Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Drive Thru History Adventures

I am here to tell you, if you want to learn history the fun way, look no further than Drive Thru History, and their new brainchild, Drive Thru History Adventures.  We have had the opportunity to review this Dave Stotts gem for the past month or so with the Homeschool Review Crew and are loving every minute of it.

Drive Thru History Adventures

Let me start by saying we were already big fans of Drive Thru History and its founder, Dave Stotts.  We own several of the original history DVD sets, including the most recent the The Gospels which we reviewed last year.  Our family loves anything history and my boys especially are walking encyclopedias when it comes to dates and facts.  Add to that the fact that one is an auditory learner and the other loves anything on a screen, and well, let's just say we are Drive Thru History groupies.

Drive Thru History Adventures

So what's with this new Drive Thru History Adventures?

Well, I am so glad you asked!

Drive Thru History Adventures has taken the fun and yet informative Drive Thru History DVDs, made them available in an online subscription, and....wait for it...added curriculum.  While this curriculum is targeting high school students, it can easily be adapted for younger kids and family learning.

The curriculum for each 30 minute video segment includes readings of historical documents, worksheets that you can print off (don't worry, answer guides are provided), copies of artwork from that particular time period and more.

At this time, three time periods in history are available-

  • Bible History (18 weeks on the Gospels, with an additional 18 weeks being developed which will cover the book of Acts through Revelation)
  • American History (12 weeks on early American history)
  • Ancient History (12 weeks on early Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor)
Drive Thru History Adventures
You can choose your favorite and work your way through the course, or skip around, depending on your mood for the day.

Want to change it up a bit?  Each week Dave posts a "week in review" with all kinds of project updates, answers to questions, and new articles.  Like always, his humor will keep you and your children entertained.  There is a "behind the scenes" section that shows some great blooper clips, as well as a "Side Roads" section.  Here you will find smaller chunks of information about, well, anything on Dave's mind.  Our favorite so far has been the history of Ground Hog Day.  Colby, who is 10, rewinds and watches one section over and over again.

A "dig deeper" section further explains points mentioned in the main videos and is a great way to go into more detail for your older students.  Under the Suggested Readings tab you will find PDF files to original documents mentioned for further reading as well.  New content is added weekly, so you will not run out of things to watch and read for quite a while, I promise.

Also available in your subscription is a Drive Thru History Adventures App you can download that allows you to access the videos from your iPhone or iPad.  It is a perfect way to allow your kids to watch top quality history videos while in the car or sitting in a waiting room.  History on the go?  Yes, please!

You can also join a private Facebook group just for subscribers.  I admit I was slow in doing so, but am so glad I did.  As a member you get weekly updates, as well as extra pictures and convos from Dave himself.  Plus a fun welcome when you join!

So how have we used this and what do we think?
By now you probably realize we love it.  No surprise there.  Dave has a way of bringing history to life that just pulls you in.  Without watering down the facts he explains things in terms that kids seem to be able to take in.  The videography is amazing and you finish a video adventure feeling like you have been on a trip with him.  

One of the things my boys like best about Dave is his humor.  He is just plain funny!   In the middle of some pretty serious history lessons, his fun puns, jokes, and silliness break up the lesson a bit and keep you interested.

Since we recently watched The Gospels series, we decided to revisit the American History Adventures.  My oldest son, age 16, has watched them via our DVDs, but our youngest has not seen more than a few.  He has chosen to watch them without me, though I do have to limit him to about once a week or he becomes a bit obsessed and will watch them for hours.  Because he is currently studying American History with our current curriculum, this has been a perfect supplement to what he is already learning.  Again, the curriculum is geared to high schoolers so we have answered the questions orally.  A few he has struggled with, but most have been easy to talk about conversationally.  He doesn't love all of the documents (I do think they are better aimed at the older students) but he LOVES all of the pictures. 

Cool story about this picture featured on episode three, Beginnings of Revolution. Colby had just finished studying about the artist John Trumbull in his daily history lessons when we were excited to see one of his paintings featured in this lesson. Trumbull painted many paintings we still enjoy today, a huge feat for a man with one eye!  We are still working our way through the sessions, watching to see if there are any more familiar things mentioned.

Of course, Colby's favorite parts of Drive Thru History Adventures are the videos and DAVE!  He laughs out loud, insists on watching parts again and again, and shares stories with the family at dinner time.  Oh the stories!

