Disclosure of Material Connection:

Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

Field Trip #225 Friday Blog Hop–National Aquarium and more!


Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

So, this week we headed to our first class at the National Aquarium (if you remember a couple of weeks ago, we should up on the wrong day!).  The kids had a blast and are anxiously awaiting next month!

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This was followed by 4H Robotics

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and then yesterday, we spent our Book-Its at Pizza Hut and then C and I went to an IEW workshop that was held in New Market.  I returned the same evening for the parents lecture!  It was awesome!  We love IEW and to be able to experience it all IN PERSON, was such a neat experience! I’ve reviewed several IEW items, and we have purchased several more…we still use IEW and I recommend it to people ALL THE TIME!  It’s been a TRUE GAME CHANGER in our homeschool. 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: CrossTimber (TOS Review) #hsreviews #name #namemeaning #CrossTimber #gift #personalizedgift

CrossTimber review

What’s in a name?

If you are looking for a personalized gift for someone this holiday season (or any occasion) CrossTimber has some great name related gifts!

For these review I received a 5x7 personalized framed print.  I was able to choose from a wide variety of backgrounds, I gave them the name and frame choice and they delivered!

This ladybug print will go great in her ladybug and butterfly bedroom!  Not sure why ladybugs became her d├ęcor, but it has been since birth!  She’s only 3 now, so she probably won’t be as excited about this item, as I am…but, I know as she gets older she will truly appreciate it!

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The frame is metal and appears sturdy (NOT a cheap, chintzy frame), the frame is 7 x 9, the print is 5x7. I received the 4th (and least expensive frame choice), described as thin, metallic brown. It does have a glass front.  The cost of this item, as pictured above is $23 plus S&H. You can add on items such as bookmarks, card or personalized messages on the back for only a few dollars more!


CrossTimber will contact you to iron out any details before delivering your print.  It was delivered in a timely manner, and packaged securely. 

There are a lot of options:  mugs, bookmarks, and music boxes and more; with lots of prints to choose from as well!


Each name comes with a origin, definition and a Bible verse.

I’m so excited to hang this beautiful print in my daughters room!  I also learned about her name more in the process!  We chose her name because it was a family name, with a Hawaiian spin!  It was neat to learn more about it’s original origin and meaning, as opposed to just “Hawaiian for Colleen”. 

CrossTimber is hosting a Giveaway currently, hope on over to enter! 


They also give discounts for bulk orders! 


You know the old adage of “It’s the thought that counts”, so much thought is put into this gift, not just by the buyer, but by the seller as well!  It’s a gift sure to be treasured and to last a lifetime! 

Other crew members received prints too, as well as other items!  Be sure to click on the button before to check out what they thought and to learn about other items that are available for purchase!

Social Media Links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Middlebury Interactive Languages–Elementary Chinese (K-2) (TOS Review) #hsreviews #foreignlanguage #bilingualism #languagestudy

Middlebury Review

My 2nd grader (age 7) has really enjoyed taking Elementary Chinese 1 (Grades K-2) from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

My oldest (5th grade/10 years old) has been taking Chinese for a couple of years now, and has used Middlebury Interactive Languages in the past for reviews also (Elementary Chinese 1 (Grades 3-5)) twice! (Review 1 & Review 2).

This course is at a much more simple level than the one we reviewed in the past.  It took a few courses with me helping, and now he can basically navigate the course by himself.  I also noticed several improvements to the format (that were issues I had in past reviews).  The first is is is MUCH easier to get to the next course.  Straight from the homes screen they have a next lesson choice.  They also show which lesson you should be on according to the calendar, the classes are assigned one a day, 5 days a week.  Previously it was difficult to find which lesson you were on, if you were not following their calendar schedule.  This has been SOLVED!  Yeah! 


Another improvement is that if you use the Table of Contents to navigate lessons, you can easily see which lessons you have completed with check marks by them!  If I remember correctly, this was NOT the case before!  Great improvement!

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This more of an introduction class to Chinese, they will be no means be fluent afterwards, BUT they do use games, videos, songs, and immersion to teach the concepts.  There are printable vocabulary sheets, words to songs, translations to the videos (all helpful things for the parent who does not speak the language and is trying to assist in these lessons!). 

