Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thomas Jefferson, Architect - Blogging Through the Alphabet


Thomas Jefferson, The Architect - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

We're quite familiar with Thomas Jefferson as a founding father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. And while we might also know that he was a state legislator in Virginia, the Secretary of State under George Washington, and a man knowledgeable in many disciplines (surveying, mathematics, horticulture, mechanics, linguistics, and philosophy, to name a few); we don't often think of him as an influential architect. He was, in fact, a proven and accomplished architect in the classical tradition. He designed many buildings and throughout his life he made many architectural drawings, and he wrote extensively about architectural design.


Thomas Jefferson, The Architect - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Since there were no schools of architecture in Virginia during his time, Jefferson was self-taught, studying books and architectural designs on his own. He was influenced mostly by an Italian architect, Andrea Palladio, who wrote The Four Books of Architecture during the 1500s. Palladio was widely influential in classical architecture, which is based on the principles of Greek and Roman design.

Jefferson's architecture is typified by the use of octagons in the designs, which is a departure from Palladio's style. Jefferson used octagons as design motifs, and he halved them or elongated them in designs, or used the octagon as a whole, such as in the dome of Monticello or the Poplar Forest house.

Thomas Jefferson, The Architect - Blogging Through the Alphabet on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Monticello

Jefferson's primary home, Monticello (meaning "little mount"), is the best known of his designs. He designed the main house using neoclassical design principles, and later included elements popular in Europe at the time, and some of his own design solutions. The main house was to serve as a plantation house but had the form of a villa. After his time serving in France, he began some remodeling on the house, adding a center hallway and parallel set of rooms. The most dramatic feature of Monticello is the octagonal dome he added, placed above the west front of the building instead of a second-story portico. The room inside was beautiful, but apparently not often used, probably because it was hot in summer and cold in winter, and was only accessible by a steep and narrow flight of stairs. 

Jefferson was very interested in Roman and Renaissance ideas about temperature-control techniques such as ground-cooled air and heated floors. The central hall at Monticello had aligned windows designed to allow air to pass through the house and cool it. The house has approximately 11,000 square feet of living space. It was rather sparsely furnished, because Jefferson considered much furniture to be a waste of space. The dining room table was set up only at mealtimes, and bedrooms featured beds build into alcoves in the thick walls that contained storage space.

Monticello is now a National Historic Landmark, and is the only private home in the USA designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a popular tourist attraction, and one I hope to be able to visit again soon! We were there once many years ago, and arrived too late in the day to do the full tour of the house and grounds, so I've had only a brief look.

Thomas Jefferson also designed the Virginia State Capitol, buildings at the University of Virginia (which he founded after retiring from public office), and Poplar Forest.

Virginia Capitol 1865
Virginia State Capitol

Pavilions III and V UVa 2008
University of Virginia

University of Virginia Rotunda 1819 draft
University of Virginia Rotunda, architectural drawing - 1819 draft

Poplar Forest7
Poplar Forest

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool. Join in to see what others are sharing related to this week's letter!

Hopkins Homeschool

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 24, 2017

Homeschool Highlights - Springtime

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Welcome to Homeschool Highlights! 
This weekly link-up is your opportunity to share some highlights of what is happening in your homeschool and in your world each week. If you write a wrap-up post at the end of each week, like I've been doing, we'd love to see what you're busy with from week to week. If you'd like to pick a favorite post from your week that spotlights a resource or activity in your homeschool that you'd like to tell others about, we're interested in those too. I'm keeping the guidelines as simple as I can, and they will appear at the bottom of each post, along with the link tool. I look forward to getting to know you, and I hope this will be a source of encouragement and good ideas for all of us.

Grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!


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My workplace!

Homeschool news  . . . Not a bad week, overall, even though we didn't manage time to work on Science. Kennady seems to be keeping up with her schoolwork for the most part, but I need to figure out how to be available to work with her on Mondays and Wednesdays. The last few weeks I've been failing at that, to be honest! I'm feeling a bit panicky, realizing that today is the end of the third quarter on the traditional school calendar. That means that we really should be about three quarters of the way through everything, and . . . well . . . we are just NOT. So we have our work cut out for us, but I think we can do it. Or most of it anyway!

