Saturday, August 17, 2019

Do You Stop and Chat?

A few weeks ago I was out and about with the boys. They were in a pick on each other mood!

I went to check out. There's a lady I used to work with. I had her son as a student. I said, "Hi" to her a couple times. I even called her by her name one of those times. She just kept about her business. She wouldn't snub me, just didn't hear me.

I said to the boys, "Come on, let's go over here."

Mica said, "Why Mom? Do you know that lady?"

I said, "Yes I used to work with her."

He said, "Do you not like her?"

I said, "I like her just fine. She didn't hear me, you two keep on fighting, and I don't feel like talking."

He said, "Oh! You're pulling a Larry David...You don't want to Stop and Chat."

I said, "I guess so."

Do you find Stop and Chat to be awkward at times? I don't always like to Stop and Chat when I'm with the boys, but if I'm buy myself, I'm cool with it. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Random Tid Bits

  1. I have so many appointments coming up. I don't know how they all got shoved into late summer, but they did. Dentist Aug. 8 (writing this way early), Ears Nose Throat Aug. 26, OB with Mammogram Sept. 16, and I thought Isaak got braces early Aug., but that was just a consultation, so he gets them on Oct. 17. I try and schedule all this stuff when I don't teach. Thankfully the dentist will let me make appointments at 7 AM, so I do that. 

  2. School starts for me on Monday. I think I'm ready. I'm just nervous because we have the students punch into a hand punch to get an idea of who is here and who is not.

    I have to enter them all. Oh joy! It was actually accreditation's idea that we take attendance. Financial Aid loves it because they have record of when someone's last day was, if they drop out. 

    I hate it because I visually just take attendance. It's a breeding ground for germs. 

  3. The government makes me want to throw up. Maybe it's always been bad, but I was too young to care a whole lot.

    Some don't understand the Woman Marches, Black Lives Matter Marches, and Gun Violence Marches, but marches and protests have been going on for years and years. It's nothing new to stand up for yourself, and publicly show your support to a cause with joining a march.

    It's not just one side that upsets me, it's both. We've all gotten really good at pointing the finger, and not the thumb. It's good to admit we're all wrong with different things. Have a discussion about it. Solve problems, instead of divide ourselves up all the more. Aren't we all part of the problem?

    I have to say that I'm pretty proud of Senator John S. McCollister. He's a Republican living in a red state. He came out to reflect on something that would not be popular with much of his party. It's much easier to look the other way, point the finger, than to look a person in the eye and have a conversation about important topics. It's good to take ownership, and I for one am proud that he's not a follower, but instead a leader.

  4. One statistic that many do not talk about when it comes to mass shootings is the fact that the shooters are male. We discuss race, religion, politics and other background details, but leave out the sex as a key factor. 

  5. Even if you don't have boys, it's important to understand them!

    I know I've put this on here before, but if you haven't seen The Mask You Live in, it's an very important movie to watch!

  6. Another good one is Raising Cain. I read the book, and follow so much of what the phycologist Michael Thompson says! I had all sisters, and aunts growing up, so boys were knew to me. I had to learn to understand them. I see eye to eye with Michael Thompson so much. He did all his early research on girls, once the Columbine Shooting happened he switched gears and researched boys. This is long, so maybe listen to it like you would a podcast.

School Started for all of Us

Back to School Night was crazy! I don't know that, that much changed from last year. It just seemed nuts! Mica's started at 3:30, Isaak's started at 5, and we didn't get done until 7.

I've never been one that gets anxiety when being around lots of people, but that night it was even a bit much for me. Imagine what it's like for someone on the spectrum!

All the Booths:
  • Yearbook - Just for Isaak. I guess Mica's comes out towards the end of the year. He's never even told us about it.

  • School Activity Card - We stood in line for this at both schools, not knowing if we needed one or not. Turns out we waisted our time. Mica's not going to be in a sport, and Isaak can only do intramural sports. 

  • Lunch Money - We skipped all together because we do it online.

  • Nurse - We skipped this too. No meds to worry about.

  • Donation for PTA - Only for Isaak's school.

  • Join PTA - Sorry, but working full time, and being far away we didn't do this.

