Family

We’re Finished With Our Back-To-School Shopping!

posted by Andrea | 08/22/2019 | 13 comments

Are you finished with your back-to-school shopping yet? We are, and it feels good to know the kids are ready to go for their first days of school!

If you’re still looking for the perfect back-to-school shoes, check out the pediped website — I’m sure you’ll find something you (and your kids) will love!

Our Boys’ Farmhouse Bedroom Tour

posted by Andrea | 08/21/2019 | 24 comments

I had SO much fun decorating the boys’ bedroom for our most recent “mini makeover”! I tried my best to tailor it to the boys’ personalities, likes, and interests — and I must have done a pretty good job because they were THRILLED when they saw their finished space. 

This room has odd sloped ceilings and some other challenges to work around, but thanks to some creative storage and “out of the box thinking”, I was able to create a fun and functional farmhouse bedroom for our boys!

READER QUESTION: How Do You Handle Extra-Curricular Activities?

posted by Andrea | 08/19/2019 | 39 comments

A few weeks ago, I shared a Reader Question, asking how you handle fundraisers… and today, I’m back with another Reader Question (one I get very regularly) regarding extra-curricular activities! 

Along with so many of my readers, I am very curious to know how different families approach extra-curricular activities!

5 Ways I Simplify School Snacks and Lunches

posted by Andrea | 08/12/2019 | 35 comments

As I’m sure many of you can relate with, packing snacks and lunches was something I hated doing — I even had Dave do it for a while. However, this task has grown on me over the years and I’m now to the point where I actually enjoy it! 

What made the difference for me? A simplified routine, some fantastic lunch boxes, and a few more tips that I’m sharing in today’s post!

Why I Don’t Stress About Getting Back Into A “School Routine”

posted by Andrea | 08/5/2019 | 19 comments

You might be surprised to know that I don’t do much to get our family back into a school routine before the school year starts!

Yes, I AM still a huge advocate for planning ahead whenever possible, but when it comes to preparing for a new routine, there is only so much planning you can do! I explain more in today’s post!

I Forgot How Busy One Toddler Can Be!

posted by Andrea | 08/2/2019 | 34 comments

Last weekend, Dave and his parents drove to Wisconsin to visit his grandma and his mom’s relatives… with the 3 older kiddos!

Clara and I hung out at home all weekend — and while I did thoroughly enjoy the time with just my “baby”, I quickly realized that her siblings are VERY good at entertaining her throughout the day! I suppose I now have a new appreciation for my older children!

READER QUESTION: How Do You Handle Fundraisers?

posted by Andrea | 07/30/2019 | 19 comments

Over the past week, 3 different people have emailed me asking how Dave and I handle fundraisers for our children. 

I know every family and every child is different, so I’d love to know how YOU handle school, church, and/or community fundraisers.

How I Know It’s Time to Give Up Naps

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2019 | 6 comments

Over the past 7+ years, I’ve had 1 horrendous napper, 1 amazing napper, and 2 fairly normal nappers — looking back, I can see that they all “gave up” napping in basically the same way — yes, Clara is mostly done napping 🙁

I suppose it’s a little sad to move past another season of life, but I’m pretty excited about how much freedom I’ll have during the day now that we’re not tied to a specific napping schedule!

How We Care for Our Bestway Pool

posted by Andrea | 07/22/2019 | 10 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 | 21 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 | 46 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!