Back to school study homework station

Kids love to sprawl out with their papers and books, and usually that is on my dining room table. I had in mind to get an area for them to complete homework and if needed, leave their work there, undisturbed.

I scouted a few stores for a big enough table, I wanted a library feel. I didn’t have much luck, but one day my husband and I stopped in the habitat for humanity store. I found the perfect round table for only $50. It took another $60 to rent a truck to pick it up, but if you ready have a truck, the cost would be even lower.


I purchased 3 leather executive type chairs on sale at Staples. Might as well get them used to the feel!


All this will be set up in our bonus/toy room! Now, I just have to tame the toy clutter. Then we will add built ins to house the computers.


Star Wars Jedi training -Live!

As a new student of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy, follow an ancient tradition and learn the powers–and dangers–of the Force. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy allows you to immerse yourself in the classic Star Wars universe as you take on the role of a student eager to learn the ways of the Force from Master Luke Skywalker. You’ll interact with famous classic Star Wars locations and characters while facing the ultimate choice: Fight for good and freedom on the light side or follow the path of power and evil to th dark side. Continue reading

Beginning boxwood topiary’s

The begining of my boxwood topiary’s. I don’t care for artificial ones, and if you purchase a topiary, you could spend $50-$80 bucks. Mine cost $6.00 for the plant and $5.00 for the heavy cement planter, (x2 I have them on both sides of my sink) As they grow, I’ll Keep trimming to form a perfect sphere. Wish me luck!



Quick and easy Strawberry Shorcake for Sunday dessert

Want a sweet treat as an after dinner snack, but don’t want to put in a lot of time?


Cut the tops off a pound of fresh strawberries. Coat lightly with sugar and refrigerate for an hour.

Spoon strawberries into dessert shells, which are Angel food cake mini’s.

Top with Reddi Wip, I use Extra Creamy!



Would you change anything about your life that’s happened in the past?

Brain injury

This is what happened to my brain. Subarachnoid brain hemorrhage

Yesterday, I received a follow up call one year after a study with the NIH (National institute of Health). I was admitted to their brain injury study, and they wanted to have me take their survey. I agreed, and the questions began. In the last 6 months… Have you experienced dizziness? Yes Would you rate it as mild, moderate, severe or very severe? moderate Have you experienced loss of balance? Yes Moderate Have you experienced Nausea? Yes Severe Can you get around town on your own? Yes Do you have trouble with concentration and planning? Yes moderate Do you need help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing or cooking? I can dress and bath, but receive help with cooking Are you bothered by noise? Yes Are you bothered by bright lights? No, not anymore Do you have headaches? Yes Have you developed depression and or anxiety? Yes Do you find you are easily frustrated? Yes Was it that way only since your accident or was it that way prior to your injury? Only after There were lots of other questions, but this is a good sampling. Then the ending questions went something like: Would you say you have a good life? Yes Would you change anything that has happened in your life? Now, as the questions had been going, I realized how drastically my life had changed since my brain injury, and I felt a sort of compassion from the interviewer, almost like, poor thing, but my answer to the final question was No! I didn’t put much thought into it. Answered off the top of my head, and answered what my heart felt. And even after contemplating the question, I don’t believe I would wish to change my life circumstances. I am a brain injury survivor.  I was given this life because It was meant for me to have; with mercy and grace from Jesus Christ, I’m strong enough to live it!  20140402-181930.jpg

Electronic warfare


The Invisible Machine and Electronic Warfare

The Malaysian airline missing airplane event, was our latest topic of discussion. Explaining events like this to children is not an easy task, but it was an opportunity to further research and discuss the advanced technology of the 21st century.

Cavemen-1 Long ago, this is how we fought our enemy. Two adversaries would stand in front of each other at arms length and take turns hitting each other over the head until, one or the other was defeated. Well, man quickly discovered that this was not a good way to fight. There must  be a better way. Even primitive men soon developed a better weapon, one he could use at longer range. Slingshots, fortresses, guns, heavy artillery, then bomber aircraft. With every generation and every war, we witnessed new and improved ways to kill people.

Electronic Warfare  (EW) refers to any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via the spectrum. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to, the EM spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and space by manned and unmanned systems, and can target humans, communications, radar, or other assets.

Beginning with the first use of little strips of aluminum tossed out of bomber planes in World War II, electronic warfare has traditionally been about disrupting the enemy’s systems through some kind of jamming or other forms of blocking signals.  The new era is more sophisticated.china-preparing-to-wage-war-in-cyberspace

Jammers, (the deliberate radiation, re-radiation, or reflection of electromagnetic energy to impair the use of electronic devices, equipment)  for instance, are designed to identify enemy radar installations, then spew radio waves and beams of electromagnetic noise to electronically disable and destroy them. Though the technology does not result in the sort of fiery blasts produced by heat-seeking missiles or laser-guided bombs, the effect is the same.

