3 FREE places to take your family within one hour of Amish Country, Ohio

i.e. What to do when the kids have had enough of crafts, quilts, and Amish Once you’ve petted the farm animals, ridden a wagon past the exotic animals, and tasted enough cheese to make the French jealous, your kids may be sick of Holmes County.  While Amish Country has gotten more family-friendly in the past 10+ years,  children may get anxious for more than primitive decor and baked goods. Never fear!  I’ve made a list of 3 FREE places to engage your kids …

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4 things I always buy at Aldi

Mr. Yoder Toter and I have always been frugal food shoppers, but having three children has added a dimension of buying things that we never did before.  Whereas I used to eat the only bowl of cereal each morning, there are now 4 bowls of cereal.  Or instead of using 4 pieces of bread for a sandwich, we’re up to 8 or 9.  All of this change has prompted some modifications to how I shop. Aldi has swept in and become …

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Parenting little ones and flying on airplanes- two great analogies

It’s no big secret that I have struggled to adjust to having three children.  I adore my little people, but each day has challenges and perplexities that I could not have imagined pre-kids.    I’ve actually never been so thankful for the years of basketball I played because it’s made me appreciate zone defense! When it comes to the likes of making sure everyone’s needs are met and bellies are fed, it is one v. three in this house. I’m thankful …

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How the Library Summer Reading Program nearly sent me to the Funny Farm

The guilt of motherhood circa 2015 is complex.  It’s not enough to have your 4-yr old in a Master’s Mini-musicians class, you have to feed them only organic rice krispies while sipping on a BPA-free-non-dairy-no-GMOS-from-the-fountain-of-youth Coconut Frappe Latte.  One scroll of my Facebook feed and I’m not thin enough, disciplined-enough, didn’t nurse long enough, and to top it off-  I just let my kids watch 4 episodes in a row of Lego Star Wars.  Oops.  (Although I do want 829 …

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Stay in that apartment- Renting wins over buying

As I admitted in an earlier post, it is all my fault that we jumped into the real estate market when we did.  I had the baby fever and obviously thought that a 19.5″ little baby needed his own space to spread out! Here we are 8 years later, and while we adore our neighbors and fit wonderfully into our home, I know that we would have been smarter to continue renting.  Maybe indefinitely.  Owning a home is a money pit and …

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Yoder Toter children to meet the Land Down Under

It’s only 6 months til we are “wheels down” in Australia. If you’re new here, you may not realize that I was an exchange student to Australia.  Actually 15 years ago (this Friday) I took my first ever flight to Australia for what would begin a year away from my family and friends.  It was a fantastic time and I as much as I loved the scenery and the FOOD (secret- I weighed less after baby #3 than I did …

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How Fair Trade Friday turns ashes into beauty

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… to comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,  the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a Spirit of despair”  Isaiah 61: 1b-3a When the words I’m trying to say or write don’t come easy,  I’m at …

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Five vacation rentals I’d like to stay in

I don’t know about you, but I love looking at vacation rental properties.  I enjoy perusing the different decorating styles, cultural design norms, and even the bathroom fixtures (weird, I know).  And really, I just like dreaming about what it would be like to spend an extended time period in faraway places. So, for #WishfulWednesday , here are 5 family-friendly and affordable rental properties I would love to stay in: 1. This beach house in St. Lucia is rather affordable (compared to …

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