Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WW: Grandpa With a Fidget Spinner {Linky}

We had my son Mica's 12th birthday party this weekend. He got a set of Skull Candy Headphones along with another Fidget Spinner.

Here's my nephew Evan and Mica both wearing a Skull Candy ear bud:

Here's the Fidget Spinner Mica got that my 91 year old Grandpa couldn't put down:

I don't think Mica knew what to do to get his Fidget Spinner back. Ha! 

This same birthday party my 3 year old nephew made this Baby Trump happen:  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sewing Leather Tools Review

I tend to look for arts and crafts that are great for boys. There just isn't a lot out there. Most of them are geared towards girls.

I was so happy that I got a Sewing Leather Tool Set to review: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XDMB7H5! It's something Isaak will love for Christmas coming up. I'm going to get him a leather belt to work on.

15 Pieces Included:

I was thinking it would be a small kit with a few things. Nope! It's really full of stuff!
  • All different needles: glovers needle, carpet needle, sail needle, straight upholstery needle, sack needle and 2 pieces of curved mattress needles 
  • 3 Colors Flat Wax Rope: Black, Burnt Umber and Raw Siena 
  • 1 x Adjustable Stitching Groover 
  • 1 x Black pressure cloth tooth distance of 4 mm 
  • 1 x Log pressure cloth tooth distance of 2 mm 
  • 1 x Solid wood awl 1 x Straight head awl
  • 1 x Hook the awl 
  • 1 x Hollow awl 
  • 1 x Scissors 
  • 1 x Thimble 
  • 1 x Beeswax 
  • 2 x Finger cots
It also comes with a bag to fit the tools.

The whole set costs: $18.29 on Amazon Prime.

I think it's a great set for a beginner. Of course I'll help him figure it all out.

There are no metal stamps, but there's a variety of tools to make letters, or patters on your own. Certainly enough for personalizing your leather projects.

Would you buy someone a belt to begin using these tools, or just a slab of leather? 

Disclaimer: I received this set in exchange for writing this review. I was in no way influenced by anyone in regards to this review.

Are You Ready for the Solar Eclipse?

It's Solar Eclipse Day! 

I kind of wish each eclipse had a name like hurricanes do. There just isn't enough of them, so instead a year is just attached to it. How cool would it be to call it a name like Solar Eclipse Sally, or Solar Eclipse Sam? 

What would you name it?

Since I live in Nebraska, and it's the path of the eclipse - hotels have been booked for quite some time. 

Bill Nye is here in Beatrice, Nebraska. I already got an ear full on him. I mentioned him being here, and one of my co-workers apparently doesn't care for him because he's not a real scientist and he's anti Christian. I'm pretty sure anyone can be a scientist just for having an interest in science and doing science experiments. Much like anyone can be an artist, musician, landscaper... I'm sure he's not anti Christian. He's just anti some of their practices and thoughts. You can't tell me he doesn't have some Christian relatives and friends that he loves deeply. So there. I didn't say anything. I don't know the guy. I just thought it was odd she went there with such passion; like he's deeply offending her. I'm pretty sure she doesn't know him either. 

There's that. Ya it doesn't really have anything to do with the solar eclipse. I too was like, What the heck? Where is this coming from?

NASA is flying jets across Nebraska. That's pretty cool! 

I guess traffic may be nuts here! I'm hoping no one I know gets into an accident.

Travis has the day off, so he's traveling to Auburn to get out of the city. 

The boys have been learning about the eclipse in school. In particular talking about the safety of wearing legit glasses. They do have school, and will partake in the viewing. 

I have a lot of friends that live in Kansas City who found out last week that their kids do not have school. They are worried about kids taking their glasses off, having eye damage, and their parents suing the school. 
What are your thoughts on if school should get cancelled for the Solar Eclipse of 2017?

Isaak was excited to try his glasses on:

I'm pretty sure the boys will get glasses in school. We wanted to make sure they had some just in case, as glasses were not mentioned.

Before you decide to take photos, or use your phone in anyway read this: https://www.idropnews.com/news/solar-eclipse-iphone-photography-warnings-tips/47339/

You could damage your phone, or camera. 

Just enjoy the experience! There are people trained to take photos and videos with filters for their lenses. I'm sure it will be all over the news, so if you can't get a good view - check it out later. 

Protect those eyes! Peace out! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Riwbox #wirelessheadphones Review

Mica and Isaak have both been asking for some Wireless Headphones.

Riwbox Wireless Headphones were sent to me to review! You can get them on Amazon for $52.50 on sale for $25.99, or on Riwbox: http://www.riwbox.com/Wireless/Folding/Riwbox-Xbt-80-Wireless-Headphones.html for $48.89 on sale for $25.99.

If you've been a reader for awhile, you'll know that Isaak LOVES the color gold. The headphones I got to review are gold! I think in the video below I mentioned that Mica would get them, but I changed my mind to give them to Isaak.

They fold up in a small box, and expand out!

I love them, so I may revisit their site to pick up more for around Christmas time.

They'll work on most devices, which is cool! I won't have to listen to the boy's listening to Minecraft videos.

Headphone Features:

  • Driver diameter: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 107dB ±3dB
  • Frequency range: 2.4-2.4835G(Hz)
  • Power rating: 30MW
  • Mic sensitivity: -58dB ± 3dB
  • Mic frequency range: 30MHMHz-16KHz
  • Play time:About 13 hours
  • Standby: 80 hours
  • Charging time: About 2-3 hours
  • Charging Current: 350mA
  • Compatibility: Cellular phone, Bluetooth device; support remote control of play/pause, previous/next track, volume up and volume down


They are really comfortable headphones. I didn't even feel like I had them on. They look so sleek! The XBT-80 headphones fuselage is close to the matte material, not easy to damage and scratches. Other parts are die-cast from a zinc alloy. That's something new for an on-ear headset.

Noise Cancelling:

They canceled noise out so much that I had trouble knowing how loud I was talking during the video. High soft elasticity earpads significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between.

What All is Included:

  • 1 Wireless Headphone
  • 1 Audio Cable with Mic and volume control
  • 1 USB Cable
  • 1 Manual Warranty Card
Knowing Mica the first song he'd want to hear through these headphones would be Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm not sure what Isaak would pick. What song would pick to listen to?

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

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? 


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