In the Reign of Terror {Review}

You guys know how much I love the audio stories from Heirloom Audio Productions because I have talked about them frequently! We recently received In the Reign of Terror and the timing couldn’t have been better!

In the Reign of Terror

We’ve done a lot of Greek this year already and within the last couple months started working on this time in history. In the Reign of Terror is based around the time of the French Revolution.

Harry, the main character and 16 years old and from England, goes to stay with the Marquis de St. Caux in France. The hope being that Harry could teach his children English while Harry could get help with his military career.

The first few chapters are basically getting to know the characters and getting some back story but pretty soon it gets right into it. I was pretty surprised that there was a dog attack and a wolf hunt one right after the other and Harry was the surprising hero in those stories.

Shortly after the high of the attacks there comes bad news from Paris. This starts a talk on fleeing…and is full of more stories. I don’t want to give too much away! It’s definitely a story that will keep you wondering what is happening next!

I will say that some parts, especially the dog and wolf chapters, might be better for older kids, or those that don’t mind hearing stories about animals and people dying. Even animals attacking..I know some kids are sensitive to that.
Live the Adventure club logo
One thing I was excited about this go around was the new Live the Adventure Club ! Before, you could get a bunch of awesome extras that go with the story… And that was great! But now, it has turned into a whole community as well!
Live the Adventure Reign of Terror
When you are part of the club you can look at which audio story you are listening to and choose between the bonus content or listen online as shown above.

I love the listen online feature! I use my laptop during school and sometimes it just couldn’t keep up with the cd for some reason, so when that happens I like to have the option of listening online. And in the same way, our wifi isn’t the greatest, so I also like having the option of the cd! It all works!

The Bonus Content is where it is at though! And it is improved in how it used to be, just an easier layout and very user friendly.

When you go into the Bonus Content section for In the Reign of Terror, you will see the chapters lists on the right of the screen. You can click on whichever chapter you want to start with. You can click on the button that says Start the Adventure and it will take you to the start. Then you can listen to each chapter as you want them.

Further down the page is the bonus content! There is so much there! You can read the whole e-book if you want to.. or listen to the soundtrack! You can have desktop wallpaper too! There is a printable cast poster, which the cast in each and every one of these audio stories is pretty dang amazing! I would take it somewhere to get printed though, that’s a lot of ink! Also a printable inspirational verse poster.
In the Reign of Terror Study GuideIn the Reign of Terror Script

My favorite things in the bonus content though are the study guide first of all.. And then the script!

The study guide is filled with all sorts of things! You can go about accessing it a couple ways. You can download it so it is ready on your computer. Or you can access it through the Live the Adventure Club pages. Now, in the past I would have sworn that downloading it is the way to go because it is just always there and it is familiar… But wow…they really stepped up the game with the new club pages!

In the Reign of Terror Adventure Club

As you click on the first page you have options… You can listen to it, as I mentioned above…but if you wanted to, you could click on the read along script button! You know, that comes in handy with all of these french phrases and names being tossed around, lol.

I am very happy with how they have the Thinking Further section right there as well. So many different activities that you can do as well as questions to answer that make you think a little harder! There are twelve listed just here!

Every chapter also has a set of defining words. Most of these the kids knew, but there were some in french that they just weren’t sure of! And even some other words…they thought they knew what they meant, but they were way off…ha!

In the Reign of Terror Adventure Club Quiz
You can take a chapter quiz. Now this is available on the download too, and we usually just use these as ask and answer after each chapter and anyone that knows the answer would take their turn.. But this gives you an interactive quiz, where you check what you think is correct and you know right then and there! I love that!

At the very bottom you can check the chapter complete, bookmark the chapter, or mark it as a favorite. All great things that you wouldn’t even think you needed until you knew they were there. 🙂

I know I have been going on about this new club that they came up with, but I find it all fantastic and a great addition to the audio stories that we already love and enjoy…

We have listened to three other Heirloom Audio Productions in the past and you can read the reviews here, if you are interested! Beric The Briton, The Dragon and the Raven, and The Cat of Bubastes. Now, don’t ask me what my favorite is, because I couldn’t tell you..lol.. But if you were looking at titles that you might be interested in, those are the ones we have done so far and loved…

If you are interested in hearing what others thought of In the Reign of Terror or the new Live the Adventure Club feel free to click the banner below!

