All posts in Christmas

Saint Nicholaus Family Night


Have you ever wondered where the tradition of Santa Claus came from? Would you be surprised to know that it came from a man born in the Third Century who was incredibly generous? He was so generous and focused on the needy that history tells us he paid the dowry of three young girls to prevent them from being sold into slavery! While the Santa Claus of today has taken on a much more elaborate storyline, the spirit of generosity is always one to spend a night celebrating with your family!

We created a fun night for our younger kids to learn about St. Nicholaus. Our entire evening was centered around St. Nick and following his lead. Whether you celebrate Santa or choose not to, this is a fun, family night to focus on where the tradition of Santa started and give your family a great night together.

We did use this fun DVD* that I encourage you to get!


Our family nights include all you need to plan for a fun evening. Each night includes a plan for decor, the menu, an activity and a devotional that all tie to the theme of your family night.

Download the Family Night here: St. Nickolaus Family Night

Enjoy and please comment and share!

*affiliate links in this post.

Christmas Highlights

Obviously, I am doing a major catch up for Christmas. We truly had a wonderful few days celebrating Christmas and  focusing on the the birth of Jesus. We had fun throughout the month doing advent activities with the kids that included Scripture and our Jesus Storybook Bible. We also had a Saint Nickolaus family night, which is my next post..

Christmas Eve was a great day. We, of course, were finishing up a few projects before having a house full of peeps! Last year, we were finishing and painting drywall…this year, making PW Cinnamon Rolls, mopping and stringing some lights….so much better! We went to the 3:00 Christmas Eve service and the kids did great. It was such a great time for me to worship my Savior…I needed that time and our church did a great job putting the focus on Christ.  For the third year, we had some of our friends over who do not have family local….it is officially a tradition…at least the invite is a tradition, not sure if they will continue to come! We had 14 adults and 16 kids….it was a fun evening!

Our new/in progress Dining Room…able to seat 10 adults and a few stray kids

Our mantle…or spraypainted white branches…with 6 stockings! I bought a pure white stocking for my African son. In my mind, he is a blank slate…we don’t know his name, his age, if he is being cared for or what he looks like, but GOD is fully aware and I trust in His plan for our boy.

I made a Birthday Cake for Jesus. I made a chocolate cake to represent our sinful selves…used white icing to represent His purity and perfection, and added crushed soft peppermints to represent His blood and sacrifice for us. We had a time explaining this with the kids and remembering why we celebrate Christmas! We sang a sweet Happy Birthday and ate some cake! I’m sure we will do this every year…even when the kids are 18.

That night we set out our gifts for the kids. We do three gifts, stockings and have a few “need” items wrapped. This year, Parker’s big gift was a camera and
Emery’s was a bike. For Bradley, we got him a bike and also gave him Parker’s DS (she was getting a new one from LuLu) that we tricked out with Transformers decals…neither of them had a clue! One tradition we started last year that the kids LOVE is having a banner across the playroom that they have to run through…it is really how we hide the loot..

Parker checking out her new blog…

Me trying to show Bradley how to work the DS…blind leading the blind…

After we played a little, we ate our PW Cinnamon Rolls and Breakfast Casserole at our new dining room table. So good…when is it time for a nap??

After breakfast, we opened our stockings and gifts. Jason and I only do stockings for each other. It goes back to the days when we were first married and had not a lot of cash.

We also draw names as a family, have $10 and shop in 30 minutes. It is supposed to be secret, but that is kind of hard with more kids to adult ratio. This is another tradition that the kids have loved..

Jason with is present from Parker.

We also had a White Christmas…with my JOY my Day made (and I painted and Jason assembled)

We headed to my parents around lunch and it was so fun and yummy. We had a beef tenderloin, which I now understand the hype…so good!

My Dad always reads out of Luke 2 before we open presents.

(Disclaimer…pictures taken by my 9 year old with her new camera)

The kids are ready for the go ahead…

Parker’s new scooter

A nerf sword…awesome…

The Year of the Transformer…otherwise known as the toy that makes mom and dad feel stupid.

