Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 28: Creating Traditions


Day 28 of 31 days of Consistency & Children


I don’t know if you get into Halloween or not.  I used to get much more involved than I do these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Halloween and my kids love dressing up and going trick or treating!!

Haley Halloween
Haley as a baby/grandma??
Haley and I goofing around!!
Kids Halloween
Lathen-Spider, Olivia-Witch, Blake-Batman
Me Halloween
We get to dress up at work so I went as a bee!

When my husband and I had only one child, we used to decorate the house and outside and I would get excited about carving pumpkins.

Carving pumpkins was a big tradition while I was growing up.  I think my dad liked it more than my sister and I did but nonetheless it did become a tradition.  I wanted the same for my family.  I even remember when our daughter was about two years old and my husband came home from being gone all week with a pumpkin that Haley could have fit into!  It was huge but it was the coolest thing!

As I got busier with more children and working full time outside of the home, the decorating part had slipped.  I wanted to decorate but the thought of digging everything out of the basement was daunting.  I didn’t seem to have the energy and then to think that I would have to turn around and pack it all up again, YUCK!!

The sad part is that I know my kids love decorating as they look forward to helping grandma decorate each year.  I really should just suck it up and do it.  Maybe next year:)  Halloween is already this week.

Don’t go hating on me yet!  We do stick to the carving pumpkins tradition and I do enjoy that.

Halloween 2014 Halloween 2012-Dad and Lathen

I will post more later.  Lathen is the only one who has carved a pumpkin yet.  The rest of the pumkins have already rotted:(  Dad will get more tonight so the rest of us can do our pumpkins!!

Creating traditions for your family to follow each year is important for the kids.  They will always have those memories to cherish and hopefully carry on with their families.  My husband and I have stuck with a lot of traditions that our families had over the years.  The issue we have faced is that my husband’s family and my family had variations to the same type of traditions.  It seems that both our families had similar thoughts or ideas passed down but with a little bit of a difference.  When we first started these traditions with our children we were not sure how to implement them but over the years we have agreed on our own ways of doing them!

We have traditions for Easter and Christmas as well as Halloween but these have changed over the past year or so in our family.  Easter and Christmas are not just holidays to me which is one reason I dislike the saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”.  These holidays are based on Christian events and I want my children to know what Easter and Christmas REALLY stand for.  Last year we started doing things a little different.  Instead of the traditional things people do on these holidays we have changed it up a bit.  On each day and the days building up to Easter and Christmas we talk about what those days mean and read biblical books and right from the Bible.

On Easter we make a cool (and very yummy) treat called Resurrection Rolls.  I also purchased a cool Easter egg hunt idea from called Resurrection Eggs.  This follows the traditional egg hunt idea but inside each egg is a symbol.  There is a booklet to explain what each symbol represents.  The kids really enjoyed this last year.

Christmas presents are such a huge deal.  Society has taught kids that more is better or bigger is better.  WRONG!!!  I don’t want it to feel like a competition or that we have to buy just to give a gift.  That is not the message of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, we still get our kids presents.  But we only give them each three presents.  This represents the three wise men and the gifts they gave to baby Jesus.  Jesus got three gifts and our kids get three gifts.  They did not quam about it at all!!

Those are just some traditions we do and how we are changing them to fit our lifestyle.  I would love to hear what you do and how it works for your family.

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 10: Bedtime Please

Day 10 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


What does your nighttime routine look like?

Do you have one?

Do you even know what that means?

I would like to say that we have one and it is amazing and it goes ever so smoothly BUT that would be a lie.

Mine can be pretty chaotic which is why we are trying to get a good evening/bedtime schedule down.  We had done good for awhile but then I took on a part time job outside of the home.  This job required me to only be gone a few nights a week but my hours are from about 6 pm-9 pm so as you can imagine this tends to put a damper on the routine.

My husband and I have an idea of what we want that to look like.  Let me lay out our goal for each evening.

~6:00 pm~ Supper

~6:30-7:00 pm~ Clear table, dishes (each person helps), clean kitchen

~7:00-7:30 pm~ Pick out clothes, gather PJ’s, bath time

~7:30-8:30 pm~ Quiet time, read books, finish homework (if not done already)

~8:30 pm~ BEDTIME!!!!

I don’t understand why this is so hard for us to stick to!!  It feels so good to follow through and the next morning seems to go smoother.  Why is that not enough to continue the next night and the night after that??

