Thursday, April 26, 2012

Look Out Sherlock Holmes. Here Comes Inference Jones!

For 11 years, while I lived in Florida, I was an educational therapist at a Christian school. I worked with children that had learning differences using a great program called "The Discovery Program".

One of the things that we would do was work on the child's reading comprehension  using different methods. One of those methods was teaching the children how to identify inferences. Inferring is kind of like "reading between the lines". The story may not say that the sky was blue, but it says that the children usual play outside on sunny, blue-sky days. You know that in the story they were playing outside. So, the sky was probably blue that day. That's what "reading between the lines" is.

Little did I know that, nearly 15 years after conducting my last therapy session, I would have a child with asperger's syndrome (on the autism spectrum) that would have problems in this very area. Thankfully, he has some great therapists that work with him along with what we do at home in our homeschool. Still, when I found out that we would be reviewing Inference Jones - Beginning, a great book from The Critical Thinking Company, I was thrilled.

We had the pleasure of reviewing something from Critical Thinking a couple of years ago and still use it. So, I knew that this company had good material. I didn't realize, however how much Inference Jones was going to help our Joshua.

Inference Jones is like no other reading comprehension program I have seen before. Oh, it has similar elements. It asks the usual, easy to answer, comprehension questions that other reading programs ask. However, Inference Jones goes way beyond that. It asks the "not so easy to answer" questions. The questions that make a student think. Joshua has had to really work hard to answer some of the things that they ask.

Some of the concepts that it covers are:
  • Distinguishing Cause and Effect
  • Distinguishing Fact or Inference
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Finding Supporting Evidence
  • Making Inferences
  • Reading for Details
  • Analyzing Character Traits
And those are just a few of the things that Inference Jones covers. There is a lot more that I didn't list.

Some of the question types are the usual true and false, but then they add in an "unsure" category - maybe it did happen, maybe it didn't, but the story doesn't really say. Sometimes kids assume things that aren't really there. This helps them think through what is true, maybe true and false.

Another thing that they may do is ask a question but then require you to prove your answer by telling what sentence the answer is found in (all of the sentences in the short story are numbered). Again, this helps a student analyze a story to make sure that what they think happened really did happen. So many times Joshua will read something but not really know what he read. This type of question helps them to think through what they are reading.


I really like the questions where they ask if something is PT - Probably True or PF - Probably False and then ask the child to support their answer using personal experience. For example, in one of the stories a little boy tripped in hole in the yard and twisted his ankle. The story states that the boy's father was always doing yard work and making sure that the yard was cut perfectly. One of the probably true/probably false questions says that the father used a lawn mower. Of course the proper response is PT-Probably True but the child has to answer why they think it is probably true (the suspected answer would be that most folks use lawn mowers to mow their lawn these days).

You see, though, why a child has to think through these questions before they answer them. Ultimately, the goal is that the child will be more critical of what he is reading.

You can find a sample lesson on the Critical Thinking website by clicking here and then on the words "Click to Look Inside". Check it out and you'll see what I mean about how innovative these stories and questions are.

There are 18 stories in the Inference Jones - Beginning book that we received and each story has approximately 10 questions. We have been doing one or two stories a week and spending only about 15-30 min. on each story. I have Joshua read the story and then instead of writing in the answers I have him orally answer the questions. We then discuss his answers. It's very easy to do and I can really see a difference in how Joshua is reading and comprehending.

Inference Jones - Beginning has 48 perforated pages that can be reproduced for your whole family. An answer key is also included. The cost is $11.99 and it is recommended to be used in grades 2-4 but can be used outside the age range for younger children that are advanced or older children that may have difficulties in reading comprehension. Inference Jones - Level 1 is scheduled to be released in June 2012 and it is recommended for kids in Grades 5-6. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to find out more about Inference Jones and all of the other great products that The Critical Thinking Company has to offer.

