Today is the day after Christmas and I am snuggled on my love seat eating Christmas cookies and drinking coffee. We have so much to be thankful for. It was a wonderful Christmas. I am probably the most tired I have ever been the day after Christmas. There was just so much to do this year. I am so very thankful but so happy to be resting and to have absolutely nothing to do today.
We are keeping our Christmas decor up until the 1st so I plan to keep celebrating Christmas today but with a more focused theme. We are going to watch It's a Wonderful Life, The Star, The Nativity and we will have to YouTube Nester, The Long Eared Christmas Donkey. I have four loads of laundry to fold but now that I have more kids' drawers organized I actually find this to be a more enjoyable task and especially if I am able to relax and watch Christmas movies. We do have one more Christmas to host on Saturday.
My five favorites this week are easy:
1. Definitely the time we spent having our breakfast and daily devotions. Normally we do this as part of our homeschool routine but since my husband was home he was able to lead us. He read the Christmas story out of Luke and we asked focused questions to get the kids to truly grasp the meaning if Christmas.
2. Santa's Ranch. My husband came home from work one day and asked if we had any plans for the evening. We didn't so he said, "Let's get in the car and head to Santa's Ranch!" Santa's Ranch is a beautiful drive through Christmas light display that is located between San Marcos and New Braunfels. We absolutely LOVE this tradition. We all hopped in the van quickly but not before I grabbed the egg nog and 6 cups to enjoy on our ride. We listened to Christmas music and marveled at the magical display. Such a fun night.
3. Christmas Food! I made three turkeys this year (for the recipe and brining method I used, click here). I will say that these turkeys were my best ones yet. I am very happy with the way they turned out and my guests loved them as well. I love green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, dressing, and sweet potatoes. I am going to write a full post about how to prepare this meal for my daughters to refer to so look for that in the next few weeks.
4. Campfires. When my dad is around, we have campfires. It's one of my favorite things. I love to sit around the campfire and listen to my dad and Nathan talk. My stepmom was here as well and we enjoyed the time together around the campfire as well. Speaking of fire...
5. Wood burning stove. I never had a wood burning stove growing up but I absolutely LOVE the one Nathan installed in our previous farmhouse. It kept us so toasty and we never had to run the heat because the warmth of the stove permeated the entire house! Nathan and his brother set the stove in place on Christmas Day. Nate painted it black and I am SO in love with the look. I'm elated to have a cozy fire in it once the weather gets cold enough here in Texas (probably around January). A wood burning stove is different from a traditional fireplace because the heat is contained therefore it heats the home more efficiently. With a fireplace most of the heat escapes through the chimney. It only took one season of having a wood burning stove to convince me that I never wanted to go back to the traditional fireplace. I love the added bonus of keeping a kettle on top for hot water at all times.
Vision of 2020 : Setting Goals For the New Year
1. Begin with end in mind...What do you want to look back on at this time next year? What do you hope to say, "Wow, I did that!" about next year at this time?
I am SO grateful that when I look back at this year I can say, "Wow, we built this house and have two places rented this year!" Next year at this time I am hoping to have one more house rented. We have our little cabin that needs to be finished and last night we had a dear friend ask if she could rent it. Of course we ae excited to get another person we know love and trust in one of our rentals.
2. Commit your ways to the Lord and He will establish your plans. Ask yourself what your motives are. Are they pure and upright? If you ask anything according to the Lord's will then you already have what you ask of Him.
3. Create a plan. How will you get to you end goal? What are the steps you can take? For example, if you want to organize your kids clothes, you will need to take a quick inventory of what you have and what you need. Find a system that you think will work best. We like drawer organizers and rolling the clothes up and placing them in each little cube. It is helpful when pulling out certain shirts or pants so all the others do not get messed up. I will go into more detail on this at a later date. Maybe you want to eat healthier, take note of what you need to eliminate and create a meal plan with snacks as well.
4. Stay focused. Create a visual so you can keep your goals in front of your face every day. It could be a vision board or simply an index card with your goal written down. Just make sure you have something in front of you every day so you can remind yourself what you are working towards.
Once you have all of this complete, I believe you will be successful. Commit your ways to the Lord and pray. Stay focused and go hard after what you set out to do. Praying it's a fruitful year for all of you.Thank you for reading.
Grace and Peace,