Pack a shoebox with Si Robertson

Christmas is just around the corner.


My mom and dad have always taught me that it is better to give than to receive. I didn’t fully understand this phrase until I became an adult. Since beginning my job at Samaritan’s Purse, I didn’t realize the impact that a simple shoebox made to kids in third world countries.

This past shoebox season, we reached 100 million shoeboxes. Here is a video that gives you a look into how a shoebox impacts a child.

Let’s take a moment with the VeggieTales and see how to pack a shoebox. Grab your kids and let them enjoy this short video too!

Bless a needy child by participating in this exciting project! Your child is able to possibly interact with the child that receives their shoebox by filling out this coloring sheet and putting it inside the shoebox. National collection week is November 18-25th. You have time to pack your shoebox and drop it off at your nearest drop-off location. Just put in your zip code here and it will tell you the nearest locations.

I will leave you with one more video and if you are a fan of Si Robertson from Duck Commander, you will love this one. Happy packing!

Fun and Inspiring Easter Traditions with Your Family

Easter is just around the corner. I love Easter. It usually means Spring flowers will begin blooming, outside grill time with the family and we get to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. Don’t forget about shopping for a beautiful Easter dress. My eyes have been peeled to store windows and online stores for the best deal on Easter dresses for my sweet girls.

Easter is fun to create special traditions with your family. Your children will always remember these special traditions as they are growing up. Here are a few fun and inspiring Easter traditions.

Tell the Easter Story By Using Jelly Beans

- Jelly Bean Poem (Author Unknown)

Place this poem in a small bag with some jelly beans.

Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sunflowers so bright.
Black is for the dark of night.
White is for the grace He gave.
Orange is for the sun He made.
Purple is for the hours of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans,
colourful and sweet.
It’s a prayer, a promise,
and a child’s treat.

Easter Baskets

We love to peek out the front door each Easter morning to see what the bunny left the girls. The baskets usually are filled with HERSHEY’s goodies!


Easter Crafts

Mosaic Easter Eggs Craft (Courtesy of HERSHEY’S)



Plastic Easter eggs
Glue stick or low temp hot glue gun


1. Create a mosaic pattern by gluing jelly beans to plastic eggs. Begin your pattern around the center of the egg and work one row at a time, completing one circle at a time.
2. Arrange in a basket to create an exciting table centerpiece or enclose a special prize and hide for your Easter egg hunt!
3. Completed craft is for decorative purposes only. Candy used in craft should not be eaten.

HERSHEY’S Easter Buddies Craft (Courtesy of HERSHEY’S)


Pipe cleaners
Jiggly eyes
Construction paper, felt or foam sheets
Low temperature hot glue gun and glue
1. Using our buddies for inspiration, create your own creatures with HERSHEY’S Easter Candies.
2. Cut body parts out of felt, foam sheets or construction paper. Using the low temp glue gun attach candy to feet, ears and other parts.
3. Complete by gluing pipe cleaners, feathers, and jiggly eyes to add more personality.
4. Completed craft is for decorative purposes only. Candy used in craft should not be eaten.

View more Easter Crafts here.

We always have an Easter dinner after church. Sometimes it is just the four of us and other times it can be a big crowed. The dinner is enjoyable either way.

What are your Easter traditions?

Disclosure: HERSHEY’s provided us with an Easter Basket. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Super Fun and Festive St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

We love celebrating holidays. The smiles on the girls faces are priceless. It makes the holidays more engaging and obviously more fun. St. Patrick’s Day is this week and here are a few festive ideas to get the family ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Thank you to Family Fun Magazine for the awesome ideas.

Swinging Shamrocks

Swinging Shamrocks


  • Cardboard tubes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Green paint
  • Fishing line/string


1. Cut four half-inch rings from a flattened cardboard tube, then cut through one of the folds on each ring.

2. For three of the rings, bend and glue the two ends to form a heart-shaped leaf.

3. Fold the fourth ring into a triangular stem and glue the ends together.

4. Glue the stem between two leaves, then glue on the third.

5. Paint the shamrock green. When it’s dry, hang it with fishing line or string.

Leprechaun Artist

Leprechaun Artist


  • Printable beard template from
  • Faux fur
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Glue
  • Bamboo skewer


1. Print out beard template from

2. Cut the shape from a piece of faux fur and a piece of corrugated cardboard (with the corrugations running vertically).

