Fifteen

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 28, 2014

It was fifteen years ago today. The hottest day of the year. I was to vow to love, honor, and cherish my best friend all the days of my life, and I was a bundle of nerves.

As I walked down the aisle, on my father’s arm, I saw my best friend waiting for me and nothing else mattered. I forgot about the heat, the butterflies in my stomach, the 250 people in the small church sanctuary to witness our union. There was just him.

our wedding day

That day we began a journey. A wonderful, crazy, chaos-filled, sometimes rocky, but always steady journey. A journey I wouldn’t want to share with anyone but him.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend, my husband, my love! I didn’t think it possible then, but I truly love and adore you more today than I did on this date fifteen years ago.

“When I found the one my heart loves, I held him and would not let go… Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth ~ For his love is more delightful than wine.”

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First Day

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 26, 2014

Sending the kiddos off to school after what seems like a long summer is always bittersweet for me. This year, however, it was especially so. While they were all most certainly ready for the routine that the new school year brought with it, I was a bit nervous to drop them off today and yesterday on their first days. More nervous for some than others, if I’m being completely honest.

As you can imagine, it was especially difficult seeing Julia walk in to a new school, after everything she has had to experience. She carried herself with her normal air of confidence and showed nothing but excitement for a new school year, displaying no signs of anxiousness. I know kids are resilient, but I also know that she still struggles with what happened at the end of last year. I certainly didn’t expect her to be anything but herself but she has changed quite a bit. Maybe I wasn’t giving her enough credit. Or, perhaps she is just as hopeful as I am that things will be okay this year.

1st day of school - older kids

And, then there is Ben. I fear for him in this new school environment. I’m thinking it’s because he never has been very expressive, is on the quiet side and tends to get lost in the shuffle, and he struggles a bit in certain academic areas. These all being part of the reason why we kept him home for school until now. Ray, at one point today, mentioned we may be worried for nothing; this may be exactly what he needs. I hope he’s right.

1st day of school - younger kids

This mama is thankful these first days are over. I’m hopeful for a great year for my babies (who are not really babies much anymore). Here’s to a new school year!

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Get The Amazing Spiderman 2 at Walmart and Enter the #BeAHeroContest

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 23, 2014

Some of my older kiddos saw The Amazing Spiderman 2 when it was playing in theaters. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get past the fact that someone other than Toby McGuire was playing Peter Parker. In fact, I don’t think I even saw the first of the new series.

But, I have to say, I was really missing out. My boys talked me in to renting the movie this weekend. I figured, it was the last weekend before school started, it was a movie they wanted to see, and I was sorta curious about this “new” Peter Parker. The movie did seem a bit more akin to the comic books than a real-life action movie, but I was certainly not disappointed. Well, the ending had me shaking my head, but I won’t ruin it for you in the case you haven’t seen it.

You know, it’s available on DVD now. In fact, Walmart now carries it both in stores and online.  The Blu-ray combo pack is just $19.96 and includes the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. The Blu-ray combo pack is a must-own with 13 deleted scenes plus 100 minutes of extras. To be honest, even though we already rented it, and my boys watched it twice in 24 hours, we will most likely purchase the pack.

The Amazing Spiderman 2

To get everyone excited about the release of the DVD, there is a contest you just must enter! It’s the Be a Hero Contest. Here are the details:

-You can create a video and post it on YouTube that explains why their school is “amazing.”
-You must tweet a live link to the video with the hashtag #BeAHeroContest.

You can find more information and rules at Walmart.com/Spiderman, but i a nutshell the contest begins 8/5 and ends 9/14 and there will be 5 Grand Prize Winners who will win a Spider-Man visit to your school, $1000 in Scholastic books, a year supply of Elmer’s glue sticks, and a year supply of Crayola Crayons. In addition, there will be 250 First Prize Winners who will win a Spider-Man recorded PA announcement, Scholastic books, 10 Elmer’s glue sticks, and 10 packages of Crayola Crayons!

How cool is that?!

Now, I’m sure you are wondering how you can create a winning video, right? Well, here are some tips:

  • Start off in a well-lit area, avoiding a lot of clutter
  • Make sure you and your kiddos are completely in the frame of the video camera, whether it is a smart phone or something more advanced
  • Avoid areas with lots of noise
  • Keep it sort and sweet
  • Most importantly, be yourself!

