What's On My Christmas List

Aren't my kids so cute decorating the tree?

Over the last couple years I have started to make a Christmas list for myself to give to Derek.  He always picks me great gifts, with or without a list. But he asked, and it's fun to be able to pick out things that I would like but probably won't buy myself!  I thought I'd share my list today, just for fun.  Maybe if you aren't sure what to put on your Christmas list, it'll spark some ideas!

Washi Tape

I found this website that sells gorgeous Washi tape a while back, and I've been eyeing a few of their sets!  I use Washi tape in my bullet journal or on letters, to dress up the page and add some sparkle.  I use it in a really basic way, but some people really decorate their pages or letters, like my penpal Felicia (her envelopes are always so pretty!).  It's just fun, and I'd love to get a little collection started.


These three books are on my Christmas list!  The first two I have read before and they were excellent - to the point that I would like to own a physical copy and re-read them.  

Eve In Exile is about feminism, it's negative effects on women, and the purpose for which God really created women.  I feel like that makes it sound a little boring, but it was so good.  

Glory In The Ordinary is about the value of work, and the biblical purpose of our work, and I remember finding it really encouraging especially as it relates to the struggle many women have with feeling...perhaps less-than for working outside of the home OR for not bringing money in for the family.  It was great.

Black Coffee kind of intrigued me, because...well, coffee, but also because I read in the description that it is a Hercule Poirot play that Agatha Christie wrote which was adapted into a book by a different author.  Hercule Poirot is my favorite of her characters, and I'm really curious to see how it is!  

Psalms Scripture Journal

I have one of these scripture journals for the book of Hebrews, and I love it!  It has the biblical text on one page, with a dot grid for notes, decorating, or whatever you want on the opposite page.  I write about things that stood out in the passage, or bits of commentary that I've gathered from other places.  I usually don't fill up a full page, so I am thinking they will be useful for going through the books of the Bible multiple times until it's full.  I'd love to have another one to work in, and Psalms felt like a good place to start!

John MacArthur Study Bible

I have the digital version of MacArthur's study notes, and I really appreciate his study Bible notes - it is always helpful and clarifying when I come across a tricky passage.  I would really like to have a physical copy of the MacArthur study Bible, so I can highlight and read the notes a little easier. I found a damaged copy on this website for cheap, so I'm hoping Derek snagged it for me!


Opal Ring

Turquoise Oyster Ring

I used to love wearing "costume jewelry" rings in my twenties, but I haven't for several years now.  I think my fingers got a little fat for my collection while I was pregnant.  I'd like to get back to wearing pretty rings, but I'd also like some that won't turn my finger green (hopefully).  Even though these are the priciest thing on my list, they are relatively inexpensive and I think they're pretty for a little extra shine.

Art Prints I’d Love To Have Framed

Okay, I am a little hesitant to show you actual pictures here because I don't want to reproduce the artist's work without her permission, but if you click through on anything in this post you have to check out these prints.  I'm linking my three favorite prints below, but Lore Pemberton's art just speaks to me.  All of her paintings are wonderful, but these three are my current favorites and I'd love to get a print of one of these.

This one brings back the feeling of rocking my babies against my chest in the middle of the night.  

We go on a fall hike every autumn, and this one just reminds me of traipsing through the woods with my children.  I can almost smell the leaves.

This one brings to mind the stargazing nights we've done with the kids, and the wonder we are hoping to inspire in them by introducing them to the night sky.


What can I say, I like my makeup!  I've particularly enjoyed Colourpop's eye products for a while, and this cool-toned palette caught my eye (which is currently sold out, so I might not be getting it after all!).  The single shadow is one of their super-shock shadows, which I've heard good things about and would like to play around with.  And I've been wanting to try one of their lip glosses - this color looks pretty.


I realized early this year that I've used up most of my perfumes, and a lot of the ones I've liked over the years are no longer produced.  Don't you hate when that happens?  You find a scent you like, and then they just stop making it.  Tough luck.  I smelled a sample of this one a while back though and I remember liking it, so I put it on my Christmas list just in case Derek needed one more idea.  Time to find a new perfume I guess!


