Archive for Parenting

Back to College with the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans

Collective Bias

I have mentioned before that our oldest daughter heads off to college in less than a year. #Phones4School #CollectiveBias. One of the things on our to-do list is to research cheap wireless plans. We desire to get her set up with a technological life line a.k.a a cell phone when she is away from home. A cell phone will enable her to communicate when she’s out, give her a life line if she gets stranded or if, God forbid, she runs into trouble. We also want her to have a phone for when she starts driving by herself in a few months.

#Shop

My daughter was away at her cousin’s house all weekend. It was fun to surprise her with a trip to the store to buy her an early college present. We purchased Alcatel One Touch Fierce ($99.88) for $34.88/month, an unlimited talk text and data/web plan with Walmart’s Family Mobile (T-Mobile is the carrier), plus $25 for the starter kit. Right now, the $34.88/month plan is with three months free! We love the unlimited aspect of this plan. It is also affordable for a college student on a limited budget. Bobbie is already figuring on paying for her phone herself once the three months free are up. Of course, we are not complaining!

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_1

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_2

On the way home in the car she was setting up her calendar, which she is going to need to keep track of classes, assignments, exams and activities while she is away in college. She is obviously very excited to have her own smart phone! Other features she likes are the graphics. She is also looking for apps for homework, budgeting and exercising. She is having fun learning her way around her new phone.

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop_3

FFR Walmart Best Plans #shop collage

The Alcatel One Touch Phone is perfect for college students because it is not only portable but it is a smart phone with all the bells an whistles – talk, text, web/data, 4G capability, camera and a 4.5″ touch screen. The monthly plans are budget friendly for both students and families.

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How to Choose a Baby Stroller

This is a partnered post.

It’s hard to believe I am out of the stroller stage in my parenting journey. I am actually looking to sell our remaining strollers. As I end this chapter in our life I thought it would be fun to do a post about how to choose a baby stroller.

How to Choose a Baby Stroller

1. Determine your budget. Strollers can run anywhere from $10 for an umbrella stroller and upwards of thousands for top of the line strollers.

2. Durability. Durability is pretty important to us because I knew our stroller would have to hold up to numerous children.

3. Safety. Any baby product needs to be safe and free from defects.

4. Features. What features do you want your stroller to have? Cup holders, bottom basket, tall handle if you are taller, snack tray, umbrella for shade, etc.?

5. Function. Do you need a jogging stroller, a double stroller, single or single with a step for another child?

6. Storage. Is it easy to store? Do you need it to fold up easily when you are one handed? Is weight important?

Jané strollers is a new brand to me on the medium to higher end price wise – $250-$790. “The first Jané stroller was born in 1932 in Barcelona, Spain when Manuel Jané Vidal proudly created a stroller for his new born son, Ramon.” They have four different styles: Nanuq, Rider, Trider Extreme and a new PowerTwin Pro coming soon. Safety is an important issue to Jané and their products are created with babies health and safety in mind.

You can learn more about Jané here: http://www.jane-usa.com

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The Big Book of Symptoms: A-Z Guide To Your Child’s Health

The Big Book of Symptoms

The Big Book of Symptoms: A-Z Guide to Your Child’s Health

Reviewed by B, my 15 year old daughter.

I thought The Big Book of Symptoms: A-Z Guide to Your Child’s Health
was very informative. I liked the fact that it had both natural and traditional preventives and treatments. I wish it hadn’t had so much of the “take your child to the pediatrician if he/she has such and such a symptom.” I completely understand taking them to the doctor for what you think could become/be life threatening i.e. Leukemia, A Brain tumor, TSS and others like these, but I would have liked to have known what to do in the meantime to ease my child’s symptom(s).

I like that it was written by a mom and a pediatrician.

I found this book to be really informative and easy to read. The illustrations were handy and easy to understand (especially to a non-picture reader like me :)) I loved the 3-in-1 First Aid, Choking, and CPR chart you can take out and hang up, I thought that was a nice touch.

About the Authors

Edited by two esteemed members of AAP, Steven P. Shelov, MD, FAAP, and Shelly V. Flais, MD, FAAP, The Big Book of Symptoms is an A-Z directory and ultimate guide to over 100 of the most common childhood symptoms from infancy to adolescence. From bee bites and colic to fever, sleep and skin problems, the new guide is designed to help parents evaluate their child’s symptoms and distinguish minor every day concerns from more serious conditions. It also includes an illustrated first aid manual, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) chart, and age-specific safety and injury prevention tips.

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Beginner Driver in the House – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Bobbie driving truck.062114


Beginner Driver in The House

Bobbie is actually doing really well with her driving lessons. I see her improve each time we go driving. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t nervous. I just try not to show it and correct her in a calm, matter of fact voice. That’s how my mom, dad and uncle (he took me out driving a stick shift!) were with me. I am proud of Bobbie’s developing driving skills and the fact she takes is seriously and cautiously. She’s got a pretty good head on her shoulders, which should make her a good driver.

