Advent starts tomorrow. Sunday Nov 28, 2010. Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return.
Today the boys and I started our Advent Tree. It is just another example of momma winging it.
I desire to do a Jesse Tree with the boys; but I am not going to frustrate all 3 of us. A Jesse Tree is based on Isaiah, 11:1. A pictorial representations, the Jesse Tree show a symbolic tree or vine with spreading branches to represent the genealogy of the Christ child in accordance with Isaiah‘s prophecy. Starting on December 1st with an empty banner or tree, a reminder ornament is hung each day until Christmas Day when the Christ child in the manger and star are placed at the top. A Bible verse is read, and the story reviewed daily. These devotions allow time every day for sharing and meditating with God’s Word. I have momma friends who’d kids have been able to follow the Jesse Tree at ages younger than mine, but I just do not see the boys being mature enough or having the attention to follow the process and make all the connections necessary. Maybe next year.
So this year we will stick with our “play with” nativity and our ‘momma Created Advent Tree’. Practicing the story of the Birth of Christ and counting the days down at the same time. I am really hoping to engage the boys in more service activities this year, and we may “post them” to our tree.
So to start the boys finger painted big pieces of paper green to make the “tree”. I just had them cover big pieces of paper in paint, and then Momma cut out a very basic triangle evergreen. Earlier today I took down the handprint leaves off our fall tree, and the pumpkins and apples from the base of it. That same trunk then became out Advent Tree. I thought finger painting the green of the tree would let the boys take a more active role in it, not just something Momma put up on the wall. I like them to have some ownership, a vested interest, in the things we make and use, if at all possible (though I admit to enjoying my post-bedtime “completion of task” time too)
I am thinking; after Advent making some kind of winter tree, then next spring a spring tree, and so on to allow the boys to have a full year of seasons – then we can put all the pictures together and see not only how the tree and seasons changed over the year, but also how they have grown.
Finger painting is such a great sensory activity, for both boys but especially for Big Brother and sensory awareness. Little Brother was not too interested, and only painted for a few minutes. Once Big Brother got ‘in to the activity’ and was “slapping” the paper Little got interested and joined in for a bit, but never really put much time in.
I asked Big Brother was the paint felt like and he told me “cold, wet-ish” he told me it was “really tickle-y” and “the globs mix”. As he got into he seemed to be noting it on his hands as he scooped it out of the tray. He loves to mix paint, loves the colors changing. He swirls the paint and watches it so closely. He begs to mix colors every time w paint. I tried to point out to him that the paint got tacky as it started to dry and he said “it gets sticky” so I was glad to see he did notice the change in consistency.
I cut circles (basically) out of scrap paper and numbered them 1 to 27. The idea is to count down the number of sleeps until Christmas / Jesus Birthday. After we know the to the father. Who denyed anything wrong was happening to Lily in his home. Lily was murdered a week ago today, after being repetedly raped. In her father’s home. By his wife. The wife is in jail, but the father and the judge are not. They were the ones ultimately responsible to keep her safe, and they chose to do otherwise. date of other things, like Grand pat and Pa Pa’s arrival, Aunt Candy’s arrive, and so on, I’to the father. Who denyed anything wrong was happening to Lily in his home. Lily was murdered a week ago today, after being repetedly raped. In her father’s home. By his wife. The wife is in jail, but the father and the judge are not. They were the ones ultimately responsible to keep her safe, and they chose to do otherwise.ll note them on the correct circle . That will also allow for some sneaky math practice. If there are 15 sleeps till Christmas, and Pa Pa arrives 2 sleeps before Christmas there must be 13 sleeps till Pa Pa and Grand Pat arrive.
The idea, again, momma winging it, is to take down the number each morning after we have “slept that sleep”. We have our box of Advent books out, and we’ll be reading them. We have our action figure Naivety set out and have already acted out the Christmas Story a few times and Big Brother hid the baby Jesus un the Virgin Mary figure “he is not born-ed [sic] yet. His momma still has him in her” and then tried to balance her on the donkey. 🙂 That he remembers from last year / knows all on his own. When we got the set out of storage Grand Pat sat down with the boys, they both dove into it and story right away. Little had the angles flying around, but Big did the whole process of having The Virgin Mary and Joseph arrive and then the animals gather then the baby go into the manager; and he remembered everyone name and brought in the shepherds last. The tree I hope will keep us on track of “time”.
Next we have to start our Christmas decorations for gifts; gonna be a lot of them to make this year with the boys in church activities and in classroom and more services at school.
To read more about Advent:
To read more about the Jesse Tree (including directions and history):