Monday, September 8, 2014

Counting to 10

I made the decision to nix the individual number practice until Kylie is able to count to 10 without messing up. Today, after doing our daily Pledge of Allegiance and calendar time, I opened up her workbook to the Counting to 10 section. Together we counted to 10 several times with her only messing up on 9 and 10. After that, her task was to do a worksheet where she counted the items pictured and then traced the number under the picture. She decided that was too difficult and she would much rather do something fun, like paint.

Assuming we could come back to that worksheet later, I turned her attention to her "My Counting Book" that I downloaded for free from Teachers Pay Teachers. She traces the numbers and then tries to write them herself. We fought for nearly an hour over writing these numbers to no avail. Finally, I got her to play with her counting bears. We have a paper that has two sections. The top section on the first page would be along the lines of 1 Red Bear and under that it would have a red circle where we place the red counting bear. The bottom section would be 2 Blue Bears and then have two blue circles to place the blue counting bears.

This activity was going just fine until we got to the page with the numbers 3 and 4. She placed her 3 green bears and her 4 yellow bears on their corresponding circles and counted them perfectly. When I asked how many bears there were on the paper, she swiped her hand over it and knocked several away. "There are 4," she said. "Because this one decided to run away, and this one was hungry, and this one just didn't like the other bears."

I get so irritated at her attention span sometimes, but her imagination never ceases to amaze me. She still wants to paint.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Material!

I love when I get new material to write about! I feel like what goes on in my head is either so complex and strung together so strangely that people will stare at me with mouths agape, or it's so mundane they'll stop listening after the first few words. So, when things are happening in my life that are really blog worthy, I do a happy dance! That being said, I've started homeschooling Kylie in Pre-K while Kendal is attending her 2.5 hour Pre-K class at our school district. I'm interested to see what Kylie has learned in a home setting at the end of the year versus what Kendal has learned in a traditional school setting.

Here is what I've learned so far:

  • Kylie is extremely hands-on when it comes to her learning style. She would much rather be doing projects and experiments than worksheets. In turn, I'm having to get really creative with how I teach her new things, especially how to write. 
  • Kendal enjoys going to school for the social aspect. She does not, however, like being told what to do and how to do it. I don't think this is a new revelation. 
  • I have a lot more patience than I thought I did. Doing projects with Kylie and teaching her new things is so easy! My patience begins to wear thin when Kendal comes home from school and the sibling war starts. 
  • Kylie likes to be silly and act like she doesn't know the answer to my questions; it makes me wonder if I'm going about my instruction all wrong. I've started calling her out on it and she eventually concedes with the right answer. I'm not sure why she does this...
  • I don't like not knowing exactly what Kendal learned at school every day. I get the typical "I don't know" and "I don't remember" answers when I ask her about her day. She's starting her third week tomorrow and I'm hoping that the teacher/ parent connection will begin to pick up in the near future.
So, what will Kylie and I be starting this week?  The letter Z, the number 3, and Triangles. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guest Blog - A Cherry Blossom Bursting with Words

It's been a long time since I've written a blog post! I'm now halfway through my pregnancy with another baby GIRL! Claire Marie will be here before we know it! Kendal and Kylie still keep me busy every day, of course, but I've also started up my new candle business that has been keeping me VERY busy! And I love every minute of it! You can check out my store here: Jewelry In Candles. Yes-- there's really jewelry in the candles!! Trust me, they make the best gifts!

So, with my busy lifestyle, I was so thankful when my friend and fellow author, Morgan, agreed to write a guest post for me! So, without further ado, here's Miss Morgan Straughan Comnick to tell us how Japanese culture influences her writing. :)

