Advent #4: Homeless


We just had this awesome opportunity to hop in our car and travel over 10 hours to a country far, far away—Holland.

While in Holland—we were a part of a beautiful wedding, visited Amsterdam, and went to a fun theme park.

It was truly a wonderful time for our family.


Do you know what made our children the happiest?  When we pulled back into our driveway and said, “We’re HOME!”

They were thrilled!

They squealed…They talked about all of the things that they loved…They ran from room to room just to see their stuff.

Their home.

Their security.

Their happy place.


There is most often something very comforting about that place—home. The saying “Home is where the heart is” rings true for many of us out there.

But for many, many, many others—it also does not.

And that’s what we will address today with Advent #4:  Homeless!

I hope that you have a read and find some great ideas for you and your family to do and grow and learn and give with this activity!

God bless,


Advent Activity #4:  Homeless

Begin with only addressing this part of the scripture (and tell the kids not to worry—you’ll come back for the rest on a different day)…

“…there was no place for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7b

Kids, did you know that when Jesus was born, his parents were staying outside—in a stable!  His very first bed was a manger.

Now you can talk about a time when you have been to a barn or a petting zoo—how did it look?  Smell?  Was it clean?  Where were the animals?  Where was their food?  Would they want to sleep out there with them?  Would they be afraid?  How would they feel?  Would they feel clean?  Have they ever stepped in cow pies?  Do they think a horse trough is clean?   Do they think the barn is loud or peaceful at night?  Do they think there are a lot of insects that would try and bite them?

Tell the children that Mary and Joseph had their baby in a stable—and laid him in a manger to sleep!  Can they imagine?  It was probably a lot like the above discussion (emphasize that with the kids)…

And yet—it was exactly as God had intended.  For Jesus to be born in humble circumstances because he was not a king of gold and jewels—he was a king of people.  All people—everywhere!

Did you know that there are many people around us that also do not have a home?  They are homeless.

Did you know that Jesus loves them so much?!  He does!  He loves them as much as he loves you and me.

So today we are going to do a bunch (or a few—up to you, parents 😉 ) of fun activities where we will get to show the homeless or lonely how much God loves them!

First up:  The Sock of Love!

My husband and I started a foundation for the homeless over a decade ago.  It includes, only to name a couple things, a weekly soup kitchen as well as multiple clothing closets.  And there are always 3 essential needs in any clothing closet:  Clean underwear; shoes without holes; and clean socks.

There are never enough!

So today, you will get to do something amazing—and use a HUGELY needed item to do it with—a sock!

You are going to build a giveaway sock with your kids.

You will need:  A clean pair of adult socks per child in your family (so they can all build their own); items to go in that sock.

Here is what I found on Pinterest:  The Sock

April 2013 028

But—as a founder of an international organization that helps the homeless (Rescue the Forgotten), I would omit a few of the above and add a few other items (in my opinion):

Add:  a water bottle—always needed; one dollar for needs (the mom also mentions this in the writing); gum or mints; granola bar/s; a snickers bar; Chapstick, Kleenex

Take away:  lotion (unless there is extra room), sunscreen, soap (if they have opportunity to use a sink, most likely there will be soap)

In any case, your children are going to really have a great time stuffing one sock full of essential items—make sure that they make a card to put inside, too (card ideas coming up).  It will be a great family activity that will literally “Bless someone’s socks off!”

(what do you do with the other sock—double the sock back to front with the first stuffed sock to keep all the items locked in)

Have the kids put their socks in a family bag in the car and then you are ready for when you see someone on the side of the street or in a parking lot.  Someone without a home…go and love on them!  But don’t forget your card…

Next up:  Making a Card of Love for the Homeless or Forgotten

Cardboard Roll Heart


Did you know that when you give a homeless person or a child in an orphanage a card, they most likely will treasure the gift?

They will.  Especially if it includes a photo. It is a ray of sunshine in their very difficult world that shows them someone out there was thinking of them.  That is rare and valuable—just like the card you will give out with the sock.

If you click on the above link, you will find a fun way to make a heart stamp—which is always fun—with a household common item:  the empty toilet paper roll!

All you need is a toilet paper roll, paper, and paint, a message of love, and the time it takes to make the cards!

It’s actually the perfect transition activity after they are done stuffing the sock, they can go and make the card (so it can dry) while the others are still working on their socks.

While the cards are drying, it’s time for activity number 3—which will always be a favorite for your kids!

Following the Card:  Bird Feeders


We live in Poland.  It’s a cold country.  And there is something really fun we see every winter—Bird Seed!  It’s everywhere.  Every store is selling it.  Everyone is buying it.


Because in the winter, in a frozen land, it’s a hard life for birds.

I grew up in a desert (Arizona) and did not realize this until we moved to this frozen land.

