Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year in Review

 A Year in Review 
Here are some of the highlights from 2018 

- TWIN GIRLS, Evelyn Rose & Zoey Faith, born on June 23rd. 
- Moving to Hong Kong. Celebrating 12 years of marriage. 
- God's provision as we moved to Hong Kong. 
- Opportunity to homeschool with Olivia and Sophie. 
- Fun visits with family and friends before moving to Hong Kong. 
- God's protect during Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
- Unending love and support from family and friends all year long.


Our Growing Girls

Olivia loves reading and she always has her nose stuck in a book!! I (Jen) could not have made it through this year without Olivia (and Sophie) by my side. Olivia has lovingly helped hold and feed babies, which allowed me to pack or unpack suitcases and boxes. I am so thankful for her sweet spirit and her willingness to help.

Sophie is such a sweet girl!! Honestly, I think she is going to be a nurse or a doctor, because she loves to take care of other people. On modified bedrest, she was willing to rub my legs and bring me dinner when I was too tired to get up to get it myself. I'm humbled by the love and compassion that pours from her heart.

Matilda has been such a trooper with all the changes that have taken place this year. New babies. New country. She is adventurous and loves to ride the double decker buses here in Hong Kong. However, she is timid and shy, so being in a new country with lots of attention has been overwhelming for her at times.

Evelyn and Zoey are already 6 months old!! Evelyn's a snuggle bug, because after everyone else goes to bed she stays awake for extra cuddles. Zoey wants to be one of the big girls. She is already crawling. Honestly, once Zoey puts her mind to something, there is no changing her mind.


Praise and Prayer Requests

Praise that Jon has completed his first round of training and officially has his license to fly in Hong Kong with an A320 type!!

Praise that Jon and Jen celebrated their 12th anniversary.

Praise for unending love and support from our family and friends as we obediently embarked on this new adventure the Lord put before us.

Pray for Jen's Mom, Carol Bartholomew, who is battling breast cancer and has a lumpectomy on January 15, 2019.

Pray that we would be able to sell our van that is in Texas.

Pray that God would continue to provide for us financially.

Pray for Jen as she struggles with postpartum depression and homesickness.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Getting Back On Track After The Holidays

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Our first Christmas in Hong Kong was peaceful and relaxing, which is exactly what our family needed. We got to FaceTime with family and friends. We played games and had fun building the girls' new LEGOS. The twins new ball, playpen has also been a hit with the whole family. The older girls would rather play in the playpen than with their own toys. I'm so glad that they have been having fun and enjoying their new gifts. Overall, we’ve had a great week celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus.

Honestly, I find it very difficult to make myself a priority during the holiday season.

Am I the only one!? 

I feel like ever since Thanksgiving, something shifted in my brain. For weeks, I’ve been in holiday mode. I’ve been busy taking care of everyone else and getting ready for the holidays, that unfortunately I have not made much time to take care of myself. As a result, my healthy eating habits have suffered and I’ve just eaten whatever was quick and easy, like sweet snacks or treats. Not to mention, I’ve been emotional eating, because I miss my family and friends back in the USA.

Has anyone else experienced a similar struggle?

Now that your family and friends have gone home, it’s time to begin to make yourself a priority again!! That’s right, you don’t have to wait until January 1st to begin to make healthy choices again. I am looking forward to transitioning out of holiday mode and back into our regular routine.  

Here are some of the things I do to quickly get back on track, following a holiday or any other occasion that has caused me to fall off the wagon.

Tips To Get Back On Track

1. Forgive yourself. 
This is so important. Please don't skip this step. Your holidays might not have gone anything like you planned. Whether it was good or bad, you must forgive yourself for everything that has taken place over the past few weeks (or months). Guilt and shame don’t help anything! Truly forgive yourself and move on.

2. Pray for God’s help.
I have never been able to accomplish my weight loss goals without God by my side. Spend time in prayer asking God to help you make healthy choices. Ask Him to give you the strength you need to say no to the food that isn't good for you. God will hear your prayers and He wants to be your source of strength on this journey.

3. Throw away the junk.
Go through your house and throw or give away anything that isn't good for you. I know you're going to say I am wasteful, but it's better to put these foods into the garage than in your body. Purging your house of the sugar and treats that you can't stop thinking about, will leave room for you to fill up your cupboards with healthier snacks.

4. Meal plan. 
One way to get on track is to plan out your meals in advance. This will ensure that you have healthy food options for you to eat. I wrote a whole blog post about this, so check out my "Holiday Meal Planning" post for additional meal planning tips.

5. Find accountability. 
Tell your family and friends that you are getting back on track and ask them to help you on this journey. Ask them for their support and to help you say no to unhealthy foods.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Reflection of 2018 - God is Faithful

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”" 
- Lamentations 3:22-24

Greetings from Hong Kong!!

What an incredible year it has been. As a look back over this year, it has truly been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. This year, we were on a roller coaster, that just never seemed to end.

Being surprised by a twin pregnancy. Spending 7 weeks on bedrest to ensure that I was healthy enough to have the twins at home. Twin girls, Evelyn and Zoey born at home. Jon's dream job offer in Hong Kong. My Mom receiving her breast cancer diagnosis, just a month or so before we were set to move across the world. Saying Goodbye to family and friends as we prepared to leave on our new adventure. Arriving in Hong Kong. Setting up our new home. Culture shock. Excitement over years of answered prayers. Super Typhoon Mangkhut. Homesickness. Anxiety. Postpartum depression. Jon traveling. Loneliness.

At the beginning of 2018, I picked my word for the year. Do you want to know what I chose?


At the time, I thought it was more about me being faithful in every area of my life. I thought I needed to be faithful to be a good Christian, a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter, a good sister, and faithfully do all things that good Christian woman is supposed to do. Like read my Bible, go to church, homeschool my kids, meal plan, make healthy meals for my family, clean my house, and stay on budget.

