Saturday, November 22, 2014

Operation: Life Decompartmentalization: Advent

Our family has never intentionally celebrated Advent...can you hear the Christians gasping? ;)

Our families do not live in Kentucky with us.  They live in Florida, North Carolina, & Michigan.  We don't get to see everyone for every holiday, so usually we divide our holidays up between states.

It's amazing. It's also exhausting.

Let me explain.  We are so blessed to be able to spend time with our families.  There is nothing we want more than to be with our families...especially during the holidays.  It's also amazing that our boys get to see the country!  They have a TON of family that loves them so very much.

However, no matter where we are during a particular holiday, there is always someone we are NOT with.  If we could, we would be with all of our family every holiday, but we can't.  Also, distant family means traveling.  Lots of driving and flying.  Our boys are champs!  They are great at long hauls.  But, even the strong grow weary!

This year, we are staying in KY for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  What the what!?  I'm quite certain that God ordained this just for me.  I need a break.  We've been traveling a LOT since October, and I need to stay put for a bit.  I need to feel settled.  I need to be home.

So, for the first time in, well...EVER!...we are going to be home for all of Advent.

If I'm completely honest, all I knew about Advent was this: I'm supposed to take time to focus on Jesus before Christmas, and at church each week they light a candle that stands for something.  I needed to do some research.  HOW do I help my family (and myself) focus on Jesus more during this pre-Christmas time?

After some Googling and asking other mom friends, my heart was drawn to the Jesse Tree.  I brought the idea to my husband, and he graciously agreed to give it a try.  We're following the outline found here.  I used that outline to create my own ornaments.  Here they are:
We're going to use our small, fake tree to hang the ornaments on, and we will read each story from The Children's Storybook Bible (HIGHLY recommend!).

Advent doesn't officially start until November 30th this year.  I still have some time to get things together, but I'm excited to make Jesus a part of every single day this Advent season.  Jesus doesn't belong just at church.  He's a part of every single thing we do, every single day.  This is our way of refocusing our family on Jesus during a season that has dimmed His light with the LEDs of commercialism.

Happy Advent, friends :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Boxes

Coffee Box $25
This holiday season, I'm doing my best to shop local and shop small.  I hope to encourage all of you beautiful folks to shop local and small this year too!  Here are a few ideas to get you started :)

~Tea Box $22
   ...includes: 3 Osito Bath Teas (variety)
                     1 Osito Mug of your choice

~Coffee Box $25
   ...includes: 1/2lb Kifu Coffee
                     1 Osito Mug of your choice

~Cake4Two Box $28
   ...includes: 2 Osito Mugs of your choice
                     The dry ingredients for 2 Mug Cakes

~Bath Box $30
   ...includes: 16oz Osito Bath Salts
                      5 Osito Bath Teas (variety)

~Body Box $30
   ...incudes: 8oz Osito Sugar Scrub of your choice
                    8oz Body Butter of your choice
                    2 Body Butter Bars of your choice

Tea Box $22
Each box is made by 10 year old Olivia and her dad.  The wood is reclaimed from the local Subway that was damaged by a recent storm.  That means that each box is a small piece of Wilmore, KY history.  (And come on, don't you want to support sweet Olivia!?)

Kifu Coffee is roasted by a local family...well, local to me!  It's the best coffee I've ever tasted.  Honestly.  Nothing compares. To make it even better, it is roasted by some of the greatest people I know!  You can find out more about Kifu here: http://www.kifubeans.com/.

Osito Mugs are each hand painted. They are each unique.  They will hold up in the dishwasher, but hand-washing is recommended.

Coffee Box $25
Osito Bath and Body products are made with quality products that help to heal your skin. The ingredients are natural and you can pronounce each one ;)  I use my own products on myself and my family...that's the best endorsement I know of!

Please, this holiday season, please consider shopping local.  Consider shopping small.  Consider this: