Monday, December 19, 2016

Niece and Nephew Christmas Party 2016

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night, and it was our 13th annual Niece and Nephew Christmas party. In attendance this evening: Emily, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. We handled the party a little differently this year in that it was held on a regular Cookie Baking Monday night instead of on a weekend, and we opted out of any outside activities this year and stayed at our house for the whole party.

Every Niece and Nephew Christmas Party contains four main elements, and this one was no exception. They are:

1. A meal. Tonight we had macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, tator tots, and strawberry milk.

2. We decorate a gingerbread house cookie. Always a favorite part of the party. This is where you see individual personalities emerge. 

Aunt Katrina & Carissa 

Allison & Emily 


Enzo & Uncle Greg 




After the newbie settled down a bit and the initial excitement wore off, he and Uncle Greg (and Clara) worked together to make a pretty good looking cookie. 


3. A Bible lesson. Tonight our lesson centered around Luke chapter 2. We talked about how Jesus laid aside his kingly rights in heaven for a time to come to this earth and be born as a human, how he lived a sinless life, and then willingly died a death on a cross as punishment for our sins. It's amazing every time we hear it. 

4. The dice game. We roll two dice and every time someone gets doubles, they get to choose a prize from a prize bin. We keep taking turns until all the prizes have been handed out. Everyone gets a bag with their name on it to take home their prizes. 

Another full year of Cookie Baking Nights has passed, and another Niece and Nephew Christmas Party has come and gone. And, as usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Cookie Baking Night 12/05/16

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight was Rylar's birthday choice. He turned 5 years old two days ago. For supper he chose: Spaghetti, cheese bread, and bananas. For his cookie choice: Chocolate Chip Cookies.


I've found that when we have our usual six kids in attendance and three of them are 6 and under, the attention span doesn't always allow for making it all the way around the table taking turns measuring ingredients before attendees start to get restless and goofiness ensues (happens to the older ones too, actually).  So, tonight I pre-measured the dry ingredients and everyone was given a baggie of ingredients to add to the bowl. It worked pretty well. We'll be using that trick again. 


Clara (my mom) joined us for some of the Cookie Baking fun tonight. 

We finished off the evening with a lively game of Sequence for Kids. Rylar has been asking to play that game for awhile now, so he was excited to use his "birthday choice" clout to make that happen. 

As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cookie Baking Night 11/28/16

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made Cinnamon polar bears.


This is always a fun cookie for the kids to make. There are no cookie cutters involved. We roll the dough into 4 small ball shapes, one for the head, two for the ears, one for the nose. And they when come out of the oven, we add a cinnamon candy for the nose and two small chocolate chips for the eyes. Very easy and very cute. 

The birds (Rusty and Peanuts) have moved from the porch to the dining room for the winter months, which means they steal the show at dinner time. Part of the excitement tonight was feeding the birds through the cage. Peanuts will eat bread from your hand if you hold it next to the cage. Everyone had to give that a try, and Peanuts ate up the attention (and the bread). 

We also read a lesson from God's Names by Sally Michael. Tonight we learned the name "Strong Tower". The Bible tells us "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10). This was a timely day for this lesson as it used the example of running to shelter in the middle of a storm, and today we had some winter storms in our area complete with thunder, lightening, hail, and lots of rain. The visual of taking shelter in a storm was fresh in everyone's mind. 

We're learning a lot about God by learning his names. His names describe his character. We've learned that He is the Strong Creator (Elohim), Unchanging (Jehovah, I AM), Almighty (El Shaddai), The Most High (El Elyon), Jealous (for our affections alone) El Kana, The LORD God of Truth (Jehovah-El Emeth), Lord (Adonai), The God Who Sees (El Roi), The Lord Is There (Jehovah-Shammah). And tonight we learned He is a Strong Tower. 

Another Cookie Baking Night has come and gone and, as usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cookie Baking Night 11/14/16

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Emily won't be able to be with us next Cookie Baking Night which is her scheduled birthday choice (and her actual birthday--she'll be turning 16), so we did a quick switch up and did her birthday choice tonight. For supper she chose macaroni and cheese and for her cookie she chose chocolate chip. She went classic this year.

Tonight we also worked on a special project. We put together shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child ministry through Samaritan's Purse. 

Before we started the project, we watched videos online about how to make a good shoebox present, and we saw some videos of children receiving their gifts all around the world. 
The finished boxes will be taken to a drop site and they will be distributed to children in other countries. Each shoebox will be given to a child with a gospel booklet, and they will be invited to attend a 12-week discipleship program for children. We have just about every age group represented at Cookie Baking Nights (3-6, 5-9, and 10-14), so we made six boxes, one for each age group, boy boxes and girl boxes. Even Clara got in on the fun and made a shoebox present with us. 

When we finished making the gifts, we prayed for the children who will be receiving the boxes. We prayed that the boxes will go to just the right child and that each child will come to know Jesus. 

Lots of activity at this Cookie Baking Night. As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cookie Baking Night 10/31/16

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo.
And it just happened to be Halloween, so there was a little costuming going on.

We made our fall favorite Pumpkin Patch Brownies.

The best part is always putting on the green frosting vines. 

It looks like everyone got in on the "dressing up" act. 

Halloween is a great time for sharing the gospel. We made up lots of treat bags filled with candy and a gospel tract. The kids were very excited at the prospect of handing out the candy. We made a plan for who would go to the door first, second, third, etc. But, alas, we only had 5 trick or treaters all night (and they came in two batches). But even so...

As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Cookie Baking Night 06/25/18

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Enzo (Allison and Rylar were attending a birthday party els...