Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 44

This week has been a ton better than the past several.

My leg infection is much better. It is still painful when the dressing has to be changed every night. I go back to the Dr Tuesday and I am praying that everything looks good and normal and I can stop having to pack my leg with gauze. My husband is amazing and has changed my packing every day, without him I don't know what I would have done.

This week we will actually be doing a small amount of school tomorrow! Yes, on Saturday! We are trying very hard to get Mystery of History Volume 1 complete with only 6 more lessons. I can't begin to tell you how much I have loved using this program. I already have Volume 2 for September. 

 Zachary is also on his last lesson in Math U See Gamma. He has really loved mileage and tons. We started plowing through All About Spelling with force! We started last week mid week and we are today on lesson 12. It was a great review and although some lessons still give him a little trouble he did wonderful. Some days his dyslexia just can't let his brain, mouth and eyes work together. He gets so frustrated. The last 2 weeks I have prayed a lot about his therapy being denied for the second go round and after talking to the therapist she recommended that we start completely over and review everything with some of the techniques that she taught us.

Kyle is trying very hard to finish up Biology 101. He also finishes Drivers Ed next week! He has done so great on his tests ( I have to brag - 85, 90, 92, 96, 97) and Tuesday is his final test. I am proud of the way he has conducted himself. I am also very proud that he comes home talking about the things he sees what short time he is there that isn't appropriate! That means everything we have taught has actually sunk in.

Alexis has 4 more lessons in Grammar. She has had some issues this week with getting along with certain people.

This week I have struggled with some emotions related to our foster son. News of situations and changes that affect him weight on my mind for the well being of him. I am proud of my family for treating him so kindly.

 I have made lunch and cleaned for Kevin's parents some this week. I hate to see his mom in such poor health and even though our relationship through the years has been some what horrible I would hope that if the situation was reversed she would do the same for my family. 

We have been swimming a few more times this week. I am sad that I can't get in because of my leg.

My favorite meal this week has been Hamburger Steak and a baked potato. I know it seems silly but oh man was I craving it and it was delicious. 

Sunday was Father's Day and of all days for our water pump to act up it did. My daddy and Grandpaw came down to help Kevin see what was wrong and after a few hours they figured it out. I am thankful for family that can help when needed. That was true selflessness and that exactly what Father's are.

Next week will be so odd. I am so nervous about sending Kyle and Lexi to Church Camp, they have never went anywhere for a week without me. I couldn't think of a more wonderful place to send them though. I know they will have a blast. I have something planned for Zachary and I that I hope he enjoys. 

Linking up with Kris over @ Weird, UnSocialized Homeschoolers


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tales from the Circle C Ranch { Review }

My daughter has been in love with horses for several years now so anything horse is a wonderful addition to her life.

We welcomed Circle C Adventures into our household a year or so ago with some of the beginner books Circle C Beginnings from Susan Marlow. My daughter enjoyed them greatly. I was recently asked from the Schoolhouse Review Crew to review the newest addition to the Circle C Adventure - Tales from the Circle C Ranch, needless to say my daughter was very happy!

The book itself is a 150 pages. The print is a very nice size for my young reader. The physical book cost is $7.99. We also received Tales from the Circle C Ranch Lapbook, the cost of that item is different depending on what format you want but in our case the digital download was $7.00.

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review

The book is separated into part one and part two for the early years and the in between years of Andi, whom the main character is within the Circle C books. The book has 11 different stories. Alexis is 11 and loves horses so this was a book that she really enjoyed reading. Her favorite stories are White Christmas & Virginia's Riding Lesson. Lexi laughed saying that they get into more trouble and crazy situations than we do! She also liked how Virginia was someone Andi didn't like but still helped and it turned out pretty good. With the book being set in the 1800's it has a lot about ranch life and there is actually a lot of history written within the stories too!

Alexis read a little here and there, I have never been one that really has to make her read. She knew it was a review and I asked her to finish the book by a certain date and tell me her thoughts. She was finished in 2 weeks. She loves to read and then when you add something that she loves into that it is simply a great fit.

