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The Multi-Generational Home (MGH)

Do you live with your parents or do your parents live with you?

Well, neither. We live in a multi-generational home (MGH). In fact our particular living situation is one that is that more and more families are considering today as old-folks are living longer, young families are overwhelmed and money is tight all around.

A multi-generational home is almost what it sounds like. It’s a family living situation where more than two generations of a family line are present and participating in daily home life. This is not the same as a family member going through a rough patch and moving in with you until they get back on their feet (although this is how we got started). This is a permanent and planned living situation where all members are contributing and doing their part according to their strengths and everyone working together for the benefit of all.

I’m not going to tell people what they should do, I can only say that there are things to consider before doing a multi-generational home. I’m going to try to list them out for you here:

Just a quick note: Obviously if you have a lot of family drama, lazy/dysfunctional family members, or if someone in your family has serious issues like with addictions or criminal behavior you know this isn’t a good idea, right?  OK, good, moving on.

What are your priorities?

In our multi-generational home our priorities are 1.God, 2.Marriage, 3.Kids, 4.The rest of the family.  That’s right, after God, Marriage is first.  And this shouldn’t just be understood between a man and a wife. Make sure your parents feel that your marriage should come before them too. Trust me, there is a lot of dis-functionality out there and if you have a parent that has ever sought to subvert your marriage in any way you need to run the other direction.

Thou shall honor thy mother and thy father.

This is a good one. I learned a while ago that even as an adult it’s important to honor my parents by showing respect and even obeying them. Not only is it part of God’s design and his command, but it’s good for my relationship with them and it’s a good example to my own children. Where you might get into trouble is back with number one, your marriage priority. That’s why it’s important to have an understanding with your folks that your marriage comes first and your priority before them is your spouse. The last place you want to be is torn between obeying your father and your husband. And you never want to be a man that makes your wife feel like you put your mother before her. Thankfully, my folks would never put me in a position like this.  Would yours?

Do you have in-law drama?

This is important. In our MGH my husband is the one who lives in a home with his in-laws. We took careful consideration to make sure he felt good about this decision. They have a solid relationship built on respect for each other and this is key. My dad made it clear that he never wanted to step on my husbands toes and he wanted to consider what he wanted when it came to big decisions and man-of-the-house stuff. It is especially important for us because in our multi-generational home my husband is the only one who works outside the home and he can easily feel like an outsider.

Do you want to be a go-between?

Before moving to a multi-generational home make sure all the adults in your family are capable of communicating and working out their problems together. What you don’t want is one person in the middle constantly having to go between and mediate peoples feelings when something comes up. (And it will)

What’s your parenting style?

Part of the appeal of a multi-generational home is that you get the benefit of having your kid’s grandparents with you all the time and they can help you raise them, babysit and spend lots of quality time together. We believe that a grandparents true role in the family is to help raise their grand-kids and do what’s best for them, not simply to spoil kids and send them home, (although a little of that is a good thing too). So what’s important for everyone to understand is the hierarchy of parenting in the house, or as we say, ‘who’s the boss?‘  Who’s guide do we follow for rules and discipline. Who gets to make rules? What if you don’t agree with them?

What is everyone’s roll?

It’s going to be different in each household, the point is that everyone should have one. In our MGH my husband is the money-bringer/project-pusher, my dad is the home-builder/maintenance guy/ problem fixer, my mother is the matriarch (the center guiding force in our family)/grandchild-raiser, I am the mom/homeschool teacher/shopper, and my kids are the kids. Their job is to learn to grow into adults and to take on chores and tasks according to their abilities. We have family work days for big projects and couple work days for smaller projects. We all have individual responsibilities. Mine is to meal plan and shop for food. My mom’s is to cook for us all most nights. The older kids have kitchen clean up duty in both kitchens (we have two indoor kitchens). We didn’t plan all this, it just kind of worked itself out organically according to everyone’s strengths and preferences. It’s simpler than is sounds but the key is to have a family of caring and flexible people who put each others feelings before their own.

Who’s got the money?

