Sweet Tiny Blessings

Month: December 2015

15 Memories of 2015

Here it is.  The last day of 2015.  It’s been a year full of change and an overflow of blessings.  We moved from the beautiful state of Colorado, back to our homeland in Florida.  This was a hard move for me, but God had big plans for our family.

This year, I got to be a part of my best friends’ wedding and baby shower.  I was able to hold my grandmother’s hand before she passed away.  I saw my little man sit up, stand, crawl and walk!  And I had to let go of my daughter’s hand as she entered her first year at a wonderful school.

This year, my husband and I graduated from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  And we have made huge strides to a better future for our family.  We created so many memories with family and friends that we would have missed out on if we weren’t here.

I thank God for his blessings in 2015.  Here are just 15 of some of my favorite snap shots this year.

May 2016 be filled with God’s love and blessings!  Happy New Year!

Christmas Memories 2015

Do you remember when we used to take pictures and had to wait days or even weeks for the pictures to get developed?  I couldn’t wait to open up the envelope to see how they turned out. Pictures have always been one of my favorite things.  There are so many memories I’m sure I would have forgotten if it wasn’t for that simple snapshot.

After my grandma passed away last month, I realized I didn’t have many pictures of her.  But the ones I did have, I can remember that day very clearly.  So this Christmas, I took lots of pictures.  Some of them were natural shots and some of them I used little tips I read about to make them better.  I want to have an abundance of pictures with my family and friends so that I don’t forget the ordinary days or the most important ones.  
The two pictures below are my favorite from Christmas Eve.  The first one, I used all the photo techniques I read about taking a picture in front of a lit Christmas tree.  I used natural light from the window and turned off all other lights (including my flash), took the picture during the daytime, captured a head shot and used the natural light from the side. Big C’s face lights up with pure joy!

The second shot, I had no intention of using any techniques.  I just wanted to capture their cuteness! I love this one because Little M looks so dapper in his suit.  And Big C is so proud to be his big sister, with her arm wrapped around him.  They are so precious!

I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas and were able to capture memories that will last a lifetime!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

This post is linked up with Photo Friday on Pierced Wonderings.

Merry Christmas Boogie

Did you know Santa is visiting Bass Pro Shop this Christmas?  That’s where we took the kids yesterday and had some Christmas fun.  They had games for the kids to play and a cute talking reindeer while we waited in line to see Santa.  Afterwards, the kids were able to decorate Christmas cookies.  The best part was, everything was free.

Big C ran right up to Santa and gave him a huge hug and told him she wanted a doll house for Christmas.  Okay, that was the first I’ve heard of the doll house.  That’s not even on her Christmas list and she rarely plays with dolls.  Silly girl!
We placed Little M on Santa’s lap too, so we could take some shots with our own camera.  This is the gem I captured!  Pick a winner, buddy.  He he!
Well, I guess it’s better then last year’s picture . . . maybe.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Jesus Calling Devotionals for Adults and Kids + Giveaway

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf Tommy Nelson and received promotional items to thank me for my time.  All opinions are my own.

It’s almost a new year and that means new years resolutions.  What will yours be this year?  I’m looking forward to growing a stronger, deeper relationship with Christ with a day to day devotional. I had the opportunity to start my resolution a little early.  I received Jesus Calling and Big C received the same one for kids.

Every night, after story time, Big C closes her eyes to listen to the words Jesus is speaking to her heart.  Jesus calling for kids puts the Bible in a language that young kids can understand.  It also includes Bible verses at the end that goes along with each devotional.

In the same way, Jesus Calling gives me the opportunity for quiet time with Jesus.  The words in the devotional are so heartwarming and encouraging.  When I’m having a rough day, I can find comfort with this devotional.

Sarah Young, the author of Jesus Calling, created this book from personal reflections from her quiet time of Bible reading, praying and prayer journals.  You can purchase Jesus Calling or Jesus Calling for Kids for $15.99 each at TommyNelson.com.  Be sure to stay connected with Tommy Nelson on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for all their latest products, sales and giveaways!

Tommy Nelson is giving you a chance to win both Jesus Calling and Jesus Calling for Kids!  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Big C’s Frozen Birthday Party With Help From Birthday Express

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Birthday Express and received sample items to thank me for my time.  All opinions are mine.

We celebrated Big C’s birthday with a family party and a Frozen theme this past weekend.  Birthday Express helped us create a beautiful party and lots of memories!  We choose the Birthday In A Box Ultimate package.  We were able to create a beautiful table setting for Big C and her cousins.

We started out the party with a surprise visit from the real Anna and Elsa themselves.  My daughter was in shock that they came to celebrate her big day.  It was so fun to watch her light up.

Big C had decorated the loft (where she met Anna and Elsa) with Frozen wall stickers just like the ones below.  These were also included in her Birthday Express Package.

