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My goal for next year is to actually start sharing photos of my family and what we have been up to on the blog again. Ha! In the meantime, I hope you love DaySpring products as much as I do. And I hope you love giveaways too. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff?!

I love Christmas traditions and figuring out ways to help my family (and me!) stay focused on Jesus during the Advent season. I feel like my family is still in the beginning stages of forming our traditions. And honestly, they have looked different each year depending on the ages of my kids. What has worked one year sometimes doesn’t work the next year. DaySpring recently sent me a few Advent resources and I am so excited to share them with you!

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I have heard so much about Ann Voskamp’s book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. I couldn’t wait to look through it!

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This book is so beautiful! The illustrations are amazing. It reminds me so much of The Jesus Storybook Bible, which we love!

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We started late, but I have read a few of these with my older two boys. It kept their attention and they loved the illustrations. I think it will be a little better next year when they are each a year older, but we will definitely keep reading through some of it this year too!

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Each day ends with thoughts to discuss and family activities. I love this because it helps you go from just reading something to applying it to your life!

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There is also a sculpted ornament set and a paper ornament set (which is what I have!) to go along with the book. These coordinate with the daily readings from the book through the Advent tradition of a Jesse Tree. I also heard that you can download free paper ornaments for your kids to color. So fun! I think I will do that next year.

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The Twelve Names of Christmas is another great resource. I love this one because it is all about Jesus and discovering who He is. And it is perfect for the little ones! The box says ages three and up. I think Levi (6) is still young enough to love this too.

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“O come let us adore Him.” We love to sing it at Christmastime, but what does it really mean to adore Christ? Psalm 8:1 gives us a clue, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

I think a lot of us as grown-ups struggle with knowing who Jesus is and understanding what it means to truly adore Him. How great to focus on discovering who Jesus is with our kids?! This set includes a book of twelve, easy-to-follow, illustrated stories and twelve corresponding ornaments (the garland and countdown bags are mine and are not included with the set).

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Each ornament has a verse on the back. You can hang these on your Christmas tree or hang them somewhere else around the house. These would be perfect to stick in an advent countdown calendar to open each day if you already have one!

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This is a twelve-day devotional, so if you were wanting to do something with your kids for Advent but haven’t started yet, this is for you. You still have time! My sister is doing this with her kids and she started at the beginning of December and will read each one twice. Such a good idea for the little ones who need repetition!

Either of these would make such a sweet gift for a family. Or plan ahead and start a meaningful tradition with your family next year. You will be all set to go when December first rolls around. Hopefully I can help one of you out with that because I am giving away $100 to DaySpring! It’s like an Advent shopping spree!

Giveaway Details:

$100 to DaySpring

ONE winner chosen at random

ONE entry per person

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 13th at 10PM (CST)

To enter, visit DaySpring and then leave a comment on this post telling me what you would buy with your gift certificate? Christmas presents? Something that has been on your wishlist? Something for Advent?

DaySpring is also doing a special discount for my readers. Yay! Use code JESS20 to get 20% off anything in the store (excludes clearance). Coupon code good through 12/31/15.

 disclaimer: affiliate links used

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  • Nancy Johnson - Oh, boy…I love their candle products….but the books for little ones are so tempting, too…Guess I’d be able to buy a little of this and a little of that! What fun!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Mary - I feel like an Advent failure this year too — and my kids are 12, 10, and 8! My 10-year-old basically decorated our Christmas tree AND the whole house by herself! So, I could use some new Advent resources to inspire us (me) for next year!! THANKS for the giveaway and for your constant encouragement and inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • Carley - Oh my! I love DaySpring stuff. I think I’d go for the 12 names of Christmas and since sort of Christmas decorations because I love dayspring’s decorations!ReplyCancel

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  • Melinda - I would put it toward the Awe and Wonder Nativity Set.ReplyCancel

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  • Sarah - I would actually love the Ann Voskamp advent book! I’ve heard amazing things about it!ReplyCancel

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  • Elizabeth Kelly - I have been wanting the “Grateful” letterpress blocks for a while- I would get it, the 12 Names for the kiddos, and some little teacher gifts. I may have just overspent 😉ReplyCancel

