Christmas 2014

One of the perks of being a homeschooling family is that we get to decide when our vacations will be. We homeschool year-round but decided that the whole of December is officially a month of rest, preparation for Jesus’ birthday, and a conscious effort to slow down in an otherwise hustle-bustle season.

We continued and spent time outdoors, baked, read books on fairytales, adventure and poetry, we painted while listening to this, this and this, watched movies, and just played with no schedule telling us what to do next. We took longer naps, slept later and woke up later as well. But in between all these, there were little hands creating for Him and listening ears prepping the hearts for His birthday.

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{ Traditional Filipino Christmas Parols } 
I bought bamboo sticks from the palengke and bought colored cellophane. We worked on making 4 stars for several days. The 2 older kids patiently made each one on their own and I made the rest with a bit of help from the 2 year old.
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{ Jesse Tree }
“The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in art of the ancestors of Christ, shown in a tree which rises from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of king David. It originates in a passage in the biblical Book of Isaiah which describes metaphorically the descent of the Messiah. The various figures depicted in the lineage of Jesus are drawn from those names listed in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke."

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The Jesse tree shows a visual of Christ’s Birth Story; a reminder that His Story began from  the very Beginning. A Story that shows how all point to the need of a Messiah.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord — and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.” Isaiah 11:1-4

We drew and painted a handful of stories from the Bible. Then we simply talked about how each event or person pointed to the need of a Savior.

4 year old daughter: “The stump is like a broken tree. The little plant that is growing is a shoot. It is our hope."

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{ Christmas Tree Ornament }
The kids are growing too fast. Soon their drawings won’t look *this* adorable. So, I decided to capture raw art before it turns to anything serious. Sewed the sides, placed a ribbon and hanged them all on our tree. 
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The most perfect Christmas ornament ever. I get teary eyed just looking at it.
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Earlier this year, after reading about Moses’ encounter with God in the book of Exodus, the 7 year old kept mentioning "God’s Glory is Bright." He would say this in his prayers and even wrote it in his journal. It soon became a familiar statement for our family this 2014. So, when the kids and I were discussing what ornament we can make for our tree - naturally, the 7 year old son volunteered to decorate the star.
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God’s Glory is Bright...
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The kids all love the tree last year but as their Nanay, I obviously find this one better. I would often take a moment and sit quietly in the living room, enjoying the twinkling of the lights and the precious drawings. It tugged on my heart.

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It was a year well spent getting to know my husband and the kids more. A year of pregnancy and incredible birth (that must be shared soon). A year of hanging out with hubby once he tucks in the kids at night. A period of cycles of sickness from crazy viruses. Sometimes, all bed ridden! Except for baby Narra who was strongest and mightiest because of Nanay’s milk :) A year of changing diapers, of reading aloud books (such as Andrew Lang’s to Mother Goose to Rudyard Kipling to J.M. Barrie), of more gardening, drawing, and painting. Afternoon naps with the kids. A year filled with discoveries - observing a moth laying eggs, witnessing caterpillars turn to cocoons, and having 6 rhino beetles as pets. 365 days and and nights of making more memories with each one of them and as a family.
Another year of being grateful that I get to stay home and be with the kids, discovering and growing alongside them. 
Another year of unrushed days, living and enjoying each moment.
Thank You. 

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