A Cherry Blossom Bursting with Words
By: Morgan Straughan Comnick

Have you ever had that one show that opened your true self, changed your life, sparked an almost religious experience inside you?  I had a few medias form this path for me, each crafting a stepping stone that steadied my soul, formed a bond within me for life.  The catchy theme to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers still pulses through my blood, bringing me out of gloom, making me believe I can do help others. Pokemon makes me feel I am a champion, that as long as I have my loved ones by my side, I can achieve greatness.  Yu-gi-oh allowed me to find friendships in unlikely people, finding treasure in ones labeled unfairly, hiding in the shadows like myself, learn to be a team player. And then…there was Cardcaptor Sakura and my eyes were open. I saw the light and I heard angels singing.  I was exposed into a world called anime (Japanese animation), seeing the beautiful angles of Japan, this amazing, breathtaking nation and soon, Japanese graphic novels pushed their way into my life due to my anime interests. Manga fueled my soul, blending seamlessly into my creative nature.  A sakura blossom was born into my heart and its scent has graced everything I have done.
Manga, unlike American graphic novels (not to offend anyone), have such depth, such detail, such a beautiful complexity to it, but no matter how fantastical, how unbelievable the world is, there is a part that touches your heart, speaks to you, teaches you a lesson woven within its pages. I wanted to express this in my writing, share these feelings of growth with my readers.  Manga has taught me that love is pure, love is final, truthful, raw, powerful, right, worth so much pain and sacrifice.  We are all deep down super heroes and there are several sides to every story. Connections, relationships, good or bad, related by blood, spirit, or heart, run deep, all encompassing.  The fate of the world is threatened too often, something so critical as weak as fraying, thin, worn thread. All problems can start as a dim firefly, but with a snap of a finger, a blink of an eye, a chain of events, the earth can crumble under your feet.  Manga has made me more accepting, more caring, more open to love.  Manga has made me a better person.  This gift of insight is what I want to instill in my writing, a message, a connection, a hand, to my readers.
Manga dresses up the everyday too as well, making me go on mystical adventures right in my bedroom, curled under my blanket.  Lovely costumes, adorable school uniforms, pastry shops with cakes so cute you want to stare at them forever, shrines and festivals that make you tap your toes to unheard music!  School is so much more interesting in manga, even the chores. There’s bento lunch boxes that make your mouth water, boys who challenge each other to basketball games every other day, romances that make you melt into a puddle from saying awwww too much or a simple love confession makes your heart pitter-patter along with the character’s. Kisses are steamer, making the pages smoke with the passion like a hot springs.  And oh! The comedy cannot be overlooked! The slap-stick, the banter, balls to the head; it’s amazing these high school kids are ALIVE! For a girl like me who trips over invisible surfaces, this is a blessing foundation of knowledge! Manga tickles my funny bone, keeps me dreaming, keeps me youthful, its insanity allowing me to stay sane and enjoy my weird, clumsy, shy, silly nature with others who won’t judge.
So, with all this being said, why incorporate these cartoonish feelings into my novel works? Because what we are really searching for in a story is these things in entertainment form.  The manga-ka (manga artist) have the stunning pictures to help guide the reader into their thoughts. Words themselves, words alone, are harder to cast this magic on.  So, I take the kindness, the lessons, the joy manga has given me and pour it, sprinkle it, into my work.  When I image a love scene between a couple, I envision the warmth of rainbow bubbles, dreamy sparkles, starry, large eyes gazing into the face of their darling.  A simple school conversation is as jazzed as two guys fighting over a girl through a sports match to the finish, who are defying gravity, yet not.  When the world is over, there is always a hope, a glimmer, a twist that makes it work out or will at least shatter the reader in such a way it makes an atomic impact, being unforgettable.
Japanese culture is infused in everything I do now.  It was always meant to define me, make me shine, help me find happiness and it has never failed me. Why would I not share its gift of imagery, creativeness, and morals, with the world in my own way, with my writing style, blending East and West in a stew of satisfaction?
I owe my otaku (Japanese culture loving) nature my lifelong dedication; we are connected by a red string of fate that cannot be snipped.
The scent of cherry blossoms light my path, kissing every deed I do…I love them for it.
Sayonara minna-san.

About the Author:
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

(All social medias are in blue cherry blossoms in the upper right hand corner)

Books include: “Spirit Vision,” “A Sweet, Little Dream” (a poetry/short story collection), and two short stories in “Recollection of Shared Days: Story of Celebration,” all through Paper Crane Books Press (

Friday, June 20, 2014

Free Monthly Bill Printable

While in the spirit of organizing my meals and grocery shopping, I decided I needed to freshen up my bill organization, too. Here's a printable that I designed to help me out. Again, if you like it, let me know! If you wish to share these with others, I ask that you share it on Pinterest, or if on your blog, please let me know that you've used it and link back to me. Thanks!

