December 26, 2013

Christmas Activities--2013

We got this idea from Lisa Whelchel's book The ADVENTure of Christmas, and it was our first year to do it...and it won't be the last! This simple thing was a huge treat for the kids, a fun way for them to greet each new day. We laid out a long strip of plastic wrap on the table. The kids picked out 25 candy kisses (I got several different holiday bags) and laid them in a row. We folded over the plastic wrap and tied curling ribbon between each kiss, then taped the chains to the doorway to the kitchen. Each morning the kids got to cut off a candy kiss!

Lucan and Zaden got chains, too, but we made them after the boys were in bed.

We attended the tree lighting ceremony at the NATO base, where we enjoyed lovely weather unlike last year when everything was moved inside due to rain. We heard the Navy band and then visited inside with some friends, which helped offset the disappointment at the fact that we missed out on the Italian hot cocoa, which was all gone by the time Ted got to the front of the line! Boo!

I was a bit stressed about this event, but thankfully a dear mom friend told me to just show up--not to bring any food or worry about craft supplies, just show up with the kids, sit in the corner and feed the baby, and let them take care of everything. So I did! Ted left that morning for a 5-day trip to Germany, and we had had a very full weekend right before he went, so I wasn't even sure I felt like dragging everyone to Support Site for an event. But it all ended up being just fine. I didn't even attempt to finish any schoolwork in the afternoon once we got home! And the kids enjoyed the time with their friends, and I enjoyed the time to visit with my friends, too!

One of the evenings Ted was gone to Germany we went to SS for a potluck dinner and Christmas program. Arden and Charis had speaking roles in a short drama, and Lucan played a sheep while Kenna sang in the angel choir.

Arden is on the far left, Charis on the far right, with Lucan directly in front of her.

I don't do roll-out cookies every year, but this year we did. Because we didn't go crazy with the baking this year, it was not as stressful as it could have been. :-) We did the roll-out and baking part one day, then frosted and decorated another day. We let the kids have their own plates of cookies to decorate and--theoretically--eat. But, ahem, we discovered Zaden on MULTIPLE occasions helping himself to other people's cookies. Sigh. We need to get smarter about this next year...

The city of Salerno is known for its light displays. We went last year with the K family and this year with the B family--so thankful for good friends to make memories with! Rhonda flew in from Colorado on the 19th, and we waited until she got here because Ted noted that she really enjoys lights at Christmas. We were blessed with fabulous weather and a lovely time together in this town along the Amalfi Coast.

Ted played guitar with the praise team, and Charis and Kenna participated in a worship dance presentation that was just lovely. Rhonda and I sat in the balcony with the boys and enjoyed singing carols and watching the loved ones who were part of the program. Seanin made it almost all the way through the service, but he and I ended up in the nursery, where he got a fresh diaper and dinner!

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