Back to Bedtime Routine

The holidays are over and that means that tomorrow our kids will head back to school. It has been two weeks of non-routine ways in our household and tonight means that this mom has to buckle down to make sure our kids get back into the best routine possible.

  1. After dinner, we usually start off by gathering clothes that our kids will wear and putting them into a bin with their names.(this will help alleviate morning chaos)
  2. Showering; our kids are still young enough to shower together and this saves time for mom. While the kids are in the shower, I’m gathering their pajamas, undies, and socks and anything else they need for bed. Also, making sure they brush their teeth! There are many time apps that give timed visuals on when and how they need to brush their teeth. 
  3. Story time. Story time is crucial, kids respond better at bed time when you read them a story. 
  4. Bedtime Prayers: we say the same prayer at bedtime so the kids understand that it’s important to say prayers. 
  5. Lastly, hugs and kisses! It’s so important to show love to your child, regardless of how angry they’ve made you feel during the day. Forgive and forget, tomorrow is a brand new day.

I want to hear your bedtime routines! Share your routines with me at: momsminivansmesses@gmail.com and you could see them in an upcoming post!

Post Holiday Money Management for Children

Did your kids get money or gift cards for the 2016 Holiday season and you’re unsure about how to spend it? 

If you’re like us and your kids received a couple of gift cards and cash this Holiday season, here are a couple of pointers to help your child keep on point with their finances at any age.

1. Open a Savings Account

The earlier we teach our kids about saving money, the more secure and confident they will become with life savings later on in life. Even at the early age of four, if you are making regular trips to the bank to make deposits or withdrawals, then your child will want to mimmick you and of course your cutie will be subject to a lollipop. No deposit is too small for your child. Be sure to park the minivan and take the kids inside, this will also help your four year old with manners and social skills. Allow the child to be as independent as possible and allow the banker to help your child as well. Interaction is key and a trip to the bank can be super educational for you and your family. 

2. Gift Cards

Did your child receive an unwanted gift card for the Holidays? Don’t know what to do with the unwanted gift card? A lot of Coinstar Kiosks accept gift cards and exchange them for cash(for a small fee, of course) Be involved and communicate with your child:

  1. Does the child want this gift card?
  2.  Would your child rather have cash instead of a gift card?
  3. Can we take the money we get from the gift card and make a deposit into our newly opened savings account?

On the flip side, if your child wants to keep the gift card:

Discuss with your child that they have the flexibility to spend the gift card how they choose. With gift cards, kids are able to make the final purchasing decision on their item(s).

Set spending limits with their gift cards by letting your child know that they can make several small trips rather than just spending the money all at once. 

Regardless of how your child spends their Holiday money, make sure to be involved in all decisions as much as possible. 

Christmas is the most Wonderful Time of the Year

It has been a very busy Christmas season so far and as we continue to enjoy the Christmas season, we are enjoying the simple times, life and love all around us. 

In Roanoke, Virginia, they have the annual Christmas tree celebration and we kicked off the start of Christmas by visiting the trees with friends. This is an event we always make our kids wear their pajamas! It just makes the setting so much for comfortable and easy to put the kiddos straight to bed when we get home. 🏡 

It has also been a couple of weeks of sickness and ER visits. With the turn of the winter weather coming, our home usually stays sick this time of the year. Luckily, we are all finally on the mends and doing much better!

This little baby boy will be four soon!!! Hard to believe it was just yesterday he was born. What a glorious time for a baby to be born around the Birthday of our Lord and Savior.

These three are Virginia ready for the best season of all time…Winter❄️☃️🌨


What are you looking forward to this Christmas season?🎄❄️☃️

…and on the third try, God gave us a Boy💙

Having three angels are the best gift God blessed us with, however, he blessed us even greater with a boy after two amazing girls. 

When you’re pregnant with your first child, it’s not a secret that SO many of us moms secretly want a boy-you know to be the protector for his future siblings. It’s turns out once again, that God, had different plans for us.

Just like with my secret post partum depression came a lot of hate. A lot of hate because it seemed that everyone was having boys instead of me and it continued with our second child. My brother and sister in law both had boys and I craved to give birth to a healthy baby boy. My post partum grew into hate and my hate grew into jealousy and my jealously grew into me becoming such a negative person.

Now, let me back up and put into perspective why I truly have always wanted a boy.

I’ve always had trouble with men-my dad was non existent from my life. My mom, who had several men in her life for reasons and troubles with her own personal relationship with her father and brothers. (No blame, however-its life) 

The only male relationship I could stand was the one with my poppop. He was there for me, he was a phone call away, and he was my provider and always bought us food and clothes when my single mom was unable to do so. All other male relationships were completely awkward for me.

Until I was introduced to an amazing man by a group of girlfriends, My future husband.

There are not enough words to explain how humble, loving, God fearing, caring, and respectful my husband is and still continues to be!

With such a great man that came into my life, And the men I had to grow up with in my life, I wanted a boy to love me, a boy to turn out to be just like his daddy, a boy who would grow up and become a God fearing humble man because the last thing our world needs is another loser man who can’t and won’t support his family. I want a boy I can raise who will be there for his family, raise his family, and make sure that God is first in everything they do.


May 2012, my sister in law surrounded us with our girls as we went into the ultrasound room to find out what our third child would be-even color coded our girls with Kaylee wearing pink and Chelsea wearing blue. My sister in law and Chelsea were on top as we found out that in December we would be expecting our boy, finally. So many emotions filled that day from finding out to closing our eyes at night, we just were so overjoyed with emotions. 

