All About My Dad (Free Father’s Day Printable)

Looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift? Why not interview your child about their dad? (Or, if they are old enough, have them fill it out all by themselves.) These are *so* much fun. My second grader did something similar at school for Mother’s Day, and I couldn’t stop laughing. His answers were hysterical. (For example, I “like” pizza, and I “only eat” ice cream. No wonder I’m so heavy! 😉

I saw a pin on pinterest to something similar, but it was a dead link. No free printable to be found. (And the date on the image was from 2011, so I would have had to fix it anyway.)

So, I decided to make up my own printable and share it with my lovely readers. And I didn’t put a year on it, just a space to put your child’s age, so you can do this year after year and see how much their answers change.

To get your free printable, just click on the image below and you’ll be taken to the pdf file. Just print out however many copies you need and start asking your kids to fill them out. (Or help the younger ones.) And don’t worry – the copyright mark won’t be anywhere on the printable. I want these to be a genuine keepsake their Dad holds on to forever.

Father's Day Free Printable

I am planning on having each of my kids (that are old enough) fill one out. Then, each year we will do it again. Every copy will be stored in a very special book that hubby can go back to and look at any time he needs a pick me up.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Idea taken from this pin, but I couldn’t find a printable on the site.

Wordless Wednesday: We Survived Birthday Season

This really won’t be very wordless… I haven’t quite figured out how to keep my mouth shut. 😉

Our first 5 monkeys have their birthdays in July, August, September, and October. Those 4 crazy months are called “Birthday Season” in the Vinez house. But, we just recently celebrated Parker’s birthday… officially ending Birthday Season. Well, until February when Carly arrives and March when Gage turns two and April when hubby has his birthday. Whew. We really are trying to fill up an entire calendar. At least we get the holiday season off and a couple of months after hubby’s birthday.

Since all the kids turned another year older, I thought I’d share a picture from each of their birthdays this Birthday Season.

July Birthday, Zander:

August Birthday, Ashley:


September Birthdays, Jace & Lucy:



October Birthday, Parker:


And since Gage’s birthday isn’t until March, I thought I’d share a recent picture of him. This is what happens when Gage gets Doritos and Chip Dip. (Yes, together. If someone else has chip dip, he has to have it too, no matter what he’s eating.)

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday (or not-so-wordless, whatever), leave your link in the comments below so I can stop by and leave a comment for you!

Mommy Brag: Kids Singing at Church

I’m going to take a few minutes and brag on my kids for a little while. I’m allowed to do that, right? 🙂

Before I share a video with you, I need to give you a little back story.

If we go waaaaaaaay back, when I was little, my parents had a gospel singing group. They would travel and sing in different churches, and my brother and I went right along with them. Often, we were pulled up on the stage to sing with them. I grew up with a love for singing, and it has never gone away… I just don’t get the opportunity to sing much anymore.

A few months ago, I decided that since I am “mom” to about half of the youth in our church, that we were going to join the Youth Choir. For months, Jace would fight me about this. He refused to sing, and he would stand up on stage, lips tightly closed, and you could just tell that he had no desire to be up there. Drove me crazy. But, I prayed about it (constantly!), and I’d remind him over and over that he was supposed to be singing to the Lord. By not doing his best, he wasn’t making God proud of him.

Something must have sunk in, because just a couple of weeks ago, after Youth Choir practice at church one night, Jace asked me if I thought if anyone would mind if he and I sang a song… just me and him. (My heart soared!)

We started practicing, and soon all the other kids were getting jealous. They wanted to sing too! So, I decided the church would much rather see 4 little ones at the front of the church instead of me, and I bowed out.

Last night, the kids got to stand in front of the church and sing their song. This is just one of the songs I remember singing with my parents all those years ago. Here’s the video so you can see:

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After church last night, Jace told me that he loved singing and that he wanted to do it all the time… and that from the kid that just weeks ago stood on the stage and pouted when it was time for the choir to sing.

God really does answer prayer… even the ones that don’t seem that significant.

I am SO proud of all the kids and how well they did last night. I just need to teach Lucy how to share the microphone so that Parker doesn’t have to lecture her during the song. 😉

Thanks for watching!

Parenting Fail: 2 Ouchies in 1 Week

Every have one of those weeks as a parent where you feel like no matter how hard you try, nothing ever goes right?

That was last week for me.

