Teaching Your Children the Meaning of Christmas


the meaning of Christmas
Do you think Christmas has become too commercialized? Have we truly lost the meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, and giving to others?  I want to share an experience that I had picking a child to sponsor from the Angel Tree in Walmart.  I sponsor a child from either Walmart or Kmart each year, but I choose to walk away last year without purchasing a gift.

Why because the children were asking for expensive game systems and games.  I did a calculation on at least 2 or 3 children’s wish list and they totaled hundred of dollars each. I could have selected a few items from the Angel’s card, but I was left wondering what we’re teaching our children.

You’re asking for charity that equates to hundreds of dollars and obviously feeling no guilt about the list you have submitted. I have sponsored a child for years, and that was the first year that I witnessed these types of items on their wish list. I felt bad that I walked away, but I was so shocked that I felt it was best for me to leave the store.  Can anyone say holiday stress?

I understand that many parents are out of work, and they will be unable to meet their children’s wish list.  But if you’re unable to buy expensive gifts don’t expect others to take up your slack. Our priorities in this country puzzle me.  We act as if someone owes us something, and it seems this type of thinking is being passed on to our children.

I understand the children want the latest toys and gadgets, but my thought is that their parents should try to buy these items used if possible.  My issue is about values, no more and certainly no less. Simply put, don’t pass the financial burden on to your fellow citizens who are trying to be charitable.    

To keep cost down during the holidays I started making many of my gifts.  Also, I buy clearance items at the end of the season for the following year.  I crochet and make scrapbooks and gift baskets for adult members of my family.  Also, I set a budget of $50.00 for each of the teenage children in the form of a mall gift certificate.

I don’t have time to bang my head trying to figure out what the teen would like. Can somebody say holiday stress again!  The siblings in my family stopped exchanging gifts years ago.  We only purchase for the children now.  That really helped eliminate holiday debt.  Furthermore, I have a Christmas Club where I set aside money each week throughout the year for my grandchildren’s gifts.  I host Christmas dinner or a gathering for my siblings, and I’m grateful for their company. That is gift enough for all of us.  I refuse to belong to the debt club. I relinquished my membership years ago, and I surely will not go into debt for someone else.

Parents get real because the world doesn’t owe you or your children anything.  We must learn to make our way in this great country.  If times get a little rough be grateful for any assistance you receive; however, don’t take advantage. Teach your children that the holidays are not only about receiving, but giving and spending time with family and friends.

Focus on keeping your children warm, keeping a roof over their head and food on the table. Coats, shoes, hats, gloves and necessities for school should be at the top of the lists if you’re seeking charity.  If you want a fellow citizen to purchase a toy or electronic item, it should be reasonable.   Just saying!

Finally, what’s your thoughts on the commercialization of Christmas? Do you go into debt on Christmas gifts? I would love to hear your opinion about the Angel Tree I encountered. Please leave us a comment.

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 61

Welcome to Mother 2 Mother and the 61st week of Turn It Up Tuesdays! We’re so happy to have you here this week – and thanks for the amazing posts last week! There were so many great posts to choose from! And we had a record-breaking week – thanks again!!!
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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!
Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Silvie from My Silly Little Gang

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Through Silvie’s posts, she shares the details of raising my silly little gang of boys and the different things she encounters in her life as a mommy. Including crafts, recipes, and reviews, she enjoys blogging and all the work it entails. It definitely keeps her on her toes, but it’s rewarding for her when she receives a comment from a reader letting her know they enjoy her post. Her goal is to grow her blog into all it can be. As a mommy blogger, she has had the opportunity to work with several brands to review their products or places.
Stop by and check out her blog…it’s definitely a great read!
Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!
We’re accepting sponsors for 2015!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

TUT Hosts 11.1.14 (1)

(from the top – left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from 100lb Countdown | Meghan from Life with Peanut | Kae from Where’s My Pacifier? | Kelly from Making-More | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Yolanda from That’s Mashed Up | Laura from Another Cent Saved | Cindy from Mom Maven | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly| Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Chelsea from Mommie and Wee | Tenns from New Mama Diaries

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for November!

