Featured Story

Blue sky over Seattle

Refreshed

Over the weekend John and I had a really sweet getaway to attend the Refresh Foster and Adoption conference put on by Overlake Church near Seattle.  It's always a little nervous-making to leave the kids at home and take off for a weekend.  But with a combination of teens supervising and a variety of friend/grandma/adult sibling visits, and a few LONG phone calls home from me, … [Read More...]

Featured Recipe

Crab Chowder recipe

Recipe: Hearty Crab Chowder

Weather around here has been lovely and spring-like, but I see that all over the U.S. much of the weather has been awful. If you're looking for a warm winter chowder, you might be interested in trying this recipe. I always use imitation crab, but of … [Read More...]

Parenting Feature

When you’re parenting teens

This weekend I am at the Refresh adoption conference in Seattle, speaking about older child adoption and about hanging onto joy in hard times.  Here's just a taste of what I'm talking about in the older child session. ~~~~~ I started this post two … [Read More...]

Recent Posts

sisters

Friends and Ferguson

A few weekends ago I went to Pennsylvania to speak at the Joy for the Journey retreat for adoptive mommas.  Some of the most memorable and sweetest time on the trip turned out to be visiting with a new friend named Adrienne who drove me to and from the airport, a drive of about two […]

How to Fund Your Adoption

For those of you interested in adoption but wondering how on earth you’d ever afford it –and I KNOW there are lots of you out there!  –here’s a great little book just released by my friend Lauren Casper.  Check it out: How to Fund Your Adoption: Dispelling the Myth That You Can’t Afford to Adopt.

Reeses Bark

Recipes for holiday gatherings

If you’re wondering what to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering, here are a few yummy ideas for inspiration. Cranberry Pumpkin Bread With Orange Glaze is always a hit. This recipe for Reeses’ Bark is from the Hershey’s website. It is yummy, easy and SO pretty!  Seriously, a 20 minute recipe. I’d definitely melt the chocolate […]

Kitties like pencils too.

Books, frugality, birthdays, and an awesome pencil sharpener (do these topics actually go together?)

Life has been nutty around here.  Wednesday alone I had three different interviews for Forever Mom.  By the end of the day both of my phones had dead batteries and I felt certain I had lost all ability to construct a complete sentence.  Whew!  What’s really cool is that people are interested in Forever Mom–here’s […]

Books

Need a new Christmas story?

For many years when we had a whole slew of little ones, each November I would secretly gather together all our Christmas story books, wrap them up individually in gift wrap, and then let our kiddos open one story book each night during the weeks before Christmas.  Always I would sneak in at least a […]

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 […]