10 Ways to Turn Off The Screen And Get Outside

Disclaimer: I received items in exchange for this project. All opinions are my own.

I hope I am not the only one that feels this way, but sometimes it is near impossible to get the kids to turn off the electronics and get outside in the summer. Sometimes I have to find something that seems exciting to them to get them outside without war.

Here are some of the things we have been doing this year:

1. Finding Bugs: With a bug jar and magnifying glass from Oriental Trading, there is nothing like exploring the bugs in your yard for an evening of fun!

2. Nature Journal: A spiral journal, pen, colored pencils, and tape make for an amazing nature journal.

3. Blowing bubbles: Get jugs of bubbles, paper cups, and a variety of bubble wands for hours of fun.

4. Painting Nature: It is easy to paint a nature scene with a piece of posterboard and giant watercolors.

5. Birdwatching: Grab some fun binoculars and check out the bird life in the neighborhood.

6. Sky Watching: Lay on your back and watch the clouds or stars, imagining photos, picture life elsewhere, or dreaming. Add in some construction paper and crayons for a great activity for day or night. Add to the fun and do it in the pool. Flamingo drink floats make for additional fun here!

7. Night Time Scavenger Hunts: Grab a flashlight, glow wands, and a scavenger hunt paper for a fun night time scavenger hunt. Putting the flashlight on a lanyard helps little ones not lose it!

8. Nature Crafts: Make a birdhouse, birdfeeder, birds nest supply home, fairy garden, and more. Oriental Trading has everything you need to make your backyard a wonderland.

9. Campfires: The kids and I love sitting by the campfire, making smores, and telling stories. I enjoy doing crafts at the same time. the kids have joined me making crafts this year by the fire. They added glow in the dark beads to their headphones for a pop of fun!

10. Feeding Wildlife: Keep a stash of seeds, bread, and more and send the kids out for feeding time in the backyard. You can also put out apples, strawberries, berries, carrots, lettuce, and more. We feed the cats, bunnies, birds, foxes, deer, and anything else that may wander into our yard and it is something fun for the kids to do.

Oriental Trading makes summer fun easier with other products as well. Did you know that Oriental Trading offers pre-packaged snacks for grab and go goodness? My kids love the easter pretzels and the peas and carrots gummies- I'm wure yours will as well.

Book Review: I Am Devotional: 100 Devotions About The Names Of God

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

The God Who Saves. The God Who Provides. The Holy One. The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us—explore the glory and the goodness of God in I Am Devotional.
Children will learn to trust God in everything as they learn about the names and character of God in the I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith.
Name of God: I AM
Meaning: God is to be worshipped
Application: Worship God by how you live!
Diane Stortz has a proven history of connecting well with both children and parents in her writing. With sales of 500,000 inspirational books for children, Diane is a trusted name for Christian families. The art of Diane Le Feyer has captivated readers of I Am and will continue to delight in this accompanying devotional with vibrant illustrations throughout and a vivid cover embellished with foil and lots of striking glitter.
The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.
I have spent much of the summer searching for a devotional book to use for the majority of our school year. We do a few specific studies throughout the year, but I usually stick with one memory verse and a devotional for our daily bible study, especially while the kids are young. I finally found this one and could not be happier. 
Since there are 100 devotions, it will last most of the year. I love that it teaches just how amazing God is so the kids can get a sense of this while they are still young. I have always loved learning about the names of God so it will be wonderful for me as well. 

