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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Family Fun: December

Update:::: It's now okay for me to edit this post to add more info about our AMAZING opportunity in giving this holiday season! Our church had a special service on Dec 6th where each family was given $1400 from an anonymous donor and was simply told to use it to bless others in Jesus' name. So awesome right?!? With our funds we were able to help a family have Christmas (through a local school), several foster teens have gifts under the tree, and randomly bless strangers with cash (this was our FAV! The kids had a BLAST walking up to people, handing them an envelop and saying "merry christmas!" The response was awesome as well...many tears and lots of hugs), as well as the things mentioned in this post. It was SO inspiring to hear how other families in our church used the funds and it's really neat to think about how the love of Jesus was really shared with so many people this holiday season. You can read about our church's act of giving via this local newspaper article. You can also watch the report of how the funds were spent via our church website (and if you watch...yes that's my man leading Lord's Supper at the 19 min marker!). So honored to be a small part of such an amazing opportunity and so thankful to be members of such a giving congregation! It's something that our family will never forget and it will forever change the way we spend our time around the holidays as well as throughout the year :)

*****

Every year I usually do a "Christmas Card Roll Call" post which I enjoy! I scan all of our Christmas cards that we received and it's fun to see how families change over the years. Sadly, that's not possible this year as my scanner isn't working (my graphing calculator also quit on me...quite depressing around here ha!) so I can't scan the cards! I did want to be sure to share our Christmas Card this year though...

My new favorite thing is to get custom postcards made. I found an AMAZING Etsy shop that has SUPER QUICK turnaround (we got these pics taken on Dec 1st so I was in a bit of a rush!) and does the BEST custom designs I've seen! DigiGoose is seriously awesome and it made me feel so special that she said she remembered my crew from last year :) 

I send the finished design into our local UPS store who prints them off for me! Including the card design, printing, and postage I spent a little under $1 per card which I think is pretty awesome especially for how great they turn out :) And, duh, mega big thanks to Captured by Colson for the incredible images (you can see all the pics from our photo session here!)


This post is all about the random family fun we had during the month of December! December is SUCH a busy time with the holidays and Britt's birthday but I felt like we really just enjoyed the entire season from start to finish. I LOVE all the time with my sweet family!

We had some pretty awesome timing...I had been thinking a lot about how as we get older and our kids grow up and don't live at home how sad a lot of the holiday stuff will be without them there to partake in it all with us. I thought about Zach's parents decorating their tree by themselves and it bugged me and I wanted to make a point next year to go over there to have our kids help...well it worked out that when they came to help us at our family photo session that we went to their house after to hang out and eat dinner together. We NEVER get to randomly stop by like that and it just so happened Mrs. Charlotte had her Christmas tree stuff out so the kids got to help her with her tree! I love when things just work out so perfectly :) 



This kid is ALWAYS a happy helper!


On the day of Britt's party I needed the kids OUT of the house so I could keep it CLEAN (we all know it's impossible to keep a house clean with kids running around!). Zach was super dad (and scored brownie points with Mom) by taking the kids out to CFA for breakfast. They had a blast playing and eating and I got to get party prep stuff handled without any interruptions. Of course there always has to be some sort of party issue...I sent them all out of the house and completely forgot to ask Zach to get balloons filled for the party so the big kids and I ended up going back out to do that!





The afternoon after Britt's party the Megow crew stayed over! We got pizza and the kids played and hung out and all the Megow crew spent the night in our playroom and guest room (it's come in handy having all the random beds we have ha!). It was a great chance for Zach and Seth to hang out too! It's hard for Seth to get a lot of "friend time" since he's a single dad! 



When Zach and Seth get together it always involves something RANDOM. I went to McDonald's to get us all a treat and came home to this...





They made this entire video and it was hilarious. Several times in the final edit you can hear me laughing! I think Zach missed his calling as an actor! You can watch their 80s Dating Video here!

Kye's first year in public school has meant a lot of fun dress up themed days and they tend to not give a lot of advance notice about it (for example I got a text from the school the day before his 101st day asking the kids to dress up and I totally didn't have supplies to make a dalmatian type deal in time!). This meant the girls and I made a couple Walgreens stops on our way from dropping Kye off in the mornings to dropping Britt off! We have just enough time between to make one quick errand. The girls LOVED looking at all the Christmas stuff and Tess was seriously so adorable following Britt around everywhere :) 


My shopping buddies!



