Saturday, September 17, 2016

Goodnight Moon @RoseTheaterCo Review

We were super excited to make it out to The Rose Theater once again. It's such a great place to feel inspired. This time Goodnight Moon was showing.

I always like to get a photo of the boys by the poster for the musical or play.

The show started right on time. It's always good to be a little early, so we can pick our seats. Isaak wanted to sit in the balcony this time.

About Goodnight Moon:

It's 7 o'clock and time to go to sleep in The Great Green Room, but restless Bunny can't get to sleep. An Old Lady tries to help Bunny get to sleep, but has trouble doing so. His room comes to life with Mouse that sleeps under his bed, and other characters that jump out of a book and into his room. The cat with a fiddle, a red balloon, the telephone, clocks, dancing bears, socks, kittens, mittens, and a cow jumping over a moon are a few things Bunny encounters. Bedtime sure was entertaining!

Running Time:

September 2nd through the 18th. It's 60 minutes long without an intermission. Make sure if you have young ones with you they go to the bathroom before the show.

September 18 2 PM and 5 PM.

The Rose Performing Arts is located on 2001 Farnam Street Omaha, Nebraska 68102. Call 402-345-4849 for tickets. You can also visit their website:

If you missed it Shrek is coming to the theater soon!

Best for ages 5 and up. I thought preschoolers would have liked it as well!

Cast and Credits:

Boy/Bunny: Nick Knipe
Mouse/Dog/Baby Bear: Jessica Burrill-Logue
Puppeteer/Cow Head: Kimberlee Stone
Puppeteer/Cow Rear: Matthew Pyle
Tooth Fairy/Cat/Papa Bear: Ty Hebbert
Old Lady/Dish and Spoon/Mama Bear: Wendy Eaton

Director: Susann Suprenant
Musical Director: Jerry Brabec
Scenic Designer: Bill Van Deest
Lighting Designer: Laura Hensley
Choreographer: Sue Gillespie Booton
Production Stage Manager: Ashleigh-Dawn Kriegh-Flemming
Costume Designer: Sherri Geerdes
Sound Designer: Craig Moxon
Production Director: Erin Solemsaas
Technical Director: Greg Rishoi
Props Master: Christopher Dills
Scenic Charge: Lauren Crabtree
Master Carpenter: Robert Ortiz, Jackson Curtright
Lighting Apprentice: Rose Mormino
Stage Manager Apprentice: J.J. Jones
Scenic Apprentice/Run Crew: Megan Bolander

Sponsored By:

Children's Hospital, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Wells Fargo, Nebraska Arts Council, and Kiewit

What We Thought:

I never knew bedtime could be so entertaining. The characters sang, jumped, and danced around.

I liked the message that one can do whatever they set their minds too. The cow didn't think he/she could jump over the moon. The other characters convinced the cow that it could in fact jump over the shadow of the moon, which is jumping over the moon.

The voices always amaze me! I loved the Mouse/Dog/Baby Bear voice and Tooth Fairy/Cat/Papa Bear voice!

It's so wonderful that this is a classic story came to life on stage!

Disclaimer: I received tickets for the purpose of an honest review.

Extreme Pak Water-resistant Tote Bag Review

One thing that both boys have needed for quite some time is new overnight, vacation, camping bags. There bags looks so preschoolish. For Christmas they are getting new totes bags! I am happy to introduce you to Extreme Pak Water-resistant Tote Bag.

What I Love About This Tote:

It has so many pockets. One can never have too many pockets. There are velcro pockets on sides, zipper pockets on the sides, zipper pockets on front, and a main compartment in the top.

I love that it has metal zippers. If you've been a reader for a long time, you'd know that I hate cheap plastic zippers. One year I was on a mission to find winter coats that had nice zippers. Nice zippers are hard to find now a days. This tote has them.

It has both a hand handle that velcro's together for a better grip, and a shoulder strap that can be attached. I love shoulder straps, so that was something that stood out to me.

Storage is always a problem no matter where one lives. This is a little bigger than most totes. It folds up flat. 

The price is right. On the tag (above) it says $59.95. Guess what? On Amazon it's $29.99 + if you're a Prime member you get shipping for free! 

I like that it's water resistant. That's so important for when we go camping.

What I Don't Like:

I like pretty much everything about this bag. I only wish it came in other colors. The colors could be solids. There's nothing wrong with black, but I like options. I could see it coming in: Grey, Brown, Orange, Red, Green, and Blue. What color could you see them caring this bag in?

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. I only review things that I feel fit this blog.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Random Tid Bits

  1. Travis and I are majorly hooked on a series called Orphan Black. I get it for free because I'm a Prime Member. It's a BBC America show. It's won quite a few awards, and is rated highly on Amazon.

    The star of the show plays a number of characters because she's a clone. There are bad characters, good characters, and characters that flip from good to bad. The main character Sarah doesn't know who to trust. Being a clone takes its toll on their sanity. It has good writing, superb acting, and awesome videography.

    My kids know about the show. I've talked about it with them. They were going on and on about one of their stories, so I followed up by telling them about this show. Of course they can't watch it. The content is intense at times. They do show sexy kissing, drinking, violence and talk about drug money at times.

