My Father’s Day Gift Guide for Budget Minded Mamas

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide! I want him to know I see the hard work he does without fanfare or thanks & budget minded mamas, these are $25 or less!

I’m sharing my Father’s day gift guide. Really, I was just shopping but found some great things, so I wanted to share!

My husband has been so great to me during this difficult year. I really want him to know I see him: the hours, the hard work, the little things he does without fanfare or expecting thanks. Yet, I need to be frugal while showing my husband I appreciate him. So, all these gifts are $25 or less!

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

One way I show my appreciation is by paying attention to little things he needs. On a regular basis, I replace his socks, toothpaste, and favorite hot sauce. But for a Father’s Day gift, I want him to know how much we appreciate him by making his day to day life easier.

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide! I want him to know I see the hard work he does without fanfare or thanks & budget minded mamas, these are $25 or less!

Just this week, he was scrounging through the garage looking for the right size drill bit for some project. I could hear his grumbling from the garage. I can’t always be physically helpful, but this universal drill and screw tool might save him so much frustration.

My husband LOVES to grill and BBQ. You know you live in the South when these are two entirely separate activities!  He has a gas grill, a charcoal grill that he uses for slow barbecuing, and a smoker.

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide for Budget Minded Mamas! All gifts under $25 - 5 FREE ideas! Click To Tweet

Grill accessories are always a great Father’s Day gift!

Maintaining the proper temperature is important when you invest 12-24 hours into dinner! This one has a timer for up to 24 hours and free lifetime replacement of the probes. I’m already looking forward to our next hog roast!

And having the right tools for the job is paramount – plus it keeps him from using my good kitchen utensils at the grill! 😉 This set has the tools he needs without taking up too much storage space, & is on SALE!

My husband is a talented amateur chef. In fact, he could be a professional, so we’ve bought some high quality chef knives. However, they are TOUGH to keep sharp because the blades are such hard steel.

Is your husband or father a talented chef?

He is always complaining that his sharpeners aren’t enough to keep the edges on the blades crisp.  Just Friday night at our fish fry, he was complaining about using our cheap knives because they sharpen more easily.  He was especially frustrated by the filet knife that he wishes he could use. But getting to a professional sharpener isn’t always possible, so I looked for one that would be harder than his knives.

This knife sharpener has a diamond coated sharpening wheel that should keep even our serrated knives sharp. With a 100% no questions asked, money back guarantee, for under $20, this is an easy Father’s Day gift. I really want him to enjoy those quality knives.

Gifts aren't the most important ways to say I love you, but just the right thing is fun. Click To Tweet

Of course, REALLY sharp knives have led to a few trips to the ER in our house. He uses sharp knives to filet fish and butcher deer. He needs them to be extra sharp, but also needs all his fingers. I got him a pair of these for his birthday earlier this year.

He LOVES them. He hasn’t cut himself once wearing them. And can use them while working with other sharp objects as well. These have saved his fingers several times already.

Maybe your husband needs some new t-shirts and likes to wear his faith! Christian Strong has some great styles (and cute things for you, too).

Or he might be an intellectual and enjoy books that deepen his faith. There are many to choose from, but one that I really would suggest to any husband or father is The End Of Me by Kyle Idleman. You can read my entire review, but I LOVED this book. I really had to decide what kind of Christ follower I am and be willing to see past me.

We don’t usually spend a lot of money on gifts. We prefer to save for things together. And sometimes living on one salary means we make sacrifices.

When nothing store bought will do . . . .

5 FREE Father’s Day Gift ideas for your father or husband:

  • Cook his favorite meal and dessert for Father’s Day.
  • Ask him for his to-do list and surprise him by doing it so he gets a weekend off!
  • Write him a letter or several notes telling him what you appreciate about him extra points if you hide them where he will be surprised by notes all day.
  • Spend the day actively doing his favorite things. Go fishing. Watch golf. Etc.
  • DEAL with him. That means Drop Everything And Listen. Give him your best attention as often as humanly possible.

Loving each other everyday is more important than things we buy, but small, thoughtful gifts can also be treasures.

I hope you have a husband or father in your life you can celebrate this Father’s Day. While not everyone does, if you are blessed enough to have a father, step-father, or husband in your life, take a few minutes to celebrate them however will honor them the most.

