I hope that everyone had a great CHRISTmas. Typically we hold a huge get together at our house, but since we moved there isn't anyone that could come here. Since we went to Charlotte for Thanksgiving we just decided to stay home & have a smaller, more intimate celebration. We also had the opportunity to volunteer, which we had been talking about for years.
We showed up to volunteer headquarters around 10:30am on Christmas Eve & the meals were being delivered. We had to sort them out by location, put them in boxes, & load up the cars. We would be heading to Solomon Towers which was about 20 minutes away. It is mainly housing for lower income residents. The kids were really excited to help which was so amazing. They both jumped right in. I remember that when I was little I would feel uncomfortable around people with disabilities, seniors, or even a homeless person. My mom worked in nursing homes & other healthcare facilities so I saw people with needs often, but I don't think I was ever made to feel comfortable & safe around them. I was just thrown in there so to speak. I expected my kids to be this way at first but I was wrong. Ally stood back a little bit more but that is her personality. She is a little more shy. Brandon on the other hand distributed the majority of the meals. He jumped right in there. Nothing seemed to bother him. He was so helpful that it brought Adam & I to tears. Here are a few photos....
I can't even tell you how rewarding it was to help out. Everyone was thanking us, but I was thanking them. I look forward to continuing this tradition & doing more volunteer work each month. All that I did was a Google search in my town to see where there was a need. If you have never taken a few hours to volunteer, you should give it a try. Let your kids get involved too. It will be just as rewarding for them. Not mention how a child's smile could brighten a less fortunate person's day. All of those men & women love the kids. It was such a blessing.
After we were done we went down to the river to take a few photos. Here are a few of them....
Christmas Day was just the four of us & we invited Mike. Cooking was a breeze for 5 people & so was the cleanup. Woo hoo! We each chose on thing that we wanted & we had three desserts. As many of you saw from my Twitter comments, the chocolate pie won hands down. It was to die for! It was super simple & I can't wait for a special occasion so that we can have it again.
The kids loved their gifts of clothing & didn't complain at all that they didn't get toys. Brandon spent his gift cards on games at Game Stop & Allyson spend her money at Claire's. We were in Claire's for over an hour, the day after Christmas. What a nightmare. But, they are both happy & that is all that matters. Here are a few photos from Christmas Day.....
You can see all 100+ photos that we took over the Christmas holiday on my Facebook page. Just click HERE.
So this year, for many reasons, Adam & I decided not to get gifts. Well, I decided that he shouldn't get me one. That is because I had already bought something for him that he REALLY needed. His laptop was broken & he had been using it with a severely broken screen. He would have to move the windows around to see at all. It was like looking through broken glass. We can't afford a new one so I found a refurbished corporate laptop on Ebay for $225 including shipping. I couldn't believe it. Now instead of it taking an hour to return an email he can actually be more productive. Time is money & he needs it for his business. We were missing out on a ton of extra time with him because his computer was slowing him down. So, I begged him to please not get me anything. I felt that I already had everything that I wanted this year. Our marriage is solid & that is all that I could have hoped for just 6 months ago.
I am so excited to share what Adam came up with. He wasn't going to let not having money stop him from giving me something. I received 9 envelopes. Each coupon had a special gift for me. There was a note that explained that he wanted to spend less money on a few gifts & spend a lot of energy towards a lot of gifts. He also explained that I would find more gifts over time. How awesome is this man? I am so lucky & so blessed. And I know it!
Here are what they said:
2 free bathroom cleanings from Adam "Mr. Clean" Freeman
2 free massages (from Adam, not a massage place) from Adam "Helga" Freeman
1 free Monopoly night from Adam "Already Lost" Freeman (He HATES Monopoly)
1 free 80's movie night from Adam "The Buster" Freeman (I love the 80's)
12 free Starbucks trips from Adam "The Venti Lover" Freeman (He will literally go for me)
2 free blank coupons for the kids from Adam "Your Choice" Freeman (I can ask him to take the kids or anything that I need regarding the kids)
2 free pampering days from Adam "I can't say" Freeman
1 free weekend escape to Jennifer's from Adam "Bejeweled Master" Freeman (First, the Bejeweled Master is his self proclaimed title. Ok, he deserves it. Second, this is a cool coupon. I hate to use it though & leave him.)
I am so excited to see what else Adam has in store. He is so creative. I only wish that I could come up with the stuff that he does. I hope that all of you stayed off the crazy cycle over the holidays. I know it can be a challenge with so many family members around, rushing, presents, cooking, driving, etc. Tomorrow I am looking forward to posting on time & back on our "normal" topics. I hope that you all enjoyed hearing about our holiday.
Day Eighteen -
"You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy....Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Psalms 16:11a; 144:15b)
"A merry heart does good like medicine..." (Proverbs 17:22a)
It's hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.
Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a "little boy" that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?
This is a wonderful part of who he is, & a great strength. Let him know that you appreciate his joyfulness & his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.
If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress & relax.
Day Eighteen Prayer -
Pray that your husband will have a balanced life - that he will balance work & play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work & church. (Luke 2:52; Proverbs 13:15)