yes, yes and more YES– friday faves.

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yes, yes and more YES– friday faves.

Linking up the Friday faves with Andrea and friends…

FridayFavorites

Of course, the is my favorite of all time…

Just when I thought I could not love this any more, I listened to this video on how the whole story in song came to be.  The most powerful of this production is that it is all through song.  Now add some children in to act out the story…

I am in love.

1.)  The Story Behind Behold the Lamb of God

 

2.) These two songs–amazing.

 

3.)  I have learned how to embed videos into this blog, instead of the “click here” with a link.  I apologize, I am going a bit crazy and just a tad proud of myself…  HA!  ;)

4.)  These boys looking intense at their tournament, don’t  you think?  Pure joy from those two basketball buddies.  I never asked what was so funny–because I am pretty sure I do NOT want to know.          bballfriends

5.)  Our church has provided gifts for two families of kids–so excited they are going to wake up to everything on their wish list!!   And a gift of sweet Baby Ruth to snuggle each Sunday morning

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6.)  And another gift…my Mary & Martha team.  I was getting my Christmas greetings ready to send to them and couldn’t help but think that this time last year, there were just a handful who joined me in this business and ministry.  And this year, it took me most of my morning to get these all ready to send!!  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this special group of women sharing Jesus in the home with many across the United States!!

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7.)  Carolers.

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5.)  Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

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I have had more fun making whoopie pies  this year.  It’s weird.  I never make whoopie pies.  But, they freeze really well and paired with our cuter than cute foil pans, I can pull them out of the freezer on a whim.  Like I did for those precious carolers above.  (now, they probably had to split them in half for everyone to have a bite…oops.)

6.)  Mary & Martha foil pans.  Need I say more?  They are cute.

foilpans7.)  Speaking of carolers.  Our annual caroling party is coming up.  This started because when we first started having kids, I began dreaming of how to make Christmas magical for them.  And for me, a caroling party with friends and family blessing others with singing, and then celebrating the season together was what it was for me.  And Steve got on board.  And our families got on board.  And our friends got on board.  And 12 years later, I finally figured out a fun invitation… (SMILEBOX may be my new addiction)

 

 

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a sweet time…

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a sweet time…

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I have been teary this week.  Having a hard time carving out the traditions I want to keep with these four.  Between Steve’s traveling, tests, practices, finals, concerts, and meetings–there just doesn’t feel like there’s any time to soak in this magical season.   I look back at this sweet time in our life when the most stressful thing on our December list was getting the Christmas card picture.  A Sunday afternoon I wanted to reserve for frosting sugar cookies turned into a crazed study session.  ‘Tis the season of life we are in, which I am loving, don’t get me wrong.  But oh how I loved those care free times.  I find myself envious of the Christmas programs the littles have.  The excitement of the season through their little baby eyes.  The way they sing Away in a Manger.  The Christmas piano recitals we so stressed over.  Maybe at that time I was putting too much emphasis in forming traditions and memories.  But, I don’t think so.  I can’t wait for the end of the week when the cares of the world will dissipate, for even just a couple of weeks for the kids.  I can’t wait to bring it all back to center and really FOCUS.  IMG_2009

 What a sweet, sweet time.  And now I am having to re-learn how to make it a sweet, sweet time in this stage they are in.  Even if I can’t get them to coordinate and match their outfits anymore…

be a celebration of God’s love…

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I have been praying about how I can use Mary & Martha to bless others.  It usually does not take me long to figure out what to do.  Whether it’s a certain product with it’s meaningful message.  Or if it’s offering specials to all of you so you can bless others with meaning this Christmas.

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I have to admit.  I am just stuck.  We have 3 days left of ordering to get your products for Christmas.  I have specials I’m planning for the week before Christmas (STAY TUNED!!!), but what can I do these next few days?

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Honestly, I don’t know who it is that I am blessing…yet.  I don’t know how much it will be that I can bless with.

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For the next 3 days, all sales earnings will be going to a family in need.  I believe God will show me who that is as.  And I have to have my eyes open, my ears listening, and be ready to act.

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For you all, I am offering FREE SHIPPING and 25% off from now through Monday, December 15th.  I could go on and on about our different products and what I love about each…but I’m guessing you know a lot about that already.  If there’s something you’ve been wanting to get for Christmas, now is your chance at a great price with a chance to bless others as well.  Must order directly through me to take advantage of this offer. 