Have you taught your children to drive? If so, how did you feel about the whole experience?

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Returning a Gift – Wordless Wednesday

Have you ever tried to surprise someone? It takes a lot of work and secrecy, even then plans can be thwarted. We successfully surprised our 14 year old daughter three weeks ago with the gift of a Palomino horse (she’s a quarter horse), on the condition that we’d keep her if she passed the vet’s pre-purchase exam. Sandy is an 18 year old Quarter horse, give or take according to the vet’s look at her teeth.

FFR Sandy Cheeks Palomino

Over a week ago the vet did a pre-purchase exam and could not pass Sandy based on some lameness issues. The issues are fixable but would cost money and could cost us a good horse if she went completely lame. :( We were hoping for an easy keeper since Blaze his a hard keeper.

lameness
lame
1 [leym] Show IPA
adjective, lam·er, lam·est.
1.
crippled or physically disabled, especially in the foot or leg so as to limp or walk with difficulty.
2.
impaired or disabled through defect or injury: a lame arm.
3.
weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy: a lame excuse.
4.
Slang. out of touch with modern fads or trends; unsophisticated.
verb (used with object), lamed, lam·ing.
5.
to make lame or defective.

We had hoped to keep Sandy for a good long time and let her get her weight up on our yummy pasture. Her stables do not have access to pasture. The horses live in their stalls.

So we say good-bye to Sandy tomorrow evening when her owner comes to pick her up. We had her here on a trial basis. Kind of sad to see her go. Our daughter is handling it like a champ and we are proud of her.

It is hard as a parent to successfully surprise your child with a gift she’s wanted since she was nine and then to have to turn around and return the gift.

Have you ever had to return a much wanted gift?

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Crest – Smiley 360

received this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. You can join Smiley360 here!”

FFR image for posts

 

 

 

 

crest 1

Smile! Crest has some fabulous products out there. I was lucky to be able to test out Crest Pro-Health Tartar Protection with Fluoride Rise and Crest Pro-Health Clinical Plaque Control Toothpaste. 

I’m usually on the hunt for the best deal with coupons and sometimes buying substandard toothpastes and rinses. After trying these Crest products my attitude has changed, I will no longer be buying cheaper toothpaste. I really enjoyed the flavor of each of these and how my teeth and mouth felt so much cleaner!

Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste says that it provides benefits to control cavities, gingivitis, plaque, sensitivity, tartar, whitening, and freshen your breath. That’s sounds like a lot of great benefits. Crest also reminds us to brush regularly to achieve the full effectiveness. 

Crest Pro-Health Rinse claims many of the similar outcomes of the toothpaste with regular usage.  The bottle also states that protects surface stains and rebuilds enamel.  That sounds great for a coffee drink like myself. 

I’ve been using both products regularly for about a week and my teeth and mouth have felt much better and fresher! I will continue to be using Crest products! 

Make sure to head over to Crest’s Facebook Page for upcoming offers and promotions. To learn more about Crest Products click here to be taken to their website!  #TartarRinse

Happy Brushing!

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The Waiting Book & Giveaway

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing and participating in The Waiting review. We are being compensated by Tyndale Publishing and The Motherhood. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review and compensation, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

FFR The Waiting Book Cover

All I wanted to do this past Mother’s Day was relax and read The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow. My husband let me sleep in and when I woke up I read my book. What I didn’t expect to give myself was a huge headache, a pile of tissues, and red, puffy eyes!

FFR Teary eyes after The Waiting
Lighting in our bathroom is awful! Should have taken it somewhere else!

I don’t think I have ever cried as much while reading a book as I did during The Waiting. That’s why I took pictures of my pile of tissues and red, puffy eyes.

On to the review….

The Waiting Review

The Waiting is a true story of a woman’s wait to see her first born daughter again after giving her up for adoption.

I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down until I was done. I shooed my children away , mostly because I didn’t want them sitting there on the bed with me watching and staring at me while I cried buckets of tears!

As emotional as the book made me, I cannot imagine living it as Minka did. I cannot imagine giving up my child and waiting 77 years to see her again.

There are so many facets of the story that show God’s faithfulness to a young mother and her years of praying and waiting. The fact that all the letters Minka wrote to the director of the “home” (like a pregnancy crisis center where young girls were sent to hide their pregnancy) were put into Betty Jane/Ruth’s adoption file, which would eventually be proof to Betty Jane/Ruth that her birth mother loved her fiercely for 77 years and never, ever forgot about her.

