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Halloweekend Adventure

Happy Halloween, friends!!

We had a weekend full of adventure. We discovered that some of the local businesses were doing some activities on Friday evening. We put on what was ready for the costumes, and went to get some candy. The girls had so much fun. We even ran into Harper’s speech therapist and her family. I really like her and have heard a lot about her husband and kids, so it was fun to meet them and put faces to the names. Here are the girls dressed up. Can you tell what they are?

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Harper is Skye from Paw Patrol. I couldn’t even find a pilot’s cap for her, so I just did pig tails for “puppy ears” and called it good. Chloe is a bunny (Tutu Lulu to be exact). The rabbit ears headband got lost. I made a new one for tomorrow, so don’t worry. haha! Addison is a witch. The cutest witch I have ever seen!!

We were delighted to discover that the first place we went had free hot dogs. Free dinner? Sign us up! haha!

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The library also had an activity Friday night. It was SO crowded, and I was incredibly grateful to have arrived right before they opened the doors. It was a madhouse when we were leaving. The girls got to do some crafts and play lots of games, so they were thrilled.

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Saturday, Scott helped some friends of ours move into their new house. They are moving out of the house that we will be moving into soon, so he got to scope it out some more. (J/K we aren’t that weird.) The girls and I took it easy. When Scott went up to the church to take care of some things, we all went and I played with the girls on the playground. We went home and had pizza and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! img_3803img_3828

Sunday was our usual church day. It was family Sunday, which means that the big girls sat in service with us. I was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved they were. Not perfect, but much better than I expected. Especially for having to sit in both services (same message, which can be boring for kids). I love hearing the same message twice because I always catch something that I may have missed the first time. We don’t have an evening service on Sundays, so we spent the evening carving and painting pumpkins. Addi gave hers a scar just like her scar. Chloe’s has glasses just like she does. I love the way their minds work.

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I roasted the pumpkin seeds. I do it every year, and I usually ruin them every single time. This year, I tried out an Italian flavor blend. They are SO good. Addicting. I roasted the seeds on 350 for around 30 minutes. Our seeds were pretty big, so if you have smaller ones, you’ll want to do less time. I made some dairy free ones for Harper (coconut butter and nutritional yeast) and she scarfed them down. img_3852

Aside from Harper breaking out all over her arms and hands with hives for no reason and completely shattering my blender, it was a fantastic weekend! Things have been so hectic over the last month with Scott working and sick kids that we really haven’t done much. It was so nice to squeeze many of our “fall bucket list” items in. We did get our pumpkins from Walmart this year since we didn’t get to hit up a pumpkin patch. Next year though.

I hope that you all have a safe and happy Halloween today!! What are you and your kids dressing up as? Let me know in the comments!!

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family life · story telling · Uncategorized

Addi is FIVE

I guess I should say that Addison is five. She has been offended any time she is called “Addison” saying that she won’t go by that name until she turns five. haha!

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It is so hard to believe that it has been five years since this beautiful baby was born into this world. She was beautiful and had a head full of dark hair. Fast forward five years and she is still beautiful with a ton of long hair that she never wants cut.

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She is OBSESSED with My Little Pony and anything else horse related. My mom got this Pinky Pie sweatshirt for her, and I want one in my size! That fluffy hair on the hood is too much!! I just love it.

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Most of the time that she was opening presents, the view that I had was Chloe’s head. She wanted to help Addi open everything. Oh my goodness, it was driving me bonkers.

Here are some fun facts about my 5 year old Addi:

Her favorite color is pink.
Her favorite animal is an elephant (though she loves horses also).
She would eat macaroni and cheese or pizza every day, as long as the pizza doesn’t have pepperonis because they hurt her tongue.
She cannot stand having her hair brushed and only wants it in a braid.
She is a rockstar and is always wanting to teach others how to be a rockstar, too.
She sings along to the radio in the car and it melts my heart.
She is the most snuggly child that I have. She always wants to be curled up in my lap or at least touching me.
She hates the sound of hand driers and toilets flushing.
She wants to help cook all the time, and has recently started wanting to help do the dishes.
She frequently talks about missing our house in Michigan, and I am really hoping that she will start to feel at home here soon.
She has such a kind and generous heart. She lets Harper take her giant stuffed animal Marshall to nap every day.
If Addi hurts one of her sisters on accident, we spend more time trying to comfort her than the one who actually got hurt.
She is definitely the one who tries to keep the peace and will give her own things away to make someone else happy.
She will NOT wear any pants with buttons. She says those are big-kid pants and for Chloe, so you will always see her in leggings or a skirt.
She says that she is going to live with us forever.

