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Rose bushes are Spendy!

Well with moving into this beautiful house, we have things that need to be done like the regular maintenance that are both inside and outside.  I really didn’t grow up with much of a lawn and nothing more than a patio was considered normal for me.  Having bushes, a lawn, and trees, that I need to take care of is like learning a foreign language.  Or maybe it’s more like figuring out how to find balance because each bush, tree, and even the lawn has a certain temperament.  With the drought we have drastically cut back on watering and it shows.  Our lawn is definitely showing signs of drought (which has a lot to do with the sprinkler system that was put in improperly).  With Jay’s family business being primarily a summer (or whenever the weather is decent) job it seems like the only time to dig into the dirt of the lawn is when it’s the most inconvenient time to do so.  Ha!  Well one thing at a time I say….So:

One of the maintenance jobs we have are with all the roses that are in the front.  Well they have grown so crazy in the last year.  I had no idea that they needed much maintenance at all really.  But as time goes on we notice that they really need a good whacking off of their branches.  Cause they really go wild!  I mean everywhere wild.  These tame beautiful bushes can turn wild-like, tall, and shoot branches that anyone can see has no business being there.  Well being that I have no idea what I am doing and Jay is so busy we called some professionals to give us an estimate on how much a trim of all the rose bushes in the front yard would be.  We were blown away as to how much the quote was (almost $500).  Needless to say I didn’t give them a call back but instead I looked on good old Google and You Tube and typed in rose bush trimming, rose bush care, how to trim a rose bush, when to trim a rose bush, and I can’t remember any more of the endless search triggers I used.  It gave me some really good videos on when and how to do so.  Most of them said the same thing like for example Fall trimming is best so I chose to write down those things.  Ok, I am scared but I cannot spend $500 to trim my bushes.  I can do this myself!

 

God Knows I am praying they don’t die.  I just gotta get those verses in my head…John 15:1-7

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Hehe!  Amen!

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Kid’s Club at the Mall!

Yes, that’s right!  There is a kid’s club at one of the malls here in Reno, Nevada.  This particular club is called Kidgits.  The membership to be a part of it is $5 per child for the entire year!  Yup…the YEAR.  I happened to come across it on Facebook while looking for clothing deals at the malls website.  Facebook happened to be my way of getting to their website hehe.  While there isn’t weekly activities, there are activities posted for most major holidays; like for example Christmas, Easter, and Halloween as well as extra themed days which aren’t connected to a holiday.  Today’s event was a Dinosaur theme.  It was located right in the middle of Meadowood Mall so we didn’t miss it.  The kids were given a T-shirt and a water bottle and got to participate at the booths.  Today’s booths were dinosaur mask decorating, coloring, dirt cake stations where the kids could make their own dirt cakes with pudding and photo stations as well as a bounce house.  We even got to see a church friend….It was nice to see you Sharon!  It made it a bit more fun to see someone familiar as we were exploring the booths.  What a great way to get out and do something for very little money….and while we were there we did a bit of shopping too.  Not a bad idea Meadowood Mall.  Keep these going.  I am absolutely sure to be back. Here’s the link: click here.  Look for Meadowood Mall or your local mall.  Really, for $5 there was more than enough activities.  I almost felt like we were stealing…come on $5?  We’re In!

Coloring booth after the bounce house

Coloring booth after the bounce house

it's blurry but it's a great photo of the bounce house and booths...and the nice lady behind us.

  it’s blurry but it’s a great photo of the bounce house and booths…and the nice lady behind us.

Gavin posing with the T rex

Gavin posing with the T rex

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One year down and 6 things learned!

There are so many directions that my mind can go to when thinking back on this year.  Sweet Arielle was born June 11, 2014.  Her big brother at the time was 4 1/2.  Now, to us, this age difference actually was a GREAT thing.  Big brother was so helpful.  But in the midst of having the previous experience of having one child for 4 1/2 years to myself and me to himself….their was some major adjustments that I both failed at and then days that really seemed to go well.  So instead of going over the icky…this recap will be a list of things I know will be uplifting and healing.

crazy day

1.  I am the Best Mom for my kids!  God gave me these adorable little sweeties.  I may not always feel like Mommy of the Year everyday but I know that because I am their mom I really do strive for the good and I choose to focus on those things.

