Bracelets of Hope to help support families at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Some of you may already know this, but we have a sweet (almost 9 year old) son, named Carson. He’s our second born in our all-boy-crew of four. His entrance into this big messy world was full of surprises, unknowns and many uncertainties…but mostly, we felt God’s incredible love and blessing pour out upon us. Our sweet baby boy was finally here, and we were so thankful!

When Carson was just six days old, we found our new home away from home at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he was officially diagnosed with a rare disorder called Pfeiffer Syndrome. In addition to the premature fusion of his cranial bones, there are several other associated characteristics. For Carson, this means he’s had to endure many surgeries throughout his young life to help him thrive and grow.

His journey has not been an easy one, but he is one of the bravest, most courageous boys we know!

Bracelets of Hope || (a boy and his desire to give back to Seattle Children's Hospital ||

A few months ago, Carson started making these beautiful bracelets with a rubber-band loom he bought with his own money. He made them for everyone in our family and then started making them for extended family and friends as well.

Bracelets of Hope to benefit families at Seattle Children's Hospital ||

As Carson is facing another very difficult surgery and recovery this month, an idea came to him which is why we’re sharing this with you today. As we mentioned, for almost nine years, Seattle Children’s Hospital has been a home away from home for us. We know the inside and out of that place very intimately. The faces of doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers…they’re all familiar to us, and some are like family. There are not enough words to describe how thankful we are for the kind of care we receive there.  They have supported Carson and our whole family in every way imaginable.

There is another amazing group of people who have helped to support our family. I wish we knew them all by name. If we did, we’d hug each one of them through teary eyes and tell them, too, how thankful we are. These are the precious souls who have donated their time, efforts and money to the uncompensated care program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, to ensure that all children receive quality care, regardless of their ability to pay. One organization we are particularly grateful for is the Hope on the Hill Guild who help raise money for this particular program. They are amazing!

We are one of those families who has been blessed time and again by the generosity of so many who have supported this life-saving program.

Giving Back

Carson wanted to make these bracelets (and necklaces) to sell as a way to help give back where we’ve been given so much. And we want to honor his grateful heart in this by sharing this with all of you.

We’ve named his creations, Bracelets of Hope…because even though Carson’s journey has been a challenging one, like so many others’, his life has been filled with hope since the day he was born. We are so blessed by everyone at Seattle Children’s Hospital, those who help support families who need care there, and by the ultimate Hope-giver, whose name is Jesus.

Bracelets of Hope to benefit families at Seattle Children's Hospital ||

Carson can make any color combination and size you’d like. So, once you decide how many bracelets and/or necklaces you’d like, go ahead and push the “Pay Now” button. You’ll be taken to a payment screen where you can then add your color choices at the end by adding a note. Don’t forget to let us know if your choices are for adults or children. Feel free to leave wrist measurements to help Carson with sizing. (He’s really good at getting the right lengths if he knows wrist sizes.) If you have any problems or questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at

For each bracelet and necklace sold, Carson will donate 75% to Seattle Children’s Hospital’s uncompensated care program. And the 25% left over will help him purchase more supplies to continue making these Bracelets of Hope. (Bracelets are $4 each and necklaces are $6 each. )

**If you you would like to donate above and beyond the listed prices, just choose the number of items you’d like to receive and then indicate the TOTAL amount you would like to pay.


Other Amount: USD



Bracelets of Hope to benefit families at Seattle Children's Hospital ||

Bracelets of Hope || (a boy and his desire to give back to Seattle Children's Hospital ||

Bracelets of Hope to benefit families at Seattle Children's Hospital ||

Other Amount: USD

With thankfulness,

The Spires Family

Bracelets of Hope || (a boy and his desire to give back to Seattle Children's Hospital ||



100+ Battery-Free Christmas Gifts for Kids

Every year, we vow that next year will be the year we try to include as many battery-free Christmas gifts for our four kids as possible…and it never happens. Well, this is finally the year. Wouldn’t it be nice to not need to worry about always having the right stock of batteries in the house? And the savings, alone, will be so worth it.

So, in lieu of battery operated toys and gifts this year, we’ve put together a list of ideas to get you thinking about how you, too, could ENJOY a more battery-free Christmas with your children.

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your family!

Jeff & Megan

100+ Battery-Free Christmas Gifts For Kids ||

Disclosure: We’ve included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, your costs will NOT be more, but we may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our World Vision child, Oscar!

