Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year


Monday, December 19, 2016

Good Morning!

Good Morning world! This was my sun rise from the office parking lot as I got off shift this morning. Yes I stood out side when it was 4 degrees just to take this picture. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Another great officer joined the ranks in Heaven this week.

Bruce James Helferstay Jr.

April 13, 1956 - December 11, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Christmas Fun

Me and the girls went to a local Christmas Parade and when I say local I mean 1 hour and 15 minutes away. The girls had so much fun with hot coco provided by the local church snugly blankets and dinner at McDonalds. Both the girls got to see Santa and the Model G Railroad. I think the Railroad was the biggest hit of the night.










Merry Christmas Everyone

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

We are a blue and gold family. Every year we make some new ornaments for our Christmas tree this year we chose to make Thin Blue Line and Thin Gold Line Ornaments for our tree.


Merry Christmas !

Monday, November 21, 2016

What do you do when you get off an 8 hour midnight shift you take your kids for breakfast and hot chocolate of course. Not that I needed any more coffee but whats one more cup when you have already drank 2 pots. Have a great week everyone !



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Take a look at this little gem I found hanging in our ceder tree today. While I was out mulching leaves for compost I discovered this nest hanging in the tree. Then as I continued on I discovered not one but two more nest. My neighbor tells me that people buy these for decorations but I have no idea why. How does one tell if there are any friends still living in it. If anyone has experience with these I would love to hear about it. 


The Critical Thinking Co.™ Language Smarts™ Level E Review

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
Good morning lady's its a school day here in our house and the girls are hard at work and so am I. Today we are going to take a look at Language Smarts™ Level E by The Critical Thinking Co.™ this book is just great. This is a grade 4 language arts book, we used it as a grade 4 textbook. This book consist of 400-pages that are fun as well as colorful, my kids like colorful. This book covers everything from reading, writing, grammar, punctuation as well as critical thinking skills and vocabulary. It covers everything a 4th grader needs to learn. Here is a quick content breakdown.

Level E (Grade 4) Content
    • Capitalization        • Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots
    • Critical Thinking        • Silent E
    • Compare/Contrast        • Singular/Plural
    • Imply/Infer        • Syllables
    • Inference        • Usage
    • Opinion        • Homographs
    • Prediction        • Homophones
    • Adjectives        • Metaphors
    • Adverbs        • Sequencing
    • Antonyms        • Similes
    • Conjunctions        • Writing
    • Interjections        • Characters
    • Nouns        • Comparing
    • Prepositions        • Conflict
    • Pronouns        • Context Clues
    • Sentences        • Drama
    • Subject and Predicate        • Editing
    • Subject-Verb Agreement        • Fiction and Nonfiction
    • Synonyms        • Idioms
    • Verbs        • Parts of a Book
    • Grammar        • Plot
    • Punctuation        • Poems
    • Colons        • Proverbs
    • Commas        • Reference Materials
    • Exclamation Marks        • Setting
    • Periods        • Story Maps
    • Question Marks        • Table of Contents
    • Quotation Marks        • Titles
    • Semicolons        • Topic and Main Idea
    • Spelling        • Using a Dictionary
    • Compound Words 


Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}My 4th grader has really got into this program. We did not start at the beginning since we are already well into the school year. We started out where her other program left off which was the section that covers verbs, nouns ,adjectives etc. We will back track back to the beginning of the book for review a little later in the year. That way I can ensure that she is well rounded and has covered all the standard 4th grade stuff. I like that each lesson gives easy to understand explanations. She is a bit of a visual learner and she really responds well to the way the lessons are explained and how the examples are shown. She likes the activities and I like that I don't have any lesson planning because its laid out really well. So far I have been really impress with the section we have been working with. She is retaining so much more of the information than she was with our previous program and she says its easier to understand. She actually gets what pronouns and adjectives are now. She is also enjoying the included activities. She has don't things like word searches, crossword puzzles, and word jumble activities. The activities really just mix things up a little and get her thinking about the lesson in a different way. 

There are no test in this book but at this point I am ok with that. You will find an answer key at the back of the book. I do sort of wish that came in tear out pages just so I could keep it separate from her work book. I am excited for her to get to the writing section of the book. She is a reluctant writer and I would like to see what this great book can pull out of her. I have previewed this section of the book and I think she is going to like how it is explained. The writing chapter is broke down into sections that make it a little easier to follow. The explanations are very through yet they they get the point across easily with minimal fluff. 

I want everyone to click the banner below and read about other The Critical Thinking Co.™  products. They have some fabulous items and I hope that you will take the time to check it out. 

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Social Media Links:  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Critical-Thinking-Co/46128092293 
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Homeschool Legacy~ Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims Review

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Guess what Turkey Day is coming and I cant wait. For us Thanksgiving is about more than just eating turkey its a chance to learn a little history. This year we are doing the once a week micro study Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims by  Homeschool Legacy. Homeschool Legacy is a curriculum provider that produces unit studies that are Christian based. So if you are looking for great Christian unit studies you are going to want to check out what they have to offer.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}This is a once a week micro study designed for grades 1-8. This grade range was perfect for my 2nd and 4th graders. This micro study is done once a week for 6 weeks and provides children with a thorough understanding of Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. You can do three 30-minute assignments a week or you may do them all in one day. We choose to do them all in one day because well the girls just wanted to. These are downloaded unit studies that you can print but we choose to just read most of it from the computer since it has links that you can click. There are also a few pictures in the download and we don't have a color printer so the pictures just look better on the computer. Each lesson suggest a read-a-loud or classic to do as a family. There are also links that will take you to things like videos to help enhance each lesson.

Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims has six weekly lessons:
  • The Scrooby Separatists
  • The Voyage
  • At Home in Plymouth
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • The Puritans
  • Merry Christmas!
Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims is a great way to celebrate the holiday. My girls loved the activities that were included in the different lessons. I generally got them started on the activity and then read while they worked on it. Taking breaks to field questions and even look up some additional things that interested them. I will say that about 80% of the read-a-loud suggestions were available at our local library or on the digital library that I have on my kindle. My girls loved the video and website suggestions that were included in the lesson. The girls decided that there favorite link was in the At Home in Plymouth lesson. The girls took a virtual field trip to Plymouth Plantation through the Plymouth Plantation Virtual Field Trip. It made the lesson come alive and they really got into the period dress and were fascinated to learn that one of there grandmothers was the first woman to set foot on the shores of Plymouth. I love that they included all theses additional links. I can never find these great things on my own, and the lessons are just so much better when you have some things to interact with.  They really did a great job with this unit study. It is so well put together easy and fun to teach you can help but like it.

They offer lot's of other unit studies like Christmas Comes to America. You will want to click the banner below and read about some of the other Homeschool Legacy studies that the other Crew Families did.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoollegacy/

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Christmas Gift Giving Idea

Good Morning fellow Mom's. A few months a go I wrote a review on Kwik Stix. My girls are still in love with these and I love that they are are mess free. We even use them for on the go projects. I wanted to do a quick update since Christmas is coming and let everyone know that Kwik Stix now come in Metalix and Neon colors. Kwik Stix  are now available at Target.com and in Target stores. These would be great stocking suffers and I am excited to be giving these as stocking suffers this year.

http://www.thepencilgrip.com/







Monday, October 31, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Review

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

We were blessed to receive Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS .  This is another wonderful subscription service that has tones of downloadable lessons that cover all grade levels. There are 1,000 lessons in Math alone 413 lessons for all math grade levels. 525 lessons for all Language Arts grades, 22 lessons for science though they are mostly for middle through high school. History has 26 lessons for 5th grade and up.  There are even a few Music, Art and PE lessons.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
We tried a lesson called Identify Regular and Irregular Verbs. When you go to the page there is a Description about the lesson on the main page. Then off to the side is the good stuff. There is a Teach Lesson button and an additional resources button. Additional Resources will take you to the downloadable student handout. The Teach Button is just that the part you take your child to. There they will actually learn the lesson being taught. The lesson opens in your web browser and is fairly simple to navigate. It has forward and backwards buttons at the bottom. It gives your child an objective and a reminder about prior knowledge, There is also a make a connection and a vocabulary section and a marker for highlighting things as you go. There are some questions along the side of each page to work through as you go along in the lesson. When you have completed the lesson they will do the student handout. Parents answer key is included and they are working on a quiz for your child to do after each lesson.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service ReviewsMy 4th grader liked it she said the lessons were fairly easy to understand. I had to explain to her how it worked the first time and after that she was able to navigate the lesson on her own, stopping to ask me questions as she needed. She noted that as she clicked the forward button in the lesson that it would select the answer to the questions on the page. So I had to have her write her answer down on a piece of paper then click to check and see if she was right.

The next one we tried out was Produce Simple Sentences. This one is a 2nd grade lesson like the others it has some printable student handouts. The navigation of the lesson is similar to the others we tried. My second grader need more guidance on it but I expected that. As you read through the lesson it will ask you to do some things like circle the subject. No matter what you click in the lesson it will select the correct answer for you. It will also show the answer when you hit the forward arrow.  So like for my oldest daughter we started having her write down her answer to the question before clicking to check and see if she was correct. Then I remembered the Highlighter feature. So now I have them highlight the answer before clicking to see if they are right. This worked much better than the write your answer on a separate sheet of paper. She also enjoyed the lessons and did well with the student hand outs.

The only down fall we found with the program is that the lessons are not read out loud to the child. This would be such a handy addition for an auditory learner. My daughter likes to both hear and read the lessons. So she was a bit bummed when it did not read the lesson to her. I would also like to see more science and history lessons for the elementary and middle school grades.

Everyone click the link below to see to check out what the other Homeschool Review Crew members tried out at Educeri.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service

Social Media Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teacheduceri   @educeri

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Road Trip

We took a little trip in our favorite rocket ship!


These pictures will give you a hint.


 We are going to get a little wet on our trip.

And its going to be a little hot



The girls loved seeing all the wind mills making electricity. 

