Tuesday, February 21, 2017

6th Birthday Interview: Elizabeth Grace


Our wee one is last up!

 Elizabeth Grace

Our Ellie girl is all spunk and feistiness. She makes up for being the last born by always trying to do things first and the best. While we are still working to help her find a balance between her competitive spirit and taking turns with others, we know that her approach to life has and will continue to serve her well in the future. She knows what she wants and has the determination to see it happen. She might have been born last and born the smallest, but nothing is stopping her from taking on the world!

How old are you? "Five" (We are now counting down the hours until their birthday. 26 hours in case anyone was wondering.)
What makes you happy? "Being bored!" That doesn't make any sense, honey. "It makes me happy!"
What is your favorite animal? "Cats and elephants" (Ellie has 2 bunnies she sleeps with, but refers to them both as cats. She also loves Hello Kitty....I'm pretty sure she just loves cats in general)
What is your favorite color? "All the colors except for grey."
What is your favorite thing to eat? "All the treats! Ice cream, cookies, pizza..." 
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "I don't like to eat the pizza that has green stuff on it. I also don't like potatoes except for smashed potatoes." 
What is your favorite thing to do? "My favorite thing is to be bored." Ellie...*groan*...you don't like to play your tablet or something? "Okay. My favorite thing is to play my tablet....and be bored."

What is your favorite TV show? "Doc McStuffins and Hello Kitty" 
What is your favorite movie? "TV shows and movies are the same thing!" (We have Netflix, and they watch tv shows and movies on it, so they don't really see a difference.)
What are you really good at? "Doing my schoolwork! Good at eating!"
What is your favorite song? "I don't know." 
What do you and your mom do together? "We ask questions and glue things to a board." 

What do you and your dad do together? "We turn on music."
What is your favorite book? "Curios George and kitty books"

What is your favorite toy? "My tablet" 
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A Cowgirl!!!" (This hasn't changed in the last year. She is really attached to the idea, and may very well still be when she grows up. The girl knows what she wants!)


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Monday, February 20, 2017

6th Birthday Interview: Elijah James


Our little Eli is our third kid up for his interview! Considering how many questions he asks me every single day, he thought it was great fun to have the tables turned!

 Elijah James

Elijah has a heart of gold. He is definitely our kid who cares deeply about others and how they are feeling. He most loves to spend time with people and snuggle up on the couch with us at the end of the day. He is all about drawing pictures and thrives on helping and being praised for being part of our family team. Elijah is 100% boy in every definition of the word, and inquisitive as all get out. The award for most number of questions asked every hour at house always goes to him. lol! In school, he is only getting therapy for a speech delay at this point, but making rapid progress with it. Even though we were a bit nervous about how kindergarten would work out for our active boy, he has adapted well to it and is learning a ton.

How old are you? "Five" (there more days!)
What makes you happy? "Drawing a picture."
What is your favorite animal? "Monkey" 
What is your favorite color? "Green"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "All the foods that you cook for me!" 
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Turkey and Cheese (sandwiches)" 
What is your favorite thing to do? "Make music and do art!"

What is your favorite TV show? "Spiderman" 
What is your favorite movie? "Jingle" (A movie about a dog that he got from his Pre-K teacher)
What are you really good at? "Somersaults. I'm good at music and art too!"
What is your favorite song? "Songs that I make up!" (He LOVES to sing!)
What do you and your mom do together? "Have a tea party, and you can always help me at my farm if you want too!" (There is an imaginary farm in his bedroom. You are all invited to visit it.)
What do you and your dad do together? "Daddy helps me work at my farm." 
What is your favorite book? "My dinosaur sticker book"

What is your favorite toy? "Paper and crayons!" 
What do you want to be when you grow up? "I'm going to be like YOU when I grow up! A Young Living person!" (He has informed us that he is never moving out and will live with us forever! haha!)


This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

6th Birthday Interview: Abigail Rose




Up 2nd....Our Abby! 

 Abigail Rose

Abby has the most precious spirit about her! She is the one that we can count on to bring a ray of sunshine into any room. We love her sweet personality and willingness to obey and be helpful. She can be a little flighty at times, but she cares a lot about doing her schoolwork well. She is imaginative, creative, loves all things princess and frilly, and loves to love others and be loved in return. Abby is also our most emotional kid, and can bounce back and forth from having "the best day ever!" to being worried about having friends at school (she has several!). We are still working on helping her find a way to deal with her anxiousness about life, and be willing to take risks in the process. Her fun approach to life tends to be the over-riding factor for her though, and she can't wait to dress up and dance around the house once her day in kindergarten is over.

