Tag Archives: Christmas

Thanksgiving. Day 12.

Today I am thankful for


Music gets down into the soul of a person
and reaches places nothing else can.






just about any type of music – except country
{but even then there are a few songs & artists I like}

Music relaxes me, always has.

My favorite radio station is Air1 Radio. This is the one my car is tuned to nearly 99% of the time. The 1% being the times I am listening to Christmas CD’s. ūüôā

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to participate in the

Grandest Band in ALL the Land
The Incomparable
Pride of Broken Arrow

Today I can look back at the shows we performed and see how far they’ve come and am so honored to have been a part of such a legacy. It was hard work getting there but it was well worth every bit.




Thanksgiving. Day 10.


I am thankful for


and my

Scentsy network

I’ve only recently joined with the company but the people I have met in the last three weeks are some of the most amazing, genuine, all around good people. They truly care whether I succeed or fail, and their passion for running their own business is incredibly contagious!

On that note,

{insert shameless plug here}

Scentsy Buddies are currently BOGO

{all except Wellington the Duck}


Foam’s are also currently BOGO


A Thankful Heart | Day 3.

Today has been kind of a rough day. No reason really. Truthfully, everything has been fantastic and flowed the way it should. There just seems to be a deepening sense of being overwhelmed. The closer I get to next semester, which is 6 credit hours more than I’m currently taking, the more stressed I become. Needless to say, it’s been difficult to find what I’m thankful for today but it finally hit me.

I’m thankful for provision.

Everything the boys and I need has been and will be provided for us because we are children of God and that is one of His promises to us. Provision has already been proven in our lives. We have a roof over our heads, warm beds to sleep in, food to eat, and the privilege/ability of going to school. We have running water, central heat/air, vehicles, etc.

We have so much it’s ridiculous at times, most of the time actually. So many things we take for granted are things that others in the world can only dream of.

Most of you know by now that we’ve decided to do Christmas a little different than normal this year. No flashy toys or electronics. There are enough of those. If anything there will be a plethora of books and board games but that’s it. This year we will be adopting two (or more) children from the Angel Tree at their school. This tree is comprised of students whose families cannot provide for them.

I want the boys to know that there are only a few things God requires of us; that we give Him ALL of us, that we show love to those around us, and that go into all the world to share Him with everyone. That world begins at home and in our community.

God has provided for us so that in turn

we can be a blessing to others.


by Natalie Sleeth

Christmas is a feeling filling the air

It’s love and joy and laughter of people everywhere

Christmas is a feeling bringing good cheer

It reaches out to touch you as the holiday draws near

It’s mistletoe and falling snow

And candles burning bright

It’s a baby in a manger on a cold winters night

It’s glad noels and chiming bells

And presents by the tree

It’s the spirit of giving in you and in me

For Christmas is a feeling filling the air

It’s love and joy and laughter of people everywhere

But if Christmas is a feeling bringing such good cheer

Then why oh why don’t you and I

Try to make it last all year

Why can’t it last all year?

And so it begins.

Today is December 1st, the beginning of a lot of things;

Advent. The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting (technically this started 11/28 but who’s being technical at the moment!)

The Christmas Season. Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar, or one of various ancient winter festivals, Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

December. The twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days.

December’s flower¬†is the narcissus¬†or holly. December’s birthstones are turquoise, lapis lazuli, zircon, topaz¬†(blue), or tanzanite.

In Latin,¬†decem means “ten”. December was also the tenth month in the Roman Calendar¬†until a monthless winter period was divided between January and February.

December is the month with the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. December in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to June in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological winter is 1 December. In the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological summer is 1 December.

December starts on the same day of the week as September every year. December ends on the same day of the week as April every year.

ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas Movies

(of which not all movies are actually Christmas-y).

And, the beginning of a new blog series for me. ūüôā

I turn 30 this year (in less than 14 days!!) and I’m so very excited about it! I get that for most of my friends 30 is the beginning of getting old. Some of them (no names mentioned!!) have even discussed having cosmetic retouching done! We’re only 30!

Thirty is a big deal to me. Why? I honestly can’t answer that. There’s so many reasons and none all at the same time. I know that probably makes no sense but that’s just how it is. ūüôā

In light of my 30th birthday, I’ve been polling my friends to see how they celebrated (or want to celebrate) their milestone birthday. I’ve been given some pretty interesting answers and plan on turning each different answer into a blog for the month of December. So, that means that you’ll get to read MANY new blog posts this month! (I know. I know. You can’t contain your excitement!)

Plan to come back often and catch up with the different party ideas! ūüôā

Late Christmas Cards.

Well, it’s that time of year again. People have their trees up WAY too early. Christmas lights are lighting up the different towns as I drive home. It’s been 70+ degrees outside. Yup. An Oklahoma Christmas will soon be unwrapped at a home near you!

