Bramell, Party of Five

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Cure For Summer Boredom {sponsored}



This is a sponsored post. I am currently serving as a blog ambassador for The Jones Center, who has compensated me for such. The photos and opinions are real, and are my own. This is a reflection of my family's personal experience as members of the facility.



Here we are now, about a month into summer vacation. If your kids are like mine, you've gotten to the point where the excitement is starting to die down. I'm starting to hear grumblings of "I'm bored," and I'm having to work a little harder to keep them entertained. 

Lucky for us, The Jones Center has a few ideas to help us out. In case you missed it, The Jones Center has been hosting Free Movie Nights for a while, but the June schedule is particularly strong. I'm sure a new schedule will be coming out soon, but here's the one that runs this week, Thursday through Saturday. All movies are free and suitable for all ages. Call ahead or check their website if you have questions.




The Jones Center has just recently announced a new activity that is sure to get parents and kids alike excited. I know we are! We've been spending a lot of time this summer at The Jones Center at gymnastics and swimming in the pool. Now, we have a new option just for the kids!

First Friday Kids Night is a new addition to the activities at The Jones Center. This sounds like like every kid's dream: games, inflatables, pizza and a movie! For a family with three kids, I'm thrilled that it's so affordable to us. It's $15 per kid for the first kid and only $10 each additional kid (price is slightly higher for non-members). What a great way for mama and daddy to enjoy a date night! The bonus is that my kids already love The Jones Center and will have no reservations about hanging out there without us for a while. Speaking of reservations, make sure you make yours in time to save a spot for your kids. Here's all the info you need below, or click the link:



Remember, if you aren't a member of The Jones Center yet, I highly recommend you check it out. It's a great value and they have a ton of activities and amenities available for all ages.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rest and Recovery

I've just reached the five-month mark of unemployment. That is surely something I never thought would happen. Let it be known that I'm still actively looking, but haven't found the right thing for me yet.

Now, if you know me well, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I am freaking out right about now, with a capital F. However, I'm really not. I'm really OK with waiting for the right job to come along; I don't want to settle and be unhappy.




What's interesting is that, over the past few months, I've seen a few friends that I don't see often. Each one commented to me in some way that I "look so relaxed" and seem so "refreshed and not stressed out." This really got me thinking about how I usually appeared to people--friends and strangers. Yes, I know I was uptight, stressed out, overworked and tired all the time. And guess what ? Now I AM NOT! I think I needed this break more than I could have imagined possible, and now I'm thankful for it. In 20 years, I've only had extended time off for having babies--and we all know that's no time to relax!!

Sure, there were some things that had to change due to tightening the budget, but it has all worked out.

1. We had to cancel our scheduled Spring Break trip to the Smoky Mountains.....boo! BUT, we got to spend a few days in Yellville with Lee's brothers and sister, who we rarely see. In fact, we had 15 people packed in the house and shared a lot of food, laughs and funny stories. The kids enjoyed seeing Uncle Rob's animals, riding the ATV, playing with little Pugsley and taking a hike around the Buffalo River.  Here are a few pics that I borrowed from Lee and his sister, Dee.










2. I got to be home for my kids. I've been home when they get off the bus, which gives us extra afternoon hours to play, watch movies, take walks and do homework before dinner.  I got to volunteer at their school, help with classroom parties and eat lunch with them, which would have been difficult if I was working. I've been able to get to all the 5:30 ball games without having to rush from work. What a blessing!

3.  I hate winter! And you know what? This winter, I didn't have to get out in it traveling back and forth to work. I got to stay home in my sweat pants. So, there.

4.  I was able to substitute teach in Springdale during April and May, which helped our bank account and helped me exercise my brain a little. I made some new teacher friends and spent many days with some sweet little pre-K kids that stole my heart.

5.  We had to delay putting new carpet in the house until later this year, but even that's OK, too. 

6. I got to attend a Moms on the Farm tour, which I've always wanted to do. The tours are always on weekdays, which is hard for a working gal. Even better, my mom was visiting and got to go with me! We had a blast and enjoyed the tours so much; we went to an operational dairy farm and a beef farm. If you are in Northwest Arkansas, I highly recommend this fun, free and educational activity.







In case you're wondering, I've had a couple of really promising interviews recently. I'm waiting to hear if I get called back for additional interviews or an offer. Stay tuned! I may be working soon, or I may be spending the summer at home going on adventures with my monkeys.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Twin Tuesday

It's Twin Tuesday! We've had a lot of stuff going on with end-of-school activities and sports. We are also getting ready for kindergarten graduation next week...I can't believe the school year is wrapping up! But I'm not sad about my babies growing up; we are having fun.

I had lunch at school with these two jokers yesterday. 




Here's a funny. We were getting ready for church on Sunday when the girls came into my bedroom in their pretty dresses. Girl Twin was up to something...

Her:  Mama, who looks prettier---me or Big Sis?

Me: Don't ask me that! You both look pretty.

Her: Well then, I'll just go ask Brother.


