Lessons I’m Learning | April Edition

Lessons I’m Learning | April Edition

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity

Wow, where to start?  At the end of every month is a good time to reflect which is why I am joining up with Emily Freeman from chatting at the sky.  Here are just as few of the {random} things I have learned this past month, in no particular order:



1.  When shopping, if you already have something in your closet that you like more then don’t buy it.  This is simple yet so true, right? I’m adapting this (which will make my financial planner hubby happy).

2.  I should have never bought Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s. It’s as good as everyone said it was, darn it.

3.  With a family of five I should be buying double the groceries when at the store.  I’ve always been a slow learner.


Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity


4.  Fitted tops are more flattering than over-sized blouses.   A fact that I may waive my right to accept  after three children.

5.  After baby #3, maybe those last 5 pounds aren’t ever coming off.  As in, ever.

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity


6.  Arteries carry your blood from your heart to various parts of your body; veins bring the blood back to the heart (This works great, until one gets lazy).  Did you know this?

7.  My 8 year old comes up with the best one liners.  Mr. Robinson jokingly asked why Family-So-And-So never invited us to their beach house.  Before I could say anything, Kenley responded with, “Because we have to many kids.  Simply put.”  Amen.

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity

8.  My favorite quote of the month, “To surrender a dream is to leave life as it was, not as it could be” from a Today Show segment on a puppy rescuer who drives 4200 miles twice a month.  You can read the full story here.

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity

9.  With a pre-teenager, an inquisitive 8 year old and a toddler who still needs a lot of my attention, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Raynes is getting, do I dare say, a bit easier.  Please, Lord, let is continue this way.

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity

10.  The meaning of Maundy Thursday. I’ve known that is comes before Good Friday, which comes before Easter Sunday.  But  I “get it” now- the depth of the meaning of that momentous day.

Lessons I'm Learning | April Edition by Grateful Simplicity

Because it’s never too late to learn.


What to do with little boys?

What to do with little boys?  I’ve asked this question many times over the past two years.  A few things I have figured out:

1. Feed them when they’re hungry

What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity


What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity

Will someone tell his Mom to give the kid a hair cut?


What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity

I thought about editing the Oreo around his mouth but decided that that would be editing who he is… all boy.

2. Take them outside

What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity


What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity


What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity



3. Give them a task.

What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity




What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity





What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity

Why yes, that is a Pooper Scooper (two birds, one stone– or in this case one dog, nevermind…).


4. Let them play with other little boys.

what to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity



… Just maybe not after they’ve had the funk.  Sorry, Downing!


What to do with little boys | Grateful Simplicity


Maybe by the time Raynes is 18 I’ll have this what to do with a little boys thing figured out!

Weekend Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity:  What a week. After the stomach flu and minor surgery Raynes has made a full recovery and is back to his wild ways.

Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity

Mr. Robinson was out-of-town last night, and after 2 years Kenley has decided she was ready to spend the night out again.  That left me with my oldest and youngest (and the perfect opportunity for one on one time with Britton). She’s growing up so fast having moved up to riding in the front seat and 5th grade graduation just weeks away.  We watched Gravity, made popcorn, and ate starburst last night just the two of us. What a treat – no pun intended.  Weekend Simplicity in its purest form.

Weekend Links:

By now you’ve probably figured out I’m a super nerd so this ‘Napkin Folding Tutorial’ by Between Naps on the Porch should come as no surprise.  Seriously, it’s too cool not to share. There’s even a tutorial on folding a Christmas tree shaped napkin.  My life is now complete.

napkin folding tutorial

And speaking of girls I am in love with this pink playroom by Dear Lillie.



I’m reading The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin primarily because Britton came home with this adult fiction book from her school book fair (I know, why are they selling adult books in an elementary school book fair?).  Before she can read it I want to ensure it’s suitable for her.  I’m enjoying it so far and learning that I might just like historical fiction.

It’s been a while since I read any type of parenting book but I started a faith-based one on raising tween girls last night and I was highlighting passages left and right.  More on that later as it deserves a post in and of itself!

