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A Christmas book Advent calendar. I found my favorites and search for other potential favorite Christmas books - 24 books - read one book each day beginning on December 1. 

I asked Elizabeth if this would be okay for the kids' Christmas present. Plus, it will make a nice tradition. The books will be wrapped and tagged with the day when I send them off (hopefully this week).

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Without a doubt I know what it is like to obtain a Master's in Business Administration. It is a bear! Not only on the one doing the work for the degree but for the family putting up with the long hours it takes to get the degree. I remember Jeff saying after I'd graduated how thankful he was the 18 months were over because it was hard on him and the kids, too.

So, when Amanda, the other girl I work with, left her MBA announcement in the work logbook I knew I wanted to gift her with something special. I absolutely love my leather messenger bag slash briefcase slash laptop case and thought she'd like one too. I did get her a slightly bigger bag because I didn't know the size of her laptop and I know she travels for her other job. 

She loved it!

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I cannot tell a lie. 

I love this project. Putting together a year-long album, 52 weeks of documenting a year of nourishing a heart - my heart - of giving.

Even as I post this I have an envelope in the hands of another and a master's degree graduation gift on its way. God continues to reveal to me more and more ways to open my heart to giving. Yes, Lord!

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The Lord continues to place ways to give in my face. And, I respond. A local non-profit who I've supported in the past with gifts knows another non-profit on the other side of the country experiencing the impact of raging fires burning land, yes, but homes, too. People are fleeing with just the clothes on their back. And, every small gift means something for the Kingdom of God.

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This is another long term gift that keeps on giving. I agreed to teach a homeschooled high school student meteorology. Twist my arm, right! But, I still prayed about it and, because the time commitment was only once a week on a day and time of pretty much my choosing (they are working around my work schedule) I knew this was a gift I could give.

Not only that...it's meteorology! Once again I'm going to be immersed in the throes of something I adore. We'll start next week! Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

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I got a sweet little request to write a letter to Karellys, the child I sponsor in Equador, plus a fun coloring sheet she'll receive. Of course, I couldn't not send her a little something extra. I'm also figuring out her Christmas gift next. I wish I could do something like Operation Christmas Child but they don't let us do that.

I'll have to admit that I haven't been very good at communicating with Karellys but when I received a letter from her I needed to respond. I'm hopeful it 'broke the ice' for me.

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In my research for ideas of what to put in Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes I came across the statement that only 1 of every 200 Christmas Child Shoeboxes are for a boy 10-14 years old. I was immediately saddened and knew, instantly, that we would be putting together shoeboxes for boys 10-14 years old. We were going to improve on that statistic one shoebox at a time.

We had decided on 3 boxes this year (but, seriously, that might change as we get closer to drop off time; and maybe we'll have to put together a couple more boxes).

One of our 'tasks' from our to-do list this past weekend was shop for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. We visited Lowes...ah, hello, we were putting boxes together for boys, age 10-14. Lowes. Tools. Duh.

And, of course, Walmart. We packed our boxes fool of such goodness. The soccer ball is sitting in the box fully inflated. We deflated the soccer ball, included an air pump in the box and added in a selection of tools any handyman in the making would appreciate. A few hygiene items and school supplies and our box is jam packed full.

Thankfully, we have honking rubber bands to help keep the lids on.

This was so much fun. Giving to others is the very best feeling.