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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Kids cannot WAIT to get out of school it seems like.
About a month before the 2018/2019 school year was over Elijah began asking me every single day, ”Mom, how many days left of school?” I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has experienced this! Please GOD don’t let me be the only one who had to check her attitude every morning and answer him politely.
I get it! I remember the last month of school was dreadful! All you could think about was going to the lake, staying up late and sleeping in. I remember daydreaming of ice cream and vacation and all of the things. What got even more exciting was when there was only a WEEK left! The classroom suddenly became more bearable and the air was fresher simply because you knew you wouldn’t be stuck in there much longer. The best day of all was the last one when you got to watch a movie, have extra recess, and clean off the desks with that foam cleaner! Then the bell would ring and… SUMMER HAD FINALLY ARRIVED!
But I am sure that just like that countdown began so early, so did your kids boredom.
One of the most frustrating things for me to hear is “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?” Which usually comes up after his 30 minutes of video game time is up. What can you do? How about go get messy outside or play with the 8 trillion legos you have that I am constantly stepping on. It drives me insane! So this summer I decided to save him the boredom and save me my sanity.
Summer Bucket List 2019!
I stole this idea from our pastors wife but edited it some to things specifically for Elijah and I! All kids have different interests and all families have different budgets! So far we have made a pretty good dent in our list. We first had an “Adventure Day” where we packed snacks in our backpacks and put on our ball caps to go out adventuring.
We drove a little over an hour to the Arbuckle Wilderness!
I had never been but it was a blast! Their website had a $2 off coupon per admission so that saved a few dollars, and we bought 3 cups of animal food and a bag of fish food! The grand total here was $36.76, not too bad in my opinion! We drove with our windows down and fed the animals as they came up to our car. We saw PLENTY of llamas, donkeys, and alpacas! But we also got to see bison, zebra, deer, rams, geese, and we will never forget the camels! Beware of the camels! They are aggressive!! Also, the rams might scratch the paint on your car like they so lovingly did to mine. And the donkeys might also decide to follow your car or not move their heads out of the way of your side mirrors. Whoops. After we drove through which took about an hour to an hour and a half we parked and went to walk around the outside area they have where we fed the fish and saw some kangaroos. There honestly wasn’t much to do or see in the walk around area but it was included in admission and we bought the fish food so why not!?
After we left there we headed to Arbuckle Fried Pies –
because who doesn’t love pie?
For $11.77 we got 3 pies! Peach, apple, and a broccoli/chicken one. I am pregnant after all! I needed to make sure to have some kind of substance… even if it was fried! They were all delicious! Highly recommend. We next headed back toward the city but stopped in Pauls Valley at The Toy & Action Figure Museum. It looks like a tiny place because it is located on a cute old downtown street in the middle of town! We headed in and it cost us $12.00 total! I don’t really care about action figures but if you like comics or that sort of thing you could spend HOURS in here. The walls are filled with pictures and toys and all sorts of collectibles. Pictures don’t do it justice! Even though I went here specifically for Elijah I still enjoyed looking at it all. They also had a play area with a lot of action figures and toys and costumes kids could play with or dress up in! This pregnant momma had a nice little rest for about 30 minutes while Elijah set up action figures and battled them. I was exhausted and honestly could have taken a nap on that bench!
We’ve done a few other things on our bucket list, but I will save those for another blog post! Follow along on instagram and facebook if you wanna see what we get in to before I write about it!
And create a bucket list of your own!
There is nothing like getting out and exploring with your kids! These are priceless memories they will cherish forever, and you’ll be thankful you set aside your phone to enjoy your children.
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I was talking to my son the other night while he was taking a shower and he was telling me how I am the best mom he has ever had.
He went on to start talking to me about his dad and how much he loves him. If you know anything about our life you know that Elijah’s dad is not his biological dad. I usually don’t even have to clarify who he is talking about anymore when he says dad because he rarely talks about his biological one anymore. He went on to tell me “I would take a bullet for my dad.”
