Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My friend, Ashley, did a post on her family's Christmas traditions, which got me thinking about our traditions. We have several that have been in place for generations and a few that we have started on our own. 

  •  Cookie Decorating- I'm a huge baker. The boys and I always bake some sort of cookies and decorate them. This year we've been loving peanut butter cookies with Hershey kiss centers, reindeer sugar cookies, and drop sugar cookies. Some doughs I make from scratch, some we start off with a mix. I don't really think it matters as long as you're getting quality time with the kiddos! 

Caleb 2010

Caleb 2009

Bray 2010

Me 2009

  • Trimming the Tree- This is always done as a family. Gone are the days when I was obsessed with having just the right mix of ornaments on the tree- this red glittery ball can't be too close to another red glittery ball- and now I unpack the ornaments and let the boys do as they please. I may or may not still  "fix" a few after they've gone on to other things. :) Oh, and shatterproof ornaments are of utmost importance. 
  • Christmas Movies- We love movies anyway, so Christmas movies are extra special! We start watching them around Thanksgiving and until the New Year. It's a great way to spend some relaxed time as a family. Some of our favorites include The Polar Express, Charlie Brown's Christmas, Prancer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street (both versions), It's a Wonderful Life. 
  • Christmas Books- My boys love to read as much as I do! We have a stack of Christmas books that only come out with the Christmas decorations. We curl up together on the couch and they listen for as long as I will read! 

  • Christmas Parade- Our town has an annual Christmas parade, usually the first Saturday of the month. We love to bundle up wear our short sleeved Christmas shirts, go see all the floats, and catch candy! This year Jeffry helped direct the whole parade route.
  • Gifts with Jeffry- Jeffry and I always pick a special night, usually a night or two before Christmas Eve, to open our gifts to each other. We started this a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite traditions. It gives us a chance to take our time and enjoy each others reaction without the craziness of extended family and the kids around! 
  • Deanash Party- Our church hosts a party for the local children's home each year. We buy the gifts on the children's lists, and then we bring food and our families to celebrate with them. Half of the fun is having our children play with them! This is always a special night. 
  • Christmas Eve Communion- This is an important tradition to Jeffry's family. We usually spend Christmas Eve with his parents, grandparents, brother, sister in law, aunt, uncle and cousins opening presents and stuffing ourselves. Then at 6 or so, we drive over to their church and partake in Communion as a family. I always get teary! 
  • Table Gifts- My grandmother started this with my mom and my aunt. Either Christmas breakfast or lunch, the table is set and each person has a small "table gift" at their place setting. They are usually just a small $5 or less gift that's something fun or useful. My grandmother still buys them all for us, so I always buy hers! This year she's getting 2 crossword puzzle books. Sometimes she will buy the boys character bandaids or playing cards. Just a little happy. 
  • Christmas PJ's- Every year I buy the boys Christmas pajamas, which they get to open on Christmas Eve. I got this idea from my childhood best friend's mom. I don't buy matching sets; I usually pick something individual to the child. I also buy them for Jeffry, me, and my brother. We're kids at heart! (And I like having something new to be photographed in Christmas morning, haha).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I have been so busy and overwhelmed lately that blog posting has taken a backseat. And I'm okay with that. Trying to lower my "perfection" standards and accept that sometimes my best is good enough. Thanks to you all who stick by me and still read when I do post!

Now that it's almost Christmas, I guess I should start by going back to Thanksgiving and sharing our photos with you! We are so blessed to have wonderful extended family, and we got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. We started out Thanksgiving week in Gulf Shores with Jeffry's mom, dad, brother, and sister in law.

Jeffry, Caleb and Trace playing a toss game at Lulu's. 
We rode the boat from our bayhouse and parked right outside. So cool. 

Bray and me on the ride back from Lulu's. 

Thanksgiving dinner...Bray's view :)

Everyone filling their plates!

Looks like Trace is trying to steal some pie!

Sweet Caleb 
Ready to rest after eating too much!

Caleb and Trace at Thanksgiving dinner #2 with my side of the family. 

Jeffry cooked our first turkey on the Big Green Egg! It was sooooo yummy! Not dry at all. Success!

Going thru the buffet line. 

Trace enjoying his dinner!