Lastly, if you are in the area my Mom will be at a book signing at The Bookshelf in Thomasville from 2:00 – 4:00 today.


Here’s to a simple weekend!

Just living the dream

One of my favorite lines is “living the dream.”

Particular when this response comes in the midst of absolute chaos and/or monotony.

Yesterday Raynes woke up from his nap covered in vomit.  I know this because I hugged him.

After taking apart his crib and starting a load of laundry I buckled all the kids in the car so we could get Coke icees from the gas station.  Because all smart parents know that a gas station food is just the thing to give a child with an upset stomach.

Raynes threw up all over himself before I could even pull out of the Circle K.  Good bye car seat.

Once we got home I wasn’t sure what to give him. My girls never really had the stomach bug as toddlers and the pediatricians office was already closed.  Once again, I had a brilliant idea:  I’ll give him a tall glass of  ice-cold apple juice.  That idea came back to bite me, or rather splash me.

Luckily, I called my friend Shea who told me what all “experienced Moms” already knew which is to give a puking child nothing for 30 minutes, then start with 1 tsp water every 20 minutes. After one hour increase water intake to 2 ounces, etc.

By this point I was mopping the kitchen floor, bathing Raynes for a third time with 4 loads of dirty laundry waiting in line.  I thought the mishap on our pale yellow couch was bad but catching his vomit with my bare hands might have been my all time low yesterday.

Luckily, my 28 pound 2-year-old was back to him whiny happy self today.  This is a good thing, especially since he is having minor surgery first thing Thursday morning.

Just living the dream

Waterlogue app with “It’s technical” effect

Just living the dream.  I’m just living the dream.

Are we even speaking the same language?

Admittedly, I am not a “huge reader.”  Okay, so I read a little but there’s a good bit of reality television and web surfing that I admittedly waste time on.  Over the years I’ve become choosy about the books I spend time reading- probably because I feel there’s no time to read.  One of the better (and quick) books is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I’m often surprised by how many people haven’t heard of this book. Second to the bible, I can’t think of any other book that has helped shape our marriage more.

I’ll tell you a little secret too:  You can actually jump to the back of the book to take the survey.  Cut to the chase, that’s my motto.  (Of course, then you will want to start from the beginning). The results basically describe how you perceive love (your love language).  In my case, I found out that nothing tells me you love me more than taking out the garbage.  Wipe the kitchen cabinets and I’m yours forever.  Acts of service.

Mr. Robinson, on the other hand, likes his ‘cupcakes’ which are words of affirmation. No matter how many shirts I iron, meals I prepare, or dirty clothes I pick up what he really needs from me is a “thank you” or  “I am proud of you.”  Suffice it to say having this invaluable information has probably helped us avoid more than 1 civil war over the years.  The facts are so helpful that I think all engaged couples should save themselves some time and read it before the wedding.  Otherwise they will likely find themselves thinking, ‘are we even speaking the same language?’

Today is our 13 year wedding anniversary and we’ve had lots of bickering over the years but one fight in particular sticks out.  We often refer to it as “remember when we had our first big fight” argument.

We were both working for next-to-nothing at our just-out-of-college jobs when Mr. Robinson came across an Ann Taylor receipt I left on the kitchen counter.  He couldn’t believe I had spent whatever-the-amount-was on whatever-the-clothes-were and went on, and on, and on.  He yelled and me. I yelled at him.  At some point the exchange settled down and I called my mom (to this day, I insist it wasn’t to tattle on my new husband) who didn’t answer.  Unfortunately, not only did I forget to hang up the phone but we went back to yelling again about whatever-the-amount-was for whatever-the-clothes-were.  And the entire, heated quarrel had been recorded on Mom’s answering machine.  The same mother that hadn’t yet finished paying for the large wedding just months earlier.


 Robinson Kuersteiner Wedding 4/21/01

We look back now and laugh about that first big fight (well, he may not laugh quite as hard that his mother-in-law heard the falling out).  The story really has nothing to do with the 5 Love Languages book, unless the book had tips on sneaking new clothes from your new husband. Then the story would have tied together nicely.

Happy Anniversary Mr. R.  I  am proud of you.