In our multi-generational home my folks benefited by being able to retire and spend time with their grandchildren by sharing their home with us and we benefited by having a home provided for us mortgage free. We pay for all the bills including my folks medical insurance and prescriptions as well as fund many projects for home improvement. We are investing in a home that we live in and will one day be in our name. Now this sounds a little risky to some, and for some people it is. So you need to be especially clear with all adults involved about the financial responsibilities, and expectations of property ownership. Also, you need to consider any siblings and their expectations of inheritance. Do they get a portion of the property? What are the logistics? This isn’t something you want to have to figure out after it’s too late. Which brings me to…

What about everyone else?

It’s important to consider other people in your family who may not be invited to live with you. There may be family members who might not make good multi-generational home members but will also feel left out. If you feel like this may be the case it’s a good idea to have an honest conversation with everyone about who you are living with and why. It might not make everyone happy with you but it’s better that everyone knows what to expect going in. This is honestly the only part of our family that has drama and I wish we would have handled it differently from the start. Which brings me to my next point…

Who’s coming to dinner?

Do you like to have guests over? How does this affect everyone? It makes a difference depending on your house situation and if you have a separate space from your parents like we do. But still there are questions like: If you have people over, are we expected to eat dinner with you or can we eat separately? My parents aren’t very social so this is an easy one for us. But how do you explain it to other people? “My folks didn’t feel like talking to anyone today so they are hiding” It can get weird so don’t let it. Just have a policy in place and explain it to the people closest in your life. They will understand.

How close is too close?

My mom always brings up the point that when my husband comes home she often likes to make herself scarce. It’s not because she doesn’t like him (she adores him) but she recognizes that we may need “little-family” space, that is, time with just my husband and kids. This is something I didn’t think of we moved in together but in her wisdom, my mom did and I’m glad she does this for us. It is good for us to occasionally take time just for our little family without the grandparents, and it’s good for them too! She also encouraged us to buy our travel trailer and take our camping vacations without them. This is also, again, healthy for us all. Also my mom has set certain boundaries of her own regarding how much time the kids spend on her side of the house, how much noise they can make and when they are allowed to eat in her kitchen. This helps her draw the line between parent-Grandma and fun-Grandma and not be overrun with kids all the time.

What kind of house do you need?

The answer is different for everyone. But you need to consider things like, privacy, space, sex life, bathrooms, freezer space, kids toys, T.V. time, meals, the list goes on. In our case, my folks gave us their old house with three beds and one bath and then added on to the side giving us an extra bedroom and bathroom as well as an entire one bedroom apartment for them. It included their own kitchen, laundry, living room and an entrance from the back yard. Since we built it new, I insisted on making their apartment wheelchair accessible for the future with large doors and shower and even their main entrance has no steps. We have a passageway through my laundry room that has a locking door. We use our garage for extra refrigerators & freezers and as extra storage space. On our property we have a workshop and outbuildings that provide even more space for our particular lifestyle of building and making things. Which reminds me…

What’s your lifestyle?

We think of ourselves as homesteaders. We like to make or grow many of the things we want and we like to do projects together like drying food and making our own grape juice, figuring out the best way to grow beans, that kind of thing. I know this isn’t everyone’s style, but the point is, what is yours? Is it compatible with all your family members? Do you all have a shared vision for the future and how you want to spend your quality time together? It might not seem to matter unless you feel like you can’t plant flowers in the garden because someone else wants to fill them with potatoes, or if one person wants a video game room and the other wants a screen free craft zone. I’m just saying: What’s your lifestyle, and is there room for everyone?

Why are you doing this?

As a result of answering these questions, my family chose the MGH path because we are very close. Most of all, we enjoy being together and we saw while we lived together during a hardship that it was possible and we would all benefit everyone in both the short and long term. Also, as I mentioned at the top, a multi-generational home is when all people are present and participating.  One quick note, a good reason for doing a multi-generational home is when you have one family member that has a disability or special need and it’s better to pull together as a family to care for them. This is an especially good reason to have a multi-generational home and I would encourage you to consider it closely.

