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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

Read More

Macys Black Friday Deals Available Now!

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This year, it pays to shop early!  Macys Black Friday deals start today and include over 500 items including:
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And many more deals available online.  Free shipping is offered with a $49 purchase.  Click here to see all of the Macys Black Friday deals on Macys.com.

Macys Customer Service

My experience with Macy’s has been amazing.  I’ve ordered multiple times and had items shipped to my house, and the time it takes for me to click order and then have the package arrive at my door is amazing.  Less than 2 days in my experience, which is much faster than the time it would take me to plan a trip to go to the mall.  Not to mention, finding what I need in stock.  These Black Friday deals from Macys.com are deep discounts that hopefully will help you in your Christmas shopping this year!  But, don’t miss out.  Shop while products are still available!

Shop Smart Online This Christmas Season

tips to shop smart online

This is a post that someone needs to read; it may be you!  With online shopping surpassing in-store retail shopping this Christmas (source: Deloitte), more than likely, you are planning to shop online. Online Christmas shopping is wonderful and convenient (usually) and can save you time and money.  And at Mom’s Priority, we want to help make it easier for you!!  But, you need to know how to protect yourself and how to spot dishonest merchants and criminals.  As a fellow mom, I feel I need to make you aware of warning signs and help keep you all safe online!  Shop smart online this Christmas season with these tips.

12 Tips for Smart Shopping Online:

  • Shop through reputable companies

Who are your buying from?  Ensure websites are legit by googling them if they are not a large, well-known company.  See who they keep company with.  Just like we tell our kids, who they relate with says much about them!  While this isn’t 100% proof, this little bit of research may end up protecting your personal information.

  • Only enter your personal information, credit card number, or otherwise on secure websites

Recently, Google made the announcement that they are going to penalize websites that are not secure in Google search.  One way you can tell the “real” sites from the others is that green padlock and the “s” on https:// preceding their website name.  Always, always, only give your credit card info on sites that have that AND ALSO meet the other criteria listed here!  That green padlock says the site is secure and uses encryption so your credit card information cannot be easily stolen as data is transferred over the web.

  • Shop Online with a Credit Card

In order to shop smart online, using a credit card (vs a debit card) is a must.  If someone were to get your debit card information, they could wipe out your savings and you have little recourse.  Most credit cards have protections included in case your card is lost or stolen.  Remember, the credit card number, expiration date, and security code are just as good as having the card in most cases.  So, protect that information!  Credit cards are much safer for shopping online.  You can dispute unauthorized charges and let their fraud protection team investigate.  Debit cards are not good for online shopping.

  • Shop on Secure Internet Connections

Public wi-fi is not appropriate for buying online or checking your bank account.  You can SHOP all day long on public wi-fi, but don’t put your personal information in to buy until you are using a secure internet connection.

  • Beware of Phishing Scams

Never reply to emails requesting that you enter your credit card information on their site.  Instead, go directly to the site when in doubt.  This season already, reports indicate a scam where the sender claims to be Amazon.  The email says your order cannot be processed because your credit card information is incorrect.  They tell you to click on the link to take you to “Amazon’s site” and reenter your info so your order can be processed.  Do not go to their site that even looks like authentic Amazon!  Because, they are stealing your credit card info as you enter it for them.  Instead, go directly to Amazon’s site and look at your orders to verify their claim.

    • If it’s Sounds too Good to be True, it Probably Is!

  • Read the Fine Print

It’s not fun and takes the buzz away from shopping (haha!), but it is important that before you click “purchase” you read the fine print!  Know the policies of different retailers (which, you learn after shopping a couple of times!).  For example, Amazon orders can be returned at Kohl’s now.  Most online stores that also have brick and mortar stores allow you to return the items with no penalty at their physical store.  However, some returns incur restocking fees or shipping fees at your expense.  Know how long you have to make a return.  It’s your job to know what you are getting into when you make the purchase.

DaySpring Christmas Shop Launch

  • Privacy Concerns

Along the same lines, check out websites’ privacy policies in order to protect your personal information.  Websites should have an easy to find privacy policy (usually at the bottom of the website) that addresses how your information will be used.

