Monday, December 26, 2011

Receiving Gifts

Do you know your love language?  Author Gary Chapman has written a series of books about 5 love languages, or your primary way of expressing and interpreting love.  During one of our weekly date nights this past year, Matt and I took the test.  You can take it, too--click here.

We discovered that Matt's love language is "receiving gifts."  He's not materialistic and it doesn't mean he likes expensive gifts.  He just likes to know that he was thought of and appreciates the love and effort behind gift-giving.  A pack of post-it notes or a Reese's cup Christmas tree from a normal errand can express the same love as a much larger, more expensive gift given on a holiday.

Now, I must stop and say that "receiving gifts" is at the bottom of my list.  I'm a "quality time" and "words of affirmation" girl.  Since our love languages are different, I have to make an effort to show my love for him using his love language.  It's much more natural for me to want to express love in the way I prefer to receive it.  This makes the gift-giving holidays challenging, but fun.

Matt and I exchange stockings at Christmas time.  This year, I was so excited about his gifts.  I got a little creative!  This is what my hubby received.

All his stocking stuffers had cheesy little tags on them.  Just of example, the pens said, "you are stuPENdous" and the Riesens said, "I love you for so many RIESENS."

But, my favorite part of the gift was inspired by The Dating Divas (one of my favorite blogs).  I preplanned a monthly date for each month of 2012.  Each date is fairly inexpensive or even free (frisbee golf).  I combined our love languages--quality time (me) and receiving gifts (Matt)!  YAY!!  
This picture gives you an example of some of the months.

And, a close up for details!!

Matt was very surprised and very loved this Christmas morning!  And, I have to admit it was really fun to plan and execute this gift!

Happy Gift Giving!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!

"For there is born to you today in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:11

As you enjoy this wonderful Christmas season with your family and friends, I pray you have time to remember the reason for Christmas--the birth of Jesus Christ!  My Savior came to earth in the humbleness of a stable.  A baby who was born of God.  A baby who would eventually die for my sins, and the sins of the world.  What an amazing gift!  Emmanuel--"God with us"!

Merry, merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Hair Raising"

Last night, Eli received this:

Today, Eli did this:

Yes, friends, that is indeed the "noise putty" in his hair.  It was also in Abel's hair.  Apparently, they were playing "shampoo."  UGH!!  FUN!!

Fortunately, this removes "noise putty" from hair with relative ease--thank goodness!  

Of course, it makes sense as the label advertises, "Dawn helps save wildlife" and I'm pretty sure my kiddos fall into the wildlife category at this point!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Tis the Season

In the midst of this busy, hectic, and sometimes stressful season, it's easy to get overwhelmed.  It's easy to forget what this time of year is really all about.  It's easy to slip into the let's-get-this-done-and-check-it-off-the-Christmas-must-do-list mindset.  This year, I'm purposing to remember why we celebrate.  I'm purposing be joyful.  I'm purposing to slow down and enjoy each and every moment.

Disclaimer:  If you see me out and about and I'm harried, rushed, stressed, or pulling my hair out, remind me about this blog post!  Thanks so much in advance!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Morning at the Park

A few days ago, Mema and PaPa joined us for a visit to the newly remodeled Pullen Park.  We had such a great time on our outing.  We rode the carousel and the train.  The little boys rode the boats, and we played on all the playground equipment.  The weather was perfect, with temperatures in the upper 60s. It was absolutely gorgeous for the end of November.

My parents are such a blessing.  I'm amazed at what they'll try, even at their ages.  When the grandkids are involved, there's not much they won't do if asked nicely.  There's nothing like seeing your 67 year old mother and your 62 year old father on a see-saw!  I've always heard that you're only as old as you feel and apparently they were feeling particularly young that day! 

Here are a few pictures of the fun!

"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."  ~Alex Haley

Thursday, December 1, 2011


These are my children and my nieces and nephews--from left to right:  Jacob, Josh, Christian, Wooten, Eli, Rebecca, Abel, and Anna Gracen.  I was in high school when Wooten, the oldest, was born.  He's 16 now.  Are you kidding me??  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?

I couldn't be more proud of each of them!  They play sports, dance, do gymnastics, hunt, act, sing, text (teehee), and love each other.  When they are all together, you can bet there will be some action.  It's so fun to watch them enjoy one another and see their interests change as they get older.  My littlest boys are much younger than the others, but they adore their older brother and cousins and get doted on.

Our family is close knit and I am unbelievably thankful for that.  Not only are these good looking kiddos cousins, they are friends.  

Family is such a blessing and together is a wonderful place to be!