Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Crafts

I love Christmas. I am especially excited this year to build the anticipation of our Savior, Jesus Christ's birth in my littles. We have been talking about it several times daily since Thanksgiving. Now that Widdle is older, he is being bombarded with Santa and I really want him (along with Waddle and Piddle) to know and celebrate the true reason for Christmas. I have felt conviction recently on just celebrating all holidays the way I always have and the way the whole country does. Since settling back into the south, some friends have spark my curiosity and left me unsettled about my laid back approach. I feel like we should know the meaning behind and have purpose in every symbol we display. This has left me with a lot of work and questions.

We got here right after going trick-or-treating on Halloween. Upon these convictions, we plan to celebrate Reformation Day next year. October 31st is the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the church door. It is because of his labors that we have a bible that we can read in our home today. We plan to watch the movie "Luther" and develop some other fun family things to make the day special and remind us of specifics that we believe in and are thankful for.

On Thanksgiving Albert read a journal entry from William Bradford. This reminded us of the real reason a day of thanks was established. We were each given 5 beans and gave an item of thanks for each bean. When the Pilgrims first came to America their daily rations were often as little as five kernels of corn.

So, now that Christmas is here I am questioning everything. What about the tree? What's the meaning behind stockings? Should we throw out all of the "Santa" hats? Let me just tell you that there is a lot to dig through. We are keeping the tree and the stockings, though I think we will get a real, fir tree next year, but the Santa hats are going. Back to being purposeful and building anticipation, December is here! I feel like I have 24 days to really be intentional on focusing on Jesus and making things to help the kids think about Jesus and baking things to give to others and so on. So, we've been crafting. I hate crafts. I can not even cut in a straight line. I keep hoping that the boys will do a craft in Sunday school or something so that I can have those keepsake hand prints and other fun things, but they haven't yet. So, that leaves me. Widdle could generally care less about coloring, cutting or any thing else related to an organized project. He did have patience the other day while I turned cardboard and Christmas ribbon into the armor of God, but that's about all he can handle. Waddle would like to scribble on everything and cut E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. into tiny pieces. This includes clothing, hair, paper, the Christmas tree..... pretty much anything he can reach he thinks is good for being cut. Piddle just wants to grab something and eat it. So, I avoid crafts, until now. While decorating for Christmas I found that the brick above our fireplace was very bare. It needs a wreath or something. Then the idea came, "What about those hand print wreaths? That's a keepsake and decoration." Little did I know how many hand prints are involved in making one of these little beauties and how little effort is put in by the littles. But it was worth it. Though I did much of the work, the boys added their own excitement. Widdle got the little film case of glitter out and while pouring the WHOLE thing on the floor asked, "Mama, what's this for?" I'm pretty sure my head popped off and flew backwards at this point. (Side note: if you ever receive a gift from a child with glitter on it, go ahead and pray for their teacher. They must be crazy to willingly use glitter!) Glitter, to me, is an outside only craft. Widdle also managed to mix some more play dough which I've decided is a lost cause and I will surrender my efforts to keep the play dough in it's correct container. Waddle was cutting every scrap I dropped. Thankfully I managed to keep all of the hand prints clear of his scissors. Piddle woke up mid-project and tracing her hands is a task! Her fat little fingers squish together when I tried to flatten her hand out on the paper. As I was cutting out her hand prints her fingers got narrower and narrower, but they are close. So, for all of this effort and fun I now have three beautiful little wreaths that are taped to my back door because I can't get them to stick to the brick. But I love them and they make me smile and think of glitter each time I see them.

By the way, here's a little history on the wreath. I'll have to share this with the boys.

Evergreen plants, such as holly, ivy and pine, which stay green all year, have long been used to create holiday wreaths. Such greens as holly, ivy, and mistletoe have special meaning since they not only stay green, they bear fruit during the harsh winter months. Anciently people symbolized these plants to represent the promise of new or everlasting life. The people of northern Europe and the Romans decorated their homes with evergreen boughs during their winter festivals. Sprigs of holly would also be exchanged as tokens of good will for the coming new year.

Second craft:
Today we decorated our Charlie Brown Christmas tree with homemade ornaments. The boys and I flipped through a Christmas craft book and picked out a couple of shapes we liked. Widdle like the cat face and I liked the star. Waddle and I did all of the cutting. And Widdle hung things on the tree. After all of the ornaments were made, Widdle and I made a chain. I am still shocked that he did so well with it. I cut the strips and got some tape. I showed him how to link a couple of them together and he took off. He did about 10 links on his own and my eyes were bugging out of my head all the while. He NEVER does a craft. I worked quickly so that I would be nearly done when he became board with it and he loved it. He helped me wrap it around the tree then stuck a sword in it. I'm not totally sure, but I think he has decided that the chain is the Christmas tree's armor. At least it won't cry if it's hit too hard and nothing on it can break!

Check back for pics of our crafts!

Never run out of this!

A while back the littles and I were grocery shopping and I was telling Widdle how important it will be for him to go grocery shopping for his wife. I like to talk to the littles about what fruit and veggies should look like. Widdle often helps me pick our apples and bananas. As we headed to the toiletry aisle I told Widdle that you can never have too much toilet paper. If you go grocery shopping for your wife, just go ahead and pick it up. It doesn't go bad and you'll use it eventually.

Now that Albert has checked in at work, he is doing our grocery shopping. He drives past 7 or more grocery and super centers and we only have one car. While I do enjoy going to W@l-mart at 6:30 on Saturday morning, it is nice to save ourselves a little gas and Albert hit the stores on his way home. This week he went to the store and found everything on the list. He called about a couple of things, but I should have been more specific. He did great. I was struggling BIG time with giving up control over the buying of the food, but he was totally calm about it. And I am thankful.

The trouble came this morning when I quickly realized that I hadn't put everything on the list. You guessed it, toilet paper was not on the list and therefore it could not be picked up. When I go grocery shopping I glance down each aisle and try to visualize the items on the aisle, what I have at home and the quantity remaining. The last time I went I remember thinking about the TP and thinking, "Oh, we have plenty. I think we have an open pack in each bathroom." Well, it appears that I was right. We had an open, well used pack in each bathroom and today I can see the cardboard roll in each bathroom. I do not have a vehicle and I don't know my neighbors well enough and I'd be embarrassed to haul me three littles over and ask for a roll. This predicament has been making me laugh and drink little all day!

I almost did this to us when we were moving. We had about a week left and an almost full roll in each bathroom so I packed the rest. As the rolls got thinner and thinner with a few days to go, I realized I should buy some more. Rather, I realized that I shouldn't have packed the rest. Obviously I need to do some figuring on how long it takes us to go through a roll of toilet paper. My ideal timeline of usage seems to be off!