Sunday Scripture: Temple

“Your body is a temple.”

How many times have I heard this snibbet of a Bible Verse?  It’s sprinkled all over the Pre-Tween Christian parenting resources that I’ve been scouring recently…especially the ones on how to talk to our kids about their bodies and sex (Can you believe it’s almost “The Talk” time?!?!).  So, that’s what I associate that verse with.  Sexual morality and respecting our bodies.  But then, the rest of the verse….

“So glorify God in your body.”

In other words….

Sunday Scripture: Temple {How are you REALLY treating yourself?}

Sunday Scripture Image is from The Daniel Plan book

There are so many other ways to take care of this physical vessel God has given us.  And although I don’t usually do New Year Resolutions, the start of each year does make me contemplate what my priorities should be.  And this year, this verse really resonated with me.  Maybe it’s because I’m once again running a Biggest Loser Challenge on Facebook; my mind has been wrapped around creating nutritional and physical challenges, as well as motivational and accountability ideas for everyone participating.

If you’d like to join our challenge, head over to our Facebook page {Biggest Loser 2017} and request to join…we’ll get you all set up!  But hurry!  Registration ends tomorrow… Monday, January 9th! 

Sunday Scripture: Temple {How are you REALLY treating yourself?}

Sunday Scripture Image found on A Merry Life, but originally tagged from Peak 313

And now that my feet are healthy again, I’m back in full swing at Bootcamp.  Where the emphasis is strength, power and endurance.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m really hoping that the weight loss piece will also be in there.  But I’m ok with focusing on the long-game.  Now that I’m done having kids, and I’m getting closer to *ahem* middle age, I’m more concerned about keeping my body and mind as healthy as possible for the rest of my life.

Emphasis on “mind” as well.  I’m fully aware of how busy life is, and how thin I am constantly being stretched.  So part of this Sunday Scripture is also my reminder to take a break.  Do something that gives me joy.  Rest.  Take care of ALL of myself….so I can be a better servant to God, my husband and my kids.  Cuz we all know that if Mom’s down, the whole house is down!

Have a blessed week!

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A New Year’s Challenge!

Happy New Year!  Hope y’all had a wonderful holiday break.  We had a blast with a ton of family in town.  Then my parents took the kiddos for a few days so Dave and I could work on a few house projects.  And, I’m working on a special project this year that I’m really excited about….more on that later!

But, I just wanted to share with you that Dave and I are once again hosting a New Year’s Biggest Loser Challenge.  It’s open to EVERYONE!  And it’s only $25 to play.  There will be weekly challenges and motivation….I’d love for you to play along with us!  Here’s the link to sign up, we’ll be starting on January 9th!

Biggest Loser 2017 Challenge {Facebook Group}New Year's Biggest Loser Challenge 2017!  Join the challenge and make a change!And in case you need some other motivation or ideas, here’s the link to one of my most popular posts from when I WON a Biggest Loser Competition and lost over 30lbs in 15 weeks.  There’s some worksheets on there, and some of my diet and exercise examples.

Let’s start the new year out right and start making some changes!

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Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  I wish you a New Year full of joy, hope and peace!  See you next year!Merry Christmas Card 2016

Christmas Trees on the Square

We have thought about moving many, many times.  But when it comes down to it, our friends and our town are completely irreplaceable.  We live in a small town.  Not tiny, for sure…and definitely sprawling by the minute.  But it’s still a small town.  We have only lived here for 12 years, and yet we see people we know all day long when we are out and about.  I love that.  Even though I’m not so keen on the chit-chat, I like knowing my neighbors.  I like that my kids will “hang out” in areas where adults know them.  You know, eyes everywhere!A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.And as for the atmosphere of the town itself…couldn’t be more perfect.  You get off of the interstate and pass by the required Target, Cracker Barrel, and Lowes.  But drive another mile down the road, and you’re transported to a one horse town {with a lot more traffic….}  The center of “downtown” is called Hutchinson Square.  It’s a little park surrounded by an old fashioned theatre, Mom & Pop shops, antiques and coffee shops.  At one end is the railroad tracks, at the other is Town Hall, with a big Christmas Tree in front.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.In addition to weekly Farmer’s Markets, Third Thursday {wine, shopping and entertainment}, and seasonal parades, there is a huge Christmas party to celebrate the lighting of the town Christmas tree.  And the other “Christmas Trees” that surround the park, sponsored by local groups and businesses.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.I put that in quotations because some of these groups get very creative in their interpretations of a Christmas tree!A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.F3 and FIA are two workout groups that are huge in our town.  Dave is one of the leaders of F3 {the guys version}…they work out, hang out, and pray together-for free.  Daily.  In multiple locations.  It is by far the best thing that has happened for Dave in a long time.  Not only is he healthier and stronger, but this group of guys has provided him the Christian fellowship that has made him such a great role model in our house and in our community.  F3’s tree is a great representation of their group,  They work out with very little equipment….mostly tires, cinder blocks and telephone poles!  And every guy that shows up for a workout gets a nickname.  Dave is “Picasso.”A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square.A tour of our town's Christmas Trees on the Square. Hope you enjoyed taking a little tour of our Christmas Trees on the Square!

