Five Minute Friday: Crave

Some friends of mine from the Homeschool Review Crew like to participate in the Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Heading Home.  The idea is to set a timer and write for 5 minutes. This week's word is "Crave".


The first thing I think of when I hear "crave" is food.  Food cravings. Craving is not just wanting but has the connotation of needing. When I can tell I am getting dehydrated I don't say that I crave water.  I say I need water.  But when I say someting like "I am craving Chex Mix" it is not just meeting a need such as hunger but meeting some type of psychological need?

I've heard it said that craving specific foods may indicate that your body needs something that is in those foods. I don't know if that is true or not but I know that when I say I crave something it is more than just an intense "want".  I don't just want the Chex Mix.  I can't be sure that I need the Chex Mix but other snacks are just not going to satisfy the way a handful of crunchy cereal snack.

Five Minute Friday: Tess's Thoughts on CRAVE at CirclinThroughThisLife.com #fmfparty

Craving isn't just about food though.  I sometimes crave some aspect of Divine Liturgy.  This week I've been listening to my Church's CD because I wanted, no, needed, no was craving the beauty and worship of Divine Liturgy.  Something about hearing the familiar voice of my priest and familiar hymns meet this need more than listening to Ancient Faith Radio.

When thinking about "crave" I also thought about it terms of relationships.  A young child craves the attention of her parents. She both needs and wants the attention. I found myself craving some extra time with my husband.  Life's been crazy.  We've been stressed and I was craving some simple time alone.  Just Honeybear and me snuggling on the couch watching Netflix.


Come join in the fun! Click on the button below to read more thoughts about "Crave"



Personalized Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber {Review}

Christmas is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to be thinking about a special personalized gift for the loved ones on your list!

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have had the opportunity to choose from a variety of name meaning gifts including a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber. I want to share my experience with all of you.

CrossTimber review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

Before I could order, I had to choose. I was torn. We were given the opportunity to review ONE gift. How was I going to choose? I could not make up my mind. I started by emailing John at CrossTimber.  I shared with him that I was having a difficult time making up my mind. I have four daughters so I didn't want to pick one of them and not pick the others so I went in a different direction. I gave John my husband's name and my name. A couple's name plaque would be nice! My niece had gotten married only a few weeks before so I asked about her name and her new husband. Maybe I would get them a framed plaque.  But wait we have a young godson. This could be a most excellent and meaningful gift for a godparent to give to a godchild.

I felt bad for giving him so many names. I really wanted to see what name meanings he had and what verses he would use. That information would help me pick my review product.  My list didn't daunt him at all!
First off, we LOVE sharing name meanings, and always have!  In fact, that’s why we made our very first name gifts for some peers who tried to convince me they were my enemy… so I blessed ‘em with NameCards!   http://meaning.name/RE/driversed.html  That said, here are some name meanings!!
He didn't just give me the name meanings! He also gave me the Bible verse that he would use for each name. I liked that.  I liked seeing the connection between the meaning of the name and the verse that would be printed with it. He also made suggestions of which design and size might work best for each name!  I did appreciate having some direction when looking over all the different choices available.

I still struggled with what to choose and came back and asked about more names as well.  John at CrossTimber was very patient and very quick to respond to all of my emails.  I even asked about surname research.  This what he said:
Ah, surnames!  Most surnames, we can research, but some are so far removed and altered from their roots that it’s difficult to nail down a very accurate meaning.  In those cases, we often suggest a strong family Bible verse in place of the meaning.  However, that’s not the case for {lastname}. 
Finally I decided that I could not choose just one item. We discussed different options for ordering more than 1 item that has the same name and design. When my cart did not reflect the savings I was expecting, John reassured me that he would manually make the adjustments and send me an invoice.  He got my total to me very quickly and I was able to pay using PayPal which I really appreciated!

Remember I asked about surnames?  And he had something for my last name.  Here is what he had:

Surname  Name Meaning with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

*sh* don't tell but we ordered one for ourselves and two additional ones since I could get them for just $5 each to give as gifts! I will have to get frames for these.

Speaking of frames.  The other items I ordered?  I chose the Frame Artist's Choice option for each of them. The Frame Artist will choose a frame that compliments the design you choose.  Originally I thought I might just order prints for everything but then I realized that for just $5 more per plaque I could have them choose a frame that would compliment the color and style of the design I choose and I would not have to go shopping for a frame myself.

