Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jesse Tree link for the littles

This is a fantastic source for the Jesse Tree for little folks (3's & 4's) Thank you to the blog writer- I don't know her, personally, but I really like her blog!

This is a schedule of readings from the Children's Bible Reader (complete with page numbers!) Plus, she and a friend got together and compiled coloring, if I could get my silly printer to start working again!

We have had a Jesse Tree hiatus due to sickness over here. Hope to resume soon! In the mean time, we are reading books about the Nativity and trying to sing songs from church along with our traditional, American carols.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jesse Tree Days 5-11

I know you cannot tell what the above ornament is, but it was a break though day for our Jesse Tree. See, I cut out the supplies for Day 5 and put them on little one's desk. After breakfast the next morning, she discovered the pieces, and the next thing I know, she's bringing me a completed ornament- with hanging loop! This represents God's promise to Abraham, shown as stars in the sky.Day 6: Abraham offering Issac, as shown by an altarDay 7: Jacob's ladderDay 8: Joseph's coat (she really got into this one)Day 9: Judah's promise (when Jacob issues the blessings and curses to his 12 sons. Judah is highlighted because Christ will come from the line of Judah) This is not a story, per se, so it is not in our children's Bible. So, I tried to touch on some highlights from the prescribed readings. Z LOVES lions, so the ornament part was ok, but I don't think she got much out of the reading...but, who knows!Day 10: Moses being saved from death by his mother and a princess of Egypt (basket) We love this story from the children's Bible, and, despite the pathetic basket likeness, this one was a hit with the little.

Day 11: The burning bush. Again, a great story to tell kids. Hard concept to grasp, even to adults, but a key story (especially in the lineage of Christ, because the his mother also contained God in her womb, yet was not "burned up.")

Over all, we are doing fairly well. In all honesty, we made 4 ornaments, we're not exactly doing 1 per day, as prescribed, but we're making it work for our schedule! The 3 y.o. runs the gamut of extremely interested to not interested at all. But, it gets us talking about God, being creative and spending quality time together. Also, I'm always surprised by how much she picks up, even when I think she's not listening. I'm looking forward to the day when she will help me teach her siblings these stories!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jesse Tree, Day 3 (and 4)

So, we were having so much fun making ornaments that we went ahead and did Day 4 (Noah) today. The readings prescribed in the Jesse Tree Project, are a bit much for a 3 yo. I try to read as much as I can, using inflection to make the story more interesting to little ears. I had to paraphrase the readings, especially since we ended up doing 3 days worth of reading and ornament making in just one day. Day 2: God creates man and woman

It seems like one of the most effective methods for teaching the Jesse Tree to the toddler set would be for the parent to read the daily Scripture alone first. Familiarize yourself with the story, then get the child's picture Bible and read the corresponding story with the child, adding the important points from Scripture that are omitted in most children's Bibles (ex: I added that the first thing that Noah did when he and his family left the ark was build an altar and worship God, and that God was pleased by the prayer and thanksgiving.) Day 3: Adam expelled from the Garden

Day 4: Noah

Again, my name ain't June

{this is a re-post from when I only had one newborn...imagine what 5 p.m. around here now!}

I know it's not politically correct in this day of career woman/super mom, but I'm just going to say it...I love June Cleaver.

I love everything about her- her perfectly coiffed hair, having a piping hot meatloaf coming out of the oven just in time for her husband to get home from work and the kids to be done with homework, her peep-toe heels and belted, A-line skirts. I mean, what's not to like?

This iconic sense of perfection was in my head a couple of nights ago as I prepared to make dinner. I pictured Ethan walking in the door to a pink-cheeked, cooing baby and me putting the finishing touches on a perfect dinner- beef Burgundy (eating meat on a Wednesday is a reason to go all out!)
Well, my perfect evening got a little kink in it when Zoe started crying. I thought, "Hmmm. Nap time. It's not completely like I'd imagined it, with you playing happily in the kitchen while I explained all of my actions and the ingredients to you, but it'll do."

Now, normally I put her down in the crib at roughly the same times every day and she sleeps well. She's nothing if not predictable! However, this day was different. I read a book to her and put her in the bed. The crying started, and it didn't trail off after the usual 10 seconds. No- it got louder. I mean, A LOT louder. "She's fine. She's not hungry or wet, so I'm going to leave her be while I finish dinner."

Following my newly-found recipe should have been a breeze, too. I've made this dish before and it is really not complicated at all. I had gone to the store the day before, so I had all of the ingredients. All that was left to do was tie a little bow in my anthropologie apron and make the magic happen...

