Friday, 7 December 2007

I love my children!

Christmas Stocking. Elodie has sewn 4 cushions now and I felt she was ready for something a little more challenging. She made herself comfortable on the sofa and I put on some Christmas carols for her. I showed her different stitches to the ones she has done before and then I left her to some quiet time. She thoroughly enjoyed herself, rushing a bit at the end because she was so excited about finishing, but doing a lovely job - especially considering she is only 5! Well done Baby!

Card Stocking. Lucia had to really concentrate to work out where to thread the ribbon. It was a good exercise for her to do as she is keen to learn to sew like Elodie. She was very pleased with the result and she got a big kiss from me!

Elodie and Lucia loved this activity. I gave them pipe-cleaners and they threaded them with beads to make candy canes. Candy canes represent the shape of the Shepherd's crook, used to bring lost sheep back to the fold.

Dress the snowman. A little fun thing for the girls to do while I put Dom to bed for her nap.

We made bells as part of our look at Christmas symbols (see December 4th) . The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.
Hand print and footprint Rudolphs. This was fun! The girlies were so intrigued - they had no idea what we were doing until I gave them directions on how to put it all together.

Elodie and Lucia made another batch of candy canes later on in the day. Dominique, awake from her nap, had a go too and managed to put 7 beads on all on her own. I watched her for a while and she had such a look of concentration :)

Our miniature Christmas Tree to which the girls added their beaded candy canes.

This is the most gorgeous crib set from my wonderful Aunt in Australia. The girls do some lovely role-playing with it.

Dom and the Christmas Tree.

Trying to get on with some housework I noticed that suddenly the children had disappeared from under my feet. I crept to the living room door and found this :)

Thursday, 6 December 2007

St Nicholas. December 6th.

Happy Feast Day St Nicholas. We remembered you and we made these (Elodie's)...


... Dominique's gorgeous attempt. She is so proud. She showed Papa when he came home from work this evening and showed me again, just before she went to bed, saying "see mine"

Elodie and Lucia's Christmas Trees for our fir tree symbol (see December 4th).

I print out and make memory/concentration card games for most of our projects. The girls enjoy them and Lucia, my middle Chiquita, is amazingly good at remembering where the right cards are.

These Chrsitmas ones we used last year and I have set them up on the table for the girls to do tomorrow morning.

Our Nativity figures.

Our Nativity Scene. I include the Baby Jesus and the Kings as the children are too little to understand the time-scale, and I think it generates more awareness of the whole Christmas theme.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

As part of our Advent project we are looking at the different symbols of Christmas and their meaning. At this time of year they are everywhere but their real meaning seems to have been lost amongst the flashing neon lights.

The Star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago - The shining hope of mankind.
The Colour Red: The first colour of Christmas, symbolizing our Saviour's sacrifice for all.
The Fir Tree: Evergreen - the second colour of Christmas shows everlasting light and life. The needles point up to Heaven.
The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.
The Candle: A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the Star of Bethlehem.
The Gift Bow: Tied as we should be all tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
The Candy Cane: Represents the shape of the shepherds crook, used to bring lost sheep back to the fold.
The Wreath: A symbol of the never-ending value of love ... having no end.

We were busy crafting today. We made...

...a wreath and candle to symbolise God's never-ending love and in thanksgiving for the Star of Bethlehem (Elodie's)...

...Lucia's wreath...

...button Christmas Tree (symbolising everlasting light and life) cards, with a wee gold star on the top...

...silhouette camel with saddle and reins fit for a king (Elodie's)...

...Lucia's silhouette camel...

...and a miniature Christmas Tree with glitter star (to symbolise the shining hope of mankind) decorations.

Not the correct colours but I didn't have any purple ones when suddenly Advent crept up on me :)

All 3 girls decorated the Christmas Tree and this was the first year I enjoyed watching without fretting that there were 10 baubles on one branch! Hooray - I have progressed!

Yesterday the girls and I discussed the Baby Jesus only having a manger to lie in instead of a warm cosy cradle. For the rest of Advent we have decided to make as warm and cosy a manger as possible for the Baby when He comes at Christmas. Each time the girls do a good deed, e.g. share their toys, help eachother, lay the table, tidy up without prompting, etc, I give them a cotton wool ball to lay in the manger.
Lucia was so excited today when I gave her one for being happy and exclaimed "the Baby Jesus is going to be so warm!"

Fresh air at the park.

Lucia having fun in the baby swing

Elodie pulled Dom's chair to her desk, gave Lucia some words to copy and showed Dominique how to write 'cat'. It was lovely to find them and I had to take a picture.

Some things Elodie and Lucia created on their own today. Elodie made me a mask and a flower wand. She experiments a lot with words at the moment, either copying from books or spelling it out phonetically and asking me if it is correct.
Lucia stencilled a dolphin and cut it out with her little left-handed scissors.
I was amazed when Elodie showed me the paper on the left of the picture. While I was making the dinner she had shown Lucia how to use an abacus, gave her some sums and helped her with the answers. They were all correct except one. :)

Elodie and Lucia having their Trampolining lesson.

Dom at the library where Elodie and Lucia go to Story Club.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Happy Birthday to my broken-armed yet wonderful Mummy!  
I love you
Thank you St Anthony - I have found my phone! I was considering asking the children to pray to him to find it as they are so much closer to Heaven than I am but he saw that thought and worked faster than I did!  He has never failed me!

Hooray - more photos to come :)

Monday, 3 December 2007

Well this wasn't the exact rainbow that we saw today (!) but I have misplaced my mobile phone (and therefore my camera) so I couldn't take a picture.

St Anthony please find my mobile :)

Today we saw a BEAUTIFUL rainbow :)

This morning we took Nanny Mo to the hospital to have another x-ray and her plaster-cast changed after she fell ice skating last week and broke and dislocated her arm. The girls took a Christmas colouring book I put together for them and even Dominique worked away quietly in the waiting room.

This afternoon Elodie and Lucia started working through a collection of Christmas mazes they have on their desk and Elodie (I am so proud!) started her first wordsearch today - it has about 12 words to find about the Nativity.

Elodie made Lucia a picture of a girl with an assortment of clothes which Lucia had to choose and then stick on - a really gorgeous game and Elodie created it on her own.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac.

Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep.
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men!"
"It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the commercialization, the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmas-time. Then we would have a holy Christmas. But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular; rather we try to transform it. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush…"
Fr. Andrew Greeley