Friday, January 11, 2019

Random Tid Bits

  1. I was full steam ahead over break. Now I'm just blah feeling. It's like I have no energy for anything. Possibly I need to up that vitamin D. Possibly I need less stress in my life. Possibly it's from switching schedules so much. Possibly it's from Isaak's teacher. I'm not even kidding about that last one.

  2. Travis has been working more hours at work. His bosses were out of town all of the kid's break, one girl has been sick a lot, and another girl is pregnant (different appointments). Good for the checkbook, but he was less there for the boys. 

  3. I have a sort of friend that's always been a hot head. He's a liberal that's very out spoken.  He reminds me of the character Yosemite Sam, but he'd have a cigarette, and wouldn't ever have a gun.

    He's a college instructor. He said because of the government shutdown, students wouldn't get their financial aid checks. I check with our financial aid director to see if this was true. It isn't. While things may be slow, it's still going to happen. Anyone new to school may have trouble. Anyone already attending school won't have trouble at all. 

  4. Isaak got his first C in a class: Social Studies. I decided to order the book off Amazon. It was $6. It came in on the 2nd. They don't want the books to go home because there aren't a lot of them. It's out of print, so pricey to order in bulk.

    I had this wonderful thought that I'd act out his Social Studies. I had a teacher that did that for me, and I got into it! The problem is that the book is just really informative, with highlighted vocabulary words. Not really acting out material. It is what it is.

    I started to read to Isaak the first part because she said, "Unit 1", but what I was reading was "Lesson 1". Anyhow I read all of it out load to Isaak, made flashcards all for very little. It's not what he's learning right now, or being tested on. He got an earful from me on that.

    Isaak came home on Monday and said, "We're not learning that stuff Mom." He showed me where he was at. I started reading that material. Travis texted to see when his test is over Unit 1, and what pages it's over exactly. She texted back that she didn't know; it depended on the kiddos, and how much the retained. What ever happened to lesson plans?

    That night I got a text saying that there would be a test on Friday. He can use notes, but he was at Strings when she had them take notes! FLIP! Talk about random! So Thursday night was our cram study night. 

  5. Monday the boys started back up to school. I kept thinking, It's a new semester. Things can turn around for Isaak.

    Isaak went to watch the National Football Championship game with Travis. They didn't watch it all. Just some. They were out late for a school night. 

  6. On Tuesday morning I get a text from his teacher saying they had a math Standardize Test that day, and to eat a good breakfast. I was like, We always have a good breakfast! But bloody hell! They just got back from break. They are testing right away! How about send the text the night before to get a good night sleep!

    Isaak took the test. 20 questions in, the computer flaked out on him. Then it started him back at question 1 again, but the problems were really hard.

    His teacher said she'd take care of it for him. The next day his teacher said she couldn't do anything for him, and will give him a homework pass.

    I was at home thinking, He's not going to get into the middle school we want him to be in if he can't finish his test, and gets a C in Social Studies.

    I emailed Mr. Principal all these new concerns. 
    Part of our 2nd meeting with the teacher and Principal was saying that we'd have more time to help Isaak study, and be informed on when tests would be. He called me back in 2 minutes. He was clear, to the point, and told me that the testing was on each student's individual growth. No other school will see the results. He also looked up if Isaak has results, and he did not. So he will be finishing up the test. I felt better.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019


When New Years Day rolled around it was snowing, and very cold. I asked my parents to come over, but they didn't want to get out. We went over to their house.

We were all pretty tired from the night before, but hey we were chillin'.

We brought over Won't You Be My Neighbor?, and watched it.

I love that move. I found it the day after Thanksgiving, for super cheap-o. That makes me like it even more. 

I think my parents enjoyed us coming over, and the movie. 

I think this movie inspired me to get Travis these sweaters at Alpaca Mall. He had a button down sweater already, and wears it ALL THE TIME!

He likes the blueish greyish one best, but I like the brown one. Which one do you like? 

When he wears them I just want to sing out, "It's such a good feeling to know you're alive. It's such a happy feeling..."

