Sunday, December 29, 2013

Family Pics 2013

Each year our good friend, Lindsay, takes pictures in our front yard next to our big Maple trees and falling leaves.  It has become such a great tradition! This year we gained a child. He is our exchange students from Vietnam and a senior at Lincoln HS. It is a blessing to have him be part of our chaos. Our boys are getting big and each day we have new challenges but God is good and sustains us through it all. I wouldn't trade my life for anything! Blessed and grateful.






Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tacoma Area Winter Ideas (for kids and moms)


Each year I always start to panic when the rain starts and my kids are jumping off furniture to burn off energy. So, this year I decided to write a list of fun ideas to do with kids during the lovely NW winter months. Here ya go...

Library - craft times, special events, story time, check out books and movies
http://www.tpl.lib.wa.us/Default.aspx

Tacoma Children's Museum
http://www.playtacoma.org/

Olympia Children's Museum - AMAZING!
http://www.hocm.org/

Lattin Cider Mill (love this one - donuts, animals and lots more, Olympia area)
http://lattinscider.com/

Point Defiance - hike through the woods in the rain or head to the zoo/aquarium
http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/point-defiance-park/

The Outlet Collection (formally known asAuburn Supermall)  Head to the play area, grab coffee and let your kids run wild. They also have an indoor carousel!
http://www.outletcollectionseattle.com/

Fort Steilacoom - play on the awesome castle play area, walk around the lake, explore! (cloudy day fun)
https://www.cityoflakewood.us/government/departments/parks-and-recreation/lakewood-parks

Chambers Bay Playground - another cloudy day - don't go if it's raining or windy.
https://foursquare.com/v/chambers-bay-park-playground/50285045e4b031f7a2c681f7

253skate - rollerskating fun!
http://rollin253.com/

Ride the Link to Learning Sprout - park at Freighthouse Square and ride to the end, walk to Learning Sprout
http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/Tacoma-Light-Link-Rail
http://www.learningsprout.com/

IKEA - it's a bit of a drive but you can check your potty trained kiddos into the play area for one hour, in case you need a break :)
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/seattle

Discovery Village - I haven't been here yet, but, I've heard great things. Look on Groupon or Living Social for deals.
http://www.discovery-village.com/

Pump It Up - look for coupons online
http://www.pumpitupparty.com/event-calendar/tacoma-wa

Odyssey 1 - kids can crawl through tubes for hours!
http://www.odyssey-1.com/

Tacoma Mall - grab some quarters and have your kids ride the cars/trucks/boats near Sears and then grab coffee and let the kids run around in the play area (it's a very sad and small play area but it works great for toddlers)

Become a member of ParentMap SouthSound for updated fun events and happenings all over the Puget Sound. http://www.parentmap.com/

I hope this helps with your sanity during the NW winter months. Please feel free to add any other ideas you have or know of in the area!






Redeeming Black Friday

I recently posted this on Facebook as a response to others posting about staying away from shopping and commercialism on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I had another idea and wanted to encourage others to think differently about this huge shopping day.



Thoughts on Black Friday...

1) I like shopping and I love watching people with a coffee in hand.
2) I love good deals and don't mind crowds but I am not willing to trample over people to get them.
3) When you live on a very very limited income you need to be thrifty and Black Friday helps in this area.
4) For many years (when Todd worked for Starbucks) he always volunteered to work holidays/holiday weekends for the extra pay and awesome tips. This was a huge blessing to us in that season! I know that many other people do the same to help support their families. I respect that.

I will be shopping on Black Friday and I look forward to blessing the socks off those that work in the customer service industry (lots of smiles, thank you's, and tips) because their job can be hard. Maybe our perspective on Black Friday should be to go out and bless others (buy someone's coffee, greet people, hold the door open, hand out candy canes, etc...)! Let's not grumble about Black Friday but redeem it.