Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

My husband discovered an extravagant nest immediately outside our back door, about 3 foot off the ground, 5 days ago (Friday). It was built in an old Mountain Dew box that was sitting on top of our grill table awaiting dryer days for the fire pit. Dryer days was that day and it almost went in. He quickly put it back and left it where it was. The box and some of the nesting materials were still wet from the days of rain.

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Saturday, she had an egg in the nest. We hadn’t used our grill all winter but we had just got a new gas tank that day and we were clearing the patio and pulling out the grill to prepare to cook dinner on it. I walked outside and he had moved the nest. I said no! it has to be back where it was, so I needed to find something else to set it on at the same height and in the same spot, so that we wouldn’t be disturbing it. I quickly thought and I found a solution and the nest went unmoved.

We left it alone and the next morning (Sunday), there was another egg in the nest. Oh how excited I was that we didn’t make her abandon the nest. I forgot to take a picture of the lone egg in the nest however I did get a picture of the 2 eggs. We don’t have to go look in the nest, it’s literally right as soon as we open the door to let the dog out. [ I worried that she put her nest in a terrible place with how highly trafficked the door is.] My husband said when he was letting the dog out one morning before work, she was in there sitting on her eggs and didn’t seem bothered by him at all. “She’s a little wren,” he said.

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Yesterday morning (Monday) I went to let our dog out to use the bathroom and there were three eggs in the nest.

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That’s when I decided to look up how many she’ll lay, I saw her today and I was wrong before, so I’m editing it now, she’s a Carolina Wren not a House Wren. They nest anywhere from 3 feet to 6 feet off the ground and they will lay an egg a day until they reach 3-7 eggs. Then they incubate from 12-16 days. I was intrigued to read that her mate may sometimes bring her food while she’s on the eggs. Once they hatch it will be another 10-16 days before they leave the nest.

You can read more here https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Wren/lifehistory

I think being able to watch her clutch grow and possibly be able to see them hatch and become actual birds is a very neat experience. My biggest fear is that she’ll abandon the nest and I’m really hoping she won’t. I would love to be able to document their development, since I know the time frame of their whole cycle personally.

This morning when I let the dog out to use the bathroom, there were four eggs in the nest. Only one or two more days and she’ll be done laying. I still haven’t seen the mama with my own eyes yet. This is an exceptional learning experience for the children because I can educate them about a bird’s life cycle. How important it is to leave nature untouched and to just observe. After seeing a cat give birth to kittens a few months ago and to watch me carry their sister in my belly for 9 months, they are intrigued at the fact that birds lay eggs and have to sit on them until they are born.

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I will continue to observe and update on the nest in future posts. So if you’d like to see more about these babies, follow me.

 

**EDIT**
I finally was able to catch a photo of her since she isn’t in the nest much during the day, I snapped a quick shot tonight. (I didn’t have to get close, I just used my zoom)

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Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

Feeding the kids’ Lego obsession

So after Christmas 2015 my husband and I went on a CLEARANCE AISLE rampage where we bought a ton of stuff discounted! We basically spent half of what we could have spent if we had gotten stuff full price. The most expensive one we purchased was the Friends Heartlake Shopping Mall. So because there were lots of Lego’s on clearance we got just about every one we came across while we were shopping for only a week. (which we did at 3 different Walmart’s, 2 Kmart’s and a Toys R Us) I’m only going to post pictures of the Lego’s though and not all the other stuff. So the older 3 kids get these Lego’s this year. I can’t wait to help them build them!

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Feeding the kids’ Lego obsession

10 Weird and Funny Kid Experiences from our family

 

66afb94219c7995fc79569e0438476be1. Opened a can of worms!

My (7 year old) son demanded I eat a worm, when I refused he persisted. So I told him I would if he did it first. Of course I was thinking he’d give up and I’d be off scott-free. Needless to say I didn’t win that bet and I ended up having a worm for an appetizer.

photo via wikia

 

 

37521389_a4d538c411790160232. I want to be like Daddy.