That's it!  I was trying to put a wide variety of things on my list so Derek would have a lot to choose from.  I obviously will not be getting everything here (budget, you know), but I wanted to give Derek lots ideas so if he ends up only buying from my list, I'll still be somewhat surprised!  

What sort of things have you put on your Christmas list? Do you and your spouse make lists for each other?

Out Of Sorts (And Real Tea)

Do you want to come over for tea this morning?

To my in-person friends, that's an open invitation, just so you know.  But otherwise, let's have virtual tea on a Tuesday.  And not the kind all the youngsters talk about, the gossip-y, drama kind.  No spilling of metaphorical "tea".  Let's have, like, real tea.  In a real cup.  

I feel old.

I've been watching too much TV.

Speaking of tea, try a cup of Nutcracker Sweet tea with a chocolate bar.  You can thank me later.

Hunting And Not Blogging

Where were we when I suddenly lost all motivation to blog a couple weeks ago?  You may remember that I was in the middle of a 31 Day blogging challenge, and I totally fell off the wagon.  I underestimated the amount of energy hunting would take out of me, and then the election-that-never-ended happened, and well, here we are.  I have lots of election thoughts, but I don't want to get into it on this blog (that's what Instagram is for, right?), so let's just talk about my hunting season.

On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early, and headed out into the woods in the dark.  As it got light, we started sneaking through an open area, and suddenly saw a group of deer ahead of it.  They were all female deer, and I had a buck tag, but it looked like they were looking behind them, down the hill where we couldn't see yet. So we decided to sneak up to a ridge to see if there was anything down there, and what do you know, there was!  We just so happened to drop down behind a log, so I don't think they could tell what we were yet, and I got a perfect shot.  The freezer is full now, and I feel really satisfied.  First morning of hunting season and we got one!  That's the best.

I come from a long line of hunters, I grew up hunting, but I hadn't been for over eight years.  I was quite worried about my ability to even hit a target anymore.  But Derek scouted out a great spot for me, and got me to the deer, and I was pleased to see that I am not completely useless out there, as I was afraid I would be.

It took us all day to drag the deer out a mile and a half (at least).  I felt like I had gotten hit by a truck the next morning.  It took me a bit to recover.

Sorting And Shopping And...More Sorting

Since then, aside from obsessively checking the news, I have also been working hard on finishing my Christmas shopping and sorting through this year's pictures.  

Last year I decided to print off the best photos of each kid from 2019 and put a little photo album in each of their stockings.  It was a lot of work, but they loved those little photo books.  And I liked knowing that my photos weren't just existing in some digital netherworld, but I had some hard copies now. I decided to make it a tradition so I would have motivation every year to get our photos printed.

Ideally I would sort and print photos throughout the year so it wouldn't be such a huge project in December.  But alas, it took me two eight-hour days to get 2020 photos printed up.  The prints are ordered and on their way and I'll probably be spending the next couple weeks getting them sorted (again) into albums.  Then another Christmas item will be checked off the list.

I actually finished the kids' Christmas shopping in mid-October, and a few days ago I ordered the last of the Christmas presents for Derek.  

I'm always torn about doing Christmas shopping so early.  I used to really enjoy Christmas shopping in December, because it added to the Christmas excitement for me.  But as we've added more kids to our family, I've realized that Christmas is much more pleasant for everyone if I finish the shopping early.  

Shopping for five kids is hard.  You want them to each have the same number of presents to open, even though the older ones start asking for more expensive gifts.  You want each gift to be of relatively the same size or value or excitement level.  And inevitably you'll buy them what they individually asked for, because you want to treat them like the unique individuals they are, but then the kids realize on Christmas morning that they like what their siblings got, and they wish they would have asked for the same thing.  It's just complicated.

Anyway, its done, so now I need to sort everything and start wrapping.

