Monday, November 21, 2011

Jesse Tree Ornaments

I know that it is not Thanksgiving yet, but I am gearing up for the Christmas season. We went to our downtown's Christmas preview, which consists of some pretty awesome music, hot chocolate, cider, cookies, ballet in store windows and an overall sense of excitement. It definitely was able to get me in the Christmas spirit. For the past few weeks I have been working on some ornaments for a Jesse Tree exchange that I went to. Some of you are probably thinking what is a Jesse Tree? I know, it's an odd name, but it is a tradition around Christmas that goes through the whole Old Testament until Jesus' birth. There are quite a few different resources out there but one of the best books to follow is The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas by Dean Lambert Smith which you can find here on Amazon. It has some great intros and questions to discuss every night. After you read it you are supposed to put the corresponding ornament on the tree. I am excited about doing the tree this year and knew I had to get all the ornaments ready. There are different lists you can follow, but in general they are the similar. I was invited to a ornament exchange party which was so fun! I was super duper impressed when I got there and saw all the awesome ornaments. People had put such time and thought into them!!! I wanted to show you what people created in case anyone needed ideas, there are lots of ornaments to make!


 
Here are the Earth, Apple, Ark and Tent.


 
The Ladder, Ten Commandments, Jar of Oil and Colorful Coat


The Tablet and Pen, Ram, Altar and Shepherd's Staff (how cute is that Altar!)


The Wheat, Heart, Tambourine and Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh(present).


The Angel Wing and Baby Jesus.

I am missing a couple of the ornaments (Star, Moon & Sun and Flowers on a branch) but hope to make those this weekend so we can get started. Below you will find the list that our friend Jenee (check out her blog here) made to give to all of us. It is a shorter and more succinct list of what everything means.

Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange

Hope that this makes sense and looking forward to this advent season!





Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankfulness

Last post I realized that I wanted create a spirit of thankfulness in my children. At the mom's group that I am attending we just talked about gratitude being caught not taught. I know that there are days that I can be grumpy or tired, but I know that I can still chose to have a spirit of thankfulness. My mom just finished her last round of chemo in her fight against breast cancer. I am ever amazed at her attitude of thankfulness and joy during this time, it is something she chooses to do. We have had some great conversations about life as times like this tend to produce. She has thought of others during this time and in turn has been blessed by her church and small group family as they have served meals, helped with my brother's wedding reception and cleaning. It is definitely the way God intended relationships to work and it is a blessing to see that in action. I hope that through little things we do as a family we can instill habits that will affect them for the rest of their lives, one of them being thankfulness. My sister-in-law just wrote about gratitude and I thought it was excellent if you want to check it out here. May we all be thankful for the abundance that we have.

This week I have seen this floating around on Pinterest.