Category Archives: Link-ups

Manger Mondays: Advent Link Up Week 3

I can’t believe the third week is over already! Time is really flying; and life is really hectic!! Next week will be our final Manger Mondays Link Up, to wrap up our Advent celebrations and let you report on how your final week before Christmas went!  I didn’t think our Christmastime schedule was terribly busy, but it has been. Our afternoons are quite short, once homework is finished and dinner is had before it’s time for bed. Plus we seem to have things coming up every afternoon/evening that have either taken me out of the house or all of us out of the house. So, this week we ended up doing our Truth in the Tinsel activities about every other day. As I write this, we should have done Day 18 today. Instead, we’ve not done past Day 16. So, we’ll have some catching up to do, but it’s all good. :) We’ve had some really good family time, shared some love with our neighbors, and have enjoyed a few local favorites before they shut down for the month of January (that happens a lot around here).

So, without further ado, our week 3!

I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about the week itself. I know we talked about the manger, Bethlehem, the stable, and the census (don’t think it was in that order, but there you go). We had a really great talk the day we learned about the census. The craft was to put some colored rice into a jar and then put two marbles in the jar to represent Mary and Joseph among the throng of people crowding into Bethlehem for the census. The girls really seemed to grasp the concept that even with all of those people – and no one seeming to care who Mary and Joseph were, or Who she was carrying – God saw them and knew they were special, and provided for them. And seemed to really transfer that idea to themselves. We talked about how even when we feel all alone, or lost in the crowd and like no one cares, God cares, He sees us, and He knows us. I really enjoyed this day.

Can YOU see Mary or Joseph (white marble)??

The other day the girls really seemed to enjoy and grasp well was the day we talked about the swaddling clothes (Day 16, I believe). We talked about how Mary wrapped Jesus in cloths, and how this was important because this was going to be how the Shepherds were going to recognize him. The girls really loved their “babies” and couldn’t stop snuggling them and talking about more ways to make him more comfortable, etc. Even now, they go to him several times a day, fix his blanket, etc. Butterfly Girl in particular is really enamored with her baby.

The sleeping baby Jesus' wrapped in cloths

Butterfly Girl snuggling her baby

Flower Girl with her baby

Day 14 Stables. Rather than craft sticks and twigs, we used cardboard cutouts and gold ribbon to make "thatched" roofs. :)

Painting the mangers

Our Mangers (day 15)

So, there you have our somewhat abbreviated week 3!

What has been your favorite day/craft/conversation so far this Advent season?

Now it’s your turn! Link up your advent/Christmas post, and be sure to spread the word! Please leave a comment after linking up!

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I’ve linked up with
Growing Home

Manger Mondays: Advent Link-Up Week 2

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who linked up last week! We had some really great posts! I truly enjoyed reading all of them! Erin from The Humbled Homemaker had several great ones, as did Mary from The Encouraging Home, Jessica over at The Bohemian Bowmans and several others!!

“Advent Calendar for Broke People” by LeighAnn at Intentional by Grace had me laughing. Not only because she’s hilarious, but because I could totally relate to her situation! And its a great reminder that we don’t have to spend a lot of money, or have loads of amazing just-for-Advent stuff to make some really great memories with our kids!

This week was much more “real life” for our family than last week. There were a couple of times where we had to skip our Advent activity for that day and double up the next day. Thankfully the girls were good sports about it and even made a plan ahead of time how to make sure it stayed fair as to who picked the clue, and when, on the days we doubled up. :) This week started with the school Christmas Fair on Sunday, and just got busier from there. We hosted a large party for some friends on Saturday, so our Christmas decorations have had to remain in the closet until after that time. So, our Advent ornaments have been collecting a set of paper plates on the hutch. :) Well, tonight we finally put up our Advent Garland to display our lovelies. I didn’t do it by design, but it worked perfectly that the first swag of garland exactly fit the ornaments of the first half of our Advent experience! The second swag should serve nicely for the second half, I’d wager.

Our Lovely Garland

This week our clues were Mary, Mary/Elizabeth, Song, Sun, Joseph, Dream and Jesus’ Name. The highlights for me were hearing my daughters “write songs” of praise to Jesus, and seeing them immediately make the connection between Jesus as the Sun and Jesus as the Light of the World as we learned way back on Day 1!

