Best of the Web- May 7

It’s Derby Day!  Are any of you celebrating?   We’re going to Louisville later this month, so I’m keeping a close eye on all the travel-related coverage.


Here are my favorite links from the past week!  Happy weekend reading:


Happy Mother’s Day!  Have you seen the meme about the only thing you want is a nap and a clean house?  Well, me too!

Here’s one of my favorite posts on motherhood:  The end result of just an average mom

Here’s to All the “Ordinary” Mothers via Lisa-Jo Baker

the most life changing any woman can do for herself this Mother’s Day via Ann Voskamp


7 lessons about finding the work you were meant to do via


Beyond VRBO: Vacation Rental Sites Worth Knowing About & Using via Trips with Tykes  – I hadn’t heard of many of these sites, I’m eager to check them out.


Have a great weekend- and moms, I hope you are spoiled!

Best of the Web- May 1

The days are getting longer and the calendar is filling up for the next few months.  Welcome, May- I’m ready for you.

Here are my favorite links from the past week.  Have a great Sunday.


I’m working through the Make Over Your Evenings course and it’s helping me think about what I need to accomplish each evening so I can have a morning that goes better.

DIY Toddler Nature Hunt Activity– this is darling

The Effects of Homework on Young Students– #4 esp.  I’ll tell Jackson’s teacher. 😉


A different kind of love letter via Art of Simple

Don’t give up your daily coffee to save money for travel via yTravel Blog – A different perspective

Any favorites?

Best of the Web- April 23

Best of the Web- April 23

I’ve been absent lately, but I’m back.  It’s funny how LIFE truly does get in the way and sadly I often I choose Sleep & Sanity > working on the blog.


Here’s my favorite reads from the past week though- lots of travel/motherhood content coming up in the next few days!


What My Near-Death Experience Taught Me About Gratitude via Inc.

What Dreams May Come via Enjoying the Small Things

How to Embrace the Imperfect and Unexpected Journey of Motherhood via The Better Mom


Save $25 with this awesome Amex offer via Mommy Points

What Packing for an Amazing Weekend Can Tell You About Your Financial Life via The Simple Dollar


Tips on turning a average weekend into an adventure via Travel Junkie Julie


Have a great weekend!



Best of the Web- March 19

Happy weekend!  I’m back with my favorite links from the past week:


When the News Makes You Feel Like America’s Sinking and Jesus is Fast Asleep via Lisa-Jo Baker

The Clutter-Depression Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It via nourishing minimalism

Say ‘sadness’ to Siri in Cleveland, and she answers with Browns’ stadium via Washington Post  –  Hilarious!


Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues via HuffPost  (Another reason to get rid of toys!)

best of web photo


7 under-the-radar family travel destinations via The Washington Post- I love that this includes the Everglades!

Things to Know Before Visiting Costa Rica via Drink Tea and Travel


Any favorites?  What are you up to this weekend?

Best of the Web- March 12

Hi everyone!  I’ve been pretty quiet this week.  I’m working on a post about Wahkeena Nature Preserve (ever heard of it?) and I’ve got about 13 travel recaps for Australia.  Today I’m also hosting a Star Wars birthday party for my soon-to-be FOUR year old!  Where does time GO?

Long story short, here are my favorite links from the past week:


Oh, how I wish Sarah would have written this about 18 months ago- it may have saved me from countless guilt trips.  “Success for me is not feeling crummy and tired all day. It’s being kind. It’s doing the things I want to get done during my day, whether that’s writing or cleaning or visiting a friend or homeschooling my kiddos well and without being cranky.” Yes, preach!  You Don’t Have to Get Up Early to Be Successful via Sarah Mae


A Family Guide to Planning a Train Ride Travel Journey via Stuffed Suitcase- I know that Ohio isn’t the easiest place to catch an Amtrak train but this article totally has me jonesing to go somewhere via rail.

5 Destinations in Ireland Your Family Will Love via Kids Are a Trip- St. Patrick’s Day is this week!  Here’s some travel inspiration for the isle of green.


3 Ways to Grow Wealth and Be Happy via Budgets are Sexy- That’s a title with a big promise!  In reality, this is a solid 15-minute Ted Talk to help you understand that wealth isn’t “luck” but “learned.”  If you don’t have time to listen, you can read J. Money’s notes.


