Sunday, February 18, 2018

Special Moments

Planning special moments or occasions does not have to take lots of time, energy, or money. I planned this special breakfast the day before Valentine's Day with things I had on hand at home.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the Pinterest/Instagram culture and to let all the beautiful images of table presentations and decorations leave you feeling that you cannot measure up. But the only one putting that pressure on you, is yourself. Kids find the most simple things fun and exciting. Keep the who and the why in mind. Who are you trying to impress and why are you trying to make this a special occasion? For me, I wanted to make a special breakfast that was out of the ordinary to show my little loves how much I love and adore them.
As my boys came downstairs Valentine's Day morning, the delight on their faces was so rewarding for me. It didn't take much to make a special day even more magical with a fun breakfast. I prepared our favorite pancake recipe, this one which is a copycat of the delicious IHOP pancakes. A little tip for you, you don't even have to buy the buttermilk. You can use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice combined with 1 cup milk as a substitute for 1 cup of buttermilk. To make the pancakes a little extra special, I cut up some strawberries and had whip cream available as toppings. Strawberry milk rounded out our special Valentine's Day breakfast and was a huge hit with my milk loving boys, and fit in perfectly in the red/pink theme I was going for.
I cut a long sheet of butcher paper off a big roll and taped it down under the table as a table runner. I wrote each of my loves a special note, and spread some heart sequins I had on hand from a project last year (this is where being a saver comes in handy)! I was excited to use cloth napkins in hues of red to dress up the table. My four year old, Jack, exclaimed, "This is the best dinner ever!" So while it would never earn many hearts on Instagram or pins on Pinterest, the accolades of my four year old son is all the praise I need.
Making things special and fun for our kids doesn't have to take much time, money, or planning! I am thankful for that. Kids love when we do anything fun and different to make things special. See how creative you can be with things you already have on hand at home and get out there and make some memories.

How about you? Do you have any quick and easy tips for creating special moments?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

She Reads Truth. See the Lord's Salvation. A Lenten Study of Exodus

 I wanted to pop in and share with you guys a new study that I will be starting on Monday, February 12. It's put out by She Reads Truth, called See the Lord's Salvation. A Lenten Study of Exodus. This will be my first She Reads Truth study, I'm excited to dive in. The cool thing I discovered is there is an entire She Reads Truth community. You can do the entire study on your own, or jump in the conversation online or in the app. You do not have to purchase the beautiful book to join in, you can find each day's reading published online and in the app.

There is also a He Reads Truth and Kids Read Truth line so the entire family can study God's Word and go through the same book of the Bible together. I purchased all three resources, and I am excited to try a new way of studying God's Word, together as a family. I think the fact we are all studying the same passages each day will enrich our family and bring a special time of growing together in God's Word. I'm excited to see how this unfolds over the next seven weeks.

Here is a little peek into the She Reads Truth book. I love how beautiful this book is! The main focus of the book is scripture. It contains all the scripture reading for the entire study, and a place to journal and reflect at the end of each day. There is bonus material that includes recipes, Easter hymns, a DIY project tutorial, charts, maps, diagrams, and beautiful scripture cards to remove from the back of the book.

I love that this study will take me all the way up to Easter morning (April 1). This will be a great way to prepare my heart, the seven weeks leading up to Easter. This study is broken down into three parts. The first following the Israelites' road out of captivity. In the second section, we will study the second half of Exodus and discover what it means to worship a holy God. The third part of this study traces Holy Week from Palm Sunday through Jesus' resurrection.

The Kids Read Truth comes in the form of beautiful story cards, that when put together tell the entire story of Exodus and make a beautiful mural. The back of each card contains a title, a scripture, suggested extended Scripture reading, and a set of three questions to go along with that days content. I love how this engages kids of all ages to get involved learning God's Word.
I love that the mission of She Reads/He Reads Truth is to be Men and Women in the Word of God everyday. I will be popping back in to let you know what I think as we jump in and study God's Word as a family. There are a wide variety of studies available, check them out here.

Who will join me? You will find the daily reading posted here, or you can purchase the resources in The She Reads Truth online shop. I found a 15% off promo code (SRTFIRST) that was good on a first order from She Reads Truth.

Have you ever done a She Reads Truth study? If so which one, and what did you think?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Five Things Friday

I love Encouraging Wednesdays by French Press Mornings. Each Wednesday, Jenny Stewart shares a beautiful print file that she has created with an encouraging verse from the Bible. She makes the file available for download as a 4x6 for one week. You can also purchase these prints in her shop. I love her work! This weeks verse spoke to my heart, I have already printed it out and am going to set it in my kitchen, a place that I spend a lot of time. Head on over and get your free download.

Apple cider donuts from Louisburg Cider Mill. Yum. Jack and Judson loved these and their Apple Cider Slushes. They tried to talk me into getting a slush refill for the ride home. I was tempted to buy the bag of apple cider donut mix from the general store, but I don't have a deep fryer, so I didn't. But, what could be better than yummy donuts year round? I'm hoping to get one more trip in before the season is over. 

Christmas Pajamas. I just bought the boys Christmas Pajamas online from Carter's yesterday. I know that it is only October 6, but I discovered that last year they sell out of the larger sizes fast. When you have five kids, and need a wide range of sizes, you have to jump quickly and get them before they are gone. I had success! They had a great Columbus Day Sale (50% off and then an additional 10-20% off depending on your cart total). My boys love pajamas, and often live in them. Four out of the five will all be matching and I cannot wait. Here's to hoping I can hide them from them until Christmas!

