The first week of December is filled with fun adventures, traditions and outings to look forward to. This year, along with all of the advents we do each day, we also finished up our Madagascar books and continued doing school (we didn't take a break until the 20th), but we also had a lot of fun.
On the first we all got our jammies on and headed over to our friends' the Norquists for a White Christmas movie, cider and popcorn tradition. They have let us share Jon's family's tradition with them for the past four years.
Starting on the second, Dada took all of the kids on their own one-on-one. They look forward to this special time with Dada each year.
On the fifth Eben and Kivi were invited to go see the Nutcracker in Seattle with our friends the Wrights and their homeschool group! They loved it! Eben talked about the sets for a long time.
On the sixth, we headed to Auburn for Journey to Bethlehem! This must have been the coldest night ever and I forgot jackets for both Berg and Pella! Thankfully Mr. Steve shared his blanket and carried Berg through the whole thing although he whimpered his way along most of the time. He was also very afraid of the Roman soldiers. Kivi also shared her head covering she had brought so she could be a nativity character while going through so I could wrap up Pella. She was much tougher than Berg and didn't cry as much.
We enjoyed seeing all the live animals, even through the freezing temperatures.
We've been doing this for so many years now and have gotten quite a collection of shekels from the marketplace that Kivi brought 5 with her and tried to buy a basket, but was told they weren't really for sale. That's the first time we've seen them break character. I think she really caught them off guard, or they thought she was stealing shekels!
Jasper and Dodie trying to get warm before going in to see Caesar. On the way to J2B we hadn't had dinner and so seeing a little, old couple on the side of the road selling tamales we stopped and bought $20 worth. They were the best-tasting, warm tamales, so at least we had those warm in our bellies for our traveling in the cold. Grandma and Grandpa and the Raykovitz' travelled in our group too and afterward while enjoying hot cider and cookies we saw the VanderPols and the Schocks!
On the seventh, we enjoyed a beautiful Women's Christmas Luncheon at Lake City. The day before Kivi and I went to set up our Humble Stable Table. Our advent wreath became the centerpiece surrounded by one of our nativity sets, burlap and Shari's grandma's china. It was a truly a symbol of how simply Christ came into the world. Simple, not big and flashy.
We had a wonderful time with some of our friends and Kivi and Grace were able to come too!
Right after the luncheon we went down to Olympia with our realtor, Barb, who was sitting next to me at the luncheon. The house was amazing, huge and right on the Black River! We had fun exploring and checking out the big 14 acre property, which 2 other creeks run through. We actually weren't looking for a new house, but our friends found this one and as an act of obedience to God we went and checked it out. Although it was great, it wasn't for us. We both felt very sure this was not God's plan for our family.
While we were there, we decided to see the Mima mounds. They were only about 5 minutes away and we'd never been before. Again, it was freezing, so we didn't stay long. We all walked over and let the big kids run over some of the mounds. Then Dada and a tired, slipped on the ice Berg went back to the van while we all read about what caused them. (No one really knows, so we didn't really learn anything except that they've been there ever since people can remember.) They were beautiful as the sun was setting over them.