I loved the reunion and family bond Minka and Ruth’s families experienced upon meeting. I loved the honor and love bestowed upon Minka and how active and involved she continues to be even at age 102 (or possibly 103 at the time of this review). There’s so much more I could say but I think you should just read the book…how often do I say that!?

I highly recommend this very inspirational book. You won’t regret it. My daughter B read it the same day I did!

The Waiting in the Press

The NBC TODAY Show interviewed the author of The Waiting, Cathy LaGrow, who is Minka’s granddaughter. The interview aired on Friday, May 9, click the NBC link to watch it.

Tyndale is Giving Away FIVE Copies of The Waiting!

Enter to win one of five copies of The Waiting below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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AAOS + AA Distracted Driving

If we are honest, we all can probably say we have been distracted at one time or another while driving. Driving with a newborn crying with hunger? Driving with a toddler who wants to get out of his or her car seat? Driving by a car pulled over by 2-3 police cars leaving you curious as to why? What about cell phone users? Texting? We have a teenager on the verge of learning how to drive (she’s studying her driver’s handbook now) and it scares me to think of her out on the road. It isn’t that I think she’ll be a terrible driver, it’s the distractions, it’s the other drivers and their distractions.

Distracted Driving Vehicle

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.

Distracted Driving

We all want to see accidents reduced so remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Decide to Drive Campaign


The Decide to Drive program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel.

Do you have the best slogan or catch phrase to make the Decide to Drive campaign pop? Enter the Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest between May 28 – June 13. Your words could be chosen as the official Decide to Drive campaign catch phrase, and you could win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the $1,000 grand prize! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Enter here: http://clvr.li/1nwa6CV

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Best Colleges 2014 Book

This is a sponsored post.

Best Colleges

 

I am entering a new phase of parenting in that I have a child looking at colleges! Very weird for me! Bobbie is doing all the research for college requirements, SATs, applications, etc. U.S. News & World Report provides college rankings every year. I thought their new Best Colleges 2014 book would be helpful to my daughter as she narrows down her college choices.

About Best Colleges 2014

Here are four things Bobbie took from the book and the rest of the post is basically written by her, not me:

• It provides information on colleges all across the United States for students of all backgrounds and interests.

• Gives advice for students who don’t have straight A’s and encouragement and support for getting into college.

• Provides a checklist for preparing for college, which she thought was really helpful.

• It offers information on everything from the application process, getting financial aid, to finding the right school.

Best Colleges 2014 was very helpful and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to prepare for college, as well as offering encouragement and advice from high school students who have already gone through the college process.

The checklist provides a detailed step-by-step list of everything you need to do starting at 9th grade and ending with acceptance into college.

They didn’t limit the advice to students seeking to gain entrance to an Ivy League college; they had several sections dedicated to helping B- students get into a great college.

The sections on gaining financial aid were incredibly helpful and something we definitely need help with in knowing how to apply for the different financial help available to us.

If you would like to pick up a copy of Best Colleges 2014 , use the following code SCHOOL25 to receive a discount!

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Changing a Flat Tire

FFR Flat Tire 022814

Changing a Flat Tire

On Friday my daughter and I were doing the paper routes and got a flat tire. At four o’clock in the morning. That’s right, AM. I have never changed a flat tire in my life. I’ve watched flat tires be changed and know the basics but we still had my hubby call AAA since I wanted to keep my cell line open for the warehouse manager to call me back. We ended up needing his and his son’s assistance in getting the papers delivered because we had to wait 3.5 hours for AAA to get someone out to fix the tire. There was no way I would get them delivered in time.

My daughter and I watched a YouTube video of how to fix a flat tire. It was informative but we still laughed at the common sense tips the man provided. Things like don’t let the lug nuts roll in the grass – to which we responded, what about rolling away in the snow or melting in the snow? We were being silly at this point due to the long wait, boredom and lack of sleep. Another tip he gave was not to put your tire in the road….seriously? Anyhoo….we had no worries over that happening as we got our flat at the front door of the funeral home. Yep. We deliver to the funeral home and that’s where we discovered our flat, though I suspected at the previous stop as we were coming out the driveway.

We tried to change the flat tire. We had the car jacked up but after all that we could not get the lug nuts off, even with the little X-bar thingy. Don’t you love my automotive vocabulary?! Hubby is not here to give me the correct terminology right now. My dad would roll over in his grave. He was Mr. Car Man himself.

That was our excitement for the weekend because after that rough start on Friday all I wanted to do was sleep. Not really, I just need more sleep. I do have plans for my husband to teach our older children and I how to change a flat tire, to change the oil, how to check the air in the tire with a tire gauge etc. I think it’s important we all learn these basic automotive tasks.

Hubby got the tire fixed, but the tires still need to be aligned and a tie rod replaced. Goodyear just didn’t have time to do it on Friday.

Have you ever changed a flat tire? Will you teach your daughters (and or sons)?

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