Wednesday, December 13, 2017

You Are The Beloved {Review}


Compiled by Gabrielle Earnshaw, this daily devotional draws from Henri Nouwen's writing on identity.  From January to December, each selection focuses on who the reader is in Christ and clarifies hope, purpose, gratitude, and so much more.  You Are The Beloved pulls from both previously published works, as well as never-before-seen writings, to encourage readers in their central identity as the Beloved of God.  

As someone who suffered from loneliness and depression, Nouwen's words take on a profound meaning.  Having struggled with his own identity as the Beloved, his writing speaks of acceptance, kindness, and ultimately recognition of his own place in the kingdom.  

You Are The Beloved is a beautiful bound collection of encouragement.  Ranging from a quarter to a full page, the devotions are short, but powerful.  My only criticism is that I wish of the selections would have been expanded upon.  While they are challenging and powerful, I feel that some of them were too succinct and possibly fall short of a fuller meaning.  Still this devotional is powerful and would make a great addition to anyone's time with the Lord.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kids Service Project: Tie Blankets



We're teaching the kids to give back this season with a service project for babies!

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Music Attribution:

Deck the Halls by Jingle Punks

Monday, December 11, 2017

Our Top 5 Christian Christmas Books



I'm sharing with you today how we do a book advent through the month of December and our Top 5 Christian Christmas Books that we return to year after year.  Do you have a favorite?

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Home Decor 2017



Today I'm taking you through our home and sharing some of our favorite Christmas decorations!  How do you like to decorate for the holidays?

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Music Attribution:

We Wish You A Merry Xmas by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Happy Little Elves by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 Lighted Christmas Parade



 It’s the holiday season and time for one of our favorite family traditions… The Lighted Christmas Parade!  Join our family on one of our longest standing traditions… 20 years and running!

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Music Attribution:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Jingle Punks

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5 DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Ornamentts



 5 Easy DIY Dollar Tree Kids' Crafts for the holidays...

What are you crafting?

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Deck the Halls by Jingle Punks

Monday, December 4, 2017

Decorating a Christmas Tree in Three Minutes {2017}



How quickly can you decorate a Christmas Tree?  Three Minutes???

Our 2014 Christmas Tree: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKUjoTkid_E

Our 2015 Christmas Tree:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3cWxw8PE20

Our 2016 Christmas Tree:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhPE5WoQ-Vs

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Deck the Halls by Jingle Punks

Happy Little Elves by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Saturday, December 2, 2017

One Second Every Day {November 2017}


 November was full of life... school, Veteran's Day parade, working on service projects, and gearing up for the holidays.

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Music Attribution:

Happy Little Elves by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Friday, December 1, 2017

November Favorites


 Today I'm sharing with you a few of my favorites from the month of November... books, planner, makeup, and family.

Gift of Christmas Past Review:
http://creative2xmom.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-gift-of-christmas-past-review.html

My Christmas Planner Review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbz1Oeghdz8

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6yrs.

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Weekend Links








What I'm Cooking:

This week Josiah made cinnamon muffins in his cooking class and he actually enjoyed them.  So we picked up the recipe and he actually wants to help me in the kitchen.  Yes, please.  I'm more than happy to have help with the household chores.

What I'm Reading:

I'm reading the December bookmarks book and really enjoying it (Circling the Sun).  It's by Paula McLain and I've never read any of her books before.  But this one is good, pretty different from anything I've read before, but I like it.

What I'm Doing:

Christmas is coming!  Christmas is coming!  But... instead of the fun stuff this week, we've been doing the catch up stuff.  I thought I was on track for tackling this week, but then realized that we had a ton of appointments this week.  It's been a little crazy.  We're planning on being "Merry" this weekend and getting some decorating done.

What I'm Watching: 

I just watched the season finale of This Is Us.  Eek!  If you haven't started watching this show yet, go... run... start it now!

What I'm Enjoying: 

Christmas Tree... cooler weather... watching the kids roller skate... fall leaves... 

What are you up to?


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lizzy the Lioness {Review}


Lizzy is just too little... too little to climb, to little to wander, to little to patrol with the other lions... "Be careful!" the others always tell her.  And she's just so tired of being little.  She is ready to be brave!

