family life

My daughter is an animal lover. She has been since she was about a year old. When she was 5, she discovered the beauty of the hummingbird and how to make your own hummingbird food.

My mom used to keep feeders around all the time and they would sit out on her back porch and watch them flitter and fly around, going from one to the next. She always said when she got older, she was going to do the same thing. Now — at 16, she has her own feeders, makes her own food for them, and sits and takes amazing photos of them eating and flying around.

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I was provided samples of Oriental Trading Patriotic products to facilitate this post. Opinions expressed are that of my own.

If you are looking for a few easy short cuts to any party you plan on having this year, or just want to add decorations to your home, Oriental Trading has some great solutions. We used them during our huge 4th of July Celebration and we had a blast! (no pun intended).

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Raising a child at any age is challenging, and when it comes to mothers and daughters, the dynamic can be even more complex. What some may dismiss as “typical tween girl behavior” can sometimes be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms.

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“This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser, Duracell Batteries. All opinions are mine alone.”

When I was a little girl, I was petrified of thunderstorms and tornadoes. My mom was the kind of woman who loved to watch the dark clouds rolling in, the hail hitting the ground, and the trees swaying crazily back and forth. Me — not so much. When a storm came, she would sit me right down at our dining room table and tell me to watch as huge limbs flew by our sliding glass door. To say that I was frightened was an understatement.

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Disclosure:  I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for BGCA. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

With teenagers living in my home I am always trying to keep them safe when it comes to the Internet. Ever since they were pre-teens we have had lengthy discussions about online safety, cyberbullying, and what they should do if something like that were happening online. There are some steps you can take to keeping teens safe online. Today — I want to share some of those with you.

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Thanks to The Coca-Cola Company for providing compensation for this blog post.

Right now, the temperatures are soaring in my neck of the woods. Because of that, we are reaching well above 90 outside, with the heat index of 102 during the day. Our house gets a little warm when this happens, so we always want to have a back up plan for dinner. Thank goodness I can count on all the Marketside items that WalMart sells. They make effortless meals a snap!

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When it comes to jewelry associated with tying the knot, it seems that diamond engagement rings get the bulk of the attention. However, wedding bands are just as important for many married couples, if not more so, than the engagement ring. Wedding bands are generally quite simple and lack the rig rock that is often set in an engagement ring. However, it is still important to pick a unique wedding band that neither member of the couple minds wearing for the rest of their lives.

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My son graduated last year with great honors from our homeschool. We threw his a surprise party and wound up getting him some of his favorite items as gifts for his accomplishments.

Next year, my daughter will be graduating. She is a bit different than my son when it comes to the kinds of gifts she likes. She is a photographer and artist at heart, so I want to make sure to lavish her with gifts that help hone her artistic skills. That is why I will be shopping Best Buy and all the different grad gifts they have available.

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This post has been sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic. All opinions and stories listed here are 100% my own.

My husband and I lead the youth at our church and a couple of years ago, we took about 15 youth for a 10 hour ride away from home to the beautiful beaches of Panama City Beach, Florida. It was one of the best times I have ever had during a summer camp. Being that far away, my husband and I wanted to make sure that each child was physically capable of being away from that home for that long, so getting a camp physical and having their medical information was a must.

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If you have been around here for very long, you know I have teenagers — in fact — I have a 16 and a 19 year old. To top that off, my husband and I teach the youth at our church and we have for some time now, like around 3 years. Because of being around teenagers all the time, I listen to their stories — the ones where they share what they miss at home, and of all the things that parents fill their lives with that they necessarily don’t want or need.

Because of that, I have come up with a list of 10 things teenagers need from their parents and 10 things they don’t need.

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