Every week I like to take a moment to showcase the moments that brought me the most joy. Sometimes they are awesome activities and other times it's a sweet moment between the kids. There are always moments that can fill us with joy if we choose to see them with a thankful heart.
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Sorry for the break in posting these! Last weekend was a little crazy with dress rehearsal and the actual children's Christmas program for church and we lounged around on Sunday doing not much of anything. I've decided Sunday is not a great day for trying to get this posted so from here on out I'll be posting these on Mondays spanning the previous Sunday-Saturday. That gives me a little more breathing room to compile all my images and get it all typed up.
I really enjoy sharing this peek into our real life and where I found joy this week. As my husband pointed out - it's kind of the whole meaning of the blog. To show that no matter how hectic, aggravating, or messy life gets, there are still SO many things to thank God for so we can be filled with the joy only He can give.
This list is extra long today since it's spanning the last two weeks so bear with me! :D
1. Helping each other with chores
Mercedes was on dishes and Cade and Anders offered to help her put away the silverware. They reminded me that they are perfectly capable of doing simple chores beyond feeding the dog and picking up toys so I might need to put them to work more often! Plus, we are really trying to teach our children to be helpers - when they see a need to fill that need. Mercedes didn't necessarily need help but it didn't hurt to help her and I'm glad they did it with willing hearts.
2. Gratitude mirror
A couple weeks ago Kristina from MessyTiredLove and I challenged each other to write what we are thankful for on our bathroom mirrors. This picture is from almost two weeks ago now but I love how it's filling up and all the blessings, from the big to the little, are staring me in the face when I'm getting ready each day, when I'm washing my hands, filling up water bottles, or any other time I'm in the bathroom. I'm so glad we took this challenge!
3. Shepherd on the Search
With the beginning of December came the start of our Shepherd's journey. On the 30th we read the Shepherd's story so we'd be prepared to begin searching for him on the 1st. It's a really sweet story and I'm happy we've made this a new part of our family's Christmas traditions. The kids wake up excited each day to find the Shepherd's hiding place. So far he's hidden in lots of up high places as he tries to see the spot where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are resting.
4. Countdown to Christmas
Each year I make an advent calendar with a different activity each day. I choose our activity based on other plans we have for the day so we can do more elaborate plans on days we stay home and simple plans like reading a Christmas book or coloring pictures on busier days. Last week the activity was to create a nativity scene so the kids worked together to find toys to represent the players in the story. Parker even added his (dirty) socks to his teddy to be the angel's wings. It was fun seeing them work together even if there were some meltdowns due to creative differences ;)
5. Christmas Bingo
I created a Christmas Bingo game and shared it with you last week. I wish we had a color printer so the games were prettier but they still function in black and white! I was a little unsure if the twins could handle playing BINGO but they did so great matching pictures! We played three rounds but I'm guessing I'll bring this one out again this season because they all really enjoyed it and it's a good chance to practice following directions and matching skills.
6. St. Nicholas' Day
St. Nick's is technically on the 6th but due to shipping issues some of our gifts didn't arrive until the afternoon of the 6th so we moved our St.Nick's to the 7th. All the gifts were a hit with the kids. Micah left mine in the box so I could be surprised - he got me a new jumbo muffin pan! Now I can make a dozen jumbo muffins at a time rather than only 6. Let's get baking!
7. Flower arranging
I joined five of my awesome MOPS mommas this weekend to arrange flowers for a cancer treatment center in town. One of the girl's has a friend that started a non-profit that takes flowers that would otherwise be tossed (from florists, wholesalers, and special events) and creates small arrangements for people that need a little hope in their lives. They are often delivered to hospitals, nursing homes, home-bound people, and others in need. I've never arranged flowers before but it was a fun afternoon creating beautiful things out of items that others would have considered garbage worthy. I feel like there's a sermon in there!
8. Decorating the tree
If you follow me on Instagram you know we've been waiting to put up the tree until we were 100% flea free because we didn't want the fleas getting into the tree and hiding again until next year. It was really sad to not have one up yet because we all love the twinkly lights but, ugh, fleas! On Friday Micah decided it just needed to happen. If fleas got in the tree they wouldn't survive enclosed in a bag until next year anyway because there wouldn't be a food source. Of course! So up the tree went and the kids added all the non-breakable ornaments. This is the first year we haven't had a pen around the tree and I think we might be regretting selling it but maybe they will leave it alone after being told to back away for the eighteen millionth time? Maybe?