Can anyone guess where we traveled to? 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MyFreezEasy at MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership Review

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}Good morning my mommy friends. Today I want to introduce you to MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership by MyFreezEasy. I received this membership and its amazing. MyFreezEasy is basically a meal planning service to help you make meals that you prep all in one day and freeze so when you are in a rush you can just pull it out of the freezer toss it in say a crock pot and continue on with your day. Not all recipes are crock pot recipes but whether it's tossing it in a pan or the oven they are all super easy to cook. I chose mostly crock pot recipes because well you just toss it in and go.

The service is easy to you it gives you a great selection of menus for everything form chicken to beef, pork, gluten free etc. The options are really endless and they seem to always be adding new recipe's. The site advertised that you can prep 10 meals for the freezer in 1 hour. It has some great how to videos and directions. Now while I watched all of these videos and read the directions it took me longer than an hour. Imagine that the longer you do this the faster you get at the prep process.

After I watched the how to videos I started flipping through all the recipes and different meal plans that the site has available. I chose to use a mix and match method of different recipe's since I have some picky eaters in my home and I wanted to give this a try with out having to go grocery shopping. So I picked out my recipes and printed them off along with the handy dandy labels and shopping list. I love the shopping list by the way. I never forget anything if I use it and since its already made for me why not. The next morning I got set up to make my freezer meals. You will first label all your freezer bags. Then you should pull out ingredients and get everything chopped and cut up for each recipe. Next you will want to pre-cook anything that your directions tell you to pre-cook. Once all of that is done you will begin to put everything for each meal into the pre-labeled bags smash out all the air or as much as you can and pop them in the freezer. I like to lay mine flat tell they freeze then I found that I can stand them upright in baskets in the freezer to save on room. You can fit a lot of these baby's in the freezer if you wanted to.  Forgive me I forgot to take a picture of them all stacked up in my freezer but it looks just like the picture above only its all sitting in my freezer.



MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

When it came time to uses them I basically dumped it in the crock pot and continued on with my day. I did have a couple of meals that needed to be cooked in the oven or on the stove and those were almost as easy to cook as the crock pot meals are. The only difference is I needed to keep a better watch on it as it was finishing up in the oven or stove top. A lot of the things that go into the bags are pre cooked so when it comes down to putting the actual meal together it flies by. So far every freezer meal we have tried has been amazingly good. Octobers recipes just came out a few days a go and my girls are dying to try Cheeseburger Nachos.

I want everyone to click the link below and read what the other Crew Mom's thought about about MyFreezEasy.com.

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Everyday Education, LLC Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting Review

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
For the last couple of months we have had the pleasure of using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting by Everyday Education, LLC. This is a very simple step by step program that you can use to teach your child to read as well as how to write beautifully. You can use this program as your primary reading and handwriting program or as a supplement. We chose to use it as a handwriting supplement. The program consist of 60 lessons and is phonics based. It starts with Italic handwriting that progresses from straight to a slant and joined writing. It comes in both a downloadable version or a printed/bound physical book that has 218 pages.
Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
We received the downloadable version of Perfect reading, Beautiful Handwriting. Currently the price for the downloadable version is $27.00. We chose to use this mainly as a handwriting supplement since both of the girls are already reading. The program is easy to download and navigate. It comes with some easy to follow basic instructions on how to use it. The writing pages start out with straight letters and progress on to slanted and then joined lettering. Chapters 1-5 are phonics based lessons and start out with straight writing. Chapter 6 is the handwriting chapter. In this area is where all the handwriting magic happens. Chapter 6 covers all of these handwriting areas.

  • Different Ways Italic Can Look 170
  • Using This Chapter 172
  • “The Night Before Christmas” Copywork 174
  • Slanted Letters 180
  • Trace, Copy, and Finish 186
  • Reproducible Guide Sheet: Slanted 187
  • Writing in a Smaller Size 188
  • Reproducible Guide Sheet – Smaller Size 189
  • Joining Letters Together 190
  • Joining Practice 192
  • Using the Edged Pen 196
  • Adding Serifs 200
  • Reproducible Guide Sheet for Edged Pen 203
  • Variations 204
  • Joined Writing with an Edged Pen 208

We skipped ahead a little to the slanted lettering because the girls were already writing straight lettering fairly well. We did lessons about three days a week. I found this one chapter to be enough to improve the girls letter formation and they are beginning to understand how to connect the letters. Some pages we have printed more than once for additional practice. I still have to watch my lefty because she tends to start letters from right to left for some reason but over all we are seeing some slow improvements with her writing.

The first 5 chapters are the phonics chapters while we did not use these specifically I did look through them. I liked the way it was laid out the simplicity was nice and the instructions for teaching it were easy to understand. The phonics are very basic and great for a beginner just learning how to read. It makes it nice that they are learning how to write at the same time they are learning phonics. Buy combining both it is a great time saver and its nice to combine things when ever possible. 

If you click the banner below you can read how some of the other Homeschool Review Crew members used the phonics portion of the program.
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