The bomb diggity

There is awesome then there’s the bomb diggity!  Let me introduce them to you.  But first….proof of their awesomeness:


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Ole Tess (#mama_mollie) is one of the most documented Christmas Angel’s that we have seen!  She is so well documented we think she should have her own scrapbook!

Then their is ole (#jwillis1105) with her insane organization skills!  Here is a mom who said the angel needs message cards!!! We agree by the way :-)  She came up with her own way of delivering her angel’s messages!  LOVE!

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Wanting to pair scripture with your angel’s messages?  Here is the first 8 of 25 messages our friend Emily came up with!!  You can find all 25 on our Message Idea Pinterest page!


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I think my angel is broken.

I think my angel is broken are words no business owner wants to hear.

Dear parents of older children (2nd grade and older).  Dear parents that do not want to be the one that comes up with message ideas for the angel.  Dear parents that do not do imaginary things in your home.  THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU!

Let me introduce you to our handy dandy planner.  Print this puppy out and hand it to your older child.  Let them come up with ways that they would like to GIVE, LOVE and SERVE those around them during the season.  Perhaps even give them a budget that they have to stay within.

I am all about giving my kiddos responsibilities.  Its good for them!  If you have been doing the angel for a few years and your child is getting old enough to come up with message ideas on their own….let them!   Let them be the one to think of ways to give.

Remember this page?

Mom and dad can help you start a list of things to make.....

Mom and dad can help you start a list of things to make…..

Riley, our 10 year old daughter is a perfect example.  She no longer “believes” in any of the fun childhood imaginary things.  But her love for the angel and its messages is still pretty strong.   This is because of her desire to love and obey the Lord.  She fully knows that the angel is simply a tool that helps teach us to love others and even though she knows the angel doesn’t “leave” the message she still can’t wait to “do” a message.

If you have a child like Riley print out this planner and let them come up with ideas for the season.  It doesn’t have to be 25!!!  Do what works for your family.


Who has time?

Sometimes we hear “we just don’t have time for anything extra during Christmas”.  Yep I get it!  Shopping, Christmas plays, family get togethers, work parties and the list goes on and on!

The Christmas Angel is not hear to “stress” you out.  What works for us is coming up with messages that we can include to our already filled up calendar.  In other words if our church is having a “service” day on a Saturday that will be our message.  Or perhaps if we know that we are going to one of our family Christmas get togethers that would be a great day to leave a message to make grandma or grandpa a card.  Its not rocket science and there is never a reason to stress out over ANYTHING  :-)  So relax!  Have fun!

Here is a cute picture from our friends on instagram #thechristmasangel  -looks like their message that day is paired with looking at  Christmas lights.

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Christmas in July Week 3

5 1/2 months til Christmas!!! Our angel is getting antsy to start giving back and thought we would get a head start by celebrating Christmas in July!

Here are the final 5 messages that we will be giving out for Christmas in July!

As with all of our suggestions, feel free to make them your own. Many of the things you are already doing can be incorporated into your personal messages. We are currently learning scripture. Our angel’s message could be fun games to help our kids memorize the specific scripture for that week.

Messages 11-15



And as always Pinterest comes to the rescues with getting our creative minds to work!

Message 11

These are for end of the year gifts at school but we think they could be perfect for your neighbors if the tag is changed up a bit.



Message 13

Do you kids go to a summer camp every year?  Perhaps its sports related, a VBS or even a bible camp.  Most counselor at these camps are volunteer and they choose to love on our kiddos for weeks out of their summer.  Ask your child how they can thank them.  It doesn’t have to be with a monetary gift… could simply be a note on the ways they impacted your child’s life during their time together.

Shameless plug:  My brother and sister- in- law are missionaries at Ponderosa Bible Camp in Mentone, Alabama.  If you are near the Birmingham Alabama area or close to Chattanooga Tennessee check this camp out….ITS FABULOUS!


I hope you have enjoyed picking a few of these ideas to spend this summer encouraging your family to give.  We have a “Christmas” product but our purpose remains the same all year long.  Can’t wait to engage with you all in a few more months!!!!!


Summertime Giving

Christmas In July

Happy HOT Summer!!!!

I hope all of our friends are having an amazing summer break and are making memories and spending lots of time in the pool!


When The Christmas Angel began in 2011 we started a “Christmas in July- 4 weeks of Summer Giving”.  Over the last few years we have tweaked it here and there but the purpose remains the same.


As parents we believe we should use every possible opportunity to point our kids to Jesus by teaching them to – Love God and love others.


Were asking you – what ways can you see this summer as an opportunity to GIVE, LOVE and SERVE those around you? Perhaps you can ask your children to recall some of their favorite “giving” opportunities that you did as a family this past Christmas with The Christmas Angel.


Our heart’s desire is to raise up our kiddos to shine more like Christ, Christmas in July helps us focus on another time of year to be intentional and plan some fun creative ways to do that.  I know, I know, we should be doing this all year long! Yep you are absolutely right, however during Christmas and Christmas in July we will help you along with a handy dandy list of ideas.

Feel free to click on this cute image and print to start filling out your families favorite ideas:



Ash Wednesday…Lent? Not a clue, I am Baptist.

Ash Wednesday…..Lent….what does all this mean?  I have no idea, I was raised Baptist :-)

So you may be asking why I’m writing a blog on the above religious practices.  Well like most of us we learn best through our experiences and other peoples experiences.  First there is me – I am not a big fan of rules, never have been and probably will never be.  Free spirit at best and like to do things my way and not follow pattern of any one or anyones rule.  I realize this is not good…..  Secondly there is my husband  (Patrick) – he loves a good structured plan.  He gets giddy about a “start day” and is completely focused till the challenge is over.  You put the two of us together and you get 3 messed up kids!  That brings me to my sweet Cooper.

