Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our home
not a creature was stirring, not even a gnome; 

The stockings were hung by the staircase with care, 
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; 

And Paul and Melissa were all snug in their bed; 
Yet Abigail (down the hall) could find no rest for her head; 
She knew Quinn and Emily would be sleeping next door,
and Laura in her home, would be all a-snore.

Yet she could not sleep, there was something amiss,
so she got out of her bed, her fears to dismiss. 

When out in the yard there arose such a clatter, 
She sprang to the window to see what was the matter. 

The moon and the stars shown bright on new snow,
the faint rays of morning would soon be aglow.

Yet what was that she spied by the bare flower bed?
Could it be that this vision was all in her head?

For what to her beautiful blue eyes did appear
but a big, bright red sleigh and eight reindeer!
And there standing tall in the white snow so thick,
was someone Abby knew well, it was jolly Saint Nic!
But he didn’t look jolly, oh no he did not,
and his reindeer weren’t happy, they were rather distraught.

So throwing on slippers and grabbing a shawl,
Abby snuck out of her room and tiptoed down the hall.
And reaching the backdoor she opened it wide,
and stood on the edge of the porch there outside.

And low and behold she heard Saint Nic say:
“But it was only one bear, come out Christmas day.
He wouldn’t harm you, not on business like yours."
But the reindeer weren’t happy, they sat down on all fours.

And Abby said quietly, giving Saint Nic a shock,
“But it’s almost Christmas, it’s now five o’clock!
Please reindeer you must hurry, there’s no time to waste!”
Meanwhile Saint Nic had started to pace.

“My dear Abigail, they got a fright and a scare!
While flying over Juneau they spotted a bear."
And then Abby answered with a knowing nod,
“Yes bears can be scary, they are hairy...and clawed.
But a bear-bell will help them know you are there,
and they’ll know that you’ve got business that demands the most care."

And with that she ran again to the door,
and off she went searching for bear-bells galore!
Once she was finished she ran back through the snow,
and she tied bear-bells to the reindeer so that they would know
that bears everywhere would hear them fly by,
and they would look up and see Saint Nick in the sky.
Those bears would think of the gifts in the sleigh 
and they would know not to bother the reindeer that day.

Saint Nic thanked Abigail from the bottom of his heart,
and then he was off with a push and a start.
And as Abby stood there in the yard as he went out of sight,
he called “Merry Christmas to you, and to you a goodnight!
And with that she sleepily went back up to her bed,
with visions of reindeer prancing through her blonde head.
And as she fell asleep came the first rays of light...

Christmas had come, thanks to Abby’s strange night.

~The End~
Written by Emily 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas for the Birds

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

After hearing this verse used in a sermon at church, it got me thinking about those sweet little birds (and our pet squirrel Elizabeth). After all, it was almost Christmas, and they should get a special something for being our feathered and furry friends... Sure, the Lord takes care of them. But maybe we could do something extra special for them in this happy Christmas season?

So one evening before Christmas, Quinn and I set to work. We gathered bird seed, and using a recipe I found here, we started making ornaments.

The recipe used corn syrup, and it made the mixture super sticky! Thankfully, it wasn't too difficult to press into our cookie cutters.

Now it was time to make the holes for hanging them!

Some colorful bendy straws made the perfect thing to make the holes. 
Now all we had to do was wait...

But we're not the type to just sit around, so we spent the rest of our evening making popcorn, cranberry, and peanut garlands. 

We were going to make some birds very, very happy!

The next morning dawned beautifully, with a cold wind blowing snow about in the meadows. With no snow or rain coming down, it was the perfect time to take a walk.

We gathered the family together and we were off down one of the forest trails near our home to find the perfect tree!

Laura followed behind us, skipping all the way:

Soon we left the main path and wandered out in the meadows and muskegs for a bit, searching around carefully.

Abigail and I each carried a basket packed with the tree trimmings Quinn and I had made the night before.

Finally, we found what we were looking for!
And adorable little hemlock tree, the perfect Christmas tree for the birds and little creatures of the meadow.

The birdseed ornaments we had made turned out wonderfully, and oh-so pretty to look at!

A twist of candy-stripped baker's twine to hang them and they were ready for the tree!

Now all that was left to do was to decorate the tree!

Everyone had a wonderful time trimming the little hemlock tree with presents for the birds, and the tree looked magical when we finished:

A very happy sight to be seen just off the trail.

Oh! But don't worry, we remembered the friends at our home too! We made something very extra special for them...

With some leftover birdseed and cranberries, we made them a yummy wreath as a Christmas present.
Our squirrel friend Elizabeth has inspected it and we think she approves!

Don't forget your feathered and furry friends this cold season, I'm sure they would all like to wake up to a birdseed wreath hanging up in your garden.