Tag Archives: lots of littles

5 Tips for Disney World with Little Ones

We’re baaack! From Disney World that is!

I did not intend to have such a long break from the blog, but life got a bit crazy(ier) here for a bit. It’s not exactly slowing down now, but I did find a few minutes to sit and write.
We just spent a week in sunny Florida after surprising the kids with a dream trip to the amazing Walt Disney World parks. If you missed it, there’s a video up on my Facebook Page of us telling the kids. They were surprised for sure. It was a lot of fun!

While there, we learned a few tricks for visiting Disney World with small kids, so I figured I should share them with you!

1. How to Wear Magic Bands
When you go in the gate at each park, you’ll have to scan your band AND your finger print. The best way to do this is to have your band on your left wrist due to the set up. For adults, it’s not a huge deal to wear your band on the right wrist and cross your left arm over to scan the finger. That’s what I did because I wear my Fitbit on my left arm. However, for little kids that crisscrossing arms and reaching up to get their little fingers flat on the scanner is tough! So definitely make sure you get their bands on their left wrists. You also have to use the same finger each time, so if you mess it up the first day, you’ll be crisscrossing little arms all week.

For even smaller kids (our 3 year old), parents can carry or wear the child’s band and even use their own fingerprint for scanning. The bands are sizeable to fit small kids, but our little one kept taking hers off, so I wore it to avoid it being lost. I just turned hers backwards on my wrist so there was no confusion about which one belonged to who (they were the same color).

2. Baby Carrier – A MUST Have!

little girl riding in carrier on dad's back
Invest in a quality baby carrier if any of your kids are under the age of 5, maybe even two, depending on how many littles you have. This was a lifesaver for us. Between our 2 carriers (We actually only used 1 for most of the trip) and a double stroller, we pulled off multiple 12+ hour days. One kid could nap on my husband’s back while another kid or two (or three lol) rode in the stroller.

3. Snacks for Bus Lines
We stayed on resort (best decision ever!! I’m so glad I listened to my husband on that one!), so we rode the Disney buses to and from the parks each day. It worked out great for us! However, if you stay until closing or watch a late show, there’s a good chance you will have a long wait in a crazy, possibly confusing, line. Bring snacks for the kids while you wait! If you’re out of snacks by then, stop on your way out and buy a popcorn. There will be plenty of little ones crying, so save yourself some sanity. 🙂

4. Stay on resort!

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Seriously. Yes, I know it can be more expensive. Yes, it’s totally worth it. We arrived Sunday afternoon and did not move our van all week. No gas being used, no fighting traffic at 8 a.m., no paying for parking, etc. However, if you do choose to drive your own vehicle to one of the parks while staying on resort, you get free parking. By far though, the best part of staying on resort was being able to split up our party. When the boys wanted to stay for a 5:00 show that the girls cared nothing about watching (and were starting to meltdown anyway), I packed them up, headed back to the hotel on the bus, and ordered pizza that arrived even before the boys were back. On Friday morning when the girls had 9:00 appointments to be transformed into princesses – the boys got to sleep in and met us for lunch at Epcot. If we had stayed off resort, we’d have had to all stay together all day, every day. That would have meant the boys missing out on some fun stuff or all of us dealing with really overtired little girls for hours.

5. Bring snacks
Staying on resort, we had a meal plan that included snacks. However, it was still helpful to have our own snacks on hand. I brought some little ziploc bags with us each day that were filled with crackers, veggie chips, trail mix, etc. As I mentioned above, these were great for waiting in bus lines, but they were also very helpful in restaurants as we waited for seating or food, in the hotel room in the morning before we grabbed breakfast, etc. Bigger kids are fine waiting until a meal arrives at the table. Our 16 month old doesn’t understand that as well. 🙂

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This is just a small list of the things my husband and I have discussed that made our trip easier. Are you wanting to take your large family or multiple little ones to Disney World? Feel free to email me any questions or leave them in the comments!

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5 Tips for Moms Who Want a Morning Bible Time

I often hear moms say that when they get up early to have quiet time for reading the bible, all the kids wake up earlier. I’d like to encourage you to KEEP DOING IT, even when it seems like a waste of time. It’s not. If nothing else, you are showing your kids how important it is to be in God’s Word everyday. Satan will use anything and everything to distract and discourage us. Mine go through seasons of this too, and at first I thought it was just going to be a total fail. It hasn’t been though!

I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to hopefully get you started in the right direction with carving out your own quiet time in your schedule and will maintaining peace in your home.

