4 Fun Purchases that Have Leveled up Our Family

Today is what we like to call a listicle day, meaning we like to go through just three, four or five quick things, either tips or fun things, et cetera. And today is four purchases that me and Jeremy collectively or all of us as a family have made this year that have blessed our family culture. I’ll go first. The first one that we absolutely love is actually intentionally to try to kind of bring back nostalgia to our family is a record player. Now for a few reasons, one, we love listening to music. We kind of love trying to create a culture of music and dance and fun. But there’s something about a record player, which I don’t know Jeremy, maybe it’s not that nostalgic to you because it was actually like normal. To me it’s like very much like us going backwards but in a really fun, unique way to just listen to things.

There’s something about tactile music and more like where you have to get out the record and put it on the table. That’s way different than asking Alexa to play the song, right? I feel if we want to have a dance party, we ask Alexa, but we want to kind of have just a fun experience with usually a story of like, Oh, let me tell you about this record or why we love this or this reminds me of, we put on the record. There’s something about it where our kids love it. The Sound of Music record is their favorite ones, so it’s hilarious to see a four year old talk about like Julie Andrews and all that stuff, but the kids love it. So that’s one I would say. What about you?

That’s awesome. I’m going to play off of that one because when I was a kid, my dad when he would put me to bed every night, he would put at least three records on and then just sort of-

That’s awesome.

They would play throughout the night. Now we don’t have record players in our kids’ rooms, so my number two on the list is a SanDisk Sport 8 GB MP3 player with LCD screen. What is this thing? This thing’s awesome. So this is like a $30 MP3 player that you can buy your kids a subscription to Audible and then you can… I tried to figure this out forever and one of my friends finally rescued me. I was like, I want my kids to be listening to audio books, really amazing stories at night the way I did with my record player.

But I didn’t want to buy them an iPhone when they were five. I couldn’t quite figure this out. I bought one of my kids one of those Amazon, what are those called? Those… What was it, a Fire? Some kind of tablets.

Oh yeah, the tablets.

It was just too expensive. It had like advertisements that were kind of going off all the time. So finally, we figured out the SanDisk Sport 8 GB MP3 player, what you can do with this thing is for $30, you can get an Audible account. You have to activate it with a Windows machine. That’s the worst part. But after that, all you have to do is drag and drop whatever audio files you want from your Audible account. All they have is a device that all it can do is play those 10 or 20 audio books that are on there at that time.

So we’ve got the Narnia books on there for our kids. We got all their favorite books, The Magic Tree House books, all these things. So my daughter, Elisa is obsessed with this thing. She loves to listen to this at night. So if you guys want to really have a place where your kids can just be immersed in story, I love the experience of listening to books and I wanted my kids to have that experience. I actually had that through these records and cassettes and stuff when I was growing up, but it’s a lot easier today. This little device really helped us out. What else do you got?

That’s genius too because I feel like parents have to work so hard to not get their kids Uber connected, not only because you don’t want them to socially, but then also you can’t filter every last little thing that’s going to get to them when it’s an internet connected device. So yeah, old school, AKA nineties, I remember when the MP3 players were all the rage. Just get them one of those, audio files. That’s genius. That’s a genius one. So the next one for me and Jeremy and April, I’ve seen this one in action, is when we bought our kids scooters. We have this weird kind of floor plan which Jeremy knows goes in a big circle and I’m not saying you have to do this and moms would probably freak out if we tell you this, but we essentially bought scooters that are kind of like mark free, meaning like the wheels are kind of rubber and they can kind of be on floors in a nice soft way.

They’re not like intense. So our kids can ride, we let them ride him inside. Because our floor plan is a circle, it’s literally treated like a track. We have races. The kids think it’s a blast. I made sure to get me an adult scooter. I don’t ride that one inside, but basically we got bunch of wheel toys, whether it’s bike scooters. I got myself a skateboard. We live on a cul-de-sac. That is blessed our family culture like crazy because it’s almost like a habit now where every night we say, “Let’s go out in the street. Let’s go out in the cul-de-sac. Let’s ride around.” They ride them in the house in the day, man. It’s just way, way, way better, and they care about saying like, Oh, let’s do that rather than let’s watch a movie or let’s do that. It’s perfect. We love it.

Yeah, those are awesome. Those little plastic scooters he’s talking about. As soon as we walked in to their house, Kinsley and Kannon both grabbed their scooters and they wanted to show us-

And they go pretty fast too where you got to watch out. They come around hot. Yeah. You got to watch.

It’s so fun to watch him. So yeah, I love that. Any kind of like way to get some energy out while you’re inside the house. Okay. The last one, the purchase that this really… This, I’ve never seen this in another house I don’t think. We probably have at least 30 book holder mini display easels. Okay. So these are like things you’ll see-


At least 30, yes.

That’s incredible.

These are a little tiny wire display easels that you might see in a library or you might see at a bookstore. So one of the things that I read once was that, this is in Freakonomics where they said that the most literate kids happened to be not the ones who read the most or were read to the most, but the ones who saw the most books in their house growing up. It was a Freakonomics thing. They couldn’t figure it out. There’s a whole chapter about it. It’s fascinating, but it really got me thinking. I really want my kids to like see books. I really want them to like be intrigued like huh, I wonder what’s in there? So we do spend a lot of money on books, but instead of just having them in bookshelves where they’re all lined up and all you can see is the binding, we actually bought these little wire display easels and like I said, we have at least 30 of them.

So anytime there’s a really interesting book, I’ll try to find one that that cover really pops and makes you go like, Ooh, what world is inside of that book? Then I wanted it to be sort of displayed. I heard, I haven’t been in an Amazon store, but I’ve heard that the entire store, every single book is face out?

I don’t know if that’s true. Is that true? You’ve seen that Jeff?

Yes it is. It’s incredible. Its genius.

Yeah, I think there’s something about that. So why not do that to your house? But of course a lot of times the problem is that books all fall over. So we bought a whole bunch of these really super cheap, they’re like a dollar something each, but you can buy a bunch of them and then can go look at the 30 books you think are most intriguing to your kids and just have them all facing out using these silly little wire display easels. I love them. I love that they are in our house. I love that our house is a place that you can almost get immersed in books and the books are almost as enticing as the screens. That’s one of the things that really helped us do that.

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