Monday, December 24, 2012

Final Christmas Progam

December has been a blur of children's musical, preschool choir performance, parties at church, school, preschool, parades, grandparent visit,  and yesterday it all culminated with a big Birthday Party for Jesus in our preschool department. It was kind of like an impromptu nativity because the kids just put on costumes and stood there while the director read the Christmas story. They did practice a couple of times ahead of time so they would know where to stand and what to sing. It was very cute. Or so I'm told. I was backstage gently wrangling angels and shepherds to get them out on stage on time. My husband did get to stay long enough to get this cute picture of our little Innkeeper.

Most of all, my wish for Christmas is that somehow all of these traditions, advent countdowns, random acts of kindness, crafts, musicals, etc. will all sink in the hearts of our children so that they will know with their hearts that Jesus is the reason for the season.  Especially to know that Christmas isn't just about a baby in a manger, its about the reason He came, to be Christ on the cross for our sins.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Children's Christmas Program Part 2

This past Sunday night was our church's preschool choir program in which our youngest son was a shepherd. It was so cute! All our preschool choir directors did a fantastic job and the kids sang so beautifully.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Children's Christmas Program (part 1)

Sunday night was our (older) children's Christmas Program. I sat through several rehearsals and honestly I wasn't sure if it would come together or not. But it did and it was spectacular. Of course I was beaming proud of my son who played "Max" and had the great honor of having the one part in the play that summed up the meaning of Christmas. Our preschooler son had a part as a hungry raccoon but due to some difficulties back stage they missed their cue and never came out until the curtain call. He was still proud to get to be on the stage in his costume and he has two more performances coming up (see part 2 and 3 in the weeks to come).  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Wishing you all a Christmas filled with the hope Christ brings. 
From the Mearse family to yours, merry Christmas and happy new year.

Special thanks to Molly Mankins for a fun day of photography at Hemingbough
We are so thankful for the beautiful pictures you made of our boys. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Toby Mac Hits Deep Concert

We had the privilege of attending the Toby Mac Hits Deep Tour yesterday. It was AWESOME! TobyMacBrandon HeathMandisaChris AugustBritt NicoleJamie GraceGroup 1 Crew all in one place praising the Lord, incredible. 

We sang, danced, and rocked out to that "funky Jesus music" and had a great time. Little one was asleep nearly before we got out of the parking deck. Sweet things. They had a blast. I'm so thankful they love good Christian music that has such a positive influence on their lives. 

Free Organized Mom Calendar for 2013

With all of the kids papers from school, homework, my to-do lists, calendar, mail, menu, and more, this is what the corner of our kitchen counter looked like. It quickly became a catch-all location for everything to get thrown down when we come in at the end of the day.  The clutter was driving me crazy! I couldn't find what I needed. My weekly calendar was cluttered with reminders, events, journal, menu, and prayer requests. This was an area of our life that MUST get organized. 

 After finally accepting that our family had outgrown my little 6" x 8.5" weekly/monthly Christian Family Organizer by Amy Knapps I began looking for a new format. After an exhaustive search of every office supply store and online calendar supplier I could find, I decided to make my own. 

I like the weekly/monthly format but I wanted to be able to see both at the same time. I made a one page per week format (which you can print at the bottom of this post) with room for my dinner menu plan at the top of each day and room for prayer requests or notes at the bottom. It has half hour increments each day which allows for room to put down detailed scheduling appointments and reminders. I printed monthly calendar pages from that are both adorable and practical. They have plenty of room to write in events and birthdays, anniversary's  etc. I hole punched the monthly pages on the right hand side so that when it is open I can see the month and the current weekly page at the same time. I decided not to copy my weekly pages double sided so that I have the blank backs of the pages for extra note or journal space for those weeks when I just have more to write. I added a plastic pocket page for all those school reminders, forms to keep or return, jury duty summons, etc. that I need to keep handy. I also added some blank notebook paper in the back for taking notes at meetings, brainstorming ideas for projects, or making more lists (I do love lists!). Finally, I put it all together in a half-inch binder with view cover and some monthly tabs I picked up at the office store. The cover was printed from For Chic Sake where they have several free customized printables. 