Oh, my sweet Addi, I hope that your kind heart never changes. You bring so much joy and laughter to our lives with your silly personality. I hope that five is the best year yet!!
I am editing to add that Addi just got a present from her very best friend Mr. Jeff!! He is her friend (and ours) from Michigan.there are 30 or so buffalo statues all over our town. She loves to pose with them and send the pictures to her very best friend. A huge thank you to Mr. Jeff for thinking of her! 

family life · Ramblings · Uncategorized

Fabry

Last year, my sister and her two boys were diagnosed with Fabry disease. This is an x-linked genetic disease that is typically passed from mothers to sons- those sons to their daughters- those daughters to their sons, etc. TYPICALLY.

After a lot of convincing, my parents finally underwent some genetic testing to find out which side of the family it come from. Now, if my mom had it, there would be a 50% chance that my other sister and I have it. If my dad had it, we all had it. Does that make sense? No? Yeah, it’s confusing.

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A few weeks ago, I got a text message from my dad saying “I’m the one..” I stared at my phone for quite a while digesting what that meant. Listen, I am not asking for a pity party. The specific mutation in our family tends to not really be a huge deal, especially for females since we have two X chromosomes. But, not a lot is known about it. My dad’s diagnosis was an automatic diagnosis for myself and my other sister.

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What is the point of this post?

Awareness.

I was asked a couple of weeks ago “How can I pray for your family with this?” All I could say was pray for more research to be done.

Most people have never heard of Fabry disease before. I had never heard of it until last year. The state my nephew was born in had just started the newborn screening for it days before he was born. We would still be clueless if it weren’t for that screening.

I am so thankful for the advances in technology that have allowed discoveries like this to be made. These discoveries give people who suffer from this disease a better chance at life.

Visit the National Fabry Disease Foundation website to learn more about this disease, and what can be done to help.

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Terrific Tuesday

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This Tuesday hasn’t exactly been terrific. Harper woke up with a fever and has been crying all day. I can’t blame her. I hate having a fever, too. But, she hasn’t let me put her down and I need to pack and clean (17 days until we move!). Anyway, it is nap/quiet time now; time to turn the day around. I can’t stay stuck in this rotten mood, so here are some terrific things:

1. Have you seen the Gilmore Girls: A Day in the Life trailer yet?! The mini series premiers in one month! If you know me, you know that I am a super fan of GG. Seriously, I can probably quote every episode and watch it daily. I had serious goosebumps and was on the verge of crying. I am so excited, and so incredibly saddened by the hole left by Edward Herrman. Kirk at Friday Night Dinner also made me laugh so much. “Oh, that I could.”

2. We move in SEVENTEEN days! This is causing great stress in my life. haha! How do you pack to move one mile down the street?! Is it pointless to put things in boxes? But, I am THRILLED about it. We will have a kitchen. A real kitchen with countertops and space to prepare meals for my family. Plus, a DISHWASHER! A fireplace! A yard! Real bedroom doors! A garage! Gosh, it feels like we are moving into a palace.

3. Thanksgiving with family! We haven’t been able to visit family for Thanksgiving since Chloe was a teeny baby. It is disappointing that Scott’s family no longer lives there for us to visit as well, but I am so happy that they love their new home! I’m so anxious to spend some time with family again. Only seeing my mom and dad a few times a year is hard, but it makes the times we do get together so special.

4. Even though Harper has been super fussy, the snuggles are pretty great. 🙂 It won’t be this way forever, and I really do try to embrace things like that. (I just spotted a tiny handprint on the screen of my computer. haha!) I love that she is still mostly a Mama’s girl and wants me to comfort her.

How has your Tuesday been?

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Making (and saving) Money at Home

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As a SAHM, we are a family on a tight budget. I want to be able to contribute financially. We have three kids- two of which wear glasses. I know that we are facing braces down the road. Financial emergencies always come up. Food gets expensive;  especially with food allergies. So, how can I help? Maybe you are asking yourself the same questions.

