Friday, May 29, 2015

Flooded Friday

Here is Texas, over the last few weeks, we have gotten a ton of rain and storms and more rain. Our lakes were so low one side was dried up and the other side was very low you could see an old bridge. Now, however, we aren't in a drought anymore. No, actually parts of our area are flooding.

Thankfully we live up on a hill on the 2nd floor of our building. We woke up this morning after a crazy storm last night, to flooding across the street from us. There is a creek behind all the trees and I believe that creek has flooded and now, well I will let the photos speak for themselves....

We are supposed to get more rain tonight, but I think with the hill being as high as it is we won't see any flooding on the street hopefully. 

This has been a great time to study weather too. I told Monster as we walked around this area, these would be great for his weather journal! We also got to talk about how the pressure from the raging waters pushed part of a fence down. He thought this was neat to see. Hopefully we won't get to see anymore any closer!! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What we ate Wednesday ( lunch )

I am not a cooker. Never really have been either. My husband knew what he was getting into when he married me!

Here lately though I have been wanting to try better things for us to eat, rather than frozen whatevers that we just heat up in the microwave.

So, today I tried and succeed in making homemade chicken nuggets!

Here is what I did:

Cut up some chicken tenders. Mine was like 2 lb. of chicken.  Wash hands. 

I put some flour in a bowl. Did not measure this at all, just dumped some in a bowl. Placed cut up chicken in the bowl to cover it. Wash hands.

Then added the chicken to 3 eggs and a little bit of milk. Shake it up! Wash hands. 

Took it out and placed chicken pieces on a plate of bread crumbs and paprika. Again, I did not measure any of this. I just put some out, rolled them around and if I needed more I added more. Oh yeah, wash hands. 

Then I put them in the over and baked them at 350 degrees for 25 mins. While they are baking you can clean up any messes made because yes, this was messy. At least for me it was! I washed my hands several times in between ( could ya tell?) because I am weird and don't like things on my hands like that. 

Once out of the over and you're done cleaning the kitchen up and doing all the dishes. They should be cooled off enough to serve and eat! 

In the words of my EXTREMELY PICKY EATER ( Monster) "they were fantastic!" 

I will be making more of these for sure! 

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Last week and now this week we have had several rainy days. Most of Texas has! We have had to reschedule field trips, find more entertaining things to do while indoors all while working on school work. 

Monster has found that since he can not go outside to ride his scooter ( because of the days on end of rain!) He can scooter in our hallways outside the front door. Great thing about our apartment. Indoor access. So Monster has been doing this daily now. 

He has really enjoyed this and I like that it still gets him up and moving even though it is raining outside. Thankfully our neighbors are all pretty nice and don't mind him doing this! 

We also like to have nerf gun fights in the hall, in the house, and well anywhere really. 

We took this chance to clean and organize his room as well. His closet is still a huge work in progress. I need containers.... lots of containers! 

There was a break in between storms so we went downstairs to Auntie Anne's and got pretzels. Like an hour later storms hit again. 

Our storms have been pretty bad, but nothing like Houston. I have family down there and yesterday they could not make it into work. Today they were able to, but they have more rain this week. Houston needs prayers for sure. I was told the flooding has not been this bad since the hurricane hit in 2001! 
All the lakes here in Dallas that were extremely low are mostly back to normal levels. Thankfully. But we could use a little break from the rain. Monster really wants to go swimming!!!  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Week of May 18-22nd

This week we have been home most of the week. Staying home, but staying busy.

Monster worked on Math, Vocabulary, Reading, Handwriting and some outdoor time while the weather was nice. Here in North Texas we have been having storms off and on all week long.

Today is also our last day of co-op for the school year and for us, the next year. We decided to take a year off and then see where we are lead to next.

Here are some fun photos from this week:
Monster decided to wear two different shoes out... and I let him... pick your battles :) 

Monster working on Vocabulary online. 

Working hard in Math. 

