Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gratitude and advent

Advent started on Sunday and we are setting up for the countdown to Christmas. I put up mom's fabric 'calendar' with pockets and got a number of our daily readings ready. I'm combining the Jesse tree format along with a daily activity and treat. This really helps to keep the reason for the season in focus. I reworked my own version of Ali Edward's Advent Action tags to suit our activities and am writing these out daily. These activities will vary from service oriented activities to just fun family activities. They will be rhymes, word scrambles, cryptograms and scavenger hunts. Lots of fun!

December Daily and Journal Your Christmas all start on December first but I think I am going to focus on documenting our advent activities this year. Hopefully I can use some of the prompts for the whole family. Journal Your Christmas has offered 4x6 templates to make an album and I think that might suit my needs. As my past experience has shown me, my follow through isn't that great. It would be really nice to have a paper/ book record to show us how this year passed by. We will see.
The Jesse Tree daily reading starts with a scripture, a reading, a talk about and then a prayer.
We weren't 'together' enough to start on Sunday so it works that we can use last years materials (Written by Christina Van Eyl. Illustrations by Helen Phillips except for the lion which was drawn by Jeff Brown - site unknown). There are all sorts of activities when I googled it this year. One site has a colouring paper for each day if I want to add that in some day.

In the meantime, I hope to post our daily advent activities. It is still one form of scrapbooking isn't it?

Monday November 29 - 'gratitude'
What is another word for gratitude? Unscramble the words for a clue of our activity today. ... As we clear away our thanksgiving and fall decorations, let us take a minute to add any final thoughts to our give thanks board. As a family we are truly blessed.

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-2
Reading: God has a plan for everything. Long before Jesus was born lived a man named Jesse. Jesse had seven sons; the youngest was named David. When David grew up, he became a great king of Israel. God had a plan for Jesse and for his son David, even before they were born.
Jesus was also part of Jesse and David's family tree, born many, many years after David. People waited a long time for the birth of the savior. The season of Advent is a season of waiting for us, too. We wait for Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It is hard to be patient, especially when we are waiting for something wonderful like Christmas! But it is important to learn to be patient, and to trust that God has a plan for us, too.
Talk about: Why is waiting so hard?
It was interesting that our sermon on Sunday talked about waiting. The topic was then fresh in our minds as we talked with the kids about patience and how it is important to learn to wait even though in many cases we are able to get a lot of things immediately.

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you that you have a plan for each of us. Help us to be patient as we wait for Jesus' birthday.
Tuesday November 30 - 'advent'
Advent has begun! Help set up the advent wreath and the Jesse tree. Colour the ornament for today and read the story.

Scripture: Genesis 1: 26-31
Reading: God is the creator of all things. God made the world and everything in it: the air and the water, the plants and the fish, the animals and the people. When God finished creating the world, it was perfect. When God first created people, even they were perfect. They did not sin or do anything to make God unhappy.
Even though there is now sin and sadness in the world, God still cares for us. We have been given a beautiful world in which to live, and God has asked us to take care of it. We can care for the world by showing kindness to all living things.
The world is God's gift to us. God wants us to enjoy this gift, but God also wants us to treat it with care.

Talk about: What are some ways that you can take good care of plants, animals, birds, rivers, people, and everything else in the world that God made?
The kids came up with some good ways to do this. We talked primarily about reduce/reuse/recycle which led to the discussion of a lot of our family's practices. Things like buying used clothing to reduce manufacturing, buying in bulk to reduce packaging and freight costs, using cloth diapers [did you know that a baby uses 6,000 diapers in the first 2 years of life?], growing our own food, baking foods from scratch instead of buying from the store. We hope that they will start to see this lifestyle as not only environmentally friendly but also the will of Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Creator God, for making our wonderful world.

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