Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2016

When the gifts have been opened and the songs have been sung, and we are gathered around the tree... Let's not forget the reason Christmas came to be. 


Christmas Eve my inlaws arrived, we relaxed quite a bit and then we went to dinner for Chinese food which is our tradition, then we drove to the Light show that happens in our town every year. 


When we got home we let Brooke open one present from my brother- she does it every year, he gets her Pj’s, we put the gifts under the tree as she does not believe in Santa, I did stockings and waited for Brooke to go to bed for operation Christmas surprise. 

Brooke had asked for  portable grand piano, we told her it was too much money and we could not get it this year, it has been an expensive year with us buying a house and all..that was until we found an amazing deal on Black Friday and we could not pass it up so she got it, we were hiding it at a friends house and picked it up after she got to sleep on Christmas Eve…



See the big red bow that is her piano. 

we have a happy girl 

My hubby got me a 42" smart TV that I love 


and of course, I got 3 planners. I cannot wait to start using them.  
We were all spoiled by family and friends. 

We had friends who are like grandparents to Brooke come over for lunch with us after church, we lost the power before lunch was cooked but it was back on by 2 so we had a late lunch but it was delicious. My father in law is an amazing cook. 
We hung out and played some games, Brooke got the mouth guard game and it makes you laugh so hard. 

We had a great Christmas and it has been relaxing, sleeping and hanging out with friends and family. 
How was your Christmas? 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Strengths Based Marriage Build a Stronger Relationship by Understanding Each Other's Gifts



Strengths Based Marriage: Build a Stronger Relationship by Understanding Each Other’s Gifts by Jimmy Evans and Allan Kelsey is a book that combines marriage advice with personality testing. The ideal demographic for this book would be fans of Evans and Kelsey who put value in personality tests – and also don’t mind paying a good deal of money for these tests.

The strengths include attributes such as Connectedness, Harmony, Self-Assurance, Command, Belief, Individualization, Responsibility, Empathy, Focus, Input, Intellection, Adaptability, and Ideation. Unfortunately, if a customer buys the book but not the test, it will most likely be frustrating to read about these specific strengths without knowing how they themselves rank on the test.



I review for BookLook Bloggers

Liked Whose Approval Are You Living For?

For many girls it starts early. The desire to be perfect. The need for approval. The longing for acceptance and being liked by a lot of people.

Thanks to social media, these desires now get channeled online. Girls can curate an image, build a following, and test-drive identities until they find one that draws attention and applause. But in this quest to be liked and noticed, girls often fail to feel loved and known. The result is a generation of girls who hunger for real and authentic relationships - yet are unclear on how to create them.  From popular blogger and bestselling author Kari Kampakis comes a powerful book for girls in the digital age. Designed to empower teens and tweens through the Christian faith, it's packed with godly wisdom and practical advice related to identity, friendships, social media, and a relationship with God.


About the author: Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a blogger, author, speaker, and newspaper columnist from Birmingham, Alabama. Her first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, has been used widely across the country by teen youth groups and small groups to empower girls through faith.  I review for BookLook Bloggers

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Recipes

I do not share recipes hardly ever, but these two are my favourite for Christmas time. 

Gingerbread Men Cookies 

Ingredients


1/2 cup butter, softened 
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Frosting of choice


Directions

Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients minus frosting; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until easy to handle, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake until edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost as desired. Yield: about 2 dozen.



HOLIDAY MELTAWAY COOKIES



INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup cornstarch
  3. 1 cup butter, softened
  4. 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup candy sprinkles or sugar sprinkles (colour of choice)


My cousin posted this recipe on his blog so if you want the rest of the recipe you have to go to his blog- he has some awesome recipes if you wanna check it out by clicking here 


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Guest post Interview

A few weeks ago I was browsing Marriage blogs and I came across Courtney's blog. I couldn't stop reading and I was so encouraged by her that I contacted her and asked her if I could interview her, she kindly agreed, so here ya go My Interview with Courtney.  



1) Tell me a short piece of your story I am Courtney! I am the owner and designer behind Love and Whimsy Paper Company. My background is in Behavioral Health and Family Studies with a love for watercolor and lettering. My husband and I have been together for about five years, married for two. The Lord is the cornerstone of everything that I am - I always say, "I am who I am and do what I do because He is who He is and has done what He Has done."

2) What do you think is the most important quality in a marriage?

Commitment. We live in a time where marriage is viewed more as a contract than a covenant - "I will uphold my end of the bargain as long as you uphold yours!" It's easy to say "I do" when everything is going well and in your favor, but what about those moments when your husband snaps at you in frustration, when your wife isn't the same size anymore, when your spouse loses their job and your mortgage is due, or when you are consumed with your children and feel as though you have nothing left to give? It's those moments you have to choose each other despite how you feel or your circumstance that matters most and will strengthen your marriage.

I love the quote from Fierce Marriage - "Marriage is an ongoing vivid illustration of what it costs to love an imperfect person unconditionally the same way Christ loved us."

Marriage is so beautiful and many wonderful blessings come from it, but there will be days or seasons where it's challenging, and sometimes your commitment to each other is going to be all you have to get you through those times.
3) People say the early years of marriage are the hardest. Do you think so?

I think people say the early years of marriage are the hardest because as newlyweds you are still battling your selfishness and learning what it means to die to yourself in order to lift your spouse up. It takes a time to build in that discipline, but do I believe the early years of marriage are the hardest? I think there are seasons throughout your marriage that will refine you into a better person and spouse that are just as equally challenging, if not more. That is why it's important for married couples - especially those in different seasons - to regularly get together and encourage each other, to share in the joy and trials of marriage, and to seek wisdom when it is needed.


4) Have you ever had such a big problem in your marriage? How did you solve it?

Our biggest hurdle has been understanding and learning how to respond appropriately to our differences. Naturally, we can say or do things that can shut the other down emotionally which cause frustration and hurt feelings. In those moments, we both have to fight our selfishness to get "our way", listen to each other intentionally, and understand with empathy. We aren't always successful in those moments when our emotions are high, but we do strive to teach each other how to say or do things better for next time - because how else are we going to learn? 

5)The secret to a happy marriage is?Forgiveness. You learn early on in the marriage that despite your similarities, you and your spouse are vastly different, and that is bound to cause some heartache. Although it can still feel a little awkward, Michael and I intentionally say "I forgive you," rather than "it's okay" when the other is seeking forgiveness because it not only forces us to check in with our heart but also reconciles the situation by moving forward.

6) The biggest myth about marriage is



"I wasn't happy anymore" is the most often reason I hear couples say they got a divorce. And it breaks my heart that the foundation of a marriage was placed upon something as fickle as happiness - I mean think about it, the state of your marriage is dependent upon the roller coaster we call emotions? That is terrifying!

The foundation of marriage is always God and it's purpose is to bring you closer to Him and reflect His glory to those around you.

7) How do you stay connected to your spouse

Fundamentally, we always speak in terms of "we or us" rather than "me or my" which helps us stay connected and keeps our focus on our togetherness. Quality time - meaning no phones or TV on in the background - is super important to us. We love to just cuddle up and talk about all kinds of things! Even when we are doing separate things, like our hobbies, we stay close to each other so we can keep the lines communication still open.

You can find Courtney's blog here 
You can also check out her online Etsy shop where she has gorgeous paper products.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Winter Dress


This is such a great dress for the fall/winter weather. 
It is a little heavier than cotton but feels so light when you are wearing it. 
I loved the colors and I wore it to my Christmas parties this year 

This is a good view of the color. 


I absolutely love eShakti! I feel so pretty when wearing these dresses. I love that eShakti is always offering new styles and fabrics!

Thank you eShakti for another great dress. This is one that I wear over and over again. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saving with Groupon

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine

With Christmas only a week away we are all out trying to find the best deal there is to get, and when we get a good deal we share the word with friends and family, I am a shopper and anyone who knows me knows this so when I heard about Groupon I knew I had to check out some of my all time favourite online stores that we do not have here and I actually ended up buying a couple things for myself from these shops. When I came across deals for Dress barn on Groupon I knew I had to share the word...  60% of markdowns, like seriously how great is that.  I fell in love with this shirt and I ordered it from my mom for Christmas

My 2nd favorite shop is Home Decorators.com and they have 60% of holiday +free shipping and to my fellow Canadians they are not shipping to Canada. I fell in love with this rug and really considering ordering it once I get paint to match my living room

