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Dear Mushka,

Audiobooks & Podcasts for Kids

Our older kids, ages 8-4, enjoy listening to podcasts or audiobooks during their daily afternoon quiet time and their quiet time before bed. 

For audiobooks, we rent books from the library using the Libby and Overdrive apps. They're free to use and stream right to an iPad. We turn one on and then set the iPad on a shelf where they're not to touch it. It's an extrememly easy and inexpensive way to listen. 

The downside is that books are limited in availability. My kids have listened to some favorites over and over again, which I don't mind for right now. 

We borrow:

Classics, like Charlotte's Web 

Little House on the Praire Series

Magic Treehouse Series

How to Train Your Dragon Series

Christian Heroes Series

Boxcar Children Series 

Roald Dahl books 

Secret of the Hiddle Scrolls Series 


For podcasts, I play shows through Spotify on the same iPad or through the podcast app on our apple TV. Alexa can also play shows over her speaker. 

Here are some of our favorites combined with some IG follower's favorites. I haven't listened to all of these so I can't vouch for them but they're a good starting point! 


Circle Round

God's Big Story

Truth Seekers: Bible Stories for Kids

Little Stories for Tiny People

Base Camp Adventures

Kids Bible Stories

By Kids, For Kids Story Time

Reel Cool History for Kids

Gardenkeeper Gus

Paws & Tales Paws-cast

The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast

Smash, Boom, Best

Story Pirates

Disney Stories Podcast

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50 Birthday Questions We Ask Our Kids Each Year

Every year, I take time to record my kids' answers to these questions. I spread it out over a few days, pausing when I can tell they're over it. If a question isn't appropriate for their age I just skip it. 

I print out a copy to save in their file boxes (made up of these and these). I also write a birthday letter to each child, describing their current personality and how I see them growing. 

Feel free to copy these as a starting place to create your own list or download a printable version of my full list below!



  1. Write your name:
  2. How old are you? 
  3. What was the best thing about being (previous age)?
  4. How would you describe yourself?
  5. Favorite thing to do inside?
  6. Favorite thing to do outside?
  7. Favorite animal?
  8. Favorite color?
  9. Favorite breakfast?
  10. Favorite meal?
  11. Favorite TV show?
  12. Favorite movie?
  13. Favorite song?
  14. What's a book you enjoy reading?
  15. Favorite subject to learn about?
  16. What makes you happy?
  17. What makes you sad or angry?
  18. How would you describe yourself?
  19. What are you thankful for?
  20. What do you like to collect?
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Peloton Review

Two years ago, we got a Peloton bike. I wanted a way to do cardio exercise inside my own home, and also wanted the option to do strength training alongside it. 

I knew there were ways to convert other bikes to the Peloton system so I researched, crunched numbers, and even searched Facebook Marketplace for a good bike. When it came down to it, though, we landed on an actual Peloton bike (the basic version) for a few reasons.

1. I did not want a headache when it came time to workout. I didn't want to rig a system, have to convert numbers for one program to match another, buy another screen to watch the class on, prop up my phone, etc. I wanted the process to be seamless and easy. Otherwise, I just wouldn't do it. 

2. I knew we'd have 3+ users in our home. (Me, my husband, our oldest son). Because of this, paying for the Peloton app (around $44) each month made sense. We all have an account within this price and can use it as we need to, which is less than the cost of a gym membership. Our eight year old loves to hop on the bike when he's stresses or needs to burn energy, and I imagine other children will follow him as soon as they're tall enough. 

Peloton Review

Three things I'd recommend: 

1. Change out the pedals for slip-ins instead of clips-ins. That way, you don't need specialty biking shoes. Anyone can hope on with their regular tennis shoes. It certainly saves money! We have these. 

2. Buy a seat cover. I do think your bum gets used to a bike seat quickly, but I'm always glad to have a little extra cushion! We have this one. 

3. Consider adding a swivel to your screen so you can do non-bike exercises from the Peloton screen. The Peloton+  bike comes with this feature, but you can also buy a swivel and add it to the less expensive bike yourself. So far, I've just screen mirrored my Peloton app to our TV to do a non-bike exercise (our weights are in our playroom but our bike is in my office on this.) 

Peloton Review

How I love using the Peloton program right now: 

1. Post-partum core work. There are multiple programs created to gain core strength back in a safe way. Robin Arzon is my go-to instructor here. She's encouraging, upbeat, and fun. 

2. 15 minute bike rides. I did "low impact" at first and am now up to more difficult rides, but I rarely spend more than 15 minutes on the bike due to time. I love that I can hop on, get a great workout in, and hop off. Ally Love, Emma Lovewell, Robin Arzon, Hannah Frankson, and Leanne Hainsby are my favorite insructors. 

I also love the scenic rides. My son loves the "lanebreak" option, which is like a game you play while you ride. 