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
In the Reign of Terror

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What I read in July

What I read this month

WOW!! I didn’t think I read too many books in July. I guess I was wrong! I just logged in to my Goodreads account and sat there wondering if it was playing tricks on me! Granted, Jeffy has been gone a bit this month and I tend to read at night rather than watch tv since it isn’t fun without him…but still. I really am shocked, lol. So, here is my very random list of what I read in July. 🙂

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The Leavers by Lisa Ko – One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away–and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

What I thought: This book was good and then kind of questionable and I just didn’t know how I felt about it while reading. It kind of jumped around a bit. I did end up liking it well enough in the end as everything made more sense to me.

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At Any Cost by Mike & Hayley Jones – When Mike and Hayley set out to adopt a child from Sierra Leone, Africa, never in their wildest imaginations did they dream this venture would lead to the “Jones Dozen.” This dramatically moving story will amaze and inspire any reader. Their stunning observation: “It was the least we could do!”

What I thought: I enjoyed reading the story of this couple adopting so many children! Some parts of the book jumped around a bit as well as repeated itself a bit..but in the end it was a well told story!

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Love Was Near by Sandra Martin – Love Was Near, offers a deeper look into the movie, Trust Fund, exposing what’s behind the story and what Reese is thinking. Like all of us, Reese is ready to forget some of the things she’s done and head towards a brighter future. But before she slams this chapter of her life shut, she takes a final glance back. She doesn’t turn to salt, but she does find she has plenty to learn about life, love and the risk of trusting others.

Reese invites us to join her on a very personal journey as she shares with us her everyday struggles and answers our questions of who did what and why. Leading us to questions about our own identity, purpose, and life plan. Don’t worry about having the right answers; there are none. Just be honest, if not for you, for the future you; It’s your story!

What I thought: This book goes with the movie Trust Fund that I talked about in this review. It was a journal type book, but it had a few punctuation errors that kind of drove me a little batty, but the overall idea was good.

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The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis – This classic of Christian devotional literature has brought understanding and comfort to millions for centuries. Both Protestants and Catholics — as well as mystics and historians of religious thought — have studied these meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus, finding in them a path to prayer and spiritual guidance. Written in a candid and conversational style, The Imitation of Christ discusses liberation from worldly inclinations, recollection as a preparation for prayer, the consolations of prayer, and the place of eucharistic communion in a devout life. With its simple, readable text, this translation will appeal to new readers as well as to those already familiar with this religious classic.

What I thought: Reading this aloud probably changed how I feel about it…but it was a hard read. It seemed repetitive quite a bit. I did get a lot of out it though!

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Such Small Hands by Andres Barba – It was once a happy city; we were once happy girls. . . . Life changes at the orphanage the day Marina shows up. As she tries to find her place, she creates a game whose rules are dictated by a haunting violence. In hypnotic, lyrical prose, Andrés Barba evokes the pain of loss and the hunger for acceptance—a masterwork from the Spanish writer at the peak of his powers.

What I thought: This was definitely a different kind of book than what is normal for me. I was confused through a lot of the book, although it was interesting in a weird way. The ending was just kind of abrupt and I questioned the whole story, lol.

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We Are Okay by Nina LaCour – You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

What I thought: I was intrigued by the characters in this book…even the ones that weren’t in it all that much. The author did a great job with them. I enjoyed the story as well!

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The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land – Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book! It was a little weird, a little cool.. I think I read this one pretty quickly!

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And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz – Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who’s always nurtured Nora’s talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history’s most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It’s a no-brainer: Nora is in!

