Family

How We Care for Our Bestway Pool

posted by Andrea | 07/22/2019 | 3 comments

Last spring, we purchased a 9′ x 18′ Bestway Pool from Costco… and ever since I shared news of our tiny pool on my blog, I have gotten questions, questions, and more questions regarding everything and anything having to do with our little pool! 

I’m hoping to answer most of those questions today (with the help of Dave)!

James is 4!

posted by Andrea | 07/16/2019 | 19 comments

James celebrated his 4th birthday on Sunday – which means preschool (and all sort of other fun opportunities) for him this coming fall!

Come read more about James, his Monster Truck party, and why we love this little guy so much!!

How We Make More Reading Time (and Enjoy Quieter Meals) With Our Kids

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2019 | 43 comments

Last winter, I started looking for ways to fit more reading time in with the kids — mainly because we were getting SO many books from the library each week that it was sometimes tricky to find time to read them all, especially since the older kids often like longer chapter books. 

Thanks to a suggestion from Nora, we have now made time for more reading every day AND we’re enjoying quieter meal times! Win-Win!

A Peek Into Our Holiday Week

posted by Andrea | 07/8/2019 | 43 comments

I’m back from a little blogging break over the holiday week, and I’m sharing updates on our summer goals, lots of cute pictures of the kids, a few pictures from James’ birthday party, and 2 fun freebies! I also have a question regarding my sourdough bread attempts!

Thanks for sticking around while I took a week off!

How We Arrange Carseats In Our Van

posted by Andrea | 06/28/2019 | 15 comments

Over the years, we have switched and rotated and rearranged the carseats in our van multiple times and multiple different ways — depending on how many children we had and what their ages were.

I’ve gotten SO many questions regarding the ways we arranged our seats — so that’s what I’m sharing more about today! 

Why We Prepare to Be Productive (Even in the Summer)

posted by Andrea | 06/25/2019 | 23 comments

We often think of summertime as no work, all play, beach days, sleeping in, vacations, and living carefree without any type of schedule. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how my summers are… even with Dave home all day!  

Productive is rarely a hot topic during the summer months — however, in my opinion, preparing to be productive is even more important for Dave and me during the summer months when we have SO many extra things we want to pack into our schedule. I explain more in today’s post!

Back To Basics: 5 Needs We Must Meet For Our Children

posted by Andrea | 06/24/2019 | 29 comments

As many of you might remember, Nora was a very high-needs baby. She caused a huge amount of stress for Dave and for me in the beginning, but I can now see how this steep learning curve paid off exponentially with the rest of our children. 

If you are the parent of a high-needs baby, a slightly-sensitive toddler, or a child who regularly acts out for seemingly “no reason”, I would strongly encourage you to put your parenting books back on the shelf for a month or so and simply get “back to the basics”.

Our Most-Read Toddler Board Books

posted by Andrea | 06/12/2019 | 26 comments

In general, when it comes to books, we almost always borrow instead of buy. However, I will admit to having a teeny-tiny “soft spot” for toddler board books!

I realize there are hundreds and thousands of amazing children and toddler board books — in no way do I think my list contains the “best books” or the “right books” — they are simply the books all 4 of our kiddos have loved and enjoyed over the years.  

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Frugal Summer Fun Ideas

posted by Andrea | 06/7/2019 | 8 comments

While I certainly don’t think it’s our job as parents to entertain our children all summer long, I DO think the summer months at home together can be a lot more enjoyable if we try to plan a few fun (or special, different, out-of-the-ordinary) activities each week. 

Today I’m sharing SEVERAL of the extra special, frugal family-fun things we do together each summer. Hopefully it will spark a few ideas for things you could do with your family as well!

A Simple, Frugal, and Fun Wedding Shower Idea

posted by Andrea | 06/6/2019 | 18 comments

One of my favorite wedding showers was a “Pantry Shower” where everyone brought a recipe and a few of the non-perishable ingredients for that recipe. This shower was a fantastic way to quickly fill up our EMPTY pantry and kitchen cabinets with a huge variety of foods.

If you’re looking for fun, frugal, practical, easy-to-put-together shower ideas for almost any new couple (or new homeowner) THIS is it! 

A Peek Into Our Last Weeks of School

posted by Andrea | 06/4/2019 | 11 comments

Summer is here… well, almost! Nora has 2 more days of school left and then the “lazy days” of summer are officially here!

Come read about what we’ve been up to these past few weeks, some of our upcoming summer plans (we’re trying camping for the first time!), and all the food I’ve been making and baking (I got a sourdough starter!)

I Am Enough! How I Quiet The Ridiculous Thoughts I Have Every Day

posted by Andrea | 05/16/2019 | 56 comments

I often find myself striving for improvement in almost every single thing I do — which can lead to feelings of being inadequate and not good enough (I’m sure some of you can relate!)

Today I’m sharing the super simple technique I use when these thoughts creep into my brain… I’d love to know how you handle these thoughts as well!

How We Store Our Kids’ Clothing

posted by Andrea | 05/14/2019 | 15 comments

A few weeks ago, I shared why I don’t buy kids’ clothing in advance, why we purge outgrown clothing immediately, and why I don’t rotate clothing out by season. 

As a follow-up on that post, I thought it might be helpful to share how we store the kids’ clothing we DO keep — everything that actually fits and that they wear right now! 

My Motherhood Sweet Spot + a 3-Minute Challenge

posted by Andrea | 05/10/2019 | 22 comments

It recently hit me that I’m in that very short, but oh-so-sweet, season of motherhood when my children are all “old enough”… but not “too old”. They are self-sufficient in many ways, but still need me (and want me) in their lives.

This sweet realization… and a fun 3-minute motherhood challenge is what I’m sharing today, perfect for Mother’s Day weekend!

Don’t Cause Your Own Chaos

posted by Andrea | 05/6/2019 | 21 comments

A couple weeks ago, I had an extremely busy week… one day in particular was especially packed full. I woke up with my mind already swirling as I mentally tried to rearrange the day in attempts to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together.

I knew I couldn’t fit everything in, I knew I would end up stressed out and grumpy if I tried, and I knew I would look back on this day and regret it if I didn’t make a change… today I’m sharing the CHOICES I made to eliminate potential chaos from my day.

5 Ways We Help Our Kids Try (and like) New Foods

posted by Andrea | 04/23/2019 | 27 comments

I would NOT say our kids are super adventurous eaters, but I wouldn’t say they are overly picky either. Of course, there are times when we do “force” our children to try something… but there are many other times when we are so impressed by their food choices… it seems our hard work is actually paying off!

If you’re struggling to get your children to try (and like) new foods, here are 5 relatively simple (yet effective) tips that have worked for us over the years.

An Attitude of Hospitality… Towards Our Families

posted by Andrea | 04/22/2019 | 20 comments

I think most of us consider hospitality to be outward acts of kindness to others — inviting friends over for a meal, bringing cookies to new neighbors, asking a coworker to join the gym with you, hosting the holiday festivities, etc. Even the dictionary defines Hospitality in that way. 

However, what if we applied this attitude of hospitality to our interactions with our own immediate family members…

Why I Don’t Buy Kid’s Clothing in Advance

posted by Andrea | 04/16/2019 | 39 comments

When it comes to kid’s clothing (and adult clothing) I truly do not store much of anything outside the clothing we actually wear right now. I don’t buy ahead, I purge once they outgrow an item, and we don’t rotate clothing based on the season.

I explain more in today’s post!