Lately we’ve noticed more and more families moving toward joint living conditions. What do you think about our multi-generational home, tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

For Further Reading

Blog

Is Multi-Generational Living For You? What Are The Pros And Cons?

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-04-2013/three-generations-household-american-family.html

http://www.nextavenue.org/full-house-guide-surviving-multigenerational-living/

Independent Learning Homeschool Curriculum – School of Dad

Being a Dad is great, I had wanted to be a dad since I was very little and seeing my dad have kids early made me want to have kid at a younger age. I had my firstborn at around age 20 when my peers were not even considering kids unless it was by “accident”. Now that I am a father and am able to share things with my kids I find myself without enough knowledge to share at times. The things I was interested in as a child are not the same things that my kids are going to be involved in or they are already far advanced in. My desires over the last few years have shifted and I find myself being drawn to a lot of different hobbies. Photography, graphic design, gardening, auto mechanics, and art are all hobbies that I have taken up in one form or another.

Background

Jennifer does most of the homeschooling for the kids. She picks out the curriculum and has the day to day responsibility of teaching the children the basics. Math, language arts, science, history, and Bible etc. I at times feel as though I’m an outsider when it comes to the education of my children. I think many dads feel this way at one time or another.

School of Dad

Our response has been to add a class to the kids calendar on Homeschool Planet. We named this course the “School of Dad.” In this module I can add tasks for the children to complete, approved videos for them to watch, chores that they should be doing, and/or whatever else I think they might need to supplement their basic curriculum. One day I discovered the Draw with Jazza, a YouTuber who has some great videos on art, animation, and drawing. I added the task of simply watching a certain video which the children really enjoyed. Now Jazza is one of their favorite YouTubers and the renewed interest in drawing has inspired me to get them a Wacom drawing tablet.

Jennifer: One of the most valuable attributes that my husband brings to the table with regards to teaching our children is his willingness to seek out and try things that interest him. He’s never afraid to try something new even if he’s not sure he will be successful. I’m so glad to see our kids follow him in this trend. There’s something so reassuring about seeing our son trying to create something or use a new tool without trepidation or fear of judgment.

Letting Go

Our oldest is a sponge when it comes to learning. But their are some questions that you don’t want to answer because I might have it wrong. As parents we need to recognize that we are not the authority on knowledge. To combat this Jennifer was able to find a used complete encyclopedia set that a school was selling to get an updated version. The set came and show almost no signs of use. Now if he has a question he can look it up in the encyclopedia set before trying to find the answer on google. I have also found that he will just sit and read the encyclopedia for fun or when he sees an interesting topic related to something he has looked up.

Jennifer: World Book puts out a fancy new expensive set every year with a few changes and updates from the previous version. I compromised and selected a two-year old version and bought it from a used book seller on Amazon. This enabled me to buy a $1500 book set for around a $200 investment. Bonus, it’s more reliable than your average Wikipedia page and safer than a google search for our kids.

Providing Resources

One of the foundational parenting styles that Jennifer and I share is that if our children want to try something, if they want to learn something, we will do our best to make sure they have the materials to accomplish it. My oldest wanted to make foam rubber armor like he saw on another YouTube channel, Punished Props. We had the materials on hand and let him go for it. He spent the next two weeks getting up early to work on the costume. The end result was a great looking handmade costume that he was proud of and he learned new skills in the process.

Even Coding?

We have recently learned that our kids have an interest in coding. It started out as a simple Arduino hardware kit my oldest was working on. Next we found a free resource that MIT developed called Scratch. A few online books later and they were both on their way to learning coding. Now we use coding as a “skill course” in their curriculum but they do much more of it in their free time.

If you are looking for ideas in this realm of learning I suggest watching some YouTube channels to get some ideas. There are plenty of scratch tutorials and other beginning software for coding.