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How to Make Homeschooling ADHD Kids Possible

Homeschooling ADHD kids is possible, not always easy, but I've found simple tips to homeschool kids struggling with ADHD with less frustration & more love.

Homeschooling ADHD kids is possible. It isn’t always easy, but I’ve discovered simple ways to homeschool a child struggling with ADHD with joy and love.

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

My daughter is lovely, creative, quirky, intelligent, with a GIANT heart for others, but she also struggles with ADHD. Being an energetic kid is normal; however, as she reached school age, we knew attention issues were affecting her ability to learn and became a large part of our decision to homeschool.

I craft her school days around all her educational needs and abilities, including ADHD.

My first tip for homeschooling ADHD kids is managing expectations.

Dealing with my own expectations and frustrations he hardest part of homeschooling my daughter. My mental picture was shattered by the reality of homeschooling through the mental noise of ADHD.

Homeschooling ADHD kids through their mental noise takes love and patience and new expectations.

My mental picture of homeschooling was shattered by the reality & ADHD. I had to adjust my expectations. Click To Tweet

Instead of quickly finishing, she would stare and doodle, spending hours on something that should have taken minutes. She needs lots of my attention, shorter lessons, and frequent activity breaks. However, once I had realistic expectations for our school day, I was able to stop getting frustrated and enjoy our unique journey.

My second tip is control the controllable!

While embracing the freedom homeschooling allows, I learned (the hard way) that having a fairly predictable routine is crucial. Structure and routine help her mentally prepare for the next activity without an emotional outburst.

Healthy habits matter. When she is running low on energy, her attention span is more challenging to manage. Having a regular sleep schedule has made a huge difference. We can have some flexibility with the hours we chose, but we try to keep close to the same time everyday.

I also manage her diet quite a bit. I’ve not gone full-crunchy mama, but we have high protein, low refined sugar, and complex carbs for meal times. Fruit, nuts, cheeses are great quick snacks. The right fuel makes all the difference.

My third tip is behavioral interventions.

Most children have an attention span that lasts 10-20 minutes, at best. My daughter’s was often less than 5. I had to find ways to help her make the most out of her educational time. I . . .

  • Chose a quiet place with minimal distractions for her work space and mindfully structured our daily schedule around when she is most productive.
  • Use coloring, mazes, word searches, and handwriting tasks to help her settle for more focus intense lessons.
  • Keep lessons short with frequent breaks for physical play or exercise.
  • Alternate learning methods between workbooks, videos, and computers (but limit fast-paced screen time with quickly changing images which may actually make attention issues worse)
  • Use hands on activities & play to combine learning with sensory experiences.

My fourth tip for homeschooling ADHD kids is finding useful tools like the Revibe.

Eventually, the behavioral strategies at my disposal weren’t enough. She should be able to independently complete a developmentally appropriate worksheet in less than an hour without arguments or tears. 

But she couldn’t. 

If I sat with her, she could work, but the minute I let her work independently, she was daydreaming, playing with her pencil, doodling.

It was excruciating for both of us. My entire day was just managing her attention span. 

Managing her ADHD was my day until I used these strategies and tools like the #Revibe. Click To Tweet

Then I saw a video about the Revibe from Fokus Labs. It’s a small wristband that gently reminds children to get back on task by vibrating on an adjustable schedule.

Revibe from Fokus Labs helps make homeschooling ADHD kids possible!

When the Revibe vibrates, the wearer is supposed to mentally assess if she is on task. If not, quickly get back to work. 

After researching the science behind the Revibe, I was really interested to see if this would work for us. I did receive a sample product in exchange for this objective review. But the opinions are genuinely from our experiences using the Revibe. 

We began using it during meal time. She normally got so distracted that dinner took forever and often felt like a battle. The very first night, gentle vibrations helped her to remember to eat every few minutes. Dinner was stress free for the first time in a long time. 

 

We began using it daily during school. She had to learn to respond to the vibrations and remind herself to get back to work, which took a little practice, but overall, it made a difference right out of the box.

The REVIBE teaches kids to monitor themselves.

What I love about the Revibe – It teaches her self-regulation. She has to respond to the vibrations and monitor her own behavior. I get to let her be more independent. The vibrations even change patterns so her mind won’t begin to ignore them.

The homework setting lasts for 15 minutes, reminding us both when it’s time for an exercise or play break.

