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Thanks to the Father through whom all blessings come

updated 2/24/2009

Today the child that we prayed for as a family;
The child I wished for and begged the Lord for, as Hannah did before me;
The child who was born the same month that I lost the child before her, the previous year.

Was Dedicated.

Today my husband and I publicly thanked the Lord our God for the amazing miracle and gift He bestowed upon us and our family through the birth of our precious daughter.

Today we gave her back to the Lord through Dedication in front of our friends, relatives and church family.

And I haven’t stopped smiling ever since.
How good it feels to be obedient in His word and reap the benefits of His promises.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Babysitter woes and drama

This morning while pondering my babysitting woes I happened upon this post from, From Dates to Diapers and Beyond and I decided to put myself out on the limb and write about Babysitters, otherwise known as nannies, aupairs and even mother’s helpers.

First, lets talk about those titles and what the true definition of each is…

A Mother’s Helper is a young girl who essentially helps the mother with the kids while she is at home. A mother may have a mother’s helper so she can prepare dinner uninterrupted or help her with getting the kids to bed or while she finishes her housework. Mother’s Helpers can become wonderful babysitters when they are older. They generally make less than a babysitter would.

A babysitter is someone that helps out with with your children and are not full time employees. They can be any age. Many are young but they can be mature adults as well. Generally a babysitter provides the very basic of services although that doesn’t mean they cannot be fun.

An AuPair is someone from another country who has a desire to live abroad with a host family and continue their education in some way. In exchange for room, board, $500 in educational expenses & a very modest wage they provide up to 45 hours of childcare per week . AuPair agencies and rules are regulated by the government. Some families use AuPairs because they are fairly inexpensive live-in help (in comparison to a full time nanny) while others like the idea of introducing another language or culture to their child/ren.

A Nanny is generally a full time employee with full time benefits (medical, vacation pay, you pay employer taxes etc.) and they may live-in or live-out. They do all the things that a mother does either with the mother or in her absence. This may include driving children to/from appointments, setting up playdates, planning crafts, running errands and preparing meals for the kids. True Nannies choose this as a career—although it can be a temporary one and you generally go through an domestic placement agency to find one. In this same category is a Governess who, unlike a nanny, has a degree in education and is responsible in some way for the education of your children. In a society where having a nanny is becoming a status symbol people may refer to their nanny when they really mean a babysitter and high school girls may even say “I’m Nanny-ing this summer” when they really mean babysitting.

When I was a babysitter I made a very modest wage. I think at my highest it was $3 per hour with an extra .75 per kid after 2. Today’s babysitters make at least minimum wage, if not more. I was expected to entertain the kids, do whatever the mom asked me to and make sure the whole house was clean when they came home. That didn’t include vacuuming but I did wash dishes and pick up toys. Talking on the phone was a big NO and certainly I couldn’t have friends over. I enjoyed babysitting and put a lot into it. I knew from my own experience with babysitters that kids like and respect the fun ones more and that means more babysitting jobs!

Fast forward to now and I have to agree, that they just don’t make babysitters like they used to. Texting, chatting on your cell phone, and surfing the Internet are rampant. Finding a sitter on a Friday or Saturday night involves months of planning and wages in the $15+ per hour range. And don’t expect them to come ready to play games, or even pick up after the kids because that is not happening. If you can get them to load the dishes in the dishwasher instead of just leaving them in the sink—well, you should personally call and thank their mother and I want their number.

While I’m certainly no expert on babysitters I will say this…14-15 is the best age for babysitters and 12-13 for Mother’s Helpers. They have no car, but know they want one and want to work for it. They also aren’t old enough to go to clubs or bars so they are generally available on a weekend.

If you have a family member that helps you with babysitting then consider yourself very lucky.
It’s a jungle out there.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.


If for no other reason than the fact that I am desperate for something to blog about I wanted to share my Beauty Bag secrets with you.

The following items are what I consider my TOP GUNS. I’m not going to lie, they are expensive and so I use them sparingly throughout the year or whenever I need an extra boost.

I first discovered Babor at our club house spa where I try to get a facial at least once a month but I actually succeed every two months. If you don’t have a club house spa or a facial isn’t in your immediate future have no fear because you can purchase these products online.

The Hydra Plus Fluid is like your skin drinking 10 glasses of purified water. It is fabulous! Use one ampoule every few days when you first start taking it and then as needed. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer and make sure it has SPF—no matter where you live.

The collagen booster fluid is also great and I may or may not have also rubbed it on my pregnant belly from time to time. One ampoule goes a long way.

When I lived in California I was turned onto Epicuren Discovery Skin Care products by several ladies in the know. I could barely afford the skin care kit when I first purchased it but I was told, ” a little goes a long way” and “You’ll love it! If you don’t I’ll buy it back from you.” So what did I have to loose? Now it’s at all the top spas and a little harder to come by (visit their website for a spa near you or try this online store) but it’s still fabulous so I grudingly admit it’s worth the hunt. When I use it regularly I cannot believe how fabulous I look—-and then I get lazy and stop using it. I won’t lie. There are six steps to the daily product routine. But if you aren’t lazy like me you’ll reap the benefits two fold and a little does go a very long way. It’s actually very affordable for how long it lasts. I highly recommend the Six Step Enzyme Treatment System.

