Hard at work!
Here's the Advent calendar. I just typed up a list of activities, cut them up, and put them in each day's slot. I had a master list that I could refer to also, which was very helpful.
Making Nutter Butter snowmen...think I saw this on Pinterest.
You can tell which are the Bean's...they are all done correctly with two chocolate chips for eyes and 3 M&M's for buttons. Bubs was a bit more of a loose snowman interpretation. :) They all tasted good!
This treat came from Pinterest too I think...there was a neat Nativity poem that went with it. We gave these away to friends. You can find the "recipe" and prinable here.
And of course, our annual Gingerbread Party with our friends from the Robertson Reporter. This was the first time I've hosted, and I had to make the houses, which I made from graham crackers. And the Royal Icing was pretty easy to make...whew!
This was after school was out, so the kids dressed themselves. The Bean has a tank top over another shirt, and Bubs had on shorts. In December. Although with the mild winter we had, that might have been weather-appropriate!
The finished products!
This year I had so much fun during the Advent season! We always want to emphasize to our kids that Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and I wanted to do that in a way that would be meaningful to them this year. So I did an Advent calendar, and each day we put a piece of the Nativity scene on our little calendar and drew out that day's activity. Some activities were purely fun, like the ones pictured above, and others like making a nativity scene out of toilet paper holders. Others were chosen to keep us all focused on Christ, or on generousity toward others. Some were sort of "filler" (I did have a little baby, after all!), like Nativity coloring pages. Some of the more meaningful things we did included giving out candy canes to Target workers and telling them Jesus loved them (one lady was so touched she cried!), taping quarters to candy machines with a note attached saying something about being focused on giving, leaving money in an envelope in the toy section of Wal-mart with a note about celebrating Christ by giving, and donating some of our toys to a local thrift store. The Bean and Bubs each picked a toy that was special to them, and we prayed for the kids that would receive them. I didn't come up with all this on my own...I knew I wanted to do something like this but "borrowed" some ideas from http://www.lillightomine.com/. I even used her printables...go check it out! Bubs and the Bean had so much fun making treats and having Christmas fun, and the Bean especially loved "sneaking around" leaving money for people. Bubs loved choosing people to hand out candy canes to...he's our friendly people person. He even handed one to our local sports news anchor in Target. :) We had a blast with our Advent calendar this year, and I will definitely do it next Christmas!