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Category: Family, Fun & Holidays

Smithsonian Museum Day | Free admission to museums nationwide on September 21, 2019

If you love museums, then be sure you don’t miss Smithsonian Museum Day for some frugal family fun!

Looking for more frugal fun? Check out our latest posts about family fun events near you!

Smithsonian Museum Day

Smithsonian magazine is having their 14th annual Museum Day on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Museums across the nation will adopt the policy of the Smithsonian, opening their doors to visitors for free.

You can go here to print your free admission tickets and see a list of participating museums.

Be sure to grab your tickets, because each Museum Day ticket provides FREE admission for two people.

Our Visit to Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Have you checked out Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery in Ozark, MO? In this post, I share about our recent trip there, the deals I found, and my honest thoughts on the store.

Deals at Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

 

Visiting Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Our family met up with all of my extended family this past week in Lampe, MO for our annual week at the lake trip. On our way home, we stopped at Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark, MO for lunch.

I had mentioned this on Instagram stories and one of my followers messaged me and said we had to check out this discount store that was close to Lambert’s called Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery.

(Note: they don’t seem to have an actual website that I could find. They do have a very regularly-updated Facebook Page.)

It just so happened, that we were at the gas station right down the road when I read the message and it just so happened that we had some wiggle room in our day. So I asked Jesse if we could run into the store to check it out.

I Was So Impressed With the Deals!

Honestly, because of all of the great deals I often find at my local stores, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to grocery deals. And when we first walked in and I looked at some of the prices, I figured that this might have a few good deals but probably most of the prices weren’t anything to get too excited about.

But then I kept looking and I started getting more and more excited. I should have known one of my followers wouldn’t steer me wrong!

I picked up a few boxes of $0.49 cookies and crackers and then a few more. Pretty soon, when I started dropping things because my arms were full, Jesse looked at me and said, “Um, I think you need to get a shopping basket.”

That was the point when I knew that I wasn’t going to make it out of this store with “just a few purchases” as I had initially planned on. I was quickly falling in love with Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery.

There were SO many, many good deals! I was especially impressed with the prices on crackers and cookies. They had boxes and boxes and boxes of name brands that were $0.49 to $0.99!

Also, I discovered that if you kept looking, there were many that were marked down to half price!

The Best Deals Were on Snack Items

Some of the prices were more than what I’d pay at my grocery stores when pairing coupons and sales. However, most of the snack prices were less expensive than I can ever find.

For instance, Jesse was thrilled to find Sunflower Seeds for $0.49/bag!

All of the protein bars — including RXbars — were $0.50 each!!

They even had this medicine area with $0.49 items!

I found a number of organic items at great prices, too!

And the candy prices were so good. My kids just couldn’t believe it!

So much for buying just a few things!

How Much I Spent at Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Jesse laughed as he saw me walking towards him with my precariously balanced basket. I couldn’t fit one more item in so I knew it was time to call it quits. (We didn’t have a lot of extra space in the car, otherwise I probably would have purchased 2-3 times as much!)

Guess how much we paid for this entire basket full of stuff? $14!!!

Basically, I felt like we were shopping at Dollar Tree! That said, since so many of the items were just $0.49 each, it felt even better than Dollar Tree!

If you are ever in or near Ozark, MO, I highly recommend checking out Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery!

Free Home Depot Kids Workshop on September 7, 2019

If your family loves the FREE Home Depot Kids Workshops, registration for the September workshop is officially open! See below for this month’s fun project!

Psst! Planning to eat out for lunch afterwards? Be sure to check out our Master List of Kids Eat Free Restaurant Deals!

free home depot kids workshop project

Home Depot is hosting another free Kids Workshop on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. This month’s project is to build a build a scarecrow planter.

Here are the details:

  • Join our hands-on workshop and you and your child can build a build a scarecrow planter.
  • All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
  • Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.

Register for this free workshop at your local Home Depot store here.

Looking for more educational fun for the kiddos? Check out our most recent Educational Deals & Freebies!

How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

Want to stop yelling at your kids? In this post, I share what has helped me to stop yelling at my kids and practical ways to love more and yell less.

How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

I thought I was a patient person… then I had kids.

I said I’d never yell at my kids… and then I had kids.

I pictured myself as a sweet, loving, always-cheerful mom… then I had kids.

Motherhood has stretched me and humbled me. It’s brought out the best in me and the worst in me.

