Monday, January 15, 2018

Kindred ~ by Octavia E. Butler

I just finished reading Kindred, a book about 26-year-old Dana who lives in 1976 but upon her birthday finds herself suddenly transported back to the antebellum South, 1815. Whenever, Rufus, her white ancestor, is in trouble about to die she is suddenly transported back in time. When her own life is in peril she returns home to 1976. While in antebellum South time moves at a normal pace but upon returning home it is as if time has barely moved. For example, when transported back in time days, weeks, and months can go by but when returned back to 1976 only seconds, minutes or days have passed. Dana, is black, and Kevin, her husband, is white. The first couple of times she gets dizzy and is transported back in time she endures firsthand the fear and life of a slave in antebellum South during that time. She has a hard time "playing the part" and still holding onto her modern day identity. The antebellum slaves see Dana as a "white nigger" and not like them. She does make close friends with some on the Weylin plantation. 

I would love to go more into the details of this amazing book but then it would give away too much. This book is definitely worth the read.  


Friday, January 5, 2018

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am always on the hunt for good gluten free recipes. Whether it be for bread, biscuits, cookies, or meals the search is a continual process of trial and error. When I find a recipe that is a winner I make sure that I share the heck out of the recipe because I know how hard it is to find GOOD gluten free recipes. We all know that cooking gluten free isn't cheap and when a recipe doesn't turn out it is so very frustrating. I am steadily building my personal file of MUST KEEP RECIPES and this is one of them!  

The recipe can be found here. I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. Also, I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. I did not chill my batter before baking and my cookies turned out fine as you can see from the above picture. I did use cold butter straight from the fridge. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Emily's Paintings

I love to share my 17-year-old's paintings. She is a self taught artist. I am so very proud of her talent and skill level. I am completely in awe at her ability to draw, paint, sculpt, and work with so many other art mediums. I cannot even draw a stick figure, lol.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


So I recently discovered a new building block set called Plus-Plus. Wow, how I hadn't already discovered Plus-Plus sooner with 6 kids, I don't know! Anyways, I scored an amazing deal at our local Target on this 3600 Piece Basic Colors in Tub Set. The normal retail is $159.99 and I got it for $78.99!! It was an online item that was returned to the store. I just happened to find it and snatch it up not realizing what I was getting. Come to find out my teenager daughter knew about them. Some of the kiddos she babysits have them. She said she loves building with them, lol. Since bringing them home my 17-year-old, 15-year-old, and 9-year-old have been building non-stop. 

I have always engaged my children with building sets, puzzles, and imaginative play. We own a large collection of Legos, Lincoln Logs, K'NEX, ZOOB, Nanoblock, TinkerToys, Gears, Magnetix, EMIDO, Wooden Block, and Click-A-Brick, to name just a few. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dr. Bonyfide

Dr. Bonyfide Presents Bones - Set of 4 creatively engages your child as they learn the skeletal structures of the human body utlilizing a variety of rhymes, activities, comics, and various other fun tools. Timberdoodle schedules Books 1-4 in the 3rd-6th grade kits.

As Lewis Carroll famously said, "Who in the world am I? Ah, that is the great puzzle." Know Yourself Academy will take your student on an adventure into the human body as they explore:
  1. Bones of the Hand, Arm, & Shoulder
  2. Bones of the Foot, Leg, & Pelvis
  3. Bones of the Rib Cage & Spine
  4. Bones of the Head, Face & Neck
Each book includes:
  1. Kid-Friendly Learning
  2. Fun-Filled Boneology Lessons
  3. Rhymes, Puzzles, & Games
  4. Certificate of Completion
Book One includes X-Ray Vision Glasses that will be used in the first 2 books. 

Dr. Bonyfide will be your child's guide as they work through each lesson and book. Your child will learn how their skeleton is much like a puzzle with interlocking parts. Each bone has a name and function. Dr. Bonyfide will help your child learn their names and functions using fun rhymes and songs. 

My 6th grader was very excited about working through these books. Being an animal lover she has spent most of her elementary years studying animal and earth science. When I was given the opportunity to review this Dr. Bonyfide set I decided that this would be a fun was to introduce human biology to her. Her first reaction was one of, "Mom, do I really have too." After perusing through the books and seeing the activities and the 3D glasses she was hooked. The first day she worked through 20 pages! 

I appreciated how they made it easy for the kids to be able to sound out and pronounce the more difficult words. Many adults have a hard time figuring out how to pronounce many of these "ology" words and medical related terms. 

