Favorite Podcasts August Edition

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My favorite way to spend long drives or time in car running errands is by listening to podcasts.  I thought I would share with you some of my favorites each month.

Surviving Sarah (the one with Heather McFadyen)

5 Questions

Sally Clarkson

Chompers (for the boys to brush their teeth)

Lazy Genius (cleaning and salad ones are my faves lately, oh and the farmers market one)

God Centered Mom the one with Jen Wilkin

What are some of your favorite podcasts – especially specific episodes. Leave me some new ones in the comments!  I’ll be sharing mine more next month!

My Daily Face Routine

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Ok – so 41 years in the making, and I think, at least for now, I’ve gotten my face routine down.

Wow.  I remember using Noxzema, Mary Kay, every over the counter product or line basically.  But, now, as I’m getting older my face has regulated (you know, changing in hormones – even with a few autoimmune disorders).

I’ve never really had problematic skin, but would have the typical hormone-related black outs as a teenager (and as a mama!).  Seriously, do you ever get too old for acne – apparently not.

But, I really love my skin right now, so I thought I would share with you the products I use.  None of these are affiliate and I’m not getting paid for any of this.  Just like what I use!

And before I go on, I would like to tell you what I love about my skin: it is so soft right now.  Its not oily.  It breaks out minimally but then clears up very quickly.  I have normal skin on my face, not too sensitive, not too oily or dry.  So, if you want nice soft, clean skin…try these.  Hopefully the routine will work for you:

Goat’s Milk Soap.  My mister and I started using Goat’s Milk Soap when we went to a goat farm in PEI on our honeymoon.  We loved the soap.  Now, we don’t pay shipping from Canada, but we try to get local goat’s milk soap wherever we live.  My mister uses this too and we use it on our boys’ ultra sensitive faces.  You can usually find local ones at fairs or farmer’s markets in your area or at places like Sprouts, TJ, Whole Foods, or Fresh Market.

Witch Hazel.  I use this as a toner for my skin.  I’m not a huge rose (the smell of it) fan, but this scent is very light.  And do the research, Witch Hazel has lots of other uses as well.

ReBuildU Vitamin C serum.  I have a sweet friend in my life.  This is hers.  She has been my makeup guru and told me about this when she first launched it. And you can get it 30% off if you use this particular link (at least through the end of June, which is tomorrow.

Coconut Oil.  I don’t use very much of it and I use it at night.  Its already in liquid form in a pump so it is super easy!  And I don’t have to remember to bring some from the kitchen.  I just use a little and rub it all in my face and neck until it doesn’t feel oily anymore.  (The link above isn’t the exact brand I use, but I use fractionated coconut oil – pure oil).

The above I do every night.  I wash with goats milk soap in the morning.

Now, here is what I want to find.

Eye cream

Day skin cream (that would be good for wrinkles and pores and aging skin)

And powder foundation

All the above I would love to find OTC or available on Amazon that doesn’t cost more than 20$.

God Bless You and Good Night

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Bedtime may not be the smoothest time of our day in our home, but we are getting there, and there are several things we enjoy doing right at bed time.

The boys brush their teeth.  We usually sit and read our Bible story (right now we are going through The Jesus Storybook Bible).  Then my mister puts the boys upside down and I tickle their tummy.

We trade off who puts the boys in to bed each night, and who goes second.  When I am the first to put my older to bed, I read him a little bit of a chapter book we are working through together.  Right now we are almost finished with Farmer Boy.  Then my mister will come in and make up a story and listen to E make up a story too.

With our younger son, we read a book sometimes and sometimes we just sing a song with him.

With both boys, I love to kiss them good night, get zerberts, another hug or two, and tell them for the 6th time goodnight.  The last thing I always tell them, even if its been a super long day, is I love you.  And I mean it.  That’s what I want to go through their heads as they drift off to dream.

Hannah Hall wrote a cute animal board book, God Bless You and Good Night.  It talks through a night time routine with cute parent/baby animal pairings.  Its cute and will be a favorite in your home by your little ones.  My older son liked the raccoons the best.

Thanks Tommy Nelson for this book and they want to give you one too!  Just leave a comment with your favorite part of your bedtime routine with your children.