Jennifer: OK so I was totally intimidated by the whole coding idea. I tried learning HTML in my younger days and failed miserably. Ultimately I just had to remember that my kids are different than me and that they will not necessarily share my limitations in life. Like with any “curriculum” it can be a risk to make a purchase but, for us, this one paid off big time. I didn’t have to learn anything about coding. Our kids just took off with it. My role as a teacher (as with most subjects) simply involves setting up parameters, asking them questions about what they learned and challenging them to find ways to improve their designs. If our kids hadn’t enjoyed coding or been successful at it we would have simply moved on to a different subject and tried that. Not all kids need to know coding nor will they be adept at it and that’s OK.

Additional Resources

If you are wanting to know about hardware check out raspberry pi. I just saw a video where a kid made and programed a mirror to be a smart mirror using raspberry pi and other downloadable software. Also if you have old and obsolete devices or computers sit down with your children one day and take them apart. I learned a great deal about how a computer is made by simply pulling one apart. If you don’t have an old computer lying around watch a disassembly tutorial or get a cheap computer part from goodwill or your local thrift stores.

Conclusion

So, while I can’t take the credit for my children creativity or desire I think that much of the interest in these endeavors has come from the ability to have the materials and the flexibility to let them learn on their own. Jennifer never had to teach them to code, I never had to show them how to draw or what to draw. We just allowed them the freedom, gave them the tools provided safe boundaries and let them explore while being present to witness and encourage their growth.

Comment below if you have advice for homeschool dads or other fun projects that you would like to share. Be sure to check back to the Blog soon as we are ramping up the writing to bring you more valuable content.

Restless Leg Relief While You Sleep

Restless Leg Blanket
Darren’s Weighted Blanket

Disclaimer

I’m not a doctor so this is just my own personal opinion. I have also never been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Background

What I can tell you is that for the majority of my adult life I have had very active legs during sleep. At times during the day my legs hurt for no apparent reason. Long flights and car rides are basically a form of torture. I’m not sure the reason but I suspect that it has something to do with my time in the military. I don’t think a person can do three tours overseas and not be changed by it. That being said, I have always been a very active sleeper, tossing and turning all thorough the night. My relief has come in an unlikely place… a spontaneous Christmas gift from my wife.

Let’s Back Up

A couple years ago I got a Christmas gift from my wife. It was a medium size box that was comically heavy. I had no idea what it was. Certainly it was nothing close to the things I had asked for, if I had asked for anything. I open the box and its a piece of flannel looking material at the top. I’m thinking at that moment that she bought my some flannel shirts and weighed them down with rocks to completely throw me off the actual present. Turns out it wasn’t a prank as I had imagined but an incredible weighted blanket. To top it off I learned she had actually made it herself.

Jennifer: “I was actually on Facebook following a friend who did a post about helping traumatized children and kids with Autism sleep better. It peaked my interest because someone in our life has Autism. What I didn’t expect was to read about how weighted blankets can help people with PTSD sleep better at night. As soon as I read that I knew it’s what I needed to do for Darren.”

The Blanket

The blanket itself is long enough for a 6 foot tall person. It is probably throw blanket dimensions but I’ll measure it or ask Jennifer the true dimension when I get a chance. The unique feature of the blanket is that in between the fabric layers are weighted beads that she had to sew in. It has a quilted look because the beads are a certain size. She made mine out of shirt flannel but I’m sure if you have a blanket material of choice it is interchangeable.

The Benefits

The benefits of using the blanket have been night and day. I try and use the blanket most nights but it does not always stay on the bed. Because of its weight it is hard for Jennifer to move around and she likes to make the bed in the mornings. So normally when I get out of bed I put the blanket in a metal bin that I keep on my side of the bedroom. Some nights when I’m having a hard time sleeping and Jennifer recognizes that I don’t have the blanket on the bed she’ll put it over me. I sleep so much better with it that it is sometimes difficult for me to get to sleep without it.

Jennifer says: “He definitely sleeps better. I notice he doesn’t toss and turn or talk out in his sleep as much. But I won’t lie, it  can be a pain to sleep in a bed with what feels like a rock barrier between me and my guy. It’s worth it though to know he’s getting better sleep at night and I really believe it makes his life better as a whole.”