Seriously, even with the instructions it took Jason 45 minutes to “transform” one!! Needless to say, we sent one back to Amazon…

LuLu, Wally and Uncle Matt came on Sunday and we had a blast with them, also. We had lunch with our extended family and then came back home and had dinner at our house and opened gifts.

Emery opening up a special gift from LuLu…

Bradley and his new Mario Cart…literally

I think that grin says it all….

We also went into Knoxville later in the week and spent time with Grandad and Beth. Beth is quite the cook and we love eating at their house!

We had a wonderful Christmas and I am so thankful for our friends, our family and our precious Savior.

Being Crafty

I realize I am so very late in posting this. December turned into a crazy month very quickly for our family! Jason went to China from 12/2-12/9 and I was very busy writing homestudies, so the blog went to pot.

But, I wanted to share some memories from Christmas.

I am all about being crafty and frugal, and I love giving my friends “happies.” Thus the need to make stuff….here are a few of the things I made…

These were little plaques I painted and mod podged with Matthew 2:2…I also added ribbon on some of them to hang.

Chalkboard Coasters

These are super easy and super affordable. I bought basic white tiles for .16 each and then primed and spray painted them with chalkboard paint. I added cork or felt pads on the back…

I think they are great for a playroom or for even to put on your table and use as placecards!

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls.

I made these for our Christmas Eve party to give to the families who came….I am learning that baking relaxes me and

these were super yummy. I thought they would be a nice addition to Christmas morning. Parker, who loves cinnamon rolls, was not as impressed…she prefers Pillsbury. I didn’t make the maple frosting, but they were still amazing!

And these, which I wrote about here.

We also did our advent activities and had a fun family night I will share about soon….

Christmas 2010 Tour of the Stew Home

So, I am going to do a quick review of our month…here is our decor!!


Joy seems to be a theme in our decorating this year. I have worked on/made, two, so far. Here is the first one….

Last week, with the help of Jason, I created a little Christmas craftiness!

I had 3 unpainted 10×13 picture frames that i wanted to put to good use.

First off, I needed to paint them. I used acrylic, but only because my white spray paint was in the barn and it was cold…I am a sissy in the cold. So, painting it on with a brush was the first step!

Here is what we ended up with and I love it.  I wanted a font that wasn’t too chunky but still showed up.

I love that we can reuse the frames and I  know we will be coming up with other ways to use them throughout the year.

If you would like these easy printables, please, leave a comment and I will get it to you!

10 And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

Linked up at: Under the Table

Christmas Past and Present

I can’t believe how Christmas is right around the corner and I LOVE it! We were at Jason’ mom’s the past few days and she had our Christmas cards from the last 3 Christmases on her fridge, which was such a sweet reminder of how my babies are not babies anymore! I remembered each photo session, which are usually last minute and it made me thankful we already a have our picture for this year! Each year, I agonize over these cards, search through so many options and then make Jason decide!

Here are our cards and pictures from years past….

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2008

Parker 2007

Emery 2007

Bradley 2007

Christmas 2006

Christmas cards are such a sweet part of the season and this year, and this year, my decision is already made! I am going to be ordering mine from Shutterfly.

The hard part is choosing which one! I really like this one, or this one, or this one!!

I may also be getting the grandparents one of these or these.

Do you want to get 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly this year? Check this out!

How do you choose your Christmas card? What about which picture to use? Do you do the whole fam or just the kids?

Happy Christmas Card shopping!!

Wise Men Still Seek Him….

Before Christmas, Bradley was a wiseman in his MDO’s program.  He did so well….the last time he was on stage, he showed the church his belly and wore sunglasses the entire time.

He, of course, was adorable with his costume and gift for baby Jesus.  When we asked him what his present was for baby Jesus, he told us…”a box.”

So cute!


Bringing his gifts…


This is his good buddy, Jonah in the blue.  They are quite the pair together…I can’t wait to see the trouble, great things they do for the Lord!


