A woman from my home church in Bloomington, Indiana sent me her own version of advent activities etc…that she uses with her own kids. I actually got it from her last year but wasn’t on top of things enough to really go for it. This year, though, I’ve been trying to follow her daily suggestions and, for the most part, I’ve been successful in doing so. If you are interested in getting her material, just let me know and I can get it to you! Sunday was the 1st Sunday in Advent. Or, so my team has finally decided that it must be. Are we right? This is a funny year – Advent beginning in November. Our team had a heated discussion about whether this past Sunday was or was not and we decided on “it was.” If you say that we are wrong just know that you will have to break the news to Brits, Scots, Swedes, Americans and Romanians. Maybe it’s just best that you hold your opinions to yourself in that case. You don’t want to get the Swedes upset now, do you? Nope, didn’t think so 🙂 I’ve been there before, in the whole “getting Swedish people upset” thing. Take my advice, lay low – ha ha ha! Back to Advent. We talked about how this week’s candle in the advent wreath can signify promise/prophets. We’ve been reading from Isaiah 60 and talking about what it means to be a prophet and what does a promise mean? So, as suggested in this woman’s advent material, I was supposed to promise to do something Christmas orientated with the boys and hold to it. And, I did. Well, sort of that is. I promised, on Sunday, that we would make Christmas cookie cut-out cookies together. Both boys freaked out – in a super happy way. ( Actually, to be honest, I freaked out first when I opened up a huge box of Christmas presents for people on my team this week (sent by some good friends in the States) and found a huge bag of Christmas cookie cutters! YAY! ) Unfortunately Alex has had a very – very rough 2 days. His defiance was out of control this morning and all afternoon and he eventually lost the Christmas cookie making time. I put him to bed early and Caleb and I worked on them by ourselves. Don’t worry, I saved some dough for Alex in the fridge so he can do cookies, too 🙂 Just couldn’t do them tonight…that’s all. The recipe was GREAT. I did adjust it a bit. I added in a 1/3 C more sugar and used 1/2 butter – 1/2 margarine instead. I needed to flour the table where I was rolling them out quite generously as well. They cooked in 6-7 minutes and turned out AWESOME. Can’t wait to frost them w/ the boys! Here’s the link… Buttery Cut Out Sugar Cookies.
On Sunday, sorry – moving backwards in this post today!!, Alex, Caleb and I set up our tree. We are only sticking on a couple of ornaments each day. After we talk about our advent candle for the week, sing the Christmas carol for the week, and read the verses…then we add a few more things to the tree. What an easy, more meaningful, stress free way to decorate the stinkin’ tree. Do I hate the tree decorating – no. Does it get stressful with small children and breakable ornaments – yes. Changing the “all at once” to 3 a day ( 1 for each of us ) makes it SO MUCH MORE FUN and NO STRESS. Honestly, who cares if everything is evenly spaced out. I just think there is too much focus, sometimes, on how perfect the tree looks. And who are we doing that for anyway – just for other people to notice and tell us how perfect our tree looks? Sigh. I’ve just decided that I’d rather the boys enjoy decorating the tree rather than me stressing out about it because of what other people will think. That’s lame. Don’t you think? Just let your kids go to it bit by bit. Much more meaningful for us, at least, this way. And, extra bonus, the tree decorating could take you and your family up to Christmas Eve. So, it helps the kids’ patience levels as they are waiting for Christmas! Okay, off my soapbox now!
Tomorrow is the 1st day of 2 weeks of celebrating birthdays with the kids at the orphanage! I have to cook for the team before heading off to there. Going to be a long day. Need to get in bed. Noapte Buna everyone!