Tree of Life Learning

Striving for Academic Excellence Through Christ-Centered Education

Friday Fun Keeping Barbie Modest

Postponing the Anatomy Lesson

If pulling this image up suddenly was awkward for you, imagine how dad or brother feel continually  finding her on the floor. And every time your daughter changes outfits, this is what she ends up holding in her hands

nude barbie doll

Images This Post Courtesy The Merrifield Family

Modesty is Just a Sharpie Away

To give Barbie her grace, break out your fat-tipped Sharpie and copy this design:

modest barbie doll

Keep in mind: You need a PERMANENT MARKER and your modest Barbie must air-dry completely before her next play date.
Source:”Modest is always best.”@ Will & Jess


Friday Fun Soup’s on… 20 Times Over

Soup is one of those things that has an amazing power to divide. Some find it as conforting as a favorite pair of sweats on a cool night, while others say, “Nah, just when  I’m sick”. I hate to admit it, but lately I’m falling into the latter category. Soup’s become so stereotypically Fall.  Yes, I know soup’s ultra portable, and very conveniently one- pottish, BUT It’s too predictable; everybody’s doing it. BLAH!

This week @inthekichn the I’ve discovered 20 new recipes that have got me at least to the “Well, maybe”-stage. The biggest draw, I think,  is 20 easy meals –wow, almost a month’s worth– that I can plug in anyware– and narey a chicken noodle among them.

What to Expect

CREAMY VEGETABLE SOUPS • 1 Roasted Red Kuri Pumpkin & Coconut Soup • 2 Cream of Tomato Soup • 3 Zucchini Garlic Soup • 4 Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

CHUNKY VEGETABLE SOUPS • 5 Baked Potato Soup With Bacon, Green Onion & Cheddar • 6 Tuscan Bread & Tomato Soup (Ribollita) • 7 Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup • 8 Hot and Sour Mushroom, Cabbage, and Rice Soup • 9 Black-eyed Pea Soup with Andouille and Collards • 10 Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew • 11 Vegetarian Guinness Stew

NOODLES & LENTILS • 12 Vegetarian Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) • 13 Quick Udon Noodle Soup • 14 Lentil Soup with Lemon Yogurt Cream • 15 How to Make Egg Drop Soup

BEEF & POULTRY • 16 Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup • 17 Kale and Chicken Stew • 18 Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms • 19 Italian Wedding Soup • 20 Bacon, Kale, & Turkey Stew

Friday Fun Pt 1 Meet the Real Mona Lisa

image of Mona Lisa

Image Courtesy: jonathan jones on art blog

Who is She Really?

Lisa Gherardini (15 June 1479 – 15 July 1542) the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, who likely comissoined her portrait. Lisa would  marry the silk merchant in her teens and the couple would have five children: Piero, Camilla, Andrea, Giocondo, and Marietta, four of them between 1496 and 1507.[16] Lisa lost a baby daughter in 1499  As Francesco’s second wife, Lisa also raised Bartolomeo, the son of Francesco and first wife, Camilla di Mariotto Rucellai, who was about a year old when his mother died. Lisa’s stepmother, Caterina di Mariotto Rucellai, and Francesco’s first wife were sisters, members of the prominent Rucellai family.
After her husband’s death, she would move to a convent with her daughter, Marietta, who became a nun.

Three Things You Didn’t Know about Mona Lisa

  1. The painting is thought to have been commissioned for their new home and to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea.
  2. Da Vinci worked on the world’s most famous face for close to 16 years, starting it in either 1503 or 1504 and completed the painting in 1519 after moving to France.
  3. In Italy the Mona Lisa is known as La Gioconda.

Perhaps Most Fascinating of All

The Mona Lisa is without doubt the world’s most famous work of art, but Leonardo was never satisfied with the piece and never delivered it to his clients. Ultimately, he never received a dime, or a flurio, for his most famous work.

Why is She Back in the News?

Archeologists think they may have discoverd her skeletal remains in the now-abandoned convent where she spend the last years of her life.

Sources: The Guardian UK <; Accessed: 10.4.12
UKMail Online: Is this the Mona Lisa’s skeleton? Discovery of bones in Florence convent believed to be those of silk merchant’s wife who inspired Da Vinci <; Accessed 10.4.12

Friday Fun Part 1: Finding Neverland (Sadly)

This semester we have all turned to piracy, as our co-op prepares to put on ‘Peter Pan’ for its drama section. Last week the play was cast, and I can proudly say that Wendy lives in our house. As always happens with me & authors, the more I immerse myself in all things JM Berrie, the more I want to know about the real-life inspirations for his work. Most of what I’ve discovered was deeply unsettling, but two of the more fascinating points I can share are these:

Life Without a Hook ?

As it turns out, James A Hook was not based on any real-life person. And, even more to my disappointment,  there was no Captain Hook in the earliest versions of Berrie’s play… because the antics of Peter the Pan were thought to be devilish enough! When Berrie did conceive the villian Hook, his original plan was to have the chaarcter played by a woman. Originally the notorious captain was to be portrayed by the same actress who portrayed Mrs Darling.

A Tragic End for the Real Peter

Sandly, a drunken Peter Llewelyn Davies–the namesake of Pater Pan–commited suicide in 1960 by throwing himself under a train. Of the five brothers who inspired the story of Peter Pan, only 1 would live into old age or die a natural death.JM Berrie with Michael Llewelyn Davies

Image taken from

Friday Fun Pt 1: The Best (Homemade) Flatbreads I Have Ever Seen

One of my favorite blogs comes from across the pond and scores a definite hit with these sumptuous looking flatbreads.  As much as I adore blogging about good food, NO description I could create would do these justice, so I just had to share the real thing.  Enjoy & Cheers to Frugal Feeding 😉


As many of you will know, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ has once again returned to the television sets of good ol’ Blighty. To tell you the truth, the whole concept has become a little boring recently, but its appearance never fails to inspire; a couple of weeks ago the bakers were asked to make two different kinds of flatbread. However, while it has endowed me generously with mental stimulation, it has also daubed my forehead with a modicum of confused perspiration; how can one show purport to find the ‘Best Amateur Baker’ three years in a row? Surely, the winner of the second competition would eclipse that of the first? Unless, of course, sometime in the future, when we’re all a little older, greyer and fatter and have ceased to give two-monkeys about this particular competition, ‘The Super British Bake Off’ will be conceived, whereby all the…

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Friday Fun Pt 2: “easy peasy tot teepee”

Friday Fun Pt 2:
At last I have found a craft worth blogging about. WHY are there are SO many out there, yet so few worth telling others about??? Ahh, the frustration… that ends TODAY. Enjoy & Thanks Awesomesauce

Confessions of a Refashionista

Can you guess what this über fancy munchkin tent used to be? I guarantee you’ll be able to make your own in less than 30 minutes with an item lurking at the back of your closet…

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Friday Fun Part 1: Four New Things Oven Cleaner Can Do

oven cleaner

  Image Courtesy

Oven cleaner was something my mother would never buy. Because when it comes to cleaning your oven, elbow grease is what counts. Right???? Not so say the folks at Real Simple Magazine.

Betcha Didn’t Know That Oven Cleaner Takes Care of:

1. Stained Pyrex dishes: Spray on the oven cleaner and place the dish in a tightly sealed garbage bag overnight. In the morning, scrub away the stains and wash the dish thoroughly.

2.  Curling iron: Remove product build up by dampening a cloth with oven cleaner and wiping down the iron. Then wipe down the curling iron with a cloth dampened with water.

3. Grease spots on your driveway: If your car has developed a leak, banish those oil stains by squirting some of the cleanser on the spots. Let it work for a few minutes then wash away with a high-powered hose.

4. Sap covered garden tools: Dissolve the sticky sap by spraying the tools with oven cleaner and letting them sit in a sealed plastic bag for several minutes. Be sure to wash thoroughly.

Source: Real Simple Magazine Blog