Speaking of Tess and Britt...Britt's gifts for her birthday and Christmas ended up being Tess's favorite gifts too ;) Britt got a Fisher Price doll house with all the dolls and such and Tess LOVES them. And they aren't too little to have to be overly worried about either! Britt does SO WELL sharing with her which is so sweet! 



Tess does an equally good job of sharing her toys too!


Sweet sisters 💞





I can't really give a lot of details but this was our BEST Christmas ever for a LOT of reasons. One big way that impacted our entire family was the opportunity we were given to bless others in a way we've never been able to do before. It was a lot of pressure to make sure we really used our opportunity to show others Jesus and to teach our children the importance of giving to others. We took it very seriously and it really made our holiday even better knowing that we helped to bless others the way we were able to do!

Kye has read to a local nursing home in the past and wanted to go read to them again. Tess helped me pick out fuzzy socks for all the residents and Kye prepared the gift bags and he and Britt stuffed the socks inside. Then our whole family attended their Christmas party. Kye read and Britt sang and we visited with each resident and gave them their gift. Y'all. It was AWESOME. We gave one man his gift and came back around and saw him already wearing his socks. Seeing the JOY on their faces when our children visited with them was so moving for me. Even Tess did great with so many strangers touching and loving on her! I was a proud mama and it was a memory I'll forever hold close to my heart and something I hope we are able to do on a more regular basis! Here is a video of Kye reading here is one of Britt singing, and here is one of them passing out some of the socks :)








We were able to do a lot of really great things this holiday season to truly bless others and it was so awesome to see our children grow from that experience. We decided on several of the things that we'd like to do on a yearly basis! One great thing we did was gather supplies to make "Blessing Bags." Our church hosts a soup kitchen the first weekend of every month and we helped provide bags to hand out to those in need. Kye and I had a BLAST filling up our buggy with items we thought would help benefit people and then both big kids assembled the bags before Christmas and went with me to the soup kitchen in Jan to help serve as well as help pass out the bags. 





One of our favorite Christmas traditions is going to look at the Christmas lights in our town. We have a house that is set to music and an entire neighborhood that has HUGE Christmas Cards on display. This year, as I've mentioned in previous posts, we didn't stress about getting everything done in a quick manner. We took our time and really enjoyed things! We had a Sunday night where we didn't have church services so we went to eat at Steak and Shake (duh kids eat free is our JAM) and then drove and looked at all the lights!








We have a set budget for all of our gift buying throughout the year. I'm a hardcore nerd and keep an excel spreadsheet going to track all of our spending. This year I got some AMAZING deals on the kids Christmas stuff and thought it'd be fun to challenge myself to see how much below budget I could spend :) The extra money? Well it was spent on fun stuff! I was able to buy each big kid a Disney gift card as a birthday present for them to spend on our upcoming trip, I was able to buy several copies of War Room to give to friends (along with a journal), and I had enough left to take the big kids on a special movie date! We got a sitter for Tess and were able to go see The Good Dinosaur and were able to have enough to buy candy at Walgreens prior AND popcorn at the theater! THANK YOU DEALS! :)



I had heard mixed things about The Good Dinosaur. It does have sad parts. Kye cried but it wasn't overly sad or overly emotional. Also it didn't harp on evolution or anything like that either. The only really concerning part, from a Christian point of view, was the short video prior to the film. It was about Hinduism and we talked about it as a family (as Kye is PASSIONATE about the dangers of idol worship...it's like his thing haha) and how we could replace their idols in the video with Jesus instead etc. I didn't find the video offensive nor do I think it's up to Disney to project solely Christian points of view, as a parent I just do my best to put Jesus into every aspect of my children's lives!





My favorite part of Christmas break? Having these three home in pjs and playing ALL DAY!



Kye always keeps us entertained with his reading :)



We even had a fun CFA playdate with Robyn's crew before school started back! Love these kids and that they've been buddies from the beginning!



We had a simply AMAZING December! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful 2015 and makes me excited for the upcoming year :) 




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