Thursday, December 27, 2012

Advent Continued....

DEC 13- Go to a Christmas Recital.
The recital was actually on 2 nights (that's why we didn't have time to sit on Santa's lap the night before.) She did much better the first night, but she was so cute on both. I think she enjoyed herself, but everybody's glad that it's over.

 This wasn't really a Christmas recital, but we counted it because it was in December. They did a "Grease" production this year and all the girls did great.

 We treated her to Wendy's afterward because 1) she did so good and 2) because she was starving.
 DEC 14- Sleep under the Christmas Tree
 I thought this sounded so fun, but it really turned out to be a horrible idea. We left the tree lights on, which made it way too bright to sleep, and although we put down MANY LAYERS of padding, it did nothing to help us sleep comfortably. Not even Kaydance. In fact, she woke up at about 3 a.m. and asked me if she could just go get in her bed to finish sleeping... smart girl!

DEC 15- Do a service project
 We were scheduled to clean the church this morning, but since we didn't sleep great the night before under the tree, we let Trevor go and I stayed home while the kids slept in. So we ended up doing some chores at my mom's house. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dishes. Nothing too extraordinary.

 DEC 16- Go to a Christmas Concert
 Trevor and his dad joined the Community Choir this year and this night was the concert. They did great.
 Kaydance is becoming a pretty good photographer. She took these last two pictures.

 DEC 17- Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
 We decided on A Muppet's Christmas Carol. Classic.
 DEC 18- Make Christmas treats.
 Brownies with chocolate chips, fruity pebbles rice krispie treats, and no-bake cookies.

DEC 19- Deliver Christmas treats
 Kaydance helped me make the plates by punching holes around the edges and threading ribbon through. They turned out really cute.
We also went out and played in the snow. She loved making snow angels.

 DEC 20- Wrap presents.
 DEC 21- Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
 We decided to pop some popcorn and eat it in the car while we drove around. It was a great idea ( and gave us more popcorn to add to the already massive amount of it that we've eaten this season!) It was late by the time we got out of the house and the kids didn't last long.

DEC 22- Buy and donate items to the food bank.
 She was having a hard day today. The Food Bank was closed for the day, so we found a donation cart at one of the grocery stores and dropped it off there.
 DEC 23- Call and wish someone Merry Christmas
 She wanted to call Uncle Jordan, Aunt Jaicee, and her cousins, Naivie, Norah, Daphne and Clay

DEC 24- Open one present
 New Jammies, of course. Nolan wasn't too interested in opening anything so Kaydance helped every chance she could.

This was such a fun advent calendar for us. By the end though we were running ourselves pretty ragged. Trevor thinks I should just do 12 days next year. I might. At times it was stressful to get the activity done, but I think it was well worth it and helped us get in the Christmas mood!

Friday, December 14, 2012

December Advent

This Christmas I decided to do an advent calendar. I've always wanted to do one, and this year seemed like a good time to start. I'm so excited about starting some of our own traditions for December each year. I started out by using A LOT of toilet paper. And stealing some from other family members.  Inside each elf is an activity, a treat, a puzzle piece, and a cotton ball. It was just going to be candy and an activity, but that didn't seem like enough. So I made these other countdown things and added the other stuff to give us more to do!
Kaydance has LOVED being able to open an elf every day this month. She loves that she gets to have a piece of candy everyday, and she loves being able to do an activity every night. It has been so fun for all of us. I mostly came up with all the ideas for the activities myself, but I did cheat a little and made some of the activities things that I knew we were already going to do on a certain night. 
DEC 1 - Go to a Christmas light parade
 I love little Nolan's face in this picture. He makes me smile so much. Both kids loved being outside. Nolan fell asleep about 3 minutes into the parade, but Kaydance loved watching all the floats with her hot chocolate mustache.
 DEC 2- Decorate the tree
 We put Nolan to bed before we did this one in hopes that he wouldn't go after the tree in the coming days. So far, it has worked.
 DEC 3 - Read a Christmas Story
 We read a Charlie Brown Christmas, again without Nolan. Sometimes our lives are too crazy and we don't get to do these activities until after bedtime :( Maybe next year we'll do a little better.
 DEC 4 - Make a tree ornament
 I found this cute, and really easy, ornament to make on pinterest. Take q-tips and cut one end off. Dip the other end in glue and then epsom salt. Then poke them into a styrofoam ball to make snowflakes. Kaydance didn't want to stop.
 DEC 5 - Learn Christmas songs and go caroling
 I cheated on this one because I knew the youth in our ward were going caroling for mutual. I'm in the young women's, so I decided to bring along the family and make it count. Kaydance loved singing Jingle Bells and We wish you a Merry Christmas. Also, she can now hear a song on the radio that we sang that night and recognize it, even though she doesn't remember the words.

DEC 6- Cut out paper snowflakes.
 Kaydance was all over this activity. She loves any sort of arts and crafts project. We tried to get her to fold hers in a triangle, but she thought a square snowflake would look better.

 Nolan was at least present during this activity. He crawled around and played in empty boxes mostly. A good time for everyone!

 DEC 7 - Have a dance party to Christmas music
 We blasted some Trans-siberian orchestra and went to town. We even had Grandma and Grandpa, along with Uncle Brennan and Aunt Emma. Here's what Grandpa did .

 DEC 8 - Read the Nativity story and act it out.

 This one was a little tricky since there were only 3 of us. We had to take turns reading and switching our characters. But is was fun.
DEC 9 - Bundle up and take a walk outside
 We definitely needed bundling up!! It had been a really warm December up until this day. It was FREEZING! We only walked a few blocks over to Grandma Berta's house. We stayed there and ate cinnamon rolls and stayed up laughing way too late. So fun!
 DEC 10 - Have hot chocolate with all the toppings
 Kaydance loves marshmallows. I let her go ahead and have as many as she wanted this night. I think she ended up eating more weight in marshmallows than she did in hot chocolate.

 DEC 11 - Write a letter to Santa Claus
 This little girl knew exactly what she wanted to write. " Dear Santa, I want a castle with princesses" Later, I added that she wanted reindeer too, as I was instructed to. I'm so proud of her though. I only helped her with a few letters. She's getting so smart!

DEC 12- Go to a Christmas party

 This was another cheat. It was our ward party that night so I used that instead of planning a party of my own. This is a horrible picture of Kaydance eating. She really was enjoying it though. It's just the only one I got.
 Nolan did get to sit on Santa's lap this year. He didn't cry, but wasn't too sure about the whole idea. Kaydance and I didn't stay long enough to see Santa. We had to leave in a hurry to make it to her dance recital. (More on that next time.)
We have had so much fun doing all of these things. I'm super glad I decided to take the time and plan stuff to do as a family. (And it's forced me to take more pictures too )