Monday, December 5, 2016

Menu Monday for 12/5/16

Another week gone by! They seem to go so quickly!

First my weight-loss update. So... last week there was a special birthday in the family. I made carrot cake. The birthday-ee requested wings for dinner. I went off plan. I had 4 wings in addition to my on-plan dinner. I had a slice of carrot cake.

Next day I shared a venti peppermint mocha from Starbuck's with my daughter.

Mid-week I indulged in a tall caramel hot chocolate on my own. I won't do that again... too sweet for me!

I went to the gym Monday and Wednesday (and Friday, after I weighed in).

I weighed in at Jenny Craig Friday morning. I had LOST TWO POUNDS! Since starting with them I've lost 9.8 pounds in seven weeks.

I remind, as a personal disclaimer, that the benefit I receive is in the accountability. I don't like their food -- too processed for me -- and at this point I am only buying "Anytime Bars" and S'Mores as morning and bedtime snacks. These are still too processed for me long-term, but they're chocolate, I can sink my teeth into them, and they help me to stay on track.
I'm so close to having lost 20 pounds this year! I'm looking forward to showing you before and after photos in an upcoming post, hopefully on 1/1/17!

In the meantime, here's my menu plan for this week:

Saturday (12/03):  Dinner Out

Sunday (12/04): Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery and onion, rolls

Monday (12/05)(Boy Scouts PLC):  Italian chicken, rice broccoli

Tuesday (12/06):  sizzle burgers, carrots, noodles

Wednesday (12/07): oven-stuffer roaster chicken, stuffing, California medley vegetables

Thursday (12/08) (CAP): grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, carrot sticks

Friday (12/09): Chinese food (out)(Jenny Craig Meal?)

Saturday (12/10): salmon, sweet potatoes, spinach

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Somebody had a birthday!

So I mentioned in my last post that someone had a birthday. When I can, I like to use birthdays for a photo review.

One year, on Thanksgiving Day, a son was born!

He was the youngest of three, and we love our little guy!

You can see there is quite a gap between #1 and #3 - thirteen years!

The years rolled by so quickly, it seems.

#1 graduated from homeschool and left home to attend college. #2 was almost finished with homeschool when #3 started home kindergarten.

#2 attended a private school for senior year, so when #3 was in 1st Grade I was homeschooling a "Lonely only"!






So #3 had a birthday! One more year of "childhood". He'll be 18 most of his senior year. On Thursday we did one more family photo - only mom, dad and #3.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Menu Monday for 11/28/16

We had Thanksgiving Dinner at my adult daughter's this year (first time ever!), and she and her hubby did a great job! 

We took stuffing and sweet potatoes to contribute to the meal. The downside is that we have no leftover turkey to eat now, so hubby went out and bought a small turkey, which I cooked Sunday. Here's a new family photo including daughter and son-in-law:

I've completed six weeks with Jenny Craig. I'm eating mostly my own paleo meals now, but am still eating some Jenny Craig stuff (mostly mid-morning "Anytime Bars" and evening snacks) and daily milk-based protein shakes (which protein powder I already bought, so I'm going to use it before I transfer to a non-milk-based protein powder). So my menu plan is primarily paleo (for me) with non-paleo items added for my non-paleo family members.

So far I've lost 7.8 pounds since I started Jenny Craig. Their main benefit to me now is the accountability, since I'll be better "behaved" each week when I know I'll be weighing in and checking in with someone each week on Friday. I went off plan this week for someone's birthday! First time since I started. So I'll have to see Friday if I still manage to lose weight this week.

Here's this week's plan:

Saturday (11/26):  Pizza (Jenny Craig meal)

Sunday (11/27): Turkey, leftover stuffing and sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans

Monday (11/28)(Boy Scouts PLC):  Hot Dogs on buns, baked beans, mixed vegs (meat or JC meal and carrots)

Tuesday (11/29):  pan seared scallops, asparagus, rice pilaf

Wednesday (11/30): hot turkey sandwiches, broccoli florets

Thursday (12/1): chicken Caesar salad, TX toast

Friday (12/2) (Care Group): boneless pork chops, steamed zucchini, macaroni & cheese

Saturday (12/3): Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery and onion, rolls

Monday, November 21, 2016

Menu Monday for 11/21/16

I am finally catching up and posting my "Menu Monday" on Monday!