Fiddlestix Classic Wood Connector Set, 144-Pieces Remember this classic toy? We LOVE these!

Kinnetic Sand 2.2 lbs.  This is one of the BEST things we ever introduced to our boys (ages 4-10). They LOVE it and the clean up is very easy.

Craft Sticks (1000 count)

Low Temp Glue Gun for Kids (to use with craft sticks and other projects)

Spirograph There are so many of these to choose from. Be sure to check them all out.

Paper Airplane Book (includes designer paper as well) We bought each one of our children one of these books a few years ago and they STILL bring them out to use and create awesome paper airplanes all the time. We’ve gone through the paper and now just use whatever we have on hand.

Star Wars Folded Flyers: Make 30 Paper Starfighters

Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away….

Perler Beads 6,000 Count Bucket-Multi Mix  We love these! And if you are looking for other pegboard shapes, be sure to check these out!

Extreme Dot-to-Dot books We’ve started collecting these and our kids love them. There are lots of themes to choose from!

The Ultimate Maze Book (Dover Children’s Activity Books)

Mad Libs (many to choose from!)

Structures 200 Plank Set This one’s on our kids’ wish list!

Contraptions: 200 piece wooden plank set to create tunnels, funnels, ramps and chutes

Rubber Band Looming Kit  If you’re looking for more bands, this is a great deal: 4800 Loom Bands in 8 assorted colors.

Q-Ba Maze Marble Run: Colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. The big difference? You can create marble maze sculptures in the form of animals, geometric shapes or any other design!

Magformers Rainbow 30 Piece Set We have two of these fun magnet sets. They’re the perfect size for all ages and they get played with often!

Magna-Tiles® Clear Colors 32 Piece Set

Noah’s Ark Large 100 pc. Floor Puzzle Melissa & Doug have created some AMAZING puzzles in all shapes and sizes. Be sure to check them out!

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set

Magic School Bus Science Kits (many to choose from!)

Dinosaur Dig Kit

Straws and Connectors 400 Pieces

K’Nex Model Building Set, 750 Pieces

Temporary Tattoos for Kids

Suspend: a FUN game for the entire family!

Noodlers: spacial puzzles to noodle your noggin!

14 in 1 Educational Solar Robot

AWESOME Christian Book Series for Kids (9-12ish):

Bible Heroes and Bad Guys (this is the one our 10 year old is currently reading and LOVING!)

Bible Wars and Weapons

Big Bad Bible Giants

Bible Freaks and Geeks

Creepy Creatures and Bizarre Beasts

Weird and Gross Bible Stuff

Bible Angels and Demons

Seriously Sick Bible Stuff

Art Journal: to encourage kids to creatively tell their stories and ideas through art journaling. Here are some great ideas we found on Pinterest!

How to Train Your Dragon Series

Chronicles of Narnia Series This book includes all seven books in the Narnia Series. ::HINT:: Read them in this correct order: 1) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 2) Prince Caspian, 3)The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 4) The Silver Chair, 5) The Horse and His Boy, 6) The Magician’s Nephew, and 7) The Last Battle

Rory’s Story Cubes

Hot Wheels Tracks There are lots of options for adding onto these cool tracks, so be sure you check those out too.

Modeling Clay

Zoobs (there are many kits to choose from HERE.)

The LEGO Ideas Book

LEGO Play Book: Ideas to bring your bricks to life

Ultimate Bugopedia: The Most Complete Bug Reference Ever (National Geographic Kids)


Table Top Tennis Set To Go (net extends and can be set up on your dining room table or any other table.)

Calligraphy Beginner’s Set   And here’s a great book for beginners called Calligraphy for Kids.

Activity Cones (set of 8)

Playground Kick Ball

Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things (also see Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Sneakiest Uses for Everyday Things and Sneakier Uses for Everyday Things)

Bulletin Board for their room

Lego Bricks 650 Pieces

Flat Lego Boards

Razor Scooter This is the exact one that all of my kids have and they’re very durable!

Radio Flyer Scooter for younger kids Our youngest has enjoyed this one since he was 3. He’s now 4 and still loves it.

Ultimate Sticker Books (many MANY to choose from!)

Spin Art  This is a favorite activity in our home, for sure. Be sure to add small paper plates and extra paint to really enjoy this!)

Standing Easel

Melissa & Doug Easel








Reverse Charades

Yahtzee One of our favorite family games!

Spot It! (many themes to choose from so be sure to check them all out!)

