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Kid Stuff

A Day With The Boy Scouts!!! #scouting


Noah and I were so thrilled to be invited to spend a day with the Boy Scouts this fall. I think almost everyone knows who the Boy Scouts are, but just in case you don’t, let me give you a quick overview!

Besides selling the most delicious popcorn every year, it’s one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth members and nearly one million adult volunteers. The BSA’s goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to instill typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.

I know I have always thought that boys who made it all the way to Eagle Scout, were holding a pretty prestigious title. In fact, I learned that over 90% of Westpoint and Annapolis’ accepted students, are Eagle Scouts. It’s really an honor. We have always been interested in having our sons join the Boy scouts, but neither are old enough to join the traditional Cub Scouts, which begin in 1st grade.

Until now that is! The Boy scouts are launching a new pilot program, called the Lion Program. This program will be for Kindergarten aged boys, and it intends to weave traditional Scouting concepts of character development, leadership skills, and citizenship into activities that are age appropriate and fun for the boys!

Obviously Noah and I were really excited to go check this new program, go #scouting , and see what it was all about!


We arrived at Camp Grimes mid morning on Saturday, it was the perfect fall day! We were immediately greeted by the Den Leader and given the breakdown of the days events. First up, we headed down to the lake to see some fishing! We didn’t bring poles or tackle, so we just observed. The kids were all having such a great time and a little boy even caught a fish while we were down there!


We went over to the field where the boys were playing real life “Angry Birds”, it was a BLAST!!! Noah loved yelling “Fire in the hole” before sending his tennis ball flying! On the other side, they were playing capture the flag, Star Wars style! With pool noodle light sabers! You know those boys were having the time of their lives whacking away at each!


The whole theme of the camping weekend was Hollywood movies, so the craft was to make your star, like they have on the walk of fame. Noah loved getting the chance to use a hammer…with a little help from mom 😉


Our final activity for the day was the BB gun range, I’ll admit, I was nervous! Giving Noah a BB Gun sounded like a recipe for disaster, lol! However the range master (parent volunteer) was so great with the boys. He made sure everyone followed the rules, and honestly, all the boys were so respectful and careful. It was quite impressive! This was by far Noah’s favorite part, he is still talking about it!


Next we headed up to the mess hall and had some lunch. While Noah ate, I had a chance to chat with John, the Senior District Executive. Most of the people who help run each District are volunteers and it is obvious how much passion these men have for the program. They work so hard to make events like fun and memorable for the boys and their families.

messhall lunch

Noah and I both thoroughly enjoyed our day #scouting, and we will be signing both our boys for the Lion Program when they enter Kindergarten!

I’d love to hear if any of your kids, or maybe your hubby were ever a part of the scouts? What was your favorite thing about being a Scout?

Noah and I want to say a huge thank you to the Boy scouts for having us!

Be sure to follow the Boy scouts on Social Media:





Kid Stuff

5 Fun Boredom Busters for Kids!

“Mooooooom, I’m bored!”


The dreaded words us moms hate to hear. My mom always said, “then I’ll give you something to clean!” and sure enough my sister and I found something to entertain us, lol!

But if you are looking for fun activities that don’t involve cleaning 🙂 These are for you!

Almost all can be done with items you would have around your house, and they keep my kids busy for a long time! win-win!

(as you can see they also work for my husband 😉

Adoption Kid Stuff Motherhood Rosie Ru

Rosie’s Airport Homecoming!

Oh man, it has taken me way longer to post this than I planned. I guess that is life with 5 kids! Nothing really happens on my time frame anymore 🙂

After almost 24 hours of travel, I was SO happy to be HOME!!!! It was overwhelming seeing all our friends and family, in a good way! Well, Rosie was kind of in shock, which is to be expected!

