Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Mommy, Look it's Christmas!"

"Mommy, why does Christmas just take sooo long to get here?" -Allie, age 5
"But when it gets here, it's gonna be fuuun!" {giggle, giggle} -Bethany, age 4

 While pointing at the Christmas tree, "Mommy, look it's Christmas!" -Judah, age 2

I put on the lights and the ribbon, and then I just let the kids have full reign of decorating!  They put stuff wherever they wanted.  After they went to bed that night, I had fun rearranging! 

We sent the grandparents early Christmas kisses the other day!

 Such little sillies!  All we talk about these days is Christmas!

The day after Thanksgiving the tree went up and decorations started appearing here and there.  I think I was a little late by Brazilian standards.  My neighbor had already had her tree up for a couple of weeks!  But of course, Brazilians don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving since it is an American holiday.

I had such fun decorating for Christmas this year.  Last year the tree was my Christmas present, but all I had were a few balls to put on it.  This year I got to add lights, snowflakes, berries, pinecones, and a tree skirt--thanks to my sweet mom that likes to send me packages full of goodies! 
I am just so happy with my pretty tree.  Someday I'll have to show you the rest of my décor, but that is still a work in progress...probably until Christmas day! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Advent Bowl

In the mail a few weeks ago came this beautiful trifle bowl.  It makes the regular 'ole desserts look beautiful, and when it isn't busy fulfilling it's dessert duties, I am repurposing it!

It held a beautiful little pumpkin during Thanksgiving, but now, it holds something better.  At least that's what my kids think!  It's our "advent bowl".

For a few years I have been wanting to do something to count down the days until Christmas.  This year I found a perfect idea for us.  I made teeny cardboard boxes, put the "prize" inside {which is generally a piece of paper telling about the activity they get to do} and wrapped them up!
Yesterday, being the first day of December... was the first day!
  Can't you just feel the excitement!?
They unwrapped a baby Jesus and a manger.  Grandma sent a Nativity set for the kids to play with, and I have been saving it for a couple of months for this day.  They love it!
Allie loves telling the story.  Mary and baby Jesus are the favorite pieces!
Judah just thinks it's the best thing in the world.  Especially the camel and the palm tree!
I have different activities written down for each day.  I'll tell them to you as long as you don't tell my kids, they are just dying to know.  They want to unwrap them all TODAY!

Some of these will be repeats just in case your wondering why I don't have 25 things on here.  

1. Nativity set
2. Make hot (or cold) chocolate with whipped cream and Christmas sprinkles.
3. A special candy from America.
4. Make paper snowflakes with mommy.
5. Color a Christmas picture.
6. Do a random act of kindness.
7. Sing Christmas carols together.
8. Write Christmas cards to other missionaries.
9. Make a gingerbread house.
10. Skype grandparents.
11. Write Christmas cards to family.
12. Make special homemade ornaments.
13. Read a new Christmas story.
14. Have a picnic by the Christmas tree.
15. Decorate Christmas cookies.
16. Eat a candy cane.
17. Go out for ice cream.
18. Draw Christmas trees on our outside walls with sidewalk chalk.
19. Have a game night.
20. Make a special Christmas craft (or homemade play dough).
21. Watch a Christmas video.
22. Open one present early.

Well, Christmas is on it's way!  The kids are ready.  This advent thing works pretty well.  For now, they have forgotten about the presents they'll get on Christmas, and they're just excited about finding out what they get to do each day.  I think it will help pass the time!