Saturday, January 19, 2013

Some Christmasy Stuff, Dec. 13-16th

Dec. 13th - We watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas as Pella crawled around and danced in her Who piggy tails.

Dec. 14th - Sewing Day!! We made the cutest little animals to give with our World Vision gifts this year. Our gifts were the gift of giving and we explained how there were so many other people in the world who didn't have as much as we did so we were going to give chickens and donkeys and rabbits and ducks to our family and some friends, but they wouldn't actually get them, so we made them instead so our loved ones would remember the love they sent and feel our homemade love. This was one of the chickens we invented. The girls had the best time with these little chickens! They played with them forever making them nests, roosts, a whole coop. I think they forget we have real ones right outside!

Kivi got quite good at hand sewing with those little fingers.

These are our rabbit and duck creations:

Jasper finally got to learn how to sew too! He was "sew" excited!

He made himself a yellow pillow, which he has slept with every night since.

 Dec. 15th - I made a peach pie, and marionberry bars for Christmas parties and I went to my first Nogger party with my friend Stephanie which was hosted by my lovely sister, Shmee, at her place in Seattle. My shirt said, "Stop, Nog and Roll" with cute graphics and hers said, "Sheriff of Noggingham". We realized we were old after having to leave at 10:30pm so we wouldn't fall asleep while driving.

Dec. 16th - The kids sang in church. The little ones did the traditional Away in a Manger song while wearing the sheep gear  and the big kids sang Peace on Earth. It was very beautiful. Once Dada got home from work we went to our friends house for a fun Happy Birthday Jesus party, where we stole a great movie gift in the gift exchange. That night we made some Christmas sugar cookies. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gingerbread Bethlehem

Gingerbread is such a fun, good-smelling, hands-on, social, time-consuming tradition. But I couldn't justify all the time it took (3 days!) to get ready without any link to the reason we celebrate Christ's birth. So last year I came up with the gingerbread Bethlehem idea. The kids all pick out what part of Bethlehem they will create, design it on paper and then cut out their patterns in gingerbread. Hey, does that count as an architectural lesson too? The whole season we have a wonderful smell wafting through the house coming from Bethlehem. Shari always has an annual gingerbread house party where we all decorate our houses together. Good thing we remembered to start making the gingerbread two days before!
Dada helped the little kids make the dough this year, on the 10th, the day after the musical.

On the 11th, the kids cut out their patterns and we baked them.

The kids even made themselves with the leftover dough. Then they ate them right away.

That night I went over to the Schocks to assemble them at their house, remembering the time consuming trips back and forth to the van loading and unloading them, hoping they wouldn't fall apart. This way was much simpler and everything fit together! Actually, only two patterns were new from last year. Jasper decided to make Joseph's house that they move into after the stable and I made a flower shop for Berg. Eben did his gates of Bethlehem again, Kivi did the inn this year and Opal made the stable.

A fun time was had by all at the decorating party on the 12th. They piled on a ton of candy!

Berg ate a ton of candy. Although he did put candy all over his shop too, which I was quite surprised by. I didn't know if any would get on there. Opal was so exact about were every piece went.

The whole crazy gingerbread making clan! They might be just a little hyped up on sugar at this point. I did remember to feed them lunch first this time.

Sweet little gingerbread Jesus, lying in a manger. I love the candy cane cross Opal put inside!

Good smelling gingerbread! Great reminder of Christ!

The Mystery Of Christmas!

Peter and I were asked by our crazy friend, Jeremy, to be a part of our church's Christmas musical extraordinaire, which he's written and directed for the past couple years. It really was an undertaking. I actually thought there was no way we were going to pull off all he had imagined. But he did it! After weeks of practicing on Monday nights, (so much for my new goal of going to Women's Bible study) we pulled off three performances even though we never made it through the whole thing without interruptions during practices! Thanks to God for that! It was a great time. Although it made the holiday season a little busier, it was fun to be together as a couple and do something we love - act goofy. Actually, it was less hectic than last year's musical, right after Pella was born.

The kids sat with Grandma and Grandpa during the Saturday night performance. (I hope Eben was happier than what it looks like, bored out of his mind. Of course seeing Mama and Dada dance and sing is no big deal since we make fools of ourselves daily in front of our kids.)

The one picture I have of the musical. Thanks, Grandpa!

Ms. Mildred Marmon, played by Niki, and I before the show.

Rufus and Francine DeGalleon. 
I turned the pioneer dress I made into a Victorian one by adding black trim, a hoop skirt and a big 'ole bustle. Peter added lots of facial hair to his face with glue. He's getting to have quite a fake mustache collection.

And finally...The Mystery of Christmas:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Journey To Bethlehem

December 6th - Journey to Bethlehem with Grandma and Grandpa and our friends, the VanderPols!

J2B is a must on our Christmas tradition list. We like to bring along a new family to share the wonder with us. This year we brought another fun, homeschooling family in the bus and ate Subway on the way there.

Our favorite part is always the market where we get gold coins which we bring home and put next to the frankincense and myrrh on the mantle. We're getting quite a collection! Eben and Kivi showing off their coins. We're gonna have to teach him how to use his pointer finger to hold things up.

Opal and I lagged behind so we could pet the cute donkeys and sheep.

Kivi scored some free lavender from the spice lady!

I always cry while we sing to Baby Jesus. Even though I know it's coming and I've done this so many times, it is still so special and joyful.