Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Making Our Annual Gingerbread House

As per our tradition, every year we make a gingerbread house.  The kids always have a blast doing it!M61A9643M61A9645M61A9652M61A9656M61A9658M61A9662M61A9665M61A9670M61A9673
Layton’s favorite part – eating the icing, which is really quite understandable :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hanukkah Day 5-8

On day 5 of Hanukkah, we read one of our favorites – The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans.

It is a beautiful little story about lighting the light of Christmas and what Christmas really means.  Afterwards we went shopping and the kids each picked out a toy to give to Toys for Tots.


Day 6 of Hanukkah we talked about this scripture from Matthew chapter 5:

14 Ye are the alight of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a acandle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your alight so shine before men, that they may see your good bworks, and cglorify your Father which is in heaven.

We talked about things that they can do to let their lights shine and what they can do personally to add oil to their lamps.


On day 7 of Hanukkah we talked about how we can follow Judah Maccabee’s example and stand up for what we believe in.  We gave them different example situations when they might have to stand up for what they believe in and they told us what they would do.  I really hope they will always stand for truth and righteousness.

(I think the kids enjoyed blowing out the candles as much as lighting them!)

The 8th and last day of Hanukkah fell on a Sunday.  We invited a few family members over to celebrate it.  We lit all 8 candles and tried out some traditional potato latkes as well as some not so traditional sweet potato latkes and zucchini/feta latkes.  For dessert we had apple fritters.  They were delicious!  Definitely something that we intend to make more often than just once a year for Hanukkah!

I loved the way the wax looked as the candles melted down.

After dinner we talked about the source of all light, Jesus Christ.  We watched this video from Elder David A. Bednar:

The kids each got to open a present,


and then we ended the night with a fun dreidel game.  Mandy won big!


I know this probably all seems pretty odd to most people that we would do this, but in my defense my family really does have Jewish ancestors.  True, its from many many hundreds of years ago, but they are a part of my family tree.  We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the festival of lights and will very likely do it again!   Maybe next year I’ll look into other holiday traditions celebrated by other nationalities in our family tree and add those in too!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hanukkah Days 1-4–with a Christian twist

Earlier this month as the kids were marking off the days on the wall calendar, they noticed Hanukkah on there and asked what it was.  And to be honest I didn’t really know how to answer that other than to say it was a Jewish holiday.  So I turned to Nathan and said that we enjoyed celebrating the Passover this past year, maybe it would be fun to celebrate Hanukkah too.  And so we did!

I spent some time finding out all about the holiday so that we could do it.  First thing I found out – it is kind of hard to find a menorah at the local Wal-mart :)  So we came up with our own 9 candle display.


8 candles to represent the 8 days of the miracle of Hanukkah and then the one candle in the middle is called the shamash and is used to light the other candles.  On the first night of Hanukkah we lit one candle and then watched this somewhat humorous watered down version the the story of Judah Maccabee and the lighting of the eternal flame in the temple.

Essentially the story is that the King of Syria conquered Israel and told all the Jewish people that they could no longer worship their God, but had to worship the heathen gods of Syria.  The Syrians even went so far as to desecrate the Jewish temple.  Judah Maccabee and his followers used gorilla warfare to bite away at the Syrian army and with their faith in God on their side they were able to defeat the Syrians and reclaim the Temple.  After cleansing the Temple, they rededicated it and lit the Eternal Flame.  When they went to light the flame, they discovered that the holy oil used to supply the lamp had been used and that there was only one days worth of oil.  The process to press the olives and create the sacred oil takes eight days.  So acting on faith, they lit the lamp and the cruse of oil continued to be filled for eight days until new oil could be created.  Thus the miracle and why Hanukkah is called the festival of lights.  In the scriptures it is referred to as the feast of dedication.

On the second night of Hanukah we talked about the Jewish symbol, the Star of David.


The star is composed of two triangles.  One pointing up, representing our Heavenly Father, and one pointing down, representing us here on earth.  The two triangles are intertwined together to represent how our lives are intertwined with God.  We talked about the love of God and read a little from this talk by President Uchtdorf.  My favorite quote from the talk is, “Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you.”


We made lots of the stars and then used them as our Hanukkah decorations.  I thought they were really cute!


On the third night of Hanukkah, we talked about miracles and about all the miracles that Christ performed while on earth.


We watched seven or eight of these little children’s scripture videos about the different miracles that Christ performed.  The kids really liked this one about Christ calming the storm:

On the forth night of Hanukkah we talked about the small miracles or blessings that occur in our lives every day.  We then made a blessing book and each day for the rest of Hanukkah we wrote down things that happened that day that were blessings.


Some of my favorites that the kids listed as blessings:

Mandy’s substitute teacher helped her with her work at school.

Getting to play with stuffed animals.

The nurse let Dallin borrow a long sleeve shirt when it was time to go outside for recess because he forgot his coat .

Layton got a flamingo from the prize box at school.

And so on…

More to come about days 5-8…

Friday, December 21, 2012

Family Pictures

We took our family pictures this year in the woods behind our house.  My good friend Mandi came over and flat ironed my hair for me.  I gave her the camera remote and she showed us some awesome dance moves to get the kids smiling and looking at the camera!  I think we ended up with a few really goods ones.


My beautiful babies.




Even a nice one of the two of us.

And some fun ones as well!


This one is my favorite!!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kuhn’s and Christmas Lights

Saturday night we went and checked out the Christmas display at Kuhn Flowers.  It is crazy how much work they put in to their window displays!
I had happened across a post online about a neighborhood over off of monument road that really goes all out on the lights.  And they weren’t kidding! Almost every house was decorated. I was only able to get a few pictures and these don’t do the display justice at all!
Layton called it a light jungle because they had so many strands of lights hanging down from the trees.  It was very cool!