Category Archives: holidays

My First Mother’s Day

This weekend was my first official Mother’s Day! I say official because I’ve been a mother of furry babies for quite a while, but now I’m the mom of a fabulous, super intelligent, totally adorable little boy!

Gazing lovingly up at his daddy

I absolutely LOVE being a mommy! God has been so good to us and given us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4)

I had a wonderful day – went to church (where they gave out chocolate to the moms, always a good thing!), lunch, stroll around the mall and relax with my family. My gift was a beautiful glass pandora bead addition to my charm bracelet. Just beautiful!

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A Christmas Meme

Just found out that this is called a “meme” (rhymes with “theme”). What’s a meme? I asked the same question – according to Chrisg.com – it’s what you call all those internet quizzes and surveys that I usually see on Facebook. I decided to include this one that I got from a blog – StuffParentsNeed.com – since it is Christmas season and I love it!

This year has been a bit different with the birth of our new baby but I’m sure I’m going to get right into the spirit when my sister, brother-in-law and brother arrive in a few days.

So, I’d love to see your answers too –  feel free to answer the questions in a comment or on your own blog and leave a link!

1.  Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? HOT CHOCOLATE! Every year I try to pretend that I like Egg Nog only to not be able to finish a mug. But I love all things chocolate!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Both! When I was a girl, my parents would leave the big things unwrapped but wrap some small ones probably so we had something to open. Have no idea how we’ll do it when Isaiah is older… should talk to Greg about that!

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? White. I do like the colored ones but have always chosen white for my tree and house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No

5. When do you put your decorations up? Soon after Thanksgiving. Right now we don’t have many decorations – hardly any – but I hope to add some every year. All my decorations are still back in the States slowly coming over in the extra space of friends and family who come to visit us.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Karbonader – Norwegian meatballs we grew up eating on Christmas Eve at my house. Yum!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? We had a tradition of all gathering around the piano to sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. My sister and I would start preparing weeks ahead of time by dividing up the carols concerning who would accompany the singing on piano. For most of the songs, we had our favorites and would just agree on who played it best, but for a couple of them we both wanted to play. So then we would practice until try-out time. My mom would judge who played the song the best and they would win. It was probably the best piano practice we got all year!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Actually discovered my parents putting together Easter baskets one night after we were supposed to be in bed. I was under 10, probably 7 or 8 years old. I put 2 and 2 together and figured if the Easter bunny was really mom and dad, Santa and the Tooth Fairy must be the same. I continued to play along for my little sister for a while. Not sure when she realized it, but then we had a much younger brother (11 years younger than me) so Santa continued to come to our house for a long time!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? As kids, we opened all our gifts from the family on Christmas Eve. As a married person, we’ve had different Christmas’ each year, so we don’t have a set tradition yet.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With ornaments from my childhood and special places we’ve traveled as a couple.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? LOVE IT! But I’ve always lived in the South where once or twice a year was a big deal.

12. Do you remember your favorite gift? I can’t really think of a favorite gift. As a child, I was so excited about my Barbie RV. As an adult, my husband gave me a beautiful tennis bracelet on our honeymoon – that’s a favorite!

13. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with friends and family and just celebrating God’s gift of Jesus and another year to live for Him.

14. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I used to love our traditional Christmas Eve as a child – we did the same things in the same order and ate the same food every year. But as an adult, I’ve come to embrace new things. I do still love Christmas cookies – especially the Norwegian family recipes since we rarely make those cookies any other time.

15. What tops your tree? A star

16. Which do you prefer – giving or receiving? I love to give gifts – especially when they are special to the person.

17. Candy canes: Yuck or Yum? Yuck. Can’t seem to eat a whole one.

18. Favorite Christmas show? It’s a Wonderful Life – I cry at the end every year!

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells. My high school’s elite choir ensemble would perform it every year at their Christmas concert. There’s nothing better! Wish I had it on cd!

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Stocking Stuffers – WFMW

wfmwbannerKRISTEN

This posts is part of a blog carnival over at WeAreThatFamily – check it out for more holiday tips.

