Friday, April 29, 2011

Romancing Your Husband

I'm reading a fantastic book right now called "Romancing Your Husband" by Debra White Smith. It has been quite convicting to me on some areas I need to work on in my marriage! The main lesson I'm being reminded is that our husband's should come before our children, friends, social life, etc. Obviously I think our husbands should understand if the baby is crying and we have to tend to it when he wants to talk to us. :) But I know from real life experience that it is easy to fall into a rut of not putting your husband first.

I found the following excerpt from the book challenging:

"Yes, it takes time to romance the Lord and your husband. Regardless of your constraints, I encourage you to commit time and energy to your relationship with them. For instance, what this means for me is that I seldom watch television. The only time I watch it is if it offers a bonding opportunity with me and my children or husband. My children have a favorite afternoon show that we site down and enjoy together. My husband and I show often enjoy a movie if we're on a stay-at-home date. {Note from Caroline-my husband actually enjoys watching Jane Austen movies with me. swoon!} But I have no favorite shows and no television schedule. My time priorities are my marriage and my God. (I figure I can regularly watch television if I ever end up at a nursing home).
Another hard choice I've made is to limit e-mail to necessary interpersonal interaction or business-related issues. If you have surfed the net lately, you probably have realized that it, too, can take up your whole life. E-mail and the Internet can be so addictive. God has shown me that I have no business devoting family and/or spouse time to computer pursuits. Modern invention is great. I have a website myself. But avoid letting this modern convenience consume your life."


That really spoke to me. My business and blog can consume too much of my time. My husband is supportive of me blogging and having my business, (or should I say businesses? I'm a consultant for Lilla Rose as well!) but he is also constantly encouraging me to manage my time better, and be disciplined in staying off the computer when I need to be.

This next week, my goal is to spend more time with my family, and less on my own things. And I'm going to keep reading this great book to be challenged in other ways I can romance my husband.

Watch out Sean, I've got a great list going. :)

What is a goal you want to work on this coming week?

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Teaching Little Girl's To Be Modest

You might think I'm not qualified to write about this subject, seeing as my own daughter is only three years old. Surprisingly, though, I have already had quite a few conversations come up with my daughter. But what I really feel that qualifies me to write about this is the fact that I was raised by a Mother who instilled in me the desire and the knowledge concerning dressing modestly. All of the priceless lessons she passed on to me remain with me to this day, and I rely on them as I raise my own two daughter's now.

Some might be very intimidated when they discover they have a daughter to raise. The world gives us horrifying examples of what can happen to young ladies as they get older, and it puts fear into our hearts. I am actually ecstatic that I have daughters to raise, and I want to pass along some of our vision for raising them for God.

From the time Carrianna was a baby, I have been reciting to her Proverbs 31 - as I change her diaper, get her dressed, do the dishes with her, hold her on the couch, driving her in the car. Basically anytime I think of it, I recite it to her. Proverbs 31 is so powerful in creating a vision for our daughters, which is ultimately what they need - vision. I have also read her the book "God's Wisdom For Little Girl's: Virtue and Fun From Proverbs 31" by Elizabeth George. That is a very sweet book.

I talk to Carrianna about modesty, though I haven't gone into an explanation about what modesty is {after all, she is only three!}. Rather, as we are out shopping, or trying on clothes in the dressing room, I will tell her that "this dress looks modest" or "that shirt is very immodest" I do not do this in a judgmental way, that is, my emphasis is not towards the women who put the dress on display, but the mode of dress itself. That being said, I am trying to assist my daughter in making definite judgments when it comes to modesty. It amazes me how much she has picked up on already, and many times she shows me things that are not modest now. If I try on a long dress that she likes, she is quick to say excitedly "That looks modest Mama!"

