Have you written your Christmas gratitude notes? A wonderful teaching opportunity. This year they are in Emma's "voice" and she dictated what they should say...and then signed her name (very good practice)...
We played lots of games...this one we're renaming "fling the fish" cuz Emma seems to throw them when she catches them! It's one of those times you'd like to laugh but can't let them continue to get away with it. They also got Ker-plunk and Don't Break the Ice...all of which I highly recommend for this age group!!
Here they are singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus...He got a cherry poke cake...I jokingly said it was a "holy" cake! Harharhar...I crack myself up!
Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year) from our family to yours!!
Emma and Grandma W. put together her build-a-bear kit from Grams. She named her Sabrina!
Caleb, our resident truck lover, got a garbage truck from Nana and Papa and a dump truck loader from Grandma and Grandpa W. Oooo...ahhhh!
There was some sort of migration grounded due to snow...thousands of birds everywhere. Being the bird lover I am I tried and tried to get some good pictures so I could identify them...but they flew every time we moved the curtains. I think they were either a part of the woodcock or sandpiper family.
We put together a new puzzle...Well, DadE did anyway!
Aren't they cute?
We lit our Advent candles when we got home. We sang Away in the Manger....God is good! Thank Him for His WONDERFUL gift!!
My children are great pretenders. Here they are "making believe" that they are cooking a fabulous Christmas dinner. They know it's not real food...but they are "attempting to cause it to be so" in their imaginations. They "act out" tasting the food...but their bellies aren't actually filled.
In a world where Jesus, the way, THE TRUTH, and the life, is considered just a relative thing...I need to be careful. Because, is it pretending if only WE know the TRUTH? We as parents KNOW Santa is "make believe"...but if we tell our children he is real...aren't we tricking them?
I remember...riding in the car with my Dad...many moons ago...and asking if Santa was real. My Dad said, "Well, how do we know what is true?" My answer came from what my family had already taught me. "Well, it would be in the Bible, right?" My Dad agreed. I said, "Is Santa in the Bible?" My Dad said, "No, he's not." AND THAT WAS IT...not major disappointments...just TRUTH.
I hope that I am equally prepared for just such a wonderful and openly honest discussion...I don't want to risk whether "they'll figure out what's real eventually"...I want to ALWAYS point to truth and where it comes from...GOD'S WORD.
This is heavy on my mind...I was just faced with a man a few weeks back who, TRULY, no jokes folks, said that he could find no more proof of God's existence than he could for the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. OUCH! Among other things, he said, "Have you ever seen him?" and then he sang..."He knows if you are sleeping, He knows if you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good...so be good for goodness sake." UGH, cringe! I shared my sadness for his disillusionment and my heart's desire that he learn of The Truth that I know from God's Word.
We share the story of Saint Nicolas and his generous spirit in giving to poor children....so they know how such traditions start...but we all know that any packages marked, "FROM SANTA" on Christmas day are just pretend....because Christmas in our home....is about celebrating Jesus, the Christ's birth.
And maybe even more important...every day life is about Him too! Day in and day out...every day of the year we are striving to teach them these truths.
As my children open gifts, at any time of the year, I want them to know about the ONE TRUE GIFT. The MOST IMPORTANT GIFT ... Jesus...who grew up...and died for the sins of the world. AND... 1 Cor. 15:3-4, "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" Yes, at Easter Bunny time...we share that too...HE IS RISEN!!
I was looking for a good picture of just MomE and DadE...but saw this and couldn't resist. Oh, *sigh*...look at my babies!!! Anyway...today is happy number 7...I wrote 7 things I love about my Loverbrains over where I'm Blogging Along!
Emmy looks so pretty in her "Madeline" coat and her pretty princess dress.
Here they are in front of the church's poinsettia tree...
Emma was "handed down" this flowergirl dress. Ironically, it is the same colors as our wedding...I remember seeing this dress as a contender when we chose our flowergirl's dress. All day long she danced around saying, "My's dreams have come true!" HAHAHA!
The Pre-Primary and Primaires...er, well...didn't exactly do what we wanted...like SING...
...but they are cute...
So, that helps...I guess! The choir did sing...and the teens...but I just included the CUTE pictures! It all went very well! Phew...