Last year: book on marriage

Two years ago: Recipe for peanut butter bars

Night Night Jungle

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One of the aspects about God that we love to teach our kids is that He is Creator.  Really, that’s like the first thing they need to learn and know and trust through faith – God created them and all they see.  He is the Creator and therefore in charge.

This little board book, Night Night Jungle, is a great book to remind them of so many of the animals and trees that God created.  It is a snuggly book to read while you are tucking in your kids.

One of my boys love animals.  So, as we were reading this he wanted to tell me all the facts about these animals that he saw in the book, they took turns pointing out and naming the different animals, and tip-toeing around the “jungle” in their pajamas.

If you would like a copy of this through Tommy Nelson (who also gave me this book in exchange for a review), then just ask you kids what their favorite animal is and leave it in the comments.  My boys’ favorites are cheetahs and jaguars.

The Life-Giving Parent

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One thing that I’ve appreciated more (now that I am older – 41 – and have young kids) is older women.  Titus 2 instructs the older women to instruct, mentor, disciple, love on, help the younger women.

And in parenting, I think it is crucial.  Yes, we can learn from those younger than us, and even in the same boat as us, but it is so helpful to have older women in your life to pour into you and teach you.

I have a few moms of adult children that I learn from and listen to and hang on their words of encouragement.  I also have a few moms who are actually younger than me but have kids who are older than mine.  I want to know how they survived these little years!

Yes, women my age can have lots of wisdom.  And I want to listen to them and share with them and have community and friendship with them.

But I want older women to pour into my life and my home and my parenting.  That is one of the reasons I love Sally Clarkson.  She is in her 60s, all of her children are grown, and they still have a great relationship and love and serve Jesus.  God has blessed their parenting.  It is evident, not perfect, but evident.

The Life-Giving Parent, written with her husband, Clay, is so rich with biblical principle (taken mostly from the Proverbs), practical tips in living out these principles, and anecdotal stories of their parenting.  In some parenting books you just get the truths.  But, what I love in each of these chapters is humble lessons learned from years of practice and trusting in God’s Word.

Definitely a book I want to read time and time again – and continue marking it up.  I may not know Sally personally, but her books have mentored me over the years.

All thoughts are my own.  I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers and was asked for my honest opinion. #ad

Buried Secrets

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(This book was given to me by Gilead Publishing.  All opinions are my own.)

Something magical happens when you read a good Amish Christian fiction book (hint: a good one is harder to find than you think).  You pick it up and are transported to another world. One that sometimes you wish you could be in.

Barbara Cameron’s works are really sweet and good . I’ve enjoyed the Harvest of Hope series (this first book review is here) this is the second one in the series.  It can be stand alone, but it fits nicely in the second position too.

As I read this book, I thought of how much I could get done in my home and yard and with my boys if I didn’t have a cell phone, social media, or a TV.  If I didn’t reun out of the house all the time to run errands.  If I cooked most of my food at home.  At how many desserts I could eat (every day) and not gain weight if I was working as much physical labor around the house.

I didn’t like the fact the husband had died in this book (not a plot ruiner).  I don’t like the idea of either me or my husband dying and not seeing our boys grow up.  I’m a Highly Emotional Person when it comes to reading since I’ve had kids.  Not always fun.

Even though this book is predictable, she writes it in such a way as to keep you engaged and looking forward to the next series.

 

I Prayed For You

posted in: Books, parenting | 2

(This book review is sponsored by Tommy Nelson Mommies.  I was given this book and all opinions are my own.  Thanks Tommy Nelson!)

Praying for our children… it is one of the biggest privileges of a parent’s life…and the one I do the least.  There are days I’m so overwhelmed by the task of parenting my two boys, wondering how they will come to know the Savior, wondering how they will learn not to strive with their brother.

I can vividly remember mornings or nights, standing at my bathroom sink, tired…and thinking how I need to pray more because I can’t do this parenting thing on my own.

Then I let the cares of every day life – in the moment life – distract me from praying as fervently for them as I would like.

This cute bedtime story book  goes through many of the milestones in the years.  Giving us as moms ways to pray for our kids.  You can tie these into prayers from Scripture (and not just from a book) for your kids.  You can keep a journal of these prayers.

One way this book fell short was it ended with a parent’s prayer.  Where you could take it: Jesus is our Great High Priest.  He interceded for you even when I fail to pray for you as I should.  He is the one who prays for you every night and every day.  That is His job!

