She's here...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I am so excited to announce the arrival of our much awaited sweet baby girl!!

She was born at 5:18 in the morning on the 22nd of December. It's hard to believe a week has already gone by!

We have been soaking up every minute with her! We can't get enough of her sweet newborn smell and snuggles! We are all in baby heaven!

Thank you so much for all your prayers and kind words during this pregnancy! God has been so gracious to us.

I can't wait to share all the details of her birth with you soon!

And for those of you who are wondering; her name, Ahava, means love in Hebrew.

How I prepare to give birth...naturally (from the archives)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My due date has come and gone, but I am totally fine with that. If you have been keeping up with all that has been going on over here with the addition of our home,  you understand why.

Haven't had too much time to blog so I thought I would share an older post that I wrote right before I had Luke.

If you are pregnant or hoping to be someday and want to have a natural birth, I hope this post will help give you some ideas of what to expect and what you can do to prepare yourself mentally and physically.

I know it helped me to read through this again as it's been 3 years since I gave birth to my son Luke.
No matter what I know God will give me the grace and strength I need but it's always good to be prepared!

Today is due date for  my fifth baby! Of course that means my senses and body have been on high alert for the first signs of labor. I have gone overdue with all of my children. My last one was only 2 days late which was pretty much like coming early. The one before that was 12 days late!!! I could have been induced but would much rather have them come when they are good and ready if there are no complications.

It sure got old though hearing everyone ask, "Haven't you had that baby yet?" It's an estimated due date people! It's not like the baby has to come on your due date. So if you see a weary pregnant women in the end of her pregnancy don't ask her if she is ready to pop or drop yet...believe me she is!

Though I look forward to finally seeing my long awaited baby, I usually dread the labor part. Yes, I don't enjoy pain, but when I have been waiting for almost 42 weeks I'm ready for the pain to begin...bring it on!

So how do I get my mind and body ready?


First you have to be determined that you are going to do this naturally! If you have second guesses or aren't sure, once those snake tightening contractions start you will want to say, yes give me that epidural!( Confession: along with not wanting an epidural for the most natural birth possible, I can't stand the thought of a needle going into my back!! yikes!)

Positive Support

Surround yourself with people who encourage and support you in your decision! Now I know this isn't always possible but turn a deaf ear to those who don't understand or try to tell you what they think you should do. There is nothing like the encouragement that comes from someone who tells you," Yes, it's hard...but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Do What Feels Best To You 

I never went to any birthing classes or had a doula but I am sure they would have been helpful so look into your options but remember your body was made to do this... listen to it! Do what feels right! Whether that means moving to a different position, moaning and groaning( yes everyone does it)and breathing.


Of course talk to your Doctor or midwife first, but if you have already been exercising you can usually keep it up in a modified form. Since I had already been working out when I found out I was pregnant I was able to keep up my routine, just not at the same intensity. Though of course I have gained weight, it feels good knowing I haven't lost all my muscle that I have worked so hard for not to mention it's a great outlet.  Join a bootcamp or find a friend to keep you accountable, it's a lot more fun and easier when you are with other women and have someone to tell you what to do.  Along with the benefit of staying in good shape, exercising will help prepare you for the physical demand of labor and give you a head start on getting back into your clothes once you have had your baby!

Be Prepared

I don't know about you but when I reach the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy I get a little crazy. I have to have everything ready, clean and organized at home or I can not rest. I gain new energy and start to nest like a mad women. I think all the projects that I have been putting off all year get done in those 2 weeks. I do not want to come home with my baby to a big mess, I want to relax and enjoy my baby. Of course the baby won't care what your house looks like but at least you will feel better knowing everything is ready for your new arrival, at least I do. So be prepared!


Try to cut back on any extra activities. Get as much rest as you can! Though I admit that is hard for me to do at times when I have so many things going on and little ones to take care of; I can't function if I am overtired. I don't want to go into labor exhausted and stressed. Life is busy and unexpected things happen that you can't foresee but as much as possible give yourself some slack knowing that you have a big job ahead of you and you need to be rested and relaxed.

