Happy Mothers Day

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To The Empty Nest Mom who has poured out her blood, sweat, and tears. She has put in the countless hours. She has raised her kids. She has given them everything they need and has hesitantly “let them go” out into the world.
To The Mom to Teenagers who wonders if today they will be friends or enemies. Who struggles through the drama, the heartbreak, the sports, the friendships, the attitudes, the school projects, the messy rooms, the dates, and the college applications. Who at the end of the day is just praying she did something right.
To The Mom to Little Ones who is knee deep in toys, training pants, and tantrums. The one with jelly in her hair and a baby on her hip as she waves the other little ones off to the school bus.
To The Single Mom who fills the role of two parents every single day. The bread winner, the home maker, and everything else in between with rarely ever a moment to herself. She’s longing for a shower, but today baby wipes will just have to do!
To The Military Mom who is at home fighting for her family while her husband is away fighting for our country. Who straps on her boots and does what needs to be done until he is home with them again.
To The New Mom who nurses her little one in the wee hours of the night, overcome with such an in-explainable amount of love for such a tiny little thing that refuses to let her sleep.
To The Mom to Be who waddles around with a round tummy and swollen feet. She’s anxiously anticipating the arrival of her sweet little one as she eats pickles and peanut butter while preparing the nursery!
To The Mom at Heart who longs for the day she will hold her own child in her arms. It is a constant prayer that, for whatever reason, has yet to be answered. So she waits…
To The Grieving Mom who has lost child, at no matter what age, the hurt is beyond compare. A piece of her is missing and sometimes the grief is more than she can bear.
To The Motherless Mom who watches her family grow, she sees each milestone made, and she whispers to herself, “I wish my mother was here for this.”
To The Grand Mom who gets to relive some of the best parts of motherhood all over again as she watches her grandchildren grow.
To every Mom, in whatever stage of the journey, today and every day, I salute you!
Happy Mothers Day!happy mothers day

Holy Week: Preparing our hearts for Easter

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Last year I started a new tradition with our kiddos to help us celebrate Holy Week and to help prepare our hearts for Easter.  I wanted to teach them about some of the events that took place in the life of Jesus during his final week on this earth. I also hoped that it would help them to look forward even more to Easter and the celebration of His resurrection.

So, I did a little pinterest perusing and found several great ideas to help out with this project. ( I’m so thankful for the many other mommas out there who have come up with such great ideas and are willing to share them!) Using some of the ideas I found I was able to come up with a craft or project to do each day that went along with our scripture reading.  Of course, I am always excited anytime we can incorporate our Jesus Storybook Bible into any of these projects so I had to find ways to fit that in as well!

Here’s how our Holy Week went:

Palm Sunday -The Triumphal Entry 

We read from Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:28-44.  Our highlight verse was,

 “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Mark 11:9

For our craft the kids made a “palm leaf” with their hand print to add to our

banner for the week.

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Monday-  Jesus clears the Temple

We read from Mark 11:12-17 and our highlight verse was,

“My house shall be called a house of prayer.”  Mark 11:17

For our craft we drew a temple, a table, and the kids added coins

to the finished picture.

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Tuesday – Jesus teaches at the Temple

We read from Luke 19:47-48 and our highlight verse was,

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  Psalm 119:105

For our craft we made little scrolls and each kid got to put a special message on theirs. Then we added them to our banner.

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Wednesday –  The Lords Supper

Jesus washes the disciples feet

We read from Mark 14:22-15 and John 13:1-5 and our highlight verse was,

“What I am doing you do not understand now,  but afterward you will understand.” John 13:7

We also read “The Servant King” from our Jesus Storybook Bible

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This day, in particular, was my favorite. As I read the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet and what that meant  I also told the kids that I wanted to wash their feet.

Now the ages of my kiddos at the time were 2, 4, 6, and 8 so I expected lots of giggles and “Eww’s”  and “No way’s” but that’s not what happened.  They were actually very surprised that I wanted to wash their feet and they each sat quietly watching me as I called them over one at a time to the water bowl I had prepared.  They each let me wash their feet and when I was finished they all wanted to wash my feet…and then each others feet!

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Thursday –  Garden of Gethsemane

Betrayal and arrest of Jesus

We read from Mark 14:32-50 and our highlight verse was,

Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will. Mark 14:36

We also read “A dark night in the garden” from our Jesus Storybook Bible

For our craft the kids made praying hands to represent Jesus praying, flowers to represent the garden, and coins to represent Jesus’ betrayal.