2.  Drop the phone!  Put away the remote.  I only have this small window to make the most of this sweet time with my little ones.  I use to put the television on for noise…then it became oh a few cartoons would be nice to keep my son occupied while I helped with my newborn.  Then their were days that it was most of the day.  Oh and don’t get me started on my phone issues.  lol.  How come Facebook is so darn addicting?  Why do I need to know what so and so is doing?  I don’t.

3.  Listen up! Your kid is talking!  Gavin has a lot to say.  I mean a LOT.  Most of the time it’s so out there and goes on forever that my brain kinda loses focus.  But I realized that those things that I found random and out there are “really important” to him and I can’t risk losing his sweet heart because I didn’t find important what he did.  I started to engage myself in his world of what I still feel as randomness and embraced it.  It’s more fun to see his eyes light up because I am actually listening to him.

4.  All kids have their own personalities.  That is something that I had to learn.  Gavin is this easy going sweetheart…where my sweet Arielle is her own kind of sweet.  hehe.  She is sweet…but in her own time…in her own space…and that is just the way it is.  I tried, at first, to mold her into what I thought she should be and that proved to be So difficult which in turn made for some very long and horrible days.  So I learned to just go with it.  Not always fun…but sure beats those crying fits and no way to turn it around days.

5. Grace…give yourself some.  No Mom is perfect!  If you think you found a perfect mom…well it just isn’t true.  Messing up is part of figuring out how to get things right…come on, we are all trying to figure this life out and all the while trying to do what we feel is best for the little worlds we live in.  Forget what is behind and strive for better days cause this Mom business is a GREAT calling.

6.  Enjoy the now!  My baby number 2 is almost a year now….My baby number 1 is 5 1/2.  That went by like the blink of an eye.  We aren’t promised tomorrow but we have now.  The past is then…in the past…behind…gone.  I can’t sit and think about what’s to come and ignore the now.  It’s a good time….It’s in the now…it’s happening.  I have the best kids…they may not be the best behaved when you get to see them…but they are mine and I choose to live with them in the now and not in day dream land or past dwelling land.

Thank you Lord for this sweet time and it’s precious moments.  I choose to think on these.

gavin and arielle2

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
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doTerra Promotions in June!

This month there are four oils that are NOT available to buy on their own, but are given as a promotional gift when you spend 200PV.  PV simply means “Point Value.”  These oils are the Sunsational Flavors and I can’t wait to get them.  They are:

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  1. Tangerine
  2. Dill
  3. Spearmint
  4. Cumin

All wonderful to use in food preparation, baking, or cooking in general.  Each have their own benefits when it comes to nourishment and all around natural support for your body.

When making a purchase of 200PV from June 1st to June 15th you automatically receive the “Oil of the Month” which for this month is the Fractionated Coconut Oil.

CoconutOilNew

I LOVE the Fractionated Coconut Oil!  It’s an Excellent Carrier oil and is needed when you have little ones.  This oil is used to dilute other oils that may be too “hot” or irritating to sensitive skin.

Plus its good when you have large areas to cover and want to use a few drops of Essential oil.  For example today I went to an Aces ball game and I got a bit of a sun burn…Ouch!  And so I placed a few drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil on the palm of my hand and a couple drops of lavender and rubbed it on and it was able to cover my arms.  Here’s to feeling less crispy tomorrow.  Oy!

Another Promotional item this month is the Juniper Berry which is available this month for 10% off wholesale.

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Juniper Berry supports healthy kidney and urinary function and is very beneficial to the skin. Its woody, spicy, yet fresh aroma has a calming effect that helps relieve tension and stress. When diffused, Juniper Berry helps to cleanse and purify the air.

Not a bad month is GREAT Savings and Special Promotions!