Maybe the theme of this post of sorting.  Appropriate, right?  Isn't that what we are all doing right now?  Sorting v0tes, sorting photos, sorting through news, sorting the Christmas budget out, sorting presents to be wrapped.  All while feeling out of sorts.  Just lots of sorting.

Some of the photos I sorted today are from our visit to my friends' ranch in October.  We try to visit them once a year, and it's always such a refreshment to see them all again.  This time was no exception.  I am so blessed to have friendships that have lasted for a majority of my life, with women who inspire me and encourage me in the Lord.  Friendship, especially with sisters in Christ, is such a gift.

A Library Embarrassment

Speaking of sorting, I went to the library yesterday and I had fifty-seven books ready to be picked up.  Fifty-seven!  And because they are quarantining returned items for up to a week, a lot of the items I had previously returned hadn't registered yet, so I had to ask the librarian for an override to check out my fifty-seven books, which put me over the library book limit.  I was so embarrassed by my huge stack of books that I rushed out of there as soon as I could, so I'm not sure I even got them all.  I have to count.  I may have to go back for whatever I forgot and ask for an override all over again, though hopefully my returned items will have been checked in by then.  

That's what I get for trying to get ahead of the Christmas picture book rush.  I requested a bunch, but apparently I was the only one in line this early, and they all came in at once.  But hey, our library system got rid of fines last year, so technically I could keep them until Christmas and not even get charged.  Maybe that's worth a little embarrassment.

(Note: I won't really keep all those library books clear until Christmas.  I'll put them back into circulation in December so someone else doesn't have to suffer the fate I did last year, which was to wait and wait only to finally receive my Christmas holds...in January.)

In Search Of A Holly Jolly Read

Speaking of books, what is a good Christmas-y novel that you've read?  I need some recommendations.  I read The Christmas Carol last year, and also Hercule Poirot's Christmas, and those were both perfect.  My friend Felicia also sent me Christmas At The Vinyl Cafe in the mail, and I inhaled it in a couple days right around Christmas Day (highly recommend that one).  I'd like to have something Christmas-y to read in December. It's taking me so long to get through any book this year that I should probably start now.

Stress-Paralysis And Christmas Trees

In case you didn't notice, the entire country appears to be setting up their trees early this year.  Either everyone desperately needs a little Christmas merriment, or they're trying to hurry this crazy year out the door, not sure which. We usually set ours up a week before Thanksgiving, and yet I oddly feel behind already.  

Sometime this week I'm going to dig into our Christmas boxes and start switching out a few things.  Our schedule is a little off this year, and we don't have a full day free to set up the tree in the near future, so I'm trying to break the decorating into smaller chunks.  I'm feeling pretty stress-paralyzed, so you may have to hold me accountable if I don't share a Christmas decor photo on Instagram within a few days!  Who am I kidding, my kids will hold me accountable.  They are chomping at the bit to deck these halls.

A Few Finds

Before I go, I wanted to share a few helpful things I have found in the last week or so!  First, I got a couple advent studies to use with the kids, this advent unit study which was inexpensive, and this Advent study which is free!  

I also splurged and bought this winter nature journal - Gwen has been asking me for "constellation cards" because she wants to study constellations, and this journal came with cards and a bunch of nature study sheets (I also got her these constellation fact cards, and I don't believe there was any duplicates between the two sets).

And finally, if you are like me and have a terrible time shopping for the men in your life, I found this Christmas list for men on Amazon.  Both Derek and my dad give me ideas like "new socks" for Christmas, and I obviously am not going to buy them something so boring as socks (or at least not only socks).  This list had a bunch of things that I knew my guys would actually like.  I may have gotten a majority of Derek's presents because of ideas I found here.  (Surely I'm not the only one who can't figure out what to buy for her husband?  It's not just me, right?)

(From our fall photos this year - me and Derek.)

Have you decorated for Christmas yet?  Are you done with your shopping?  What's your favorite tea flavor (are you even a tea drinker)?  And don't forget to tell me your Christmas book recommendations too!

I'll be back later this week to share a few things that I put on my Christmas list!  Just for fun.  

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