Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Little Things Thursdays: #101

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Welcome to The Little Things Thursday!!

If you are new, 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 fact, the smaller the better! That's the whole point! If you have a blog, leave a link in a comment below! If you don't blog, I'd love for you to participate by leaving a moment in a comment anyway. Ready?

1. FOUR!!!!
Caleb, Elijah, Ellie, and Abby

"How old are you?" "FOUR!" It's a pretty big deal at our house to be four. :) Their actual birthday wasn't much fun as the stomach flu swept through the family in a matter of hours, but we made up for it a couple of days later when stomachs had settled back down. We also had a birthday party for them the week prior that I still need to post pictures of! 

All that to say, right now I'm hearing lots of little voices reminding me that they are four. That's big kid level!

2. Oh....Wow. Major Fail.
So for the kids' birthday party, I decided that I was going to be really awesome and bake some allergy free cupcakes for the three people who were coming who couldn't eat regular cupcakes. Just to clarify, I used to bake professionally for a coffee shop, I've done a couple of wedding cakes, and many birthday cakes and other desserts. I'm a pretty good baker! So when faced with trying to make dairy/egg/gluten/oat-free cupcakes, I really didn't think it would be a big deal.

Oh....I was wrong.

Allergy-free baking is a WHOLE other ballgame. It is really, really hard. I tried a couple of batches with various versions using suggestions from the internet and friends. Oh my word. Allergy-free baking is not meant to be a strength of mine. Above, you can see the vanilla cupcakes on the left, and the chocolate frosting plopped on top on the right.

Let's just say that no allergy-free cupcakes made it to the party. None of our guests were expecting them, so it wasn't a let down. but I was still sad I couldn't pull it off.

Dear Kids: Never develop a food allergy or you will never eat cupcakes again. Love, Mom.

3. Elsa and Anna Purses
Abby and Ellie

The girls got Elsa and Anna purses from our friends, The McCleary's for their birthday! I love how intent Abby and Ellie were as they worked to make them look just right. I love even more how their personalities are completely reflected in how they colored them in. :)

4. Just So
Caleb is very particular about things. They have to be in the right order, in the right place, or in the right sequence, or he has trouble accepting it. I think it's an autism thing. But what a lot of people don't realize about kids with autism is that they are some of the SMARTEST kids out there! They just process information differently. Anyhow, Caleb is intrigued with a doll house that their cousin gave the girls for Christmas. Everyone has played with it, but Caleb has to arrange it. We walked past the room to find this arrangement set up by him. It's not about playing with the dolls. It's about making sure that everything is in its proper place in the house because that's how it should be.

The other kids? They just lose the pieces.

5. Refresh VoxBox

It's been awhile, but I got another product review box in the mail from Influenster. I love getting boxes from this company because they actually send full sized products instead of one-and-done samples.

This "Refresh VoxBox" has:

  • Beanitos Chips: Granted I haven't tried these yet, but the name sounds really close to "Beano". You know, that stuff you use for excess gas. I hope the chips are better than the name. All I'm seeing right now is "Eat me, and I'll give you phenomenal gas!" Let's hope I'm wrong. Eek! (these are preservative-free and GMO-free though! Yay!)
  • CoverGirl UltraSmooth Foundation: I've been very pleased with CoverGirl foundation in the past (I've tried several types!), but I would like this one a lot better if it didn't have so many chemicals in it. I'm becoming more and more aware of just how many unnecessary chemicals are in everything in my bathroom. So I guess my thoughts are, "I like CoverGirl, but prefer other brands over them for their better quality makeup."
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream: I really like Shea Butter! Again, it's not all-natural, but I really like that it is Fair Trade. That is important to me! This company has a partnership with women in West Africa who make the shea butter. Knowing that this supports them is very cool!
  • Orgain Certified Organic Nutritional Shakes: I haven't been to Whole Foods yet to pick this up, but organic is okay in my book! My hope is that it tastes good though. I'm still on the hunt for a protein shake that tastes like an actual milk shake.
  • Montagne Jeunesse Face Masques: Um....the mask is black. Granted it's a Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque, but the color just kind of weirds me out a little bit. 
  • SkinnyGirl Tasty Nutrition Bars: I love foods that have decent nutrition that I can grab and go! Life with quadruplets doesn't stop!
  • Listerine PocketPaks: All I can say is...yes! These are way handy!
  • DenTek Fun Flossers: These are little flossers for kids. If I hold a kid down to floss his teeth, do you think he will bite me?
  • DenTek Comfort Clean Floss Picks: Clean teeth = happy mama. I still have a permanent bottom retainer in, so I'm pretty careful about keeping it clean.
Also, Elijah REALLY wanted to be in the picture with the products. Hehe! Such a handsome boy!