Thank you again to everyone who joined us to celebrate her homecoming, and a HUGE thank you to Erika from ELM Fotographie for taking this photos for us, they are such a treasure to us!DSC_5087 DSC_5091 DSC_5098 DSC_5103 DSC_5107 DSC_5112 DSC_5114 DSC_5118 DSC_5119 DSC_5125 DSC_5130 DSC_5133 DSC_5138 DSC_5143  DSC_5147 DSC_5153  DSC_5157 DSC_5162 DSC_5166 DSC_5170 DSC_5177 DSC_5217  DSC_5257 DSC_5282 DSC_5293 DSC_5331 DSC_5337 DSC_5353 DSC_5358

DIY Kid Stuff

DIY Wall Initials – This Gathered Nest


I made one of these fun wall initials for Rosie’s nook, and when the girls saw them, they insisted they have one too! It was so easy to make and turned out really cute, so I thought I would share a quick little tutorial on how to make them!

All the supplies are from Hobby Lobby (don’t forget your 40% off coupon!) Here is what you need!


First thing you will do is paint the whole letter white! It takes two coats of the paint I used to get a good opaque white! Then you use a ruler to make your lines, I chose to do 3 inch thick stripes based on the total size of the letter. Easy Peasy!


Then you just paint the alternating stripes black, again you will need two coats. I also used my ruler to make sure the lines stayed straight!


While that is drying, I cut the flowers from the bunch and hot glued them together at the tip, you kind of have to play with arrangement to get the look you want. Then I hot-glued them on the letter once it was totally dry!


The nice thing about the letters from Hobby Lobby is that they come with the holes drilled and ready to be hung!

Here’s the final product!



I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy DIY!



Adoption Kid Stuff Motherhood Popular Posts

Toddler Corner- Room Sharing – This Gathered Nest


I thought it would be fun to share with you guys how we arranged Rosie’s little nook in the corner of our room! Eventually she will move into the “girls” room where her two big sisters are. But for now, we plan to co-sleep if she wants to, and we want to keep her close either way! This set-up would work really well if you are just crunched for space and needed to have a kiddo in your room. Just substitute her toddler bed for a crib!


On her bed, we have two throw pillows from Target, and one from Ikea. Her sweet little doll is handmade and is from Becky at JustPlainBecky on Etsy. She’s a fellow adoptive mama and I just adore these little dolls she makes! You can custom order them to look just like your kiddo if you want too! The quilt on her bed may just be my favorite thing in her entire room area!!! It’s a Cotton Muslin Quilt from Little Unicorn and it is THE SOFTEST thing ever. So perfect for little ones!


I made this letter R initial for her wall, all with supplies from Hobby Lobby, as a matter of fact, the girls loved it so much, they wanted one too! I’ve got a quick DIY tutorial on that coming in the next week!

The flower wreath, dresser and bed are all from Ikea! Clearly, we love Ikea! Her peach blanket and wood sign are both from Target!


Eventually, I plan to paint this dresser. I just can’t seem to decide what color/colors I want to do! I plan to hunt down some cute knobs too!


We got Rosie this sweet little toddler backpack for our time in China, and for her to keep her goodies in on the LONG plane ride home! The panda is from Zulily and the doll is a Corolle doll that I got for her on Amazon pretty much the day we decided to pursue her adoption 🙂 The book, I Love You like Crazy Cakes, is one of my favorite adoption related children’s book and I can’t wait to snuggle up with Miss Rosie in the bed and read it to her.

I leave for China on Christmas Day and I am SO ready to go and bring our sweet girl home to her forever family! I hope she loves her little nook area as much as I do. It makes me smile every morning when I wake up!



Homeschool Kid Stuff

Life of Fred – Review


Today I am sharing about the Life of Fred Elementary Math Curriculum! I have heard so many good things about it and was really excited when Educents reached out to me about trying it! As you may know, if you watch our Youtube channel, my oldest really doesn’t care much for math. I think a lot of kids are that way, I know I was 🙂

Learning math in a way that is applicable to real life situations can be really beneficial for kids who don’t love math, or have a hard time grasping different concepts.

That is where Life of Fred really fits in well to our curriculum choices. It’s a series of books, written about a guy named Fred Gauss. Each chapter covers a different aspect of Fred’s life, and the ways he encounters math in daily life! The stories are short and funny, and then at the end of each chapter your child answers a few questions to make sure they understood what they needed to from that lesson. It’s really kind of genius, in my opinion. So many math curriculums just show your child a concept and then hope with repetition it will “stick”. I think Life of Fred really works well to help my girls see ways in which they would actually apply that concept in everyday life!


