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!

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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!

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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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First Day of School 2015!

We did it! We made it through the first day of school outside of our home!

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If you ask the boys how it went, you will hear the same thing from both of them: AWESOME.

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Getting ready in the morning went pretty well. Actually getting to school was a little hairy since I had no idea what traffic would be like! They were at school on time (barely), but we left earlier and took a different route this morning and that will be our go-to plan.

The boys talked pretty much nonstop from the time I picked them up and these were a few of my favorite quotes:

First Day of School 2015 Little J

Little J (very first thing he said to me): “My first day of school was AWESOME!”

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Big J: “I played kickball at recess for the first time!”

Me: “Did you eat your lunch?” Little J: “I could only finish my cheese and half my sandwich.” (That eating lunch quickly thing is going to take some practice!)

Big J: “My favorite part of the day was interviewing my teacher!”

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Double J: “Let’s go on a date to the children’s museum!”

I only cried once, right after we dropped them off. I blame The Hubby for making me emotional. But he made up for it by taking the little guy and I to Caribou Coffee to celebrate!

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It was a day of new things for all of us and I’m incredibly thankful it went so well. I thought I would be annoyed by the driving time there and back, but we’re making the best of it by praying, singing, and sharing our days. I kind of love it already. And I got some pretty big hugs when the day was over. I cherished every second.

I’m sure I will have many more thoughts on this whole going-to-school adventure, but today I just want to celebrate surviving and thriving on the first day!

How is back-to-school going for all of you? Any good stories to share?

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Changes at Home + School

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Change has abounded for us this year. Big change and little change, making life more complicated, but also better in so many ways. I’m reading a fabulous book by my friend Kristen right now called Girl Meets Change and it could not be more timely. I’ll be sharing a full review when I finish it up, but I remember this quote from her from a blog post a while back that goes perfectly with the book as well as my life circumstances:

“The old thing may be familiar, but the new thing may be fantastic.” – Kristen Strong

That’s what I’m holding on to this week because this is happening:

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After four years of homeschool, our older boys are going to school for the first time (other than preschool). It is a big time of transition, but I am so thankful to say God has our whole family on the same page and we’re very excited for this new season! How big and handsome do they look in this pic?! This was taken at the school open house when they met their teachers and brought in all of their school supplies and I got a million papers to deal with!

There was a time when The Hubby and I knew God wanted us to move in this direction and the kids were less than excited about the idea. But God… He led us to a school we all fell in love with and we are so grateful. I know every school decision comes with its own challenges, but it also comes with new opportunities for adventure. Shopping for school supplies and planning lunches both count as adventures for Mom, right?!

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As we get ready for the first day on Wednesday of this week, I’m focusing on the joy of a God doing a new thing in our family! And it could not be more perfect that I have a post up today over on the Tommy Nelson blog about embracing the joy of back-to-school. It’s for anyone and everyone starting up the school year – homeschool, public school, private school. I hope it will be a blessing to you and your family! I know I will be praying these verses with and for my kids throughout the year.

The little guy, Double J, is only three and will still be home with me. He says we’re going to go on dates to the children’s museum when the boys are at school. He also says he is going to marry me. Cue the heart melting. I haven’t been home with just one kid since the summers when I was a teacher and Big J was super little, so this will be very interesting! I know we will have tons of fun.

And now I’m diving back in to figuring out schedules and lunches and all the things…pray for me.

Talk to me about your kids and school! When did/do they start? What grades? How can I pray for them and you this school year?

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Weekend Snapshots

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As I write this, The Hubby is taking his boards, that last test before his life as a “real” physician commences. It’s a ten-hour test. That sounds like torture, right?! Please pray for him during the home stretch this afternoon!

To give him a relaxing, QUIET weekend before his test, the boys and I went up to my parents and all sorts of fun was had!

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The cousins, Urkel style. We decided this needs to be recreated in twenty years.

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Grandma made a family-style dessert to die for. Eating it outside was a genius move because ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE. Messy and delicious go together well.

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I finished one book that I’ll tell you about tomorrow and started this green gem by Kristen Strong. It could not be more perfect for this season of life.

