December 16, 2014

Winter Traditions

(Ketchikan Sunrise in November)
(photo credit: Jodi Gatti -Not sure why it copyrighted my name) 

I have always loved Winter and Christmas more than any other season or holiday. Not only the lights, trees, decorations, and the true meaning of Christmas, but the traditions that we have as a family. I have a plethora of wonderful memories of making candies, driving and looking at the lights on the neighborhood houses, going to the mall and seeing Santa Claus, decorating the tree, and my favorite: On Christmas Eve my dad would always read from Luke 2-21. The birth of Jesus Christ right before bed. My sisters and I would all sleep in the same bed, which made for a sleepless night. Not just because we were overly excited and thinking about all the presents under the tree, but because there was four of us all twisted together with legs in faces and knees in backs.

When Clint and I decided to have our own family-actually when I told him it's time to have kids, I was excited for the holidays especially. Kids just bring holiday's to a whole new level. What once was trying to please and excite Clint on Christmas with the best present I could find was now exchanged for both of us trying to instill holiday traditions with Jesus as the center of attention (as it should be).

I wanted to share just some of our traditions that we have adopted over the years. It will be ever evolving and changing once our munchkins get a little older, but I'm rejoicing in the fact that they are tiny little people right now.

Yes. That is a onesie I am wearing. Hot Chocolate. Christmas movie. Jewelry making. A bit of Heaven at home:

Snowflakes arts and crafts!

 (apparently my kids don't like clothes)

Gingerbread houses: 

Elf On The Shelf with the virtues of Jesus:

And sitting on Santa's Lap:

(non of my kids cried. They ran to Santa and told him what they wanted for Christmas. Bria want's a "big barbie car she can drive" and Bailey wants "a princess that sings" 

What are some of your family traditions? 

December 3, 2014

The Cozy Mug: A Review

So being a stay-at-home-mom sometimes one of the most exciting parts of the day is getting the mail. True story. Even if you aren't expecting anything, just the excitement of getting things delivered to your door is nice. Especially if it's a day where you just want to go out and do something. I discovered the world of subscription boxes. Oh.My. It's wonderfully addictive and dangerous! There are so many out there, but the one that seemed to be saying "TORY!" and this one was The Cozy Mug.

The Packaging is so pretty and well thought out. It's like a Gift every month!

The Cozy Mug is only $19.95 a month and comes with a plethora of amazing tea samples (which are full size!) and cute little items for a cozy night. I received the Christmas box this last week and I was in aww of the quality of teas they chose.

Here is a little bit about The Cozy Mug from their website:

The Cozy Mug was created for a simple and selfish reason. I LOVE collecting and trying new teas, coffees and other necessities to create my perfect cozy mug. The Cozy Mug offers members the opportunity to discover a featured tea company every month or to try our box with a featured coffee brand every month both from around the world. You'll not only experience coffees and teas but also an array of other fun whimsical items to help you create your perfect mug of tea, hot cocoa, cider or coffee. You may also get a a few surprise treats included in your monthly shipment such as cookies, chocolates, lip balms among a plethora of other lovely charming itmes. Each month will be a surprise! One thing you can rely on is that every month you will be emerged into a new and exciting way to create your perfect cozy mug for a few moments of "YOU TIME."



 Even my son loved the box!

I received 6 tea bags, 1 bag of loose leaf tea, a full size chocolate bar that is already gone, a honey spice stir stick, a post card that I already sent to a friend, and a beautiful full size nail polish from e.l.f. The Christmas Adagio loose leaf tea is my favorite and i've had it everyday this week.

If you love tea in your morning mug or at night while you are reading, this service is amazing and you won't be disappointed :) You can sign up here: Sign up for The Cozy Mug

If you would like to follow them on Facebook you can check their site out here: The Cozy Mug on Facebook. You can check their past boxes and reviews on the service.

They had a few extra boxes that where up to buy, and I bought a second one...I was going to do a give-a-way, but I really loved the box SO much I kept it for myself to share with my family. Hehe. Maybe next month I will purchase two for a giveaway.

**I was not compensated for the subscription and used my own money for the box. All opinions are 100% my own**
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December 1, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

Ok. I'm a horrible blogger. Just terrible! I have had high hopes for this pace in the blogosphere about posting regularly, getting some great things to review, sharing with you guys what we've been up to. But sadly. I don't have the energy half the time to take pictures, edit them (at least a little bit of worth for the blog) and frankly have been too stinkin' busy! That's it. No more excuses. I want to start December off with a bang. Well, because It's the last month in 2014 and it's my most favoritist month of the year! ( I can use the word favoritist. It's my blog. I can do what I want!)

So to start of December, we had beautiful snowy weather...

The kids were begging to go outside and weren't listening at. all. They were being very rambunctious, loud, and cray-cray. Totally crazy, so instead of keeping them inside so I can pull more hair out I gave in and we all bundled up (which took about an hour to do) and headed out to the snow:

I told the kids to put their stuff away after taking it off. This is the result: 

Noah was napping, so hopefully next snow day he can enjoy the fun! 
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October 30, 2014

Halloween... Past Years In Review

I was talking to a friend the other day about ideas for halloween costumes. We aren't really fans of the whole Halloween concept of ghosts, goblins, scary things that the holiday represents but I absolutely love. LOVE to dress up as different characters! Since we had Bria we've always had a "theme" and Clint has been so willing to go along with it (with the exception of the first halloween, he refused to be a farmer. I have no idea why. Famers are quite cool) However, as I was thinking of our family costumes this year, I realized that every year since 2011 we have added a child to our family.Haha. Seriously. Our family grew by one in each picture! 

