Cultivating Family Time When Your Husband Travels

We have been really making an extra effort to create fun family memories on the short days we have together. One of our favorite ways to spend time together is movie nights. It's cheaper than going out to the theatre and it's comfier. No shoes, no shirt, no pants, no problems. Also, the food is better. Who doesn't love movie night snacks and a chance to make some creative popcorn recipes?!

We started with Homestyle but then added Movie Theatre Butter because butter.

The first three years of our marriage, my husband and I had never ever been apart even one night. That all changed when he joined the military. They scooped him up and he missed holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. That was our first foray into keeping our family together while separated. 

Years later the oil field called and he would be away for 1 to 3 months at a time. With the crushing blow the oil field took the past couple of years, he had to make another job change and became a truck driver. 

Now he's away from us from Sunday - Friday and sometimes he doesn't get home until Saturday morning. Yeah. Kind of makes it hard to cultivate a family environment of togetherness in this season of life. 

Hard, but not impossible. 

This past weekend, we decided to get creative with our traditional movie snack staples : popcorn and candy. We decided we would make a snack mix...and then we couldn't come to a consensus on which combination of yum would be best. We are a family of 5 with very differing opinions!

So, we decided that the best option was to make a popcorn flavor mix buffet...and a cake. So we made a quick stop at our neighborhood Walmart, literally right around the corner. I don't recommend going hungry....However, that did spawn the flavor war that ended up being awesome. 

We had buffalo ranch popcorn, double cheddar bacon popcorn, minty white chocolate popcorn, coffee white chocolate peanut butter popcorn. Each fun and yummy creation started with our favorite base : Pop Secret Movie Theatre Butter popcorn. We love butter. 

Every. Single. One. Was. Delicious. Scroll to the bottom for the simple, quick recipes. 

I'm not sure if you're familiar with The Land Before Time Movies, but they pretty much made up mine and my husband's childhood. Walmart is releasing The Land Before Time Collection on DVD.
All 14 movies. It's pretty epic. Head to Walmart to grab The Land Before Time: The Complete Collection DVD today, 6/14 (while supplies last).

The movies are cute and fun & we just love them! I always marveled at the dinosaurs exhibit in museums as a kid. That fascination started with these Land Before Time movie characters! After we made all of our movie night snacks, we headed to mine and my husband's room to snuggle on our big bed. 

Sometimes this is how my kids snuggle, okay?

My husband told us stories from his week out on the road and our kids shared stories from their week. Our daughter Brie had a gymnastics competition on Saturday, so she was telling him about all of the preparation she had done for it. 

Also, Brie is in a phase where she wears cat ears most days.
We threw a blanket over our windows to make it darker and settled in for The Land Before Time movie. It was the first one that was originally released in 1988. A few minutes in, I whispered to my husband, "Are you still running the script in your head?! I remember every line!" He did, too! 

It's amazing what stays with you. We loved watching our kids' reactions to the movie, my eldest teared up at parts. She's a tender soul. A few minutes before the end, our son fell asleep, curled up next to our great dane, Roxy.

I know we are all tired from doing all of the mom things and the dad things while he's away, I know by the time the weekend gets here we just want to do nothing requiring effort...but let's just make this a priority. It doesn't take much to get these memories. The kids remember these times with great fondness. 

Roxy would have appreciated some popcorn, but instead took a nap after much pouty eye-begging. 

I'll start with the simplest. All recipe bases are Pop Secret Movie Theatre Butter. 

Buffalo Ranch : We just sprinkled buffalo and ranch popcorn seasoning powder from Walmart on them. Half buffalo, half ranch. Eat together. 

Double Cheddar Bacon : Same method as Buffalo Ranch. Half cheddar bacon powder, half white cheddar. Eat up! 

Minty White Chocolate : Chopped mint candy [baking aisle with chocolate chips], white chocolate chips [melt in 15 second intervals in microwave]. How To : Pour 1/3 popped corn into a bowl, drizzle melted white chocolate, toss in some chopped mint candy. Repeat until you run out of popcorn. Enjoy! My two youngest love this one the best. 

Coffee Chocolate PB : This one was my favorite, I think! Peanut butter chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coffee bean candy [looks like dino eggs!]. Melt the chocolate in 15 second intervals. Using the same method as the Minty White Chocolate, layer until you're out of popcorn. I also tossed in candied pecans for an extra crunch. Enjoy! 

Oh, and here's the cake. 

Aloha, Jane

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® , Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Pop Secret, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Pop4LandB4time http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV also Additional Disclosure.

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