Cooper is our middle, 8 years old, sweetest, most compassionate rule follower I have ever met.  The other night we were eating our Valentine’s meal and I served some appetizers while we waiting for our steaks to finish grilling.  The appetizers were mozzarella cheese sticks to be exact because obviously we were focusing on the health content of the meal……

A GOOD 5 minutes have passed almost all of us had scarfed down our cheese sticks…..except Cooper.  In a quiet voice Cooper asked “mom can we say the blessing?”  His cheese stick is still sitting on his plate and he is still sitting patiently in his chair waiting to bless his food so he can eat.   Bless.

1.  Is what he did wrong?  No…and yes.  Let me explain.  Coop like a lot of us forgot who his blessing is to and who it is for.  He was waiting on everyone to participate instead of taking time on his own and praying his blessing to his Lord and Savior.

That leads me to Lent.  Is is wrong?  No….and yes.  Let me explain again :-).  If we wait on everyone else to “give up” something before we “give up” something, we may be doing it for the wrong reasons.  Lent isn’t about sweets, coke, cake, coffee, Facebook the list goes on and on.  It is about Jesus.  It is about our relationship with Him growing by – loving, giving and reflecting on Him the next 40 days.

That is also  a bone I would like to pick.  If it is really something you need to give up why not give it up for more than 40 days?

Religious practices is a fine line.  Should we be disciplined and practice spiritual disciplines?  OF COURSE!  But who are those disciplines for?  How can giving up Coke grow your walk with Christ?  Maybe it can, thats not for me to answer.  What happens when you go 5 days and you have a Coke….whoops.  Do you have a since of guilt when you crave the Coke?  Do you feel that God is going to love you less because you didn’t make it to the finish line of 40 days?

Readers everywhere are saying of course the non-rule follower would say that!

That last question I asked is key.  The gospel is not a bunch of boxes to check off…..please get that.  The gospel is what happened because we proved we could never check the boxes off. We can’t.  Impossible.  Only through Christ are we made right before God, not our acts, nor our services.  We are filthy rags, a world full of rebellious rule breakers and self righteous rule followers.  So instead of thinking of a lent as a 40 day “challenge”, might I suggest a few alternatives.

1.  Prayer journal.  Keep a journal every year and write down your conversations with God.  This is neat because you can go back and read it to see how your prayer life has changed over the years.  This is great for kids too!

2.  If you are aching to “give up something”, might I suggest 7 by Jen Hatmaker,  yep I just went there.

3.  The reverse lent challenge

4.  Go to bed an hour earlier.  Wake up an hour earlier and DIVE into God’s word.  Might I suggest Kay Arthur’s precept?  Yep went there too.

I am not anti-lent, please do not take that as the take home message.  Lets just challenge/discipline ourselves in ways that God can use us more for His glory…..however that may be.

Elf and Angel

Q and A


Letter pulled from:

1.  Is this like the elf but an angel?                                                                                       Well…..kind of but not really.  Here is how it is similar:  The angel visits during Christmas, they wake up and find an angel.  That is the only way the angel is similar to the elf.  The angel DOES NOT watch after you like the elf.  God doesn’t need an angel to watch after you or your children.  Please do not teach this.  If you have, no worries, we all make mistakes.  Take it back to scripture in teaching the attributes of God.  He is all knowing, omnipotent, omnipresence etc.   Angels, especially The Christmas Angels are simply messengers, messengers of what we can do for others, not behavior modification.

2.  What ages would you recommend starting this tradition?  We say ages 3-11 is perfect.

For the older crowd, here’s a good idea:

3.  Can you use the elf and the angel together?                                                                              Of course. Many of you have the elf and have had it for a few years but are now wanting to introduce the angel to the family.

4.  If I have the elf, how do I introduce the angel?                                                                        Here are a few ideas.  A.  You have the elf bring it as a gift to your children.  Around the middle of December your elf can leave a message to your kids stating how they need to get back to the North Pole to finish up toys for Santa, but no worries, I am leaving you with a friend who is going to teach you what Christmas is all about and prepare your heart leading up to Christmas day.  This would be a way to use them one at a time vs both.  B.  You can have them play off of each other.  For example:  If the elf hangs candy canes from the chandelier, your angel can in turn say- ok, now we need to take these to our neighbors.

Visit this pinterest board for more ways on how to use the elf with the angel 


FAQ: How to introduce your angel


We are asked quiet frequently:

How do we introduce our angel(s) to the family?

Answer:  A.  I do apologize, but I do not have anything genius here. I am sure there are many ways, but we think reading the book is a good start. The book goes through the Christmas story plus it introduces the angel and what he/she will be doing through the Christmas season. At this time you could say “Be on the lookout, The Christmas Angel may come and visit us this year.” B. You could write a letter to your children from the angel and they receive it as a gift one day. The letter would tell your kids the purpose of them coming to visit. C. You turn on the fire, light the Christmas tree, and tell the kids to sit down. “Kids, mom and dad have bought you something and are excited to share it with you.” :-)

See!! We are sorry, nothing genius!  If you have a genius way please share it with us at and we will post it here and for all to hear!

3 Ways we miss the reason for the season.



We throw around the word “messenger” like it’s going out of style here at The Christmas Angel. Angels are messengers, we are chief messengers here at Heartbox (our company name), you are chief messengers in your home, there are 25 Days of Messages and the list goes on and on.

However, when we get down to it, the only “message” that matters is the “gospel” message. Everything else is just a second thought or the “icing on the cake”. The meat of it is “who” we are doing this for, and why we are doing it. WHAT does our life reflect? WHO does our life reflect? And when it comes to Christmas, what does our season reflect?

The gospel is so easy…. but for some reason we ALL have a tendency to look over the gospel in our lives, especially during certain seasons. Here are a few reasons I think why:

1. The Gospel isn’t about us. WHAT??? I know, crazy huh? The world doesn’t revolve around us, or our kids, or our finances, or even our talents. Those things are all for Him!

