Monday, December 17, 2007

Advent Days 15-20

Day 15- Ornaments- There were two old ornaments that we passed down to me from my Dad that were my grandmother's. We talked about family and traditions. We have a tradition that we select the kids an ornament each year and then date it. We also get an ornament that has the same number of figures that are in our family. The ones from when we first got married have two figures- then when Tera was born it went to three and now we get an ornament (or try sometimes I just do not have the funds to do it) with four figures in them. We have one with four snowmen in it with our names on the snowballs that a friend gave us. We also have a Veggie Tales one. It's a trip down memory lane every year we decorate our tree.

Day 16-Straw- I use raffia and then we place the straw around the creche we have set up next to the Advent Calendar

Day 17- Wise Men- I took a very pretty Wise Men Greeting Card and cut it into parts to make two bookmarks for the kids.

Day 18- Gold I usually put a gold bow or gold money in the doors

Day 19- Myrhh- Since myrhh was a spice, I put some allspice or Chinese Five Spice in a ziploc bag for the kids to smell.

Day 20- Frankincence- My husband has some anointing oil that is frankincence scented. So I put some on cotton balls and place in a ziploc bag.

Not as Strong as We Think We Are

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking we have progressed past certain temptations or issues only to realize we are not as strong to resist as we thought we were. I have struggled with media for a long time-years. At several points in our marriage, we have gotten rid of our TV and at the present have not had "commercial" TV (i.e. regular television with antenna or cable) in our home for over 7 years. We do watch videos but are very careful about what we watch as well as what our kids watch. Here's the clincher- YOUTUBE. What I wouldn't watch on TV, I fell prey to watching on YOUTUBE. I spent three hours watching The Biggest Loser- Australia version. This indicates a problem. I am not saying it is a bad show but I recognized I was letting myself watch something that if it had been a video-I would not allow it in my house because of the language. The good part is that I recognized myself slipping back into bad habits within 2 days whereas in the past it would have went on a whole lot longer than that. I also have a tendency to check news-a lot. Is it really necessary that I know Britney Spears paints her toenails purple or where her latest tattoo is? Do I need to know about some convicted dude winning the lottery only to violate his parole? The answer is no but once I started checking legitimate news, this is where I ended up. So here was my solution. I used my computer for accountability. I used my parental filter and blocked myself from those sites that caused me trouble. I still can get past it if I needed to but that screen that pops up reminds me to think carefully about where I am going on the net. Here's the kicker a couple of days after my husband did the same thing without me even suggesting it for him. He felt he was spending too much time on the computer taking him away from things he enjoys more. I think that is awesome. I am looking at this whole thing as such a positive thing. We both are growing closer to the Lord and closer together. It is so cool how God can deal with you both about something separately and how we can encourage each other.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Advent Days 5-14

Day 5: Angel Hebrews 13:1-2 The kids hung angel ornaments on our tree.

Day 6: Gifts- Matthew 2:10-11. We talked about how Jesus is the Unspeakable Gift. We wrapped an empty box and in the advent calendar the kids found bows to place on the top of the present. The tag says To: Me From: God

Day 7: St. Nicholas Philippians 2:1-11 I put a little Santa ornament in the calendar to hang on the tree. We told the stories of the real St. Nicholas.

Day 8: Christmas Tree: Luke 2:52, 2 Peter 3:17-18 Again, there was a Christmas tree ornament. We talked about how trees grow, how we need to grow as Christians, and how do we do that.

Day 9: Red- There were red spice drops in the calendar. Red symbolizes the sacrifice Jesus made for us by humbling Himself and coming to earth to suffer for our sakes.

Day 10: Shepherd's Staff- Psalm 23:1-5 Two pipe cleaner candy cane ornaments and two peppermints. I also gave the kids two legend of the candy cane note pads.

Day 11: Candle Matthew 5;14-16 John 8:12. There were two yellow birthday candles in the box. We discussed how Jesus was the light of the world and how we also need to let our light shine before men.

Day 12: Poinsettia Matthew 6:28-30 I put in two silk poinsettia flowers. We read the Legend of the Poinsettia.

Day 13: The Three Trees- I had cards and coins with this legend on them from Oriental Trading. We read those and then read the story book The Legend of the Three Trees. We discussed how even though the trees did not see their dreams realized in the way they envisioned- God knows best.

Day 14: Green I put in green spice drops. We were suppose to discuss how green symbolizes everlasting life but now that I think about it I am not sure that we ever did that today. Oh well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Star Ornaments- Recycle those old Christmas Cards

The ornaments pictured below are a beautiful and great way to reuse Christmas cards. These would be good for Sunday School or Children's Church crafts. My kids made these with a little help.
Here are the easy directions:
1. Find a star template and cut out two poster board stars.
2. Cut irregular pieces from Christmas cards.
3. Glue the pieces to the poster board stars. It's okay if they overlap each other and you also want them to overlap the edges of the star. Pick a prominent picture to go in the middle of the star that will be on top.
4. Trim the edges of the star.
5. Glue the two stars together so that the points are not lined up. You want to see all the points.
6. Edge with glitter.
7. Punch hole in top and string them up. Use as an ornament or decoration.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Advent Calendar Days 1-4

Our star ornaments

I am recording this so I'll remember next year what we did.

Day 1- Advent Wreath. I am using a tealight candle for the Christ candle in our miniature Advent wreath. So Daniel opened the door and placed it in the middle of the wreath. Tera put the 3 purple and 1 pink Candle in the Advent Wreath.

Day 2- Bells. We made bell necklaces for the kids to wear. We talked about how the priests in the old testament would wear bells on the hem of their robes so the people would hear them as they made sacrifices for their sins. We talked about how Jesus came once and for all as the sacrifice for our sins. (there was a picture but I just accidently deleted it, sorry-will post next time)

Day 3-Lambs. I use cotton balls instead of wool. Tera and Daniel held the cotton pieces as we read Max Lucado's The Crippled Lamb. Since we are studying the Names of Jesus, we started with Immanuel-God with Us. The kids were supposed to draw a picture of what that meant to them. Tera drew a heart with a stick figure Jesus in it.

Day 4- Stars. The Advent Calendar had two star ornaments for them to hang on the tree. We talked about how Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star (Revelations 22:16). We made star cookies and star ornaments.

Remember me, I'm the woman who forgot she had a blog

It's been a while. Just a quick update. We are getting ready for my husband to officially start his job. He goes to orientation next week and it feels very anti-climatic. He has had to work since April with a temp agency. Then 3 months ago he got in the temp to hire 90 day program. Then he works another 90 days starting Monday before getting most of his benefits. So everytime we feel like we should celebrate there is another hoop to jump through first. But anyway, we are excited and relieved we do not have to pinch pennies so tightly soon.

We started Advent on Saturday night. Our family has its own advent wreath this year, I picked up at Hallmark last year after Christmas- 75% off. We also have one of those Advent Calendars with the doors you open. I found this one at a Goodwill a couple of Christmases ago for less than $10. I'll be looking for one after Christmas this year so when we are dead and gone, our children won't fight over the one but both will get one. I put things in each door that go with the Christmas story and we pull them out every day. We are also doing a unit study on the Names of Jesus. It has been fun so far. I will post somethings we are doing right now to remember the real reason of Christmas.


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