Friday, February 16, 2018

Using Chatbooks to Print Social Media Photos

I LOVE using Chatbooks to make photo books for our kids, family events, & grandparents.  I seriously don't think my kids would have photo books at this point without Chatbooks.  They have certainly made it easier on me.  Here are a few reasons why I love Chatbooks:

  1. They sync automatically from my Instagram (or Facebook!).
  2. I can have separate books for each kid or event or even each set of grandparents with no problem.
  3. I can make a series book (like I have for each child) or do custom books (like I do for grandparents at the end of the year).  The series book would be a great way to have a homeschool "yearbook."
  4. It takes most of the work out of making photo books.  The captions & dates are automatically included from when I upload to social media.  I do go back when I receive my "it's about to print" email & double check for typos & choose the cover photo. 
  5. You can add photos from your device or social media.  So, a couple of times, I have taken a photo that Wesley requested that I not put on social media.  I just added it to my Chatbooks manually after I took it.
  6. You can set your subscription based on how much money you want to spend each month.  I have had it set to one book per month for HK & M.  Recently, I paused those subscriptions & started SG & N's.  
  7. Their customer service is TOP NOTCH. I have never had an issue that wasn't quickly resolved by customer service.  They are seriously amazing.
  8. The quality is great. If you know me, you know I am very picky about our photos.  As a former professional photographer, quality is something I take seriously. I have been very pleased with the books we have received.  (I haven't tried them yet, but they also have prints!)
I am often asked how you link your social media to Chatbooks. I thought I'd post a little tutorial today to walk you through it.  Now, Chatbooks has a great how to on their website.  Just look at their FAQs & type in Facebook, Instagram, etc.  I am a visual person, so I thought this might help.

**I know some people are really picky about posting their kids photos on social media.  Never fear! You can still do Chatbooks.  You can always just upload from your device, but if you want to do it a little at a time like I do--just create a PRIVATE Instagram account.  You decide who your followers are & if you don't want anyone to see the pictures, just don't add any followers.  :) Hope that helps!**

My kids' photo books are sorted by hashtag.  So, each time I upload a photo to social media, I include their hashtag in the caption.  (I also do that for both sets of grandparents, special trips (like PTP), our yearly book, Christmas, anything I *THINK* I might want a book for later.)
See Noah's hashtag?

Go into the Chatbooks app (or their website) & click the plus sign to add a new book.  Select photo book series & then where you would like to get your pictures from.
On photo sources, click MANAGE to add the hashtag(s) that you want to include. You can also set it up to add contributors (maybe if you & your spouse upload pictures or whatever).

 Add the hashtag filter you want to use-you can use more than one hashtag if needed.

I don't exactly remember why I did this screenshot.....but look how precious my tiny baby was! Maybe it was to say you can click that little gear icon in the top right to manage your subscription or edit what photos are included.....Who knows!  It's nap time & I am exhausted!
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions! 
If you do not have a Chatbooks account yet, PLEASE sign up through my link.  You get your first book FREE & I get $5 credit.  We have four kids......I take a lot of pictures........I need all the credit I can get! :) 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2018 Scripture Memory Plan--Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Here's an extra for this week! We taped ours to different doors in the house.  Our kids loved it! There is an easy & a harder version.
If you'd like to learn more about our 2018 Scripture Memory Plan, check it out here.

Making Big Decisions S7E3

As adults, we often make big decisions that affect our family.  How often do we discuss them with our children?  On this episode, we talk about how to include our children in those decisions and use them as teachable moments. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018


I LOVE Chatbooks. 💖💜💚 I use a hashtag for each child (or special event I want a book for -- Christmas, 2018, PTP....) & I automatically get a book every time there are 60 pictures. Captions are already done because I put them on when I uploaded to social media. It's AMAZING. I also have a hashtag for both sets of grandparents (they LOVE this!), so they get a book for Christmas with all of the year's pictures. Let me know if you have questions! If you use my referral link HERE, then you get your first book free & I get $5 credit.. This is seriously the only way my kids have photo books at this point! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Year of Scripture Memory Work

Season 7 Episode 1 "A Year of Scripture Memory Work"

We all know how important it is for us to hide God's Word in our hearts.  Today, we are unveiling a plan of Scripture memory work for the whole year as well as giving some tips on how to teach & review memory verses with our kids. Listen to our episode here.