Till one day Lizzy meets a little girl and takes an interest in her.  And the baboons start to encircle the little girl, Lizzy knows she must be brave and take action.  But what's a little lion to do?

This sweet book by Lisa Bevere explores what it means to be brave.  And it may surprise young readers what brave really is.  Lizzy is truly a sweet character that children will love and her story is relatable without be condescending.  The story flows nicely and the illustrations are lively.  This book would make a nice Christmas gift for children 4-8 years.  I can imagine that further stories of Lizzy the Lioness would be well received as well.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.  



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

FREE Christmas Planner Review



 Time to start planning for the holidays.  In that spirit, I found this wonderful printable planner to share with you.  It’s a beautiful and fun way to keep track of this busy time of year.

WonderMomWannabe Printable:
https://wondermomwannabe.com/printable-christmas-planner/

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Weekend Links











What I'm Cooking:

It's Thanksgiving Week... and we're doing lots of projects in the kitchen.  Since it's our week off of school, I pulled out some of the recipes from our Story of the Work curriculum for us to try while we had the time.  Lydia and I made homemade pita and it was incredible.

She and also got into the kitchen to make homemade cranberry sauce and our family favorite Pumpkin Pie Cake.  It's been a yummy week in the kitchen and we're loving it.

What I'm Reading:

I just finished reading a good about the faith and legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Now I'm in between books and thinking about checking out the December bookmarks selection.  Looks good!

What I'm Doing:

We had the week off from school, but I think we might have been busier than we are when we're in school.  Lydia and Josiah had Egyptian projects to finish, Noah had a history project to work on.  We spent a lot of time in the kitchen and I even finished the kids' Christmas ornaments.

What I'm Watching: 

I caught up on the last couple of episodes of This Is Us and it's really hit home.  It's one of those shows that really delves into real life and dealing with real situations.

What I'm Enjoying:

homemade cranberry sauce... getting to know the neighbors... service projects with the kids...
Christmas projects... 

What are you up to?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


Prayers for a blessed holiday of
reflecting on all we have to be thankful for.

Count Your Blessings today and...
Stay tuned for lots of holiday fun coming your way!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Prairie Girl's Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder {Review}


In A Prairie Girl's Faith, Stephen W. Hines takes an in-depth look at the spiritual legacy left behind by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Searching both her books and other publications, as well as her daughter's writing, Hines delves deep to explore Wilder's personal faith and how it impacted her character, pioneer spirit, and ultimately a far reaching audience.  Hines also uncovers how Wilder's faith influenced her daughter, and how the two, although often at odds in viewpoint, came together to write an extraordinary series.  

In one of the more interesting chapters, Hines takes a closer look at the hymns and songs mentioned in the Little House series.  He examines the lyrics of each, and relates the history of the piece and how it applied to the pioneer lifestyle.  Through this work, the reader can discover much about the beliefs, culture, and mindset that kept American pioneers moving forward in uncertain times.  As well as how central the Christian faith was to the Ingalls family.

For someone who's always been a fan of Wilder's literary legacy, this book was a delight.  It took me back to the original stories and offered insights to deepen the already rich history of the Little House series.  This would make a wonderful for read for anyone that is a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.



My Fun Holiday Favorites Tag



 It's that time of year... time for the holidays to hit, mom and dads to be busy, and time to make memories as a family.

A Common Life:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4zsjxGSfl4FiYcxJO_4H_Q

BoyBoss Mama:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvrQy_Ml6tuc8Z4k83kmaXg

Mommy & Mia HS Chronicles:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcrZSa0FOG6FH5BUv8QNDg

Tag Questions:
1 - Which is your favorite, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years?
2 - What are you looking forward to the most these holidays?
3 - Do you have a wish list or prefer to be surprised?
4 - Name a few things you are most thankful for.
5 - What's your favorite dish to cook and why?
6 - Will you be hosting or going to a family members or friends house? traveling?
7 - Pick your favorite holiday and share what does your table look like. (decor, food & activities)
8 - What are some of your favorite traditions?
9 - Which movie gets you in the holiday spirit?
10 - What is your favorite Holiday memory?

