Gift Giving Ideas and Traditions for Christmas

Do you have any great gift giving ideas and strategies for Christmas?
Here are some of the different ideas I've heard of that are similar to the four gifts idea above.

3 Gifts- (similar to the top picture)
1. One need gift- something to make life easier or more comfortable.
2. One thing to wear- a new dress, necklace, tie or dress shoes for church.
3. One thing to read- a special book just for them.
*Santa still comes and fills the stockings with fun little trinkets and fruit, but those are the only three gifts they receive on Christmas morning.  We then have a big traditional breakfast and explain that that the three gifts represent gifts of the Savior- he has provided a way for our physical needs to be met- (the needed gift), our spirits to be healed (new “sacrament” church clothes) and minds and eyes to grow (book.)

3 Gifts-
1. A gift to the Savior
2. A gift of love to someone in your family.
3. A gift to self.

4 Gifts-

1. Santa only brings one gift for each child.
2. Santa brings one family gift for the the family to share.
3. A meaningful gift to a family member. 
4. A gift to Christ
*Make a "Jesus Birthday Cake" the whole family decorates for your Christmas Eve dessert to help young children understand the birthday celebration for Jesus.  Then you give your "gift" to Christ (a new commitment to do better in an area or something you will do in dedication of Him).

How do you make your Christmas Holidays meaningful?

Thanksgiving Ideas I like on Pinterest

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Decorate with dollar store glasses, sticker letters, fill with cinnamon sticks, pine cones  acorns, etc.
Thanksgiving story bracelets
Free Printables
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Thanksgiving overflowing with blessings box.
The Real Story of Thanksgiving - great list of activities, Bible basis and historical basis.

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Fun treats
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Gluey Mashed Potatoes? "Many people overmix potatoes trying to arrive at the right consistency, when what's needed is more liquid" Recipe here.

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Ruth's Chris sweet potato casserole & Butter & Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes
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Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites & Pumpkin Praline Trifle

"The Child Whisperer" Parenting Book

You love your children, but do they ever make you frustrated?     

I recently read a frustration-ending book called, The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle.  I've been so inspired by this new parenting book that I want to let everyone with kids know all about it.

Our children give us clues and messages all the time that tell us exactly how to avoid the struggle with them. Most parents don't know how to decode these messages, and end up even more frustrated!     

The Child Whisperer teaches how to read the hidden messages your children send you every day.     

This book's eye-opening tips and techniques will help make the parent-child struggle disappear forever. I strongly recommend you check it out and learn what your child has been trying to tell you all along.

Carol Tuttle releases her new book on Tuesday the 23rd. Carol is offering $317 in bonuses when you order your copy before Friday, Oct 26th.

Pick up your copy of The Child Whisperer (and your bonuses) now.

Click here to learn more

We only have until October 31 to raise all of the needed funds for Ryan.

We only have until October 31 to raise all of the needed funds for Ryan. If you are considering donating, this is the last month. The $24,000 payment must be made on November 1st. Please donate by mail or by Paypal. Make checks to Ryan Crozier. Our address is 5105 Edinborough Place, Sugar Hill, GA 30518.  To donate with Paypal go here. Thank you so very much! 

Tyler received transplants of umbilical cord blood stem cells in China. Here, several months after the therapy, he talks about the improvements he saw in his vision and his mother discusses her role as caregiver during the month abroad.

Do You Have a More Serious (Type 4) Child in your Life?

Do you have a More Serious (Type 4) child in your life--a child that may be viewed as "too serious", "bossy or withdrawn", "too logical", a "know-it-all" or "hard to understand"? If this sounds familiar to you, give yourself the opportunity to explore and more fully understand what makes your More Serious Child tick, by reading Carol Tuttle's newest book, The Child Whisperer. It is a revolutionary breakthrough in parenting. 

Visit and register to win a free copy.  You can learn more about an additional $317 worth of bonus materials you will receive for free when you purchase "The Child Whisperer" on its release date, coming 10.23.12. 

Do you have a Determined Child in your Life?

Do you have a Determined Child (Type 3) in your life--a child that may be viewed as "Aggressive", "Too Busy", "Pushy" or "Difficult"? The video above has some great tips if you have a Determined Child.

