Beric The Briton . . . My Review

For the past several week, we have had the perfect thing in our house to be reviewing, and at the perfect time, too! We have been blessed to once again review an audio production from Heirloom Audio, this time, the most recent production, Beric The Briton.

When I said above that this was perfect timing, I meant it! The Lord provided this, something we could review without my having to do any direct teaching at a time when I was recovering from two major surgeries and in hospital stays, and then an out-patient procedure when something went wrong with the second procedure! Therefore, my boys were able to  have something they could listen to while I was resting.

This is the fourth production that Heirloom Audio has done of one of The Extraordinary Adventures of  G. A. Henty, and every one of them has been just wonderful!

Beric The Briton takes place during the time of ancient Rome and the Emperor Nero, and is full of non stop action, enough even for my boys! This package came as a two CD set, running about two and a half hours in total.

Some of the stars of this production are:

  • John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings)
  • Cathy Sara (Downtown Abbey)
  • Tom Baker (Dr. Who)
  • Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart)
  • Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan, King Lear, as well as other Heirloom Audio Productions)
  • Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle’s War)

Beric, a son of a Chieftess in Briton, is fighting against the occupation and rule of the Romans over his land. He leads his men and continues to fight until being captured and taken to Rome. After this Beric learns about the Christian faith and he decides to become a believer, even though this was an extremely dangerous time for those of the Christian faith. At one point, he even defends a young Christian woman who is put in to face a lion because s will not renounce her faith, and Beric defeats the lion!

All in all, this is a very exciting story, especially for the boys. I also believe girls will enjoy it just as well, since it is not just boys who love action and adventure, is it!

As a part of our review package, we were given the following (as a part of the Family four Pack):

  • The double CD set
  • Beric The Briton MP3 Set
  • Beric The Briton E-Book
  • Official MP3 Soundtrack
  • Study Guide & Discussion Starter
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Inspirational Verse Poster

And other things.

Please click below for a short look at this production:

The provided study guide is something we chose not to use this time through, because as i said above, I just couldn’t go through it with the boys. However, as always the guide gives so much in extra learning! There is a biography of the author, G. A. Henty,. There are questions and vocabulary words for each section of the story, as well as listening well and thinking further questions. The study guide also offers activities such as recipe, internet links for tours, pictures and the like.

I highly recommend Beric The Briton, along with all of the Heirloom audio productions!

To read what other Review Crew members thought of Beric The Briton, please click on the graphic right below!

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  ReviewCrew DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you were to join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscribe box at the top of the blog, enter your email, and you will always know when something new is posted here!

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LearnBop For Families: My Review

In between illnesses, Vacation Bible School, and an emergency surgery on my part, we have been reviewing a new to us online math program called LearnBop For Families, from the company LearnBop.

For the purpose of review, we were generously given the pre-paid version (12 month subscription), which we could use for up to four students. So far, I have been using it with “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler”, with different results, because “The Puzzler functions much younger than “Mr. Loquacious” does. They are both special needs children, so I was worried over whether or not they would be able to handle this one at all.


LearnBop For Families is an adaptive,  interactive, self-paced math program meant for grades three through twelve, although I have been able to use it with the twins, neither of whom is at that level. This is because, although you can, when setting them up, simply put a student into a grade level, you can also choose what Learnbop calls “Learning Roadmaps.” Therefore, even though neither boy is really at even a third grade level in math, I was able to set them at the lowest grade, but then choose lower “Roadmaps” for each of them.

Once I got their accounts set up (super easy! I discovered I could do that using my phone!), they each got to choose their avatar for themselves. After that, they began by doing something called a “warm up”, which is basically an assessment to check for any missing knowledge they may need to catch up on. They will do this for each unit. The program will them personalize their units in order to focus on the concepts they most need to work on.

All through, there are videos to watch to help break down whatever concept the student is working on, in an easy way to understand. The student always knows when to watch a video or to do a “Bop” (math problem), because once they have done their warm up for each unit, the student’s dashboard tells him what to do next. If they get the problem wrong, then LearnBop goes over it with them step by step, so that they can learn how to do it the next time.

One thing I like very much is that whenever we need it done, I can go in and change their grade level and/or roadmap, as we attempt to place them where they need to be. I also like that I, as the teacher, have my own dashboard, where I can check on how they are doing at any time.

“Mr. Loquacious”  had a bit of trouble at first, because this was a different way of learning math than he had don before, but once I went over it with him a few times, he was fine on his own.



As you can see above, he was using a small tablet to work in LearnBop, which he really enjoyed! This is an android tablet, as is my phone, the one I  used to set them up with.

Here you see “The Puzzler” doing his work on the desktop, which he seemed to prefer . . .


As I said above, “The Puzzler” functions much younger, and he had a lot of trouble, even with basic addition and subtraction. To help him, I finally gave him a printed number line. After I showed him how to use it, he began doing better, and enjoying the program more. He actually ASKS to go on LearnBop now!

I do think this is a very well done program. I really like that it is adaptive and is able to adjust to what the student needs intuitively. I think this will help a lot when it comes to bringing the twins further along in beginning math.

To read 99 other honest reviews of LearnBop For Families, please click on the banner below!

LearnBop for Families ReviewCrew DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email, and you will always know when something new is going on here. Hope to see you soon!

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Missing you all!

So, I’ve been missing in action, haven’t I?! Here’s what’s been happening . . .

On June 11, “The Artist” and I went to a long awaited and anticipated class with our Zentangle teachers  along with noted author Suzanne McNeill, who has written many zentangle books!


This was a class based on something very new to “The Artist” and me, called Florabunda. We made BEAUTIFUL 3D flowers to put onto cards, and everybody’s came out different, as is the usual!

Here are all of the different completed pieces . . .



Here is a class picture of everyone . .


and here is one of “The Artist”, me, and Suzanne McNeill!


Unfortunately, 3 days later, I was in the emergency room, and having surgery to remove my gall bladder! I’ve been working on recovery ever since, but be watching, because I will have some upcoming reviews of a couple of Suzanne’s books!

As always, I’d love to have you join me on all of my journeys through life. please go to the sign me up box at the top of the blog, and you’ll always know when something new is going on!

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The Glass Castle . . . A T.O.S. Review


As an avid reader for as long as I can remember, it is very important to me to try and encourage a love of reading in my children. Because of this, I was very glad to be chosen as one of the crew members to receive for review a book from Shiloh Run Press called The Glass Castle, written by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins.

This is not a terribly long book.  In fact, though there are 41 chapters, they are all fairly short, and the book itself is only 251 pages long.

You may recognise the name of one of the authors, Jerry B. Jenkins. He co-authored the Left Behind series of books with Tim LaHaye, many years ago! He has written over 180 books, and 16 of them have reached NYT bestseller status.

The co-author of this book Trisha White Priebe, has had the desire to write ever since she was in the 6th grade, and says that she still loves writing for sixth graders! Priebe has worn a lot of different hats during her life. She is a wife, mom, writer, editor, teacher, reader, and as she puts it, former water polo queen. She has also worked as an editor for the Meredith Corporation, and has published several magazine articles and blog entries. Priebe is a frequent speaker at retreats and conferences, and enjoys assisting her husband in youth ministry.

The Glass Castle is book one in the new “13” series. The setting and action are very much like a cross between the Narnia books and Alice in Wonderland.

The story begins in book one, telling of a king who is growing old, and is worried about who will take his place. His new wife wishes to give him a child who would be hei to the throne, but the king’s first wife gave birth to a son and nobody knows what happened to him.  The solution? get rid of all the orphans in the kingdom!

Avery, Kate, Tuck, and Kendrick take charge of an underground network of kidnapped children, pledging to reunite the children with the homes they lost.

You can read some of The Glass Castle here.

I gave this book to “The Artist”, and once he got into it, it really did not take him long to finish the book. He even brought it along to read in the waiting room when I had a doctor’s appointment. Here he is at home, reading.



He says that he’s really enjoyed the story and is looking forward to the next book, The Ruby Moon, which will coming out in October 2016. I do think it fair to warn you though, that The Glass Castle does end with something of a cliff hanger, so be prepared!

To read 89 other fair and honest reviews by fellow crew members, please click the banner below.

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}Crew DisclaimerAs always, I would love it if you would join me on all of my “Journeys Through Life.” Please go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email so that you will know whenever there is new content posted here. I really hope to see you join me!:-)

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“Mr. Loquacious”

I am beginning to think I should change his blog name to “The Dare-devil”.

This past Thursday, I had to take him to the emergency room, again. Two weeks exactly since the last time, which was exactly two weeks since the time before that. Here he is, waiting to see medical personnel after getting his xrays.


And this time, instead of a possible concussion, he got a definite concussion, and a sprain to the neck area.

Here is how you can tell he’s in pain . . .


And sad, too, because he’s on some serious restriction for a minimum of two weeks. We are trying hard to work with him on this “risk taking” behavior, believe me.

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Hey Mama! Planner Review


This review is all about the homeschool mamas! I have been checking out the current Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse and boy, is it ever nice!  I think this is the biggest one I have seen, it has 196 pages. It is 9″ x 11″ x.5″, has a glossy, sturdy cover, and is all bound together with silver wire – o binding.


While I am not much of a “planner” person, as we tend to be mostly a relaxed homeschooling family, there are a good number of things I really like about this particular planer.

