Praying for Changes, Running Races, and Unplugging for Good

During my month away from social media, I spent a good portion of my days praying for this year to be a year of changes. Big changes. Changes in my heart, my mind, and my soul. Changes within in my marriage, in my home, and even in my relationship with Christ. I wasn’t sure exactly what changes needed to happen. All I knew is there were huge holes and gaps that needed to be filled. There were walls built within relationships that needed to come down and my soul was feeling an emptiness that nothing in this world could fill. I prayed for clarity. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for clear vision to know what I should be working toward in the short amount of time I have been given here on this earth. I prayed for renewed passion for my husband and a desire to raise my family well. … Continue Reading

Lessons Learned While Taking a Blogging Break

It’s February. Do you know what that means? It means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the days are beginning to grow longer again. It also means my month-long social media hiatus is officially over. And what a month it has been, let me tell you. Right before Christmas my family was hit with the respiratory flu. A round of strep throat hit shortly after, followed by two weeks of runny noses and nasty colds. A second round of strep throat arrived less than four weeks after the first and my girls once again came down with snotty green noses. Throw in a short-lived bought with pink eye with a side of mastitis and there you have it. While I certainly didn’t appreciate all the illness we had to deal with, I sure did appreciate the extra time snuggling my sick babies, giving my husband the attention he … Continue Reading

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World {Book Review & GIVEAWAY}

“The AAP recommends that children older than two years old should get no more than two hours a day of screen time. This means if your child is on the computer for one hour at school, they should only have one additional hour at home.” (pg. 19, Growing Up Social) I don’t know about you, but when I calculate the cumulative hours my children watch Daniel Tiger on Netflix, play a game on the Kindle, or watch a VeggieTales movie while I catch up on some housework, I am a little shell shocked. How did 15 minutes here or there suddenly turn in to two, three, or FOUR hours of screen time?! Half my children aren’t even above two-years-old… and we don’t even own a TV! When I think about other families who own multiple television sets, and who have iPads and smart phones, there is no doubt the hours spent in … Continue Reading

Frozen Themed Birthday Party

Over the weekend we celebrated my niece’s seventh birthday. It seems Frozen (the movie) has made some sort of imprint on children everywhere. She requested her very own Frozen themed party and it was delivered. There are a billion ideas on Pinterest on how to throw the best Frozen party out there. Really, the choices are endless. I just want to share with you the few things my sister and mom did to make this a special party, without going overboard or over budget. I also want to share with you a Pinterest recipe I tried, and what (if anything) I would do differently next time. Decorations Birthday party decorations can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Olaf-shaped paper snowflakes, cottons balls strung on fishing line, and blue and white cray paper were just enough to add to the atmosphere without going overboard. Inexpensive and easy to set … Continue Reading

Kindergarten Kickoff: Our Curriculum Choices

This week we officially begin Kindergarten with our oldest son, James. Last year we began preschool at home but quickly decided our curriculum choices weren’t working out. This year, we took our time deciding what curriculum would suit our son’s learning style and not leave me hanging on for dear life while tending to four children five and under.   Ryan and I were rather picky when considering what curriculum to choose for our Kindergarten year. We wanted something that covered all the core subjects (Math, Science, Writing, etc.) and also included Bible and Music. Having no personal experience with homeschooling, we needed to find something that would offer teaching guidance as well. While we came to a comfortable decision on using a complete curriculum, we are also supplementing with a few additional resources to fill in where we felt James could use additional instruction. Here is the breakdown of our 2014-2015 Kindergarten … Continue Reading

I Don’t Have the Patience for More Children {Lies Young Moms Believe Series}

We are finally wrapping up this six part series on Lies Young Moms Believe. Head over here to see all the lies we have tackled. This certainly is not an exhaustive list. I find myself facing lies surrounding motherhood almost every day. I frequently have to discern what is truth and what comes from the one whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. Always take the time to look at your heart and weigh your thoughts against the Word of God. Motherhood is hard. But it can be filled with grace, peace, and joy if you allow God to speak truth into your life. All that being said, let’s dive into lie #6, “I Don’t Have the Patience for More Children.” My response is simply this: that’s okay. I don’t either. I can’t tell you how many times someone has discovered how many children I have and responded with, … Continue Reading

Being a Mom Should Just Come Naturally {Lies Young Moms Believe Series}

This week we are wrapping up the Lies Young Moms Believe Series. Today I am sharing lie #5 and finishing up lie six on Thursday. If you have missed any previous posts, you can find them here. This lie still cuts to my core. I find myself struggling against it almost daily. “Why can’t I keep this house clean?” “Am I screwing my children up?” “Shouldn’t this be easier?” “Why can’t I find joy in being with my children today?” The self-doubt, feelings of mediocrity, and checklist of shortcomings seem to never end. If I am being honest, I have to admit I feel like I’m terrible at being a mom. Not “I’m a terrible mom” but “I’m just plain bad at it.” I can’t ever seem to keep my house clean while having content children. My laundry is rarely caught up. Dishes almost always fill my sink and overflow … Continue Reading

I Could Never Be a Stay at Home Mom {Lies Young Moms Believe Series}

This is part four of the series, Lies Young Moms Believe. If you missed any of the first three parts, you can find them here. Before we get into lie #4 I want to make a disclaimer. I understand there are circumstances in which being a stay-at-home mom is simply not an option. Whether it be due to single parenthood, a disabled husband, or some other circumstance. I am not writing this to condemn or criticize you. This post is written to those who have considered being a stay-at-home mom but feel ill-equipped for the task. And to those who desperately desire to be home with their children, I encourage you to get creative, seek the Lord for guidance and open doors, and see what it would take for you to accomplish that task. In my short time (5 years) of being a mom, I have heard many reasons given … Continue Reading

I Need to Wait Until We Are Financially Ready to Have Children {Lies Young Moms Believe Series}

This is part three of the series, Lies Young Moms Believe. If you missed parts one and two, you can find them here. There are just so many directions I could take to dissect this lie. It has been the biggest  lie I have fallen prey to over the years. Each time we discover another child is on the way, I immediately jump to, “What a blessing, but how are we going to afford another one?!” It is then I have to remind myself of the truth in this matter. Children are only as expensive as you make them. What it comes down to is finding out what you really need versus what you want. They are very different things when it comes to having children. At 30 weeks pregnant with our fifth child, I can honestly say the only true necessities are a boob, a basic layette, a car seat, and … Continue Reading

Creating Easter Traditions Without Missing the Cross

Easter is a time to celebrate. We have joy overflowing on this marvelous day because our Savior LIVES! It should be a time of celebration, fun, and excitement because of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. We want our Easter traditions to not only be fun, but purposeful. Our Easter celebration this year did not include a ham or extended family meal. We didn’t visit the Easter bunny or attend a community Easter egg hunt where kids plow each other over to see who gets the most eggs. But we did add one new tradition in the form of a Resurrection Egg hunt.   Resurrection Eggs are fairly popular within the Christian community. Simply put, there are twelve eggs each filled with a token or symbol representing a different part of the Easter story. Traditional 1. Donkey 2. Silver coins 3. Cup 4. Praying hands 5. Whip 6. Rooster 7. … Continue Reading