Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mica's 4th Grade Conferences

Mica's teacher is the type of person that doesn't hold anything back. In fact she goes over the kid's report card with each kid before she even meets with the parents, so there are no surprises.

She had the kids write personal goals. Then she checks back with them to see if they completed the goals.

One of his goals was to ask Isaak to go outside to play. Well he did that once. Today I reminded Mica that, that was a personal goal. He said, "I already did that." I said, "Mica goals aren't a 1 time thing."
Mica has great grades. His lowest was a B in math. He's always struggled more in math then any other subject.

It doesn't really look like him, but this is Mica's self portrait. 

Mica's teacher is putting him and the girl he's liked since last year in a different reading group then the rest of the class. I just say this because they made the student council together, they got selected for this special science thing to study lemurs together. Why? Because they are both in a 6th grade reading level, or higher. Much of the exercises they do in class bores them.

Mica is supposed to tell us, or his teacher if these exercises he gets are too hard, or confusing. Then he'll get moved back to his regular course material. We just want him to continue to learn.

No one in his class got a great grade for problem solving. I guess Mica came up to her and said, "My pencil is broken." She shrugged her shoulders and said, "What do you want me to do about it?" There's a bag the teacher has full of sharpened pencils + they all have a twist sharpener at their desk. I think it's a problem many kids have over all in this day and age.

She was impressed that he makes us coffee every morning, and has other tasks to do at home.

Mica does do his own homework without Travis checking it now. This is the first year for that.

We had to choose to sign if Mica can participate in the sex talk at school. That's been big in the news. Is it a parent's job, or the school's job to teach about sex? In 4th grade they only get talked to about deodorant, periods, bras, and their bodies changing. We'll talk to Mica, and the school can talk to him to. It's later when he gets the real sex talk.

He to seems to be doing well in school. I hope it stays that way.

Isaak's 2nd Grade Conferences

Conference time sure has changed, since I was little. My parents used to get dressed up. I watched my Mom put on lipstick, and perfume. We had a babysitter for the night.

Now we take Mica and Isaak with us. Many parents take their kids. Some kids go into the conference. We have our kids sit out in the hallway to watch a DVD that they've agreed on.

Thankfully this year both teachers were on time. Last year we had to split up because one teacher was running late. It seemed like I connected more with Isaak's teacher, and Travis connected more with Mica's teacher.

We started in Isaak's classroom. She started out saying, "You have a wonderful boy! He's smart, artistic, cares about his work, and tries hard."

I told her our only concerns as far as school goes:
  • Isaak runs on emotions. Much more than other boys do. There are times when he'll come home from school and will say, "No one played with me at recess." I've heard less of this, this year. Hopefully it's something he's growing out of. He's like that at home at times to. When we're all doing our own thing he'll say, "No one plays with me." and gets really sad. We've been trying to get Mica to do more with Isaak, and Isaak to figure out things to do on his own. 

  • Isaak's emotions have gotten in the way of him reading. He had a low self esteem thinking he couldn't read. Now that's finally going away. 

  • He's a people pleaser. In school he knows it's his job, so he does his best to follow what the teacher wants. At home if he does a drawing he'll show it to everyone expecting, "WOW Isaak that's really good."

  • He has a small bladder. There's a rule at school where kids can only go to the bathroom at certain times. Sometimes Isaak needs to go when Isaak needs to go. His teacher is letting him have a pass to go to the bathroom when he needs to. Too many kids go to the bathroom to just walk the halls.
Isaak is actually above the national average for reading. YAY! Grades are a little different then A, B, C, D and F. They don't even do numbers. He's excelling at math, art, music, and gym. I guess in music they even had a test on notes, and he seemed to know them. 

Isaak has super neat handwriting. Once he was told to write bigger. It was only because it was too small for his teacher to read it. At home we've been trying to get Mica to write smaller. 

It's good to know he's doing just fine in school. 

Towards the end of his conference I was sent a text that my mom's cousin - my 2nd cousin was found dead that morning. She liked much of what I wrote on facebook, and seemed concerned when Isaak wouldn't read to us. I wish I could have told her that Isaak's above the national average in reading. I wish I could have told her how much it meant to me that she cared enough to comment and like a lot of my things on facebook. It's so sad that she died suddenly!

