Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

The kids in their new Christmas Eve jammies!

Every year I get the kids a new pair of pajamas and they get to wear them on Christmas Eve.  I love this tradition.
What our tree looked like on Christmas morning.  And yes, that clock is right 😲.
The kids made a birthday cake for Jesus!  I love this tradition as well.

Our Christmas meal 😋.

Hope you had a fabulous Christmas!  I know I did.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Fun with The Elephants - The Elephant Preserve in Texas

Beverly received a very fun and unique birthday gift from one of her friends.  Last month, they went to The Preserve and did the Elephant Experience!  B met the beautiful Asian elephants, learned about their care and conservation, helped give one a bath, and had some fun photo opportunities as well.  What a unique experience!

B and her friend!

Another pose

B has a painting from the gift shop that was done by this elephant (Rosie) so she is posing with the elephant (also the artist).

A close-up of B's painting

What a fun experience!  I'm hoping one day to go myself 😉.  I'm so thankful for good friends.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

B's Sweet 16 Party

B with her cake!
B had a fun sweet 16 party over the weekend.  A bunch of her friends came over and decorated cookies and cupcakes and hung out - she had a blast.  I say it all the time, my kids are growing up fast.

David made B a chocolate cupcake cake and I love the way it came out.

Our food table

Fruit Tray #1

Fruit Tray #2

Some of the many decorated cookies...

And a few of the decorated cupcakes...


I'm so thankful for all the friends that were able to celebrate with us!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Happy 16th B

I blinked and this girl turned 16 a few days ago!  B is so kind and caring, passionate and driven and it has been a true joy to be her Mom.  I absolutely love watching her grow each year.  We love you B! 💖

Sunday, December 5, 2021

D's 12th Balloon Themed Birthday Party

D turned 12 last Friday!

We celebrated her yesterday with a fun "balloon" themed party!  I'm not sure of the exact number of balloons that were in our home but I know it was a lot 🎈😉.

D in the balloon room.

D's strawberry birthday cake.

About to light the candles...

Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

D, you make our life more fun in every way and we love you so much!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles – Set of 7 Review

I have one of the most amazing products to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles - Set of 7.  We were blessed to be selected to review these and let me tell you, they are awesome!  These puzzles are published by Genius Games and they are geared for students 14 and older.  They are 100% medically accurate and have a 200% magnification to make it easier to view.  This educational resource is absolutely a gem 💎.

Here is a peek at our completed puzzles together!

Our 7 piece set includes Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Head (441 pieces), Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Thorax (561 pieces), Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Abdomen (511 pieces), Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Right Arm (478 pieces), Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Left Arm (472 pieces), Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Right Leg (848 pieces), and Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle: The Human Left Leg (864).

In this first volume of our set, you will build the human head.  This puzzle has a cross-section of the brain, the thick bony skull, the jaw, teeth, eye and muscles supporting the eye, and the neck with esophagus, larynx and trachea.
In this second volume of our set, you will build the human thorax.  This puzzle has a cross-section with a clear view of the rib cage and everything in it.  Puzzle builders will frame the organs with cross-sections of the sternum, ribs, and thoracic vertebrae.  Inside the protective cage, students will find the trachea, which carries air to the two lungs, and sitting between the lungs, they will find the four-chambered heart.

In this third volume of our set, you will build the human abdomen.  This puzzle contains the largest cavity in the human body - the abdomen and the vital organs within it.  Puzzle builders will fill out the abdominal cavity by assembling the body's lower digestive tract, including the stomach, small and large intestines, and the supportive pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.
In this fourth volume of our set, you will build the human right arm.  This puzzle focuses on the musculature of the arm showing how each muscle and tendon relates to each other.  It shows how the soft tissue enables us to flex and extend our upper limbs, push and pull, etc.  The complex network of nerves, arteries, and veins are interwoven together.
In this fifth volume of our set, you will build the human left arm.  While the right arm focused on the musculature of the arm, this puzzle focuses on the skeletal structure of the arm - from the shoulder's ball-and-socket joint down to the fingers' many hinge joints.  Students will see the humerus, ulna, and radius bones.
In this sixth volume of our set, you will build the human right leg.  This puzzle focuses on the musculature features of the leg with its complex network of arteries, veins and nerves.
In this final and seventh volume of our set, you will build the human left leg.  While the right leg focused on the musculature of the leg, this puzzle focuses on the skeletal structure of the leg.  Puzzle builders will assemble the bones and joints of our lower limbs.
When our puzzles are assembled and combined together, they reveal a 10 foot tall puzzle of the human body!  You can see F and G on top of each other next to our completed puzzle set - it's big!

