Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Activities with children

This year we are trying to be intentional with the way we spend December. I read on Erin's blog, "Home With The Boys", that if you have a Jesus Storybook Bible, you can read through the 21 Old Testament story as well as 3 stories about Jesus' birth during Advent and it lines up perfectly! I hope to read one story to my kids each day, maybe over breakfast? Here is what she wrote on her blog, I find it to be so helpful:
There are 21 Old Testament stories in this Bible. Each one ends with a short paragraph about how the story relates to Jesus’ coming. Follow that with three stories about the birth of Christ and you have 24 days worth of material to go through with your family starting December 1st! And it helps tie the whole Bible together for even the littlest ones in your household!
Here is what the plan looks like:
Advent with the The Jesus Storybook Bible
Dec. 1 – The Story and The Song (Psalm 19, Hebrews 1)
Dec. 2 – The beginning: a perfect home (Genesis 1-2)
Dec. 3 – The terrible lie (Genesis 3)
Dec. 4 – A new beginning (Genesis 6-9)
Dec. 5 – A giant staircase to heaven (Genesis 11)
Dec. 6 – Son of laughter (Genesis 12-21)
Dec. 7 – The present (Genesis 22)
Dec. 8 – The girl no one wanted (Genesis 29-30)
Dec. 9 – The forgiving prince (Genesis 37-46)
Dec. 10 – God to the rescue (Exodus 3-13)
Dec. 11 – God makes a way (Exodus 14-15)
Dec. 12 – Ten ways to be perfect (Exodus 16-17, 19-40)
Dec. 13 – The warrior leader (Joshua 3, 6)
Dec. 14 – The teeny, weenie…true king (1 Samuel 16)
Dec. 15 – The young hero and the horrible giant (1 Samuel 17)
Dec. 16 – The Good Shepherd (Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 7, Psalm 23)
Dec. 17 – A little servant girl and the proud general (2 Kings 5)
Dec. 18 – Operation “No More Tears!” (Isaiah 9, 11, 40, 50, 53, 55, 60)
Dec. 19 – Daniel and the scary sleepover (Daniel 6)
Dec. 20 – God’s messenger (Jonah 1-4, Hebrews 1:1-2)
Dec. 21 – Get ready! (Nehemiah 8-10, Malachi 1, 3 and 4, Ezra 7)
Dec. 22 – He’s here (Luke 1-2)
Dec. 23 – The Light of the whole world (Luke 2)
Dec. 24 – The King of all kings (Matthew 2)

We love our Jesus Storybook Bible. I hope you all have one - if you don't, you can find them at Christian bookstores (our church bookstore carries them as well). I think I enjoy reading it just as much as my kids do. 

I also made a list of fun activities that include crafts, giving, extending ourselves to others, and drawing close as a family. Then I printed it out and cut the activities apart; one activity will be tucked inside each day on our advent calendar. 

I used a few ideas that I found on others' blogs, and it was so helpful that I thought I'd post my list so that you could snag a few ideas if you nee them, too. I realize that I have 33 activities for 25 days, but I'll probably double up on a few days (we can certainly do a craft on the same day we drop money in a Salvation Army cup). These aren't in order, either; I plan to save the bigger activities for weekend days and line up each day's activity with what's already on our calendar for the month. However, The Elf on the Shelf reading would be our Dec. 1st activity and leaving food for the reindeer and setting cookies out for Santa would be our Dec. 24th activity. We also traditionally bake the cake for Jesus on Christmas Day, sometime in the afternoon. 

So here's our list for December! I'm excited. 

**If you like our list and want me to email you a copy for your own use, I'd be happy to. Just leave me a comment with your email address! It's a simple pdf of a Word document, so anyone can print it out as-is with the fun fonts.**

**You can visit Erin's blog by clicking HERE, and you can download her free printable Advent With The Jesus Storybook Bible plan by clicking HERE**

Monday, November 19, 2012

One of those posts...

...where I put up a random assortment of pictures just to give you an idea of what life is like over here in our corner of the world. It's a chaotic mix of happy (think shrieks of joy) and devastated (think sibling rivalry), with lots in between: 
time with friends and grandparents, the occasional bonk that always loosens a front tooth, hours building legos and tending to babies, date nights at the movies, warm pjs at night and hot coffee in the morning, widow markers, cake pops, trips to the grocery, snuggling on the couch, Wednesday nights at Cubbies, and lots of hibernating inside at home now that it's getting chilly!

In short: wonderful.


Preschool Open House

In October Robbie and Ellie's preschool classes had an open house that we attended. Their rooms are very familiar to us, and we know their teachers well. But it was fun to get inside the classroom, look at their pictures and art on the walls, and play for a little while. 

Robbie's "All About Me" page (pictured below) said that his favorite food was cereal (true), when he grows up he wants to be a doctor (Aunt Kels and Uncle Jeff would be proud), he would like to take a trip to New Jersey and he is thankful for his mom. Adorable.

It's so fun to have 2 preschoolers. And one who desperately wants to be in the middle of the action with them!