Okay, so before I get started, I just have to say that I greatly appreciate all of the encouragement that I received in lieu of my last post.  To those who took time to share or comment or send a message, thank you.  It means so much to hear stories and to know that we all together on this hard and wonderful journey of life.

Also, I have to say a few words about this girl and the amazing one next to her that you can’t see.  They are wonderful.  Their lives inspire me in so many ways.  Their beauty, inside and out, touches lives and hearts.  As I raise my daughter, I desire so much that she would grow into a godly young woman, and model the example that I’ve seen in our dear friends Emily and Kristin and others like them.  Both girls gave encouragement to me yesterday, and it was much needed and much appreciated.  It’s something that resonates in my heart and it helps and I’m thankful.

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Moving on.  Last night was our annual Youth Group Christmas Party.  It started off with this amazing man, sharing great the great truths of Christmas.  Want to know what he shared?  You can totally join us this Sunday morning, 9:30am at Eastport Bible Church where he will continue to share and expand on some pretty awesome thoughts for the Christmas Season.  It will be a fantastic way to kick off Christmas week, and we would love to have you come and be a part of it.

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Afterwards, we headed into the overflow.

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Where we caught up with our sweet twin babies.

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And where Elijah was rocking this look.

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The gathering that drew us all in, was our annual game of Yankee Swap, aka our White Elephant Gift Exchange.  We played it on Wednesday at Hangtime, and played it again last night with 50 of our youth group students and leaders.

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Speaking of our youth group students, they are awesome.  We love them very much.

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They jumped right in, to the gift exchanging and swapping.

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Of course, it was pretty entertaining.

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One of the highlights of the night was when Dan ended up with a gift of irony.  He was a great sport about it and we all had a good laugh.

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While the gifts were being opened, I snapped away.  Because these kids are growing up, right before our eyes and when I take pictures, I get to capture moments in time.  I’m pretty sure I might take more pictures of them than some of their parents, but it’s all good.  And parents, I have the pictures, if you ever need them.

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I may have…

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I may have thought it was a good idea to try to take a picture of these sweet twin baby girls in the hallway of the church.  They didn’t think it was.  And afterwards, I realized they were probably right.  Thankfully, a little cookie later, and we were friends again.

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Yankee Swap continued on.  And I have to say that the students and leaders did a great job of gift bringing this year.

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One of the funniest gifts of the night were these two cheeseburgers.  That ended up getting traded a few times and possibly eaten, I’m guessing.  We do work with Jr. and Sr. Highers, many of whom happen to be hungry and growing boys.

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I was so happy to see this sweet girl at our party.  She took the Cross Training class at my gym with me right before she came, so kudos to her for working out and then coming to our fun party.  She’s the best.  And strongest.

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Yankee Swap was a great and fun success.  And at the end of the night, was took time to thank and acknowledge our great team of leaders.  Because we could never do this whole youth ministry thing alone and we are so thankful for them all.

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So there you have it.  I can’t think of any better way to kick off Christmas week, then hanging out with these students for a fun Christmas Party.  We love them all and wish them and their families a wonderful Christmas week.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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