Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Story He Wrote

Awhile ago Mica wanted to enter a Lego Competition. I don't mind if he enters those things. Heck I enter a lot of contests. Dad told him he had to enter a local contest before entering the Lego one. Fair enough. Dad also explained how he needs to learn to write. He reads and watches movies all the time, but doesn't write. It takes writing to make all those books and movies. He gets that now.

There was a writing contest. It had to include a talking animal. Mica wrote a rough draft on his own. Then we talked about ways it could end, since there wasn't much of an ending. He went off, and wrote a more exciting ending on his own. He writes like he talks. He doesn't separate his paragraphs, but I separated them, so it's easier to read.

Jungle Rescue!

By Mica Apel

One fine day when beams of light filtered through the canopy, two baby gorillas were born and their names were Tommy and Carmen.

Carmen can see what is wrong in the world. Tommy had a happy life playing with Carmen, but began to see fewer trees. 

Then there was a day when Tommy and Carmen were ten, they were playing with a moss covered ball. Suddenly they were startled by the noise of chainsaws that changed their minds about being outdoors. 

The next day Carmen stayed home but Tommy wandered a little more than usual and encountered a logging crew. With curiosity Tommy peered into a tent surprised to see a boy sleeping. Suddenly the boy woke up and looked at Tommy. Then Tommy tried to destroy the conflict on gorilla: "Ok I'll see what I can do". said the boy with concern. "Look, I just want to see the boss around here". said Tommy as they were inside Johnny Yank's office. "Dad can you stop the company"? said the boy. "My goodness what for"? said Johnny. Then Johnny looked at the gorilla. "Just yesterday we had to move out of our shelter because of less berries and more chainsaw noises, we are too frightened the noises were unbearable.

"I'll think while I go for a walk", said Johnny During his walk, Johnny found some seeds. As Johnny walked back he dropped the seeds in a puddle. The next day the seeds were sprouted into small trees. 

Johnny was so inspired by the new growth that he grew many more trees instead of removing them. This is how the jungle was rescued.

The End of the Story

We got a letter that Mica won 1st place with our college here - UNO's Strauss Performing Arts Center. Here an author speaks, and they award the winners of the writing contest. Mica's manuscript gets published in a book.

At first we didn't know if he'd be disqualified because a teacher was supposed to submit the manuscript. Dad talked to the Contest Chair. She said he is a first place winner. 

Mica's teacher is so excited for him. She's going to the award ceremony to. 

Fellow students were asking for his autograph. That's pretty silly. 

Isaak has been jealous. We told him that he just needs to keep working on reading to be a good writer.

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday is 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. It could be from another country, someone singing from the streets of NY, and more.

I was looking up a band, got bored with it, and found another one. This band is called Shakey Graves.  

They do not have an about section on their website. They are from Austin, Texas.

A question they had: Why doesn't your album have the raspy, distorted sound like when you played at the good music club? Is that how you usually sound live or was that just for that venue/recording? If not are you going to re-record with that sound?

Answer: That album was the birth of all of those songs, and thats how the recordings are supposed to sound. It turns out over time, as I played the songs more they became louder and raspier, but no Ill never re record that, although live stuff will surely be released over time. Whats done is done my friend, over and onward!

You can see more of their question/answers on their blog.

Listen to one song, or the whole thing. I really like the 2nd song!

Check out Shakey Graves' website
Like Shakey Graves' on Facebook.
Follow Shakey Graves' on Twitter.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Random Tid Bits

  1. My husband is still looking for a job. Every place he's applied at is interested, but not hiring. That seems to be the way it goes. He's seeing a temp agency that specifically deals with his type of trade. One thing that's nice is that he's not closed to trying other things. He worked at a dental lab, and has applied to more progressive labs. He's also applied to Scheels, Costco, and is going to apply to Oriental Trading Company just because we've heard they are good places to work. Other things he'd love to do he's applied to: Jewelery Stores (to make jewelery), and steel manufacturers. Then I told him to apply to places that make grave stones. That sounds morbid, but he can sandblast, so it would be something he could do, and would probably like doing. The job he really wants is to work for Artifact Bag Company. The guy is super nice. He did a Ted talk. He's grown really fast. He's interested in Travis' skills, but is so busy. He said he could put his name down on unemployment, and he wants to meet up with him after he gets back from a trade show in DC. But then he didn't tell him when he'd get back. I hope that works out for him.

