Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Pajamas

Christmas 2007




 
Christmas 2013







Christmas 2008

 

Christmas 2009





 


Christmas 2014
 
 
The pictures are not in order. I wanted you to see the difference. It just so happens that each year we switched sides. I need to be more mindful next year and remember to stand to Amanda's left.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Coming

I heard part of this song yesterday. But enough to know that I needed to hear the whole thing. Amanda looked it up last night and it is my new favorite Christmas song.

Tomorrow we light the fourth candle of Advent. We have been celebrating this season EVERY SINGLE DAY. That's huge for me because I am not consistent with anything I do. I usually have a good start with something for a few days, maybe even longer but then I fizzle.

We have stuck with the gym in case you were wondering. Our one year gym anniversary was in October. We were super lazy that month because Curtis and Amanda were working on the weekends a lot and EVERYONE seemed extra tired. But enough about that...

Advent... coming or to come.

It is celebrated with the four Sundays prior to Christmas. My childhood church did not celebrate this nor did anyone I know/knew growing up. Not every faith celebrates. Some Catholics do. Some don't. Some Baptists do. Some don't. So I am not sure about the specifics on that. My current church does celebrate Advent.

I might have said that I started last Christmas. And in my mind I did a pretty lame attempt at it. This season has been different. Better. More thoughtful. I believe this book is the reason.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas  -     By: Ann Voskamp

I highly recommend it for next year. (Someone I know found it at Sam's Club!)

It is so colorful. The story is written as if you are to read it to a child. But it's not childish.


I have been reading her devotional first (during the day). Then I read the illustrated book to Amanda and Daniel.

The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional   -     By: Ann Voskamp

Then I ask Amanda and Daniel questions about the previous days while pointing at one of the pictures on the front. I believe the goal Ann had was to have the children re-tell the lineage of Jesus through the stories and pictures. Brilliant.

And Amanda and Daniel are not perfect. Daniel will say "that's the ram in the thicket." But doesn't always get the names correct when I ask him about another picture... "Tell me about this one. What were the names of the 2 women in the story?"

I always ask what the candles represent and they have to tell me the color and the correct order.

Our Advent lesson doesn't last more than 15 or 20 minutes each night. I have to say that in the last 19 days they have not grumbled about doing this.

(I am always ready in case they do, however. In my mind, this is my response....Oh you can play Xbox for 3 hours but you can't read with me for 15 minutes? You can watch make-up videos for 3 hours but you can't take 15 minutes out of your time to talk about Jesus?)

But I am blessed that they haven't pulled that on me so I haven't had to pull that on them!

Also, we have been giving out a "thought to ponder" each day to a different neighbor. I have three more neighbors left.

 
 
So how are you making this season different? Special? Without Christ there wouldn't be a holiday to celebrate. Is He part of yours?
 
Merry Christmas.