Unfortunately, Nora’s mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter and her opinions haven’t gone unnoticed. Nora couldn’t feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they’ve ever been. But seconds after saying goodbye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: “Wait! Stop! I’m coming with you!”

What I thought: I enjoyed this book, the story of a mother and daughter. It’s probably pretty correct for a lot of relationships. I enjoyed reading about the various places they went to, and the people…

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The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They’ve got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It’s the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school’s “hot lunch,” dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, “chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife’s version of chopping wood.”

When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they’ve made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There’s a part of her, though-the part that worries she’s become too comfortable being invisible-that’s intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she’s known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?”

What I thought: I enjoyed reading about this couple as well as the other characters in the book. The story goes pretty much as well as can be expected, but I liked how it was written.

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Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet – No one gets out alive.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her home and thrown without reazon into a hellish prison known as the Crazy House. To avoid execution, she’s told to shut her mouth and keep her head down.

Becca was never really good at either.

Her only hope for survival is for her sister, Cassie, to find her—that the “good twin” will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because the jailers at Crazy House soon discover they made a mistake that could get both sisters killed…

What I thought: This book was pretty good, I read it pretty fast as I kept wanting to see what happened next. I could easily see a sequel being made of this and even possibly a movie. Loved it.

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Here I stand by Roland H. Bainton – With sound historical scholarship and penetrating insight, Roland Bainton examines Luther’s widespread influence. He re-creates the
spiritual setting of the sixteenth century, showing Luther’s placewithin it and influence upon it. Richly illustrated with more than100 woodcuts and engravings from Luther’s own time, Here I Stand dramatically brings to life Martin Luther, the great Reformer.

A specialist in Reformation history, Roland H. Bainton was forforty-two years Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale, and he continued his writing well into his twenty years of retirement. Bainton wore his scholarship lightly and had a lively, readable style. His most popular book was Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950), which sold more than a million copies.

What I thought: Again…reading this aloud was exhausting. Thankful for all of the pictures..lol. Sometimes it was hard to follow, but we got the basic idea…

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The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward – Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.

Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.

Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

What I thought: I was caught up in the story pretty quickly. I was surprised at the jump in years when it happened, I wasn’t quite ready for that as I was attached to the characters the way they were at that point. There were quite a few characters and I typically don’t like jumping around from one to the other, but it worked out well…

:phew: If you read this far, you are amazing, lol. Let me know if you have any suggestions on other book titles! I am always looking for titles and most of the time I just grab books at the library that I am drawn to by the cover.. Like the last one has poppies which are my favorite flower. 🙂

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What I hate Wednesday

I don’t think this is going to be a ‘thing’, but I have been thinking of these things and they have been weighing on my mind… I recalled how much lighter I felt at letting go of the things I hated the first time I did this, so alas, I am calling today, What I hate Wednesday. 🙂

  1. Pointy fingernails. I said I wouldn’t write it here, but I just can’t not! They make me think of someone that rips your heart out in stores and movies. The nails come to a point and it just freaks me out.
  2. Bad books. Because I have a thing that I have to finish every book I start. Although I do have a few that have languished on my goodreads list for a couple years now because I had to return them before I was done reading them due to a hold on them. I need to remember to find them again so I can finish…
  3. Short shorts. You know the ones. That basically look like undies they are so short. I don’t know if anyone really pulls them off well…and they must be uncomfortable.
  4. When people don’t pay attention. You go and send off an email that explains everything someone needs to know about something and then they write back with question after question. That could be answered if they read the stinking email to begin with.
  5. Vinegar. I hate the smell of vinegar. Ryan loves the smell of it. I don’t mind as much apple cider vinegar, but plain white vinegar is just gross.

Ok, that’s all I have this time around. I feel better already. 😉 I know there has to be something that you don’t particularly care for! Let me know what it is! You don’t have to use the word hate if you don’t want to, I know it’s pretty harsh. lol

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Doctor Aviation {Review}

I didn’t take my first airplane ride until after high school. I was also flying alone that day. I had no idea what to expect! Even now I am in awe whenever I fly somewhere at how it all works. The kids and I started some Aviation Video Training through Doctor Aviation recently and we are fascinated with all of the information!