  2. One thing they could watch with us is Flipped. It's a feel good movie. If you like the show The Wonder Years, the movie Stand By Me, or Sandlot you'll like this flick. I've never heard of it, but looked up movies similar to Stand By Me, and saw this one. It's rated most of the stars. It has Aiden Quinn and a few other actors in it that you'd recognize.

    Travis was like, "Really we're going to watch this?" at first. Then even he got into it. Mica loved the movie! I of course got into it. I like movies that have narrators. It held Isaak's attention span well. Certainly a great movie for the whole family to watch. 

  3. Things continue to go well in the classroom. There's one person that's fairly negative in my first year class. Do you have anyone negative in your life? If so how do you cope with them? They have gender identity problems. I imagine that would be tough to go through. When I ask him questions every answer is a negative one. He hardly wants to work on the project assigned. Anime drawing will only get this younger generation so far. They have to know other things.

    I'm the type of teacher that makes them learn the rules, then learn when it's ok to break the rules. I'm up front about this! If one learns how to play the piano, they won't learn Mozart right away. They'd learn the scales, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I'm not starting them out with something super simple, but they have to have good craft, color schemes picked, and good reference to begin with. It wasn't until now that I've moved into breaking the rules. We're working with Ebony Pencil, Crystal Clear spray, and oil washes. Coming up is an assignment where they paint a background, add packaging tape, paint a middle ground, add packaging tape, paint a foreground, add packaging tape, and paint details. They don't have to wait for their paint to dry for that technique. 

  4. Mica got voted into the student council again. Isaak's beginning to feel like he's getting shafted. Mica's also doing safety patrol, he's in band, he got a special science award last year, and the year before he got a special writing award. Isaak's smart and gifted too. I keep telling him that his time will come for other things. 

  5. Mica keeps singing this song, which gets in my head big time! I start singing, "This song's not worth it..."

Is there anything randomly interesting in your life?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

@Ripleys Believe it or Not! Unlock the Weird! Review

On Amazon it Comes in:
  • Hardcover $14.97 
  • Paperback $3.00
  • Kindle $6.99
They sent me a hardcover to review.  If I had a choice the hardcover version is the one I would have picked. To me this is like a coffee table book. It's a book I like having out to see. 

Target Market:

What I love about any Ripley's Believe it or Not! books is that they really are for any age, and both sexes. In our house it happens to be Mica that gets drawn to these type of books. He's 11, but has been into these books for a few years now. The book is great for kids that really don't like to read. It has plenty of pictures, odd stories, and I too enjoy them. The museums are fun as well. 

Mica hasn't gotten this book just yet. It's going to be one of his Christmas presents. :)

What Does This Book Include:

There's a wide range of tops in the book.
  1. Believe It!
  2. World
  3. Animals
  4. Body
  5. Pop Culture
  6. Transport
  7. Feats
  8. Art
  9. Food
  10. Beyond Belief 

  • Read about one man’s attempt to take a break from reality, spending three days climbing the Swiss Alps on all fours as a goat!
  • Soar on jetpacks above the deserts of Dubai with breathtaking aerial imagery. 
  • Meet Birdman Ted Richards who had his ears removed and his face and eyeballs tattooed to look like his pet parrots!
  • Savor the flavor of sheep dung spitting, an Irish event that is just as unappetizing as it sounds! 
  • See double with Twin Strangers’s Niamh Geaney, who has found multiple doppelgängers that look exactly like her!
Some Pages That Stood Out to Me:

I always love making funky faces, so this was fun to look at!

Of course since I'm into art this section was fun as well. The chameleon are 2 people. Do you see it?

I also have a lot of people in my family that are nurses, and 1 pharmacist. Naturally I don't get grossed out by anything too out of the norm. Seeing a skull transplant is interesting.

Fact about me: Did you know I have a cousin that had the bones in her skull that overlapped? I do. She had to get the bones in her skull cut to make room for a soft spot.

Fact in the book: On June 4, 2015, a 55 year old was all smiles after the doctors successfully completed the world's first partial skull and scalp transplant. He had suffered head wonds after cancer treatment, and waited 18 months for a donor. It was a 15 hour operation.

The circus life is interesting. I always enjoyed circus acts, but never cared for animals in circuses. These clowns do all kinds of tricks.

I'm really into saving bees. Isaak's a natural bee charmer. If it were up to us we'd raise bees. I think the city wouldn't approve. In the book there is over 700 man-made beehives that hang 4,000 feet above sea level on the side of a mountain in China's Shennongjia Nature Reserve! We need some of these in the US!

To get to each hive beekeepers have to climb on top of each box to reach the next one.

  • Imprint: Ripley Publishing 
  • Publication Date: Sept. 6, 2016 
  • ISBN Number: 978-1-60991-165-2 
  • Pages: 256 
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11 ¾ inches
  • Overall Cost: US $28.95 Canada $34.95
On Their Site They Have: 

  • DVD's 
  • Annuals 
  • Twists Fun Facts & Silly Stories 
  • Curioddities Activity Books 
  • RBI 
  • Other Titles
Check out Ripley's Believe it or Not! on Social Media: 
I totally love their books! I want to unlock Ripley's World of the Weird! 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I only review things that I believe in. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WW: Goats {Linky}

When we went to Kansas City, we met up with some college friends at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. It's only $2 to get in + extra if you want to go on a wagon ride. It was certainly affordable for our eight kids in total to go to.