Super Big Boggle

Battleship The original version is the BEST!


Bounce Off


Apples to Apples ( there’s even a Bible edition)

5,000 Awesome Facts Nat Geo This is one of our 10 year old’s favorite books!

5,000 Awesome Facts Nat Geo Vol. 2

Wikkii Stix

Stomp Rocket with Rocket Refills

Sewing Machine This is the sewing machine our 8 year old bought with his own money. It’s been a great machine for him to learn how to sew with and we’ve enjoyed lots of sewing time together with it.

Knitting Loom

Erector set (lots and lots to choose from!)

Young ArchitectBuilding set for aspiring architects with a reusable design.

Lego Minecraft: The Village (and here are the other available Minecraft sets.)


Wooden Chess Set

Chinese Checkers

Balloonology: 32 fun projects to take you from beginner to expert



Wedgits Deluxe Set,


Lincoln Logs

Slackline For families looking to have a fun backyard adventure!


Learn How to Juggle We also like this set of 6 juggling scarves!


Boochie: an action packed backyard game for the whole family!

Traditional Bocce Ball

Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw it, Write it, Dare 2 Live It  A devotional for boys…this is a great book!!

Just Sayin’: Write ‘Em, Draw ‘Em, Hide “Em In Your Heart A devotional for girls, also an excellent book!

Scramble Squares There are many designs to choose from. This is one of our favorite types of puzzles because there are so many combination options but only one solution.

Ball of Whacks : magnetic blocks that can be rearranged to create many different shapes.

Geospace Pop ‘n’ Catch

Stained Glass Coloring Books by Dover (many different themed books to choose from!)

Do a Dot Art Marker Rainbow, set of 6 All of our kids have loved these dot markers at all ages!

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

For those of us who are already moms and dads, at some point the issue of having “The Big Talk” with our sweet children comes up, right?! As I’ve learned, God’s design for sexual intimacy is all part of the equipping process of parenting and not to be taken lightly. It is important, because God’s plan, purpose, and blueprint for sex was created specifically for the marriage union. And our children need to know this.

When each of our boys were born, the idea that one day we’d begin having “those” conversations really never entered my mind. And as they entered toddlerhood and then passed the age of five, we put the proverbial birds and bees on the back burner and decided we’d just wait a while. We figured we would somehow “know” when the time was right…that God would show us when to have the talk.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex ||

As time wore on and our boys have grown into the early elementary years, we know that time is now. My husband and I have spent considerable time talking and praying about the when and how of what to say. Where do you start? Will their innocent little minds and hearts be able to understand and digest the information? How much do you tell them? All of these questions and more have stretched our conversations about this issue late into some evenings after little ones are fast asleep.

But there’s one question that’s plagued my mind with worry and wonder, until recently…

Have we waited too long? If you have asked yourself this same question or even the opposite question…Is it too soon? The answer to both of these is a resounding NO. It’s never to late to begin having healthy conversations with our children about sex and it’s never too soon, either. The difference is only in how you do it and what content to share.

After doing a little research and reading, we’ve begun to realize that we’re not as far behind in educating our children as we thought we might have been. I think this might be true of many parents wondering the same thing.

What do we want our children to know with certainty about sex? ||

We need to ask ourselves what we want our children to know with certainty about sex. For my husband and I, this meant coming up with a sort of mission statement for this area of our parenting. As Mary Flow Ridley, Christian speaker and author of God’s Very Good Design and Simple Truths, says, having a banner message is very important. We love the heart and message behind the one she suggests.

“We want our children to understand that sex is a gift from God designed for marriage.”

We as parents are our children’s very first sex educators and defenders. And with the increasing bombardment of outside social influences on young minds, it’s up to us to protect and help them learn how to discern God’s Truth from all the lies. But if we’re not careful to also come up with a good offense to match our defense, the culture around us will be more than happy to do it for us.

Ridley also suggests the following…

“I encourage parents to think about a sponge being in the mind of their children. It’s up to parents to either fill that sponge with the ideas about their sexuality that the parents want them to have, or else their children will absorb whatever they may pick up on the playground, or the next click on the computer. I don’t say this to frighten parents, but to open them up to the great opportunity that is before them. Before the hormones kick in, before the culture has its turn, you can have the power of the first impression.You have the chance to fill the sponge…drop by drop!”

Can you think of ways you’ve already infused truth into your child’s mind and heart about God’s design for sex? I bet you can.

