Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas... our fam-i-ly!
Lauren made this with salt dough
Wearing Christmas jammies from Christmas past
and relaxing!
Red Starbucks cups filled with Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
Rudolph sandwiches, a favorite December treat in our house!
Lots of shopping with my little helpers carrying things in
Lots of bread baking for teacher and friend gifts(36 loaves so far)
A fabulous life group Christmas party hosted by Garrett and Elaina. Mandy did a great job sharing about it. Go here to read more.
Here is the framed song phrase that Rick and I received from the song,
"Never Once" sung by Matt Redman.
I really can't think of a better phrase to represent this last year for us. This group of people have been a living example of God's grace in our lives. They are walking with us through the healing of our hearts, have challenged us spiritually, and are just really fun people to be around. I have to say, the thing I have needed the most this year has been to laugh. I literally laugh until I cry when I am around these people, like almost peeing my pants kind of laughing. I love them, I love their hearts, and I love the direction we are headed as a group in the new year!!

I have to pause for a minute to throw in a plug for an amazing organization. Just in case you didn't read it in Mandy's post, we purchased 12 stoves as a group to help families in Haiti. I think that is pretty awesome!! You might want to do that, too. Go here to read more about this amazing opportunity to bless others. I believe in the mission of The Adventure Project. I personally know one of the founders and know that she is the real deal. I think that $20 will accomplish a lot more through this project than pretty much anything I could spend it on for me or my family. I feel honored to participate in it. If you are looking for a way to look beyond yourself for Christmas, this would be a great way to do that!!

Back to the Christmas activities of our family:
Delivering bread to the neighbors
(Sam chose to stay warm in the house)
There were several class parties going on this week. Isaiah's was the first!
His gifts from the book exchange
It was so funny. He helped me pick out a book at the store to take to his class for the book exchange. He knew they were having a book exchange, but when he opened that Mickey Mouse Christmas book, he screamed, "Oh. my. goodness. IT IS A BOOK!" He was so excited! I am pretty sure that most of his little friends in Swaziland would have been that excited, too! I am so glad that he is still experiencing Christmas with such passion and gratefulness.
Laila got to join him in eating party treats!
Sam's class had Pioneer Day on the last day of school and experienced a Pioneer Christmas
There was Pioneer Story Time
Square Dancing
(Sam is in the red plaid shirt and brown cowboy hat)
"Quilt Making"
(In case you can't tell, this was not his favorite activity)
We both agreed he might not have a future in quilting
Popcorn and cranberry stringing
He really enjoyed this
I am thinking this would be a great way to occupy my kids during Christmas break. The class was so busy focusing on their work that they were so calm and quiet!

The Pony Express
They delivered letters they had written to other classrooms
After some snacks, they decorated snowballs
Then came the snowball fight!!
It was really a great day for him. I loved how fun and interactive they made it. I was reminded how much fun Sam is and how much I love spending time with him. They learned a lot and had fun doing it!!
Lauren's class had a Christmas party, too.
They did bingo, a s'mores craft and had quite the feast!
Abby's Christmas party included a craft, game, and snacks
Christmas is just around the corner. Everyone is out of school. This week will involve lots of baking, gift wrapping, some dr. appts., last-minute shopping, looking at Christmas lights, hair braiding, relaxing(I hope!), and sleeping in.

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