Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's beginning to.... the slightly crazy season.  We haven't hit full blown crazy yet.  Give it a week.  I totally missed blogging about Thanksgiving.  It was a good one.  Almost the whole family joined us to partake of turkey and trimmings and football the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

There was help in the kitchen.  Yep, 2 five year olds with knives that only threatened my limbs and eyes a few times.
 There were games with the grandmunchins.  You might notice the glaring difference in color around the table.  Lots of green and one lone orange.  That would be because the day we celebrated Thanksgiving was coincidentally the day of the Civil War.  The Oregon Civil War.  Ducks vs Beavers.  We have lots of Duck fans in our family and one lone Beaver fan.  (The Ducks won handily.)
 There was gingerbread cookie decorating.  I usually have gingerbread houses to decorate.  We changed it up this year so they each got to do their own.
 Um, there was some tasting going on too.
 And that brings us up to the Christmas season.  The first Saturday of December is the traditional decorating of the church.  Lots of help make it go quickly.  We nabbed a few grandmunchkins to help with the promise of breakfast out before the decorating.  The local Grange was having a pancake breakfast.  One of our granddaughters is a pancake fan and add hot chocolate and she was one happy girl and more than willing to help.
 Even little blue eyes helped.  In his sweet way.  He brought smiles to all he was around.
 First up is setting up the tree.  It's a fake tree and there was a class in fluffing branches 101. 
 They learned quickly.
 Then out came the ladder.  Oh my, it was THE place to be for the kids!  I must have 20 pictures of kids on ladders but I'll spare you.
 There was a lot of muscle helping out.
 I love the way the adults in our church family come alongside the littles and urge them to help and accept their help.  They train them, love them, encourage them, and church family is truly family.
 My mother in law started the tradition of decorating the church years ago.  She made it a family event.  Back in the day it was done with fresh greenery and took all day.  She provided treats and lunch for her family.  Due to allergies the fresh greenery is no longer used and the same decorations go up each year.  It is much faster and still beautiful.  She still provides treats though-hot apple cider and donut holes.
 The first Sunday of Advent.  And the church tree is decorated on that Sunday by the children.

 And the ladder saw a lot of action again.
 My husband has been part of our church's worship team for years.  He truly loves it.  While he and the team led worship, the children decorated.

 Speaking of Advent.  I joined the Advent swap in the Itty Bitty group again this year.  My swap partner is a young woman in Canada and the young woman that had my name is also from Canada.  I will do a blog post about it later since we are just beginning.  The idea is to send 24 small remembrances for your partner to open each day of Advent and one bigger gift to open on Christmas.  There were requirements for 12 of the gifts-something red, something green, a hand knit hat, etc.  I received my boxes several weeks before December and I hid them away so I would not be tempted.
 This was from the second day-a beautiful hand knit ornament.
 But whatever craziness the season brings, it all centers around the reason for the season.  A cliche to be sure but a true cliche nonetheless.  No matter what happens or doesn't happen, I am choosing to remember that Jesus is the reason we have Christmas.  I saw the last of one of my favorite Christmas movies last night, "The Christmas Box".  And Mrs. Parkin asked Richard what the first gift of Christmas was.  He finally figured it out-a child.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...."
Now, because there are no children here today, I am going to knit, have a cup of tea, watch a Christmas movie, and enjoy the quiet.  Because it's about to ramp up as we threw in painting our kitchen into the busiest time of year!

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