Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.netCarrying a new little life is such a blessing!  Every pregnancy, I try to find ways to celebrate the new life within.  Despite morning sickness, aches and pains, and fears, it is important to me to try to find even the tiniest of ways to celebrate these amazing months I have been blessed with.  Today, I want to share with you some of these the celebrations!

I’ve put together a Celebrating Pregnancy printable to print off and keep handy throughout your pregnancy.  I’ve also included links and other ideas below that show these celebrations in action!

Month 1:
Learn a New Skill

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 1:  Learn a New Skill (post includes tons of ideas and a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netMost women don’t even know they are pregnant at this point, so purposefully celebrating your pregnancy will be a tad bit difficult.  However, if you are planning to become pregnant (and even if you are not!), this is a great time to celebrate by learning a new skill that has “baby inclinations”.  Think quilting, diaper making, crocheting or knitting, cake decorating or scrapbooking.  Craftsy.com has some great online classes you can take, or ask another crafty friend to walk you through the process!

Month 2:
Host a Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 2:  Host a Freezer Meal Party!  (post includes tons of ideas & a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou’ve had the excitement of seeing that pregnancy test turn positive, now what?  Most women deal with some sort of “slow down” in their life in the first trimester, either due to morning sickness or exhaustion or other factors.  Month 2 (before you start this slow down) is a great time to have a Freezer Meal Party!  These meals are not for when the baby is born, but rather for the days when you are just too tired or too sick to cook in the first trimester.

Freezer Meal Party Pinterest Board
Organizing a Freezer Meal Party with Friends
Host a Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Party
Freezer to Slow Cooker Printable Menu

Month 3:
Luxuriate

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 3:  Luxuriate (post included tons of ideas + a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou are probably still not feeling your best, so now is the perfect time to do some at-home pampering.  I enjoy long Epsom salt baths with candles and music, followed by some yummy smelling lotion.  A really luxurious bath product is Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Bath Gel (don’t croak when you see the price – it is worth every penny – as long as you keep it out of the reach of little hands!).  Be sure to go with smells that do not bother you.  Sniff them in the store before you buy!  Light the candles, slip into a nice, warm bath, and turn on your favorite music.

As for music, listen to something that relaxes you.  A new feature from Amazon that I am really enjoying is Amazon Prime Music.  There is a huge list of FREE albums/songs that you can listen to from your phone, tablet, or computer.  I really like piano music and Enya, so I have a lot of Enya’s albums in the my list as well as The Piano Guys and George Winston.  All you have to do is download the app and start searching for your favorites!

Month 4:
Enjoy Nature

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 4:  Enjoy Nature (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netNow that you are starting to feel better, it’s time to soak up some nature and take time to reflect and look forward.  Think about the past several months, plan for the next several.  Talk to baby.  Pray.  Really take the time to see the world around you.  Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, the trees, the flowers, the intricate details of creation.  You and your baby are a part of that amazing gift of creation.  Don’t squander the time.

Month 5:
Plan Date Nights and Outings with Your Spouse

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 5:  Plan Date Nights and Outings with your Spouse (post includes tons a ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

You’re feeling that 2nd Trimester awesomeness, so take advantage of it!  Sit down with your spouse and plan out some fun outings and date nights.  Go to places you haven’t been before.  Take a day trip, or even an overnight excursion!  Talk about baby plans, and relish your time!

Month 6:
Buy (or Make) Something New For You

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6:  Buy (or Make) Something New for You ( post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Now is the time to indulge that ever-expanding belly with something new!  If you are super-crafty, you can make something, but I prefer to purchase something instead.  I typically end up purchasing maternity clothes, but whatever you choose, make it something you can use NOW.  I would encourage you to buy at least one piece that is brand new and super nice because you will have it for years (and babies) to come.

Rainbow Maternity Skirt - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6 My favorite purchase this time around was a Rainbow Denim Maternity Skirt from Deborah & Co.  (Today through Labor Day, you can use code: LABORDAY5 to get $5 off any $50 order and orders of $100 or more receive a FREE SCARF included in their package!  Scarves are one of my favorite maternity accessories! Click HERE to start shopping!)