  • After Care - We stood in line for Mica with this. I wasn't sure if he needed it with being in Quiz Bowl. Turns out we didn't need to be there.

  • Sports - Isaak did get a sheet for intramural sports. 

  • Merch - We opted to skip this because we were so done by the time we got to this. Mica has some shirts from his Heath Academy that has school spirit. Maybe we'll get something later for Isaak.

  • Paperwork - We had to do this with both schools. Luckily they had our info typed in, and we just had to add changes. With Mica's school I felt like after looking it over we were butting back into line. I didn't want to piss anyone off. Isaak's school sent the info home, so it was a matter of handing to someone. 

  • Photos - I filled out Isaak's prior to going there, but Mica's wasn't sent home so I had to fill that one out there. Regardless there was a huge line, for school photos. Never have they ever had them on Back to School Night. I thought it was a good idea. Like the parents are there to make sure their kid doesn't look unpresentable. It was complete chaos! It added so much time to the night!

  • Schedule - Also chaos, but much needed. That was the whole purpose of going there. I did think both schools could have handled it better. Where Mica goes to school they didn't have signs saying, which grades were to be picked up where. With Isaak's school they had them alphabetically, but didn't have signs saying where A- L and M-Z were. 
After all the above, then it was time to meet all the teachers.  

I for sure do like to meet them. They often times have a list of supplies to get, an overview of the course and it's great to see their faces.

They messed up Mica's schedule.   

Mica's been talking about wanting to quit playing his trumpet. I said, "Well you have two choices in school: Art or Band, which one do you want to do?" He said, "Band I guess. It's an easy A."

He never has gotten better with his trumpet. He still hits crazy notes.

When we got his schedule it had Art on it, instead of Band. I most certainly didn't change it, nor did Mica. I said, "It's up to you. Maybe it's time to switch gears." He said, "Ok I'll go with Art."

A blessing in the mess up possibly?

Mica will be the lead voice, for the morning announcements.   

He's been super excited for this all spring, and a month before school started. He's been practicing, and letting me hear the sound of his voice. He didn't start yet because there wasn't much to announce. I think the group could have welcomed students back though.

Mica's homeroom will be with his Healthcare Academy.    

It was great that some organization donated pretty high end backpacks to them! He can't carry it in school, but will certainly carry it to and from.

Isaak just started his new school.    

So far he hasn't gotten lost. That was something I was worried about. He is like me, not great with directions. Not too long ago he went to the bathroom in a store. I stayed where I was, and he was escorted over by a store employee, and his eyes were flooded with tears. His middle school had a big addition, and one spot is really odd - you have to walk through the library to get to another wing.

His week has mostly been filled with rules and procedures.

We are excited that he has Piano as a class. He has Strings before fall break, and Art after fall break.

There are no official sports, but he can get into intramural sports.

Isaak did decide he wanted to eat breakfast at school, but quickly learned that it wasn't enough food. He's a slow eater, so it's good he has a little at home and a little at school. I do have to watch his carb intake. He wants the good stuff at each place.

I have three classes this semester. 

Art Media Techniques, Color and Design Theory and Design and Layout. I teach two Design and Layout classes - one in third year/first semester, and the other in first year/second semester.

I love my third year class. It's the best I've ever had. First year, it's too early to tell yet. One girl is super social with the guys, and has ventured into second year a lot. The rest are fairly quiet.

Traffic has picked up. We have construction right by our house. It has to be done, but it adds to the congestion.

Have kids started school by you? Do you have a lot of construction by your house?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

WW: Snails {Linky}

We went to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park for our yearly Family Reunion on my Mom's side. Sadly attendance is less and less every year. Happily my Grandpa (age 93) has 2 brothers still alive. If not very many people show up, at least those 3 have a chance to get together!

We went for a hike before having lunch. What the boys found to be the most exciting were the snails they found.

I have to admit that they are pretty cute when they come out of their shell. Just not all the way out - like slugs.

Mica called his Turbo, off the movie.

Isaak tried to grab as many as he could, and longed to keep them. We said, "Sorry put them back in nature."