Doctor Aviation

This course is geared towards ages 16 and up, but all three kids and I are doing it together. We are probably taking more time for each lesson than most people as we are breaking the lesson up over the course of a week.
Doctor Aviation lessonThere are 15 lessons and each lesson averages about an hour in length. There are three sections in each lesson; technical details, a notable aviation person and an important aviation event.

We did one of those sections three days a week, so an average of 20 minutes for the actual lesson each day. There are guided notes available to download and print and we did that for everyone. My kids don’t have much experience with lecture type situations where they have to take notes, so this was great for them! The notes are basically fill in the blank and the first letter is given a lot of the time to help them figure out the correct answer.
Doctor Aviation ReaganDoctor Aviation
Daryl Smith is Doctor Aviation. He spent 24 years in the Air Force as a Command Pilot. He was an instructor pilot as well as a research pilot during that time. Daryl was also an instructor at the US Air Force Academy. There was also a book that he authored on aviation! He is now a college professor, so it is safe to say that he has plenty of expertise on teaching this aviation course!
Doctor Aviation lesson 2The other two days of the week we spent going over the included downloadable To Learn More PDF. These include listed books, videos, websites, and other items that you can use to learn more about the lesson for that section. A lot of these were very informative and just expanded on what he was talking about.

When Doctor Aviation started talking about the Wright Brothers, we all had a chuckle as we had recently finished a huge study on them. And even still there were still some tidbits that we learned on this course!

Session 3 has an included Practice Exam. There are just a few multiple choice questions and then a short answer question that goes into a little bit more detail. It will definitely gauge how much they learned just in those few questions!
Doctor Aviation session objectives
You are able to use this course on your transcript! You could easily get half a credit, or if you were doing all of the extra items like we are trying to do, you could possibly make it a full credit. There are exams after sessions 5, 11, and 15. There aren’t study guides, but with the practice exams and the note taking, there are plenty of things to study. It is suggested to make sure you know the session objective materials for these exams. I showed an example up above. If you know these items, that will definitely help on the exam.
Doctor Aviation videoIn case you are thinking that this course seems pretty light, that is far from the truth. You learn so much from these Doctor Aviation lessons! Especially with all of the added information you can use as well.

Each lesson has him standing in front of this airplane and he just talks the whole time, referring to his clip board often. But to us, it really doesn’t seem like a lecture, but more like someone talking about something that they are passionate and knowledgeable about. He makes a lot of the information seem exciting and fresh.

There are added graphics when need be that go along with what he is saying. The kids wished that they would have shown him doing something with the airplane that he is standing next to, but I kind of liked the continuity of him standing there. The added graphics and such were enough for me.

We did have to pause the video quite a bit in order for everyone to fill out their guided notes as sometimes they were so into what he was talking about that they forgot to add it in and we had to reverse in order to listen again. I think that is great that they wanted to put in that extra effort!

While none of my kids are total aviation buffs, they all like learning something new, and this has been fascinating for all of us! My boys haven’t been on an airplane since they were little, and we are hoping to take a family vacation soon that will have us all going on one. I know this will be even that much more exciting for them.

I love that this course, while geared towards the 16 and up crowd, is great for so many ages. I found it very interesting, and Kyle and Lauren are 13 and 15 and liked it as well. I could definitely see this being popular for families! Our next lesson is the one I am most excited about; Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift. I am so glad that we are doing this together!

If you are curious what other families had to say about Doctor Aviation, feel free to click the banner below! Also, make sure to check out the Doctor Aviation Blog! It is updated frequently which is nice to see!

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

Doctor Aviation

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Trust Fund Movie {Review}

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to watch movies. Granted, not everyone always agrees on every movie, every time. Some like action, some like not so much action, etc… That’s to be expected. Recently we watched Trust Fund from Mapelle Films. There was also a book, Love Was Near that is great to read after the movie.

