Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tea Collection Memorial Day Sale

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links. 

It's that time again!  Time for the Memorial Day sale on all things summer from down under!

Tea Collection children's clothing is having a sale this week, 25% off with code LORIKEET.  This works on all things Tea branded including already marked down styles for even better savings!


Check out the fun dresses in bold colors or the wild boys tees!


Everything is bright and sunny for summer in mix and match colors.


Don't forget the swimsuits too, if your summer isn't quite here yet!

Auto Updating Promotional Banner


This sale runs through May 29th.  

*Does not include play sets or Global Archive pieces or anything by another brand, but sold at the Tea website.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Noah: Seven

Yes, he gets a definite article before his name.  He's unmistakable!


The Noah turned 7 on St. Patrick's Day.  These pictures I took back in February are a pretty good impression of him.


Once upon a time we nicknamed him the Loud Lemon.  It's appropriate.  He's so expressive and wears his emotions on his face all the time.


The Noah is 7 and moving up to the second grade has been good for him.  His report card last week showed him at grade level for second grade and he really enjoys this teacher as well.  It's the same teacher Cory had for second grade.  He still misses his first grade teacher and friends though.  He's so outgoing he had made plenty in just the 4 months he was in that class.


Fun story, I've really had more time to consistently volunteer this year now that the girls are in preschool and last week when I showed up they were talking about Alaska and glaciers.  So I was able to pull up this blog post about our trip last summer and Noah was the star of all the photos while I explained to his classmates about the glacier and how it worked.


Nana and Papa brought him a scooter for his birthday.  He was immediately trying to pop wheelies with it.  And then rode through the mud puddles.  This one loves the outdoors and doing all the things.  He played soccer last fall for the first time and was one of the more aggressive kids on the team.  It helped of course that he was almost a head taller than most of the rest of his team and a lot of kids on the other teams too!


With Cory being three years older he often feels like he doesn't get to do the same things because he is younger.  It's hard to wait when you want to try all the cool things that your older brother gets to do.  So in a few things he gets to do things early (like skiing!), but other things he has to wait.  It's hard being the middle child.  I'm hoping to get a weekend with just he and I in a month when Cory goes to a camp and the girls go with my parents.


Noah's good buddy from school last year and Awana came for his birthday dinner.  Noah couldn't open the box with his present in it... so he tried to use his teeth.  He was successful.


More nerf bullets for his Zombie nerf gun.  Boys!


The saying on his shirt is rather appropriate, "Wild is my middle name" courtesy of our trip to Alaska last summer.  And the birthday boy requested ice cream sundaes for dessert rather than cake.  We are nothing if not unconventional in our family!


Overall Noah is a caring and compassionate boy.  He hates it when anyone is sad or hurt in a movie and cries for them.  He's old enough to understand a little of what's going on in the world and cares about the people we hear about on the news in the car.


I love you Noah!  Never lose your love for people and you'll go far in life!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Tea Collection: Destination Australia Sale!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links. 

Tea Collection children's clothing has gone down under with their new spring and summer collection!  Time to visit the land of kangaroos and koalas.  Yes, there are each of those cute tees on high quality fabric, my kids picked them as their favorites already!
















Right now is a great time to stock up and save with their Buy More, Save More event.  Buy 3 items and get 15% off, 4 items for 20% off and 5 or more items for 25% off your entire order* using code KOALALOVE.


Besides the awesome graphic tees there are fun twirly skirts and dresses!

Auto Updating Promotional Banner

And don't forget Easter is coming next month, check out these beautiful dresses for spring!  This year I might not even need to add a sweater to it with it being so late in the season.


There are plenty of fun things for boys here as well.  Creatures that inspire!


This sale runs March 21st through March 26th.



*Non-Tea branded items are not included in the sale, nor are clothing sets or a specific few pieces marked Global Archive.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Five

People keep asking me if I miss my children being little. No, no I don't. I like them just the way they are right now. I will admit it IS pretty crazy that the twins are five now, but looking back at these posts from when they were born feels like a lifetime ago.

I just went to my brother and sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday for their first baby. It will be fun to have a baby niece nearby, but I guarantee you I'm not one of those people who always has to be the first in the room to hold the baby.

Anyway, the girls are SO looking forward to having a baby cousin nearby since they aren't getting a little sibling.


Some days I get kids that will smile for a picture, some days I don't. These were taken a few weeks back when I needed portraits to submit for something and the lighting was just right in my dining room.

You'd never guess from these pictures, but Joy is quite the silly bug. I guess it just depends on the mood by day (or hour). And really she was being quite cooperative for these pictures, which I didn't really want silly!


She is very independent and knows what she wants and why. Or where. Or how. I think she's going to be a bit particular, a little like her oldest brother. Things have an order to them. In this she also follows directions very well and has learned how to color quite neatly within the lines. She's very proud of that skill.

At times like this I struggle a little to come up with ways they are different. They each have their own personality for sure, but they like to do most of the same things and are together almost 24/7. So for as much as developmentally kids go through things at roughly the same ages, that's what we have here. If we ever wonder if they are identical I think this always reminds me that they most likely are. (No, we haven't had them tested, but it's highly likely that they are)



Poor Hope is my toothless girl. After these were taken she even had to have one more on the top removed from the trauma a year ago because it had gotten infected as well. She does pretty good at crazy 5am dentist visits and isn't too traumatized by the actual events.

She goes about her days singing quietly almost all the time. And always reminds Daddy when he forgets his glasses before leaving for school.

