The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources


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Second Children and Things that Don’t Belong on Christmas Trees

We got to spend Christmas with this new addition:

5-IMG_7647 4-IMG_7700A pretty blessed Christmas, I’d say.

I noticed some differences between my experience preparing for and having the second kid as opposed to the first.

First child:

–7 hour labor

–Nursery ready weeks in advance

–I read 5ish parenting/newborn care books while pregnant.

–no pacifier given until at least 2 weeks old

Second child:

–1.5 hour labor (Any hospital more than 10 minutes away has been ruled out for future kids.)

–what nursery?

–I reviewed a breastfeeding website a week before due date and skimmed through the hospital discharge instructions before leaving.

–given a pacifier the first day home.

Finally, this was our Christmas tree this year. Try to spot items that don’t belong on Christmas trees, including, but not limited to, a half-eaten candy cane, baby doll juice cup, a cut piece of a paper towel roll, and a Clifford keychain.

2-IMG_7678 1-IMG_7679

Merry Christmas from us to all of you! Best wishes for a new year in which you “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God!”

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Advent for Preschoolers and Very Pregnant Ladies

Last year, I mentioned that I had prepared a calendar of activities to help us look forward to Christmas. One of my friends commented on that post about Truth in the Tinsel, an advent plan specifically for preschoolers, and totally focused on Christ’s coming. We have been doing that this year, and we LOVE it. Basically, there is a Bible passage for each day, and then a simple ornament to make that emphasizes part of the passage. Below are some reasons why I love it.

–It is free. (Well, you need to buy the E-book, but I haven’t spent any money on the crafts.)

–It is flexible (as opposed to trying to schedule activities into a calendar destined to be thrown up-side down with a newborn).

–It doesn’t take much time each day.

–It repeats the same Scripture a couple different days with a different emphasis on the ornament, which is really good for helping a preschooler learn a story with a lot of details.

–It focuses on Jesus.

–PG looks forward to it every day, especially making the craft and hanging it on the tree, and she remembers the significance of most of the ornaments.

Here are some of the ornaments we’ve made for it so far:

1-IMG_7630A candle (symbolizing that Jesus is the light come into the darkness)

2-IMG_7631a crown (symbolizing that Jesus is king)

3-IMG_7632Zechariah (with tape over his mouth).

4-IMG_7633Mary and Elizabeth with pregnant bellies.

We’ve also been using the advent wreath my brother-in-law made me for my Christmas present last year, but we’ve only been using that on Sundays, and doing a more adult-appropriate reading with that (from John Piper’s Good News of Great Joy).

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Anyway, it has been a low-stress Christmas season for us thus far, but with a definite emphasis on Christ, both aspects of which I have really been enjoying.

Let me know if you’ve been doing anything for advent that you really love!

Next post, we hope to have a new member of the family!