Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Calendar - Week 2

Here's this week's recap:

Day 4 - Make Christmas Goodies with Mom

I forgot to take a picture of him helping me, but I chose a simple one - Pretzel Hugs.  He did okay, but the only part he really enjoyed was setting the hugs on the pretzels, and once I put them in the oven he disappeared.

Day 5 - Buy a Gift to Give Away

We went and bought our Angel Tree gifts, and today we brought them back to church so they could be delivered.  No picture of that, but here's some colored ice he made with Grandma:

Day 6 - Visit Great-Grandpa DG and Great-Grandpa VV
Both Henry and Great-Grandpa were impressed by the three Hubers Lumber hats.

Day 7: Have Grandpa & Grandma H and Grandpa & Grandma VM Over for Supper

This was one of the highlights last year, and this year was no different.  I had Henry make the phone calls to invite them over when we got home at noon (I had arranged the date in advance!), and the calls were short and to the point. :)
 He got to lick out the bowl of whipped cream, which is never disappointing.
And Henry made sure they played down stairs with him after supper.

Day 8: Visit the Nursing Home and Hand out Treats

We had made extra candy cane reindeer and went to pass them out.  Henry did pretty good - only two really wanted us to stay and sit down (which wasn't an option with Henry!).  One guy was pretty interesting, but the last one we stopped by was where we ran into problems.  Henry was ready to go, and I had said this was our last one, but the poor lady was confused and thought we were someone she knew and REALLY wanted Henry to come say hi and sit by her.  Not much I could do about that, though.

Day 9: Make a Snowman Ornament
We actually did this the next day, because Friday we went shopping with Rachel.

This was kind of fun - because I gave up my plan!  I enjoy crafts, but I want them to turn out and therefore have a hard time letting Henry do his own thing.  So instead of making an ornament where I would want them to look "just right," I got out the construction paper and let him paint however he wanted.  He thought it was hilarious that I painted his hand.

Day 10: Make Treats for Friends

We skipped this - we did the snowman painting instead, and we have the candy cane reindeer done.  I had an idea to go with it, but it just wasn't necessary and didn't sound fun at the time.

While we were shopping with Rachel, we drove through Falls Park to look at the lights before heading home.  Henry saw a "raining tree" and we had to park the car so he could get out and look at it closer.  We ended up running all over and he had to touch some lights, and he wanted to roll down a big hill - I was freezing and it was pretty close to the water so I put a nix on that idea.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar, Year 2

I'll never be a dependable blogger - sometimes it just doesn't fit in my life.  So you'll just have to bear with me on the random posts and unannounced breaks.

Henry and I really enjoyed our Advent Calendar and all the activities last year, so I think it will always be one of our traditions.  The activities will change from year to year as I figure out what some favorites are and what isn't that enjoyable.  And while I think something like this would be fun for every family, some of our activities may be "way over the top" for others.  But I have the time and the enjoyment for baking and crafting.

One thing I learned last year was to be flexible.  If Henry wasn't in the mood to do something, trying to convince him it would be fun was never successful.  And that defeats the reason I wanted to do this - to make this a season of fun and serving others so it doesn't become a season wrapped around one day of presents.

On to the calendar.  Here is this year's version:
While I found tons of cute ideas, I needed something simple so that I would actually get it made before December 1.  I had squares of cardstock that I folded over a little to make a pocket in the back, and stuck a piece of paper in it with our activity on it (which makes it easy to switch activities if something unexpected comes up one day).  Then I printed numbers on paper, cut them out and glued them on the fronts of the cards.  Then I taped a piece of twine onto our mantel and used mini clothespins to hang the cards up.  A little effort, but pretty simple (and reusable next year).

Day 1: Put up the Christmas Tree and Decorate:
This went about the same as last year, but I planned for him to have some hot chocolate while I "un-smooshed" the branches (which is where he lost interest last year.  He also decided that he wanted a popcorn string on the tree because of the book, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

It may not have been my best decision, but I agreed and even thought, "Hey, I have a bag of cranberries still setting in the fridge.  And I'm stubborn enough to finish what I started even though I keep wondering why I'm doing it.  So we have cranberry and popcorn garlands on our tree.  For about the only time in my life.

Day 2: Make Candy Cane Reindeer for Great-Grandparents
I thought this would be something he had fun doing.  I thought the eyes, and the noses, and the bells would be fun for him to put on.

He only wanted to be in charge of the glue, which was fine.  I just had to remind myself it was better if I didn't watch.

Day 3: Decorate Wrapping Paper with Finger Paint.

This hasn't happened, maybe in part because I don't want paint all over clothes and he refuses to wear one of Doug's old shirts.  Oh well. 
Instead we played in the fresh-fallen snow and Doug hooked the sled up to the back of the 4-wheeler and we were the crazy neighbors going up and down our road.  We had fun, and thankfully we were about done when the sled broke in half.  It wasn't quite made for that!

Not sure if I'll try to update daily, otherwise I'll have a weekly summary next Saturday.

Do you have any special Christmas traditions?