How old are you? "Five" (only 5 days left until her birthday!)
What makes you happy? "Playing dress-up" 
What is your favorite animal? "Unicorns are my favorite animal. They have horns that are long and are even a color like pink, yellow, or purple." 
What is your favorite color? "Pink!"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Pizza"
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Mashed potatoes" (Let's be honest. We find a new one at each meal. ha!)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Play with my mom and ballet" 
What is your favorite TV show? "Bo on the Go" 
What is your favorite movie? "Tinkerbell"
What are you really good at? "I'm really good at twirling" (and then she took a break to show me her twirls)
What is your favorite song? "Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift
What do you and your mom do together? "Go get pizza at a restaurant"
What do you and your dad do together? "I go to the store to buy Valentine's Day cards with Dad because I love Valentine's Day!"
What is your favorite book? "Shopkins" 

What is your favorite toy? "Unicorn purse....I want to get that on my birthday." (the elusive favorite toy that she doesn't own. lol!)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A princess!"


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

6th Birthday Interview: Caleb Sean


It's that time of year again! Time for Birthday Interviews!! Our kids think answering birthday questions is the best game ever, so it wasn't hard to get them to sit still for a few minutes while I wrote down their answers. 

The answers change every year (which makes sense!) but the process of asking them questions always reminds me of how far we have come. Just two years ago, I had to make up all of Caleb's answers for him because he was still non-verbal. This year, he was the first to jump on the couch for his turn. He even went so far as to take off the headphones he wears to reduce sensory input for his annual snapshot. I'm so proud of where he is and how far he has come!

 Caleb Sean
 
Caleb has an ornery little streak, and we often times catch him impishly looking for ways to push his siblings buttons. He is a super funny kid, and incredibly smart! In spite of his autism, he picks up on things fast, and reads very well for being in kindergarten. We struggle to complete written work, but his special needs teacher has put a really good incentive program in place to encourage him to focus and get his work done. We are grateful for both his special needs teacher and his main classroom teacher and how hard they work to help him be successful! Caleb has made huge progress even in the last year! We can't wait to see what age 6 brings!

How old are you? "Five!" (for two more weeks!)
What makes you happy? "When I play toys and costumes or Ipads." (He can earn Ipad time at school for meeting focusing goals each day.)
What is your favorite animal? "All of them! I love all of them!"
What is your favorite color? "Red and brown and all the colors!" Really? Red? "Red!!" (I really expected him to say blue!)
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Cake, ice cream, and cookies!" 
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Yucky stuff like sweet potatoes." (Guess what we had for dinner tonight? Lol!)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Play toys, costumes, and Ipads!"
What is your favorite TV show? "Star Wars, Avengers, Justice League, and Young Justice."
What is your favorite movie? "I don't like any movies." (He actually doesn't know the difference between TV and movies because we don't have cable. Just Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a DVD player)
What are you really good at? "Flips! But how do I do a flip on the floor?" (haha!! No idea why he went with that answer!)
What is your favorite song? "When I sing Star Wars!" (The theme song. Lol!)
What do you and your mom do together? "Play"
What do you and your dad do together? "Play" 
What is your favorite book? "Star Wars Droid books."
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A tea party guy! A tea party guy is when they make lots of tea parties for everyone!" (He loves to set up all of the play cooking equipment and have us over for tea and snacks)
What is your favorite toy? "Tea Parties!" (a.k.a. the cooking toys and play kitchen)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Halloween 2016 - Star Wars Characters


Right after Halloween ended last year, my kids immediately all wanted to pick out Halloween costumes for this year. It was discussed many, MANY times for weeks after Halloween ended, with costume choices changing all the time. We finally said, "Nobody gets to pick a Halloween costume until school starts in August!" Of course, then the conversation immediately shifted to Christmas, but hey! At least it got us a few months reprieve from the costume discussions.

So when August rolled around this year, and the kids started school, I knew it was time to deliver on my promise of discussing costumes. One night at dinner, I brought it up, and fully expected everyone to want to do their own thing this year. I wasn't going to push a theme. I wasn't going to force a kid into a costume they didn't want to wear. I had spent all year preparing for the moment when all four kids would want to be something different, and I was going to be okay with that....even though I think themed costumes are incredibly fun! Instead, they completely surprised me by all deciding to do Star Wars characters together! Sean had to help a little bit with possible girl costumes, but the kids were ALL OVER IT and totally excited!!

And that meant that this Mama got a bonus year on the themed costumes that she had given up on! WHOOHOO!!

