Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekday Adventure: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

The other day the boys and I took a field trip to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. It was a gorgeous spring day and we needed a fun and free outdoor activity. We’d never been to the arboretum so I thought a new adventure was due. The boys liked exploring the expansive park for a while but Jude just wished to find a shady spot so he could finish his book and Simon kept laying down wherever he could. Noah however was interested in some of the more unique and beautiful plants… and the bees.

The arboretum is a beautiful place to explore and hopefully as the boys get older all of our outdoor nature adventures will lead them to enjoy such places. I think they would love one of the kid programs they offer so I might look into what events are planned for the next few months.

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Easter 2017: Jude gets baptized

This past Sunday was Easter Sunday and Jude (8) got baptized at church. It was such an exciting day. He has been asking about “bapatism” for over a year now. We’ve talked on and off about it and he watched baptisms the last time they had them at church but this time he said he was ready.

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After church we had lunch with my parents and grandmother and had a small Easter egg hunt for the boys. It was a pretty great day.

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How A Snack Became Our Family Time

Every day around 3pm my kids are begging for a snack. I’ve learned to have a snack ready or else they will start to raid the pantry when I’m not looking. So each day we set aside a few moments to have a family snack. Sometimes it’s something quick and easy like crackers or a cereal bar but there are days when I put forth a little effort and put together something fun and healthy. That’s the key with making healthy snacks for kids… make it fun too.

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Now that the weather has started warm up I’ve been making Juicy Juice Ice Pops with our fun Ice Pop molds.

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The kids get a giggle out of the silly characters and of course love the delicious flavor of the Juicy Juice.

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We typically eat our Ice Pops outside so I don’t have to worry about drippy juice on my kitchen floor! As we sit around the patio table we talk about our days and just enjoy a sweet moment together as a family. The time may only last as long as a kid can get through their ice pop then they’re bouncing off to the next activity, but sometimes they linger at the table a little longer to talk. I love my afternoon snack dates with my boys.

Did you know that all Juicy Juice products are made from real juice, with sweetness that comes only from the fruit and no added sugar? Plus, Juicy Juice contains no high fructose corn syrup, no cane sugar and no artificial sweeteners.

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CONTEST: Search for Chief Family Time Officer

Juicy Juice has launched a nationwide search for moms, dads and other grown-ups who help find the fun amid busy schedules. Families can enter by visiting juicyjuice.com/familytime to submit a photo of themselves enjoying Family Time along with a caption or tip on how they make the most of quality time together. Nine finalists will receive a month’s supply of Juicy Juice and a copy of Sinclair’s book, while one grand prize “Chief Family Time Officer” winner, determined by fan vote, will be selected to receive a month’s supply of Juicy Juice and the ultimate family time getaway – an all-expenses-paid four-day/three-night Luxury Included® vacation together to a Beaches Resort in Jamaica or Turks & Caicos.

CONNECT

This post has been sponsored by Juicy Juice. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Saturday Adventures: Historic Yates Mill

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On Saturdays, our family likes to explore all of the fun places within a short drive of Raleigh. We frequent many of the Raleigh and Wake County parks so I thought I’d share some of our Saturday Adventures with ya’ll.

This past Saturday we ventured to Historic Yates Mill located in south Raleigh. Yates Mill is a part of the Wake County Parks system and offers a variety of rich historical activities and exploration as well has beautiful nature.

We started by visiting the Finley educational center which had a good deal of hands on learning and information about the history of the mill, local agriculture and local history. The boys enjoyed playing with the dress-up clothes, puzzles, and learning about how mills work.

Then we venture down the short path to explore the historic mill. The boys were fascinated with the water powered mill. We briefly walked the Millpond trail crossing over the mill bridge and up the stone steps that overlook the mill. We didn’t walk around the entire pond as it was getting close to lunch and the smaller boys were ready to go eat.

On a previous visit the boys and I walked down to the pond boardwalk were we encountered several people finishing and bird watching. We saw a beautiful crane at the shore of the pond.

