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Is it a Bug or an Insect?

Hello! This is the second post in my Backyard Bug Study series. Did you know there are over one million different kinds of insects? How about that for every one human there are two million of them?  Or that they are in nearly all habitats?  Or did you know there are over a five billion bugs in the world? No wonder we are so familiar with them!

is it a bug or an insect cropped


Bugs. What are bugs? Many people use the word “bugs” interchangeably for “insects.” But should they? So lets see if we can decide… is it a bug or an insect?

Let’s start with some scientific information about insects. Insect scientists, called entomologists, categorize all of creation. For insects they are in the Kingdom of Animalia (animals), the Phylum of Arthropoda and their Class is Insecta (comes from insectum and it means cut into sections). Arthropods are animals that lack a backbone, which are called invertebrates. There are several types of arthropods classified into groups that have common traits.  In this article I will be discussing what insects and bugs are and how you can tell them apart.

What are Insects?

Here are some of the characteristics that insects have, that bugs may not.

  • Six Jointed Legs – All insects have legs that have three sections. Look at praying mantis for a great example of this.
  • Segmented Body – Head, Thorax (The midsection of the body) and Abdomen (the tail end) are the main 3 parts of an insect’s body.
  • Breathe through tiny holes in their bodies called spiracles – These tiny holes let air in through the exoskeleton and directly to the trachea (The windpipe) and then into the lungs.
  • Antennae/Feelers – They use echolocation to send sound waves that bounce off of objects then come back. Bats and dolphins also use echolocation. They can figure out distance by how long it takes for the sound to bounce back to them.
  • Metamorphosis – What happens when the young body of an animal goes through a radical change in form when it grows up.
  • Exoskeleton – An exoskeleton is sort of like a protective armor that insects have. It doesn’t grow with them though, so they have to molt / shed yearly and grow a new exoskeleton.
  • Compound Eyes – Most insects have compound eyes, which means their eye is composed of thousands of tiny lenses.

Then what is a bug? 

True bugs are insects, but they do have some differences. Some bugs have more than six legs, where insects, do not. Most true bugs will have an X or a V on their back. Also most true bugs have a proboscis (a straw-like mouth) so they can suck pollen and other things out of a flower. The wings are different for true bugs.  The front wings of true bugs are thicker and colored near where they are attached to their body, and are more clear and thin towards the end of the wing. The hind wings are usually clear and under the front wings. Finally, true bugs also have three ‘life phases’ while insects have four stages. The true bug stages are: egg, larva/nymph, adult. The insects however, are: Egg, Larva/Nymph, Pupa, Adult.

What do they have in common?

Both have exoskeletons, and are invertebrates and have many other features that are the same such as: They both have three main body parts, they also have compound eyes, jointed legs, and most bugs have six legs like insects. Since there are even MORE things, I’ll put a diagram of some things that they have in common, and what they have different.

true bugs and insects

Activity: Bug and Insect Identification

Let’s take a closer look at nature! Let’s get into your backyard and see if we can identify some insects! First, remember you don’t want to touch bugs with your bare hands unless you know what the bug is! Remember some bugs bite and sting. So gloves, a net and tweezers are nice to have! When we go on a nature scavenger hunt, we try not to harm the things we are studying. So plan to release them after you are finished.


Items you will need to take with you.

  • Magnifying Glass.
  • Jar (with small air holes punched in the lid) to hold specimen.  When we were little, we had something like this Bugwatch to use to examine bugs (and anything else we could fit in these containers)!
  • Gloves.
  • Tweezers.
  • Bug Net.
  • Notebook.
  • Pencil.
  • Camera. Our grandmother gave us real cameras when we were really little. I think I was six. I still have this camera and it is still takes great pictures. I do have to use tape on the battery compartment to keep it closed because I broke the cover several years ago!

bug and insect identification

When you find a bug to study you can either look at it there where you found it or put it in your container.  See if you can tell if it is an insect or bug by reviewing the chart above. Take a picture of it or draw it. My brother is writing a whole series on Nature Journaling. This might be a great time to start one!