The series we have is the Elementary series (10 books ), which cover math up until the 4th grade. You can purchase the books individually, or in sets.

They recommend no matter grade level your child is (up to 4th grade) that they begin using the first book, Apples. That is what we are currently using.


The best part for me is that I can read the story to both my first and third grader, then hand them each a pencil and paper, and they answer the questions at the end. From time to time I do have one of the girls read the story as well. Y’all know I love any kind of curriculum that can be done with multiple children! It really saves time for us mamas who are homeschooling a group of kiddos at one time.


Since the books are not consumable, I can continue to use them for all my kids as they move up in grade levels, which is really nice! A one time purchase, that works for all my kids! If you are in a homeschool co-op, this would be a fun curriculum to use for lots of kids of varying ages too!

Here is an example of what concepts your kids are working on in the first book, Apples.

  • Numbers that Add to 7
  • Circles
  • Ellipses
  • Reading 6:00 on a Clock
  • 5 + ? = 7
  • Days of the Week
  • Leap Years
  • Spelling February
  • 15 Degrees Below Zero (–15º)
  • Counting by Fives
  • 3x + 4x = 7x
  • ante meridiem (a.m.)
  • One Million
  • Squares
  • The “There Are Zero . . .” Game
  • Sets
  • the Popularity of Zero
  • Triangles
  • ? (not equal)
  • x + 4 = 7
  • One Thousand
  • Counting by Hundreds
  • Reading 3:05 on a Clock
  • Rectangles


 I just can’t say enough good things about Life of Fred, and I would honestly recommend it to anyone homeschooling, whether your kids are great at math, or not 🙂 Anything we can do as parent’s to make learning fun, is a win in my book!

Like I mentioned above, this product came from Educents, and they have TONS of other products I am hoping to try soon! The Life of Fred beginners reading series looks like a great way to introduce reading concepts to the boys (who are 4 and 2) and don’t forget, if your kids are past 4th grade math, that the Life of Fred books come in an intermediate series too! The next product I plan to purchase is the Times Tales DVD, which helps your kiddos learn multiplication in a fun and engaging way! Let me know if you’d like to see a review of that product as well!

Be sure to head over to and check out all the great products they offer!

***Disclaimer: Thank you so much to Educents for sponsoring this post, as always, my opinions and content are my own!

Kid Stuff Motherhood Uncategorized

Advent and Kids Kindness Calendar | This Gathered Nest

Every year I try to come up with some new and fun ways for our kids to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. We want to help them learn how much better it is to give instead of receive, and when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, how truly special and meaningful that makes Christmas.

One thing we always do is some kind of Advent calendar, usually using the Jesus Storybook Bible. This year I found this Advent Journey that was created by another adoptive mama! All the proceeds from this advent are going towards their adoption costs, talk about a win-win!


I also found a random act of kindness calendar on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to modify it and update it to work for our family! I really want my children to become cheerful and glad givers, as well as focusing more this season on Jesus, which is what we are really celebrating. Feel free to download this calendar if you think your family could use it too! (excuse any errors, I made it very quickly so we could started tomorrow!)

Kindness Calendar

Kids Kindness Calendar

Another thing we do is make a seasonal bucket list. We typically do this for Summer, Fall and Christmas. I go through and make a list of all the things we would like to do that season and we just plug them into our calendar where we can! We never make it all the way through the list, but it does help me to not let time get away from me. In years past, I would dream up all these things we could do and yet they would never happen. At least in my house, if it’s not on the calendar, it rarely happens!
Here are some examples of what I put on our list this year:

  1. Christmas Light ( The speedway and a town near us that does a big display) We usually stop for coffee and hot chocolate on the way!
  2. Zoo Lights
  3. Movie Nights with PJ’s and Popcorn
  4. Ice Skating
  5. Snow Tubing
  6. Christmas at Great Wolf Lodge (it’s free!)
  7. Making and delivering treats for friends and neighbors

Those are a few examples of the things we hope to do this Christmas season. Of course, packing for China and preparing our home for Rosie are going to take some time as well, so we don’t pressure ourselves to do every little thing. But it’s a good blueprint! 🙂

I’d love to hear what traditions you have started with your family, or if you have ones you plan to start this year!