The Drawbacks

The blanket is not without a few drawbacks. For one, because of the design it is extremely heavy. I personally like to sleep that way but some people might find it constricting. My blanket is sized for me so if you are married it might be a good idea to make a full bed sized one with only half the blanket weighted. It would be even heavier but would make the blankets uniform rather than one person being under different blankets than the other. Another drawback is, as I understand it, it was difficult to make. From what I was able to glean from Jennifer’s explanation you have to place the beads, sew around them, and then place more beads to sew around. This means that you are constantly moving the entire (heavy) blanket around as you are sewing and having to move it in all different directions. Also our sewing machine was not up to the task so Jennifer had to borrow her mom’s sewing machine.

Jennifer: “It is really heavy but it only has to be 18-20% of the users body weight. It was really hard to make. I actually broke my machine and tried my moms, but ultimately I used my aunts Husqvarna machine that is so tough it can sew through brick walls. It also took me and my mom to man-handle the blanket for each pass.”

Conclusion

If you are like me and have trouble sleeping due to hurting body parts, or you have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome then this project might be for you. I’m not 100% sure but it seems to me that this would also be something that you could find to purchase although I have no idea. If I can get her to do it, or if there is a bunch of interest in the comments maybe I can get Jennifer to make a how to tutorial of this project, stay tuned.

Jennifer: “Um, no, I won’t be making another one of these any time soon. Just watch the video below. I will say that I used these plastic pellets from this company. They were absolutely great and had the best prices I could find. They are just a wonderful Christian mom and pop company and I hope you give them a try.”

Want to Just Buy One?

Here are some resources for you to purchase a blanket if you don’t have the time or would rather just get one a bit quicker.

Mosaic Weighted Blankets – Mosaic has resources for purchasing blankets, Do It Yourself (DIY) blankets, and a bunch of resource for other uses of the weighted blanket. I had no idea that it is also a good idea for certain types of autism and sensory disorders. I recommend checking them out if you are wanting some more information on the health benefits.

SensoryGoods.com – A website built around meeting the needs of people with developmental disorders. Products designed for autism, sensory integration, and other needs.

For Further Reading

There are a bunch of articles on Weighted Blankets but I’ve complied a few here for your convince.

dyingandgrief.com – A website that supports family and caregivers

MedicineNet.com – A question/answer forum answering the question “What method did you find most effective in treating your restless leg syndrome?

Here is a nice well made tutorial for how to make your own weighted blanket.

Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I started making my dad’s chocolate chip cookies when I was a kid. They are his favorite because, if I do it right, they are a little bit chewy. He especially likes them since I messed up one time and used unsalted butter and ended up sprinkling salt on top instead. They are actually better. Go figure. So here is that recipe, adapted from “The Ultimate Cookie Book” Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies.

Print Recipe
Dad's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
A slightly chewy, slightly salty, chocolatey treat. A great version of the classic chocolate chip cookie.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Other Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Other Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In your favorite mixer bowl, blend the wet ingredients together, scraping down the sides as necessary. Whip until it becomes a lighter color and slightly fluffy.
  2. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  3. Run mixer with wet ingredients and slowly add dry ingredients until just blended.
  4. Add chocolate chips. Dough should separate from sides of the bowl at this point.
  5. Use a one-tablespoon cookie scoop and drop about 1.5 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes. Cool baking sheet down in between batches.
  6. When they come out of the oven, drop the baking sheet down on the stove-top to flatten a bit. Then sprinkle with the salt immediately so the salt sticks to the cookie, then transfer to cooling rack or paper towel.
Recipe Notes

It's important to not over-bake these so you may want to play with the time depending on your oven and the size of your cookie scoop. Also make sure to cool your baking sheet in between batches.

Share this Recipe

The only downside to this recipe is that the dough doesn’t taste very good. (yes, I eat raw cookie dough, gasp!) Also, you can see in the photos, I’m using my Wilton large baking sheet that I love.

