Friday, January 6, 2012

Advent season

So in the next two posts, I want to share a little bit about our holiday season.  The first post- Advent.

We started the month of December with a plenty to do.  I was wrapping up school, which for a teacher means a LOT of grading. Mainly because students wait to the last minute to turn everything in...which, ahem, I never did. ha ha.

But even with a lot to do that doesn't mean we didn't have fun. The first event- Rudolph! My parents had some extra tickets to the Barter Theatre, so off we went.  What fun!  Elizabeth loved the reindeer and even got to go see it again, with her cousins.  Big thanks to mommy and daddy for the tickets!!

Elizabeth with Rudolph herself.
 We also celebrated a few family birthdays, which is always fun!

We then took the girls to see Santa.  Elizabeth was a little shy, hence the half smile.  But Evie was having   none of it.  She never cried, but was SO serious.  She didn't smile until the end.  Elizabeth told Santa she wanted a doll and ponies...and maybe some spiderman stuff. (Yes, she watches spiderman- but the old version ('67 & '81).
Who is this strange man?

I like this man.

Thankfully, we had most of our Christmas presents already purchased and our decorations went up at Thanksgiving.  We've been shopping ahead throughout the year and storing up.  What a difference that makes!!  We spent half as much as we usually do (and the spending was spread out) and with some handmade items, made it really special.

Our now crawling baby enjoyed getting to the presents.

During this time we also directed the kids Christmas program at church.  Evie was a donkey and Elizabeth was the Star of Bethleham.  We had all the kids walk into the church to the choir singing "Mary did you know?".  The kids were great and I was so proud of them all.  Also since we were directing kids, we didn't get pictures.  But I have some people from church sending me some.  Once I get them, I'll be sharing them.

Once my grades were turned in we only had a week until Christmas, YIKES.  But we did a few crafts and lots of baking, especially for Santa.
Cookies for Santa.

Cookies for Daddy!

Throughout this month, Mark was gone one week, then back and then gone again.  Finally the week before Christmas, he was back again.
A picture we sent to Daddy, while he was gone.

In order to keep our minds on the true meaning of the season, Elizabeth and I did a Jesse Tree each day.  It was SO WORTH IT!!  If you've never done one, I totally recommend it.  I read the devotional and then pulled out the main points of the story.  We'd talk about them and then she would stick the symbol on the tree.  Two great things about it, 1) FREE ONLINE & 2)Elizabeth learned so much about the bible.  In fact, I learned so much too.  What a blessing!

This was day two, by the end the whole poster was covered.

Some of our Advent books.

As with each year, we did our advent devotionals at dinner and lit our advent wreath.  A great and beautiful tradition.
My broken candles.  I bought some new ones, but never took a picture.  Whoops!

After all the baking and crafts the week before Christmas, we were ready for the big day...which comes in the next post.  Exciting I know!

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