February 25, 2017

Giveaway with Usborne Books (Pt 2)

If you followed my last post, you know that we"ll be talking about Usborne's amazing books in a four part series. Follow along with each post to earn more entries into the book giveaway! Your kids will love everything in their online catalog - good luck!

The older my kids get, the more they want to touch and hold and handle everything.
Toddlers always say, "No mommy, I do it myself!"
My first introduction to Usborne books were their detailed sticker books. A couple years ago I ordered a Princess Sticker book and a Nativity scene sticker book as Christmas gifts. I was excited to see how detailed the stickers were, since they matched the page designs exactly. The little activities like dressing the characters and building the castle made the sticker books turn into activity books. Super fun for kids (and mommies.)


A few months ago I met Ruth, a Usborne book representative. Simon was playing with her book display at a fundraiser extravaganza and fell in love with a dinosaur sticker book. (Obviously, that book came home with us.) And now, I'm happy to announce that Ruth is sponsoring my next giveaway!! Woo-hoo!
Ruth is also contributing on the blog, and over the next four posts, she'll describe all the fun ways that Usborne books can enrich your family. These amazing books are not only educational and fun, but they are quality-made inexpensive items. Durable books that don't cost a fortune? A parent's dream come true, right?

Keep reading Ruth's helpful tips below and enter the Rafflecopter to win free books!

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Do you have a hands-on learner? How about one that loves stickers? Sometimes those stickers can just drive mom crazy, but did you know that they are educational and GOOD for your kids? What?!?
Sticker books help kids develop fine motor skills, sorting skills, visual discrimination, counting skills, one-to-one correspondence, and language development. All that in a sticker book! Who loves sticker books?

Perfect for school age kids and their emerging hobbies!


My kids played with the "Under the Sea" sticker book for months. It was perfect for quiet time while the baby napped.




Usborne Books & More also carries a unique series of books called Wind-up and Pull-Back books! These are unique, fun and great for learning! Did you know winding up a toy strengthens your pincer muscles in your hand? These muscles are vital for developing strong fine motor skills required for writing and scissor skills. These books are also chock full of directional vocabulary such as “along,” “around,” and “besides.” If you would like to see these fun books in action, check out this short video. Plus, there is actually action. These books have moving parts - in the video you'll see a pirate ship actually sailing the ocean (in a book!) Amazing right?




Do you have a child that likes to draw? Create? Needs assistance with developing fine motor skills while learning their ABCs and 123s? Have you ever struggled to keep your kids busy on a plane, in the car, or while you are waiting for an appointment, lessons or at a restaurant? Usborne Books & More will entertain your child, electronics free! Watch this video to learn more about all Usborne has to offer your busy little ones, and earn an entry into the giveaway. Let me know which book you think they'd like the best.

Cab't wait for the giveaway to end? Found a book your kids would love to play with? Books can be purchased via the following link: https://y3214.myubam.com/613057


Have you fallen in love yet? Are there more books on your wish-list than your budget will allow? My hostesses earn free books as their hostess rewards! I even throw in extra freebies. Would you like to have a fun evening by hosting a Facebook Party and getting FREE books? Comment below with your e-mail address for an additional 10 points!


February 21, 2017

Giveaway with Usborne Books & More!

Now that my oldest kiddo is in Kindergarten, we are reading lots and lots of books!
His little brain seems to be booming with new knowledge, and I love seeing him soak up new words like a sponge. Luckily, we have a growing book collection to keep him interested in reading. We inherited books from cousins, and we add to our kid collection frequently. Books for Christmas! Books for birthdays! Books for holidays! Books just because they were on sale! I am so happy that Simon loves to read, and his little sisters follow his example. They all love books.

A few months ago I met Ruth, a Usborne book representative. Simon was playing with her book display at a fundraiser extravaganza and fell in love with a dinosaur sticker book. (Obviously, that book came home with us.) And now, I'm happy to announce that Ruth is sponsoring my next giveaway!! Woo-hoo!

Ruth is also contributing on the blog, and over the next four posts, she'll describe all the fun ways that Usborne books can enrich your family. These amazing books are not only educational and fun, but they are quality-made inexpensive items. Durable books that don't cost a fortune? A parent's dream come true, right?
Keep reading Ruth's helpful tips below and enter the Rafflecopter to win free books!

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Without a doubt, Usborne Publishing is best known for Books for the Brain! So much time and research goes into ensuring that our books are engaging and informative and help kids love to learn.
Tip: If you have a reluctant reader, try giving them non-fiction. It can change his or her whole attitude towards reading, improve their reading abilities, and fuel their curiosity. I was amazed to see how they affected my daughter. At 6 years old, she started reading Usborne's Beginners series and loved them so much she declared that they were better than fairy tales! What did I do? I bought her more, and she devoured all of them!

My daughter's next obsession were our flap books! Flap books involve children in the reading experience and encourage participation.  Lifting flaps also develops fine motor skills, prediction, and encourages the use of language. Watch this short video to determine which flap books are best your kiddos.

Books for all age groups! These three books would fascinate my 2yr old, my 4yr old, and my 5 yr old.

Shine-A-Light books are some of Usborne Books & More’s best sellers. No wonder! Use a flashlight to reveal hidden pictures, and your kiddos are hooked!  Would you like to see how these gems work? Check out this short video to learn more.


We love our Shine-A-Light book about airplanes!



There are so many other amazing book categories to help your children love reading and learning.
Animal lovers. . .
Future astronauts. . . 
Little chefs. . .
For a great over view of the other types of non-fiction books that Usborne Books & More carries, checkout this video. Which of these books would rock your kiddos’ world?


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Can't wait for the results of the giveaway to enrich your family with amazing books?
Books can be purchased via the following link: https://y3214.myubam.com/613057


Keep following along, as this is Part One of a four part series. Ruth will teach us more about the benefits of reading in each post. Did you enter the giveaway? Good luck. and tell your friends!



February 15, 2017

Easy Valentine's Day Decorations

Our kids were so excited to celebrate Valentine's Day. They weren't old enough to expect candy and cards, but they knew it was a day about love. They were excited to spread kindness and love to their friends and family! A few weeks ago, we bought felt envelopes at Hobby Lobby to get into the valentines mood. After each kid decorated an envelope with felt hearts, they drew pictures for each other. Every now and then, they would add another drawing inside someone's envelope, so little love surprises would be found. Cute, right?



Once it was finally February, I added a few more decor items around the house. The red heart was only $1, and I painted on the "Hello" and flowers. My original plan was to hang the heart outside, so we sealed it to protect it from rain, but then I changed my mind and placed it on the mantle.




My outside porch wall wasn't draped in mounds of red or pink, but I still liked it bright cheery message. A friend made the chalkboard sign for me last year, and I thought its cheery, yellow presence would brighten up our cloudy post-winter weather. The flowers for the wreath were wrapped in a couple strands of fishing wire to keep the wind from destroying their look. I wanted our outside porch wall to be reayd for Spring, without having to change too much after February 14th.



For the big V-Day itself, we cut out paper hearts and taped them around the family room. Easy-peasy and perfect for our Little Kid Valentine's Day party. The afternoon of February 14th was enjoyed by 20ish kids (ages 0-4) and their awesome mommas. One Dad came to join the fun too! With a houseful of little ones, I figured paper hearts would be the most kid-friendly way to color up the room. Grace drew a bunch of snowmen on her hearts, and Ruby scribbled. The paper hearts did their job and lovied-up the room.


Can you tell we're remodeling? There's always a project happening in this house!




A simple "love" sing on the chalkboard and some roses completed my decorating.


For Valentine's Day morning, I arranged all their felt envelopes around their chairs, filled with chocolate goodies. I added the yellow roses, but my amazing husband added the pink roses as a surprise for our daughters. The story goes like this: 
Yesterday in the car, Grace told me she wanted flowers from Daddy. Then, before bedtime I casually mentioned it to Johnny, mostly to describe how much she loved her dad. When I came into the kitchen the next morning to start a special Valentine's Day breakfast, Johnny was arranging roses in vases for all his girls.
He woke up an hour early and drove through the rain to honor Grace's request.
I'm so grateful to have a husband who loves us all so much.



You can see his pink roses on the table in our breakfast picture. I'm pretty sure chocolate was 95% of their breakfast intake. Lunch was a spattering of cookies and brownies and party candy. Dinner was heart-shaped pizza and salad, but the kids didn't eat too much since they pounded suckers before Dad came home from work.
The whole day was a rush of treats and friends and flowers and hugs and "I love yous." Valentine's Day with four kids might not be super romantic or glitzy, especially on a Tuesday, but I definitely felt loved. So life is good!