As she gets older, I will be talking to her about how modesty has to start in the heart. If girls do not acquire a modest spirit or a heart that longs to please God, than you will have a hard time keeping their focus on dressing modestly as they enters their teen years. Don't think it impossible for an older girl to make the switch from wearing jeans to dresses though. It can be done through lots of prayer and heart to heart talks. Read my sister's testimony here on how she went to all dresses at the age of 16!

I'm trying to instill a feminine spirit in my daughter, not just a modest attitude. I'm trying to raise her to recognize the differences between boys and girls. I want her to delight in being a girl just as I was taught to do growing up. I was very girly, {and still am!} and loved dolls, Anne of Green Gables, waltzing through the house {dare I admit I still like doing that?} and reading books on being a young lady. More importantly though, I'm want to instill in her a desire to be a godly handmaiden of the Lord, to want to be a wife and mother in this career driven world.

We dressed extremely conservative when I was going through my young adolescent years. Mom only knew how to sew one simple jumper pattern, and that is what we all wore! Whether I was jumping on the trampoline, hiking in the woods, gardening, or cleaning house, I wore a dress. The only time I would wear jeans is the rare times I rode a horse at a friends house (I'm scared of horses, so I didn't often get on one!).

I did get my ears pierced at 13 and wore some simple gold posts. I also wore a necklace every once in a while. I never wore make-up until a few years ago. We'll be getting into all this in much more detail in the "She Wore Skirts" Series...

So what does a modest little girl look like?

You might be surprised at my answer.

I don't always dress my daughter in dresses.

There, I said it. :-)

I know some people dress their daughters from the day they are born in dresses, but my husband and I have not felt the need to do so. When our baby girls are little, they live in sleepers. Olivia is 16 months, and has spent most of the winter in sleepers, and wears dresses to church. It's just easier. And honestly, at this age there is nothing you are trying to cover up to be modest about! Carrianna was given a lot of hand me downs last year, and played in pants and shirts, and we ran errands with her dressed that way. This spring and summer I have only been buying her dresses, and I told my husband I wanted to slowly start trying to switch to her only wearing dresses. I don't want her getting used to wearing pants, so my goal is to just make it through the first few years of learning to crawl, walk, etc. and then start wearing primarily dresses.

On a practical note...

Little girl's actually become very immodest in a dress. Most girls I know like to pull up on their dresses, showing their undergarments to the world. :) Their activity and play is also a lot more clumsy than it will be in later years. They roll and somersault and jump and twirl all with no consideration as to whether or not their dress is doing an adequate job of covering themselves. For this reason, I have one pair of white pantaloons that Carrianna wears under her dresses, and during the winter she wore a lot of cotton tights. Leggings also work very well and accommodate wearing dresses nicely.

An easy pattern to make is McCalls 4505, which includes short and long bloomers. It is out of print, but you might be able to find it used on Ebay. Candle On The Hill sells a Bloomer Pattern also. There is also an easy tutorial here for making them.

Soft cotton shorts also work well, and many times you can find these at garage sales for .25-50 cents! I would just get solid colored ones that somewhat coordinate with your daughter's clothes. We will be doing this a lot this summer as well.

Most skirts are not long enough for my standards so I make them for Carrianna's. Here are a few tutorials online that look sweet.

I like the Gracie Ruffled Skirt Pattern from Marie Madeline as well.

Dress Patterns

Here are a few of my favorite dress patterns:

McCalls 5966 -I would make it longer than this.

Godly Resources

Here are some of the best resources I have found for teaching daughters biblical truths about modesty, femininity, and their roles as women.

God's Wisdom For Little Girls-A sweet book for toddlers up to probably age eight.

Beautiful Girlhood by Karen Andreola. I read this book over and over again, starting probably at the age of 10. It helped me so much!

The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood-Perfect to use if you want to do a Mother/Daughter study together.

Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy MacDonald-This is a must have book, it is so excellent! You can also purchase it at Vision Forum here.

Polished Cornerstones published by Doorpost, is an wonderful aid for middle school through high school. I did this during my high school years, and it greatly blessed me.

