Category Archives: Holiday

Hello 2018, The Year Of Openness!

Happy New Year to all!

And Happy Blogaversary to me! 3 years! It has been a great 3 years indeed.

If you’re a fan of The Middle on ABC, you’ll remember that Sue Heck always themes her years. As does Crystal from Money Saving Mom! I’ve never tried it before, but looking back on 2017 one word definitely comes to mind:

Change.

A LOT changed in 2017 for me. Here’s a list:

It might not seem like a whole lot written out, but it sure feels like a lot.

I’m not complaining! 2017 was a great year. But my ‘year of change’ was not intentional.

Neither was my coming up with a theme for 2018. I didn’t set out to do it – it just happened! Divine intervention, as I say.

My theme for 2018 is openness.

OPENNESS

I want to make a conscious effort to be more open. I want to raise my arms in worship without hesitating. I want to talk to strangers & make new friends without holding back. And most of all, I want to be open to childlike joy. I want to be open to making messes. I want to be open to new ways of doing things.

I want to be open to being led by the Spirit of God.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Romans 8:14

God has done great things for my family in 2017. He can do even more in my life, and yours, in 2018 as long as we cling to Him.

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Homemade Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas!

In my house, Christmas doesn’t truly end until Three Kings Day.

Granted, it’s not quite as magical anymore after the 25th. Also, Cupcake’s birthday is before Three Kings Day, so we do want to pause Christmas & give her her own special day. BUT STILL – Three Kings Day marks the “official” end of Christmas around here. (Also, it really is the end of the 12 Days of Christmas!)

One of my Golden Year Bucket List things was to hand-make most of my Christmas gifts. I can now officially cross that off my list!

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Here are the gifts I made for my dear family:

Snockerdoodles

These cookies were gifted to my brother. I used this recipe to make a cakey crackle cookie (say that 3x fast!) with a whiskey kick!

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Baby ‘Print Ornaments

The grandparents (plus Auntie Tina) received ornaments made from Cupcake’s handprint or footprint. I also helped my niece make some to give as her gifts!

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Inspired by these Pinterest posts.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I really wanted to give a jar gift to my sister-in-law & when I saw the taco seasoning on this post I knew that was it! I deviated from the original recipe a bit & I think it came out great! My favorite part is the decorations on the jar.

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Fruit Cake Biscotti

These fruit cake biscotti turned out even better than I could have imagined! I tweaked this recipe a bit & the results were fantastic. I feel inspired to make more biscotti!

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Did you make any of your Christmas gifts?

 

Operation Christmas Child

It’s National Collection Week!

OCC National Collection Week

This is my 8th year participating in Operation Christmas Child.

I love this practical & hands-on opportunity to give back. When you pack a show box, you don’t just give a child material goods. You give them the gospel.

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You give them Hope. Capital H Hope. God’s Hope.

This year, my husband & I took our 5 year old niece, L, & Cupcake with us to the dollar store to buy the items for our boxes (one for a boy, one for a girl). We showed L this video before we left so she would know what to pick out.

She did a great job! She understood the concept & picked out great things for the kids. She was really fair & made sure that both kids got the same number of items. When we got home, she drew a picture for each kid. We had a lot of fun packing the items in the boxes, & Cupcake had fun watching us.

Then we gathered & prayed over the boxes. That’s the most important part.

We prayed for a better world for the children that are receiving these boxes, but we also prayed for better hearts for us senders. That we may be generous with what God has given us everyday.

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 L had fun marking the label. I always make sure to include the donation for shipping. It comes with the added bonus of being able to track the boxes.

In 2016 our boxes went to Angola. I look forward to finding out where they’ll end up this year & looking up that country with my niece.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have more to be thankful for than ever!

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I’m so thankful for my family, especially my baby girl!

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Less than 9 weeks left to go!

I thank God for all these blessings & hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with love. ❤

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

It’s National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child! This year it’s from Nov 14 – Nov 21. Check out our shoe box packing from last year below!

