Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Planning- Advent Ebook



Hi Friends!


More Christmas planning-

The next thing I'd like to share is about an Advent study I'm doing. I have never done one before...... So I'm super excited- Recently I was a part of a Good Morning Girls 8 Week Colossians bible study... I loved it. By subscribing to their blog you get a free Advent Ebook. I started my personal study this week. Let me just say- It gives me Chill Bumps to read about the prophecy in the old testament of Christ's birth. WOW! LOVE IT! Click here for the blog- Subscribe by email- and then you can get the free Ebook too if you're interested. I'm loving it! I love intentionally preparing my heart for the celebration of Jesus's birth.

I'm also going to be doing the Jesse Tree devotional from A Holy Experience. I think they are both great! I love having both resources to study from.


So far I've talked about how we are going to get our children 3 gifts each this year. Which I'm totally loving! My husband and I are being very intentional about what we choose to get them..... Don't get me wrong- Our hearts desire is to get them so much stuff! But- our hearts greater desire is for them to know Christ and why we celebrate Christmas. Our vision is for the Christmas season to be totally centered around Christ. Limiting the number of material gifts we get them gives us more time to focus on other things this season. Our hope is to not make it all about what you "get" but what you "give" and what Christ gave us.

I've also talked about how I purchased Truth in the Tinsel to do with my children this year. I will start it next week and take it 1 week at a time. I will plan on Saturday or Sunday's what we will actually do throughout the week. Updates to come!


Thank you so much for taking the time to ready my online journal! Please feel free to subscribe by email and like my facebook page.  I love each one of you and I am so thankful for the community that we can have through Christ online. Everyone one of your positive comments and emails bring me so much encouragement!

What are some things you are doing this your to intentional make Christmas about Christ? What are you doing to simplify the craziness of December schedules?



Monday, November 26, 2012

Gender Reveal Party and Giveaway

Hi Friends!
5 months Pregnant

You guessed it!


We are expecting Baby # 3 in about 4 more months.........


And here is our version of a Gender Reveal Party! Woo Hoo! I love any reason to get together with friends and family for fun and fellowship! (especially when it's for a new baby!)

And what makes it even more fun...... Is that we didn't tell we were expecting until this week! So we announced pregnancy and found out gender all in the same week-
 Fun Times! 







So..... What are we having?               We had our guests help us out....
First you had to choose if you were on:
or         




After our sweet family chose what team they were on.......




We played a Thanksgiving Trivia game to see which team got the privilege of unveiling the Gender Envelope to us. And to answer your question.... No we did not know what we were having...









Some sweet friends of ours fixed up this nice picture frame with the ultra sound picture matted inside.


















While we were at it........  We  had our family write down name suggestions: If it was one gender- we have a great name ready to go!...... but if it is the other gender we are at square ZERO- So we got our family involved with name suggestions.
My hubby and I were on different teams for our gender guess
We are 5 months and just now told everyone! 


Team Bow won our trivia game......... So they voted for my husbands mom to get to unveil the envelope to us..... (This will be grand-kid # 10 for her!)

So what will it be you ask?................
It's a boy!!!! Team Stache it is!


We are super excited to be a family of 5 with 3 kiddos 3 years old
 and under in just a few months!
 What a blessing! I can't wait to Savor the Moments and Enjoy my littles!
He will be welcomed at the beginning of April...........

And if you are wondering...... We still don't have a name......... 

Thanks for joining me for our gender reveal party! 

GIVEAWAY TIME
And to Thank You for taking the time out of your day to join me for our big announcement- I'd like to give you a couple of  super cute things from Storkville...... Plus all her cute baby stuff makes me giddy with excitement and I just want to share it with you! 
Just in time for a stocking stuffer too!
or you can keep it for yourself......

How about these......


Please check them out in her Etsy Shop as I am not a photographer by no means! I love these bows for my sweet little girl. The feather and the bead in the middle make it so cute and vintage. I also love these vintage style earrings! Seriously.... Check this Stuff out in her Etsy Shop!

I will send the winner this cute bow and earrings! Fun! 

Here are a few more of my favorite things from Storkville:
Soft Peach Chrysanthemum Bookmark
Champagne, Gray and Plum Purple Hair Ties : Christmas Stocking Stuffer

Soft Pink Flower Hair Clip with Pearls & Feathers
My daughter has this one! Love it!
3 Shabby Flower Hair Clips (Olive, Mustard Striped, and Tan)
I personally love this one! How cute!
She has the cutest stuff! Plus she's super sweet:)

So how to win:
1. Like my Facebook Page
2. Share this on your Facebook Page
3. Pin It
4. Leave a comment on this post

You will be entered for the prize for every thing you do! Just let me know in the Comments section or on my Facebook Page how many times to enter your name in. I can't wait to give a gift to someone! 
(deadline Thursday November 29th @ Midnight) 

Thanks for stopping by to read my online journal..... I'm so blessed by every visitor who joins me!  I'd love for you to like my Facebook Page and go on this journey of life with me!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

3 gifts each

Hi Friends!

