The next series of pictures depicts what we call "The Road to Bethlehem." When we were growing up, we would do "the road" every Sunday afternoon during Advent. It is a progression through the Bible, telling the story of Jesus' birth. It starts with the Advent readings from Isaiah, announcing a Light to come, and ending... well, I'm not sure how it ends! It is very visual and tactile, great for little minds and hearts. Each Sunday, my mom would unroll the next section of road, give the reading, move the wooden figures represented in the story, then light a candle. Usually we would sing an applicable Christmas carol, then do an artistic response of some sort.
This year is the first time "the road" has been out in several years. Eva was mesmerized by it, and of course my premenopausal mother was in tears as the tradition continues on. Unlike years past, we did the whole road in one sitting. It was moving to see the whole plan of history unfold, revealing the Christ child, our Light. After snuffing the candles (a highly coveted responsibility in our house), we used playdoh to make an image of something meaningful to us drawn from the Advent story. Eva made a cross and a manger, my mom made a candle, I made a heart. I am excited that this tradition has been resurrected, and I look forward to introducing all the little ones to the big story of Christmas.
Sunday afternoon was bright and beautiful, so we decided to take a walk, just the ladies. I love walking near my parent's house. Every season holds beautiful scenery and colors. The sun was starting to set as we walked, illuminating the dry oak leaves with warm light.
It was crazy windy, but the girls love being outside, so they never complained a moment about the windchill! Even Hope is enamored with snow and sunshine... check out her multi-floral print outerwear... she is a true fashion statement this winter!
Don't you love the stark contrasts of the winter landscape!?!
Well, this is a little random, but I had to include it. Eva is a true girl and she adores dressing up. In her stocking this year she found the lovely purple sequined thing, which is under the lovely pink sparkly thing, which is draped with the gorgeous blue plastic beads... all of which found their way into our home from my dear mother. Let's be clear here, Eva loves these gifts!
And in case you're wondering what else she has on, there are two pair of pajamas layered under there, one head scarf (veil today), one set of bunny ears (bridal headpiece), and some feathery, glittery high heels. She got married to Hope that day, and this was her most elegant bridal ensemble.