Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar and Candle

Is anyone else as shocked as I am that tomorrow is December 1st? I can hardly believe that it is time for the advent calendar*! But time it is and the children are giddy with excitement.

This year we have something else new to do each night leading up to Christmas. A friend's thoughtful Mom gave me an advent candle that I am so exited to begin using tomorrow! It reminds me of our birthday candles that we had when we were children. I just know that the children will love watching the candle get smaller and smaller as we creep, or fly, towards Christmas.

Advent Activities

1. Christmas pajamas
2. Write letters to Santa
3. Go to lighting of the tree
4. Introduce the giving jar
5. Make a batch of peppermint hot chocolate
6. Piece of candy
7. Go for hot chocolate together
8. Make candy ornaments and garland
9. Christmas book
10. Watch Frosty the Snowman and eat snowman sundaes
11. Go see the Nutcracker ballet
12. Work on sibling gifts
13. Sit by the fire and read the Christmas story
14. Make gift tags from old Christmas cards
15. Old fashioned candy cane
16. Surprise dates with Mom and Dad
17. Decorate gingerbread houses
18. Make rice crispy wreath cookies
19. Sing carols together
20. Striped gum
21. Make Christmas balls for the birds
22. A chocolate truffle treat
23. Put on pajamas and go look at Christmas lights
24. Pajamas (again!)

*I should note that I'm really flexible on our advent calendar activities. Sometimes we just run out of time and can't do an activity so they might get a treat instead. Or I might move the activities around because of unexpected conflicts. You just never know what might happen at Christmas! Also, the children don't seem to care that many of these activities are the same year after year!

Post Edit: After a moment of online searching I found the candle here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Favorite Things #2

This past summer I received an anniversary gift from Bryce that I adore. I had had my eye on this recipe box from Sugar Paper for a while and was absolutely thrilled to receive it! (I can't find the box on Sugar Paper's site. I'm not sure if this means they are out of stock or no longer sell it. I'm just glad that Bryce bought it when he did!)

I love the hot pink color but what I really love is the inside. The recipe cards are letter pressed and are perfection. Honestly, I was in love at the first sight of the scalloped edges on the index cards.

My favorite index card is the one for family recipes. I now consider it my duty to make sure I have all favorites written down and accounted for. Grace has asked several times if she can someday have my recipe box and that makes me really happy. In my minds eye I see the box going from one generation to the next- food stains and all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We spent the past week in Atlanta; we rolled in the door this morning at 6 am! We had a lovely time and a lovely Thanksgiving. Many thanks to Delita and Bill for feeding us and housing us for the week - it was Southern hospitality at its best!

We were able to fit family time, visits with friends, one very important movie, and a few day trips into the week! Here is the rundown...

It was great for the children to spend time with their cousin Brendan.

I got to spend an evening with my Baby Club friends. I miss these gals. A lot.

We spent the better part of a day with Kathleen, Jack, Caroline and Will! It was great for the children to spend some time together! Dawn and her children were able to join us, as was Carrie and her children. I loved every minute of it. It felt like old times!

Tuesday evening a group of us went to see the newest Harry Potter movie. Afterwards, we went to a diner to debrief!

Our family went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens together on Wednesday. I have very fond memories of the Gardens; we spent a lot of time there when we lived in Atlanta, so I really enjoyed going back with (older) children! Much to the children's delight, they had a special exhibit going on about...Chocolate!

My sister cooked our traditional dinner on Thanksgiving. It was a lot of work but it was delicious!

The Georgia Aquarium opened the fall after we moved and we have never gone when we have been back to visit. We made it a priority to pay a visit to the aquarium and really enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Awesome Book of Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that you have all had a relaxing and filling Thanksgiving Day! We have had a busy week of family, friends and fun! Today, while Thanksgiving dinner was being prepared, the children made their very own "awesome book of thanks." If you haven't read Dallas Clayton's "Awesome Book of Thanks", you should. It's positive, uplifting and a feast for the eyes! After we read the book together the children made their own.

Grace's Awesome Book of Thanks

Harris' Awesome Book of Thanks

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photo Book

When Bryce and I got married we began purchasing a photo album for each year. We've always taken an extraordinary amount of pictures, even before the blog, so we always got an extra large capacity album. However, once we had children even the extra capacity albums were hard pressed to hold all of our pictures!

Several factors led us to reevaluate our album system: 1. The albums were very large and thus extremely difficult to store (we have 13 of them!); 2. Once we left film and went digital we didn't print as regularly as we did with film; 3. The albums were not holding up over time; and 4. We didn't have any versatility with picture orientation or size.

Our solution to the album conundrum was to create a photo book! I ended up using Blurb to create the album because they were the only site that allowed as many pages as I needed- 230! We found it to be a time consuming project to work on, but I believe that the end result makes it worth it!

My favorite feature is that each page in the album can be customized and therefore the pictures are able to tell more of a story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cup a cake

Since Harris has been off of gluten and corn I've been bringing him in a cupcake to class whenever they have had a birthday celebration. I've had these cup-a-cake holders for several years but have never used them to their full potential until the last couple of months. They make it so very easy to transport a single, frosted cupcake! The holder has prongs that securely hold the cupcake in place- it doesn't get jostled, shaken or smashed. I imagine it would be the same with a muffin. If you have any reason to send individual cupcakes or muffins these will make it a lot easier!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Things #1

{I've decided to start posting every once in a while about some of my favorite things. Whenever I take a moment to look around me I'm struck by how lucky I am to be surrounded by things that make me smile or make my life a little more beautiful (we are talking things here, obviously family and friends are what is truly important to living a beautiful life!).}

I recently purchased a flower pin to wear for our family portraits. The pin is from EmersonMade and as soon as I opened the package I was enchanted. I love a good package and this flower is so well presented! From the box, to the instructions, to the actual pin everything is so well put together, thought out and beautiful!

I love the instructions- click the picture so that you can read them! I've decided to take the Character Method!

What is your favorite thing right now? Please share!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Portraits

Remember a few weeks ago when we had our family portraits taken? I thought I would share a few of the photographer's favorites. He took a lot of pictures and it will take a little while to go through them all!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bat Day

The week before Halloween we had a mini theme day all about bats. It was a mini theme day since I fit it in on a day after school because I ran out of weekend days to do it!

Our family actually has a bit of history with bats. When we started the renovations to finish our attic we soon discovered that we had an entire family of bats roosting in our attic. It was a lot of bats. They proved rather difficult to get rid of and at least three different times they made their way into our living space. Grace woke up in the middle of the night once with a bat circling her room! The rabies shot series was not fun. The upside? We had very few mosquitoes.

I sent Grace to school with a fun bat themed lunch and Harris had the same thing at home. I loved the egg as the moon! Cute right?

This little bat was made using a peppermint patty and tootsie rolls!

When the children got home we had a snack and read some books about bats including, Bats by Gail Gibbons. The snack was a moon cupcake and a brownie cut out with a cookie cutter.

We then made some very simple bat costumes out of felt. Of course, Grace's American Girl Doll and Bunny had to have costumes too. I got the mask pattern here.

For dinner we feasted on bat wings! These delighted the children and were very tasty!

After dinner we put together a bat house to put in our backyard. We want bats to be in their own home not ours!

The children were inspired to create some bat drawings!

Blogging tips