Ting's Mom

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kids & Chores

School is back in session, routines are strictly in place, and that means that chores are being handed out at our house.

kids and chores

I hated doing chores growing up, but as a mom I firmly believe they are a vital part of growing up (or maybe I'm just getting too lazy to do them myself? Hmm...). We started Ting with some easy chores several years ago, but recently we changed up her duties and gave her old chores to little brother.

So what are my kids doing?

Chores start as soon as we walk in the door each evening. Ting hangs up her backpack and heads straight to the dishwasher. She is in charge of getting it unloaded and everything put up before I get in the kitchen to start working on dinner. Her recent growth spurt also means that she no longer needs to drag the stool all around the kitchen to get everything put up.

kids chores dishes

Once the dishes are put away, I try to get her to do a little reading. Sometimes this works out, sometimes not. But I encourage her to read at least one book (or one chapter of a book) each day. If you follow the book blog, you know I'm an avid reader and I'm trying to get my kids hooked on books as well.

On the weekends Ting is also responsible for dusting all the furniture. I just hand her the swiffer duster and let her go for it.

Bug is in charge of our dirty clothes. We have two laundry baskets in the back of the house, so each day he pulls the baskets to the laundry room and dumps all the clothes out. He has recently started trying to sort, but he has a LONG ways to go. I have to be very careful before I start dumping baskets into the washer.

kid chores laundry

Both kids work together to put out napkins and utensils before dinner each night, and they both have to clear the table after we eat. Both have to pick all their toys up from all over the house each night, and keep their room semi-clean.

As they get older, each kid will get additional chores to help out around the house. I plan to start Ting folding clothes before too long.

I'd love to hear what chores your kids are helping out with around the house.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day of School

Did Summer fly by for anyone else?

It did for me, but apparently not for my kids. They have been counting down the days until school starts for weeks now. The thought of getting to hang out with their friends and fill their heads with knowledge must be pretty exciting these days because they were ready and waiting.

Tuesday night of last week we cut the tags off our new lunchboxes (Elsa and Superman, if you must know), wrote names on all our school supplies, and got the uniforms out of the closet and ready to put on. As I put the kids to bed, both of them prayed that morning would come quickly so they could go to school.

Wednesday morning finally came and they were up and dressed, and ready to go. They could barely contain themselves as we headed out the door - and they were not happy with mom for making them stop for the obligatory 'first day of school' photo.

first day of school

Normally I only take my kids half-way to school, and then meet my mother-in-law who takes them the rest of the way. But thankfully I have a boss who lets me come in an hour late on the first day of each school year, so I get to take them all the way to the classroom on that exciting day.

We pulled into the parking lot, got our backpacks on, and Bug headed towards the building with a "bye, Mom!" Clearly he is comfortable with just heading off to school, but I was not far behind with an arm full of school supplies.

We took Bug to his room first. This is his second year in his class, and with his teacher, but she got a lot of new toys over the summer so he was thrilled. I quickly took a pic of him and his teacher for the memory book, and gave him and hug and sent him off to preschool.

In Ting's room we found her office, and discovered it was next to her friend. We got her supplies all set up, and she was nice enough to let me take her picture at her work station. We found her teacher (my mother-in-law) and got a first day pic with her as well. And with that, my baby girl began First Grade.

first grade first day of school

I picked the kids up that afternoon and learned that school was just as wonderful as they were anticipating. Ting even told me that first grade is going to fabulous because she and her friend have the exact same shoes!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Planner Obsession

Has anyone else fallen under the spell of the planner obsession?

It wasn't that long ago that I was throwing away all my paper calendars and happily entering everything in to my fancy smartphone. A calendar at my finger tips. A place to keep it all. I thought it was wonderful.

But then I realized I had one calendar for the family. Another for work. Another for meal planning. And yet another that I used as an editorial calendar for my blogs. I was constantly clicking here, there, and everywhere.

Then I got smart and started shopping for a new planner - the kind made out of paper.

