Friday, December 4, 2015

Ringing the bell

We have been committed to teach our children about generosity, service and kindness.  It's something we work on throughout the year but the Christmas season opens up all sorts of possibilities so we are taking advantage of that with different opportunities.  We contacted our local Salvation Army office a couple of weeks ago to ask to volunteer for a shift of bell ringing.  

I thought it would be tricky to find a shift that would fit our schedule but they basically gave us our pick of time because they have to pay a lot of the ringers.   So, when someone volunteers their time, they get priority.  I highly encourage you to do this with your family.  It was such a fun experience.  The shift was 3 hours and I questioned whether my kids would hang but they did.  They took one quick bathroom break towards the end but were out there there the rest of the time.  They sang.  They danced.  They cheered.  They clapped.  They got excited to see their friends.  And, Micah may or may not have asked people for money even though they were planning to walk right past us.  (You're welcome Salvation Army!)

If you do this, I highly encourage you to use social media to invite friends to come see you.  That made our time pass so quickly.  We even had friends dress up in Star Wars costumes and show up with light sabers AND a donation for The Salvation Army.  Our Facebook posts had friends texting us to see how long we were there.  It definitely increased the donations for our shift.  I tried to take pictures with all friends.  We had lots of church friends and teachers from Jonah's school stop by.  Jonah's teacher, Mrs. Evans came to see us and got so excited when she pulled up and the news trucks were there.  She was convinced they were there for us. 

It was a fun experience and something we will definitely do again.  They are supposed to call us today to let us know what our totals for our shift was.  We're grateful to our friends who came to support this great organization who does so much in our community.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Season

My kids have anticipated December 1st because of Advent.  They remember the last two years of our nights celebrating the season of Advent.  We typically do family devotion time right before bed but they were so excited tonight that we started at 6:30 p.m.  I took a few pictures with my phone so you could see what we do.  

We most always start with Dan leading us in worship.  We typically sing songs they know from church or Micah's school.  We switched to Christmas songs tonight.  (Micah most always sits with me to avoid the crazies coming out!)

We have two advent systems.  One was created by a lady in our church, Debbie Joiner.  It's a little box with drawers.  Each drawer has an ornament to place on a tree with a coordinating paper telling the meaning of the ornament and scripture.  Tonight, Micah got that one out of the box and hung the ornament on the tree while Jonah read the paper.  

The second is a kit I bought from Blessings a few years ago.  It came with a cardboard tree but we tossed it after the first year and just use the ornaments on a simple little tree.  These ornaments have scripture on one side and a "to-do" on the other side.  For instance, today's verse was 1 John 1:7 "Let us love one another because love comes from God."  The other side said "Do a kind deed for someone."  Because it was nighttime, we were a little limited in what we could do but we wanted to complete the task for the day so we called our friend Debra who just lost her husband and sang Christmas carols to her over the phone.  She wasn't home so we left it all in a message.  I hope it doesn't terrify her. 

We took the only Christmas card (Shout out to the Torres family for being ON THE BALL!) we've received so far this year and talked about them and prayed for them.  During this season, we will do that each day with all the cards we receive that day.  Then, after the Christmas season, we will just pull one a day to pray for.  If other cards don't come soon, the Torres family is going to be completely prayed for.  :-)

And, just for reality sake, I feel you should know that in the middle of prayer requests, Micah blurts out "Look at me, everyone...I'm an X!"  (Life with Micah...)

We're excited about another season of Advent and helping our family focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  We are intent on helping them realize the season is not about Santa, not about gifts, not about parties but THE Greatest Gift...Immanuel GOD WITH US!!!

P.S.  Our family will be ringing the Salvation Army bell from 5-8 p.m. this Thursday at the new Publix.  We would LOVE for you to come see us there and bring a donation for Salvation Army.  

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Campfire/S'mores Session with Ann Axon Photography

 After being rained out of our Christmas pictures, we did a last minute redo at this new Wedding venue that opened right outside of our neighborhood.  It's called Bridle Oaks and it is phenomenal.  Ann knew there was a fire pit there and asked if we wanted to do this session at the end of our regular session.  I told he we were in if we had time to change clothes.  We absolutely LOVE these.  It was such a fun add on to our session and I could not be more pleased with the pictures.  This is proof that you should always trust the vision of your photographer.  :-)


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