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Music Attribution:

Joy To The World by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Friday, November 17, 2017

Weekend Links











What I'm Cooking:

This week has been all about comfort food.  We had chili and stir fry, taco soup and tacos.  It's been raining so we're craving comfort food, but trying to keep it semi-healthy.  Any thoughts?

What I'm Reading:

I started a new review book this week about the faith legacy left behind by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It's a concept that I haven't thought much about, but it's interesting to see how her faith is woven into the books.  So far a good read and a good biography source.

What I'm Doing:

Well, I'm trying to keep my 6 year old on task for his history project.  We've been making Egyptian Death Masks for Story of the World out of paper mache.  And he hates "gooey" things.  So mostly it's  been Mommy making the project.  Trying to work through sensory issues.  :-)

What I'm Watching: 

I didn't watch much TV this week.  But I have been binge watching She's In Her Apron's Youtube videos, specifically the holiday videos.  I think I'm in full holiday mode as I can't seem to get enough of them.  And she's got some great holiday planning ideas.

What I'm Enjoying:

Sun peaking through the clouds... yummy oranges... baking in the kitchen... getting back into a workout routine... board games... planning for the holidays... our postcard exchange...

What are you up to?


2017 November Bookmarks

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for November was To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire.

These are the books I read this month:


The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall-- See my review here.


Choosing a Life that Matters by Dennis Rainey-- See my review here.


What We Read With The Kids:


The Mystery of the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks--  Book #4 of the series and the kids are going strong.  I thought by this point, the story/content would start to wain.  But I was wrong.  The story content has held strong and the kids are still loving it.



Our suggested reading for November was To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire--  So this book really wasn't really what I expected.  I didn't very carefully read the book description before adding it to our bookmarks list.  Just kind of took a casual look, and judged the book by it's cover (Bad advice always).  I was expecting some how to's, some encouragement, and this book was that, but it was more too.  What hit me though was that this book was a lot about destroying the myth.  You know the one... the perfect wife/mother/woman myth.  Go to work, be the mom taxi, and have an immaculate house... right?  Why do we feel like we're the only one's not living up to the myth?  We're not; no one is.  The best thing I took away from this book was that it's not all about doing it on our own, and that by spreading the responsibility, we can actually better preserve relationships with our family members.  It was a good remind the realign priorities.  Worth the full price?  Probably not.  But definitely worth picking up used.  What did you think?

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.


Also don't forget to come back on December 22nd as we discuss Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Homeschool Favorites



 Welcome to November Homeschool Favorites!  We're having fun with thanksgiving, learning about animals through poetry, rediscovering Lois Lowry, and singing silly turkey songs.

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱11 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

Albuquerque Turkey Song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwBNuxbpIJ8

Collab w/ FullTimeWifeLife: https://www.youtube.com/user/FullTimeWifeLife

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

National Adoption Month-- Foster Care/ Adoption FAQ



 Answering a few of your frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption...

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

12 MORE Things to Do in November to Make Christmas Run Smoother

We're back in November again.  How did that happen?  2017 has flown by.  And the last 2 weeks have been lighting speed.  I always say that once Halloween hits, we'd better be ready for the craziness of the holidays.  This year, I'm prepared.  I've been making a list and checking it twice.  Just like last year's 12 Things to Do in November, I'm attempting to mark items off my list, keep myself focused, and savor the season.

1. Order holiday cards-- Seen we just finished birthday photos in the fall leaves, now is the time to order our Christmas cards.  A couple of weeks ago, I picked out the design I wanted and added a family photo from our summer vacation.  Now I just need to edit the kids' photos, plug them in, and we're set.  By ordering early, I can spend some of my time off at Thanksgiving addressing them.  Probably while I'm digesting some yummy turkey.

2. Create teacher gifts-- We're keeping it "simple" by making ornaments this year.  The kids and I went through pinterest and found some inexpensive ornaments that match their abilities.  And we'll be creating those over the next couple of weekends.  They're always looking for a project to do so we're making this one productive.  Especially since it's been getting dark earlier.

3. Hang outdoor lights-- yes, it's a little bit early, but hanging lights in November is a lot less hectic than waiting until December.  Bonus: you get to enjoy them longer.

