Friday, March 24, 2017

Random Tid Bits

  1. Isaak said to me, "Mom I found out something that Benjamin knows the same as me!" Benjamin his friend from Argentina. I asked, "What's that Isaak?" He said, "He knows Indiana Jones. I started humming it, and he hummed it right along with me." Isaak was pretty excited about that.

  2. Mica went from not wanting to try anything, to wanting to try just about everything that comes his way. Before Spring Break, "Mom can I try volleyball? Aiden says it's just for girls, but it says nothing on here about it being just for girls." I read the memo and said, "Sure." Well I thought it was just at school; teaching them the sport. Just the other day I got a letter saying that the teacher will drop them off at other schools, and we have to pick them up. This kid is also in Chess Club, another round for Read to Succeed, band and he wanted to play his first ball sport - soccer at the Y. I told Travis to show up at his first practice, and if the games got in the way of other things just to bow out.

    Travis went, had fun watching, and never said anything. Can you tell I'm not that Mom that likes to stay busy? I like my own life too. Up until this point sports didn't dominate our lives. I was completely happy with that. I guess I should be happy they are not involved in baseball. That's a high maintenance sport, schedule wise. Ha! I do like that Mica's trying things. Isaak's completely happy playing basketball. He loves the sport.

  3. Mica found out what middle school he's going too. It was his top pick. Many of his friends aren't going there. There's many middle schools for the district. I just said, "Just be glad you didn't get your home school.", which his home school sucks! I said, "Mica you're likable! You'll make friends. If you hate it, we'll send you somewhere else the next year."

    I'm doing what many parents have already done, and Mica's getting a cell phone for his 12th birthday. He's not only getting it to take to middle school (bussing), but 12 year olds can start to babysit. We no longer have a home phone. He'll need it. 

  4. My sister and I got our sons in the camp that fills up within minutes. Yes you read that right! It's only $95 per camper. That includes bussing, and it's all week, all day. They wear them out! This is what Isaak looked like at the end of his camp a few years back: 

  5. He wasn't sad, or pissed. He was just worn, out and tired. I thought by the looks of it that he had a rough time. NOPE! He got the award for being the most enthusiastic. HA!

  6. The boys will go to the outdoor camp, a math/science camp, an acting camp, a leadership Sat. night camp, and in spring sports. We don't have daycare per say. Instead we try and fill their summer time up with camps. What kind of camp(s) did you go to when you were younger? 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WW: Captured {Linky}

I think I'm finally done with this piece. It's title is, "Captured". I showed it once before, but it wasn't finished then.

Mediums: Fabric and Ribbon (Dress), Thread (Bird, Hair, Strings on the Clock, Necklace, and on her Sleeves), Acrylic Paint, Glue (Floor, Molding and Hoop Skirt), Transfer Technique (Wall), and 1/2 Pearl (Necklace), and Toothpicks (Cuckoo Clock).

Backside: I'll be sure to coat that with glue.

I have to ask: Do you like her ghost like, where you can see the background through her, or more opaque? I like the background peeking through. To me it unifies the image more. A coworker stands with me. It brings one thing into another. My husband wishes it wasn't see through. He's like, "What is she a ghost, or something?" Opinions are helpful.

Backside: I'll be sure to coat that with glue.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nephew Time

Last week was hectic for sure. My 5 year old nephew Emerson went to the hospital again. I can't even count how many times he's been in this year. He's the nephew I have that has Trisomy 18, which is too much of the 18th chromosome.

It started with him going in awhile back because he wasn't able to breathe very well. He went in and out of the hospital about 3 times for that. My sister wondered the whole time if it was from a hernia he had - possibly it grew. Instead of checking that, they were looking into small seizures he was having. That wasn't his main problem. The hernia was. The hernia was finally fixed. It was pressing on his lungs, and colon. The surgeon doctor decided to put in a tube that would help flush him out when he needed to go to the bathroom. Before the hernia grew he had no problem going to the bathroom.

Since then the flush tube has been a huge problem. We all wish it was never put in. His little body doesn't want to accept this foreign object inside him. He's fine while he's on antibiotics, starts to go off them, then he's a mess. Recently the antibiotics were making him sick. He starts draining through the tube, he gets a fever, his white blood cell count goes up, and he's not himself.

After a few days in the hospital he's fine again. The IV fluids help!

It's a back and forth affair.

Last week at the end of the day I went over to watch my other 3 nephews, and my 2 sons to help out. I was supposed to pay my sister back with a date night. Instead it was a hospital trip night. One nephew was closed into his room because they thought he had Strep Throat. He ended up testing positive to that. Yuck! That's like the 2nd or 3rd time he got that this year. When it rains, it rains hard! He's the one that's Mica's age.

I really only had to watch 1 kid with all 5 I had to be responsible for. Mica, Isaak and my nephew Elijah played and played. No fights! I love watching Elijah and Isaak play together. They are such great buddies. They are only 2 months apart.

They played basketball, on the trampoline, and some video games. They included Mica too. I wanted to get a good photo of just them though.

The one I had to watch like a hawk was Edison - the almost 3 year old. He usually wants nothing to do with me. We became friends after a little time. We made faces at each other. He's really into Back to the Future, so we watched that.

Edison looks like his brother Elijah above!

Edison and I finished the evening out by reading lots of books! He kept handing me Sandra Boynton books, which I've made up my own songs to them. Edison enjoyed me singing to him. He kept say, "Again!" But his favorite word is, "What?" 

Elijah had his big friend birthday on Friday. The only thing he asked for was Orange Fluff for dessert. His Dad was too busy cleaning, and preparing for his party to get the fluff. We checked 3 store's deli sections. No Orange Fluff. I call it "Orange Crap" because I don't like the stuff. Ha! 

Emerson's (the one in the hospital) old Occupational Therapist came in to see him when my sister was feeling really low. My sister told her about the many hospital visits, some doctor's not making time to see him, and missing Elijah's birthday, and him not getting the one thing he asked for. That sweet girl went home to make Orange Fluff. She brought it to Elijah the next morning for breakfast. It's so crazy how something so simple can bring tears to your eyes. Things can be so dang frustrating, and turn your emotions around like a snap of a finger. Then you feel blessed. Orange Crap turned into Orange Fluff Gold in my mind.

What has made you feel blessed this week?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Isaak's Third Grade Conferences

I forgot to do a recap of conferences. I started this blog as a way to jot things down for the kids. If you're not interested...move on to a different post.

My kids do really well in school, so this will be more of a positive post.

We let the kids play on their Kindles in the hallway, while we venture in to talk to each of their teachers.

Isaak's conferences were second.

Isaak does well in school. He got all O's and S's, which stands for outstanding and satisfactory. 

He has had some unfortunate events happen with bully like behavior from other kids. His teacher doesn't think this has anything to do with how Isaak acts. It's just punks being punks. Isaak just so happened to be in the way.

Isaak is like me - a slow test taker. Other kids fly through their test in 45 min. Isaak on the other hand will be in the room for 2 hours. :( If you know of any websites that have tips on test taking I'll be happy to check them out! I have art students that struggle with test taking as well. I'd like to just know about tips for them too. Apparently ultra creative minds are slow test takers. At least that's my experience. Is it because their minds wander? Is it because they can't focus on the boring thing they just read? I don't know the answer exactly. I do know that they should up the interesting articles on standardized tests. Seriously! 

Isaak tested high for math, but only 77% for reading twice this year. The tests did get harder the 2nd time. That's way below what his teacher thinks he's at in the classroom. He's one of her higher students. 

At home we're going to push reading different types of books. He got stuck on Boxcar Children, and never wanted to move to different books. I'm actually going to read to him more. I kind of stopped that when he could read on his own well. 

His teacher was really excited to talk about Benjamin. J is pronounced like like an h, min is pronounced like mean. His teacher now says Benjamin's name right. She loves watching the 2 play together. She says Isaak uses a lot of hand gestures to communicate when it's quiet time. Benjamin will go up in line when Isaak points. Then he'll start to tap and poke at Isaak to play. Isaak laughs, but puts his hands down, stands up really tall, and faces forward to show Benjamin it's time to be quiet. We learned that Benjamin is from Argentina from his teacher. At his Banister Leadership Camp Isaak picked Argentina as the place to research this week. He was so excited because he's never picked the place - someone else always has. One day Isaak really researched Argentina! He had 2 pages of stuff written down. Mica snapped at him for copywriting. I said, "Mica he hasn't learned about that yet. Let him be!" Isaak wants to have Benjamin over, but it's hard because he and his parents don't speak very good English. I'm so proud of him for taking this little boy under his wing!

Mica's Fifth Grade Conferences

I forgot to do a recap of conferences. I started this blog as a way to jot things down for the kids. If you're not interested...move on to a different post.

My kids do really well in school, so this will be more of a positive post.

We let the kids play on their Kindles in the hallway, while we venture in to talk to each of their teachers.

Mica's conference was first. 

Mica has all O's and S's, which stands for, "Outstanding" and "Satisfactory". His teacher gives all the kids S's for things like problem solving. Not very many kids in 5th grade are very good problem solvers. At home Mica still asks for his clothes to be handed to him in the morning, yet he and Isaak can make us coffee. I basically grab his clothes, and throw them in his face. Then he gets told, "Don't forget your deodorant!" He's book smart, but can be a male ditz. 

This is the first teacher that was super tuned in to Mica's flaws. We all have them. Because Mica does well in school, and has gotten medals for different things, he's great in most of teacher's minds. 

His teacher last year and I had a conversation about how he needed to try extra things. Well this year he has. He's done well with that. 

This years teacher said, "Mica doesn't do all the work. Ok he does the work, but only answers things part of the way. He needs to work on backing himself up. He rushes to get things done." 

I asked, "Does he have a book in his desk that he can't wait to get back to?" 

She said, "Exactly." 

If it were me I'd take the book away. I'm not her.

Every teacher has told us, "It's wonderful that Mica loves to read!" 

When we say, "He reads too much, and doesn't get other things done." they look at us like we're crazy parents. 

This one gets it.

Mica even reads junk mail sitting on our table. 

He also takes things to literally. I'm not saying he doesn't have a personality. He doesn't answer things with detail because he feels like in his mind he answered it. Yes is an answer to him. When it should be, Yes because... I have college students that do this too. It's not unheard of.

Mica's also all about fairness. Something like a kid throwing down their safety patrol vest on the floor, and not picking it up really stresses him out. Especially when he asks them to pick it up and they refuse to. With middle school there's going to be many more punks like that. 

These are things we need to work on with him. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patricks Day Everyone

I hope you have a very happy green day!

We're not drinkers. I'd love to have a beer, but it doesn't agree with my allergies, beer for me.

Travis is making corn beef and cabbage. I also have some homemade beer bread made.

This morning I woke up super early, and made: Matcha Buttermilk Pancakes.

They were super easy to make!!!

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 2 Teaspoons Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk: 
Note: If you don't have Buttermilk around I have a trick - Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice for each 1 cup of milk. I hardly buy buttermilk.  

Other things my family devoured: 

  • Green Spinach 
  • An Egg
  • Apple Sauce
  • Pumpkin Seeds AKA Pepita Seeds
  • Dark Chocolate Chips

Mica said, "We're missing a green smoothie." Yours truly AKA ME broke the glass on the blender this week. I dropped a glass into it. I managed to grab the glass, but chipped the blender in the process. :( I get the dropsies from time to time. 

Do you have a brand of a blender that you like? I don't want to go super high end because I know they can be super expensive. We do use it daily. I'd like a nice one. I have a 30% card to Khol's, so I'm thinking of checking blenders out there. 

Random Tid Bits

Once a doctor asked if my Dad if he was malnourished at some point in his life. He quickly said, "No...I ate a lot as a kid."

Then he started thinking. His Mom - my Grandma was told to never have kids after my Uncle was born. She had some kind of kidney infection. She had my Dad, and got really sick and went blind.

My Grandpa had a mail job where he was gone delivering mail on trains. I guess a neighbor of theirs stepped in because my Dad and Uncle weren't getting proper care from my Grandma. My Grandma died so early on in my Dad's life that he doesn't remember her.

How could this doctor know my Dad was malnourished? Under his knees is really hallow.

When my Grandma, who my Dad never really got to know died my Grandpa had to pay his respects privately. The same neighbor that cared for my Dad and Uncle called the police to come to the funeral home. She was afraid a fight would break out between my Grandpa and my Grandma's family. The fear was justified because I had a Great Uncle on my Grandma's side that was in the Navy Seal. That same Uncle walked right through Hitler's camp in WWII; he saw Hitler's dog.

My Grandpa was a Christian Scientist. He didn't believe in doctors having any kind of power. Healing came only through prayer.
My First Oil Wash of My Grandma Margret - Not the best photo. The real image looks better.

My Dad was a sinner according to my Grandpa. My Dad had allergies like me. My Mom was a nurse. That didn't sit well with Grandpa. Later my parent's had their first child, a Trisomy 18 baby like Emerson. My oldest sister Lisa only lived for a few months. My Dad didn't pray enough according to Grandpa.

My Grandpa got married 3 times:
  1. First to the girl known as my Grandma (Margret), who my Dad never really knew. 

  2. Then to the a lady (Lottie) that claimed to never be good with kids, but had to raise my Dad and Uncle. Lottie, which my Dad called, "Mom" died from a stroke shortly after my Mom and Dad got married. 

  3. Lastly my Grandpa married the only Grandma I knew (Magdalena also known as Nita) through mail. She was from the Philippines. Could you imagine a Catholic married to a Christian Scientist? Most Christians think of Christian Scientists as being in a cult.

My Dad used to tell my older sister and I to hide when my Grandpa would start preaching. Grandpa would tell us that God is in the plant in front of us, and that we should worship the plant. Maybe he was right. He lived to be in his 90s. Towards the end of his life he did go to see doctors.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

UpNature The Best Citronella Essential Oil Review

I recently got: UpNature The Best Citronella Essential Oil to review.

What is it Used For:

  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Candle Making
  • Torches
  • Skin Use - Perfume
  • To Freshen Up a Room

Unfortunately we don't have any mosquitoes just yet. ;) There's snow on the ground right now. I have used it in a spray to freshen up my office.

Room Spray - Cleaner:

1. I steeped in different mason jars lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange peels in white vinegar. I did this for a few weeks.

2. Then I put in 1/2 of the steeped vinegar, and 1/2 water in a spray bottle. It's not best to put essential oils in plastic, but it's much better than the 409 they always use. My nose didn't hate me!

3. Next I used drops of lemon oil in all, but the lime. I used Citronella in the lime cleaner. Guess what? No one complained about the smell. I just had different students fighting over what scent they wanted. I was expecting my boss to come in, and complain that it didn't smell CLEAN, but he didn't. Instead I heard, "It smells really good in here!" His wife that also works there said, "I think your cleaners are a hit!

Everyone was happy!

I can't wait to use Citronella for a bug spray. I seem to be a mosquito magnet. Seriously I get bug bites when Travis gets none.

A Little More About Citronella:
  • It comes in a 4 ounce jar, which lasts a long time.
  • A little goes a long way!
  • It has a lid, and a glass dropper. I have to be honest, I usually throw the lid away, and keep the dropper in it.
  • Cost: $19.95, but on sale for $14.97. That's with Prime.
  • All natural ingredients.
Have you tried essential oils? What is your favorite one?

I received Up Nature Citronella mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sewing Kit Review

I've been incorporating sewing into my artwork. It just adds another media that one would usually see in a painting/mixed media piece.

Recently I got a 100 Piece Sewing Kit by Ebeauty to review: I love all the new fun colors in it.

What Does it Include:
  • 32 Small Reel of Threads
  • 32 Bigger Reel of Threads
  • A Small Scissors - This is the one thing I wish wasn't in the kit. They were hard to use, and made poorly. They bent up after the first time I used them.
  • A Plastic Measuring Tape 
  • 2 Plastic Thimbles
  • Needles
  • 2 Threaders
  • A Storage Box - To me this isn't the high area of the set. There isn't a lid for the "box". I think it's more like a tray.

Thread material: 
  • Polyester
  • It's Both Durable and Strong
  • Suitable for a Sewing Machine
  • Suitable for Hand Stitching
What I Used the Thread For:
I'm working on a mixed media piece about captivity. I sewed the Mocking Bird and the Girl's hair. I still need to do the cuckoo clock. That too will have sewing in it.


Only $9.99 with Prime, which is such a great deal!

The Biggest Thing I'm Excited About:

Is all the colors!

Do you like to sew?

Disclaimer: I received this Sewing Kit to assist with this review. I wrote this post, and was not influenced at all with an opinion. I only review things that I find interesting, or that would benefit my readers or family. 

Folders - Round 2

This story just cracks me up, or annoys me! We'll go with cracks me up.

A long time ago, which was 2 years ago a co-worker who I will call Mrs. Clean Freak had me walk across the school to tell her who's stack of folders were sitting in the classroom.

They were mine. I use them in class I'm in that room. I collect the students sketches and papers. Then they get their folder to take home, or do whatever they wish with it at the end of the year. Many love looking through it. Mrs. Clean Freak wanted them gone. Poof! Out of there! I put them in my office. 

Then when she wasn't looking, I tip toed my ass back into the classroom to hide the big stack of folders better. 

They went from here: 

Which is in the back of the room, to here:

Oh you can't see them can you! Now can you see them?

They stayed hidden there for 2 years. I changed the folders, because we had new students come in. In the same spot they stayed.

An Open House is coming up, so Mrs. Clean Freak is cleaning. Apparently very well too well.

Mrs. Clean Freak came hauling the folders back into my office. They are probably all out of my alphabetical order. I actually alphabetize them by first name because that's what I call them. My mind works better that way.

Mrs. Clean Freak: Are these yours? They look like they've been there for awhile. 

Me: I use them every time I'm in there. I thought they were hidden pretty well. 

Mrs. Clean Freak: Can you put them in your office? At least until the Open House is over? 

Me: Sure. 

Me Thinking, but Not Saying: Sure Mrs. Clean Freak. You must not of cleaned hard enough last year because you didn't see the folders then. People walking through for the Open House surely can't see office folders. Things like folders, tape dispensers, pencils, pens, paperclips, recycle bins don't belong in a classroom. God forbid people think we work here. - By the way that is all stuff I have to hide before an Open House. How silly! Recycle bins have to be hidden, but trash cans can be sitting out. 

Mrs. Clean Freak complains about her brother being a clean freak. He's the owner. I think they both are clean freaks. They both come from the same gene pool. 

My Mom told me a bit of advice once...Let the little stuff go. Ever since then the little stuff doesn't bother me. People that get annoyed about the little things I find humorous. There's a part of me that likes to push buttons to get them going. 

As for what they'd call me... 

I'm an organized slob. Ha! I'm not really bashing the clean freaks, ok maybe I am. In their minds they are calling me Mrs. Slob, so we're even.



She came in to ask me if I'd go hide the pencils, pens, tissue boxes in the classroom. Maybe I'll sneak my folders in the room. I could hide them on a student's desk. Ha!


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