Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thanksgiving Tree and other stories

Last Wednesday morning was a playdate for the record books. We still get together once a week with Clara Anne and Chloe's friends Emma and Samantha, and my dear friend Rachel. I'm not sure who enjoys playdate more, the kids or the moms! Usually the girls play together so well and Rachel and I get a chance to catch up. So we all have a vested interest in making sure play date continues to happen! :)

With Thanksgiving coming up, I had planned a simple craft that we could do together: a Tree of Thankfulness. Rachel and I helped the girls sketch some leaf shapes, then they cut them out and decorated them to put on the tree. The trunk of the tree is Jesus, and the most foundational branches are God's promises and God's love. We talked about how wonderful it was to have so many blessings to list on all of our leaves, but that there are seasons of our lives, like autumn, where the leaves fall. But in those times we still have everything to be thankful for, since we still have Jesus as the trunk of our tree.

It was a great lesson that I hope I'm still learning...but it may have been lost on our four and three year olds! That's ok though--we had fun anyway! Take a look . . . Another special event of the morning was having a hot chocolate party. We made hot chocolate from scratch (using cocoa powder, sugar, milk and vanilla--what could be simpler?) and enjoyed drinking it from my new tea set, a gift from my mother-in-law when she was here.

If you look closely you can see the steam! It was a cold day outside, so the hot chocolate was perfect! (Well, in theory. Chloe took one gulp while it was still too hot, burned her mouth, and then refused to touch it again. Samantha drank all of hers and Clara Anne and Emma sipped some and left the rest. Hmmmm. I think they were too excited about playing together to sit too long and sip, since usually my girls love hot cocoa!)

We all donned aprons for the event, including me! I wore my new, frilly, 50's housewife handmade creation that was also a gift from my mother-in-law. I love it! It takes me back in time and makes me feel like a Proverbs 31 woman when I wear it . . .you know, diligent with her time and rising early, providing for her family, and all of that!

What would we do without the Joy of Cooking? John and I recently saw "Julie and Julia" and I have had fun occasionally using a Julia Child voice while cooking in my kitchen. The girls think it's really funny!
Our third incident for the record books went like this: at the lunch table, I overheard just a snippet of conversation between Clara Anne and Emma. I didn't hear what came before, and I didn't hear what came after. But here's what I heard:
Emma: "Do you believe in Jesus?"
Clara Anne: "Yes, I believe in Jesus!"
Emma (very earnestly): " Yes, but have you been baptized?"
Clara Anne (just as earnestly): "No, but I believe in Jesus!"
There you have it! Glad we all know where we stand!
The final incident actually happened earlier in the morning. I had set out some scissors, planning to get ready for the craft, and then got interrupted with something or other, leaving the scissors out. Rachel and I were sitting on the couch for a moment when suddenly Emma and Clara Anne came out happily, scissors in hand. "Look, Mommy!" said Clara Anne. "We're giving each other haircuts!"

Upon investigation, it was true. I had never even approached the idea with my girls--certainly they knew that they shouldn't cut hair, right? Well, apparently not. Clara had trimmed a bit of her hair (not too bad, really), and Emma had trimmed some of Clara's hair and then given herself a little trim, too. Yikes. Rachel and I looked at each other, not sure whether to laugh or scold or what! Later she said that her girls specifically had talked about how scissors are used and what to do and not do with them, so she had to follow through, but I settled for a firm warning to the girls and a discussion on appropriate scissor use. Oh MY!

So, there's never a dull moment when we have a play date! We are SO thankful to have such very good friends, right here in our city. That is a blessing that we didn't always enjoy, which makes me appreciate it all the more. I'll end by echoing what several of the girls wanted to put on their Thankful leaves: Thank you, Lord, for friends!


Kristie said...

I love the craft! A friend and I made a "Thankful Turkey" with our kids and put our blessings on the "feathers". Noel said that she was thankful for "Jesus, God and Moses!" in that order! The tree idea is great. I will have to try that in the future. Happy Thanksgiving.

sandra said...

What a beautiful tea set! Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving.

Aalderinks said...

I love the idea of a Thanksgiving Tree with all the appropriate analogies! We are totally stealing this idea for our own family for next year. Thanks for sharing!