I am a huge fan of Emily Ley and her Simplified Planner. I have been loving her Facebook live video chats and for the next seven Tuesdays she will be discussing simplifying your home, simple style and beauty routines, simple meal planning, simplifying your finances, simple motherhood + hospitality, simple self care, and simplifying the holidays. I am so excited to tune in each week. She shares little things that have worked for her, to help simplify life, so that we can spend more time on the things that truly matter most. Each time I sit down to listen to what she has to say, she is speaking my language. I am excited to find simple tips to help me manage the stuff that needs to be done, to give me more margin in my life to enjoy precious time with Chris and the boys! 

Lincoln's First Fall. I can't get enough of the way my boys love their little brother. They are so sweet with him. They look out for him, always want to know where he is and what he is doing. They love, love, love him. I'm hoping this bond only grows stronger with time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

I've blogged twice in one week, and two days in a row! What is going on? Yay, it's been awhile. I'm teaming up with the ladies of Mix and Match Family, The Larson Lingo, and Pinterest Told Me To for What's Up Wednesday. 

What I'm Reminiscing About...
Judson turned 3! He was so excited to have his family Mickey Mouse Party. We bought little Mickey Mouse and friends figures to put on top of his cake and he could not wait to put them on top. The cake was in the oven and he kept asking if it was time to put them on. It was fun to see him so excited about his balloons, cake, and presents (which he may or may not have ripped into before it was time).

What I'm Loving...
I'm loving that it finally feels like fall here in Missouri. Up until two days ago, it had still been in the upper 90's and it was hard to get into the fall excitement when I was out sweating everywhere I went.

What We've Been Up To...
Bikes, Bikes, Bikes. Jack went straight from his strider bike to a regular bike (no training wheels). I highly recommend strider bikes. It took our oldest two longer to learn to ride a bike. The strider allows you to learn balance early on and Jack never needed training wheels on his big bike! 

What I'm Dreading...
Teething. Lincoln is five months old so I know teething is right around the corner. He is such a happy baby, I'm sure he'll handle it like a champ, but I hate knowing that my sweet babies are in pain.

What I'm Working On...
I'm working on getting ready for the Christmas rush in my Etsy shop. The end of October through December is my busy season for Kate W Designs. If you are looking for a fun gift or stocking stuffer come visit my shop at

What I'm Excited About...

I'm excited that I finished Lincoln's nursery! I talked about that HERE.

What I'm watching...

Chesapeake Shores...I love this show. I would love to visit the area where this show is filmed, it is so picturesque and beautiful. I believe it is filmed in Canada. Another reason I love this show is there are five grown children in the storyline. It fun to watch and see the dynamics of this big family. I cannot believe there is only two episodes left until this season is over.

The Roosevelt's. I've been missing the Crown so my mom suggested I check out the Roosevelt's. I must say I have learned a lot about this family. This series is on Netflix with 8, 1.5 hour episodes. I'm only on episode 3, so there is a lot left to learn about this family.

What I've Been Reading...

This is the Bible Study I've been doing on Wednesday nights! It's been great, check it out! She also has a book out on this topic.

What I've Been Listening To...

Broken Things by Matthew West. This song has been in my head all week. It came on while I was running the other day and I have been singing it over and over.

I love these two verses below.

Now I'm just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring You so much more
But if it's true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I am all Yours 

The pages of history they tell me it's true 
That it's never the perfect; it's always the ones with the scars that You use
It's the rebels and the prodigals; it's the humble and the weak 
The misfit heroes You chose 
Tell me there's hope for sinners like me 

What I'm doing this weekend...
I will be at the ball field to watch Max play a double header on Saturday. I'm not going to's hard having double headers with a five month old baby.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
I'm looking forward to all things FALL. The pumpkin patch, pumpkin donuts, the beautiful colors, fall Hallmark movies, and the boys in their costumes. This is them two years ago. Lincoln will get to make his debut as a pumpkin!

What TV show are you most looking forward to...

The Crown on Netflix and Designated Survivor on ABC.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lincoln's Light and Bright Nursery

Lincoln's nursery is one of my favorite rooms in our home. I spend so much time in there, I guess it should be. I love how light and bright and airy this room feels. It is warm and inviting, and as I sit and rock Lincoln in the comfortable glider, I love to take in all the fun, bright details of his room. The contents of this room are the perfect blend of old and new bringing back wonderful memories of time gone by. I have rocked all five of my baby boys in the glider, spending many sleepless nights holding, feeding, and dreaming about what was to come. We've put each one to bed in the crib, quietly tip toeing out of the room in hopes of a peaceful nights sleep. I love that this furniture has stood the test of time and made it through five boys.

To make the nursery extra special, I added many DIY projects. As I worked on each one, I excitedly anticipated the arrival of the new baby boy who would complete our family. I painted the walls Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams and painted the trim white. I sewed the quilt with organic cotton that I selected from Birch Fabrics. A wonderful friend embroidered Lincoln's initials on a solid white square that perfectly completed his quilt. I borrowed my Dad's scroll saw and hand cut each letter out of birch wood for Lincoln's round name sign. I added chicken wire to the back of an open frame, creating a fun place to hang pictures and memories of our sweet boy. I made the colorful mobile out of paint chip samples from a local paint shop. I enlisted an etsy shop owner to create the "There is No BUDDY like a Brother" print. The perfect addition to the room of a baby boy with four older brothers. I made the curtains and crib skirt from fabric I purchased at Carousel Designs, for Jack's nursery four years ago. I am so happy with how Lincoln's nursery turned out, and I hope my son will enjoy it as much as I do.

I love floating book shelves filled with board books, they add so much color to the room.


This night light from Target has been a must have item for the nursery. It puts off the perfect amount of light to see to feed and change Lincoln during the night, without waking him too much. 

The button "L" art was made by my Mom, Lincoln's Grandma.