USA All the Way!

I received these shirts to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

One of my favorite things about the summer is the Fourth of July – the lake, the family fun, the fireworks! Our Fourth of July celebrations usually include a trip to my uncle and aunt’s lake cabin in Minnesota. It’s one of my very favorite traditions from growing up and now we get to take our boys there! With tons of family around and tons of things to do, the day just flies by and lots of memories are made. After tubing, jet skis, water skiing, front yard football and baseball, backyard badminton, and fantastic food, everybody loves to settle in around the campfire for stories and s’mores. It really is the perfect summer day!

There are two holidays for which I buy everyone in the family new shirts every year – St. Patrick’s Day and Independence Day! I just can’t help myself when I see all the fun new red, white, and blue apparel appear in stores and online. With the boys growing so fast now, they definitely can’t fit into their shirts from the previous year!

This year, I picked out the boys’ Fourth of July shirts from Cents of Style!

I love these baseball raglan tees so much and so do my boys! While are July days are usually quite hot, the nights can get quite chilly, especially at the lake, so these are a great option for layering as we head to the campfire!

The classic baseball raglan tee is perfect for any age because it never goes out of style! And these lightweight tees let my boys still be active without getting too hot! They even wore them for our newest favorite activity: shooting hoops in our driveway!

Gosh, I love being a boy mom! This new basketball hoop by our driveway has been the BEST thing for our active boys – I can’t get them to come inside!

 

Now, about those shirts…

Cents of Style has all kinds of fun and festive kids’ shirts on sale this weekend only! Use the code KIDSTORY to get 50% off all kids’ shirts – some will be as low as $5! Shipping is free, too! This deal ends Sunday, June 18th, so don’t miss out!

Which shirts will your kid(s) be sporting from this awesome collection?!

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Just When You Think He’s Not Listening

We have that one child who seems like he never hears us the first time around. Getting his attention and holding it isn’t always easy. While he is very smart and does so well in school, sometimes I’ve wondered if anything we say is soaking in.

Do you have a child like that? Let me give you a little hope today.

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As we drove to school one morning last week, our three-year-old asked: “When do we get to be with Jesus?”

That’s a pretty deep question for 7:30 in the morning while stuck in stop-and-go traffic. I took a big breath and readied my answer, but seven-year-old Little J chimed in first.

“We get to be with Jesus when we go to heaven! And in heaven, there is no pain or sickness or sadness. It’s all happy!”

This definitely got my attention in the best way possible. Double J (our three-year-old) seemed very interested as well and his big brother wasn’t done yet.

“You get to go to heaven if you ask Jesus into your heart! Big J and I have both asked Jesus to come into our hearts so we’ll be in heaven with Him. You can ask Him, too!”

Cue the big mommy tears.

Our rides to school in the morning have been a highlight of my day. We always start with prayer and then the kids take turns picking music to listen to and sing. It feels like some calm in the middle of a chaotic morning.

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But that morning last week. That morning topped them all. The child who doesn’t always listen, who seems to often be in his own little world…he has most certainly been listening. He has soaked up the true meaning of the Gospel over the years, and he was fully ready to share it with his little brother, without being asked.

His younger brother has been listening as well, because in the midst of hiding tears of joy behind my sunglasses and trying to keep my blurry eyes on the road, I heard his little three-year-old voice say:

“And Jesus is in heaven because He died on the cross and rose from the tomb!”

All those days of reading Bible stories over and over again, of memorizing verses and singing worship songs, of answering the same questions over and over again…they are 100% worth it, moms and dads. Our kids coming to know the love and saving power of Jesus is all His grace, but you are doing His good work when you share the Good News with your children day after day.

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In the days following, three-year-old Double J has talked a lot about heaven and death and what he will get to take with Him. So much of this is a mystery even to us as mature Christians, so I don’t have all the answers for him. He’s pretty sad that his Duplos won’t go with him to heaven. But I love the conversation that is happening in our home, all because our seven-year-old was bold in sharing the message of salvation he has been hearing all through his young life.

All this discussion led to a few little words with big weight from our youngest earlier this week:

“Mommy, I can’t wait to be with Jesus in heaven.”

Me neither, buddy.

May we all live with the boldness, the faith, and the joy of our children, soaking up every little bit of God’s goodness.

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Back to School with OshKosh B’Gosh!

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’Gosh. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

You may recall how my boys fell in love with OshKosh B’Gosh clothes this summer. They seriously love shopping at OshKosh B’Gosh and wear their OshKosh clothes all the time. The active clothes and graphic tees have been their favorite!

We headed back to our local OshKosh B’Gosh outlet store to do some back-to-school shopping and we were not disappointed!

OshKosh Back to School

Back-to-school season is completely different this year as we are sending our boys to school for the first time. They are going to school in style with the great shirts they picked out from OshKosh’s new Black, White, and Indigo collection!