I just should have added about 30sec to 1 minute extra baking time. I was able to get 30 cookies on the sheet with a little dough left over. You could distribute the remainder to the other cookies or you could add a little salt and eat it raw like a daredevil.

Anyway, this is my first recipe post. Give it a try. Maybe your dad will like them too. Let me know how it worked out for you in the comments below.

Running Away from Blisters A Tale of Two Shoes

Background

Okay, so I’m not a runner lets get that out of the way from the start.

I run away from scary things, but I have never enjoyed running as a sport or leisure activity.  The main reason is that it would always hurt when I ran.  As a child running my ribs would hurt and send shooting pains during the run.  As an adult I would get shin splints and blisters on bottom of feet from running, nearly each and every time I ran.

Now, I’m not a person that hates activity, quiet the opposite, I love sports and I was always interested in running short distances. If I was running my preferred method is doing sprints and I have even enjoyed the occasional Indian run (running in a single file line of people with the back guy sprinting to the front of the line over a select distance).  I played baseball, football and basketball regularly as a kid and even a little bit of schoolyard soccer in grade school.  So, to say that I was, or am out of shape is not accurate.

When I first started community college I worked out with a buddy of mine who loved to run and would take me on short 1-2 mile runs on campus.  I didn’t mind this as I was staying in shape and he liked to sprint between light-posts and rest/job between every other.  From there I went in the military and was required to run, like a lot of running.  Every year I had to complete a fitness evaluation which included a timed run and as well my units also like to do regular company runs.  So running, all-be-it grudgingly, has been a regular part of my life.

A Blistered Past

Another part of my running life that has followed me has been getting blisters on the bottoms of my feet when I  run.  Prior to about 3 years ago, petty much any run I went on over 3/4 of a mile I would end in blisters.  The longer the run the worst the blistering.  I tried many things to get rid of the blisters, everything from new running shoes and moleskin bandages to padded insoles.  Nothing worked until I was recommended to try a shoe store that strictly sold running shoes and running apparel.

A Solution is Found

It was just a small store with a couple employees and the owner.  The owner is onsite most of the time and is very passionate about running shoes and teaches his employee how to correctly size a person for a running shoe.  I have really flat feet and in the past I wore the wrong shoe. My problem was that my preconceived idea was that I had to compensate for my flat feet with arch supports and running shoes with high arches.  This could not have been further from the actual truth.  I was sized into a very flat shoe that had  a cushion based on what material I would be running on.  Concrete, running tracks, sand, asphalt and treadmills all behave differently and need different soles if you plan on running them regularly.  So I got a shoe that was primarily for running outside on hard-pack pavement or concrete.  I also got some running socks and a little roll on material in a container that looked like a deodorant stick.  I didn’t use that very long because I found out that the change in shoes and socks was enough to free me of blisters.

And Now

I have stuck with the same shoe brand and type of shoe for about 3 years.  Every once in a while the company changes the color but the fit is usually about the same.  For a while I didn’t like the color change so I got on Amazon and was able to find the older model in the color I liked.  Now, I’m still a average runner and I still hate to run but at least I can run without pain and without blisters.

If you found this blog helpful please comment below. I’d like to hear your shoe success/failure stories.

Shoe Recommendations

Not every shoe brand is going to work for every person. I have complied a list of my favorite shoe resources for you to consider.

  • Road Runner Sports – If you don’t have a running shoe store this is a good site for finding different running shoes and apparel. Also here is a link to their blog if you are looking for some shoe product reviews.
  • Balega Hidden Comfort– I’ve found that a good pair of running socks really helps reduce the friction while running
  • Saucony – My favorite brand of running shoe
  • Brooks – Another good shoe brand
  • Mizuno – My wife was wearing this brand for a while and liked them
  • Asics – A solid brand and would probably be my second choice to consider
  • New Balance – My first brand of running shoe, probably would have worked for me if I was wearing the right kind of shoe for my feet
  • Adidas – Another good brand to consider
  • Nike – I don’t wear Nike because they tend to run wide on me.
  • Reebok  – A brand I’m not sure about but worth considering
  • Amazon – Once you find your shoe look on Amazon to see if you can save a little

More Reading

Runnersworld.com/blisters

Tips & Tricks – Foot Care (aka Blister Prevention)

Tips for New Runners – Chafing and Blisters

How to Treat (and Prevent) Running Blisters

How to Manage Running Blisters

Blister Prevention and Management

LIFE IS BETTER IN RUNNING SHOES: How to Buy New Running Shoes?

