Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Little Things Thursdays: #90

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our family and blog!

Welcome to The Little Things Thursday!!

If you are new to our link-up, we like to take a minute to look back on the little things that brightened our week. So often we get busy and forget all of the things that we enjoy as we go through our daily lives. This is an opportunity to stop, remember, and enjoy those things! Nothing is too small...in fact, the smaller the better! That's the whole point! If you have a blog, link-up below. If you don't blog, I'd love for you to participate by leaving a comment. Ready?

1. Birthday Hay Ride
The son of one of my good friends had a birthday party two weekends ago! He just turned one, and since they live on a farm, they had a good old fashioned hay ride/bonfire/farm theme! It's probably not right that I had as much fun as I did at a one-year-old's birthday party. :) The kids loved it too! Everything from roasting hot dogs, to climbing on hay bales, to riding in the wagon, to sneaking sugar cookies when I wasn't looking. I was especially excited to see Caleb loving every single moment of it. He ran around without a care in the world and soaked up every bit of his farm experience. So far, it's definitely been a highlight of our fall!

2. I Went to Branson, and All I Took a Picture of Was....
...these mini doughnuts. How SAD is that?

A friend and I have been talking about doing a girls' weekend in Branson (about 4 hours from where we live) for the last year and a half. We were supposed to go last fall, but she had a baby. We finally got to go last weekend, and it was SO fun! It was just the two of us, and we left the husbands at home with the kids. We went to Silver Dollar City to ride the roller coasters, took a tour of Marvel Cave, and checked out the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum. It was a quick trip with us driving down on Saturday morning and heading back on Sunday afternoon, but we crammed a lot in!

As for the mini doughnuts, Sean and I have a bit of an inside joke about mini doughnuts and periodically buy them to munch on while watching movies. They are soooo bad for you, but they are kind of our "thing." So I took the photo of the mini doughnuts....and forgot to take a photo of Renee and I having a Mommy Vacation. I guess I was having too much fun to bother with a camera!

3. Elijah and His Exploration of the Girl's Side of the Closet
Uh....I really don't know what to say here other than that Elijah has taken a sudden liking to putting on the girls' dress up costumes this week. It's kind of hilarious because if you ask him if he feels beautiful, he answers, "yes" with a bashful look. Lol! Gotta love these preschool phases!

4. Expensive Stickers
Abby has a true love of stickers. It doesn't matter what picture the sticker has on it, if it sticks...it gets stuck somewhere. The windows, the floors, the table, random furniture and toys. Once she finds a sticker, it has to go somewhere. Last week, she found a book of stamps. I highly doubt she will ever stick more expensive stickers than she did that day. I ended up on my hands and knees, carefully peeling them up off of our wood floors to try to save them. They have now lost most of their stickiness, but are still usable if I tape them to the envelope...I think.

Ten minutes later, I realized that I missed one. She put it on her shirt. :)

5. Ellie and Caleb
And because I was taking photos of Elijah in a dress, and Abby with postage stamps stuck to her, Ellie and Caleb had to get in on the fun. Or rather, Ellie had to get in on the fun. Caleb found the need to smile for the camera rather torturous.

6. The Aroma Complete
So this is a BIG deal. Like a REALLY BIG deal. If you are an essential oils user, then you will look at that photo above and gasp. If you aren't an essential oils user, you should gasp anyway. The oily team that I'm on had a private contest during August and September. I wasn't trying to win after that contest fiasco earlier this summer, but I ended up coming out on top! AND the prize above is the prize that I won this summer that I didn't get to keep. So I won it again AND got to keep it this time! To put it in perspective, click here and see how much this puppy is worth. *gasp!* This Aroma Complete kit is a huge blessing to us as we head into our first sick season with oils. We are officially more than ready! #BringIt!

Now it's your turn! What Little Things brightened up your week? Link up your post below (or leave a comment if you aren't a blogger) and make sure you come back next week to play again!

The link up rules are super simple!
1. Please add the button or a text link to your sidebar or post to share the fun that we are having over here!
2. Please visit at least one other blog linking up and leave some blog love. Maybe you will find someone else's "little thing" is exactly what you needed to read!
3. Please keep your linked post clean and respectful! Any links directing to offensive posts will be deleted.



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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

15 MORE Things I've Learned About Parenting Preschoolers


Several months ago, I posted the first list of 10 Things I've Learned About Parenting Toddlers. Well, here we are with four preschoolers, and they have given me the inspiration for another list. I'm trying to decide if I should thank them for their help with this post or not...regardless, I would like to dedicate it to my four littles who drive me crazy with frustration, love, and laughter!