Part of the problem is that my husband has to take over all of the above when I am working.  The other part of the problem is that we are selfish and want to do our own thing.  I know this is terrible but it is the truth and it is easy to fall into our own things that all of a sudden it is 8:30 and the only thing done is supper:(

Our goal is to forgot our own agenda and concentrate on the kids until they go to bed at 8:30 then we can do our stuff!!  Lets see how that goes:)

What does your evening look like? With or without kids, do you have a routine for the evening/bedtime?  Any advice would be welcomed as well!!

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 3: Dinner Time

Day 3 of the 31 Days of Consistency & Children!

images (14)

Today is our schools homecoming so everyone is full of school spirit and all decked out in our best blue and white!! Go Cadets!!!!!


Okay sorry back to consistency and children.

I picked clothes out last night and that felt good.  I am trying to get as much ready the night before as possible so the morning can go smoothly.  So far so good but we are only on day 3.  I better not jump ahead of myself!

I would like to share a routine that we have already established. Yay me!!  This 31 day challenge has gotten me thinking and I realized last night that we do have one routine that we have done consistently for the past 5 years.

Let me tell you a little back story.  About 15 years ago my husband and I bought a VERY small house.  This place was tiny!  We did not have enough room for a table in our kitchen and we not have a dining room.  At that time our oldest daughter was a baby and my husband worked a job that required him to be gone all week.  I would feed my daughter in her high chair and I usually ate in the living when watching TV.  We lived there for 5 years.

We moved to a house that was a little bigger but still not much room. We had a kitchen but no dining room again and the kitchen was small. We had a tiny table but my husband was still gone all week it was just my daughter and I.  Then I became pregnant with our second daughter.  I was very sick though this pregnancy so I just let my daughter eat in the living room which continued even after the birth of our second baby.

I really wanted meal time to be different but bad habits are hard to break.  We lived in that house for 5 years.  So 5 years ago we moved into our current house which is much bigger than our first two homes.

We have a dining room!!!!!!!

We have a big table!!!!!!!!

And yes, you guessed it, we eat meals together at the table!!!!!!

We eat almost all of our meals together as a family.  My husband no longer works a job that requires him to be gone all week, thank goodness.  That would be a nightmare with four little people!

Not only do we eat together but we have also incorporated prayer into our routine.  We hold hands and pray asking Jesus to join us and to bless our food.  The kids will even remind us if we start to eat without praying.  I love this tradition we have started and instilled in our children!  I pray this will be carried with them into their adult lives!


Even if you don’t realize it you may already have small habits or routines that you are doing with your kids. What routine are you already doing??

Gardening, Recipes

Spring is HERE!!!

As I mentioned awhile back I am going to become a gardener one way or another.  Since spring is FINALLY here we are in the beginning stages of an amazing garden!

We have two wild asparagus bushes in the ditch out by the road but with six people in our family, (all of which LOVE asparagus) two bushes are not enough.

Last fall my husband built an asparagus patch closer to our house. 

  Asparagus Patch by House

Our favorite two ways to make asparagus are: 

Wrap it in bacon and grill it

asparagus wrapped in bacon

Spread the asparagus on a baking sheet, rub olive oil on them and sprinkle it with sea salt.  Then throw it in the oven (375-400 degrees) for about 40 minutes flipping it half way through until it is crisp.  Yum, Yum, Yum!!!!

As we wait patiently for God to grace us with our own organic, home grown asparagus I thought I would share with you some recipes I have found that I am very excited to try.

For more recipes check out my Pinterest page!!




Faith, Health & Wellness

I AM Made for MORE!!


On my new life journey, I am doing an online Bible study along with my cousin.  The study is called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst through Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I am on a new journey in my life and included in my journey is growing my relationship with God.  He is the center of my life and he is becoming the foundation of my family.

You will often hear me refer to God and how he impacts my life.  So with that said, this study is very encouraging and is really making me think about my issues with food.  Now this study is focusing on food but many people have issues with things other than food.  This study would be beneficial for many issues we face.

I am learning many things about myself and last week we talked about the excuses we have for not being healthy.

Boy is my list long!

I want you all to watch this short video about over ruling our excuses.  WE ALL have them but we need to over rule them and just make the right choices.

I know that is easier said than done, but this video is very cool!!!  Plus Niki and Melissa crack me up:)  So check it out here:

Please feel free to comment on what your thought are about the video or give any ideas/suggestions you have for being healthy.  Let’s all take care of the bodies God gave us.  It pleases God when we make choices that prove our commitment to Him!!  Have a wonderful rest of the day.