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A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

Well, it is finally here, Kansas City! 2017 has shown up at our doorstep. We here at iFamilyKC are so excited for a new year and grateful for all of you that continue to support us year after year. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, reflects on the challenges that 2016 brought and the goals she and her family have going forward. Check it out (and Happy New Year!)

A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

 

A New Year is here and I, for one, am very ready for the calendar to change. Much like my type A brain relishes a clean new notebook, an empty drawer or an organized email inbox, a New Year feels like a clean slate. I like to empty my mind and heart of old sorrows and recalibrate.

2016 was a year of immense change for me, and while most of those changes have been for the better- stress is stress. My oldest started Kindergarten, we moved in with my sister’s family while we were between houses, my husband switched jobs, I began working again, we got a new cat, a new fish, two chickens and a tractor! Our new home is incredibly unique and brings all sorts of challenges. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all! Which is exactly why I am happy to let go of the anxiety change can bring and adjust to the way things are now.

2017, for me, is going to be about living in my new normal. Renovating our house, building up a farm and seeing my youngest off to Kindergarten are all on my new agenda. Family time is going to be my biggest priority. With everything going on last year, my children were often handed iPads or crayons and told to entertain themselves while my husband and I talked and planned and worked. This year I want us to be working on things together. Part of the reason we wanted to get some land was to give our daughters the opportunity to explore and play and appreciate nature. All of us seem so much happier when we spend more time outdoors. So, while plenty of time will be spent riding bikes and having picnics, some of the time will also be spent building chicken coops and planting gardens as a family.

Along a similar vein, I asked my kids and husband if this year we could make a family resolution. We all agreed to spend less on ‘things’ and more on ‘experiences.’ This means everyone is taking a break from buying clothes unless necessary (I’ll miss you Madewell!) and toys (only one toy per kid for birthdays and holidays). The money we save can be put towards family outings and hopefully a vacation too! I eyeballed the children while giving my cutting back speech, but I actually think it will be the toughest for me. My husband had a pretty sweet holiday haul so he seems happy. Hopefully this will help make family time a bit easier and more fun.

All in all, I am pretty darn excited about 2017! I hope you all feel the same. Happy New Year!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

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10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

Good Morning, Kansas City!! The rumor’s are true, Thanksgiving is ONE week away. As you set out to buy your dinner ingredients, and tie up any last minute plans, you may be thinking of what you can actually do on the actual day of Thanksgiving. Well, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has 10 super easy things you can do on Thanksgiving Day. Check it out!

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

Now that we have Halloween behind us, who’s ready for the big turkey day? Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Day is only 2 weeks away! And the weather is finally feeling a bit more like November. Are you looking for ideas for you and your family to do on Thanksgiving? Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to kickoff the holiday season!

WATCH

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving morning usually begins in my house with the parade playing in the background while we prepare our dishes, the kids run around like crazies and while we get ourselves all fancied up for dinner.

 

PLAY

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…football outside with family or turn on a football game on TV. I have great memories of past Thanksgivings where all the men in my family would gather around the TV, nearly in that “turkey coma”, to watch the game.

 

EAT

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

It wouldn’t be the start of the holiday season unless we all sat around stuffing ourselves after we stuffed the turkey. Don’t feel like cooking? Dine at one of the many fabulous restaurants in KC!

 

CREATE

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

Thanksgiving crafts with your little turkeys! There are tons of ideas via Pinterest or Facebook. One easy, fun idea that younger kids love is the turkey handprint.  Get creative with construction paper, newspaper, leaves, googly eyes, stickers, feathers, paint, glitter, markers and popsicle sticks.

 

TALK

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…to your family. We love to sit around and discuss all kinds of things at our table. It’s a great time to catch up with family you haven’t seen in awhile! If you are missing some people at your table this holiday, you could set up a video chat with them!

 

LOOK

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…at the advertisements for Black Friday! My mother and sister-in-laws love to get the newspaper out after dinner and peruse the ads! I have always been super pumped about finding great deals on Christmas gifts, especially if I find something already on my list!

 

REFLECT

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…on the best moments of the year.       Last Thanksgiving, after we said the blessing, we all went around and said something we were personally thankful for. My husband has a gigantic family, so it was really neat to hear all the wonderful things everyone was thankful for!

