Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our ADVENTure Wrap-up!

I thought I would do a quick wrap-up of all the Advent activities we did this year.

Day 1: Put up Christmas Decorations

Day 11: Wrap gifts

Day 13: Light 'Em Up! Activity, make "Thank you" signs for the trash collectors

 Day 15: Granny and Paw-Paw's for Christmas

 Day 17: Light 'Em Up! Activity, leave a sweat treat for mail carrier

Day 18: Watch "Charlie Brown Christmas

Day 20: Watch "I want a dog for Christmas Charlie Brown"

Day 21: Birthday Doughnuts for Benjamin's 4th birthday!

Day 23: Pizza night

Day 24: Open Christmas Eve gift bag

Day 25: Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas!!
(Surprisingly I have few photos of Christmas Day. It was so busy that I just barely took out my camera! I do have a few photos on my phone so I'll try to get around to posting some of those.)

I mentioned at the beginning of the month that the boys (mostly Caleb) would be doing the "Truth in the Tinsel" activities for our Jesse Tree. I was cautiously optimistic about this endeavor. I wasn't convinced that we would be able to get all 24 ornaments done for our tree. BUT WE DID!! I'm so excited that we were able to do them all. Caleb did most of them, with Benjamin joining us for a few. It was a lot of fun.

And one of my most favorite things this season was the SB Christmas Card exchange. When I came up with this idea in November, I wasn't sure how many families would be interested in participating. We had 72 families sign up to do the exchange (I suspect it will be even more next year). I was blessed almost daily with 2, 3, and sometimes 6 Christmas cards from my SB family. It was such a treat. I think I got about 40 cards in the mail.

I ran out of room!

I've got a plan to create a "2012 SB Christmas Card Exchange" book. That way I can keep these wonderful cards organized. They were such a blessing to our family. I can't wait to do it again next year! A BIG  "Thank  You" to everyone that participated.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ornament Makin' Fun!

We had a relaxing day at home for Christmas Eve. Other than the Candlelight service at church, our day was wide open. The boys and I enjoyed the quite time by making some ornaments. First we made Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments, we make these every year.

What you need:
1 Cup Applesauce
1 Cup Cinnamon

Put applesauce and cinnamon in a bowl.

Stir it up.

Put your dough on a sheet of wax paper.

Roll out your dough and use cookie cutters to make ornaments.

You can air dry the ornaments but it will take a couple of days. You can also put them in a low temp over (about 200 degrees) for a couple of hours to harden them up. These smell fantastic.

After making the Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments, Caleb wanted to keep making ornaments. So, we whipped up some salt dough.

What you need:
1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup water 
(you can 1/2 the recipe if needed)

Mix flour and salt in a bowl.

Slowly add water while you stir. The dough should not be sticky at all, it should feel very similar to playdough. Add more flour or water as needed to get the right consistency.

We added glitter to our dough for a more festive look.

Roll out the dough

Caleb wanted to make a heart for a certain girl at school. Good grief.

I asked Caleb how many girlfriends he has. His answer: "14, no wait 15."

Benjamin came back to the table once he saw what Bubba was doing.

So fun.

Again, these ornaments can air dry over a couple of days or you can throw them in a low temp oven for a couple of hours. Make sure you poke a hole through the dough (I used a straw) BEFORE they harden so you can string ribbon through. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Benjamin's Lego Birthday Party

Benjamin's theme of choice for his 4th birthday party was, in a word, LEGO. I must say that the possibilities are endless for a Lego themed party. I found a ton of really cute ideas online.

I made the banner by printing out the letters using a Lego font. I outlined the letters in yellow marker and then cut them out. I put the letters on triangles, added ribbon and that's it. Super easy and inexpensive. I got the printout for the Lego guy here.

I put bubble wrap on top of green paper to make it look like a giant Lego board. I got the idea here, I modified it by using green paper instead of spray paint.

Cute little candy boxes made of Legos. 

I bought a package of primary color card stock at Michael's. It was pre-cut rectangles that were the perfect size. I punched 1 1/4 inch circles with my circle punch and stuck them to the card stock using pop-dots. I made a bunch of these paper Legos and put them up on the wall as decoration. It looked really cute and it was super easy (and cheap) to make. I got that idea here.

 A Lego cake.
Complete with white chocolate Lego bricks and little chocolate Lego men. I used a mold for those.

I'm not going to lie, the cake was a bit of a pain to make. I just made a 9x13 cake, cut it into the sizes I wanted for the Lego blocks. The tops are marshmallows cut in half.

Benjamin wanted a #4 candle AND four candles.

Enjoying his Lego cake!

The paper Legos looked really cute.

One of his gifts was a Lego recycling truck.
He loves it.

One happy birthday boy!

I'm keeping all this Lego stuff. I really hope that one of the boys wants a Lego party again because it was so easy. I have a dozen other ideas that I would love to do with a future Lego party. We had a small party at our house so I didn't really have the opportunity to go as Lego crazy as I would have liked. The possibilities are endless! Such a fun theme for such a fun boy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dear 4 Year Old Benjamin

Well my sweet cuddle bug, you are officially 4 years old. How is that even possible? I can't even wrap my brain around how big you are. I can remember your tiny little body at just over 4 pounds like it was yesterday.

I really can't believe that you are 4 years old already. In celebration of your birthday I thought I would take the time to write a little bit about what you are like at 4 years old. You are a handful! And I mean that in the best possible way. You keep me on my toes, that's for sure.

Here are some of the things you love as a 4 year old:
-You love cereal. You eat at least 3 bowls every single morning, but you don't eat the same cereal for all three bowls, you go to the pantry to pick out a new cereal for each bowl.
-You love to cuddle, specifically with me. You say "Hey mom, will you cuddle me" at least 5 times a day.
-You love to watch "Curious George", it is your favorite show.
-You love to play with anything that has wheels or wings (cars, monster trucks, tractors, airplanes...etc)
-You love to play and I mean really play. You have the best, most vivid imagination. It is remarkable the scenarios you invent in your head. It is a true joy to watch you play
-You love to make sound effects, you have a sound effect for every toy you own.
-You love your momma. You are stuck to me like glue, you follow me everywhere. Everywhere.
-You love to suck your thumb...still. You love to rub your blanket while you suck your thumb. It is incredibly adorable.

Here are some of the things I love about you:
-I love that you like to cuddle with me. I love that you ask me several times a day to "come cuddle"
-I love that the first thing you like to do when you get home is take off your shoes and socks.
-I love that you can watch the same show over and over and never get tired of it.
-I love that you always hold my hand when we walk together.
-I love that you ask questions. About everything.
-I love that you sleep with 3 blankets.
-I love that you like to watch videos of yourself and look through all the scrapbooks I've made.
-I love that you asked for biscuits and gravy for your birthday dinner.
-I love that I can't remember a time when you weren't part of our family. It's like you've always been here.

For your birthday today we continued our tradition of Birthday Doughnuts!

You chose chocolate with sprinkles.

You picked off one sprinkle at a time.

I asked you what color sprinkle you like best.
Your answer: "I like all of the sprinkles the best".

You nibbled your doughnut like a little squirrel.


Sugary doughnuts make you a little silly.

Happy 4th Birthday Benjamin. We love you to pieces.

(click here to read about Benjamin's exciting arrival into the world)

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