Tag Archives: family life

31 Days Unplugged – Day 20 – Our Nighttime Routines

19 Mar

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Haven’t we drastically changed our daily routines and habits so far this month?  Spending my days unplugged has really made a difference in my life and my home.

One thing that I haven’t changed so far, or asked you to change, is my nighttime routine.  In the beginning, I was spending a lot of time online at nighttime, quickly scrolling through Facebook and snapping pictures with Instagram.  I was like a crazy person in front of the computer!  I could probably be compared to a person opening a bag of chips and stuffing their face after a day of fasting.

I realized after a couple of nights of this how wasteful this was of me.  I was neglecting my husband and my children, and also losing valuable time with God.  I also saw that there was really nothing on Facebook or Instagram that I wanted to see. So, after I thought about this a bit, my nighttime bingeing routine quickly changed.

I could never totally give up Facebook.  When I do check Facebook for a few minutes at nighttime, I usually do have a message that needs to be returned.  I manage a page for this blog as well as my husband’s business page, and those things have to be tended to.  I can see the need for Facebook and think it would be unrealistic to give it up completely.  However, it isn’t something that should rule my life or my time.

I will remind you of the first Bible verse that we memorized, which I have repeated over and over to myself throughout the month:

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Challenge #16 – When you check your social media sources at nighttime, allow yourself only 15 minutes.  Set a timer if you need to, and spend the rest of your night doing something more meaningful.  

For some, this might mean spending time reading, doing some housework, watching a movie with your spouse, going for a nice walk, or playing a game with your kids.  The possibilities are endless!  Good luck!

5 (Not 26) Random, Hilarious Things That Have Occurred in My Home Today

26 Jan

Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post was to write something incorporating the number 26.  I started out this morning with the intention of recording 26 funny things that happened in my house throughout the day.  However, it is the end of the day, and I could only come up with 5.  

Sorry, but I am sick, and I was just trying to survive the day.

Some funny things did happen, though.

At least, I found them funny, but I am taking heavy doses of Mucinex, which tends to make things funnier to me…

1. Charlie runs into the bedroom with Maddie’s magic wand, points it at the TV and says, “There will be no more grown-up cartoons on this TV!”

2. Jason, who has been into coin collecting lately, says to me, “Honey, did you know that coins made after 1965 are worth much less than coins made before 1965?”

“Yes, of course I know that.  You didn’t?” I respond sarcastically.

 “Quit being phaeanicious,” he says. (I am still not sure if he was telling me to stop being like a Phaeacian or if he meant facetious.)

3.  Charlie, upon finding an empty popsicle wrapper on his dad’s nightstand:  “What happened here?”

4. Maddie has been replacing random words in songs off of her Sunday School Songs DVD with the word “Poopy.”  Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and poopy, poopy!  I have to do something about that…soon, I think.

5.  Baby Kitty, who I didn’t know was in the house, suddenly appeared in the kitchen, covered in dust and dust balls.  I need to figure out where he was hiding, because obviously that place needs to be cleaned. 

So I didn’t reach my goal of 26, but I think my five are pretty good.  Have a good night, everyone!

 

Our Winter Getaway

4 Mar

Whew, life has been busy for us lately!  Between Jason’s work, turning over the duplex, family obligations, and many, many other things, I have been feeling like our little family has just not been quite together.  I decided a few weeks ago that we needed to get away for a quick weekend at the beach to just enjoy each other without all of the distractions of everyday life.  Since it is still technically winter and pretty cold, I found a great resort at Myrtle Beach that features 2 indoor water parks.  While it was a little strange for us to be at the beach this time of year, we had an absolutely wonderful weekend!

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Charlie and Maddie were so excited!  We have been telling them for a couple of weeks that were were going to the beach, so they were happy that the day had finally arrived.

Charlie and Maddie were so excited! We have been telling them for a couple of weeks that were were going to the beach, so they were happy that the day had finally arrived.

It was cold but still sunny and gorgeous.  We were very cold running back and forth between the two water parks!  Luckily, all of the water was heated.

It was cold but still sunny and gorgeous. We were very cold running back and forth between the two water parks! Luckily, all of the water was heated.

There were tons of birds on the beach and floating in the water.

There were tons of birds on the beach and floating in the water.

Jason and Maddie-Jason is always so photogenic.

