Thursday, October 20, 2016

Educeri - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
In early September a select group of the Homeschool Review Crew were chosen to review a product by Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS 

In exchange for my review I received 12 months of access to Educeri Lesson Subscription Service.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service is an online service with lessons in all subjects for all grades K through 12! 

In my home I am nearing the end of my homeschooling years. I have been homeschooling since 1992! I long ago graduated my older two, and my youngest is now in 11th grade. Looking at this wealth of available educational material made me wish I had had this with a house full of "littles". Then again, back then there was only one device in the home with internet access, and we accessed our internet by modem paying by the minute or something. Seriously!

Anyway, my 11th grader is also enrolled at the community college in the Dual Enrollment program for two of his classes this semester and is only taking Geometry at home. Clearly I want to give you an idea of more than just Educeri's Geometry, so I took a tour of as many subjects and grade levels as I could so I could give you more a flavor of what they offer.

When you first log in to Educeri, the menu makes it easy to navigate the site.

You can begin by reading "How It Works" or "Training". I didn't find these helpful. So, starting by selecting a grade level, you can then select a subject to narrow your search. Here is the subject list for the website:

So, for fun, I'm looking at 5th Grade Math.

So as I work my way through the first lesson on how to add decimals, I begin to understand the system a little better. When you select the lesson, you then have a page or pages to print out for the student.

Then you have a presentation to walk through with the student that teaches the material for the lesson.

Educeri seems to have been originally designed for a classroom setting but is easily adapted to your home situation. In my home we have a cable we use to connect the computer to the television for family viewing of online movies. The same cable can be used to cover online presentations. I have a bluetooth mouse, so I can sit at a distance from my computer and click the mouse to proceed through the presentation.

Next I spent some time looking at High School Spanish. The lessons appear to go with some curriculum, but it doesn't say what. I like the way those Spanish lessons are laid out, but I haven't figured out any audio connected with Educeri. So I think the Spanish lessons need to be led by someone who already speaks Spanish.

I noted Educeri offers Spanish but not French. Just noting this here because I thought that is odd.

I looked at High School Science and found some interesting lessons offered in Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry. It was at this point that I noticed the lessons do not all have worksheets the way the 5th Grade Math lessons did. I guess at this point I don't know which ones have worksheets and which don't. It certainly makes sense for the Math lessons to have worksheets, right?

Educeri lessons are keyed to be in alignment with Common Core. Some folks sometimes have issues with some aspects of Common Core programs. I did not find anything objectionable in the lessons I looked at.

When students get to high school the curriculum becomes pretty intense. It is nice, sometimes, to have a way to continue teaching but give the student a bit of a breather from the planned lessons. Educeri does that for the high schooler.

Educeri also gives such a wide variety of lessons for the lower grades that I think it would be a valuable addition to many homes. Educeri offers a free 30-day trial, so why not give it a look? It's free, so it wouldn't hurt. I encourage you to give it a try. If you have any questions, post me a question below.

Other members of the Review Crew also reviewed this product. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.
Educeri Lesson Subscription Service

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Familyman - A TOS Homeschool Review

Review Crew

Have you ever read or listened to anything by Todd Wilson, The Familyman?

Recently a select group from the Homeschool Review Crew received one CD"Cootie McKay's Nativity",  from The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection and all eight Christmas stories in the form of Digital Downloads.  "Cootie McKay's Nativity" was the first one I listened to, because I was able to play it in the van while I was out and about! 
Christmas will be here before you know it! This Treasury is the perfect thing to pull out right after Thanksgiving to get everyone psyched for the Christmas season! 

The Treasury includes the following stories:
  • Cootie McKay's Nativity;
  • Captain Chaos;
  • Gladys Remembers Christmas;
  • Harold Grubbs;
  • It's Called Christmas;
  • The Bishop's Dream;
  • The Secret of Snow Village;
  • The Stranger
The stories are all written by Todd Wilson and read by Jim Hodges. 