February 4, 2017

Baby Laughs are the Best!

I promise this will be the best 30 seconds of your day.
There's nothing cuter than baby laughs!




I was folding laundry in the bedroom when I heard baby Mary cracking up. When I peeked in the kitchen I saw her siblings all fawning over her with giggles. I sneakily got the camera to catch the action. Although they saw me with the camera, everyone kept on acting goofy. I love these funny moments. This little baby is definitely loved by her older siblings.
And never mind my messy kitchen - I blame home remodeling projects and lunchtime shenanigans.



Enjoy!


100th Day of School T-Shirt Ideas

The 100th Day of School!!!!
We made it this far, and we're so much closer to summertime!
Our Simon has been counting the days this week until the 100th day of kindergarten, and I was excited to help him make his very first 100th Day of School t-shirt. I remember gluing pennies onto a shirt when I was in elementary school - which I loved, except for the heavy weight of the shirt afterwards. So, Simon and I came up with another idea that used weightless permanent fabric markers.

We dubbed it the "Dot Rod" shirt since we used 100 dots to trace a Hot Rod. (Car loving genes run thick in this family!) Our first step was to print out a hot rod picture with a sideways profile. Then we taped the car cut-out to his shirt.


 I really wanted to let him do the dots on his own, but he kept meandering away from the car. . . so I held the fabric marker with him while he colored the dots. I was so proud of him! He counted all the way to 100 with only a couple mistakes. My smart, little Kindergartner!

 

After the outline was traced, Dad helped him trace the wheels. Then Simon drew on the flames and racing stripes. Instead of writing "Hot Wheels" onto the shirt, I added "School" to better match the 100th Day of School theme. Finally, Dad added the checkered flag and his name to make it an official racing "dot rod."




T-Shirt success!




In honor of this wonderful school celebration, I'll include some of my favorite t-shirt ideas from across the web. If you have another favorite idea for 100th Day of School T-shirts, leave me a comment and tell me all about it! Enjoy!


My son sang this Pete the Cat song for days! What a super cute idea from Pinterest.



Kids could easily make this tally shirt from Really Quite Lucky




Use Puff Paint to make this cute Pin from Pinterest.



skittle tie
I love the tie idea, which could use Skittles, Poms, or beads. From South Short Mamas


Use stickers to display your kiddo's favorite sport! Easy idea (plus more!) from Live Craft Love.


More ideas? Let me know in the comments.


January 26, 2017

Truly Effective Self-Care

Earlier this month I gave a presentation on self-care for the ladies at church. Before I left the house that night, my husband asked what topic I would discuss. When I answered self -care, he asked, "What in the world does that mean?" I laughed and tried to explain that self-care is like me-time, but not the selfish me-time, the effective-at-helping-you-feel-better-me-time. I think he was still a bit confused when I left the house. At church, my 15 minute presentation turned into a 40 minute presentation due to all the wonderful input from my audience. (I'm glad I have such wise friends!)

When you think of the word self-care, you probably think about the adjectives rejuvenating, refreshing, and confidence-building. Done correctly, self-care becomes a wonderful addition to your weekly routine: Frazzled mom turns into calm mom, stressed out spouse turns into collected spouse, etc. You get the picture. But in order for self-care to actually be refreshing, you first need to determine the reason why you need to care for yourself.

Think about this example:
Sally is crazy upset at her friend Joanna. Because Sally is upset, she finds she is more snarky with her family and is stomping around the house. She recalls hearing about the benefits of taking a nice, long bath. So after the kids go to bed, Sally takes a nice, long bath where she keeps stewing over why Joanna is a horrible friend. After her bath she still feels tense and angry - but why? The relaxing bath didn't help Sally feel better because she tried to self-care without self-understanding.

Caring for yourself = Knowing yourself

Truly effective self-care can only restore you to your "happy place" if you take the time to understand yourself. Honestly and genuinely reflect on yourself. Discover what you are feeling deep down. That's why self-care lists can be difficult - everybody needs a personalized self-care regimen. Self-care can include taking a long bath, calling a friend, or getting a pedicure, but remember that effective self-care restores you to your happy place. If that pedicure doesn't help you move towards joy, it's not really self-care, it's just something fun.

