Category: Faith & Family

Merry Christmas…Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Merry Christmas List

It’s Christmas…

Eat || cookies

Drink || hot cocoa

Watch || children’s joy

Love || time with family

Enjoy || laughter

Teach || children to give

Take In || the beauty of the season

Merry Christmas...Eat, Drink, Watch, Love, Enjoy, Teach, Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Appreciate || your family

Give || time and attention

Write || a note of thankfulness

Make || memories

Thank || who we love

Try || to step back

Listen || with full attention

Pray || for those who are grieving

Reach Out || to those who have lost hope

Trust || our Savior to be with us in the new year

Remember || loved ones who are spending Christmas with Jesus

Read || Luke 2

Merry Christmas...Pray, Reach Out, Trust, Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Need || a Savior

Adore || the baby Jesus

Wonder || of God’s great love for us

Sing ||

Be near me, Lord Jesus I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care

And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.**

Please share || the Christmas story.


Merry Christmas...Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing**Away in a Manger vs 3 John T. McFarland

What is on your Merry Christmas List?

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.
This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water. In August, I wanted to track our daily reading. In September, I got control of our morning and evening schedules.

I often hear about people who have a gratitude journal or write down a list of what they are thankful for each evening. It’s important to always be thankful, but I have never taken the time to write down a list. I believe that we are to have a thankful heart and that we need to focus on the many blessings given by our Savior.

 My November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments. Record the Moments in my Mom’s One Line a Day book each day

While I was originally going to try keeping a gratitude journal in November, I decided to do a variation of it. I have the Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book and don’t write in it as consistently as I would like. The book includes one page for every day of the year and on each page it has room for 5 different years. I use the book to write in some of my daughters’ milestones but also like to write down things they say or do. I use it to write down memories and enjoy looking back at it. It’s helpful to write things down as I know I would otherwise forget much of what they say and do!


I am so grateful for my girls and so I’m going to try and write in the book consistently in November. Because I will be in the fog of life with a newborn, it will help me to step back and look for the joyous moments in my days.

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Your November Mini Goal: Pick one of the ideas below!



If you want to read more about Gratitude Journals read: The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal and How to Maintain One

Here are a few more thankfulness activities:

Let me know if you decide to join!

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups

Best Children’s Books for Fall

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. — Emilie Buchwald

It’s fall! This is the perfect time to enjoy a fall book or two with your children. Curl up under a blanket inside or bring it outside to soak up the sun and enjoy the crisp weather before it turns into winter. Read about the leaves, apples, pumpkins, thanksgiving, and more.

Best Children's Books for Fall

I am sharing just a few fall books we enjoy. Go to Amazon to add the books to your collection or head to your library to check these out. Here are some of the best children’s books for fall:  

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse
This book will get your children ready to carve pumpkins! My girls loved to pick their favorite pumpkin expressions.

God Bless Our Fall
A sweet reminder of the many blessings of fall.

Pumpkin Pumpkin

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Bear Says Thanks
Karma Wilson’s bear books are favorites in my home.  

Bear Has a Story to Tell
For the end of the fall season…

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
by Louisa May Alcott

The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

Fall
And a touch and feel book for the little ones.

What are your favorite children’s books for fall?

Pin this post for later! I have a few more fall books on hold at the library, so I may be adding more books to this list soon.

Best Children's Books for Fall

Are you looking for books specifically for babies? Head over to read my 10 Favorite Books for Babies. All 10 books have been read again and again in my home. They are our true favorites!

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List 

After School Activities for Kids

After School Activities for Kids

We like to keep the after school schedule simple around my home. Because my daughter comes home tired and exhausted from her school day, we don’t currently schedule any activities after school. I like to have my kindergartner come home to do what she enjoys most…free time to just play.

Here are a few of the activities that we enjoy once my daughter gets home from school:

Get outside!

Because I know winter is not too far away and the after-school time will be cold and dark, I want to take advantage of this beautiful fall weather. After school is a great time to have the children get outside and play! It seems like my kindergartner gets plenty of time to run around and play at school, but if your child has been at a desk all day they may need the time to get fresh air, exercise, and a change of scenery.

Check out this scavenger hunt printable if you need an activity for your kiddos outside. Getting outside can restore mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve mental health. This article provides a list of the many other benefits of getting outside. This might also be a great break for you!

After School Activities for Kids. Get outside. 

Chat about the school day

After being away all day, my girl likes to just sit on the couch with me right when she gets home. We go over everything in her backpack and she tells me about her day. I know that she might not want to do this when she is older, so I love the time!

Reading time

Same as above, some days she just needs a little mom time when she gets home. We may snuggle on the couch reading books together.

Bake a snack together

My girls enjoy baking, so this is a great time to make a snack together. The girls most often help me make pumpkin bread or energy bites. Pumpkin bread is the perfect fall treat. Energy bites are the perfect thing to put in your children’s lunches, so I try to have a batch on hand. They are tasty and my whole family enjoys them.

After School Activities for Kids. Baking pumpkin bread!

