52home: Week 50

Aaron was gone on a business trip this week. I wasn’t feeling well…and I’m really surprised I actually finished as many activities as I had planned. I know Naomi appreciated it…

Advent Day 7: Ice Skating
Saturday 12/3/2011 • 11:33am

1. Books

This story didn’t tickle my fancy (apparently, I’m not a big fan of the Angelina series). It talked about bullies instead of ice skating. RATING: ◊

I would totally buy this one. It was a cute story about a family of ducks that get all dressed to go skating. Naomi really enjoyed it as well. RATING: ◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

I can’t believe how much I paid for this VHS movie on eBay. It is out of print and I wanted it REALLY bad. I hope it quickly becomes a family favorite…but not enough to watch it everyday and break the VHS. I need this thing to last a lifetime!!! RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Make a tutu from scratch

This was my first attempt at making a “no-sew” tutu. However, I don’t think it will withstand the test of time. I’m sure Naomi will wear it everyday (since she’s at a great age for tutu wearing), so it will only last a few months. I had a lot of fun using Naomi as my model while I tied the tule to the elastic band.

4. Treat: Shaved ice

I had no idea where I was going to find the “shaved ice” treat for today. Thankfully, they were selling it at the Arena during the Disney on Ice show. Naomi was excited to get a Jessie cup to add to her collection.

5. Field Trip: Disney on Ice (Toy Story 3)

For my birthday this year, my mom bought tickets to see “Disney on Ice”. Words cannot express how much fun I had!!! I have great memories, throughout my childhood, of attending the various “Disney on Ice” shows with my grandpa. Every once in a while, I would feel so overwhelmed with happiness that tears will well up in my eyes. I’m sure Naomi and my mom had an equally enjoyable time. I hope to make it an annual tradition so Naomi can have great childhood memories as well.

Advent Day 8: Snowman
Sunday 12/4/2011 • 9:06am

1. Books

This is a sweet, little picture book that tell a magical story of a snowman and the little boy who built him. It was arranged more like a comic book without words, so Naomi wasn’t too interested in sitting through this one. I thought it was entertaining. RATING: ◊◊◊

I seriously love Eric Carle. His pancake book is top notch. We kept this book for more than one Advent day and made sure to put it on our “to buy” list. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

When Naomi was younger, she loved to sit and watch this movie. It has no words (since it is the animated version of the book) and has a great little musical score related to the story. Now that my daughter is a little older, she likes having it play in the background while she does something else. I think this one is a keeper…even if it’s a little boring for toddlers. RATING: ◊◊◊

3. Activity: Make a snowman at “Big Rock”

4. Treat: Snowman pancakes

Advent Day 9: Nutcracker
Monday 12/5/2011 • 10:12am

1. Book

I didn’t think this was going to be an extremely wordy book. We just looked at the pictures and I paraphrased the story. I don’t think I’ll get this one again anytime soon. (On a side note…why is there so many lame children’s books???) RATING: ◊◊

2. Movie

We watched this movie every Christmas while I was growing up. It’s not the most riveting story, but I think I have more nostalgic feelings than anything else. I started watching it with Naomi and quickly realized that she would be bored with the storyline. Maybe I’ll subject her to this classic when she’s a little older. RATING: ◊◊◊

3. Activity: Coloring page with nutcracker stickers

4. Treat: Crack whole mixed nuts

Advent Day 10: St. Nicholas Day
[ONE] Tuesday 12/6/2011 • 2:47pm

1. Book

A nice little book about Santa Clause and how the birth of Christ is his favorite story. I don’t think I’ll purchase this one. However, it was worth getting at the library. I’ll probably get it again next year. RATING: ◊◊◊

This was your traditional “Twas the Night Before Christmas” story with beautiful illustrations. RATING: ◊◊◊

2. Movie

I love VeggieTales…and I think they did a great job reconciling the idea of St. Nicholas and Christ by honoring the “spirit of joyful giving”. RATING: ◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Make Santa and his beard

I felt inspired to do some sort of a Santa craft. So, I picked something easy and mess free. I cut out a picture of Santa’s face and Naomi glued cotton balls to make a beard. It was fun watching her play with glue and add little puffs of white. While she was doing this activity, Naomi kept saying Santa’s beard was getting bigger and bigger everyday.

4. Treat: Gold coins in Naomi’s shoe

I’m still on the fence about Santa Claus and how to find a balance between imagination and truth. So. we talked with Naomi about the fact that Santa was a real man that worshipped Christ…and that giving gifts was a way to love his neighbor and help the poor. I think celebrating St. Nicholas Day gave me an opportunity to talk to her about the story in a way that honors Christ. She knows that Santa is not alive anymore and that everyone is just pretending when they dress-up to look like Santa. I also had to explain to her that Jesus is alive but not on earth right now (because she kept seeing Nativity scenes and telling people that she saw baby Jesus). To celebrate the day today, I put gold coins in her shoe…just like St. Nicholas did for the poor children.

5. Field Trip: Coins in a Salvation Army bucket (only if he looks like Santa)

Adventures with Oma + Opa
[TWO] Tuesday 12/6/2011 • 12:29pm

My parents graciously spent the night last night…and it couldn’t have come at a better time!!! For whatever reason, Naomi decided to throw-up for hours upon hours, and it was nice to have the extra hands to help her through the short-lived sickness. This was also the first time she successfully made it into a bucket or toile (and it really made for quick and easy clean-up). Naomi seemed well enough the next morning to go out for some Monday fun…so we went to Cabella’s (where I finally found a pair of snow boots), Krispy Kreme and Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t ask for a better afternoon to help pass the time while Aaron was out of town.

Party Planning with My Favorite Co-Planner
[THREE] Tuesday 12/6/2011 • 7:58pm

I love planning parties with Sarah. We make such a great team when it comes to the brainstorming, purchasing power and implementation of a party. We had an evening free to work on a few projects together…and then set off to finish the remaining projects by ourselves. It’s going to be an amazing “Harry Potter” theme party for Alyson’s 16th Birthday. I can just feel it…

A New Messy Activity: Coloring Rice
[ONE] Wednesday 12/7/2011 • 9:14am

I needed to color rice today…so we would have it for the “Tri-Wizard Tournament” at Alyson’s birthday party. Using my favorite website (pinterest), I found a great recipe using kool-aid and white rice. It smelled delicious in my house!!! Naomi loved playing with the left over rice, and I tried to maintain my cool while she messed up my dining room. Looking back, this was a great messy project…and I took a picture of my floor to prove it (CaSandra would be so proud of me).

Advent Day 11: Stockings
[TWO] Wednesday 12/7/2011 • 1:45pm

1. Books

I found this book because it mentioned stockings on one page, and I was having a hard time finding a “stocking” themed book. However, Ithink I’ll purchase this Christmas story for my at home collection. The two kittens were adorable and the text was easy to read. I think Naomi could read it to me in the coming years. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

I love this Christmas classic!!! We read the book before watching the movie, and Naomi enjoyed following the story in the book while the movie progressed. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

We tried to watch this movie last year and she was really scared by the Grinch. It took some persuading to get her to try it again this year. When the movie was over, she immediately asked to watch it again. I think we will try the Jim Carrey version next year to see how she does with that movie. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Hang stockings in the house

I should explain that Naomi is not in trouble…she is finally tired of the constant picture taking this year. Perhaps I will give her a break in the coming year.

4. Treat: Make Grinch Cookies

This was one of the easiest, most successful treats we’ve made all year. These minty green cookies were a little sticky when it came to forming the balls, but other than that they were delicious and made for a great Christmas presentation on our treat plate. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bettycrockerrecipes/4595758178/

5. Field Trip: Deliver Christmas Cards

Advent Day 12: Star/Jesus
Thursday 12/8/2011 • 8:31am

1. Books

 The rhymes seemed awkward, it wasn’t really the story of the birth of Jesus, so much as the story of a random couple who had “lost their way” and ended up sleeping in a barn that night. And there isn’t so much of an actual story to it at all. It was more like random kind of rhyming lines about the sounds that the animals make and everyone being together, safe and warm in the “ancient barn”…with absolutley NO explanation of who these people were or what they were doing there, and bits of various old Christmas carols thrown in. It just wasn’t the cut-and-dry for kids version of the nativity story that I was looking for. RATING: ◊◊

The author took some artistic liberties with the traditional story of the nativity, but I think it was executed well. The theme was basically God calls different people to different purposes. The shepherds where telling people about the birth of Christ as they followed the star. They asked people to come with them, but each person served a different purpose in preparing the way for Christ (each doing a different job that related to the life and death of Christ). It was very moving to read and I think I will add this one to my collection. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

2. Movie

I’m beginning to realize that the nativity story is a little scary for toddlers, so I decided to preview this one on my own. It was told from the perspective of an old donkey and the animation/script is less than desirable. It seems to be more focused on King Herod and his jealousy than on Jesus himself. I might save this for when my kids are over the age of 10 and can understand the reality of the nativity story in more depth. RATING: ◊◊

3. Activity: Make a star wand

I wasn’t feeling well today, so most of my plans didn’t happen. I was going to do this activity: http://www.freepreschoolcrafts.com/make-a-fairy-wand-or-magic-star-wand/

Advent Day 13: Snowflakes
Friday 12/9/2011 • 2:00pm

1. Books

This is a fun, vocabulary rich tale about the adventures of building snow forts, snowball fights, snow plows…and all the wonderful things you can do in the snow.
RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

I wasn’t too impressed with this book. I’m usually a Mercer Meyer fan, but this story was less than desirable. There was a lot of attitudes and family dynamics that I don’t want to reinforce with my daughter. RATING: ◊

2. Movie

I would watch Kipper all day if Naomi would let me. He is this cute British dog animated in really simple graphics. I always feel calm while I’m watching it (compared to feeling agitated like some of the cartoons out there). This was a great collection of shows that related to Christmas and the show. We actually watch it all year long. RATING: ◊◊◊◊◊

3. Activity: Make snowflakes with doilies

4. Treat: Marshmallow snowman

5. Field Trip: Christmas activities with Oma + Opa

Aaron flew into town this evening, so my parents took Naomi out on the town. I’m not sure what they do for their annual Christmas activities together, but I know it includes going to the Mall and driving around while looking at Christmas lights.