Ting's Mom
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bug: First Day of Pre-K

One more year and my baby runs off to Kindergarten. But first, we are going to soak in our year of Pre-K. 

Bug is SO excited about heading to Pre-K. This is his first year in an official learning center at school, he has Lollie (my mother-in-law) for a teacher, big sister is in his class, and naps are not on the schedule. He basically thinks school is going to be grand.

bug first day of prek

He has been asking all summer when school is going to start and he could hardly contain himself as we put him to bed on back-to-school eve. But before he headed off to Pre-K, I had a few questions for him. (And be sure to click the link at the bottom to check out Ting's back to school questions)

Grade: Pre-K

Age: Four

Teacher: Lollie

What was your favorite thing about summer?
Summer? What is summer? Oh, I like going to church.

Why are you excited about going back to school?
Because I’m going to be in Lollie’s class

What is something you hope to learn at school this year?
Talking funny

What is your favorite thing about school?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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Ting: First Day of 2nd Grade

It is the first day of school for us, and Ting is a second grader. She has been ready for school to start for several weeks now, and I know she is going to have a great year. She has one more year in the learning center with her Lollie (my mother-in-law), and she is looking forward to being the oldest in the classroom.

ting first day of second grade

As she heads off to school, I had a few questions for her. (And be sure to look at the bottom for a link to check out Bug's first day of school questions.)

Grade: Second

Age: Seven

Teacher: Lollie

What was your favorite thing about summer?
I got some time off from school

Why are you excited about going back to school?
New school supplies, get to be in the same class with my brother.

What is something you hope to learn at school this year?

What is your favorite thing about school?
Learning things

What do you want to be when you grow up?

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Next Decade: Year One

This coming Saturday will mark our 11th wedding anniversary! We celebrated with a little getaway last weekend. While our weekend was not as extravagant as our 10th-anniversary celebration, we still had a great weekend.

11 anniversary

We kicked off the weekend with a Friday night dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse with my friend Jessica and her husband. Jessica and I have been friends for almost four years, but our husbands had never met. From the talk of deer hunts, duck attire, and fishing lure, I would say they hit if off pretty well.

After dinner we found a comfy hotel to rest our heads and then spent all day Saturday shopping. We spent over an hour browsing Every. Single. Section. at Academy, found some great deals at the local Walmart (when in big cities, check out the Wally World), scored huge savings at JC Penny, and had time for a quick trip to Ulta.

We feasted on a late lunch/early dinner at Red Lobster before browsing the aisles of Sam's Club and heading home.

Our trip home revealed we had just missed a huge storm that came through our town. Luckily we had no damage at home and the temps had cooled off to a tolerable degree. Since our kids were in good hands for another night, we took advantage of the kid-free time and Hubby took me to his favorite place - the local lake.

Although we didn't catch anything, I had fun learning to bass fish. The lake was so peaceful after the storm, and the temps and light rain made it so relaxing.

I missed our kids, but the weekend with just the Hubby and me was a perfect way to celebrate another year together. I'm looking forward to decades more.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Church Camp 2016

I have never attended church camp. I attended a summer camp growing up, but never a church camp. A few weeks ago, that all changed.

dry creek baptist church camp

The kids and I packed our suitcases, gathered in the church parking lot, and loaded the buses with 61 other youth and adults from our church. Well, Ting loaded the bus. Bug and I loaded into my air-conditioned minivan with my in-laws for a more enjoyable ride than that of a church bus!

