Paper houses, candy apples, and card theft

It’s been pretty boring around here lately–until today, that is. More on that later.

The munchkins have discovered the joys of paper crafts. This only started because my son is totally interested in city building games right now. I went hunting about for city-related educational materials, with an eye toward urban planning.


Know what I found?


I found one set of guidelines for sending out a group of high schoolers to check out their city and make a note of where everything was. I was hoping for some grids with instructions about how to sketch in your zones, your utilities, roads, etc. You know, Sim City on paper. Apparently any kind of city planning isn’t important to our school system.

Anyway! We compromised by building paper houses and cars. It’s quite a satisfying craft. I read the kids an article about how a settlement evolves into a town and then into a city, which seemed to scratch the itch.


My only recourse will be to hit the library and ask for city-related materials for kids. Looking forward to this weekend!

Here’s a snack that I want to make as soon as possible. I have a severe weakness for honey caramel.

Honey caramel apples (no corn syrup!)


How could today have been worse? Well, my hubby checked our bank account and found that our debit card had been stolen, and our checking account emptied.

Fortunately, the sap who stole our number only got a lousy 15 bucks. If they had waited until Friday, they would have cleaned out my hubby’s entire paycheck.

My hubby had an afternoon shift today, so he had time to run to the bank, get the charges reversed and the card closed. The bank said that this has been happening a lot lately and didn’t bat an eye.

So, all in all, it could have been a whole lot worse. My hubby (weirdly) didn’t have a morning shift, he caught the problem, only a little money was stolen, and the bank issued him a new card right there. God was definitely watching out for us.

First day of autumn

It’s the first day of autumn, finally! Living in Arizona, and temperature below 100 is something to celebrate.


For the past few days, we’ve had a big storm system passing through. It’s rained and flooded everywhere but Phoenix (the kids were so disappointed). Last night we had a decent thunderstorm, though, and it cooled off a lot. It probably got down in the 70s, even! 😀

So we had the weird experience of opening all the windows, but keeping the AC running, because the house was still too warm.


Autumn wallpaper from InterfaceLIFT

Today for school we’re doing a baking day. I read on a homeschooling blog about a gal who incorporated cooking into her curriculum, and I thought it was a great idea. Cooking is a survival skill, useful in all areas of life. So this morning I handed my eldest two my Betty Crocker cookbook and told them, “Pick something out.”

I’d initially figured that they’d go for cookies, but they want a cake. Yellow cake, chocolate frosting, two layers, the works. I figure that it will be very educational. And it’ll be delicious afterward!

Various happy things

Back in July, I had a post about how my hubby and I were going off gluten and going on a fairly minor diet to address some health problems. My thyroid was hypo and the doctor wanted to start me on synthroid. I held her off by asking if I could address it with diet first.

Well, here it is September. In two and a half months, my thyroid has completely gone back to normal. Here’s what I did:

I followed the diet to get off the Ten Bad Foods.

I studied up on the effects of gluten on your thyroid.

I studied up on the effects of selenium on your thyroid.

I went through the archives of Dr. Glidden’s show (he’s a holistic doctor) and listened to everything he had to say about how the thyroid works and how to fix it.

I beefed up on my 90 essential nutrients, and started taking selenium and that fish oil stuff.

Result: normal thyroid. The funny thing was, the doctor never asked how I fixed it. It was like she totally didn’t want to know. That blew me away. It wasn’t that hard, and wouldn’t she want to tell other patients? She’d mentioned that everyone she’d tested lately had hypothyroidism. (Arizona has zero selenium in the soil, so we’re sure not getting it from food.)

So, in my search for foods that are gluten free and don’t taste horrible (my coconut flour cobbler was a disaster), I happened across this recipe for peach crisp that uses chopped walnuts and shredded coconut for the topping.

Peach Crisp from Detoxinista
Image from Detoxinista. Isn’t it beautiful?

It was WONDERFUL. The kids all had seconds and would have finished off the pan if I had let them. The topping tastes like granola. I used butter in the recipe instead of coconut oil, because oddly, the 10 bad foods diet includes all bottled oils including coconut oil, but lets you have all the butter you want.

So that’s been my week. I’m really happy that this holistic health thing has worked so well. Also I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life. Except for, you know, being seven months pregnant. That’s never fun no matter how healthy you are. :-p

Kids at the playground

They’ve been doing a lot of renovations around our apartment complex lately. One of them included putting these bouncy toys into our (fairly lackluster) playground.


Naturally the kids attached themselves to the new toys.

Here is H’s “everybody else is on the toys” face.


Easily fixed.


And the other two, galloping along on what’s either a dinosaur or a dragon, I’m not sure which. C adores dragons, so she thinks this toy belongs to her.


It’s been nice and cool the last few mornings, and we’ve tried to make the most of it by getting outside. It does make for much calmer times at school.

Giant Sci-fi and fantasy promo weekend

A bunch of authors of science fiction and fantasy have pooled their books and put them up for grabs this weekend, either at $.99 or free. Head to the main site to grab them!

Want to see the lovely eye-candy?


I’m happy to see that Twisted, first book of the were-tornado trilogy, is available for .99. GREAT book, very edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Here’s a few of my books that I’m tossing into the ring:

Strider of Chronos and Stitch of Honor are .99, and Bramblewood Werebear will be free on Saturday the 12th.

Here’s some of my friends’ works that are .99 or free!

Book cover mockups and other art

I guess I’ve gotten so busy sticking pictures on Instagram and Facebook, I’ve forgotten to add any to my blog!

at the park

Over the weekend, the temperatures dropped below 100 for the first time since May, so I took the kids to the park. It was gloriously overcast with a nice breeze.

Overall, we just had a nice Labor Day weekend. My husband had four days off, and we got a lot of much-needed loafing done.

I started construction on some cover mockups for my next Spacetime book. So far, everybody prefers the one that shows her face.


And I haven’t even done any retouching yet. The catgirl look is pretty subtle.

I also got to draw some more Sonic-related artwork. This is Silver, who is trying to prevent a train wreck with his telekinesis (psychokinesis?).


I basically went crazy with the excuse to paint a nice rugged landscape. Also, trains are hard.