Month of the military child

April is the month of the military child and if there’s one thing these past few years have taught me it’s how strong a 2 year old can truly be. If any of you know even the smallest bit of what we have gone through over the past four years, you’ll know exactly how crazy, unpredictable, and amazing our life really is. From the time I was pregnant with Mackenzie until now, our lives have been full of days, weeks, and months apart. The older Mackenzie has gotten the harder it has been to explain to her what it means when her Baba has to leave.

Whenever I ask her where her Baba is, her first answer is always “Baba went bye-bye”. It’s the most heartbreaking thing in the world when in reality Koryn is home and not away. In her toddler mind, Mackenzie has gotten so use to Koryn being gone so it’s almost automatic for her to say that.

Some days I have no clue how I’ll make it to dinner time much less 6 more months of dinner times before our family is together but I do know my little family is stronger than any time we spend apart.

Kenzie has been on countless 12+ hour road trips, numerous flights back home to meet family for the first time, and has also spent more night than I’d like to admit crying for her Baba and not understanding when Koryn isn’t here.

In a few short months, she’ll be taking the biggest adventure of her life when we move to Alaska but this was the best (and only) decision to keep our family together even if it means moving away for the next 3 years.

We have been so extremely lucky and blessed to have such an amazing support system both near and far for our family. Mackenzie is so lucky to be surrounded by so many people who love and care for her every single day.

This month is about all the military children who are part of this life and how amazing they all are.

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We’re moving again!!

Happy re-enlistment day to my wife! Today she made the commitment for another 6 years in the Army and with that comes new orders! On Friday, we found out where the Rivers family will be moving next! We are so excited to announce we will be leaving Tennessee at the end of the year and moving to….

ALASKA!

You read that right! The Rivers are trading in their beach gear for some skis and snowboards. At the end of the year, we will be saying our ‘see you laters’ to Tennessee and starting our trek to Alaska. Tennessee has been an amazing adventure and we have made so many amazing friends here so it is going to be hard to leave but home is where the Army send us.

It’s going to be so hard to leave this amazing place but we are so excited to be together for the next three years and see what adventures Alaska brings to our family. We have already started to plan for this move and I’m so glad we have more than a two week notice to move this time around.

Stay tuned to read more about our Alaskan adventures and the experience of a lifetime that our family will be taking over the next three years!

Until next time,

The Rivers Family

Fall family photos!

We got these done back in August 2017 right before Koryn had to leave for a few months! I can’t believe this post was never published but here are our fall family photos!

All pictures were taken by Life Stories by J.A.

(https://www.facebook.com/LifeStoriesByJ.A/)

Snow Day!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated but life in the Rivers’ household has been extremely busy. We spent a few month apart due to Koryn attending a school for the Army. We made a surprise trip out to Texas to see Koryn for the first time in almost 4 months. We got to spend a little family time in Texas before driving back to Tennessee. Finally, we went home to Florida for Christmas break! That’s just a little of what we’ve been up to these few months.

Yesterday, we had a nice surprise and had a snow day! We woke up Friday morning to the news school was closed and we would get to stay home and play in the snow! Friday morning the ice was getting worse then by mid afternoon the snow was falling! We spent hours outside in the snow. We tried, and failed, to build a snowman, we ran up and down the street taking turns pulling Mackenzie around in her sled, and we dug our car out of the snow.

Mackenzie LOVED playing in the snow and did not want to come in when we were done! She had so much fun running around the yard, trying to throw snowballs at us, and jumping into piles of snow.

I’m so glad we were able to enjoy this snow day as a family and have fun relaxing and playing outside. One of my new year’s resolutions is to be more active on this blog. We have a lot of big changes coming to our family over these next few months and blogging in just one way to help our family get through everything. If there are any topics you want us to write about, please let me know below!

Until next time,

The Rivers Family ❤

Back to school!

It has been a while since I posted anything here so I have a little bit of updating to do! First off, I’m so excited to say for the past few months I have been working! I got a job teaching at a local Montessori school and I am so excited about this. Since I am now working full-time, Mackenzie has also had the opportunity to go to the same school where I work. She has grown so much since starting school and this has been such a great opportunity for both of us. Secondly, Koryn has been away for a little while now and our family will not be together again for a few more weeks/months.