 However, throughout this year God has showed me that my 2018 word of the year had nothing at all to do with me! This year, was never about me being faithful in my own strength. It was about sitting back and watching God display His faithfulness in every single area of my life. The good, the bad, and the ugly!!

I am here to testify that I have been struggling, overwhelmed, resentful, angry, joyful, happy, and sad. Above it all, regardless of how I am feeling on any given day, God has been faithful!! And He will continue to be faithful, because that's who He is.

I am so thankful for God's goodness to us this year!! And always.

No matter what you faced this year or what's coming up in 2019, don't forget that the Lord is with you and He will NEVER leave you.


Reckless Love
By, Cory Asbury

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Blogmas Series: Merry Christmas!!

Wishing you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
- Luke 2:14 

We are praising God for all that He has done in our family this year. This will truly be a Christmas we will never forget, as we spend it with the twins at our new home in Hong Kong. All year long, it's been amazing to watch God display His faithfulness to our family over and over again.

We are so thankful for all of your love and support throughout this past year.
We hope and pray that you have a blessed Christmas with your friends and family.  

Sending our love from Hong Kong,
The Newsham Family

Friday, December 21, 2018

Blogmas Series: Christmas Morning, Banana Bread

Several years ago, someone told me how their Mom would prepare all the food that they would eat on Christmas Day before Christmas, so that when Christmas came she would enjoy the holiday instead of being stuck in the kitchen all day. I thought that was an amazing idea!! Right away, I began to apply this idea in my own family.

When it comes to Christmas Day, I prepare everything in advance!! This way I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off and missing out on quality time with my family. What this means is that, I make sure to wrap my Christmas presents early. Also, in the days leading up to Christmas, another huge undertaking for me is to prepare the majority of our Christmas meal.

I'm so happy to report, this change in our routine has been working well for me and my family.

As far as Christmas morning breakfast goes...

If I have been too busy to prepare in advance homemade cinnamon rolls or something else delicious for Christmas morning, then my go-to option for our Christmas breakfast is always something that I can put in my crockpot. Most years, I have made a breakfast casserole and put it in my crockpot the evening of Christmas Eve. Then I let it cook overnight, so it is ready for us to eat on Christmas morning.

I just love waking up to the smell of breakfast on Christmas morning!!

I am thankful that we started this tradition in our home especially, now that we live in Hong Kong and I don't have an oven in my kitchen. That being said, for Christmas morning my plan is to make make Banana Bread recipe (see below) and put it in the crockpot. Let it cook overnight, so that in the morning we have a delicious breakfast waiting for us.

When we first arrived in Hong Kong, I made this Banana Bread recipe in the crockpot and it worked!! I can't wait to make it again for my family.

Below, I have included my husband's favorite Better Homes and Garden Banana Bread recipe. Most of the time, for his sake I add chocolate chips as well. I try not to add too many, because I have one kiddo that doesn't like chocolate very much.

What does your family enjoy eating for breakfast on Christmas morning?


Banana Bread
by, Better Homes and Garden

2 Cups all - purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
5 mashed ripe bananas
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup oil or melted butter, or margarine
1 Cup chocolate chips (optional)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch pan; set aside
- In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside
- In medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil
- Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture
- Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy)
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Spoon batter into prepared pan
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean
- (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning)
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes
- Remove from pan
- Cool completely on rack
- Wrap, store overnight before slicing

Optional: Streusel-Nut Topping. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Blogmas Series: Christmas Poems

Taking a break from my regularly scheduled blogmas posts, in order to share with you some holiday poems.

This Christmas season is such a special time to remember the true reason for this season, Jesus. In honor of this holiday season, I wanted to share with you some precious Christmas poems that I found. Sometimes it can be challenging to articulate my feelings. However, these poems put words together in the most beautiful way!

I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have, since I found them.


Love Came Down at Christmas 
By, Christina Georgina Rossetti

 Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.

 Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?

 Love shall be our token,
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.


Once Upon a Christmas Time
By, Dona M. Maroney

Once upon a Christmastime
The angels sang with joy,
To herald the comming
Of a precious Baby Boy.
Their shouting filled the heavens
And shook the mighty earth,
And sent the shepherds searching
For the place of His glorious birth. 
And when they found the manger
And gazed upon His face,
They knelt in adoration
In that low and holy place.
Oh, Father, fill me with the love
That filled the earth that night, 
A love that reaches throughout the world,
And fills it with Your light.


The True Meaning of Christmas
By, Unknown

Far away in Bethlehem, a Baby Boy was born; 
Born with neither riches nor with fame, 
Yet Wise Men came from all around to bring to Him their gifts, 
And peace was felt by all who heard His name. 

Angels watched Him as He slept, 
and gently rocked His bed; 
Their voices singing softly in His ear; 
His Mother and His Father both gave thanks to God above 
For the greatest gift of all, their Son, so dear 

They knew His life upon this earth 
would not be filled with wealth, 
They also knew He would encounter strict; 
But most of all, they knew that He would be a loving Child, 
And teach the Love of God throughout His life. 

 At Christmas, as we celebrate 
this Birth of Jesus Christ, 
Let’s keep in mind the truth of Christmas Day; 
For it’s not the Christmas wrapping, 
nor the gifts that lie within, 
But our gift of love to others in every way…

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blogmas Series: Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids

Christmas stockings are so much fun!!

Growing up, my Mom would always fill our stockings with fun toys and goodies. Many years, when my Dad was working on Christmas Dady, we would be allowed to open our stocking before Dad got home. However, the rest of the presents had to wait until my Dad got off work and made it back to the house, before we could open everything else. Maybe that's why I like stockings so much, because I always knew that I would be able to open my stocking right away on Christmas morning.