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Friday – The Crucifixion

We read from Mark 15:16-41 and our highlight verse was,

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

We also read “The sun stops shining from our Jesus Storybook Bible

For our craft the kids made a cross and a crown of thorns to add to our banner

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Saturday – Jesus is Buried

We read from Luke 23:50-56 and our highlight verse was,

“Then he took it down (Jesus body) and wrapped in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, were no one had ever been laid.”  Luke 23:53

This was another fun craft day, we made a tomb!  All you need is a tray of some sort, a tin can, some dirt, rocks, and sticks! How easy is that!  The kids loved gathering up the rocks and a few sticks. They especially loved getting to dig in the dirt to cover our “tomb” and they even picked a few flowers to decorate it with.  We picked out a special stick to represent Jesus, wrapped him up in cloth, placed him in our little tomb, and covered it with a large stone.

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Resurrection Sunday –  HE’S ALIVE!

We read from Luke 24:1-12 and our highlight verse was,

“He is not here, but has risen!” Luke 24:6a

We also read “God’s wonderful surprise” from our Jesus Storybook Bible

For our craft we made Resurrection Rolls and rolled away the stone from the tomb we made to see that it was indeed empty! Jesus is ALIVE!

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This is our finished banner from the week.

This was a fun way for us to teach our kids about Holy Week and some of the things that took place during those final days of Jesus’ life leading up to His death, burial, and resurrection.  I think each day made them look forward even more to Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

I hope some of these ideas help you to begin a little Holy Week celebration of your own!

Blessings!

A Stroll Through November

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A Stroll Through November

November is finally here and with it comes so many things that I love.  I mean, who doesn’t love sitting around a fire pit making s’mores, watching kids jump into huge piles of leaves, wearing warm sweaters and boots, making soups, sipping on hot chocolate, and occasionally enjoying a yummy slice of apple pie! Then, to top it all off, there’s Thanksgiving!  A holiday filled with family, food, more pie, and time to really reflect on all we have to be thankful for.  The month of November reminds me of taking a leisurely stroll through a beautiful park, filled with the colors of fall, feeling the crisp cool air, and taking in the beauty of Gods creation.  During such a stroll, how could you not want to express your thankfulness to Him?  He continually pours out His blessings on us and we should have humbled hearts filled with gratitude.

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” ( Romans 11:36)

September is a busy birthday-filled month for us.  Then, October is full of fall festivities and school parties to prepare for. Personally, I need the month of November, to recover from the craziness, to reflect on God’s grace that has been continually extended to me, and to really prepare myself for December…the glorious Christmas season…and the anticipation of celebrating our Saviors birth!

All too often we tend to let the hustle and bustle of December creep into our November.  We want to make November our countdown, as we await the madness of the holiday season; when instead we should be letting it cause us slow down and settle into a heart of thankfulness. If we decide to stroll through November, instead of racing to December, and really think about all we have to be thankful for, maybe…just maybe, our hearts would be fuller and our December “wish-lists” would be shorter.

This month, as a family, we are going to take a stroll through November.  I want to encourage my kids, each day, to really think about what they are thankful for and to Whom they should be thankful for such great gifts.

My sister-in-law is always sharing new ideas and ways of building up an attitude of gratitude in our families, especially during the month of November.  She and I share a love for Pinterest, where there are endless ideas you can use to encourage your family to focus on thankfulness during the month of November.  The last few years she has used the same tablecloth for our Thanksgiving meal. Each year we have all of our kids trace their handprint and write on it things they are thankful for.  It’s fun to see what their little hearts are thankful for and it won’t be long before that tablecloth is covered in handprints and lists of the things they loved the most.

I wanted to put my own spin on this idea and have something we could write on each day during this month, but still be able to keep for years to come.  Since I can’t imagine a world were an actual, nice, pretty tablecloth is used at a table were 4 small children eat, I decided to go with a placemat!  Each night, when we sit down for dinner, everyone will say something they are thankful for and it will get written on the placemat.  At the end of the month our placemat will be covered in “Thankfulness” and after a few years we will have quite the collection of placemats to use at family dinners!