Trust Fund Movie
One thing that I enjoyed finding out is that a homeschooler filmed and produced the movie! Isaac Alongi was homeschooled back when it was still somewhat of a new thing, back in the 80s. Him and his wife Sandra, who wrote the screenplay for the film as well as  directed it, are partners at Isaac Alongi Studios, his photography/film business of 21 years.

I didn’t say anything about the movie to everyone when we started watching it. I thought it funny that at a certain point in the movie Jeffy asked if was a biblical based movie. I had to chuckle. You wouldn’t know that really unless you were familiar with a certain Bible story. But that is one thing that is great about the movie, it is great for anyone to watch.

It is basically a Prodigal Daughter story, rather than son, and is retold in a more current way. Reese is the main character of the movie. She has led a pretty charmed life, not working, just living off of her father’s money. Also shown in the movie is her sister, who has worked non-stop since the beginning.

Feeling betrayed and wanting more out of life than what she already has, she does a few not-so-great things and basically runs from life. The movie leads up to what happens upon her return. I don’t want to say too much.. 😉

I like how they included the other things from the story in the Bible. Like the sister that works and works while Reese goes off on her little escapade. I think the movie was very well done! I enjoyed seeing a couple familiar faces as well!

Love Was Near Book
The companion book, Love Was Near, is meant to be read after watching the movie. It is geared to girls 12 years old and up. We read the book, and while Lauren hasn’t gotten to the point that a lot of the book brings up, there were still quite a few good points to be made in it, even for the older girls, like me, ha!

I did notice quite a few punctuation errors throughout the book, and that bothered me a bit, but it doesn’t take away the points made. The questions asked are really a lot of thoughtful ones.

The book is more like a journal. There is some regular writing, then a diary entry and then some questions that you can answer by writing in the book. There are photos throughout the book as well. It brings up a lot of points from the movie and expands on some of them as well.

The book is over 200 pages and you get a different feel after reading it following the movie. There are so many things it covers that are good for girls to read, but it makes more sense if you watch the movie.

Trust Fund Movie study guide
Another option is a download study guide that you can use with small groups too! I love how they have all of these different options to reach various people. This study guide isn’t long at all, but it covers a lot of points.

If you are interested to hear what others thought of the movie and/or book, feel free to click the banner below! 🙂

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}

Trust Fund Movie

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Thursday Things

Woooahhhh, so it has been a while since I have done a Thursday Things, so I figured it was time! How has your week been going? I hope you have at least five things that made you happy this week, let me know what one was!

I have had a pretty great week, even though Jeffy has been out of town and it is bird season for us and that usually means dealing with birds hatching and such. Thankfully, they haven’t hatched just yet and will wait for him to get home.

So, here are five things that I enjoyed about this week!

BUG BITE THING SUCTION PUMP

The Bug Bite Thing. If you get bit by anything…you need one of these. I rarely get bit, even here in NC. Jeffy and Lauren get bit constantly, the second they go outside. I hate using chemicals and such on my skin and I happened across this in Kiwi magazine and thought I would try it. It totally works. Takes the itch away instantly! If it is a big bit you may have to do it again the next day but I am not even lying, it totally works. I will say, be careful if you do it on sensitive places like your face…Lauren learned that the hard way, lol.

MyFreezEasy has been a lifesaver with Jeffy gone this week. We have had so many great meals and all I had to do was put them in warm water for 20 minutes. Two were crock pot meals, and one was just something I put in the oven. You guys, if you are busy at all like me, look into doing this. It takes 30-60 minutes usually and you have ten meals ready to go in your freezer. I reviewed them on my blog here, and that was a while back, I am still using it…like ALL the time.
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Camille Rose Curl Maker. You guys know that I have issues with my hair. It’s curly.. I was a total fan of Shea Moisture forever! And then all of a sudden I noticed it wasn’t doing it’s thing and then I started getting some sort of reaction on my hairline. I don’t know if they changed formulas or what, but I couldn’t have that! My neighbors daughter said that she was going to try this for her daughter so I figured why not try it too! I love it!! Thursday Things donating
My Person to Person fundraiser.. You guys.. I don’t know if anyone that reads my blog donated to my fundraiser besides my mom, lol…but we had SO much stuff! We dropped off to Durham County in this picture and there was still stuff outside the picture that you can’t see. So much stuff. They were so grateful! So, thank you, if you are out there reading!! 🙂 We finally delivered to the last county this week. It felt so good to help out where it was needed! Especially since we haven’t had a placement, it just felt like we should do *something! I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help… Ahh…

Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran. Ok, anything by Ed Sheeran, am I right? But this is just such a great happy song and I love listening to it! Have you heard it? Give it a listen if you haven’t!

So, there are five good things about this past week! It’s always good to think of the positive, even if you have a crummy week! Let me know something good from your week!

 

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Fascinating Chemistry {Review}

How do you feel about science? I actually like it a lot! But once we get into high school sciences, trying to find the right curriculum is hard! We’ve been using the same thing for years now, it’s just a textbook, which is totally fine for my oldest! But my younger two, they need just a little bit more. We recently tried out Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education and we were quite pleased!

Fascinating Chemistry

When I was reading the FAQ section I noticed that they recommend starting with chemistry first, then biology, and then physics. I don’t know anyone else that does this, but after reading the explanation, it just makes sense!

It is pretty simple to set this up! If you have just one child using the course you can just set it up and let them go at their own pace, or give them a schedule. I had all of my kids doing it, yes, even my oldest that has already done a full year of Chemistry, ha! So I just played the lesson and was able to control the length for the day.

Fascinating Chemistry lessons

This is what a lesson looks like on your screen. I really like how they have the menu listing all of the sections on the left. Each section is shorter than you think it would be, but still full of information. The graphics that go along with the discussion are very helpful, and easy to understand! Much better than a textbook, but not childish and embarrassing.

Every now and again there is a ‘Catching our breath’ section, which is kind of like a mini review of what you learned already. Just stating it all again to make sure you understood it. Then at the end there are the ‘What you know so far’ sections. That’s just a little more detailed of a review.

You can see at the bottom that Lesson 2 has a lab, this was was growing your own salt crystals. We are still waiting for our salt crystals to form, I think they might be in a bad location, but who knows, we may be surprised! I let the kids to it all!

Fascinating Chemistry lab

When you click on the lab button it brings you to an explanation screen like this. You can then go to the lab or return to the lesson. Of course once my kids saw that there was a lab and we had all of the items, there was no going back, ha!

The narrator is very easy to understand and easy to listen to, which I was happy about. I would like to have an audio book narrated by him, and I don’t even care for audio books! Dr. Sheldon Margulies is very knowledgeable about each subject.. He is a retired neurologist, he taught neurology to over 2500 medical students and residents, and authored three educational textbooks. He isn’t some actor just reading lines!

One of the books, The Fascinating Body: How it Works, sounds like it might be something that I need to buy! If the body is explained in the book the same way that he explains in this course, it should be a winner!

Fascinating Chemistry glossary

Also on the lesson page, on a tab next to the menu list is this Glossary tab. If there is something that is mentioned, or something that you want more information on, click on the tab and scroll down until you find it. Then there is some more information for you.

One of the things that helps a ton for us is that when you log out and then log back in, it asks if you want to start where you left off. YES!! I mean, once you finish a section it isn’t in bold anymore, so you can tell where you left off, but it brings you right to the spot where you left off when you click the yes button. I love that!

Fascinating Chemistry tests

Are there tests? Probably the first question kids ask, right? Yes, there are tests! There is a fantastic online test that you can use, it automatically grades and correct answers are given at the end of each test. There are tutorials on each question if they need help too.

Since I had more than one child using it, we decided to print the PDF tests and then I just used the answer key to grade them. We could then go over them together the ones that they got wrong.