I have continued the stocking tradition with our own kids and it's fun to find different things to put in their stockings. Additionally, I am trying to move away from filling their stockings with just candy.

Is it really Christmas without candy in your stocking?

I don't know.

Regardless, I'm trying to move away from a lot of candy in each stocking to a stocking filled with other items that I know that my girls will enjoy. Such as stickers, notepads, hair clips, and so much more!!

Scroll down, for a complete list of "Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids". One of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas are Bandaids. I don't know about you, but my kids love bandaids and I never seem to have enough of them. My girls would love it if I got each of them their own box of bandaids to use when they get hurt or have a boo-boo.

Does your family do Christmas stockings? If so, what are your favorite things to buy and put in your kids stockings? 


Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids
Bath Bombs
Bath Crayons
Bath Paint
Coloring Books
Fidget Spinners
Fun Soaps
Gift Cards
Glue Sticks
Hair Brush
Hair Clips 
Lip Gloss
Matchbox Cars 
Mini LEGO sets 
Nail Polishes 
Phone Chargers 
Play Dough
Small Books 
Small Toys 
Stuffed Animals 
Trail Mix

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Blogmas Series: Favorite Christmas Songs

I’m not ashamed to admit that I listen to Christmas music year round. What can I say!? I even had Christmas songs on my labor and delivery playlists for Matilda’s birth in October, as well as Evelyn and Zoey’s births in June.

In the past, at our church, Jon and I have also been apart of both adult and children’s Christmas musical programs. I love listening to so many of these old songs, because it brings back sweet memories from time spent with some of our dearest friends. We enjoy these songs so much, now we’ve even begun to pass them down to our own kids. Our girls like listening to the Christmas songs as much as I do.

I created a YouTube playlist, with 25 of my favorite Christmas songs. Additionally, I also included a list of my favorite Christmas songs in alphabetical order. I like so many Christmas songs and albums that it was hard to narrow my list down to just my top favorites. However, I did my best!!

If I had to chose my very favorite Christmas album of all time, it would be "Christmas in Diverse City" by TobyMac. This is just such a good album and honestly, I never get tired of listening to these songs. Sometimes life is just hard, so we use these songs to have spontaneous family dance parties. My girls like this so much that they will request their favorite song if I haven't already played it. For that reason, TobyMac's new Christmas album, "Light of Christmas" is growing on me, so it's probably safe to say that any Christmas album put out by TobyMac are my favorite.

I hope you enjoy my playlist!!

Click here to listen to my Favorite Christmas Songs playlist on YouTube.


My 25 Favorite Christmas Songs 
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” by, Mariah Carey 
“Ava Maria” by, Michael Buble 
“Blue Christmas” by, Elvis Presley & Martina McBride 
“Breath Of Heaven” by, Amy Grant 
“Carol Of The Bells/What Child Is This?” by, Point of Grace 
“Christmas Cannon” by, Trans-Siberian Orchestra 
“Christmas Day” by, Michael W Smith 
“Christmas This Year” by, TobyMac 
“Hallelujah” by, Barlow Girl 
“I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” by, Casting Crowns 
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by, Elvis Presley & Carrie Underwood 
“Joseph’s Lullaby” by, MercyMe 
“Light Of Christmas” by, TobyMac 
 “Light Of The World” by, Lauren Daigle 
“Little Drummer Boy” by, Josh Groban 
“Mary Did You Know” by, Pentatonix 
“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by, NSYNC 
 “Noel” by, Chris Tomlin featuring Lauren Daigle 
“Somebody’s Angel” by, Mandisa 
“The First Noel” by, TobyMac 
“The Heart Of Christmas” by Matthew West 
“We Three Kings” by, Tenth Avenue North 
“Where Are You Christmas?” by, Faith Hill 
“Wrap This One Up” by, Christy Nockels 
“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by, Lindsey Stirling

Monday, December 17, 2018

Blogmas Series: The 12 Dates of Christmas

Today, Jon and I celebrate 12 years of marriage!!!! I can’t believe we’ve been married for 12 years. I remember when we first got married, we have friends who had been married for 4 or 5 years and I thought that was a long time. Now we’ve been married for more than double that amount of time.

I am truly thankful.

Being married to Jon has been the greatest blessings of my life. Our marriage isn’t perfect and takes a lot of hard work. Only with the Lord in our lives, have we made it this far.

For sometime now, marriages have been under fire. I feel like Godly Christian marriages are satan’s #1 target right now. That being said, please pray for your family and friends who are married. Pray that God would strengthen their marriage and bring reconciliation even it looks hopeless. Additionally, if you think about it, please keep us in your prayers. We need the Lord’s help as we navigate living in a foreign country and raising 5 little ones.

In honor of our 12th anniversary, I’m going to share with you “The 12 Dates of Christmas”. I compiled a list of holiday date ideas. I have included some at home date ideas and a few ideas that will get you both out of the house.

With five kids (including 2 5-month olds), we have had to be creative when it comes to date night. Right now most of our date nights are at home, which have included takeout and watching our favorite movie or tv show. We also like playing board games and working on puzzles together.

What are some of your favorite date night ideas?

Other date night ideas check out The Dating Divas website and My "Love & Marriage" Pinterest board.


The 12 Dates of Christmas
1. Go ice skating. 
2. Have a Christmas movie night. 
3. Go see Zoo lights.
4. Order takeout and eat by candlelight at home. 
5. Choose a child’s name from a wish list and go shopping to find a toy to make the season for a child.
6. Have a game night.
7. Get dressed up and go on a fancy date downtown. 
8. Bake holiday goodies and bring them to your neighbors. 
9. Drive around look at Christmas lights. 
10. Look at your wedding photos. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Blogmas Series: Christmas Trivia

When my family gets together for the holidays, other than a White Elephant Gift Exchange, we love to play games. In recent years, we’ve really gotten into playing trivia games when we get together for the holidays.