Whenever they see the miracle of life growing inside of a mama’s pregnant belly or the life-cycle of a frog or butterfly…this is God’s design and an opportunity for conversation.

When you’re planting a garden with your children and they get to see how each tiny seed is fertilized and grows into a plant, another opportunity for discussion.

And when something too mature for young eyes appears on the screen and your first reaction is to defend your kids by turning it off, you can calmly follow it up with an offensive response that will further speak truth about God’s sacred design for sex within marriage by saying, “It’s a good thing we turned that off because sex is very private and only meant for two people who are married to each other.”

So, do you have a mission statement that will help you define what you want your kids to know about sex? If not, take some time to think about this and pray together with your spouse. Pray that God will open your eyes to ways you can begin or continue having those healthy conversations with your children about God’s will for sexual intimacy within marriage. God wants them to know they are fearfully and wonderfully made and to have a healthy Biblical understanding of what sex is and what it isn’t.

Even if we grew up learning about sex in ways we wish we hadn’t and it initially formed unhealthy attitudes and feelings that plagued our thoughts and beliefs for years, we can choose to teach our children differently. It’s our right and high calling to share God’s foundational truths about the beauty and boundaries of sex with our kids that will help shape them for a lifetime.

Teaching our children that every good thing about sex, from creating babies to nurturing a husband and wife’s love, to how it points us right back to the Creator Himself in its design…Good, when kept sacred and saved just for marriage.

Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below…

  1. What are your thoughts and struggles on the topic of educating your kids about sex?
  2. How do you handle those situations when you come up against sexual content that is negative (like while waiting in line at the check-out counter at the grocery store where all of the tabloid magazines are in plain view)?
  3. What has helped you most in teaching your kids about God’s design for sex? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you!

*Affiliate links are included in this post.

Family Christmas Movie Reiew | Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Each year, the sights and sounds of Christmas tug at our hearts and minds as stores everywhere begin pulling out their carefully lit Christmas trees and lining shelves with colorful ornaments and beautiful decor. We see the commercial side of Christmas pop up in all manner of ways.

And it’s at this time of year, when holiday catalogs arrive in the mail, brimming with the latest and greatest toys and gift ideas for everyone on your list. Mixed feelings of both excited anticipation and overwhelming anxiety describe what many feel as the pace of life seems to increase at warp speed, all while preparing for the Christmas season….

…when all God wants us to do is slow down,

…and allow Him to prepare our hearts for the Christ-gift…the ONE true reason for this blessed season.

How can we honor the true meaning of Christmas without falling prey to commercialism? We want to celebrate and share the most important gift there is to share, but sometimes it can feel like Christmas is being hijacked. So, how do we celebrate Jesus in BIG ways this year? And how can we enjoy Christmas traditions with wild abandon while not losing sight of the One who is the reason we have Christmas in the first place?

Experiencing a Devotional Christmas means slowing down and allowing God to prepare our hearts for the Christ-gift. || Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas Review ||

Ultimately, we want to embrace all that is good and holy about Christmas, right?

As families, we want to create memories and traditions with our kids that will help them to know and experience the very best gift they’ll ever receive…and that is Jesus. There are countless ways we can do this at both Christmas-time and throughout the year.

This year, we’re really excited to share a brand new movie you won’t want to miss. Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas is the perfect film to see with your family to help prepare your hearts for this season. It’s in select theaters beginning November 14th, 2014 (for 2 weeks only). So be sure to go see it!

We had the amazing opportunity for a special viewing of Saving Christmas this past week and it was exactly what our family needed. Saving Christmas will renew your hope and rekindle that misplaced wonder. And your kids will definitely enjoy it too!  This movie is not only funny in all the right ways but educational too, as it presents the Truth of the Scriptures and helps us put Christ back into Christmas in meaningful ways.

We hope you’ll go see it! You can see the trailer for this movie right here…

We’re looking forward to sharing more ways to help us all enjoy a devotional Christmas each year. We’d love to hear about your family traditions and how you keep Jesus the focus while you celebrate during this time of year.

2 Books That Will Bless You and Your Kids

There are two books in our family library of books that we come back to time and time again. (We also love to tell others about them because they’re THAT good.)

And guess what…BOTH of these books are included in the HUGE Christian Living Bundle Sale going on right now (in eBook format). If you haven’t heard about the library of over $1,140 worth of over 80 incredible published works, for just $35, then BE SURE TO CHECK IT OUT!