Check Out Your Options

If you are opting for the most natural experience try a water birth! It doesn't take away the pain but it sure helps! After having my first flat on my back, I had a water birth with the last three and much preferred it. Its warm, soothing and easy to move around in. Its also a more natural transition for the baby who has been swimming in fluid during his growth in your womb. Talk to your midwife or doctor about your options.

Hold On To Scripture 

Ask God to give you a scripture to hold on to. The word of God is so powerful and comforting! Here are some I like to meditate on:

 "My flesh and heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26 

 "I love you , O Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock, my  fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge." Ps. 18:1-2

"Do I bring to the moment of birth and not bring delivery? says the Lord." Isaiah 66:9

One that I feel God has given specifically for this upcoming birth is:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." Ephesians 3:16-17

Not only do I pray for physical strength but even more; spiritual and emotional strength. I want Him to strengthen me in my inner being to bring this new life into the world.

The Pain Will Not Last Forever 

 Know that it is going to be painful and difficult but that it will not be forever. Believe me I pray that it will always be as painless as possible but I know there is going to be pain. I know there are people who say they have had painless natural births; which if so good for them, but I have not experienced this euphoria.

 The Bible says, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." Genesis 3:16

We don't unfortunately live in a perfect world, we live in a fallen; sinful world where we experience joy alongside pain and sorrow. Our pain and sorrow in this life is only temporary and is going to be exceeded by a far greater joy when we are reunited with our Risen Lord. I love the example Jesus gives of this:

"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child has been born into the world." John 16:21

This experience of going from such pain to such joy is indescribable!  Though I must admit that the painful memories of giving birth have unfortunately not completely left me. But here I am again and I am looking forward to it because the sheer joy of bringing a new life into the world supersedes all the painful memories.

10.) Whatever you ideal birth experience looks like remember that sometimes things don't always go as we plan. Yes, have great expectations but  know that you are not a failure if things didn't go as you hoped, it's not your fault. You don't have to compare your birth story with someone else's. Though all of us pray and hope that things will go as smoothly and quickly as possible we are still stuck in sinful bodies in a sinful world that doesn't always cooperate with what we want. The most important thing is that we are healthy and the baby is. This trumps everything else.

 Every experience is different and special! Embrace this precious gift that God has given us as women! This has been what I have experienced for which I am so grateful but remember that each experience is different and to do what you feel is best for you and your baby!

Have you had a natural birth? 

What would your advice be to giving birth naturally?

Linking up here!

Getting ready to have a baby: My hospital bag

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Is there really anyway you can prepare to welcome a brand new human being into the world?

No matter how much I have prepared mentally, physically and practically it's always such a shock when the baby that has been inside of me for 9 plus months, is placed on my chest. It's just such a miracle.

Although I am definitely feeling all the effects this tiny little person has been making on my body and psyche, it's still much different carrying it around inside of me then on the outside.

I haven't been able to prepare our home as much I'd like since we are in the middle of renovations but I finally packed my hospital bag and got the bassinet out and cleaned!
I really don't even feel prepared mentally either because I have had so many other things (if you can imagine that;) on my mind. I am kind of thankful though, because I haven't had time to worry about labor and giving birth. I think it also helps that my last delivery went so well with Luke.

Although bringing another life into the world in the midst of so much else going on in our lives is crazy, it's also so exciting!

Now that I have my hospital bag packed I thought I'd share what's in it.

Diaper Bag- from Lily Jade

My diaper bag is doubling as my hospital bag this time around. This bag is probably one of  the biggest splurges I have ever made but I have bought so many bags that have fallen apart. With all the bags I have bought, I could have bought this one a long time ago. I love that it is leather and doesn't even look like a diaper bag. One of the things that made me really want it is that it can be worn either on the shoulder with small or long straps and as a back pack. It fits really nice over a stroller also. It also has a bright red washable insert and if you want to take the insert out the inside of the bag is made of the same washable material.