We have faced so many adjustments and changes in the past few months but it has been better for our family in the long run. With all of that being said, today’s post is all about our back-to-school/work survival kit and favorites. Adjusting to working again and have a toddler in school full time all while being alone is so new to us and we learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work for our family.

The first thing we could not live without for school is essential oils! We use Plant Therapy oils and LOVE the roll-on bottles. The ones we keep on hand and use almost daily are lavender, nighty night, germ fighter, germ destroyer, and sniffle stopper! I get mine from Amazon but we also get coupons all the time from their site! Ebates is offering a 3.75% cash back right now and you can sign up using my link and get $10! Our nighty night and lavender are used nightly in our household.

The second product we LOVE are the planet wise reuseable ziplock bags. We have them in several pattern and sizes. These are perfect for school snacks and snacks on the go. We use their sandwich bags and snack size bags almost daily. Personally, we use the zipper bag versus the velcro ones but we do have some of each!

Our third must have is the Squeasy pouch! Mackenzie loves to eat applesauce and smoothies and this is the perfect item for this! These are so easy to wash and even easier to fill up! I was so tired of buying the applesauce pouches that you throw away so these made our lives so much easier and I can’t wait to get more!

These past two months have been have huge change for us but it has been so great. We have loved being able to get out of the house and Mackenzie is learning so much. I cannot wait until Koryn comes home and we can spend the holidays together as a family.  



Day 5! Open topic

Check out the challenge here!

Today is an open topic and I’ll be touching base on something I’ll expand on in a later post. At first, I had no idea what i wanted to write about for today until I woke up and dreaded washing diapers today. It wasn’t because it’s time consuming, because it’s actually pretty quick. It wasn’t because drying takes forever, because it really doesn’t take long at all. But it was because I miss my old diapers and miss the convince for throwing them in the washing machine and dryer and letting the machines do all the work.

That’s when it hit me, this is what the challenge is really about. Many families struggle to provide diapers for their children and for some hand washing is the only way to provide diapers for their children. One of the purposes of this challenge was to show using cloth diapers can be easily done without a washing machine or dryer and that it could be done on a budget. As much as I love this challenge and what I am learning, I can’t wait for next week when we can get back to our other diapers and wash routine! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below. 


Until next time,

The Rivers family ❤

Day 3 and 4

Day 3

Share your favorite fold!

Well I missed day 3 yesterday since we had a really busy day so today’s post will cover day 3 and day 4. The question for day 3 was to share your favorite flats fold. This was pretty easy since we only use two types of folds. We use the kite fold and pad fold. The pad fold is super simple and I think that’s why we use it most. We use a kit fold at night or if I think we’ll need extra absorbency.

Day 4

Share your wash routine!

I think I’m most excited about this because I actually really like washing diapers. We use a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot and a plunger for our washing machine. Our first step is to rinse the diapers. Sometime I rinse them off in the sink then put them in the bucket, other times especially if I’m washing a lot of flats I put them all in the bucket and fill it with cold water. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers and do anywhere from 60-90 pumps with the plunger. I take all the flats, covers, and wipes out and rinse them and put them to the side. I empty the bucket and refill it with HOT water.

I put a little detergent (we use tide powder) and put the diapers back in the bucket. Now we start the washing cycle. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers again, using at least 90 pumps. I may or may not let the diapers sit for a few minutes before starting the wash cycle. I take the diapers out again, rinse the diaper off, empty the bucket and refill it one more time for a final rinse cycle. The final rinse cycle is done with COLD water and I, once again, do about 60 pumps with the plunger. Everything is rinsed and squeezed out and taken outside to line dry.

We have been very lucky that we have had amazing weather and I’m able to hang dry out diapers. I try and wash first thing in the morning so they’ll have more time to dry but for the most part my diapers only take a few hours to dry. The other day I did two washes and by the time I was done with the second wash of diapers, my first load of diapers was already dry!

Don’t forget to read about the challenge and other’s experiences here!

Until next time,

The Rivers Family ❤

Our drying line
Kite fold and pad fold as our nighttime solution
one of these was extremely poopy, can you guess which one?

our washing machine