Monday, July 28, 2014

20 Days of Schoola!

It's that time of the year again! Getting ready to go back to school is in full swing in our house as I'm sure it is in yours! There's lesson planning, shopping for supplies, books and clothes for the kiddos.

My boys are excited to get back to school. Don't get me wrong, we have all loved the summer break but when it comes time to do school my boys each have subjects that they beg me to do and are eager for that undivided school time again. At 9 o'clock, when school begins, Isaacs first response is "can we do art first?" In all subjects I really encourage the boys to express their unique creativity. But we also set aside a special time to break out the paints, scissors, clue, markers, and everything else sticky and messy ~ 'cause we all know the more there is of that the more they love it! Art can be one of the most important subjects of a young students life. I think it's so important to let kids explore and develop their minds thru Art. I enjoy watching my boys creative side especially at their young age! A lot of the time we get to see what their hands create that they aren't able to express in words.

Isaac has loved to draw since he was old enough to hold a crayon!

 Here's a birthday card Alex made for his friends birthday (as you can tell she was a girl lol). He loved to pick out the paper, flowers, stamps and his favorite part was using the paper cutter and round all the corners with the paper stamp.
   


There are so many creative things that my boys love to do all year long. Their latest obsession is creating these "crazy" bracelets! Its so cute even Jesse is into these things. There are also games they play on their devices that require some building of bricks and such. But they really get a lot of direction and learning during a structured setting at school time.  
 
Unfortunately, not every school has the necessary funding for arts and usually it's the first subject to be cut. It breaks my heart that so many children are deprived of building their minds and freely expressing their thoughts thru Art.
 
I just learned about a way to help raise funds for schools who need it to keep, and or bring, Art into the school. Schoola was launched in 2012 and they are dedicated to putting paintbrushes, books, baseballs and violins back into the hands of children. Schoola is an online shop dedicated to recycling brand-name children's clothes at a fraction of the retail price, saving parents money, with 40% of the proceeds going to schools in need. Schoola has been heralded by Fox News, The LA Times, Forbes and Parenting Magazine. Maybe you've heard of it. Maybe you haven't. Maybe even your children's schools is one that Schoola helps!
 
Schoola is running a "20 Days of Schoola" adopt-a-school program focusing on three schools who could greatly benefit from additional funding to bring or bolster their creative progams. I've decided to help them by sponsoring a school not far from me! Yick Wo Elementary. At Yick Wo Elementary they broaden minds and empower expression through Art, Music and Physical Education. The parents at Yick Wo Elementary make sure that their school's students have art classes and Schoola is forming a community to help them make this possible.
 

 
 
Here are 3 ways YOU can help Yick Wo Elementary - and many other schools too:
 
1. Shop for you kids online at Schoola today!
For every transaction that is made, Schoola will donate $1 to Yick Wo Elementary. 
But remember - 40% of your purchase will go to your childs school!
   Simply click HERE to begin shopping Schoola.
 
2. Request a Schoola Donation bag!
For every person who requests a bag to donate gently used clothes, Schoola will donate $1 to Yick Wo Elementary. 
   Simply click HERE to Donate a bag!
 
3. Fill the bag and donate clothes:
For every person that donates clothes and fills out their school information, Schoola will donate $2 of every $5 made will go to the school YOU choose to support!    
   Simply click HERE to fill a bag to donate clothes! 
 
Thank you so much for your support, not only for Yick Wo Elementary, but for so many other schools as well!
 
 
I am being compensated to facilitate this post but that does not change my point of view. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Doing something you love...

Do you find it hard to find time in your busy schedule for you to do something you really enjoy?

For me the easy answer is yes...

...and no.

I find it hard to set aside time to do the quiet (operative word being quiet) and relaxing hobbies I enjoy like scrapbooking, crafts, shopping, baking, reading, bubble baths, and quiet walks alone on a warm evening.

But my selfish desires have turned to more selfless desires. I no longer have expectations of doing these things alone or in peace and quiet.  I still do the same hobbies I love they just look a little different! You will find me doing scrapbooking, crafts, shopping, baking, reading, bubble baths, and quiet walks alone on a warm evening! I just have with three cute little boys right by my side - helping me. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

And I love it! My boys are developing a love for creativity and expressing their unique individuality!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jumping High!

One of our favorite place to get away to is Lake Tahoe. It's a very short 90 minute drive to South Lake Tahoe and the drive is worth every mile! We love to go just for the day or, without having to convince anyone, we'll stay a few days! Tahoe is absolutely a gorgous year round.

