Ting's Mom
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Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend came and went, and I have exactly one "picture" to show for it...

Thursday was a day full of food and family. My family and Hubby's family came together once again and had more food than the 16 of us could ever eat. We ate, we hung out, and then we headed home. The kids got to spend several hours playing with their cousins, while the adults watched both our Longhorns and our Cowboys go down on the same day.

Friday morning we got up and put the Christmas tree up! The kids helped me sort all the branches, and then put all the ornaments on. Our tree isn't fancy, or even close to designer, but it is full of ornaments that hold a special memory in my heart - and that's all that really matters.

Friday afternoon the kids and I went to watch the Peanuts movie. It was Bug's first time to a movie theater and both kids did great. They both sat perfectly still and watched the entire movie. They both loved the movie, and have already asked when we can go back!

Saturday we did absolutely nothing. I put on my lounge clothes and settled onto my couch under a blanket. I got up only to fix dinner and then right back to my couch. Hubby and I watched two movies, and the entire first season of a new TV show.

Sunday we attended church, bought groceries, and had pictures with Santa. And then back to the real world on Monday.

How was your Thanksgiving?

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Odyssey Adventure Club: Now Easier Than Ever!

I have been given a year of Odyssey Adventure Club in exchange for telling you how great it is. 


What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:
The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.


Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family's 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year's free Advent calendar at ThrivingFamily.com/Advent, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX {GIVEAWAY}

A big thank you to vTech and Coyne PR for sending us the Kidizoom Smartwatch DX. The watch may have been free, but our love is real!

Christmas is coming! 

About two months ago I told the kids they needed to start thinking about what they wanted to ask for this Christmas. I told them I would keep a running list and we could send it to Santa. The first thing that landed on that list? The vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch. They saw a commercial and decided they NEEDED to have this watch.

vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX {GIVEAWAY}

Lucky for me vTech delivered, haha!

But what is this watch that had my kids begging for it? In short - it does everything!

For starters, it has an adjustable band. Unless you've tried to fit other kid friendly toys on various size arms you have no idea how valuable this small feature is.

It also keeps time... several ways. There is both a digital clock and an analog clock face. You can change the way the clock looks and what all is shown on the display. Great for teaching little ones to tell time. There is also an alarm/timer. I can see potty breaks, clean up countdowns, timed contests, and so much more in our future with this fun gadget.

vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX {GIVEAWAY}

The Kidizoom Smart Watch also has a built-in camera and video recorder. They are actually pretty decent quality for a kid product. Look out world, the kids may be taking over my YouTube before too long.

Other features include games, photo edits, a calendar, and more. PLUS it's splash proof - meaning a fancy watch is no longer an excuse to not wash our hands :)

I've had this watch out playing with it, and I am impressed. I've set the clock, played with the camera, and added a few events to the calendar. I kind of want one for myself, ha! But instead ours is going to be waiting for some excited kids on Christmas morning.

vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX {GIVEAWAY}

One of you is also going to get a vTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX to put under your Christmas tree as well. This watch comes in several colors, but this giveaway is for a VIVID VIOLET watch (sorry, other color selections are not available for the giveaway).

Just use the widget below to get entered. Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 28th at 3:00pm CST. Good luck to you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Weekend Adventures

Saturday marked the first day of full-on deer hunting season in Arkansas, which means most of our state spent the day bundled up in camo while sitting in a box high up in the trees. The kids and I had much more fun. We headed to Hot Springs for a day at the Mid-America Science Museum.

I can remember visiting the museum when I was about Ting's age and having so much fun. I've been waiting on the day both my kids were big enough to go, and this was finally the year.

We got up early Saturday morning, got dressed, and hit the road by 8:15am - not bad for a Saturday morning. Two hours (and three potty stops) later we headed across the parking lot and down the trail that leads to the doors of the museum.

Weekend Adventures: Mid-America Science Museum

The museum was recently renovated so I was looking forward to all it had to offer. We arrived just in time for a show in the Telsa Auditorium so I sprung a few extra bucks so we could see what it was all about. It turned out to be the perfect first event for our day a the museum. We learned about electricity and got to see some fun experiments to see if humans could conduct electricity.

Weekend Adventures: Mid-America Science Museum

Then we headed out to explore the ground floor exhibits. The kids oohed and awed, exclaimed "wow" and "oh my goodness" and ran around in pure delight. I was happy to see a few exhibits I remembered from 30 years ago, and also enjoyed playing with all the new things.

We took a lunch break in the museum cafe, and enjoyed some hot pizza and yummy snacks. Then we were off to see what the top floor had to offer. They got to explore underground Arkansas (an exhibit that might have freaked mom out a little), see the effects of static, learned about water pressure, and created electrical circuits.

Weekend Adventures: Mid-America Science Museum

Outside we explored the Skywalk and checked things out through telescopes. Then we spent the last bits of our energy, and money,  in the museum gift shop (because what is a Saturday outing without a stop in gift shop?).

Weekend Adventures: Mid-America Science Museum

The museum was so much greater than what I remembered and the kids had a wonderful day. Bug sat and told Hubby all about it when we got home, and it made this mommy proud at all he remembered of our day.

