OCC

It’s Operation Christmas Child time!

Many kids around the world do not get gifts during the holiday season. It’s a sad but very true fact of life. Samaritan’s Purse has a program where people can pack shoeboxes filled with gifts to children all over the world. Ultimately the boxes are opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Every year my church hosts their annual OCC boxing event. The congregation eats lunch together, we sprawl out on the floor, and pack our boxes together. The church provides some of the sanitary/school items (combs, toothbrushes, soap, crayons, pencils, and pens), and it’s up to each individual to buy their toys.

Walking into the toy aisle always reminds me of when I was a little kid – aisle upon aisle of dolls, stuffed animals, legos, and games. To this day it’s still fun to shop for toys! MG and I decided to put together 4 boxes this year but to personalize each box by writing a letter to our kids and sending a a Lam family picture. It’s always nice to get a gift with a personal touch.

We made these cards at home with some stuff lying around the house (construction paper, twine, glitter, dollies, and cotton balls). These cards are perfect for little kiddies to make.

OCC Cards

I’m really proud of the snowflake one, so here’s how I did it!

Dollie
See the swirly design in the middle of the dollie? Basically trace the pattern with glue and sprinkle glitter!

Cards

Snowflake

So easy, and such a fun way to use items around your house.

Here are all the toys we purchased for our boxes! We got some jump ropes, a baby doll, a stuffed bunny, and some sidewalk chalk for 2-4 year old girls. For the 5-9 year old boys we purchased marbles, trucks, zombie figures, and putty.

Toys

PackingMG packing his boys’ boxes. I chose girls!

DoneAll done and filled to the brim! Enjoy little ones!

My favorite thing about OCC is watching kids pack boxes. For them to give up toys for other children in need is a profound understanding of love, a sacrificial love that Jesus has for all of us.

Kayla and KelseySweet, sweet Kayla and Kelsey

Abby
Adorable Abby

Niko
Very handsome Niko (maybe this guy got some help with his boxes)

I encourage you to pack a box for a child in need. For under $20, you are able to provide so much joy for a child that may have never received a gift before. Plus, it’s great entertainment for you to go toy shopping. There is more information on OCC and how to pack a box here.

Have you participated in OCC before? What is your favorite part of packing the box? If you haven’t done this before, is this something you may consider?

In His Name,
Jay

  

Hiking at Dry Creek

I always have to remind myself that weekends are for relaxing and getting your sleep fix. Since there’s no work, I always want to pack out my weekend with adventures, but that usually burns me out during the week. Anyone else feel that way?

With that said, this weekend wasn’t as exciting as the last (see last weekend’s rafting trip here). But I got my beauty sleep, and I can’t complain about that!

It was a very easy going Saturday. I slept in until 11am and then baked some bread (bread recipe to come soon). Then I got to see the in-laws and have a delicious Chinese dinner with them. Crab is one of my favorite foods, and my mother in law spoils me!

MG flew to Chicago for work on Sunday afternoon. To make the most of our time together, we skipped church (oh these naughty young kids…) and spent some time together on a hike. We went to Dry Creek Park in Union City, and finally hiked the entire loop (~4 miles). We went twice before this trip but always ran out of time and never finished the loop. This time we made sure to build enough time in! It was misty and cloudy in the morning, around 65 degrees, the perfect weather for a hike.

Check out some of our hiking pictures below:

Hiking

Spider web
Came across many spider webs catching all the mist. Pretty cool!

Snacking
Low sugar levels… Need energy!

At the top
View from the very top. Squinty eyed because it was getting sunny!

Afterwards, we had a well-deserved Chinese breakfast: sweet soy milk, Chinese donut, and pan fried pork buns. YUM

What did you do this past weekend?

Love, Jay