Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Tannenbaum

You can also check out our paper Christmas trees here!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

25 Days of Christmas for 2011

Here are our plans for this year. One special activity for every day!! I will post pics of the "calendar" I made as well as our names of God tree on the "Day 1" post :)
I am so giddy about Christmas this year...I probably am every year, but it seems to just get more fun, I come up with new, exciting ideas, and the kids understand more and more as they get older.

1. Begin our 25 names of God tree
2. Play at the mall and take family Christmas picture (There are various spots I hope to get pics of the boys individually or together...it sounds like a good idea in theory. We shall see!)
3. Read true story of St. Nicholas and go to Bass Pro shop for pictures with Santa (We operate under the idea that we might as well tell our children who that guy we see everywhere at Christmas time is representing!!! It also makes for a fun tradition, and it's fun to set out pics from years past to see how everyone has grown.)
4. Read Luke 2:1-20; Make Graham Cracker manger scenes (We don't make fancy Ginger Bread houses, we usually make what we affectionately call "graham cracker shacks." This year, I thought it would be fun to use animal crackers and characters from our nativity set to make while we listen to Daddy read the story in the Bible.)
5. Make Christmas snack mix to gift to various childcare workers and teachers who so selflessly care for our children all year.
6. Make pine cone bird feeders (you know, the peanut butter ones that are oh-so-messy)
7. Ice Cream Party with Christmas colored sprinkles, etc. Read Luke 2:1-20 while we're eating. (You'll see us reading this a few more times this month...)
8. Make Christmas placemats (various art made by the kids, stickers, etc. either laminated or covered with contact paper. Very simple and cheap, and the kids love eating on them.)
9. Take dinner to Daddy's office and go see Christmas lights in nearby neighborhood
10. Shop for gifts for siblings, parents, friends, etc.
11. Make ornaments (salt dough and bees' wax are our favorite)
12. Watch a Christmas movie while we drink hot chocolate with candy canes to stir in marshmallows! (usually a Veggie Tales or Hermie movie)
13. Kids' Christmas Program at Titus and Eli's school
14. "Snow ball" fight with socks (This is a new idea for us this year. I think our boys are going to LOVE this.)
15. Red and Green Lunch (strawberries, green grapes, mini pepperonis, red/green jell-o, red tortilla chips, etc. served on Christmas red/green plates, along with red or green juice)
16. Camp out by Christmas tree; read Luke 2:1-20 before we go to sleep
17. Make and deliver gifts to neighbors (bread, puppy chow, chex mix, etc.)
18. Church Christmas program
19. Snowman pancakes for dinner (Make 3 sizes of pancakes, put together and place chocolate chips, blueberries, etc. on for buttons and face, top with powdered sugar "snow")
20. Go see house lights show set to music (We usually find out about these through local newspaper articles or on the news or friends/family who hear about them)
21. Local church's Walk-Thru nativity
22. Make Christmas cookies with cousins (a tradition from when I was a child)
23. Kids get to open their new Christmas pajamas and wear to bed tonight and tomorrow night
24. Christmas Eve service at church; Read Luke 2:1-20 before bed
25. Scavenger Hunt for baby Jesus (Who has been missing from the nativity set all month), Make a cake and sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus"

I have a few extra ideas in my back pocket, and if we end up doing any of those, I will be sure to post them :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Eli!!!!!!

You're THREE!!! (or as you like to say, freeve!)
You looked like such a big boy today sitting at the table, talking to Grammy and me. I couldn't hardly take my eyes off of you...it's been so amazing watching you grow and mature. You still have plenty of things to work on, but we are so happy to be on this journey with you. You are funny, full of life, and SUCH a sweet boy.

Three Interesting Facts about you at this point in your life:
1. You sleep in a big boy bed now!!! It is a toddler bed, but you didn't have any issues moving out of your crib whatsoever.
2. You were also a pro at "potty training." I put that in quotes, because there really was no training to it!
3. You are in Mother's Day Out a couple days a week, and you l.o.v.e. it!! You actually get upset sometimes if it's not a "school" day...but then you are thrilled to "do" school with your big brothers :)

Three Funny Facts about you at this stage:

1. You have this hilarious laugh when you get excited about something (it almost sounds like you are trying to be evil), but it is just so funny and makes everyone laugh every single time.
2. You have a really funny voice. Depending on what you say, it is either really annoying (and we tell you, "Eli!! Just talk in a normal voice!!" ...even though that IS your normal voice!), OR it can be really sweet and funny.
3. One of those "funny" times is when you sing, "hamburger, cheeseburger, lettuce, and tomato, mustard, mayo, french fried potato, hot dog, chili sauce, barbeque, a baked ham bone, and a big beef stew." (a special thanks to Granddude for that song!)

Three of my favorite pictures of you from this past year of your life:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fossil Rim Fun (Eli's birthday celebration)

Right inside the gate, the ostriches were pecking at our car and Derek's hand. It was crazy, a little intimidating for the kids, but hilarious all at the same time.

So just for the record...Derek didn't actually touch his lips to this animal.
This picture sure makes it look like he did! haha

I know this isn't a great picture, but I love memories like this :)
(What is sweeter than a big brother taking his little brother under his wing?!)

Our precious boy...3 years old now. Unbelievable!

This cheetah was on pins and needles,
pacing back and forth restlessly...
See why?
(He even bit the fence in an attempt to get his teeth on this deer. It was pretty cool to watch.)

(The deer, however, was not phased a bit.)

This was probably Titus' favorite part about our time at Fossil Rim. The boys took turns driving, and wow, Titus was by far the best driver! He had a blast.

I had fun with the mirror shots. Some didn't turn out well...I wish I had taken more!
After Fossil Rim, we went to Dinosaur World, just down the street.

The boys got to dig for fossils (and keep their 3 favorite.)
We didn't get to stay very long, because there were T-Rex on the loose!!!!!

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