caleb, family, holidays, Owen, random, Reed, Taite


Most bloggers do their “christmas” rants before Christmas. I think I am the type to do it after… maybe because this season seemed oddly busy and I truly had no time to write. In this post ill throw in Christmas photos throughout, just to spread them out some ;-)


*The boys stockings btw, small snippet on those. I purchased the two BLUE pottery barn stockings years ago on sale for like $7.99! They only had two designs though, so I opted to just get two that year, thinking the next year they’d have a new design. WELL, since then I have yet to be able to find the blue ones :( – so Caleb and Reed are using my old stocking and a stocking my mom made. Which works… but I did still want Caleb and Reed to have a stocking with their name on it to match… so this year I found the same design but in red. So I got those coming, got them after Christmas too marked down. I am not really into monogramming much, just not my thing… but stocking to me do look very cute with the child’s name on it… SO yea, thats just my lil spill on our stockings and why two have names and two don’t. Oh and yes, thats cash in the stockings. My dad gave me some dollars to put in there for them. So I listened and obeyed ;-) *

ok…. back to the post ;-)

ED9A6439So! Christmas has come and gone, to a degree – my parents arrive tomorrow… so the boys will get to experience the fun of grandparents coming with gifts – but for the most part, our Christmas is wrapping up… Ive actually taken down some decorations… I am the type who enjoys cleaning the Christmas stuff out fast… while I love it when it goes up… by the end of Dec. I am ready to see it go. That is exactly why you will never, EVER see me put up a tree before thanksgiving ;-) – id be so sick of it. I think this has something to do with my OCD side.

This Christmas we scaled down a bit…. For the last 2 years we were being poured into by our church family… the 1st Christmas in Georgia my husband had no job… our church basically paid for our Christmas. So amazing and such a surprise. We didnt ask or expect it. 2nd Christmas here, same thing… even though my husband now had a new job (although not a great paying one), the church blessed us beyond belief with an amazing offering of love, that we were able to use to bless our kids again… and honestly we had a lot left to help pay for groceries that entire month.

I think the out pouring of their love, made us want to just love on our kids heavily those two years, and I think we went a bit overboard ;-) – which had its season I suppose? haha.. I’m justifying our big Christmas’ those two years. None the less, we knew we had to stop doing that much.. we knew our kids were getting to the age where showering them with a mass amount of gifts would in our view, send the wrong message, as to what Christmas truly was about.

As a believer, you all know where I stand. As cheesy as the saying can get, Jesus is the reason for the season… and we want our boys to know and understand that fully.



Which is why we choose not to do Santa…. not because we think he is evil… I grew up with Santa :) and obviously turned out just fine. We just came to the decision that it was a distraction for our children and neither of us felt right telling our children he was real, when he really wasn’t.

SO our boys know WHO Santa is. They know all about St. Nic :) – we have our own fun Christmas Traditions. We do still do stockings (can’t help it, I love how they look hanging up.) We also chose This year we also made the decision to only do THREE Gifts per kid… kinda goes in line with “Baby Jesus only got 3 gifts, then again he wasn’t a BABY by the time the wise men got to him ;-) – an more than likely it wasn’t CHRISTMAS then, but you get the point…that in itself is a blog post…” We also did stocking stuffers… but they are small gifts, so I don’t include those in the “3 gift rule…”

I thought Id list out the gifts our boys got, for those curious :)
[this may give other moms ideas for future gifts? It is in no way meant to show off, brag, etc… although I don’t find this as being showy at all… but it never fails, someone reading this will ultimately think something negative, it is what it is :)]

Caleb (who is 9)


1. A Bearded Dragon (we had the tank, so thankfully did not have to purchase that. I got his bearded dragon on sale for $29.99 – typically these range from $75-150.00!) – His name is August and so far he is doing beautifully. Caleb ended up getting this gift early btw… after a week or more keeping him hidden in my closet, I gave up. I was scared Id kill the poor thing. He btw is so cool! With his dragon we did include the gear he would need to care for him…. heat lamp, bulbs, basking spot, that sorta thing. I think the total cost was around $85.00 once we added it all up… which I think is a great deal on an awesome pet he will have for a long time. Comment below btw if you want me to do a “how we care for his dragon” post ;-) – I will admit, I really like him, he’s very cool.


