Hannah’s Jamberry Birthday Party

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my obsession with Jamberry Nail Wraps. I love them! And, I seem to have passed this little addiction on to my oldest girl. So, a Jamberry birthday party was the perfect way to celebrate her 11th birthday!

Her actual birthday was on April 4th, and we had a simple family celebration that evening. But, we had a Parenting Conference at church that weekend, so we planned to have her party the following week. But, it had to be postponed. More than once. Of course, my sweet birthday girl handled the delays graciously. And, we finally got to celebrate last weekend.

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Hannah is my little party planner. Many of the details were her doing. She picked out the wraps that she and her friends got to put on, helped set up the table, and even made place cards for everyone.

And, she had very specific ideas about her cake…as usual. This year, she chose Angel Food Cake, with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. (She made it very easy on me!)IMG_3960

And, instead of ice cream, we made strawberry Greek yogurt popsicles.

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Rebekah wasn’t a fan of the cake, but she really liked her popsicle!

After a lot of rain, the weather was perfect for enjoying their treats outside on the patio!

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She received some very thoughtful gifts…and had a very enthusiastic helper!

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Hannah has some very sweet friends, and we were so thankful to have them, and Grammy & Grampy come celebrate with us! (And we missed the ones who were unable to make it!)

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Happy 11th Birthday, Hannah!

 

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Filed under Birthdays, Hannah Elisabeth, Homemaking, Hospitality, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

Book Review: Wonderfully Made

As a mom of 4…well, soon to be 5, you might think that, by now, this whole pregnancy thing would be getting old and boring. Oh no! I still fill my phone with a variety of apps that entertain me with daily facts about my child’s size and developmental milestones. I still look at each grainy 8 week ultrasound picture with the same amazement I did with my first. I am still in awe of the changes that take place in the few short weeks between those early ultrasounds, and the much more detailed, clear, 4D images at my 20 week scans. I stare at those earliest pictures, and memorize every feature of those sweet faces…and excitedly show them to their big siblings. And each of the older siblings seemed to be equally fascinated by their newest brother or sister.

My oldest was 6 when I was pregnant with her brother, and she had been praying for a baby brother or sister for years. So, she was full of questions right away… How big is he? Is it dark in there? Can he hear me? What does he eat? How did he get in there?

I answered (or avoided) these to the best of my ability.

That baby boy is now a big brother himself. He was only 20 months old when his first little sister was born, and not extremely verbal. But, by the time his second little sister was on the way, he had come up with all sorts of questions of his own….Does she have any toys? Where does she go potty? (All boy, that one.) Can she smell this? Can she see this? Will she get wet? (Asked during a run to the car in the rain.)

I love seeing my children’s early interest in, and love for their younger, pre-born siblings. But, I didn’t always have the answers to all of their questions. And, as I quickly discovered, some apps aren’t always what I consider age-appropriate for little eyes and ears. And, finding good, age-appropriate, biblical resources for children on the topic of conception, and development can be very difficult. I found that many of the books were either way too mature, or way too evolutionary for my liking and conviction.

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth is different. Danika has written a book that truly does tell God’s story.

The book begins…at the beginning. With God’s design for marriage, the relationship between a husband and wife, and how that special love and commitment leads to the creation of a child. I thought this section was exceptionally well done. I realize that all parents will have their own opinions on how and when to address the question of where babies come from. But, in my opinion, this book offers a clear, but not explicit, explanation that is simple, and entirely appropriate for little ears.

Throughout the book, Danika weaves together the scientific facts of a baby’s weekly development with the beautiful truths of Scripture. As I read this book with my own children (ages 11, 4, 2, and 1), they loved the comparisons of the baby’s size to familiar, everyday objects. We read the book together shortly after discovering that we were expecting baby number 5 to join our family. I was 6 weeks along, and we read that at that point, our baby was about the size of a nail head. My 4-year-old son was especially fascinated by that little fact! My oldest (11) loved the most recent size comparison to a pencil sharpener, at 8 weeks!

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While we read the whole book in one sitting, I like that I can also read one page with them each week, and tell them “This week (week 9!) your brother or sister can already make faces at you!” Or, “In a few weeks (week 14), your baby brother or sister will be able to burp and hiccup!” (This is specifically for my boy.)

The book is wholly wonderful, but my favorite part was the ending. (Yes, I am going to give away the ending!) Just as clearly as she shared about the beginnings of our physical life, Danika shares about the beginning of our spiritual life, when we are born again – in Christ. She ends where life truly begins – with a beautifully simple presentation of the gospel!

This book was designed for children from ages 5 to 11. But, it easily held the attention of my 2, 4, and 11 year olds. I also think this would make a perfect baby shower gift for a new mommy (and daddy!).

I am so thankful to have such a wonderful, biblical resource to share with my children each week as we anticipate the arrival of their newest sibling. And, I would highly recommend this book to any parent – expecting or not.

