Monday, June 29, 2020

Meal Planning

Sunday :  Breakfast for Dinner (With some shrimp boil that my friend brought over)

Monday : Chicken Nuggets and Tots

Tuesday: Cheeseburger casserole with mac and cheese and corn

Wednesday:  Lasagna, salad and garlic bread

Thursday:  Chicken pot pie pasta with salad

Friday : Chicken Banh Mi sandwich with chips

Sunday:  White Borche Soup

Monday, June 22, 2020

Weekend Meal Planning

What a wonderful week we had last week. Things might be crazy off base in the world around us, but here on base, we spent the week as a family as well as with friends.   Friday we went to a Juneteenth party at a friends house with a group of other friends and had wonderful food, drinks and a great time hanging out.  Sunday we had a nice Father's day at home, celebrating my husband and all that he does for our family.  

What Did We Have For Dinner This Week?

Sunday:  Tuna Tarragon Pasta

Monday:  Chili Dogs with Fries

Tuesday:  Crunchwraps (7 Layer Burrito for Mom)

Wednesday:  Beef Kafta with Aloo Gobi

Thursday:  Louisiana chicken pasta with salad

Friday:  Juneteenth Dinner at a friend's house

Saturday: Homemade Pizza Night 

Sunday:  Breakfast for Dinner (with steak for Dad)  - added shrimp, corn and potatoes from a friend

So, what can we expect this week?  Here's the new menu :)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Exploring The US LifeSaving Service (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Most people are aware of the five different branches of the United States Military - the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard.  However, before the Coast Guard, there was another group of brave men who put their lives on the line to rescue seamen who found themselves in unfortunate and dangerous circumstances.

For the last few weeks, the kids have been learning about these brave men with Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities , a unit study written by Rebecca LocklearThis study is a digital downloadable PDF file that have options for grades 4-12th.

Rebecca Locklear's Great-grandfather was a member of the Us Life-Saving service for 15
Author Rebecca Locklear
years, so it is a topic that is of great interest to her.  Thru this digital downloadable resource, she shares stories of her great-grandfather and the men whom he served with, this 115 page resource provides historical information, interesting black and white photographs and a plethora of activities such as skits, recipes, art projects, folk music, and more.

Set in the timeframe of 1878-1915, this study offers 17 workshops that tell the history and story of the US Life-Saving service and the men who served in it.  The study is broken down into 5 individual units:

Introduction Unit:  This unit introduces the U.S. Life-Saving service.  In this unit we learned about the structure of the team, such as the Keeper (the captain) and the Surfman under him, what requirements the men had to meet to become part of the team, what they were paid, and how life was at the station house in regards to their sleeping quarters, training and duty.

Unit 1:  Life at the Station House  - Learn about what the team ate while living in a remote area and how they obtained their food as well as some of the activities that they used to help entertain themselves when they weren't training or rescuing people.

Unit 2:  Working Together - This unit offered a more in depth look at the various jobs that the members of the team had, activities to learn to recognize different types of ships used during those days, and how they communicated with each other from across the water from ships.  This unit also discusses how rescues were performed and the types of medical equipment they had on hand.

Unit 3:   The Culture of Character -  Much of this type of information is lost on today's society but in the late 1800s and early 1900s, wearing hats in public and taking them off inside, showing respect towards women such as helping her get into a carriage or standing up when a woman stands to leave the table and again when she returns, as well as the art of giving a toast is presented.

Unit 4:  Relevance Today - This final unit shows how many of the life saving and survival techniques devised by the US Life-Saving team are used today, both by the military and rescue teams of today but are also used for general boating safety and for outdoor survival by all individuals.

As a family, we really enjoyed reading the various stories and recollections of both members of the U.S. Life-Saving service as from family members as well as looking at the amazing photographs from a historical perspective.  At times it seemed almost like having a chat with an elderly grandfather, listening to his war stories.  We learned so much, such as how the members of the team wore numbers on their shirts that showed their ranking based on how long they had been part of the team (as opposed to today's Coast Guard wearing military rank).  The kids had a riot reading a story about two kids who were kicked out of class because they reeked of a skunk (I won't spoil the story - but the way they got "sprayed" wasn't what you would expect).  They also really enjoyed learning about the Wig-Wag flag signals.  Garrett particularly liked the photographs of the recently discovered remains of ships lost long ago.

Some of the rules of etiquette discussed were things my family was already familiar with and is a part of our lives as a military family.  For example, when in uniform, my husband always walks on the outside towards the road and offers his arm to me.  Toasts are also a common occurrence in military life during Formal Dining In events.  Also, we are use to my husband having to wear his hat anytime he is outside - seeing him put his cover on as he's stepping out of the car or out of the base exchange is just a part of our life we never really think about, so learning about how these traditions are still being used today in our military was really interesting.

We also listened to many of the suggested music.  The kids were thrilled that they recognized many of the songs from their monthly folk song lessons.  They were able to sing along with Blow the Man Down, How Can I Keep From Singing, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Saw Three Ships, and Buffalo Gals.

Our favorite activity so far, without any doubt, would be making homemade gingerbread.  When learning about how everyday life was like for the men at the rescue station and the types of meals they ate, we learned about how molasses was made. Molasses was one of the common staples found in the rescue station and gingerbread was often made as a desert to accompany their meals.  We had to buy a jar of molasses but we had all the other ingredients and so we decided to follow the instructions included in the unit and make our own.  Ashleigh had a great time baking gingerbread, although Garrett did help a bit.  The entire family agreed that it was a recipe we need to start making on a regular basis.