  • Clear Your Cache/ Cookies Often

If you’re not familiar with these terms, basically, go to Internet Options, then Clear Browsing History frequently.  What merchants do is store your info and preferences to keep page load time down and get to know you in a sense.  Pages are tailored with you in mind.  While that is generally not a problem, it is beneficial for you to clear it on occasion.

  • Keep Your Computer/Phone Software Up to Date

New viruses and malware come out every day.  The only way to protect yourself and your machines is to keep the software up to date.  You need firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software installed and running.  When they update, you need to update if it’s not done automatically behind the scenes to make sure you are protected.  Run virus scans regularly and make sure you install the latest updates.

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  • Delivery

Keep an eye on packages arriving to your door.  At Christmastime, there is an increased risk of theft anyways.  This also includes delivered packages.

  • Proof of Purchase

You can either print a receipt or make sure you received the email that tells what was purchased and when delivery is expected.  That way, if you have any discrepancies or need to return, you have documentation.

Shopping online is convenient and quick, as long as you’re dealing with honest merchants and secure websites.  You can save a ton of money by shopping online this Christmas, and Mom’s Priority has a variety of ways to help you do that.  Please stay vigilant as you shop online to protect your identity this season, and if you have any questions, please email me at [email protected].  Happy shopping!!

Mom’s Priority Wants to Help You Save Money and Time This Christmas Season!  Here are some of our most popular links:

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Mom’s Priority Online Store

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How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude at Home

The Cure for Entitlement:  Gratitude


My son has been excitedly asking about our gratitude jar for the past month.   Filling the jar with things we are thankful for is a tradition we do every November.  Every day in November (ideally… we often have to catch up!), we write down things we are thankful for on slips of paper and add them to the jar.  On Thanksgiving Day, we read all of our notes aloud.  It is a humbling and gratifying experience to say the least.  To hear aloud my family members say things that maybe I never think to be thankful for, this fills my heart!  This is what Thanksgiving is all about!

Get Our Hearts Right

It surprises me that he asks and even remembers! Our gratitude jar simply sits on our kitchen table for one month out of the year.  It precedes Christmas, which can become an extremely materialistic time of year if we’re not careful.  I love that it makes an impact on him, and I hope we keep this tradition for many years to come.  More than anything, in our entitled world, I want our kids to know the source of everything.  I want them to know that it comes from God, and not from any work they can do themselves.  Sure, hard work is often rewarded, but this gratitude is what separates the entitled from the humble and thankful.

Simple Jar or Bucket

Don’t fool yourself into thinking your container has to be Pinterest-worthy to use!  A gratitude jar (or gratitude bucket!) can be as crafty as you want, or have time, to make it!  It’s the practice, the habit, of daily writing down things we’re thankful for that we’re after.  If you have time to make it super-cute, then by all means, do!  This year, my usual glass apothecary jar was being used for something else.  So, we are using a galvanized bucket with a ribbon tied at the top!  Times are busy right now, but that doesn’t mean that we are going to miss this opportunity!  Who knows how many more years our kids will want to do this?!  I do hope it sticks with them.  But regardless, it will be a fulfilling memory to store away for future thanksgivings.

Solutions to Raising Grateful Kids

Beyond this simple idea of a gratitude jar, here are other ways to raise grateful kids in this entitled world:

  1. Express thankfulness in prayers and blessings.  Thankfulness is a key element of prayer, and in blessings at meals, we bless the food and thank God for providing it.  Creating this habit reminds us daily to focus on God, and not on ourselves.
  2. Give gifts and serve in the community When you give generously, you think of the receiver and it forces you to look beyond yourself.  Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our situation, that we fail to look outward.  Giving good gifts to teachers and others in the community helps us to voice our appreciation of their work.
  3. Get into nature and experience the awe and beauty around us, given to us by God.  How can you look at a sunrise and not be thankful?!
  4. Live intentionally. Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, focus on what your purpose is and do that well!
  5. Keep Christmas about the cross, and not just wanting more “stuff.”  We can challenge ourselves to give and not just want.  The 3 Gift rule helps our family keep away from all of the “I wants.”

