The elementary Christmas party for 2016 was a snowman theme. It was "snow" much fun! Each elementary student, as well as several junior high and high school students, were able to get their picture taken with Frosty. This junior high student was as tall as Frosty!
The students traveled around to different stations doing lots of fun activities.
This activity taught them how to make fake snow using shaving cream, baking soda, and glitter. Adding vinegar to the mix made the snow erupt!
They played snow games.....throwing snowballs into buckets for points, relays creating snowmen with toilet paper, and other snow themed games.
They made a snowman ornament.
These are easily done with paint stir sticks, but this year we bought the little kits with everything included from Oriental Trading.
They heard snowman stories in the reading center.
And decorated their own cookie for their party.
When the students ate their decorated cookie at lunch, they drank snow punch. Here's the link for the punch. It's so good!
Tablecloths and paper sacks with tissue decorated the cafeteria for party time.
The punch was served from the adorable snowman punchbowl I bought several years ago.
It was a great party and the students had a lot of fun!
I really thought this had already been published, but see that it hasn't. Even though it's really late, I want to publish it as part of my family's online scrapbook - for the memories to be saved for myself and the children to read later on if they want to.
On the first Friday of Christmas Break, we went to Oklahoma City. Our daughter was traveling with the college basketball team to broadcast, so couldn't be with us, but our oldest son met us after his classes, then began his Christmas Break by coming back home with us. We spent time at Bricktown, which was beautiful all lit up.
We ate at Legacy Grill, formerly "KD's". It had the same menu as KD's, so was still delicious.
We played mini-golf at the new-to-us "Brickopolois". That is such a fun addition to Bricktown! The weather was perfect! I lost, unfortunately, but not unexpectedly. :)
After Christmas our family went to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for a quick trip. Reading and seeing the history of this area was very interesting.
We toured downtown Ft. Worth, stopping for a Starbucks treat.
We toured the stock yards, which was really interesting.
We went to the "Ice" carvings at the Gaylord Texan. The theme this year was "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". It was beautiful, as usual!
It was cold, too! VERY cold!
The work these ice carvers do is just amazing!
We slid down the ice slide.
And toured the Gaylord Atrium. So pretty.
Like everything in Texas, the Christmas decor was bigger than life size. It was huge!
Special memories of time with family this Christmas of 2016. It will most likely be the last Christmas we will be together for this amount of time, just because our oldest will be working full-time next year. It was bittersweet. So thankful for these special times together and for the photos we have to remember them.
What is most important in your life? If you asked your spouse, your children, your friends what is most important to you, what would they say? Is what you think you portray as most important shown in the way you live and conduct your life?
The choices you make, each and every day, show your family, your friends, your neighbors, but even more importantly, GOD, what is most important to you. In the end, eternal life with GOD in Heaven is all that will matter. The choices you make now determine where you will spend eternity. Choices you make now will help determine where your children, grandchildren, and future generations spend their eternity.
I'll admit that sometimes I don't make wise choices. I have a hard time saying "no", so I'm too busy much of the time, and busyness oftentimes gets in the way of doing what is best. Good things aren't always the best things. I'm working on that. Maybe you are, too.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
"What you allow, you encourage." ~Michael Josephson
Whether you're raising children, educating children, or trying to make a positive difference in yourself or your workplace, you want to set an example. When we turn a blind eye to the little things that are on the verge of right/wrong, we allow that behavior to keep happening. "Oh, they're just a kid...and kids will be kids..", "Oh that's just that person's personality, they didn't really mean it...," "Oh, they're just having a bad day...". And "Boys will be boys?" No way! Not if parents teach their boys to become men! And girls can be ladies and it's not a bad thing! God made each gender to be unique, special, and able to do things and feel things and accomplish things that the other gender wasn't made by Him to do. We were each uniquely made by God for a purpose - His purpose.
When we allow things that are wrong, we become part of the problem and not the solution.
Take time to lovingly correct your children, your students...stand up for yourself (in kindness) when someone offends you. But be KIND. Be LOVING. Be understanding, but teach and instruct and don't neglect to do so.
If no one tells them something is wrong, how will they ever know?
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Sometimes people get "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes". This is when someone else's child or grandchild does something it's wrong, but if my own child or grandchild does it, it's okay. This can be something seemingly simple, but it can be something glaringly big. It can be something innocent, but it can be something sinful. It can be something against God's word, yet if it's MY child or grandchild, my "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" easily overlooks it because I don't want to believe that what my child or grandchild is doing is wrong.
