Friday Favorites: Easter Basket Edition!

Friday, March 31, 2017



Friends it's Friday and tomorrow it's April 1st #nofoolingaround.  There's been a #permacloud here all week but it looks like the sun might make an appearance this weekend and I am so happy.  I miss the sun.  Grab your coffee, make yourself home here and let's get this party started...Easter is just 17 days away.  We better get planning!


{one}


Everyone is thinking Easter baskets right now and if you are like me, you want something useful, consumable and inexpensive!  I get you!  Here are some things we have and love and some things my kids are getting for Easter :)  These are all under $20 #youarewelcome.


{1} Window Sticker Art -- my kids have loved making window clings for everyone.  It was a random buy for me and a huge win!  We have many home-made window clings on our sliding glass door!

{2} Spin Art Kit -- my kids were gifted this for a birthday present and both my son and daughter love this kit too.  

{3} Stained Glass sticker kit -- my daughter got this one for Christmas.  They come with puffy stickers that correspond with the shape on the stained glass.  It was a fun one time project that is hanging proudly in her room or be given to a Grandma for mother's day! #thinkingahead

{4} Princess Sticker Kit - you can dress your princess and and put her in the castle.  This is awesome for in the car or a trip!  You can use it over and over again.

{5} Bubble Machine - we get a new one every year and all of my kids love it!  Trust me if you love bubbles, you need a bubble machine!  Don't forget the batteries ;)  We have the Fubbles bucket and have had it for years, it's great for not spilling bubbles!

{6} Lego Chain Reaction Kit - you can make your own chain reaction course, in full disclosure, you have to use some of your own legos.  We have this one too.

{7} Snipe - cooperative play hide and seek game.  We play this all the time!  We recently took it to church and had a big group of kids play (ages to 5th grade) and they all loved it.  The little animals you hide start to make sound and then light up the longer you can't find them!

{8} Sequence for Kids - we have been playing this game a lot lately with our 5 and 7 year old!

{9} Peek-A-Moo book -  Our children's librarian reads this book every week at baby story time and it's Lucy's favorite.  It has lift the flaps and says peek-a-moo for the cow and so on!  

{10}  Juggle Bubbles -- my kids are getting these for Easter so I can't attest if they are worth the money but they are going to be excited since they have been wanting to try them forever!

{11} The Berenstein Bears and the Easter Story - this is going in their basket too.  We love the Berenstein Bears at our house.


So there you have it some of my top picks.   What are you putting in your Easter baskets this year?




{two}


We love resurrection eggs around here!  You need to get them now so you can start on April 4th or approx. 12 days before Easter.  We open one egg every night before prayer and bed time.  There's a little devotion and scripture you can read to explain what the object is.  My kids keep asking what day we get to start them!  Do you have them and love them like us?

{three}


I recommend this bible all the time #cantstopwontstop.  I love to read it too.  Every story in the bible points to Jesus, our Savior.  This would make a great Easter gift or get it now to read during the Easter season.  Do you have it? How do you use it in your home?


{four}

Before You Go -- Next Week


On Monday, we will be visiting our next house on my Welcome Home Come On In series, you won't want to miss my darling friend, Laura's house!

I  also will be sharing a few tangible ways we share the life, death and resurrection of Jesus with our kids and how we can be alive in Him.   How do you share with your kids?  

And This Week I Shared...




Its full of everything we are eating, reading, watching and wearing


If you have little kids and need encouragement in the hard days you are in, read this or share it with someone who is in that season!


Until next time, keep on smiling and keep on keeping on!


For more fun follow me on Instagram and Facebook - I share all sorts of fun on my IG stories and Facebook page.  Come join the conversation!

I am linking up today to ErikaNarci, and Andrea.  Check out all the Friday Favorites.




Affiliate links used.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Stock photos found on Amazon.  Thanks for supporting this blog!

To The Mom with Little Kids...

Thursday, March 30, 2017


To the mom with little kids --

I see you.

I see you scrambling up the play place slide to grab your crying toddler.  I see you juggling two babies as you exit the restaurant as fast as you can.  I see you with a poopy diaper in one hand and a tiny, unclothed baby in another because you ran out of extra clothes.


I see you.  


I was just there.  I blinked and now I am not.  I remember.  Watching you takes me back to those moments, all those feelings, all that HARD.


It's hard.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


It's easy for us on the other side to say, "enjoy it!" or "It goes so fast!"  It does go by fast but by golly, it's sanctifying, hard work.    You die to yourself every single day.  Some days more than others when you have spit up in your hair and 3rd day old athleisure clothes on and you didn't even work out.


You are tired.  You are dirty.  You struggle to remember every dang thing.


You are pouring your heart and soul into those tiny, little humans.  You are meeting everyone of their little needs.  You rewarmed your coffee and momentarily lost it on the washing machine.  Those tiny humans will eventually begin to meet their own needs. (it's hard to believe but true.) There you'll be clapping and cheering them on with that big old momma smile.