These puzzles like most are a great way to engage both sides of your brain and they are awesome for a wide range of ages.  Our family really enjoys assembling puzzles, especially during the holiday season.  I appreciate that you can start a puzzle and spend time here or there completing it as you have time.

These larger than life anatomy puzzles have vibrant colors and unique and durable pieces.  I appreciate this as the puzzles will last a long time and we can redo them over and over again.  I love that the puzzle boxes all resemble vintage medical texts and that they seal shut nicely with a magnetic clasp.  Our set looks nice together stored on a shelf 😉.

Inside each box, the flap has a detailed image of the puzzle labeling all the parts.  You can see the inside of all of our puzzle boxes above.

The Human Head puzzle is currently included in Timberdoodle's 6th grade curriculum kit and The Human Thorax puzzle is currently included in Timberdoodle's 11th grade curriculum kit.  If you can't tell, we highly recommend this set.  Not only will you learn more about the human body, you will have fun doing it!  It has been especially great this year as C is currently studying Biology and A is studying Advanced Biology (or Biology II). 

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles – Set of 7 in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

G with his turkey hat!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We celebrated some of my favorite things - family, food & lots of fun!

A made these adorable turkey cookies.

B made pumpkin cookies that are absolutely delicious!

A and D made pilgrim hat cookies.
 And the star of our day was Dur Turkey!  We named our turkey this year in honor of Dur Pig in the book Christmas Pig, which we are currently reading.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Lunar Eclipse Reminder

Just wanted to remind you about the partial Lunar Eclipse tomorrow.  Above is the time frame for my area.  You might want to stay up or wake up early to see it.  I'm excited!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

I Know It Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

I Know It
I Know It is a great way to help make math practice fun for your kids!  We were blessed to receive an online 1-year family subscription for our review.
I created an account for E, F and G to practice their math skills.

What is I Know It?  It's an online supplemental math program for students K-5th grade.  It has over 600 topics and math lessons!  It's full of colorful graphics and fun animated characters that celebrate with children when they answer questions correctly.  If the student answers their question incorrectly, an explanation will appear on the screen to help them understand the correct answer.  I want to note that there is no teaching with this program so students should be familiar with the concepts before answering the questions.  It's great practice!

Above you can see that G answered his question correctly in the Skip Counting lesson and the character on the bottom is flipping for him!

As G answers the questions within the lessons, there is a progress circle and score circle on the right that shows his progress.

G earned an award for completing his lesson on Skip Counting and getting 15 out of 15 questions correct.

Above you can see G's overall progress.

So far, G has used I Know It the most in our family.  I'm looking forward to the other kids using it even more over the upcoming holiday break for extra math practice.  I love that this program contains large fonts for younger children and bright colors.  I also want to note that children can explore lessons and parents can assign specific lessons for them as well.  It's easy to monitor your students progress and I really like that.
I also want to note that if you have a younger student who cannot read, there is a speaker icon on the top of the questions that will read the questions aloud for your students.  This hasn't been an issue for us as G's reading has continued to improve this year but I really appreciate having this option if he needs it to help him be independent with this program.  G has really liked earning his awards.

Do you want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of I Know It.

Engaging Online Interactive Math Practice with I Know It

You can engage with I Know It on social media @:

Operation Christmas Child Box Ideas

We are participating in Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child again this year through our church!  The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to provide children around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, school supplies and more as a means of reaching children in their communities with the Good News of Christ.  They are shipped all over the world.

Our Boxes this year

This year we decided to fill 3 boxes - one for a young boy 2-4, a young girl 5-9, and an older boy 10-14.  The kids had a fun time picking out items for our boxes and we hope that these items really bless those that receive them!

Here's our younger boys box.

It includes crayons and a sharpener, a fun notepad, a squishy tiger, stickers, a comb, a duck washcloth, toothbrushes, colorful snakes, tissues, sunglasses, a small car, colorful bendable tubes and a music recorder.

 Here's our younger girls box.

It includes colored pencils and a sharpener, a fun notepad, stickers, a hairbrush, barrettes, hair ties, toothbrush, a squishy unicorn, a unicorn necklace, tissues, sunglasses, a small purse, fun sicks, a fun washcloth, and a cat squishmallow.
Here's our older boys box.

It includes crayons and a sharpener, fun notepads, a squishy sloth, mechanical pencils, a comb, a washcloth, toothbrush, a brain puzzle, tissues, sunglasses, a calculator, and a soccer ball with pump.

We had a really fun time packing these boxes this year!