Over the weeks since I received the stories, I've listened to each one. What a great way to prepare mentally for Christmas! So, let me preface this by letting you know I tend to be a Christmas decorating humbug. I have a hard enough time getting normal cleaning done (dusting, sweeping, decluttering). Each year the idea of decorating for Christmas just about puts me over the edge. And hovering in my brain is the thought that each item taken out, in four short weeks, needs to be put away. And then there is the group of normal decorations that are stored in the attic for that month while the Christmas decorations are out -- one year my normal decorations were lost in the attic for a year because they were never found when it was time to put "Christmas" back into storage. So, yeah, I'm a humbug.

I really did welcome the opportunity to have my Christmas spirit softened, so I listened to Todd Wilson's stories with an open heart. Let me tell you about them.

The first story I listened to was Cootie McKay's Nativity, because I received a CD copy and was able to listen to it in the car. I wanted to share the experience, but my family wasn't ready to prepare for Christmas in September, so I listened alone. In this story, seemingly set somewhere in the middle states in the 1950's, the conflict begins when a loved older woman accidentally destroys the town's nativity by driving over it in her car.

Because it was tradition to have the nativity, they wanted it replaced, but they had no funds to replace it. The town had an eccentric man who lived there, had no job (lived off an inheritance), and liked to collect junk, which he turned into art. Someone decided they needed to ask this man, Cootie McKay, if they would make them a new nativity, to be on the Town Hall lawn the day after Thanksgiving. Cootie agrees.

Will Cootie get the nativity made in time? What will a nativity made out of junk look like? Will it be an embarrassment? The story is worth the listen, and I expected it would be my favorite story of the set.

Captain Chaos was an interesting story. A little boy, Jason, convinced that the Bible version of the nativity story is too boring, tries to embellish the story as he tells it to his sister, Martha Ann. Infusing scripture with adventure as a result of his super hero, Captain Chaos' presence, Jason gets in trouble with mom and is sent to bed early.

Lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, playing with his Captain Chaos action figure, Jason is suddenly transported to a parallel reality. Because of a comment he had made when with Martha Ann, Captain Chaos has made the nativity disappear as if it had never occurred.

Like a child's version of "It's a Wonderful Life", Jason sees what it would be like if Jesus had never come. It is a fun story for the children to listen to and will help them to appreciate the birth of our Lord.

Gladys Romembers Christmas should have had a "trigger warning" for me. ::sigh:: Gladys is in her 50's. Her mom died when she was six years old, and after that her dad never quite recovered his joy. He met his kids' needs, but Gladys never felt loved. And growing up, Christmas wasn't special -- no decorations, no tree, no church, no warm memories.

As Christmas approaches this year, Gladys's dad, aged 94, has just been moved to a nursing home and Gladys is cleaning out the family home. Her father has requested that Gladys locate some green box in the attic to bring to the nursing home to him. As she works on the house, she contemplates her childhood memories and compared her family's Christmases to those of others. Christmas was a time when everyone else was happy and she was not.

Then Gladys located the green box. Suddenly she was transported to her childhood, when her mother was still alive, and it was not like a memory, but she was actually there! This beautiful story tells how Gladys came to remember her past differently, which helped transform her future.

This story is hard for me for several reasons. First, I am a Christmas humbug in my 50's. Second, my mom has passed away, albeit not when I was six. Third, if my father were still alive he would be 91 right now. Fourth, sorting through the family home fell to me. Listening to this story, I cried. But it is a good story! It made me want to go bake cookies for my kids to have good Christmas memories!

Harold Grubbs was a fun, interesting story a dad tells to his kids about the Christmas vest he wears every year, how he came to have the vest and why he wears it. There is a meaning behind the  vest and the item in each pocket. Dad has a reason why he wears the vest. This story made me want to find the Christmas vest my mother-in-law gave to me and put it on! I don't think I have it any more, though. It never looked very good on me. It didn't fit properly. Maybe I'll have to make myself one!

It's Called Christmas gave me goosebumps! You know how some people seem to be trying to rewrite history? Christmas has been written out of existence! People celebrate "The Holiday" in winter, but no one calls it Christmas. No one even knows what "Christmas" means.

Then a boy at a store makes a purchase and wishes the checker a "Happy Holiday". The checker leans toward the boy, and with a twinkle in his eye quietly says, "It's called 'Christmas'!"

