Thursday, August 24, 2017

Life hack

so I am one of those people who is horrible about drinking water. I'm always trying different tips, water bottles, etc to see which helps me drink the most!

My hack for today involves filling up the water bottle... yes I am impatient and don't want to wait until it is full. Recently I have tried the leave the sink running while I do something else method but that just goes in the make-a-mess method 😳

My new tip I am trying is to say a Bible verse or a prayer while I wait for it to fill up! Here's to taking an extra moment to get the water in me and the Scripture in my heart!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

parenting hack for bedtime routine

I love books. Always been that way and always will be that way...

... but even if that weren't the case, I think I would still follow my next thought...

Read chapter books to your children as they fall asleep. For me, this is different from bedtime stories. We read bedtime stories together out in the hallway, then we pray and read Scripture or a Bible story. Then they go to bed and lay in their dark room and I read them part of a chapter book from the hallway.

My mom did this for me when I was younger and I want my kids to have the same type of memories. Plus, I think it really helps them settle down when they are listening to a book with the light off. It gives them a chance to focus their thoughts in one area and calm down from the day they've had. In fact, one night a few weeks ago, we didn't read books for some reason, and Brayden had the toughest time going to sleep... he's always taken a bit longer to go to sleep, but we haven't had those problems as much (at least that I can remember) since having books to listen to while lying in bed.

We just did this with Nate the Great books, just finished Charlotte's Web, and are currently going through Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. Those, in particular, have provided a nice incentive for the boys to go to sleep.

Find a series or grab some classic books and read them to your kids!

Friday, August 18, 2017

parenting hack for kids' confidence

On June 5, 2017, our family expanded from four to five. That means it's me, my hubby, my two little boys (5/3) and a new baby girl. The boys love her.

I'm learning to let go of any perfection ideas I have and let the boys enjoy her too. For me, that means letting them dress her, and yes, even when it's mismatched, I let them have their way (unless we're going out and it's a really bad clash!).

Recently, I asked Brayden to get socks and he claims he couldn't find any, so he got these instead. "These" were tights. Yes, it is summer here, but we were inside and he had done a good job doing what I asked, so yep, she wore tights around the house that day! I did explain that in public she'd need a skirt or something over them since they go under that type of thing, but that doesn't matter when the boys help.

So the hack for today... whenever you can, let the kids decide things, even if it goes against "adult" protocol. :-)

Brie with her tights... and she was tired!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

dinner hack

A quick way to make dinner is enchiladas. Now, I don't think I've ever bought enchilada sauce, but this recipe has made them my favorite. Here's the hack: use salsa instead! It works great. This is where I got the hack from:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/chicken-and-black-bean-enchiladas-with-gooey-jack-cheese-recipe.html

Recently, I had hamburger on hand, so I used that instead of chicken for this recipe. You also don't need the green chiles, but they are nice to have. I do add more salsa depending on what I'd like the end result to be.

Oh yeah... and this dinner with hamburger took me 30-35 minutes. I always consider that an accomplishment when it comes together quickly!


Monday, August 14, 2017

parenting hack for picking up the house

It's very difficult to get kids to simply "clean up this room!"

On the other hand, I've found that giving the kids specific instructions is extremely helpful! Instead of simply saying clean up, give them specific jobs. Pick up that airplane and put it in the toy box. Run these dishes up to the kitchen and put them on the counter next to the sink. Put these shoes away. Bring these toys to your bedroom.

That helps them so much. My kiddos are 3 and 5 and always look rather lost when I say "clean up!" Giving them a place to start helps!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

a parenting/laundry "hack"

Hi there!

So one of the podcasts I've enjoyed listening to lately is by Gretchen Rubin called Happier. It's practical tips to living a happier life.

They have a segment called "Happiness Hack" that talks about a "hack" for something that will make you happier. Since I've started to think in those terms, I decided to blog about it, in case my hack will help you!

Today, it is a double hack for parenting & laundry. I am not the greatest at getting laundry done and definitely not at matching socks... Erik's stash of white socks is really something I'm bad at matching. So today, I hacked it by making it into a fun project.

Brayden and I played a matching game with Erik's socks and for every match he got a penny. Jase could have played, but since he was playing with toys nicely behind us, I let him do so. We were done in probably five minutes. The matching was great practice for Brayden; he got a quarter out of the deal, and now Erik's folded socks are now upstairs on his bed waiting for him to use!

Maybe the next time you need socks folded, enlist your kids' help!