Our trivia game is super informal and consists of one of my siblings reading trivia questions off of their phone, that they found on Google. We’ve answered all kinds of trivia questions!! Additionally, we've created “Top 10” or “Top 5” lists, such as the “Top 5 Highest Grossing Movies of all Time”. Then we work together to figure out the answers in the correct order.

These trivia nights are so much fun!!

I have such found memories of trying to come up with the ultimate top 10 list that might stump my husband and brothers-in-law, which is virtually impossible, because they seem to know everything. Seriously, if we played boys verses girls, they would always win.

Have you ever had trivia game nights!? If not, you should consider doing a trivia night this holiday season. Below I’ve included how we play our trivia game, for those of you who are thinking about hosting your own “Christmas Trivia Game Night”. Just for fun! Here’s a bit of Christmas trivia to get you started too.

How to Play: The Christmas Trivia Game 
*Two ways to play. As one big group or spilt into groups.* 

1. Pick teams. Boys vs. girls is always fun. 
2. Choose someone from each team to read the trivia questions for you.
3. If you want, keep score. Whichever team answers the most questions correctly wins!! 

Variations: Top 10 lists. Created “Top 10” or “Top 5” lists, such as the “Top 5 Highest Grossing Movies of all Time”. Then work together to figure out the answers in the correct order. 

Be sure to check out Pinterest for other trivia game night ideas, especially if you want a printable trivia game that you can print out before your game night.


25 Christmas Trivia Questions
1. Name the eight original Reindeer.
2. In which direction should you stir mincemeat for good luck; clockwise or anti-clockwise?
3. When was the first Christmas card sent? Who designed it?
4. What is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time?
5. What is the most popular tree topper?
6. Which was the last US state to declare an official holiday for Christmas?
7. Where did the Nativity take place?
8. According to the song, what did my true love give to me on the seventh day of Christmas?
9. Which country is Eggnog said to have originated from?
10. What color are the berries of the mistletoe plant?
11. What American President banned Christmas trees in the White House?
12. What Christmas decoration was originally made from strands of silver?
13. Name the animatronic cassette-playing bear toy that every kid wanted for Christmas in the mid 80s.
14. What Christmas word means "turning of the sun"?
15. What does Alvin want for Christmas?
16. What airport was taken over on Christmas Eve by terrorists in the film Die Hard?
17. How many gifts would you receive if you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"?
18. Which country did the gingerbread house come from?
19. What did Frosty the Snowman have for a nose?
20. What is Dr. Suess's real name?
21. Which reindeer is Rudolph's Dad?
22. In which author's novel is it "always winter but never Christmas"?
23. What Christmas food is made from "marsh-whorts"?
24. Which ocean is Christmas Island in?
25. What is the name of the rabbit in the magic hat in Frosty the Snowman?

Top 5 Highest Grossing Christmas Movies (in order from highest to lowest)


Trivia Answers
1. Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Dancer, and Donner
2. Clockwise
The first Christmas card was sent in 1843 and was designed by John Horsley. 3.
4. White Christmas
5. Angel
6. Oklahoma
7. Bethlehem
8. Seven swans a-swimming
9. England
10. White
11. Theodore Roosevelt
12. Tinsel
13. Teddy Ruxpin.
14. Yuletide
15. A hula-hoop
16. Dulles International Airport, Washington D.C.
17. 364
18. Germany
19. A button
20. Theodor Geisel
21. Donner
22. C.S. Lewis
23. Cranberry Sauce
24. Indian Ocean
25. Hocus Pocus

1. Home Alone (1990). 2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). 3. The Polar Express (2004).
4. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). 5. Elf (2003).

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Blogmas: Visiting Sham Shui Po (“Toy Street”)

Last weekend, my friend invited me to go with her to Sham Shui Po aka “Toy Street” in Downtown Hong Kong. It is about an hour long bus ride from where we live. I couldn’t wait to finish my Christmas shopping, without my kids in tow.

First, we went out for dim sum for lunch before hitting up Toy Street. Just as a side note, the dim sum restaurant was delicious. There wasn't anything I tried that I did not like. Hands down, my absolute favorite was the BBQ Pork Bun. As soon as I took a bite of it all I could say was, "Wow! Wow!" It was just that amazing!!

As we walk down the street to Sham Shui Po, from a distance it didn’t look like much. However, the closer we got to “Toy Street” I slowly began to see shops on both sides of the road, filled with toys and Christmas decorations of all kinds!! Everything didn’t fit neatly into shops, like they do in the United States. Here on Toy Street in Hong Kong, toys lined the streets and if that wasn’t enough other smaller vendors had their booths set up in the road with even more products for you to purchase.

To say the sidewalk is crowded is an understatement!! With shops and vendors on either side of the sidewalk, there wasn’t much room left for people to walk through from shop to shop.

When we first got to Toy Street there weren’t too many people shopping. However, as the day went on more and more people kept showing up to get their own Christmas shopping done.

I’ve been shopping on Black Friday in the United States. However, this shopping experience was worse than Black Friday. I kept thinking to myself this was “Black Friday on steroids!”

I wore my backpack on my front, because otherwise I was hitting people with my bag. This also helped me ensure that no one would take or steal my money or my purchased presents. We went from shop to shop finding the greatest toy, decorations, dolls, puzzles, fun pens, and so much more!! On top of that everything is reasonably priced and fairly cheap, which made it even more tempting to go crazy buying fun gifts for the girls. I did my best to sick to my list!

When it was all said and done, I finished my Christmas shopping and was able to buy everything (including Sophie’s birthday present) for just about $100 US dollars. Seriously!? I was impressed!! 

I’m so thankful to my sweet friend for taking me shopping on Toy Street. I can’t wait to go back and take my family with me next time!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Blogmas Series: Holiday Meal Planning

Last week, I gave you some ideas and tips for anyone who has to celebrate "Christmas on a Budget". I really hope that you are beginning to implement some of those principles that I talked about, into your own home.