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(This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links will not change the cost, but will benefit my family and help to keep this blog going.)
 
1. Teach them to stay in their room until a certain time.
Even as early as 3/4 some can learn “Stay in your room until there is a 7 right here on the clock.”  There are also special toddler clocks that you can set to change colors when it is time to get up or go to bed. (Like this Ok to Wake! Alarm Clock and the Teach Me Time! Talking Clock)
2. Readers can bring their own bible or pick another book to read in their bed, or possibly sit and read in the same room as you.
I love when my oldest brings his bible to sit beside me and read. A few years ago we got him a NIRV translation, and it has turned out to be great for him. It is the NIV translation, but on a second or third grade level, so it’s not a story bible, but it is also easy to read. (This NIRV study bible looks really neat, too.)
3. Read to them.
They probably won’t sit still or even act like they are listening, but they are still hearing God’s Word! Those little seeds are being planted! (Also, If you want to read at naptime, go in their room and sit and read aloud until they fall asleep. This worked wonders when my boys were both toddlers and naptime became a nightmare. Now with my girls, if they get in trouble at naptime, I separate them, and I read aloud to whichever one is in the living room floor.)
4. Prepare cups/sippy cups the night before and set them in the fridge so they can help themselves when they get up.
This has been a big help for me. Some days I am not quite finished when my girls get up, so having their cups ready to go allows me to give them a little independence and me a few more minutes to finish up whatever I am reading.
5. PRAY. PRAY to wake up earlier. PRAY they sleep later. PRAY for wisdom in the best way to handle it for yourself and your children.
Really this should be #1. It sounds simple, and it usually is. It may take a while for your kiddos to catch on and understand that you are serious when you say, “Go back to bed.” Pray for patience and to show them grace. One method may not work. Pray for wisdom. It may require not hitting the snooze button 4 times. Pray for self-control.

 

So tonight, set your alarm a few minutes earlier and say a quick prayer that you don’t hit the snooze or wake up the kids! These are a few of the things that have worked for me. Did these help you? Did something else work in your house?

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What I’ve Been Up To

Things have definitely been busy around here since my last post. A little something I didn’t mention much around here is that I spent the last several months anxiously awaiting the arrival of a sweet baby boy.

 On December 18 we welcomed our 5th baby, our third son.

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(How sweet is this picture? I die.)

He’s a month old, and we finally have had a day that wasn’t total chaos from the get-go! Today I’ve prepared 3 meals (Thank goodness for crockpots!), changed too many diapers to count, bathed 3 of the 5, one bathed himself, and one more bath to go after rest time! I took a shower too! That, my friends, makes me feel like a superhero. It may have something to do with the fact that I somehow consumed two cups of coffee before 10 a.m. while they were still hot warm. 🙂

The worst that has occurred, so far, has been a certain two littles coloring on the table. Oh well. I can handle that!

I’m sloooooowly working my way back into a routine that hopefully includes more blogging! Y’all, five kids is like having 3 kids all over again. Haha!

 

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big brother and baby sister

It was just a test shot to check the lighting as I got set up to take our littlest girl’s birthday pictures. When I saw it on the computer though, I saw the look on his face that showed how much he loves her. Our world would not be complete without our Juju. She’s almost always the center of attention – not because she demands it, but because she’s just that loveable. In fact, this morning there was a shouting match between the three oldest about whose Juju she is. Haha!

big brother baby sister

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Mamas, we are not enough.

People often ask me how I do it all – keeping up with 4 little kids, a husband that works a lot of random overtime and weekends, homeschooling, the house…

Here’s my secret: I don’t. I’m not enough.

This is what my living room looks like this morning.

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Toys scattered, folding chairs and tissue paper leftover from a birthday party (on Saturday, ahem), and a couple of in-progress projects for my husband stashed against the walls.

Does it always look like that? No. Sometimes it’s worse. Sometimes it’s totally clean, and a nice space to relax in. I prefer the latter, but life happens. Ya know – one broke down vehicle, a sick dog, two sick kids… There may or may not be a “note” in my phone where I made a list of what everyone wanted for breakfast on Monday. At Sonic. Life is messy.

Here’s the other part of my not-so-secret secret: God doesn’t expect me to do it all, every day.

He expects me to follow after Him and serve others wholeheartedly. If that means we get school lessons done, everything checked off the to do list, and supper on the table at 5 – great! If we work hard, but have to slow down school to accommodate a little boy not feeling well, and I get less cleaning done because I have to take the time to teach littles to pick up after themselves – that’s great too.

