Weekly Goals

Happy December. I can’t believe Christmas is only a few more weeks! anyhow, here is how I did last week:

Set Goals

Marriage/Parenting/Home Management Goals

1. Send Michael a “love text” twice this week.

2. Do some holiday baking with Andrew.

3. Take some time to just be “in the moment” to enjoy being together as a family – both on Thanksgiving but each day of the week, too.

Personal Goals

4. Get up at 6:00 am. (I let myself sleep in a few days!)

5. Spend at least 15 minutes reading the bible and prayer every morning.

6. Exercise at least 15 minutes, 5 times this week.

Educational Goals

7. Finish final draft of Senior Seminar I paper and submit. (almost done!)

8. Write rough draft of Anglo-Saxon final paper to bring to class workshop.

Blogging/Writing Goals

9. Write and post book review of An Amish Second Christmas. (Sweet book. Read the review here.)

10. Work on the other website I am creating. I can’t wait for this to launch! It is something very different from I’ve ever done before. :)

Here are my plans for this coming week:

Marriage/Parenting/Home Management Goals

1. Send Michael a “love text” twice this week.

2. Create Christmas shopping list and Christmas card list.

3. Spend at least 10 minutes reading with Andrew.

Personal Goals

4. Get up at 6:00 am.

5. Spend at least 15 minutes reading the bible and prayer every morning.

6. Exercise at least 15 minutes, 5 times this week.

Educational Goals

7. Finish final draft of Senior Seminar I paper and submit.

8. Finish Anglo-Saxon final paper and submit.

Blogging/Writing Goals

9. Write and post book review of A Love Undone

10. Work on the other website I am creating.

Now it’s your turn. Share what you have going on this week in the comments, or join us over at Money Saving Mom with your own goals.

Book Review: Forever Christmas

Forever ChristmasFrom Book Description:

“Andrew can’t remember the last time he spent Christmas away from work. the end of the year is crunch time for literary agents. But when your career is your life, your life starts to suffer…beginning with your marriage. When a heart-wrenching accident in a Christmas Eve snowstorm jars this high-powered agent from his obsession with success, a Christmas miracle will give him a second chance at love, life, and gratitude, but only if he can put aside his own ambition and learn to appreciate each moment.”

My Comments:

Forever Christmas is the typical, feel-good novella. The characters are charming and relatable, the writing is good, and the plot is just what you would expect, for the most part. And, of course, it pulls all your heart-strings so you keep turning the pages. I can easily see this book being turned into a Halmark Channel special. (I mean that in a good way!)

My favorite aspect of the book is how it reminds the reader what is truly important: people, not things. It is something that we all need to be reminded of, especially nowadays, in our materialistic, rat-race world. For so many people, Christmas is nothing more than giving the latest and greatest “thing” that happens to be on the market. There is no real understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.

There is one thing about the book I didn’t like. The ending. I didn’t like it AT ALL. I mean, I think I get why what happens happens. But, it pretty much blew the book for me because it just isn’t realistic. Yes, I believe in miracles, and I know God can do what He wants, but the ending just flat out rubbed me the wrong way.

Having said that, over all, Forever Christmas is a sweet, lovely book. If you are looking for a short, feel-good book to get you into the Christmas spirit, this book would make for a very good choice.

I give the novella three (3) stars.

—————

(Linked to Sunday Snippets)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here’s how I did last week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day and St. Andrew’s Novena.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Pray over devotional for bible study I am participating in.

4. Blog at least twice. (Sort of. I’m counting the goals post.)

5. Write review for “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation.

6. Finish both research papers and upload them to class dropbox. Man were they tough! I hope I did well.

7. Work on final project for Health, Healing and Laughter class.

8. Work on final paper for Christian Tradition.

9. Study for exams!

Here’s my goals for this week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day and St. Andrew’s Novena.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Blog at least twice.

4. Write review for “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation.

5. Work on final projects for Health, Healing and Laughter class and Christian Tradition class.

6. Study for exams!

7. Decorate for Christmas and get tree.

8. Finish Christmas cards and send them out.

9. Work on special project. (More info to follow in a few weeks. 🙂 )

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Good week. I actually crossed everything off. That hasn’t happened in a long time!

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review.

6. Take Andrew to CCD.

Here are my plans for this coming week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Finish presentation for Drama class. It is an oral presentation, so please pray it goes well!

5. Blog at least twice.

6. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review.

7. Take Andrew to CCD and play practice. Andrew is in the Christmas pageant for our church and very excited about it!

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

(P.S. The Christmas Season is fast approaching and if you want to stay organized and sane this year, you may want to check out the Christmas Planning Toolkit that I put together. It is chock-full of templates and lists to help you make the most out of the holidays!)

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (November 10, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Only two posts for this week’s Sunday Snippets:

Weekly Goals

An inspiring quote that I found on Pinterest

Question of the week:

Do you have any recipe you make for religious reasons–ie to celebrate a religious holiday or to teach kids something about the faith or to help you remember something about your faith or as a prayer?