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(from the top – left to right)
Angie from God’s Growing Garden | Damjana from AppleGreen Cottage | Keri from Living In This Season | Stasia from Our Life on a Budget | Kimberly from Life is a Lullaby | Rebeka from Homemade Momy | Serena from Simple Holistic Girl | Amy from Home Remedies | Stacy from Little to No Progress Here | Tanya from City Mom Loves | Tina from The Happy Creations

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.  We’re now accepting guest hosts for December, January, and February.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Cindy chose Kitchen Basics 101: How to Carve a Turkey from Robyn’s View. “My father always carves the turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas. As much as I hate to admit it, he is getting up there in age. Someone else in the family needs to master this skill. Recently I brought home a rotisserie chicken for dinner and I asked hubby to carve it up and he had no idea how to do it! We hacked away at it but it sure wasn’t pretty. This post gives great instructions on how to accomplish carving a turkey.”
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Jillian chose Infused Water from Robyn’s View. “I have always been a fan of water, but nothing tastes better than when you add some fruit and spice it up. It makes it more exciting and means I’m more likely to grab and gulp!”
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Meghan chose The Target Effect – Adoption Tales from the Checkout Line from Ripped Jeans & Bifocals. “This is hilarious and sad at the same time. I have not adopted though I have always thought about it. But I would never think to ask someone randomly about their adopted kids. I have the upmost respect for her and everyone else who adopts. People ask the dumbest, and sometimes hurtful, things. Even if you haven’t adopted, you can still relate to dumb questions that you have received while pregnant or after your baby is born … and well in to their life. There are plenty of times I just want to turn around and sock someone.”
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Damjana chose Color Changing Oxeye Daisies from Frogs and Fairies. “Did you know you can even dye daisies!? In real life, not just on a computer screen, using some fancy web design app!!! It was a blast for me when I saw it and I believe you’ll all want to try it out! A wonderful and fresh idea, especially for those of us who’d love a splash of fresh colors. Especially in combination with flowers!”
Tiffany also chose this post. “I picked this post because as soon as I started reading it I went back to the days before my Husbands first deployment and how he treasured every day he could have with our children. Now that he is back we still take the time to have time that is just for him. It is truly so important.”
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Yolanda chose The Importance of Daddy Time from Winks and Eyerolls. “The reason that I picked this is because fatherhood often doesn’t get the amount of attention that it deserves. I also have an amazing husband who is hands on with our son. It is an amazing, and important relationship that exists between a father and their child.”
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Mari chose Butterfinger Fudge from Gal on a Mission. ” I loved the fact that Chelsea used just 4 ingredients to make this amazing treat. Less was more for sure.”
Silvie also chose this post. “I chose the Butterfinger Fudge Recipe because I like recipes that have simple ingredients and taste yummy. After making this recipe I was amazed at how delicious this fudge comes out!”
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Amy chose Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake Recipe from The Painted Hinge.  “I’m still in Fall mode and this Pumpkin cake may just be my new seasonal favorite. It’s easy to make, has just a few ingredients, and looks delicious!”
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Stacey chose NaBloPoMo | Blogging As A Profession from New Mama Diaries. “Tenns offered some amazing points to go by for making a professional and well designed site. Thank you so much for sharing!”
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Tina chose Rustic Log Holiday Card Display from Anything & Everything. “Absolutely beautiful!! I love Christmas Craft Tutorials! A fabulous rustic feel and a great way to display your Christmas Cards!!! Simple but beautiful. I love Christmas!! Thanks for sharing!”
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Rhonda chose Turkey Rice Krispie Treats | Fun Thanksgiving Dessert! from Moms Need To Know. “I always make a Thanksgiving treat for the kids, as none of them are partial to pumpkin or sweet potato pie. These are adorable, and will add a festive touch to the Thanksgiving table.”
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Serena chose 5 Quirky Things… When I don’t know what to write. from Clay Clan Cultivates. “I like it because I feel like this sometimes. I also like it because it will probably not be funny to a non blogger, even though it will be hilarious to a blogger so it’s almost like an inside joke. It’s brilliant! I hate selfies, too…”
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Angie chose Butternut Squash, Pear, Brown Rice, Chicken Soup Chopped from The Kitchen Chopper. “I liked it just because it looked delicious & was a unique combination of ingredients.”
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Stasia chose 77 Quick Throw-Together Slow Cooker Meals from Little House Living. “LIfe is very busy (as with most) and I am always looking for quick and easy slow cooker meals. Something I can throw in in the morning before work and is ready by the time everyone gets home. It takes stress off of our lives!”
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Natasha chose 5 Signs That You Have A Threenager! from Domain of the Mad Mommy. “Love. This. Post. Because I taught I had it so horrible when my son was 2, but now that he’s 3 and losing his mind on a daily occasion, I’m realizing how great 2 really was! The arguments are endless, the fights are senseless, and the tantrums are fruitless – still he continues and still I won’t break! I surely have a threenager!”
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The post with the most clicks is How To Support Your [Blogging] Community #NaBloPoMo from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter.
Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I’m sure they’d all appreciate it!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
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And the Best of the Best is…