Mother, by Kathleen Norris is a novel that will teach your daughters how important mothers really are, and make them long to be one!

Joyfully At Home by Jasmine Baucham is a newly published book that is excellent for older daughters. I read through some of it recently, and found it very encouraging.

Be sure to check out our sponsor, Joyfully Sewn Designs for modest little girl clothes!

Homemaker blog hop

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

She Wears Skirts-A Guest Post On Modesty Written By My Husband

I asked my husband Sean to write something on modesty for our series. I had no idea that he was going to write about me, and his experience of learning about the concept of dressing modestly! Mingled in the story is a little bit of how we met! He will finish up this post next Wednesday.

Sean and I about to go on a date!

Let me start by saying that I feel, somehow, honored to have been invited by the Modest Mom (Caroline to me) to guest post on her blog. I also have some sensation in the pit of my stomach akin to a feeling I get when I accompany my wife to a midwife appointment; something like, "You are welcome here, though you have the right to remain silent..." or "You're not from around these parts, are you?" I'll try to post confidently, after all, Caroline, I mean, the Modest Mom officially requested that I do this.

I wanted to rehearse for you how I first became acquainted with the principle of modesty, how it radically altered my perspective concerning women in general, and how it has continued to shape my interaction with them.

To be brief, my first exposure to modesty (not sure those two words are comfortable in the same sentence) was upon seeing my future wife and her sister sitting across the room at a scripture study at college. I was 20 years old and I believe I can honestly say that the issue of modesty had never crossed my mind - ever. I hadn't, up to that moment, paused to consider if there was a right and a wrong when it came to dress, much less the behavior which endues our appearance with a particular spirit. So, there they were, meekly seated across the room from me, completely separate in their attire from every other young lady in the room, very nearly glowing in their probity, and I had the thought come to me, "Those girls are just plain WEIRD."
Perhaps not the epiphany you were expecting. Something significant, though, had happened to me, something which set the stage for the cluster of revelations which were to come regarding this issue - I had actually seen modesty, and everything it implies, with my own eyes. Strange as it was to my carnal mind at the time, it was undeniable in its distinctiveness - that is, there were definite, purposeful motivations driving the young ladies to dress as they did, and in the nearly abandoned, certainly neglected center of my heart, I knew it. It would take me another year or so to acknowledge this and summon the courage to ask at least one of the young ladies - WHY?

If I shared all of what transpired on this little journey of my mine, it would make for lengthy reading. Suffice it to say that only God could have arranged matters in such a way that a year later, I found myself the head of a small group study with a certain young lady assigned as one of my "students." I expect it is rare when a teacher learns more from his student than she from him, but such was my experience over the course of the next few months. I am not ashamed to admit this, but I sat at my future wife's feet that semester and was schooled in the ways purity. She never would have done this had I not been so inquisitive. By this time, the thought in my heart concerning her appearance had greatly matured from "strange" to "I absolutely must know why this lovely young lady dresses, no, more than dresses, IS the way she is! What scriptural exegetic is she tapping that drives her to live thus?!" I was transfixed by her "way of life" and I absolutely had to get to the "why" and "what for" behind it. Her answer came with a gentle and quiet confidence, "It's really quite simple..."

And it is, and always will be.

