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24 Days of Giving, Day 23-24

For day 23, we donated to Lifesong for Orphans to feed the boys in a boys home in Bolivia for one week!

For day 24, we invited someone who is lonely this Christmas to a Christmas Eve service with us and over to our house to make dumplings on Christmas afternoon!  She is from China and only working over here for four months, so she doesn’t have any family or friends nearby.  We’re really glad she took us up on our offers!  She’s going to teach me to make dumplings tomorrow!  So this is a win-win situation!  🙂

My children have done such an awesome job of GIVING this Christmas season so tomorrow is their turn to receive and they are super excited!

24 Days of Giving, Days 14-19

For day 14, we took 4 big sub sandwiches to our local firestation. We thought it would be a big hit with the firemen but God love their hearts, they were more concerned about giving us hats and stickers and letting the children climb in their firetruck and ring their bell. I think they gave us more than we gave them! But maybe it’s a guy thing, you don’t act too excited till it’s chow time after the guests leave!
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For day 16, we donated to New Day Foster Home! We visited New Day when we were in China in August 2013 (Two pictures below). The staff was wonderful and they work very hard to take care of orphans that would otherwise have no hope. We love supporting New Day! Caring for the least of these and finding them forever families. Click here to check them out or donate!… http://www.newdaycreations.com/foster/help/howto.htm

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For day 17, we went to our local park and used sidewalk chalk to write messages of hope to all that will see… kids idea! It didn’t sound all that fun to me… to load up five children and go to the park in chilly weather, but you gotta be that fun mom when your children need you to be, right?! We wrote things like “Joy to the World,” “Do you know that God loves you so crazy much?” “Jesus saves,” etc!

For day 18, we left quarters on two toy machines along with “You’ve Been Rack’ed” notes at a local toy store, hopefully it made some child’s day to find those!

For day 19, each of the four older children picked something from Compassion International’s Gift Catalog. We ended up buying two chickens and two mosquito nets for someone in a third-world country! LOVED doing this, so neat for children to get to pick out what they want to donate!. http://www.compassion.com/catalog/catalog-view-all-gifts.htm

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Would love to hear of any giving things you’re doing this month!! Let’s spur each other on and give God ALL the glory!

24 Days of Giving

I’ve been chronicling our December activities but hadn’t yet shared here.  Let me get you caught up on what we’ve been up to the past few days!

I’m so excited it’s December 1st! Eeek! Today begins our family tradition of our Giving Calendar! We’re beyond excited!! For our Advent every year, we do 25 days of giving. We called an official meeting the other night and wrote down all of our ideas and how to execute them. We scale back our structured homeschooling for December so that we have time to do this. We explain that God gave us the greatest gift there ever was by giving us Jesus. So we want to give Him gifts for Christmas by blessing others in His name and for His glory, not for our own. (So don’t tell me how great we are in the comments below, okay? It’s ALL about Christ!) I’m going to try and post our giving things every few days in hopes that it inspires others to get out and go give too! We started this tradition young enough that my children are more excited about all their giving things than they are presents for themselves. When people ask them if they’re excited about what Santa will bring them, they kind of look at them with a blank stare. They know that Dada and Mama give them presents on the 25th, not Santa. They get to give for 24 days and then we give to them on day 25 because they are so loved by us. It is more blessed to give than to receive! Let the giving begin!

24 Days of Giving, Day One: Donated to Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree. My children picked out the orphan they wanted to sponsor and they’ll get an ornament in the mail as a keepsake for doing so. So sad to see all those children waiting for a family that are living in such sad conditions. Click on over to find an orphan to pray for this Christmas! We also added their picture and name to our prayer wall to remember to pray for them throughout the next year.

We did another thing also today since that one didn’t require too much time. The other one for today was “Do one nice thing for each family member.” The kids loved this! It was so sweet to see them think how they could bless each individual person in the family. Here are some of my favorite things they did…
Mama- gave out piggy back rides around the house and tickle times. I also read everyone “Ronnie Wilson’s Gift,” such a sweet book to read any time of the year, but I wanted to especially read it to kick off our Giving Calendar! A great lesson about giving to Jesus by giving to others!
Alex- played Uno with little sister and let her win, built a blanket/ cushions fort for Cole, watched younger siblings so Mama can have quiet time
Caden- gave one of his toys to his big brother, colored a picture for a sibling
Cole- served everyone a snack for snacktime
Emily- gave out massages and kisses and stickers
When Dada got home from work, he gave piggy back rides and wrestling matches and dishes for Mama.  🙂

24 Days of Giving, Day Two: For today we made a trip to the Dollar Store! First we drove around the parking lot looking for four special vehicles that we could RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). We put a “You’ve Been Rack’ed” flyer along with a handwritten message and a $5 Chick-Fil-A gift card on each car! We got to see one lady get in her car, then get back out to check her windshield! We couldn’t see her reaction though, we didn’t want her to know it was us so we got away quick! Then we went into the Dollar Store and left four “You’ve Been Rack’ed” flyers with a handwritten message and a $1 bill to buy something. It was sweet to see my four children pick out which vehicle they wanted and then which item in the Dollar Store they wanted to put their $1 and note beside. SO. MUCH. FUN! Oh, and got to RACK a friend with some chocolate too! (Forgot to get Dollar Store pics). If you want to print out your own “You’ve been Rack’ed” cards, I got them here.
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24 Days of Giving, Day Three: For today we did “doorbell and ditch” to two neighbors and left their children Family Life’s “Interactive Nativity For Children.” It’s a neat thing we enjoy doing every year where you read a book and open up one box (present) at a time that tells the Christmas story, the birth of Jesus. My children love opening up the little boxes to find trinkets inside, so I hope they’ll enjoy this! We also left cookies at another sweet neighbor’s door!
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24 Days of Giving, Day Four: Okay, well my husband took over today, guess he thought my idea was measly. And well, just wow. I was going to have the children all pick a number for the number of bottles of clean water they wanted to buy for orphans through A Child’s Hope Int’l. But Jason had other ideas. I don’t really want to say but let’s just say he went big. Bigger than what I was thinking. We’re all doing the happy dance here, SO much more blessed to give than to receive! We did still buy clean water, just more than I had planned. So exciting!! Feel free to get in on the fun! If you donate $8, it provides 120 GALLONS of clean water for orphans!

Let me know if you do any fun giving things!!