Homeschool Planners That Work for You

***Seeing as we are in a busy season right now, I am inviting some guest posters to share with you! Some are personal friends and gifted writers brimming with encouraging inspirations to share. Others are fellow bloggers and writers I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. Today, I am kicking things off with Joanna Wilkins. She owns a cleaning agency called Top London Cleaners. She not only knows a lot about cleaning, but also organizing. Today she is sharing about ways to wrangle much of the paper clutter that comes along with homeschooling! As someone with a small house, limited … Read more…

Playing Catchup As We Reinvent Normal Life

So it has been quiet around here. The Engaged Home blog, not our home. Between a toddler and two newborns, we have a fair amount of hustle, bustle, crying, giggles, and impromptu singing. The singing comes mostly from Rebekah. Occasionally from Mitch and I . . . What can we say, Moana has catchy music! This is just normal life in the Clay household. 😉 I must admit, part of me is tempted to do a huge photo dump. Mostly because it is way too much fun taking baby pictures, and it is hard to select which ones to include. And Grace, who took our … Read more…

A Busy Two Weeks–Blessings and Adjustments

(So many causes for celebration! Pink decor from Rebekah’s birthday, blue in honor of our boys, and lovely flowers my husband brought home for Mother’s Day. It has certainly been a season of blessing and celebration!) Well, most of you have probably heard our big news (thanks to social media). But I am so excited to finally share it with you here on our blog! Our boys Daniel Alan and Joseph Morris joined us on May 2nd. The past two weeks were full of new adventures and adjustments. Due to having a completely different birth experience (more on that later) than with Rebekah … Read more…

The Homestretch

Welcome to the final days before our boys are born. I am 37 weeks pregnant with twin boys if you missed the news. And while I think all the big things are in place, little things to clean, organize, or prepare keep pestering my mind. But at this point what will get done will get done. Rebekah and I both caught colds, so we are slowing down, resting, and recovering. I don’t imagine being sick when the boys are born is the best scenario! On my nightstand currently sets Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation (Amazon Affiliate Link) … Read more…

Pregnancy Life Savers

As I am well into my third trimester of pregnancy, I am frantically trying to get everything done. The spring cleaning, the many sewing and crocheting projects, the nursery, projects for Rebekah, and yes, enjoying times of sleep and rest because they will be few and far between soon. Some days it leaves me a bit dizzy and exhausted. If I don’t pace myself, I find that I don’t actually accomplish anything. My mind simply races with everything. Which is exhausting in its own way. So I am working on simplification and focus. What doesn’t get done won’t kill me. Right? Mitch and … Read more…

A Cute Combo and a Great Deal

A couple weeks ago we drove down to Springfield for our nephew’s first birthday. Though sadly, he got sick so his parents delayed plans. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Missouri the cold and flu season hit hard. My sister-in-law asked for books for boys, since their daughter is into princesses and the like, they wanted to make sure they had some quality boy books for our nephew. And if you know me at all, you know buying books is one of my favorite things to do! So I set about looking for a fun, … Read more…

Resources for Teaching Kids About Renewable Energy

If I’m honest, I’m intimidated by the thought of teaching science to my children. I enjoyed aspects of science as a kid. But, I was naturally drawn to subjects like history and literature. As a parent and educator, I whole-heartedly believe that science is a crucial subject to teach. Science teaches kids to ask questions and explore how things work. Our world is growing rapidly in the areas of science and technology. We can’t ignore this subject and adequately prepare our children for the future. I consider myself a nature nerd. Though I don’t know as much as I should about … Read more…

Where’d My Baby Go?

I turned what was going to be a fall sweater for Rebekah into a spring sweater. After a few attempts, I finally finished it. And once I got the right sizing, it only took me a couple days to make it. But looking through these pictures made me realize how much Rebekah has grown since her fall sweater last year! Time moves so swiftly these days. Every day she is learning something new and her vocabulary is expanding exponentially. She still has her quizzical blue eyes and expressive faces. And her personality has been the same since day one. She is … Read more…

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Under $15

Looking for a great gift for someone in your family for under $15? Here are some fun gifts for men, women, and children, all for under $15! ***This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links at no extra cost or obligation to you. We only share products or resources we love or have on our own personal wishlist. It does not cost you a cent extra to buy through our link, but if you do buy anything on Amazon through our link, it greatly helps us out! 🙂 1. Jane Austen Coffee Mug  (Can you ever have too many mugs?! And this one is … Read more…

Four Great Activities to Engage Your Whole Family

It’s often hard to find activities that all of your kids will enjoy, especially if they’re a range of ages. Luckily, there are some simple activities the whole family will enjoy.  Hiking/Walks/Bike Rides It can be hard to drag kids away from screens, but it’s also important for you as a parent to give them opportunities to exercise and appreciate the great outdoors. Walk around your neighborhood or local park. Or, if the weather is nice, find a nearby trail. Let your toddler stop and explore and pick up rocks. Let your older kids bring along nature journals or digital cameras … Read more…

Our Snowy Day

***This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links at no extra cost or obligation to you. We only share products we love or have on our own personal wishlist. It does not cost you a cent extra to buy through our link, but if you do buy anything on Amazon through our link, it greatly helps us out! 🙂 Snow days and nostalgia: no school, sleeping in, tromping through the snow, sledding with friends, and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate. To most kids, snow days equate to bliss. I still remember sledding the hill by my middle school, and of … Read more…

Easy and Free DIY Gift Tags–Not Even a Printer Required!