Who is “HE”? He is a God that graciously-even though we are sinners-sent His son Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, to die a gruesome death for our righteousness, that through Him we are made “right” with God. I ask my kids “where does God live” and they say heaven! Then I ask them “what is not allowed in heaven?” And they say SIN! Well, if we are sinners, we need someone to save us and make us pure and free of sin, AND the only person that can do that is Jesus.

2. We fail to understand what grace truly is. For me, I had to fall flat on my face before my heavenly father to understand grace. Unfortunately BUT fortunately, grace came tough to me. Through my choices of choosing me, me, me, I found myself alone, hopeless….But ahhhh through His grace, for some reason (and it still doesn’t make since to me), He called me back into his arms. I will never forget the day. I remember exactly where I was when He said to me “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” THAT is the love (grace) that God has for us! And that is why it should be the same love we have for others. Unfortunately by nature, we are judgmental and unloving people if we are quite honest with ourselves. Graciously through the gospel, we understand the grace that has been given to us and we therefore show grace to others.

3. We don’t focus on where our hope comes from. Our hope is in the Lord! No that isn’t a cliche, it’s truth! Again, because we are flesh, we start looking at what we can do and lose focus instead of focusing on where our hope comes from. We are failures, humans are failures.

My dad has to be the greatest man that I have ever known. I still feel like I am 8 years old when I am around him and I love him dearly. But guess what! He will fail me. Why? Because he is human. If we keep putting our hope in people, money, our jobs or our talents, we will be disappointed eventually. True hope only comes from the one that conquered death. And that one is Jesus! It is like He said, “You can put me on a cross and even put me in the ground, BUT I will have victory over death!” And this is where our hope comes from with eternal life with Him.

He will not ever leave me or you, even through the things that we have done, and unfortunately continually do. His love is unconditional. He hasn’t made a promise yet, that he hasn’t kept! His love is soooo wide. His love is soooo deep. Do you know of HIS love? Have you experienced HIS love? I invite you to today.

No rules, just Jesus.

Ok, sorry for the cheesy title.  I would like to try and get something very important across to you guys that love Jesus, your kids and The Christmas Angel, but first a little background on me.

I am not a rule follower.  I don’t like rules, I feel things can go in just about any order and still work efficiently.  My husband however….sigh….is very much a rule follower to a “T”.  So much in fact when we sike ourselves up to do a 90 day Beach Body workout he feels that if we do not do the workout that corresponds to the right day than the system will fail. I however, pick the one that looks dandy to me on that day.

All this to say, with The Christmas Angel there are NO RULES!!!!!  JUST JESUS!

Questions we receive quite often are:

1.  Q. Does the angel have to come everyday?  A. Nope

2.  Q.  Does the angel have to appear on December 1st?  A.  Nope

3.  Q.  Does the angel have to leave a message everyday?  A.  Nope

4.  Q.  Does it always have to be a “monetary” giving act?  A.  Nope

5.  Q.  Do I have to use the golden dust?  A.  Nope

I have a few people come up to me and say ” I am so sorry I just didn’t do the best job with The Christmas Angel last Christmas.  She was only at our house for a week and only left 4  messages.  I plan to be better this year.”

Will you please stop!  You guys are wearing me out.  The Christmas Angel was designed to bring Jesus in the home in a fun and creative way….your way.   Your way may be a message or 2 a week vs someone that does a message a day for a month.  Its alright, you can build up to more as your child gets older.  Your way may be a message left in a gold marker on black construction paper vs the glitter.  That sounds fine and dandy to me.  Your way may be that the angel gives through spending time (volunteering)  vs with money.  Lastly, your way may be the angel comes a week before Christmas vs the day after Thanksgiving.

Pinterest is seriously the coolest thing around, but we have got to stop thinking that if we aren’t doing it like _______ then its not good enough.  Its your family.  Taylor fit it for your family, just keep the focus on Jesus.  That is my only rule :-)


Why an angel?

With The Christmas Angel tradition why did we choose an angel and not a wiseman, or a mouse or even an elf? The Christmas Angel story is based on the story of how an angel came to Mary with that wonderful message of how she will give birth to Jesus.  An angel is a messenger.  The Christmas Angel is a messenger that will leave messages for your kiddos on how they can impact someone around them.

We have a girl angel:


The hearts on her dress simply mean “LOVE”.  The box that she is holding represents the name of our company- Heartbox.  What is a heartbox?  If you have The Christmas Angel book you will notice that a heartbox appears on the page where Mary is praying.  That heartbox gets passed around the story.  It is how Bruce Andrews, our illustrator illustrated the love of Jesus.

We also have a boy:   boyangel   His sword is to teach that angels are also protectors.  They protect us based on God’s provision.  They are fighters….rough and tough.  His hair…man his hair.  I LOVE IT!!!  Its just crazy…again because what angel that is protecting us will have perfect hair?  Please feel free to use the sword as another teaching element by incorporating the armor of God.

Our kids imagination will disappear one day, correct?  Instilling how to love others will never go away. Why not choose to use The Christmas Angel during the season that will make a lasting impact on your child’s life!

Here’s a fun activity:

Talk to your kiddos about the angel while using the coloring sheets below.  Questions to ask are

1.  How many references to angel messages can you find in the bible?

2.  What are those angel’s names?

3.  What was the purpose of those messages?



Click images to open in new window and print!

Teacher Activities!

Are you a teacher?  Do you want to teach your classroom to do and to think about others?  Lets teach our students to be thankful for their bus driver, lunchroom lady and the custodial staff.  The Christmas Angel is a perfect tool to help get you started.  To help you with message ideas, here are our Classroom Messages!


Coming Soon:

Activities for your classroom!!


For gift tags click here:

For coloring pages click here:

Or door knockers for an unexpected teachers door or as a take home for their neighbor!doorhangerjoydoorhanger

What about some thank you notes?Thankyou_2 copy

Thankyou_2 copyThankYou1

When should my angel arrive?



