Archives For Holiday


I am REPOSTING this as a Holiday Book Favorite for 2011. This has become a true favorite in our house!

Children will delight in this simple and elegant retelling of the Birth of Christ. My  four year old daughter loved holding her special Christmas story. She carried the book around during the holiday season and was excited to share with family and friends—as she put it—“what happened when Jesus was born”. How perfect is that? Yet again, Gwen Ellis has made the bible accessible to a small child.

With vivid illustrations the book highlights the main points of The Christmas Story; from the birth of John the Baptist, to angelic visits, to the birth of Jesus. This really is a fun book. I love the hardcover and the focus on each piece of the Christmas story–each page tells a specific part and it is not overwhelming for little children. This year, Em realized how the angels came with good news…quite often! Our family will use this book as a Christmas treasure for years to come.

An added plus was the animated DVD tucked inside. My daughter was quick to pop that in and check out the 15 minute story.

I am so sorry I did not post this before Christmas–with the medical scare Emma gave us a few things just did not get done. I noticed the book is available now on Amazon (on sale), and would make a lovely gift for children for next year..or shoot–for now, why not?

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this book for my review.



I was looking around for a show for my daughter & ran across Disney’s new Prep & Landing show on Hulu. Normally, I would recommend a, well, more old-fashioned show, but the graphics on this one are wonderful!

As with anything online, please use at your discretion. I have no idea what direction the series may take–but for this first episode, I think the video is fine for anyone who celebrates with Santa for Christmas! We personally do a little bit with Santa but try to keep the main focus on The Birth of Jesus.


Happy Thanksgiving Holiday

Heather —  November 28, 2009
This adorable little bundle (my nephew) did not even get any Turkey!

This adorable little bundle (my nephew) did not even get any Turkey!

Happy After-Thanksgiving! Aside from being sad that I did not see the cutie to the left in person, we have just had a blast. Pretty often, I have gotten stressed or depressed during holidays–trying to get everything just so and be perfect, etc. Lately, though, I have been more relaxed about just having some fun. (yes, I had to plan to be fun–can you tell I’m the bad cop around my house?)

For this Thanksgiving, that was the mood. I barely cleaned and had a blast working through a bunch of Thanksgiving activities with my kids. Yes, I was sneaky in order to have a good holiday “flow”–with four teenagers, one little and some girlie drama, I find it helps to go ahead and plan some fun, distracting activities!

My teenagers made Pilgrim Hats the night before Thanksgiving, and I let them eat them all…and sent them directly to bed. So, they thought I was wonderful…and I did not have to deal with the sugar rush:)

My 4 year old and I explored the Mayflower, thanks to some great links (see here for next year) I made myself not get up and “be busy” we made the Mayflower game and made our hats and did a pilgrim play….we even made little place cards using a dumb little Microsoft template. (I was going to make those edible napkin rings but I’m saving those for Christmas)

On the one hand, I am sorry we did not travel to see family, but on the other hand, we were able to relax and do some things we would not have done. The kids did nice cards to send to grandparents and really helped with the thanksgiving cooking (another nice thing about having older kids!) Note: every time we go out, I am making everyone use Purell from my purse before we get home. So far, we have been healthy, hoping that lasts!

The turkey actually turned out lovely and I made enough carbs to sink a ship…a big hit. My one son made the mashed potatoes, another the rolls…I let my daughter make something she wanted, which was not very Thanksgivingy–a pistachio marshmallow pudding thing. The color was awful!! It was funny though, and the kids had fun making fun of it, including her. We decided to use that at St. Patrick’s Day in the future. The Pecan Pie (I just use the simple one on the back of the Karo syrup–it is so good) & Pumpkin Pie Spectacular (from the recent issue of Southern Living –this was pretty but so rich–too rich) pushed everyone over the edge sugar wise, and we then crashed all over the house.

