My mom and dad and Diana (Ethan and Carissa's mom/Greg's sister) joined us for supper this evening. We had 10 around our dining room table tonight. It was also a joy to have Greg around the table this evening as he returned from his 2-1/2 week trip to Iowa just moments (literally) before we started gathering around the table.
Since the request was "butterfly cookie" we made cut-out sugar cookies in the shape of butterflies (and daisies and tulips)
While the cookies were baking in the oven, we sorted mini M&Ms into separate bowls by color. This might be my favorite activity of all time. Each child was given a bowl of assorted M&Ms and everyone picked a color they wanted to find. They found as many of their assigned color as they could for about 3-5 minutes and then passed the bowl to their neighbor and started over with a new bowl. This activity produced contented silence and deep concentration for about 20 minutes amongst 4-14 year olds across the board. It was an amazing sight to behold.
Next came the decorating. We frosted the cookies with white frosting and used the M&Ms to outline designs in them.
I think they turned out to be pretty cute.
Lately, the birthday celebraters have been given an additional choice at the end of the evening of either watching a movie or taking a walk to the local gas station for an ice cream treat. For Alli, the ice cream treat won out tonight.
Again, can we all say, "Awww"
The gang with their treats
Diana brought tiaras for all the girls this evening (left over from a work event earlier that day). You might have noticed the two older girls wore theirs all night long, even to the gas station.
As I mentioned earlier, my parents joined us for supper tonight. That's because they live with me and Greg now. As I mentioned in earlier posts, my mom had a stroke in early June and has been in a rehabilitative care facility, recovering, until a few days ago. Upon Mom's release from Rehab they moved in with us so I can assist my Dad-Larry with Mom's care and so they are closer in proximity to all their children (both of my brothers live close to our house).
That being said, we have moved into a new phase in Cookie Baking Night history. I wasn't sure how the kids would react to this change but after the initial curiosity wore off they went on with business as usual. As you can see from the picture above, my mom thoroughly enjoyed it. She no longer has to be a spectator via the blog only. She wheeled into the kitchen for a few minutes to watch the action for herself.
My mom and dad also joined us for our Bible time this evening as we read from "Leading Little Ones to God" by Marian Schoolland. Tonight Emily read lesson 12 for us titled "God is Almighty". Once she got past the word "Nebuchadnezzar" it was smooth sailing, and everyone listened with eager attention.
I read Daniel 4:34-35 at the end of the lesson. I love this prayer that King Nebuchadnezzar prays after God humbled him by removing him from his kingdom (and his sanity) for a season to remind him that he was not greater than God.
"At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand or say to him, 'What have you done?' " Daniel 4:34-35
I think it's a fitting prayer and reminder for this first Cookie Baking Night with a new normal of my parents living in our home and as we rest in His sovereignty and wise dealings during this time.
So, another Cookie Baking Night has come and gone and, as usual, a fun time was had by all!