A Good Idea Gone Wrong: Raising Goldfish

It was the perfect day. First swimming and paddle boating at a friend’s pond. Buying goldfish at Meijer. Making homemade aquariums out of Ball Jars. Eating pizza and watching a movie. The kids fell asleep that night with smiles on their faces. I was going to win The Mother of Summer Award.

Then morning came.

The kids awoke ready to care for their new pet goldfish. But something was strange. The little fishies weren’t swimming like they had last night. Instead they all were floating, sideways, at the top of each jar.

Merciful heavens. I had no idea that fish needed air bubbles blown into the jars in order to breath the oxygen in the water. Maybe should have done some research before the project began.

I think my award has been revoked.

Family Fun Nights

 

Nothing screams family fun like nerf guns.

In our family nerf wars, there are plenty of laughs and squeals. Those darts can really sting, and I’m an easy target. Probably need to amp up my cardio.

Each week, we strive to have at least one family fun night, but oftentimes we have more than that. With media and technology trying to replace personal contact, my husband and I strive to set up boundaries and have dedicated family time. Children need to know they matter to us. We communicate their importance by having regular time together. Oftentimes our designated family fun night is Friday. Generally, it consists of pizza, games, and a movie. Our game of choice is typically Connect4. It might seem like a simple game but trust me, we have serious tournaments. After the blood, sweat, and tears shed during Connect4, we switch gears and eat pizza. We set up a table by the couch and watch a movie, while we eat. We look for a family movie that we can all enjoy. Oftentimes, we’ll rent something online or find a release on Netflix. There’s also another great Christian movies site called, Pure Flix. They offer a wide range of good family films too.

So what about you? What do your family fun nights look like? Do they consist of games, movies, or maybe even nerf guns?

 

11 Creative Activities to Combat Summer Boredom

Parents, Grandparents, Babysitters, etc: Summer Break is Around the Corner. Kids will be looking to you to help fill their days. So before boredom hits, here’s ELEVEN creative activities/ ideas to combat a pout fest.

#1 Dress a Cat Up Like a Woman

Tigger Is Looking Quite Fashionable in His Spunky Beret and Gown

#2 Take a Flower Smelling Tour

#3 Glue Googly Eyes on Pictures of Bugs, Then Cut Them out as Paper Dolls

You Can Draw the Bugs or Print Them From a Computer

# 4 Create Prehistoric Scenes Surrounding a Pet

Henry Whiskers Never Saw This Coming

# 5 Make Potato People

#6 Catch and Play with Frogs

 

# 7 Make a Starship Out of a Box

 

#8 Visit a Farm and Pet Animals
There are several farms that you can visit for free in Michigan. A couple we like the best are: Orchard Hill Farm and Critter Barn.

 

#9 Make an Animal Home out of a Shoe Box

#10 Develop a Runway Show With Your Own Clothing Line

We Call This Line: The Wanna Be Flappers

#11 Teach a Guinea Pig to Walk on a Leash

Five Easy Summer Activities with My Kiddos

It’s summer break, and we’re keeping it real. Here’s a picture overview of what we’ve done so far.

  1. Catching Frogs in Our Backyard
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  2. Visiting Boulder Ridge Park
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  3. Playing House With Our Guinea Pigs
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  4. Crafts, Crafts, Crafts

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    This is one of our many crafts that we’ve done. This is a cup sandcastle.
  5. Watering the Garden and Playing in the Sprinkler
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    The summer is still young, and we have many more memories to log. What about you? What fun things are you doing this summer?

 

Going Old School: Making Valentine’s Cards

My daughter is now in full time Kindergarten, and at school, all the children exchange Valentine’s Day cards. Instead of being commercial this year, we went old school and made them ourselves. A little card-stock, paint, markers, stickers and presto…cards!

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Our Elf on the Shelf: Dress Up, Naughty List, and Candy Canes

Star Shine, our elf on the shelf, has been busy these last three nights. She’s an active little gal.

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Trying on Barbie Clothes
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She told these animals that they were on the naughty list. It didn’t go over well.
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Candy Canes in our Stockings. Yummy!

Loving Dairy Cows

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Today, we visited my friend Diane at her dairy cow farm called Indian Trail Farms. Touring her barns is like therapy for the soul. No moos about it…I’m in love. I could let those sweet cows lick my hands and nuzzle my face all day. They’re adorable.

I was so impressed with the magnitude of the operation at Diane’s farm. They have cows being born every day! Number #20 pictured below was born the morning of our visit.

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My son Gabriel thought he entered cow heaven.

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For more information on Indian Trail Farms, and the beauty of running a cow farm visit my friend Diane’s blog at http://www.afarmwife.com. She is an amazing blogger and gifted farm wife. Diane’s blog is both entertaining and poignant. Also, she has a farm store with great products via her web page. Some of those products include: her own t-shirt line with fun farm sayings and a children’s book she wrote called “Where’s Charlie?”

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I love this shirt, and it’s incredibly comfortable material.
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This book is one of my daughter’s favorites. In the story, Diane’s grandchildren go on a quest to find the dog Charlie, and they travel all around the farm in search of him.

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Our Crazy Summer

Dear Readers, I apologize for the few and far between posts this summer. It’s been crazy and a little chaotic. Therefore, I haven’t been real busy writing, but I have been busy making memories with my husband, my children, family, friends and of course…our dog, cats, and chickens too.

