Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

Our area got to experience a solar eclipse yesterday.  There were some intermittent clouds during the beginning phase and then pretty much once we saw totality it was cloud and rained after that.  We were lucky enough to get to see the first phases to totality though.

Solar eclipse glasses were a very hot commodity around here.  We managed to get a pair the day before the eclipse.  There were people selling them on line for 10-20 dollars a pair though!!  It was craziness.

So in order for me to take photos of the eclipse this is what I had to do to the camera.  Not only can you not look at it with the naked eye but it would also burn out the camera lens.  So this was my position.  Looking straight up in the sky to get photos.

Here is my 4 year olds reactions.

Colton's reaction to the eclipse

Colton's reaction to the eclipse

The schools did get glasses for all the kids and did do special worksheets and lessons on the eclipse for the kids.

Even though we got to see alot of this it was still a very neat experience.

Here are some of my edited photos

Friday, August 11, 2017

No Books in School???

It is that time of year again, Back to School.  We recently had our 6th grade orientation night.  While there we were introduced to the staff, classrooms, and the lockers.....  With combination locks..  That is a whole other story for another day lol.

What I wanted to talk about is how the schools run now.  Almost all the schools do not have textbooks anymore.  When I was in school I had a book for each subject.  As soon as my 2 hit school I have yet to see a textbook!!!!

So how do the kids learn?  They have what look like weekly readers in the classroom.  These are what they use to learn whatever it is at that time.  The catch, the school only receives 30 copies of this so it has to stay in the classroom, but the kids use the Chromebooks and can pull them up online.  Ok, this is the scary part to me.  This is how our school runs and we are a small community.  I would consider a high poverty area.  I know lots of other schools run this way as well.  What do the kids do that do not have phones, computers, or internet at home do?  How do they do their homework if they need those?  I have heard some classes have a check out policy so they can take it home, which is great!  Only issue I see is there are over 100 kids that go through that classroom and I guarantee more than 30 probably do not have access to internet.

I know some classrooms do have a  book, but it stays in the classroom since they only have enough for one class.  Math.....  Math is still engaged NY for our school.  This means still just worksheets.  I am not sure what other schools use for math but would love to know!!!!  Our school went to Engaged NY when everything went to common core because this was a free platform if I remember correctly.

I know for one I did not learn math this way.  Pretty  sure most of us did not.  So when our kids bring this home it is like a foreign language to us.  To top it off no textbook to refer to in order to help them.  Where do we get help.....  You guessed it, hop online to look it up. Now I happen to be one of the parents that bought a set of books to help us out, but these books were around $300!!  I paid $300 to relearn math I already learned!!!  These books will get us all the way through college, but still not everyone in this area can drop that kind of money for books on math.

Now, I am a mom who is very active in their kids schooling and I personally know alot of the teachers.  This helps in a big way.  I know what is going on and if I need to I contact that teacher.  Our school does have a great way to stay connected with the teacher and classroom activities, but once again that is all online.  I get we are in a digital age, but I think it is a very high poverty rate as well.  I have a feeling this year will make or break a lot of kids.

I would be interested to hear how other schools are ran and what kind of curriculum that you do.

I really do love our school system.  This is in no way a bash at our school, because I know we are not the only school that does this.  I have had retired teachers come to me and ask me things about school and when I tell them they are floored at how the school system is ran.  It use to be a teacher would spend there summer making lesson plans and getting ready for the year.  Now the lesson plans are pre made for the teachers and they all teach the same thing.  It is good in a way because I can call another mom if need be and ask them something, but also bad because the teachers do not get to personalize their way of teaching.  Now our teachers still try to keep some personal touches in the classroom and I love it!!  I know other schools that they do not.  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Work from home

Work from home.  Who all wouldn't love to do this!!!  I know as a mom of 3 this is the best thing for our family.  Well I have found a company that makes this all possible.  Plexus.

This company is growing by leaps and bounds every month.  The earlier you get in on the opportunity the faster you are going to grow with them.  This company is a debt free company!!!  What does that mean for you?  Big rewards!!

This month they are rewarding if you go silver or gold by doubling your bonus!!!  How amazing is that.  You have the potential to bring home over $1,000 if you can hit gold in August!!  I know for us that would be a blessing with it being back to school season.  

This is the compensation plan.  This shows you the average of what you can bring home a month.   To qualify for commissions you must have a personal volume (pv) of 100 for the monthly commissions, but not the weekly commissions.  

