Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hanukkah Giving

This year, we didn't want Hanukkah to be just about the things they got or got to do, so we came up with a couple of service projects for them to bless others.
 We spent an afternoon baking sugar cookies
 and decorating them.
 Then we went around to our neighbors delivering plates of cookies to each of them!

 They were all so appreciative and the kids really enjoyed giving them out.
 Then, on another day, the kids got to deliver Hanukkah Care Packages to some elderly people in their homes and a nursing home. The bags had great things like warm socks, lotion, toiletries, some snacks and other treats.
 The people were so thankful to have visitors
 and the kids were very generous with their hugs. :)

 Part of the visits involved singing songs to them. It was fun to see everyone get into singing and clapping along. 

It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours serving others. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hanukkah 2015

If you ask the kids their favorite holiday, without question they will tell you Hanukkah! It's always a fun time when we get to do a lot of fun things together. While it's not a true Biblical holiday, we know that Yeshua celebrated it, so we do to. They love to hear the story of the Maccabees and their rebellion against the Greeks. It's such a powerful story of faith in the face of overwhelming odds. We talked a lot about how we see Messiah in this festival, just like we see Him in the Biblical feasts and festivals.

 This year we built a pool noodle hanukkiah in the front yard to "light" each night.
  The kids ate a meal in a "cave" under the kitchen table and chairs like the Maccabees did.
 They had a Minion Movie Night. :) We even got them some Minion mac and cheese for dinner. 
 Lighting the hanukkiah each night was a thrill for them. 
 One evening, we drove them through the neighborhood lights. It's always so pretty.
 We had latkes and applesauce, of course, and went for doughnuts at Donut World! 
 We held a Lego Challenge and asked them each to build a hanukkiah from Legos. From left to right: Ezra, Gabe and Olivia. Pretty impressive. :)
Olivia made some dreidels out of Perler beads.
 Olivia spent most of an afternoon making a paper chain hanukkiah to put on the wall.
 They did some block printing and made a flag banner to put up in the dining room.
Their handiwork on display. :)
Happy Hanukkah!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Olivia's Winter Recital - 2015

Olivia's piece for this winter's recital was the Overture from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. 
She really improving and works so hard to learn her pieces each week.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Meet Hanukkah!

No, not the holiday...

For those who know our littles, you know they are petrified of dogs. However, when we were at Rebecca's grandparents' house, Emma and Irene really warmed up to their dog, Barney. At first they screamed, but then Irene started putting her blanket on Barney and chasing him around. After we left, she kept asking, "Where Barney?" Even Emma was sad when we had to leave Barney behind.

So, after 3 years of no dog in the house, Rebecca started looking on the Animal Shelter's website. She made a short list of dogs she wanted to go see. I told her she could take the kids while I stayed home and did some work. Of course, the real reason I didn't go was because I knew I'd be suckered into getting one. Well, Rebecca came home with glorious tales of two perfect dogs and begged me to come back with her to see them. Against my better judgement, I did. We looked at 2 dogs: Charlie and Delilah. Now, Charlie was cute and nice. He'll make someone very happy. But... Delilah? She lived up to her namesake. She lured me with her sweetness. She never made a peep. She didn't bark at the other nutty dogs in the shelter. She didn't tug on the leash. She just came out to the play area with us and sat with us and begged to be loved on. She didn't care if the littles piled on her, it was attention. In the end, we couldn't resist her wiles. So we adopted her.
She's a boxer/retriever mix and is supposedly 8 years old, though that's not verified. She seems a bit timid, but just loves to be stroked and petted. She's gentle and calm, even around the littles, who constantly fight over who gets to pet her. The only thing we didn't like was her name. We let the kids help us decide on a new name. We all decided on Hanukkah because that's when we got her. We've shortened it to Nukkah, tho. :)

 We have always wanted a brindled boxer. She's just gorgeous.

 Her ears are adorable when she perks them up.

 Not surprisingly, she has taken to climbing onto whatever soft place she can find.

 But she's not always laying down. She loves to bound around in the yard and has taken to chasing the neighbor's cats, squirrels and even birds that come in to the yard.
 If she's 8, she still has a lot of energy. :) We're looking forward to new adventures with her.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lego Creations - December 2015

If there's one constant in our home, it that the boys will come up with a new Lego creation every day. They are especially adept at making airplanes and spaceships.

 Ezra says this one is his tri-alien ship since it has 3 people in it.

 Captain America's glider.
 Ezra made a Quinjet from the Avengers. The tail folds open and closed.

 A helicopter.
 Ezra made a Star Wars speeder.
 The wings fold down so it can shoot.
 Gabe made a flying suit for Cap.
 He built Emma a flying bus by request.
 Another Star Wars ship.
 And the latest creation: a flying jet robot.
 He can take his wings off
or just fold them on his back.