Here are some great products that helped me write this article. I thought you might find them helpful too.

Flying Creatures by Apologia. This is the science curriculum we use in our homeschool.

Bugs. The World’s Best Terrifying Insects. We have had this book for years, but my brothers and I have all just sat around and read this book because it is so good.

Bug Hunter by Smithsonian. It is a hands-on guide to the natural world.

I hope this gives you an idea of what the differences are between bugs and insects.  I’ll be writing lots of articles about insects in our backyard and we will talk about both, so I wanted to start here so we all could understand the differences… but I’ll still probably slip up and call them bugs!

I hope you enjoyed my article … until next time!

Backyard Activities for Kids

Have you ever wanted to spend time outside, but didn't know what to do? Or maybe you wanted to do an activity outdoors, but didn't know how to do it. Or maybe you were simply bored with your normal activities. I know, I've been there on more than one occasion.  So to help all of us come up with some creative ideas, I've decided to start a new series, Backyard Activities for Kids. I'll share activities you can do in your backyard or neighborhood that are affordable, educational, and will be fun for all ages!

bafk intro button


Before I get into the series, I thought I should give you a bit of the back-story on why I decided to start writing this series. For my entire life, I've lived on a forty acre farm in southwest Tennessee. It's been home to me for almost sixteen years now, but it's quite possible we'll be moving soon. As our needs and desires change, we have to change our way of thinking and living as well. So, a large house on a farm isn't quite what we're aiming for anymore. But during the last decade and a half I've done a lot of things on this farm, and I want to share them with other people so they can enjoy them too. And most of these things aren't exclusive to homesteads, you can do most of this just as easily in a neighborhood or large city.

field behind us 2

With forty acres we have a variety of landscapes and types of areas that we can (and do) use for our outdoor activities. Those include a pond that covers about an acre, a horse / cow pasture that is fenced in, thick woods with lots of hardwood trees, open fields, a garden area, a small stream and our front and back yards.  Here are a few pictures I've taken of these areas over the years.

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I'll be covering a lot of summer activities, but I'm also going to make sure to add plenty of educational things to do too. For most of us, the weather outside is getting warmer and warmer, and here it's great outside. So why not combine the two, learning and outdoor time? I attended a Montessori school before homeschooling and we had a formal outdoor classroom there. We haven't actually set one up at home, but we have always used our 40 acres as a classroom. A place to explore and enjoy. I'll be covering things we have done or plan to do this year. Topics will cover astronomy, biology, botany, practical life skills, you name it! Basically anything that you could do outside. And I'll even sneak in some math and language, because it can be done outside too!

In today's world, people are busier than ever with not much time left to enjoy the outdoors. So we have to be more focused on making the effort to slow down and get outside with our families. Outdoor activities seem to bring back some quiet and peaceful balance to our busy lives. Not to mention they are fun and create memories that will last a lifetime. You may actually find out you enjoy spending time outside more than you realized!

In one of my first posts I will discuss some of the outdoor daytime activities we normally do when we are camping. As an avid camper, I can tell you there are a ton of things you could do. From hiking to scavenger hunts, the possibilities are almost limitless. Add in some creative ways to document the camping trip and you have a homeschool unit study happening.

I hope you will follow along to see what backyard activities I will be sharing!

Backyard Nature Journaling Series

This is Gage. I’m so excited to announce I am starting a new series, a Nature Journal series! I will be sharing about all the flowers, plants, trees, animals, and insects (nature) we find in our backyard… and teaching you how to do nature journaling.This will probably be the last year we spend here because we are getting our house ready to sell. So this series will be a way to help me remember where I grew up. 

backyard nature journaling


I have really loved living here. I enjoy being able to keep and care for farm animals.  We used to have a bunch of dairy cows, I really enjoyed them. We had many calves born here on the farm and have had many funny escapades with them. Here is Bullophagus — one of our frisky baby bulls, out investigating if the grass really is greener on the other side!

bynj cows 2

Now, we are down to just chickens and a horse, but mom sometimes feels like they are too much too! You can see why. When we took everything off our porch to paint, the chickens thought they had found new roosting places!

bynj chickens 2

I am 13, almost 14, and am the middle child of the family. I used to attend the La Grange Montessori School. In 2008 it closed due to lack of funds. And I have been homeschooled ever since. I love to go out and just listen to nature sometimes. I’m not going to call myself a nature guy, but I do enjoy spending time outdoors. 