The first one is a family devotional that we’ve shared about before. My friend, Carlie Kercheval and her husband Michael wrote this book with the desire to help families grow in their faith together….something we also feel so strongly about. It’s called Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit.

Family Devotional  Fruit of the Spirit


We love how easy it is to gather our kids together for this intentional family devotional time. And our kids love how much fun they have when they’re learning all about God’s Love with this study. Win-Win!! If you’d like to read more about this devotional, you can read our review HERE.

And the second book is one I am so thankful to have found…  A Perfect Pet for Peyton: A 5 Love Languages Discovery Book  written by Gary Chapman. If you are familiar with Mr. Chapman’s other 5 Love Language books, then you’ll know just how great his teachings are on the subject.

A 5 Love Languages Discovery Book for Kids A Perfect Pet for Peyton

This beautifully illustrated book, with it’s imaginative story line and relatable characters, is a perfect way for kids to learn and understand how everyone experiences and shows love in different ways. And there’s a quiz at the back of the book to help you and your kids learn about their own love languages.

Our boys, ages 4, 6, 8 and 10, absolutely love this book!

If you’re interested in either of these two books, don’t forget…they’re also included in a whole library FULL of Christian Living books for only $34.95 through November 10th.

We’d love to know what books bless you and your kids. Will you share them with us in the comments below?

We have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, we may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our World Vision child, Oscar!

Grow Your Faith | Get The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle For Just $34.95

75+ Christian Living eBooks for just $34.95 11/5 - 11/10/2014. Ignite your faith, bless your family & live devotionally today! ||

We’ve been so looking forward to this AMAZING bundle of Christian resources to share with all of you. This is seriously one of the BEST deals I’ve ever seen. The books and other resources offered in this bundle are ones that will truly bless your life and the lives of those God’s placed in your life and on your path. If you decide to grab this great deal, you won’t regret it. This Christian Living Bundle is the kind of faith-filled  resource that will strengthen your faith in unexpected ways and help you to live a more devotional life in the everyday!

This is what’s included in this AMAZING bundle!!

For your family…

  • 11 wonderful marriage books focused on incredibly inventive ways you can craft the marriage you signed on for.
  • 8 books focused on parenting and passing on your faith to your kids.
  • 8 children’s books and Bible studies parents can read with their children (including our Christ in the Commandments family Bible study!)
  • PLUS the Singing Bible MP3 version that Focus on the Family so highly praised was added (a $25 value all by itself). It actually teaches children the story of the Bible not just random stories.

To ignite your faith…

Bridge Logos and Moody Press made a series of classic Christian literature available from generals of the faith like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, A.W. Pink, E.M. Bounds, John Calvin, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards and more who wrote about grace, prayer, faith and an overcoming life.

In addition to these wonderful classics, the Ultimate Bundles team snagged 14 heart-stirring devotionals from authors like A.W. Tozer and Nancy Leigh DeMoss that speak to matters of faith that are sure to inspire. Let’s not forget Gary Chapman’s Extraordinary Grace or Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master for sharing your faith with others. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, don’t miss Philip Cameron’s, They Call Me Dad, the story of one man’s fight to save orphans from human trafficking.

For your Professional Life…

You will find John Muratori and Michael Pink’s six-hour Christian Wealth Building course ($77 value) which was complemented with Bob Lotich’s 31-day devotional Managing Money God’s Way. There are a total of 14 business related books and courses including Zig Ziglar’s powerful Born To Win course (that Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey rave about), Dr. James B. Richards, Wired For Success – Programmed For Failure and Untold Secrets for Creating Wealth by Brig Hart and John Beehner. You’ll even find one of the best selling Christian business books of all time, The Bible Incorporated – In Your Life, Job & Business.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to have all of these books and resources? This Ultimate Christian Living Bundle is such an incredible value!

But it still gets better…

The Ultimate Bundles team asked several sponsors to step up to the plate and with no strings attached, provide meaningful BONUS GIFTS. One of the first to step up was Dayspring Greeting Cards who offered a choice of heart-warming gift card packages to choose from. Another, is a downloadable DVD workout series for getting in shape and maintaining health. With a retail value of $62.99 it includes a Biblical study guide for stewarding your health. Bonus gifts alone have a total retail value of over $160

So now you know…

For as little as $34.95 you can receive over $1,140 worth of valuable eBooks and eCourses that address the issues of life most of us face at one time or another, from a profoundly Biblical worldview. The BONUS GIFTS alone are worth more than four times the price of the bundle! So, if you want to ignite your faith, strengthen your family and help your professional life, there’s no better place to start! All the hard work has been done for you…

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th until 11:59pm (EST) on Monday, November 10th.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 18,500 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day guarantee: you have a full month to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s life, you’ll get your money back in full!