If you are like me, you LOVE after-Christmas sales. These sales allow me to stock up on almost everything I need as far as wrapping and decor for the next year. However, it is not too often I come across new gift bag tags. That, combined with my love of Christmas card art led me to make my own DIY gift tags. I hate it when I’ve already used tags on a gift bag. Before I started creating these tags, I resorted to putting stickers on the bags. This means the following year I am trying to find a sticker tag the … Read more…

The Color Blue on my Mind

Blue. A serene, peaceful color. The color of Rebekah’s eyes. I’d long been saving some lovely blue yarn to crochet into a sweater for her because I knew it would look beautiful with her eyes. A couple weeks ago I finally decided on a pattern and started. But since December 27th, I’ve had blue on my mind for different reasons. I started reading Fantastic Mr. Fox (Amazon Affiliate Link) to Rebekah the other day. She seems to really enjoy it, though I decided not to read it to her before bed because it gets a tad scary for a 21-month-old! It has … Read more…

January: Be the Gift

Noise. Busyness. Negative media. Bad news. Disasters. Suffering. Sickness. Financial crisis. Personal struggles. All these things fill our world at large and often our personal worlds. If I’m not careful, these things easily overwhelm me. But, if there is anything the past several months have taught me, especially through a fear-packed election cycle and a year where so many people I know have struggled through grief, it is this: What we do matters.  As we enter into this new year–2017–we have a choice. Really, we have a choice every minute of every day. We can allow fear and worry and busyness to overwhelm … Read more…

Our 2016 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family, I know for many of you this past year was joyful with births and new jobs. For others, it was difficult with loss of loved ones, jobs, or illness. And many of you have been in our hearts and prayers, as we know we have been in yours. It is such a joy to walk through life with others, through the ups and downs of life in community. Thank you for your love. I thought about doing a big long recap of the year, but I think I will just share a few highlights, and A … Read more…

Confessions of a Writer and Recommended Book Purchases for High School and College Kids

I am hesitant to tell people I majored in English. People associate that with crazy things like being able to spell and use proper grammar. The truth is I struggle with both. I don’t think I am an awful writer, but I have to edit a lot. Otherwise, well, embarrassing things happen. Like, um, using the wrong grammar on the sign you scrawl out in 5 seconds for your announcement photos that you then post all over social media . . . Yep. That was not the fault our sweet photographer, Grace, that was all me. ” . . . then … Read more…

10 Simple DIY Presents for Christmas

One of the ways I make our tight Christmas budget stretch is by making many of our Christmas presents. I told myself I would scale back on how much I was making. And well, I had the best of intentions . . . Let’s just say that I need to set aside some serious sewing and crocheting time over the next couple weeks! 1. DIY Cookies in a Jar from Raining Hot Coupons 2. 15-minute Pillowcase by Craftsy Who doesn’t love a fun and funky pillowcase?! 3. Simple Crocheted Hat (any size) by Oombawkadesign Many family members requests my simple beanie hats at Christmas. … Read more…

2016 Family Gift Guide

(This post contains affiliate links.) As usual, we are going the frugal route for Christmas. I make the majority of my Christmas gifts and will be posting on some of my favorite DIY ideas soon. However, with so many family members asking for ideas, I thought I would share some Christmas present recommendations with you for different ages. Though keep in mind, most of these are products that we (Mitch, myself, and my 19-month-old daughter) love. Enjoy our 2016 family gift guide! 1. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name I’ve recommended this before, but I will keep on … Read more…

Walking The Broken Way to Abundant Life

I think our long wait for autumn may be over. I dug out my sweaters from storage and started wearing them. Many trees are in garbs of orange, red, and yellow. Still, others are completely green. Rebekah and I keep examining our young Silver Maple in the front yard. It is holding out as long as it can before it turns red. This past week we’ve spotted a handful of leaves just beginning to turn. The red seems to travel up the stem then slowly encroach from the edges of the leaf. Catching a leaf in transition is one of my favorite things … Read more…

St. Louis Travels

I have not pressed my fingers into my keyboard hardly at all the past couple weeks. The desire has been there, but along with many other things, it fell by the wayside with my lack of motivation as I battled through some sickness. Some days my only goal was survival and keeping food down. Other days were better, but they were busy because due to my sick, get-little-done days I had gobs of laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. to do. Though Mitch has been pitching in a ton and frankly keeping us going and fed some days, despite being quite … Read more…

A Missouri Heat Wave

I kept spotting glimpses of fall in the turning of leaves and feeling it in the cool mornings and evenings. But this week pounded us with the resurgence of an Indian Summer heat wave. I even considered getting back out the wading pool. It feels odd to be crocheting on leg warmers and a winter hat when our heat index is pushing 100. But I found such easy and lovely patterns for leg warmers that I could resist. I made the simple ones for Rebekah to match her hat. But I think I am going to experiment with this pattern and some sparkly … Read more…

A Coloring Experience and Giveaway

We weren’t sure what the teens would think. At least the guys. Teen girls almost always love coloring, but boys tend to be “too cool” for such fun. But our teen guys took to it as readily as the girls. Maybe it was the cool designs that didn’t feel innately girly, like so many generic coloring books. The teens chatted as they chose their medium (colored pencils, crayons, or markers) and decided on a color scheme. Even parents and volunteers joined right in on the fun. The only complaint we received was that we did not give them enough time to finish. … Read more…

Motivation

This week I sent off Benjamin’s blanket with a prayer and good wishes. Lately, I’ve had endless motivation to crochet. Mostly because in the evenings I avoided dealing with our taxes. I spent months attempting to resolve the issues with our 1095-A before we could send everything off. (Last night we finally put on our “adult pants” and tackled them. More on that later.) This week I bordered a light-weight receiving blanket for sweet Annabelle, our friends’ new daughter. She is all that is a sweet little newborn. We can’t wait to celebrate her birth at their shower this weekend. If time allows I will crochet … Read more…

Beauty in the Details

This past week has been full of outdoor adventures: Running barefoot through the grass or squealing as we dart through the sprinkler. I lather Rebekah and I with sunscreen every day. We both have very fair skin. And if she is anything like me, the sun will blister her skin long before she ever tans. This Badger Balm Kids Face Stick SPF 35 – Tangerine and Vanilla works great and smells amazing. Though it is a bit hard to rub in. I worried about finding summer sunscreen that would not irritate Rebekah’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, this face stick hasn’t caused a single … Read more…

Light Yellow and the Nature of Gentleness

There is something so clean, refreshing, and sunny about the color yellow–especially a nice light yellow. And now I can officially knock off having a pale yellow kitchen from my bucket list–Yay! I find myself drawn to this color over and over again. A couple weeks ago our dear friends had a sweet baby girl. I made a darling little yellow dress, headband, and diaper cover for their sweet Annabelle. Isn’t that a sweet name, deserving of a sweet color? It was so good to see them and their sweet daughter. So many emotions washed over me as I realized that … Read more…