The boy heads home, but the comment is bothering him. "What is 'Christmas'?" He begins a quest to find out and learns the term has been wiped from history! This story smacks of erie, like the book 1984 and the old Soviet Union, with someone who says the "wrong" thing disappearing one night and never being found... A very good story!


The Bishop's Dream is an interesting spin of a way to tell the real story of "Santa Claus". I love it!


The Secret of Snow Village represents another story that shifts the space time continuum, as one little girl learns the story behind Grandma's snow village display and finds what she was looking for (even though she didn't know she was looking for something). Great story! Very fun.


The Stranger reminded me of the way, in some churches I have visited I have wondered if, if Jesus himself were to visit, would he be welcome? There is also that verse about, "Some have entertained angels unaware..."  How would you react if a stranger, seeking shelter, knocked on your door on Christmas Eve?


This is a wonderful collection of Christmas stories! I've downloaded them to my computer, but I don't know how to burn them to a CD that will play in my car. (MP3s won't play in my car.) But I did figure out how to play them on my phone and iPad as well. This set is reasonably priced, and I think you will like it. Consider purchasing to start listening to on the day after Thanksgiving. Start with Cootie McKay's Nativity!

Other members of the Review Crew also reviewed this product. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Menu Monday for 10/17/16

Something new in menu planning this week...

I started 2016 with the wish to lose all my excess weight and go from "overweight" to a range where I am a proper weight for my height. Sadly, in April (at my physical) I learned that, with aging and osteoporosis in my spine, I have lost some of my height. Being even shorter means I need to weigh even less. ::sigh::

So earlier in the year I lost weight following The Bone Broth Diet and kept most of it off. I followed that by some time following the Total Wellness Cleanse and lost some more weight. Since then I've done some paleo guidelines, but some weight crept back on because I was indulging in Starbucks and desserts.

Some weight has crept back on. So I had a conversation with hubby, and we decided I would take up the Jenny Craig Introductory offer (that expires 10/28) for 20 pounds in 15 weeks for $20. When you start, you eat Jenny Craig food mostly, to which you add vegetables, some fruit, and Greek yogurt. So the food you have to buy for one person costs more than $600 a month! That's more than my entire budget for three! And then I still buy more fruit, veggies and yogurt. Expensive!

But it is for a season and to reach a goal. Truth be told I'd really like to lose a total of 35-40 pounds total, but I'll get into range-for-my-height weight in less than 20. To make my life easier, since I still have to cook for my family, most nights I'll make for them a version of what I'm eating myself. So without any further ado, here's this week's plan:

Saturday (10/15):  Mini meatoaves, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts

Sunday (10/16):  chicken pot pie, salad

Monday (10/17)(Court of Honor):  fish sticks, French Fries, baby carrots

Tuesday (10/18):  turkey cutlets or breast, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday (10/19):  tacos, salad

Thursday (10/20)(CAP): fiesta chicken and rice

Friday (10/21):  butternut squash ravioli, salad

Saturday (10/15):  pot roast and vegetables

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Everyday Education - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew

Today I am going to tell you about a product by Everyday Education, LLC.  

I was tickled to have the opportunity to receive Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert to review.

I received a digital download of Working it Out for my personal use.  Working it Out
has 228 pages divided into 51 poems to analyze. The Forward explains the book is ideal for use as a devotional or can be adapted to use with a student for poetry analysis.

When used as a devotional, the reader covers one poem per week. For the five days each week, you would follow the following format:

  1. The Big Picture: Focus on what the poem is about;
  2. The Parts of the Picture: covers the poem stanza by stanza, discussing literary devices and poetic techniques;
  3. The Parts of the Picture Come Together: explains movement of thought throughout the poem;
  4. Reflections: questions for personal meditation; and
  5. Scriptures for further reflections.
To use with a student for poetry study it is recommended you use a modified version of the Model-Based Writing process. To do this you would have the student do the following:

  • Copy all or part of the poem;
  • Read it silently and then out loud;
  • Rewrite the poem in prose (non-poetic language).
My son is 17 next month and is in 11th Grade. He is taking an English course this semester through dual enrollment at our local community college through the Dual Enrollment program. So his English credit is already covered for this year. In addition, he and poetry have never gotten along with each other. Using this with my son was not an option for me. 