Fast forward three years later and with our baby boy turning four next month, we have been blessed with such a fun loving, sweet, caring, funny, God loving baby boy. His blonde hair blue eyes dimpled cheeks nearly puts a smile on my face every day as he is turning out to be the boy we had always wanted. 

As for me personally, it has made me into a better aunt and a little more gentle towards men, knowing that all the men in the world aren’t like the men I had in my life growing up.

It has also made me realize the time I also wasted not spending more time with all of my amazing awesome nephews-because they are all rockstars and awesome cousins💙💜


Life is too short and for this mom, I’m thankful for all my kiddos nieces and nephews includes:) I love you all to the moon and back💙

Anxious Hearts, Desired Plans, & Saved by the Grace of God

Being a mom is one of the toughest jobs in the world. A lot of times, I feel anxious because I can’t just let things go. Am I doing this parenting thing right or wrong? Am I disciplining my children as I should?

The desires of our hearts can constantly be at odds with the desires God has for us. When they align, it is a beautiful, peaceful realization. But when they are different, it can create confusion, mistrust, and frustration-often times becaue we lack discernment, which by Christian definition is perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.

How do we handle this? Just pray mamas. Pray that our Lord gives us peace. We pray that his will be done no matter what that means for us. In strict obedience to God, we choose not to be anxious, which is easier said than done. He has already promised to guard our hearts. If we as mothers start to feel frustrated or anxious again, we pray. So much of life is out of our control, so why do we bother agonizing when we can just pray.

Matthew 6:33-34 Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.

What desires do you have that God hasn’t yet shown you? Can you truly release them to his care, trusting him with your life plan?

 

Let us Pray!

Consumed with Limited Influences

For the past several months, my focus was diverted to my career path and I had quickly forgotten many duties.
My Godly Duties

My Spousal Duties

My family Duties

My home Duties

The list goes on and on and on. I was so consumed by my work that I honestly just forgotten my motherly Duties and all the Duties listen above.
God allows things to happen at the right moment at the right time and while some days we may not understand the meaning or the know in it all, we have to be still and know that our Lord has a greater path for us, always!

This was the first time I was able to spend an evening with my husband and go on an annual date! We spent our ten year anniversary singing and dancing, well mostly me singing and dancing, along with Carrie Underwood.  


We had a blast and even enjoyed each other’s company. I couldn’t believe how much time I wasted away from my husband and this beautiful family we created for a job. 
My husband And I discussed many things on the way to the concert, but the one thing my husband said made me realize why we are still married,”I will support you in anything you do” I could mess up a million times and my husband would still have my back. 
We had a truly great time and we’re just in awe that we have survived as a couple this long.

Our three beautiful kids that we made..I was consumed with my job and put them on the back burner. What was I thinking?! Each of our children needed my time and I was consumed with other things that I had forgotten about their needs and how they needed their father. Kaylee needed a lot of attention with our ADHD, Chelsea needed more love, hugs, and kisses, and Walker just wanted more cuddle time. I had forgotten about all that. It was pretty selfish of me and I’ve realized that I had wasted three months of my life neglecting my children to care for other children.

Since I stepped away from my career, I have been able to spend more time with my God, keeping my children more in touch with my Lord, and spending more time in my daily devotions-feeding my soul, that was also neglected.


Since then, I’ve had so much time to consume myself and my responsibilities with positive influences! I’ve never been happier; my children are happier and are learning more about God. My husband and I are finally communicating more about our love for one another and life has been pretty laid back and happy!


God has finally put our life on track, so don’t ever limit your influences and consume them with what God doesn’t want because if you listen, he will tell you!

School, work, family, and Life.

The summer ended with a small family trip to the beach, Assateague Island to be exact. The kids and I had a blast with the family. It was a wonderful way to end the summer season for us!


The school year started and we struggled to get into routine again as all three kiddos started school.  

Walker started his first year as a role model to special needs kiddos and has been doing a great job! We are so proud of him.

As a mom I was not prepared, physically and emotionally, for our last child to “flee” from the house and to become a “big boy”. It has put a lot of strain on me, but currently it has taken me a long time to adjust!

We now have a second grader, a first grader, and a preschooler full time at school. 

I stressed for the longest time about Walker going to school and surprisingly he has been awesome in school with no difficulties! 

The girls are doing well academically and are both way above where they need to be, which makes me a proud mama!


We were able to start enjoying the cooler weather that is FINALLY coming! We spent the day on a family picnic touring the blue ridge parkway! We really enjoy our family time!💜


The girls participated in their first ever pageant and we were so grateful to have my sister in law and cousin help with hair and makeup and a special shoutout to grandma for helping out with the dress, the day of the pageant:) 

The girls didn’t win, but it was an awesome learning experience and truly an eye opener to get them to open up publicly! We will have awesome luck next year!

Our kids recently celebrated grandparents day and it was even more special that their great grandmother was able to attend the special event💜


Thanks to this woman, I’m so happy with a new church!! It’s such an awesome movement when the family can agree on something! Thank you Mrs. Dana for not giving up on me:)

That’s about it for right now, and while I understand that three kids may be nothing for a mama to 4,5,or 6, it’s a bunch for me and that’s the adventure that was planned for me and my family!
Until next post,
Love, 
Jessica

Moms, Minivans, and Messes