Fourth of July Food and Fun!

June is almost over!  How did that happen?  Well, get ready for July and Independence Day on July 4th with these awesome ideas from Pinterest!

Check out these awesome, all natural, Patriotic Ice Pops from Naturally Educational!

 

And how about this adorable Flag Wreath from Oodlekadoodle Primitives!

 

I was looking for something FUN for the kids to do in the light of the day on July 4th, since it is always up in the air if they'll be awake for fireworks.  Check out this fun Confetti Launcher from Family Fun:

 

I couldn't find where this picture came from, (if it's you, let me know so I can give you credit!), but look at this amazing fruit salad!  It looks like it has blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon cut with star cookie cutters!  Yum!

 

Do you have a Fourth of July recipe or craft to share?  Leave me a link in the comments section!  For more fun ideas, check out my Fourth of July board on Pinterest!

 

As always, have a FUN and SAFE holiday!  Thank you, God, for our independence!

OOFOS footwear just might be the perfect shoe! {review} For the Luck of Liberty Hop sponsor

I am a flip-flop loving girl.  I hate to wear socks and shoes and I try to wear flip-flops as much as I can, all year long.  This all happened in college….when you have to wear flip-flops to shower in community bathrooms, you are exhausted and are lucky to even find any shoes to wear,  you know how it is!  The flip-flop craze definitely stuck and here I am, 30 years old, and still wearing shoes like a college student.  I have run across some VERY uncomfortable flip-flops through the years.  You know…the ones that are basically a piece of cardboard on the bottom, or just a piece of foam that squeaks when you get them wet?  Or what about the horribly heavy, dreadful, but cute flip-flops that make your feet ache?  I have so many flip-flop horror stories, but I won't bore you with that.  What I will tell you is….I think I might have found the perfect flip-flop!

The OOFOS OOriginal Thong:

Sure, it looks like every other summer shoe, right?  But look at it from the side:

OOfos has made a revolutionary shoe!  The OOfoam provides comfort, absorbs impact, is flexible, lightweight, durable, and provides recovery for sports and other injuries.  Oh and get this!  Do you know how hard it is to truly clean a pair of flip-flops?  Well the OOFOS shoes are machine washable!!!!  What a brilliant idea!

OOFOS provides comfort for whatever you are doing….shopping, walking, post workouts, sports activity recovery, or just every day use.  The OOfoam technology: absorbs shock to lessen pain, reduces fatigue and restores vigor, and delivers unparalleled cushioning to recharge and rejuvenate your feet.

I really like wearing the OOFOS OOriginal Thongs.  They're great footwear that isn't hot, sticky, or a pain to wear.  Sure, they may look a little different, but different is good where OOFOS is concerned.  The difference of OOFOS is what makes them so comfy!

And if you're not a flip-flop lover like me, they also have the OOFOS OOahh Slide:

OOFOS come in mocha (the color of my shoes), black, fuschia, and tangerine.  They're sold in both men's and women's sizes and are sold for less than $40.  You can check out the OOFOS website for a list of retailers, or you can purchase them online at Amazon.  Make sure to follow OOFOS on Twitter and Facebook!

OOFOS is going to be giving away a pair of their super comfy shoes in the "For The Luck of Liberty" Giveaway Hop, beginning on July 2nd.  Come back then to enter to WIN!

 

It’s Not The Jump That’s Scary, It’s The Landing! #nablopomo

Today is the last week day in June, which also means it's the last June 2012 National Blog Posting Month prompt.  I'm proud of myself for sticking to the challenge, even though some of the prompts were a bit difficult.  Some of my posts seemed a bit redundant, but with a similar theme, I guess that's going to happen when there's uhhh….one theme.

So, the last prompt of the month is: "it's not the jump you have to worry about, it's the landing."  How true this is!  Do you know how often I haven't done something because the landing isn't pleasant?  Or possibly, the landing is unknown, so the jump is much scarier.  

There are a bunch of things in life in which the landing is unknown.  No one knows, exactly, how things will go with a move, a new job, the birth of a child, and so on.  That's where I, personally, have to put my trust in God and hope for the best.  Sure, you can make the best of every situation, or try to at least, and that will help immensely.  If you see that something is failing and probably won't have a good ending if you continue the way you're going, then you obviously need to try to change the situation.  