When does your Christmas Angel arrive?  This may be a question you are asking yourself.  I have heard of several different ideas and I will share with you a couple.  For the Dorough family, our angel has always come 2 weeks before Christmas.  I am not sure why necessarily, it just works for us!  Maybe it is because the kids are out of school and we are able to really concentrate on our “giving” acts.  I’ve also heard that December 1st is very popular, which of course would make us underachievers!! :-)  For the grandparents out there, the angel visits whenever the grandchild is at their house.  This could also be true for blended families.

Does the angel leave a message everyday?  We hear this question a lot as well.  Our angel does…but does yours have to??  Of course not!  There are no rules in our book for that very reason.  Each family is different and have completely different lives and schedules, therefore make your angel a perfect fit for your home.  My only suggestion would be lay down those ground rules with your kids so they know what to anticipate.  For those of you that are getting their angel out for the first year, you are going to have an absolute blast.  Thank you for choosing a tradition that will make an impact on your child’s life forever!


Glitter?! Really?! Glitter?!

Ok ok! Here’s a little background on why we chose glitter. I can tell you for a fact that my friends and family are not shocked at all by this detail with The Christmas Angel. I am the type of person that can only make a mess. I don’t know what the words neat and organized mean. When I cook, I get more on the counter and stove than I do the pot. When I paint, I get me more on me than the wall. When I decorate….wow! You should see how I just lay everything out on the floor to look at it until I figure out where it is to go. You get my drift? I am not a neat, tidy, clean person so when people say, “Glitter! Really glitter!” My response is, “Huh? What’s wrong with glitter…….?” Then it came to me. I have a friend that makes her kids play with playdoh in a zip bloc bag! And another that will not allow their children in the kitchen to cook! And then it donned on me…..OHHHHH glitterrrrr. Now. I. get. it!

Well, I’m kind of sorry for the glitter…. but not really….. Let me explain. Children are visual creatures….well, actually we all are. The cool thing is their little imaginations are HUGE! When we were thinking how the angel would leave her message we thought of glitter, gold glitter. The streets of heaven are paved with gold so as she flies to and from, that silly gold just comes right along with it leaving a trail of messages behind her! Ok, so you get the reason it’s gold but you still don’t understand why glitter. Well duh…..because it sparkles and it’s cool!

By the way, I love all the ideas that have been blogged about of “optional” non-glitter ways to leave a message. The main thing is that the child receives a message, however it may be. The glitter will not have an eternal impact on their lives, I know, I know, but hey, it sure doesn’t hurt. What will have an eternal impact on their lives in the time WE invest in our children! Let’s try not to get caught up in the little things, these little guys and gals will be up and grown before we know it!

In our office we have an extra large dry erase board that seems to be as close to Disney World that our children can get. They love to draw and doodle on it, solve math problems, the whole nine yards. My husband, the neat freak in the house – he can’t help it was passed down in the family genes…. goes absolutely crazy when they draw on the board and get ever so close to writing on top of the business plans for the upcoming 3 months! Or mess up his perfectly outlined spreadsheet stating facts and figures! Meanwhile I stated “babe, in 10 years we will look at that same board and wished their little handwriting was still up there, not to mention their warm bodies up in their beds snug as a bug.”

So, don’t sweat the small stuff. Seize the day with whatever works best for you: It could be with glitter, playdoh in a ziploc bag or even a can of pledge and a cloth – whatever it may be just don’t blink and wish you could get it all back. Take these few years to invest, build, grow, teach and love on each and every one of your little guys. That is eternal, who cares if it contains glitter or not. ;-)


Click here for a blog on “MANY WAYS TO LEAVE A MESSAGE”


Who’s it ALL about?

(A repost from December 2011)

The Christmas trees, decorations, holiday meals, the shopping and the family and friend get togethers!

Sometimes during Christmas we have so much to do that we get caught up in the “WHAT” is Christmas about instead of the “WHO” Christmas is about. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to make you feel guilty for having the list above. I am sitting in a home typing to you with 4 Christmas trees, an out of control Christmas village, a gingerbread house half way finished sitting on my kitchen countertops and I’m about to get dressed for our first family Christmas gathering of the season. So I get it, I am slap dab in the middle of the Christmas spirit and the “what” of Christmas! There is nothing wrong with all that as long as our perspective of the “who” stays in focus.

Christmas is about the birth of our sweet Lord, period. If you don’t have the money to put up decorations, that’s ok cause it was never about the tree, but about Jesus. If times are hard and gift giving is scarce, that’s ok cause it isn’t about the presents but about Jesus.
This is how the angel came to be at our home. We saw the focus in our lives and well as our culture get so focused on the “what” instead of the “who” of Christmas. And guess what? Christmas isn’t about the angel. Now what other business owner would tell you that? But its not. She is merely a doll. She isn’t alive nor does she have special powers. The angel is simply a reminder of where our heart should be focused during Christmas because of the perfect gift we have been giving therefore we should open up our hearts and FOCUS on giving because of the “who” not the “what”.
So take a load off! Breathe! Focus on the most perfect gift that we have all been given and all that other stressful stuff will start looking FUN!


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Giving is as easy as 1-2-3


Getting started with The Christmas Angel is as easy as 1.2.3.

You have decided to choose a tradition that instills the true meaning of Christmas.  We thank you for that!  You may be asking your self the question:  What now?

Here is a video that will help you get started!  It really is as easy as 1.2.3


Many Ways to Give (Ways to leave your message)!


Just as there are many ways to give, there are many ways to leave your message!

*Why golden dust?  Heaven is paved with streets of gold.

*Why messages?  For more on messages Read

Here are many ways our friends have left messages over the last few years.  We think these are pretty great!!!

oldfashion  clothespin

envelope    handwritten


Thank you to:

Ashley choose to make index cards ahead of time with the messages.  Write the message in glue, then dust with glitter!
READ MORE          Our abundant blessing choose clothes pins and dusted them with the golden dust to hang each message.       Mama Jenn used envelope for her message.  Sprinkle the golden dust and the word “give” to hold each message the angel leaves.