Expressing Gratitude Creates Long Term Impact

the cure for entitlement is gratitudeUltimately as parents, when we “teach” our children, we’re really teaching ourselves, right?  This reminder every November is good medicine for me AND it’s great for our kids.  We’re raising up the next generation, and who wants a bunch of spoiled adults running around!  Long term, I believe practicing gratitude creates healthier families.  Think of how much better you sleep when you’re not overspent and overworked?  When you’re able to focus on living intentionally, grateful for each day.  There are even studies pointing to gratitude reducing anxiety and depression in adults.  The results of one study are preliminary, but it suggests practicing gratitude actually rewires the brain!  Knowing that the future ahead for our children is not going to be any easier, I want to give my kids all the tools to have long, productive and meaningful lives.  Gratitude is a simple answer.





For more posts related to family and living intentionally around the holidays, join our newsletter and click to read these posts:

Christmas Giving with Kids

Three Gift Rule

Living Intentionally as a Mom

Meals around the Table

family meals moms priority

Family Meals

As we get back to school and life gets busy, it is easy to let meals around the table slip in importance. Study after study shows, however, that on multiple factors, having family meals together is the single most important thing we can do for our kids’ health.

Benefits of Meals around the Table

  1. Physical Health– According to the American Association of Pediatrics, families who eat 3 or more family meals together per week, reduce their odds for being overweight by 12% and eating unhealthy foods by 20%.
  2. Academia– Family meals and the dinner conversations that accompany them increase children’s vocabulary and ability to produce and understand stories.
  3. Psychological– Family meals give children a place to be heard and understood.
  4. By the teenage years, teens who eat dinner together report lower teen pregnancy rates, depression, and eating disorders.

On the side of mom, however, it is difficult to get healthy meals on the table every night with overwhelmed schedules when it is much easier to pick up fast food!  One of the priorities of Mom’s Priority is healthy families, so here are some family meal ideas to help you when you get overwhelmed:

Read on…

Something to Work on… Being an Active Mom

Active Mom

Mom’s Priority ~ Active Mom

“The less physically active a mother is, the more likely her child will be sedentary early in life”

WOW!! This study from the American Academy of Pediatrics keeps coming back to haunt me, as I am not as active as I would like to be!

Mom’s Priority

“Mom’s Priority” means many things to many moms, and to me, it includes modeling good habits that they can one day call their own. Being an active mom, athletically, is something that I struggle with, but hope to improve upon. With limited hours in the day, exercising often gets cut, and even more so, exercising WITH my kids is a challenge. But, there are so many ways to incorporate physical activity into our daily routine.  Read on…

A Devotional: Proverbs 31 Woman

Wisdom, Faith, Productive, Industrious, Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 Woman

When I think of the entire Proverbs 31 Woman passage as a tribute to the ideal woman, it’s an inspiration to me, as unattainable as it may be to meet every goal listed in that long passage!  But…it’s an inspiration, and it sets my mind and heart on a WORTHY goal, because we serve a WORTHY God, and this world is filled with so much less than ideals that are worthy!  My hope and prayer is that this website points you to God, and that you may find in your own time with God, to discover all of the ways that you are worthy of becoming like the Proverbs 31 Woman.

“Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”  – 1 Thessalonians 2:12

Mom’s Priority serves to encourage and help moms achieve financial, organizational, family, social/ethical, and personal goals by providing money and time-saving strategies that allow moms to use their hearts in their time and purchases for good.  As moms, we want to live our lives fully and with purpose, as we raise up the next generation.  This looks a little different for each one of us, but in our quiet times with God, He  shows us how to live, if only we are willing.  He is faithful!

For more devotionals from Mom’s Priority, click here.

How to Encourage Kids Reading This Summer

As testing continues to accelerate in schools, parents and teachers are hoping that their children are well prepared and have acquired the reading skills needed to excel on their tests and be promoted to the next grade.  More than that, though, we want our kids to have a love of reading, so that throughout their lives, they have endless opportunity that is afforded when a person can read, comprehend, and use the information gathered to change their lives.  Good reading skills can certainly be life-changing!  Kids reading for fun is the way to increase comprehension and reading level.

Developing Reading Skills Should be Fun

Too much emphasis is placed on tests and evaluations today when what is needed is a love for reading and the ability to comprehend and use that knowledge for good!  This summer, we are focusing on reading each day with my kids, more than just at bedtime.  It will be good for all of us to enjoy good books this summer!  I was excited to read over this list of books put together by Amazon’s book editors : 100 Children’s Books to read in a lifetime!  There are so many good books that I read as a child, or my children have read.  There are many others that I want us to read, so this is going to be a great guide going into this summer!

