My Birthday, Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

I had to sing the title as I typed it. Well, at least that last part.

2013 was a wonderful year. I met and exceeded many of my goals. I wrote a book, attended a writer’s conference and ended the year with a clean kitchen.

Those who were following me at the beginning of last year might remember my word for 2013 was “determined”. I was determined all the way to the end to finish the year out strong.

Here are a few blog posts of note in 2013:

Why I Started the New Year with 1000 Kicks (We’re doing this again this year.)

Conquering the Chore Monster

How to Baby Proof a Kitchen in 8 “Easy” Steps I need to do another post like this with Elisabeth as a toddler. We have not put a baby gate up at all to our kitchen this year.

Finding Beauty in Imperfections

These are just a few to show what we have been up to during the year.

I also wrote a book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment” which you can download for free here. You can also read the blog posts I wrote to go along with my book. I plan to finish the 31 Day Building Commitment series and write a more in depth book from that theme.

December was a very busy month. Our children were sick the week before Christmas. I caught it the day before my birthday. 


Birthday Presents from My Husband and Kids

I shared this on Facebook about my Birthday.

“Thank you, everyone, for the Birthday greetings! I had a wonderful day. 

My younger children gave me one roller blade and a floaty.  Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool without drowning.

My oldest son gave me a beautiful necklace. And my husband took me out for dinner and bought me a Keurig.

When we came home we had birthday cake made by my kids, ice cream, and coffee made in my new Keurig.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day! — feeling loved with Scott Maness

I had quite a few comments asking, “What’s up with the one roller blade and the floaty?”

I promised to write a post about that and then immediately the busy-ness of the season set in and I never stopped to post the rest of the month. So I will now give you that explanation. 

My children have sweet, caring hearts even if at times they are a bit misguided in their efforts. They believe that a Birthday is not complete without a gift being given some time during the day.

My younger children felt bad that I didn’t already have a gift so they ran to their rooms and grabbed probably the first two things they found on their floors as a present to me. It just so happened that those two gifts were a roller blade and a deflated floaty which they wrapped in a baby blanket. 

They brought it to me and when I opened it I smiled and with all the excitement only a mother can give for such a gift, I exclaimed, “Wow! Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool and not drown!” I gave them all hugs and thanked them for the gift. 

My 15 year old son later in the day gave me a necklace he had bought a month earlier. I was very impressed by his having thought to get me a gift that far in advance. It was very sweet and a sign of his growing up. 

My husband took me out to eat and we shopped for Christmas presents and bought a Keurig for my birthday. I have only been drinking coffee off and on for about a year and a half now. Two years ago I would have never dreamed I would want a Coffee Maker for my birthday. It’s amazing how much we grow and change in just a few years.

We spent Christmas with my family and enjoyed seeing my sister and her family as well.

Did you have a good 2013? Are you as excited as I am about the things to come in 2014? What type of posts do you like to see on my blog? Is there anything you would like to see more of? Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments or if you follow my blog by email just hit reply if you would like to talk with me privately. 

It took me long enough to get this post written. I have quite a few goals for this year. My word for the year is “organize” and I’ll be sharing more about that soon. I will also tell you about the goals I have for this year. I’m looking forward to a lot of great things to come. 

Have a very blessed and productive New Year!!!

~~ Anastacia ~~


“Heaven and Nature Scrooge”

This was Elisabeth’s first Christmas. This whole week has been a grand adventure. I published my first ebook “The King’s Christmas Spider” the beginning of this week.

Christmas Eve the 4 and half hour drive to my parents took an extra hour with all the stops we had to make with one child throwing up. Hannah was sick Christmas Eve. She was also sick the day or two after Christmas. I was very glad that she seemed to be fine on Christmas Day.

During our regular bedtime prayers we all prayed that Hannah would start feeling better and that everyone would be healthy in Christmas Day. The Lord blessed and everyone felt fine.

We never rush to open gifts on Christmas morning. We ate breakfast, talked with my brother’s family on Skype, and then we all gathered to open presents.

The girls both received American Girl dolls. Joshua received a Legos Star Wars ship and an Air Soft gun. Jonathan and Elijah both received Legos and Avengers Costumes. Elisabeth received a few toys and baby bowls, spoons, and a cup.

I got my husband an Unbreakable Umbrella and an alarm clock.

My sweet husband bought me a ukulele and a necklace.


We watched several versions of The Christmas Carol during the course of our Christmas celebrating. Every year there seems to be some major misquoting of Christmas songs.
I believe it was last year that Hannah kept singing “I wish Miss Merry Christmas. I wish Miss Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!”

This year it’s Jonathan and Elijah that have new words for “Joy to the World”. I guess they decided Ebenezer Scrooge needed his own Christmas carol.

They have been going around singing “Heaven and Nature Scrooge…and Heaven and Nature Scrooge.”

I guess “Heaven and Nature” sung at the right tempo sounds a little like “Ebenezer”.


It makes me wonder what song will be mis-sung next year.

I should start recording some of these songs the kids sing. It’s fun for the kids to listen to themselves from when they were little.

I really enjoyed writing a book with my children for Christmas this year. I’ll probably make writing a book and showcasing my children’s art as a regular Christmas tradition. I also have a book that my husband plans to help illustrate for next year.
It’s been a good week. I have really enjoyed visiting with my family. Hopefully all illnesses are over.

How was your Christmas? I would love to hear what you did that was special this year.

There are only 3 days left in 2012. I’m going to try to blog at least two more times before the year is up.


My First Book

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We worked long and hard to get this present ready. This being Christmas Eve, I finished it just in time.

The King's Christmas Spider Ebook

I was so excited yesterday that I squealed like Hannah. I read my book to my kids and it met their approval. They were so happy that they were a part of my first ebook. I was impressed with the quality of pictures I got for their ages.

Anyway, I’m going to keep my post short and let you download and read my book. Just click on the picture above and download the pdf.

Let us know what you think. I’ll be reading your comments to my children.





The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Have you been noticing changes to my blog lately? Well, I’m not done yet.

All of this has been bringing me yet one step closer to fulfilling my childhood dream. Today, I am going to tell you about my next step.

I was invited to participate in “The Next Big Thing Blog Tour” by my friend, Katina. In this blog hop, I am to answer 10 questions about a book that I have written or am working on.

Did I hear a gasp? Yes, I am working on a book. I have several book ideas but decided to tell you about a book that I am almost ready to publish.

1) What is the working title of your book?

     The Year Santa Meets Jesus

2) Where did the idea come from for your book?

     Several years ago, I noticed the crowds of children at malls waiting in line to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. I started thinking about how many Christians visit their local Santa and yet never introduce him to Jesus. That’s where the idea for my book came from.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

This would be labeled as Christian Fiction and Poetry.

4) Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

Hmm… I’m not good at remembering actors’ names. And if I were to name an actor I do know, you’d say why he’s not a kid anymore. So I’ll just describe what I think the actors would look like.

 I imagine Santa being a normal middle aged shopping mall Santa. Extra stuffing padding his belly and an overly white cottony beard.  For the boy I imagine him being around 7 or 8 years old with big brown eyes.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Everyone, including Santa, needs someone to care about them.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Right now I plan to self-publish. Unless an agent just happens to be reading this. 😉

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It probably took me a week to write the first draft. The first draft was not a poem. It took me a few months to modify it and make it exactly what I want it to be.

8) What other books would you compare this story to?

It’s a picture book. Once I have the pictures, I’d probably be able to compare it then.

9) Who or what inspired you to write the book?

Well, God inspired me to write it. Most of the short stories and tracts I’ve written were simply things I felt I had to write because of problems I saw around me.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It is short and sweet. It’s about a boy that cares more about giving to Santa rather than receiving something from him.

I see this as a story that parents can read to their children and show them where their hearts should be this Christmas. And who knows it may stir some grown up heart strings as well.

I was tagged by Katina Vaselopulos of Life’s Incredible Journeys. Last week Katina wrote about her upcoming book on her Next Big Thing Blog post here.

Do you have something big you are planning? What “Big Thing” does God have you working on right now?

As always feel free to share in the comments below.

And keep an eye out for a special Christmas present from our family to yours coming soon.
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Happy New Year

A lot has happened over the past two months. If anyone is still out there checking on my blog occassionally, I’m sorry that I hadn’t updated in such a long time. I know my sister has been asking about my blog.

December was a great month. We had snow! This was the first snow Hannah remembers. It was a Wednesday night and as we were walking out of the church building, Hannah started hollering and wanting to be held. She was afraid of the snow. Then her brave big brother went out there and jumped around in it to show her that it was o.k. Then she slowly made her way down the steps and into the snow. Then she started laughing about it.

The snow lasted all that night and a little ways into the next day. I have a couple of pictures of it. The first one is of Scott cleaning the car before going to work that morning.

The second is of Ruth with her snowman that she made. I really thought this picture was funny. What seems out of place in this picture?

If you said the snowman in the middle of the green grass, your right. It just doesn’t seem right for a snowman to be standing on a bright sunshiney day in the middle of the green grass. But he held up for at least that day and part of the next. He was a pretty tough snowman.

We enjoyed our Christmas with my parents. We spent Christmas Eve with them and then had our Christmas at their house. I think this was probably one of our best Christmases. I liked it because it was simple. We kept it pretty laid back. The kids weren’t all in a rush to open presents. We slept late, I even took a shower and ate breakfast before we opened them at about 11 o’clock. It was nice not having the day focused on presents.

My Dad had made an excellent dinner of Roast Beef, with Salad and other side dishes. Then my Sister and her husband came over and we enjoyed getting to just visit. My Dad even took the kids to his church to play in their gymnasium. It was so quiet around the house at that point. Then we played a game of Clue with my sister and her husband. We had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to our next visit with my sister and brother-in-law. Hopefully we will learn to use those new rod and reels they gave us for Christmas.

I have so many things I plan on doing this new year. I want to go visit my Mom for her Birthday and actually go on a shopping spree with her. I am saving a little bit of money aside to enjoy a good shopping trip with her. I intend that she finds something for herself, however she already has been talking about finding something for me. But that is just the way my Mom is, for her it is more fun to find something for her kids than for herself. I plan on finding something that she likes during it all though.

In my next blog, I plan to write about my goals for this New Year. So don’t give completely up on me and keep checking back. I’ll try not to let another Month and a half go by before writing again. 🙂