Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

 Merry Christmas to each of you!

Christmas season is a busy season! Even when we take it slow.. it leaves little time for the computer and blogging. =)...  We would love to share our Christmas with you! But this is a picture heavy post ( for friends and family far away!)...

 We had snow for 2 days this month! That's all... and those two days were full of SNOW fun!

                                    Gingerbread fun! (Thank you ikea for your awesome 3 euro kit!)

Christmas Party.......

Late night Christmas movie night surprise! (can you even see the kinders???)

 Christmas Markets! We made it to just 2 this year.... But with kids we find that just 2 is great! We visited St. Wendel. & Rothenberg Markets.

Who doesn't love a live Nativity Experience? 

Our new favorite Market Snack!!! .....

                                                  Working on handmade Christmas Gifts..............

                                                     Delivering goodies to Truckers down the road....

                                           Christmas all over our home... a tree in each room.

One of my favorite Christmas Markets. The kinders discovered these amazing round treats called
"Schnee Balls" (snow balls) they didn't care for them to much, but loved trying them !}

We visited the Christmas Museum while in Rothenberg. We did not expect to care for it to much, but it was actually worth visiting! We discovered some very interesting facts about Christmas Tradition...
One fact: The Christmas ball ornament "In medieval times German people had a 'Paradise tree'. This was a fir tree hung with apples to remember Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. These trees were set up on December 24th and candles were often added to represent Jesus Christ. " this progressed into what we know as the Ball ornaments on the tree today!

                                                                 The kinders enjoyed it!

                              Enjoying our Snow!!!! (now we have had non stop rain the past week....

                                                                     Love the little Family!

                           Dipping candles... the kids favorite Christmas Market Tradition....

                            This year the kinders saw their very FIRST reindeer. They were so excited!

                                                                     Christmas EVE .......

Each  year since the kinders were tiny, they do a little performance before we open gifts.... They sing a song, say a poem, and one year we did the entire Nativity story with props. This year they read from Luke 2 (both were very proud as it was quite long....) and JT played for us on his Guitar... This is always such a blessing for us...I hope they will still do this (willingly) as they grow! =)

We saved our ultrasound baby gender reveal for ChristmaS. Here KT put it up on the tree...
we are having another little GIRL!

Stockings on the drive to France to visit my other family........

Family Fun in France! 
Please note that we hardly see my brother and his family but every few months... the little baby in this photo is always the center of attention when we do visit! You will see.... we all needed a turn with the cute monkey!

Thank you so much for visiting!!! We wish you and your families a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS !

We start school up in a few days! I hope to be back to sharing our little School- Life with you soon!! PLUS I got a new Camera for christmas... an awesome DSLR... So i am so excited for future blog posts! =)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

12 Days of Books.....For Christmas

We have TONS of Christmas books! Each year I have a book shelf and basket dedicated to all the holiday books... These are the fun- cute little books like, Clifford, Disney, scholastic books,  jan brett books, all the frilly ones... The kids love it, and it's exciting for them to revisit these stories over and over. 

Last year we started the 12 days of Christmas Count down with books.
Not just ANY Christmas books. These are some of the most precious Christmas stories... And I have slowly been purchasing them the past 2 years... I hope to keep adding a new book or two each year... 

Many of these titles are from the Five in a Row Christmas Reading list
I discovered this list last year. I  totally trust their opinions on books, and so off the Library I went to find as many on the list as I could for last season. 
We were not disappointed. 

Here,we would like to share our family's collection  for this season!  
If you are interested in purchasing any for your family you can click my link here:  12 Days of Christmas with Books.

Updated - More added ( 2015)
The Stowell family is abuzz with holiday excitement, and Frankie, the youngest boy, is the most excited of all. But there's a cloud over the joyous season: Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and Pa hasn't returned yet from his trip to Lansing. He promised to bring back the oranges for the mantelpiece. Every year there are nine of them nestled among the evergreens, one for each of the children. But this year, heavy snows might mean no oranges . . . and, worse, no Pa!
This is a holiday story close to Patricia Polacco's heart. Frankie was her grandmother's youngest brother, and every year she and her family remember this tale of a little boy who learned--and taught--an important lesson about giving, one Christmas long ago
When a leak ruins the sacristy wall in his father’s church, Jonathan Jefferson Weeks thinks Christmas Eve service will be ruined. Luckily he and his father find a beautiful tapestry, perfect for covering the damaged wall and giving the church a festive look! But then, an old Jewish woman recognizes the beautiful cloth. Her discovery leads to a real miracle on Christmas Eve.