My good friend Oprah turned me onto Creme de la Mer and I’ve been waiting for her to mail me my free lifetime supply ever since. I use the moisturizing lotion, eye balm,and body lotion.

And now here are my tried and true more affordable favorites:

Taut Skincare is seriously the best makeup remover of all time. I carried the Liquid Facial Cleanser at my store (it was a lifestyle store) and if people weren’t such package snobs on the Main Line or weren’t caught up in the fact that Neiman Marcus didn’t carry this stuff (with an appropriate markup) they would have had something special. Its so gentle you could bathe your baby with it—yet it takes off makeup like you won’t believe and they are smart enough to offer it online.

For Christmas each year I send my top girls my favorite finds of the year for Christmas. Christmas 2007 included a selection of lip shimmers from Burt’s Bees. They not only moisturize your lips and feel great but they give it the perfect amount of color and aren’t sticky or gooey like other lip glosses. Rhubarb, champagne and peony are my favorites.

What are your beauty bag favorites? If this a popular and well received blog post I will post about my favorite Make-Up products next time…

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Polka Dot Design

My daughter, Cutie Pie, is going to be dedicated this weekend. We were admitted to the dedication services at our church at the last possible moment. Seriously, it was truly an act of God’s grace that our sweet baby girl will be dedicated before her first birthday this Sunday in front of our church family, friends and relatives.

Although each of our children’s dedications were special, Cutie Pie’s is perhaps the most special because unlike the other times, my husband is now a Christian and I do not carry the burden of training our children up in the way they should go—-alone.

Words cannot express how happy and excited I am, or how happy my husband is. He has invited practically everyone we know to Cutie Pie’s dedication. And so that meant invitations. A little known fact about me is that I’m very picky about invitations. I used to own an invitation store and I used to design wedding invitations, so not only am I picky, but I wholeheartedly believe in sending invitations to everything. If I’m inviting you over for a hot dog I’m going to find some cute hot dog invites first…yep, I’m bad like that.

Since I’ve personally been out of the loop for about 6 years (meaning I have not traveled far and wide to see the latest and greatest offerings) and I no longer own my own store, I’ve had to resort to getting my stationery and invitation fix online— because darling I have yet to find a store as fabulous as the one I owned of course!

Well, I’m proud to share that my new online favorite is Polka Dot Design. For Cutie Pie’s invitation I used the pink cross pendant photo card with the photo above taken by my friend, and our family photographer Laura Wootan.

While I am being very careful to keep the focus on God and our commitment to raising our daughter in His ways, it is a very special moment for our family that I want to cherish and commemorate. Each of my children had a special outfit (the boys had pant outfits and the girls traditional christening gowns) with their initials embroidered into it that they will have to use with their own children. It is my hope that each of my grand children’s initials will be embroidered into the gown or outfit and this will be passed along. We did not have such things in my family and I would like to have them for my children.

Another way I was considering commemorating the event was by purchasing a special dedication certificate. I found these online:
Printable Dedication certificates
Certificate of presentation to the Lord
Christian baby dedication certificate

Which is your favorite?
What is your family tradition regarding Christening or Dedications?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Lies for new mothers

Before I write the rest of this post I want to start off with a little disclaimer. I am a very grateful mother of 4. I believe all children are a miracle and a blessing and I am very thankful to have an opportunity to be a mother. That said, there are a few lies that we women tend to tell one another and in the interest of public service I’d like to point them out.

Lie #1
You don’t mind changing the diapers when it’s your own child.

Would it be appropriate to say that is just a load of crap? But seriously, I gagged every time I had to change my twins diapers. With the third child I still gagged…then I got to toddler diapers on the twins and thought it just couldn’t get much worse than this…ah, but it did. Can you say stomach virus? There have been times that I have cut a onesie off a child and just thrown it away. The thought of changing someone else’s child’s diaper is just unthinkable. So while I’m happy to help a friend out, if your child isn’t potty trained or changing their own diaper—-don’t come knocking on my door. Sorry.

Lie #2
Once they are potty trained, it’s smooth sailing.
Potty training is a great milestone. One that I’d frankly love to reach sometime soon with my 3.5 year old daughter, but it’s also a pain in the neck. It also serves as the perfect illustration that we are just never happy with what we have. No sooner does someone potty train their child do they complain about it. I guarantee that there will come a day, shortly after your child is newly potty trained, that you will tell them to just pee in their pull up. Or worse, you’ll decide you want to go out for the day and you’ll put them back into diapers after they’ve been wearing big girl or big boy underwear. You see, no matter how gross it can be to change diapers, public restrooms are equally disgusting and then you also have the added inconvenience of making it to one within seconds of your child declaring, “I have to pee!”

Do you have any Favorite Lies we tell new mothers?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.