Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Countdown Continued

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but that's how things seem to go around here.  One week I'll have 50 pictures, and the next I'll have 2.  Here's our projects so far:

Day 6: Make Christmas Trees for Great-Grandparents
This was somewhat successful - I had gotten everything ready ahead of time, and Henry just needed to decorate.  I forget what came up, but we did this a day late and had to hurry after his nap to have them ready to go for the Great-Grandpas.  We got the two done that we needed to, but nowhere near as many as I planned. Before we glued the tree on the tube, I put some waxed paper around the bottom with a rubberband and we filled the trunks with pieces of candy.

Day 7: Visit Great-Grandpas

This went okay, considering that active little boys go haywire as soon as they're in a small confined room.  But the great-grandpas enjoyed seeing him (and us) and I know they don't mind the sudden goofiness as much as his mom does. ;)

Day 8: Buy a Gift to Give Away

I happened to be going shopping with my mom and Rachel on this day, so I thought it was perfect timing.  But I picked out the stuff for our Angel Tree gift (clothes for a girl), and I don't enjoy shopping and forgot (and then didn't put in the extra effort when I remembered) to have him pick something out to drop off at ATLAS.

Day 9: Have Grandparents Over for Supper

This was a huge hit, and I meant to take a picture of everyone together but forgot once we were all sitting by the table.  Henry thought it was just awesome to have ALL of his grandparents together and to himself.  We all had a good time.

Day 10: Make Salt-Dough Ornaments
Basically we played with play dough.  Sticky play dough.   It would have been better if it weren't so sticky, because playing with play dough is fun.  We rolled the dough into balls and then squished them to make snowmen.  Mine was 3 high with the circles getting smaller.  Henry's was 6 high with random sizes.  I liked his better, because no rules = more fun.  No pictures because my hands were too sticky. :)

Day 11: Visit Great-Grandma H

We were snowed in and definitely not driving out of town.  We played outside in the snow and then trekked up the street in the wagon to our cookie exchange.  I had finally bought a saucer this year, but a sled meant for pulling would have been better since the wagon doesn't work that great in the snow.

Day 12: Make and Decorate Cut-out Cookies
This was fun because Dad did it with us, but all we did was cut-out and bake the cookies.  I got out all the Christmas cookie cutter, and then the "boys" came.  Both thought the truck should be a Christmas shape, and I think we had more trucks than anything, and I had to work on both of them to share. ;)

The dough was sticky which I could handle, but the cookies didn't even taste that good.  So I need a new recipe.  And even if I had everything ready to go, Henry wouldn't have had the attention to cut-out the cookies and decorate them in one afternoon/evening anyway.

Day 13: Visit the Nursing Home and Hand out Extra Trees

This hasn't happened yet.  His Christmas party at daycare was that afternoon, and we brought away some cookie platters before that.  Plus we didn't have any extra Christmas trees.

Day 14: Make a Gingerbread House
We did this for family night this week, and it was fun but will hopefully get better over the years!  I had tried to get the house cut out and baked and assembled so it was ready to be decorated without falling apart.  I made the royal icing and put it together right before we had supper, and one of my support cans tipped a little too far and dented our roof.

When we sat down to decorate, Henry sat there with the bowl of Mike & Ikes in front of him eating for about 5 minutes.  Dad decorated his side of the roof perfectly, and Henry & I just did whatever.  It was hard enough convincing him to put the candy on the roof instead of in his mouth!  And we had to vacuum up the sprinkles that I kept hearing fall on the floor anytime Henry moved.

As I was finishing cleaning up, I could hear pieces falling off, and when we got up the next morning Henry saw the totally collapsed house and said, "Uh oh!  I broke it!"  He still claims he broke it even though I told him it fell apart while we were sleeping.

Day 15: Visit Great-Grandma VM

Henry had fun looking at her toolbox she got out to show him, and got to play with some of his (2nd?) cousins that Grandma was watching and lots of fun toys.

Day 16: Make Treats for Friends
My plans for the treats for his friends changed from candy trains to monster magnets.  He helped me "write" his friends names on the tags, but other than that there wasn't much he could do.  Thankfully I have a cool glue gun, or my fingers would be blistered!

More to come next week!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Activities, December 1-5

December 1: Put up the Christmas Tree and Decorations

We had fun putting up the tree, listening to Mannheim Steamroller and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Henry had about 6 ornaments hanging from the one branch, so I did have to a little re-arranging. :)  I had a church supper to help at on Wednesday, so rather than make Henry miss his nap to get the tree up, we did this on Thursday. Dad ended up taking the afternoon off and got to hang out with us too.

Both fell asleep on the couch afterward.

December 2:  Decorate Wrapping Paper
December 3:  Make Christmas Finger Jello
Because of the delay in putting the tree up, we did both of these activities on Friday.  We made red and green finger jello and cut it into Christmas shapes, although Henry kept calling the cross was a "plus."  We also decorated kraft paper with paint, glue, and glitter.  There was less than half the jar of white glitter left, a little more than half of blue, and there wasn't that much surface area to cover!

December 4:  Make Supper and Bring Some Away

I had supper made, all ready to go, and Henry refused to go for a car ride.  Since these would be surprise drop-offs, I had planned chili soup and cinnamon rolls - something that could easily be froze or saved for the next day, so I didn't push it.  I wasn't going to bring it away by myself just to get it done, and I wasn't going to force Henry to go and turn it into a miserable activity.  Instead, we brought them away as a family after church today and left the surprises by back doors for them to come home to.

December 5:  Make Star Cookies with Mom
Sometimes Henry just gets excited about taking off the numbers, acts excited about the activity I tell him, and then goes off to play trucks again.  At least today he knew what was involved and went straight to the kitchen table to push the chair across the kitchen.

He always has fun mixing, but he also has a short attention span and got in trouble for opening the oven door (even though it wasn't on yet), and disappeared right before what I thought was the fun stuff.  He did show back up to roll a few cookies in sugar, tried to take over my job of scooping balls and started to treat it like play dough, pushed a few stars in the hot cookies and then disappeared again.

Along with a few stars. 

I know I can't expect "perfect" activities if I want to have fun, so I remind myself: flexibility is key!