Tree Picking At Bast Brothers.

I had been debating on which tree farm to go to this year, and because we are adventurous, and like change, and trying new things we decided to go to Bast brothers to see if their trees were in, and they were. And they are absolutely beautiful. The fact that they come all the way from North Carolina got us sold. The trees down south are no doubt the best looking trees and because of the pine makes them smell great too! The wreaths are also done beautifully. The talent these ladies have in decorating the wreaths is amazing. They also have a little shop inside the barn with handmade gifts such as soy candles, birch log tea lights, white birch coasters, and these hand painted stockings made of burlap are one of the cutest I've ever seen! 
It didn't take us very long to find a tree that we liked and so with the help of the kids we all decided on a blue spruce. 

The environment was so cozy and friendly that it took us a while to leave this place. The family that owns it were extremely friendly and accommodated our every need. The kids lounged around for a bit inside the barn while drinking some hot chocolate, and I was admiring all the wreaths on display.
^^^ The kids especially loved this hot chocolate bar. What a nice set up! ^^^ 

I really enjoyed talking with Allie who is part of the family. She truly was a gem in telling us a bit about the business, and how she and her husband got in it together. It was interesting to hear about their story, and how they've made this quaint place a thriving business. They've only been open for a year, but I guarantee you won't be disappointed with their service, and trees! 
^^^ Upon leaving Noah was in awe with the saw in trimming the tree trunk, and how they netted the tree. He asked how did they do that, and papa "said magic!" ^^^
We all had so much fun as a family tree picking, and so glad we bought one this early. I want to able to decorate the house, and have a tree put up before Sierra comes home so she truly can be like Karen Carpenter and sing, " there's no place like home for the holidays!" This is our favorite part of Christmas, and a tradition we want to keep on having. 

If it wasn't for Lexie having an audition at Woodstown high school we would've never seen this big old wreath with a sign that read wreaths and trees coming soon. 
Things definitely happen for a reason and I'm so glad I listened to that voice telling us to go back because this has got to be the best hidden gem in all of Mullica hill. And I'm so glad we stopped by! 

Hope your holiday season is off to a great start! 

Thankful For The Gospel, The Savior, & The Christmas Season.

Thanksgiving is the beginning of expressing gratitude for what's important in our lives, and with the Christmas season upon us my main goal is to focus on the Savior, and his example. I have two small children who still believe in Santa Claus, and I don't want to take that away from them until they are old enough to know that we were behind the gift giving. Thing is we have taught our children that although gifts are fun to receive it's better to give, and to think of those who are less fortunate. Ever since my mother in law gifted me this book reading it to our two oldest girls when they were little taught them to believe, and know that Santa is very similar to Jesus. If you read the book you'll see it in the pictures that it's so true. So far my 10 year old gets the gist of it. Noah, who's barely six, is beginning to take in the whole Santa comes on Christmas eve to deliver presents, but we are teaching him that the  real reason for the season is to focus on the baby Jesus. He also believes Santa is real. I Believe In Santa Claus has become a perfect tradition to read this to my younger children, and to advise my older daughters to pass it on when it is their time to have their own family. 

I am extremely grateful for the teachings of this gospel that has given me the capacity to love unconditionally, and accept everyone no matter who they are. It has taught me to serve, and to always strive to be like the Savior. I'll never reach perfection, but knowing that I have the man upstairs looking down on me rooting for me to do better brings me peace. I know this because I believe. His example of strength helps me to let the little trials in my life that seem big, look small, and always focusing on the positive side of things makes life so much easier, and I am thankful. All together my family is my rock, and my children are the glue that keep me going. Their example of tolerance, and strength especially when they go through a trial (and believe me they have gone through some pretty hefty ones) helps me see that if they can survive anything harsh in this day and age... I can too.

Because of him I am able to live with my family forever. Because of Him I have the capacity to love, and serve. Because of Him I have the ability to strengthen my weaknesses, and receive divine inspiration. Because of Him we are fortunate enough to share the gift with everyone. Because of Him I am who I am, and have a choice to continue to do the best I can each day to live. 

