I thought today I would share with you some blogs I have been enjoying this Advent Season. First, a very fun one. I am a lover of children's books. My boys are getting older and we don't read picture books very often any more. We do still read them and still love them even though our ages are far beyond them. I was thrilled when I found that the blog Bella Dia was posting a children's Christmas book and a craft to go along with it almost every day of Advent. I haven't had any time to actually do more than read her posts but I may try a few of the crafts closer to Christmas when we have some time off school.
Footprints on the Fridge hosted the Beauty of Toymaking Fair (one of several that have happened over the last few months). There are lots of links and ideas here for making some handmade gifts and toys this Christmas. One I wish I had time to create was a personalized board game for your family. Check it out. Maybe the creative juices will be going in your house.
Allsorts has some really nice posts with fun printables and an online Gingerbread house to decorate. She also listed some really amazing Advent Calendars. I can't look too long or I start to think we need a redo on our calendar which is just plain white boxes with numbers printed on them. Look through her blog for some really great ideas and crafts and just plain eye candy!
Sew, Momma, Sew has lots of different crafty ideas posted each day of December. I've not had time to check them out but maybe you do: Click here!
Life has thrown us some changes this year and we are finally feeling a bit more settled. Mike started a new job in October and continues to give music lessons and play the organ at church. Nolan started school in November and just began to take the bus this week. This was probably the biggest transition but it has been a good one. Last night he told Nathan all about how great his school is and why he shouldn't be nervous about going next year (which will be the biggest transition of all). Nolan started with a new piano teacher yesterday and Nathan begins Horseback riding lessons this afternoon. So, Advent is bringing us a bit of a settled feeling.
As our Nativity grows I think about the life that led up to Jesus' birth. I wonder about what the shepherds talked about as they watched their sheep. I think about the awe that Mary must have felt when the angel appeared to her. The fear she must have felt as she told Joseph the story. The sorrow when he didn't believe her, the relief when he did. I wonder how difficult the journey was.
I love to see how Nolan displays each piece of the Nativity. The joy of childhood is embodied in this simple arrangement. For instance, Nolan has the shepherd with all his animals surrounding him. The lambs are facing the mother sheep. When he opened the cats, he has them placed beside the angel which is on the little ledge above the mantle. Yesterday, he opened Joseph. He placed Joseph facing the fire with his arms outstretched so he could warm his hands. I love how he has grown with the Nativity and makes each character his own. Nathan is coloring an advent wreath. He doesn't like to color each day because he thinks it makes Christmas seem too far away. I told him that children think it is still a long time till Christmas but adults think it is coming very fast. He made me explain this and has been pondering it ever since. The JOYS that our children bring!
I pray that you take time to enjoy the peace of the season. Take time to enjoy the simple things: the leaves falling, the decorations surrounding you, the excitement of children.