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.

In case you lost track of time

Welcome to the end of April. I’m going to use this entry to update any followers as to what’s going on in my life since I’ve been gone quite a while without writing a post. Sometimes it just seems impossible to remember to maintain it honestly. So here we are, in Spring! It’s been a very interesting month.

Our youngest is about to turn a month old on the 30th. Yep, she’s finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a month already, but it has. She was born March 30th at 5:11pm 6 lb 15oz and 19.5″ long. She came naturally which was a first for me out of the 6. My water had broke at 7:50am while I was in the process of waiting at the preschool for them to open their doors at 8:00am. Needless to say, I’ve never had my water break before on it it’s own, so I was a bit excited and nervous and kind of scared. I had no contractions so I just waited those 12 minutes patiently while calling to make arrangements with my mother and to let my husband know (at work) that it was time to go to the hospital. 9 hours later and voila, beautiful baby girl! I’m breastfeeding of course, as I’ve done with all my others. Everyone adores her and all the children are very happy to have a new baby sister, for now at least, ha.

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My oldest, the 5th grade homeschooler, is about to be finishing up her course work. Can you believe it!? It was a 36 week course that we’re about to be finishing up in the next 2 weeks. It was definitely a very trying experience and one I’m not likely to repeat with any of the children. It could just be the attitudes, the lack of her motivation and willingness to learn and comprehend. I’m probably just not the best “teacher” for her as far as standard curriculum goes. I did my best, we did our best and we made it through it, but we’re looking forward to starting back to public school in the fall.

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My 8 year old son with ADHD has excelled in school tremendously since being medicated in November 2016. He’s gotten A’s & B’s in his 2nd, 3rd and going on 4th quarter report. He’s even scored well on the NNAT2 test that he has been invited to join a group called Talented Development where he will be working with an Academically Gifted Resource Specialist once a week in a group of similar students for the remainder of the year. In the following school year he could be working with AG kids/courses as long as he maintains a 3.0 GPA. We’re very proud of him and his achievements.

My 5 year old son is going in for his ADHD evaluation next month. He has been giving his Kindergarten teacher and school staff gray hairs since the beginning, but there was nothing I could do since his pediatrician can’t or won’t diagnose under 6 years old. There were no other options for me with him until then, so you can see how starting school in August and not turning 6 until 6 days before school lets out has made this school year very difficult. Thankfully though considering he has demonstrated ALL the characteristics of his older brother before his diagnosis, that I’m confident that putting him on the same medication will result in the massive changes that his older brother went through and will make the next school year 100% better.

Cap & Gown pictures were yesterday for my preschooler. She has an exciting month coming up, turning 5 years old and graduating preschool. She’s had such an amazing school year and has gone above and beyond the expectations of learning for the whole year. Her report cards were magnificent and her behavior was excellent. Her teachers just adore her and I know she’s probably going to miss it very much but I’m hoping she’ll enjoy Kindergarten just as much.

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My homebody for this last year is finally going to be starting preschool himself in the Fall. He’s looking forward to it. I just finished the last 2 forms yesterday when they called me in to confirm his placement in the 2017-18 school year. That will leave just me and the little miss at home for the next 4-5 years once they all start back to school, which is only a few months away. They let out May 26th and will be going right back probably the 2nd week of August.

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We have some fun things in store coming up so I’ll write about some adventures & experiences soon!

In case you lost track of time

Perfect Treats for the Family

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to try some products I’ve never used before and to even get the familiar products we  love to review on.

I’ve received my first TastyVoxBox via Influenster for free and I was thrilled to discover what was inside and begin my reviews.

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Tasty VoxBox Included:

1- Full size bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original Hot Sauce
1- Full size can of French’s Crispy Fried Onions2- Yogi Tea Bags
1- Bag of Kashi Dark Cocoa Power – Plant Shake
2- Packets of Splenda Naturals (Sugar Substitute)
1- Country Crock Recipe
Coupon for Country Crock and Smart Ones

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Now I’m still in the process of testing these products, but I’ve gotten a few under way already.

Splenda Natuals
I’ve had pre-existing experience with this product and though it’s not my go-to, it’s tolerable to me in some instances, like for instance running out of coffee creamer. I enjoyed a cup of coffee with milk and Splenda last night to quench my craving. It’s definitely an acquired taste in my opinion, especially when you are used to using granulated sugar.

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Frank’s Red Hot

This was already one of my favorite hot sauce brands. My husband and I pretty much can put hot sauce on everything. Chili, BBQ, Pizza, Stews, Tacos, Quesadillas, etc. It’s the perfect amount of spicy with excellent flavor. We love it.

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French’s Crispy Fried Onions

My husband and I enjoy these on many things. Him and the kids can eat them straight out of the can. Hubby also likes them on Green Bean Casserole. We also eat them on our hamburgers, inside our diced home-style potatoes and mixed with green peppers for steak toppings. Today I enjoyed them on top of my BBQ burger sliders!

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Country Crock

We use this for oiling a pan prior to cooking to add great flavor to food. I’ve also used it in baking and absolutely love the easement of it’s packaging and the flavor it brings out in our treats. I’ll have to use the coupon to get some more because when using it for baking and cooking a lot, it doesn’t last long here. I’ll probably bake some holiday cookies soon!

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The other items in the box I’ve never tried but will definitely get around to them so I can review them for this campaign with Influenster. I’m glad I got the chance to help spread the word and get some of these product names out there. For those who are already fans, cool; If you’re just discovering some of them like I am, I hope you’ll continue to try new things as I do!

 

Perfect Treats for the Family

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

First Time Pickler

I followed an online recipe for dill pickles and I really hope it turns out alright. I made a dozen jars with this recipe. For the next dozen though, I’m going to follow a different recipe just in case.