On Tuesday, Gene told the kids they could go play downstairs in the basement. Stupid me had forgotten to remove the safety key from the treadmill, so guess where the kids automatically went? Yep. You guessed it. Jace was walking on the treadmill and Parker decided he was going to do it. He hopped on and immediately fell. His hand hit the runner, and it rubbed his poor little hand raw. For the next e days, every time Parker looked at his hand, he would get sick. It was horrible. And, lesson learned – the safety key is out of the treadmill and hidden where the kids can’t find it. {The treadmill doesn’t work without that key.}

On Friday evening, I was in the kitchen, getting ready to make dinner. I had a big, yummy roast in the crockpot, and all day long, I had been smelling it. It was divine. I was in the middle of draining the potatoes to make homemade mashed potatoes when I heard a blood-curdling scream from outside. The front door flew open, and Lucy went straight for the couch. I ran over to see what had happened, and all I could see was blood. So much blood. I grabbed Lucy and ran to the bathroom. She had split her bottom lip open.

I took the kids over to my MIL’s house so that her husband could check Lucy’s lip and make sure I wasn’t overreacting. {Yes, I tend to do that.} He agreed that she needed to go, so they kept the other 5 kids for me, and Lucy and I set off for the ER. After an hour of sitting and waiting, {No one is in a hurry – even when you write BLEEDING! in big, bold letters on the sign in sheet.}, the doctor came in, took one look at her, and decided she needed stitches.

I panicked. Lucy is a drama queen – and she gets it honestly. When I was 6 and had to have stitches, they had to strap me to the table by my arms, my legs, and my head. Visions of that came flooding back, and I just knew I was in for the ultimate payback with Lucy.

Wouldn’t you know it? The stinker didn’t even cry. She sat there while he numbed her lips with SIX shots, and she didn’t make a peep when he stitched her lip back together. I did worse than she did, and I had to sit down halfway through. We didn’t need me passing out and needing stitches too.

By the time it was all done and over with, I was so proud of Lucy.

6 kids and 14 years of being a mom and this was my first experience with stitches. Not too bad. But, next time, Dad gets to take them for stitches. That was too much excitement for me.

I’m so glad it’s a new week and we get to start fresh. I’d like to never live last week over again. Ever.

Ever have just an all around bad parenting week? Share. I’d love to hear about it. {Then I know I’m not alone!}

Wordless Wednesday 10/5: I Love Morning Nap Time! {Linky!}

nap time
None of my younger kids do well with getting up super early in the morning to take the older ones down to the bus stop. There’s rarely a morning when they don’t crash a few minutes after we get back home – in my bed, of course.

And don’t even ask me what Lucy’s wearing… 😉

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, leave your link here:

Wordless Wednesday {9/28} – My Six Loves

Here are the results of the “photo session” I had with my kids…. And, yes, the tall girl in the middle is my daughter. People ask my husband if that’s his wife every time he shows off the photos. Sigh….

my kids

Gage - 6 months

Parker - almost 3

Lucy - 5 years

Jace - 7 years

Zander - 8 years

Sigh… they get too big too fast.

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, sign in here:

Put the Boys in Cub Scouts

Last night, we had the official “parents meeting” with our local Cub Scout Troop. That means the boys are really, truly Cub Scouts now. They could not be more excited. Even Parker is excited, and he’s still almost 4 years away from being part of a pack.

As I was getting ready to go to last night’s meeting, Parker came up to my room and said, “Mom, I’m a parent. I need to go to the meeting tonight for Cub Scouts.” Bless his heart – he wanted to go so badly that hubby and I took him along with us. All went just fine until he started playing with my phone, found the Cube Dog app, and started making my phone meow like a cat. (I still have no idea how he did that. 1. My phone was on silent, and 2. it’s a Cube DOG app.) The other parents and leaders thought it was hysterical, though, so no one seemed to mind the interruption too much. At least I don’t think they did.

Truth be told, I’m really excited about the boys joining Scouts too. I think that Cub Scouts will be a very good thing for both of them. Zander needs the social interaction Cub Scouts offers, and Jace needs the disciplined atmosphere. Sounds like a win-win to me! And, since the whole family gets to get involved, I think it will be really good for all the kids. I just need to start praying now that hubby’s work schedule doesn’t conflict too badly with Cub Scouts. Taking 6 kids to Cub Scouts 4 – 5 times a month by myself sounds exhausting.

I don’t have much Cub Scout experience, but that will be changing very soon now that I’ll have 2 boys in the program. Luckily, my Uncle is the ultimate Boy Scout, still active with a troop here in our area. You can bet I’ll be leaning on him for advice and direction through the boys’ time in Scouts. So glad I have him in my life! 🙂

Do you have any experience with Cub Scouts? What did your boys learn? Would you do it again?

cub scout characters


The First Day of School…

I can’t believe I had to send them back today! It’s way too soon!