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There are speaking lessons, however, it is an extra cost to have these checked by a teacher, we did not have this option.  It did help my son to listen, record and listen to compare, however.

I should probably point out that this was used by my difficult child (if you have read my reviews before, you know what I’m talking about).  He has been very excited about this course from day 1 and continues to be so. 

There is a time limit when you subscribe to the course, they are only good for one year from purchase date.  If used regularly they can be completed in much less time (ie this course has 70 days of lessons, 35 each semester) You also have the option to pay more for a teacher or to pay less for independent study. 

Having used several Chinese language programs, I feel this is one of the best for  YOUNGER kids, based on this course for this review.  It doesn’t require the parent to know the language, the child can navigate it on their own (after some guidance), it builds a pretty good base and familiarity with the language…greetings, numbers, characters, etc…  I am happy with it, and so is my husband (who speaks Mandarin).

Middlebury Interactive Languages also offers Spanish, French and German courses.  Course are available in all languages Early Elementary through High School (with the exception of German for K-2). 

It’s definitely worth looking at for your homeschool foreign language needs!

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Middlebury-Interactive-Languages-141015515949753/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiddInteractive   @middinteractive
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/middinteractive/

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Field Trip #224 Friday Blog Hop–Shenandoah National Park #SkylineDrive and more!


Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

Hubby really wanted to check out the falls colors at Skyline Drive in VA, in all the years we have lived in MD (6 years before HI and now 3 years after) we have not been!  So we looked up peak season and booked a camping trip!  Unfortunately the leaves changed slower than anticipated, so it wasn’t peak; but it was still beautifully colorful!

We enjoyed a few hikes (one that ended up A LOT longer than anticipated), but the weather was absolutely beautiful (maybe even a tad too warm).

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and we had to stop for ice cream on the way home!

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C also took a Cub Scout Field Trip this past Saturday to a glass blowing demo!

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and after that he did some service work for his 4H club Happy Hounds at the dog show!

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I totally forgot to mention our trip to the farm pumpkin patch!  We have this awesome local farm (they sell our quail eggs for us, and I get a weekly produce bundle for a steal there!)  We went for a hay ride and to grab a pumpkin on the 7th of October!  We have been so busy that I missed posting about it because we had so many other things we have done!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review: The Familyman–Christmas Treasury (TOS Review) #hsreviews #Christmas #Audio #audiobook #digital #familymanministries

Familyman Review

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner!  We got a chance to have Christmas a little early here, by taking a look at The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury – Audio Collection, Digital Downloads (I also received one CD from the collection.) from The Familyman

The Digital Downloads collection has 8 stories (6 of which are included in the CD collection). 

My children really enjoyed these stories!  They are great way to bring the true meaning of Christmas into your home!  Christ is often forgotten during this time of year, during the hustle and bustle of the commercialization of this sacred holiday.  This would be a great gift for any Christian family.

All the stories included in the set are great, but my kids picked out their 3 favorite for me to talk about in this review (maybe because these are the first ones we listened too, not sure, because I had trouble picking!).

The first is titled Cootie McKay’s Nativity.  This story is about a mentally handicapped man who was asked to rebuild the town’s nativity set.  They were really nervous about asking him, he is a tinkerer and collector of junk, and they weren’t quite sure how it would turn out.  Cootie was not even familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth.  Therefore, they educated him about it, and he was so excited to learn about this story and about Jesus and what He means in our lives.  He made a great nativity set, much to the surprise of the whole town!  It was a very heartfelt, feel good story…the kind that brings some tears to your eyes when you hear it. 

The second story they voted on was Captain Chaos and the Manger Blaster.  In Captain Chaos the main character gets a taste of what Christmas would be like, if Jesus had never been born.  He gets in a spat with his sister, over playing with the nativity, and wishes that there wasn’t such a thing.  When he wakes the next morning, no one in his family knows who Jesus is, what a Christmas tree is or anything that relates to Christmas.  What a sad day that would be!

