We have a family tradition to read the Christmas Story in Luke 2 with our families before we go out and open presents. We had a special time this year because we were doing it with our friends AND they had a really cool nativity to play with as we talked about the story! Each child opened a piece of the story (Mary/Joseph/Jesus)... (the Shepherds/angel)... (wise men) as the part of the story was read. We really enjoyed doing this and it was good to help keep the kids focused on the real meaning of Christmas!
The kids waiting at the door way as we got all the last minute things set up... "can we come now? can we come now?" Stocking FUN...Sadie Mac's "Rapunzel hair"!
In the afternoon we went to a park that is near their house and enjoyed playing and taking pics... Zip line, that even Noah tried! ;-) Bubbles! Two little princess friends Hope you had a wonderful Christmas like we did!
Being away from family during the holidays can be hard. Skype and pictures on Facebook can be great... but it can also remind you how far far away we really are. We have some friends who we have known since before we were married. We were there the day they had their first child and have walked through life many transitions together... through the good and hard.
Well, we're blessed that God has placed these friends just two hours away from us... in Italy. We feel like they are our family-away-from-family. We all understand what it's like to like to live in 4 different countries in 3 years... what it's like to have babies where they don't speak English... the joys and trials of living overseas... (even if it is in France or Italy)... and we're thankful we can be so close.
They live in Torino (Turin) Italy and so we were able to see some sights in their town one day.
Sadie Mac running from Micah in one of the town squares A large art stage in the center of town with Christmas decorations and a large nativity Our 5 kiddos in front of the nativity Stephen counting with the kids the metro stops until "ours"
I have mentioned before that I'm trying to be a crafty mom for my little treasures. Sadie LOVES projects and so I'm learning more ideas, things to use, and how to engage my children in the real meaning of Christmas. So... this year as my project portfolio grows, here are a few things we have done to get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus!! Some are Christ centered (our goal...) and others are just ideas I found.
Here are my two little angels (and their coffee filter wings glued onto milk bottles)... all "blinged up" with stars and stickers! The angel appeared (to the Shepherds) and the Glory of the Lord shown around them... Lk2:9 Fun ornament making... (thank you KG for your recipe)!!
1 C. applesauce + 1 C. cinnamon + 1 tsp. glue... roll out into 1/4 inch thickness... cookie cutters or trace hands. Cook on low temp or let dry for a week. More ornament making... which is better to decorate, or eat the decorations? (These ornaments are cookies, thank you IKEA) Christmas wreath made of my favorite little hands Playing Nativity with play mobile figurines Colored nativity glued onto a pizza cardboard circle Face painting (at a friend's house)...
After weeks (seemingly) of rain we were thrilled that we could finally put our snowflake stickers on our calendar! And it was the perfect snow... a little wet, good for packing... but not too wet so it was still fun to play in. Yesterday and today Sadie Mac had adventures playing out in it.
Snow Angels!!! Fashions her little snowman very carefully... Then kicks him over in one swoop!
We learned to make and throw snowballs (our favorite part of the day!!!) We even saw some other snowmen that were about her size that she wanted to sit on! We had a great day!!! All the while Noah was at home eating smurfs!
Everybody loves a good Christmas parade! I was excited l to be able to take Sadie Mac and have a special (surprise) friend join us from out of town!! It was really neat as the parade brought in by music, bubbles, stick-men, Père Noël himself (!!) and fire breathers... (which Sadie continues to talk about all the time!). These festivities all led up to the lighting of the town lights! (In all actuality, this part took too long for us and we headed home before the lights came on! Long day + tired mom with toddler on her shoulders= short night of festivities!) We had a great time... enjoying the cold of winter here in France and all the festivities that go with it.
The man that breathes fire!!!! "Stick-men" (on stilts!)
Père Noël so close we can touch him!!
*Special thanks to my friend who took the pics and let us use them!!!
I LOVE the Christmas season!! So thankful for it's meaning and love all the festivities that go on! This week we received a flyer from Sadie Mac's school that there was going to be a "small festival" at a park that is near our house. We had gone to a friend's house for a play date and all decided to go find the festival. (So thankful for these friends whose little girl and Sadie play great together and the mom helps me learn French. We talk in French, but when I don't know a word, she has enough English to help me!! What a blessing!) Anyway... we go to the park and nothing is there! We saw some red tape that was up, with some balloons, but no people and no festival in sight. So, we just decided to let the girls play for a little while when out from around the corner comes Santa! Sadie and her friend both start screaming (with excitement): "Père Noël!!! Père Noël!!!!" My heart was happy because on her own, Sadie was speaking French... and it was with a friend! So precious. So we found a small little festival behind a building that is beside the park! We had a great time and heard some Christmas music by an old time music box... wind up kind, and got to take a ride with a donkey drawn sleigh (? maybe that is how the story goes here in France! ;-)!) Great day. Very thankful for time with friends and for a ride with Père Noël!
My sweet friend, her daughter, and Sadie Mac... waiting for the sleigh ride!