Blue Box Gifts

Do remember that moment when you came home from the hospital with your new baby? Or that day a couple weeks later when all the family left? Or that one 2AM feeding with tears streaming down your face from exhaustion because you couldn’t figure out what was wrong: I thought I was supposed to have a mom-instinct for these things?! Wait, I am a mom?! And I have no idea what I am doing . . . Babies should come with instructions . . . I remember those moments well. Becoming a mom requires a lot of trust and prayer, … Read more…

Teaching Your Kids About Quiet Time

This is a topic I want to talk more in depth about over the coming weeks; however, I am on a major time crunch today. First of all, this affiliate resource I am sharing is only available (in this amazing bundle) until the end of TODAY! Yikes! Also, we are in the middle of our move–so this may be one of the quickest posts I ever do. (You’re probably like–“Yay short!”) But I knew I had to share it with you. Putting affordable and quality parenting resources into your hands, especially ones that help build your kids’ faith, is one of … Read more…

Excitement All Around

I think this week can be summed up in one word: Exciting. The right house, for the right price opened up for us a couple months ago, and this week we closed on it. It is our first time buying a home, and it is a landmark moment for our family. Owning a home means we get to live somewhere longer than a year and a half. We have moved five times in five years. We are laying down roots. Maybe it won’t be a forever home, but we are anticipating all the memories that will resound within its walls: … Read more…

Thomas Locker Wins My Heart Again

Sometimes there are books that appeal to the teacher in me, or the mom in me, or the historian, or poet . . . But rarely do I find a book that wins the whole of my heart. Thomas Locker has a way of stunning me on all fronts. Every page in a Thomas Locker book is a work of art. His landscapes are worthy of being framed–and many are in prestigious museums. I am slowly buying all of his books for our personal collection. Home: A Journey through America (amazon affiliate link) celebrates the beauty of the different places across America … Read more…

Faith in the Home Forum and a Giveaway

Welcome to the first official discussion for the Faith in the Home Forum! I am excited you could join in the discussion today about creating a “Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids”  (affiliate link) through intergenerational mentorship, navigating doubts, and modeling genuine faith. Now, I did share some resources/homework for those who were interested, but it is not required to join in the discussion. I would love to hear your input as a parent, young adult, or from the perspective of whatever season of life you currently reside in. In Kara Powell’s research she found that intentional intergenerational relationships, … Read more…

Join us for “How to Save Your Marriage From Your Kids”

The foundation of a healthy family has got to be Christ. But, I think once we start having kids, it can be easy to forget how important it is to continue to cultivate and care for  a strong marriage. Too often, with the demands of kids, work, and everyday life, our spouse fails to be a priority. Mitch and I swore this would never happen to us. We were so dedicated to the idea of marriage maintenance. But when you are busy with kids, it is so easy to fail to connect with your spouse. And the busyness and demands of parenthood can almost … Read more…

Gathering Around Inspirations: Losing Yourself in a Good Book

This past week has not been my most productive. At least not in the practical sense of productivity. I have always loved reading, so much so that I have to be careful it does not consume all my free time. I could lose myself in a good book for hours. And this past week I have become totally sucked into good books. It started with Because of Winn-Dixie (affiliate link). I’ve read this book several times, but I decided to start reading it to Rebekah while nursing her. It is a quick read and hard to put down, even on your fifth time reading … Read more…

The New Recipe I am Obsessed With: Miracle Dough

Okay, so I could go on and on about how awesome this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is and how it is such a great deal. But I won’t. If you’ve checked out the bundle, you will realize that for yourself in seconds. And, to be honest, these bundles are a great value, but sometimes the amount of resources can be overwhelming. So I thought instead I would highlight the ebook that I have gotten the most use out of so far. I have started several of ebooks and one ecourse. It is hard to pick a favorite. I feel like I … Read more…

Get Back on Track This Spring with These Organizational Resources

I used to consider myself an organized person. But since I became a mama, my free time to reorganize all of our closets greatly diminished. Now, as we are preparing to spring clean, buy our first house, and host a garage sale, I am realizing how full our closets have become! I also was not prepared for how much stuff we would acquire after Rebekah was born: baby clothes, baby toys, baby paraphernalia . . . Her stuff is slowly encroaching on all of our living spaces: toys and books in the living room, toys in the kitchen, diapers and wipes … Read more…

Cost vs. Value: The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Bonuses

I am very careful about what I promote and put my name on as a blogger. But the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle pretty much sells itself once you look into everything it has to offer. What originally drew me to it as a buyer, before a blog was ever a dream in my mind, was the quality of the bonus offers. There is no doubt the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a great deal for the quantity of resources that you get. Remember you get this entire bundle of 93 resources for only $30! But the real question is “Is it worth it for you?” … Read more…

Yarn Along: Thinking of Others This Week

This week I am trying to finish up a couple gifts to mail off to encourage some special people in my life. The first is a hanging towel (I will make a matching dish cloth too) for a blogging friend who got married last year. It will only be a year late, so let’s call it a one-year-anniversary present . . . 😉 When I saw this kitchen towel, I knew it would look great in her kitchen, and it reminded me of them. My aunt has recently undergone some serious surgeries for a bad break in her leg and … Read more…

The First Time I Changed a Baby’s Diaper

Many kids grow up babysitting or taking care of younger siblings. I did not. Well, I did babysit, but mostly later in college. I somehow managed to make it all the way until college without ever having to change a baby’s diaper. So when my friend and I enlisted to sub for another friend in the one-year-old Bible class, I thought how hard can changing a diaper be? To be fair, it is not that hard. Ahem. As long as the child is not actively using all their strength to squirm away from you . . . Rebekah! (We’ve improved a lot … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Spring Learning Activities

I need to get outside ya’ll!  Spring is in full swing here, and I love it so much I could just cry with joy! To be fair, I love every season. But when winter turns that corner into spring, I feel consumed with excitement. It is like the whole earth is waking up and unfurling before our eyes after its long winter slumber. The birds are singing all day long, the grass, trees, shrubs, and bushes are all the richest of bright greens, the weather is that perfect 75 degrees with a light breeze, the rain makes everything bloom, the … Read more…