Gage 2014

Let me tell you about my home. I have lived in La Grange, TN all my life. We live on 40 acres of land. During the summer, it is normally around 80-92 degrees and it doesn’t rain that often. Our house is on a hill so our backyard has a slight slope. The grass is normally cut but is not a manicured yard. Out the front door is a mostly flat yard that slightly slopes down towards our ditch then back up to the main road, there are many trees as it starts to slope down. Beside our driveway is the horse’s pasture and the driveway doesn’t stop at the house, it continues down to our barn. Behind the barn is the woods, and down from the barn through the pasture is the Pond (where we let our turtles loose.) The backyard is met with trees as you get closer to the barn.


Since this area is very rural we can find and study lots of interesting animals, birds, and plants around here. Just three days ago when I was walking with my mom picking Dandelions, we saw a snake. Have I mentioned mom hates snakes?

Another great thing about living in a rural area is the fact that we can keep certain animals we find. For example, in TN you can not buy red-eared sliders. But we found two in our pool after we had shocked it — we had those two for quite a while but they got too big and we let them live in our pond. 


One of the things I enjoy most is trying to find animals. I’m not sure why, I just really love finding them. Once we found a small snake, very small, about 4 inches long with an orange belly and grey/tan back, I just kept watching it while we kept it in a jar with air holes. Oh yeah, have I mentioned mom hates snakes? There was no keeping that find! So we released the tiny snake.


I also enjoy listening to the sound of nature around me. I usually bring my school work outside on nice days… especially the messy experiments! 


Next time I will be talking about Lyreleaf sage aka Cancer weed and in the future we will cover a plant everyone knows, the Dandelion!

I have linked up with other teen/tween writers at If you are a Teen/Tween writer join the link up!



Until next time… 





Backyard Bug Study Series


Hi, I’m Blake. This is the first post in a new series I’m starting called the Backyard Bug Study. Guess what I will be writing about? Yep… Bugs! And Insects.  

Backyard Bug Study plain

First let me introduce myself to you! I’m Blake and I’m eleven years old. I have two brothers who also write on this blog. We are all homeschoolers. We live in a small town in Tennessee called La Grange.

Blake 2014

It is a very rural area where we have around 40 acres of land with a huge house! So large we can’t manage all of it! We are trying to sell it to buy a smaller house and less land. So I thought I would create something to help me record the great memories of my first home! 

bybs house


Our backyard has tons of clover and dandelions (there are weeds growing in it too)! We have a wide variety of trees, and some of them are very fun to climb! 🙂 And bugs. Lots of bugs. We have stinging bugs, flying bugs, digging bugs, biting bugs, swimming bugs, hopping bugs, boring bugs… you get the idea. We have bugs! So this should be an easy series to write because we have LOTS of insects and bugs here!

backyard 2


And while we are on the subject of bugs, let me tell you about the word “bug”. Many people use the word “bug” when really they are looking at an insect.  Bug only accurately describes a few! And even the ones that have the word “bug” in their name, most aren’t even bugs at all! We will learn all about that in this backyard bug study! Which ones are true” bugs and which ones are insects, where they live, what their natural predators are, are they harmful or helpful to your plants and garden, and lots of other fun and interesting facts. 

I hope you will follow along with my new series and that you will find it helpful! Maybe it will give you some ideas on what to study in your own backyard! If you do choose to join us, please leave a comment each week to let us know what you found!  

Have a great week!


The Egg and the Packaging Test – Will it Survive?

