Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent Plans: Nativity Scene

We have a family tradition of putting up our Nativity scene on the first Sunday of Advent.  Before we had kids the scene took up two walls of our dining room and included rivers, lakes, and mountains.  We would spend HOURS getting things just how we wanted with painstaking care....

Those days are gone.  We have neither the space or the time for such endeavors.  But we are still quite pleased with the outcome....In the smaller space Bethlehem is a bustling town!

Our set has been accumulating since before my inlaws came to this country.  Some of the pieces are old Italian pieces.  But the bulk of our set is Fontanini.  They are made of a strong resin, so not too breakable, but still are beautifully made. 
The stable is always our center piece of course.  And right now it is basically bare except for a cow and donkey.  I always imagine that the large building next to the stable is inn where there was no room for Mary and Joseph.
All of the people are doing their jobs, fulfilling their vocations, but still in hopeful expectation or the coming of their messiah.
At the end of the table are the Roman soldiers giving their decree for the census and Mary and Joseph heading out on their journey.  Each week until Christmas they will move closer to the stable where Jesus Christ will be born.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent Plans: Jesse Tree

We are going to try a Jesse Tree this Advent.  I think it is just another beautiful way to bring the liturgical year to life.  Following Jesus's family tree through the scriptures.

I used the ornament template from here: Jesse Tree

Since we don't have a color printer I colored them with some colored pencils.  Each ornament gives the date for Advent when it will  be used, the topic, and the reference to what scripture reading.

I would really have loved to buy a kit like this.  I think the symbols would be more meaningful and approachable to my small kids, but it just isn't in the budget this year.  There is always next year.


After coloring each ornament I glued the sheets to a piece of purple felt and hung it to dry.  Then I just cut out the circles, punched a hole at the top of each, tied a piece of purple yarn and we are set to go.

I don't think this could possibly be a worse picture, but you will get the idea.  This is the "tree".  Cla and Ben found this large branch outside with plenty of places to hang ornaments.  I filled a vase with gravel and stuck the branch in.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions are Born...


Breakfast in front of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  They are enjoying it for sure, but I must say we are a little bothered by the focus on promoting NBC programming.....you know like more face time for Al Roker than for the Mickey Mouse balloon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Announcing....the Ad Silvam Amazon Store


Jamie and I are happy to announce our own Amazon store for the blog!

We're assembling a heap of toys, books, and crafts that our kids have fallen in love with and that we've found to be most effective in nurturing a childhood rich in imagination, creativity, and a spirit of exploration: all in keeping with our theme "To the woods we will go!" Here's the link:

The Ad Silvam Store

We've also put in a sidebar to the right with some selections from our catalog. Hope you enjoy the store and can find some good ideas for your own families.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Whose The Turkey?!

We haven't had a good "Ben is now dairy free" update here for a while.  So thought it was about time.

Ben had an appt with his Nutritionist today (we hadn't seen her since the summer before we took Ben off dairy) and I felt like this would be the weigh-in heard around the world!!!  We feel like his eating has improved by leaps and bounds, but I had this little fear that maybe we were making more of it then it was and seeing things that weren't really there.  I mean he certainly doesn't look any fatter.  He still looks like he is wearing his big brother's clothes LOL.  So I fretted and fretted....has he lost weight, is he at least maintaining his weight, did we make the right decisions??

Ben and I made handprint turkeys.  He loved to be able to have paint on his hands.  And no idea what the eye poking is about!  That is what he did when i said to smile!

So, I was VERY pleased when i was told he had gained a POUND since early September!  An entire P.O.U.N.D.!!!!  This kid has not gained a POUND in any measurable amount of time in well over a year!!  And this was with NOO calorie boosting.  So nothing artificial about it.....just good plain eating more food!!

now there is that goofy smile I know and love!

There is still some concern about his height.  He is short, which isn't a big deal in itself.  The issue is that he has had NO "linear growth" since we started seeing the nutritionist...literally not even a centimeter.  So, the hope is that he just needs some catch up calories.  In other words he lives approximately two years of his life starving and malnourished.  He is eating an appropriate amount of calories for his age/size, but he has so much to make up.  So we were given some samples of allergen free high calorie shakes and juices.  We are going to work on getting as many calories into him a day as we can and see if that helps kick start the linear growth.  If not then we will be referred to pediatric endocrinologist to make sure there is nothing going in that department.

 
finished product.


