But I apparently am not anemic. However, that's not stopping me from eating foods that are iron-rich, just in case I have low iron stores or something. Which is entirely possible, because right before I got pregnant I was craving ice - and isn't craving non-food items a sign of iron deficiency? I think so. Maybe I should have told that to the condescending nurse from my doctor's office (I may or may not have cried when I got off the phone with her). Thankfully iron-rich food is what I'm craving anyway. Give me all the dark leafy greens, eggs, and hamburgers.
Lots Of Easter Fun
Since I was so exhausted most of last week, I tried a new strategy and woke up with the sun and the kids just long enough to pour bowls of cereal and turn on Clifford The Big Red Dog. Then back to bed I went. I'm happy to report it worked beautifully, and I got another hour and a half of sleep. Yes, that also means my kids got an hour and half of TV first thing in the morning, but you do what you've got to do. This gave me enough energy to actually do the Easter activities I had been hoping to do all week, instead of spending another day miserably tired on the couch!
We colored eggs...
We did a (late) review and celebration of palm Sunday (I think this is the way to go, because I got five palm branches on clearance for a $1)...
And we made Resurrection rolls, to remind us of the empty tomb, because Jesus rose from the dead! Yes, I added pink frosting. There were probably flowers on the outside of the garden tomb, right?
As for Easter Sunday, we went to a sunrise service at a local Christian camp, and then off to my mom's for Easter dinner and egg hunt! It was a lovely Resurrection Day! Much better than last year, when we spilled a gallon of paint and nearly ruined the carpet.
Sidenote: Easter with kids is like, 100% more fun. The fun may come at the expense of actual reflection time, but I snuck some in where I could, and you do have to naturally reflect a bit to explain what Easter is really about to children.
What Am I Reading Lately?
I finally finished all the fiction books that were in my obligatory review stack, and I've decided I'm done with the book reviews for a couple months (after I finish the two non-fiction titles I have left - insert sigh). I need time to read what I really want to read. I just get so tempted by the brand-new free books dangling in front of my face, but I'm shutting my eyes now and saying, "no!"
I'm trying really hard to finish a young adult read this month to participate in Collaboreads, but it's not going so well. I feel like I'm running gout of time, and I'm not totally sure if my book choice counts as "young adult". I went with "On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness" by Andrew Peterson (affiliate), first book in the Wingfeather saga. I'm only a little way in, but I am so enjoying it! It reminds me a lot of Narnia so far, and it's funny. I read a couple chapters to Derek in the car, and he was laughing out loud. Also, it's written by Andrew Peterson, who is a Christian singer/songwriter a couple of you recommended to me when I asked for new music a couple months ago! I didn't even realize that until after I picked it up!
What is the best young adult book that you've ever read? And I'm taking Hunger Games and Divergent series out of the running, for variety sake.
Old School Blogger Shoutout
As previously mentioned, I have been a complete blog slacker between trying to finish my outrageous to-review book list before vacation next month, and feeling kind of gross if I stare at a screen for too long (pregnancy-related). I won't totally let this section go, but I don't have anything new for you this week! I will attempt to get caught up on my blog reading soon.
What I'm Drinking: Orange juice. I cut back on the decaf coffee because I couldn't decide if it was helping or hurting my excessive exhaustion. What is your favorite tea blend for iced tea in the summer months? I'm planning ahead!
Did you know that last Thursday was Random Acts Of Kindness Day? I didn't know there was a such a day, but I think it's a fun idea. It's nice to get something special on special days, but there's something different and maybe even better about getting something special on a day you didn't expect it at all.
Proflowers offered me a free bouquet to send someone a bouquet of flowers in honor of Random Acts Of Kindness Day, and when I thought about who I wanted to send them to, I decided on my sister!
I am so proud to call this sweet girl my sis! She inspires me in many ways. She is so thoughtful and loving toward her family, including me! She is the kind of person you can always count on, and she always does what she says she will do. There are not as many people like that as you might think, and I'm lucky to have someone so reliable as my sister. She also is so good at standing up for herself and what she believes in - I've occasionally recruited her to make a phone call for me to a difficult company, and she knows how to get things done (a relic of her office manager days collecting payments when we used to work at the same dental office!). I want to be more like her in all these ways! I'm so lucky to have not just a sister, but a best friend.