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  • Tina - I would get the Ann Voskamp advent book, I love the look of it + the ornaments!! So much better then the random print off I got a number of years ago, that we’ve stopped doing. It just didn’t work with our kids, too over their heads then.ReplyCancel

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  • Anne - I would get the Ann Voskamp advent book and some letterpress blocks!ReplyCancel

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  • Marcy - I was gifted the “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift” last year so we are going through that for the first time this year (I have 3 girls very close in age to your boys). I really like Daysprings canvas wall art so I would probably purchase some to keep and some to gift. Honestly Dayspring has so many fun and cute things it would be very hard to narrow it down. 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Anne - I love everything in the home decor line! The Everlasting Light Starburst Mirror is amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • Carrie Lee - I’d love to pick up a few Christmas gifts – thanks for the giveaway!ReplyCancel

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  • Jessica - I like the “Good Things” cosmetic pouch. I’d probably also purchase some home decor pieces and gift items. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel N. - We’re moving & I’m dreaming of the spaces in our new place…I’d pick a canvas for my daughters room, maybe a pennant…pretty, inspirational things for the home! 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Katie - I would love to get a Lisa Leonard necklace and use it towards getting the willow tree nativity set!ReplyCancel

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  • Sadie - I will be honest, I have never looked on Dayspring.com. Now, I don’t know why I haven’t! Good grief I want it all! There are some fabulous finds! I love the advent items. I like the Ann Voskamp one you showed and the Love Came Down one. I also love the Live & Love garland!ReplyCancel

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  • Meggie - I really want the Ann Voskamp advent book! I’d also love to buy presents for girlfriends. =)ReplyCancel

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  • Janelle K - I would really love to complete my willow tree nativity set!ReplyCancel

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  • angela n - I would love the 12 names of jesus. So cool!ReplyCancel

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  • Cassie M - I love Dayspring! The 12 days of Christmas Advent resource is definitely on my list. I also love their “What does the Lord Require’ Canvas Pin Board and many of their gift ideas (makeup pouch and walk by faith collection are on my wishlist!). I’ve ordered gifts from them several times and they never disappoint. A $100 shopping spree would be so much fun:) Thanks for the fun giveaway and your great advent ideas.ReplyCancel

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  • Katie D - I would either do some Christmas shopping or get books/advent for my kiddos.ReplyCancel

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  • Kim Q - I would get the Everlasting Light – Star Cluster Necklace. Thanks for the opportunity!ReplyCancel

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  • Kasey - Thanks for the fun giveaway! I’ve been wanting to starting a devotional group with friends. This would be a great way to be able to buy the books and gift them to a group. What a fun way to start!ReplyCancel

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  • Erin C - Oh I love these! I would for sure buy the Unwrapping the Greatest Gift for my boys!ReplyCancel

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  • Michelle S. - I would use it towards some of Korie Robertson wooden pieces! They are beautiful! However, I’m terrible and buying things/keeping things for myself so I’d probably end up gifting them!ReplyCancel

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  • Jerri walker - I love all their stuff! I still need some Christmas presents and would love the book for my girls! Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • Trisha Larson - My favorite Christmas decorations are the ones I have bought from Dayspring. I would buy gifts if I won. tis the season…and I have enough.

    Hugs,
    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • Shelley - I would love anything from Dayspring! But I’d get Be Thou My Vision necklaces for my girls 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Dannon - I already bought some of their coffee mugs and journals for Christmas gifts when they were having a sale. I love some of their serving trays and would love to add those to my household!ReplyCancel

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  • Jamie Walters - I would definitely purchase the 12 Days of Christmas you have posted above! My little guy would LOVE that as an Advent countdown and as ornaments for his little tree!