If this sounds familiar to you, give yourself the opportunity to reframe your view of the Determined Child from negative to positive by reading Carol Tuttle's newest book, which promises to be a revolutionary breakthrough in parenting. "The ChildWhisperer," coming 10.23.12. Enter to win a free copy here.

Do you have a Fun-Loving Child? (Type 1)
Do you have a Sensitive Child? (Type 2)
Do you have a More Serious Child? (Type 4)

Do you have a Sensitive, Soft Child in your life?

Do you have a Sensitive, Soft Child (Type 2) in your life? A child who is perhaps misunderstood and viewed as "Shy", "Withdrawn", or "Overly Emotional"? To learn more ways to better understand, support, and honor their naturally gentle and sensitive expression, get a copy of Carol Tuttle's upcoming book, "The Child Whisperer." Coming 10.23.12.  Sign up to win a free copy here.
Me at 2 1/2 years
I was a Sensitive Child and I am still that way.  I was shy and very attached to my mother.  I am the oldest of six kids and I was traumatized every time my mom had another baby because she would be go to the hospital for 3 days.  They wouldn't let siblings in the hospital back then, but I remember my grandparents taking me to the window of my mom's hospital room so I could see her.  She would put her hand up to the window and I would put mine up to match hers. I would cry because I missed her so much.

Do you have a Fun-Loving Child in your life?

Do you have a Fun-Loving Child (Type 1) in your life--a child that may be viewed as "Hyperactive", or "Overstimulated"? The video above has some great tips for you to better support and honor their naturally bright and light expression. 
I've just finished reading "The Child Whisperer," by Carol Tuttle.  I love that this book is helping me understand each of my children and their unique natures--which helps me be a better parent.  The best thing about this practical advice is that I am able to use it immediately, which is making for a more happy and peaceful home.  I will be sharing a video about the four types of children over the next several days.  For now, I recommend that you LIKE The Child Whisperer Facebook page  to get a taste of what will become available to you on October 23.  Sign up to win a free copy here.
Here's a photo of my Fun-Loving Child, Sydney. 
She lights up my life!

Dressing Your Truth on Sale $99


I love the way I look and feel because of Dressing Your Truth.  I think every woman deserves to feel this way. That's why I'm sharing this link (and unbelievable deal) with you.

Dressing Your Truth is an online makeover and clothing store that helps women bring out their true beauty.

Right now you can get a great deal for only $99 and a $20 gift certificate to the online clothing store. It's only available until October 9th.

Ready to look better and feel more confident than ever? Click here to learn more.

Summer Photos of Syd & Ryan

Ryan found some of Grandma's toys.
He spent a long time trying to get them to stay together.
It's a Helmet!
Syd and surprise --  Ryan jumping into the photo.
Brother & Sister -- Love

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things RightThe Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. The author is a surgeon who makes the case that the more difficult and complicated things are it becomes even more necessary to use simple checklists to do things consistently, correctly, and safely. He gives good recommendations for making and using effective checklists.

He illustrated how checklists are used in the airline industry to make flying safe. Pilots go through checklists when they fly and when there are emergencies (think Capt. Sully). Builders and contractors use checklists to make sure the buildings and skyscrapers they build are safe and all the subcontractors are scheduled in the correct order and communicate with one another to solve problems.

The author states that hospitals should also use checklists to make the complicated procedures they do safe and so they don't forget any of the important steps they must complete.

The author tested and implemented a "Safe Surgery Checklist" in eight World Health Organization Hospitals all over the world and the results were amazing. Complications for surgical patients in all eight hospitals fell by 36%. Deaths fell by 47%. After three months of using the checklist, they had the staff members of the hospitals fill out an anonymous survey. In the beginning, most had been skeptical, but after, 80% said the checklist was easy to use, didn't take long to complete, and improved safety of care. 78% said the checklist had prevented an error in the operating room.

One of the quotes in the book that I enjoyed the most was from this hospital staff survey: "Then we asked the staff one more question. "If you were having an operation, we asked, "would you want the checklist to be used?"

"A full 98% said yes."

The author has tried to get hospitals in the US to adopt this checklist but he has been met with resistance because doctors seem to view themselves as "mavericks" that solve problems on the fly.

