Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019

Life Lessons from My Kids

As a parent, we all know there is a steep learning curve!

Life lessons can happen anytime and anywhere...even from our kids!

Here's a peek at just a few of the things that my kids have taught me...the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Splash in every rain puddle possible.

If you make the screeching high pitched scream long enough, Mom will give in.

No scream needed for Dad, just look like you are going to do it.

Ask why often.

You don't have to draw in the lines to be proud of your picture.

Simple things can be fun.

Sometimes all you need is a cardboard box and your imagination.

Say 'I'm sorry' like you mean it.

Don't apologize for being you.

Always kiss the kittens.

Everyone dances to the beat of their own drum. Sometimes you are the drummer and sometimes you are the drum.

Just dance.

Life is God's Etch-a-Sketch. Every day you get a fresh shake.

It's ok to have a meltdown every now and then.

Roly Polys are magical creatures.

Pizza contains all the food groups.

Pizza doesn't solve all your problems but it can solve a lot of them.

Never stop learning something new.

Get excited!!! About everything!!!!

Be silly and laugh at yourself.

Water tastes better from a garden hose.

Sometimes you just need to eat dessert first.

Don't just do crafts with glitter...Wear the glitter...Be the glitter.

Give BIG hugs. 

If you listen to the rain, you can hear music.

Anything can be an adventure.

Mommy is pretending to sleep.

Daddy is actually asleep.

If you don't like the song playing, make one up.

Always dance.

There is no such thing as too much syrup.

Being on time is overrated. 

If you are gonna make splashes...splash big!

Broken colors can still make the picture pretty.

As parents, we must not forget to listen to our children. We have all fallen into that "tuning out" stage at one time or another!

Just remember, without growth life can become monotonous and stale. It doesn't matter if you are an adult or a child. Learning and growing should be a life long activity!

Play with your children.

Have a full on conversation with them.

Ask questions and listen to their responses.

You may be surprised and learn something new from their innocent wisdom!

And most of all, love them and savor the time you have. Their childhood is but a whisper in the wind.

Before you know it, that wind will carry them on to being responsible and wise adults.

I hope you enjoyed these life lessons as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! Speaking of sharing, give it a pin, tweet, or share!

For more wise, funny, and insightful conversation from my kids, follow the hashtags #laurenism and #chadism on my InstagramTwitter, and Facebook  pages!

See all my posts and more creative and family fun ideas on Pinterest!

Until next time, check out these amazing and creative ways to change up your Easter Basket!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April 07, 2019

A Spring Bucket List for Families

Springtime...what a beautiful time of year! It can, also, get pretty pricey.

What do I mean? Well, Easter goodies, Spring wardrobe, yearbooks, Spring pictures, Prom, Spring Break, and don't get me started on Graduation costs!

If you have kids, you know how those expenses can add up quick!

I'm always on the lookout for free or cheap activities that we can enjoy as a family. And I adore sharing them with you!

Here are just a few of my favorite ways to get my family outside when Spring rolls around!

Take a walk

Go on a nature hike

Splash in water puddles

Play in the rain

Go on a picture scavenger hunt

Plant a tree

Spend the afternoon in the library

Have a picnic in the park

Go to the zoo

Climb a tree

Chase butterflies

Go wading in a creek

Camp out in the backyard

Stay up late and count stars

Create a garden

Build a firepit in the backyard

Roast marshmallows under the stars

Make a fort outside

Have lunch in your fort

Visit the local greenhouse and get some flowers to plant

Build a birdhouse

Make a birdfeeder

Paint rocks with fun or inspiring sayings

Walk around town and leave them for someone to find them

Make ice cream sundaes 

Bake some cookies

Visit the local farmers market

Take a nap in a hammock

Make a sun catcher

Go fishing

Go to a lake and feed the ducks

As you can see, it doesn't have to blow your budget to have Spring family fun!

Just get outside, make memories, and enjoy your family time!

What would you add to your Spring Bucket List? Do you have a favorite?

Let me know in the comments! And as always, feel free to share!

Want more budget friendly family fun?!
Be sure to check out my Holidays and Parties page for more creative ideas!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

March 31, 2019

Why Your Mom Should be Your Best Friend

It will happen. One day you will say something, or catch yourself in a mirror and that is when you realize "I've become my Mom."