I think they were surprised at some of the questions on the test! I think because the lessons are pretty easygoing they thought the test would be as well. It’s sneaky, but there is a lot of information covered and you don’t even realize how much you are learning.

All in all I am very pleased with what we have gotten to so far! We use it two to three times a week as that is what works best with our schedule right now. In a couple weeks we can up that a bit. I like that you can do it on your own time frame!

If you are interested in what others thought about Fascinating Chemistry or are interested in reading about what they thought of Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics, feel free to click the banner below!

Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}

Fascinating Chemistry

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Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World {Review}

You guys know how much we enjoy using Home School in the Woods products. My kids enjoy the hands-on approach to the way they do things, so this is just perfect for them! We have done a variety of different ones in the past, but one that I was really looking forward to trying was Wonders of the World, which is a part of the Lap-Paks line.

Hands-On History Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World

What I especially loved about this one is that it included Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Natural. Not just one section out of those!

Most of our schooling is reading. I mean, we go through books and books and more books. Sometimes they just get a little tired of my voice, and, let’s be honest, my voice gets tired! lol. This set comes with mp3’s that you can use if you’d like, or it comes with a text booklet that you can print out. You can mix it up if you want, even have a child read aloud one day!

The best thing about Home School in the Woods is that it truly is a hands-on project set! Every wonder of the world has them making something new that will eventually fill up a lap book!

Hands-On History Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World

Granted, my kids don’t color much anymore, so it won’t look like this one once completed, but the content will still be there. With it being something that they put together, I think it is something that will want to be looked at over and over!

We have made our way through Ancient and are working on the Medieval set now. Even though the information provided isn’t lengthy, it is very interesting and you still learn a lot. I have learned quite a few things myself!

Here are a few examples of our latest activities.
Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World
This one actually has layers that you use cardboard to help lift it off the page. It is hard to tell in the photo. One of my kids figured out that the thick double sided tape works well for that too! We will have to remember that for the future! But I love how it makes it look 3-D.
Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World
This one is obvious what it is…lol. But you can make the tower lean or make it straight. I think it looks funny if it isn’t leaning though, right?
Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World
This one has a tab that you pull up and the knight appears. Put the tab back down and he disappears. Just like those books that you always read with kids. So fun for them to actually make these!

I love all the creativity that Home School in the Woods uses in their products and then also that you do in putting them together.

Everything is included for the lapbook activities except the actual craft stuff. Paper, tape, that sort of thing. But the files for everything are there. What we do is print of the days text assignment and project direction the night before. I make sure we have everything ready and just get it all situated for all three kids. We read or listen to the corresponding information and then we work on the project!

The direction sheet has photos with along with the steps so you can see what you are supposed to be doing. Also included in another file is just a file of pictures of the completed projects. That comes in handy too!

In the past we worked on U.S. Elections and you can read my review for that here. Most recently we did the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece and you can read my review here. I am very pleased with the Project Passport choices the more we work on Geography, so I will be looking into doing more of those in the future!

Most recently they came out with a la carte projects! I am fascinated with this idea! This is perfect if you are learning about one topic or the other and want to do a little extra without getting the whole kit. I am looking at Get Your Kicks on Route 66 since we went that way for a little bit on our way out to NC from AZ! If you are interested, you can use the code alacarte at checkout to get the Erie Canal project on that page for free. It’s a great way to check out how they work!

These kits are geared toward grades 3-8, but like I said, my high school kids all enjoy doing these! If you are interested in what other courses look like, feel free to click on the banner below!

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World

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Half way done!

Half way done

In looking at our school schedule, the amount of time we have already taken off, and what we have left…I am thinking that we are half way done with our school year!

Finally…lol.

We typically start at the beginning of January and try to finish in September. It rarely works due to people visiting, random days off that turn into the week off, and just other things throughout the year.

With being half way done in mid-July, I am not quite sure when our last day of school will be now!

