Menu Plan Monday 8/14/17

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Welcome to week two of August! It is incredibly hot here in Florida and we are dodging tropical storms left and right, but so far, it’s been a pretty typical summer! My younger son and I are gearing up to start school in the next few weeks, so we are trying to squeeze as much fun as possible out of what we have left. My oldest starts back to college this week, so I let him pick a few family favorites to eat before he goes back. Meanwhile, here’s what’s for dinner in our house.

Monday: Chicken tamales (a family favorite)

Tuesday: Taco stuffed shells

Wednesday: Stuffed pork chops

Thursday: Chicken with rice and beans

Friday: family dinner out

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday 8/7/16

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Welcome to August! My birthday was this past weekend and I had a fabulous time celebrating with family and friends. Now, it’s back to work and regular life! Here’s our menu for the week:

Monday: Ribs with Southern Green Beans

Tuesday: Garlic and Basil chicken

Wednesay: Citrus Steak

Thursday: Lasagna Soup

Friday: Dinner out with friends

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week!

TOS Review: Heirloom Audio Productions (In the Reign of Terror)

Heirloom Audio ProductionsIn summer, we do a lot of road trips, and I love having audiobooks to listen to in the car as we drive. It’s a great way to keep our whole family entertained! For this review, we got to check out In the Reign of Terror, the latest offering from Heirloom Audio Productions. We have reviewed several of Heirloom’s audiodramas before, and we are never disappointed. Based on novels by GA Henty, the stories are always full of adventure and excitement that keeps my boys on the edge of their seats, and this new one was no different!

In the Reign of TerrorSet against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the story is the perfect mix of history and drama. It tells the story of a young man named Harry, who is caught up in the events of the revolution, trying to save an aristocratic Christian family from execution. The cast, as always, is stellar, with Brian Blessed leading as Henty himself. Rounding out the ensemble are actors like John Rhys-Davies from movies like The Lord of the Rings, and Cathy Sara from Downtown Abbey.

The cast does an amazing job of bringing the characters to life, infusing them with passion and vibrance. You really connect with each one, and find yourself anxiously waiting to see what happens to each person. A 2 CD set, In the Reign of Terror offers over two hours of entertainment, broken into sections that easily allow you to pick up wherever you left off. This feature is especially convenient if you listen to it on a day when you have to run a lot of errands.

Heirloom audio always seems to product top-notch products, complete with background music and sound effects that draw you even deeper into the story. You find yourself automatically rooting for Harry and waiting on pins and needles as each new chapter develops.

In addition to the audiobook, you also get access to a downloadable study guide. This guide features questions for each chapter in the story. The questions range from recall questions that make sure students listened and remember what happened, to vocabulary and questions that require listeners to dig deeper and make connections between events and draw conclusions, make inferences and other higher-order thinking skills. We usually discuss these questions orally after each section, leading to a lot of family discussion. The guide wraps up with three Bible stories that connect with the Biblical themes related in the story. If you would like to use this audiodrama as part of a unit study, Heirloom also offers a reading list with books about the French Revolution in the study guide, which would be especially useful for older students.

Users also have the option of joining the Live the Adventure Club, an online community that Heirloom just started. If you sign up, you not only gain access to the downloadable extras, but you can also participate in discussion boards about the books, access quizzes on the audiobooks, and have your kids play games and find lots of other things to do to further explore the adventure!

We thoroughly enjoyed In the Reign of terror and are looking forward to Heirloom’s next adventure! To learn more, connect with them on social media here:

Heirloom Audio on Facebook

Heirloom Audio on Twitter

Heirloom Audio on Google+

To see what other members of the crew had to say about this product, click here:

 

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

Menu Plan Monday 7/31/16

 

Wheeee! It is the end of July and the heat is on. We have about one month left of summer vacation, and this is my birthday week, so I will be celebrating for sure! One of the things I love most about my birthday is that my hubby and boys always get together to make me a special birthday meal! I have no idea what their plans are, but I love seeing them working together in the kitchen! this is our menu for the week, as I will not be cooking on the weekend:

Monday: Red Wine Pork chops with pan roasted beans and mushrooms

Tuesday: Shepherds Pie

Wednesday: Chicken enchiladas

Thursday: French Dip sandwiches

Friday: Dinner with friends!

I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday!

