Thank you PaPa and Greatmama for the lovely for-children Precious Moments Nativity Set. We play with it daily! We've also been enjoying a fun advent calendar from Great Aunt BeBe and Great Uncle Keith. Rhianwen loves it. Alden doesn't understand why we don't open all of the doors at once, close, and repeat. So it's hanging above Rhi's bed for her special Christmas bedtime ritual.
The felt advent tree that we inherited from Great Grandaddy is yet again a big hit. I love it because it pulls together prophecy from the Old Testament to Christ's birth in the New to His death for us! It's such a beautiful comprehensive way to do it.
Putting on the day's symbol.
We along with Wally's cousin Alex and his adventurous wife RiLee braved the mud, rain, and cold to get a tree this past weekend.
When I asked Rhianwen what we were doing, she said, "I don't know!" Here she is in her warm coat with her umbrella in a field of trees. Rhianwen was quite taken with Alex and kept calling his name if he was further than 2 feet away from her (I'd post a picture, but don't want to assume that they want the whole world seeing them with their tree :).
Lifestyles of the rich and famous...we were not allowed to cut our own tree. We had to ask some unenthusiastic guy to come kneel in the mud and saw it down for us. Thanks for the family pic RiLee!
Taking shelter in the "barn" with a cookie and hot cocoa. Life is just so hard. We also let Rhianwen choose her yearly ornament (a bell that really rings) and for Alden a dog. We give them one ornament a year so that by the time they are adults, they'll have a full set for their own tree if they so desire. We really benefited from this tradition on Wally's side of the fam our first year when we were quite poor. (Not quite as poor as my parents, who made their ornaments from saved Styrofoam meat plates cut to patterns drawn from cookie-cutters). Alden loved cocoa so much that he learned the word for it and says it each time he savors some in his sippy cup (daddy says hot-chocolate, but mommy's word stuck...probably b/c it's easier to say).
Here's a video of sledding and Christmas tree excitement (listen to how Alden growls, says Whoa! and squeals as Daddy lets the tree out of the netting).
Sweetness. I love the glow of Christmas lights on little baby faces.
Decorating. As in previous years, Rhianwen mostly opted for unwrapping the ornaments and handing them off to more capable hands.
Decorating would have been incomplete without our traditional fudge covered oreos. All I have to say is that it's a good thing those come in small packages, b/c we really can't resist those. Here's my snotty boy completely content.
Rhianwen wanted to make a "snowstorm" after hearing a nanny talk about making snowflakes at gymnastics. This is one of daddy's favorite winter activities. He is a pro at it (just see how much better his were than ours on our renovation tracker turned extras blog there's also a fun shot of my hometown's bridge you can just see the wreaths that decorate the lights on top). Anyway, I discovered that if I give Rhianwen a pair of child scissors and paper, she will be entertained for likely hours. She cried when she was told it was time for a nap. She could cut and cut little pieces of paper all day. You should have seen my floor afterwards! It really looked like a snowstorm had blown through!
That is the snowflake I helped her make. Alden didn't understand why he couldn't use scissors. I ended up giving him the plastic ones out of our play-doh set. He seemed happier after that.
Another fun development for Rhianwen is her ability to button. If I leave my clothes or her clothes with buttons out anywhere I ALWAYS discover them later all buttoned up. It's really funny when I'm trying to quickly get out the door and put on my coat at the same time..."what's wrong with this coat?! ... oh, Rhi buttoned it. No wonder I can't get it on." or "why isn't this sweater coming off of the chair I hung it on? Oh, Rhi buttoned it around the chair post." She also has mastered writing the letter H all on her own. So, if you get a Christmas card with lots of H's in it, that is why.
Alden is increasing his vocabulary every day. He's really into the word GO! Bybie (Bible), Baf (bath), gobble (bird), nack (snack), s-a-boo (for let's go say boo at Rhianwen before bath), So many more, but those are a few new ones.
One quotable quote: Rhianwen to Alden: "Princes don't wear pacifiers!" (Rhianwen is really into Cinderella right now). We just got done watching the Disney version, and we talked about hope and what our hopes were. She said she really would like to go to a ball. We talked about how heaven was a place that was more beautiful than any castle and any ball. I told her that there would be music, singing, and dancing in heaven (I mean they have King David there, right?) and how Jesus was the best dancer in the whole universe (since He's the creator and enabler of all things) and how Jesus is a Prince too, the Prince of Peace. And daddy said that, unlike Prince Charming, Jesus would know who she was and what her name was at first sight. And I said He might say something like, "I've been waiting for you!" She said when she got to heaven, she'd dance with Jesus.
Be still my heart ;)