Within the first day my daughter learned:
  • many "ology" words
  • how many bones are in the body
  • the 4 main bone functions 
  • how many bones are in the upper extremities
  • all about the phalanges
  • the number of bones in your phalanges
  • a nemonick to help you remember the bones of the finger
  • fingerspelling the alphabet

Throughout books one and two students will utilize the 3D glasses to uncover Dr. Bonyfide's "Bonyfide X-Ray" which can only be seen with the 3D glasses. 

In Book 2: Bones of the Foot, Leg & Pelvis one of the activities that my daughter did was to construct a model of her foot using construction paper. With the first colored construction paper she had to cut out the shape of her foot. Then, with the second colored construction paper she had to cut out the shape of her phalanges. With the last construction paper she had to cut out the shapes of each of her metatarsal bones. She then had to glue all of the pieces on the page. 

Book 3 and 4 have a comic book theme. In Book 3, Vinny takes students on the spine-orator as they travel but the catch is, "It won't move from floor to floor until I answer a letter it delivers from students enrolled at Fine Spine Academy." 

The first question is, "When I was skateboarding I fell down and landed on my tailbone. It REALLY hurt. Why did it hurt so bad?" 

This starts the adventure. Once the question is answered a new question is asked and so on. Some of the stories have accompanied comic strips. For example, students are introduced to Ruby Rib via a comic strip. 

One of the fun activities is a Curious Cuneiform Code

At the beginning of each book and throughout the workbooks students will find insightful quotes. 

"Listening is not just hearing what someone tells you word for word. 
You have to listen with a heart."
~ Anna Deveare Smith ~

At the end of each workbook there is a section entitled, "Know Yourself Academy's Bone-Us Knowledge" where your student will get some extra bonus knowledge beyond what is discussed in the workbook. The bonus pages pertain to more detailed information of topics discussed within each workbook. 

Each workbook also includes a Glossary of terms that your child can refer to if they forget what a term or word means. Instead of searching for the specific word in the workbook all they have to do is go to the glossary and find the word.  

An Answer Key is also included at the end of each workbook. The answer key is for the activities such as crosswords, word searches, matching, short answer, etc.. 

My daughter said, "I have learned so much from Dr. Bonyfide's workbooks. I really did enjoy working through these! I cannot believe I am actually saying that about schoolwork. They actually made learning fun and not boring. I kind of forgot I was learning and my mom did not have to ask me to do this part of my schoolwork. The rhymes really did help to make learning the parts of the bones easier to remember, especially the hands and feet. The activities were fun and were always changing. I really liked the 3D glasses! The comics in the last two books were really pretty cool. I liked how they made everything make sense and made it easy to pronounce all of the crazy long words. I really liked Dr. Bonyfide and would give it 5 STARS!!"

As a mom I would most definitely recommend this series to other homeschoolers and educators. 

At the end of Book 4 it says The Adventure Continues...

If you like these books, check out our NEW Anatomy Adventure Series to continue on your quest for Self Literacy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Magic Stix Washable Markers

Magic Stix Washable Markers

The Pencil Grip, Inc. has recently come out with Magic Stix Washable Markers!




Won't dry out for 7 days with the cap off!

Available in 12pk-Washable Markers

Let the Creativity BEGIN!

I asked my 17 year old daughter to draw me a couple of quick 
pictures using the new Magic Stix. She liked that they had no odor. 
Being an artist she was impressed with the vibrant colors included in the
12pk set. 

TICK.. TOCK.. TICK.. tock..

So, we all know that kiddos are NOTORIOUS for not putting the caps back
on markers! Well, the makers of Magic Stix GUARANTEES that their
markers will not dry out with the cap off for 7 days!!! 
That is one tall order. Well, I did not test them for 7 days but I did test them
for 2 days which for most markers would be the DEATH of a marker. 
The results.........they worked perfect. In fact, they worked just as well as 

Back to more fabulous artwork!

My 11-year-old who loves animals made a penguin. 

And a snowman..

🎶 Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree  🎶

When I got these markers in the mail and was first looking at them
I was instantaneously drawn to the phrase NO ODOR. My 9-year-old daughter
has sensory issues and strong smells is one of the things that really bother
her. She also deals with migraines and smells are often triggers for
migraines and so markers that have no odor are also a plus! 

Magic Stix would be a great stocking stuffer or way to keep the younger
crowd entertained this holiday season at family gatherings or holiday events. 
And because they are WASHABLE you don't have to worry about getting 
marks on holiday clothing or decor. 

Magic Stix are available at

I received these in exchange for my honest review.