  2. Neither of us have ever applied for unemployment. If you ever have to fill it out, get advice on filling it out. He apparently put that he was fired on one form, and on another that he was dismissed. Apparently they mean 2 different things. We have to wait an extra 4 to 6 weeks to get benefits. 1 means you screwed up at your job, while the other means you ran out of work. His is that his boss ran the business into the ground, and he couldn't afford to pay him. I can't even tell you the difference between getting fired and dismissed. I'd have to ask all over again. He was inconsistent on the forms, which held him back on the benefits. I do like that he's filling all that out though. It keeps him recording what he's doing.

  3. Dad's back is getting better. We were thinking he would need to see a doctor because it's hurt for a week now. Yesterday it started feeling better. His family has loads of back problems. Truth be told I have way worse posture than he does. I should be the one with back problems.

  4. I did love getting an email this week from Google saying, "We owe you $100 for hits on your blog." Hey any little bit of money counts. I never really blogged for the money. It started out as just a modern day baby book; that led into much more.

  5. The weather has been mixed up here. 1/2 a week is frigid, then the rest of the week is in the 30's, or 40's. 
The picture looks warm, but Monday through Wednesday was in the negatives for wind chill, and 5 or 10 degrees all those days. I'm not complaining. I just thinks it's odd that the weather is fluctuating so much.
What is is like where you live right now? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

1st Grade Crush

My sister was so nice, and volunteered to take my boys for the night last Friday. We went to a few gallery openings without kids.

The next morning I picked the boys up, and we went to the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic. I think Mica's getting sick of them, but Isaak loves them. I love helping them with it. It's something I can do with them that involves building - an important skill to learn for any boy. I also dig that it's free.

We made Valentine picture holders.

I said, "We'll have to put these in a safe place, give them to your teachers when it's Valentines Day. Instead of pictures we can put a gift card, and a Valentine in the hearts." 

Isaak said, "Mom don't laugh. Promise you won't laugh!" I said, "Ok I won't laugh." Isaak said, "Well I really want to give it to this girl at school named (sp?) Jacklin." 

In Kindergarten Isaak had a crush on Maddie. Towards the end of the year it was Breanna. Now it's Jacklin. He just plays with them, and talks about them. He plays a lot with a kids named Jacob and Daniel to.

For the record he won't be giving this to Jacklin. At the boy's school they can't just give something to 1 kid, and not the others.

Have you been to Lowe's Build and Grow? 

I think it's so cool that it('s)...

A) free.

B) teaches them how to use a hammer.

C) teaches them how to follow directions.

D) something besides Boy Scouts that they get to take home a badge. They love seeing their aprons get filled up.

E) for a lot of different ages. I see itty bitty kids there, on up to upper elementary.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cousin Time

My youngest nephew Edison was crawling around in circles. All the boys were following him. I wish I would have gotten the camera out sooner. The other photos I got were blurry because the kids were moving around so much. Isaak loves Edison so much. He's a real baby magnet.

Mica and my nephew Edison

My Nephew's Evan and Edison. Edison's brothers that are Mica and Isaak's ages come up to grab their brother. It's like they are mini parents.

Are you a baby person? I am.

