Friday, August 18, 2017

Random Tid Bits

  1. Isaak: "Mom I've had my period before." Me: "What?" Isaak: "You told me I must have my period because I was in a bad mood." I should watch what I say! 

  2. Me: "So Mica do you feel any older?" Mica: "I feel like I'm entering that stage where I can't wait for you guys to leave. Then I'll have friends over, and trash the house. I would never do that. It's just a stage they talk about in literature." Say what?!?! Party at the Apel's house.

  3. The first week of class has come and gone. The students have Orientation 1 hour a day for a week. My handouts and my presentations were ready, but I wanted to go over everything one last time. I knew I'd have that hour to read over the class material.

    Oh but wait...the Director came into my office at 8:20 saying, "The Education Director is still not here. She's the one doing Orientation this morning. Go ahead, set-up and talk. She'll have to do Orientation at 9." That really through me off for some reason. I can roll with things, but I don't like last minute surprises.

    The Education Director rolled in at 9:10 to talk saying, "Sorry I'm contracted to be here at 9." As if this this my problem. Later on I called the Director saying, "Ok this is the second year the Education Director was late for Orientation. Let's just have Orientation at 9 when she's contracted to be here. Then it doesn't throw anyone off." I hate when I have to solve problems that are not really my problems to solve. 

  4. The boy's first day of school was yesterday. Isaak woke up with a sore throat. I've been giving him Zytec and probiotics. I have no idea if it's fall allergies or some sickness. Until he has a fever, I'm not going to worry about it. As you can see it's impossible for him to keep his talking mouth shut:

  5. I was an ass without meaning to be one. I said to a student: "I just love your short hair. Were you like me, and had longer hair, and kept cutting it shorter and shorter?" She said, "I did have long hair, and lost it all because I have Leukemia. I just said, "I'm sorry to hear that. I still love your hair though." What's something awkward that you've said in the past?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Last Camp of the Summer: Hummel Day Camp

I sign the boys up for a lot of summer camps.

The reasons: 

  • Camps keeps them busy
  • Camps are fun
  • Different camps allow them to learn without even them realizing it
  • They are watched ;)
  • Camps can be deducted off on taxes like child care

The last camp the boys went to was in my opinion the best one. Well minus Mica getting a rash one time from the mud. That's a different story from a different year.

Hummel Day Camp is only $35 a week. Yep you heard that right! That is 9-4, with bussing and a lunch provided!

You can visit Hummel Park any time for free. You can't do archery, but they have hiking, golf frisbee and playgrounds. It's supposed to be haunted. They had a lot of ghost stories for us when we were kids, but now they don't tell them. The stories would scare the kids and spread rumors that weren't true.

What Do They Do:

  • Archery 
  • Cook their own lunch
  • Make Smores 
  • Hike
  • Have a muddy day
  • Learn about nature
  • A few outdoor games
  • Sing songs
  • Learn skits
  • Go clean, leave dirty
  • They ware them out

The problem is that it fills up in a matter of a few minutes. So, if you're not on top of it, ready to sign up on their crappy city website, then you loose a chance at signing up.

My sister and I actually practiced ahead of time, called each other to remind one another, and it went slick this year! We got all 4 boys in! Isaak and Elijah are the same age. Mica and Evan are the same age, but a year apart in school.

My sister was so kind to allow Travis to drop them off at her house, and she took them to the bus stop and picked them up, then he picked them up at her house at the end of his work shift. We had a dilemma that week. Travis was still manning the lab because his 2 bosses and co-worker were out of town. He was the man in charge.


  • Isaak thought he lost his newish hat. He was in tears over it. After looking and looking we finally found out that it was Mica that left his hat somewhere, and Mica had Isaak's hat. It was left at Aunt Terra's, so no biggy. 

  • Isaak was told to wear his crappiest shoes. Well he wore his nice basketball shoes to camp. They got ultra muddy, so I was more mad about that than the hat he thought he lost.

  • Some kid pushed Isaak and said, "Push me and I'll tell you if it hurts." Well Isaak pushed him. One thing is true, Isaak doesn't put up with things. Don't mess with him! We had a talk about that. The camp didn't even bring it up to us; Isaak did. The camp redirected the kid's attention to something else, which is a great way to handle the situation.