So that's it. Now my counter is (mostly) clutter free. And yours can be too. I'm making my calendar format available to you for free so that if by chance I'm not the only mom with too many appointments, school projects, and paperwork to keep up with, you can hopefully get organized too.

Happy New Year Planning to you!

One page weekly format pages in various colors.
Yes, I color coordinated my weekly pages to match the cute monthly pages from imom. Click on the color to print them. You're welcome.

*NEW* Black and White

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2nd Grade Field Trip - Gator Farm

Thanks Stanley for these great pictures and videos from the field trip to the Alligator Farm today. (Glad I didn't have to touch them!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving in Pictures

Playing in BIG TX pecan trees at Tutu's House

My husband's grandmother's 90th birthday party

Tutu with all the great-grandchildren (all boys!)

The whole Mearse tribe

Tutu with grand and great-grandchildren

Our Sweet WM

All the boys

In high cotton as far as the eye can see

Our Sunshine

Hardin Simmons University wall of fame father class of 1971 (below), son class of 1999 (above)

Wonder what our future holds?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Family Christmas ADVENTure

Last year we started the advent tradition with our young boys. We decorated this thing that has 25 small boxes in it and we put things in it that told a Bible story each day. You can read about that here. This year our boys are a little older so we wanted to change it up a bit. Every year we try to make Christmas a memorable and meaningful time where we focus on celebrating the gift of Christ Jesus. This seems to get increasingly more difficult over all the racket in our culture of Santa, elves, and the greedy attitude of what can I get for me. We want our kids to grow up to be generous givers, compassionate  and kind. Humbly understanding the awesome gift of grace given to us by God. With that said, this year we are going on a Family Christmas ADVENTure to discover more about who Christ is. Each day in the month of December we will read from the Bible one of the names of Christ. Then we will do an activity that either helps us think about the meaning of the name or gives us an opportunity to share, give, or serve. I'd like to share this with you for FREE in the hopes that you would make Christ the center of your Christmas too. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Blessings to your family,

Click on the title Family Christmas ADVENTure to download your free PDF copy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Nation Under God

While feeling a little let down after the election yesterday, I began thinking about the pledge my son's class recites to the flag everyday which says, "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  It seems our nation keeps choosing to get a little further away from the one true God each election. How long will God keep silent? How long will He delay bringing judgement? Surely He isn't pleased as our country elects to allow gay marriage, abortion, drugs for recreational use, and embraces a leader who probably wouldn't know Jesus if he met him face to face. It's an abomination to God. Frankly, I was a little surprised when the sun came up this morning. I thought to myself, surely the end is near. God has promised to return and bring an end to all this chaos and the reality of our evening news is eerily similar to end-time prophesies of the Bible. But then I am gently reminded, "through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." (Lam. 3:22-23). Because God allowed the sun to rise this morning, He is allowing us one more chance to turn to Him. One more chance to tell someone about Him. One more chance to choose Jesus.

I Choose Jesus by Moriah Peters is healing to my soul today. It reminds me to stand unashamed, trusting in the ONE TRUE GOD no matter the cost. Stand firm Christians! Pray for our nation. Pray for people to turn their hearts to the Lord and make choices that reflect God's will. May we be the light in this dark world that He has called us to be. May He break our hearts for what breaks His as heard in the song Jesus Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns. Make us compassionate, authentic, humble, merciful servants to this lost and dying world. 

No song has moved me more today than the one my seven-year-old son wrote by himself yesterday. He had the day off from school, went with me to vote, and at the end of his to-do list for yesterday he wanted to write a song. He read it to me just before his bedtime as I was trying to eagerly watch the election results on the news. It goes like this:
God Almighty, God is good, all things God does miracles, boom that He must slowly grow angry, there must be a key to get to God Almighty, God of Glory, God Almighty, God who is the King of Glory. 
It might not make sense to you, but to me it shows me even a child can understand God's mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and Holiness. It reminds me that even though we all make bad choices, God is still in control. He is still the one true God that is over all the nations. May we seek Him as King of Glory and bow before His righteousness humbling ourselves as we ask for His mercy. God bless the USA.