What's a tiny creature in nature that you like?
Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I got no compensation, for writing this post. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

How to Make the Most of a Kid-Free Day

Having a day without kids is bitter-sweet for a lot of moms. Although there’s no doubt that you love your kids intensely, there is no denying that you could do with a break every so often. The question is, what exactly should you be doing during this break? The answer is that you should be doing things that you haven’t had the chance to do as a result of being so busy with the little ones. On that note, here is how you can make the most of a kid-free day next time you get to have one.

Consider Ditching Chores

At times, when the house is finally quiet, the first thing you can think about doing is chores. Even though that isn’t a bad idea, why not use your free time to do something that’s exclusively for you? Depending on how young or old your kids are, chores are something you can catch up on at any time.

However, if the pilling mess is making you itch, then dedicate time to cleaning up so that you’re able to relax. There is a way to cut your household chores in half, such as by dusting with a lint roller or using old newspapers to clean your mirrors.

Do Something Artsy

A kid-free day doesn’t mean that you can’t bring out the inner child in you on your own. If painting is something that you’ve always enjoyed, then get out your tools and start working on something new. You can also throw in a glass of wine and relaxing music so that you’re fully able to enjoy the moment.

Perhaps try picking up a crafts project as a new hobby. Some recommended craft kits for adults are the Paper Patter Play, Brooklyn Brew Shop beer making kit or the Winsor & Newton brush pen set.

Engage in Home Entertainment

A kid-free day is a chance to switch off all of the kids’ channels and catch up on your kind of entertainment. You could either do some reading or watch some of your favorite shows. While entertaining yourself, don’t forget classic snacks like nachos and popcorn. If you’ve got a vape, get new e-liquid flavors and mods you can enjoy via Ultimate Juice.

Have a Park Day

On days that it’s nice outside, you could go and spend some time at your local park. Get a blanket and charge all of your devices in case you want to do some work while you’re there. It’s a chance to get in touch with yourself and also reconnect with nature.

Don’t forget to do the most exciting part, which is packing a picnic basket. An ideal picnic food would be an egg & cress club sandwich as well as vegan sausage rolls if you don’t eat meat. Music could create a nice vibe for you too.

A kid-free day is a chance to relax and do things you haven’t been able to do in a while. Make it count by filling your free time with activities you enjoy.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Happy 14th Birthday Mica!

Mica turns 14 today! 

Sadly our Honda Civic turns 14 too. :(

Next year Mica will be starting high school, and probably learning how to drive. Hold out Honda Civic!

What a great year! Mica does well in school, and won a ton of awards. He's growing up. Mica's growing a mustache. I'd love to introduce him to a razor, but no one else in our house agrees. Ha!


Hobby: Reading

Mica's a bookworm. If I let him he'd stay in his room reading most of the time.

Club at School: Quiz Bowl

Quiz Bowl is the one thing he gets really excited about!

Subject: Astronomy

Food: Arby's

Really he'll eat most anything. Watch out for the snacks, he'll eat the whole box before anyone else gets a chance to eat them. Hello growth spurts! He's taller than I am, and almost taller than Travis!

Color: Blue

Movie: Avengers Endgame

Thank goodness for his Aunt Angela. She takes him to superhero movies. Travis and I could really care less about them.

Show: Flash

We spent some time watching Stranger Things Season 2, The Man in the High Castle Season 4, and Curb Your Enthusiasm (all the seasons).

Camps and Leadership: 

Banister Leadership Academy

Healthcare Academy

Volunteer at Milton Abraham Branch Library

Hummel Day Camp


Geography Bee Contestant

Astronomy Academic Excellence

Social Studies Academic Excellence

Student Council

Quiz Bowl

Language Art Academic Excellence

Student of the Week

Outstanding Achievement in Music

Renaissance Gold

Perfect Attendance

3rd Place in Think Tank


He gets to do the morning announcements this year. He's super excited to join the News Crew. 


Insects, especially butterflies




Tasks, although he's getting so much better with helping. Only when I ask though.

Happy Birthday my Leo! 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Random Tid Bits

  1. We've had a ton of zucchini growing in our garden.

  2. I don't feel like PMS makes me bitchy, but it sure does give me anxiety. If I have several big things to do I just innerly freak out. I feel my face getting red and hot, and my heart pumps really fast.

