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Mastering the Periodic Table


This year “Little Man” who is not little anymore is working on mastering chemistry. In an effort to equip him with all the tools he needs to be successful I have been doing my research to find him resources to help him be successful with his studying.

We live in a technology age so of course some of those resources are technological in nature. They give him on-the-go access to study tools that help him learn and be successful even while he’s at the gym or hanging out waiting at the dr. office. But at the same time the same old fashioned tools that helped me be successful in school are helping him as well.

So what tools are we using –

The first assignment of class was to memorize the periodic table. We are using a few cool resources to help and a few not so cool resources that I make more fun by doing spontaneous things like throwing the flash cards off the stairs and leaving him to sort and put them back in order. I know borderline child abuse…

The first cool resource we are using is this awesome puzzle –

 This puzzle is so cool that even the 7 year old is having fun discovering the different elements and putting the pieces together.


We also picked up the companion book The Elements by Theodore Gray – We love how this book helps all of the elements come to life. Learn fun facts about the elements and see how they are used in real life.



 For the on-the-go resource we went with the Elements – Learn the Periodic Table App from MmpApps Corp. This has been a life saver for on the go memorization practice. “Little Man” spends 3 hours a week in dr. office waiting rooms so this an invaluable tool that lets him access practice material while he’s out and about. We like this app because it provides a visual picture of each element to enhance memory and encourages memory retention of where elements are on the periodic table. It’s available Free in the iTunes store for ipad/iphone



Looking for a fun catchy song to learn the elements – Try memorizing this fun song. Not only will you get to know the elements on the periodic table you’ll learn a few cool tools about how the periodic table is composed to help you memorize your facts a little easier.

And of course you can’t forget the good old fashioned flash card. When it’s time to cram for a quiz or a test we do what every good study partners do…we flash till we drop :-). In fact just today my son got so into practicing with his flash cards that he said to me –

“o.k. I am going to go flash myself, let me know when lunch is done”.

I haven’t stopped laughing!

Planning 101 – Your Planning Mindset



This post really isn’t about how to plan your year at all, it’s more of how to get in the right mindset to plan your year.  Because well everything worth doing starts with having the right mindset.

Last night I was having an interesting discussion with my 14 yr old about how law enforcement agencies identify possible criminals. My husband interjected with his knowledge on this subject as he often does in these sort of matters:

There is a certain pattern of behavior that indicates that someone might be more than they appear.

Really?  What gave you that idea?  Actually it made me laugh hysterically.  I know your saying Lorrea this doesn’t make any sense.  Oh, but it does!  Because in an brief instant my brain had made a giant leap and was asking itself what exact pattern of behavior tells you that a person is “more than they appear”.

My experience has shown me that EVERYONE is “more than they appear”.  Even our children are “more than they appear”.  Even though we live with them very nearly 24 hours of everyday, we hear there most intimate thoughts, we watch there most private of play times….they are still “more than they appear”.  We can not know the inner most of even those closest to us because so much is at work shaping them, helping them to know and to learn and to grow, helping them to decide what is right in the world and what is wrong in the world.

The biggest gift I can give my children is the gift to know that they are and that they will always be “more than they appear”.  They are more than there ability to read the words on a paper or compute the circumference of a circle.  They are more than there ability to recite the dates of the civil war.  THEY ARE MORE!!!

At one point in my journey I wanted my hand held, I perhaps even needed it held.  I was unsure of myself and my abilities, I was confused about how best to teach my children.  This year I am done with scripts telling me what to say to my children, my children aren’t your standard factory model, they don’t fit the mold and well neither do I as I too am “more than I appear”.

So this year I give up…I’m throwing out all the scripts and most of the “curriculum” and I am teaching the way I want to teach.  I am teaching my kids to learn the way it works in the real world when you are grown and life throws you a curveball that you never expected and you don’t know what to do with it.  I am teaching them to learn, not listen to scripts or write as I tell them to write but to explore, experience and grow.  No I’m not really talking about un-schooling.   There is probably a methodology that my way fits but I don’t know what it is so I am just going with the “Lorrea Method”.  I’ll write more about it as the week goes on.  I am working on laying the foundation over the next week of what our days and weeks will look like.

It will be a fun experiment and I am sure it will be fraught with challenges along the way but I am sure that my kids will learn and grow of that I can be certain – God has seen to that.

Camping Adventures


She’s probably up north dancing in the mud with bare feet, probably didn’t even pack her shoes.