Using Working it Out for my devotions was what I wanted to do anyway, right from the beginning! So look at this for a devotional -- it has 51 poems to be done one per week! This will give you daily spiritual refreshment for almost a year!

The poems being 51 in count will not be listed here. They are, however, divided into groups of poems, so I will list the groups:

  • Looking Back, Moving Forward;
  • Letting Go;
  • Confession;
  • Grace;
  • Separation;
  • Petition;
  • Praise;
  • Depending on God;
  • Grief;
  • Prayer;
  • Special Blessings of the Church;
  • More Insights.
So the poems are somewhat divided into a monthly schedule. The language and writing Herbert uses is... formal, interesting, deep, thought provoking. You need to stick with it. It is an acquired taste, I imagine, but I really like it. You do, really, need to read it slowly and thoughtfully to understand it. It is like a fine-cuisine meal at a formal restaurant. You should "eat" slowly and savor!

I have a great year ahead of me to enjoy the rest of this book. I have it loaded on my computer desktop in PDF format, but even more handy I have it saved to my iPad in iBooks. That works well for me. You can also save the PDF to kindles; I know some people like to do that as well. Whatever works for you. 

I'm really liking products from Everyday Education, LLC! Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed products by Everyday Education, LLC.  To see other product reviews, please click the button below.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew

In early September I learned I would be reviewing a product for Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc. 

I received 12-months of access to Online Christian Filmmakers Academy about four weeks ago. 

I signed up for this review with myself in mind as the student. My son does a lot of internet videography. I figured the Filmmakers course would have content that would be helpful to my son. I planned to work on the course myself, tell him about it, and when he had more time (a.k.a. time between semesters with his dual enrollment at the community college) he could watch the training videos.

I logged into the Filmmakers Academy shortly after receiving access and began the course shortly thereafter. I was surprised by the course in so many ways:
  • The course has nothing to do with videography. It is nothing like it. This will still be a gleaning process to determine if there is information my son will be interested in, but so far it is just entirely different. Analogy... I guess like someone is interested in coin collecting, so a friend recommends a book on stamp collecting?... Just different.
  • I've taken home video, family movies, in the past -- small camcorder, cell phone video, digital camera video -- this is nothing like anything I've ever done in the past.
  • You don't know what you con't know! I had no idea how much I didn't know!
Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is taught by father-son team Ken and Jack Lawrence. They've been working together in filmmaking over 12 years. Individually they each have a long resume of their experience.

As I initially looked at the website to decide if I wanted to do this review, I found it difficult to determine what the course includes. So for the benefit of my readers, here is a course Table of Contents. If you are not interested, skip on ahead.



  • Navigating the Website;
  • Introduction by Ken; 
  • Introduction by Zack
Module 1 - The Camera 
  • Lesson 1 - Introduction to the Camera;
  • Lesson 2 - DSLRs and Lenses, Part 1;
  • Lesson 3 - DSLRs and Lenses, Part 2;
  • Lesson 4 - Frame Rate; 
  • Lesson 5 - ISO and Shutter Speed;
  • Lesson 6 - Tripods and Camera Support;
  • Module 1 Quiz 