Not only was there no magic, but after my first taste-test I realized I had drastically over cooked the meat. Perhaps this was because, during the cooking process, I had to go into my child's room to rescue her from whatever it was that was causing the non-stop screaming coming from her room. Perhaps it was my ridiculous pride. Perhaps not.

Maybe it was the fact that, though my idea of 50's perfection is fine, it is (admittedly) romanticized and idyllic, if not completely unattainable.

In the end, Ethan probably walked into what every man coming home from work in the 50's walked into more-often-than-not: a disastrous kitchen, over cooked meal, disheveled wife with no makeup and certainly no coif, and a screaming, albeit pink-cheeked, child!

Jesse Tree Project

The Nativity Fast crept up on me this year- probably because of the latest additional to our family- or maybe because I have not been letting my life flow to the rhythm of the Church calendar.

However, I came across the Jesse Tree project online, and knew I wanted to do it with my 3 y.o. who loves to craft as much as her mom. In essence, Jesse Tree is a way creative way to tell the entire story of the Bible up to Christ's birth. Each day, you read a selection of Scripture and then make a corresponding ornament, which then hangs on your tree.

I will attempt to post about our experiences with Jesse Tree Project throughout the Nativity Fast, which, for Orthodox Christians, began on Nov. 15 and will end on Christmas (the Jesse Tree goes through the 12 days of Christmas, too!)

After the first day, I had the little one tell her daddy what we read that day. At first, she said, "I don't know." Then, she showed him the ornament of the sun, and said, "We read that God made EVERYTHING!" I love the fact that you use these ornaments as reference to remember God''s story. Here is a sneak peak at days 2 and 3 before we put them together. Yes, I have already skipped a day. It's alright. This is real life. I have decided to do what I can and pray God uses it. That said, we will do 2 readings today to catch up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things I learnerd at the gym

I recently rejoined the Y (well, if you want to keep tally- this would be time #3, but who's counting?) I always feel the best in my third trimester of pregnancy, so I decided to get a jump on that and start getting a little exercise.

There are several added bonuses to the reinstated gym membership. (1) my daughter spends time away from me, and gets to play with other children away from church or home (2) she gets to go to an hour long exercise class 2 days a week! (i LOVE this) (3) I learn a lot. No, really. and I am about to pass this new found knowledge along to, crank up the treadmill to a whopping 3.0 mph like me, and get to learnin!

When you walk as slowly on the treadmill as I do (I said I felt the best in my third trimester, but, give me a break here, people, I'm huge!) you get to do some light reading. Not Tolstoy or anything, but decent stuff like Travel and Martha Stewart.

(1) Spring cleaning: take the sheets off of your bed and wash them. If the mattress pad needs to be washed, do it! (seriously- when was the last time?) Then, after it's dry and back on, sprinkle it with baking soda, and then put several dryer sheets on top. Put the fitted sheet back on, then finish making the bed. You will vacuum the baking soda from the mattress pad next time you change the sheets. The freshness is amazing, and I guarantee a peaceful nights sleep.

(2) Lunch: I have made this at least 10 times since reading about it: Mix Parmesan cheese and fat-free cottage cheese with a little Italian seasoning, and spread on a whole wheat pita. Slice fresh tomatoes and place on top of cheese. Sprinkle with a little more parm. Broil in toaster. YUM. I have also used different combos of feta, chicken, olives and turkey pepperoni. So good and the original recipe is super low fat/cal.

(3) Dinner: Grill chicken or fish (I think I used salmon for this one) take fresh spinach, blueberries, feta and your favorite dressing (I used Annie's ginger) and top with meat. Um, yum, again! Even my husband said, "That was a great salad." Since he has a large appetite, I served it with brown rice. Even 3y.o. loved it.

(4) Fedoras are out, wider brims are in......ok, I don't ALWAYS read the "better" magazines!

(5) Parenting mags are really stupid. Honestly- don't bother. I read something about people who refuse to let their children nap, others who dole out candy all day. I mean, scary stuff.

I decided that I am much too conservative for parenting mags, much to old and dorky for fashion mags, and- never thought I'd say this- but, pretty much right on target for MS living (where do you think I got that mattress tip, huh?)

Oh, and speaking of, here is how you make DIY pom poms:

Enjoy! (the pom poms are a teaser for my next post: Z's 3rd bday party! get excited. We are!)