This is only two of my favorite items from two of my favorite shops but there are so many on there, and so many items in each shop and coupons that you can use even on clearance items, This is my type of shopping because I never pay full price for things so getting coupons and deals like this makes me a very happy person. Before you go shopping next time, check Groupon for a coupon.
Have you ever shopped on Groupon and if so have you liked the experience

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Date Night Idea



Take a Christmas light tour. – Take your date out to look at Christmas lights around your area. Your local radio or news station might even know some local neighborhoods that are known for their display of lights. This is a great way to get to know one another since you will be in the car for a while.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Hints



Here are some hints to help prevent stress during this holiday season 

1) Plan ahead your schedule- do not schedule too much or you will be worn out and not totally enjoying the season 

2) Plan your menu ahead of time 

3) Fix food items that can be frozen ahead of time

4) Plan your budget for gift buying, noting for who you will buy and what you will spend as you purchase the gifts, take note and cross the name of 

5) if you are ordering online, order it with plenty of time to arrive. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Grothe's Christmas Card 2016

We wanted a family picture but the leaves had already fallen and we werent sure when or how we would get one so when this opportunity came up we took it, I know the back ground isnt pretty but it is home to us, it was taken at my church

I love these people 


My girl looking beautiful as always 



These are some others that we wanted to include but we went with this one



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

All I want for Christmas…


All I want for Christmas…

by Judy Douglass -- Used with permission 
 If your heart is hurting this season, I trust the below will uplift you 

A couple of helpful thoughts that helped me through those years:
  1. God knows the yearnings of your heart. He knows exactly what you want for Christmas. And He is so willing for you to ask, to be honest, to cry out. So don’t be afraid to tell Him how your heart aches, about your fears for your loved ones, about your concerns for your other children, about how overwhelmed you feel at this time meant for celebration.
  2. At the same time, remember that His answers almost always look so different, and have such later timing, than our requests. We can’t understand what He is doing—He tells us His ways are above ours. Yet Scripture tells us repeatedly that He knows and understands and is filled with compassion for our pain.
He has given us many wonderful promises that enable us to express our love for and trust in Him—and see His faithful responses. Just read and meditate on these words from God:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“ (Matt. 6:33)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)



May His blessings overflow you this Christmas season.


The Joy Model- Review



An increasing number of adult American Christians are frustrated. Even as they read their Bibles, listen to sermons, and hang out with other Christians, they become painfully aware that something is missing—joy. As a result, many have given up on their faith being a source of joy, and instead seek meaning, purpose, and joy through their Christian service, work, relationships, hobbies, possessions, or even more destructive and hollow substitutes.

In the case of The Joy Model by Jeff Spadafora you have much more. This book is at minimum the personal story of Spadafora’s transformation at halftime in his life. His is the classic spiritual form of a Horatio Alger story that takes a person who is impoverished spiritually who becomes a growing, maturing follower of the Triune God.

Spadafora wisely recommends this journey not be experienced alone. There must be a community of people with whom to connect who are seeking to address same or similar issues in their lives. Further, a coach is of tremendous assistance to help people on a journey to stay focused, get through the bumps, and accelerate the process in their lives.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Monday, December 12, 2016

REVIEW OF THE GREAT GOOD THING


Andrew Klavan’s latest work is a major departure from his usual sort of fare, novels which might generally be classified as thrillers. The book loosely tells the story of his life thus far, with a particular focus on his religious conversion from atheism to Christianity.

An honest and intriguing journey into the heart and mind of a novelist as he documents his unusual journey to faith. Well written with surprising twists and turns (which one should expect from a true story). I wish Klavan writes an entire book one day on his analysis of the goodness of Western European and its intrinsic antisemitism, which he touches on briefly here.
Loved his story. It proves that what Jesus and God are about is there for all of us to find.


I review for BookLook Bloggers

2016 Christmas Banquet - Picture Heavy

Nov 19, 2016 at 6 pm, we had our Church's annual Christmas banquet. It was early this year but that was because everything was getting booked up and it was hard to get a caterer so we went with a earlier date and got in the Christmas Spirit early, Here are some pictures of the night

The lady on the left is the mom of my friend who died a few months ago, it was so good to see her. 






























It was a lot of fun and everyone did such an amazing job from the skits to the sign language song, to the food and the clean up, thank you all for helping us.