What We Can Learn from Tragedy

I have been quiet in this space. A week ago Friday, the landscape of our country changed.  Good versus evil collided in a way that none could have imagined and it has left us shaken, sad and questioning. It did not feel right to write anything that wasn't related to what is on everyone's mind and heart.  At the same time, life has to go on.  Work, wrestling matches, Christmas preparations. It is a difficult juxtaposition. I wrote a bit about what I am learning from the tragedy over at The MOB Society.  {click on the link to be taken to the article} And, while we go through our Christmas and holiday traditions and love on our families, please lift the families of those lost a little over a week ago up to the King of Kings.  The victims names are listed below: Charlotte … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not Sending Out Christmas Cards this Year

By now, the cards have usually been ordered, signed, addressed, stamped and mailed. The Christmas cards, that is.  For fifteen straight Christmases I haven't missed a year. This year, I just can't bring myself to do it. There's a lot of reasons but mostly, I want to see, touch and love my people--my family and friends in person. I don't want to send my brothers and dad a 4 paragraph letter about the ups and downs of 2012. I want to tell them over coffee and omelettes. I don't want my friends in Texas to wonder who the new guy is in the picture. I want to take out my phone and introduce them to my son-in-law. I don't want to scribble a line about how much I miss a friend.  I want to plan a girls night and catch up over dinner and a chick flick. Facebook and the … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us I wanted to take some time to talk about the effects that this busy time of year can have on our health. Living with chronic illness {mine is systemic lupus} doesn't have to steal your joy and zap your energy. But, it is tempting to push yourself with the amount of activity on the calendar this time of year.  Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself while still enjoying this joyful time of year. Pace yourself.  It is  not wise to plan several events in one day, especially if you don’t allot any time for rest in between.  It is better to attend a few get togethers and truly enjoy yourself than attend many and end up feeling yucky! Remember to maintain  a healthy diet.  Pigs in a blanket and eggnog do not a healthy diet make!  Certain medications need … [Read more...]

Grateful not proud

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind.  We love the land of our nativity, only as we love all other lands.  The interests, rights, and liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race.  Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury.  ~William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments, Boston Peace Conference, 1838 I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I am free. Free to worship my God without fear of persecution. Free to raise my children according to what my husband and I believe. Free to be a woman who can pursue higher education and have an identity separate from my husband. Free. I am grateful that God chose America to be my homeland.  But, pride of country is a … [Read more...]

All Over the Place

  This has been a crazy with a capital C kind of week. We had our YoungLives Christmas party last night with 41 teen moms and their babies in attendance.  It was amazing to see God show up! I have been very preoccupied getting ready for that, preparing for the holidays and getting ready to welcome our two oldest home for a few weeks.  Shayla will be home from school today for 17 days!! Can't wait to see her!  Then, Jason comes home on the 21st for a week and a half break from basic and AIT training for the Army.  I am going to be posting lightly and sporadically until the New Year as I soak up every minute with my kids. I did want to let you know that my first post as a contributor at Homemakers Challenge is up and I am talking about simplifying the holiday season.  You can read … [Read more...]

Controlling Holiday Clutter

Start a holiday binder (a 3-ring binder from an office supply store will suffice).  Create dividers for different categories, such as recipes, gift lists, store sale flyers, Christmas card list, etc.  Then get a flat plastic pencil pouch to put in the binder to hold all the holiday receipts, including gift receipts.  The cool thing about Pinterest (are you following me there yet?) is that it can serve as your binder for many projects including decorating, crafts and recipes. Incoming holiday cards- find creative ways to display incoming holiday cards.  Some ideas include finding an attractive holder (they sell some at www.lillianvernon.com as well as other places)  You can also use scotch tape and tape them around a door or onto kitchen cabinets.  Punch a whole in the corner and use red … [Read more...]

Using Pinterest to get organized for Christmas

alternately titled My New Addiction to Pinterest. The Type A organizer in me has a holiday binder where I would clip ideas and recipes and tradition ideas that I have come across over the years.  It has been my planner for memorable holidays over the years. Now, I have a Holiday Inspirations board on Pinterest. And, the need for clipping, keeping and flipping through pages has expired.  I am like at kid at Christmas {yes, pun intended} I will still make note of the wrapping supplies I have leftover from the previous year so I can shop sales but don't need my binder anymore.  And, I am excited about that! How do you get organized for the holiday season? … [Read more...]

Preparing for Thanksgiving

I love autumn. It is my favorite time of year and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Sometimes, we are in danger of losing the celebratory nature of this holiday in the there-are-only-SIX-weeks-until-Christmas madness that accompanies this time of year. I fight that temptation hard in our home.  A posture of gratitude is crucial to living a happy and fulfilled life. What better place to start than the holiday named Thanksgiving? Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever. ~Psalm 136:1 Here are some things we do to commemorate this holiday and make it a special time for our family: Decorate the house. Yes, I bring out the Thanksgiving decorations for a week and then put them away until the next year {every year my husband thinks I'm crazy when … [Read more...]

In plenty…

Christmas shopping has been difficult for me this year. My kids don't need anything, certainly not anything on their Christmas list. We have clothes, food, a warm and comfy home. We have extra's like video game stations, cell phones, iPods and more. Usually by this time of year I am done my Christmas shopping {weeks ago in fact} and everything is wrapped and under the tree. Right now, this year, there is nothing under our tree.  I haven't wrapped a thing, I didn't even buy anything until last week. And I didn't enjoy the purchase, the thrill of the good bargain chase like I usually do. I wanted to scrap the whole gift giving thing all together.  Take our Christmas budget and donate it all.  The hubby and I have discussed Christmas up one side and down the other this year. I … [Read more...]

Tis the Season

It is here.  The holiday season. That time of year that can invoke feelings of inadequacy, exhaustion {mental and physical}, comparison and envy. Or is it just me that has done battle with the keeping-up-with-the-neighbors, decorate-till-you-drop, spend-money-you-don't-have itis of the Christmas season? My childhood did not include many happy holidays. So a young girl made a vow in her hurt, lonely heart that her future children would enjoy the holidays to the nth degree and for many years I darn near killed myself in pursuit of {what I thought} was the perfect holiday tradition. Over the last few years, as God has been doing His work of cultivating and pruning in the garden of that hurt, lonely heart, the way I view this time of year has changed. While hanging homemade ornaments … [Read more...]

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