You see, as I scheduled a curious number of group "discussions" that semester, I took the opportunity to probe Caroline concerning the decisions she had made concerning her walk with God. Nearly all of her decisions could be viewed as accessory to her decision for modesty. In other words, her decision for modesty governed her decisions in many other areas of Christian import. Having said that, modesty itself is an appendage to femininity and femininity to godliness. Caroline never came right out and said this, (would never have even thought it) but what I kept hearing throughout our discussions was, "I am a woman, made in the image of God, and if you were a true man of God, you would treat me, with all dignity and honor, according to the rights and privileges afforded to me by my Creator." This was completely new to me. I just thought that, well, I'm not sure what I thought about women. With a few notable exceptions (my mother, grandmother, precious few church women) seeing women aspire to and attain unto every role men traditionally displaced was all that I had ever known. Even most of the dwindling number of housewives in my experience looked and acted like feminine men with slightly longer hair. Yet here I was was talking with a woman who hadn't the slightest desire to look, act, or compete with, me. And bless God, it affected her appearance (for the better I might say ; ). Now, hear me, I have no desire to disparage any of the other young ladies that I attended the scripture study with for I believed, and still believe them to be sincere in their devotion to Christ and they blessed me in many ways. When I think of my wife, however, in chastity, virtue, and yes, modesty, my heart can only borrow the words of King Lemuel's mother, "...but thou excellest them all." It was on account of these undeniable qualities which my eventual wife exhibited that completely captivated my heart, and I, with much trembling, resolved to win her.

It proved only to be the beginning.

To be continued....

Make sure you go over to Raising Arrow's Blog, as we have blogged about how to dress when pregnant and nursing.

*Go enter our Amazon Gift Card Giveaway on Facebook! Just tell me what you would like to see more of on the blog, and you will be entered (leave your comment on Facebook).

She Wears Skirts

Click here to see all the posts from Raising Arrows.

Visit our sponsors and affiliates of The Modest Mom!

Plain Jane-Candles, Soaps, Laundry Detergent, and more
Joyfully Sewn Designs - Adorable modest clothing for girls
Sweet Little Blessings - Cloth diapers and more
Paula's Bread - Baking Supplies for your kitchen
Vision Forum - Godly resources for your homeschool and family
Nurtured Family - Babywearing, Cloth Diapers, Baby Items and more


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cute Nursing Shirts at Zulily!

Today Zulily has these adorable nursing shirts on sale at Zulily, a daily deals place for Moms, Babies, and Children!

Most nursing shirts are really low cut, so I liked that these look higher. I think if you buttoned the top button, it would help make it a little higher cut. The sleeve details add such a feminine look!

Go here to see them.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

31 Days To Clean Giveaway!

I go through spurts of motivation in keeping my house clean. Sometimes I give up because the monotony of it all, other times it's because I'm overwhelmed, and still other times I think I finally have have it conquered, and relax a little, only to find the house fall apart a day later.

Can anyone else relate?

I really want to conquer my house, once and for all. I long to bless my husband in this area. He is wonderful at organizing and loves a clean house. Organizing for me is like a foreign language. :) I try, and do succeed at times, I just know that I still have a long ways to go in managing my home successfully.

Keeping my house clean was a goal of mine for the New Year, and I'm delighted to find a new resource to help me out!

31 Days To Clean is a recently released e-book written by Sarah Mae from Like A Warm Cup Of Coffee, and Raising Homemakers. She is so sweet, and really has her heart set on trying to please the Lord!

Here is what Sarah Mae writes about the e-book:

My goal with 31 Days to Clean is to encourage you (and myself) to get our homes and our hearts in order.

Give Me 31 Days and I'll give you not only a cleaner home, but a vision for one.

The 31 Days to Clean E-Book is about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains. Each day you will be encouraged with some thoughts and ideas, and then those ideas are put to action.
After each days reading, you will be given two challenges:
  • The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
  • The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks
31 Days to Clean is a faith journey towards ruling, subduing,
and loving.

I have only read a few days into the challenge, and already my heart is stirred to the awesome task that God has given me in tending to my home. What a privilege! Sometimes all we need is to be gently guided along. The Book of Proverbs says "where there is no vision the people perish." 31 Days To Clean will come along side you and encourage you each day to develop a passion and a vision for tending to your own little palace.

This E-book is filled with practical tips, and godly insights. It's priced so almost anyone can afford it-only $4.99!

You can also buy it for your Kindle here for the same low price!

I plan on working through this book beginning May 1, along with a whole group of ladies who are joining a challenge to conquer our homes! I will be blogging about my progress, plus giving tips on what I'm learning! I would love to have you follow along!