3. Arms with Tunde is a great 4 week program to work on upper body strength. I did one of these this morning!

4. Various other strength or stretching workouts. You can chose the body part you want to focus on, your instructor, your time availability, etc I now search for short core workouts 2-3 times a week to continue gaining strength back. 

5. I'd like to try the running instructors one day, too! It's just audio but they coach you during outdoor walks and runs. 

6. I like to schedule out my week ahead of time. I pick 5 15 minute rides and 5 10 minute strength training classes, for a total of 25 minutes/day. I take the weekends off. Sometimes I do my ride and strength class back-to-back and sometimes I cram them in whenever I can while kids are content to hang near me. 


P.S. These are my favorite workout shorts. I've now purchased three pairs (sized up to a large for extra length.)

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One Another's in Scripture
The phrase "one another" is from the Greek word allelon, which occurs 100+ times in the New Testament, teaching us how to relate to one another. When we obey God's wisdom in these areas, we're able to enjoy true Christian community and reflect Christ's light to the world.

➡️ Take heart if raising your children, loving your spouse, caring for a friend, and interacting with a neighbor feels challenging- God knew it would be so!

➡️ See below for some of the "one anothers" He's called us to, in his wisdom and grace. Ask for His help applying them to your relationships today!

➡️ Shop the products I was immediately able to find in our store relating to "one another"!


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An interview with founder: Katie Lewis!

What does your typical Summer day look like? 

Our four boys are currently ages 7- 9mo so we do a lot of playing outside, reading together, and ... did I mention playing outside? I'm also continuing a bit of schooling over the Summer, both for consistency and to give myself a little wiggle room when baby no.5 comes this Fall. (My goal is 3x a week of reading, math, and writing practice.)

Daily, we all have a quiet time from 1-3pm. I work, the three oldest play quietly in their own space, and the baby naps.

The afternoons/evenings are for swimming together, grilling, and catching lightening bugs!

How do you balance being a mom and working? 

I'm not sure there is such a thing as "balance" in this area, but I do think we can set boundaries, ask God for clarity on where to put our time, and trust Him to accomplish His plans for us within our limited hours and energy. 

For our family, this currently looks like Robert taking the boys for a few hours during their "Monday Man Camp" while I work on Dear Mushka content at home. Beyond that, I work during our family's daily quiet time + occasionally will pop in on social media throughout the day. 

With a small business, there is always more work to do. Instead of focusing on everything I'm not doing, I try to celebrate what I am able to do-- and to enjoy being a mother rather than becoming bitter over the time it takes away from my career. 


Summer makes me think of traveling-- where's your dream spot?

One day, I'd love to take an extended trip to Southern France and Italy. There's so much history & beauty (and bread) there! I'd also love to tour the Holy Lands with an expert guide-- what an experience that I imagine would make the Bible come alive in a new way. 

That being said, I believe we'll get to explore the New Earth for eternity eventually. This helps me enjoy exactly where I am for now and not worry about seeing it all before I die. There will be time!


Where do you get your ideas?

Almost every DM product comes straight from my time spent with the Lord, a personal need I have, and/or a need I see a friend having. An example of this would be our Lord, Teach Us to Pray cards (31 daily prayer cards to pray on repeat each month). I wanted a way to remember to pray over specific areas in my childrens' lives that I wouldn't think of naturally-- I made these to help guide myself over the course of a month. And judging by how many of you have grabbed them, I think you needed them, too!


Are there any new products coming out that you're particularly excited about? 

I've been working hard to create "care boxes" for a few specific topics, with the goal being to have a desireable and meaningful box of goodies all ready for you to order and have shipped directly to someone. It's been a challenge to create a box full of items within a reasonable pricepoint, but I think I'm almost there! This is the kind of go-to gift a lot of us would love to receive... I can't wait for them to launch! 


So... what exactly do you do at Dear Mushka?

Originally, I did it all! As we've added children to our family and I've found my own giftings (and shortcomings) I've happily narrowed down my focus. Now, I'm primarily in charge of new product creation from start to finish (which includes design, sourcing, creation, photography, and website listings).  I also run our social media platforms, creating graphics for those and trying to stay up to date on necessary trends. 

My favorite roles, though, are the ones that fall under a "ministry" category-- like sharing what discipleship looks like in our home and praying for you all as you share bits of your life with me. 


What's your favorite piece you've ever designed?

Sheesh, that's a hard question! Choosing is like narrowing down a favorite child, which I can't do, but there are a few pieces that stand out right now.

The Together Necklace is our adoption necklace I designed after one of our adoptions. It has a triangle to represent the three people groups that make up an adoption (birth family, adoptive family, and adoptee) and a heart hanging in the middle to represent the love between them all.