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 8 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, November 5th until 11:59 p.m. (EST) Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

What? 75 eBooks plus eCourses and more, PLUS over $160 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth over $1,140, and it’s yours for as little as $34.95. Sweet deal, right?

When you’re ready, you can either buy here directly, or right through the website. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of included resources.

Business & Personal Finance

Christian Classics Series

Christian Living

Devotional Life

For Children

Inspirational Novels

Married Life


Reaching the Lost

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Family Faith-Building

Family Faith-Building

Those words bring to mind a lot of things, don’t they. Well, we want you to know that God’s been stirring and brewing some new things deep within our hearts that we’re excited to share with all of you.

Family Faith-Building || How to grow your faith in the midst of everyday life ||

Originally, this was going to be a 31 day series, but we quickly realized God had other plans. The very heart of Devotional Family centers around family faith building each and every day, no matter what circumstances we may face. Breaking it down even further, our heart behind this blog is to share and discuss ways we can actively and intentionally grow in our faith together within our families by loving God and loving others, every day.

More than anything, we want you to know that growing together in your faith with the ones you love the most, is very possible.

Not only is it possible, but it’s easier to do than we may think. Sometimes we make family devotions and bible study time together, with our kids, harder than it needs to be. Teaching our children about the Love of God and then helping them to put feet to their faith, first requires that we do the same. We can lead our families into a deeper faith right in the middle of everyday life, by living a devotional lifestyle every single day. We’ll be talking about living devotionally and what that means, a lot more going forward.

Family Faith-Building: Bottom line... we all need Jesus. Let's learn how to grow our faith one day and step at a time right in the midst of everyday living. ||

What to Look Forward to…

There are so many resources available today. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. But we want to share our favorite ones with you and to encourage you with what God continues to put on our hearts. We’ll be sharing some awesome object lessons, service projects, devotionals, family night ideas, faith-filled activities the whole family can do together no matter what age, how to create a family mission statement, Scripture memory ideas, ways we can guard Sabbath rest and much more.

We want you to think of this space as a place you can visit, to help and encourage you to slow down, get to the heart of your family’s faith, and then put Love in action one step and day at a time. We can do this, with prayer and God on our side, no matter what season of life we’re in or circumstances we face.

Trust us…we need this as much as you do. So this little pep talk is just as much for our family, as it is for yours. We’ll be learning and growing right along with you.

Know that we are praying for you. And if you are joining us and would like to be sure you don’t miss a single post from Devotional Family, be sure to subscribe below and our posts, along with our newsletters, will be sent straight to your email inbox.


How to Make Homemade Magnesium Lotion

Disclosure: We’ve included some affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, your costs will NOT be more, but we may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our World Vision child, Oscar!

Did you know there are over 300 types of cells in your body that rely upon Magnesium to stay healthy? And that most of us walk around with a pretty serious deficiency? I was astonished when I read this. But it’s true.

So, in light of this, I’ve been researching all the things Magnesium is good for and the best ways we can get more of it. What I’m finding is that this amazing mineral is like a miracle-worker for our bodies. When levels of Magnesium are lower than they should be, our bodies will be low on energy, making us feel more tired. Anxiety, tension and even heart palpitations are all signs of a Magnesium deficiency.

DIY Magnesium Lotion ||

Benefits of Magnesium

There are many, but here’s a list of conditions that have been scientifically proven to improve with the use of Magnesium, according to Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND, author of The Magnesium Miracle.

Acid Reflux
Adrenal Fatigue
Anxiety/Panick attacks
Panic Attacks
Menstrual Cramps
High Blood Pressure
Diabetes                                                                                                                                                                                              Obesity
Morning Sickness
Heart Disease
Inflammation/Sore Muscles
Kidney Stones
Tooth Decay

As you can see, Magnesium is good for what ails us, in all sorts of ways.

I began learning as much as I could about this miracle mineral mainly because I get migraines. But what I soon realized was that there are a whole host of other reasons why I’ve decided to continue taking Magnesium daily. Not only have my migraines decreased, but I sleep better and my energy levels during the day have drastically increased. I just feel a whole lot better!! I’ll be sure to update you all with any other positive affects as I realize them.

