Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Advent Calender and Christmas Tree

I am so pleased with my last minute, totally free and "up-cycled" Advent calender...

I made little pockets from brown paper bags, decorated them with clippings from old Christmas cards, a Target ad and the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living, added generous amounts of iridescent glitter and voila! Now granted, this is not my dream advent calender. I spent way too long seeking inspiration from the wonderfully creative examples of advent awesomeness out there in the blogosphere. I know how adorable and stylish they can be. (Go ahead, Google it and see how creative some people are.) But you know what?  Ta-dah! Its done and in one afternoon! And its all me.  AND its the act of counting the days (and making them count) that I am most interested in.

Each day will have a special activity to celebrate the season. My main goal is to completely immerse ourselves in the biblical account of Jesus's birth. We will be reading from Matthew 1:18-2:23 
and Luke 1 and 2.  Many of our activities will be inspired from these texts.We will soak up the wonder that the same God who created the universe had a plan to redeem his fallen creation which began with him entering the world as a tiny baby, born of a peasant woman, in the poorest of conditions.  Amazing!

Also we will:
Make Christmas tree ornaments
make and drink hot chocolate
cut and decorate snowflakes
make beeswax candles
go for a winter walk
go see Christmas lights at Lake Julian
make gingerbread men
watch a Christmas movie
make snow globes
donate clothes, food and gifts to needy
make outdoor ice art
make presents for Grandparents
 Return to Bethlehem
have a special breakfast, lunch and dinner
visit family and friends
go to a Christmas parade
bake cookies

On down days, we'll read Christmas books by the fire. As a back up for the unexpected monkey wrench, (because life happens:) I have a few pieces of chocolate stashed away.

Wish me luck, I am so excited!!

And here is our lovely tree...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crafty Fun

 We have had so much crafty fun in the last few weeks that I felt compelled to come out of blog hibernation.

I moved my art desk and supplies to the heart of our home, right into the dining room. Which is also our homeschool center. All of this makes for a very messy, non- decorator magazine space; very lived-in and reflective of our day to day life. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now, I love having my desk in there. My supplies are right under my nose all day long; I can't help but show them the love they've missed for the last 5 years.
 To get myself back into creating, I started with commissioned pieces from the kids. Elijah requested a painting of a motorcycle jumping over a mountain. And I finished a piece started long ago for his room. Not the greatest photos...

 Adah wanted a princess and a sand castle.
( Its a drawing and its behind glass so the photo is very poor quality.)

 From there, I moved into a painting for Gabe and I' s room. Its in progress....

 With stopover in a twice-failed drawing of our wedding day. They've been shoved into a drawer. No hard feelings. I am just glad to be working somehow or another. 

We made this gratitude tree to count our blessings:

 And today we went wild and made this turkey with items gathered from our yard and pantry. The kids absolutely loved it!

I highly recommend this craft for the sensory thrill of the different natural materials. But, its not for those who wilt at the idea of sticky, dirty (fun) messes.

I wanted to get in on the gluing, so I made this:

 I keep wondering if its going to catch fire above our blazing hot woodstove. 
Can you read that it says "Give Thanks"?

 Let's see.... there is this crocheted flower and leaf mobile in the works for Naomi.

I am also knitting a hat and mittens for Adah and a pair of legwarmers for me.
(I realized recently that I work well with many projects going at once. It helps me not to get overly focused, analytical and critical of what I am working on. When I feel myself falling into this creativity killing pattern of mine I move onto something else for a while.)

And last but not least, one of my most favorite creations...
Love to all,

Monday, September 19, 2011

End of Summer Goodness

We had a wonderful, wonderful time on Amelia Island, Florida.We had fantastic weather and made a bunch of great memories together. I ran the 5k and did even better than I had hoped. It was very emotional for me for some reason and I cried at the beginning and the end of the race.  Elijah started soccer last weekend. He was amazing! He absolutely loved it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daddy's Day Off

  A relaxing day off is a rare thing around here. Because Gabe still (!) works 70 hours a week , there is always way too much to get caught up on when he's off. After all the house work type stuff is done and the errands are run, then we try to squeeze in some fun family time. Well, yard and house work be damned (excuse me!). It was high time for us to do something truly fitting for a day off, so we went for a picnic and swim at Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest and played games before bed and didn't mow the grass.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Elijah's Birthday!

I can hardly believe that its been 5 years since Gabe and I were blessed enough to bring our Elijah into the world. He is in turns extremely thoughtful and serious, then silly and wild. He is quick in mind and body. He's adventurous and brave, curious and observant. He's just the coolest. We have to thank God everyday for the blessing of Elijah.

His birthday weekend overlapped with the visit of Gabe's brother Micah and his family. The weekend was filled with one huge family gathering after another. Elijah is one of 20 grand kids on this side of the family.  It's a party! Whew! Here are a few pictures :

Gabe and Elijah rode go-carts to start the day.
We had a cookout with some of his favorite foods, burgers and corn on the cob.
We had cake and ice cream and presents (his favorite was a Transformer from Uncle Micah).
Oh, and a pinata and water balloons, what a blast!