Abby

Abby wanted to be Rey. Although she hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie, it doesn't matter. Abby found out that there was a strong, brave girl in the movie and wanted to dress up as her. I love that! Abby can be very timid and unsure of herself, so we are always telling her that she *is* strong and brave and can do big things. She was so proud to be Rey for Halloween!

Ellie

Ellie is our only kid who has actually had the patience to sit through an entire Star Wars movie. Of course, we started with the originals, so she has seen Episode 4: A New Hope. We've done some Clone Wars, and clips from the newest movie, The Force Awakens on YouTube, but Ellie was our champ who made it through an original one. When Halloween costumes were thrown out as the topic of conversation in August, she immediately called the Princess Leia costume.

Funny story: We took the kids up to Sean's work to visit for their Boo Fest the week before Halloween, and everyone said to her, "Hi, Princess Leia!" Ellie would respond every time, "I'm not really Princess Leia. It's me!! Ellie!!!" and then burst into giggles because they couldn't tell who she really was. She was 100% convinced that everyone thought she was the real Princess Leia so she had to let them know. Haha! I guess you could say that she owned that role!

Abby and Ellie

Elijah and Caleb

Caleb

The Star Wars character idea actually belongs to Caleb. He was fully committed to being Poe Dameron for Halloween because he just loves that character. Of course, he's never seen the movie other than some clips from YouTube, but that doesn't stop him! Unfortunately, they don't make Poe Dameron costumes, so I quietly had to sub a generic X-Wing Fighter costume for what he wanted. We somehow managed to keep the package that declared it to be a generic costume from being seen by him which is a really good thing. Since Caleb can read, and he was fixated on that very particular costume, it was kind of a big deal to get it right so as to avoid any extended periods of frustration. (Autism can be so fun!) But it ended up being just right, and he felt very official wearing his Poe Dameron outfit around. 

As a total side note, this costume had a ridiculous amount of pieces and loops to tie together. It came with a set of instructions on how to put it on, and we had to follow it all 3 times he wore it to get it right (Boo Fest at Sean's work, Fall Fest at school, and Trick or Treating). 

Elijah

Elijah really, really wanted to be a Gamorean Guard. I don't even know how to spell that. Some weird guard guy from Star Wars. Guess what? They don't make those costumes. At all. We told him to pick again, and he chose Yoda. Easy, right? Yeah, any affordable Yoda costumes that I found were for babies or....dogs. The expensive ones were for adults. And I'm far past my days of trying to create a costume from scratch. Thankfully, the 3rd time was the charm, and when he chose Chewbacca, I was able to find him a pretty cool looking costume without too much trouble. He ended up loving it and quickly forgetting about his first two choices. 

Elijah

I have to include this photo because....HAHAHA!!! We took the kids outside to grab some photos, and did group and individual poses. When we got to Elijah's turn, we gave the vague directions to "do something." He ended up squatting/sitting against the side of the house while making Spiderman hands. We've since dubbed this photo, "The Pooping Chewbacca". LOL!

And finally, a couple of photos of the kids with their grandparents (and a couple of uncles) to round out the post. :)  Scroll to the bottom of this post if you'd like to see our themed costumes from previous years!



Halloween 2015: Peter Pan Characters
Halloween 2014: Frozen Characters
Halloween 2013: The Peanuts Gang
Halloween 2012: Superheroes
Halloween 2011: The Four Seasons

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Grandparents Day!

Clockwise from front left: Cita, Elijah, Daddy, Caleb, Pa, Cousin Marissa, Abby, and Ellie

I've come to terms with the fact that blogging regularly is probably a thing of the past, BUT I really do want to be better about recording our memories with our kids. Remember when I used to blog 5-6 times a week? Oh my stars. That was intense. For now, I'm happy to get a blog post out a few times a month, so thanks for working with me on that. I do want to save all of our memories to look back on. Time is going by so fast.....even though the period between when they get home from school exhausted and when they go to bed seems like an eternity. haha!

A Tour of the School: Marissa, Ellie, Elijah, Caleb, and Abby

About a month ago (yes, a month ago. eep!), we had Grandparents Day at the school! Sean's dad and my mom came out for it, and since Marissa (the kids' cousin) also goes to school there, it worked out perfectly to all just hang together.

Abby, Ellie, Cita, Caleb, and Elijah

The school provided breakfast and an hour to take grandparents around for a tour. The kids thought it was so fun to not only show off their part of the school, but also to see their cousin's 4th grade classroom and know that they get to go in her hallway one day!

Elijah, Ellie, Caleb, Pa, Marissa, and Abby

There was just enough time to play outside for about 5 minutes before the bell rang and all of the kids ran back inside.
Playground!

