Sunday, December 18, 2011

caroling & for the birds...

This is not our tray of bird seed ornaments, but one I found here.




This week, the kids and I put forth the effort to make these bird seed ornaments as small gifts for our friends and family. So, sorry if this spoils the surprise for anyone receiving one! The surprise will be what shape it will be in! We only had two tree muffin tins to use, and the rest weren't exactly "Christmasy" but in fact, very unique.

If you end up ever making these, make sure your cookie cutters don't have a lot of corners or little edges/crevices. I found myself breaking a few parts of the ornaments by accident. Another note- DO use water. I did NOT but keep finding recipes which DO use water and I think that adding H2O would help the consistency and "gluing" it all together.

I am not so much for making tons of cookies, but we did this one craft this week, and I think the kids enjoyed themselves. Even WD made a little one! This coming week, we will bake sugar cookies. I wish I had a clone to do this with the kids but I know they need the memory for their sweet hearts and minds so I am praying for the mental and physical strength to carry on in my grandmother's way of baking sugar cookies. She is living in an assisted living center now and I sure do miss those cookies she made every year. There is NOTHING like them. We will use her sugar cookie recipe and cookie cutters (IF I CAN LOCATE THOSE SINCE I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME REMEMBER WHERE I PUT THEM!). They have to be in the house somewhere...right?! HEHE!

Besides making the little ornaments for the lovely birdies outside, we went CAROLING as a family Friday night! Rich and I had a blast, and our children did, too! THEY ALL sang as we went up and down the floors of a local nursing home and the shut-ins we visited, who used to attend our church. We went with our Sunday School class, and I truly love those people..they have become special to us, and I am thankful for their friendships. Several other children accompanied their parents as well and afterwards we all enjoyed cookies, cider, and hot chocolate. It was a blessing to be a part of this and I plan on making sure our family makes this an annual thing. What a difference a visit makes for those who do not get such attention. It humbled my heart and I could just cry thinking of those elderly persons who reached out their hands as we walked by, wanting to grasp the children's wee little ones. They adored the kids, and I heard some chuckle over Will David's boots and Curious Georgie. Little CJ, who is WD's age, requested we sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and the residents loved that. His joy was evident as he sang, loud and clear. WD's favorite was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and he marched proudly down the hall singing it. Rich conveniently brought his harmonicas along so he could share that as we sang as well. It was a gift to us, the carolers, maybe even more to those we sang too. It made me seriously consider how much we really DO have to offer others...time and being PRESENT....a smile, and friendly greeting....authenticity in your hello and a handshake or hug. A CARD...a song....all gifts. The people we saw touched my soul, and I am thankful that we shared this experience AS A FAMILY.

One nurse mentioned she was awed by the "young men out with their families."

It struck her to see not just the moms with their kids caroling, but their fathers as well.

This comment blessed me...the Lord made a way for our class to go out with song and love...no matter the skill level, no matter the numbers..HE used us ALL. Even the three year old boys, even the boy (ahem, Philip..) who adamantly said he would not sing and indeed ended up singing- hehe..I caught him singing sweetly and reading the caroling book!!!- and even those who perhaps were a little shy about it...

This Christmas, open your hearts to what God has done and can do through you because of HIS LOVE. I think of His greatest gift. I think of what we need to teach our children, and not just children, but anybody...giving of His love so needs can be fulfilled! Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Denise said...

The life you and Rich are providing for your children is laden with everything they need for later in life; love, empathy, imagination, bonding, study and contentment. So absolutely proud of you. And I know that you both are carrying forth values that your parents gave to you.

Love, auntde