I felt really guilty after I bought it( though I used some blog money I had saved up) but I have finally comes to term with it and am really glad I made the plunge. With each baby I have had I tend to realize that I need less and less stuff in a diaper bag so I like that this diaper bag is not too big. I have been using it already and love it!

Oh and if you do check out Lily Jade's website make sure to check out their outlet bags. My bag is an outlet bag and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it just a much lower price tag. Oh and just so you know this is not a sponsored post I am just really happy with my bag;)

Ok, so now that you know all about my bag. What is in my bag?

Robe- from PinkBlush Maternity (Link to Amazon)

There is something about having nice clothes after labor that makes you feel so good. A friend of mine gave me some money specifically for getting new pajamas and a robe so I went for it.  I found this beautiful robe from PinkBlush Maternity. They have so many different patterns and colors to choose from. You can get them on amazon or their site. I am so excited to wear it! It's so pretty!

These are pretty obvious but sometimes they are the things you forget to bring but need the most!

*Soap/face wash
*Slipper socks
*Toothbrush/ toothpaste/floss
*Going home clothes(aka comfy clothes)
*Nursing pads
*Nursing Bra
*Sports bra/ dress for water birth

Must Haves

*Pandora playlist(I'm going to set my Pandora to Audrey Assad during labor. I love her soothing voice and beautiful worship music.)
*Phone Charger
*Camera/ Camera charger/ SD card

Baby Stuff

Going Home outfit
I received this outfit from my baby shower and I just love it! Yay for sweet girly clothes. It will be perfect because it's just starting to get a little colder here.

I am bringing a couple of these, because chances are I might need to change the baby a couple of times in the hospital.

 Swaddle Blanket

I love these swaddle blankets. I have swaddled all my babies and although every baby is different it has really been great for mine. I find that they tend to easily awake when they can brake free from their blankets but if they feel like they are held tight they seem to sleep longer.

Receiving blanket

I love having a simple receiving blanket for nursing. These are so sweet and pretty.

Burp rags

Good ol' fashioned burp rags

A Little Something Extra

My sister in law gave me this natural remedy for after pains. I usually take Motrin in the hospital but I am excited to try this too. I hope it helps! ( For those of you who don't know- After you have a baby your uterus starts to contract(go back into place) and it can be very painful, especially when you nurse. It's great that things are trying to go back to normal but it can be like going back into labor again:( )

One of the reasons I have had all my babies in the hospital is that I really love being able to rest and recuperate after birth. Yes, they poke and prod the baby and I, a lot but it's so nice to be taken care of not have to be the one getting up and checking all the babies vitals. The 2 days of rest that I get in the hospital go a long way to helping me go back home to all my other babies;) Once those 2 days are over, believe me I am ready to get home!

I have been so blessed to be able to have natural water births with 4 out of my 5 children at the same hospital. I know not everyone has the same experiences but I have been very fortunate. I love being able to have the natural experience that I want along with the great care of a hospital. And it's nice to know that if anything did happen where I or the baby needed immediate medical assistance; we are already at the hospital.

So now that I have everything ready all there is to do is wait for those labor contractions to come on and make it to the hospital in time!

I usually go very fast so I am praying that this little girl will give me fair warning!

Are you expecting?

If so what do you bring to the hospital/ birthing center or have ready at home?

Have you ever not made it to the hospital or birthing center?

Addition Update #2

Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's about time for another update!

Since the start of this addition I have been praying that by some miracle it would get done in record time, and I have to say that I really believe God is working a miracle. Though there is still so much to do, it is amazing all that has been accomplished already.

Although there has been a few setbacks and not always being able to get work done when we expected, we are on the homestretch!

If you haven't been in the loop about our addition, please check out these posts Here and Here so you can see where we started from!

Since the addition is taking place off the back of our house we have been able to go about life as usual pretty much, except for a few times when work needed to be done in the house and I had to get my gang out of there.

Once the back wall was torn down to make way for our new dining area and kitchen. It all got real crazy, real fast. Before I knew it, we found ourselves not only surrounded by a construction zone, but living in a construction zone.

Boxes were everywhere as we had to move everything out of the kitchen and most of the living room. I never realized we had so much stuff!