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Filed under Baby, Biblical Womanhood, Book Reviews, Currently Reading, Life, Mommyhood

Rachel Has Some BIG News!

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Someone is going to be a BIG sister!
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Baby is due to join our family
on, or around, Thanksgiving Day!

We have so much to be thankful for!

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Please see update here.

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Filed under Baby, Life, Mommyhood, Secondary Infertility

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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How is she already 11?!

Even though this girl is growing up far too quickly for her mama’s liking, she has grown into the sweetest, most creative, joyful 11-year-old I know.

Hannah, you continue to amaze me with your talents, your joy, your creativity, and your genuine love and care for others.

You are the best big sister. And, I honestly don’t know what I would do without you! You usually have such a great attitude about all you are asked to do for, and with, your little brother and sisters. (And, you are asked to do a lot!) I know they can be a lot of work, but they love to be with you! And, I am so thankful that you genuinely enjoy being with them too. You patiently allow them to play in your room. You read the same book, over, and over, and over…and over. You make up silly stories, and imagine all sorts of new adventures for them. You reenact favorite cartoons, with surprising accuracy, to keep the little ones entertained. You sing songs, and snuggle with grumpy, still-sleepy siblings after their naps to cheer them up. And, you just might be the best pre-school teacher there is! Since he was only days old, you have tried to teach your brother everything you know… But, now he is actually interested! And, you fascinate him with random facts about sea creatures and bugs. You willingly help him practice writing his letters. You teach Rebekah about colors, and shapes, and subtraction. (Yes, really.) And you enthusiastically cheer each all of them on whenever they learn, or master, something new.

You have the most diverse interests of anyone I’ve ever known. Sometimes I can’t keep up!

You love learning all you can about any type of animal…but especially horses. And, I am encouraged and surprised by how clearly you can refute the evolutionary talk in the stacks of library books you bring home each week. You talk about becoming a real zoologist someday, and creating a sanctuary for endangered species, or tracking some undiscovered animal across Africa… But, you also have a dream of owning a little farm, just so you can have your very own horse.

You loved learning Hebrew with Daddy, and now you are begging to learn Greek, Latin, and Chinese. You draw, and color, and make all sorts of amazing creations…pictures, jewelry, cards. You want to learn how to cook and bake, so that, in addition to being a farmer, and an artist, and a zoologist, and, apparently, a linguist, you can also open a restaurant!

You are thoughtful, and compassionate, and encouraging. I love how you still greet your daddy when he comes home at the end of the day with the bouncy enthusiasm of a puppy. You constantly look for needs, and for ways to help meet them. Your sensitive heart cannot hear about how a missionary family is struggling without committing to pray for them…and trying to find a way to save enough money to send them a month’s worth of support. You are my little encourager…and I treasure your sweet notes, hugs, and happy smiles.

I love that you are still a little girl in so many ways. But, you are growing up, and becoming a beautiful young lady – inside and out. And, I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use all of your unique talents and interests someday.

I love you my sweet Hannah-girl. Happy 11th Birthday!

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Filed under Birthdays, Hannah Elisabeth, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

A Wonderfully Made Giveaway!

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If you follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, then you may have seen my recent posts about an incredible new resource, Wonderfully Made, by my friend, Danika Cooley.

With each of my children, I have been fascinated by the process of their development…both during my pregnancies and after their births!

I read everything I could find about what they looked like, and what big changes were taking place each week.  I stared at grainy, 8-week ultrasound images…trying to figure out which end was up. And I marveled at the changes that had taken place by the 20-week, 4-D scans! And, I loved comparing those sweet pre-born images to my to my precious newborn babies.

In this book, I love how Danika has woven together the scientific facts of conception, development, and birth, with the truths of Scripture in an engaging and age-appropriate way.

I plan to have a full review coming up later this month…

But, until then, check out the giveaway below, and enter to win a copy of Wonderfully Made, and several other great prizes!

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GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley, I am hosting a wonderful giveaway with the rest of the launch team. The giveaway includes a hardcover copy of the book, along with several other books and products your family is sure to enjoy. The total value of the giveaway is nearly $600!

Wonderfully Made Giveaway

Here is what you could win:

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley – hardcover $9.99 value

Wonderfully made is an excellent book that introduces a young child to the wonder of God’s creation – the wonder and miracle of birth. From conception in the womb through the nine months within the mother’s womb Danika Cooley takes us on a journey of discovery… the discovery of life.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Touch of Life First Trimester Fetal Models $89.95 value

Sculpted from real-life photos, these four fetal models representing weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10 after conception have a personality of their own, and the life-like feel of the skin brings home the humanity of the preborn baby in its first trimester of life. Accurately portrayed thanks to medical descriptions and photos, these little samples of life are a great educational tool for helping to understand the wonder of the early stages of human development.

Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum (includes Lower and Upper Grammar Notebooking Journals $60 value

The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum is a 463-page digital PDF download of the full Bible Road Trip Year One curriculum for all five levels, preschool through high school. The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum includes the Parent / Teacher Guide and 32 weeks of curriculum schedules for all grades.

$100 Amazon Gift Card $100 value

Enjoy shopping amazon.com with a gift of $100 + an adorable bookmark.

Big Bible Science: Experiment and Explore God’s World by Erin Lee Green (Ages 5-11) $12.99 value

Big Bible Science helps children and those who teach them to explore God’s World and God’s Word through real live science experiments. There are twenty-one different units taking students through scientific concepts such as Gravity, Friction, Animal Classification and the Nervous System.

My 1st Books and More by Carine MacKenzie and Philip Ross (ages 4-7) $15.99 value

Who is God? What does he do? Can I know Jesus? Why did he die? Children always have questions about God. They want to know what it means to be a Christian and who Jesus is. My 1st Books and More gives a year’s worth and more of bible readings, devotions and memory verses.

Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran by Rebecca Davis  $8.99 value

One man was overcome by the missionary’s kindness. Another was stopped by a vision of men in blue.  One became sick and tired of his own religion. Another saw a man named Jesus in a dream, coming to him on a donkey.  A girl found a strange book on the floor of the library and visited a secret prayer meeting. All of them eventually came to Jesus Christ for His full and free salvation, becoming missionaries to their own people. Seventeen chapters tell true stories of the Living Water pouring out on the country of Iran, even up to the present day.

Lights in a Dark Place: True Stories of God at Work in Colombia by Rebecca Davis (ages 7-12)  $8.99 value

Colombia has been known as a land of violence, but God is at work! Even though the Colombian people have reacted with violence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has delivered people from burning houses . . . God has healed ones who cursed . . . God has given people dreams and visions . . . God has rescued kidnapers . . . God has conquered demons of darkness. Read fourteen true stories of the Light of the World shining in the land of Colombia, South America.

Jungle Doctor’s Monkey Tales by Paul White $8.99 value

The wisdom of monkeys is proverbially small. They never could remember not to get too near to the hind feet of zebra, nor to throw coconuts at Chewi the leopard, nor to look into the eyes of snakes. Luckily for his little nephews, Uncle Nyani, the only survivor of a family of seven, is always near at hand to tell them how they can live to be as old as he is!

Jungle Doctor’s Tug-of-War by Paul White (ages 5-11) $8.99 value

Even by monkey standards, young Toto is pretty dim! Those baddies of the jungle, Crunch the Crocodile, Mbisi the Hyena, Slinki the Jackal, Vibi the Vulture and Gnark the crow look as though they are going to have an easy time finishing him off. However, Toto soon finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war, for his real friends, Elephant, Giraffe, Parrot and Hornbill are determined to rescue him from the clutches of the jungle underworld.

The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids by James M. Hamilton Jr. $4.99

With easily remembered rhymes and Bible verses take your child through the span of Salvation History from Creation to the Fall, the Flood to the Exodus, the Exile to the Crucifixion and beyond… James M. Hamilton writes about real history, God’s Salvation History, and our future.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership $97

1000s of topical pages, themes, and designs . . . Perfect for any subject or study A to Z!

Art Study ♦ Copywork ♦ Character Study ♦ Famous Men & Women ♦ Geography (state/country studies, continental, world maps) ♦ History of the Ancient World, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Modern Times ♦ Music Study ♦ Nature Study ♦ Science ♦ Timelines ♦ and more!

Mom’s Toolbelt Lifetime Membership $24.95

A customizable home management planner for every area of your life that craves order.

Hal and Melanie Young: Mom & Dad Special: Raising Real Men (book + audiobook) plus a free registration to both Boot Camp 9-12 AND Boyhood Boot Camp. $101 value

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way? The answer is yes.

When You Lie Down: Lullabies and Scripture Songs CD $12.97 value

These twelve songs remind us that true rest, comfort and hope come from God alone. This music is an awesome way to experience God’s Word with your baby, kids and family. You will discover that this album will be a powerful addition to use in your personal time with God.

Seeds Onesie- Psalm 139:13-14  $14.97 value

Seeds Family Worship Onesie featuring Psalm 139:13-14 on the front with a small Seeds logo on the back.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification.

Elementary Foundations: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 5-8by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

Many new things happen during the ages of 5-8. Children start school, develop significant friendships, learn to think abstractly instead of just concretely, and have a greater ability to draw close to God. Parenting during this stage produces a number of challenges and opportunities so you’ll want to be prepared.

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, age 18 and older. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced at the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party (winner does not have to be present to win, but we hope you’ll be there!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You’re Invited!

Join us for the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party on Thursday, April 21. We’ll have even more giveaways and freebies, too! The party begins at 9pm EST, and you can RSVP on the event page

Please RSVP!

Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party, Thursday, April 21, 9pm EST

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Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Book Reviews, Currently Reading, Life, Mommyhood, Thinking Biblically