So thankful for November, and for the season of gratitude, and looking forward to December which is the season of giving. 

And because my sweet oldest daughter who isn't pictured is coming home for a visit! 

View this for Spiritual enlightenment as well as going to for more inspiring messages of Christmas! 

Thanksgiving Day 2015.

This is the second year in a row where we didn't do a thanksgiving dinner. The fact that we have no immediate family around gives us an excuse not to cook, and venture out to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, and to spend the entire day in the city. Our kids have enjoyed going to the parade since the first time we went three years ago. I'm not sure we've made this a permanent tradition because there are years when I would love to invite a family, or someone who's on the same boat as us with no family around over for dinner. I know how it feels to be without, and to eat alone around the holidays. Those were the years when I was a young single adult, but now that I'm married with children I don't mind having our own little gathering, and just doing our own thing. We are that bonded as a family. of these years I would like to invite someone over who may be feeling alone on the holidays. Time will tell, but the kids are totally hooked on going to the parade every year, and in all honesty I can't say no to them because Jon and I both love going too!  

Lexie loves to see the marching bands that are performing, and of course Noah and Chelsea look forward to seeing which cartoon characters will be floating around Manhattan. There's something about seeing it live, and taking in all the excitement from the crowd. We always end up making new friends when we go. It's interesting to know how far families, and people travel just to see the parade. When I tell them we live in Jersey they say how lucky we are to live so close to New York, and to be able to expose our kids to diversity, and culture. I have to agree with them. As a youth I didn't go anywhere, or experienced any real family outings. I feel so fortunate to be able to do that with my kids, and no matter how old they get we will continue to explore with them. 

When Sierra saw my snapchat and saw that we went to the city she truly missed it, and misses hanging out with us. We face timed as soon as we got home, and we all talked about our thanksgiving day. I'm so glad she is with family, and that she's always had a nice holiday since she moved out west for school. Truly grateful for my in laws to take her in, and treat her like their own. The fact that my mother-in-law raised four boys, and one girl makes her extremely happy to have another girl in the house. We sure do miss her, but know that she is where she should be, and luckily she has time off from work so she can come out and visit us during the holidays as well as after the new year before she leaves for her mission. 

The weather was a perfect 61 degrees, and we stood comfortably warm among the crowd. Last year it was freezing, and towards the end of the parade snow flurries began to fall. So this time around we took our time, and walked around the city to window shop, and see all the decorations that surrounded fifth avenue, Radio City, and Rockefeller Center. 
Here are a few photos from the parade leading up to the end of the day...

This year they had scrat, and his acorn. The kids love the movie Ice Age so seeing this balloon was a real treat for them! 

I didn't take too many photos because I wanted to notice, and take in the feelings of the parade, and the city. If you take a gander at this post, you'll see how I captured so many photos of the parade. It was our first time taking my dear friend Maggie so it was mandatory to take all those photos! 
After it was over we walked towards fifth avenue, and saw the tree at Rockefeller Center. Super huge, and looks so dull when it's not lit! I just love the decorations they put out there. 
^^^ The angels and the tree in the background make a perfect backdrop for a perfect photo. As you can see there was room for my Sierra had she been here! ^^^ 
^^ When in New York it is a must that Noah eats a hot dog, and a pretzel. This kid just loves new york dogs, and pretzels. I have to say I don't blame him. They truly taste better than your regular store bought dogs. That and the pizza alone are the most delicious here compared to anywhere else! ^^^
^^^ Noah just strutting in the middle of the street after the parade. ^^^ 
We couldn't leave the city without venturing out to Central park.

The granite slide has become the kids favorite attraction, and if you look at this video you'll see why!  We could have stayed here for hours, and the kids could have played for days, but darkness was falling, and it was time to go home and have some grub. 
It was such a beautiful day, and as much as I complain about the little things, I am well aware of how much to be grateful for, and strive to find joy in the beauty in all things. 

