The Christmas Giveaway: a Personalized Locket!

I have a fun Christmas surprise!

The nice folks at Picturesongold.com have supplied me with ANOTHER locket to give away!

This giveaway doesn’t end until 11:59 PM Christmas day! Hooray!!!

I’m including my original review of picturesongold.com’s lockets for you to see how awesome they are.

The giveaway form is at the bottom of this post. Best of luck!!

***I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.***

Living  in the South has ignited a passion in me for all things monogrammed, engraved, and personalized, so when I came across this locket that you can personalize online in 5 minutes with words AND photos, and order it right to your doorstep, I HAD to try it. Thankfully, I was able to get my hands on a free blogger sample. (Thank you picturesongold.com!)

Making the Locket on PicturesOnGold.com

I was a little nervous about making it. Usually places like this want an exact size of photo, or I goof up and order 3 instead of 1…..like I did with those Third Love bras…but that’s another story…

Y’all! It was SO EASY, and there were OPTIONS– like Subway!! Silver or gold? What should be on the front? Which font? Choose your left inside. Words or photo? Choose the right inside. Choose what’s on the back. How long of a chain? Which type of shipping?

Want to see what I picked?

» Read more

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to school!

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to schoo

Yes, my dad let my three-year-old drive his wheelchair. But boy, did he have fun!

We just finished the longest Christmas vacation ever. 3 weeks!!! Full weeks!! It was a blast.  It was genuinely fun because we didn’t spend the whole 3 weeks in any one place. We went south, then we went north, then we went home, then we went back south, then back home. We had a good time with it!

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to schoo

We watched pretty much every Christmas movie ever made.

And we were terrible.

Truly terrible.

We let the kids stay up as late as 10 some nights. I know. The shame! Other nights we put them to bed at 8, but there was one night we were at a big reunion party. It was an hour and a half from home, and by the time we got home and got the boys all in bed, it was after midnight!

I know!!! We are never this shocking. We are such boring people normally.

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to schoo

Some people skip stones…..we chunk boulders. (Don’t worry. Only into the water, and no one got hurt.)

I don’t think I got out of bed before 7:30am a single morning.

Discipline? I would say we were the opposite of disciplined…

We took the kids to two different movies. We let the boys sleep as late as they wanted, and for some of them that was actually until 8 or 8:30am!!

A disproportionate amount of corn dogs, candy canes, and chicken fingers was consumed.

JD has about quit napping completely.

The boys played so much Skylanders they’ve already beaten the new game twice.

 

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to schoo

decorating the Christmas tree cookie cake

We built Lego creations, we colored, we ate ice cream, we played with cousins and friends. We got spoiled by grandparents. We completely forgot about reality.

I kept saying things like, “Tomorrow we HAVE to get back on schedule. Tomorrow we’ll all go to bed at 8, and I’ll set alarms and get up at 6….”

Never happened. Never.

REAL life starts again tomorrow. Oh, yes, the kids are going back to schoo

Dan and I found this centipede(?) on a walk. I’m not a bug expert. Centipede was my best guess.

And so tonight we didn’t even bother to put everyone to bed until 9 or 9:30. I made coffee and did the dishes. You will be happy to know that we did actually make them shower.

Alan is furiously re-immersing himself in work emails. He took a ton of time off too.

I laid out my clothes but totally forgot to lay out THE BOYS’ clothes. Who knows if we’ll be able to find anyone’s shoes or belts tomorrow.

I set my alarm for 5:30am…..but you know I’m the worst EVER at getting up when my alarm goes off. I set my alarm, and Alan actually laughed. Sigh.

I’m scared y’all. I think we actually had too much fun on our break. I don’t think we can go back to real life. I’m afraid no one will be able to wake up tomorrow morning!!!

I don’t think this is an irrational fear.

We played Star Wars. Ha! Just kidding. THEY played Star Wars. I’m not that cool.

Why does real life have to be so very very real and strict and work-like???

Ah, but it does. You can’t train children for the world without upholding standards in their childhood. You can’t expect them to go to college if you don’t first teach them elementary math. And have you seen elementary math??? It’s not all that easy!