Here are a couple of frames that I received that I really like. These are my two favorites!

Redwood Decorated Frame of the Name Plaque with Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Frame Artist's Choice for Name Meaning Plaque with Bible Verse from CrossTimber #hsreviews

Here is the gift that John from CrossTimber really helped me with.  He suggested the design.  I think it turned out fabulous!

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse! Read he review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

CrossTimber is a Christian family owned and operated business. In addition to the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse they offer personalized mugs, name cards, bookmarks and even music boxes! The customer service is better described as customer care. With all of the email exchanges I didn't feel like he was trying to sell me something more but that he really wanted to help me choose something I would love.

I recommend getting your favorite beverage and spending some time checking out the website. I found the Name Meaning Articles fascinating. I also recommend reading about Driver's Ed which is how CrossTimber got started!

My husband and I are so pleased with our order that I am considering ordering more items to give as gifts!

Name Meaning Gifts from CrossTimber  #hsreviews

Click on the Banner below for an opportunity to win your own Name Meaning Gift!  *Giveaway hosted and sponsored by CrossTimber*

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

Take a moment and read about what the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have to say about the gifts they received from CrossTimber.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Find CrossTimber on Social Media

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meaning.name/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crosstimber

Crew Disclaimer


George: Give me your attention!

I am generally too wordy for a wordless post but I'll keep the words to a minimum!

I present to you the lonely cat who demands attention.  Want to work?  Better give him attention first.  He's going to hold the computer hostage until you give him what he wants.

Happy Mid-Week!


Internet Accountabilty from Accountable2You {Review}

Today I want to tell you about a program that I wish I had years ago when my girls were just entering their teenage years.  As they began to be more independent with their school work and using the computer , I would have loved a program that created an atmosphere of building trust. Something that wouldn't necessary restrict their internet use so much that they felt constrained or couldn't do what they needed but one in which they knew mom would know what they've been viewing. Something that I could use to teach them responsibility for their actions and keep them accountable.

Internet Accountability for the whole family! Reviwe at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

Through the Homeschool Review Crew I have found that program.  Accountable2You is an internet accountability software application that you can install on your computer, iPad, KindleFire, or smart phone.  They offer 4 different plans:
Individual Plan, Family Plan, Group Plan, and even a Small Business Plan. I chose the Family Plan.

Homeschool Review Crew ~ Accountable2You Review

This program provides accountability but does not filter content. They do have suggestions for free filtering programs that are compatible with Accountable2You.

So how does it work?  After setting up my account as the primary account, I added users and then I added devices. For each device you can set up accountability partners. I like that you can have more than one accountability partner and you assign accountabillity partners by device not user so you split up the accountability duties between different partners or have multiple partners for each device. With the Family Plan you can have up to 20 devices.

Internet Accountability wiht Accountable2You! Review at CirclingThroughThisLife.com #hsreviews

The program has a built in database of objectionable words. As the administrator I could add objectionable words for each user.  I can also add non-objectionable words. If a user adds non-objectionable words to his/her list the accountability partners receive an email. I like this feature because it means that my children can not just add words to the non-objectionable list to bypass the system without my knowing about it. I can not access the extensive pre-set database but I do like that I can add objectionable words for it to watch for and I can add non-objectionable words to reduce the number of hits.

At this time I have not added any non-objectionable words and I have only added "objectionable" words to play with the feature. Words such as "breast" and "sex" are already in the database. How do I know this?  Because my husband has gotten alerts about my viewing habits! One of friends posted about breastfeeding on facebook and someone in the comments typed it as breast feeding which triggered an alert.

Alerts are rated as Questionable and Highly Questionable. When adding each device you can set the alert rating multiplier: Strict, Normal, Less Strict.  These ratings are based on Accountable2You's keyword research.  You can change the Alert Rating Multiplier at anytime. When adding words to the Objectionable list, you can also set the adjustment to be Questionable or Highly Questionable.

Report Summaries can be emailed daily or weekly.  There is an an option to have Questionable Alerts emailed when questionable activity occurs within the last hour.  Another option allows you to receive a text message for any questionable activity in the last 5 minutes.

Lots of Report options with Accountable2You!  #hsreviews

Other features of the software available with the Family Plan include the ability to set time limits per account and to use GPS Location Tracking.