So grateful for this day, and to be surrounded with my favorite people. I sure do love my family so, so much. I wish we could have more days like this like before the kids grew up! Spending it with them 24/7, but now the kids are no longer little. That is except for Noah & Chelsea. They grow up, get busy with school, and eventually move on their own, but luckily we have technology to stay in touch. I cherish these moments whether my kids are six, or 20! I count my blessings every single day, and I truly love my life. 

No matter the ups, and downs, I truly love my life! 

Whether or not y'all celebrate Thanksgiving I hope it was a great day for you, and that you are ready to kick off the holiday season! 

Thankful For Our Bounty.

There's so much to be thankful for in remembering the history of thanksgiving when the pilgrims and the Indians joined in unison to share their bounties. That is is what this season is all about. To give and to share, and attending Noah's thanksgiving feast this year was the perfect setting to witness both of those things. The kids were all dressed as pilgrims, and indians, and the kids were so excited to have their parents join in to share with them this wonderful food!
Noah was a pilgrim and I loved his little costume. The kids did a good job in making their hats, and jackets out of construction paper. I love seeing him interacting with his friends, and how they all get along. Their teacher call these three the three musketeers, and I just love their enthusiasm...especially when I tell them I want to take a picture! Silly boys!
It was such a treat to have been able to be a part of this special time in his life where he is learning all about the purpose of Thanksgiving, and extremely thankful for this time that I had to spend with my boy. I didn't have any kind of feast with my two older daughters at their schools when they were younger, and because Noah was two weeks old when Chelsea had her feast I wasn't able to attend. So being here with him, and looking at the big smile on his face made my day, and made me appreciate all that I have been blessed with. All while enjoying a delicious meal with other adults!

Here's wishing y'all a beautiful day in this season of giving! 

Thankful for Books & What Noah Is Reading Right Now.

Books have become the main source of entertainment in our family. Whether it's reading to do a book report, or just to escape from the world for an hour or two books are something that we love, and can never get enough of. I am so thankful to all the writers, and authors out there who make this happen. Everyone in our family is a reader, and while I wish I had more room for bookshelves in this house for books, the girls wish they had more money to buy books. Although there are Kindles, and iPads in which you can download books for free or at a discount there's nothing better than holding a tangible book while inhaling the smell of those brand new pages! 

Thankful For Sierra, & A Mission Call Update.

Just wanted to give y'all a quick update on Sierra's mission call. Apparently there was some mixup in her paperwork, and due to a tiny medical condition it didn't get approved by the mission department. Now that the doctor approved it, and all has been rectified, her paperwork will be resubmitted, hence getting her mission call a little later. So for those of you who have been wondering about what's going on, and why it's taking so long, well there you have it. So because of that she probably won't get her mission call until after the holidays, or even well into the new year. That's okay because we get to hear her voice more often, and because we can't get enough of talking to her via FaceTime we'll definitely be overusing that until the day she leaves. Luckily we get to have her home in time for the holidays, but because she does have a job in Utah, and deferred her college plans she will be working around the holiday, but will be visiting us for a short time in December in time to take a family photo. 

We are so proud of her, and for whatever reason the Lord has caused this delay I know it's all for a good reason. I am grateful to her, and for her patience in understanding why these things happen. Maybe it could have been a test to see if she was fully prepared, or really wanting to serve. Whatever it may be, she is anxiously waiting as patiently as possible to serve the Lord. She is an amazing young lady born at the right time, and for that I am eternally grateful. The Lord blessed us with an extraordinary daughter with a beautiful personality, and we are so thankful to have her in our life. She truly is one of a kind!  

I'm just happy that her medical condition is nothing too serious, and as soon as she hears something I'm sure she'll post it on her blog before I do. So have a great holiday season, and we'll keep you updated as the weeks fly by. So looking forward to seeing her in a few weeks! 

Thankful For The LDS Missionaries.