They go back and forth being clingy still when I leave them at preschool, but away from me I hear that Hope is a bit more reserved. It's like if she knows I am in the vicinity she is fearless. But even sometimes in the grocery store she will hide her face from someone we know. We're still working on not just running away ahead of Mama though.

For the most part though, these are THE most outgoing (and loud) children you've ever met. They will hug anyone I even have a casual conversation with!


For all their clinginess in the mornings I think they are really enjoying preschool. They're learning their letters and numbers and at their conferences last week I was surprised to find they can each count almost up to 50 without missing a number!

We have lots of interesting conversations in the car about the weather and the things we see as we drive to and from school and all around town for errands.  One really cool part about having cousins living on the other side of the world is this giant wall map at church where we can point out every week where they live.  And where my penpal Amy lives.  And where Sweden is that Mommy went to 18 months ago.  I love geography so it's really fun that they like it too.


The twin bond is still very strong between these two.  They do occasionally do things apart from each other, but more often than not you will find them doing the same things.  If one is coloring, the other will eventually join in.  If one is playing with the dollhouse, very soon the other will be there too.  In some ways, when Noah (usually) plays with one of them that introduces competition into the relationship.  They do have their squabbles, but for the most part they get along better than most siblings I've seen.


The last time we went to the doctor they had reached the 85th percentile on the growth charts.  For being at the 25th percentile when they were born they've caught up and passed "average" for kids their age.  I'm not surprised since the rest of us aren't small either.  It will be fun to see if they continue to stay in this range or even get farther ahead of the growth curve like the boys are.  They continue to stay very even with each other although Joy is slightly heavier (she eats more!) and has a half size bigger feet.  Joy: 48 pounds, about 44 1/2 inches and size 12 shoes.  Hope: 45 pounds, about 44 1/2 inches and size 11 1/2 shoes.


I love these girls and can't wait to see what they do and become as they get older!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Book: The Mark of the King

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

***

I'm not sure how to do this book justice without giving away half the plot!  It's a time period in history that I haven't read much about, well, outside of Regency England.  This book takes place during the first 4 years of the settling of New Orleans.  I've been to New Orleans once and the gulf coast.  I can't imagine what it would be like with no infrastructure, trying to survive with help from France months away by boat, if they ever send it.

Love, betrayal, treason, you'll find it all in this book and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.  Green does a good job of filling out the setting just enough to put me in it without going over the top and the characters were well thought out and in depth.  Some of the plot might be a little over the top, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction so maybe things like this really did happen.  Either way, it was an intriguing read and I'm glad to have another snipped of history brought to life.


***

Read other reviews or purchase your own copy here. Or click on the graphic to win a copy!




Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Alaska: Glacier Time

On Wednesday we finally picked the perfect day to take a trip out to the Matanuska Glacier. (It's seriously highway robbery to get in through the private land in front of it though)


The view of "their" mountains before we left.


It was about an hour and a half drive to get to the glacier and the scenery along the way was simply stunning.


You drive high along the hillside opposite the glacier before going down to it so you can see some of the sheer size of it. 


Four miles across and 27 miles long.  Much of the front of it on the left side is actually ice, but covered by the silt and gravel that the glacier has churned up.


The glacier moves about a foot a day, but enough falls off at the front end that it is fairly stable in it's location.  We felt a piece of it shift while we were walking out on it! Spooky!


This is Shalom, and froggy had to visit the glacier with us!


Distances are deceiving... it probably took us a good 10 minutes to walk from this photo to the glacier edge.


At the edge, a lot of the ice is covered with dirt and silt.  But you can see the clear solid ice through it!


David juggling rocks...


All of these rocks have warmed in the sun and melted themselves down into the top layer of the ice.


Checking out a hole in the ice.


The guys got a lecture from Dahlia about letting kids get too near holes... safety first!  We all (except the girls) had these Cat Trax things on our shoes that made it much easier to walk on the ice.  The poor girls had to just be held up as they walked.


Family picture on the glacier!  If we go to Glacier National Park in the future I think the kids might be a little disappointed...


There were many of these holes, most not big enough for anyone to fall into.  You can see the amazing blue color down in the ice though.


Our lovely hosts!


We were on the very front edge of the glacier and it's so choppy that we couldn't climb up on top like I thought we were going to.


Boys on the ice!


These two photos (above and below) are taken looking back towards the parking lot, and from the parking lot respectively.  You can see that we are on the glacier, but in the photo below, where we were standing is very much at the bottom and front.


Let me just straddle a crack for fun!


Checking out how cold that ice water really is!


The boys were drinking the water pouring off here.


This is us, in front of one little piece.  To your right, the rest of the glacier was easily 4 to 5 times this tall, just what we could see!


And after we took this photo the boys walked over to where the ice turned into a small lake.  What they didn't know was that the water had essentially melted out the ice under the edge so under their combined weight it broke, dumping them both into glacier water!  Dahlia was there to grab them out and they must have been treading water hard because neither was wet above their armpits, but they said they never touched the bottom!  You can see that most of us are actually in shirtsleeves because it was such a warm day thankfully, even the air blowing across the glacier was warm, but they were cold then!



Boys: let us push this rock over!

There were some amazing patterns where the ice had fissured and the silt had flowed down into the cracks.  Try to blow this photo up and look carefully.


Views on the way home!


Just a mile or so before we got back to their house there was another moose spotting!  This one had a baby with her, but it was hiding from my camera.


And then just as we were getting the kids to bed (yes, at 11pm) I saw a giant shadow outside the window and this owl landed on top of the tree just off their deck.


All the nature is pretty awesome in Alaska!