Other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed other products from The Critical Thinking Company and you can find what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free download (downloads are not available for purchase) of Inference Jones - Beginning to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Boy, The Father and The Amazing Science Videos

Once upon a time there was a boy and his father. They lived alone in a small house in the country, some distance from town. The boy's mother had died when he was quite young but he was none the worse for it. His father was a good and kind man and loved his son dearly. Although the boy sometimes dreamed of what it would be like to have a mother, he couldn't imagine any more love in the house than what his father gave him. He equally loved his father immensely.

They were of meager means. They had but one small farm that provided all of their income. That is one of the many reasons that the father decided to homeschool his son. Although the farm was not expansive, it was still large enough to require both of their hard work to eek out a living. Although an important reason, his son's help was really one of the smaller arguments for teaching his son at home. He was a firm believer that children should be educated by their parents and that parents know what is best for their offspring. It was not a difficult decision, though. The two of them enjoyed being around each other and couldn't imagine it any other way.

Still, their situation in life did not make it easy for the father to educate his child. They had to scrimp and save for all of the materials they used. They couldn't afford the costly things that the public schools had. And, as happy as the boy was, the trappings of expensive supplies did not escape his notice. He often longed for better things to feed his inquisitive mind.

It was on one such evening that the father caught his son daydreaming.

"Are you finished reading your science Son?" inquired the kind father.

The startled boy looked up. "Hmm...? Oh! My science! Almost done Father."

The boy went back to his reading but the father could tell that his heart was not in it. The father waited. He knew that his son could keep no secrets from him. They shared everything.

As usual, Father knew best and the son looked up.

"Father," said the son slowly. "Could I get an extra job?"

"What for, my son?"

"Oh Father," exclaimed the boy as the father saw a tear trickling down his son's cheek. "You know that I love you and would never hurt you. I know that you work hard for all that we have and I didn't want to ask for more." The son hesitated.

The father put his arm around his son's shoulder. "Go on, Son." he said gently.

"It's science." the boy said quickly. Then all of a sudden it was as if the dam had been let loose. "I love science, Father. I love reading about all of the wonderful things that God created and the wonderful things that are around the world. I love reading about astronomy and biology and reading about physical science and...but that's just it,'s all reading. The books that I read tell about all of the wonderful experiments that I could do and all of the wonderful things that I could learn from those things! Only we don't have the microscope and the petri dish and the chemicals or any of the special items that we need. And, Father, it's just like the desire for those things bubbles up inside of me sometimes and I covet those things...and, Father, I don't want to covet things...and...and...!" But the boy could not go on. He fell back against his father's arm in an exhausted heap.

The wise father sat back in his chair and thought for a moment. He knew what his son was feeling. He often saw fancy things that, he thought, would help them on the farm. Things that would make their job easier and their load lighter. He could empathise with his son. However, he also knew that taxing the boy with another job was not the answer. But, what was the answer? He wasn't sure.

"Son, " said the father finally. "I'll tell you what we'll do. Let's commit ourselves to prayer this evening. Perhaps the Lord will give us the answer. It's about time for bed, isn't it? We have a busy day tomorrow."

"Yes, Father." said the son hesitantly. He knew that his father was right. He had been taught since he was a very young child not to jump into things too quickly. He knew that prayer and thought were best. Perhaps he would see things in a different light in the morning.

Later, as the father passed his son's room, he saw the boy kneeling beside his bed and praying earnestly. He knew in his heart what his son was praying about and he knew what he had to do. He silently went into his chamber, shut the door and knelt by his bed, also praying earnestly for his son's desires, his job request, and their lot in life. He thanked God for the plenty that He had given them, but also prayed that, perhaps, God would grant his son the desires of his heart - at least in some small way.

Unbeknownst to the father was that, as he was praying, his boy had gotten into bed, fallen asleep, and was having one of his mysterious dreams again. He had had similar dreams before. It was always of a kind lady that said she was from The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. This time the kind lady's name was "Kate".

