Saturday, October 29, 2016

Great Kids Snack Box Review

I have 1 little basketball player that's going through a growth spurt. Great Kids Snack Box is there to help with this. They send out monthly boxes that are loaded with individually wrapped snacks.

Protein that's great before his practices and games:

Food that hydrates, and gives him natural sugars after practices and games:

Daily snacks because he's active and growing:

What do we love about Great Kids Snack Box:

  • It's filled up! There's no waist in this box.
  • Everything is individually wrapped. If Isaak doesn't like something, then Mica will eat it. Isaak I know already doesn't like dried fruit, so Mica will snack that down.
  • The snacks are healthy for the most part. One could argue that anything prepackaged isn't healthy. Compared to all other prepackaged things these are very healthy snacks!
  • Perfect for a wide age range. These snacks will work for my 8 year old, but my 11 year can equally enjoy them. 
  • It has a wide variety of things in it. 
  • There's free shipping. 
  • Cost wise it's fairly inexpensive: $39.95. It may seem like a lot, but there's a lot in the box.

What I wish Great Kids Snack Box had:
  • I wish they'd have a survey section to get to know their audience before parents order from them. If someone has toddlers maybe the snacks would be different than older kids. Some kids may love protein bars, while others do not. Then the boxes could be tailored to each family. This is really the only change I'd make. 

Do you like getting monthly boxes?

Disclaimer: I received this product to help with this review. I was not influenced in any way when writing this review.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Isaak's First Basketball Game

Isaak's in basketball. He never really played games before, unless you count Horse. He's a pretty fair little player. Not the best, but not the worst either. The best part about him playing is that he really enjoys it!

He took basketball last year, but it was not a session about playing games. They only learned how to dribble, do layups, pass, and run fast.

He was super excited about getting new basketball shoes. Last year we bought him blue Nike's that he loved, but he quickly complained about his feet hurting. We went with adidas' this year. It's too bad because the Nike's still fit. I didn't want his feet hurting when he played.

On the first day of practice his coach had the boys play against each other. Isaak was so happy!

Their first game came and went on Saturday. They lost, but I was proud as to how hard they tried. The team they played was good! Not only did they have players that seemed to know what they were doing, but they also had more players to bench a few kids to give them rest. Most of the boys on Isaak's team have never played before. They only had one practice, one hour long prior to playing. They don't have enough kids to give each kid a break, so they played hard. They hustled up and down the court.

Look at Isaak trying to be ready when the other team got done with free throws.

One boy that Isaak does go to school with carries their team a lot. He's got a lot of energy, and a Dad that knows the game well.

Isaak's already learned a lot. I'm hoping he just gets better and better.

Did you get into sports when you were younger?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

School Conferences

This is the last year for us to go to one single teacher at conferences for Mica. Our little man will be going to middle school next year. Get this...he thinks he's an adult because he can order an adult meal.

This is Mica's superhero:

He has an, "8" on his superhero not because he's 8 years old, but because it's his favorite number. 

Mica loves to read for sure. Even at meal time he's found reading the junk mail, and lately the school policy book. If you ever wonder who really reads that stuff, Mica does. 

He's doing great in school. 

He needs to ask more questions when he doesn't get things. We heard this last year as well. I keep reminding him that we all struggle with certain things. He's good in math, but struggles with it the most over any other area in school.

In band he has a B. It's his only B. I told him, "You're a newbie. Just don't say, 'I don't need to practice because I've got this.' You do need to practice just like everyone else in band." 

When I was a kid my parents got a babysitter to watch over us, while they went to conferences. It's not like that anymore. Mica sat out in the hallway, but Isaak opted to come in with us when it was time for his conferences. Isaak's teacher had him fill out what he thinks he needs to work on, and what he thinks that he does really well.

Isaak's doing great too. I went right into Isaak's plethora of empathy. He's not an all time crying kid. He certainly doesn't like it when kids bully. Even when other kids besides him are getting treated badly, it bothers him. Isaak only wants to be friends with good kids. I have always told the boys that other kids go through things that are horrible in their little lives. We don't need to be friends with everyone, but need to respect everyone. 

Travis was a little annoyed that I talked to the teacher about that stuff way longer than his grades. His grades were good. He does well over all academically. 

Isaak does love to write. He writes pages and pages for his stories. It's neat to see that at his young age he has a different style of writing than Mica. Mica likes to mix fact with fiction. Mica's a detailed person that doesn't think about flowing one part of a story to another part. Isaak likes fiction. Isaak's writing flows, is super descriptive, and he spells phonetically like I do at times. 