In the past few years, I've learned that things don't always end well, and there's not always a soft place to fall.  But a scary landing shouldn't prevent us from jumping in the first place!  That's something I need to learn….even if the situation isn't ideal, sometimes it's okay to just "jump in" and hope for the best, even if you don't know the exact details of the "fall!"

Summer Safety

The Summer provides many new safety issues, especially concerning small children.  Here are a few helpful tips and links to articles that have helped me to think about ways that I can keep my children safe in the summertime!

Water Safety – It's obvious, but never let your child in any amount of water without an adult present.  No one should go swimming alone because muscle cramps and blackouts DO happen and it's better to swim in at least pairs.  Life jackets, floaties, and floatation devices are great, but don't rely on them.  And don't rely on other people to watch your child.  Swimming pools get busy and sometimes a drowning child can't be heard over the loud noise of the pool.  Take every second seriously when your child is in the water.  If you're thirsty for more water safety tips, check out Going Crazy!! Wanna Go??!!  where Janet, Child Safety Specialist, gives us her top tips for water safety!

Water Park/Amusement Park Safety – These attractions are insanely popular, even in the hot temps.  It is a good idea to put your cell phone number ON your child, like with a Tig Tagz wristband.  Kids can disappear in the blink of an eye and then freeze up when a stranger asks their name, let alone their address or phone number.  Teach your child to find a mom with kids, a policeman, or a park employee if they're lost.  The person should find the wristband with their number and you could be reunited faster than if they were to wait around for you to find them.  

Safety In The Heat – Here is a great post written by MamaNYC on the Going Crazy!!  Wanna Go??!! blog.  In addition to this, remember to keep little ones hydrated because if they're playing and having fun, especially in water, they probably won't think about the fact that they are thirsty.  And remember that we all need more than water, especially if we're sweating a lot.  Sports drinks are good, if you can find some without high fructose corn syrup.  Other great, natural options for replacing electrolytes are:  bananas, coconut water, watermelon, or you can make your own replenishing sports drink with this recipe:  1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp sugar, and mix with 1 liter of water.  Also, remember that sunscreen is ALWAYS a must!

Lawnmower Safety – I see it all the time.  Parents or grandparents out on the riding lawnmower with their child on their lap.  Sure, it's fun and an easy way to keep tabs on your child while you're doing lawnwork, but please consider this:  the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that about 17,000 children require care in the emergency room each year because of lawn mower accidents.  That is not riding lawnmower specific, but I hear about accidents and even deaths of children who have fallen off riding lawnmowers or who have been ran over with a riding lawnmower.  PLEASE be safe and know that accidents happen.  Riding on the lap of a person on a lawnmower is bouncy and loud.  You never know when your child is going to jump or fall off.  It is the absolute best option to keep children inside with an adult when operating any kind of mower or machinery.  And for a step further, tell children the seriousness of lawnmowers and help them to realize they must never go near a lawnmower.  And let Grandma and Grandpa know, too, that you don't want your child near a lawnmower.

Carseat Safety – Lastly, I think we as parents tend to become lax in the hot summer months.  Some parents might choose to let the child ride in a lap or in the seat without a seat belt if the carseat is hot or "we're just driving around the corner."  If a child is in a moving vehicle, they MUST be restrained properly.  There are many affordable options to safely restrain your child in a car.  Here is a carseat that is good for 10 years and good up to 120 pounds! You don't have to spend the big bucks to get the best seat, either, as all carseats have to pass certain standards, so lack of money should never be an excuse.  There are also agencies that will help provide carseats for those in need.  Also, never buy carseats at garage sales, because most of the time they're out of date and could have been in a crash, in which case, need to be thrown away.

Each state and country has it's own carseat safety laws.  Since I live in Texas, I'll share with you the Texas recommendations from the Texas DPS website:  

Phase 1 - Rear-Facing Seats – Infants, Babies, and Kids should ride rear-facing as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat.  

I know three year olds and even older kids who still ride rear-facing.  It is truly the safest option, and many carseats have high rear-facing height and weight limits.  The old thought of "one year and 20 lbs" no longer holds water.  Rear-facing is always safest if you're within the limits of the carseat.  Don't be in a hurry to turn your child around.

