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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

letter to Santa

Ryder hasn't quite every been "old enough" to write a letter to Santa, but boy have things changed this year!  It might have taken us two nights...and a few fights later...but we got it done!  I knew he could do it and I wanted him to do it!


It ended up being three pages long.  He told me what to write out, I wrote it, and then he copied it letter for letter, word for word.

"Dear Santa, I want you to have a good Merry Christmas with your elves.  If you think I've been good, I want..." and then I let him attach his picture! ;)
We folded that baby up and stuffed it in a red envelope and went outside and put it in the mailbox!  I can't wait to compare his letter to Santa next year to this one!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

blessing ring [Christmas]

Last night one of our Advent Activities was to look at our Christmas Blessing Ring.  I've shared this with you before, but it's worth a repeat and I am SO thankful I started this 4 years ago and we have all those cards to look at every year now and in the future!


Here is the Jewelry loop I used to get things started!  Just add some cute ribbon and some cards and you are good to go!  Hang it on a lamp or even on a door handle that isn't used often!  You can read exact directions from my past post HERE.  

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

cinnamon butter [YUMM!]

I tried an easy new recipe that would make a great gift for people you wouldn't normally "buy" a gift for.  I let my family be the testers at Thanksgiving and then they all got a jar to take home with them!  It was a hit for me...and they at least acted like they liked it!  ;)  I made sure and snuck home with all the left over homemade crescent rolls from Nana, so I could eat them with my cinnamon butter!  ENJOY!


Whip ingredients together using a Kitchen Aid, beaters or food processor until whipped.  Can in jars (I just used old ones I've collected over the past year).  You can always double or half the recipe! 






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Monday, December 1, 2014

children's Christmas books

Since Ryder was born, I've had my eye out for good quality Christmas books to create a "collection".  I wanted us to have a variety to read during the joyous Christmas season.  Most of these are just fun books to read that have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas--but we have a few of those as well!  This is not our complete list but I wanted to share some of our favorites with you!

Miracle in a Shoe Box//This goes along with Operation Christmas Child and I wish I would have had it out to read to Ryder before we did our show boxes, but he still enjoyed reading it.  I've had this since my brother and I were little.  Great to help kids understand Operation Christmas Child a little bit better, even though we/they will never truly "get it".

The Elf on the Shelf//The classic book that comes with all Scout Elves!  We read this at our North Pole Breakfast

Can't Wait Till Christmas//I just bought this because of the author, and it was a signed copy! ;)

The Very First Christmas//This is one of Ryder's favorites, because it's a recordable book and we had Papaw record it for us a few years ago.  He says, "This book is dedicated to Kati and her son Ryder, read by your Papaw" and Ryder just thinks that is the coolest thing.  It's not my favorite book of The Christmas Story, but I bought it for the recordable purpose.  

Charlie and the Christmas Kitty//This is written by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

Merry Christmas Curious George//We LOVE CG so we had to have this! I think I found this at a local Goodwill!  SCORE!

The Gingerbread Pirates//TJ Maxx score, but haven't read it yet!  I just thought R would like it!

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer//A classic!  Goes along with the movie, a bit long but we like it! 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas//Another classic that goes along with the movie.  A bit long for one setting, but Ryder enjoys it.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift//This is new to us this year and we will be starting it today.  It's a beautiful illustrated and written book by Ann Voskamp.  I'm doing my own Advent with She Reads Truth, but I wanted something I could do with Ryder and this is what I decided on.  I'll have more to report after Christmas on how it went! =)

Jolly Old Santa Claus//Your regular ole' Santa book--nothing more!  ;)  But we can't forget about him in our book collection!

The Pine Tree Parable//This is another one from my book collection from when I was little.  Great story and lesson in the book.  A great reminder to remember the less fortunate during this exciting time.  

I don't think our collection will ever stop growing.  I try and buy hardbacks so that they will withstand all the years ahead of them.  I hope Ryder will bring his kids back to my house one day and be able to read these same books to them that hold so many memories for him from when he was a kid!  =)

What books do I need to add to our collection?  What books did you read as a kid that are must reads for your kids during the Christmas season?   We still have time to order a few from Amazon! ;)
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

gift guide (techy friends)

I asked my friend Nick for some help to come up with this list for you guys, and I am so glad that I did!  Here's what he came up with and said that all your tech-y friend would LOVE to find underneath the Christmas tree this year!  


1.  Pebble Watch--With the Apple watch releasing in early 2015 at a price tag of $300.00 and higher, the watch market has been very busy.  The Pebble Watch does some of the "key" features the Apple watch does, ie:  notifications, long battery life, water resistant, fitness tracking, and readable in daylight at a fraction of the cost.  The base price starts at $99.00  

2.  Jawbone--Music is everywhere and everywhere is music.  Having the ability to have good quality sounding speakers in your office, in your bedroom, or in your bathroom while you are getting ready in the morning is everything.  Jawbone has good quality products, you pay for the quality, however the new "mini jambox" costs about the same as Beat's Pill.  I choose Jawbone of the overly eq bass of Beat's Pill.  I love Beat's head phones, but low the Jawbone Mini for a portable speaker. 

3.  Hyper Juice Mini--No matter what the IOS updates say, NOTHING helps battery life.  I have to charge my phone throughout the day.  I'm always on it, always connected, always texting, always e-mailing and always browsing through hundreds of Instagram photos.  You can find a battery powered phone charger, but the Hyper Juice Mini has 2 USB ports, so you can simultaneously charger your phone and tablet all at one.   

4.  Monoprice eGift Card--Seems like I can never have enough phone chargers, HDMI cables, USB cables to hook up a printer, etc. etc....STOP paying Best Buy/Wal Mart or any other department store mark-ups!!  Order from Monoprice!  iPhone 5 cables for $12, HDMI cables that run $39.99 at Best Buy, cost $4.41 on Monoprice.  Monoprice allows you to order 9 cables for the price of 1 at a near by department store.  For Christmas, send someone an eGift Card from Monoprice!  

Thank you so much Nick for your contribution!  Now, get to shoppin!  ;)
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