Family

A Sister for My Sweet Nora!

posted by Andrea | 05/12/2017 | 54 comments

That’s right friends, baby Dekker #4 is another GIRL!!

Obviously, we would have been happy either way — but it sure was fun to tell Nora she was “finally” getting a little sister!

5 Signs Your Schedule is Too Full

posted by Andrea | 05/10/2017 | 30 comments

Although it’s nearly impossible for me to suggest the number of tasks that is “too much” for any given person, I do think it’s possible to gauge whether OUR OWN schedule is too full right now based on a few tell-tale signs of overly-busy people.

Today I’m sharing 5 signs that your schedule might be too full — as well as a few steps you can take to simplify your schedule!

The Next Best Choice… Why I Cut the Crust off My Kids’ Bread!

posted by Andrea | 05/9/2017 | 65 comments

I was recently thinking about all the times in my life when I choose “the next best” instead of the “best” because it’s faster, easier, cheaper, and more fitting with my current stage of life.

As I pondered all these “next best” choices, I realized these choices are one of the reasons my life is simpler, less stressed, less chaotic, less busy, and less full. I’m elaborating more on this today!

My Current Goal: Have Less To Do!

posted by Andrea | 05/5/2017 | 13 comments

In general, I am the type of person who finds value and self-worth in how productive I am and what I can accomplish in any given period of time.

If you have a similar “do it now” personality — or if you’re just weighed down by too much on your plate, I’m sharing a few relatively simple and very doable ways I have been able to enjoy fewer things on my to-do list, fewer outside commitments and obligations, and a whole lot less stress!

7 Reasons I Don’t Sell Our Clothes

posted by Andrea | 05/3/2017 | 56 comments

Due to my frugal nature, my love of buying and selling on Craigslist, and the fact that I purge regularly, I’m often asked about how and where I sell my clothing and our kids’ clothing.

Most people are surprised when I explain that I don’t sell any of our clothes… today, I’m sharing why!

A More Detailed Look at our Important Info Binder

posted by Andrea | 05/2/2017 | 28 comments

Ever since I first shared our Important Information Binder, I have gotten so many questions, comments, and emails asking for more specific information about what exactly we keep in our binder — what documents, what information, etc.

At first, I didn’t want to answer these questions as I felt they were too personal — but then I realized that my main goal for sharing our binder was to help others get their information as organized as possible. So today, I’m sharing exactly what we keep in our important information binder.

3 Simple and Specific Ways to Improve Your Nutrition

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2017 | 19 comments

I don’t usually blog about health or nutrition — mainly because I’m not super passionate about these topics. However, I AM passionate about simplifying overwhelming topics and concepts so they feel doable for us normal, average, everyday people.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by all the “don’t buy”, “never eat”, and “stay away from” advice from the “experts”, and just want a few simple ways to slowly start improving your nutrition, I think today’s post will be just what you’re looking for!

My Thoughts on Children’s Sleep Schedule

posted by Andrea | 04/21/2017 | 17 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 | 24 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 | 33 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 | 49 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!