May 19th was national scooter day. So we got outside and scooted... Mama needs a scooter to keep up with this kid! 

Hubby and I had a date night at our local Painting with a Twist. I had a blast. I really enjoyed it. Hubby said it stressed him out. Guess next time I should go on a girls night. And yes this is the cloak from Harry Potter. 

Beautiful sunset we had. We have had lots of rain and usually with a pink sky it would mean more rain coming. Surely enough. 

Monster got a much needed haircut! 

Using a new website ( which I will be reviewing in the upcoming weeks), we watched a movie on Dolphins. 

Monster and Mommy ( and Daddy and his work) supported a great cause from TOMS. #withoutshoes on Instagram. 

To end the week (well besides co-op today!) Monster and his friend got to go to Build a Bear last night and create their minions! 

This week was a good one. 

Stay tuned for more reviews and updates coming soon...... 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Torchlighters ( Heroes of the Faith): The John Wesley Story ( Review) Review
We were given the chance to review The Torchlighters (Heroes of the Faith): The John Wesley Story from

About the company: is an online company that sells Christian and family movies. They have a wide range of movies from children movies to adults, They have comedy, drama, TV series, biographies, educational, Christmas movies and even a $5 movie section. believes that media and entertainment are gifts from God that help to spread his message with creativity and excellence. 

About the product: Review
The John Wesley Story is based on the priest John Wesley who was the founder of the Methodist movement. 

When John Wesley was 6 he was save from his burning house miraculously. His Mother calls him "brand plucked from the burning." John's mother believes that God has saved him for a special purpose in life. As an adult man, Wesley tried to find his special meaning in life. During this time he even sets off for America to try to get Native Americans to convert to Christianity  Unfortunately for him it does not work out so well on his own. John Wesley, after many years of struggles, finally realizes he is a sinner in need of a savior. 

John tries to spread his message but it is not welcome in the churches. John then has to go against the rules and take his message outside the church walls to the needy and those who are outcasted. 
Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story is an animated film. It is thirty minutes long and aims for ages 8-12. However, it is great for family movie night! 

The Torchlight Series show kids what it is meant to be a Torchlighter in hopes that they too will want to carry a torch of faith  and serve Him as well. 

Right now you can buy this DVD for $9.99 

Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story  includes these special features:
  • English and Spanish languages and subtitles
  • 55 minute documentary on John Wesley
  • Leaders guide in PDF
  • Student handouts in PDF
  • Additional resources at
What we thought of the product:
Monster really enjoyed Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story. He has watched the DVD several times and was able to learn about the history of who John Wesley was and what he did in history.  
I really liked that the message was a good, clean message. At Monsters age he has taken notice of others who help others and has talked about ways he can help others. I think this video is great for those younger children wanting to learn about John Wesley and his history. Even though we are not Methodist, I still found this video worth watching several times and very interesting to learn about John Wesley and his back story. 

You can find FishFlix on their social media:

Also, please stop by and check out what other TOSReviewCrew members thought of this movie and others they got to try out! You can click on the banner to find out more: Review
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Homeschool Legacy Review

Homeschool Legacy Review

We were given the chance to review a 7 week unit study, Weather on the Move, from Homeschool Legacy as a digital download.

About the company: 

Created by a homeschool mom of 16 years, Homeschool Legacy offers a variety of unit studies that are created to provide homeschoolers with a exciting, Biblically centered education studies that are hands on, creative activities. 

Homeschool Legacy Review

About the product:

Homeschool Legacy Review

Weather on the Move is a fun, no prep unit study that is 7 weeks long for grades 2nd-12th. It is a digital download or paperback that includes:
  • Family read aloud suggestions
  • Fun arts and crafts
  • Field trip suggestions
  • Creative writing assignments 
  • Trivia questions 
  • Weather related experiments
  • Recording and tracking weather data
  • and so, so much more! 
This is a once a week unit study. Most of the study can be done in one day, while the reading assignments and family read aloud can be done the rest of the week. You can also take the rest of the week to complete your core curriculum. 