You will be so proud the day they flush their own toilet, wipe their own behind, cut their own food, blow into a kleenex, keep the snack in the container, buckle their own seatbelt, and read their first book.


Until then, even if those little humans don't say thank you, they love you.  When they look at you through those dark eyes in the middle of the night, they love you.  Even when they yell "NO" and flail all their limbs across the Target floor, they love you.


They love you and so does God.  God sees you.  He sees your heart, He sees your weariness, He is cheering you on in the hard, hard, hard work. #handtohead


Until then, whenever then comes, He will sustain you.  Don't give up, keep on holding, keep on wiping, keep on loving, keep on praying because you are doing the good, hard work of motherhood.


This is what I say to you weary mom of little kids...


Carry on, hold your head high.  Don't doubt yourself, don't wallow in guilt, focus on the victories.  You are doing mighty kingdom work.  You can do it, you were created for it.   Take a deep breath,   learn from your mistakes.  Ask for help if you need it and cry if you need it too (I needed to sometimes).  Keep on, keeping on.  You got this!

With all my love,

A Mom who sees you (and just starting to climb over to the other side)






What's Up Wednesday: March 2017...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
I am linking up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer today for a FUN link-up (my favorite besides 10 on the 10th #shamelessplug)  Grab your coffee and join me while we dish on all the things.  #cuethedramaticsoundeffect




{What we're eating this week}

Monday -- One Pan Fajitas with Corn Bean Salsa
Tuesday -- Gyros with curly fries and fruit
Wednesday -- Crockpot parmesan chicken paninis
Thursday -- Crockpot Roast with mashed potatoes and green beans
Friday -- Philly cheese steaks with mini corn on the cob
Saturday -- Fun Night at school ;)
Sunday -- Breakfast for dinner  

In case you need some meal plan ideas, I shared my last month's meal plan and stay tuned for this months coming soon.




{what I'm reminiscing about // what we've been up to}













{what I'm loving}




It's Spring :) and we have our bucket list ready to check off and if you need some ideas I shared 8 simple fun activities for March.



Easter is coming -- He is Risen.  

Read more about Easter 2016 and my testimony here.




{what I'm dreading}



Grey skies - I need some sunshine.  #permacloud



{what I'm working on}



Momma's in school and taking classes for my license renewal.  I am reading this book, its actually really good and applicable to life in general.  I am almost done with class #1 and I have 1 more class and some short online licensure things to do....it will be nice to have that done!




{what I'm excited about}


Growing this little blog -- I am so thankful for all of you that come back and chit chat.  I just want to give you all a giant squeeze and let you know I think you are the best.  Doing life together is so much fun!  We only get one, so let's live it well!  What do you want to see more of on this blog??? Leave me a note and tell me!




{what I'm watching}



It's over for the season but you can binge watch the whole season on the NBC app on your roku!  Finish reading and then you must watch...you will need this.


Still working my way through....


Seriously you have to watch When Calls the Heart.  The first 3 seasons are on Netflix!  The 4th is available on the Hallmark app on your roku.  My go to recommendation!




{what I'm reading}



Even if adoption isn't on your heart, this book is a must read.  She details her struggle to bring Lucy home and how God used that struggle to refine her.  It's a fast read and I dare you not to cry!  #allthetears #goodtears.  The same author came out with a 30 day devotional as well.



If you want to try this author out, this would be a great taste of her style and writing and its free on kindle.  I also have loved her Unexpected Bride Series




{what I'm listening to}






my favorite song #dontjudgeme




{what I'm wearing}

A whole lot of randomness - with a trip to Arizona and fluctuating temps around here.  I have perused all sections of my closet this month!



I am telling you moms, these shorts are awesome.  They are elastic waisted but wash up great and have great structure.  I bought them postpartum to give me some room #ifyouknowwhatImean and I still love them.  The price can't be beat either.  I have them in a bunch of colors.  

PS mom if you are reading I found you these shoes #yourwelcome.









Old Navy has a spring version of my beloved swing dress...anyone tried it yet?  It's in my virtual cart #selfcontrol.











{what I'm doing this weekend}


Fun night at my son's school! Finding the the elusive sun hopefully too!  #permacloud





{what I'm looking forward to next month}




Baseball for our big guy and Nana and Papa come back from FL!



Our tiny dancer has a recital


The lake opens for the season!


{What else is new}

I have been sharing my heart on this blog from my thoughts on envy to my thoughts on being a mom village to my thoughts on mom fails.    If you need encouragement, check those out!

Also, don't forget I host 10 on the 10th linkup every month.  Grab the button and linkup!


Last but not least - the bonus today was my favorite spring piece...

I am going with something I just got and am LOVING!


I am loving the pom-pom (hello 3D polka dot #lovepolkadots), ruffle and floral trends and have seen bell sleeves everywhere so this shirt was love at first sight.  I was actually checking out with another fun ruffle top and grabbed this and bought it too.  I got it at F & F for those of you with that store :)!