Mel simply wrote a message a day in a tray, as you see above “help others”.   Another idea she had was to write the message in a golden pen or sharpie!

We hope these ideas help you along while planning for The Christmas Angel.  For more ideas visit us on Pinterest!


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Why a Message?


You may have asked yourself: “Why does The Christmas Angel leave a message?”  Well…..the word angel actually means messenger from God.


 noun \ˈān-jəl\

: a spiritual being that serves especially as a messenger from God or as a guardian of human beings


 Throughout Christmas we as parents, teachers and grandparents have the opportunity to share with our children messages that will instill the act of giving, loving and serving through a simple message.  Your messages may come in forms of glitter (included in the product) or you may simply hand write a message to your child if that’s more your speed.  (click here for a blog about Glitter, Really Glitter? ‎)


Patrick and I call ourselves “chief messengers” for this product,  just as you are “chief messengers”  in your home.  You have an opportunity to use this the product to creatively use messages to plan a week of mission minded activities, learn scripture and/or give an encouraging word.

Our days are flying by with our little ones and we only have a few years to impress on their hearts what is eternal and what doesn’t fade away.  Our hearts desire is for you to use this product to point your children to the gospel, the TRUE message.

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Preparing for The Christmas Angel

To Do List Clipboard For Organizing Tasks


We hear quite often from parents:  “We love The Christmas Angel” but we have a hard time coming up with message ideas.

Christmas should be fun, relaxing and a time of reflecting on the Maker of ALL things.  The Christmas Angel isn’t here to stress you out!  :-)  To help you along in your planning we compile “25” days of messages EACH year.  These are just ideas, a resource for your family to use to help pick and choose what messages your family will share to others.

Here are our 25 days of Messages from past years.  Be on the look out for this years!!!

    25-Days-Printout_2011      25-Days-Printout2012    25-Days-Printout-2013

To find these messages and more visit our Pinterest page (Message Ideas)

Christmas In July Week 2!

5 1/2 months til Christmas!!!  Our angel is getting antsy to start giving back and thought we would get a head start by celebrating Christmas in July!

Here are message 6-10 of the 15 messages that we will be giving out over the next few days.

As with all of our suggestions, feel free to make them your own.  Many of the things you are already doing can be incorporated into your personal messages.  We are currently learning scripture.  Our angel’s message could be fun games to help our kids memorize the specific scripture for that week.  




Message 6:  Check out our blog at ‎ on how our lemonade stand was used to make money to give to missions during our VBS 2013

Message 9:  Look how cute this is!!  If your child is interested in being a pen pal, look at the “code” to use from one pen pal to another.

penpalThanks to for a great idea!

For more DIY’s and creative message ideas visit our Christmas in July board at

What ways have you found to give back this summer?  We would love to hear how your summer of giving is going!


Christmas in July Messages 1-5!

We are halfway to Christmas!!!  Our angel is getting antsy to start giving back and thought we would get a head start by celebrating Christmas in July!

Here are the first 5 of the 15 messages that we will be giving out over the next few days.

As with all of our suggestions, feel free to make them your own.  Many of the things you are already doing can be incorporated into your personal messages.  We are currently learning scripture.  Our angel’s message could be fun games to help our kids memorize the specific scripture for that week.  



Our ole trusty friend Pinterest has great DIY for our messages above.   How about a DIY sidewalk chalk recipe?

 Click this link to see how?


 For more DIY’s and creative message ideas visit our Christmas in July board at

What ways have you found to give back this summer?  We would love to hear how your summer of giving is going!


Christmas In July!



Looking for ways to have fun in the sun with your kiddos?  

The Christmas Angel is celebrating Christmas in July with fun ways to give back this summer.  Stay tuned for 15 messages we will post from the angel that are just a few creative ways we can love others.



Preventing Summertime Blues

The idea of summer sounds FANTASTIC especially in the fridged cold of winter or even 20 or less days before school is out but we as parents really know what is coming:

Kids sleeping in til 10
Empty Pantries
A destructive house
“Im bored” syndrome
And….being flat broke

Hopefully with this blogpost I can give you a few pointers so you do not pull your hair out in the weeks to come….hopefully.

Pinterest is our friend and I am eternally grateful for all of you that are extremely organized and have had summer planned since last summer. From all of us who are hyperventilating knowing we are going to start busting it- we rely on you and we say THANK YOU!


1.  Have your kids make a list of everything they want to do- see if they can reach 100.  As parents go through the list and pick and choose what is best for your family.  Knowing DisneyWorld, The Beach, and every kid movie is on the list  you will need to edit their list :)  If you think NO WAY can we come up with those ideas here is one already made up for you! (thank you


2.  My kids are rotten so to save my sanity and them becoming even  more rotten we will have “treat day” once a week.  One day a week, lets say it is Wednesday, my children will get a treat.  It could be ice cream, chickfila, a movie, or even a small toy.  This is the only day I will spend unnecessary money on them.  This is helpful because they look forward to Wednesday and it keeps the “I want I want” down to a minimum.  You can even change it up.   Wednesday treat could be a surprise that they look forward to but will not know until the day of.

3.  Set rules ahead of time for chores so the house doesn’t become a chaotic mess and STICK to it.  Ok, I must admit the stick to it part I have not done good with in the past but I must become a stickler (note to self)!!  I found all kinds of great chore calendars over at The Clever Pink Pirate!  Check them out by clicking on the link below.

4.  Use the summer to give, love and serve others.  Most importantly in planning this summer think on how we as a family can focus on others?  In 2011 we started a Christmas in July **4 Weeks of Summer Giving**!  The activities are centered around giving  and serving others through “summer” type projects.  Here is a calendar of events to help you get started.  Do not feel like you have to do 4 weeks or even do them all through the month of July… spread them out…maybe do one a week.  Check this link out ( to see last years post on our lemonade stand.  Visit my pinterest board for more creative ways to give.  summergiving2013

5.  Be intentional!  As always do not let these 8-10 weeks fly by and have nothing to say for them.  Although as parents we get tired and frustrated but THIS is our time with our kids.  Knowing that they will not be in the house every summer lets make this summer memorable and with intentional teaching.  The best teaching is biblical centered and not worldly centered.  What ways as parents can we use this summer to point our children upward?  I would love to hear your comments!