We arrived at Dry Creek Baptist Camp on Monday afternoon, and I was excited to kick off my first camp experience. Bug and I settled ourselves into our hotel-style room and checked on Ting in her bunkhouse before heading to the counselor meeting. I quickly found myself signing up to be over our church's junior girl campers for the week (girls just completing grades 1-5). Our schedule predicted it would be a busy week, but I had no idea what was in store for me.

mom and ting at camp

Our days started early with breakfast and then to the junior chapel. The kids sang songs, played games, and heard lessons from a great children's evangelist. Then we headed to morning activities. Although Bug was younger and quite a bit smaller than the other kids, he jumped right into all the activities and never missed a beat. All the kids were great to help him out and give him extra turns in all the games.

bug plays kickball

It as HOT at camp, and I was always ready for lunch to roll around. After lunch, Bug headed to take a nap with my mother-in-law while Ting and the other girls worked on their scripture memory for the week.

tings works scripture memory

Then we headed off to more activities. One of the activities was zip-lining. Ting and I both signed up for this. I had talked to Ting about how scary it was going to look, but to be brave. I was SO proud of her as she made her way up the rock way. She went up it so quickly without a care in the world. Then she got to the top and refused to go down the zip-line. I climbed to the top to try to reason with her, but after a short bit, I did what any loving, caring, nurturing mother would do (after checking all the safety requirements) - I pushed her off! She went down the zip-line screaming, but was smiling in the end!

ting on rock wall

The cousins were also at camp and my kids had a blast hanging out with them all weekend. It is always great to spend bonus time with our family.

the cousins

All in all, it was an exhausting, but wonderful week of camp. I had a blast, and already have camp marked on my calendar for next year!

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Monday, June 27, 2016

The Ears Have It

It is a rite of passage for a little girl. The day she climbs up in that tall chair and lets a total stranger poke holes in her ears. I have very vague memories of the day my ears were pierced, but I do remember the tears that fell that day. And I remember my hair getting wrapped around my fresh earrings and my mom having to spend forever trying to clean them.

ting ear piercing

Hubby and I discussed it years ago and decided Ting would wait to pierce her ears when she was old enough to care for them herself. She asked once several years ago, then never brought it up again. Then she discovered Claire's. We started stopping into Claire's each time we visited the mall about a year ago. She always took her allowance money when she knew we would be shopping, and she always happily purchased bracelets and necklaces. But I always saw a hint of longing as she passed the earring racks.

A few weeks ago we visited Claire's again. They were having a sale and I found Ting parked in front of a huge display of earrings. They were "buy three, get three" and she had a few in her hand. She told me she really liked them and if her ears were pierced she would buy them.

"Well," I said. "All we have to do is call and ask Daddy if it is okay and we can get them pierced."

A quick text conversation later and I found my baby girl perched in that tall chair with total strangers aiming for her ears. She panicked for about five seconds, and then she was ready to go. They had two girls working so they were able to do both ears at the same time. She never even cried!

I love the small gold crosses she picked out to have her ears pierced with. The calendar is marked for six weeks out, and six cute options are awaiting the day we can change her earrings.

My girl is growing up. Oh so fast.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bye, Bye, Teeth

It has been a while since Ting lost a tooth. It seems the first several came out pretty quickly, and then they just stopped.

However, I noticed a few weeks ago some adult teeth coming in on top of the baby teeth. The adult teeth were pretty high, and I knew the baby ones needed to come out. I called the dentist, and they said to have Ting wiggle the baby teeth and try to get them to fall out.

girl with ice cream cone

After two weeks of wiggling, those little teeth were holding on. I called the dentist and took Ting in last week. We thought we were going for an exam and evaluation, but as soon as the dentist saw her, he said he could get them out quickly.

Ting did great! She got very nervous and a little scared when he said he was taking her teeth out. But by the time he pulled her teeth she was fine. He had her baby teeth out in about 30 seconds.

On our way out, the dentist surprised Ting with a certificate for a free ice cream cone at our local McDonald's. Of course, we wasted no time heading to Micky D's for our treat.

Ting spent the whole day talking about how she was glad the teeth were out and she didn't have to worry about it anymore. And she was very excited when the remembered the tooth fairy was heading to our house!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ting Is Seven

She's seven! Seven years since I first became a mommy. Seven years since I first held the most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my arms. Seven years I've been trying to figure out this parenting thing. My baby girl turns seven today.