  • The boys were jumping on the trampoline at Aunt Terra's. Too many were on. Elijah pushed his 3 year old brother Edison into Isaak. They bumped heads. Crying was involved. Isaak pushed Elijah back. Again don't mess with Isaak! 
I don't know if it's a good trait that Isaak has to stand up for people and himself, or if it's a really bad trait. I wrote this trait down at his Leadership Camp as something they should work with him on. So far I've seen no improvement. He needs to learn to walk away from situations. He's not one to start problems, but he's one to finish them. People see that, then they think he's to blame for the whole problem.

Isaak has always been the youngest/smallest out of the cousin group: Evan, Mica, Elijah and Isaak. They all hung out early on in their lives because Terra and Travis babysat. I think because Isaak was the youngest in the pack he got picked on. There was a moment where Isaak had enough! He wouldn't stand for injustice.

I do like how in this world of little empathy - Isaak has a lot of empathy. He stands up for friends, cousins and himself. He wants a world that has justice. He doesn't fight a person without being picked of first.

As a parent I'm not sure I have the answers for everything. Certainly I don't have the answers for Isaak standing up for what he feels is right. I've told him about choosing his battles. Sometimes I think as a society boys would be better to battle it out. Most of them would quickly get over their problem after that. We live in a different world now.

At home when the kids have a struggle I send them outside with boxing gloves. So far no one has broken any bones, and they are happier after their time outside.

Family Night:

At the end of the camp on Friday they invite families out to hear their camp songs, watch and listen to camp skits, and to hear each camp pass out reward certificates. 

Mica came up with a camp song that went to Queens, Bohemian Rhapsody. He spent quite a bit of time on it, and was proud of his lyrics. It really pissed him off when he didn't win that competition. Just like we had a talk with Isaak about his problems above, we talked with Mica about competition. He'll soon go to middle school with a lot more kids than what he's used to. Competition will be much more of a thing. 

Anyhow for his camp Mica won the Bohemian Rhapsody award. 

Isaak I guess carried a stick everywhere he went. He loved hiking! He got something like The Walking Man award.

The kiddo behind Isaak is my nephew Elijah.

When you were a kid did you like getting in the dirt/mud?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WW: Mahoney State Park {Linky}

I love going to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park AKA Mahoney State Park. I wish we had time to go there more. This year our once a year family reunion on my Mom's side was held there. We went hiking before the reunion.

Trekking the Trail:

Twisted Trees:

Liking Likens:

Great Growing Greenery:

Awesome Apels:

Isaak always has a stick in his hands!

Vast Views:

Have you gone hiking, or camping this summer?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Silly Groundhog!

We had something digging this hole behind our air conditioner. 

It was against our house, and under our covered patio, so we needed whatever it was to stop!

Travis called the Humane Society. They told him that it's illegal to trap a wild animal, and release it elsewhere. That's how disease spreads. He asked for a number of someone that could help him figure out how to get whatever it was to leave this hole, since it was up against our house. 

The person at the Humane Society thought for sure it was a groundhog. Travis saw raccoon paw prints around that area, and noticed corn that we're growing was tampered with. 

Then it happened, he got a sighting of the groundhog. He saw it's tail and waddle walk. Then it scurried away when it noticed Travis saw him or her. It looked oh so guilty and scared in it's hole. 

I bought Coyote Urine on Amazon. I never knew one could buy that stuff! Who collects Coyote Urine, packages it, and sells it? 

Apparently it smells pretty bad! Travis put a little around the entry hole, but it didn't work.

He called the Nebraska Wildlife Park Commission to get more tips on getting rid of the groundhog. We weren't all about destroying it. We just wanted it to move. 

I Guess the Whole Idea Was to Annoy it:

On Friday morning he hooked up a radio to play all weekend in the out hole that the groundhog created. He wadded up newspaper to shove in that hole as well. That was to gage if the groundhog went out of it at all. 

Outside the entrance of the hole he sprinkled lots of cayenne pepper. They get it on their paws, rub it on their face, and it burns. 

