Category Archives Guest post

Tuesday Tales – Rory’s Story Cubes

Tuesday Tales

Hi, TechyDad here.  I’m guest-posting for today’s Tuesday Tales.  And here’s one of the tales:

Once upon a time, there was an alien who took his pet bee on an airplane.  They had received a post card from the alien’s good friend Bigfoot.  They tried to find Bigfoot’s home but turned in the wrong direction and got lost.  They looked all over and finally found the fountain in front of Bigfoot’s cave.  They were just in time for his birthday party.  The End.

No, this isn’t part of a great piece of literature.  This is a story that I just made up.  Don’t worry.  I’m not reviewing my own stories.  I’m reviewing *how* I made this story up.  I used nine small dice called Rory’s Story Cubes.


Each die in the set has six sides like a normal die.  Unlike normal die, though, there aren’t dots, but pictures.  The goal is to make a story using the pictures that come up when you roll the die.  You roll them all at once and try to come up with a story that fits.  Alternatively, you can work with other people, rolling one die at a time and taking turns adding on to the story.  Here is what I rolled that became the story above:


The genius here is that this prompts kids (and, let’s face it, grown ups) to exercise their imaginations.  Each roll of the dice results in a different set of images.  Since there are over 10 million possible combinations, you could play for years without repeating the same story twice.  Even if you rolled the same images twice, a simple shift in the order you put them in or interpretation of the images can drastically change the story.

This can also be used to help kids practice their writing.  As you saw above, my story wasn’t long.  Less than 70 words (and I purposefully lengthened it).  At this length, it shouldn’t intimidate early writers at all.  A child could think up their story and practice writing it out with no problem.  In fact, children might be more motivated to write their own stories than to write answers to questions or copy printed texts.

Since the use of these story cubes seems to be limited only by imagination, here’s a quick imagination exercise for all you readers.  Look at this Rory’s Story Cubes dice roll:


Now, what story can you make up using these pictures?  Leave your story in the comments below.  Let’s see how many different stories we can get from the same nine images.


Want to see and hear what NHL thought of Rory’s Story Cubes?  Head on over to to see his video review.

What have you read recently? Please be sure to link up to your Book Posts, and/or leave a comment below. Include something you read on your own, with a child or someone else. Tuesday Tales are all about spreading the love for books.

Disclosure: Our son picked out Rory’s Story Cubes while shopping at a local book store. He thought they looked like fun and used a gift card that he had received for Passover to purchase it. All opinions are our own and no compensation was given. One widget within the review is for my Amazon Affiliate where I will receive a percentage of money for the sale  should you opt to buy Rory’s Story Cubes. Note from TheAngelForever – as a teacher this would be a great classroom gift to send to your child’s teacher.

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

Time for an adventure of the unexpected kind!

Hello all, I would like to introduce you to my friend Kileigh7. We have known each other since elementary school. We met thanks to our two Girl Scout troops coordinating events together. Lots of happy memories from our childhood and college years. Now as parents, we bounce ideas about raising boys off of each other. Thanks to Kileigh7 for her guest post!


I’ve been on an adventure for two years now. One that I can follow the trail back to the beginning of, but one I never, ever thought I’d be on. Yet, here I am.  On this adventure. What adventure? I think to tell this story, I have to rewind to college. I was peeking around for a few things to do and a friend of mine suggested I accompany her to a hockey game.  It seemed like a good idea, so I went.  It started a trend where I would bring people along with me.  I would hang with a few people with season tickets (including the owner of this blog!) and would giggle at those with the best  display, including a woman who had a referee on a pole that she would swing for a bad call. The view from my seats used to look like this:

This was just during warm ups...

When I started dating my other half, I half dragged him along to hockey games. I soon converted him into a hockey fan.  I even found hockey on the west coast-dragging poor Doug to Ducks training camp.  Hey-I was on break. Thank you Year round school for giving me time off during training camp season!

So, it was no shock that when we had Isaac, hockey was planned to be a huge part of his upbringing.  One of his first pairs of pajamas was a "hockey bear" print.  We had all of these grandiose plans to introduce him to the Ducks and take him to Ducks camp. That didn’t happen. Not at all. Why?


Dang. There went the plan to turn my child into a hockey fan. Oh, well. There’s always next season.

And then we moved back east.  Back to the home of minor league hockey. It was then that I decided it was high time that I took my child into the winter past time that keeps me sane.

Opening night. My annual tradition. I size up the team, see if any of the players trips over a carpet during intros (Yes, that happened.) and generally get my hockey on. That fateful night, everything changed. I asked my then 5 year old if he wanted to go down on the ice and participate in the autograph session.  His eyes lit up and I left my other half and my parents and signed the waiver forms for me and the small boy.  He brought his mini goalie stick and we got in the lines, with the intrepid help of  a few friends. Then, it happened. He went and met one of the goalies who saw his mini stick and asked if he liked hockey (yes.) and if he was going to play (huh?) and if he was going to be a GOALIE. I thought I was going to die when the resounding  "YEAH!!" came from Isaac’s lips.Please realize, my child has PT. He has low core strength, wears leg braces and has a turn in of his legs. I had no idea how I was going to whap this out of his head.


Curse you, Goalie!! Curse you!!


The next morning, Isaac came to me and told me that he wanted to join the team. I quickly outlined the main problems with this theory:

1. Age-he was 5. 2.Stature-a bit short and light. 3. The biggest problem-Not able to skate. He wandered away and came back and asked to learn how to skate.

What? Learn to skate? Oh, boy. We’d barely mastered soccer. How are we going to skate!?

Oh, well. I wasn’t in love with the whole soccer experience, so let’s go…

So, after several phone calls and the promise of loaner gear later, Isaac was signed up for "Learn to Skate for Hockey."

Wait-Did I just… Yes, I did. I signed my child up for hockey.

 Soon, we were in the throws of gearing up. I was also learning things I never, ever thought I’d need to know-like how to fit a hockey stick. I was also beating off comments from family and friends that ranged from me being completely and totally out of my gourd to inquiring about the ins and outs of my dental plan.

Sooner than I thought, Isaac was on the ice and learning how to skate in full hockey gear. On a bucket. Gripping his stick like someone would steal it if he even thought of letting it go.


Yes, those are buckets from Lowe's. And yes, that's the coach's son!

It was then I figured out what made me so not a fan of soccer-

The parents.

Soccer parents screamed at the kids (even at the Kindergarten level!) and it was just high pressure. Here we were in hockey, chatting with everyone, drinking really bad coffee and laughing at our small bobbleheads on the ice. It was a totally different vibe.  We discussed everything from work to the program itself and then onto travel mugs that worked in the icy  conditions of what came to be known as "rink freezer."

It was refreshing. It was fun. It was a good way to spend a few hours out of my week.

More importantly, Isaac was loving it. He was a part of a team. He was learning to follow someone else besides us and his teacher. He realized what Mommy and Daddy loved so much about hockey and why we were desperate to bring him along with us.

When this season rolled around, it was all about getting back into hockey. He  was beyond ready. He had his base skills-could sorta skate, stand on his own, and sorta hold his stick properly.

But a few times stepping out on the local university ice rink

Stepping out!

he was all about improving. It didn’t hurt that he found out that his buddy from school played the level above him, and he could join him next year if he did well enough!

The parents? Still the best ever. We again, drink bad coffee, freeze in rinks, share photos  and get up at the break of dawn, as ice time is beyond early.  We still all laugh at our kids and cheer them all on.

But the smile under the face cage?


getting ready to DIVE

makes it all worth it.

It reminds me why I love this game. It reminds me why I started this adventure in the first place.

Oh, and for those that want to know-

To properly fit a hockey stick, it needs to be up to your nose in bare feet and to your chin in skates.


Thank you again to Laura for a look at life as a hockey mom. Please be sure to stop by her blog and say hello.


Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+

My angel forever – Cora’s Story in honor of congenital heart disease awareness week

I have an Angel Forever.

Her arrival was a surprise. Found out Easter Sunday 2009 that she was on her way.

Her departure from this Earth was even more of surprise.

My daughter, Cora, died instantly.

She felt no pain.

Only my love.

As she nursed one moment.

Gone the next.

She’s done more in her five short days than anyone I know.

She is saving lives.

Cora McCormick passed away from congenital heart disease, or CHD, on December 6, 2009. Her heart defect went undetected in utero and after she was born. Cora, unfortunately isn’t alone, an estimated 1 in 100 babies are born with CHD each year. And, CHD is said to be the number one cause of infant death.

This week marks Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week (February 7 to 14). Why is awareness important?

I had never heard of CHD until the coroner called. I spent my entire pregnancy researching, reading, and making sure my baby was born at her healthiest. I still can’t believe her heart wasn’t tested more.

There is no cure for CHD. In fact, not all CHDs can be detected, but I learned a simple test might have saved Cora. Something called a pulse oximetry test can screen for many CHDs when conducted at between 24 to 48 hours of age on a newborn.

Now, other mothers know about pulse oximetry. Now, every mother and father reading this post will know about CHD.

Cora does save lives. She could use your help.

Sweet baby angel Cora

Kristine Brite McCormick writes about Cora (almost) daily on her blog If not on her blog, she can be found on Twitter, @kristinebrite or Cora’s Facebook Fan page, telling Cora’s Story. Follow Kristine for more information about congenital heart disease or to learn more about the acts of compassion and kindness Cora has inspired.


Note from Moi:  A big hug and thank you to Kristine Brite McCormick for this absolutely beautiful tribute to her sweet angel Cora. Kristine is a hero, although she will not admit it. When faced with a parent’s worst nightmare, Kristine decided to lead a crusade in honor of her angel Cora. Together they help and educate more people about the hidden dangers of CHD.

Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+