Tag Archives: kids

Summer Epilogue

Oh Summer, we sent you out in style.

The finale included introducing the boys to Trail 3 at Turkey Run State Park, a backyard wiffle ball game of Parents vs. Kids with the neighbors, Kit-Kat S’mores, and one final swim in the neighborhood pool.







The Summer of 2014 was certainly one for the books – full of memories, healing, milestones, and adventures and we’re sad to say goodbye.

But we look back with fuller hearts and wider smiles than when we started and we’re just plain grateful.

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Trips Are Not Always As They Appear on Facebook…


So if I shared you the following pictures on my Facebook page, you might think, “Wow. What a fun camping trip. Look at those boys always getting along. That’s just lovely.”

what-to-do-camping-family camping-with-boys-camper  lake-hueston-woods-state-park-ohio hueston-woods-state-park-fishing

And that’s how it was {MOST} of the time.  There were hotdogs around the fire, fun games of ladder ball, fishing, and playing in the sand. But what didn’t I take pictures of?

My meltdown after not sleeping, feeling dirty, tired of peeing with scary bugs and used feminine products, and just wanting my own bed. 

The boys having a rough night staying in the camper for bedtime and not being able to comply. 

A most likely rash decision to pack up when we were frustrated with camping at 10:30 at night in the dark. 

Boys both crying and cheering that we were going home.

A broken wheel well that we didn’t realize until we went to move the camper.

Brad pulling off the tire in the middle of the camp sight driveway at 11:30, and all of us praying in the van that he would be able to fix it.

Rolling in at 1:30 in the morning and crawling into our beds exhausted and wondering if we’re really cut out for camping. 


Oh Friends, vacations, trips, and lives are not always as it appears on your Facebook feed for any of us. Trust me, you didn’t want to see pictures of the bathhouse on your screens. We often don’t see the mess and the meltdowns, only the highlights. Let’s not forget that there’s a behind the scenes that we arenotl intimately involved in day in and day out. We all struggle, we forget, we clean up messes, we fall down, we get hurt, we mess up – and then we get up and do it all over again. Hopefully at the end of the day the good outweighs the bad and we wake up with amnesia of yesterday’s imperfections.

The problem lies when we start comparing our low-light reels to everyone else’s highlight reels. 

Let’s embrace the goodness of this life we’ve been given and how 4tunate we truly are today.  Let’s be good with our highlights and be able to chuckle at some of unphotoshopped moments. There are gifts to be found even in the not so picturesque moments – don’t let comparison steal the joys of what you’ve been entrusted. 

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My Secret Bedtime Weapon


I’m letting you in on a HUGE secret today.  It’s almost seemed too good to be true, so I held out a little while to tell you to see if the bedtime magic continued…

Want to know what puts my kids to sleep in 10 minutes?  15 minutes tops?

This little wonder

I like to call it “Bedtime in a Bottle”.

It’s called Peace and Calming from Young Living, and it’s every mom’s “dream come true”for bedtime success.  When I ordered the Premium Kit from YL, little did I know how it would work wonders for my restless little dudes!

I decided to try it one of the first nights…

5 minutes later: Hmmm…They haven’t came out of their beds yet.

10 minutes later: It’s completely quiet in there.

15 minutes later: OUT x 4. 

Surely it was beginners luck or just a fluke! 

A couple months later, it’s still working like a charm. {Oh and did I mention it smells absolutely wonderful too?!!! It’s a blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy.}

It’s like the “get out of bedtime routine knock down, drag-out free” solution. For our boys they have always been good sleepers when we can get them to stop and be still and go to sleep.  It’s getting them there that’s sometimes the trick. And getting them to stay in their beds instead of coming out 20+ times for every reason under the sun.

I need a Band-aide. 
I need to go potty (even though they just went 2 seconds ago). 
I need another hug. (I’m a sucker for that one.)
I’m soooooo hungry.
I’m sooooooo tired. (Um, then go back to your bed and go to sleep?)
I need some lotion.
Are we going anywhere tomorrow?
I need to tell you something. (Always.)
On And On. And On And. Onnnnn…

It’s even worked when we’ve been away from home and sleeping in different surroundings. Now this is simply our own experience, but I’ve heard it from many others as well. Can you say: Game-Changer? It also has several other amazing uses for both adults and kids: helps relieve restless leg syndrome, TMJ, calming effects for overactive kids, anti-anxiety inducing, and encourages relaxation.  It’s even good for pets! 

I apply a couple of drops to the bottoms of their feet just before bedtime, and put any remainder on the back of their necks. I also have them take deep breaths of it to encourage relaxation. You can try this with kids of all ages, but you should dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut for babies and toddlers.

This oil has also been our friend for some anxiety issues and it’s great to diffuse at night to settle everyone down peacefully. I immediately ordered an additional bottle to share the magic with other mom friends!

Peace and Calming is only 1 of the 11 oils that you get in theYoung Living Premium Starter Kit, and there’s 100s of uses for the other 10 as well! Want to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and how to purchase the oils for yourself?  Mosey on over here.

What are some ways that YOU make bedtime a success?  Have you tried Peace and Calming yet?  


* These statements are based on my own experience and resources. Not everyone may experience the same results, but I hope you and your family do! The above is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease or evaluated by the FDA. I do receive a commission on sales when you sign up, which is a little boost of motivation to share. However, the main reason I’m telling you about our family’s experience with essential oils is because of their positive impact on our family.


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