Friday, February 27, 2015

Random Five Friday Feb 27 2015

1. I made 52 breakfast burritos yesterday to stock up on homemade breakfast food for my kids. It was really easy and warm up beautifully.

12 eggs - Scrambled and cooled (I don't add anything except salt and pepper)
2 packs of breakfast sausage - cooked and cooled - break up well while cooking
Grated Cheese (I used just under 2 - 8oz bags of cheese (any flavor I have used taco and regular)
3 packs of 20 small tortillas. (I managed to fill 52 out of 60)
Wax paper for wrapping
Aluminum foil (optional)

Cook eggs and sausage and put in refrigerator to cool. When everything is cool, I left mine overnight as it was just more convenient. Use a hot plate to warm tortillas then add egg, sausage, and cheese. Wrap in wax paper and then aluminium foil if using.
I place mine on a baking sheet to freeze so they don't get squished together. When frozen and it's time to eat unwrap the aluminum foil and then microwave for about 30-40 seconds. (depending on your microwave).

2. Last weekend Boo swam in our District Championships and came 4th overall in her 100 Fly. This is our first year doing USA swimming and she did awesome.

3. Sunday Boo is swimming in our Championships it's a bigger race and she had to qualify (time) to swim. She is really excited as it's a big race. Hopefully she will enjoy it and not be too nervous.

4. I watched Unbroken this week. Wow what a movie.

5. We are reviewing some really good programs at the moment. Captain has been using a program called Great Parents Academy he is really excited because all of his hard work so far has earned him a $25 gift certificate to Toysrus and since we don't have one near us, we are going tomorrow he's been looking forward to it for a week.

Check out more Random Five over at the Pebble Pond

The Pebble Pond

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I was feeling a little sad this week. Where has all the time gone. My baby is now 6 and my older two are getting so independent. I am so glad that we are on this homeschool journey and we can spend so much time together.

I don't normally do a throwback post on a Thursday but I saw these pictures and had to share.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review : Heirloom Audio Productions - In Freedoms Cause {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

We spend a lot of time in the car. I love living out of the city. The only downside is the time we spend driving. When our package arrived from Heirloom Audio Productions the kids were excited to see another audio drama. Jam was especially excited when he learned it was In Freedom's Cause Singles Package by G.A. Henty. As I have mentioned before Jam loves Henty (and trying to work through all 122 books) had just finished reading the full version of the story. I was also sent some very cool extras, A study guide, a printable copy of William Wallace's prayer, and a MP3 download of the amazing sound track. Plus a link to a 30 minute documentary talking all about the making of the soundtrack!

So the day it arrived we were literally in the car ready to go to the zoo, when at the last moment Captain ran to empty the mailbox. Of course any package has to be opened straight away, and within seconds my daughter had worked out that the length of the CD was exactly how long our return trip to the zoo was. Before we were even out of the driveway it was playing.

I was very impressed with the line up of actors in this production. While opening the CD the list of familiar names caught my eye; Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey, Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, Skandar Keynes from the Chronicles of Narnia, Cathy Sara from Women in Black, and James Cosmo from Highlander and Braveheart. You can see the full list here.

I don't know about you but since the invention of the car DVD player sometimes as the driver I feel a little left out. However, with these audio drama's everyone is in the thick of the action, and believe me In Freedom's Cause is full of action. From the first moment it is all go go go. I'm from England - born in Scotland and so my knowledge of this story was quite good. My kids have also studied a lot of English and Scottish history (I mean how could we not). So the story was not new to them. However we had my daughters friend with us and it was completely new to here. Sometimes we would stop the story just to catch her up with what was happening.

This is the story of William Wallace and Robert The Bruce. They are some the main figures in Scottish history - think Braveheart and you would be right. William Wallace lived from 1220 - 1320 he was a minor landowner (not a noble like Robert the Bruce) who became one of the main leaders in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Although he was eventually hung, drawn, and quartered (We learned exactly what that meant during our visit to the Tower of London a few years ago) and his head displayed in London after. You would be wrong to think he was forgotten. Since his death he has obtained hero status far from his homeland. Robert The Bruce took up the fight after the death of William Wallace and was successful for a time and even sent the King of England home in a fishing boat.

This is a war story, with a lot of fighting. Captain handled this very well, but we have listened to a lot of history type stories. However if your child hasn't I would recommend listening to it first. I think the company recommend it from ages 6 and up but again you know your child better than anyone. I always think that books are so much better than videos because you can only visualize what you understand. So a child's image of someone being 'hung, drawn, and quartered' for example is not as gruesome as Hollywood's!