Garrett had to make it look like he did something too. But it was all Ashleigh lol.

I really wish we could have done much more of the activities. One activity involved painting rocks, which Ashleigh is really excited about doing.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 has put a damper on us getting the various supplies we would need to do some of the really unique activities - our base exchange is very limited and right now going to places like Walmart and Hobby Lobby are difficult.  However, as our area begins to open up again (hopefully soon), I plan on getting these items so they can do more of the activities.

This is a really great resource and I'm glad to have been able to share it with my family.  It's also a resource that as they get older, we can revisit and complete the more complex activities designed for older students.

To find more information about Rebecca Locklear and Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities, as well as her other unit study - The Mayflower at Cape Cod - Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today, be sure to visit the author's website.   You can also sign up for the author's newsletter to be sent to your email from her website, keeping you informed of more products and information.

You can also find her on Facebook at

#hsreviews #USLifeSavingService, #EarlyCoastGuard, #CoastalSearchandRescue, #CoastGuardHistory #maritimerescues

Members of the Crew were offered their choice of both of Rebecca Locklear's studies to use with their families.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020 (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For the last few weeks, members of the Crew have been reviewing the HelpTeaching Pro Subscription from , an online-based platform for teachers that supplies printable tests, activities, lessons, and games for students of all academic levels Grades K-12.

What Is and The HelpTeaching Pro Subscription? is an online based library offering access to thousands of pre-made worksheets, activities, and tests for K-12.  The website offers a free standard membership that allows users limited access to their TestMaker application.  The Test Maker allows users to create printable tests with up to 10 questions for their students.  However, the HelpTeaching Pro Subscription ($49/yr) not only gives members the ability to make much longer tests (up to 100 questions in length), it allows those tests to be administered online and can include images and diagrams, which the free membership does not.  It also allows members to search a database of pre-made questions and answers to include in their tests.

The Test Maker offers the options of multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false style questions, and open-ended questions as well as advanced math and science equations that can be used for testing material.   This variety of question styles allows for the user to create custom tests on any variety of subjects.  If questions on a particular subject does not exist in the question library, users can create and save their own questions to be used. 

Question options for Grammar Testing

In addition, Pro membership also gives members access to a library of premade premium content covering Engish Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. More than 3000 various worksheets are available for members to use for grades K-12.  Also available is a variety of self-paced video lessons for Middle School and High School Students on a wide variety of topics. offering a large variety of worksheets on various subjects

Worksheets are downloadable as a PDF file  and a key is also provided.  This makes it easy to download and print as needed.  These worksheets cover a large variety of subjects for grades K-12 as well as early education and AP level material, and are aligned with common core standards. 

Add caption

How We Used It

For this review,  I decided to really focus on the language arts worksheets that were offered in in the selections of pre-made worksheets.  Each week, I go in and I find three or four worksheets that cover things such as parts of speech (for example, we have done sheets over identifying adverbs, pronouns and conjunctions), cause and effect, and fact or fiction as well as worksheets over reading comprehension where the kids have to read a paragraph or piece of prose and answer questions related to what they read. 

A Few weeks of English Worksheets

I really appreciated the Reading Comprehension sheets.  This is something Garrett has to really work on, and these sheets allow me to get him to read a few paragraphs and then answer the questions.  If he cannot answer the question, I simply get him to skim the material to find the answer.

Sometimes we were able to find worksheets that fall into what we are currently studying with our lessons.  I picked this worksheet as well as a worksheet "Summertime Poetry" because they both focused on figurative language, something we were already talking about in our studies.

Another way we've used is with their worksheet generator.  This is an option that allows you to print out either math drill worksheets or game cards.  The game cards are for doing games like Bingo as well as word searches. I really like this function, because it allows me two fun ways for Garrett to practice his Latin words - which helped improve his quiz and test scores for the course.

For the word find puzzles, I type in the words that I want them to find, and the website does the rest. I can even print out an answer key if needed (although I usually just print out the puzzle and work it myself as well).  You also have the option of if you want words to go backwards or not. 

With the bingo cards, I simply add the words I want to use and tell the generator how many cards I want printed.  I usually print out 5 cards, one for each day of the week and play a quick round with Garrett where I say the English translation and he finds the Latin words.

A few of our Bingo games

My overall impression is that is a great resource for quick and easy access to a large library of worksheets and resources. Anything that can help make finding educational resources easier is a winner in my book.

For more information about the Pro Subscription from, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:

With the large variety of options available from, no two reviewers are going to use the exact same materials, so be sure to click the banner below to see how other families used the materials with their own families.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Weekend Meal Planing

What Did we Have for Dinner this week?

Sunday - Greek Turkey Burgers with Fries and Salad

Monday - Spring Roll in a Bowl with homemade peanut sauce and Kimchi

Tuesday - Baharat spiced Chicken Kabobs with Parmesan Couscous, Asparagus and Tomatoes, salad and Hummus

Wednesday -  Summer Minestrone with Turkey Meatballs

Thursday - Honey and mustard chicken tenderloins,  roasted vegetables, green beans and salad.

Friday - Take out -  Chicken wings from Wing Stop

Saturday - Mississippi roast with rice and salad.


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