A Very Merry Christmas!

What a whirlwind of celebration we've experienced this past week! It has been such a blessing to experience all our traditions in a new, fresh way through Felmata's eyes. We've had lots of parties, spent time with all of our family (except Paul's brother and family who live in Boston ... we missed them!), opened lots of presents, sat around the fire and spent some time pondering what an amazing God we have. To think that He would chose to come down from heaven, take on the form of a human baby; all to die on a cross in order that we may have life.

Emmanual ... He truly is with us!
We're looking forward to a healthy 2010 with lots more exciting adventures.


Christmas (& other) Confusion

So often we have to hold back the giggles as Felmata tells us something new he's learned. He has come such a long way with his English, and yet there is still a lot of confusion. We giggle because he reminds us (even though he's not trying to) the silly ways we use words.

Not too long ago my Dad was helping him into the car. Dad was getting ready to close the door and said "Felmata, watch your hands". So, Felmata looked down at his hands and watched them. And why not? That's what Grandpa said to do!

Last night at dinner we encouraged him to eat a few more bites. "I can't!", he said. "If I put anymore food in there my tummy will POP!" After a few more questions we figured out that he thinks if he eats too much his tummy will get bigger and bigger and then it will explode. An interesting concept...

Christmas has been the same way. As a family, we've never made a big deal out of Santa, and this year has been no different. With Felmata especially we've been focusing on the meaning of the season ... Jesus' Birthday. But, this is America, and so he's seen some Santa stuff here and there. This was our conversation from this morning...

"Ma ... I want to be awake when the reindeer bring Santa to our house."
"Well, honey, if Santa does come it will be at night when we're all asleep."
"But how will we watch him blow out the candles if we're sleeping?"
"What candles Meta?"
"The candles on Baby Jesus' birthday cake!"

Somewhere this past month he put 2 and 2 together and figured out that Santa will come on Christmas Eve and blow out the candles on Jesus' birthday cake. Hmmmm I guess we have a little more explaining to do!


Where is Baby Jesus?!?

This is my blog which means I get to write about whatever I want to write about. And so, I'd like to ask the question where is Baby Jesus? Seriously. Isn't it almost CHRISTmas? I get that our country has secularized the heck out of this holiday, but still, it is still a celebration of Jesus' birth for those of us who are Christians, right??

Here's where I'm coming from. I am hosting a little neighborhood Christmas party on Monday. We're doing a birthday party for Baby Jesus. I'm asking each child to bring a picture of themselves as babies, then we'll do a show and tell about how we ALL were babies once, even Jesus. I want to put a "picture" of Baby Jesus in the center of the board, and have the kids place their pictures around it. For a 3 year old, it will be a good visual that Jesus actually WAS a baby!

Which brings me to my discovery ... where to find a "picture" of Baby Jesus? I went to the local card shop. One would think there would be a card out there somewhere with a picture of the manager on it. I looked and looked and looked again. I saw santas and snow flakes and trees and presents and lights and reindeer and beautiful flowers and candles and snowmen but not one card with a manger and the baby on it. Not one. Maybe I'm terribly naive but this has shocked me a little. And I think it should.

And then I look around my house. And there are santas and snow flakes and and trees and presents and lights and reindeer and beautiful flowers and candles and snowmen and yes, a baby Jesus, too.

Traditions aren't bad. But I hope I can regain a renewed determination to keep the Christ in Christmas. And if the card stores don't want to, then so be it. But at our house this year we're not going to forget what exactly it is we're celebrating. The birthday of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

And if I sound politically incorrect, I'm not going to apologize. Cuz like I said, this is my blog. And it's Christmas. Jesus' Birthday. And I think He should be prevalent in the celebration. It just makes sense.


Winter is Here!

It's December in Michigan which means snow! Felmata has been praying "please God, send snow SOON!" for a few weeks now. Last week, his prayer was answered. We have snow! He was practically jumping out of his skin when it arrived. He ran outside bare foot, and then discovered how cold it is! Paul made a fire that night, and the kids would run out to catch flakes in their mouths, then sit and warm up by the fire.

The Christmas activities have begun. I just love this time of year. So much celebrating with family and friends. So many traditions. So much to be thankful for. Each year it is a joy experiencing Christmas through the eyes of my kids. This year will be that way too. It's already been so fun to explain Christmas to Felmata. From the telling the story of the birth of baby Jesus, to the decorating of the tree, to the gifts and lights and time spent with family; Felmata has been loving every minute.
Paul took Ella for the 2nd year to the Winning at Home Father Daughter Winter Ball this past weekend. They had a blast. They danced to the song "Cinderella" tons of Hannah Montana and Mitchell Musso. The chocolate fountain was a big hit! Ella laid in bed that night with a huge smile on her face. It's going to take a really special guy to live up to the standards her Daddy is setting!