In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Spirit of giving!

Each year, we try and focus on the spirit of giving during the holiday season.  It has always been an important tradition in our family and something we have always done with pride.  From as far back as I can ever remember, when I was growing up, my mom always let me choose a name off of a giving tree.  I always loved picking out a little something for someone who otherwise would have nothing to open on Christmas morning.  I carried this tradition on with my own children and I hope that it is something that they carry on with their children too!

We have learned, that when you least expect can be on the receiving end of that giving tree!  For the past two years we have been so blessed by people who heard our story and worried that my kids would go without presents on Christmas morning.  Those people, most all of whom we never met, provided for us, two of the best Christmas mornings anyone could ever hope for.  No Christmas could ever possibly live up to the miracles of those two Christmas mornings! 

This year, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to give my kids a Christmas and for the first time in my life...I asked for help.  I tried numerous organizations and wasn't able to get help this year.  So, I started selling what I could so that I could buy something to put under the tree this year.  For the third year in a row, we were not in a position to give, something that 3 years ago, I never could have immagined.  I realized that my children may be losing sight of something that has always been so important to me and I didn't want them to come to expect that other people should always do for us.  Even though we do not have the financial ability to adopt a family as we used to, or even the capability to provide just one gift to someone in need...there was another way that we could enjoy the spirit of giving this year! 

Having a daugther who is hard of hearing, has prompted us to become involved in the deaf community.  Each month we attend outings/activities put on for the deaf kids and teens.  Another tradition in our house is to make Magic Reindeer Food Jars.  I thought that it would be a great idea for us to make these to be given out to all of the children at the December event.  It was a way for my children to learn, that even though you may not be able to afford to give much, we can still give!

We started by asking for donations of empty baby food jars and we had great success in getting far more jars than we needed!  I did forget what little patience I had during my stressfull days, but, I made it through the kids helping with half of the 101 jars that we made!

Emu helping remove the labels

Cardinal and Eagle adding to the pile of labels

Duckling, getting 2 year olds often do!
Although, stacking 5 jars was pretty impressive

Yep, Mother Goose cleaned up that mess!

Macaw is always looking for a reason to pose for a picture...

and Duckling is always quick to follow!

Emu was in charge of mixing the sugar colors

Looks can be deceiving and capturing a Kodak moment just at the right time can make a huge difference because, this part of the project did NOT go as smooth as it looks here!  Tis' why the kids only helped with half of the jars :)

 "Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home."

Enough jars to make 101 children smile!

For those left wondering...someone did make sure that our tree will be filled with gifts this year!  While everything won't be sparkling with newness (just wait till you see what an allowance of just $50 per kid can get you)...we will still see six smiling faces at our house this Christmas morning...and more importantly, our hearts will be full of so much joy and pride, knowing that we made it a little easier for Santa to find those 101 children whom we made jars for!

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