Resently we spontaniously decited to take a few days to get away and within two hours of our decision to go we were in the car and headed to Tahoe, our favorite lake!

Alex decided he was up for the adventure of bungie jumping! He started out super excited then as he was getting all set up with the ropes he started to get a little nervous...
...as soon as he started jumping all of his inhibitions disappeared and he had a blast jumping and trying all kinds of tricks!

As soon as he was done he wanted to do it again!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

California Teachers Union Putting Our Kids at Risk

I don't have children in public school that Prop 32 would affect directly, however as a taxpayer I'm sickened to learn what's happening in our California schools and what the teachers union is doing. My aim is to help put an end to it! Voting yes on 32, to Stop Special Interest Money, is one giant leap towards putting our children's safety in the schools the number one priority, and get the big money out of the hands of California politicians!


Christine Young is the mother and blogger behind FromDatestoDiapers.com, where she shares about life with lots of kids and how to make it fun. Below is a brief article she wrote for me to help spread the word!

"As a mom of seven, and a parent of four children in public school here in California, I’m disgusted with how special interest groups like the teachers’ union always put our children last, behind their bloated paychecks and pension benefits.
But, now they’ve gone too far. Earlier this year, the California Teachers Association killed a bill in the legislature that would have made it easier to fire teachers who are known child molesters!

It’s almost too hard to believe, right? Well, read for yourself what one Los Angeles area teacher did to his blindfolded students - Associated Press story - and how the teachers union conspired to keep perverts like him in the classroom - LA Weekly article.

California isn’t alone in having a teachers union that protects sexual deviants – New York is battling a similar problem.

This is why we need reform like Prop 32, which is on the November ballot in California. We have to stop the special interest money that keeps these groups powerful and detached from doing what’s best for our children.

Of course the opponents of the measure are spreading lies about how cops, firemen, teachers, et al are against 32, but keep in mind it’s only the union leadership that is against 32. I know plenty of teachers who don’t like what their union does and certainly don’t want sexual predators in our classrooms!

 See for yourself what California Prop 32 will do, it’s very strait forward.

And join our Facebook Group “California Parents for Reform” where we discuss this and other issues facing our schools and families."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breast feeding is best but sometimes the unexpected happens...

The day after Jesse was born, before the hospital would release me, I unexpectedly had to have some tests run because of some scary symptoms I had before I delivered him. I wasn’t able to nurse him for 24 hours due to these tests and the iodine that would be in my system. So, because nursing him was my number one priority they allowed me to do so for his first few feedings. Then I had to begin to pump and dump (pump so that I would continue to produce breast milk but that have to just toss the milk). During this 24 hour period he was forced to be fed by bottle with formula. My plan all along was to get Jesse to take a bottle at some point, but I wasn’t anticipating it beginning at birth! I wish I was prepared and brought my own bottles with me to the hospital but I never would have thought I would be forced to bottle feed him. I had to use the bottles that the hospital provided me with and he hated them. Fortunately 24 hours went by fast and he got hungry enough to use them getting the nourishment he needed. Then it was back to breastfeeding!

When any new mommy chooses to bottle feed it’s so hard to decide on which brand to choose among the hundreds of options out there! One I’ve found that comes so close to breastfeeding are the Comotomo baby bottles. Their bottles are naturally shaped and the silicone teat closely mimics breastfeeding helping to prevents nipple confusion. The soft, skin-like, squeezable body gives baby the feelings of natural breastfeeding. It’s comforting to know that the Comotomo bottle has anti-colic vents allowing baby to get more milk, less air and slow milk-flow to reduce vacuum that can lead to ear pain and bubbles. It’s 100% free of toxic chemicals and its silicon structure is unbreakable and really comfortable to hold! Comotomo (find them on Facebook here) sent me a couple of the awesome bottles to try and I so wish I had one with me at the hospital on that first day for Jesse!


I think every mom has a point in their babies nursing time that they have to leave their baby for a short time and bottle feeding may become necessary. Maybe you’re like me and just like the convenience of handing baby to dad with a bottle so we can have a break. Or maybe your baby is like mine and every time we pick up our fork to eat baby loudly proclaims he’s hungry too (I swear they can smell our food triggering that squeal that says "feed me!"), on such occasions as this it’s super convenient to put them in the swing with a bottle so we can enjoy our dinner bringing happiness to us all!

What about you? Are you a breastfeeding mommy who also uses bottles with breast milk? It’s totally worth occasionally pumping and having a nice supply of breast milk stocked up in the freezer!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My little helper!