So you can also talk with your kids that as much as God loves you and me, he also loves the sparrows in the air…

And to help them out this winter—you can make them a bird feeder (click on link)!

You won’t believe how it easy it will be:  Pipe cleaner or floral wire, cheerios or loop cereal, and ribbon for hanging it on the tree!

Voile!  You’ve done it.

And just like you will see the person that will receive your sock smile, you will see your children smile as they watch birds in your front or backyard enjoy their new feeders.

Believe me—I have a 3-year-old that LOVES watching birds every day outside of our windows.

Last Activity for the Night:  Heart Fingerprint Ornaments


What you’ve done for the night is create a LOT of love that has come straight from your hearts—and put together with loving hands.

Therefore, a fun reminder for your family of your time spent on serving others could be for you to create family heart fingerprint ornaments (found on Pinterest).  Super easy and great fun for the Christmas tree (or even gifts to be given to family members like those grandparents that can never get enough of their grandkids!  Click on the link above and have fun!

End the evening praying with your children.

Thank God for the home and security you, as a family, have.

Pray for continued protection of your family.

Pray for those without homes.  That they will remain safe, people will remember them in love, and that they will stay warm.  That food may fill their bellies, and that they will get the help they need.

And pray that God will place the perfect people in your path to receive your Socks of Love!

God bless, my friends.  I hope you’ll have fun as a family remembering that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born humbly without a home because he is the King of People!

I look forward to sharing a couple more Advent activities with you this week.  Keep your eyes open for:  The Nativity (will include Bingo games, snow family globes, and footprint manger) and The Candy Cane!

Next week we’ll look at:  The Angel; The Shepherds; The Wise Men.

Until then…pa!


Fitting that also trending today with this post is our foundation’s page where men that were once formerly homeless—men like you will be giving your gift socks to, are now serving others.  Friends—homelessness is not a life sentence!  It’s merely a station where no one wants to remain.

God bless as you journey with your family into this amazing act of love!

Enjoy this read, as well:

30 Tons of Food Given by the Homeless to the Not Homeless.  Confused Much?


Advent Family Activity #3: Snow!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

heading up the mountain

My children are eagerly awaiting the snow.

It actually snowed one day.  A bit.  And then the rain washed it away.  My son was so sad.  He asked where it went.  I told him on a trip with the rain.

Kids are so cute.

But—as this Season of Advent is upon us—so is the beauty of winter!

Today’s special Advent Family Activity is just a flurry of snow!

No worries—you need not have the real stuff—you’ll make plenty on your own!

Without telling you what materials you may need, instead I’ll simply share all the fun activities that you can go through and decide which ones suit your family best!

To Begin:

Today, we are going to read Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”

This Season is Christmas!  And it is the Season when we remember the gift of Jesus, born as a baby, and given to us as a gift from God—the son of God!

It’s also celebrated during a time of year where everywhere North of the Equator generally relishes the thrill of chilly weather, hot chocolate, and lots of snow!

So, today, as a family, we are going to have a lot of fun making, playing, and eating snow!  And if you’re from a desert like I am (or South of the Equator enjoying your sunnier weather) this will be a lot of “cool” fun for you, too!


Snow Activities (Hands on, messy, and fun!):

Erupting Snow Recipe

Shivery Snow Paint

Snow Clay

Snow Game:

Snowman Dice Game

Snow Food:

Melted Snowman Cookies

And, our personal family favorite, blending ice in the blender, scooping it into a bowl or making it into a snowball, and eating it as if it were real, outside snow!

Hope that you have the most wonderful evening as a family playing in the SNOW!



Here are the Advent Activities we’ve already shared.  Next week, I’ll share 3 more.  Hope that you will have a great time as a family, spending time as a family, reading the Bible, talking about Jesus, and playing together!

Advent Activity #1:  The Names of Jesus

The Names of Jesus allows you and your family to talk about why each of you were given your name, if you know the meanings, if you have nicknames, and read the scriptures that share the names of Jesus.  There is a fantastic site that has created the ornaments with the names of Jesus. With a simple print or click or drawing ideas from it, you and your family can then make Christmas ornaments as glittery or non-glittery as you want that share the names of Jesus.  Decorate them together, hang them on your tree, or give them as gifts!  It’s a great start to the Advent Season!

Advent Activity #2:  The Wild Journey

The Wild Journey takes a look at the instructions given by Caesar Augustus—that a Census is to be taken and all must return to the home of the family line.  We discuss journeys, where you or your children were born, and how we travel—then we take a look at what and how Mary and Joseph probably traveled.  There is a fun opportunity to take a family Census of a bunch of fun stuff—as well as crosswords and coloring pages for everyone to enjoy!

