Monday, December 21, 2009


Advent is all about anticipation. It's about waiting for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I remember so vividly counting down the days to Christmas as a child. We would make green and red rings of paper to tear off as we got closer to Christmas. Each night, opening a new door on the Advent calendar, excited for that special prize behind.

We have only a few years, before our children start to buy into the materialism of the season, to instill in them the joy and anticipation that is Christmas. What better way than to incorporate our own Advent activities, spending time each day celebrating the coming of Christ, thinking of others, reading God's Word, and praying together?!

Here are a few of our ADVENTures from the past month:

Hot Cocoa while decorating the tree

Decorating cookies to share with our neighbors and friends

Look what I made!

Decorating a gingerbread house

pancake breakfast
(the girl likes to eat her blueberry pancakes deconstructed)

somebody else loves pancakes!

Somebody swiped the icing spoon!
Red food coloring lips and tongue!

Enjoying a candy cane after opening day 20!

Decorating cookies (again!)

the finished packages, all ready to go!

We also packed up our old toys and baby supplies to take to children less fortunate at Tiburcio Vasquez, Mama's previous employer! A whole carload of toys, clothes and infant items were given away, helping out young moms and families at Christmas time!

When we dropped off the toys, Maddie handed out cookies to everyone in the office with a "Merry Christmas!"

And thanks to Rita, we have started a Christmas Jar filled with our loose change to donate to homeless men and women.

Little did Rita know when she gave us these jars last Wednesday the conversation
Maddie and I had on Monday. After traveling to Hayward to deliver our toys and cookies,
we stopped at Trader Joe's in Castro Valley so Maddie could use the bathroom. We shopped around for a bit and a homeless man passed by, shopping for groceries. Maddie scrunched up her nose and asked why the man was so stinky. I told her that some people don't have homes and so don't have their own showers to get clean. We talked about how our own bodies can get stinky between baths, about the blessing of Daddy having a job, about our ability to pay for things that a lot of people cannot.

The conversation about this homeless man lasted most of the way home, about twenty minutes in length. Maddie came to her own conclusion about how to help the man. First, she wanted to share her red hair bow with him, to "help him feel better." Then, she decided, he could come to our home and take a shower in our bathroom and wear some of Daddy's clothes. "Daddy would share his clothes with the stinky man, right Mama?" "And he could have my hair bow. That would help. Then he could sleep in our bed and he would have a place to sleep. Then he won't be stinky anymore, right Mama?" My heart was so touched and I couldn't help but shed a few tears at her tenderness and the way she had come around from being afraid of the homeless man to figuring out how she could help him out. On Thursday, we opened Rita's present for our Advent activity and this morning Maddie emptied her piggy bank change into the jar. When it is full, her plan is to give it to "people who don't have homes."

I am so grateful to God for a home, a husband who works hard to provide for us, the ability to pay for the simplest things that make our lives comfortable, a daughter whose heart has an even greater capacity for love than I could imagine, fun activities to help anticipate Christmas, and most of all, for a baby born over 2000 years ago.

Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift.


mel @ the larson lingo said... it. Loved this whole post.
We have been busy all week crafting & baking also!! Hooray for Christ's birth!
I LOVE the Christmas jar idea, I am for sure stealing that idea next year!! Thanks for the link.
And, love the story about Maddie & the homeless man. She is so sweet & thoughtful, she learns from her amazing parents.

Totally Desperate Mom said...

Found your blog through mel's. LOVE the icing on the face shot. What a look!