December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday?

Sometimes I feel claustrophobic with Christmas, my birthday, and New Years back to back. It like a never ending celebration. This year I was reminded that Christmas cards can also double as birthday cards!

In all seriousness, it would be weird having a birthday without a Christmas tree in the living room. There are pros and cons be being born at this time of the year. When I was younger I never really liked it, but it really has grown on me.

Earlier this month I had a bonding experience with my hairdresser. She informed me that her birthday is right next to mine, and then we started a conversation about birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper. Small talk is great isn't it? "I'm fine with snowmen or snowflakes, but don't you dare wrap it up in Santas!" She actually saves a special roll of Christmas paper for wrapping her friends presents. "They need to know how it feels, right?"

I don't know - I was always taught to NOT repay evil for evil. Haha! I almost told her that...but I refrained.

On a side note: You can wrap my presents in whatever paper you want - I'm used to it! ;)

December 24, 2012

Christmas Farm Craft

Supplies: newspaper, markers, glue, sequins, blue construction paper, green construction paper, tree cookie cutter (optional), white paint, paint brushes (small), smocks, wooden dowel

I handed the kids their supplies and let them be creative! They loved adding the snowflakes to their paper. The finished products were really fun to look at. :)

I traced the outline of the trees on green paper using a Christmas tree cookie cutter. I precut most of our crafts before hand, but this could definitely be used to help kids practice cutting with scissors.

Lucy made a "trees for sale" sign on her paper. What a little entrepreneur! She was also the only one to line up her trees in a straight row. I asked her if she wanted a snowman like the boys, but she decided that her farm was for trees only. 

We ended the night by reading Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray. This is a cute book about a woman named Wilma. Instead of planting more flowers, she places an order for sixty-two dozen balsam seedlings. The illustrations were wonderful, and the kids enjoyed finding out how many of the trees survived the harsh winter conditions. This was a perfect bedtime story! 

December 18, 2012

There Aren't Words...

I'm sure you have heard about the awful events that played out last Friday. I have been meaning to post about more pleasant topics, but I'm afraid this cannot be overlooked. 

I can't get it out of my mind - I work around children the just like the victims, and drive past flags the President ordered to be set at half staff. These things serve as reminders of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

On Friday I was driving home from an Orthodontist visit when my Christmas music was interrupted with the news. What was my first thought? "Here we go again..." 

Shortly after I got home I realized how heartbreaking the images were! We live in a world where children cannot even go to school without the risk of being shot.

Lucy was feeling sick yesterday. After a long day at school she was starting to cry. Then, she blew her nose and saw blood. Blood?! She started freaking out. I explained to her what was happening as we got a tissue. "This is what you need to do, stay calm! It will be okay."
But how can you explain to a child (of the same age) what was happening when they were in Sandy Hook during the school's lockdown?  There just aren't words. I cannot imagine the images that they saw and the sounds that they heard. This isn't something that a child should have to deal with, and yet it happens to be on many plates this Christmas season. Three days after the shooting, I was glad that a tiny nose bleed was all we were dealing with.

Once again we are reminded, as a nation, to appreciate our lives and loved ones. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14

Many of us are searching for answers during this difficult time. 

We live in a sinful world, and it is slowly drifting farther and farther away from its Creator. Events around us are certainly not going to get better. Peace on earth happens to be a very distant element until the Prince of Peace returns.

Lord, teach us to number our days, and help us remember that you are the One in control.

I will be keeping so many of you in my prayers. What else can you do when you can't sleep at night?

Psalm 4:8 is a verse that helped me sleep when I was little. It still brings comfort to me today. "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For HATE is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does He sleep 
(He is The Lord)
The dark shall fail, the light prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.

December 10, 2012

Reasons to Smile: November 2012

Finding joy in the little things!
  • Plush turkeys that I made for my cousins - these little guys are made out of children's gloves and scrap ribbon!
  • Sunsets on the drive home from our Thanksgiving festivities
  • Giving thanks unto the Lord, for He is good 
  • Hershey Kiss Acorns were a big hit at church and at our family gathering. I'm glad I made a double batch!
  • Visits from Guinness when I am working on something in my room
  • Bright green grass at the end of November
  • Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade 
  • Eating fruit pizza is one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Somehow the baking of this yummy treat has gotten passed down to me over the years.