Advent Activity #3:  Snow!  (Today’s post!  Read above)


Advent Activity #2: Wild Travels!


My passport is not too exciting.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a few stamps in it—after all, I do live in a foreign country.  But, for the most part, the places stamped are few and not what I would consider exotic—You know—where I have to travel on the back of an elephant, crossing a river, going uphill, and sleeping under the stars eating insects kind of fun!

Most of my traveling, as much as I might complain, is done very modernly—via car, train, or airplane.  Only on a few occasions have my travels included boat or parachute 😉

Can’t forget the flying car, too.

BUT—I did travel internationally at 35 going on 36 weeks pregnant with Adelyne via airplane.

I was huge.  An elephant had nothing on me.  I was uncomfortable.  And I was ready to burst.

Yet I hopped on an airplane and went over the ocean, across an entire continent, and landed in Arizona where I later popped out my first baby.

I did not have to have my baby in Arizona—I wanted to.  After all, it was my first baby, and I thought it would be really nice to have my first baby close to my family.

But, let me reiterate, I chose to have my first baby in Arizona.  Therefore, I chose to travel.  And despite my backside being bigger than the coach seat, at least it was not a donkey, right?

Can you imagine traveling while pregnant—via donkey?  I can’t.  Yet that is most likely how Mary traveled.

Which leads us to Advent Day #2:  The Journey!  

What you can have out if you so choose:  

a world map

a map of a place where you’ve been or traveled to

a passport to look at the countries and stamps

Materials you do need:



Coloring crayons or markers or paint

Printed Materials

Or blank paper

Before we get to the Scripture for the Day…

Part 1:

Before we read, as you are gathered as a family, take turns asking and answering the following question:

Where were you born?  Where were your parents born?  Your grandparents?  

Do you know your family’s heritage?  Where they came from?  Or what family they came from?  Do you have any royalty in your family line? 

There is a great chance that each member in your immediate family was born in a different place.  After all, I have 3 children, and they were all born in different cities or countries.  And I know my maternal grandma’s mom was born in Baja territory.  So the fun you will all have discovering where you come from will be great.  Quite a geography lesson, too!

Once everyone has had a chance to answer (or at least help the little ones answer), you can move on.

Part 2:

Tell your children that you are going to read Scripture today from Luke 1:1-5 and it is going to talk about a LOT of things, so keep their ears sharp for:

Caesar, Census, Roman World, Register, Nazareth, Bethlehem, House of David

Read Luke 1:1-5 (or have one of your children read)

Ask the kids:

Back then, Caesar Augustus was in charge of The Roman World and wanted to take a Census.

Who is in charge of your country?  What country is that?  Do you know what a Census is?

Explain that Census is something taken to record information of each person in the country/land.  For example:  How many women live in your country?  How many men?  How many children live in your home?   For fun, you can take a quick family census—and also throw in fun questions like:  If you had to choose your favorite color of the rainbow, what would it be—and record the results; favorite ice cream; favorite day of the week—just some silly but fun questions. In fact, one person could be the Census Taker 😉

Ask your children if they are registered somewhere?  Tell them that they are!  In fact, as soon as they were born, it was one of the first things you had to do for them.

If you have more time, you could have your kids fill out a registration form for you about them or about their pet or their favorite toy.  It could include:  Name; Date of Birth; Place of Birth; Mother’s Name; Father’s Name; Favorite Color; Eye Color; Hair Color; Favorite Food;  What Makes Them Giggle; What Makes Them Scared; Their Favorite Thing To Do…and so forth.  Or you could put your family name on a piece of paper at the top and then each member of the family answers the next order—so you’ll have a fun but funny family registration of all of your personalities.


Ask the children what they bring when they travel somewhere (Maybe a special pillow or stuffed animal.  Maybe they’ll say clean clothes).  Ask “When you travel, do you pack a big bag with too much stuff or a small bag with not very much?  Do you ever have to pack food? ”

Let them take turns answering what they would bring.

After you get a few answers out of them, you can produce this sheet and ask them what they believe Mary and Joseph brought with them on their travels:  Mary and Joseph’s Traveling Bag

Do this activity sheet together.

Following this activity, ask them the following:

Would you like to travel via donkey?

Do you think it would be safe?

Do you think it would be fun?

Fast travels or slow travels?

Bumpy or smooth travels?

Do you think it would be smelly?

Where do you think they had to park their donkey at night?

Do you think you would get “donkey sick” like people get carsick?

How do you think Mary felt during her travels?

Do you think she had a choice to travel or not to travel?

Do you have a choice when you travel?

Do have a favorite time when you traveled somewhere?  What was it?

