My Top 5 Baby Essentials

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Sophia is now 2 years old and even though we still call her baby she is officially a toddler. Life with her has been a crazy wild ride! She is still our most difficult toddler yet, she also has turned into being really sweet and funny as well.

I thought it would be fun to share what my top 5 baby essential items have been the past few years. After six children my list has been tested and tried, and I don’t have a lot of extra items included in the list.

Baby Carrier

Outside of diapers and wipes and clothes, this is my most essential item. I use my carrier a lot, and still use it with Sophia!

I’ve thought about getting a Toddler carrier now that she is 2, but for now we make the regular Tula carrier work. I’ve also used the Ergo baby carrier. I’m honestly not the best at using a baby wrap where I tie, but I’ve tried a few like the Happy Baby wrap before.

A Pack N Play

We haven’t used a crib for a few years because of the small house we live in. With 4 girls in one bedroom, having the baby sleep in a pack n play is essential. It’s actually worked out really well! It’s nice that they offer sheets for pack n play beds now!

A Teething Necklace

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know if a teething necklace helps or not. Ha! But it’s the one thing I don’t mind trying that is “extra” and it honestly looks so cute on babies! We used one with the last two babies, and I’ll keep using a teething necklace if we have more babies.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

I’ve put off buying these swaddle blankets with my first 5 babies. I finally kept hearing everyone talk so highly of them that I purchased a set, and I can’t believe what I was missing! I absolutely love how soft and snuggly these blankets are. They are lightweight, yet extremely good quality. We actually used these blankets for a full two years, and I think one is still not packed up. I bought a cheaper swaddle blanket at a children’s consignment sale and it wasn’t soft at all so we never used it.

Car Seats

Car seats are another essential item, and after using them quite a few times I have my favorites! With an infant I love using the Chicco Infant seat. The ratings on it are excellent, the quality is great, and I love the classic, clean lines.

Once they outgrow the infant seat we buy the Diono Radian Car Seat. These are one of the smallest seats on the market so they worked well when we had our mini van. The ratings are also extremely high on these seats, and they last forever! We currently have two of these that we are using with our 5 and 2 year old.

While there are other items I use with a baby, these are the top items that stand out to me! I recently found a new baby company to shop from online, and since I love supporting smaller companies I wanted to share it with you!

The Baby Cubby offers some of the well known items that I shared about in this post, as well as hundreds of other items! The store is made up of parents who have first hand experience with what is needed. What really stood out to me is that they price match, even with Amazon! So if you find something cheaper elsewhere, you can email them and they will match that price!

While we are slowly packing away baby gear, I look forward to using it all again at some point, if the Lord blesses us! If you are expecting, drop a comment and let me know! I’d love to know how many readers are going to be having a baby soon!

*This post was sponsored by The Baby Cubby. All thoughts are strictly my own.



Why I Don’t Try To Save Money On Disposable Diapers

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

One of the most basic essentials that every baby (and toddler!) needs is diapers. If you cloth diaper, then you are set. Unless you just get behind on laundry (the story of my life!), then you won’t run out of diapers.

I’ve given up trying to cloth diaper. I just never can stay on top of laundry enough to add the cloth diapers on top of all my regular laundry!

Stocking up on diapers at Sam's Club!

Keeping disposable diapers and wipes in the house can be challenging. I’ve run out more than once, only to scramble to get the store quickly.

Recently I ran out of diapers yet again, and I decided to vary from the brand I normally get and grab a cheaper store brand pack of diapers. These things were super cheap, and I was so hoping they would work.

Of course it wouldn’t happen.

Within 24 hours of trying these new diapers on her, Sophia broke out in a really bad rash. I instantly knew it was because of the cheap diapers, and so I ended up wasting money because we used 2 diapers out of the package! It took several days to get her over that rash, and it wasn’t worth it.

Back to the name brand diapers I went! When I spend the money on the good diapers, it’s truly worth it. Each diaper lasts longer, because they don’t get soggy as fast.

Yes, I realize that is kind of gross…but hey, moms understand!

My biggest tip for staying stocked up on diapers is to buy the largest boxes you can find. That way you normally only have to buy a box once a month…or somewhere around there.

I always buy my diapers at a large wholesale type store, like Sam’s Club.

I can’t recommend this enough! I just grab my diapers and wipes when I go out to get groceries and then I don’t have to think about it until another month rolls around.

Right now Sam’s Club (in store or online)has a great deal on diapers. If you buy 2 items from Pampers diaper or wipe items, you instantly save $10, or buy 3 items and save $18! I would totally use this to stock up on diapers for the next few months.

I absolutely love the concept of Club Pickup at Sam’s Club! You can order online, and select Club Pickup and then you don’t have to even get out of the car! Just drive through and pick up your order.

Or you can use the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app, which sounds pretty neat. You can skip the checkout line and use your phone to scan items as you shop. Check out with the app, and the receipt will appear on your phone! This app is available on Apple or Android.

Right now with us working on our new house, keeping diapers in stock is a must! I actually have a big box of diapers and wipes just sitting in the formal dining room floor right now. I brought half of the box over to the new house, and kept some at our current house and some for my sister who is watching Sophia a lot for us!

I’d love to hear if you stock up on diapers for the month, or just grab small packages as you need them?

Are You Parenting From Fear Or Faith?

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Parenting is tough in today’s world. We have so many things we want to protect our children from, and the desire to shield them from the evil of the world is truly a noble and worthwhile endeavor. Indeed we are called to do this.

“Be ye in the world but not of it.”