This is tough. I don’t have a specific recipe to celebrate holidays, per se, but I do try to gear menus to them. I make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s day and try to do a little something for the various feast days but I don’t have particular recipes. Last year I got a recipe for a Resurrection Cake through a guest post, and for Easter every year I usually make a Strawberry-Pineapple Jello mold but it has no religious significance. Also, we make a Jesus birthday cake every year for Christmas but have no specific recipe for it.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (October 27, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Here are my posts for this week’s Sunday Snippets:

Weekly Goals

Book Review: Catholic Update Guide to Mary

The ‘Ultimate’ Christmas Planning Toolkit

Question of the week: Who is your favorite saint?

This is hard to answer, because I have a few! I would have to say the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph St. Martin de Porres, St. Josemaria Escriva,  and St. Jeanne Jugan are my top five. But, if I HAD to pick out of these five I would say St. Joseph. He always comes through for me when I need him and with my husband Michael on the road a lot, I know St. Joseph is watching over us. 🙂

The ‘Ultimate’ Christmas Planning Toolkit

Christmas Planning Toolkit

Please excuse the “shameless” plug but November is next week and I wanted to make sure you knew about the ‘Ultimate’ Christmas Planner Toolkit I created.

Every year Advent/Christmas comes and goes so fast that it is hard sometimes to stay organized, sane and truly focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Do you have the same problem or is it just me? 🙂

That’s why I created the ‘Ultimate’ Christmas planner. It is a 96-page e-book chock-full of templates and lists that will help you keep track of everything you need and want to do during the Advent/Christmas Season. Actually, NOW is the time to start planning for the holy-days and this planner includes templates for Halloween, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving and more.

Here is a run-down of what is included in this toolkit:

  • Calendar Templates
  • Budget Template
  • Wish List
  • Gift Lists
  • Greeting Card Lists
  • Thank You Card List
  • Online Confirmation List
  • Menu Plans
  • Baking Plans
  • Grocery Lists
  • Recipe Template
  • Housekeeping Templates
  • Decorating Templates
  • Party and Entertainment Templates
  • Family Craft Template
  • Tradition Celebrations Template
  • Movie, Reading and Music Lists
  • Self-Care Template
  • Pet-Care Template
  • Inspiration List
  • To-Do Templates
  • Blank Note Pages

All you have to do is print out the pages you need, use a 3-hole puncher and put the pages in a binder. Keep the binder in a convenient spot and complete the templates as needed. 🙂

The toolkit is $10 and can be purchased through my Etsy Shop or by clicking the link below.

Add to Cart

Ten Fun Christmas Books

I’ve been doing a Top Ten Christmas theme the last couple of weeks. First I shared some of our favorite Christmas movies, then I shared some of our favorite Christmas music. Today I am going to share some of our (mostly my!) favorite Christmas themed books.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

1. Twas the Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. Duh! This has to be number one, right? 🙂 I’ve started a tradition that I wrap this book and allow Andrew to open on Christmas Eve and then I read the book to him before he goes to bed. Well, I’m trying to make it a tradition, but we’ll see if Andrew will allow me to keep it up!

A Christmas Carol

2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. None of the versions of the Christmas Carol or Scrooge would ever had been made possible if it hadn’t been for the book!

White Christmas Pie

3. White Christmas Pie by Wanda Brunstetter. A charming Amish roman fiction novel about a man named Will who is bitter towards his father who left him with an Amish family when he was a young boy. An accident ensues causing a series of events that leads to forgiveness and healing.

The Christmas Shoes

4. The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere. This is the book behind the heart-rendering Christmas song. It was also turned into a movie. (This book is also one of a series of four “Christmas Hope” books.)

the Christmas Wedding

5. The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson. I haven’t read this book, but I have it on my wish list. 🙂 I’m not a huge Jame Patterson fan; but, I have thoroughly enjoyed his non-thriller novels, such as Sam’s Letters to Jennifer and Miracle on the 17th Green, so I have a feeling this will be a great book.

The Meaning of Christmas

6. The Meaning of Christmas by Jean Phillips. This is a lovely children’s book (that is out of stock on Amazon) tells the story of Christmas using familiar nursing-rhyme characters and verse.

God Gave us Christmas

7. God Gave us Christmas by Lisa T. Bergren. Another sweet children’s book that brings out the true meaning of Christmas. You will enjoy it as much as your kids. 🙂

Remembering Christmas: A Novel

8. Remembering Christmas: A Novel by Dan Walsh.  This novel, with the familiar themes of hope and forgiveness, will touch your heart and spirit.

Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas

9. Thomas Kinkade’s Home for Christmas by Jo Ann Brown. (Also known as the Christmas Cottage.) This is the story of how Thomas Kinkade became the “painter of light” that his now known to be. There is also a movie version of the book.

The Perfect Christmas

10. The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber. I haven’t read many books from this well-known author; but this was a fun, light read. And, although this book is about a single woman looking for love through a professional matchmaker, you don’t have to be single to enjoy this book. 🙂

And don’t forget to take time to read the most important book of all:

Holy Bible

The Holy Bible. As you know, the book of Luke is the perfect book of the bible to read as we come to the end of our Advent journey and begin the season of Christmas! And so is the prophet of Isaiah. Do try and spend some time with THE WORD this week!