Month 7:
Do Something Nice for Yourself

Celebrating pregnancy Month by Month - Month 7:  Do Something Nice for Yourself (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netWhat is that one thing you would really like to do, but just don’t seem to do for yourself?  Is it a new haircut?  Maybe a massage?  Perhaps it is a piece of jewelry to celebrate your pregnancy?  This month do something fun that is just for you!

Due Date Jewelry
Coming Soon Necklace
Ring My Neck – necklace for when your ring no longer fits
Massage & Pregnancy article

Month 8:
Buy (or Make) Something New for Baby

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 8:  Buy (or make) Something New for Baby (post includes tons of resources + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Even if you don’t know baby’s gender, you can purchase something this month that is just for baby.  This is my 9th baby, but I still feel it is super important to get something that is just for THIS baby.  One thing I’ve done this time around is order several products from Mother’s Lounge.  I have a coupon code that will get you these products FREE FOR SHIPPING!

RAISINGARROWS9
is the code and the products you can get include:

nursing pillow
baby leggings
baby sling
car seat cover
nursing cover

(The above links are individual sites.  You can use the code on each site!)

Month 9:  
Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 9:  Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

A Baby Tea isn’t like hosting your own baby shower, but more like hosting a tea party with your girlfriends.  It’s not about gifts, but about swapping birth stories and encouragement and savoring those final days of pregnancy.

Sample Baby Tea Menu:
Red Raspberry Tea
Mini Baby Rattle Cupcakes (or keep it simple and just have mini cupcakes)
Onesie Sugar Cookies
Baby Bib Petite Sandwiches

Have a basket with slips of paper for everyone to write favorite labor verses and well wishes for the new baby.

Labor & Delivery Verses
Scripture Meditations for the Overdue Mama
Scriptural Encouragement for Preparing & Giving Birth

If you aren’t wanting to do a Baby Tea, then how about another Freezer Meal Party to put away meals for after baby arrives?  Enjoy the time with friends and family!

DOWNLOAD CELEBRATING YOUR PREGNANCY MONTH BY MONTH PRINTABLE!


Celebrating Pregnancy
Trimester by Trimester

I also wanted to include some Trimester by Trimester ideas for you since babies are unpredictable and can often come before 9 months or well after 9 months.

1st Trimester Ideas:

Come up with a fun way to announce your pregnancy to your husband, your children, your extended family and friends.

Get a basket and keep lots of fruit on hand in the basket for easy snacks and great nutritional value.  Treat yourself to some fruits you haven’t tried before.

Watch baby shows on television or online.

Make freezer meals for those days when you aren’t feeling up to cooking.

Read my Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness – just in case ;)

Start a Pregnancy Journal.

Take long baths.

Play relaxing music.

Make a Baby Ticker to put in your emails, on your blog, or to post to social media.  Here’s mine:

baby development

2nd Trimester Ideas:

Get outside and enjoy nature.

Plan some time with your spouse.

Buy some new or new-to-you maternity clothes.

Have fun trying to predict baby’s gender.

Get a massage.

Get a manicure or pedicure or both.

Play music for baby.

Talk to baby and relish this time.

Plan some fun activities to do with your other children.

3rd Trimester Ideas:

Make a Daily Final Countdown.

Make a list of things you need for baby.

Make a list of things you need to take to the hospital.

Get the baby things ready and create a precious space just for baby (no matter how small it may be).

Buy something new for baby.

Make something for baby.

Host a low-key tea party with your friends and family.

My Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest

Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.net

 Have a blessed 9 months!

Getting My Household Back on Track

I’m going to share something that is pretty raw.  Something I really don’t like people to see…at least not like this.  These are photos of our house just a few weeks ago.

WARNING:  These photos are scary.

