1st Day of Christmas Giveaway….with Amy Carroll

NOTE: Announcing the winner of this past weekend’s Thanksgiving Giveaway- (a Fear-less and Thank-ful CD by Lysa TerKeurst and some Pecan Passion Bath & Body Works Lotion)……… It is:

mommieakin; timestamp: November 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Congrats and please email me your home address at [email protected] so I can get your prize to you right away!

jippieOkay everyone……I could barely sleep last night.

Not only was I coming off of a great weekend with the sweet ladies I met during two nights of a gorgeous Advent by Candlelight event at St. Lorenz Church (In the most Christmas-sy town ever I might add– beautiful Frankenmuth, Michigan ) but today…..we kick off the second annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!!!!

I can hardly sit still.

This giveaway began as an idea for introducing you to the other members of the Proverbs 31 Speaking Team. They are my sisters in ministry, some of my most fervent prayer companions, and sometimes, even my partners in crime! I usually see most of them only once a year at our annual team time in July so featuring them here at Christmas is such a blast for me!

There are 23 of us on the team. Last year, I featured 12 of the gals. That leaves 10 more (not counting me) to feature this year. Hmmmmm….two spots left. Not to fear, these will be filled with the wonderful and capable Holly and Leah, personal assistants to two of the team, our President Lysa Terkeurst and her P31 radio-co-host Renee Swope.

Well enough chit-chat already…here is how this giveaway series works:

  • Starting today through December 11th, you’ll be introduced to a different P31 gal each day by way of a short interview.
  • Each of these ladies will be offering a giveaway. Leave a comment on their particular post if you want to be entered to win their prize.
  • The winners will not be chosen until all 12 posts are up. So that means you have nearly two weeks to read and comment on all of the posts. Of course if you read one each day and leave your comment then, it is way more fun–kind of like s-l-o-w-l-y opening your gifts on Christmas morning rather than ripping them all open in a hurried frenzy. However, I know you are slammed with a lot of things at this time of year. I’d hate for you to ignore your family or miss out on that low-price deal at the department store just to read this blog! So, you will have until midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th to leave a comment on any of the 12 posts and thus, be entered. That means you not only have these next 12 days, but the Saturday and Sunday immediately following to get all caught up and entered. The winners will be announced  Monday, December 14th.
  • Have fun and read on!

For our first day of Christmas…..meet a lovely, warm, genuine and totally Jesus-lovin’ gal; my sweet southern bell of a friend, Amy Carroll!


Amy  is a completely an ordinary woman. The goofiest things make her laugh. Her brother’s dry sense of humor, British comedy, her boys’ corny jokes and her husband’s play on words all crack her up. Amy’s scared of bouncing a check, closed in places and pictures that show her double chin. Just about anything makes her cry. She cries when she’s happy, sad, moved (even by Hallmark commercials) or in awe of something God has done.

Amy’s married to Barry, the man that she still loves madly after 19 years.  Her two boys, Anson and Nolan, are her delight. Boredom is a non-issue in this male-dominated household, so she adopted a little girl—her miniature dachshund, Hilde. They reside in North Carolina.

Here’s a little something that Amy says about herself, “There’s only one thing that may set me apart from any woman that you pick off the street. I have an extraordinary desire to know God and to apply His word in my everyday life. Isn’t it funny that my one extraordinary trait has nothing to do with me?! On my journey down the path, I often falter and fumble around, but I’m in love with a God who is faithful to pick me up, dust me off and set me moving forward in the right direction.”

Now for our interview:

Amy, fill us in on what life is like at the Carroll household this Christmas season.

Our life is very full with school, work and church, even under normal circumstances.  December can tend to get out of control!  In the past few years, our family has tried to become very intentional about the Christmas season.  We want to work to preserve “white space” on our calendar where we can focus on the meaning of Christmas and time with our family.  It’s tough to know when to say “no”, but we’re trying to say “yes” to the important things.

Can you share a tradition your family has enjoyed over the years?

One of our favorite traditions centers around our book basket.  I taught elementary school before the kids were born, and I LOVE children’s books.  I started collecting Christmas books years ago, and we try to add one or two every year.  The book basket has actually become a book tub!  It contains everything from children’s versions of the story of Jesus’ birth to “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (we’ve got a fun hillbilly version and a Cajun version of that famous poem, too!)

My boys are 15 and 12, but they still love picking out Christmas stories and reading them beside the light of the Christmas tree at night.  Last year, the first book that they picked was Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia!  I just loved that my big ‘ole boys still have the heart of a child about the season.

What is your favorite Christmas memory from your childhood?

When I was in elementary school, my craft-loving mom made a gorgeous advent calendar out of felt.  Each tiny piece is hand-cut, and she did some embroidery, too.  My brother and I would get so excited about that calendar every year, and every year we’d argue about who got to take the baby Jesus out of His pocket on Christmas morning to tuck into His felt manger.  Real sweet, right?!