Travis did warn the neighbors about the music. They were cool with it. I do have to say that it messed with my sleep all weekend. I felt like a soft alarm was going off. It was hard to fall asleep, and when I woke up I thought something was wrong with my alarm clock. Once I Wear My Sunglasses at Night was playing, and I pictured the Groundhog with sunglasses on walking all over our yard.

Night 1: 

Radio was played, cayenne pepper was sprinkled down by the entrance. Tracks were in the cayenne pepper. It moved the paper by the radio. Flies started to appear, so we wondered if a baby was dead in there. :(

Night 2:

No newspaper was moved.  

Night 3: 

Travis put all purpose flour around the hole. This was again just to see if there were prints. No prints!

He's going to lightly put dirt in the hole, and sprinkle Coyote Urine around the hole entrance and exit. 

I'm so surprised that the feral cat that hangs out in our backyard didn't kill the groundhog! 

Have you ever had to get rid of some type of pest? How did you do it?

Poison was our last resort, but if we had to, we would have used it. 

Update: After a few days of no groundhog it's back. Travis refuses to give it poison, so more radio, and he's repeating what he did before. I just want it gone.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Random Tid Bits

I'm writing this a week early. Classes started this week, so I know I'll be super busy. If you comment, I'll be sure to get back to your blog.
  1. I gave my fall sylabi to the Education Director in the spring, well before classes were over. She never went over them; that I'm aware of. I find it kind of insulting; considering I plowed through to get them to her before my surgery. It's less than a week before classes start, and she still hasn't given them back to me with any changes. I emailed them on over to the Director (a different person) of the school. She emailed me back asking, "Did the Education Director approve these?" I just replied with a, "Yes." There are times where I want things to be right, and there are other times I just choose my battles. At this time I just chose to let it go. Yes she's reviewed them in the past, so there's that.

  2. I was surprised to see a guy teacher back at work. Why was I surprised? Last year he told the student it was his last year. He also told me that he has Alzheimer's Disease. 

  3. Last year I had lots of workbooks for my kids to work on during the summer. This year I didn't. For one they stop making a lot of workbooks in upper elementary. For another I've read a few articles here's one that being bored is good for kids. Here I was trying to give them something to do all the time.

    Instead of always giving them things to do I encouraged this:

  4. Mica's new to doing laundry. I went to go make Isaak's bed, after asking Mica to go get what was in the dryer. It was all wet. He put it in the dryer, but never turned it on. I just can't believe he brought them up and didn't think, These feel a little wet. We made him put them in the dryer, turn the dryer on, then I said, "Don't worry about it. We all start out laundry with mistakes."

    Travis piped in, "Mica I've washed a load of water before. I forgot to put clothes in there." Travis did that as an adult! I think us admitting we've made mistakes helped establish that he can come to us when he makes a mistake. 

  5. We have a Family Reunion on my Mom's side once a year. In a way it's too much of the time. In another way it's just once a year. Here's a photo of my Grandpa with his siblings that are still alive. He's had 2 sisters, and 1 other brother that have passed away. These 3 have always been the closest of the siblings.

    My 91 year old Grandpa is the one in the front with the darker skin. I swear he looks part Native American, but I have no proof of that. 

What's your oldest relative? 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dear Mica,

Happy Birthday Mica! You turn 12 today. You're a tweenager for sure.

A month ago we decided to get you your first phone. That's your big present. With walking and riding the bus to and from middle school we figured now is the time to get you a phone. We also lost our land line some time ago, so you needed a phone.

Today I'm giving you a set of lenses for your phone. 

  • Taking pictures with your phone is your newest hobby.
  • Music! You love playing Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Brono Mars the most. You like Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, and the Village People. 
  • Reading! You've been really into this series called Spirit Animals this summer. You read classics like Of Mice and Men, Two Kill a Mockingbird and more. You'll read books 4 or 5 times over again. 
  • You still love movies and shows. Grimm is one of your favorites right now. No one else around here likes it. We've been watching The Cosby Show as a family. Yes Bill Cosby has been in hot water, and on the news a lot this year. It's still a good family show. You'll watch any movie really. 
  • You got your first "job". You volunteered at the library and helped stock books, and collected zip codes from people for their Read to a Dog program.
  • You started playing the trumpet. There are times when you practice where you're pretty good. Other times I don't think you try. You had hopes of playing Sledgehammer from Peter Gabriel, but you quickly learned that Hot Cross Buns and songs at that level would be played mostly. You did get to learn the Star Wars theme song, which is fun.

Your Personality Shines in This Video:


  • You're not a big fan of chores. You had to take over for me when I got an upcycled nose (surgery) hand washing dishes. 
  • I've been having you do laundry at times. Last week I had you take up a load, and you forgot to dry it. 
  • You still dislike playing outside and sports, but did decided to give soccer a shot in the spring.
Other Things:

  • You do this thing where you bend your elbow out to stretch it. It drives Dad nuts. Ha!

  • You're more apt to want to be in your room more. That's kind of the reason why I called you a "Tweenager". 

Goofball Photos:

Happy Birthday my soon to be Middle Schooler!



Little World Lightweight Sleeping Bag Review

Isaak still has a Cars sleeping bag. It's starting to fall apart. He just needs a new one.

One of Isaak's Christmas presents is going to be a Little World Lightweight Sleeping Bag! 

The sleeping bag can be found here: $34.99 on Prime.

Like most sleeping bags, this one comes in an outer bag:

I do like how the bag hugs the sleeping bag. You can really get something large in a small space!

I dislike how there are so many straps on the bag. I found it difficult to get open and closed easily. Just a open and close on the top, and possibly one strap going around it would be all it needs in my opinion.

I also wish the bag would match the sleeping bag. Stick with all blue, or go all black.

About the Sleeping Bag:

Temperature Scale - 15℃-5℃ or 26 and 73 degrees (Fahrenheit) It's good for spring, summer and fall. Not ideal for winter.

Material - 170 Polyester Cloth

Size - 180 x 75 cm and a hat with length of 30 cm

Good For - Camping in a Tent or Cabin, Hiking, Overnight Stays, Trips, and In Door Camping (which we do in the winter)

Waterproof - The outside is waterproof

I do like the pillow area. Some of my other sleeping bags do not have this. It's nice because the pillow stays in the bag.

I do like that the head part can be adjusted. If you have a large pillow it can be loosened up, if you have a small one it can be tightened up.


There are zippers on both sides. I wish they were metal, but they are plastic. There is a velcro, which doesn't seem to secure. It look like it could come apart any time to me.

Typically we make camp outs during the winter indoors. We invite a friend over for each kid, or their cousins. We pop up a tent in the living room, have mats and sleeping bags inside, make smore's on a light broil in the oven, and watch a good movie. It's a good way to feel like down in the winter. The boys really love it. It doesn't make my allergies or asthma flair up. Ha!

What do you do during the winter months to shake up your routine?

Disclaimer: I received this sleeping bag for a discount in exchange for my honest opinion. I only review products I feel my family or readers will be interested in.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

WW: 8 Eyes {Linky}

How many eyes does Isaak have here? Technically he has 2 eyes.

He has his own 2 eyes, glasses on his face + 2 more, each lens has 2 eyes + 4 more = 8 Eyes.

Monday, August 7, 2017

My Only Elementary Schooler

It's kind of odd that only Isaak is going to elementary school this year.

Everything seems foreign with middle school. The principle still hasn't gotten back to me from an email I sent last week. An email I sent the vice principle bounced back to me. Travis called last week to find out that they don't have a supply list, bus schedules went out on Friday, and back to school night is on the 15th.

I looked over Isaak's supply list. I was ready to go fork over a lot of money just to find out that I bought a ton of supplies when Shop-Ko (a store similar to Walmart) closed down. Score for me.

Isaak got Miss Nelson for a teacher. I don't know either teacher, so I have no opinions either way. We had to laugh because of the children's book, Miss Nelson is Missing. If you're unfamiliar with the story the nice Miss Nelson goes missing and comes back as mean Miss Viola Swamp to basically get her student body to act more appropriately.

Travis texted Isaak's friend Ben's Mom to see what class he got. Ben is Isaak's friend from Argentina. He got the other class. I was really heartbroken for Ben more than Isaak. Isaak will make or have friends in either class. Ben doesn't know very much English. Last year Isaak communicated with Ben through gestures, and drawings. 