Now, if you decided to make a purchase of 200Pv I will automatically hand you a guide book that will help navigate your personal essential oil experience.  I am here too along with a great team of expert Essential oilies that will join along with you.

Let’s do this!  You too can live healthy all the while get support and aid of fellow lifestyle changers around you.

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I am a stay at home momma to two of the most amazing kids.  I have the sweetest husband in the world.  So, why do I feel so lonely?

When I have time, I see tv shows which seem to always include ladies with die hard best friends that would go to any length to stay that way and just plain be.  Oh wait, even on Facebook my eyes seem to see the banter between BFF’s.  Or maybe that’s something that I have just made up in my tangent memory.  Lol.  Whatever the case, it’s made me realize that being a mom (who is home most days of the week for each of those 24 hours) has made me almost a shut-in.  Or better yet, a girl with no real close gal pal.

Now with an almost 1 Year old, I look at the past year and see the reason I stayed home so often…being that sweet baby girl needed constant feedings (which I so faithfully did)….Yes, Good mom.  hehe.  But in that I’ve seen where my friend meter has been in lack mode.  Yes, I do enjoy my time at home.  I love being with my kids…but a girl has got to get out.

As a social being, I long so badly to hang out with a really great girl-friend and just plain be girls.  I mean it’s one thing to have a set amount of time to myself away from my adorable babies and hubby, but for some reason…even if I had that time set aside I’d wish to spend it with someone I could talk to and listen to as well.  Someone who, despite all my failings, still decides to stay friends with me.

Why is this time period, with littles at home, spent wishing for a good listener or great conversation with somebody like me?  Is there someone out there like me?  I can’t be alone.

I gotta keep in mind:

Isaiah 41:10 [Full Chapter]

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

or even:

Psalm 73:26King James Version (KJV)

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

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That’ll Work! Single Vehicle Problems while Stomping Debt.

We just recently sold our Honda and decided to keep our Jeep Liberty because it was going to make sure we stayed serious about getting out of debt.  The Honda had literally no issues when the Jeep had multiple.  One of the issues I am going to poke fun at is the power windows not working.  Now the windows are intact, it’s just the power unit that adjust how the window moves that has malfunctioned.  We have had to replace these same certain parts that make the windows work correctly numerous times.  This costs a lot for a professional to fix this issue….Like $700 per window a lot and we have had to change it at least twice…I am pretty sure more but I can’t think of the other times off the top of my head.

Now your probably wondering if their was a recall or some sort of aid that Jeep may have given to the many cars that experienced this same thing….well their was.  However we found out that we had too many miles on the Jeep and they wouldn’t cover the recall.  Hence the reason we paid the money to fix it so many times before.

Even though we paid the pretty penny to fix our power windows it didn’t stay that way.  Well the back power windows are, once again, not functioning and instead of paying a professional to “fix” it, we have decided to take things into our own hands.

Now the funny part about two adults that are NOT car savvy is that we use some creative tricks to get the results we are looking for.  I am cracking up as I am about to give you insight into how we keep our windows up…..ready….drum roll please…..Wooden spoons!  BWahahaahaha!!!!  Who knew they would come in handy outside of the kitchen?!   Yes you read right!  We jammed these kitchen gadgets in the inside of our Jeep doors and have gone hardcore in deciding to NEVER EVER open the windows back there again!  Haha!!!

Ok, so “Never Ever” again is a little over the top…..Ok, way over the top.  And not exactly true either.  Thanks to YouTube there are tutorials on how to fix this issue ourselves.  So Jay has bought the correct parts and through the help of our friendly neighbors on YouTube (hehe) we may be saving some major funds that will go directly to stomping our debt for good.  And hey, maybe one day we will be able to pay outright cash for a different vehicle that may not suffer the same issues.  Debt free dreaming, yes!  I know all my Jeep Liberty owning friends out there would shout Amen if they could.

