Preparing for the New Year

I hope your Christmas was wonderful. How did your kids do with the lack of routine, too much sugar, and the excitement of presents?

Christmas morning

We were up very late Christmas eve with Russ and Isaiah arriving home from the airport at 1:00 AM.  Thankfully, the roads weren’t too snowy and Russ only had to drive a little slower than normal.

Christmas morning was fun, with lots of coffee, good food, laughter, and patience as everyone opened presents one at a time. It took many hours, with breakfast eaten between opening stockings (filled by siblings), and gifts under the tree.

To my great delight, we finished hanging ornaments on the Jesse tree as we read the Christmas story during breakfast.

Later in the day, Russ and the kids built a HUGE igloo in the backyard; I’ll post pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s especially wonderful having our big kids here. Samuel is in town until the 28th and Isaiah until the 29th. Noah is on break between med school rotations until after the New Year. I’m very thankful.

Our foster daughter, Zoe, is visiting her family for several days at a local hotel with a very nice pool, so we’re heading there later today to let the kids swim and play together. She has two younger sisters who will have fun swimming with the boys.

I’ll be writing posts wrapping up 2016 and moving into 2017, but I want to share three things now just in case you want to join me and need a little time to prepare.

1. She Reads Truth | One of my goals last year was to read the entire Bible in one year. I am very happy to say, with the help of a free app from She Reads Truth, I’m going to accomplish my goal! If you’re interested in reading the Bible in a year, find it in the app store now so you’re ready to go on January 1st. She Reads Truth also has other Bible reading plans for a small fee of $2-$3.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

2. One Line a Day Journal | I’m very excited to start this journal on New Year’s Day. Each space has room for one or two sentences for the given day, and each page is divided into five sections, so the daily entry appears five times over five years. It’s easier to show than explain.

line a day journal

I gave one to Hannah five years ago and she has kept it, more or less, the entire time. I have never successfully kept a journal (ironic, I know), but I think I can manage one line a day. Want to join me? You can use this Amazon link to order if you like.



3. Five Minute Journal | My friend, Signe, used this app last year to chronicle her family’s life. I decided to give it a try. $4.99. If you hate to write, you can simply do one photo a day, or you can add three “I am grateful for,” or “3 Amazing things that happened today”.

Lastly, I have a guest post on the fabulous site, Confessions of an Adoptive Parent, How Parenting Children From Hard Places Can be Blessings in Disguise.

I hope you’re enjoying your family. Tomorrow is a hard day for our family; if you think of us, please hold us in prayer.

Many blessings to you, friend.


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Kirsten
    December 26, 2016

    I will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow. I hope that the day is one of peace and family. I know your angels in heaven are looking down on your family.

  2. Laura
    December 27, 2016

    Peace be with you today


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