Funny thing about raising teens. You sometimes get slapped in the face with memories of your own teen years whether you like it or not. I have had this happen several times with both of my kids lately.
I remember being a teen and always needing things done a certain way. Part of that was because that’s the way everyone else was doing it. The other part was because I function better with organization and order. The things that meant so much to me didn’t always line up with the things that meant the most to my mom.
As an adult, and particularly as a parent, I look for the easiest way to do most things in my life. From the way that I shop to the way that the dishwasher is loaded. I choose the path of least resistance and the road with the biggest payoff for minimum amount of effort. (This is probably what my mom was going for, as well, during my teen years!)
Recently, and several times, actually – I’ve run into situations with my kids where I’ve chosen this road. Only after looking at their face or hearing their reply, have I realized that sometimes just because it isn’t a big deal to me, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a big deal to them.
It matters to them.
I don’t care if the hair pins aren’t all facing the same direction in the holder … but Piper does.
I have no idea why it matters that books are sorted on a shelf by collection … but Avery cares.
It’s not that I’m selfish, but sometimes in trying to live my own life at 100 mph – I forget that my life decisions (big and small) affect the people that I love the most. And the people that I work with. And my friends. And my clients.
So, the next time that someone brings a decision to your attention, and you think (and probably express) that you think it’s silly – just remember that they wouldn’t be bringing it up if it didn’t matter to them. And the fact that it matters to them makes it important.
** We have been attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since we moved to Houston in 2006. Today’s sponsored post is brought with a full heart as this is a “must-do” event for our family every year! **
Arrive early to make the most of your day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! Family-friendly carnival rides, exhibits, attractions and tasty treats are available throughout the NRG Park grounds, starting at 9 a.m. daily during the Show.
Download the RODEOHOUSTON mobile app available for iPhone and Android to ensure your family outing to the Show goes off without a hitch! Jam-packed with an interactive scheduling tool, and parking and map information, the mobile app is a must for busy parents who like to plan ahead. Pre-plan and create an agenda personalized to your family’s interests using the “My Schedule” function within the app.
You won’t want to miss a trip to the Stars Over Texas Stage in The Junction! Enjoy animal acts, sing-alongs and talent shows hourly from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. while snacking on funnel cakes, candy apples and turkey legs! The Stars Over Texas Stage is located under a shady outdoor canopy and includes picnic tables.
See all of this and more at the Show, March 7 – 26. Grounds passes are available for adults 13 years of age and older for $10; for children ages 3 to 12, $5; and for children ages 2 and under, grounds admission is free! Visit rodeohouston.com to learn more.
Fun for the Entire Family in OXY AGventure
Grab your kiddos and head over to OXY AGventure, located in in Hall A of NRG Center, to see chicks hatch in the poultry exhibit and baby lambs take their first steps in the birthing center. Watch as wide-eyed children hear farm sounds come to life, right before their eyes!
Allow your kids to get their hands dirty in the horticulture exhibit while digging for worms and learning about the importance of soil composition, vegetation and water conservation in urban and rural agriculture. Before you leave, plant a sunflower seed to take home!
Interact with traditional farm animals, and some exotic ones, too, in the OXY AGventure petting zoo! A fan favorite, the petting zoo is stocked with friendly pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs and llamas intermingling with excited kiddos with handfuls of yummy, animal-approved treats.
OXY AGventure is equipped with a fully-functioning milking parlor for you to see where milk comes from and learn how it is transported to your local grocery store. Demonstrations begin at 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends and are given by real-life dairy farmers!
Home to 12 interactive and educational exhibits, OXY AGventure provides both children and adults with a one-of-a-kind learning experience, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit rodeohouston.com to learn more.
Let your kids run free and catch some vitamin D outside at The Junction! This kid-friendly area of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is located directly behind Rodeo Plaza, near the carnival, and features rides and games designed for the Show’s youngest visitors.
Are your little tikes the competitive type? If so, sign them up for the Pedal Tractor Pull where children ages 4 to 12 years old compete in a pedal-driven tractor driving contest. These little drivers pull sleds behind miniature tractors down the raceway in hopes of out-pedaling their opponents! Competitions begin daily at 11 a.m. with the last performance at 6 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 p.m. on weekends. The Pedal Tractor Pull is just one of nine attractions in The Junction sure to keep your children engaged throughout the day.
The Junction Carnival is packed with kiddie rides and games around every corner and is open 11 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on weekends. Admission to The Junction Carnival is free with the purchase of an NRG Park grounds pass – ride and game tickets are sold separately. Visit rodeohouston.com to purchase pre-sale carnival tickets today!