I walked in on my (four year old) daughter in her room with no shirt on, pinching her nipples. I yelped “Girl what are you doing!?!?” and she replied “I want earrings here like daddy, I was seeing if it hurt.” Oh my goodness I could not stop laughing.

photo via everytattoo.com

 

 

raccoon-garbage3. Trash Mouth

My (2 year old) son was walking around chewing on something but every time I’d get him to open his mouth nothing would be there. I had no food out and there was nothing he could get into, or so I thought. After a while I caught him in the kitchen, eating scraps out of the trash can. Ewww! I said “why are you eating out of the trash?” and he said “still good”.

photo via kids.nationalgeographic.com

 

 

602265524. Silly Kid

I woke up one morning to find our 10 year old daughter sleeping under the bunk beds with a pillow and blanket. I woke her up to put her on the bottom bunk and when I questioned her about it later  her response was “This is my home now, can I sleep there again tonight?” I chuckled and said “No, you’re sleeping on the bed.”

photo via memegenerator.net

 

 

funny-picture-boobs-baby-tost5. Boob Fascination

When our daughter was a little over a year old she had a boob obsession. She used to go up to family and even strangers and point to their breasts and tell them “I like your booboo’s!” (that is what she called boobs). It was slightly embarrassing, but looking back it is funny.

photo via wanna-joke.com

 

 

51762220ba473a63fd050b52b94feb466. Rude

We were riding in the car one day and my husband and I were talking. One of the kids in the back kept interrupting us so I said “stop being rude”, immediately following my (3 year old) daughter breaks out singing “Why you gotta be so rude?” (by Magic) It was hysterical.

photo via rude board on pinterest

 

 

 

 

index7. Pet Pig

One night at dinner my (5 year old) son said “If we get a farm I want to have a pet pig” and I asked him why? He said “So I can call him Sausage.” He had such a serious face and we couldn’t help but to burst out in laughter.

photo via animalia-life.com

 

 

strangerdanger8. Stranger Danger

We’ve gone over it for 3 years and it’s still taking the younger kids time to understand. One grocery store visit my (4 year old) daughter starts talking to a stranger (but they didn’t really reply other than a wave). Our (5 year old) son snaps at her “Stop talking to strangers”, and she said back “but they won’t talk to me”. He said “that’s because you’re a stranger and you’re not suppose to talk to strangers, so they won’t talk to you.” That’s incredible logic from a five year old. It did strike me funny at the time, but it’s more serious. We’re still working on it but I’m glad he’s finally catching on.

photo via vinitapd.com

 

 

Rocking Chair
photo via chocolateboxwriters.com

9. Bizarre Sight

When my daughter was 3 years old she was showing us that the two rocking chairs on the porch were rocking back and forth slightly. When we asked her why she was showing us, she said “because they wanted me to.” We said “who wanted you to?” and she said “grandma guy and poppy.” We got chills and didn’t say anything else about it. Grandma Guy died before she was born so she didn’t know her let alone know what she looked like and poppy had been passed for maybe around 6 months (she knew him). A few weeks later the family was going through some old family photos from when my grandparents and parents were young and we were kids. My daughter pointed to one of the pictures and said “that’s the lady from the rocking chair with Poppy.” It was Grandma Guy. We just stared at each other with our jaws dropped.

 

 

RYl0H10. Toothless

When our son was six years old he coincidentally  had 4 loose teeth in front at one time. He asked my husband to pull one and then kept coming back to him to pull the others. They came out easily and he was glad to have them out. He came up to me with his almost toothless grin and I couldn’t help but to say “oh my if you lose anymore teeth right now you’ll need dentures!”

photo via scifi.stackexchange.net

 

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These stories are all original “You’re kidding me” segments from our real family experiences shared for your entertainment. Thank you for reading our Weird and Funny kid experiences, brought to you by Inside the Stones blog @ madhouse-entertainment.com

weird and funny

10 Weird and Funny Kid Experiences from our family

Mod Podge Collage

I always wanted to make an extensive collage of our family photos. Today I finally just went ahead and did what I had to do to prepare to do one.

First, I ordered 186 photos from Walmart Photo Center for around $31.00. The photos are from our trips, outings and just a lot of time spent together. What I didn’t use I’m keeping to put in photo albums.

