Friday, February 15, 2019

*FINAL* March 2019 Free Lego Monthly Mini Build Registration

I think it really says something that I've been posting about this for years and the same employees are
there every single time we go. Lego is a great company!
wrote this FOREVER ago, it seems like, about the LEGO Store monthly mini build! Things have definitely changed. I used to have to wait in line for a long time with a couple of little ones but now they are older and easier!

After the crazy waiting-in-line like for a rock concert only with little kids fiasco month after month, Lego stores changed things up for at least 6 months and the employees would just hand you your mini build kit if you had gotten a card for the kit when you first got to the line.

HALLELUIA! The first time they did that I almost cried. We got our kit, grabbed ice cream and went home to build the kits, saving an hour (at least) of our lives!

The last year or so, however, they have changed it again. They don't do this to be a pain in your butt. They do it to try new things to make as many customers happy as possible because they are Lego and they rock like that. You are basically RESERVING your mini build.

So you have to mark your calendar or you'll forget to register like I do. For instance, today is January 15 and I need to register for the February mini build. You can now pick Tuesday times or Wednesday times.

Sign up HERE for the current mini build.

Sample calendar like they hand out at the build:

One August I was able to take my own kids plus my friend's kids for a total of 7 kids building :-)
You can only sign up 4 kids per session per VIP account email. You can sign up for a VIP account here (worth it ... VIP points add up and you get free Legos!). I am not messing with getting two VIP cards and we only need 4 kits anyway. Callie is not thrilled about building Legos and instead uses them as decorations (Heartlake Grand Hotel, anyone?). BUT ... the sweeties at Lego usually offer her one anyway. And we take it because they are cool!

TIP: Make sure when you do the final page of registering to CONFIRM that the top of your page does not say that you are confirming to be on the WAIT LIST or you do not have a spot! Go back in your web browser and get another spot FAST!

FINE PRINT: In order to participate, guests must be between the ages of 6-14. All guests will be expected to complete the build in the store. Registration on a first come first serve basis. Stores will no longer accept walk-ups on the night of the event.

Monday, February 11, 2019

How To Cope With Meeting the Needs of Aging Loved Ones

One of the guarantees of life is that it’s always changing, and change can be tough. Watching a parent or close family member go from being your support system to being dependent on you can be overwhelming for many adults. If you’re moving into this new chapter in your life, here are some tips to help make the adjustment less stressful.

Make a Plan for Long-Term Care
Start looking now for an in home caregiver or retirement community. Research what’s available in your area and compare options based on your budget, desires and needs. It can be a relief to know that this decision has already been made before the situation becomes urgent.

Find New Activities to Enjoy Together
As loved ones age, their physical and mental capabilities may change. Many of the traditions that were once enjoyable may become more difficult for them over time, and this can be disheartening. Instead of struggling to do the same things and feeling disappointment, find different ways to enjoy your time together. You might discover a way to make new memories that are even sweeter than the old ones.

Seek Support From Friends and Professionals
While caring for an older relative is a natural phase of life, it can still take a toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally. Reach out to friends with similar experiences who can offer encouragement and advice. Ask close companions if they’d be willing to help one day (or just one hour) to give you a break. It may be beneficial to find a professional counselor to help you through the process.

As you walk through this phase of life, prepare yourself for what’s ahead of you. Continue to research ideas and options as you make important decisions for your loved one. Remember, taking care of yourself can help you take better care of those you love.


Building Your Dream Home

Deciding to build a new home is such an exciting part of anyone's life. There is the thrill of a new chapter in life and the fun of sifting through countless blueprints to find the perfect house to call home. Once you decide on the perfect location and the perfect plan, it is time to find a building team that can make your dream a reality. For new home builders Jacksonville FL, there are many things to consider before starting on a new construction.

Location, location, location

Perhaps the most important step when you decide to build a home is to decide where you are actually going to build the house. So many decisions come into play when trying decide where you want to live, but it is always wise to do some basic research before settling on a particular location. Find out if the area you plan to build is in a flood or tornado zone, and make sure that the community is a safe one for you and your family. There is also the decision to live in a rural area with more space or a location closer to a town or city with convenient access to work and shopping.

Size of the Home

When deciding what size home to build, take into consideration your family size. If you are a single person, you may not need all the space that a family of five would require. If you are a young couple that is thinking about expanding the family in the future, make sure there is room to grow in the house you design. Another point to consider is how easily the blueprint you choose could be added on to in the future if you ever decide to add a new addition to part of your home.

Deciding to build a home is a great adventure full of decisions, but in the end, having your own place to call home is like no other feeling. With your dream house plan in hand, now is the time to search for the perfect team to create your perfect home.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Happy 14th Birthday to Callie! + Leah Darrow + Callie's 12th and 13th Birthday Parties

So today is my daughter's 14th birthday! She is my third child and my first girl. I'm just now posting her 12th and 13th birthday party pictures! Today is ice with a coat of snow in the Midwest so I'm not sure what we're going to do to make today special for her (she wants chocolate chip waffles, which I can do!), but we'll think of something!

Her party is tomorrow night and she's still having girls-only parties. It's going to be a huge sleepover and she's very excited! Recently she and her sister split up their single bedroom into two so she has her own space to decorate. Callie has always been fashion-conscious and knows how to decorate, so she is loving customizing her space! She is a woman of virtue!


We went to the thrift store up the road from our old house and got a necklace for each guest for her 12th birthday party.

I snuck out to the bakery for macarons (NOT macaroons), something she has always been fascinated by.

I got a bunch of different fancy flavors and a swan … is that like an ├ęclair? My girl has always wanted to go to Paris.

Here are some of her friends plus her sister Eva.

Also in February 2017 the kids went to see Leah Darrow speak, former America's Top Model contestant and amazing Catholic woman!
Happy 13th birthday to Callie in our new house with her dad!

Callie's 13th birthday party friends!

How To Choose The Best Childcare Option For Your Little One

There are different options parents can choose from for childcare such as family day care, in-home care and a child care center. No matter which choice you decide upon, as a parent you are tasked with finding a provider you can trust. If you are looking for reputable child care centers near me Tampa FL, consider letting your child attend the center found at Below are some tips for finding a good center to allow your children to attend.

Visit Centers

If you plan to put your child in a daycare center, it is important to plan a visit beforehand. Take note of how the children are interacted with. Ideally, good caregivers are participating with the kids they are watching. Also, be sure there is a good caregiver-to-kid ratio. Some states have specific laws regarding how many kids a single caregiver can watch.

Ask For Commitment

A baby will need consistent, predictable care. According to the experts, this is how a baby or smaller child will be able to get a secure attachment to those who are taking care of them. If you are considering a center, find out how long each of the current caregivers has been working there or if they have a high turnover rate.

Perform Policy Check

Before you commit to a caregiver or daycare center, be sure their philosophies on certain topics are the same as yours. Discipline is one of the more important topics that you and your child's caregiver should be on the same page about. If you don't believe in spanking your child, you won't want to leave your child with a caregiver who gives them out for bad behavior.

Solve Problems Quickly

Conflict at some point is inevitable with you and your child's caregiver. It is crucial to address any problems as soon as possible. Ignoring any issues can leave them to grow until it may not be something that is fixable any longer.

These are just some of the things that need to be looked into when searching for a daycare option for your child. Your child is the most important person in your life. They need and deserve adequate care when you are not with them.



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