Another major way our family of seven is able to stay on budget is through monthly meal planning. Meal planning is simply taking some time to plan a number of your meals for the next few weeks or month, depending on how you want to do it. Your current season of life will help you determine what method will be best for your family at this time. In the past, I have tried both: planning out meals for the entire month or just planning our meals out two weeks at a time.

My favorite method has been to plan our meals each month and as I meal plan, I make two grocery lists. One list is for items I need to buy for meals during the first half of the month and the second list is for items I will need for meals during the second half of the month. Let me clarify, I only plan out our dinners, because we pretty much eat the same few things for breakfast and lunch. As a result, I add those items to my grocery list when we need them.

Honestly, right after we moved to Hong Kong, I just planned for two weeks at a time, because it was easier for me to plan than finding time to do a whole month at a time. Now that we have settled into a good routine in our new home, I am going back to planning one month of meals at a time. I like planning one month at a time, because then I don't have to worry about finding time to meal plan during the second half of the month. I like getting everything planned out at once.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post called, "Meal Planning on a Budget". Many of the tips that I will share with you today are similar to that older blog post. Please continue below to read about how plan out our meals.

How to Meal Plan
1. Pray.
I believe that God cares about all of the details in our life and that includes our meal planning. God sees your faithfulness to plan good and healthy meals for your family. He will help you to stay on budget if you are faithful to seek Him first in everything that you do. Yes, even meal planning...

2. Make a Weekly (or Monthly) Meal Plan. 
Pull out your calendar. I use both my wall calendar and the calendar in my phone to make sure that I know what is coming up this month. It helps me to know when my husband will be traveling, which means I might not need to make quite as much for dinner. In addition, you will need your favorite recipes. Again, either pull them up on your phone snd browse Pinterest or break out your favorite cookbooks. These will help inspire you to try new things and not just make the same few dishes over and over again.

3. Make a Grocery List. 
If monthly meal planning, you might want to make two grocery lists. I tried shopping one month at a time, but it has never worked for me and my family. We enjoy fruit and vegetables, which won't be good for an entire month. As a result, I go grocery shopping every two weeks. Always check your cupboards and try to use up what you have first. If still need additional ingredients write them down either on your grocery list.

4. Go Shopping.
This is the hardest part, stick to your list!! If other people in your family try to persuade you to buy things that aren't on your list, then just don't take them with you. Go shopping by yourself. Try your best to find things on sale. However, don't go crazy buying every new product that is advertised at your grocery store of choice.

5. Reuse Leftover Meals.
If there are meals that you do not eat this month, save them and roll them over to the next month. This is another key tip to keep you on budget and not waste the food that you already purchased.

All that begin said, as the holidays are quickly approaching take time to sit down and plan out some meals for the next few weeks. Plan what you will have for Christmas dinner and any other special occasions you might celebrate this month.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blogmas Series: Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies

Christmas movies make me so happy!! 

When I was a kid, one of the main ways my family spent time together was to sit down and watch a good movie. We would watch all kinds of movies together. We watched every kind of movie from my Daddy's favorites (The Hunt for Red October and Lonesome Dove) to my Mom's favorites (The Sound of Music and Oklahoma) and everything in between.

My family liked movies so much, that every Christmas my parents bought each of us kids one of our favorite movies to begin to grow our own movie collection. This worked out well, because most years my Daddy had to work on Christmas day. While Daddy was gone, Mom would let us each open up one present (our movie) and then we spent the rest of the day watching new movies and waiting for Daddy to get home.

Additionally, my family spent a lot of time watching Christmas movies. To this day, I still enjoy watching Christmas movies, because they bring back childhood memories from holidays with my family.

For this reason, I like all kinds of Christmas movies and it was hard to narrow it down to just my top TEN favorites. As you will see below, I kind of cheated and combined two of my favorite movies into one. What can I say!? I tried...

Below you will find a list of my "Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies".

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies
10. White Christmas.  

9. Elf.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

7. Jingle All the Way.

6. The Family Man.

5. The Holiday.

4. Christmas with the Kranks.

3. The Santa Clause.

2. Home Alone I & II.

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Now it's your turn, what are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blogmas Series: Family Cookie Party

Back in 2005, Jon and I spent our first Christmas together in Haiti, visiting my best friend, Michelle, and her family. It was such a memorable Christmas. Over the holidays, Michelle’s Mom, Ms. Cindy, baked the most delicious food for us. To this day, our favorite sugar cookie recipe is the one that Ms. Cindy made for in Haiti. During our first Christmas, we had fun baking and decorating sugar cookies. I am happy to report, that almost 13 years later and our Christmas cookie tradition is still going strong.

Seriously, we take Ms. Cindy’s sugar cookie recipe with us wherever we go and share it with our loved ones during Christmas time. We have taken this recipe to Oregon, Texas, Washington, California, China, and now Hong Kong!!

In recent years, my side of the family tried to have a “Family Cookie Party” whenever we can get together for the holidays. Each year our family seems to add a few new members and my Mom currently has 17 grand babies, with two sets of TWINS. Back to our cookie party, it’s fun to bake sugar cookies and let the kids decorate their own cookies.

This tradition is far from perfect, because last year everyone who came to the family cookie party got sick. Oops!! Little did we know, my niece brought home and awful stomach bug, which would be passed on to most everyone in the family. Even my Mom got sick. It was fun to be with family, but hard when everyone is so sick.

Family Cookie Party 2017

I am so thankful for the wonderful memories that we have made with our friends and family. I highly recommend that you consider hosting your own cookie decorating party this year. Below, I have included Ms. Cindy’s sugar cookie and basic icing recipes, so that you can enjoy these cookies as much as my family has each and every year.


Sugar Cookies
By, Ms. Cindy

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients.

Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Roll out onto floured surface.

Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes. 


Basic Icing (for Sugar Cookies)
By, Ms. Cindy

1/3 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk


Blend butter and sugar.

Stir in vanilla and milk.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Blogmas Series: Christmas on a Budget

It's hard to believe Jon and I have been married for almost 12 years!! On December 17th, 2006, we kicked off our married life as poor college students living on love. We hardly had any money, because we spent it all on the wedding and then for us to move from Oregon to Texas. Back in those days, we had so little money that we lived off of cheese quesadillas (which Jon cooked using an iron) and anything else that was "On Sale" or "Free". As I looked back at our old checkbooks, I am not sure how we survived our first few years of marriage.

In hindsight, I can see that it was God taking care of us and providing everything we needed. I am so thankful for God's provision!!

Honestly, this year seems no different, almost 12 years and 5 kids later we still don't have a lot of extra money to splurge on Christmas. We've just moved and Hong Kong which is expensive, so financially things are tight. I am thankful that over the years, God has taught me how to manage a tight budget. I know, we can still have an amazing Christmas even if we didn't have a lot of extra money.

Below are some helpful ideas that I have picked up over the years about how to manage a tight budget. To this day, I use these tips to help me stay on budget during the holidays.

10 Tips for Christmas on a Budget
1. Make a Budget.
You won't fully understand the state of your finances until you sit down by yourself or with your spouse and make a budget. Early on in our marriage, we learned to budget our finances through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class. If there isn't a class available in your area then go to the library and borrow one of Dave's books about finances and being to start your journey to financial freedom. This will truly be the best Christmas gift that you can give to yourself and your spouse. Once you've created your budget, you will know whether or not it will be a tight Christmas.

2. Keep Christmas Simple.
If you know that it is going to be a tight budget for Christmas, make an effort to keep your December calendar simple. The fewer activities you participate in during the holidays, the less money you will need for Christmas. Don't feel bad if you cannot participate in every holiday exchange or activity that you get invited to join. It is okay to say, "No" and decline an invitation especially if you don't have money to buy extra presents. In addition, you might need to be honest with your extended family and let them know that things are tight and you won't be able to fly to see them this Christmas.

3. Draw Names.
I am the oldest of 5 kids and so for many years, my family has been drawing names to so that instead of buying one present for every single person we just buy presents for the person whose name we drew. This has been a lifesaver for our big family, especially when we didn't have a lot of extra money. As everyone is married with kids, now we draw names and give a fun present that the whole family can enjoy. It has worked well for our big family.

4. Email Christmas Newsletter.
Jon and I come from garage families. In addition, we have lots of friends and family who want to know how we are doing. As a result, we have decided to email our Christmas Newsletter and Christmas Card. This helps us to save money during the holidays, but still allows us to stay in contact with our loved ones without spending a ridiculous amount of money on postage. There are certain family members who don't have email, so we might send them an actual card. However, those circumstances are few and far between.

5. Homemade Gifts, Treats, and Decorations.
Personally, I enjoy our homemade gifts, treats, and decorations more that anything else that I could buy at the store, because of the memories that go along with them. This year, our homemade decorations remind me of my precious girls, because they helped me create our Christmas mural. Make a list of gifts that you need and see which gifts you could make at home. Browse Pinterest for ideas or ask your create friends what they are crafting this Christmas.

6. Family Night In.
A night out can be very expensive and it's hard to justify if when my children don't want to finish eating their dinner or we have to leave halfway through the movie for a potty break. Seriously!? Right now, in this season of life with two babies, a family night in sounds like just the right fit for our family. We have had both movie and game nights as a family. If you're on a budget, try to plan something to do at home with your family that everyone will enjoy.

7. Christmas Book Basket.
I told you all about my Christmas Book Basket idea, so click the link to read more about it now. Briefly, I will remind you to pull out Christmas books from around your house or go to the local library and borrow Christmas books that you can read together as a family. If you don't have access to a library ask a friend or neighbor if you can swap books with them, so that each of your families can enjoy some new books to read for the holidays.

8. Shop Year Round.
I realize that you cannot do this for Christmas 2018. However, I want you to be able to begin to plan for Christmas 2019 now. Plan to buy a few things here and there, all year round so that as they go on sale over the next 12 months you can get them for the cheapest price and give them to your family for Christmas next year. You can buy things on sale or on clearance and then keep it for the next holiday. I had a large plastic box in my closet, under my sewing stuff, that I kept gifts in. So when someone had a birthday or Christmas, I already had gifts to choose from.

9. Sell Your Stuff.
If all else fails and your are desperate for cash this Christmas, sell your stuff. You heard me right, sell your things in order to get more cash to add to your Christmas budget. This might seem like a hard concept, because we all like our stuff. However, if you are really in a bind consider selling things online that will help you to have some extra money this Christmas.

10. Volunteer Together.
Minus transportation, serving others won't cost you anything. This is an activity that you can do with your family completely free!! It's one of the best family traditions that you can start today. It will also teach your children what Christmas is really all about...Jesus. Check out my previous post for more ideas about how to serve others this Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Blogmas Series: Our Christmas Book Basket

"A book is a present you can open again and again." - Unknown

Everyone in our family loves books, even our kids which is such a wonderful blessing. From the time they were babies, we’ve put books in the girls hands and tried to teach them to love and cherish books as much as me and Jon. 

So far, our plan is working.

Last year, as apart of our homeschool, I decided to try something new. I got the idea from Ashley at ‘Grace and Grit’ on YouTube. Ashley is a homeschool Mom and she uses ‘The Morning Basket‘ technique, by Brave Writer aka Julie Bogart, with her homeschool curriculum. I really liked this idea and couldn’t wait to try it out during our 2017-18 school year.