I looked, and looked. Researched, and researched. And then decided to give The Happy Planner a try. When it finally came it, I was way too excited!

happy planner

I've gone a little sticker crazy, and markers have once again become my best friend. I have zero artistic abilities, but I am having so much fun doodling on my pages. I have also discovered that a simple search of "planner stickers" on Etsy can consume hours of your time. But I have found exactly what I need to make my planner exactly how I want it.

happy planner pages

I have my weekly view divided up into three sections: Be There, To Do, and Meals. I can keep up with my schedule, my to do list, my blog schedule, and our meals all in one place.

I am in love with this planner. If you see me around, check out my hands because I'm probably carrying it.

Are you planner obsessed? What are you using?

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Monday, August 10, 2015

Makeup Monday: The Basics

It's a new series - and it's all about makeup, sorta. It's about the products that I'm loving and can't wait to share with you.

But before we start with any makeup, let's start at the The Basics: a clean and fresh face.

makeup monday series

I've used many, many, many, many different face cleansers over the years. I've pretty much tried everything at Walmart, everything at the department stores, most of the independent consultant brands, and a few of those monthly subscription brands. But I've never had skin that truly looked and felt clean.

And then I discovered Philosophy products.

I'm not sure how I discovered them, but now that I have them I will never use anything else.

My night cleansing routine basically consists of Purity cleanser. That's all! I use about a dime size amount of this and work it into a lather on my face. This cleanser removes my foundation. It removes all my "lasts all day" eye makeup, and removes all the dirt and oil that has built up throughout the day.

I rub it around for about a minute, and then just rinse it off. My face passes the "white towel test" every night, and it actually feels clean. I know that when I head to bed at night all traces of makeup are gone.

philosophy face cleansers

Each morning I reach for the Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. This wash has a slight foam to it, but it is packed with those teeny tiny scrubbers that give you a mini-facial that is a mix between a peel and a microderm abrasion treatment. But it's designed to be used every day.

Again, I rub it around my face for about a minute and then wash it clean. My face is clean and glowing, and ready for my makeup routine.

These two products have done wonders for my complexion. My face is soft and smooth, and my break-outs have gone from 'regular' to 'seldom'. I have also noticed my redness going away, and many of my fine lines wrinkles are looking better.

Philosophy products can be purchased directly from Philosophy, or you can also purchase them from Sephora and Ulta. I don't have any of those options nearby, so I purchase online and have them shipped to me. Each bottle is 8oz, but since you are only using a dime-sized amount each day, they pretty much last forever!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Friday, August 7, 2015

Odyssey Adventure Club

My kids and I have been enjoying the Odyssey Adventure Club thanks to Litfuse Publicity. We are excited to have access to it for another year, and are happy to share this promotion with you. The opinions in this post are mine. 

My kids have a long commute every morning and evening. It's worth it for them to be with family and in a good school, but sometimes the ride can get a little boring. But a few months ago we were introduced to the Odyssey Adventure Club, and those drives suddenly got way more exciting.

Each morning we start a new episode with Mr. Whitaker and the gang, and then each evening we get to finish it. My kids are always excited when a new episode is downloaded, and they are always ready for adventures.

But the Odyssey Adventure Club is more than just audio episodes. Each adventure also comes with a video documentary and some activities. And because it is a product of Focus on the Family, I know that my kids are always going to get a Biblical lesson included.

Right now there is a special promotion going to get you signed up with the Odyssey Adventure Club. check out the details below, and then join us on this fun adventure!

Did you love listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes as a kid? Your kids will love exploring Whit's End today! Don't miss out on this special offer from Odyssey Adventure Club.

Join during the month of August for $9.99/mo., and you'll receive these benefits for being a member:
-Unlimited streaming of Adventures in Odyssey library (800 episodes) retail value over $1,500 USD
-New monthly exclusive episodes
-Monthly Web Quests
-Monthly Clubhouse magazine subscription (U.S. Residents Only)
-Daily devotions based on Adventures in Odyssey episodes
-OAC monthly member newsletter
-OAC exclusive video stories
-Animated Odyssey videos, Last Chance Detectives, and more!
Spend the last few weeks of summer vacation with your kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes and build their faith!

Ready to join? 
Head over to the website and sign up today! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings: The Bug's Life

I feel like I never talk about Bug here on the blog. But let's face it - when the first kid does something new it's pretty much front page news. When the second kid does it, it's just another day.

But, Bug has been busy growing up lately and I just wanted to document a few of the ways he is making life interesting at our house.

His language has taken off in recent months, and all the "little boy" talk has gone. He participates in family conversations and is completely aware of what we are talking about.

ting's mom bug

The other night Hubby sent Bug to ask me to do a favor. I told him "under one circumstance". Bug went back and told Hubby I said "with only one circus dance". I got a circus dance - it was hilarious.

Bug has his own chores on the chore chart now. Every day when we get home he is responsible for gathering up the dirty clothes from the baskets around the house, and taking all the clothes to the laundry room. He also helps his sister set the table each night. Since he has chores, he also gets an allowance.

ting's mom bug chores

He is dressing himself!!! This might be one that I am most excited about. Why? Because since Bug started dressing himself, I haven't been late to work once :) I lay his clothes out for him and he gets them on.

He also gets his own Pop-tarts, and turns the TV on to the Disney channel in the mornings. The kid is basically maintenance free, haha!

He has graduated to pull-ups, and is doing pretty well with them.

He. Is. Into. Everything. He loves to put on lotion, and the other night he got his hands on my Sally Hanson Airbrush Legs. He airbrushed his entire bedroom - including himself.

airbrush legs on furniture

I told him I was going to clean out his room and sell a bunch of his toys in the Rhea Lana sale. He spent the next few minutes picking out the few things he wanted me to be sure and keep.

He buckles himself into his car seat these days. All I have to do is tighten the straps once he's in.

I took him grocery shopping with me a few weeks ago. I let him walk instead of ride in the cart for the first time, and he was a huge helper. I told him what to get off the shelves, and he grabbed it and threw it in the cart. Every time we have ketchup at dinner now, he tells everyone that he bought it!

ting's mom kids in suitcase

He brushes his own teeth.

He wants to be exactly like his daddy. But deep inside, he is mommy's little boy. He loves to cuddle and refuses to go to sleep at night without a multitude of kisses. He is sweet and cares about others.

He's growing up too fast on me. But I am loving the little boy he is becoming.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ten Years Later

Ten years, y'all.

Ten years ago today I walked down the aisle and said "I do" to the boy that had captured my heart. I had no idea what we would experience together, but I knew I was ready.

ten years later wedding picture

When we vowed to be together through the good times and bad, we never dreamed that would include the death of my brother or the years we spent begging God for a baby. But the death brought us closer together pretty quickly, and eventually God blessed us with two of the most perfect children in the world (I'm not bias or anything, ha!). We've had family vacations, lazy weekends together, kid milestones, and more good times than I could ever write in this space.

ten years later after wedding picture

We vowed to be together through richer or for poorer. I didn't realize that meant that we would experience times when we could only afford Hamburger Helper for dinner every night. But I also didn't realize I would learn that richer has nothing to do with the number on my bank statement.

ten years later honeymoon

We vowed to care for each other through sickness and through health. We've survived near-death pneumonia, hand surgeries, cut fingers, tough pregnancies, and many many cold and flu seasons. But we are a family of four healthy people, and I thank God for taking care of us every day.

ten year anniversary in mexico

That boy I said 'I do" to has become my very best friend in the whole entire world. I can't imagine doing life without him by my side, and I cherish every day these past ten years have given us. I've vowed to love him until death do us part, and I'm hoping that means many, many, many, many more decades of anniversaries for us to celebrate together.

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

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