School 2011

Ashley’s in 8th, Zander’s in 3rd, and Jace is in 1st grade. I met all their teachers last night, and I think we’re in for a really great year!

When do your kids go back to school?

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Spiritual Birthday, Zander!

happy re-birthday

happy re birthday
Monday, Zander celebrated his very first “Re-Birthday.” We make a very big deal about re-birthdays around here for several reasons:
1. We want the kids to always remember the day they were saved.
2. We want the kids to understand that the day they were saved is the most important and most special day in their life.

This is a great way to encourage the kids in their walk with Jesus, and it makes them feel special.

I can’t wait until we’re celebrating re-birthdays of all the kids!

Not so wordless today. Sorry!

Having A Bad Day?

I am.

I’m not sure if being stuck in the house with 6 kids is finally starting to get to me, or if it’s because I’ve simply decided to wallow in self pity today.

Whatever the case, there’s only one sure way to get me to smile on a day like today.

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Hope it makes you smile, too!

Zippies – Pals that Hang Around {Review}

Having 6 kids, I am always looking for a fun way to label my kids’ stuff so they don’t lose it. Zippies have become our favorite way to do just that – and more!

For this review, the kids and I received a set of Series One Zippies pals. Immediately after they arrived, the kids each grabbed their favorites, wrote their name and my cell phone number on the back, and started attaching them to their favorite items. Zander and Jace each tagged their book bags and hung one from their belt loops. Parker put one on his belt loop and another on his shoe. Lucy wore one like a bracelet for days. Even my teenager got in on the fun and she attached one to her book bag.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen these Zippies all over the house, tagging all sorts of items. From baby dolls to drinking glasses, even hanging on towel racks so that everyone knows whose towel is hung where. My kids absolutely love Zippies.

There was one drawback: When the kids took the Zippies to school, the other kids were totally jealous and tried stealing the Zippies. Not cool. Luckily, we had labeled the back of them in permanent marker, so my kids were able to prove to the teachers that they did belong to them. We were then asked not to bring the Zippies back to school because everybody wanted them. I sent in a note to both of the boys’ teachers and gave them the website where parents can purchase Zippies. Maybe if enough kids start buying their own, then we can enjoy tagging the kids’ school stuff again. I would think teachers and other parents would appreciate having childrens’ items properly labeled so that things don’t get lost or stolen.

I am definitely looking forward to using Zippies this summer. We are always at the park, and we always have bottles of water with us. With Zippies, we can quickly and easily tag the bottles of water, and know which bottles are ours. This will prevent germs from spreading, and each kid will always know which bottle of water belongs to them.

I absolutely love Zippies, and I am so glad we were introduced to them! The kids loved the first set so much, that we can’t wait to see what Zippies they come out with next. I’m hoping for some more girly ones – daisies, hearts, bling… Other animals would be fun, too. Monkeys, giraffes, hippos… you get the drill.

For more information on Zippies, check out their website: You can also find Zippies on youtube, facebook and twitter.

I would highly recommend Zippies to any parent, and I know for a fact that my kids have been recommending them and showing them off to all of their friends.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Rosica on behalf of Zippies. I recieved a set of Zippies as mentioned above in order to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and opinions expressed are 100% my own.


The Last Day of School!

I am so, so happy that today was the last day of school! For the last few days, the kids and I have been working hard on making gifts for the boys’ teachers, and preparing for today.

Here are the gifts we made:

Ms. Jane's Gift
Ms Lisa's Gift
Those are Jace’s teachers’ gifts. Ms. Jane is the class helper, and Ms. Lisa was his teacher. They each got a candle that we decked out with their favorite flowers, and Ms. Lisa also got a handmade bracelet. I made the bracelet for her, and I love the way it turned out. here’s a close up:

teachers bracelet
Here’s Zander’s teacher’s gift:
mrs raymond's gift
She got a decorated candle, a matching frame, and a bracelet. She was such an amazing teacher, and exactly what Zander needed this year. Here’s a close up of her bracelet:
teacher bracelet
I hope the teachers enjoy their gifts.

As for us, I am SO glad we get to sleep in tomorrow…. as long as everyone cooperates!

When is the end of school for your kids? What kind of gifts do you give to the teachers?

Gotta Brag for a Minute…

This afternoon, Ashley had an awards ceremony at school. It was the 6th and 7th grade Honor Awards ceremony, and Ash told me she’d be getting an award for having all As. She kept hoping that I could come, but she never pressed me about it. (What she didn’t know was that I had already made plans to be there! I wanted it to be a surprise.)

I loaded up Lucy, Parker, and Gage and we headed to the school. For the first time ever, I ended up getting really good parking. Stuck Gage in my Ergobaby carrier, grabbed Lucy & Parker by the hands, and headed in to the auditorium.

