Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Graham was excited to decorate his gingerbread house for Advent this year.

Before...

Since big brother was feeling under the weather, it was pretty much a one man show. Which is EXACTLY how he wanted it.




I threw out the kit frosting and broke out a can of the good, spreadable kind. MUCH easier for letting little ones stick candy in here, there and everywhere at their leisure. And, it hardens pretty much the same way the kit frosting does, but it takes a bit longer.

The finished product...

I have a perfect spot for it in Graham's room. And, since his tree has a candy theme, it fits in perfectly! Too bad he wants to lick it every night before bed though...

Monday, December 13, 2010

more advent



Tonight we did my favorite advent activity so far, bubble baths! I told both Isaac and Graham that I had something special for them. I locked the door to the bathroom and filled a bathtub with bubbles for them, lit some candles and turned on some Christmas music. When I brought Graham in (he was first), his eyes got the size of quarters and he looked around in amazement. He couldn't believe it was just for him! It was the sweetest thing I have seen in a long time! Isaac loved the extra special attention too. It got me to thinking about servanthood, which you can read about here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Double click to enlarge


I feel like this is the first time, maybe ever, that I have actually ENJOYED the Christmas season! From financial stress and strain, trying to get everything done, and managing major life transitions like having a baby or moving, The Reason for Christmas usually gets overshadowed with life's "stuff."
Our advent tree has really helped me (forced me) to stop and enjoy the little things throughout the days leading up to December 25th. I am the sort of person that needs a structure to follow, otherwise I tend to be undisciplined. Having the "structure" of an advent tree gives me a blueprint of sorts for taking time with my family. Here is a list of our advent activities: (I missed the first two days of December)
December 3: Make Christmas crafts with the REACH group
December 4: Go see Santa!
December 5: Family game night
December 6: Make paper snowflakes (I had no idea there were so many different ways to make them until I googled it!)
December 7: Make pipe cleaner candy canes
December 8: Make Sugar cookies (see photos above!)
December 9: Dress fancy for supper (Isaac will love this one!)
December 10: Watch Polar Express and stay in jammies all day
December 11: Go to a movie as a family
December 12: Make a snowman or go sledding
December 13: Candle lit bubble bath with Christmas music
December 14: Make a gingerbread house
December 15: Awana Christmas party
December 16: Go caroling with REACH group
December 17: Graham's Christmas concert
December 18: Celebrate Christmas at Aunty Mel and Uncle Doug's!!!!
December 19: Read a Christmas book
December 20: Make Jesus a birthday cake
December 21: Make a paper chain garland
December 23: Christmas with mom and dad!!!!
December 24: Christmas Eve...head to the Farm!
December 25: Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent

I have always wanted to do something to celebrate Advent with my kids. Each year, the month of December slips by in a flash, and before I know it, Christmas is over and I feel like we didn't really "savor" the season and its meaning. My kids are usually just left with a huge pile of toys and some accompanying post-Christmas greed. This year, I want to at least try to enjoy the Christmas season for more than just the presents it brings. I recently put up an advent tree in our homeschool room. This is compliments of Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Each day in December, Isaac picks an ornament off the tree and we will do the corresponding activity on the back. Some activities are ideas that I got off of the Confessions blog, and others are my own. Here are a few of the activities: watch polar express and stay in your jammies all day, go Christmas caroling, dress fancy for supper, take a candle-lit bubble bath with Christmas music, make a snowman, make a paper chain, make a gingerbread house, help wrap presents, go to a movie, family game night, make a birthday cake for Jesus, etc.
I am really looking forward to it! Photos to follow...
Tonight I took inventory on our progress so far. According to my count, I need to pick up the pace if I want Isaac to be finished with his curriculum in mid-may! Starting in January, we will be doubling up on his writing lessons every day, as well as fitting in at least a couple of extra phonics lessons per day. I am not sure how we got "behind," but I do not like the idea! Also, I want some flexibility for illness or outings this spring.
Happy Advent everyone!