Mrs. Dessert Monster

Today kicks off National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child!

National Collection Week is November 16-23

6 years ago the church I was a member of while in college introduced me to Operation Christmas Child.

What is the mission of Operation Christmas Child?

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This ministry collects shoeboxes – or really, shoebox sized containers – filled with gifts & essential items for needy kids around the world. Once the boxes are packed, shipped, & distributed, teams from Samaritan’s Purse get with local churches to distribute the boxes to the kids. During that time, the Gospel is presented to the kids in their own language in a fun way. Aside from providing presents & necessities such as toiletries, these kids get to…

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Easter Cake

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday!

Easter came early this year, which happens from time to time since its date is the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring.

Maybe that’s why this year Lent has seemed a little less Jesus-y for me than in years prior. We just celebrated Christmas & here is Easter already.

Nonetheless, just like Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season.

My coworker is throwing her annual Easter picnic & egg hunt. Last year I made a bunny cake & brought my niece with me to the egg hunt. It was a lot of fun.

This year I am so over all the bunnies.

Easter isn’t about bunnies & egg hunts. It isn’t even about family & good food. It’s about Jesus.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

With that being said, Easter is a celebration! Up from the grave he arose! So it should be bright & fun 🙂

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I hope I captured that spirit in this cake.

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Funfetti cake with crushed M&Ms in the center, cream cheese frosting & malted eggs for decor.

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Easter should be fun, especially for children. But it’s that cross in the center that is the most important piece of this whole weekend.

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Happy Easter! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Three Kings Day!

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Feliz Dia De Los Reyes!

Also known as Epiphany or Theophany, Three Kings Day celebrates the revelation of Jesus Christ as God’s son. Wise men/magi/kings traveled from the East, following the star of Bethlehem, to find the child Jesus & worship him. (Matthew 2)

This article explains some of the traditions associated with this day. One of the more iconic traditions is putting straw in your shoes for the wise men’s camels. Kind of like putting out cookies for Santa, right Frank?

Today marks the last of the 12 days of Christmas, & is the end of the Christmas season for many (though Orthodox Christmas is tomorrow, Jan 7).

I still have all of my Christmas stuff up around the house, but come tonight I will do as the Relient K songs says.

Take it all down, Christmas is over
But do not despair, but rather be glad
We had a good year, now let’s have another
Remembering all the good times that we had
Oh no more lights glistening
No more carols to sing
But Christmas, it makes way for spring

Merry Christmas!

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“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cookie Baking

It may seem quiet in my corner of the web lately, but that’s because life has been anything but!

There are so many wonderful activities happening this time of year! The world waits to celebrate when God came down to us as a little baby. The love of God translates to love for family & friends. It really does feel like the most wonderful time of the year – even down here in warm, sunny Florida!

A few weekends ago my friend Beth & I got together with our Kitchenaid mixers & made a bunch of cookies.

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Red & green! How perfect!

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Cow apron!

We were baking cookies to enter in the IKEA cookie contest. We didn’t place, but we should have! We totally made some amazing cookies.

 

Some of our contest entries:

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Thumbprint cookies with lingonberry jam.

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We called this one “Grandma ran over the reindeer”

We had a lot of fun! We also made peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, & gingerbread cookies just because!

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We decorated gingerbread couples, too!

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I think I captured us pretty well!

What a great day! I love baking, I love spending time with friends, I love beef (which we ate) & hot cocoa (which we drank).

A few days later I got the idea to make some gingerbread cookies on my own to give away at work.

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Beth lent me her airplane cookie cutter. How cute! I work in aviation, so these were the perfect Christmas gift to everyone at the office.

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Can I just say again how much I love this time of  year? A time for warm hearts & warm cocoa. A time to turn on the lights & the oven.  A time to give gifts & give hugs.

A time to love God & love each other ❤

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am so thankful for my blogging family, my in-the-flesh family, & most of all my heavenly Father.

Eat, drink, & be thankful!