Fall Challenge making your home a Haven!

I have been following Courtney for a couple months and I can’t wait for this challenge to begin! I am new to this challenge but I am going to try it out this fall! Come follow along and try it out with me! I have pasted all the details about the challenge below from Courtney’s site. You can go here on Courtney’s site to enter the giveaway for this week which is an iPad Mini!

Each week Courtney will give you one practical tip and one spiritual tip that you can do to create a haven in your home.

Here’s the topic schedule:

Week 1: October 7th –Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning but you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home.Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.

The Giveaway: 
A year’s supply of Yankee Candles (12 large Jar Candles)
Week 2: October 14 – Plan a Family Fun Night.   Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids or your hubby! Even if you live alone you can do this. Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn.  Bust out some old fashioned games and take the time to savor these moments with your loved ones. Work on gentleness this week.
The Giveaway:
10 Pack of Games including – Checkers, Scrabble, Monopoly,
Uno, Battleship, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Candy Land, Risk, & Life.
Week 3: October 21 – Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home.  Cook things with pleasant aromas like homemade bread, pies, and cookies.  Don’t wait to have a reason to make something special – do it simply to show love to your family. Invite your kids and/or hubby to cook along side of you – make memories in the kitchen – test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remember the importance of dinner time around the table as a family. Work on showing love to your family this week.  
The Giveaway:
A Kitchen Aid Mixer
Week 4 October 28 – Decorate! The holidays are almost upon us. Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology.  In the beginning God created.”  Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays.  Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate.  Give thanks to God for the home He has given you in which to create a haven for your family.
The Giveaway:
Potttery Barn Christmas Wall Art

So let’s begin – let’s begin by cleaning up clutter in our homes this week.   Fall is a great time to pick a closet or drawer or cabinet to clean out.  While we’re at it – let’s clean up some clutter in our spiritual lives.

Think about – what gets in the way of your peace spiritually?

Could it be that the noise of this world has crowded out the voice of the GREAT I AM?

Jesus said:

“I am the bread of life.” John 6:35
I amthe light of the world.” John 8:12
I am the door.” John 10:9
I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11
I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25
I am the way, and the truth and the life.” John 14:6
“I am the vine.” John 15:5

Turn to the GREAT I AM this week – listen to his voice. Let him be your bread, your light, your door, your shepherd, your resurrection, your life, your truth and your vine.

 

This week I will be stocking up on candles! LOTS of candles! I like fall scented candles and baked good scented candles!

I will also be cleaning out these areas below! Are you going to join let me know below! What areas will you be decluttering?

ClutterChallenge

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Truthful Thursdays #5

Truthful Thursdays

Where I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly about Motherhood & Stepmotherhood.

My Truths for Today! :)

  1. I really wanted to give up pumping this week (my boob was bleeding and I was strapped for time)-almost did, but I just couldn’t! I feel extremely selfish for even wanting too! I don’t know why I have these guilt trips-babies have lived on formula for years and their o-kay perfectly fine! But then I look at the difference in Caydence and Sadie and guilt trip myself again!
  2. Attention tricking behaviors-ANNOY me as a Mother and Stepmother but there is something more to them, I just feel it. I have to get to the bottom of them! So far I understand that the child is needing more attention or there is some kind of void they are trying to fill. If you have any experience or advice on this PLEASE! PLEASE! SHARE IT WITH ME! I’m talking about pretending your hurt just because someone else is, telling a lie similar to what someone else just shared, and pretending you need help or you can’t do something (when we both know you can).
  3. Sadie started something at bedtime I have really come to love! One night she asked me to sing her a lullaby and rock her like I used to do when she was little. We have been doing it every night since! I LOVE IT! They get to be my babies for a little while longer! 🙂

These are my truths for the week! Let me know if you have any in the comments below and we can laugh, smile, frown, or nod our heads (I do that alot while on the internet.) about it together!

Have a great Thursday! :) ITS ALMOST FRIDAY!

Guzzie + Guss Rocker Giveaway!

I am so excited to bring you guys a giveaway, FINALLY! If you have little ones this sounds like it would come in quite handy! 🙂
ENTER TO WIN BELOW-BEST OF LUCKY! 

Welcome to the guzzie + Guss Rocker giveaway, hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Housewife on a Mission!