Image provided by Birthday Express

Anna and Elsa sang, danced and read stories to the kids.  Wow!  They had such beautiful voices and they sounded just like the movie.  Afterwards, the children were able to talk and take pictures with the princesses.  We created a fun backdrop with the streamers and balloons.

After the princesses went back to Arendelle, we had pizza and an ice cream birthday cake.  Yummy!
Birthday Express also provided Big C with a Pinata filled with candy and toys.  Though all the kids gave it a great try, they weren’t able to bust it open.  So as a team, all the cousins worked together to pull the beautiful strings and empty the Pinata.  
Birthday Express sent each child home with a goody box filled with Frozen theme fun!  Thank you to all our family who helped to make Big C’s 5th birthday so special.  And thank you to Birthday Express for helping us to create a fun and memorable party!

Big C is 5!

To My Sweet Daughter,

Happy 5th birthday.  I couldn’t be more proud of you.  You make me laugh and know how to light up a room with your big, toothy smile.  You are so smart (smarter then me, I’m sure) with your large vocabulary in your little girl voice.  You are beautiful, fun-loving and carefree.  I love you, Big C! I thank God for letting me be your mommy.  Happy birthday, baby girl!

Love, Mommy

Questionnaire provided by Sunshine Praises

Teach Your Kids To Handle Money With Dave Ramsey + Giveaway

Our family was very similar to most other families.  We were living paycheck to paycheck.  We had debt and a pretty substantial amount.  Any time we received extra money from a tax return, sale of house or extra paycheck, we spent it.  We went on vacations and bought things we wanted.  But we had no savings and had no idea how we were going to live once we retired, or if anything had ever happened to either of us.

But all that changed.  We recently graduated from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University with a wealth of knowledge on how to get rid of debt, save for our future and give to others.  Since starting the class we have created an emergency fund and paid off over $2500 using the debt snowball.  We view money as a blessing now, have a plan in place and goals to achieve.

Live like no one else today, so you can live and give like no one else tomorrow!

After starting FPU, we quickly realized we needed to teach our children how to be good stewards of God’s money, as well.  We don’t want them to learn money lessons the hard way like we did or think that loans and credit cards are a way of life.  We want to teach them to work hard for their money and how to manage it well, including saving, spending and giving.  Once we learned about Financial Peace Jr., we knew this would be a great tool for teaching our kids how to handle money.

Financial Peace Jr. has everything you need to teach your kids about money.  It includes tools, resources and step-by-step instructions for parents.  In this package you will find:
  • Activity Book
  • Give, Save, Spend Envelopes
  • Electronic Smart Money Smart Kids Book
  • Video Lessons
  • Launchpad Chart and Stickers
  • Dry Erase Chore Chart, Labels, Frame and Marker
  • Story Time Book Set
  • Smart Saver Bank
Big C recently completely all of her lessons and “graduated” from Financial Peace, Jr.  She is excited to earn her own commission and handle her money the right way.  On pay day, her first 10% goes into the give bank, then she divides her money into save and spend.  Big C set a goal to give to an organization called Instride Therapy, which partners with horses and challenges people with special needs to reach their full potential.  She is saving up for sparkly, light up shoes!

Teach your kids how to handle money so your legacy is a blessing, not a curse.
Financial Peace Jr. is perfect for children 3 to 12 years old.  Your child will learn how earning works, how to save and pay cash, the value and importance of giving, have fun spending money on a plan, why debt is dangerous, and integrity!  You can purchase the Financial Peace Jr. Adventure Pack for $124.99 at DaveRamsey.com.  Stay connected with Dave Ramsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest products, financial tips and sales!

Dave Ramsey is giving you a chance to win a Financial Peace Jr. Adventure Pack (just like the one Big C has) for your sweet tiny blessing!  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents only. 

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In Your Loving Memory

My Sweet Grandma

My heart is heavy because you aren’t here
And I can’t seem to hold back these tears

I miss you Grandma
your voice
your laugh
and hugs

I wish you could stay forever, Grandma
I wish I never had to let you go
You are the strongest, kindest woman, I have ever known

Thank you for all the memories, Grandma
I’ll hold them forever in my heart
Thank you for loving me
Until we had to part

I know you are happy now, Grandma
A shining light of love
Shine for me, Grandma
Shine your light above

I got on my knees, held her soft, gentle hand and tried to speak to her through my tears.  She laid in a deep sleep, but I knew she could hear me.  So I talked to her.  I prayed with her.  I kissed her.  I didn’t want to let her go.  And as I said my last I love you, she lifted her hand that I was holding.  No words, no facial expressions, just a lift.  I’m sure it took all her might, but I’m so thankful she did.

This past Saturday, my beautiful grandmother passed away at 98 years young.  98!  Can you imagine all that she has seen and been through in her lifetime?  She was the strongest woman I’ve ever known.  I had no idea how hard it would be to let her go, for the heartache is still so strong.

Save a place for me, Grandma! XOXO