6. Young Living February Essential Rewards

I have to show off my Young Living Essential Rewards order from February. I recently got a zyto compass, and I came back with a SLEW of out of range biomarkers. Because of that, I mostly concentrated on supplements with this order and bought a few for Sean too. I even *gasp!* decided to try one of the all-natural deodorants. It's too early to tell if I like the deodorant or not, but the mere fact that I own it makes me a little nervous that I'm sliding on down that "crunchy" hill faster than I'm okay with. Lol! My main goal in my 30's is not to turn into a hippie....I say that as I sit here eating Girl Scout Thin, I think I'm good. :D

Now it's your turn! What Little Things brightened up your week? Link up your post in a comment below and make sure you come back next week to play again!

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

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Letters from Dad: #23

Dear Children!

You made it to your 4th birthday! Congratulations!

It still blows my mind that you all have survived. Crazy journey. Very emotional. Lots of laugher, lots of frustration. All of it good. I’m so happy to have you four in our lives. Everyone is growing so much, not just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.

Elizabeth is still the second little mama. The only thing that stops her is her size. She wants to grow so big but says she hates food. Little girl needs to realize that she needs food to grow.

Elijah is a sweet boy and looks after his siblings. He still needs to slow down. He is too inquisitive sometimes, and we would appreciate it if he would stop talking so much and start listening better. Still, we are glad that he is asking questions and learning.

Caleb is such an ornery, goofy little boy. He loves pulling little antics and running off and giggling. It is hard to get upset at such a sweet spirit. Every day he speaks better and better. He is still lagging behind the other kids, and they are starting to catch on, but they don’t hold it against him. I hope they never do. I know he will catch up soon.

Abby is our little princess. She has a hard time waking up, just like her momma. She loves giving hugs and singing and dancing. Her favorite people are her daddy and all of her grandpas. We went on our first trip to St. Louis last month to visit my grandparents. At least once a week, Abby asks when we will be going back.

We have lucked out with the children we have. They have great manners, not perfect, but really good manners. They are all very sweet. Even their rough edges are easily strengths. I don’t know why God blessed us so. I certainly haven’t done anything to be this lucky.

Children, I pray your next year is full of blessings and that you continue to grow, grow, and grow. 

Happy birthday!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

4th Birthday Interview: Elizabeth Grace

Ellie always has an opinion about EVERYTHING. Her interview was probably one of the most entertaining, and she enjoyed every minute of having Mom and Dad sit across the table from her while she answered her questions!

Elizabeth Ishum
Our natural born leader, organized, youngest daughter...who also thinks she's the oldest.

How old are you? "Three" (keep in mind that all of these interviews were done prior to their fourth birthday)
What makes you happy? "A family....your daddy, my mommy, my sister, Elijah, Caleb, and me" (I wish you could have heard her voice as she said this. As soon as she finished, I asked her want she wanted. She just giggled. Lol!)
What is your favorite animal? "Big Bunny and Little Bunny" (These have been her special loveys since she was born. She is still completely attached to them.)
What is your favorite color? "Red"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Red Cupcakes, hotdogs, chicken fries, and chicken nuggets"
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Potatoes" (This is such an understatement. What she meant was, "I don't like anything you cook." *sigh* Yes, we have some picky eaters.)
What is your favorite thing to do? "I like to get my jacket on, color, and write my name" (she LOVES writing her name! :) )
What is your favorite TV show? "Strawberry Shortcake"
What is your favorite movie? "Mouse" (a.k.a. Baby Mozart from the Baby Einstein series)
What are you really good at? When I go potty (Well, thank goodness for that!)
What is your favorite song? "Strawberry Shortcake" (The theme song, I guess?)
What do you and your mom do together? "drive in the white van and help Mommy work" (I'd also like to add that she is our mini Essential Oils Ambassador. If I'm walking her to class and someone coughs, she lets them know that they need oils. LOL!)
What do you and your dad do together? "Put the glasses on and help Daddy pick out shirts." (Ellie gets very concerned if Daddy isn't properly dressed, so she makes sure that she keeps an eye on his wardrobe.)
What is your favorite book? Currently she likes the Bernstein Bears books.
What do you want to be when you grow up? "a lady" or "a mommy" (She answers with either one. She used to want to be a Daddy so that she could go to work. Then we told her that women and mommies can work too, and she decided that she is okay being a girl. Haha!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale is Back...and I Found GREAT Deals!

Thank you to JBF Lee's Summit for sponsoring this post! I love writing about something I already love and do anyway!