Module 2 - Cinematography 
  • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Cinematography;
  • Lesson 2 - Color Temp and White Balance;
  • Lesson 3 - Hard vs. Soft Light;
  • Lesson 4 - Types of Light;
  • Lesson 5 - Lighting Accessories;
  • Lesson 6 - Using Lights;
  • Lesson 7 - 3 & 4 Point Lighting;
  • Lesson 8 - Painting with Light;
  • Lesson 9 - Framing;
  • Lesson 10 - Outdoor Lighting;
  • Lesson 11 - Depth of Field;
  • Lesson 12 - Jibs and Dollies;
  • Lesson 13 - Green Screens;
  • Lesson 14 - Setting up an Interview;
  • Lesson 15 - Final Considerations
  • Module 2 Quiz
Module 3 - Sound 
  • Lesson 1 - Introduction;
  • Lesson 2 - Sound Equipment;
  • Lesson 3 - Microphones;
  • Lesson 4 - Field Recorders;
  • Lesson 5 - Location Recording;
  • Lesson 6 - ADR and Foley
Module 4 - Pre-Production
  • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Pre-Production;
  • Lesson 2 - The Story;
  • Lesson 3 - Writing the Screen Play;
  • Lesson 4 - Pre-Produuction Paperwork;
  • Lesson 5 - Assemble the Team;
  • Module 4 Quiz
Module 5 - Production
  • Lesson 1 - The Crew;
  • Lesson 2 - Set Heirarchy;
  • Lesson 3 - Set Etiquette;
  • Lesson 4 - Directing;
  • Lesson 5 - The Slate;
  • Lesson 6 - Filming Step by Step;
  • Quiz on Module 5

[They are working to get quizzes posted for every module.]

So I began the course at (of course) the beginning, the Introduction. Then I rolled into Module 1. When navigating the course, there is a menu button. You select the module, and then you click on the lesson. As you complete each lesson (or quiz), the menu shows a green check mark, so you never lose track of where you are. You can keep working forward, but you can also go back and review any time. This is good, because there is such a massive amount of information presented!

Almost every bit of information in every lesson was educational for me. Okay, I knew a lens allows light to enter the camera. I learned all about names of various parts of the camera. I learned about different types of lenses and their care. I learned about filters. I learned about frame rate and shutter speed. I learned about tripods. I learned so much, and I still have so much to learn. I only covered Module 1 because it is ALL new to me, and I've already forgotten the difference between frame rate and shutter speed, and I need to go review.

Sadly, I don't own a camera of the quality covered in these lessons, so it was a lot of new information, but difficult to assimilate in many ways. In his Introduction, Ken encourages the student to go and practice what they learn because if you don't it is too hard to remember and is a waste of time. What can I do? I don't have any of this equipment. So now I have a new camera on my "wish list". I currently only have an old iPhone, an old HP digital camera with "movie" option, and an old video camera that I don't think you can change the lenses on. None of these are anything like the equipment this course covers.

The most exciting thing (to me) that I learned had to do with lenses. In 2006 my dad died. One of the things he left behind was an expensive 35 mm Nikon camera with a bunch of lenses and filters.

 I was advised the camera was old technology, obsolete, trash, and that the lenses that went with it were likewise. I resisted the advice and hid the camera and lenses. Now I have learned that there are adapter rings, and there might be use in the lenses to my dad's old camera. And lenses are the most expensive aspect of going into filming. Cool! ...Maybe...

Each video has a place, below the video, where the student can leave comments. Ken and Zack are very responsive - they answer your questions and comments very quickly and are very encouraging.

Anyway, this is an amazing, full course on making movies. If you have a student interested in learning to create movies, this is the course for you! Check out their site and see what you think. If you are at all interested in this course you can get $100 off using this discount code: FALLCREW16 - the discount code expires 11/30/16.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed Online Christian Filmmakers Academy. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}

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Monday, October 10, 2016

MyFreezEasy - A Homeschool Crew Review

At the end of August, at a time when I was so, so tired of menu planning and tired of always eating the "same old same old", I learned there was a review coming up with a menu planning company called MyFreezEasy. 

I asked to be a part of the review and was selected, and in early September began my Premium Annual Membership to the Freezer Meal Plan Membership!

Specifically, we are receiving the Premium Annual Membership.

Week 1: The day I received access to the website was a Tuesday. We do our shopping weekly, normally, on Saturday, so I couldn't do any menu preparation that week. I spent those first days looking at recipes, menu plans, and watching videos. On Friday I came up with a menu plan for the upcoming week using meals from the MyFreezEasy website. I selected five recipes. Following the plan, you make two each of five meals, giving you ten ready-to-prepare meals in your freezer.

A big part of the program includes not only acquiring the supplies, but also setting aside an hour to prepare the ten meals all at once, bagging them, and getting them into the freezer. I did not have the time to set aside that week to do the one-hour meal preparation session, so I made two meals a night, and we ate one and froze one.