Out of the Box Saturday

It's all about me discovering something that is different. I don't want to post things that you and I have more than likely heard before. I want to find something different. I'll cover something sing | songy one week, and artsy | fartsy the next.

I have a Gary Taxali poster hanging in my office at work. I have to admit that I love the poster, but never really looked up an of his other pieces, nor do I know much about him.

He was born in India and raised in Canada. Both his fine art work and Illustrations are known in the US. His retro stylized art is reminiscent of the 1930s and best described as “reinvented pop art” and rooted from an award winning illustration background. He's had a Grammy nomination, tons of awards for his art, and his work has shown in many magazines such as GQ, The New Yorker and more.

“Gary Taxali visually blends now with then. His style, inspired by vintage comics and advertising art, is repurposed with the goal of communicating the ironies and comical essence of popular culture. His work is at once alluring and endearing. Despite the vintage look, he is neither maudlin nor nostalgic. His imagery is rich in satiric verve.”
– Steven Heller

Here's Gary Taxali's work. All work was gotten off his site, and belongs to Gary Taxali.

The Poster I Have in My Office:

The Older The Better

Beach Body

Wild Forever

Visit Gary Taxali's Website.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Random Tid Bits

  1. My mom got eye surgery done earlier this week. She has some cysts that need to be taken care of, and something else. I know she has cataracts.

    My parents are watching the boys on Thursday.

    My older sister was messing with Mica and said in a serious voice, "Are you prepared to catch Grandma's eyeball if it pops out?" Because she was so serious Mica didn't know what to think.

    The next day I explained to the boys that Grandma was getting surgery done on her eyes early this week, and that they need to be extra nice when Grandma and Grandpa take care of them on Thursday. I went on to say, "If Grandma's eyeball falls out try and catch it to give it back to her. Please whatever you do, don't let it roll away." Isaak's eyes got all big, and he looked over at Mica in amazement. I turned to take care of the coffee, and to relieve my inside giggle.

  2. Oh boy, Boy Scout Popcorn! My nephews are in Boy Scouts. I feel the need to buy from both of them. Then 3 little boys have come to the door to sell some. Is it bad that I hid? I couldn't face those sweet little faces to say, "No." We're not huge popcorn eaters, so we have a whole tin can from last year sitting around.  Travis has no shame. He's like, "Just tell them we don't eat it!" I'm like, "But they are our nephews!"

  3. The boys have both been awarded this year with a Presidents Award. They've gotten it at the same time both times.

  4. Conferences are this week. I'm writing this on Monday. A ton of classwork has been sent home lately for the boys. It's like the teachers wait to bombard parents with paperwork at certain times during the year. 

  5. Some people were asking my youngest nephew how big he is? He looked at them, and didn't utter a word. Isaak said, "Oh he's big and heavy! I know I tried picking him up!"  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

In the Hood

Isaak had some school work sent home last week. I know Mica had the same assignment. He had to draw Rural = Farm Towns, what life looks like in the Suburb = Neighborhoods, and Urban = Neighborhoods. I'd say we live in the suburbs probably. Except our suburb is a little older, so the houses don't look all the same.

The rooster goes, "Co ll dodll dooooo!"
The lamb goes, "Mbeeee!"

Only it's not a lamb it's a lame. 

My house = "howse" to Isaak.
In case you need to know he labeled the sun. 
There's his school - "scooll" to Isaak.

The Urban Cities have what I thought he wrote, "Meth Slides". It's actually "Metal Slides". Our suburb has metal slides as well.

I laughed at the cuteness. Do you live in the country, suburb, or city?

The Attack of the Great Pumpkin

Never in my life did I expect to get attacked by a pumpkin!

It happened one fall night. I decided to make a mixture of veggies cooked on the stove with olive oil: shredded zucchini, chopped up onion, garlic, pumpkin, and baby tomatoes. Towards the end I sprinkled some nutritional yeast and parmesan cheese. All pretty healthy. 

It was good.

I decided to cook the rest of the pumpkin in the stove. I took the time to peel it, cut it up, bag it, and put it in the freezer. It took time for sure. 

I'm not the type to waist anything. I took the pumpkin seeds out, soaked them in salt water. Pumpkin seeds have more protein in them than nuts do. 

I had my sleeves pulled up, and was really covered in pumpkin. 

All the sudden the pumpkin grew teeth, and pulled me in. 

It started biting at my arm. 

