Sunday, December 16, 2012

Another week of Christmas fun!

Each day I try to do an activity from our advent calendar with the kids. It's been nice having it up because it gives Sydney a visual representation of how many days/activities we have to go until Christmas. Funny though, Sydney then got the idea that if she moved the day 25 activity up along the line that Christmas would come sooner. I quickly told her the calendar does not have power over time. Poor thing. I had not planned to wrap the presents and put them under the tree until maybe the night before Christmas but I was getting a lot of presents together for being shipped off to my various family members and so I didn't want it all getting confused. The morning after, Sydney asked if it was Christmas and we had to tell her "no". So now every day, we get asked at least 3 times if she can just open her presents already! I didn't dare put bows on the presents, they would just get ripped off.

Sunday's activity was to Sing your favorite Christmas songs. Sydney's was "Jingle Bells" but she also loves singing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". Brian's is "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and "Carol of the Bells". I love "O' Holy night" as well as "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" by Bare-naked Ladies and Sarah McClachlan. Been having lots of fun listening to Christmas music on Pandora.
Another activity this week was to make paper snowflakes. Sydney helped me cut out the squares and then I cut them. Then she helped Brian and I with putting them up in our hallway.

We went to Christmas in Roseland where they have light displays in a Rose Garden. It's a family tradition I remember from my childhood since living here when I was younger. We met up with my sister's family and my grandparents. The weather was a bit cold but the kids still had lots of fun riding on the train and walking around to see all the lights.

Sydney and Jonas loved this moving Santa's Workshop scene.

 One of the neat nativity scenes there.
 Train ride!

Great- Grandma and Grandpa
 And then some goofy cousins!
 I thought this pool noodle tree was cool!

 And here is a great example of Cajun Christmas fun. Gotta love the gators and the pelican! Drea thought the gators looked more like gator-seahorses with no legs.

Earlier in the week it was pretty cold to play outside so the kids made some indoor fun! They love trains and so they often line up the chairs and play!

Jonas loves saying, "Choo choo!"

Don't quite know what this face is for...

Oh, and you might notice I cut Sydney's hair. She had taken scissors to her own hair a few days before her birthday party and I had been trying to just hide it but anytime I brushed her hair, it just stuck out so bad in the short area compared to the rest of her long hair. I decided to make it all match so the short spot wouldn't stick out so bad. Sydney was ok with it but then she looks at our family portrait and says she wishes her hair was long again. Well, we tell her, it would be if you didn't cut it! So lesson learned, I hope!

We look forward to traveling to Grandma and Grandpa Tuck's house later this week and having cousin Liam over a couple days before we leave. So far the Christmas season has been filled with Christ-centered activities, fun and family get-togethers and the kids are loving it. I am too, it's been a great celebration of life and love and I am trying to get as many pictures as I can and enjoy my blessings!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Poor Sydney, ever since we put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, she has been asking if it's Christmas yet about 3 times a day. Wrapping the presents and putting them under the tree recently didn't help either. I have an advent calendar on the wall and try to use that to explain to her how many days away it is but she still asks and now she thinks if she can move the 25th on the advent calendar that somehow it will make Christmas come sooner.

Personal request: I recently maxed out my photo storage with my blog. I did some research and when you upload photos smaller than a certain size it doesn't count towards your free storage space but if you get over that (and all my photos taken with my camera are bigger than this size) then it starts adding up and you have to pay- $25/yr or $2.50/month! Sorry, I don't want to pay to have to share things with you so I am having to go in and resize all my photos before posting. This adds another step to an already long process since I take hundreds of pictures and then have to choose which ones to post and then edit/re-size them. Please be patient if I go a while without posting. Thanks!

Dec 1st- Bass Pro Shop with Santa
Free pictures with Santa were going on as well as some fun and games for the kids. Sydney and Jonas both liked this animatronic reindeer!

 There was also a cool train set the kids could play with!

And here's a shot of Sydney with Santa. 
Jonas was having too much fun with the games that when we pulled him away to be with Santa, he was mad. I'm not forcing an upset kid to sit on this poor guy's lap.

December 3rd
Sydney has seen how we have been trying to reward Jonas for going on the potty by telling him about stickers and toys and has been reporting to us when she goes. We had to explain to her that it had to be something she is learning to do, not already known. So we decided she needed to work on counting to 20. She would get jumbled up in the teens. We discovered the main culprit was the 13. So we worked a lot with her on 11-12-13-14. And she finally did it! And here is her prize! A Cinderella doll from Grandma Tuck!

And here is a video of her counting! Even though she asks me "What comes next?" I didn't tell or gesture the 13 to her, it just took her a few seconds and she remembered.

Dec 6
Yay for gingerbread cookies! I finally tried this recipe last year and despite the molasses smelling disgusting, I love these cookies! It's so funny, this has to be one of the few cookie recipes where the dough is nasty. I forgot about this and handed Sydney a beater to lick and she made a sour face and ran to the bathroom, washing out her mouth from the small lick she got of it.  We also had our friends the Terrys come over to enjoy the cookies and decorate with us.

Sydney just wanted a little bit of decorations and then to eat those cookies!

Our friend Declan :)

Jonas was having a pretty good time decorating as well.

We also went outside and raked up some of the HUGE leaves I have in my backyard from my neighbors' trees. It's ok, they provide shade in the summer so it seems fair to have to clean up their foliage. But the kids had a blast burying each other in the leaves and having leaf fights and it was beautiful weather and lots of fun!

Dec 7
Just some fingerpainting. I thought it was cute though that Jonas came up to me to show me his painting.

Sydney can draw great little people figures but for painting she likes to stay in the abstract.

Our Church's Stake put on a lovely Christmas Nativity Celebration. Sydney sang with our Ward's Primary. We'd been practicing the songs and she was doing pretty well just not too loud.

Here's a small clip of the choir singing "Christmas Bells are Ringing". Love how Sydney got really into it. and the bell got into her mouth!

And just be chance! Scarlett and Sydney's dresses were the same! Not the exact same but close enough! So cute! reminds me of when they would dress my cousin Peggy and I and my sister Kymry alike as kids.

Genius! They had play nativity scenes kids could play with there.

Some of my favorite nativity sets:

This is the special bunny nativity my grandmother made! She sewed these herself!

It was a beautiful celebration and a great event to go to as a remembrance of the the reason behind this festive season!