"My dear boy," said Kate softly. "Do not fret. God has heard your prayers and has chosen me to grant your wish. Soon you will be receiving something wonderful in the mail. You may not think that it is wonderful at first. You may even look at it disdainfully and ponder how it could ever help you with your problem. Nevertheless, it will help. You must trust God, open the package and use what is inside. Then, you must tell others of the wonderful things that you found."

With that, the kind lady was gone.

The next morning the boy got up and told his father about his amazing dream.

"Well, then," said the father. "That must be God's answer. We will wait for the package."

And they did. It didn't come the first day. Nor, to the boy's disappointment, did it come the next. Finally, though, on the third day, when he went to check the mail, it was there.

"Father, Father," yelled the boy as he ran down the lane. "It came! It came!"

"Well, open it and we shall see how the Lord has blessed us." answered the father. His heart was also beating quickly and he was almost as excited as his son. The father watched his son closely, remembering all that the boy had told him about the dream.


True to what kind Kate had said, as soon as he tore open the package the boy's brow began to furrow.

"It's a package of DVD's! How can they be the answer..."

"Remember, what the kind lady in your dream said." interrupted the father as he took the package from his son. "The DVD's are called Amazing Science! Perhaps you should watch them before rushing to judgement."

So, that is what the boy did. He took the package of two DVD's, put the first one in their DVD player, and began to watch. As his son watched, Father went to the kitchen to begin fixing breakfast. Suddenly he saw his boy dashing out of the back door.

"Where are you going son?" he called quickly.

"I'm going to milk the cow." answered the breathless boy.

"But we have milk here in the refrigerator."

"I need fresh milk! I'm going to bond some fat!"

"Your going to do WHAT!?"

"Never mind...I'll explain later." exclaimed the boy as he disappeared around the corner.

Soon the son was back with a fresh pail of milk. He explained to his confused father what was about to happen as he gathered the milk, food coloring, cotton swab and dish detergent. The father was curious as he watched his son carefully drop some food coloring into some milk that he had poured into the bottom of a plate. He watched as his son dipped the cotton swab into the dish detergent and then gently touch it to the food coloring. The food coloring so suddenly began to shoot in all directions that it made the man jump back in amazement.

"What just happened, Son?" asked the astonished father.

The boy excitedly explained, "Why, this very nice man on the DVD named, Jason, explained that dish detergent is 'specially made to bond with fats and grease. He said that the milk has fat in it and that, when I touched the detergent to the milk, it made the milk move. The food coloring really doesn't have anything to do with it. It's just there to show you the milk moving. Isn't it really neat?"

"I am truly amazed my son." answered the father. But his son didn't hear. He was back watching the video again. Normally the father would have had the boy clean up his mess, but this time he didn't. He knew what was happening. God had, indeed, answered their prayers.

Suddenly, the father again saw the boy dash out the door.

"Where are you going now?" he called.

"I'm going to the chicken coop to get a fresh egg. Oh, and Father, could you please wash out one of the used milk bottles while I'm gone? I'll be right back."

By this time the father knew not to question the boy. He just shook his head and went right to work washing the bottle. Soon he was amazed by another great experiment.

"Father!" said the boy quickly. "Jason says that almost all of the things needed to do my experiments we have around the house. Can I do all 23 experiments today!?"

"Perhaps just three or four today, Son." said the wise father. "Remember, you have your other school work and chores to do."

The boy knew that the father was right and went about doing his chores. That night, after a busy day of  chores, experiments, and other schoolwork the boy silently went in and stood beside his father's chair.

"What is it, my boy?" asked the father.

Sheepishly, the boy asked, "Father, could I still get that job."

"But, why, my son? " asked the surprised father, "Has not God provided some wonderful videos with wonderful science experiments that you can do with things around the house?"

"Yes, Father, but soon I will be out of experiments to do and, " he hesitated, "well, this is just the first volume of Amazing Science! videos. I'm sure there is going to be another volume come out soon. The first volume was only $19.95 and I'd like to start saving for the new one."

