Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Christmas Advent Activity Plans

Well, this poor blog seems to have fallen by the wayside.  But I know next year I'll want to be able to find what I planned for Advent this year, and this is the first place I'll look.  So I'll go ahead and share my calendar!  With the new baby due in December, I am planning earlier than ever this year.  I think it's a nesting thing.  I've already ordered gifts for December birthdays, nearly finished the homemade Christmas presents for the kids, and have an Amazon wish list that contains everything I plan to buy for Christmas.  I'm NEVER this ready for December, but I kind of like it =)  Now if only the gift wrap fairy would visit this baby can pick whatever day she chooses to come. 

So here's the list.  Normally I would spread out the more exciting activities (Winterfest, Rhema) but this year I put them all the first week since I'm due the third week.  And yes, I'm ready to let go of this plan whenever baby girl decides to make her appearance ;) 

1.) Sunday, December 1st: Winterfest (lego advent sets in the bag)
2.) Monday, December 2nd: Rhema (Candy in bag, print Christmas Decoration scavenger hunts?)
3.) Tuesday, December 3rd: Gingerbread Houses (Candy in bag, assemble houses during school, cousins coming over to decorate)
4.) Wednesday, December 4th: Decorate Kids Rooms (Put new decorations in the bag?  Lights on the tent, tree, anything else?)
5.) Thursday, December 5th: Read (new books for the bag, Scaredy Squirrel and Quiet Book, and Magic Tree House)
6.) Friday, December 6th: Neighborhood Walk
7.) Saturday, December 7th: Ornament Making Party with classmates (buy cupcakes, make santa hats with strawberries and marshmallows)
8.) Sunday, December 8th: Grandparent Gifts (these are secret since my Mom may be the only one reading this.  If you want ideas, e-mail me =) 
9.) Bake Cookies (Make some during school with DZ, some after.  Take some to neighbors)
10.) Papa's Birthday one day early (Ask Dad if he'd rather come to us, or us go to him. Bake pie during school)
11.) Wednesday: Make teacher gifts (at least a card! Let DZ do Christmas tree letter matching.  Serenity wants to sew coffee cup cozies) 
12.) Thursday: Daddy's Birthday (Deliver teacher gifts also!!)
13.) Friday: Craft Day (bead necklaces in the morning) Can wear to winter concert.   Winter Concert
14.) Saturday: Backyard Game
15.) Sunday: Christmas Shopping (Each take one kid, and let them buy a gift for sibling and other parent? Or Angel Tree? Or cousins from the dollar store? Or order online?)
16.) Movie Night (prep & landing, plus buy special popcorn)
17.) Candy Cane Hunt
18.) Wednesday Donate somewhere (animals again? China?)
19.)Thursday (new app day.  Possibly new little computer too...)
20.) Friday Game Night (New Board Game Night)
21.) Christmas at Mom's
22.) Sunday: Puzzle **Also Christmas at Papa's House
23.) Monday: Watch Home Movies (I always put together a dvd with my favorite videos of the year for us to watch.  Otherwise they'd get lost in my computer and never see the light of day. =) 
24.) Tuesday: Nativity Story (stickers and read our toddler bibles)
25.) Christmas

Christmas Lights

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kindness Day

Wow, it's been such a long time since I posted!  I think I needed the break.  I've been doing lots of fun things since Halloween though, so at least I have plenty to write about!  I want to start with my favorite plan for this year, Kindness Day!

One of my plans for this year was to try and do one service-related activity every Friday.  I call it Kindness Day, and so far it is a big success!  The first week, I had Serenity look through her toys and choose some to donate.  I told her to pick one thing from each toy area.  Sometimes she chose things that she had outgrown or was done with, but she also chose a few things she actually likes.  I was so proud!

Week Two we did thank you notes.  I printed off a little page so all she had to do was fill in the blanks.  So for each note she wrote the name of the person the note was for, what she got, and then she finished the sentence, "I like it because..."  And she signed her name.  So it was quite a bit of writing practice in addition to gratitude practice.  We also tried to take a picture with each present to send with it.  We came down with the flu that weekend, so I'm not sure we got all the thank you notes written, but we got quite a few sent out! 

Week Three was chosen entirely by Serenity.  She was reading over my shoulder as I was looking for ideas for our activity, and she saw a salon gift basket.  Probably inspired by the amazing girls day she had with Aunt Jennifer and Raegan, she wanted to make salon baskets for girls at a shelter or hospital.  We bought cute buckets and filled them with nail polish, sparkly files, some jewelry, and chapstick.  They are super cute, but we haven't delivered them yet!   

Week Four was a sewing day.  We made cornbags for Grandma and Little Casey.  Mom had mentioned to me that she didn't have a single corn bag, and that little Casey often wished she still had some.  I happened to have a little corn left over from the last batch I'd made, so I let Serenity dig into my fabric stash.  She helped me pin them, she pushed the foot on the sewing machine, and she measured and poured the corn in.  They were SO happy to get their cornbags, I think Serenity was absolutely ecstatic!