Parenting

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

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2019 | 33 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!

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 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!

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!

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…

My Mother’s Ring (and a Jewelry Discount!)

posted by Andrea | 04/11/2019 | 14 comments

As some of you know, I recently designed and ordered a “Mother’s Ring” (a ring with all my children’s birthstones).

I’m so happy with how the ring turned out and I’ve had such great experiences working with Engels Jewelry Company over the last 20 years that I thought it might be fun to offer a discount on all Mother’s Jewelry… just in time for Mother’s Day!

How Quickly We Forget: Encouragement for hard seasons of life

posted by Andrea | 03/11/2019 | 30 comments

I suppose I’m glad our brains tend to push memories of hard times to the side, but I DO hope I never fully forget how difficult different seasons of life were in an effort to better empathize with others. 

If you’re struggling in a rough season of life, I hope today’s post is somewhat encouraging for you!

Practical Advice for Expectant Parents (and so many others)

posted by Andrea | 02/28/2019 | 22 comments

No, we’re NOT expecting any more babies!

But if you are, I’ve got a list of practical advice and to-dos you can complete and cross off your list NOW, and then rest a little easier knowing that some of these important tasks are out of the way before baby arrives!

3 Ways to Help Children Live Simply

posted by Andrea | 12/18/2018 | 33 comments

If you have children of any age, I hope today’s post will give you a few ideas to help your children learn to live simply.

These tips alone won’t magically transform your children into simple-living, time-managing, neat-freak, purging machines… but they are steps in the right direction!

My Simple Tip To Blast Away Children’s Colds

posted by Andrea | 12/17/2018 | 29 comments

When it comes to gross kid germs, I’m honestly not a germaphobe as I know it’s beneficial for their immune systems. That said, I still don’t love it when my kids are stuffed up or “under the weather”…

Today, I’m sharing my super simple, super frugal tip to blast away their colds. It seems to work for us every single time!

Our Family’s Very Non-Traditional Christmas

posted by Andrea | 12/10/2018 | 43 comments

Since our family essentially “skipped” Thanksgiving this year, it only seems fitting that we celebrated Christmas in a VERY non-traditional manner as well.

Come read about what we did (and didn’t do) this year! 

5 Ways We Simplify Christmas… with small children

posted by Andrea | 11/14/2018 | 61 comments

I wasn’t planning to do a post about “simplifying Christmas”, just yet (I want to enjoy Thanksgiving first!)

But after receiving an astonishing number of emails, comments, and Facebook messages requesting this type of post, I decided to share 5 things we do (or rather DON’T do) to simplify our holiday season — specifically Christmas.

5 Tips To Encourage a Clean(er) and (more) Organized Family

posted by Andrea | 11/8/2018 | 29 comments

Over the years, I’ve been asked countless times how to get messy spouses and messy children to ‘clean up their act’. And while I don’t have any quick-fix answers or easy solutions to these questions, I do think that if your children and/or your spouse are willing to try to change their behavior, there is hope!

Today I’m sharing 5 steps to encourage a clean(er) and (more) organized family!

3 Tips to Arrive On Time (or early) With Young Children

posted by Andrea | 11/2/2018 | 57 comments

As I was talking with friends the other day, something they mentioned sparked an in-depth conversation about the things Dave and I do to help us get out the door and to our destination on time (often early) even with our children in tow.

My 3 tips really aren’t all that revolutionary — however, they are simple tactics we can all implement into our daily lives… and they work! If you struggle to arrive on time, try my tips and see if they help! 

5 Simple Responses For Bored Children

posted by Andrea | 10/22/2018 | 11 comments

Due to the many questions I get from readers, I’ve recently been thinking about all the ways we try to combat boredom in our house. I’ve seen some clever acronyms floating around the internet — I’ve changed mine up a bit, but still with a similar vibe.

The next time your child complains of being BORED, try using one of these responses.

Life Lessons From Our “Lemonade Stand”

posted by Andrea | 08/8/2018 | 42 comments

After months (maybe years) of listening to their begging and pleading, we finally let our kids set up a stand at the end of our driveway. It was not fun, they did not make much money, and they never want to do it again!

However, I quickly realized they were learning several valuable life lessons in the process… in fact, I even learned one too!

The End Of An Era + One More Glamourmom Giveaway!

posted by Andrea | 06/18/2018 | 3 comments

I was recently thinking about the fact that I have been pregnant or nursing (or both) for my last 8 birthdays… and I’m pretty sure my 33rd birthday (this past Saturday) was the last birthday I’ll be stuck in the pregnant/nursing camp!

To celebrate, I thought it was only fitting (pun intended) to share one more fantastic giveaway and discount offer from Glamourmom, the creator of my most favorite nursing tops EVER!