Dec 31, 2017

Ditching The New Year Resolutions

It's that time of year when everyone is making new resolutions or even goals. There's nothing wrong with this but for me, these just don't work. I have so many things I want to work on and improve that it would take me an entire day to write it all out and set up plans to get there. Who has time for that? (especially with five kids in the house, six if you count my husband)

So, I say ditch the new year resolutions and try something new. Something easier, something that just might work better for you. I came across this idea a few years ago while scrolling through Facebook. I fell in love with it and decided that this is what I will be doing from now on. I still make goals and resolutions but I focus on this one thing.

Get on with it already, right? Well, that one thing is, a word. That's it, just one word to sum up what I would like the following year to be. This year that word for me is, intentional. Last year it was compassion, and the year before that was love.

This is how I come up with my word. I start to think about all the things I want to carry out in the following year. I can usually see a common theme going on. For example, this year I want to get serious about my health, I want to raise my kids better, get into God's word more, and the list goes on. The one word I kept thinking about in all of this was, intentional. I need to be intentional with my health, my kids, and my faith.

Focusing in on a word has been more achievable than trying to remember 1,000 different things I want to do in 2018. I just love this idea and plan to continue doing this throughout the years.

So, if you could pick one word for 2018, what would it be? Below I have some words to help you come up with your word for the year. I hope this helps!


What is your 2018 word?

Dec 30, 2017

Best Baby Teether

As a mother of 5, there is one thing I am sure of, a teething baby is no fun!
Thankfully Raegan is not totally teething yet, but she loves to chew. While out Christmas shopping with my two oldest daughters, one of them came across this teether and gifted it to the baby.

This Nuby baby teether fits perfectly into her mouth. The teether has nice ridges to help massage those sore gums and comes in the cutest little container.

Do you have a favorite baby teether?

Dec 17, 2017

The Explorer Express | Christmas Light Viewing Fun

When I was a little girl I loved going to look at Christmas lights. All four of us kids would pile in the van all excited. My Dad would buy us all Happy Meals and we would head out to find the best lights. My Mom would play Christmas music and everyone would "oooh and aaah" over highly decorated houses.

Naturally, when I became a mother, I wanted to share this experience with my own children. Usually, we just hope in the vehicle and drive around. This year though, I wanted to make it extra special and start a new tradition.

I have watched some families on social media do something like this and call it the Minivan Express. Well, we don't drive a Minivan, we have a Ford Explorer. So, we decided to call it the Explorer Express! (It has a very nice ring to it)

The first thing I did was go and make tickets. I used Avery and it was very simple since they already have a ticket template. You can also Google "minivan express" and you will find printable tickets. You can also use canva like I did here.
Next I made a special treat to take along with us. This is very easy to make and so yummy. All you need is
  • popcorn.
  • white chocolate chips
  • m&ms
  • pretzles
  • Christmas sprinkles

You can find the full recipe here from Love Grows Wild.

Later that night I had the kids get into their pj's. We gave them each a ticket and explained what we would be doing. My husband was in the car already yelling out the window "tickets, tickets please!" The kids handed him their tickets and he yelled out "all aboard" as he honked the horn. The kids thought it was so funny. We turned on Christmas music and all sang songs as loud as we could. We made a stop midway through our adventure to get some hot chocolate. My husband turned on the hot chocolate song from the Polar Express and we all sang along to it. We all had such a great time together and can't wait to do it again in the years to come.

Do you do anything special when your family goes to look at Christmas lights?
You can see more pictures of our adventure over on my Instagram. Come follow me, and thanks for reading!

Dec 14, 2017

Alphabet Bingo

I was given the opportunity to review this Alphabet Bingo game from Timberdoodle.
My 4-year-old daughter, Haddy is learning her alphabet. I love hands-on learning materials that she can play with. I believe small children her age retain more information this way rather than reviewing flash cards. We do review flash cards, but I like that she can also do fun things with letters as well.

Alphabet Bingo comes with...

  • 6 Game Boards
  • 26 Alphabet Tokens
  • 72 Chips
  • 1 Game Bag
  • Instructions for Multiple Ways to Play

    The pieces are all very sturdy! This is important to me because preschoolers can be tough on things. I also appreciate the colorful and cute illustrations on the game boards as well as the alphabet tokens. Haddy really likes the owl picture.

    This game is very simple to play. In fact,  Haddy likes to play with it alone by trying to fill up her game board with all the chips. This game pairs well with the Learn and Draw Animal & Places workbook.
    Overall this a great easy to use piece that can easily be added into any homeschool routine. It requires minimal setup and clean up. The game is easily understood and very user-friendly for preschoolers. You can check out Alphabet Bingo here. Also, go check out Timberdooles PreK full curriculum kit.

    I made a YouTube video for this Alphabet Bingo game and how Haddy likes to play the game.

    Disclaimer: I recieved this product from Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • Dec 8, 2017

    Easy Sensory Bin | Christmas Edition

    Haddy had so much fun with the fall sensory bin that I decided to make her a Christmas one. This was super easy to put together, and Haddy enjoyed helping me. Here is what you will need to make your own Easy Sensory Bin.
    a container
    red and green food coloring
    a small amount of water
    mini Christmas bows
    jingle bells
    some kind of "grabbers"

    I made this short video so you can watch and see how we put it all together.

    Both Brayden and Haddy have been playing with this bin since we made it. It helps to keep Haddy busy while I am working with the other kids. She likes to separate the bows from the bells and rehide everything in the rice when she is done. These easy sensory bins are not only entertaining but cheap to make and educational.

    I hope you enjoy it. Make sure to come back in January for another themed sensory bin!

    Dec 6, 2017

    Distraction Free

    'm going to be completely transparent with you and let you in on a less flattering fact about myself.
    I spend too much time on my phone. So much so that I allow myself to be more focused on what is going on, on social media than in my own home.

    admittedly lose my cool on my children when they try getting my attention when I am reading something on my phone.
    Sometimes I will hold a finger up indicating I need a minute or tell them to "hold on." I'm unproud of this. I am disappointed I have become that kind of mom. I feel I am failing my children and doing them a disservice by teaching them that my phone is more important than them. I am teaching them this by my actions and let's face it, actions speak louder than words.

    In efforts to correct my behavior, my husband and I decided to put away our phones this past Sunday.
    We let the family know they would not be able to get ahold of us so they wouldn't worry. We left our phones in our bedroom and enjoyed our day distraction free.                                                                              
    I could tell within an hour that the tone of our home was more pleasant. My husband and I were more attentive to the kids. Because of this, we were able to stop arguments from happening before it turned into kids yelling at one another and possibly having one throwing a fit on the floor. We talked more lovingly towards one another and were focused on conversations we had with our children. My mood all day was joyful. I wasn't comparing myself or family to anyone or anything. I didn't envy a vacation someone took or get angry over a political post. The day seemed to be longer and I found that I accomplished so much more than any given day when I had my phone on me.

    I was happy with myself and encouraged that I could be a better mom and wife.
    We plan to continue with having the phone free Sundays. In addition, I will be working on using my phone a lot less. I want to keep the focus on what is truly important.

    How do you limit your cell phone use?
    Any tips would be great!

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