This is a companion book to the previous books, however it is still a stand alone book. This book answers readers questions from the earlier books about family, situations and life.

The stories are varied in length, some days she would read 2 chapters and others just 1. 

She loved all the drama and action in the stories. 

She liked how this wasn't one long book, but several different stories in one. (short stories)

Lexi said Andi's family sounded really fun and adventurous.

Lexi actually read one of the stories to my smallest son, Snakes Alive. We all agree that this is not just a girl book, it could very easily be read as a family read aloud for boys and girls to enjoy.

Now a little about the lapbook, Lexi believes she is too old for lapbooks so we did not use that resource however it complements the book wonderfully. 

You cover the history of photographs, general stores, snakes and the history of fireworks! There is so much fun to study within the lapbook that I hope I can talk her into skimming through it soon.

Find Circle C on Facebook & Twitter

Dynamic Literacy Review

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Wordless Wednesday Week 44

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shrimp Scampi { YUM }

I love seafood however I will totally admit I have only cooked with shrimp a few times my entire life. Something about it just has always scared me. So while picking up some salmon (my favorite) last week I grabbed a bag of scrimp too.

I was ready, ready to try something different and fresh and I believe I totally accomplished that with this dish.

It was FAST & EASY but my favorite was it being fast. I believe it only took about 20 minutes to cook from beginning to end.

Your gonna need to get some onion & garlic started in a pan with half a stick of butter. 

Let that cook for about 2 minutes then your gonna put in your shrimp. I used peeled & deveined shrimp but they did have a tail the first time but the second time I cooked this I found peeled, deveined and no tail. 

Next, I added a little EVOO and juice from 3 lemons.

Salt and pepper and let it cook for just about 2/3 minutes and I covered and removed from the heat.

Now your gonna need boiling water to add some angel hair pasta too!

As soon as those 8ish minutes are done get the noodles and place into the shrimp!

I stirred it all around and topped with Parsley and Parmesan - Can you say YUM?

My children and husband absolutely loved this dish.

It was a very light but filling dish and I loved that it was so easy and fast for my busy days.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 43

This week has been very interesting. I have had an infection in my leg and yesterday it had to be lanced and drained and I will be totally honest. IT HURT. I am in pain and it was said it could take up to 3 weeks for the pain to go away and up to 7 for it to heal! Prayers are greatly appreciated considering walking and standing is very difficult for me.

Homeschooling this week was very relaxed. Zachary is working on finishing up his Math U See Gamma and working on his reading skills. Kyle is still trying to complete Biology and Math U See Algebra and Lexi is trying hard to get her Growing With Grammar complete. All of them only have a few lessons left to complete. They have been reading more and working on drilling simple facts that need to stay in their mind.

We have been sad that 2 weeks in a row we have missed out volunteering at the food panty. I am sure they miss us terribly. 

Zachary my smallest has truly been a sweet helper since I came home yesterday all cut up and in pain. The boy hasn't left my side but for sleeping and mowing the grass. He wouldn't even go swimming today because he wanted to stay with me. Bless that heart of his.

This week I was personally trying to work on getting some freezer meals together for our family but also for hubby's parents.

My favorite meal I cooked this week was Bowtie Chicken! YUM it is always one of my favorites.

I rewarded the kiddos with a swimming trip and Kyle got new shirts that he just found hilarious (teenagers).

Honestly, this week I have just skimmed through. It has been a rough week. I had hopes of taking the kiddos to Dollywood again but with my leg issues I totally can not.

I do have a place picked out about an hour away that I want to visit and explore so that will be very soon - well as soon as I can walk!

Father's Day is Sunday and I am so very thankful for my dad. I am also thankful for the father my husband is to our children. I am so proud of the man he is, he has grown so much since we were 16 and 20.

I did have some heartbreak this week related to therapy Zachary had been getting but we will prevail.

Linking up with Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dynamic Literacy {Review}

Man do I have an exciting new curriculum to tell you about today! I have been reviewing a Vocabulary curriculum from Dynamic Literacy. We all know how difficult teaching the English language is, don't we?

