Saturday, 31 December 2011

Our New Stocking Tradtition

This year while organizing our Christmas advent calendar, I started looking at many different traditions.  There are so many interesting ideas on the internet that it is hard to decide what would be most meaningful for our family.
One new tradition that I thought up has to do with our stockings.  Each year we unpack them with all the other decorations and they sit around until we use them for Christmas day and then they are packed away again new the end of the year.

I thought it would be a neat idea to make the stockings like a mini time capsule.  Each year at the end of the year I'll take a picture of the boys with their stocking.  They also made a picture for themselves and we wrote a letter about the year for each stocking.  Next year when we unpack the decorations we can take a look back at how things have changed. I hope to start a little photo album or scrapbook to save our stocking capsules over the years.

Some ideas for the stockings would be:
Picture drawn by children
Letter written by children
Letter you write to the kids
Predictions or hopes for the new year
Happy Birthday to Me and my cousin Alexandra today!
Many blessings to you all for the new year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Chocolaty Treats

This past week the boys and I made some delicious chocolaty treats as gifts.  First we made some tree bark and then we made some chocolate covered pretzels.  While the end result is a surprise for the recipients I can say that it was a lot of fun to make.  Links to the original recipes are below.
TJ loved to hammer the candy canes

MJ's job was to eat!

TJ enjoying some of his hard work

MJ trying to help unwrap the candy canes

MJ got at the pretzels.  Don't worry I threw those ones out!

MJ has a go at hammering

TJ working on the candy canes
 My job was to melt the chocolate while also unwrapping candy canes and keeping MJ from making a mess!  I think next time I'll use some peppermint candies instead of mini candy canes, or I'll do some better prep work.

I got my inspiration and recipes for the tree bark from  Chocolate Muffin Tree and Soule Mama
We also made some Christmas Crunch from Made

What types of goodies are you working on?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas Lights

I am behind on updating you all on our advent activities.  I've also been bad at taking pictures.  Our camera battery only lasts for a few shots so I've been using my Blackberry.  Unfortunately I am lazy and haven't downloaded the photos yet.  Last weekend we went to visit reindeer at the local garden centre. We made some Christmas cards and had lots of fun making chocolate Christmas gifts from the boys.  We have done a lot of baking too.  There are a lot of December Birthdays in the family so Happy Birthday cousin Elodie and Aunty Bonnie.
We discovered this morning that someone broke the display on the camera and it is now busted.  Still takes some pictures so we are letting the boys have it.  My wonderful husband gave me my Christmas present early so we wouldn't miss out on any upcomming events.  I got a new camera!!!!!
The boys at the garden centre
THis week TJ was complaining about severe joint pain and when we took him to the doctor we found out he had strep throat.  So he has not been himself this week. It really hurts him to move around, unless he is distracted or has had some pain relievers.
Daddy is the best distraction.  As soon as I mentioned helping Daddy hang the lights TJ perked right up and was right out there untangling the lights and changing bulbs.  MJ dropped a few outdoor bulbs down the chipmunk hold in the front yard. And both boys loved climbing the ladders. After dinner we went out to look at the lights downtown at the harbour.

Our House lights
Lights down town Burlington

One of the Nativity Wise men didn't light up.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Silly faces

This past week for advent we made some Christmas cards, baking, and played with the nativity set.  We've been enjoying spending lots of family time together and had some friends come for a play date.  Sorry but we were having so much fun together that I forgot to take pictures.  I'll look around for some though.

I love building memories.  I think my favourite thing is baking with the boys. They are learning to take turns and work together.  The boys love to use the apple machine (it cores, peals and slices the apples) and the chopper (sort of like a slap-chop).  Of course they also enjoy scooping flour and measuring ingredients.

TJ has discovered the Photobooth application on my computer.  Here are some fun smiles for you!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Nature wreaths

Awhile back I posted about our plans for nature crafts.  I finally got a chance to make a nature wreath I have been searching all night for the original blog I got the idea from, but alas I can not remember who it was or find it.  Who ever made some beautiful nature wreaths for the side entry of their house, I loved it!!

I'm quite please how these came out.  I'm going to hang the big one at the side door.  This smaller one is in the kitchen.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Advent activities: Easy ornaments

This week our advent activities included:
Game night - in which we played with trucks instead
Wise men story and craft -  the boys leapt around while I read and rushed through decorating a star
Movie - we were out last night so we watching one during lunch today
Christmas ornaments - that is for after nap today

styrofoam balls
sewing pins

Use the pins to hold sequins onto the ball. Cut a length of ribbon and hold in place with a pin or glue.
You can cover the whole ball with sequins or even wrap ribbon around the ball too.

I am loving all the home-made decorations we have this year. What have you been making?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Advent activities days 3 to 5

We had a very nice weekend.
On Saturday we went to Main Street Christmas at a local church.

This is TJ dancing to the God Rocks concert.  He preferred the volume in the hall.  It worked for me because MJ kept running up on stage.

waiting for the wagon ride
inflatable slide
inflatable toddler area
The boys made crafts, cookies, played games and watched a concert.  There were more things to do, but keeping up with MJ was very exhausting.

On Sunday the boys were with my parents so they didn't open their stocking.  The plan was to donate.  We have a bag of things that the boys helped me to collect from around the house.  We'll drop that off soon.

Sunday night TJ and I had a sleep over.  He had been asking for a while and since we weren't busy  I agreed.  He sure does talk a lot and he needs a lot of "friends" in bed.  But we had a good night and a great sleep in (thanks MJ!!!)

Today we were going to make treats, but we'd done enough of that on the weekend.  So we made a garland made from old christmas cards instead.

To make the garland.  Just cut circles from old greeting cards and attach them to some thread using a sticker!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Christmas Sneak Peek - Gifts For the Boys part 2

Oh how I love looking at the inspirational ideas from different blogs.  Unfortunately the more I look the more ideas I get.  My list keeps getting longer and longer.
Who couldn't want some of these incredible treats by Dana from Made


I began to look around for more felt food  and made a huge shopping list.  I only made a few things on the list, but I'll keep making more if the boys enjoy playing with these fun treats for Christmas.

Here is MJ's Christmas present
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, pancakes
Bologna sandwich and hotdogs
Mushrooms, carrot, pear, banana, fish
Treats: cookies, lollipop, popsicle chocolate bar
Adorable small tote from Value Village on sale.
 I think I'll work on more food for Easter or Valentines.  I have this super cute material from Ikea that I want to make a shopping bag.

If you are interested in making some felt food here are some great blogs to get you started
Playing with your food
Free Play Food Patterns
Helping Little Hands