Mutton Bustin’ and Pig Races in The Junction
Mutton bustin’ in The Junction is the perfect event for your aspiring cowboy or cowgirl. In mutton bustin’, riders grab on to the back of a full-grown sheep for a wild ride! Donning protective vests and helmets, mutton busters are some of the toughest, and certainly the most adventurous, young cowboys and cowgirls at the Show.
Youngsters must be between the ages of 5 and 6 years old and not weigh more than 55 pounds to be eligible to participate. Entries open at 10 a.m., with rides starting at 11 a.m. and continuing every hour until 7 p.m. – cost is $15 per ride.
Celebrate your mutton bustin’ victory with a trip to the pig races, just a few steps away in The Junction. Your child is sure to squeal as these energetic piglets race around a 150-foot track, all in a matter of seconds! Arrive early to find a seat right in the middle of the action. Pig races start at 10:30 a.m. and continue every hour on the half hour until 6:30 p.m., daily.
Meal Options for Kids Across NRG Park
With more than 15 dining vendors offering kid-friendly and affordable meal options, lunchtime is a breeze at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! From corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and hamburgers to cookies, funnel cakes, and ice cream, there is something on the menu for even the pickiest eater in your bunch.
Meal pricing varies among vendors, but the average kid’s meal costs around $5. Certain vendors offer sweet treats, such as soft-serve ice cream and popsicles, ranging from $2 to $3, and complete meals, including a protein, side, and drink, ranging from $4.75 to $8.75. Look for these meal deals at select vendors scattered throughout Rodeo Plaza and NRG Center – you must inquire about kid-friendly meal deals before ordering.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provides its guests with world-class entertainment at an incredible value. If you’re on a budget, you won’t want to miss out on the Show’s Value Wednesday deals. Every Wednesday during the Show, adults will only pay $5 to enter NRG Park and seniors, 60 years of age and older, and children, 12 and younger, get in free!
In addition to discounted admission fees, visitors have access to shopping discounts, dining meal deals, and $5 off the purchase of $25 or more at the Official Rodeo Merchandise booths. Value Wednesday discounts vary among vendors and are available at select locations in NRG Center, NRG Arena and NRG Park.
Bring the family out to The Junction Carnival on Value Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to enjoy $2 rides and games. Save at the carnival every day during Show by purchasing half-priced carnival packs, on sale now through Saturday, March 4. The purchase of a half-priced carnival pack provides you with a bundle of ride tickets and refreshment coupons at an incredible value. Plus, each carnival pack includes a $5 off voucher (when you spend $25 or more) valid for use at any of the Official Rodeo Merchandise booths. Visit rodeohouston.com for more information.
A product that I’m using in 2017, in addition to Project Life, is 1 Second Everyday. The jist of this cool app is that you upload one second of your life each day into this tool. After a week. month, year – you’re choosing – you can download it into a cool video that is fun to reflect upon.
One sidenote – I lied on this video. I said that the app was free. I think it might have been when I used it previously, but now it’s $4.99 on iTunes. Let me tell you this … I don’t buy apps. And, if I do, they aren’t over 99-cents. So the mere fact that I obviously paid $5 for this app tells you something!
Where has the time gone? I’ve looked back at old posts and I can honestly say that the years are flying. You are no longer my bouncy girl with tight curly curls. I miss those years desperately, but I am so blessed to see who you have become in this preview for the teen years!
Piper, you are so easy to please. You don’t care about labels or brands. You don’t feel like a tag on your jeans, or shirt, or backpack defines you — and I LOVE this about you! You have a definite sense of what you like and what you don’t like, but you pay no mind to whether it follows the trends or the norm of those around you. I hope you always stay this way.
This past year, I’ve seen your personality and character shape so much. It’s not been an easy year for you at times. I’ve had to stand back and watch you be treated unfairly and sometimes even downright mean, because it was your battle and not mine. But, you know what impressed me, you didn’t waver. You stayed so true to yourself. You showed so much integrity. There is not a jealous bone in your body. You are a fan of everyone. You truly hope everyone lives the dream. Don’t ever lose that spirit – you have no idea how well this will serve you in life!
Sweet girlie, you have dreams of being a star. On YouTube, on the stage, as a model … do it all. Do it well. Follow your dreams. It’s so fun to see you putting yourself out there and trying new things. If you will work for it, your dad and I will do everything we can to make it happen. You are destined for greatness!