We have a 3-way tie this week – so all 3 win Best of the Best!
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The Importance of Daddy Time from Winks and Eyerolls
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Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake Recipe from The Painted Hinge
Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!
As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!
Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!
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So now that you’ve met our sponsor of the month, our hosts and co-hosts, the Featured and the Best of the Best, and the winners of our anniversary giveaway…

let’s get started!

*Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back. *Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier! *Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends! *Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun! 

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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

**Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**

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Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays – past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Inspirational Quote – Muhammad Ali

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How to Empower Yourself Emotionally

how to raise self-esteem, building confidence, how to empower yourself

People use emotional intelligent to achieve their goals and to build businesses.  When I went into management 15 years ago, I learned that my emotional intelligence would be just as important as my technical savvy.  I was expected to lead the organization’s visions whether I agreed with them or not. Your job is to get your employees on board and implement the plan.  I knew that I would need to be physically and emotionally healthy.  At the time I didn’t have a game plan, but self-improvement and self-development became a priority.

Emotional Intelligence is about self-control.  It’s about having absolute control over your emotions and your life.  It’s portraying  confidence and a high level of self-esteem even when you don’t feel it.  I always think of the saying, “Never let them see you sweat” when I think of emotional intelligence.  I read every book that I could find on emotional intelligence and went to work on myself.  Since management was the last rung on the ladder of my career goals, I was determined to be successful.  My job was to manage a team of IT Specialists and help oversee a million dollar computer system.

I empowered myself by incorporating the following tips into my life.  This included on the job and in my personal life:

Learning to Say No – There’s power in that 2 letter word. It’s one of the most powerful words in the English language and has served me well over the course of the years. At one point I didn’t know how to say no. I was the go to person for everybody in the family. It started wearing on my health, so I had to make a major change in my life by deciding what was my problem and what was theirs. I learned to leave them with their problems.  As a result, they had to grow up and take responsibility for their life.  That freedom empowered me.

Learning to Relax – I started focusing on hobbies that I enjoyed, but neglected. I started scrap booking, crocheting and making other crafts. It’s important to found things you enjoy and just unwind.  It empowers you.

Let Go Of GuiltOnce I learned to say no I also learned to let go of guilt. I would feel guilty if I didn’t do what was being asked of me. Now I say what I mean and mean what I say.  Let the door hit you if you don’t like it. It is so freeing and empowering.

Focus on Solutions – I always told my employees to bring a solution when they bring me a problem. Being a part of a solution is empowering.  It’s simple, write down the problem and than write down a solution.  Make changes to your solution when or if it is needed.

Stay Positive – A positive attitude will take you a long way, and you will feel better about yourself.  Who wants to follow someone with a bad attitude?  People want to connect with positive energy.  They find it empowering!

Exercise RegularlyGet some form of exercise everyday.  I had to change my attitude toward exercising.  I hate it and would find any exercise to avoid it.  Previously I thought if I couldn’t get at least 30 minutes in it was unproductive.  So not true, 10, 15, 20 minutes is better than nothing.  I still haven’t mastered this one I’m a work in progress, but I do understand the importance and benefits so I’m striving to get better each day.

The biggest lesson that I learned on my emotional intelligence journey is that our emotions drive our actions. Your emotions can lead to your success or your failure.  Become determined to not allow anybody to move you unless you choose to be moved.  This determination has required me to remain emotionless at times.  I have learned that people look for reactions, and when you don’t give them one they have to rethink their game plan.  The greatest satisfaction is walking away and seeing them with a puzzled look on their face because you didn’t give them what they wanted.  That is empowerment.

Women’s issues still need to be dealt with in the business world. There are still men who think that women are too emotional and shouldn’t be in leadership positions.  On the other side of the spectrum, there are other women who try to press your buttons because they don’t want to see you successful either.  Prepared to endure both if you want to be successful.  

You may also like Finding Your Self-Esteem After Divorce and How I Deal With Toxic People.