This was the same evening I sat in Elijah’s bedroom crying my eyes out watching the Budweiser commercial about stepdad’s who stepped up. If you haven’t seen it, youtube it and get ready to cry. I sat there at his window looking out watching my amazing husband spend his evening playing baseball with Elijah and felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness that God had given him to us. There was a man pouring his time and love and knowledge into my precious boy, our precious boy, all out of his own choice to do so. Zach didn’t have to choose us. He didn’t have to choose to step into a dad role and what was at the time a very complicated situation. But he did.
When Elijah was telling me how much he loved me and his dad, I suggested he let Zach know how much he loved him. When he got out of the shower he went into the living room and I heard him say, “Dad, I love you so much. You are the best dad I have ever had.” It was so sweet and I of course was just overwhelmed again.
It wasn’t until two days later
on the car ride home when Elijah said, “Mom, Can I tell you something?”. I said, “Of course, what is it?”. He continued on to tell me that it was very easy for him to tell me I am the best mom he has ever had because I am his only mom but it was a lot harder to tell dad that because he has two dads and he loves both of them. Wow. I had not even THOUGHT for a second about my simple request to let his dad know how much he loved him would make him even consider his biological dad. I immediately let him know that is completely normal and it’s great for him to love both dads. I apologized for not thinking about that before suggesting he convey that sweet message to Zach and how thankful I was that he shared it with me.
If that’s not enough to get your heart pounding…
he came in to me last night after we had celebrated Zach for Father’s Day and said, “Mom, is it okay if I tell dad what I told you the other day about it being hard for me to love two dad’s?”. I of course let him know that was okay. He walked his cute little rear back to our bedroom and I heard him explain it to Zach who answered in the best way he ever could have.
“Buddy, I understand how that would be hard. And it’s okay. It’s okay for you to love both of us. Just know that I love you so much and I am so thankful for you because you are the whole reason I even get to be a dad at all. Thank you for letting me be your dad.”
Cue the waterworks.
Our story of redemption is not over. GOD is moving in our family. This Father’s Day is Zach’s first official one to celebrate and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to call the father of my children. Everything he does is for GOD first, and then for us. I respect this man beyond what my words could ever write or speak.
Pray for Zach. Pray for. Elijah. Pray for the baby on the way. Pray for my dad, and your own dad. If you aren’t married pray for the man who will father your children and lead your family. And also, pray for Elijah’s biological dad and all of the dad’s around the world. Pray for everyone who have lost their dad. Pray for the broken father/child relationships. We serve a good GOD who will work everything for His good.
Happy Father’s Day!
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The First Trimester.
By now you guys have all most likely seen the news, The Dumbleton’s will be welcoming in a new bundle of joy December 2019!
Praise GOD! We are so excited and blessed and we are thankful for everyones support. Pregnancy is exciting! When you first get the news your mind starts racing and your heart starts beating faster! You immediately want to tell the WORLD! What not many people will tell you though is that after the initial excitement wears off, your weeks ahead are filled with the craziest rollercoaster ride you will ever go on.
Let’s talk about my poor husband for a moment! If you saw the video I made where I combined all of our “reveals” into one you saw how he reacted when I told him. A good ol’ bro HIGH 5!? I was hysterical at his reaction. I am not sure any man really knows the “correct way” to respond or if there even is one but my husbands will go down in the books (or at least my blog!).
So why did I refer to him as my poor husband when I just delivered him some of the most exciting news – E V E R ?
For the next 8 or 9 weeks I was going to transform into someone he had never known before. No woman likes to go into detail about what happens to them when their hormones completely take over. Have you ever experienced someone with a schizophrenia disorder? At times a husband with a newly pregnant woman probably feels like having his wife diagnosed! I found out about my pregnancy SUPER early because we had been seeing a specialist. 4 weeks pregnant and we knew! By week 6 - the hormones had set in full force and my husband (who hates rollercoasters) began his ride.
