Featured Story

Lotsa candles!

Frugal Friday

It's almost Christmas! I've been wrapping like crazy and still have a tiny dab of shopping to do for a few folks that I'm feeling clueless about, but I'm getting there. We also got another birthday celebrated -- hard to believe, but our oldest son is now 23.  Happy birthday, Jared! Here are some quick frugal highlights this week. I returned something that we've never … [Read More...]

Featured Recipe

Royal Icing for Candy Houses

Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses

Each December in our homeschool craft co-op we get together to make candy houses, which we put together using graham crackers and royal icing.  Once the houses are built, it's best to wait 5-10 minutes before adding candy-- regular frosting works … [Read More...]

Parenting Feature

Books

Book ideas for kids

We're down to the last full week before Christmas--does that seem crazy to you?  I'm getting close to done with my shopping, but have at least half a dozen more items to find. If you're in the same boat and are on the hunt for books for your kids, I … [Read More...]

Recent Posts

AMAZING

Chat with me?

Hey friends, THIS afternoon on FaithGateway LIVE at 2pm EST/ 11am PST I’m chatting about my new book Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting! Whether you’ve adopted, are considering it, want to support loved ones, or just want to hear more about our adoption journey, come join the conversation! Here’s the link: http://www.faithgateway.com/author-chat-with-mary-ostyn/  […]

Christmas ball decor

Frugal holiday beauty

This weekend I have the fun of attending the Joy for the Journey adoptive mom retreat in Lancaster, PA. So instead of my usual frugality post, I thought I’d share some fun and frugal ways to decorate for the upcoming holidays.  This silver and white decor could be lovely for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.   […]

Gifts Kids Can Make For Friends

Gifts kids can make for friends

If your kids are like mine, they enjoy giving their friends gifts at Christmas time.  The problem is, even a $5-$10 gift, multiplied by 3 or 4 or 6 friends, times whatever number of kids you have in your family, can add up to a lot of bucks.  But if you can think of fun […]

'Tattoos'

releasing

  If you ask my teens how I am at releasing, they’d be quick to tell you it’s not my forte.  The youngest three teens in the house are 16, and still I remind them to wear jackets in 35 degree weather, eat protein every meal,  turn off the xbox at 10:30 and take Emergen-C […]

chalk art in progress

Frugal Friday

This week when making my frugal list, I tried to think of things I do routinely every single week but don’t often mention here. This week’s frugal successes, in no particular order… I checked out the clearance racks at the local Family Dollar store and found some items of clothing on really good sales– the […]

6 Quick Kitchen Tricks

6 quick kitchen tricks

Have you ever read the book Cheaper by the Dozen?  Though the dad in that book is a little extreme, I have always secretly identified with his eternal quest for greater efficiency in the home.  I am always on the lookout for ways to save time, and thought it might be fun to share some […]

Freebies if you order Forever Mom by Nov 4th

Created for Care winner

Happy Monday! How I wish I could send all 280 of you to an awesome Created for Care conference. I hope some of you find a way to get there soon. But rafflecopter has decreed that the winner is Christy Largent.  Congrats, Christy! You have ONE more day to get the freebies when you order […]

Fall Flowers

Frugality this week

The flowers above are from my sweet mother in law to celebrate the launch of Forever Mom.  (Hope you’re not too, too sick of hearing about it!   )  Very sweet of her to help me celebrate!  We are enjoying the prettiness of the flowers on our table. I did finally get around to canning […]

Photocredit: Jeremy Giddens

Hearing shark music?

I’m very much enjoying the new book by Daniel Siegel titled No-Drama Discipline.  Last night I read a bit to John that had both of us laughing with rueful understanding.  Siegel was writing about how our kids’ actions can be very alarming to us at times, leading our over-active imaginations down scary paths.  He warns […]

with Andrea at C4C in 2013

Need a getaway with a friend?

So today is a big day at the Owlhaven– it’s release date for Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting! The prayer of my heart for Forever Mom is that it will encourage and equip adoptive mommas to love their children well.  I went into adoptive motherhood having read many books, and thought I […]