Christmas Tree Troubles

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Gather round, friends. I have a Christmas tale for you that is sure to bring some jolly to your day. It is a tale of a young mother who had large Christmas tree ambitions. Ambitions that were thwarted…

Two Ways to Prepare Your Heart and Your Kids' Hearts for Christmas

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Last night in my church small group, a few of the members expressed their concerns about getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I'm right there with them. While I know that…

4 Reasons a Cooking Birthday Party at Hy-Vee Is a Steal of a Deal

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A kids' cooking birthday party at Hy-Vee is a hidden gem. Every kid (ages 6-10) absolutely loved this hour and a half of hands-on cooking and eating fun. And it was the most low-stress, enjoyable birthday…

10+ Halloween School Party Ideas

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Need some ideas for a Halloween school party? Or even some game ideas for a Halloween party coming up? Keep reading... Am I the only one who draws a blank when it comes to brainstorming up school…
Before you fire off an email or social media post, be sure to read this article about some great ways to encourage your teacher.

How NOT to Encourage Your Child's Teacher

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By Jennifer Shackelford, Contributing Author Friends, I have determined that there are two types of people in this world. Those whose phone looks like this....(Yes, this is my home screen. Yes,…

3 Ridiculous Arguments I Continue to Have with My Preschooler

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I absolutely love the things that come out of preschoolers’ mouths. There are too many one liners to keep track of. The stream of thought dialogue is innocent, precious, and sometimes, down right hilarious.…

I'm Not the Mom I Thought I'd Be

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Yesterday, I was in a flurry of busyness. I was attempting to bring some order to the office in our new home but my productivity was being thwarted by my three little people who sensed my distraction.…

We Need to Tell Our Kids That It's Hard to Follow Jesus

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Photo credit: All photos in this post are property of The Crossing, Columbia, MO. See originals here. I just spent the past year with a team at my church writing and producing a curriculum for our one-week…
These easy and fun summer learning activities are perfect for elementary-aged kids.

20+ Excellent Summer Learning Activities for Elementary-Aged Kids

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I want my summers at home with my kids to count. Every May, I spend some time thinking about how I can make an impact in my children's lives over the summer months. I've written quite a bit on setting…
Round up of easy summer learning activities for preschoolers

20+ Summer Preschool Learning Activities

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Summer is a-coming! All of my little ducklings will be back in the nest and quickly clamoring for things to do. So, in theory, I'm OK with my kids facing a little boredom. It forces them to be creative…

Resource for How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex (Ages 3+)

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5 year old: "Mom, how do the eggs get in the mama bird's belly?" Mom: "Um, well, (frantically trying to formulate an answer that will not spur more questions) the daddy puts them there." (Not my…
If I could go back to the beginning, here are six pieces of advice I would give myself as a new stay-at-home mom.

6 Things I Would Go Back and Tell Myself as a New Stay-At-Home Mom

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Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.…

5 Lessons I've Learned This Year as a Mom of Three

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My sweet "Clay-Bay-Bay" just turned one. It seems so cliche to say that this year has gone fast but it also feels wrong to not say it. We have officially completed an entire year with three kids,…

Two Questions to Ask Your Child Every Day

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Dinner time is far from picture perfect these days. While I do have hopes of one day sitting around the table and talking about the happenings of the day, our current meal times are a combination of…

Keeping the Big Things Big (and the Small Things Small)

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“Martha, if your heart stops beating, do you want us to restart it?” I could hardly believe the question that the doctor had just asked my grandmother (technically my husband’s grandmother but family…

Why Mommy Meltdowns are OK Sometimes

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A few weeks ago I was having a hard day. Minor things had been chipping away at me all day long and my resistance was low. When my infant refused to go down for an afternoon nap I hit my tipping point…
Jesus' Birthday Cake

A Birthday Party for Jesus on Christmas Night

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When the gift opening frenzy is over, all toys have been played with, and everyone has sufficiently stuffed themselves on Christmas dinner..there's still one more Christmas tradition my children can't…

"Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?”

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"Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same…
How We Use Our 5 Minute Ride to School

How We Use Our 5 Minute Drive to School (+7 Devotional Resources for the Car)

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Every Monday through Friday my husband or I load our three kids, ages 6, 8, and 9, into our gray Honda Odyssey (along with every other middle-aged, suburban parent, right?) at 7:20 a.m. to head to school. Our…

5 Reminders for the Sleep Deprived Mom (or Dad!)

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My third kid was about two months old and I was TIRED. So very tired. The newborn honeymoon stage had worn off only to be replaced by an accumulation of sleep deprivation. One night, after already being…

The Gift of a Granola Bar

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Monday mornings are a big deal around our house. Reason for all the excitement? Trash day. My kids not only love trash day because of the huge trucks that give them a honk and a wave but they have…

Character is Caught, Not Taught

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As a child of the 80s, I grew up watching my dad get his newspapers out of those huge, metal dispensers. I loved putting the quarters in for him and the immediate ability to pull a previously-locked…

A Third Kid is Like...

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"So, how is life with three kids?" is a common question I've been getting these days. It's such an innocent question that I can answer in one sentence or in three hours. And, as with most things in…
This well-done, biblical devotional book is perfect for families with elementary and teenage children. Parents will find it easy to use all year round.

Book Review of "One Year of Dinner Table Devotions"

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Do you know what one extensive study shows to be the three crucial factors in teenagers retaining their faith through high school and beyond? The first and second of those three factors…