Girls RoomBoys Roomhomeschool closetThese were taken all on the same day with my iPhone as I was explaining to my husband (who was at work) that life here at home had taken a huge step backward and I wasn’t sure how to fix it.

I was feeling like I had gone back in time about 8 years when I had only littles and my life felt very chaotic.  Our move to this house in February, followed by several speaking engagements, followed by morning sickness had created a household that was barely functioning.

The kids’ rooms were always a mess.  Laundry was never under control.  The homeschool closet (shown above) was a colossal mess.  And then the basement flooded…

flooded basement

I couldn’t even begin to concern myself with what was down there when what was upstairs was nowhere near where it should be.

And who did I think I was, standing before a crowd of homeschool moms, telling them how to have a well-ordered household?!

I found myself at a place where I was completely incapacitated by the sheer volume of things that NEEDED to be accomplished, and I was begging God for an answer…a place to begin and get back to the way of life I knew I needed to have in order make our home run well.

The very next day, Mystie Winckler contacted me about her new ecourse, Simplified Organization.  I knew she had some things in the works, but I had no idea how much I was going to need exactly what she was working on.

How I and Getting my Household Back on Track with Simplified Organization ecourse | RaisingArrows.net

Simplified Organization has been a breath of fresh air in our home.  It is a go-at-your-own-pace online course, so there is no pressure to have A, B, and C done by Friday, and the information is not going to disappear if you don’t get it done by Friday.  Mystie is even quite candid about the fact that some of these “habits” will take years to fully flesh out, and rather than that being a negative thing, she teaches you to see the process and system of ordering your household as the goal, rather than some arbitrary “by-September-I’ll-have-an-organized-home” goal.  

And everything is from a solid Christian perspective.  This isn’t about digging deeper within yourself…it’s about reaching out to the Lord and working with His plan for your life here on earth.

I’ve gone through 3 of the learning modules already, and I am so excited by the progress I’ve seen that I have to force myself to shut the computer down at night and go to bed!  I have finally learned to use my Google Calendar to its fullest capacity (and I’ve shared it with my oldest two children so they are “in the know” about what is going on around here).  I am learning to immediately get things out of the labyrinth of my brain and onto paper so that I don’t have to try to recall everything.  (This is going to be a steep learning curve!)  I have the beginnings of a command center.  I am finally working on a laundry system for this house, and I am seeing real progress as opposed to hamster-wheel days, weeks, and months.
Learn how to bring order from your chaos

Today, is the official launch of Simplified Organization.  The price of membership and access to all the videos, audios, articles, and step-by-step instruction is $99; HOWEVER, if you use the code

raisingarrows

the Simplified Organization course is only $45!
You will not see this price anywhere else, so don’t delay!
(Offer ends AUGUST 30!)

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the state of your household, if you need some prodding and purpose to get back on track, if you need a place to begin and the focus to continue, this online course may very well be the answer for you in the way that it was for our household!

The tasks have not interfered with our homeschooling.  The lessons are all in bite-sized pieces so I don’t feel like I have to carve out huge sections of time to work through the course.  The encouragement and Biblical advice has given me a whole new perspective on where I am right now.

I am absolutely thrilled that Mystie followed the Lord’s leading and went to the effort to create this course to help other homemakers and mommies learn to love what must be done in our homes.

Learn to love what must be done

Brand New DrinkBands & You Could Win!

Win the Brand New DrinkBands on RaisingArrows.net!Guess what came in the mail the other day?!  Some fun new goodies from DrinkBands!  DrinkBands now has PERSONALIZED bands, so your family members can have their name AND their favorite color on their glasses!

Personalized DrinkBands!

DrinkBands is also pleased to present CAMO BANDS!  My family was super excited about these!  My daughter even got creative photographing them (shown in the photo below are 3 of the 5 designs).

Camo DrinkBands!

There are 5 camouflage patterns in all:

Camo DrinkBands!

I know you can’t wait to get your hands on these new DrinkBands, so how about a fun giveaway?  There will be 2 winners – one winner will get a set of 9 regular DrinkBands that are personalized, and another winner will win a set of 5 camo DrinkBands!  Giveaway ends this Friday, so hurry!

