Love and Respect Christmas Party

I hosted the annual Christmas party for our Love and Respect small group this year.  I planned, prepped, and dreamed about this party for a couple months!  I loved being able to host our dearest friends and serve them a home cooked meal.  As friends started to arrive, I made a point to stop, look around, and enjoy the moment.  As I looked around my house full of friends, children, gifts, Christmas decor and music, I couldn’t help but to become overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion.  I had my little moment and then continued on with the hosting!

Food is done and ready to be eaten!

I love my kitchen so much more when it’s full of those I love 🙂

Guys chatting, kids running, presents waiting…

Reuben and Isaiah grubbin it up!

The girls and I were inspired by an idea we heard about at The Christmas Gathering this year so we decided to implement it at our Christmas party.  In lieu of a Dirty Santa gift exchange, each couple brought essential items to fill a bag that could be given to a homeless person or someone in need of assistance.  We brought items such as fruit cups, granola bars, soap, hand warmers, scarves, gloves, socks, water, etc and filled 16 bags.  Each person left with a bag to carry in his/her car.  As we’re driving, if we encounter someone in need, we can bless them with a bag of necessities.  We called this operation “Love and Respect Gives Back,” and we are very excited to look for other ways we can bless our community.

The men and kids worked on coloring pictures to put in the bags…

…while the ladies formed an assembly line to stuff the bags.

The completed bags!

The Rivers family led us in a sweet time of taking communion together as a group.  I’m thankful that we had the opportunity to share such a special time together.  Vi, sorry about the picture.  I’m sure you are gently instructing Diego about his role in the communion process 😉

Reuben loved him some communion bread!

I decided to be crafty with the gifts this year.  I made these flower pins/hair clips for all the girls.

I made these for each couple using our pictures from the Love and Respect photo shoot.

Here it is hanging on my wall…

Kara made the kids superhero capes.  They LOVED them!  Reuben decided he needed to blow raspberries while wearing his cape.

Super Troyer to the rescue!

Sweet Madelyn modeling her new jammies.

Miss Brie got some too 🙂

Tickle war!!!

After all the gift opening chaos, we surprised Vivi with a small birthday celebration.  Nick came out with his guitar and started singing “Happy Birthday.”  Vivi got really excited when she heard the music and started clapping along until she realized what we were singing, and then the tears started to flow.  We had the chance to bless her with some love and gifts, and she didn’t know what to think.  Here’s precious Vi sitting amongst her pile of gifts, having an emotional moment, while kids are running around in Christmas jammies everywhere!

We ended the night with popcorn and “Polar Express.”

I’m so thankful for my Love and Respect framily!!!  What a wonderful Christmas celebration 🙂


2 Comments on “Love and Respect Christmas Party”

  1. Lori Hill says:

    What a great idea with an amazing group of people. You are truly blessed!

  2. Vivi says:

    Oh Ames. This was SUCH a blessing! Thanks for opening up your home as wide open as your heart always is! Yes, I was an emotional wreck and u captured it on camera. Yes! I was using great non-verbals to let my son know (and all of u, as I see now) that if he kept on taking a bite of each piece of matzo we would have to take a good break. But all together, is who we are! What we love: our kiddos, our Jesus, our time together, and the memories we’re always making 🙂 love you friend!

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