Each week is broken down into themes:

Week 1: Meteorology
Week 2: The Sun- Our Solar Powered Weather Engine
Week3: The Atmosphere- An Ocean of Air
Week 4: The Water Cycle
Week 5: Frozen Precipitation
Week 6: Clouds
Week 7: Extreme Weather

How we used the product and what we thought:

First, this curriculum says that it is no prep. However, I had to do prep work. Getting books from the library, finding all items needed to go with projects to me is prep work. I had to make sure each time we had everything we needed so that we would not be searching for items. A few times we even had to go to the store to get items we needed that we did not have on hand. So, to me, yes there is prep work involved!

Since Monster and I really haven't been doing much Science I thought this was great that we got to try out a unit study instead of our normal curriculum we used. After downloading and printing off each week. I started by reading through the studies and what we would be doing. Each study is pretty easy so this did not take long to review before we started. Like I said above, there was some prep work. Certain books I did not have needed to be picked up from the library.

Monster enjoyed making and keeping track of a weather journal. This was actually great for us because we have had a range of weather here in Texas lately! We also had several days where they said it was going to storm and instead turned into sunny days. We were able to use this and all the weather changes during this unit study!

Overall, I really liked using this unit study with Monster. I felt he was able to do the activities with no problems and he really liked using the unit study. This one was Science, so we were able to use it for just Science and Reading mostly. Monster found the reading suggestions to be great for his reading level as well.

Right now you can get the digital download for $17 or if you like to have a paperback copy you can order it for $21.95 here

There is also a sale right now on their bundles

You can find Homeschool Legacy on their social media accounts as well.

If you would like to see what others on the review crew thought of this product or some of the others, please click the banner below!

Homeschool Legacy Review
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

S is for Smiling Sunrise ( book review)

Smiling Sunrise Review
If your child is learning their alphabet or simply reviewing the alphabet, S is for Smiling Sunrise by WordsBright is the book for you. We received this as a review.

About WordsBright:

Smiling Sunrise Review
WordsBright is a small, independent publishing company. They are focused on children books that are fun, yet educational. They wish to create and publish book for children that are nurturing and inspiring as well. 

WordsBright also contributes 10% of their net earnings to causes such as Room to Read and Asha for education

About the book:
S is for Smiling Sunrise was created with four goals in mind. 
  1. To teach and reinforce the alphabet to young learners
  2. To increase vocabulary and comprehension
  3. To support character development
  4. To simply enjoy
The rhymes are easy to memorize and the song is sung to the tune of the ABC song ( which everyone knows!). 

This book was created by a father who wanted to create a less boring alphabet book for his toddler daughter. He wanted to create a book that was fun and educational. 

What we received: 
What we thought:

Monster and I both felt this book was too young for him. He is way past learning his alphabet. I did go through the book with him and we discussed the questions in the teacher guide, but Monster found this book and lessons to be boring. 

I do love the bright colors in this book. I love the beautiful pictures they use on each page. For younger children this would keep their attention. Another thing I really like about this book is the words. They use rhyming words for the book and this is great for younger children to help them memorize. At the end of the book, there is a CD. This has the song on it. You can listen to the song and sing along also. Monster likes music so this was fun, but he got bored very quickly with it. Again, I think this was just a little too young for him. 

For the teacher guide, I felt this was great and very easy to follow. Each letter has concepts, questions, vocabulary and even an activity. I think for most this would be enjoyable to use and the activities are easy to do and most do not take long to do. 

This book is made to use for Pre-K through 3rd grade. Honestly, I felt it would work more for Pre-K-Kinder and maybe children who struggle with their alphabet. This is not Monster. I would suggest this book for younger children. 

I will also state that this book is common core aligned. 