I think sometimes we don't take the time to really tell those closest to us how much we appreciate them and what we love about them, and I'm guilty of this too. That's why I wanted to send the flowers, because I don't tell her enough how glad I am that we're sisters!
I'd encourage you, in honor of the month which holds Random Acts Of Kindness Day, to do something special for someone in your life too - just for no reason! And if you do, here are a couple ideas:
1. Send flowers. You can do what I did here and have a bouquet sent! Proflowers was so easy to order from, had a great variety of flowers, and even delivered to my sister's rural address, so I'd recommend checking them out if you want a swift and easy way to deliver some botanical happiness!
2. Mail a card. People don't send enough snail mail anymore, and there's something so nice about getting a non-bill piece of mail - especially when you put some thought into telling your friend or family member what is special about them! We all need some encouragement sometimes.
3. Stop by with coffee. Especially if you are surprising a mom with young kids, but really, who would turn down coffee? Except those crazy people who don't drink caffeine, by whom I am continually puzzled.
Have you ever done anything for Random Acts Of Kindness Day?
In the spirit of the day, I thought today's old-fashioned blog post could surround the holiday. How often do major holidays land on a Tuesday, after all? Not often.
(If you are here for the movie suggestions, scroll down.)
Valentine's Day Spirit
Valentine's Day Buckets
Valentine's Day Spirit
I'm sure you are all well aware by now that I love Valentine's Day - mainly because every year I mention repeatedly how I love Valentine's Day. If you need to get into the Valentine's Day spirit, I suggest these previous musings on the subject.
Now that we are all on the same page...
The year that Gwen was born I started taking a Valentine's Day photo of the kids each year, so in the spirit of tradition I did the same this year. I think this might be my favorite setup because it was so colorful! The kids did most of the painting for those hearts, and they loved the little background I set up.
Best decision of 2016 - painting the house that grey color. I just love it so much.
(More adorable kid photos on my family Instagram today!)
Valentine's Day Buckets
For the kids' Valentine's gifts I had to be a little thrifty this year, so we just kept it simple.
Cute Valentine's Buckets - Target
Educational Card Decks (wrapped in DIY wrapping paper) - Target
Valentine's Pencils - Walmart
Glittery Hearts - Walmart
Rolos - Anywhere
As of this typing they haven't seen their Valentine's treats yet, but I'm confident they'll be a hit.
I ordered a present for Derek a couple of weeks ago, but it has yet to arrive. I was quite disappointed by this, because Derek always out-does me when it comes to gift giving, and I was excited to out-do him this time. I've decided instead to sneak a little Valentine's gift into his work bag for each day leading up to the arrival of his gift. That will keep up the suspense and gift-giving excellence, right?
Excuse me for using my old-fashioned post for something slightly Pinterest-y. Last week I bemoaned the fact that there are very few new chick flicks out these days, and I am still stretching to think of a recent good romantic comedy. I don't like my romantic movies heavy in any sense. I appreciate light and happy. I considered sharing my favorite modern chick flicks, but then I realized that I am sure all of you reading this blog have seen those many times over, so I reached a little farther back. I present to you, for your Valentine's Day viewing consideration:
The African Queen (1951) - I admit, it's been quite a while since I watched this one, but I may have to remedy that soon. Humphrey Bogart! Katherine Hepburn! A quirky love story that takes place on a boat! I can almost guarantee it will leave you grinning, for one reason or another.
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) - Lauren Bacall! Marilyn Monroe! I realize I should probably stop exclaiming all these actor names, because unless you already into old movies it won't really make a difference to you. But, just trust me, it's a winning combination. This movie is funny, and outrageous, and just cute. An old-school romantic comedy if ever there was one.
The Shop Around The Corner (1940) - Remember You've Got Mail (how could you not)? This is the movie that inspired that movie. I watched it several years ago, and thought it was different than the original but not in a way that ruined either one!
McClintock! (1963) - Imagine a John Wayne western and a romantic comedy got married and had a baby. This is that movie. Can't picture it? Let me tell you, it's a lot of fun! About a married couple on the brink of separation as they reconnect, all set in the old west.