Free play with siblings

My kindergartner loves to come home and play with her sister. I am thankful that they play so wonderfully together. Some days it’s best to just step back and let their imaginations run wild. I love listening to the scenarios they come up with!

Play a game

We don’t have a free-for-all with tech time at home, so getting to play a game is a bonus that my girls love. My kindergartner enjoys de-stressing with a little educational screen time.

Amazon Underground is a catalog of over 3,000 free games and apps that are 100% FREE when you download. The games and apps can be downloaded on your Amazon Fire tablet or Android smartphone and the “Actually Free” games and apps can provide a fun break in our day.
blog_500x500_3840_clevergirls

We have enjoyed playing Kindergarten Learning Boost Workbook, Math Games, Monkey Preschool Fix-It, and Elmo Loves ABCs

Elmo Loves ABCs is an app that includes tracing the alphabet and learning a few words for each letter of the alphabet. Here is my daughter playing Elmo ABCs:

 

 

A video posted by Emily (@ammotivatedmom) on


Check out the over 3,000 apps and games that are 100% free from Amazon Underground

After School Activities for Kids. Amazon Underground

 

After School Activities for Kids. Amazon Underground

What do your children like to do after school?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

After School Activities for Kids

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

We all have days that we are tired, weary, stressed, frustrated, and struggling with patience.

Small everyday stressors may be unavoidable some days, but finding a way to deal with stress and minimize the impact is key to the atmosphere of your home. As a mom, I know that my stress-level impacts my children and I try to keep my stress levels down. There are so many things we can do to decrease our stress levels in a natural way. Creating healthy habits can help to minimize stress and help to lift our moods.

While I can keep the small every-day stresses in perspective, I still need to find ways to get out of a down moment or stressful day.

Here are 13 ways to reduce daily stress:

Begin your day with quiet/alone time

I find that if I have even a few minutes alone in the morning, my day runs more smoothly. I enjoy waking up before my girls instead of with them, as this gives me time to enjoy my coffee, read my devotion, and hop on the computer. Consider creating a morning routine as a way to reset your morning and get your day started right.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Exercise

This is my main stress reliever. I start to get unpleasant when I go too long without exercise! If you are not exercising consistently, start by adding small amounts of exercise into your day. If you have trouble getting motivated, remember that the first step out the door is the hardest. Once you get out and exercise, you will rarely (if ever!) regret it.

Get Outside

Getting outside can restore your mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve your mental health. This article provides a list of the many other benefits of getting outside. I would guess the more time you are outside, the less you are sedentary. Get fresh air, exercise, vitamin D, and a change of scenery by getting outside. This is also great for children! Check out this scavenger hunt printable if you need an activity for your kiddos outside.

Use the Spire Fitness Tracker to let you know when you are getting stressed or have been sitting around too long. Then head outside for a quick break!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Look for joy

Even when frustrated, there is often a joyous moment around the corner. Even when my children are acting up and frustrating me, it’s usually only a few minutes later that I think they are most wonderful. I end up laughing with them and being completely overcome with love. A child’s laughter can bring you back.

When frustrated, I remind myself just to wait for the joyful moment as it’s probably just minutes away.

Pray

Ask Him for help. Lay your concerns on Him and trust that He is with you.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all.

Take a look at your schedule and commitments. Simplify what you can in your home. You may find non-essential tasks that are only causing stress.

It’s just not worth the pressure. I know that many struggle with this, but pick your priorities and stick them. Decide what you care about for yourself and your family and focus on that. Don’t let others expectations or standards wear you down.

Reset. Change gears.

If I have had a long day with my girls, a simple change can help to reset our day. If the kiddos are getting antsy, get outside or plan an activity to wear them out. Some days this is obvious and easy. Some days this will feel like too much work, but it’s often worth it.

Know what refreshes you

Figure out what quick activity or treat refreshes and relaxes you. If that gives you a little more patience to get you through the day…schedule it in!!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Make a grateful list.

This is something I have yet to try, but I hear so much about it! Get in the habit of writing down 3 things you are grateful for each night before going to bed.

Stepping back and finding something you are grateful for can quickly change your perspective!

Stay hydrated.

You will feel better if you stay hydrated, so remember to drink plenty of water! Your body will function better. Here are 8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day.

Get sleep.

This is key! You will have much more energy, your brain will function better, and your physical health will improve. Your body restores itself while sleeping, so your entire body will thank you when you start to make sleep a priority. 

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Check your perspective.

Remember that we have all we need. Everything we need. His grace is enough.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Deep, slow breathing

When you start to get stressed or anxious, your breaths may become short and shallow. The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker picks up on your breathing rate and can notify you to take a few deep breaths. It can alert you in the moment and suggest breathing exercises that lead to putting you in a calmer and focused state.

If you are not good at sitting down quietly and breathing slow, the Spire Activity Tracker will guide you.

In addition to tracking your breath, notifying you if you are tense, and walking you through breathing activities, the Spire Activity Tracker also tracks your steps and active minutes. At the end of the day, I can see if I met my active minutes and step goals. I can set up notifications to notify me when I have been sedentary for a set amount of minutes. 

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress. Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker

What is your favorite way to reduce stress in your own life?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

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Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

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