Life in Lape Haven

Archive - December 2015

15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015

Life in Lape Haven: 15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015. A list of my favorite fun and random things from this past year, including apps, books, movies, and more.
Somehow it’s the last day of 2015, and while we are looking forward to many good things in the coming year, there were quite a lot of things I loved about this past one.

Just for fun (and to share with you), I jotted down a quick list of some very random, new fun things that were my favorites of 2015. (Since they are rather random, they aren’t in any particular “most favorite” order.)

By the way, this post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you use the links to make a purchase.

Here you go:

#1. Blogging. I mean, that was kind of the biggest new adventure for me this year, and although I don’t love the sometimes late nights (writing with little guys running around does not work well, so I have to work during naptime or bedtime), I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing my heart, meeting new people, and doing something new that challenges me every day. Hopefully you’re enjoying my blog, too.

 

#2. Our Family Membership to COSI. Last New Year’s Eve we used a discount that Brad’s work offers and purchased a one-year family membership to COSI (Center of Science and Industry), one of the best children’s science centers in the country. Brad and I had both been there often as children, and now that our boys are big enough to enjoy the hands-on exploration and learning, we knew that it would be something we would use often. I actually think we’ve used it even more than we expected. It’s been especially good for Elijah and his growing interest in all things scientific (he recently brought home a dead fly because he wanted to “do an experiment” on it and “cut it open to see its blood.” We’re sure to have some fun years ahead of us.).  It’s become our go-to for family field trips, and we knew that renewing for next year was a definite “yes.”

Life in Lape Haven: 15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015. A list of my favorite fun and random things from this past year, including apps, books, movies, and more.

 

#3. Periscope. My favorite new app this year is definitely Periscope. An extension of Twitter, Periscope is a live video app that allows anyone to broadcast themselves to the world. ​Followers of the person get a notice whenever a broadcast begins (a little whistle sound bite), and with a few swipes, you can see and hear the video and interact with comments and by “giving hearts,” the Periscope version of a “like.” Broadcasters see the comments and hearts live, and so they can reply or respond to their viewers. The “scope” (video) is available for 24 hours on the broadcaster’s profile for replaying, in case you miss part of it or can’t watch live.

I have to say that when I first heard of Periscope, I’m pretty sure it was in one of those articles about “apps you should be aware of if you’re a parent” because in the wrong, unwise, or unsupervised hands, I can see it being stupidly dangerous. However, there are so many people using it for good, to teach and help people, and in that way, it’s a pretty cool app. For example, broadcasters can offer a DIY, where you can follow along, step by step, and you can ask questions as they are sharing.

I started following a few people on Periscope around the start of the Write 31 Days challenge, and the organizer of the challenge used it to give us instructions, encouragement, and, again, to answer questions we had. Since then, I have found a community of Christian women and different bloggers who use the app to connect and encourage each other with everything from tips on parenting, daily Bible devotionals, book clubs, sharing funny moments, and even prayer times. How cool is that?

 

#4. The Humbled Homemaker. I’ve been reading posts by Erin Odom, The Humbled Homemaker, for at least a year or more since many of them have made the rounds on Facebook, but it wasn’t until I started researching to blog myself that I really began following her blog consistently. She writes mostly about motherhood, natural living, and saving money, so I always find something of value on her site. I also follow her on Pinterest and Periscope, and she is just awesome.

A Christian wife and mom of 3, she won a place in my favorites with one of her earlier Periscope broadcasts, where she jumped on for a quick video to tell us about an experience she’d just had in her local coffee shop. She was real and honest, sharing a story of how she had overheard some teenagers talking about some not-so-great stuff and how God had nudged her to reach out to them. It was inspiring to see her heart for the teenagers, her obedience to God, and her excitement and nervousness about stepping outside of her comfort zone in that small way.

 

Life in Lape Haven: 15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015. A list of my favorite fun and random things from this past year, including apps, books, movies, and more.

#5. The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White. Since Roseanna White is one of my favorite Christian fiction authors, I expected to really like her latest book, The Lost Heiress, which came out in September (that was one of the reasons I signed up to be a part of her launch team). However, I not only liked it – I loved it! Plus, I got to interview Roseanna, which was even more fun. I’m excitedly awaiting the release of the second book in her Ladies of the Manor series, The Reluctant Duchess, which debuts in April!

