Dear Mom and Dad,
Dear Mom and Dad,
I typically write two separate letters or cards or whatever but I wanted to write one to the both of you.
I’ve been married for a year now. It’s been a crazy year for me and I’m so very thankful to have both of you here to help me. I asked Zach not long ago on our way to celebrate our one year anniversary if there have been times in our marriage that he wished he could’ve called his mom and asked her for advice. I have realized just how blessed I am to be able to pick up my phone and call you or text you and share my feelings or ask for advice. I have always loved and respected you both very much, but I have a new respect for you now as I’ve been married for just a minute.
Marriage is so hard.
It’s literally the perfect example of sacrifice and humility and love which is why i am sure God used the analogy many times in the word. I just want to thank you for loving one another through every trial and joy you’ve walked through in your life together. It is so difficult to grow and serve your spouse. It’s hard to communicate and sometimes it’s even hard to like them at all. Thank you for never giving up on one another and showing me that it is possible to do marriage.
I know your marriage is not perfect, but that’s what gives me hope and strength.
I know that with God’s strength and guidance I can love Zach and serve him like I’m supposed to for the rest of our lives.
This letter is to celebrate your birthday but I feel like I’m really just thanking you. I just want you to know that your love for one another and always doing your best at helping me and telling me things about marriage truly has impacted my life. I cherish your wisdom. I want to be a wife and mother like you, mom. I want to be strong and sensitive like you, dad. I want to honor you both, and my husband, and God. You loved me and guided me from the time I was a baby into my adolescence. You were there as I journeyed through my teen years and then when I became a mom myself.
You’ve both been there to walk through my happiest and darkest days
and I cannot thank God enough that you’re both still here weeping with me when I weep (like I am as I write this) and celebrating with me when I celebrate.
Thank you for loving me and giving me the best gift I could’ve ever gotten from you;
The importance of knowing God.
If it weren’t for that I would have never made it to where I am today.
I don’t even know that I would be here at all.
But I do know that I would not be who I am without the relationship with Christ you’ve always encouraged me to pursue. Now I’m blabbing, but I love you.
Happy birthday, you old farts.
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Well we have dedicated most blog posts in the series so far to one bucket list experience per post, but this time we are going to include 3!
I am sure most of you who live in Oklahoma have spent a day at the OKC Zoo & Botanical Gardens. We all know after being at least once what to expect. You can expect a relatively cheap entry price at the gate for $8 per person, a humid reptile room, and some smelly rhinceros’ as you walk the semi shaded hilly pathways. You can also expect to spend a lot of money on all the extra’s if you aren’t prepared! I packed up Elijah and Landen for the day and we took off to go experience all the zoo has to offer. We packed our lunches so we saved money on that and we even got to see the King of the Jungle! He is rarely sited, at least from my experience. We didn’t play in the splash pad area or the playgrounds because by the time we had walked the ENTIRE zoo, I was completely zonked. We usually skip walking all the way back to the giraffes because there is not much to see on the way out there, its not a shaded walk, and it’s uphill. No thank you! But this time, we made the trek. You could say I was a warrior on this day because I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy!
_MOM TIP #1
If you want to experience the WHOLE zoo and everything they have to offer, they have passes that accomodate extra activities which will make it cheaper than getting inside and buying it all separate!
Another fun thing Elijah and I did this summer was we went out to the Martin Nature Park in Edmond.
This was of course after we grabbed burgers at a new place in Chisholm Creek called Hopdoddy Burger Bar! I ordered the Goodnight/Good Cause burger which has angus beef, Tillamook cheddar, caramelized onions, jalapeños, caffeinated BBQ, their special sassy sauce, Lettuce, and Tomato. Let me tell you! It was delicious!! If you haven’t eaten there yet, you must! So after our bellies were full we headed down memorial a few miles and went into Martin Nature Park! This was such a neat little park with a small play area, ponds with lots of turtles, and a few exhibits inside. One of the best parts we enjoyed were the walking trails that go all through the park. We hunted for some bugs and enjoyed a nice shaded walk. Overall, fun afternoon and the Martin Nature Park is totally free!
_MOM TIP #2
I suggest bringing a friend or a few here because Elijah probably would have enjoyed the park area more if we had! First trimester moms aren’t too much fun to play with on the playground!
On our way home from Martin Nature Park, we stopped at Hobby Lobby.