Haha, Trace waiting on everyone to go through the dinner line. 

And after Love Bray's outfit. 

All the guys kicked back enjoying some down time.

The big boys at their special table...complete with candle. 

This Christmas season has been so enjoyable. Although we have been beyond busy, I have been able to relax and enjoy things in the moment. God is truly blessing us right now! So thankful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

From Our Family To Yours!

Merry Christmas from The Peters!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cheer and Random Acts of Kindness

Our church is on a mission through the end of December.

We are performing Random Acts of Kindness to unsuspecting recipients in our community. I'm so excited about this!

Did you know that the holidays have the largest suicide rates of any time of the year? That breaks my heart. People feel so lonely and with the busyness of the holidays, we often pass them by. As a church, we are pledging to stop and care this season. We are making a concentrated effort this month to perform Random Acts of Kindness to show people the love of Jesus. We even have cute little cards to pass out that say "something to show you that God loves you".

I love this YouTube video of a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus in a mall food court. How's that for a RAOK?

I challenge you to join with us this month in spreading Christmas cheer, Random Acts of Kindness and most importantly, the love of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He's not a baby any more. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Can't Shop Anymore

Ya'll, I think there's something wrong.

I can't shop anymore!

And it's December 1st! As in 23 days til Christmas....

I have some (very little) of my Christmas shopping already finished, but I'm having a hard time committing to things. Like I will be in a store, pick up an item intended as a gift, and then talk myself out of the purchase. I just can't commit.

For different reasons...price, quality, they have something similar, is that really the best thing for the money, etc.

What's wrong with me?

This has never before been a problem, I assure you.

I must really find out what happened to my old shopping self...before my family has no gifts to open!

23 days....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Night

We decorated our tree last night.

Our first fake tree since Jeffry and I have been married (8 years).

Growing up, we always had a fake tree. My dad has bad allergies and couldn't stand to have a live tree indoors.

So when Jeffry and I got married, I was so excited for our first Christmas together.

Excited for my first real, live evergreen.

We always bought the tallest one possible to fit our high ceilings.

You know, the ones that come from North Carolina? Blue Spruce perfection.

But after years of the real deal in our bigger house, Jeffry's allergies just can't take the living evergreen scent anymore in our little farmhouse.

So I caved for my husband's sake and bought a fake tree. Because as much as I love Christmas and my live evergreen, I love him more.

And I can already tell his allergies are thanking me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Drum roll.....

Holly Frame Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.


Okay ya'll...seriously needing some input on the Dinnerware Debate.

I found this Casafina pattern that I'm loving. It's Casafina Meridian in Cream. 
What do you think?

Like I said before I'm leaning more toward neutral colors that will go with anything.

The amazing thing about Casafina is that it's stoneware made in Portugal that is....
Dishwasher, Microwave, Freezer, and Oven Safe! 

The plates are heavy and don't seem like they will chip easily, which is super important with three boys.

Here's my second option from Lenox. It's Butler's Pantry Buffet. 

I haven't felt these plates in real life to see if they are heavy enough. I don't want thin plates!

I'm also thinking these may be a little dressier than I want. I really need to see them in person.

Third choice is FiestaWare in Ivory. These plates look more substantial to me.

It seems like EVERYONE has FiestaWare these days, and I know it's a great option. Just not sure that it's for me. However, I would buy it just for their Christmas plates. 


Do you have any other suggestions? Christmas is almost here, and I need to decide!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tennessee Trip

Trying this post again!

We had a great family vacation in Pigeon Forge the beginning of this month. We left after school Tuesday night and drove all the way through with our camper in tow. Jeffry and I got in the bed at about 3:30 AM just knowing the kids would sleep late. They woke up at 7 AM! Crazy start to vacation, but it was great. 

Our Tennessee vacation schedule usually adds up to this: NO schedule! Everyone gets to chime in about where they would like to stop, and we work it into our day. It really makes for a laid back time, which is what I think we love most about our time there. 
We visited the Titanic museum that opened in April. It was very educational and interesting; Brayden especially enjoyed it because he had recently read a story about the Titanic. I didn't get any pics because they won't allow cameras. So sad. 