    Plus, Dayspring has the prettiest jewelry– so maybe something for Mama, too 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Merced - I would definitely buy Christmas presents for my family 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Jennifer L. - Thank you for this lovely giveaway! I would choose either the Audrey Bunny book because I’ve followed the story of Angie Smith and her sweet Audrey, or the O Holy Night magnet nativity scene because teaching the nativity doesn’t just start & end at Christmas. Thank you!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • Bridgette Melton - I try every year to do advent stuff, we’ve done OK so far but I”d love a better advent guide and the 12 names look AWESOME!ReplyCancel

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  • Mandy - I would definitely get Ann Voscamp’s book! I was a part of The Jesse Tree Project ornament exchange this year, and we did enough ornaments to go along with her book, as well. Thanks for this opportunity!ReplyCancel

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  • Heather - I haven’t checked out Dayspring’s stuff lately…Wow! So cute. I would get the “It is well with my Soul” wrapped canvas. Our family is going through some rough transitions and some heartache this Christmas. That hymn reminds me how we have an eternal hope that can never be destroyed, no matter how painful the circumstances of this life may be.ReplyCancel

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  • megan - I would spend it on advent supplies. I love advent calendars!ReplyCancel

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  • Kristin - I’ve been eyeing up the Letterpress Blocks for almost a year now!!ReplyCancel

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  • Kirsten - I love the idea of the advent ornaments!ReplyCancel

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  • Erin - jesus calling for my kids and he fills my life with good things mug for my husband!ReplyCancel

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  • Deborah - I would buy Ann Voskamp’s Advent book. It looks lovely. I also love the canvases and wall art at Dayspring, so I’d be tempted to splurge on something for my walls.ReplyCancel

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  • Ashley - I would love the book or the name
    of Christmas ornaments- I have a 4 yr, 2 yr and 4 mth old and we have been looking for an advent activity that would be appropriate even at their young age. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

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  • Catherine Westman - I’m not sure what I would get, there are so many beautiful things! I don’t often have extra money for shopping so would probably have fun browsing and putting some thought into what I would like! It would be fun to stick a few gifts away for my kids birthdays, etc….ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel - I want the 12 names of Christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni Dreist :0) - I would LOVE the stainless steel loose tea filter!!! The Lisa Leonard necklaces are beautiful as well! So many choices Jess!!! Thank you for the chance to win!ReplyCancel

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  • Velma - I would get Ann Voscamp’s Jesse Tree ornaments and the 12 Names of Jesus book. IReplyCancel

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  • k&c's mom - I would get the ornaments for the Jesse tree for me, and a set of the names of Jesus for my grandchildren.ReplyCancel

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  • Stephanie - I would love the Ann Voskamp Unwrap the Greatest Gift book. You had me when you said it reminded you of The Jesus Storybook Bible…we love that one!ReplyCancel

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  • Julie Johnson - Love all these great ideas! I would get the Discovering the Greatest Gift book. 🙂ReplyCancel

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  • Kristina Watt - I would get The Twelve Names of Christmas and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift!ReplyCancel

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  • Cat Kotaka - Calendars, I think, as gifts for my family and friends ☺️ReplyCancel

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  • Tiffany Milne - What amazing resources!! I think I would have to grab my four kiddos a copy of The Twelve Names of Christmas and maybe even some for our nephews and Goddaughter!! And also that Daily Grace collection cake stand I’ve had in my DaySpring cart more times then I can count but always put it back in the interest of my marriage, lol!!!ReplyCancel

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  • Shari L. - I would totally get Ann Voskamp’s book there, and also children’s books for my niece and nephew.ReplyCancel

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  • Christy P - Loving the two items you have featured. Ran across the second one is a store as of late but like your explanation must better than what is on the box.ReplyCancel

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  • leiah - My sister LOVES the necklaces I bought for her after reading your post of them. Thanks for the tip! I may be tempted to buy some more for her with the gift certificate.ReplyCancel

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  • Sandra - I’ve been drooling over their pillows for awhile so I’d have to get a couple of those for sure and then after that it would be a tough choice because I love so many of their items!!ReplyCancel

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  • Allison - Those ceramic ornaments are so, so pretty! I’ve dreamed of having an ornament-a-day tradition to coincide with Advent readings. Do you think they’ll go on sale after Christmas?ReplyCancel