I have a I Prayed For You book to giveaway!  Would you like it? If so, just leave me a comment and tell me one prayer you like praying for your little one.

Book Review: The Spill

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Do your kids love books?  Dogs? and Food?

Then this would be a great fun book to add to your summer reading list!

The Spill by Jaqueline Leigh is a fun story about being patient, listening to your mama, using manners, and sitting and enjoying the fun of a glass of milk!

I read it to my boys and they loved sneezing and looking at the milk and the dog.  And I loved it as a mother because there were such good manners: like please and thank you!

This would be good for an early reader with lovely illustrations, but also for a read-aloud – and you know how big I am about reading aloud to your kids!  Even in the summer.

This book comes out in June!  Be sure to get it!

5 Tips to Thrive at Lego Land Florida

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Spring Break was such a fun time for us as a family.  Sun, blue skies, ice cream, and tacos.  And our first trip to a theme park altogether as a family of four!

I grew up in Central Florida going to Cypress Gardens, dreaming of being a Cypress Garden Girl, wondering if I would ever learn to water ski (and I can barely do it now), and enjoying all the gardens that were beautiful.  I thought Cypress Gardens would always be there.  And in a way, it still is.

The grounds at Lego Land Florida are on the shores of the same lake that Cypress Gardens was and you can still watch the ski shows.  You can walk through the grounds of lego central and see spots of beautiful flowers and shady trees.

But, the focus of the park is now little plastic building blocks and themed superhero movies and a really fun water park.

My family was graciously given a two day park pass including the water park for the main event of our 7 day Florida vacation.  Since it was our first time going I asked around for some good tips.  And now, having gone, I thought I would share our 6 top tips for all you parents out there who want to have a fabulous day with your family at Lego Land!

  1.  Bathroom Status.  I would probably advise not to go if your kids are still in diapers, or even potty training.  Even though the restrooms are equipped with changing tables and there are plenty of clean bathrooms throughout the park, it just wouldn’t be as fun.  And, make sure your kids go to the potty before leaving for the park.  My husband had to take one of ours to the potty in the parking line (and all the other patrons who saw were laughing and joking with him…they got it).  And he took the other one to the Lego Hotel before we went through security.  Having kids who are well potty-trained just makes the day easier.

  1. Pay for the Preferred Parking.  Your kids will thank you at the end of the day. Florida in the spring and summer is just warm.  We had perfect weather with not a cloud in sight.  So, our car was rather warm.  But, the second day we chose the preferred parking.  We got to park closer and under the shade of solar panels.  We got into a perfectly cool car at the end of the day.  Our campers were much happier, and so were we.

  1. Budget for food, snacks, and drink.  We chose not to carry anything with us while we were there except our phones and a key and our debit cards.  Our hands were free to ride rides and hold little hands.  We were so glad we did this.  Yes, we could have brought in snacks and water in a small cooler – but then you either have to pay for a locker or carry it or push it in a stroller.  And we could have left it in the car in a cooler, but who wants to go all the way back out to the car when you are in the middle of having so much fun.  So, when you are doing your budget, plan for a 15$ reusable souvenir cup and food.  Your day will be much easier.  My favorite ice cream was the caramel vanilla swirl cone near the Pirate Playground.  Definitely the best food I ate there.
  2. The water park is worth it.  Our kids loved it.  The park provides flotation devices for those who don’t know how to swim, but our two little not-yet-swimming boys thrived well at the park slides for like 90 minutes.  They would have stayed there all day.  We joined them some and we also kicked back in shaded beach chairs.  We loved watching their excited faces!
  3. Don’t buy a fast pass.  I wouldn’t have thought of this one until I was a parent, and experienced some things, so hear me out.  One of the things we constantly try to teach our children is that we should put the needs and interests of others ahead of our own.  And I think the fast pass does exactly the opposite.  When you’ve been standing in line for 45 minutes and you are about to get on, and a family comes and delays your ride because they have a fast pass, your kids (and you) and certainly disappointed.  But, it also teaches them that the person holding the fast pass is better than everyone else.  It teaches them that you can buy first and you don’t have to practice patience.  It also seems to be a status symbol.  Like often times it is those with more money who have a fast pass.  We decided that we wouldn’t buy a fast pass for our family because we want to teach them more important things than just getting to the front of the line.

What are your survival tips for theme parks?