2. A book about weapons – He is into the history of them, loves reading about how they are made, etc… this book has amazing illustrations!

3. A Wooden Sword/Shield – From THIS ETSY Shop (cannot praise this guy enough, he did a great job! He painted and custom made the swords for the boys)

(We also threw in a Lord of the Ring small Lego set for Caleb (It was one of the 20 dollar sets) Since he didn’t have the Dragon to Open on Christmas Day, I wanted him to have that “3rd” gift experience… so I guess he got 4 gifts… but it was partly my fault he couldn’t get the bearded dude on Christmas Day… soooo yea, he got the lego set too.

Taite (who is 7)



1. A Walkie Talkie Set (which can be used with all the boys, its a very nice one, we didnt want something cheap that only last a year and we’d waste batteries on. This one has a charging station, so no need to buy batteries, ever. Also came with a head set, very cool and they have used it great so far. Oh! and its water proof. We didn’t want them dropping it in the creek by accident playing and breaking them. I think the mile range is like 29 miles!)

2. A Small Drill with screws and a hammer – I got this at Harbor Frate down the road, was $9.99 for the drill, 2 bucks for the hammer and like a $1.50 for the screws. Its the perfect size for him! He loves drilling things into piece of wood. Its cordless too and has a charging battery included.

3. Sword/Shield – Matches Caleb’s – from same shop.

Owen (who is 3 1/2)



1. His 1st big boy Bike – It was just a $50.00 one from Walmart, he picked it out – we kept it hidden at a neighbors.

2. Helmet

3. Sword/Shield Set

(Owen got a couple extra stocking stuffers, since the Helmet wasn’t the coolest gift to get, more of a “must” for a new bike rider. If you can’t tell from the photos though he was super stoked to have the new helmet. Wore it half the time he opened gifts.)

Baby Reed


He was SO SO SO CUTE, when he realized inside the paper was a toy. Priceless smile.





He only got 2 gifts ;-) – he didn’t even know what was going on… so why lavish him with all 3 just yet ;-D

1. A toy phone, he loves phones. – was one from walmart? I think 5-10 dollars? I honestly can’t remember what I paid.

2. A toy Police truck that makes sounds (he’s into buttons) – Tonka I think?

and, thats it ;)

Joint Gifts



A $5.00 BIG WHEEL (Its a HUGE Big wheel, I can’t remember the name right off… its SOLID metal. I found it on amazon after finding it at a thrift shop. It was $250.00 new on amazon!!) – Our neighbors kept this hidden for us and even cleaned it up and blew up the front tire. SO nice of them. It works great. Has been a huge hit. Not to shabby for 5 bucks.

– Lord of the Rings Wii Game

Some Bible DVD’s (we collect the NEST series for them, they love them – got them 3 combined to add to the collection they have already).

… and thats it.

All of the gifts I was able to pay for this year with my photography business. Our budget is tight… so so so thankful the Lord has provided a very busy season for me in my photography. I have been blessed with an amazing flow of steady clients. In fact I’m booked through January already and the inquires keep coming.

For my Christmas my husband blessed me with a fun pocked camera called a Canon G9. I linked him to some listings on Ebay for them… I wanted a pocket camera that was NICE and fulfilled my “professional side” without being to much gear to carry. While I love my professional Camera… what I do not like is lugging it around with 4 kids alone… it is worth more than my 1st car… the last thing I want to do is have a kid kick my diaper bag or step on it and break it… so I try to never use it for “personal use” outside of the home… unless its a “special event” or something. SO this G9 will do a little better than my iPhone ;-) – so far I love it. Here is a photo taken today actually while on a bike ride with the boys…


& He got me a Zyliss Garlic Press. Sounds lame, but its awesome!! can press the garlic with the peel on it. Used it tonight for the 1st time and can’t imagine pressing garlic without it :) – a great price for one that does such a good job too btw…

So to wrap this post up…

What I guess I’m trying to say is….