Now, hurry! Go make your video!!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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AT&T GoPhone {Review}

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 22, 2014

Have I mentioned that I have three kiddos going in to middle school, 1 in to intermediate (I guess that’s a thing in large districts?), and 2 in to elementary this year? Yes, that’s six kiddos in three different schools. That’s a whole lot of kids in too many places at once for this mama’s nerves!

My oldest three kids already had cell phones – we thought it necessary in middle school for many reasons - so, when I was asked to review the AT&T GoPhone with an exclusive service plan from Walmart, I thought it’d be perfect for Josh, since he’ll be attending a school on his own for the first time. We have him equipped just in time for school to start!

AT&T GoPhone

Why was I excited about the GoPhone? Well, for starters, there is no contract. This is a good thing for us because, although he’s very responsible, Josh is only 10. I would hate to be locked in to a service agreement in case he were to lose his phone, or even if it were to break and become unusable.

The $45 service card, available exclusively at Walmart, is perfect for Josh’s needs. It will give him unlimited text and talk time, as well as 1GB of data. He can use his new phone to call Ray or me, text us, and can even keep in touch with extended family without having to worry abut counting minutes or messages.

To review this service, AT&T sent us the HTC Desire 610 - an Android 4G LTE GoPhone. This phone retails at Walmart for $199.98, and with no monthly service plan I’d say that isn’t too bad for a full-fledged smart phone. It’s features are pretty impressive, Here are some highlights -

  • 4.7″ super LCD touchscreen, 480 x 854 pixels
  • Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) OS
  • Total Storage: 8GB, with microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • Rear 8 mp camera with LED flash, with front 1.3 megapixel camera
  • BoomSound front speakers
  • Talk Time: up to 15.8 hours

Set up was pretty easy, with the exclusive Walmart $45 service card. However, you will not see the option for activating this particular service card in the quick start guide. I actually activated Josh’s phone at att.com/gophone, after putting in the SIM card, and then added the $45 plan using the step by step directions on the back of the card.It was easy peasy!

HTC Desire SIM card

I know I gave you the details regarding the HTC Desire 610 GoPhone, but the great thing about the exclusive $45 Walmart plan is that it can be used on any 4G and 4G LTE Android or Windows GoPhone. GoPhones are all affordable and you can choose what is best for you, from the old-style flip phone to something like the HTC Desire 610. They are easily refilled – just purchase a new card when you’re at Walmart – but the best part is that each month you can choose which service plan is best for you and not be locked in to an expensive contract.

GoPhone Walmart Exclusive

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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{Back to School in Style} Spoof Up Your Binders & Notebooks

August 21, 2014

So, I’ve talked a lot this week about getting ready  for school to begin. Uniforms, backpacks, other school supplies…. So much to purchase. Why ot have a little fun and personalize these items to match your personality? I gave Julia a small budget and creative license, and asked her to decorate her 3-ring binder and […]

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{Back to School} Supplies

August 20, 2014

I’ve been talking a lot about back to school supplies this week, and for a good reason – school starts soon! Are you ready? I have quite the list of items to purchase this year. I am shopping for two in 8th grade, one in 7th, one in 5th, and two in 2nd grade. Shopping […]

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{Back to School In Style} Backpacks and Lunchbags

August 19, 2014

As you can imagine, buying as many school supplies as I have to, we are on the look-out for great deals. We didn’t have to look far for good value and great prices on backpacks for my little guys. Since we aren’t sure if we will be purchasing school lunches through the lunch program, we […]

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#LeapPad3 by #LeapFrog {Review}

August 18, 2014

We are a very digital family. All of my older kiddos have their own smart phones; my younger kids play on our iPads, Kindle Fire, and often my phone or Ray’s phone. But, before they even started using these more advanced devices, my little ones all had LeapFrog tablets. Our newest LeapFrog device is the LeapPad3. It […]

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{Back to School in Style} Uniforms

August 18, 2014

My oldest three kiddos are attending a charter school this year. One with a very strict uniform policy. They must wear brown khakis, white or blue polos, and very “formal” attire – complete with a tie for the boys – on Wednesdays. The polos do have to be special polos – ones with the school […]