That’s what my best friend told everyone who asked where I was on Friday evening when I supposed to be home from camping.  You know some camping adventures are a little more adventuresome than others.  I’ve been home now for just about a week, it took me that long to figure out how best to share about this years camping adventure.

I was a little worried about writing this post.  I mean if you hate camping, I certainly don’t want to be the one to turn you off.  It’s a blast out there and well as my best friend put it…I am the queen of barefoot in the woods.  But that’s a story for another day!  Let me tell you about our summer adventures in the woods…a mix of fun, mischief and with a sprinkle of WHAT!

P1030288It all started out well enough.  A nice walk to the lake, some fishing, a little sun bathing for mom …who doesn’t fish.  Then the first of the adventure…first a little drizzle that quickly turned into a downpour.  I couldn’t even see out of my glasses anymore so I put them on my shirt.


I’m near sighted which means I can see within about 6-8 feet of me without my glasses…after that everything starts turning fuzzy until it’s just a giant blur.  In the rain though I couldn’t even see that with my glasses all spotted up. What fun!  Everything was great, we were drenched, I was blind but everyone was laughing, splashing and enjoying the unpredictable weather.


Then we got back to camp and it was time to get everyone dry.  In the tent we go….What?  The bottom of the tent is drenched, the bedding soaked through.  O.k. we’ll get through this.  A few quick rubs with the towel, some fresh clothes out of the bag.  Then out of nowhere…CRUNCH!


I look down to find my glasses in a pile of crushed up lens. I couldn’t help myself I just burst out laughing.  I mean here we are in the middle of the woods.  No way to get home till Friday as my hubby had dropped us off on his way to Venture camp.  It’s raining cats and dogs.  The inside of the tent along with all our bedding is drenched (I litter ally squeezed buckets full of water out of the blankets before hanging them up on a makeshift clothesline) and on top of it all I am blind for the entire week.


We borrowed some blankets from our co-campers (aka grandma & grandpa) for the night.   Most of our gear dried the next morning while the sun was still out.


We took extra precautions the rest of the week to protect from the afternoon rainstorms by putting our blankets where we knew they would stay dry and we were off enjoying our camping trip once more — Or so we thought…until we had some out of town visitors stop by…


The local “watchers” were also nearby…


…that one in the middle looks a little too eager if you ask me.


o.k. well maybe we were the out-of-town visitors.  They definately were not bashful about letting us know they were about.


Then there was the infamous lake walk…


For the most part it was gorgeous as you can see…but the thunder & lightening storm that came through right in the middle was a little distasteful.  Thankfully, mom’s been trained in these sort of things and we found a nice low clearing to hunker down in and wait out the storm while playing rock/paper/scissors.  O.k. well maybe the last parts a bit of a stretch but there was definately some rock playing in the form of throwing them into the lake.


The next day it was time to pack up and head out.  I was certain the adventure had come to a close.  It was just a short 2 hour drive down the mountain to home.  Until my hubby showed up with the car to pick us up.  It was me who noticed the odd black thing hanging down from under the car first.  When my hubby inspected it closer he discovered that we only had about an 1/8 of inch of our drive belt left attached to our car.  Not good coming down a mountain.


But that’s a story for another day….

Summer Bordom Buster #1


Recently I have been bombarded with the summer – “I’m bored” chant!  I am so tired of hearing how bored my children are when there is so much to learn and do.  But alas, July is in full swing here with temps exceeding 120 degrees and we’re still 3 weeks out from our annual camping trip to the mountains up north.

For those that are perhaps less familiar with our weather patterns here we have lovely spring like weather all winter while the rest of the world is having “snow days”.   However, come the summer months and particularly in July & August and sometimes as late as September we have “heat days”.  Unfortunately, for the kids in school that just means no recess for the day for fear that they will end up in the hospital with heat exhaustion.  For the rest of us it means being stuck inside until the sun is nearly down and forget the idea of getting up to beat the heat…it’s already in the 100’s by 8:00.  And so the cycle continues year after year…no-one’s immune to the weather I suppose.  But I have to agree with the kids…it can be tuff being stuck inside all day everyday.

Thankfully, Mom’s (aka Grandma’s) birthday is early July.  And so enters Boredom Buster #1.

