Looking forward to December {November Blogathon}

Wednesday 11/26 – Favorite Christmas music and what do you most look forward to in December?

I LOVE Christmas music! LOVE! In fact, I get so excited on November 1st every year because that is the day (in my mind) that I can officially start listening to it. I am slowly brainwashing my children into loving it too. I normally only listen to the K-Love radio station, but during the holidays I switch it to B98 because they play non-stop Christmas music. Now that you know that about me, you can understand why it is so hard to say what my favorite Christmas music is. I do have a few favorites that I return to every year though. They are just classics to me.

1. Amy Grant 

I own three of her Christmas albums and they are my very favorite. I have listened to these since high school and still love them. Her albums are a good mix of favorite Christmas songs with her own originals too.

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2. Michael W. Smith

This is another oldie but goodie. This one tends to be more traditional.

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3. Point of Grace

Apparently I am drawn to the old school Christian music I grew up with. “When Love Came Down” and “Not That Far From Bethlehem” are two of my very favorites. Such a talented group of women.

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These are just a few of the Christmas albums in my collection. What are some of your favorites? I would love to add more!

So what do I look forward to in December? I look forward to time with family and I really mean that. Regardless of how cliche it may seem, I love that in December we focus so much on all the people we love. We usually have a Christmas party with friends and several family Christmas celebrations to attend. Being surrounded by my favorite people and getting to slow down and focus on quality time with them is what I love the most. I also look forward to Christmas decorating with my family and the coziness it brings to our home. There is something about a Christmas tree with ornaments and twinkling lights that fills me with happy thoughts. I love the special memories I have from growing up decorating with my mom and recreating those with my girls today. I may go a little overboard with the number of trees we put up in our house, but I got that from my mom. I also love the special time of advent and getting to focus on our Savior’s birth. Even though December can seem so busy at times, I try to make a very conscious effort to slow down and do activities and studies with the girls that will keep all of our hearts focused on the real meaning of Christmas. It is such a special time to remember all that Christ has done for us, starting with his birth. Lastly, I look forward to the traditions. We have tried really hard to start several family traditions with our children and I look forward to those each year. It is so special to us and neat to see how the girls begin to understand that too as they look forward to it each year. I just love the month of December and all it holds!

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Favorite Family Pictures {November Blogathon}

 

You’re going to have to excuse the horrible quality of these photos.  We started having kids back when digital cameras just came out.  Yes, I’m that old.  On top of that all of our pictures got lost when we had a computer problem, so I only have hard copies of them that are in a scrapbook.  So these are scans of the pictures in the scrapbooks.  Sorry.

This is one of our first “family” pictures.

Porsha ChristmasDon’t we look young?!  And we were such a mess.  We had to change into our nice clothes when we got there and we completely forgot nice shoes.  Except for precious Porsha’s sweet, absolutely useless shoes.  Isn’t that how the first kid always goes?  You’re completely unprepared and ALWAYS forget something very important.

Zoo FamilyHere we are dressed up for Halloween.  Porsha is the monkey.  Alexa is the absolutely adorable elephant and Jeremiah and I are zoo keepers.  They’re not in the picture but we had a bucket and shovel.  Cause that’s what our lives were spent doing at the time.  If we weren’t cleaning up actual poop, we were picking up some sort of other mess.  Zookeepers…parents…what’s the difference?

Grandpa B FuneralThis picture is SO precious to me!!  It was taken at my grandpa’s funeral.  These are all my cousins (at least the ones that could make it) and their kids.  We used to get together with these peeps several times a year.  We spent holidays together and even traveled half way across the United States in campers together!  Every time we were together, our parents would make us line up oldest to youngest to take a picture.  Here we are again.  Oldest to youngest.  That’s me on the end.  The baby of the family.  Love them!!

Here is Jeremiah’s Grandma Scheuerman with her great-grandkids (at the time.  There are lots more now.).