1.   When it gets quiet, fear for your valuables.
2.   Little girls are more sneaky than boys. SO much more sneaky.
3. Bumps and bruises are easily fixed with lots of cuddles and kisses.
4. Mommy's food always tastes better than the same food on their plate. But nothing tastes as good as "chicken fries" from McDonalds.
5. The Toy Story writers were really on to something. I'm now a firm believer that toys get up and walk around based on the number of times that I've tripped walking through a room.
6. Postage stamps double as very expensive stickers.
7. TV is like a well given dose of Benedryl. Everyone calms down and the noise level generally drops.
8. Kids pay attention to the calender. Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries are the ideal days to get the stomach flu or spike a 105.5 degree fever.
9. Any hurdle can be overcome as long as cookies are the incentive and mom is not watching.
10. The most interesting books in the whole house are Daddy and Mommy's books about marriage. You know, the ones with paper pages and no pictures. Even more interesting are ALL of the books on the entire shelf. At the same time.
11. Having a laundry room on a another level of the house is just asking for trouble. It's like the antithesis of Mary Poppins visits every time I leave the room.
12. Four boxes of tissues make excellent "snow".
13. School is quite possibly the best thing ever! The kids LOVE it (and let's face it, Mom loves it too!)
14. Just when you think life is slowing down and you can relax, you find another issue that you need to advocate for on behalf of your children. I'm starting to think "relaxation" and "motherhood" don't belong in the same sentence.
15. I know that as soon as I hit "publish" on this post, I will have a new item to add to this list. It's Murphy's Law.

Do you have little kids? What would you add to my list? Or maybe I should say, "What do you want to warn me about?"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Meal Plan: 10/12-10/18


If you are looking for some of the strategies that help us decide what to eat every week, make sure you check out our Meal Tip Series!

Sunday: Sandwiches
Monday: Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Biscuits
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday: Pumpkin Pancakes with Chocolate Chips and Toasted Pecans, Scrambled Eggs
Friday: Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup, Salad, Rolls
Saturday: Leftovers

What is on your menu this week? Leave me some inspiration!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Little Things Thurdays: #89

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our family and blog!

Welcome to The Little Things Thursday!!

If you are new to our link-up, we like to take a minute to look back on the little things that brightened our week. So often we get busy and forget all of the things that we enjoy as we go through our daily lives. This is an opportunity to stop, remember, and enjoy those things! Nothing is too small...in fact, the smaller the better! That's the whole point! If you have a blog, link-up below. If you don't blog, I'd love for you to participate by leaving a comment. Ready?

This last week has been CRAZY busy! So busy that when I went to pull our photos for this post, I realized that I didn't have very many. Hopefully, I'll keep my camera a little more handy this coming week.

1. All Gone!
This weekend, Sean took us on a surprise outing: We went on a nature hike and a picnic! The kids thought it was the most fantastic adventure ever, and did really well keeping up. And I took a TON of photos on the adventure. I took a LOT of photos...but that's pretty much what's fun about Little Things Thursday, right? :)
Going on a hike!

 Checking out a spider web: Ellie, Abby, Elijah, and Caleb

Caleb, Abby, Ellie, and Elijah

Elijah, Abby, Ellie, and Caleb


Picnic!! Abby, Caleb, Elijah, and Ellie

I'm remembering back to previous years and the lockdown that always came with October. I am SO enjoying getting to leave the house with the kids now and watch them explore things!

2. Drama, Drama, Drama
This girl is ALL drama. And the drama just keeps increasing. I think part of it is being tired from school, but good heavens! It's like having a preview of Abby as a teenager.

Yesterday, I knew it was going to be a nap-kind-of-day for Abby when she:
1. Had a total meltdown in the car because I took neighborhood streets home from school instead of the interstate.
2. Was found digging through the kitchen trash while crying that she lost her pig. (The pig was never found.)

3. Attempted to scale the gate blocking the pantry in the kitchen, while still crying, to get....
....at that point I just announced it was nap time.

3. Ms. Kelsy's Birthday!
I love the joy that the kids have when they get to make something for a teacher's birthday. This week, it was Ellie's turn to make something for her teacher, Ms. Kelsy! She designed her own coloring page (with my help), colored it, and put chocolate in the cookies we baked to take to school. She was positively glowing when she gave her teacher her picture and cookies. I hope our kids remember down the road how important it is to do nice things for others and make them feel special!

4. They Begged to be on Little Things Thursday
Charles and Nicole making a Sean Sandwich

What do you do when people BEG to be on your blog? Uh...well, I guess I'm not sure why they want to be on the blog as much as they do, but okay! I can roll with it! Sean and his best friend, Charles, arranged for our families to get together for pizza on Saturday night. It was a great evening of Papa Murphy's Pizza, Coke in glass bottles, and homemade strawberry shortcake. The way I see it, Charles and his wife, Nicole, deserve to be on the blog for no other reason than that they invited a family with 3-year-old quadruplets over for the evening!