About five years ago, I found myself snapping at my kids more and more frequently, which only served to frustrate me. The more I snapped at my kids, the more frustrated I was at myself. And the more frustrated I was at myself, the more I’d snap at my kids.

It was a vicious cycle and I felt trapped.

One night, I was up late thinking of the kind of mom I’d been and feeling so ashamed of my behavior and the example I was setting before my kids. I started praying and asking God to help me to love my children, to help me have patience with them, and to stop getting so angry with them.

My 4-Week Commitment

As I was praying, an idea birthed in my head. I decided to make a commitment to my husband for the next 4 weeks.

I woke Jesse up to tell him my commitment (I have such a gracious husband — poor guy!). It was this: every time I was tempted to lash out at a child I would, instead, find a very practical way to love that child.

It was a BIG commitment, but he agreed that he thought I could do it and said he was willing to hold me accountable. I went to bed resolving that, by God’s grace, I was going to change the tone in our home.

It Was SO Hard

The first day was very, very hard. One child in particular was pushing all of my buttons and seeming to make a game of trying to see how much they could annoy me.

Well, the first few hours on that first day of my 4-week commitment, this child tried all their usual tactics. I didn’t get frustrated. I didn’t yell. I didn’t even raise my voice.

Oh, it was very hard. But I’m a stubborn person and I was determined to stick with my commitment to my husband.

Instead, of lashing out, I asked this child to come snuggle next to me. I poured love, love, and more love.

The Change Was Amazing!

Within a few hours, this child’s attitude had drastically changed. They were calm, happy, and asking what they could do to help me. I could not believe it!

And this only continued for the next few days. Until finally, I felt like I almost had a completely different child living in my home. It was amazing!

I decided my 4-week experiment was a smashing success. And I decided to extend it for another 40 years. Or something like that. 🙂

Five Years Later

I wrote most of the above five years ago and I wanted to give an update for those who may have read my original post on this. I can safely say that this one change in me has changed the tone in our whole home.

My children are more helpful and respectful. I am so much happier. Jesse is happier because we’re happier. And our home is much, much calmer.

All because I’m choosing to love instead of lash out.

Lean in and Love

Now, let me be honest: I haven’t always done it perfectly and I occasionally revert back to my old ways of getting frustrated.

But when I start to feel the frustration and anger rising, I remember my mantra, “Lean in and love.”

When I want to lash out, lean in and love.

When I want to express my frustration, lean in and love.

When that child is getting on my every last nerve, lean in and love.

Practical Ways to Love More Instead of Lashing Out

1. Invite your child to sit with you.

I’ve noticed that when my children are frustrated and acting out, it’s often because they are craving attention and affection.

Inviting a child to come sit next to me when they are getting on my every last nerve can be so hard for me to do. In fact, I usually want them to be as far away from me as possible. But distance is only going to make matters worse.

Lovingly and gently asking my child to come sit next to me and be with me helps to calm both of us. It helps me to communicate love for the child (even if I don’t feel all that loving at the time) and it causes the child to feel special and cared for.

Moms, we get so busy with life. The list is never ending. But the truth is: Our kids don't need our productivity. They need our presence.

2. Stop, look, and listen.

Moms, we can get so busy with life. We have places to go, things to do, messes to clean up, meals to fix… the list is never ending.

Our kids don’t need our productivity. They need our presence.

If a child is misbehaving, don’t shush them just so you can get back to what you were doing. Stop, look into their eyes, and gently ask them, “Is everything okay?” Or, “What’s wrong?” Really mean it. And then really listen to their answer.

Taking time to do this — even in the middle of a very busy day — has made a world of difference in our home.

9 Ways to Yell Less & Love More

3. Pray With Your Child

When Silas is struggling, I’ll often ask him if I can pray for him. He always says yes and then calms down while I pray with him asking God to help him be calm, obey, love his sisters, or whatever it is that he’s struggling with.

Usually, by the end of my prayer, he’s calmed down and in a much better mood. I think, for him, my willingness to take time to pray with him helps him to feel loved. It also communicates to him that we need God’s help in our everyday life — especially when we’re struggling.

Diana from My Humble Kitchen once shared me with that when she’s struggling to respond with kindness and gentleness to her children, she’ll ask them to gather around and pray for her. She said that it’s basically impossible to respond in anger after your children have gathered around you and prayed for you! I definitely plan to try this soon!

99 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

4. Go Outside & Take a Walk Together

If you feel like things are about to explode inside the walls of your house, call everyone together and tell them you’re taking a walk in 5 minutes. (Or, make it a family bike ride if you have older children.)

