During November, we talked about gratitude with our kids. Every day I'd ask Grace and Madelyn to tell me one thing they were grateful for, and we'd write it on a paper feather and put in on a cartoon turkey we had taped to our wall. As the month progressed, the turkey earned more and more feathers and we got to keep track of all the things we were grateful for. On day 1 of the gratitude turkey, I aske the girls, "What are you grateful for?"
Madelyn's first response was, "Jesus!" She always expresses gratitude for Jesus first in every prayer she offers.
Grace's first response was "Heavenly Mother." In the past, we have changed some of the lyrics of "A Child's Prayer" to include Heavenly Mother and how much she loves us.
Wow. I was humbled hearing my two little toddlers express gratitude for such important, yet physically intangible beings in their lives. I learn so much from them. (for more on this story, see my previous post about my church talk on gratitude).
Painting Trees and Decorating Cookies
The girls have been obsessed with painting lately. So almost every morning in December, I would draw a Christmas tree with a thick black sharpie and let the girls paint them. It is truly amazing what you can learn about your children from their art:
Grace is a rule follower. She likes to keep her colors separated and neatly in the lines. She hardly gets paint on herself and likes to stay clean.
Madelyn is a rule pusher. She loves to get her hands dirty and mix the colors all over the page. By the time she is finished, you can hardly see the tree drawing under all the paint. She is also messy and loves to squish the paint between her fingers.
Christmas Songs and Books and Treats
Madelyn has decided that "Feliz Navidad" is her favorite Christmas song. haha! She is totally obsessed with candy canes and loves to bite them. Her favorite holiday-type book is called "A Long Winter's Nap", and she likes the grumpy tortoise in it. My little Mad-dog seems to be drawn to the grumps of the world. haha.
Grace points out every time a song says "Jingle Bells". She especially loved "Jingle Bell Rock" this year, but she also learned how to sing "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night". She has a little Christmas tree in her room where we discuss a scripture story from the Bible leading up to Jesus' birth and add an ornament every night. Her favorite books this season are "Red and Lulu" and "Samurai Santa" (if you haven't read them, I highly recommend both of them).
We baked a whole bunch of gingersnap cookies for neighbors and friends. Grace and Madelyn love helping me bake, and they love handing out the goodies as well. Grace liked eating the cookies too, but Madelyn decided she does not like the gingersnap flavor. She would hand it back to me and say, "No like this, Mommy. It's goose-tus-ting." (aka: disgusting). haha. One thing is for sure...she definitely loves chocolate!
Andrew and Maichael
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