When I was pregnant with Elijah I had “morning sickness” but nothing like with this child. First of all they should be honest and call it all day sickness because I don’t know of many moms who experience it only in the morning. But with Elijah by around 4:00 in the afternoon mine would subside and I could go about my day as usual. Not. This. Time. All day and all night it was constant nausea! Never actually throwing up but absolutely no appetite and what was worse – the smell of coffee made me gag! Zach literally would have to sit on the other side of the room to drink his coffee!
Not to mention the
E M O T I O N S.
Now ask anyone who knows me I am an empath and I am very emotional but this is ridiculous. One morning I was at Elijah’s school assembly and guess who cried during the national anthem? Guess who also could not stop crying at her nieces dance recital. Just about anything could make me cry. I wanted to cry when by week 10 my body had already adjusted to the idea of carrying a child and I was on the look for looser clothing, and introducing full blown maternity clothes by week 12! Not only could I get sad quick but my poor husband could do nothing right! He literally could have just walked in the room and I was annoyed with him without him ever saying a single word! I am also not one who is good at a hiding her emotions so you can imagine living with that!
And I cannot forget the exhaustion of the first trimester. Our bodies are literally developing a child from the moment that egg implants and is connected to its life source which is US. This is so freaking cool! I hope every person understands we are not being lazy during this first trimester, our bodies are working overtime to sustain and grow a human. I have had mono before and the tiredness that comes with pregnancy is much greater than that! It is so beautiful to me how GOD works all of this together and how after the first trimester is over, as it finally is for me, that I am still married to the man of my dreams and he and my tribe of people around me still love me!
Hello Second Trimester!
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I recently decided to start reading a book called “A Wife After God’s Own Heart” because let’s face it marriage isn’t easy. I love my husband so I want to improve on anything I can to show him that I love him.
One thing I have taken away from this book so far is how important it is to know the different roles we both play in our marriage.
This can be a little hard to swallow at times so bear with me! If we look biblically (which is what she does in the book) at the roles God has placed on us as wives we can see that we are supposed to help our husbands. We need to love him, and often times that is shown best by giving him respect. We are called to follow his lead, which also helps in the respect area! As well as we need to show him how much we appreciate his efforts in all that he does for us.
Sometimes it’s really hard to do all of those things, and do them well. I myself sometimes feel like I am doing really well at one or all of them only to find out from my husband he isn’t feeling that way at all! I know how frustrating that can be!
I do my best to praise him publicly and brag on social media about him, but then I disrespect him in front of our peers. Or I feel like I am helping out a lot around the house with chores, but completely forget to have his breakfast ready. I’ll be NAILING it by appreciating all of the hard work he puts in and then totally ruin it by complaining about some other small thing that didn’t quite meet my expectations.
These are not things that he points out to me regularly but they do come up, and they should! I want him to let me know when I have made him feel less than what he deserves from me. It’s painful to know you don’t meet the mark every time, but it is humbling and you have to know these things in order to grow and for your marriage to be full of richness.
She gives a few practical steps in how to be intentional on learning how to really live in our Godly roles as wives. They are actually very simple:
_Thank him for all of his efforts and refrain from pointing out the flaws in what he tries to accomplish. Focus only on the good!
_Ask him daily if there is any way you can help him accomplish the tasks he needs to get done. Could you pack his gym bag for him as he gets ready to leave for work? It can be simple!
_Respect him at ALL costs. This can be difficult for women because we typically don’t see respect as such a pressing issue but for men, it is how they feel the most loved and most capable. (This is the area I struggle the most in.)
_HAVE FUN! I am sure that you guys love spending time with your husband but we have to be so intentional in doing this. Make a priority to set aside some amount of time together at LEAST once a week even if it means staying up a little later than usual one night or sending your kids outside for 30 minutes and locking the door! We have to keep the fun element in our marriages!
I by NO means have this marriage thing figured out. I am actually really beginning to see just how much I don’t know about my husband and how marriage works. But I am learning. And I love him. But even more so I love GOD and I want to honor GOD in my marriage so I will do everything His word instructs me to do in order to love GOD well, and serve my husband.
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