I was just starting to understand the crucial role a birth family plays in the extended life of a child, and also wanted a significant gift to give to our dear birth mothers. This design means so much to me-- even more now, as I've watched so many customers buy it for a friend going through the adoption process or gift it to their own birth mothers.

Thank you, Lord, for the necklace & truths found in its cooresponding verses!


Okay, summer-season rapid fire: 

What's your summer uniform? A breezy cotton dress- the easiest thing for me to wear while I'm growing this little baby, and also wonderful for tossing on over a bathingsuit

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love summer? 9. Swimming, gardening, slow mornings, adventures... these are a few of my favorite things. It'd be a 10 but mosquitoes and I are not friends. 

Favorite Summer DM product? The Adorn Bandana, hands down. I wear one constantly! (But I also have a Bee Swaddle set aside for this little baby...)

Any summer goals? To prepapre for baby no.5 mostly- shuffling kids' rooms around, purging to make more room, and teaching the older children some helpful skills so they'll need me just a little less while I'm occupied with a baby. 

Favorite summer scent? Tomato plants- they make me think of my Dad!

Summer reading? I tend to pick up novels more in the summer for some reason. I recommend Safely Home!


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Highs and Lows Feeling Chart

At the dinner table, we practice the art of conversation by taking turns asking each other what our high & low was for the day.

This allows us to follow Romans 12:15 as we "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep."

(It's also good practice for waiting patiently, listening attentively, asking others-focused questions, etc.)

Recently, we added "and how did that make you feel?" to the question. It encourages deeper reflection and helps us as we bring our joys and cares to one another and to the Lord.

For example, did falling down make us anxious? Did helping a brother encourage confidence? Did working hard result in us feeling invigorated?

If so, how does God meet us there? What does His word say about this? We don't always answer this aloud, but it's a good practice to begin- even internally- as we match our hearts with truth.

For help, we printed off the chart below for quick access. It allows us to go beyond "happy" and "sad" together. Try it! Just save the image to your computer and print it off!

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Have an art print you love but aren't sure how to frame it? Here are some of our favorites! You'll see these in our product photography... and all around our homes! 

Shop them all here! 


Best gold antique frames

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How to Pray with the Verse Memorization Tabs

This year, I started a new prayer "system" using a product we've had in the shop for years now: The DM Daily Tabs! This system has helped me know exactly what I'm praying for each day, which frees my mind and also reassures me that it will all be covered over the course of a month.

Pair it with our new Lord, Teach Us prayer packs and you'll be able to pray for your children, spouse, and self in powerful, scriptural areas month after month!

Here's what you'll need:

1. The DM Daily Tabs & one of our Lord, Teach Us to Pray packs

2. Daily Bread Box

3. Extra cards to write on, like our blank cards or 4x6 index cards

Here's what you do: 

1. Put the tabs inside your box

2. Put a Lord Teach Us card behind each of the date of the month tabs (1-31)

3. Fill out other cards based on what you'd like to pray for each day, thinking through how often you'd like to pray over each area. You can also make these cards over the course of time, as the Holy Spirit leads you.

For example, the card that goes behind your Daily tab might have basic areas like The Lord's Prayer or the ACTS acronym (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) on it. 

Behind the Even and Odd tabs, you might have a few cards for your closest family members, current anxieties you're working with the Lord through, or prayers for the salvation of those around you.

Behind the Monday-Sunday tabs, you might have bigger topics you'd like to cover each week like your local church, your city, your marriage, missionaries, the school your children go to, your workplace, etc

Then, behind your 1-31 tabs, you can make a card for the various people in your life you'd like to pray over each month. Think about your friends, extended family members, the women in your Bible study group, etc

On Thursdays, I pray over Dear Mushka! Here's what my current card looks like. 

4. Once you've made your cards, place them behind the appropriate tabs. But don't panic! Cards can be rotated with ease so nothing is set in stone. Perhaps this month a card needs frequent prayer so it goes behind your Even tab; Next month, you may be able to move it to a date of the month tab. 

5. Each day, open your box and pray the cards behind the appropriate tabs. You'll pray the prayers behind four dividers:


·Odd or Even

·Day of the Week

·Date of the Month

For example, if today is Sunday, August 1 I would pray the cards behind Daily, Odd (1 is an odd number), Sunday, and 1. Tomorrow, I would pray the cards behind Daily, Even, Monday, and 2. 

Over the course of a month, you will have lifted up so many areas and people to God, trusting that He hears our prayers and works through them. What a gift! 

Bonus: As God answers your prayer, make a note right on the card as a testament to His mercy and grace. Each year, you can pull out your notecards and staple them together with the date on top like a prayer journal. Start fresh the next year! 

Note: If you already use this system to memorize scripture, feel free to combine the two methods! I like to pray the verses I've memorized over the prayer topics on the cards behind the same tabs. 

