Dig-It! Games: Mayan Mysteries (Review)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dig It! Games Review
We first encountered Dig-It Games when we reviewed their online game, Mayan Mysteries, in 2013.  Zai really loved the program and has talked about it ever since.  At the time we reviewed it, the game came to an abrupt halt at the end of level one.  It seemed to just finish with no real ending.  There was, however, the promise that the game was going to be extended at a later date.  We'd since heard that it was completed, so when we were offered the chance to review the complete game, we eagerly accepted.  Zai has been using Mayan Mysteries (Online Game) from Dig-it! Games for the past few weeks.  He has completed the game & Ellie (who was waiting rather impatiently) has now begun!

Dig It! Games Review
Mayan Mysteries by Dig-it! Games is a completely online game played over the Internet. There is a mobile app available too.  We received access to the online game and played it on our PC.  Mayan Mysteries is for students in grades 5 - 9.  Zai who is in grade 7  & Ellie who is in grade 6 both enjoyed using it!
The Mayan Mysteries game begins with a short animated comic strip which introduces the story.  There is an urgent situation in Guatemala.  A certain looter named Ladrone has been stealing ancient artefacts.  You are introduced to your other team members who, with you, must look for clues to catch this notorious criminal as well as find the mythical city of Ich'aac.  
Dig It! Games Review

There are three levels within the Mayan Mysteries online game.  Each level contains a varying number of sites and each of these sites must be thoroughly investigated by the player.  At each site the player must complete a modern activity followed by an ancient activity.    The activities are fun & educational.  They include working with the Mayan currency, evacuating a dig site, finding artefacts which belonged to a certain individual of rank, digging canals etc.   As the player completes these activities, they are also learning about the ancient Mayan civilisation. There are review quizzes after each level. This ensures that the player has retained what they have learned. There is also a further animated film strip between each level which encourages the player on their quest. Mayan Mysteries is a complete game with no additional resources required.  It even includes an encyclopaedia within the game. 
Dig It! Games Review

Zai completed the whole game rather quickly.  He was so pleased to be named in the top 10 upon completion (see Sunnyside Mama below on Leaderboard)! !  He thought the game was fun, entertaining & interesting.  The only part he found frustrating was that occasionally he had to wait for our Internet to load ( it is a rather slow connection at times).  He found Mayan Mysteries very easy to navigate & needed no assistance from me.  He was so excited about the extension of the game & thought it came to a good conclusion. His favourite activities were finding the specific artefacts that belonged to people of a certain rank & also digging the canals.  

Mayan Mysteries by Dig-It! Games is a fun way to learn. While it's predominant educational focus is history, it also incorporates geography, maths & critical thinking.  Mayan Mysteries is a great way to incorporate learning outside the traditional classroom! A free demonstration game is available on the Mayan Mysteries website!

Dig-It! Games can also be found at:

Dig-It! Games Review

Crew Disclaimer

A Spring Daybook...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

For Today...
 Tuesday, 1st September 2015
The first day of Spring!!!

Outside my window...
The world is a place of beauty.  Brilliant blue skies filled with fluffy white clouds lay overhead. The paddocks are full of growing crops.  I spy golden canola paddocks intermingled with the darker hues of the grains.  The grazing paddocks are a lighter green and all in all it gives the effect of a patchwork of paddocks as I gaze down our valley.
The trees are blossoming, there is new growth showing and green, green grass is everywhere! Birds are flying overhead and their chorus is beautiful!

I am thinking...
About the myriad of things I want to achieve now that spring is here.  I yearn to be outside now that the temperatures are beautiful!  Even weeding jobs ( of which I have an enormous load) are pleasing.  I find myself motivated by tidy gardens & even though I know I'll have to begin all over again once I finish, I still am trying to get it done! I have a long way to go.... 
Also how pleased we are with Ellie's new haircut.  She was getting a ridiculous number of large knots in the length & this cut has removed that issue!!! It is still long enough to tie back & is very feminine, but has solved that problem and is easy for her to begin caring for by herself.

I am thankful...
For four children working hard on their maths;
For a wonderful husband who provides so well for us;
 For warmer temperatures;
For abundant food; 
For full dams;
For this life - I deserve none of the blessings. 
Full dams - as seen from the house - yes, we need to pull out the mower again...

I am wearing...
Farm clothes....I had to feed lambs this morning & complete all my other jobs.  Old skirt/shirt & jacket.  Rather dismal & certainly not bright & 'springy'.  Oh well - I'll be getting changed soon before we head to town! Then I'll put on something pretty.

I am creating...
* A blog post...haha
* Lots of lambies ( although many are now weaned!!)! - well maybe not creating, but feeding them & keeping them alive!
* A spring cleaning plan ( because this time of year just makes you want to clean)!

I am going...
To take Ellie & Jud to dancing this afternoon.  Their lesson is quite late so I tend to go grocery shopping while they are at it.  This week, however, I did a huge Aldi shop on Saturday ( I had enough things I needed to warrant a drive of that distance as the town with Aldi also has a few other shops that I needed to go to).  I try to do an Aldi shop once a month & get the majority of our shopping done there. That way I just have to get the fresh food on my Tuesday trip to town.

I am wondering...
If we will hear back from our foster agency regarding a possible placement.
Patience, Renata, patience...

I am reading...
My Bible!
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 Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. 
Whenever I need inspiration to organise my home, I pull this book out.
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My light, no-thinking required, night time reading ( to put me to sleep) is:
The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis
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I am hoping...
 That I get some extra time outside today.  It is beaconing me through the big windows to come & enjoy the warmth, yet if I go out I know that distraction will very quickly overtake the studious scholars in the schoolroom...