Exercise and fresh air can do wonders when things are uptight! Plus, a fresh change of scenery can provide a better setting for talking through issues in a calmer manner.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way, breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and notice the beauty around you. This will boost your spirits for the tasks that lay ahead of you the rest of the day!

9 Ways to Yell Less & Love More

5. Share Three Things You’re Thankful For

As I often say, “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” But sometimes we can get bogged down by all the problems, stresses, and struggles that we forget to count our blessings.

In those moments when you want to yell and be frustrated with your kids, challenge yourself to stop, breathe, and call your children together and each share three things you’re thankful for. This might seem really difficult at first if everyone is at odds with everyone else, but force yourself to do this and it will most likely change the tone in your home.

Plus, it might help you step back and gain some perspective: in light of all you have to be grateful for, the small things that someone is doing to irritate you won’t seem so upsetting.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

 6. Do Something Fun

If you have young children, this can be especially helpful to do on a hard day. When things feel like they are falling apart, set aside your to-do list and plans for the afternoon or evening and have a tea party, a family game night, a family movie night, or go do something fun as a family.

Sit down, smile, and just enjoy your children. Take time to laugh together, read a story (or tell stories!), and maybe also talk to them about how they are feeling about life, things they are struggling with, or even some encouragement for them in some areas they need to improve in.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

7. Put Yourself In Your Child’s Shoes

It’s so easy for us to forget that our kids are often carrying heavy burdens, too. Sometimes, we can be so focused on our world and what we’re carrying that we lose sight of what they might be sad about or stressed about or upset about.

The other day, one of our kids was getting really irritated at everyone. I realized that something was bothering them so I asked them to go have a few minutes of quiet. I reassured them that they were not in trouble but that I thought something was upsetting them and I wanted to give them time to think about what they might be feeling upset about.

I told them I would come back in five minutes and they could tell me what they were feeling. When I did, they poured out all sorts of frustrations to me while I just listened.

This simple exercise seemed to make a world of difference AND allowed me to really have a better understanding of what this child was feeling and carrying.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

8. Play With Your Children

When was the last time you played with your kids?

I mean, really got down on the floor and engaged in their world or did something that your older kids think is fun? While I don’t think we need to entertain our kids 24/7, I think it’s important to regularly take time to spend time with our kids by doing things with them that they love to do.

If you’re having a bad day, here’s an antidote: Think of what your children love to do (playing outside, playing Legos, playing games, playing dress-up, hanging out, watching a movie, playing sports, playing video games,  etc.) and tell them you want to hang out with them for 30 minutes or an hour (or however much time you have).

Then just have fun together and give it your all for those 30 minutes. I bet you end up having as much fun as they will… and you’ll probably forget all about the bad day you were having!

Moms: Take a Time Out

9. Take Mommy Time Out

Moms: Taking time to replenish your supply is not selfish; it’s actually enabling you to be a better wife and mom. If you’re just pouring and pouring and pouring into your family and never taking time to replenish your supply, you’re going to feel burned out, exhausted… and this will often cause you to feel more irritable and frustrated.

What energizes you? What refills your tank? Carve out time in your schedule to make this a priority each week. Get a babysitter, trade baby-sitting with a friend, have dad watch the kids on the weekend or one evening a week… whatever it takes to make Mommy Time happen.

Making time for YOU — to breathe, to refuel, to feel energized again — will make you a calmer, happier mom. And a calmer, happier mom is one who is going yell less and love more.

What practical ideas would you add to my list to help you to yell less and love more? I’d love to hear!


JCPenney Kids Zone Event: Make a Free Nerf Board on August 10, 2019!

Looking for some frugal fun? Check out this upcoming FREE JCPenney Kids Zone Event!

JCPenney Kids Zone Nerf Event

Stop by your local JCPenney store on August 10, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. where your kids can make a cool Nerf Target Board for free! All materials will be provided by your store.

Plus, you’ll also receive a 10% off in-store coupon valid August 10th only.

{Plus, you can check here to see if there are any other JCPenney coupons available!}

Go here for more frugal fun ideas!

My Completely Honest KiwiCo Review (plus get 40% off your first box!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Interested in KiwiCo reviews — or maybe specifically a Kiwi Crate review (since that’s the most popular box)? If you’re interested in trying a KiwiCo box for your kids, check out my completely honest thoughts below! And be sure to scroll to the bottom to get a promo code for 40% off your first box!

