It’s Father’s Day!

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I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day! I want to especially wish my dad a wonderful day! I’m so blessed to have a Father who loves me and my daughter with all his heart! I couldn’t have asked for a better father in my life. I also want to wish Anya’s father a Happy Father’s Day as well and thank him for creating this beautiful little human being with me.

 

If any of you are aching on this day, I pray for comfort from Our Father who loves you unconditionally and will take care of your every need, wipe your every tear and is a refuge  in every season of your life. He is the ultimate Father and on this day and every day I give glory to Him in all his awesomeness.

Our Advent Tree and Traditions!

In our home Advent has become a tradition and it is how we keep focused on Christ during the Christmas season. Celebrating Christmas is more than decorations, gifts, and cookies it is a time to reflect on Christ and his birth. Advent is a wonderful and fun way to prepare our family’s hearts and minds for Christmas and to stay Christ-centered. We celebrate Christ’s birth in a few different ways, such as an Advent calendar, Advent boxes, and last year I decided to put up an Advent tree on our porch. This is a new tradition added on to our old ones that I’m loving! We also light the Advent candles and read scriptures at dinner (I’ll post a pic of our candles this week) Here are a few pictures of what we do here to celebrate!

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This is a simple tree I have on my porch that has become the Advent Tree! In our house we have a fresh pine tree, but since we want to do this every year I bought a tree last year and we decorated it very simply with burlap, white lights and Advent envelope holders with the scripture inside. Each night we take one of the scriptures and read it at dinner. I also have a nativity scene on our porch.

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We’ve had this calendar for years! I put chocolates inside and there are manger figurines in a few of the boxes that we take out leading up to Christmas.

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I made these Advent Boxes for Anya at least 4 years ago and they are one of her favorite things! I put little treats in them and hide them around the house each day.

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How do you celebrate Advent? What are your family’s traditions? I would love to hear how you stay focused on Christ during Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Incredibly Blessed Mother’s Day

I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother’s Day! I spent mine at the ocean with my girl. The plan was just to drive up for the day and instead my mom surprised me by giving us 2 nights! So we left on Friday and came back yesterday evening. I love the ocean and always feel refreshed after smelling the sea and this time was no different, but just better. We spent our days lying on the sand, eating fries, laughing, running in the water, cuddling and simply enjoying life together! All the stresses I’ve been experiencing lately just drifted away in the tide and I was fully focused on indulging in this beautiful little creature that God gave me in his goodness. I also want to say for all the women out there who have a hard time during Mother’s Day for whatever reason, know that my heart is with your heart.

Here is a snapshot of my weekend 🙂

 

Cruising on up to the beach. Isn't she cool?
Cruising on up to the beach. Isn’t she cool?
We ate donuts on the beach in the morning :)
We ate donuts on the beach in the morning 🙂
She danced...
She danced…
She did cartwheels..
She did cartwheels..
She created safe surfing
She created safe surfing
She was a bathing beauty
She was a bathing beauty
I tried to be cool like her :0 Those are her sunglasses!
I tried to be cool like her :0 Those are her sunglasses!
She ran along the sand
She ran along the sand
We bonded big time
We bonded big time
She's a lover of the sea like me
She’s a lover of the sea like me
There were heavenly moments like this one, when I counted my blessings
There were heavenly moments like this one, when I counted my blessings
I had surprise cupcakes for Mother's Day breakfast!
I had surprise cupcakes for Mother’s Day breakfast!
We ended the day with ice cream
We ended the day with ice cream

We also got to go our evening church service which was the icing on the cake! I’m just reminded that we don’t need a day to celebrate being a mom, there really is joy in every day in this job, we just have to seek it in the little things.

Happy Easter!

We are spending time in Pittsburgh for Easter and spring break!  So far it has has been restful and fun! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Easter celebrating the love of Jesus!

Before we got to Pittsburgh we took a little break in Berkeley Springs!
Before we got to Pittsburgh we took a little break in Berkeley Springs!
We dyed eggs!
We dyed eggs!
I love that my mom lets me do my Easter decorating :) I had so much fun making Anya's basket this year!
I love that my mom lets me do my Easter decorating 🙂 I had so much fun making Anya’s basket this year!
I love my bright beautiful Easter picture from my sweet girl!
I love my bright beautiful Easter picture from my sweet girl!
My card to my family who means everything to me!
My card to my family who means everything to me!

Resource of The Week- Homemakers By Choice Podcast on Intentionally Preparing for Easter

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Easter is a significant day for Christians. This is when we reflect upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this is how we were reconciled to God. It really is the holiest of holy holidays.  Easter isn’t just about eggs, bunnies, and new outfits for church, it’s about understanding the sacrifice Jesus made for us. I think it’s important that our children understand the true meaning of Easter. I’m not saying they shouldn’t get an Easter basket, but I think as parents we should be intentional about teaching our children about this holy holiday.