If A Man Answers (1962) - And this one I'd call more of a "Galentine's Day" movie. Not that you couldn't watch with your husband, but there is some (respectful) comparing of husbands to dogs, so it's more fun to chuckle at it with your girlfriends than with your man!
A couple of these are one Netflix, but if you don't have any luck there, I suggest checking your local library!
What are your Valentine's date plans (if you have any?). We went bowling and shopping last week, so we'll probably just hang out and watch a movie tonight.
(Photo taken by Wyatt!)
Old School Blogger Shoutout
I think I need to create a spreadsheet because I'm losing track of who I already mentioned!
Elizabeth from Life In St. Petersburg - Elizabeth is an American mom living in Russia. I always find her posts interesting, whether she delves into Russian culture or not!
Carol from Pur et Simple - Carol is a mom to eight kids spread across 20 years - so she has grown kids and little ones. It's interesting to me to read what that looks like since mine are a lot closer together!
Both of these ladies are relatively newer reads to me, but it's so interesting to peek inside life with kids in different stages and places!
Who are your favorite old school bloggers? If I don't get some new suggestions this section is going to peter out in the next couple weeks. Or I might switch it to specific post shout-outs. What do you think?
Comment below if I haven't mentioned you yet and you'd like to be featured, or tell me your favorite old-fashioned blog to read (and read this post and this post again if you need a refresher on what I mean by "old-fashioned").
What I'm Drinking: Diet Lime Coke. I know. Where's the tea? It's just a Diet Coke kind of day.
My parents are the biggest reason why Valentine's Day was never depressing. There are three things we did as a family that made it fun:
1) We ate an excessive amount of candy hearts (a tradition I continue today).
2) We all broke out the construction paper and made paper valentines for each other every year.
3) My parents gave each other sweet Valentine's Day cards (it's good for a child's heart to see their parents loving each other).
4) My parents always got us a little gift that would be waiting on the table on Valentine's Day morning.
That was enough, even during those tumultuous teenage years. I think we underestimate the impact of the love of a parent on Valentine's Day. It doesn't have to be anything big and flashy, just something small to remind your kids that no matter their relationship status, they are seen and loved by you.
I plan to do these things with my kids, and I also am hoping to spread the valentine joy outside of our immediate family to our cousins and friends as well! I think I have a subconscious goal to not let any children in my kids' circles to feel forgotten on Valentine's Day.
If you are of a mind to join me...I have a long list of Valentine's Day gift ideas for kids on Tommy Nelson this week! Ideas for classroom valentines, and Valentine's Day gift ideas for your own kids too! Read all my ideas here, then come back and tell me if I missed anything, por favor!
And Happy (early) Valentine's Day to you!
(Some affiliate links in this post.)
Last week I shared our crayon-melt valentine gifts, and some Minted Valentine's cards to go with them. Well, after much deliberation, I made up my mind and chose some cards for the kids to hand out to their friends! Minted had some great coloring/melted themed cards, but in the end, these are the designs that were calling my name for the kids, and I just decided to go with it.
I was not disappointed! The cards came and they are so cute! The quality is also excellent, and I'm almost sorry to waste them on preschoolers (but their moms will appreciate them).
Clyde is so into anything transportation-related, and I thought this message was adorable for all his little two-year-old classmates!
I did let Wyatt have a choice between a couple different invitations, and this is the one he picked! He liked the airplane on it, and I thought this was the perfect card for a six-year-old boy to hand out to his friends!
And then Gwen's. I just knew it had to be pink! My favorite part of this card is the gold pressed foil lettering on the front. It's so fancy! For Gwen's card I also decided to try out the tic-tac-toe backer, and now I'm kind of regretting that I didn't choose it for the boys too - it's so fun!
So there you go, those are the cards my kids will be handing out to their friends! If you are ever in the market for classroom valentine cards, keep Minted in mind! Their quality can't be beat, and these designs were just a few of the dozens of adorable options!
Where do you buy valentines for your kids? Are you going with a theme, or just whatever strikes your fancy (like me)?
Note: I received the above valentines for free from Minted in exchange for a review. This is my honest opinion.