Pan Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

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I love mushrooms! I eat them in salads, spaghetti sauce, and even on sandwiches! My kids aren’t huge fans, but if I find a way to cook them with something else I can sometimes get them to eat them. This recipe includes roasted green beans for added flavor.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb. green beans, trimmed

1 lb sliced mushrooms

3 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Wash the green beans and mushrooms, chop the garlic.

2. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and add the seasonings, mix together well.

4.  Roast in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until the green beans are crisp.

That’s it, an easy and tasty side dish! Enjoy!

Menu Plan Monday 7/17/17

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You know how when you get back from vacation and it takes you a while to get back into reality mode? That’s pretty much where I’m at this week. We had a great week in North Carolina last week, and here we are at home again, and I have loads of laundry to do and stuff to put away and I’m having a really hard time getting motivated to do any of it! At least I was able to get my dinner plans together for this week. Here’s what’s on our menu:

Monday: Crispy Chicken with Beans

Tuesday: Spanish Rice (crock Pot)

Wednesday: Mexican Pizza

Thursday: Baked Lemon Chicken

Friday: Buffalo chicken salad

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

TOS Review: Fascinating Education (Fascinating Biology)

Fascinating EducationAll kids learn differently, and one of the great things about homeschooling is how you can customize your child’s education to meet their needs. So, one of my kids is a fantastic book-learner. You can just hand him a textbook, tell him where to start, and send him on his way. My other one, however, really struggles with textbooks. Too many words on a page, too big, too intimidating etc. So, I have learned to find alternate methods of teaching for him, including online learning. For this review, we got to check out Fascinating Biology from Fascinating Education.

Fascinating  PhysicsThe course consists of 18 lessons that include topics like energy, nutrients, reproduction, adaptations, plants, and more. Each lesson offers a narrated power-point style video with a navigation bar on the side. I really appreciated this part because it was easy to break the lessons up if you wanted (for kids like mine with a short attention span) and pick up right where you left off. If you have a child who is not an audio/visual learner, Fascinating Education also gives you a word-by-word script of the lessonn with the pictures included so your child could read the lesson instead. These are also handy for reviewing before taking the tests.

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The tests are basically quizzes that review the information in the lesson with multiple choice questions. Students receive their grade immediately and if they did not do well, they are given the chance to review the test and retake it. I really really like the review part, because that is what I would have my son do anyway if he had trouble with a test in any subject. I think giving your kids a chance to review where they went wrong helps them learn the correct information and then they can retake the test afterwards. You can also print PDFs of the tests if you prefer to use paper and pencil.

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As far as how we used Fascinating Biology, it was pretty easy. I would look at the lesson for the week and decide how much my son would do each day. One thing to know about this program is that some lessons can be long (45 minutes). If you have a child who can focus on a presentation for that long, then you’re fine. If not, you can break it into sections using the menu like I did. My son usually did at least three sections per day, depending on the rest of our schedule. It will probably take us a little longer to complete it that way, but I don’t mind. I’m more concerned about making sure he really understands the information.

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After each lesson, we would talk about what he learned, and I could use the script at this point to follow along and make sure he knew what he was talking about. The tab on the side also includes a glossary of terms that you could use to have your child keep a biology vocabulary notebook if you wanted. Once he finished an entire lesson, we would review the key terms and then he would take the test. If he did well, we would move on, if not, I always had him review the test and also the script to go over those concepts that he missed. If you want, you can also print the tests, which will give you the score, and list of questions which tell you which ones your child got right and which ones they got wrong.

One thing to note, the program at this point does not save test scores, nor do they keep running grades, so you will have to keep track of that yourself. Also, while some of the tests include questions from multiple lessons, there are no formal mid-term or final exams. Since Fascinating Education has made some changes to their programs, there have been a few technichal issues with sound and things like that, but I didn’t really feel that was a big issue. Their team is very responsive and works hard to resolve problems quickly, and I find it is not uncommon to run into hiccups when using computer-based programs in general.

I feel like Fascinating Biology is a great overview of a biology course. After trying and trying to get my son through a traditional textbook course, I was really happy to find something that worked well for him. I think he is getting a fantastic grasp of biology concepts, and will have a great foundation to move on from.

To see what other members of the crew had to say about this product, and the others we got to check out, click here:

Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}

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