Let's just look at some of the things that can cause "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes":
#1: In sports, MY child walks with the ball. "Parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" yell, "He/she did not walk!" Everyone else clearly say that he/she did walk, yet the parent can't believe it; however if someone else's child walks you can hear murmuring, "That's the third time he/she has walked!" See the problem? Yes. And the child didn't offend God. It's an innocent mistake. No big deal, really. The parent and grandparent could be offending Him, though, just by their attitude.
#2: In life, YOUR child is living with their boyfriend/girlfriend. "Parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes" will see YOUR child and think (rightfully so), "That is wrong! (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18...Ephesians 5:5) Sexual relations outside of marriage is sinful in God's eyes! It's listed with murder in the Bible! (Revelation 21:8)" And it is! Yet a few years down the road and those same parents and grandparents will have a child that moves in with their boyfriend/girlfriend and seem to not have a problem with it. Maybe they do deep down, and of course they wouldn't shout their disdain to the world or on social media (hopefully), but seemingly act as if it's okay. Nothing is said, even to close friends who are around them all of the time. And oftentimes the child/grandchild is posting on social media what is blatantly against God's Word, be it sexual immorality, drunkenness, mocking God or Jesus, etc. They're not only doing it, but flaunting it in the eyes of friends and family and strangers.
The point is that we all do sin and do wrong, of course, but as parents and grandparents, we must learn to see what is real. We can't excuse things in our lives and the lives of our children/grandchildren, yet condemn those around us who do the very same thing. If it's wrong, it's wrong.
Christian's are under different guidelines than those in the world in regards to sin. If a lost person does wrong, they are no more lost than they were before. They are separated from God because of sin. When a faithful Christian does wrong, it's sin, but the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us and make us spotless again when we confess our sins and ask God to forgive them. He is a graceful and merciful Heavenly Father and aren't we thankful that He is?!
If we are Christians we have an obligation and commandment with instructions to follow when someone is wrong, as in the example of sexual immorality given above. We find this in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, where Paul says:
"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world (Note from Parent's After God's Own Heart: This was written to Christians and for Christians, not for this 'of the world' who are not Christians), or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”"
That is God's instruction, whether we're looking through "parent eyes" and "grandparent eyes" or not. Our eyes can change. We can put on dark shades or rose colored glasses that distort what is true and right. God's Word never, ever changes. He is the same. The Bible is the same. And wrong is wrong, no matter what.
What eyes are you looking through today? Are they seeing what's real? Are they seeing what is right? Or are they seeing through "parent eyes" or "grandparent eyes"?
Many years ago I had a friend who was always cleaning her house. If we talked on the phone, she couldn't talk long because she had to clean. If we were volunteering for something at our children's school, she couldn't help long because she had to clean. I would tease and say her house must have been the cleanest house in town! I loved that sweet friend and the times we shared.
One day that sweet friend found out she had cancer. From then on, any phone call we had revolved around spiritual matters, family matters, important matters....not about cleaning the house. That friend passed away after a hard-fought battle of treatments that eventually didn't work. She would say how that clean house she always kept didn't matter any more and that her family and God was was mattered. Oh, I miss that sweet friend! But I remember her attitude. It was always positive.
As I was washing dishes a few days ago (that had been on the counter and in the sink for 24 hours), I was thinking about how for many, that would be horrible. To have dishes sit overnight wouldn't ever happen. I'll admit that it happens quite often in our home. For the most part I wash them in the morning after the younger two leave for school, but sometimes do wash them at night.
I could have washed those dishes during the previous afternoon and missed out on time with my husband's family at our Christmas get-together. I could have washed all of those dishes late that night instead of playing dominos with my family. I could have gotten up earlier on the last "sleep later" day and washed them. I could have washed them that next morning instead of watching the Rose Parade with a few of my children. But I didn't. I waited until we ate our late lunch and cleaned it all up then.
Here's the deal....dishes will always be there to wash. These children, these family times, the family time we had with extended family members yesterday will not always be there. I've come to realize that there are work-focused people and people-focused people. There's a time to work - absolutely! But when it comes to people, think about the fact that special times won't always be there. This moment when our two college kids and two younger ones are home will not be here much longer. In fact, this was probably the very last one since our daughter will graduate from college in May.
Will that pile of dishes matter to me when I think back on memories of this recent break or will the people who I spent it with matter? It's an easy answer. The dishes can wait a while. People can't. Spend time on what matters....on WHO matters. Be available for people.
When I think of Jesus, he worked. He served. But he took the time to love people. He should be our example in all things.