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My sister and I ran eleven miles Saturday morning which was great except for the humidity and heavy legs at the end. Go away, humidity. I rewarded myself with a maple bacon donut. No further explanation needed.

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Today is my sweet mom’s birthday, so us girls had pedicures and did some boutique shopping to celebrate! My last pedicure was for my sister’s wedding five years ago. My toes are happy right now. And my niece’s fingers and toes were so adorable.

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My oldest friend – as in the one I’ve been friends with the longest – is moving away from our hometown and I am absolutely thrilled for her! We got together this weekend to process and celebrate. Macarons were involved. I was a macaron virgin before this, but the salted caramel one (on the left) from C.H. Patisserie will have me coming back for more every time we visit. HEAVEN.

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Baby niece snuggles are just the best. That is all.

WS 8-3 8Last but not least, I am the mom who took her child to church Sunday night with a giant marker scribble in the middle of his shirt. According to him, “I look cool like this.”

There was lots of other fun and games, but this is our weekend in a nutshell! What were you up to this weekend?

I’m linking up with Weekend Snapshots over at Her Heartland Soul!

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These Kids Are Runners!

I’ve been a runner for just over three years now. The Hubby started running a few months before me. Running has changed so many things about our lives for the better and our boys have taken notice.

This spring, our nine-year-old, Big J, mentioned he would like to do a 5K. We looked at the calendar and picked out a race in our area for the end of July. Big J and I sat down with the Couch to 5K plan and made a training plan for him to check off for eight weeks.

He amazed us during those eight weeks. If you don’t know about the Couch to 5K plan, it starts with long intervals of walking and short intervals of running. As the weeks progress, you walk less and run more. Big J did some runs with The Hubby or I outside, but many of them were on the treadmill. He was so dedicated and got through every single training run, even during the week he went to camp.

Along the way, Little J, our seven-year-old, decided he wanted to try the one-mile race on the same morning. He did some treadmill walking and a few spontaneous runs during his big brother’s baseball practice, but no formal training.

On race day, the one-mile race was first and Little J had Daddy by his side. We really had no idea what to expect from him, but when they took off, I thought it might be a while before they made their way back.

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Imagine my surprise when we saw Little J headed towards the finish line less than ten minutes later!

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The Hubby was surprised as well because Little J ran the whole time and finished with a time of 9:50! He came in second!

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Little J says he can’t wait to do his next race to get better and get another medal. I love it.

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Big J’s 5K race started a half hour later and I had the privilege of running with him. We said a little prayer before we started – for strength, endurance, and a fun experience!

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Summer races in Nebraska are not my favorite. Even with an early start, the humidity was no fun and the sun was shining down pretty bright. All of this just makes it even more impressive that Big J only walked for a few seconds a couple times the whole race. And he’s just like his mama – talking most of the time.

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I peeled off at the end of the race to let him finish on his own, sprinting those last few minutes with cheers and pictures and an announcer calling his name, telling everyone a nine-year-old was coming in at 34:53!

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Yes, I cried. When both kids crossed the finish line. The perseverance and determination they showed through training and the race left us incredibly proud. We saw a new side of them. Running means so much to us and we could see how much our boys enjoyed this running experience. These kids are runners and are already thinking about what races they want to do next, maybe when it is a little cooler!

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Our boys also know the best way to celebrate after a great race. We teach them well.

Are your kids interested in running? Have they ever run a race?

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Your Ears Will Love These Headphones!

I received these items to review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own!

I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences with headphones and running. This pair hurt my ears, that pair wouldn’t stay in my ears, the other pair started shorting out and shocking me while I tried to run…yeah, not so good luck with headphones and running.

Whenever someone tells me I should try a certain pair of headphones because they love them, I usually pass. I just don’t believe there is one magical pair that works for every runner…but maybe I’m wrong. Panasonic recently sent me two new pairs of headphones for our active family to try out and we’re loving both of them!

Panasonic Headphones

All of the headphones I’ve tried for running in the past have been in-ear headphones. Most of them either hurt or fell out. I was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn’t the case with the Panasonic Sport Clip Headphones!

