Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day

Early Christmas Morning….



An Alabama White Christmas!




Gift opening…..














We enjoyed the afternoon at my parents’ house.

We had a wonderful day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Unstuff, Making Room in Your Life for What Really Matters (Review)


Unstuff, Making Room in Your Life for What Really Matters, by Hayley and Michael DiMarco is a book that challenges the reader to take a close look at all the “stuff” in his life that impacts his walk with the Lord.

This is a difficult (and yet most appropriate) time of year to look at this topic as most of us are busily shopping, giving, and receiving “stuff.” And when we are not, ads everywhere are encouraging us to buy, buy, buy!

The authors’ premise is that “stuff” is meant to fill our needs. It is not meant to control our time, our money, and our hearts. We work hard to buy things that satisfy us only temporarily. We expend time and energy maintaining our large homes, cars, and other “stuff.” All of these things leave us little time for what is most important—God and family—and adding to our stress levels.

The authors say, “Stress results from our assumption that God isn’t enough so we have to take up the slack…It is the result of a life that hasn’t focused itself on things above but on things within.”

Unstuff addresses not only the “wallet stuff” that occupies and distracts us, but also “mind stuff,” “body stuff,” “worship stuff” and “love stuff.”

I enjoyed the first part of the book and appreciated the call to simplify. I don’t know how far I am willing to go in letting go of my stuff, but I do know that my efforts over the past few years to simplify my schedule and obligations and to de-clutter have simplified my life and lessened my stress levels. I wish the authors had focused primarily on “wallet stuff,” however. I felt that much of the last half of the book just tried to cover too much material. I think the definition of “stuff” was so broad that the initial emphasis on downsizing our lives was weakened.

I still recommend this book and think that most of us would benefit from this call to simplify our lives.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing me with a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pier 1 Imports

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've spent some time this afternoon browsing the Pier 1 Imports website. Pier 1 has such a fun variety of gifts and decorating items. I would love this set of Snowman dishes to use at a party or to serve my family a Christmas morning brunch. Isn't it bright and cheery?

The Christmas decor is all arranged by collection (Gilded Forest, Couture Christmas, etc.) to make it extra easy to pick items that will coordinate to give your home that put-together look. The snowman dishes that I like are from the Yuletide Treasures collection.

If you are looking for some last-minute holiday gifts, the site conveniently has sections for "Gifts for Her" and "Gifts for Him."  While browsing through the "Gifts for Her," I found ideas from throws to jewelry to wallets. Isn't this appliqued throw cute? With the cold weather we've had this week, this appeals to me right now!

Many of the items I found were marked down to clearance prices. All the better! This lantern sconce is only$8.98; marked down from $30! I think a pair of these would be lovely in my foyer!


Throughout this month, Pier 1 Imports is collecting donations for Toys for Tots. Unwrapped toys or donations are accepted at the register. Also,  Pier 1 Imports will donate $1 to Toys for Tots for everyone who "likes" them on Facebook. I really appreciate companies that support their communities and reach out to help others as they do business.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Advent Traditions


For many years, one of our favorite Christmas/ Advent traditions has been our nightly Advent candle lighting and reading. Most nights, during the 4 weeks leading to Christmas, we gather around our Advent wreath and read a devotional together. Our hands-down favorite has been the Jotham’s Journey series. We’ve read each of the 3 books at least twice through. This year, we are reading a lovely devotional that I downloaded from one of my favorite blogs, A Holy Experience

Often our Advent readings are followed by singing a Christmas carol or reading through some of our favorite Christmas picture books and accompanied by hot chocolate and cookies.

I think this tradition as helped us all keep our focus on Jesus throughout the season. What are your favorite traditions?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Super Star Speech Sale

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Do you have concerns about your child’s speech skills? My Super Star Speech books were written to help parents work with their children’s articulation errors at home. Visit Super Star Speech to learn more about speech disorders and look over the free resources offered there!

I am offering free shipping on any Super Star Speech sale from now until Dec. 16. In addition, if you use Google Checkout, you will receive an additional $5.00 off any order of $30 or more.

All of the Super Star Speech books are also available from Currclick in e-book form for about 30% off.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little Star, by Anthony DeStefano (Review)


We have a large collection of Christmas picture books, ranging from silly “fluff”  to “classics” that I will keep for my grandchildren. My favorites are those that tell the story of Jesus’ birth in a way that touches children and adults alike. Beautiful illustrations are a plus, as well.

Little Star is a book that falls into that category. The Christmas story is told from the perspective of the star, who watches Mary and Joseph from the sky, feels sorry for their struggles, and loves the baby Jesus so much that he gave himself for Him.  The story is a simple retelling of the birth of Jesus and a tale of a little star who was considered insignificant by the other stars, but it also addresses Jesus’ choice to be born in humble circumstances instead of coming to earth as a King and even foreshadows Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind.

I think Little Star would be an excellent addition to any family’s collection of Christmas stories. It is a story that will engage any 3 to 8 year old and one that children will understand at  a deeper level as they age.

I received a free review copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. All opinions are my own.