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  • Amanda wheeler - I love Dayspring! I’m sure I would spend the majority on my 5-year old daughter Abigail! So many fun things for kids.ReplyCancel

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  • Kristi S. - It’s so hard to choose with Dayspring!! I love so many of their things but I think I would choose the Letterpress blocks. I have admired them for a long time!ReplyCancel

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  • Kelsey - I think my little guy would really like the 12 Names of Christmas normalness or the Nativity magnets. DaySpring has great, meaningful stuff!ReplyCancel

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  • Lucy - I would get a new Bible.ReplyCancel

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  • Caitlin - Love the Ann Voskamp book for when my boys are a little older. 🙂 And I have been crushing on the letterpress blocks for a long time!ReplyCancel

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  • Lisa - My boys are 14 and 16. We have many things from Dayspring I have bought over the years to teach them about Jesus. My sister has a foster daughter she is adopting so I would definitely buy things to teach her about Jesus (she just turned 2).ReplyCancel

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  • Marsha Hinkle - I would buy the Ann voskamp ornaments. We have the book and would love to add the ornaments to our Advent traditions.ReplyCancel

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  • Angela N. - I would love to get the Twelve Names of Jesus Book!ReplyCancel

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  • Angela N. - Please ignore this comment, I looked through once and couldn’t find that mine was posted because I was given an error the other day, just looked a second time and of course it is there. Please ignore this one! So sorry! I didn’t mean to double enter!ReplyCancel

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  • katherine - I would love to get some veggie tales things for my son; or a few of the mugs for my mom and grandmother!ReplyCancel

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DS deal of the day-sun

Don’t miss today’s DaySpring deals!

Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio $80 $40 $28!!!

Daily Grace Mug $12 $5 $3.50

Steadfast Love Wooden Candlestick Holder $35 $15 $10.50

DS Daily Grace Black Friday

DaySpring added a few more of my favorite Daily Grace pieces to the Black Friday Specials! You can find all the Markdown Specials here.

Daily Grace Creamer $15 $8 $5.60

Daily Grace Dessert Plate $14 $7 $4.90

Daily Grace Bowl $14 $7 $4.90

Daily Grace Sugar/Candy Bowl $15 $8 $5.60

lisa leonard jewelry1I love Lisa Leonard jewelry. This is a great time to get some of your favorite pieces at 30% off. Here are a few of my favorites right now.

Hope Anchors Necklace $48 $33.60

Well With My Soul Necklace $36 $25.20

Be Thou My Vision Necklace $45 $31.50

By Grace Alone Necklace $36 $25.20

DS lisa leonard clearance

There are even some Lisa Leonard pieces on clearance right now. These end up being a great deal with the additional 30% off!

Gold Diamond in the Rough Necklace $44 $33 $23.10

 Gold Freedom Necklace $44 $33 $23.10

Gold Joy Banner Necklace $44 $33 $23.10

Courage Leather Cuff  $54 $40.50 $28.35

DS color wonderAnd I just had to mention these too because my boys love Color Wonder…and who doesn’t love that they are mess-free?! I’m going to put these in my boys’ stockings. They would make a great gift for your kids or grandkids too!

VeggieTales – The Little Drummer Boy – Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad and Markers Set $10.99 $5.49 $3.85

VeggieTales – Merry Larry – Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad and Markers Set $10.99 $5.49 $3.85

The Berenstain Bears – Joy – Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad and Markers Set $10.99 $5.49 $3.85

Bible Stories – Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad For Boys $6.99 $2.49 $1.75

You can find more Color Wonder coloring pads and markers here.

And don’t forget…

Mugs are Buy One Get One Free through the weekend – expires Sunday (12 CST). No code needed, the second item in your cart will automatically be free.

Use code 30FRIDAY15 to get 30% off site wide (including clearance!). Yay! Monday is the last day for the Black Friday Markdowns and 30% off site wide. Don’t miss out on these great deals!

**disclaimer: affiliate links used**

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I was recently contacted by the sweet ladies of laurelbox and was so excited to learn about this amazing company. They sent me one of their beautiful boxes so that I could share their products with you. Laurelbox offers thoughtfully hand curated gift boxes designed for a woman in a season of difficulty. This is what laurelbox writes about their boxes:

If a friend of yours has recently lost a loved one, you can rest assured that our boxes are designed to nourish a woman’s heart after a loss.  If you are currently walking through loss, it is our deep hope that the box you receive makes you feel loved and remembered.  We know that no gift can ever replace the people we have lost, but we hope the prayers we pour over those touched by our company can be felt when you open a laurelbox.  

Our gift boxes stand apart from typical gifts that offer comfort during grief.  Most items are made by hand here at laurelbox.  Our other products are sourced from small independent artisans who have joined with us to offer exclusive items that speak to a woman’s soul, body, home, and family.  We offer the option to customize your own laurelbox by selecting individual items under the “Customized laurelboxes” tab or to choose a box we have already designed for specific losses.

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Even the packaging is beautiful. Every detail is so thoughtful and carefully put together.

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I love this tea towel with Isaiah 46:4 printed on it. Such a beautiful reminder of the One who truly comforts and sustains us when our hearts are hurting.

laurelbox4My box also contained nourish the soul herbal tea and a beautiful hand stamped vintage spoon. I love the idea of giving a friend a spoon that would remind her that she is loved and prayed for every time she stirs her coffee or tea. laurelbox5

My heart always aches a little extra this time of year as the holiday season approaches. My own loss becomes more obvious as another Christmas card gets sent out and our families gather together again without Cora. I hate that she is not here with us to celebrate. And then I think of my friends and family…and so many others…who are approaching this holiday season without their loved one for the first time. That first Thanksgiving and first Christmas were so, so hard for me.

Do you know a woman who is hurting this year? Laurelbox has some great gifts to remind our friends and family that they are loved and remembered. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation You Light up my Life Lantern is great for commemorating special dates. There are three different messages to choose from and each lantern comes with a gold pen to write messages on the lantern. 100 percent of the profits from the sale of this lantern benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and their work to conquer childhood cancers during the month of November. Of course I love that…so great!

Laurelbox also has a beautiful Christmas ornament that would be a sweet gift to send to someone who has lost a loved one this Christmas. A reminder that they are loved and remembered.

Sometimes it is so hard to know what to do for someone who has lost a loved one. I love the heart behind laurelbox and how they desire to bless those who are hurting. If you know of someone that you would love to give a laurelbox to, they are offering a discount to my readers. Use code themacs at checkout to receive 15% off your order through Decemeber 7th. I am also going to be giving away a tea towel, teaspoon and ornament over on Instagram today or tomorrow so make sure you are following me there too (@jessmcclenahan).

Thanks laurelbox!

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DaySpring’s Black Friday sneak peek is up and you can snag some great deals starting today!

dayspring everlasting light

I love these pieces from the Everlasting Light Collection. So pretty!

shine necklace $40 $17

star cluster necklace $50 $10

north star pendant necklace $50 $20

stacked ring set $36 $15

DS daily grace

Of course I have to mention anything from the Daily Grace Collection. These two pieces are included in the sale.

blessed & grateful – small vase $25 $10

grace for today – serving bowl $30 $15

You can see all the Black Friday sneak peek deals here. And check back for updates later in the week!

DS deal of the day

UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out these Daily Grace pieces that are part of today’s Deal of the Day.

grateful for all God gives – platter $37 $15

live a grateful life – tall serving bowl $28 $12

And…use code 30FRIDAY15 to get 30% off site wide (including clearance!). Wow!!! I hope this helps you find some really meaningful gifts at great prices!

disclaimer: affiliate links included

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  • Diane Taylor - This is such a wonderful deal on the Dayspring platter. I just ordered 6 of them for gifts. THANK YOU :):) Perfect presents full of meaning, love thatReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    These make the best gifts! I ordered a few to give away too. 🙂

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  • leiah - Thanks for sharing the sale and the code and taking time to show the great jewelry. I ordered the top 2 necklaces for my sister for an early Christmas gift. Instead of $90 for them I got them for $18! (plus tax and shipping of course)ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Yay! Such a good deal!!

