Aaron’s Big Score for a Big TV Social Sweepstakes!

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September is FINALLY here and that can only mean one thing…pumpkin spice lattes! Just kidding, it’s still 90 degrees here….no, it means FOOTBALL IS BACK! And in this household we take it seriously. In the fall I would almost say it’s a way of life. Weddings are planned around it, Saturdays are devoted to it, team colors fill our closets, & having a BIG television to see the game is top priority! And I have some good news for you. During the month of September, Aaron’s will be adding to the overall excitement by giving away four 75” TVs to celebrate their #BigScore promotion. It doesn’t get much better than that! Enter here 

Here are my two favorite Auburn fans :) Chickadee has started to learn the fight song, and hearing her sing “Power of Dixie Land!” might be the cutest thing ever. Sprout is a sucker for Aubie the tiger. We are raising them right! War Eagle! 

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Now that we have kids we usually stay close to home to cheer on our Auburn Tigers, but when we do make it down to the loveliest village on the plains we tailgate in style, RV style! And the food spread is like nothing you’ve ever seen. 

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 Tailgates are such an awesome time to come together with friends new and old and celebrate your friendship while cheering on your favorite team! We are actually getting together with our Sunday school class this Saturday to tailgate and celebrate the kickoff of football season.

So do you have a favorite team? What are your plans to watch the game this weekend?

Make sure and head over to Aaron’s to enter to win that BIG 75″ TV. Then next week the party can be at your house!!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aaron’s Inc.. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Preschool Prayer

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Preschool has been one of the first experiences where we’ve sent Chickadee out into the “real world” without us. But what she does take with her is our influence and the love of Jesus we are trying to plant in her heart. It’s a big deal sending them out…praying they are kind, empathetic, good helpers, and respectful. 

One small thing we do each morning in the carpool line that I pray will impact her day is say a prayer. The idea was actually shared by a friend at church and she shared the prayer they used every morning before school. It was perfect and I should have written it down. However, years have passed and I couldn’t remember it. So Chickadee and I came up with our own and have been praying it each morning since her first week of preschool. 

She helps recite words here and there. She always remembers the last line and says it with me wearing a BIG smile on her face. It’s absolutely precious. Over time I hope she plants these words in her heart and they stay with her throughout the day! After our prayer she bolts out of the car and I continue praying that Jesus’s light shines BRIGHT. 

How are you planting the seeds of Jesus into the hearts of your children? What an important job the Lord has given to us!

Tips for Making Play-Doh FUN! (not stressful)

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In 1956 the wonderful world of Play-Doh began. Can you believe it’s been 60 years of squishing and squashing? So much creative fun has been had thanks to Play-Doh! Well, to celebrate Play-Doh is throwing a party and Chickadee & Sprout are loving partaking in the fun of World Play-Doh Day!! 

I first have to thank Play-Doh for sending over the PLAY-DOH TOWN 3 in 1 TOWN CENTER Playset and the PLAY-DOH ICE CREAM CASTLE Playset. They have been at our house a little over a week and Chickadee has played with them almost EVERY DAY!

We have so much fun playing with PLAY-DOH at our house, but I realized when a few friends came over last Friday that Play-doh causes a lot of stress for some moms :) Well, I am here to tell you that just shouldn’t be the case. And I have a few tips make sure creating with Play-Doh is a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone!

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1. My favorite tip when playing with Play-Doh is using a vinyl tablecloth on the floor as their play space. The rule is that all Play-Doh has to stay on the tablecloth. This way the kids aren’t walking all over the house with Play-Doh and potentially dropping/smashing it into the carpet. It also makes for easy cleanup. After putting all the Play-Doh and playsets away I simply dump the “crumbs” into the trash or outside for easy clean up!

2. Chickadee and Sprout are only allowed to use 2-3 colors at a time. This prevents a couple of stressful scenarios. First, it makes sure all the Play-Doh is being used and none is sitting around “drying out” because it was opened but not being played with. Also, it prevents mixing. After talking with my mom friends I found that when kids mix Play-Doh colors together it stresses them out and makes them want to put the Play-Doh away. Less colors…less mixing.

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3. They will still probably mix colors & IT IS OKAY. Sit back and let them create!

4. A toothpick is great for getting little bits of Play-Doh out of small holes and tubes in the playsets. 

5. When cleaning up, ball up the color you are cleaning up and use it as a “stamp” to pick up the other small pieces of that color.

