Creating Seasonal Book Bins For Kids

As a mother I am a sucker for books for my children. I strive to be minimal on many things, but books have been hard to be minimal on. In fact, the last time I checked we had around 300 books in our home thanks to hand me downs, free subscriptions from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, gifts and the occasional book that I purchase here and there.

One of my favorite things to do is to create seasonal and themed book baskets for our little ones. Overtime I have realized that with the amount of books that we have, it is crazy to leave them ALL out at once where they can be a little overwhelming and also add excess items for us to clean and organize.

Having a rotation of books can be great because this helps to keep them surprising and “new” to your children. In many ways as they start to become older and remember more, they may become excited about knowing that their favorite Christmas stories will be on display soon for them or that their favorite Halloween stories will be sitting in a basket on the first day of fall. It almost provides a tradition in itself for your children as they look forward to and reread these books each year.

Figuring out how you want to create your book bins is totally up to you. There are perhaps many different ways you could create themed baskets or book bins for your little ones each year. Find some of our suggestions below on how we do this:

  • Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving book bin

  • Christmas/Birth of Jesus/Winter book bin

  • Valentines/LOVE books

  • Spring/Nature/Easter/Earth books

  • Summer/Beach/USA/Vacation books

  • Back to School bin (example: The Night before Kindergarten, Junie B school days books, etc…)

  • Farm and animal theme (can be worked into spring as well)

  • Insects and Bug theme (can be worked into summer time)

You can also go a step further for younger toddlers and create theme bins for:

  • Colors

  • Letters

  • Numbers

  • Animals

  • Vehicles

Fall Seasonal Book Bin

As you can tell this is very basic and still leaves you plenty of normal, every day books to leave out for your little ones (Corduroy, Dr. Seuss, Junie B., ABC’s, etc…). As your children get older and start to crave new books and need new reading materials, you can purge and donate over time and continually build your collection for each bin.

We recently made a purchase for several fall books through Scholastic books with my daughter’s school because the prices are so amazing. This allowed us to have more books focused on fall that can grow with my children for the next several years. Over time I hope to add children’s classics to these bins as they learn to read and begin their journey with chapter books.

Never feel bad for storing your children’s books away through the seasons. Children do better with less around (yet here we are with a ridiculous amount of books, I know). Continue a wonderful family tradition year after year as you grow your seasonal book bins and provide a familiar tradition each year for your little ones to read their favorite seasonal stories. This provides them with a tradition to pass down to their children as they one day pack up their favorite holiday classes to share with their little ones one day.

What a wonderful way to make reading a little bit more fun!

Seasonal Book Bins for the Home


Moms, It's Okay to Not Be Balanced ALL The Time

Oh the dreaded bedtime shuffle. The cuddles, the stories and the endless amounts of “get back into your bed.” I’m going to be bold here and admit that putting my kids to bed is legit my least favorite time of the day. Don’t judge me just yet, just hear me out.

“Mama I am sooooo thirsty.”

“Mama can you rock me and cuddle?”

“Mama I need oils!”

“Mama I picked a booboo.”

“I have to potty.”

“Mama can you rock me and cuddle me?”

It NEVER ends. It’s like an hour long debacle every night with my three year old and it has been this way for over a year. And before you get ready to give me your advice, or advice on discipline, thanks but no thanks. NOTHING has worked, but that’s not exactly what I’m hear to talk about anyway.

I’m here to say that I don’t like bedtime. It’s my least favorite time of the day for me as a mother because it gets a little chaotic and unfortunately my mind starts lingering with all of the tasks that I need to go do and I also know that there is a big bathtub calling my name. I get super antsy and ready for my people to just be asleep already.

You see, I’m writing this to be vulnerable here because I am not perfect. I am not supermom who never has bad days and I’m surely not always as patient and kind as I want to be. I’m a mom, just a regular mom who can also say, “I’ve had enough.”

I think as mothers sometimes we believe that we have to be completely balanced emotionally and always in love with each part of every day. God handpicked us for these sweet children, surely if he thought we were cut out for this then we should show nothing but praise and joy. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes we just don’t convey our love so “joyfully” because we are exhausted, frazzled, annoyed or just overwhelmed.

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It can be hard in the midst of a chaotic bedtime routine or in the midst of a hectic ride to school complete with 21 questions about if lizards have babies to evoke joy. Like sorry kid, but I can’t always answer your questions and sometimes you talk SO much that my head is spinning. But you’re totally cute so there’s that…

It’s okay to yearn for bedtime simply because you need a break and then it’s okay to dread bedtime simply because your toddler is a werewolf who comes alive with the full moon. It’s okay to get frazzled.

It’s okay to not be balanced ALL.THE.TIME.

I write a lot about living intentionally and simply and savoring the small joys in motherhood. I believe in that wholeheartedly. But I also believe in finding the grace to forgive ourselves when we feel like we’re unbalanced, annoyed and “over it.” I believe in the ability to say that this is “okay” to feel this way and then to find your reset, your grace and your fresh start later. Whether it’s minutes later, a few hours or the next morning, you’re back to being “super mom” and you’re tackling your precious job with joy and oomph.

So mamas whether it is the bedtime routine that drives you bananas, or the fact that your kids fight like banshees or the toddler who is into EVERYTHING, it’s okay to not be your best at every moment.

We are so often not our best, and yet God loves us more than ever and gives us his mercy each day. It’s the same as a mother. Our kids can be a werewolf and yet we love them more than ever. And we move on and we forgive when they don’t listen and we find grace for them AND for ourselves when we fall short.

So moms, remember that you are enough even when you don’t feel like you are. You don’t have to be balanced 24/7 and your supermom cape can rest sometimes. It’s okay to not have your shish together all the time and it’s okay to even say, “I’m over it.”

If motherhood was perfect it would be easy. But it’s not perfect and we all know it is not easy! Motherhood is a journey where we learn as we grow and we discover all of life’s lessons on love, joy, forgiveness, grace and so much more.

I may not be a fan of bedtime, but I sure am grateful to have these babies to put to sleep into their beds each night. I may not be a fan of bedtime, but I sure love when they sneak into my bed and cuddle up next to me. And I sure as heck love to kiss their faces good morning as they sleep peacefully with the glow of the new day beaming in.

I can find my balance by admitting my faults. I can find grace by having mercy and I can love to the depths of my soul. All because I am a beautifully, imperfect mother taking care of some beautiful, imperfect children who are occasionally cute, little werewolves.

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Moms Who Don't Like Bedtime


Taking the Reins to Live Intentionally and Simply

 Gray Photography

Gray Photography

When I was a little girl I dreamed about being a mother and a wife. I was like most little girls and clung to the role of mommy with my baby dolls. As I got older, I dreamt about my role as a wife one day too and started to crave that home full of feet running around and bacon frying on the weekends.

Modern day lifestyles are vastly different than the past decades. Our time in this world goes by quicker and our lives are filled with so much stuff, so many obligations and so much static and noise. Sometimes it can feel as if all of the noise takes us away from the simple joys of things like mothering, homemaking, front porch sittin’ and so on.

I know of so many people who say they’d love to live back in a simpler time, back in the good ole’ days. I tend to be one of those people sometimes as well too; but like so many others, I’m also grateful for so many modern day things.

Here’s the thing though. As I’ve grown as a mother and a homemaker over the past year, I’ve discovered such a joy for carving out an intentionally simple life for my family. Creating a simple, peaceful home and lifestyle doesn’t have to mean that we jump into a time machine and head back to the June Cleaver days, it just means that we take initiative of our lives and the speed of them.

Living Simply and Intentionally

We take control of our schedules, of the stuff accumulating around us and we find joy in the mundane. Something as simple as a crisp fall day with the windows open and a soup simmering on the stove is something to be joyful about. It’s something to stop and take in for a second. While the task of cleaning the home may seem so exhausting, it’s something to be grateful for. A home. And while for the homemaker or stay at home, cleaning may seem so exhausting and tedious - it’s our “work." It’s the home that you make for your family whether you work in it or away from it.

If we want our lives to slow down, it’s up to us to make it happen. It’s up to us to let go of obligations and to turn down some invitations. It’s up to us to do less of what we don’t enjoy so we can do more of what we do enjoy. It’s up to us as parents, as mothers and fathers, to determine how many nights a week we eat together as a family or how many Sunday mornings we sit in church together.

Weaving Christ throughout your life, throughout your day, your marriage and throughout your mothering, makes things more peaceful. That feeling of being together in church on Sunday where you’re meant to be, is the best. That moment of a Sunday nap or a Sunday on the front porch is where life can shine. Where you can feel the joy of His grace because you are resting and being intentional with those around you.

Living Intentionally

I’m all for the extra curricular and the date nights. I’m all for the trips to the zoo and the library and for the occasional night out on the town with your friends. But the key to creating a simple, peaceful life that you long for, is all found within your hands and the hands of the Lord above.

Don’t look at housework as a burden, it’s your way to serve those around you that you love. Involve your little ones in the tasks if you want and absolutely do the tasks together with your spouse if he’s the kind to chip in, but don’t relish on the burdens of it all when it’s part of what makes your life and the lives of those you love function so beautifully.

Find joy in your tasks, no matter how repetitive they may be. Pull out the mixer and bake something from scratch with your children. Take afternoon snacks to the porch or take the kids outside for star gazing at night before bed. And find time to steal those few minutes for just YOU. Find ways to do more of what you love no matter how hard that may be. And always, always find more time to be together to enjoy the simple moments.

Some things to consider to make your life and moments more intentional:

  • Eat meals together with no distractions as often as you can

  • Limit extra curricular to where you’re not on the go each night

  • Let kids be kids

  • Cook for your family, it’s rewarding for you!

  • Serve your family with a peaceful, joyful heart rather than with the burdens of having to “do it all”

  • Ask for help when you need it, because life sometimes requires it ;)

  • Find your grace in the messy moments

  • Remember that even the most perfect moms have bad days

  • Have a power clean hour

  • Pick your home up throughout the day or before you leave each time

  • Carve out a few minutes of the day for yourself (mine is the mornings and nap time)

  • Play outside as a family

  • If you’re a stay at home mom, limit your daytime errands and activities so you can be at peace within your home

  • Bake something

  • Color with your little ones

  • Take up gardening/plants! (seriously!)

  • Stop to find the beauty of your day and relish in that moment

  • If you work away from home, find the support you need to enjoy the moments that you have when you get home (also let go of any guilt you have for this - you’re an awesome mama!)

  • Limit your weekend activities and obligations - it’s okay to say NO

  • Read and pray over the Proverbs 31 woman - the noble wife

  • Pray (for real!)

Living Simply

Life is a story. It’s a steady picture reel going on day by day. It’s up to us to determine how to write that story and it’s up to us to determine how those pictures will look. It may not always look as planned sometimes and other times the paths of life may change and we won’t understand them as we experience heavy burdens and pains, but somehow we have the ability to continue on and to create a simple, peaceful life of joy through it all.

Don’t look at the reels of someone else’s life and wish yours looked like that - make it happen. Find your peace, your joy and your God. He’ll shine the light on your days and somehow, he may even slow down the time as it passes so you can linger in the beauty of his grace.


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Living Intentionally and Simply