Creating meaningful memories this Christmas!

I love the holidays.  Mainly because, I love family time and us all being together! My hubby takes off work, we get to spend time with my parents and my sister’s family.

I am always looking for memory makers and ways to spend quality time together during this season.  Here are a few things we do that I hope your family can incorporate as well.

 1.  We decorate as a family. 

We always decorate our tree and our mantel together as a family.  Everyone does their part, even the baby.  The kids hang ornaments, we blare Christmas music and dance around.  We grew up doing this every year as a family and I love that we have kept with that tradition.  The kids are super excited as we light the tree and all work together to bring in the Christmas spirit.  Sometimes we end the night with a great Christmas story.

Making memories at Christmas

2.  Decorate cookies.

Every year I decorate cookies with my boys.  They love it so much.  We get sprinkles, icing, food coloring and candies and go to town.  It’s such a special memory maker.

3. We go to the movies.

During this time of year there are always so many amazing movies that come out.  We love to find a family friendly one that we can all attend.  This year we can’t wait to all go see the movie SING ©.  This movie looks hilarious and so inspirational.  Also, the animation looks great which is key to keeping my two year old in his seat.  This movie comes out December 21, 2016.  Go see it and enter the amazing sweepstakes here!

4.  We make fun treats together.

I love to cook so this is my favorite part! I love trying new recipes out with my boys.  I want to raise them to have the skills to take care of themselves and also be helpful to their wives.  So, every year we bake something or try out a new recipe.  This year we made a snack that we can even take along with us to go see SING ©.  We used Golden Crisp Cereal ® that we picked up from our local Target.  This recipe is so simple and kid-friendly.

Making Christmas memories

crispy marshmallow balls Grab this downloadable coupon for Post Cereal to try this recipe and also enter the Sing © Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize PLUS a chance to win instantly lots of prizes including movie tickets, speakers and more!

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Print Recipe
Crispy Marshmallow Balls
crispy marshmallow balls
Cuisine snack
Cuisine snack
crispy marshmallow balls
  1. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cereal and mix well.
  5. Shape into balls with greased hands. Place on a wax paper and cool.
Recipe Notes

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What pain has taught me about God’s faithfulness

what pain has taught me about God's faithfulness

” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

(James 1:2-4)

I recently had my gall bladder removed.  I found out that I had gall stones when rushing to the emergency room one night in excruciating pain.  I could tell from the pain that I was going to need some type of surgery but I wasn’t sure what kind.  I just wanted relief and was excited to get it.  Little did I know that the path that would follow was going to be mentally and physically challenging for me in every way.

As I write this, I am still healing and have my daily struggles but I have become so grateful for this challenging time and all God has taught me.  I’ve realized that every time I have grown in a deeper relationship with Jesus it’s been in a time of pain, whether physically, emotionally or mentally.  I am grateful for the pain because those are the times that I rely on Him more than ever and He shows himself so faithful.

When things are perfect, it’s easy not talk to Him as much as when things get rough.  I truly believe this is one of the main reasons we go through trials.

The physical pain has helped me to talk to Him constantly and also hear His voice in ways I know I wouldn’t when things are smooth sailing.  I am desperately dependent on Him to help me each day.  I have battled feeling overwhelming sadness from not being productive or as interactive with my kids as I would like. In this, He showed me that many times my sense of purpose comes from productivity and how good of a job I feel like I’m doing as a wife, mother and friend.

However, I’ve realized that  my identity was in those things more than Him. The Bible tells me in 1 Peter 2:9 that ” you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession..”  That is such an amazing thing and where my identity should come from.

Also, my surgery has had some complications with healing and I’ve had pain almost every time I eat.  As a person who is obsessed with food, this has been incredibly difficult to not be able to “comfort” eat.

He has shown me how much I have worshiped food in my life.  Food has been a comforting tool for me.  Every time I am sad or upset I run to my favorite foods and it seems to make me feel happier.  In the past week, I’ve seen that my need for God is way bigger than my need for food.  It’s helped me put food back in the place where it should be.

Another lesson He has taught me in this time, is how He truly will provide all of my needs.  He tells me to “Cast all my cares on Him, for He cares for me ( 1 Peter 5:7).  I worried so much before the surgery about my kids and their schedules, my husband getting off enough time from work, and how we were all going to function with all I normally do for my family.  I decided to leave it all in His hands and He provided meals from friends, family and our church for 2 weeks!! My husband was able to take off a week to help me and has taken over every possible responsibility! We have even had others help carpool our kids to and from school.  He has taken care of me in every possible way.  He provided every need when I left my concerns at His feet. 

There are so many situations like this where I waste so much time worrying about how things are going to work out but every time God is faithful to take care of me above and beyond what I even thought I needed.

I am so grateful for times like this that are so challenging and God shows us that He always has our backs, that he cares so greatly for us and will never let us down! We truly can rely on Him! He is so faithful!!

Need tips for challenging times?! Check out!  “What to do when you feel discouraged?”

**Share with us a lesson you learned in a time of pain or sickness? Comment below.


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This entry was posted in Faith.

How to host a holiday dinner without losing your mind!

I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias)

How to host a holiday dinner

I love to host and have friends and family come to our house.  I love cooking yummy foods for others to enjoy!  I have found that there are some tips and items I keep in my “hosting kit” to make it through the holidays without loosing my mind.

Take the time to Plan.

Setting aside some time 2 weeks before I have everyone come into my house and writing out everything on paper makes a big difference in my stress level.  There is something so freeing in getting things out of your mind and on to paper.  I start brainstorming and researching ideas for the decor and my menu.

Make a menu & keep it simple.

How to host a holiday dinner

All of us know what we are good at making and what recipes are our “show-stoppers.”  I’ve learned to stick with those when hosting others.  It’s not really the time to try out new recipes on a crowd that might not be as popular.  Sticking to a basic menu is best.

My menu usually consists of items like: Turkey or Ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, macaroni & cheese, green beans, rolls and cranberry sauce.  Add a pie or two and you have yourself the perfect holiday dinner! These recipes are usually hard to mess up.  So, find yourself a simple recipe online and follow it to a T.

Start Early & Rest up.

These go hand in hand.  I make sure that I start making deserts early in the week and do any early preparations that are possible.  Otherwise,  I find myself exhausted for my guest and my family. Spreading it out is so helpful.

During this time of the year, I always go pick up some Motrin PM from Target to keep on hand.

Motrin PM

During the holidays, I rely on Motrin PM to get a good night’s sleep.  After going all day, I really need to shut my mind off and fully relax.  This helps me get up refreshed and ready to go the next morning.

motrin PM Host holiday dinner

The holidays are loud in our home with 3 boys and my nieces and nephews running around, Motrin PM helps me decompress and relieves my aches and pains from being on my feet most of the day.

Reward yourself.

How to host a holiday dinner

Incentives always help me to stay motivated.  Give yourself a treat when everyone is gone.  Whether it’s a good book you are going to let yourself read, taking a nice, hot bath with candles, or a day at the spa, give yourself something fun to look forward to when all is said and done.

So if you are hosting the holidays this year keep my hosting kit on hand: A list for brainstorming, a simple menu, Motrin PM, and a fabulous reward. Happy Holidays!

What tips do you have for hosting without loosing your mind? Comment below.



How to host a holiday dinner without loosing your mind