Every day Isaak was excited about something he taught Ben, or something that Ben taught him. One day Isaak said he was humming the Indiana Jones theme song, and found out that Ben knew it too! That amazed Isaak. 

His teacher last year said that Isaak would stand up to show Ben it was time to get in line. He'd put his hands in his pockets when it was time to be quiet. 

For the first time in my life I felt like crying for someone else's kid, that I didn't even know. 

Could you imagine going to another country at the age of 9, and not know much of what they were saying? Ben connected with Isaak, and now they are going to be split apart. 

Argentina's government is really messed up, and they moved right before Trump was elected. I just can't imagine how they feel. If I were in their shoes I'd feel unwelcomed, unwanted, and confused. 

I wrote a letter to the principle on behalf of Benjamin. I said everything I felt. I ended it with saying something like: Please get their teacher from before - her input. He wrote back saying that their teacher from before suggested the switch. 

When I mentioned to Isaak that they were going to have different teachers (after I knew for sure) he said, "I know Mom. It's probably because we talk too much!" I asked, "How can you talk too much to someone that barely speaks English?" He said, "He speaks enough Mom." 

My emotions took over the situation. I felt all this empathy for this kid I don't really know. My kid duped me.

We took a trip to Iowa to go school shopping. Iowa had no sales tax much of the weekend. 

Mica got some new pants at Rue 21 that's closing. $19 for 3 pair of pants isn't too shabby! We got shoes at Kohl's. Some school supplies, or things we needed we got at Target. 

Mica's all into being appropriate. When we ate at Burger King, Mica did not care for Isaak wearing a paper crown. Mica, "Isaak that's embarrassing!" So I put one on. Then heard Mica and Travis say, "You're not really going to wear that?!" I acted like I was going to, but took it off.

Are you still friends with anyone you were friends with in elementary school? 

#Natrogixessentialoil Review

I use essential oils for a lot of different things:
  • To add to homemade laundry soap
  • To add to dryer balls to make my clothes smell good
  • To add to plain lotion or coconut oil to make me smell good
  • To add to my mop water, or homemade cleaners
  • To add to sugar or salt scrubs

and more...

I recently got a box of Natrogix Essential Oil to review:

You can get this set on Amazon for $32.99 on sale for $18.99! That's with Prime Shipping!

I was super impressed with the packaging! The brown is dye cut paper! How cool is that? Side Note: I'm keeping it as a sample to show my design students.

The brown paper is a box sleeve that slides off the purple box. This is what's inside:

9 Main Essential Oils!
  • Lemongrass - Clean, crisp and energizing. It's great for massage oils and to add to skin care products.
  • Lemon - Bright and awakening. used to turn a bad day around, and clean your surroundings.
  • Frankincense - A holy oil because it's been used since Egyptians and Sumerians. It's sweet, yet earthy. It's recommended by many aromatherapists.
  • Tea Tree -It has medicinal aroma. Helps with skin problems, and can be added to cosmetics and ointments.
  • Eucalyptus - It has a minty scent with a touch of honey. It enhances creativity, relieves pain, and heals.
  • Peppermint - Eliminates fatigue and drifting thoughts. 
  • Sweet Orange - Brings joy, and back pleasant memories. 
  • Lavender - Helps with stress and makes it easier to sleep. Added often to perfumes and body care products.
  • Rosemary - A refreshing scent. Supportive to cognition and memory.  

I love all the different scents. Essential oils are something I can smell because alone they are so strong. Some of my nasal preceptors were eaten away by polyps. :( 

I tend to add Sweet Orange, Lemon, Lemongrass and sometimes Peppermint to cleaning supplies.

Other oils I use in body products. I feel like

Frankincense has more of a masculine scent, so I add it to Mica's unscented facial wash.

Whenever any of us are feeling off I add Lavender to our bath.

This set comes with a book and a free E-Book:

The book has facts about the oils, and what they can be used for. The E-book has 200 recipes you can make with essential oils.

What's your favorite scent out of the essential oils I reviewed? 

Disclaimer: I received this set of oils for a discount in exchange for my honest opinion. I only review products I feel my family or readers will be interested in.


The opinions on this blog are my personal take on products and topics relating to motherhood. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me.

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