Thursday, June 26, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Treasure Hunt: Summer Edition!

This post was originally shared over at the blog Maybe I Will as part of her summer fun series, but I wanted to make sure and share here too- a unique, service-oriented idea and freebie for something to do with your kiddos on these summer days :)

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You might remember that last fall, I made a fun treasure hunt kit that turned one of our normal treasure hunts into a lesson in kindness...I really love doing random acts of kindness with the boys- nothing uplifts in quite the same way. Need a boost? Try paying for the person behind you in the drive through and not pulling away with a smile! And I want my little men to feel that same thing- to "get it" that not everything in their world has to be rough and tough- it's cool to think of others and be kind. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Decide to DRIVE: My Distracted Driving Story

Senior Year. Those words kinda come with a certain connotation. Time to be dialed in to what's next, as well as living things up in all the best ways. I was involved in some good endeavors throughout high school. But in my senior yearbook, I'm listed as the class "Crash Test Dummy." My senior year claim to fame.

See, Homecoming Dance of my senior year, my date and I were driving home and didn't exactly make it there. I went to put lotion on my hands as we drove and it kind of exploded out the top when I did. It had gotten onto my dress and my date was trying to help me with the spill. He wasn't watching the road. We hit a canal bank, went airborne and landed on the other side.

It goes without saying that I grew up in a rural area. When I came to just after the impact, I saw a light a ways off and had the thought that it wasn't going to be too fun to walk there in my heels. But I went to get out and stand up anyways. And told my date that I thought something might be wrong with my foot. He looked and I think about passed out. I wasn't going anywhere.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Starting Summer Mountain Man Style

Hooray for summer, well under way even. We had Taron and Keaton with us for three weeks early on and I sure didn't get as many pics of our fun times as I'd have liked! My goal this summer is to be using my DSLR more than my phone for pictures- sure not that easy these days it seems :)

Possibly the biggest highlight was going to the Fort Henry Buckskinners Mountain Man Rendezvous just north of Rexburg- what a fun morning! There were lots of chances for tomahawk throwing and shooting, and lots of great booths featuring mountain man style stuff- some amazing dresses and costumes, decor and gear. Taron happily spent his birthday money on his very own tomahawk and spent the next couple of weeks here throwing it at out own log in the yard.

Everyone's taken to throwing them now. I tried just once and threw it way over the target, ripping a hole in Cooper's new tent that was set up in the yard! He even said, "Mom, I didn't think you'd be that bad!" Ha, ha- not my particular thing to be joining in on, obviously :)

The people at the rendezvous were really neat, genuine folks. This man above traded Cooper just three pieces of taffy for a neat hollowed out turtle shell he wanted. Next time Cooper will be taking better trading fodder for sure ;) But it was sure neat of him to be willing and happy to trade like that. (Don't worry, Stephen slipped him some money later. He certainly didn't ask for it, but we didn't feel right about him giving away something that he had to put work into either.)

I thought this sign at the rendezvous was a kick! Not the way we really live, but interesting for sure :) This leather tent had some beautiful items.

Now since the older boys have been gone on vacation with their Mom, the little guys have been getting into a nice summer groove. They started up the summer reading program and it's awesome that Cooper can really read pretty much anything to Ryder now.

We also did a fair bit of fishing, celebrated Taron's birthday and went to the local trampoline park. I have pics of all that goodness on instagram- just didn't want to recycle too much of the same stuff here. Now we're looking forward to hitting the water more and things finally getting really warm! :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Banana Boat Makes Mom's Bag Better

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #BBBestSummer #CollectiveBias

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Ah, I love summer... already this year I've been able to fool myself that things can be more relaxing than they really can... which makes for some crazy days of catch-up! But, so be it, I love having ALL my boys around and trying to really enjoy them. :)

No matter what we're doing, Banana Boat Sunscreen and a few tricks and treats in my simple bag help a lot with that. Kids don't really think about anything other than finding their own shoes, right? My older boys are great at helping, but it's usually with the rougher and tougher stuff, like loading fishing poles and chairs. Sooo.... I've gotta be on tap with the goodies that turn our fun times into something unique or keep everyone happy the whole time!

 I gotta say, I think we do pretty great at soaking up the summer for the most part. We hit the beach at our local lake a lot, load up the bikes for a new ride spot, shoot bows and throw tomahawks, venture into the desert with the guns, load up to camp for the week at our favorite spots, and play in the yard constantly. Water fights and obstacle courses abound. Don't get me wrong, some days are just lazy video game days... and that's part of the greatness of summer too. :) But more than anything, we spend a lot of time in the sun- ah, I love that warm feeling of the sun soaking into my skin!

