holidays

9 Great Ideas to Improve Family Gatherings

Family gatherings. Whether it’s a big holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, smaller ones like Memorial Day or Labor Day, or even a special event like a family reunion or a wedding, there are times when our extended families gather together. For a lot of us, these events are dreaded and something to endure, rather than enjoy because of family dynamics and long-term family conflicts that never seem to end. And the bigger the family, the harder it is to avoid family drama. …

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gifts for adventurous kids

Skill-Based Gift Ideas to Suit Every Survival Kid

My kids were raised in an adventurous family. We live to swim against the stream and take on challenges of all kinds. At times, it seemed as though I was raising feral children, but now in their teen years, they’ve turned out okay after all! Adventure is good for kids because it developed self-confidence and an “I can do it attitude.” Over the years on this blog, we’ve posted lists of skills kids should have and it occurred to me …

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whole wheat dinner rolls recipe

Just in time for the holidays: Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Tall, fluffy and light- not usually words you associate with whole wheat right? Well, these rolls are all of those things and more! They are made with 100% whole wheat, get a little sweetness from honey and richness from eggs and milk. All in all, the perfect roll. To start making these, I milled some white wheat berries in my grain mill and creamed some milk. Such a hard life I live with all of this good food around me! …

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Top 18 Holiday Bargains for Stocking Up

I love the holiday shopping season and seeing piles of food bargains at the grocery store. It seems they pop up earlier every year. Here in Texas at my favorite Kroger’s, I noticed holiday foods on sale before Halloween! This is the time of year when grocery stores begin prominently displaying all types of food typically used in holiday cooking and baking. I’m sure these displays have caught your attention, but have you ever looked at them through the eyes …

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celebrate during a crisis

Celebrating During a Time of Crisis

My family lived in Northern Alabama and experienced the April 2011 Tornado Outbreak. We saw one of the tornadoes from our front window. I worked clean up and recovery after the storms and the damage and loss was devastating for so many people. Even those of us that were spared direct damage still had to deal with days (and for some, weeks) of no power. So, while we of course were thankful for being spared, there could have been a …

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Enjoy road trips with kids? I do … now

Did you know that there is a dinosaur museum in Hays, Kansas? There’s also a huge duck pinwheel at an exit near the Missouri/Nebraska border. A bridge dedicated to the old wagon trail spans over I-80 in Kearney, Nebraska. Also, if you can spare an hour, a detour to Wamego, Kansas, takes you to the Wizard of Oz Museum. I found these all on road trips taken over the past few years – with my children in tow. I actually …

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prepper christmas

12 Days of Christmas: Day 12, Do It All Again Next Year!

One of the reasons why I love Christmas is that my home is at its loveliest for one whole month. Over a big window facing the back yard is strung a lush garland of pine entwined with tiny white lights. My two trees (Mom’s, done in all red and gold and the “family” tree with our personalized, handmade and Disney ornaments) fill a living room and family room, respectively, and take my breath away. All this beauty makes me wish the …

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after Christmas surprises

12 Days of Christmas: Day 11, Is That All There Is?

Christmas never seems as big and grand as it does when you’re a child. For weeks prior to the big day, their wide eyes see lights go up and they watch a thousand or so TV commercials advertising the latest and greatest “must have” toys.  Anticipation grows and grows, and it’s really amazing their little bodies can contain it all! Once the 26th arrives and all the presents have been opened and the relatives have gone home, there’s a natural feeling of a let down. …

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creative gift idea

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 9, Our Favorite Things

I was never an avid Oprah fan, but every year I looked forward to her holiday episode, “Oprah’s Favorite Things.”  If you haven’t seen one of these episodes, they were pretty spectacular.  Oprah would present about a dozen or so products that she fell in love with that particular year.  She raved about it, would sometimes interviews the inventor or designer, and then with a big fanfare, Oprah employees walked in with that particular gift for everyone in the audience.  …

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 8, Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

The stocking are hung by the chimney with care. The tree is adorned with ornaments, tinsel, and lights. The house smells of warm, home-baked goodies. As Survival Moms, we spend a lot of time creating the Christmas, or Hanukkah, of our children’s dreams and our own. It’s possible, though, for the beauty of the holidays to pass us by, and too often, it does.  This year, don’t let that happen. Purposefully, set aside a block of time to enjoy all …

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