I love that this works on my KindleFire.  I can set up child accounts on my Kindle through Amazon but those are two restrictive for my high school student. I end up having to give her access to my profile anyway so that she can access her British Literature Anthology or other school books I have put on the Kindle.  With Accountable2You on my Kindle, she knows that if she wanders into other apps or uses the browser, I'll know about it. It keeps her accountable.

The Individual Plan and the Family Plan are very similar.  With both you can you have multiple devices per user and multiple accountability partners. The primary difference is the ability to have multiple users and to set time limits.

Accountable2You a Homeschool Crew Review #hsreview

The Group Plan is perfect for church groups or Bible Study groups whose members wish to have more accountability with their personal internet use.

Small Business owners who do not want to worry about the FBI knocking on their doors because of employee illicit use of the internet on company time may find the Small Business Plan perfect for them!

Some members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed the Individual Plan or Group plan while others reviewed the Family Plan.  Click on the banner below to read what they had to say!

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Visit Accountable2You on Social Media:

 Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/accountable2you
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/accountable2youllc

Crew Disclaimer


Elementary Spanish from Middlebury Interactive Languages ~ a Crew Review

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you might remember that Turtlegirl had the opportunity to use and review Middlebury Interactive Languages in the past.  She studied the 1st semester of High School French 1 during in her junior year and then we had the opportunity to take semester 2 in her senior year.

Supergirl was a tiny bit jealous. She wanted her own online interactive course like her twin. This time around she got have her own course. But she didn't want French. If you know her, you know what her favorite language is! It should be no surprise that she picked Elementary Spanish 1 grades K-2.

Supergirl loves learning Spanish with Middlebury Interactive Languages! Read the Review at CirclingThroughThis.com #hsreviews

Unlike the Middle School and High School courses which are sold as Semester 1, Semester 2, or Both, this level of Spanish is only available under the Both option and includes the full year of course work.

Like the Middle School and High School courses Middlebury Interactive Languages offers options for With Teacher Support and Without Teacher Support.  Homeschool Review Crew members were given courses Without Teacher Support.

At this level students are only expected to complete about 2 lessons per week. This would mean completing each unit in about 3 weeks. I like this gentle slow approach as it allows Supergirl to incorporate what she is learning into her personal vocabulary. She is just as likely to tell me good bye in Spanish or in English and during our math lesson on reading graphs she counted objects in Spanish.

The program includes 12 units.

These units cover:

Unit 1 Greetings
Unit 2 Numbers
Unit 3 Family
Unit 4 Colors
Unit 5 School
Unit 6 Reviews Units 1-5
Unit 7 Body
Unit 8 Animals
Unit 9 Calendar
Unit 10 Food
Unit 11 Descriptions
Unit 12 Review Units 7-11

Elementary Spanish 1 Grades K-2 is fun and engaging.  Lessons are interactive and include audio instructions. The student does not have to read in English or Spanish. Children should be comfortable using the mouse to click and to click and drag.  Though reading is not required, the Spanish words are presented in written form. I like that as Supergirl can begin to recognize the written language. Activities do not involve reading.

Some activities are labeled as Explore, Practice, or Speaking Lab. Explore activities involve clicking such as the "coloring pages" activities.  For example in the Numbers unit students click on the fishbowls to color them while the program counts in Spanish.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Spanish K-2  Exploring Numbers

Practice Activities tend to involve clicking and dragging to match pictures to the vocabulary.  I really like this aspect because it means Supergirl can be very independent. She can click the sound symbol to hear the vocabulary word and drag it to the correct picture.  These Practice Activities are automatically graded. Here is the one she completed for a lesson in the Numbers unit.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Elementary Spanish Practice

Speaking Lab activities allow students to record themselves.  Listen to the Spanish vocabulary word, then record saying it.  Listen to your recording. If it doesn't sound quite right, try again! This activity must be graded by a teacher so without the With Teacher Support option this is not graded, however, the program does automatically grade participation. Students can get credit for that. I do not worry about grading at the Elementary Level in my home school but I did use the auto grading and participation features for my high school student when she used the High School French program.

Supergirl enjoys using the computer though she doesn't care for the speaking the lab exercises but I find them beneficial for both of us so we take turns.

The last lesson of each unit reviews the materials and students take a quiz. This lesson also has a "worksheet" that can be printed out.  This is a page that student can use to draw a picture that represents the vocabulary from that unit. Again no writing involved.  A second print out is available as well. This is a coloring page and is a black and white image of the Exploring activity.

