Monday, November 30, 2009

Dipping Candles for Advent

Today, for Family Home Evening, we dipped our own candles and did Advent! We melted beads of delicious-smelling beeswax and then dipped our cotton wicks into the wax (with a screw tied to the bottom for weight.) We would then dip the wicks into water and then back into the wax. It took a bit of time and effort to build up the layers of wax and to keep them straight and smooth. The girls really enjoyed doing it!

Bella and I made a wreath of pine branches for our advent wreath. We decorated with red ribbon and pine cones that look like roses from our pine tree. Then we added our newly-made candles and lit the first one for advent! We read a verse and sang some songs.

Winter is dark
Yet each tiny spark
Brightens the way
To Christmas Day

Shine little light
And show us the way
To the bright light
Of Christmas Day

Count off the days one by one, as Christmas Day draws near,
Make my heart a dwelling place for Christ to enter here.

It's Advent time! It's Advent time! Now it's Advent Time!
It's Advent time! It's Advent time! Now it's Advent Time!

After the hard work of making the candles and the wreath, it felt soooooo good to sit down and relax and sing beautiful Christmas songs! It felt so good to look at our candle and think about our Savior and the light that He is. I LOVE to do advent!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Daddy's Birthday!

Today is my daddy's 76th birthday and we celebrated yesterday AND today. Yesterday, my brother and his family came up to visit. They brought pizza for the kids and a roast dinner too! They also got my dad's favorite, a mint chocolate cake from Baskin-Robbins! I know it made my dad very happy to have my brother, my sister-in-law, and their cute kids over. My girls were in HEAVEN playing with their cousins! It was a great birthday party.

Today my girls made grandpa a pancake breakfast. Then for dinner, I made his FAVORITE, cheese enchiladas. I also made beans and mexican style rice. For dessert, Craig and the girls made my dad's favorite cake, spice cake. Then we busted out his favorite ice cream--Thrifty's mint chip! I think my dad was pretty happy!

How I love my wonderful dad! He's been the greatest father that I could ever ask for.

And now that I've had to become much more of a caretaker for him, I feel blessed that I can. It's not always easy or convenient, but I bring him things throughout the day, put lotion on his feet, and put on his socks and shoes among other things. It is truly a blessing to me that I can serve him. I should mention he is much improved since his back injury. His legs are completely healed from his infection and look very healthy (better than before the infection.) Also, his back is starting to feel much better. Not 100%, but much better.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


We had a great Thanksgiving. My sweet Craig did most of the cooking and everything was delicious!! He especially enjoys doing the Turkey. Here he is stuffing it with Ceci. Grandma Ginny helped a lot too.

After the pumpkin felting project, I helped the girls make leaf rubbing (and colored) place mats for the table. Then we worked on our leaf crown sewing project that the girls have been working on for the past two weeks that they really wanted to finish today! I'm so proud of them (and myself,I did Ceci's) that we did finish. I think they turned our wonderfully.

We sure enjoyed eating our home made pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream!

Afterwards, we watched "Mary Poppins" on the "big screen." Craig set up a sheet on the wall in our living room with a projector! It was sooooooo fun!!

I am so very thankful for all my blessings, I can hardly begin to express my gratitude!

Felted Pumpkins

The girls really wanted to make felted pumpkins again this year. So we made them this morning. I had gotten the most gorgeous wool and yarn to make them and we felted around tennis balls. Wet felting is such a fun process and I thought my girls did a great job. They turned out so pretty and were a beautiful decoration for our Thankgiving table!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We made a pumpkin pie!!

Now I know why we usually just buy these. (Just kidding!) But seriously, what a long and laborious process! It really was fun though and a neat experience! Each girl got a turn to do each step. We cut the pumpkin, we scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff, (we toasted the seeds,) we steamed the pumpkin, we made the dough for the crust, we scooped out the pumpkin, we pureed the pumpkin, we added all the yummy ingredients: eggs, cream, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, we rolled the crust, pressed it in the pan, poured in the pumpkin, and baked it! This was the night before Thanksgiving so we made a couple little pies in ramekins so we could try it right away. We watched a video about the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving while we waited. The pie took a loooong time to bake (about 1 1/2 hours?) But our little ones were done faster. We ate them right away and they were YUMMY! It was really fun to try this, I've never done it before in my life!

A Pretty Walk

We've taken many walks like this this month, (we strive for daily) but I had to bring my camera this time to capture the beauty of the changing leaves! I feel that we are so blessed to live on a street that is lined with sweet gum trees that turn to beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. We may not get extreme seasons here in Southern California, but we do get some pretty fall leaves!! While we walk, we sing lots of songs about autumn and the leaves changing and falling, it's really fun. We gathered leaves today so that we can make leaf rubbings for placemats for our Thanksgiving table tomorrow.

When Mary (We say Bella, Lala, Ceci) goes walking
The autumn winds blow
The poplars they curtsey
The larches bend low;
The oaks and the beeches
Their gold they fling down
To make her a carpet
To make her a crown.

"Come, little leaves" said the wind one day,
"Come over the meadows with me, and play;
"Put on your dresses of red and gold;
The summer is gone, and the days grow cold."