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Thank You for Bedtime

I’m not really sure how we fell into the pattern, but when we are both home and available, my husband and I divvy up the bedtime routines.  And somehow, he usually ends up putting the girls {who are 5 and 7} to bed, while I put “the baby” {who is 2} down.

I’m sure our little system started back when I was ginormously pregnant and physically unable to lean over the bathtub to bathe the girls.  Or maybe when I was constantly nursing a newborn, trying to convince him to sleep in his nursery while his sisters giggled next door with their daddy.  Either way, somehow the tradition has stuck that Mama puts “the baby” down.

I know, I know.  He’s hardly a baby anymore.  He’s just about two and a half now, and almost as verbal as my 7 year old.  He’s potty trained, knows all of his letters, and goes to pre-school three days a week.  Let’s face it…he’s well on his way to being a little kid.

But.  He’ll always be my baby.  I mean, all three of them will always be my babies…but he is my final baby.  Admitting that is hard for me to do.  Although I panic at the thought of being pregnant again or having to start all over, I also envy the tiny snores and sweet baby toes that my new mama friends still get to enjoy.  I’ll always be up for snuggling the closest available baby, but I fully recognize that it won’t be my own.  And as ready as I am for the next phase of my family life, I tear up  even as I type this.Dear Husband, thank you for bedtime. #motherhood #parenting #baby #children #finalchild And so, I’d like to thank my husband.  My better half.  My baby-daddy.  For letting me have bedtime.  For letting me completely coddle that almost-two-and-a-half year old for awhile each night.  For letting me read him too many stories, sing him too many songs and then turning out the light and just rocking him for a few more minutes.  I cherish those little moments.  And he loves them too…I know this because I never have to coax him up into my lap or to even turn around and lay his sweet head down on my chest.

During the day, I’m your average mommy….often annoyed at his two-year-old antics.  I don’t use baby talk with him, I encourage him to clean up after himself, and  give him choices to encourage his independence.  Soon we’ll be fighting over dirty clothes on the floor and unfinished homework.   But for now, after bath time, he gets my undivided attention and the chance to be a complete “Mama’s boy.”  And because his daddy is willing to put “the big girls” to bed every night, I get to soak up a few more precious moments with “my baby.”

Thank you dear husband, for bedtime.

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Sunday Scripture: Christmas Peace

We are officially in the countdown to Christmas…according to the numerous Advent calendars dotting the walls of my house.  And even though it’s a time of celebration, family and tradition, it also carries a lot of pressure and stress with it.  For those who have lost loved ones, it’s a difficult time full of memories.  And for those that celebrate the holidays with a happy heart, there is still *everything* that needs to be done.5daa855867fe9b4beb474de75b2cc912Sunday Scripture image courtesy of Nicki Koziarz

Decorating, shopping, cooking, planning, creating, shopping, Christmas cards, cookie swaps, class parties, picking out a tree, Advent, ornaments, wrapping, Eggnog, reindeer, Elves on Shelves, visiting Santa, holiday lights, church, Christmas outfits, shopping, eating, cleaning, hosting….

Can we all just agree not to judge each other?  That way, maybe we can take a breath, relax, and just enjoy the blessings that come with Christmas.

Have a blessed week!