Sport Clip Headphones

They are very lightweight and fit perfectly over and in my ears, holding snuggling but not with too much pressure. The sound quality is exceptional and they also work with your smartphone so you can answer calls while running! I don’t do that very often, but it is a nice feature to have!

Bone Conduction Headphones

While I loved the sport clip style, it was another pair of headphones that really blew all of us away. Panasonic Open Ear Bone Conduction Headphones are like nothing else I have ever tried. They don’t go IN your ears, they sit on the bone right in front of your ear. You hear the music through vibrations in your skull. It sounds crazy, but it totally works and everyone in the family had to try them!

Big J Headphones

The nice thing about using these headphones for running is they don’t plug up your ears completely, so you would be able to hear a car coming or a biker passing you on the trail AND hear your music with great clarity. This is a really valuable safety feature for outdoor runners. And that makes these water-resistant headphones the perfect choice as you’re training for your summer and fall races!

Speaking of races, we’re adding another race runner to the family this weekend as our oldest (nine years old) has been training for his first 5K! We have been so impressed by his dedication to sticking to a training plan, doing three runs a week, some outside and some on the treadmill. He followed the Couch to 5K program for eight weeks and the big race is this Saturday!

Headphones Warm Weather Pack

It’s going to be a warm morning, so we’re packing a great water bottle and cooling towel for after the race. Not a big fan of the heat and humidity, but it comes with living in Nebraska!

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I’ll be running with Big J for the 5K and probably crying when he finishes. Yes, I’m that mom. Our seven-year-old will also be doing his first one-mile race with The Hubby that morning! This running lifestyle has become quite the adventure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I LOVE sharing it with our whole family!

What’s your experience with headphones for exercise? Do you have a pair you love?

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Summer is for S’mores!

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

Can I be honest with you? I’ve kind of always dreaded the arrival of summer. There have been parts of summer I’ve enjoyed – swimming, family vacations, no school – but I just wasn’t crazy about the heat and humidity and being out in it at all.

All of that has been changing this year. Maybe it’s me, but I think it has to do more with my kids. They’re growing up and we’re able to take off on adventures as a family more easily. We’ve been playing outside, exploring our city, staying up later, and I’m starting to think summer can be quite glorious.

OshKosh Happy Brothers
I think the most wonderful of all are the summer nights.
We’ve enjoyed have family play dates with friends in the evening so we can share the joy that is…

OshKosh Smores Supplies

S’MORES.

OshKosh J Fire Pit

We are blessed to have a beautiful fire pit and seating area in our backyard, the perfect location for the perfect yummy summer activity for a play date or sleepover!

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The combination of a warm fire, gooey treats, and kids is magical.

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It’s fun to have variety available when we make s’mores with guests! We mix it up with different chocolates – dark chocolate is my favorite, Big J loves peanut butter cups, and I’ll let you take a guess at the top choice of Little J…

OshKosh Hersheys

With all of the fun chocolate options, every kid can have a custom treat they will enjoy! We somehow ended up with one kiddo who just wants the roasted marshmallow by itself and one who wants all the parts of a s’more, but wants to eat them separately. I just don’t understand.

OshKosh Eating
S’mores and summer fun go hand-in-hand at our house and we love them both even more when we get to share them with friends!

We are also totally loving the new summer play clothes the boys picked out at our local OshKosh B’Gosh store this past week!

OshKosh Surf

I’ve always thought of overalls and denim when OshKosh B’Gosh was mentioned, but they are quickly becoming my go-to store for bright, fun summer looks for my boys. The boys were actually EXCITED to be shopping in the OshKosh B’Gosh store and that is a BIG DEAL!

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With sizes 0-12, we were able to shop for all three boys in one store and we had piles of tops and shorts they all loved. The deals at OshKosh B’Gosh were so great that we were able to get everything they wanted – ten tops and four pairs of shorts – for under $100!

OshKosh Shark Face

I can’t get the boys to wear anything excet their new OshKosh B’Gosh clothes and that’s fine with me! I love their bright colors, hand-drawn original designs, and great quality.