The shipping was $9, which I dislike. Hey we both love the sweaters, and I spent less than $100. Most alpaca anything is super expensive! 

Disclaimer: This is not a review. I'm just sharing something I purchased. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Happy New Year #2019

We debated if we should have a big get together, or not. We invited many people on facebook to a Dance Party, and so many didn't RSVP. We had 3 people that said they were coming.

Isaak was sick prior to the big Dance Party. He invited about 5 kids to come. None of which said they were coming. Mica invited 2 friends. One couldn't come, and the other didn't respond.


One of Isaak's friend's (that wasn't invited) Mom messaged me on facebook, "Is Isaak still having a New Years Eve Party? My son didn't get an invite, and was wondering if he could come?"

Awkward considering that Isaak has kind of had a falling out with the kid. He cusses a lot, is pretty negative, and got on his friend's YouTube channel to make some not so nice comments. That was handled by the school though. We're not supposed to know anything about the incident.

Isaak was pretty bummed his friends weren't coming over, so I was not sure how to handle the facebook message. I messaged her back saying, "We haven't had very many of our own friends RSVP, so we're unclear if we're having a big Dance Party. He is welcome to come play games, and eat food if he likes."

Then I had Isaak asked a kid that hangs with the other kid. We had 2 crazy boys at our house for New Years Eve.

It wasn't until last minute that one of Isaak's other better friends RSVPed. Get was the kid that had not so nice things commented on his YouTube Channel. I informed the Grandparents that are much more involved in the kid's life than his parents about the situation. He came over anyhow.

Drama in Isaak's Room:

Isaak pouted as soon as his friends started rolling in. Much later, and after the fact I found out that Isaak was annoyed that all of his friends had smart phones. They were all on them talking about what games they each have. Isaak doesn't have a smart phone, so he was feeling pretty left out. He didn't communicate with me what was bothering him. I would have had a basket for phones to go; had I known the problem. Even when Isaak's cousin Elijah came, he too was upset that all of Isaak's friends were on their phones. He didn't say anything because he didn't want Isaak's friends to get in trouble.

I was preparing food, and talking to different people that walked in the door. I had no clue what drama lurked in Isaak Apel's bed room. It never occurred to me that technology would be so fun for some, and such a drag to others. Now I know. He's in 5th grade, so I didn't think I'd have to watch them like a hawk.

The next thing I knew the kid that came late had a knock at the door from his Grandpa to pick him up at 8. The kid texted him, and I again had no clue. I'm still wondering if something was said in that bedroom that offended this kid. If so it bothers me. I tend to worry about stuff too much. I'm where Isaak gets his strong empathy. I just like everyone to get along. I dislike school clicks. Isaak's classroom is full of them!

The kid who had his Mom message me on facebook was dropped off with a, "He's spending the night ok?!" I was like, "Ok." It kind of took me off guard. I wonder if she just wanted him out of her hair, so she could have fun. I guess that's ok, but I didn't invite him to spend the night. The kid has asthma worse off than I do. He was packing in the sugary food and drinks. Then his asthma went crazy. I called his mom and she said, "He has his medicine. You can drop him off at home if he's a problem." He's 10 with an asthma flair up. I don't think I'd ever drop a kid off in that condition. He crashed on our floor. Later on his parents stopped by to get him.

Our Own Guests:

We had 5 guest of our own show up. None of which RSVPed. All the RSVPers didn't come.

Poor Mica only got to hang with his cousin Evan just for a little bit. Otherwise he was on his own. He's fine though. It doesn't bother Mica in the least bit to hang out on his own.

He talks about kids, but never has too many over. His school is quite a ways away though.

Do you hang out with people on New Years Eve, or do you just have a quiet night at home? I told Travis I'd be ok with a game night, and food. He rolled his eyes at me when I first brought that up, but now I think I'm rubbing off on him. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Chocolate Gingerbread Rollout #cookies #recipe

We're not done with celebrations. We have New Years Eve, and New Years Day to celebrate!

I decided to make Chocolate Gingerbread Rollout Cookies to celebrate! 

They are super easy to make!

Start out by setting out 2 sticks of unsalted butter and 1 egg. They need to be room temperature.

Use a mixer to combine the 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1 egg, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Add In:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of melted Chocolate Chips
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Keep mixing until everything is mixed together throughly.


Cover the dough, and put it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Roll Them Out:

Flour a clean surface, roll out flat with a standard roller. I followed up with using a decorative roller.

One thing I like about this dough, is that it can be reworked, and reworked. It doesn't loose anything. You know how some doughs get brittle as they keep getting worked? This one didn't seem to.

Cut Out the Cookies:

I chose to use a star and a snowflake. I didn't want my cookies to be too Christmas(y), and more winter(y).

Spray a pan with cooking spray.

Bake in an oven set to 350 degrees, for 12 minutes. I do 6 minutes on the top rack, and 6 minutes on the bottom.

To Pipe or Not to Pipe?

I had left over frosting, but after asking my family if they needed to be piped they said, "No. They are freaking good as they are!"

If you choose to pipe them, wait until the cookies are cool of course.

They are the perfect combination of ginger and chocolate!

Piczzle #puzzle Review

I've reviewed a Piczzle Picture Puzzle a few times before. They did an excellent job with all our puzzles!

All the Puzzles have been from Christmas postcards we've sent, so I'm thinking when the boys get older they can take them to do with their own kids, or I can leave them here for the grandkids - if we have some.

Easy to Work With: 

Piczzle was super easy to work with, and order. The shipping was so fast! We got it in less than a week.

My only problem was working around Christmas activities to get the puzzle done, which was not Piczzle's fault.

The Box:

It came in a fairly small box. I loved that because so many boxes for games and puzzles are so big!

I do think it would be great if they would have a vertical orientation for their box, as well as a horizontal one. The image quality on the box wasn't as good as the one on the puzzle.

300 Pieces: 

It didn't seem like a lot of pieces. I've done 1,000 piece puzzles before. It's a fairly small puzzle, so it did take some brain power! We all took turns doing it.

Mica started, I followed, Isaak bounced in between because he was sick, and Travis finished it off. I couldn't believe how much Travis worked on it. He usually isn't a puzzle guy. I always did them with the kids. He looked like he was having fun though.


If you order a puzzle from Piczzle have patterns and color if possible. I had us wearing black and grey in the photo. When we were getting to Isaak's shirt, so many pieces seemed like they fit when they weren't a match. It would have helped to have him wearing a stripped shirt, or something we could go by.  


I do like the finished result! It's certainly a keepsake! 

Even though Isaak was sick, he enjoyed watching the puzzle process!  


It's a large sized puzzle (11"x17") with 300 pieces.


Their prices are really great! You can make your own picture puzzles. This one is worth $27.95. I think that's a great price for something custom.
  • Shipping priority is $7.23.
  • Priority Express, 3 to 5 business days is $21.92.
  • FedEx, 2 business days is $23.71.
  • FedEx, Overnight is $41.25.
All the puzzle pieces were there. I always worry about one being missing.

Overall I'm really happy with the puzzle. It was everything I hoped it would be. Piczzle really does a great job with their picture into puzzles.

Order a Piczzle Puzzle!   

Order a custom cardboard puzzle from Piczzle. You will not be disappointed! Like Piczzle Picture Puzzle on Facebook and Piczzle Photo on YouTube.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free with Piczzle. All opinions are my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Random Tid Bits

  1. Isaak got a gigantic keyboard, a sweet new bigger screened Kindle Fire and more for Christmas. I got the biggest reaction when he opened his Under Armor Boxer Briefs. I think he thought that when he put on his undies he'd look much like the man on the package. Ha! Skinny boy needs to work on those muscles. He actually popped up, and changed into his undies right then and there. No shame.

  2. I watched a documentary last night on a snowstorm that happened in 1949. Boy was that horrible! Livestock and people froze because it happened so fast, and the wind was so bad! They didn't have equipment to predict the storm, or to take care of the snow. It was horrible!

    It snowed here. One of my friends said, "The weather man said we were just going to get a dusting." Well compared to the 1949 snowstorm it was a dusting! It was lightening and snowing at the same time.

  3. My sister never believed my green pepper relish tray trick. She specifically told me not to put green peppers on a relish tray, so I made one where that's all I put on it. She said, "I know you're messing with me. Get the real one out here."

    I ended up making tasty fajitas with all those peppers the next day. Take that!

  4. I have 2 of my classes fully prepared for. I mean everything done! I'm just having a hard time getting into the last one.

  5. We've been trying to work with the boys on math. Just to bump them up with things they weren't getting. Mica needs to get the meaning of - show your work! Isaak gets all emotional about things he doesn't get.

    Isaak got all good grades except for Social Studies. Imagine that...his core teacher teaches that. He got a C. That's the first for him. I woke up one morning at 5, couldn't go back to sleep, and emailed his teacher asking for the name, edition and chapter of their book. I ordered it on Amazon. It's Mica's favorite subject. I'm going to try to read the book with Mica by acting it out. Sometimes I do think if we didn't work, homeschooling would suit us well. I feel like we're doing a lot of teaching at home. Anyhow I had a teacher when I was Isaak's age that acted out Social Studies. I love it! Sometimes I think different kids need to be taught differently. Isaak's a visual learner like I am.

#godseyes #ojodedios Made With Toothpicks

My mom had a cousin that passed away suddenly a few years back. Since she was married, didn't have any kids, had a brother that lived miles away, and a father in his 80s we went through her things.

She made doll clothes, so she had some creative things in her apparent. I walked off with a few dolls, a lot of beads, some embroidery floss and other random things.

I've been on a mission to use up a drawer full of embroidery floss.

It started with me decorating this stocking for Travis' work:

I'm not sure that I love how it turned out. The stocking was so small. I didn't really plan anything. I just went with it. 

I did however enjoy making the tiny God's Eyes also known as Ojo de Dios with toothpicks. 

I went on to make more God's Eyes also known as Ojo de Dios with toothpicks! One for everyone's packages + all my relatives that are older and didn't get a package. 

They are ornaments, or could be put on the fridge too. 

I took note of everyone's favorite color(s) before making them.

My favorite color is red/orange. I didn't have that color, but I did have red. Travis likes teal. I made a few of these for our tree.

My nephew that likes green, and the red was just an extra one.

Even though Emerson (my nephew with Trisomy 18) doesn't speak, he communicates. He shakes his head no and yes, likes to watch football, whines when he is uncomfortable or has to go to the bathroom, and gravitates to orange and blue.

My sister Terra likes fall colors. This is about as fall(y) as I could get with the floss colors I have. I like this one though!

I have some crazy family members that like pink. I'm not a big fan, but they are. My other sister said, "Pink and Grey", so the middle one is hers.

Another extra, or maybe I gave this one away too. I don't remember.

I wish I would have thought to do this earlier. Travis' parents would have enjoyed a few I think. They like homemade things. They live in Arizona, so doing it the night before Christmas Eve Day wouldn't have gotten them shipped there. Ha! 

The biggest frustrations: I got superglue on my fingers so many times, The toothpicks not staying glued, and the floss getting all tangled up.

Do you like homemade gifts? 

My favorite gift is that Isaak made us a snow globe all on his own. I'll have to photograph it! I'm horrible with photographing things at Christmas time! It's dark when we open up presents both times. It hasn't exactly been sunny out. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

I Hope You All Had a Wonderful Christmas!

Isaak had his holiday shows on Friday of last week. He was in a lot, so he was a big part of it. I'll post a picture or two later. We went to see him in the morning, and they presented again in the afternoon.

I took the day off to get a few last minute things, and wrap Santa gifts. It worked out well.

Before Isaak went to school he was a tad bit warm, but had no fever. I knew he worked his ass singing and violin playing self off for the day, and didn't want to miss it. Plus Isaak had this thing about missing school anyhow. He wants a perfect record. Since he didn't have a fever we decided to send him. We did call school, and had him skip safety patrol in the morning. It allowed him to sleep in a bit, and not be in the cold.

We went to pick him up at the end of the afternoon performance, he was crying, had a fever, didn't have his instrument picked up, and just stood up on stage for all the performance without participating. I told him to have the school call us if he got sicker. He didn't.

After we found his violin and music stand he came home.

He was sick all weekend. Finally on Christmas Eve Day he was better. We called the doctor's office a few times because he had a cold for 2 weeks prior to the fever bug. They were so swamped on Friday and Saturday that they couldn't see him. My mom was worried about him getting the Polio like virus called: Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). My mom had Polio 2 years before the vaccine came out. She's probably really tuned into the virus because they've been talking about it a lot on the news.

Go to find out many kids got sent home with a fever that Friday at school. He still has a lingering cough, but is fine. I did get slightly freaked out when he went on about how much his legs hurt. He was limping around.

We were able to have a good Christmas! Everyone got cool things. I picked Travis up some stuff after Christmas because he looked disappointed. Hey he'll like what I got! What's something that you got for Christmas?  

Our Weatherman Bill

Meet Bill - I've talked about him before, but it's been awhile. You may have forgotten. My friend Mark swears I have a crush on him because I talk about Bill every once in awhile. He's been our weather man here, since I was a kid.

I like our weather man Bill Randby. He says the word, "Spectacular" way too much. A radio guy sent him a letter about it. When he does an afternoon weather report on facebook I try to jump on to say, "It's Spectacular out there Bill!" He reads the comments live, so I chuckle every time.

I always thought he looked like an old claymation character from a churchy show when I was a kid. I finally broke down, and searched for this image below...

The show is pretty disturbing. It's very indoctrinating. If you like to tell your kids how to think, and be this may be the show for your family. There's a few old shows on YouTube. The show is called Davey and Goliath. It's certainly not for my kids, but my Mom must of thought it was perfect for me. I still love her, so if you let your kids watch it, I'll still like you. I have to admit I was cracking up, with my mouth wide open when I watched an episode recently.

Friday, December 21, 2018

It's the Little Things That Make Me Laugh Sometimes

  1. We told Mica to brush his teeth in the kitchen because Isaak was in the bathroom. We only have 1 bathroom.

    Mica said, "I can't use that sink water. It's not filtered. Gross!"

    He thought this whole time that the bathroom has filtered water!

    Then he attempted to put his toothbrush under the filtered water spout on the refrigerator. It's a good thing I stopped him. Boy that would be a mess!

    How is it this kid is so smart, yet so not smart at the same time? Even Isaak was shaking his head.

  2. Travis went to cut his hair. The blade he was using wasn't working out the way he planned. So he buzzed it.

    The problem is that he has one white spot in the front of his hair, so he looks very bald right there, or like he really messed up with the trimmers.

  3. At work someone gave this odd creepy clown for the White Elephant Gift. No worries there was a $20 Target GC it was holding. The winner didn't want the clown, so I stuck it on a student's desk that loves hates clowns.

  4. My older sister can be a bit of a control freak at times. I'm surprised I haven't gotten in any fights with her in the last year.

    We were running through the list of things to bring to the Christmas Eve Feast. They want Travis to bring a soup, and me to make a veggie tray.

    My sister, "Don't put any green peppers on there. No one eats them. We could practically have a veggie tray that's nothing, but carrots and celery."

    My other sister, "Throw olives on there. My boys like those."

    I was complaining to Travis about how picky they were being, and said, "I never even put green peppers on a veggie tray. I like red, yellow, and orange peppers." He said, "Make a veggie tray that's only green peppers. Have the real veggie tray in the car."

    So...I'm making a prank veggie tray with only green peppers and olives just because I'm an asshole a prankster. LOL

  5. At work a co-worker said she wouldn't eat hummus because it rhymes with pumice. For my White Elephant gift I gave a pumice stone, hummus and lots of pita crackers.

    I don't think the hummus got eaten. It's a shame because hummus is good! 
Tell me something that has made you laugh lately. 


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