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We just got back from a trip to NYC with our 6 & 4 year old and had the best time. Here's a little recap of our trip with some tips for traveling with to the city with kids! 

Day 1: 

We flew into NJ and took a taxi to our apartment. Some friends generously let us stay at their place while they were out of town so we were in the Tribecca area, which is very residential and family friendly. I'd recommend this area with children for sure! Lots of playgrounds, other kids around, and a Target if you need something crucial. 

We grabbed lunch at a local diner, which is always a winner for kids. Basically anything they want is available. Check! 

Then we walked down to the Hudson River/ Pier 65 area. There you'll find views of Lady Liberty, New Jersey, so many boats, and lots of playgrounds to explore. We could have stayed here for hours! It's a really dreamy area. 

For dinner we grabbed a slice of pizza and looked at the One Trade Center building. We didn't go inside on this trip, but it's pretty incredible. Just practicing walking on the right side of the sidewalk was enough for our kids haha

Day 2: 

Robert ran out and grabbed us bagels (Zuckers) for breakfast and brought them back to the apartment. 

Then we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to the DUMBO area of Brooklyn. It's a really cool experience and great for kids! In DUMBO, our boys threw rocks into the East River and climbed all over the playground there. We grabbed a quick bite and then took a ferry back across to Manhattan. I'd love to do the Staten Island ferry in the future. 

We rested each afternoon, which was helpful with little ones. They watched a show and played with Legos while we read or sat out on the patio. 

That evening, we took a Subway to Bryant Park. There was still free ice skating going on and lots to look at. The library was closed due to COVID, but they got to see the lions and run across the stairs. We had dinner at Shake Shack (which we have & love in Nashville, but it started in NYC so it felt extra special). 

Day 3: 

It was a rainy day so we grabbed brunch at Sarabeths (the pancakes are truly amazing) and then headed to the Museum of Natural History. There was so much to see, most of it really entertaining for even young ones who couldn't read. They loved all the bones and animal replicas! 

We were starving when we came out so we walked the Upper West Side looking for lunch. Jacob's Pickles is a favorite of mine in this area, but the wait was too long so we ended up at Jake's Dilemma. It was a bar but had great food. 

Central Park would have been next on our list (it's right across the street from the museum) but it was still raining so instead we headed back home for a movie evening. Night at the Museum was the perfect pick since we'd just been in the museum! 

For dinner, we ordered Chinese takeout and pretended to be locals ;) 

Day 4: 

The boys were really hungry when they woke up so we grabbed quick bagels again and I made a note get breakfast groceries for future trips. 

Then we took a subway up to Central Park, where we strolled and climbed the giant rocks and found lots of playgrounds and considered the zoo (not this trip) and just enjoyed Spring in NYC. It was our boys' highlight for sure- they're already talking about our next trip back. 

For lunch we ate street hot dogs and then got Sprinkles cupcakes. They're really the best cupcakes I've ever had (Nashville, bring one back!) Then, Robert gifted me and my Godmother who we brought along with us an afternoon to shop and play without little ones while he took the boys back to the apartment to relax. For dinner they got Chipotle (sometimes something familiar is best) and we got Los Tacos-- the best. Somewhere in there, we also got Waffled and Dignes in Bryant Park which are worth a try. So yummy!

Day 5: 

We had an early flight so we woke up, packed, cleaned up, and headed to the airport. We brought our boys' iPads for a movie on the plane and they did wonderfully. 

For our first trip with kids to the city, it was a dream. I think the key was scheduling in time to play on playgrounds each day and building in some rest time. They couldn't shop or eat at nice restaurants, and Broadway was closed due to COVID, so we enjoyed low-key activities and had a great time. Thank you, Lord, for this gift of a trip! 

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Easter Favorites

Leading up to Easter:

In our family, we start the Resurrection Eggs 12 days before Easter. Each day, we open one egg and read the story behind it (provided in the booklet). The next day, someone tells the story up to that point and then adds an egg. It provides a great visual and also verbal practice! The book, Benjamin's Box, is a wonderful addition here. 


You can also walk through Holy Week, which is from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday (March 28-April 4).

For little ones, we like the Baby Believers board book. 

For slightly older children, we love the Jesus Storybook Bible. Here's a reading plan to follow through Holy Week. 

A paper chain countdown, coloring pages, and other crafts are also wonderful ways to make the week come alive. A quick Google or Pinterest search will pull up lots of ideas. We're going to try some of these this year. 


For even older children (and adults), you can follow a "real time" guide through Holy Week with appropriate readings. Like this one!

New to us this year are the "Story of the Cross" books from Creation to Revelation. I think they'll help us tell the story as well as a sweet activity! 

On Easter Day:

We want to keep Jesus the focus of our Easter Sunday so we try to keep all gifts and play focused on His great name! We usually gift our children a new book that we snuggle up to read at some point during the day. 

 Here are a few of our favorites:

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