Fun with the Boys (+ an Invisalign Update)

Fun with the Boys (+ an Invisalign Update)

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

I thought I’d catch y’all up on how we are doing with our Invisalign journey.  I have 2 boys using the aligners and we are cray-cray about the whole process!  Having had 4 of my kids in traditional braces before this and now being more than halfway through Invisalign with Noah and a few months in with Adam I am sold.

I’m gonna shoe polish this on the back of my car window…..Invisalign or BUST!

And I promise I am saying that of my own free will.  No one is making me give both thumbs up.  I would never tell you something that I didn’t believe.

Besides being so easy for the boys to take care of and manage, it really is changing their looks.  I can tell they are both feeling more confident and excited about their teeth.  I have noticed a change in their attitude about brushing and caring for their teeth too.  I think having to remove the aligners to eat reminds them to brush before putting them back in.

Another thing I love about this is that we only have to go for checkups every 10 weeks.  That turns it into an occasion and we like to make a whole day of it. Our last appointment was this past Monday and my oldest son decided to go along with us.  We had a mom/super-tall-boy day in the city.  We checked in with our orthodontist then did haircuts, jean shopping and saw a movie.  Plus Chick-fil-A of course.  We can’t go to the city without a stop at Chick-fil-A.

Make the most out of the time you spend together anyway....like getting your teens checked at the orthodontist! #spon #motherhood

Speaking of Chick-fil-A, it’s nice that they can take their aligners out to eat.  No broken brackets or food getting stuck in the wires.  That’s one of the things I really love about using the aligners.  And don’t forget to check out my 5 tips for helping them manage the aligners!

This mom of 9 is sharing her journey of using Invisalign after having 4 kids in traditional braces.  Come follow her along! #greattips #momofboys #spon

Let’s face it, the needs of a teen can be overwhelming.  I am so thankful that at least this one area has been made easier and more enjoyable.  Now, I wonder what can be done about the problem of outgrowing their shoes every 4 months.  Someone needs to invent an adjustable sneaker.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any aligner questions, hop over to the Invisalign Facebook page and they’re great about answering!

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

Teens and Confidence

Teens and Confidence

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

It's hard to find confidence no matter how old you are!  But the teen years are rough.  #ad

Teens and confidence.

Yep.  I remember in my teen years how hard it was to find stability when it came to my confidence.  Actually, forget my teens, I struggled with it last week!  It never fully goes away.

But when you’re a teen and you’re finding your place in the world and figuring out where you fit and how you want to look and what you might want to do with your life…..it’s a lot to deal with!

But self-confidence can be a trap.  If we build our confidence in ourselves then it’s fragile and unstable.  BUT if we build it in God it is on a solid foundation and can never break.  Can I get an amen?!

Even though we teach that to our kids, to look to God for their strength and security, life is a journey and can take a long time to really have that kind of unshakable confidence.  I’m not sure we ever fully get there on this side of heaven.  And while we are looking to God for our source of confidence, we still have to find our personal style, career path, learn how to have relationships….so many things that make us unique and amazing!

It’s a lesson in focusing on God and enjoying the grace of life at the same time.  It ain’t easy for anyone!

Right now I have 4 teens, 2 girls and 2 boys.  My boys are both in homeschool and quickly becoming young men.  It’s happening WAY too fast for this mom!  These 2 are a real blessing!

Invisalign and teen confidence! #ad

One thing we deal with in our family is very. crooked. teeth.  I blame my husband.  His teeth are much worse than mine.  But I don’t tell him it’s his fault because then he would bring up all of the weird OCD problems our kids have and you can only look to me for that mess.  Let’s call it a draw.

Anyway, while we are teaching our kids that their confidence should come from God, we are also sympathetic to areas where they feel insecure and we help them if we can.  Several of our older children had traditional braces.  That worked out OK, but had its share of issues to deal with.  So we decided to use Invisalign with these 2 boys and have been thrilled with that decision!

Surprisingly, they both LOVE the process and the responsibility of taking care of their aligners.  I’ve seen them grow in maturity from it and they each deeply appreciate the sacrifice our family makes to pay for the treatment (which is true of the traditional braces as well, of course!).  Our willingness to do that for them has given them a confidence of knowing how much we value them!

They each have such unique interests and personal style.  Noah is Mr. Snappy Dresser and would probably wear a tie or scarf every day if he could.  He’s a great kid….like I-can’t-believe-he-is-really-mine kind of great!

Teens and confidence #ad

And Adam is his own kind of character.  He’s funny and super smart!  He loves reading and writing more than anything….except eating.  He really likes eating.  He’s just so interesting!  I love him to the moon and back!  No, past that.  To infinity and beyond.

