Monday, October 22, 2018

Adulting is Hard These Days

I haven't even told my husband 1/2 of this. Ha! I just didn't figure I needed to occupy his mind with this craziness. I'm not hiding it really.

I met a person that smiles with a frown. I didn't think this was possible. Her whole face lifted up except her mouth. This is as close as I can get.

Back in July I found out that my Mutual Fund that my boss had for me was closing. He was the only one that put money into it. It is a nice sum. I wish it was more, but again he was the only one that contributed to it, and it's mine.

They were charging too many fees for it.

In August I got the letter to have it rolled over.

I went to my financial guy right away to have this done. I sat with him for a good hour, or so filling out paperwork.

In September my financial guy emails me asking if I got any paperwork from them because he got nothing.

I called. They apparently needed a letter of acceptance that they never got. A new thing apparently.

My financial guy sent them an acceptance letter.

Later September we still hadn't gotten anything...

I called again. They said they never got the letter of acceptance. They forwarded my account on over to another company. Say what????

I called that other company, and they needed 2 weeks for processing.

I finally got what I thought was a statement, and it doesn't have a full account number on it. It's a bunch of XXXX with three numbers after it.

I emailed the faux statement on over to my financial guy. He couldn't get the emails because of his firewall.

I ran it over to him. It wasn't enough information to roll it over. I called the smucks again. They said they can't give me an account over the phone, or mail it to me. I had to go through online hoops to get it.

Now my financial guy says he needs more info still.

Could you imagine if I was an old person, that didn't know how to use the internet? I think about these things along the way.

I want to dig a hole, and stick my head in it. 

What's an adulting thing you're struggling with? Am I the only one that struggles? Ha!

Smarty Pants

I know many people have struggled with sending their kids to school too early. In fact my Mom questioned that with me. I was almost held back when I was in 2nd grade. I always wonder if we sent Mica to school a year too late.

He started preschool when he just turned 3, so he could be with his cousin Evan that had been 3 for 3 months, was in preschool for 2 years, while Mica was in it for 3 years.

Why We Waited to Send Him to Kindergarten:

Mica was slow with his fine motor skills for the 1st 2 years of preschool, and the 1st year he didn't participate in any group activities.

See the photo of him covering his eyes? That's what Mica did during group activity time.

The preschool teachers actually thought there was something wrong with the muscles in his hands. He wouldn't hold hold a pencil, crayon, or scissors correctly. We went as far as talking to his Pediatrician, and having the school district come out to access Mica's lack of muscle in his hands. They said, "There's nothing wrong with your son."

That summer before Mica's 3rd year in preschool his fine motors clicked big time. It's like he was waiting to use his hands before they worked perfectly! He drew pictures with so much detail for his age, and could cut out curves and zig-zags. He continued on with preschool, and the teachers couldn't believe the difference in him.

His whole 3rd year in preschool I wondered if he should have been in Kindergarten already. Everyone kept saying, "You'll be so glad you waited! He's a boy, and has an August birthday!"

On to Kindergarten:

Mica turned 6 soon after Kindergarten started. He was always ahead. He got 1's or A's all throughout elementary school. The only thing they'd say was, "He could elaborate more. He could problem solve more." Both of which I contribute to his laziness. He was friends with kids that were above the spectrum like he was. He was one of the only kids that was consistently in the gifted program.

Friendships have been rough along the way. He was good friends with a kid that moved, he was wonderful friends with a girl that decided she didn't want to be friends with boys - that really confused him, he was friends with a boy that was nice but switched classes and then they somehow couldn't reconnect, and he was friends with a boy that only Mica asked over to do things - Mica grew tired of the other boy's lack of trying.

It wasn't until his 5th grade year he slightly connected with 2 kids. Then it was time to move on to middle school.

Moving on to Middle School:

We've had the kids and parents over that Mica slightly connected with his 5th grade year. We like the parents!