Jason and Maddie-Jason is always so photogenic.

We went to Broadway at the Beach Saturday night and had dinner at the Key West Grill.  There were pirates everywhere so Charlie loved it!

We went to Broadway at the Beach Saturday night and had dinner at the Key West Grill. There were pirates everywhere so Charlie loved it!

After playing at the water parks all day on Saturday, we went to Broadway at the Beach for an early dinner.  We had a wonderful meal at the Key West Grill.  Because of the time of year and the odd hour that we were eating, we were almost alone in the restaurant!  For anyone who has been out to dinner with a 2-year old and a 3-year old, you will understand that this was ideal.  My only regret is that I ordered a cup instead of a bowl of she-crab soup.  It was so good and Maddie ate half of mine!

Feeding the fish and ducks.

Feeding the fish and ducks.

Maddie was afraid of all of the seagulls that were walking around us. She refused to walk by them, so Charlie scared them all off.

Maddie was afraid of all of the seagulls that were walking around us. She refused to walk by them, so Charlie scared them all off.

 

Charlie on a T-Rex.

Charlie on a T-Rex.

Riding the cars at the "Pavilion."

Riding the cars at the “Pavilion.”

A few of the rides from the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion have been moved here.  Charlie and Maddie loved riding the cars.  Jason and I kept telling the kids, “When we were little the Pavilion…….” and finally it hit us that we were old!  Myrtle Beach has changed a lot since were were little kids.

Charlie in his new bed that Jason created for him.

Charlie in his new bed that Jason created for him.

We had such a great time this weekend.  I started to get the after-vacation blues when we got home today, then realized that I don’t technically have to go to work tomorrow and I got over it!  I am so blessed to have the husband and kids that I do, and we live a really great life.  I am so thankful for that.  Sometimes it just takes a weekend to get over life!

 

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Planting with the Crazy Peoples

1 Mar

Am I the only one who is  SO ready for spring?  I decided today to do a little early planting with Charlie and Maddie and enjoy checking out the fruits of our labor for the remainder of this dreary winter.

All we did was take a glass container (I bought this one at Pottery Barn years ago and use it year-round for different decorations), fill it with glass beads, stick some calla lily bulbs down into the beads, and add a little water.  This would be really cute in mason jars or any type of glass vase or pitcher.

Charlie was being silly for the camera so I had to include some pics of his hilarious self.

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Charlie was cracking me up

Charlie was cracking me up

Adding the beads

Adding the beads

A few more...

A few more…

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added.  It isn't too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous!  I hope they're ready in time for Easter...

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added. It isn’t too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous! I hope they’re ready in time for Easter…

This was really fun to do with the kids and I know they’ll be so excited when the flowers start growing.  We’re definitely going to have to talk about planting seeds in people by talking about Jesus (Matt 28:19) and also how seeds grow into big, beautiful things (Matt 13: 30-32).  Springtime is such a wonderful opportunity to teach about God’s love for us and how his love is expressed in nature.

I’ll post some pics of our flowers when they bloom!

 

 

 

 

 

Maddie’s 2nd Birthday Part(y)2

31 Jan

Hi Everyone!  I hope that everyone is having a great week so far.  We have been very busy this week, so I am just now getting around to posting about Maddie’s 2nd 2nd Birthday party.  It was last Sunday, and this was just a family party.  However, in my family there is no such thing as “just” anything!  Having a party with everyone that is considered family is quite an undertaking.

Our church was cancelled due to “Winter Weather Blast 2013,” so Jason and I had the morning to get ready.  That is, I had the morning to get ready, and Jason had time to research cell phone plans online.

Maddie got dressed up in a special birthday outfit.  It was too cute, if I do say so myself:

Birthday Girl in her tutu!

Birthday Girl in her tutu!

Peek-A-Boo!

Peek-A-Boo!

Maddie's 2nd Outfit-She's such a Diva!!!

Maddie’s 2nd Outfit-She’s such a Diva!!!

The tutu, legwarmers, and hairbow came from the shop that my sisters and I run, Mommy in Bonlee.  You can check us out on Facebook,  http://mommyinbonlee.storenvy.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/mommyinbonlee.  The CUTE onesie was handmade by Say It N Stitches, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sayitNstitches.  They do awesome work.  I am really disappointed that Maddie drew all over the front of this onesie with a dry-erase marker.  I know from my teaching days that, no matter how long I OxiClean that thing, it just isn’t coming out.