Our new school seems to be big into having events throughout the year. We've already done Fall Fest there as well. I'm grateful for every chance I have to get to know their teachers and school administration better. It's such a huge disconnect from last year when I could walk the kids to their classrooms as often as I wanted. They stop parents in the lobby at this school. I'm sure it's a safety thing and way to keep everyone calm and focused, but I still miss that quick 10 minute run in multiple times a week. I know the kids do too. So anytime they have an event like this, I'm happy to go, especially when the kids can celebrate school milestones with other family members too!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.

Monday, October 3, 2016

In Case of Zombies: Essential Oils You Need for Survival

Well....it's October. So I guess it's probably time to address something that we all think about this time of year: 

Zombies

If you've seen the last season of Walking Dead, do NOT tell me what happens!! The first thing we did when we found out that quadruplets were on the way was cancel our cable. Because of that, I'm always a full season behind while I wait for it to hit Netflix. I like to think this is the self-imposed version of practicing my patience skills.

BUT, seeing as how it's October and zombies always come to the forefront this time of year, I think it's about time we talk about some major zombie preparedness. Because....it could happen, right? *wink, wink*

Here are the TOP essential oils (and some extra products) that you need to have on hand in case of a zombie outbreak. Not listed below is having a dedicated suitcase to throw all of this in if you need to make a quick escape and head for the hills. So make sure you have one available. Seriously. When push comes to shove, you don't want to have to choose between taking your canned beans or essential oils with you.

Yep, I've really thought this through. My husband may think I'm a *little* crazy, but he is going to be one grateful dude when his wife pulls through with the good stuff in the moment of need.

Pssst...stick around to the end of the post because I'm throwing one lucky giveaway winner some good stuff for their own moment of need! Make sure you enter for a chance to win!

*******

1) The number one issue you might have while trying to get out the door is a little one making too much noise and alerting the zombies to your escape path. With four 5-year-olds at our house, this could potentially be kind of a big deal. Nobody wants to use benedryl to drug their kids to sleep while escaping zombies...instead try one of these calming oils. They work WONDERS on our Caleb when he is having a meltdown. Within two minutes, he is calm, quiet, and in the zone.
Zombie Tip: Apply calming oils to kids about 5 minutes before cracking open the front door and making a run for it. You might as well put some on the back of your neck too!

2) I don't know about you, but I've watched enough Walking Dead to know that sometimes, survivors have to keep moving, even when they are tired. I mean....do they have a choice? Not so much! Keep moving or get caught! Make sure you pack some energy oils and plenty of Ningxia Red and Nitro. What I love about Ningxia Red is that it gives a gentle sustained energy while supporting every system in the body. The Nitro is like an all natural energy shot without the crash afterwards. Grab both of those, and the energy oils, and you can keep going for longer than a zombie can chase you!
Zombie Tip: Drink 1 oz of Ningxia Red a day so that you are in peak performance condition when the zombie outbreak happens. Keep Nitro on hand for in the moment energy slumps. En-R-Gee is a little known blend that packs an energy punch. Combine that with Peppermint behind the knees for a zombie-proof energy plan!

3) If doesn't matter how many calming oils you use on your family members, if someone clears their throat, or accidentally coughs, the gig is up. There is absolutely zero room for people to be dealing with anything respiratory related. Because of that, oils like RC, Raven, Peppermint, and Dorado Azul rank at the top of the must have list. Even better, grab Breathe Again. It's comes pre-diluted so that you don't have to fumble around for your coconut oil while trying to oil up.
Zombie Tip: If anyone clears their throat or accidentally coughs at any time, immediately get an oil on their chest, the bottom of their feet, and the upper portion of their spine. Then give them the stare down while handing them a bottle of water, and tell them to keep oiling and keep quiet.

4) It's a sad truth that eventually, the car will run out of gas during the escape process. While it's ideal to still find a working gas station....we just can't count on that. Preparation for extensive walking is key, because camping out in a non-running car is just a bad idea. The zombies can trap you in there. Forever. So in addition to some good hiking boots for the whole family, it's important to stock up on oils and supplements that are going to keep you on your feet, no matter what the terrain is. Our top picks are Agilease, Cool Azul Pain Cream, and Deep Relief. Pamper those feet, or the zombies will pamper them for you. And nobody wants that.
Zombie Tip: Prep in advance for the escape route by starting Agilease now. Healthy bones, ligaments, and muscles will get you further than anything else. Then apply Cool Azul Pain Cream or one of the other listed oils at every stopping point, and at night after a long day of walking. 

