Sunday, December 27, 2015

Advent #3

Be prepared – it has been a long time since my last post and this a busy season. Day 8 – Make ornaments. This one may end up taking up a lot of space on a tree if I continue to do it every year. I am contemplating whether I want to save all these homemade ornaments every year. We did not get to this one on this day, but we did get it started yesterday, which is just in time for Christmas. Day 9 – Letter to Ashel. Ashel is our Compassion child. He is the same age as Madison, and so the girls have connected (at least a little) with him. This year they made him Christmas cards – complete with glitter! – and wrote a personal message in it. We also sent him our Christmas photo, some stickers, Band-Aids, and a few other miscellaneous things that I hope he has fun with. It is hard to know, since they usually use a form-like letter to help him write back. We don’t hear many things that signify he has read our last letter. I get it because he is only six, but this is one thing as they get older I wish would change more. Day 10 – Make paper snowflakes. We didn’t. I have no idea why. It saved me from cleaning up a whole lot of little scraps of paper. Day 11 – Make cookies. We did do this, but the next day. We had my nephew, Landen, over on this day, and it was a beautiful day! So, instead of working on cookies, we headed outside. We biked, walked, and scootered up to MCC Connections to see Grandpa, stopped by Lehman’s to watch the train, and had fun on the playset. The morning passed quickly. By afternoon, I was needing to head to Madison’s school to do kindergarten café, and we just ran out of time. Kindergarten Café…. Wow! I pre-made rice krispie treats in the shape of Christmas trees. The kindergarteners job was to decorate it with frosting and sprinkles. I am sure there are ways to make this less messy; I did not use any of them. The kids had frosting all over them! They piled the treat high with frosting and even higher with the amount of sprinkles. I have no idea what to even say about it. My kids show much more restraint when frosting cookies (even Ellie when she wasn’t even 3!), so it just surprised me a bit. I am sure not all of their parents let them loose with the frosting at home though either, so it is definitely a learning experience.
Day 12 – Decorate cookies. So this was the day we actually cut out and baked the cookies. The girls had a lot of fun. They are actually pretty good at arranging the cookies cutter to not waste space and need to re-roll the dough repeatedly. I had doubled the batch this year. Last year, I must have at least tripled it. While this is enough that they were tired by the end, it doesn’t make a lot of cookies to give away. I think we made about 36-48.
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Day 13 – Winter walk. Well, the day was not wintery. No day has been wintery recently. Sometimes, I think I put this in as a catch-up day. We did not do this. We ended up going out to eat for lunch and then picking up some groceries we needed for the youth group party that evening. It was a good time as a family regardless, which is the point of the advent activities. The youth group party was a lot of fun. The girls really enjoy going and watching what the big kids like to do, and they get a little extra hang out time with their cousins, Sam and Lilli, which is always fun. Day 14 – Stuff and stamp cards. Today we frosted the cookies. (Are you keeping up with this mess? I have a master list where I check off what we did and did not do and then work to fit it in if we missed a day.) They did a great job frosting cookies. As always, I am amazed at the restraint they show in not licking their fingers when they get frosting on them. It is pretty impressive.
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Day 15 – Eat snowmen pancakes. We did it! On this day! The girls love this one, and ask for it all year round. It requires very little effort on my part, but I can see the appeal – BIG pancake, candies and special toppings to cover it. They actually eat the whole thing – surprising considering it is almost three regular size pancakes. This time, they started decorating the house with signs and pictures. They also put a sign on the window inviting anyone driving by to join us. I had very little to fear because the sign was so small no one could actually see it from the road. I did call my parents to invite them over to make it special. Dad was able to come; Mom was working on getting everything in order for our family Christmas later in the week. The girls had a great time teaching Grandpa the ropes of the snowman pancake!
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Day 16 – Make a gift for your teacher. This one could not be put off, but it was. We put Ellie’s reindeer and Santa cups together on Thursday morning before preschool and Madison did hers that evening. It was a little on the last minute side of things! They turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. I don’t have pictures of it, but you can see what we did here.
     Simple Christmas Treat Cups - quick and inexpensive fun for the kids this holiday season! These cute cups are perfect for party favours, classroom treats and double as an easy holiday craft!
Day 17 – Attend a Christmas concert. Madison had her kindergarten choir concert tonight. Her class did a really good job. She did a great job standing in the front row and having her hands to her side. (I assume this was talked about because it looked like she was putting some effort into that.)  I got a good picture of her with her teacher too!
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Day 18 – Christmas movie and popcorn.  We started Christmas with my side of the family this night, so this did not happen until Sunday night.  We watched Eloise at Christmastime.  It was a cute movie.  What we actually did was stuff and stamp Christmas cards.  My nephew was with us again, and he was an excellent helper.  He put on stamps, and Ellie put on the return address label.  I finished the job with the address label and sealing the card.  Jeremy and I had stuffed them earlier in the week. 
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Day 19 – Make Christmas craft.  We didn’t do this yet,but I think we will get to it.  We had Christmas with my family and the kids were too busy to do a craft. Day 20 – Look at lights.  I would like to do this before their Christmas break is over, but we did not take time to do it today. (We did the movie instead.) Day 21 – Deliver treats to neighbors and friends.  While we were ready to do this, I didn’t feel like going out in the rain.  So, we will do this another night.  (We made the ornaments instead.) We have a few more days of advent left.  I imagine we will catch up on some activities and get behind on others.  I will post again about how it ends, Christmas times, and another fun event that happened in the past 10 days – a lost tooth!  My goal is to get at least two more posts in this week; we’ll see.  I also need to clean, get a few more gifts, wrap gifts, prep for the next Christmas worth of food, and other stuff.  Until then.

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