Our favorite thing about our Tennessee trips is hiking trails. VERY important seeing that we have three boys. This is what boys live for! Last year, we saw a mama bear and three cubs...hard to top that, but this year we found SNOW! The roads around Cade's Cove were closed due to snow and ice, but Jeffry does not give up until he has exhausted every effort! Especially when it comes to his boys seeing snow. We drove back into Gatlinburg and got some info on another area of the National Park that usually only locals go to. The guy at the gas station assured Jeffry that if there were snow to be found, we would find it there. And we did!

 I love this picture of all my guys hiking. Bray's pointing at something and looks so excited!

I love this picture of Jeffry and me. Taken on the Sky Line in Gatlinburg; it was my first time! I was a little nervous. You should see how you are barely strapped in that thing!

Breakfast at FlapJack's. Our favorite pancake cabin...a must for every Tennessee trip!

I think this was my favorite picture of the trip. Trace outside of the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen with his lollipop. Sheer joy. 

We had a great vacation and really just enjoyed some quality family time together. 

Everyone is well now, thank you to those of you who asked! Hopefully I can get back in the swing of posting now. I've missed it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sick day

I'm home today with Brayden and Caleb. Seems they both have the stomach bug that Jeffry and I had last week. There is lots of sanitizing, washing of sheets, and resting going on here at our house today. The sad thing is that today is their Thanksgiving lunch at school. All of the parents go up to the school for a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their kids. We've done this every year with Brayden, and I'm so sad Caleb has to miss his first time!

Aside from my sick boys, a huge thing on my mind today is our Thanksgiving menu. My parents and grandparents will be at my house this year and I want to cook my first-ever turkey. Do any of you have any turkey tips or tricks to share?

One more thing- I'm going to ask for new casual dinnerware for Christmas and I want to know what you have or what you love. There are so many choices...I lean more toward neutrals like ivory or taupe but I'm not ruling out colored patterns. If I could use the new Fiestaware Christmas pattern everyday I would but Jeffry won't go for that. Help me find something I will love for years to come....that's durable enough for my three cowboys. :)

...this was my first post from our iPad. I'm figuring it out! Hooray! When I get back to work I will retry my post with our Tennessee pics.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I just had a whole update post complete with pics, and it magically disappeared. Why???

Monday, November 8, 2010

Right Now...

...I am really wondering how Jesus would go about getting three kids ready for school on a Monday after vacation.

...I'm overwhelmed by all the work I have to sort through on my desk!

...I want you to hear this from yesterday's sermon..."Other people's opinions are not always WISDOM"

...I promise to update later today. With pictures hopefully! Sorry I've been so absent. It seems our holiday chaos started in October.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Giveaway Winner and New Song!

Congratulations to Katie from Amos Adventures for winning the giveaway! Stop by and congratulate her.

Sorry it took me so long to post the winner. More on what I've been up to coming soon!

For now, I want to leave you with this song by FFH that I came across today. The lyrics are amazing. Here they are so you can read through them.

What If Your Best
Jeromy Deibler and Mia Fieldes

I'm trying hard to keep from falling off this wheel
Trying hard to keep so still
As you’re shaping, and remaking
Something new is bound to surface
Something bound to bring you fame
Something sure to make you great
Something you can use
But I am only clay and clay doesn't get to choose

I want your best but what if your best is brokenness
Would I be broken?
I want your best but what if less than what I ask
And what I'm hoping?
What if your best is here in the waiting, here in the going thru the motions?
I'll still be trusting all I am, and all have, and nothing less to Potter's hands

I'm trying hard to keep from giving you advice
It’s like teaching Shakespeare how to write
Or Monet, the way to paint another scene
But there's just something in this amateur that thinks
That my opinion's what you need
On how to work in me
But I am only clay, and clay probably shouldn't speak

Take my life and let it be consecrated just to thee
Take my voice and let me sing for you my King
Take my moments and my days and let them flow in ceaseless praise
For You always, for You

Only here for you to mould, I'm holding on, because I belong in Potter's hands

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Musings & GIVEAWAY

* First things first...I LOVE THIS COLD WEATHER! Sorry. Had to get that out of my system. I woke up to 43 degree temps which is so not South Mississippi. And I love it. :)

* I had an incredible weekend. Friday night was spent at home doing absolutely nothing with my family. I relished every minute. Saturday morning, Jeffry played in a golf tournament and then we went to the USM game that night. I won tickets for a suite! Pictures to come later.

