Thursday, December 27, 2012

Advent Day 21- Museum Memories

Advent Day 21- "Remember our visit to the history museum last year?  Today we get to return.  Holidays are wonderful because of traditions, family, making memories.  The museum will help us remember that;)  Let's go!"

One of the window displays that used to be in the windows of Prangle's Department store downtown (Prangle's is no longer;) 

A beautiful antique piano (actually there are two twins) that used to be made here in Sheboygan...the had Carol sheet music and on the table between them bells and tamborines...we did a little singin' and playing;) 

 We took a break for coloring, punch and cookies.  Gotta love a town where locals bake cookies for the museum to have out for guests!

The girls riding "old fashioned" bikes

Making Christmas cars with a pull string

 who doesn't love a car you can pull behind ya?

Inside the log cabin on the property, playing games from days of old...reminded me how super fun it is to play with tops!

It was a good day.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent Day 20- A Celebration of Snow

Advent Day 20- "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!  It's a snow day.  Let's play!"

Yep, advent is planned a month ahead, but the nice thing about my little box with doors, is Mama can change the message early in the morning and no one is the wiser. 

We had a winter storm blow through yesterday.  School was cancelled and I knew I had to move my "playing in the snow" day from the 22nd to the 20th.  I remember Snow Days being exciting as a child.  It felt adventurous to be "stuck at home" when I'd typically be in school.  The morning was cold and white, but by afternoon, we were usually bundled up sledding.  I have such warm feelings about coming inside to find mom had fresh cookies and hot chocolate waiting.  Snow days are wonderful things, and I want my kids to look back on them fondly, as I do.

The trouble with our snow day is the it was a full day mix of rain and Snow, mixed with REALLY heavy winds.  Walking outside felt like wading through a big gulp while someone is pelting you with ice chips....not exactly what I envisioned.  So while, we weren't able to build a snowman or paint the snow this year (yet!), I got out my "back up" snow plans and I cannot tell you how much fun we had!

 Supplies- Styrofoam balls, fake snow, snowball sippies, and snowman mac n cheese:)

 We put in REALLY cold water and pretended we were drinking snowballs;)

We made fake snow...

 "The weather outside was frightful..."

 So an INDOOR snowball fight sounded DELIGHTFUL

 Except to a sick little who decided she didn't want to "Share" her snow balls at first;)

The rest of us had more fun than I could describe.  I laughed so hard...and so did everyone else;) 

 Even Miss Chloe enjoyed watching, but soon "the precious" lured her down from our female fort...
 She seized the opportunity and braved the snowball war; she gathered up the "precious" snowballs littering the basement floor

 and began storing them in her car's truck...hilarious;)
These are the days that I want to just repeat over and over again....and this is one that I'm thinking could become a pretty great tradition...Marc and I had so much fun we "might" bring some "snowballs" to our family Christmas party (ssshhh- don't tell).

Advent Day 19- Playing with Chocolate

Advent Day 19-  "It's Chocolate Lollipop Day!  Let's put those painting skills to work and make some yummy gifts for our classmates!"

I never understood the whole chocolate mold thing until we did it last year.  I have to admit I would see the molds at Michael's and thing "what a dorky thing to make snowman chocolates."  I am humbled.  It's great fun, especially with kids who like to paint.  You paint the inside of the mold, fill it with chocolate and then eat it- nothin' dorky about playing with food and then eating it:)

You may argue about the dorky comment when you see me hard at work in my beautiful hoodie...perhaps I am just embracing my dorkiness?  It's serciously cold up in here and if you think the hoodie is dorkie, you should see me bundled up to go out side;)
 Some of the finished Product

Ava's lolli's wrapped and ready to take to give to her can do this sort of thing when there are only 9 kids in your class;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent Days 17 and 18- Limpin' along

I don't have any fancy pictures or even my typical "you can tell she needs photography lessons" ones.  The camera battery is dead and honestly with two sick littles, I just keep forgetting to charge it.  I was just thankful the Advent days I'd planned worked with being homebound and praying we are snot and cough free very soon;)

