Free stuff

My answers and the winner

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I suppose first I should announce the winner.

I did say I’d pick a name at noon today.

Just a little late.

Angel helped me pick the name.

I promise we didn’t cheat.

We drew a name out of a hat.

And the name she picked was…

Princess!!

Is it fair to count the Target gift card as a Christmas present?

Hee hee.

Ok, so on with my answers to the questions.

1. We do have an advent calendar. Here’s a picture.

I found it on clearance at Target a few years ago. Super cheap. Can you see why? The #6 is a #15. But we use it as a teaching tool and talk to the kids about not being perfect. (Good lesson for mama too.)  Inside the little doors we put an object or a note. The objects aren’t necessarily related to Christmas but an object lesson to help us talk to the kids about Jesus. Like last night there were two band aids and we talked about being sick physically and how God provides doctors, nurses, mom and dad and such to help make us feel better. And then we talked about when our heart is sick and how only Jesus can heal that. Maybe a little too deep for them but hopefully some of it they understood. And then the notes are mainly activities for us to do as a family. The other night the note said, “Make a string of popcorn and for each piece say something you are thankful for or pray for someone.” We of course didn’t have time to do it that night but are planning to do it tonight.

It’s been hard with my work schedule and being involved in a skit this year with our church Advent services as I have practice every week plus Advent services. So some nights (like last night) we have to do two or three days worth. But that’s ok too I guess.

2. Santa doesn’t visit our house. I loved Erica’s answer – he’s not evil, he’s just not important. That’s kinda the approach we take.  One day over Thanksgiving Angel said something about Santa and Prankster said to her, “Santa is a figment of your imagination.” She looked at him pretty weird, it was so funny.  I’m excited to read the story of the real St Nic with them.

3. Usually Christmas Eve we’ve always gone to Pat’s mom’s house. The past few years though it’s been a little hectic with schedules so this year we’re going to go over the night before Christmas Eve. Grama always makes her yummy soup.  We go to Christmas Eve services and always get a picture in front of the Christmas tree at church. And then with our immediate family we have a special dinner of crab legs. This year the crab legs might just be a small side dish because they are stinking expensive.  Every year for as long as I can remember my mom has done games for us at Christmas. We have to play games or take a quiz or do an obstacle course in order to get our presents. It always turns out to be so fun (and funny)!

4. I agree with everyone, that one is hard with little kids. Unfortunately we didn’t do Operation Christmas Child this year. Was really bummed about that.  One night next week we are going to go to the mall and hand out money. I think Pat came up with that idea when we were working on activities for our advent calendar. It’s just going to be dollar bills probably, maybe a few fives but we’ll tell people “Merry Christmas and Jesus loves you!” and give them the money.  And then I’d like to do either the World Vision or Compassion catalogs and have the kids “buy” something for someone.

I think it’s a daily conversation that we have with the kids about not just getting at Christmas. Mainly because they ask if they can open their presents. Jeez. But it’s a great opportunity to talk about the real meaning of Christmas.

5. Every year seems to be different but this year we are exchanging gifts. On my wish list is a robe, a rice cooker (thanks to Sam’s comment) and any type of material to practice sewing.

6. I can’t really think of a worst Christmas memory.  It’s not the worst but it is hard to think back to the Christmas that my first husband and I brought home our almost adopted daughter.  But at the same time God has taught me to cherish the good memories and there is good from that time too.  Best Christmas memory would have to be the first Christmas I was a mom when Angel came home just four days before Christmas. And tied with that is the second Christmas I was mom. When Caleb came home just four days before Christmas.

7. I do decorate and I do have a theme. Our theme is snowmen and also we went with red this year. Our tree is tall and thin so it fits nicely in our small living room. I love having the house decorated for Christmas and I’m tempted to leave it up all year long.

8. I’m usually a Christmas Eve shopper. Seriously. But this year I did alot online and I think I can say that I’m pretty much done. I always seem to pick up a few last minute things but most everything is bought and even wrapped and under the tree!

Thanks everyone for playing along. It was so fun to hear how you celebrate Christmas and I got some great ideas for our family too. Have a great weekend before Christmas! We will be busy celebrating our baby boy’s 3rd birthday!

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Because the mama needs some adult conversation. And free money is good.

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I thought we’d have a little conversation today.

Hello? Anyone?

Well anyway. I thought it’d be fun to hear how others celebrate Christmas. So here are a few questions. Leave a comment (on the blog or facebook) and comment on other people’s comments and comment on other’s people’s comment comments and so forth.  And just plain “yes” and “no” answers are not allowed. Because I’m mean like that.

1. Do you do an Advent Calendar? If so how do you do it?

2. Does Santa visit your house? Why or why not?

3. Do you have any special traditions for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

4. How do you teach your kids about giving and not just getting at Christmas?

5. If you have a spouse, do you exchange gifts?  If so, what are you hoping to receive this year?

(Go ahead. Email this link to your spouse. It’s ok.)

6. Do you have a worst Christmas memory? A best Christmas memory?

7. Do you put up Christmas decorations? If so, do you have a theme?

8. Are you done shopping?

And just because I love ya, this post is also a giveaway! For every question you answer and for every comment you leave on someone else’s answer I’ll put your name in for a $25 Target gift card.  I’ll draw a name on Friday at noon cst and get it in the mail to you right away because I’m sure I’m not the only one to say NO to #8!

It’s been nice talking to you today!

Regret free parenting

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I’m so excited that Owlhaven is giving away 5 copies of this book, Regret Free Parenting.   Some of the topics that the author focuses on are things we are really struggling with and so I’m hoping I win because I can really use some ideas. And even if I don’t win this might just be a book that I’ll need to purchase.

One of the reviewers of the book says… “I never realized as I did when I read her book, that when she writes about a child thinking of their mother, just how important and PURPOSEFUL being a mom really is…”

If you’re a mom and you’re like me, you struggle with the whole “purpose” behind being a mom.  I know God has called me to this but sometimes I have no idea what I’m suppose to do and I don’t feel very purposeful.   This book sounds like a breath of fresh air and a huge encouragement and inspiration to moms!

Head over to Owlhaven to leave a comment for a chance to win!

You’re all winners in my book

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Happy Monday all.

The kids and I are just getting ready to hit the road to spend a few days at my parent’s house.  I’m sad to tell my parents, sister, brother and sister-in-law that the horses (Buck and Gracie) are now more popular than they are.  We’ve been counting down the days until we get to go see them and every time I say “In 3 days we get to go see Grandma Susie and Papa!” And then they will say, “And Buck and Gracie!”

So on to the good stuff. Angel and Caleb helped me to randomly pick names for my 1000th post giveaways (promise eyes were closed). And here we go…

The winner of the two books is:

(Jenny!)

The winner of the $25 gift to store of your choice is:

(Christine! Let me know your store of choice!)

The winner of the $50 Amazon gift card is:

(Hols! Otherwise known as Princess! Ya! We might have cheered kinda loud when Angel picked Princess’ name. No offense to anyone else! :))

Congrats Jenny, Christine and Princess! I’ll have your prizes in the mail when I’m back from my parent’s house.

Have a great day!