Saturday, July 12, 2014

Caden's 1st Birthday! {Plus a Party Package Discount Code!}

I think this past year went faster than any other "1st Years" for our children. Most likely because we were busier than ever this past year trying to move, homeschooling and just the fact that we have four children now.

And I must confess, there were some tears around here on our baby's birthday knowing that the first year was over.

And they weren't just mine.


I must admit, I was a bit shocked at how broken up this little guy was that his baby brother was growing up, but it was just one more expression of the deep love that has swept over our family for this sweet baby.

And truth be told, I shed my fair share of tears later when I got in the shower. Tears because I wanted to keep my baby a baby, but also tears shed in huge gratitude to God for blessing us with such a sweet, healthy baby.

But, enough about that. On to the partaaaay!

When we were deciding what kind of theme to do for the birthday boy, our oldest son suggested we do airplanes. I thought that sounded like a great idea and went to work on finding the cutest airplane themed printable party package on the market.

I immediately fell in love with this cute red, white and blue airplane package from Callachic. The style and colors were a perfect fit, especially considering our baby's birthday was the day after the 4th of July.

 
The invitation for this package was just too cute and had me sold!

 
I do love how having a DIY printable party package brings a theme together. It's such a quick and easy way to do so!




 
I loved the framed "Baggage Claim" sign for the kids to pick up their party favor.


 
The birthday boy hanging out with guests!
 
 
Believe it or not, this little guy just started on solids about 3 weeks ago, so I wanted to take it easy on the "first cupcake". I used our favorite grain free cupcake recipe from Against All Grain and the birthday boy loved it! (What's not to love about a black forest cupcake??? It's amazing just like everything else from Danielle's cookbook!)
 
 
I made his cupcake in a silicone cupcake liner that he received as part of a decoration in a baby gift when he was born. I loved that we could reuse it for his first birthday and it was perfect for him as he ate away at the cupcake. (He loved it so much he was not a happy camper when it was time to take it away!) :)
 
 
Opening his first birthday present!

The party was a huge success and we had so much fun (I even brought out some snow that I had saved from the winter so the cousins could have a snowball fight!)

Many thanks to Callachic for making my baby's 1st Birthday so special! As a gift to you, Callachic is offering you 10% off your order when you use the code "purposefulhomemaking" at checkout at www.callachic.com.

Whether you need baby shower invitations, bridal shower invites, birthday invites or  more, you'll be hard pressed not to find something incredible at Callachic that will be perfect for your event. And for lots of party inspiration (including free downloads!), be sure to check out the Callachic blog. Happy party planning!


http://www.callachic.com/


Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!


Purposeful Homemaking received one or more products mentioned in this post at no cost in order to conduct a thorough and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Additionally, this post may contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oh Baby! How Can You Be Turning One?

So our sweet little boy is almost one. Saturday is the official day and I must admit, I feel a little bit teary eyed thinking about it.

But I can't help it. This boy has captured my heart over and over again and our family is smitten with him. Smitten!!

Having another baby was kind of a big deal for me. I prayed for a year and a half about whether or not we should have a fourth child. I wondered how in the world we could afford another baby, how I would manage "morning" sickness while taking care of three other children, homeschooling and so much more.

And yet, when I was in God's Word, He consistently reaffirmed to me that we should have another baby (my husband was already on board, but I was the one hesitating because I knew much of the responsibility would be on me).

Since we were on a really tight budget, it seemed irresponsible in my immature way of thinking to take on another baby. I thought I would know if God wanted us to have another baby if He gave my husband a raise. He didn't.

And yet, I couldn't escape the pressing in that He did indeed want us to have another one. So, I decided to walk by faith and trust that the Lord would provide. Interestingly enough, He gave us that raise AFTER we found out we were expecting. (Thank you, Lord!)

Of course, the all day "morning" sickness came, but somehow, with God's grace, I made it through those months.

Then about 16-18 weeks into my pregnancy, I got a call from the doctor informing me that some blood work indicated that our baby was at an increased risk for Down Syndrome.

A few days later, I went in for an ultrasound to find out the gender and to check and see if all was going well.

I hate to admit it, but I was disappointed when I found out it was a boy. In my mind, this was the last baby and we thought two girls and two boys would be perfect. (I later found out that God's plan was a million times better than mine!)

Additionally, we were also informed about some health concerns for me and that our baby had an echogenic bowel which was a soft marker for Down Syndrome. The baby's risk at that point increased a lot more between the blood work and the bowel situation. Needless to say, it was kind of an emotional day for me, which only got worse when our little girl cried her heart out when she found out she wasn't getting a sister. (Please keep reading, don't judge me for being disappointed about the gender.)

Thankfully, two months prior to the news about the blood work and the echogenic bowel, they had just come out with a new test that was 98-99% accurate regarding various syndromes and the best part was, it was noninvasive.

I simply had blood drawn and from that, they were able to extract the baby's DNA to see what was going on.

Two weeks later, on Valentine's Day, we found out that our baby did have the correct number of chromosomes. (I believe in God's sovereignty, so by God's grace, even if our baby did not have the "correct" number of chromosomes, they would have been the perfect number because that is what God chose. Every life is important and every baby is made in the image of God.)

So, at that point, we just continued praying that God would heal his bowel. And He did. A follow-up ultrasound revealed that all was well.

I cannot help gushing about this baby. I am so glad God gave me this baby boy because he has just stolen my heart. He is the happiest, easiest going baby ever and his siblings are IN LOVE with him. They adjusted (well, there really wasn't an adjustment period) to this sweet little love without any issues and have been the best helpers I ever could have imagined over this past year.

It's really hard to sum up my love for this little one and I can't tell you how many times I have given thanks for him. Over and over, I assure you.