When my brother and I had our children, she made a copy for each of our homes.  Our kids love this tradition as much as we did, and I still hold my breath every morning to see what comes out of the pocket—the train, the gingerbread man, the lamb….

Is there a Christmas song that holds a special memory for you? Why?

Music is really important at my house.  Barry, my husband, plays the sax, Anson plays the French horn and Nolan plays the trombone.  I appreciate all the beautiful sounds!

I have a current favorite Christmas song that I have listened to all year this year.  It’s Casting Crown’s version of “God is With Us”.  Every time I contemplate Emmanuel, God with us, it awes and stills my heart.  I rejoice at the words, “God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel.”

You are offering a great giveaway today to one of our cyber sisters. Can you tell us about it?

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas shopping, and I’ll bet many of you do, too.  So....I’m giving away a $10 gift certificate for a coffee break at Starbucks when your feet get sore. I’ll also include a copy of my Christmas message “With” as a reminder of God’s tremendous love and sacrifice in coming to be with us. I wish all my cyber friends Merry Christmas and pray that you are embraced by His presence in this joyful season!

Thanks Amy!!!

Okay ladies…leave us a comment today answering any of the questions that Amy was asked in the above interview. Or, if time is short or your brain is already drained (even though December doesn’t start until tomorrow!) just say “I’m in!” You’ll be entered to win Day One’s prize!

Christmas Blessings,


  1. I’m in. My favorite Christmas tradition right now is when I get to dress my sweet puppy up and take her for her annual trip to the mall to visit with Santa. Santa has always been so loving to her.

  2. My favorite Christmas memory is when I thought I heard Santa eating the cookies I left out for him and woke my parents up so we could all sneak in and catch him only to find that “Santa” had left my dog a bone and that was who I heard munching away….lol

  3. I can’t think of one specific memory that stands out. I simply remember spending time together. It didn’t matter what we were doing, just spending time together was so fun. Thanks for the giveaway, hope to win :)

  4. My favorite memory from childhood, was sitting right under the Christmas tree, by myself and enjoying the beauty of the lights.

  5. Hmmm…what life is like at the Bowen household this Christmas season! Well we have four children! Life is fun, crazy and busy at our home! I think our children are at the perfect age this Christmas. Our three youngest children still believe, yet are old enough to know Jesus- and have a relationship with Him. I cherish these times that God has given us.

  6. Hello Karen and Amy,

    I think i have answered most of these questions already i have worked from 8th day down:) But i will say this I’M IN….

    God bless you both

  7. This is our 2nd year for our new favorite Christmas tradition. . .our grandson coming to our house on Christmas morning to open presents! It is such a joy to watch his excitement as he opens his gifts. And even though he not quite 2 years old yet, he already knows it’s Jesus’ birthday.

  8. Favorite Christmas memory? I have so many, but I’ll go with my grandmother coming over every Christmas morning. We’d call her when we were all awake and have to wait til she got there to see what Santa left us. She always brought “coffee cake” with her, a delicious ooey-gooey cinnamon and sugar breakfast.

  9. Christmas is by far the most spectacular holiday! As if the colors & the smells of warm spice tea & pecan pie weren’t enough we also have the wonderful pleasure of celebrating the MOST AMAZING gift ever given to man..THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST !! Wow..What could be better than that??

    My family has a long tradition which includes an orange and an apple in each stocking. For years I thought it was just a space holder and now I’m still convinced it may just be, but the memories & joy that each apple and orange brought on Christmas morning will always hold a place in my heart. Merry Christmas to All!! ~

  10. This year as a family we have decided to be more intentional about how we celebrate Christ’s birth. We are striving to make what we do point to Christ as much as possible. Our tree has been decorated with red and white and candy canes to symbolize the candy cane story. We also have a cross in our front garden that has been wrapped in red lights, with a tree of white lights surrounding it.

  11. I collected Christmas books every year for my son as well! He is 18 now and off at college. I think I will go find that box of books and get them ready for the day he comes home next week!

  12. As a child, my favorite Christmas memory was baking (and decorating) gingerbread people with my mom. My daughter, now 5, has continued the tradition with her Nana…and can’t wait for “gingies” this year.

  13. One of my favorite memories is being with my grandparents & relatives at Christmas as a child. I would always bring my pajamas to put on as soon as I got tired! I wanted to be ready for Santa to come. I was the youngest grandchild. Everyone would always get a kick out of me being ready to go to bed so early!

  14. One of my favorite memories from childhood Christmases was opening our stockings on Christmas Eve after our church service. We actually believed Santa came to our house twice – once on Christmas Eve and again Christmas morning.

  15. I’m in. I’ve been trying to choose my yes’s and no’s more carefully this season. Thanks for the celebration of the little things that make Christmas special for each of us.

  16. This Christmas will find us with a fresh-cut tree from the woods, a fire in the wood stove, hot apple cider, Christmas music, Colorado snow, opening one present on Christmas Eve (always pjs) and telling of the true Christmas miracle. My kiddos are 8 and 10 and we’ve done this for their whole lives, and all 35 of mine. Simple and perfect!

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