My Resource Pick of the week is the podcast by Homemakers By Choice on Preparing Intentionally for Easter. Donna Otto does a wonderful job in her podcast giving us 40 Ways to Intentionally Prepare for Easter. These are practical things we can do with our family to keep the real meaning of Easter alive in our homes. There is also a series on Preparing for Easter in 2013 that is 45 days worth of podcasts.

Visit Homemakers by Choice to review the other resources available.

Enter The Lottery for the Easter Egg Roll at The White House!

The White House Easter Egg Roll Lottery is Open!

Deadline Thursday, February 26th!

If any of you live in the Washington, DC metro or you wouldn’t mind taking a trip with the Kids to see the Easter Bunny at the White House then try your luck by entering into the lottery for the White House Easter Egg Roll! The lottery opened on February 23rd and end this Thursday, February 26th at 12:00 pm ET.  Sign up for the Lottery by visiting https://whitehouse.gov1.info/easter-egg-roll/We’ve never been, but I have friends whose kids went and they had a fabulous time!

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5 Simple Tips On Accomplishing Your Goals

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It’s the 2nd day of January and I’m sure many of you are already on the path to fulfilling your New Year resolutions. I think resolutions or goals are a great way to start out the new year. However, I  believe that every day is an opportunity to work toward a goal as long as you have breath in your body so don’t get to hung up on resolutions only for the New Year. So many of us end up disappointed from failed resolutions, so here are a few tips I’m going to follow this year to make it easier to follow through!

  1. Keep Goals Simple– It’s fine to be ambitious, but it is also okay to keep it simple. Don’t over complicate your goals, keep them clear and concise. Write down the goal and the steps you need to accomplish it, it doesn’t have to be long and drawn out just clear enough for you to follow.

  2. Write Your Goals Down– I don’t know about you but, I get serious satisfaction when I cross something off of my list! Write down your goals and keep them in a place you are sure to look at them often. Don’t keep them in a notebook you’ll throw in your desk and forget about. Keep them in clear view!

  3. Categorize Your Goals- This falls in line with keeping it simple. I suggest categorizing goals in 2  ways: 1) By Area In your Life,  for example, you can categorize by your  financial,career, physical, spiritual or family goals or 2) By Month. Think about what you’d like to achieve in 12 months and break down your goals accordingly.

  4. Do a Mid Year Check Up– In January everyone is riled up to make changes in their lives and accomplish their goals, by the time June rolls around that new year excitement is gone and usually very little is done. Give yourself a mid year check up and evaluate where you are, where you want to be and the necessary steps on getting there.

  5. Get an Accountability Partner-Keep yourself in check by recruiting a friend that holds you accountable and do the same for them. Accountability partners should be honest and not afraid to tell you to get with it! In a kind and loving way of course 🙂

The biggest tip I have is remember to pray about your goals and be open to hearing and following God’s will for your life. Be courageous and remember that everything is possible when God’s hand is in your life! 

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I hope you all had a beautiful start to 2015! I spent it at home with my fabulous beautiful and funny daughter! We busted balloons every hour, made cotton candy, watched movies, and opened little surprise gifts! It was a great night topped off this morning by sleeping in late cuddling with breakfast in bed and watching another movie! Can’t wait to see what the year brings! Here are a couple photos of our night!

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Yummy cotton candy!
Yummy cotton candy!
One of Anya's New Year's Eve's treats, a little planner!
One of Anya’s New Year’s Eve’s treats, a little planner!

Scenes From Our Christmas!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We did, it had it’s ups and downs but we spent time with family, loved one another and remembered that the reason we are celebrating is because of the priceless gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. Here are just a few pictures of what we did!

We decorated our very big tree! It's still standing, yeah we had a couple of tipping issues!
We decorated our very big tree! It’s still standing, yeah we had a couple of tipping issues!
Every year we put up our Christmas village. I just want to jump in!
Every year we put up our Christmas village. I just want to jump in!
Just a close up of Santa!
Just a close up of Santa!

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We drove around the Symphony of Lights after going to our traditional Muppets Christmas Carol viewing!
We drove around the Symphony of Lights after going to our traditional Muppets Christmas Carol viewing!
We celebrated Advent. Another Griswold moment happened when the candle after burning down caught on fire! Yes flames in the air, but I got it out thankfully and all was ok!
We celebrated Advent. Another Griswold moment happened when the candle after burning down caught on fire! Yes flames in the air, but I got it out thankfully and all was ok!
We did Christmas Caroling and it was lovely!
We did Christmas Caroling and it was lovely!
We made cookies! Even on Christmas day!
We made cookies! Even on Christmas day!