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25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever {On A Budget!}

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25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with Kids | Serving Joyfully

It’s that time of year. The days are shorter and the children are cooped up due to cold and nasty weather outside, and they are restless! Here are some fun ideas to beat the cabin fever.

1. Bundle up. Put on your big girl {long} underwear, mamas, and let your littles go play in the snow! I know many of us would probably much prefer the warmth and comfort of your couch, but the memories are outside in the snow! Enjoy these moments.

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever | Serving Joyfully

2. Make Homemade Hot Cocoa. If you do go outside in the cold, nothing warms you up like homemade hot cocoa. And, it’s pretty yummy, even if you haven’t been outside in the cold! The kiddos can help with measuring ingredients or counting out mini marshmallows to add to the cups :)

3. Make Snow Cream. It’s a yummy treat, and as one reader mentioned on my snow cream recipe, it’s like practically free dessert delivered to your door.

Snow Ice Cream from Serving Joyfully

4. Game Night. Our family loves to play board games! There are tons of great games you can play indoors–get creative! We also have lots of made up games like the birthday game, that we enjoy playing.

5. Read a book. Or twelve. I love to read and I have a great desire to cultivate that in my children. Make it even more fun by adding activities–crafts, have a theme meal, etc. We’ve also had fun acting out our own little play of a book. See how I get free/cheap books to read.

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

6. Printable Activities. There are tons of great printable activities and games to be found on the web! I have several here on my site for FREE like my fall themed dominoes, and ice cream social pack. I also have some printable packs in my printables store, including my All About Winter fun pack.

7. 365 Things to Make & Do. This is a great book with tons crafty activities! My boys love to make things :)

8. Build a fort in the living room. Pull out some blankets and pillows. If you’re feeling especially fun, make some indoor s’mores to enjoy in there. Read books, tell stories, sing songs. Enjoy!

9. Make cards. Pull out some art supplies–construction paper, markers, paint, even coloring books and crayons and make some cards to brighten someone’s day! .

10. Make Birdfeeders. Lots of birds hang around during the cooler weather and this is a fun activity! (I’ll be having a full post about this soon!) My boys loved watching the birds outside eating the seed from their toilet paper roll + peanut butter + bird seed feeders.

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

11. Spring Cleaning. Okay, so this isn’t exactly fun, but if you’re stuck inside you might as well make the most of it and purge some things!

12. Throwback Thursday. It doesn’t have to be Thursday! My boys LOVE looking through old albums and photos of themselves as babies and toddlers. And it’s fun for mom and dad, too. Were they really ever this small???

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

13. Go to the library. Sometimes you just need to get out. of. the. house! The library is a great (and free) choice!

14. Work a puzzle. My boys love working puzzles, and bigger ones can be a great family activity as well!

15. Perform for one another. My boys made up this game. Take turns singing silly songs and dancing while the rest of the family is the audience. Hubby and I like to take a song and sing it rap style, country style, etc. It’s a fun thing for the family.

16. Play with boxes. What is it with kids and boxes? But, they really bring out the creativity. You can make vehicles, or a little town out of small boxes, or a playhouse out of large boxes. They are great fun either way.

17. Cook something. My boys love to help in the kitchen! They can help with anything, and if you plan ahead for an afternoon of baking, you won’t be concerned about them taking too long or making an extra mess. One fun and simple thing they can do is decorate cupcakes. PS–isn’t this little Chef Set the cutest?

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

18. Play dress up. We don’t celebrate halloween, but my boys love to dress up, so they play with costumes all year long. My kids’ favorite right now is Buzz Lightyear!

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

No costumes? Let them dress up in mom or dad’s clothes! My boys love to dress up like daddy.

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

19. Make homemade playdough. It’s very simple to make, and they get to have fun making it and playing with it! A quick pinterest search yields lots of great recipes and play dough activities.

20. Build. Build with legos and other building toys. You can also get creative and use toothpicks with cheese cubes, grapes, marshmallows, etc, and let your children build a structure out of food.

25 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever

21. Busy Bags. These bags (or boxes) are made up of activities to occupy your children for just such a time as those cabin fever days. I have a post coming up on these, but Money Saving Mom has a lot of great busy bag ideas on her site. And, here is another list to get you started.

22. Kiwi CrateI have shared before how much I LOVE these activity kits! They are very affordable (approx. $20 each) and offer great learning activities as well. You can purchase them individually, or subscribe. For a free alternative, head to pinterest for kids activities and projects.

Kiwi Crate Open

23. Make paper airplanes. Here is a great post with some tips and ideas.

24. Play Hopscotch. Use masking tape to create an indoor hopscotch board. Something about playing outside games inside is always fun for my boys.

25. Science Experiments. Since you’re stuck inside, it’s a good time to pull out those fun science activities from pinterest! Homemade slime anyone? If you’re not feeling creative, you can also get some great science kits like this one or this one.