I pray you all have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


Homeschool Kid Stuff Popular Posts

Homeschool & Playroom Tour!


 I’ve been meaning to do a tour of our Homeschool/Playroom for a while now, however I was hesitant. There are so many things I still want to do in this room and changes I want to make. But I figure almost every room in our house is “in progress” so why not just share where we are at right now 🙂 It works great for us and we are so grateful to have the extra space to be able to put this together!

As you can see in the photos, we have split the room into two areas, the left is the Homeschool side and the right is the playroom. We put a baby gate up to separate the spaces, and keep the littles out of the school books 🙂 This room is a finished in garage, which was like this when we bought the house, the only change we have made is the paint color, which I want to change again, lol!


2- Kallax Shelving Units

1- 8 Cube Kallax Shelving Unit

We have three different cube units from Ikea which serve to store our curriculum, books, manipulatives and other supplies.

Our whiteboard is from Amazon, the giant gold “B” is from Hobby Lobby 🙂


Ikea Linnmon Table Top and Legs

This is our computer area, where the kids do math, typing and and any other activities we need the computer or internet for. We found a great Playlist on Youtube that coordinates with our history curriculum so sometimes we watch topical videos on the laptop. You’ll also see our whiteboard for All About Reading. I prefer to use a separate whiteboard for the AAR stuff.


This is my desk area, it’s another table top and legs from Ikea.


Now we move over to the Playroom side of the room! These awesome prints hang about our sofa. They are from Gracelaced, and they are the watercolor Fruits of the Spirit. The wood piece in the middle is from Hobby Lobby. I’m telling ya’ they have the best stuff and if you wait for the 50% off sales, it’s super affordable and cute!


And now we have the play area! We have really pared this down…we keep only what fits in this area and anything else has to go! We have 4 kids (soon to be 5) so they spend most of their time playing games with each other anyway. The small green table and stools are from Ikea! The toy box was from Target at least 3 years ago, I found it on clearance for a steal!

Mammut Table

Mammut Stool

Trofast Frame


Lastly, we have our storage closet… this is where I keep all our games, craft supplies, and extra curriculum that we aren’t using at the moment. This is also where I store our finished work for record keeping purposes. Both shelves in the closet are really old, and I’m not sure where they are from 🙂


I hope you enjoyed this quick peek into our Homeschool/Playroom. Right now this is working really well for us 🙂

Below is the video tour of the room if you’d like to see that as well!

Kid Stuff

Kiwi Crate – Love it or Leave it?


My kids have been getting a kiwi crate for about 6 months now, and I though I would share our thoughts on this subscription service! I chose this one for the girls because to be honest, I’m not crafty, like at all really. But my girls LOVE doing crafty things and I thought this may be a way for them to have new and fun things to make, without me wasting my life on yet another Pinterest FAIL!

The girls get so excited when that little green box arrives in the mail and the begging to open it is never ending!

There are usually two activities in each box. You can choose a box for just one child, or add siblings. Which we did, and they send you age appropriate crafts. Most require very little parent help, which was a selling point for me. With two toddlers running around, it’s nice to let the girls go in the school room and craft away, and I just peek in to make sure they are doing okay.


This month was a homemade lemonade stand and it was SO cute! Came with all the supplies they needed! A cute chalk board, a cash register, and play money was included too!

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The only thing they needed help with was folding the box that held the calculator… although I think with a little more patience they could have done that themselves too.

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I did pull out my laminating machine and laminate the dollar bills so they would last longer in this house 🙂 If your kids are gentle players, then that step isn’t necessary 😉

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All in all, the crafting took about 45 minutes, and has provided HOURS of play afterward! I call that #winning

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In case you didn’t guess it already, this is definitely a LOVE it item for us!


If you are interested in trying out Kiwi Crate, here are the logistics!

***They have 4 different crates to choose from, based on your child’s age, to ensure you get age appropriate activities. It ranges from age 3-16+

****The cost starts at $16.95, and adding a sibling is $9.95

****I love that you can suspend your subscription if you need to for a month or two!

If you use my referral link, you’ll get a $10 credit! (Full disclosure, I get a $10 credit too!)

If you try it out, let me know! I’d love to know what you think 🙂