The BEST Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes for Women

Top 10 Best Running Socks Tested

 

 

7 Amazon Prime Features – And no ones talking about them – 2017

7 hidden features you’ll want to know more about

 

Amazon Prime Features

Amazon is an amazing company. With so many prime features it is hard to know about them all. In my research I’ve come across at least 7 Amazon Prime Features that I didn’t know about before. I hope to keep this post updated so let me know in the comments section below if you’ve used any of these prime features and any new features that I haven’t added.

In many of my posts, and in future posts, you will hear me talk about DeWalt, Costco, Canon, Saucony, and Amazon.  It is because I’ve used these brands and I am comfortable telling you about my experiences with these brands.  One brand that I love to use whenever possible is Amazon.  So without further to do…

Let’s talk about some Amazon Prime Features

Amazon is great, possible take-over-the-world great. So here are some prime features you may be missing with your prime membership.

1. Student Discount

I’ll start where I started with Amazon about 5 years ago.  At the time of this blog Amazon is offering 6 months free of Amazon Prime for college students.  Normally you will pay $99 per year for the prime subscription. Students will get it for half that.  All you should need is a .edu email address.  Go to this page for more info.

2.  Wedding Registry / Baby Registry

Did you know that Amazon has prime features for gift registries? They have registries for weddings and babies.  This is really awesome because if you are going to register for your event like a shower you can create a list for almost any product.  If you are receiving an invitation for an event and having a hard time choosing the gift, a person that has registered on Amazon is likely going to appreciate gift cards from Amazon too.

3. Amazon Family

This prime feature is something I wish I would have known about a few months ago.  Basically you register and create child profiles for your children’s ages.  For selective ages you can purchase things like diapers and baby food for up to 20% off.  Also if you complete the baby registry above you can get a 15% registry completion discount.

4. Amazon Household

This product allows you to setup family members that you can share your prime benefits with.  You can have profiles for up to 2 adults (18+), up to 4 teens (13-17), and up to 4 children (under 12).  Shopping is disabled for the child profiles but not the teen profiles.  Sharing certain digital content is restricted between some of the profiles so make sure you know what you can and can’t share before you setup your profiles.

5. Amazon Home Services

Looking for a handyman, a lawn service, or to get your gutters cleaned.  This prime feature includes these and several other home services like carpet cleaning, home theater setup and patio furniture assembly.

6. Prime Photos

This free prime feature includes unlimited digital photo storage and 5 gb of storage for video, document and other digital files.  Need more space for your videos or other files? You can purchase addition storage of 50gb or 1tb.

7. Prime Pantry / AmazonFresh

Some items are cost prohibitively for Amazon to ship for free.  Prime Pantry allows you to purchase some of these items at a flat “delivery fee” per box.  Each item states how much of a box it takes up so you can maximize how much goes into your box. 6 rolls of toilet paper for example was 20% of a box.  As of the writing of this blog the flag delivery fee per box is $5.99.  Also something new that has come out recently is Amazon Fresh which is a 14.99 a month for grocery deliveries.

Bonus

Many people know that Amazon also has a Prime Video service, Music service and you can access Audible (e-books) as well.  Each of these services offers a limited number of free “prime” items that change regularly.  Audible for example rotates 50 e-books that you can read.  Also, if you are into gaming, and have Twitch, check out Twitch Prime.
I hope you found a service or product that you didn’t know about before.

Comment below if there is any other Amazon Prime Features that you know about. Also check out the Amazon Specials in the banners below.

If you liked this and want to know about some more Amazon Prime Features check out this article from Business Insider.