Santa or No Santa?

Last weekend I had a girls weekend with my college besties. As we’ve talked about before here and here, getting away with girlfriends is refreshing for the soul. We had a blast (and almost got snowed in!!)


The weekend was full of laughs, good food and great conversations. One conversation that kept coming up was the topic of Christmas. More specifically, how we plan to handle raising our little people in a Christmas culture that focuses on Santa, presents and stuff.

We all have kids that are 4 and under. Since children begin to form their understanding of what Christmas is about from very early on, we are all faced with the challenge of keeping Christmas about the celebration of Jesus’ birth rather than the celebration of toys.

But HOW!?

We all plan to navigate the waters in fairly different ways. Some are choosing to not do Santa all together. Some are not taking him away entirely but plan to keep his presence minimal. Some plan to do it just like they grew up. While we all may not approach the challenge the same, we all have the same goal and the same question: “How do we keep Jesus at the center of the Christmas holiday?”

Like my friends and I, I’m sure you many of you are facing the same dilemma.

That’s why I couldn’t be more excited to tell you about something Rachel has put together to take this challenge head-on. Rachel, a mom who has 14+ years of children’s and family ministry experience under her belt, has put together a Family Christmas Devotional.

Christmas devotional for families

This simple, once-a-week devotional is intended to help your family remember that Jesus was sent by God to be the Savior of the world! We hope as you read and talk about the story each week, your hearts will be captured by the “good news of great joy” this Christmas season.

Each of the four devotionals included are organized in the same way:

Read: Choose one or more of the ways listed to communicate the story.

Pray: Take a moment to pray the written out prayer or say your own to help connect the Bible story to your own lives. This demonstrates to children how we can use God’s Word to help us talk to him.

Discuss and Do: To help children further understand and connect to the story, choose one or more of the simple activities. Have fun together and help the Christmas story come alive for your kids!

If you were hoping for me to give you reasons to do Santa or to chuck the guy, sorry. Not the post you are looking for. BUT I hope you are excited to have a great, quality resource to use with your family this holiday season.

The Family Christmas Devotional is launching SOON! Keep checking back to snag your copy.

We are super excited to get this in the hands of families! Spread the word!

Funny Little Dinner

The other night my husband vetoed my menu plan for the evening.

On the menu: Steak.

What?! So many questions, I know.

“Not thawed out enough… not enough time to make it… too cold outside to grill… blah blah blah.”

Well, I had to come up with a plan B fast. Turns out we had a hilarious amount of leftovers lurking in our fridge and freezer.

Also turns out that we all ate entirely different meals with one exception: roasted broccoli.

funny dinner

The only thing holding our family dinner together that night was the roasted broccoli.

God bless roasted broccoli. Everyone eats it and loves it despite the fact that they may be eating breakfast food or something that broccoli doesn’t historically go with. Without it, we would all be on our own dinner islands not sharing in the common tastes, flavors and nutrients.

That’s a bit dramatic but I found it funny that everyone ate it despite the weird combinations.

So what recipes did I have tucked away in the recesses or my freezer and fridge?

Lets start from the top:

Adelyn had herself a lovely combination of pumpkin french toast, a wheat roll and broccoli. She loves carbs. What three year old doesn’t?

Austin chose to go with the recently made Beefy Baked Ravioli accompanied with a wheat roll and broccoli.

I preferred to finish off the rest of the Mexican soup that I made Halloween night. On the side I had tortilla chips and you guessed it, broccoli.

Tyler communicated through his caveman grunts that he preferred the meal we had for breakfast earlier that day, Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal. Oh, and broccoli.

So in one night, we consumed 6 different homemade recipes. Impressive, yes?


13 Favorite Thanksgiving Meal Sides

13 Thanksgiving SidesBest part of the Thanksgiving Meal in my humble opinion? Why, the sides, of course!

We’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I do have to bring a side to each family’s meal. That got me looking through all our recipes and thinking which ones would be delicious for any holiday spread. Here are some of our favorites!

Roasted Carrots and Purple Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes and Carrots Recipe

Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato

A better mac and cheese with sneaky sweet potato

Easy Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples

crock pot cinnamon apples

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honey Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honey Balsamic Reduction

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