Last Post I talked about how my family is going to do the Truth in The Tinsel Advent Activities. What a simple, easy, and manageable way to intentionally prepare our kiddos for CHRISTmas! I'm excited about it.

I also bought Karen Ehman's EBook Untangling Christmas. This book has some great tips and ideas to help keep you from going over the top this Christmas season. Very Practical. It was a good read for me going into the season. I am more focused and prepared. She has some great ideas on how to make a Christmas Planning binder. I will be putting together my version of one soon.

Also- To help keep things focused on Christ. 
We are only getting our children 3 gifts a piece this year.
(plus their stocking). Jesus, our Savior, who was born in a manger only got 3 gifts. Since we are celebrating His birth... why not follow that example and only do 3 for our children? This will help with the "me me me"  and "what do I get" attitude.
My prayer and hope is that by starting this small tradition it will help in keeping our whole family's focus on Christ and celebrating His birth and love for us.

Getting your children only 3 gifts was a tip mentioned in Karen's book. I've been doing an unofficial survey on all my friends the past couple of weeks asking them how they plan to Christ center their holidays. I was surprised at how many people already do this!

It is an idea that my husband and I have passed around the past couple years, but this year we are deciding to start that tradition. I hope by taking the focus off of all the commercialism, materialism, and "getting"... that we can prepare our hearts more for giving and loving.


More Christmas Planning thoughts to come in the next week :)

Thanks so much for stopping by- Please take a minute to Like my Facebook Page
Blessings,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas Planning-Advent with Littles

Hi Friends~!

Are you getting excited for the Holiday's coming up?
Do they sometimes overwhelm you with all the $$$ spent?
All the planning to do?
All the organization to be done?
The never ending to do list?

Then Let's Get Intentional Together and Make this Season about Christ! :)

I remember one year- I spent the whole Thanksgiving and Christmas season running around like a crazy person..... I baked, and baked, and baked...... Made gifts, and gifts, and more gifts. I shopped and shopped, and shopped some more. I was so serious the whole season and so consumed with my "to do" and "list of great ideas"...... that I never slowed down to enjoy any of it :(

I remember the Holiday season being over and my only memory was exhaustion. I never took the time that year to spend quality time with anyone.

I did not prepare my heart for what the celebrations are all about.

It was not good. From the outside you would've thought that I had it all together. Everyone received cute, wonderful, homemade little goody bags. My Christmas cards were great and about 70 people received one. We ate and ate and ate goodies, treats, and a number of special holiday delicacies. The gifts were all bought. They were all wrapped beautifully. I looked pretty good......

But what you would not have seen is how:

  • I neglected my husband
  • I was grouchy when no one was around
  • I sacrificed relationships for a list of things to do

That was several years ago and I learned my lesson!  So since then I have been striving to make the Thanksgiving/Christmas season be centered around Christ rather than allowing everything else that goes with it become the number one focus. I want Jesus to be our center and reason for celebrating. That takes intentional planning and preparation. 

Over the next week or so I'll be sharing some of the things my family is doing this year to keep it simple and Christ centered, but also having fun creating memories and traditions. 

Here is one of the things I'm planning to do. I am going to do the Truth in the Tinsel Advent Activities with my littles. I have already purchased the Ebook and read through it. I love it!


This is something I can totally do with my kiddos! I am not naturally crafty or gifted in that area. But I feel confident that I can do this.  I love how Amanda has it written out so easily. What a great guide! The supplies needed are simple- and if you don't have them at your house they are all very easy to substitute with something that you do have. The devotions are simple and can be adjusted to several different levels/ages of maturity. I will be doing them with a 1 1/2 year old and 3 year old. 

I'd love for you to do this too! Let's share pictures and our experiences with teaching 
our littles about CHRIST! 

I'm really excited to intentionally plan and prepare our hearts for CHRISTmas. 


I'd also love to hear what you are doing this year! 

Thank you so much for stopping by- Please take a minute to Like My Facebook Page
Blessings,




PS: Thanks so much for stopping by! I want to announce Amanda @ Money Family Musings as the winner of the Thankful For You- Gift Give Away-  ENJOY!

Check out Truth in the Tinsel:    A great advent activities and reading guide for you little ones!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful for You Gift

Hi Friends~!

There have been some people who have been on my mind lately that I wanted to show Thankfulness towards.

However.... if you are like me you live on a budget :)

We sometimes want to express our thanks with an extravagant, expensive, beautiful gift....... But let's be real here..... It usually isn't in the budget!

So here is what I did this week to express thanks to a few friends:




Now.... Let me just say that I am not the "crafty" type..... I want to be.....
But it's just "not me"......
My crafts usually do not turn out "pretty" ..... but they do the job- lol! Seriously... My poor handwriting looks like a 7th grade boy! (no offense to all those 7th grade boys out there who read my mom/faith/marriage/parenting/joyful living blog) hehe

But this "craft" I could manage. 

Here's what I did

1. I bought some fall scrapbook paper and wrapped some Hershey chocolates in them. 

2. Put in Thanksgiving Goody Bags
 (got from Hobby Lobby for $1 for a pack of 20)

3. Use a free printable from Pinterest and staple it to the bag. I printed mine off on card stock.

4. Attach name card on card stock and put a handwritten note in the small card. 




5. MOST IMPORTANT STEP:
Pray Over person and put in place they will find it!

I'll be honest when  I started making these..... They were not for my husband. But as I was finishing up with the ones I had intended to do- I thought to myself - my husband is my best friend and I am so thankful for him. If I am putting forth all this effort to express gratitude to some friends in my life..... Why wouldn't I bless my husband in the same way?

So I wrote a short handwritten sentiment in the card letting him know a couple reasons why I was thankful for him, prayed for him and then I hid it somewhere that he would find the next morning before work.

Overall- this did not take me very long to do. I was able to stay in my budget, not spend too much time, and hopefully let a few people know how thankful I am for the ways they bless me.

Here is something that I prayed over my goody bags:
Lord please help (recipient) feel my gratitude and thanks. Please bless them and make them feel loved and appreciated. 


Now.... I know that there are so many cute things on Pinterest to do that would get the same point across. But sometimes we might wear ourselves out trying to do every new and cute things there out there. We can sometimes be a slave to perfection. 
Don't Be! Relax, Chill Out, and Simplify!

Enjoy your time with your family... Make memories.... Love Others......

Try not to spend your time completely stressing yourself out over trying to do everything perfect. Enjoy the imperfections:)

Give Away Time:
I would like to Thank Storkville for supporting me in my bloggy adventure! I love their Etsy Shop! So many cute and affordable handmade items! I would also like to thank YOU for taking the time out of your life to visit me in my small corner of the web. I want to give someone a small gift of my appreciation..... You can pass it on to a friend or keep it for yourself.   
Here it is:
Let me just say that these bobby pins are awesome! I personally have a set and EVERY TIME (no exaggeration) I wear them I ALWAYS get complimented on them. 
I love them!
And these Earrings- How cute! I love the vintage look! Great for the Holiday's.... 
Oh how cute these would be with a scarf:) 
Do you have a friend that you would like to give a small gift to and let them know how thankful you are for them? I'd love for you to win them and give them to her! OR... If you totally love them.. (like I do).... I'd love for you to accept them as a gift from me showing my appreciation for YOU for reading my blog . 

Do you want to win?- Here's how:
1. Share this on your facebook page
2. Like my Facebook Page
3. Pin It
4. Like Storkville on Facebook
5. Leave a comment

You will be entered for the prize for every thing you do! Just let me know in the Comments section or on my Facebook Page how many times to enter your name in. I can't wait to give a gift to someone! 
(deadline Sunday November 11th @ Midnight) 

Thanks for stopping by to read my online journal..... I'm so blessed by every visitor who joins me!  I'd love for you to like my Facebook Page and go on this journey of life with me!


Blessings,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making your Home a Haven

Hi Friends!

Do you find it hard with little's to sometimes go that extra mile to make things special or have a good atmosphere? I sometimes think about simplicity vs. effort.

Sometimes you can go so overboard with the effort to make things "nice" that you do not enjoy your family or loved ones.........That's called being a "Martha"

There is a balance between going that extra step to show love and keeping things simple so you have the time to truly cherish and enjoy those you love most.

There are simple things that you can do to show your family love and cultivate a peaceful home. I like how Courtney points out that it is NOT making sure you do every cute thing on Pinterest, or providing your family with the biggest and the best.

It's simply creating a home where your children and husband want to be. A home with a  peaceful, loving, welcoming atmosphere.

Recently I got the chance to have a day out by myself and was able to purchase some "home goodies" (at some great deals! woo hoo!)- That I was planning on using for some upcoming company.....

But as I was unloading my goodies and seeing how they looked- My sweet 2 1/2 year old says "Mommy is this pretty table for us?"......... and I thought to myself...... Of course! Why Not!


So- we had our oatmeal and cereal over a pretty set table- Just us- Mommy and two toddlers. Pandora was playing an instrumental Thanksgiving station in the background. We had low lighting, peaceful music, simple breakfast, and a pretty table to celebrate the morning of November 5th. It was a sweet time with my toddlers.


It took me less than 2 minutes to set the table and less than 2 minutes to clean it up.  I would say that was pretty simple. And having a toddler say... "ooohhh Mommy I like the pretty table with candles.... This is fun. " gives you that extra spark of effort and motivation to continue to do special things for your family- no matter what their age.

YOU are the key to making your home a haven...... Whether you want the responsibility or not. We as moms and wives set the tone for the home....... What do you want yours to be?

What kind of simple things do you do to make your home a haven?
We like:

  • good candles
  • peaceful music
  • pretty tables
  • reading books together
  • and lots of playing together and "Doing Life" together..... This is the best gift you can give your children- TIME




Thanks so much for stopping by to read my online journal! I'd love for you to go on this crazy journey of life with me- Please take a minute to like my Facebook Page.

Blessings to you,




TheBetterMom.com
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