We were given a bunch of pickling cucumbers fresh from the farm. We went through and found all the cucumbers that could be baby dills. I found some good looking ones to make spears and slices. After putting some away for our own use. I sorted through the cucumbers to share with family, neighbors and husband’s co-workers.

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Then I set out to brew the brine from a few different recipes I found. Some didn’t exactly have a length of time to set. When I used this recipe, I just bulked it up to fill more jars. This one alone only filled 2 small jars.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. spices (dill seed, peppercorns, ­coriander seeds, ­mustard seeds)
  • 2 cups water

STEPS:

  1. Cut the cucumbers the way you want them.
  2. Place them in the jars. (I put the jars in the sink to make less mess)
    If you are making spears make sure they are 1/2 inch from the jar lid.
  3. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.
  4. Pour the brine over vegetables in jars.
  5. Close the lid to seal.
  6. Let cool
  7. Label and store

 

With this recipe I’m going to let them ferment for about 6 weeks before testing. I’m really hoping they turn out delicious. My husband and kids are addicted to pickles.

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If you have a good recipe to recommend for my next batch, feel free to share in the comments. Thank you.

First Time Pickler

Eccentric Kids: Breaking Gender Norms

My son’s LOVE to sing and dance and dress up and play with dolls with their sisters. They are a bit eccentric and we’re okay with that.

We don’t have the mindset that it’s wrong to let boys wear dresses or hairbands or high heels or playing with dolls if that’s what gives them joy and amusement. If our daughters want to play in the dirt, wear tough fake tattoos or wear t-shirts, ball caps and jeans instead of dresses that’s fine too. We don’t believe it’s going to lead them down the road to homosexuality because we don’t believe that’s a choice, we believe it’s genetic. (not trying to burst anyone else’s bubble of beliefs)

I don’t see anything wrong with my son’s looking up to princesses as heroins. I don’t see anything wrong with letting my son’s prance around in girl clothes and sing to their favorite songs, especially the Disney ones. I don’t see anything wrong letting them play with barbies, dolls, tea-parties, dollhouses, or (girly) toys and even girl clothes the like.

My son’s just like my daughter’s like to have their nails painted. They like their hair brushed. They like doing just about everything their sister’s like doing and vice versa. They enjoy playing with their sisters even if it means turning away from their trucks, blocks, monsters and super hero figures… even though most the time it’s all included.

When Disney’s Frozen came out, my boys (ages 3 and 5) were obsessed. They wanted to be the Snow Queen. One of their favorite pass-times was dressing up as Elsa and singing “Let It Go” through the entire house, that movie was on repeat all day long. (thankfully that has subsided lol but it was still cute, the photo below was my 3 year old singing)

It’s all the same things I used to do with my brother and he was the only boy with three sisters, so a lot of the time if he wanted someone to play with it had to include “girl” things. I know my children’s likes and dislikes will change over time. We have 3 girls and 3 boys, for now we’re just letting them free-play as they like.

It breaks my heart to know that so many people including parents shame children for having an imagination and innocence to playing dress-up and like things that may not be “normal” for their gender.

One day my son said he liked pink and my other son said “You can’t like pink that’s a girl color.” And my husband chimed in “One of my favorite colors is pink.” He’s tried to explain to the children that colors don’t mean boy or girl. Just like toys aren’t specifically meant for girls if a boy likes it. Pink or not. Since then they felt okay to say they likes purples and pinks and turquoise. I don’t want them to feel like they have to hide behind what society thinks is right for their gender. I don’t want my kids to have to feel like they have to hide who they are or who they want to be.

I will let my children express themselves in play and dress-up all day long and will not tolerate anyone telling them they can’t. Telling them “they need to stop, they aren’t girls”, “get him out of that dress, he’s not gay” really boils my blood. Who said they were trying to be girls in the first place? Just because they have fun and are breaking the gender norms? I wish some people would stop being so old fashion, closed-minded, molding children to be sexist and pushing their gender views on them. I will never tell my son that he can’t do something because he’s not a girl and I will never tell my daughters they can’t do something because they are not a boy. (a part from reproductions of course)

We do a lot of play activity that is “all gender” because it helps both our girls and boys play equally without the anxiety or pressure from the stereotypes of society and what’s expected of them in the world. If they all want to play in dirt, they do. If they want to paint their nails, they do. If they want to do their hair, they do. If they want to play dress up, they do. If they want to draw fashion outfits, they do. If they want to ride bikes, they do. If they want to go swimming, they do. If they want a tea party, they do. If they want to play barbies, they do. If they want to play trains or cars, they do. If they want to bake, they do. If they want to help cook, they do. If they want to play sports, they do. If they want to dance, they do. If they want to sing, they do. I can’t stress this enough, I will always tell my children they can do whatever they want to do regardless their gender.

I don’t believe in shaming boys for being a little more sensitive than others or girls for being more tough than others. There is a difference in exploring the different gender roles that they are learning as children than a child who truly is unhappy with being the gender they are because they know and feel they are different. Even so not necessarily meaning they are homosexual, but even if they were, I would accept that with open arms as well. I will always accept my children for who they are. Straight, Homosexual or Indifferent. I do not believe letting them play as children innocently do is going to effect that in the slightest.

 

This picture was after they were walking through the house laughing and giggling and my daughter told me to take a picture. Afterwards they did their own fashion show and included 2 of their other siblings to dress in the opposite attire. Silly kids. All in good fun. You can just see the joy they have in just having fun and that’s just CLOTHES! The positive things are: they were playing peacefully together not pulling each others hair out, they were laughing and smiling, they were bonding, they were happy. Isn’t that all that matters?

PicMonkey Collage3

 

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Proud free-play mom all the way!

#freeplay

Eccentric Kids: Breaking Gender Norms

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