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A DIY Farmhouse Christmas

Well, the pecan pie isn’t even gone yet at my house, but we’ve already decorated for Christmas.  It’s a little tradition we have, decorating the house on the day after Thanksgiving.  Nothing like rushing into the holidays….but with good reason.  We LOVE Christmas, for obvious reasons {baby Jesus, duh}, but also love the look/feel/smell of it around our home.It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....This year has been really fun because all three of the kids are finally big enough to really help out and get into the decorating.  And this is the year {*sigh*}, that Dave has convinced me to let him Griswald the outside of the house.  Insert eye-roll here.

But on the inside, we are keeping it classy.  And for all of you poor folks who have not discovered the Pinterest rabbit hole yet, you are missing out.  Christmastime is my absolute favorite for perusing Pinterest.  I just love looking at all of the decorating ideas, house tours, recipes and crafts.  Want to see what’s on my Christmas board?  Be sure to follow me to see what else I’m into.  My absolute favorite is a Farmhouse Christmas.DIY ideas and tutorials to create a Farmhouse ChristmasIt’s all so pretty and simple.  And yet, most of it would be really easy to create.  I’d love to say I’ll have the time to do all of these things, but let’s be honest….I’ll spend half of that time “researching” on Pinterest!  {like I said before, it’s a complete rabbit hole!}.  So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Farmhouse Christmas decor ideas that I’ve stumbled across.  Some, you can buy.  But most of them would be easy enough to create yourself!

I’ve linked all the pictures to their sources, and have tried to link as many keywords as I can to sources to purchase the materials.  I am an Amazon associate, so anything I link to Amazon.com will help out this blog a teeny bit when you purchase {with no additional cost to you}.  Thanks in advance!DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse ChristmasSo, let’s talk containers.  I feel like its pretty easy to give any green plant a wintry feel with a red bow and a galvanized home to sit in.

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Liz Marie Blog

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Farmhouse 5540

DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Uncommon Designs

In case you don’t have a galvanized bucket or five, make your own!  Grab metal paint pail from Amazon and follow the directions on Uncommon Designs to make it look weather worn.DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Finding Home Farms

Even if you aren’t a fan of the galvanized look, there are other ways to incorporate Christmas into your containers easily.  Paint a mason jar, or just use white vases or pitchers to display greenery or flowers.  I have three different sizes of the Ikea White Sockerart Vase that I plan on doing this with.DIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Love Grows WildDIY Rustic Christmas Containers....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Back Porch Musings

Ok, moving on to tree trimmin’s…some of the easiest DIY  Farmhouse Christmas projects out there!DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse ChristmasWe have our big Christmas tree in the living room, with presents underneath, but also have several smaller trees throughout the house.  Every year I tell myself I’m gonna make the trees themed…one with the kids’ ornaments on it, one with a more rustic theme, one with the breakable stuff, one with just our family vacation ornaments….I could go on and on!

These little stars remind me of the canvas heart garland I made a couple of years ago….some simple sewing with felt and you wouldn’t even need to finish the seams off!DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

Oi Soi Oi

We have no shortage of pine trees in our neighborhood, and the kids already collect pinecones on each walk….a little hot glue and burlap to make them festive for your tree!  Although…I’ve heard you should stick them in your oven for a bit to kill any bugs that might live in them.  Not sure if that is true or not, but it might be worth a try!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Pine Cone Shoppe

Everyone’s got those old metal cookie cutters that haven’t seen a cookie in decades and are now {kinda} used for playdough….except the kids are weirded out by their odd, ambiguous shapes and would rather make ice cream cones in the coveted “factory.” So snag those slightly rusty metallic shapes and slap some hot glue and twine on them too!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

The DIY Dreamer

We’ve replaced most of our solid glass ball ornaments with the “shatterproof” versions, which I highly recommend if you have kids, pets or husbands.  But I found a few of our old colored balls that had made it through the years.  Rather than risk putting them on the tree, I think I’m gonna try wrapping them in burlap and twine.  Not only will that protect the ball from exploding shards everywhere when it is inevitable dropped or squeezed, but will provide a little texture to the tree as well.

