Advent has just begun, and  we have already heard  Jingle Bells more times than I care to count!  We started the season  with  a story about the wise men,  focussing on how they trusted  God to lead them  and take care of them .  This was dramatically illustrated later that evening.

Live", which I shall explain later.  Mom and Dad had to run back into the house to get something, so we left the van running for Samuel, who was lying down on the back

We  were on our way to something called "Bethlehem seat.  Think of it:  a van running with what looks like no one in it, all warm and ready to go.  But little did that guy who ran up and jumped into driver's seat know, that some neighbours saw everything.  No sooner had he backed out of the driveway than these other two young men jumped out of their car and out in front of the van to stop him.  Perhaps he also suddenly saw that he would be getting involved in kidnapping, and very quickly changed his mind about it all and disappeared at warp speed - without our van and our boy!  Thank- you God for taking care of us, and for the lesson about leaving the van running with the doors unlocked, even in our own driveway, even for a couple of minutes!


Amazingly, after all this  we continued with our evening as planned, which brings us to "Bethlehem Live!"  Several churches north of Toronto have come together at Christian Blind Mission near Stouffville, to put together an experience of the Christmas story for children of all ages.  We were warned to dress warm, and then travelled with a family of Jews to Bethlehem to be taxed.  Along the way we met Roman soldiers checking us out, other families camped here and there, a group of shepherds with (real) sheep who had seen angels, etc., finally being directed to a stable, where of course we found you-know-what, with a real petting zoo involved in the act.  There we knelt before a manger (to notice how real the baby doll looked).  Samuel was thrilled to have all these adults "pretending" with him, and led the way in what should be said here and there.  


As if that wasn't exciting enough to start off the weekend, Saturday had more in store for us:  a Sharon, Lois & Bram Christmas concert, and lunch at the Organ Grinder, where Sam got to sit beside the organist, help him with some of the buttons, - namely the siren - and even sing a song in the microphone.  The other little kids sang things like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", but not ours - he chose something more sophisticated:  "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", which he sang better than I would have!




 Hallowe'en seems like such a long time ago, but when Samuel and I decided to use some Beaver crafts we had on hand and dress him up as a wizard, it never dawned on me how appropriate "wizard" was for him - he who says:  "Hey, 5 + 5 + 3 is 13!", and correctly adds up the total of the guinea pig family and our family (8).  He certainly is a wizz at his reading, math and braille-writing, far ahead of his age group in language and comprehension, according to his teacher.  The only hard part is just having to do so much work compared to all the "playing" in kindergarten.  He is also still very interested in anything to do with science - I wanted to get a new story book at the library the other day, but no, it had to be a science book, all about earth, rocks, water, etc. (I hardly understand what I'm reading to him!)


Now its time for Samuel to have his own say all by himself - nobody needs to put words into his mouth, there's enough of them there already!


This year I'm in Grade 1, going to Hollywood school and can do up to Z without too much help. (Even Mom is taking Braille classes at school, so Samuel likes to stay nearby when she's doing homework in case she needs help, or to laugh at all the mistakes she's making.)  I take the bus to school.  Here's something else to kick it off:  Come On Ring Those Bells and Rum Pa-Pum-Pum (Jr. Choir).  I'm going to be six soon - there goes Mommy's baby!  I have baby guinea pigs.  I hope Santa Claus brings me a Speak 'n Spell, and I hope he doesn't notice the mess when he comes!


By the way, if anyone wants baby guinea pigs, let us know and we'll breed them for you - our pair produce black, white, and beige.



Rej is busy selling part of our  computer to IBM for the Special Olympics.  Its not much of a sacrifice, as the payment is in parts that are one third of the size with                 twice the capacity.  So the Special Olympics get more computers,                           while our computer gets bigger.  Thats why we have to get this done,                   so we can tear apart the computer.


               Samuel told us he has so many toys already, that all he needs for                       Christmas is clothing.  His other name is "Stretch", as he's now                          stretching out of most of his clothes.  His latest haircut also gives him                  the "grownup look", since the hairdresser misunderstood me and cut                         it all quite short.  When we got home, Sam felt the back of his head                           and started to proclaim:  "It's too short!!  I can feel my skull!                                 Lets go back!" (Did he think she could glue it back on for                                     him?)  He was totally disgusted, but it does grow fast,                                             after all.  Mom comforted him by saying his curls                                                would grow in thicker than ever.  Then the                                                    night before  picture day at school, he had a bath and insisted that I cut all his fingernails and toenails so he could be perfect for the picture.  "Am I shining now?" he says.


Yes, Samuel, you are a shining light in our lives.  Dad put the lights up, and its time for us all to put lights on in our hearts and shine on everyone we meet - like the lady in front of me at the cash-register line up who gave me her Zellers points.  Its the season for fun hustle and bustle, exciting secrets, sparkling decorations - and the season for shining.


Have a shiny Christmas!


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