Thursday, January 2, 2014

Building a manger

At the beginning of the advent season Matt and the kids built a manger together. 
Matt had pre-cut the wood (a pallet he'd deconstructed--we build everything out of trashed pallets around here!) and all the kids had to do was help him nail it together.  They even got to use his air nailer, which was amazing to them.  :)  Usually he opts for old fashioned hammers and nails (often he will drill the hole for the nail first, then have them pound the nail in to make it easier), but this time they wanted to hear the air compressor. 

I had already given Daddy instructions that I wanted to use it as a bookshelf after Christmas (I'd seen one similar in a Land of Nod catelog), so he made one side higher so books could rest spine out. 

The manger sat under our tree, empty until Christmas.  Beck wanted his baby, Moe, to be Jesus.  We wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger as we talked about the story.  Now the manger and "Baby Jesus" stay out in our living room for the kids to play with.  Quinn likes to swaddle him and Beck just likes to carry him around. 

I just love those little tootsies on the edge of this frame, don't you?!

We have talked this advent season about the prophets sharing God's promise of a King he would send.  We've talked about the story of David and how Samuel annointed his head with oil to show he was a king.  So on Monday (Ephiphany) we will annoint our baby Jesus' head with some olive and lavendar oil and talk about how Jesus is the King of Kings.  The kids are already excited!
Again, using the language and photos from the Jesus Storybook Bible as we go through this season--there's a great story/illustrations of Samuel annointing David, but then the book connects that story through to Jesus.  So much fun!

Next year we may use our manger to add a piece of straw anytime we do acts of kindness--the message being that we can prepare our hearts to be a home for Jesus when we do things that he did--love others as ourselves. 
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