Two weekends ago we kicked off our holiday festivities with a trip to see the Village of Lights, created by The Wonderment. This non-profit group works to cultivate creativity and imagination among children. It also gives to a number of good causes including our local refugees. All proceeds this weekend went to help Salt Lake refugees.
It was pretty remarkable, this village of lights. They broke a world record by creating the largest Dickens' Christmas Village ever. Hundreds of tiny houses and lights.
All with a story to tell, put to synchronized music and lighting. It was the story of a farmer during WWII who found a way to send a message of hope out into the dark night during black out evenings.
His message of light? Melting the hillside snow as bombers flew over head?
Peace. On. Earth.
It was a beautiful story and a magical place for our kids to explore.
They served hot chocolate, which was actually very very hot (per Spencer's face).
And all around were invitations to dream, imagine, wonder.
Christmas feels like the perfect season for such magic and wonderment.
And the life-size snow globe they set up was a riot.
I should have taken some photos from the outside looking in, but standing in the middle of the storm was too much fun.
It got a little crazy in there. Look at Spencer's face.
Gordon loved making snow angels.
Unfortunately, Eliza wasn't able to join us. She and Doug drove around the block because she broke her leg the week prior and was still in a soft cast.
Yes, she broke her fibula falling down the stairs at our church. Just two days after beginning this year's ski program. (Not sure who is more bummed. Eliza or Doug. Since she is his skiing buddy.)
She has been such a trooper. Not a complaint, really. I think the novelty of the crutches is wearing off (with 4 more weeks to go) but she is still all smiles and positivity. Much to learn from her.
Katherine was appointed Eliza's bodyguard at school and has done an excellent job of clearing paths for Eliza, carrying her lunch tray, turning in Eliza's papers, and generally just being the dearest friend a girl could have.
Eliza is now in her hard cast. A Christmas green. Which she wanted the kids in her class to decorate with holly berries before they signed it. And she wanted her Grandma to be the first to sign it, since both she and my Mom are having trouble walking. Misery loves company, no?
Today we wrapped up the first day of Christmas break, with all five kiddos bustling around the house, cutting papers, taping drawings to walls, and tromping in and out the garage door with snowy boots and soggy mittens.
While all has not necessarily been calm, with typical Christmas busyness and a trip to the ER, it is how I felt a week ago, when I wanted to write this post, and I sat at our kitchen table watching snow gently drift out of the sky.
The next morning we woke to 14 inches and a school delay.
The boys stayed home from school and we thoroughly enjoyed the stacks of snow.
Earlier in the month, a skiff of snow had them racing outside to help Dad shovel.
Two sure signs of winter. Eager snow shovelers and pants that don't fit.
Stockings are finally hung, halls are decked, and the tree is lit.
Only three days until Christmas and I am still offering the occasional warning of coal in someone's stocking. There's been plenty of bickering and temper flares. But I am encouraged when I see Gordon making his brother's bed, Ali getting Eliza a drink of water because she can't carry anything as she crutches around the house, or Sami leaving a note on my pillow about how much she loves her Mommy.
Looking in from the outside, it might actually appear calm. But even when it isn't, if I remember who we are celebrating this month. That tiny babe who grew in wisdom and stature until he had power to still a tumultuous sea, calm human fear, and carry any burden. Then I am calm in my heart.
I love this collection of voices, these children from around the world. And their words. Worth watching again if you've already seen it.
Rejoice greatly! A Savior is born!