November 1, 2014

Dear Grandparents

Dear Grandparents,

We know you love your grandchildren with all of your heart, but there's something we need to tell you. This year, when it comes time for you to do your Christmas shopping, we would like to make just a couple of suggestions regarding the toys....

...If it lights up, sings, makes animal noises, plays music, growls, sounds like a telephone or a doorbell, resembles the sound of truck or an airplane or a helicopter, roars like a dinosaur, flashes, barks, moos, squeaks, pops, dances, makes a crashing sound, can be turned on and off, can not be turned off, makes a sound when it moves, makes a sound for no reason, talks at 3 am, makes noise when the lights are turned on and off,  includes speakers, requires assembly, requires batteries, takes up more than a 12-inch area of the floor, requires seasonal storage, squirts water, requires refills, creates a mess, mentions anything about "500 pieces" or "small parts included", or breaks toes if encountered during the night, please include a gift receipt.

The Parents of Your Grandchildren

P.S. Are you trying to pay us back for something we did when we were little?

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October 31, 2014

My Thursday Didn't Start Off Great....

Thursdays...they are my favorite day of the week...I love how they give me a little glimpse into the weekend...I've always had a thing for Thursdays...

However, yesterday, I woke up grumpy...really, really grumpy. Thursdays are also one of the days when we attend a local program that offers faith-based classes for moms as well as classes (not just babysitting) for the littles! This gives me yet another reason to love Thursdays! My kids love their teachers and all of the activities they do, and I love my dose of coffee, fellow mama chat, and encouragement from the Word - and boy did I need it yesterday!

At the onset of the morning, my hubby's alarm sounded too loudly, and I almost murdered him over it.
*Note: The alarm's volume control remains the same everyday. I was just grumpy. 

My kid's woke up early....Great. 

My coffee didn't taste like it always does...I make it the same way everyday. 

I was out of the bread I like to use for my morning toast...This really irritated me. 

While trying to get ready for the day, my kids were extra dramatic...Imagine how fun that was. 

As I was pulling out of the garage, I noticed something wasn't quite right with the I sent my husband a couple of nasty text messages about that. 

I dropped my kids off at their classes (a little early), and I headed to the ladies' room...I like to go in there and sit....alone in a stall....and revel in the fact that I'm in the bathroom alone....Mamas, you KNOW what I'm talkin' about here. As I was leaving the restroom, a smiling face greeted me and said "How are you doin' this mornin'?" At first I responded with a big smile and: "Doin' are you?"....and then I stopped myself.

I turned back to her and I said, "You know what? I'm in a bad mood today. I have been ugly to my hubby this morning, and guess what class I'm signed up for this semester?" (and I held up this book:)

Yes, this book.....This is the class that I was heading to yesterday morning....after I had blasted my husband about his alarm clock and then followed it up with a couple of less than sweet text messages. 

The sweet lady responded with a description of her own struggles from the morning as well as all kinds of thoughtful encouragement, and I have to tell you....It was kind of nice to actually be honest with someone....someone who until yesterday was a total stranger to me. I was encouraged by her kindness and inspired by her honesty.

What would happen if we quit giving each other the fake smiles....quit responding with the "I'm are yous?"....quit feeding the churchy lines....and started being real? I'm not talking about verbally vomiting all over everyone you meet, but just being honest about your normal, day-to-day struggles...We all have them. Why do we insist on living in such isolation? We need each other - It is so important that we make connections and draw strength from one another. We were created to be relational, so let's embrace that and stop being so stubbornly fake and closed off from one another.

My Thursday started out rough, but everything changed when I was honest with someone...

...and I must say, a hot cup of coffee helped, too~

What kind of week have you had? I really do want to know!

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October 30, 2014

Meet Denise from Gratefully Inspired

I love introducing you to my sweet blogging friends, and there are few sweeter than Denise from Gratefully Inspired! I know that so many of you are going to enjoy connecting with her in her space! - Elizabeth

Hi, y'all! I'm Denise - a wife and mama saved by grace.

 I blog about life's daily blessings and surprises, some yummy and healthy recipes,  a little bit of style...

 ...and all about how my baby is growing and changing.
Come join us!