And, of course, it’s always a fun treat to have a movie party with PJ’s and popcorn in the middle of the afternoon!

What are your favorite winter activities for kids?


To Him who is able…

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exceedingly above

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” -Ephesians 3:20

There is so much encouragement to pull from this verse, but it is especially comforting to me in times of disappointments. Sometimes, I have a plan, a dream, or a wish. A way that I think would be the best for myself and/or my family. Something I really want. And sometimes what we get seems to be the opposite. Have you ever experienced times like that?

In those times of disappointments, I am reminded of this. He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”

God’s best is beyond my wildest imaginations. And sometimes God steps in to protect us from ourselves, from our limited view of this life, and from settling for second best. 

If you’ve been around this blog for a bit, you know about our deep longing to live in the country, and that we can’t purchase a place for 3 yearsSo, renting it is. In our small tiny town, there is not a large selection of homes for rent, and even less that are in the country. We’ve only seen 1 come available in the entire 2 years we’ve lived here!

Well, last night my husband came home to tell me that there is a place in the country for rent. Similar rent (actually $25 less), 6 miles out of town, about 1/4 mile down a gravel road, so not right on the highway, and has a garage, etc. Only 2 bedrooms, but our boys happily share a bedroom now, so that would be fine. It seemed perfect. I called and set up an appointment to see it, and went to bed last night excitedly thinking about how great of a birthday present it would be for us to love this house and be able to rent it.

This morning I woke up and the woman called to let me know that she had second thoughts and no longer wants to rent to a family with children.

Bummer! I will be honest and say that I was (and am) terribly disappointed.

She ended up calling back and we are going to meet with her and look at the place, so the door is still open that it could possibly happen.

But, regardless of what happens with this or other situations in which things don’t go my way, I know that I can trust that God knows best. Always. And His ways are best. Even if it may not feel like it to us, with our limited perspective, I trust Him and His sovereignty.

Truly, so much pressure is removed when we come to accept and rest in the sovereignty of God!

My prayer for you today is that if things don’t seem to be going your way, that you would lean into Him. Trust in Him, and know that He is able to do far above our expectations or plans.

His way is always best.


Summer Fun with Cold Stone Creamery!

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cold Stone Creamery. All opinions are 100% mine.

On Saturday, we took our boys to the park, where they did a lot of stuff that looked like this:

After all that running and jumping outside in the hot sun, what better way to cool off than with some delicious Cold Stone Creamery Creations™?! The boys had actually never been there before, so they were very excited. Ice cream is kind of a big deal in this house.

Here is my 4-year old showing off his shark Creation™…while still wearing his sunglasses. Yep, that’s our boy :)

Both boys got that same thing, except my 6 year old got his shark gummies mixed in. Here they are enjoying their ice cream…leave it to mom to get a shot with full mouths and blue ice cream lips :)

I, on the other hand, go straight for the chocolate! This is the new Summertime Creation™, OREO® Double Chocolate, which includes chocolate ice cream mixed with OREO® pieces, fudge, and whipped cream:

The whole family had a great time enjoying our ice cream. They were very reasonably priced. The boys each had a small create-your-own, while Hubby and I each had a “Gotta Have It” sized Creation™. However, we were able to use a BOGO free coupon which you can get, too, when you join the My Cold Stone Club. They will also send out additional BOGO free coupons for special occasions like birthdays, etc.

Here is our attempt at a “selfie” of the family…

And, hubby and me :)

Also, I just found out that July 20 is National Ice Cream Day. So, if you’re a person who needs a reason to eat ice cream (we’re not! lol), then there you have it…and Cold Stone Creamery is the perfect place to celebrate! They use high quality ingredients and their ice cream is made fresh daily at all locations. And, you get to watch them mix your ice cream Creations on their frozen granite stone.

For more info, Follow Cold Stone on Twitter.

I asked for flavor recommendations on facebook and got a bunch, so I know a lot of you are already Cold Stone fans!

Which new Summertime Creation™ would you like to try?

Visit Sponsor's Site


When I say I’m a #boymom

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How my use of the boy mom hashtag has nothing to do with gender inequality. #Boymom

Image Credit: Pixabay

I usually don’t write reactionary articles, but I read this post  and it is just really bugging me today. In it, Mandi  shares that she is offended and annoyed by the #boymom hashtag.

To be honest, I was quite surprised to learn that calling myself a boy mom could possibly be offensive.

I don’t have any girls. I am a mother of boys, hence the #boymom hashtag you might find on some of my tweets, and instagram pics…(when I remember to post there, that is).

Mandi, however, finds this hashtag offensive.