Revibe from Fokus Labs helps make homeschooling ADHD kids possible and easier!

It is whisper quiet and discreet, so any traditionally schooled kids won’t have to explain it if they’re sensitive about having ADHD. 

The Revibe is definitely part of our homeschool. I highly recommend it for anyone homeschooling ADHD kids.

We also make use of a timer app, KazuTime that has barking pups which help her mentally keep track of her time. She is awarded stars for finishing before the timer ends. Using a timer helps drive her desire to focus.

Between the Revibe and KazuTime, we have some really great tools to help her focus.

My last tip is to be willing to consider all options.

While special needs may be part of your reasoning behind homeschooling, special programs or specially trained teachers at a traditional school might be best for your child and family.

Medication is often a last resort for parents, but might be part of a solution for your child. We found that we needed ALL these interventions and medication, but made such a huge difference for our family.

In the end, you have to find what works for your family, but these tips and tools can bring love and joy back to homeschooling ADHD kids.

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Intentional Multitasking for Busy Moms

What is intentional multitasking? It's how I quit feeling stressed and crazy, started getting stuff done, and found more time for enjoying my child.

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What is intentional multitasking?

When I was at my wit’s end, I had to find a way to quit feeling like a spinning top.  Intentional multitasking helps me get more done with LESS stress and MORE time to be the homemaker and Christian woman I strive to be.

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

Even during this season of disability, I’m still BUSY!  But, I got tired of feeling frazzled, stressed, and distracted! I don’t want to miss my daughter’s childhood.


Something had to change . . . how I tackled multitasking!

Tips for Intentional Multi-tasking

Have a daily WRITTEN to do list

One of my largest stressors is worrying about forgetting something. By having a written list (even just a note on my phone), I don’t forget anything and don’t have mental stress over forgetting something important.

Put the quality back into your quality time with Intentional Multitasking

When I remember something I need to do, I write it down. Instead of shifting away from the task I’m working on, I save it to my list. Then, I finish the priority task rather than let all my random thoughts distract me.

Combine activities, don’t split focus.

I can combine some activities, but some really need focused attention. I choose one task that needs most of my focus and combine it with some mindless mom task, like folding laundry.

They are PERFECT opportunities for intentional multitasking. I can chop vegetables while helping my daughter read a book (hint-if you plan meals well, you can chop/prep for a couple of different meals at once). I can vacuum while reviewing my mental to-do list or even use that time to pray for friends and family.

Intentional Multitasking? Put more quality back into your quality of life. Click To Tweet

Throw in a load of laundry while reading a book with the kids. Use toy clean up as a chance to do squats or stretch. Make it a game with worship music and you’re cleaning, praising, and spending quality time with the kids.

Right now I have a load of laundry going, my daughter is working on some math, and I’m finishing this post.

I can combine tasks, but never split focus. Giving my best attention to the most important part of this mom life.

I need most of my attention to proofread and write, but can take a minute here and there to check on my daughter’s progress and to switch laundry from washer to dryer.

Make Time for Quiet Time

Quiet time can be one of the first things we set aside when life gets busy, believing we’ll get to it later, but the day only gets busier.

Some of my quiet time is listening my daily Bible reading on the YouVersion App. I wouldn’t trade all my Bible reading for audio, but while washing dishes or fixing my hair, I can primarily focus on God’s word. And it’s pretty hard to be bitter about chores while listening about the Israelites complaining in the desert. 😉

 

Driving in the car, it’s easy to turn on the radio, but I have a few favorite preachers I find uplifting and convicting, so I listen to recent sermons instead, which helps pass long drives and is great way to hear in-depth teaching of God’s word when I don’t have MARY time in my MARTHA schedule.


Using social media is the death of productivity. It’s a rabbit hole that will suck hours of your life away. If I want to get things done, I have to close tabs on my laptop, silence my phone and turn it screen down.

In fact, multitasking with our devices decreases productivity and even our IQ!

I literally work ON social media, but I have to set strict limits on it during the day or I find myself spending all day reading important articles and viral posts and then I’m commenting on my friends’ statuses. Next thing I know, it’s dinner, and I’m still wearing pajamas.

But if you’re on –

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Know when NOT to multitask!