10 Reasons I’m Thankful

Thanksgiving, how to be grateful

 
The holiday season is approaching. It’s the time of year when families gather and thanks are given. I always start Thanksgiving morning with the preparation of the turkey, breakfast and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as I’m preparing the other dishes. For some reason that parade puts me in a festive mood.   

Later that day my  home will be filled with children, laughter, conversations of days gone by and the Sports channel will be envied by every other station on TV. An abundance of food and drink will be consumed, which will be followed by a much needed nap. Slice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie filled with scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream will push the turkey and stuffing down and a wish for another nap will follow.  

Last, the arguments over who ate the last homemade roll or who drank the last of the sweet tea will surface, and that argument will be followed by who will be cleaning up the kitchen and putting away the leftovers. I love the holiday season.

It’s a tradition in my family for everyone to give thanks to someone or something during the blessing of our meal each Thanksgiving. Here’s the top 10 reasons that I’m thankful in no particular order:

  1. I’m thankful for my health and being able to live another year.
  2. I’m thankful for my daughter, grandson and granddaughter.  They have made me the proudest mother and grandmother in the world.
  3. I’m thankful for a roof over my head and food in my mouth.  
  4. I’m thankful for a family who loves me unconditionally.   
  5. I’m thankful for the fresh air that I take in everyday and the beauty that surrounds me.
  6. I’m thankful for friends who put up with me even when I’m on their last nerve.
  7. I’m thankful for parents who gave disciplined me, gave me an education and prepared me to survive in this world.  
  8. I’m thankful for the struggles that I have endured in my life.  They have made me a better and a stronger person.  
  9. I’m thankful for great neighbors who look out for me and my home.  
  10. I’m thankful for still having all my siblings and grateful that the circle remains unbroken.    

I would like to thank each of my readers for the follow as well as your comments and I wish each of you a very Happy, Blessed and Safe Thanksgiving. What will you being thankful for this holiday?  


You may also like:  11 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

 

Inspirational Quote – Changing Gears

inspirational quote

Inspirational Quote – Still People

11 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

 

holiday stress, Thanksgiving


Gobble Gobble!  The holidays are around the corner and holiday stress levels will start to rise. Thank goodness we no longer head out to the woods to catch our turkeys, pound corn or cook on open fires.  We already have enough things to stress over like what will be on the menu, who’s coming to dinner, what size turkey to buy, who should sit where and the list goes on. 


The holidays can  be a joyous time, but they can be overwhelming at times too.  To avoid unnecessary stress, I use the following tips to reduce holiday stress in my home: [Read more…]

Printables: Thanksgiving Scrapbook Layouts

printable Thanksgiving Scrapbook layouts, Thanksgiving scrapbook ideas

Thanksgiving is the time of year to be grateful for all that we have.  Also, it’s a day to capture another blessed day with family and friends, great food and another year of blessings.  Charge camera batteries or purchase them the night before.  Nobody wants to run out of batteries or have their camera die on such a festive day, right. Besides, if you don’t have pictures you can’t scrapbook.

Thanksgiving scrapbook pages can be added to a photo album or you can create one page and cherish it too.  It doesn’t matter because what it’s truly important is the memories.  Take pictures of the children creating Thanksgiving crafts or devouring Thanksgiving snacks to tide them over until dinner.  Capture memories of the turkey or kitchen disasters.  You will want to look back on the day and savor every moment.

Furthermore, include the good and bad of the day.  Scrapbooking is all about the memories.  All of them.  Thanksgiving scrapbook layouts are your answer to preserving the memories.  You can also turn the pages into Thanksgiving scrapbook layout craft projects for the kids.  Take pictures of them and than print each child’s favorite picture.  Afterwards, print the Family Fun scrapbook page above and let them add the picture.  It will be a great take home gift for the kids or mom and dad.

Thanksgiving Scrapbook ideas, printable scrapbook pages, printable Thanksgiving Scrapbook pages

As you know the hostess will be busy preparing dishes and being gracious to guests.  Take pictures of the turkey on the platter when she’s ready to serve.  The host cooks all day, but never has a picture of the beautiful dishes he or she has prepared before everyone devours them.

Our Thanksgiving scrapbook layouts will help you eliminate that tragedy.  I’m sure the host will be most grateful that you took the time and energy to help preserve the day.  You can download the free Thanksgiving scrapbook layout printables here.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote – Helen Keller