"Hmm..." thought the father, "Mrs. Brown has been wanting some fresh eggs and milk but I just haven't had time to deliver some to her. She said she would pay nicely for them. If you could promise to deliver some to her twice a week I'll give you the money to save for the new video."

"Oh! Thank you Father!" shouted the boy as he gave him a big hug. "I can't wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow we're going to try to burn some money!"

"All right, Son. That sounds wonderful." said the father as he went back to his newspaper. Then suddenly he sat up again. "Son...did you say burn money!?"


The story you have just read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Oh! All right! This story is about me and Joshua but it is almost true. At least some parts of it is. You'll have to figure out what parts!

Oh! And by the way! These video's are truly amazing! You can purchase them by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. If you wish to see what the other TOS Homeschool Crew members had to say, just click here. Happy Homeschooling!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent Amazing Science! Vol. 1 to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Please Watch this Video!

Once again I have neglected my poor little blog. I have not done it justice this month at all. It hasn't, however, been for no reason. This month has been a month of renewing for me. It's something that I have needed for a long time and something that I know I will need again in the weeks, months and years to come. In fact, it's something that I need to do every day.

Every day I need to renew my mind and dedicate my day to God's purpose. That is so hard sometimes. Often I want to do things my own way and do my own thing. I don't want to do things God's way. When I finally succumb to God's will in my life, though, I always find that God's ways are the best. They are much better and much easier than mine.

Jesus says in Matthew 11

29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Unfortunately, this is not easy for me. I have to continually remind myself that His yoke is easier. That's what I have been doing this month. I have been trying to renew my soul by sitting at His feet and learning from Him.

Along with my study of His Word, I have also been reading some great authors that have allowed themselves to be used by God. One of them is Francis Chan. Recently I read his book Forgotten God and presently I am reading Crazy Love, also written by him. In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan points to a video that he made to go along with the book. That is the video that I would love for you to watch. It is a bit long - 15 min. - but is very much worth it. Please take the time to watch it and contemplate what he has to say about God's love for you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm Changing the Story - Will You Help?

Would you consider sponsoring a Compassion International child. I promise that it will change your life. Please click on the link below to view my Compassion Sunday Page. My goal this month is for my family to be the catalyst for six children to be sponsored. I chose the goal of six because that is how many children we sponsor either financially or through correspondence. Here's the address to my special Compassion International Compassion Sunday Page - please check it out! -

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

TruthQuest - Great History Guides - And that's the Truth!


One of the beauties of homeschooling is the fact that you can pattern your homeschool curriculum to the strengths of you children. You don't have to go with "cookie cutter" curriculum. In fact, you don't even have to design your curriculum around one grade level. That's the problem with traditional classrooms. There are kids that are strong in certain areas and there are kids that are weak in certain areas. The teacher usually has to teach to the middle which usually loses the the kids that have problems in that subject and bores the ones that are strong. With homeschooling, you can help your child excel in the areas where he is strong and work one on one with him in the areas where he is weak. Thankfully there are curriculum that help you do just that. TruthQuest History is one of those curriculum.

Several weeks ago we were sent  a download for TruthQuest's "American History for Young Students". Almost immediately after beginning to read about this curriculum I knew it would be a great fit for Joshua, my 3rd grade aspergers son. I was not disappointed. Joshua and I both love it and there are several reasons why.