We had our usual hamburgers and hotdogs, with the strawberry cupcakes making yet another appearance!  You can get the recipe from the link below to my earlier post.

Some miniature cupcakes for the dieters-I think most just ended up eating 3 of these!

Some miniature cupcakes for the dieters-I think most just ended up eating 3 of these!

Finally got to use my cupcake stand!

Finally got to use my cupcake stand!

Maddie loved being the center of attention and having Happy Birthday sung to her.

Love her

Love her

She has him wrapped around her finger!

She has him wrapped around her finger!

Enjoying her cupcakes:

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Opening presents:

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She tried to carry around all of her new dolls and her new underwear all at once!

She tried to carry around all of her new dolls and her new underwear all at once!

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Maddie loved her new pocketbook from Gramma!

Maddie loved her new pocketbook from Gramma!

 

So, Maddie’s 2nd 2nd Birthday party was a success!  It is always a pleasure to get all of our family together, especially to celebrate such a little sweet blessing as Maddie.

 

 

 

Sweet Devilish Charlie

22 Feb

Charlie, who has always been a little late with everything (he didn’t start walking until he was 18 months old), has decided to come into his terrible-two’s now.  As I type this blog entry, he is throwing balls out of his ball pit at his sister.  I feel like I have to constantly stay on top of him.  So far, I have found that taking away the play-doh and Legos are most effective, along with telling him that he can’t watch Caillou or Bob the Builder (Thank goodness he no longer likes The Wiggles-how annoying is that show?).  He also really hates being in time out, so I just have to mention it and he straightens up.  Of course, there is the occasional spanking.  I have decided not to overuse that form of punishment and save it for the most dire crimes that could result in death or injury.  Several mothers and gandmothers  told me that if I can just hang in there until he turns 4  he will be okay, and I am hanging onto that hope with every shred of my being!

While he has his bad moments, Charlie also has so many good, sweet moments.  A couple of weeks ago he wouldn’t share a toy with a friend who was visiting our house.  I told him that he needed to be nice and share his toys, that God wants us to be nice and kind to people.  He said, through his tears, “God is wrong.” I had trouble keeping a straight face as I told him that God is never wrong.

The day before yesterday he asked me where Heaven is.  I explained to him that Heaven is in the sky, so far away that we can’t see it, but that even though God is far away he still sees and hears everything that we say and do.  At the time we were sitting at the kitchen table and I had the laundry room door open, so the washer and dryer were loud.  Charlie said “God can’t hear us because of the dryer.”  The boy cracks me up. 

One thing I have discovered about children:  They can bring you to your highest of highs and your lowest of lows.

Here’s a picture of Charlie and Maddie on Maddie’s first birthday.  The question is this: Is he hugging her, or strangling her?

Exercise Mommy Style

5 Jan

I am usually a pretty avid exerciser.  I try to do something most days of the week.  After Charlie was born I became addicted to spin class, but I have found that it is difficult to find people to watch 2 children, especially considering that all of my extra caretakers have to take off of work if I need anyone to keep the kids for an hour or two.  I just hate to ask, and I can’t bring myself to take Charlie and Maddie to the childcare offered by the gym. 

This spring, summer, and fall we had a really great routine going with our friends at the park.  At least three mornings a week we would go walk a couple of miles and then play on the playground.  It was great to be outside and have adults to talk to for a little time in the mornings, and Charlie really enjoyed it.  This winter, however, I have found myself in an exercise conondrum. 

It is too cold to walk at the park, I can’t get to spin class, and my treadmill is broken!  So this morning, I decided to create my own exercise plan.  I put 10 minutes on the kitchen timer and went to it.  I jogged around the kitchen island for 1 minute, did lunges for 1 minute, did 50 jumping jacks, did 50 situps (with Maddie sitting on my stomach because she loves to crawl all over me when I am on the floor), did 120 leg lifts, then 50 butt crunches, then jogged around the house for the remaining 1 minute and 45 seconds.  The kids thought I was crazy, but towards the end Charlie was jogging around the house behind me! 

I am planning on doing another 10 minute spurt later today, maybe this time including the stairs.  I know it’s not much, but it’s definitely better than nothing, which is what I am doing currently.