Dont panic! It happens to most of us!

But, why shouldn't you become more like your Mom? Think about it.

She was the person who brought you into this world, nurtured you, and helped you grow into the wonderful person you are today.

I realize that not everyone had a wonderful childhood or loving Mothers. And my heart goes out to you if that is your case.

For me, I am truly blessed. I had the most wonderful childhood and learned so much from watching her. Dont get me wrong, it wasn't all rainbows and fairy tales! But the foundation she built for me shaped me into becoming who I am today.

As my kids are getting older, I am finding that our relationship has changed so much. I really do consider her my confidant, my partner-in-crime, and, of my best friends!

Mama and I on one of her visits home from Tennessee

Her birthday was this week and I couldn't help but to reminisce about the past and how our relationship has changed thru the years. Four years ago she and my Dad packed up and moved with my brother to Tennessee so he could attend the Art Institute in Nashville.

I was excited for them but devastated for me. You have to understand,  I lived on the same street as they did for years! 

It was almost a daily thing for me and the kids to walk to their house! So, you can see how excited I am for them to be back home here in the same town as me!

My parents in Tennessee

Which leads me to the reasons for this post.

I began remembering all the many sacrifices and hardships she had endured just to raise my siblings and me. We weren't an easy bunch, let me tell you!

Like a Mom, a best friend has certain qualities that exemplify all others. It's a special bond that continues to grow and mature as we do! Those qualities are never ending and ever lasting.

Mama and I on the day she moved back home to Mississippi

Here are just a few of the reasons your Mom should be your best friend as you are growing older!

  1. She's been there and done that.
  2. She's seen you at your worst and loves you anyway.
  3. She can be your biggest fan.
  4. She can, also, knock you down off your pedestal when you get too big for your britches!
  5. She is wise. Listen to her.
  6. She has the uncanny power of knowing what you have done before you get back home. 
  7. She knows when you are lying.
  8. She knows how to cook all your favorite foods.
  9. She knows exactly how to comfort you when you are down.
  10. She prays for your safety and happiness every night.
  11. She gets your crazy sense of humor.
  12. She will tell you the truth about whether or not your butt looks big in those jeans.
  13. She's the reason you survived childhood.
  14. She made your house a home growing up.
  15. She loved you before you were born.
  16. She let you learn from your own mistakes.
  17. She taught you how to tie your shoes.
  18. She is always ready for a shopping trip or lunch with you.
  19. She listens without judgement.
  20. She took you to Sunday school every Sunday.
  21. She taught you to respect others and yourself. 
  22. She showed you how to stand on your own.
  23. She taught you to ask for help when you needed it. 
  24. She encourages you when you are discouraged. 
  25. She laughed at your jokes, even when you repeated it for the 200th time.
  26. She fought battles for you that you don't even know.
  27. She won most of those battles.
  28. She was the first person to ever love you.
  29. She pays attention.
  30. She got you up and to school for 12 years or more.
  31. She taught you resilience. 
  32. She was the most important person in your world when growing up.
  33. She taught you how to love.
  34. She taught you how to be yourself.
  35. And she showed you how to be a good Mom.

These are only a fraction of the many reasons why my Mom is my best friend. But they are so much more than that!

As my daughter grows into a young lady, this list, also, becomes my goals for our future relationship changes. I do hope that Lauren feels the same way about me as I do about my Mom as she matures. She will be 15 this year, and I feel we are on the right path. All due to how my Mother raised me. 

So, thank you, Mama. Thank you for raising me with love and devotion. Thank you for guiding me to become a strong woman. And most of all, thank you for being my best friend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019

Creative Easter Baskets for the Entire Family

Its almost here...Easter! That wonderful time of year when Spring emerges from her long winter nap.

"This blog may contain affiliate links, which means if you click a link and/or purchase a product from their site I may receive compensation or a commission. However, all recommendations and opinions are my own. Grant it, I won't get rich, but maybe I can splurge on a cup of coffee! This won't cost you anything except the satisfaction of knowing you are keeping my coffee addiction alive."

Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and there is a wonderful scent of renewal in the air! Who doesn't love Spring, right?