Our favorite way to take Magnesium is transdermally…through the skin. It’s also one of the most effective ways for your body to absorb Magnesium. So, in an effort to save money and come up with a lotion my whole family would like, I created my own recipe.

How to make Magnesium Lotion ||

How to Make Your Own Magnesium Lotion


1/2 Cup Double Strength Magnesium Oil
2 T. Coconut Oil
3 T. Shea Butter
2 T Bees Wax
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
30 drops of Essential Oils (we love Lavender or Peppermint)


To make a batch of Double Strength Magnesium Oil (which is what we use), bring 1/2 Cup of distilled water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Then add 1 heaping Cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes. Stir until the flakes have dissolved. Now you have your Magnesium oil. Turn the heat down to low and add all of the other ingredients and stir until everything is dissolved into a liquid. Remove from the stove to let cool. If you want to speed this process a bit, put it into the refrigerator til it hardens just a bit, about 5 or 10 minutes. You don’t want it to completely harden though. Next, whip your ingredients in the saucepan with a stick blender or hand mixer until well blended into a thick consistency. Scoop into an airtight container and voila, your homemade Magnesium Lotion is complete. This recipe makes about 8 oz of lotion and keeps for about 6 months.

How We Apply This Lotion

Our favorite way to apply Magnesium Lotion is to rub it in to the soles of our feet just before bed. I like to use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per foot, rub it in and then wear socks over them so my sheets don’t get oily. (The soles of your feet absorb anything you put on them really well and your feet will be SO smooth!) It takes about 20-30 minutes for this lotion to completely absorb into your skin, so if after that time you’d like to rub the lotion off with a wet cloth, feel free to.

For those of you who are wondering, you can put the Magnesium Oil, made in the very first step of this recipe, into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto your skin. For some people, it can cause a bit of skin irritation, which is why we prefer to use the lotion instead.

Magnesium Lotion for better health ||

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Magnesium and how it can positively impact your health in amazing ways, be sure to check out The Magnesium Miracle.

Do you supplement your diet or make Magnesium oil or lotion? We’d love to hear about your experiences with this mineral and the health benefits you’ve had.

Family Nights: Staying Connected During the School Year

Do you feel it too? School is beginning again and so many of us are already feeling the pinch on our family time together. Those lazier warm Summer days felt so much more carefree and provided hours upon hours of unstructured time together. But now that our schedules are beginning to form and time seems to have lessened, we need to be all the more intentional with how we spend the time we DO have together as a family.

Family Nights: Staying Connected During the School Year ||

Enter…Family Nights…A time set aside, when all distractions, homework, iPhones, etc. are put away and the focus is squarely on your family.

Now, this may take a little bit of forethought and preparation, but really, the quality of the time spent together will be so very worth it. Here are some of our favorite things to do on Family Nights:

Family Movie Night

Many of us now stream movies and shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus. We love having so many movie options at our finger tips. (By the way, Amazon Prime offers a free 30 trial if you don’t already have it and want to check it out. You really get so much for your money.) Some of our best family time together happens while enjoying a great movie together, sharing a couple of big bowls of popcorn and then discussing it afterward. If you’re interested in finding some great kid-oriented movie discussion guides, be sure to check some of the one we pinned on our Family Nights Pinterest Board and follow us there as we will be adding many more resources for you there.

Family Game Night

We have four boys ranging in age from 4 to 10. So, finding games to accommodate all of us can be a little tricky. But it is possible and when we learn to let go of some of those ideals in our mind of what Game Night should look like, it’s a lot more fun. Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter and banter that only our family is familiar with around the table over a boisterous game of Yahtzee is the best! With younger kids, we find that the typical board games take longer and usually cause frustration amongst our crew. Some of our favorites include:

Spot It!: There are lots of Spot It! varieties and this is one of our kids’ favorite games. It never gets old.

Jenga: You could get two sets and have two games going at the same time or put them all together for a taller Jenga tower.

Uno: The classic game that all ages can play.

Pass the Pigs: Roll the pigs (instead of dice) to see which way they land, add up your points and then pass the pigs. Loads of fun!!

Headbandz: This one is such a fun and entertaining game that always keeps us laughing.

Apples to Apples: A card game of hilarious comparisons. This one is another one that creates non-stop laughter.

Story Cubes: We love the way this little dice game sparks creativity in our family story telling together.

Operation (seriously!!): Another classic that never gets old. How steady is your hand? Can you avoid setting off the buzzer? It’s more challenging than we thought, but so fun.