We found this really neat book at the library...Pretend Soup...by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson.
Emma wanted to make pancakes for dinner. The recipe called for blueberries but ours were frozen solid...so we shredded up some apples and sprinkled some cinnamon and taught Emma about substitutions.
She did pretty much everything...measuring, cracking, stirring...DadE gave it one final stirring!
She gave them a thumbs up!!
Yummo...don't you wish there was smello-blogging?
She has been very excited about cooking lately...learning about measuring and being a big helper. She sets the table every night (her brother does the napkins). Yes, it would be faster to do it myself and I fight that urge for perfection and speed...but it is wonderful to teach independence and responsibility too! They are both so proud of themselves...and can't wait to show DadE!
Each year, on the Sunday before Christmas, we have a birthday party for Jesus during Sunday School opening. The kids wrap up a box with money inside (from piggy banks, etc.)...and put it up front on the steps in front of the pulpit... and we have a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday!"
So, we made our birthday boxes...using two empty toothpaste boxes, ripped up tissue paper in red and green, glue, paint brushes, ribbon, tape and glue sticks.
First, tape one end closed so no coinage can slip through. Then paint/glue on your tissue paper.
This is a VERY sticky proposition....but it's GOOD for kids to get messy. I'm always a tiny bit surprised when Mom's say they don't do crafts like glue and play-doh because it's messy. I think, "Yeah, sooooo....then you teach them to help clean up!" We had glue ALL over the table...and it scrubbed right off. I should have taken a picture of that...
Later that night...DadE broke out our coin can (where we save all our spare change)...and they loaded their boxes full. It was fun!!
They dried nice and hard...and we tied ribbons around and glue sticked them down...so they wouldn't slide off. Then I taped the other side shut...again, no coinage losses. All the monies are going to go to our missionaries. We send them something special at Christmastime.
I'm sure the church treasurer is going to LOVE me for this one!! Hehe...
For the most part, we are feeling better today. So, since MomE had some hemming to do...I broke out more crafts and funtimes! I'm tellin' ya...tell your kids that "TV rots their brains" and they will repeat it back to you when you try to use it as a plug-in tool. Don't roll your eyes at me...you know what I'm talkin' about. Or, well...you're just not normal!
Anyhew...cut a triangle of Christmas fabric out...I had some in my stash...
...let them cut out presents from the leftover wrapping paper scraps...and glue buttons on for ornaments and a tin foil star for the top...a white crayon for snowflakes....VOILA!
I especially love Emmer-beans snowflakes! Neato!!
Then, MomE broke out the beans...dried beans....on cookie sheets...with matchbox cars & fingers & buckets and cups...
...and the Sweet Boobahs played for an HOUR...wowsers!! I have to say that my favoritist magazine Real Simple had a section called 5 New Uses For Coffee Beans...and that sort of got my brain working in that direction...in case you wonder about the inner workings of my quirky little brain!
Since my hemming was done...and my machine out...I decided to whip up a fun Christmas craft...a handmade cup sleeve/cozy...They've been popping up all over the blogs I blurf...Etsy for example!
I re-purposed a corduroy shirt whose sleeve had ripped...and some peppermint fabric...
Trace the sleeve from Starbucks...and draw on ~ inch hem space...
...puppy bed had to be moved near the sewing machine and the bean counters...she was nervous and wanted on my lap (she'd never seen or heard the sewing machine before)...and once she saw it was okay...she took a nap! Good puppy!
So, there ya have it...TIP...make sure you check size with the mug you plan to use...especially if you're planning a gift! Ahem...just saying...
I thought about a button...but didn't end up with enough extra...so just whip stitched it together.
TA DAH! Cute...it's a peppermint mocha cozy for your peppermint mocha! Tee hee!
Here is our fun Christmas Craft wall...Don't forget to take those teachable moments...to remind them of the wise men who brought Jesus gifts...just like the gifts under our tree...and how Jesus is the BEST gift of all!
Scruffy is loving the heating vents...she gets all wet in the snow and then comes in a dries off! Hehehe! FYI--getting the red eye out of pet eyes is WAY trickier than people.