December 6, 2011

Traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
I love reflecting on the traditions I grew up with and learning about Scott's. I think the most fun of all has been combining the two and creating our own for our family.
A few years ago, we were gifted an Advent calendar from my sister and brother-in-law. It's an adorable one with doors the girls open and each day there is a treat, or a family fun adventure, or something crafty...encouraging us to focus on each other during this special season.


This year, I started a Christ centered Advent countdown, and so each day they get a new tab to pull.
For Thanksgiving, my friend, Melissa posted a fun gratitude board to write down what you are thankful for as a family. I loved that idea, so I made one for our family. To celebrate the Advent season, I decided this could also be perfect for what I wanted to do. I simply turned the board around, and voila...my official Advent calendar.




I'm going to catch up here on both calendars and then, hopefully, I'll keep track of each day as we get there.
Day One was enjoy a candy treat...they got mini candy canes.
Day Two was to go to Anna Lee's school for family movie night to see Despicable Me.
Day Three was to build our Gingerbread House! We had our bestie Avery over to decorate hers, as well!




The final product!

Day Four was to go to the forest and get our Christmas tree! We had a fabulous time with the Kimballs and the Pierces trekking out to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for our tree. Jamie got some great shots of my girls, and here is the tree (naked).





If licking the snow was a sport, Shelby would be a pro. It was her favorite activity of the day. Anna Lee would have continued to sled til the cows came home. Such a fun day!!! Stay tuned for our decorated tree!

For now:


Day Five was to make a craft with Mommy. We made paper chains from this cute little set Grandma gifted us last year!





Day Six was to watch a Christmas movie with treats! We chose Little Women . I love this story, and love watching it with the girls even more! Our treats were candy canes given out by Mrs. Kim at school (thanks, Mrs. Kim), and hot cocoa with marshmallows, and some delicious cookies our friends brought us as a thank you gift!

Now, as for our true Advent Calendar, it follows the Liturgical Season of Advent.
Nov. 28: Light the first candle on your Advent Wreath.
Nov. 29: Write "I love you" notes to your parents and hide them under their pillows. These were INCREDIBLE.
Nov. 30: Offer to set the table for dinner.
Dec. 1: Ask a parent for permission to make popcorn for your family.
Dec. 2: Offer to say grace at mealtime. Suggest your family hold hands around the table while you say it.
Dec. 3: Be nice to someone you don't like a lot.
Dec. 4: Look up at the wonder of the night sky tonight and say thanks to God.
Dec. 5: Light two candles on your Advent Wreath
Dec. 6: Read about Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is today.



When we went out to the forest, we also were able to get a small Jesse Tree for the girls. We have never done this before, but I got the idea from a blog I read regularly. Head over to A Holy Experience, and read Ann's beautiful devotional book. I loved this, but tried the first night, and it was way too far over the girls head, so I opted for this one until they are a bit older. The Scripture is easy to find in their children's Bible, and they LOVE having their own little tree.



Lastly, we have Buddy. Buddy is our Elf on the Shelf. This tradition started in 2009 for us, and THEY LOVE IT. I've recently discovered all sorts of mischevious things Buddy can do, thanks to Pinterest and all of this clever Mom..but, so far, he has just moved from location to location in our house, and that's been enough! Here's Buddy being silly on our mantle waiting for Anna Lee and Shelby to find him in the morning!


Fa La La La La....

November 29, 2011

Wonder

We're changing things up here at the Meyers house this year, and will begin our Advent Celebration soon, courtesy of Mrs. Ann Voskamp. Working on my Jesse tree ornaments here pretty soon....but, today, I decided to take a crack at Dr. Jeremiah's first way of Christmas over dinner with the girls.
This Mommy has some work to be done as far as the overall message is concerned, but I was fairly impressed with my literal girls. *Please remember they do have a doula for a Mama.

Wonder.
These questions are simply some of the questions Dr. Jeremiah's shared when children are contemplating the true meaning of Christmas...

"Where did Jesus live before He came to live on earth?"
Shelby: Heaven
Anna Lee: In Mary's tummy.

"How could God become a baby?"
Shelby: Because he drank boobie milk.
Anna Lee: Because he came out of Mary's tummy.

"What did the baby Jesus come to earth to do?"
Shelby: to help people eat.
Anna Lee: to help people that were sick come alive again, do miracles, and help. and, he was kind of like Robin Hood and was REALLY nice.

"Why was Jesus born in a stable with animals instead of a hospital?"
Shelby: Because.
Anna Lee: Because all of the houses were full, and the kind young man let him be born in his stable.




I love the sense of Wonder around the holidays. My kids are definitely asking how Santa Claus doesn't burn himself when he comes down the chimney, and how he reaches ALL the houses in the world, and I teach them the magic as part of the wonder. I think the wonder surrounding Santa could also be as magical about teaching my girls about Christ. We incorporate both in our house, and I don't know about y'all, but Santa Claus still comes for me! I haven't ever stopped believing! I think Dr. Jeremiah's point is (if you are a Christian), *remember* how important it is to incorporate both! Instead of focusing on how busy it is, or what deals you can score...(even if you aren't a Christian), it's about slowing down to enjoy the wonderment of it all. Slow being the operative word. I want to slow down and sit by our fire, sing and hear songs, have simple gifts and reflect on the Christmas story and what it means to me, and appreciate what God has done in this life, and all around me.

November 27, 2011

Barf.

I'm sitting in bed right now with my two little girls watching some Dora pirate story. We are enjoying our feast of saltine crackers and sprite, pepto and tylenol. Yep, you guessed it...the stomach bug has officially landed here at the Meyers' house. This entire week we had so much fun with our Nona, celebrating Anna Lee's sixth birthday and Thanksgiving, and shopping and movies and EATING....and now we're snuggled trying to recover. MAJOR BUMMER! We had a wonderful Gingerbread house event this evening at Shelby's preschool, and most of my Daisy Scouts were scheduled to attend. Another bummer! Thankfully, they are saving our kit and we'll get to it when we can. I always find it hard to slow down like this. I worry about laundry that needs to be done, decorations that need to be put up, disinfecting that needs to be happening in restrooms, and then I look over at my girls and realize how much I love we've been in bed together all day. It's warm, snuggly and despite the queasiness, everyone is cozy and together. Last year, I bought the book The 12 Ways Of Christmas by Dr. David Jeremiah. My Dad had been reading his daily devotions and so I figured that book would be a good addition to our libraries. The last two years, I decided to follow this guide when shopping for our girls. I love how simple and consistent it is...and it's usually as their Mommy what would be satisying to me, also. But, this year, I thought how awesome it would be to try and pick the aspects Dr. Jeremiah highlights, "wonder, sacrifice, humility, charity, creativity, simplicity, affection, reflection, giving, children, music, and tradition" and incorporate those aspects into our holiday season. Will it slow us down so that we experience it together? That is the hope, because this feels darn good. I also want to do a Jesse Tree for the first time, as well. Pray that Daddy's stomach stays strong as steel!

November 24, 2011

Anna Lee's Sixth Birthday




I have to admit, I get birthday insanity. I go way overboard planning for my children and always have. But, every year it gets better, and this year for the first time, Anna Lee gave me a HUGE hug and said, "Thank you, Mama for the best birthday party, ever!" It made my year.




November 10, 2011

trying again

Well, it's been over a year, and I guess I could blame Facebook, but whatever. I like blogging, and I should. It was so fun reading all of the old posts and seeing how the girls (and I) have grown.
There's not much to say today except that I'm in a really happy place.
I'm two days away from 35...
I love my friends. I love my family. I'm REALLY loving my neighborhood right now and where we are, and it's been a LONG time since I've felt this way.
So...more to come.
Voila.