I know Ryan is chomping at the bit because he already had his graduation, lol. He claims that that means he should also be done with school, but alas, he does need to finish his Senior year out.. Poor Ryan.. 😉

The way I figure it, we have about 15 weeks left of school. That puts us towards the end of October. That would be awesome if we could stay on track for the rest of the school year and still have two months off for a break.

That would also help me since I will be in the midst of doing student yearbook portraits for our local homeschool group. It is so much better to work on those with no other distractions. Like school I mean. Not that it is a distraction, but I get done quicker if I don’t have school to do also. Because I HAVE to have distractions while working on the portraits themselves, I typically watch a couple seasons of a show on Netflix or something, lol.

I do like having a couple weeks off in the summer like we did, as it breaks it up just enough but we also still have a larger break in the fall, which is our favorite month ever.

We are really hoping to be able to take a vacation this year, and that would be a wonderful time to do it! A few things have to occur in order for that to happen though…and at this point, it doesn’t look like that will happen. :sigh: We will see.

But really, having Ryan almost done with his schooling, and Kyle and Lauren almost done with their first year of high school, I think it is all going pretty well! Homeschooling high school isn’t as scary as I thought it would be!

Ah well, back to getting ready for next weeks school work! I am cutting out things like I am in a Kindergarten class…hehe…

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Restore

Not that long ago I had to go to the dentist to deal with a tooth that was having issues. I knew what I needed before I even went there..but still, I was hoping not to hear the words, lol. Nope, there it was…root canal.. This would be my second one. They really aren’t as bad as what people say, in my opinion! I did have to take antibiotics first before they would do the actual root canal. I don’t like taking them at all, but I understood the need. Some people suggested I look for a probiotic to take. But right at the same time I heard about Restore. Restore isn’t a probiotic, but it is so much more!
Restore logo
With it not being a probiotic, or prebiotic, or any other biotic…lol…I wasn’t exactly sure what it was! But I read up on the Restore website as well as watched a few videos and it sounded like a great thing to try!

I am not one to experience gut problems, but the way I understood it is that it helps your gut with just every day things. Heavily processed foods, GMOs, gluten, and environmental things such as herbicides and antibiotics in farm animals do awful things to your digestive tract and then impact your overall health. It is hard to escape everything!

Restore bottle smRestore is made to keep all that nasty stuff in your guts instead of getting to your bloodstream. One less thing for your immune system to deal with!

This is what I have been using the last few weeks. In case you are wondering, there is no flavor to it. They say that you don’t have to refrigerate it, but I do just because. I think it feels better to drink it cold, maybe because it is summer and miserably hot…lol.
Restore dose
Just one teaspoon three times a day is the dose that is suggested. Now granted, my life as a homeschool mom does not mean I am in fact home all day long. Sometimes I took one serving, sometimes two, and sometimes I did all three.

Few ingredients are listed on the bottle, I love that! Terrahydrite is a stabilized lignite extract and then for other ingredients purified water is the first ingredient. Followed by trace amounts of minerals and other things.

The lignite extract is supposed to help your intestinal walls that in turn helps grow your good gut bacteria. When that is working as it should it helps your immune system and your overall well-being..

Now, I didn’t know what to expect when I tried this. But I have to admit that I did in fact feel just a little better taking it! I could tell when I didn’t get my dose at a certain time. The feeling is undescribable! Oftentimes I do have to watch more of what I am eating, and maybe that is part how it helps…but it makes me want to keep taking it!
RestoreThree things were included in my package.. I was quite happy to have the travel size version and I took it with me on a recent trip to Maine. Fit right in my carry on liquids bag. The travel size is good for six days so I have a couple more servings left for another trip. I had Jeffy try out the nasal spray and he said that he liked it. He uses nasal spray often, especially during allergy season and he said it felt a little more gentle than his other ones, probably because those are all medicated and full of icky things.

Feel free to check out the Restore website for more information and learn about it for yourself! There are videos as well that are quite informative!

Right now you can use the code B7X66JY to get 20% off of everything on the website! But you have to hurry as it expires on July 16th!

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided

 

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