I have now completed five weeks of Jenny Craig. Not liking how processed their food is, I have been working to gradually substitute my own foods for their processed selections. I have lost six pounds since I started.

My standard breakfast is a spinach scramble -- about 1 cup of organic spinach sauteed in scant coconut oil, then two eggs added and scrambled. For lunch I always start with a big bowl (think of a serving bowl at the dinner table). I add to that a main dish, maybe a can of tuna or chicken, or a scoop of leftover dinner like chili over the salad, or a bowl of soup on the side. Dinners I eat a large amount of salad with 2-4 ounces of meat on the side.

Anyway, here's my main family plan for this week. On a night like Monday night, when I planned grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, I eat leftovers of a Jenny Craig meal.

Saturday (11/19):  leftovers

Sunday (11/20): rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Monday (11/21)(Boy Scouts):  grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

Tuesday (11/22):  crock macaroni beef bake, carrots

Wednesday (11/23): ravioli, salad, TX toast

Thursday (11/24)(Thanksgiving): turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, salad.

Friday (11/25):  ribs, cole slaw, rolls

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Menu Monday for 11/14/16

Wow! Week'a almost over and I didn't post my menu plan! Sorry about that...

So here's my weekly update and menu plan. I have completed four weeks on Jenny Craig and I only lost ounces in week 4. On to week 5!

Here's my menu plan for my family for this week.

Saturday (11/12): pizza

Sunday (11/13):  Longhorn Steakhouse

Monday (11/14)(Boy Scouts):  lasagna, salad, TX Toast

Tuesday (11/15):  chicken cacciatore (p 125), cooked carrots, French baguette

Wednesday (11/16): Chili, Salad, corn bread

Thursday (11/17)(CAP): lemon chicken, rice, broccoli

Friday (11/18):  beef vegetable soup, salad, bread

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Menu Monday for 11/7/16

So here's my weekly update and menu plan. I have completed three weeks on Jenny Craig and I have lost 5.4 pounds -- very satisfying to have lost this weight!

Here's my menu plan for my family for this week.

Saturday: Ravioli, salad, garlic gread sticks
Sunday: ribs, rice, salad
Monday: chicken Caesar salad
Tuesday: hot dogs, beans, sour kraut
Wednesday: tacos
Thursday: leftovers (or pan fried chicken breast, rice and green beans)
Friday: On the road - dinner out

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Menu Monday for 10/31/16

Running late again. Sorry! So, here's my menu plan for my family for this week. I am still eating Jenny Craig meals this week. I've been on Jenny Craig two weeks and have lost 3 1/2 pounds so far.

Saturday (10/29):  chicken pepper skillet, fettucini

Sunday (10/30):  cheeseburgers, California blend

Monday (10/31):  BLT sandwiches, milk shakes

Tuesday (11/1):  orange glazed turkey cutlets, sweet potato, spinach

Wednesday (11/2): Baked Ziti, salad, TX toast

Thursday (11/3)(CAP): baked stuffed potatoes

Friday (11/4):  Dinner at Care Group

Friday, October 28, 2016

Adjusting Dual Enrollment Plans

It's time for my son to request his classes at the community college for the Spring semester 2017. I pulled up my blog entry from March to see what he should be registering for next semester.

The plans were for him to take SPAN101 and ASTR101 (Astronomy).

Sophomore Year

ENGL 101 (3)
ENGL 102 (3)

ENGL 201 (3)

COMM 121 (3)
ENGL 264 (3)

MATH 115 (3)
PSCI 101 (4)
COMM 220 (3)

ASTR 101 (4)

110 (3)
CMSC 140 (3)
CMSC 243 (3)

HIST 114 (3)

[GEOG 240 summer]
POLI 101 (3)
SOCY 100 (3)

SPAN 101 (3)
SPAN 102 (3)

HLTH 100 (1)

ARTT 112 (3)
MUSC 110 (3)

Looking at the college catelog I realize ASTR101 has a prerequisite requirement that he hasn't met. Maybe I need to rearrange plans. Well, he just took ENGL102 -- I don't want him to have to take ENGL201. He can't take SPAN102 because he is taking SPAN101. GEOG240? Unmet prerequisite again.

