Friday, August 30, 2013

Second week of school...check!

I have friends who keep asking me what we are doing in answer to their question is usually, not much.  This house selling thing is a little more than I can stand.  Most days I just want to sit here and cry at how overwhelming this ordeal is.  But I don't and instead I put on my big girl panties and move on.  I finally got our house clean and in showable condition.  My husband has a few things to do in the yard and needs to take care of his "man" stuff.  We also have to get a contractor out to get a job done...but other than that, it is a waiting game.  We met with a realtor last night and hopefully it will officially be on the market next week!  She is working on getting comps, so we can get an accurate list price.  I just know if we can get some people in hear, they will fall in love with our home.  Please, please, please pray this transition goes smoothly and we can find a buyer fast!  Sean starts his new job on Tuesday and will commute while he can.  No we don't have another house near Grand Island waiting in the wings...sell first...then buy. 

So a recap of what we did this week in school...not much.  My focus with the girls have been Math and Spelling.  I threw in some Bible, Science, and Writing also.  They really like the new notebooking thing that we are doing and I will share about that at another time.  Easton has continued to learn how to read beginner words.  His attention span is pretty short, so we are doing as much as we can before he gets distracted.  He likes playing games the best over sitting and reading.

Here are a few pictures from our week:

I made little flashcards with Easton's new words.  I called them out and he had to run across the room and put them in a different location.  I gave him 2 minutes to get all of the words right.  It was kind of like a Price is Right game.  I would ding if he got it right.  He enjoyed that game.
I saw this idea on pinterest.  I saved bottle caps and put the letters on it.  I then called out his words and spelled them with the lids.
The boys both played a phonics game on the Ipad
Jocelyn practiced cursive
Since the girls are doing the same spelling this year, they can play games against each other.  Pretty tense!

We had a little play dough fun!  Jocelyn is pretty creative...she made a cake here!

Apples!  Tis the season!!  We have an apple tree out front...don't ask what kind.  I have no clue.  We made several apple recipes...carmel apple crisp and strawberry apple sauce were the kids favorite!
To make applesauce...we peel the apples, slice them, put them in a cover pan on medium heat with just a little bit of water.  After 15 mins we toss them into the blender.  Puree them.  Add sugar and strawberries and whoola!!! Easy peasy!

We are still out enjoying outside activities!  We went to the sprayground and beach this week!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Noonday...handcrafted jewelry and accessories

I was asked by a local friend to post an interview that she took part in.  She is part of an exciting new business called Noonday!  Read on to find out more details about her adventure!  If you are local to Lincoln, you can come to her first trunk show this Friday, August 30th!!

Q: What is Noonday?
A. Noonday Collection is a company that partners with artisans from around the world to create ethically-made jewelry and accessories. Each piece is handcrafted from around the world using resources found in each region. Most of our paper beads come from Uganda, from Ethiopia come pieces made from up-cycled artillery and found war weapons, Knit items come from Peru and Tagua seeds are found on the rainforest floors of Ecuador. Every artisan has a heart-breaking story, yet through Noonday they are finding hope and the ability to survive, thrive and support their families. Together with the Noonday Ambassadors across the country, we offer you the opportunity to use your purchasing power to create change in the world (while looking really good along the way). Your fashion sense can now restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, empower communities in Ecuador, and create business opportunities for Ugandans.
 Q: How did you hear about Noonday?
A. Noonday Collection began 2 years ago in my hometown of Austin, Tx. I've been a Nebraskan for over 8 years now, but my connection to Austin is strong! My Aunt is an Ambassador for Noonday and when I read her blog and began diving into the stories of the artisans I was left heart broken and desperate to help. I was a missionary in many parts of the world in High School and College and have seen extreme poverty. Now, I have four kiddos (ages 7, 6, 3 and 2) and can't join long-term mission work as my heart often aches to do. Noonday became a way for me to be a voice for the oppressed, to be able to daily think about worldwide poverty, human trafficking and genocide and use the jewelry as a reminder to pray for them.

Q: How has Noonday helped?
A. There is no specific percentage of piece that goes back to the artisans. Instead, Noonday pays for the jewelry up front. This not only provides the artisans with a sense of trust, but gives them the ability to afford the resources and pay each artisan a DAILY living and fair wage. At Noonday Collection, the artisans aren't just at the heart of our company, they ARE the company. The artisans we purchase our collection from know their craft. For them to get paid a fair and competitive wage for the skilled work of their hands is a unique and life-altering opportunity for most of them. Because we practice Fair Trade guidelines, your purchases enable them to earn more than what they would be earning in another job. This extra income enables them to put their children in school, buy chickens, or even expand their own business so they can employ their local community.

