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?

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? 🙂

Best of the Web- November 15

Halfway through November?  I can not believe it!!  We had a great time in Florida (even moreso once everyone returned to healthy– and look for some upcoming blogs on what to do around Fort Myers Beach) but now it’s time to focus on the holidays!  I am usually much more organized than this, but it seems that with every child we have added, I’ve been less and less prepared.  Go figure!


Here are my favorite web links from this past week:

sunset with yoder toter
Sunset on Fort Myers Beach was absolutely stunning.


“Tragedy opens our eyes to perspective changes, and in that moment, the simplicity of a one word vocabulary shift marked me.”  In light of the recent events in our world, this blog really touched my heart.  The One Word Vocabulary Shift that Profoundly Changed Me via Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Why Travel and Study Aboard are Important for Your Teen via Gone with the Family.  YES YES YES.  Let them go, please.  After marriage and having a family, studying abroad was the most life-altering experience.


Visiting Nashville with Young Kids via Trips with Tykes  – These tips surprised me and made me think a trip with our littles is doable.

Part one was helpful, too, but the Part 2 tips I’ll be saving for future use – How to survive a long road trip with kids {Part 2} via EntreFamily


If needed, I’ve pinned all these links to my Pinterest account.  Check it out!

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend!



Best of the Web- October 31

Hi everyone and Happy Halloween.  I’m over the treats and fright and ready to move on to my favorite holiday season.

Here are my favorite links from the past week- or two- since I missed you last weekend!



5 Ways to Make the Best of Your Family Time via Time-Warp Wife  (Spoiler: Create a Bucket List is one of them-  check out our Fall Bucket List – we’ve done 5 so far!

How a Vacation to Italy Reminded Me of My Purpose via Jeff Goins   “There has to be a life behind the work, something that’s bigger than you, a cause to guide you. And as we strolled the dimly-lit sidewalks of Italy, hand in hand with our hearts and stomachs full, I remembered mine.”    


5 Reasons to Love Travel with a Stroller via Have Baby Will Travel


8 Things Your boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can’t via Wise Bread- #5 surprised me!

How to Make Extra Money as a Brand Ambassador via Budgets Are Sexy – I’d never heard of doing this- sounds like a way to make some quick cash if you need it!


That’s all for this week- any that stand out to you?  How do you make the best of your family time??


Best of the Web- Oct 17

Thanks for stopping by for another weekend list of my favorite reads!



Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child via For Every Mom

From the top of the proverbial hill via Art of Simple



Mortgage Free by age 30 via Well Kept Wallet

How to figure out when you can retire via Budgets are Sexy  (Because retirement isn’t about your age)!



As a travel agent, I would have never booked a family on a Holland America cruise.  So it was fun for me to read this review from Travel with Bender.  Their photographs may just convince the hubby that Alaska isn’t just for old people!  The Big Questions:  Can You Take Kids on a Holland America cruise?


That’s all for this week!

What do you think?  Do you have a plan to play down your mortgage or a set amount you want to retire with?  Maybe you’re yearning to go to Alaska, too?  Or maybe you’ve learned that 40 really isn’t the end of life (like we all thought in high school)?  I’d love to know.


Dayton Delight: Carillon Historical Park

And 3 Tips For Your Visit

So you’ve been to Cincinnati to check out the Newport Aquarium or Kings Island. You went to Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and maybe cheer on the home team at Progressive Field.  And of course you have been to COSI in Columbus and wandered the streets of German Village.  But Dayton.  Dayton?  What’s in Dayton?

I found myself in this same predicament- and asking myself the same questions.

60 minutes on the internet proved to me that we were going to need much, much more than one day in Dayton, Ohio.

dayton header


We packed some snacks and headed west via I-70 to the land of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  We concluded that our first official family outing to Dayton would consist mostly of Carillon Historical Park.  The park, situated on 65 acres just outside the downtown area would provide much of the history about Dayton’s rich industrial and innovative past.