Ting has grown from a precious baby to such a sweet girl. She loves her family and would do anything in the world for her brother. She has such a kind heart and a willingness to make others around her happy. I'm thankful to be called her mom, and I can't wait to see what this year brings for her.

ting turns seven

Each year I ask my kids a set of questions on their birthday. Check out what Ting has to say as she turns seven.

What is your favorite thing about school? Lollie is the teacher

What is your favorite color? Pink

What is your favorite movie? Frozen

What is your favorite food? Steak, sausage, mashed potatoes, macaroni

Who is your best friend? Emily

What do you want to be when you grow up? Chef

What are you really good at? Monkey bars

Where do you wish we could go on vacation? Mexico

What would you buy if you had $1,000? A playhouse

What is your favorite toy? My Life puppy

What is your favorite animal? Hearty (bear)

What is your favorite outfit? White sparkle dress

What is your favorite song? Let it Go

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play

What do you like to take to bed with you? Glow seahorse, unicorn, puppy

What is your favorite game? Pottery

What is your favorite book? Rainbow Fairies

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Spaghetti & Meatballs (from a can)

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Go on vacation

Anything else? I’m so excited it is my birthday!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mission Monday: Laundry Day

I'm on a mission to create a safer and healthier home for my family by removing toxins and ugly chemicals from our products. Each month I am going to bring you a highlight of products, tips and tricks, or resources I have found that we are loving in our home. You can always learn more by visiting our Mission: Safe and Healthier Home page here on the blog.

There are four people living in our house, and somehow we make enough laundry for me to wash at least one load every night. How is that even possible?!

When I started our journey to remove toxins from our home, cleaning products were my priority and the laundry room was my first step. After reading article after article about the effects, laundry detergent has on our bodies (and the planet) I set out to find a natural laundry routine that also got our clothes clean. Because, after all, clean clothes are the target of the entire laundry room.

toxin free laundry routine

I have tried three different products and finally landed on Molly's Suds Laundry Powder. I love Molly's Suds for several reasons. To start with, I can read all the ingredients in their products. Plus, their website breaks down each ingredient and explains why they use it and how it affects our bodies and our planet. I also love the story of the family who created Molly's Suds and the reason they begin the company.

For a large load (my typical load around here) I use only one tablespoon of this powder. It was hard for me to get used to after using a ton of my old stuff, but experience over the past couple months proves one tablespoon gets the job done.

Instead of fabric softener, I put a cup of white vinegar in my laundry ball and add to my loads. The vinegar helps create a final rinse to remove the laundry soap, and also leave clothes super soft. No worries, the smell doesn't stick around :)

After falling in love with their laundry powder, I also picked up a package fo their Oxygen Whitener. This products is a great booster for when my kids have literally been rolling in the grass and dirt and get extra sweaty.

I also added the dryer balls to my laundry routine. I use these dryers balls in place of the traditional dryer sheet. They reduce my drying time by almost half, have zero chemicals in them, keep my clothes static free, and they are good for over 1,000 loads!

The only exception to this routine is when I do towels and wash cloths. These tend to be damp and smelly, so I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap for washing them. I put about 1/3 cup into a large load, no rinse aid, and then in the dryer with the dryer balls.

So, can I tell a difference in our clothes? YES!!

Our clothes are very clean, and I have noticed they are much softer these days. Even blue jeans are soft and comfy. I have also noticed a huge decrease of lint in my dryer after each load. I'm not sure why this is, but it is significant. I have also noticed less wrinkles (a good thing since I refuse to iron). In fact, I wore linen pants the other day and noticed they did not wrinkle throughout the day.

I purchase all my laundry supplies (minus the vinegar) from Thrive Market. If you haven't heard of Thrive Market, you must check them out. They have a huge selection of cleaning products, personal care products, and pantry items, and they are all natural and mostly organic. This link is my referral code, and by using it you can get 15% off your order, plus a 30-day trial membership to give them a try. And if you sign up, I also get a credit on my account ;)

Do you use a natural laundry routine? Tell me about it.

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