Noonday Collection only partners with companies and ministries who assure that their artisans are growing, learning, and benefiting from their craft. All of our suppliers use fair trade principles. Basic fair trade principles state that artisans receive a fair, living wage, a good working condition, and a reasonable path out of poverty. We want to go beyond fair trade. In many instances, the artisans are part owners in the companies! Read more about the stories behind your purchases.
Q: What can I do to help?
A. Each purchase you make through Noonday Collection provides hope, opportunity and change for the artisans and their families. The new fall line launches TODAY and you can check it out here:
Hosting a Trunk Show in your home is how Noonday creates its biggest impact, and you can contact me in Lincoln, or I can help set you up with your local Ambassador if this interests you. If you are in the Lincoln area, I am hosting a Fall Launch party this Friday, August 30th at Pioneers Park! You can check out the event details on Facebook ( or email me directly
You can also follow me on InstaGram at: MOckander
If you are interested in the cause but unable to attend Friday's Launch Party, please check out the Facebook event details about how to make your online purchase count towards winning a paper bead bracelet! I will be adding names to the raffle for each purchase you make!
tea towels
Q: Where can I learn more?
A. From my webpage, you can read more about the purpose of Noonday, how Noonday helps adoptive families raise funds to bring children into their homes, as well as watch videos of the artisans and from the founder herself. It is a wealth of information! You can also contact me if you have any questions, want to host a trunk show, or want more specific information about Noonday.
 *I was not compensated for posting this interview*

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who do you know....

Think about everyone that you know.  Neighbors, friends, family.  How many people do you know that have been married for 50 years?  I hadn't really thought about that until this past weekend.
Unfortunately, people often pass away before they reach this milestone.  Unfortunately, marriage is taken for granted and the divorce rate is sky high in this country.

This past weekend we were invited to go to Branson, Missouri for my husband Sean's aunt and uncles 50th Wedding Anniversary party.  I will be completely honest with you...the thought of jumping in the car for the 3rd weekend in a row to be out of town while we are trying to get our house on the market and trying to start school was not something I was really thrilled about.  I knew the event would be great, but I was just overwhelmed with the thought of traveling...again.

Sean put it all in perspective for me.  When is the last time you have been invited to...or even have known a couple that has made it this long?  I couldn't think of anyone.  Pretty special isn't it?  That his aunt and uncle have made it this long.  Through many trials.  Through the thick, the thin.  Through sickness.  His aunt Sue has had a recent battle with cancer.  They have made it and we were there to celebrate with them!

It was an extremely hot and muggy night!  I tried to stay inside as much as I I only took a few outdoor pictures.  Thank goodness for older nieces entertaining our kids outside!  The party took place at the National Institute of Marriage. I have heard that this place was gorgeous, but oh my word...was it absolutely beautiful.  So peaceful and serene!  It overlooked Lake Taneycomo and their facilities were top notch! 

We have never attended as a couple, but I have heard that their marriage weekends/weeks are quiet good!  My husband's cousin is the co-founder and his wife also helps run the facility.

We had a great time catching up with relatives that we haven't seen for a few years.  The kids have all grown up so fast and it was fun hearing what everyone was up to.  Such an honor to be able to take part in a weekend event like this!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Our first week of school!

Well we started our first week back at school on Monday!  It was without a lot of bells and whistles...kind of hard to get back into the swing of things since summer has decided to make an appearance again!

I have had friends warn me that it will be difficult to maintain a regular homeschool schedule while trying to get the house ready to sell.  They are so right!  So we did what you could say a "part-time" homeschool week.  We did Math and Spelling for all 4 days with the girls.  We did a little bit of Bible, Science, Reading, Language Arts, and Writing.  I won't be able to do every subject every day, but I am trying to mix and match each day.

Easton is in the loop more this year.  He wants to learn how to read.  We started with the -at words and he caught on pretty well. 

We reviewed his phonics as well.  I laid cards out and said a sound.  He handed me the card that matched my sound.
I had him practice his new words as I called them out, he wrote them.
He also had to form his new words with letter blocks.
I didn't get very many pics of the girls, because we really didn't do anything overly exciting this week.  We studied the new Caldenonian Crow this week.  Interesting stuff!  I am trying a new notebooking thing this year, that I will share with you as we get that altogether.

Kate started her new Teaching Textbooks Math program this year.  She hasn't really used the computer all that much up until now.  So teaching her how to use the mouse has been kind of tricky...she is a lefty and I kind of forgot that I needed to accommodate for her...oops.  My dad gave us a laptop for the kids to use, so both of the girls can do Math at the same time and my own laptop doesn't get tied up with the kiddos.  She loves Math, so I am excited to see that she likes the new program.
and then we enjoyed one afternoon with a few friends at the Lincoln Children's museum!  Fun times!
and we enjoyed the pool one afternoon.
and we enjoyed the lake another afternoon.  Sean got up on his skis after 20+ years since the last time he skiied.  I am learning how to drive the boat so we can do more of these is quiet scary I tell ya!
 So maybe it isn't just the moving that is distracting me...summer is still in full swing!

Oh and if you know someone that wants to purchase our lovely house...please send them our way.  I talked with the realtor gal last night and will hopefully list soon...unless someone wants to buy it before we sign on with her!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Our life is about to get a little crazy....