Intentional living to be continued………Post to follow!

May Madness







Field Day


End of the year parties

Teacher’s gifts

and Of Course…..Mother’s Day

May has to be the busiest month of the year.  In my opinion busier than December and in a completely different way.  At least for Christmas they start “preparing” months out…..May is a fire hydrant of “to dos” thrown at us so we can end up at the finish line.  This finish line is ultimately our kids favorite day of the year THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  Sooooo….it is only fitting that Mother’s Day falls right slapped dab in the middle of all the chaos!

The pain of packing the last 20 lunches and 20 snacks (times 3 in my house)….

The pain of actually caring to sign brother and sister’s homework folder….

Spelling homework?  Whats that?

Reading Log??  We are still logging our reading this late in the year?

And my personal favorite:  Jeans with holes and/or too short due to a growth spurt in the late winter.   No way will I be buying new jeans this late in the year.

So don’t feel bad being celebrated MOMS!!! We Deserve It!  It take a mom to get through the madness of May!



There are somethings money can’t buy!

(repost from 6/18/13)

We had a great time celebrating our daddy this last weekend.  This year’s father day was a bit different than the past few years.  Patrick (aka daddy) played in the Rick and Bubba tennis tournament and due to not knowing the win/loss schedule we really didn’t know when we would be able to celebrate how awesome of a dad he is.  Another reason it was different was because Patrick knocked out his teeth (yes by playing tennis).  As you could imagine the dentist bill was quite healthy, so the kids decided, ok I decided, that they could make him a good ole fashion homemade gift.  We collectively came up with a memory box that would just quite simply include pictures of them as babies to currently pics.  I found a box that was a gift we had received in the past and it was white.  Thoughts to myself- this is perfect because not only will daddy get a memory box but he will get personalized artwork on the box as well. That ladies and gents is what we call in the south a “twofer”.  Little did I know that this little gem would become even greater- a triple threat.

There are some things money just can’t buy, the old saying goes, and oh how this is so so so true.  I find it comical how we search the stores to find dad the perfect present which typically ends up being a tie or a can of tennis ball.  He opens it up and grins and goes on with his day but it just never makes the impact that we wanted out of a $30 gift.  This freebie had impact folks.  Never have I been so proud of my daughter for her poor spelling skills as I was this past Sunday.


Please slow down and read carefully…..



Ha! You go on with your bad self and spend money on your fathers and husbands but this kiddos- this is priceless!


On the way to church Patrick asked if we should correct her and teach her the correct way to spell “father”.  I said nahhh lets let her think that is correct.  We will tell her after she has to write a paper on her “FOUNDING FARTERS” or her “HEAVENLY FARTER”.
Happy Father’s Day!





Don’t Blink

(repost from 6/30/13)

My kids are 8,6 and 4 and one common thread I have heard from seasoned moms and dads out there is “don’t blink” they grow up too quickly!  Oh goodness, how this is so true in so many ways.  I was looking through my camera on my phone just the other day and came across a video of my youngest that I had totally forgotten about.  He was at our kitchen table with a diaper on listening to music as we cheered him on to dance…aka “bouncing” in the cutest possible way that any 2 year old in a diaper can.  I teared up knowing that was literally just yesterday and now he is my big boy.  No diapers, big boy bed, can brush his own teeth, Hudson.


Believe it or not this blog is not to make you sob or wish to have your babies back. It is a huge wakeup call to me as a parent to make these “moments” last, have impact, an eternal difference.


Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 

Psalms 127:3


As I approached coming up with ways that families can “give back” with our Christmas in July calendar of events, I felt like the month should not only include giving to others but also ways to show how we can individually as parents/grandparents GIVE, SERVE and LOVE our own family.  Do not get me wrong. We are commanded to give to others and there are many examples on how you can do that as well, but this is an added benefit…if you will.

A few ways include:

1.  Get Unplugged

My husband meets with a group of guys at Chick-fil-a once a week.  He told me that a few times they have met, there has been a guy and his son eating breakfast.  During breakfast, the dad stares at his phone the WHOLE time not paying his son any attention and completely ignoring a perfect opportunity to communicate with him!  Cellphones, TV,  Facebook,  Pinterest,  all can direct our attention away from our little blessings and we can become an example for our kids that none of us are proud of.  


The Lord reminds us in Deuteronomy 6:5-9

You shall love theLord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


I have a phone, TV, Facebook, a Pinterest page (ah hum…a blog).  This isn’t necessarily about deleting these items, although if you feel like it is getting in the way of your life, by all means send it on its way!  I catch myself more times than I wished viewing a screen instead of soaking up time with my family, instilling in them things that will have an eternal impact versus pinning the newest recipe that I probably will never cook.  There is a time and place for “all of that” but our first priority is to Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and might.  What does this look like in our lives?  Our family?  As a mother, a father, sister, brother or a friend?  How can we use the time He has given us wisely to instill in them an eternal purpose that will far outweigh the importance of the newest status from a friend on facebook?

Spend a day a week and announce it “unplugged day”.  No gaming, texting, computers, phones, tv….awww “they are going to hate me”, you say.  Yeah they will probably complain and whine but explain to them the why behind the day.  Kids like to hear why things are the way they are instead of just hearing “because I said so”….And by all means admit your faults!  Son, mom is calling it unplugged day because I have________.  They will appreciate that.  If not that day – one day!

2.  Devote time to prayer

Prayer is how we communicate with our Heavenly Father and are in tune with Him and His Spirit.  In next months activities, one includes devoting time to pray for this upcoming school year. Use this time to pray for who our kids will have as teachers, their peers and upcoming opportunities for them to share the love of Christ to one of those peers.  How we so neglect the important impact that prayer can have on our lives as well as our relationship with the Father!  What will you as a family begin to pray about today?