Connect with Denise:

*Denise is one of the hosts for our monthly mult-blog link party! 
Be sure to stop back by and link up for the month of November.*

If you would like to collaborate to feature your blog, Etsy shop, small business, etc. on "All Kinds of Things", I would love to hear from you!
I am currently running a $15 advertising special that will provide you exposure not only on my blog space, but also on my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram feed.
allkindsofthingsblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

October 28, 2014

Child Name Labels for $5.95 (Personalized, Removable, and Waterproof)

Friends, I am jumping up and down today as I tell you about a super cool product that is currently making things in my world much easier! A friend of ours is the mastermind being these water-proof removable labels, and I have been so excited to share them with you! 

Yes, they are water-proof....Yes, they are removable...Yes, they can be reused over and over again. 
Yes, they are amazing, and I have found multiple uses for them!  

Water Bottles
Child Name Labels for $5.95 (Personalized, Removable, and Waterproof)

Snack Cups

Squeeze Packs

Food Storage Containers

Sippy Cups

Diaper Bags

And oh, how I wish I had known about these gems when I was a classroom teacher! 

They are perfect for labeling art supplies...


...student supplies...
...and so much more! 

They can easily be removed [without any damage or mess] and used again elsewhere. 

My favorite thing about these labels is that the sippy cups, water bottles, etc. that you see pictured above have gone through my dishwasher multiple times...with the labels on them! The labels have not fallen off, and the technology is still working! After many trips through the dishwasher (high heat dry cycle included), I can still remove the labels and re-use them with no problem. That has been the most amazing feature for me, and I know you are going to want to grab some for yourself and your five closest friends!

Hop over to the website, and place your order! You can order 100 labels for $5.95 or 200 for $7.95. Shipping is absolutely free - all the time! (I love that!) The website is super easy to use! 
The shipping is fast! The customer service is top-notch!

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October 27, 2014

The Importance of a Bedtime Routine

Following dinner, clean-up, and family time, our bedtime routine looks something like this:

(This includes lots of fun and laughter...usually.)

(This includes lots of hugs and belly kisses.)

Family Playtime 
(Our favorite time of day.)

Bible Reading/Bedtime Prayers 
(So, so sweet - a really precious time for us.)

(An effort to make sure no one calls for "MAMA!" until the sun comes up the next morning.)

Music/Light Outs 
(We turn on their music, give goodnight hugs & kisses, and turn out the light.*)

*We do not stay in the room...we do not lay with them until they fall asleep...we do not entertain discussion/arguing about what's happening, etc...we leave the room...with all the love in our hearts.

The Importance of a Bedtime Routine

Our children know the routine - Each evening, they know what to expect. 
At this point, our oldest is able to independently carry out a good portion of the routine without much help from us; and he loves "being in charge". Establishing this routine has definitely cut down on tantrums/meltdowns because there are no surprises. The key for us is starting the routine/getting everyone in bed before they are so exhausted that they fall apart. If we wait to long, we typically regret it. But when that happens, we grit our teeth, push through a shortened version of the routine and get everyone down as quickly as possible.

Our kiddos have a consistent bedtime that we try to stick pretty close to - It provides hubby and I with time to ourselves to relax or work on projects. If you are not taking this time together in the evenings, I would strongly recommend it. Remember, you were a couple before the kids came along and you need time to invest in each other - and little ones need their rest. If you have a child that does not want to sleep until later in the evening, put them in their room...with books or quiet activities...If needed, baby proof their room to where they can not get out...ignore the protests (as tough as that might be at first)...they will eventually get used to what is happening. Don't forget - They are not in charge. You are the parent. (I think that's easy for us to forget sometimes!)

It is never too late to establish a good bedtime routine. If you have not had one in the past or if you feel you need to adjust yours to make it run more smoothly, it may be a little tricky [initially] to get everyone used to the new plan, but I promise you - it will eventually become the norm and you will love the benefits!

A Quick Note from a Previous Post:
Has there ever been a time when our toddler has tried to fight bedtime? Sure...sometimes when he's overly tired, he may start to cry and protest, "I don't wanna go to bed, Mama!" What do we do? We ignore, because we know he's exhausted...Why drag out a conversation with a tired toddler? We tuck him in...kiss him goodnight...leave the room. Bedtime is bedtime & he's usually asleep within minutes. (I do not ignore cries that are coming from a legitimate need...totally different ballgame.) -From  How We've Done Things with Our Babies/Toddlers

In this stage of life, our routine looks very much like this~
You can download and print these cuties here for free.

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