Yesterday was one of the funnest days!
My friends, Dave and Tara, wanted to go to the big city to do their Christmas shopping, so I volunteered to watch their four kids for the day.
A lot of fun can happen with six kids.
We started the day by building a fort out of blankets, chairs and the broom.We read Christmas stories inside our fort.
Then we did wax art. You light candles, hold the crayons over the candle and then drip it on the paper. I have tons of Christmas stencils--the kind from the fake snow you put on the windows--and we had so much fun creating our pictures.
Josiah, the five year old, said,"This is fun. I like fire. My name means the "fire of God", so fire and I are a good match."
Quick lesson and reminder on fire safety and no playing with matches.
Lunch came without much fanfare and after it we had 15 minutes of quiet time while I put my Brie for a nap and little Hannah for a nap.
Time to make a gingerbread house! We followed the instructions and played hot potato with squishing the premade icing in the bag for 60 seconds. Then we "glued" the house with the icing. Naomi, the four year old, got the icing bag as we were erecting the walls and poured some directly in her mouth.
Then we played the Eye Spy Christmas book game while we waited for the house to settle. Everyone was having fun until everyone found the thimble before Anne. She loudly declared "I hate all of you and I'm never gonna be your friends again." She stormed off in a huff. Five minutes later, she was back. As she approached the group, Abby, the eight year old, asked Anne if she was ready to forgive them. "Never, but I still want to play."
The timer went off and we headed back to the gingerbread house. Thinking that the house was actually ready to decorate, I started layering on the icing while Abby divvied up the candy. Then the house collapsed. We iced it back into position, set the timer and played Eye Spy book. We did this three more times before the house remained standing. Everyone dumped their candies on the house.
Abby said,"Wait, we need a mint for the house. My Dad loves mints." Everyone had already eaten theirs and there was one left--only slightly licked by Naomi. Abby said,"This one will work. It's for my Dad and we're family, so germs are ok to share." So, on went the slightly licked mint.
Then the roof slid off the house and the walls caved in. Abby, the oldest of the kids, made an executive decision-"Let's just eat this thing." And,so, that's what we did.
After that, the napping toddlers were awake and we attempted a game of Candyland that ended with everyone yelling at eachother that they were never going to be friends again.
To cool everyone off, I decided to bring the snow inside. We got two huge ice cream pails filled with show and set them on the kiddie table.
"What happens when we mix paint and snow?" Josiah asked. So, we hauled out the paints and found out what happens to snow when you mix it with every paint colour you have (it turns black). We continued our experiment with observing what happens to snow when we added many glasses of water (black paint splashes all over the floor).
I set the kids to the living room to dance and Josiah helps me mop up the floor.
A fight breaks out and there's a stomping of feet and proclamations of, "Yeah, well, if you don't say I'm the best then I'm never gonna be your friend again." And on it goes.
Five minutes later, everyone was friends again as we did Colour Resist painting. Out came the crayons and watercolour paints as we painted different winter scenes.
And then, with dinner only an hour away, we had to do what we had to do. On came the ski jackets, and out came the silver bells. I lit a candle inside the hand held lantern for Josiah who, I was reminded, means "fire of God". And then off to our neighbours to sing the one song everyone knew the words to-Jingle Bells.
Oh, the fun of Christmas carolling. What a blast, as we knocked on our neighbours doors and their warm light covered us on the porch.Naomi rang the bells, Annie played the whistle, little Hannah banged the tambourine, Josiah swayed with the brightly shining candle lantern and we all belted out Jingle Bells. The neighbours smiled, cheered the kids, and Merry Christmas rang out to everyone. Once home, Josiah summed it up best. "That was good. I liked that. We made people feel happy. They were smiling." So were we.
Dinner consisted of a brilliant meal of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. As Josiah ate by the candles, he asked if he could roast his chicken over the flames. Ah, why not? I showed him how close he could get to the flame and we agreed, after some debate, that four inches from the flame was a good comprimise. Dinner consisted of Josiah roasting everyone's chicken, which, as he explained it, made sense since he name did mean "fire of God".
Pajamas, clean up and a bowl of freshly made popcorn brought us to movie time where we set up the tent in the living room and popped in "The Polar Express". All the lights went off except for the myriad of Christmas lights I have in the house.
We watched the magical story of believing and Christmas dreaming and the gift of friendship.
And bedtime approached quickly. Annie and Naomi snuggled up in Anne's bed. Apparently, one of them had admitted that the other ws the best because they were friends again. Brie and Hannah were put in the crib and play pen respectively. And Abby got to sleep in the tent...only after I coaxed Josiah out of it and onto the couch-with the promise that I would light a taper candle in the living room for him to watch as he fell asleep. He agreed that this was a good idea, "After all," he said, "my name does mean fire of God."
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.