What does Mica do when we get together with them? He hangs with the kids for a bit. Then he comes to sit with the adults. He often times migrates towards adults over kids his own age. His vocabulary has always been way above what other kid's his age is. Those kids are gifted too. One started school when she was 4, turning 5.

I do wish the Gifted Talented Teacher would work with Mica more! The one at the elementary school level is fantastic! Mica emailed her last year to ask when he'd get to see her? She responded, then never met with him. I was hoping she'd push him more.


We got a letter in the mail from Duke Tip. It was saying that Mica did so well on his Standardized Testing, they want him to take his ACTs. He's only in 7th grade.

I don't even know how I feel about this. I did so bad! I got a 14! Begged to take it untimed, and got a 25! I've always said that determining smartness in a kid by how well they do on Standardized Tests, ACTs and SATs is not right! They put me in the lowest of low English classes when I was a kid. I loved English. I got A's, but would mess up on my standardized test. They moved me up to the regular English class, and I got an A still! All my friends were gifted kids. I wrote Standardized Tests, ACTs and SATs off as a crock of duke.

Here my son tests so high that they want to have him take his ACTs early!

What if Mica taking his ACT test is pressuring him too much?

I had to look up what Duke TIP was. I had no clue. I was in the special classes for people that needed help in school. Not in special honors type classes!

The Benefits of Enrolling in Duke TIP's Talent Search Programs from Duke TIP on Vimeo.


We had conferences with Mica. They have the kid in with the parents in many cases now a days. Mica's getting all A's and 2 B's.

A (B) in Gym because he couldn't run with Shin Splints. That I get!

Also a (B) in his honors Pre Algebra course. He was missing a few assignments. I asked if he could make them up? His teacher said, "Yes" and that we could find them online. I couldn't find the pages online, emailed her, and she couldn't find them online either. Mica could have done them, and the teacher didn't get them recorded. Regardless by doing the 2 worksheets he could pull up his grade. Mica's response, "Don't worry about it. I'll just bring the grade up. It's an honor's course. It's good I got a B." I had his teacher email me the pages. She gave me the instructions for him to do the even problems, but I made him do them all. He gets lazy if you let him get lazy! He did all the work. Then he told me the sheets were in his backpack. In actuality he couldn't find 1 of the sheets. Well it was on the table. He would have walked out that door making me into a liar to his teacher. I told her he'd have the sheets in on Monday!

I found out from his Social Studies teacher that he's great in class. She just feels bad because 1/2 the class is bad apples, and the other 1/2 is above average. She put Mica in Quiz Bowl, which I think is great for him! They meet some Saturdays for brainy sessions. He needs to be challenged to be less lazy! I'm hoping through Quiz Bowl he can possibly develop some good friendships! Pretty please!

Fall Festival:

Isaak's Fall Festival through school was on Friday. There were a lot of kids Mica's age there. Many from his elementary class. That includes the ones we've had over from time to time.

It seemed like there were groups of kids here, and groups of kids there. Where was Mica? Hanging out with the adults.

I decided to look up stuff on Gifted Kids because I never have. I always thought, Well he does well in school, what would I possibly need to know other than that? It turns out there is more to know. I've been good with sending the kids to camps during the summer, having Mica move up to honors courses is a great thing, but I did read this website that explained friendships:

"There’s a reason your gifted teen has older friends—or wants them. Water seeks its own level . . . and so does intellect. Gifted teens often find that they have more in common with other teens slightly older than themselves and thus, they seek out their company. Seldom is this harmful, and more often than not, it can actually help your teen mature in beneficial ways, as older youth will let the younger ones know when they are acting 'like kids'. Social modeling is frequently a positive result when younger gifted teens spend time with their older counterparts."

Leadership Camp:

The boys have been back at their Leadership Camp, for about 4 weeks now. Most kids are difficult there: Underprivileged, struggle with family life and school... Then there's our kids. We aren't rich, but our boys get their needs met. Our kids do well in school. The leaders at camp asks about our kids a lot. That's to help with the funding of the organization. When I express my concerns...all the stuff above and more I feel like, they probably think our boy's problems aren't really problems in comparison to everyone else. To me Mica's being lazy by settling for a (B) in Pre Algebra, when he could easily get an (A). It would be different if he worked his ass off, and got a (B). I'd be proud of him for that (B). Mica not having friendships with kids his own age is a slight problem in my mind. I'd love for him to connect with more people! Isaak has a whole other list of problems: He totally can't get on board with his teacher this year, his vocabulary is the opposite of Mica's - limited, and he's a Drama King. I feel like my concerns are odd in comparison to many.

I don't know if I should have sent Mica to school a year earlier to begin with. I can't change that now. It's just something I think about. I do know that I need to keep pushing him. He could easily slip down a slippery slope to Lazyville. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Random Tid Bits

  1. Tonight we have a Fall Festival to go to at Isaak's elementary school. They always have a lot to do. Kids of all ages have fun! 

  2. I was going to be the Bansky's image the just got shredded. I wanted to find a long white shirt, paint it to look like his work, cut it to look shredded, and put a frame on me. Then I saw that sort of done, without the frame. Then there's the question of copyrighting - but I think Halloween is an exception to that. 

  3. Source

  4. I also thought to be a cactus. Much of Saturday, while we watched TV I stuck toothpicks in a green sweater, hot glued them to buttons on the inside. Then hot glued the buttons to the sweater, so they wouldn't slip out. I made a wreath for my head as well. Tonight will be a trial run for that costume. I probably won't go all out tonight; like I will for work on Halloween. 

  5. Isaak is going as a girl. Travis kept asking why? I said, "If girls can dress up as boys, why can't boys dress up as girls?" His friend Daniel was a girl last year, which got a lot of chuckles. I've had guy students be girls here and there through the years. It's always pretty funny. 

  6. Meet Felisha! He'd probably look better with a blond wig, but black was cheaper. Ha!

  7. One of my Aunt's posts all the time about political things. She thinks about as opposite to me as possible. I would NEVER defriend her. I believe all people should be able to speak their mind. Do you believe in freedom of speech? 

  8. Here's one of the things she shared:

    But Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump are two of her favorite presidents. They were both actors/a reality star.

    Should freedom of speech be applied only to people that's not a celebrity? I think my Aunt has a right to state her opinion, but so should Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep or anyone else should be free to state their opinion.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Four Memorable Vacation Ideas This Fall

The fall is probably one of the best times to travel. You can enjoy beautiful fall colors almost everywhere you go, there are typically fewer tourists, and of course, there are often plenty of activities, events, and festivals to enjoy. Fall is the season of harvest, warmth, and coziness, and if you need any help choosing where to travel to this year, look no further.

In the USA
Fall is a staple in the United States, and for a good reason! All of the northern states have something to offer during this season, from epic fall colors to festivals and harvests. It is the perfect time to get out there and explore some of America’s most historically important towns because they won’t look better than they do in fall:

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston played a critical part in American history and is today a beautiful town that is best known for being the home of Harvard University. Its old streets and beautiful mix of architecture make this town a perfect destination for any fall vacation. There are museums, parks, Fenway Park for baseball, and even the awesome Mapparium.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Like Boston, Philadelphia is critical to our history. It is where the Constitution was signed and where you can see the Liberty Bell. Regarding the town itself, it is absolutely charming in any season and truly comes alive under the fall coloring. Enjoy a traditional Philadelphia steak sandwich, peruse through American history, and of course partake in all the fall festivities.

Outside the USA
For those who want to go a bit further than their own backyard, there are plenty of European cities where you can see the beauty of fall and enjoy history and culture all at the same time. The top two on our list are:

London, England
London is a magical place for the fall season, and with its milder temperatures, you can expect warmer weather and prolonged fall foliage as well. Once there, you can enjoy the city in its full glory, wrapped up in the warm fall colors that make every landmark simply pop. Fill your days with markets, museums, and eclectic cafes and pubs. Then, for the night, book a night at the theater. From small-time productions that are very affordable to the biggest children’s musicals London like Wicket or the Lion King, there is no shortage of plays and musicals to enjoy.

Paris, France
The City of Love is a magical place any time of the year, but with its massive, ancient trees and picturesque parks dotted around French architecture, there is probably no better time to visit. The weather is cool, but not wet, and there are typically fewer tourists during this time.

Combined, this is the perfect destination for families and couples alike who want to explore this ancient French city.

Whether you go somewhere local, or somewhere overseas, just remember to pick the places that embody fall the most. The dead of winter is when it’s time to go for a break in the sun, but fall is when you go for the color and festivities.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

WW: First Snow of the Season {Linky}

In Omaha, Nebraska we got our first snow for fall. I knew it was supposed to snow. But it came down in big puffs of snow. It was heavy, and knocked some tree limbs down. Many lost power. Thankfully we didn't though.

The next morning a leaf was stuck to my car. I pulled it off, and it left a leaf ice print.

The snow only stayed around for a day. All the rest of this week it's supposed to be warmer. 

Usually it doesn't snow until after Halloween around here. Do you get snow where you live? 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Giant Spider - for Halloween Decor Review

I like Halloween, but have never gotten spooky decorations that last. I signed up to review a few things this year. I think I only got one.

Say HELLO to our newest Apel Giant Spider! 

Where it Can Go:

It's cool that the legs can be moved around. It came in a small box. Travis positioned our Apel Giant Spider how he wanted it.

-It can go on the floor

-It can hang on a door

-You can get a spider web to put it on that

We plan on getting a faux spider web to put it on for Halloween. Considering it snowed pretty good today we didn't want to put it up just yet.

What it Does:

You do need to buy a battery. It didn't come with one. Once you put the battery in, and turn it on the eyes glow red and it makes a spooky noise. Thankfully it does have an off switch. The noise doesn't come on unless you pull that black cord on the head.


It's pretty big! 43" of creepy fun! 20" high.

Where to Get it:

$13.99 on Amazon Prime.

I think it would be fun to have a few! It would be cool if they sold these spiders in package deals.

What kind of Halloween decor do you have?

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.

Etheria Wax Melt - Pumpkin Chai Review

One thing I've never tried before is wax melts. I just typically use essential oils in a defuser over burning candles or melting waxes.

When I found out that Etheria makes their Wax Melt with essential oils I thought I'd give it a try. 

I don't have a wax burner/melter. I'm not even sure what they are called. I did however have a 1/2 burned candle that didn't have a strong scent connected to it. I tried a wax cube in that. It brought the pumpkin fall scent into the kitchen.

It would be wonderful to make my house smell like Pumpkin Chai for company.

I also could see just burning it in the kitchen in a double boiler. That is how the artist Jasper Johns created his wax encaustic paintings.

It’s made with natural soy, essential oil infused, in the US.

Where to Get Pumpkin Chai Wax Melts:

$8.95 on Amazon. They sent it directly to me, but I happen to notice it's not on Amazon Prime.

Etheria products are made right here in the US. Not a lot of products are, so I like to bring that up.

Have you tried wax melts? If you have, what scents have you tried?

Disclaimer: I got this product for free to review. The company did not influence me on how to write my review.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Review

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil works great in lotions and massage oils. I've mixed drops of mine in with melted coconut oil to make a moisturizer or scalp massage. Ylang Ylang is a relaxing essential oil.

You could also use it in a relaxing bath.

I've used a lot of different essential oils, but never have used this one. It smells really good! I diffused it this weekend. A few drops go a long way. Thankfully Gya Labs doesn't add extras in their oils.

It's a great that I went out on Saturday to take photos because on Sunday we had snow on the ground. I'm not looking forward to indoor only shots.

Where to Get Gya Labs Ylang Ylang:

You can pick up a bottle on Amazon for $9.49. That's a great price! 

It is on Amazon Prime, so no shipping if you are a Prime Member.

There's .34 ounces in a bottle, but there's no fillers, bases, or additives.

what’s you favorite essential oil? 

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. The company did not tell me what to say.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Random Tid Bits

  1. It's been raining in Omaha, Nebraska for days! There's possible snow in the forecast. No thanks! I want summer back again. 

  2. We met with Mr. Principal in regards to Isaak. Isaak's no longer going to take kids to the bathroom. He was one of 3 boys selected to do so. Most of the kids in class were picking Isaak, when they had to go. He was missing out on lessons at school. Then he was ultra emotional at home. He didn't get how to do his homework. His teacher didn't want to take the whole class on breaks because of the time lost in their school work. My thoughts were - her time lost. The other way - his time lost.

    I went through his teacher first. She just said, "I can't take him off that. He's one of the few boys in the class I trust." I didn't just walk in to the Principal's office, and blame the teacher. I said, "Isaak's plate is too full. He signed up for Safety Patrol (which is every day), Student Council (which meets once a month), Chorus (misses class for), Show Choir (before school once a week), Strings (misses class for), Soccer, and Basketball (which are both after school). Little man was overwhelmed.

    Other topics we went over: Kid's forming "Cool Clubs" that Mr. Principal was unaware of, and the class talking a lot and missing recess - I mentioned they could run the track instead to at least get some activity. Isaak's teacher also said to Isaak, "Why did you say all that to your Mom?!" in regards to my email. Isaak felt like crying, and bawled at home. I said, "Kids should talk to their parents! I'm happy my 10 year old son talks to me!" Mr. Principal agreed. 

  3. I felt good about how things went. Then yesterday Isaak said, "Mom did you know teachers have favorites? I'm one of my teacher's favorites. She told me so." (insert inner eye roll, and why in the heck is she telling the kids this?) I covered quickly by saying, "Isaak favorites change. Somedays I like you better than Mica and visa versa. I love you both. It's just that one child may be easier to get along with on a particular day." He said, "Do you have favorites with your students?" I said, "I have students that are challenging sometimes. I've had students ask if they were my favorite? Then I said to them, 'You are, along with the other 30 students in the class.' That seems to satisfy them." I want Isaak to like his teacher. I have to say that she rubs me the wrong way. She's fake happy it seems. She smiles with a frown face. I've never seen anyone do that before. Her mouth is frowned down, but her cheeks and eyes are uplifted. 

  4. Travis' boss lady keeps giving him things. A foam pumpkin to decorate, so I decorated it up like an owl for him. I didn't take a picture. Next came a wooden leaf. I did take photos of that for a future post. She's given him candles, cozy socks that are very girl like and Isaak wanted, and Keurig pods. For one Travis hates flavored coffee, for another we don't have a Keurig machine. I open them up, and dump them in our legit coffee pot to use them. Do you like plain coffee or flavored coffee? Do you have a Keurig machine?

  5.  Mica's in a thing called Quiz Bowl. It's like Jeopardy, except you don't answer with a question. He has a group against other groups from other schools. We had no idea that it would be so time consuming when he signed up. It's every Tuesday after school, and 2 Saturdays a month from 8:30 to 1:30 or longer. I was feeling less than thrilled about this once I found all that out. Then I thought about it...I'll have one less child on those days. That's not all that bad. Possibly I'll go to get him one day before he calls me to take a few pictures. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

WW: Corn and Alpacas {Linky}

We went to Alpacas of the Heartland to see Alpacas of course. 

 On the way I took some corny shots.

I've been talking to my students about composition. This is a perfect example of an "S" or "Z" curve composition.

Here's the cuteness!

Isaak did manage to run along, and he also snagged an alpaca to hug.

Here's a baby:

Wanting Alpaca milk:

Another teen Alpaca:

I'm so sad that this may be our last time visiting them. They may have to shut down visitors, due to no handicap accessibility. :( They just don't have the funds to add it. Have you visited an Alpaca Farm?


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