(Reading this via email?  CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homeschooling Omnibus Sale – Tons of Resources for $25!

2014 Omnibus Homeschooling Sale - 105 Resources + FREEBIES & COUPONS for only $25! | RaisingArrows.net

THIS SALE IS NOW OVER

The 3rd annual Homeschooling Omnibus Sale is this week – AUGUST 18 – AUGUST 24!  You get a ton of resources for only $25, plus, there are a few special things about this year’s sale…

1.  You get the pdf AND the Kindle formats with your purchase.

2.  There are some really great bonus discounts & freebies from companies like:  Jim Hodges Audio Books, Harmony Fine Arts, Notebooking Pages, Scripture Lullabies, and Your Story Hour, to name a few!

3.  You have the option to purchase the entire set of resources on DVD for an additional $8.  (this offer ends September 20, 2014)

2014 Omnibus DVD

I don’t want to clutter up this post with ALL of the resources available in this sale, but I do want to highlight a few I think will be of particular interest to Raising Arrows readers:

*My ebook, Large Family Homeschooling – I’m sure ALL of you already own a copy of this 170 page practical homeschooling tome, but just in case… ;)

Large Family Homeschooling - releases April 1!

*Raising Rock Stars FULL Preschool Curriculum – This is a fun curriculum for your little people, and gives you some much needed one-on-one time with those precious preschoolers in your home.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.09.39 PM

*Circle Time – I’ve raved about this book and concept for quite a while, so you’ve probably heard it, but I’ll say it again…this book gives you the practical advice you need to bring ALL your children together corporately during the homeschool day, and get in those subjects you miss, as well as combine subjects you don’t need to be teaching separately.

Circle Time by Kendra Fletcher

*A Seasonal Start in Fall Chalk Pastels from my friend, Tricia Hodges.  The art in this book is beautiful and totally doable for a wide range of ages.  But what I love the most is that it features my favorite time of year – AUTUMN!  (Tricia’s Beach Pastels book is also in this package!)

Pastels by Tricia Hodges

*Essential Chefs – This ebook is absolutely fascinating!  Learn how to use essential oils in your cooking for health and taste!  50 Recipes included!

Essential Chefs - Using Essential Oils in Your Cooking

*Gloria:  A Christmas Hymn Study – This ebook, from my friend Kim, will be a wonderful addition to your holiday season with studies of favorites like O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Away in the Manger, Silent Night, and many more!  I can’t wait to share it with my children this year!

Gloria:  A Christmas Hymn Study

*Notebooking Success – One of the books that gave me the confidence I needed to start notebooking with my children.  (If interested, you can read more about how we use notebooking with a large family.)

Notebooking Success

*The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance – This is from my dear friend, Heidi St. John.  Her wit and wisdom have endeared her to me for years, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same reading this ebook (and your husband will thank you as well!).

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance by Heidi St. John

*PLANNERS GALORE! – This year’s Omnibus includes 2 Blog Planners, 3 Homeschool Planners, 1 Life & Home Organizer, and 1 Meal Planner!

2014 Omnibus Sale August 18 - 24

 IMPORTANT DETAILS:  All resources must be downloaded by September 25th because after that time, they will no longer be available for download.  The deadline for refunds is September 5; however, if you have downloaded any of the materials, you will not be able to receive a refund.  Have more questions?  Visit the FAQ page HERE or contact iHomeschool Network HERE.

Raising Children With a Strong Spiritual Foundation (+Free Resources!)

Raising Children with a Strong Spiritual Foundation - New book + FREE Resources! | RaisingArrows.net

Raising children is hard work.  There are so many things to consider, analyze, learn, and look for.  But, as Christians, we are not left to our own devices.  We have God’s Holy Word, and a spiritual power like none other to guide us through the raising of these precious little ones!