^^^This is one of Sierra's childhood friends from Utah. Jordan Watchman served in San Diego where he recently returned home from his mission with honor. We are very proud of him. And soon it'll be Sierra's turn! ^^^ 

In the church I attend we have what you call missionaries that go out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although we believe in the bible we also believe that there is another testament of Jesus Christ titled the Book of Mormon. 23 years ago I became a member of this wonderful church and my whole heart became more focused on the Savior Jesus Christ. Without the help of the missionaries of the church there would've been no way that I would've been strong enough, or taught proper enough in learning true principles of the gospel. To love, cultivate compassion, forgive, and most of all turn my heart over with sincerity to the Savior and leave my old life behind, and turn to a new one. To turn my heart over to Him so that in the end I can have eternal life, and reign with my Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ for eternity. So these wonderful missionaries are important in today's society, and whether they are 18 or 80 these missionaries are dedicated to sharing the gospel to anyone who may be searching for truth in a happier way. They are the ones who help those who want to learn about eternal happiness and the purpose of life. They are the ones with the knowledge of Christ's teachings, and His restored gospel. 

I am extremely thankful for the sister missionaries that had a huge part in my conversion. I will never forget them, and will always appreciate their kindness, love, and the patience they had in putting up with my stubbornness and all. It's been a pretty great life for me and I am so thankful to be a member of this church. I know that this church is true, and that we are guided by living prophets. I know that it has helped my family become more bonded than ever. It truly is the way to lasting happiness. No matter the trials we've faced as a family, I know that leaning towards the Savior will help guide us through a better life, and help us to be more Christlike. 

So here's to the missionaries who have served, who are about to serve, and who are currently serving all over the country. You are amazing, and even if you find one family, one person to come unto Christ, you're mission will be worth it. The Lord knows your hearts, and your reasons as to why you are serving. Keep on keeping on with finding those lost sheep who were on the same wavelength as I was 23 years ago. They're out there, you just got to have the patience, and faith to seek them. It may be tough at times, but I know that with sincere prayer you will find those who want so desperately to belong to a better world with light in it, and want to change. To have a new life, and be cleansed. 
First I want to recognize Hermana Schmidt who I met on the internet when I wrote about this post in regards to our former stake president. Turns out that she is serving in the Dominican Republic where he is currently serving as her mission presidentDefinitely a small world, and she is lucky to have President Corbitt as her president! 
^^^ Daniel Poaletti returned home from his mission earlier this year. He dedicated two years of service in Brazil. ^^^
^^^ Elder Hubner is currently serving in Missouri, and Elder Dapp is currently serving in California. They both grew up in the church together, and are the best of friends. How awesome it is that they are both serving missions at the same time! ^^^
 ^^^ Sister Alexandria Spears is currently serving in California. ^^^ 
^^^ Sister Vogel (the one doing the peace sign) is currently at the MTC, and will soon be serving in the Vanuatu/ New Caledonia which are the islands in the South Pacific! ^^^ 

There's a few more missionaries that I'd love to put on this blog, but don't want to make this a super long post! Know that I'm thinking of y'all! I love these people so much! I would say kids, but they are almost 19, & 20!! So never ever give up on the work! You will be so blessed for doing so!

***If you are interested in learning more about the missionaries, or want a free Book of Mormon please don't hesitate to contact me! You can also log onto our website at to find out more about the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  

Thankful For The Temple.

Nine years ago before we moved to the east coast, long before driving 75 minutes to two and a half hours to a temple I once was going to the temple once a week. 

Ever since I received my endowments, and got sealed to my family in Utah back in 2003 I immediately began attending the temple weekly, and the feeling I received from going was incredible. The temple is indeed a holy place filled with so much inspiration, and desire. A desire for me to continue to strive to do better. It is a beautiful building that I just cannot live without, and I'm extremely grateful for the Lord to give me that continued desire to attend when my time permits. 

When we first moved out here it was pretty tough not being able to go every week, but I bridled my passion and gave thanks to the Lord that it's only a two and a half drive, and not two days to get to a temple. Heavenly Father knows my heart, and is aware of my desire to serve. I"m very thankful of the times that we are able to go by ourselves, with friends, and yes...even our children. There have been times when Jon will go on temple dates with the girls, and in all honesty I think those are the best daddy daughter dates! He hasn't done that in a while because of time, and the kids being in school, but it's definitely on his resolution list for next year. 