2010: Kitty Cat and Marine

2011: Farmer, Cow, Indiana Jones

2013- Peter Pan, Captain hook, Tinker Bell, and Princess Tiger Lilly 

We hope you have a safe and fun Halloween. We are going to attend our Annual Harvest Party at church with fun games, food, and friends! 

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October 23, 2014

Bria The Dance Teacher

Lately we've been having a blast with our camera. And someone has been very interested in making movies. So. Here is Bria's first movie. She's a star!

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October 11, 2014

The Daniel Plan and Failure... Week 1.

An overview of The Daniel Plan 
Revolutionize Your Health …
Once and for All
During an afternoon of baptizing over 800 people, Pastor Rick Warren realized it was time for change. He told his congregation he needed to lose weight and asked if anyone wanted to join him. He thought maybe 200 people would sign up, instead he witnessed a movement unfold as 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. With assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick and thousands of people began a journey to transform their lives.
Welcome to The Daniel Plan.
Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.
When it comes to getting healthy, two are always better than one. Our research has revealed that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. God never meant for you to go through life alone and that includes the journey to health.
Unlike the thousands of other books on the market, this book is not about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts. The Daniel Plan shows you how the powerful combination of faith, fitness, food, focus, and friends will change your health forever, transforming you in the most head-turning way imaginably—from the inside out.

A friend and I started a bible study with a wonderful group of women with The Daniel Plan. This book written by pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback church has teamed together with other pastors and doctors to create a plan to get healthier. The book and supplemental journal and study guide focus on five essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends. With scripture as the staple element of what this book is based on, I was so excited and determined to try it.  And thought it would be easy because I was already focused on the Lord. I was already practicing clean eating. It was a "piece of cake" to do this study.

Then the first meeting came...

And I failed my weekly goals: Not to get angry. Have alone time with just me.

Then the first week happened...

And I failed my goals again: Not to get angry. Have alone time with just me.

And I, I who was leading the study was a failure...Completely torn in all areas I was trying to work on. My one goal I failed to reach within hours of the study being over! What was happening to me? I didn't even recognize the person I became. It was weird. Something came over me and I couldn't control anything. I couldn't make myself get up and spend time with God. I couldn't control my eating habits and ate chocolate for dinner (having leftover cake from Noah's birthday was deliciously horrible!), all I wanted to do was be by myself and take care of only me.

Like I said. It was weird.

Then our next meeting came and it was just a few gals. I discussed the issues and the scenarios that had happened the past week and all three came to the same conclusion-I was being spiritually attacked. Now, I don't really like to use that phrase because I think some people can use it as a crutch. But as I reflect on how I felt and what my "goals" where-to only serve myself and have alone time for me-I can totally see it now!

When your goals in life don't have God as front and center, what kind of goals are you trying to reach? Without God being the focus, are you even going to reach your goals? I had a goal to have some Tory time. For just me. I wanted a bath. But that night, at that time, all my kids wanted me and wanted to take a bath. My husband just got back from yet another late night and wanted to talk about the day. I screamed. I yelled at my family. I was literally trying to shove them out the door so I can have my bath.  I felt like I deserved that bath and was going to get it at all costs. But what it cost me was crying, upset kids and an upset husband. My family, whom I give my life for everyday has been hurt by my actions. What if I had put God first? What if I just asked them that I needed time alone with God. To pray. To consult after a hard week? If I just asked them politely or told my husband I needed it. I probably would have gotten what I had asked for.

So for this next week I set out some new goals: Put God First! Lets see how the next week plays out and how I do with changing my life to be healthier, more fruitful.

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October 7, 2014

3...2...& Now 1 (Noah's First Birthday!)

I haven't been wanting to put this on the blog because then it's real. He's actually truthfully ONE! Ugh. You know, after Noah was born and people would ask if we are going to have anymore kids, I cringe with big eyes and a stern "NO!" But, when I think about Noah being our very last baby and we won't have the baby stuff in the house and a baby crawling around and sitting in a high chair, I question whether we are done? I know we are, but it's really sad that we aren't going to have anymore kids! 

We had a construction Birthday and it was a lot of fun to decorate, but I realized I didn't take enough pictures. GAH! Sorry. 

These were so much fun to put together. I got these awesome plastic construction hats from amazon and in the bags were some colored glasses and a small thing of party play dough. So the kids got their safety hats, safety glasses, and their "dirt". I thought it was pretty clever as I did not get the idea of off Pinterest and am very proud of that :) (I do love pinterest....Maybe a little too much) 

Quick & easy kid friendly food. 
 Clint made these pudding cups and apparently they were pretty good, because by the time I wanted to get one..They were gone. 

My good friend Hannah of 350 Layne made these cakes and she's amazing! Check out her amazing pastries, chocolates, and desserts.

I can't remember how many people we had in our house I think about 20-25? Someone asked if that's the most people we had in our house ever. It was a lot, but it was nice and cozy because it was nice for Noah to be surrounded by people who love him. 

^ Clint and our friend Nick. Both boys are only 3 weeks apart!  I thought this was too cute of a picture not to share. 

He loved this balloon! I love it too and actually is still on the ceiling as I type this. 

Gosh, he's so cute! Our little ONE year old. 

Here is where I found the printables for the cute decorations:

Baby Star Designs

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