Monday, December 11, 2017

What My Kids Are Getting For Christmas-2017

I love seeing what other people's kids are getting or got for Christmas. Or not even necessarily kids, I guess, just people in general! I just think it's really interesting and fun to see what people give as gifts or what people ask for. 

The way we have been doing Christmas gifts for the kids the last couple of years is we give them each 4 gifts from us. We tried the whole something to wear, read, want, need thing but it just didn't work for us. I didn't always want to give them books, and they never need anything because we buy them things when they need it, so it just didn't work. We took the same type of approach and broadened the categories a bit and we do 1. a wearable gift 2. their big want 3. activity gift-either based on an activity, or that they can use in an activity...something to DO. 4. something educational.
It has worked out really well the last few years and it has helped me to not just go crazy buying every little thing at Christmastime! We don't necessarily have a set budget per kid because some years they want something more expensive or extravagant, and some years they want something smaller. It all evens out. 
The kids each get a gift from their siblings (so far the girls have picked out a hot wheels semi hauler for one boy and a semi truck hauler for the other) and we also do a family gift every year that is a game and we play it on Christmas afternoon. We also do stockings but I don't have everything listed for those in this post :) 
So, here's what my kids are getting for Christmas! 

Daughter #1-6 years old
Want: Ninja turtle watch. This is a smaller want but she has been begging for this for months!
Wear: Nike hoodie. Another thing she has had on her wishlist for quite awhile.
Activity: Ukuklele
Educational: (not pictured) Art set with How to draw 101 animals book and sketch pad

Daugher #2-4 years old
Want: Melissa & Doug ice cream counter. She hasn't ever actually seen this but she plays ice cream shop every time we go to the park so I know she is going to love this and play with it all the time! 
Wear: My little pony robe & slippers
Activity: Ukuklele
Educational: (not pictured) Art set with Things girls love drawing book and sketch pad

Son #1- almost 3 years old
Want: Tablet, case and headphones. We bought a 4 pack of fire tablets on Amazon a couple years ago and haven't really used 2 of them, so we are giving them to the boys with cases and headphones like the girls have. They don't know how to use a tablet yet or anything, but I know they'll get a lot of use out of them on trips and in years to come. 
Wear: Adidas track suit
Activity: Ukulele
Educational: Trucks book set

Son #2- almost 3 years old
Basically the same as his brother
Want: Tablet, case and headphones
Wear: Adidas track suit
Activity: Ukulele
Educational: Things that go book set 

What are your kids getting for Christmas?! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Goals Recap

I mentioned all the way back in January that I have really enjoyed setting goals the last few years. I don't always meet them, but they help me to stay more on track with things that are important to me. 
I don't want to say I did super great on my goals this year, because, well, I definitely could have done better. A lot of them went really well until this last month or so. Moving has thrown everything for a loop and hasn't left a lot of time for much else, but overall this year, I did pretty well with most of my goals. 
Here's what they were: 

Complete another Bible reading plan
This is one that went really well until this last month or so. I kept up on it for the most part and if I missed a day, I made it up the next day. I have really enjoyed being in the New Testament a lot more this year and paired with the Be Still journal, I felt like I mixed up my quiet times a bit this year, which was a good thing for me and really refreshing! 

Read 25 books
This one I think I will actually meet. I am at 20 completed books right now and I am in the middle of a novel and 2 non fiction books right now. My husband and I are taking a trip in a couple weeks sans kiddos which will give me some reading time on flights as well, so I don't think it will be a problem to hit 25 by the end of the month! Something I did a little different this year is I almost always had a non fiction book going. I read those slower and I prefer to just read a chapter or so at a time so I can soak up whatever I read, whereas with novels I read and read and read. My husband and I have read several parenting books this year, which has been really fun. One of us will read a chapter out loud to the other. I have really enjoyed getting his take on certain topics and I'm glad we are getting some of the same ideas from these books so we can decide together what we want to put into practice. That is why I have 2 non fiction going right now-I'm reading one on my own and one with him. 

Health and Fitness
I didn't ever really set a specific, measurable goal for this. I should have, but didn't, and it showed. For the first half of the year or so, I set workout goals each month and did well with that, but kind of stopped somewhere in the summer. I may try to do that again next year because it kept me pretty consistent with workouts. 

Blog once per week
I am so bummed about this one! I did SO good on this until November! Again with the moving situation. This is my 65th post in 2017, so I definitely averaged more than once a week with doing Blogtober, so I think I'm going to call this a semi-win. I had wanted to do once per week just for consistency. In the past I have done weeks where I post almost every day and then nothing for months, so I wanted to just have something more consistent. Once per week felt totally do able to me most weeks. 

Daily memory journal
This was a fail, and here's why. I did great the first half of the year or so. I really enjoyed doing this most days because it was fun to write down cute things the kids said or did, or great conversations I had with my husband. But it got to the point of feeling like I had to sit down at bedtime and do it and sometimes I didn't want to take 5 minutes to write something out. I think maybe an electronic type would be better for me because I can type a lot faster than write so it wouldn't take me long at all to put it in my phone. Is there an app for this?! I do really cherish having little memories written down for the future, so I would like to find something that is do-able. 

Christ likeness
This isn't necessarily a measurable goal, so I am basically going off of how I feel. Compared to this time a year ago I would say I feel like I know God a lot better than I did 1 year ago, which I think is how it should always be in our Christian walk. Always evolving and changing and growing. So I would say this goal went well and I would like to think I am better today than I was last year :) 

This was a HUGE year for our family and there were so many unknowns, bumps in the road, and joys this year. One of my favorite posts to do every year is a yearly recap and I am excited to sit down soon and go through our year and remember everything we've done and walked through in 2017. 
I haven't really started thinking about goals for 2018 yet, but I will have to do that soon, as well. Do you set goals each year, and if so, what are you thinking about for next year? 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

What Happened to Blogtober?

I did SO good blogging for most of October, and then stopped very suddenly. 
As much as I wanted to complete blogtober I felt like I had to stop. 
Life got a little crazy and it honestly was just taking up too much of my time. 
I was skipping times with God so I could blog, I hadn't read a book the entire month, my house was a mess. But then, then we decided very suddenly to move, and that pretty much made the decision for me. 
Moving-exciting! But moving with 4 kids....sooo much work. We needed to get our current house up on the market quickly because we very suddenly and randomly found what is pretty close to our dream home, and we wanted to make a move on it. We had A LOT of stuff to do to get our house ready to list, so that took precedence and blogging got booted. I wish I could have finished because I was so close! I even had a few drafts started, but I'm glad I stopped when I did so we could get things done! 
So for now, I'll probably be back to blogging once or twice a week and hopefully still sharing some of the posts I planned for Blogtober. And whenever we sell our house and move to the new house, I'm sure I'll have some posts about that, too! 
Here's a {bad quality phone w/ flash} picture of the kiddos at the new house :) We can't wait to move in! 

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