This technique has been a hit in our home and we've been doing it ever since. The girls know that all of the books that we will read from each day are found in our special morning basket. We take time each morning to complete our required reading for our Sonlight curriculum. There isn't any question about where I put the books, because they belong in the morning basket. On Fridays, I change the books so I am all ready for our upcoming school week.

This Christmas I thought it would be fun to have our very own Christmas Book Basket that is designated specifically for Christmas and winter books!! 

I started out by going on a treasure hunt around the house, searching high and low, for all of our books about winter or Christmas. I brought them all downstairs to the living room, so that they can be together in one central location. I also found a basket (actually, my basket is currently a box until I can get a cute Christmas basket) that I could these holiday books inside. Then I placed my basket under our Christmas tree. That's right, our small Christmas tree is set up in the living room on a table. The basket fits perfectly underneath the table.

I hope that this will help all of my girls to remember to return these holiday books to the Christmas Book Basket.

I also plan to go to the library each week to get new Christmas books for us to read as well. If I find anything that is a good read, I will be sure to share it with you on my Instagram Stories

Incase you are wondering, scroll down to see a list of the books that I found around my house and put in our basket. Just for fun, I also included some of my other favorite Christmas books that I don't have at our house.

Christmas Books:
A Creature Was Stirring: One Boy’s Night Before Christmas” by, Carter Goodrich
Animals in Winter” by, Henrietta Bancroft & Richard G. Van Gelder
Big Bird Brings Spring to Sesame Street” by Lauren Collier Swindler
Frozen” by, Disney
God Bless Christmas” by, Hannah C. Hall
How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by, Dr. Seuss
Noodles: I Love Christmas” by, Hand Wilhelm
Snow” by, Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman
The 12 Days of Christmas” by, Jane Cabrera
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving” by, Jan and Mike Berenstain
The Chilly Little Penguin” by, Russell Punter
The Gingerbread Kid: Goes to School” by, Joan Holub

Chinese book called...
Green Festival” by, Unknown

Other Favorite Christmas Books: 
"A Christmas Carol" by, Charles Dickens
"Bear Stays Up for Christmas" by, Karma Wilson
"Christmas in the Big Woods (Little House Picture Book)" by, Laura Ingalls Wilder
"Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas" by, Jane O'Connor
"Little Miss Christmas" by, Roger Hargreaves
"Llama Llama Holiday Drama" by, Anna Dewdney
"Merry Christmas, Geronimo!" by, Geronimo Stilton
"Mr. Popper's Penguins" by, Richard Atwater
"Red Sled" by, Lita Judge
"The Bears' Christmas" by, Stan Berenstain
"The Berenstain Bears' Old-Fashioned Christmas" by, Jan Berenstain
"The Family Under the Bridge" by, Natalie Savage Carlson
"The Legend of the Candy Cane" by, Lori Walburg
"The Polar Express" by, Christ Allsburg

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Blogmas Series: Trimming the Tree

Three months ago, our entire family moved to Hong Kong. We brought only what we could take in our suitcases, which wasn’t very much. As a result, I had to get rid of or leave behind most of our Christmas decorations. We brought along a small shoe box with some of our favorite Christmas ornaments, two nativity sets, and our stockings. 

Seriously, that was all we could bring with us. 

As a result of our big move, we are here we are on a very tight budget. This means, we do not have a lot of extra money to spend on new Christmas decorations this year. 

In an effort to stay on budget, I decided that we could make a lot of our own Christmas decorations. So, I began browsing Pinterest for inspiration and ideas of what I could do with the materials I already have at the house. I’ve been praying that the girls would be excited and blessed enough though we don’t have a lot of extra stuff right now. To my delight, the girls have had so much fun creating our own paper Christmas tree, snowmen, and more. They didn’t want to stop adding to our Christmas mural, because they were having so much fun making their own decorations. 

The Lord also blessed us with some hand-me-down decorations. We inherited a few strands of Christmas lights, greenery, ornaments, and two little stockings that we are going to use for the twins. We have used these items to decorate our home as well. We even put up some Christmas lights in the girls room, which is very exciting for them!!

In addition, our sweet friends even let us borrow one of their Christmas trees, this has been such a blessing for our family!! We would have been fine with just our paper tree. However, I am so thankful to be loved by a God who cares about me and my kids. He knows our family traditions and the culture we come from and is kind enough to help us celebrate Christmas is a way that will help Hong Kong to continue to feel more like home than ever.

I've been homesick and these extra special things have brought lots of extra Christmas cheer to my weary heart. I’m thankful that God continues to provide everything we need, day in and day out.

What about you? How are you decorating for Christmas this year?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Blogmas Series: Homemade Hot Chocolate

Would you like to know a random fact about me?

I do not like coffee.

I went to college in Portland, Oregon where everyone was crazy about coffee. I would get invited to go to Starbucks all the time. Honestly, I never knew what to order when I went out to Starbucks, because I didn't like coffee or hot drinks in general.

So, what was I supposed to order!?

As a result of this dilemma I decided that it would be worth it to acquire a taste for a few hot drinks. That way if someone invited me to Starbucks, I would have something to order other than water. Early on, my beverage of choice became hot apple cider. It was delicious and didn't have a hint of coffee in it/ Additionally, I have taught myself to enjoy hot chocolate and even some tea (which came in handy during my twin pregnancy).

I enjoy lots of different hot beverages now and I am so thankful I took the time to try new things. If I hadn't been willing to try something new, I never would have discovered some of my very favorites.

Today, I want to share a homemade hot chocolate recipe with you that my family enjoys every year. My friend makes homemade hot chocolate and it inspired me to try making this myself. I searched Pinterest for just the right recipe. Several years ago, I discovered this Homemade Hot Chocolate recipe from Anna Davis on the Kelly Moore blog. This recipe is delicious and I have been making it ever since.