Elijah had been complaining so much about all of the flies in the house and who am I kidding, I was sick of them to! So his idea was to get one of those Venus fly trap plants! At Hobby Lobby we found one that he could plant with everything included for $14.99. It came with a glass jar, little rocks, and the “soil” type thing we put the seeds in. A couple things that were frustrating were the fact that we had to go buy distilled water at Walgreens after reading the instructions. That’s the kind of water you have to use to water it, so we had a bit of a delay on getting to plant it! But once we got back from Walgreens with our water, assembling the plant and planting the seeds was relatively easy besides the fact that they are TINY! We finished planting them all and thats when Elijah realized it would take 1-3 months for any seeds to sprout. That’s one of the problems with living in a society where you can get everything pretty much whenever you want it! PS: we still have yet to see any seeds sprouting! Eek.
_MOM TIP #3
Anytime you go to Hobby Lobby, always pull up their 40% off any item coupon on your phone! As long as what you are purchasing isn’t already on sale, it’s a quick way to save almost 1/2 off what you planned on purchasing!
I hope this gave you a few new ideas that you can incorporate into the last couple of weeks of Summer!
And if we can’t fit them all in, maybe they can be fun weekend ideas after the school year begins! As always, thank you for reading & please subscribe to follow along with the Dumbleton’s!
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It has been a whole year since you left us. A year full of changes and growth. A year filled with laughter and tears. An entire year has gone by that we have not been able to share with you or ask you for advice. I barely got to know you, and I miss you. I have to admit I wish I would had so much more time with you. I wish all of us would have had more time with you.
I thought about you when I found out I would be carrying your grandchild. I knew how much joy you would have been filled with if you had been able to hold them in your arms and teach them everything you know.
I thought about you often when Elijah asked me hard questions and I wasn’t sure how to answer him in a way an 8 year old would understand. You were so good with handling his fragile heart and understanding how to communicate with children, and I miss that.
I missed getting to celebrate you in the way most people got to celebrate their mother-in-laws on mothers day. I would have loved to have written you a pretty card and brought you flowers or taken you to dinner. I wish I could have honored you on that day the way I had always planned to.
At Christmas I did my best to bring memories of you to our family. I asked your son what items you made during the holidays that he would miss, and I did my best to execute making them. I am sure they missed the special flavor of a mothers love, but I tried.
It’s hard going to your house and you aren’t there.
You aren’t around to help me in understanding how to love your son well and be a good wife to him. I wish so badly I could still call you and ask you how in the world you managed to raise this difficult man, whom I love so dearly.
I think of you when I see Josh play the piano. I think of you when I hear David sing your praises. I think of you when I see the tender heart of Daniel. I think of you when I see Zach and his love for Jesus and children. I think of you when I see your sisters and hear them talk about memories with you. You touched every single person you came in contact with, so I see you all around.
There is so much I didn’t get to ask you.
There is so much wisdom you didn’t get to share with me. So many memories we missed out on making together. I am truly so sad that you aren’t here, but I have to rejoice.
_You showed me how to have strength in God’s love, even in the middle of fighting cancer.
_You showed me how to have grace and mercy to your children and husband.
_You warned me about the Dumbleton men and how much I was getting myself into coming into your family.
_You shared recipes with me.
_You adored each of your children equally, but uniquely.
_You took Elijah in immediately as your own grandson.
I have to rejoice in the time and moments we did share together. In the years of life you spent raising the man I married, you gave me a piece of you I will have forever. I have to rejoice because I know that no matter how much I miss you, you are with your heavenly Father. You are in the midst of perfection and you are not sad or missing us at all.
I will rejoice, because I know your lips are rejoicing for all eternity.
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I really hope you guys have enjoyed the summertime bucket list blogs so far!
Today is another totally free post! I have made a point time and time again to advise you to make. Your bucket list according to what your kids are interested in! It makes it so much more for them and for you as well! So let’s get started.
_MOM TIP #1 Get a library card
Most of you with school aged kids have seen the papers that come home where you are able to log your reading time each day. In our house we aim to read at least 20 minutes a day. Getting a library card has been one of the best things I have done! It has saved us so much money because of how many books we go through. Whether it be Elijah reading books to me or the other way around. We read simple stories we get from the library, we read chapter books, and we read the bible. It really doesn’t matter to me what we read as long as we are spending some time with each other each day! It is a way for us to connect and have fun! During the school year Elijah earned SO many rewards for all of his reading and most of them came in the form of food. Whataburger coupons, Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy’s, and Braum’s to name a few! We collected them up and use them when the budget was tight! So on this day we used the free ice cream from Braum’s coupons to get a little sweet treat!