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This November we are also making a Thankful Tree.  I found this idea on Pinterest and loved it.  It can be done a couple different ways.  We actually made a cutout of a tree to put on the wall and then we add “Thankful Leaves” to it each day.  It can also be done by collecting a bunch of sticks, placing them in a large vase, and then hanging leaves or tags from it each day (sort of like ornaments). Here is a link to one of the ideas I found on pinterest that actually has leaf printables with bible verses on them for you to reflect on each day as a family.

Here is our “Thankful Tree” so far.  The kids love that it’s a hands on activity and are already excited to see how “full” our tree will be at the end of the month.

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These are just a couple of simple ways we can encourage our kids to be thankful for all that they have as we stroll through this month.  My prayer is that it really will fill their hearts with gratitude and push them closer to our God from whom all blessings flow.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Above all else, guard your heart…

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Ok, I’m just going to be real here.  These passed few days my heart has been pretty heavy; burdened to the point of nausea, anxiousness, fatigue, and just plain feeling sick.  Even though several things have happened this week to attribute to my feeling this way, I have to admit that the main cause…really is – a movie.  Yes, a movie, that I will never see, based on some books, that I will never read and yet they have my heart weeping and broken.  I have gone back and forth in my mind on what to say, how to say it, or if I should say anything at all. I am well aware of the many opinions on this topic that have very openly been expressed by many people, and I have decided that my thoughts and words would just be inadequate, so I will use His Word.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  (1 Thessalonians 4:7)

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman (or man) with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her (or him) in his heart.   (Matthew 5:28)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:37)

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  (2 Timothy 2:22)

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.  (1 John 2:16)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2)

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  (Titus 2:3-5)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  (Ephesians 5:25)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.  (Psalm 19:14)

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  (Psalm 37:4)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.   (Philippians 4:8)

 

This Valentines Day and every other day I will choose to honor my husband, to love and cherish him, that he and our life together will be my only desire apart from the love of my Savior.

Blessings

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Random Acts of Christmas Kindness 2014

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Four years ago we started a tradition with our kids were we do a daily act of kindness during the month of December to count down the days to Christmas.  It quickly became a hit!  The kids love doing the acts of kindness each day and always look forward to what the next days act will be.  When November rolls around they usually start asking me when they can start doing the “gifts for other people” countdown.

We decided to call them RACKS (random acts of Christmas kindness).

It’s hard to believe it is already our fourth year of doing this and even though we redo a lot of our favorite RACKS each year I also try to add in a few new ideas each year as well.

As I was looking through our pictures trying to decide which ones to share with you, I quickly realized it was hard to just pick a few!  We have so much fun doing these each year and hope that it’s helping teach our kids selflessness, the importance of giving to others, and showing the love of Christ.

So here’s how our tradition goes:

On the last day in November we always decorate the envelopes that we put up for our “Kindness Wall”.  Each envelope has a card inside with a RACK listed on it.  So, each day one of the kids gets to pull the card out for that day and tell us what our kindness act will be.

 

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I also created a RACK tag that gives a little description on it along with some scripture that we

like to add with all of our little gifts.

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Day 1

Color pictures for our Granny in the Nursing Home

I have a grandmother in the nursing home that we don’t get to see that often so we always like to send her pretty colored pictures and a note each Christmas.

Day 2

Bake cookies for our Neighbors

We have great neighbors that live on both sides of us so we always like to take them treats at Christmas time.

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Day 3

Hand out Christmas Cards at the nursing Home

The kids always enjoy telling the residents Merry Christmas as they hand them their card

Day 4

Clean the nursery toys after church

Usually the nursery workers stay after church to clean all the toys so we like to give

them the night off and clean the toys for them.

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Day 5

Send Christmas cards to Soldiers

I found this great organization called Military Missions Inc. that will send your cards to Soldiers for you.

This is one that we do every year!

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Day 6

Leave popcorn on a Redbox machine

For someone to have”Popcorn and a Movie”

This was a new one we added this year.  It was especially neat because as we were leaving the kids were able to watch as a couple came up to the redbox machine to get a movie, read our note, and took the popcorn!

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Day 7

Donate canned goods to the Church food pantry

Our church keeps a food pantry and will donate food boxes to families in need

Day 8

Leave change on a Coke machine

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Day 9

Leave a gift for our Mail Carrier

This is another one we do each year.  Our mail carrier has always been very appreciative and leaves us a thank you card each year!

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Day 10

Buy a hot chocolate for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer

This was a new one for us this year and it worked out great that we knew the young lady ringing the bell that night!

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Day 11

Put candy canes on random cars

This was another new one for this year that we hope made a few people smile!

The little note on each candy cane reads:

You’ve been RACKED

Hoping this little treat brings you cheer! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Day 12

Bake cookies for our other neighbors

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Day 13

Leave quarters in the candy machines at the Mall

The kids especially love this one because we always give them a quarter to use to get candy for themselves too!

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Day 14

Take soup to the homeless shelter

We do this one every year as well.

Day 13

Day 15

Leave a gift for our Server at a restaurant

We have a favorite Mexican Restaurant that we have become “regulars” at so we have a couple of servers that know us well enough to order for us!  They love our kids and are always so nice to us so we love being able to leave a little extra special treat behind for them after we’ve eaten!

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Day 16

Donate toys to the Goodwill

Day 17

Bake cookies for the Fire Department

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Day 18

Donate books to the library

Day 19

Leave a surprise in a book at the bookstore

This was another new one for us this year.  The kids picked out which book they wanted to put the “surprise” in and we left a little note with it too.

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Day 20

Make Christmas gifts for our Teachers

We always like to make yummy treats to give to our teachers for Christmas.

Day 21

Color a Smile

I found this fun website where you can print off some of their coloring pages, color them, mail them back in to them and they will hand them out to people who need a “Smile”;  like soldiers, veterans, hospital patients, and nursing home residents.

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Day 22

Take coloring books and crayons to the pediatric floor of the hospital

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Day 23

Donate to the Salvation Army

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 Day 24

Take a meal to a family in need

2014 was another great year for us and we always enjoy doing these very small things in hopes of being a blessing to someone else.  It’s been a great tradition for our family and I pray our kids will remember it for years to come.

 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,  you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

Blessings

Her First Moments With Him: Behind The Stable Doors

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As a mother, when I read the Christmas story, I am always drawn to Mary.  I often wonder what those first few moments were like for her as a very young, new mother.  I try to imagine how it must have felt to hold the Son of God wrapped in tiny flesh, the thoughts that must have ran through her mind, the questions, the fears…the joy!

I try to imagine…here are my thoughts…will you imagine it with me…

A baby calf, searching for it’s mother, stumbles around in one of the stables nearby and Mary awakes.  The smell of dirt and hay are thick in her nostrils and she fights back her nauseous feeling.  She struggles to sit up, her body aches from the long journey to Bethlehem and her energy is drained from the hours of labor she just endured.  She sees that Joseph is asleep beside her, “he is a good man”  she thinks to herself and she is thankful.  She is tired but unable to sleep; the night air is cool and crisp and she notices how brightly the stars are shining as their light creeps through the stable doors.  She looks around at all the animals as they sleep and then her eyes are drawn to Him.  Her heart skips a beat and she gathers the strength to lift Him out of the manger.  She pulls Him close to her and breathes him in, she gently runs her hand over his head to smooth his hair and softly traces the tiny features of his face with her fingers.  She can’t stop staring at him.  “You are beautiful”, she whispers, as tears roll down her cheeks. His little fingers clasp around hers and she is overcome with an unexplainable love.  Her mind begins to fill with so many questions as she cradles her precious baby boy.

“Is it really you?” she asks, “Are you really the One that has been promised to us all….the Messiah, the Savior of the world?  Why has God chosen me to be your mother, I am no one special?  What if I make a mistake, I am sure to fail.  How can I possibly be all that you need?”

Her body trembles as she holds her baby close and begins to pray.  She is reminded of the day the angel was sent to her from God and she remembers the words he spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”  A calmness comes over her spirit and her heart is filled with peace.  It is quiet, all around her the town is silent, and she wonders how anyone can sleep when such a child has been born.  Does anyone know He is here?

She whispers to her son, “Our LORD will do great things through you, Jesus, but for now, sleep sweet little one…sleep.” She found herself humming a familiar tune, the song she sang during her visit with Elizabeth, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” She wrapped her baby in swaddling clothes and placed him in the manger.  Joseph is awake now and is close by her side as she sings to Jesus.  Just outside the stable doors, down the beaten path, a group of shepherds are making their way into Bethlehem, they are coming to see a baby…the one the angels had told them about…

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Preparing Our Hearts For Christmas

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I love the Christmas season, it’s my favorite time of year.  I love the music, the decorations, the festivities, the food, the continuing on of family traditions, and the starting of new ones.  But, it’s so easy for the true meaning of Christmas to get lost in all the hustle and bustle of this busy season.  This is the time to anticipate and celebrate the arrival of our Rescuer; the coming of our King!  What a glorious day that first Christmas was some 2,000 years ago,  when Heaven came down to earth in the form of a tiny baby, our Savior had come to live…and to die for us all!  There is no greater reason to celebrate Christmas than this!

Through the years we have started some of our own family traditions to help our kids better understand the true meaning of Christmas.  We do a daily random act of kindness during the month of December to count down the days until Christmas.  We hope to teach our kids the importance of giving and learning selflessness, that Christmas is not about what they get, but about showing the love of Christ and finding ways to be a blessing to others.  We read the Christmas story every Christmas morning before we open gifts.  We bake a cake together on Christmas day for Jesus’ birthday; complete with candles and singing.  This year, we are adding a new tradition, we will be celebrating Advent (The coming of Christ). The scripture reading plan for Advent tells the story of God’s plan for salvation, starting with creation and continuing through the Old Testament to the birth of Jesus Christ.

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I have several friends that do this already with their families and I have always been intrigued by it.  As I have read and learned more about it myself, I think it is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.  In the midst of all the business of this season, it is a great way to have a quiet, reflective time each evening with our kids.  Along with our reading, each night we will be making an ornament for our Jesse Tree.  The name Jesse Tree represents the genealogy of Jesus.  Jesse is the father of David, an ancestor of Jesus.  It comes from the prophecy of the coming Messiah.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

Isaiah 11:1

We will be doing our reading using the Jesus Storybook Bible (which we love and highly recommend!)  If you have the Jesus Storybook Bible already, here is the link  to a great blog where a sweet momma has made up a free printable of the reading plan that goes along with it.  I also pinned the idea for the Jesse Tree ornaments from another sweet mommas blog, you can click here to check out the free printables she has to offer.

Our first night went well, we enjoyed our reading time and we gave the 3 older kids each a different responsibility in making the Jesse Tree ornament.  One got to color it, one got to put it together, and one got to hang it on the tree.  Each night they will rotate these responsibilities.

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If you are looking for a quiet, reflective way to prepare your hearts and the hearts of your children for Christmas, I hope these ideas are helpful.

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

Operation Christmas Child

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The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes

to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world.

It’s one of our favorite things to do at Christmas time and we make it a family affair.  We take our kiddos to the store and let them each pick out 5 fun things for their shoebox while mommy and daddy pick out the basic necessity items like: soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and hand towels.  We also always try to add pencils, paper, and a bible story book.  We have fun, we play, we fill our cart, and we all take part!

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When we get home we pour out all the bags on the table and let the kids pack there boxes full of all the goodies.  My kids also like to color pictures and write notes to add to their box for a personal touch.  Then, we sit around the table and pray over each box and for the child that will be receiving it.  This is my favorite part…I love hearing the sweet prayers of my little ones for a child they do not know.  My four year olds prayer was, “Thank you God, for this day and thank you for the boy that will get my box because he is the best!” Operation Christmas Child is just a small way we can teach our kids the importance of giving, showing the love of Christ and how it can impact another child’s life in a big way!

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In case you didn’t know:

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 113 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries through Operation Christmas Child.

In 2014, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children through the Operation Christmas Child project. They will deliver the gifts to children in more than 100 countries on six continents.

During National Collection Week, Nov. 17-24, Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 4,000 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Operation Christmas Child also offers the opportunity year-round to pack personalized shoebox gifts online. Go to samaritanspurse.org and click on Operation Christmas Child to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement, and “pack” them in a shoebox.

10 things I’ve learned from running

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About four months ago I started a C25K training program.  I had a few friends that were doing the same program and I got inspired to try it myself. I finished the 8 week program and have since continued to run regularly. I still do not consider myself to be a “runner”…I’m more of a “wanna-be runner”, but I’m trying. Here are some things I’ve learned from running:

1. It’s Hard

No joke. It takes discipline and determination.  It’s easier to give up than keep going and if you really want to do it, you have to push yourself.  This is coming from a weenie that only runs a few miles at a time, so to my friends that are long distance runners…you have my full respect!