    Boss man wanted me call, and set up Adobe Creative Cloud for the teachers. I had never done this before. He had very specific things he wanted. I couldn't get everything he wanted, but it was a heck of a lot cheaper than last year, and got it approved.

    The next day he wanted me to back peddle to get things even cheaper. 

  3. Some advice is worth taking. My parents have given me a lot of good advice in the past.

    Good Advice:

    1. Choose your battles.

    2. Kids make their own schedules based on what's going on in their life.

    Lately they've been off on their game.

    Bad Advice:

    1. You might want to talk to Isaak and tell him not to cry. He might get made fun of in school. - He hasn't had issues with crying in school. I didn't say it, but think it's great that he can cry in front of us. Just because he's a boy I don't want him to think he should keep his emotions in. I have to say that Mica was pretty unbearable at Isaak's age. He was pretty much a jerk. Now Isaak's at that magical puberty stage. He shows his emotions differently - with crying, and wanting to sleep. I don't know that he's worse, or better than Mica. Just different.

    2. You should probably read up on Asthma and Allergies. Start taking other things to help them besides medicine. - I didn't say too much, but in the past I tried a lot of natural things. By not taking meds I got a nose so full of polyps that the doctor had to cut out. Some of my nasal receptors went with that surgery. No thanks I'll stick to my meds. I do drink turmeric and ginger a lot + do the neti pot regularly. Those count as natural remedies. I think my doctors would agree that they want me breathing, so taking my daily inhaler when I need it is important.

  4. Mica and Isaak have started fighting over really silly things. That's when I know it's time to go back to school. I let them both pick out snacks at the store. Isaak picked out Bunny Graham's.

    Travis got a call from Mica that he was all pissed because Isaak wouldn't let him eat the snack he picked out. In Isaak's defense, Mica would eat the whole box if he's able to. When I talked to them at lunch I said, "Maybe you shouldn't get a a morning snack. You don't have one at school."

    The next day we discussed their ridiculous spat. Travis found the whole thing comical because this is a snack I used to buy them when Isaak was in preschool. We decided we'd pour how much they get into bowls. Problem solved. I really wish they'd solve their own problems though.

    I explained that this kind of fighting is normal, for siblings. Travis never fought a whole lot with his sister growing up. His sister was inside a lot, when he was outside most of the time.

    I remember having battles with my sisters over the dumbest stuff. One time I tied my younger sister into her room. She wasn't tied, but her bedroom door was tied to the bathroom and my parent's bedroom door. She could not get out. I was way to old to do that. My friend got sent home. What's a silly thing you did when you were a kid?

  5. The boy's back to school night it the same night, in two different parts of town. I knew this could happen. Mica's starts at 3:30, Isaak's starts at 5:30, so we figured we'd go to Mica's first. Then we got a letter saying they'd prefer younger kids to go earlier at Mica's school. They get what they get. Isaak's starts August 13, and Mica starts August 14. They have the younger middle schoolers go first to get used to the building. When do kids start where you live?

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Epic Lemonade Stand

We had a ton of strawberries. I didn't think they'd do well with all the rain we go. They did. Now the plants are looking fried from the sun.

We told the boys they could have a Lemonade Stand.

One Friday night Travis is like, "Let's have that Lemonade Stand tomorrow." 

I said, "Let's have that Lemonade Stand on Sunday. I think there's some preparing that needs to be done. 

We had to buy paper glasses, foam board for signs, and an extra cooler. Mica thought it would be great for me to make cookies to give people more buying options. I made Chocolate Chip Cherry Chip Cookies without nuts.

Travis and Isaak made the signs! They did a great job!

Isaak did the letters on his, but Travis helped him blow those letters up.

The only sucky thing about the signs: They did them with highlighter, and they faded with the sun.


While we were waiting for customers, we found this big hungry caterpillar in the grass. It was as wide as a Garter Snake!


It was a super hawt day. About 100 degrees, but we had a tent and lots of water to keep us cool. 


I was happy that some of my friends from facebook stopped by. Social media can be good! Each boy made $30! Some people just liked that the kids were out there trying to sell something. They gave us extra $$$. Others liked that it was for a good cause. Mica's trying to raise funds to go to Chicago with his Social Studies/Quiz Bowl teacher and a group from school next year. Money comes out of our checking account monthly, but he doesn't need to know that.