This book made me realize how safe flying and buildings are because of checklists. It also made me want to print out the "Safe Surgery Checklist" in case I have to have surgery...but according to this book my surgeon would probably be too proud to use it. :)

Here's a link if you would like to see the "Safe Surgery Checklist"

View all my reviews

Curly Girl Program Review and Results

Here's a photo of my hair.
I bought the book "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey and I've been using her sulfate-free DevaCurl products (DevaCurl No-Poo Shampoo and Low-Poo Shampoo,  DevaCurl One Condition, DevaCare Arc AnGEL (gel), or DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam and DevaCurl Set it Free).  You can buy a combo trial pack with all of the products HERE.

Moisture is the KEY! My curls are so much better defined since I've started using her methods and products because they keep moisture in and frizzy hair stays away.  

"Curly Girl" helps you discover your type of curl, from wavy to zigzag, and comes with a DVD that shows you what to do for each type of curl.  The book will tell you how to use small metal hair clips to hold your curls in place and give volume too (here's a video tutorial). 

I knew it was working after I tried the method and products because I received more compliments about my curls in one week than I had in a year.

A GREAT haircut will set your curls FREE!  My hair is layered and cut in a special way that works especially for curls. I went to a hairstylist who is DevaCurl trained to give haircuts like they recommend in Curly Girl. 

My hairstylist has some great photos of curly hair on her website here. You can find a DevaCurl trained stylist here.

It takes me about 10 minutes to wash, condition and put gel in my hair like they recommend in Curly Girl.  I leave in most of the conditioner and I use a lot of gel.  Then I put in small metal hair clips around the front to set the curls in place and give lift while it dries.

Sometimes I gently twist up larger parts on the sides and back and hold them with large plastic clips. After that, I spray it with "Set it Free."  Depending on how much time I have, I either let it air-dry, or I blow-dry with a diffuser on a lower setting so it doesn't disturb the curls.  

Use the Pixie-Curl method to blow dry your hair without frizz.  Here's a video.

I also do what the book says in not washing my hair every day.  It's too drying.  I wash it about every 3 days.  At night I twist and hold my curls with clips in front , then I tip my head over and put it up in a loose pony tail on top of my head with a soft scrunchie.  

To really keep frizz away I wear a silk nightcap.  On the days I don't wash my hair I wear a shower-cap so the moisture from the shower doesn't cause frizz.

Read this blog for a wonderful overview of the Curly Girl program and why you want to use no sulfate or silicones on your hair here.

Here is another blog post from a woman who wrote about her experience trying the "Curly Girl" method and the products she uses here.

Write It Down Make It Happen

Write It Down Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting ItWrite It Down Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Super book! I took many notes while I read so I could remember all of the wonderful ideas for using writing as a tool of creation. There are assignments at the end of each chapter for you to practice what you are learning. She helps you clarify your thoughts, and desires. She also helps you work through your worries and fears and realize your true "hearts desire." The chapter I have used and enjoyed the most is, "Writing to God." This is a wonderful process of faith and writing with the Spirit. I have received incredible answers and counsel (Instructions are below).

A friend used this method to sell their ranch. They wrote down that they wanted to sell it and how much they needed to sell it for. Within six months they had a neighbor come to them unsolicited and offer them the exact amount they had written down.

Here are the instructions to write a Letter to God

Write a Letter to God

  1. Find a quiet place where you will have no distractions.  Write your own letter to God (or your higher power, Jehovah, Universe, etc). 
  2. Start your letter with “Dear God,” and write about the situations in your life that are difficult or challenging for you. 
  3. Sort through your feelings, then move on to specific questions that you have. 
  4. End your letter with: “Dear God, please write through my pen.  Thank you very much.” 
  5. Then write a letter back to yourself from God.  “Dear (your name).  Thoughts and impressions will come to you about what to write.  Trust them and let the words flow through your pen to the paper.
  6. Trust what comes through to you enough to act on it.  Do what you are guided to do, whether it is through a strong inner prompting, a creative idea, a sudden insight, or an actual external sign.

Low Vitamin D3, Health Problems & Obesity

Five years ago I was getting sick all the time with colds, flu, UTI's and taking antibiotics to get better.  Then I would get a yeast infection from the antibiotics and have to take medicine to get over that.  The cycle just kept repeating itself.  I scheduled an appointment with Utah Valley Wellness Center and they had me get a blood test that checked numerous hormone levels and other things.  One of the things they tested was my Vitamin D level.  If it is below 25 ng/ml many people have cancer or other major health issues.  My level was low, it was about 30 ng/ml.  They recommend 50 ng/ml or above, so it was no wonder I was getting sick all the time.  I started taking vitamin D-3 supplements and when I was tested a year later my levels were up to 55 ng/ml.