Resolution: Taking our daughter to the temple more often even if it's once every three months. 

We always make the best of our temple trips when we take the kids, and I'm so glad we bring them. I know that by bringing them the example we set off as parents is a good one, and they will see the happiness on our faces as we arrive, and even more when we exit the building. 

It never fails that when we leave our kids to enter inside the temple my love for them is solid. And when the time comes for us to leave the temple, the love I have in my heart is even stronger, and all I want to do is hurry up and get to my kids and shower them with never-ending hugs and kisses. What a blessing it is to be able to feel that! 

My hope is that as they get older they will remember these temple trips, and that they will be able to do this with their future posterity. So attending the temple is important to me, and it is at the top of my list in my life of priorities. It strengthens me, my family, and particularly our marriage. It is such a beautiful place to be, and no matter the distance we will always make the time to go. 

Once we have a temple  close to us next year, you better believe I'll be attending in a weekly basis. I'm an adventurer, and a lover of temples so even when we have one that's 20 minutes away I will still drive hours to various temples. I never want to take them for granted, and the driving distance helps me appreciate that even more. 

Thankful for Being A "Work-From-Home" Mom.

Being a "work-from-home" mom has been the best choice that I made, and knowing that I'm going to be home when all my kids come home from school puts me at ease with less worry.  

Especially Noah. 

After reading this post, I feel even more secure knowing that my position as a work-from-home is crucial to my children. Since Noah started Kindergarten I have only had two people in my life who have asked me, "now that Noah is in school are you going to work?" I'm like, "uh, no." 

Just because my kids are all in school now doesn't mean I have to work. Besides...Noah is only in school for three hours, and I honestly don't think there is anyone out there who would hire me to work for three hours. Even if he was in school all day working outside the home at this time is not something I all. I realized a long time ago that my role in this life, and job is to be a work-from-home mom. 

And here are the reasons why...

Teenagers tend to forget things at times, and I am glad that I can be able to drive to Lexie's school anytime she's forgotten something from home such as a work folder, lunch, even her violin. If any of my kids aren't feeling well I am always available to pick them up from school. It's also nice to be able to schedule any doctor's or dental appointments in the middle of a school day without trying to coordinate with a boss as to needing time off for those things. I'm grateful that I am able to pick them up from their school activities, and help give some of her friends a ride home. I love that I don't have to stress about picking a time for a parent/teacher conference. I can go anytime the teacher is available for me. I love that I was able to go to most of Lexie's tennis matches. Some of them started at 3:30pm, and had I been working, there would have been no way I could have gone. I'm also happy that I can be able to take Chelsea to her piano lessons after school.  I love that I can be able to visit someone from my church because the only time they're available is in the morning. I love being able to help out my neighbor who works a lot pick up her kids anytime she needs me too. I also love being able to help out at my kids elementary school, and chaperone anytime they have a field trip when needed. 

There's many more reasons why I am so thankful to be a work-from-home mom, and be there for my kids. My children come first before any job, and whether they are five, or 15 it is so important for me to be there for my kids. I can tell that they love having me around knowing that I care about their day. I know that Sierra loved that part of me. There were days when she would have half days of school, and was grateful that I was immediately home so she can vent, and talk about her day. I missed the first five years of her life raising her, and after having Lexie I had that burning desire in my heart that my job was going to be in the home raising her, and her sister. Now that I have four it has been such a blessing to be at home with them. 

Being a work-from-home mom is a choice, and I admire those moms who work all day, and do everything that I would do during the day as a work-from-home mom. I've been in an eight hour job working outside the home before, and remember how hard it was for me to be able to balance, and work around schedules. I missed out so much on Sierra's activities when she was little. Luckily I have photos of her that were taken from other parents scrapbooked for memory, but it wasn't the same. I wasn't there, and that was different. 

Motherhood is a treasure, and every outburst of frustration, tears, and worry that comes from being a work-from-home mom is worth every moment. 