 

#6. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch. I haven’t even completed this book yet, but I can tell you that it’s easily my favorite nonfiction book of the year. I talked a little bit about it earlier this month, and I will be sharing more about it in January because it is just so good.  Every chapter has been both reaffirming and challenging to how Brad and I are trying to raise our boys with a Godly worldview and grateful hearts in a culture where they could easily become self-centered, demanding, and entitled. (The book officially releases January 26, but if you’d like to read the first chapter, you can find it here on the Tyndale House site. Also, you can preorder the book, through January 25, at RaisingGratefulKids.com for $16. When you pre-order, you will receive a free Global Family Kit and free shipping on both the book and the kit, which will be delivered in January.)

Life in Lape Haven: 15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015. A list of my favorite fun and random things from this past year, including apps, books, movies, and more.

 

#7. Amazon Prime. Brad and I finally signed up for Prime when Amazon had a special a few months back, and since that time, we’ve been asking ourselves why we waited so long. Not only do we LOVE the free 2-day shipping (soooo wonderful to have at Christmas time!), but we enjoy the streaming, ad-free music stations and the movies and television shows as well. (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial)

 

#8. Serving on our Preschool Team at Church. While I have been working with the preschool team since late last year, this was my first full year of serving as a preschool Sunday school teacher at our church, and I just love it. I look forward to my month of teaching and seeing those sweet, and sometimes ornery, little faces every Sunday morning. Children’s ministry is just part of who God designed me to be, and I find that I am ministered to just as much as, or more than, my students are each time I get to be with them.

 

Life in Lape Haven: 15 of My Favorite New Things from 2015. A list of my favorite fun and random things from this past year, including apps, books, movies, and more.

#9. Kings Island Blue Ice Cream Recipe. This is one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made this year because it represents two things. First of all, it reminds me of our family trip to Kings Island this summer and all the wonderful memories we made with our boys, including our first tasting of the famous Kings Island Blue Ice Cream.

Secondly, this recipe is the result of my persistence to replicate that tasty Kings Island treat. When I couldn’t find a copycat recipe online, I began experimenting and concocting in my kitchen until I came up with one that worked well enough for my family. It has since become one of my most pinned items on Pinterest. Apparently others like the yummy blue ice cream, too.

 

#10. Great-Grandma Edith’s Never Fail Pie Crust. Similar to my quest for a recipe that captured the awesomeness that is Kings Island Blue Ice Cream, I’ve always been on the lookout for a homemade pie crust that I could make successfully that was delicious and easy to work with. All it took was a conversation with my grandma this year and her sharing my great-grandmother’s pie crust recipe with me. Suddenly, my pies are “as easy as pie” and scrumptious, too.

 

#11. Old Fashioned. If you have not seen this movie yet, put it on your list of “Must See.” Hubby and I saw it for our Valentine’s Day date (one of very few date nights this year), and we both enjoyed it, so, so much. This Christian indie film is funny, romantic, and pure in heart, and it doesn’t skimp on production quality. For more about the film, you can check out the Plugged In review.

 

#12. Inside Out. This is one our whole family loves, and we were all excited when we got it as a Christmas gift from family. It tells the story of 11-year-old Riley as she adjusts to her family’s move to a new town, but it does it from the inside out – with her emotions being the main characters. Another good movie from Pixar, it’s one we’ll be watching for years to come I’m sure.

 

#13. Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea. In Lape Haven, we aren’t coffee people, at all. I’m 100-percent a hot tea or hot chocolate person. I love trying new teas, so when I found this one on sale at Kroger one day, I had to get it. The warm cinnamon-ness is perfect on a cooler day, especially with a good drizzle of honey to sweeten it up. Yum.

 

#14. Romans 12:12. This year, this verse has been my “Mommy motto.” Even though it’s been written on my kitchen chalkboard since last summer, I’ve really needed the reminder in that verse throughout this year: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

 

#15. My camera & new lenses. Okay, so my camera isn’t new to 2015, but I did get a couple of new lenses this year, a 50mm for last Christmas and a replacement 18-200mm zoom lens. This year I’ve continued to learn more about shooting in manual and got lots of practice by doing several photo shoots for family and a couple of friends, including my nephew’s newborn shoot, another nephew’s senior pictures, and my cousin’s senior pictures, too. Of course, my favorite pictures of the year are always going to be the ones of my boys. They are my favorite subjects of all. (Earlier this year I shared my tips and what I’ve learned about taking great pictures of your kids.)

So, those are some of my favorite things from 2015. I can’t wait to see all the new, wonderful things that come our way in 2016.

Happy New Year!!!

What about you? What is one of your favorite new things from this past year?

Tried It Tuesday: Our Four Gift Christmas

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Our Four Gift Christmas. This year our family scaled back to 4 presents per person with the guidelines of something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Here is how it all worked out and what we think about this new holiday tradition.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our family’s plan to have a more scaled back Christmas, which meant limiting our gift-giving to a simple four gift checklist:

#1. Something they want

#2. Something they need

#3. Something to wear

#4. Something to read

Well, we tested out this minimalist Christmas thing.

How did it work? Did we stick to our plan? Did our boys miss the excess? Is this new tradition a keeper?

Here are the answers to all those questions, in case your family is feeling the nudge to have a simpler Christmas next year.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Our Four Gift Christmas. This year our family scaled back to 4 presents per person with the guidelines of something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Here is how it all worked out and what we think about this new holiday tradition.

HOW DID IT WORK?

It was brilliantly easy, for the most part. Having some guidelines for the gifts made it so simple to know what to buy for our boys and eliminated any impulse buys we faced.

Elijah’s list was the easiest to fill because he only “wanted” one thing, he knew what he wanted to get for his “to wear” item, and the other two slots – need & read – filled themselves.

Josiah’s was trickier because he kept seeing new things on television every day that he “wanted.” He would say, “Can I have that for my birthday?” Elijah, being the older brother, would answer before I had a chance, reminding Josiah that, “It’s not for your birthday. It’s Christmas. And you only get ONE thing.”

However, watching how Josiah has been playing lately, we came up with a “want” that he truly did want, and it wasn’t even something he’d seen on a commercial.

Once we had an item for each spot on their lists, we were done. It was amazingly easy. Hubby couldn’t add “one more thing” for either one, as he likes to do, and we didn’t have to worry about one ending up with more presents to open than the other.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Our Four Gift Christmas. This year our family scaled back to 4 presents per person with the guidelines of something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Here is how it all worked out and what we think about this new holiday tradition.

DID WE STICK TO OUR PLAN?

Yes, for the most part. The only deviations we made were to have more than one item in a couple of Elijah’s packages. For his “to read,” since he is reading now, we got him two books instead of just one, but wrapped them together. We also added a couple of shirts to his “to wear” present because all he asked for was a scarf, but he really needed new shirts (he just won’t stop growing out of things!). Since all three of Elijah’s clothing items combined were less than the price of Josiah’s huge pack of socks for his “to wear,” we felt it was fair enough and still within our budget and guidelines.

They each had four gifts to open from us on Christmas morning.

They also had their Christmas Eve pajamas the night before, their stockings, and a gift from each other. We didn’t include their gifts from each other in our four-gift rule, nor did we plan to in the beginning because when you let a child buy a gift for their sibling or parents, you can’t really plan what they are going to pick out to give! 🙂

After our boys shopped for us, it put Brad & me both over four gifts each, which we hadn’t really thought about ahead of time. Usually when our boys shop, they get one gift for Mommy and one for Daddy. This year they went with Grandma and found some good sales. They ended up way under budget, though, and they had a wonderful time watching us open the presents from them.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Our Four Gift Christmas. This year our family scaled back to 4 presents per person with the guidelines of something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Here is how it all worked out and what we think about this new holiday tradition.

DID OUR BOYS MISS THE EXCESS?

Honestly, I think they were freer and happier without the extras. They haven’t seemed to miss anything.

While we’ve never been ones to go crazy with presents, this year the boys did have fewer presents to open. However, they truly seemed to enjoy the morning even more. Since they knew what the guidelines were, they knew what to expect, and I think that helped them. They weren’t in a rush to go from one gift to the next, and when we were all done, they were content. I really didn’t see any disappointment.

They have enjoyed the presents they received, from us and from family members, but they haven’t seemed as overwhelmed as they have been in the past. Having fewer new toys means that they are appreciating each one more and really playing with them.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Our Four Gift Christmas

IS THIS NEW TRADITION A KEEPER?

ABSOLUTELY, YES!!! It’s amazing what a difference it made all around to our holiday. There was no stress – like, zero! – in shopping for our boys. It felt so laid-back and easy. Since we purchased fewer items, we probably put more thought into our choices, but there wasn’t any pressure that an item had to be the perfect gift. There seemed to be greater appreciation for each item, too.

I’m sure we saved money, so that’s always helpful.

And wrapping! I can wrap four presents in no time! That was so nice. It takes Brad a little longer to wrap things, but even then, we had them sorted and done quickly. Everything was organized, simple, and peaceful.