Congratulations on being 12. I know you are so ready. My last baby in her last year of being a kid … Live large. Be kind. Stay humble. Work hard. Love fearlessly.
You are the brightest of lights and I’m so incredibly proud to be your mom! I love you!
I don’t count myself a Bible Study expert. As a working mom, I’ve never been able to attend the weekday church-based Bible studies that are all the rage. I see the sisterhood that is birthed and nurtured, and I’m so envious. It’s just never been a reality that was able to work for me. Over the past few years and many searches, I’ve been blessed to find two Bible Study Apps that I love.
I sleep with my phone right beside my bed. In an effort to be more disciplined, I have promised myself that I have to do my bible study before I do anything else (email, social media, texts, etc.).
The first (and the one I’m currently using) is called First5. This app was developed by Proverbs 31 Ministries and the premise is that you start your day – the first 5 minutes of your day – with this app.
What I love about First5 is that it really is a 5 minute study. They start each day with a graphic that has a statement or idea that is applicable to what you will read that day. (It’s a free download, which is really cool.) Then, they have a verse that is the focus of the day. The study right now is moving through Numbers. At first I was a little turned off that it only went one scripture at a time, but now I’ve gotten used to it. It really is a deep study pattern. One of those things that you don’t realize is really deep until the study is over! Tricks you into learning more than you realize!!! At the end of each day’s session there is a prayer prompt, as well as an opportunity to read more if you wish. There’s also an opportunity to share/comment about something that spoke to you that day. It’s really a great app. And, it’s free!
Watch this short 90 second video to learn more about how First5 works:
The second bible study app that I love is called SheReadsTruth. It also is free and has studies that are included with the app, then also has studies that are pay. (The costs are very inexpensive. Most $1.99) Something that I love about the plans offered on She Reads Truth is the ability to chose the topic of your study. They run the full spectrum of options. Here’s a short list of the ones that I’ve completed: Open Your Bible; In Everything, Give Thanks; Hymns; Hymns 2; This Is the Bible; Women in the Word, Old Testament; Ruth; and Esther.
When you find a study that you are interested in, you will see the length of the study (most are 5-20 days). Then, as you finish each day, the app literally lets you check off each day so you know where to begin the following day.
This app is in-depth, but in a different manner. Take the Hymns 2 study as an example, on day one, you will read portions of scripture from Proverbs, Philippians, Colossians, and Hebrews. Then, you will go on to that particular devotion. I loved that I could highlight scripture and bookmark it. That was a great feature for me. I love looking back at all of my bookmarked scripture every once in a while. You can also leave comments in the app after each devotion day.
I also really love that this app has a full version of the bible. If you wanted to do further study or just have a bible on your device, you can do that all with She Reads Truth! In the settings, you can chose the translation that you prefer.
I know this sounds odd, but this app has really great lock screens for your phone that are a free download. Their designers are amazing. I’ve downloaded many of these and really enjoy seeing them as a daily reminder. All are scripture based – there’s a huge variety!
Here’s the bottom line: God wants to be in relationship with you. That is absolutely between you and Him. It’s hard for anyone to recommend bible study apps that can work for every person, but these certainly have been a huge help to me. If you are searching for something to open the door or as a starting point for you, I don’t think you can go wrong with using these two bible study apps as a starting point. Both have a strong biblical base and both founding companies are of the highest integrity. Try it … give it 2 weeks, let this be the start of a new life for you! Let me know if I can pray for you – I’d be honored to do it.
The Bellaire Area Mothers of Multiples is having a garage sale on Saturday, September 28 from 8:00 until 11:00 AM. The sale is at the Westbury United Methodist Church (5200 Willowbend) and is open to the public.
My babies are 16 months apart and since we wanted all gender neutral decor and clothing as possible, we shopped these sales all the time. We purchased our first double stroller at a MofM sale and countless “brother/sister outfits”.
The Bellaire sale is held twice a year. They have everything from baby/toddler clothes, special occasion clothes, strollers, toys, books, shoes, swim gear, etc. And since all of the sellers are moms of multiples, there are usually two of everything too.
A portion of the sales also goes to the overall operating budget for BAMOM, which hosts monthly events for its members on topics that are of interest to parents of multiples. The rest goes back to the seller. Anything that is not sold or reclaimed by the sellers is donated to various Houston charities.
For more information on the sale or the Bellaire group , check it out online. There’s no cost to shop at the sale, so you have nothing to lose!
I don’t run ads often. Those of you that read here daily no that, but these particular sales are a huge blessing to those families who have multiples or babies close together in age!