And because I'll be there throughout every tear, and outburst of frustration, joyful, fulfilling, and sad moment with my kids no matter how old they get those are the memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Thankful For My Husband.

Most of us may assume that a wife's role in the home is to raise kids, do lots of laundry, clean, and cook. Well, I'm all for the top three except the last one. Although I don't mind cooking, truth is I choose not to, and so I let my husband take over. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I have cooked meals, but my husbands therapy is cooking. Some men fish, write, go to the gym, shoot guns, play golf, drink...mine, he cooks.

And he loves it!

He also loves golf & tennis too! 

Just the other day I was about to make hamburgers for the kids when all of a sudden I got a text from Jon that read, "heading in" which means "come pick me up." I then asked him if he could hang for a few minutes so I can make these patties for the kids, but he told me not to worry that he would make them. I can totally tell by the text that he was looking forward to letting his hair down (no pun intended) by coming home to whip up some patties. And so I let him take over the fort. 

I am soooooo lucky to have a husband who absolutely loves to cook, and go out of his way in finding unique recipes, and adding secret ingredients to a dish he just made up. He totally takes after his mom in the cooking department, and I'm glad that as a young boy observed her while she was cooking in the kitchen. If only time allowed him to go to a culinary school he'd probably be a chef by now working at a fine restaurant in the city, but it's nice to have him cook for us in the comforts of our home. 

I am extremely grateful to have a hardworking husband, that after driving for nine hours delivering at least 275 packages, loves to cook and that he doesn't expect dinner on the table like a soldier at 0600. I feel that as long as I'm doing all the other things, and because I'm a mom I don't mind, he doesn't mind doing the cooking. 

He's not only an amazing cook, but a great tennis player, father, and a great teacher. All his callings in the church have been teaching the youth, and that is a great talent that he has! His personality, and through experiences of his own while he was young has helped him reach out to some of the kids at our church. Teaching seminary for four years really helped him appreciate what it meant to wake up at 5 in the morning, while I was pregnant, and when Noah was born, but to see these kids in action waking up because they chose to made him appreciate it even more! grateful I am for having a teachable, fun, geeky, star wars loving, 6'3 laid back kind of guy,  in my family that the kids love, and that I'm proud to call my husband! 

We're a pretty lucky bunch!

Thankful For Callings In The Church.

One that gets my mind off of my own issues, and worldly chaos is serving others, and I'm in the perfect church for it. I love how how the church i attend is so service oriented, and how some members go out of their way to lend a helping hand. As a mother I tend to be subservient not only to my family, but to my friends, and neighbors, or anyone who may be in need of help. I've had many callings in the church, and at this moment I currently hold a calling where I teach the 8-11 year old girls. So far it has been a pleasure in being able to teach these young girls, and it is my hope that they will take in all that is being taught to them inside the home, and at church. 

Because I didn't have this growing up, I hope they know how much they appreciate this program, and how I wish I could have been in their shoes when I was their ages. 

To be taught about the savior. 
What service means.
How we can cultivate compassion. 
How we can be kind to others. 
What the atonement means. 
How we can forgive. 
To have faith. 
To have hope. 
To be peaceful. 

And the list goes on. 

But most of we can gain a personal testimony of the Lord, and His gospel. 

Although I was raised a catholic, and went to CCD classes i wasn't devout, and in all honesty didn't apply any of it to my life at that time. So I didn't have any kind of gospel centered, service in the church kind of life growing up. And now I'm raising and teaching my kids, as well as these girls with the gospel. I hope that by the time they turn 12, they will be properly prepared to enter into a different kind of "fun" & spiritual territory which is the young women program. 

The young women program is a bit more intense because they'll be dealing with a whole lot of different. Same teachings, but in a different direction. The ages between 12 to18, in my opinion, are the most crucial years in an adolescents life, and it can be the toughest time for a teen. But knowing that they have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life, and if they apply it...I mean really apply it daily they can endure all things, and have help from the Lord in leading them to all that is good. To know that they are indeed a daughter of a king, and that they no longer need to have the things of the world tell them what to do, and how to be. So being the girls achievement leader is a privilege to me because I will be helping them down that path. 

My youngest daughter Chelsea will be 11 in a couple of months and having her sit in with the other girls to teach them is a humbling time for me. At this moment she's been having a lot of questions, and is curious about other religions. Particularly the catholic religion. Luckily I was raised with that, and knew about the doctrine, and can explain to her such things as why they make a sign of the cross on their face, and pray with a pretty necklace with a bunch of colorful beads. Oh yeah...I explained all that to her, and in no way does she think it's weird. Different, but not weird. I'm grateful for her spirit, and for her questions because it allows me to teach her in a way that I wasn't taught. I didn't have an open mind growing up, and thankfully Chelsea does. I hope that she will continue to know that the things she is being raised with in the church, and taught in the home are true. 

I'm extremely grateful for all the callings I've had in the church because not only have they've helped me grow spiritually, but they have reminded me of something that I was once taught. The stories of Christ. It's almost like a refresher course on the basic principles. I also love that not only do I help teach these girls, but in return they are teaching me. 

The first night I taught them i was very impressed with their behavior, answers, and actions. They had it together, and I pray for many days like this. I hope that as we continue on this journey in learning about the gospel together that I will do more than my best. And that their parents will feel at ease knowing that their child is in good hands. Not the most perfect hands, but good hands. And that they will know that my heart is in the right place when it comes to teaching their girls true principles of the Lord. 

Thankful For The Gift of Music.

Never in my entire life did I ever think I'd have a musical family. I was certainly not musical growing up although I would sing under my breath from time to time, and sing songs from the Grease soundtrack. But the minute that Sierra's second grade music teacher told me that she had a knack for reading music, and playing the guitar, and told me to get her into piano lessons, I didn't hesitate for a second. And ever since then all my girls play piano, they sing, and also play various instruments. 

I'm so thankful for the gift of music, for the ability that my girls can compose and write their own songs, play by ear, and read music like a champ. Chelsea is well on her way, and Noah, well...he's a beginner and is being taught by both his sisters at home when they have time. Next year he will definitely start piano lessons, and that is something I look forward to. 

What a blessing it is to always have music in the home, and to hear those beautiful chords being played. Whether it's on the violin, piano, guitar, or ukulele hearing music playing throughout the house is better than a bunch of noise on the radio, or pandora station. Although there are good artists out there with songs to be heard there's nothing better than listening to a piece of music that one of your kids composed! 

Our Thankful Tree.

When i first got on pinterest and found pins on thankful trees  I knew that I had to get on the wagon, and start one the following year. Thing is I didn't. Time rushes by so quickly and before you know it you are in the middle of November, and decide not to do it because it's too late. Well, it's never too late. I found an artificial tree branch at Michael's craft store, grabbed one of my vases where beautiful flowers once dwelled in, poured in a bunch of pinto beans, wrapped a fallish looking ribbon around it, grabbed a few leaves from the dollar store, and voila...we have a thankful tree. 

The kids have been going to town writing down the things they are thankful for, and to see Noah wanting to be the first one to do it, he write what he's thankful for, and put it on the tree on his own brings a huge smile on my face. He's so giddy, and wants to put another one on. I explained to him the purpose of having a thankful tree, and what it's all about. I told him how there are people in the world who don't have the things we have such as toys, running water, food to eat, a ball to play with, or even a blanket to warm our bodies. Even though he's still young, and doesn't fully understand, but I think he gets the gist of it. 

Having a thankful tree does help our children realize how much they have to be grateful for. I know for me, writing it down whether it's on a sticky note, or a leaf helps me to ponder on that things that I wrote. It's a great way to also leave the house being more kind, and humble filling ourselves with gratitude instead of selfishness, and sadness. 
Thankful trees are a great idea, and I'm so glad I started this tradition. So whether you already started one in the beginning of November, or now, it's never too late to begin. You can also go well into December because there is even so much more to be grateful for.