Easter egg hunts, the warm sunshine, kids playing in the yard, cookies baking, Easter dinner being planned, and all that marvelous chocolate and goodies that the Easter Bunny brings. There is so much to look forward to! Did I mention all the marvelous chocolate?!

Of course, the annual trek through our living room by that notorious and elusive Easter Bunny is my kids favorite thing! And, I have to admit, planning those baskets and fixing them up are kinda my favorite thing, too. That and the chocolate, of course!

If you've read my post regarding Simple Ways to Make a Cancer Patient Smile, you already know how much I love baskets to brighten someone's day!

But what happens when the Easter Bunny (aka Mom) gets a little tired of the same-old same-old? Here's a hint, #mamaninja to the rescue!

Before I start my list, let us get a misconception out of our heads. An Easter basket DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A BASKET.


Yep. You heard me right. It can be anything that can be of use anytime of the year! Also, dont forget, Easter baskets can be and should be for everyone in the family, not just the kids!

Now that we have that little nugget of info out of the way, let's get creative! 

For the Baby or Mom to Be
Basket Ideas:
Baby bath, small hamper, decorative shelf box, diaper bag, hanging diaper cubby
Rubber ducky, wash cloths, bibs, sun hat, baby lotion, sunscreen, towels, engraved baby bible, diapers, travel wipes, car sun visor, changing table mat, rompers, cute little diaper covers for girls, coupon for baby pictures to be made, baby's 1st Easter scrapbooking supplies

For the Little Boy
Basket Ideas
New toy box, sand pail and shovel, plastic bucket with name painted, small inflatable pool, plastic tool box, toy crate, small indoor ball pit, a pirates ship, a toy grill,  a big dump truck, little red wagon, toy wheel barrow
Ball pit balls, plastic tool set, grill accessories, legos, floor puzzle, giant coloring book, crayons, stickers, craft or drawing paper, matchbox cars and trucks, Lil' Swimmers or new bathing suit, bath toys, bath paint, bubbles, magnetic fridge letters, hooded towel, stuffed animals, picture books, rock painting kit, baseball cap, sunglasses, new shorts and tee shirt, sandals, water shoes, glow sticks, playground ball, toy sword, pirate costume

For the Little Girl
Basket Ideas
New toy box, Barbie car, doll house, baby carriage, wooden crate with name painted, caboodle, jewelry box, plastic bucket, inflatable pool or ball pit, little red wagon, toy wheel barrow
Barbies, dolls, doll clothes, tutu, furniture for doll house, headbands, bows, sunglasses, Lil' Swimmers or new bathing suit, sunglasses, sun hat, purse, toy makeup, stickers, craft or drawing paper, giant coloring book, colors, rock painting kit, butterfly net, bath toys or bath paint, hooded towel, picture books, tea set, stuffed animals, magic wand, tiara, playground ball, glow stick necklace or bracelets, dress up clothes or shoes

For the Pre-Teen or Teen Girl
Basket Ideas
Overnight bag, large purse, makeup case, small laundry hamper, large caboodle, wooden crate for books, new backpack
Makeup and brushes, nail polish and accessories, new hair brush, scrunchies and hair ties, scarf, wallet, locker mirror, books, CD, DVD, iTunes card, small bluetooth speaker, posters for bedroom, strand of Christmas lights for bedroom, flip flops, shades, new bathing suit, school tee shirt, a pool float, water bottle or travel cup, cross necklace, bracelet or ear rings, light up charger cords, ear buds, new phone case, beach towel, a diary or journal

For the Pre-teen or Teen Boy
Basket Ideas
Tool box, tackle box, duffle bag, new backpack, a foot locker, sports gear bag, laundry basket
Tools, fishing tackle, rod and reel, iTunes card, books, flip flops, pocket knife, a good flashlight, sleeping bag, new bathing trunks, school tee shirt, canteen, water bottle or travel cup, baseball cap, shades, new sports ball or equipment, sport gloves, binaculars, bluetooth speakers, CD, DVD, new charger cords, beach towel, ear buds