So is there a moral to the tale?

For one, we CAN trust God to provide our needs in spite of naysayers who say He can't. We are living proof that while we don't get everything in life we want, we certainly get all we need. God is good!

Additionally, children are the greatest blessing ever. Granted, they take a lot of work and money, but my life is the fullest it's ever been because of these four precious souls in my care.

On Saturday, not only will we celebrate one of the most precious little lives I know, but I will also celebrate God's incredible favor, blessing and goodness in giving us this treasure. And oh, what a treasure he is!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past year.







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 




 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 


 
  


Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simple Ideas to Help Your Children Keep Learning in the Summer Months



Today I am guest posting at Sisters Raising Sisters where I am sharing my ideas for ways to help your kids keep learning through the summer months. While the ideas are simple, they are also fun, so be sure to check them out!

P.S. Feel free to contribute to the conversation by sharing your summer learning ideas with everyone in the comments section below. We're always looking for more ideas!

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An OIT Milestone

 
Caleb and Dr. Mayer
 

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. That pretty much sums up my experience with OIT at Dr. Mayer's office.

Today was a milestone for Caleb in the OIT process because he started on peanut flour today. Imagine, the boy who would break out in hives from breathing peanut dust is now eating peanut flour.

Now you know why gratitude is on my heart.

And not just because of how well Caleb is doing, but because God led us to an amazing doctor and staff. I came away today thinking, wow, they are so caring here and think of everything.

Dr. Mayer makes a point to interact not just with his patients, but with any other siblings that happen to make their way to his office. He also takes the time to answer the numerous questions parents have about OIT protocol.

It's no wonder one family drives 5 hours one way to come, or another family flies in bi-weekly from Tennessee, or another drives 6 hours round trip weekly to complete these appointments.

Can I just tell you how grateful I am that after several years of praying for Caleb to be healed of his peanut allergy, we now only travel 40 minutes to see the best doctor and staff?

I just love everyone there! The receptionist is nice and efficient, Nurse Letty is so kind and compassionate and is always checking on everyone who is waiting out their hour and when Dr. Mayer can, he comes in to chat and see how everyone is doing. Even the residents that are training under him take the time to interact with my children and talk with them. Dr. Mayer's office is the best place to be for OIT!


Here's our day at the office:

 
Caleb getting his vitals taken before the next up dose 


 
He is ready for peanut flour, folks!
 

 
Eating his applesauce before dosing (applesauce helps the peanut protein digest in a more patient friendly manner) :)


This week's daily dose: One capsule (50 mg of peanut flour)
 


This cracks me up. He is not one bit timid about moving up in this process! Bring it on Nurse Letty!



Our dosing for the week
 


The bottle on the far right is our dosing for this week. The 25 mg bottle is in case Caleb gets sick this week and we have to cut his dose in half and the one on the far left is if we can't make the appointment for some reason and is our back up bottle.

Dr. Mayer personally fills all of these capsules at home so that peanut flour is not all over his office. That would be a problem for sure! The bottles on the far left are returned next week if we don't need them and are marked with a tamper evident tape. (See, they think of everything!)

I am so thankful for God's grace and provision through this process!

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Our Gone Fishin' Birthday Party



Of course it's hard for me to believe that my baby is nine years old and I've been doing this Momma thing that long. We had such a great time celebrating his birthday last weekend and I wanted to share some of the party ideas that helped give it that extra touch.

I worked with Nina from Everyday Enchanting for the party printables. Our son wanted a fishing themed party so we went with the Gone Fishin package. What I loved about this the most was that it was a DIY download.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/EnchantDetailsEvents?ref=l2-shopheader-name

This allowed me to customize as necessary, but it also gives me the freedom to edit the printables in a few months when it's our younger son's birthday. Because, being the fishing boy that he is, he also wants a party like this. It's a win-win for me!

It's going to save me so much time getting ready for the next party because there are only a few things I will need to switch up. The fact that I laminated most of the printables will also save me money.
 
 

I kept the food simple, but also theme related as much as possible. Since there were a lot of kid-sized cousins at the party, I served fish sticks, which they loved. I wanted a dip besides ketchup (because every kid likes to dip food in ketchup) that the adults would also enjoy. I found THE BEST tartar sauce recipe on pinterest.  Be sure to grab the recipe from my Paleo Board. The recipe is super easy and tastes amazing! It is definitely one I'll be using again.

As a few other side dishes, we did carrots and ranch and I tried a new paleo-friendly coleslaw recipe.

For treats for guests, I jarred up some edible Lures and Worms!

 
 

I was very pleased with how the party favors turned out. To go with the outdoors/fishing theme, I gave each child a S'more Kit. I LOVED the printable from Everyday Enchanting that gave it the perfect finished look.

 
 

I was also completely inspired by Everyday Enchanting's idea for a Bait Cupcake. These were ultra easy to make and inexpensive as well. I used craft wire for the bucket handle, crumpled up "oreo" cookie on top of a chocolate cupcake and added a couple of worms for good measure.

My kids thought these were the coolest cupcakes and really enjoyed them. I made a few grain free ones for one of our sons and used this incredibly awesome recipe from Against All Grain. You must try them!!




Our son had such a great time at his party and I love that I was able to so easily create a fishing themed party just like he wanted. Thanks Nina from Everyday Enchanting for making it possible! And be sure to take a look around her Etsy Shop for other fantastic party packages that won't break the bank!

For more Fishing Party ideas, be sure to check out my Pinterest Board. I hope you will find  inspiration on there that will help you with your next party.

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!


Purposeful Homemaking received one or more products mentioned in this post at no cost in order to conduct a thorough and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Additionally, this post may contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.
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