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Hobby Lobby

And maybe it is my Type A personality, but I love the look of simple, cohesive presents under the tree.  I inherited a whole bag of Christmas wrapping paper that I’ve been spending the last 10 years trying to use up….one roll at a time.  So I pick a new design for each year!
DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

-Just Imagine

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Ornaments ....ideas and tutorials for creating a Farmhouse Christmas

These Four Walls

Finally, my favorite….the finishing touches on a creating a Farmhouse Christmas!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse ChristmasI love the simplicity of this set of three paintings.  I wish I could say I had the artistic talent to replicate them!  Luckily, Cherry Tree Gallery sells them on Etsy!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Cherry Tree Gallery

Here’s another one you can get on Etsy from In Mind 4U.  It would be perfect for the mantle or on the console table in my hallway.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-In Mind 4U

I’m seeing more and more decorating ideas for around the house.  In the past, we’ve only decorated our main living area, and the outside of the house.  Even our kitchen {which is in our main living area} has been neglected!  But I’d love to start incorporating some Farmhouse Christmas decor throughout the entire house.  I love the above print….I think I’d sneak it into some holiday decor in the kiddo’s bathroom… #subliminalmessages
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Bonnie Lecat

Another idea for integrating the holidays throughout the house is to replace your wall pictures with seasonal prints.  Anderson and Grant has a great tutorial on making these four wall hangings…beautiful!
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-Anderson and Grant

And everyone knows that pillows and throws are an easy way to transform any space.  I’m loving the buffalo check flannel that seems to be popular this year.  Check out my post on how to make quick slip-cover pillowcases.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas-On Sutton Place

Channel your 14 year-old self, covering your biology book with a paper bag.  Easy enough to do with any books around your house…simple lettering of seasonal book titles on the spines and tied with a festive ribbon.
DIY Rustic Christmas Signs and Decor ....ideas and tutorials on creating Farmhouse Christmas

Jones Design Company

I hope you enjoyed looking at all the beautiful ideas on this post, and maybe you can find some simple ways to instill a little Farmhouse Christmas into your decor!

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Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables

Happy December!  We are bustling around trying to finish the decorations and start planning for the holidays.  So far, I’m ahead of the game….my to-do list today includes sending out Christmas Cards!! {Yes! This year you’ll get them before Christmas!}  family-with-frameSo once again, I want to share with you the Holiday Planner that I created a couple of years ago.I’ve used it two years in a row so far and it has been a life saver.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  And when it came to Christmas cards, I needed a place to record who I’ve sent to in the past, and who I received from.  And, {don’t tell my family!} I also keep track of presents as I buy throughout the year too!Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized! Palmettos and Pigtails

****Disclaimer****

Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

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Love it? Pin it! Share it! Tweet it!

Sunday Scripture: Thankful Cards

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, there were so many lovely printables of the many, many Bible Verses about giving thanks….it was hard to choose!  So when this image popped up on my Pinterest feed this morning, I checked out the Good Enough] blog that was linked to them and found a gem!

Instead of focusing on one thankful Bible verse, Kim made a bunch of free printables of different scripture about giving thanks.  And I love how she has hers displayed on a small clipboard display, easily interchangeable.Sunday Scripture: Thankful CardsSo instead of having just one Sunday Scripture for you today, I thought I’d give Good Enough] a little love and send you over there to grab some free printables for Sunday Scripture about giving thanks!

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend and a blessed week!

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Countdown to Anne of Green Gables

*I received the video of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables for free to review.  All opinions are my own.  No additional compensation was provided for this post.  However, some links in this post are Amazon affiliate marketing, meaning any purchases you make from them will benefit this blog.  Thanks!*

Y’all.  I know I said I wasn’t going to post this week in order to spend time with the family, but I had to share a little of bit of what we did together!  I got the chance to share a little bit of my childhood with Jayna and Millie, when PBS Distribution sent me a copy of Anne of Green Gables to review with the girls.

The “Anne” series were some of my very favorite stories to read as a kid, and so when I heard they were remaking a special to air on Thanksgiving evening on PBS, I was stoked.  DVD is already available, and would be a fantastic stocking stuffer!

Not even exaggerating, Jayna watched the movie about 6 times this week so far.  I’m not sure why, but I think she identifies with Anne’s character….maybe her sass?  Or her temper?  Or her imagination?  Who knows…

Martin Sheen does an awesome job of playing Matthew, and the rest of the cast is fantastic in their character portrayals.  My girls especially loved the scenery and seeing how Anne’s family lived “back then.”  Jayna was blown away at the lack of electricity, bathrooms and the use of slates instead of iPads!

Here’s the official trailer for the video, try to catch it on PBS tomorrow night if you can!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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