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

Win It!

Sarah Mae is giving away a copy of the 31 Days To Clean E-book to one of you! To enter, go look at the table of contents and tell me which chapter interests you the most.


Please leave a way to contact you!

1. Like 31 Days To Clean on Facebook.

2. Follow us on Facebook.

3. Subscribe to our blog via email (top right hand corner of blog)-2 extra entries!

4. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

5. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!

6. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

7. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

8. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!

This giveaway will end Friday, April 29 at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond!

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Sarah Mae from 31 Days To Clean who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.
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Hip Homeschool Moms Button

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lilla Rose FREE SHIPPING Saturday Only!!

Today, April 23 Lilla Rose is offering a Shipping Extravaganza, and they are generously offering free shipping on orders of $20 or more!

Now is a perfect time to grab a flexi clip for a Mother's Day Gift, or treat yourself to a new clip for the summer months approaching!

I love this clip!

For those who prefer bronze, they have a nice selection!

I love wearing these Princess Tiara Earrings with my matching flexi clip!

Go here to browse around at the large selection of items that Lilla Rose offers!


Writing Skills for Grade 1

If you want your child to consistently have writing time during school hours, then Daily 6-Trait Writing might be what you are looking for! This easy to use book has lesson plans built right into the book, so no searching around for the teachers manual that has become lost. {don't ask me how I know about this}.

These lessons do not require much of your time, taking only 10-15 minutes a day. The book has lessons for every day of the week. The 6-traits that are essential to develop in writing are content; organization; word choice; sentence fluency; voice; and conventions which include grammar, spelling and mechanics. Evan-Moor has taken all these traits, and developed them into this great series.

These books cover 1-6 grade. We tried the first grade one with our son, and he has enjoyed doing it. It was just the right level for him.

25 weeks of instruction cover the following trait-based writing skills:

Week 1: Choose a Topic
Week 2: Make Your Topic Better
Week 3: Add Details
Week 4: Choose Better Details
Week 5: Review

Week 1: Beginning, Middle, and End
Week 2: Put Things in the Right Order
Week 3: Write a Complete Ending
Week 4: Group by How Things Are the Same or Different
Week 5: Review

Word Choice
Week 1: Use Action Words
Week 2: Use Words That Describe
Week 3: Use Words That Tell How You Feel
Week 4: Use Just the Right Word
Week 5: Review

Sentence Fluency
Week 1: Write a Sentence
Week 2: Write a Sentence with Describing Words
Week 3: Write Longer Sentences
Week 4: Connect Your Ideas
Week 5: Review

Week 1: Tell How You Feel
Week 2: Write How You Feel
Week 3: Create a Mood
Week 4: Use Rhyme
Week 5: Review

Timberdoodle offers this writing course for $21.75, along with many, many other things! If you have not taken a peek at the many items that Timberdoodle offers, you are missing out!

(I was supplied this book to review, as part of Timberdoodle Blog Review Team. I was not paid for this review, and all thoughts are my own.)

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

She Wears Skirts-Hide Your Mommy Tummy!

A comment I hear frequently from ladies is "I just don't look good in skirts." While many of you you may not feel like skirts are as flattering on you as you might like, I have recently found a way to greatly improve my appearance in skirts!

Being a mother is a blessing, but it also leaves your body greatly changed. I've been blessed beyond measure to have four children seven and under. I always nurse for at least a year, so trying to do a special diet after having the baby is really not an option for me. With this last child, I realized that over the course of having my babies I had gradually gained some weight, all of which ended up in my stomach. I have the typical mommy tummy with stretch marks and loose skin. Amy recently wrote about Diastasis Recti and the struggles she has gone through with that. I don't have that problem, I simply have relaxed stomach muscles from being pregnant four times! Having caught glimpses of myself in the mirror, I've been bothered by what I see.