*Luckily, he didn't answer it either!! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Twin Tuesday

As the twins are wrapping up kindergarten, I thought it was time to share a few things that have been going on.


The kids went to an "art party" birthday over the weekend--fun!


Girl Twin's sweet tooth has caught up with her; she had four cavities at her last check up. She was a rock star at her first two fillings, and we have to go back in a few weeks to finish.

I also love her confidence and her humor! The other night, we were flipping through the channels on TV when I stopped on a female MMA fight. We both watched in awe for a few minutes before she nonchalantly said, "I could do that." No doubt she probably could. Ha ha.

Boy Twin is showing off his skills this spring in soccer and tee ball. His games and practices are keeping us busy for sure. We are so proud of him for getting out there and trying his best! 





He made us laugh the other day when we were snacking on some gummy bears. Before he ate one he asked us, "Are these fat free?"  

We are coming up on kindergarten graduation soon and they are both so excited. Stay tuned to see what other things they can get into.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hitting the milestones


Look what Big Sis learned how to do over the weekend! She practiced for two days straight until she finally got it. She even made her daddy go to the store and pick up a giant bag of bubble gum for her.




It's so exciting to learn to blow bubbles! I remember when I was about her age, I participated in a "biggest bubble" blowing contest at some sort of event or festival in downtown Wynne. I won the contest and took home a plastic bag with a goldfish inside! It's funny how bad my memory is, but I can remember this like it was yesterday. However, I don't remember what happened to the goldfish....but I can guess.

Next mountain to climb? Teaching the twins how to tie shoelaces...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In A Day's Work...

I just wanted to give an update for those who are trying to keep up...I'm still not working. I'm not sure what's going on, but it's almost comical now. I seriously think that I've applied for close to 50 jobs and nothing has panned out; I'm either not qualified or OVER qualified for just about everything! Doesn't that put me in a pickle! I've had some really good interviews--and gotten some really nice rejection letters. Even worse, I've had some interviews then been totally ignored afterwards. 

Anyway, I've made pretty good use of my time at home. Contrary to what my kiddos think, I'm not just home partying it up all day while they are working hard at school. It is fair.

Here are a few things that I've been up to during my work hiatus.

  • I've been letting Fergie ride with me to take the kids to school every morning. She loves it! She gets so excited when the kids start putting on their shoes; it means it's time to go. Sometimes, we even make a Sonic run.


  • I may or may not change out of my pajamas before taking the kids to school. Depends on my mood. Hey, this will likely be the only time I can slack off like this, so I'm totally taking advantage of it.
  • I've got two more episodes of The Office to watch on Netflix. This is probably my all-time favorite show! I will admit that we quit watching it when Michael Scott left the office and never finished the series. I think something happened during that time, like I had two babies or NBC changed the night, or something. Anyway, I went back and picked up where Steve Carell left. Gosh, I didn't realize how much I missed Jim and Pam.
  • On a related note, daytime TV is horrible! What in the world??? After Kathie Lee and Hoda, just turn it off. Apparently, anyone can get their own talk show now. Ugh.
  • I've discovered yoga! I. Love. It. At the referral of a friend, I tried Yoga With Adriene on You Tube, and I'm hooked. 
  • I've purged a lot of the excess junk in the house, now I'm ready for warm weather so I can get out in the yard.
  • I've been cooking...A LOT. I'm so good that I've got dinner on the table most nights by 5:30. My people are getting spoiled. One night it was 6:30 and they nearly killed me.
  • The girls are still going to gymnastics on Thursdays. Boy Twin will start soccer and t-ball this week. Life is about to get crazier.
  • I road tripped with my girls to Keisha's wedding in Arkadelphia last weekend. Good times: staying in a hotel, seeing our girl and swimming!




Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sharing My Faves...continued.

Note: I am not being paid or compensated in any way for this post. These are products that my family uses and we pay for. This is a voluntary personal product review.


Last month, I wrote a post about the chemical free, non-toxic products that we use from Melaleuca. I told you about my Top 3 favorite products. Well, since that post I've had a lot of questions from you guys about the company, the products and what else the company offers. If you want more information, you can google it or refer back to my first post. Or just send me an email! I'm not going to be all salesperson on you, I just want to share what I know.

I wanted to post again to show you some more of the household products that we regularly use. 


Essential Oils:  Now, I'll admit that I was late getting on the essential oil bandwagon. I just didn't buy into what everyone else said about them. But once Melaleuca started to offer them, I thought it was worth a try. I use them a lot now! And some of you already heard my story about how using Bergamot oil has helped with Girl Twin's molluscum contagiosum skin condition.





Laundry products: I love the way the liquid detergent makes our clothes smell! This is a very concentrated liquid, so this size bottle will do 96 loads. The other item is a stain remover, which obviously I need. I am excited about trying the new OXI boost that is coming in my next order.





Kids' bath products:  We use the Koala Pals bath soap and shampoo for all the kids; it's very mild and doesn't burn their eyes.



If you want to learn how to switch out the harsh, chemical-laden products you are currently using with these great products, just let me know! I can get you connected.
 
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