3. Glue the fur to the cardboard.

4. Place a bit of glue on the end of a bamboo skewer, then insert it into one of the center flutes of the cardboard.

5. Let the glue dry before employing the disguise.

Over the Veggie Rainbow

St. Patrick's Day Food


  • Small bowl
  • Dip of choice (we used guacamole)
  • Bell peppers – various colors
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots


1. Fill a small bowl with dip.

2. Slice four long strips of bell peppers in various colors and arrange them as shown.

3. Cut two small cauliflower clouds, skewer each with a toothpick, then position one on each side of the peppers.

4. Place sliced carrot coins beside the bowl for the leprechaun’s pot of gold.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6″

I hope your day is bright and filled with many blessings. Thank you all for being such wonderful readers. Merry Christmas!

Give a gift that will give back this Christmas Season!

Are you still trying to finish your Christmas shopping? Don’t forget about Hickory Farms. It is a gift that will continue to give.

Hickory Farms has a partnership with Share Our Strength (SOS) – a leading national nonprofit organization that works to stamp out childhood hunger. For each Party Planner gift box sold this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. Great news…To date Hickory Farms and its customers have donated $1.9 million! To me, this is what Christmas is all about. This money is helping to provide funding for summer meal programs, emergency food assistance, nutrition education, holiday charitable giving and long-term solutions for families in need. Love!

The Christmas cheer does not stop there with Hickory Farms!

Hickory Farms has a partnership with Operation Gratitude – a national nonprofit that creates care packages for military men and women and their families. Hickory Farms has eight products that they offer free shipping to military APO and FPO addresses, including the “Home for the Holidays” gift basket featured in the product fact sheet.

Spread the Christmas goodness this season. It will warm hearts near and afar. Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review and to facilitate a giveaway. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.

Christmas can be simple and still be magical

It really has been laying on my heart the last couple of months about the Christmas season. This is my favorite time of the year and I just want to savor every moment. The season is always way too short for me and I wish I could wave a magical wand and extend the season. Christmas makes me happy and brings out so many emotions.

It is my goal to keep Christmas simple and let my girls know what the true meaning of Christmas is about. Yes, we have fun with Santa and the Elf on the Shelf but we cannot forget the true spirit of Christmas. Our Jesus Christ was born. We are celebrating his Birthday. I told my parents that I didn’t want this Christmas to be about gifts. I just want us to be together and have fun fellowship and enjoy the Christmas spirit that is all around us. We will do a $10 Christmas gift exchange game where each family member will bring a $10 gift. It will be fun and I am sure will bring lots of laughs. Then, I would like us to read the Christmas story altogether.

We even kept our tree simple this year. We have a huge 7.5 ft tree my parents gave us that we usually put up but I didn’t want to this year. I wanted to use our small tree and let the girls decorate it themselves. I cannot stop looking at the tree on a daily basis. I am in love with this tree and it is the best decorated tree in my eyes.

Now, this is how Christmas should be!

Holiday Favorite: Pumpkin White Morsel Cake

The Holiday season is definitely upon us. I love to bake and my family loves to eat. Who doesn’t love to eat right?

Food Lion invited me to share my favorite holiday favorite recipe with you in conjunction with their Food Lion Bake-Off contest.

I have cooked this every year since I started my Weight Watchers Journey.

Pumpkin White Morsel Cake


1 Box Spice Cake Mix

1 Bag of White Chocolate Morsels

1 14.5 oz can of Pumpkin

3 Teaspoons of water


Mix Spice Cake Mix, Pumpkin and water together. Then add the morsels. Stir well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

The recipe is so easy yet so delicious. I receive so many comments on the taste and my two smallest fans, M and L, request this cake be put in their lunch box.

What is your favorite Holiday recipe? Enter it in Food Lion’s Bake-Off Contest before November 28, 2012 for your chance to win BIG!

