Parenting

5 Ways We Simplify Christmas… with small children

posted by Andrea | 11/14/2018 | 59 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!

How I Find Quiet Time with 4 Kids

posted by Andrea | 06/15/2018 | 29 comments

In general, I like my environment to be very quiet… which, I suppose, is somewhat laughable considering I’m a stay-at-home-mom of 4 little children!

Nevertheless, I regularly find ways to meet my “quiet time quota” each day — which makes for a much happier mama and a much more enjoyable day for everyone! Today, I’m sharing a few ways I find a fair amount of quiet time every day… even with 4 kids! 

Don’t Take It For Granted

posted by Andrea | 05/11/2018 | 20 comments

As the little girl who ALWAYS dreamed of the day I would move into my very own home, I certainly underestimated how much work it would be to care for a home and yard — not to mention the amount of effort required to care for the family who now lives in the home and plays in the yard!

Some days, it feels downright impossible to fit everything in… but today (and moving forward) my goal is simply not to take any of it for granted.

3 Questions That Reduce My Frustration as a Parent

posted by Andrea | 05/2/2018 | 47 comments

Today’s post is another one of those “this is what works for me” type of posts.

That said, I think it has the potential to improve almost any “adult-child relationship” — whether it’s your child, your grandchild, a niece or nephew, a neighbor child, a friend’s child, or whomever.

A Balanced Approach to Children and Screens

posted by Andrea | 04/23/2018 | 27 comments

If I had to choose one word to sum up my thoughts on children and screens, it would simply be: “Moderation.” Shocking… I know!

If you’re looking for more information to help you evaluate the use of screens in your home, I’m sharing 3 simple guidlines that might bring more balance back to your own children’s screen usage.

Clara @ 6 Months + 6 Reasons More Children Has Felt Easier

posted by Andrea | 03/26/2018 | 17 comments

Miss Clara celebrated 6 months yesterday, and what a fantastic 6 months it has been!

Today I’m reflecting back on the past 6 months — specifically the fact that, for some crazy reason, mothering 4 children has actually felt significantly easier for me than mothering fewer children!

Reader Question: How Do You Handle Kids and Money?

posted by Andrea | 03/15/2018 | 38 comments

Kids + money has been a hot topic in the Dekker house these past few weeks, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a recent Reader Question I got regarding how we handle kids and money!

Since our children are still so young, I definitely don’t feel like I have all the answers — so I’d love it if those of you with more experience in this area of parenting would enlighten us all in the comments!

Our Current Bedtime Routine

posted by Andrea | 02/20/2018 | 25 comments

Dave and I certainly have a long way to go before becoming “super parents” but I will say we have our kid’s bedtime routine DOWN TO A SCIENCE! 

Today, I’m sharing what our children’s bedtime routine looks right now — not because I think everyone should use our routine, but simply because I get asked about our bedtime routine quit eoften, and I know it’s always interesting to read what works for other families!

Simple Ways to Spend One-On-One Time with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/14/2018 | 20 comments

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, I thought it might be nice to share some super simple, frugal, easy, non-stressful ways you can show a little extra love to the little (or not so little) kiddos in your life!

What are your favorite ways to spend one-on-one time with your kids?

4 Months With 4 Kiddos!

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2018 | 39 comments

Clara is officially 4 month old… which means Dave and I have officially survived 4 months with 4 kids!

As a whole, these past 4 months have gone much better than I ever anticipated — for that, I am so grateful! However, there are definitely a few areas of my life that feel like they are in survival mode!

My Fourth 4th Trimester

posted by Andrea | 01/5/2018 | 8 comments

After James was born, I shared a little bit about how I always feel an improvement in my physical, mental, and emotional health after I make it through the 4th trimester — this time with Clara was no exception.

And as of Christmas Day, I officially made it through my FOURTH “4th trimester”!!

Reader Question: What Are Your Gift-Giving Traditions?

posted by Andrea | 12/7/2017 | 28 comments

Today is Dave’s 36th birthday — he’s officially closer to 40 than 30!

Since we’re in birthday mode around our house (Nora’s birthday was 2 weeks ago) and since the holiday gift-giving season is here, I thought it was the perfect time to post another reader question I got regarding gift-giving traditions… and I’d love to read some of YOUR gift-giving traditions!

How We Help Our Kids Give Gifts

posted by Andrea | 11/30/2017 | 11 comments

My children love giving gifts… but since they are so young, it’s often difficult for them to choose something appropriate for the recipient.

Thankfully, I have a REALLY simple system that allows my children to pick the “perfect” gift for their family and friends and still give useful and appropriate items.