Gladys Remembers Christmas was the third favorite.  Gladys doesn’t like Christmas.  Her mother died when she was young, and she doesn’t have very pleasant memories of growing up with just her father.  But, after her father’s passing, she remembers the good memories associated with Christmas as she clears through her his belongings.  She has flashbacks of good memories she had at Christmas time in her home, when she was younger, and her mother was still alive. 

These may be our favorites, but every story is just as good as the first!  All gentle reminders that Jesus is the reason for the Season!  Keeping Christ in Christmas is so important.  This wonderful Christmas Treasury helps to do just that!

Two of the digital downloads, are actually Easer stories, but another great holiday that is a result of Jesus in our lives, and a great reminder to the true meaning of the season!

The digital downloads are available for $3.99 each (with the exception of It’s Called Christmas, which is $4.99).  The CD collection of the Audio Treasury (6 stories) is available for $25.  An 8 pack of books is also available for $58, or books can be purchased separately for $10 each.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ToddWilsonFamilyman/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/youdadad
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/toddwilsonthefamilyman/
Pinterest:  https://au.pinterest.com/familymantodd/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107435990705080484154
Blog: http://familymanweb.com/blog/

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review: Educeri ...Educeri a division of DataWORKS (TOS Review)

educeri review

For this review we used Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri ... Educeri a division of DataWORKS .

Educeri has over 1000 lessons for grades K through high school in a wide variety of subjects (though mostly math and language arts, there are some history and science lessons also).

I have to admit at first glance I thought these were VIDEO lessons, let me say now, they are NOT!  These are more like power point/slide show lessons.  Because of this, they aren’t really do by yourself lessons when it comes to little kids, which was a disappointment.  Older kids could work through the lessons themselves, however. Audio would be a GREAT added feature to this program!

We used these mostly as a means to further examine a topic (particularly in math) where more instruction or understanding was needed.  Unfortunately, there were not any lessons in Roman Numerals, because we could have really used that subject with my 5th grader.

It did help a lot with my 2nd grader in rounding, however.


Many of the lessons also have printable worksheets, so they can work the problems out and then check their answers in the lesson. 

It’s pretty straight forward, you read the text, as you hit the enter key (or the next button) the answers fill in, one answer at a time.

I envision this being used on a big screen, in a class setting…though it is adaptable to homeschool.  It can be used on any device that has internet.  As mentioned, however, for younger kids the lesson would need to be read to them, this is a bit of a disadvantage for me.  Having several young children, who always seem to need my help at the same time, it is nice to have something they can do on their own, without me. 

I only used the younger classes K-5th grade, though I did briefly look at some of the older grades as well.  It seems to be the same set up for older grades, as it is for younger grades, just more age appropriate topics.

You also have the ability to use marker tools on the slides, to mark (by writing or highlighting) things as you work through the lessons. 

a lot of the lessons and material are based on the Common Core Standards, and are marked when aligned.

You have the ability to sort by grade and by subject, there is also a search bar, so you can search by topic. 

I feel this would be best suited for older kids that can read the lessons themselves, if they can be trusted to not jump ahead and write their answers from those given (honestly, this would NOT work for my son, too big of a temptation!). 

They do offer a 30 day FREE trial subscription (no credit card information required), and then it is $7 a month or $75 a year, subscriptions are set up to auto renewal unless cancelled.

coming soon_zpsrksy2oqi

Quizzes will be coming soon also!

I honestly don’t for see us using this very often.  I can see how it could be a good fit for some families, so I highly recommend you taking the 30 day trial to check it out and see if it is something that would work well for your family!  There is no obligation to buy, no credit card information required, so it’s completely risk free!

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educeri/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teacheduceri   @educeri
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Educeri/

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Field Trip #223 Friday Blog Hop


Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

I made a scheduling error, I thought I signed up for the first class at the aquarium each month, but come to find out (after arriving to class to check in) I signed up for the last class of the month! 

So since we were in Baltimore anyways, and hubby was off… we did a little bit of exploring!

It’s FLEET WEEK this week, but boats aren’t arriving until today (we were there Monday).  But, in honor of that, they were allowing free access to a privateer boat.  So, we checked it out.

We then walked to Federal Hill and played at the playground there.  We have been here once before, after a visit to the Visionary Art Museum.

It was a beautiful day!

We were going to get some Rita’s, but man…. the inner harbor Rita’s is about $2-3 more for each item, so we just headed home and stopped at our local store to save a few bucks!  When you are a family of $6, $2-3 each adds up FAST!

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Tuesday we went to a homeschool gathering at the library, in their Exploration Point! Center, where they got to play with all sorts of programming stuff!

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Today we went to the Trampoline place for homeschool jump, and then the two littles had a class at the library!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: My FreezEasy (TOS Review) #hsreviews #freezeasy #freezermeals #5dollardinners #freezercooking

MyFreezEasy Review

I got to use the MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership by MyFreezEasy for this review!  It has been such a great addition to my home!


The program is designed to make double of a meal, and freeze one.  You print 5 meals at a time, menus change each month, but you can also swap out recipes if there is something that doesn’t really suit you.  The idea is to make 10 meals a week, freezing half each week.

I have to be honest, I rarely eat the same meal twice…I always am trying new recipes and such, and only repeat a few tried and true recipes.  So, making two meals of something I had not even tried yet, was not appealing to me.  BUT, I still used the recipes and just made 1 of everything to freeze for later. 

I am Paleo, and was easily able to find meals that fit paleo or had easily substitutable ingredients (ie coconut aminos for soy sauce, honey for sugar, ghee for butter, etc…). I also make paleo sides for each dish, (ie cauli rice, instead of rice and typically additional vegetables of some sort).

I first made 10 different dishes (which at this point I have eaten 8 of, and all were good!) Then I made 10 more!

I LOVED having something already made in the freezer for an easy go to dinner!  I cooked almost every meal in my instant pot (regardless of cooking directions), so it was also ready very quickly! 

I did find a few typos in the directions, so just be aware and look over things.  I also wish that there was an option for making just ONE of each dish, because the shopping list is automatically created for making TWO dishes, so I had to cut it in half myself…would be easier not to have to do so.


It says it takes an hour, I found with all the vegetable chopping and such, it took me more than an hour.   If everything was chopped and laid out, ready to go already… it would take about an hour from that point.  But it still saves A LOT of time in the long run, so it’s totally worth it!  You just have to find a few hours to set aside and DO IT!

I loved that I don’t have to worry about fresh vegetables going bad, b/c I’m chopping them right after I buy them and freezing them!  It makes eating healthy SO easy too!  Everything I used was FRESH veggies/fruit…zero processed food! 

It also cut down how much money I was spending at the grocery store because I don’t have to go as often!  I can go about once every 2 weeks now, with a small stop at the local farm for veggies every week (I do need side dishes). 

You are also able to adjust the serving sizes for your recipes!  This was great!  I could change it to 6 for every meal and the recipe adjusted accordingly!

Here is the list of recipes I made:

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Dutch Oven Italian Chicken & Potatoes
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Grilled Asian Chicken Foil Packs (made without packs)
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Peach & Balsamic Chicken Skillet
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Slow Cooker Mango Chicken
Slow Cooker Rosemary Artichoke Chicken
Beef Stew Foil Packs (made without packs)

Firecracker Pork Chops
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New Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Filling) (Pictured NOT Paleo)
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Paleo Minestrone Soup (I added meatballs to this)
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Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Hash

Second round:

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Easy Beef & Broccoli Stirfy
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Grilled Pork Chops with Zucchini & Tomatoes
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry
Bolognese Sauce
Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
Paleo Chicken Taco Salad
Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps
Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Soup (omitted the beans)

Everything I have eaten thus far has been DELICIOUS!  The only complaint my hubby had was that I made too many chicken breast meals, so for my second round you can see I tried to mix it up a bit more! 

It really is SUPER easy, and there is a good selection of recipes to choose from, they change every month, however! 

It is inexpensive too, especially considering all the money and time it saves you! I will be continuing to use these menu plans!  It has really saved me so much time, as a homeschool mom!  Dinner now requires no thought really, and just a handful of minutes in the instant pot, most nights!

Social Media Links:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/freezeasy
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/freezeasy
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/5dollardinners/freezeasy

 10 Meals in 1 hour with My FreezEasy_zpsybaixa9s

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
Crew Disclaimer


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