Each year, I make a big batch and then keep some for us to enjoy! Then, I give the rest away to friends and family. I have even put the homemade hot chocolate in little bags and used this as stocking stuffers. It was a huge hit!!

I have included the recipe below.


Homemade Hot Chocolate

1 (28 oz) container of Nesquick
1 (11 oz) container of creamer
1 (25.6 oz) container powdered milk
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 to 1 1/2 packs small marshmallows

Stir it up and you're ready for hot chocolate.

Put in fun containers and give as Christmas gifts.

Add 4-5 Tbsp to 8 oz of hot water then adjust to taste.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Blogmas Series: 20 Ways to Serve Others

"Maybe Christmas, he thought doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more!" 
- Dr. Suess from How the Grinch Stole Chrismas

Somewhere along the way, in the hustle and bustle of life, we have forgotten about the real reason for this Christmas season. Who can blame us, with the constant bombardment from advertisements that tell us we need more stuff to fit in our already overly crowded homes. Which by the way, are filled to the brim with things we rarely use, but yet we have been convinced that we must have it.

Christmas is suppose to be a day that we celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus Christ. However, the world distracts us from the true meaning of Christmas which is JESUS.

Several years back, I noticed that I was guilty of this too. I had been swept away by consumerism and turned the focus of Christmas on myself and my family, instead of thinking about what I could do for others. Together, Jon and I prayed and asked God to help us to learn to serve others during the holidays, not just ourselves. With God's help, we have been able to begin to make service a regular tradition in our family during Christmas time. This transformed mindset has also spilled over into our lives, so that it is something that we try to do all year long. We're not perfect, but I am thankful that God has worked on us in this area to help us be more generous to others.

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." 
- Mark 10:45 ESV

Mark 10:45, is a good reminder that Jesus Himself didn't come to serve, but to serve others. In this day and age, this idea feels backwards in our world that tells us to look out for #1. It might feel counter cultural to serve others during Christmas, but don't let that stop you from embracing the truth and the example that Jesus set for us to follow.

Just remember that it's never too late to start serving others!! Regardless of how old you are, you can begin to implement this tradition of serving others, right now.

Below is a list of ways that you can serve others during the holidays. Especially if this is new for you, just pick one way to serve others each week from now until Christmas. I hope and pray that this will be a regular tradition that continues in your family for many years to come.

20 Ways To Serve Others

1. Pack a Christmas shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
This is one of our favorite traditions! Even before Jon and I had kids, we were packing shoeboxes full of presents and sending them to children around the world.

2. Provide Christmas dinner for a family in need.
When you go to the store to buy your turkey or ham for Christmas, buy two of everything and then put it together in a box to give to your neighbors or another family in need.

3. Sing Christmas carols in a nursing home.
People living in nursing homes can get so lonely as they are away from family during the holidays. Anytime you can spend at a nursing home reading books or singing Christmas carols will truly be a blessing.

4. Deliver baked goods to local police, fire, or EMT station.
The police, fire, and EMT workers have such an important job and they don't get to take time off for the holidays. Let them know that you appreciate their hard work and sacrifice by blessing them with delicious baked goods.

5. Leave treats or notes for mailman.
Your mailman works hard to make are you have your mail everyday of the year. Give them some treats or a thank you note to let them know that you appreciate all the work they do.

6. Donate canned goods and other food to your local homeless shelter.
Go through your pantry and donate canned goods or other foods that your local homeless shelter needs. Make sure that these items aren't expired. It you don't have anything extra at home, buy extra canned goods the next time they go on sale and donate as much as you can.

7. Donate socks to your local homeless shelter.
One of the greatest needs of homeless people are socks and shoes. This is another very practical thing that you can donate to those in need this winter.

8. Go through your closets and donate clothes and toys.
Like I said before, our houses our full of stuff. Go through your closets and storage space and donate old clothes or toys to a families in need.

9. Donate children's book to your local library.
If you have extra books or book that don't fit on your book shelf, donate them to your local library. It will bless families that can't afford to buy books for their kids on their own.

10. Organize a garage sale or bake sale and donate the proceeds to charity.
You can do this as a family, small group, or Sunday school class. Put together garage sale and/or bake sale and then donate the proceeds to a charity.

11. Give money or gifts anonymously.
If you know of a family who is struggling, give them money or gift cards to help them out during this time. You don't even have to let them know it was you, but you can leave it on their door or in their mailbox.

12. Ring the Salvation Army bell at Christmas time.
Christmas is the time what Salvation Army sets up their donation buckets for people to give to during the holidays. Contact your local salvation army and see if they need people to ring the bell at Christmas time.

13. Do yard work for your neighbors.
Rake the leaves or shovel the snow for your neighbors, even if they can do it for themselves.

14. Mail a card to a solider.
We don't want to forget about the men and women serving protecting our country, who do not get to be home for Christmas. Send a Christmas card or mail a package to a solider who might be separated from their loved ones this Christmas.

15. Adopt a family.
Ask your church or local school, if there are families in need this Christmas. Purchase Christmas presents for everyone in the family and bless them with gifts that they can't buy themselves.

16. Serve meal at soup kitchen.
Contact your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and offer to serve a meal to those in need.

17. Random acts of kindness.
The options are endless here. Just to name a few... You can hold the door open for someone. Buy someone's coffee. Buy someone's groceries. So many more!!

18. Adopt grandparents.
Contact your church to see if there are people that you can adopt as grandparents this Christmas. Have dinner with them or invite them over for the holidays. If you don't live close, you can simply just send them a Christmas gift to let them know you are thinking about them.

19. Sponsor an international child, like with Compassion.
This is something that goes beyond Christmas, but you can sponsor an international child and truly change their life.

20. Teach your children to give.
Lastly, don't forget to let your kids be apart of this season of giving. Let them come with you and be involved as you love and serve others together. It's going to make a lasting impact on their lives and change your family for the better.


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