30 Day Give : Day 6

30-Day Giving Challenge

Today’s “give” was easy. I served at my church. It’s not something I did because of the 30 Day Giving Challenge. It’s something I do EVERY Sunday. A couple years ago I pulled back to serving every other Sunday. I hated it. I like to be in there, helping EVERY Sunday.

I’ve been serving in the preschool environment at my church for over 10 years. I was there before I had the Princess, and I’m still there now that she’s moved on to the elementary environment. Why do I serve in preschool EVERY Sunday?

Because preschoolers are the most important people in that building!

It’s true.  Preschoolers are often overlooked and just baby-sat, but they are little sponges just waiting to absorb anything and everything they encounter. What an amazing opportunity we have to teach them that God made them, God loves them, and Jesus wants to be their friend forever. (For more information on the curriculum we use, visit Orange.) It is truly an honor to serve with leaders who influence the next generation every Sunday.

Today, I had a rough one. We had one little girl who was in full tantrum when Mom dropped her off. I mean FULL tantrum. Like kicking, screaming, flailing. Whew! I held her through it so she wouldn’t hurt herself and was rewarded with those exhausted sighs and limp hugs that come at the end. Then, we took a walk and she was ready to go learn and play with her class. When mom picked her up, she came and gave me a hug and snuggle and told me that next week she wasn’t going to cry.

And that’s why I go back each week. Because, no matter how small a difference, I am making a difference in at least one child’s life each week. I love it.

Do you serve somewhere on a regular basis?

30 Day Give : Day 5

The princess and her cousins, E and W, did today’s give.

Together (with Grandma and Gramps’ help) they bagged 120 baggies of candy for our Operation Christmas child party we’re having on Saturday.

They’re not new to the candy bagging business. Last year, the Princess and E bagged 100 baggies. This year, younger cousin W got in on it and was very serious about helping Aunt Kathy help the poor ones. I have an awesome video of him talking about it. It’s currently on my personal Facebook page. (I’m not smart enough to figure out how to get it here yet.)

I’m so proud of them and they’re giving hearts. And, I think they had fun too!

Many thanks to Grandma for the pictures!

30 Day Give : Day 4

Today I gave my time.

Sometimes the hardest thing to give.

I spent an hour and a half at the elementary school helping the girl’s teacher with some assessments.

Did I have a to-do list a mile long that had to be put on hold? Yes!

Was investing in the lives of these children and my child’s teacher’s sanity more important? Yes!


Don’t ever underestimate the power of offering someone your time. You’ll be amazed what God will do with it.

Where do you give your time?

30-Day Giving Challenge

30 Day Give : Day 3

Do you shop at Bath and Body Works? Does it just draw you in with all the scents and pretty baskets?

Ya, us too.

The girl and I can spend some serious time in Bath and Body. Serious time.

However, we only purchase when things are on sale. (Of course, something always seems to be on sale…)

A few weeks ago they had these adorable “fall” scented hand sanitizers. We grabbed several to give as gifts and have around for our lunch boxes.

Today, we decided to add a little crinkle paper, clear bag, and ribbon and give them to the girl’s teachers. As a former teacher, I can tell you that hand sanitizer (especially as we approach flu season) is a teacher’s best friend.

I try to send in a little “thinking of you” and “thank you” gift to the girl’s teachers every month or so. I’ve been there, and they DO NOT get thanked enough for all that they do.

When’s the last time you “thanked” your child’s teacher?

30-Day Giving Challenge

30 Day Give : Day 2

My Princess LOVES the library.


She loves to walk the stacks of books. She loves to look things up on the computer and then find them on the shelves. She loves to just be in the middle of all those words. And, she loves to do it BY HERSELF. As in, “Mom, I’ve got this. You go look for a book, and I’ll look for mine.”

Therefore, the library is not my favorite place. I read for a living. I don’t have much time to read other than my Bible and whatever we’re doing in small group. So, the library is a source of torture for me. All those books that I could check out but would never have time to read.

Today, I gave my Princess the gift of my time (and gas) and took her to the library. She had reserved a book, and it had come in. (I’m not even sure I knew she had reserved one. Getting so independent for goodness sakes.) She picked up several other books while we were there, came home and curled up on the bed to read. I love watching her do that.

So today’s give wasn’t about making the world a better place. It was about giving my time to the person who needs it most. Proving that you don’t need to spend money every day during the 30 Day Giving Challenge.

30-Day Giving Challenge

30 Day Give: Day 1

We started off the 30 Day Giving Challenge rather quietly.

My favorite part about that sentence – WE! My girl is TOTALLY invested this year. “Mom, what’s our give going to be tomorrow? What are we doing Thursday?”


On day one, we packaged a school spirit wear shirt that no longer fit my girl in a nice bag and dropped it at the neighbor’s house. They have three girls younger that Maggie who will get much use out of it I’m sure! School spirit wear is so expensive that I wanted to make sure it went to a child who actually attends the same school!

We have a couple of tentative ideas for Day Two. You’ll have to pop back to see what we do.

Are you participating in the 30 Day Giving Challenge?

30 Day Giving Challenge 2011

It’s that time again! It’s time for the 30-Day Giving Challenge!!!

I am so excited!

The House of Hills LOVED participating in the 30-Day Giving Challenge last year. Our biggest discovery was that you don’t have to spend money to give. Giving of time and help is often even more appreciated than a tangible gift.

We’ve already begun our list of things to do this year including another Operation Christmas Child Birthday party – this time celebrating my 40th. Our annual beach vacation falls during the give so I’m sure we’ll be doing some cousin giving as well.