Thrifty Nifty Mommy recently had the opportunity to review this rocker. You can click here to read her review.

Rocker Description:

A modern look at the rocker; guzzie+Guss have brought a sleek and modern design to the traditional infant chair. The G+G401 Rock is easily folded down flat for storage or transport. With 3 position recline, cotton body hugger, and the cool factor, your infant will be rocking out with our newest addition to the guzzie+Guss line up. This rocker comes in 4 fun colors: Charcoal, Red, Aqua, & Pebbles.


To find out more about guzzie + Guss, Visit the guzzie + Guss website then make sure you like guzzie + Guss on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @guzzie+Guss.

One lucky person is going to win a guzzie + Guss Rocker!
Open to the US and Canada only.  Ends 10/10/13 at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!

Disclosures: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Thrifty Nifty Mommy and the participating bloggers have not been compensated for hosting this giveaway, nor are they responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to residents of the  US & Canada, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 10/10/13. One (1) winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. 

A Mom’s review-Fun at Apple Annies!

appletree

We had so much fun at Apple Annies! It’s a great place to take the family for a little old fashion fun. As soon as we arrived Dad and Reyrey got our wagon, buckets, and apple pickers and we got to picking.

Appleannies

 This trip was a family first! We had a contest to see who could pick the biggest apple and the most perfect apple. Seriously, I don’t know how all those apples at the store look so great!?! It’s tough to find ones without any marks, holes, or sun spots. Next we had a lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs, beans, and chips. Dessert was amazing we had fresh apple pie and ice cream! You could choose from vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. CINNAMON ice cream is amazing-I never had it before but now that will be my go to choice with apple pie!

Then we had a little fun with their cute little wooden cut out signs! 

AppleAnniesFunnies

Then we headed to the CORN MAZE and PUMPKIN PATCH, its about 6 miles away from the apple orchard. Pumpkinpatch

The pumpkin patch was definitely their favorite. The kids searched pretty much the whole field for their perfect pumpkin.

J&Spump

The corn maze was another family first! They have a challenge maze and an easy maze. We of course took the easy one with all the kids we didn’t want to lose one. Of course we did though…brave Reyrey decided he knew the way and Dad had to go find him when he decided it wasn’t the right way.

 By the end of the day we were wiped out and glad to be home. We really enjoyed our early fall getaway! We hope to return to Apple Annies again next year!

They offer a lot more than just apple, pumpkins, and a corn maze!

If you want to learn more about Apple Annies you can visit their site >here<

Getting Ready for School

cayinglasses (1)

Being prepared to do well in school is something that I value highly in our house. One because I was raised that way-finishing school, graduating, and then going onto college was the biggest goal for myself when I was younger and it is something I want my children to have to opportunity to do. Two because Rey and I have both seen what a difference an education can mean and we want our children’s lives to be that much easier than ours. Therefore we have tried to make sure they are as best prepared as they can be.

In our house this means:

  1. Getting enough sleep at night. For our kids that is minimum of 10 hours-crazy right but they really do need it. Sleep Guide
  2. Making sure they had a good breakfast-trust me they would love to just have colored cereal with marshmallows everyday but that is not a good breakfast. Having a good breakfast will ensure they have enough energy to focus and participate in school. Still not convinced check this out- 5 Important Reason Your Child Should Eat Breakfast
  3. Giving them the tools they need to succeed. This is a quite place to do homework and supplies. In our house the tv cannot be on if someone is trying to do homework and that goes for Rey and I too. The kids just can’t concentrate and its not fair to make it that much harder on them.
  4. No more than 30 minutes a day of screen time on school days. This is because research studies show kids who watch less tv do better in school. Why screen time matters.
  5. I try to read with the kids at least once a day usually at night right before bed. Reading opens the door to so much more. It really makes a difference. 5 reasons why parents should be reading to children.
  6. See my posts about our routine because it really helps them too.

For the younger kids I try to focus mainly social skills and behavior because they need this as a basis for being able to communicate, pay attention, and learn. We sing songs/fingerplays (Itsy Bitsy Spider), we read, and do art. I also play with them-we play games (matching, memory, candyland, and chutes and ladder) but we also most importantly play pretend. We play dress up, house, and Sadie’s favorite restaurant. Pretend play can cover so much content. Pretend play can go anywhere you take it-there are no limits to what it can cover. Examples are manners, counting, letters, money, and so many skills like language and expressing emotion.