There are 11 ways to earn.  Retail commission, Preferred customer bonus, or retail rewards override commissions. Business building bonus, One time achievement bonus, fast start achievement,  plexus points, and then the pool bonuses once you reach the higher ranks of emerald and above.  There is even the chance to earn a Lexus ;)   Here is a video that explains it in more detail.  

As a Plexus Ambassador not only will you be able to work from home, but help people obtain their health goals!  We are one of the biggest health and wellness companies right now.  

Plexus also offers a 60 day money back grantee.  The products above are some of the most popular at this time.  

I can personally attest that the first 4 products are AMAZING!!!!  I have not added the last into my routine but it is next on the list to add.  These products have worked wonders for me and for thousands of others!!  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me about this wonderful company!!  If you are ready to sign up go HERE !!!  You won't regret it!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Daily Routines

So who out there has a daily routine that works for them?  This is something that I seem to struggle with.  I think the reason I have had issues is because it seems that some sort of activity gets thrown in my plans extra all the time.  Another reason is I seem to be the perpetually tired mom.  I am the mom who feels like she is crawling through the day, just getting by.

This year I have decided to change all of this.  The first thing I had to do was get my health under control.  I know the reason I was a perpetual walking zombie was how I cared for myself.  In June I started some amazing products from Plexus.  I started small with the new Vitalbiome and I was hooked after 3 weeks.  This product was totally amazing.  This one little product helped with the feelings of anxiety, moodiness, and also helped with bloating and gas.

My next purchase was the Plexus Triplex Combo and I haven't looked back since.  This combo contains the Plexus Slim, Probio5, and Biocleanse.  With the help of all these products I have been able to combat the zombie mom feeling and get things accomplished.

Now that I can focus and am not struggling through the day I had to come up with some organization to my weeks.   First was to get my new planner and get a system down for 3 kids!!!  I decided to color code it.  My planner has a calendar and then weekly layouts after it.  We have so much going on that I can not fit it onto just a calendar.  Now I know alot of you are probably saying, "Why do you not use your computer or phone to plug it all in?"  For me paper is better and more reliable.  My luck something would crash and I would lose everything.  Something else I am doing is marking the white board calendar on the wall.  My husband seems to always ask "Do we have anything today?"  So I just outlined the days we for sure have activities so it is easy to tell at a quick glance.  It also helps remind me to check the schedule for the day

Another thing I am starting back into is meal planning.  This not only saves time, but money as well.  Instead of staring into a pantry or freezer trying to figure out what I can make I have an exact menu laid out.  I know exactly what I have and can make for the week.    The first thing I like to do is get a list of meals that we eat.  I will search Pinterest as well for some new ideas.  Once I have meals wrot out I will start to plan our meals out.  You can plan just suppers or you can go all out and do all 3 meals.  I choose to do all 3 meals this time.

Another thing I am trying to do is designate  certain days for cleaning certain rooms of the house.  That way I do not have to clean the ENTIRE house in one day.  I also want to try to do a full load of laundry a day.  That means wash, dry, fold, and put away.  Here is my schedule so far:

Monday:  Hallway and dining area
Tuesday:  Our bedroom and bathroom
Wednesday:  Living room and porch area
Thursday:  Kids rooms and bathroom
Friday:  Kitchen, dog area, and laundry room

Daily:  Trash, laundry, quick sweep of floors, trash, counters, dishes.

I am hoping with this schedule my weekends are free and I am not slaving a full day cleaning the house.  

The true test of this will be when everything kicks into high gear.  We will have school, ballet, tumbling, cheer, and girl scouts.  Among the other extras we fall into.

What things do you do to keep your sanity and stay organized?  Comment on this blog and share :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Head Cootie Spray

It is back to school time and what does that mean?  Them little, pesky head cooties!!!!!

What do we do in our house?  We have an all natural cootie hair spray that we use every morning on our hair to help prevent and deter them.

Here is my recipe that I have used almost 4 years now:

Grab a 6 or 8 ounce spray bottle
Fill almost to the top with water
Add a splash of Witch hazel (helps mix oil into the water)

15 Drops of Melaleuca
10 Drops Lavender
10 Drops Rosemary
5 Drops Peppermint

Shake before each use

Now, not only can this be used on someones hair, it can be used on coats, backpacks, or lunch boxes.  You name it you can spray in on it without fear of an oily residue being left.  The Lavender also has some detangling properties so it works great on my girls hair in the mornings to help get the tangles out.  