* Yesterday our Northwood Church Senior Pastor, Van Ducote, came to preach the morning and night services. The morning sermon was on marriage and the evening was on raising godly kids. Wow. I LOVE that I attend a church that teaches the family! I will post some quotes from what I learned over the coming days. Still mulling over it all. I took a million notes!

* Today I get to take the day off and go shopping with my mother in law in Hattiesburg! Excited to say the least.

* Remember I mentioned I'd be doing my first ever giveaway today? Well here are the details!

In tribute to my Bookworm post, I'm giving away 2 books that I have enjoyed reading. 

I love Kristin Billerbeck's books because they are Christian chick lit that you can read quickly and without putting a whole lot of thought into them. A great read on your front porch during the fall season. 

Promises for Life for Women is a collection of scriptures and devotions divided by subject. For example, grief, availability, priorities, time with God, etc. I love to use this book when I'm seeking a scripture on a certain area of my life. It's great to be able to pray scripture out loud that applies to specific situations! 

I hope you like the selections! So here is how to enter. Each number will count as a separate entry.

1. Leave a comment on this post (make sure to include your email address or your blog address)

2. Post about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link

3. Tweet about this giveaway and RT to @made2sing or paste your tweet here

4. Become a follower of my blog

Giveaway will close Tuesday night at midnight. The winner will be randomly chosen. Be blessed!

Friday, October 1, 2010

SUYL-9.24- Master Bedrooms

I missed this post of Show Us Your Life, so I decided to go back and do it anyway. This is our Master Bedroom. I love our bedroom furniture! For years, we had a several pieces of mismatched furniture, as do most newlyweds. You know, Jeffry's bed from his old room, a huge oak dresser and tv cabinet that someone let us have, 2 totally different nightstands, etc. When we moved into the house before this one, we finally bought a bedroom suite, and I looooove it! It's not super fancy, but it's big and stout. I guess I should mention that we built this house knowing we are going to add on. So while this is our master bedroom, it won't be once we add on. This room is still a work in progress! 

I got our bedspread last year from Anthropologie. It's ruched eggplant purple heavenliness. I love it. The bedskirt came from JC Penny I think? It's an ivory voile material. The door leads to our bathroom. Speaking of, all the doors in our house are the old fashioned 5 panel like you would find in an older country house. I used them in our last house too!

This is my nightstand. I'm not crazy about the cross there, but I guess you work with what you have. The lamps are hammered metal oil rubbed bronze with a natural linen shade. Chunky and rustic. I love them. Notice my stack of books on the nightstand. Along with a picture of my three boys, a scrapbook I made of Jeffry and me, candle, vitamins and lotion.

The plaque above our bed. God's still writing our story and it doesn't say it's easy, but this statement will always be true. 

Jeffry's nightstand. It's usually covered with fishing lures, sinus medicine, asthma inhalers, and bronco magazines (as in Ford Bronco, not the horse!). But I cleaned it off just for you. And yes, that is a gun in the corner. We live in the country, people!

A view as you walk into our bedroom. I wanted a deep purple accent wall. I stole the LOVE idea from Ashley- she's an interior design genius. Obviously that cell phone does not usually reside on the bed. And the pillow shams are on their way out. They just haven't found a replacement yet. Does anyone want to be my personal shopper/decorator? 

This is the view from the foot of our bed. That armoire houses our television. The drapes for the windows are being made as we speak! The door to the right leads to our closet, the door to the left is a storage/office area. More storage than office! 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! 

SUYL-10.1- Dining Room

Today I am participating in Show Us Your Life from Kelly's Korner. We don't really have a formal dining room. Our dining area is adjoined to our kitchen. It's small, but I love it. My husband says it's "cozy". 

Here is the view from our living room. The china cabinet was actually from Jeffry's mom and dad. I'd really love to paint it black but it's technically not mine. I've already set out my pilgrims and indians on the top of the cabinet. The small buffet on the right was Jeffry's grandmother's. I have it covered with a fall-ish tablecloth for now, but I'm thinking of painting it in the near future. It's a great storage piece. 

 I took this photo while standing beside the china cabinet. You can see into our living room from here. I forgot to take a picture, but that white cased opening is actually sliding french doors. I saw them in a door catalog at our store and told Jeffry that we had to figure out how to work them into the house! They are one of my favorite features. The boys' artwork on the wall is displayed on decorative racks from Southern Living at Home. The kids love having their artwork where everyone can see it. 
And please ignore my table. It's in the middle of being distressed and painted. Remember those chairs I was working on? 3 down, 3 to go. Who knew it was so much effort to spray paint with 3 kids around?

This is the view of the dining area as a whole from the kitchen. Those black french doors lead out onto our screened in porch (with outdoor fireplace!). Ballard Designs used to carry black and white large checked silk drapes that I want to hang from the floor to ceiling on either side of these doors. I can't find them any more! :( If anyone knows a place I could find well-priced silk drapes, please comment and let me know!

 Hope you enjoyed the tour of our Farmhouse Dining Area! Thanks for stopping by!
Come back Monday for my first-ever giveaway!

Here's last week's Master Bedroom post that I missed. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Essential Element

May I submit to you that the essential element of a fall wardrobe is the perfect scarf? I love to wear scarves with everything. You can just throw one on with jeans and a tshirt and look completely put together. Or dress up an otherwise plain dress with a glitzy scarf. The possibilities are endless.

Ahhh, this Spice Collection Neck Rag is so perfectly fall in the color Turmeric

Seeing as how fall has decided to finally show up, I just ordered this incredible scarf from Textilemonster. I think it will be perfect with my black dress for the USM Homecoming game! Thanks Cole for posting about it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I must confess something to you. I'm a bookworm. I always have stack of books on my nightstand that I'm currently reading or that are next in line to read.

I remember when I was younger, I would read every spare minute I had. If we had to drive in the car somewhere, I'd bring along my book and devour as many pages as I could before we made it to the grocery store. My parents used to say, "Morgan, put down the book and look outside at the scenery." How many of you have had to tell your kids to put the book down and stop reading?

My love of reading translated into my college education. When I settled on a degree in Elementary Education, I selected math and history as my concentrations. I picked math because there was no subjectiveness as far as grades were concerned. You either got the problem right or wrong. No gray areas. Obviously, my OCD tendencies were showing themselves there. History is a subject I have always loved; especially American history or military history. I don't know if it's because my dad has such a love of history or if I was just blessed with great history teachers. Either way, after some time in the education department, I decided to change from Elementary Education to a full on History degree. The History world is full of reading. For one class, I was expected to read a book a week during the semester, and they were great books! We had incredibly stimulating class discussions on these readings, and I always left craving a little more.

However, by the time I received my degree, I was burnt out on reading. It made me feel kind of lost to not want to read because it really is one of my passions. But having to read and being able to read what I wanted when I wanted was completely different. Time passed and slowly I began to pick up some books again. Quick, easy reads that didn't require any thought.

Years have passed now, and I'm back to my pre-degree bookworm status. My Amazon cart is always full of my next purchases. I redeem Swagbucks for Amazon cards. I joined Paperback Swap (Genius! Go sign up and tell them made2sing referred you.) I love participating in things like The Bloom Book Club.

Here are the books I just purchased on Amazon yesterday.

 By Angie Smith, who blogs at Bring the Rain

I've heard great things about this book; several people have mentioned it lately.

This book was just announced as the next book for The Bloom Book Club. If you want to join in, we don't start reading until October 17th, so you have time to get your hands on a copy!

And here are the books I'm currently reading.

I'm actually one chapter away from finishing this book. Incredible account of the life of Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Christian music artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. You may be familiar with the tragic loss of their 5 year old daughter, Maria. 

Bobbie Houston, along with her husband Brian, is the pastor of Hillsong church in Australia. She's a powerhouse for Jesus, and I can't wait to finish this book.

Lisa Bevere's ministry is all about inspiring women to be who they are in Christ. She just released Lioness Arising last week (which is in my Amazon cart), but I wanted to read this book first. 

So I want to know; what are you all reading?

*All images courtesy of Go there and buy these books!