Yesterday as I was getting ready to load our dishwasher Isaac came up and offered to help! How could I pass that up?! He rinsed off all the dishes and I loaded them into the dishwasher. He helped with every last dish and had a blast getting it done! (He was on his way out to ride his scooter hence the reason for the helmet:)) How adorable he is!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summertime Fun!

We are so very blessed to have a pool here at our condo. All the boys love to be in the water but Isaac especially, he wakes up every morning with swimming first on his mind. 
Most days Isaac just skips getting dressed and goes straight for his swim trunks and water wings! Fortunately for him the weather has been so hot these past few weeks we have spent a ton of time in the pool just to stay cool. Plus, I can't pass up a single moment watching my boys enjoying some summertime fun!!
Alex has been swimming great! He decided a few weeks ago to ditch his "floaties" and swims really good. He has a new game with his friend Riley where she is his swim teacher, they both love it! Here's Riley teaching him to swim down and touch the bottom of the pool...
Even Jesse loves to be in the water. Just being near the water makes him one happy boy!

Lovin' on my boy!
God is good!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My baby's 4 months!

Here we are already in July! I'm a few days late in posting pictures of Jesse reaching 4 months but I figured late was better than never, right?!




At four months he's still not sleeping through the night but he makes up for it with his adorable-ness! Jesse's constantly aware of all activity around him and thrives on the attention of his big brothers. Alex and Isaac are the best at keeping their "boo boos" happy, so much so that Jesse gets lonely when they aren't around. Seriously! He loves the noise, I have to put music or turn the TV on when it gets too quiet for my little guy. Not something I ever had to do with the other boys.

We just recently tried giving Jesse some rice cereal but he didn't like it too much so we'll have to re-introduce it to him in a few weeks when he may be more ready for it. Not to worry though the bowl that I mixed up didn't go to waste... Alex loved it! Yes, Alex, our 5 and 1/2 year old, gobbled up the infant rice cereal, he even asked for more! Not just then but he's asked for it a few times since! I only allowed him the pleasure that once and one other time (I thought maybe he would be grossed out the second time making it easier to say no from then on, but NO he would eat that stuff every day if I let him). Maybe it taste too similar to the Cream of Wheat that he loves so much. But come now, we're saving the rice cereal for baby. :)

I'm pretty sure Jesse's teething, he constantly wants to chew on his fists and anything else he can find to gnaw on. Poor guy has a long road ahead of him.

I can't get over his chubby little cheeks! And legs. And arms. And that double chin! I'm in love with all 13 pounds of him, every ounce! I thank Jesus for my blessings every day! God is Good!

Enter your baby in the Munchkin Bunch Contest! {PLUS GIVEAWAY}

With the arrival of Jesse, the latest addition to our growing family, I’m quickly reminded of all the necessary baby essentials needed for an infant (it’s been almost 4 years since we had Isaac so it’s not hard to forget)!
I’m learning how to stretch our budget with all the added expenses involved in growing a family which is partly why I was super excited to learn about Munchkin Bunch contest!
“Munchkin is asking parents of infants and toddlers to visit their Facebook Page now through July 23, 2012 and nominate their child to be a part of the Bunch by submitting their child’s photo.  After a public voting process, the final group will be announced on the page and the selected children will remain stars of the page throughout the six-month campaign. The Munchkin Bunch Class of 2013 members will be announced on August 1, 2012.”
When I heard about Munchkins Bunch Contest Class of 2013 I was pretty stoked! Munchkin is on their second annual search for, not one, but 5 lucky babies to be the recipient of free monthly deliveries of their wonderful goodies AND a $1,000 college scholarship! These goodies include a variety of Munchkin products to match their age, in order to help them reach new milestones. Product packages may include Munchkin’s Diaper Pail, safety gates and accessories, and many other items from the company’s extensive portfolio of nursery, bath, feeding, care and travel items.  So, now you can understand why I was so excited!

Hurry and go submit your Munchkin for consideration!

Wait! There's more!!
ENTER TO WIN: 
Munchkin Click Lock Cups plus some other goodies! At random one Cling to What is Good reader will win a prize pack from Munchkin including Click Lock Cups as well as some other goodies! (Winner will let me know age and gender and we'll customize the prize pack just for you!)
HOW TO ENTER:
Required entry: Leave a comment by July 20th letting us know how many kiddos you are hoping to send to college.
Additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):
1) Follow Cling to What is Good via Google Friend Connect
2) Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook (or both)
3) Leave a comment on any other post on our blog
This giveway ends July 20th and is open to U.S. Residences only!
The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new one will be drawn.
Thank you Munchkin for supplying a prize pack for my winner. I did not receive any ccompensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alex and Isaac ride solo!