So overall awesome news.  Poor little Benjamin has been suffering from the cold that just won't let go.  Took him to the pediatrician today and the doc thinks he has a sinus infection.  He got a Rx and hopefully he will be all better in a jiffy now!

Halloweeeeeen/All Saints Catch Up

I am dreadfully behind in posts.  No good excuse other than just been quietly plugging along, not in the mood to take care of anything but what must be done, plugging along through my third trimester.

So I figured let's at least finish up October and move on!  We did have a nice Halloween.  The first year that Ben seemed to get the gist of it and partake enthusiastically.  Ben dressed as his beloved Kangaroo and Anna as a lion.  I am not enough "into" the Halloween spirit to spend money or worry about costumes or what they WANT to be.  These were both handmedowns from various sources.  Luckily Ben fell in love with this kangaroo immediately.  As for Anna, the day before Halloween I dug out this lion costume and we all ohhhed and ahhhhed over it and so she was happy to be a lion.  I would imagine next year Ben will be a kangaroo again and again the year after that etc.  Anna we will see what we get in the handmedowns this year!

Ben's "smile"

yes, Anna is already eating a lollipop. 

I was a little worried how things would go.  Both kids were in a "just feed me and put me to bed" sort of mood.  We had had a long appointment at CHOP that afternoon (including bloodwork for Anna) and I feared they had reached their limit of human interaction.

but they perked up.



and we are off!  We did just one block..that is enough for preschoolers.
 
It was the first of many Halloweens that we had to deal with Ben's allergies.  I was hopeful that there would be enough non-chocolate candy that it wouldn't be a big deal, but he got almost exclusively chocolate!  So I ran out and bought some safe candy and just traded out the things he couldn't have.   He never knew the difference and hopefully once he is old enough to know the difference he will be able to understand.

I got just a few pictures from all saints.  I am all for the easy costume.  So Ben was St. Juan Diego and Anna was Our Lady of Guadalupe and I think I spent a total of maybe 20 minutes making the costumes.

love Bens crooked smile here!
 
Anna was pretty much non-compliant about wearing her veil AND getting a picture.  This sweet girl was trying to help get her to stand still LOL
 

watching the other children have their turns.  Each child had a turn to go up on the platform and give a description of what saint they were dressed as.

And the ham as himself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yarn Along - Finished Owl Sweater

At last at last!!!  I finished Anna's owl sweater!  I am VERY pleased with how it turned out (even with a few biggish mistakes....specifically two glaring ones....I will let you find them yourself though) and so is Anna!  This was really my first "big" knitting project.

Anyway, I actually blocked this project.  I had never blocked before, but I am a ridiculously tight knitter and even though I made this in a size 4 it looked like it would barely fit my petite size 2 Annabella.  The blocking definitely helped.  I will probably get two years of wear out of this sweater...or at LEAST through the Spring.



Finished with all the buttons attached and everything!



 My little sweetie was very happy to try on her "sweater owl" this morning...and I doubt I will be able to tear it off her tonight.

Look at that little pumpkin with her morning bed hair!!  Ohhh she is SO squeezable!


And a quick peak at the back of the sweater.


And Mr. Mouth (also known as Ben) couldn't let Anna get all the attention!  Fear not little Ben up next on the needles are Nemo mittens for you!

As for what I am reading these days.  I did finally finish the Narnia series.  And I took off the shelf a biography of St. Therese of Liseux.  I was a bit skeptical that it would meet my bedtime reading criteria of being engaging while not causing any sweeping bursts of emotion (I am a chronic insomniac and need basically mellow reading material at bed).  But so far it has been very enjoyable.  I have read a lot of St. Therese stuff many years ago.  So I know the story generally, but always good to get a refresher.  The book isn't long, but it has small type so it should take me well into the next millenium before I finish it  ;)

For more Yarn Along posts check out the link: Yarn Along