It is FREEZING in Kansas City today. The snow held off for all of December, January, and most of February, but over the last week, we've had (a little) snow and very cold temperatures. It's so cold that the heater in our van can't keep up (or it might be going out on us, but I'm hoping that's not the case!)
But nothing stops me from getting to the Just Between Friends Consignment Sale every spring and fall. It is clearly marked on the calendar because this sale is how we afford birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, shoes, and more. The selection is SO big, that I have no problem finding what I need for four kids in the same size and being able to coordinate everything as well. Ah, my type A personality is so happy!
Want to see a few of the things that I found at the Just Between Friends spring sale? Say yes, because I love sharing my finds!!

I decided to start in the movie section today. I normally go for the shoes first, but thought I'd see if there was anything fun that the kids might enjoy watching when school is out this summer. Oh. My. WORD. There were probably 30 Disney movies, new in box for just a few dollars! Aladin, Cinderella, Pocahantas, and many more. I picked out about $90 of movies that were worth about $200! I did end up whittling my selection down to about $40 of movies (because I found so much other stuff I had to get!), but my kids will be delighted that I bought everything from Disney's Cars to Princess Sophia, to Doc McStuffins to a new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD to add to our collection!

Then I wandered for a bit to see what other fun things they had before buckling down in the shoes and clothing sections.

I found this ah-maz-ing dollhouse filling with furniture in the toy section. If only we had room in our house for something this cool! I couldn't stop thinking about how high quality, and big it was though. Plenty of room for all of the kids to play at the same time! And then I saw someone else wheel it out on a dolly. *sniff!* That's the only thing about these sales. If you see it and you like it, GRAB it! If you don't, someone will come along behind you and snatch up that great deal and you won't get another chance at it. That's my big piece of consignment sale advice for you today. "You snooze, you lose."

But happily, I found PLENTY to fill up my bag and our closets....SHOES!
Okay, so just being honest. The JBF owner and a lot of volunteers know who I am now. I've been shopping this sale twice a year for four years. I'm "the shoe lady". I come in during every sale and buy my kids shoes plus two sizes up. I don't mind the title because it is absolutely ridiculous to pay full price when you can find like new items for only a few dollars. "Shoe Lady" is a badge that I wear proudly. I mean, wouldn't you if you found an almost new pair of sandals for your daughter for $2??? Abby is going to be thrilled!

And then, I just couldn't help myself. The little girl dresses! Oh my word. It's one of the best parts of having little girls! Right now, my girls are ALL about dresses. They consider themselves princesses when they can twirl around and have a dress billow out. It is precious! So I had to do a little "princess dress" shopping. I found SO many adorable sundresses and church dresses for $4 and $5. And then I came across these dresses:

I grabbed the pink one for $9 and the yellow for $12...both brand new! Now I just need some warm weather so that I can dress my girls up!

If you are in the Kansas City area this weekend, this sale is definitely worth stopping at! Don't worry, I left plenty of good stuff for you!

John Knox Pavillion
520 NW Murray Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64081

Friday, February 20th
Open 10am-7pm
$2 admission for 18 and over.
You can bring a stroller and your kids, but it is BUSY. You've been warned!

Saturday, February 21st

Open 10am-7pm
FREE admission!

Sunday, February 22nd
Open 10am-7pm
FREE admission!
Marked items are 50% off!

Have fun shopping, and if you find a great deal, leave a comment and tell me what it is!!

This post was sponsored by JBF Lee's Summit, however all words, photos, and opinions are my own. I REALLY love this sale! This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.

Monday, February 16, 2015

4th Birthday Interview: Elijah James

Elijah was all about answering his interview questions! With that being said, I'm not sure that he fully understood each question, but he sure did enjoy getting to throw his $0.02 in!

Elijah James
Our sweet, sensitive, helpful little boy!

How old are you? "Big!" (eh, close enough!)
What makes you happy? "I don't know." (I kept rephrasing this question to see if I could get a more specific answer, but no such luck. Then again, it's Elijah. He probably really doesn't know what makes him happy. Lol!)
What is your favorite animal? "Bear and my animals" (He sleeps with a zoo in his bed. There must be at least eight stuffed animals in there on any given night.)
What is your favorite color? "Green"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Chicken nuggets, chicken fries, and apple juice"
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Cupcakes" (Definitely not true! The boy loves his cupcakes! I think he just said that because Abby was standing there talking about purple cupcakes)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Nothing" (Such a boring!)
What is your favorite TV show? "Move It, Move It" (it's a music video that he saw at school from the King Julian show on Netflix)
What is your favorite movie? "The Wii-Fit 'Baseball' Game" (we don't quite know the definition of "movie" yet)
What are you really good at? *thumbs up* (LOL! We give him a thumbs up when he does something well. So since that is all that we could get out of him, I'll answer: He is such a wonderful helper! He is always asking to jump in and help with whatever we are doing. He is also a really sensitive little boy, so he will often get lovies or toys for siblings if they need to be comforted.)
What is your favorite song? "Move It, Move It" (big surprise there! Lol!)
What do you and your mom do together? Elijah likes to sneak into bed and sleep with me at night. He sleeps like a lot. Mommy....not so much.
What do you and your dad do together? Elijah likes to coordinate his pooping schedule with Daddy's and accompany him to the bathroom every time he tries to go. He shadows Mommy all day long until Daddy comes home from work. And then he shadows Daddy from then until bedtime.
What is your favorite book? Elijah likes a lot of books, but his favorite book is probably his "oil book". (a.k.a. the Young Living Essential Oils Product Guide).
What do you want to be when you grow up? A lady! (Yeah.....I don't know....)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

4th Birthday Interview: Abigail Rose

We did Caleb's birthday interview on Sunday, and now it's Abby's turn! She was so excited to get to answer her interview questions....and then we got bored about halfway through, so I had to help out a bit. :)

Abigail Rose
Our quirky, dramatic, sweet little girl!

How old are you? "I'm three!"
What makes you happy? "Dr. Amy" (I asked her this a couple of different times and in different ways. She kept giving me the same answer. Dr. Amy is our family chiropractor and has worked on Abby since she was an infant with severe eating issues...which she fixed in about 48 hours. Amazing! Dr. Amy and Abby have a tight bond. :) )
What is your favorite animal? "A bunny" (referring to her purple bunny that she sleeps with)
What is your favorite color? "Purple" (Abby loves purple more than anyone else in the entire world!)
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Cupcakes" (preferably purple cupcakes. She reminds me of this on a weekly basis)
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Yucky cupcakes cause it stinks!" (...her logic makes sense to me!)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Grow" (She is determined to be a big girl. And she also loves playing dress up and singing about everything)
What is your favorite TV show? "Head, Knees, and Eyes" (a.k.a. the "World Animals Baby Einstein")
What is your favorite movie? "Tinkerbell and the Fairy Dust" (a.k.a. "Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy")
What are you really good at? Abby is our songbird. She is always singing either her own songs or songs she's picked up after hearing them only once or twice. She is also really good about loving on people with lots of hugs.
What is your favorite song? "Oh, What a Happy Day (from "Mickey and the Beanstalk")
What do you and your mom do together? Abby loves just hanging around for hugs. She's taken to walking up to me and asking if she can give me one. I LOVE it! It's the best thing ever! So we get lots of hugs in! :)
What do you and your dad do together? Abby loves playing the Wii-Fit Baseball game with Daddy and having him carry her around the house, giving her rides.
What is your favorite book? Her favorite books changes about as often as Abby changes her clothes. (and she changes her clothes a LOT). :)
What do you want to be when you grow up? As of right now, she really wants to be "a grandpa" when she grows up. True story! :D

Sunday, February 8, 2015

4th Birthday Interview: Caleb Sean

I love doing Birthday Interviews every year! I think it's a great way to see how kids' preferences change over time, and to remember a few of the little fun things they enjoyed.

We are kicking off this year with Caleb. I found out last week that all of the paras at school were debating which kid was born first. Not that it matters a whole lot, but Caleb led the charge with a minute's head start on his siblings. So I figured we'd let him lead the charge for birthday interviews as well.

Caleb Sean
Our focused child with a funny practical joker side!

Note: Caleb has made huge progress in speech and language since last year, however, he wasn't able to verbalize answers to all of his questions. I'm helping him out where necessary. :)

How old are you? "Yeah."
What makes you happy? "No." (There are a LOT of things that make him happy! He loves playing practical jokes on his daddy and wearing his Spiderman slippers)
What is your favorite animal? "Doggy"
What is your favorite color? "Blue"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Fruit snacks" (He also loves fresh fruit!)
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Bread" (That's what he told me as he was eating a piece of bread that he asked for.)
What is your favorite thing to do? Play cars
What is your favorite TV show? He likes Daniel Tiger, Strawberry Shortcake, and "Mouse". "Mouse" definitely ranks at the top.
What is your favorite movie? "Mouse" (a.k.a. Baby Mozart from the Baby Einstein series)
What are you really good at? He is really good at helping if we give very specific directions. He is very literal, so it can't be general instructions. (For example, "Please pick up these 10 books and put them on this shelf.")
What is your favorite song? "Oooga Chaka" (a.k.a. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Suede)
What do you and your mom do together? Snuggle on the couch
What do you and your dad do together? Play practical jokes on daddy, like sneaking into his room in the middle of the night to scare him.
What is your favorite book? He loves ALL of the books!
What do you want to be when you grow up? A comedian or an engineer, depending on his mood. :) Immediately after using his daily oils for help connecting with his surroundings, we are pretty sure he would like to be a rodeo clown. OIL HIGH! The boy seriously comes alive! Lol!

Are there any other questions we should add to our interviews? We are hoping to do this every year to track how they grow and change!

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