Chinese Checkers

My mom’s been asking for a chess game for the past year for her Birthday she finally got a chess game in the form of a multi-game set.  Of course one of the games was Chinese Checkers.  It’s been forever since I played Chinese Checkers but my kids <gasp> have never played.  Well maybe my oldest but I don’t remember if he ever played.  When they found out about it they immediately wanted to try their hand at this fun game.  The first game they managed to finish in an hour and half.  By then they realized that there was more to this game then meets the eye.

Game 2 lasted almost 6 hours stretched over 3 days to complete.  We had so much fun blocking and strategizing to try to get the advantage.  In the end my oldest got the win with Princess and the Pea coming in 2nd and Mom 3rd.

We love board games to help our kids develop patience, problem solving skills and awareness among a host of other things.  Chinese checkers is an awesome game for brain training.  At first everyone was just after the quickest route for there man to make it across the board but about 1/2 way in everyone began to realize that a big portion of the game is about blocking your opponents from being able to advance across the board.  With up to 6 players all moving at the same time that can be a highly challenging proposition.

Leave a comment and share some of your awesome boredom busting strategies for the long hot summer days!

Custom Design for Frogtastic Friends


Frogtastic Friends is a custom design.

I had so much fun working on this site.   The site owner is a kindergarten teacher and was looking for a cute and fun design for her classroom/teacher blog.  She loves purple and requested lots of purple and lime green for her blog design.   She had some special requests for her site navigation that I helped her get all fixed up so that she would be able to easily maintain her site throughout the year.  For example: she wanted her homework “page” to be set-up as a category on her blog so she could schedule out the homework posts throughout the year and even be able to recycle those posts from year to year for her students making it easy for her students to know what’s going on while freeing her up to come up with new and creative ways to help her students learn.

Welcome to Frogstastic Friends

If you get a chance Hop on over to see what “hoppin” at Frogtastic Friends!  I know I’m excited to hear about her missions projects.

Frogtastic Friends


TWT-Final-brown hair-01 (1)
Lorrea is a custom designer at Honey Bunch Blog Design.   She works in the custom branding department designing Blog Designs and Self-Hosted WordPress Designs for her clients.   If your looking for a designer to create an awesome Self-Hosted WordPress Design for your blog or website take a moment to peek on over at HoneyBunchBlogDesign.

Devoted to Vocabulary Development ~ A Self-Hosted WordPress Design


Self-Hosted WordPress design can be soooo expensive.  So when my dear friends Misty & Erika asked me to join them at Honey Bunch Blog Design to create custom WordPress designs that were affordable  I was both nervous and excited.

I have been custom designing for Honey Bunch for about 6 months in their branding department.  I love creating custom graphics to help bloggers brand their blogs across the web.  While I have enjoyed that work, this new venture has been exciting, challenging, and rewarding.

I would like to introduce my first custom Self-Hosted WordPress design for Honey Bunch Blog Design.  Designed for Devoted to Vocabulary Development.

Introducing…Devoted to Vocabulary Development

The owner of Devoted to Vocabulary Development is an amazing lady who loves words!  I created this unique site that merges her love of penguins with her love of words.  I look forward to keeping up with this blog and maybe even expanding my vocabulary.

Self-Hosted WordPress Design ~ Devoted to Vocabulary Development

If you love words, I suggest you check out her blog and explore all she has to offer.

Devoted to Vocabulary Development
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Lorrea is a custom designer at Honey Bunch Blog Design.   She works in the custom branding department designing Blogs and Self-Hosted WordPress Designs for her clients.   If your looking for a designer to create an awesome Self-Hosted WordPress Design for your blog or website take a moment to peek on over at HoneyBunchBlogDesign.

Honey Bunch Blog Design

Honey Bunch Blog Design

I am so excited!  I’ve been working with Honey Bunch Blog Design designing custom branding images for blogs for almost 6 months now.  It’s been so fun utilizing my creative talents to help these amazing bloggers with branding there sites.

In May we decided to open a new line of designs just for WordPress customers.  I have been coding on WordPress for several years now mostly working with local clients.  While Honey Bunch has been working with online clients for over 2 years designing blogger blogs.  They were ready to branch out to other platforms and I was ready to expand my business to the online marketplace.

The first of June we began officially designing WordPress designs.  It has been a welcome but rewarding challenge as I have started working with clients across the web.  In the coming weeks I will be sharing some of my newest designs that I have created as a designer for Honey Bunch Blog Designs.  In the mean time if you’d like to check us out please feel free to stop for a visit!


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