Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Ready for Advent

I am so glad I planned ahead and have already gathered everything I need for our advent activities.

I wrote each activity on the back of these cute gift tags. Originally I was going to slip these into my Christmas Tree shaped advent calendar. But sadly, when I pulled it out of the garage I discovered an animal had gotten to it so I had to throw it away. I'm not sure what I will use, but for now I guess we will just pull the tags out of a bag or something.

Here is my tub filled with all the craft and baking supplies for the month.

And finally, the Christmas books all wrapped up and ready to go.

We start our first activities tomorrow. The kids are excited and it should be a lot of fun!
(I will post every activity, but it might not be every day.)
Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I know I am a little late. I have not blogged much this month. It seems as though November was so full and passed by so quickly! We had 16 for Thanksgiving Dinner but 20 in all if you count others who lingered in throughout the day and evening. We live in a 1456 square foot home so it is not overly large. However, our dining room is open to the rest of the house which gave us a little more breathing room. Here is a picture of the tables set up to seat 16. There were two tables of 6 and one table of 4.

Last year, (our first Thanksgiving in our house) Stan's brother started the tradition of going around the table and having each person share what they were thankful for. I added to the tradition this year by placing a Thanksgiving quote on each plate to be read. I thought it went well. Here is a picture of the little quote cards.

We also had lots of family in town. My brother and his family from Kansas City and Stan's sister and boyfriend from California all made the drive. We were all so happy to see them. Here are my girls with one of their cousins. They had such a great time playing together all weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Advent Planning Continues...

I have revamped my Advent activities as December draws closer. Finding a craft or activity for each Christmas book that is age appropriate has proved challenging and time consuming. (See my original post here.) So I have decided on an equally fun idea...but much easier to implement. For each WEEKDAY of December, we will do a simple holiday craft, activity, or baking project. We will also unwrap and read a Christmas storybook. The craft might go with the book or it may not depending on the day. For the weekends, the girls will get to choose a Christmas candy out of the Advent Calendar pocket for that day. On the weekdays we do activities, there will be a slip of paper describing our activity in the pocket. I hope that makes sense. I will write one more planning post before we start and then will post each activity as we complete it in December.

I will say this project has been a tad overwhelming. But I really believe in the importance of family traditions...something the girls always remember and look forward to. Christmas is already so busy and hectic. I hope these advent activities will help us slow down and enjoy the season together. I'll let you know how it goes.

Operation Christmas Child

We decided to participate in Operation Christmas Child this season. We watched a video of the children recieving their shoebox filled with Christmas gifts online and discussed how blessed we are and how some children do not have toys or even enough food to eat. My kids are only 2 and 4 so looking at pictures really helped get the concept across. We went to the store and picked out these things to fill our box. We chose to make a box for a little girl aged 2-4 years old.

Personal Care


Hard Candy

School Supplies

Picture Bible

Learning Activities

All Packed Up

And Ready to Go!
The drop-off dates are next week. We will pray over our box and for the little girl who recieves it and include a note and picture of our family, as the organization suggests. If you would like more information visit

I Organized the Junk Drawer

Redecorating on a Zero Budget

Have you ever watched that show on HGTV where they redo a room without spending any money? They just move things around from different rooms to create a new look. The results are usually quite impressive. I have been using this method here at home lately because I really do not want to spend a lot of money. The time to REALLY redecorate will come...but for now it is all about using what I have. So here are my two largest projects...
First, is what I like to call the Morning Room. It is the space right off the Kitchen. I had all the toys for the kids in there for the past year-and-a-half and I was tired of looking at it. We also have been needing another place to sit. The living room does not have a lot of seating and is consumed with a big TV. So this area is now a quiet place for people to relax while I am cooking, read a book, or (as I am doing now) working on my laptop.

I was starting to move to patio furniture into the garage for the winter when I thought...hmmm. lets just see what it would look like in the Morning Room. Sure enough, it gave a sunroom type feel and I think it is very cozy and welcoming. I still plan on painting the room, adding new curtains, etc. But for not spending a dime I thought it turned out well.

The next project was the dining room. I really disliked the orangy oak color of the table we had. It gave the table a dated country feel. I have really appreciated this table (My Aunt and Uncle gave it to us a few years ago). However, I wanted a updated feel. So we refinished the top in a Chestnut color and painted the base and chairs black. Here is a look at the table while my mom and I worked on it this past weekend.

Here is the finished project in the dining room. I also added my Grandma's Corner cabinets that were in the garage. They had ugly brass hardware, so we changed them out to a brushed bronze. For the Hardware, paint, stain, and supplies I spent $63.00.

Murphy's Dog Dishes slide right under the corner cabinet when company is over too :)

Halloween Princesses

I wanted to post pictures of the girls in their Halloween costumes before it got to THANKSGIVING! Of course they were Disney Princesses. That is their "thing" right now.


Real Life


Real Life

I have so much to blog about!

I haven't posted in a few weeks. I have a lot to write and have been taking lots of pictures as well! So I will atempt to catch up on my blogging in my next several posts.