November 20, 2006

Preparing for Thanksgiving

This year, getting ready for Thanksgiving has been really fun with the kids. I had checked out some books from the library weeks ago so we'd have them on hand for reading the week before Thanksgiving (and we just picked up a few more on Saturday to have for this week). One of the books depicted a class of kids getting ready for the Thanksgiving play. Each child had the role of a character from the first Thanksgiving, so it was a good introduction to Pilgrims and American Indians. Charis and Tobin remembered quite a bit from the Magic Tree House book Thanksgiving on Thursday that we read a couple of months ago, so that was good to be able to refer to as well.

Anyway, some of the children in this particular book were sporting paper sack vests and headbands for the Indian costumes, and we unanimously decided that we wanted to make them, too! My children have no idea what "Indian designs" look'll notice that Charis's vest has a princess drawn on one side of it, and both boys just colored random splotches on theirs. But they had a grand time decorating them and wearing them throughout the week. My camera batteries were dead on the day we actually made them (last Monday), so this picture was taken at the end of the week. The costumes held up surprisingly well, considering! Tobin refused to put his vest on for us, but, as you can see, Snuggle Bear is making a cameo appearance with his own Indian outfit, custom-made by Charis.

Another good book we read was called Across the Wide, Dark Sea, about the voyage of the Mayflower. The illustrations were beautiful, and I love how the author (Jean Van Leeuwen) made the story generic in one sense by using no people names to demonstrate that it could have been one of any number of journeys to America, yet the details were so rich that one could easily imagine it to have happened just as she wrote.

This week I look forward to reading the other books we checked out on Saturday. I also plan to have our whole family work on memorizing Psalm 100, and we'll learn some songs about thankfulness. When I was a resident assistant at Cedarville, our RD, Miss Taylor, taught the RAs lots of Bible verse songs, so one of the songs we'll do is the verse "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

We'll also continue a family tradition that we started last year, though we're changing it just a bit this year. Last year we cut out colorful leaves and wrote different things we were thankful for each night at supper and decorated our pantry door with leaves. This year we're using apples instead of leaves--much easier to cut out! I'm hoping we'll be able to get some butcher paper to make a tree for the apples to "hang" on! We look forward to doing this with Ted's family as we celebrate the season of gratefulness.

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