Teens and their confidence #ad

We work hard give them each room to explore their own interests and style.  It’s so cool to watch them become good at something new and just be themselves!

A recent online survey revealed that 94% of teens think their appearance influences their popularity.  How sad!!!  I want these 2 precious boys to not only KNOW that they are amazing no matter how they look, but I also want them to learn not to judge others by their looks either!

I mean, we are happy to help them have straight teeth and fun hats, but that’s not what it’s all about, man!  If we can remove a barrier to feeling confident, like getting their teeth straight, we want to do it.  But while they spend that time in orthodontic treatment, we also pour God’s love into their minds and hearts.  We do service projects and teach them skills and let them explore their own, unique interests.  For instance, Noah loves archery so we got him equipment for that.  And Adam….well….I can’t keep enough books around for that kid.

Let’s work together to help our teens learn that how they look is only a small part of where their confidence should come from!  It’s all about who God says you are, how you treat others, how you spread God’s love.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any aligner questions, hop over to the Invisalign Facebook page and they’re great about answering!

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

5 Tips for Helping Your Disorganized Teen with Invisalign

5 Tips for Helping Your Disorganized Teen with Invisalign

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

Well it’s been 3 months since Noah started using his Invisalign and so far, so good.  In fact we like it so much that we decided to start his younger brother last month.

These 2 boys are night and day different.  With one, I could hand him a year’s worth of aligners (you change them every week or two depending on your treatment plan) and never think about it again.  He’d just do it.  No worries.

BUT.  My other son does not have the same gift of carefulness.  I can’t even be sure from one meal to the next that he will remember to put them back in his mouth. So I make the necessary Mom-adjustments and we keep on rollin’.

One thing that has helped Mr. LessThanOrganized is finding ways to make it fun and rewarding.

1. I got him a cool superhero cup to put his aligners in at the table, so he likes that. And everyone knows that’s what is in the cup so the other kids organically think to remind him when they see the cup still sitting on the table after a meal.
2. I put a picture on his ipod lockscreen with the words, “Are you wearing your aligners?!” so every time he picks it up he is reminded.

5 tips for helping yout teen remember to wear their Invisalign aligners #spon

3. We blinged up his case with stickers and markers so he likes carrying it around when we go out.
4. I give him rewards, like if he remembers them for three days straight he gets to have an extra dessert.  Or when he changes his tray each week (I have an alert on my phone to remind me to check on it) then he gets to skip one chore that day.
5. I got both boys their own block of Young Living Thieves soap (OK, I cut one bar in half) to clean their aligners with, which they really like!

5 Tips for helping your teen remember to wear their Invisalign aligners! #spon

Invisalign does sell a cleaning system and they recommend that if you don’t use that you can just rinse your aligners with water and brush them.  Our orthodontist suggested gently brushing them with dishwashing liquid.

I decided to veer a little with a cleaning plan that fits our family’s lifestyle.  They each have a dedicated toothbrush that they use to brush their aligners and they wet it, then rub it on their block of soap and brush off their aligners.  They do this after every meal, along with brushing their teeth.

a great way to use essential oils to clean your Invisalign alighers! #spon

That’s one of the things I love most about Invisalign, it works for any lifestyle!  Of course, the thing I love topmost is how well it’s working on straightening their teeth!  But after that, the lifestyle thing.

A few months ago I shared 3 tips for managing your aligners that you might also want to check out if you are considering getting started with Invisalign.  And before you think, “Wait….this seems like a pain when traditional braces stay in your mouth and you don’t have to mess with aligners!,” remember this….traditional wire braces do fall off and that means an emergency trip to the orthodontist.  You can’t eat what you want, you can’t clean your teeth as well and there are all kinds of things to manage there too.  I happily traded those issues for the simplicity of managing the aligners.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions, hop over to the Invisalign Facebook page and they’re great about answering!

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

3 Tips for Managing Invisalign Aligners

3 Tips for Managing Invisalign Aligners

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

At last!

Noah got his Invisalign aligners and he’s off and running.

Literally.  He’s 15.  It’s what he does.

That’s one of the things that drew me to using Invisalign.  They are removable for sports and activities that might be more risky with traditional braces.  Seriously, he got a skateboard recently and he has fallen several times.  I feel better knowing his mouth is safe from being cut by braces.  (this happened to a friend of mine’s son and it led to a year of serious mouth issues)

While we LOVE that they are removable, it also has its challenges.  I mean, WHERE do you put them when they are not in your mouth?!

I explored this problem.  The main times they should be out of your mouth is either when you are eating and when you’re cleaning them/brushing your teeth.

The second situation isn’t a big deal since they are only out for a few minutes.  But eating….that’s another matter.

