Sunday, January 31, 2010

Swap Not Shop

I officially have a new favorite way to get rid of unwanted clutter around my house. We had our very first Swap Not Shop Women's Event at church last night and it was a wonderfully fun success.
Let me start off by telling you that I am DEVASTATED that I have NO PICTURES to show you because one of my 'precious angels' accidentally DELETED ALL the pictures on my camera.
Completely, PERMANENTLY deleted.
As if that isn't bad enough, it had to happen 20 minutes before church this morning. I should have known then that it was going to be an AWESOME day of worship from start to finish because the enemy really knew how to get me off of my focus with that one!
Anyways, we set up about a dozen tables in the fellowship hall with different signs with clothing sizes and various categories such as toiletries, household decorations, jewelry/purses, books/magazines, shoes, baby/kid items, etc... As everyone arrived they got a numbered ticket and then we spent the first 15 minutes dividing up our goodies and categorizing them onto the different tables. After a time of praise and worship, we gave away a few door prizes and then had some refreshments. There was a wonderful spread of food ~ everyone brought their favorite snack or dessert. Then we called out 5 tickets at a time and let everyone have a chance to pick out their "first choice" item. Everyone was so cute running for their favorite goody that they had spotted while we were putting it out on the tables. Once everyone had gotten their first choice item it was a free for all! It was like a true treasure hunt ~ one woman's trash is another woman's treasure. The truth is, there really wasn't any trash there at all. Everybody's stuff was so nice! We had the most fun trying on each other's clothes~ it was like getting to go shopping with all of your best friends but not having to spend any money! The fun didn't stop there though, we also had two lovely ladies who provided free manicures and spa treatments for all the ladies. It was so fun seeing everybody at church today sporting thier "new" treasures.
I want to encourage anyone and everyone out there who reads this to host their very own Swap Not Shop Event too. This whole thing started with a few friends who were ready to clean out closets and pass on some hand me downs. We had so many friends that wanted to be a part of a swap, we decided to do an open invitation to the ladies of the church.
Not only did we all have a ball, but we have several boxes of leftover, unclaimed clothes that we are going to take to a women's shelter.
I told Brian I thought our little event even followed biblical principals about sharing all that we have as a community of believers.
In fact, I shared with the ladies the passage in Acts where Luke writes about how all the new believers shared all that they had with each other. Everything that they had they shared, others watched and liked what they say, and the Lord added to their number daily.
It makes me wonder...
Did the Lord add to their number because other's liked what they saw and they wanted to be a part of a group like that?
Did the Lord add to their number because they were obedient to what they were taught to do? In other words, their words and actions mirrored each other.
My conclusion is that it was both!
The world must see some difference in us. They are watching us all ~ all of the time. And I 'm not just talking about those of us who live in the "fish bowl" of ministry life. All of us who profess to be Christians have an audience of people who watch to see if our relationship with Christ really makes a difference in our day to day lives.
Does it make a difference in yours?
I want to encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to show you a way that you can demonstrate the love of the Lord with those in your community while also showing them we know how to have fun too! Maybe they will "like what they see" and the Lord might bless and "add to YOUR number daily."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snowball Fight

Okay, so we may not get real snow here, but since Jesus loves us "SNOW" much, we just HAD to have a snowball fight with all our friends at church!

Kids kept busy with 'Jesus loves me SNOW much' color sheets as an entrance activity.
Sweet and snuggly girls!
After sign language lessons, praise and worship time, and Bible study, it was time for our Florida Style Snowball Fight with cottonballs.
On your mark,
Get set,

I must say, after having had a REAL snowball fight before, this is a MUCH better alternative!
We're not wet or cold, these 'snowballs' don't hurt when they hit you, and the clean up is SO much easier!

The kids and the grown-ups in the Kids Klub Krewe had a ball!

Just look at these sweet faces!

We had an easy clean up by using the "snow" to stuff our snowman gloves.

Micah was a little too excited to blast me with his snowball!

Our faithful friends Scott and Stephanie who have come once a month for the past two years to give the children sign language lessons.

Everyone wore their warm winter wear to sport the SNOWMAN look.

We even made matching scarves last Wed. night in preparation for the snowball fight.
Even Brylee had a warm and snuggly cap made by her mom to wear to the snowball fight.
I can't wait till "SMILEY BRYLEE" is big enough to come to Kids Klub with her brother and sister.

All the children were WAY pumped when I told them they could all hit me with their best shot on the count of 3.
Note to self: Next time, close eyes and mouth.

Other fun activites this month included mini cupcake snowmen,

'we're all made unique and one of a kind' beaded snowflakes,

'Jesus warms my heart' cocoa cup missions give away,

and write your memory verse in SNOW (shaving cream)!
"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord"
Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you Lord, that the plans you have for my life include getting to teach these precious children about your grace and goodness!
The youth upstairs know how to have fun too!
Benjamin snuck downstairs to give me a scare when they were having CAMO night.
Who ever said Christians don't know how to have fun?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bon Fire

The youth group at church had a fabulous bonfire the other night. I had forgotten how much I love bonfires
No good bonfire would be complete without smores!