Our kids will develop reading skills, but more than that, hopefully they’ll acquire a greater love for people, those who are different from us, those who have emotions, those in different situations, and those who have stories to tell!  Because at the end of the day, we are all living our lives and telling a story.  Books like Are You My Mother by Philip Eastman, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, and 97 other classics or ones that will be significant and warmly remembered through the rest of our children’s lives.  I want to share this list with our kids and see what they are interested in, or what they remember about these!!

Kids Reading Resources

To develop reading skills this summer, we’ll surely be going to the library, but also going online and ordering a few of these classics for our home library.  We’ll also be trying out Kindle Unlimited with a 30 day free trial, so we can read unlimited for free!  Also, our school system has joined Myon.com, so kids can use that online reading source for a variety of titles!  I am so excited for summer to get here, for the pace to slow, and for fun and relaxation!

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Wonder on Sale at Amazon!


Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an amazing book that inspires children to choose kindness!  We’ve read it here at our house, have a copy, and it is one you don’t want to miss!  Auggie Pullman was born with a facial difference and has been homeschooled until now, when he’s about to enter 5th grade as the new kid in school.  Truly, a book to read and pass along.  The idea of kindness despite differences…is a timeless and particularly timely lesson in our current culture.  The hardcover version of Wonder is on sale at Amazon for $3.99 and is Prime!    Also soon to be a major motion picture!  Buy a copy today- you won’t regret it.

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Make a Difference with Your Kids This Summer

Summer Activities for Great Kids Beyond Camps and Vacations

Make a Difference this Summer

Mom’s Priority List of Summer Activities for Great Kids Beyond Camps and Vacations

Summer is a time for kids to have fun and be kids, playing with friends and going on vacation, to camps and the pool of course!  Beyond that, it’s a time to make a difference and learn and grow!  For a few fun inspirational ideas, I’ve created a list!   This list is designed for elementary-age, but can be scaled to go younger or older.

Challenge Contests

  1. Enter a reading contest for prizes – Your local library surely has contests for different ages. Also, check out Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading Program- read just 8 books and write a recommendation for each and win a free book! For more details, see Barnes and Noble .
  2. Enter a building contest for a chance to have your masterpiece in the Lego club magazine! Or, use Lego’s Digital Design Software on their website to build a virtual lego invention and have it displayed on their website! Click below for Lego’s siteLEGO® Juniors: Introduce your child to the world of building.
  3. Write a story about Lego Ninjago and the winner will have their story published in an upcoming chapter book!

Be Creative

  1.  Paint with acrylics on pottery, watercolors on stained glass (from craft store), by number, with acrylics on canvas, on posters for lemonade stands, with dot markers, with finger paint, on ceramic kits from the craft store, with stencils, with sponges, on wood figures like crosses
  2. Create necklaces with macaroni noodles and string and beads, puppets with paper bags or finger puppets with felt, magnets with pictures, felt storyboards with felt and imagination
  3. Glue a tissue paper collage, sequin art, foam stickers

Get Healthy

  1.  Try new food and recipes, take a picture, and create a recipe book with your new favorites
  2. Plant a garden in your backyard or community and enjoy picking fresh fruit and vegetables all summer!
  3. Exercise as a family- ride bikes at parks or in the neighborhood, go swimming, play baseball or soccer in the backyard, play tennis or golf, help parents around the yard and in the house.
  4. Drink lots of water and get lots of rest, because summer days wear you out!

Make a Difference

  1. Set up a lemonade stand to raise money for your favorite cause
  2. Get a haircut and donate your ponytail to Locks of Love or your local cancer center
  3. Visit elderly family or senior center, bringing them beautiful artwork to brighten their walls and smiles!
  4. Clean out your closet and drawers, taking outgrown and gently worn shoes and clothes to your local church, rescue, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and stuffed animals to your local fire station
  5. Send a card to an out of town friend or family member to make their day brighter
  6. Send our soldiers letters and goodies
  7. Share a canned good with someone in need by taking it to your local soup kitchen
  8. Smile often, laugh a lot, and have lots of fun!