Obviously, I have this blog. I am trying to slowly grow and monotenize it through Amazon affiliate links, etc. Do you like to write? There are so many niches that you can write about. It’s a fun community to be a part of and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing.

I also have an Etsy shop that is VERY small and a work in progress. (My first sale was a custom piece and I was so excited!) Are you crafty? Open up an Etsy shop of your own. Each listing has cost me 20 cents. Some products will have quite a bit of up-front cost, so that is something that you have to consider when going down that path.

Maybe you have no interest in either. That is just fine. One of the biggest ways that I am able to contribute is honestly through Swagbucks. By doing various activities (surveys, special offers, daily polls, etc.) you earn points. You can then redeem those points for gift cards. Our favorites are paypal gift cards (which you can then transfer to your bank account) or Amazon gift cards. I like to save them up and use them to buy birthday and Christmas gifts. It honestly is such a huge blessing when money is tight. Sign up through my link and you will automatically have swagbucks deposited into your account. You can then share your own referral link and earn points from your friends. It may be a little tricky when you first start, so let me know if you have any questions.

ThredUp is a great website to make money on gently used women’s and children’s clothing. You request a clean-out bag, fill it up with your gently used clothes and they do all of the work for you. There is the option to have them donate what they do not accept, or you can request to have it mailed back to you for a fee. You are able buy great brands of gently used clothing from their site. If you sign up with my referral link, you will get $10 to spend on your first purchase.

Along the lines of ThredUp, there are many buy/sell/trade pages on Facebook that are local to where you are (or Craigslist). Everyone has things laying around that they don’t use or need anymore. Take some pictures and list them for sale. This is a fast and easy way to make some extra money and get rid of clutter. It’s a win-win. **Always be safe though.**

Coupons! Ok, so this isn’t MAKING money, but it definitely helps you save money. Some of my favorite websites to help with couponing are Hip 2 Save and Money Saving Mom. Another great one is Freebies 4 Mom. You don’t have to be a mom to use these websites, obviously, they are just mamas trying to help others. Just don’t use coupons because you can save money on a product that you wouldn’t typically purchase. That is just silly. They are also really great at letting you know where to get some good freebies so you can test out products before taking the plunge.

Another fun thing is to do House Parties. You can apply to host parties for some of your favorite brands. If you are selected, you get sent a party pack in the mail. These often contain free samples, coupons, and lots of other fun goodies. You essentially get to have a party with your friends for free. I have done several, and they are always really fun. I will say that you won’t get selected for every party, so don’t get discouraged and give up. Keep trying.

 

Is there anything that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!!
Have a great Monday, friends!

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!!! Do you have anything special planned? We are hoping to find a pumpkin patch tomorrow and maybe go to some local Halloween activities. Local friends, any good suggestions? It is supposed to get up near the 80s again tomorrow. Boo.

I am very intrigued by this fractionated coconut oil for using in roller bottles. I love that it has a pump so that I don’t spill the oil everywhere. Not that I have ever done that..uhh…moving on..

I love Kilee’s blog. Her post titled “It Better Keep Getting Better” was so encouraging to me. It is about her blog growth, but could apply to starting a business and so many other areas of life.

Have you seen this camper remodel? So cute!

I really like this simple color scheme for family photos.

I have to add Chloe’s new glasses to my favorites this week. Good grief, her vision is awful. I can’t see a thing through her glasses, but she definitely can! She looks pretty darn cute, too (post-dance class hair and all).

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I can’t forget these two.

 

Happy weekend!!!

family life · holiday · home · kids · Ramblings · Uncategorized

This is Halloween

I cannot even believe that Halloween is just 12 days away!! Where has the time gone? October seems to be flying by, and I’m a little disappointed. October is my favorite month, but the dramatic shifts in temperature have left me feeling pretty lousy through most of it. Pull it together, Oklahoma!!

Anyway, twelve days away, and my children will not make up their minds about costumes. For months now, Addi has wanted to be an elephant and Chloe has wanted to be a bunny. Awesome. That’s not too hard other than making an elephant nose mask. Yikes. This month, however, everyone keeps changing their minds. Addison wants to be Marshall (from Paw Patrol), then a cat, then back to an elephant, well maybe elephant ears/cat face/marshall paws, just an elephant, OH WAIT I WANT TO BE A WITCH! Chloe has mostly stuck with a bunny, but then will pick other random things. They have to decide today so that I can get their costumes started and done.

