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24 Days of Giving: Days 20-22

For day 20, we left a Chick-Fil-A gift card and note in our mailbox for our mailman.  We got to peek out the window and watch him get it, which was so fun for the children to do!

For day 21, we donated to Project Hopeful by purchasing things like mattresses for orphans, goats, a chicken, etc for people in Uganda and Ethiopia. Everyone really enjoyed picking out what they thought would be a neat thing to give!

For day 22, we went to Wal-Mart and bought two gift cards.  Alex gave them to a sweet family friend and said, “One is for you to keep, and one to give away.  Because it is more blessed to give than to receive.”  🙂   So cute to watch Alex do that!

What else have we been up to lately?
We did this Christmas tree/ Bible activity and it was so meaningful. We looked up this list of Bible verses (there are only 14 and they go in order! 15-20 minutes max).  We drew a little Christmas tree beside each verse in their Bible to remind them of WHY Jesus came. Each verse tells a REASON for Jesus’ coming. So so precious and blew me away pondering on it. Plus the child will see these little Christmas trees in their Bible for years to come, what a treasured memory of looking those up… http://familymanweb.com/reason-christmas-family-activity/

Our theme this month… “BE the gift.” We went caroling just on our street and it was so precious. The children WERE the gift! Hubby played the guitar softly and we all sang, I think most our neighbors enjoyed it as we heard all the “awww’s” and “how cute!” Perfect weather for it, no complaints of being too cold! And who doesn’t like to hear little voices sing “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.” I enjoyed the peacefulness of walking up and down our street in the dark with the guitar softly playing in between houses.
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24 Days of Giving: Days 9-13

Day 9 & 10. For day 9 we mailed a card and Wal-Mart gift card to a widow, a very special widow! For day 10 we mailed a card and gas gift card to a single mom, a very sweet single mom. We hope they both feel the love this Christmas and are reminded of God’s amazing love for them. And look at what my children left on my computer for me… “You’ve been racked” (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) and a pan of toy cookies. So sweet!
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Day 11: For today, we donated to Women at Risk International to fight human trafficking. We often don’t think about it here in America but all around the world women and children are sold, used, and abused. The stories are horrific. As much as I wish it didn’t exist, I can’t pretend that it doesn’t. These precious lives need our prayer and our resources at the least. There are many areas you can choose to donate to within WAR int’l and we chose P4WB...
“Pray for WAR Babies (P4WB) is the heart-torn war cry from WAR, Int’l in response to an unimaginable horror: baby trafficking. Around the world, the faces of trafficking are children, beginning in the cradle with babies sold for as little as $25. WAR, Int’l is passionate about being a mother to the motherless and protecting babies from those who would harm them. When you join us, you spare these little ones from a life of horror. They can be tucked into cradles of safety and hear the stories of Jesus sung to them. They can grow up to be the beautiful, loving human beings God intended them to be. While P4WB is a part of our Emergency 911 fund, all money donated to P4WB goes towards prevention, rescue, and healing programs intended specifically for children. By collecting coins to fill a baby bottle, you and your children help rescue children around the world.”http://warinternational.org/get-involved/

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Day 12 & 13: We’ve done several fun things this weekend! First we snuck over to a friends house and put a yard sign in her yard (I think we picked someone that wouldn’t mind and would actually like it). Then we spent 3 hours making 70 homemade egg rolls. Whew, what a chore! Everyone helped so it went quick… ahem maybe not! We took some of these and some other snacks to a Mom that just had a new baby! We also divided up our stack of Christmas cards and prayed for each person we had a card for, so precious to hear my children pray for friends and family. We also stopped at a laundr-o-mat and left some quarters in some slots of washing machines along with notes! One more stop last night to Wal-Mart and we were able to talk with a cashier and leave her with a little book I had in my purse, Caden was brave for handing it to her and speaking up to tell her Merry Christmas. (If you’re wondering why my sweet little girl is in a boy’s sweater vest… I told everyone to dress a little warm for the parade we were going to. Biggest brother Alex wanted to help Emily get dressed and decided that all 4 of them should match by wearing sweater vests. They were so excited and happy about it, I just let her wear it. Didn’t want to squish their excitement and how they bonded over that). Merry Christmas!
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Also just thought I’d share a family thing we did… Thanks to Todd Wilson (The FamilyMan), our family had a special evening the other night! We played his board game “To Bethlehem” where you have to find your way to baby Jesus. Along the way there are family discussion cards (like, what is your favorite Christmas tree ornament and why, what’s the best gift you’ve ever received, sing your favorite Christmas carol, and more!) One of our favorite things on the board was putting a towel on your head to be a shepherd! Here is a picture of Dada with a kitchen towel on his head! Afterwards, thanks to the Familyman Ministry idea in the “You ‘Da Dad” 2014 calendar, Dada camped out under the Christmas tree with the kids. Oh, the excitement! They had so much fun! Both the “To Bethlehem” game and the 2015 calendar are for sale on their website! http://store.familymanweb.com/products-p…/featured-products/

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Some other recent pictures of our fam…
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24 Days of Giving Day Five Thru Eight

Day 5 was a flop. We attempted to bake cookies to deliver but they turned out hard and over-baked. Oops. So we tried again this morning and made cinnamon rolls right from the tube (Thank you Immaculate Baking Company!) We snuck down the street and left them at a friend’s door who lost her sweet 17 year old son last year. She has become such a sweet family friend, my children just love her! They enjoyed ringing the door bell and then taking off running! So much fun!

For day six, we made homemade cards for a prisoner!

Day 7 & 8: Dad took the children to Wal-Mart yesterday so that they could buy a beverage for a Salvation Army bell ringer, but no one was there ringing. So we went back today and a lady was there! She was super thankful for her drink and let us take a picture.

It was so sunny I couldn’t get anyone but Cole to look up in any of these pictures though!

The older boys kept talking about how fun it was to leave $5 Chick-Fil-A gift cards on people’s cars so we also did that again, this time in the Wal-Mart parking lot! They all had fun picking out which car they wanted to RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). Caden was especially excited to RACK the ambulance. We were still driving around when the firemen came out to their vehicle, but they didn’t see our paper and gift card!! I hope it stayed attached until they got back to the station, otherwise it may have flew off somewhere, yikes!

I wasn’t going to post the closed-eyes, not-going-to-look-up pics, but then thought, hey, let’s keep it real, pictures don’t always turn out like we moms want them too, right? Life’s not perfect. Merry Christmas!
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Alex had been dressing up and pretending to be a farmer at home and didn’t want to take these overalls off today!
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