He looks so much like Emery here..


Starting to get bored…


Still a little bored…



My prayer is that Bradley will always seek to Worship the King and bring to Jesus all that He has!

Merry Christmas!!


Christmas Tour 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Welcome to our Home…

I love decorating and I will admit, this 70’s rancher has stretched me!

This year, we are at the tail end of a six month addition to our home and I honestly, did not go ALL OUT, like I normally do!

We are just too worn out!!

But, the result is going to be worth it…at leas it better be!

This is my third year to do the tour, but the first time in this home, and it has been a blast!  So, here we go!

Here is our entrance…I love my door bucket…


We used traditional wreaths for our windows… I am definitely stocking up after Christmas to do the entire house.


And, I was super excited about putting a wreath with colored lights, on our little red barn! If you have been following our addition,

you will notice my beautiful, completely paved driveway…more to come….we can’t wait to get the b-ball hoop up!


Next up is our fancy tree…it is mostly red and silver with a lot of fruffy, sticks and poofy things sticking out! I love it…it is a little over the top, but it works!

This has been my office, but by next Christmas, it will be our dining room….more excited than I can say to get our dining room back!




My topper…it looks different each year, but I am pleased with how it turned out…



Here is the breakfast room. Since we eat here everyday, I didn’t want to make the table complicated…


Some glass, some red, some beads, some candles….decoration done!


My fur trees..they normally go on the dining room table, but they worked well on the hutch…


My apothecary jar and Dollar Tree star….


One of my most favorite decorations and the reason we celebrate the season…


Our playroom has our funky, kids tree. I use pink, green, orange, blue and purple ornaments and ribbon.

I adore this tree more each year. It has a nine foot tree since our old house had vaulted ceilings, but it works!

We are finishing the reno in this room after Christmas…color recommendations??


all lit up at night…


love monogrammed ornaments…


The grosgrain adds a lot of fun to the tree..


In phase 2 of our reno, we are going to add a fireplace and mantle, but for now, the picture ledge will have to do. I really miss

our mantle and fireplace at Christmas, especially, but one day…


I used white canvases and threw some ribbon on it…easy.

This is an ebony,  hand carved nativity, we got on our trip this past February to Africa.

I love it…(Baby Jesus has parts, which makes me laugh…had to throw that in..)


Here are a few of my favorites, some Parker and Emery have made, which makes them more precious!

They are a true reminder to focus on the birth of Jesus and celebrate His love for us!


Thank you so much for taking time to visit our home. I pray that Christ becomes more real to you this year and that you rejoice

at the miracle of His birth!

Blessings from our home to yours…



A little Christmas craftiness

I am all for starting Christmas shopping early and this year, I really want to put some thought into what I am buying, as well as stay in budget.

So, when I saw that Just a Girl was hosting a “I Can Make That” party, I decided to check it out and I am already loving some of the ideas.

Then, I remembered this precious little craft and decided to join in.


I absolutely adore these little homemade nativities that Emery made a few years back.

They were so cute, we made them for all the grandparents.

Not only are they cute, they will the “ahhh” award on Christmas, which is really what we are going for, right?


2 small terra cotta pots (the smallest one)

1 small terra cotta saucer

wooden round balls



scrap material

glue gun

First, have your sweet kiddos paint the pots or the “bodies” and the “manger” or the saucer! Next draw faces on your “heads” or wooden balls.

Next, cut out material in a half circle pattern to fit around the head. Just play with it until it looks like the right size.

Next, use your glue gun to attach the fabric to the “heads.”

Baby Jesus is a little more complex….not really.  Fold fabric until it looks like swaddling, leaving an opening at the top, and glue to keep it from unraveling.

Next, glue baby Jesus’ head in the center of the opening.

Next, glue raffia to the saucer and once dried, glue baby Jesus to the saucer.

To finish up, glue yarn around Joseph’s fabric!

This is such a sweet gift and one that reminds us the true reason we celebrate Christmas!


Load More