Monday, November 4, 2013

Advent activities with the kids

For the past couple of years, the kids and I are going through Arnold Ytreeide Family Stories for Advent.   In all there are three books you can choose from – Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels.   Each of them are linked to the other and will bring the Advent season more to life for your family.   We have gone through the three books and yet we want to redo them again.  Since last year we read Jotham’s Journey we will read Bartholomew’s Passage this year.

imageJotham’s Journey

After running away from his father's tents in a moment of anger, ten-year-old Jotham has lost his way, and his family. As he journeys through Palestine in search of his nomadic home, Jotham is helped by a fool, a priest, a zealot and a wise man. Chased by a gang of thieves, thrown from one "foster parent" to another, Jotham slowly discovers the miracle of the first Christmas, and some miraculous things about his own life and his own family.

Bartholomew’s Passageimage

The thunder was strange. Usually it came in off the lake they called Galilee. But on this Sabbath afternoon it rolled in from over the town. No matter, thinks ten-year-old Bartholomew. It's been a good day, with new friends and good trades made. Father is home with a good catch, and there's deer meat for dinner. No thunderstorm could ruin such a day!

But then Bartholomew discovers that the thunder does not come from the clouds, it comes from the hooves of horses -- Roman horses, carrying Roman soldiers. In minutes, Bartholomew's peaceful town is in chaos, his family is lost, and he himself is taken prisoner.

Bartholomew tumbles through the mixed-up days that follow, finding himself the property of a slave owner in Ceasarea. His treatment there is criminal, yet it is he who is sentenced to a terrible punishment -- a punishment which leads him to take desperate measures to escape. Cornered by Roman soldiers, all hope is lost for Bartholomew until a Fool jumps in to rescue him with wit and guile.

With the entire Roman Legion tracking them now, Bartholomew and his new friend make passage through a strange and wondrous land, full of strange and wondrous people. Eventually they find themselves the guests of a Persian wise man as his caravan camps along the road of a small town called Bethlehem. The events of that particular night will once again change Bartholomew's life forever -- in ways which he thought were impossible.

imageTabitha’s Travels

The adventures of Jotham and Bartholomew continue as their friend Tabitha begins her own travels.  What happened to Tabitha from the time Jotham left her until Bartholomew met her? Where did she go when she left Qumran, and did she ever accomplish what she set out to do?  Tabitha's Travels follows Jotham's friend to places that girls aren't supposed to go in 4 B.C. Palestine! Never one to shy away from an adventure or a fight, Tabitha shows the men of her world just what a girl can do.  The third and final installment of the Jotham's Journey series, Tabitha's Travels ties up all the loose ends and lets us see what was going on while Jotham and Bartholomew had their backs turned!


Alongside one of these titles, we usually do a Jesse Tree during advent.   What is a Jesse Tree?  Well essentially, it is a way to go through the Bible and reflect on the Scriptures on the arrival of Christ on Earth.   I usually paint a big pine tree on a paper and hang it on the wall in our dining room.  Each day during Advent we do a devotion and one child is assigned the job to color the image associated to the reading and glue it on the tree.   Below are two examples of the trees made in the past.


This year, I am planning to use Celebrating Advent by Ann Hibbard for our devotions and Jesse Tree.  

Also during the month of December, I am planning to reflect on  various words from in the C is for Christmas book by David & Warren Wiersbe.

The Advent season is fast approaching.  What ideas do you have to make it special for your family?  Which books are you using?   Please don’t hesitate to share with me as I would love to discover your ideas to celebrate Advent.


The books presented in this post are available at your favourite bookstore, even and













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