Imagine the future with the Invisible Machine.  A strange new weapon detonated  high over a large city; no explosion, no visible destruction, yet everything electronic  within the range of this system dies permanently. Every electronic gadget in every home or office is disabled. No computers, no TV, no life support systems in hospitals, no water supply, no heats, no lights, no cell phones, and no transportation. Microwave weapons used for crowd control, can literally cook you like a microwave oven by burning the skin. If you haven’t heard about these weapons, it’s no surprise. Their development has been secretive and they sound more like science fiction than reality. Some information has recently been declassified, however,  much of the information pertaining to Electronic warfare (EW) is still classified and can be expected to remain so. The basic principles, however, are easily derived and are unclassified.

What happened to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight?Missing Malaysia airlines flight

As a Mother, I can’t begin to answer this question, but there are some events that are making this catastrophe grow stranger everyday.  For instance, While four passengers who boarded the missing Malaysian jet are under special investigation for stolen and other passport-related issues, twenty passengers were involved in cutting edge electronic technology used for defense purposes, including electronic warfare, such as weapons that can “cloak” or make planes invisible, appearing to vanish. If this is the case with the missing jet, the event may point  points to terrorism.

Tell me what you think: Did Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370  with 239 people aboard tragically disintegrate in mid-flight, as official investigators postulate? Or was it the victim of  electronic weaponry used electronic warfare that, at least, twenty passengers’ where trained in and  contracted by the Department of Defense?

Be sure to watch the video at the top of of this page!


You won’t believe the adventure of odyssey of the mind


Why odyssey of the mind is good for kids

The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. For more than twenty five years, this unique program has helped teachers generate excitement in their students. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems — great and small — for a lifetime. The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking “outside of the box.” While conventional thinking has an important place in a well-rounded education, students need to learn how to think creatively and productively.
Who participates
Millions of students from kindergarten through college have participated in the Odyssey of the Mind. Since the Odyssey of the Mind eliminates the fear of criticism, even shy students are afforded the opportunity to open up and express themselves. Students learn to work in teams. Each year, five new competitive problems are presented for the teams to solve. These long-term problems are solved over weeks and months. Some of the problems are more technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance based. Each long-term problem rewards “Style” in the solution. This helps teach students that they should not simply try to solve problems but take the next step of enhancing their solutions. The teams are invited to participate in competition and present their solution with other teams. At the competition, the teams are given an on-the-spot “spontaneous” problem to solve. The combination of long-term problem-solving, Style, and spontaneous problem-solving produces a confident, able student.
School memberships, Community groups and home-schooled members may enter one team per problem.

Ages and divisions
Division I — Grades K-5 (U.S.): Less than 12 years of age
Division II — Grades 6-8 (U.S.): Less than 15 years of age
Division III — Grades 9-12 (U.S.): Oldest team member does not qualify for Divisions I or II and is attending regular school–not a college or university or anything similar (Other International).
Division IV — Collegiate for ALL TEAMS. All team members must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be enrolled in at least one course at a two- or four-year college or university.

An international extravaganza
The Odyssey of the Mind is truly a worldwide competition. Participants include teams from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Czech Republic,  Europe, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and practically every state in the U.S. The annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals is an event to behold. It embodies the international spirit of creativity!

The heart and Soul: Volunteers
The program is run through the parent volunteers. 2014 was my first time volunteering to coach a team. The role of the coach is:
• Scheduler (how often and where team meets)
• Facilitator (helps the team stay organized)
– determine goals and the path to reach them
– helps them read and understand the problem
– helps team keep track of tasks and deadlines
– takes notes (remind them of their previous ideas)
– leads brainstorming sessions (without injecting ideas)
– explains scoring
– brings in “experts” to discuss & teach skills
• Teacher (teaches basic skills)
• Asks QUESTIONS (to help team focus, open-ended)
• Assists team in developing a timeline for projects
• Spontaneous practice (practice often, variety, strategies)
• Forms (helps Primary and Division I teams fill out forms)
• Go-fer (takes team members to store for supplies)
• Snack Organizer (fuel for busy minds)
• Mentor

Odyssey of the mind Prob 1

Our team working on building a vehicle

Odyssey of the mind Team

My son and team working on Odyssey of the Mind vehicle

Odyssey of the mind Team building

The boys having a moment of fun. Team building

Odyssey team meeting at library

Sometimes we met at my home, other times at the library

Competition Day
The Odyssey of the mind Regional Competition took place Saturday March 8, 2014 at Ryle High School and Gray Middle School in Boone County, KY.
Teams from the region showed up to compete in the long term and spontaneous problems.

Odyssey of the mind Kentucky

Their theme was Atlantis

Kentucky odyssey of the mind regional competion

My son stands in front of their backdrop as Poseidon

Regional Competition Day

Our team competing at Regional competition.

Odyssey of the mind
The team presenting

Here is the team waiting to see if they placedELS_4631ELS_4630ELS_4635

We didn’t place this time, but they all put in a great effort and learned so much along the way.ELS_4643ELS_4644


My daughter and her team after receiving the news they placed first in the regional competition

My daughter and her team placed First in the competition and will be advancing to Nationals.

Gray Middle school Odyssey of the mind regional winners

My daughter being presented with her blue ribbon


Sister and brother meeting after competition for ice cream

Sister and brother meet up after the competition for ice cream

To learn more about Odyssey of the mind or to enroll your group for next year go to