When I was shopping in Marshalls the other day, I looked at the shapewear. I was intrigued by a tummy shaper and decided to try it on. Amazingly, it was comfortable and it actually helped the looks of my stomach area! After wearing it for several weeks now, I've been extremely pleased with the results. I have no clue if this is related or not but I've even lost four pounds since I started wearing the shaper! At any rate, after measuring myself today with the shaper on, and then taking it off, I discovered that I am three inches smaller in my waist with the shaper on. WOW!

(PLEASE NOTE-the following links contain photos of women modeling undergarments. I have chosen to just give you the links instead of posting the pictures here. Please be careful if opening up with little children around.)

So what is this fantastic shaper? The one I bought is hard to find online, so they must be discontinuing it. Here is one store that still sells it.

This shaper sold at Amazon is from Flexee also (same company as my shaper) and has a lot of good reviews! I think it would be even more conveinant as you can wear your own underwear, making bathroom breaks easier. It still hooks up the front, which I think is very important for a shaper to work correctly. I have tried several others without the hook, and they never gave me the desired result.

I would give a caution if looking at this style of shaper. After trying this type a few times, I quickly realized that I was getting yeast infections after wearing them! They simply do not allow air to circulate (I know, a lot of details here!) That is why I prefer the other type, plus they seem to work so much better!

I have also been doing the "Hit The Floor" workout from T-Tapp. It's excellent! The workout really focuses on the stomach area. Body brushing is also a good way to tighten up loose skin, and I have been trying to do that faithfully :)

Here are some pictures with the shaper on (picture #1)....

With the shaper taken off (picture #2).

Notice how much straighter I stand with the shaper on?

I hope this might give you some hope that there are "helps" out there to assist you in looking better. And ladies, please remember - whether you weigh a slim and tight 110 pounds, or you weigh 225 pounds and are fluffy all over, you all have beautiful qualities about you!

Over at Raising Arrows, Amy is talking about what styles of clothes are flattering for different body shapes. Be sure to take a peek!

She Wears Skirts

Visit our sponsors and affiliates of The Modest Mom!

Joyfully Sewn Designs - Adorable modest clothing for girls
Sweet Little Blessings - Cloth diapers and more
Paula's Bread - Baking Supplies for your kitchen
Vision Forum - Godly resources for your homeschool and family
Nurtured Family - Babywearing, Cloth Diapers, Baby Items and more

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thirsties Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway

Thirsties Cloth Diapers are well known for their diaper wrap. On every cloth diapering board I am on, generally the one diaper wrap I hear praised is Thirsties. They are cost effective, free of VOC's, PVC, Phthalates, lead, and latex. Made in the USA out of 100% polyester, these diaper covers actually work! My favorite part about the wrap is the leg gussets. They really help contain all the mess that happens in a diaper!

The Thirsties duo wrap is great for those Mom's looking to save even more money while diapering. This wrap is cost effective, as you only have to buy two sizes of wraps for your child. The wrap I reviewed was made with hook and loop closure, with snaps underneath that to create a fitted wrap for your child. I used the snaps when I tried it on my 14 month old, and they worked great! I found I only needed to snap it once, but for a younger baby you would probably want to snap it up more than that. They also have a wrap that is made only with snap closures.

The covers are priced at $12.75 for solids, or $13.75 for prints.

The company suggests using the cover with their duo hemp prefold. They sent me one to try, and I was pleasantly surprised. I have never used a hemp diaper, and while it did not have the same feel as a Chinese prefold diaper, it still absorbed all the moisture really well.

Overall, I was very pleased with this diaper, and would purchase more in the future. If you are looking for a more cost effective way to diaper, Thirsties are a great option. You can order a free catalog of their products here.

Win It!
Thirsties is giving away a Duo Wrap of your color choice, and a hemp prefold diaper. To enter, tell me what color of wrap you would like to win!


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).

1. Follow Thirsties on Facebook.

2. Follow us on Facebook.

3. Subscribe to our blog via email (top right hand corner of blog)-2 extra entries!

4. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

5. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!

6. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

7. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

8. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!

This giveaway will end Monday, May 2, at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Thirsties who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Joyfully Sewn Designs Giveaway!

Growing up, Sarah Morris was privileged to watch and learn from her Grandma who sewed frequently. She made a lot of Sarah's clothes for her, until Sarah graduated from homeschool high school.

Sarah's first real project was sewing a Christmas outfit for a special little friend. Not long after that, this little girl's mom asked her if she would do some sewing for her. She quickly discovered that many of the homeschooling moms in her area desired to dress their girls in modest, feminine clothing, but were having an increasingly hard time finding acceptable clothes in the store. Many of the moms did not posses sewing abilities, or the other moms were just to busy.

For about 10 years Sarah did custom sewing for the families in her area and a few out of town friends. In the fall of 2009 she decided to branch out into the world of online businesses, and opened Joyfully Sewn Designs online. Sarah has a beautiful variety of hand-crafted garments for girls, all of which are priced at extremely excellent prices. New items are always being added, and custom sewn orders are also available.

We received the adorable dress, blouse and hair bows for my three year old daughter. As a seamstress myself, it's easy to spot good sewing. I was very impressed with the quality of this dress. You can tell Sarah takes her time, and is extremely detailed in her stitching. All of the seams are professionally finished, to hold up under your little girl's active play! The matching hair bows are a cute touch to the outfit! This whole outfit, blouse, jumper and two hair bows was priced at $30.00, which is an excellent price for quality, custom sewn garments that are modest!

Sarah has offered a coupon code for you all to use. Enter modest when checking out to save 10% off!

Even though my daughter is only three years old, I am starting to have a harder time finding long dresses and skirts for my daughter to wear. They are out there, but I have to search harder and put back on the rack many bold, short, and glittery items. Also, many of them are just plain ugly to me! I was excited to discover Joyfully Sewn Designs, as it is a wonderful solution for many of who you cannot sew, or are overwhelmed with homeschooling and cannot find the time.

I also like to support young ladies who are staying at home after graduation, faithfully waiting on the Lord for their future. While I don't know Sarah that well, I always see her each year at the homeschool convention we attend as she assists her brother Jimmy at his business of Light of Faith. Each time I go home, her sweet spirit has always impressed me, as being a wonderful example of what a godly young woman should look like.

Win It!
Sarah is giving away a $20.00 gift certificate to be used at Joyfully Sewn Designs. To enter, tell me one of your favorite items from her store.


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).

1. Follow us on Facebook.

2. Subscribe to our blog via email (top right hand corner of blog)-2 extra entries!

3. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

4. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!

5. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

6. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

7. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!

This giveaway will end Monday, May 2, at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Joyfully Sewn Designs who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.

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Winners announced!

The winners of the book: Loving the Little Years are:

Jessica (mutheringheights)
Christy (homefullofjoy)

The winner of the Simply Charlotte Mason Delightful Reading Program is:

Shannon (ahernea)

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email from me with further details!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breastfeeding 101-my own personal story

I have four children seven and under all of whom I have nursed until they were at least a year old. My youngest is 15 months, and she is still nursing strong. This is my longest period of nursing yet, and I'm excited about it!

Nursing is so easy for me now, but I will never forget the struggle I had in getting started.

My Mother unfortunately could never nurse her babies due to a medicine she was on. She tried with my brother, and he slept so much for a week that the Doctor said the medicine was going to his system. So we were all bottle fed. I was the youngest and really had little experience seeing anyone actually nursing their babies. There were two ladies I was around who did nurse when I was in high school, and that was it. I was determined to do it though, and really didn't worry very much about it.

I had a relatively good labour with my first child. Besides having some back labour, and the birth pool we were using developing a leak, all went well and I was the blessed mother of a little boy. After he was born, I clumsily tried getting him to nurse, and my midwife helped me a little. We snuggled in bed for about two hours - before his crying began. At 2 AM I found myself in a rocking chair with him not really knowing what to do. Thus began crying spells which lasted for the first four months of his little life, at least.

