Day 5 of the abridged 12 days of Christmas: Serving!

We headed to Feed My Starving Children to make food packs for children. One in five children in the world die from starvation. FMSC sends manna food packs (vitamin, dried veggie, rice, soy nugget mix) to many countries where food is scarce. How fun this will be to help! We are ready!

We showed up, and guess who was there? Shannon and her girls, Riley and Vivian.

We were assigned station one, and we each had a duty. Tot scooped vitamins and dried veggies; Vivi and Riley scooped the rice and nuggets; Doug and I weighed and packed; Shannon sealed! We were an efficient team.

How cute we look with our lovely hair!

After we finished, we prayed over the Manna packs, and learned how many children we would feed/save.

We can’t wait to go back.

Teaching the HOW and WHY of a Quiet Time with God

I came upon this website:, and I fell in love with the MOM who created all of these products. She is a homeschooling mom who has created Bible studies and tools for families and young minds to get into the Word and grow in Christ.

So, I bought.

We got the first batch:

Tatum and I would start our new habits. She will be having a devotion/ quiet time on her own, but for the first week, we’d do it together to get into the habit.

She has her cards set up at her desk

We start with the acronym, GROWS. She had a formula on how to start the QT:
Greet God

Read and Respond (we are doing a Bible study on HABITS and Developing a QT)….so we are digging into the Word.

Open Hearted Prayer: Let’s pray with the ACTS formula now: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

Worship: We skipped this…but just sing a bit or listen to a song.

Scripture Memory: We are memorizing Luke 6:27-31

It is so much fun to do this with her and empower her to grow in her relationship with God.

She truly is GROWING! Love this.

With Llama!

I love you, Tatum. Investing in time with God is the best use of your time.

Our annual 12 days of Christmas 2021

This year, we would do limited service days since I had surgery right before Christmas. So, it would look like this: So, this year it’s 7 or so…days of Christmas!

Day 1 we did already!

Day 2: Tot made a card for Vera. She is a lovely lady who we see every week at church (she serves/greets) with us. Tatum and Vera have become very close, and she just adores Tot. We wanted to bless her, so Tatum sent her some fun pics and notes.

Then, if my cup could not be more full, Daddy and Tatum disappeared before dinner and made me a card (since I had surgery!)

And Daddy’s

We are a grateful family!

Now, Day 3, we’d deliver cookies to our neighbor, Justin.

And I made a TON of shortbread for my mom!

He is BORN! Merry Christmas 2021

Where did the year go? Well, I will tell you I am overjoyed that Christmas was quiet this year and there was not a lot of pre-pomp and circumstance. Just mellow and MEANINGFUL!
First, we celebrated Advent this year properly. Each day, we made it real with our Advent Blocks.

Emmanuel! God With US! And the ending message? The star is HERE! Now, go and tell.

Let’s be a light.

Ok, now did Santa come? We still like to celebrate the meaning of what St. Nick stands for. Generosity, sacrifice, and kindness. Looks like he enjoyed the cookies!

Now, we have a few hours before mom would come, so as tradition, she gets to open one gift before breakfast. This morning, before our little walk. Mr. Sketchers smelly crayons!

and now our “ADVENT”ure! Lil walk in the 52 degree weather.

Perfectly wonderful. Crisp, not too cold, and refreshing. We got back in time for me to get the waffles and such ready for mom!

And she came just in time for us to have our coffee and top our fruit with an overwhelming amount of whipped cream. Makes every meal better, right?

Beautiful mama. WE love you so much. Coopy can’t get enough of you too.

Ok, let’s manga!

Tot told us stories at the table of Baby Jesus. And, she made her food more fun. Why not!?

So nice to just enjoy each other. Of course we know what happens next? Hmm….what do you think!?

Let’s celebrate now. Who will be first? Mama. Blog book and planner for her!

And she got some lovely stuff from Connie….and Tot loves to spoil her!

And vice versa! Tot LOVES her Grandmama so much.

A Tree of Life Charm! And Tatum gave her a mini-Bible. (I got her a bunch of them to give away).

Now, Daddy!? How can we love on you!
The Cardinal tweets to say “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!”

Tatum gave him a magnetic flashlight tool. It’s magnetic like him, and it lights up like he does for us. (and sheds light on things…like he does for us too!)

I got him an engraved wallet so every time it opens, he knows how cherished he is!

Mom got him a Ruth Chris Gift card for us to go out and have a date. Hooray!

Now, the Tot. Well, let’s just say she got lots of fun little things this year. More for her set.

The sweetest charm bracelet from mama.

Marker maker! Now that looks fun!

She got many more little things, but she was more interested in what she gave. Like for Coopy. This little piggy…..went to…..Never never land of squeaking again after he got a hold of him!

Now, Tot? She spoiled me. Yes, the MOMY. (?)