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There are so many great creative and educational uses for Play-Doh. Sprout isn’t quite old enough to play independently with Play-Doh (he still finds it tasty). One thing he loves to do and pull off pieces and let me roll them into balls. We then count the balls as we put them back into the cup! Chickadee loves using cookie cutters when she plays with Play-Doh. Every now and then we’ll use the letter cutters and spell words.

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 So, why do you love Play-Doh? If it used to bring you stress do you promise to give it another go using a few of my stress-free tips? I promise it will be fun for everyone!

Happy 60th Birthday Play-Doh!!

I Spy Learning Bottle

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Every month or two we get together with a group in our neighborhood for a craft/family night. The moms & kids come over around 4:00 and we create something fabulous. Then the dads join us after work for dinner. It has been so much for getting to know our neighbors better and better. We have done everything from Christmas cookie decorating to shirt tie dying. So many great memories made.

We hosted this past Friday night and with the kids we made I Spy bottles. And Chickadee is obsessed. The picture gives it away, but basically trinkets hide in the rice inside a wide mouth clear bottle. Our family made three bottles…one to spy colors, one to spy letters, and one to spy the assorted trinkets Chickadee put inside. 

Here is a quick tutorial. 

Supplies: 20 ounce clear wide mouth bottle (Gatorade, Vitamin Water, etc), trinkets, charms, small animals, uncooked rice, hot glue

 After cleaning out and drying your bottle, remove the label. Then fill the bottle with the trinkets/charms of your choice. For this bottle I was making for Sprout I wanted to concentrate on colors. Whatever you decide to put inside I do suggest you writing it down so you can ask your toddler “Can you find the dolphin? color purple? etc.” 

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Using a funnel I poured in the rice. Make sure to leave about 1.5-2 inches empty at the top to give the rice room to move around while your little one is searching for the trinkets. 

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Last, squeeze a little hot glue on the inside rim of the top and screw on to keep the rice in the bottle & not all over your car or carpet :) I found it easiest to shake the bottle horizontally to move the trinkets around & “hide” them in the rice. Chickadee has been using her’s in the car when we have gone on short trips around town and is loving all the searching. Sprout is 17 months and so we usually look for the colors together. He LOVES shaking the rice around. These bottles have been fabulous. One of my favorite kid toys I’ve made in a while! 

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Enjoy!

Creating a Bedtime Routine

Do you have a bedtime routine with your children? I hope so. Children of all ages thrive with routine, and as many children head back to school they would so benefit with a routine in place. They love knowing when things will happen and what to expect next. Having a routine for many parts of our day alleviates so many struggles and never is this more true than at bedtime! 

Scholastic and Orajel™ are coming together to encourage parents to make reading out loud to their children and brushing their teeth part of their family’s bedtime routine. And I couldn’t agree more! The Read2Me Tonight campaign gives parents many resources to motivate them to read with their children each night. In addition to these resources, parents can also find a free Scholastic e-book called The Three Bees, the 100 Best Read-Aloud Books, and important articles from the editors of Scholastic Parents.

So what does our routine look like? I created this little chart for Chickadee and Sprout so they know what to expect each night as they wind down for bed. (please right click to download and print)

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Before beginning our bedtime routine, we always give the kids a heads up that it is time for their last “activity” before cleaning up and heading to take a bath. We have found Chickadee especially does well when she knows her playing time is about to come to an end. 

After taking a bath and putting on pajamas both kids brush their teeth.

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Neither of them have even been big fans, but we know the importance of starting this habit early. We have tried several strategies from letting them lay down to brush teeth to bushing their teeth in the dark.

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What works best for Sprout is having him mimic funny faces we make where you have to open your mouth pretty wide. Chickadee is now at the age where we expect her to follow directions and does pretty well with letting us brush her teeth.  

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Finally we snuggle up on the glider or daybed to read a book and the kid’s devotion. Reading is a great way to settle kids down before bedtime. Also research shows that reading aloud to your kids and talking about the story drastically increases their vocabulary and deep thinking skills. (Had to make that plug as a former teacher!). Chickadee is 2.5 and loves reading the pictures to Sprout. Scholastic is offering a free e-book called The Three Bees that stresses the importance of a bedtime routine (a little three B’s word play, brush, book, bed). You should definitely head over and check it out! If you are looking for other great read alouds Scholastic has your covered with their list of the 100 Best Read Aloud Books. 

Having a predictable bedtime routine in place alleviates stress for both children and their parents. With a little work and consistency bedtime can be a smooth process that every looks forward to and family memories are made!

What have you found works best as part of your bedtime routine?

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