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.

Gender Reveal

So of course we didn’t want to be surprised and have been waiting quite a while to find out what our little one was going to be. Mainly so we could go ahead and shop and prepare a nursery and to stop the guilt of calling it an IT.

So what will it be?

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I could hardly sleep the night before. I was so anxious about figuring it out.

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We sat in the waiting room for a bit and I didn’t think at the time that they wouldn’t let my three year old go back until the end. Which made my husband have to sit out there with them until it was close to the end of the scan, which took 30+ minutes. I felt so much better now that we had the anatomy scan done and the baby is super healthy and doing great in development.

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She waited to reveal the gender for when she went out and got them from the waiting room and brought them back. She did some searching and showed us on the monitor that it was a………..

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So now we know that and our little one can now have a name and be called a she/her instead of an IT. She now evens us out. I currently have 2 girls and 3 boys. Now it will be 3 girls and 3 boys. With the step kids it totals 4 girls and 4 boys. Perfect.

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I had a prenatal visit right after the ultrasound and they checked my weight and blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate, everything is great. The ultrasound says she weighs 11 ounces.

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We’re half-way there which means 20 more weeks until our due date. We’re going to be decorating the girls room / nursery before the baby arrives. Now that we know she’s a girl we know what we need to buy for her that we didn’t have already. It’s a lot more peaceful in my mind knowing instead of the nagging mystery. The longest I ever went in my pregnancy without knowing was my 5th, I didn’t find out he was a boy until a month before he was born. And let me tell you, that was nerve racking.

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Gender Reveal

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

Do you know if the Law of Attraction is working for you?

I’ve been practicing the Law of Attraction for 15 years. Doesn’t seem like it’s been so long ago, but it’s been an interesting journey that I can explain with a few of my first hand experiences. It’s definitely a practice that needs your realization and focus to achieve, especially on a grander scale. When you find out that you really do have the power to manifest things in your life through the Law of Attraction, things just seem to flow.

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(I do not reserve the rights to the photos I’ve included. They were found through Google)

Remember: You cannot control the lives of others or their actions. You must be aware of your surrounding and the people you have involved in your life. As hard as it is to manifest your own positive intentions, the toxicity of others in your life can also halt positive results until you are back in a good vibrational harmony with yourself and the universe. You can however manifest the “right” people into your life, but you have to know when enough is enough with the people who do not make you feel good.

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First of all – Harmony

I noticed that the more aligned I was with myself and the universe the more I saw the signs clearly that meant I was on the right path. These signs were given to me by putting people in my life who made me feel good about myself, helped me find love, led me to successes, finding financial abundance and even found greater happiness within myself and in life.

It almost feels magical, when things just flow positively, everything seems to unfold before your eyes and that continuous realization and harmony keeps me feeling good which brings more positive manifestations to life. It’s almost unstoppable.

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Another is – Heightened Impulses

I have impulses that lead me to a strong feeling of intuition. I’ll end up getting jynxed yelled at me for saying the same thing at the same time as someone else. It would feel like I already knew what they were going to say and I’d just spit it out. I’d find myself thinking about someone and then they would call or text. This happens in many ways for me, I’ll bump into them at the grocery store, see them while driving down the road, sometimes depending on who it is will even surprisingly show up at my front door.

If I wanted an item whether it was lost or if I was just too “lazy” to get up and get it. I would sit down and focus on that item, in most cases it would come to me like a vision of where that item is… and strangely in a few instances of my laziness, my children would walk up to me with the thing I was thinking I wanted to get. Example: a pen, my purse, a bottle of water.

All of that is suppose to mean I am on the right vibrational path, which means the same for you. It’s the beginning of realizing the power of your intentions.

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Seeing Your Spirit Guides

I love seeing wild rabbits and turtles. Sometimes people feel a connection with certain animals, possibly even from a young age. There is usually a certain animal that means something special to you and those are the ones that make me feel good. Perhaps that animal gives you feelings of happiness and peace, maybe even an object that reminds you of that animal.

For me when I was younger I had a hot pink rabbit foot keychain. It was my favorite and I felt it gave me good luck. I feel joy when I see a wild rabbit eating and hopping around in an open patch of grass, free and peaceful. Recently during a family hike we came across an old turtle shell that we brought home and put in the garden. Also any time I see a turtle in the road I immediately stop and put him on the other side where he was heading. Some people may have the same feeling from objects like a stone, feather or seashell. Whatever is personalized with you and your vibration.

When you are on the right vibrational path, you’ll be more likely to see more of these spirit guide animals or items. If you don’t know if you have one, you can do some meditation and search within yourself for your symbol.

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Make a wish

I’ve believed this for years, my mother used to tell me to make a wish when it was 11:11. You’ve probably heard someone tell you to make a wish when the clock read 11:11 too. Well that’s because sequences of 1’s are suppose to mean that things are aligning and flowing into the right direction and that “wishes” are suppose to come true.

These wishes can easily be the manifestation of your intentions. I would see them almost daily both morning and night. It was like something drew my eyes to the clock, even if I went to sleep before 11, it was like I was jolted awake only to find the clock on 11:11. These numbers could be noticed anywhere though, not just a clock. I’ve seen them on license plates. I’ve seen it on TV. I’ve seen them on house numbers I’ve passed 11, 111, 1111. I’ve even seen it on receipts and in the paper. No matter where they are seen, know that it is a good sign that your attractions are working. You’re probably on the right path.

Where the Mind Goes, Money Flows

I found that when I am on the right vibrational path, money finds me. I’ve found money in some strange places over the years. Back when I used to waitress I was given a $100 tip on a $40 meal. Over the past three years I’ve found $10 in my car, $20 in a pair of jeans I hadn’t worn for 2 months, $30 in one of my notebooks, $5 in my couch cushions, $2 in my dryer. Sometimes it would be by spending less money than I was suppose to by something ringing up less or by a surprise discount. Even when bills end up less than expected is a form of money coming back to you.

Before long with positive intentions it could be cash given to you randomly or as a gift (this has happened to us as well) or by winning the lottery (which we have also done in small amounts). If you’ve experiences things similarly to this, then you were attracting and manifesting. When you express gratitude to the universe, you will attract more abundance no matter if you find a $1 or $100. Always be grateful and feel joy. The feeling of joy helps greatly with your vibrational path.

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Do you know if the Law of Attraction is working for you?

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?

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Proud free-play mom all the way!

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Eccentric Kids: Breaking Gender Norms

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!

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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.

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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.