I can’t believe I’ve lived in the Raleigh area most of my live and until this year had never visited Yates Mill. It’s a beautiful historic site and wildlife refuge. We will certainly be back to explore more the park.

 

Keep Holiday Traditions Simple

I always have these grand ideas of baking sugar cookies from scratch with the boys and decorating them with icing and fun candies. But then reality sets in and I remember that I have to help all of the boys with their cookie decorations and none of them are particularly helpful in the kitchen, especially not Abel. Abel loves to pull out all of the pots and pans and any other cabinet he can reach in the lower cabinets. So instead of baking sugar cookies from scratch a bought a cookie decorating kit and let the boys enjoy the fun part of Christmas cookies.

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Nintendo 3DS XL Fun for the Whole Family

We are a Nintendo exclusive family. We own every Nintendo home gaming device ever released as well as most of the portable gaming devices. Over the past few months we’ve been playing with out new 3DS LX, the newest portable gaming device from Nintendo.

We are loving the new features of the 3DS XL. The 3D viewing takes games to a whole new level. The six included AR Cards bring game play right into your world. Plus, you can take 3D pictures and even record your own 3D videos. I really like that I can adjust the 3D feature or even completely disable it when needed. Sometimes it’s a cool feature but other times I like a classic game play, like when I’m playing MarioKart. The touch screen is actually a NFC (Near-Field Communication) which make the 3DS XL compatible with amiibo figures.  The Nintendo 3DS goes beyond just gaming, when connected to Wifi, you can stream movies and shows via Netflix, Hulu and more on the 3DS.

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I feel like a kid again every time I play the Nintendo 3DS. I find that playing games can be very relaxing and after I’ve had a particularly stressful day it helps me to focus all of my attention in one place where I can just enjoy myself. I think my favorite game is MarioKart 7. When Joe and I were dating we used to play MarioKart so I have fond memories of racing around the Mushroom Kingdom and facing off with some of my favorite characters. My kids really love playing MarioKart 7 and they are way better than I am, in fact they love replaying the levels to beat my scores.

My husband has a 2DS so I’m able to play games on both systems which is great because we don’t have to repurchase games that we’ve been collecting for several years. However, you don’t have to purchase a lot of games to have fun on the 3DS as it comes standard with a built-in software that includes Miiverse, Mimaker, Nintenod eshop, Internet browser, 2 included games, 3DS Sound and more.

Buy the New Nintendo 3DS XL for $199.99

Nintendo of America provided me with a New Nintendo 3DS XL system and games for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Enjoy your Children

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I’ve had this post title sitting in my drafts for several months. This is a topic I’ve been mulling over for awhile now and I don’t have it all figured out but it’s something I wanted to write about.

Yesterday I took all the boy to the Science Museum, by myself. That’s something I never would have done just a year ago but I’m slowing taking on new tasks all the time. Motherhood changes you, it changes what you desire and what motivates you. It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the “to do” lists and social obligations that we forget to actually enjoy the whole process.

This time last year I was day dreaming about the day when all of my boys would be old enough that we could venture out together without a meltdown. I tend to hope for the future a little too much. I start to forget about the present. I guess it’s better than dwelling upon the past, but still.

I’m trying hard each day to be present. To enjoy each step of life including all of the hard parts. Parenting is work and work isn’t usually easy. But at the same time parenting is part of my life and I want to live my life to the fullest. I find that the biggest factor in creating a life that is full of joy is my attitude. Hard work can still be enjoyable if you have a positive attitude. This goes for anything, not just parenting. I try to teach my boys about having a good attitude and doing their work with a joyful heart. Like most things children learn through example.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the more time I spend with my children, the more I invest in their lives, the more I challenge myself to start each day with a positive attitude and joy in my heart, I find that I really enjoy my kids. I miss days where we aren’t together. I love to hear their stories, receive their hugs and watch them grow. I just really like my family.

Parenting isn’t always easy but it can be a can be a source of great joy if we allow it.