So looking at Geography (GEOG240), I see two things:
1) It was supposed to meet a BSSD requirement (Behavioral and Social Science Distribution), but it doesn't, and
2) He doesn't need the 200 level class. He needs 12 200 level credits, and he has that without GEOG240.

So I investigated BSSD classes and decided he will take SOCY100 (Sociology) which meets the BSSD requirement and does not have any prerequisites my son hasn't met. So here's the adjusted dual enrollment high school/college plan. He still needs to work one class in to have one year of college completed when he graduates high school.





101 (3)
102 (3)

201 (3)

121 (3)
ENGL 264 (3)

115 (3)
101 (4)
COMM 220 (3)

100 (3)

POLY 101 (3)


114 (3)

[CMSC110 (3) summer]
CMSC 140 (3)CMSC 243 (3)

101 (3)
102 (3)

112 (3)
HLTH 100 (1)

101 (4)

MUSC 110 (3)
(3 credits)
   (6)                 (6)            (6)     (3)    (7)                    (16)   (13)

ENGL 101: Introduction to College Writing
ENGL 102: Critical Reading, Writing and Research
ENGL 201: Introduction to World Literature
ENGL 264: Introduction to Creative Writing of Fiction
MATH 115: Mathematical Ideas
SOCY 100: Introduction to Sociology
CMSC 110: Computer Concepts
CMSC 140: Introduction to Programming
CMSC 243: Systems Analysis and Design
COMM 121: Public Speaking
COMM 220: Introduction to Group Communication
ASTR 101: Introductory Astronomy with Lab
HIST 104: The World in the 20th Century
POLI 101: American Government
PSCI 101: Physical Science 1
SPAN 101 and SPAN 102: Spanish 1 and 2, college electives
HLTH 100: Principles of Healthier Living

Thursday, October 27, 2016

CrossTimber - A TOS Homeschool Review

Review Crew
In mid September I learned the Homeschool Review Crew would be doing a review for CrossTimber.
We were offered the opportunity to receive a 5" X 7" Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, or we were allowed to upgrade to a larger frame, or get a cup, as long as we paid the upgrade difference over what we were originally offered. I mention this because it was a nice feature of this review. We don't normally get to alter our order; we get what we get. I opted to upgrade.
Initially I was not certain what I wanted to order. I received an email from John of CrossTimber. The email sent me to a page set up just for the Review Crew. This page contained a lot of information for the reviewers. One of the items was an invitation to ask for the name meanings of my family. I was intrigued!
Thus began a chain of emails between myself and John Dehnart. Initially by email we discussed the full name of one of my children. John wrote back with definition and Bible verse for both first and middle name. Then John wrote back defining my first name and asking my husband's name. I wrote back giving him my husband's first and middle name. my middle name, my other children's names, my father's name, my mother's name, my mother's mother's name...

Meanwhile John was having similar email conversations with many of the 90 Crew members on this review. His head must have been spinning!

I eventually decided whose name I wanted a name plaque for, and that I wanted first and middle names (which was an upgrade because it needed a larger plaque). I began looking through photograph art for the backdrop of the plaque. There are, seemingly, hundreds of photos available, but I was finding looking through the choices exhausting, particularly as I was not finding what I wanted. I knew what I wanted -- I just didn't know if I could get it. I finally picked up the phone and just called to ask.

I learned that what I wanted was available, but because of copyright issues there was an additional $5 fee, which I was glad to pay. We put the order together, and John created a draft of the plaque to me. I approved it. I paid, and  the order was placed.

Days later the plaque arrived, and it was beautiful.

Unfortunately, the frame had been damaged in shipping. We could see daylight through two corners.
I contacted John to let him know. Not to worry - it was insured! He wanted to know if the name plaque was okay, so I examined it. On looking at it, my husband and I both thought the words on the Bible verses did not show well -- too dark on dark. I asked John about doing the letters in white. I also looked at different photos. I surprised myself when I fell in love with a different photo! John changed photos AND color of print. He sent me a draft of the new plaque again; I approved it and we started again.