What's not to love about a history program that does that and more?!  While we have yet to use this with our teen, he is looking forward to free time in the summer that he can use to re-watch his old favorites!  Just don't tell him he has questions to answer, too! ;)

Currently, Drive Thru History Adventures is running a special that includes a free DVD The Gospels set with your subscription. Drive Thru History Adventures is offering 20% for readers of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Check out page 19 of the winter edition for details!
Drive Thru History Adventures - Subscription {Drive Thru History Adventures Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Menu and Pork Chops

It's Monday!  Again!  Why do Mondays always seem to sneak up on me?  I do not think we made weekends long enough and really should revisit that!  Anyone with me?

In the meantime, here is our week's menu- we have to eat after all!

Monday- Chicken on the grill

Tuesday- Meatball Parmesan casserole

Wednesday- Chicken quesadillas

Thursday- Pancakes and bacon

Friday- Chicken Divan

Saturday- Pizza

Sunday- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice soup

This week's recipe is a favorite from a friend of a friend!  Simple but yummy- the best kind of recipe in my opinion.  If you do not want to use canned soup, you can make your own base to add.  I have done it both ways and been happy either way!

Easy Pork Chop Casserole


  • 6 pork chops
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • dash paper


  1. Dredge pork chops in flour, salt and pepper
  2. Brown pork chops on both sides in 2 TBSP. butter
  3. Place pork chops in casserole dish.
  4. Pour soup into skillet, add water and heat.  Add to pork chops.
  5. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours
Created using The Recipes Generator


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

G.A. Henty Audiodrama- Wulf the Saxon

With the new year before us (can you believe it is almost March?) there are many things to look forward to!  One of my favorites, of course, is the opportunity to do some reviewing for the Homeschool Review Crew: first up- Wulf the Saxon Audio Drama from Heirloom Audio Productions.

It seems fitting that this would be the first review I have the honor of doing this Crew year, as we were introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions a few years ago and have been a big fan since.  In our stack of audio dramas you will find Under Drake's Flag, With Lee in Virginia, In the Reign of Terror, The Dragon and the Raven, In Freedom's Cause, Beric the Briton, and Captain Bayley's Heir.

Wulf the Saxon, like all of the other audio dramas from Heirloom, is an reenactment of one of the many classic G.A. Henty books.  By taking books that could take days or even weeks for some young readers to finish and putting them into a approximately 2 1/2 hour audio drama, these classic tales have become more accessible and even a bit more understandable to newer generations.  These are not word for word translations and some liberties are taken in the story line, but your child will none the less get the main ideas and plots of the G. A. Henty books.

Heirloom Audio Productions

So who is Wulf?
The story itself is told from "George's" (G. A. Henty) point of view to entertain and teach two unruly brothers whom have been caught arguing.  He begins to tell the story of a tapestry he holds and the adventures pictured on it.  The tale takes the reader back to 1065 and the time surrounding the Battle of Hastings.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Wulf , a young Saxon who is sent back to his home away from his service to the earl to learn "It is not always good to let others know what we think."  As he rules over his land and those who work for him,  he grows, matures, and learns many lessons.  When he is called back into service the real adventure begins.  Shipwrecks, battles, castles and sacrifice on many levels will keep you in suspense as you follow Wulf and his Christian friend, Harold, along the way.

What did we think?
We, of course, really liked this latest addition to the Heirloom library! I will, however, say this has been the hardest one for us to follow.  There are many characters and scene changes and you have to be paying attention to keep up.  Trust me I know!  After the boys, ages 16 and 10, listened on their own, I popped it into my computer to listen to while I worked.  Bad idea!  After about 20 minutes I realized I was lost and had to try again.  I found if I listened while doing nothing else, or even listened to it in the car where I was less distracted I followed much better.

Beware if listening in the car though- there are loud noises that will make you jump if you are prone to that kind of surprise.  I am and several times have had to will my heart rate back into the normal zone!

The boys, however really had no problem keeping up; maybe because they felt they knew the story better or maybe because at least one of them is an auditory learner.  They love audio dramas and often listen to these at night before bed, or just while doing something else in their rooms.   Their love of Heirloom also explains why I listened to Wulf the Saxon last- as soon as it hit the mailbox it was whisked away to their rooms.