Grandma SThis pictures reminds me how beautiful life is.  I mean real life.  We have a crier, a nose picker, a mouth full of food, and absolutely no one is looking at the camera.  Nothing is perfect, far from it, but they all love each other.  Now that’s family!

Here is Jeremiah’s other Grandma with some of her great-grandkids.

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She turned 99 last week!  Isn’t that impressive?  That woman has so much wisdom and knowledge.  It has become more and more difficult to communicate with her because it’s hard for her to hear, but during the last few years she has written almost her whole life story.  It’s amazing to read the stories and hear about her life.  I’m so glad she did that.  She still gives us a hand braided rug for Christmas every year.  Such a caring woman!

Here is one of my favorite family pictures of all time.

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I had my brother-in-law take our picture for our Christmas cards that year.  He has a gift for photography and it just happened to be snowing that day.  Look at Alexa’s toothless smile.  And Porsha was that blissful, precious age where she was pretty independent, but didn’t think she knew everything yet.  And look how small Devin was.

Pictures capture single moments in our lives.  Moments that are easily forgotten without a visual to remind us how real and precious and amazing life is.  What a gift God has given us.  Whether it’s another year with a caring grandparent, a rare gathering with cousins, or just realizing what a blessing your kids are.  Pictures turn that moment in time into a forever memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November Craft Night

November Blogathon-Monday 11/24 – What are your favorite Fall/Winter trends?  

I have already done a fall/winter trends post, so read that one for some fun style must haves.

Instead today I am going to share about our November craft night. This was our last one for 2013. We have had so much fun hosting these each month and plan to continue next year with lots of new ideas too. Providing a group of women a chance to get together to craft and create is our favorite thing about what we do. As always, this one was a fun night with some creative ladies. We were gearing up for Christmas by creating a “JOY” door hanger. I love this twist on a traditional wreath. We always have an example for the women to see, but encourage them to really make it their own. They definitely did that this time. In fact, I don’t think a single one did it just like our example. They each chose to paint their letters differently, add glitter, and decide on a Christmas ribbon. They all turned out great! I am always so excited to decorate for Christmas and this just got ready.

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We had a great lineup of sponsors again this month! Check them out for some awesome handmade Christmas gifts!

 

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I LOVE the cuffs from The Turquoise Tomato. She has a lot of fun designs or you can design your own. These would be a great personalized gift.

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How fun are these pinwheels from kdaviscreates?! Such a fun way to add a little color and happiness to a space in your home.

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Jessica N Designs is full of goodness. She has cute cuffs, coffee/tea spoons, and Christmas ornaments. All can be personalize as well. She also has these super cute shirts that Sami and I wore to our craft fair this past weekend.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.40.26 AMWho doesn’t love a cute coffee mug? I sure do! Everyday Summit has so many cute designs to choose from. Another great gift if you have a coffee or tea drinker in the family.

Thank you to all the ladies who have participated in craft nights in 2013. We have really enjoyed creating with you all and hope you will join us again in 2014. Thank you also to all of our wonderful sponsors. We love supporting small creative businesses.

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My Career Path

Friday 11/21 – What did you want to be when you grew up?  How did that pan out?  Do you still have those dreams?

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I couldn’t resist this picture. When I first started staying at home I remember my brother in law asking if everyday felt like a weekend to me. Uh, sure, something like that. I assured him that it was the opposite. As a mom, everyday feels like a workday.

My career path didn’t end up like I envisioned, but so much better. I should forewarn you that I have tried a lot of different “career paths”, but as corny as it may sound, the one I am currently on was the one meant for me. Growing up I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. That was always first in my mind. I honestly didn’t think a lot about careers and jobs. What I wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and mom. That was it. In high school, you are pressured to think more about careers as you decide on what college you want to attend and what your major there might be. I always felt a little lost in that area. I was a smart, driven, motivated young girl, but I just couldn’t decide on something so big. I hated making decisions then as much as I do now. It seemed so daunting to pick a career that you would do for your entire life. I did at least know that I wanted to go to the University of Kansas for college. That was at least something decided. When I enrolled for my freshman year at KU I chose a career path that would lead me to nursing school. I always assumed I would either be a nurse or a teacher. My love for science drew me to nursing first. Sometime I decided nursing wasn’t for me. I then enrolled in some education courses. That seemed like the next logical thing to do. When I didn’t quite find my niche there either, I was lost. I think I even declared nursing as my major for the second time. Eventually I found myself half way through my junior year having still no idea what I really wanted to do. My older brother gave me some wise advice. He told me that I needed to just get a degree and stop trying to find a lifelong career. It was obvious I wasn’t going to make up my mind anyway. So I met with my advisor and decided to get my History degree. I had enjoyed history classes so I had taken several of them so it was the degree I was closest to. At that point I was so discouraged that I wanted something that I could finish within the four years without having to go longer. So History it was. I graduated with Highest Distinction from KU. I don’t say that to brag. I say it because I should have been proud, but I wasn’t. I hated that I was 22 years old with a college degree that essentially meant nothing to me. I had no more direction than the day I graduated high school. However, Jason and I married 6 days after I graduated from college so that was that highlight. I knew that work and careers were important, but I also knew that family was more important and I was starting my life with the man I loved. Somehow I felt a peace that everything else would work out.

There is more to my story…it took a few more years and a few more times of feeling lost and like a failure before it all worked out. I worked as a manager at GAP for a few years, I taught 8th, 10th, and 12th grade history for a semester, and I even ended up going to a year of nursing school before realizing for the third and final time that it wasn’t for me. I spent so much time trying to find a lifelong career instead of just finding what makes me happy. I felt the societal pressure that I had to fit a certain mold and live up to high expectations instead of accepting myself for who God made me. I am not a stay in one career at one job kind of person. My parents, my husband, and many others are, but not me. The thought of it makes me break out in cold sweats! I just enjoy too many things to pick just one.

So I still haven’t found a “career” by this world’s standards, but I am definitely exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am a wife and a mom. There is no other place that I would rather be and no other job more fulfilling for me than raising my babies. I am also a business owner, entrepreneur and I love it. It is something different everyday and allows me to really be myself. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know that God does. I am choosing to be open to His leading rather than trying to fit a mold that doesn’t fit. For now, being a wife, mom, homemaker, blogger, and business owner is more than I ever dreamed and I am happy. I believe that I have reached success even if the world may not see it that way.


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Prayer

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Do you pray every day, occasionally, …..ever?  We’ve talked in Sunday school quite a bit about the meaning of these verses:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18  Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

I believe these verses mean that the first place your mind should go is prayer.  That prayer should be your first reaction to any circumstance.  That you should have a continuous conversation going with God all day.  He’s always there.  You might as well talk to Him.

Prayer is a gift to me.  It’s a gift that God gives me every day.  I get to pray for other people and watch as God works in their lives.  Sometimes it’s a small blessing.  Sometimes it’s an enormous miracle.  Yes.  Sometimes He doesn’t answer for a while or He simply doesn’t answer at all which usually means the answer is no.  That’s why I keep a journal.  Not only is it precious to me to look back to see what I have prayed for in the past, but it also allows me to see how those prayers that seemed like they weren’t being answered at the time, have been answered now.  And how God with His big picture knew so much better than what I did.

It’s hard for me to talk about prayer because I can’t get the full emotion that I feel behind it.  It is so important to me.  It’s without a doubt the most rewarding part of the relationship that I have with God.  It’s how I know what His will is for me.  It’s how I see Him work in other people’s lives.  It’s how He reminds me that those little things that happened that day aren’t worth getting upset over.  So much happens through prayer that I can’t imagine my life without it.

So if you’re in one of those down times and are struggling with your prayer time.  Or if you just are looking for something different to do.  Find a daily devotional.  They are great for getting your mind in the right spot for prayer.  Most of them even have a short prayer at the end.  Honestly, I’ve been in a slump lately.  I just ordered Jesus Calling because I have heard wonderful things about it, but there are so many choices out there.

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