Book Review: This Life I Live

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

The story she said he was born to write.
Her story. His story. The love story of Joey and Rory.
By inviting so many into the final months of Joey’s life as she battled cancer, Joey and Rory Feek captured hearts around the world with how they handled the diagnosis; the inspiring, simple way they chose to live; and how they loved each other every step of the way. But there is far more to the story.
“My life is very ordinary,” says Rory. “On the surface, it is not very special. If you looked at it, day to day, it wouldn’t seem like much. But when you look at it in a bigger context—as part of a larger story—you start to see the magic that is on the pages of the book that is my life. And the more you look, the more you see. Or, at least, I do.”
In this vulnerable book, he takes us for the first time into his own challenging life story and what it was like growing up in rural America with little money and even less family stability.
This is the story of a man searching for meaning and security in a world that offered neither. And it’s the story of a man who finally gives it all to a power higher than himself and soon meets a young woman who will change his heart forever.
In This Life I Live, Rory Feek helps us not only to connect more fully to his and Joey’s story but also to our own journeys. He shows what can happen when we are fully open in life’s key moments, whether when meeting our life companion or tackling an unexpected tragedy. He also gives never-before-revealed details on their life together and what he calls “the long goodbye,” the blessing of being able to know that life is going to end and taking advantage of it. Rory shows how we are all actually there already and how we can learn to live that way every day.
A gifted man from nowhere and everywhere in search of something to believe in. A young woman from the Midwest with an angelic voice and deep roots that just needed a place to be planted. This is their story. Two hearts that found each other and touched millions of other hearts along the way.
We followed Joey and Rory's story for so long. My daughter laughed with Indy, we cried with them all, and we cried when she died. We wipe tears as we watch Rory try to raise his daughter, run the farm, and keep a smile on his face. It is a heartbreaking, yet inspirational story from the beginning. 
When I heard the book was coming out, I knew I had to have it and it would be passed around the family. We did pass it around and laughed, cried, and had our hearts filled. I have not been disappointed. This is a book for all Christians to read. It is beyond inspirational. 

Mom Approved: Honest Kids

Disclaimer: I was sent samples to review. All opinions are my own.

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My kids and I have fallen in love with Honest Tea Kids Juice! Yes, I sneak one on occasion- I guess it could be worse though. While you can buy them in a variety of packages, I buy the pouches because it is better than the other pouch options and is great for outside or on the go.  You can't get much better than a healthy juice pouch.

There are a wide variety of flavors available, including Super Fruit Punch, Appley Ever After, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Goodness Grapeness, Cherry Go Round, and Twisted Tropical Tango.

Honest Kids Juice is flavored with natural fruit juice, which is always a winner in my mind!

Honest Kids is also USDA Organic, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, recycled & recyclable, and no artificial flavors or colors.

See why I love it so much!?

Mom Approved: Pure Growth Organic

Disclaimer: I received samples to review. All opinions are my own.

Another love I found this summer!

First of all- here is a huge win for this summer's snacks! The kids love that the snacks sent to them are Disney Themed (yes, we are one of THOSE families)

The people at Pure Growth Organic were so sweet to send the kids a box of Strawberry Breakfast Biscuit Bites and Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bars. Both of them loved both types. We have bought more of them since and we have even tried more- they especially love the popcorn and cookies! Pure Growth Organic is definitely a win for car trips! In fact, I have been picking up snacks and breakfasts each time we go to the store for an upcoming trip and they do not forget to remind me to get "Mickey breakfast and cookies"

The Good Stuff: Whole Grains; organic, Kosher, fiber, baked in the united states.

They leave out the bad: Non-GMO, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup.

Yep, a winner!

Mom Approved: Veggie Go

Disclaimer: I received samples to review. All opinions are my own.

While I have started letting my little minions have more sugar, I still watch it very closely. I also watch artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives. I can definitely tell a change in them when they have been loaded down with artificial things, even sweeteners.

This summer, I have made it my mission to find more packaged snacks (let's face it, they are easier) that I am okay with giving the kids. When we are running around like crazy, on trips, or running errands, I like to have that option. I have found several options and have been enjoying sharing what I have found with you guys.

On to the next- Veggie-Go's!

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What do I love about Veggie-Go's? There is 1 serving of fruits and vegetables in each pack. So, my kids think they are eating fruit rolls or gummies when they are getting good for them stuff in as well. Also, they love the flavor, so it is a double win.

I have also been able to get them trying new vegetables because I'll remind them that it was in their Veggie-Go's and they get excited! How can we not win?

Veggie-Go's are also USDA organic Non-GMO, Gluten Free, sustainable, fueled by wind energy, and they use little plastic with recycled and recyclable packaging!

It all started with two people, an adventure and a borderline obsession with produce.

Veggie-Go’s™ founders Lisa and John have always had a thing for real food. Growing it. Eating it. Loving it. So after living and working on organic farms across Europe, their shared passion transformed a spark of an idea into a whole new slant on snacking: delightful fruit, vibrant veggies and flavors so unique they’re downright surprising. Now it’s your turn to open wide and devour the delicious results.