Also the window in our bathroom and kids room had to be boarded up and became unusable. And our water heater was taken out to make room for a new one, so no hot water.  It became apparent fast that we could not live in these conditions any longer. No kitchen, no living room, no kids room and workers everywhere!

We had planned to stay with Josh's parents while they were out of town in a few days but thankfully they let us come a little earlier and put up with having 7 extra people in their home; 5 of which get up at 6:30 every morning! Good thing my in laws are the most hospital and generous people on the planet and had 8 children of their own!!

They have left now for a week and I am praying that the house will be somewhat livable by the time they return so we don't impede on their good graces any longer. I am also praying that this baby will stay inside of me for another 2 weeks! I am 39 weeks pregnant this week but will happily carry this baby a couple weeks longer if it means being able to bring her back to our own home. I usually go late so I am really counting on that. Don't change things up baby!

Either way we will somehow survive! I am just really trying to keep my eyes on the Lord and know that He is in control and that he knows everything that's going on in our lives and he cares.

Kitchen and back wall of our house which will soon be down!

                                                                 Our new kitchen pantry!!
                                                   Luke having fun with the leftover wood!

                                                                   Josh working away!
                                                                 Drywall is up!!!

                                                            Hallway to our bedroom!
                                                Our new bedroom and wall to wall closets!!

                                     Drywall is done so Josh is putting in kitchen cabinets!

The state of our living room.

As you can see once all the drywall went up it made a such a huge difference. And when the wall between the kitchen and living room came down I cried tears of joy. I have been dreaming of this day for so long! It's amazing how big it looks now. I can't wait to see it all done with out all our junk everywhere.

I wanted to get some more pictures of the wall coming down and the drywall going up but we could not be anywhere near there. Josh hired some professional drywall guys and they put that stuff up like nobody's business. Now that it's done things will be going fast. Josh already started putting in the cabinets and is at the house painting now!

It took me forever to decide on paint colors. I knew what colors I wanted but there are so many different shades and variations. I am so terrible at making decisions when I have too many choices. It finally came down to the wire and I had to choose. I think I slept better last night because of it. I hope I am happy with my choices and like the end result!

So much is going to happen this week now that we don't have to wait on anyone. Once Josh gets in there he is going to go to town.

If we had purposely picked this time to have a baby it would have been the worst possible time ever but I think it's really worked in our favor to speed things along. God knows what he is doing!

By the end of this week everything should be painted, floors laid, countertop and new appliances installed. It's going to be insane! I can't wait to show you the progress! I am so excited! Now is when all the fun stuff happens! Sorry for all the exclamations but they were necessary!!! ;)

What do you think?

Have you lived through a renovation and lived to tell about it?

Have you had trouble ever picking out paint colors?

Linking up here!

12 Must Read Christmas Books for the Whole Family

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas is right around the corner!

Are you stressed out or enjoying all the fun and festivities?? I hope the latter.

With our house under construction we haven't been able to do all the normal Christmas traditions that we usually enjoy. We don't have a tree, decorations or lights. We haven't made any Christmas treats or a gingerbread house...etc...etc.

But you know what? It's really okay. We are all healthy and together and that's really all that matters.

We have been able to make it to the library though and order some books on amazon and have been enjoying reading them together. It's been a great time to connect with my kids during this crazy season and get focused on what is truly important.

I am sharing all our favorite Christmas books over at My Joy Filled Life. I hope you will hop over there and check them out! They are beautifully illustrated books with beautiful stories to tell about our Savior and this season.

And don't forget to enter the Christmas Blessings Giveaway if you haven't already! One lucky entrant will win $500 paypal cash!!! I know there are many that are hurting this season and that amount of money would help a lot!

What are some of your favorite Christmas books?

Linking up here!

Being a blessing to others on Christmas( Christmas Blessings Giveaway $500 paypal cash)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

One of my very dearest memories of Christmas as a child, was waking up to snow on the ground with a house filled with friends and family. Coming out into the living room there was our tree, with mounds of presents piled high and a train running on it's track around it!