Isaak's teacher does a lot of group work, but makes it so that everyone in their group has to participate in the activity. She has A person does this, B person does that, and C person completes this. They can help each other in the process.

I always heard the male teachers I work with complain about conferences. Travis and I happen to enjoy going to them.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

WW: Fall Festival

My boys had their Fall Festival at school on Friday. Dressing up is completely optional. I didn't know if we'd be able to go. We were supposed to have company that weekend. As it turned out the in-laws couldn't make it. :(

Mica wanted so bad to be a Star Wars character. I refused to pay full price for an adult costume. I love Halloween, but I have a few rules: I don't want to spend a long time on a costume, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a costume, and I try and use some of what I already have or go to the second hand store to get some things. He decided to go with Captain America once again. It's getting a little tight. For sure next year he'll need an adult sized costume.

To Isaak every Halloween should be scary, so he went as a Zombie again. The costume was huge last year, and fit well this year. He ripped it by yanking it out of his drawer. Travis decided to Duct tape it and staple it together instead of sewing it. Perfect!

I'm something new almost every year. Since I teach at an art college dressing up is something most teachers do. I won a banana package off of Mail4Rosey's blog. I rolled with that. I had on crazy pattered tights, and a yellow skirt. I couldn't decide if I should paint yellow over my whole face, arms, and have all yellow hair. I ended up with this:

Do you dress up for Halloween?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Oh Zeek!

I don't know what the deal is, but this year has been an emotional one for Isaak AKA Zeek.

He had the whole marker incident happen at school. Where punk kids took the markers we donated removed the caps and stomped on them. He was pretty upset about that. So much so that he had to go talk to the councilor. For the record that was the first time in history he was sent to talk to the councilor. It wasn't because he was violent; just upset.

Then he forgot his homework one night last week. He cried hard for an hour thinking that he was going to get in trouble. He didn't get in trouble. I told him that we all make mistakes. It's not something he does regularly. I've left my laptop at home when I had to teach. Travis has left his wallet at home when he went out. It happens.

He's been having problems with one so called friend. I blogged about this problem already. I keep thinking that he and this kid will just get over their problems someday. I don't even care if this kid is someone he wants to stop liking. We don't have to like everyone. It's just that this kid is in his circle of friends. I fear that if Isaak continues to hold a grudge he'll be the one that's left out of that circle. So far this hasn't happened yet.

Back story: The kid laughed when Isaak fell way back in August. Isaak fell hard, and can't shake that this kid laughed at him when he was hurt. He never apologized. To make matters worse the kid kept telling Isaak, "I only need two friends, and you're not one of them."

Isaak is not one that forgets easily. Things come up that happened a year ago - like they were yesterday.

Do I expect Isaak and this kid to be best friends? No. I wouldn't want to be best friends with a kid that laughed at me, or was rude to me either.

Their teacher decided to have them not talk for 2 or 3 days, and then see how things went. Those days have come and gone. The little boy came up to Isaak at the Fall Festival on Friday to say, "Isaak have you seen so and so?" Isaak shrugged his shoulders. He refused to talk to him.

I said, "Isaak it's been past 2 or 3 days. You can talk to him now."

Isaak said, "Or I can just continue to not talk to him."

I said, "Isaak you don't have to be best friends with him. Don't go out of your way to talk to him, but don't be rude when he comes to talk to you."

Isaak said, "Or I can just continue to not talk to him. He's mean to me."

I said, "Yes his actions were rude. Maybe he doesn't know how to act when someone falls. I think it's funny when I fall. I'm not sure why I do. Sometimes I laugh when I feel like crying just because my emotions are all mixed up."

Later on that night I found out the kid's parents are having problems. I didn't bring this up to Isaak. I don't want rumors to start at school. Another friend's grandparent told me that. His Mom has leaned on her to watch him many times over the last month.

I let Isaak think about what I said.

The next day I had another talk with Isaak. I told him about a story from when I was little:

One day I was over at my best friend's house. All the sudden she got a call from neighbor friends to go swimming with them. She wanted to go. Her sister told her it was rude. She didn't care. I left very sad.

The next day she called me up to see if I could play. I said, "No you're not my friend anymore." 

I wish I knew how we made up. I think she apologized, and all was forgiven. 

Do you ever think that maybe things happen in the past on purpose just so you can pass those stories along for the future?

Maybe my friend is telling her kid a story about something I did to her to teach him a lesson.

