Holidays and Traditions

A Father’s Day Gift Idea That Your Man Will LOVE

Hint hint: Dad doesn’t want another money clip for Father’s Day. We have a fun and original idea that has already proven to be a great gift: Give him a Bacon Steak Sampler! Even better news: we’ve partnered with Burgers’ Smokehouse to give one away AND to give you *10%

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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Child’s Heart for Easter

What comes to mind when your children think about Easter? I wish I could say that my kids get excited about the fact that Jesus conquered death and sealed the deal on eternal life through him, buuuut I’m pretty sure my kids think of candy. Then of Easter egg hunts.

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Table Talk Cards

Time together as a family is precious. Maybe like us, you want to use these years of having kids under your roof wisely. We want to build life-long relationships with our children and influence them to be successful, compassionate, loving adults. Sometimes that feels like the most overwhelming task. Where

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One of My Favorite Holiday Traditions

Growing up, every Christmas morning we had monkey bread. While the sticky sweet recipe is delish, what makes the monkey bread so special is the tradition behind it. The thought of our Christmas morning monkey bread warms my heart and is something I want to carry on in my family.

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Christmas Tree Troubles

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 by the brokenness in this world. Yet, she persisted. And ended up

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15 Books That Share the REAL Meaning of Christmas

“In a culture that uses this season to get children to dream about how their lives would be made better by possessing a certain material thing, where Christmas has been reduced to a shopper’s nightmare and a retailer’s dream, it is vital to draw the wonder of our children away from

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10+ Halloween School Party Ideas

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 party ideas? I feel like I see awesome game ideas all year long

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Jesus' Birthday Cake

A Birthday Party for Jesus on Christmas Night

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 wait for each year: our birthday party for Jesus on Christmas night. I love that our celebration ends with setting our

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“Seeds of Christmas” Album and DVD Review

*This post is sponsored by Seeds Family Worship but opinions are all mine! Well, they’ve done it again. Seeds Family Worship has come out yet again with another scripture led, kid-favorite, easy on the ears of parents, wonderful album. Except this time, it’s a bit different. It’s CHRISTMAS themed! Teaching

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You'll never regret giving this thrifty, yet meaningful gift this Christmas.

Giving the Gift of Time To Our Kids for Christmas

Guest post by Erin Anderson. Being six years younger than my sister, I always wanted to be more than an annoying little sister. That’s likely why I still remember when she invited me at the age of 14 to stay with her at college for a weekend. When I was

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Free Printables for Summer

FREE Fun Printables for Summer

Hey there, Thriving Home readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Happy Home Fairy. One of my favorite things to do on my site is create fun FREE Printables that help sweet mamas like you build a happy home! Polly and Rachel asked if I would share

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Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party

Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide

Although a while back, I swore off a Pinterest birthday party for my kids, here I am. I found a pocket of creative time this past year and dove head-first into my 7-year-old son’s request for a Science Birthday party. I won’t lie. The research and preparation took a long

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6 Easy and Fun Activities for Holiday Gatherings

  Updated from December 2013. Want to spice up that next family gathering or Christmas party? Try a game or activity to get everyone involved. Here are some of our favorites to do together over the holidays with your kids, with friends or at extended family gatherings. Enjoy!

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Family Christmas Celebration

Santa or No Santa?

Last weekend I had a girls weekend with my college besties. As we’ve talked about before here and here, getting away with girlfriends is refreshing for the soul. We had a blast (and almost got snowed in!!) The weekend was full of laughs, good food and great conversations. One conversation

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Easy Halloween Party Games

3 Easy Elementary Halloween Party Games

I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp counselor, babysitter, teacher, children’s ministry director, student ministry director, and now mom. With my love for games and kids, I’ve got my list of go-to games that

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Thoughtful Father’s Day Gift Idea

I wanted to share about a DIY Father’s Day gift I put together for my dad a few years ago. It took a little preliminary work but the thoughtfulness and time put into it was totally worth it. Weeks before Father’s Day, I asked my two siblings to send me

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Blow Up That Balloon Experiment

As I’ve mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we did three different hands-on science experiments for my son’s 7th Science Birthday Party. All three worked well and were a huge hit with the kids (check out Experiment #2 and Experiment #3.) The first experiment we

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Crazy Cupcake Concoctions

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we had so much fun at my son’s 7th Science Birthday Party. One of my favorite parts of the party, to be honest, was the easiest cake idea ever. You could do this for any birthday

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: How to Make Slime

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including making slime. There’s just no way around it: Slime is cool. Kids and adults alike love messing with this goo. Plus, making slime provides a hands-on way

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Experiment.

Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including this grand finale, the Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion. It. was. pure. awesomeness. My dad captured the action well in this series of shots… I explained to

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valentine's day scavenger hunt for kids

Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt for Kids

A couple I work with have been doing a Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt for their kids as long as I’ve known them. It began when their kids were very young, but, now that all of them are teenagers, it still continues. The mom told me that her kids used to get

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: How to make a science lab photo booth.

Science Birthday Party: Lab Photo Booth

As I mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, part of our decor and activities included the Lab Photo Booth. This cute photo session helped our little scientists loosen up when they arrived at my 1st grade son’s Science Birthday Party. Near the photo booth, we

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10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

6 Easy and Fun Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

The Christmas spirit doesn’t have to stop after December 25! Here are a few easy ideas to do with family throughout the Christmas break, especially at gatherings. 1. Make a birthday cake for Jesus at Christmas. Here is our go-to Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from Ina Garten. We make it

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Game Night: Make Your Own “Apples to Apples”

It’s no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I’ve got another DIY oldie but goodie that my family has played time and again. Remember that popular board game Apples to

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The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

Here’s a craft that I think is worth it: The Thankful Tree. In the rush of preparing a meal, socializing, and entertaining (or restraining?) a house full of little kids, it gave our extended family (ages 2-60) just a moment to reflect on why we had gathered. It focused our

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Easy Halloween Party Games

3 Easy Halloween Game Ideas: Perfect for School Parties!

Reposted from October 2012 I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie’s awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp

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Fourth of July Craft Ideas

It’s June! It’s summer! I’m already seeing some Fourth of July crafts floating around the blogland so I thought I’d throw a few of mine in the mix. Pin it if you like it! Here is a Fourth of July Onesie I made this little festive outfit for my daughter

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DIY Valentine Garland

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. The only time of the year that men will tolerate their homes to be decorated in pinks, reds, and hearts. Due to our lack of storage space, I keep the holiday decorating to a minium. However, I was feeling the itch to make a little Valentine’s

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Why I Won’t Throw My Kid a Pinterest Birthday Party

Why I Won’t Throw My Kid a Pinterest Birthday Party

I have a confession to make. My son just turned 6 this week. And…I dropped the ball, so to speak, on planning a big basketball birthday party like he had originally asked for. There are so many moms out there who are far more creative than me. It’s easy to look

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The Question Game: Fun for Small Groups

The Question Game: Fun for Small Groups

The fun group game for couples that I posted not long ago for Christmas parties has been really popular. A friend asked me, though, if I had a game that can be played with couples and singles, though. Why, yes, yes I do! The Question Game is another easy, get-to-know-you

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My Favorite Christmas Decoration

My Favorite Christmas Decoration

  I typically don’t buy Christmas decorations- especially full price. Most of the decorations we have up have come from my parent’s basement. However, when I saw this print on Etsy, I couldn’t pass it up. “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.”  Not only does this come from

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Easy Halloween Party Games

Easy and Cheap Halloween Party Game Ideas (+ Free Printable)

I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie’s awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp counselor, babysitter, teacher, children’s

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Apple Butter Weekend

Apple Butter Weekend

I’m excited to share with you all a family tradition of ours that I am pretty proud of. Last weekend we headed to my hometown and joined up with family and friends for “Apple Butter Weekend.” I don’t know how long the tradition has been going but it’s been WAY

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halloween decor-painted jars

Painted Jar Jack-O-Lanterns

A few nights ago I was getting the itch to do a little crafting. I honestly can’t remember where this original idea came from but my vision was to paint the inside of some mason jars, add a face to the outside, put a candle in them, and let them

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Fourth of July Onesie

Fourth of July Onesie

This onesie was super easy to do and was quite a hit with anyone my daughter ran into. I was inspired to make this last minute when I saw a similar one by Make it and Love it (one of my FAVORITE sewing blogs). 4th of July Onesie Tutorial This is

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3 Tips for Less Stressful Travel with Little Kids

3 Tips for Less Stressful Travel with Little Kids

Our family has gone from a low maintenance two adult caravan to a five person traveling circus in the past five years.  Traveling to and staying with family is something we look forward to, but we know it’s not easy anymore.  Besides the minivan overflowing with kid gear, some of

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Jesus' Birthday Cake

Jesus’ Birthday Cake

I mentioned last week that we’d be throwing Jesus a birthday party, like we’ve done the past few years on Christmas.  My kids seriously go nuts over this whole shindig.  Mainly, they love helping me make, decorate, and eat the cake.  Here’s the crazy delicious recipe I used once again. 

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Fun Christmas Game for Couples (+ Free Printable)

Fun Christmas Game for Couples (+ Free Printable)

I’m known as the “game girl” around these parts.  Man alive, I love a good game or fun question in a group, especially ones that get people laughing or connecting in a social situation.  As an aside, I married a man who typically has an adverse reaction to group games

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