5) Nobody is going to fault you for being a little stressed out. Even with all the prep in the world, it's a little bit anxiety inducing to suddenly find yourself on the run from the zombies. However, since we know that stress and occasional anxiety might play into it, we have time to prepare by grabbing some of the best oils for those types of emotions. Stress Away is a must for stress (ha!) and Valor is my personal go-to for moments of occasional anxiety.
Zombie Tip: These oils go in the back pocket. There just isn't any point in putting them away in a situation like this.

6) Food is always worth taking into consideration. While you might be able to grab enough canned food out of your pantry to sustain your family for the first week or two, eventually the food will run out. That means scrounging as you go is your only option. The problem? Who knows what you will find! Make everything far more palatable by packing along a few Vitality oils. These oils add so much flavor with only a drop added to an entire meal, plus, they won't go bad, so you can happily use them throughout your escape.
Zombie Tip: Grab at least 2 oils out of the following Vitality categories: Citrus, Herb, Spice, and Supplement. Congrats! You are now ready to flavor anything on the run without fear of your flavorings turning rotten on you....like zombies.

7) This is key. If y'all don't take anything else away from this post, this is the important section....at least in my mind. Immune support! You will be traveling through unknown areas with unknown germs. Unknown germs are a big deal, especially when you just know that the hospitals will already be overrun by zombies given the nature of what they do. That means that you have to play a good offense game....or risk turning into a zombie yourself. Stock up on Thieves and my favorite supplements Inner Defense and Longevity at a minimum. I'm telling y'all, if there is one place you don't want to cut corners during a zombie outbreak, it's in the immune system category!
Zombie Tip: Use your immune oils and supplements *daily* starting now. You don't want to turn into a zombie after all of the work you are putting into escape!

8) Because I'm all about fully educating everyone I can about the most effective essential oils to use for things, I'd also like to offer three oils you should *NOT* use around zombies:
  • Awaken: You don’t want to be waking ANYTHING up. The point is to sneak past the zombies. Not join them. So….maybe just keep this oil handy if you need a pick-me-up while putting together your zombie preparedness kit. It’s probably not good a good one to use in an actual zombie situation.
  • Gathering: Nobody likes a zombie party. Nobody. Gathering brings everyone together in harmony….and the only way that will be a harmonious meeting will be if you join the zombies. Awesome oil for the upcoming holidays though! If we make it that far…
  • Surrender: I don’t think I really have to explain this one. While it’s a very effective emotional oil for coming to terms with one’s situation, I recommend NOT surrendering to the zombies. 
Zombie Tip: Don’t experiment in a zombie situation to see what these oils will do. Just trust me when I say they do exactly what the names imply. Yep, they actually *do* work! Use them at any other point in life…just not around zombies.

Remember: A good offense is always the best defense. And when it comes to zombies, they don’t play fair (Trust me. I know. I’ve watched The Walking Dead.) Preparation is KEY to surviving. And not just surviving, but thriving!!

If you are new to the whole concept of essential oils and natural zombie defenses, this post may have been a little overwhelming for you. Don’t walk away though! We have a good way to ease you into zombie-prepardness. The number one place that I suggest newbies start is always with a Premium Starter Kit. There are NO buying or selling requirements. It’s just a highly discounted way to grab 11 great oils, a diffuser, and a wholesale membership (so that you can grab anything else that catches your eye) to get you started quickly. The 11 oils in the kit will help you with almost every situation I touched on in this post plus hundreds of other things. It’s that versatile! 


It's important to note that I use Young Living Essential Oils with my family. Not all oil brands are created equally and many can cause problems to worsen if they are not true, 100% essential oils. I'd hate to see what would happen during a zombie outbreak with non-effective oils! Even if the label says "100% pure" they are only required to have 5% essential oils in them per regulations. Please visit this link for more info on why we chose Young Living and how we believe it is the best, most effective, and most affordable essential oil option out there. 

In the meantime, we are giving away a 15 ml bottle of En-R-Gee! We want to make sure that you have PLENTY of energy to make it through the zombie outbreak! Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest ends at 11:59pm on Monday, October 24th, 2016.The winner(s) will be randomly chosen and contacted by email, and will have 48 hours to respond to the email with their information so that the prize can be forwarded to them. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States. This giveaway is not endorsed by Young Living Essential Oils and is solely sponsored and administered by A Beautiful Ruckus. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.

The information contained in these posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques discussed are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions when you are considering lifestyle and health changes. Particularly if you are pregnant, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a doctor before starting any new protocol. Any links leaving this site are the opinion of the author of those sites and should be treated with the same caution as what you read here. 


This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.
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