Harper still can’t say what she wants to be, but LOVES puppies. Seriously, the kid is saying “woof” instead of words to other people. Scott had the really awesome idea for her to be Skye from Paw Patrol since she already has the pink glasses. (Skye wears pink goggles if you don’t know.) She is easy, and currently my favorite child. I’m just kidding.. she’s always the favorite. 😉

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I pulled out our decorations from the van today. Yes, our beat up white van is a storage area. (Just 23 days until our hopefully move-in-the-house date). The girls lost their minds. Everyone was so excited. I always let them pick where to put the pumpkins. I really don’t have a whole lot of Halloween decorations. I love decorating for Holidays, but usually end up buying fall things so they can be out for several months. Anyway, most of what I have is from Dollar Tree or the clearance section of Target post-Halloween. I always wanted to hang witch hats from the ceiling so it looked like they were floating. I finally found some for VERY cheap a couple of years ago after Halloween, and I love it.

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I wrapped cobwebs around the wooden map that is hanging up year-round. (I won this beauty in a giveaway, and it is my favorite piece of art that we own.)

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The girls love that our lamp now glows purple. What could be better?

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I also filled our giant pumpkin with candy. I saw these at Target several years ago and thought “I must have one!” It went on clearance and I bought it; immediately wondering what on earth I would do with a MASSIVE plastic pumpkin. Usually I put huge rocks inside of it so it decorates the outside. This year, we will actually get to hand out candy at home so it has a real purpose.

Am I the only one whose kids won’t decide on a costume? Do any of you parents dress up? My mom always took us out trick-or-treating and I don’t remember her dressing up, so I have just never planned on it. This is our first year actually going, and I’m out of my mind excited! Maybe we should dress up though? Let me know in the comments!

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Sisterhood

Last week, my sister (Amanda) and her family came to visit for 5 days. It was seriously fantastic. Scott was working on a special project at the church, so he was gone all day 4 days last week. It was so nice to have company. I had not seen Amanda in over a year. Seriously, y’all, a YEAR!!!

They showed up on the day the weather decided to go full-on fall. It was so chilly outside. We ended up hanging out in the apartment the first couple of days because it was so cold and windy. With five little kids, we don’t want the risk of sickness! One day, the weather finally got warmer and we hit up one of the local parks. Magically only one kid got a boo-boo. I’d call that a win. Maybe Amanda would disagree since it was her little dude that got the boo-boo.

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We set up our kitchen table in the living room, which cut our living space in half, but it was so good to have a table for the little ones to sit at!  We had enough room to set up the trains and build bridges. This picture shows just how cramped we were. haha! It was so much fun to have them all playing together. Chloe and Addi form the girls-only club and didn’t always include CJ. Thankfully, he is good at entertaining himself also, but we did finally get them all playing the same thing.

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We also went out into our back “yard” to play. It is really just a walkway behind all of the apartments. Thankfully, our wild crew has run off all of the neighbors (haha, kidding) so our building of three apartments is empty. They are able to run freely back there without disturbing anyone. Uncle Peter drew a football field “go back” sign to give them a visual of where to stop. It didn’t exactly work since Harper was the one running off, but it looks fun!!
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They joined us for church on Sunday, and then headed home. I miss them already. You would think that five days of 8-9 people crammed into one space would make you crazy. After a year of not seeing her smiling face or those sweet boys (Peter included) I was so thankful. My heart is so full. Peter was so sweet and would put the boys down for bed by himself at the hotel so that Amanda could come back and hang out with me. We stayed up talking way past my bed time. Thankfully, it should only be a month until we see them all next time, and I will get to see Amy then also!!

“Sisters are forever and I’m so glad you’re mine.”

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Sweater Weather

Ok, so it is actually 90 degrees outside and so obnoxiously windy.. but I am dreaming right now. I LOVE the kind of weather that allows you to wear a cozy sweater without a coat. 50-70 degrees is my sweet spot. Is it too much to ask for God to have created a state where it is that temperature year round? 😉 I’m not THAT picky.

Anyway, enough about the weather. I want to talk about sweaters. I love looking through the fall/winter wear when the stores start putting it out. I don’t own many, if any of these sweaters. I thought I would share what I am drooling over..and maybe make Christmas shopping a little easier on Scott. (Kidding, we are moving out of our apartment next month and that is present enough!)