So after our trip to the zoo we spent quite a bit of time discussing the study guide that came with it. The study guide would be best used while listening to the story. However, we use it after the fact. Mainly because as soon as these productions arrive in my mail box they go straight into the CD player and so far they have always arrived just in time for a trip somewhere. Throughout the guide their are excellent website suggestions and of course a ton of vocabulary help. If your children are not used to reading 'Henty' books the vocabulary could be quite hard. Even when we are listening to the book it is sometimes necessary to stop and discuss a word - usually at Captain's request.

Last week we went on a 10 hour trip to Wisconsin. My husband feels the same as I do about listening to books etc when we drive. He is a firm believer that it makes the time go SO much quicker. So without fail I grabbed my two sets of Heirloom Audio Productions and we were good to go. I didn't mind listening to them again and neither did the kids. My husband had heard all about them but had never been on a long enough trip with us (I know sometimes he's sad that most of our field trips are while he's working - but we love him for it.) He loved them. He was impressed with the vocabulary (The study guide is a huge help here). It's hard to believe that they were written for school aged children. I know a lot of college students and adults that would be stumped by some of the vocabulary words - making them even more appealing to me. The stories are engaging and fun. The audio drama productions make you feel like you are watching a movie, or an old BBC production my Mom talks about from her childhood.

We also received a 30 minute documentary about the making of the CD and oh my was it good. It captivated my kids almost as much as the audio drama. It was funny seeing the actors putting so much action and heart into the production. No wonder the audio is so good, the actors worked amazingly hard to put just as much feeling and heart into their performance as they would in a visual production.

As you can tell we are HUGE Henty fans here, and also HUGE fans of Heirloom Audio Productions. If you haven't listened to one of their productions yet you are missing out.

Connect with them on social media to find out more.


If you love these productions as much as I do you will be pleased to learn that there is another one on the way. I am SO excited because this time it is an American History classic! It's due to be released around Memorial Day!


I love how this audio drama gives my kids a real glimpse of history, of real God fearing heroes who truly want to do what they feel is right. To serve God and be better people, who live through their trials with grace and courage. These stories truly leave you with heroes like these.

I love the very last part of the audio drama 

"You are always welcome to return for there are always more stories to be told, and more adventures to be had".

Click on the link below to see what others from the crew thought.

In Freedom's Cause Review
Crew Disclaimer

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Wordless Wednesday - Feb 25 2015

I love it when my daughter enjoys studying a topic so much she does more than required and then tells everyone who will listen about what she learned.

Check out more Wordless Wednesday below.

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

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Monday, February 23, 2015

REVIEW - Great Commission Films - IndoctriNation {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Well it's time for my first review of this brand new year. It has been so exciting to get a new year started. This first review is for all parents out there. A very interesting documentary called IndoctriNation 'Public Schools and the decline of Christianity in America' produced by Great Commission Films.

The Latin word for 'teach' is 'doctrina'. It's the root of the word 'indoctrinate' and originally that's what indoctrinate meant to teach - however times and meanings change and now 'indoctrinate' has a very negative meaning, around 1830 it started to mean forcing ideas and beliefs on someone who isn't allowed to question them. My husband truly believes (as do I) that if we don't teach our children to believe in something, someone else will and it won't always be good.

This documentary features a Scottish man Colin Gunn who obviously lives in the US and home-schools his children (along with his wife). This was a draw to me in the very beginning because I was born in Scotland myself albeit I only lived there for a year before returning home to England. I am also a immigrant to the US and was very interested in another immigrants view of this great countries school system (I won't even start on the British system). The video is done in a very entertaining way. However, don't be misled, the topics discussed are very important and not made light of. He loads his family up on a school bus and tours the country interviewing various people about the state of the public school system in the United States. The movie explains how the public school started in the United States and where the people that introduced it received their inspiration - which was shocking to me. There are interviews held with people who actually spend most of their time in the school system, a headteacher and a teacher and also famous names like John Taylor Gatto, Ken Ham, and Voddie Baucham.

My older children were in the public school system for quite a few years. They both went to a pre-school that was based in our elementary school and then continued in our small public school very happily for a few years. Boo was the first to talk about homeschooling. She always wanted to stay home - well from kindergarten when her best friend and cousin moved away. However Jam was very happy and social and so we didn't really give it much thought. Plus I had just had Captain - and I wasn't getting much sleep. By second grade Boo was adamant that she wanted to home school. She was very popular and happy when she was in school, she was a straight A student and so was Jam but this time we started to think about it. By the time the kids were set to start 3rd and 5th we were homeschooling. I loved our little public school, but I love the time I get to spend with my kids more. To me that's what our homeschooling journey was about 'time'.

In fact my oldest son was considering returning back to public school this next year as a freshman. We told him it was his decision, and he had to do what he felt was right for him at this stage. He has a friend that is seriously thinking about returning to school too, so it was something he wanted to consider.

I put this movie on with my husband, Mom and Sister (former public school teacher - but home schooled for high-school) ready to watch. My older two were playing a game with Grandpa in the adjoining room. The movie does warn you that a few topics are discussed and you need to obviously use parental caution. I decided that although I wouldn't sit my kids down to watch it I wouldn't ban them from the room either - they are 12 and 14 and we have discussed a lot of topics together. (However my 6 year old was enjoying a movie and not watching.) During the game and movie I noticed that Jam started to pay more and more attention to the movie. My sister kept on saying things like 'Yes, that's exactly what it's like' and 'Yes, that's one of the reasons I left teaching'. My Mom found it very informative and my husband was quite quiet.

A lot of the information in the movie I already knew, apart from the history of the public schools that I mentioned before. However at the end of the movie there is a very moving interview with one of the parents of a Columbine victim, it touched me to the very core. I have lost a child. I can't imagine living with the grief I have plus, feeling responsible in someway for it.

I have come to love homeschooling, it feels right for my family. I didn't choose to do it because I thought the public school system was failing my children, I did it because they asked and my husband and I prayed about it. I am still doing it because they like it and it works for us. So I am not telling you to watch this movie and pull your kids out of school. However, I do believe in people being informed and doing what's best for their family and this movie does just that - informs and in a very good way. I can understand both points of view. I have friends that have their kids in public school to make a difference and I have friends who feel the same way as the movie that they will never put their kids in them to be indoctrinated. After watching the movie my mindset is still the same. My kids are being home schooled because it's right for us and it has nothing to do with the state of public schools in my area.

However whatever ever side of this so called argument you are on, I recommend you to watch the movie  - what's 102 minutes out of your life.


Check out what others thought about the movie by clicking on the link below-

IndoctriNation DVD Review

Crew Disclaimer

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quaker Steel Cut Oats - BuzzAgent Review

I recently received a box of Quaker Steel Cut Oats from Buzz Agent. I haven't bought oatmeal for a while because my kids go in fits and starts with breakfast. However my breakfast fussy 6 year old was the first to eat it. It received two thumbs up from him.

This morning after being away for a week, we had no milk. However breakfast wasn't an issue because I remember we had some of this oatmeal left and it was a perfect opportunity to get everyone else to try it.

When you cook it (on 50% power) it comes out a little sloppy - but don't worry. Check out my video to see the difference 2 minutes can make.

The older kids were a little dubious that oatmeal would taste nice made just with water, and since the instructions on this oatmeal said it must be made with water it was perfect!

The kids liked it. We would definitely recommend it!

©2011-2014 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Random Five Friday - A Day Late

1. For the last week we have been in Wisconsin. To say it was bitterly cold was an understatement.

2. We drove home all 10 and half hours yesterday - which is why I didn't post. Today I am sat at a swim meet. Boo just swam her 100 Fly and qualified for finals tonight.

3. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!

4. We stayed at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay. The accomodations were excellent. However, we had a two hour wait to check in. They gave us an extra swim pass per day for the inconvenience which made up for it a bit.

5. The YMCA in Green Bay was awesome and let me take Boo to swim everyday on a day swim pass.

All in all its been a fun week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Random Five Friday - Feb 13th

1. I made the energy ball things I blogged about last week and the kids LOVE them. I have made them twice this week. They are great for after swim practice.

2. Captain is doing awesome with his reading. We are working with Progressive Phonics Captain really loves the books. I must admit they are SO funny. I printed them out and laminated the front and bound them into little books.

3. Progressive Phonics has these fun little crosswords and Captain loves them.

4. I have been cutting everyone's hair for a long time. Tonight I gave all the boys a trim. I can't believe how much money I have saved over the last 23 years!

5. We have been doing some free online art classes. You really should check them out here is the link to the first Art class over at the Far From Normal  blog. This last Tuesday was the second class, I got my Mom and Dad doing it with me and they enjoyed it too. I can't wait for week three. It's great to have some focused art time back.

