Monday, December 15, 2014

Advent Day 15- Candy Cane Day!


Candy Cane day is well established in my kids minds, so it was kind of fun to simply put a picture int the Advent box today.  We get Candy canes after breakfast and lunch and a special candy cane dessert at dinner.   I'd planned a fancier dessert but though I am feeling gobs better, I'm still a little behind in the energy department, so store bought ruled the day.

Who knew Betty Crocker does candy cane cookies...I don't know if I've every purchased box cookie mix.  The upside is is makes a really small batch;)

My kiddos really don't like peppermint (lol;)  So we have multiple kinds of candy canes to chose from much to their obvious delight!

All the extra's get added to the tree;)

Every Monday we have Milkshake Monday on the way to swimming lessons (Steak and Shake Happy Hour- half off milk shakes every day from 2-5 people;).  Today was no different, except I ordered them all candy cane chocolate chip milk shakes.  They are YUMMY...and quite like a shamrock shake with chocolate chips for all you Shamrock diehards!

And yes...we always, read The Legend of the Candy Cane;)

and yes for anyone keeping track, I just officially caught up on Advent blogging and I am patting myself on my to catch up on my laundry!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Advent 14- Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

12/14/14- Good Things come to those who wait...It's time to take all that Christmas Cheer burning inside you and DECORATE!  Let's get that Christmas Tree up!!

Mama still was pretty under the weather but It's 9 days until Christmas!  The tree couldn't wait for health to arrive.  Couches are comfy and I am a good observer.  I have to admit...I couldn't help but feel a bit better as our ornaments that each mean something so special came out of storage and took their rightful place.

This years "new" ornaments that they picked which in Philly for vacation...

Yes, this is real and somehow we permitted this precarious ornament judgement must have been stunted by my foggy head.

I wasn't really feelin' up to crawling down and getting the Christmas tree skirt in place so my little gentleman did the honors.;)

I was so thankful I"d purchased these silly cookies on a whim while a Target.  I wasn't feelin' up to any silly supperness, but the kids were thrilled which store bought goodness.

It's been a weird Advent over here and finally feels normal now that our tree gives our evening their warm Christmas glow.  Is there anything cozier than drinking tea in a room lit only by a Christmas tree- indeed not.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent Day 13- A no go for me;P

12/13/14- Jesus is the Light of the World.  He shines brightly in the darkest places.  Let's celebrate by going on a Pajama Ride to see Christmas lights!

Ah- another one of my favorites.  Little kids in Christmas jammies out past their bedtime, getting thrilled to have hot chocolate in cups like mom and papa and driving to see Christmas lights that excite them EVERY time.  Unfortunately...I was in bed all of the day and I missed the fun.  I was sick sick sick and I was dead asleep which my super hero husband took over and didn't miss a beat in Advent fun.  I heard it was great...;{

Friday, December 12, 2014

Advent 12- Friends and Snow

12/12/14- It's SNOW DAY!  "What? There's no snow today!" you say.  That's okay!  We still will PLAY!

Marc and I were invited to a Christmas party.  My dear friend Nancy (seriously, I feel so bad for anyone who doesn't have her for a friend) suggested we get our kiddos together while we were at the party and share a sitter so they'd have a bit of a party themselves;)  There could not be a better day to share with friends than SNOW day;)

We had a kids against adults snow ball fight.  I hope my kids never outgrow this one...I LOVE it;)  And yes, my little Haitian chose to throw a beach ball too...

It's seriously amazingly fun to have an in door snowball fight.  You can buy super soft and amazing snowballs like we have here or just wad up paper.  

Our super healthy dinner....

Sugar 'em up and leave 'em with a sitter...we are "those" parents

Please, Lord, may she not outgrow my silliness too soon...

These two are two peas in a pod.

After dinner we headed off to our adult shindig and left the kids with the perfect Snow Day movie....and popcorn in a FROSTY tin (who could resist buying it?!)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Advent Day 11-

12/11/14- It's Red and Green day. Let's learn why those are the colors that represent Christmas! We will eat red and green snacks and color Christmas pictures using ONLY red and green.

So anyone else ever wonder why red and Green are associated with Christmas?  I did and the kids have asked in the past, so I incorporated it into Advent this year so that they (and I!) actually remember what they represent!

Interestingly in Europe in the middle ages, Passion plays were often performed on Christmas eve.  Because many people couldn't read the bible for themselves, they told bible stories through the play.  Because it was winter, the "paradise" tree in the garden of Eden was normally a evergreen tree with red apples tied onto it.

Evergreen plants, in general, have been used throughout history to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long winter.  Some felt evergreens were a reminder that spring would come again.  Romans exchanged evergreen branches in January as a sign of good luck.  Egyptians brought palm branches into their homes to decorate during mid winter festivals.

Red holly berries have been used by Christians for centuries as a symbol of the blood of Christ.  They actually predate Christmas- the Romans celebrated Saturnalia in December and gave wreaths of Holly as gifts.  In the 4th century, the leaders of the Catholic church moved the celebration of Christmas to December 25 to usurp Saturnalia and it's pagan celebrations.  Christians began take the holly and berries and make them into crosses to represent the blood of Christ and the life offered in him.

Red is also the color of bishops robes and would have been the color Saint Nicholas wore...hence why Santa Claus wears red.

There are much more facts and details to be found...give it a look, it's quite fascinating!

Some Christians struggle with Christmas being celebrated on December 25 as it isn't Christ's actual birthday and because it was originally a pagan holiday, but I find something so redemptive in usurping pagan traditions to glorify Christ.  I love that Christians took Holly and Berries and made crosses!  I love that green and red are found through out winter, from berries and evergreen trees to cardinals that don't migrate like other birds.  I love the stark contrast of red in the bleak of winter, it reminds me of the powerful intrusion Christ's blood has made into my bleak life.

For those curious about my red and green snacks- We had Dannon Danimals yogurt smoothies christmas edition and Pepperidge farm red and green goldfish.  YAY! for companies that naturally color their foods!!!

My very favorite Christmas picture was Phin's...I still laugh looking at it.  He drew Santa Claus, but because he's red and green he looks a bit a lot like the Grinch.