Second, I went to my mom’s to see if a frame I remembered being in her basement was still there. It was and it seemed perfect for what I wanted it for. She said I could have it and she also took the time to wipe it down with Old English and it seriously looked loads different and like new.

Once I got it home, I went through and sorted all the prints I ordered and prepped everything for starting to cut and shape them onto the frames back. That process took roughly 1 1/2 hours.

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It was frustrating and tedious getting all the pictures where I wanted them and trying not to accidentally knock them out of place. My sister graciously let me use her jar of Mod Podge to fuse these pictures together.

After about another hour I finally had it coated and finished. It was tricky keeping the pictures from sliding out of place, but I just would carefully put them back where they were. It was so worth the distress because I love the end result!

I let it dry and then I hammered 2 nails into the wall so I could go ahead and hang it. All that’s left to do is measure and go purchase glass at Lowes to put in it.

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This is mainly a collage of the last 2 years with a few from our 1st year together. Totaling the collage to be memories from the past 3 years. I adore it and the kids have been amused by it too.

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Mod Podge Collage

Being an involved step-parent

I’m the biological mother to 5 beautiful children who live with me and my husband. My husband has 2 biological children who live with their mother. So together we have 7 children. My husband and I do not have any biological children together of our own, but we are raising these children together and show them unconditional love and treat them all as equal.

My husband and I have been living together going on 3 years this November. My four youngest children started calling him daddy on their own around 2-3 months after we moved in together. He was the constant in their lives and their biological dad wasn’t around often if at all. My oldest daughter however, called him by his first name. In reference to him as daddy only to her siblings. Over the past year she’s called him daddy or dad herself from time to time but would catch herself or sometimes not realize it at all. She asked us on a few occasions if she had to call him dad ever, we simply told her she never had to call him dad if she didn’t want to but that he was her step-dad.

Recently she told us that she was going to start calling him Dad because she felt like she was ready to. She said he is everything she ever dreamed a dad should be like, they have an amazing father-daughter bond and she understands his role in her life. We had a long emotional 2 hour conversation with both girls one night discussing such topic.

The similar thing was happening with my step-daughter (which visits our home as  much as we can possibly get her, every other weekend, shared holidays and school breaks), she told me that she wanted to call me mom but asked first if it was okay. I told her that if she felt she wanted to call me that then by all means she could. Prior the conversation and after the girls have been referring to him as Dad and me as Mom and it just flows. Things are going smoothly and even though it’s still new for us to hear it come out of their mouths, it’s actual quite pleasant because we know they are old enough to understand these terms and what they mean and that us as opposite step-parents to these children have provided them with enough warmth and love and nurturing that they feel as though they can and should call us that. It’s heartfelt and it really brings a smile to my face.

The only down-side to their new decision (which is what they said themselves) is they feel like they can’t call us those things in front of their other biological parent/family. They don’t want to hurt or make the other parent angry at them for calling us Mom or Dad. I can see their concern, I really can. I’ve dealt with it before with my children and my husband and my oldest and my ex-husband. It is a very emotional subject. We are not replacing their biological parent at all in any way, but we are also a very involved parent albeit Step or not. I feel like if they want to be able to call us what they want to call us is fair to them, they are 10 and 11 years old, they know and understand who is who and what roles we play in their lives.

Everything we do, we do for these children. My husband treats my (our) kids as his own no matter what and I treat his (our) kids as my own no matter what. Our  love is equal whether they are “blood” or not. These children are our lives.

summerbabies

Being an involved step-parent

5 Reasons I love Summer

I know it’s not technically summer yet, but we’re getting there right? I’m really looking forward to the memories we’re going to make this summer.

 

1. No School
It’s both crazy and relaxing to have the kids home for the summer. I still have to wake up pretty early most mornings anyways. Some days though they decide to sleep in. They can pretty much be free and play and learn at their own pace doing whatever they want to do whether it’s reading, watching movies, playing with each other with their toys or dolls, building stuff, being creative, etc. They stay super busy and we don’t have as strict of a schedule to follow as when they’re in school. Since the kids have been out of school we’ve been able to dedicate a lot more time to being outdoors.

