I cannot believe it’s that time again. Time to get out that old holiday planner. I want my holidays as stress free as possible.

My newly married daughter will be here for Thanksgiving all the way from California so the last thing I want to be doing is running around shopping for supplies. I want to be cooking, baking and entertaining.

If you don’t have a holiday planner, right now is a good time to start.

Set some goals for yourself. Draw a picture in your mind how you want your holidays to play out. Write down your images/ideas as a guide. I always want my family to feel Christ’s presence along with peace. That takes intentionality.

So get yourself a notebook and draw, or write out some ideas that represent how you see your holidays. What is one word or phrase that represents the image you have? What is one thing you can do today to ease the stress over the next 2 months and make this image reality? How can you have peace through the holidays?


School Time is Here!

I can’t believe it. School is starting again tomorrow for my youngest. It’s her Senior year and there is so much to contemplate.

We went back to school shopping Saturday along with everyone else, the store was packed. Three generations of girls, out on the town, shopping for back to school clothes and supplies. What a great time we had!

In some ways, going back to school can be celebrated somewhat like a holiday. After shopping we went to lunch then went home to crash. It was a full day!!


4th of July

Happy Fourth of July. Do something just for you today.

My hubby and I woke up and had our Saturday coffee (a special roast we set aside for Saturday mornings).

Cooking out at home today then driving to the Hafer Park fireworks display.

A peaceful day with my family. All I need!

May God richly bless you.


Semi planned holiday

Holidays or vacations don’t have to be stressful as I recently posted.

My husband and I just returned from a 2 night time out. It was exciting, relaxing and stress free. We picked a great bed and breakfast and went from there.

The first night we found fliers at our bed and breakfast for a wonderful place called the Whitehorse Steakhouse. For $50 a person we got a 5 course meal, live music and a romantic atmosphere and the table was ours for the night.

The next day after a few hours of sitting on the balcony we visited a a great coffee shop in Denton then a winery not too far from Gainsville. While there, we enjoyed the beautiful view, live music and some local wine tasting.

The drive back to the B and B through the Texas hill country was amazing. It was so green and lush. We had no agenda, no schedule, we were free to do as we pleased. In our crazy busy lives, this was just what we needed.

The last morning we woke up and sat on our balcony then got an idea to check out a local thrift store. When we got to the address, it was no longer there. No thrift shopping for us. We didn’t let that discourage us and decided to go to Dallas for our last few hours. We found a really cool Turkish market and had lunch at a Turkish restaurant that the shopkeeper recommended. On the drive home, we shared in a devotion I pulled up on you version and shared in some great conversation.

So if you don’t have time to plan an elaborate vacation, don’t let that stop you. Set a side 3 or 4 days and pick a direction. Use Google to find a place to stay that matches your desire. When you get there, pick up some brochures or ask the locals what they would recommend. Google what interests you such as museums, coffee shops, parks, etc. If something doesn’t work out, no stess, move on to the next thing.

Remember the goal is to reconnect with your family, Christ and to maintain peace through the holidays.


Semi Planned Holidays

Our Bed and Breakfast trip which was only semi- planned has been a wonderful adventure. We knew the general direction we were heading and checked out a few B and B’s on line before leaving. Nothing set in stone.

We packed our bags the night before with an idea for one nice dinner and maybe swimming then got up in the morning,made some coffee and gathered a few snacks for the road.

Our only plan was to go towards Dallas . We decided to watch road signs as we went for places to stop on the way. The first stop was a small local winery. While there, we tasted the local wines then went next store to an antique shop.

Where we would stay was the next decision. we chose the Denton Street Heritage House. This house was built when Gainsville was a booming town in the mid 1800’s. The man who built it planned the house for entertainment with great rooms and stained glass windows. The current owner gave us a tour and a bit of history as well. He was also able to share some information about the history of the surrounding neighborhood. And as an unexpected bonus, we were the only guests the first night. This grand old house to ourselves.

We had a few hours before our dinner reservations so we walked down town. There was an old train station with a Harvey house and museum but it was closed for a special event. I was so disappointed. We walked around and I peered into the windows trying to get a glimpse of the Harvey house. We then found a small museum with my husband’s family name so decided to go in. We received a personal tour from someone who worked there. it was tiny but filled with Gainsville history.

We returned to our room after dinner out and the next morning, sat on the balcony overlooking the neighborhood, drinking coffee and doing our morning devotion.

What a wonderful start to a semi planned adventure. This get away has brought peace an rest to our souls. I’m looking forward to what the day will bring, no plans just adventure ahead.


A beautiful place to refresh



Staycation is a fairly new phrase. Its planning time off but not going anywhere. Making a vacation where you are.

I am doing this right now actually. I was about to loose my Paid time off

from work and I had no where to go. My kids were working. My husband was working, so I just stayed home.

I took one day to go and see my grand babies which was great.

The next day I slept in, cooked and cleaned,no schedule or list just what made me happy. I made a Turkish bread that I had been craving (we used to live in Turkey). I talked with my children who are really adults, while doing those things the way we used to when they were small. It felt like a lazy summer day. Then a dip in the pool and an easy dinner of baked salmon for dinner.

Today I am sitting on my front patio in my granny rocker listening to the birds before it gets too hot. I’m about to start my quiet time. Later, little shopping with my mom.

The last 2 days of my week off, my husband and I are sneaking off to a bed and breakfast. We don’t know where yet. We enjoy an adventure and road trips together. We might draw counties out of a hat or flip a penny and go left with heads and right with tails. But we will know when we arrive at our destination

This holiday or time off work has brought me some much needed peace. No planning involved.


Wedding Ideas

I have a daughter getting married in September. Each holiday I have been buying 1 small holiday item and putting it away.

By September they will have at least 1 decoration or one item for each holiday. I am almost done. I just have the 4th of July, labor day and fall decor to buy.

It’s a small thing but I thought it might be fun for them. It has been fun for me. I can’t wait until they open it.

It’s away to start my daughter off having peace through the holidays.