Now it's your turn! What Little Things brightened up your week? Link up your post below (or leave a comment if you aren't a blogger) and make sure you come back next week to play again!

The link up rules are super simple!
1. Please add the button or a text link to your sidebar or post to share the fun that we are having over here!
2. Please visit at least one other blog linking up and leave some blog love. Maybe you will find someone else's "little thing" is exactly what you needed to read!
3. Please keep your linked post clean and respectful! Any links directing to offensive posts will be deleted.



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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New Brand to Help Girls Grow up Strong: Brave Girls Bible Stories Giveaway!


I love books. My husband loves books. My kids love books. We are a book-loving family! But it's been awhile since I've been as excited as I am now about a new book series. Tommy Nelson just started publishing a line of books for girls, and takes "girl" to a whole new level.

First of all, here is a picture of my two favorite girls in the whole world! :) They are such hams! I asked if they wanted to take some photos, and they were ALL over it! 
Ellie and Abby

Something that has become increasing important to me over the last couple of years, and especially since writing this post last year, is making sure that my girls know that it's okay to be strong, courageous, driven, leadership-minded women of the Lord. I really feel that all to often, the global-church puts women and girls in a box with what they can do and cannot do. 
See my little girls? I want them to learn to live boldly and bravely at a young age. God chose to make them girls for a special purpose. I want them to embrace that!
And that's why I'm REALLY excited about this new brand called, Brave Girls, from Tommy Nelson. They have developed five characters - all girls! - to help guide young girls through the Bible and meet some of the tough and courageous women in it. In Brave Girls Bible Stories, the five girls take us on a journey to meet 30 women in the Bible and learn about their character. Each story opens with an introduction and closes with final thoughts from one of the five girls. The best part? Each of the girls are uniquely different, helping MY girls understand that embracing who they are is a gift from God!
I think this new Brave Girls brand is a big deal. It's a big deal because this kind of thinking has to start at an early age.  In my opinion, Brave Girls Bible Stories is a must-have for parents of girls.

Take a minute to check out more information on the new Brave Girls brand and the Brave Girls Bible Stories book!

~Giveaway~
Tommy Nelson is offering a copy of Brave Girls Bible Stories to one A Beautiful Ruckus reader. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The first task is not optional and must be completed to qualify for this giveaway. The additional entry tasks are optional. Winning entries will be validated prior to announcing the winner with an alternate drawn if the entries cannot be verified.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest ends at 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 7th. The winner(s) will be randomly chosen and contacted by email. The winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email with their information so that the prize can be forwarded to them. A Beautiful Ruckus is not responsible for the delivery of the prize and is not responsible if the sponsor does not deliver. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States. A Beautiful Ruckus received complimentary item(s) for review in exchange  for hosting this giveaway from Tommy Nelson. No other compensation was provided.  This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Meal Plan: 9/28-10/4


If you are looking for some of the strategies that help us decide what to eat every week, make sure you check out our Meal Tip Series!

Sunday: Leftovers, Apples, Crackers
Monday: Loaded Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad
Tuesday: Chicken and Pinto Bean Burritos, Tossed Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas, Homemade Salad and chips
Thursday: I have an Indian dish in my freezer...but I can't remember the name of it right now. I'm looking forward to eating it though!
Friday: Sandwiches
Saturday: The kids are going to a birthday party!

What is on your menu this week? Leave me some inspiration!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Letters from Dad: #18

(Once a month, I invite Sean to take over the blog and write a little note to our kids. I love that he is willing to leave little nuggets of wisdom for them to look back on when they are older!

Dear Children,
I remember one time, Ma (my mom) sat your Uncle Nathan and me down to explain the difference between wants and needs. I don’t remember what the occasion was. Maybe we were starting school, maybe we were being brats, or maybe Ma was just teaching us an important life lesson. It was a good lesson. A need is something you have to have to survive; a want is everything else.
Oh sure, needs can be defined in other ways. For instance, I could say I need Captain America 241 to complete my Captain America collection. But, I don’t need a comic book to survive. I don’t need a comic collection to survive. What we need is food, clothes, shelter and even then some of those are a stretch. People live without clothes and shelter all the time. Maybe not well but they do survive. We need food to survive, but we don’t need filet mignon. Kids, I hope as you get older, I am able to convey the values that Ma gave Uncle Nathan and me. It’s good to know what is important in life and to set your values properly.
I love you kids. We didn’t plan to have four kids at once, but I wouldn’t trade you kiddos for anything.
Love,

Daddy
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