My parents did not have the finances to afford all those presents. I was to find out in later years that our church had gotten together and blessed us with those presents. That picture is still so vivid in my mind. Not only were there those presents around the tree but someone(we never found out who) Had dropped off two German Shepherd puppies in front of our house. My siblings and I were ecstatic!

What a Christmas!

I am sure we all sat around as my Dad read the Christmas story and we shared a delicious meal together, but all I remember was the snow, that amazing tree surrounded by presents and those adorable puppies!

Another one of my fond memories is my parents taking me to the mall to see Santa( though I knew he wasn't real) I sat on his lap and told him I wanted a glow in the dark Barbie doll that I had my heart set on. Now, my mom did not approve of Barbie for some obvious reasons that I can see now, but I wanted that Barbie so badly. Though I knew it was not likely that I would get it, considering my mom's convictions. Imagine my shock, when on Christmas morning I opened up a present that was a glow in the dark Barbie!!!

Another memory that I still cherish till this day.

I love that even though my parents may not have been able to afford a lot of presents or approve of what I wanted they and others wanted to bless me with the desires of my heart as a child.

In later years these memories would mean so much to me as there were many Christmas' that there were no presents and no happy memories.

When I was 14 my Dad died and unfortunately we were left with no money. Not only were we without my Dad but we then moved to a different state where we knew no one. I remember how lonely that Christmas was. As we got involved in a new church we were so blessed to have some amazing families take us under their wing and always include us in their holiday gatherings.

Now having my own family and marrying into a huge extended family, I feel so blessed and thankful any time we gather together, because I remember those days of it just being my mom, brother and sister...and no presents.

I don't take for granted what a gift I have been given and I want to be able to be a blessing to others who are not only without the financial means to buy gifts but who are lonely. Though presents are great, I believe the presence of others on Christmas is ultimately the best!

I have been asking God that he would show me ways to be a blessing to others this Christmas, in not only a financial way, but a practical and loving way. To look outside myself and even my family to those who are hurting and alone.

I love Christmas but it can be so easy to just want to think of ourselves and only want to give to those who give to us and are in our inner circle of family and friends. How often do we get outside of our comfort zones to reach out to those who don't have anybody, and who are often forgotten?

Unfortunately, I know on my part, not enough. I pray that this Christmas and those to come we will look to the interests of others. That we would have a hand in making beautiful memories for those who might not have any and give the gift of not only our money, but our time and affection to those that need it the most.

 It is such a blessing to give to others and I, along with 25 other bloggers, can't wait to bless one of you with $500 Paypal cash with the Christmas Blessings Giveaway! 

Whether you decide to use this money for fulfilling your kids' Christmas lists, paying off a bill, or just saving for a rainy day, we hope to lessen the financial burden and/or brighten the day of one of our readers with $500 Paypal cash to use for whatever their family needs.

You can earn a lot of entries in the Rafflecopter form below.  I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it?  I think it is!  Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such a big prize!  So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry.  Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 The giveaway will run from Thursday, December 1st through Saturday, December 10th (ends at 11:59pm EST).  Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn.  You must have a Paypal account to win.   Save

Do you have any Christmas memories that have stuck with you?

What are some ways that God has shown you to bless others this Christmas?

How would you use the giveaway $ if you won?

Linking up here!

37 week bump update

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's getting real people!

I am going to have a baby in the next couple of weeks!

Even though I have done this before, I think I am going to be in shock. It's always so crazy going from being pregnant to having a little human on the outside to take care of.

Life has been pretty crazy around here these days and I honestly have had so much else to preoccupy my mind. I haven't had much time to worry about labor or figure out how I am going to be the mom to 6 little and not so little people. Which is probably a good thing. I know that it's all going to work out somehow and am just really excited to meet this new little addition to our family.

November is already a busy month for us and you can be sure it has been a whirlwind. Not only have we been selling our honey at craft fairs almost every weekend but we celebrated our 13th anniversary, Thanksgiving, our son Simeon's 5th birthday, our son Luke's 3rd birthday and my birthday. And on top of it all we are in the midst of an addition on our house, I have still been homeschooling and my mom has been in the hospital. I have had my fair share of stressing out this month to say the least.  I would probably have had a nervous breakdown but I haven't had time for it.