For Dad or the Man in Your Life
Basket Ideas
Tool chest, tackle box, minnow bucket, ice chest (full of crawfish!), ammo lock box, duffel bag, briefcase, hiking backpack, a new charcoal grill, car wash bucket
Wallet, tools, mechanic gloves, tackle, new rod and reel, bluetooth speakers, car speakers, CD, DVD, BBQ grill accessories, BBQ apron, a steak branding iron, steak and burger seasonings, books, cologne or after shave, a beard and mustache trimmer, a subscription to his favorite magazine, baseball cap, shades, car detailing supplies, new rake or water hose, set of bungee cords or new tie downs, hunting knife

For Mom or the Lady in Your Life
Basket Ideas
Picnic basket, makeup bag, beach bag, tool box, decorative box, jewelry armoire, flower window box, a new large decorative flower pot, a decorative serving bowl, chip and dip bowl
Jewelry, wine glasses (with wine!), gift card for mani, pedi, or spa trip, electric racer, fuzzy slippers, flip flops, ankle bracelet, self tanning lotion (the good stuff!), new sunglasses with case and a clip for her visor, garden gloves, gardening stool and apron, fresh flower bulbs to plant, books, a journal, a pretty bookmark, a new Bible cover, a stuffed animal (yes, we love them, too!), CD, DVD, a subscription to her favorite magazine, perfume,  and dont forget the chocolates! 

So, get creative with those baskets and see their faces light up! And let me know what your absolute favorite thing about Easter is below!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

December 09, 2018

Twelve Days of a Mom's Christmas

Christmas is my favorite time of year, but let's face a Mom it is so stressful, busy, and chaotic!

Today I was sitting by the fire, taking a look at my beautiful Christmas tree and noticed a few decorations that were not Mom approved. My kids had their own definitions of decorations, as most kids do!

Taking it in, I thought about the 12 Days of Christmas, and how different it might have been if written by an exhausted, stressed, sleep deprived Mom.

So, in honor to all the Mom's out there who are fighting back the tears and nervous break downs that come with making the season bright for your little ones, this is for you! 

On the first day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
A frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the second day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Two muddy shoes
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the third day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the fourth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the fifth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the sixth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the seventh day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the eighth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Eight melted crayons,
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the ninth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Nine cats a shrieking,
Eight melted crayons,
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the tenth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Ten more loads of laundry (does it ever end?!),
Nine cats a shrieking,
Eight melted crayons,
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the eleventh day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Eleven dirty dishes,
Ten more loads of laundry (does it ever end?!),
Nine cats a shrieking,
Eight melted crayons,
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!
On the twelfth day of Christmas
my two kids gave to me:
Twelve broken egg shells,
Eleven dirty dishes,
Ten more loads of laundry (does it ever end?!),
Nine cats a shrieking,
Eight melted crayons,
Seven scattered leggos (watch your step!),
Six loads of laundry,
Five golden crowns (from Burger King!),
Four turkey calls,
Three French Fries (with ketchup!),
Two muddy shoes,
and a frisbee stuck in our Christmas Tree!

I hope you enjoyed it, and please don't forget to take some time to yourself this season.

Decorations, parties, gifts, and surprises are all fantastic for the kids. But the magic of the season that they will remember forever?

That magic comes from time spent as a family, with the ones you love, the memories you make. That is what they remember the most! 

May this Christmas season bring magic and wonder to all of us!

Want more?! Be sure to subscribe!

And check out my parody for after the Christmas Fun, Twas' The Night After Christmas!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

July 28, 2018

Lies and Secrets Parents Tell

You know what I'm talking about.

The little lies that sneak up when you are exhausted, frustrated, and just plain had it with parenting!

The little secrets we keep just to grab a moment or two just for ourselves?

No? Just me? Oh. 

I'm coming clean!

Ok, maybe not completely clean. A woman has to keep some secrets, right?!

Here they are in all their glory (in no particular order!)

My secrets, lies, and half truths that have saved my sanity at times!

"The __________ is closed today."

Now, I've used this one just recently!

We are at my sister's for the 4th of July fixing to head home just after sunset. Chad was just begging to go to the beach to see the fireworks, which we had done in the past.

Fireworks on the beach in South Mississippi is wonderful, however, you better get there 4 hours ahead of time to grab a parking space! So, without skipping a beat I told him, the beach was closed. Not being too sure if a tantrum was headed our way, I quickly appointed him as "Master Fireworks Director"!