Everytime I see a Jeep Liberty I Always, I mean Always, look to see if their window is part way down or it has duct tape on the inside or outside, or has something jammed in between the window and door.  I know that most likely it’s to keep their window from creeping down slowly as it moves around town.  It really just makes me chuckle a little because I know exactly the frustration they are feeling when their little button, to control the window placement, doesn’t work and their windows slowly shimmy downward with the movement of the car.

I saw this jeep at Gavin's Dr's office hehe.

I saw this jeep at Gavin’s Dr’s office hehe.

So in an effort to make this fun;  If you see a Vehicle with Duct Tape to hold it together or some sort of item that might keep a window up; take a picture of it.  Please leave out the license plate or any identifier.  Let’s make it fun! Post it on the Facebook page where this article is posted and I will enter you into a drawing to win a

SUP $10 Giftcard

If you haven’t been, it’s a Midtown local restaurant that makes, from scratch, their menu and it’s So Delicious.

Let the chuckles begin.  I will have this ongoing till 9pm on Friday May 15th.   Happy finding.

For my out of towner friends: I will get you a Starbucks Giftcard.  Hehe.

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A New Way to Spring Clean: Day 1

With the weather getting warmer I am getting more and more excited to get outside.  But mostly because winter has a tendency to help my house accumulate dust.  Oh yes, and having kids items change with the season such as clothing and even toys its, time to decide what stays and what goes.

Create a List: The easiest way to get started is to start a List.   Yes, a big or small one (your choice) Mine is pretty long hehe.  It serves as a physical place to harbor my thoughts so they don’t continue to bother me (only because I know I forget things so so so easy, and things like this are important so my mind will go crazy till I write it down).  Use this as a checklist to help move things along.

Let the kids get involved too!!  Yes, kids can help and often times they love to do so.  Make it age appropriate; for example, my 5 year old Gavin thinks it is fun to wipe down the baseboards, or even spray the stair spindles and cabinets (kitchen and bathroom) and wipe them down, or helps to divide clothes that he wears and doesn’t anymore.  Here is a GREAT non-toxic recipe that I use, make, and it actually works:

All Purpose Cleaner 2

Focus, Focus, Focus:  Try to stay focused.  I am preaching to the choir here.  I clean on a tangent.  Haha!!!  I start one thing (maybe dishes) then think of something else (like wow this drying towel looks dirty, maybe I should wash some laundry), then I go do that thing (like laundry), leaving the dishes half done.  Oh and adding mom into the madness It turns into lunch time, then naptime (which isn’t really nap time but, fight to sleep time) snack time….  Aye Yaye Yaye!  Focusing is something I will one day be able to master…quite possibly more-so in dreamland.  Ha!  But If I were to focus and stay on task I can actually do more of a deep cleaning and get to spring cleaning at a much faster, more efficient rate than ever before.  Yes, I am dreaming again….  But it is a beautiful dream.

Put the darn phone down!:  It’s So Easy to deviate on a task when Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, you name it; is ever before you.  PUT it down!  Set it aside… or even Lord help you to turn the thing off, if you could withstand the torture, and get to work.  If this sounds like a lot…Let’s maybe do time limits.  Ha!  Set a time limit as to how long you will clean and either use your cell like a REAL phone and act like it’s connected to the wall (weird, I know) and only answer it when you get a call or simply turn it off within your pre-set time period.  You will thank me later….or cry, yeah maybe cry.

Turn off the TV:  No talk show is going to help you focus on cleaning.  Granted, if your music is on your TV then ok…Crank that thing up!  But if you find yourself struggling to sit in one spot for the designated time period…Turn it off!  No Distractions!  You can do this!

De-Cluttering makes you happy!: Well the end result of reacquiring much needed space in the house is enough to make me do the happy dance.  Ha!.  Making things personal is the enemy.  That movie I don’t watch anymore that so and so gave me does not need to stick around…nor does that jacket, that was so 5 years ago, that I forgot was in my closet.  Sell, Donate, Trash.  Money from a sale will make me happier than that jacket I forgot that I had.  hehe.