I needed more storage bags, so it was on my grocery list to get more one-gallon zip-style storage bags. My wonderful husband knows I need his help, and he does grocery shopping for me most weeks. In shopping, he picked up "slider" bags instead of "zipping" bags. Seemed the same to him. Do not make that mistake. It changes your bag opening from like a 20" circumference to about a 14" circumference. One person trying to spoon or ladle food into bags with a small opening is not a pretty sight. I don't usually have someone who can hold the bag open for me. Buy the zipper opening bags!

Week 1, it was interesting and new. We had artichoke hearts in a meal, which I never do. The meals were so different from my normal fare!

Week 2: Got my meal choices selected on Friday, again, for our Saturday shopping, which occurred on schedule. I shopped because hubby was at a Boy Scout camping trip. I spent a lot of money. Hmmm....

I got home and worked to get meals prepared in advance. As I worked, I started to see some differences between the MyFreezEasy methodology and my normal methods, differences that explain how this program saves time for the busy mom. I also noticed some oddities (odd to me, anyway) in the serving sizes the meals plan for the individual servings (will explain more below).

Having my bagged meals ready in advance now (for 15 meals by now, five left from last week and ten now from this week), daily meal preparation went quite smoothly.

I was surprised how quickly, for my family, we became discontent with the meals available to choose from. By the end of the week we had decided to do "family favorites" (not from MyFreezEasy) the following week. It just seemed like the MyFreezEasy had begun to seem too similar to each other. And that combined with a change in the weather (autumn), we were really hunkering for a week of family favorites.

Week 3: Did not purchase or prepare any MyFreezEasy this week. Spent more time looking at potential meal choices and watching training videos on the website. Ate meals from my arsenal of family favorites. Still have ten frozen meals in the freezer for the days ahead.

Week 4: Really thought we'd do more new meals this week, but the freezer is full, life is busy, and we decided not to. By now new meals were/are posted for October, so it is fun to know I have new variety to choose from in the weeks ahead.

MyFreezEasy is designed to help busy moms for many reasons. First, it is designed to "Help you to save time in the kitchen". I learned, while preparing meals, some techniques used by MyFreezEasy that save time over my normal methods, but on a normal basis I am not sure I want to use these time-saving techniques. The specific shortcuts I noted are:
  • Using garlic powder instead of pressing a fresh clove of garlic;
  • using onion powder instead of dicing an onion;
  • using canned and jarred products instead of fresh (particularly tomatoes).
I think I had not realized how "whole foods" my thinking has become. So now I am tweaking the program to be a better fit for me personally. I would rather take the time, when preparing my meals, to dice an onion and press some garlic. I know it takes longer and creates more clean-up, but I believe in doing it because I believe it is better for my family. When I can manage it. When I can't manage it, time-wise, I'll now also remember some time-saving options I used to use but had forgotten.

MyFreezEasy also advertises that it will "Help you save money on your groceries". When it came to the actual shopping cost in week 2, it is hard for me to be certain I spent less money on that one trip. However, I can't say with certainty whether food cost me more, less, or even the same because food is not the only thing I bought. Sometimes additional items are needed that run up the bill like laundry detergent and other household items and I'm not sure what else I bought that day.

The main way this would have saved me money when I was a younger mom is this -- I often had no plan for dinner! I had two young babies. This was pre-computer days in my house, and there was no way to cruise the internet for ideas. Hubby would get home from work, and desperate for a break from the kids I'd leave them with him and go to the grocery store. I'd cruise the aisles until inspiration struck and then check out with dinner, and would also pay for whatever else had hopped into my cart while I had shopped while hungry. "Oh, yeah, I need milk... And I definitely need chocolate..." 

It has been a long time, now, since my girls were babies. They each have households of their own, now, and our family table holds myself, my husband and my 16 year old son. When I had teen-aged daughters at home, on a desperate day I could call home and say, "I'm running late! This is what we're having, and the directions are here. Can you get dinner started, please?" That doesn't work with my son. He can cook, but he's never bailed me out by picking up the cooking baton when I drop it. And in a pinch, my hubby knows how to make hot dogs but would usually rather order something from out. So it definitely saves money when I can call and say, "The sloppy joe sandwich mix is in the freezer. Please take it out and put it in a bowl of warm water!"