Each Unit uses an authentic story from a Spanish speaking country to introduce the vocabulary.  These stories may be a myth or a legend such as how the ocelot gets his spots.  The stories are presented as videos but the visual aspect are like a blend of 2-D animation with still drawings.  It reminds me a bit of listening to the story being read while looking at the pictures of the book only sometimes the pictures move.

I do wish that the story summary with explanation and the vocabulary sheets were available in the first lesson of each unit  as well as part of the review in the 6th lesson.  All of the vocabulary, songs, and stories are linked in the Welcome lesson but I would love a reminder on the Introduction screen for Lesson 1 of each Unit. This would help me as the teacher.

This is a wonderful, fun, interactive way to teach Spanish through immersion.  Middlebury offers German, French, and Chinese in addition to Spanish and all for grades K through High School so be sure to click on the banner below to read more thoughts from Homeschool Review Crew Members.

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}

Check out Middlebury Interactive Languages on Social Media

Twitter  @middinteractive

Crew Disclaimer


My life is so much richer because of the Homeschool Review Crew!

Once upon a time I was part of two "sister" email groups for home schooling. One of my friends from the group discovered this brand new "thing".  It was a group of bloggers who used homeschool curriculum and wrote reviews. That friend convinced another friend to join.  The 2nd friend talked to me all the time about the Crew.  She'd tell me about all these great products she got to try.  Not just home school products either but products for her!

I let her talk me into joining the crew.  Best thing I ever did! So in June 2010 I became a crew member. I loved being part of the crew so much that I reapplied every single year since then.  Until fall of 2015 when I stepped up to be a Crew Leader!

What the Crew Means to Me!

Why do I love the crew so much?   I would not have been able to give my children the depth and breadth of an education without the crew.  Computer Programing.  Logic.  Art.  Music.  Even Physical Fitness and Health.  How about an Animation Kit?  an Online Filmmakers Course?  Greek. Latin. French. Spanish. Russian. Japanese. We've had fun little unit study courses and full year writing programs, literature programs, and math!

It is so much more than just the free products that I get to use in my home school. I've made friends. The Crew becomes an extended family.  A place I can run to when I have a question, or need support.  The private forum access is like gathering around and chatting.  We laugh together.  We cry together.  We pray for one another.

In addition to support for home schooling and home making, I've received encouragement about blogging. I've learned about my style and  I've learned about social media.

Over time, being part of the crew has given me the ability to give back to the homeschooling community by being able to answer questions about curriculum or make specific recommendations for friends.

Because of the Homeschool Review Crew my life is richer.  My daughters have experienced a fuller education.  I've made friends. I've got a great support system and I get to learn about all kinds of different home school products!

We are looking to expand the The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine Homeschool Review Crew and we are now taking applications for the 2017 Crew Year.  We have some information available on the Crew Blog.  Click on the banner to fill out the application!



Freezer Cooking Made Easy with MyFreezEasy! {Review}

I love to cook. I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. But sometimes I am too tired and lately my family has been too busy. We were eating take out and frozen pizza way too often.  Many evenings I am just too worn out to stand and chop onions or brown hamburger even to make something as simple as sloppy joes or tacos.

Just when I was reaching the breaking point wondering if I would ever serve my family a real home cooked dinner again, the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review MyFreezEasy.  Erin Chase rescued my family from fast food and frozen pizza with her MyFreezEasy.com Family Meal Plan Subscription.

I had heard of Erin Chase before. I'd even seen mention of something about $5 Dinners but really didn't know anything about her or what she offers.  MyFreezEasy is her newest offering and I am in love!

MyFreezEasy ~ Freezer Cooking Meal Plans!

One complaint that I hear frequently about making meals ahead and freezing them is that the food often tastes overcooked. It's like eating reheated leftovers.  Who wants to eat leftovers every night? Not me. Not my family.

But MyFreezEasy is different.  Meals are not pre-cooked and frozen.  They are assembled and frozen and, for the most part, cooked fresh on the day you serve them.  I was a little uncertain about that but keep reading to find out about my experience!

What is MyFreezEasy?