Everyone has ordered something online at one point or another.  When you first decided to go online to buy something, you most likely thought about things like from where you plan on buying it, how much you’re willing to pay for it, etc.  But in reality, those tasks are minute challenges compared to what goes on behind the scenes.  A ton of work, research, and testing goes into packaging that item up, and getting to your household safely within a few days.  Last year, I got to see how all these things are done at a summer boxing and packaging program at Christian Brothers University.

the Egg and the Packaging Test

Packaging may sound like an odd career to some people, but here in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s a large and active industry. Memphis is a distribution hub for many of the neighboring areas, meaning things are constantly being shipped to and from the city.  When things are shipped, packaging is almost always involved somehow or another.  That’s part of the reason why CBU has its packaging program.  Nearby companies, FedEx for example, are constantly looking for more people who know how to test packages, run the machinery to construct the packages, and many other tasks like these.

Christian Brothers University began its packaging program in early 2001, and it’s been growing ever since.  Once the program was up and running for a while, CBU began hosting various summer programs for high school students.  The Packaging Summer Program was just one of these summer activities, but it was the first one I had attended at CBU.  And even so, I had a bit of an idea about what to expect.  A few months back, the staff in the Engineering and Packaging departments sneaked me in for a little tour of the labs in their building.  At that time I got to see all the labs, just not how they worked.  This time I got to see it all, and even use some of the machinery myself.

One of the first activities I got to do, aside from another tour, was run a few tests on the strength of a sample of cardboard.  Most of these tests had to do with the amount of force it took to bend and puncture the piece of cardboard.  After the tests, I jotted down the results so they could later be used in calculating the strength, and maximum carry weight, of a certain cardboard box. Next, I got to see how boxes were cut out.  In this case, they were using a simple, paper fold-up box.  After programming the design into the computer, it sent that data over to the actual cutting machine.  Here, you had to set the boundaries of the material that was being cut (so it wouldn’t cut off the material), give the machine a base reference point, which was also along the border of the material, and then press start.  The machine would cut out the design you gave it in the computer, and there you have it!  After punching out the design, it was easily folded into the right shape and size.

From there I went on to the packing station.  There I was given an egg, and had to find a way to safely pack it into the little five-by-three cardboard box, using as much packing material as possible in the right way.  The point of this was in the hope that my egg would be able to survive all the rigorous tests it would be put through later that day.

After everyone else finished their mini-boxes, we were divided into three groups of five.  My group was group #1.  This is where the test we performed earlier came in handy.  Based on the boxes’ dimensions, and on the measurements taken earlier, we were able to figure out just how many pounds this box could hold in a perfect environment.  The reason why I say “in a perfect environment”, is because some small factors, such as humidity and temperature, will also affect how much weight the box can hold.  These are constantly changing, so we couldn’t account for them.  Team one had almost finished calculating our boxes maximum strength, when we had to stop short for a lunch break.

At lunch, several guests from various packaging companies around Memphis came and spoke about their packaging careers.  They talked about how they came to enjoy their jobs, what they did, and what types of packaging they worked with.  I believe there were three main categories that they all worked in.  Boxing, bottling, and plastic packaging.  Boxing, of course, was about the logistics of packaging items inside of cardboard boxes, like FedEx.  Bottling was all about plastic and glass bottles, what’s the most efficient way to make them, and why they’re sued so often.  The latter was all about plastic packaging, like wrappers or Ziploc bags.  Believe it or not, all of these things fell under the broad category of packaging.  It’s not just about boxing up items and shipping them to your front door.

After lunch, we moved onto the final and possibly most enjoyable part of the day; the tests.  Since team one had already finished calculating the box’s strength, we had a little extra time to prepare for the brutal and violent testing stage.  Our goal was to fit all of the eggs that we had packaged up earlier into this one box, pack it with enough of the right material to absorb most of the shock, and still be able to close the box.  We managed  to fit all the eggs in, but we went a little overkill on the packing paper, and could barely shut the top of the box.  All this was in the hopes that our tiny eggs would be able to survive all the tests, which were to come soon.


We then moved down the hall, into the first testing area.  The first test was rather simple, the drop test.   In this test, the box was dropped from a miniature forklift on various sides and corners.  I’m pretty sure almost everyone’s eggs survived this test, but we might have lost a few here.  The next test was the vibration test.  In this test, the boxes were set on a vibrating platform, and shaken at various frequencies. This was to simulate the vibration from either a truck, plane, or boat.