{And if you’re looking for more honest reviews, you might be interested in my Montessori by Mom review and JellyTelly review. You can also check out my top 10 recommended subscription boxes for kids and my top 13 recommended magazine subscriptions for kids.}

Completely Honest KiwiCo Review

What is KiwiCo (formerly Kiwi Crate)?

If you’re looking for some really unique ways to keep your kids entertained, I highly recommend KiwiCo!

In case you’ve never heard of KiwiCo, it used to be called Kiwi Crate but after expanding and adding on so many different types of boxes, they rebranded to be called KiwiCo.

KiwiCo is a monthly subscription service that offers kid’s educational projects, crafts, and activities on different themes. You can get a subscription for as low as $16.95 per month — including shipping. Each box includes all the materials to make a fun hands-on project (or 2-3 simpler projects, depending on the box!).

KiwiCo subscription boxes delivered

What age range is it for?

The original Kiwi Crate was designed for kids ages 5-8, but they’ve now added on so many different options!

KiwiCo offers monthly crate subscriptions for various ages:

  • Tadpole Crate for ages 0-3 years (Explore & Discover)
  • Koala Crate for ages 3-4 (Play & Learn)
  • Kiwi Crate for ages 5-8 (Science, Art, & More)
  • Atlas Crate for ages 6-11 (Geography & Culture)
  • Doodle Crate for ages 9-16+ (Art & Design)
  • Tinker Crate for ages 9-16+ (Science & Engineering)
  • Eureka Crate for ages 14-104 (Engineering & Design)

The two most popular crates (at least in our house!) seem to be Kiwi Crate and Tinker Crate, but I love that they have choices for different ages and preferences!

Kiwi Crate and Tinker Crate Boxes

My Honest KiwiCo Review

If you’re looking for completely honest Kiwi Crate reviews, I’m here to tell you that my kids have been using KiwiCo for years and absolutely LOVE it. They received it as a gift one year and loved it so much that they continued requesting it as a gift each year after that!

I have fond memories of them running to the mailbox in excitement and anticipation to see what would be in this month’s Kiwi Crate box.

I still remember how much Silas loved the very first Kiwi Crate box we received in the mail! He made a glow worm from a sock and named it “Billy Butler” after one of his favorite Royal’s baseball players.

Kiwi Crate Glow Wormworking on a Kiwi Crate activity

Since we’re a family that has never had a lot of toys, the KiwiCo boxes have been a great fit for us. It’s really nice that they’re mostly consumable and don’t contribute to toy clutter around the house.

I also really love how hands-on, educational, unique, and entertaining they are. And they always have really great instructions for kids (and parents) to follow.

Even as they’ve gotten older, they still really enjoy getting the boxes in the mail. (And I love that KiwiCo has now added on some really cool boxes for older kids!)

Working on KiwiCo Projects

In fact, we recently received a Kiwi Crate and Tinker Crate in the mail and ended up taking it with us on our family vacation in Utah.

Our nieces and nephews loved working on the projects together and all gave it a thumbs up! (How’s that for an honest Kiwi Crate review? 😉) It was so much fun and such a great way for them to all do a hands-on activity together!

KiwiCo STEM Projects
Tinker Crate Mechanical Bird

How much does Kiwi Crate cost?

The one negative thing I have to say about KiwiCo is the cost. (But be sure to scroll down for a coupon code to save on your first box!)

While my kids have absolutely loved their Kiwi Crate boxes, we’ve always received them as gifts from grandparents. And I do think that they’re a little bit on the expensive side — especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Most of the boxes cost $19.95 per month and you can get them for as low as $16.95 per month if you buy an entire annual subscription at once.

{The Eureka box costs even more at $29.95 per month or $24.95 per month if you purchase an annual subscription.}

This is why I think a KiwiCo subscription is a GREAT idea for grandparents as birthday or Christmas gifts! And you can purchase different lengths of subscriptions, depending on your budget — one month, three months, six months, or an entire year.

KiwiCo Boxes

Save 40% off your first KiwiCo box!

If this honest KiwiCo review made you interested to try it, I’ve got a great deal for you!

You can get 40% off your first box as a MoneySavingMom.com reader when you shop through this link.

That makes your first box just $11.97 shipped. And there’s no obligation to continue with your subscription after your first box. Just log in to your account and cancel your subscription before it renews at the regular price.

This is a great way to try KiwiCo at a discounted price and see if your kids like it!

Have you tried Kiwi Crate before? If so, what was your experience?

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