Last week, I shared several of my favorite “mom” items . . . the kinds of things that make life as a mom easier and more fun or memorable (go here if you missed it). Here are the rest of my favorite things in no particular order.
7. Fun Photo Books for Keeping Memories
I used to scrapbook, but then fell in love with the customized photo books. They are faster, cheaper and smaller while still allowing for lots of creativity. I love sitting down with my kids and looking through their baby books and each year of their life to date. And they love to look at themselves!
My personal preference for companies offering photo books is Shutterfly, but there are so many companies out there. Shutterfly has a customized path that allows you to change every aspect of the page from where photos and text are placed to stickers and borders. I always select one of their formats and then tweak to suit my tastes. (You can also select the simple path and have it put together for you.) Another reason I love photo books is that all of my favorite pictures and books are stored outside of my house should there ever be a problem.
For new members, you can also get 50 free prints. Click below.
8. A FAMILY BOOK Organizer
I talked about this not too long ago as one of my favorite family-organizing techniques. It is a one-stop place to hold all your family’s schedules, class rosters, important phone numbers, volunteer schedules and more. It has saved me countless amounts of time digging through piles or drawers in search of one simple piece of information. You can read more about the Family Book Organizer here.
9. A “Mom+Dad=Me” Frame for Each Child
As you now know, I love pictures of my kids. With a slight twist on that, in both of my kids’ rooms is a treasured “Mom+Dad=Me” Frame . . . a precious picture frame of individual shots of the three of us, recording how we looked when we became a family. I received one of these picture frames as a baby shower gift, but then with the expectation of my second child, I quickly bought another. (Ok, truth be told, I bought two more . . . Just in case they stop making them and there is a third child in our future. Enter husband’s rolling eyes and more storage space gone.)
As my kids grow (and I age!), I smile that they will be able to quickly see how Dan and I looked at the time God brought them into this world. I am in my mid-thirties and I really enjoy seeing photos (or slides!) of my parents when I was little. But seeing my mom in the same stage I am with two little ones just warms my heart. I hope the same is true for my kids. (um, not that I expect these frames to still be out in the open during the teen years!)
10. Spotify’s Free Music Service
If you haven’t discovered Spotify, you are in for a treat! It is a FREE music service similar to Pandora, but you create the playlists. They have millions of tracks. You just search for the song, album or artist and play it.
I have a Kids’ Praise & Worship playlist, a “Just for Kids” fun song list and so many more . . . you can create whatever you want. Access it from any computer (or phone if you pay for a upgraded membership). We have an old computer hooked up to our family room TV and play the music through the TV. If you have the free membership, know that there are artist/album advertisements.
Having a rough morning with the kids arguing? Put on your Kids’ Praise playlist and fill your rooms with praise to God . . . and watch the peace follow. Want to break free and dance with the kids? Find Spotify’s “Just for Kids” playlist and customize it for your family. Need a little silliness in the house? Play a little Silly Songs with Larry. Looking for free theme music to play for a birthday party? Search and create a playlist that will keep your guests engaged for hours. I played circus music for my son’s third birthday party. It completed the feeling of being under the big top!
11. Paper Coterie Memory Boxes
You may have seen the giveaway or heard me talk about these before. These Memory Boxes are perfect for storing children’s artwork, baby memories, loose photos and more. They are quite sturdy and sit on a bookshelf. I currently have six! Watch for Paper Coterie’s promotions or sales and get great deals on these memory keepers.
12. Scripture Memory Songs
These last two items are for keeping in mind the spiritual growth of your children. Growing up, I memorized more Scripture verses simply because they were set to music. I loved Kids Praise with Psalty (Story with Scripture verse songs + Christian kid-songs) and GT and the Halo Express (Story with Scripture verse songs only).
My current favorite for my kids right now is Max Lucado’s Hermie & Friends Scripture Memory Songs: Verses About Being Special. There isn’t a story being told, just straight music with verses. I love hearing my two year old recite the verse with the child before the song starts. They can hide God’s Word in their hearts even at a young age!
13. My Favorite Children’s Storybook Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name is the most beautiful Storybook Bible I have seen. When I first read the introduction, my mind was filled with anticipation and my eyes were filled with tears. Every Bible story recounted connects to Jesus and indeed “whispers His name.” The stories are beautifully told and point to the Savior. Your kids (and you, too) will see an amazing connection to Jesus in every story read. I love it!
To find out what other children’s Bibles I like, go here.
What are your favorite “mom” items? Leave a comment and share!
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