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A Great Foundation : My New Beauty Must Have

August 18, 2014

I’m always on the lookout for great beauty products. Until recently I’ve only used a BB Cream, but finding the perfect foundation has become key to my beauty routine. In the summertime especially, I don’t like anything heavy on my face, which is why I gravitate more towards BB Creams. However, I was excited to […]

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illuMask Anti-Aging Phototherapy Mask {Review}

August 15, 2014

Last week I told you about my daily skin care routine and how I tried a new device that I believe caused my skin to detox, thus breaking out a bit. Well, now that my skin has cleared, I only have good things to say about the illuMask Anti-Aging Phototherapy Mask. The illuMask is available at […]

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Back to School Already?

August 13, 2014

Yes, it’s that time of year. Almost gone are the late nights and sleeping in. School starts in less than two weeks. Summer is just about over and back to routine we go. It’s time to get those backpacks loaded up with school supplies, gather items for the classroom, and piece together outfits and uniforms. We will […]

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It’s Your Birthday

August 12, 2014

Hey Noah, I’m not sure how it happened, but you are now SEVEN years old, and today we celebrate YOU! It seems like yesterday Dad was rushing me to the hospital to deliver you. Just like so many times throughout your life, you were eager to show face. In fact, I almost delivered you in […]

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My Essential Oils Skin Care Regimen

August 11, 2014

I was talking with some of my friends not too long ago about how I use Young Living Essential Oils. They were blown away by how many I use and for what purposes. Among many other, I shared with them how I use the oils to keep my anxiety and depression at bay, how I […]

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Herdez Cocina Mexicana Bowls :: A great after school snack for growing boys!

August 8, 2014

I have lots of boys. Six, in fact. Big boys and little boys, but all are growing at an alarming rate. Because of this growth, my boys are always hungry. I don’t just mean they need snacks often; I mean that my boys can eat 3 or 4 full meals between breakfast and dinner. I’m […]

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Do You Believe Heaven is for Real? #HeavenIsForRealMovie

July 31, 2014

We like to have movie nights here in the Young house; they are always quite the treat. Pizza, popcorn, and sweet treats are always part of the plan, and we’ll cozy up on the couch with blankets no matter how hot it is outside! All of my kids were excited to see the movie Heaven is for Real, and […]

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Back to School Events You Don’t Want to Miss

July 30, 2014

I just got off the phone with the head honchos at Walmart – John Forrest, Phillip Oaks (who leads back-to-college for Walmart.com), and Stephanie Reibling (she’s the vice president, merchandising for home management at Walmart U.S.) They had some great news about how Walmart is bringing us some great savings this Back to School season. As Stephanie said, just moments ago, “Walmart […]

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Save More with Savings Catcher

July 30, 2014

I’ve been shopping at Walmart and telling y’all all about it for quite some time. Not much has excited me more than the latest news – You can now be certain you are spending as little as possible with as little work as possible! No more scouring circulars from each store in town to compare […]

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Staying Active & Feeling Good

July 23, 2014

Exercise has never been a priority for me. I’ve never played any sports, and I most certainly wouldn’t call myself active. Unless you call running after seven kiddos all day active. For a bit, several years ago, I did try to establish a regular exercise routine, with the help of the WiiFit. I ran in […]

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Create your own Farmer’s Market for a #brightfuture with #ProjectSunlight

July 21, 2014

Last month I told y’all about Unilver’s Project Sunlight and promised that I would share which of the Sunlight Summer Activities I chose. Timmy and I proud to present you with our very own Farmer’s Market! Not only did we reduce our carbon footprint by growing our own herbs, but we made a positive impact […]

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Summer Nails with Sally Hansen Triple Shine

July 18, 2014

I love having pretty nails. So does Julia. In fact, we have quite the colorful rainbow collection of nail polish. We were both excited to try the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color from Walmart. Of the 29 available colors, we were sent seven to try, plus a bottle of clear Top Coat to lock […]

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Invisalign Straight Talk

July 7, 2014

As you may know, we were given the opportunity to take part in a campaign that would allow both of my twins to receive Invisalign treatment. They both had a mouth full of over-crowded teeth and, because of it, they rarely smiled. It was estimated that both boys would need to wear the invisible aligners for […]

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