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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

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day

celebrating national ice cream day with easy homemade ice cream

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ONLY because it is National Ice Cream Day and our families deserve a fun summertime treat am I going to share these recipes for easy homemade ice cream. Who knew that the third Sunday of July is considered National Ice Cream Day in the United States and the entire month of July is called National Ice Cream Month?!! Ronald Reagan created this holiday back in 1984 as a tribute to this classic treat. What a perfect reason to celebrate with ice cream!

Easy Homemade Ice Cream with Simple Ingredients

We have had the fun opportunity this summer to try out a few new local ice cream shops that recently opened in our town, which are so fun and offer different and creative ideas for ice cream combinations. But homemade is still the way to go in my opinion. You can better control the ingredients going into your ice cream and it’s just a fun experience to make your own!

I want to share with you some of our favorite easy homemade ice cream recipes and how simple they are to make- your kids can dump the ingredients in and almost walk away!

Helpful Products To Make This Recipe:

Our kids LOVE to make ice cream and until recently, we only made it at the lake house because that is where we kept the classic ice cream maker…you know the one with the rock salt on the sides? Well, I now own a KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment, and that has been a game changer! It is now SO easy to make ice cream- it’s dangerous! Really, we don’t eat it TOO often, but it’s a special occasion when we do. This National Holiday definitely qualifies as a special occasion! 🙂 And with school starting back soon in our area, it’s a perfect treat for the end of “summer break.”

ice cream scoop

Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment

Classic Churn Ice Cream Maker

Rock Salt

Simple Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

A simple homemade vanilla ice cream recipe without eggs that you can modify with add-ins to make it your own recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword simple easy ice cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Freeze Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author prioritysites

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Remove mixture from heat and pour into pre-chilled (according to product instructions) KitchenAid ice cream mixer attachment. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low.

  3. Remove mixer attachment and place in the freezer according to product instructions until ready to enjoy.

  4. Add in toppings like oreos, brownies, toasted pecans, etc. or enjoy over a cobbler. The possibilities are endless with this easy simple recipe. Enjoy!

Janie and Jack Summer Sale

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Exciting news!! Janie and Jack and the kids clothes we love were bought out but they’re not going away!  If you haven’t heard, Janie and Jack was purchased by Gap, Inc and they’re still offering special discounts and incentives to our online readers.

Right now, the Janie and Jack summer sale is going on, with prices up to 60% off on sale styles. Also, today, Monday, July 8, Janie and Jack is offering free shipping on ANY Janie and Jack order- ONE DAY ONLY!

ONE DAY ONLY Earn Free Shipping on ANY Janie and Jack order! Take Advantage of New Arrivals and Free Returns! Valid 7/8, Online Only.

Don’t forget to take advantage of Janie and Jack’s Season Finale – Earn Up to 60% Off Sale Styles! Valid through 7/28. 

Also, if you miss this free shipping sale today, don’t worry.  If you spend $100 or more, you still get free shipping.  Free Shipping on Orders $100+ Plus Everyday Returns at Janie and Jack

Walmart Next Day Delivery

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For some time now- several years possibly- Walmart.com has been offering 2 day delivery on items ordered online and shipped to your home. The 2 day delivery is a loose classification, because delivery has not been consistently 2 days for me at least. I didn’t mind, though, because with free delivery and similar pricing to in store, I can wait and avoid the store, extra time spent at the store, frustration at the store, … ya know what I mean?

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Well, now Walmart is beginning to offer next day delivery. We will see if they deliver on the promise of next day (with an order size of $35 or more, and available only in certain areas- click here to see if you are in their qualifying area). It is such a convenience to have these items delivered to your door, without paying a membership fee or even shipping.

I will warn you … make sure you know your prices. In the past, pricing on Walmart.com matched in store pricing exactly. However, I have noted big differences in the prices online for some items. They also group together items so ordering in bulk may be more cost effective, but not always, so know your prices. Still, the convenience and time saved by shopping online and not traveling to the store, IF you only buy the items with good pricing, will make you grow to love online shopping!