2. There are muscles in my legs I have never used before…apparently

This is where “it’s hard” and “I’m an weenie” go hand in hand.  Leg pain, ankle pain, and shin splints, oh my! I have become very well acquainted with my tibialis anterior muscle… we have a love-hate relationship.

3. Compression socks aren’t just for hospital patients

So, you can refer back to #2.  Yeah, I bought some, I wear them, my legs thank me!

4. I can lose weight without giving up Mexican Food!

Can I get an Amen on this one…I mean really!  Now, I have switched to smaller portion sizes, but with running I can lose weight without giving up some of my favorite foods.  Feel free to say Amen again if you need to.

5. It boosts your energy

As a momma of 4, energy is something I typically do not have a lot of.  On the days that I run, I generally feel better throughout the day.  I have more energy and I don’t feel like I need to “crash” in the middle of the day.

6. You set goals for yourself to improve

My first goal was to finish the 8 week training program.  My next goal is to run a 5k, I’ll be doing that on November 15th.  Setting goals for yourself is a good thing and I have lots of room for improvement.

7. It’s a stress reducer

Feeling stressed out?  Go for a run!  It pumps your endorphins, improves your mood, and helps distract you from daily worries.  Who doesn’t need a good worry distraction every now and then?

8. It improves self esteem

Let’s face it.  If your losing weight (while eating Mexican food), have more energy throughout the day, are achieving goals you’ve set for yourself, and are a little less stressed, naturally your self esteem will improve.

9.  It’s a great opportunity for “Me Time”

Again, as a momma of 4, if I can get some “me time” I’ll take it!

10. It gets your creative juices flowing

So , during my “me time’ runs I usually have tons of ideas running through my mind.  I’ve remodeled our house several times (in my head),  I’ve planned out several crafty projects, come up with painting ideas, planned parties, created shopping lists, and well…the list goes on!

Again, I’m no pro on running, so this is just a light- hearted list on the benefits I’ve experienced from running.

Blessings!

runner

My 40 before 40

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I’ve always liked the idea of a “Bucket List”  but I’ve never actually made one.  Recently, I came across an article where the writer made a list of things they wanted to accomplish before their 40th birthday and I have been thinking about it ever since.  I kept thinking how fun it would be to make a list of things I’d like to accomplish in the next few years, keep track of it, and when I turn 40 celebrate all the things I checked off my list.  So I decided to do it, I sat down and began to make out my list of 40 things I’d like to do before I turn 40.  I enjoyed making this list and look forward to being able to check each one off. I even have a few on here that I’ve done before, but really want to do again.  I will say though, while I was making this list I was reminded of all the wonderful things and once in a lifetime experiences that the Lord has already blessed me with in my 34 years.  He really has poured out his blessings on me and it has inspired me to make another list; a list of things that I am thankful I have already been able to do.  That list will be coming at a later date🙂

So here it is…

My 40 before 40:

1. run a 5k    11-15-14 “Run to Remember” in Chattanooga, TN

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2. take a family trip to Disney

3. memorize proverbs 31

4. take a sewing class

5. learn archery

6. see a movie at a drive-in theatre

7. go to New York

8. send a handwritten letter to someone…several someone’s

9. plant a garden

10. run a 10k

11. memorize Romans 12

12. pay it forward at a drive thru

13. send someone a gift just because

14. write a short story

15. plan and have a special day for each of my kids

16. Hike to a waterfall

17. dance in the rain

18. eat something crazy

19. pray for/with a stranger

20. volunteer at a homeless shelter

21. watch a sunrise

22. take a photography class

23. enter a photo contest

24. be a mentor

25. share my testimony as much as possible

26. go to an NFL game

27. host a painting party

28. go to an orchard, bake a pie from the fruit

29. write a love letter to my husband

30. get a famous persons autograph

31. see a ballet  – October 19, 2014 Swan Lake

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32. build a sand castle with my family

33. go to a shooting range

34. stay at a bed and breakfast

35.buy a complete outfit for myself including shoes

36. visit a castle

37. help someone in need

38. surprise my husband

39. help write and illustrate a children’s book

40. go on another mission trip

 

I hope some of these will inspire you to make your own “bucket list”  or just set some goals for yourself.  I’m ready to get started on mine!

Blessings!

dandelion