MyFreezEasy is a membership plan that gives you access each month to 8 freezer meal plans.   There are two membership levels: Basic and Premium. Both give you access to the same 8 meal plans each month but, the Premium plan gives you the ability to swap out recipes, create customized meal plans and even to mark recipes as favorites. With the Premium Plan, members can also adjust serving sizes! The Homeschool Review Crew received the Premium Annual Membership.

The 8 meal plans are:
  • Traditional Meal Plan
  • Gluten Free Meal Plan
  • Slow Cooker Meal Plan
  • Clean Eats Plan
  • 20 Meals Plan
  • All Chicken Meals Plan
  • All Ground Beef Meals Plan
  • All  Pork Chops Meals Plan

How does the program work?

Each month members receive an email that the new plans are available. Each meal plan has 5 recipes that make 10 meals except for the 20 meal plan which has 10 recipes to make 20 meals. Each recipe is written for 1 meal but includes assembly directions to make 2 meals. I love that it has the entire recipe written out for 1 meal with how to cook it immediately as well as assembly instructions if you want to make 2 to put in the freezer.  This means I can test a recipe by making one to determine if we like it enough to include it in both or if I find frozen chicken or hambuger in the freezer I don't know what to do with it, I can thaw the meat and try a new recipe.

MyFreezEasy Review by Tess at CirclingThroughThisLIfe.com

The meal plans include shopping lists arranged by recipe, by grocery store section, and by assembly day.  They also include Assembly Prep Instructions.

Meal Plans are available for the whole month but only for the month which means you get new meal plans each month. And those old recipes? They get added to the data base so you have even more recipes to choose from when customizing a meal plan.

My Family's Experience

I was so excited that I started planning right away!  For our first freezer cooking session I used the Build Your Own Meal Plan option.  I created an ALL Chicken Plan, an ALL Ground Beef Plan except I included 1 vegetarian recipe. I also found two pork roast recipes to try. I was expecting to get 22 meals into my freezer but I miscalculated the amount of chicken I needed so I opted for making one each of two meals rather than not using a recipe. I did put 20 meals into the freezer.

It took much longer than one hour to put these together but I think that has more to do with my lack of organization and my inexperience. The fact that I was working 20 meals made it go longer as well.

MyFreezEasy Review by Tess at CirclingThroughThisLIfe.com

For my next round of Freezer Cooking I choose the All Ground Beef Meals Plan. I choose to do only 4 of the recipes since the 5th one was one we I chosen before.  I only had 6 lbs of ground beef so I opted to 2 each of 2 recipes and 1 each of the other 2 so that I made 6 meals.  I also choose 2 different roast recipes for my 4 pork roasts. This went much faster.  I paid closer attention to the assembly instructions.  It still was longer than hour but it was fabulous to get it all done!

My Thoughts!

This plan has restored order to the chaotic dinner time.  I love having a freezer full of meals. This is the easiest freezer cooking method I have tried and the tastiest as well.  I was worried about putting the veggies into soup raw. I do not like mushy vegetables in my soup.  The vegetables were not mush!

Of all the recipes we have tried there has only been one that none of us liked. For most of the recipes, we all have liked them.  I found it easy to modify recipes to suit my family's needs and tastes. I'm already thinking ahead to my next freezer cooking session!

Visit MyFreezEasy on Social Media:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/freezeasy
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/freezeasy
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/5dollardinners/freezeasy

Several other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to try MyFreezEasy.  Click on the banner below to read what they had to say!

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

Crew Disclaimer


Five Minute Friday ~ Mail

I am trying something brand new!  A friend of mine from the Homeschool Review Crew participates in a link up called Five Minute Friday.  The link up isn't new at all but it is fairly new to me and I've never joined in before.  The idea is that you write for minutes about a one word prompt.  This week's word is Mail!

#FMF  Five Minute Friday ~ Mail at CirclingThroughThisLife.com


When I think of "mail" I suddenly hear Steve's voice singing "Mail Time!" I don't remember the words exactly and I'm refusing to go find it on Youtube.

In this world of technology when almost everything is digital it is even more exciting to get a piece of real mail. I don't remember the last time I got a letter in the mail. I mean I got birthday cards for my birthday but a letter?  I don't know.

These days "Mail Time" means packages. Around here it's usually a box from Amazon or another vendor with a review product for the Homeschool Review Crew. I love getting packages.