Here is a video explanation as well:

Here is a link to my oil page if you would like to purchase the oils:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Insurance Company Denial of Dads injections

Today's blog is more of a bash at the Affordable Healthcare Act.  This "act" has now denied my dad multiple times for crucial health care that he needs.  I am posting a copy of the appeal that I am writing to the insurance company below.  I have edited out the personal information but left the details.  I am hopeful the insurance company will reverse their denial.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hillsboro Rocks Game with Prizes

Hello everyone!!!!  A couple of people in the Hillsboro, IL Rocks page wanted to start a fun game for the kids.   It is easy.  They are painting rocks with letters on them.  On the bottom there is a number.  The idea is simple.  Get the kids out to find the letter rocks and form words.  Your score is the total of the numbers on the bottom.

Go to the Hillsboro, IL Rocks page and post your word and score.   Prizes will be awarded.  Since it is back to school time they decided to award some school supplies.

This game is in no way sponsered by Facebook ( they make me say that 😜 )  The prizes won't be a huge prize but I still think it is a great idea to get the kids out and active and using those brains before school starts.  The bigger the word the higher the score 😉.  Once the game is done I will add the winners to this blog post so be sure to click the follow button on this blog.

So be sure to check for clues on Facebook to see where they have hidden the rocks and as always Happy Hunting!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Back to school

It's that time of year again!  Time to get the kids ready to go back to school.  Show of hands who is ready  ✋✋  I know for sure I am ready.  This year I have a second year preschooler, third grade, and sixth grader.   Now my sixth grader is the one with the biggest adjustment.

In our school district sixth grade you move to the Jr. High, have lockers with combination locks on them, and change classrooms.  I have come across some ideas to help our littles transition and wanted to share.

One big thing is how to use a combination lock.  I remember learning how to do this and it can be frustrating so I have found some information to help.  So run to Dollar General or somewhere close and just get a cheap combination lock for them to use to practice with.

Her is a great video I came across

And here is a great graphic

Another big step is having a schedule to follow and remembering it.  You need to not only remember it but be sure you have your books and supplies for that class.  It can be a hassle at first to dig out your schedule every time you go to your locker but I found an awesome way to put it on your locker door and make it so that you can rearrange if it changes:

Popsicle sticks!!  You can decorate the sticks by coloring, painting, or using decorative tape.  Each stick is a class and room number and then put magnets on the back.  Tada!!  Open your door and there is your schedule.

 The next thing I came across when searching around was help remembering passwords.   I know my elementary school kid has like 4 passwords to use in school!!!!!  I know I Have a hard time remembering mine so I can't imagine with everything they have to remember it being difficult to remember.  So I found this idea:

Simple, cute, and easy.  They can stash this in their backpack and if they need it, it's there.

I found another cute idea that I think I am going to do for my step daughter as well.  Its a school survival kit.  Now I found some different ones but you need to be sure to check your schools policy on carrying Tylenol and such with them.  Most schools do not allow this. Here are a couple ideas that I am going to run with:

Basic idea is a cute little bag or container.  I have seen an altoid container used and that would be more up the alley of what a boy would want ;).  Place random things that they may need during the day.  Lotion, chapstick, wet wipe, sanitary things for girls ;), deodorant, band aids, hair ties or bobby pins, kleenex, and hand sanitizer.  I know our school is a gum free zone.  So be sure to check on gum or mints things of those nature as well.

Anything to help our kids feel a little more comfortable and less stressed I am all for it.  Do you have any other ideas let us know.  Like this blog click the follow button for more great blogs  :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hillsboro, IL Rocks!!!

So there is a new trend going around small communities in Illinois.  Painting and hiding rocks in local spots around town.  I the idea is to go out find the rocks and either collect or re hide them. What is this being called.........  Hillsboro Rocks or Litchfield Rocks....  Whatever your town is ROCKS!!!!!!

My kids have had a blast doing this already.  We have yet to paint any ourselves, but we have hunt and re hid lots :)  

Now rules.....  Not to many and most are obvious.   Do not place them anywhere that a lawn mower may hit them 😆  That could be very bad as some of the rocks are a good size.  Hide them in any public location.  Here are hot spots for Hillsboro where rocks have been hidden at already:

Main street Hillsboro
Old Courthouse
Beckemeyer Elementary School
Hillsboro Jr. High School

Other ideas I had was  maybe at the Public Library, Central Park, Sports Complex and maybe even the campgrounds.  The main thing is keep it safe  :)  

We are going to be making a way for everyone to publicly post when they are hiding and a photo if they would like of what they are hiding.  You can give clues, you can tell what spot you are hiding at that day.  When posting you can add the hashtag #hillsbororocks as well and then people can search that way as well.

