A Day in the Life of Andrea: My Daughter Leaves for College in One Week!

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer This day in the life took place one week before I leave to take my 18-year-old to college. Of all the contributors here on Keeper of the Home, I think I have the oldest kiddos. So I’ve tried to pack this post with tips I’ve learned about parenting and homemaking when you have older children. 5:42 a.m. wake-up: Usually I am a morning person and I would pop right out of bed. But today I am dragging. It was a miserable […]

Why My Kids Don’t Drink Juice Everyday {& What They Drink Instead}

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer It’s everywhere. The idea that children should drink fruit juice regularly. On a hot summer day at the beach, we’re surrounded by children consuming fruit juice from boxes. At a family picnic, the squirt juices are on ice waiting for the children to lift the cooler lid and twist off the top. Restaurants offer apple juice or orange juice without fail, and Grandmaw always has it on hand when we visit. The idea that fruit juice is a good way […]

10 Ways to Include Toddlers and Preschoolers in the Garden

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer Being in my garden is one of my favorite things to do. I love the smell of fresh dirt and feeling the mist from the water hose as I spray my vegetables on a hot summer evening. I love planning what vegetables to grow and where I will put my herb garden. I love working with my hands and the ache of my back from tilling the soil. I love the silence and disconnect from technology. And I especially love […]

3 Simple and Healthy At-Home Date Nights

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer After years of marriage, date nights have the potential to become a bit humdrum. Especially when a husband and wife are tired from the busyness of daily life – of if they’re spending most at-home hours as dad and mom – date nights may even be pushed aside. Speaking from experience, I know how easy it is to wait for dates until there’s a break in schedules. But sometimes a break doesn’t come for months. In some hectic seasons, my husband and I […]

How I (Finally) Had A Natural Childbirth

By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer I just had my third baby, and I (finally) had a natural childbirth. Induced and with Pitocin, even. Virtual high-five, anyone?? This was not easy, but I had planned it for a long time. I had horrific experiences with my two prior births. There was the emotional disconnection and fallout of the medicated births, but I also had spinal headaches with both of my sons. Talk about starting your newborn days out wrong! A week-long migraine is NOT the way to go! […]

Healthy Ways To Handle Seasons of Stress

  By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer Are you in a busy or even difficult season of life? Are you looking for healthy ways to survive (and even thrive) during these days? Look no further for help! Maybe, in full disclosure, I should first list all the unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Because trust me, people, I’ve thoroughly experimented with these, too. These may include (but are not limited to) taking it out on your husband and kids, eating potato chips and snickerdoodles way into the night, and […]

A Creative, Fun and Educational Gift (That Won’t Fill Your House With More Stuff Your Kids Don’t Need)

I’m not into giving my kids a lot of stuff. Maybe you’re not either. As the holidays draw near, I tend to get a little anxious about how much new stuff will make its way into our home. Even more than that, I care about the type of stuff it is. Blinking, battery-operated, Disney-character emblazoned stuff that screams “I’ll entertain you!! (for a week, until you realize what a boring, stupid toy I am)” is not exactly high on my list of desirables. But stuff […]

10 Ideas for Celebrating Christ at Christmas with Young Children

This post was originally published in December of 2012 but we find these suggestions to be a great list to revisit each year for inspiration and ideas as to how to introduce the holiday season to your little ones! By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer Isn’t Christmas with little ones wonderful? It’s been quite a Christmas here, already. We’ve suffered three broken ornaments (one vintage), one ripped Christmas book, two discovered presents, a missing baby Jesus, and our monstrous tree has toppled over twice. (Don’t worry: two tree stands, […]