I am learning...
I am doing an online course about Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss &Grief .  This is highly relevant with foster care and I want to be able to help these precious kiddos as much as I can.

In my garden...
There are weeds...and areas without weeds now (YAY!!)
Also I planted our seeds which need to be started in punnets.  It was a little later than normal, but they are planted now & sitting in the windows enjoying the warmth of the sun through the glass!

In my kitchen...
I am making a slow cooker chicken dish for dinner.  (Since Tuesday is dancing, it is also slow cooker night).  Also Lemon Cordial needs to be made as we were blessed with abundant lemons from a friend who had extras.  I will also save just a few for lemon meringue pie as it is Dave's favourite!

In the homeschool room...
I am contemplating what to do for next year.  Some of our curriculum has been great & we will continue to use it, but some has been a dismal failure and so I need to find a replacement. I am just beginning to look around at the different options.  I am also acutely aware that our BOS inspection is due next August.  I need to make up my mind if I am brave enough to teach stage 5 or if we will look for a DE school to enrol Zai. 

A favorite quote for today...
The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies
~J.R. Miller

One of my favorite things...
When our big, farmhouse table is full to overflowing!

May you have a wonderful day friends!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

He's in that in between stage now.  One moment boy, the next man.  It's hard to believe that Zai has turned 13, yet I can certainly attest to his growing up.  Every so often I will glimpse him out of the corner of my eye & think he is his father.  I've even called him Dave a few times!   
Birthday Celebration #1!
His birthday was a special time with two celebrations.  It began on the Sunday night before with a visit from his close friend & his family.  There are nine children in that family & so we love to invite them over because it is an instant party!  Each of my children have a special friend among the nine who match up in age.  The other children in their family are eager for us to get foster children around their age so we can have more matches....smile! 

As is usual, his birthday- day celebrations began early on the morning of the designated day.  Our traditional birthday hunt was so much fun.  I gave more cryptic clues this time to find his gifts.  While Zai was a little lost at first, Jud got each one & was about bursting with not telling his brother what it meant. 

Zai's big gift this year was a toolbox.  Recently at church, one of our deacons preached a sermon about men.  One of his points was that the term teenager came from Hollywood.  He noted that we often hold low expectations of our teenagers.  While we often will bestow the privileges of young adults on them, our expectations are sorely lacking.  Zai took this to heart.  He deplores the term 'teenager' & has deemed that he is a 'young man' now.  We have raised our expectations of him & each time he has shown us that he has the ability to do as we ask.  No, he is not perfect, but he is a good boy & strives to do the right thing most of the time! :) Zai is already putting his toolbox to good use & so far is keeping everything together in it ( he is rather absent minded at times).

Ellie is definitely NOT a morning person...

Zai gave very specific instructions as to what he wanted his cake to look like.  While I originally tried to follow them, in the end I had to do what I could.  He was happy with the outcome, even though it did not resemble what was in his head ( I simply did not have enough decorations to produce what he was hoping). 

We had another birthday celebration that night.  We invited one of his nearby friends over as well as our dear friends who usually come to help us celebrate in the absence of our extended families who simply live too far away to come for birthdays ( we have a lot to celebrate!).  We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends living near us!

What a precious young man our dear Zai is becoming!  We are so proud of the person he is, of the faith he is displaying & of his kind & patient heart.  He is wonderful with the younger foster children we have through & has a heart for the elderly in our church & community.  It will be interesting in seeing how the Lord will use him in the years ahead!

Happy Birthday to our dear Zai!!


The reality...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our days seem filled to overflowing with lamb feedings.  At least they were when these pictures were taken two weeks ago.  It's hard to believe that it's taken me two weeks to even get this posted here, but that is the reality of real life blogging - sometimes real life just takes over!  I often smile when I hear about this homesteading/farming life being described as the 'simple' life.  Oh sure there are things which are more simple about it, but it certainly can be busy.  Since these pictures were taken all the lambs have been regrouped into groups with a maximum of 10.  This allowed us to simply use the green 'bars' for every feed & saves us the pain of washing bottles three times a day.

We've just weaned the oldest lambs yesterday. They seemed so confused as to why they can't have their daily ration of milk this morning.  We've put them out of the yards, but as poddy lambs are want to do, they live as close to what they know as home as they can.  I have noticed that they do progress a little further away during the day though - just to the paddock with the best pasture!

I am so proud of how well our children have done this lambing season.  They have taken on added responsibilities with ease.  They rarely complain about this job.  Instead we all head down to the shearing shed ( where the lambs can be housed inside at night & put into separate parts of the yards during the day, thus keeping their groups separated) in/on our various transport & get on with the job. The kiddos are good at lugging buckets & lugging lambs.  They are good at making lambs drink & holding lambs down as we treat them for various ailments.  They have stepped up to the mark & will enjoy their monetary rewards once the lambs sell next year.

Lambing season is fast coming to a close.  Almost all of our ewe flock have given birth.  The paddocks are speckled with babies & their mothers.  Our friend has stopped delivering loads of poddy lambs for us & we are seeing the end of it all.  By this time of year we're ready for this.   Spring is well and truly on it's way as the days are holding a bit more warmth. The blossoms are coming on the trees and I am enticed to pick up my camera regularly (although getting the pictures from my camera to my blog seems to be rather slow as of late - I will get there!!).

May you have a wonderful day friends!
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