I confess that I have absolutely nothing ready for this baby. By this time I am usually nesting like crazy, washing baby clothes, getting everything organized but nope...not this time. Instead my house is messier than it's ever been, is covered in construction dust and dirt and there are boxes piled up everywhere.

Even though I feel nowhere near prepared to bring a baby home, I know that somehow it will all work out.

In order to help motivate me to get started on some things I need to do I thought I'd share my before baby comes to do list with you.

Before the baby comes:

*Register at the hospital
*Pack hospital bag
*Organize baby clothes
*Wash baby clothes
*Get out bassinet
*Wash car seat
*Install car seat in van
*Get a pedicure ;)

I am sure there are a lot more things I need to do but this all I can think of that I can realistically do now until the addition is done. Right now I am just trying to focus on getting enough sleep and trusting God with everything.

I go late in all of my pregnancies and I am relying on that this time also. Though I usually would welcome having my babies on time or early, I am in no rush this time. She can stay in there as long as she wants. I have too much to do! I am looking forward to my little hospital stay though. I always enjoy being pampered a little bit and just focusing on recuperating from birth and getting acquainted with my baby.

I am actually looking forward to sleeping better after I have the baby. I know that sounds crazy but this insomnia  and having to pee every 5 minutes is really getting to me. I wake up most nights from 3-5 and then go back to sleep. I feel so groggy and messed up in the morning and tired during the day. I know when I have the baby I will be up but I usually sleep deeper after I have the baby if that makes any sense. And I feel like I need a crane to lift me up out of bed so it will be nice to be able to maneuver out of bed without feeling like a whale and having the bladder the size of a bird.

Well pretty soon this will be a memory and though it's getting uncomfortable, I am so so thankful for this amazing crazy time. I can't wait for the day to come when I will be smelling sweet newborn smells and wishing my baby could stay a baby, a little longer.

p.s. If you haven't already be sure to enter MY GIVEAWAY for an amazon gift card!!! It ends 11/30!

p.s.s. Oh and in the midst of everything else I changed my blog design. I liked my last one but it wasn't mobile responsive so I found one that was a little bit better with a font that I have wanted all along. I went back and forth about switching to wordpress but just don't have the strength right now;) Anyway I really like it but what do you think?? Let me know!
Linking up here!

DIY Child size Sling

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I love having a daughter! She wants to do everything just like me!

With the birth of her brother about 3 years ago, she had a new found love for all things baby.

 I always wear my babies in slings. My sling is my all time favorite baby essential. It truly is a life saver. I can get so much more done, all while keeping my baby snug and happy in my arms.

Ellie also has her babies to take care of and I knew she would love a sling of her own. I have made slings for myself in the past and knew that I could make her a little version of mine. There are so many different variations of slings out there but this kind is my favorite for newborns.

I actually made this sling and took the pictures about 2 years ago! I can't believe how much Ellie has grown but I am happy to say that she still uses her sling and it is still in tact! I am not sure I can say the same for her baby doll. Having 4 brothers who destroy everything is not the best environment for baby dolls.

I made this for a Christmas present for Ellie 2 years ago, and as Christmas is fast approaching again I know that it would be a great gift for some of you to make for your mini me! ( If you are so inclined to be a little crafty.)

I promise that this is absolutely the easiest sewing tutorial! You just can't mess up! Believe me I am not the best seamstress and I only attempt easy these days!

Here's what you'll need:

*1/2 yard of two different patterned fabric. =(1/4 yard of each pattern) Or you could do the same pattern. It's up to you, but they need to be cut up so that you can sew them together. You can adjust it to your child. Mine ended up being about 40 inches in length to fit Ellie who was 4 at the time.
*sewing machine
*measuring tape


1. Double fold edges of fabric at length and width on the edges.

2. Pin right sides together. Leave a few inches unpinned.

3. Sew together.
4. Trim sewed edges and pull through opening.                                                                                                                          

5. Reinforce stitching by sewing around edges of the whole sling about an inch.                                  
6. Iron
7. Overlap bottoms, pin together and sew about 2-3 inches wide across the width back and forth.  Make sure to backstitch to reinforce stitching.
You are done! Now all you have to do is fold it in half (length wise)and let your little mommy fling it over her shoulder and slide her baby in!