And speaking of noises!  One of the things we love about Heiloom Audio Dramas is their use of popular actors.  Many of you will recognize the actors' names from Star Wars, Les Miserables and more.  Each actor is carefully chosen to match the voices, so you will find no fake accents here.  It does make it challenging to understand the dialog sometimes, but once you get used to it, you will find yourself thinking in those accents and deciphering easily.

If you are concerned there is all fight and no love to interest your girls- no worries!  One of the reoccurring themes is "Fortunate are the few who marry for love,"  which you see played out by the end in the life of Wulf.  I don't want to spoil the fun, but let's just say love is good, despite my boys saying YUCK! ;)

A Warning-
While intended for slightly more mature audiences, we know lots of younger kiddos enjoy audio dramas.  I would advise you to use caution with younger listeners with Wulf the Saxon as there are a few pretty intense scenes including intense battles and even an amputation.  It is not for the squeamish!

Whether you are looking to expose your children to the classic writing of G. A. Henty, find a new way to teach history, or even enjoy some subtle teaching of character traits such as loyalty, duty, and perseverance Wulf the Saxon will be a great addition to your audio drama library!

Heirloom Audio Adventure Club

You can join the Live The Adventure Club on Heirloom's website and get access to all these great adventures.  Membership includes getting two CD sets in the mail each year, daily devotions, activities and games, and lots of recorded fun.

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Menu and Your Crockpot

Good Monday morning! I pray this finds you well and ready to tackle a new week! Several of my peeps have been out of town and will be returning today so we are excited around here.

I am working on some new menu master lists coming soon to help in meal planning, but until then, here is this week's menu at the Pleasants house. Enjoy-

Monday- French Toast and Bacon
Tuesday- Chicken Chimichangas
Wednesday- Meatballs
Thursday- Chicken Chow Mein
Friday- Hamburgers
Saturday- Chicken Cordon Bleu
Sunday- Creamy Tortellini Soup

You all know how much I love my Crock Pot, and no I have not jumped on the insta-pot bandwagon, so I thought I would share a recipe from last week. I have been using this SIMPLE recipe for probably over 20 years now and unfortunately cannot tell you where it came from, but it is always a crowd pleaser. I can fix it for my family and use left overs for lunches or even as a topping for baked potatoes the next night, or it can feed a crowd. Either way it is yummy!

Crockpot French Dip

Can be used for sandwiches or topping for stuffed potatoes!


  • 1 Beef Rump Roast
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 Can French Onion soup
  • 1 can/bottle beer
  • Hoagie Rolls


  1. Combine all ingredients in Crockpot
  2. Cook 8 hours on low.
  3. Shred and serve on rolls.
  4. Use juice as dip!
Created using The Recipes Generator


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Whole Heart- CD Review and Giveaway

It is always fun to have the opportunity to review music!  I love hearing music in the background of my day, and when it is beautiful praise and worship music it makes it even better.  Music that is focused on God can bring such joy to one's heart.

The new album, Passion’s Whole Heart, is such a CD.  It has brought joy to my day on several occasions this past few weeks.  

Whole Heart is a collection of praise and worship songs, many performed by different artists, performed at the Passion Conference in Atalanta, Georgia.  These ARE live recordings, so if that is not your thing, be forewarned.  You will hear concert type background noise, though the recordings are quite clear.

 "Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name."

I was not familiar with all of the songs, I tend to get stuck on the older songs I know, but enjoyed this album none the less.  My favorite two songs were Great Are You Lord featuring Matt Redman, and All My Hope, featuring Crowder and Tauren Wells. Other songs included are-

Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran)
God, You’re So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill & Melodie Malone)
Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone)
Heaven (feat. Sean Curran)
More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker)
Ghost (feat. Crowder)
Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone)

Be ready for quite a lengthy listen.  Most of these songs are 4-8 minutes each.
You can pre-order this album now OR FlyBy has graciously offered to give a copy of the Whole Heart CD to one of our readers.  Leave a comment on this post, along with a way for us to notify you if you are the winner, telling us who your favorite Christian artist is or share your favorite hymn.  A winner will be chosen randomly next Friday!

For more information on Passion, click here!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Giveaway is open to continental U.S. residents only please.  No Canadian winners please.