Any favorites?  What are you up to this weekend?

One Year Blog Anniversary – GIVEAWAY


Hi everyone!  Today marks a year since I went live with the blog.  Thank you so
much for reading my words and following along.  As a thank you, I’m doing a giveaway through Rafflecopter!  You have to answer one question (it’s multiple choice!) and you gain more entries for following me on all social media platforms.

The raffle ends Sunday, Feb 14th at 11pm EST.  This is only open to US Residents.  One random winner will be picked and I’ll let you know on Monday morning.  🙂

Oh yeah- and the prize- a $25 Amazon gift card.  Maybe you’d like to read up on parenting or dive into a good travel guide- or maybe you’re practical and just want to order some groceries!

Giveaway- ENTER HERE

Picking a pine


Black Friday was more of a Green Friday for us!  We headed out to our favorite tree farm to pick out the Griswold Yoder Toter family Christmas Tree.  We’re lucky because our area is full of Christmas tree farms, Licking County actually has the most in Ohio.

The past couple of years we’ve gotten our tree from M & M Tree Farm.  They don’t have a website, or an official Facebook page. ((What?!?)) They do, however, offer canaan firs, some of the best prices in the county, and small bags of M & Ms for the kids for the drive home!  #winning

Here’s a bombardment of pictures from our day.  I know the out-of-town grandmas will enjoy, but hope you do, too.

tree 1
Riding on the tree sled is so much fun!
tree 2
Daddy, whatcha doing?
He’s not going to do the high jump, the stick is to measure the tree. i.e. Keep Brian and I from getting into a fight! Ha!
I love their signs throughout the property.
tree shake
Olen shook his booty while the tree was being shaken to release the needles.
My goofballs waiting for Daddy to pull the van up.
finished product
The finished product. Can you guess what area C likes to play with? 🙂

Leah means “weary”

The past two years have been the most exhausting time of my life. Oh, I know I’m posting pictures of sweet little faces and happy happy times but let’s be honest- raising 3 little kids is at best very tiring and at worst, well, ugly. The past few days have been particularly challenging. For all the quick-fixes I’ve considered, none have really fit the bill except wake up tomorrow and change the diapers and correct the sassiness and drill 3+4 once again. (I totally get this is first-world crap).
Nonetheless, 32 years ago God in His sovereignty looked down and knitted me in my mother’s womb, he counted the hairs on my head and surely he knew that my mother would name me Leah.
Leah means wearyand boy do I feel weary right now.
For two years I’ve questioned whether he really is near to mothers- to women? What is my role? How does my story play out in HIS story? How do I raise these children in light of the times and in light of the sometimes HEAVINESS I feel in my soul? I obviously don’t have the answers, and I may not this side of eternity!
(I also have pressing questions like why did you create the cocoa bean??– it took me 7 Hershey miniatures to get through homeschool yesterday)!
I was reading Philippians 4 last week and something stood out to me for the first time, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
The Lord is near.
I can’t have true joy, true surrender to anxiety, or true Thanksgiving…without HIM.
I am weary, but HE is near.
Cecilia looks how I feel. Photo by Nikki Darr photography.

Best of the Web- November 21

Hi folks!  I’m back for another edition with my favorite links.  How was your week?  Ours was a busy one as the hubster was out of town and I was playing “vacation catch-up.”  Maybe the most stressful part of vacation since having children is getting everything put away when we return.  Why does it always seem like you come back with more?- Although we literally came home with 4 small souvenirs and a few sand dollars.  I digress.


Mr. Money Mustache uses some language (so don’t be offended that I posted), but his methods are pretty right on.  (And how many of us want to be 41 and retired?)  Three Investments with an Instant Guaranteed Return


Insights from the 9 Most Frugal Cultures via Wise Bread


Is it ok to take your kids out of school to travel? via Y Travel Blog.  This resonated so much with me – Flexibility alone is one of the reasons we have chosen to homeschool.   Do you think parents should be held liable for taking the kids out of school?  Should their be a limit on excused absences?

header nov 21

Have a great weekend!