Christmas Angel & Advent

As I mentioned in our First of December post, the Christmas angel came to visit our house this year.   She has been lots of fun. Even this morning Eli came running into the bathroom and said "mom mom come see, the angel left a message again!" With the most dramatic face you have ever seen.  The beauty of the Christmas angel is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want it.  Sometimes its just a word. Sometimes its an activity.  Because I am home with the boys all day and we need lots of activities, our angel usually leaves a message/activity that is also our advent activity for the day.

She left us a new our Grinch book 

They loved waking up to find all their friends were hugging.  They gave me lots of hugs that day.  I asked them in the car if they gave hugs to their friends at school today.  Eli very sweetly said "No mommy, I just hugged Beckett today.  He's my best friend. "  Melt. My. Heart. 

They giggled so much about this one
 Another big hit was "give kisses" and of course I sprinkled a few "angel kisses" around the message.  Justin came home that day.  They couldn't wait to feed him kisses!  Of course it was definitely a "one for me, one for you" deal.  They LOVE kisses by the way.  This was a great deal for me.  A sweet kiss from a baby boy followed by chocolate.  Sounds like Christmas heaven to me!

The boys have been loving having fun crafts or activities to do.  One cold rainy day, she left us a good surprise since we couldn't play outside.

movies and popcorn make special Christmas memories
One day we read the "Snowman" series that includes "Snowmen at Christmas, Snowmen at Work,  and Snowmen at Night"  My kids are super excited about it snowing at Christmas.. hm. Might have to work on that one!  Ha! With it we made yummy snowman pizza.  Would you believe that my kids say they don't eat black olives?  They don't.  But they do eat snowmen eyes and mouths :-)

Hands down our favorite activity has been the baby food jar snowglobes.  I saw a ton of different ideas for making them on Pinterest and Martha Stewart.  I combined a bunch of ideas and then just went with it.  I did not use glycerin as they all call for and we don't miss it at all.  I purchased a set of ornaments 1/2 price at Hobby Lobby, spray painted the lids, glued them inside, then we filled with water and glitter.  This day the angel message was "Make a magic gift" and she said to take them to our neighbor friends.  
the supplies

glueing in the ornaments

they love them

put the glitter in, water, and then screwed on the tops

obsessed with those tiny glitter covered hands
The hardest part for them was deciding which to keep and which to deliver to our neighbor friends.

heading or to deliver magic
Tonight she left "Light of the world" with 2 special glow sticks.  We talked about how Jesus is the light of the world and to celebrate, everyone decorates their homes with lights.  Tonight we took them to our annual favorite neighborhood near us that the entire neighborhood participates in the lighting.  

We did too.  Especially the house that had the choreographed light show.  We turned our radio to a station and the lights were in perfect time.  So was Santa in the window.  We stayed literally almost an hour looking at this house and Eli had a small melt down when we left.  They were dying to get our and go see Santa.  He was amazingly real in the window.

Each night we have continued our advent study.  So many people have told me I need to write down and keep the things they say so I will always remember them so I am going to take a minute to do that.  At times its hard to get them to focus and I have to remind myself they are only 3 and the fact that they have so much of the story memorized is a great start.  We start our advent time by lighting a candle to symbolize Jesus the light of the world.  Then we start at the beginning and do the story.  I ask the questions and quiz them and they are getting so good at the story. When we first started we had a lot of confusion about Baby Jesus and Baby Moses.  We still pray for both and they do seem to be interchangeable in their minds at times.  Eli told me one night "and the ducks flew to see Baby Jesus.  Big Poppa and Gamma told me that."  One night we were talking and I was trying to explain the innkeeper and how the innkeeper told Joseph there were no rooms.  I was using the analogy of when we stay in hotels.  I said, "like when we go to Alabama and sometimes we stop and stay in a hotel, well Mary & Joseph got to Bethlehem and there no hotels. Not a single place to stay so the innkeeper showed them his stable where the animals were."  Eli thought really hard and I just knew he was getting it and he said "mom, do we have to stay with the animals when we go to Alabama this time?"  I just wish that I could capture Beckett saying the Christmas story.  The sweetest sounding Bethlehem you have ever heard.  They both know all about the carpenter and the angel coming.  They know about riding the donkey to Bethlehem.  They know about Mary and Baby Jesus in a blanket on hay.  They know about the angel with good news.  After we finish the story, we hold hands and say a little prayer.  We must stand up.  They do not allow praying and sitting for some reason so we stand in a "circle" says Eli and a "hexagon" says Beckett.  We say simply say "Thank you God for Christmas, Thank you God for Jesus. Amen" And then they each get a turn blowing our the candle.  

Eli told me this was his "pile of God."

On Tuesday night, Eli was sad because we finished FaceTime with Gamma and Big Poppa and he never wants it to end.  When we were done he said "But momma, I really love them."  I said I know you do and we will see them really soon.  I was telling him that they had to go and we had to go do our Bible time.  I asked him to help me find the candle while I got the lighter.  I heard him in the living room and he called me back in there.  He had a great big smile on his face and he said "Mom, I'm not sad anymore." I said 'that's great baby. I don't want you to be sad. "No mom, I'm happy. I still have God."  And off he went for Bible time.

Simple as that.  Out of the mouth of a 3 year old.  I think about how many times I have been sad, and God has comforted me and made me happy again.  What greater treasure than to experience it with my boys too?   Advent means the coming of something very important.  We are preparing our boys and our hearts for this wonderful Christmas season.  

The Riley's

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