IMG_5707Despite no Santa.

Despite no Elf on the Shelf.

Despite some of our gifts being thrifted :)

Our boys had an amazing Christmas and I think got PLENTY of gifts.

They do not lack in anything they need… and I think our society we live in makes you feel guilty almost if you do not lavish your kids in gifts at Christmas time…. while there are seasons for this, I think to continually overload our children with so much they can’t even remember what they got… the whole idea of Christmas becomes a big distraction onto materialism…. and the whole purpose for it is forgotten…

I just want to encourage everyone to pray about Christmas when it rolls around… each families “gift amount” may not be the same as ours… and that is ok! Some may give much less… some may give much more. Some gifts may cost a lot – some may cost a little. We each have to decide what is right and the Holy Spirit I do believe will guide us and give us direction in that area…

Thankful for this Christmas… Thankful we had well kids, no fevers, no throwing up… and a husband who was able to get off from work for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. SUCH A BLESSING!! Last year he did not have that luxury …

Hope everyone else had an amazing Christmas!!

Oh and we do get the boys Jammies. One pair of these was thrifted btw ;-) – no shame.
The boys specifically asked me for FOOTIE Jammies… and have worn them every night since.









6 Comments on “Used

  1. Thank you for this! It’s been really hard for me to explain to friends & family how we “do Christmas.” Our son is 1 1/2 and got 3 toys – one of which was from a consignment sale and the other 2 were super good deals from Amazon & Target. My husband and I don’t do gifts. It’s hard to explain to people that we don’t buy toys just to buy them. We have what we need – and as our my son grows up, I want him to remember that we celebrated Jesus and giving to others (not gifts and himself).

  2. OMG- you look younger in each photo you post!! :)
    It was a great post and I really enjoyed reading about what you’re gifting your boys. I loved the swords and might take a look at the etsy shop ~ even though my son is too little, I think next year would be a great gift for his bday!
    Merry Post Christmas and Happy New year!

  3. I was laughing as I read your posts because we do things so similarly! I wont put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving and I want take them down ASAP, but Micah says not before New Years. It just seems to clutter up the house after the holidays! lol
    I like how you decided on 3 gifts because Jesus got three gifts. I think we will use that when Nathan gets older and understands Christmas and gifting more. Being only 18 months, we didnt get him any gifts this year (bad parents! lol JK) That is because his grandparents on both sides showered him and we really don’t need more toys and games at our house. Seriously, we have one kid and it looks like we run a daycare by all the stuff he has accumulated in his first year of life! I need to find some kind of shelving or bins to put all this stuff in before I trip on it and break a hip Lol Looks like you guys had a great Christmas! I cant believe how big all the boys are getting!

  4. Beautiful post! I loved reading all your ideas for the kids. Looks like it was a very special christmas! Our little girl knows Santa is just some man dressed up in a costume and that the real hero of Christmas is Jesus. I totally agree with your point and believe we’d be lying if we told kids otherwise! God bless you all! Happy New Year!

  5. Your Christmas sounded fun!!! We made our own traditions over the years, similar to many. We purchase what we feel is right and affordable for us. We certainly don’t go in debt over presents!!! What we do make sure is that we spend equal amount on each. Sometimes some one has an extra package to open but the dollar amount is very close if not even. We were the parents that didn’t buy stuff throughout the year every time we went into a store. Necessities, yes but the little stuff no. So Christmas we would enjoy with our boys and still do as adults. They love their stockings too!!

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