Here is what she has to say about it (condensed for space):

Our girls are about frills and fashion, but they’re also rough and tumble…So when I see one of these activities labeled with the #boymom hashtag — as if they’re things that only boys do — I get more than a little annoyed… the #boymom hashtag is used liberally for activities that plenty of girls enjoy.

Here’s the thing…My days look a lot like this:  swinging on the swingset, baking with my boys, playing legos, playing with hot wheels, dinosuars, and other toys, homeschooling, playing in the mud…and lots of jumping, climbing, and being rough. Some days, like today, it also includes sewing up pink-eared stuffed animals.

Some of the things my boys do are typically considered “boy” things and some are typically considered “girl” things. While I believe that gender differences are real, I also believe that no one fits perfectly into any little box. And that’s okay.

Because I grew up a little girl, I know that my days could look very similar if I were a mom of girls.

But I’m not. I am a mom of boys.

I think the biggest problem here is our society’s fascination with taking a positive statement and implying a negative.

When I tag something with #boymom, it doesn’t mean, as Mandi implies, that girls can’t or shouldn’t do those same activities. It doesn’t even mean all boys do them. It means that my boy does. Plain and simple. It means this is a little glimpse of my life as a boy mom. 

So lets make a deal? When you share a picture of your little girl donning her apron in the kitchen and tag it #girlmom, I’ll just comment about how cute she is. I won’t think that the fact that your girl enjoys baking somehow means my boys can’t.

And when I share a picture of my boys doing something, please don’t twist that around to mean that your girl can’t or shouldn’t do that thing. It doesn’t mean that at all. And to be honest, I think the whole idea is a bit absurd.

But, the truth is Mandi has the right to read whatever negative connotation into my celebration of motherhood that she chooses. Jon Acuff wrote a great post a while back about how I can write what I write, but I can’t control how someone else chooses to read it.

But, isn’t it exhausting to be looking for offense in everything?

Motherhood is hard enough. Life is hard enough. And the mommy wars have been raging for far too long about far too many things for us to be inventing insult and offense where none was intended.

I agree with her that we should let our kids be who they are.  I’m just confused about how my sharing about my boys doing that somehow prevents her girls from doing the same. When I browse through the #girlmom and #boymom hashtags, I don’t see moms who are trying to somehow oppress the opposite gender. I see moms who are celebrating their children and motherhood.

Let’s just all agree to enjoy and celebrate our kids…and let others do the same.


A Very Special Free Gift for YOU in honor of my anniversary!

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

UPDATE: The Free Gift & $.99 sale for Intentional Marriage was available only on 5/28. However, for those who missed it, I am offering a 50% off coupon, which will make it only $2.49! Just use code Anniversary50 at checkout. The discount code will be good through Sunday.

The Kindle Version will be on sale for $2.99 during that time.

47_514565235463_6402_n 9 Years ago, my husband and I said “I do.” We promised to love and cherish one another for the rest of our lives–for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

During that time, we’ve seen all those things… Well, maybe light on the “richer,” but we make it by just fine.

We’ve experienced the death of family members, the birth of 2 wonderful children. We’ve experienced debt and the thrill of paying off debt. And we have learned to live contentedly with a very tight budget–the best things in life can’t be bought anyway!

We’ve moved several times, including our most recent move in 2012 which took me across the state and away from my hometown for the first time.

We’ve had our highs and lows. We’ve made our mistakes and said things to one another that we regret.

We’ve spent the past 9 years figuring each other out, and learning the balance of marriage and how best to honor the Lord in the midst of it all…and I suspect that learning will and should continue for the rest of it, even if we’re married 50 more years.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that marriage isn’t about “romance.” There are more important things, which I described a bit in this post.

The bottom line, life might throw us some surprises, but there is no one else I’d rather get through the bad times with or celebrate the good times with.

{Our Wedding Party–My parents and sisters, his parents and brothers}


{My favorite material thing from my wedding was my bouquet!}

47_514565280373_9787_n (1)

Now for a Very Special Gift


Back in January, I released a book, Intentional Marriage I believe in the mission and message of this book. I have loved hearing your stories of how being intentional and loving on your husband has changed your lives and marriages–it certainly changed mine!

So, today ONLY, you can get my book FREE!!! There are 2 ways to get it. You don’t have to do both, you get to choose. 

1. I am offering it FREE to all likers on facebook. Simply go here, and if you haven’t liked my page already, click “like” and click on the cover to download. This doesn’t work properly on some mobile devices.

Download FREE via Facebook

2. I am offering it FREE to all subscribers via email. If you are already a subscriber, you should see the download link at the top of this post. If you are a new subscriber, you will be redirected to a page with the download link when you confirm your subscription.

Download FREE via Email


I hope you enjoy the book!!! I am currently unable to offer it for free on Amazon, but you can get it there for $.99 today (normally $4.99).

Download Kindle Version for just $.99 at Amazon


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