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19 August 2014

My TOP 10 TIPS for Traveling Internationally with 4 Children Under 8

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Before diving right in, we have to start with this girl.  9 months old and traveled like a champ. 
Without a happy baby, our jetting here and there and everywhere would have been incredibly difficult.


In terms of gear, just know things are very expensive in Costa Rica with baby items topping the list.
HERE is my post outlining in detail what you should pack and what you can buy in Costa Rica.

We stayed at THIS house in Nuevo Arenal (That is "new Arenal" and the "old" Arenal is drowned literally under Lake Arenal).
HERE is my post all about the house/property and we highly recommend it...if you are traveling as a couple or with older kids.

Why?

17 August 2014

The Way Birds Fly

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Have you ever watched a bird take flight off a ledge?  I mean really watched them.  The motion starts deep in their legs, hidden under folds of feathers and a great push from muscles unseen catapults them UP and out into the sky.

Have you ever wondered why God gave us birds?  What was his point, aside from the great benefit of little beaks cleaning up our trash hither and thon?  At the risk of sounding cheesy, I am going to guess that one of the reasons we were given birds was to teach us how to think.  How to think freely, to soar, so to speak.

You see, the flight of a bird reminds me of good writing, and a fantastic train of thought.  It starts with a great push -- an idea.  Our brain, that unseen, but powerful organ has to push off strong and then the thoughts begin to march forward, like wings pushing up, up, up, up until we SOAR with a thought that we had never had before.  Our thoughts drift around in the wind for a bit, then start to sink back down to Earth and the freest of us resist and push our wings once again into the sky.

That is the way I love to think when I am riding in the car, or taking a shower or simply staring out a window.  That type of thinking doesn't happen at a desk or in front of a screen too often.  It is the type of thinking that fills a void in our souls and the type that is the freedom of all as long as we take it.  In fact, I think good thinking is one of those freedoms we give up in exchange for the ones we have to pay for.

So today, if I give you one thing, it is the encouragement to watch a bird for 2 minutes and think for 20.


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Because everyone deserves to build.

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When taking on sponsored posts, I really have to consider the "sell" to my kids if it involves them.  I don't often do sponsored posts that have to do with the children, but sometimes, there is a product that is simply a match.  When LEGOS introduces a new "Junior" product, the sell is an easy one.  I just opened the box and well...


Here is the situation in our house.  There are three boys 8-6-4.  They all like LEGOS, but they have the LEGO skills appropriate for their age.  What that means is that sometimes our 4-year old gets a little left behind.  I hate that, because LEGOS are one of the best toys we have at our disposal.  The boys love them for the adventure, the creative fun, that satisfying awesome CLICK when pieces connect and I love them for the creativity they foster and the QUIET, calm concentration they require.  A win-win that sometimes excludes our little one.  Enter LEGOS Junior.


They are just little enough that they almost seem like "real" LEGOS, but are easier for chubbier, smaller hands.  They don't make him feel like he is playing with "baby" blocks.  Rather, he is confident because HE can build the set alone from the instructions in HIS tub of LEGOS.


LEGO® JUNIORS is designed to give children age 4-7 a great first experience with LEGO bricks through iconic, fun and easy to build models. LEGO JUNIORS sets contain quick start elements and numbered pre-packed bags that can be built without help from Mom or Dad – which makes any small builder extra proud.



Which brings us to another under-represented group in the history of building toys.

THE GIRLS.

When I opened the box to find a giant PINK tub smiling back at me, it was as if the sun shone just a bit brighter...TA DAAAAAAA!

Some small feminist part of me wanted to cheer...


 From the boys and their pirates to the girls in their tutus, LEGOS for ALL!

If you would like to pick up a pack or two for your little junior, you might check out some of my favorites:

The Girl's Suitcase  $25

The Knight's Castle Building set (pictured above) $50

The Princess Castle!  $15

The Construction Set $20

...for LEGO aficionados, here is a fun NPR piece on why LEGOS are so expensive (not sponsored) - The Planet Money Podcast


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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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