OshKosh Shirts

I think these outfits match their personalities quite well, don’t you?! And Little J’s dino shirt (top right) glows in the dark, which is so perfect for an evening play date!

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I should probably mention that if you’re going to do s’mores for a play date, please allow some “burning off all that sugar” time. They’ll need it. Trust me.

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See what I mean?!

I love my boys. I love spending summer with them. And I know you will love the new summer styles from OshKosh B’Gosh as much as we do, especially with this great discount through July 13th!

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Find your local OshKosh B’Gosh store here, grab your kids, and enjoy finding them some fun new summer clothes together with 25% off your purchase of $30 or more! You can also use this deal online with the code SUMMER25 at checkout.

You can join in on the #HelloSummerFun action and be inspired with OshKosh B’Gosh on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

Your turn: talk to me about your favorite s’mores combination! We are always looking for new ideas!


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Take Us Out to the Ballgame!

Summer. Baseball. Family. Fun.

These words just go together, don’t they?!

In Omaha, you can add three more words: College World Series.

Every June, college baseball fans from all over the country converge upon our fair city to cheer on their teams and it is quite the sight to see! The Hubby and I attended a College World Series game back when we were a young married couple without kids. That was back in the days of Rosenblatt Stadium, the long-time location for this baseball championship that is no longer standing.

We hadn’t been back to the College World Series or the festivities surrounding them since they moved to downtown Omaha, but we made it a priority this year! With the boys getting older and being more interested in actually watching the game, this was the perfect year to take it all in!

CWS Opening Day Collage

We had such a fun time attending the Opening Day festivities – meeting players, watching practice, playing games, eating yummy food! It was a great way to see the stadium and teams up close for FREE!

The fun didn’t stop there, though, because The Hubby picked up tickets for us to attend two games, including one featuring LSU, the team our oldest son had decided to cheer for in the tournament! Imagine the excitement when the boys found out we were going! Honestly, I was just as excited as them!

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One of the biggest differences between attending the Opening Day activities and the game was the weather! On Friday, we were wearing hoodies and jeans, but by game day on Tuesday, it was in the upper 80s with LOTS of sunshine! We came equipped with the necessities – hats, sunglasses, water bottles, and plenty of great Banana Boat® sunscreen!

As a mom, I know how important it is to make sun protection a priority. Sunscreen does more than protect against sunburns. It protects against long-term effects that are not always visible, like skin damage and skin cancer.

Banana Boat® sun care products are tested in seven conditions – sun, pool water, ocean water, wind, sweat, sand and extreme heat – to provide safe and effective broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection for the entire family. The Hubby and I prefer Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Lotion Sunscreen with PowerStay Technology™ for our active lifestyles as runners and as busy parents of boys!

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Our trip to this ballgame ended with an LSU win, three happy boys, and no sunburn! It was a smashing success and we we went back for more later in the week Looks like we have a new yearly tradition!

Have you had a memorable trip to a baseball game? Tell me about it!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Banana Boat® . The opinions and text are all mine.

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Mary Poppins + The Rose

I received tickets to Mary Poppins from the Rose in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review and all opinions are 100% my own.

I wrote last month about my return to the world of musical theatre – watching, not acting – with the amazing musical, Once, at the Orpheum. Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of taking my boys along for a magical musical journey when we attended Mary Poppins at the Rose!

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The Rose is a performing arts theater in Omaha focused on enriching the lives of children and their families through live theater and arts education. They strive to make the arts accessible to all children, with shows for all ages and programs to provide tickets for low-income families. Each season at the Rose features seven shows, plus two premium shows such the one we attended last week!

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The actual theater building is magical on its own, with beautifully sculpted interiors, gorgeous decor, and a ceiling that changes from clouds to stars with fun lighting. Just being in the theater is an experience, but we were in for a bigger treat when our show began!

We’re big fans of Mary Poppins, but the stage musical varies a bit from the movie with which we’re so familiar. That wasn’t a concern at all because the songs we love so much – “Feed the Birds,” “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and more – were still there and the new ones were delightful as well!

The cast was all local actors and the talent was amazing! The boys were agreed on their favorite cast member – Michael – and song – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” They were able to meet “Michael” afterwards and this gracious 11-year-old was kind enough to give them each an autograph on their kids’ programs!

