In this post: Advent fun and Jesse Tree ornaments for Dec. 19th-21st. Homemade instruments and a video of our Christmas concert. Sock puppets and Christmas cookies.
Hello, dear ones! Merry Christmas Eve! I’m happy to share a special Advent post tonight. The kids and I put on a Christmas concert for our nursing home. I’ll share the video in this post. I was truly humbled by the concert. Michael and I had a rough time before it began and we both needed a reminder of why we do things. My mom prayed with us, and then on the way to the cafeteria I heard a lady in the hall singing “Shall We Gather at the River?” She was hunched over in her wheel chair and facing the wall. So many residents end up just sitting in a hall. Sometimes they will have glazed over faces or maybe they’re in pain. This lady decided to praise in spite of her circumstances.
There are a few residents that always have a smile…some of them can barely smile because of a stroke. Yet, still they smile. Anywho, I had my wake up call. I was reminded to put aside my perfectionism and fear. Then at the end, when the activities director complimented us (more than I could accept), I knew the Lord and the Lord Jesus alone, had brought it all together. We were a mess in body and spirit before the concert began. Michael and I apologized and encouraged each other when we got in the van. We both learned our lessons. As I said yesterday, don’t sacrifice precious for perfection.
- Sock Puppets~ These were Michael’s gift to Leeland.
- Leeland’s Gift for Michael
- Baking Cookies & Reading The Gift of the Christmas Cookie
- Chris brought home a surprise for me. We’ve been doing The Love Dare & The Respect Dare to improve our marriage. This is my third time reading The Respect Dare but Chris’ first time doing The Love Dare. It’s been neat doing it at the same time.
- Jesse Tree ornament & devotion for Day 19
19. Watch Tower~ Read Habakkuk 2:1 and 3:17-19. Have you ever had to wait for something important? Maybe it was the result of a test? I know for me, it was hard to wait to see if I was pregnant. The minutes would drag on and my thoughts would go back in forth between doubt and hope. Am I really pregnant? Maybe I’m just sick? That time of waiting and watching felt like an eternity. Well, Habbakuk lived during a time of waiting. Jesus’ family tree didn’t look that great. Judah was in bad shape. Death and destruction were on the horizon…but wait…there’s a light coming. Habakkuk chose to praise God during the dark dark waiting time. He didn’t see the birth of the Messiah with his physical eyes. He had to wait until he got to heaven to see Jesus come to Earth. It was over 600 years before the miracle came. I only had to wait eight years for the miracle of my youngest son, Leeland. I can’t imagine waiting as long as Habakkuk. Now, as we watch and wait for Christ’ second Advent, may we keep the faith and rejoice. We may live in darkness but the light….the light is coming!
Activity: Play Jenga together. Visit a tall building or a mountain and look out at the city (you can also climb a tree). As you look at the sky, remind the kids that Jesus will come back and all will see Him in the clouds.
- We delivered cookies and cards to our neighbors. Then I took the boys out to eat and Leeland braved the McDonalds play place. I was so surprised when he took up to the top. Michael was years older before he tried climbing. It’s crazy how different two brothers can be.
Chester watching Firefox. Do you like the desert scene I painted for Firefox? He doesn’t seem too interested. Of course, it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking. 😉
- Jesse Tree Ornament and Devotion for Day 20
20. Elizabeth & Zechariah~ Read Luke 1:6-8, 11-17. Elizabeth and Zechariah had to wait a long time like Habakkuk. They, however, did get to see their miracle before they died. Jesus’ family tree included a cousin, John, Elizabeth and Zechariah’s miracle boy. Sometimes when we have to wait a long time for God to answer our prayers, we might think HE has forgotten us. Dear one, God will NEVER forget you. You are precious to HIM. We may think that God is sleeping while we wait, but really HE is working behind the scenes. Piece by piece HE lines up events to HIS will and for our good. At the perfect time, the miracle comes. You may not feel that way about it now, but when the miracle does come you won’t hurt when you think of the waiting. You will say it was all worth it. That is how I feel when I look at my miracle son, the son who was supposed to be impossible. He’s worth the eight year wait. Elizabeth and Zechariah had waited much longer, but I’m sure they felt the same. John was worth the wait. John would point to the Messiah, who was and still is worth the wait. When we see Jesus again all the pain of this world will fade. We will run to HIS arms and know HE was/is worth it.
Activity: Make bread together. It’ll be worth the wait!
- We put on a Christmas concert for the nursing home we visit. I’ll include the video at the end.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel~ This was Michael’s first time playing guitar for an audience.
Drums and bells for the concert~ I turned food cans into drums with yarn, wrapping paper, and bells. I made the bell stick with a wooden dowel, bells, and pipe cleaners.
Guess what we’re going to play!
Drummer Boy~ This is my stepdad’s favorite Christmas song. We played for him and my mom when we went to their house. The residents liked it just as much. Some people sang along.
Carol of the Bells~ Michael sang his first solo while I played on the piano.
O Little Town of Bethlehem~ Everyone knew this carol.
Rudolph~ Everyone knew this song as well and we all sang it loud.
We ended with Jingle Bells. The residents were excited about Leeland playing too.
Video with Highlights from the concert
- Jesse Tree Devotion and Ornament for Day 21
21. John’s Shell~ Read Matthew 3:1-3. John, Elizabeth and Zechariah’s miracle boy, grew up. He lived in the desert and ate locusts and wild honey. You could say that Jesus’ cousin was a bit odd. He stood apart from the rest of the world. John’s message wasn’t easy either. Repent! Few like to be told to repent…to change their ways. Often our Christianity will set us apart. The world persecuted John and then Jesus. It will persecute us as well. Chin up, though. Being different isn’t so bad. Our faith may make us seem odd in this world, but we are loved by the King of the universe. The creator of the stars loves you so much that HE sent Jesus to save you from your sins. Isn’t what the Creator thinks more important than that of HIS creation? Yes, Jesus’ opinion of you matters the most.
Activity: Make a honey treat (EX: marshmallow honey combs). Found here: http://amberdover.com/2015/01/23/winnie-the-pooh-day-a-random-january-holiday/
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover