Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort – South Padre Island Review & #Giveaway #SPI #BahnLove

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My family and I were gifted park tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own. 

It’s the 15 year anniversary of the opening of the Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Waterpark! Isn’t that AWESOME!? It was built-in 2001, and this park is home to the Transportainment River system that is designed to maximize time in the water and eliminate lines. This river system connects eight attractions that feature rapids, chutes, and gentle currents. It really keeps the park continually moving along the river. Schlitterbahn truly believes that when you come to the beach, you should just be able to sit back and enjoy your tube ride while you tan.

To celebrate this 15th year Anniversary Schlitterbahn is waiving their venue fees for Quincaneras this year! Amazing right!?

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In honor of the 15th anniversary we took a trip to Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island to experience it ourselves. And lucky for us this trip landed on our sweet Sadie’s 7th Birthday. It was a surprise trip for the kids and they LOVED it!

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I have learned so much experiencing it first hand. I can’t wait to share all my tips and tricks to help you and your family have the best experience possible.

I love saving money, on everything and a trip to a water park can be pricey or you can choose to be frugal. Click here to see ticket pricing. And if you had your first day in the park and decide maybe a second is worth it-because there is so much more you want to do take advantage of the added savings! Whenever you have the receipt or the wristband, the prices are $27.99 for an adult and $22 for a child.

Get a group together to get the group rate. This requires a group of 15 or more.

Be sure to check the weather for the day you are going. Also check the park calendar (online or by calling) and make sure there is no big event happening on that day or it will be super crowded and lines will be longer than normal. Click here for dress code.

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Plan to arrive early at least 30 minutes before the park opens (10 am here at SPI), for good parking and a good spot to picnic. There are many great free places around the park to picnic. When you first walk in there are umbrella tables. Towards the back there are wooden picnic tables under the palm trees. And if you have little ones a table with shade by Sand Castle Cove or the Lily Pad is a must! Also when planning on being there all day don’t be afraid to let your little ones nap. A quite break will energize them for more happy play later.

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Sand Castle Cove

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The back of park where the picnic tables are located.

Don’t forget sun hats, towels, and cheap sunglasses it is really bright. I wear prescription glasses and almost lost them a few times from overhead spraying so secure them with a cord.

Of course at a water park you need sunscreen but you also need to apply it at home to give it time to fully dry  before hitting the water. Lesson learned the hard way we all are a little sun burned. Another tip is to get the kids long sleeve water shirts trust me if you don’t want to track them down to reapply sunscreen and let it dry they need these! Also make sure to have water shoes the cement does get really hot. 

Another thing we did to save money was pack our lunch, water, and drinks. YES! You can bring in food and drinks. No glass or alcohol. We packed two ice chests one with drinks and the other with food. They both fit perfectly in our wagon to make walking from the parking lot with little ones easier.

Check out my Pinterest board for packing if you don’t want to stick to simple sandwiches. The pepperoni pasta salad is a kids pleaser. Next time I will individually package everyone’s portions so it is just easier when we are at the park. Don’t worry there are plenty of trash cans. Next time I might even wrap some ribs in foil the sun will keep them warm while we play! Click here to find more great packing tips from the Schlitterbahn blog.

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We actually brought in cupcakes, balloons, and a pretty plastic tablecloth since it was Sadie’s Birthday. It was really cute and I really recommend a tablecloth. The cupcakes melted in the heat-that was a bad idea.

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One of the cooler cabanas!

You can also choose to head to the park without a worry over arriving early for a shaded area by renting a cabana and leave the ice chest at home because you can get catering straight to your cabana. Another dinning option especially for teens is giving them splash cash. Here are some of the dinning options and prices you will find in the park.

The restrooms are located at the front of the park along with a shower area. There is also a small two stall restroom on Cabana Island.

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This park is known for Rio Adventura, the parks river transportation system from this river you can access the Storm Chaser, Sea Blaster, Pirate’s Plunge, Agua Blanca Tube Chute, and Gale Force. All from your inner tube! They even offer double tubes, and double tubes with a hole on one side and a seat for smaller children on the other.

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We all enjoyed riding on the tubes in Rio Adventura. It took a while to find two tubes with seats for Ezra and Dad and Sadie and Caydence, but once we did we just floated around the whole park 4 times, which took up most of our morning. They loved it so much! At first I was little terrified for the girls to go alone, but me being on a single tube made it easier to paddle towards them.

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One of our favorite rides!

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Ezra’s favorite area!

Squid Row has the softest flooring and was the best place for Ezra while he was warming up to the park.

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The girls enjoyed it too!

  Click here to see all the attractions Schlitterbahn South Padre Island has to offer.

See the park map here to help you plan.

By the time we were done the little ones were due for a nap and Sadie was super energized then fell fast asleep on the drive back home. We had a wonderful, fun-filled day or in Sadie’s words, “It was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!”

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I hope this post inspires you to plan a Schlitteriffic Day for your family!

Click here to enter to WIN 2 TICKETS to SCHLITTERBAHN SPI

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Hello Readers

I have been out the last week and thought I ought to give my loyal readers a little update because we are all human here and I am trying to let other Stepmoms and Moms know you are not alone.

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I had a little break down moment it’s not the first and most definitely not the last…in the least possible words I let way too much build up and I exploded. I had to take a break, think…think…and really think deeply about what truly makes me smile at the end of the day and what is important to me.

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So many issues can come up in a regular family and then to add in stepfamily issues on top of that can really get overwhelming. I can say from this experience if something is bothering you talk to your partner about it!

If you’re worried he/she may be offended because it’s about the children, his ex, or even in-laws he probably will a little but TALKING is the only way for you to work it out. Most of the time he/she doesn’t even know you were bothered by a comment, a remark, or a behavior. Or he/she may even have been bothered too but didn’t say anything because you didn’t.

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Thanks for staying loyal and thanks for taking the time to read my blog 🙂

Tasha

Making Birthdays Special with Birthday Traditions

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    I try to make birthdays a big deal because we have 5 kids and to focus on one for a day is kind of a special thing. I let them pick out the Birthday Party Theme, some games, and what dessert they want. I D.I.Y. like crazy the games and decor then I invite all the family and have fun celebrating the child’s birthday.

      I really want to start something more personal for each child and I came across lots of great ideas online which I am going to share with you today. From now on this is what I am doing and I hope they feel special and know how much I love them.

First I am going to start a birthday countdown for each child and I love this Birthday Countdown Clipboard!

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Decorate the house and their room on their actual birthday even if its not their party day-IT IS STILL THEIR SPECIAL DAY!

This idea came from 2 Moms and a Blog.

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Leave some hidden surprises! Maybe even in their backpack, jacket, and lunchbox too!

This idea came from the wonderful Hendrix Family’s blog House of Hendrix.

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I will make sure they have a special Birthday outfit! Like this cute D.I.Y. No Sew Tutu!

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Serve them Funfetti Pancakes for breakfast on the special birthday plate!

Candle, glaze, sprinkles and ALL! 🙂

(I ordered one from the kids school fundraiser magazine)

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Then conduct the Birthday Interview I found at Layers of Learning, maybe over breakfast or before dinner.

Great for looking back on later and seeing how it has changed over the years!

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Then I am going to put that interview along with the Birthday Party pictures in this binder for safe keeping!

I also want to add a handwritten note from Dad and I telling them what they are like, their interests, cute/unique things about them, and how much they mean to us!

Read all about The Creative Homemakers Birthday Binder ideas when you click the link!

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Drive them to school or the bus stop or just around town with this message on the car! 🙂

They will love to count how many honks they get!

This idea also came from the wonderful Hendrix Family’s blog The House of Hendrix.

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Last we are going to read their books as a family and then everyone will get to share why they love having the Birthday child in our family.

I am also going to tell them Happy Birthday every time I see them-ALL-DAYLONG!

Plus I am going to make sure to give them lots of extra hugs and kisses!

What are some special traditions your family has for birthdays? Please share!

Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

Update on Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

Seasonal DecorI was able to decorate a little for Thanksgiving because I scored this awesome decor for 50 cents a piece at the dollar stop in Target of course! 🙂 My Autumn sign and table runner were clearance from last year! 🙂

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I did get to do some baking activities with the kids! We made apple crumble, pumpkin cookies, sugar cookies, apple bread, and popcorn balls. We also got to go to the farmers market for a picnic and some playground time. We carved our pumpkins for Halloween, so much fun then planned our costumes. We had our traditional Friday pizza and movie night! We started doing this in place of family game night because that was way too hard with the different age ranges in our house.

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Organizing on the other hand did not go so well all these areas still need to be organized! Except the one below!

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My favorite of all the challenges was the candle. The candle helped me pray for my family more plus it brought a wonder smell of the season into our home.

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I have to admit not much else really changed within my home because I didn’t change my thinking of myself as a mother, a wife, and a follower of God.

I am still here: “Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman’s two ears? She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders…why? don’t? I? have? peace?”

 I must find my soul and nourish it, so that I may then began to properly care for my family in a health happy way.

My first step is looking for a Church were we can grow as a family.

Previous posts in this series:

My Candle is Burning, is Yours?

Fall Challenge making your home a Haven!

 

 

Bath Time Fun

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Bath time in our house so far has always been enjoyable, but I do like to change it up and give the girls new things to play with in the bath. Here are some ideas for changing up bath time:

  1. Glowing Bath with Glow Sticks-Cheap from the Dollar Store
  2. Painting in the Bath with Kool Aid Paint-Just sprinkle in a little cup add a tiny amount of water and a brush.
  3. Colored Bubble Bath-Make your own recipe below or buy some.
  4. Baking in the Bath- Add measuring cups, spoons, and muffin tin from the Dollar Store.
  5. Mixing colors in the Bath-Make colored water in different cups and buy them some water droppers and let them mix away.
  6. Add different toys into the bath-take dolls a bath, play with legos in the bath, and toy cars.

Bubble Recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light karo syrup
  • 4 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
  • Food Coloring

Colored Bubble Bath Recipe:

  • 2 cups bubble bath
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • Add a few drops of color
  • I separated into 3 containers then added colors so we could have a few colors.

Bubble Wand DIYS:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cookie cutters
  • Funnels
  • Strainer

Here are some things I found at my local dollar store.

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I don’t know about your little ones but mine love to dump out all the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash so those little bottles will keep them away from mine! 🙂

Hope you enjoy all the fun and laughter!

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?

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Getting Ready for School

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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! :)

Our Routine-AKA-Moms lifesaver

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Our routine is my LIFESAVER seriously without it, I would have lost it already. It keeps us grounded and really helps the kids out because well without a routine they are just as lost as me.

Here are a few reasons we have a routine:

  1. It helps them develop good habits that will help them be successful adults someday.
  2. Having a predictable home environment helps them feel safe and secure.
  3. It really helps during big changes like moving, and bringing a new baby home or changes like a child moving from a crib to a bed.
  4. Having an important job to do  as a member of our family helps them to develop a sense of responsibility and belonging.
  5. Its helps Dad out on Moms nights off 🙂 or Moms sick days because he and the kids already know what to do 🙂

Our routine is kept on this cute Melissa & Doug magnetic board, I got at Michaels for 50% off (Yay!). They go on sale often and you could also get one from Hobby Lobby using their 40% off printable. Before I got this one, I made one for them and printed it out. I will link you to my google documents so you can look at it. >Here<girls and boys>Here<

This board works really well for us because you can customize it any way you want. The top of the board is where we set our routine for the week. As you can barely see I drew a squiggly line to indicate that routine is done everyday Sunday-Saturday. These routines are brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, and go to bed. The Monday-Friday routine is homework if they have any. The routine that should be every other day is cleaning up their room (someone erased Saturday 🙂 ). Bathing is done everyday except Friday because Friday is Movie Night and it is optional on Saturday, depending on a family day in our out.

The bottom of the board is great because you can use it for whatever you want. We use it to keep track of Screen Time and Chores. All the kids except for Ezra help out in someway. I know it is insane to give 3 and 4 year old chores, but trust me if they are not allowed to help there will be a fit. Julie helps set the table and emptying the dishwasher. Reyrey helps Dad outside with the yard and takes the trash out. The older kids decided that every week they would switch who would be wiping the table and who would be sweeping up after dinner. Cays big job is starting the dishwasher and potty training but we tackled that one! FINALLY! Julie gave her one of hers and now she is taking the bathroom trashes to the kitchen trash. Sadie didn’t want me to write anything because she wanted to pick the indoor chores magnet and she said this one means she gets to help Julie set the table, unload the dishwasher, plus she gets to help clean, and cook.

What is Screen Time? Screen Time is a name I took from Michelle Obama. We have always limited tv time, but now thanks to Mrs. Obama it’s a more streamlined process because we are giving a set amount of time and they can use it on computer. video games, or tv. School Days 30 minutes, Friday 1 Free hour + Movie Night, Saturday 3 hours, and Sunday is 2 hours.

This is what works for our family but we will have to be changing up the routine because we are enrolling the kiddos in some after school activities.

What are somethings that you and your family do? I would love to hear all your ideas! Please do share! 🙂