So this weekend was crazy busy. Two days of watching other peoples kiddos (super fun!), one day of Christmas bazaar, church and Christmas tree hunting, then another day of watching kids. Whew…throw in all the homemade gifts I’m trying to finish up and the posting gets pushed to the back burner. But, I’m back and will bring you all up to speed on what we’ve been doing with our Jesse Tree.
So, Thursday the 5th we learned about how Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord. Now this was the son God had promised Abraham and delivered to him in his 90s. This was the son his descendants that were to number more than the stars was to come from, and now God wanted Abraham to kill him as a sacrifice! I’m not sure if I would have the faith or obedience to do it, but Abraham does. He takes the bundle of fire starter, the torch and Isaac and heads up the mountain. Of course, we all know the ending of the story, how God was testing Abraham’s love and provided a ram as the sacrifice the last minute. Abraham didn’t know the end of that story, yet he trusted God and went forth into what for most would be a worst nightmare scenario!
To put this into context on how this might apply to us, we told our friends that pent the day with us about the manger we are filling for Jesus. How the little sacrifices we make, like playing a game the sibling wants instead of what we want or letting someone go first, get put in the manger as yarn. On Christmas Eve, our small sacrifices and kindnesses will add up to a nice soft bed for Jesus. Of course, in reality, this is nothing close to what Abraham thought he would have to sacrifice, but to a 4 and 7 year old, it makes sense.
For our ornament, we made pom-pom sheep. This was fun and all the kids enjoyed it. You can find the tutorial here. The tip I would give is that when you tie the loops before you cut them to have your little one hold the first half of the knot down with a pencil top or toothpick. I couldn’t get the knot tight enough, so the poms are loose and may not make it past this season.
|Very shaggy sheep|
Friday the 6th, we learned about Jacob and how God would fulfill his promise through him, even though Jacob was a deceiver and some might say a thief (at least Esau would.) Imagine, despite our sins and shortcomings, God can use us too. How exciting is that!?! So Jacob had this amazing dream of a ladder into heaven with angels coming up and down. So we made a super simple ladder out of craft sticks and glue, put a little glitter glue on the top then strung it on the tree with a ribbon.
Saturday…well Saturday was so busy we didn’t get the ornament done. So while we read the story about Joseph and his super cool coat of colors and his not so super cool brothers who sold him into slavery, we didn’t make the ornament until Sunday. When we did make it, I cut two felt pieces into shirt shape and had Titus color each. We then re-bent a paper clip to loosely resemble a hanger and glued it between the two shirts.
|Joseph's Amazing Coat|
Sunday the 8th, we continued to learn about Joseph and how God used him in an incredible way to not only save the entirety of Egypt, but also his brothers and family. God can take our worst situations and make good out of them. The ornament Tucker made was a fat cow on one side and a skinny cow on the other (though, in honesty, they look like cats or something) cut out of felt and glues. The ornament symbolizes the dream that the pharaoh had that God allowed Joseph to interpret.
|skinny cat...I mean cow|
Which brings us to today. Today we learned about Moses and the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. When we were done reading the Jesse Tree story and talking about what God did for the Israelite people, I asked the boys if they wanted to make a whip ornament like the old man in the book or make a doorway painted red for the Passover. Titus immediately said he wanted to paint blood (boys) and Tucker wanted to do both, so for today we have two ornaments: the whip to symbolize captivity and the doorway to symbolize God’s deliverance. For the whip, we took some hemp twine cut into strips; one cut twice as long to fold in half for a loop at the handle side and wrapped the handle end with yarn. Easy peasy. For the doorway, we took 2-1/2 craft sticks (our were wide ones), glued the short one to attach the 2 longer ones, then painted with red paint. Double easy peasy! Titus decided to paint the entire doorway, where Tucker painted what would be said as a more traditional symbol. Tonight, the boys asked to watch The Prince of Egypt, which is a quite beautiful rendition of Moses, even if it's a cartoon.
|Tucker's Passover Doorway|
There is something I wanted to touch on for a minute. While we’ve been reading and enjoying The Jesse Tree and The Jesus Storybook, I want to state that these are not the Bible, merely representations of the Bible. In reading the stories in The Jesus Storybook, we’ve found some seriously major divergences in the factual accounts of God’s history. So much so that we are now pre-reading it to adjust the story where needed to be accurate. The language is beautifully descriptive and vivid in most cases, but please, please, please read it as a storybook and go to the Bible for the truth and facts about our history.