Mama, if you’re exhausted from being up all night with a newborn or sick babies and need to sit a bit longer reading your bible and drinking another cup of coffee before going head first into that busy day – that’s great too. That is not time wasted. God created our bodies and spirits to need rest.

Sometimes we (Read: I) take the “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys,” part (Proverbs 18:9) way too far and feel like a failure when it doesn’t all get done, despite my best efforts. Laziness certainly doesn’t glorify God, at all. However, God gave us mamas each 24 hours and no third arms. 🙂

He sees you making those extensive to do lists that you know won’t all get done in one day with a toddler at your feet.
He sees you struggling to stay awake through those 2 a.m. feedings.
He sees you staying up late to talk to that teenager with hurt feelings.
He sees you silently cleaning up a mess no one else noticed.
He sees you packing lunches and brewing coffee in the dark of the morning.

He knows how hard we try. He sees our hearts when we realize we should have tried hard.
He also gives us grace.

Give yourself some grace. Put breakfast on paper plates if the kitchen is already a mess. Grab a second, or third, cup of coffee, read your bible, and do your best. Don’t say yes to that extracurricular just because you’re afraid of letting someone down. Apologize to the little one you were short with. Ask for forgiveness, and let His love wipe the slate clean. Love Him, love others, and rest in the knowledge that God loves you. Mamas, we are not enough, but He makes us enough.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬ NIV)

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Motherhood: Live a life worthy of it

Moms…

Was yesterday a bad day? It was for me. Really, bad isn’t the word. Terrible? Nope, still doesn’t fit. Anyway, you get the picture.

Don’t dwell on it. Pray. Repent.

Repent at my rebuke!  Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,  I will make known to you my teachings. (Proverbs 1:23)

Hug the sleepy little one that just shuffled down the hall to sit with you on the couch. Write a scripture or two on your hand, and pour a cup of coffee.

Look at your children and remember your calling. Motherhood.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)

Live your life today worthy of that calling.
Live a life worthy of the children God blessed you with.
Live a life worthy of the hugs and laughter.
Live a life worthy of the tears.
Live a life worthy of the hot baths (however rare they may be).
Live a life worthy of the messes.
Live a life worthy of the late nights.
Live a life worthy of seeing the sun rise.
Live a life worthy of the crying baby and ornery toddler than gave you both of those.
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Live a life worthy of your calling.

Live a life worthy of being chef.
Live a life worthy of being housekeeper.
Live a life worthy of being laundress.
Live a life worthy of being taxi driver.
Live a life worthy of being personal assistant.
Live a life worthy of being teacher.
Live a life worthy of being wife.
Live a life worthy of being friend.
Live a life worthy of being missionary.
Live a life worthy of being mom.

Live a life worthy of your calling.


Don’t expect to do and be all those things perfectly. We are not perfect. Live a life worthy of those opportunities and blessings though.
God gave us all of these because He wanted us to have them. We didn’t earn them. We were blessed with them.

my boys sitting together

my baby girl at almost 9 months

 

 

(This is just as much, if not more,a post for myself as it is for you.)

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WFMW: Table Chores for Littles

On this Works For Me Wednesday: making life easier with lots of littles… Oh, and teaching those littles some responsibility too 🙂

I have 2 1/2 year old and 3 year old boys, (and an almost 9 month old girl) so there is lots of cleaning and picking up at our house every day, but obviously their house cleaning skills and abilities are a bit limited. However, since we recently downsized to a 900-1000 square foot rental home with no dishwasher and very limited laundry area, I was pretty excited to get the boys started helping out with chores. I started by letting them help with dishes, but that proved to just be too much for them at this point. With their limited attention spans, it turned into a bigger mess for me. Then I tried “table chores.” Oh, what a difference such a simple thing has made in my life!

After breakfast, lunch, and snacks the boys are responsible for putting any scraps of food from their plates in the trash, putting their plates and utensils in the sink and their cups on the counter. I then give them each a wet rag to clean the table and chairs. After I’ve inspected their work, I give them a dry towel to dry it all. This must be done before they move on to the next activity. If they finish eating before everyone else, they sit at the table until we finish. After supper is a super busy time, so I haven’t had them help with that yet. These chores are simple enough for them to handle with little supervision, allowing me to get started on washing the dishes or putting away the dry ones from our last meal, but still being close enough to keep them on task and give instructions.

my son cleaning a chair

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