Days later plaque #2 arrived, and I was delighted.

I showed it to my husband, and he found that, again, there was a problem with the frame. 

It doesn't show well in a photo, but for the value of the gift my hubby wants it to be perfect. I contacted John again, and a new frame is on the way.

So, this company bends over backward in customer service! Their products are wonderful. They work hard for folks even without an order -- they'll send you your name meanings if you ask!

You might be interested in  How we research name meanings. You might also be interested in their Order FAQ page: In addition, through December 4th they are sponsoring a name gift giveaway.  Your can enter their giveaway for a chance to a $10 gift certificate towards their products! 

These make great Christmas gifts! I hope you will go to their site, enter the giveaway, look around and maybe buy some Christmas gifts. These are great folks! Tell them I sent you!

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

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Middlebury Interactive Languages - A TOS Homeschool Review

Review Crew

In early September I learned I had been chosen to be part of the TOS Crew team reviewing Middlebury Interactive Languages. 

I can't tell you how happy this made me because I myself was permitted to be the student for High School Spanish I

I really wanted this opportunity because I've been wanting to succeed at learning Spanish. I've been trying half-heartedly for years, but really felt that this time I had/have the time to apply myself and stick with it. Learning Spanish important because of the growing prevalence of Spanish as a language in my world. In addition, my son is taking Spanish I this year (through dual enrollment at the local community college) as one of his high school subjects, and I want to be able to support and assist him, and help him practice.

I received an email from Middlebury with my Spanish I log-in ID and password, with a PDF attachment with "Quick start" instructions on how to log in and proceed through the course.

When you first log in, you land on the "Dashboard". On the right side is the assignment you should be on if you are following the assignment that has been pre-scheduled for you by Middlebury. They set my schedule to cover two lessons a day, to cover the one-year course in six months. I wasn't able to go that fast. If the student (like me) cannot keep up with the schedule that is preset by Middlebury, the mom/teacher is not able to change that schedule (which is preset on a calendar feature of the program). 

The way around that is to click on the menu, then select the Table of Contents.

When the student enters via the Table of Contents, they are taken to the lessons. To locate where the student is, click on the lessons. Green check marks show sections completed. It's very easy to see where to start back up even if the student left off previously right in the middle of a lesson.

The program is set up in "Units". Each unit has five "Lessons". Ideally the student will cover one unit per week, one lesson per day. Each unit has a general focus, with each lesson building on the content of the unit while reinforcing information covered throughout the course. Material is presented and reinforced/tested in a variety of ways including videos, PDFs to print out, matching, fill in the blank, audio to listen to, repeat and record, etc.

Graded assignments are graded immediately.

When the student does not know the correct answer and wants to know what the correct answer is, there is a way to get to that information. You get to the information through "Gradebook" on the drop-down menu.

When you select "Gradebook" you get to a couple of features. First, you can see how well the student is doing and how many units, lessons, and sections of lessons the student has done.

Second, you can get to the assignments that the program does not grade that the teacher is supposed to grade.

This one part of the program needs a boost for us homeschoolers because if the parent does not speak the language the student is studying, how can the parent correct or grade the papers? That's why we are using Middlebury in the first place!

The third thing the Gradebook gives you is a grade report for the report card/transcript. Great feature! (Does not include the grades for the "Need to be graded" assignments.)

I want to add one thing here. Even though there were pages to print out, "SCRIPT"s of lessons, vocabulary, etc., I was really struggling to remember the information being presented. I thought back to my middle-school French to remember how we learned and to decide if there was more I could do to help myself remember things.

What is missing is actual writing. When I write things down I make better neural connections. So I started writing EVERYTHING down. I started a notebook of my notes. It really helped me start remembering which words always have an accent, how to spell things. It really made a huge improvement in my learning.

So my final "verdict" is that I LOVE Middlebury Interactive Languages High School Spanish. Maybe you will, too!

Other members of the Review Crew also reviewed various language programs by Middlebury Interactive Languages. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.
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