OshKosh Little J #1 OshKosh Little J #2

Little J is in second grade and is a big fan of this glow-in-the-dark baseball tee. It is a great piece to transition to fall – long-sleeved but lightweight and super fun – just like my Little J!

OshKosh Big J #1 OshKosh Big J #2

Big J just started fourth grade and he likes to look sharp. I think he looks very handsome in this dark denim shirt that pulls from the OshKosh jeans tradition but with a modern twist. OshKosh B’Gosh jeans are well loved and always in style. I think we can say the same about this shirt!

OshKosh Double J #1 OshKosh Double J #2

Double J is home with Mommy and loving the one-on-one time, but he didn’t want to miss out on the back-to-school styles! He went with glow-in-the-dark like his big brother. This another great fall piece with a little more warmth than the baseball tee and lots of fun details!

OshKosh Crazy Boys

All three of these fabulous shirts are from the Black, White, and Indigo line which also includes jeans and comfy pants. You’ll want to head to your local OshKosh B’Gosh store to check out this line as well as the B’Gosh Blue Jeans and the World’s Best Overalls! And you can save while you shop with this 25% off coupon that is good through the end of September!

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OshKosh B’Gosh is going beyond great clothes for kids in their stores this fall. The B’gosh Jeanius Campaign is all about providing kids in need with all the back-to-school essentials – everything from clothes to books to school supplies!

OshKosh B’Gosh, alongside K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., and DonorsChoose.org, gives you as the customer the opportunity to donate a new pair of jeans or make a cash donation to a students in need this school year. All jeans donated through September 16, 2015, will be delivered to local children in need through K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, and all cash donations will be dsitricbuted to local DonorsChoose.org.

That’s not all! The Carters Charitable Foundation will match all cash donations up to $50,000 and all denim donations with a new item of clothing. Isn’t that amazing?! Give kids a leg up and donate a new pair of blue jeans or make a cash donation at the register when you head there to shop for your own kids! You can read all the details about the B’gosh Jeanius Campaign here.

OshKosh Huddle OshKosh All Three Running

OshKosh B’Gosh made back-to-school shopping a breeze for my boys and I know you’ll love everything they have in the store for your kiddos, too! Grab that 25% off coupon and run to your nearest OshKosh store!

Have you been to OshKosh B’Gosh recently? What OshKosh clothes do you love for your own kids?

 

 

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Huggies + Target Subscription Service!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have my last kiddo in diapers right now. Do you hear the angels singing?! I do. And it’s a glorious thought that we will be done with diapers for good in six months at the most. This is one stage I will not be sad to see go!

But while we are still using diapers, we always get them at Target because, well, I love Target. And last week, I picked up some new diapers and wipes to try in my very favorite store!

Huggies Target

Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with the SureFit design are meant to keep your little one leak-free for up to 12 hours! And the flexible waistband keeps the diaper in place even when your toddler is all over the place! Trust me on this one…

Huggies Jump Huggies Muscles Huggies Pushup

He really wanted to show me how he could do a pushup. Also, it is really hard to get an in-focus picture of a 2 1/2 year old who never. stops. moving. The end.

My little guy loves the Mickey Mouse + Friends design, and I love how not bulky the diaper is, even when wet!

Huggies Diaper

We’re both also loving the Huggies Natural Care Wipes. We stick to gentle or fragrance/dye-free items whenever possible, so the Natural Care Wipes are right in line with that we need! They are super soft and gentle, even when cleaning up the biggest of messes! Plus, the containers are super cute – that matters, right?!

We may be almost done with diapers, but we are definitely NOT almost done with wipes! I think I will keep a container of these baby wipes in the car for the rest of my life because they are so handy for every kind of mess, including the kind I make when eating. Yep, messy eater right here.

Now I have some sad related news: Remember how I told you last week we will be moving next summer? The town we are moving to does NOT have a Target. {cue sad violin music}

I’m totally not ready for this deprivation, but Target is launching a new subscription program for automatic shipments of diapers, wipes, formula and other household essentials! You just shop for the items you need, set up a schedule for delivery, and get big savings – 5% off + free shipping + an extra 5% off if you use your RedCard! You can change your subscription items and schedule at any time!

The nearest Target once we move will be an hour away, which isn’t too bad, but I could save the gas money and schedule for things like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, etc. to just show up at my house! I LOVE THAT!

Ok, after that bad news, I need to throw in one more piece of good news: I have a Huggies coupon for you to use at Target! Just click here to claim your Huggies coupon from TargetSaving money on necessities is always good news, right?!

Where are you in the diaper journey: just starting, right in the middle, or almost done like me?

Do you think you’ll use the subscription service from Target?

 

Check out more from Huggies on their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!

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All the Feelings

Our sweet, squishy, super-energetic and super-loving Little J turns six today.

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Our confident, independent, way-too-old-already Big J left for three nights at church camp yesterday.

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And Double J…well, he’s two, so…you know…

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Excuse me while I have all the feelings today.

