Friday, November 30, 2012

Jesse Tree Ornament Swap

In the secular world, it's Christmastime.  For many Christians, especially Catholics, it is almost Advent (this Sunday begins the season and the new Liturgical year.)  One of the traditions that many catholics observe is that of the Jesse Tree.

A Jesse Tree is a depiction of the genealogy of Jesus.  It's sort of his family tree that is orchestrated in a manner meant to show that He springs from the "root of Jesse"  as we read in the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1:
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse [David's father], and a flower shall rise up out of his root.
A couple of ambitious young moms threw out the idea on Facebook of having an ornament swap where 28 folks would volunteer to make one of the Jesse Tree ornaments 28 times.  We would gather to swap ornaments and then have a complete set.  Yesterday was the day of our swap and we met at a local park so the kidlets could play while we collected our ornaments. I continue to be amazed by the creativity of the ideas and the interpretation of each of the ornaments. Kudos to you, ladies.  Thank you Dru and Audrey for organizing this effort. 

My ornament was the Chi-Rho (the oldest symbol of Christ - and it's considered his monogram). 

I tried to be simple and spend as little money as possible.  I used felt, pipe cleaners, ribbon and my sewing machine.  I was pleased.

Gianna was impressed.
Can you tell her hair is shorter?
Momma's been a little scissor happy.
She's been asking for a bob for over a year.
She got it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We were invited to spend Thanksgiving with some friends of my parents.  They have 50 acres, a pond, 2 amish carriages, horses, a polaris mule, as well as an absolutely beautiful home. It was a welcomed change to our typical boring low key holiday at my parents' home.
Gianna got an absolute kick out of the mule (or jeep, as she calls it.) They have trails in the woods and you could hear her squeals far off in the distance.
 In the above picture she asked, "Could someone get me the key?"
My parents and G.

The lovely Thanksgiving table.

 And I joined this little turkey at the children's table.
(My choice.)
 The craftsmenship on this carriage is simply impressive.
 Oliver and Gianna:
 Running free...
 Going to feed the fish at the pond.
 Jerry took the kids on a carriage ride on a 2nd Amish buggy they have.
Gianna was beside herself.
 I love watching children run. 
 These two were a hoot...
 We are so grateful for the hospitality of the Suire's.
Having such a great day for Gianna made mine much more bearable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Covington Trip (cont'd)

While visiting the Jenkins clan, we took the opportunity on a chilly Saturday to visit Ms. Heather's Pumpkin Patch in Hammond.  I posted a bunch of pics HERE but found some more memories I wanted to record.

They had these big wooden cows which were fantastic because they had "working udders" beneath them.  They kids could "milk" them (pretty sure it was water.)

The girls were excited about a nature trail, but as soon as they entered the canopy of trees, they became quite trepidatious. I had to do quite a bit of convincing to get them to walk ahead of me so I could photograph them from behind.
About twenty feet in, and they heard some typical forresty sort of sound and they both screamed and started running out.  They were feeding off of each other's fear which ended up being commical. 

Then we happened upon their first discovery.  A dear - which my child thought was real. After that, their sense of adventure overcame their concerns about spooky forest scenes they've read in stories and boy, I couldn't stop them! 
How cute are all these props nestled in the woods?

It took a good bit of convince them to finally leave the trails: a little bribery actually.

This covered wagon was really neat.
 We got tickled at this little boy who didn't care much that we were in the middle of a little photo opportunity.  He was on a mission.  Funny.
 We got Caroline to join the big girls...
I love these little girls.
 And how about these horse swings made of tires?

And more horse-riding...

Sweet Caroline... 
 Laurel made them Teddy Bear Pancakes for breakfast.

Sweet little potatoes...
 They spent a lot of time in the super great playroom.

 An unfortunate milestone that Gianna met in Covington was her very first bee sting.
It was enormously traumatic for her.  Maybe dramatic is a better word - but in her defense, those things hurt like the dickens.
 Magic remedy?  Tootsie Pop and a lit iPad fun.

Laurel made the girls matching skirts.
Just adorable.
 Even though Hostess may be going out of business, we're lucky to have these little "twinkies!"

 Silly little girls!
I stopped to get gas as soon not even three minutes after leaving the Jenkins' home. 
This is what I saw... 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pre-K Thanksgiving Feast

We had Gianna's little Thanksgiving celebration at school yesterday.

So simple. So cute.

They had just come from the playground once we set up and were SO EXCITED!

I'm truly smitten with these kids...especially the little imp with the big blue eyes!

Ms. Lisa carved the turkey....

Yes, I said turkey!  She found this idea on Pinterest and sent me the link. 

This little centerpiece was my contribution.

They were some hungry little pilgrims!
At the blessing, they each had to say what they were thankful for.
SO sweet.
Some of the grandma's come to celebrate with us.
(This momma is thankful that no one has confused me as Gianna's grandparent yet!)

And then there were momma's and daddy's....

Did I mention that they were SO excited for this day? 
Gianna organized group activities. (WHERE does she get that from?)
This is the 17th time they played some variation of Ring Around the Rosie... 

Eleven of the twelve of them....

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The popcorn-stuffed turkey centerpiece was a total hit the parents and the kids.
It's really cute and super-easy to make.  PAPER BAGS and Popcorn!

Here's the link that I used for the instructions:

I think we might make another one next week.
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