Charms, feet warmer (for my Montana trip…and a few little notes)

The joy.

Oh, and Daddy got me an immersion blender! Now, I am loving this…romantic, yes, because I make so many foods that make him swoon! Mama warmed my feet too.

Before dinner…. Isn’t he cute?

Later, we would have Austin over. He’s like Santa Claus…bearing MANY gifts and a lovely smile. Coopy is even warming up to him!

First, din.din. Turkey and the fixins’!

I worried that I didn’t have enough food, but we did! Thank you, Jesus!

Happy bellies was my goal.

Now Tatum shared the story of the candy cane! (taken from this website)

  • Shepherd’s Staff: He chose to make the candy cane in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. After all, Jesus is the shepherd to his followers and the Bible notes that the “sheep” would hear His voice and follow him (Psalm 23:1, John 10:11, John 10:27-30, Isaiah 40:11).
  • The Letter J for Jesus:Not only was the candy cane in the shape of a staff, but when held upside down, it formed a “J,” which stood for Jesus (Luke 1:31, Matthew 1:21).
  • He is A Rock: The candy maker chose hard candy for the candy cane, which was done to remind children that Jesus was our “rock,” dependable and strong (Psalm 31:3).
  • By His Stripes: Wide red stripes were added to the candy cane, representative of the crucifixion and the blood Jesus shed for our sins.
  • Red-His Shed Blood: Through his blood, we are given salvation and life (Revelation 1:5, John 3:16, Luke 22:20).
  • White-Purification from Sin: There are also white stripes on the candy cane, which represents the holiness, and purity of Jesus, who was sinless (I John 1:7).
  • Sweet Fragrance of Christ: Peppermint was the flavor that the candy maker chose for the candy cane. Peppermint was very similar to hyssop, which was used for sacrifice and purification in the Old Testament, reminding us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It also reminds us of the spices brought by the Wise Men when they came to visit Jesus (Psalm 51:7, John 10:29, Matthew 2:11).
  • Broken For Us: Of course, when the candy cane is eaten, it is often broken, which the candy maker meant as a reminder that when Jesus was crucified, his body was broken (I Cor. 11:24).
  • Love of Christ: The candy cane was also made to be given as a gift, representing the love of Jesus when he gave us the gift of salvation.

Ok, Austin! Here we go!

OH they are so cuuuuute!

We gave A many gift cards…food, clothes….etc. Daddy wasn’t sure about this gift.

And…I just love the boy. Gardening tools! I CANNOT WAIT

And to Daddy a……

What!? a gun? NOPE.

So needed. Blow those leaves away, Baby! (not Cooper).

And Tot got one more gift. Michelangelo. (no not the painting).

And so..another Christmas. My family together is the best present besides that BABY in a manger. The HOPE of the world.

I love you Hays. (and Mama) so much.

New Friends and Making Markers

The day after Christmas. It would be a day of color and friends! First, Tot and I made the markers from her Christmas present.

Measure, mix, snap and pop! Color! This is the coolest thing.

Did it work!?

It sure did!

Colorful and fun.

Well, after this, her new friend Ian came over. They were so cute playing Headbanz.

Peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.

It was a great day!

Goodbye to some parts of Stephanie!

Today would be a special day. I’m having a laparoscopic hysterectomy which means small incisions in my tummy and sides to remove my uterus, cervyx, and Fallopian tubes. I wanted to do it during the holidays so I could recover with Tot and Daddy around.

Prepping for the surgery was no bueno with the enema and magnesium drink. It cleaned me out for sure as I was up all night running…no sprinting to the you know what.

BUT, I was ready in the AM to go! Tatum got up before us and turned on all of the Christmas trees

to make it cheery. She also read me some books.

AND Daddy made the coffee. COOPY?

He was under me just waiting to be pet.

Off we went to arrive at 7:30am. Tatum had to wait in the car since they only let one of us in. SAD. But she kept my pic (This one)

And gave me a tearful hug. Oh just love that girl.

When I got in, they scolded me (many times over) for the coffee. I promised it had no cream and I only had a sip! They were all so friendly however. All the nurses made me feel so comfortable. 10am my surgery began and by 11:30, I was finished. They let me go home instead of staying overnight! HALLELUIA!

When I got home, I was SOOOO filled with gas and inflamed. I couldn’t release the gas, so I was VERY miserable that first night. But, guess what? I slept wonderfully and released the gas in the morning. I am now writing this the next day and feeling just a teeny sore. That is all! I even went to the store in the morning with TOT!

I took all my supplements this morning PLUS these:

And guess what!? It helped so much. I am immensely grateful for Tatum and Daddy. They made me feel so special, loved and adored. I even had a movement today!
So many friends also reached out and sent love. WOW. I’m so grateful. Holy Spirit, thank you for filing me with your power and love.