The great result was that I wasn't getting sick like before!  Just last week I started getting a sore throat and runny nose, so I upped my dosage of vitamin D (I took 4000 iu) and two days later I'm just fine.  It's amazing how our bodies can stay healthy when we give them the nutrients they need to function correctly.
You can buy a two pack of Vitamin D-3 1000 iu for about $6 at Walmart.  It's recommended children take about 2000 iu a day and adults take about 4000 iu a day.  Remember that Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so you need to take it with good fats.  People on low-fat, or no-fat diets are probably not getting adequate levels of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.  They are all crucial for health and wellness.  Read more here.

There's a wonderful short video explaining why vitamin D is important and why we don't get enough Vitamin D (below).  Also check out this link for more info.

Dr. Mercola says obese individuals tend to have low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all but a potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone, shown to influence about 10 percent of all the genes in your body. We now know this is one of the primary reasons it can impact such a wide variety of diseases, including: Depression, Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Cancer, Hypertension, Heart disease, Autism, Obesity, Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes 1 and 2, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Flu, Colds, Tuberculosis, Septicemia, Aging, Psoriasis, Eczema, Insomnia, Hearing loss, Muscle pain, Cavities, Periodontal disease, Athletic performance, Macular degeneration, Myopia, Pre eclampsia, Seizures, Fertility, Asthma, Cystic fibrosis, Migraines. Read more here.

Get your Vitamin D levels tested!  The video below will tell you what test to ask your doctor for.

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood SugarsDr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars by Richard K. Bernstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you on the road to diabetes? A simple way to know you have this problem is if you have excess body fat around your waist. That means your insulin levels are out of control. Insulin is the fat storage hormone. Diabetes is a disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.

After reading this book I went and bought a blood sugar monitor at Walmart for $8. I started testing my blood sugar five times a day to see what the food I ate was doing to me. I found that I cannot handle carbohydrates (carbohydrate means foods such as cereals, bread, rice, and pasta or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar -found in candy, jams, and desserts.  Fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates). I have a pre-diabetes condition and I wouldn't have realized this unless I hadn't started testing my blood sugar.

This book is a must read for anyone who has diabetes or pre-diabetes with metabolic syndrome or syndrome x (metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels). This book can help you prevent getting diabetes or help you from developing some of the devastating health problems that come with uncontrolled diabetes. This book turns the current recommendations from the diabetes community upside down. Dr. Bernstein is a pioneer in the study and treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and he is now almost 80 years old. It is almost unheard of for a Type 1 diabetic to live that long. He was an engineer who's wife was a doctor. He was able to obtain the first hospital machine to test blood sugar and start using it at home. No one back then knew that food had such a profound effect upon blood sugar. He starting monitoring all the foods he ate and their effect on his blood sugar levels. He wrote papers to try to educate the medical community but they wouldn't listen so he decided when he was in his forties to become a medical doctor so he could publish his findings and actually give real help to diabetics.

He contends that all diabetics are entitled and should expect to have the same blood sugar levels as "normal" people (83 mg/dL). He will walk you through all aspects of what happens with blood sugar, how to control it and why you should do this. You'll live longer and have MUCH better health.

View all my reviews

Downton Abbey Season 3 Video

New Season 3 Cast Photo

Downton Abbey, Season 3

Downton Abbey returns January 6, 2013 

with guest star Shirley MacLaine on PBS

Check out my previous post on Downton Abbey here.

Wonder what Types the characters are?  Click here

Get 67% off Dressing Your Truth

Dressing Your Truth is an online makeover and clothing store that helps women bring out their true beauty.

I love the way I look and feel because of Dressing Your Truth. And I think every woman deserves to feel this way. That's why I'm sharing this link (and unbelievable deal) with you.

Get 67% off the Dressing Your Truth online makeover course and a $20 gift certificate to the online clothing store. It's only available until September 30th.

Ready to look better and feel more confident than ever? Click here to learn more.

Syd's Wedding Photos

In June, Syd and Lance were married in the Vernal LDS Temple!
Here are some photos of their special day.
Syd has a blog post about it here

Syd's great-grandfather performed the temple marriage sealing.

See their engagement photos here.
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