Trying to complete two tasks that require high levels of mental attention at the same time means doing them both poorly. It takes intentionality to know when I can’t multitask. Sometimes, I have to block everything out and finish something, especially something time-sensitive or important.

The Daniel Tiger-esque rhyme I created is “do one thing until it’s done, then you’ll have more time for fun!”

When I decided to stop making myself crazy doing a little bit of a lot of things and chose to do a couple of things with my best attention, I learned to use intentional multitasking to stay on task, to prioritize my to-do list, know when to multitask & not to.

Now, my daughter gets more undivided attention with lots of stories, hugs, and kisses. Unrushed quality time just feels longer!

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Don’t Waste Your Wait! You might have a Divine Appointment

Are you open to a Divine Appointment or are you wasting your wait?

I have a confession to make.

I hate waiting! Like to a ridiculous degree. In my efficiency-minded, multi-tasking little head, waiting is wasted time. I could have been … cleaning, writing, homeschooling, etc. (read-at home in yoga pants!)

But I’ve let that mean that I’m always waiting to get ready until the last possible second, stressing everyone about getting out the door because I didn’t want to get places too early and waste MY time waiting. 

I didn’t see all the ways God could be using my waits.

Last fall, my husband convicted me about how this really affects everyone, and I realized my behavior wasn’t cute or flighty; it was sin. I was being selfish, and it was bad for me, for my family, for those waiting on me, for the drivers that share the road with me when I’m going too fast.

So much sin I needed to address in just one “little” area. But WHOSE time is it really?

Whose time is it anyway? Is MY time really mine? If I belong to God, isn't it all HIS time? Click To Tweet

Since then, I’ve been trying to do better about being intentional with my time and planning better.

Yesterday, instead of planning for my sweet-pea to be compliant and obedient, I planned for her to be six: to take two bites of breakfast and claim it was too cold, then she was full, then she couldn’t find her pants, and didn’t know which shoes matched her shirt. #MomLife

I built in an extra 30 minutes into our morning so we could stay purposeful and focused without raising my voice. It was worth getting up early for! 

Are you open to a Divine Appointment? or are you wasting your wait? Waiting is my least favorite thing, but God has shown me He has planned every step.

I was so excited I didn’t have to speed to get to my appointment on time. We took our time getting out of the parking garage. I practiced using the stairs to my appointment and still arrived almost 30 minutes early. 

I thought for sure we would get in and out quickly, being a fairly early in the day appointment and early for my appointment. But I brought a book I’ve been meaning to read and settled in to wait with a happy heart. 

My daughter went straight for the toy corner and started playing with the little boy she found there. 

They were playing nicely, so I opened my book to read. I would look up and smile at the mother as she was interacting with the kids, but I really wanted to read this parenting book. We’ve had some emotional challenges with my daughter and I want be informed.

I was resisting being social. I didn’t want to be unkind or unwelcoming, but I’ve been out a lot this week and my introvert was showing. So I kept making a friendly half-smile and going back to my book, but God had different plans.

Are you open to a Divine Appointment? or are you wasting your wait? Waiting is my least favorite thing, but God has shown me He has planned every step. FAITH | TRUST GOD

God had different plans for my wait.

As the wait grew longer, the children’s playing got more rambunctious. They needed some reminding to share and keep things beneath a dull roar. With both of us trying to redirect them, we began making eye contact, which lead to conversation. Turns out her son is homeschooled, in first grade, six almost seven, adopted, and struggling with the effects of a birth mother who struggled with substances.

It would be strangely coincidental if it weren’t for my belief in God’s plan for my every step.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

He had me right where I was supposed to be. He wanted me to meet this sweet Christian parent who is passionate about her children and homeschool and God. 

My wait wasn’t an accident, and it wasn’t wasted!

We discussed curriculum and resources. We shared adoption stories and parenting concerns. We fellowshipped as mothers and Christians. 

Are you open to a Divine Appointment? or are you wasting your wait? Waiting is my least favorite thing, but God has shown me He has planned every step.
photo credit @shutterstock

God planned that meeting. And through doing so helped my daughter and I both make new friends, but also reminded me that when I am obedient in the small things, His will is clear and apparent. 

My wait wasn't wasted, it was a divine appointment orchestrated by God! Click To Tweet

My appointment was delayed by almost an hour. But I couldn’t be upset when I could see I had really had two appointments yesterday. The first just wasn’t in my calendar – Divine Appointment!

