We have been incredibly blessed in the ways we have received support since joining staff with Gospel for Asia three years ago. Along with those who graciously support us each month (or quarter or year), we receive one-time support sporadically.
Then, there are gifts that come! WOW. Our church family in Pennsylvania sent us 2 large packages last week. I opened the boxes to find presents for each of my kiddos and a few gift bags. Joel and I also received gifts. The kids are very excited about the presents that got tucked behind our Christmas tree, but because the gift bags were somewhat 'open', I allowed them to go ahead and see what was inside. (Chocolate covered pretzels, gummy bears, and mini PB cups!)
We can't even begin to tell you how special it is to us that the children Sunday school classes at New Love got gifts for our children! A part of our hearts are still very much in Pennsylvania (where we lived for 5 years before Texas), and to know that they still care about us as much means the world!
Rylee had her class party on Friday, then got out early from school. I'm not the room mom this year, but I said I would help with this party. We planned several activities for the kids and they seemed to have a blast. We played a hot/cold game hiding a gift bag and the kids rang jingle bells when they got close. Then, we had stations and the kids colored wooden ornaments, decorated sugar cookies, did stamps/word puzzles, and made reindeer food. They enjoyed pizza and punch before the party was over.
On Saturday we took the kids shopping for gifts for each other. We've never done this before and it was awesome! We have been talking a lot about gift giving and why it's a part of Christmas. We felt the best way to really have them grasp and understand was to actually do the shopping for others. They were busy earlier in the month helping make the gifts we sent to some grandparents (that post will come later), but this time they each got $10 to spend on each sibling. They were hilarious to watch. And, what do they like to do when they're done?
Our kids were invited to make gingerbread houses on Sunday with Auntie Pam and Uncle Jim. We miss our grandparents very much since they all live far away. God has been gracious to put older adults in our lives to love and dote on our kids through the years. The kids made houses while Joel and I ran a few errands, then we came back and all enjoyed pizza.