This not only had him busy spotting and pointing out fireworks on the way home, he didn't ask about the beach again!

Other examples:
Disney is closed for the summer, remodeling.

McDonalds isn't open today, their ice cream machine broke. Again.

Toys R Us is closed. Hey! That one is no longer a lie! Points for me!
"It has nuts in it."

You know the drill.

You give your child a candy bar, piece of cake, or whatever and sit down to enjoy your share of this snack, albeit smaller in portion.

Never fails, the child inhales it or licks all the chocolate off, then stares at you until you, grudgingly, give them your piece. Sound familiar?

The solution?

Tell them yours has nuts in it. Or sour cream. Or coffee. Or anything that they won't like. Works like a charm!
"The cats ate our Elf on the Shelf"

Seriously, does this one even need explaining?

Before I start receiving hate mail for killing off a beloved Christmas character, let me just share two important and relevant facts here.

First, who invented this terribly creepy character who spys on kids, flies around at night, and causes mischief around the house?! It wasn't a parent, that's who!

Second, we honored him with a magnificent funeral service, complete with flowers and burial in the backyard.
"I keep my secret candy stash behind the sticks of butter."
Yes, that's right. Don't judge me.
"I've told my kids that they have to pay out of their allowance to use wifi in the living room."

"It's free in their bedrooms."

I get to watch TV in quiet or earn money. Win/Win

"Our TV is actually a two way mirror directly connected to the North Pole."
An elf sits and watches, and if he sees or hears whining he starts recording for Santa to review later.
"I have Santa on speed dial."

"All wrapping paper is made by the North Pole and distributed worldwide."

It's just an amazing coincidence that the gifts from Santa match ours to Aunt Stacy and Mimi.

"Old mean people are that way because when they were kids they refused to eat their veggies."

"When you lie your ears twitch."

After a couple of times, they begin covering their ears when lying!
"The Tooth Fairy pays more for kids who go to the dentist without fussing."

"The Tooth Fairy pays for teeth because they are perfect sized treats for her little fairy puppies."
"I don't swim in the ocean because I used to be a mermaid."

I may need to explain this one a little more.

I'm deathly afraid of swimming in open water. Seriously, have you not seen Jaws?! I don't want them to have the same fear.
"I can see thru walls. Any mother can."
"There's a secret portal in your bedroom to Narnia. It can only be found if your room is clean."
And that's just a few of the secrets and lies I have been known to tell.

Why would I lie to my children?!

One simple little word.


When our children are young their brains are growing and learning so much everyday. Imagination is just another teaching tool. I believe it to be one of the most fun one, too!

To quote Maya Angelo, "If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be!"
(Click to Tweet)

When I started with these little lies, I have to admit, it was to save my sanity.

But with each lie, I have seen that spark of magic...that twinkle in their they begin imagining the impossible.

As they grew older, the fun didn't stop. It grew with them!

They begin adding to my tales creating fantastic stories filled with wonder and merriment!

The TV elf became Henry. And we say hello and good night to him.

The portal to Narnia became a hidden door to Hogwarts, where my daughter ate lunch.

The beach is closed because at night, the mermaids try to jump up to catch falling stars.
As adults, we have to live in the present and plan for the future. We have responsibilities and priorities. We have bills to pay and priorities to set. I get that. Boy, do I get that!

As parents, our biggest priority is to raise our children to become productive and responsible adults. However, don't forget that they are children only but a little while. It goes so fast...too fast.

"It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation."
Herman Melville
(Click to Tweet)

Feed their imagination. Show them the magic. Let their creativity soar. When they get caught up in a story, their minds are thinking, creating, and growing. This produces the creators and thinkers of tommorow!
So, go ahead. Tell the lie. Make up that fantastic tale.

And see the world of imagination thru your children's eyes!
Have you told any fibs? Share with me your favorite down below in the comments! Don't forget to subscribe!

Have you read my Top 5 Worst Valentine's Gifts from my Sweet (but Clueless) Husband?


Hi, there! My name is Shannon Dewease and I'm so happy you found my blog. I am from beautiful South Mississippi and live here with my family. My life can get a little chaotic, comical, and down right complicated, as you will find out. I can't wait to begin sharing my misadventures with you!

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