The title says it all...This post is dedicated to things I'm loving to use right now or things in life that have made me smile amidst the stress of the holiday season.

1. Plink-

These little lemon or orange balls of cleanser make my kitchen smell SO GOOD! In one of our meandering trips to Bed Bath & Beyond (a dangerous thing to do...just meander in that store...) we discovered these near the check out line. Run your disposal for roughly 15 seconds with hot water, plop a plink down the drain with the disposal running, continue running it for 10 more seconds or until you start to smell lemon freshness. This has become the cherry-on-top of my kitchen cleaning routine.

2. Words With Friends
A fun diversion for the down part of my days. A friend and I have tried to come up with Bible-only words and this usually works until we're down to the last 5 letters. But it's really fun to see our creativity. Mine is maxed out on Da da. Maybe these were Jesus' first words to Joseph??

3. Cribbage
Gerard and I have been trying to play more after our Thanksgiving family tournament. I'm even practicing my game strategy on an app on my iTouch. Next time, hopefully, I'll be able to skunk my Uncle Paul!

4. Cheerleading Students

"I say BAND. You say LESSON. BAND!" I fill in the blank with "LESSON!" and we go back and forth. This is how a 6th grade trombone player and I have begun each lesson the past 3 weeks. I usually need a little pep in my attitude by 7th hour on Mondays and this little guy often does the trick.

Yes, this is my Christmas present from Gerard this year. That I ordered myself. :) It's already arrived in its box and is sitting under our tree. I am so excited to open it and immediately use it to pack for our trips over the holidays. It's pretty much a purse that allows you to safely store a "fancy camera" with a lens on and an extra lens or two along with other items you travel with. What a perfect carry-on bag for the airplane!!

6. You Version Reading Plan-December ONLY

Another app that I'm currently using on my iTouch is a You Version Bible reading plan for the month of December only-solely for focusing on the Christmas season and the reason behind it. So far, I've learned how Christmas trees started coming into practice (evergreens were a sign of eternal life for early Egyptians-Christ offers us eternal life with Him), how Christmas lights became a tradition (candles were glued to trees with melted wax, then candle holders and then small lanterns and glass balls to hold candles started...Edison and his cohorts fine tuned it to be less of a fire hazard), and its been a great refresher on the prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus' birth alone.

It is my prayer that we would all slow down and really reflect on why we're celebrating this month. Amidst the craziness, take a cup of hot cocoa or tea, a journal and His Word. Journal first to get the craziness of your going's-on out on paper so you can focus on reading. Then, read Jesus' birth story (best detailed in the Gospel of Luke) and journal some more. Reflect on the Son of God who came in the form of a helpless baby (saying words like "da da") to be the spotless lamb sacrifice for our sins.

Please slow down. Please ENJOY Him. And have a very Merry Christmas!

**And no, I didn't receive any compensation for promoting any of these products. I just like sharing cool things that make my life better. :)