Self-care has one purpose - to care for your body: your physical body, your spirit, your nutrition, and/or your social life. Emotions are one powerful way to gain insight into your self-care needs. If you find that you have migrated outside your happy place, then recognizing which emotion(s) pulled you away helps you discover the road back. You don't need to build a house on Frustration Avenue - analyze yourself and then drive back to your happy home.





Example #1:

You find out that some friends had a lunch date - without you. As you analyze your anger, sadness, and hurt at being left out, you realize the root of every feeling is loneliness. You realize that you've been so busy the last couple weeks that you've missed out on social time. At this point, it's easy to create the road map to your happy place. You schedule some play dates, invite a family over for dinner, and bam! After a few days, you are back at your happy place!

Example #2:

Things keep going wrong throughout the day, and you feel stretched in every responsibility. Nothing seems to be operating at 100%, and it's sooo frustrating. After some deep thought, you realize you are simply doing too much, and you are exhausted. You need more sleep. You decide to turn off all your techie devices after dinnertime and go to sleep by 10:00pm. After a few days, you feel confident again that you can handle whatever life throws at you. Feelings of peace return. Hello happy place!

Self-care requires some thought and some action, but the reward is worth the effort!
It's more than simple me-time; it's refreshing and restorative.

How do you deeply analyze how you are feeling?
How do you figure out which emotional roads you are traveling down?

Try working through emotions on a piece of paper.
Write down a simple sentence like, "I feel ________ because _________."
Then write another sentence like, "And that bothers me because I __________."
Keep it going. . .
"And that reminds me of _______ which hurts because _________."
Keep digging deeper until an emotion becomes the base.
"I'm not _____, I'm really just feeling ____________."

Once you have your root emotion, you know which road took you away from your happy place. Make a plan to return home, and follow through with your plan. Living life in your happy place is awesome. The more you come to understand yourself, the quicker you be able to catch yourself heading down the road of a negative emotion. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you can return to your happy place. It takes time to develop this emotional intuition, and practicing effective self-care will strengthen your ability to truly know yourself.

Good luck with finding your personally effective self-care!
Leave me a comment with what works for you.


January 23, 2017

Why I Will Never March For Feminism

Recent marches in our nation's Capitol and around the country this weekend really got under my skin. I originally wrote a rebuke to the modern day feminist movement, but I deleted it. My words were not kind, and my censure was scathingly long. In hindsight, I compressed my original thoughts down to this theme - I cannot support modern day feminists. Historical figures have my gratitude but not the women who call themselves feminist leaders today.

The anger, the greed, the entitlement, the rage against everything - it deeply bothers me.
The berating, the swearing, the middle finger waving, the vulgarity - it offends me.
The praising of violence and destruction of property - it concerns me.
The constant comparing and offense taking over insignificant things - it annoys me.

Today's feminism is not about equality - it's about superiority.
Today's feminism is not about kindness - it's crude.
Today's feminists don't want to be on the same level as men - they want to squash men under their heels (or comfortable ballet flats.)



Instead, I support womanhood.
I would love to someday march for kindness, patience, and trust. The time for gentle strength has not passed. Women will always exert the ability to shape the world. I choose to identify with the influential religious leader who explained womanhood this way:
"Femininity is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your … capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each … possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty.”

Because I am female, it is easier for me to see the good in the world, to trust my ability to be an influence for good in the world, and to teach my children that good exists!

I echo the words of Margaret D. Nadauld, a previous leader of one of the world's largest organizations for young women. She counseled:
"The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

I choose finding joy in womanhood.
I will still change the world.
But I will never be a modern feminist.
I will never march down the streets, screaming profanities, and hypocritically calling for peace while inciting outrage. I will not choose to be offended at every turn. I will not throw a toddler-like temper tantrum because I don't get my way. I hope to never be a nasty woman. Instead, I will find fulfillment in womanhood, with all its beautiful gifts of intuition, kindness, patience, sensitivity, and gentle persuasion.