  1. The first thing that I really liked was that it was a reading based curriculum that uses good books. We love what are called "living books".  A living book is a book that brings a subject to life. It's not dumbed down history or history in some boring textbook. We have used living books in our homeschool for years and my kids know so much more history than what I knew when I was there age.
  2. They give book suggestions for a wide age range. Remember I said above that one of the beauties of homeschooling is being able to choose curriculum that fits your child? Well, what if your child is supposed to be in third grade but reads on a fifth grade level - or maybe on a first grade level? Well, TruthQuest History gives you a broad range of book suggestions written on a variety of grade levels. We have downloaded a couple of suggested books from a popular audio book site so that he can listen to them on his own. Other books I either read to him or he reads himself. Most of the books listed are available from you public library and many can be downloaded for free from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other ebook distributor. But, don't worry, the suggestions given are just that, suggestions. You can really use anything that your library has available for a specific time period. The author does, however, list some guidelines as to how to choose books.
  3. Another reason I like TruthQuest is the simplicity of the History Guide. After a brief few pages of explanation, the "guide" begins. "Guide" is really a perfect name for it. You see, what TruthQuest does is guide you through history. It goes through each important historical event, lists great books and other resources that can be used and basically leaves it at that. All with very little chit-chat. Oh, there is some chit-chat, but what is there is just an introductory paragraph or two that guides (there's that word again) you into the period of history that you are about to study. However, don't take those few, brief paragraphs lightly. They are there to get the student to think about that period of history and God's hand in it. By the time the study is done, the author's hope is that the curtain will be lifted and God's interaction in our history will be seen.
  4. I mentioned above about other resources that TruthQuest includes. That's another wonderful thing about this study. The author lists many more resources than someone could ever use. There are the book lists that the author warns is not exhaustive - in fact, she offers suggestions if you can't find any of the mentioned books on the list. She also suggests movies, audio recordings and other fun resources along with what she calls "ThinkWrite" activities. The ThinkWrite activities are basically just writing prompts for those students who wish to keep a journal or notebook. The TruthQuest website also has lapbooks that have been developed for each one of their history guides that can be purchased if you wish. Finally, there is an online forum that one can join to talk about ideas and projects that others have developed to go along with each TruthQuest study.
  5. This curriculum is great for families. It lists some "spine" books - books that span most of the era that is being studied - and it lists many other books of many grade levels. Although it is written with grades 1-5 in mind, a family could easily adapt this to fit their needs. A spine book could be used as a read aloud that all children listen to, then the parent could assign other books and activities that are more on the child's learning level. TruthQuest also offers advanced level history guides for older students that cover the same time periods as the younger guides do. So, your whole family could study the same thing all at once. The possibilities are endless!


I could go on and on gushing about this great curriculum, but let me tell you why it is working for us. I works for us because it gives many choices. As I mentioned above, it's not a cookie-cutter curriculum. I can pick and choose what books and resources that I want for Joshua to use. I've chosen to be very basic with  him on this go around. We are currently still doing some world geography, and, quite truthfully, when you are reviewing something, you never know if it's going to be a good fit for your child anyway. This is definitely a good fit. Do I regret not going deeper with him? Not at all. First of all, the things that I am doing with him are right where he should be right now. Later, when he is ready, we can use more of the activities and go deeper into each topic. Perhaps Jacob can learn along with him and I can pattern some easier things for him and some more advanced things for Joshua. As I said earlier - the possibilities are endless!

Okay, you might think that, after mentioning all of the great qualities of TruthQuest's "American History for Young Students", the cost to buy this might be a bit expensive. I think you will be surprised to find out that the price for a physical copy is just $24.95 with the PDF ebook being only $19.95. There are free samples of each guide along with the table of contents that you can download. Just click here or on any of the hi-lighted links above to get the TruthQuest website. Some of the other TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed other TruthQuest history guides and you can find out what they thought by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free download of the TruthQuest history Guide "American History for Young Students One" in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Amazing Animals by Design!

The boys and I just watched an amazing video of a caracal. Do you know what a "caracal" is? We didn't either until recently. It's a medium-sized wild cat that lives in Asia and Africa. It's not as big and fast as it's larger wild cat relatives, nor does it balance on tree limbs or mountainous areas as well as other cat carnivores. But, the caracal doesn't need any of those things because it was designed differently than it's cousins. How is it designed differently? I'll tell you later in this review! Smiley

How do I know all of this? Through a wonderful book by Debra Haagen called "Amazing Animals by Design". Whose design? God's! "Amazing Animals by Design" was written for the prek-3rd grade child and is a great introduction to the theory of intelligent design.