After the days of Santa Claus were over, our family continued the tradition of stockings on Christmas morning. I just love the little trinkets, candy and stuff you get in a stocking. This idea could get the whole family involved with stuffing stockings – you set parameters like only homemade items, or a certain dollar amount, or, like my sis and I did one year accidentally, only things you can find at Wal-mart – which is about everything!  The creativity is really fun!

Here it is:

  1. Agree that everyone participating in the stocking stuffing will give gifts within a certain parameter – such as under $10 or only homemade, etc.
  2. Everyone shops or prepares their gifts prior to Christmas Eve.
  3. Christmas Eve, just before everyone goes to bed, place everyone’s stocking in his/her own room, or other designated private place.
  4. Everyone rotates visiting the rooms and stuffing the stockings EXCEPT their own room and stocking.
  5. Once the rotation is complete and everyone has stuffed the stockings, take the last stocking you stuffed and put it in the designated stocking spot – under the tree, at the fireplace, kitchen table, etc.
  6. Everyone goes to bed! This way no one is tempted to peek at their own stocking and the surprise is kept till the morning.

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Beautiful Easter Weekend

We had a great Easter weekend at our church – The Life Church of Memphis. We went from operating 3 services to 5 on this weekend, with one of these being at the Collierville YMCA. We’ve launched our Collierville Campus there and Sunday was the first official day!

This past weekend I went to church on Friday night, then served – mainly in the nursery/preschool area – for the 3 services at the Cordova campus. It was an awesome service! In the middle of worship, there was a video of our people simply telling a line from their testimony and the words: “but with God I overcame.” I wish I could relay the power that was in that video. To hear where people came from and how God worked in their lives was so incredible. I think when people come into our church they see a group of incredible leaders who are loving Jesus and loving life and totally flourishing because they are serving God wholeheartedly. What people don’t see are the awesome testimonies behind every person’s life. Everyone has a story because we all have messed up and fall so so short of God’s standard.

If you are thinking that you’re not good enough to be in church or you’ll never get to the place where other people are – remember that God plays no favorites; He draws near to those who draw near to Him. When we seek Him with our whole heart, we’ll find He’s there ready to make our life what He’s created our life to be. Are you ready to begin living your real life? Join in to what God is doing and watch Him transform your life.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tomorrow is the day set aside to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Living in Memphis, I feel this day is an important day to consider where we have come and how far we have to go in eliminating racism in our society. Dr. King led the civil rights movement just 45 years ago, but in those 45 years – much has changed but there’s still much that needs to change.
 
Dr. King had a dream – God had given him a dream to see what many people thought was impossible in that day. But because he followed God and allowed Him to use His life, his dream changed history. What is your dream? What impossible thing do you want to see changed in your world?
 
I have a dream to see vulnerable children valued and cared for. I dream of poor children being taught how to live and work so they can change their futures. I dream of government leaders rising up out of corruption to lead their cities and countries to brighter futures. I dream of cities and countries strategically using their vast resources of land and people to become the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower. Can it happen in 45 years? Maybe…look how far we’ve come with civil rights in this country. Change is not as difficult as we imagine. In fact, change is always happening it just matters which side of change you are on. Are you influencing good change or bad? As the church, we have to be a advocate of change. Look at what Dr. King said about the church:
 
“The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 1963
 
We can see change come! It is possible, but it comes from a life surrendered to God and allowing Him to use it fully. It’s not going to be all comfort and fun, but it will be worth it! I’m sure Dr. King would say it was worth it. He counted the cost and knew what was at stake. So what is your dream? What can you do to see change come?
 
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

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Christmas


Greg and I had a great Christmas! We celebrated early with my family at our house, then went to a cabin in the woods near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We did this last year and enjoyed it so much we did it again. It’s nice because we can also go and see Greg’s family and friends in Knoxville. This year, we brought Cocoa, our puppy. He had a great time! We splurged a little more on a nice cabin and hung out there a lot. It was a really great time to relax and unwind.

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