Sunday, January 29, 2017

Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook ~ Dallas Children's Theater

Yesterday my daughters and I went to see Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook at Dallas Children's Theater. My daughters have been looking forward to this production ever since they saw that it was on the schedule. This production did not disappoint. 

When we walked into the theater my daughters were sent on a scavenger hunt. At each of the four clue spots they collected pieces to a coloring picture. Once they were all collected they peeled of the backs of the pieces and mounted them on a sheet. They then got to color the picture and decorate Junie's hair with a bow. Upon completion of their picture they received a magnifying glass. This pre-show activity was really fun. 

The production lasted about 1 1/2 hours with a short intermission midway through. As usual, the sets were fantastic. The acting and singing were top notch and kept my daughter's attention. 

My 8 year old said, "My favorite parts of the play were when Junie found the light up, different colored pen. She loved it so very much but inside she really knew that she should not keep it. I also liked that Junie was honest and returned it. It was funny but scary when Junie was put on jail clothes and was caught for stealing the pen."

My 10 year old said, "My favorite part of the play was the dream that Junie had."

Junie, a very outspoken kindergartener has two problems. Who stole her wonderful, furry mittens that her grandfather bought her. Also, how can she get Handsome Warren, the new boy in school, to notice her and fall in love with her. 

Dallas Children's Theater does a wonderful job with every production that they put on. Our family looks forward to attending each production! Thank you Dallas Children's Theater for helping to bring a wonderful theater experience to our community. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Studying the Renaissance

My 3rd and 5th grader are currently studying the Renaissance and Reformation. 
We are using a Homeschool In The Woods Project Passport World History unit study.
My kiddos are learning so much and are really enjoying it. The internet
is a treasure trove of wonderful additions. We have even found some books in 
our own personal library to supplement the study. 

Leonardo da Vinci for Kids

Animated Leonardo da Vinci Biography 

Crash Course on the Renaissance for Kids

Take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel

Instruments of the Renaissance


Some of the wonderful books we have read....


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint

Just in time for some Valentine's Day fun!! Valentine's Day is right around the corner. What better way to create than with Kwik Stix. The Pencil Grip, Inc. has a wide variety of amazing educational products but by far my favorite is their Kwik Stix. Kwik Stix are NO MESS, fast drying, tempera paints. You can finally let your kiddos paint without the worry of all of the mess associated with painting. No water is needed! Simply uncap, twist, and paint. The paint glides on and the colors are vibrant. I recently had the opportunity to try their new Thin Stix 12 Pack.

The original Kwik Stix and the new Kwik Stix Thin

My daughters using both the original and the thin stix. 

Thin stix give you the ability to paint with more detail. I truly think that my kiddos could spend hours painting with Kwik Stix!! And I love them because I do not have to worry about a messy clean-up. Once you have tried these paints you will never want to buy a regular paint palette for your kiddos again. My kiddos have been using Kwik Stix since they first came available. For my previous reviews for Kwik Stix you can click here and here.

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Quick And Easy Meal

In order to give my family variety I mix up the traditional taco or nacho meal. Today I decided to use my Instant Pot to make tender, yummy shredded chicken. I tend to let my family decide whether they want to use tortilla chips, hard taco shells, flour tortillas, or soft corn tortillas. So here is what I did.

4 chicken breasts (fat trimmed off)
Using my Instant Pot on the high pressure meat setting,
I placed the cut up chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and some water. 

The meat took about an hour in the Instant Pot.
After it was done I shredded it.

Mexican Rice
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
3 Tbsp oil (I used Safflower)
Stir the rice and oil until the rice is a bit golden.
Add in about 1/3 cup diced onion.
Next, add in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup tomato blend 
(I like a tomato sauce that has fine tomato chunks)
Add in 2 cups of chicken stock.
Simmer about 20 minutes until tender and liquid has dissipated. 
*Yes, you read it right, you will not add the liquid until later.

Refried Beans
If you don't have time canned beans are fine. 
I prefer to soak pinto beans overnight and then cook the next day.
To cook beans I like to let them slow cook in the crock pot with 
salt, water, and jalapeños. 
After they are done I use a potato masher to mush the beans. 

Add extras such as avocado, cheese, taco sauce, lettuce, or whatever
you like with your tacos. 

Easy Peasy Meal In An Hour!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day 2017

Pictures of our presidents throughout history

Presidential image gallery

Congratulations Donald J. Trump!

Disclaimer: All photos were found on the internet and are not my own. To whomever the above
pictures, thank you for the amazing photographs. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What's For Dinner?

Like many of you I often struggle to figure out what to cook for dinner. Sometimes it seems like all I do is rotate the same meals time and again. When life is crazy my poor family has to resort to eating convenience foods. Not my first choice, nor is it my family's, but sometimes it is inventible. I decided to start posting some of meals that I cook in order to share with you a possible meal option for your family. Nothing fancy, just easy, simple made from scratch meals. Tonight as dinner was nearing I literally had no clue what I was going to make. I opening the fridge, looked around and hoping for some inspiration. I am not a big fan on following recipes or measuring out ingredients. Rather, I am kind of a throw it in the pot kind of girl. So here is what was for dinner. Though I cannot give exact amounts I will share with you what I put in this dish.