Isaak said, "I know where you're going with this... I'm not going to be best friends with so and so." He's good with connecting the dots.  

I said, "I don't expect you to be best friends with him." The point is... is that the friend of mine that went to the swimming pool over hanging out with me made a mistake. We all make mistakes. If you ask her, she'll have stories about me. Things that I did that made her feel bad. She's still my friend today." I showed him pictures on facebook. I told him, "Even you have hung out with my friend's son."

I said, "Sometimes it's not about forgiving. It can be. Often times it's about being the bigger, better person by letting negative things go. Just know that people make mistakes." As I said that I was thinking about adults that don't deal with negative people at all, and write them out of their lives. I get that too. I just know kids make more mistakes hopefully than adults do. 

Conferences are this week. We may get some things solved there. Even the councilor is usually there. I may talk with her about this friend conflict. 

Isaak's always had a plethora amount of empathy. When I told him I had to go into work one evening he wanted to know why. I told him that my boss's mom had passed away. How I had to cover for him. He nearly started to cry.

To think one of my co-workers raised 5 boys and 2 girls. He told me, "Alissa you're going to love having boys. They let stuff go; when girls do not. There isn't drama with boys." Boy was he wrong about boys letting things go, and not having drama. He was right about something, I love my boys.

Brick Logic By Think Fun

Brick Logic is a new fun game by Think Fun!

Brick Logic is a challenging one player game.

It makes the player think in 3-D.

How to Play:

1. There is a set of 60 challenge cards. Each challenge is different.

2. Once the challenge is picked, the player then tries to build it with the 5 brick pieces.

Challenge 1:

Challenge 2:

It's not as easy as it looks. Some of those bricks are already connected. It's all about moving the bricks around to match the challenge. I have 58 challenges to go. Ha!

Brick Logic, as part of Think Fun special collection of STEM games:
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Math
It really expands the mind with all that variety of spacial thinking. I think games like this are fun for kids and adults. In fact many of these puzzle type games help reduce one's risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. This game is for ages 8 and up. I think Isaak will enjoy it. I plan on giving to him for Christmas.

As explained in her book, Mindsets in the Classroom, Mary Cay Ricci implemented a Growth Mindset Project that inserted Think Fun games into 53 classrooms.

Mary Cay Ricci writes: 

These games, in partnership with growth mindsets lessons, showed unexpected results in just 7 months. Not only did the teachers report increased motivation and persistence, but the data showed growth in reasoning abilities All 6 schools averaged growth of 8 percentile points in analogical reasoning and 7 percentile points for quantitative reasoning.




The game Brick Logic also comes with a bag to make it easy to transport.

Disclaimer: I got this game to review. Think Fun in no way expected me to write this review. I wrote it because I love Think Fun, and their STEM friendly games.

Advanced Probiotic by Health Labs Nutra Review

My family takes probiotics daily. I just notice that I feel better when I have them. Advanced Probiotic Formula contains 11.5 Billion organisms including bacillus subtillis. 

I like that the package was really secure. What I mean by that is that the lid was wrapped in a tight plastic, there was a paper seal on the lid, and cotton in the bottle. I don't like a lot of waist, but with any pills it's important to have them safe.

After saying the waist bit above,  I do think the bottle could be smaller. There was a lot of room in the bottle. I'd pay more just to have more probiotics in it, if left the same size. The cotton was fairly loose.

I take out 3 pills in the morning, open them up, and add them to our smoothie. These are great because the capsules are easy to open up.

They help with Mica's skin issues, if anyone is having tummy issues, and help to prevent sickness.

100% Potent Formula Get Your Digestive Relief! 
Probiotics have been known to provide relief from the following symptoms: 

  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Nausea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Nausea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Indigestion
  • Sour Stomach
  • Acid Reflux
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Colitis 
  • Eczema
  • So much more

These Are Safe For... 

  • Women
  • Men
  • Kids
  • Women that are pregnant 
  • Women that are breastfeeding 
I love that they are safe for anyone. Since I put them in our families smoothie I look to make sure we all can have them. If Travis or I has tummy issues I make sure we have another one later in the day. Adults are supposed to take 2 pills a day. I kind of wish that 2 pills were just packed into 1. I'd rather take 1 a day, than 2.

If you are looking for relief from bloating and an upset stomach, probiotics are a cure-all for many digestive related symptoms. Probiotics are living microorganisms that create good bacteria and yeasts in your intestinal tract. It promotes healthy microflora in your system that helps with your colon health too.


$22.97 on sale for $21.82. They are sold by Natural Solutions Now.

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.


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