Starting today, November 1st, we at the House of Hills will plan to give in some way each day. Some days will be harder than others. Many of our gives will involve food since that is what comes naturally to us. However we do it, we plan to give each and every day for the month of November.

And, we challenge you to do the same! You can do it!! Yes, you can.

Check out the 30 Day Giving Challenge page and find out the details. There are even link-ups for bloggers each Tuesday.

If you can’t give every day of the month, calendar a few days to give. Write them down and then work as a family to make them happen. It can be a simple as making a card for Grandma to making some cookies for the neighbors.

I’d love to hear about ways that you have given to others in the past. We’ve got 30 days to fill here!


30 Day Give: Burp Cloth Giveaway

Okay friends. This photo doesn’t do this burp cloth justice. It’s adorable. Beautiful even. You know you want it. If not for you, then for someone you know.

I love pretty burp cloths. We had several of them when the Princess was young. We had the “going out” burp cloths and the “at home” burp cloths. The one above – it would have been a “going out” burp cloth. There is nothing that says “I love this baby” more than accessorizing him or her with a lovely burp cloth.

I received the above burp cloth when I won a giveaway from Just a Chick. She was giving away a credit for one of her favorite sites. It’s now one of mine. Adorable stuff ladies!

Go check out Studio MCA Designs!!!

She has a lovely supply of already made burp cloths OR you can get some personalized. Ahhh… personalized burp cloths. Those say that the baby is REALLY loved!

Leave a comment below telling me to whom you would give this adorable burp cloth to enter the giveaway.

Additional entries:

Contest ends at 11:59 Eastern time on November 30, 2010.

Disclosure: I won the burp cloths and am sharing with my bloggy friends. All opinions are my own.
Congratulations Kelli – You’re the winner!

30 Day Give: Christmas CD Giveaway

Thanksgiving is over. That means it’s time for CHRISTMAS!!!! I love Christmas. I love Christmas cookies. I love Christmas gatherings. I love Christmas parties. I just LOVE CHRISTMAS. And nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than some good Christmas music.

Have I got a CD for you. In all honesty, I’ve been listening to this CD since Halloween. Seriously. Halloween. It’s that good. It’s got some of the classics, but it has some amazingly beautiful new songs too. You’re going to want to get it. For Real. Operation Christmas child  teamed up with North Point and used one of the songs for some of their videos this year. It’s an awesome song!

I’ve aleady given the CD to all my siblings and my parents. Tonight, as we were preparing to leave the beach, I saw it at the top of everyone’s car bag. They’re ready to get in the Christmas spirit on the drive tomorrow. You need to get in the Christmas spirit too!

You can get the CD at any of the North Point Community Church campuses.

You can get the CD at the North Point Online Bookstore.

You can get the CD at iTunes.

Or, you can win it HERE!!! North Point Resources has kindly given me one copy to give away on the blog.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas song.

Additional entries:

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Subscribe to The House of Hills

Contest ends at midnight Eastern time on November 30, 2010.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Disclosure: North Point Resources provided me with a copy of this CD to give away. All opinions are my own.

30 Day Give: Day 17 – 25

30-Day Giving Challenge

I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with letting you know about all the giving the House of Hills has been doing. We’ve just been too busy giving and vacationing!

Having done our biggest give of the month with our Operation Christmas Child party, the rest of our plans seem rather paltry. However, we’re continuing to give as we see needs.

*We sent coupons to a family stationed overseas through Coupons for Troops over at The Happy Housewife. I was so excited when she said she had more families in need a few months ago. This was the first of many packages we will be sending. I love that there is someone who can use my unused coupons!

*I sent a beautiful burp cloth from Studio MCA Designs and a restaurant gift card to a new mom. I’ve got another burp cloth to give away so be looking for that soon! Here’s a preview of the one you could win!

*I sent a t-shirt that I had bought at my friend Katie’s fundraiser to a friend of ours because she wanted one to honor the occasion.

*I gave bags from Thirty-One Gifts with Disney cups and the new North Point Christmas CD to all my siblings’ families. They were a huge hit. Each individual piece was met with cries of “ooooohhh.” It was fun to give a gift  just because.

*I bought a package of glow sticks at BJs a few months ago when they had them out for Halloween. I brought them along to give to the cousins one night during our trip. There were enough that I could give this gift twice – once on Tuesday night and once Thanksgiving night. Oh. My. Goodness. The fun that was had running around with glow sticks after the sun went down. INSANE FUN! A highlight of the trip this year I think. We will add this to the permanent Thanksgiving trip list for sure!

*I was courteous and helpful to people in the Disney Parks. This my friends is a GIVE. It was amazing to me the lack of manners and patience of people while they were supposed to be on vacation.

* I bought the Princess a silly light up glow thingy at the Disney Parks. I usually don’t purchase this particular item and make her use her own money. However, I decided to give to her this year.

*We got the Princess’ silhouette done at the Magic Kingdom. We have gotten this done every year (except one we forgot) and given Grandma a copy for Christmas. Hey Grandma, guess what you’re getting for Christmas!

I’m sure there are other little things we’ve done in the last week that are escaping me right now. I know that when I went to bed each night, I felt like a “give” had been done. And that’s the point isn’t it. To go to bed each night feeling that you’ve somehow done something to make the world a better place than it was that morning when you woke up. You could be doing something as simple as holding the door for a mom loaded down with toddler and shopping bags to something as dramatic as spending the day in service of someone in need. Each act affects someone. Each act shows God’s love. Each act is a GIVE.