Next, the boxes were put between two large metal plates, and slowly crushed vertically.  No, it didn’t completely crush the thing flat, but it sure did leave a dent in it.  All this time it was telling us how much pressure the box was under.  This is where the earlier calculations came in.  If these numbers matched our earlier results, it means we passed with flying colors.  If not, it means that team most likely made a mistake.  As it turns out, there was a twenty pound difference from the number the machine gave us, the one we calculated.  For the record, that was pretty good.  No, our calculations didn’t come out perfect (most likely due to the environmental differences mentioned earlier), but twenty pounds is an acceptable margin for error.

The final, and quite possibly the most destructive test, was the smash test.  In this test, the box was placed on a tract, with a large wooden slab behind it.  The tract was slowly lifted on one end, eventually causing the cart the box was sitting on to go rolling down the tracks, and hit a wooden barrier.  At the same time, the slab behind the box would slam into the back of the box, most likely crushing any eggs inside.  Each team went through this process, and then did a few tests just for the fun of it.  Finally, after going through all these tests, we went back to the front of the building, and opened the boxes.

As it turns out, not all of our teams egg’s survived, but my egg made it through all the tests unscathed.  One of the three teams actually had all of their eggs survive. Our team definitely didn’t win, but I’m pretty sure we all enjoyed it.

Here are some pictures of the event!

11 Doctor Who Gift Ideas!

Hello! Today I am going to be talking about Doctor Who gift ideas. First I need to give an introduction about how I came to love Doctor Who. One of my friends from SKrafty (a safe Homeschool Minecraft server) loves Doctor Who. I was interested so I asked dad if we could watch the first episode. After that I was in love with the plot and theme. Now I have watched all of the series from 2005 on (excluding the 8th season). So, I have lots of favorite gift ideas but have narrowed it down to 11!

doctor who gift ideas


1: 11th-12th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, this device looks similar to an everyday screwdriver, but with many more handy features. It is the Doctor’s favorite tool. He uses it to unlock locks, scan for objects, hack computers and more! I have this one myself.



2: 9th-10th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, this is another version of the sonic device used by the 9th and 10th incarnations of the Doctor. However, unlike the 11th and 12th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, it does not have prongs that spring out when it is extended.


3: Vortex Manipulator, used by Jack Harkness, River Song, The Eleventh Doctor, And The Time Agency, the makers of the device. It is used to jump from one point in time to another using a Time Vortex. Easier to carry than a TARDIS, but it has to recharge!


4: Doctor Who Monopoly, is a Monopoly board game with the Doctor Who theme.  I have only played it once and loved it! We even got it for a good friend’s birthday!

5: Doctor Who Chess, I have not played this game yet but I really enjoy playing chess, so I am sure I would love this game!  Aren’t the pieces interesting? Hint, hint mom! 

6: LEGO Daleks, these are not officially LEGO, but they are still compatible with the normal bricks! To add a fun Doctor Who spin to your LEGO building projects!

7: K9, was the mechanical dog companion of the 4th Doctor, this is an RC version of him! 

8: Weeping Angel Mask, one of my favorite Doctor Who villains is the Weeping Angel.  My mom thinks it is totally creepy.


9: Cybermat, is a small mouse-like robot that is used to seek out information by the Cybermen! This is a version that will move around on its own!



10: Dalek Desk Defender. The Daleks are the most feared race in the galaxy and you can have one guard your desk! This Dalek responds to sound or motion with several sound effects!

11: Dalek Plush, this is a cute little Dalek plush that talks when squeezed! My friend has one and it is very cute!


What Doctor Who gift items would you add? I have a birthday coming up and really need some more ideas! Thanks!


C is For Crabbing at the Carolina Coast

Hello this week’s post is going to be the C of my alphabet blogging series. C is for  Crabbing at the Carolina Coast. Every few years we rent a beach house for a month in North Carolina. My mom is from New Bern and this is when we get to spend time with her family.