Something fun I did with Charlie a couple of weeks ago: I tied a long piece of streamer to a rod that Charlie took off of my clothes drying rack.  He had a lot of fun swirling it through the air. And when he eventually tore it to shreds I didn’t freak out because it cost me nothing!

 

A Great New Use for Empty Baby Wipes Containers

27 Dec

Well, Christmas is over and we are dealing with the aftermath of the toys.  They are everywhere!  Right now Charlie and I are deciding what toys we are going to put away for awhile to bring out later and what toys are going to be given to Emma, my neice who will be born in March. I am coming up with lots of different organizational ideas for all of the toys.  Here’s one idea:

I had 2 children in diapers for about 7 months, so I have thrown out (well, we did recycle them) a gazillion baby wipes containers.  I just came up with a great idea for them. 

I have been trying to keep up with all of Charlie’s little matchbox cars.  It seems that they are everywhere, and there is nothing worse than stepping on one of them barefoot in the middle of the night.  I decided to put some of the enpty containers to use to hold small toys.  Use foam letter stickers to label the containers with whatever toy you need to gain control over, and there you go! I made one for cars, people, and animals.  I think I am going to also make one for trucks.  This would also be a great way to store art supplies.

One unexpected plus of this system is that Maddie (10 months) really loves taking the toys out and putting them back in the small slots at the top of the containers.  That is great fun for her.

Insane Santa

2 Dec

Well, it is December.  We made it through fall and Thanksgiving relatively unscathed.  Maddie will be 10 months old in a couple of days and Charlie is officially 2 1/2.  This Christmas is going to be super fun, if I can survive the shopping rush without turning into one of those crazy moms fighting over a Rocking Elmo in the middle of Wal-Mart.

I have always looked down on parents who over-buy for their children.  I’m sorry, but spending hundreds of dollars so each of your children can have 20 presents from Santa is ridiculous, and I will stand by that opinion.  However, I can definitely see how easily one can be drawn into the bad habit of overdoing it with the gifts.  Everything I see I think, “That would be perfect for Charlie,” or “Maddie will love this.” The thought of their smiling, gleeful faces on Christmas morning sends me straight for the American Express.  I consider myself to have quite a bit of self-control, so I know that showing restraint in this area must be really hard for some people. 

I have had to just make myself stop at this point.  Charlie is getting an Elmo, workbench, train table, legos, and some stocking stuffers.  Maddie has a ball popper, Bitty Baby, a wooden bead toy, and some other little toys.  That’s enough, right?  Of course it is.  I just have to maintain a calm, cool composure and forward all future ideas to the two Gagas.

Vacation, Or Business Trip?

22 Jul

It has been a week since we returned from our family vacation to the beach for the 4th of July, and I finally feel able to relive it.  I have spent the past week doing laundry, wrestling the kids back into their schedules, and eating salads to lose the weight I gained snacking all day long. 

The thing that I have discovered about vacationing with my children is that it really isn’t a vacation for me at all.  You see, when a stay at home mom takes her children on vacation, she is technically just taking her work with her.  There are still mouths to feed, diapers to change, naps to take, discipline to dole out, and the added stress of sunburn, sand in the sheets, and a huge ocean just waiting to drown an unsuspecting 2-year old. What kind of vacation is this, exactly?

Not to say I didn’t have a few hours of relaxation (thank you, Gramma), but I can see that the days of lounging by the pool with my ipod and a good book are over, for now at least.  I managed to take the kids out on the beach for a couple of hours each morning, where Charlie dug holes in the sand, built sandcastles with his dad and Aunt Jill, and after a few timid days raced towards the ocean like a madman. Maddie and I sat under the tent playing for as long as she would tolerate the sand and wind.  After lunch and naps we returned to the beach for a few more minutes. 

We used to go out for dinner every night that we were at the beach, but our family was willing to cook and eat at our condo several nights.  The long waits at restaurants and inevitable late dinners just aren’t conducive to babies.  We did have wonderful meals at home, though, so no one seemed to mind!

Charlie got to have his first real beach experience, so I can’t call the vacation a total wash.  It was really fun to see him running through the sand and water to pick up seashells and jump over waves.  And I didn’t have to do any ironing, so that is always a plus.  Maybe after Christmas Jason and I can go on a real vacation, somewhere that doesn’t allow anyone under the age of 18!