52home: Week 49 (Part 1)

Let the Advent celebrations begin…

It Feels Like A Kalico Kitchen Morning
[ONE] Saturday 11/26/2011 • 10:12am

The Advent Calendar is Finally Complete!!!
[TWO] Saturday 11/26/2011 • 8:59am

I was in charge of the Advent planning for this year. So, I bought a plastic shoe rack to hold all 28 days worth of activities. I then printed 2″ circles with numbers for each day and glued them to a paper rectangle (which are just cut paper bags and then crumpled for texture). I found a snowflake cookie cutter…and I then used it to add white paint for extra “bling” behind the paper numbers. We bought “mystery” candy from the Russian store (so we have no idea what we’re eating) and I placed three wrapped candies in each pocket. I also found an ornament in our Christmas box to coordinate with each day. Naomi is really excited to hang one decoration on the tree every morning!!! For each day, I picked a theme to build on and will try to document the theme as the days go on. I’m really excited to celebrate Advent this year…and prepare my heart and mind for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Aaron and I are also reading “The Uncluttered Heart” in the wee hours of the morning. I can’t wait until Naomi is older…and she can participate in our morning devotional discussions. I’m also hoping to add the lighting of the Advent candle in the coming years.

Advent Day 1: Trees
[ONE] Sunday 11/27/2011 • 12:08pm

1. Books

This book was a little boring for Naomi to listen to…and a little lame to read out loud. I think it was due to the fact that this book was a memoir about a little girl who was raised on a tree farm instead of a story about a tree farm. RATING: ◊

We absolutely love this book!!! I cannot count how many times we read this book all week. Since we received this book from the library, I think we will go ahead and purchase this one for future Christmas celebrations. We also started a new tradition of cutting off the top of a real Christmas tree (just like the story) so Naomi can decorate it all by herself. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

A must own Christmas classic!!! I can’t count how many times Naomi asked to watch this movie. I think she really enjoyed it. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Set-up Christmas Tree

4. Treat: Decorate sugar cone trees

5. Field Trip: Camden Tree Ranch

Advent Dinner at The Porch
[TWO] Sunday 11/27/2011 • 5:44pm

On the first Sunday of Advent, we merged with another church (Kaleo) for the evening. Everyone crammed in to The Porch for an evening of tasty Haitian cuisine and a viewing of a short film by “Piti Piti”. This video shared a little bit about this non-profit and how everyone can join their efforts in Haiti. Our Pastor (Dave Wilkinson) plays a major role in the “Piti Piti” non-profit. It’s neat to see what he is working on outside of being a pastor on Sunday evenings. It’s like he has a real life or something…

Advent Day 2: Stars
Monday 11/28/2011 • 6:31pm

1. Books

We really liked the silver foiled star found throughout the book. It really sparked as we turned the pages. However, I’m not so sure about the story. I don’t think I would buy this book, but I might get it from the library again. RATING: ◊◊◊

This book had some really big words in it. I think it would have been more interesting for a five or six year old. Again, this book is not one that I would recommend, but it was worth borrowing from the library. RATING: ◊◊◊

2. Movie

This wasn’t as entertaining as some of the other VeggieTales movies, but it’s definitely worth sitting through during the Christmas season. RATING: ◊◊◊

3. Activity: Star on the Christmas tree

4. Treat: Make star shaped sugar cookies

Believe it or not, this was the FIRST time Aaron and I have ever made sugar cookies (we had no idea what we were doing). It was so much fun…and Naomi was a little too excited about frosting and sprinkles.

5: Field Trip: Star gazing in the back yard + Thai Bamboo for dinner

After grabbing a pile of blankets, we went out on the back porch to gaze at the stars for 30 minutes. It was a little chilly outside but we somehow managed to stick it out and talk about the star that the shepherds followed to find baby Jesus!!! Afterwards, we decided to go to “Thai Bamboo” to gaze at the amazing star ceiling. It was nice to warm up with a pot of tea and a steamy bowl of Pad Thai noodles.

Fancy Afternoon Tea
[ONE] Tuesday 11/29/2011 • 11:23am

I decided to take Sarah to “Taste & See Tea” for her birthday this year. It was absolutely amazing…and completely girly. They presented us with a tasty five course meal (I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the Tomato Soup because I enjoyed every bite before I could grab my camera). We were also offered as many pots of tea we could drink from their extensive selection. When all was said and done, I think we had over TEN pots of tea in a three hour period. When it comes to friends, Sarah is the cream of the crop. I’m so thankful we were able to visit for her birthday this year…and make some new memories.

Advent Day 3: Lights
[TWO] Tuesday 11/29/2011 • 4:55pm

1. Book

Naomi loves the “I Spy” books, but for some reason this one didn’t tickle her fancy (whatever a “fancy” is…I don’t know). Maybe she’ll enjoy it as she gets older (when she can follow along with the riddles). I picked this book because it had a page with Christmas lights. Currently, I’m on the hunt for a good Christmas book that features lights as the main part of the story. RATING: ◊◊◊

2. Movies

I don’t know if I laugh at many Christmas movies, but this one definitely takes the cake. I could watch this one everyday if Aaron would be okay with it. However, due to some adult humor, I wouldn’t recommend this movie for kids under 12 years old. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

Since I couldn’t find a decent “child friendly” Christmas movie that had a scene with lights…we watched youtube.com videos of different houses that had crazy lights synced to music.

3. Activity: Put lights on the Christmas tree

4. Treat: Hot buttered rum + hot chocolate

I didn’t have a good “light” themed treat, so we just went for a warm beverage while we looked at lights.

5: Field Trip: Holiday light display on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Advent Day 4: Drums
[ONE] Wednesday 11/30/2011 • 1:16pm

1. Books

An interesting little book that uses “The Little Drummer Boy” song lyrics as the text and incorporates beautiful imagery on every page. RATING: ◊◊◊

This book had nothing to do with Christmas, but it was a fun “extra” book to read during Advent. It was just a story about a city full of people drumming…and it all started with one boy drumming through the streets. I wanted to use this book to get Naomi excited about the theme for the day. RATING: ◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

I forgot how much I like “The Little Drummer Boy” Christmas classic. It was an entertaining movie for everyone in our family. RATING: ◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Play the drums to “The Little Drummer Boy” song

4. Treat: Make drums from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups + Pretzel sticks

(Sorry…I don’t have a picture for this one.)

5: Field Trip: Mobius Children’s Museum (play the drums)

I didn’t get any pictures of the three of us playing the drums at Mobius. But rest assured…we entertained the masses with our mad drum playing skills.

Vacation Fun in Downtown Spokane
[TWO] Wednesday 11/30/2011 • 2:07pm

Aaron had a week vacation after Thanksgiving…and today was the last day to hang out as a family. We had a great staycation together!!!