4. Prep Christmas Book advent-- We do a Christmas Book Advent every year from Dec 1-25th.  This is the time order any books you're planning to purchase or put books on hold at the library.  Then spend about 30 min in the evenings to wrap a few books.  Set a timer, and stop when it beeps.  And you'd be surprised how much you get done.

5. Purchase kids' ornaments-- I like to have a new ornament for the kids on the night that we decorate the tree.  Now is the time to purchase those.  Whether you're dropping into Hallmark, the Dollar Tree, or making your own, this is a good time to mark that off your list.  Bonus:  Dollar Tree has some stunning ornaments this year.

6. Start stocking up on holiday ingredients-- Holiday meals can get very expensive.  So I've been adding a few non-perishable items to our grocery list each week.  It still comes out of the grocery budget, but I can pick up items as I see them on sale and spread the cost around.

7. Make/freeze holiday cookies-- I love to bake this time of year, but I don't always have the time I'd like to bake for holiday parties.  So on the weekends, my daughter and I have been making double batches of cookies, baking a few for desert, and freezing the rest of the dough for homeschool parties, bonfires, and last minute invitations.

8. Fill out your gift list-- Now is the time to finalize, or almost finalize your gift list.  Make sure you've included everyone you're wanting to remember this year.  Trim, fill in, and trim again, until you have the list you want.  Then write down your gift ideas as well.  So you don't find yourself standing in the middle of Target, grabbing anything you can get your hands on.  Be flexible, but be prepared.

9. Do any online shopping-- I've had those years where I'm panicking a little, wondering if that special gift is going to arrive on time.  And there's lead way for those great last minute deals that you just can't pass up.  But this year, I'm attempting to have all my online purchases complete by the end of November, in order to avoid that panicked feeling.

10. Ship your packages-- Along with that, mail all those packages in November as well.  Then you won't have to wait in such long lines at the post office.

11. Start planning a girl's night for January-- Christmas is the time that we want to all spend with friends and family.  But let's be honest... December is crazy.  Or maybe it's just my life.  :-)  So my thoughts are this: try to spend as much time as you can with your family and friends over the holidays.  But know that you probably won't get to see everyone.  So why not start planning a girl's night for January?  Let your friends know that you love them, but realize that you're all busy.  So if it doesn't happen, know that time to get together is just around the corner.

12. Take care of your spiritual life-- It sounds crazy to add one more thing into your day.  But taking care of your spiritual life will go a long way toward keeping your sanity through this crazy time of year.  Start your morning in your Bible and prayer.  And know that if your to do list isn't completed, it will all work out.

How are you preparing for the holidays?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thank You, Veterans!



 We took the kids to a Veteran's Day parade this year in an effort to show them that it's more than a day off of school.  They really enjoyed it and it sparked a lot of conversation in our home.

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧9 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Washington Post by the US. Army Band

Weekend Links












What I'm Cooking:

Last week was crazy.  We ate out WAY too much.  There was my birthday, and then a quick bite before Trick or Treating, and then the night we forgot to defrost chicken.  It was just too much.  So I was excited to get back into a routine this week.  

We chowed down on chicken noodle soup, power salad, veggie taco salad, and some super yummy minestrone, tortellini soup.  That was my favorite.  Easy to throw in the crockpot and a crowd pleaser all around... especially easy on the pocketbook.

What I'm Reading:

I've been on two of the same books for awhile.  Both the bookmarks book for this month and a book called In Step With the Spirit.  It's good.  Both books really focus on relationships... both with God and others.  So it's been interesting to find myself reading them together.

What I'm Doing:

I'm not totally sure about this weekend.  The plan was to take the kids' photos, but we woke up to pouring rain.  Really?  Can't respect this Mama's busy schedule.

What I'm Watching: 

Oh, we've been loving The Middle.  I'm so glad we remembered to return to that one.  It's absolutely funny and reminds me that we're not all alone in this parenting gig.

What I'm Enjoying:

Monopoly games... chocolate... warm comforters and cool homes... family ideas (in the works)...
making homemade ornaments... playdates... 

What are you up to?




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