Saturday, December 25, 2010

Advent Days #24 - #25

#23: Wrap gifts with mommy

This one went off without a hitch. We had already made a bunch of gift bags and had ideas about our wrapping so we wrapped quickly and easily this night.

#24: Have a gnome bonfire with s’mores

Having gnomes over for Christmas eve is a bit more crafty. There was a special on pizza at a local place and so I got that and we spent the whole evening watching "Elf" and crafting away... I love how our little Christmas gnomes turned out!


Advent days #19 - #22

#19: Skating at the roller rink

Didn't do this one. We have it on our list, but I would have had to take the kids by myself and I was beat from all of the cooking, cleaning, and shopping that also had to be done. It is now in the 'to do' list for Jan.

#20: Fantasy lights with hot cocoa

What a fun show this year! The drive through was especially nice. :)

#21: Christmas cookies for the neighbors

This was a fun treat! We finished up all the packages and got the neighbors their sweet treats while getting most of the sugary stuff out of the house. Of course, I had forgotten about the next days craft:

#22: Fruit and Nuts dipped in Chocolate

So much for the no sugar thing.... we tucked most of these fruits dipped in chocolate into gift and care packages, but we still got a dose of sugar that day... and it was good! I followed it up with a nice big dinner salad and some homemade lentil soup with fresh bread for dinner.

Logan was THRILLED with his job of putting on the sprinkles. He would get ahead of the dippers and say "Hey guys... I got no more to sprinkle!"


Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent ~ Days 15 - 18

Day #15: Gingerbread houses

Due to being 8 mos pregnant right now, I opted for kits for our gingerbread houses this year... you would think this would be an easy project, but two dropped box kits later and us two mamas were pulling out the glue gun to put back together the beautiful gingerbread houses so the kids could decorate them. It was quite the adventure and I am SO glad I planned to do this one with friends! :)

They turned out pretty cute anyhow and the Alex added the origami stars at above each house. I think they added a wonderful touch. But eatable? These houses were NOT! lol...

#16: Paper snowflakes and bake something YUMMY!

Since we had already done snowflakes, this day was another way to get my kids to help with the holiday treat making! They had a lot of fun (as you can see from the rainbow that Alex made out of these yummy treats).

#17: Poptop can gifts for friends

These are the cutest gifts I think I have ever seen. Made out of recycled cans, each of these little treats have a diecast car (boys) or a Littlest Pet Shop critter (girls). Click over to my other blog (here) for a tutorial!

18. Special chocolate and surprise!

These last two go together... we spent the evening going around to all of our friends houses and bringing some surprise cheer to all the children. We decided to take the long ways through the neighborhoods to scout Christmas lights (of which, there are surprisingly few this year) and pick up hot chocolate and hot cider to keep warm along the way.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent ~ Days 11 - 14

This week got thrown off a little by the absolutely amazingly horrible weather and baking hundreds of cookies. We have had downpours nearly all week long, and at night, we get wind storms that have now blown down most of our fence between us and the neighbors. It's crazy! Today we were all excited that it wasn't actually raining, but it was just drizzle and cloudy. lol!

Day 10: Watching Christmas movie with popcorn and a treat

I rented The Sesame Street Christmas Story for the kids. They loved it!

Day 11: A surprise outing!

We went to see Narnia in the theater! (We don't ever take the kids to the theater so that was super special and the gesture got lots of squealing and bouncing as we pulled in). I even bought Turkish Delights for the occasion and we sat in the theater, happy as clams and watched my favorite childhood book turned movie. It was wonderful!

Day 12: Go shopping for mommy with daddy

I didn't get pictures of this one, cuz I couldn't be there. ;) But the kids and Don went out and got me 'something'...

Day 13: Zoo lights with hot cider

Skipped this due to not wanting to end up soaking wet walking through the zoo in horrible weather, but Alex is keeping track of what we are not doing and we will do it after Christmas. Instead, we got another Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, and I let them eat in front of the tv, another rare thing. Then we had a cookie from the batch I was baking. They were very happy about it all and said it felt like camping.

Day 14: Paper hearts and bake something yummy!

I lined this event up perfectly with having to send all the cookies out. My willing helpers were HUGE help, and honestly, they bake better than I do already.

Logan was sweet and helpful too, in his own sweet toddler way:


Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent ~ Days 7 - 9

Day 7: Make recycled wrappings!

We made a lot of these little envelopes that we put our beeswax ornaments into and are planning on tucking those in sweet gift boxes.

We also made a ton of gift bags. Some out of book pages and some out of calendar pages. Tutorial is here.

Day #8: A soapy project! This one we didn't get to. It is the first one that we have had other things going on that day. Instead, we went ice skating! It was CRAZY fun and we are all thinking now of getting lessons (after Feb, of course). What an addictive sport!

Day #9: Making paper crafts with friends.