Micah experimented with lots of different roasting techniques to get the perfect marshmellow.
Mr. Robert was in charge of chaperoning all the furry friends.
Julie Ann kept a whole bag of marshmellows just for herself!
The boys skipped the fire and went right from the bag to the mouth

Kayleigh + Chocolate = Happiness

My favorite part of the night was singing praise songs with all those young people.
We had an incredible time sharing testimonies around the fire.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paw-ty Time!

As promised, we finally got to have Savanna' 11th birthday "PAW-TY" with all her little girlfriends! As I mentionioned in an earlier post, the Lord has been so gracious to bless our family with so many sweet friends. But that made it really hard for Savanna to come up with a guest list for her party! She finally settled on a GIRLS ONLY party for her 4th and 5th grade buddies. We had the SWEETEST group of girls gather at our house for a WEBKINZ party!
If you don't know what Webkinz are...I don't know what to tell you or how to break the news...but you are officially "out of it!" Because Webkinz is ALL THE CRAZE here and it has been for about the past 3 years! I'm sure that the novelty and excitement will eventually fade away(sort of like Beanie Babies a few years ago), but for now, it's popularity is RIDICULOUS!

Everyone brought their favorite Webkinz with them so we could make party hats, name collars, and clothes for our furry friends.
Silly Girls!
Funny Face Photos are a family favorite!
The cakes/cupcakes totally have the "made by your mama" kind of look, but Savanna loved it!
And in my book, that is all that counts!
I have always loved making the kids cakes and, so far, I haven't let my lack of skill stop me. After all, if we're honest, it's the taste that really matters anyway!
I loved Savanna's idea of having a Webinz party~ the only problem was, I really couldn't find any resources or paper products that go with the theme. So we had to put on our thinking caps and get a little creative. I found the Hefty Animals plates, cups, and plastic silverware. They have every kind of animal imaginable just like Webkinz.
For the snacks, we served some of the goodies in NEW and NEVER BEEN USED BY AN ANIMAL dog bowls. We dyed the nacho cheese green to make it "GREEN GUNK" just like the whammy prize on Webkinz world.

We made a party mix of a variety of snacks and called it "KIBBLES AND BITS", found the graham cracker Scooby bones, and made a batch of "MONKEY MUNCH" out of Chex mix, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter.
One of Savanna's friends helped in the making of the monkey munch. As we were getting all the ingredients out for the "munch" she said "I don't know what we're making, but I know it's bound to be good because everything looks so fattening!"
As the girls arrived, they began making the clothes for their Webkinz out of no-sew fleece, ribbon, and stick on gems. They were all so creative and unique! We may have a few fashion designers in training on our hands!
Mrs. Becky had to make a quick run home because the twins had forgotten to bring their Webkinz. She was too cute coming in with a whole arm full ~ not sure which one they wanted.
After getting their Webkinz all decorated, they each got a box to decorate as a room for their furry friend.
Mom sewed little beds for them to stuff with fleece, they had battery operated candles that they made paper lampshades for to make a lamp, they got a tiny food dish filled with bone shaped candy, animal print paper to make into carpet, and a variety of foam stickers to decorate the walls.
We found the most adorable little wooden dressers and cabinets that they decorated with markers. Again, their creativity was amazing!

Then we busted out the foam noodles so they could create anything they wanted. If you have never seen these, you MUST get them for your kids right away! They are so awesome! All you do is take the brightly colored foam pieces, that look like a combination of brightly colored styrofoam peanuts and cheetos, tap them onto a damp sponge, and then the foam pieces stick together. The girls made chairs, tables, picture frames, crosses, etc... to decorate their Webkinz rooms. My mom and Brian's mom had as much fun with the kids with these things. I am telling you, these things are from the future!
{just in case you're wondering, I get them at JoAnn's ~ only $6 for a ginormous bag}

Then came cake time!
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Savanna,
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You,
Only ONE will NOT DO!
Ask CHRIST as your Savior,
And then you'll have TWO!

Girlfriend got the giggles half-way through the song.

It only took three tries, but she eventually blew them all out :)
I included this pic just to prove that Brian and Micah were actually at the party. Brian took over with the camera for me since my hands were so busy with lots of crafting projects. Micah loves Webkinz, but there were just too many girls in one room for him. He spent most of the party avoiding "girl germs".
Snack time...
...then present time!
Her friends know her well and gifted her with all kinds of cool jewelry, littlest pet shop, purses, nail polish sets, clothes, shoes, and OF COURSE~ four new Webkinz! I must say, I was very proud of how excited and appreciative she was with her new gifts. It made my heart happy to see her sporting such good manners.
Uncle Brad helped Micah hide from the girls by keeping him happy playing football in the yard.
Wag your tails and wiggle your ears...
we had a wonderful Webkinz party!