The world is full of humans, and so it will never be perfect. But there are better ways to feed the hungry, empower the downtrodden, and raise our spirits than to embrace the prejudiced feminist movement of victim-hood. I can teach tolerance in my home. I can share my blessings with others. I can raise my children to show love and generosity. I can seek out the lovely aspects of our world and celebrate that goodness.

To modern day feminists, I implore - don't make me ashamed to be a woman. Your rage does not define me, and your anger will not fulfill you. Let it go, and come back to the table as compassionate adults, not whiny toddlers. That's how we save the world. That's true woman power.



January 6, 2017

Daily Checklist for a Joyful Marriage

Marriage is awesome!
At least it's supposed to be amazing and comforting and confidence-building
and supportive and sexy and rewarding and challenging and (insert more positive adjectives here).

Sometimes relationships become strained, and sometimes marriage is frustrating. Spouses get annoyed with each other and arguments happen too frequently. Unhealthy patterns can unravel a marriage, so it's vital to nurture loving habits with your spouse. A joyful marriage will have healthy habits supporting its core. Day to day interactions will be supportive and uplifting, while tense moments will be few and far between.



Does your marriage need a check-up? Do you feel fulfilled? Does your spouse?
Check out which behaviors need to become part of your daily routine:

The Joyful Marriage Daily Checklist


1. Express appreciation for each other
Say "thank you," and explain something you are grateful the other person did every day. Every day! The most common complaint I hear from my clients is not feeling appreciated in the marriage. Tell your spouse you appreciate the meal, the folded laundry, the text messages, the diaper changes, the hugs, the well-serviced vehicle, the financial earnings, etc. Couples in joyful marriages don't seek out the bad. They see the good, and they express gratitude freely for little things.
There is power in gratitude, and there is power in frequently saying, "I love you." Every day.

2. Disconnect from technology, and connect with your spouse
With technology managing so many aspects of our lives these days, it's too easy to get stuck in a rut of staring at screens over faces. Instead, take some time to talk face-to-face. Turn off Netflix and listen about each other's day. Go for a walk. Discuss hopes and dreams together. Pillow talk rather than fall asleep to the television. In my opinion, televisions do not belong in bedrooms, and really, any device that keeps you aloof from your spouse needs to disappear around bedtime. It's too easy to waste that last hour of the day playing Solitaire or checking Facebook or watching YouTube until you start sleepily blinking. Tune into your spouse at nighttime, not the TV.

3. Accomplish tasks together
Couples in joyful marriages work together to finish tasks and projects. Either by "dividing and conquering" or completing everything together, these couples support each other through service. This balance looks different in each household, but when balanced appropriately both spouses feel appreciated and valued. It's not about the number of chores, it's about the management of the home.

4. Listen to understand and ask questions
To often people listen only long enough to respond. If your brain is formulating your next response while your spouse talks, then you are not truly listening. Both husbands and wives need to feel heard and listened to, and in a joyful marriage, that habit shows up every day. Listen to how the day went, what frustrations were felt, and which moments were exciting. Just listen. Every day.

5. Touch each other
Humans need physical touch to thrive. Babies that don't receive physical touch suffer, and marriages without loving touch suffer as well. Whether it's a hug, a kiss goodnight, a pat on the back, or cuddling on the couch, spouses need physical contact every day. Talk together about your individual needs for touch. Learn what you each prefer and dislike when it comes to physical contact. Then, make it a daily habit to reassure each other through loving touch. 

6. Make each other part of your daily routine
Form routines around each other; doing so highlights the importance of each spouse. Make your spouse feel worth your while! This could be a habit to share a kiss before leaving for work, or chatting during your commutes, or sending a quick text at lunchtime. Leave time for each other in your daily busy-ness, and make time for each other every day.

Bonus Points:
Go to bed at the same time as often as possible
Ending the day together builds the idea that your spouse is a source of comfort, relaxation, and peace. Sometimes work deadlines or sick kids will keep one spouse awake in another room, but try to make those nights rare. Crawling in bed together allows for extra quiet time. Pillow talk and cuddling nurtures emotional and physical bonding in a marriage. Plus, by choosing to end your day together, you show each other's importance over Hulu, work e-mails, or the X-Box.