Call/Text 620.386.0203

christmas blessing

Friday faves–this is Christmas.

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Friday faves–this is Christmas.

20141212-062457-23097388.jpg1.)  Christmas Shopping Day

So. Much. Fun.

It used to be a day we reserved for our family–with an early morning wake up, McDonald’s breakfast stop, non-stop shopping with a hot chocolate break, out for lunch, splitting up the kids so they could shop for each other, and an ending with dinner.

Not any more.  It’s just me and Steve and a Fresh Market coffee sample stop.  Marathon shopping through lunch and an early dinner of sushi before we race back for a basketball tournament.

20141212-062459-23099329.jpg2.)  WASABI SUSHI BAR

One of the reasons I love sushi so much, is that you leave and you don’t feel full.  NOT this time.  Oh my goodness.  We were starving and ate nonstop for 20 minutes.  No kidding.  But oh my it was yummy!

20141212-062458-23098419.jpg3.)  Unexpected Christmas blessings…

There have been a few times this week that my heart has been filled by the love and generosity of others.  Our kids at church have adopted four kids for Christmas.  We had a pretty extensive list of items to get, which we then opened up to the congregation to help us out with.  After delivering college care packages for finals week, a sweet girl brought me this gift card.  It blessed my heart so much that they compiled (probably their $$ for gas or necessities) together money and are giving in this way.  Is that not the greatest?  One of those teenage boys is going to be pretty pumped to find this under the tree on Christmas morning.

20141212-062712-23232592.jpg4.)  Mary & Martha products in use this season.

We get lots of pictures of our products in use which come across facebook each day.  This was a favorite of mine, using chalkboard markers on our Chalkboard Tray.  I wish I had artistic ability.

Then, driving Landon to practice last night in a neighboring town, we drove through a neighborhood full of lights.  And there on the house next to the door was a Blessings Door Bucket filled with Christmas decor.  I was so excited!  I had no idea who’s home it was.  But pretty neat to see our products in other communities~

20141212-062734-23254832.jpg5.)  Mary & Martha Home Office Staff and Mission

I watched this video prepared for us by the Mary & Martha home office.  The people who lead our company.  The people who take care of us.  The simple message of Christ as the center of Christmas and the love poured through that video, was a sweet gift.  You’ve got to see this.

Click HERE.

If this blesses you too and you think you’d love to be a part of this amazing company?  Let me know.  We would love to have you join our team!

 

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6.)  Behold the Lamb

This depiction of the greatest story ever told is what Christmas is to me each year.  About 3 years ago, our Sunday School class was in charge of the Christmas Eve service at our church.  Together kids and adults came together in what I believe is the most meaningful collection of stories through song.  I love the people who came together to make it happen and have the best memories of the whole thing.  Honestly, this is more than a Friday Fave.  I begin listening to these songs from the minute Christmas is whispered on anyone’s lips.   I love the ENTIRE CD.  I love the memories it brings of a very bitter turned sweet time of our lives.  During the middle of all of these practices for this program, my Dad was diagnosed and had a very dangerous surgery.  We got the very best news that Christmas Eve morning.  His cancer was contained!!!  And he was going to be fine.  So that celebration of Behold the Lamb that night at church?  Was so amazing.  I was brought to tears over and over and over again that evening.  The next few Friday Faves will feature these beautiful songs.  Oh I love them.  Can you tell?  :)

This is the song that starts everything off, asking the children to “Gather ‘Round” to hear the old, old story.

Click HERE.

7.)  Matthew Begats

This song deserves its very own recognition.  Hands down the most favorite song of the kids in Behold the Lamb.   It’s all about the lineage of Jesus.  It’s a fun song that sets up how everyone came to be.  It is SO FUN!  And I love this version and visual.  My kids have begged to listen to this song daily.

Click HERE.

Happy Friday friends.  I hope it is a FAVE!!

I am linking up with andrea and friends.

FridayFavorites

it’s what Christmas is all about.

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it’s what Christmas is all about.

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I’m not sure why it blessed me so much, but it did.  Not that I have a guaranteed Mary & Martha sale.  Not that he thought of me and my business as something his wife would like. 