I don't think it is a surprise to any one of you that I firmly believe that God created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth. He has a purpose and a plan for everything. Humans of course, but even plants and animals. I want my children to learn this at a young age. Unfortunately most of the books that focus on this are written for older children and adults. Debra Haagen saw the need for a book on intelligent design that focuses on younger children and she did a beautiful job writing one.

"Amazing Animals by Design" follows John and Sarah as they take a trip to the zoo with their family. As they wander throughout the zoo and learn about all of the great creatures they realize that the zoo keepers and their parents keep using the same word to describe the animals. They keep saying that the elephant, giraffe, ostrich, zebra, Barbary sheep and, yes, the caracal are all designed a special way so that eat, drink, and do the special things that they were meant to do. When they later ask their parents about the word design, they have a family discussion about the meaning of the word and who the Designer is.


As we read through the beautifully illustrated book the boys, even our teenager, loved learning about all of the animals and what makes them so special. It prompted them to want to know more about God's great creatures. That's why we decided to look up a video of caracals (we are still having discussions on the pronunciation Smiley). So, how did God design them differently. He didn't have to give them the ability to run fast or balance on tree limbs to catch their prey. He gave the ability to JUMP...and to JUMP high! Caracals sneak up on their prey (usually birds) and then, when they take flight, the caracal jumps backwards up into the air and snatches the birds. The caracal can jump up to twelve feet!

That's just one of the interesting things that sparked the interest of the boys. To find out what else is in this fascinating book you'll have to buy it yourself. Don't worry, it isn't expensive at all and, guess what, if you choose to purchase one you will be one of the first! You see, it just went on sale this month. The 24 page paperback version of this children's book is $8.99 and there is a downloadable ebook version for $7.99. You can find both of those by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. You can find what the other TOS Crew members had to say about this book by clicking here. Finally, the author has graciously provided links to her author website and to the "Amazing Animals by Design" blog and facebook page and I am providing them below. Happy Homeschooling!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy ebook copy of "Amazing Animals by Design" in order to read with my family and give my honest review on this blog.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The NIV Boys Bible- A First Wild Card Blog Tour Review

When I saw that First Wild Card was offering the NIV Boys Bible for review, I jumped at the chance. We had been looking for a good Bible for Joshua to use. This is right on his level and, the special sections, are written for boys as well! Read more about this great Bible below.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card is:

Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Getting into a routine of reading the Bible can be challenging for anyone, but trying to keep the attention of pre-teen boys is especially difficult. So now there is a Bible especially developed for them. The NIV Boys Bible is designed with boys ages 9 to 12 in mind. Fun in-text features help boys dig deep into the Word and learn about amazing people, facts and stories of the Bible. The NIV Boys Bible will help boys grow into the young men God wants them to be. It will appeal to boys and cause them to desire to spend time in the Word with its unique features such as:

* Introductions to each book of the Bible

* Hundreds of highlighted verses worth memorizing

* What's the Big Deal?-Need-to-know biblical stories and people

* Check It Out-Interesting and fun facts about Bible times and characters

* Grossology-Gross and gory stuff they never knew was in the Bible

* Makin' It Real-Help for applying Bible stories to their everyday lives

This Bible includes the full text of the New International Version, the most popular Bible translation in the world, and 12 color tip-in pages introducing content that shows boys how they can grow to be like Jesus. Each book of the Bible has activities that make God's Word more relevant than ever. It is jam-packed with customized content and artwork that really makes the Bible stand out.

Product Details:
List Price: $27.99
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 1504 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310723086
ISBN-13: 978-0310723080:


Monday, April 2, 2012

My Poor Blog!

My poor forgotten blog. No, I have not forgotten you! I must make another goal to blog every day for a year.

Not to mention catch up on my Goal Making Monday posts,

the zoo post that I hinted at the other day (you remember - the picture with a cow),


a couple of reviews that I need to write,

promoting BCM and Compassion International...

Oh! My head is spinning! No wonder I haven't felt like blogging the past couple of days! Too much to blog about sometimes equals no blog posts at all!