Acts of Service Advent Tree

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Good morning!

I have been getting a lot of questions and emails about our acts of service Advent tree that was seen in the housewalk.

I had intended to write this yesterday but you know how that goes.

Even though it is December 11 (how did that happen) you still have time to do some of the acts that I will share.

Obviously, you can create your own that work with your family too.

This idea originally came to me while I was watching Anne Marie’s Twig Tree video in Home for the Holidays.

She was creating a small twig tree to hang on the wall and I knew right away that I wanted to make it big and hang acts of service off of it.

I sat down with my mom and we started brainstorming things we could do as a family.

We even asked the children to help with a few ideas.

I typed all of the acts up in Word and printed them out.

We cut the acts of service into strips and folded them over to get them ready to stuff into the stars.

Our stars are made from craft paper using a star template I found online.

We (my mom) started to sew them all shut with the acts of service inside but my machine was driving her NUTS so I told her we could go with Plan B.

Always have a Plan B.

For half of the star we glued them shut with a glue stick (only getting glue around the edges to keep the glue off the acts of service) and we used a white gel pen to make thread marks on the outside.

It worked for me and possibly saved my mom’s sanity.

If you are going to hang the stars as shown …make sure that whether you sew or glue them shut that you include the end of the string in the star before you close it.

I then just randomly hung the stars on the twig tree.

Here are our acts of service for this year.

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I hope to do this each year as a family because

1) who needs more candy each day through December

2) who doesn’t need more times in their lives to think of others more than their selves

As much as I love, love, love the month of December if you are not careful it can turn into just shopping, eating too much and sugar comas.

I feel like each time we so something like this we take a huge exhale, slow down and focus.

I am thinking we will keep it up year around and have weekly acts of service.

I will let you know.

Thank you for asking about this and thank you Anne Marie for inspiring this project.

Home for the Holidays is still open for registration.

This course is full of projects videos for gift ideas, decor and recipes.

Come back on Friday to find out more about my brand new e-course Studying Under The Masters {becoming an apprentice} and I will also announce the winner of the $300 Dick Blick gift card.

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Preparing Our Hearts {It ain’t always so simple}

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I can’t believe that tomorrow is December 1!

How can it be so close to Christmas and a brand new year?

I have thought a lot about our month of December and what I really desire for our family.

Part of the plan has been built upon two of my three that fight and pick at each other all. day. long (at least it feels like it).

I know that siblings do this.

I did it and I was really good at it:-) but….

We have a rule in our home.

If you can’t be kind to the people in our home then you don’t get to go out and be nice to your friends outside the home.

Pretty simple.

You can’t be nice…you don’t play with friends.

If you can think of your friends before yourself…maybe you could think of your little brother before yourself.

Just saying.

So, that brings me to advent and Christmas.

I want this season to be full of cookie making, present wrapping, story times, Christmas music and ice skating.

But what I really want is to prepare our hearts for the amazing gift of Christ’s birth and all that it means.

I want my children to serve this season and for their hearts to be tender to others.

I want them to see and feel their abundance.

I want them to really know that giving is better than receiving.

My husband and I want our advent time to be about contentment and giving so for the next 24 days they will be given one thing per day to do to bless others.

Some are big and some are small.

Some things will require our whole family and some they can do on their own.

So, tomorrow morning when they go to open the first door of our advent calendar they will have a prompt of how they can bless another person in this world.

I am actually really excited about it and I hope they will be too.

This year I bought a new advent book to read as a family each night.

We have really (really) loved this book but we have read it the past few years and wanted to try something new.

All of my children have loved this interactive story.

Jack still talks about when we did this.

I think it has been his most special Christmas memory and I hope we try it again this year.

Do you do something special for advent?

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Winner of the $500 gift certificate {and our favorite Christmas reads}

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Thank you to everyone that continues to share the Coming Home Collection!

Thank you for all of your support through word of  mouth, praise, encouragement and sales.

I love that so many people are getting things for Christmas from our new line.

I wanted to announce the winner of the $500 gift certificate to the shop.

Thank you to everyone that entered.

The winner is……

#28 is Chasity at The Road Less Traveled.

So happy for you Chasity.  Please contact me and we can talk about all the details!!!!

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Thank you for everyone that visited us from the Virtual Holiday House Walk!

Thank you Jen for putting together such a fun event.

I loved peeking into so many beautifully decorated homes.

To see all of the houses from the beginning click HERE.

I am #5 of the tour.

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One of the questions that was asked again and again while you were all looking at our home all dressed up for Christmas was about our advent book.

I wanted to share that title and some of our other favorite Christmas picks.

Our favorite advent book is “The 25 Days of Christmas-Family Readings, Scriptures, and Activities for the Advent Season”.

You can find it HERE.

You will not regret getting it.  Every year the kids get more and more out of it (the adults too).

Every Christmas Eve my children open up two gifts…their Christmas pajamas and a new book.

Everything else waits until Christmas morning.

It makes Christmas Eve simple and my favorite part about the season.

Here are some of our favorite books that the children have been given over the years.

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

The Real Mother Goose Book of Christmas Carols 

The First Christmas by Carol Heyer

Memories of the Manger by Michelle Medlock Adams

The Visit by Mark Kimball Moulton

Ding Dong Merrily on High by Francesca Crespi (fun pop-up book of carols)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett (any book by Jan Brett is pure perfection)

What are some of your favorite Christmas books?

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leave me a comment.

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