Phase 2 - Forward-Facing Seats – When children outgrow the rear-facing height and weight limits of the CARSEAT, they should ride in a forward-facing carseat for as long as possible, up to the height or weight limit of the harness.  Most forward facing carseat harnesses have weight limits of 40-80 lbs.  NEVER turn a child forward-facing before one year AND 20-22 lbs, but like I said previously, rear-facing is always best if you're within weight and height limits of the carseat.

Phase 3 - Booster Seats – After age 4 and 40+ lbs, children can ride in a booster seat with the adult lap and shoulder belt until the adult belt will fit them properly.  (Usually when the child is 4'9" tall.)  You MUST have a lap/shoulder belt to use a booster seat.

Phase 4 – Adult Safety Belt – Once children outgrow their booster seat (usually at 4'9", 100 pounds), they can use the adult safety belt if it fits them properly.  Lap portion low over the hips/tops of thighs and shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and center of the chest.

Get more tips for choosing a carseat from the Naptime Is My Time blog!

Be SAFE!!

Starting New Blog Posts #nablopomo

When writing a new blog post, I sometimes think about it for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks, but most of the time, I just jump into it and write it the instant I can sit down and type.  I admire people who can sit and make an outline, like my dad, my high school English teacher (small town!) taught me to do.  I suppose it's important to organize your thoughts, which if you're a regular reader, you probably sense that I'm a bit random in my writings.  

I tend to have to go back and edit at least once after I hit "Publish."  Usually it's because I've forgotten an important link or thought.

Sometimes the hardest part about blogging is just starting a post.  While I have a few drafts already started, I usually finish a post once I sit down to begin to write it.  But, finding the time to start and finish a post is a bit of a challenge.

If you are a blogger, do you just jump into a post, or do you take time to create an outline, rough draft, and final draft?

 

 

Jumpy Thoughts #nablopomo

Do my thoughts jump around or do they glide?  An odd question, no?  When thinking about this question, I immediately knew the answer.  Of COURSE my thoughts jump around inside this brain of mine.  Does anyone REALLY having thoughts that glide seamlessly throughout the day?  I imagine that in this hectic world we live in, especially with active kids in the house, gliding thoughts would be pretty difficult.  But, maybe that's just me?  I think the only chance I have at peaceful, gliding thoughts would be sitting alone in nature, far away from any other humans (especially kids), being "at one" with nature.  But, honestly, I've joked about it in the past and I'll say it again, I really do think I have adult A.D.D.  Sometimes I have a million thoughts in my head and they're jumping around like Mexican jumping beans, saying "pick me!  pick me!"  And then when I sit down to do something, the little jumping bean has jumped far, far away, as in, I've totally forgotten what I was thinking about and start thinking about a new topic all together.  

Ah…maybe it is just being a mom?  Moms have to cook, clean, do the laundry, dishes, plan for the day, think about the kids' sleep and schedules, keep an adequate diaper bag to plan for anything, think about the last time the kid(s) ate, pay bills, go shopping, provide education and learning opportunities for each child, and much, much more, all on top of making sure accidents don't happen when one child gets too far ahead and climbs up on top of things….not that I would know ANYTHING about that….

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: Squash Spa Time

Last year during the Spring, my eyes were feeling tired and my allergies were bugging me, so I took a cucumber out of the fridge and cut some up and placed them on my eyes.  Captain Fussybuckets asked what I was doing, so I told him I was playing Spa.  Well, of course he wanted to get in on it, so I let him have some cucumber slices for his eyes, too.  Of course I took a picture of him having his "Spa Time."  Well, he sees that picture from time to time and has said he really wants to play "Spa" again.  Today he brought it up again and I said we could play, but we didn't have any cucumbers.  I laughed and said we could use some yellow squash and he agreed!  So, this is a "Squash Spa Time" with Captain Fussybuckets and Baby D, who of COURSE had to try anything Brother was trying!

Summer Excitement #nablopomo

Ahhhh summertime!  Summertime is very bittersweet around here.  Sure, the boys get to run and play outside and go swimming, but I think that we actually spend LESS time outside (unless we're in the water) than in the other seasons of the year.  The reason being, it's HOT.  I think it was around 104 today and we went to a park for about 25 minutes at 8 PM and the boys had sweat dripping from their hair and their little cheeks were red.  So while the Captain waited for warmer temps so he could play in the water, now he has to wait until the super hot part of the day is over to not burn, even with sunscreen!

