This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #HorizonLunch  #CollectiveBias


We have been looking forward to the first day of school for some time now. Grace is officially starting kindergarten and Haddon is convinced that he too will be starting school. During our school days, we like to have a routine to keep us focused and on track. This also works well for the kiddos at night. I’ve noticed that when Grace knows what to expect, our day and our evenings, run much smoother.

Our morning routines are a little different for Grace and for Haddon. They both wake up at the same time, but they have different tasks throughout the day that are tailored to their school, their extra curricular activities and Haddon’s nap time. Their evening routines are identical, which makes things a whole lot easier for me.

I thought I’d share with you what our evenings look like and share a FREE printable for you to download and use with your kiddos.  This bedtime routine is super easy to follow and fun for the kids.  I like to print one out and use a sheet protector to slide the printable right in.  In the evenings, I let Grace and Haddon check off what they’ve done.  Giving them an opportunity to use dry erase markers always gets them really excited.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July. We had an opportunity to celebrate this special day the real Nebraskan/Midwest way. We drove to our friends parents house in the country and celebrated with hamburgers, hotdogs and an insane amount of fireworks. We love the Fourth of July. Eight years ago Alex proposed to me during a Fourth of July party, and this holiday will always remind me of that moment. I also think about what the holiday represents. FREEDOM. Our road to citizenship and the freedom that we have in Christ.

This was also our first Fourth of July away from family, which made it a little bit nostalgic for us, but we quickly got over it once we saw all of the corn fields and the dairy farms. There’s an enchantment that comes with the midwest that I am just starting to understand. Everything is a labor of love, from the food, to the conversations. Everything takes time and people are invested.

I loved every part of our celebration.

My favorite part of last night was the drive home. Alex and I were reminiscing about the day when we drove up to a corn field and parked our jeep on the side of the road. We all climbed to the top of the Jeep, played patriotic music and watched about four different firework shows that were going on at the same time. We watched the entire show. Friends, it was the best show we’ve ever seen and it was such an incredible experience. The kids loved it, and Alex and I were blown away by the overall experience.

When we were younger, Alex and I would head over to the beach to watch fireworks. They would fire them up over the water and it was so pretty… but it didn’t compare to this. This day was something else.

Somewhere deep in my heart I know that maybe, just maybe, we’re going to be just fine up here.

The kids played with this vintage seesaw.  When I asked Grace what was her favorite part, without hesitation she said the seesaw.

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PackWithLove #CollectiveBias
Last week, during my fourth target run of the week, I looked up and saw the back to school section and was immediately filled with so much excitement. Back to school season always reminds me of my high school days, the excitement of seeing my friends again, the smell of fresh sharpened pencils and the opportunity that comes with a blank slate.  Oh man.. I could write about this for days. When I was in high school, my friends and I would always meet up at the same spot and walk around campus until the bell rung.  I love back-to-school season!
Grace is starting kindergarten this year and I want to instill the same love for school that I had. I want her to know that every year comes with a fresh opportunity for growth and learning. I want her to know that every grade and every subject will leave an imprint on her life and open doors to experience life in new ways.
One of the best things that I can do for her is encourage her through every step of her schooling journey. Today I’m sharing something fun that I have done in the past and that I will continue to do throughout her school year.
I am packing her lunch and sharing with her little love notes for her to save in a folder or a zippy bag.  When the school year is over, I know we’ll have fun looking back at these.
I am tweaking these based on what we’re learning in school, and today I’m sharing two FREE printables. The first one is my first week of cards for the school year and the second is a blank one, so you can customize them for your little ones!

Click here to download your FREE printable

We usually work though our schoolwork in the morning and are done by lunchtime.  Having a lunch bag, keeps us motivated to get our school assignments done and gives us a nice break in the afternoon. Here’s how I pack her school lunch:
  1. Brown paper bag – This is a fun way to get excited about lunch. When I pack it up in a classic brown paper lunch bag, Grace feels like she’s actually in school and it’s more fun than whipping up mac and cheese or leftovers from the night before.
  2. Add a personal touch – You can add your own personal touch to your school lunch by printing these out.  I like to tweak them to reflect a topic or encourage her based on what we’re covering in school that week.  She’s getting really good at reading and is always trying to figure out my puns, so that’s fun too.
  3. Easy lunch – I like packing a sandwich and some sort of boxed juice.  No need for plates, forks, spoons a or mess! She also likes eating with her hands so it’s fun for both of us.
  4. Fun snack – I add fun snacks to Grace’s brown lunch bags. She likes Lance Sandwich Crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and the Snack Better Variety Pack of chips. I stock up at my local Walmart and keep them on hand to pack for her throughout the week. Having a variety of snacks keeps lunchtime fun, they are conveniently packaged and we all really like them.
So, that’s how I pack my brown bag lunches to make us all feel a little more structured during our homeschooling days.

Click here to download your FREE printable

Here’s a “Packed with Love Sweepstakes” that’s running from 7/15/17 – 8/28/17 where you can win the following:

  • Custom Lunchbox “packed with love”
  • (6) $2,500 scholarships
  • (6) Years Supply of Snyder’s-Lance snacks
  • (6) iPad/Tablets
  • (12) $50 gift cards for school supplies
  • (60) Swag kits – include robot keychain, chip clips, can cooler, thermos

You can purchase these snacks at your local Walmart 

 Don’t forget to download your FREE blank printable for you to customize 

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappierFirstMoments #ForBetterBeginnings #CollectiveBias

One of the hardest things when I was pregnant with Grace was creating my baby registry. I had every desire to go into a store and register, but I was quickly bombarded with every single baby item known to man. I walked in, hyperventilated and walked right out of the store. It was so overwhelming to think that a tiny baby could need so many things. We just celebrated Emory’s first birthday (our third child) and finally feel like we have a grasp on the products that are really necessary during the first year and the ones that take up room in our home.


So today I’m sharing with you a FREE PRINTABLE just for you, highlighting what you really need for your first-year so you can stay focused and stress free while you register.  Also, if you’re pregnant and are in need of some encouragement, you can find it here. 

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