Now the best part decorating the rocks.  You can use just about anything from paint, fingernail polish, markers, glue on jewels, etc.  If you use marker I would probably use a sealer on it.  On the back right Hillsboro rocks keep or re hide.  Here is a cute idea we have seen and started:

 Once we get the facebook page all set up and ready I will place a link in this blog so you can find it.


Come follow us on Facebook :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Buy one, Get one free Oils

This week is the buy one get one free special with doTERRA.  I will spotlight each special each day.  The specials are only good for one day and you must order it the day of the special.  This is a great way to build your oils as well


Buy a 15 mL Melaleuca, get a 15 mL Purify for free

Here is a little about each oil.  These are 2 of my all time favorites that is for sure.  I use Melaleuca on a daily basis almost and purify goes in my laundry :)  It helps combat stinky odors in the laundry.  Especially from my puppies.

Friday, July 14, 2017

What does Animal Control Actually Do

As most of you know I was an employee at Montgomery County Animal Control.  It amazed me how many people had no clue what we did or even about calling them to check for a lost pet.  So I am going to help explain who they are and what they do.

The first thing I want to explain is the difference between them and Montgomery County Paws Care.  PAWS is a volunteer group that adopts out dogs and cats.  They do not have a facility to go and see the pets though.  They are foster based, meaning all animals are in a foster home until they are adopted.  Montgomery County Animal Control (MCAC) is a county owned facility.  They run off of county funds.  They are not able to do fundraisers like PAWS.  They are able however to accept donations that anyone is to give them.  This has got to be one of the biggest things they get asked about.  I hope that helps explain the difference.

MCAC does have a facebook page that is run by volunteers.  On this page they will post animals that they have found that do not have a microchip, animals that people send them that they have lost, and items the shelter may be needing.  So if you ever loose a pet you can check here and see if it is posted as well as calling or visiting the facility to check.  If you loose a pet send them a picture and they will post the information for people to be on the look out for your pet.

MCAC is considered a low kill facility.  They do not put down animals to make room like some facilities may do.  They will put an animal down if it is severely injured or ill and it is in the animals better interests.

Another thing that they get calls a lot for is wildlife.  Unfortunately MCAC only deals with dogs and cats.  If you have a wildlife problem MCAC has numbers on hand they can give you to call to try and receive help.  The same thing for farm animals.

MCAC does offer vouchers for spay/neuter of cats and dogs.  If you receive a LINK card and are a resident of MCAC you can go to the facility and receive a voucher that covers almost the entire cost of the procedure.  MCAC also offers a low cost shot clinic for Montgomery County residents twice a year.  Usually there is one in the spring and one in the fall.  They will publish this in the local paper and on the facebook page.  They also offer micro chipping at this clinic.

MCAC is who you need to call if you ever see a case of animal abuse.  There phone is 217-532-3334.  Anytime that you see an abused animal give them a call and they will tell you what can or will be done.  Everything is confidential.  They will never give out your name or tell who placed the call.    The only way for them to help is to call.  Be the voice for the animal.

MCAC also picks up stray animals.  They do have some limitations to this though.  If you live within city limits they need to have authorization from the city or police to pick up the animal.  If you are in the country out of city limits they do not.

If you ever have to get rid of your animal because of a move or family member going in a nursing home you can contact MCAC and do an owner relinquish.  What this means is that you sign your animal over to MCAC and give us permission to find them a loving home.  There is a $25 fee per animal to sign them over and it is up to MCAC discretion if they can take them at the time.  They have to have the room before they can accept.  The $25 fee will cover housing and feeding the animal and getting any vetting that needs to be done to get them ready for adoption.

MCAC loves volunteers.  If you love animals go down and walk the dogs or play with the cats.  The animals love it!!!!!  You must be 18 in order to get the dogs out due to insurance reasons.  If you do have kids they can come and read to the animals.  The animals love to be read to.  Not only is it great practice for the kids, it is great socialization for the animals.  There are also prize packs for the kids when they are done.  

I hope this helps a little and explains a little bit about animal control.  If you have any specific questions you can give them a call or ask me here.