Left Overs

We didn't have a whole lot of left over lemonade left. Our neighbor came over, and handed us a $10 bill. I gave them a pitcher of lemonade.

Travis did have frozen strawberries in a cooler to make more Strawberry Lemonade. He forgot about them until the next day. We had no choice, but to can a bunch of Strawberry Jam.

Did you ever have a Lemonade Stand when you were growing up?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

WW: Duluth South Breakwater Outer Light {Linky}

This post is very much out of order, from everything else I posted. The first light house we saw on our trip to Minneapolis was at Duluth South Breakwater Outer Light. The light house was built to help guide ships into the canal from Lake Superior.

Why was this post out of order from the others?

I took photos with my phone and my camera throughout our trip. The night before this particular day I had my camera battery charging. Mica came up, unplugged it, to charge his Kindle without telling me. We went out and about. I saw great photo ops. I got out my camera, and there was no battery in it. I did happen to see a black box in my purse before we went out, thinking Travis popped my battery charger in my purse. It was my business card box. 

If you want to see rage from this Momma, that was the time I was the most pissed off. I was worried my camera battery was gone for good. I had no idea where it was. Did it fall onto the floor at our last camp site, is it in a bag somewhere? A rechargeable battery isn't easy to find just anywhere. 

I snapped a few photos with my phone, that I wasn't all that happy with. Isaak had his break down because he found a butterfly that he couldn't take home. We left to walk along the Duluth main strip for shopping. Along the strip there was major construction going on. I know it has to be done, but it didn't help our already sour moods. We had detours everywhere we walked, it was loud, and we needed a break from walking. Not our best day.

I know many people say that iphones can produce wonderful shots. Many times they do. 

If you are trying to shoot with some distance behind you, or darker lighting a real camera does way better than an iphone! Hands down!

Foam always makes me thing of Root Beer Floats.

The first light house I ever saw was captured with an iphone. 

I didn't even get too close to this light house. My phone was running low on battery. Usually I'm more of a...let's see how close we can get to that kind of a person.

Isaak thought we were at the beach. He's never been to a beach. Seeing the waves, and pebbles that was close to sand was closest to the beach he's been. Mica kept saying, "Isaak this isn't a beach!"

Good News!

We went back to our cabin that evening, and my charger with my battery still in it was in a bag that was sitting near the bed in both cabins we stayed at. Thank Gawd! I went on the rest of the trip with a working camera and phone.

Have you ever had a break down moment when you were on a trip? We have, but usually it's because family members are hungry.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I got no compensation, for writing this post. All opinions are my own. 
Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I got no compensation, for writing this post. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Random Tid Bits

  1. Is it just me, or do you find vans/trucks creepy that have no back windows? I just think about the show Dexter. I picture things like dead bodies, drugs, kidnappings, and/or sex slaves being hidden away from everyone in there.

    Never happy cargo thoughts. They probably have drugs people actually need medically, medical equipment, computers, tools, and other things that.

  2. Mica texted all annoyed because he had more to do on his list than Isaak did. He thought he should have a break. I kept texting him meme/gifs back. I'm his only Mother, so I don't have anyone to compete with to be his favorite Mother.

  3. Isaak gets braces on very soon! August 5th to be exact. He's not too excited about it, but he doesn't have enough room in his mouth for all his adult teeth. Does he really want to have teeth growing out of his top gums in the where his mouth starts to turn forever?

    Mica has some crowding in his bottom teeth, but it's not enough to warrant braces. It would cosmetic only.

    Did you have any mouth appliances? I had a retainer and braces.

  4. I positioned the students with their friends. It's not really a seating chart, just putting them with who they hang out with. Two came in because they saw we had things ready to go. They changed where they sitting. Never mind the girl's feelings who thinks she is their friend. Now there's no space for her in that same area.

  5. One of my Aunt's was telling Isaak, Mica and the rest of the kids their age that my Grandpa, which is their Great Grandpa is a superhero. Isaak's had his Great Grandparent's pictures in this frame, for awhile now. He got the photos when we went to go through my Grandpa's things before he moved to an assisted living home. My Grandma has been dead since Isaak was 4, so 7 years ago she passed away. Grandpa is 93.


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