When I went to our one week checkup, they were a bit concerned as he had lost weight, and told me to keep nursing him well. My milk had come in quickly after giving birth, so I knew that there was something there for him! At our two week checkup he was still losing weight. The goal is for a baby to regain his birth weight by two weeks. The midwife's office that I was using had a special scale where you could weigh your baby, then nurse and weigh the baby again. It was supposed to measure how many ounces your baby had just received while nursing. After nursing my son, it showed that he had not gained anything.

It was a sad drive home, as I was crying and trying to not be overwhelmed. Words like formula and supplement were floating through my head. That was a road I very much did not want to go down.

What I did next I know some of you will think of as pretty strange. I admit I was desperate! I called a friend of mine who was nursing her little boy who was 5 months old. She came over and I watched her as she put my little boy to her breast and nursed him. She told me that he had a good suck, and seemed like he was getting milk. That depressed me even more! I understood from this that it was all my fault!

For three days after my friend nursed my son he was extremely constipated. Every night he would scream for hours and I would walk back and forth in our little house with him, delirious myself. All I wanted was to sleep. Finally we gave him something, and it relived him of his constipation. But he still wasn't gaining any weight.

I went to a La Leche Leauge meeting with a friend, and while they tried to help me with his latch, etc. even they didn't really know why he wasn't gaining.

At this point my midwife was insistent that we supplement him with formula. My Dad came over one night after work and brought me to Baby's R Us where I purchased a can of formula and a bottle. When I got home, I read the back of the label and the first ingredient on there was corn syrup. There was no way I was giving that to my baby!

Here is where I started trusting my own mother's intuition. Instead of giving him formula, I talked to my midwife and told her I was going to try some goats milk. She reluctantly agreed, and so we picked up some powdered goat milk at a health food store, put it in a bottle, and watched my son eagerly drink it all up. That showed us that he really wasn't getting enough milk for sure.

The next day he seemed to be a bit more alert, and I nursed him a lot. I don't remember offering him anymore of the goats milk, we just kept nursing. Finally, at three weeks I went back to my midwife, weighed him on the special scale and then nursed him. Praise the Lord, he had gained 3 ounces while I nursed him! It was the turning point for me. Just to know that I had actually successfully nursed him was crucial for my confidence. From that day on, he continued to gain and we didn't have any more problems. In fact, he grew to be a very healthy, chubby little boy!

My oldest as a happy little boy-he is now seven!

I've never had nursing problems with my other three children. I still don't exactly know what caused all of those problems, other than maybe I just couldn't relax enough for my milk to flow well? I share this because hopefully it will encourage another Mom to keep going, even if it is discouraging and difficult for a few weeks.

I do know that there are truly times to supplement, and if you have to do so, know that your child will be alright :) Trust your intuition when it comes to mothering your child. God gave you that child and will give you the knowledge you need to nourish him raise him up right.

Some of my Favorite Nursing Products

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. By far, the best nursing pillow I have used. It supports my back and arms while nursing, and I use it frequently when I have a newborn.

Lansinoh Lanolin is very soothing for the first month when everything is tender. Can help sooth and heal cracked and sore nipples. Just apply it right before nursing, it doesn't harm the baby at all.

Cotton Nursing Pads are a must. I use these the first few months while my milk is in overabundance mode. :)

Anita Nursing Bras are far better than the $20 bras you can buy at Target or Motherhood Maternity Store. They have held up really well for me, and are comfortable!

A good nursing cover is essential. I use mine whenever I am out, and really helps me stay modest and decent while in a group of people.

The Nursing Mother's Herbal book has been a book I turn to frequently. If you take herbs of any sort, this book has a breakdown of how safe the herb is to take while nursing. It also has many ideas for producing more milk, solutions to common nursing problems, post-partum depression help, and more.

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