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I’ve been floating around to different places on the web lately! You can check them out here:

The Making of an Affiliate Marketer – My podcast debut over at the Declare Conference!

Deep Breaths – one way I embrace motherhood in the middle of chaos at Thrive Moms

 

 

 

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All the Words

Our littlest guy is growing up fast. Too fast.

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A little over a month ago, he climbed out of the pack-n-play, which I had him in while I started supper. On his own. With nothing to aid his escape.

Double J Climbing

This prompted us to move him out of a crib for fear he would scale the side of it next and fall much further to the ground. While we knew the transition to a big boy bed this early {20 months} would be rocky, I don’t think I’ve ever had to put a child back in his bed so many times in my life. At all hours of the night. Lord, help us.

The bed situation may be one of the more stressful parts of Double J’s growing up, but we’re just loving another part of his growth recently – his speech.

Double J Pumpkin

Within the last few weeks, he has gone from babbling like the one-year-old he is to putting words to just about every thought that comes into his head and even stringing together some toddler sentences, a.k.a three or four words in a row that kind of make sense!

Mommy
Daddy
book
car
more drink
cra-cra {craisins}
crackers
woof-woofs
puh-puh {better check the diaper}
no…no…and more no

My mom and sister visited this weekend and commented on how much he had opened up verbally since they last saw him a month ago! And all this talking came together for a pretty darn cute exchange Saturday night.

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Well, it didn’t start out so cute. Cars was on TV and Double J pulled out our collection of cars die casts to play with his brothers. They unrolled our road floor mat and started lining up cars, driving around the town, and having a fun little brother time…until Double J picked up a car and threw it at Little J’s head. And laughed.

Oh boy…

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Double J was reprimanded, gave his brother a hug, and was then removed from play time to get ready for bed. After getting his pajamas on, I took him to say goodnight to Daddy. I mentioned the incident to The Hubby at which point Double J launched into this progression {Jaja is what he calls his middle brother}…

Jaja no no
Jaja car no no
Jaja thow car no no
Ow
No no

Oh my word. I think it went on even a little longer than this. The Hubby and I both had to cover our mouths to keep from laughing as he processed his bad decision from earlier, complete with the action of throwing the car and shaking his head no. So cute, so hilarious, and so grown up!

Double J Cowboy

This “word explosion” has started earlier and earlier with each boy, but it is so fun each time to watch them discover the English language and learn how to express themselves!

Now, if we could just get him to process the whole “stay in your bed” thing…

All three of our kids are talkers. I think I know who they get that from! How about your kids? Did they have a “word explosion” at a certain age or did they slowly add more and more words to their vocabulary?

 

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The Big ONE for Double J! {Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!}

Our baby is no longer a baby.

Excuse me while I weep my way through this day. 

How could a year have passed THIS quickly?!

JJ BirthJJ 1 month JJ 2 months JJ 3 months JJ 4 months JJ 5 months JJ 6 months JJ 7 months JJ 8 months JJ 9 months JJ 10 months JJ 11 monthsJJ 12 months

Dear Sweet Double J,

Our family feels complete since you joined it. You bring us joy every day with your smiles, giggles, funny sounds, hugs & kisses, and quacks! We love your silliness and adventurous spirit, and can’t wait to see your personality unveiled even more as you grow up! We love you so much!

Lots of love,

Daddy, Mommy, Big J, & Little J

JJ First Birthday Collage

Happy 1st Birthday Double J!

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He’s Just Showing Off!

Our little man must have been watching mama attempt some yoga and pilates lately, but if you ask me, he has WAY better form than I do.

I think he’s just showing off…

Way to move, buddy!

{And yes, he’s pretty much able to get anywhere he wants now. Not full crawling, but almost! Enough to be getting into trouble!}

 

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What I Love This Weekend

Double J started rice cereal this past week. I totally love this look on his face at his first taste! He actually gobbles it down quite easily already!

Other things I loved this week… 

A Case for Letting Boys Be Strong – It is so hard to let go, but Brooke is so right! I want to raise strong, confident men for the Lord!

Putting Off and Putting On – Don’t just tell your children to stop bad behavior!

Summer outdoor essentials for babies and toddlers – Great advice from a family who practically lives outdoors!

Looking for a mentor? I’ve got a 40 minute session with your name on it! – A wonderful giveaway from one of my favorite authors, Sally Clarkson. I really shouldn’t tell you about the giveaway because I really want to win, but I like you!

Summer Olympics Family Fun PackWhat’s in the Bible? puts together another awesome resource and it’s FREE! Did I mention you will be entered to win prizes just by downloading this fun pack?! {And you still have time to get any DVD for only $10 PLUS 20% off when you click here to purchase!}

Be blessed this weekend!

 

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Sunbathing Baby

Somebody thought it was time he join his brothers for some backyard pool fun…

The chub! The cheeks! The smiles! This baby boy has stolen my heart!

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