Every Christmas Eve (or just about every) we get to spend the day as a family with Robert’s brothers family, my in laws and us.  So fun to have so many years of memories of that day. Our kids at Candlelight service, eating somewhere, and lots of smiles.



This year, there was no Jacob, as he was not feeling great.  It was a last minute decision to stay home, he was dressed and ready to go.  Before we headed out, he did open one present early.  This boy was DYING to get his hands on a CD of the Hamilton play.  I made sure his Grammie got to see the delight on his face when he opened it!


img_0951Brothers on Christmas Eve.


Even got a picture of us. With an adorable photo bomber.img_0959

Sweet girl cousins.


Boy cousins.


The birthday boy – with a sweet Bloody Mary made by sister in law, Lisa.


Betsy getting a pic of the treat!

It was a fun day, and another year of family memories!

Gingerbread House Time

My sweet girl bought a Gingerbread Kit while out shopping and decided to share with her brothers!  They enjoyed an afternoon of creative gingerbread making!


One house!


Another cute house


Here is the sweet sister – sharing her treasure!


Even the big brother got involved in the creativity!img_0813

And the youngest brother – a little candy overload?


And the final house with Peter.

The kids enjoyed it much more than I expected!  Maybe next year we will have to do this again!

Christmas memories

We had a wonderful Christmas this year, and if I do not get pictures posted, I might just forget the menu and the fun!!

This was my first year to cook a Prime Rib.  While it was a bit pricey, it ended up tasting wonderful and everyone enjoyed it!!  I did forget the cranberry salad I has planned to make, but otherwise the menu was great!

Of course we enjoyed our tradition of Christmas donuts, even including some gluten-free!  And thanks to a sweet friend we had some wonderful gluten-free/Paleo Coffee Cake from Colorful eats!!

Christmas day was fun with family from both sides here, my mom and Louie came over early for the stocking opening, donuts and presents!  Robert’s folks were with us that week as well!  It was a crowded family room!  And despite the December date, we were not able to have a fire, since I think the temps were in the 70’s that day!!  Crazy Texas!!

Everyone loved their gifts – lots of food and candy was passed around.  My favorite gifts given were the ones my kids made!  Jacob made jerky from his deer this fall, Peter made plant stands from slices of the tree Robert cut down in the backyard, and Eli made soap dishes for my goat milk soap!!  I loved them all and loved watching them make and give their gifts!!


Festivus {for the rest of us} 2015

family 1We so enjoyed our 4th annual Festivus this year with the Cole family!!


Cousins came from near and far!!  Some travelled all the way from Colorado the day before because that is where they were enjoying Christmas!!



This year the weather was bait crazy – not cold enough for a fire inside, and too drizzly for a fire outside, and then there were the tornadoes touching down in our County.  Crazy!!


None of that stopped the fun catching up, playing with cousins or eating good food!!

many cousins

We are already thinking about next year and looking forward to seeing everyone again!!


I might have just told them that the future for this guy is the freezer – they were begging to take him home!

Strengthen Your Child’s Faith this Christmas


The holidays are a busy time . . . but life can be even more hectic! In the midst of work, after-school activities, grocery shopping, and business trips, how are parents supposed to find the time to build within their families a lasting foundation of faith?

Focus on the Family wants to step in and give you some tips. Sign up by clicking here for a free e-book called 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Faith. With creative ideas on weaving faith into everyday conversations, turning family activities into learning opportunities, and having faith-filled holiday celebrations, this book is jam-packed with fun and interesting, easy, faith-building ideas for your family.

Another way to invest in your child’s faith is through the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

Another fun way to build your child’s faith: have a family craft night and use it as a faith-building opportunity! Click the image below for a printable Town of Odyssey cutout set. Bonus points if you listen to an Adventures in Odyssey episode while you put together your town!

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To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.