Now, I have to add that I usually do not cook so many things that are sugary and calorie laden…I called this Thanksgiving our last Hurrah. My husband does have a genetic liver condition that causes him to have gout (which is increasing…so my cooking for him will need to be designed with that in mind) and my four year old appears to have many allergies…so, my upcoming quest for Christmas is to prepare a lovely and mind-blowingly healthy Chritsmas meal. (Although I will still get my teens a secret honey baked ham–that is their favorite at Christmas)

chris&iThen, on Friday, instead of trying to shop, we took the kids on a family trek–we went to see the Luray Caverns. What an experience! I had never been inside a cave/underground, etc. I really thought it would be damp and dark and creepy. Instead, what I found was amazing–the air in the caverns was so fresh–weird! As we went on a tour, everything was lit up and we followed a very safe path–the stalagmites and stactites and “draperies” were incredible. I was so intrigued, that I am going to begin a course on geology with my kids soon.

jacqui in Luray

Then, the next day…which is today, we are sending most of our kids off to a local indoor waterpark for the day and husband and I and the little one plan to do…NOTHING!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good, relaxing week. I pray for those who have had to deal with family drama over the Holiday (I know a bit about that, also…blended family here:) And, many “experts” say mixing up a family can take about 7 years before it is even comfortable to sit together in the living room. We laughed at that 7 years ago…but yikes…they were right.

So, things come and go and I find the older I get, the more I can trust in the Lord for all my parenting needs…so instead of yelling, I can pray. Instead of stressing, I can go hide in the bathroom…or…I as I am getting more boundaries–make my family go hide:)

My verse for Thanksgiving this year was an odd one, but one I love:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we  trust in the name of the Lord our God.

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” Psalm 20:7-8

Thanksgiving Fun Links

Heather —  November 24, 2009

Good Morning! I am still making my Holiday Menu (we actually are home without company:) And, I am having so much fun playing with recipes and kid’s crafts for Thanksgiving. I have a few fun links here, and stop by the “FUN” page on my blog for more games/videos:)

Here are a couple cute crafts:

I bet these will disappear Fast! (

We may do this Hands & Feet Turkey craft from Kaboose! (

Looking for coloring pages and assorted stuff: (

For more ideas, I absolutely loved Living and Learning and Sweet Serendipity’s posts on Thanksgiving links. Make sure to go to the Scholastic links they have!

Free Holiday Idea Book

Heather —  November 5, 2009
Great For Christmas
Great For Christmas

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for The Tallest of Smalls, the New Childen’s Book from Max Lucado! I have three copies to give away:)

And, although I posted this the other day, I just now got a really good look at ALL the content. The ideas are wonderful! The document itself is 181 pages. It is full of Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts, recipes, devotions and lots more.

One of my favorite parts is on pages 25 and 26. These are November and December calendars with suggestions on getting ready for the holidays given for each date…but these Calendars also focus on adding family time and including Christ in Christmas, not just getting decorated and getting everything cooked!

Some other items in here:

  • Children’s stories
  • Children’s activities
  • Handmade Christmas gift ideas
  • Around 20 recipes!  (Some of which are geared to become Family Traditions)

I am loving the ebook. And it is great that it is free:) Here is the link again– I highly recommend taking a little time to look through this one! Just click here to get the download.

2009 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

Holiday Ideas!

Heather —  October 31, 2009

I have been waiting for this! Go get yours!

2009 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

Kidthing 4th of July Fun

Heather —  July 4, 2009

Just wanted to send a quick note about Kidthing. As part of their “Summer Sizzles” they are doing a 4th of July Celebration theme with 4 free items you can get instantly downloaded to your desktop reader:)

So if you are looking for some downtime after the swimming, bbq ing, etc this should be just the thing to surprise your kids! (the July 4th one ends July 5th, but they are running specials all summer)

Aloha Friday

Heather —  July 3, 2009

Aloha! It’s Friday–go ahead, try to relax:)

Aloha Friday was started over at An Island Life blog. If you want to play, simply answer the question below & go over to An Island Life here!

Ok. What is your favorite July 4th Activity? Watching fireworks, eating BBQ, studying the past?? Have a GREAT friday & July 4th Weekend.