Give Thanks and Give Back. Learning to Give in the Midst of Abundance.

Just a couple days ago, one of my boys came to me complaining about how bored he was during this week-long break from school, and how he had nothing fun to do. Mind you, we have a house full of toys, gadgets, and books. It’s beautiful outside and he and his brothers have bikes, scooters, and skateboards. This particular child happened to be holding my Kindle Fire that is full of kid-friendly games, and he had just handed me his Christmas Wish List.

More times than I’d like to count, this week alone, one or more of my children has complained that there was nothing to eat. If you have been to my house, you know this couldn’t be further from the truth – our pantry is always full and our refrigerator is overflowing (if truth be told, we actually have 3 refrigerators). However, we did just run out of their favorite snacks, and we are out of milk.

I’m saying all of this not to brag about how much we have, but to illustrate the very real fact that my kids do not appreciate all we have, but instead focus on what they do not have. We all do, to a degree, I think. I am truly just as guilty. Especially this time of year, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and distractions, without focusing on being grateful for what we do have and the beautiful spirit of giving.

So, my kids and I had a conversation. We wrote down all that we have to be thankful for and gave thanks to God. We placed these lists in our TeddyTank and each time we walk by this “tank full of thanks” we pull out a list and read it to remind ourselves of how truly blessed we are.

But, we didn’t stop there… We talked about how we have friends who are really struggling right now. Friends who don’t have more than two cans of soup in their pantry right now. Friends who are barely able to pay their bills, let alone buy Christmas presents for their kids. We took a trip to Walmart and bought bags full of dry goods to donate to our local food pantry, and we came up with a plan to make sure some of our friends have a present to open on Christmas morning.

Food Pantry Donation

It’s the little things, but it’s a start.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

VeggieTales In The House {New to Netflix}

Bob and Larry were always favorites in our house, especially with my twins. I can’t even tell you how many times my little guys watched them and the rest of the VeggieTales cast on Lord of the BeansThe Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, or just about any other VeggieTales movie. Larry’s Silly Songs often played while we were in the car, I put them on to keep my kiddos happy while I made dinner or just to inspire some smiles.

VeggieTales cast

In case you are not familiar, most VeggieTales movies are cute little parodies of popular films, bringing a message that is not soon forgotten. Each movie contains original music and a valuable life lesson that kiddos need to learn. Oftentimes even I benefit from the message on selflessness, kindness, honesty, or forgiveness.

I could always count on VeggieTales to be good, clean, wholesome fun. And I still can. Beauty and the Beet, released last month, was inspired by the story of Beauty and the Beast. While not at all similar in storyline, apart from learning to love the unlovely, this charming movie, starring Kellie Pickler, is a wonderful story of unconditional love. And the music is fantastic!

Now, for some really exciting news – VeggieTales is coming exclusively to Netflix on November 26, called VeggieTales in the House! There will be a total of 150 11-minute shorts developed and released over the next three years.

VeggieTales in the house - Only on Netflix

VeggieTales in the House shows what Bob and Larry are like in their own lives when they aren’t acting, like in all these movies we love so much. This series has a slightly new look, due in part to a new production team and new technology, but it’ll be the same Bob and Larry with a fresh appeal to the younger crowd.

Timmy and I are hooked after just watching the VeggieTales in the House official trailer and getting a sneak peek at one of the first episodes. In fact, a flood of great memories came back and I got goosebumps when I heard Bob and Larry give their sign off – “God made you special. And He loves you very much.” We can’t wait to see more!

Keep an eye out for VeggieTales DVDs at Walmart, as well as other great goodies coming soon!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s Time for the Holidays! Shop Smart at Walmart and Save

It’s time to switch out your wreath, friends! With Halloween behind us, and the Holidays approaching quickly, Walmart is there to make your shopping and planning easier and more affordable.

