Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas Eve 2013

After attending our church's Christmas Eve candlelight service we all came home and opened the white boxes under the tree, the matching Christmas jammies! This year they were green, fuzzy, glittering and looked a little like astroturf. They were super comfy though. The girls were really excited because for the first time I made them dresses. They kept asking if I would make them dress jammies, but I never really said I would so they didn't know if they'd be getting dresses or pants. They jumped up and down when they saw them.
Then they all put them on and jumped inside their boxes that they had just opened and we played dance music while they pretended to be jack-in-the-boxes and danced around the living room until bedtime. They all chose to sleep together in the boys' room and have a fun Christmas sleepover.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Family Christmas Pageant 2013

On Sunday, December 22nd, our family put on a Christmas pageant for our church family. We had done this last year in the little chapel of our church and this year we held it in the auditorium. It's such an easy, fun and stress free way to put on a pageant and we all glorify God together.

All of the kids who wanted to be in the pageant came at 6:00 and got whatever costume on that they wanted to wear. Then I assigned parts of the Christmas story from Luke 2 for the older kids that wanted a reading part.

Peter played guitar and Jon accompanied us all on the piano while we sang Christmas carols that went hand in hand with the story of Christ's birth. Jasper started us off this year with the first part of the Christmas story.

As each reader told the story and we all sang, kids dressed as that part of the story went up on stage and became a living nativity.

At first, Pella came right up and stood by Dada and the microphone. Then she spent the rest of the time on Kivi's lap or on mine. Every once in a while she would go and pat baby Jesus. She called herself, "Big Sheep" which was funny because all the other sheep were our precious teenagers! It made my heart happy to see them all participate.

Eben chose to be a camel, he wanted to be the star, but the costume wasn't available this year.  (Which was good because our cute, little friend, Kenzie, made her own star costume.) He spent most of the time under his camel head. Jasper and Berg were wise men although we couldn't see Berg the whole time, he sat right behind the bearded wise man. Opal was a beautiful angel and even had a little reading part! She spent most of the time behind Kenzie.

The stage of our church filled with all of our gifts from God, telling the world about the most precious gift ever, Jesus. It was such a sweet scene.  I told the kids they were free to get off the stage if they wanted to go sit with their parents and were done being in costume, knowing the little ones could only last so long. We actually went through two Marys because our first one got tired. 
 For the last song we sang Silent Night a cappella by candlelight. Then we mingled with all of our friends over cocoa and cookies!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

December - Week 3

We started off our week recovering from plays, cleaning the house, doing school and on Tuesday the 17th we cut and baked our gingerbread Bethlehem pieces. The kids all chose their own building to make. Some chose the same as last year and others wanted to make new sets. 

On the 18th we went over to the Schocks for our traditional Gingerbread Day! We had fun playing Christmas bingo,  eating lunch, decorating houses, eating candy, and watching a Little House Christmas.
Here is our finished Gingerbread Bethlehem 2013:

On December 19th, Jeremy had a viewing party for last year's Christmas play, The Mystery of Christmas it only took a whole year to be able to finally see it! Before we watched that movie we had our own Christmas movie day and these cute sisters cuddled each other on the Mama chair.

On the 20th we enjoyed a fun evening with our friends, the VanderPols. We had dinner, watched Planes and ate Mr. Tim's amazing popcorn!

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa who gave us a zoo membership as an early Christmas present we battled the massive parking traffic and made it to Zoolights on December 21st. 

This is my group test shot. Peter is the only adult in our photo because the guy who we asked to take our picture didn't actually take any. I just now figured this out. So you have to imagine John, Shari, Zach and I in this photo too.

All the kid's in front of "the tree".

Our family pic caused a huge backup of people on both sides since we were blocking the sidewalk and it was super crowded this night.

 My Zoolight Love

Chin Nativity

The kids chose who they would be in the nativity story and one by one I took them down into the boys room (where it would be quiet), had them lay upside down on a pillow, dressed up their chin and interviewed their character. They ended up telling the story of the nativity in the cutest way. Eben then edited it on the Mac. I made his version a little shorter:

Opal as Mary:

Eben as Joseph:

Kivi as the Innkeeper:

Jasper as Shepherd 1:

 Berg as Shepherd 2:

Pella as Baby Jesus (and a sheep):

The shepherd part is definitely our favorite part. Jasper took on this hilarious accent throughout his interview, we had to cut out a lot of his. It went on forever. We quote this almost everyday. Our favorites are, "Baaa," "Come on sheep," "Bright light!" "They were God's angels" and "Oh Holy Gaaaawwwwwd, my Saviooooorrrrr"

December - Week 2

The second week of December included lots of plays and sewing. On Sunday the 8th, the big four and I went with our friends the Schocks to the Nativity Ballet. Before the ballet I snapped a pic of all the kids because they all looked so Christmassy after church.

 The kids reenacting the ballet they just saw:

We also stayed and let the kids make gingerbread cookies for the Heritage Christian School's Christmas performance which we saw the next night.

My poor sewing machine died on me. I go through them like hot cakes. Peter priced out trying to get it fixed and realized it was cheaper to just buy a new one. He got me a really nice Brother at Walmart and I taught him how to sew! He loved it! He actually ended up making all of the boys, his and my Christmas pants on Monday.

Kivi worked really hard using the new sewing machine too. She set a goal to buy lots of animals for people in poverty around the world. She set aside money from her own account and made bags out of our chicken feed bags to sell to make up for the rest of the money she needed. She worked so hard and has such a heart for giving.

They turned out beautifully and they are super strong! And as of yesterday she just sold her last bag so she can now buy the animals! She's so excited!

On the 12th, as we were eating breakfast, Opal laid down on my lap and I covered her eyes and nose with my hand while she talked. All of a sudden I got a great idea for how we would spend our homeschool day! I asked the kids, "Do you want to make a fun Christmas movie today?" and the Chin Nativity was born. I'll post this next!

December 13, 14 and 15th Peter, Kivi and I were in our church's Christmas play called, "The Christmas Plan" which was basically about how we had no plan for this year's production. I had a small part, Peter and Jeremy were the main "planners" of the play and Kivi didn't actually have a part in the play (although she and a covered up Eben were in the audition video) but Mr. Pritchard used her as an illustration during his sermonette. She was super cute demonstrating how we decide to reject or come to God!