You can enter the contest by sharing a recipe in any of the four categories: appetizer, entree, side dish, or dessert. 12 grand prize winners will receive a $500 Food Lion gift card!

Happy Holidays!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to facilitate my shopping experience and review.

Top Picks for Family Holiday Cards {Giveaway}

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It is no secret that I absolutely love this time of year. Honestly, I wish we could stretch the next month and half to at least three months. It has been an annual tradition since my husband and I started our family to send out photo Christmas cards. In my opinion, photos make the cards more personable and it gives me the chance to show off my wonderful family. Yes, I know I am blessed.

This will make the third year that we use Tiny Prints to order our Christmas cards. The paper that Tiny Prints use is impeccable. The quality is superb.

Check out their new Premium DoubleThick ™ Matte paper.

Along with the paper is very unique card designs. Tiny Prints have so many choices but I selected 10 styles that I would recommend.


Make sure before you place your order, you check out their promotional coupon page for an even sweeter deal.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post from Tiny Prints. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Cutest song we heard all Christmas Season!

I will admit, I am very sad Christmas season is over. Christmas is a season I wish would last longer than a month. The joy, the comfort feeling and seeing the girls delightful Christmas cheer just brings so many smiles to my face.

Christmas Eve, we went to church and participated in Christmas Eve. The kids really did steal the show. Everyone commented how delightful it was to hear their sweet little voices.

This was a big milestone for L. I was so proud of her getting up in front and saying a speaking part with such confidence. M loves to perform so she was a natural. Of course, tears were shed but they were tears of joy. Take two minutes and watch. You will smile, I promise.

Gaylord Palms brings new traditions for families at Christmas

Snow and ice is on the forecast at Gaylord Palms as you can see from the post I wrote last week. Who said it was always sunny in Florida? I proved that theory wrong. Gaylord Palms bring so much happiness with their ICE and Snow events. The events get even sweeter with all the nice extras that Gaylord Palms has added this year.

ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meals – The girls were amazed to wake up and head downstairs to breakfast and be greeted by Shrek. Each Shrek character took their time and went by each table and visited. The food was delicious and the whole family enjoyed all the interactions with the characters. Each meal is served buffet style with so many choices that if you leave hungry, it is your own fault. A Shrek fondue table is even included!

DreamWorks Animation 3D Theater Experience – This is a theater experience we could get use too. You walk the red carpet with paparazzi all around taking your picture.

Once you get down the red carpet, you get your choice of two different gourmet foods (you could make a meal out of this) and a super cool drink machine that allows you to mix your own unique drink. Very neat. Take a seat with all your goodies and put on your 3D glasses to watch Puss in Boots. The whole experience was extraordinary and full of fun for the whole family.

Gingerbread Decorating with Gingy – A real life gingerbread man takes you in for a fun and interactive family experience. We were able to choose between a Gingerbread House, a Gingerbread Family or a Gingerbread house ornaments. As the girls were working on their gingerbread creations, Gingy would interact with them and create lots of smiles and laughs with his interactions. He even would pose pictures with everyone. He has a smile that is undeniable ;). Overall, it was another experience that the whole family enjoyed and created memories that would last forever.

You can add any of these experiences with your ICE and SNOW tickets. Create a package and save money.

After you enjoy all the above fun, you can experience the festive Christmas shows held daily and nightly at Gaylord Palms included with your admission.

Luminescence. Enjoy a musical journey into the spirit of Christmas. The holiday season
comes alive with dazzling special effects, lighting and aerial choreography to tell the story of
Christmas. We were in awe at the show each night. The drummer performing in the air, the aerial choreography was so amazing. The girls actually requested to see the show each night so you know it had to be a favorite for them.

Christmas Wonders and Majestic Christmas Tree Lighting. A radiant and heart-warming stage
revue includes a ceremonial lighting of the 50-foot tall majestic Christmas tree!

Don’t forget to visit Santa before you leave as well.

As you can see, it truly is a heartwarming holiday tradition that the whole family will enjoy. Schedule your visit today, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Merry Christmas!

Disclosure: We were invited on a FAM trip to the Gaylord Palms to experience all the holiday festivities. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.

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