Dynamic Literacy, is an educational publisher that started in 2002. They strive to improve vocabulary, language and reading comprehension. Their system was created to help children and parents understand the frequently used Greek and Latin roots in our very complicated English language.     

I was sent the Elements Level 1 Deluxe Edition, which retails for $99.99. The set contains the teacher edition, student notebook and the WordBuild Game.

JazzEdge  Review

My daughter is using this and she is entering her 7th grade year, she is 11. This book is recommended for use with grade ranges 6th - 10. 

Before receiving this review I made sure she fit the recommendation for Elements because the child needs to have mastered phonics and have a good knowledge of suffix and prefixes.

For starters I had to read within the teacher edition to understand the way to teach and how to use the program. I appreciated that the directions where really laid out for me step by step. I've never really taught this way or topic so I was a little scared at first. 

The teacher book is a very large book so that kind of freaked me out too!

To be honest at first the teacher edition was a little confusing to me because everything is in separate boxes and I guess it just being new (me being intimidated) gave me trouble but over time it has become easier.

I love how each lesson has a little clock at the top of each lesson telling you how long it should take. Normally we spent about 15-20 minutes on each lesson. Most lessons are recommended to stop at 15 minutes however the Advanced Preparation lessons took less time each lesson ranging about 5 minutes each time.

The teacher edition was extremely helpful in having everything laid out for what the student is responsible for too!

I also have to say for the first time I think ever; I used the appendix in the back of the book! I checked the dictionary in the back of the book several times for different reasons and for help for Lexi.

Each week we worked on one root, I am so glad that within the teacher book it gave guidance for adjusting to easier or more difficult activities because some lessons I needed the easier adaptation. 

There was also Advanced Preparation lessons that where very important to use. In the beginning of our learning there were several of these but once we got pass the ones in the beginning they are spread out nicely. These teach or review prefixes and or suffixes coming up.

The Student Activity Book is simple and about a quarter of the size that the teacher book is! The student book has all the activities within it like a workbook. It is very cleanly laid out with no distractions. It is black and white print and gave her enough room for her writing.

JazzEdge  Review

Now for the WordBuild Game! This was an exciting twist to learning because I have always taught my children with games. This was very simple to get started with we just simply inserted the disc into our computer and read a little about the settings and got started. 

I was shocked that the game had over 200 roots and makes over 18,000 words. I actually enjoyed this maybe more than Lexi, because she was so scared she was going to make words that wasn't actually words but it stops ya! The game gives you the ability to use morphemes learned and create words. You can actually check to see if it is a real word, if it is it will tell you what the definition is and you get points when it is. 

You also can play around with word families.

We enjoyed changing up the background music too, neat feature!

JazzEdge  Review

She also loved that the character that takes you through the game has the same name!

Overall I was scared when starting this review simply because it was new ground for me. I am happy to say with this program I have taught my daughter Latin and Greek roots successfully. All the components work together for a smooth learning experience.

Find Dynamic Literacy on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Dynamic Literacy Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, June 15, 2015

Apple Crisp { Recipe }

A dear friend of mine a few weeks ago made me an apple crisp and it was delicious! I asked for her recipe and then altered it a little for myself. It was wonderful! 

The kiddos thought so too because nothing was left. 

I took one of my favorite casserole dishes and poured unsweetened applesauce in the bottom. I didn't measure.

Then in a bowl I mixed:
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup melted butter 
1/2 cup ap flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

Once that was mixed I poured that evenly over my apple sauce.

I placed in a 350 degree oven for almost 25 minutes. 

It was a wonderful dessert, easy and fast! 


Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 42

Hello weekend!

Its been almost 5 weeks since I posted a Weekly Wrap Up blog post! Yikes, however I have been keeping my Wordless Wednesday posts updated so you can take a peek throughout our week!

It has been a busy few weeks. 

We enjoyed Kyle going to his first formal party/celebration with his long time best friend (yes a girl). They looked wonderful together and he enjoyed himself greatly. They had a fun time together.

We have been hiking and enjoying the pool lots!

We've also hit DollyWood several times! Gotta get that monies worth for the season ticket price!