With that in mind, I’ve been looking through Christmas card options from Shutterfly. I personally prefer cards with multiple photo windows because it’s MUCH easier to tell about the year with more than one picture! And with two boys in the house there’s lots of stories to tell!

I thought I’d post links to a couple of my favorite designs for Christmas cards so far this year.

Merry Memories



Family Story

I also really, Really, REALLY like to have my Christmas Cards designed and ready to go the first week of November. I like to be that person everyone hates because I remind them to get theirs done. Here it is Thanksgiving week and I haven’t even considered what cards I want to use yet! Shutterfly has made it SO easy this year! There’s a promotion for bloggers – click here to see – to get 50 FREE cards! Whew! The easy part’s over – now on to the hard part!

So exciting!

I’ve used¬†Shutterfly in the past for¬†photobooks,¬†mugs (great gifts for coffee/hot tea drinkers!)¬†and¬†Christmas cards for previous years. Looks like they’ve hit the ball out of the park with this offer though! ūüôā

God Said It.

Okay. I know I said I wasn’t going to post anything new until I finished up the rest of the drafts I have started but there’s something weighing on my mind. Besides, I’m down to just 4 drafts left anyway. As my kids say, “easy – peasy”!

There’s a misconception surrounding some things in my life. Most people assume that because I’m the one who filed for divorce that it didn’t bother me at all to actually go through it. That’s false in so many ways that that topic alone would be enough fodder for one post in and of itself so I’m not going into it here. What I am going to dwell on this time around are some things I have learned in the last 2.5 years since it was final, most especially the last 6 months or so.

Have you ever notice that it’s so easy to do many things by ourselves but when it comes to church most people cop out because they don’t want to be alone?

Late last summer and into the fall God told me that the boys and I need to be back at Rhema for church. More often than not last year we were not in church which truly bothered me. Between my insane work and school schedules, E’s soccer schedule, and the fact we live 45 minutes to an hour away from most churches the boys like we were rarely able to go. I told God that if He really wanted us back at Rhema He needed to provide the time and a job that gave me that time and would still let me raise my boys.

The holiday season drew closer and if you know anything about being a photographer you know that any holiday is going to be crazy, especially Christmas. Rather than getting more time to be able to drive into Broken Arrow I was working more and more. Between school and work I think my parents saw so much more of my kids than I did. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I would come home only to hug and kiss them goodnight and send them to bed, an hour or two past their bedtime. At least with working for myself I could plan my hours, working for someone else put me at their beck and call and meant that I worked every holiday.

Things at work went from bad to worse. I ended up putting school on hold for the Spring 2010 semester so that my girls at work (and my customers) would have some stability with all the changes that were happening. We lost 1 manager to maternity leave and 1 to a job transfer. In the midst of all of the details involved things got so bad that I was given no choice but to give my notice and leave. No, I wasn’t fired. I just would have spent more money on babysitters than I would have made which is not a good thing. So, I left. On the same day I left so did two of my girls and what had been a fantastically great thing came to an end.

Right around the same time all of this was happening, I interviewed for a job working with my best friend. Several days later I went back for a second interview and was hired. All in all, I spent about 5 days in between jobs and felt like I’d had a mini-vacation. I got to go to nearly all of Winter Bible Seminar which was a huge thing. with my new job, I’m working more of a M-F “bankers hours” schedule so to speak. I also somehow managed to join the choir part of the Easter production “The Choice” performed at Rhema over Easter weekend – mainly so my oldest son could also be in the play.

Since January the boys and I have been back at Rhema. It wasn’t easy going alone at first and still isn’t super easy but I’m getting used to it. I’ve met some very nice people over the last few months. And with a church as big as Rhema it’s very easy to sit in the same place every service and yet not see the same people around you twice.

I have always been a people person, for as long as I can remember anyway. But with the divorce I learned not only some things about myself but who my real friends were/are. In short, my world became very small. I’ve spent the last 2.5 years or so raising my boys and figuring out me, trying to at least. Figuring out when I was most happy and the things that I like to do because I like them not because everyone else does and I tolerate them.¬†One of things the struck me as a “happy time” was volunteering in church, both at Rhema and Victory. That was when I was most “me”.

But, the “me” now has been afraid to go back to the “me” then because that means stepping out of my little world that I’ve become so comfortable in. Taking that huge step and getting back to the basics, going home so to speak. Rhema is after all the reason my family moved to Oklahoma to begin with. I was content, too content, and would have just kept going on the same path I had been on. Not destructive or anything like that just complacent and settled.

But, I did it. I took the huge step of getting out of myself and stepping back onto familiar territory surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I did it because God said to. And you know what, I’m so much happier now that I’m “home” and my kids actually enjoy going to church. God knows what He’s talking about!

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