Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Operation Christmas Child And Thanksgiving Fun

Let me back up a bit.  I'm trying to post on my non existent posts.
(Insert scream here)

OCC - Operation Christmas Child

I love Operation Christmas Child, sending a box of love across the world to let children know God loves them.

Last year was our first year participating in OCC. I wasn't quite sure what we were supposed to be doing and I had to figure out what exactly could go in a shoebox gift. This took some online research and creativity.  However, last year we managed to pack up 3 boxes (each child packed one and sent a letter).  We gathered things from the dollar stores and filled them up.  The kids absolutely loved packing the boxes.  They prefer, though, to just have a pile of things in the floor so they can choose exactly what to put in their boxes as opposed to me trying to plan them out so I know exactly how many there will be.

This year I prepared ahead of time for our shoeboxes. I had set a goal to put together 10 shoeboxes this year and was able to accomplish it. Mainly because I've been collecting things on sale and clearance since last Christmas. That was the biggest help instead of last minute running.

This year I managed to get legos for 75 cents, socks for 25 cents, crayons for 10 cent and even shoes for 50 cents a pair! I found a lot of great deals!  Cate decided to make a few bracelets to go inside the boxes too.  We also made some of these last year and included beads and string so the child receiving it could make their own.

However, this year we forgot to write letters to go inside our boxes and send a picture but we did buy our labels online this year so we could see where the box went. The kids are still anxious to see what part of the country their box is going.

This is one of the boxes we put together for a girl 5-9. I got the doll for .75 at kmart, glasses for .33 at kmart, activity book for .50, crayons .10, (Walmart both) shoes .50 (dollar general) socks .25 (rite aid), pencil case .25, paddle ball .75 (both Walmart)

These are a few of the other boxes we packed.  Afterwards, I did notice that we somehow packed more "boy" themed boxes than girls and we pretty much stuck with the 5-9 age range.

We will try to add a little more variety next year.  I'd like to pack some for the older kids so I need to start planning what to put in one.  I really wanted to add a baseball glove to this one (and make it baseball themed), but I didn't have time to check back at the store.  Walmart usually has those on clearance around this time.

This was a boys 2-4 box.  A ball is missing in this pic.

Thanksgiving Shenanigans.

Do you like my turkey?  Can you tell it's a turkey?  lol.  I tried and then AJ comes into the kitchen and calls it a reindeer.  He hurt my feelings.  Don't you EAT IT THEN!. Haha!

For Thanksgiving, I initially decided to cook this great big meal.  I bought turkey, ham, stuff for my macaroni, was going to make apple pie, butter beans, everything....  Then, two days before Thanksgiving, I was like "whatever."  I'm tired.  Who else is cooking?  So we went to our parents for Thanksgiving and I still ended up cooking mac n cheese there. lol.

On Thanksgiving Eve, we volunteered for the community "Feed the Boro" program.  We helped debone turkeys and prep meals to deliver around the community for Thanksgiving.  This was our first year doing so as I only seem to find out about it after it's over. 

The kids loved it.  I love the fact that they loved it and hope it helps them realize that everyone is not as fortunate as they think they're not.  So the next time I said "eat your food," you better eat it!  We went back on Thanksgiving morning with the husband and drove around to deliver meals to families in the area.  He didn't make it Thanksgiving Eve because he was working.  It was such a great and humbling experience.  We will definitely be on board next year!