Roll up the Sleeves and Scrub: Set your time and begin deep cleaning.  Start with the areas that need more attention and a really good scrubbing (kitchen cabinets and drawers, bathroom cabinets, cleaning the carpet, ceiling fans, windows, ovens, blinds, and fridge.  Once those are done, move to daily or weekly tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, and mopping.  Use your list.  It’s your BFF now.

 

 

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Moms on a Budget….An Awesome Grocery tip or two.

While we are paying down debt we are aware that we need to keep a tight reign on what we spend….even so when its on food.  Groceries can be a huge way to make or break a budget.  A Great way to save is to buy food from the grocery store that you actually like and eat out very little.  Now, as a mom, I love to eat out; I don’t cook or have to clean the kitchen afterwards.  So I know how hard it is to stick to that plan.  But in order for us to reach this very attainable goal of being debt free, we can and will stick to it. Hey we have cheat days…we have to have those. hehe.  We stick to 3 places to shop the majority of our groceries….Costco, Target, and Walmart.

Costco is not only a great place to go to get full on samples (great when having a picky eater that seems to think that there is better food at Costco than at home hehe), but it’s also a great place to save on fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, and most everyday items.  We buy the majority of our groceries here.  When shopping here we always, always, look to see what the coupons are.  Costco doesn’t accept Manufactured coupons but they offer, every month, their own coupons.  We have saved so much on coffee, cereals, snacks, household items, etc.  Because the fruits and veggies are in bulk, they go bad quicker than most regular size families can eat them so it’s not a bad idea to go halfsies with someone.  That way you can get the fruits and veggies you want without seeing them die in your fridge because they weren’t eaten quickly enough.

I don’t much care for fresh meat to be frozen so we usually buy a couple days worth of meat at a time.  So when we are at Costco we buy only one type of fresh protein.  At home, for example, we eat let’s say chicken for 3 days in a row.  We totally have to find ways to change things up so we don’t think we are eating the same meal every night.  Ha!  For salad we also buy spinach because we know that if it’s almost that time where it’s seeming to start to go bad, it’s time to place it in the skillet and make some sort of stir fry or creamed spinach or even put it in soups or cooked meats.  Romaine and iceberg lettuce don’t allow for the same options.  When their bad, their bad and there’s no salvaging it.

Target has some great ways to save.  They offer coupons and have an app for your phone which gives additional savings as well.  The coupons are at the target website and can be chosen and printed off.  The target app is called Cartwheel and paired with the weekly ad and the printed coupons can save some big money.  Every Sunday target comes up with their new target ads and based on what we need I adjust where we shop based on the three savings here.

Target has a markdown schedule that’s pretty easy to follow as well.   It varies by store but our local stores seem to follow these markdown rules pretty well.  Depending on what you need, it’s a great way to save.  Here is the schedule. ..

Target Markdown Schedule 2

These markdowns happen approximately 2 weeks and offer discounts of 15/30/50/70%.  I’ve also seen 80% off as well.   At Holiday time this sequence of discounts happen every 2 days.

One more thing about Target : hehe.   The tags here tell you if they will be discounted again. …Cool huh!  So if the clearance red price ends in .06 cents or .08 cents this item will be discounted again.    If the price ends in .04 cents that’s all it will clearance down to. However, for a busy momma, I tend to buy it when I see it.

Walmart is a great place to buy as well.  Like target they offer coupons that can be printed from their website.  Walmart has an app as well but it isn’t a coupon app.  It’s more of a get your savings after the fact app.  The app for your phone is called Savings Catcher.  It checks a certain amount of competitive stores and if their are cheaper prices elsewhere they give you the difference in an In-App giftcard.  Not a bad idea but I like to know what I am saving before I get there.  So I don’t shop this way often.  It’s not a bad idea, I’ve just not used it much.

To sum up the fun it’ important to:

  1. Figure out your basic foods; meat, veggies, fruit, cereals, that you actually like.
  2. Review and think about which stores you buy those certain things (Example: do you buy meat at Walmart? or Safeway? or Costco?)
  3. Look at weekly ads if available
  4. See if their are any coupons or Apps that give additional savings.
  5. Print your coupons/bring your phone
  6. Eat at home and keep your money. Ha!