The 17th was wisemen day.  We went out at night to look at stars.  We went out to look, but there were no stars, it was completely cloudy.  Quickly, I loaded the kids in the car for a pajama ride to count house many houses had stars included in their Christmas lights.  We counted 10 in our little jaunt- not bad, Sheboygan, not bad.  We also discovered St. Nicholas hospital has no other real decoration except a VERY big star overhead and we talked about why that might be....the kids decided it was because babies were born there.  I can't disagree.  There will never be another Jesus and no baby could come close to comparing, but each little birth in a miracle, so I liked their conclusion;)

The 18th was snowflake day.  We talked about snowflakes- Ava our little factoid, of course, remembering every fact from last year;)  We made snowflakes and were VERY happy to have a nice little dusting so we could watch snowflakes fall through our windows.

We looked up some cook pictures of snowflakes

And learned that the biggest snowflake ever recorded, was observed in 1887 in Montana.  It was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.  It's hard to even fathom!

There is no picture of that one and though a bit smaller, Here is a really big one that doesn't allow copying;P

A winter storm is brewing so we'll be getting more snow, we're crossing our fingers for gigantic flakes;)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent Day 16- Collision with Colds

Advent Day 16 plans were foiled by a sudden and dramatic collision with fevers and snot.  The two young ladies of the house woke up sick.  We stayed home from church and were unable to complete our Advent activity- a trip to the holiday exhibit at our History Museum.  We'll fit that in somehow next weekend perhaps.

Instead of Advent fun, we spent the day in house.  Ava and I tried our hand at some holiday origami:

And we spent much time in front of the fireplace playing games or resting by watching Christmas movies.

Days don't always go according to plans, but especially in light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, we are very thankful for family day in any form, even if in includes giving Tylenol and wiping noses.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Advent Day 15- Gingerbread, Gingerbread, Gingerbread ROCKS!

Advent Day 15-
"It's GINGERBREAD DAY!  Today we'll go to the Waelderhaus in Kohler and see all the Gingerbread houses on display.  Then we'll come home and make our very own creations.  A fun family day- are you ready? Let's go!"

Can I just say, I LOVE Gingerbread Day;)  even when it's rainy, gloomy and gray!

The beautiful Waelderhaus, the perfect setting for the Gingerbread House displays;)

We voted for our favorite, among each age group.  Phin and Ava were very thoughtful about their choices.

Chloe didn't vote, but judging by her multiple returns, I believe this homage to "UP" was her favorite;)

Time to create our own creations...though mama decided to use graham crackers this year instead of gingerbread...

decorating supplies....and activity snacks, all in one;)

Phin was making "a cave"

Ava, "super fun house"

Papa and Chloe- "a lodge"

Phin helped me make my nod to Vanellope's car in "Wreck it Ralph"...our favorite movie of the year;)

Our Very own display....we vote we all win a prize for best creation:)

Advent Day 12...13....AND 14....

We had a decent week over at the Aneed home, but Thursday and Friday were hilariously exhausting for MOMMY- therefore no blogging;)  I agreed to be at Parents Club at school (it's like the board for fundraising and such) and at meeting one, I somehow became the Treasurer.  Which is fine, I love numbers, but has been a HUGE time commitment.  At the first fall meeting, I agreed to be coordinator for our SCRIP program, which again I really enjoy, but is a HUGE time commitment...and I mean HUGE.  Really between the two commitments, I feel like I have a part time job....and should never have done BOTH of them, but I had no idea the time involved until I was....involved;)  TH and FRI this little part time job ran into my mom's group commitment and I was literally RUNNING between commitments....the perfect storm of busyness.  Thankfully it was only two days and I knew it would be crazy so I planned very simple Advent Days...they key to making the activity oriented Advent calendar to work, in my mind, is lining up activities that will match up with your energy level;)  My kids are still young enough to get excited about everything- Thank you, Jesus;)

Advent 12- C- is for COOOOKIES;)
"Today is one of Mommy's favorite days.  We get to make Christmas Cookies!  We'll cut out and decorate cookies and read the book, "Christmas Cookies"

 Have a little frosting, buddy.

Ava was meticulous with cookie decorating, but we're in the "I'm thinking too hard about how to smile for pictures" stage;)  

Tasty;)....and after all the finger licks, they are for our consumption only;)

Cute little Book that has little explanations of big words for little favorite pages are:  "Disappointed- because it didn't turn out the way I planned."
"Moderation means at the party not having twenty cookies, and not having zero cookies, but having just enough cookies."

Advent Day 13
"What are some smells that make you think of Christmas?  Let's go find some and then I have a special 'smelly' activity!

We went around the house, smelled cinnamon, cookies, candles, the wreath...anything they could think of.  It was kind of hilarious and I wish I'd taken pictures;)  Then I got out this little scratch and sniff art book that I had ordered from scholastic.  The pages are all black and when you draw on them with a little wood syllus, it reveals a color underneath....and a yummy Christmas smells.

 My little guy does like art activities unlike some other boys I'm told, but this one became, scratch as many papers as I can to see what they smell like;)

Side note:)  Marc dressed Chloe and usually he does a great job.  She came down in this shirt and I said, "does that look a little big to you?"  He said, "maybe a little?"  It's Ava's shirt- a size 7....Chloe wears a 3T;)  But then Chloe was crushed at the suggestion to take it we spent the day rolling up sleeves over and over and over;) 

I love how Chloe is closely studying the book with suggested activities as if she can read or actually do any of them- she's adorable;)

Our little creative one, figured out how to make her picture bigger;)

Advent Day 14-
"Do you see any shapes in Christmas things?  What are they?  Let's have some fun with shapes!  What shape is the Christmas tree?  What about the manger? What shapes make up a santa hat?  a snow man?"

We marched around calling out shapes...and then I got out a Wiki Stick Christmas book...and used them to make shapes on paper.  I forgot to take pictures;P so we'll borrow one from Amazon.

on todays Advent's Saturday, so it's a big one- can't wait;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent Day 11- Candy Cane Day

Advent Day 11-

"Today is Candy Cane Day!  You may have a candy cane at breakfast, a candy cane at lunch, and we'll have a special candy cane dessert after dinner while we read The Legend of the Candy Cane."

notes-  1)  I obviously need to improve my photography skills.
           2)  Chloe refused to get in the picture
           3)  I gave each of the kids candy cane chapstick...and if you can still find some, it is lovely!
           4)  The Legend of the Candy Cane tells of the significance of the candy cane in story form.
                 J- stands for Jesus
                 or flip the cane and it looks like a Shepherd staff..he is the Good Shepherd
                 Isaiah says by his strips we are healed--- the candy cane is striped, Jesus was whipped and crucified for our transgressions
                 The red stands for the blood he shed for us
                  The white reminds us he rose again and paid for our sins and when we accept his payment on our behalf he washes our sins away and sees us white as snow

The dessert- a candy cane trifle-

It was really easy, pretty and yummy.  Recipe courtesty of The Scrap Shoppe.  And might I add I had not tried these candy cane Hershey's Kisses prior- but they are quite nice...even have teeny bits of candy cane inside....Christmas Happiness.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent Day 10- Clinginess

Advent Day 10-
"It's Window Cling Day!"

I guess I was feeling lazy when I wrote this one;)  The kids were confused.  Ava looked shocked and said, "Why is cleaning windows part of Advent?!"  LOL.  They forgot we did window cling day last year, but as soon as I pulled out my window cleans, the excitement was palpable audible.


In the days other news-

We learned NOT to leave the Summer Sausage unattended on the table...he ate the paper and all....our kids definitely are "wisconsinites".

We had we played in it;)

 Snow Angel!

Unfortunately the snow was either icy chunks or powder and we couldn't get it to we made snowman faces instead;)