Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gifts From the Heart

This year we didn't have much money available for Christmas and since we are planning a trip to the U.S in January we decided to wait for then to do anything substantial for our big kids. Not having anything at all under the tree was not really an option for me though. I wanted the kids to be able to open something at least. 

Our current volunteer, Summer, also decided to get a little something for us and enlisted her mom's help in sending out some packages. 

She had a friend paint some T-shirts. My kids got some original ones made but I love mine the best. You have to be a Twilight fan or at least know something about the books to get this saying. I love it!!

I'm also wearing the gift that Jasmine made for me--a beautiful, green, blue and white bead bracelet. She has such a talent for creating art whether it is jewelry or cupcakes.

I wanted to make something special for each of my boys but homemade gifts for boys is hard! I made a bookmark for Timothy, a travel journal for Troy and crossstiched the above picture for Tom (it's a Tetris design--see?) but those were such small gifts. I really wanted to do something more. Then God reminded me of an old blanket that was in my craft room. 

It turned out to the the perfect size to make three scarves. Since we are going to be visiting the U.S in the winter we urgently need warm clothing. This is a good start. 

Another homemade gift I worked on this year was a lovely (if I do say so myself) crossstiched bookmark. I had been working on it in  but didn't know who should be the recipient when I read about a gift exchange possibility. Immediately I signed up and was assigned an address in Utah. Sadly, I haven't heard back from my exchange partner to know if she received my gift. The one she sent was returned to her and I don't know if she resent it. I pray that that bookmark finds its way to a good home.

I have to say that one of my favorite gifts this year came from Judy, a reader of this blog. Her daughter, Raven, used to be in the Peace Corps here in Zambia which is how we got acquainted. 

Judy sent me a beautiful knitted shawl. She sent the sweetest letter along with it describing how she had prayed for me and my family as she knitted it. She was very detailed in her prayers--praying for our provision, our challenges, our marriage, even my weight loss. As she wrote in her letter, the shawl is not endowed with magical powers, but every time I wear that shawl it will be a reminder that I am loved and prayed for. 
I plan to wear it when I have my Bible reading and prayer time in the morning.

Did you receive any homemade gifts that you loved this year?

Of course, not all well-intentioned gifts work out. You can head over to Tom's blog and see how a gift from the heart went wrong. He'd love your input.


  1. What sweet handmade gifts! I love your tetris heart and wish I was patient enough for counted cross stitch. :)

  2. My heart was blessed by your posts yesterday and today. How special to see the joy on the faces of the children as they received and played with the toys sent to them this year. I am glad to hear that the prayer shawl I sent will become a part of your daily prayer time. I think I have been far more blessed by this prayer shawl ministry than the people I have sent them to. I praise the Father for putting people in my life like you, Tom, and your children who show His love to the world in tangible ways. You show me hope in action and remind me how awesome is our God.

  3. Your handmade gifts are all AWESOME (and I love the Team Carlisle shirt too)! I love how creative you got - especially with the scarves recycled from a blanket - so clever!

    You know, I haven't received any handmade gifts this year, but I've made some! I gave my MIL a metal stamped "Grandma" necklace that brought tears to her eyes. Our son will be her very first grandchild, so that makes it really special! In addition to that, I made her a cross-stitched bookmark and a knitted scarflette (she's in AZ, so she doesn't need a full blown scarf). She loved them both. Handmade gifts are the absolute best in my opinion. It means so much to me to give them... :)

    Now, I can't wait to share the rest of my handmade goodies with my side of the family. We're off to see them this weekend!

  4. My dad made some beatiful Christmas ornaments that are my favorite this year.



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