My favorites were the same as my favorites in the movie. Bert was just as Bert should be – charming, fun, wise, and a great dancer. And I’ve always been a sucker for a great group dance number, so I was totally won over by “Step in Time.” I especially loved the tap and the boys loved the special effects that had Bert dancing on the ceiling!

Remember how I mentioned I cried during Once? I actually had tears in my eyes during several of the big group dance numbers at Mary Poppins! And they weren’t even sad songs! There is just something about seeing a group singing and dancing so well together that gets me all emotional. I’d call that a sign of a wonderful performance!

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The Rose has so many extra little things that make the night special for families. The kids received programs as they entered with a plot summary and tons of fun activities to go with the show! Little J was thankful for the free booster seat that helped him see better from his spot!

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Before the show and during intermission, kids are welcome to look down into the orchestra pit to watch the musicians prepare for the show.

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At intermission of the two premier shows, there are chocolate chips cookies, bottled water, and pop available for $1 each! It was the perfect little treat in between acts! And at the end of the show, actors are available for Q&A with the kids and autographs!

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Before we even went to Mary Poppins, our family had purchased a membership for next season and we are all so excited to use it! A family membership to the Rose is just $95 and includes 4 tickets to each of the seven regular season shows. With your membership, you also receive discounts on the two premium shows of the season and classes, member-only opportunities for backstage tours and show-themed family classes, and a free member day! This is an amazing deal for such great exposure to the arts for the whole family!

Mary Poppins runs Friday and Saturday nights, along with Saturday and Sunday afternoons through June 28th. Purchase your tickets now and take the whole family!

 

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Weekend Snapshots

We packed a whole lot in to this wonderful weekend, so get ready for some photo overload in this week’s Weekend Snapshots!

Our weekend was spent in South Dakota with family starting with a little time in Brookings…

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I’ve been going to Nick’s since I was a little girl. It’s one of those old-fashioned diner places that serve hamburgers right at the counter and I just love taking our kids there now! Nick’s is a must if you visit Brookings!

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Another must in Brookings is the Children’s Museum of South Dakota! I’ll have a full post on the museum soon if you’re thinking of visiting, but we spent the afternoon there exploring, playing, and learning! It was a hit with all of the kids, ages one through nine!

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We capped off our time in Brookings with a visit to see my grandparents! I love that our kiddos are able to get to know their great-grandparents and spend time with them!

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We spent Saturday evening downtown Sioux Falls, starting at the beautiful Falls for which the city is named! The city has done such a lovely job making a beautiful park to surround the Falls. There were four couples having wedding pictures taken in the twenty minutes we were there!

If you live in or are visiting Sioux Falls, you have to check out Fiero Pizza in downtown Sioux Falls. This build-your-own pizza place is super fun and super delicious! Each pizza is around $9 and we had eight pizzas for the ten of us. The adults each had their own and some of the kids split pizzas with a little left over. We also had a dessert pizza to top it all off! Two thumbs up from everyone in our group! To add to the fun, the table tops are chalkboards, so the kids made some art before and after eating!

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Downtown Sioux Falls also has a fun sculpture walk. Beware the alligator!

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Sunday morning found us at one of my happy places – the tennis court! The Hubby and I played some mixed doubles with my parents and the boys hit around a little as well. The older two start up with tennis lessons again this week!

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The zoo is always a great choice with our guys, so we headed to the Great Plains Zoo for the afternoon. The petting zoo and giraffes were favorites, but the kids were pretty cute, too! That face by Double J is what happens when he’s crabby and I ask him to do a crazy face. that kid. And my niece is the cutest, agreed?!

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The whole reason for our weekend getaway, other than spending fun time with family, was to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary! We had the best date night to celebrate, having a fabulous dinner where we talked + talked, then seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron! There is no one I would rather spend time with and I love this man way more than when we said “I do” twelve years ago! He’s just the best. The end.

Whew! I’m tired just recapping our weekend, but it was a great one!

How was your weekend? What were the highlights?

I’m linking up with Erin at Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots!

 

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