Ashley’s best friend recognized me and shouted across the auditorium to Ash that I was there. Embarrassed to death, Ash wouldn’t even look my direction. She kept right on talking and giggling with her friends.

That’s ok. She’s 13. Mom’s just not cool when you’re 13. Besides, all of her friends know how strict her parents are, so she didn’t want to point me out to any of them.

The ceremony started, and the first awards presented were for having a score of 900 or above on their CRCT tests. (The CRCT is a big deal around here. A really big deal, and they put way too much pressure on the kids to do well on these tests.) After they went through the entire 6th grade, they moved onto the 7th graders. (I hate having a last name that starts with V!) They called Ashley’s name, stating that she had received a perfect score in Science, as well as a score over 900 in Social Studies.) I beamed. Announced it on facebook immediately, and told the world that I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter.

After that, they handed out the general awards for 6th grade, and moved onto the awards for 7th grade. During that time, Ashley also received an award for having all As in her classes, and she also received the “Best All Around” award. (Basically, best all around means you’re an excellent student, you’re kind, respectful, and just a joy to be around.)

I am so proud of Ashley. We really struggled with putting her back into public school after homeschooling, but I truly believe this is exactly what she needed. She is thriving and excelling in every class, and I could not be more proud of her.

Thanks for letting me brag on my girl. My heart is truly overflowing right now!

My Heart Overflows…

As a mom of 6, I’m not exactly sure where to begin when it comes to describing what makes me a proud mom. My heart truly overflows with love and pride for the children God has given me.

No, they’re not perfect. They argue and fight and drive me bonkers. But that is a part of childhood. It comes with the territory of being a mom – especially a mom of so many.

It’s the other moments that make me beam with pride: The times when everyone is getting along and the house is full of giggles. When one of the kids learns something new and the others cheer him or her on. The times when my children go out of their way to do something nice for someone else. The moments like that far outweigh the not-so-fun moments, and that’s what makes me such a proud mom.

Why I'm a Proud Mom

I want to take a moment and name each child by name and tell you a few reasons why my heart overflows with pride for that child.

  • Ashley. At 13, Ashley is one of the kindest, sweetest girls you will meet. She has a heart of gold, and she will go out of her way to help anyone that needs it. She works so hard in school and brings home straight As.
  • Zander. At 7, Zander is one of the brightest boys on the planet. He is now reading on an 8th grade level, and has turned into my own little “Grammar Deputy.” He loves school, loves his teacher, and it brightens my day when I watch him interact with our newest little member of the family.
  • Jace. At 6, Jace is the sweetest kindergartner you will ever meet. He gives the very best hugs, and his laugh fills the entire room with joy. He has such neat handwriting, and he works hard at everything he does.
  • Lucy. At 4, she is such a big helper. She loves to help me around the house and with the baby. She even killed a spider for me yesterday! She loves to sing, and she makes me smile all the time.
  • Parker. At 2, I can’t get over how smart he is. He talks so well, and he really is as smart as a whip. Last week, he even rode a 2-wheel bike all by himself at his Maw-Maw’s house. He is such a big boy!
  • Gage. At just under 2 months, he doesn’t “do” much yet. But, when he looks at me with those big blue eyes, and he gives me that big toothless grin, I can’t help but melt!

Those are just a few of the reasons why my kids make me such a proud mom. I could sit for hours and list the ways each child has made me beam with pride over the years.

I am so blessed… Blessed Beyond Words to be exact. God has given me 6 amazing children, and this proud mom is so thankful.

Tell me: What makes you a proud mom?

Disclaimer: This is an entry to the Proud Mom contest. I could win $50! The contest is sponsored by UPrinting event ticket printing services.

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day THIRTY

Day Thirty: Free Choice

My Little Loves

I can’t believe we made it! 30 days! Wooohooo!!! I’m so proud of those of you who have participated! Give yourself a big pat on the back!!

So, today’s challenge was free choice. While my picture isn’t fancy and was taken with my iPhone, it is what I am most proud of: my amazing kids. I am the luckiest mama around!

If you are participating in the 30 Day Photography Challenge, sign in for Day 30 here. (Leave a link to your post or the image directly.)

For more information on the challenge, click here: 30 Day Photo Challenge

For daily topics, click here: Challenge Topics

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day TWELVE

Day Twelve: Motion


Nothing moves more than a toddler boy in a cape!

If you are participating in the 30 Day Photography Challenge, sign in for Day 12 here. (Leave a link to your post or the image directly.)

