Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gifts in the Making

I love Christmas. I love the feeling in the air, the kindness you (unfortunately) see just a bit more of, the idea of giving a little something special to a loved one to humanly mimic the Special Gift we were given by God in His Son all those many years ago, and the teaching of the meaning of Christmas to my children. I love watching my kids get excited to give a gift, just as I am always excited to see someone's reaction to a gift I have given.

In previous years I've had each of the kids randomly choose one another to give a Christmas gift to, and would help them choose something they knew that child would treasure. (usually a toy of course ended up being purchased) My kids do NOT need toys! They embarrassingly have enough toys to make most children a bit jealous I think, even though there are times I'm sure where they would argue me to the death, not having the ONE toy they THINK they need. All that being said, let's face it, they get spoiled by friends and family! :) This year we're trying to cut back. I'm trying to get Grandma and Grandpa to cut back too. Not only because the spending is a little out of control, but also with so many things to open on Christmas morning, I think the meaning behind the gifts and the specialness of each gift gets overshadowed by opening the next. I'd like to concentrate more on the gift and giver, and the Gift and Giver. Shift the focus, but in a way that the kids won't buck the idea and will start ever slowly to open up to the idea of giving even more than they already do.

With the kids, I had seen a few blogs where the kids made homemade gifts for their siblings and I thought what a wonderful idea. They were a little more practical than a toy, time and thought went into each gift, and the kids really had a hand in them as they made each one. So this year that's what they're doing! They each have a great project that they are going to be making and as they do I'll post what they're making and pics of each so that if you'd like to duplicate any you can. They are going to be very inexpensive, but highly loved and treasured I think! And they're each very practical, useful gifts! (Well, maybe the olders a little more than Liam's, but his will still be great!)

I have NOT limited my parents (as they like to think!) BUT suggested that why not get a family type gift, a clothing type gift, and one special toy they really want. So, when over the summer I saw that a certain store had the Zh*u Zh*u pets on clearance, I suggested that was a great family gift that they were beginning to crave and that they could play together. They ended up purchasing each child (plus our unknown fourth child, just in case!) a hamster, an outfit, and a "set" that can be connected together to build a play "area" for them to share. Not long after, I was sharing with my mom my idea for getting the kids embroidered, monogrammed towels to hang in the bathroom and she jumped at the idea of getting those for the kids for Christmas saying she had had that idea also quite a while ago. I found a set I really liked and she got four (yes, I said four, I know I'm anal!) :) and they are AWESOME! They will also be giving each of the kids a toy that they each specifically wanted this year. I think they will be so focused on the special toy and the family gift that they will have so much fun!

While I know that many families choose not to "do Santa," we still do. I think they realize that he isn't our focus. They usually ask for ONE special thing and then Santa also gets a few small surprises to tuck under the tree. Santa is allowed to get a few gifts that they know mom wouldn't necessarily purchase! :) Like when Olivia was getting rid of all her Barbi*es, Santa still gave her a couple Han*nah Mon*tana ones. :) So Santa also took advantage of the sale going on with the Zh*u Zh*u's and got them a few more sets to go along with what Grandma and Grandpa are giving! They should play with that forever! (We can hope right!?)

All that to say I am so excited to share with you the gifts the kids are making one another! Hoping to get to one of them this weekend, but it's going to be hard not letting the other kids see, so we'll see how that will work...

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you