 

Holiday Savings and Easy Shopping Start Now

Walmart has over 7 million items – one million more than last holiday season – ready for you online. Deals typically reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday start on Walmart.com shortly after midnight tonight, with over 20,000 Rollbacks!

Walmart Online Specials

Save Time and Money

  • Savings CatcherTimed for Thanksgiving meal planning, Walmart is expanding Savings Catcher to bring even more savings to the kitchen. Beginning Nov. 2, holiday turkey and ham will be eligible for Savings Catcher, giving families confidence that they’re getting a great price on these holiday meal essentials.
  • Search My StoreWalmart has rolled out another new feature within its mobile app. With Search My Store, customers can search for nearly any item carried in a Walmart store and see the item’s availability at that store, its aisle location, ratings and reviews. (Search My Store is available on Android now, and Apple devices in Mid-November.)

More Holiday Tools, Resources, and Money Saving Incentives

Walmart is also offering new tools and resources to help customers shop the season.

  • Free ShippingWalmart is offering FREE shipping for every single item on their Top 100 Gifts List.
  • Wish Lists: Starting Nov. 7, children and parents can build a Toy Wish List for Santa by adding their favorite toys directly from Walmart’s digital Toy Book. Wish lists can be shared on Facebook and in email with friends and family.
  • Holiday Hub: New this year, Walmart is sharing how-to videos, product demos, seasonal recipes and other tips across multiple platforms where customers seek holiday inspiration, including Pinterest, YouTube and Walmart.com.
  • Layaway: Customers taking advantage of Walmart’s holiday layaway with no opening fee can stretch dollars further by paying at their own pace through Dec. 15.
  • Ad Match: Walmart’s great prices are backed by itsAd Match Guarantee. Stores will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.

Walmart Holiday Savings

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Go-To Fall Outfit

I am loving the bright colors that are available in fashion and apparel at Walmart this Fall! Of course, you can still find all of the goodies that make dressing for this season so great – boots, scarves, oversized sweaters, and all – but adding bright splashes of color to my outfit is easy to do with the fun items I’m seeing. And, it’s just so fun!

My Go-To Fall Look

I pretty much live in denim, and with my new fitness regimen, I am noticing that my bum and thighs are bigger (which is certainly not a bad thing), so my pants are fitting different… It was time to update my wardrobe and Walmart was the perfect place to shop for jeans. I was excited to find these super comfy No Boundaries distressed skinny jeans for only $19.88. My younger boys just don’t understand why I bought my pants with holes in them, but I love the look! There was also a pair of boot cut jeans in store for the same price that I just had to have. They fit so nicely.

Being that Texas stays pretty warm, even through the Fall, this hooded tab sleeve pullover I found in the Junior section is perfect for the season. (Walmart also has a pink one with a silver and black heart, as well as a cream one with a skull.) The colorful infinity scarf ($4.97 for two!) I paired with this outfit matches perfectly with the turquoise pull strings and does a great job of making my pink flats (only $5 in store!) pop.

My new favorite outfit for Fall is complete with some bangles, hoop earrings, and a sparkly headband – all found at Walmart. I am extremely excited to share that my complete outfit (shown here) was purchased for less than $50!

Fall Style

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fifteen

It was fifteen years ago today. The hottest day of the year. I was to vow to love, honor, and cherish my best friend all the days of my life, and I was a bundle of nerves.

As I walked down the aisle, on my father’s arm, I saw my best friend waiting for me and nothing else mattered. I forgot about the heat, the butterflies in my stomach, the 250 people in the small church sanctuary to witness our union. There was just him.

our wedding day

That day we began a journey. A wonderful, crazy, chaos-filled, sometimes rocky, but always steady journey. A journey I wouldn’t want to share with anyone but him.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend, my husband, my love! I didn’t think it possible then, but I truly love and adore you more today than I did on this date fifteen years ago.

“When I found the one my heart loves, I held him and would not let go… Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth ~ For his love is more delightful than wine.”