I can tell you for SURE that I don’t want to be looking at aligners sitting next to my son’s plate all through dinner.  #yuck

So….I came up with 3 ways to manage the aligners.

1. I got a small, metal bucket and set it on the console in our dining room.  He keeps his retainer case in there and when it’s meal time he just grabs the case, pops his aligners out and stores them there for the meal.  (of course you KNOW I had to personalize it!)

I like the bucket instead of just the case because it looks nice and it gives him a spot to keep other things he might need like rubber bands (which he will get on his next visit).

3 Ways to manage your invisalign alighners

Keeping the case in the dining room (which is also our school room) makes it easy also when he needs to take them out for any other reason (maybe skateboarding for half an hour).  It’s in a central location and not off in his room somewhere under a pile of Legos.

2. I keep a small zip top bag (4″x 6″ – I get them at Hobby Lobby) in my purse.  This is a great help when we are out and decide to get something to eat.  You don’t want to wrap them in a napkin.  Ask me how I know……we refer to it as the “Lost Retainer of 2014″.   Yep, wrapped it in a napkin at a restaurant.  Dug through the trash bin.  Never found it.  #gross

3. I keep more of those little bags in my glove compartment in my van.  This way he can stick one in his pocket in case he is going to be eating (again, if we are out) and he won’t be with me.  It’s small and easier to carry than the big case.  He just has to be careful that he puts it in a shirt pocket instead of pants, if possible.  I don’t know how delicate they are, but we don’t want to break the aligners by accidentally sitting on them! #yikes

invisalign02

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

 

15 Must Have Books

15 Must Have Books

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been locked away working on my book and doing  research.  It’s been draining, but really fulfilling at the same time.

Weird, huh?  How it works like that.

As I was surrounded by my pile of books that I was working with, I thought you might like to know what they are.  These books have all inspired me in ways that have helped me grow as a woman, a Christian, a mother and a wife.

These books have inspired and encouraged me!  They would make great Christmas gifts.

1. Radical Hospitality  by Lonni Collins Pratt (with Father Daniel Homan)
2. A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman
3. Restless by Jennie Allen
4. Unglued by Lysa Terkerst
5. Stuck by Sherri Yates
6. Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild
7. Surviving One Bad Year by Nancy Carmichael
8. Made to Crave by Lysa Terkerst
9. God is Able by Priscilla Shirer
10. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
11. Are You Enough by Roxanne Parks
12. Mended by Angie Smith
13. Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George
14. Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey
15. Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure

This is only half of the books that I took with me where I went to write.  But these are ones that I highly recommend.  If you’re looking for some last minute gifts, these are great.

Countdown to Confidence

Countdown to Confidence

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

Next month my son Noah will finish with his pre-orthodontic device and start his Invisalign treatment.  He gets his fancy scan done on our next appointment and will soon be wearing his Invisalign aligners.  He is so excited about this….really thrilled.  I can see his confidence increasing as his he looks forward to getting his teeth straightened.

It’s such a confidence thing.  He’s a smart kid and not insecure about much, for instance his ability to build ships with random Legos….he’s got mad skills there.  But his crooked teeth do bother him a little. Of course we teach him to be content with his looks and we don’t stress over physical imperfections.  But James and I both know what it’s like to have very crooked teeth and we are glad our kids can get the orthodontic care they need to not only have straighter teeth, but easier to clean and take care of.

Having had experience with kids in both traditional braces and Invisalign, I am a huge fan of the clear aligners for their ease of use and my kids like them better too.

And I wanted to let y’all know that there is a sweepstakes until November 13th called Countdown to Confidence that you HAVE to go enter.  There’s a daily winner of $100 and a grand prize of Invisalign treatment for your teen (or for whoever you want to use it!) and $1000.

inv01

 

Please go enter!  I want one of y’all to win!!!

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

Noah Meets Invisalign

Noah Meets Invisalign

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

I want you to meet my son Noah.

Follow this blogger on a journey with using Invisalign with her son.

I don’t mention him much because he’s just easy and sweet and takes care of himself.

But he’s a typical Pennington.  By that I mean he has orthodontic problems.  I blame my husband.  He gave the kids crooked teeth and I gave them OCD tendencies.  So, so many things for our children to be thankful for.

Noah is 15 years old and child number 6.  So by the time he needs something, I am practically an expert on the subject.  Potty training?  Got it.  Swim lessons?  Yep, I know the perfect teacher.  Bite issues?  Been there.  Done that.  Five times already.

We have, up to this point, had 4 kids in braces and one in Invisalign clear aligners.  That was actually our first child and we loved the whole process.  I wanted to use Invisalign with the other kids after her, but that was many years ago and I was told that they didn’t qualify.  So we went the traditional braces route.