Summertime is also hard on us because the hubby is a youth minister.  Summertime is bustling with excitement and teens that have no school and need positive entertainment.  I'm so proud of my hubby for doing what he does because it is truly a hard job.  Just like stay at home moms don't sit around eating Oreos all day while the kids happily play and then gleefully pick up their toys, youth ministers don't sit around playing video games with teens all day and get paid for "doing nothing."  Right now the hubby is at a church camp.  Remember those 104 degree temps?  Yeah, camp…..outside most of the day, sweating buckets, being outdoors and then coming indoors to sleep in a large cabin with sweatty teen boys and a co-counselor.  But, I'm so proud of him, the teens that choose to attend church camp, and the volunteers that CHOOSE to spend a week or more there.  Wow.  

Some of you may wonder why I'm not there with the hubby and teens.  Well, I'm sure that 3 and 1 year old spazzes would not make a good learning environment for teens.  What a huge distraction that would be!  Also, I'm not about to leave my kids for a week.  Maybe someday, but not when they're this young.  I applaud those that can take off for a week, but that's just not me.  My hubby is having a hard enough time without his kids, I know I'd be a mess and a half.

So let's see…..what am I excited for this summer?  Well, I'm excited that my boys will get to spend extra time with our extended family.  I'm excited about the Fourth of July, even though I won't be with extended family then, like I'd like to be.  I'm excited that my hubby will only be gone 2 1/2 weeks this summer, as opposed to the 3 1/2 -5 or more weeks some youth ministers are gone.  I'm excited about all the fun activities that the summer has and will bring.  But honestly, summer isn't my favorite season, so I'll enjoy it while it's here, but won't cry once it's gone.  ;)

What are YOU excited about this summer?  Do you have a big trip planned?

Get to know Organa – multicultural DVDs for kids! {review & giveaway}

We were privileged to get to review the newest DVD from Organa Kids called "Nelly & Caesar."  Organa was established in 1995 with the mission to introduce American families to stories from around the world.  These stories help promote multiculturalism, original storytelling, and interactivity.  

Following with the OrganaKids mission, "Nelly and Caesar" is a set of tales from France, starring a mouse named Nelly and a frog named Caesar and their friends.  Captain Fussybuckets and Baby D have really enjoyed getting to know Nelly, Caesar, and all of their friends.  The graphics on "Nelly and Caesar" are charming and adorable!  The episodes are warm and inviting and encourage the kids watching to join them in a game, inspired by the story.  It is aimed for children ages 2-6, but Baby D loves it at 18 months, too!

Captain Fussybuckets really enjoys all of the "Nelly and Caesar" episodes and the boys have to get up and dance to the cute theme song, too!

"Nelly and Caesar" offer teaching moments and different scenarios to talk about with your kids.  Like the scene from above, the Captain and I talked about being nice to everyone, even those who are younger than you!  "Nelly and Caesar" offers entertainment, along with simple to understand, every day lessons!

You can buy "Nelly and Caesar" and all of the other Organa DVDs at their website.  This particular DVD sells for $19.95.  Also, be sure to follow Organa on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to stay up to date on all the latest DVDs!

OrganaKids wants to give one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader their own copy of "Nelly and Caesar:  Volume 1" to enjoy!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends at 11:01 PM, central time, on July 10, 2012!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bungee Jumping? #nablopomo

The question for today is "Would you ever go bungee jumping?"  If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know that I'm a HUGE wuss, so bungee jumping would be a big fat NO.  I am one that errs on the side of caution, and bungee jumping is one of the most ridiculous things you could ever do!  Who knows if the cord is going to break?  Who knows if the people tied it on correctly?  Yeah.  BIG.FAT.NO.  I'm pretty positive my hubby would say no, too, which makes me happy.  But I've got too wild and crazy boys, so I'm gonna start praying now that they calm down by the time they can bungee jump.  Ahhhh!

What about you?  Would you bungee jump?  Have you ever bungee jumped or do you know someone that has?