I love that my kids are getting old enough for Saturday adventures. Many more to come!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Makeup Monday: Nail Polish

I love to paint my nails. Something about sitting in the recliner and painting on a fresh coat of color is so relaxing to me. My love of nail polish has resulted in many different brands and colors streaming through my house.

I buy my nail polish pretty much anywhere it's available. I'll shop at department stores, beauty supply stores, drug stores, and even the local dollar store. Over the years I've discovered that some polish stays on better than others, and some colors always draw me in.

nail polish favorites

Today I want to tell you my four favorite brands of nail polish. How did these become my favorites? Simply by staying on my fingernails. I'm a mom who works full-time outside the home. I wash my hands frequently at work, I type on a computer all day, and then I come home to laundry, dish duty, and two young children.

I never use a base coat or a top coat, and I always put two coats of color on my nails. For me to consider a polish a success, it has to stay chip-free for at least three days. I feel so passionate about these brands that when I cleaned out my polish shelf a few weeks ago I only kept these four brands (and I threw away about 45 bottles of polish). So here goes...

Sinful Colors - Surprise! This is my absolute favorite polish, and it's cheap (woohoo!!). Sinful Colors used to be only available at Walgreens, but my Walmart carries it now. I like both the original formula and the new gel formula (my exception to my top coat rule). This polish dries quickly and stays chip-free for about five days for me. And it only cost about $3 a bottle.

Flower Beauty - This is Drew Barrymore's brand and is only available at Walmart. This is a bit more expensive that my favorite, but has major staying power as well. It last four or five days chip-free for me, but sometimes requires a third coat to look completely smooth on my fingers.

China Glaze - This is my favorite salon brand. I buy it at my local Sally Beauty Supply, and can usually find it on sale if I watch for the sale announcements. This will last about six days for me, but runs around $7 a bottle. But if you're going to spurge, it's worth the money.

Sally Hanson Insta-Dri - This is a little weird. This formula only stays on my fingers about a day, but it will stay on my toes forever. Seriously. Two coats of this on my toes and it grows off before it ever chips. So this is the only polish I use on my toes. It's available

And since I told you my favorites, I feel like I should also tell my least favorite. It's really popular and I hate that I hate it so much, but it's Essie. I know! Essie has some of the prettiest colors out there, but it stays on my fingers about 12 hours before it starts chipping. It's a no-go for me.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Happy Belated Halloween!

Yes this post is a few days late, but I've been a little busy. But Halloween was a fun weekend for us in South Arkansas and I think the kids had a wonderful October 31st.

We started the Saturday off by heading to see family. My sis-in-law had dropped her three oldest off at my in-laws house for a few days so she could attend a funeral. Since they live six hours away, my kids don't really see their cousins too often. But Saturday we drove over and had lunch with them.

cousins having fun together

We went to a local favorite pizza place and stuffed ourselves with some good pizza. Then we hit up the game room. My kids had raided their allowance bags for quarters for themselves and for their cousins. My in-laws had also brought money for all their grand kids to play in the game room. Turns out my father-in-law is the ticket whisperer and managed to snag lots of tickets for the kids.

We cashed in over 650 tickets and the kids got to pick their prizes. Then they headed for a little fun shopping while I made a run to Home Depot. I bought a closet rod to install in Bug's closet. He has gotten old enough to pick out his clothes, but far from tall enough to reach them. He's been using his dump truck as a stool to yank them off the hangers - safe, right?

When we got home the kids rested (aka, watched Netflix) while I worked on the closet. Then it was time to get out the costumes and get ready for some trick-or-treating. This year I had a policewoman, and Marshall the fire dog (from Paw Patrol).

halloween 2015

The kids had a blast going to houses and getting their fill of candy. Then we headed home for some candy sorting and bedtime.

After the kids went to bed the Switch Witch visited our house. She took away all the candy that Bug is allergic to (which is most Halloween candy) and left presents for the kids. Bug got a Marshall stuffed animal and Ting got a set of Shopkins.

Halloween was great, but now it's November and my favorite is coming - Thanksgiving!!!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Lunchbox Notes {Free Printable}

I love November! For some reason November just seems like THE month for me. It finally starts cooling off, the leaves change colors, and Fall gets into full swing. I dream about days on the couch with a good book, and chili simmering on the stove.

My favorite part of November is Thanksgiving Day. A day of rest, family, food, and football. No pressure to be somewhere, no perfect gifts to buy for everyone - just a day of being together and being thankful for those around us.

thanksgiving lunchbox notes printable

I also love lunchbox notes! Now that Ting can read, I am having so much fun putting little notes into her lunchbox. Sometimes she even surprises me with notes in my lunch box (although it usually takes my entire lunch table to figure out 1st grade spelling, ha!).

This year to countdown Thanksgiving I'm putting a new note each day in Ting's lunchbox telling her reasons I am thankful for her. I'm looking forward to my little project, and wanted to share it with you.

It's my first printable y'all!! So, click here (or click the graphic above) to grab a printable sheet of Thanksgiving Lunchbox Notes for your kids. There are five to a page, so just print one for each week and then cut apart.

Then let me know, did you enjoy the printable? It was fun and I may do more in the future if y'all like them. And don't forget to share this with your friends!

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