2 bell peppers
1 large onion
1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic
3 multi-colored carrots
I chopped this all up and put in the skillet with some Safflower Oil and salt. 
I let this saute for a bit. 
I then added,
4 bratwurst chopped up.
Once the veggies were fully cooked and the bratwurst browned I added potato.
I had 3 medium sized baked potatoes from last nights dinner.
I sliced them up and set them in the center of the pan to brown up
and soak up the flavor.

Dinner is served!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Shadowland by Pilobolus

My daughters and I had the opportunity to see Shadowland at Dallas Performance Hall last week. Shadowland presented by Pilobolus is about a teenage girl's search for independence. As she falls asleep her dreams take her on a journey to Shadowland. What lurks behind her bedroom wall - shadows. Her dreams take her on an intriguing, adventurous, and sometimes down right crazy adventures. Projected images and moving screens project images large and small. The combination of modern dance and acrobatics is spectacular. The choreography was brilliant.

Excited to see Shadowland!!

Some amazing photos can be found here.

Video clips can be found here.

The beautiful Dallas Performance Hall

Thursday, January 12, 2017

When Food Is Your Foe, Continued..

This is the third posting related to food. My first and second posts will give you a base as to why I call food a foe. Holidays are such a difficult time for individuals that have limited diets. Food is EVERYWHERE and there is so much of it during the holiday season. If Thanksgiving wasn't difficult enough, those with limited diets have to suffer through Christmas and New Years. Sticking to a diet and dealing with the crazy emotions that are tied up with food are enough to send anyone over the edge. Several years ago I was diagnosed with EoE. While cheating definitely has its physical consequences for me it isn't life threatening. I experience esophageal narrowing, feeling of food stuck in my esophagus, nausea, extreme fatigue, body pain, heightened anxiety, and overall yuck. If I choose to eat a food that I know will cause the above issues I inevitably pay the consequences. Sometimes the flesh is weak. I always regret my choices but in the moment I only see the want. So while I delighted in some of the wonderful foods during the holiday season I realize just how much I missed out on. I was so extremely fatigued every day. I couldn't make it through the day without a several hour nap. My belly was in fits. Emotionally I was not liking myself and neither was my family. It really is so very crazy how FOOD can be such a foe. Now that I am back on my strict diet I am slowly emerging from my food fog. I am beginning to feel more in control and alive. I am sure that this will not be the last time that I struggle with food. 

I am extremely grateful for the internet. I can find just about any recipe and modify it to fit my diet. There is a great deal of trial and error. It isn't cheap. It is often a bit more time consuming. But when you find a recipe that works you fill like you have won the lottery!! Just yesterday I was trying to figure out what to make to compliment the roast and veggies that I had in the oven. I am a bit tired of rice and potatoes. I decided that some cornbread would make a great compliment to the meal. I began searching for recipes. I found one that looked promising but would definitely need to be modified. The finished product turned out fabulous! The whole family was shocked at how good it tasted. So without further ado, here is my recipe. 

Gluten Free Cornbread

2 cups ground corn (I use my Blendtec to grind organic corn)
2 cups gluten free flour blend
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp salt
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
6 eggs
2 Tbsp cornstarch

I just threw all of the ingredients in together and used my Kitchen Aid mixer to thoroughly blend.
I used a glass 13x9x2 inch pan. 
I set the oven at 350 degrees. 
I really don't remember how long it was in. 
But when a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden you are set. 

The cornbread was super moist, fluffy, and absolutely delicious!! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

As Christmas Break Comes To An End....

I decided to take three weeks off over Christmas this year. Normally I try to only take two but due to  health related issues with some of my kiddos I decided that I would make life a bit easier and just take a bit more time off. I had great intentions to organize the homeschool clutter and catch up on  the not so fun teacher related stuff. I really did think about it. To be honest I just needed a BREAK away from everything homeschool related. I enjoyed much needed down time, naps, relaxing, reading, time with family, and sleeping in.

This week we started back with schoolwork and co-op classes. It is never easy getting back into the rhythm of things but we are trying.

Working on one of the many 1000 piece puzzles that we got for Christmas. 

Enjoying a movie with my daughter before the craziness begins. 

Snow in Texas is rare. We get a dusting of snow and everything turns to chaos. 
It was a great way to end Christmas Break. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017 is an amazing resource for homeschoolers!!! Students in pre-K through high school can find educational material in the following subjects:

  • Bible
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • History
  • Geography
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Art
  • Computer
  • Drama 
  • Speech
  • Foreign Language
  • Music
  • Health & Fitness
  • Electives
  • Unit Studies
Whether you are looking for material to fill in the gaps or are looking for material to cover the requirements for a particular subject, is a perfect place to start. You can browse by subject or grade level. There is a wealth of information available under the planning and resources tabs. 

I have used this site frequently over the years to fill in gaps and find lessons on particular subject matter. has been useful for all of my children. I currently have students in grades 3-11.

There are two membership options.

Social Media:

Google +

Confetti Eggs