One of my favorite things to do with my daughter each Christmas is to make our annual Christmas ornaments. We give the extras away as gifts and keep a few for ourselves. It’s a great inexpensive memory maker and gift idea!

I started this tradition when she was 21 months old and I love putting the ornaments on the tree that we made each year. They vary in difficulty depending on her age, of course, but each is labeled with the year it was made. Some are holding up good and others need a few touch up repairs before they are put on the tree, but all have great memories imprinted with them.

Now that she’s a teen, it’s much easier to decide what ornament we’ll make. I select a few of my favorite options, show them to her, and she quickly vetoes all but one. Decision made!

Even though this time of year lends itself to full schedules and bursting to do lists, take time to make a few memories with your children. Click here for a few homemade ornaments ideas.

Have fun and let me know what you make!


It’s the beginning of December and the countdown begins. Not the countdown to opening presents, or the company Christmas party, or even the end to relentless traffic. For me, it’s the countdown until Christmas break begins!

We are in our second year of homeschooling and as my daughter’s school teacher, I have a new appreciation for Christmas break. I can’t wait for its arrival. Now don’t get me wrong, I love teaching my daughter and am grateful for the opportunity to be so involved in her education. But all wonderful things could use some down time,  right? This teacher is ready … so let the counting begin!

Christmas break is like a mini vacation, but at home with no airport travel or lost luggage. It’s a pause in the routine and uninterrupted time to just be and do what we desire. I will greet it with excitement, crank up the Christmas music, and break out in a dance.

That’s how I feel now about Christmas break, but there was a time it wasn’t so thrilling for me. I worked outside of the home, my daughter was in school and a 2-week school break meant a lot of stress trying to juggle schedules to have one of us home with her, taking her to the office, bringing work home, or using the last of vacation time to just stay home for a few days. I greeted Christmas breaks with a resounding Ugh!

If that is where you find yourself, here are a couple tips to help:

  1. Plan a couple special events over the break. It will make the time you do have together special. It doesn’t have to cost anything and can be simple like a sledding day or making Christmas goodies together.
  2. Remember that the difficulties of today shall pass. Don’t allow your stress to overflow to your children. Let them know they are a precious gift—no matter if you have lots or little time together.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.  ~Charles R. Swindoll


Happy New Year! We had a wonderful two-week Christmas break — no homeschooling, slept in, went sledding, attended holiday festivities and parties, ate foods we don’t normally eat, stayed up late, built snowmen, and played endless games. I’m all for spontaneity, adventure, and new things … but there is a time when the routine brings refreshment. This week would be one of those times.


After meals of leftovers, appetizers, and endless munching, today I cooked. Now I didn’t think that was such a major feat, until the aroma floated from the oven to my daughter’s bedroom.


“Mom, what are you cooking?” she said.


“A turkey and wild rice.”


“Really? Right now? It’s in the oven? You promise that’s what’s for dinner?”


As soon as I said ‘yes,’ she squealed in delight just like when she opened her karaoke machine at Christmas. I didn’t realize a home-cooked meal rated up there so high. Then it hit me … we’re back to routine and I’m cooking nightly again.


So as I sit here tonight with my candles lit, my door shut, and my soft instrumental music strumming in the background, I’m renewed, refreshed … and grateful to be back to my evening writing time too.


There sure is something wonderful about routines — especially after a break. Maybe it’s that we go back to our daily life refreshed and what we saw with sunken eyes and dark circles two weeks ago as drudgery or obstacles, today is viewed with fresh insight and smells like a new outlook.


Whatever it is — enjoy the moment!