Friends have been staying over more, since we have finished up the majority of our curriculum our days are very relaxed at this point which allows for more fun time.

I've been preparing a lot of freezer meals for ourselves and Kevin's parents. His mother isn't doing very well and his father is taking all his time to take care of her, we would really appreciate your prayers for them.

How can summer come without a camp fire and marshmallows of course! Our foster son loved this, I guess he has never done it before and he has talked so much about it.

Lexi had her first piano recital! She played It Is Well and Amazing Grace. She did wonderful. She was so happy and proud because she finally got a trophy. Gymnastics never gave one so she never received one while the boys always get one almost yearly for ball, so again she was a happy happy girl!

Kyle had his annual appointment at UNC last week and we had a special day together, we enjoyed Mellow Mushroom for the first time and it was great.

That pretty much wraps up what has been going on around here.

I am in a purging stage at this point with our homeschool supplies and curriculum. I normally hold on to things but with my guys getting older I have stopped holding on to books and products. I am going through a lot of the house hold items too. I donated a huge pile several times recently.

Downstairs is almost finished being constructed for the boys. I can not wait to have the new rooms finished for the boys! They can't wait either.

And I have decided I am going to repaint the living room ( hubby is going to kill me). I can't take the baby blue anymore. Almost every room in the house is gray or white and I just must have it a light gray, I can't take it anymore!! Maybe he will not kill me...


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Apologia Field Trip Journal { Review }

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

Apologia Educational Ministries  is a big deal in the homeschool world. You have had to hear about it along the way. They offer wonderful science curriculum and worldview/biblical books and curriculum too.

Today I get to tell you about a neat new product they have - The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal

My daughter has been reviewing this for me for the last few weeks. She is 12 and loves sketching, drawing and notebooking and this was the perfect thing for her.

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

When getting the journal the first thing I noticed about it was the thickness of the pages. The journal has very thick cardstock so no matter where you are you can sketch or draw and you can't mess the page behind it up with markers or leave indents on the page behind. This is one huge issue my daughter has when projects like this come up, but she didn't have that problem with the Field Trip Journal.

There are tips for preparing for a Field Trip inside too, just a good tip for the kiddos I already do the majority of what it suggested. 

I loved how they had Field Trip Ideas for you too. Sometimes you think of a Field Trip by being some trip that takes you a few hours to get too, well my family over the years have found places to visit near us that I never knew existed. Apologia has added an extra to the book here by giving you a code to access additional information for virtual field trips and giving state maps!

Then the pages begin being fun for the child. 

Lexi then sketched an outline of our state North Carolina and went to listing everywhere we had ever been, I told her she was in no way going to remember them all but I have to say she came pretty close. 

The next sketch page is for places you have explored in the US. She had a very few to list there but what she did have she had great memories about so that made it better. However she warned us that she needed more when logging these (lol).

Then you forward to the Field Trip Pages, these are pages that are for specific trips. The pages are really cute, they are like scrapbook pages just waiting on decoration and record keeping. 

We have went on a few adventures just for this book the last several weeks however she did log some trips that have been a personal favorite to her as well.

Here favorite place in the book has been the My Special Spot. I believe I have taught my daughter well in taking time to enjoy God's beauty around her especially when life gets busy and stressful. I have a special spot I enjoy depending on the weather and so this was a good fit for us because often throughout life I have expressed to my kiddos to take time for them before destroying from within.

You get a special spot for each of the 4 seasons. 

BTW, we have 2 of the exact same "Special Spots" which I loved. May come in handy as she gets older!

Nearing the end of the journal you have the freedom of just sketching within the Thoughts & Drawings As I See It section.

This was another favorite section for Lexi because she loves to sketch things out and she is one of those type people that likes to do her own design so these pages allowed her to do just that. She had freedom.

Overall my daughter loved this Field Trip Journal from Apologia. I think it is well worth the $22 that it sells for. This becomes a keepsake after all the time and effort that is put within, she loves keeping her artwork and notebooking/lapbooking projects and this is totally no different.

You can take a peek at sample pages from the journal to better understand if this would be a good item for your children.

Find Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+.

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review
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