We wrapped up our review of Creating A Masterpiece, but Kennady will continue using the website and creating more masterpieces. And we are now starting out on another art review - this time we're looking at ArtAchieve. We've got another couple of reviews going too. Which reminds me . . . I need to update the list of reviews in the sidebar!

Plans are coming together for our group's high school co-op! We'll be offering Spanish, French, Latin, Writing Non-fiction, Speech & Presentation, Economics, and Biology; which is a pretty good selection for just starting out.

Other news . . . Our Saturday was very busy, with all of us headed different directions in the morning. Kennady and I traveled together - to a ladies paint brunch at church, where we painted these daisy pictures -

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Homeschool Highlights - Springtime on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool
Daisies by KAT, March 2017

Homeschool Highlights - Springtime on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool
Daisies by Kym, March 2017
Then we had a funeral service to attend in the afternoon, and the kids went bowling in the evening. On Sunday, we actually attended another funeral. Both services were beautiful tributes to well-loved ladies from our church, but y'know, I'm hoping I don't have another funeral to go to for awhile now.

I had a new and not so wonderful experience on Monday - my first colonoscopy. Oh, the joys of turning 50. The prep and the procedure were not all that bad. The nurse mentioned to me that since I'd finished the prep, the worst part was over. I quickly corrected her that in my case it was not, since they'd have to put an IV in me, and I have terrible veins. My fear was well-founded, because I had three nurses take at least five (literal) stabs at me without any luck, then was taken to the procedure room so the nurse and anesthesiologist could give it a try. Which didn't go that well either. They finally got a vein, but it blew, so it was back to the drawing board. In the end, I was just about ready to pass out by the time they successfully got a vein, but it was easy from there. My arms felt rather like pincushions and are slightly bruised so I've been wearing long sleeves!

Nice weather at the beginning of the week gave way to another bout of cold mid-week, but today it's a bit warmer and raining.

What's Important . . . this little sweetheart, and I'm excited that I'll be able to visit her next week!

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I recommend . . . going to a paint night class if you get the chance! 

On my blogs last week . . .


Just A Second is where I share book reviews and other book-related things, and update on what's on my bookshelf. This week I've been reading:

Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer by Peggy Miracle Consolver
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch
The Trees Will Clap by Bonnie Mae Evans
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

A parting shot . . . cold and snowy, but pretty anyway.

Homeschool Highlights - Springtime on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com  #HomeschoolHighlights #homeschool

Grab the button and link up with Homeschool Highlights!
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Homeschool Highlights guidelines:
  • Your blog should be family-friendly content, and your post should include something about homeschooling.
  • Please link directly to your post, not your blog's homepage.
  • Please include a link in your post to Homeschool Coffee Break - you may use the graphic above if you wish. 
  • Visit a couple of the other bloggers and comment or share.

I will be linking up my own posts at the following weekly link parties that you  may also be interested in: Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird, Unsocialized HomeschoolersThe Homeschool Nook Link-up Party hosted by Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling and Busy Boys Brigade; and Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post.

  Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

  The Homeschool Post

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/




Thursday, March 23, 2017

Science: How We See the World on The Homeschool Post

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When asked which subjects they are worried about teaching, homeschool parents will often list science as one that intimidates them, especially in the higher grades. I used to be one of those parents, and I realized that it was largely because my own school experience with the sciences wasn't entirely positive. I remember almost nothing about science in grade school, but had a couple of very good teachers in middle school that inspired me to take more interest. However, in high school I was shoved into the pre-packaged courses which forced me to take Biology and Chemistry in the same year, but wouldn't allow me to start Physics (which was the course that interested me and the one I wanted to study) until my junior year. When I talk to homeschool parents that are concerned about teaching science to their own kids, I find that their own schooling experience was rife with the kind of frustration and confusion that I faced. How can we do a good job teaching our kids a subject that we don't understand?

There are co-ops, tutors, and online classes that can take the pressure off the parent to handle science, but let me assure you, Homeschool Mom, that you can teach science, and it's quite possible that you'll enjoy it too! I learned to love science as I was teaching it. 

