Family

My Thoughts on Children’s Sleep Schedule

posted by Andrea | 04/21/2017 | 13 comments

It’s been just over a year now since we finally got all 3 of our kids on a relatively decent sleeping schedule… and since then, Dave and I have enjoyed hours of kid-free time every evening.

I’m often asked to share what exactly we did to get our kids to sleep better — and although I don’t have a specific 3-step or 5-step process, I hope that some of the thoughts I share in today’s post will help those of you in the thick of sleepless nights!

My Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2017 | 23 comments

After 4 pregnancies in crazy West Michigan weather (all during different seasons of the years), I’ve found that it has been fairly easy for me to wear a somewhat minimalistic maternity wardrobe.

Today I’m sharing everything in MY maternity wardrobe and why it works so well for me!

The Dekkers Go To Florida

posted by Andrea | 04/12/2017 | 26 comments

Last week, our family flew to Kissimmee, FL, with my entire side of the family for spring break… and even though I felt more tired when we got home than before we left, I’d have to say that the week was a success (considering we traveled with 3 children 5 and under!)

Today I’m sharing a bunch of pictures from our trip!

7 Bad (and Better) Responses for a Friend in Need

posted by Andrea | 04/6/2017 | 66 comments

Almost all of us have some sort of issue or problem we struggle with on a daily basis… and sometimes we just need to vent.

Inspired by a recent reader question, I decided to share 7 bad (and better) responses for when a friend (or spouse, or child, or other relative) comes to us to vent, to share a concern, or to ask for our advice.

One Simple Way I Got My Kids to Listen Better

posted by Andrea | 04/4/2017 | 41 comments

Today I’m sharing one simple thing I’ve been doing with my kids that has helped them listen to me so much better.

Of course, they aren’t magically compelled to do everything I ask without moaning, groaning, whining, and complaining… but we are making progress, and that’s all I can ask for right now!

I Have SO Many Photos… Where Should I Start?

posted by Andrea | 03/31/2017 | 12 comments

Since I often talk about our digital photo books and how I have chosen to organize our photos, it’s not a huge surprise that I get A LOT of questions and emails regarding photo storage and organization.

Today I’m sharing MY answer to the top question I get regarding photo organization… “I have SO many photos, where should I start?”

A Different Perspective on Two Working Parents

posted by Andrea | 03/28/2017 | 32 comments

If I’m honest, I’ve often felt a little guilty about the time I spend working (even though I’m working from home).

However, I recently realized that although it can be tricky to find the right “balance” and enough time for everything when both Dave and I work, with a little bit of a different perspective on things, I can see the HUGELY positive effect my job (and my income) have on our family.

Our Best Tax Refund Tip

posted by Andrea | 03/24/2017 | 131 comments

With just over 3 weeks until the official end of tax season, Dave and I figured it was perfect timing to share one of our best tax refund tips — especially since we were pleasantly surprised with the extra-large refund we received for 2016!

Tips for Traveling With Tots

posted by Andrea | 03/17/2017 | 47 comments

Thanks to a bunch of fun travel opportunities, the Dekkers will be traveling more in the next 4 months than we have in the last 4 years — and yes, we’ll be taking all 3 kiddos with us to all our destinations!

Since I’m not necessarily an experienced traveler, I did a few quick internet searches for handy tips, tricks, ideas, and suggestions to simplify the traveling process with small children. Today, I’m sharing my favorite tips with you!

Why We Don’t Have College Funds for our Kids

posted by Andrea | 03/14/2017 | 86 comments

Almost immediately after Nora was born, I was asked if Dave and I were planning to set up a college fund for her and for any future children.

The short answer is “no, probably not” — and today, I’m explaining more about that decision in an updated post from one I wrote 3 years ago.

6 Ways I Simplify My Life

posted by Andrea | 03/9/2017 | 32 comments

For me (and for the rest of our family) having a simplified home environment goes a long way in simplifying our lives — however it’s not the ONLY factor.

I’ve taken many steps to simplify and streamline my life as much as I possibly can, and (along with keeping our home environment relatively simple) there are a few concrete things I do in order to simplify. I’m sharing those today!

Simon is 3!

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2017 | 33 comments

Our sweet, silly, stubborn Simon celebrated his THIRD birthday this past Saturday… and we partied in true “Simon fashion” with a Firefighter birthday party complete with donuts, juice, and candy (all his favorite things).

Today I’m sharing a bit more about Simon, and a bunch of pictures from his party!

Why I Prepare to Be Productive

posted by Andrea | 02/22/2017 | 13 comments

Over the past 7+ years of blogging, I have shared my fair share of productivity tips, tricks, and tools — but as with almost everything in life, my productivity changes as my season of life changes.

Today, however, I’m sharing the one productivity tip that has worked for me for many, many years — and one I suspect will continue working for years to come!

5 Ways We Simplify Mealtime with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2017 | 15 comments

Mealtimes are some of the craziest, busiest, loudest, messiest times for our family — and they happen 3-5 time a day (if you include snacks).

However, there are a few things we do that seem to significantly simplify our crazy mealtimes… I’m sharing 5 of them today!

14 Simple Ways to Show Yourself Some Love

posted by Andrea | 02/14/2017 | 24 comments

Happy Valentines Day!

Instead of sharing cute Valentine’s craft ideas, decorating ideas, gift ideas, recipe ideas, or other ideas that take time, effort, energy, money, and a decent amount of planning ahead, I thought I’d share 14 simple ways we can show OURSELVES a little extra love over the next few weeks, months, and even years!

Two “Secrets” to Being Productive AND Being a Present Parent

posted by Andrea | 02/13/2017 | 29 comments

I’m often asked for any “secrets” I have to being productive while also being a “present parent” who plays with their kids, shows interest in what they want to do, reads books with them, does crafts together, etc.

I realize there are MANY variables that could come into play here, but as I’ve thought about these questions over the past couple of years, 2 simple concepts (a.k.a “secrets”) came to mind…

How I Save Time on One of My Least Favorite Activities

posted by Andrea | 02/8/2017 | 40 comments

After many years of visiting 4-5 grocery stores each week, finding the BEST deals, playing the drugstore game, and sending in multiple rebates every week, I now do 97% of my grocery shopping at ONE store.

I know I’m spending more because of it… but the luxury of more time is a splurge I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for the past few years! I’d love to know how you handle your grocery shopping too!

Why I Don’t Stress about Kids and Chores

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2017 | 50 comments

As my kids get older, I get more and more questions about kids and chores… and while Dave and I definitely do expect our children to help out around the house in age-appropriate ways, we don’t go crazy or get stressed out forcing chore charts on our young children.

Today I’m sharing the reasons why I don’t worry too much about kids’ chores… and I’d love to know how you handle chores in your home!