As you can see mommy and baby are very happy with the new sling! With the soon to be arrival of a new sibling, I have a feeling this sling will be seeing even more use!

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!

Do you love baby wearing?

What kind of sling is your favorite?

Linking up here!

100 gifts for kids that inspire creativity and learning ( and $100 GIVEAWAY!)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Every year at birthdays and Christmas I get tired of bringing more stuff into our home that will be played with for a little while, then be totally forgotten and eventually in the back of my car on the way to the thrift store.

Over the past couple of years I have been investing in gifts that I know my children will not only love but will inspire creativity and learning.

Whether you have boys or girls, older children or younger this list will be sure to have something for everyone.
Disclosure: Links in posts are to amazon. I recieve a small commission every time you click on a link and purchase a product. Thanks for supporting our home and homeschool!

With my children ranging from 11-3 I try to find gifts that they can all use together or at least share.

Not only do I want to encourage my children to be always investigating and discovering on their own but I want to give them the tools and resources to do so.

Here is a comprehensive list of a 100 gifts that will be sure to light up any child's imagination and creativity!

Nature Lovers

I am so thankful that my kids love to be outdoors! They especially love studying nature and catching creatures. Here are some gifts that my children never tire of using to explore and discover.

 1. Butterfly Nets

2. Butterfly Habitat

3.  Spider and Insect catcher

4. Critter Habitat

5. Bug catcher and viewer

6. Grown your own butterfly kit

7. Binoculars

8. Terrarium/Habitat

9. Backyard Safari Field Kit

10. Rocks and Minerals Collection

Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Enthusiasts

My husband is an avid hunter and fisherman. You can be sure that my kids are following right in his footsteps. They love being outdoors and love catching wildlife, whether it's to eat or just observe for a while. Usually every year they ask for one of these items for gifts and use them till they can't be used anymore. I feel like they learn so much through being outside, catching critters and studying the outside world! I am pretty sure one of my kids will be a biologist some day.

1. Fishing Pole

2. Bait Bucket with bubble box

3. Fishing Net

4. Cast Net

5.Compound Youth Archery set

6. Wooden Bow and Arrow

7. Junior Swiss Army Knife

8. Head lamp

9. Compass

10.Kids Tent

 Nature Books

My kids can not get enough of nature books. Whether it's a nature encyclopedia or colorful nature picture book; I love finding them pouring over these books for hours. All of our nature books are dog eared and ripped from so much use!

1. Nature Anatomy

2. Animalium

3.Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies

4. Fun with Nature

5.Trees, Leaves and Bark

6. The Animal Book

7.Birds, Nests and Eggs

8. First Nature Encyclopedia

9. Botanicum

10. Natural World

Little Scientists

My kids got a microscope last year and continue to find things that they want to take a closer look at through it. I often find them running in the house with a bottle of dirty water, butterfly wings and even bugs to put under it. I am so glad that they love to discover what's unseen to the naked eye and dig under the surface to find out information for themselves. I am sure your kids will love these gifts as well if they are as inquisitive about our world as my kids are.

