Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving - becomes "Thanksliving"!

I have been reading a book called "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voscamp given to me by a dear friend. I won't give too much away for those that have not read it yet, but it is such a wonderful book. Ann paints a beautiful picture with her poetic words of her journey to finding joy in the midst of suffering. Someone dares her to make a list of 1000 things she is thankful for and she accepts the challenge and so her book is born. It has inspired me to look at the things I have been blessed with instead of focusing on what I don't have or wish I had.
I am so blessed to have my faith that gives me hope of an eternal future. I am so blessed by my husband and all of my children. I am so blessed to have the worlds most amazing, incredible, giving, loving friends in the whole wide world! I am blessed to always have had a roof over my head, food in my tummy and clothes on my back. And so much more!

All of these gifts I have been given have ignited a passion in me to give back. I got my family involved and I will admit they all were reluctant at first but while they were doing each of the activities I saw something wonderful happen! They were smiling and having a great time, and they said they were actually more blessed to bless others! Wow! Is this the same family that grumbled just a few hours ago?

 This is a picture of my girls at Feed My Starving Children. An organization that sends dried packaged food to hungry children all over the world. This day was SO much fun! They play fun music and the time goes by SO fast! This organization is so organized too! They have little groups of assembly lines so that the packaging is very efficient. We were able to pack enough food to feed 105 children for a year that day! My girls did the weighing and they rocked! They went quickly but carefully following all the instructions and not once did they complain that they were tired! I want to sign up for 2 shifts next year:) Shhh, don't tell my family ;) lol

 We also did Operation Christmas Child. This organization sends shoebox sized packages to children around the world who will not receive anything for Christmas. I just LOVE this idea. Christmas is my favorite time of year. Everything about it excites me, but most of all because it reminds me of the greatest gift of all that was given, Jesus. So to share His love, we decided to fill up a box for a boy (in honor of Nathan). So the girls used their keys that they earned from church to buy a few things for the box and we went to the dollar tree for the rest. It was so special to see my family coming together to find special things for this little boy. With the toys the girls bought, things we had at home in our treasure bag and dollar tree items we ended up with enough to fill 2 boxes! So we decided to fill one for a girl also.

One of the ladies I had met that worked for OCC told me about when she went to deliver these gifts to an orphanage in Russia and the children were so happy because they all had their own toothbrush. About 20 kids were having to all share one toothbrush! I told my husband,"That is just not right! That is just not sanitary! They each need their own toothbrush." So the toothbrushes were the first things to go in the box:)

 This was what we put in the girls box: Webkinz, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hair ponies, bar of soap, stationary set, bouncy ball, bandaids, sucker and a card from us that said Merry Christmas.

This is what we put in the boys box: Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, socks, soap, bandaids, hotwheels car, flying airplane, bouncy ball, plastic drinking cup and a card from us with our family picture wishing him a Merry Christmas.

We also sang Christmas carols for the children at Shriners Hospital, and sang carols as we rang the Salvation army bell.

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