Parenting With Purpose: Developing An Action Plan For The Tween Years And Beyond

I will never forget the first time they laid her in my arms. She was 9 lbs 11 oz of pure amazing, and I would move heaven and earth to make her happy!



Everyone told me the years would be short but the days would be long, and I never believed them.

Until the last year when something reminded me my sweet angel's birthday candles would be entering into the double digits.

Almost ten years have come and gone.

"Ohh man, that's what they meant...I get it now."

Now my days are filled with answering questions I don't know if I am prepared to answer, arguing about schoolwork, handling friendship drama, lecturing about the importance of not being "boy crazy", and being humbled ( and offended) by the baby that is now on the brink of young adulthood and can break me down with an eye-roll and a snappy response.

Read more and get your FREE tween parenting action plan here.

What I am reading: January 2018

Books glorious books!!!! Oh how I love thee! 

Confession: I am a book sniffing, paperback reading bibliophile and I'm not ashamed to shout it from the roof tops!


(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Yearly Reading Goals

Ahhhh!!!! I have some lofty reading goals for the year!

I know some mamas are rock-star readers but I have a meager goal of reading 25 books this year ( about 2 books a month)I don't like to really plan all the books I read out, but rather read where the spirit blows based on my needs. In my defense this number is so low because I still have a three year old, I am hoping to some day read so much more.

January Reads

I am going to give you my current list of what is in my book basket for January!

  • The First book I LOVED and already finished was The Life Giving Table by Sally Clarkson. It was amazing in more ways than one and is for ANY woman looking to disciple her household one meal at a time. I give it a 20 on a scale of 1-10 it was THAT good.
No Greater Love
By Mother Teresa

What are your reading goals for year? What is your current read for the month? Let me know in the comments below, I can't wait to see what everyone is reading!

Plotting and Planning: A mama's guide to planning an intentional Christmas + FREE planning printable and Christmas art

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold everything is softer and more beautiful
— Norman Vincent Peale


And we are off....

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but can turn into the most STRESSFUL time of the year if we do not get our ducks in a row.

I am a planner by nature, and I am so unbelievably excited about this week. I am currently writing this post the week of thanksgiving ( We have a scheduled week off so this means I have a clear head for plotting and planning family fun!)

There is a very STRICT Christmas decorating rule enforced by my sweetie. He does not want to see Christmas decor up until AFTER Thanksgiving. I am really, really, really trying to work with this very scroogy mentality. ( When he is at work I do turn on the Christmas music full blast!)

What I can do is plan, oooooooo I just love to plan! It is seriously one of my greatest joys! With a December calendar full of possibility, a sharp pencil in hand, and a steamy cup of coffee I am ready to take on my intentional vision for creating family fun and togetherness at Christmas!

Mamas are the dreamers, the visionaries, the temperature of the home.




(especially of a person) thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.

"a visionary leader"

We are the temperatures of our home,
Your attitude becomes the atmosphere.

The energy you bring to your home can make or break the holiday season and beyond. I have been so guilty of bringing a less than wonderful temperature to our home. Luckily I have been filling my mind with life- -giving books, podcasts and mentors to keep me on track! Make sure to take inventory of your attitude not just in the holiday season but EVERYDAY!

Attitude is everything

In one of my readings last week in the Life Giving Table by Sally Clarkson she was touching on Mary and Martha. She said that your attitude in how you are serving is what is important. Serving with a negative cynical attitude completely overshadows the positive task you are trying to accomplish. The attitude of a servant leader is what is going to reach hearts and minds of your family for eternity. This holiday season intentionally plan to set a thermostat of joy and set an example of servant leadership in your home.


Putting your vision on paper

 A snipped of what my weekly planning page looks like.

A snipped of what my weekly planning page looks like.

If I do not intentionally sit down and plan what I would like to see happen for the holidays I just won't do it! It is the sad truth. I have a family mission statement with my husband. I try to look at my mission statement and plug in activities that will get me to that end goal of what we  envision our family to become.

  • Fostering togetherness and making our children the best of friends.
  • Making memories without spending a ton of money.
  • Serving others
  • Creating a atmosphere of Joy and warmth in my home sweet home.
  • Loving others like Jesus, we might be the only bible someone ever reads!

These are some of my core goals when I sit down to plan our festivities. If the activities do not align with my core goals I can most likely cross them off.

This year I decided to type my list and print it out. I am hoping to keep it in a file so I can pull it out next year and it will be much easier to just fill in the fun and festivities. I will share list below.You are more than welcome to print it ( and obviously customize it for your area) or use it as a jumping off point to create your own vision of Christmas.

I broke my Christmas planning into areas, then when I fill in my weekly planner ( I use this one) I will plug in an activity from each area, and hopefully by the end of Christmas we will have accomplished most if not all of the family fun that I envisioned! ( Please note, be flexible! Nobody has fun if you are just trying to check off the list.)

My Christmas Plan

My Vision

My planning areas are as follows:

  • Prep
  • Service Projects
  • Movies to watch
  • Fun Breakfasts
  • Crafts
  • Surprises

What are some of your favorite traditions? Leave me a comment! I would love to know!

Below are some fun FREE Christmas gallery wall printable and your Intentional Christmas planner! I hope you are excited to plan for a fun filled Merry Christmas full of memories!