We by no means do all these things every single day. I pick and choose one day I play with them, one day I focus on reading a book or two and then an art activity, the next day maybe I’m just not able to actually facilitate something so they play with gak or do art on their own coloring, drawing, or gluing scrap paper.

I will share some of the activities the younger kids and I do together in later posts.

I hope me sharing what we do helps you and your family! 🙂

Truthful Thursdays #4

Truthful Thursdays

Where I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly about Motherhood & Stepmotherhood.

My Truths for Today!

  1. I read this today and could definitely relate: “It’s hard sometimes to connect with my stepkids when they don’t have that natural connection to you…..I hate it and feel bad.”-Second Wives Club This is something that is a big issue for me because I don’t want them to feel like they have to compete for my attention, affection, and love just because they are not “legally or maternally” mine…even that sounds weird and that is what makes being a stepmom so hard. Because you don’t want to separate them out or make them feel different but you can’t stop it from happening because it is the reality/truth. I fear that as they get older it will only get harder but I try to focus on the here and now-what can I do now to show them and make sure they know I love and care for them as if they were my own.
  2. An upside to Stepmotherhood you do get a break-with your kids you’re stuck with them ALL the time…no breaks unless Grandmas insists. 😉
  3. I have been so focused on the kids lately I forgot to take care of my Hubby….sorry Hubby I will remember you have needs too. 
  4. I really need a weekly calendar on my desk. I am trying to plan t0o far out and I need to just focus on one week at a time.
  5. Twice this week, I just didn’t feel like reading at night to the kids a combination of I was too tired and this weird lingering headache I have had but I did it anyways purely because I LOVE THEM and I could not just say no to them. Has love ever just made you do something and afterwards you realized it made you feel so much better. 🙂

These are my truths for the week! Let me know if you have any in the comments below and we can laugh, smile, frown, or nod our heads (I do that alot while on the internet, Lol) about it together! Please, if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it!

Have a great Thursday! :)

Step into Fall Dirt Lift Sweepstakes

FallSweeps-290x188jpg

I have great news! I have become a Purex insider and soon will be sharing giveaways and more promotions like this one with you!

Step into Fall and win $1000 from Purex with Dirt Lift detergent! Who couldn’t use laundry detergent!?! I know if I won that would be a nice little chunk of saving in my budget!

If you were just about to say to yourself “I never win things like this!” Its’s probably because you don’t enter! You have to enter to win! I always enter because if I don’t win then I wasted a minute or two of my time but if I do win-THEN I WIN-BIG because in this case now I don’t have to worry about laundry detergent for a while and I get an extra $1000 for Christmas shopping! ENTER NOW! You never know the next winner just might be you!

A promotion I have won in the past!

Winning email

I also won a snickers promotion! I will post a picture when the cooler bag I won comes in the mail!

Tips for Tuesday!

pouchwarmingtip

Today I decided to just let you have a few of the tidbits I am loving this week!

The first is my genius moment when I thought why not warm Ezra’s food in the warmer like his milk! DUH!

I have been following Courtney over at Women Living Well Ministries and fell in love with her post about disciplining her kids. Here are a few I love and will be using in our house now. 🙂

  1. For disrespectful words, back talk or fighting with a sibling – I have them cup their hand over their mouth for about 30 seconds – this is especially useful in the car lol! Proverbs 30:32 says: If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!
  2. For mean words – lose all sweets and treats for the day (or a few days) – “If you can’t talk sweetly – you can’t have sweets!”
  3. Not keeping their hands to themselves – I have them fold their hands in their lap for a minute or so.
  4. Exceptional disobedience, defiance, or physical fighting – a few swats – “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15

I also found Gina and Jenny from Our Trendy Table on pinterest because I fell in love with their spice catalog! Isn’t it just so helpful! I want to print it out right now and tape it to my cabinet!

Complete-Spice-List

Last I wanted to share that I got an actual compliment on dinner from my hubby tonight when I served him this….he is very picky so if you have a picky eater try this meal you can find it here.

applebaconchick

Got any tips to share? I’d love to hear them! Anything to help make Mothering easier.