Teach Your Kids to Give

Christmas Giving with Kids

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Tis the Season…for giving, and sharing the Love of Christmas with others. Your kids are never too young to start- it’s up to you to teach your kids to give and look out for others. Even though we do some of these things,  I want our family to be more intentional at Christmas-time, and throughout the year.  Looking for needs, meeting them, and showing appreciation: these are habits I want to have and instill in our kids.  Here are 33 Ways Kids can Give this Christmas (without much money spent!):

Teach Your Kids to Give This Christmas

Teach Your Kids to Give

Christmas Giving for Kids

1. Give a warm blanket to the homeless
2. Leave a thank you note and small gift card for the mail carrier  

thank you postal worker
3. Thank your bus driver with a note, gift card, and big hug!
4. Sing and play Christmas carols at the local assisted living center
5. Pack a shoe box for Operation Christmas child


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Jesus the True Friend

Do you have a true friend who ALWAYS knows the best thing to say, who is always listening, who in fact waits for you daily for you to come to him so that he can love you?  Who knows you better than you know yourself, and not only that, knows the future for you and everyone else in your little part of the world?  

I just had one of these days in this farmhouse remodel that has me discouraged and wondering if we are on the right path.  Ever had one of those days?  It’s really been fairly smooth until now. But, now the internet company is saying they can’t install and they don’t return my calls… and the hardwood floors we saved for and just had installed have issues.

farmhouse remodel hardwood floors

American Problems

Silly, right?  I see the countries that my audience are in, and I know these are silly American problems in light of what’s really important in the world, among the world’s hurting.  91 nations represented, and 57 different languages on Mom’s Priority, according to Google Analytics. Wow, how do you speak to such a diverse audience?  But I digress.  

God still Cares

I realize that these issues are trivial, but here’s the amazing thing: God still cares and wants to be there for us, even when it seems silly. When it matters to us, it matters to Him. Luke 5:1-11 talks about Peter catching a miraculous catch of fish because Jesus provided. In this example as well as so many others in the Bible, Jesus shows His love by providing. He wants to be in the middle of our lives. He cares about our lives and wants to help us in our daily activities.

True Friend Encouragement

And I just experienced that fresh tonight.  I’m worn out and discouraged, and it’s midnight, and God meets me, on the pages of His Book.  In the book of Nehemiah, chapter 4 he responds to Nehemiah who is discouraged and overwhelmed with the large task of rebuilding the wall and he says, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” Just like that, I am thankful and encouraged once again.  He has a plan for what we are going through; what we ultimately chose- He will use for good!  And His plan for this house, to encourage and refresh the hearts of the saints- is good and God is worthy to be praised in it!

Your situation in your corner of the world may look very different on this day than mine does on this day! But if you gain nothing else on Mom’s Priority, I pray that you know that you have a best friend who is waiting for you, even if you’ve never reached out for him before.  He is waiting for you and His name is Jesus.  He will always be there and he will always want your best. You need to believe in Him and call on Him.

I heard this song this morning and it reminded me of this post: The God who Stays by Matthew West. I pray that you will always know the One who has endured everything for our sake, and who will always be a true friend.

What’s Happening with Our Farmhouse Remodel 1.5 Weeks In

We closed on the farmhouse last Monday, and if you are reading about our farmhouse remodel for the first time, you may want to read here first. Even though some are tiring of the farmhouse style, I love it simply for practical, functional reasons. We are buying this property for our friends and family to enjoy and live in well, and that means casual, comfortable, and inviting. See older posts about farmhouse decor and farmhouse wreaths at these Mom’s Priority links. Specifically, we want to enjoy the outdoors and the land most, so the interior, while important and necessary initially, is going to take a back seat to the outside eventually.

Demo and Farmhouse Remodel

By today, Wednesday, the entire main floor is just subfloor and ready for the real floors to go down! We’ve updated the electrical and installed at least 50 can lights throughout to brighten up the space. Technology has changed immensely over the years, so updates were necessary. In addition, we’ve demo’d 3 bathrooms, and hardibacker board is going up. The outside is pressure-washed clean!

Tile and Bathroom Fixtures

All supplies for the bathrooms have been purchased, and are ready to be installed! The tile guys are working on that as we speak! I cannot wait to share with you the before and afters!! This farmhouse was built in 1985, and with these updates, it will look so much more current!

Paint Selection

The entire inside trim was primed, so the stained wood trim is no more, and fresh white paint can adhere easily, hopefully. The drywall team is smoothing the ceilings and removing the popcorn ceiling (woo-hoo!). The outside brick will be painted white tomorrow. I chose Sherwin-Williams Snowbound as the main color, with Elite Gray as the trim accent and Jogging Path for the doors. I cannot wait to show you- and see it for myself!!

For now, here are a few pictures of the demo. We have completely filled one dumpster of old, tired materials. Out with the old! This house is getting a facelift!!

Our Farmhouse Remodel- Demo Day!

Everyone loves a good remodel, right? Since friends have been asking for details and pictures, and Mom’s Priority promotes décor items, I am going to do my best to share details on here.  We have just purchased a 1985 farmhouse and are excited to share with you the transformation!

