We've watched A Charlie Brown Christmas a few times this month. Levi has nearly the entire movie memorized. He wanders around quoting random bits of it here and there. Most often now he can be found with pen and paper in hand scribbling "words" and saying, "Dear Santa Claus, How are your reindeer? I hope they are well fed."....over and over and over. We don't really do Santa around here, so I don't think he actually knows what he's reenacting. It's funny and sweet to watch nonetheless.
I do love a babywearin' daddy...most especially when he's all mine. :)
We splurged on an Ergo with Sophia. I'm so glad we did. It's worth every penny. I have a few carriers that I love for different reasons, but this is the only one that Stephan really enjoys as well. Sophia likes it because she can watch whats going on. She's especially captivated by her daddy doing the dishes. Can't say that I blame her. A dish washin', baby wearin' daddy is impressive indeed.
You know those moments from childhood that are just sheer magic? This village is one of those...for me and now for Levi. My parents used to take us to see this every year. Back then it was in a man's front yard. Hundreds of people tromped through year after year until he finally had to give it away...probably to keep his neighbors at bay and to save his yard which turned into mush by the time the season was over. I remember parking far down his street and walking in the cold just to see this. We would peek into every window and ooooh and ahhhh over all of the little details...the music coming from the church, the advent wreaths on the tables and Christmas trees in each house and store. (This photograph by no means does it justice.) Every year he added something new, and every year I looked forward to seeing it.
By the time I had Levi we weren't sure where the village was. But, this year, we found it. For anyone else around here who might be looking for it head to Madison. It's near the railroad tracks, and it is so worth the visit. Levi was mesmerized....especially by the church with the little people tucked away in the pews and the music streaming from it....magic....pure Christmas magic.
Are there any traditions from your childhood that you now share with your children...or wish that you could?
Awhile back I happened across a couple of blog posts about The Jesus Storybook Bible. It came so highly recommended that I decided to buy one for Levi. I am so glad I did. It's our favorite children's Bible. This morning I found a video that is based on the Christmas story from The Jesus Storybook Bible. I just had to share it.
Y'all, I can't wait until Levi wakes up! He's going to love this. I have a feeling we will be coming back to it often.
Hope your Christmas preparations are merry and blessed!
This video has been making the facebook rounds. It's well worth your 2 minutes 43 seconds. Mr. Narayanan appears to be Hindu, but I think he gets Christ's message much more than many Christians...myself included.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
One of these days I'll learn never to ask him to smile... :)
We "decorated" the front of our house this afternoon. By decorated I mean there are now lights...like one whopping strand...and a wreath. We won't be winning any prizes. Although, I think we should considering it was done while wearing a baby. I was going to finally remove the pumpkins, but Levi insisted on painting them instead....
Totally gonna drag this project out. There are 3 large pumpkins, which means 3 days of munchkin entertainment! Woohoo!
He brings this book to me every day...many, many times. Yesterday he woke up half an hour earlier than usual. He lugged the book up and plopped it next to me while I was crocheting. "Wead dis, Mama. Wead it now." I cringed and really didn't want to read it to him because sometimes I just want a few more minutes for me. And, sometimes, in the morning I don't feel like figuring out how to pronounce words I've never laid eyes on before....like Greater Malay Chevrotain...I mean, really, they lost me at greater.
So, yesterday, in an effort to keep crocheting, I said, "Bear, why don't you read it to mama?" To my relief he consented, opened the book, and started talking. "Dis is a rhinoceros beetle." (Which he says perfectly despite his general mispronunciation of r's.) "De hyenas need to be nice to dat antelope." (re: a picture of hyenas eating an antelope) "Dese are marsupials." On and on. Stopping at a few to ask me about them. What he knew surprised me, and I was reminded how quickly and easily these little ones learn...without forcing or cajoling...just with interest, curiosity, and a whole lot of answered questions.
We decked the halls last night....hot chocolate, Christmas tunes and all. A little drive to check out the neighbors' lights along with one of our favorite Advent reads topped it off and left a certain little boy very tired. It wasn't until after Levi had fallen asleep that I noticed there was more than just a fire truck and hammer in his bed. He had stolen away with one of the ornaments as well.
My weekend was spent trying to figure out decorations for a 7 ft tall tree with the not a whole lot of stuff that I have from previous years of decorating much teenier trees. The garland had me stumped, and to be honest I was having a hard time committing to one enough to actually make it or (Gasp!) buy it. We were on the verge of having a paper chain or some such other disposableness when it dawned on me that I have a huge bucket-o-scraps and some less than loved yarn to work with. So, off to the scrap bucket with me...