 

VOLUNTEER

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…your time to a local charity or soup kitchen. A few years ago, I volunteered on my birthday at Harvesters and it was an incredibly rewarding experience!

 

DONATE

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…your leftover food to a local charity in need. It seems like we always have SO MUCH FOOD during the holidays. Don’t let that food go to waste! Check out these websites for ways to donate your leftovers. http://www.feedingamerica.org/

http://www.dellalamb.org/OperationThanksGiving.html

http://www.foodpantries.org/ci/mo-kansas_city

https://www.harvesters.org/

 

BEGIN

 

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

 

…your holiday season with a trip to the Country Club Plaza to see them flip the switch on 280,000 lights! This tradition is extremely special to myself and my family! I can only hope my children will continue the tradition with their own children and have such special memories as I do!

 

What does your family do on Thanksgiving Day? Let us know and if there are any special events around KC you’d like to mention, be sure to drop us a line in the comments!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdErinV2

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How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

Hello, Kansas City! Temperatures have been excruciating lately, but summer fun is still around. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Stephanie created a bucket list at the beginning of the summer of things she’d like to experience with her family. Sit back, cool down, and check out Stephanie’s adventure to the splash park with the kiddos.

How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

At the beginning of summer, I made a list of about 20 things I wanted to do with the kids. Every couple days, I try to complete one of the items on my list. This summer, we’ve been to the library a few times, bowling, played at the park, and yesterday, we finally ventured to the splash park in Independence!

 

How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

 

After visiting the library to drop off some library books, we decided to take the kids to cool down at McCoy Park. While this park has the typical swing sets, jungle gym-type stuff–they also have an area with sprinklers and buckets that fill with water and pour down on you. The kids were having such a good time! I definitely recommend taking your kids. The best thing about this splash park is it has something for the really young kids as well as the older kids.

 

How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

 

After playing at the splash park, we really worked up an appetite. As usual, we all were craving something different. Chinese, pizza, fried chicken. So, we had to compromise. We decided on Pizza Ranch which has really yummy pizza and amazing friend chicken! Everything but Chinese, so we had to make a promise to do Chinese the next time. 

 

How to Check Off a Fun Family Summer Bucket List

 

After all of our running around, the kids were exhausted. We came home, got the kiddos cleaned up and in bed. After everyone was in bed, my husband and I decided to have a movie night, and talk about plans for the remainder of the week.  

 

From iFamily to Yours,
Stephanie_iFamilyKC_MomSquad

 


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Quality Time With Your Kids — Plan an Easy Movie Night Out!

Quality time spent with family is one of the reasons iFamilyKC is around. As your family expands, it can be difficult to balance daily life and offer individual attention to each of your family members. One of our Mom Squad Ambassadors, Stephanie — a mom to four little ones — saw the effects firsthand of investing time with her kiddos individually by taking him out to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Grab some popcorn and take a look…

Quality Time with Your Kids – Plan an Easy Movie Night Out

 Quality Time with Your Kids - Plan an Easy Movie Night Out // iFamilyKC Blog
As a mom of 4 young kids, it is often times hard to spend quality time with just one kid at a time on top of all my other obligations. One day last week, I got really lucky and was able to take my oldest son to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie while my parents watched the other kiddos.
 
My oldest was in Kindergarten this year and often times got “left out” of fun stuff the rest of the family would do throughout the week. I never realized how much “fun” going to the grocery store or the dollar store was for him until his sisters would rub it in his face that they got to do something “fun” and he didn’t (because he was at school.)
 
When I heard that the new TMNT movie was coming out, I knew he would be super excited and that it was something I wanted to do with him. I reached out to my son’s best friend from school and his mom and we made it a mother/son double date – the boys had a blast!
 
It was nice to see my son so happy just by doing something so little… a movie with a friend. It’s been a few days and he still keeps talking about the movie and asks when we get to go back and see it again.
 
Moral of the story: make time for each kid individually… do something they want to do… and enjoy the time you have together!
From iFamily to Yours,
Stephanie_iFamilyKC_MomSquad