The bite started as just a single hive about the size of a quarter. It itched. The next day there was redness around it that seemed to expand an inch out every 4 hours. Blisters formed on the original hive.

It kept getting redder and redder. Not even Benadryl stopped the itch.

It was then I decided I needed to go to the Urgent Care. 

Me: "Boys I know you just took a shower, but it's time to get dressed. I have to go to Urgent Care." They come out in pjs. Me: "Good enough. At least your are not in your underwear." 

When we got there it was then that I realized Isaak had on 2 different shoes. He said he did that on purpose.

There they told me I had an allergic reaction. I told the doctor about the attack of the great pumpkin. Only this time I told her the truth. I just itched my skin with pumpkin fingers. Apparently my skin didn't like that. Pumpkins, squash and zucchini are all related to ragweed. 

Online it says the best substitute is sweet potato. My husband is not happy about that one. He doesn't care for sweet potatoes. 

Internally none of those veggies will cause that kind of damage. It will just make those that are allergic stuffier. 

I'm supposed to put calamine lotion on it at night. I will need to get more of that. I found out ours expired when Mica was 2, he's 10 now. I never knew that stuff had an expiration date. That will help dry up the infected area. The blisters are bad...if they pop and go on other parts of my skin those areas will get infected to. Unfortunately I woke up with bigger blisters on my skin about the size of corn kernels. It's in the spot where I rest my arms to type, and feels really weird to type.

I had to pick up 3 meds: A topical steriod, a oral steriod, and a non itch med that has a side effect much like a tranquilizer. I'll be big and buff over Halloween.

While waiting in the drive through for my meds, the boys started wrestling in the backseat. Who could blame them? I was growing impatient to. The pharmacy had me wait 5 to 7 minutes, which ended up being 15 or more. The pharmacist was on the phone with me when Isaak blurted out, "Is that a boy or a girl?" Shaking my head at them I think he got the point

Now I'm drugged up. I'm not completely out of it yet. If you are allergic to ragweed have someone else cut up pumpkin, squash, or zucchini for you. Whatever you not touch one of those veggies and scratch your skin!

Here's something I've never understood: Why are allergy shots good? They build up your resistance to allergens right? I get that. Then when it comes to eating foods you're allergic to it's bad. You'd think in small doses, eating things you are allergic to would be just like a shot...building up your resistance. They said no to peanut butter for the boys from newborns to age 5 because of all the peanut allergies. Yes I cheated. Now studies have shown to give kids peanut butter to help build up a resistance to peanut butter. Have a furry animal when you're small to build up a resistance to them. I don't get why someone that has an allergy to one particular thing should stay away from that thing, and all things related to that thing with consumption. Maybe doctors do not get it either.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WW: Fall Festival {Linky|

The boy's school has a fall festival every year. They have a lot of games, a haunted house, food, and Duct Taped the principal to the wall. 

We dressed up for the event:

Isaak the Zombie

Mica as Captain America

I Went as a Box of Cheez-Its

A kid at the festival said, "I want some Cheez-Its." I just turned around, and he laughed.


The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel'sThe Apel's

Monday, October 19, 2015


Isaak has always been a punk about reading. He likes to be read to, but didn't want to pick up a book to read himself. Last year he kept saying, "I can't read!" He'd flat out refuse. He'd pretend to not know words he knew. He was a real stinker about it. 

This year a retired teacher decided to start a non-profit to get kids reading. Each day a book is sent home with every kid in 2nd grade. The kid has to read it, answer questions about the reading, the parent signs that the kid read the book. The kid marks if the book was too hard, just right, or too easy. Isaak knows that this is something he has to do. He's been very good about doing it. 

I was on the library's website and Isaak said, "Mom I have that book in my classroom. I've read some of it. It's a chapter book." I put it on hold, along with another book in the series. Marvin Redpost is the series. This proves that everyone has different taste; Mica said, "I tried reading those books, and could not get into them." Isaak couldn't get into the Magic Tree House series that Mica loved so much. Maybe Isaak will give the series a shot when he gets more confident in his reading.

Here he was on Saturday morning:

Here' he was when Dad was in Subway getting us sandwiches: 

What book series got you into reading? American Girls started when I was a kid. I got into them big time. Now they are so very commercial, which makes me a little sad.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bloom Where You're Planted Farm and Pumpkin Patch

I won tickets to go to Bloom Where You're Planted Farm and Pumpkin Patch from Family Fun in Omaha.