Our kids + our friend's kids. They too post online.

The highlight was visiting the goats.

Isaak was happy to be greeted by 4 goats at the fence.

I kind of stood back, and was cracking up! One of our friends had a stroller he took in where the goats were. The goats snagged things out of his stroller basket. He couldn't get away because another goat had his shoe laces in his mouth. I'm still laughing when I look at this image.

You could pay extra for bottles to feed the goats, or do what we did and take 1/2 filled bottles from the bottle drop off spot.

The goats didn't care that the bottles were 1/2 gone. 

Mica was the most fun to watch. He was laughing as he fed this black goat. I swear Mica has squatted this way even when he was developing as a baby. He squats like this, like it's nothing.

Travis swore he wanted to take a goat home. He even looked into whether it was ok, or not to have goats in Omaha. For the record it's not.

Do you like goats? 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Instilling Empathy

My kids are pretty good kids. They eat what is given to them, go to bed when they are told to, they do better in school than my husband and I did, and they help out around the house when asked.

Sure they have their downfalls:

Mica at times rushes with homework, 1/2 cleans his room when he's told to clean his room, doesn't like going outside to play, and at times isn't empathetic towards Isaak.

Isaak has a hard time being self directed, has a sweet and sour personality - when the sour happens watch out, is dramatic, and is sensitive.

When Mica was itty bitty I worried that he lacked empathy. I only felt this way because he wasn't empathetic towards his brother.

Isaak was more saturated with it. His feelings would get hurt so easily.

I know that instilling empathy is important.

I saw Mica as more the kid that would pick on others, and Isaak as more the kid that would be bullied.

Boy was I wrong! 

Mica helped and continues to help other kids in school. He's a true leader.

Last week a fellow safety patrol member was being picked on. No one would let him back into the school. Regardless of what others thought of him, Mica let the boy back into school. I was so happy that Mica stood up for the kid; when no one else would.

Mica's still not perfect with his little brother, but he's better.

When we went to the school's open house I saw that someone from Isaak's class was sitting all alone at a table. She looks different because she has some medical problems. She has an NG feeding tube. I know that she's been in and out of the hospital. I asked Isaak, "Why is that little girl sitting there all alone?" Isaak said, "I don't know Mom. A lot of people in class say she smells, and looks funny. They won't hang out with her. I talk with her. I invited her to my birthday party, but she couldn't come because she was in the hospital. I made sure her brother got one of my birthday treats to give to her." The treat was the book, The Secret Garden. I had to turn away from Isaak. Travis asked, "What's wrong?" I couldn't talk because tears were starting to flow down my face. I was trying to turn off my emotions.

I wanted so bad to make that little girls problems go away. I wanted to tell Isaak's teacher about how this little girl is treated. I couldn't say anything. The little girl was right there in the classroom the same time we were in there. Instead I complimented her on how pretty her dress was.

I teach college aged kids/adults. At an art school where everyone is a little off there's generally a few that are more off than others. Sometimes the students are accepting, while other times they aren't. I do my best to include all of them in discussion. I have lectures about creative minds - how we are different, and how that's ok. I tell them that the world we be a pretty boring place if we were all the same.

Teaching Empathy:

How does one teach it? How do you instill something that's a feeling?

According to the New York Times:

1. Empathize with your child and model how to feel compassion for others.

At home I a lot of times would talk about how I didn't like how this student or that student was being treated. 

I've discussed with Mica and Isaak that we don't know where other kids come from. Their backgrounds are all different. I showed them a powerful video called ReMoved. It was about a kid in the foster care system. I said, "If it's too much for you, I'll turn it off and we'll talk about it." 

2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations.

This may sound bad, but I make Mica play with Isaak outside. 

They have to do things at times like pick up garbage at a park with me, and rake up a neighbor's leaves with Travis. 

3. Provide opportunities for children to practice.

It helps that they have a cousin that does in fact have special needs.

4. Expand your child’s circle of concern.

Our boys got accepted and go to Banister Leadership Academy. There are lot of kids there that have single parents, troubles in school, and so on. I'm not saying I want our kids to be around bad kids. I just want them to have a chance to be role models. 

This is a touchy one. If your kids are left to defend themselves against bullies they could get in trouble themselves. In my opinion they also need to know that it is ok to walk away if they feel unsafe. 

5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively.

We're still working on this. Kids react differently. I've gotten Isaak to stop writing on his bedroom walls. ;) 

Overall I see a lack of empathy in our society as a whole. 

I hear about teachers wanting to get transferred to a better area of town, so they don't have to deal with all the behavior problems. Once they transfer, they still have behavior problems in the new "better" school. 

Most parents work 40 hours a week. They're tired! There are more single parents out there than there every have been. They're even more tired!

Do you see a lack of empathy in our society overall as a whole? 

What are some ways you can think of to instill empathy? 


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