With Lee in Virginia ~ Review

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review
Heirloom Audio Productions has released their third production With Lee in VirginiaLike the first two this audio production is based on one of George Alfred Henty’s novels contained in the series he called The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. I was sent a physical CD along with a downloadable study guide, soundtrack, ebook, and other fun bonuses. The CD is for ages 6 to adult and provides two and a half hours of audio drama.

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The audio transcript was written by Robert Liparulo. The soundtrack was composed by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell who also composed the music for Narnia. Some of the Actors that lend their voices to the story are Jim Weiss, Sean Astin, Kirk Cameron, and Chris Anthony.

Bill Heid the Executive Producer of Heirloom Audio Productions has a favorite quote. It is “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” by Frederick Douglass. He goes on to say “That is, it’s my belief that if we take the role of active parenting during “the critical years” we can grow strong children with godly moral compasses.” Both of the stories we have listened to from Heirloom Audio Productions help build strong children with godly moral compasses. The stories are brought to life which is important in today’s fast paced world. I know I had doubts about the ability of an audio story to hold my daughters attention with my review of In Freedom’s Cause. That story shredded any doubts I had so I was very excited to be selected for the newest story.

We are planning on studying American history more in depth this year and this provided an exciting introduction to our school year. Jahnna and Riley both want to learn more after listening to the story. We were blessed yet again with the bonus downloads. One of my favorite bonuses is the study guide. It is divided into lessons that go over the different sections of the CD. There are maps, Civil War facts and pictures. It’s beautiful and thought provoking. The listening well questions and thinking further questions are such a great resource that leads to further discussions. I saved those this time for later on during the year but I would occasionally ask one or two to gage their interest level. At the end of the study guide there are scriptures that correlate with the character traits that are being taught in the story.

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You can watch a three minute trailer on the With Lee in Virginia website that tells you more about how it was made and shows some of the actors recording their scripts. It’s a lot of fun to watch the facial expressions of the actors as they get into their roles. I also loved watching the video of Kirk Cameron playing Gen. Stonewall Jackson recording with his real life son James Cameron who portrays Will Upton.

Heirloom Audio Productions did not disappoint and we look forward to any new productions they have in the works.

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on FacebookTwitter, and Google+. You can also connect on the Facebook page that is specifically for With Lee in Virginia.

Be sure and check out what the 99 other Crew members had to say about their experiences on this review.

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Crew Disclaimer

UnLock Math ~ Review

Unlock Math Review

UnLock Math has developed a new online math program that I reviewed called UnLock Pre-AlgebraThe program was created and developed by Alesia Blackwood. Alesia was homeschooled until 4th grade and has taught math to students in 7th through 12th. Unlock Math uses videos lessons featuring Alesia explaining each concept in a fun and engaging way.

Unlock Math Review
The first 5 units are review of concepts that students should already know. If they don’t have all the knowledge needed to progress this will get them ready to move on with the program. Unit 5 is where the adaptive questions start. There is another popular math program on the market that uses adaptive questioning but without the videos. Jahnna used it last year and was not impressed with it at all. Math became a struggle for her yet again. I’ll tell you more about our experience with UnLock Pre-Algebra in just a minute.

If a student gets a question wrong the adaptive questions will provide them with more information or have the student try a simpler version of the question before trying the original problem. It’s a really neat concept that allows students to progress naturally and intuitively.

Each lesson starts the student off with Warm Ups. The questions are given one at a time so that they aren’t overwhelming which is so nice for those that have test anxiety. After the warm ups comes a video on the concept that will be presented. After the video are practice problems. Stay Sharp questions follow the practice problems and go over concepts that have already been learned. At the end of the lesson is a challenge question that is exactly that. It’s meant to challenge the student in some way. After several sections there is a quiz and at the end of the unit a test.

The parent section is very straightforward. You set up that account first and then add your student(s). The grades are all tracked for you and you can view or print reports as you like. The dashboard is fantastically organized and straightforward for both parents and students.

 

Unlock Math Review
I loved the layout of this program. It is easy to use and intuitive. I keep using the word intuitive and not to redundant but it is! That other popular program I mentioned before was frustrating even for me! The layout of the each lesson in UnLock Math is the same. It’s predictable and allows the student to stay focused knowing what is coming and what is expected of them. Alesia makes the videos fun and entertaining.

I wanted to start the program and see if I thought Jahnna would be ready for it. Turns out I was smart to do that. I knew she was behind but this reenforced how behind she is. After wasting a year on the other program I can only wish we’d had this to begin with. I had her start another program and do some catch up so that she would be able to begin again and be ready for it when school starts next month. I’ve showed her some of the videos from the different lessons and she is excited to get started again. I have much higher hopes for her understanding and grasping concepts. If any program is going to make her interested in math again I think UnLock Math will do it.

You can connect with UnLock Math on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and Instagram

As always click the link below to find out what the other Crew members had to say about their experiences during this review.

 

UnLock Math Review
Crew Disclaimer

FabFitFun Box ~ Review

 

 This post was sponsored by FabFitFun via Bloggin’ Mamas.
I received this product for free to review as part of a campaign with FabFitFun and Bloggin’ Mamas.

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Until recently I had not tried any of the box of the month clubs. I was excited to be selected for this campaign so I could check one out and see what I thought about them. FabFitFun boxes are a seasonal suscription gift box. The box is $49.99 (keep reading for a $10 off coupon code!) four times a year and include $200 worth of FULL size products. No tiny samples here it’s the real product you’d find in the store

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List of items included in every box

The summer box contained a lot of fun things:

  • Wren 14Kt Gold and Black Sapphire Necklace ($100)
  • The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun ($29.99)
  • Inkling Scents Sultry Roll-On Oil Perfume ($25)
  • Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray ($24.95)
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss ($19)
  • FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope ($14)
  • Scratch Nail Wraps ($12)
  • Headspace 3-Month Subscription ($38.85)
  • Hello Konjac Cleaning Sponge ($12)
  • Sponsored* Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer ($7.99)

That is a grand total of $275.79 for $49.99. (Sponsored items are a bonus product)

 

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I have to say I was excited when I opened the box and saw what is in the picture above. I knew there would be a lot of products but I was still impressed. The first thing I did was try out the wireless speaker. My 12 year old daughter has been begging for a speaker of some kind and her dad is crazy particular about speaker sounds and quality. He was even impressed with the quality for the retail price. He told me to put it back in the box and save it for a Christmas present for her! I laughed because he usually isn’t that enthusiastic about some of the products I receive to review.

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The Vaseline Spray Moisturizer is kind of interesting. I’ve seen the crazy commercial of the girl spraying it on, getting dressed really fast and running out the door but I didn’t believe it. I can’t say that you would get great coverage doing it that way but you do get a pretty good moisturizing product if you slow down a little and use it. It doesn’t dry my skin out like a lot of lotions that have a fragrance do and I’ve used it on all the kids and the girls love it. Colby not so much but he’s a boy so I think that’s to be expected!

 

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The Konjac sponge was kind of a trip. It’s pretty hard until you soak it in water and then for me it’s almost to soft after that. It does act as a decent way to wash your face off at the end of the day. It wasn’t scratchy or rough and exfoliates well. I like to use it at night.

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The Wren Gold dipped Black Sapphire Necklace is a charm necklace. I prefer silver so it’s being saved for Jahnna or Riley for Christmas. It’s a great simple necklace for summer time but I know either of my girls will like it any time of the year.

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I had to laugh a little after opening the box. I guess I really zeroed in on the Fit part of the name because I thought there would be more exercise stuff. I have no idea what I thought it would include but the jumprope ends up being a perfect addition. It’s a fun summer exercise and reminded me of being a kid again. I like the handles, they are comfortable to hold and the rope portion has held up well.

As far as the other products go I have to say my absolute favorite item in this entire box is the Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray! I’ve used it every day and my hair which is usually half curly, half straight, straightens out on it’s own without looking greasy or dull. It looks healthy and soft. Jahnna’s hair is coarser and crazy thick! She has tons of flyaway hair and because we dyed it green for awhile it’s over processed. I sprayed some on her hair and was so excited to finally find a product that didn’t make her roots greasier. It helped the ends and just softened everything. She’s hit that in between stage of still being a little to young to care but wanting to care how she looks and I think this is going to help her transition beautifully!

My overall impression of the FabFitFun box is that I am planning on getting the fall box as soon as it’s available. I’ve enjoyed every product in the box and if I don’t personally use it one of my daughters will. For $49.99 I think it’s worth it. You can sign up using this FabFitFun link and use discount code CHAOS to save $10 off of a box. $39.99 is definitely worth it!

You can connect with FabFitFun on Facebook, Twitter: @FabFitFun, Instagram: @FabFitFunPinterest, and Youtube.

Let me know if you sign up for a box and what you think. I’d love to know!

 

 

Christmas in July with Feeln

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Feeln is a movie streaming streaming service that is full of love and feel good movies. It’s full of handpicked Hollywood movies, TV series, award-winning originals and Hallmark Hall of Fame features. It’s commercial-free which is fantastic in my mind! Colby despises commercials. I’m not sure I can explain how fun commercials are at house. They involve anywhere from a minute and half of screaming to four minutes of screaming. We literally either have to ignore him or try and distract him until they are over. Any type of service that is commercial free gets huge pluses in my book!
You can watch Feeln online or on your iPhone, iPad, Android phones or tablets. Feeln is also available with Roku, AppleTV and Xbox 360.
Right now Feeln is running a Christmas in July special that gives you a Free Roku Streaming Stick when you buy a 2 year subscription for $47.98.
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We have used Roku products for at least four years if not more. Somewhere in the archives of this blog I’m pretty sure I wrote a review on one. We love Roku so much we got one of the new Roku TV’s. It’s easy to use and so much cheaper than cable. I just double checked and found that a streaming stick currently runs anywhere between $35 and $50 depending on where you buy it and you would still have to buy any extra channels you want. If you order through this special  you are basically getting it for free or close to free plus two years of great family friendly movies. 