Thanks for stopping by - please leave me a note and say hello.  I love to hang out on Instagram so follow me there, I would love to follow you too!

Until next time #youknowthedrill -- keep on smiling and keep on, keeping on!







This post contains affiliate links.  All statements are my opinion and not held liable.  Thanks for supporting this blog.  Full disclosure at the bottom of this blog.






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Spring Break Part 2: A Trip to AZ...

Monday, March 27, 2017
We just survived week 1 post spring break and it was fun to reminisce about a fun getaway to visit my parents in sunny Fountain Hills, Arizona!  I recapped part 1 of spring break here.  

We decided to wait and go to my parents later in the week for 2 reasons, it worked better for my dad and the kids and I could all fly for the same price of 1 ticket if we left at the beginning of spring break.  

Scott had a big project deadline so he stayed home so it was the 3 amigos and me!  I will have to write another post on how we travel with kids but let's just say -- snacks and technology for the win.  They love to travel and the older two are super duper helpful.  




We flew out late Thursday evening, with a delay, we left at 9:30pm and everyone was happy and QUITE awake.   Lucy and Vera did sleep for half the flight.  We got to my parents and went to bed fairly quickly in anticipation of a full day the next day!




The next day was St. Patricks Day so my dad whipped up his famous eggs and added some green food coloring for good measure.  Then the rest of the day consisted of swimming, jumping, splashing and more swimming.




Everyone was quite happy!  Grandpa had the pool set at perfect baby temperature and we all appreciated that. 






We did make time for reading with Grandma, grilling out for dinner and finishing the evening watching March madness, even though our brackets were quickly busting.


The next morning, we were up bright and early #2hourtimechange and we went out to see my parents new house.  They rented until they found something they love and now the new place needs a little TLC before they can move in!




It was fun to see all the work my mom is doing.  She has incredible vision and loves to stick to the local architecture SO I will be sure to show you once its all done.  The kids had fun checking out the new pool, fruit trees, and the huge cacti in the backyard.




After we checked out the house we went and enjoyed lunch outside.   There was a moment where I saw life getting "easier" and everyone was happily color.  The momentary vision was lovely - ha!




After lunch we went golfing.  They have an 18 hole putting course.  My mom got the kids putters, just their size, and we learned the frustrating but fun art of golf.  You may or may not know I was on my high school's golf team.  I wasn't the best but I did have fun.  I hope my kids like it, we had fun golfing as a family growing up!








We finished the day in the pool, grilling out and basketball.  It was kind of like Groundhog's day in the best kind of way!




The 3rd day we spent more time in the pool and hung out ALL day.  My dad had to leave to go back to work so my mom and I took the kids out for Mexican and then to Target.  Let's just say Grandma and Target is pretty much my kids favorite thing ever.  Solon said Target is way better with Grandma #spoiled. 


By our last full day, Lucy wanted to be outside 24/7.  She was outside in her PJ's having breakfast and afterwards was ready to get in the pool, pajamas and all.




We postponed swimming in favor of a little sun break and headed to the Scottsdale Train Park which was highly recommended to us.  We recommend it too!  It was awesome!




We had fun riding the carousel, despite Lucy's pouty face because I sprayed sunscreen too close to her eye.  I wasn't even spraying her face...sigh!  She was a good sport #momfail.  




Then we rode the train.  Solon was busy taking photos for his dad because it was all so cool he wanted to make sure his dad could see it all. ;)




After the train ride, we grabbed a snack and checked out the covered play area and thank goodness it was covered, it was 94 degrees that day.  Then checked out some pullman cars and my kids couldn't get over the bunk beds, tiny tubs and tiny cook's kitchen. 





Then the best part was the model train exhibit.  We were in there forever and my kids loved it.  All sorts of trains and spots where you could push a button and different parts of the exhibit would work.


We finished with one last carousel ride before heading to In N'Out for a late lunch.  Now we went there because we had never gone and EVERYONE #everyone told us it was amazing.  Now, you may no longer read this blog but I didn't love it.  Did we miss something?  Tell me please!




We spent the rest of the late afternoon shopping at Nordstrom, grabbing a bite to eat outside and playing in the mirrors by the restaurant.  The weather was beautiful and we had fun just being outside.




On our way home, we stopped by the iconic Fountain Hills fountain to see it at night before calling it a night and figuring out how we were going to fit everything back in the suitcase.  A margarita after the kids went to bed helped ;).




Then the next morning, we spent all morning in the pool until it was time for a quick lunch and then head to the airport.  We were all excited to see Dad so leaving Grandma, the pool and the warm weather was easier.  I still miss all of that though ;).   #rainyandcoldhere




We had such a fun spring break and can't wait to visit again!  We love Arizona and the warm, warm weather.  Have you ever been?  Please share any fun sights to see, we love a good recommendation.


What questions do you have about traveling with kids, leave a comment and I will answer them!


Until next time keep on smiling and keep on, keeping on!

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