Paper bits were flying at my house when our friends came over for some cookies, hot tea, and paper crafting. We made Waldorf Stars, paper ball ornaments, and I got to learn a new way to make beautiful snowflakes! It was a blast!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent ~ Days 4 - 6

Day 4: Breakfast with Santa at the Station. Here is the Chief reading 'Night Before Christmas' to the kids before breakfast. :)

After breakfast each kid got to sit on Santa's lap and pick a toy from 'the workshop' (ie: the turnout tables. lol...) which they thought was the BEST THING EVER!

Day #5: Make beeswax ornaments:

These turned out beautiful!

Day #6: Pick our Christmas tree with daddy!

The kids were thrilled that we were going to a tree farm this year. It has been a while as we have bought them from places that source locally instead of cutting them ourselves since we have been up here. Don found this beautiful little tree farm right in the city and we got to pick our favorite from hundreds of beautiful trees, and take it home.

Shocking as it was, in the two years since we have cut our own tree, Alex is now able to cut, carry, and put the 8 ft tree on top of the car all by himself. I was stunned! My boy is getting so amazingly big!

Stay tuned for more Advent Activities very soon!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent ~ Days 1 - 3

Our first three days of advent have been wonderful! I love having these scheduled activities to do each day. It makes for some really great memories!

Day #1: Put up lights with daddy

We added 4 blue lights and one green light to honor the officers who were murdered last year at this time. It is a small supportive gesture during a hard part of the year without those men and women in blue.

Day #2: Journey to Bethlehem.

If you have never done the Journey to Bethlehem experience, I highly suggest it! It is a live action play that you are invited to take part in. Become part of a family who is on their way to seek the baby Jesus in his manger on that day so long ago. Hear the angels sing his praises and see the gifts of the 3 Kings for yourself. An amazing experience!

Day #3: Making wool felt hearts for the Christmas tree.

Just a simple blanket stitch around a felted sweater heart with some fun buttons thrown in for flare. But what a cute ornament they make!

Happy Holiday Season folks! More to come!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Advent time again!!

Our advent list for this year includes:

1. Put up lights with daddy
2. Journey to Bethlehem
3. Wool Felt Heart ornaments
4. Breakfast with Santa at the Station
5. Make beeswax heart ornaments for the tree
6. Pick out Christmas tree with daddy
7. Recycled wrapping projects
8. Make snowglobe soaps for gifts
9. Paper star and ball ornaments with friends
10. Watching Christmas movie with popcorn and a treat
11. A surprise outing!
12. Go shopping for mommy with daddy
13. Zoo lights with hot cider
14. Paper hearts and bake something yummy!
15. Gingerbread houses
16. Paper snowflakes
17. Popcan gifts for friends
18. Special chocolate
19. Skating at the roller rink
20. Fantasy lights with hot cocoa
21. Christmas cookies for the neighbors
22. Fruit and Nuts dipped in Chocolate
23. Wrap gifts with mommy
24. Have a gnome bonfire with s’mores
25. Open Stocking!

Tomorrow, the fun begins!

Last years advent list, just in case more inspiration is desired.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Logan's newest skill

He's drawing. :) Before it was a scribble that he figured out what it was afterwards. Yesterday, it magically morphed into a lucid thought of what he is going to draw before hand. He came up to me with 'guys' and 'monsters' and 'monsters coming out of water' and each one was a beautiful stick drawing that had too many arms, but always the basic elements of a 'guy'. Eye, legs, arms, body, feet and hands (and most of the time this little tuft of hair like from a Dr Suess book). It was a really beautiful moment.

It is a mind shift that I noticed pretty much the day it happened with all of my children. Alex's first drawing of "guys" as he called it, was so beautiful it made me cry. He was about 4 1/2, and he had sat down at the table to draw while I was cooking dinner. He came up to me, and there were four distinct different drawings on his paper, and with this huge light in his eyes he told me "Look mama! I made guys!" Then I saw it... the circles he had made had legs, arms, and a face! One even had a hat. I stopped and turned off the stove and we sat there and 'made guys' together for the next half hour. I honestly don't remember what happened to dinner. But that first picture where he depicted something real it safely tucked away in his baby book so he can look at it and remember those moments with his own kids.

With Cyan it was a harder thing to tell. She always had more purpose in her drawings and she always wanted them to be a certain way. I do remember when she was able to make the pen do what she wanted, but it was more of weeks and months of her getting frustrated and then all of a sudden it came, like a flash, and she was making people. People with 12 fingers, and everyone had pointy feet, but people just the same... oh, she drew a horse that day, too. This moment is also tucked away in her memory box.

Sometimes, homeschooling isn't so much about 'education' as it is about being there for every second of a child's development. Knowing when these shifts happen and being able to see the subtle things that you would miss if you had to be away from them 10 hours each day. That is the main reason I started homeschooling. I couldn't stand the thought that some of these seemingly insignificant moments would be missed or glossed over, or perhaps, if I was lucky to find a good caregiver, told to me afterwards. There is real struggle with having your children with you all the time, but the beauty you find in being able to talk about the day that he learned to draw and knowing how incredible that was is something you can not replace later in life. I could never get over the idea of someone else having those moments with my children and not understanding how amazing and fantastic they truly are. So they are home with me... where they belong.