holiday round-up

I meant to post this yesterday.
 It just seems funny at the beginning of the new year to post about last year's holiday; 
but maybe that is just me!

Here are a few pictures from our holidays.

This is the first year I put together an Advent Calendar.
Each day in December leading up to the 25th, 
the children opened the tiny envelope
which revealed chocolates for them. 
On the front flap was written what aspect of Christ's Coming we talked about that day,
usually in the evening after dinner.

Day 1-Adam. Day 2-Abraham. Day 3-Isaac. Day 4-Jacob. 
Day 5-Obed. Day 6-David. Day 7-Solomon. Day 8-Josiah. 
Day 9-Joseph. Day 10-Mary. Day 11-Jesus. Day 12-Emmanuel. 
Day 13-The World. Day 14-Eternal Life. Day 15-Jesus' Death. Day 16-Jesus' Burial.
Day 17-Jesus' Resurrection. Day 18-Creation. 
Day 19-The Bible. Day 20-The Holy Spirit. 
Day 21-Church. Day 22-Fruit of the Spirit. 
Day 23-Jesus Coming Again. Day 24-New Heaven & New Earth.

Spiritual truths are important to me and my husband.
In our relationship we haven't been formal in our spiritual discussions.
Separately, we have learned spiritual truths in formal settings, 
and our style together has been to discuss these things.

Oral tradition has been the way in which we have mostly taught these truths to our children.
We love sitting around the table, or other comfortable location,
and discussing God's Love for us and what that means for our lives.
Only last year did I begin formally having "read from the Bible" time with the children (ages 6 and ),
which I don't deny is important, which is why I began it!

When our children were tiny tots, 
we discovered the best way to share these truths was 
showing them God's Love through our own actions
and talking about truths from the Bible in simple, easy to understand ways.

So this year for our Advent learning, we did both on different days for different topics:
orally teaching and reading directly from God's Word. 

My son saw a candy cane cookie hooked onto a mug and asked if we could do this -
of course I said yes!
The children frequently drink warm milk,
and I always make iced sugar cookies this time of year, so it was an easy fit and so yummy!

Ella and Roone looking good before their first Christmas Choir concert.

Sweet time spent with our cousins.

Down time for me spent reading Tokien's The Hobbit for the first time.

We have been listening to the audio CD's 
and went to see the second Hobbit movie on Christmas Eve. 
After viewing the second movie and listening to the story on CD in its entirety
I thought it was time to read the book.

The book? I loved reading it.
It answered many questions that arose for me while watching the movie,
and compelled me to begin reading The Similarion which explains much history
of Middle Earth.

I might now be able to carry on a conversation about dwarves, hobbits, and Middle Earth
instead of always needing questions answered!
(We frequently talk about Middle Earth stories
over family dinners which is so fun.)


My husband and I are now helping care for three and four-year-olds at our church.
Each week in December we taught a small aspect of the Christmas story,
and had a craft ornament that went along with the story.
It was a joy to prepare the ornaments, teach the stories and have the children participate.
The sweetest part of spending time with children is receiving so much from the experience.

Happy New Year!