Farkle: Roll the dice and take a risk, every time. We love this game!

Yahtzee!: This is probably the most played and well-loved game we own.

Family Conversation Night

A few years ago, I ran across an idea online that I fell in love with…they were these little slips of paper in a jar that had questions on them to use as writing prompts for kids. I decided very quickly that these would also make GREAT conversation starters. At the time, our boys were all very young, so this just made more sense for our family. Four years later, and we’ve come up with many more conversation starters that we still enjoy to this day. In fact, we decided to put together a little eBook just for you filled with every conversation starter we’ve written down so far.

Family Conversation Starters for the whole family ||

This is one of those timeless tools because with each passing month and year, our kids are growing, which means their answers will change. We love to hear about their dreams and what brings them all manner of feelings, their favorite things and what they’d do in certain situations. This time, intentionally conversing with our kids is priceless and really grows us in our faith and strengthens our relationships with one another.

Get the eBook, Family Conversation Starters, for FREE!

To get your FREE copy of our eBook, be sure to subscribe to our blog (below) and we’ll be sure to get that right over to you. In addition, we’ll send you our weekly(ish) newsletter along with encouragement and all kinds of awesome resources for your family! In the meantime, we also have another amazing Pinterest Board where several of our favorite blogger friends share their favorite resources and posts about Growing Godly Kids. We’d love for you to check it out.

We hope you enjoy your next Family Night! We’d love to hear some of your ideas of how to stay better connected with your family during the school year. Will you share your thoughts in the comments?

*This post contains affiliate links. The price you pay for things you purchase through these links does not change at all, but it does help to support this blog and our family. Thank you!

Family Devotions {Giveaway}

You do know that Family Devotions don’t have to look one certain way, right?

But I wonder…how do you feel about the way they happen? (or don’t happen…as we’ve experienced at times). Life is busy and the ages and stages of children are definitely a factor in how we spend intentional time with God together as a family.

Family Devotions ||

No two families are the same and I would venture to say that every family who seeks the Lord together does it differently, and that’s okay. I used to worry all the time about HOW we did family devotions. We’ve tried many different methods, used all kinds of resources found online and have tried to create specific times each week to intentionally study God’s Word together. And if I’m honest, we’ve never been able to stick to the same time, routine or kind of study. Because our children are always growing physically, emotionally and spiritually…what worked for us last month, might not work for us today.

But one thing that DOES work well for us consistently is when we focus more of our attention on seeking God together around mealtimes. We’re already gathered, which is sometimes half the battle and there’s nothing like food to bring everyone into the same space.

This is why I’m really excited to share a book with you today that we are totally loving as a family called, Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions: 90 Faith-Building Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up.  It’s part of the Adventures in Odyssey collection, presented by Focus on the Family. My online friend, Tricia Goyer, co-authored this book and blessed me with a copy. Let me just say…it’s SO GOOD!!!

We love the way each devotion is delivered in five courses:

  • Mealtime Prayer- a fresh way to bless your food
  • Appetizer- a fun question or activity
  • Mail Course- an object lesson or thought to chew on
  • Table Talk- questions to spark interesting discussions
  • Vitamins and Minerals- a creative way to thank God for your time together or a reminder that God provides all we need.

These devotions are awesome because they really do bring us together in a way that makes time around our table feel more Peace-filled and purposeful.

Family Devotions Giveaway ||

Mealtime Devotions Giveaway

As a gift to you, Tricia Goyer is offering three of my awesome readers a copy of Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions. To enter for your  chance to win your very own copy, I’m making it easy. Just answer any of the following questions in the comments or if you’d prefer, you can email me at (feel free to answer all of them!!)

I know…it’s not always easy to make the time for family devotions, but I’d love to know more about what works well and also what isn’t working so well for your family in this area.

1. What does it look like in your family to study God’s Word together?

2. Do you have a set time of day you do devotions with your kids? Perhaps a family devotional night or bible study you’re working through together? Describe what works well for you.

3. And if your family struggles to find time for devotions together or it’s just plain hard to do them (believe me, I do understand) what are some of the obstacles and reasons that make it a challenge?

4. What do you believe would make family devotions less of a challenge for your family in this season?

And because I love this book and finding creative ways families can seek God and His Word together, I’ll be sharing more on this subject in the coming weeks.


This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase anything through those links, I do receive a small percentage of the sale which helps to keep this site running. Thanks you!