My Blogging Mistake and “The Truth About #MomFail Culture” Free Video Series

Have you ever had one of those days where you know you have reached your limit, but you are determined to press on anyways? Well, I hit that wall on Saturday.  Last Saturday was Rebekah’s birthday. My parents were in town, we were throwing her a birthday party at the park. I was determined to blog about her birth story on her birthday. If I had been more on top of things, I would have prepped the post earlier in the week. But alas dear friends, I did not.  As a result, I was sitting in bed typing away after a fun, but loooong Saturday (Mitch … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: The Life Giving Home

When you walk into somebody’s house and feel at home, what is it that makes you feel that way? Is it the physical environment? Probably not, though that can contribute to it. That feeling of home that embraces you like a warm hug is often a combination of things. But most of it is relational in nature. Casting a vision for your marriage, family, and home is crucial. We all need direction and focus. Without it, we wander aimlessly. Meandering about letting our days and precious moments with our families slip away from us. To recapture and engage the hearts of … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: A Special Gift of Love

I grew up knowing most of my extended family on my mom’s side. And I am talking extended family . . . like 4th and 5th cousins extended. Growing up we always went to family reunions and annually gathered at my great-aunt Margie’s for Memorial Day lunch after placing flowers on the graves of extended family in Arnold, Nebraska. My husband has always marveled at the interconnectedness of my family. Even in Phoenix, we had the blessing of getting to know my mom’s cousin (so my second cousin) Doris really well. In fact, on most family vacations we would visit some cousin … Read more…

A Family Tradition–Watching the Sandhill Cranes

Rebekah’s fever finally started to break and stay low enough to get out a bit. And by “get out” I mean drive around. After all, we didn’t want to overwhelm her. We had been wanting to drive around to the cornfields and river to look for sandhill cranes, so we packed up and set out. Most of the cranes have already continued on with their migration, but we still saw quite a few rummaging in the cornfields. Going out every spring to see the cranes is a favorite family tradition of mine. Some years, like today, we just casually drive the … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Unpacking My Childhood

I don’t have much to share by way of Yarn Along Wednesday, except a dream I have to crochet Rebekah a light yellow dress for this summer. I crocheted a darling little yellow flower for a hair clip to match her Easter dress, but I failed to get a fantastic picture of it. Now that she is walking, she is a busy body. I don’t walk away with many pictures that are not blurry. And our Easter family picture was a bit mopey. Rebekah was on the brink of sleep when we took it. As always, remember to check out more … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations and Yarn Along Wednesday

Today I am blending my Wednesday feature with my Tuesday feature–sorry! However, I think that they fit together very well. I often talk about what I am reading during Yarn Along Wednesday, and what I was going to talk about this week is also one of my favorite “read-together books.”  After discovering what fun it was to crochet boot cuffs, I decided to make some more. This green pair is going to a friend who is having a rough time. It is my prayer that they brighten her day and let her know that she is thought of and loved. If you … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Poetry

In case you missed what Gather Around Inspirations is all about, let me fill you in. It is about introducing quality literature (but also art and music) into your home. Looking for a good book to read as a family? I’ve got you covered! Through Gather Around Inspirations, I am sharing some of my favorite (past and present) read-aloud books. I believe we cannot effectively pass on a love of reading to our children by nagging them to read more. Instead, we need to be willing to come alongside them and share the joy of reading with them, together. Which leads me … Read more…

Yarn Along: Imaginative Play

One of my favorite things ever is to watch children imagine, create, and play. Many of my own best childhood memories involve imaginative play. Even now, I like to think I have a healthy and active imagination. 😉 Because I love encouraging imaginative play, I have been creating some whimsical crowns. I made this one for Rebekah, and though it turned out a bit tight, it fits great (I am a tight hooker). I decided to make a couple for my friend’s daughters because they are 3 and 5–the perfect ages for imaginative play! But, because I am a tight … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Tap the Magic Tree

I love to wander the aisles of children’s books at the library. I always come home with way too many picture books. And I have the unfortunate habit of picking out books that I think look awesome, rather than thinking of what Rebekah would like. Right now, we are mostly reading aloud from Heidi while nursing, or enjoying board books together (which I often don’t like to get from the library because every baby chews on them). She loves turning the pages of board books and will sit while we read several. She does has a few picture books she … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Heidi

As a young girl I dreamt of a loft bed of hay with a little window over looking the mountains and fresh goat’s milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I always remembered how Heidi  is described in the book and the vivid descriptions of the mountains and her loft bed. My mom had this old, large, edited version of Heidi. I can still see the blue cover with a picture of a small girl in her thin, white smock. I don’t know where that book ended up, but I hope I can find it again. As a pre-teen at a scholastic book … Read more…

Hospitality When You Have Young Children

I used to wonder how parents could manage to be hospitable when they were wrangling small kids, constantly picking up toys, wiping noses and bottoms, and trying to maintain children’s sleeping schedules. Fortunately, I have been inspired by many young moms through the years. Currently at church there are several moms who consistently open up their homes for playdates, small groups, bonfires, or other get togethers, despite having young kids. I love that young moms still stretch themselves to be welcoming and hospitable, even if their homes are not perfect or the sliding glass doors have finger prints. Hey, life happens. And … Read more…

If Only Life Came with a Pattern . . . Oh Wait, It Does!

In Psalm 142:3 David proclaims, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” Reading this made me feel both grateful and disappointed. I am thankful that God will breathe strength into our weary hearts and guide us when we are overwhelmed. Still, some days I want a pattern in life to follow that will reveal the finished product. What will the tapestry of my life be? Like the picture on the front of the puzzle box, I want to know how it all fits together. But, oh, how forgetful I can be! God gave us the ultimate pattern to … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations

Gather Around Inspirations will be my new Tuesday feature, focusing on books, art, and music worth gathering around. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the imagery of families gathered in front of the hearth, sewing or relaxing while someone reads aloud or plays the violin. Often they read from the Bible or classics like Tennyson. It is idyllic, I know. It may not have involved a fireplace, but some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around books. Whether that meant reading through Laura Ingalls Wilder books with my mom, The Chronicles of Narnia with my dad, admiring pictures in picture books, scoping out … Read more…

Yarn Along: Finding Beauty and Finishing My Winter Projects

The other day I found myself thinking how all life is poetry if we look close and listen. Even the hard moments. The flecks of color in my cracker, a baby’s cries, dust on the window sill, and the dripping of snow off the house. I am trying to slow down and observe life, especially in the hard moments. There is beauty everywhere, even among pain and tears. Still, it is hard to slow down and see. Though my eyes may be open, my heart is often blind. And some days just don’t get off to a beautiful start. Not because beauty … Read more…

Free Printable Valentines, Stationary, and Scripture Cards

Last week I created a devotional for our youth groups girls about identity and who we are in Christ. (You can download the devotional to encourage yourself or use within your own youth group.) This message was on my heart for weeks. We have so many influences trying to shape us, I think it is important to back up and affirm that we are loved by God, God’s child, beautifully created, made for a purpose, holy through Jesus, valued, forgiven, redeemed, called out of darkness, filled with the Holy Spirit, and ENOUGH.  From those truths, good characteristics and fruits will naturally begin to … Read more…

A New Take on Coloring: An Interview with Andrew Miller

Have you ever known someone who has inspired you to be more creative and to pursue your passions?  I have a couple of those people in my life who inspire creativity and courage within my heart simply by their example of embracing creativity and hustling after their goals. One of those people in my life is Andrew Miller. He was a college classmate and friend of mine and one of my husband’s college roommates. (Andrew with his wife Sonia and daughter Anya.) Mitch and I made a point to stay in touch, as much as possible, with Andrew and his wife Sonia after … Read more…

What is #EngagingLife?

#EngagingLife

If your new year didn’t come with the changes you had hoped. Remember that God gives us not only new years, but new days, and even new moments. Yesterday I had to hit the reset button several times. Gratitude is the key to joy, but Satan wants to keep us stressed and discouraged. God has been working on my heart to seek the beauty in every moment. To fully connect and claim the moments. To choose to see the beauty, even in the ugly. Over a year ago, this idea was but a whisper in my mind. This very whisper lead to me … Read more…

Blessings Big and Small: A Linkup

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, … Read more…

Lilla Rose Sale–Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Lilla Rose hair products are beautiful, functional jewelry for your hair. Plus, they are oh so comfortable and durable! Whether you sport your hair in a ponytail, half up, or a bun or french twist, there are many styles you can create with Lilla Rose products. I am kind of obsessed with their hairbands because they are adjustable, comfortable, and stay put better than any hairband I have tried. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Lilla Rose is hosting a 48-hour flash sale. It only lasts today and tomorrow: January 26th and 27th!  … Read more…

Winter Picture Books

1948 winner of The Caldecott Medal. Its age shows in its faded, worn cover and mostly black and white pictures. The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader is one of my favorite winter picture books.  I recently found this book at Goodwill, and I am so glad I nabbed it up. (I am always on the prowl for quality picture books.) Not only is The Big Snow a classic, but it is perfect to read this time of year. It teaches about what different animals do during the winter. For the past couple months I have been watching the flocks of geese settle … Read more…

The Sickness, Quarantine, and the Delicious Soup I Developed in the Meantime

The Sickness Ugh. Hand, foot, and mouth (HFM) can be a nasty bug to fight off! We thought Rebekah’s strain of it resembled chicken pox more than HFM. Rebekah’s primary doctor is older than he looks and had seen more than the typical pediatrician. Due to this, he had seen chicken pox firsthand (many new doctors have not) and many, many strains of HFM. Even though he was confident it was HFM, he sent pictures of her sores to Dermatology to double check. Right before Rebekah got sick, I wrote about treasuring the moments. Well, few things make you treasure your child’s smiles, … Read more…

Finally . . . the reader survey results and a giveaway winner!

The blog has been a bit quiet as of late. This week Rebekah had her first real dose of sickness. And it was a doozy. She caught what our pediatrician said was the worst strain of hand, foot, and mouth he had seen in a couple years. And he sees it a lot. 🙁 A sad, sick baby makes for a sad mama. Fortunately, she has perked back up to usually self. But to her credit, even during the worst of it, when she wasn’t napping or crying, she was pulling up and trying to stand and wanting to walk. I … Read more…

Motivational Books for the New Year

I’ve lost my rhythm with reading. I still love it. But sometimes it feels like such a luxury that it gets pushed off into a dusty corner of my mind and life. TV at least allows me to multitask: crochet, fold laundry, etc. I’ve been reflecting on changes I would like to make in 2016. I decided that reading needs to become a bigger part of life. Reading is more than recreation. And I need it to be more than an auxiliary activity in my life. Reading encourages my imagination, sparks ideas, motivates action, helps me relate to others, relaxes me, stretches … Read more…

Our Top Five Favorite Posts of 2015

It is always interesting to look back over the year when on the cusp of a new one. 2015 held more change for us than we could have predicted. Looking back over my posts from 2015, the word transition kept popping up. This was a year of transition. But it was beautiful and wonderful. Due to all the changes, it went by fast. Now, I am trying (hopelessly) to remind myself that tomorrow is January 1st, 2016. As we close out the year, here are our five favorite posts from 2015: Joy Redefined: My Heart Now Resides Outside Itself: The moment Rebekah … Read more…

Reader Survey and Giveaway!

I am passionate about a wide variety of topics. My interests are probably too numerous. I am sure you have noticed by now. However, my focus, goal, and prayer with The Engaged Home is not to ramble about my various interests, rather to write about topics that are of interest and benefit to you. Of course, I will only write about topics within the realm of I can write about confidently. If you want to learn about baseball or how to become a ninja, this is NOT the blog for you! 😉 I have created a quick, easy, and hopefully painless survey. Would you take less … Read more…

The 12 Treats of Christmas

Sugar Cookies

I have to admit that I have stressed myself out a bit trying to make a bunch of Christmas treats to share. I keep telling myself to stop, relax, or, you know, finish my Christmas gifts! But, for some reason baking, giving, and frosting cookies is so compelling for me during the Christmas season. I have fond memories of my grandma’s frosted, cut-out sugar cookies and my aunt’s Oreo balls (or truffles). And then after Mitch and I got married, every December we would dip pretzels in chocolate, make cookies, fudge, cocoa, and many other wonderful treats. I hope that … Read more…

Last Minute Gifts to Buy

Yesterday, I realized that in my gift guide I failed to share a couple of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts to buy for others! And then I realized how quickly Christmas is coming! Breathe Nathana . . .  The problem is not that I procrastinated on shopping. My issue is that I have way too many DIY Pinterest gifts to make . . . Time to prioritize I guess and save the rest for next year!  You can always follow what I pin on my handmade gifts’ board on Pinterest. I am hoping to follow up this post with cheap and … Read more…

2015 Gift Guide for Your Family

As I have confessed before, I am that Aunt. The one who buys you books for Christmas. Yep. That’s me. This year, I intentionally pushed myself to try and find more fun gifts.  I thought I would share some gift ideas that have made my list this year or in past years. Enjoy my 2015 gift guide. As much as possible, I try to encourage gifts that will bring your family together! 🙂 ***Disclaimer: These are Amazon affiliate links. There is no obligation or cost to you. But if you buy anything through our Amazon link it blesses our family!*** 1. Devotionals for Children … Read more…

A Thankful Year

I know I am a bit late on my “thankfulness” post for November. Nonetheless, I felt moved to share all that God has done in our lives in just this past short year. We have faced challenges, goodbyes, and hard times, but it has also been a year of life-changing blessings: the birth of Rebekah, Mitch’s new ministry position, a cross-country move, laying down roots in a new job and new state, and a so much more. We put our trust in God when we had no idea what the future contained, and He not only brought us through–he brought … Read more…

An Educational Christmas Countdown

    Many of us treasure holiday memories with our families because of unique family traditions. Mitch and I have formed a couple of our own since we got married (5 years ago!!!). We always make homemade pizza on Christmas Eve (or before we go to celebrate with family). We have certain Christmas movies and music albums that we love to listen to (you can check them out in my Amazon store under products that we love). Seriously, if you have not checked out The Star of Bethlehem, do so this year! We watch it every Christmas. I’ve seen it … Read more…

Lilla Rose Black Friday Sale and Giveaway

One of my favorite places to buy presents for Christmas is Lilla Rose. I am so excited to shop their Black Friday sale for Christmas gifts (and for myself . . . )! I really want to get my hands on one of their adjustable headbands. I have the worst time with the pretty headbands actually staying on my head, which is why I think it is genius that Lilla Rose’s headbands are adjustable! 🙂 3 Day Black Friday Sale For Customers & Guests Only 20% Off Everything, including New Releases 25% Off select Festive Styles 30% Off select Holiday Styles, 30% … Read more…

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Roundup

Thanksgiving is around the corner! For most of us anyways. This year we get to celebrate three times! We celebrated with my parents on Monday. We will get together with more family on Wednesday and then on Saturday. Strangely, we have no official plans for Thursday. However, we will be with my husband’s family in Springfield, so I am sure we all will soak up lots of time with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. 🙂 In celebration of this time of year, I have compiled some of my favorite recipes, crafts, decor ideas, and lessons. This is the ultimate thanksgiving roundup. Feel free to share your … Read more…

Indoor Activities for Kids During the Cold Winter Months

You’ve probably noticed that over the past few weeks the weather has started to change. Winter is headed our way. When temperatures start to drop and rain becomes more regular, we can no longer spend as much time outside with our families as we would like to. For many parents, this means sticking the kids in front of the television to keep boredom at bay. While a little television is okay, like many moms, I don’t believe in letting kids spend all day in front of a screen. I believe that boredom is not always the enemy–in fact, I believe … Read more…

Introducing Charlene, My Solidarity Sister

One of my favorite parts of blogging is the online community that is formed by both readers and fellow bloggers. It has blessed me far more than I ever imagined! I just wish I had more time to read and follow blogs, because there are so many fantastic men and women sharing advice, insight, humor, and quite simply put, life.  This past month I had the awesome opportunity to find a “solidarity sister” through the blogosphere. A blogging friend, Susannah from Simple Moments Stick, began this unique opportunity to connect with other bloggers, make a friend, and grow your blog. Susannah … Read more…

The Joyfully Empowered Summit

Do you ever have opportunities come along that surprise you, make you feel honored to be thought of, super excited, and yet incredibly nervous?  Well I just had one of those fantastic opportunities come my way! After discovering The Engaged Home, Kristine Farley contacted me about participating in The Joyfully Empowered Summit that she is hosting November 9th through the 21st. Kristine Farley has such an amazing heart for families with special needs children, and moms in general. It was an honor to be able to take part in her telesummit. And, as a new mom, I am thrilled to … Read more…

Top Christmas Presents for the Pet Lover in Your Life

I would wager that we all know at least one major animal lover. You may even be one. Our dog Hazel has a special place in our family–though she would probably tell you that she feels displaced since Rebekah was born. Just for fun we like to put up a special “Hazel stocking” at Christmas that we fill with treats and maybe a chew toy or bone. Over the past four years that Hazel has been a part of our family we have received many great Hazel presents ranging from special treats for her, to light-up leashes, to framed pictures of her from … Read more…

Gift Ideas for New Moms

Whether you’re a mom yourself or not, choosing a gift for someone who has a new baby can be challenging. The main problem is that most new moms will receive almost everything that they need for the baby at their baby shower. So you have to think outside the box when it comes to post-birth gifts. Here are a few tips and gift ideas to take note of: Personalized Presents   So the new mom has everything that she needs, but there are still plenty of things you can get her. Some of the best presents I received when my little one was born … Read more…

3 Column Bible Study

If growing up in the churches of Christ taught me one thing, it was how important it is to read and know your Bible. Teachers and preachers impressed on me the importance of context and how we need to look at it through the eyes of the initial readers. When I was a child I loved church. And in middle school I really fell in love with Jesus and decided to get baptized. Reading my Teen Devotional Bible and praying every day came easily. I devoured books like Mere Christianity in high school. Yet, as a busy adult, sometimes reading the Bible and praying … Read more…

4 Children’s Books That Will Make You Tear Up

More than once I have whisked a tear away while reading to our Rebekah. And more than once I have heard Mitch’s voice crack as he gets choked up reading to her. I could blame the hormones (at least I don’t cry at every animal youtube video anymore), and we could both blame sleep deprivation. But I believe the real cause is that sometimes a book perfectly conveys what we want to communicate to our child: never-ending love and comfort. These books hopefully remind our daughter that we love her, but they also refocus us on what is important–cherishing these … Read more…

Flash Sale: 3 Reasons Why You Should Check Out Lilla Rose

The Engaged Home has been quiet lately for a couple reasons. 1) We have been busy and my blogging time has been unorganized–we are working on finding that consistent slot of time to write (if such a thing exists!). 2) We are also working on creating a stronger focus. We have many interests, and we want to make sure what we write about and share is beneficial to you and your family. So, we are taking some time to vision cast. Please be patient, we have some great things in the works for the future!  But in the meantime, I am going to try … Read more…

Farmers’ Market Finds and a Summer Squash Recipe

Ready for the farmers’ market mom!  You can’t beat delicious, ripe tomatoes! Not a bad haul at all if you ask me! Mitch and I decided (bribed ourselves) that after tackling our giant to-do list for this past week that we should reward ourselves and celebrate making Columbia home. What better way to celebrate and explore our new home than to grab a chocolatey cup of coffee, peruse the local farmers’ market, and then eat at one of our favorite places: Pepper Jax Grill! Mitch also surprised me by baking a yummy summer cobbler from some of the blackberries we bought … Read more…

Guest Post: Speaking the Love Languages of Others

Love languages. It does sort of sound a bit new age-y, or even like a different name for the Romance Languages like Italian and Spanish. But no, it does not have to do with foreign languages, although sometimes it can seem foreign. In the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he explains what the five live languages are and how they work. In case you haven’t come across them before here’s a brief overview. (Read the book I promise you will love it and you’ll probably start assessing your friends! There are also versions covering teens, children and … Read more…

“Inside Out” Embraces the Wholeness of Life

Inside Out movie review

Pixar has perfected the art of high-quality, funny, and cute animated movies that tug on our heart strings. Both Up and Toy Story made me shed a few tears. My husband cried too. He called them “man tears“ . . . but his ability to cry is one of many reasons why I love him! Inside Out proved to be just as cute, funny, and touching. Plus, it tackles the topics of personality, emotions, and life transitions in a way that I think kids and adults can both relate to and learn from. My in-laws invited us to accompany them to the movie, and though we had not … Read more…

8 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

gift ideas

I have been brainstorming for the past month what to get Mitch for his first Father’s Day. I think I have it narrowed down now, but the juries still out because I want to get him too many things. Decisions, decisions! 😉 In case you are still unsure about what to get for the father or husband in your life, here are some of my favorite Father’s Day gift ideas (because, let’s face it, men can be hard to buy for): 1. Father or Grandfather Willow Tree Figurines:  * * This post includes affiliate links. You are by no way obligated … Read more…

Steady Joy Amidst Chaos

Alicia Britt Chole

Steady joy: A joy that cannot be tainted by circumstance. A joy that persists on our darkest of days. This is what God offers.  Over the past five weeks I felt both more joy and more stress than I have ever experienced before. Who knew they could co-exist? If having a new baby for the first time was not stressful enough, we decided to add in traveling across the country when Rebekah was just over two weeks old, a job tryout, and now a cross-country move and another trip to see my family in Nebraska. Call us crazy, but I do believe these … Read more…

A Perfect Pairing: Goats’ Milk Soap and Crocheted Wash Cloths

lomah acres soap

I have been working on little gift sets as thank you presents for our amazing midwifes. I decided to give them each a Starbucks’ giftcard (When your profession means a lot of all-nighters, coffee is your friend!), a bar of Lomah Acres‘ nourishing goat’s milk soap, and a crocheted wash cloth. I hope this will be the perfect pairing for a thank-you present. I have made plenty of crocheted dish cloths over the past several years. They work great and make wonderful wedding presents paired with other items. Since I was giving goat milk soap, I really wanted to crochet wash … Read more…

A Giveaway From Lomah Acres Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

I have been on the search to find safer skincare products that do not have strange and obscure chemicals listed in the ingredients. Along the way I found many products I could not afford and many that though were “all natural” I found them sticky or ineffective. Then a couple months ago I read a review by Amy Miller about Lomah Acres, a small family-owned farm in Nebraska (my home state). Owners Kathy and Jim (and their 10 kids) have made a successful business of making and selling primarily goat-milk products: soaps, lotions, lip balms, perfumes, laundry detergent, face cream, and … Read more…

Joy Redefined: My Heart Now Resides Outside Myself

Our midwives were awesome! Grandma Teri. 🙂 Grandpa Jim. 🙂 Grandma Connie. 🙂 First Bath. Not her favorite experience . . . Our midwives decorated our board. 🙂 Last Thursday, our Rebekah joined us after a long, but peaceful labor in our home. I knew life would change forever, but I don’t think I fully grasped how much our hearts would expand. It feels like this rich, deep joy that I have never experienced before. A joy accompanied by a new sense of complete vulnerability. The child I carried safely in my body is now out in the world and my heart along with … Read more…

Today I Choose Joy by Bethany Miller

 There are few things that can drastically reshape your philosophy on life than working thirty hours a week in a grocery store. How do I know, you ask? Because I worked in a local store for eight months, and the lessons I learned while bagging potatoes and scanning bags of apples have stuck with me even three years later. The vast of majority of my customers were senior citizens, and I remember the phrase they all used. Every single one of them seemed to know this string of words by heart, and gladly applied it to every situation possible. I … Read more…

Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice and an Orange Julius Recipe

A warm spring day in Phoenix is pure bliss for harvesting and juicing oranges. Orange trees are beautiful: the contrast of the vivid orange against the dark green leaves are one of my favorite things about spring here. That and the roses! My cousin and friend Doris invited Mitch and I over to juice some oranges from her tree. We readily accepted, not just for the prospect of sweet orange juice, but because Doris is one of our favorite people. She is always so warm and welcoming, plus multitalented, insightful, and artistic. We wish we would have had more time to … Read more…

Get Your DIY Projects On: Flash Sale for The Ultimate DIY Bundle

* * * This post includes affiliate links. It is important to us that we only share products with you that we love and use in our home. Thank you for supporting our expanding Engaged Home!*** If you’ve been following my posts lately, you know that with our baby girl due any time now. Plus, several of my friends are having babies! Their sweet pictures are flooding Facebook and making me even more anxious to meet our Rebekah. With baby on the brain, I have been trying my hand at more DIY projects than usual. Sometimes I find inspiration from Pinterest, … Read more…

Book Review and Giveaway: The Magic of Family Meals

http://hollydoherty.com/

Does your family eat on the go a lot? Are you looking for ways to recover the habit of family mealtime? Does your family zone out in front of the TV or retreat to separate bedrooms during mealtime? Are you looking for more quality time as a family? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, The Magic of Family Meals: 115 Conversation Starters to Connect With Your Kids will be a helpful tool for your family. You CAN retake lost ground and reclaim family mealtime! Here at The Engaged Home I am dedicated to intentionally moving toward an engaged home life … Read more…

DIY Nursery on a Budget

I am hoping to do a “grand reveal” next week of our DIY nursery. (Keep in mind we are keeping it simple, our nursery won’t end up in any magazines!) However, I did finish several projects, which makes me feel accomplished. 🙂 1. The bow organizer I made a few weeks ago has a few more bows on it curtesy of youtube and Pinterest ideas and a bunch of cute ribbon sent from my mother-in-law and salvaged off shower presents.  2. Rebekah will have an assortment of cute bootie options!  3. Here is the finished DIY Shower Card Art.  4. … Read more…

Family Movie Night: Courageous

Courageous

We didn’t go out to the movies much while dating or when first married (we still don’t, unless it’s at the cheap theater for $3). Young, married, and poor, we were picky about the movies we were willing to spend money to see. Nonetheless, one weekend the itch struck us and we indulged. Popcorn and all! Courageous had been in theaters for a week or so, and we felt good about supporting a Christian movie with our money. However, we did not know much about the movie and as a result we were inadequately prepared. Bring tissues . . . Trust me … Read more…

Get Married in ModCloth: Vintage, Modest, Elegant, and Affordable!

***This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.*** Are wedding bells ringing in your ears? Whether you are going to be the breath-taking bride, belle of a bridesmaid, or a supportive friend or family member, come experience ModCloth’s new line of wedding attire: Wedding Style! I know every time I look through their dresses I make a wish list (I can’t help it, the dresses are so cute! I love the throwbacks to the 20s and 50s). ModCloth style is fashionable, unique, and often even modest. I don’t … Read more…

Inspiration from the Past

easy crochet project

Confession: my crocheting and knitting time has been abysmal lately . . . I am hoping to rectify that soon. This week, I am working off inspiration from the past. However, I do have a couple projects started that I would love to wrap up. I was looking back through old Yarn Along posts and found this picture of a blanket I made for a friend’s baby that is due this month. Shortly after I made it, I learned they are having a boy. Since we are having a girl, I decided to keep it. 😉 Crocheting around fleece blankets … Read more…

My 30 Days’ Journey to a Fulfilled Life by Ifeoma Samuel (Book Review)

In one way or another, we are all seeking to live a fulfilled life. But so often we seek fulfillment in things that can never truly fill us or satisfy our deep longings. In her eBook, My 30 Days’ Journey to a Fulfilled Life, Ifeoma Samuel lays out the simple truth of not just what, by who leads us to a fulfilled life. Though I have never met Ifeoma (she lives in Africa and I in America), I have followed her blog and was honored when she asked me to review her eBook. Though a bit rocky grammatically in portions, her content … Read more…

A First Kiss, An Almost Proposal, and Our Favorite Spring Date (Romantic and Free!)

favorite date

(Engagement picture taken at the York arboretum in autumn. Engagement pictures taken by Summer Dickinson.) There is something so enticing about springtime. You cannot help but want to be outside (unless it activates your allergies . . . ). I remember feeling so full of energy in the spring after a l-o-n-g Nebraska winter. The world comes alive again with gentle rains (Okay, sometimes not so gentle . . . and the occasional tornado), cool breezes, warm sunshine, budding trees releasing their floral fragrances (except for the white ones . . . they usually smelled bad), green growth sprouting from every crease … Read more…

The Beauty of Simplicity

Simplicity

There is an art and beauty to simplicity. Those who practice simplicity find joy, fulfillment, and freedom. Our culture tells us that we need more. Or, it tells us what we have isn’t good enough, we need something better. Maybe you have plenty of shoes, but you don’t have any purple pumps. Your iPhone 5 might still work great, but have you seen what the iPhone 6 can do? Materialism keeps us trapped looking for that one thing that will change our world. But none of it ever does. At least not for more than 5 minutes. Simplicity brings the freedom to experience life more … Read more…

10 Things I Love About My Man

Four years ago (almost to the day), I remember sitting in a women’s Wednesday night Bible class about marriage. I am pretty sure I was the youngest woman there by a couple years. I was always a bit clammy and nervous, but eager to soak up the wisdom of these women I admired. Mitch and I had been married only a month. I’m sure we had that glassy newly-wed look in our eyes constantly. We both knew that we wanted our marriage to not only last, but leave a healthy legacy of love for our children someday. Our church, East Hill, blessed … Read more…

Welcome to the Brag Table

I hate bragging. Maybe it’s a Midwest thing, or a family thing. But I stink at verbally sharing my accomplishments. I also struggle at accepting compliments. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate them. I just never know what to say back to the person other than, “Aw, you’re too nice.” or “Aw, shucks.” or down play the compliment in some way. I guess I associate people who “brag” as cocky, self-promoting, and prideful. It just rubs me the wrong way, ya know? However, I am learning that there is a time and place for sharing our accomplishments. In his book Start, Jon … Read more…

Fighting Through the Fatigue and The Art of Marriage

2015 has been an exciting year for us thus far. We are in our third trimester with Rebekah (and realizing we have a whole lot to learn and figure out before she is born in 2.5 months!). Mitch is casting a vision for family ministry at our church that we are praying will bless our families. We attended the National Conference on Youth Ministry in Dallas, TX.  And, I just returned from a week long trip to Nebraska where I reconnected with family, life-long friends, and my home congregation. My mom, along with some wonderful ladies from church, even threw … Read more…