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Hurry and sign up now, this deal ends when July does.

Free* Roku® Streaming Stick® with a 2 year Feeln subscription ($98 value for $47.98) *Terms and Conditions May Apply

 

HandiRamp HandiTreads ~ Review

We moved into our home almost a year ago. Aside from one small step into the house from the front porch and the garage it is totally wheelchair accessible! The step isn’t an issue at this point for us because I just pop Colby’s wheelchair up and go over it. What has been an issue with the step is that it has a slippery edge when it rains or snows. It also blends in with the sidewalk in front of it and if you forget the step is there it is easy to trip over or off of. Please excuse the mud in the pictures below we’ve been working in the yard a lot this summer but it’s a good example of what I’m trying to explain.

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Slightly visible step edge going into the house.

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The step blends really well when walking out of the house.

I was very excited when I was offered a chance to review a pair of HandiTreads from HandiRamp. I immediately went to their website to learn more and realized these would be a fantastic solution to our step problem. The treads have a raised button surface that grips on to your shoe, foot or in our case wheelchair wheel and provides instant traction. They are so lightweight! I picked up the box and thought maybe they’d forgotten to include the treads! Nope, they were in there.

I can already tell that these will last a long time because they are so durable! The button surface isn’t sharp and you can even walk on it barefoot. At our last home we built a ramp for Colby to go up the stairs. John used grip tape to provide traction and it lasted a couple of years but slowly lost traction and started ripping. I had to be really careful when shoveling snow off the ramp that I didn’t rip the tape off.

Stair Tread

I’m loving the color options that are offered. I chose the brown powder coated option so it would match then house colors. The treads also come in safety yellow, black, plain aluminum and clear coat. I received Non Slip Non-Skid Aluminum Stair Tread (For Concrete Applications) with Pin-Drive Anchors because I was putting them on a cement step. The treads can be installed on decks, wood or cement ramps, interior wood steps, exterior wood and cement steps and docks or piers. 

I knew slips and falls were bad, my grandma fell down stairs last year. She broke her hip and had a heart attack (she’s okay now) but these statistics were new to me.

  • Slips and falls account for over 20,000 deaths per year (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • Injuries from falls are the most common cause of emergency room visits (Source: National Safety Council)
  • 59% of general liability claims are from slip, trip and fall accidents (Source: CNA Insurance)
  • Slips and falls are the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. (Source: National Safety Council)
  • Slips and falls kill 5 times as many people as the flu each year (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

 

Handi Tread Stairs

I love working with companies that produce products here in the United States and that includes HandiRamp!

  • HandiRamp has been manufacturing ramps for accessibilities since 1958.
  • In 2010 HandiRamp designed and patented a non-slip stair tread, this product provides a long term solution to slip and fall hazards on stairs, ramps and other problem areas.
  • Located in Libertyville, Illinois
  • HandiRamp manufacturers products in the USA to meet our customer’s needs.
  • HandiRamp has been named to the Inc. 5000 on 4 different occasions as one of the fastest growing private companies in the USA.

 In addition to the treads HandiRamp also produces other safety items that include:

  • Accessibility: grab bars, handrails, wheelchair ramps
  • Commercial and Industrial: truck ramps, warehouse & loading dock safety
  • Home: non slip stair treads, pet ramps, window well covers
  • Custom: portable ramps, unique accessibility problems solved

HandiRamp currently has a Stop the Slip Contest going on.

The Contest

Have you slipped, tripped or fallen in a public area and no known what to do? “Stop the slip” is a contest where HandiRamp will fix a problematic public access area for free. Out of a pool of contestants we will pick a problem location 4 times a year and fix it for free.

I was driving my bike down a new path in the forest preserve when I hit a slippery patch, slip, fell and skinned my knee. There was nothing that appeared to be slick, but I called the forest preserve to report the accident.  They informed me that accidents like this have happened recently and that they had just purchased a tread solution that would, “stop the slip.” A few weeks later and I took a walk to the same area. They had placed metal treads on the surface. I felt confident that they had “stopped the slip,” enough that the next day I went biking.’

This is a prime example of many slip, trip and fall accidents that occur in public places. Sometimes, as in the case of the forest preserve, it is easy to call and report the problem, but in other cases, stopping the slip is not so easy. Often times the funds are not available to fix public access areas. For this reason we’ve launched this site where participants can send in their videos of slip trip and falls in public places. We will post the videos that are submitted and select a finalist. The finalist will receive a free fix to stop the slip.

To Enter:  http://stoptheslip.com/submit-your-video/

HandiTreads are available for purchase on Amazon at this link (aff link helps me keep my blog running) Non Slip Non-Skid Aluminum Stair Tread (For Concrete Applications) with Pin-Drive Anchors or at HandiRamp or at DiscountRamps.