Rest in Peace

My Step Grandma passed away a few nights ago. I haven't seen her in years - since high school. She and my Grandpa moved to California, and never came back.
My Grandpa was a Christian Scientist, and she was a Catholic. She was from the Philippines. An odd mix for sure. They met through mail. She was a mail order bride. In this day and age people meet over the internet.
My Grandpa had been married 3 times, but she's the only Grandma I knew on that side. My parents encouraged us to call her "Nita" even though all of her family called my Grandpa "Dad". My Grandpa didn't get married to her until after my parents were married. It had to be awkward to them to have someone in their lives that wanted to be called, "Mom". Especially when my Dad had two Mom's before that - one that birthed them, and one that raised them. Culturally in the Philippines they make everyone family. Here it's not that way.
My parents were always really nice to her. Accepting, but didn't think of her as, "Mom" and didn't want us calling her, "Grandma". 
She played the roll of a Grandma. She gave us rice candy. We thought it was so cool to be able to eat a wrapper.
I've always missed her homemade egg rolls and fried rice. Once she made purple sweet potatoes that we joked looked like play doh. We were kids. We weren't culturally exposed very much - except when we were with her.
I loved her ornate shirts, and her skin that never seemed to age. I was amazed at how fast she could talk in her native language.
We went to ethnic festivals because she had friends that were in them. They had pretty dresses that would twirl around. At their parties they would roast a hog with the hairs still on it. My Dad couldn't get over that one. The craziest memory I have of her was a get together where one of her friends taught me how to hum, and pluck my nose to make notes come out. 
My Grandma has been on bed rest, and was only alive because she was given feedings through a tube. It's good that she's at peace now. ‪
Even though my Grandpa and Grandma had their differences they did love one another. They both had pretty full lives.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

WW: Haircuts {Linky}

Mica kept saying that he wanted his hair cut. We didn't want to spend money on haircuts, so Dad cut their hair. He actually does really well with cutting hair. Much better than some of the people at Great Clips!

We've tried trash bags over them with a hole for their heads as a smock, but they get hot, and sticky. We didn't use anything this time. The hairs tickled their arms, chests and bellies. Maybe I need to take an old sheet, cut a hole in that for their heads, and use it for a smock.

Isaak really has trouble holding still. He giggles the whole time. 

The hardest part about cutting his hair, is all the cowlicks in the back.

Mica had the biggest mop. His hair went down to this eyebrows, and past his ears. 

The hard part when cutting his hair is how thick it is, and that his bangs grow in crooked. I've come back from getting his hair cut before, and it looks like someone had their scissors slanted.

Dad did a good job! I only have photos of the process, not the final results.

Did/Do/Would you cut your kid's hair?
Check out my giveaways listed on the side bar.

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Stupid Fan

The bottom section of lights went out in our ceiling fan. Dad replaced the bulb. 

This is the only picture I have of it.

A week later the bulb went out again! We were both cussing over that one. It's like one bad thing happened, then another. 

Over the weekend Dad took the fan apart. The bulb seemed fine. He looked at it with a flashlight. No damage. He dissected the thing. He tested all the wires to see if they had a short - nope. It's almost like he wanted a short to happen just so he'd know what the problem was. He even dug out the manual for what was now being called, The Stupid Fan.

I told him, "Just take the bulb back. It may be the bulb. You just never know." Then he couldn't find the receipt. I looked in any bag around our house. Then said, "Maybe you didn't have a bag. Go look in the consul of the car." He did, and there was the receipt.

When he got back home he put the newest bulb in, and it wouldn't work. He read the manual some more. Then it dawned on him that he never checked the remote that we never use. 

I don't even think this is the kid's fault. The fan stopped working when we were at the Y. It just reset it's self. Anyhow the remote for the bottom part of the fan was turned all the way down. 

The Stupid Fan is no longer The Stupid Fan.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Gluten Free Cookbook: 60 Easy Gluten Free Recipes

In the Gluten Free Cookbook kindle book and paperback you’ll find fast and easy recipes that cover breakfast and brunch, and snacks.