It is ALL about his genuine spirit of thinking about his wife.  He told me he had tried contacting me all last weekend.  Even came to my house.  Why does this bring me to tears?  I don’t know.  But I do know, it’s what Christmas is all about.  Pouring love into others.  And I believe that’s exactly what this man is doing.  And I’m going to do my best to make sure it is a gift she will love, from the heart of her husband.  And you know what is going to bless this woman more than any gift I will wrap and get ready for her?  When I tag her in this post after Christmas.  This is perhaps the very best part of my job.

Homemade Kit Kat Bar–Friday Faves!

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Homemade Kit Kat Bar–Friday Faves!

20141205-052524-19524692.jpg1.)  Keeping our home mouse/rat/rodent free.  Thank you Nike and Heidi.  Our cats have definitely been in the “gifting” spirit this season.  I am not kidding, it’s 3-4 ‘kill’ a day.  I think maybe Steve should take them deer hunting next time.

 

2.)  I love driving up to the driveway to find him doing what he loves most.  In shorts, a sweatshirt, and winter fleece hat.  Anything to shoot a few hoops after school.

20141205-052523-19523801.jpg20141205-052522-19522961.jpg3.)  In Children’s Ministry this month, we are getting ready to kickoff a month of COMPASSION with some exciting things happening this next Sunday.  Can’t wait to bless some kiddos with Christmas gifts, who otherwise might not have anything under the tree.

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4.)  The Very “Merry” and Martha Christmas Party Open House

So many faves all wrapped into one evening.  GIRL time with FRIENDS. (and some I haven’t seen for so long!!)  Making NEW FRIENDS.  Baking.  Christmas music.  Time with my team.  This one evening fills me up more than words can say.  And for this, I thank Mary & Martha.  It provides me a wonderful opportunity to open my home to women.

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5.)  Homemade Kit Kat Bars

This is one of my favorite recipes to make during the holiday season.  I have A LOT of favorite recipes I reserve for this time of year, but this one is so perfect for freezing and pulling out anytime you need a special treat.  In fact, I made 3 recipes of this and my gals last night maybe ate a 1/3 of one pan.  Lots for the freezer!

20141205-052623-19583093.jpgI am sharing at the Weekend Potluck today!

Homemade Kit Kat Bars

Ingredients: (A simple list!)

1 Box Club Crackers, 1 Box Graham Crackers, White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Butter, Milk, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.  Lay out Club Crackers in a single layer.

Crush graham crackers to equal 1 cup.  Melt 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 cup graham crackers on the stove.  Heat to boiling while stirring continuously for 3 min.  Remove from stove.  Cover your club crackers.

Next, add another single layer of club crackers.

Stir together on stove 1 cup chocolate chips, 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup butterscotch chips just until melted and creamy.  Pour over club crackers.

Refrigerate until hardened.

Try not to eat them all.

20141205-052623-19583960.jpgLike I said, these are absolutely WONDERFUL to freeze and pull out for later.  If I were you, I would stock your freezer right this minute.  You won’t be sorry.  Teacher gifts, Christmas goodie plates, neighbor gifts…you name it!

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6.)  The Ampersand

I had a couple of awesome Mary & Martha team members with me last night.  And one in particular, is pretty darn crafty.  As is her hubby.  I joke, although it’s COMPLETELY TRUE, that everyone needs a “Greg” in their life.

These Ampersand Glitter Ornaments were our gift to all of our guests last night.  I adore them.  Besides how cute they are, I LOVE that people know what that little ampersand means.  That little ampersand has some BIG meaning.  And thanks to Mary & Martha people are beginning to recognize the meaning we have for this little symbol.

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Living in the ‘&’.

Loving God AND Loving Others.

A business AND a ministry.

Combining work AND faith.

20141205-052713-19633461.jpgI would LOVE to talk with you more about Mary & Martha.  To keep up to date on all of our specials (special sale coming next week) and see updates, please “LIKE” my facebook business page.  Supposedly 500 “likes” is a big deal to facebook–so I’m going to make it a big deal too with a giveaway once we reach it.

Click HERE.

FridayFavorites

Friday Fave link up with Andrea and friends