1. Beginner Microscope

2. 4M Kitchen Scientist Kit

3. Thames and Kosmos Crystal growing kit

4. 4M Magnet Science Kit

5. The Magic School Bus- Chemistry Lab

6. The Everything Kid's Science Experiment Book

7. 4M 3-Dimensional Glow-in-the-dark Solar System Mobile making Kit

8. The Curious Kids Science Book- 100 + Creative Hands on Activities

9. 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments

10. The Way Science Works

Brain Teasers

Lately my kids can not get enough of trying to stump me and each other with brain teasers and hard to figure out. This is a great list of brain benders that will make you and your kids push your brains to the limit. 1. Solid Wood Brain Teasers

2. I Q Challenge Set

3. Tetris Cube Brain Teaser Puzzle

4. Ultimate I Q test metal Brain teaser puzzles

5. Riddles and Trick Questions for kids and families

6. Perplexus Epic

7. Magikon Snake Cube wooden brain teaser puzzle

8.  Educational Insights Kanoodle  (brain teasing puzzles)

9. Of Course! The Greatest collection of riddles and brain teasers for expanding your mind

10. Brain Quest: 750 Questions and Answers to Challenge the mind

Puzzle and Building Enthusiasts

My kids love doing puzzles. The big ones have been obsessed with the rubix cube and the little ones love regular puzzles.

1. Rubix Cube

2.Underwater Ocean Floor Puzzle

3. 60 piece Dinosaur jigsaw puzzle

4. Lincoln Logs

5. Solar System Floor Puzzle

6. Lego Classic  Large Creative Brick Box

7. Dinosaur wooden puzzle toy

8. Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!

9. Animal memory matching game

10. Melissa and Doug Suspend game

Crafty Kids
On a daily basis my kids ask me to do crafts with them. I have to admit that although I love getting crafty, time doesn't always allow for me to put a lot of time into coming up with great crafts every day. This list has some books and crafts that they can do on their own as well as with an adult. I try to provide them with the resources they need and then let them go to town(within reason) crafting! Lately my kids have been obsessed with origami. They have already made every origami project in the books below and have even invented their own. Give your kids the supplies and watch  them create!

1.Fun with Origami Book

2. Origami Paper

3. Animal Origami

4.Creating Really Awesome free things

5. Craft a day: 365 simple handmade projects

6. Sewing School: 21 sewing projects kids will love to make

7. Alex Toys craft my embroidery kit

8. Creativity for kids Do art- Pottery Studio

9. Simple Needle point kit

10. Woodland Animals Craft Kids Sewing Kit

Little Artists
We have a house full of artists. I have always loved art and am so glad my kids have been given such amazing God given talents. They constantly ask me for new supplies to feed their need to create. We have invested in a lot of paper and art supplies over the years but I can't think of a better investment. This list has some great quality supplies that will last your little artists for a long time to come.

1.Sketch Pads

2. Watercolor Pad

3. Art Journal

4.  Winsor and Newton watercolor sketchers pocket

5. Lyra Rembrandt polycolor art pencils 

6. Stockmar primary watercolors

7. Paint Brush set

8. How to Draw Cool stuff

9. Art for Kids Drawing book

10. Acrylic paint set

Techy Kids

Kids love to invent and get technical. It's been so cool for me to learn alongside of them about how things work. Here are some great tools and kits to push you and your techy kids in the right direction if they are curious as to how things work and want to make their own observations and inventions.

1. 3D Doodler Create 3D Pen

2. Makey Makey Invention kit

3. Electronics Base kit

4. littleBits Steam building set

5. Kids First Robot engineer and storybook

6. MudWatt Grow your own fuel cell

7. The Way Things Work Now

8. VTech Kidizoom Action Cam

9. The Kid's Book of Simple Machines

10. Steam Kids: 50+ Science/ Technology/ Engineering/ Art/ Math Hands on Projects for kids

Fun and Educational Games 

Games are so great for bringing our family together. Educational games are even better! I love when my kids learning and don't even realize it because they are having so much fun! 1. Brain Freeze

2. Brain Quest Smart Game

3. Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition

4. Deluxe 7-in-1 Game set

5. Nature Board Bingo

6. Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

7. Animal Trivia Challenge

8. Nature's Food Chain Game

9. Scrambled States

10. History of the United States Trivia Card Game

We have so many great resources right at our fingertips. Let's make the most of them and use them to encourage our kid's creativity and learning!

I am teaming up with some amazing bloggers to give 2 lucky winners $100 each with their choice of paypal or amazon gift card! AND!!!...also giving away a $15 amazon gift card here on my blog!!
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