Book Party {The Joyful Life Library}

Last year I had some girl friends over for a Little Dresses for Africa party. That party was one of the highlights of 2009 for me. It was so fun to hang out with close friends and do something both creative and meaningful. It was a great day. I knew this year I wanted to do something similar. I thought about another Little Dresses party, but I also wanted to do something with the boys this year. A little while back I was reading Heather’s blog Blessed Little Nest and came to the page about her precious son Samuel. Samuel lived 6 weeks on this earth. To celebrate Samuel and honor him, his family began The Joyful Life Library. The Joyful Life Library has been established at the hospital that cared for Samuel. The goal of library is to make sure that all the children and their families have access to books during their stay at the hospital…and even a brand new book to take home.

My boys love to read. As a mom I know the joy that reading brings to my kids. Hospital stays are rough and the simple act of reading a new book can bring so much joy to a child and a parent. After reading Heather’s blog I thought my boys could get really excited about having a party to collect books for children in the hospital. So that is what we did.

We sent invitations to some of the older boys close friends. The party included a movie outside so the time was pretty late….too late to invite our younger kids’ friends. It was a little late for everyone, but we encouraged the kids to come in their pjs and bring a blanket.

The kids got bookplates with their invitations. The bookplates were signed and placed in the donated books.

Our evening included reading books and watching The Cat & The Hat.

Disclaimer: There are laws concerning showing movies…there is a difference in public and private viewing. You will want to read on that before you show a movie to a large group. You can do a basic search on google for more info.

Cute girls ready for a movie. I kept asking them if they wanted to take off their fleece robes since it was 90+ outside. Fashion before comfort.

Checking out all the books that were donated. I really love that this little guy’s book is upside down.

We had a bag with extra bookplates in case guests brought more than one book to donate.

A few bedtime stories before it got dark enough for the movie.

The sword made more than one appearance. During the movie I saw it on the screen…he figured out how to block the projector with it.

It was a good, hot, Oklahoma night. There are things I’ll change next time, but for a first run I think & hope everyone had a great time. I’ll post some details on the “how” of everything tomorrow. Sometimes I think we assume that doing charitable acts requires great personal sacrifice or is just hard. Really I think it can be as simple as knowing what you enjoy and using those things to benefit others. Having a bunch of friends over to eat popcorn and watch a movie in our field was far from a personal sacrifice or some kind of big great deed – it was a fun night with friends.

When the idea first popped in my non-stop brain I ran it by a few friends. I even picked the date based on when they could come, just to be sure someone would be there other than just my family. I have such great supportive friends. I am thankful for girlfriends that encourage me in my random ideas and show up with their families to support mine. I want my kids to grow up with it being second nature to combine what they love with ways to help others, but it starts with me being intentional to demonstrate it…and having supportive friends makes that possible.

So THANK YOU to those of you that came, endured a little too many bedtime stories, and donated books. We are so grateful.

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