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Wordsbright Review
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update May 12, 2015

I can not believe we are already on day 12 of May. Where does this time go? We have been so busy lately I feel like I hardly have anytime to sit down and write anymore.

I know yesterday we skipped Meet em' Monday. I will have a new one up next week. I am still looking for any families that would like to be interviewed via email, so if this interest you please message me.

Monster has been so busy lately. He finished up his 2nd grade Awanas. We had the ceremony/awards at church last weekend. Monster has now completed K-2nd grade Sparks and next year he will be moving to T&T. He is very excited since he has a friend in that age group that he will get to be with. He keeps asking me already when is it going to start again!

Math- Monster is still working on 3rd grade Math. He is working on it using GPALearn and now a new online program as well that I will be sharing soon. So far he has done well with both programs and has been liking 3rd grade Math. I also pull worksheets off and use those as needed.

Language- Still waiting to order his 3rd grade curriculum for Grammar, Spelling and Writing. Right now he is using an online program for Vocabulary ( which I will share soon) and he is doing quite well with it and loves it. To him it is more like a fun game. I should be ordering the rest of his 3rd grade Language curriculum this week. For writing he is currently still working on cursive using his workbook 1 New American Cursive from Memoria Press

Science- we are using different things. From Magic School Bus to online program to Pinterest. We have discussed several different topics. Our main one lately being weather. Our weather here has been very stormy lately so it has been perfect for a weather lesson.

Music- he is still working on his piano and taking his piano lessons every Wednesday.

Art- I have kind of lighten up on the Art. He will be finishing his Art class at co-op in the next two weeks and I have several fun projects to get ready for summer time.

We are still doing 30 mins of reading every day as well. I let him pick the book he wants to read each day.

Social Studies- I have not done much with him on this yet. I am getting prepared though as I have found lots of fun topics to start covering with him.

We are also working on a 2nd language. We are working on Latin. This has been a learning experience and I will be sharing more in the weeks to come.

I will leave you all with a couple of fun photos I took last week.

 Oh yes we did!!! And it was a blast. And no it is not paint... that would be cake and tons of icing. It was a mess, but it was so much fun! 

* copy-write photos are mine and may not be used or taken without my permission. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A+ Interactive Math Adaptive Placement Test and Individual Lesson Plan Review

A+ Interactive Math Review

We received a three month subscription to A+ Interactive Math's Adaptive Placement Test and Individual Lesson Plan for review for three months. 

A+ Interactive Math  is an online based, multi-sensory Math curriculum. This program is for both homeschool families or public schools, who wish to help their children improve their Math skills. 

The Adaptive Placement Test  program offers students the chance to check for understanding of the current grade level they are in to see if they’ve mastered concepts before moving on to the next grade level.  This is great to use as an end-of-the-school-year test to see if your child has mastered their current grade level in Math or if there is something they need to work on more. 

The Individual Lesson Plan part is great because it tells you what your child should be working on if they are struggling in any area to help close any learning gaps. That way they can move onto the next level without any problems. They also offer short online instructions to help your child review the material before retaking the test. A great thing about this is they can watch and re-watch as many times as needed to help them master the lesson. 

The Adaptive Placement Test and Individual Lesson Plan is $29.99 for the 1st student and $10 extra for each student afterwards. These are 3 month subscriptions. They are having a sale right now 40-50% off and it will end 5/18/15. Make sure to order before price goes back to regular pricing.

A+ Interactive Math Review

What we thought of the program:

Monster used the 3rd grade level for this review. 

The first thing I really liked about this program is how easy it was for Monster to log in himself, find and launch the program. He was given his own log in and it was just a click of the button to log into the test. I was able to tell Monster when he needed to log in and take the test and he was able to do it all on his own. 

Another piece that Monster and I both liked was there was just enough questions on each test. They do not make it too long or too short. To me the number of questions is just enough for a child taking the test. The test is timed also, but Monster never ran out of time. Actually, several times he was done way before the timer was done. I will say, make sure your child has a pencil and paper ready to work on any problems they can not work in their head. 