3.  The Word

Get in the word, aka the bible, if you aren’t doing so now.  Teach or act out bible stories with your children if it is hard to keep their attention for a span of time.  The internet is full of great videos and resources for children in starting to impress scripture on their hearts.  See, the internet can be used for good! (sorry for the rant earlier)  In my life when I have been off the path that God had planned for me, the Holy Spirit would remind me of scripture – completely out of the blue!!  That is his Holy Spirit speaking to me through His word.  How I am thankful for that but also know that there is so much more for me to learn and not to depend on what I learned as a kid or what my parents taught me.


So if you choose to use The Christmas Angel next month for Christmas in July or not, use the month to be a reminder of who God calls us to be as parents.  Summer is flying by – who will you be able to say you loved, gave to and served? 



for updated information throughout the month of July



Talk it Up!

(repost from 7/10/13)

(blog subject coincides with 4 WEEKS OF SUMMER GIVING by The Christmas Angel)

If you know me and you know me well, you know that it only takes being around me a few times to realize that I love to ask questions, random questions. Patrick has even coined phrased them “Lisa questions”. They are random, completely out of the blue and normally have nothing to do with the subject at hand. To me they are a way to get to know someone, you know the good, fun  stuff. My mom and I joke that it only takes about 30 minutes for us to learn everything about someone: where they grew up, their favorite food, music, weird talent, etc etc etc.  It is fun to me. It’s kinda who I am.

Question day evolved from me feeling like we as a generation do not take the time to communicate, get to each other- even our own family.  Typically we focus a lot on the surface level stuff and we lack to dig deeper!  My oldest the other day said “Yay mom girl talk”!   I was so excited she wanted to talk to me…..I had no idea she was interested in my childhood and all the other stuff she asked that day.


  If you decide to interact with your kids this month and from now on, I have included questions that you are more than welcome to use. This will require talking…..just sayin.  Answers like “I don’t know” are not allowed (ahem…you know who you are).  Make a game out of it!!!

Cook dinner one night and sit at the table…..novel idea huh. Get a jar or basket and write the questions on a slip of paper and start going around the table one by one. Use this with your friends and family and you will become very annoying….nooooo, you will just become interested in what they are all about.




You ever see those poor couples that sit across from each other at restaurants? They could use this!


“Question Day” is one of the 4 Weeks of Summer Giving Ideas by The Christmas Angel


Ok for fun.  Pick your favorite question and comment your answer so I can get to know you!

I will start:  Question #16- It is Well With My Soul…hands down.  I have many reason for it being my favorite but mostly because even through the writer’s despair he glorified God.  Look up the history of that song….pretty cool!


Kids for Christ

(repost from 8/7/13)

Happy Summer ALL!

I hope that the heat or your kids being out of school isn’t killing you! :)  To wrap up July, I wanted to share a few stories that absolutely stole my heart – both very personal and dear to me.  Last June, I was able to spend a week in Swaziland, Africa where we visited a care point. The carepoint feeds and takes care of about 300 or more children daily.  It is ran by the GOGOs (grandmothers) and a mission team.  This team includes two couples from my church that reside there permanently and other missionary families.  They have the awesome responsibility of feeding these children spiritually and physically on a daily basis.

On my trip, I was able to love on these kiddos and provide clothing and food.  We also were able to participate in music, bible stories, and games and some of our team provided medical treatment to those in need.  I forever will be changed by what I saw and what I felt.



Living on mission has the potential to impact lives around us… two little precious girls named Lola and Pearl (age 7 and 5) who organized a “Carwash for Swaziland”.  They, for the past two years, have had a carwash locally in their hometown to raise money for the kids in Africa.  I just love the pictures below showing how children are serving and making a big impact at such a young age.


Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12


The verse above says “but set an example”.  What joy must come their parents hearts to know that because of their example their kiddos are following suit.  It also encourages me in my walk and to wonder – what is MY example?  What I teach isn’t enough, but my actions must follow.






During VBS this year our church was raising money for missions in Belize and Swaziland.  This story makes my heart happy!  The kids were asked to bring in their loose change/allowance to raise money for the 2 ministries.  During this week I had asked my kids when they wanted to set up a lemonade stand for some “summertime fun”.  With great excitement and eagerness my two oldest wanted to do it right away and give all the money they made to VBS that week.  So we did just that.  No time to plan, (no NEED to plan) we just set up a table and prayed.  Prayed together that God would bless a cheerful heart.


You can get this cute sign over at










I am always amazed at what God can do with a quarter.  He has the abilities to make that sucker’s value a whole lot more than twenty five cents.


Although those two events made money it taught our kids as well as us alot more than the “art of making money”.  



We learned a lot about God that day and who He is in our daily lives!





I would love to hear your stories and see your pictures of any activities that your families did through “Christmas in July” or this summer in general.  Please share them on Facebook!

I’ll Pray for You

(repost from 8/19/13)

To my kiddos,


Hop on the bus at 6:40 am

Hop off the bus at 3:30 pm

Eat snack

Watch a little tv

Eat another snack; and another

Do homework

Eat dinner

Bathe (if i’m lucky)

and then…….bedtime.

You guys spend a total of 9 hours a day at school and only 4- 5 hours at home (depending on bedtime) every weekday during the months of August through May.  I know you are still learning math but the time you spend at school is double the amount that you are at home.  The time you have with your teacher is twice the time you have with me.  The time you spend with your classmates is twice the amount you spend with your siblings.  If you add all that together that simply equals me praying for you, your teachers and your classmates.

I can’t seem to get you to pay attention to me any longer than about a minute and a half  but I wanted you to know how important prayer is to me and to your daily life.  You mean the WORLD to me and because of that your teachers mean the WORLD to me and for that I pray.

