Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Fun Part 3

We were excited to get a little bit of snow a few days ago!  Benjamin must equate snow with Christmas, as he kept saying, "It's Christmas Eve!"  Joanna kept going from one window to the other to look at it.

We enjoyed playing in it for a little bit - it turned to rain, though, and didn't last long.

We joined Seth's parents for a trip downtown - the kids loved what they called "the train"!

We made one of our favorite Christmas cookies - sleds!  See the ones with dark frosting?  Those are especially for Ezra, our dairy-free guy.  (To make simple diary-free frosting, just mix powdered sugar with almond (or other) milk - you don't need much; just a little milk will make a nice thick frosting.)

We enjoyed some of our cookies with tea for a little Christmas tea party!

And, finally, nothing says "Christmas Magic" to me like the Christmas tree, all lit up in a dark house.  Perhaps it's because when I was little and we spent Christmas at my grandparents house, they would leave the tree on all night and it was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the early dark morning.  After the kids went to bed one night this week, I turned all the lights off, and Seth and I sat by the tree with a glass of egg nog.  A perfect end to the day!

As we enjoy a simple day at home today, before a fun and busy Christmas, we're hoping Seth gets over the flu or whatever he has, and that none of the rest of us gets it!  

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Fun, Part 2

We did cookie decorating for the first time this year - and we loved it so much that this will likely become a yearly tradition for us!

We divided the project over two days, which worked great for short attention spans, and made the project much more fun for me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

18 months!

Ezra turned 18 months this past week and it seems that this past week his vocabulary has just exploded!  He's gone from around 5 words to probably 25 in just a few days!  This age is one of my favorites, and I think the cute little baby words might have something to do with it!  I ask him several times a day where Daddy is, just to hear him say, "Wook!"  =)

Christmas Fun, Part 1

One of my goals this year was to do lots of fun family Christmas activities.  Benjamin and Joanna are old enough now to start remembering the things we do, and I want to establish fun and meaningful traditions that they will look back on when they're older.

Some of the things we've been doing:

We're doing Advent readings every night using The Jesus Storybook Bible, but I also made a simple Advent wreath that we light along with our readings on Sundays.  The holly is so pretty that it almost makes me want to keep the trees we have in the front yard.  Almost.

Last year I started making matching pajamas for the kids for Christmas Eve.  I love making pajama pants - they are so quick and easy - and I love that I don't have to buy a pattern (I trace pants they already have).  They're really inexpensive, too - this year I made them with Black Friday sale flannel that cost about $2 a pair!

Of course we have the basic traditions - like tree decorating!  I don't worry about having a perfect tree - so everyone helps!

We put some lights on the outside of the house, too!  It looks like a cute little gingerbread house at night!  =)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handmade Gifts for Kids

I finished up a couple of the gifts I was working on for the kids and I am so happy with how they turned out!

The first project was these darling little wooden people.  I kept them simple mostly because I want the kids to be able to use their imaginations with these and simplicity helps with that, but also because I am not a painter and I didn't have much confidence in my skills beyond this!  =)  I absolutely love them!  They are exactly what I love toys to be - natural, quality, simple and imaginative.  Perfect!

The next project was playsilks!  I used the Kool-aid dye method which was easy and inexpensive.   The colors turned out beautiful and I know that the kids are going to have lots of fun with these!   I enjoyed dyeing these myself and at about $5 each, they were much cheaper than the $15 or so that pre-dyed playsilks usually cost.