Friday, November 30, 2007

O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree ...

Two weeks ago our 'movie night' movie was The Swiss Family Robinson. The kids sat motionless through the whole thing. Okay, not really, we tend to do movie night broken into two nights, but they were captivated by the movie on both nights. We paused for our 24 hour intermission right after the boys get back to the tree house and they are all singing 'o, Christmas Tree, o, Christmas Tree'. Now, Megan has not stopped singing that song. I got out the Christmas music yesterday and when that song came out of the CD player, she just about came unglued with excitement. Another funny about the movie is that since then, the kids 'play' Swiss Family Robinson. I didn't realize what they were doing and I kept hearing Daniel say 'help me, help me' is his sweet little falsetto voice, and I'd say 'Daniel, do you need help?' and he'd say 'no mom, I'm playing'. After investigating, the little ones were laying on the floor pretending they were in the water and Joshua was rescuing them - they were re-enacting the first few minutes of the movie when the ship is wrecked and they are getting on the raft to get to the island.

Imagination is in full bloom at our house these days. Megan and Daniel love to play with the nativity set. At first I was thinking it should be 'hands off', but I so enjoy hearing them tell the Christmas story - or their version of it. The latest story had the baby as Moses, and the shepard as David and the angel standing on the top of the barn was tall, so she was the good witch from the Wizard of Oz. And the three wise men are the people that bring the gifts from grandma....seriously, I couldn't even try to make this stuff up. It makes me count my blessings that I am home all day to hear this.

The mention of me moving the train table out into the garage was met with tears. So the big bench was sent out and the train table took over that position to allow the Christmas tree to be placed in a corner for it's own safety. I must have moved it a half a dozen times to figure out where to put it. I wanted to put it in front of the big window, but the kids love standing there looking out the window (they are the neighborhood watch).

It just occurred to me that I better get my behind in gear with filling in our Advent quilt. I found a great advent countdown posted on-line. This one is posted by a person with the screen name Nana on the Cutting Board - a craft message board. However, I have seen a similar countdown on Danielle's Place (, a site that I adore for great Christian oriented crafts to tie into our lessons. The Danielle's place poem is copyrighted, so I cannot re-post it, however, I will post the Cutting Board version for those of you that would like to count down to Christmas with us....
Advent Countdown
1. Quarter
2. Grape gum (or candy)
3. Smiley sticker
4. Gummy fish
5. Birthday candle
6. Bell
7. Fish crackers
8. Cotton balls
9. Piece of a map
10. Soap
11. Heart sticker
12. Cross
13. Packet of salt
14. Sand
15. Flowers(silk)
16. Raisins
17. Seeds
18. Christmas carol
19. Small rock
20. Crumpled foil
21. Mustard seed
22. Dove
23. Small square of woolly material
24. Blue marble
25. Picture of a baby.

December 1 - A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44

December 2 - Grape Gum! Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10

December 3 - Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.

December 4 - Fish! Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7

December 5 - A birthday candle? As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16

December 6 - You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37

December 7 - These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21

December 8 - These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27

December 9 - People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6

December 10 - It's soap. Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7

December 11 - Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41

December 12 - We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11
December 13 - Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

December 14 - Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.

December 15 - Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.

December 16 - Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.

December 17 - Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.

December 18 -Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.

December 19 - A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.

December 20 - Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.

December 21 - The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.

December 22 - We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.

December 23 - The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.

December 24 - A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.

December 25 - Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20.

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