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In the LAST 24 hours…

We have:

1. Welcomed home a precious little boy from Ethiopia and watched him meet his forever family at the airport.

The Carley’s are in our small group that meets every other week in our home. We’ve gone to church with them for several years–and we’ve watched them wait for 2 years to bring this little guy home. What a JOY it was to see him finally home! Such a miracle…and we celebrate with them!

Our crazy crew missed their naps yesterday to journey to the airport with Kimberly Chalk and Laura McBrayer. The McBrayer’s have a little guy that was crib mates with Isaac AND Kimberly and her sweet husband are waiting for their first child from Ethiopia. (You can follow their journey here.) If you ever wanna know who this momma spends her time with…this is my crew. LOVE them all dearly–and the 4 of us are in a small group together. Here are our crazy kiddos…sitting down after running around like CRAZY after Sammy’s arrival!

2. Visited a live nativity scene…

MAN–I got choked up singing at the end after watching this!!! I can’t IMAGINE what a miracle this was for the wiremen and shepherds to experience!!! 8 days until Christmas…and we’ve YET to buy one gift…we seriously are going to get on it at some point…but I LOOOVE that we haven’t been focused on that aspect of Christmas. The McBrayer kids and the Young kids went to the nativity together AND on Sunday–we are practicing our OWN nativity play complete with outfits from Oriental Trading Company. (I’ll video their final production and share it for sure!)

It was so cool at the live nativity (we went TWO nights in a row because we loved it so much!) and BOTH times they let us stay later and pet the donkey, camel, sheep and goats. One thing that grabbed me was the smell of farm animal poop. Yep. I smelled it. And I just kept thinking–that THIS was what the stable probably smelled like…that THE KING was born in! I just sat there thinking–what a humble Savior of the world we have. In our world–we can get so caught up with keeping up…but He really could have cared less. He came to be a servant and to be sacrificed for a people who didn’t deserve it. He could’ve come boasting…but he came among farm animals–and all the smells that come with them. All for us. So we would know Him and experience His love.Amazing grace.

3. Went to, watched and unfortunately lost a basketball game–but had so much fun playing it. That’s all that matters–but my 7 year old son says it’s really important to win too:) Sorry no pictures to prove it.

4. Completed grocery shopping for the week ahead at Trader Joes (I love Trader Joes and their gluten free selections).

5. Sewed the most adorable skirt for Laney-loo…

You’ve gotta see it on and in person. I have a few finishing touches to do…a button in the center of the flower I added to the corner and a cute little pocket with the coordinating fabric. Then I’ll whip up the top to match in the coordinating fabric as well:-).

6. Found a new home for our two finches. Yep. I guess I didn’t know my limits–and it’s caring 4 kids and a dog (at least for now)–and the dog with her shedding is really pushing it;). A friend from my home-town in Alabama is taking them in–and her two children will wake up on Christmas morning to the sounds of their sweet little chirps.

7. Decorated 4 gingerbread men with my 4 little sweeties (the gingerbread man kit was on sale for just $0.99 today!)…

There’s never a dull moment around here that is for sure!!! And I’m sure the next 24 hours will be just as action filled as we practice our nativity play tomorrow with the McBrayers and have a little Christmas celebration afterwards. Hope you all have a blessed holiday!

As we reflect on the nativity–the Christmas story this Christmas, I am reminded of something the Lord showed me last Christmas. So often our Christmas is surrounded by SO much joy, baking, fun, gifts (and this IS part of Christmas!)…but for many–there is brokenness. For many at the nativity–there was also brokenness. BUT HE brought HOPE. Take a minute to read this post I wrote last year to be reminded of His bringing HOPE to broken stories and circumstances. I am so thankful that the Lord shines through our broken places and in ALL things He seeks to be glorified. I am so hopeful for the year ahead and all He will do!

Blessings to you all! And so thankful to be on the journey with you…