The girls would get so excited when the doorbell rang and it was UPS or FedEx or maybe in USPS with a box.  They were excited because 9 times out 10 it was for them.  They associated the brown UPS truck with Sonlight our favorite home school curriculum.  I remember Turtlegirl getting so excited when she a UPS truck at a neighbor's house.  "Look, mommy, they must use Sonlight, too!"

Times up!

Click on the button below to visit's Kate's blog and read the other Five Minute posts from this week!


Turtlegirl Morphs into a Cougar

Well actually she became a freshman Coug!  This post is almost 2 months overdue so you'll just have to pretend that it is still mid-August and she just left . . . instead of the reality that is is early October and her mid-terms will be happening soon!

This is more of a photo essay:

Tailorbear needed to be distracted the weekend we were leaving and she didn't want to be home with her two sisters.  I love this picture of  two sisters saying good-bye!

Two Sisters Saying Goodbye

All loaded up and ready to go!

All Loaded Up and Ready to Go!

I know it doesn't look like much.  She packed the bare minimum that she thought she needed.  Turns out she was too minimalistic though.  We had to send a HUGE box of forgotten items later. (And no she didn't need the toilet paper so we ended up bringing that back home with us!)

Here she is keeping comfortable on the long long drive!

Keeping comfortable on the long long drive across the state!

On Move-In Day the University has volunteers with carts to help unload your vehicle. We were grateful for the cart and the elevator.  She lives on the 3rd floor!

We've carted up her stuff from the van to her room.

We left her to deal with her own things and headed to our motel room.  We had dinner and breakfast with her and I got to take more pictures.  Here she is standing outside one of the doors to her Residence Hall.

She is at the door of her new home!

It really is a beautiful building though we only saw it from one side and the back.

Turlegirl and her Dad standing on balcony outside her Hall.

She unpacked her things and started turning her room into her home away from home!

She unplacked her things and started making her room into home away from home

Yes her room itself is tiny but it is part of a suite.  There are 7 girls who share the suite.  The suite includes a kitchenette area with sink, microwave and space for a mini-fridge. There is a also a living room.  Each suite has their own bathroom. Other residence halls are much more of the typical dorm room style.  

She's made the transition well.  She loves her classes, studies a lot and made friends.  She may be a Coug now but she'll always be my little Turtlegirl!


The Spousal Interview

 A friend posted on facebook some questions to ask your spouse (or girlfriend/boyfriend).  I decided that since today was my birthday, I wanted Honeybear to indulge me and answer these questions.

The rules are WITHOUT any prompting, ask your husband/ wife/ girlfriend/ boyfriend these questions and write down EXACTLY what they say. It's great and funny. The outcome can be hilarious...

The Spousal Interview at Circling Through This LIfe

What is something I always say to you?
Stop doing that
I wish I could protest and say something like I never say that.

What makes me happy?
Diet Dr. Pepper
Hmm I was hoping for something more profound but I guess he's right.

What makes me sad?
No Sanctuary
He means when I complain about not having a place in the house I can go that is clean and peaceful.

How old am I?
No but since that is younger, I'll take it!

How tall am I?
What's my favorite thing to do?
Swear at the computer
Um no. (Do I really do it so much that it appears to be my favorite thing to do??!!)

If I become famous, what will it be for?
Curriculum Reviews
Isn't he sweet!

What am I good at?
He is not the first person to mention that I am detail oriented.

What am I not good at?
What makes you proud of me?
There are a lot of different things. I don't know if I can narrow it down.
I guess what I would say is educating the girls.
This means a lot to me.

What is my favorite food?
I do love popcorn but I expected him to say steak.  After all I never ask for popcorn on my birthday but I do always ask for steak.

What do we do together?
Watch TV usually
He means watch Amazon Prime or Netflix as we only have streaming options.

Where is my favorite place to eat?
Outback Steakhouse
How old was I when I met you?
When is our anniversary?
November 19th 
 Absolutely NO hesitation.  Really he knows it better than I do!

If I could go anywhere, where would it be?
He nailed it!

Do you think you could live with me forever?
Yes  (I want to sleep in the bed tonight and not on the couch)
What is your favorite thing about me?
Your face
I did not expect this at all.  I don't know what I was expecting. I questioned his answer and he said he has always just like watching my face.

My Thoughts

Some of these answers surprised me. In a good way.  Some of them he was being funny.  This gave me a tiny glimpse of how he sees me. What would your spouse say about you!