So, what's in my bag that makes or breaks the fun for us all? For starters, earlier this year, I went to Walmart to add a few different Banana Boat Sunscreens to my bag. I got a Kids Free Spray SPF 50 for my littler guysMen's SPF 30 Clear Spray for my older boys and hubby (anything that helps teenagers think sunscreen isn't just for babies is awesome in my book), and finally, Protect and Hydrate SPF 50 lotion- spray sunscreen might just be the best invention ever, but sometimes you just gotta rub it on instead, plus I love the idea of it being hydrating too. :) The Men's line comes in SPF 50 and lotion style (I personally love the smell of this stuff!), and the Protect and Hydrate has a spray option too. My local Walmart had them on a large aisle display near the swimsuits at the front...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Disneyland Vacation Package Giveaway!

So, this summer I've decided to slow down and just enjoy my boys more :) But there are still several things that I've got in the works to share on the blog here and have been so excited about this one today! I'm joining several other blogs to offer another sweet DISNEYLAND VACATION! 

Disneyland is kinda the place that comes to mind at the top of the list when any family thinks about where to go on vacation it seems, eh? It's just one of those places that you kinda want to cross off your life list no matter what. And, wow, to be able to win it instead of have to save up forever- I love the idea of being part of that prize for someone :)

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

11 Make-You-Smile Lessons in Motherhood from the One and Only... Mrs. Incredible

Source: TIME 

I've been wanting to write this post for a long while now. When Rachel from R&R Workshop asked if I'd be part of her fun series, A Month of Disney, I knew just what I'd be posting...

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Fun Lessons in Motherhood and Wifery from the One and Only Helen Parr/ Elastigirl!

You get teared up sometimes during your kids' cartoons, right? I know I'm goofy, but I sure do! And some of them are kinda dumb, which means I simply didn't get enough sleep the night before- ha!

But there are quite a few scenes from my favorite Disney Pixar movie, The Incredibles, that get me choked up or thoughtful for good reason... all of them involving the awesome lady that holds the family together :) We're already super excited for Incredibles 2 next summer!

There could be lots more than I've written here even, but for today I've chosen 11 tips and scenes worth thinking about...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cooper's 7th Birthday Shenanigans

This last weekend we celebrated as Cooper turned seven! We had a busy, fun Mountain Man style party right here at home :)

Cooper's friends from school, church and around the neighborhood, along with other friends and family, were here to support him- he was beaming the whole time! The kids shot bows and threw knives, hit a bison pinata, and were given little suede drawstring bags I had made, along with a few glass beads that they could trade around. Of course I got two pictures the whole time... I've seriously gotten horrible that way! It was a really great night though- we're blessed with wonderful, thoughtful people in our lives that make both simple times and big events better :)

Cooper and I the morning after his actual birthday...

and the Memorial weekend before below. Just him and I drove briefly through the 1,000 flags field here in town one night. I was so impressed with him as we were there- he was really respectful and asking questions, soaking it all in. 

Cooper is silly and goofy, excited and busy, smart and curious. He's often moving on to something new, soaking it deeply in and then looking for the next thing. He reads well and enjoys reading. He loves his bike, organizing his bedroom desk, wearing pants only when he absolutely has too, spending alone time with his Dad, and playing over at the neighbors, to name just a few. More than anything he loved mountain men and learning about frontier times. When he gets something in his head, he's always been "all in" on it and right now that is where his heart really is :)

He's not always patient or calm, he gets frustrated both with himself and with situations, and it boils him over sometimes. He doesn't seem to get it when enough is enough and thinks over-the-top silliness is the best thing ever. But he is loving and thoughtful, kind and desirous toward good. His spirit and happiness just shine through him. We love you, Cooper! :)

In other Buffat family news, too... we visited my Grandpa Huffaker's grave on Memorial Day with all of my siblings and my Grandma. I think this is the first time the boys have been here and it was just a nice time. We went to a park after and just enjoyed each other. I couldn't help thinking that it's the moments of our everyday lives, our decisions and our heartfelt efforts, that Grandpa is most present in our lives, more than here in the cemetery, he's just with us. :)

Taron and Keaton are with us again now for longer bit of time this summer! They make our life better for sure and I just want to soak up every bit of time they're here. The little boys come to life more fully with them around and I seem to operate at a higher energy level too. They complete us :)



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