Tomorrow is the big day! Are you ready?? Were any of you as big of slackers as we were??? Tell me we are not alone!!!

Well, if you were, we would like to wish you all the best of luck. I’m sure everyone’s shoes will be clean, dry, and easily found. Everyone will be on time, and no one will cry. Well, maybe me at 5:30am. I might cry. I’m just not so sure I “got this”!!!

Okay. Deep breaths. We’ll be fine. What’s a good verse we can recite to ourselves?? Oh yeah.

Joshua 1:9

 

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Gotta go. The Benadryl I took to make myself go to sleep earlier is finally starting to kick in…

 


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This Christmas: 1st Year at Home, 1st Non Disaster Story

I guess you know which stocking is mine.

This might have been the easiest Christmas in 14 years of April and Alan family Christmases. We only had to travel two hours, and we woke up on Christmas morning IN OUR OWN HOUSE. Have you ever??? I mean, we had almost never!! Do you do this? Do other people do this every year??  It was so nice!

I mean have you read my other Christmas stories???

Our Nightmare Before Christmas

The Funeral, Christmas Trip

New Years in San Francisco

Well, I’m happy to tell you this is NOT one of those stories. We did go and see our families, but we were able to do all of that and still be at our own house on Christmas morning.

Around 7 or so a.m., we heard Boy #1 begin talking to Boy #2. They simply chatted calmly in bed. Some of the boys woke up the other boys. I don’t remember who got up first, but a miracle happened…..

No one came and jumped on us…..

They gathered themselves in the living room, just the four of them in the living room to patiently wait for their parents to get up.

Whaaa???? We were so pleased with all this that we didn’t make them wait. We went ahead and joined them.

My heart brimmed over with awe at the fact that they were all sitting in the living room, waiting patiently.

I love watching my children open their presents. Christmas is a whole other level of special for children. When is it that we lose that? Let’s get that back.

Caleb, opening a present they WEREN’T expecting: Lego Dimensions

Yes, he’s actually CLAPPING. He’s so excited. There were a few To: Caleb and Daniel presents this year. They may look ages apart, but it’s actually only a 3 year gap. Some kids are tall. Some kids are shorter.

SO HAPPY

Be sure to see the 50 second JD video on Facebook, and share in the excitement.

We all went to church together. It was nice, though nothing topped the Christmas Eve service.

Christmas Eve service

There was something about the meaning in lighting these candles and taking communion with so many fellow believers that made Christmas more real to me this year. We sang Silent Night, and I wanted this moment to never end.

Too quickly, we were all headed back to our houses when so often I just want to curl up at the altar and soak it all in…

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”       Luke 2:10-12

…But it was back to Christmas as usual, and I can’t help but wonder. Are we entering a new phase of our lives?  There simply isn’t a BABY anymore. JD is 3 1/2 now. No one is a baby. Life is c-a-l-m-i-n-g down. No one wore a diaper, no one carried a sippy cup, and no one got out of their seat. No one even colored on himself.

Wow.

I think I might cry!

No one was sick this Christmas either. JD caught a cold, accompanied by a very pink eye, but even that ended in two days.

OH, and guess what! Once Christmas day was over, Alan took my minivan to the shop, and I now have a clean minivan, with a heater that heats, and a functioning defroster! Somebody get this man a trophy!!

I feel like we just had the perfect Christmas. I can safely say that because Christmas is fully over. Saying Christmas was perfect can’t possibly jinx it now.

Of course, I did find one baby to hold.

Ah, sparkling pretty lights. I may never take my Christmas tree down. Plus, I’m hoping Alan will do it for me. Hmmm…I wonder if Alan is hoping that I will do it. I seriously don’t even want it taken down. Let’s just leave it up until next Christmas!

Hallelujah! And may we never forget what it’s all about. This is an incredible excerpt from the Passion of the Christ. You do have to click the link to YouTube to watch, but it’s so worth it:

 

Wishing you all a blessed 2017! May your kids behave. May your rain be snow, and may all your prayers be answered.

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”        Luke 2:13-14

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