Category Archives: Christmas

Back to it…

We made it to school/work yesterday and then this morning we had a playdate and let me just say this…those may seem insignificant and run of the mill things but after 7 full days of being semi-stuck at home, they were just so, so wonderful.

We did get out twice in that week – once to go to our community group Christmas party where the kids went sledding and then another time for Mia’s gymnastics class.
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I was so glad they opened for practice, even when all the schools were still closed. Even if it’s the same toys we’re playing with at home, a change in scenery is so nice.

So, here’s what we were up to in those many, many hours of bonding…

Playing in the snow

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This isn’t great quality but they were so excited to go out.

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They lasted longer than I really wanted to be out there. So I was happy when they finally agreed to come inside. Even if it did mean I had to bribe them with hot chocolate to come in. Finn’s hands were so cold though that he needed to get inside.

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Cuddled under the electric blanket, after playing in the snow.

 

SLEDDING
There’s a great little hill next to our friends’ house perfect for sledding. The kids had so much fun. I pretty much knew Finn would love it. I mean, sliding down a hill on a disk at high speeds? That has Finn’s name written all over it. But Mia, being the more cautious one of the two, I thought she wouldn’t be as intense about it. I was wrong.
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Here comes, Finn. (In his coat that is two sizes too big because we seem to have left his at church – the day before the big storm, naturally).IMG_0571

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All smiles….

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Must.go.again.

 

MESSY FUN

I just had to be ok with the fact that if we were going to be stuck inside, the house was going to look lived in. Very lived in. Things got messy. A lot of times. Finally today, I feel like the house is finally back in order. And while it’s nice to have a picked up house again, I knew that I needed to be ok with things being all over the place or not folding that laundry while it was still warm from the dryer. Sometimes, you got to just let it go to make sure the little ones have things to help with cabin fever (and yes, they watched tv. a lot.)

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This happened several times. Jumping on piles of blankets, forts in the living room, just lots of moving of blankets in general.

 

I got some containers and scoops and toys and let the kids dig and scoop and stir and pour rice, beans, stale oyster crackers and flour.
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And yes, this is what my kitchen looked like when they were done…CAM00177
But it was totally worth it.

Mia helped me bake sugar cookies and then we decorated them after dinner. Again, very messy….but even Finn was focused for a long time so it was a good activity. Course, the fact that he kept licking all the frosting off his cookies and reapplying helped increase his attention span time (and his sugar intake).
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Notice Mia’s tongue. This is serious business folks.

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I was impressed with how she was holding the squeeze tube. That looks like a pretty natural cake decorator hold….hmmm.

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Oh.my. Notice the licked cookies in the background.

We also tried to do some crafty stuff and some school work (although we didn’t do as many worksheets as I, or Mia, wanted to. Another time, another snowstorm.)
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Finn’s finally to the point where he wants to do them too. He doesn’t last as long but it’s fun while he’s there.

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I made a shape of a snowman and then the kids were supposed to put marshmallows over the lines to make the outline of a snowman. Finn went a little more abstract on his. This is him saying “ta-da-snowman”. Pretty sure he ate more marshmallows than what ended up on his paper. Also not sure how much white glue he ate. We’re just going to pretend he didn’t dip them before eating them.

I made this hanging snowflake thing for our mantle. I wanted it to be a Mommy-Mia craft and while she did help, it proved to be a little more tedious than she was into at that point. Besides, when sounds of wrestling come from the other room, my little craft-loving girl goes all tomboy on me. I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite decorations this year.

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SELFIES?

And apparently, this happened while we were snowed in, too…

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There’s probably 20 more: of just her, her and the doll, smiling, staring, you name it. I literally laughed out loud when I checked the camera for pictures for this post. They’re actually pretty good. Silly kid.

So yes, now that things are melting and we’re rejoining outside reality, it’s hit me that Christmas is in a week and a half. Not ready. We have 3 parties this weekend, plus one on Monday and then I feel like it’s just hold on to the sled we’re going down the hill.

Hope we’re smiling as big as the kids were once we get to the bottom…

Christmas Party

Lots and lots of “Christmas Party!” excitement around here. Putting up the “Christmas Treats” (trees) really got it all started.

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The tree in the living room went up first. We moved a few things to add some to the top but for the most part, I left things where they landed. I’ve learned to loosen up about stuff like that and just smile when I see things clumped together.

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Finn was so focused. He loved hanging the balls on the tree. And then was so excited when it was time to do his tree.
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Uh, silly kid. He was so proud of his tree. And still is. He wants to sit and look at the lights and ornaments all the time. If we’re out, he wants to get back home and see the Christmas Treats.

Mia has a new tree this year. A pink one we got on clearance last year.
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Of course she loves it.
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We all got new nativities this year! I’ve been wanting one for a while for us and for the kids. I found the kid one last year on super clearance and have waited patiently (sort of) for it to come down from the attic.
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Here are the kids waiting to open their “what Christmas is really about” reminder gift.
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The kids have played with it non-stop.
We’ll upgrade when there are no longer sheep and donkeys flying off the shelf but for now, this is a really sweet one that the kids are enjoying.
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I have been looking for a certain nativity for our mantle but I haven’t been able to find it. I did, however, find these hurricanes with the nativity sleeves this year and I love the way they look.
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In addition to all that, we’re doing an advent calendar this year.
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While there are a few chocolates here and there, we’re focusing on discussions and experiences this year. The kids are excited to do the pockets and it helps us be able to keep talking to them about Christmas, pointing always to the reason we have “Christmas Parties”. We do an activity and read a story in The Jesus Storybook Bible each day. It’s a little advanced for Finn but he loves the pictures and follows the story pretty well. Mia hates that we stop at only one story, so pretty sure she will be excited to go through until Christmas.

One of the Advent activities is go to a Christmas Parade as a family. Since our town’s parade is always on Saturday and we miss it every year, we went with some friends from church to a different one. The weather was perfect (we’re getting a major winter storm in a couple of days so we enjoyed today), there were lots of floats and trucks with lights (although Mia wanted more marching bands – tubas and drums are her favorites), and the amount of candy that we came home with is ridiculous. But, seeing as “build a gingerbread house” is somewhere in one of those pockets, it’s good that we’ve got supplies now.
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Christmas is always a fun time of the year for me but doing Christmas with the kids and seeing everything from their perspective is just so exciting and refreshing.

Praying we can continue finding ways to turn our eyes to Jesus and have a great time celebrating.