When I was younger, I remember our family doing a variety of things on Halloween night. I remember my Dad driving us from acreage to acreage when we lived in the North as it was already too cold and trudging through a few snow banks in our Clown-Around Family costumes would be difficult. I also remember going to our Baptist Church in Hay River, dressed up as a Biblical character to have fun together with other like minded friends and families. As we got older and we were often traveling, I remember my Mom and Dad taking us to the local convenience store in the town we were in, giving us a loonie, and then letting us choose the treat we'd like to enjoy. Halloween night was also a time for our family to go and enjoy a movie together at a theatre so that we weren't at home.
As I remembered this morning what I had done as a child, it was very timely that my Mom sent me some links to my inbox to ponder:
In his bookCelebration of Discipline, Richard Foster says, "Why allow Halloween to be a pagan holiday in commemoration of the powers of darkness? Fill the house or church with light; sing and celebrate the victory of Christ over darkness."
John Piper's thoughts were also well spoken:
As we embark on this parenting journey, Marco and I ask ourselves how our family will be salt and light. How about you? What "traditions" or family boundaries do you have for this day? In what ways are you filling your house with Light?
When Joel was a few weeks old, a friend generously brought their swing over to our house for us to borrow. It has been particularly helpful in the afternoon as I begin to prepare supper or in the early evening hours when a little boy tends to be more fussy than content.
It seems to me there is a lot of growing and thinking happening in this swing.
Maybe about blue birds...
...but all this thinking makes us sleepy...
...and then it's time for bed right away!
And E, the big sister, keeps us laughing with her swing dancin' and singin'! Life is full but it is good.
Marco and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Ellie this morning as she crawled into bed next to us. How fast time goes!
In El's mind, there are big things happening this year; she's made big plans. Ellie turns 3 today but lately she has been focused on the number 5. So, after breakfast, she packed up her lunch box and was waiting for the "lellow school bus come pick me up." Please don't grow up TOO fast my girl! My heart isn't ready yet.
This year, we started a few new birthday traditions:
First we made birthday cupcakes, chocolate ones with sprinkles, as Ellie requested.
And we had pancakes for supper with just our family as Marco and I pictured a birthday party with our extrovert might end up like this birthday. Grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, ANNNNDDDD Kindergarten. Pancakes are another one of El's favorite suppers!
It was a happy day with lots of favorites celebrating a special girl!
I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be something E would really enjoy doing one morning while J snoozed. So last Friday, we filled the sink with soapy water, squeezed dollops of Dollar Store paint onto a plastic lid, and went to work.
She was SO proud of her finished fall tree! And I realized in a fresh new way why finger painting was always a center in Kindergarten and not a whole class art project :).
Before Joel was born, Marco and I wondered how Ellie would take to being a big sister. How would she show her love to this new little person that she had only heard us talk about? Ellie was Joel's first visitor at the hospital and I think it was love-at-first-hug-and-snuggle. My Mom told me later that when she came out of the hospital room, she put both hands in the air and with excitement in her big brown eyes exclaimed, "The baby is here!"
Ellie loves her little brother! She loves to hold him, kiss his head, hold his hand, lay on the bed next to him, and read to him. If she hears him crying, she'll run to where he is at and will say, "It's okay my boy...Ellie's here."
You have fairer skin, lighter hair, and blue-hazel eyes but when you go like this we see bits of your sister in you. Some say it's the lips, or the cheeks, or the nose. Sometimes it's hard to say which side of the family and which grandfather you look more a like. We are so glad you are here and a part of our family. We know you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are knit together well.