Raising Children with a Strong Spiritual Foundation (new book + FREE resources!)| RaisingArrows.net

Dr. Tony Evans has just released a brand new book, Raising Kingdom Kids, that helps to walk you through raising children who gain true wisdom and knowledge in the Lord Jesus.  Some of the practical spiritual advice included in this book are:

  • Create an atmosphere where your kids can maintain their identity in Jesus Christ despite the society around them.
  • Help you grow in confidence as you discover your worth as a parent on God’s Word and not on your kids’ actions.
  • Experience the freedom that comes from influencing your children, rather than the futility of trying to control them.
  • Gain new strength as you view the daily duties of parenting from a kingdom perspective.
  • Trade reactive parenting for intentional parenting and marvel at the freedom this brings.

The book is available for pre-order (find out more HERE) and if you pre-order by September 1, you receive some wonderful FREE resources!  (who doesn’t love free stuff!?!)

FREE RESOURCES – $80 value!

Kingdom Woman audio book ($20 value)

Kingdom Man/Kingdom Woman Devotional Sampler—20 Daily Devotions ($7 value)

Kingdom Family, a previously unaired and unreleased message from Dr. Tony Evans ($12 value)

One Family Under God, a Bible study by Dr. Tony Evans ($15 value)

Biblical Manhood, a Focus on the Family broadcast with Dr. Tony Evans ($9 value)

Biblical Womanhood, a Focus on the Family broadcast with Dr. Tony Evans ($9 value)

Courageous Parenting, a Focus on the Family broadcast with Dr. Tony Evans ($9 value)

30 Days to Financial Victory booklet ($3 value)

To get these resources, simply pre-order your copy of Raising Kingdom Kids (<—link tells you where you can do this), and then enter your information HERE.

If you have a moment, watch the book trailer below (or click through to the blog to see it if you are reading via email).  Great message!  Love how Dr. Evans talks about “Cotton Candy” parenting.  It’s time to change how we view our parenting, friends!

Don’t Forget Tonight’s FREE Homeschooling Workshop

I wanted to remind you that tonight, July 29, Kerry Beck will be presenting her Approaches to Christian Homeschooling online workshop.  I’m sure you’ll learn something, whether you are new to homeschooling or experienced teaching your kids.

{FREE WORKSHOP} Approaches to Homeschooling - HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

This is a FREE workshop you can listen to in the convenience of your own home.  All of the methods will be discussed from a decidedly Biblical point of view.  They will include:

  1. Classical
  2. Charlotte Mason
  3. Unit Studies
  4. Biblical Principles
  5. Traditional-Textbook
  6. Unschooling-Resource Rich
  7. Christian Leadership

Here are just a few secrets she’ll be revealing…

  • Simple techniques to match your approach with your family’s values & goals
  • One method to develop a LOVE OF LEARNING
  • 4 R’s of Notebooking with the Principle Approach
  • How to Use your Homeschool to Raise Christian Leaders
  • 3 Stages of the Classical Approach
  • How to be on the same page as your spouse
  • 4 R’s of a Successful Charlotte Mason Homeschool
  • How to watch the 7 workshops from earlier this year
  • How to Make your Homeschool relate to Real Life

Bottom Line …On this 60-minute online workshop, you’ll discover more about how to give your kids a SUPERIOR education so they have a firm Christian foundation.

It’s happening TONIGHT Tuesday, July 29th at 9:00PM (Eastern Time) especially for Raising Arrows readers!

SIGN UP HERE

Not only will you be able to hear Kerry talking about how to have a Christian homeschool, but you’ll also get to SEE and WATCH it happening in real time on your computer screen, complete with real examples! Don’t miss out!

And don’t miss the special content that ONLY the LIVE ATTENDEES will be able to take advantage of.  This will NOT be available to those who listen to the replay. Make sure you are there!

Also, don’t miss a chance to WIN Kerry’s ebook:

She’ll announce the winner during the webinar tonight!  You can enter her blog contest to win her new edition of Approaches to Christian Homeschooling right HERE!

See you tonight!