_MOM TIP #2 Find free museums
Elijah has always loved anything to do with the military. Ever since he was a toddler he has been infatuated with the little plastic army men and setting them up for battles. I truly think it began because his biological dad was in the National Guard Reserves, so naturally he thought it was really cool. I have never discouraged his interest in this but more so encouraged it.
To serve in the military is a huge responsibility and a great honor. If you have served, or are serving currently, thank you.
He still finds great joy in all things military so I thought what better place to take him to than to The 45th Infantry Museum.
Museums are a fabulous way to spend your day, which is why I said to choose things that interest your child. If your kid doesn’t enjoy things about the military I wouldn’t take them to a museum that offers nothing but military artifacts! You will get worn out and frustrated super fast and the point is to have fun not to do something just to say you did it.
We walked in and signed our names in the book and asked the man at the front which way we should start. We walked through and I have to say for someone who has grown up interested in history it was very neat. I am the kind of person who gets distracted easily but the information and all of the artillery and guns were fascinating to look at.
It was interesting to read about the different wars.
To know that the things we were looking at were legitimately used by men who served was very cool. We took our time and Elijah had fun telling me what guns were AK-47’s and which ones were used for certain battles. His knowledge about these things blew me away! He has my dad to thank for that.
_MOM TIP #3 Avoid unnecessary expenses
We finished up inside in the gift store which is the only place we spent money. I bought Elijah another collection of plastic army men for $10 which isn’t a bad price at all. This was an optional expense so you could easily avoid the gift shop if you need to! Outside they have big tanks and various forms of transportation. By the time we got out there we had just enough time to walk around and look at them before it started to rain on us! Overall it was a short afternoon and we both really enjoyed our time here!
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So I’m back with another Summer Bucket List update!
This is another low cost- basically free bucket list post! Let’s recap on a few of our key survival tips so far! And I will add to it in this post. When making your bucket list be sure to include things that actually interest your kids or that you would like to teach them about. Also, don’t worry about making every single option extravagant, keep it simple! Choose a friend that your child gets along well with to take with you on some of your adventures. Look for deals on the supplies you will need for your outings and coupons for activities or discount days. Pack your lunches! And don’t forget to put down your phones and actually engage in the activities!
_MOM TIP #1
Teach your kids they don’t need a lot to have fun!
As most of you Oklahomans know the beginning of summer was full of rain, rain, and more rain! I was so sick of trying to find things to do inside that finally one day I said “Forget it! I don’t care if he ruins his clothes or makes a mess when he comes in, he is going outside!”. So, what did a desperate mom do? She called and invited a friend over and sent the two of them out into the pouring rain in their bathing suits. I’ve never seen Elijah so excited to get outside and get dirty in my life. He typically doesn’t really like getting dirty, he’s the type of kid who needs to put on flip flops just to walk through the grass. It honestly drives me crazy! I didn’t hear aa knock at the door or a yell to come inside not even one time! When I finally called them to the back door and hosed them off with the water hose, it was quite the sight to see! Covered in mud! But it was so fun to hose them down!
_MOM TIP #2
Find a local VBS and SEND THEM! It’s free, and they learn about Jesus!
One of the parents on our baseball team is a pastor and his church was hosting VBS this week. We decided to send the boys to that which started at 6:30 and ended at 8:30. On this particular night after VBS was over they were showing The Lion King and serving hot dogs and popcorn! So not only is VBS a great learning experience… it can provide you and your husband a few hours alone together. Did I mention it’s free? Bonus! The double bonus for us this night was that both boys had dinner we did not have to pay for. TRIPLE BONUS is that we scored an extra two hours of alone time because of the movie night! Zach picked them up around 10:30 and they were exhausted!
_MOM TIP #3
Plan an evening like this at the end of the month, or end of the pay period when money is kind of tight.
I had decided since it would be a late night Landen could spend the night… another one to mark off our Summer Bucket List! We pulled the extra mattress from the trundle bed and moved it into Elijah’s bedroom which is how we always do when extra kids stay over! I love having the trundle bed for that exact reason! We got it super cheap online from Wal-Mart. Another thing kids love to do for sleepovers is build a pallet or fort and sleep in it! Supply them with blankets and pillows and flashlights and there is another special memory for them that really didn’t cost you anything at all! When they woke up in the morning they turned on cartoons and I brought them cinnamon rolls for breakfast in bed. Overall the only thing we payed for was the cinnamon rolls and I did a little extra cleaning of the laundry room from them coming inside, but they both had a blast and Elijah was able to mark off 3 things from his list!
Remember to subscribe so you can follow along and score all of the mom tips for your OWN Summer Bucket List! Thanks for reading!
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