The Pebble Pond

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Rasmus and the Vagabond - Review and Giveaway

Captain and I love read aloud time. It's a time when he can be transported past his current reading ability and plus we get to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa. So when I was offered a chance to review a book written by Astrid Lindgren the author of Pippi Longstocking I was really excited.

Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and dozens of other world-famous characters, has thrilled three generations of children with her storytelling. She is the only children’s author with a literary prize, a theme park, a museum, a satellite, and a minor planet named in her honor. (After this last honor, she suggested changing her name to “Asteroid Lindgren.”) A jury appointed by Swedish Radio’s Culture Department to elect the “Author of the Millennium” voted Astrid Lindgren second after William Shakespeare. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and heaps of other awards and honors.

Pippi Longstocking is a well loved book and so I knew that we would love Rasmus and the Vagabond.

I started reading this to just Captain while the others were doing other work. It was really funny because after a while I noticed that the other two gradually came into the room. It was almost as if my voice was drawing them in. When I finished reading the first time I heard 'But Mom, what happens next!' from all of them. Boo even tried to sneak off with it to read on her own.

So what is the story about...

When Rasmus is in an orphanage where life is pretty tough. He begins to believe that the only children that will be adopted are pretty girls with curly hair. After getting into mischief and having a threat of punishment the next day, Rasmus decides to run away. He realizes however that life is very lonely  and scary even when the closest thing you have known to a home in an orphanage. Just when he thinks he will be alone forever he meets "Paradise Oscar" not wanting to be alone anymore Rasmus asks Paradise if he can stay with him. The book is full of adventure, mysteries, villains, heroes and finally a home for Rasmus. This is set in a time before the hustle and bustle of the modern world. I thought at first I recognized the feel of the British countryside, but it's actually set in Sweden. Rasmus and the Vagabond is definitely a perfect book for reading aloud. I loved reading it to my kids. I could feel their tension and excitement as I read it.

I honestly don't know why I haven't read this to my older kids before! I'm not excluding Jam though at 14 years he's not too old for a really good story.

If you want to add this book to your read aloud collection don't worry I have you covered. Enter the giveaway below to win your very own paperback copy of the book!

Remember you can't win more than one promotion from FlyBy in 30 days.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Random Five - Feb 6

1. Wow it's been a fun week. We have had so many things going on and decisions being made and unmade. It's the start of a busy but fun month so I am trying to pace myself.

2. Tomorrow we have our last swim meet before districts and championships. Jam is hoping to knock some time off a couple of his races and Boo is is hoping to qualify for championships in a second race - we will have to wait and see.

3. When Boo makes snacks her favorite are curly apples. Captain is happy to eat them too.

4. I can't believe the temperature changes this week. We have been down to -11 and now the forecast is for 60 degrees tomorrow - crazy.

5. I think I have an addiction to diffusers. I have two, I keep one in the living room and one in my office. I think I need another for my bedroom. If I do buy another I need one that lasts 8-10 hours.

The Pebble Pond

©2011-2014 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author

Thursday, February 5, 2015

5 on the Fifth - February

For some strange reason most of my favorite 5 posts end up being food related... I don't know why :)
however I will try and have a little mixture today.

1. Have you heard about the 34 weeks of clean posts. This post from Family, Faith, Fridays is all about organizing recipes (see almost about food).

2. Valentine's Day is coming. In fact we have our little home-school group Valentine's Day party tomorrow. This is a fun post from Bare Feet on the Dashboard chock full of play ideas for toddlers.

Ten Fun Valentine's Day Play Ideas for Preschool Kids

3. Another Valentine's post from The Things I Love Most. I may have to throw a couple of these together. I wonder if I will time in the morning....

Valentines cards

4. I love this idea I got over at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ. I think giving someone a gift for them to open when they are having a really bad day is so cool. I may have to do this!

5. I had to finish with a little food :) We have a lot of swim meets coming up this month and so energy is definitely going to be needed. I have seen a lot of recipes around for not cook energy bites. These over at GimmeSomeOven look awesome, now if I can just manage to make these before Saturday.

No Bake Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Check out some more 5 on the Fifth over at Ben and Me!

5 on the Fifth

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Created by Photo Grid. Android iPhone

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

See The Light February Special - God's Special Surprise

*This post may contain Affiliate links*

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©2011-2014 Chickensbunniesandhomeschool. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author

Math Essentials - Math Refresher for Adults {TOS REVIEW}

Anyone who knows me knows that math is not my favorite subject! Any math questions from high school definitely get directed to my math-l...