For more information on the challenge, click here: 30 Day Photo Challenge

For daily topics, click here: Challenge Topics

Wordless Wednesday: He’s Not Obsessed {Linky}

Walker Texas Ranger

Drawn by Zander, age 7.

If you put up a wordless wednesday post, please share it here!

What Bad Day?

Last night, hubby and I took the kids to my mother-in-law’s house. The kids spend most Friday nights with her. She loves the one-on-five time with them, and it gives hubby and I a weekly date night as well as allows me to get some work done around the house on Saturday mornings.

This morning, I sent Ash a text message and told her to have my mother in law call me when she got the chance. Ash asked if everything was ok, and I responded, “Don’t ask. It’s been a bad morning.”

Apparently, Zander found out about my bad morning, because when I picked them up a little while later, he asked me, “Mom, how could you have a bad morning? Jace wasn’t home.”

The Alarm Clock

For Christmas, the boys got a Perry the Platapus alarm clock from Santa. They were so excited, they couldn’t wait to get it out of the box and set up in their room. The other night, Parker discovered that he could reach the alarm clock, and kept hitting the snooze button (Perry’s hat) over and over and over.

Zander comes running out of his room yelling, “Mom! Parker keeps hitting snooze! He won’t stop!”

At the same time, Lucy walked by the boys’ room and asked, “Who is Snooze?”

Read and Share Bible for Children (Review & Giveaway)

This giveaway will end Friday, Jan. 14 at 11:59pm EST.

bible for childrenLast year for Christmas, we bought each of the older kids their own Bibles. For about the past 6 months, Parker has been begging to have a Bible of his own, but I’m not quite ready to buy him a nice, leather bound Bible. He’s still too little, and he likes markers *way* too much.

Luckily, I was introduced to the Read and Share Bible for children by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Before I get to my (and Parker’s) review of the Bible, here are some things you need to know:

The Read and Share Bible is the perfect way to share the amazing joy and wonder of God’s Word with the children in your life. Features include more than 200 beloved Bible stories, bold, bright illustrations, a discussion starter with each story, and so much more. The Read and Share Bible makes it easy for you to create long-lasting memories as you encourage a love for reading God’s Word.

Our Review of The Read and Share Bible

On Sunday mornings, during our church’s main worship service, I teach a small children’s class. It has always been so important to me that children hear the Word of God on their level so that they can understand it. I know that’s not how many in the South feel, and they want their children raised to sit in the main service, but I don’t agree. By giving them a clear understanding of the Bible when they are young, they will be more apt to staying in church and continuing to want to learn more as they grow older.

I am constantly scouring the internet, trying to find Bible stories that are appropriate for 2 – 5 year olds. And then we received the Read and Share Bible for a review. WOW. These are the stories that I have been looking for, in a language that children can understand, all in one place. I love it!

Parker's new BibleAfter browsing through the Read and Share Bible for awhile myself, I handed it over to Parker and told him that it was his own Bible. The sheer look of joy on his face made me smile from ear to ear. He carefully turned each page, taking in all the bright, bold colors of the illustrations.  He was in heaven. We read several stories together, and I loved the discussion questions at the end of each story. While Parker is still a little young to fully understand what we’re reading, he will definitely be able to grow into this Bible. And it’s perfect for the other children that I have in my Sunday morning class. I’ll definitely be taking it along with us on Sundays and reading them stories from the Read and Share Bible.

There are several features of the Read and Share Bible that I love:

  • The length of the stories – they aren’t too long. Just enough to capture the interest of a child and leave them wanting more.
  • The number of stories in the Bible – over 200 stories, all in one place. And these are stories that we know and love.
  • The illustrations – perfect for little eyes, attention grabbing and colorful.
  • The discussion questions – great for expanding on the stories and getting kids to learn more.
  • Also, each story starts with the reference where you can find the story in the Bible. This is great for older kids, so you can read straight from a Bible and then read the story.

Overall, I really like the Read and Share Bible, and Parker does too. This Bible would make the perfect gift for any child in your life that you want to encourage to learn more about God’s Word.

Want to Try the Read and Share Bible for Yourself?

Parker loves his BibleShop Now: Click here to purchase your copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing for just $16.99. You can also find the Read and Share Bible on Amazon for just $5.85! Talk about a steal!

You Can WIN! I’ve got a Read and Share Bible to give away to one lucky reader.

To Enter

Mandatory: Check out the TommyNelson website and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me why you’d like to win this Bible.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

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Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. If you still have the old 5 Vinez Monkeys button on your blog, please switch it to the new Blessed Beyond Words button or your extra entry will not count. Giveaway will end on January 14th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via the “And the Winner is..” plugin. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was sent the necessary products to facilitate my honest and thorough review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post. Sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.