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Two things. First, my babies are getting way too old. Griffin is four. What?! Second, this is one of four birthdays I haven’t blogged about. I’m over a year behind now. Sheesh. I’m pretty sure I’m over a year behind at life in general. I don’t know what I am going to do to slow down time so that my babies don’t grow up so fast but in the meantime I will soak up every crazy minute with them that I can. And maybe someday I’ll get around to posting the other three birthdays I missed. Someday.

Ok, back to the birthday party. Griffin wanted a shark party this year. My older boys are really into Wild Kratts and are all about animals right now. So, Griffin knows all sorts of shark facts…thus the shark party was born.

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When I was looking for invitations for Jake’s party this summer, I came across Kerri of Big K little k Designs. You have to check out her shop! So many cute invitations. I just noticed that she has Christmas card designs too! Big K little k Designs is definitely going to be a new go-to when I need cute invitations. She designed the most adorable shark invitation for Griff’s birthday. I love how it turned out.

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Joel made the lemonade stand for Jake’s birthday. He does not love doing this kind of thing (but he must love me!) and he really impressed me with his carpentry skills. It is awesome! And it was easily converted from lemonade stand to ocean-side stand for the shark party.

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I painted the waves on paper and then stapled it onto the stand. The shark signs are designed by Kerri.

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Kerri also designed these adorable tags for the favors. I used a paint pen to draw the waves on the bags. We filled the bags with a candy shark tooth necklace, shark stickers, shark gummies and shark facts. The boys and I had so much fun putting these together!

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I made felt shark fins for all the kids to pin on their backs when they arrived.

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Honestly the shark fins weren’t a huge hit. A few kids wanted to wear them and looked super cute though. The shark fins also didn’t stand up very well. I would probably make them differently if I did it again.

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My sister-in-law makes the best sugar cookies. They are so cute and taste even better. I always wish I could eat about ten, but I never can get to them fast enough before they are gone.

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And here he is in all his four-year-old cuteness. I really can’t believe he is already four.

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Griffin loves his older cousins. And they are so sweet to him. I’m pretty sure getting to sit by Harrison was the best part of Griffin’s birthday.

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I know it wasn’t Jake’s birthday but I mean, look at that smile?! I think he was enjoying all the sugar everyone was feeding him while mom was busy. IMG_6814new IMG_6815new

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We have had quite the year with this guy of ours. I remember so clearly that day in January when I looked back while driving down the highway to find him having a seizure. Who knew that three would bring seizures, an ambulance ride, hospital stays, tests and more tests, and lots of medication for Griffin. We’ve had some really scary and really trying days. Celebrating Griffin’s life on this day with a shark party and seeing his excitement felt like such an extra special gift. I couldn’t help but squeeze him tight and thank God for FOUR! Happy birthday Griffin! You are loved so, so much.

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Sources:

inviation, signs, favor tag – Big K little k Designs

gummi sharks (large)…these looked cute but tasted gross! – Amazon

gummi sharks (small) – Amazon

shark cookie cutter – Amazon

favor bags – Amazon

shark stickers – Oriental Trading

shark tooth candy necklaces – Oriental Trading

shark facts (free printable) – All for the Boys

shark fin (free pattern/directions) – It’s the Life

shark cupcake toppers – Amazon

blue swirl cupcake wrappers – Amazon

shark tattoos – Amazon

Find all my shark party inspiration on my Pinterest board

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  • laura - What a cute birthday party! And what an adorable FOUR year old!! Looks like a fun day to celebrate Griff! Love to you all!!ReplyCancel

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  • Carrie - So cute! I always love to see what you came up with for their birthdays!ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - What a fun party. My grandson is 5 and is really fascinated with sharks. I can’t believe he’s 4. I’m glad he’s doing well but yes, your boys are growing up way to fast. They are all so precious and so darling. I’ll await with anticipation for your posts about other birthdays. You are so clever with the decorations and food.ReplyCancel

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  • Jennifer Minor - Whew! What a year! Praising God with you for 4!! Very cute party. And I just have to say it…..that picture of Jake…he looks just like Cora!!ReplyCancel

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