MyFreezEasy can "Make getting dinner on the table less overwhelming." If dinner prep is done in advance, the skillet meal just gets poured in the pan, the oven meal pours right into the baking dish, or the crock meal is emptied into the crock first thing in the morning and is ready on time. It is definitely less overwhelming.

I want to tell you how this cool program works. There are several ways to use MyFreezEasy, so I'll discuss each way separately and then wrap them all together with additional options. Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

The first option for using MyFreezEasy is to pick a menu plan of the month. Menu plan can be:
  • Traditional Meal Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • Gluten-free Meal Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • Slow-cooker Meal Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • Clean Eats Meal Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • 20 Meals Plan (10 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • All Chicken Meals Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • All Ground Beef Meals Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe);
  • All Pork Chops Meals Plan (5 recipes, 2 meals of each recipe).
You can choose one of the above meal plan packages, or you can use a "mix and match" option to create your own specialized meal plan. You tell the program how many servings you need and it adjusts your shopping list accordingly. If you pick one of the above categories you get a PDF file with all the recipes and shopping list for either one or two meals for the category. If you choose one of the featured meal plans, you can watch an associated video to walk you through meal assembly for each meal in your plan. (I can't imagine how Erin Chase ever got all this done!) Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

If your goal is to fill your freezer with ready-to-cook meals, you might do a different meal plan once a week, and at the end of eight weeks you will not only have fed your family home-cooked meals every night but will also have 34-48 (or more) additional meals frozen and ready in your freezer. Or you could opt to prepare 15 to 30 different meals/recipes once a month in advance. The each night the most time-consuming part of the preparation is already done and you only need to crock, back, skillet or heat to get food on the table!

Another way to use the program is to use the option to swap meals on this month's plans.

This was my preferred method because I like to plan a week's worth of meals that might look like this: one beef; one chicken; one pork; one fish; one pasta; one vegetarian; one night out. So, when you select this option it gives you recipe choices from all the original eight meal plan categories as well as choices from: other beef recipes; dutch oven or saucepan recipes; skillet recipes; dairy-free recipes; baked recipes; gluten, dairy, soy-free recipes; other pork recipes; grill recipes; paleo/whole 30 recipes; sea food recipes; top 8 allergy-free recipes; and vegetarian recipes. 

You can add and drop recipes from any of the 20 recipe groups (there are recipes that overlap and are in more than one group) until you have settled on five recipes and indicated how many servings. Then you click a button and receive a PDF of all the recipes, instructions and shopping lists. It is awesome!

So I did notice the plans and suggested side dishes do not include as many servings of vegetables as I/we like, so I altered my plans to serve more vegetables. As I became more comfortable with the program, I began to integrate in some of our family favorites for some of the meals.

I also noticed some recipes where I disagreed with the quantities recommended for the number of servings. I prepared a dish called Pasta Puttanesca, for four servings. The directions say to use 12 to 16 ounces of pasta shells. The box says right on it that 16 ounces is eight servings, so why does it call for 12 to 16 ounces for FOUR servings? So I used 1/4 of the box instead of the whole box. So you can make these adjustments, but I don't like having to think this through, and I don't like that I ended up purchasing more than I needed of various items.

I do love having meals in my freezer now. Yesterday I was able to bless my adult daughter by sending her home with a dinner for this week, a bag with ready-to-heat already-cooked chili. If someone has an illness or birth or death, I have meals I can pull out, thaw and prepare to bless them with.

I really think you might like MyFreezEasy.  Give it a click and give it a try. Here's an option -- there is a Free Freezer Cooking 101 Workshop that you can try! It includes shopping list, recipes and video instructions. Give it a try!

Once you join, you get access to an entire Video Library. The Website has links and videos to walk you through many aspects of the program. There's one to introduce the program, one to tell you how to use the Printables, and a current and archived library of Cooking Workshop videos.

There is even an E-Cookbook of Favorite Side Dish Recipes for you if you join. Try the  and tell me what you think!

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