Candy Cane Lane

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Dinner at Macario’s.


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My handsome boys in blue.


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This is what happens when he’s in his jammies.


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The Three Wise Men came from afar… on ATV’s?? Haha!


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My three kids. Love it!


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So cute!


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Faith enjoyed her candy cane and made it last the entire trip. Impressive!


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My girls.


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Look who’s up?


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With a big stretch and a wink!


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Blessed beyond measure!


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I’m sure he’s thinking… “Is it time to go home yet?”


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Not too sure about this place.


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Kisses from sissy. Who can resist kissing that chubbalious face?! 

The girls couldn’t wait to go to Candy Cane Lane again this year. Although we’ve been out to lunch several times as a family of five, this was only Zach’s second time out to dinner since he’s been home. He did great! It’s cold and flu season, so I’ve been trying to stay somewhat low key and close to home… unless of course, we need food in the house. :)

We had a few sprinkles while we walked around but we didn’t let that dampen our night out. The girls said they had the BEST time and they can’t wait for their little brother to enjoy it all again next year!

More family photos




















At the end of October, we had another opportunity to shoot with my lovely friend and photographer, Katie McGihon. This photo shoot was very special. First, because it captures us as a family of five for the first time. Also because she used film. Real film. In other words, not digital. She’s a big time photographer now and her talent never ceases to amaze me. I’m thrilled to have some of these beautiful images up on the walls of my house!

Thank you for capturing so many great photos of our family throughout the years, Katie!

“Keep the Pot Boiling”

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Over the weekend, the girls volunteered for their 3rd year of ringing and singing for the Salvation Army. We always look forward to this as it’s such a fun and simple way to remember and serve the least of these, especially during the holiday season. Do you know the history of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle?

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome -- funding the project.

Where would the money come from, he wondered. He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city's poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called "Simpson's Pot" into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, "Keep the Pot Boiling." He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Six years later, the kettle idea spread from the west coast to the Boston area. That year, the combined effort nationwide resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the needy. In 1901, kettle contributions in New York City provided funds for the first mammoth sit-down dinner in Madison Square Garden, a custom that continued for many years. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

Captain McFee's kettle idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but all across the world. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Everywhere, public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.

The Salvation Army is an international movement and an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Mother/Daughter Winter Tea

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Last week, we left the boys at home and the girls and I got to share some Mother/Daughter time at our church’s Winter Tea.

My girls absolutely LOVE anything that has to do with a tea. What’s not to love for the young and not-so-young woman, right? Getting all dressed up and eating fancy finger foods? Um… yes, please!! 


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We ate, we visited, we sang, and we listened to a thought provoking message by one of our Pastor’s wives.

That evening, I also had the great joy and privilege of praying a blessing over my precious daughters.

It seems just like yesterday, they were sitting in their high chairs, trying to figure out how to stuff a whole handful of Cheerios in their mouths. Some days, it feels like someone’s pushed the fast forward button and I’m simply asking,

Can someone please please push pause?”

How quickly these 8 years have flown by. This was an evening event so I’m not gonna lie, I totally had to rally myself. It’s not that I didn’t want to go or that I wasn’t looking forward to it for weeks. It just means that in this season of my life, by the end of a weekday, I’m usually pretty tired. However, in a way, I feel like I could blink and my girls could be driving soon! In other words, I have a feeling the next 8 years will zoom by even faster.

And you know what? I don’t want to miss it. I want to be intentional about spending quality time with my kids and do things they love while pointing them to Christ and investing in their hearts. Lord willing, there will be many more teas to enjoy with my little-big girls! I am truly so humbled and blessed to be their mama. They make me stronger, yet weak, and more reliant on the One whose grace abounds.

May they always know their worth and Who it is they belong to.

“Our daughters will be like pillars, carved to adorn a palace.” ~Psalm 144:12