Advent Activities 1-4

You may recall that this season of preparation and waiting is my favorite.  I love it.  And I love making each day filled with little activities keeping our hearts and minds focused on the real meaning of Christmas.  I’m feeling a little stretched thin this year, so the planning isn’t what I would like it to be…but I’m just trying to move forward without the pressure of doing everything memorably. =)  If the boys have a general joy-filled sense that the Christmas season is about celebrating Jesus’ first coming and anticipating His second one, I’ll be pleased.

We are using Advent Calendar workbooks given by Grandma Cleve this year as our study (thank you, Grandma Cleve!!!). And Micah is coloring a picture for each day from his CBS teacher (Side note – CBS is his favorite day of the week now!  How far we’ve come by the grace of God!!).

Day 1 – make snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling in the boys’ room:

Day 2 – watch a Christmas movie:

IMG_6965

Day 3 – breakfast for dinner (Micah’s birthday): WAFFLES (thanks, Amy, for the waffle-maker!)

Day 4 – Red and green dinner (one of my personal favorites!):

 

Micah turns 6!

We had the opportunity to celebrate Micah’s 6th birthday this weekend.  We try to cater our celebrations to each kid’s personality and wishes.  Micah is our little home body.  His greatest wish was to spend time with the family at our home.  So we decorated the house to make it extra special for him and spent the day eating his favorite foods and playing the things he most enjoys: legos!

Breakfast before church – cinnamon rolls!

We spread out the opening of presents throughout the day and in the days to follow.  He was pretty jazzed about all of the gifts and money he received and is always quick to say, “thank you!” and talk about how much he always wanted something like that.  A couple different people at church surprised us with their thoughtful generosity to him – one giving him money and another a lego set.  We are so thankful that each of us is seen and acknowledged at our church – this community is a beautiful thing.

Gotta take a second to brag on our eldest…he purchased Micah a birthday present *with his own money* without even a second thought.  He had hoped to buy something for himself, too, but didn’t have enough money so he quickly put back the thing he wanted to buy for himself and decided to spend his money on Micah instead!

IMG_0160

Micah also got a few Skype calls and some videos, too!  Each one made him feel so special.  He’s my guy who will get tears in his eyes when he realizes someone else was thinking of him from far away.  It’s pretty sweet.  Thank you, everyone, for making him feel so special!

That evening we celebrated with homemade waffles and whipped cream.  Earlier we enjoyed chipotle (at home) and cupcakes.

Quick facts about Micah:

He weighs 43.6 lbs.  He has lost 2 teeth.  He prefers time at home and Ethan is by far his very best friend.  Micah loves creating things and drawing pictures.  He chews gum all.the.time but is also willing to share every piece of it with others, even if he spent his own money on it.  His generosity knows no bounds.  I find him lending or giving away his toys on a regular basis and gives bites of his special treats to those around him without hesitation.  We’re so thankful to have a guy like him to love and raise in our home!

Global Bazaar

The boys and I had the opportunity to sell Jennie’s products at the Global Bazaar at our church this past Saturday.  They both helped me set up the table (we had differing views of what looked good…) the night before:

And then we spent the whole day at church on Saturday.  I was surprised to see that Micah stayed the whole time and loved helping to wrap items!  He didn’t complain at all. Ethan was a little social butterfly and spent most of the day playing with various friends from church.  He also spent time looking for presents for people. =)

Thanks for trusting us to sell your beautiful product, Jen!!  We had a great time!

Other Updates

Thanksgiving week pics – writing down things for which we are thankful and sending birthday cards to Great Grandpa:

Various creation pictures:

We all had a visit to the dentist and we have no cavities!  Phew!

IMG_5516

Micah and Daddio worked on ridding our roof/gutters of leaves:

IMG_0084

I went for a bike ride with Ethan:

IMG_0082

And we continue to love playing Dominoes:

IMG_0042

I’m sure you’ve noticed the family wearing shorts…the weather has been very warm this season!  I’m hoping that the cold is coming…along with some snow…but for now we are sure enjoying the warm temperatures and sunny days!

Grandpa Russ’ Visit!

Grandpa Russ drove out to spend Thanksgiving with us again this year.  We are loving this tradition and really enjoy having him in town for the holiday.  This year he arrived on Wednesday afternoon and left on Sunday morning.  We squeezed a lot of casual fun in that time.  We spent a lot of time outside, going for walks, and playing various games.

We also celebrated Thanksgiving twice.  We had two smaller feasts – one on Thursday and another on Saturday, when Ashley, Zach and Caleb were back in town.  Micah was my big helper in the kitchen. =)  It was a great way to celebrate!  (And in between the two celebrations, I got to decorate the house for Christmas while listening to the new Hanson Christmas CD!)

Feast #1:

IMG_6930

Feast #2:

IMG_0058

We’ve got lots for which to be thankful!  Thanks, Grandpa Russ, for coming out for another fun visit!

Homeschool Pics

Homeschool has been going well this year.  We always have our ups and downs, but I can’t imagine you want to hear much about the downs.  =)  Both boys are working on their handwriting.  Ethan is learning to do multiplication flashcards for time and Micah is still working on learning various words and sounds letters make.

We’re reading good books together and separately, and we’re listening to lots of fun audiobooks.  I’m trying to model a love for reading by reading lots of books myself. Thankfully I’ve found so many to enjoy and have started attending a book club with ladies from our CC group.  We’ve been reading books that are on the reading list for our kids when they get into the older classes.  We try to read and snuggle or read outside as much as possible.  We also try to look up words (or birds mentioned in the book we are reading) or locations while we are reading to help the books come alive.  And we try to read books with good messages about how we want to live our lives.

Christmas Blankets

So back when my parents were in town, my Mom and I started working on Christmas/winter pillow covers.  This project got me super jazzed!  So when the boys and I were at the fabric store for something unrelated and I saw fleece on sale 50% off…I decided to make Christmas blankets with the boys.  Don’t even get me started at how much I ended up spending on this endeavor…my word…but we had fun working on them together and I am hopeful that we will find them adorable and cuddly for years to come!

And the pillows that got this whole thing started…

IMG_0046

I sent this picture (below) to my Mom to “guilt” her into finishing the final two pillows.

IMG_0048

Doesn’t she do wonderful work?!

IMG_0106