrise hardback book with audio CD, with MP3 available via download and Teacher's Guide to help me use this with my little ones. I received this free for this review to use in conjunction with my own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

WordsBright S is for Smiling Sunrise is a colorful hardback picture book that teaches the alphabet with rhyme, fun illustrations, and vocabulary words. This book isn't the typical "A is for Apple", "B is for Ball" ABC-book. It takes the learning one step further with a fair amount of complex and more interesting words to improve the English language and comprehension of the student while expanding their vocabulary. S is for Smiling Sunrise is perfect for a toddler, preschooler, kindergartner, and/or early reader. The bright eye-catching pictures and rhyme help hold the attention of the smaller children.

Teela and Zari enjoying the S is for Smiling Sunrise book together.

The S is for Smiling Sunrise book comes with an audio CD that takes the words in the book and makes them into sing-along rhymes to help follow along in the book and make it even more fun with song. Along with the book, this music CD is great to take on-the-go in the car, to Grandma's house, or left with a sitter. I wish; however, that the CD was actually a DVD...with the whole concept and song animated like they do with the first part of the preview on YouTube...

There are also parent and teacher guides that go above and beyond the book and CD to help you teach the child values and virtues that are very crucial in life. These values and virtues are interwoven within the book's pages to amplify essential moral and ethical principals. I love that they incorporate these important concepts in S is for Smiling Sunrise. In the guide it starts off with some general pre- or post-reading questions. Then for each letter of the alphabet it goes through and explains the concepts manifested in the book and CD in greater detail. It also poses questions to ask your child or student so it will become a more interactive thought process. Then it lays down the vocabulary words used and further activities you can do to enhance the learning experience.

My daughters love this book and CD. Teela, who is in first grade, enjoyed reading this to Zari, who is in preschool. My girls also liked singing along with the music CD. The new associations for the alphabet makes this book even more engaging. It isn't the boring repetitious ABC associations that we are used to. For example, B is for Breathe instead of for Ball and P is for Park and Playground instead of Pig, Parrot, or Pizza. This is a very refreshing change from the norm. The words virtue, patience, gratitude, wonder, etc. are also sprinkled throughout the text. These words encourage positive thoughts and behaviors to be learned for character development. S is for Smiling Sunrise is a great book and CD to teach growing minds beyond what is considered conventional learning. It is wonderful for parenting, preschool, and homeschool.  

To get a sneak peek you can look inside S is for Smiling Sunrise on the WordsBright website. You can also download the parent/teacher guides, a words poster, and a mp3 alphabet song for free.

S is for Smiling Sunrise hardcover book is around $14 to $17 depending upon where you purchase it. The WordsBright website has a list of places to buy the book.

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Crystal Abel updated their profile
Jun 12, 2013

Crystal Abel's Blog Oregon Virtual Academy

Posted on August 3, 2008 at 4:03pm 0 Comments

I have decided to enroll my boys in online Oregon Virtual Academy. I am doing this because of several reasons: first I want to be able to know for sure that my kids are getting all of the state required curriculum; second I was having trouble with the public school, Hudson Park Elementary, here in Rainier, Oregon because they didn't teach at my standards; third I want to be able to contribute to their learning and… Continue

Lullaby and Goodnight

Posted on August 3, 2008 at 3:24pm 0 Comments

Johnson's bedtime bath and bedtime lotion have made a website that you can download free lullaby songs...

Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 11:50am on July 12, 2013, Lea said…

Work At Home Mom, WAHM, Mom Blogger

I am stopping by to say "hello" :)
I haven't been here in a while.
I welcome your friendship :)

Lea @ Mother Baby Child & Weight Loss Help

At 1:48pm on July 14, 2011, the third boob said…
we (chach + nellie) started a blog & would love for you to check us out and hopefully get a giggle & some answers to "why is this blog called the third boob"?! (
if you find the story amusing enough to follow us or tell people about we would be forever grateful.
At 8:34pm on August 27, 2010, Cynthia ~ The Girlz Korner said…
Hi there from The Girlz Korner in upstate New York where you'll find light, witty and rather entertaining articles on every topic imaginable from The Little Black Dress to Making Whoopie. So if you get a chance to kick back and exhale, if only for a brief moment ... come on over and see me some time.
At 6:32pm on June 2, 2009, Angela & Angelica said…
Hi Crystal, Welcome !
Angela & Angelica
At 3:00am on April 8, 2009, Leah Canepa said… of 4, you could use this tool!! Please take a look at my site!

You can save up to 30-50% on your groceries soon! Register for FREE today to get plugged in when we will release in your area! Let your family and fiends know as well!! Thanks!
At 8:40am on August 25, 2008, Lindsey said…
Oh wow, I haven't seen anyone else with a spelling so close to Jaedyn's. :-) I love how you spelled your son's name - Jaedan. What made you choose that name? I chose Jaedyn because it sounds Celtic to me, and strong.
At 5:48pm on August 10, 2008, Erin said…
I've subscribed to your blogspot blog and I look forward to reading your updates over there :) I'll also add a link to you on my blog too if you'd like :)
At 1:52pm on August 1, 2008, Crystal Abel said…
Hi all that want to know. The surgery for my 4 year old daughter went well. She is still in Pediatric ICU and they don't know when yet they are going to let her eat. She hasn't eaten anything since 6 in the morning on Wednesday...poor thing. She is in a lot of pain and on some medication to help with that. They say she will be in the hospital for at least 5 days...but knowing her it will probably be longer. We are hoping for the best. Please pray for her to heal fast and get well soon. Thanks!
At 7:15pm on July 31, 2008, Erin said…
How did the surgery go?
At 5:44pm on July 25, 2008, Erin said…
How are you doing?

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