I’ve found myself pondering why I parent lately. The same question keeps coming back to me over and over again.

Am I parenting from fear or from faith?

Do I shelter my children because I’m walking with God and know what my child can handle at this point, or do I shelter them because I can’t handle to ever expose them to any of the evils, and it’s just easier to hide them?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sheltering my children. I homeschool my children because I don’t want to expose them to public school and all it teaches (I know other Christian families make it through, it’s just our decision!). However I’ve seen so much fear in the homeschool world that I’ve grown up in.

Parents fear if they give their child an inch of knowledge, they will run with it and go the way of the world.

It’s not always the case.

We need to protect our children because we want to make them stronger for the Lord’s army, not to simply hide them away until they turn 18. The knowledge needs to be slowly given to them over time, and they need a chance to turn away from sin while you are still with them.

I learned that hiding the sins of the world does not mean it won’t come into your household. My parents never talked to us about homosexuality. Believe it or not, I was 16 when I really found out what it was and it was through a very painful way.

I’ve seen so many tragic incidents where parents sheltered their children so much that they never truly grew up. They seemed to live in a sheltered life even once they reached adulthood, and never grasped the concept of what being an adult was all about.

How can you figure out what type of parenting you are walking in?

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you fearful of your child ever hearing a song you don’t approve of, learning about something bad that happened in the world, or of them hearing of a teenage pregnancy, in case they start to think about such things?

Or do you prayerfully sit down and discuss these heavier topics with your children when the situations arises, and pray that they understand and choose to follow the right path?

Do you recognize that your child will grow up to have their own agency, and they must decide what path they will continue to walk on?

Or do you try to micro-manage every situation, even when they are teenagers so you can control what they know?

Our oldest is only 13, but so far we have had to have lots of talks with all our children about adultery (ouch, that one was hard and handled delicately), homosexuality (again, handled on a child’s level, but very honestly), pornography (we really never used that word, we just talked about how there are bad pictures out there that you have to instantly look away from), and the list goes on.

Children need to know that sin abounds, because they need to know of their greet need of a Savior. Again, I’m not saying to go overboard and make them aware of things on an adult level. Not at all! Our children can find Sean and I talking behind closed doors many times, because the topic is not for their ears. But you can’t hide all the evil in the world, and instead of parenting through fearfulness, choose to walk in faith, knowing that God is gently calling your child to Him. Pray that your child will respond to that call and choose the right path to walk on.

Let go of the ungodly fear that comes knocking on your heart as you parent. Keep the godly fear in your heart, the fear of sin, and teach your child to reject evil. Without any knowledge of evil, how will they know what to reject?



Raising Children Who Truly Follow God (It’s Not All About You)

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I had a wake up call a few weeks ago as a parent.

I can’t create a relationship with God for my child.

It sounds so basic, right? Actually, at times I tend to think we ignore this one simple concept.

As a parent who feels like they have a serious responsibility to raise up children that love God with all of their heart, I tend to feel like it’s all on me.

I have to say all the right things, do all the right things, create the perfect environment for my child to do the right things. Do you ever feel that pressure as a mom?

Raising Children Who Truly Follow God (It's Not All About You)

A few weeks ago we had a guest minister come and preach at our church. My 11 year old son came home and quietly followed me into my bedroom. He sat down on my bed and said he wanted to talk. Some things that were said in the sermon really stood out to him, and he felt like parts of the sermon were life changing to him.

You know what?

They were.

I spent 11 years, pouring myself into this child, trying to train him up in the way he should go, and it took 45 minutes of hearing someone expound the word of God to really change him. 

The following week Israel was practically perfect. He worked so hard on getting along with his siblings, he was respectful to Sean and me, and he was reading his scriptures without being told. He received so many good checks on his obedience chart from Character Badges!

It helped me to understand -you can’t force these things to happen. You can encourage them, pray for them, spend hours talking to them about the right and wrong way, but ultimately God has to reach down and touch their hearts.

I find it interesting that all of my children heard the same sermon, but only one was really touched by it. The rest left and it was just, well, it was just another sermon. You never know what will touch your child, but we have to keep providing opportunities for these life changing experiences to take place, don’t we?

I’m not writing this to encourage moms to sit back and do nothing now. You can’t count on these experiences to happen despite yourself; but be open to letting your children be instructed and changed by people other than yourself, and by situations your not responsible for.

This being said, I’m still grateful for the resources I have used thus far. This isn’t an all or nothing post. It’s mainly a post to encourage you mothers to keep praying for your children, recognizing that sometimes God is bigger than you think, and He will touch your child in a way outside of your plan.

With six children we have spent hours talking about getting along together. It is so exhausting to have children that fight and quarrel all day long. Some of my favorite studies we have done (and will do over again!) are My Brother’s Keeper, and Because I Said So. These teach obedience to parents, and a love for your siblings.

Learning to love your siblings God's way

These studies are great to do together before a school day starts, or in the evening as a family!

A Biblical study of obedience

While these studies are great, it can be easy to do one study and not have your child truly retain what they learn. This is where Character Badges comes in. It’s designed to help you daily build good habits in your children. I find this supports any studies out there you do, because it’s helping train your children in good habits such as respectfulness, diligence, helpfulness, obedience, kindness, etc.

Take heart dear mother. You have a huge responsibility to raise your children in the Lord, but God is so merciful to send those who can come alongside us, and reinforce these things to our children, and even present them in a different way. Embrace this. Take courage that you are not alone. Teach your children to respect their pastor, teacher, or mentor over them. A change in your child’s heart might be right around the corner!





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