One of the many fun things we look forward to doing when we are at the beach is crabbing.  I’m not sure if everyone crabs the way we do. We “crab” with a net to catch the crabs, and a bucket to temporarily put the crabs in before we let them go. We crab at night, because these ghost crabs are nocturnal. We usually go out at about nine to ten o’ clock at night because we see the most crabs then.

Crabbing at Carolina


Here is how we catch crabs. Once we see a crab, we lunge out and cover the crab with our net. You need to practice catching shells with your net for a little while before going crabbing. If you don’t, you will probably end up killing some of these crabs accidentally. Practice getting the shell in the center of the net. After you have the net on your crab, carefully flip the crab into the net. Then put it over to the bucket and drop it in. I usually have caught about 5 crabs when we release them. We release them about a foot from the ocean, and then watch them scurry into the nearest wave.

We love going crabbing. We do it almost every night when we are at the beach. We live 1,000 miles from the North Carolina coast, unfortunately. So when we are there, we get our fill of crabbing!


This last trip to the beach, we did a different kind of crabbing.  Let me tell you a story about a crab we named Earl. We found Earl after the hurricane named Earl that hit the beach while we were there. It was after the hurricane that we went back to the beach to look for new shells that were moved to the shore by the hurricane. While we were shell hunting my brother Gage found a conch shell and when he picked it up he noticed crab legs were inside of the shell! He ran to show mom and we all sat around studying it, thinking of a name for it and wondering what kind of crab it was.

Eventually we came up with the name Earl, after the hurricane that had just been there. We got a bucket of salt water and put Earl in the water on some sand. We studied him all day and watched how he behaved. We released him later that day, so we thought for sure our time with Earl  was over, but we were wrong.

Gage Crab 2

The next day we went out shell hunting again and we found lots of cool shells and conchs. As we were looking through them, Gage noticed a shell very similar to Earl’s, the crab we had caught and named the day before. Gage quickly picked up the shell to investigate and much to our surprise, there he saw the same crab legs sticking out of the shell. We had lots of fun looking at Earl while we were playing that day. And again, we released him in the late afternoon. But this time it was the last time we saw Earl.

I hope you enjoyed my post and maybe it inspired you to go crabbing some day!


C is for Crimson – The Stalker Chicken!

Hello! This is my C post for  our alphabet blogging series where we blog through the alphabet. I have to tell you about something funny that happened to me a few days ago. I was holding one of my roosters when he reached up and bit me on my neck! The rooster that did this is the subject of my post. Crimson – The Stalker Chicken!


Now I have to explain to you the story on how we got Crimson, our tiny little rooster. (In this picture he is full-grown.) We ordered some blue Cochin Bantams from Welp Hatchery. A few weeks after we received them we could tell that this breed is a very small breed or Welp had gotten our order wrong. A month or so later, when they were full-grown, we knew our order had to be wrong.


It was hilarious how small they were and instead of crowing, the roosters sound like a squeaky toy! Well, pretty soon Crimson started stalking me while I fed the hens and other roosters. One time, when I was leaning over to place one of the food bowls in the correct position, I felt something pounce on me, pulling my hair and scratching my back. Not knowing what it was, I shot up straight sending what was on me soaring to the ground. I was surprised to see Crimson standing there giving me this “look”.  Now known as “his look”.  It is where he keeps one eye glaring at you and the other eye overlooking his flock. 

From then on, Crimson darts after me when I am in their vicinity. When I run, he loves to race after me and flog my ankles and lower legs. How can this tiny little rooster match my running speed? I don’t know, but he does! When I have finished my chores and have returned to the house, he takes it as a huge victory that he has not only protected his ladies but has “run off the intruder”. His victory is confirmed by a long, high-pitched squeaky crow, followed by him strutting over to his ladies. By now, I guess you have figured out, he is the head of the flock. The hens love him even if he’s the smallest rooster we have. and he is my favorite rooster. I love how he protects his ladies. One of his ladies hatched out a couple of babies and now, he has a son!  His son is already taller than Crimson!




