Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Making salt dough to play with and make into ornaments
 A few of our activities this week:

Dutch spiced cookies made with our clay stamps -- baked and . . .
cookies packaged for neighbor gifts!

gifts all wrapped!

Reading her last Advent book
We are just WORN OUT! :)  Ready to relax and enjoy Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Goings-On

I have been neglectful in posting some of our fun Advent activities mostly because we've been extra busy and also because I have been getting very little sleep the past week or so.  Nonetheless, I didn't want to go too long before I shared some of the things we did that were really special to Susie.

1.  She has really loved doing the Advent candles at mealtimes.  Whatever meal is our "sit at the table together" meal (sometimes lunch, sometimes supper), we light the number of candles for whatever week of Advent it is.  She is just starting to understand numbers, so counting the candles is great.  We say "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men" as I light them.  I figured it would be an easy way to learn that verse by saying it every day.  I really should add another verse -- she knows this one so well. :)

Chip checking out the nativity and books

2. Of course she has loved unwrapping books.  I give her one every Sunday and then another at some point in the week.  We keep them under the tree by the play nativity set so she can look at them as much as she wants (and keeping them central has encouraged her to reach for them over and over).  I realized a couple years ago that what I put under the tree seems to be the biggest deal.  So if there is a big pile of presents, of course that's the focus!  Instead, we have the nativity for her to play with, and a big box for all the pieces and her new books.  (There are a few presents, just to clarify).

3. I printed these off for her thinking she could color them each week, but instead, I let her get out her watercolor paints and make them really special works of art.  They are!  She loves to paint and really has pretty good technique with her brush.  After they dry, I've been hanging them around the dining room so they are part of our Christmas decor.

Singing with Daddy under the tree
4.  Singing -- oh goodness gracious.  The girl loves her some Christmas Carols!  Hark the Herald is her fave, but Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Silent Night are all being learned.  She sings them at the drop of a hat.  Hark is the best -- she knows every word to the first verse and most of the second.  She found a microphone in Target while we were shopping the other day and stood and sang such a perfect performance that strangers were gathering to listen (she didn't see them or she would have stopped, I'm sure).  I was actually in tears yesterday when I heard her singing the precious words "God and sinners reconciled" as she worked on her painting.  So thankful that we celebrate such an earth-shattering thing at Christmas!

Please share what you are doing to make Christ the focus of your Advent season!