Beric The Briton ~ History Brought to Life {Crew Review}

Do you love action? What about adventure? Do you like history?  Have you heard of Heirloom Audio Productions? Heirloom Audio brings history to life with their radio theater adaptations of G.A. Henty novels. The latest adventure, Beric The Briton, has become a well loved CD here at my house!

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

About Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio produces radio theater quality dramas. Each production is based on a G.A. Henty novel. These are not Henty novels read aloud. It isn't an audiobook; it is cinema for your ears.  These adaptations bring history to life by combining sound effects, music, and talented actors to voice the characters.

Beric The Briton

This is the story of a young chieftain named Beric who has an adventure that takes him to Rome during the reign of Nero in the time frame of Rome burning. Beric learns of Christus and the Christian faith.  He trains as a gladiator, fights a lion, serves Nero and becomes a Christian.

Disk 1 of the 2 disk set, takes place in Briton.  Beric and the Britons fight the Romans.  They are captured and taken to Rome.  Disk 2 takes us to Rome and we are introduced to the Christians.

My favorite line from the audio drama also happens to be the quote used for the Inspirational Quote Poster, one of the digital bonus items, I received.  Julius, a Roman Christian, stands before Nero and refuses to deny Christ.  Julius states "I will gladly die for Him who died for me."

Bonus Items 

Review Crew members received access to several digital bonus items including a full color study guide! The Study Guide is beautiful. In addition to the sections for each track of the story, there are short biographies of three important people to the story, background information, and engaging activities that include recipes or fun facts! At the back of the study guide you will find three different Bible study options. For each audio track there are a set of questions.  Each set of questions includes 3 parts: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words.

In addition to the Study Guide and Inspirational Quote Poster, we received an MP3 recording of Beric The Briton, a Cast Poster, a PDF version of the actual G. A. Henty novel, MP3 of the beautiful soundtrack and more!

My Thoughts

This is my favorite so far of the Audio Adventures we've listened to.  I loved hearing Tom Baker voice Askar.

If you are studying Ancient history,  British History, or Church History, I highly recommend adding Beric the Briton to your list of historical fiction to include.

Studying a different time period?  Currently there are 5 titles available!  I know there are more titles coming.
Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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It's Getting REAL!

In just a few short days, Turtlegirl will be moving to her residence hall on campus on the other side of the state. I've been in denial for most of her senior year that she would go away to college.

It's not that I am not thrilled for her.  I am!  I think she made a great choice for a school based on her interests and what she wants to study.  I think living on campus has huge benefits.  This is an exciting time for her.

We've been gathering/collecting items over the summer and now we've started putting them all together.  Seeing all her stuff is a reminder that it's getting real.  She really is on the cusp of a new adventure.

It's getting real! She is moving to college!

** I wrote this several days ago but never posted it.  It is even more real tonight and the pile is much bigger!


Some Random Thoughts about Our Summer {So Far}

When I think of summer I think of June, July, and August  Here we are nearly half way through August and I'm sitting here wondering why 2/3 of summer is gone.

Our Summer so far! Where did it go?

This has not been like the summers we've enjoyed in the past.  We've not had many sunny beautiful days though we've had a few perfect days where it is not too hot.  We've had only a couple of days where it was truly hot.  I'm not really complaining though.  I don't do well with the heat any more.

So here are some Random Thoughts or Random Things that have happened.

1.  Turtlegirl graduated from High School.  I did actually manage to write about our second high school graduation.

2.  BooBear turned 21.  I now have a daughter old enough to drink. We went to Red Robin for her birthday and she ordered a Raspberry Margarita.  Grandma and I had Skinny Margaritas. I had mine on the rocks.

3.  Technically in Spring (so in early May) we had to replace the transmission in our van.  We prayed and debated and debated and prayed and in the end decided to go with a rebuilt transmission rather than try to purchase a new vehicle.

4.  We've purchased a set of 4 new tires for the van and replaced a set of brakes.  I am pretty sure this is the summer of Van repairs.

5.  Turtlegirl has attended her required orientation.  It's getting REAL!  She's all registered for her fall semester classes.  She's been getting to know her suitemates through Facebook and Texting. We've started collecting things like bedding, linens, and dishes.  My baby is moving in a week!

A couple of other BIG things have happened but I want to blog about them separately.

This summer isn't turning out the way I wanted or planned and it is zipping along WAY TOO FAST but that's life right?  And we just need to pause every now and again and savor the moments when we can.