As you can see in the picture above, the theme is old fashioned looking this year. I LOVE vintage looking things! Scattered through the planer are vintage, sepia toned pictures of the homemaking tools pictured on the cover, along with an explanation of their uses. It does give a mama cause to consider how much easier we have it when it comes to doing these tasks!

Starting right out of the gate on the inside front cover, there is a very nice letter of encouragement from Gena Suarez, publisher of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. At the beginning of each month, there is a small devotional, encouragement note, and/or Bible verse. Speaking of Bible verses, my very favorite thing is that with the exception of just one page, all scripture used in this planner comes the King James Version of the Bible. You all know how I feel about that one, right?:-)

What does the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner have in it which makes it so good for you to use, you might ask? Well, let me tell you, because I think this planner could be used no matter what style of homechooler you happen to be. First, here are the things you will see in this planner:

  • year at a glance calendars for 2016, 2017 & 2018
  • Monthly calendars, each with a Hey Mama! letter and a page for notes
  • A plethora of forms, which I’ll describe below

Homeschool Forms:

  • Weekly Planners
  • Monthly Goals
  • Semester Goals
  • Yearly Goals
  • Attendance Chart (if you are required to keep track of how many hours or days per year that you homeschool, this will help you track it.
  • Books read this year
  • Curriculum planning sheet
  • Homeschooling Contact List
  • 36 General Writing Prompts (enough for one per week if you follow a 36 week schedule)
  • Story Starters
  • The 13 Colonies by Date
  • Timeline of Inventions
  • U.S. Presidents and Their Wives
  • Branches of the Federal, State and Local Governments
  • United States and Capitals
  • Creating An Academic Transcript
  • Checklist and Skills Learned
  • Other Courses

While there will be sections that I won’t likely use as designed (again, I’m not much of a pre-planner when it comes to school), I think it will be a very simple twist to use the planning pages in reverse, as in, logging what we DID instead of what we are going to do. I tend to feel as if I failed if we don’t cover everything in “the plan” when it’s written down to be done, but feel more of an accomplishment when I can write in all the things we did do, instead.:-)

I like the general writing prompts. I have four kids, and I think if I give them each the exact same writing prompt for the week, I will get four completely different stories.

There are only four “Books Read This Year” pages, and i hope they will read more books that the spaces allow, so I will, if needed copy the page and keep it in the planner. Same with the actual planner pages, as we school year around, so I will need more of those pages. There are also a couple of pages of story starters, such as “What is the best birthday present you ever received and why?”

The pages I think are good for a jumping off point in creating a study would be “The Thirteen Colonies by Date”, the “Timeline of Inventions”, the “U.S. Presidents and Their Wives”.

The pages giving the branches of the Federal, State and local governments are also a great jumping off point, especially in this, an election year!

The United States and Capitals gives them in the order they became part of the United States, which is a choice i would have also made.

Finally, should you need to create a transcript in your state, there are very good instructions for doing so, and there is also a page for “other courses”, which I would consider to be electives, along with a”Checklist and Skills Learned” page.

I think a family who follows a “regular” school year could use this planner just as it is, especially if they are required to keep records and attendance. I also think however, that this planner is useful for those of us who school all year, who are very relaxed, who unit study, or even who unschool, Why? Because as I said above, instead of putting in ahead of time what you will do each day, you can instead wait until after you’ve finished the day, and then log what you did!

All of this to say, I really, really like this planner!

As you can see below, click on the picture and use the coupon code, and you will receive $10.00 off of the cost of the Print Planner. What an excellent deal!

Coupon Code Hey Mama Planner 2016 2017

To read what 124 other crew members had to say about the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017, please click on the banner directly below.

Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 ReviewCrew DisclaimerAs always, I would love to have you join me on all of my “Journeys Through Life!” Just go and enter your email into the subscription box at the top of the blog, and you will always know when a new post goes up. Hope to see you here!:-)

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Fun Things Lately . . .

Over the past week or so, we’ve had a few fun things going on. A week ago last Saturday, my husband sent me out for some me time, and I went to my stylist Jody who gave me the works. I make the birthday cards she sends out in exchange for credit towards hair care, which is a win/win for us both!


This is the best I could do at replicating the way she styled it, but I’m practicing!

One day last week, “The Puzzler” walked to a new park in our community with some of the neighbor boys. It’s called “A Park Above,” and on that day was the “official” grand opening, which we didn’t know. So, “The Puzzler” and his friends got to take their picture with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez while they were there! He’s been proudly showing it off ever since.:-)


Until next time, always know that I would love to have you join me on all of my “Journeys Through Life.” Just go enter your email into the subscription box at the top of the blog, and you’ll know whenever there is a new post. Hope to see you here!

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