We went there on Saturday. We've never been there, so we had no idea what to expect. It was about an hour drive from our home.

We enjoyed the drive. Both of us live only 10 minutes from our home to our work, mine ends up being 20 minute because of construction, so it's not like we drive all over, all the time.

It's not as commercial as Vala's Pumpkin Patch, so there is less to do. There is also less people, more animals to pet, it's less expensive, more real food options, and you can hear yourself think out there.
The boys loved petting the horses. They spent some time picking burs out of the horse's mane. There are a lot of them out there.

Mica memorized the horse's names.

I tried getting photos of the boys all nice, with smiles on the hay bales. They wanted nothing to do with that. Instead they wrestled on the bales, and Isaak the punk child that he is jumped off the tallest one. I'm so lucky that kid hasn't broken anything yet! 

The boys did work together to get up on this horse swing. Teamwork at its best.

These city boys have never been in a tractor, or combine. They had a chance to get to know John Deere a little bit this weekend.

They had this fun bumpy slide. Isaak told me his butt felt bumpy. LOL

Isaak covered Mica in corn. They have a huge bin filled with it that's like a sandbox.

We went on a hay rack ride. It was pretty. 

What did you do this weekend?

LoveBug Probiotics - Colds Suck - Immunity Boost Review

I love probiotics. It's good to use them because they bump up your immune system. Recently I got LoveBug Probiotics - Colds Suck - Immunity Boost to review.

If you are unfamiliar with probiotics they put the good bacteria back into your body. This ups your immune system.

The times I've used probiotics in the past:
  • When any of us is having tummy issues.
  • When any of us has skin issues. It's the only thing that has cleared up Mica and Isaak's eczema issues long term. Good bacteria can control certain immune cells and can reduce the frequency and severity of autoimmune and even histamine responses. Eczema is a chronic inflammatory allergic reaction. Some of the causes of eczema are environmental allergens or stress, but it's also impacted by imbalances in your gut bacteria.
  • When I notice more people getting sick at work. I take them as a preventative. 
  • When I'm feeling worn down. That's the time I may get sick. 
  • During my time of month. My whole system is just off during this time.
Get Healthy and Stay Healthy

80% of your immune system is in your gut. When your immune system lacks too many of the good bacteria, you are left vulnerable to foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, and allergens. 

We learned all about this back in 2005 when Mica had a staph infection, and heard all about it again when Isaak had meningitis. Probiotics were given to them at the same time as their antibiotics.

LoveBug's, Colds Suck proprietary probiotic blend contains L. rhamnosus GG. Patented in 1985, it is the #1 Most Clinically Studied strain and the subject of 800 publications to date and 200 clinical trials. 

I'm not saying you'll never get sick when you take probiotics. It's just that you'll reduce your chances of getting sick. Since I'm a teacher, a mom, and I have chronic allergies I try my best to take care of me.

Don't waist your sick days! 

Each Colds Suck tablet is loaded with our proprietary blend of immune boosting probiotic strains along with Vitamin C, Echinacea, and Zinc. 

These probiotics make sure your immune system is armed with good bacteria to help reduce the severity and duration of colds.

Other Things About LoveBug Probiotics:
  • They are Non-GMO
  • Yeast Free
  • Contain No Gluten
  • Contain No Sugar
  • No Lactose
  • No Soy
  • No Wheat
  • No Nuts
  • No Chemicals
  • No Preservatives
  • No Artificial Flavors or Colors
How They are Made:
  • They Are Made in the USA
  • They are Packaged in Organic Cotton
  • Patented in 33 Countries Worldwide
How They are Sold:  
  • You can buy LoveBug Probiotics on Amazon with Prime.  
  • Cost was originally $49.99, but are on sale for $29.95
I have started back up on probiotics. My allergies have been getting bad again due to ragweed, and mold. It's that time of year where people do get sick. I know my immune system is in jeopardy.

Isaak is taking the kid brand to. He's been complaining about his tummy hurting, but hasn't shown any signs of having the stomach flu.    

I love how LoveBug sent a freezer ice pack with the probiotics.   

Like LoveBug Probiotics on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel'sThe Apel'sThe Apel's
Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in exchange for a review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 


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