It should now be obvious to y'all that I am a pack rat of the worst sort. I mean do you see the tiny bits of fabric that I just can't part with? Because, you know, I really might need them some day...like yesterday! So, I dove in and chopped up anything that wasn't already small enough. If your kids are hanging around they would have fun with this part too...
Then I cut a length of yarn. (Keep the length manageable. You can always make multiples.) I plopped down my first scrap and started stitching. If you're interested in the more exacts...the widest zig-zag setting was used to ensure that I caught my yarn. I placed the scraps at random along the yarn leaving gaps in between and made sure to keep my yarn heading towards the center of my sewing foot. I also back stitched a few times on the first and last scrap to secure.
This was seriously easy peasy lemon squeezy kind of stuff.
And I love the results.
As I was stitching these I played with overlapping scraps which produces a fun layered look. And, if you've got metallic thread lying around, that would make a pretty addition. However, I just used white thread and was super pleased.
If all goes as planned today, we'll be sipping hot chocolate, listening to Christmas carols, and decorating the tree! Can't wait!
Does your family have any favorite Christmas tunes?
: : If you're still in need of an Advent calendar idea, Leanne pointed me in the direction of this lovely, leafy creation. I'm also loving this Jesse Tree Calendar. So what does that make, like 20 Advent calendars that I want for next year? Ha!
I have some pretty nutty lofty Christmas crafting goals this year. Some day I'll figure out how many days are actually in December and ratchet down my want to do list accordingly. Until then, let the crafting mayhem begin.
. . .
In my defense I started this sweater for Sophia in November. It's my first attempt at a sweater. I picked it out of the Vintage Baby Knits book because it said it was easy. If I wasn't so knitting deficient it probably would be, but I've managed to start it completely over 3 times. I'm not even going to count up the number of rows I've had to rip out and redo. Apparently, I cannot read instructions...even the basic, easy ones. But, I'm persevering because there's a much more difficult sweater that I'm dying to make for her. It's got a lovely (albeit slightly intricate) pattern...not just the very basic diamond design that this one has (you might just be able to make it out in the photograph).
Anyway, the knitting store is on my to do list today. I know I'm not anywhere near finished with the sweater, but I have a few other more pressing gifts to make. You know, for people who'll actually notice if nothing makes it under the tree for them.
As promised, we went Christmas tree hunting yesterday. The perk of going on a weekday is that it was just us. Us being the munchkins, the mama, the daddy, and the nanno. So we got the hayride all to ourselves.
Levi helped carry our tree. He kept talking about what a big, strong boy he is. Oh, my heart!
Sophia was unimpressed.
So, a little measuring up was in order.
Our Christmas tree (1st one as a family) has now taken residence in our living room. Decorating will commence in a few days. First, this mama has to figure out what to do about garland and a tree topper. Pre-Stephan and Sophia, I had a little tinsel tree. It didn't really need garland, and it was much tinier than the 7 footer now sitting in our living room. So, you can imagine my old topper would be dwarfed. Ideas? Suggestions?
Is anyone (like me) needing last minute advent calendars? I'm so not on top of things this year. I blame it on the little ones. Luckily, they are so cute that I don't mind the need for last minute rushing.
So far I'm digging this, but wishing it was a 24 day one...
There's a good basic one here too...a little more traditional...
And, I loooove this one...wish I had more time today...
This one's been on my radar for a couple of years...maybe next year...
Also, I just noticed that Whipstich is doing a little advent sew-along. The childhood calendar she's basing her's on might just be my favorite. I'd be kidding myself if I thought I could join in now, but maybe after the New Year.
Do you have any advent plans?
P.S. We do actually have a reusable Advent Calendar, but I don't know where it's hiding. Moving and renovating have that effect. I suppose munchkins can't take the full blame.
Yesterday was a rough day. I'm pretty sure I got an F in parenting...at least in the late morning when I was cranky from lack of sleep and had two munchkins who needed to be smack up next to me every blooming second. I might have spent a good portion of my day cringing and been a whole lot snippier than I should have been. I might also have done some daydreaming about escaping to a beach or the mountains or even just to Target...all by myself. But then I found The Toymaker and the day was saved. Have you seen that place?