So we are moving and it isn't to Omaha.  No I am not one friend totally thought I was.  I have told quiet a few close friends, family, and neighbors over the past week.  If I didn't get to you...I am sorry and I know this is an extremely impersonal way of sharing the news.  I will try not to cry while I write this, because I really do like our house, life, homeschool family, neighbors, and local friends. 

So to answer the millions of questions that people have asked me over the past is the hopefully I don't have to repeat myself another million times!

1.  My hubs got a new job.

2.  Was he looking?  Kind of, even though he still had a job.  He had recruiters calling him non-stop...for jobs all around the United States.  He really wanted to stay local, but in his line of is slim pickings.

 He had a recruiter intern call him out of the blue about a job in Omaha....not even knowing he was kind of looking.  He had no clue who Sean was and hadn't even seen his resume.   He was randomly calling plant managers in the area.  Sean sent him over his resume and got a call back about a different job in Grand Island, Nebraska.

3.  Where is Grand Island?  It is a town of around 45,000 exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes from our current home.  I can't tell you much else...because I don't know a lot about the town. 

4.  Where is he going to be working?  I can't write out the actual name of the company just in case one of his new 700 employees google his name or their own companies name and find this post.   If you can read our t-shirts above, you are a winner. But let's just say this job is basically his "dream" job.  It has to do with making ammunition and all sorts of things revolving around that field.   No he can't give free handouts of the product.  He is EXTREMELY excited about the opportunities that this job will offer.  He starts the day after Labor Day.  He will be at his current job until the Friday before Labor Day.

5.  Will he still travel?  Yes.  He is actually still traveling this week for his current job...and he was asked to find himself a replacement...who does that??  So weird.  Anyways, he will have to travel with this new job...but it will be for fun stuff and stuff he actually enjoys...and if he doesn't invite yours truly to some of these great adventures...I might get a bit jealous!

6.  Why are we moving if it is only an hour and ten minutes away?  Have you ever lived in Nebraska in the winter time and traveled on I-80 in the snow?  Enough said.  Plus he has to live close so he can be at work at a moments notice.

7.  When are we actually moving?  I don't know yet.  We are getting ready to put our house on the if you know any one interested in small town living yet still close to Lincoln, NE...let me know!!  We will sell first and once we get a contract we will start looking either in the communities surrounding Grand Island or Grand Island itself.  If we can't find something we will rent a house and build somewhere.  So it could be a few weeks or a few months...we just don't know.  Pray that our house sells fast and the transition goes smoothly.

8.  Homeschooling!  We are starting school thank goodness for the flexibility that we are allowed!  In the new area, I am getting ready to join a Coop and mom's group.  I am really looking forward to that!  The Mom's meetings start in a few weeks and the Coop starts in October.  They also have monthly field trips.

9.  Church.  We are planning on driving as much as we can to Omaha to go to church.  I know people don't get what a church family is until they are in a real church family.  That is our plan as of right now.  I don't know where God will lead us otherwise.

So...please, please, please pray for all of us.  We will be traveling quiet a bit in the next month.  Sean will be starting a new job.  We are starting back up with school.  We are listing our house and hopefully finding a new one.  If that doesn't add up to a lot of stress I don't know what does.  I know God's timing isn't always our please also pray for patience for all of us!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer vacation...or fall...whatever:)

I think I may be safe to say that summer has been over for quiet some time.  I think our calendar is screwed up and we are now celebrating fall.  Pull out the cardigans and hot chocolate.  I am ready to get to the pumpkin patch!:) 

We headed to Missouri for one big last extended hoorah!  It was filled with cousin time, birthday parties, and just relaxing!

We started off in Hartville to visit family.  We attended a birthday party for the kids' cousins. 
 Our kids got a few presents from a few relatives as well earlier in the day to celebrate their year in birthdays.  I thought that was very sweet.
They had a cousin sleepover and played games and swum the next day!
Our kiddos love, love hanging out with their cousins.  They never get tired of each other.
 and we tried out a lovely little chair in one of their yards:)
After we stayed in Hartville for a few days, we headed up to a lake house on Lake of the Ozarks.  The area received 16 inches in a matter of a week.  The water was still nice and warm for us to swim and fish in.
Here is Weston catching his first fish.
The kids enjoyed feeding these little visitors!
While Sean went out fishing one morning, I took the kids to Bridal Cave.  The story behind it is amazing.  It started off with just 3 rooms and in 1993 they uncovered 4 more rooms.  The last room has a little lake and somehow someone had been there before because there was a really old ladder at the bottom of the leg..made with pegs, not nails.  Fascinating.

and they panned for gold...with the leftovers from someone else...because I am a cheapskate!
and we visited an old castle.  It burned down in the earlier 1900's. It is on HaHa Tonka State park!
and now we are back home for 2 days...head out of town again...attempt to start school on Monday and then head back to Branson next week.  Busy, busy, busy.