We all love riding the train at the zoo, it's a little train that makes a circle around the park, perfect for all little boys and girls who love trains!

The other day we visited this favorite zoo of ours and for the first time we let Alex and Isaac ride all by themselves, they were all excited to take on this new adventure! This one gigantic leap of independence for them was a little hard for me, a sure sign that my boys are growing up so fast!

Alex and Issac getting ready to board the train!

"Hi mom and dad!"

Daddy and Jesse patiently waiting for big brothers to come back

Both Alex and Isaac had a blast!

...and daddy and I did okay sitting back while our big boys went on the first of many adventures without us...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overcoming allergies!

Several years ago I met the family who founded the company IMPaX. The Ims formulated a nutritional product called EnerPrime to help their daughter who was diagnosed with an auto immune deficiency. EnerPrime and the Im family have forever changed my life!


A word from the founders Greg and Brenda Im:
"EnerPrime is a synergistic blend of superfoods, adaptogens, andtioxidants, phytonutrients, herbs, enzymes, and micronutrients. These all-natural elements produce remarkable results, ranging from counteracting stress to slowing the natural aging process, increased vitality, better endurance, improved sleep, increased ability to handle stress, increased resistance to illness and an overall sence of well-being."

EnerPrime is S.A.L.A.D. in a bottle!
  • Superfoods replenish vital missing nutrients lacking in our diet
  • Adaptogens help counteract stress
  • Liver cleansers help our bodies detoxify
  • Antioxidants & phytonutrients provide anti-aging & immune system support
  • Digestive enzymes facilitate maximum absorption of nutrients
All during my pregnancy with Jesse I was great at taking it consistently. Actually Alex and Isaac were often the ones who reminded me to make our daily EnerPrime smoothie, they both love it too!


But, shortly after baby was born I got all caught up in just trying to take care of now three kids, forgetting briefly about my own health. I felt like I was just too busy to make our daily EP smoothie denying the boys of their request for these yummy smoothies. Before I knew it a couple weeks went by without any of us taking EP.

Then allergy season started and I quickly experienced severe allergy symptoms. Sneezing, watery eyes, sinus pressure headaches, wheezing, lethargy just to name a few. Alex even started getting the puffy eyes, runny nose and so forth. After several days of these nasty symptoms that no one should ever have to endure I remembered to take EnerPrime again.

I have to admit that it took a few weeks of taking EnerPrime twice a day again for me to finally feel relief from those horrible allergy symptoms. It wasn't until today that I realized that I haven't had allergy symptoms for a few days now. I truly believe that EnerPrime is my natural cure for allergies! Even with all the horrible winds we've had here in the foothills I've enjoyed being outside lately and I FEEL GREAT!! I finally feel like my quality of life is normal again. Instead of relying on Dustin to do the outdoor activities with our kids I can bring the boys to the park, I can sit out by the pool with them, and take evening walks with the family! (With allergies one can only be outside for a short period of time without suffering from severe symptoms, if you suffer you know what I'm talking about!) It's awesome! EnerPrime has truly been a blessing to me and my entire family!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tending the garden

Alex and Isaac had a blast with my parents while Dustin and I had a date night! The boys love spending time with Mimi and Poppy. Whenever they go over there they always have fun sharing pictures with us and telling us all about their adventures!

This time they got to help with watering their garden!

 



Thank you mom and dad for taking such good care of our boys for us!

My parents have such an amazing garden, it's absolutely breathtaking just how beautiful it is! It's come a long way from when I was younger but they have always had a very sucessful bounty! There's something very satisfying in eating a fresh salad from all the hard work you put in to growing your own veggies! I think we're going to need to build some planter boxes like theirs (on a much smaller scale of course!), so we can grow a garden of our own and enjoy some fresh foods...

Monday, April 30, 2012

"The coolest birthday card ever!"

The boys and I did some shopping for cousin Josh's birthday gift but we didn't find anything "cool" enough! I suppose every 8 year old boy loves to get cash so I came up with a creative way to give it to him! The boys had a blast helping me out with making it.

1) We started with an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardboard (I cut out the bottom of an old box).
2) We glued a piece of black construction paper onto the cardboard.
3) I folded some dollar bills and let the boys tape them on the paper to form our first letter "J".
4) We taped on dimes, pennies, and nickels to complete the rest of his name.
5) The boys used our foam sticker letters to finish our card off with "Happy Birthday"

Pretty easy and the boys really enjoyed making this for their cousin. Oh and Josh absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Funny Faces!

Isaac and Jesse making silly faces!
 
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