Then you can end with the following if you choose:

Have your children pray and thank God for their family, and ask God to protect them each and every day as they travel.  Thank God that Joseph and Mary were obedient to Caesar’s request to travel for the Census because then what was foretold in the Old Testament and the place of the Messiah’s birth came to fruition (of course, use words for your children’s levels).

After you pray, they can choose one or all of the activities:  

Road to Bethlehem Word Unscramble

Road to Bethlehem Word Find

Road to Bethlehem Crossword

Road to Bethlehem Coloring Sheet

Or, if you don’t want to do the coloring sheet, you could have blank paper and art materials and fun supplies (or old newspapers or magazines they could use) and everyone could make their favorite place where they have travelled.

After everyone is done, you could share or post them on a nearby window or cabinet for the Season.

Hope you have fun with Day 2—but, don’t feel as if you need to do these back to back.  In fact, i will probably only do 3 things a week.

Up next will be SNOW for Advent Day 3.  Make sure you come back to have some “Snow Day Fun” with us!



Advent Activity #1 For the Entire Family to Enjoy!


If you are gearing up for Christmas, like we are, then you are gung-ho ahead with everything that Christmas entails:



More lights







Angel Tree Gifts (or giving through Rescue the Forgotten)

Pictures with Santa

Driving around to look at others lights

Christmas music 24/7


Christmas play

The Polar Express

The Nativity Scenes

I know…The list goes on and on and on.

And in the beautiful hustle and bustle of it all, Advent gets rushed.

It does.  We are human and it is a beautiful and full time of the year.

Perhaps, however, we could all slow down—a couple nights each week leading up to Christmas, and allow ourselves to spend some quality time with our family reflecting upon the Reason for the Season and do a bunch of fun stuff to celebrate Jesus!

If you are like me, then you’ll need some help.

I would like to say that I will now present to you the 24 fantabulous ideas leading up to Christmas Eve.  But I won’t because I don’t have that.

What I do have for you, though, are about a dozen ideas for you to use as your family prepares for Christmas.  Perhaps some of these you’ll incorporate after an evening meal and enjoy doing so!  Don’t worry, though, I won’t overwhelm you with a dozen all at once.  I’ll give you one at a time so that you can prepare and then come back for more.

Although our family (much like yours) is busy this time of the year—we realize that this beautiful gift given to us, Jesus, is the reason we love so abundantly—and, therefore, we try and incorporate great family celebrations leading up to his birth (and always beyond—but you know what I mean).

Let me know if you use any of the ideas I list and how they go!



***These may appear simple, but I am doing these with kids with the ages 1, 3, and 9.  You can always alter or add for older kids—but the ornaments will be fun for all ages***

First up:  You could talk about NAMES!

Share with your kids why your parents gave you your name?  What do you know about your name (do you know its meaning)?  Do you have a nickname?

Why did you name your children their names (or you can ask them why they think you gave them their names)?  What are the meanings of their names?  Do they have nicknames or pet names?  (Remember, my son believes his name is Maxwell Loren Big Boy—so this will actually be a real memory-making time for you if you have Littles, too)

Well, kids, did you know that hundreds of years before Jesus was born, he also was spoken of in the Old Testament and given many names.  Tonight we will read a couple scriptures that tell of the coming of the birth of Jesus and what names he is to be called /// given!

Read:  Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6

What names are Jesus given in these scriptures?

What does Immanuel mean?

In the New Testament, an Angel of the Lord goes to Joseph and tells him what to name the baby.  What is it and what does it mean?

Read:  Matthew 1:21

Can you believe it?  Jesus has many names just like you and me!

And just like you have a name given to you for a reason — Jesus was also given his name for a reason.  Isn’t that fun to know?!

Today we get to do a really fun craft—make ornaments with ALL of the names of Jesus.  We can hang them on the tree and all over the house—and even give them as gifts.

Click here to go straight to the link:  Names of Jesus Printable (free) Ornaments

If your kids are older, then you may want to challenge them with finding the scripture references for the rest of the names of Jesus that we did not read through today.

As you are coloring the ornaments together, remind your children that when preparing for a baby, one of the most exciting things we get to do is think of names for our baby—and Jesus was no exception to that—his name was given with great thought to convey a great message—he was not to be any ordinary baby—but the Savior of the World.

Now that’s a gift worth celebrating!


Perhaps add glitter or special art supplies to your ornaments

Play the picnic game going around the table while crafting (My name is Brooke, and I am going on a picnic.  I will bring with me a bunch of bananas)…even though you are family, it is still a fun game to play with names.

Christmas music is always a great idea while coloring

Perhaps make cookies together (sugar cookies) and they can spell out their names


Have one child choose to pray, thanking God for each person in your family BY NAME… and for the gift of Jesus and what his very name means.

Well, that’s all for today.  I hope you come back for the next one:  The Journey!  

See you then.