Find out how that happened, and about a couple of our favorite Science curriculum choices. It's all at The Homeschool Post, along with many other helpful articles about teaching Science and homeschooling in general.

How has the study of Science helped you to see the world? Leave a comment and let me know!

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 ©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Virtual Refrigerator - Painted Daisies

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Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge

Welcome to the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up! Thank you for joining me and my co-hosts as we all share what we're creating in our homeschools. We all cordially invite you to add your link sharing artwork that's on your Virtual Refrigerator and then hop over to the other blogs and admire what's on their Fridges too! The Virtual Fridge link-up is open all month, and we plan our anchor posts for each Wednesday.

I've got something a little different to share on the Virtual Fridge this week. Usually I'm sharing my daughter's artwork, but today I'm also sharing something I created! What?! I know - crazy.

On Saturday, Kennady and I went to a paint brunch hosted by the ladies group at our church. Kennady has plenty of experience painting, but as for me . . . well, not so much. In fact, I'm pretty sure I haven't painted anything other than a wall since I was in grade school. So I was a little nervous that I would be completely inept, and in a group setting too. I'd say that about a third of the ladies that attended felt rather like I did - unsure and just a bit embarrassed. But every finished piece looked so pretty - each a little different, of course, but all were lovely.

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge
This was the easy part!

Of course, we all had to pose with our paintings. 

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge

Guess what I messed up? It was all good and I was really happy with it until I tried to sign it. That's when I messed up. *sigh*

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge
Daisies by KAT, March 2017

Painted Daisies on the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #art  #VirtualFridge
Daisies by Kym, March 2017

Now it's your turn! Join us by sharing your art posts here on the Virtual Fridge, and please grab our button for your post to help spread the word!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

It's a special treat to be able to review a curriculum or resource that focuses on a favorite subject or pastime, so we were very excited to be able to try projects from Creating a Masterpiece. We were privileged to receive the Monthly Plan and access to all the available lessons, so we could create to our heart's content.

Creating a Masterpiece

Creating a Masterpiece is an online art instruction program taught by master artist Sharon Hofer. It's rather like attending a fine art school, where students learn technique and are guided in creating excellent artwork that they could be proud to show off. The video instruction course has easy to follow step-by-step instructions showing students how to create high-quality art pieces using many different media, and can be used by students of all ages. Art techniques in many media are covered, and students build mastery so they can create their own projects using the techniques learned. There is a Beginners Level, with projects that can be completed in a single session of an hour or less; and Levels 1 through 5 which are progressively more challenging, building skills and introducing new media. These projects are presented in three to seven lesson sessions. And finally, there is an Art in History section, which describes the artwork of a particular artist in history, and teaches the student how to create a similar project. This section is still being developed, with new lessons coming soon.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Art in History lessons - some still in production!
In all the lessons, the instruction is simple enough for even young artists to follow, and the projects are high quality works that hold appeal for teens and adults. Just look at the examples from their website - the little girl in the title graphic at the top of this review, and these two young people with their artwork. Each of these projects could be completed by an elementary grade student, yet would be something a high schooler would be proud to display.

Creating a Masterpiece  Creating a Masterpiece

Lessons cover many art media, including: acrylic painting, pastels, gouache, ink, sculpture, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, glass mosaic, silk dyeing, and more.

How did we use it? Kennady chose to start with the media she was already familiar with and for which she had suitable supplies on hand. She does quite a bit of artwork on her own, and at fifteen years old, she wanted to try the more advanced projects, but with her time at a premium, she decided to start with the simpler ones in Level 1 and Level 2. We had to purchase a few supplies in order to tackle the projects she'd picked, so once we had those in hand, she branched out and tried Bombay ink, which was new for her. As she has more time, she's planning to take on some of the upper level projects.

