Saturday, November 21, 2015

#ipackedashoebox: Touching Lives With Operation Christmas Child

Last year, I began a new tradition with Ry. I wanted to teach him at an early age that Christmas is not about 'getting', it's about 'giving'. 

I came across Operation Christmas Child (OCC) online and love the idea of giving something tangible to another child on the other side of the world.

What's Operation Christmas Child?

OCC is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, a non-profit relief organization committed to being Jesus' "hands and feet". Operation Christmas Child sends shoeboxes packed with age-appropriate toys, gifts, hygiene items and school supplies overseas to children, often orphans or street children. Each child receiving a shoebox also has the opportunity to hear a gospel presentation by local pastors and volunteers in their language, and receives a colorful children's booklet containing the plan of salvation in their own language to take home with them.

What Goes Into An OCC Shoebox?

In case you're wondering, here's how to pack a shoebox... from the experts...

Last year, we packed 1 box. It was fun to see how much we could stuff into a shoe box! We tracked  our box to Ukraine, which we thought was ironic, since M is of Ukrainian descent. We love the idea that a little boy in an orphanage somewhere in Ukraine is enjoying the stuffed animal, coloring books, matchbox cars and other items we sent.

This year we're doing 2 boxes. We had fun shopping for fillers... or at least I did. Ry just wanted to play with all the toys. Glad to know I picked items a toddler would like.  :)

So, what's in my shoebox?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Project Date Night: November

It's no secret to those who know me well... I love stand up comedy. Not trashy, raunchy "comedy" (totally not necessary), but just people making funny observations about life in a witty way.  M and I have a short list of our favorite comedians... and we often quote them in our day to day life... the material doesn't get old.

This month, our Project Date Night theme was "Comedy Club". I'm not a clubbing kind of girl, so we did our own stand up comedy experience at home. And no, I did not improv or make M do one-liners off the top of his head. This was about us laughing together while watching someone else deliver the humor. :)

I made a ticket to our special event and left it in his lunchbox. Pretty easy to do with clip art and MS Word. Here's a blank printable copy for you to use if you feel so inclined.

We put the munchkin to bed a little early (it was one of THOSE days) and we were ready for a break. So, we got comfy, snuggled on the couch with our snack, and watched some videos on YouTube.

The Menu
We always get a laugh out of Anjelah Johnson's "Bon Qui Qui" character, so I named our red, bubbly punch "The Bon Qui Qui" in her honor. (Pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, cinnamon simple syrup and sparkling water... it was pretty good!)

I made M a mini lemon cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. Apparently, I've got a few kinks to work out of that a recipe. He said the flavor was good, but the crust was soggy... bummer. 

I made Chocolate Covered Katie's Healthy Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Brownies. Got to say, (sorry, Katie!) I felt a little "Meh" about the finished product. They were indeed chocolaty, and fudgy. But they were just really dense and heavy, so I'll keep searching for the perfect brownie elsewhere.

Results? Standing ovation and encore! We had such a good time with this one, we'll plan to do it again sometime. If you looked at my YouTube playlist, you'll notice there's several hours of comedy, so there's plenty more for another round of Comedy Club in the future.
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