I’ve wanted to read more Christmas books to my children this year. You know, the ones that have good moral lessons and touch your heart and teach you about the true meaning of Christmas. Here are a few we’ve found that do just that! Most of them you can find in a picture book format and probably at your local library.

The Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Christmas Oranges retold by Linda Bethers

The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean

God Bless Your Way: A Christmas Journey by Emily Freeman

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Little One by Pamela C. Reid

Josie’s Gift by Kathleen Long Bostrom

I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ! He has done and still does so much for me. I’m grateful He knows exactly what I am feeling and buoys me up. He is my rock! Jesus is the only way back to live with our Father in Heaven again, and I am so grateful for His Atonement for me.

I hope you find these videos as inspiring as I do, especially at this Easter time.

If you need an idea to do with your family try these Resurrection Cookies (takes overnight) or these easy to make Resurrection Rolls (less wait time!). I’ve been gathering a few things here and there to give me inspiration and help me to celebrate Jesus this Easter time.

Please share your Easter traditions. I’m always looking for more ideas to keep the holiday about the Savior.

We had a lovely Independence Day, though it started off slow for me. I didn’t sleep well, so everything seemed “late.” Then I chose to just move forward, and I was able to keep going the rest of the day.

We went to our local Independence Day parade and had a nice spot near the beginning of the parade. The benefits: get a good seat, get to leave before the made rush, kids don’t have to wait another 10 minutes to see the beginning. The downside: lots of candy for the kids. This particular parade doesn’t usually have a lot of floats, and the kids don’t seem to mind. We managed to find the same area we had last year, and it was just perfect. Some friends joined us, and fun was had by all.

Ella and I

Peter playing “freeze ray” – he likes to freeze in a funny position, even if he wasn’t in it before someone said “freeze!”

Peter and David






The ponies were one of the kids’ favorite entries.

I love that you can see our reflection in the Copper Car. Click on the picture to see a larger size. Then if you click on the larger image it should zoom in more.

Wendy “fanning” her friend.

The tractors were also a kids’ favorite.

Fireworks sure are hard to photograph!

We had a nice barbecue with David’s family, and then we headed home for some neighborhood fireworks and socializing. Our next door neighbors are moving in a few weeks, and we wanted to spend another holiday with them. They have generously hosted our Independence Day gathering for the last few years, and we’re really going to miss them.

I’m grateful for God’s tender mercies and answered prayers. I had a prayer in my heart for the safety of my children and loved ones. I also asked to see God’s hand in my life that day, and He provided! I’ll share a couple of them:

  • I forgot the squirt bottle for keeping us cool at the parade, and it didn’t matter because Heavenly Father provided the cloud cover, a light breeze, and sprinkles of rain throughout the parade. What a blessing!
  • Then at the neighborhood gathering, we had an incident with a firework. Out of the two aerial fireworks in the whole display, one tipped over and shot two rounds at our crowd. I can see God’s hand in keeping everyone safe. They shot near two adults who would know what to do. In one case, an adult ended up getting hit with it and he flipped over before it popped and injured him. If he hadn’t been there, the child behind him on a chair could have been hurt. We’ll either not use them again or secure them better next time. I used to get really freaked out by things like that, but I was amazingly calm and so grateful.
  • Isn’t it wonderful to have a loving Heavenly Father who answers prayers and shows His hand in our lives if we just seek it!?!

    How was your weekend? Did you see God’s hand in your life?

    Comments welcome!

    I finally finished this post after it’s been sitting in my draft folder for over a year. lol

    I’ve had fun and some stress about gifts a couple years ago for Christmas (2009).  We had challenges that year in the finance department, but we’ve managed to make it work with Heavenly Father’s help and all his angels that have been His hands on our behalf.  For that we are eternally grateful!  That being said, I had to be somewhat creative in my gift giving.  (Next time I will be starting in September!  I’ve had so many ideas and no time to do it all, even if I had most of the supplies…I say that every year, but hey, it’s a goal I know I’ll eventually accomplish!)

    Picture Coasters

    Parents are so hard to give to.  They have everything they could need, right?  I thought about pictures as they always seem to appreciate those, but I didn’t just want to print a photo and put it in a frame…lame.  So I was looking through various creative blogs, and  I found a darling idea here and the original “how to” page here.  I had some of the stuff I needed for it and just needed to buy the tiles, sponge brush, and sealant.  I stayed up half the night the Monday before Christmas to Photoshop some pics to print for the coasters.  I then just printed them through a local photo lab on 4″x6″ and cut off the excess paper. Simple, thoughtful, and cute!

    Homemade Felt Crowns

    I made my kids felt crowns as part of their Christmas as well as for two of my nieces that year. The kids loved them, and they turned out quite well. I found the instructions at Juicy bits.

    Patchwork Soup Mix

    I also gave away patchwork soup mixes, and I already posted about them here: Patchwork Soup Mix.