We have had to modify many of the crafts this whole time, and I haven’t really highlighted them because that’s part of the fun, charm, and ease of Truth in the Tinsel – that she’s designed the crafts to be done with whatever you have around the house. However, we did make a couple of major modifications that I’ll point out here.

On day 7, the craft in the book is to take a CD that you don’t need and glue shiny things onto it to remind us of the beautiful song of praise Mary sang, and to remind us to praise God, too. However, we had no CD’s that we could spare, and not many sparkly things (and I wasn’t in the mood for glitter. Ha!) So I cut a large music note for each of the girls out of some bright paper and they “wrote songs” of praise on them. (i.e. drew pictures of things they wanted to praise God about). They both drew Jesus rescuing us.

Butterfly Girl "writing" her song

Flower Girl showing off her song

The other major modification we made was on Day 11. The book called for a large craft stick and to cut names out of magazines/newspapers and glue them around the outside of the stick. Then cut the letters of Jesus’ name out of slightly larger letters from magazines and glue them in the middle. We had no newspapers/magazines or craft sticks, so they got a fancy-schmancy half sheet of colored paper. Around the edges they wrote as many names as they could think of and in the middle, in a different color, they wrote “JESUS” in large letters.

Our Fancy-Schmancy Name Plates

I must point out my other favorite thing so far. As we read the Bible verses each day, they are listening out for the clue word (or things relating to it). On Day 1 I had them shout “WOOHOO!!” each time they heard the clue word, and they’ve continued that each day. It’s so much fun, and it keeps them listening! :)

The girls’ favorite things from the week were the “pregnant” Mary and Elizabeth paper dolls and the glittery suns. The dolls were absolutely adorable. Since our son is only 14 months old, they remember clearly when mommy was pregnant, what is was like waiting and waiting and wondering, and how exciting it was that our friend was expecting at the same time! The sun, they loved the fact of how sparkly they came out and that they really did shine like the sun!

So, I leave you now with a million few pics of our week. Don’t forget to enjoy the pics and then link up your own post!!

Butterfly Girl with her Mary from Day 5

Flower Girl with her Mary

Working hard on her Mary and Elizabeth paper dolls

Loving the preggo cousins!

Flower Girl proud of her matching bellies

The Sun, representing Jesus as the "rising sun" sent to "shine of those living in darkness". By the way, who agreed to glitter??

Making Joseph


Pillows representing Joseph's dream and that he was quick to obey (by marrying Mary and naming the baby Jesus), just as we are to be quick to obey!

Did you know that today marks the half-way mark to Christmas?? It’s not too late to start anticipating Jesus’ birth by celebrating Advent! You can get Truth in the Tinsel here (why not take advantage of the 12 Days TILL Christmas Sale, today only, and get 20% off the eBook using the code 12DAYS !!), or even just get some children’s books from the library, or read a bit of the Christmas story each day from the Bible. Better late than never!

Now it’s your turn! Link up your post(s) relating to Advent, Truth in the Tinsel, Christ-Centered Christmas, Family-Friendly Christmas activities here!

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I’ve linked up with
Growing Home

The Pelsers

Wordless Wednesday – Fun in Spain; and Reminder!


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and link up to our Christ-Centered Christmas Link Up Party! You won’t want to miss out on the great hostess posts as well as all the wonderful resources that will be linked up!


Also, This Gal’s Journey is now on Facebook!! You can find us over on the sidebar and while you’re at is, give us a “like” and come join the fun over there!

A Christ-Centered Christmas {Link Party}


I’m so excitd to announce that I’ve joined up with five of my blogging friends and we are hosting a Blog Link Up Party next Thursday, November 17!


Erin from The Humbled Homemaker

Mary from The Encouraging Home

Tifaine from Through My Lense

Pamela from The French Bird

Taylor from Mama Java

and Myself

Our hope is to encourage you as you help your family celebrate a Christ-Centered Christmas! We will be posting on topics including:

Gifts That Give Back


Keeping Gift Giving Simple

Resources for Teaching Your Children about the True Meaning of Christmas

Sharing Goodies, Sharing Love

And So Much MORE!

We ALL hope that you will Join Us, Link Up and Share Your Christ Centered Christmas Ideas!

Grab Your Link Party Button and Spread The Word!

This Gal's Journey
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