We have had tons going on at our house. Travel here and there - tropical (Puerto Rico!) and traditional (home for Thanksgiving!) We are reminded daily of our blessings. I was admiring my mother-in-law's plate in her kitchen that reads "As for Me and My House, We will Serve the Lord" and thought of our manic, hectic house balancing 2 jobs and a 3 year old. It was a good reminder.
After Thanksgiving we drove the long and winding road back home detouring through the NC mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree. Connor thought it was wonderful. And though the long drive becomes unbearably longer I have to admit the Norman Rockwell-ness of it made it worth the extra hours in the car.
We made it home Saturday so as not to miss Sunday church. During Sunday School hour they had an Advent Festival for families. We made this Advent wreath...If you grew up like me, your Advent candles were purple, pink and white in the center. So I definitely was scratching my head about the blue. It was explained the "royal" blue is the color of HOPE. That purple is used in Lent and indicates penance and repentance. Modern Advent stresses more the time of waiting, anticipation and - HOPE! Hence the blue.Connor really enjoyed the Advent workshop. I focused on pinning the greens while she unwrapped and put the candles in. Kirk focused on pruning. It was nice together time.
After church we had our traditional annual meal of pizza while decorating the tree. He turned out pretty great if I do say so myself! Connor loved the ornaments. She hung them faster than we could even keep up. What a treasure to have a child actively participating in Christmas cheer.Connor especially loves our nativity sets. This one my grandmother made long ago for my mom.This one was Carol's childhood set. I put it in Connor's toy area and it is fun to see her acting and imagining her version of Christ's birth.The last tradition we started this year has been a huge hit. Do you know about "The Elf on the Shelf?"There is a book and elf in the set. Kids are taught to name their elf and not to touch him cause he is magic. Elf watches kids all day and flies off to North Pole at night to report to Santa who is naughty and nice. And comes back before morning. The book explains it all...Everyday the elf is in a different spot - hence having flown away and returned. Connor is beside herself every morning trying to find ZIP (Zip is what she chose to name her elf!)
Recently she has taken to not letting us close her blinds at night. She wants to watch for Zip to fly away to Santa at night. One night she called out to Kirk that she actually saw Zip leaving out her window! Childhood years are absolutely priceless.
We are doing our best to be sure we and our house serve our Lord during this precious time of anticipation, tradition and togetherness.