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Lessons from the Life and Death of a Rose

My Grandma recently passed away.

Rose Marie Sanders was her official name, but we all called her Grandma Rosie.

She was a special lady.

She was admitted to the ER and a week later went home to be with Jesus. It was a long week. It was a hard week. And yet, amidst the tears, there was laughter, reflection, memories made and shared. It got me thinking about her life and how much she impacted me and my family in so many ways. It also made me think about death as well. I’ve never been so close to someone dying before. It certainly brings a clarity to things. It’s a journey we will all make one day.

So I would like to share memories and thoughts on her life and death and how they both impacted me. Read more

Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom: How I Survive Without Going Crazy

Two weeks ago I started this series looking at how I became a stay-at-home mom and took a closer look at some of the things that make this the hardest job ever.

So the next question I thought about was, “How do I survive day after day?” Honestly, in the beginning this was really really hard. Now, it’s just regular hard. And some days it really is just getting up and putting one foot in front of the other, like any hard thing in life. But I don’t count down the hours as much as I used to. And sometimes I even enjoy myself.

I am a list person who likes to physically do tasks. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. Being a mom is not really like that. Sometimes I can get some tasks done, but more often I feel like I am going in circles doing the same things over and over with nothing really getting done and nothing to show for all my “work” at the end of the day.

I had to go through a major mental shift when I became a stay-at-home mom, and that didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening, in fact. I had to learn what would work for me and my kids in this new role. I can guarantee you that our everyday family life will look different than yours because I am not you.

But I also know that some of what has helped me is universal, and may be able to help you too. So here is a list of 5 things you can do to help with the transition to motherhood or becoming a stay-at-home mom: Read more

Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom: Hardest Job Ever

It’s been a little over 3 years since my husband and I decided I would leave the workforce and become a stay-at-home mom. We were pregnant with our first when we made that decision. I cannot say the road has been easy. There are many days I want to quit, but it has been worth it.

I want to challenge and encourage any moms out there who want to be home, who are home and struggle, or even those that work outside the home. Being a mom is an all-encompassing job whether you are home full time or not, so I know that even if you work outside the home there will be something you can relate to.

Over the next few weeks I am going to take a look at three aspects of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom:

1. Hardest Job Ever!

2. How I Survive Without Going Crazy

3. How We Can Afford to Live on One Income.

I wish I could say that I have all the answers for you, but I don’t. I’ve only been at this for three years. Lots of moms have tons more experience than I do, but I can share my experience, and hopefully you will find something that you can relate to, especially if you are in the early years of your kids lives as well.

Hardest Job Ever

That pretty much sums it up. I’ve worked many types of jobs: customer service, manual labor, printing, project management, etc. But this is, by far, the toughest job I’ve ever had. Granted, it is also the most rewarding, but toughest nonetheless. Some days I am ready to throw in the towel. While my daughter throws a tantrum and my son bangs continually on the closet door I question if I should do something about all this or just walk back in the other room and put my head under the pillow. Did I mention it’s not even 6:30AM yet? Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those days. Read more

Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom: How Our Family Can Afford to Live on One Income

Over the last month I have been exploring three aspects of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom:

I started by talking about how it is the hardest job ever. Then I shared some tips for how I survive day-to-day life without going crazy. Today I am going to share how we can afford for me to be home.

How Our Family Can Afford to Live on One Income

We really can’t. Honestly, at the end of the day, we spend more than we are bringing in most months. But somehow it all works out. I give God all the credit for that because in 3 years of me being home we still have our long-term savings intact. I’m not going to give out our exact financials because I don’t think it’s important, but I will say that you can make a one-income family work on a lot less than you think. You can make it work for under 35K.

Granted, you won’t live in the biggest, fanciest house, or take the most expensive vacations, or eat out all the time, but if you are serious about wanting live on one income, there are ways to do it. Read more

Wisconsin Vacation Recap

A couple weeks ago our family visited Wisconsin for a much-needed vacation with my parents, sister and nephew. We were quite the crew, but it was perfect. Only a 3 hour drive away was very do-able for the kids.

Day 1: Arrival

We stayed in Mishicot, WI at the Fox Hills Resort. The resort was ok. It was quirky and definitely needed updates, but it served us well. We were able to have many adjoining rooms, including a full kitchen and living/dining room. That helped with food. It is such a chore to take 3 little ones out to a restaurant. We did a few times, but it is much easier eating at home.  Everyday we ate breakfast at the resort, some lunches, and most dinners.

I think one of Maddie’s favorite things about this vacation was that she got to watch cartoons in the morning. Our kids are early risers, earlier than my nephew, and most people,  so we tried to keep them corralled in our room as long as possible. This meant Maddie got to watch PBS kids, while we chased Asher around. She discovered a new show she likes, call Wild Kratts, or as she calls it, The Brothers.

Read more

Homemade Crib Rail Protection you Won’t Find on Pinterest

It may be a slight exaggeration to say that my son is part beaver, but seriously, has your crib ever looked like this?

I know we shouldn’t compare children, but my daughter never left marks like this. Teeth marks, yes, but not gnawing like she was going to bite through the bars completely.

I knew I had to do something when I came in to get him from his nap and there were brown paint chips all over his face from the crib. That can’t be healthy.

I remembered seeing somewhere about how people used pool noodles and you could make a fabric overlay for them and use that. Great idea! But I am not a sewer, and have no sewing machine or time to learn. And besides, this was an emergency. Something had to happen, like, now, before he got a splinter in his mouth.

So, this is what I came up with on the fly, without purchasing anything. Read more

Preparing for Easter

(Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You can read my policy here.)

Easter is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me, then you don’t feel prepared mentally. But there are things you and your children can do to prepare for Easter.

Family Devotionals

I have been doing devotionals with my kids everyday using the JellyTelly 5 Minute Family Devotionals for Easter. If you don’t know what JellyTelly is you can check out my post all about it here. Those have been wonderful. Every morning I read a short passage of scripture, read the prompt and they watch a short video. Then we briefly talk about what they learned and we pray. My kids are young, 3 and 1, so short is a must. But I feel like it has helped me too.

Listen to Podcasts

Sometimes you may not have time to sit and read for great lengths of time, but listening can be done while on the go, or while doing tasks. I love listening to podcasts as often as I can. Recently FamilyLife had a series on celebrating Easter with your family which was really spot-on and gave many good things to think about in regards to Easter traditions. I highly recommend that you check it out for ideas on how to start meaningful traditions for your Easter that focus more on Christ than eggs and bunnies. Read more

My Homemaking Mentor Academy: Enrollment is Only Open until April 3

(Note: The links in this post are my affiliate links. If you need more info, check out my disclosure policy here.)

First of all, I just want to apologize for telling you all about this amazing academy so late in the game. Enrollment is only open through tomorrow, April 3. It’s been a crazy week, and I did not feel up to blogging. But, there is still a little time, so check it out.

My Homemaking Mentor is an online training academy designed for Christian women who want to craft a gospel-centered home. I am so excited about this academy. The courses offered are extremely practical and helpful. And better yet, you get LIFETIME access to all the courses included now and any added in the future. Plus, you will be part of an awesome community of like-minded women.

What is included in the academy?

15 full courses on homemaking
50+ practical videos
12 Titus 2 mentors to guide you through the academy
Printables & worksheets
Instant and lifetime access to the academy, including any future additions
The ability to listen and watch anytime, anywhere, on any device

You can also check out the link below for a more in depth look inside the academy.

What is the cost?

$99, which may seem high, but as I mentioned, you get lifetime access to all that is offered now, in addition to any future courses added, and I know that more will be added. They also offer 100% money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied, but I know this academy is amazing, so I doubt that gets used much.

Why do I need this?

Lets face it. Not all of us had great mentors, teachers or parents modeling for us what homemaking is all about. It’s not like it’s taught in schools. So where do you learn about what homemaking is, and not only homemaking, but biblical homemaking? There are many resources spread out all over, but this is a resource all in one place that you can keep coming back to again and again.

I have not personally gone through the academy yet, but I love what’s in the courses and know the importance of each subject matter. I have spent many hours researching these things for myself before the academy ever came to be.

In our budget right now, $99 is just not gonna work, so I completely get that. If you are a little tight on funds right now, Jami Balmet does offer a FREE e-course, which I highly recommend as well. It’s called Finding Joy in Your Home, Essential Habits for Christian Homemakers. This is also a great introduction to the types of courses you would find in the academy.

Again, I apologize for posting this so late, but I wanted to make sure you at least had an opportunity to check it out for yourself. If you do end up joining, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Happy Homemaking!

Homemade Edible Play Dough Saves the Day and Makes Us Blue

Last Monday it snowed here. We haven’t seen snow in a while, and even though we could have still gone out, I opted for an inside day. Normally, I hate inside days because they are torture with two little ones under 3. But I guess I was feeling rather adventurous. I found this recipe for edible play dough on Pinterest a few weeks ago and decided it would be the perfect time to try it out.

It’s super simple, only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, cornstarch and marshmallows.

Maddie helped me count out the marshmallows and put them in each bowl.

I added the rest of the ingredients and food coloring and ended up making three colors: pink, purple, and blue.

It was a little more dense than I thought it would be, but we were able to make a few things with it.

As I finished helping Maddie make a snake I took a peek at Asher and discovered that he really liked it too, only in a much different way.

I was so happy it was edible because he thought it was snack time, not play time.

By the end of our time he had it everywhere! In hindsight I should have stripped him down before we began, but I don’t think of that in the middle of winter. Needless to say, after play dough time came bath time.

I didn’t really care for the consistency of the dough but it did the job of helping pass the time and it was simple to make and clean up from. Maybe I would try it again and mess with the ratio of ingredients.

What are your favorite ways of passing the time with little ones when you are stuck indoors?

How Long Can our Family Go Without Buying Any Shampoo or Toothpaste?

How long can I go without buying our family any shampoo or toothpaste is the question I am going to answer this year. Since the start of the new year I have not purchased any new shampoo or toothpaste for our family, and honestly, I think we can make it all year, or longer without buying any more.

What Inspired this Challenge?

Trying to save money, for starters. But secondly, when I looked in our linen closet and saw that we had several full bottles of shampoo, a few full tubes of toothpaste and like a million samples that were unused I started thinking, “I bet if we were to use up some of these samples that we could go a really long time without buying any product.”

How Did I Acquire So Much Product?

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