This was the sample project she tried out before we were assigned to this review, done rather quickly with the supplies she had on hand, but it was enough to convince her that she needed this art program!
Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Mountain Lake by KAT, January 2017
And enough to inspire her to kill time one day by working on the reflection technique she learned.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Autumn Lake by KAT, February 2017
 Another quick project completed in an afternoon while I was at work. She didn't have the right kind of paper, but worked with what she had.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Winter Cabin by KAT, February 2017
She used colored pencils to create her own artwork, rather than just in a coloring book.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
okayish fish by KAT, February 2017
Her clownfish even became the subject of her own Instagram story.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
one okayish fish Instagram picture courtesy of KAT.
Used with permission.
Kennady declined to let me get a picture of her while working, but I happened to be home when she worked on this, so I grabbed a couple of in progress photos.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Pastels can be messy! Protect your work surface!

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Peaceful Lake by KAT, February 2017
She says this was the first time she'd painted with acrylics, although she did use acrylics on the backdrops she's painted for church plays. This is definitely a little different though!

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Caribbean Lighthouse by KAT, February 2017
And she liked this piece so much that she decided to submit it for an art display our homeschool group had featured at the library this month.

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

I don't know what's up with the goofy faces, but whatever. She's clearly proud of her work!

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool  Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

And this was genuinely her first time using Bombay ink for an art project, so she started with one of the Beginner Level projects. Y'all, this is something a BEGINNER can do:
Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Peacock Feathers by KAT, March 2017

 Upcoming projects on her wishlist (and mine) include:
 Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool
 And these Art in History lessons in particular. Just look at The Eagle in Van Gogh Style. Gorgeous! 
Creating A Masterpiece - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Our review of the #onlineartprogram from Creating A Masterpiece  #hsreviews  #artinstruction  #art  #homeschool

Creating a Masterpiece has been a great addition to our homeschool. Kennady would create all day, every day, if I'd let her! As much as she wants to get to the bigger projects like working with gouache and the projects in Level 3 and 4, I'm delighted that she's been able to do projects that challenge her and build her skills, but don't take a lot of time. That's perfect for where we are in the school year! The projects that she's worked on have been from Levels 1 and 2, and she can complete them in less than an hour. A younger student or one with less experience would probably want to take longer with these. Kennady plans on doing the more involved projects during evenings and weekends, and a little later in the spring, when she has more time to spend.

Is it worth high school credit? Definitely! Obviously, it would depend on the number of projects completed and time spent, but this is high school level instruction. Kennady has completed other artwork during this school year, so those projects combined with this semester's instruction from Creating a Masterpiece will definitely show up as a credit on her transcript for this year.

What we liked best:
  • Kennady says the instructions are very easy to follow and very clear. She enjoys watching the video and working along with Sharon.
  • She can work on this completely on her own. (Obviously, younger students should be supervised, and may need a parent's help.) 
  • She is learning good art techniques that can be applied to any other project that she wants to do.
  • High quality instruction, and impressive finished projects!
What I need to mention:
  • In many cases, the quality of the finished piece will depend on the quality of the paint, paper, and other art supplies used. We already had a good selection of art products, and I was willing to spend what was necessary to get good quality products to add to our supplies. Sharon recommends higher quality products, and I agree. Keep the cost in mind.
  • Using products other than what's recommended may work, but the finished piece may not look the same. For example, Kennady tried the Winter Cabin using pastel paper because our order of velour paper hadn't yet arrived. Her piece looks good, but she wasn't able to get the same shading and softness that the velour paper would have allowed.
Our bottom line: I'm so impressed with the beautiful artwork Kennady has created using this program, and she has truly enjoyed expanding her skills with it. She looks forward to completing many more of the projects, and I am hoping to find the time and courage to try a few myself! I warmly recommend Creating a Masterpiece for homeschoolers in search of a quality fine arts program.


Creating a Masterpiece
Would you like to try creating masterpieces of your own? Here's what you need to know:

Visit the website: www.CreatingaMasterpiece.com/

Pricing: See the Become A Student page for all the plans and pricing. For this review, we received the Monthly Plan, which provides unlimited family access to all projects for $39.99/month.

Recommended Ages: Suitable for all ages. Level 1 projects can be successfully completed by Kindergarten age students.

You can connect with Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews. Crew members worked on lots of different projects from Creating a Masterpiece so be sure to check out all the reviews!

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

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©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/

I have done my best to provide accurate pricing and links at the time this post originally appeared. Please be aware that these may change.