What are your favorite Christmas books and/or novels? Do share!

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.)

Ten Great Christmas Music CDs

Last week I shared some of our favorite Christmas Movies and today I’m sharing some of our favorite Christmas music! There’s no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to listen to melodic hymns or dancing around the house to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.  🙂

These are Special Times by Celine Dion

1. These are Special Times by Celine Dion. I’ve been a fan of Celine Dion’s music for a long time now, and this CD is definitely one of my favorites!

Noel by Josh Groban

2. Noel by Josh Groban. Oh man, Josh Groban’s voice is so beautiful and his rendition of Panis Angelicus lifts my spirit right to heaven very time.

Christmas by Michael Buble

3. Christmas by Michael Buble. This CD just came out this year and all I can say is “GO GET IT!” Or put it on your Christmas wish list. 🙂 There are a lot of versions of “Ave Maria” out there and I must say that his is one of the best. I get chills listening to Michael Buble.

My Christmas by Andrea Bocelli

4. My Christmas by Andrea Bocelli. I’m not a huge fan of Andrea Bocelli but I like to listen to his music once in a while; and, his Christmas CD is just wonderous. His version of the “Our Father”, “What Child is This”, and “God Bless us Everyone” is just lovely.

O Holy Night by Jackie Evancho

5. O Holy Night by Jackie Evancho. If you enjoy this darling from “America’s Got Talent” you will love this CD. This CD only has four songs on it, but each song is so beautifully done. And if you get the DVD version there are videos of interviews of Jackie during her journey through the show.

A Holly Jolly Christmas for Kids

6. A Holly Jolly Christmas for Kids. This fun, 3-Disk collection of Christmas songs is sung for kids by kids. A great CD to to get you dancing with your little ones. 🙂

The Very Best of Bing Crosby Christmas

7. The Very Best of Bing Crosby Christmas. You KNEW a list of Christmas music wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Bing Crosby, right?! There are a few Bing Crosby Christmas albums out so pick any of them and enjoy. 😉

Ultimate Christmas

8. Ultimate Christmas by Various Artists. This compilation CD has all the well-known Christmas songs that are sung by artists such as Nat King Cole, Der Bingle, Elvis, and Judy Garland. And speaking of Elvis…

Christmas Peace by Elvis Presley

9. Christmas Peace by Elvis Presley. I grew up with my parents listening to Elvis all the time, so yeah, he’s on my list of favorites. Besides, tell me whose foot DOESN’T start tapping to Elvis’ “Santa Bring my Baby Back to Me”?! LOL!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

10. Have a Jolly Holly Christmas by Burl Ives. My goodness, how can I NOT include Burl Ives? Have you heard his song “Christmas is a Birthday”? This song is sweet and meaningful and it’s worth buying the CD for this song alone.

I can’t resist one more!

The Christmas Collection by Il Divo

11. The Christmas Collection by Il Divo. Listening to this quartet gives me goosebumps so I just had to include them!

Can  you tell I have a “thing” for men’s voices??! I do. There’s something about a man’s deep, melodic voice (when sung well) that I just love.

Now it’s your turn. Do share your favorite Christmas CDs with us!

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.

(This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.)

Our 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

One of the best things about the Advent/Christmas season is being able to cuddle up as a family and watch Christmas movies. Here are a few of our favorites:

Elf

1. Elf. No matter how many times I watch this movie I always laugh like crazy!

It's a Wonderful Life

2. It’s a Wonderful Life. Need I say more? This is a classic.

Miracle on 34th Street

3. Miracle on 34th Street. The original one. (In my opinion the remake stinks.)

Scrooge

4. Scrooge. I few Christmases ago I made it my “mission” to watch every version of a Christmas Carol that I could find. The George C Scott version is by far a favorite; but, we really enjoy the musical  version even better. (Watch out, though: during Scrooge’s time with the 3rd ghost he goes to hell which MAY be a little scary for the little ones.)

March of the Wooden Solders

5. March of the Wooden Solders. I guess this movie isn’t for everyone. I remember watching this on TV every year as a little girl; but it hasn’t been on TV for years. Too, bad!

White Christmas

6. White Christmas. A fun, light-hearted Christmas movie with great music!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Okay, not exactly a movie; but, who DOESN’T love a little Charlie Brown? And the Christmas play scene of the nativity is one of the most touching I’ve ever seen.

Last Holiday

8. Last Holiday. This is a definite “chick-flick” but fun to watch!

Star of Bethlehem

9. The Star of Bethlehem. Not a movie, but a documentary “proving” the existence of the Star of Bethlehem and birth of Christ. A real eye-opener!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (And Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Clause is coming to town…) No list would be complete without these classics, even if they aren’t movies in the traditional sense!

What’s your favorite Christmas move? Do share!

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.

(Contains affiliate links, see my disclosure page for details.)