We had a great suggestion from one our our listeners to develop a Scripture memory plan for the year.  I know we desperately need a plan or we really struggle.  We have really slacked with memory verses as we have added each kid because that's one more thing to remember to do.  If something is not planned out for me, I have a hard time getting it done.  Hopefully, this will help not only our family but your family as well.  I made this plan for the year while our family was battling the flu, so please let me know if you find any errors!  If this goes well, maybe next year we can develop another one that follows a "plan" a little better-maybe a theme for each month or something like that.  For now, here is our official 2018 Arrows in Our Hand Scripture Memory Work (can you think of any more words we can throw in that title?!)!
You should be able to click & download the image to print & we will also have this available on our Facebook page.

Here are some of our favorite memory verses set to songs:

And here's an episode we did about memory work during our first season of the podcast with our friends, the Eplings.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Samaritan Ministries Health Sharing

We have received a LOT of questions lately about our decision to switch to a health sharing plan this year.  I hope this will answer some of your questions.  Please feel free to email us or comment if you have more questions!

We are SO thankful for Samaritan Ministries & the blessing it has been to our family. At the end of last year, we received our new insurance rates & were shocked.  We were going to have to pay over $1200 per month for our health insurance for our family of six. We still would have a high deductible & have more medical expenses. After much searching, studying, & praying, we switched to Samaritan in January & cannot be more pleased. We pay $500ish per month for our family of SIX & any illness/injury over $300 is covered. We have the coverage for a family & we also are enrolled in "Save to Share." That is basically like catastrophic coverage, so there is no limit to what they will cover.  I was VERY nervous about the medical expenses we would be responsible for, but after almost a year of experience, we are so pleased. I called our pediatrician's office before we switched & asked for the CASH or self-pay prices for every well visit & vaccine we would have this year.  The most we have paid is $179.  I do know that doctor's charges vary, so be sure you check around for prices!  Even when we pay for our kids' well visits/vaccines, it still is cheaper than us paying that ridiculous amount for insurance. 

We have had a couple of sick visits this year as well.  Our pediatrician charges $89 for the visit plus any tests needed.  Even if we had a sick visit/event every month & had to pay the $300 we are responsible for, it would still be cheaper for us! Wesley had some places removed at the dermatologist this year & that was over $300.  We have submitted our bills and are waiting now for our reimbursements from Samaritan members.  When you have an event that is over $300, any discount that you are able to get from the provider counts towards the $300 you are responsible for too.  

Prescriptions are not covered, but the cash price for prescriptions (& for your actual doctor bills) will surprise you.  Of course, we have a pharmacy connection since Wesley IS a pharmacist, but check with your local, independent pharmacies & see what they can do about your prescription costs.  Most are cheaper than you would expect.  

It qualifies under the "Affordable Care Act" so we don't have to pay the penalty for not having health insurance too. Each month, you send your share (money) to an actual person who had a medical expense. They also send a monthly prayer list of people who have had an illness/injury, death, birth, or are expecting a baby. There are addresses included for the deaths/births, so we are sure to send a card (& info on The Light Network!). This is a great opportunity to share info on the church with others too. 

If you have questions, let me know. AND, if you do sign up, we would LOVE for you to list us as your referral. There are several different groups like this (Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medishare, etc), so see which one works best for you & go with that! I know what a burden health insurance can be, so I hope this will be helpful for you! 

Samaritan membership costs
How Medical Needs are Shared
Samaritan Guidelines-How it all works (preexisting conditions, etc.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How PTP Has Blessed Our Family

There are many tools in our "parenting toolbox" that help our family. Polishing the Pulpit is one of them. On this episode, we talk about how PTP has blessed our family!