Our first stop was the newly opened Carillon Brewing Company.  The restaurant is a fully functioning 1850s-style brewery.  The smell of hops over takes you as you enter!  We sat on the patio and enjoyed a few tastes of their traditional brews while dining on delicious cheeseburgers.  We joked about taking our kids to a brewery, but Carillon Historical park is  family-friendly destination and their brewery is no different.

20150905_124750 (1)
This- Amazing.

So why take children that are 5 and under to a Historical Park?

Because it didn’t FEEL like a museum but instead a hands-on historical display.

This is something out of a little boy’s dreams. This display had buttons to push to make trucks move and lights turn on! So much fun!

Climb aboard the front of an old steam train.  Ride on the 1930s Ohio-built Carousel.  Sit in a desk in a 1890s school room.  See some of the first Huffy bicycles, built in Dayton!

6 4

The 1905 Wright Flyer III is on display.  A National Historic Landmark, it was hard to consider that this was man’s first flying machine (and I’m scared to think what it was like flying on a plane that had a max horsepower of 25)!

Here are my 3 Tips for Visiting with Kids:

  1. The Historical Park charges $8/adult and $5 per child over 3.  We used our AAA membership to get a $4 total discount  (They don’t advertise this, but the sweet lady at the gift shop told us).  Save those ones though, you’ll need them to get tokens for the Carousel ride which is $1/person.
  2. At 65-acres, the Park is large, but mostly handicap accessible.  Bring your stroller and some good walking shoes.  You’ll need both!
  3. While there is a cafe inside the park (the Brewery is located just outside the park) you may want to bring a few water bottles.  We were there on a HOT day, and unsure of the rules, we didn’t take in a water bottle.  Big mistake!

And it’s not necessarily a tip, but make sure you press the button to hear the wax sculpture of Edith Deeds give her presentation on the Carillon!  It’s unbelievably life-like and gives a great history of the Carillon. (It may, however, scare your 5 yr old).   While on the grounds, enjoy that sweet music. 🙂

Check out the website for the Carillon Historical Park HERE.

Have you been to Dayton?  Our list of places to visit on our next trip is still growing!  What should we see next?


I was NOT compensated by the park.  We just had a fun, family outing and I wanted to share my knowledge.

Life with Littles – A question for my readers

How do you run errands/complete tasks?

The Yoder Toters have been struggling with something lately.  We feel like we hardly do anything as a family, it’s always me home with the kids and Brian working, running errands, or working on a project…. or it’s Brian watching the kids while I do shopping, scout a sale, or pick up groceries.

Is this just the season of life that we’re in or is this how all of you operate as well?

20151003_091616 (2)
Entertaining themselves while big brother took swimming lessons yesterday.

It seems like when we just had Jackson that normally we would all go as a family to run errands and shop, etc.  Then when we had Olen we started to split up a lot more, mostly for the sake of time.  However, since having C, it seems like we are rarely ever altogether (sans vacations, planned outings, or church).  Obviously I have the kids with me during the day and will shop with them and such, but we never really do much fully as a family of 5.

So I’m wondering- is it the same for you, too?  Is this just the stage of life we are in with young children or is this typical for you as well?  Do you leave the kids at home with one spouse because it is a time saver- or maybe to avoid boredom and frustration?  I want to know!

Fall Bucket List 2015

I’m not an over-achieving mother when it comes to home-baked goods or over-involved kids, BUT I do typically make a family bucket list for each season.  I know the practice is a little cheesy, but I think it helps us stay intentional and think about the things we want to do with our kids while they are little (although I only begrudgingly share a Starbucks drink or the pumpkin butter).

Fall Bucket List 2

Some links with my favorites:

The Toasted Graham Latte?  Perfect timing for a new drink since we eat graham crackers like they are going out of style!

We like Devine Farms for our fall activities.

This pumpkin butter is the best.  It’s sweet — and not strong on the pumpkin pie spice.


So now you’ve seen the unofficial Yoder Toter Fall Bucket List.  Do you share any of the same ideas?  Ever been on a hayride?  Have any advice on where you’d take a foliage road trip?