Wednesday, November 30

Giving Thanks

For amazing family time

 and the silly pictures to prove it...

 We give thanks.

For a daddy who carves amazing jack o'lanterns

  and makes campfires in our backyard...

We give thanks.

For crazy girls dressed up like bugs, 

For pumpkin seeds,

and Cleopatra too...

We give thanks.

For all the memories of this season,

And for those still to come...

  We give thanks.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and 
cometh down from the Father of lights..."
James 1:17

Monday, November 14

Chuck E. Cheese

Nothing says "I love you" like a birthday party. Nothing says "I like you" more than an invitation to a birthday party. And no one can say "Happy Birthday, Kid" like a giant mouse. So naturally, nothing compares to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. I had managed to avoid this experience for my first 7 years of motherhood, but no longer. My kids were invited to a party there a few weeks ago, and our lives will never be the same.

They saw the craziness, and jumped in headfirst. I made the mistake of taking all three girls by myself to the party on a Saturday. Never again. Chaos doesn't begin to describe the scene there, and they loved it.

Every heart-racing mini-ride.

 Every obnoxiously loud siren.

Every larger-than-life "noo-noon"

2 hours later, I attempted a feeble plea, "Mommy will bring you back here next week so we can finish using your tokens and get prizes when it's not so crowded!" They looked at me with big, glazed eyes, in the way that only sugar-crazed, overpartied kids can. And I realized there was NO WAY I was getting them out of there until they had spent every last token and cashed in every single ticket.

Nearly an hour later, we were deciding how to spend the tickets when the girls spotted giant lollipops. "We want those!" they cried. Deciding we had just enough tickets, I approached the busy cashier confidently. "We'll take 3 lollipops." I gave her the tickets, and, just my luck, the lollipops had been mismarked. They were EACH about the number of tickets we had. I sighed, dreading to tell my exhausted princesses the bad news.


Then a voice from behind the counter spoke up. "You know, you can always pay the ticket difference."

At this point, it didn't matter how much that difference was. (But for the record, it was only $1.92) Without hesitation, I reached for my wallet, "We'll take it. And God bless you!" 

Natalie's first love


Wednesday, November 9

Quick Freebies

I promise a real post is coming soon, but if you're interested, here are two freebies I've found online this week:

1. From Penzey's Spices
Free "Kind" sampler box of four spices: 82440C,
       These next 2 are free with a purchase, I believe:
Free teacher's box sampler: 83018C
Free 1/2 c jar of "Forward" spice: 15958C

I LOVE Penzey's spices and have found that by ordering the ones I really like in bulk bags rather than jars, they are very comparable to other store-brand spices, and soo much better!

2. From Birthday Express, you can get an adorable customized keepsake scroll with your child's name and important information that happened on their birthday. I bought one for each of my girls to put in their baby books, which had good intentions but need a little help :)  You do have to do multiples on separate orders but you can use the same coupon code. I paid $4.95 each shipping.

Offer code: FREESCROLL, or you can also try YE629. Both worked for me today. Yay! I love free deals :)

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 4

3rd Down

I had my third little girl 2 years ago, and I feel like I've been running ever since. They say that the transition from two to three kids is the true test of a mother, probably because you have more kids than you have hands. "If you can handle three kids, you can handle a dozen!" they say. I don't know about that, but I'm amazed at the difference in my parenting from #1 to #3. You can call it redefining priorities, or a change of perspective, but I call it survival. For example,

My first daughter was allowed to dress up in a designated costume between the hours of 3-5 pm. After her afternoon nap, but before dinner and a bath. I recently peeled my youngest out of not 1, but 3 costumes after 24 consecutive hours of wear.

I read all the child training books with #1 and was convinced that 2 year olds should be able to sit quietly and happily beside their busy mothers for several hours, doing nothing. After two very active daughters consistently disproved this theory, I distracted #3 with cotton candy the other day. And it worked.

I carried #1 wherever we went, #2 went into the bulky double stroller with #1. #3, not so picky, plops down whenever she's tired. Who knew kids were so easy?

After my older girls randomly stripped down at very awkward moments, I learned the secret of the swimsuit. Little girls love swimsuits. If you put one on over their clothes, they can't bring themselves to take off the suit in order to get their clothes off. Of course, then your kid is wearing a swimsuit, but at least they're clothed...

Foiled again!!


And finally, probably the most important lesson I've learned from having kids...

Why get mad when you can get a picture instead?
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