Then, a couple of years ago, I learned that Invisalign has come a long way and they now have a program specifically for teens.  In fact, they have improved so much that I am confident that the rest of the kids will be able to use it.  So I took Noah to be checked to see if he would qualify for Invisalign.

Follow this blogger on a journey with using Invisalign with her son.

And to my delight, he does!  He just had to have a simple device put on for a few months first to pull one tooth forward (you can see it in the picture above).

I want to take you along with Noah and I as we go through the Invisalign process so you can see what’s it’s like for him and for me.  It’s very different than traditional braces.  In fact, we changed orthodontists because the one we used for the past 4 kids isn’t an Invisalign provider.  You can go to their website and find someone near you to have your teen evaluated!

Follow along as this blogger and her 15 year old son go through the Invisalign treatment

Along the way I will share with you our experiences, good and bad, with clear aligners and I will be busting some common myths.  But for now I will just share with you this very long infographic.

invisalign

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

Shine Your Light

Shine Your Light

I’m sad to report that I don’t have any little girls anymore.  {excuse me while I go have a good, hard cry!}

Thankfully my sister has 2 baby girls, so I can take my occasional need for pink and purple glitter out on them.  And this little book fits the bill.  I got it, carried it around under my arm for a few days twirling, and now I will send it on to my nieces for their girly enjoyment.

Sweet little devotional for girls

Oh the sweetness!

God’s Little Angel: Shine Your Light Devotional is a darling way to read Bible verses to your little girls every day.

Sweet little devotional for girls

Now I want a pair of those plastic heels that are impossible to walk in but make you feel oh, so pretty!

Enter below to win one of the precious devotionals for your little girl….or for yourself.  I may keep mine since it makes me feel like a princess all over again.

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Getting the Deck Ready for Graduation!

Getting the Deck Ready for Graduation!

This post is sponsored by HomeRight and contains affiliate links.

A great deck washing tool and a giveaway!

Well, it never stops around here.  The next weekend after we get home from Kansas we will have a graduation celebration for two of our daughters.  Yep, I have advanced to graduating 2 at once.

As we get the yard and house ready for this party, I wanted to get the deck really clean.  Between the chickens pooping on it and leaves staining the deck, it looked pretty bad.

So I handed one of the boys a HomeRight Deck Washer.

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

You attach the hose to it and it keeps a flow of water on the deck while you scrub.  There are 2 settings so we used the zero pressure for my son.  I didn’t need high pressure in this case, but I am definitely thinking of a few other places that I can use that feature!  I was really happy with how well it cleaned.

He thought it was fun!

Cleaning the deck with a HomeRight Deck Washer

He loved the constant flow of water.

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

And my deck is squeaky clean and ready for the party!  Is it wishful thinking that it will stay that way for another week?

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

And, you guessed it, I get to give one away!  Enter below to win your very own Deck Washer…..

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Boys and Their Toys

Boys and Their Toys

This post is sponsored by AutoRight.

Y’all know I am all about my kids developing great character, so when my son lost his retainer (yep, wrapped it in a napkin at a restaurant and forgot it) we decided to allow him to work off the replacement cost by giving him a long list of extra jobs to do around here.  One of those jobs, poor kid, is detail cleaning all 4 of our cars.

He started with my minivan because, and I don’t want to name names here, mine is by far the cleanest.  The rest of the cars get progressively dirtier until he gets to the 15 passenger van which is possibly about an inch from being condemned.

He was given instructions for how to get it really, really clean.  None of this kinda-clean-I-hope-no-one-notices-that-one-spot-I-skipped stuff.

But who says detail cleaning has to be boring?  I knew just how to make it fun for him.  I handed him an AutoRight Detailing Polisher.  What boy doesn’t love gadgets and gun-shaped tools?

AutoRight Car Detailing Polisher

He washed the car first (using our favorite car wash wand!) then I gave him the polisher, all charged up and ready to go.  Since it’s cordless, it’s easy.

It comes with a scrub brush, polishing pad, cotton applicator and microfiber applicator.  He went to town scrubbing the bugs off of the front and getting the windows all clear.  He knows how much I hate a dirty window.

AutoRight Car Detailing Polisher

After cleaning the windows he waxed it using the pad attachment.  Whoosh!

Win an AutoRight Detail Polisher!

He also buffed the dashboard and inside walls with the microfiber cloth attachment.  In the end, he had a fun time doing the finishing touches on the car AND it is looking so suh-weet! (well, as sweet as a minivan can get)

He felt pretty cool about it.

AutoRight Car Detailing Polisher

If you want to get your car as shiny and clean as mine, enter below to win your own AutoRight Detailing Polisher!  But my hard-working son doesn’t come with it, in case you’re wondering.

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