Here are a few photos of our crazy cool summer:

  1. We became honorary Dutch dancers at Dutch Village with my British friend (aka-my brother from another mother), Kyle, during his visit in June.

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2. We used our imaginations and pretended to be secret agents, tigers in the circus, fairies with special powers, models in a runway show, etc.

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3. Celebrated my son turning two-years-old on June 16th!

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4. We picked blueberries with family who visited with us in July.

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5. We school shopped for my daughter who is going into Kindergarten!

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6. Doctored my daughter when she got stung by wasps four times around her elbow.

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6. Velvet has been laying double-yokers. What a champ!

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7. Took a family camping trip, and we all stayed in tents!

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Taking Care of the Garden and Gimpy

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My two kids and I had a diverse night. It started with thinning rows in the garden and ended with giving a hen a sitz bath.

We planted a variety of veggies and fruits in our 16 x 60 garden. We have modeled our garden after Paul Gautschi’s “Back to Eden Organic Gardening.” You can check it out via http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/how-to-grow-an-organic-garden.html.

Below is a picture detailing the layers we did to prepare our garden. First, we laid newspaper to kill the grass and prevent weeds. Second, we spread a 2 inch layer of compost onto of the newspaper, followed by 3 inches of wood chips and a sprinkling of manure. My neighbor who owns a huge cow farm across the road was so kind as to bring a scoop of manure over with his John Deere. Bless his heart! Nothing like free manure for the garden.

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It has been a real learning process doing our garden this year and its far from perfect. We chose the absolute worst spot on our land to put it. We didn’t know that until the first bad rainstorm and half the garden was washed out in places. The water likes to run through the middle of the garden. So we dug trenches around the outskirts and through the center of the lower half. Its looks completely redneck, but its working. We planted sweet corn, cucumber, carrots, spinach, lettuce, green onions, sweet onions, bell peppers, summer squash, dark zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, golden zucchini, cantaloupe, and watermelon. I got real fancy and marked the rows with rocks that I labeled with a black sharpie.

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In the meantime, we are doing maintenance. Tonight, Bella helped thin out the row of cucumbers. She continued to ask, “What can I pull next?” Gabriel didn’t bother to ask, he was proactive and started to pull on his own. Cute little bugger.

Afterwards, we had to deal with Josefina, my gimpy hen.

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Two days ago, I went outside to check on the girls. All the hens and ducks came running up to say hello. (They’re hoping for treats.) Poor little Josie was limping up the back forty, trying to reach me. She had to stop several times to catch her breath. I hoped it wasn’t anything major and gave it a little time. But gimpy isn’t getting better. After a google search, I found that a chicken limp can mean three things: a stroke, a lodged egg, or a pulled muscle. Either way, there’s not much that can be done, except a warm bath, massage to loosen a bound egg, and baby aspirin for a tender muscle. We started with phase one. THE BATH. I poured warm water and salt into a 5 gallon bucket and put Josie in. I think she liked it. I massaged her belly and checked her all over.

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Tomorrow if there’s no improvement, I’ll give the aspirin. I hope she’ll be okay. I like my Josefina. She’s a sweet little girl. My kids think so too!

Nine Years Married

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June 18, 2005

Today marks the 9th anniversary, since my husband and I said “I do.”

And since then, we’ve continued to say I do. I do take you as my best friend to explore and adventure life together, no matter what we face, let’s do it together! In nine years, we have already shared many adventures. Today, I’ll highlight a few.

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Our first quest took us to Kauai in 2005 where we kayaked rivers, tubed down irrigation ditches, went off-roading in mud buggies, discovered some native hotspots for eating, and conquered Hanakapiai Falls. The hike to the falls was crazy. The sun was going down, we didn’t catch the group with a tour guide, but we managed to follow the overgrown trails to the waterfall and back out before it was completely dark.

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We bought our first house on Mix Street in Bay City, Michigan in 2005 where we both worked on staff at a church. The house was built in 1952 and needed work. We loved it. Even though the basement flooded in 2007 from the sewer drain. We were ankle deep in brown water, toilet paper, and poo.

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MIX STREET HOUSE

We journeyed through California in 2008 doing ministry work, but also having a lot of fun!

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Newport Beach, CA

We toured through England with my dear friend, Joanna and her husband, who are residents of Ipswich. Joanna and I first met during a school exchange program to England in 2002 where her family hosted me. They will forever be my English family!

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London’s Tower Bridge, 2008
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Posing with the Police in London

 

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Sir and Madam of Warwick Castle

 

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Stonehenge

In 2009, we started a very new journey, adding to our family! I became pregnant with my daughter in June 2009. And three months into the pregnancy, we traveled to Costa Rica for a missionary trip and to see Jonathan’s family.

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Jonathan and I with his Auntie
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Posing with Jonathan’s cousin and his wife
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Church Valentine’s Banquet, two days before I delivered!

My baby girl was born on February 14, 2010. Our adventures continued with our trio. We went to Seattle, Washington!

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Since then, we added three more beautiful children to our Cordero clan. Two are being cared for in Heaven and our son, Gabriel is here, making sure Bella knows what its like to have a brother pull her hair.

Now our family is pursuing a life-dream adventure. The country life. We built a home on land and are moving toward a self-sustaining lifestyle with hobby farming.

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The best part of this story is simple: I did it with my true love, Jonathan Cordero. I can’t wait to see what the future holds; I know it will be great as long as I’m with him.