Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jesse Tree

subtitled: How I am NOT a craft person.

Once upon a time, my dear husband saw an advertisement for a felt Jesse Tree. "We need such a great learning tradition in our house," he thought. Not only that, but we must share the wealth with some amazing God-children of ours. Surely their parents, too, will appreciate the unique, kid-friendly Advent tradition.

And so we quickly shipped the off to those poor, unsuspecting friends.

And then we opened ours. And we realized that this was not going to be a simple project. In fact, this was WAY more involved than this Mama, or that Daddy, tends to be artistically inclined towards.

The kit consisted of plain sheets of colored felt, and papers with diagrams and outlines. We then had to cut intricate shapes out of felt and glue different colors and shapes together to create the 29 various characters that tell the stories of the Messianic Prophesy.

I now feel I owe an apology to the mothers to whom we sent the kit. It's, uh, FUN! It was a great bonding moment!

No, really, it turned out great. My stars are lopsided. Adam and Eve have an arm defect. The parting of the Red Sea looks like blue moose antlers.
And it was kinda fun after all. Just a fun, old-fashioned family event involving VERY sharp scissors and a large glass of wine.

My favorite part, of course, is now that it's done. It hangs right at the girls' eye level, and they are free to rearrange (Jesus keeps ending up in Mary's arms, how-cute-is-that!), touch (Anastasia, where did you put David's crown again?), and play with. Every day Bella brings me various pieces as asks me to tell the story of each one. She is learning a LOT of bible stories this way, and it's fun to be able to reference VeggieTales or recall the stories from their children's Bible. We even have a David song that we sing a lot.

In fact, despite the tedious work of the initial assembly, I have to say I really like it, and look forward to continuing the tradition each year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's All Perspective

At the beginning of Advent we excitedly began reintroducing traditions of the season. The girls loved the colored candles - what little girl can resist pink and purple candles in the middle of the table?

They loved wearing purple to Mass each week and "matching Father." This past Sunday Bella wore a purple dress and pink tights, and announced that she was "dressed like an Advent wreath!"

Our Jesse tree has been a big hit, hanging right at their eye-level and so accessible to little fingers. (uh, for better or worse they can touch it all the time.)

Not everything has been okay, though. There was, in fact, a terrible disappointment for them. Baby Jesus was missing. Bella, near tears : " But Mary will miss Him if He's not there!" "I will be so sAD if I can not see Him!" (she's a little dramatic.) Anastasia kept asking "Where Jesus?" "Happy Birday Jesus now?" They just did not understand the empty manger.

They fixed the problem.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"How's Your Advent Going?" edition

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Birthday For Anastasia

Pure JOY





Sibling Lovin'

Pure Exhaustion

Friday, December 3, 2010

Who is TWO?!?!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, precious, delicate, feminine Anastasia-Saurus.

At 26 lbs you are still a little shrimp, but you pack a lot of power despite your size. No one will ever brush by you! Also despite your size you really enjoy food, you are happy eating almost anything.

You are a Little Miss Independent for sure. You potty-trained yourself 6 months ago when Joey was born! You insist on eating with a utensil and without a bib. "Bib NO bib. BABY bib." You could be a poster child for spray-n-wash but you insist on doing everything yourself. Of course, once you make a mess, even a small one, you insist on removing all of your clothing. You like to clean up afterward!

I love the way you play with your baby doll. You hold, rock, feed, and scold your baby like a good little Mama. Then like a busy little Mama you tuck her under your arm and go about your other activities. You can be seen wearing or holding a baby almost all the time.

You have a new interest in books for something other than their projectile potential, and this makes Mama very proud. Nothing is sweeter than the sound of you "reading" or singing the books. Speaking of singing, last week you sang all the Mass parts. Loudly.

Anastasia, you are truly a precious gift to me. You delight me with your abundant silliness, amuse me with your independence, and make me laugh so often. You never fail to surprise us with what you know that you aren't saying (like the ABCs you said today or the shapes you suddenly identified unprompted) and what you are saying ("other people go home? other people sing Haaaaappy Birday to MMEEEEE!")

Happy Birthday, big girl 2-year-old.