Another great plus is the test has different levels from 1st grade to Algebra. So if you feel your child needs to go back a level or even up a level, you can change the level of the test for free and see what area your child can master or needs help with. Right now, I have Monster working on 3rd grade. He has not finished 3rd grade Math yet, but so far he has been able to work on the test with no problems and we can see what area he needs to work on and what area is mastered so we can move past that area. 

One of my favorite areas is when I log into my account ( separate from his) I can see his scores. I can see which test he has worked on and which ones he has left. I can see his scores of the test and see which ones he has trouble in. I like this because I don't have to sit over him while he focuses on the test. He can do the test himself without any pressure from me, I can then get online later and see just how much he has done. I am also able to review each test and any missed problems. I can look at these and see how he missed the problem and what I need to go over with him based on his answers. 
Overall, Monster and I both enjoyed this program. I think it works well for what it is meant to do.
You can find A+ Interactive Math:

If you would like some more information on why to use this program check out:
Top 12 Reasons to use Adaptive Placement Test and Individual Lesson Plan

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A+ Interactive Math Review

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Meet em' Mondays ( The Kaiser Family)

Welcome to another week of Meet em' Mondays.

This week I would like to introduce to you The Kaiser Family. 

Family Name: The Kaiser family
Ages of your children: 9 (just turned 9)
How long have you been homeschooling? This is our first year.
What state do you live in and is it a homeschool friendly state? Texas…and yes.

What is homeschool to you? "Homeschool is freedom to me. Freedom from stress, freedom from worry. I am actually in control of what my son learns and how he’s learning it." 

What made you initially decide to start homeschooling?  "My son was in public school, and he would go in at the beginning of every year with a positive attitude and ready to make friends and learn, and then we noticed every night he was angrier and angrier.  It was frustrating to say the least.  We found out he was being picked on and threatened and, although he was on honor roll, the stress was keeping him from learning to his full potential. While since beginning to talk he had a very large vocabulary…he lost it by 1st grade…and then second grade we noticed depression and weight gain setting in.  My final push was when I was working with math and he couldn’t add simple numbers……but was still on honor roll….I made my decision then."

How do you choose your curriculum? "This year, I just kind of looked around and asked for suggestions, but after 8 months, I’ve kind of figured out what is working for us. So- this year I’ll be looking a little closer. I know we need things with a little “creativity” base."

Do you stay with a schedule or are you more flexible?  "We try to stay on a schedule, but we are flexible. Some days are hard days and we do what we need to do to make it peaceful. For example…today is clean up day. No school…just working around the house."

How do you handle the family schedule?  "It’s actually easier now than when he was in public school.  I’m a “list” person…so I make sure that I get all of the important things done, and then just kind of glide through the rest. I have my son help with a lot of things….let him feel “in control” a little."

How do you make sure your child has regular interaction with peers?  "We joined a group in the Houston area HEART- and they have a lot of social events, plus he goes skating, playground, but truthfully, he has never really interacted well with other kids his age…always older."

Do you believe that you provide the same level of education that the children would get going to a public or private school? "Higher level- mainly because I’m able to focus on the things that he has problems with more and give that one on one attention. In some of the subjects, he’s beyond his grade level…in math, he’s around his grade level….(not a good subject for him, so trying various things to make it more interesting to him). I push him more than the school system would, and he has learned to actually challenge himself.  He has even become more creative and has been making stop motion capture films with legos (you can find him on youtube under Zachary Kaiser Films OR It's all him…we let him move ahead on it."

What has been the most surprising part of homeschooling? "His change in attitude for learning and his creativity. He always felt like an outcast therefore became introverted. Now he feels better about himself and has become a little more extroverted. (Still working on the public speaking though…if he doesn't know you he backs away from conversation!)"


You can find and follow the Kaiser family over at: