Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WW: Brothers {Linky}

Me, "You boys look so great with your dress up shirts on. Let me take a good photo of you."

Isaak was trying to kiss Mica. Go figure considering that Isaak's in a kissing is gross phase.

Why not annoy Mom more! He stood up to lift his shirt up.

Mica couldn't stop laughing, but was trying to respect my picture wishes.

Finally I got a few.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elephant Necklace Review

I love elephants. I have elephant earrings, and now I have an Elephant Necklace made by: Vogue Jewelry. Soon I'll get an Elephant Ring too! YAY!

It comes in a cute gift box:

This came in the box too:

I'm not sure what the above leaf is. It's too small to be a bracelet, but looks like it should be one.


Rose and White Gold Plated.

I think the body of the elephant looks pearl like, which is my birthstone. It seems to change color slightly according to the background. Sometimes it looks clear, then it looks white, and other times it foggy.

My end of the day tired face:

Our Dwarf Magnolia is blooming behind me and the necklace.

 I don't know that the elephant is my favorite animal, but I do love it! I think my favorite animal is a hedgehog. What's your favorite animal?

I received the Elephant Necklace mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tri-Spinner High Performance Fidget Toy Review

I love gadget type toys. Now that Mica's getting older I still like to give him small things, but I don't want to break my wallet. One thing I see him do often is fidget with things. He usually has Legos in his hands at all times.

I decided to check out Tri-Spinner. It's a gadget that a few of my students have. Creative type people in general are fidgeters like Mica is.

To be honest I don't care if my students have fidget type toys in class, or even while I'm talking. I won't however let Mica take his fidget toy to school. Just because this art teacher doesn't mind if my students have toys in class, Mica's teacher may mind.

Tri-Spinner is Great For:
  • Highly Creative People
  • People with ADHD and ADD
  • Anyone on the Spectrum 
  • Anyone That Loves to Fidget
  • Reducing Stress
  • Increases Focus 

Other Facts About Tri-Spinner:
  • There is no need for oil
  • It's small enough to fit in your pocket
  • It's only $9.99, so not too expensive
  • It's on Prime
  • It's made by XSPIN
  • It spins for up to 3 minutes

Do you like fidget type toys? 

I received the Tri-Spinner mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Instilling Empathy

One of my goals as a parent was to make sure my kids felt empathetic towards others. 

I think it's safe to say that they both are empathetic towards friends, teachers and family too. They still have "me" time, which is important as well.

Looking back, that's kind of an odd goal. Seeing how some people are towards one another today it's a great parent goal to have though.

Mica is very self directed. For awhile I think Isaak could have be pushed down, and Mica would not of even noticed. I think that's why Isaak's both sweet and sour. If he's played with he's sweet. If Isaak's messed with - watch out!

Isaak has a harder time taking "me" time than Mica does. He relies on others to make him happy.

I make my kids play together at times.

Mica pulled this thing last year where he didn't want to play outside with Isaak. I had to push him out the door. Then Isaak would come in and say, "Mica won't play with me because he's pretending that he's blind and deaf." I had to go to the door and yell out, "MICA play with your brother! Stop pretending to be blind and deaf!" Mica would yell back, "You told me to play. I'm playing!" I'd yell back, "Play superheroes, basketball, or throw a ball back and forth, but don't play blind and deaf!" The neighbor's probably thought we were crazy!

This year they go outside with boxing gloves, or foam light sabers and fight. It's their form of play. I'm just glad Mica will go outside with Isaak.


I checked out the book Wonder for the 2nd time. Mica read it once already. Now Mica and I are taking turns reading it to Isaak. Isaak will read to us too. It's just that the book is a little long for Isaak. Plus he's still not sure what he thinks about books without pictures.

If you've never read Wonder it's a must read! By the end of the book you'll have empathy towards Auggie - a boy that has face deformities, his sister, his friend, and even Julian - the boy that bullies him.

The book is so different because the author R. J. Palacio gives the reader the perspective of each main character. I've almost started crying 2 or 3 times, while reading it. 

Wonder is being turned into a full length movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, which play Auggie's parents. 

Isaak's seems to be enjoying the book!

I had an odd thought this weekend. 

Do you believe that we're all born innately good? I do. I think we're born without prejudice, and biases. Possibly all those that are miserable, murder, threaten, and society labels as "evil" were once good.

Maybe all those that struggle deeply in this thing called "life" were abused/traumatized some time. I'm not say all criminals were were abused. If you look at criminal's backgrounds I bet you anything that the majority were traumatized verbally, physically, and/or sexually. Many were probably in foster care, and a lot were raised by a single worn out parent.

I'm not saying that we should let evil acts go. One that has gone through abuse could pick themselves back up, and make a go at life, while others don't have it in them. I'm just saying that I wish that the negative cycle in some families would stop.

Possibly maybe that one kid in that family just needed a good friend, someone that would stand up for him or here, mentor or teacher in their life that changed that negative cycle into a positive one.

What are your thoughts on showing empathy towards others?

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, so...no 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. 


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