We have done our “Back to School Prayer Chain” all week long and you guys totally didn’t “get” it but one day you will.  Because of our commitment to prayer this could be the year Jesus uses you to change someones day and this could be the year your teacher makes a huge impression on you, not only academically but also on your heart.


Back to School Chain idea courtesy of:


We removed 2 chains a night and prayed over whatever or whomever was on their chain.



 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  John 15:7


I am not all that interested in you being the next scholar…..sorry to shock you (insert sarcastic look here). I just really don’t care about that.  What I care about is that Jesus uses you to change a life through kindness, sacrificial giving or just by simply opening your mouth to say thank you to your teacher when you know they need to hear it.  I pray that this year isn’t about you and it isn’t about how you will improve at your hobbies and sports.  I pray that this year you learn that the love that God has for you is huge and because of His love for you, you begin to love Big!


FALL in Love with Jesus!

fallinlove1.  Football.

2.  Cooler weather.

3.  Cute boots!

4.  Tailgates.

5.  The leaves changing.

6.  Soups and chili.

7.  The holidays right around the corner.

8.  More walks with the family outdoors!

9.  Did I say football?

10.  And oh yeah, Jesus.

For the record – I do not like football.  I often say Pinterest was created simply for the women who don’t like football to have something to do while their husbands are engrossed with the television!  I know, I know. How can I be from Alabama and not like football.  The state HAS won the last 4 National Championships???  Yep, believe it or not, I could care less. BUT hey, I know the joy of fall in our area not only consists of football but of the other great things I listed above.

Fall is becoming one of my favorite seasons.  Perfect weather, the beauty of nature and of course, a cute boot here and there.  As I put some thought in what my world consisted of during these few months, it hit me that I/we put so much importance on the list above that #10 **last but not least** is  Jesus.  As we live in our “world”, we can become so consumed with the “things” of this world that we lose sight on Jesus, including myself.  Why do we do that?  Fall = football, Fall = school and back to school shopping, Fall = Thanksgiving with some yummy turkey and then Christmas which = presents, presents and more presents!

I invite you all to FALL in love with Jesus during this beautiful season!  Let’s begin to focus on using the “things” of this season as a way to minister to others to tell them about the love of Jesus.  Our pastor said last Sunday, “If you are going to go tailgating then why not use that opportunity to talk to others about Christ during that outing?” Why not?

Luke 10:27a says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”.

As our passion grows for the Lord and He begins to change our hearts, number 1-9 will just be gravy because of the joy, love and peace we have because of Him.  The last part of that verse in Luke is “love your neighbor as yourself”.  As we love Christ, our love for others will become apparent in our daily activities. How is that?  Check out a few examples to help spur all of us this wonderful FALL season!

1.  Fall in love with Jesus – read his word daily and try talking to him more. You WILL be blessed.

2.  Football – invite someone over that you’ve been meaning to get to know either from church or your child’s team.

3.  Cooler weather – Spend more time outside with your kiddos.  Talk with them.        Love on them.

4.  Cute boots! – Think of others who may be in need of warmer clothes.  Purchase and take to your local homeless shelter.

5.  Tailgates – Just flat out witness to someone you do not know. As the ole Nike saying goes, “Just Do It”.

6.  The leaves changing – Rake your neighbors yard or run over to grandparent’s house and rake their yard.

7.  Soups and chili – Make a pot for your local fire station.

8.  The holidays right around the corner – Pray for your heart and mind to be focused on the things above instead of the stress of the holidays.

9.  More walks with the family outdoors – This might enable you to get to know your neighbors more.

10.  Did I say football? – vomit….. :-)

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From Our House to Yours

Me starting a blog is kind of ironic. I talk in tangents, never complete a sentence and include 3 to 4 topics in one sentence, while the sentences together make no since……..see? Well, I am going to do my best and let you in on our crazy, insane, some-what normal life we lead.

My name is Lisa and living life on life with me is my extremely handsome husband, Patrick who never has one hair out of place. As for my hair… comment! We have three of the cutest, most adorable somewhat annoying children that are ALWAYS with us. They just won’t leave. Our house is never, and I mean NEVER quiet. But that is ok. I have learned to bask in the chaos of it all. I am kidding!! My children are my lifeline. They feed my soul. They are perfect in every single way possible!

Out of the love I have for them and my Heavenly father, came The Christmas Angel. If anyone is to ask Patrick and I who came up with the idea we always say God. We are just the people he has entrusted it with. The Christmas Angel is simply a tool that God dropped in our laps to use with our children in teaching them the reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Jesus was the start of an amazing gift that we would ALL have a chance to receive. The ultimate gift/sacrifice He has given us spurs us to be His hands and feet. The Christmas Angel helps to teach our little ones to look outside of themselves throughout the Christmas season and see who they can love on, feed, clothe or just flat out show some attention.

I would love to say we have like 3 of the best kids ever because they have been doing the angel for four years….HA! Well, unfortunately folks, that’s the nature of the flesh and is why instilling these truths at a young age is so vital because our selfish nature is always there to take over. I think my favorite thing that has happened this year is my oldest, Riley, had wrapped me a gift (something from her room) and wanted to give it to me. I started bouncing on the bed like a crazy person saying “I love presents! Yay! Yay! I want to open it! Let me open it! And in her 7 year old wisdom she said, “Mom, Christmas isn’t about presents and getting things, it’s about giving and thinking of others!” Thank you Riley for the accountability check…..lump in throat, red cheeks from embarrassment.

I hope you find the joy of giving this year as much fun as we have the last few years and add memories to your holidays that will truly LAST A LIFETIME! One of the most exciting things that Patrick and I discuss is how there is one thing that is common for most folks; it is the question, “What are some traditions you did as a family during Christmas?” We are excited to see what God has in store for this generation to come when their hearts and minds are focused on above and those around them. Their answers will look something like this: we gave candy canes to our neighbors, baked cookies for our mailman, gave blankets to the homeless and went to the senior center to sing carols!

Now that’s a family tradition worth talking about.


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