Instead of shopping and wrapping and stressing, we were enjoying hot chocolate and old movies with our boys, reading the Christmas story again and again, and making cookies to share with our neighbors and memories to share forever.

I think it was probably one of the best Christmases we’ve had in a long time.

 

DID YOU START ANY NEW TRADITIONS THIS YEAR? DO YOU HAVE ANY GUIDELINES THAT YOU FOLLOW FOR GIFT GIVING AT CHRISTMAS?

Planning for the New Year

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link.

With all the hustle and bustle and excitement of Christmas fading away, suddenly here we are, facing a brand new year. Am I the only one who feels as though it was JUST January 2015?

This year for Christmas, my hubby got me a beautiful Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner by Sue Hooley, thanks to a terrific offer during The Humbled Homemaker’s Christmas Giveaway. While some people might not appreciate such a gift, for me it is truly exciting.

I like to have a plan. I like to be prepared and know what I need to do and when I need to do it. I always have. When I worked as an executive assistant, I loved my stickie notes and calendar. They kept me organized and focused.

Now as a stay-at-home mom, even some basic planning saves my sanity. My mind is so busy with just keeping up with my little boys that my notes, lists, and schedules are essential to me. They help me remember all the other things I need to do or would like to do in a day, even on the days I don’t get around to actually doing any of the things on my to-do list. Life with children means constantly readjusting your plans to see to their needs and often getting distracted in the middle of a project and maybe not getting back to it until hours or days later. Having it written down helps remind me of what I didn’t get to finish. (Haha…but true.)

Life in Lape Haven: Planning for the New Year. Looking back over the past year and planning for new year and rejoicing in God's faithfulness every day.

Filling in my brand-new 2016 yearly, monthly, and weekly calendars in the planner with birthdays, anniversaries, and yearly events made me smile, not only because I was getting a little organized but also because it gave me a way to look back over this past year and see God’s faithfulness to us throughout all of 2015.

As I went through each month, I remembered different things that we did, and I was able to rejoice over the many prayers answered, all the wonderful memories made, and the struggles faced and overcome through God’s strength.

Some of our personal highlights from 2015:

  • Brad took a promotion at work and has spent a good portion of the past year working on a huge project that he recently finalized with great success (although he always sees room to continue tweaking and improving it).
  • I took a leap of faith and launched my blog, feeling completely overwhelmed and out-of-my-league and having no clue what I was doing. However, I followed God’s direction, and I now love sharing with you all. I have learned new things nearly every day about how to improve my blog, have been able to develop a fairly regular posting schedule (although my writing scheduling still needs some refining), and even completed the Write 31 Days challenge in October without losing my sanity completely (hugely thanks to my fabulous hubby’s support and help and God’s leading). I’ve also found a community of other moms and bloggers who encourage and challenge me in not only my writing, but in my walk with God and in my role as wife and mother.
  • Elijah started kindergarten and is thriving! (Mommy has adjusted and is okay, too.) He may not love getting up every day, but he adores his teacher and his growing knowledge, especially being able to read.
  • Josiah’s triumph this year is finally getting out of diapers! While he may still have an accident occasionally, he is ready to completely transition from pull-ups to underwear 24/7. I’m not sure who’s happier – him or us! (And if you think this was accomplished without much prayer and God’s help, you’ve obviously never potty-trained a stubborn 2-year-old.)
  • Brad and I have been able to serve in our church through various ministry opportunities in 2015, and we are looking forward to even more ways to be a part in this next year. I’m also brainstorming ideas for how to activate Elijah’s faith more so that he can begin to develop his gifts and talents to serve others and bless the Lord.
  • In our family, we have gained a nephew and great-niece who will celebrate their first birthdays in 2016, and we have a wedding coming up in June to celebrate the marriage of our very dear friend who is actually more like family.

Of course, the past year has also brought us some less-than-wonderful times, too, including sickness, difficulties, and loss. Those aren’t as fun to list out. However, even in looking back over those, I can still rejoice because I can see how God has been with us through each and every day, even the hardest ones.

Especially the hardest ones.

No matter what we dealt with, joy or heartache, He proved Himself faithful every step of the way.

Life in Lape Haven: Planning for the New Year. Looking back over the past year and planning for new year and rejoicing in God's faithfulness every day.

So as I am planning ahead and preparing to enter this next year with all its possibilities, expectations, and uncertainties, I can do so in confidence that whatever it brings and whatever we accomplish, He goes before us and walks beside us through it all.

It’s not something I have to write in my planner, though, because it’s something He’s already written on my heart.

Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

 

The Reality of Christmas

The Reality of Christmas: Embracing all that Christmas meant for those who experienced it firsthand and for all of us who celebrate God's Gift today.

She was a simple, small-town girl, a virgin whose obedience meant she was about to give birth to the long-awaited Messiah.

He was a carpenter, visited by an angel and called to a holy mission that would change not only his life, but the entire course of mankind.

It was a town with a royal history, a name that meant “House of Bread,” and with fields feeding the lambs destined for the Temple sacrifices. It would shelter the One Who would one day be called the Prince of Peace, the Bread of Life, and the Lamb of God.

They were poor, common, and filthy shepherds, yet an angelic choir would herald them into the presence of the King of Kings.

They were wise, educated, and affluent kings, and still they would humbly follow a sign in the heavens toward something greater than even they could fully comprehend.

He was a tiny newborn, sweet and sleepy, helpless and vulnerable, even though His hands had hung the very stars that glimmered overhead. He would be the fulfillment of a plan set in motion thousands of years before, a plan to bring us back to God, a plan that brought God down to us.

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Sometimes we know the story so well that we fail to pause and grasp the reality and the significance of each person, each moment, and each detail that God so carefully crafted and designed from the beginning of time.

Each person is important, each moment memorable, and each detail rich with purpose and meaning because this it isn’t just a story, a narrative we recite on Christmas Eve along with A Christmas Carol or A Visit from St. Nicholas.

This happened. It is real history. And it changed history.

Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi – they were real people who lived and died.

Mary experienced the joys and struggles of pregnancy, then labored and delivered her child far from home, among livestock. She and Joseph had faced the suspicions of friends and family, and Joseph would bear the responsibility of providing for and protecting his wife and the Child from the tremendous evil around them.

The shepherds, who were often considered ritually unclean because of their contact with animal waste and dead things, were suddenly face-to-face with an army of angels, and then face-to-face with Emmanuel, “God With Us.”

The wise men studied years, journeyed months, and brought costly offerings for the Baby. To safeguard His identity, they risked angering a wicked king, returning home a different way than they had come.

They all layered their faith in God and their obedience to His leading, intertwining their lives with each other’s at one of the most crucial points in all of time.

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Generations later we celebrate the Baby that they held and worshipped.

And yet, while they celebrated the hope that the Child meant for Israel, we can celebrate with a clearer understanding of what His coming meant for the entire world: forgiveness, freedom, joy, peace, healing, and life.

They celebrated at the beginning. We get to celebrate the complete story – His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

We were simple, common, filthy, and helpless, yet God sent His Son to us, to die for us, to save us, and to be with us.

This is the reality of Christmas.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)


 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Looking in the Tomb

The Parable of the Dough

Why We Started Celebrating St. Nicholas Day

Why We Don’t Need MORE This Christmas

 

Feature photo courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

And the Christmas Giveaway Winner Is…

Life in Lape Haven: And the Christmas Giveaway Winner Is... Announcing the winner of my special Christmas Giveaway!

All this week, I’ve had a special Christmas Giveaway going on. One reader will win a 2-disc DVD set of the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday Edition, which includes one of my favorite Christmas movies, The Shop Around the Corner. In addition to the four films, the giveaway winner will also receive a selection of hot chocolate in a variety of flavors. This little contest is just my way of sharing something I love about the holidays and showing my appreciation for all of you, my readers. 🙂 (Awwww)

Hopefully you entered as many ways as you could. If not, well, it’s too late now – sorry – because the winner has already been randomly selected (Thank you, Rafflecopter!). 🙂

Now before I announce the winner, I just knew that I had to include a clip from my #1 favorite Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. While my prize definitely isn’t as exciting as “a million dollars,” maybe it’ll at least brighten your day and make you say, like young George Bailey, “Hot Dog!”

Okay…drumroll, please.

The Christmas Giveaway Winner is Rachel S!

Congratulations! I’ll be contacting you shortly to make arrangements to get your prize headed your way.

Thanks, again, to everyone who entered.

Why You Can’t Give Jesus a Dinosaur

Life in Lape Haven: Why You Can't Give Jesus a Dinosaur: Christmas According to My Boys - I interviewed my children about all things Christmas and why we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas According to My Boys

Elijah was only six months old for his first Christmas, so it wasn’t until the following year, when he was a year-and-a-half, that he really began to “get” Christmas. That was the year Brad and I really started to experience the holiday in a new way. Seeing Christmas through my children’s eyes is a wonderful, joyous, and sometimes hilarious thing.

I thought it would be fun if I sat down with my boys and asked them some questions about Christmas.  Here are some of my favorite parts of our conversations. I videoed them and typed their answers verbatim, so you can get a glimpse into how delightful and blessed my holidays are with them.

Life in Lape Haven: Why You Can't Give Jesus a Dinosaur: Christmas According to My Boys - I interviewed my children about all things Christmas and why we celebrate Christmas.

CHRISTMAS ACCORDING TO ELIJAH (5 Years Old)

Tell me about Christmas:

Elijah:  It’s one of my favorite days…it is a very good time, and I love it because it is Jesus’s birthday. That’s when people give, and that’s kind of like being God’s servant, sometimes. (Giving is like being God’s servant. Amen!) Why it’s my favorite is because it’s when Jesus was born, and it’s his birthday. And because I like birthdays, probably He likes birthdays.

What’s best part of Christmas?

E: Maybe… I don’t know. Probably… I think the best part of Christmas is…I don’t know…there’s lots of things to choose. There’s a lot of them that I’m thinking about…Snow, presents, stockings, AND when we get to eat breakfast because last Christmas Mommy made a really, yummy, yummy breakfast. (I did. Here’s the recipe for French Toast Casserole.)

To whom are you most excited to give their gift?

E: All I’m going to say is “cousins.” Because that’s easier to say than all the names.

What is one way you can give even when you don’t have money?

E: A hug. Maybe write them a letter. That’s all I can think of.

How can you help people have a good Christmas if you don’t know them?

E: Just say, “hello.” Be kind.

Why do we celebrate Christmas?

E: Because it’s Jesus’s birthday.

Can you tell me about Jesus’s birthday, and what happened?

E: Well, I don’t know what Mary was doing, but she was probably doing something, and then an angel just appeared. Like magic sometimes. Then she had to go to Joseph, and they were going to marry each other because she was going to have a baby. Then they traveled on a donkey, and they had a long journey.  And probably on Christmas they had their baby…but, yeah, on Christmas they had the baby. And then the angel came to shepherds and said, “Good news. There is a baby in a stable that has been born.” And there was a star on top, and probably the angel was watching.

After the angel came and told the shepherds, the shepherds went to the stable. And then they saw the baby. And then a long time ago, probably past (he means a while later), like 2 years, like Mommy said, these guys on camels, these kings brought presents for the baby. Silver, is that one?

Me: Gold

E: Gold?  *Pause…*

Me: Frankincense

E: (Smiling) Frankincense and myrrh.

What was so special about the baby?

E: That He was God’s Son, and He can create anything He wanted.

Why did God send His Son? Why did Jesus have to come?

E: To die for us.

Life in Lape Haven: Why You Can't Give Jesus a Dinosaur: Christmas According to My Boys - I interviewed my children about all things Christmas and why we celebrate Christmas.

CHRISTMAS ACCORDING TO JOSIAH (2-1/2 Years Old)

Josiah had watched me ask Elijah questions, so he was ready with his answers before I even had a chance to ask them.

Josiah: Mommy, I want to buy present for Grandpa and Grandma and Grandpa Rowland, and Daddy and Vinny. A bone – a character one, like has scrubby one. (I have no idea what “has scrubby one” means)

Tell me about Jesus:

J: Jesus loved to buy a present, too. (Hahaha. But, hey, Jesus is the best gift, so he’s close.)

Do you remember the story of Jesus?

J: Jesus died on the cross, like this (makes a cross with his fingers).

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

J: Because He keep us safe.

We talked about the story of baby Jesus, too.

J: Mary had the baby.

Who came to see the baby?

J: The camels. The angels and the horsey. And the cow.

What do we do at Christmas?

J: We give presents. And buy one for Jeremiah. (I LOVE that he said GIVE instead of GET) I like to buy a present for Grandpa. A toy present. A hippo. (For Grandpa)  And a dinosaur.

Me: For who?

J: Jesus

Elijah jumped in here: Jesus already made the dinosaurs. He already has a dinosaur.

Life in Lape Haven: Why You Can't Give Jesus a Dinosaur: Christmas According to My Boys - I interviewed my children about all things Christmas and why we celebrate Christmas.

There you go. Christmas as explained by my two precious boys: Giving is like being God’s servant, baby Jesus was visited by “these guys on camels” and all the animals in the barn, Jesus came to die for us, Jesus died for us to keep us safe, and you can’t give Jesus a dinosaur. He already has one.

What fun, sweet, or profound things have your children said about Christmas?