Monday, December 30, 2013

The Season to Give

The holiday season is one of  family & friends, gatherings, programs, plays, activities, gifts, food and fun. It is also a special time to GIVE to others. I work in fundraising as a career, and it suits my heart and soul. Mark and I make charitable donations to our church, the hospital where I work, our kids' school, and organizations we believe in.

The holidays are also a special time to put giving into ACTION as a family. 
Year round, I volunteer on our church council, the church stewardship committee, the kids school, and here and there when requested or needed.

This holiday season, the Twinners and I also rang bells for the Salvation Army. We had a FANTASTIC time. (FYI - Age 6 seems to be the golden year to start this activity)
We lucked out. The Saturday we registered for on-line (easy-breezy), at the grocery store near our home, was a balmy 28 degrees. No sub-zero temps for us, thank goodness!
We came prepared with Caribou hot cocoa and a Spicy Mocha for mama (yes..that is just typical of Americans with plenty, volunteering with an luxurious cup of hand crafted coffee in their hand), a rug to stand on, Santa hats or head ware, candy canes for all, an a milk crate and blankets for the Twinnners to sit on.
The kids greeted everyone with a "Merry Christmas" and we offered a candy cane to all who crossed our path.I told the kids this was NOT about having every person donate, and some may not be able to do so. This is about sharing our hearts and giving of our time to help those in need, who we do not know.
People were very generous. More than one person handed over $20 bills and THANKED my kids for their volunteer work. Yes... they thanked US. People stopped to share their good will with my kiddo's sharing their good will. Many, many visitors gave multiple dollars.
 My kids did good, and I am proud of all of us.
We had a wonderful time, and this will NO DOUBT be a yearly tradition.

Also this season,
  • I donated my time to the church Sunday School Christmas program and to Marly's school party.
  • I volunteered at the "holiday shop" for Alexandra House (our local battered women's shelter). It allows women in need to "shop" for gifts for their kids.
  • Each child put together an Operation Christmas Child box.
  • We donated food, household goods, and money to our school's "Making Spirits Bright" program for family's in need there. 
  • We donated to our church food shelf and the holiday food baskets delivered to needy families.
  • Our family lit the 4th Advent Candle at church.
The time to give is YEAR ROUND, but especially important and identifiable at this time of year.

Honestly, we have so much, it actually makes me cry. Is our 1970's split level house overly large or grand compared to those just a few miles away??? NO   (..... and YES.)

It is luxurious by the standards of the kids in MANY, MANY parts of the world, far from here!
It is ALSO grand by the likes of kids just a few miles from us too!

I want my kids to know and understand it is our PLACE and PURPOSE to do good for others (year round). Jesus arrives, and it is the perfect time to practice what our religion teaches us.  Bell ringing was just one of many ways to give, and remember to GIVE again.

May you all be blessed too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cutie Cousins

Look at these CUTIE cousin's in matching Gymboree Holiday Gymee PJ's

This auntie in love could NOT resist getting these 4 matching sets. 

The kids got a chance to wear them all together last weekend. Mark and I were invited to Mark's friend Mike's surprise 40th Birthday Party. It was in Cologne, so we stayed overnight at Brett and Rachel's. We got baby-sitters AND shuttle service to and from the party from Rachel. It made for awesome cousin cuddling time!

May the holiday fun continue! Take care all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Breakfast with Santa 2013

Breakfast with Santa! It's a family affair.

We checked a few holiday activities off of our Christmas list on Thanksgiving weekend
-Family meals with both sides (check)
-Tree (check)
-Order Christmas cards (check)
-Decorate the inside, and the front door (check)
-Breakfast with Santa (check)
 Rachel is so on top of things. She booked brunch with Santa at Dahlgren's Golf Course outside of Chaska weeks ago.
 The Melbergs, the Ulrichs and SANTA!
Ho Ho Ho & Merry Christmas from the David Melberg Crew!

(Our Little Man Charlie has NO IDEA Santa is behind him, which is why he is so calm!!!!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Our Thanksgiving and weekend was filled to the BRIM and our cup overflows with blessings.
I am THANKFUL our Ms. Marly is usually feeling so much better.

I am THANKFUL for our children.
 I am THANKFUL for time in the kitchen on Wednesday to cook fresh, homemade cranberry sauce.
 I am THANKFUL for the opportunity to make dressing to stuff those I love.
I am THANKFUL for wine. (keep'n it real here folks!)
I am THANKFUL for this beautiful, surprise delivery from Chris and Dad.
I am THANKFUL for fantastic family, and our children to gather, eat and spend time with on Thanksgiving Day.

I am THANKFUL to Brett and Rachel for hosting the holiday, and for the joy of being with Dad and Chris, Lester and Edith, and Sarah too.

I am THANKFUL to Sarah and all the nurses, and Chris and all the doctors, who help both in keeping us in good health, and our times of pain and need.

I am THANKFUL for sugary sweet french toast bake in our toasty warm, airy, light filled kitchen on Friday, and every day in our safe and solid home.

I am THANKFUL for too much food in our fridges and cupboards.
I am THANKFUL for a fun Thomberg family trip to the Pinestead Tree Farm on Friday for our Christmas Tree and a successful holiday card photo shoot.

I am THANKFUL for the time Mark and I have as a family.

I am THANKFUL for the love and strong bond our Twinners share with each other.

 I am THANKFUL for this goofy 6 year old boy who was delighted to see Santa, even if he couldn't convince his other half to join him.

I am THANKFUL for the Thompson Family and the time to gather them in our home on Saturday for hearty plates of lasagna and good company.

I am THANKFUL for beautiful, blessed new baby Declan and his lovely mom Kelly, who joined us with Grandma Pauline and Grandpa Gary.

I am THANKFUL to Pat, and all those who work in retail, who put aside their time with family to do their work and meet the fiscal demands of society.

We are BLESSED beyond measure!!!

I give THANKS to all those friends and family who were meeting here, there and elsewhere, and for those who we missed at the Melberg Pizza Party.


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