I hope you have all enjoyed me posting about my little rooster! See ya soon!

Minecraft Gift ideas for Teens by a Teen

It seems like one of the more popular gifts these days are Minecraft products. Since I happen to love playing Minecraft I thought I would share some Minecraft gift ideas from a teen perspective.  

minecraft collage 2 cropped


 These are not in any order. I am just sharing a list of my favorite Minecraft products. 

minecraft first night

1: Lego Minecraft! We love Legos! Anything Lego makes we love. But we especially love Lego Minecraft! There are Lego sets that have tiny little characters and pieces that look like a block. But there are also some new sets that are the normal sized characters and pieces, like the one above (The First Night). 



2: Minecraft Plush There are some really cool Minecraft Plush toys that I would just love to get my hands on! This creeper is over a foot tall.  


creeper hoodie

3: Minecraft Creeper Hoodie  Can you tell I really like creepers yet?  I would seriously love to have this hoodie!


minecraft logo

4: Minecraft The Game! Minecraft for those who don’t know Is a massive 3D game about surviving! There are hostile creatures that spawn in the dark and at night that will try to eat you, so your goal is to mine, build, and survive! And to use the resources you find to keep on surviving!


skrafty header

5: Skrafty! Skrafty is a multi-player Minecraft Server. It has parent moderators and chat filters to help keep it safe for us to play. We play on the free homeschool server most of the time but we also take some fun SKrafty Classes also. Our favorite has been the Government Class!  They also have a great Facebook group which adults can join to quickly get a response from admins and moderators. 

Minecraft books

6: Minecraft Books This series of books is high on my list! Includes the Essential Handbook, Redstone Handbook, Combat Handbook, and Construction Handbook.  I love building with Redstone, so I am really interested in reading this set!


minecraft calendar

7: Minecraft Calendar.  I love to see what others build and these creations look like art! They inspire me! 


minecraft cookies

8: Minecraft Cookie Cutters.  These cookies would be fun to make and decorate. I’m not sure I could make them look this good, but I would enjoy trying! I cook with mom regularly so this is something we will probably try.  


I hope this has helped you find some great gifts for the teenagers on your list!

B is for Building Minecraft

Hello! How are you? Today I will be talking about me and my family building in a new game we got that is fairly well known called Minecraft. First off I want to say how we got it. We used to play on a similar game called ROBLOX that is a multiplayer game, but recently they added free chat and there has been a whole lot of inappropriate content on there. So we decided to switch to Minecraft.

b is for building


At first it was just kinda roam around in single player survival mode (survival mode is where you have to collect your materials to survive) and look at all the things I could do, but then I started building! I realized how many blocks were in the game and that the games has an infinite amount of things I could build! I started walking around the mountains that I spawned on, and just admiring how very beautiful this place was. As I was walking down the edge of one of the mountains, looking at the sea, I heard some sounds.

It sounded like something crawling at first. Then I heard screeches and other sounds. After looking around I realized the sounds were coming from underground.  I had to investigate so I started digging! I dug in the dirt first, then through a bit of rock till I hit an opening. I saw red eyes staring back at me, it was a huge spider, and not just one but 5! The spiders were coming from a block that looked like this:   

Monster Spawner

Other than the angry spiders leaping toward the hole I was looking out of (it was much too small for them to fit in), the place was quite nice. I found a couple chests and after destroying the spawner and driving the spiders away, I decided it would make a good home! I will provide a few pictures of what my house cave looks like now.

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Later mom introduced us to Skrafty! A multiplayer server that is way better than ROBLOX servers that is exclusively for homeschoolers! We have met some really nice players there: survivalboy18, survivalgirl18, and trotnic.  

Literally, right when we entered the server Survivalboy18 walked up to my brother Blake and asked: Do you want some free stuff? then he showed a place to build near his farm. We have enjoyed helping each other since! If you want to join Skrafty you have to get white listed (basically get  approved). Let me know if you are already on Skrafty, I love to meet other homeschoolers.

I hope you have enjoyed my post! See ya’ soon!




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