Merry Christmas!

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A Christmas Letter 2011

Hope you are all gearing up for a fantastic Christmas! Today is E’s last day of school and her Christmas Concert. Then we are taking a well-deserved stay-cation! Lots of movies, pajamas, Christmas cookies, and possibly even some naps! We’ll take a hiatus from here until the new year so until then, be amazed by love that came into the world as an infant. God bless you all!

E's chalkboard nativity: Son of God, Pine, The Stable that Jesus was born in


Cookie Cutter as: Sandwich Shaper

Since I’ve not had time to bake anymore I just went with another sandwich, but really that’s fine because my daughter LOVES them in shapes. Today I present: un petit bonHAM de neige!

What a cutie! He’s made with doughy French bread, ham, cheddar and mayo, and decorated with edible food markers. E liked him so much (and she’s been eating a lot lately!) she asked to me to make her another one, so he is joined by his girlfriend today. Her lunches are mostly packed in a Goodbyn that she decorated herself. Love this lunchbox!

Well, that concludes National Cookie Cutter week, but I still have the cookie tree to post. I’ll have to get to it later. I didn’t have time to get it together before J’s party on Sunday so the cookies are in the freezer and the icing is in the fridge ready for the next get together.

Cookie Cutter as: Sandwich shaper

We’ve been having rough nights with Mr. T waking up a lot due to his cold and growth spurt, so the last 2 mornings J took E to school and let me sleep in while the other 2 kids were sleeping late. Thank you, love of my life! Yesterday, he did what I did last week and cut E a PB&J boy, so that counts as Day 4 of Cookie Cutter week. Today was CRAZY again so tonight I’ll post the cookie tree and other things…

PS: You moms of three (MOTHs) and four (MOFOs), do you ever get “back on track”? I feel like each day I get further behind in life! Some days it’s all I can do to get everyone fed and dressed and keep a moderate semblance of tidiness in the kitchen plus referee the sibling screaming.

Happy Sinterklaas!

December 5th is Sinterklaas! E got a big bag of candy at school today – that’s what you get at a private school where the majority of the parents are Dutch. The parents committee does a treat for the kids one day a month and that’s what it was for December. We didn’t get to a Sinterklaas celebration this year but J took the girls last year to the big one in New West. Unfortunately that one got cancelled this year. Anyway, we’re not huge into Sinterklaas, but we did get the girls to put their shoes by the door – they’ll find Pocky, Kinderbars and gummy bears in there in the morning. Maybe an orange too!

The Olive Press

Have you heard of Buck Denver? Jelly Telly? Phil Visscher? Veggietales? Well, Veggietales was created by Phil Visscher. He has gone on to create a new animated Christian franchise called Jelly Telly and one of the main characters is Buck Denver. Buck’s got a new DVD out called “Why do we call it Christmas?”

 

which is part of the “What’s in the Bible?” series. Have you seen it? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it, for your kids and for yourselves! You’ll find out about the history of all the different Christmas traditions we have from trees to St. Nick and Santa to Dec 25 and more. I learned as much from it as my kids did!

Cookie Cutter as: Sandwich Shaper

Day 2 of National Cookie Cutter Week brings us my 5 year old’s lunch: PB&J boy!

Using delicious Trader Joe’s peanut butter and some Crofter’s Strawberry jam. I was going to pack it in her Theodore Tugboat lunchbag but ended up tucking him into a bento box with the rest of her lunch. Thankfully, J drove her to school because, unbelievably, THE BOY IS STILL SLEEPING!

Yes, my friends, it is 9am and he has been sleeping since about 10pm. THAT’S 11 HOURS!