It Includes: 
  • Delicious gluten free wraps
  • Quick salads
  • Soups 
  • Stews
  • Healthy main meals
  • Delicious desserts 
  • Wonderful smoothies
60 Recipes:
  • Cilantro Turkey Burgers
  • Baked Chicken Wings 
  • Chicken-Avocado Wraps
  • Protein Grain Free Burgers 
  • G-Free Chicken Fajitas
  • Grilled Taco Salad 
  • Mediterraneo Tomato Salad 
  • Fajita Stir Fry 
  • Chicken Nuggets 
  • Mediterranean Meatballs with Mint Pesto 
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Bars 
  • Vanilla Madeleines 
  • Lemon Cookies 
  • And more...
There is vegetarian alternatives for non-meat eaters. All recipes are 100% gluten-free. *You can buy gluten-free wraps.

I really want to try Protein Grain Free Burgers!

I Made Fiber Bacon and Eggs

*There was some miscommunication on how this was a giveaway. It is not. I had to take the giveaway form down. I'm sorry about the mistake.

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  

Orchid Origami Paper Review

I got Orchid Origami Paper; Folding Sheets for review.

It Comes With:

500 Sheets | 10 Vibrant Colors | 50 Sheets Each

Each Sheet is 6"x6" | Perfect Size and Thickness for Folding

I'm new to Origami Paper. I started folding a bird from a YouTube tutorial, and got frustrated when I couldn't tell where the folds were happening. 

My husband sat down with me, and showed me how to fold a few things. I said, "When did you learn to do this?" He said, "When I was in fourth grade." I still don't know if I could go back to folding the box by myself. I'll get there.

His box:
 My sorry box:
  His orange frog:

Bonus: It jumps if you hit the tail bone.

Isaak came up, and asked if he could make something. I said, "Sure. I have 500 sheets! Pick a color, and go."

He made this dog all by himself. This 6 year old beats me in origami folding:

The paper is really easy to fold. I'm just new at it.

It's not very expensive: $24.99, but it's on sale for $12.99. It's a perfect gift for craft lovers.

They send you an ebook to help you learn how to fold different things. I'm more of a video tutorial type person. I'm going to try and follow along with the book to.

Do you know how to make anything with Origami Paper?

Disclaimer: Orchid sent me this product free in exchange for a review.

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

24 Set Silicone Baking Muffin Liners | Cupcake Liner Cups Review

My boys love muffins, and cupcakes. I don't make them all the time. We do have muffins once every few weeks. 
We have so many June Berries that we pick from our tree, which work great in muffins. They replace any recipe that has blueberries in them.

I got a set of 24 Silicone Baking Muffins Liners | Cupcakes Liner Cups for review. I don't think I'll ever have to buy paper liners ever again! :) 

The Silicone Baking Muffins/Cupcakes Liner Cups are reusable, which makes them environmentally friendly. They are BPA free, which is a relief. 
They are nonstick. The silicone is flexible, which allows easy release. 
There was 24 Silicone Baking Muffins/Cupcakes Liner Cups - I counted. There are 6 different colors: Yellow, Orange, Magenta, Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Green. I do wish they had an option to get a set of darker colors as well.

With all the colors it's a new way to enjoy your blueberry, banana, pumpkin, vanilla and chocolate chip muffins. Also great solution for holding candies, nuts and other party snacks. 

The company sent me a PDF recipe book with the order. The cost for these is $39.99, but on sale for $11.99!

I love that these cups fit inside a regular sized muffin pan. 
I've have a small 4 set of Set Silicone Baking Muffins/Cupcakes Liner Cups I got before that do not fit inside my pan. I make a mess using them. 
With this 24 set I didn't have any mess factor at all!

This weekend I decided to make Apple Oat Muffins. The silicone heats up quickly, and bakes evenly.

Apple Oat Muffins
Clean up is easy. They are dishwasher safe. 
They have a 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee. I'm satisfied, so I won't be returning them. 

What kind of muffins, or cupcakes would you make if you had these cupcake liners?

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  


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.

I am not compensated to provide opinions on a variety of topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own. If I claim to show knowledge of certain topic or product I will only endorse products or services that I feel, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

If you have any questions about this blog, or want to get in contact with me please email me at: