kids, Parenting

Today, I put it on God.

Today, I put it on God. I don’t say that lightly at all. Today, we were faced with so many questions as a family about where we are going— where we want to be. Personally. Professionally. Short term. Long term. I feel like so often, we’re told that being stressed, being overwhelmed, or unhappy is part of life— it’s what we now call “adulting.” I used to believe that. I used to think that I had to settle for that. But after having a child, my thought process has drastically changed. Do my husband and I need to work in order to provide for our family? Absolutely. I’m not saying I’m searching for the plush life of staying at home, living large, and not working. Instead, I’m telling you that maybe, just maybe, it’s about perspective.

Do we need to feel trapped in our jobs? Do we need to feel under-appreciated day in and day out? Do we need to sacrifice time with our family for others who wouldn’t blink an eye to do the same? While society tells me each day “Yes!” my head and heart are now screaming “No!”. No, I don’t need to settle for a job that looks at me as simply a number. No, I don’t need to settle for sacrificing hours of my time at home with my young family, to go above and beyond for someone else’s children. No, I don’t need to settle for a job that no longer makes me happy. I’m tired of the emptiness I’m feeling right now and stressing about this day in and day out. I don’t want to keep watching my husband struggle with the balance of wanting to provide a comfortable lifestyle for our family, while feeling stifled inside. Stuck. Unable to pursue his real dreams and goals.

Part of me knows that my mindset needs to change. I need to stop being sucked into the consumerism of today’s world. To stop worrying about the fleeting things of the physical world (the bigger house, the fancy car, the designer clothes) and instead focus on the gifts I’ve been given( my talents, my husband, my kids). It’s hard, but possible…with His help.

I wish that it was simple and that with a snap of my fingers all the stress of work would all go away. It won’t. So, instead, I’m putting it in God’s hands. Instead of complaining, I’m sending my stress, my worries, and my trust to him. Instead of thinking I’m in control, I’m leaning on him to show and provide a more balanced path for our family; to guide me to the path that he has perfectly paved for me. It may be hours, weeks, months, or years. I know he’ll provide. But for today, I put it all on God.

Philippians 4:6-7: 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.

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kids, Parenting

Fabulous Friday Review: KiwiCo Kids’ Box

If you’ve been on social media around Christmas in the last year or two, then I’m sure you’ve seen a post or share regarding giving the gift of experiences, rather than physical gifts. Personally, I find myself in the middle. Our family tries to give a few physical gifts, but also gifts experiences and special time spent together as well.

Each Christmas, my parents gift an experience gift to each of our families for the children to enjoy. This has ranged from annual memberships at the local children’s museum, the local zoo, or even magazine or game subscriptions for the kids. With an avid young animal lover in the house, we always chose the zoo membership. While we have loved the trips and the gift of being able to do so at no cost to us for the past three years, we also noted that we don’t go as much as we could or should. Thus, this year we were looking for something different– and, as always, my mom came through with an amazing gift that I just had to share with everyone, because I didn’t even know they existed!!

The company is called Kiwi Co and they deliver a monthly themed box ( based on your child’s age) filled with science and art projects that allow your child to tap into their creative problem solving side!

To be honest, I thought it would be something cool for our daughter to receive, but I was skeptical about how engaging the projects would actually be and whether they’d be appropriate for her age. But then this week, our box came and I was impressed!!

First, our daughter was SUPER excited because she received a package in the mail, just for her! When we opened up the package, I uncovered not one, but three different craft/ STEM activities with correlating supplies and directions for parents. The projects are fun and things that your child can do mostly on their own, with supervision. We completed our first project, a tote bag tie-dyed with an eyelet dropper and tissue paper, in under 30 minutes. Not only was this fun, but it also helped work on color sorting, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and patience in seeing a project through! Plus, there is an end result which she made, which she is VERY proud of! The best part–we still have two more projects we can complete this month!

If you’re looking for something different for your child, I highly recommend checking this company out! The winter can be hard with kids–all that cooped up energy! I found that this box was  a good way to break up the afternoon and I loved that it already had all the supplies I would need to help our daughter make some really cool projects!

If you’re interested in trying it out, use the referral link below to receive 60% off your first box! Please note, I am in no way associated with this brand, I just LOVED it and wanted to share with other parents looking for something hands-on and fun for their child as we all suffer through the winter together!

Referral Code: https://www.kiwico.com/Referred/?i=MarthaM103.

What other subscription services or experiences have you tried that were FABULOUS for your kids? Let us know by commenting below!

Christmas, kids, Parenting

Fabulous Family Game Night Games

Last year to prepare our daughter for school we started playing a board game each night before bed. Not only did this time allow for us to all spend quality time together, but it helped her to practice counting skills, taking turns, and the all important skill of learning how to handle losing!

We started with some great games to practice colors and counting and have now worked our way up to some fun card games! We enjoy this time together so much, so I’d thought I’d share our top games that we play with our five-year old. These games can be easily found at a local store or online, tons of fun, and can be played quickly before bedtime.

Card Games:

I have always loved card games– even since I was little. The tricky part with cards and small children is that their hands aren’t quite equipped yet to handle holding all those cards! We picked up a kid’s card holder on Amazon to help her little hands manage all her cards!

1. Old Maid: This game is currently our family’s favorite! We played with extended family one night and we were all in tears laughing at each other’s inability to hide our anguish when we had the Old Maid!

2. Go Fish!: This is a fun way to play a matching game. My husband and daughter play this game sometimes while they eat breakfast before school even! We have two sets–a  Christmas themed one and a regular one!

Board Games:

1. Don’t Wake Daddy: This is a game I remember playing as a kid! You pick the card and then must push the button that many times (counting practice!) and cross your fingers that you don’t wake up the Daddy, or you must go back to bed!

2. Candy Land: Such a classic game! Great for identifying colors and one-to-one counting correspondence. We played this a lot early on since it was easy for her to play, but she still loves it now!

3. Chutes and Ladders: This is another GREAT game to practice one-to-one counting and taking turns, in a fun way!

4. Hi Ho Cherry-O: We love this game! This was great for our daughter as she began to recognize numbers through images ( shows 1,2, or 3 apples). It is another game that is great for one-to-one counting correspondence as well!

5. Trouble! : We bought a character themed version of this game, but I love that it works on number recognition ( identifying the number on a dice), one-to-one counting correspondence, and fine motor skills (moving the pieces)! Our daughter loves when she gets to send us back “home, too!

These are our go-to family game night games currently with our five-year old. What games have you enjoyed playing with your kids? Comment below so we can add them to our collection!