Stocking Stuffer #11, 12, and 13 – MUSIC!!!

This is actually a REAL one. I mean, all these things have been real, but this one is REALLY REAL. As in, you can purchase it!
We were able to get a great deal on the music we often sing in our KidzGIG STUDIO, and we are passing it on to you. For just $6 each, these CD's are available to pick up this weekend at Journey. I ordered 30 to start, and can get some more if they have them, but the bulk order allows us to get a discount and to offer that same discount to you. (In other words, we aren't looking for a profit here, rather I want you and your family to have these CD's because the songs are for EVERYONE!)
If you have never stepped foot into our KidzGIG STUDIO, you've probably heard it! This is what it sounds like!
(And you are more than welcome to stop in!)
Shoot me an email at aaron@takeajourney.org  if you'd like more info on these, or head over to www.unclecharlie.com. He has a great ministry, and I am thankful his team is selling these at a discount this season.
Bonkers - includes PROMISES, A PLAN, MY SAVIOR LIVES etc.

Stocking Stuffer #7, 8, and 9 – O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

I have lumped these three together because there is no other way to do it.
Most people decorate their homes with some sort of Christmas tree. Some have two. Some have more. Some have a tiny one, much like Charlie Brown's.
Decorating the tree is a tradition with just as many details and specifications as putting together a car engine. The wreath goes in a certain spot, with a certain bow. The garland goes over and under the stair railing, but wraps around the banister, and lays like a boa on the mantle.
Ornaments present a new dimension. Pretty ornaments are placed on the front side of the tree. Less flattering ornaments are discarded to the back of the tree, nearest to the wall, where they spend the holidays lamenting the many other trees they could have inhabited, had they not been forced out by the most recent Coca-cola ornament…(those are mine, I like Coca-cola Classic…a lot…that's why I include Classic when I say it…)
So, today's stocking stuffers are the sad little ornaments at the back of the tree, perfect for re-gifting.
Here's a few from my parent's house…dsc01188dsc01187dsc01186

Stocking Stuffer #7 – My Buddy is not My Friend

I never had one myself.  They were pushed on the market hard when my younger brother turned three.  In fact, he was just a few inches taller than this toy – which he lugged around every now and then.  In truth, I don't think they had that much fun together.  My Buddy was often bulky, cumbersome, and would never play a nice game of hide-and-seek.  In fact, when it was his turn to seek, he didn't move.  He just sat there for hours while everyone waited to be found.  When it was his turn to hide, he refused.  My Buddy is very good at the staring game…and he does a great impression of Chucky…another toy who made it big in movies…movies we shouldn't discuss because they are horrifying.
"Try and make me blink..."

Stocking Stuffer #6 – Talking bears, awkward stares

This little guy has outlived himself, and is surprisingly still available to buy.
I always wanted one, but didn't get this one.  I did have one that danced when you made noise.  I dropped him after owning it for a week, and his left leg broke.  Rather than dancing, he limped for two steps, and fell over on his face.
Presenting number six (which can't fit in a stocking…) Teddy Ruxpin.
Tells kids stories - gives them nightmares...

Stocking Stuffer #4 – Skip Day

No, I'm not skipping the post – but you may have thought that.
Today's toy is a blast from the past that is still sold, though now marketed nearly exclusively towards girls, whereas it was at one point more neutral.
Suppose you like the idea of jumping a rope, but lacked a rope, or lacked the ability to jump with both feet at the same time.  Suppose instead you could skip really well, and alternate your feet leaving the ground with exceptional skill.
Then is the one for you.  It's Skip-It by Hasbro, a great little toy that inspires kids everywhere to skip everything.  (Except school…)
Skip-It

Stocking Stuffer # 5 – A different kind of sleigh…

plane1This little item is featured on Amazon right now for 65% off regular price. When I was a kid, I had a remote control Batmobile. There also existed a remote control DeLorean (from Back to the Future – didn't own that one) but I had several other remote control cars growing up. Never had a plane though…interesting…
So today's toy – in honor of all things remote control is the: Estes Viper RC Airplane with Motion Sensing Control

In the first week of December…

In Sanity...
Organized chaos is the best chaos.  Each month, Deanna and I sort everything for the ENTIRE upcoming month.  The STUDIO usually looks like this and then it all gets assembled into easy bags for our small group leaders to come in and teach from.  Everyone that walks by says, "You got a mess in here!" and it's true.  Ironically, we think it is the most beautiful mess we could ever have.
As we put stuff together, (and we often have additional help as well) we get excited about all the things our small group leaders get to teach our kids, the things that the kids get to teach their parents, and that their parents get to build on at home.  So, stuffing farm animals and cotton balls into is all worth it.
It also gives me a chance to practice my sheep drawing skills (which are lacking) and star-making abiliities (which never in my life are proportional…)
We love doing this, but we are more excited about the celebration that happens on the weekends with the kids, who are growing to learn more and more about Jesus.

Stocking Stuffer #3 – Nick-nic-nic-na-na-Nick-Nick-Nick–NICKELODEON!

Unfortunately, today's choice is actually one that is no longer sold, but you can find recipes for it online and make your own and give it to that special someone who loves colorful, moldable, slimy compounds.
It's Nickelodeon's GAK – the slime used on the famous "Double Dare" now made for the handy-dandy, everyday consumer in multiple kid-friendly colors!
And it can in fact fit in your stocking.  And it does make the nice flatulent sound.  Or did in it's day.  There's a rumor it could make a comeback…

Stocking Stuffer #2 – Read It and Weep

monster-21Okay, it's not really a tear-jerker of a book, but it's one of my favorites.  This book is one that I had when I was a kid.  Two years ago, breezing through Wal-mart (not something I do often) I saw it again and asked my mom if she would put it in my stocking.
She thought I was joking.  I wasn't.  So, I bought it.
Grover was always my favorite Sesame Street character, spastic, imaginiatve, curious and loud. In this story, Grover attempts to keep the reader from reaching the end because a monster lurks at the end of the book.  The monster at the end of the book is of course none other than Grover himself, and he is in love with this idea that all along it's been about him.
Of course we could read deeper into this.  We could say that we all fear something, and that we all hinder ourselves or others from accomplishing what we/they set out to do because of unrealistic fears, only to find that we ourselves are the one thing holding us back…but maybe that's too deep for the Street.