Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Baking, Festival of Trees, and giving to others!

This past weekend was full of fun Christmas activities for us, including baking Christmas cookies and brownies.  This year we added in scripture to talk about creation, from Genesis 1, to tie in to our creations.  This year, many of our goodies will be headed to my mom's Christmas party.  I set aside all of my favorite baking recipes this year and tried some from the book Kids in the Holiday Kitchen.  I made 3 recipes from this book and they all turned out very nice.  The shortbread cookies were my favorite, and I did several things with them (I will share details soon).

A small but exciting opportunity presented itself this week.  I ran into a dear friend at the store.  She was there with a college-age girl who was packing for a mission trip to Togo.  They were shopping for gifts for the children.  We decided to gather some things together to send with her, such as small toys, toothpaste, etc.  On Sunday, we delivered a small box of items at church, so that she could pack them with her stuff.  Please be in prayer for Ashley as she heads to Togo this week.  Also be in prayer for all of the children and others that she may touch on her journey!

We also brought some homemade turkey soup to a couple of elderly individuals who are in less fortunate conditions than us.  We hope they were blessed by our small offering.  We read scriptures to our girls about helping the poor, the orphans and widows.  We continually explain to them how much we have been blessed, by explaining how little others have, in comparison.

We also visited the Festival of Trees.  This event takes place at a local convention center and includes over 100 trees, all uniquely decorated.  It is a fundraiser for a local non-profit that "provides emotional support and resource information for families who have a child with a disability, chronic illness, premature birth and for families who have experienced the death of a child."  

We always enjoy seeing the trees, and our kids love it, too.  Each tree is accompanied by a sign that explains the name given to the theme, who sponsored it, and who it is in honor or memory of.  Here is a peek at some special designs from our visit this year.
 NC State Tree with flags, dogwood, cardinals, and I love the lighthouses made from TP tubes!
 This tree reminds me of the land of sweets from the Nutcracker!  This was my favorite.
 Of course there had to be a pirate tree, this is pirate country!  Arrrrrrgh!
 In memory of a young girl who touched so many hearts in our area, lost her battle with cancer this year.
 Pink Ribbon Tree
 I just loved the colors on this one!
 A couple of nicely decorated trees...
 Beach theme, I also loved the colors on this one, and loved how they used aqua cello wrap as decoration!

More to come on our advent activities, stay tuned.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 
1 John 3:17-18

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