Fulfilling marriages don't just happen, they are developed.
Something about the common phrase "marriages are hard work" rubs me the wrong way. It feels so burdensome. I also cringe when I hear teenagers say similar phrases about their future marriages, like, "It'll be hard but worth it." Having a relationship is not hard, but overcoming selfishness is hard. Marriage isn't hard work; continual self-improvement and altruism is hard work. The skills that build joyful marriages are the same skills that encourage a person to be kind, selfless, service-minded, encouraging, and listen deeply.

I hope this checklist helps you nurture a more joyful marriage. As both spouses work towards that goal, with open hearts, you will re-discover that magic that brought you together. Plus, you'll have the strength to continue down a fulfilling and joyful road.



January 3, 2017

Goals and Money Saving Tips for the New Year


One year over, and a new year just beginning. Hello 2017!

With the start of a new year, people think about goals and fresh starts. I don't have new goals per se, but I do want to complete leftover goals from last year. Life is a work in progress, and I hope I am continually improving as I go. Since January has finally arrived, I can nudge myself to lose the last remaining pounds of baby weight and stop eating so much holiday food (once my stocking candy is finally eaten and gone. . .) I'm also excited to get back to the gym now that my baby is old enough for childcare programs while I exercise at the gym. 

Weight goals are super common in January, but don't forget about financial goals too! Last month, I was introduced to the company Earnest, and they got me thinking about financial saving and security. Their company mission is to not only save money but to also teach the importance of knowing where your money is, how you spend it, and what your debt looks like. Adults old and young can benefit from a financial check-up to make sure you're on a sustainable path. Plus, if you are a recent graduate, take comfort in knowing that you can refinance student loans with Earnest and save over $20k!

I personalized my Money Saving Challenge plan with Earnest, which I'll share below.
I often tell my clients to tape their goal chart to a mirror or dresser, somewhere highly visible. Frequently seeing your goals helps channel your thoughts in that direction, making it easier to change unwanted habits. This first quarter, my goal is to keep healthy snacks in my purse and on my kitchen counter. The more I eat healthy, the more my body will crave healthy, right? These last 10 pounds of baby weight have gotta go! The same principle applies to financial goals. Once saving money becomes a habit, it's easier to save. Learning to curb spending desires is similar to curbing junk food cravings - it takes time and effort. You can even tape a picture of the "treat" you are saving for to your own mirror. 








What goals would be on your three month list?
What actions can you take to form healthier financial habits?
Let me know in the comment section. Good luck!





December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016


This year we really wanted to celebrate the meaning of Christmas. Our little ones were at the perfect age to understand (and anticipate) Santa Claus, and we were excited for them! But we also wanted them to learn young about giving and helping others feel loved. We frequently told them that Santa brings us gifts because he loves us, and we give gifts to others because we love them. Tying it all together, we emphasized that wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus because they loved Him, and He loves us too.

We bought small gifts to distribute each day before Christmas, and the kids took turns picking who needed to feel loved that day. After school we took a gift to a friend, a teacher, a fellow church-goer, or a neighbor. We hoped a small token of love would brighten the day of those we visited.

I also took the three older kids to the Dollar Store, one at a time, so they could pick out sibling gifts. I was surprised how quickly they picked out something their brother and sisters would actually like. Of course they wanted to get presents for themselves too, but at least they were happy to choose a gift and wrap it for their family members.

Then, a few days before Christmas, I learned about a family in need. A single mother had just lost her job, and her three children didn't have any presents yet. We gathered up some gently used toys from our house and called upon some other families with kids the same age. With their help, we filled two giant bags of nice toys for this family. On Christmas Eve we drove to their house late at night to drop off the surprise presents. Simon, our five year old, commented, "Mom, it's like we're Santa Elves!" Helping that family made my heart beam, and I hope our kids continue to help people as they get older. It's easy for kids to get over-excited about "receiving" at Christmastime, and at their young age, it's expected. But at they mature, I really hope they remember the fun of giving.

Finally Christmas morning came!!!

I was awake before the kids and so anxious for them to experience a magical morning. When everyone finally woke up and realized their were toys in the living room, the fun started! We took turns with presents, gave hugs for our gifts, and enjoyed family time. Church started at 1:00pm, so we had plenty of time to play and bake yummy food together.







We are so blessed to have four amazing kids, a festive home, working cars, air conditioning (since it was Texas hot outside), and plenty of food in the pantry. 
Life is good. God is great. And Christmas was wonderful.


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