We Bought Our First Home Debt and Loan Free

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So in the midst of all of the holiday hubbub, I never found a chance to tell you that we bought our first home!! Between having a baby, moving, and the Holiday season, I’ve also had a bit of a lag in my blogging. I apologize for being so sporadic! Whew, what a lot of life changes!

I’ve never lived in a home that wasn’t rented or “loaned” as part of the job description. (Often, housing is provided as a perk of ranch jobs.) Having grown up ranching and then ranching over the past several years, I’ve always lived in someone else’s house. While I would never dream of complaining about free housing! I have always wanted to be able to paint a wall when I felt like it without having to ask someone.→   Keep Reading!

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Why Christmas is Important & It’s Not Because Jesus was Born

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We often talk about the “true meaning of Christmas” and “remembering the reason for the season” this time of year. The New Testament’s telling of Jesus’ birth is known as “The Christmas Story.” While Santa and commercialism and the consumer drive have tried to take over the holiday, most people still know what Christmas is “really about.” We celebrate Christmas every year to celebrate that Jesus Christ was born. But I would like to argue that Christmas isn’t important because He was born; Christmas is important because of everything He did afterwards.→   Keep Reading!

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How to Minimize Extended Family Gifts

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I’m here today to talk to you about how to minimize extended family gifts. For those of you more interested in MAXIMIZING said gifts, move on. You are in the wrong frame of mind to even understand why I would write such craziness. But thanks for clicking on a title you had little interest in. Your support is astounding. 🙂 (P.S. I totally understand where you’re coming from sometimes too! I like other people to get my kids (or me) stuff.)

I’m going to focus mainly on extended family gifts given to our children because not many people complain about getting gifts for themselves. We’re parents. We’ve earned the right for a little duplicity haven’t we?→   Keep Reading!

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Best Christmas Books for Kids Under 4 Years Old

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I’m going to be the first to admit it, if a child is older than my oldest, they are a complete mystery to me. I didn’t understand ANY kids until I had one and ever since, I’ve only understood those that are his age or younger. He’s teaching me what kids are like. So these are the best Christmas books for kids under 4 years old, but older kids might really like them too. I just don’t know. And I won’t…until Casey gets there. So, until then…

I do know that he really enjoys reading and looking at books, especially if they are “special only for Christmastime” books.→   Keep Reading!

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How to Make the Holidays Feel Homey Without Family Near

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The only time I have ever been away from home during the Holiday season was as a missionary in South Carolina. I “missed” two Holiday seasons while I was serving there. Some of the following advice on how to make the Holidays feel homey without family near comes from this experience but most comes from talking to my sister-in-law. She is married to a man in the Air Force and lives all over the place! They are currently in Hawaii but they’ve also lived in Texas and Illinois since I’ve been married into the family. They made it home for one Christmas in the almost 6 years I’ve been around. I asked what she does and if it’s hard for her and from her answers and my experience, I feel like we’ve got some decent advice on how to help.→   Keep Reading!

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Simple Coffee Filter Wreath – Inexpensive and Beautiful!

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This simple coffee filter wreath is one of my favorite crafts I’ve ever made for the Holidays. It was free to me (because I inherited the coffee filters from someone who used to live in the house I moved into) but would be VERY inexpensive to make, even if you had to purchase all the supplies specifically for this project. It turns out gorgeous, even if you are a terrible crafter such as myself.

Really, I don’t think you can screw this one up.

So lets get started!


  • Coffee Filters
  • Old cardboard (cereal box, moving box, whatever!)
  • Glue (I used Elmer’s because I had it but I think hot glue would work better.)
  • Two circles of different sizes to trace around…unless  you are an amazing circle drawer.
  • Scissors or Utility Knife
  • Optional: Ribbon
  • Optional: Beads, Glitter, Greenery, Embellishments
  • →   Keep Reading!

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    Meshing Holiday Traditions

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    Image result for toffee

    One of the biggest concerns I had as a newlywed was the Holiday season. I knew that my husband had grown up with different traditions than I had. We would now have to juggle our different families and our visits. I expected that meshing holiday traditions wouldn’t be easy.

    I had always been able to go to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving and know that I would have the homemade stuffing that had been passed down for no less than 4 generations. I knew that Christmas morning would mean Danish Pastries and English Toffee. I knew that most of us would fall asleep without even trying to stay up for the New Year. I did not know what my husband’s family would do for any of the holidays. I didn’t know what to expect. And it worried me.→   Keep Reading!

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    Spatchcocked Turkey – Review and Advice

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    Who here has heard of a spatchcocked turkey? I hadn’t. Not until last year at least. I stumbled upon the term in a post about unusual ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey (mostly including things like BBQing and deep frying but there were some other very unique suggestions as well) and had to start researching to figure out what the heck it meant! The video in the post is what piqued my interest because the picture was not the most beautiful bird I have ever seen. In fact, that adorable chef from this video convinced me this was something I wanted to try.→   Keep Reading!

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    Ideas of Motherhood: Replacing Fantasy with Fact

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    This post (titled I’m Not My Mother) originally posted on The Daliah Scene a few months ago. I’d still suggest going to check out her excellent site. It has undergone a few minor changes since then so read on for my Ideas of Motherhood.

    While growing up, I had grand ideas of motherhood. My mom raised 7 children and seemed to hardly break a sweat! We grew up very rural (like, completely in the country, on a cattle ranch) so we didn’t have any opportunities to take dance classes or soccer. That was one of the changes I thought I might make with my own children because I firmly believed I would grow up to live in middle-class suburbia. Otherwise, I expected I would do everything very much the way my own mom did.→   Keep Reading!

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    3 Core Beliefs that Change Everything

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    3 Core Beliefs

    3 Core Beliefs that Change Everything – It’s about to get religious.

    I’ve never gotten very religious on here. I guess I felt it wasn’t the place. But do you know what I decided? Everywhere is the place, and that other attitude might be a contributing factor in the decline of our World’s values.

    So I’m going to get religious.

    But only a little.


    It’s gonna be a new thing though. When I feel like writing something about my beliefs, I’m going to. Because my religion is probably a bigger part of what makes me who I am as a person and as a parent than any other single contributing factor in my life.→   Keep Reading!

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