Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent Week Two-ish

Dec 9th: Open a Family Gift (legos)
              Read The Legend of the Candy Cane

Dec 10th: Make gingerbread houses
                 Read Santaclaustrophobia

Dec 11th: Make treats
                 Read My Penguin Osbert

Dec 12th: Draw names for sibling gift exchange
                 Read Texas Night Before Christmas

Dec 13th: Make Neighbor Gifts (um, dear neighbors, this was a crazy week and it never happened.                                      
                 We still love you I promise!)
                 Read Silent Night Holy Night*

Dec 14th: Snowball Fight!
                 Read The Christmas Candle

Dec 15th: Shopping for sibling gifts
                 Read I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day*
                 -a couple of years back when I linked this book I also linked to a video of this story
                  being told at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Performance.  You can see
                  that HERE.  If you haven't seen it, you should watch it!

Dec 16th: Open Family Gift (Disney storybooks)
                 Read A Christmas Dress for Ellen*

Dec 17th: Special Family Outing (Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband Christmas concert-such a blast!)
                 Read Mr Finnegan's Giving Chest

*Again, these are the ones that always make me cry
I have linked each book so you can see what it is as some of these books have titles that are the same as other books.  I linked to amazon out of convenience.  Some of them are listed there at ridiculous prices, so if you are interested in tracking them down, obviously look around!  The Legend of the Candy Cane I linked to a different site because the one listed on amazon is the "newly illustrated" version.  The story is the same but I really don't like how cartoony it is now, especially since the illustration in the version we have is one of my favorite things about it.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advent and Christmas Stories, week one

I have tried a couple of times in the past to post the Christmas stories we read each night.  Or rather that we try to read each night.  You know how December is, some nights the story just doesn't fit in with the rest of the crazy so we end up reading two the next night.

This year I also needed something to keep the Christmas countdown fun instead of just crazy, and something that directly gave us family time each night.  I hate being pulled so many directions this time of year!  While there are some things we have needed to work around (school performances, etc), it has been nice to have things to look forward to with the family each night.  Not to mention that it has been great to be able to decline other things for the sake of "we have family plans".  I may do that more often with life after this month ends!

I am all for simple; ribbon, clothes pins and some cute envelopes.

Since I pulled ideas from other friends doing their own advent calendars, I thought I would share ours.  But it will have to be one week(ish) at a time and after the fact due to my children getting older and internet savvy and reading this blog now.  Still adjusting to that.

One other twist we have added to our month of holiday fun is opening a family gift each Sunday.  We usually do a handful of family gifts on Christmas-games, movies, books-that often get lost in the fray or even just kind of set aside for later after the excitement of each child's gifts settles a little.  Last year  the amazing Becky mentioned her idea to avoid that same issue of gift overload on Christmas day.  Instead of waiting until Christmas they did a family gift each Sunday in December.  (if you are not familiar with Becky you should be-she is amazing and brilliant and so awesome!)
We have adopted this idea as well and so far are loving it!  I am especially loving that it encourages us to spend more time together on Sunday afternoons and evenings instead of the kids wandering off to their own corners of the house and doing their own thing.

Dec 1st - Write Letters to Santa
                Read Mooseltoe

Dec 2nd - Open a Family Gift (our new Christmas Story for this year, The Christmas Train*)
                 Read  new Christmas Book

Dec 3rd - Make Snowball (a favorite family treat)
                Read Christopher Pop-In-Kins (Elf on the Shelf creeps me out, but this one I can do!)

Dec 4th - Hot Cocoa Bar
                Read The Christmas Stocking Story

Dec 5th - Eat Candy Canes (this was a busy night)
                Read Christmas Oranges*

Dec 6th - Go Out for Ice Cream
                Read How Murray Saved Christmas

Dec 7th - Christmas Movie Night
                Read Josie's Gift*

Dec 8th - Visit Santa
                Read The Polar Express

(you will see some stories with *, these are the ones that make me cry. Just to warn you, if you happen to be a boob like me.)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A whole lot

Of catching up to do.
A couple of giveaways.
And some reviews.
Workouts and running plans.
A big birthday.
Sam adventures.
Holiday stuff too.

Not all right this minute.

But after a serious hiatus I am hoping to jump back on the blogging bandwagon.

I find myself desperately craving family time lately, being with just hubby and the kids.  So much stuff keeps getting in the way!  Not that we don't have a great time with friends, on double dates, and hanging with extended family, but life keeps flying by at warp speed and I'm missing just *being*.  So instead of chronicling life lately, I've just been soaking up the minutes that I do get.  It's been good.
More story time, more playing with littles, more good stuff.  I feel like I'm kind of staring to find a balance again between the must do's and want to do's. It's a good feeling.

That was all brought back around after a couple of weeks of making time for one on one with kids and hubby, and ending with a grand finale of a hospitalized kid.  You know there's never a dull moment here!

Good things to come.  Stay tuned.

And yes, even though it was six weeks ago, Halloween will show up too.

Happy Tuesday.