A few weeks ago the kiddos were wondering where our Christmas branch was. We already had our tree up and decorated but apparently they missed our Christmas branch. They were always a joke for the hubby and I, but truthfully they were a huge part of our past Christmas’s. So instead of going without the infamous Christmas branch I decided to decorate a few branches and place them in the kiddos rooms. Now the kiddos have a pretty little Christmas branch to look at and we can be reminded of our past Christmas’s. As you can see, the girls Christmas branch is decorated with tissue paper flowers and battery operated flowered lights. Goodies I already had in my crafting supplies. The girls are beyond excited to have their very own Christmas branch. For my little guy I decided to decorate his Christmas branch with what he loves most…John Deere tractors. I just took a bunch of his little tractors and tied them onto the branches with yellow yarn. Quick and free…but greatly loved! I just love how a simple little Christmas branch can bring such joy and happiness to them and I have to admit they are quit magical all lit up at night. Do any of you put little trees in the kiddos bedrooms? Or anywhere else? They are so cute I could totally see myself putting them in every room next year!
I love advent calendars! I think it is such a fun tradition to have. I mean who doesn’t love opening 25 presents?! The kiddos love opening them up as much as I love making them. This year I decided to use an old wooden ladder that we had outside with a bunch of cute socks that I just purchased at Walmart. I actually purchased the socks because I was in need of some new ones but when I got them home I thought they would make the cutest little advent calendar tied all over the ladder. So I guess I will be waiting a few more weeks for my new socks…all for the sake of crafting. Filling advent calendars can be tricky. I try to fill them up with useful things and fun activities to do with the kiddos. Of course they get a few pieces of candy and some cheap little toys, but for the most part I try to keep it cheap and practical. I ended up putting the ladder/advent calendar in the kitchen since I spend so much time in there plus it is fun to stare at the pretty little white lights. Since I only purchased a few pairs of socks I still needed some more items to hide my treats inside, so I ended up searching around the house for anything that matched. You will be surprised by how many things you can find already in your house…and they are free! I even ended up using some burlap bags that we had left from our wedding. Once I had all the bags, socks and boxes filled with goodies I printed off some free advent calendar numbers here from HGTV. When the kiddos woke up from their naps they thought that I had made our Christmas tree. Oh they are too cute! And yes, as you can imagine they are driving me crazy already wondering when they can start opening those little gifts up!
Here are some of my past advent calendars. In 2010 I filled canning jars and dollar store bags full of treats. I even made a special beer filled advent calendar for the hubby one year. As you can imagine he LOVED it and may even get one again this year. Last year we did a Christmas book advent calendar. It was fun but my kiddos prefer a candy/present filled advent calendar more. Plus I really should have removed the Christmas books from the book case a bit sooner. We had already been reading those same books all year long. Do you do an advent calendar in your house? What do you hide inside for treats?
The tree after Santa came.
Santa couldn’t find his tractor that digs on two sides, but instead brought a chainsaw and weed whacker. We wondered what would happen Christmas morning but were not expecting what we got when we walked downstairs. Immediately he screamed “Oh, just what I always wanted a weed whacker and chainsaw! Santa couldn’t find my tractor so he brought these instead!” Yes, that was the best way to have Santa introduced in this house. Santa brought the girls a doll highchair that was purchased this summer for a mere $3. All it needed was a little love and lots of spray paint. Their best finds in their stockings were definitely the electric toothbrushes and the Bug Juice. We learned fast that it doesn’t take much to make these kids happy. Hope that never changes.
The girls got their first doll house from Grammy, while our little guy got his first set of Lego’s.
We even added a few new “ornaments” to the tree. This one reminds us of some relatives that were visiting this summer and all the fun we had together. Mary, I thought you would get a chuckle out of that one. But really, these two dog toys have been a hit!
Plus they even match my tree decor. Yes, I’m that crazy.
I’m sad to see it go, but the tree must come down this weekend.
It is shedding everywhere.
We rang in the New Year with Chinese food and some chopsticks. Ok, maybe it was more like daytime then night, but who is counting when you have 3 little ones.
It was fun trying to use the chopsticks. Our little guy came up with a great technique for using the chopsticks and ended up using them the whole meal.
Whereas this little one decided to use what God gave her instead.
I have to admit it is much faster that way.
It was fun to try and they do make great drumming sticks once your done.
So… farewell 2011 and hello 2012!
This is the year Santa has been discovered.
He sat there for over an hour writing his letter.
I have never seen him be so picky about his letters before. But I guess when you are asking for a green tractor you make sure those letters are perfect. He was so excited once he finally finished his letter.
I read his letter back to him and he quickly realized that he needed to add in that it “digs with 2 sides”. He is very particular about such things. After all, he has been wanting that tractor for 10 months now.
I just hope “Santa” knows which tractor he wants and that the “tractor store” still has it.
Just a few more days to be nice!
Since we had very few Christmas ornaments I had to buy some at the good old Walmart. Next year we will add a bunch of handmade ones to the mix, but this year we are using store bought ones, which I have to say I love. I was so excited to see purple ones when I was scouring the shelves one day. I’m one of those people that likes to match their Christmas decorations to the rooms that they are being displayed in. I always remember my gram having the most beautiful pink Christmas tree that matched their living room. I just loved it and the nontraditional colors. I guess that is where I get it from.
So its purple and green decorations for this girl with a mixture of purple wrappings under the tree to match. Thank you TJ Maxx for the cute wrapping paper.
My tree skirt is actually a few yards of fabric just bunch up underneath the tree covering the stand. It is nothing fancy, but it works.
They may not be handmade or from Christmases past, but these ornaments are already loved by all.
It was so fun watching the kiddo’s decorate.
My son took his time picking out the best place for each ornament and carefully placed each one onto the tree.
Whereas the girls place all of their favorite ornaments all in one spot.
And continue to redecorate on a daily…or hourly basis. You can tell which ones are their favorites by where they are placed on the tree. They are always at the bottom of the tree all on the same branch.
And all of them just happen to be from a pretty special auntie and uncle.
Any of you have “sewing days”? What do you do to keep the kiddo’s entertained?
I’m still debating on what to do with all of the 20+ yards of ruffle fabric that I now have, but I’m pretty sure that this list here will definitely give me some inspiration. Plus I plan on making some home decor items with it and maybe a skirt or two for myself.
And how they try so hard to wait til Daddy’s home before they open that little package.
I love that I got to spend more time wrapping then shopping. I’m one of those crazy people that loves wrapping.
Sometimes my gifts look better on the outside then on the inside…that’s just part of the fun for me.
I used a mixture of paper, fabric, and yarn to wrap the books and just made a bunch of numbers in print shop. A little time consuming, but well worth it in my book.
Once the wrapping was done I stuck them all in this little wooden caddy.
I’m sure you all know why I wanted our advent calendar portable this year.
That’s right, my fingers are crossed that we will be opening #25 in our new living room. We are so close, yet still so many little details left to finish.
Any of you have advent calendars? Do you make a new one each year?
Casserole carrier using melon from the Meadowsweet collection.
After spending a crazy-fun-filled Christmas Eve with family, we spent Christmas Day at home just the 5 of us. We wasted away the day by opening presents, making homemade donuts, playing with our new tractors and trains, watching a little girl push her new stroller and dolls all around the house, and reading our new books. We even got out to do some snowshoeing. Oh it was wonderful! But then again, I always enjoy days when the hubby is home and all we do is spend time playing with the kids, eating way too much food and are able to sneak in a movie when the kids are napping.