5 Must-Have Farmhouse Wreaths

In order to achieve farmhouse style, a casual farmhouse wreath or two- or five!- is a must! Wreaths are a casual way to decorate your home in farmhouse style.


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farmhouse wreaths

5 Farmhouse Wreath Styles

Olive branch Farmhouse wreath

I love this wreath because it looks real and it’s affordable!  This particular one is from Amazon, and we have it hanging in our entryway in front of a mirror.  For the price, you can’t beat it.  It looks great and should hold up for years to come.

Magnolia Farmhouse Wreath

A magnolia wreath is the quintessential southern farmhouse wreath!  We planted a magnolia tree years ago when we moved in, and I am proud to say it finally has an abundance of beautifully fragrant flowers.  It seemed like it would never produce flowers!  I absolutely love it in the corner of our yard and so do the bus stop kids (including our own); they love to climb on the tree’s sturdy branches!  I haven’t mastered preserving the leaves and flowers long term, though, so I still depend on a purchased wreath.  This magnolia wreath from Hobby Lobby is a great alternative to last for years to come. (use a coupon on our Deals page for 40% off!)
magnolia wreath

Boxwood Wreath

I have this preserved boxwood wreath hanging over our Kohler sink in the kitchen, and I love it!  It is very well-made, arrived perfectly, and is lasting.  I am spraying it weekly with water, because it is made of real boxwood cuttings.  The boxwood wreath is perfect for farmhouse décor.  This particular wreath is from Mud pie.

boxwood wreath

Moss Letter

This one is not exactly a farmhouse wreath, but it still fits into the same category.   I list it because it is perfect for farmhouse style and would be an elegant addition to your home!

Cotton Wreath

Finally, the cotton wreath is definitely farmhouse style.  It is relaxed farmhouse décor and perfect in a bedroom or on a gallery wall.

farmhouse wreath cotton

Whether you are looking to adorn a front door or a gallery wall, these farmhouse wreaths are all beautiful, yet timeless styles that you can enjoy for years to come.

How We Do Doctors Visits for Free

Doctors visits for free sounds crazy, but it’s true!  Here’s our story:   doctors visits for free

Our Story

My kids have both had strep throat recently.  It has been going around their school and although we were healthy all year, it finally caught us.  The good news is it didn’t cost us anything!  We were able to make an appointment for a phone consultation with MDLive, the company that Medi-Share partners with, each time and consult with a doctor immediately!   No cost for the appointment, or for the amoxicillin that we picked up within the hour from the pharmacy.  Our kids were back to no fevers within a day, and we continued through the antibiotics for 10 days.  Life changing!!  Read below for more details, and for all the ways we are saving on insurance, read HERE.

Virtual Doctor’s Visit

Thankfully, we can do doctors visits for free with Medi-share’s Telehealth program.  With Medi-Share we were able to “see” a doctor immediately virtually with their tele-health program.  You can review the available doctor’s certifications before selecting your preference among those available.  They were able to diagnose and treat our issue and prescribe medication to our local pharmacy…immediately!

For the germaphobe that I am, this was such a nice change.  No germy waiting room.  No waiting.  We didn’t even have to leave the house!  The best part:  it was free!  NO cost to see a doctor; this is included in our membership to Medi-Share.  I am not receiving any kind of commission for sharing this info; I just think it’s too good not to share!  This does not replace our regular doctors, and they will send the records to your doctor’s office if you wish.  This virtual service is very helpful, though, in these situations, and saves us a ton!

Sharing to Help You Live Your Priorities

If you are looking to save money on insurance so you can live your priorities, I highly recommend Medi-Share.  I think it’s a great service that is helping many people when health care is otherwise unaffordable.  We have saved a TON on insurance costs this year (thankfully, and fingers crossed), so I highly recommend you reading this page.   Our auto and home insurance changes have been life-changing as well!  Save money on these expenses, so you can live your priorities!