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I love this mock neck sweater from GAP. Honestly, this is one of my favorite stores to shop at. The styles are usually pretty classic and timeless. I’m not a big fan of huge trends, and if I am going to spend money on something I want it to last. I’m not a big turtleneck fan, but this one looks like there is plenty of room for my enlarged thyroid to breathe. *insert massive eyeroll*

This chunky sweater from H&M is so pretty. Grey/black/white is usually where I am comfortable, but this dark green is BEAUTIFUL. The slit on the sleeves is awesome for someone like me who loves to wrap her hands in the sleeves of sweaters. I usually stretch them out terrible, and the slit would help avoid that. Plus, $20 for a brand new sweater?! They are nearly $10 at Goodwill.

I love how unique this sweater is from Piper & Scoot. I’m not sure how timeless that would be, or that it would look cute on this pear shaped body, but I really love it. It looks so cozy and fun.

This sweater from Old Navy is also really pretty. The white is so simple, but the hemline gives it a fun detail. Neutral sweaters also give you a great canvas for fun scarfs, so theres that. This mustard colored sweater from Old Navy is also really great (and comes in a ton of colors). I really love mustard yellow for autumn.

 

Are you a sweater weather person or do you like to melt your face off in the heat? (ha!) What are some of your favorite sweaters this season?

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**This post is not sponsored. All of the beautiful image credit goes directly to the website from which each sweater is found.**
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Favorite Baby Gear

Now that I have had three kids, I feel like I know a thing or two about baby gear. I know what I like and don’t like. Others may have different opinions, and that is ok. I wanted to share some of my favorite things. Baby gear is expensive. Babies are expensive, but they are SO worth it. Sometimes spending the extra money (or registering for nicer things) pays off. There are obviously times when it’s worth it to save, but if you plan on having more than one child it is best to invest in things that will last (in my opinion)! Plus, if you take care of them you can generally have good resale value down the road.

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Boon Flair High Chair I really wish that we had taken the plunge on this seat from the start. You can raise it up to be counter-height or lower it down to a normal table height. My toddler actually enjoys being put in her high chair– if you have or have ever had a toddler, you know why that is so special! There aren’t any fabric pieces that you have to take off and throw in the washing machine; or just deal with it looking nasty. It is so easy to clean, and is pretty darn cute sitting in my kitchen. I was able to buy an opened box for WAY (seriously way, way) cheaper than the normal price.

Baby Jogger Stroller I have the City Lite because it was the cheapest option. I love it. This stroller has such a smooth ride and turns on a dime. I wish that I had continued saving and bought the city mini because the reviews say that it is more sturdy and the handle would not be foam that starts falling apart. But, I love my stroller. The sunshade is HUGE and actually blocks the sun from blinding Harper. It has two little windows to look in on your babe, and you can actually SEE your child. Am I the only one who feels like most of the windows are pointless?! The seat lays all the way back. My only complaint is that the basket is SO small; so if that is a deal breaker for you, beware. I just use stroller hooks for my diaper bag and don’t have any problems.

Munchkin Bath Caddy Bath time is the greatest play time. We have always had a wall-mounted storage system for bath toys. It liked to jump off the wall in the middle of the night and test out how well my heart works. After YEARS of this, I finally had enough. I saved up my Swagbucks and bought this. Again, wishing I had done it much sooner. It holds a ton of toys, and the girls love using it is a shelf instead of using the side of the tub. Much less water all over the floor makes this mama happy.

Britax Advocate ClickTight We bought this carseat to replace Harper’s convertible seat after a drunk driver hit our van. Installation of this seat is a breeze. For the first time, we don’t have to wrestle with our carseats to stop the wiggling. Harper was one to NEVER sleep in the car. Our first longer trip with this seat, and she was napping away. I couldn’t believe it.  It really needs a cupholder.. but that can be remedied.

Grace Pack N Play  This is one of those items that I don’t understand spending loads of money on. The fancy ones with sunshades, changing stations, and a built in fridge (kidding) don’t make sense to me. If you get a pack n play with the bassinet feature, that’s really all you need. I have had our Graco for SIX years. It has traveled to south Carolina, Illinois, Oklahoma, and everywhere else with us. It has lasted. The bassinet makes your baby high enough to comfortably change a diaper on it, and your baby can be within arms reach at night.

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