 Click here to download the PDF file.

Free Weekly Master Schedule Printable

I'm always in search of great ideas to help organize my life. Printables are a big help with that! Unfortunately, I can never find one to encompass everything that I want on one page, or when I do find it, you have to pay for it. Finally, I decided it was time to make one of my own. It's not fancy by any means, but it allows me to look at a weeks glance and jot down who has what going on and on what day. Knowing this allows me to better plan for the weeks meals, and in turn, saves me money at the grocery store. I've made this free to anyone who wishes to use it! If you enjoy it and it helps you, please let me know!! If the feedback is positive, I'll see what else I can come up with to better organize our days! :)

Click here to download the PDF file.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Been a While

For those of you who haven't heard the big news, I'm now in the second trimester of my 3rd pregnancy! That's right, baby Blumenstock #3 is on the way! I've been completely drained of energy with this one, which is my excuse for not writing ANYTHING this whole time. (I mentally kick myself daily) But after having horrible complications with hyperemesis gravidarum in the first trimester with Kendal and Kylie, this pregnancy has thankfully been pretty uneventful. I had been hoping that the complete 360 in pregnancy symptoms and all of the old wives tales were pointing to us having a boy this time, but at our 12 week ultrasound the tech predicted the baby to be another girl based on the "nub theory" or the "angle of the dangle." If you've never heard of it, google it. It's enlightening. We still have hope, though. We'll hopefully find out for sure on July 1st.

Names are still up the air for a boy, though. If baby B turns out to be a girl, her name will be Claire Marie. If baby B turns out to be a boy, he will have the same middle name as Cord, which is Michael. We're about 85% set on the name Kale,  but maybe with a C? Cale, Cael, Chael.... I can't decide. I also like Camden, Carson, and Chasten. If we stick with a C name, the baby will have the same initials as Cord, too. Luckily we still have 27 weeks to decide. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

For My Husband

I had quite a lengthy blog post written and prepared for today that I had dedicated to my husband, but I won't be posting it. Instead, I will say this: I will not be made to feel guilty for being proud of my husband. I will never stop supporting him and I will always stand up and fight for him.

That being said, after more than a year, my husband, Cord, was finally recognized for his heroic efforts the morning of December 15, 2012, when one of our local deputies was fatally shot. Cord and his partner during that shift were both awarded a Medal of Valor and were presented with an award from the Missouri House of Representatives commending them on their bravery and courage. This recognition was well-deserved and way overdue as these two men entered a scene with an active shooter and potentially saved the lives of three other people on that early morning-- people who openly and honestly told them that they were the heroes and then went on to credit them with saving their lives. My husband put his own life at stake when he ran into the shooters kill-zone to retrieve the body of the fallen deputy and then, after dragging him to safety behind a patrol unit, proceeded in vain to resuscitate his fallen brother with CPR.

That morning was an utter tragedy that no family in law enforcement should ever have to go through. It was senseless and disgusting and every one of those responders should have gone home that night, but they didn't. And that night will haunt my husband and the other four people at the scene for the rest of their lives. They are forever bonded and I consider them all a part of our family.

That morning was not a contest and nobody was a winner, but my husband was a hero and he deserves all of the accolades that come with it. I say that not only as a wife, but as someone who works in public safety every day with these men and women. Not everyone is cut out for those situations; academy sure as hell doesn't prepare you for that. Cord was level-headed and commanded the scene and for that he is deserving, and I will always stand by that conviction. If that offends anyone, oh well. I'm loyal to my husband first and foremost, the same as any good wife, and I find it insulting that anyone who knows the details of that night wouldn't find Cord and his partner worthy of the honor that was bestowed upon them. And I am in no way, shape, or form discrediting anyone else that was at that scene. There was nothing anyone else could have or should have done. They were ambushed and were in no position to fight back.

So, with that, I want to say congratulations to my husband, Cord, for the honor that he received-- even though I know that he would much rather have his fallen brother back home with his family than a plaque on the wall and a bar on his shirt.

From LTR: State Rep. Shelley Keeney, Cord, Officer Coffman, and State Rep. Paul Fitzwater