Let’s not get our hopes up too much about nights to come. The night before last he was up most of it with a stuffy nose and sore throat. On the other hand, the doc says he’s doing great. He’s a little 6 months, at just under 13 pounds, but since starting solids (mostly avocados) he put on a pound in 2 weeks! The month before that he only gained a pound,  so he’s twice as fast since the solids. We call him Fatso sometimes:

Super hilarious to us because we do not have fat kids. We don’t even had chubby kids, nor slightly round. Neither are they plumb or cherubic. In fact, lil C seems to be in a holding pattern just under 30 lbs at 3 1/2. Here she is in her fashionable glory at Anthropologie (love the new one in Vancouver!):

And E’s pretty much a ballerina without the training. Oh wait. She’s wearing a snow suit here so you can’t really see it. Oh well!

Cookie Cutter as: Stencil

For Day 1 of National Cookie Cutter week, I started simple. I used a plastic star shaped cutter as a stencil to make shapes for our Jesse Tree

No fuss, no muss. It also happened to be that we were out most of the day and then the dinner hour was wonky and I didn’t realize until 8pm when I was feeding Mr. T his nightly avocado that I hadn’t done anything. But hey, we’re into creativity here! I traced both the outside and inside of the cutter to get the different sizes.

The yellow fat one reminds me of the Super Mario Bros star. Now that brings back memories!

Here’s a pretty photo of our Jesse Tree. The girls do simple colouring of symbols from here and we glue them onto construction paper and hang them up with bent paper clips. We also do the devotions from here at dinnertime. This is the first year we’ve done it and it’s been a lovely and meaningful way to celebrate Advent and anticipate Christmas. It’s reminiscent of Resurrection Eggs at Easter.

And just for fun here’s a picture from J’s birthday cake on Sunday. It’s a Reese peanut-butter cup ice cream cake. Yumo! In the picture right before this one, Mr. T is staring at the candles ready to pounce. Someone gave him pencil crayons to distract him:

National Cookie Cutter Week

Tomorrow kicks off the first day of National Cookie Cutter Week. Didn’t know there was such a thing? It’s one of those weird random “holidays” that you find out about by reading random magazines and following random blogs. I saw it in Real Simple’s Family magazine. I also happen to love making cookies in all sorts of shapes. So I’m going to make some cookies this week with my new cookie tree set. It’s J’s birthday (Happy Birthday, love of my life!) party on Sunday afternoon so I need a nice table centrepiece.

Also I’ve got ideas to do it in sugar cookies, ginger bread, and even Rice Krispie treats and make a little winter forest. I think we’ll decorate that this year instead of a gingerbread house. This is the Rice Krispie house (from Rachel Ray) we made when E was not even 2 and I was pregnant with lil C:

How cute and little is she!? And to think that now she’s a first grader. And lil C is even older than E here. And Mr. T is eating avocados. Boy it goes fast…

Anyway, I’ll attempt to do something with cookie cutters each day and post with pictures what I come up with.

What kind of holiday eats are you going to do this year?

Resurrection Eggs: Day 11 & 12

Saturday ended up being quite a busy day so we skipped our egg for the day and did them both this evening. It was actually a perfect setup because we attended a different church this morning to witness our nephew’s baptism and the sermon was on the stone being rolled away, the empty tomb, and Jesus’ resurrection.

Egg 11 contained a stone to represent the stone rolled away from the tomb. The story comes from Matthew 27:65-28:4:

Egg 12 was empty!

We read of the angel telling the woman that Jesus has risen from Matthew 28:5-8.

One of E’s favourite things in the Bible is when angels appear to humans. She will excitedly tell you that almost every time, the first thing the angel says is, “Do not be afraid.” I think that goes to show just how powerful, other-worldly, and un-cherub-like angels must truly be.

They coloured a picture from Bible Wonderland and one from Catholic Mom:

Because it was Easter Sunday and a bit of a busy day, we didn’t do a craft, just the colouring. But the services in each church of course reinforced all of the teachings over the past week and a half. E even asked to come up to church in the afternoon instead of going to the nursery with her sister (which she usually does for the second service.) It was a blessed and glorious day.

He is risen! Rejoice and be glad.