 Maria, her mother, and grandmother are busy preparing for Christmas when they discover an old music box with a figurine of a girl on the top. Maria thinks she looks just like an angel (sans wings); Grandma explains that some people believe angels must perform a good deed (or, in the case of a figurine, have someone help them) to earn their wings. On Christmas Eve morning, Maria secretly delivers a bag of cookies to a homeless man she has been concerned about. Later, while she is opening her own presents, she is surprised to find the music box angel--now complete with wings. Vainio's soft, dreamlike watercolors mesh nicely with the gentle story. A great choice for holiday read-alouds or family sharing, this simple tale, with its universal themes, will provide a welcome respite from the hubbub and commercialism of the season.

 Emma and her little dog Shu-Shu were thrilled to be invited to the King’s birthday party. But what do you get a King for his birthday? Emma and Shu-Shu have no gift, but they bring the Christmas cake they made with Mom and put on their Sunday best as they dash to the King’s carriage.  And of course, Emma couldn’t go anywhere without her beloved Cherry-Bear.  On the way, they have encounters that lead them to bestow their cake, winter-cape, and even Cherry-Bear, on others. Now they’re chilly, rumpled, and empty-handed—what will the King think? Emma frets, but when they finally meet the King at his palace, they discover they gave the King exactly what he wanted.
Children and parents will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and that the greatest gifts we can offer to the Savior are gifts to the least of his brothers and sisters (based on Matthew 25:40). Families will be able to go online and be directed to notable charities to give their own gift to the King.
Children and parents will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and that the greatest gifts we can offer to the Savior are gifts to the least of his brothers and sisters (based on Matthew 25:40). Families will be able to go online and be directed to notable charities to give their own gift to the King.
 A Christmas story from Sweden. 

 Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree 

Came by special delivery. 
Full and fresh and glistening green--
The biggest tree he'd ever seen.

That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn't stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Christmas joy.

In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift a very special gift will be tossed to him from that train. It is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season. Full color.

When Father is stationed with the military in Japan, he sends his family an intriguing wooden box at Christmastime.

The Armistice has been declared, but still there is no sign of Ruthie's father in their little Appalachian town. So, in accordance with the traditions of Pine Grove, it falls to Ruthie and her mother to bring home the perfect Christmas tree to donate to the town. Ruthie had accompanied her father to the rocky cliff where he marked a tree in the spring, so she and her mother set out to find it again, and haul it home. Their trip becomes the basis overnight of a new town legend; Ruthie, chosen for the role of the heavenly angel in the the church Christmas play, finds herself outfitted in a made over wedding dress of the finest silk another "miracle" wrought by her hardworking mother. An accomplished, fluid telling garnishes this simple story, as do Cooney's moonlit paintings of wintry evenings and the welcoming glow of fire and lanterns. Ruthie is more or less an observer; her mother is the real heroine. But the way they work together to keep their family's duty is rendered in a harmonious blending of text and pictures.

Three toy friends decide to leave their Christmas tree up for Valentine's Day--and the next holiday, and the next--until suddenly it's Christmas again!

And this one has been in our collection for a few years, always a favorite with my daugther! We love Llam Llama. =)

Llama Llama holidays.
Jingle music. Lights ablaze.
How long till that special date?
Llama Llama has to wait.
If there's one thing Llama Llama doesn't like, it's waiting. He and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? Finally, Llama Llama just can't wait any more! It takes a cuddle from Mama Llama to remind him that "Gifts are nice, but there's another: The true gift is, we have each other."

More Books:

Christmas in the Trenches
Small One
The legend of the Candy Cane
The legend of the Christmas Stocking
Tale of Three Trees
Room for Little One
The Trees kneel at Christmas
Gifts from the heart
The gift of the Magi
One Wintry Night
The Crippled Lamb
The story of snow children
why Christmas trees aren't perfect
A day on Skates ( a dutch story)
The Donkey's Dream

Do you have a Christmas reading tradition?
What favorite books does your family read during Christmas?
If you haven't any reading traditions you have time to start! 

It's never to late! 
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