We can do this!!!  I’d love to hear your tips too.  I am all about saving money.  It doesn’t have to be hard to do.  Just find what is best for you and stick with it.  You can do it too!

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Baby Girl can sit up and crawl! Eek!!!

Sweet Arielle can sit up and has finally understood the art of Crawling.  And that means, at the grocery store, we can ditch the baby car seat as well as the baby carrier. Now I love that baby carrier but my sweet girl is really getting big and the weight of her on my back is a bit much. I mean she is in front of me but my back just can’t handle carrying her around too long.  So I embrace gladly her sitting up so well….not so much the crawling everywhere.

I LOVE Costco, well I LOVE their shopping carts.  With Gavin being little still and Arielle sitting up so well I am able to place the both of them in the cart.  Before, when Arielle was in her car seat, while at the grocery store she would cry and get upset that she couldn’t see anything.  I would also place her in the carrier too and that helped.  Now that she is big she is loving being able to see as well as sitting next to her brother.  Yay!  Grocery shopping isn’t a nightmare anymore.  She loves sitting next to her brother but I think she is more ecstatic about being able to see anywhere her heart desires to turn her head.  hehe.

 

I remember when Gavin was a baby and how we wanted so badly for him to get moving and start crawling.  We also remember how quickly he got around and got into things we wished he didn’t.  At that time we lived in a small apartment with very little storage places.  I also remember that he didn’t crawl long, if at all, and he would mostly push himself upwards on furniture and walk along the couch or coffee table.  We changed our minds quickly on how fast we wanted sweet baby girl to get around.  Ha!

Well now she is crawling and crawling really well.  We decided to blockade her in the living room.  She isn’t really interested in the stairs yet but she loves the kitchen.  Maybe that’s something to keep my eye on later.  hehe.  We have wonderful, very spendy, toys laid out in front of her and she is more interested in some dollar store measuring spoons, tissue paper (used for wrapping), or crazy pieces of who knows what on the floor.  She definitely reminds me to vacuum every day.  She plays with her toys but for some reason the silliest things keep her attention.

With her need to move and learn and play we will stay busy and keep an eye on her as she takes on the world in our house and elsewhere.  There’s fun to be had.  Let the fun begin!

 

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So you know what you want to be when you grow up?

So, my sweet 5 year old Gavin already believes he knows what he wants to be when he grows up.  I know that his mind isn’t made up and his thoughts will change most likely with every day that passes, but it’s fun to see what today holds.  I love to ask him questions because I daily live the show “Kid’s say the darndest things.”  He says the BEST things.  I probably can have a book of Gavin sayings.  Ha!  So when I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he told me with no hesitation that he wanted to “post videos on YouTube”.  While he was setting up his scenery and props I asked, “Is that a job?”   And he said “Yeah, If you record good videos then someone will pay you.”  Then he said “We need to record me opening my Easter eggs.”

So I got my phone out and recorded him as he opened his eggs.  He wanted right away to watch what he had just done and what I recorded.  I had no idea how serious he was until he watched his little video and then immediately turned the dining room light on and asked me to re-record him.  Haha!  So, I did and he re-watched it and then said “Umm, I think for Christmas I am going to have to get a camera.”  I laughed so hard!  I can’t believe that came out of his mouth.  I kept thinking Wow your 5!  Sweet boy….The dollar store is suppose to be cool still.  Crayons are suppose to be cool…  Lord knows I was hoping that inexpensive supplies like paint, blank paper, balls, gardening tools and even a bike still made his day.    Ok, so he still loves them, but come on….A Camera?!  Hahahah!!!!  I never dreamed of having one at 5 years old.

So because this is new territory for me and probably everyone in my generation and before I will just pray, have fun, and go with.  For sure being a mom in this day and age of social media needs lots of God and innocent fun; and of course prayer against all the negative that comes with social media.  But for now….as a mom of today….Let the fun begin!

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