2. Outdoor Fun
There just seems to be more enjoyable time spent outside during the summer than any other season, not to mention the days seem longer (more day light hours and all). The kids would stay outside from morning to night if I let them, but some days are just so humid that it’s miserable. It is definitely nice to just be outside though, especially because thankfully we have a shady backyard and it takes the stuffiness out of the air a little bit. Plus side to a hot summer’s day… their Grandma has a pool!

summerbabies

3. Cookouts
Okay now we’ve been known to cook on the grill in the winter, but there is just something about summer that screams cookout!  Whether we are at home with just us and the kids or having a big family get together with my siblings, nieces and nephews. Memorial Day we had our first large family gathering of many more summer days.

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4. Watermelon
There is a guilty pleasure to eating 5 or 9 pieces of watermelon alone every weekend. The kids love that stuff, we go through a watermelon every weekend. We have saved so many seeds from all the watermelon we’ve eaten so far because we want to plant as many as we can.

5. Swimming
This could fall under outdoor fun, but we have outdoor fun all year round. Swimming however, for us anyways, cannot be done all year round. So summer is definitely the time to enjoy the pool and we plan to every chance we get. My kids are water bugs, they stay in that pool until they are all pruned up and can’t feel their legs.

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Summer just speaks beauty to me. It’s hot and miserable most days, but it’s also a sense of freedom and serenity. I love all the possibilities that come with it being Summer.

PicMonkey Collage

5 Reasons I love Summer

I really would like to homeschool.

I’m still on the fence about this. I remember when I had my first child I always told myself I’d homeschool her and that was back in 2006. Of course when she did finally become school aged it was 2011 and I then had 3 children. I was in no way ready to homeschool.

It’s 2016 and she is finishing up 4th grade in public school, she is an honor roll student with perfect attendance, same as last year, but she really isn’t enjoying school and at the beginning of the year we had some issues with her focus and other students in her class.

Kindergarten to 2nd grade we had her in a private school. She didn’t go to public school until the 3rd grade and though we thought it was an easy transition, the entire setting is different than what she was used to.

We have 3 children in school this year. 4th grade, 1st grade and Preschool. This August our next child will be in Preschool and the rest will all move up a grade, then next year our youngest will be in Preschool and the others will move up a grade again. With her being our oldest here we were trying to decide whether or not homeschooling would be beneficial for her emotionally and educationally.

My main reason for wanting this is to create a better learning environment for her and to teach her in a way that allows her to be at her own pace. Some things she’ll be able to go through quicker and other things that she needs more time on, she’ll have that option.

Another reason for wanting this is because of the repetition in the classroom, other students in her class are learning more slowly than her and where she excels, they lack. This has caused her to “dumb” herself down so that she wouldn’t appear to be “too smart” because she had been made fun of for her intelligence by other students.

We’ve had several conferences, we’ve talked to the school board and we cannot get her into an advanced class because they don’t offer any. Basically she is getting bored in the classroom and is not staying focused. She gets her work done faster than others and understands things more quickly and while everyone else is having to go over and over it again.

Another issue we’ve had was helping her with math homework “our way” and it not being how it’s taught in the classroom, which confuses her and makes things more complicated. She is learning things in a way that is suppose to be easier for the other students, her learning it our way (old fashioned way) is easy for her, but it makes her classwork and everything harder to complete the way the teacher wants it to be done. If that makes sense.

They all get out of school May 20th and go back in August this year. My husband wants her to do 5th grade at home, but I’m a little bit hesitant because I don’t want to do anything drastic.

I was homeschooled in 2nd grade, 6th grade, the end of 9th grade and part of 10th grade. I’m not sure exactly why my parents pulled me and my siblings in and out of school but it caused brief issues when being reintroduced back into school.

If I homeschool her, I want to make sure I’m providing all she needs and at her pace plus giving her the social skills and knowledge to go back to school if she chooses to. Not to mention I have five children, I don’t see why I’d send all of them to school and only leave her home. Would I end up wanting to homeschool them all? I’m not sure. I can’t even imagine right now.

Any homeschooling parents have any advice or tips on homeschooling multiple children?

I really would like to homeschool.