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Editorial Calendar

One Thousand Gifts…and counting

I began counting my gifts last year.  It wasn’t as easy as it should have been and I stopped counting at 27.

Then, the book came out.

I bought it and I have begun my list again.  This time I feel ready for the change. My heart is open and yearning to be changed.  Is yours?

holy experience

Crisply ironed sheets

a warm towel fresh out of the dryer


the weight of a baby sleeping on your chest


the smell of a new book

the smell of new shoes

The sound of bible pages turning as Big Daddy reads beside me at night
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31 days of Intentional Parenting: {Day 15} Family Traditions

Traditions that are unique to your family can be formal and serious, quirky and fun or anything in-between.  Here are a listing of some popular and sometimes very unique family traditions I’ve heard of throughout the years…

Sunday Night Family Dinners (without fail, no matter how old you are).

Birthday Cake for breakfast  & your favorite meal for dinner!

Pizza Night
Taco Night
Pasta Night
(Favorite food) Night

First day of school picture and special breakfast

Family Game night

Mom names the daughters and Dad names the sons in the family

Mom gives the first name and Dad gives the middle names in the family

Girls have their mother’s first name as their middle name and boys have their father’s first name as their middle name.

Family Cheer

Family wake-up song
Family recipes that are passed down (Grandma’s famous  fudge)

Does your family have any unique traditions?  Please share them in the comments below!

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Faith Filled Traditions

 As a Christian parent it is important to me to weave our faith into our family’s traditions.  If my children carry nothing else on from their childhood I hope they carry and pass on our faith!

Faith Filled Traditions:

We believe in dedicating our children back to God within the first 8 months of their life.  Additionally, each of my children have their own dedication gown or outfit with their initials embroidered on it to pass down to their own children.  It is my hope that my future grand children’s initials will also be added to the gown/outfit when they wear it for their own dedications. 

5 Ways to Celebrate Christmas

On Christmas Day we have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. It is another reminder of what this day really represents.

We set up a nativity set and on Christmas morning, before we open presents,  one child is chosen to place the baby Jesus in the manger.

After our Christmas tree goes up the very first present to go under the tree is a present for Jesus.  It is a wrapped box with a slit in the top.  Throughout the month each family member is encouraged to offer gifts of service, kindness, or sacrifice to another as a gift for Jesus.  After all the presents have been opened we read the gifts offered to Jesus that month.

During the Christmas holidays we place all of the cards we receive onto a Christmas Card Tree. After the Christmas holidays are done we place all of the Christmas cards we receive into a bowl and each night, each child chooses a card and we pray for that Family. Sometimes we send a little post card letting that family know about our tradition and that their family was lifted in prayer.  This wonderful tradition was “borrowed” from our sweet neighbors who have carried this tradition on with their 10 children and 42 grandchildren!

Our Advent House   celebrates our faith and our family time together in a meaningful way.  As a new tradition this year, we are going to begin brainstorming ideas to put in the Advent house after dinner on Thanksgiving day.

Our first child was baptized last year in our family’s pool by our Pastor and the spiritual leader of our home,  his father.  When I look out at our family’s pool I think of that day when our church family gathered around the pool and witnessed our son accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  It made such a powerful impression on me that I vowed right then that I wanted each of our children to be baptized by their father, hopefully at our family pool. Finding a way to tie in your family home to a faith filled tradition or milestone is just another way of weaving your faith into the fabric of your family life.

What are some of your family’s faith filled traditions?

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Creating Family Traditions

Growing up as a child I longed for family traditions.  Sure, my family celebrated the typical religious, holiday and national holidays and traditions but I longed for the Norman Rockwell picture of family life.  I longed for Family Traditions that that defined our family and would make me feel safe and uniquely connected.

Traditions offer us a steady comfort amidst the sometimes uncomfortable uncertainty of life. Traditions represent something that can be counted on and expected.

Children thrive when they grow up in a environment that they know to be safe and they often feel safe when they know what to expect.  That is why routine and consistency is so very important to preschoolers and young children.  As parents we have the opportunity to take that a step further by weaving family traditions into the fabric of our children’s lives. 

Participating in family traditions offers a sense of belonging to the participants.  A chance to share experiences and an opportunity to pass it along to future generations.
If you didn’t grow up with many family traditions the good news is that you can start some with your own family.  


Reflect on the traditions of your childhood (both your own and those of your extended family and friends) and write down the ones that inspire you or that you have carried on in your own family. 

Consider giving your children the gift of  a childhood rich in family traditions.  It’s worth more than anything you could ever buy them.


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Adoption is complicated part II

Sometimes it is hard to imagine that Baby Sister has been my daughter for only 4 months. In my mind it seems as if she was always a member of our family.

If you are new to the blog and are wondering if I am math illiterate, I should mention that we adopted Baby Sister when she was 3 months old.

She continues to light up our world in so many ways and is a blessing and joy.  Many of our friends (who have not adopted) have remarked at one point or another that we have saved our daughter from many things and that she is lucky to be in our family.  For a long time I wasn’t sure how to take that.  While we do believe that the bible calls us to help the orphans and believe that adoption is specifically blessed by God, neither of us would ever look at one of our children as a charity project.  

SHE is a blessing and a gift to us from God.

…and yet as I pray for her birth parents and worry over their struggles, I do feel relief that because of her adoption she doesn’t have to grow up under the stress and struggles that they each currently face.  Because they did that for her.  They chose a better situation for her. One that they wanted her to have and couldn’t offer.  One they felt she deserved, no matter how much it hurt them.

…and I do pray that as they travel through their grief process they  will eventually find relief, pride,  peace and closure.

We know that Baby Sister’s birth mother has dropped from the radar and had her living situation change more than a few times since we last saw her.  It breaks my heart that her visit with Baby Sister ultimately wounded her in some ways. It was certainly not what I expected. For lack of a better expression, I drank the adoption Kool-Aid and believed that the visit would be this happy occasion where we would all hug and kiss and celebrate the fact that I was leaving with Baby Sister and that she saw me as her mother now.

I know there are birth mothers who write compelling blogs about visiting the children they placed for adoption and how it has helped them…but I don’t believe it helped V.

I think she would have been better off with the letters & pictures we originally agreed upon and the space to allow God to heal her heart and bring her comfort.  I still pray that she will find that as she pulls away from us.  I pray that one day she will send the letter she promised to write to Baby Sister so that I could put it in her baby box.  I would like her to have that one day but I’m also prepared if that day never happens.

As it is now, I write letters and send pictures and they sit at the adoption agency as they don’t have an address to mail them to.

Adoption is complicated.

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