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How a Forest Fire Reminded Me of the Refiner’s Fire

Feeling a little lost, even abandoned by God in a tough season? I've been struggling with it, but a fire gave me eyes to see purpose in the Refiner's Fire.

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Fire is dangerous, destructive, scary. But the Bible promises us the Refiner’s fire has purpose in our lives, even when it feels like just a forest fire.

Have you been struggling through a difficult season? Feeling a little lost, maybe even abandoned by God? I know I have! Grasping at His truths and promises, but fighting fear has been my everyday for months.

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And in one quick, almost throw-away moment driving down the highway, God reminded me He’s working all things together for my good.

Thick black smoke rose from the dense Georgia pines enveloping our van as we drove past. Flickering orange-red tongues licked at the ground, steadily gaining territory in its battle for supremacy over the vegetation that crowded the forest floor.

My daughter gasped. Should we call 9-1-1?!

No, honey, it’s what’s called a ‘controlled burn.’ They do it on purpose. The foresters use the fire to clear the forest floor of weeds that are taking up the resources the trees need, giving the trees more water and nutrients.

The fire also burns away dead material leaving only the nutrient rich soil. The fire looks scary, but it is a necessary part of keeping the forest healthy.

Feeling a little lost, even abandoned by God in a tough season? I've been struggling with it, but a fire gave me eyes to see purpose in the Refiner's Fire.

I kept driving but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fire. Something in those flames and the controlled burn felt like God drawing my attention.

Don’t you see that is what I’ve been doing in your life? In a flash, God shared this intimate vision of how the Refiner’s fire of my injury had been working in my life.

Isaiah 48:10 (ESV) Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

This season of visiting disability has been terribly rough. I’ve tried to trust God’s promise that nothing is wasted in my life, but I’ve cried many tears of frustration and fear. But in the end, He always answers my prayers for a glimpse of what He’s doing.
I’ve seen God’s hand using this time in many ways despite the emotional and physical pain.

Before my injury, I had been struggling with feeling overwhelmed by my schedule. Between marriage, parenting, homeschool, church, my part-time job, and various activities, I couldn’t catch my breath.

Everything I was doing was important and worthwhile, but it was too much. I had felt God telling me to let some things go, but I didn’t know what, so I just kept holding onto it all.

Everything good isn't always what God has for us to do. The Refiner's fire refined my mission. Click To Tweet

As an extreme introvert, I need hours of silence before the noise of the world dims enough for me to hear the quiet voice inside my heart. I can’t write; I can’t find my center, feeling frazzled and discouraged. Some people can do so much more, but I can’t. And I’m realizing that’s okay.

I was missing my mission playing the comparison game.

I was looking to other women in the body of Christ and feeling there was a list of things I was supposed to be doing, while I should have been looking at Christ.

Before my hip replacement failed, I had prayed for God to help me find some rest. One of these days, I’ll learn to be careful what I pray for . . . 😉

I was missing MY mission playing the comparison game. But God gave my mission field only to me. Click To Tweet
The Refiner’s fire cleared away good things that weren’t God things

And gave me time to focus on my spiritual life, my marriage, my parenting, and being busy at home. I’d been so busy everywhere else, that I had nothing left for my home.

By clearing the forest floor of my life, the Refiner’s fire gave the most important things room to grow. I didn’t realize how much busy had been robbing us of joy.

But God did. And I miss my friends, but I don’t miss busy. I love having all day to focus on doing what’s best for my daughter’s education. I’ve seen her blossoming with our extended times at home. She needed the structure and attention.

 

I’ve seen my marriage grow leaps and bounds during this season. My husband has been beyond selfless in his care for me, which has just opened my heart to him in beautiful ways.

I’ve learned to give him more of me as well. Giving so much of my time and myself to everyone else had left him feeling left out and alone. We’ve learned to be friends again, laughing together, holding hands, falling in love all over again.

A fire might be temporarily painful for the forest, but what remains is stronger, and the new growth is lush and rich.

1 Peter 1:7 (ESV) So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I love how God used a forest fire to show me how affliction strengthens my faith, draws me closer, gentles my heart. His refining reminds me of His eternal plan for my life.
The Refiner’s fire is not finished with me yet, but I know that what it leaves is the freedom of being focused on being prepared for God’s kingdom.
 

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