Remodeling stories go much deeper than the surface, though. So, I must tell you that this is an answer to many years of prayer. Just the fact that we could financially be able to stay in our current home while we remodel this “new” home (to us) is absolutely mind-blowing to me. We started a new business 3 years ago, and it took our savings (which was supposed to be to buy land) to fund the business in the first years. God tested and strengthened my faith in that time, but I am the first to admit my anxiety during that time was ridiculous and I did not feel full of faith! I am finally stabilizing (ha!) and here we go again. All the time, God is making us more like Him, and He grows our faith through trials. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to rebuild this home and make it a refreshing place to live and share with others!

We call it our “farmhouse remodel” because it sits on 15 acres of land and we plan to add horses and its the style I resonate most with. The house is honestly more like a mid century ranch on a basement that all needs a major refresh!  As we go along I will use affiliate links to show you exactly where you can find the materials that we are using.  I am so incredibly excited to see the transformation that is going to take place.

Demo Day

We closed on it yesterday, and here we are today, ripping up floors and pulling out old brass lights, fluorescent lamps and getting it all torn apart!  We’ve been planning the renovations for the past month and drawing out floor plans the old fashioned way.  This house has quite a bit of work to be done.  It sat on the market over 2 years, I believe, because the amount needed to get it back up to date is overwhelming to some.  But, thank goodness demo started today so we can start looking forward to what it will be!  My friend called us “ambitious,” aka crazy!!  But, we bought it at a good price, especially considering the land in a great area, and we feel like we’re ready to tackle this project!  Our goal is to finish the main floor work within the next 1 to 2 months and then move in.  Let me share a few pictures of the “before:”

Farmhouse Remodel before master bath

Above, you can see the marble tiled front foyer.  People say to not get rid of the marble with green marble inset pattern, but it doesn’t go with our look.  So, here we are today!  Lots of jack hammering!

The carpet is coming up, as well as leftover vinyl flooring.  Hardwoods are going down soon!

Best Clear Bags for Game Day

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Can you feel the excitement as football season comes near? Whether you are watching the game on the big screen with friends, or in the stadium of your alma mater, football games are a treasured weekend tradition in the south especially. Make sure you are ready with the best clear bags for game day!

clear bags for game day

The dress code varies from school to school, but in the Southeastern Conference you can count on women to wear sundresses, boots, stylish sunglasses, and a tote to carry the essentials. In 2017 amid safety concerns, clear bag guidelines were established between the NFL and the SEC (and others, but these are the ones I am familiar with). Now, anything you want to carry inside the stadium must fit inside a clear bag no larger than 12 x 6 x 12 inches, or a clear gallon Ziploc bag! Since we ALL know we have more style than a Ziploc bag (even if you are minimalist) and moms have things we have to have, here are the best clear bags for game day!

 

This clear stadium bag on Amazon is basic, but incredibly affordable and useful. At $5.99 at the time of writing (click link for updated pricing from Amazon), you cannot beat this deal. If you need a spot for kids’ snacks or toys, or your own items, this bag fills the bill.

best clear bags for game day clear tote

Vera Bradley has a line of collegiate bags that are so functional and well-made that you can see here, but they also have clear bag options.  This clear bag from Vera Bradley is stadium approved, at 7.5 x 5.25 x 2 in, and is a smaller clear bag for just the game day basics.  

clear bags for game day Vera Bradley clear bag stadium approved

This clear mini bookbag style gets excellent reviews.  At 12 x 11.4 x 5.5 in it is within the acceptable stadium approved range and can hold everything you may need to take in to the game!  

 

clear bags for game day clear bookbag

Love this clear Michael Kors bag from Macy’s!  Small-sized at 8-1/4″W x 5-1/2″H x 2-1/4″D, it holds your essentials stylishly and effortlessly.  For this and all of the other clear bags, make sure you check our deals page before you purchase!  

clear stadium bag from Michael Kors

Now for the custom collegiate bags that you are going to love, Etsy comes through!  You can monogram your clear tote, wristlet, or backpack, or choose a college-specific bag.  Etsy has SO many affordable options, there is no reason to go to the game without!  

For $15.99 at time of writing, this clear bag sold on from Etsy is stadium approved at 11.5 x 8.5 and includes monogramming!  So perfect for a college girl or mom attending a game.  

monogram clear bags for game day

 

For times when you need to bring in the kids’ essentials and more, you need the full size allowed in the stadium which is 12 x 12.  This clear tote on Etsy is perfect for that.  

best clear bags for game day

 

Finally, this clear bag is perfectly stylish for game day, concerts, and whatever else you may need it for.  This clearly classic crossbody from Madly Yours on Etsy is 9 x 5 x 2, so its perfectly sized to be comfortable, but also large enough to hold the essentials.  

clearly classic crossbody clear bag for game day

Whether you are the mom who is toting the kids’ snacks or just need a place to hold your money, keys and phone, we hope you have found the perfect clear bag for your game day experience!  Subscribe to our newsletter so we can share more relevant, time-saving finds as well as encouragement for you!  

 

Humility

I do love this quote and reminder from C.S. Lewis: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Fore more inspirational quotes, verses and devotionals, see Inspiration

humility cs lewis