Monday, December 5, 2011

Decking the Halls

It's starting to look festive around the house.  I was hoping to get going on Christmas decorations last week, but there was the little thing of a kidney stone to pass and getting knocked out with a nasty cold on top of it.  I was lying on the crinkly paper at the doctor's office curled up in pain, and I just had to laugh.  This has been quite a year.  But my humor is returning, and I'm very thankful for that, and for God's deliverance and healing... little by little.




Here's our little advent calendar.  I think it's my favorite and the boys', too.
I bought the wooden calendar at Target about 3 years ago.  The mini tree is from Michaels.
I also found sets of tiny wooden ornaments (nativity & toys) at Michaels, and we put one behind each door.
In the past I have put little activity slips behind many of the doors and verses.
This year we are trying something different.

I found a Jesse Tree advent booklet on Ann Voskamp's site.  
I subscribed to her blog and they sent me a link for a free download.  
Each day has a scripture to read, a devotional, and a simple activity you can choose to do. 
We are having to catch up, since it actually starts in November, but we are loving it.  
It's definitely not too late to start... just double up or skip a couple days.
  The booklet is pretty big, and I'm thinking of having it bound at Office Max so that we can use it every year.


We aren't doing an actual Jesse tree with the devotional, 
(although Ann has ornament print outs that correspond with the devotionals)
but...
Here's our big tree!
(It's fake... can you tell?)
The boys love putting it up and say cute things like... "Oh, the memories."

And here are some of my favorite ornaments.


 I think my friend, Shelly gave me all three of these and I adore them!
I have looked for other beaded ornaments like the horse, but never come across any... where does one get these?
The ball shows Bethlehem and has been painted from inside... such a pretty scene.
And I love the caroler, because I love singing... especially beautiful choir music that glorifies God.


This year my friend Rachel gave me this ornament for my birthday.
I HEART snowflakes!!


I've had the little clothespin since preschool... my mom may have made it.  Isn't she cute?
Charlie Brown came along in elementary school... I love "A Charlie Brown Christmas," don't you?
And the Christmas robot has recently joined the family.  I don't know why but I really dig him.


I really adore these kinds of ornaments... the kids faces and stuff they've made out of popsicle sticks.
Jason is seen here surround by his favorite color... orange!!
And this is a preschool Josh, wearing his little AWANA Cubbies vest.


Some years I do a lot of wintery creams and whites, but this year there's lots of reds and greens.
If I confess this, don't hate me, but I don't like "The Nutcracker."
Nutcrackers, yes... the ballet, no.  Aren't I just a Scrooge??


We have a couple simple nativities, but this is my favorite.
This was given to Patrick and I as a wedding gift from my brother-in-law's grandmother.
She was such a very special lady who loved God with all her heart.
Isn't this a precious gift?


My mom has given us some special Christmas books over the years.
Have you read "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" and "A Cup of Christmas Tea" yet?
They are my favorites!  And I cry ever single time I read them... just such sweet stories.
Sometimes we even do a little tea party with hot cocoa and the boys' Webkinz animals as we read.
Do you have any favorite Christmas stories?
Have you seen what Sara over at Simply Sara has done with her Christmas books?  So cute!


Apparently people are starting new "Elf on a Shelf" traditions.
I'm not sure what this is, but I did get out my vintage elves that my mom handed down...
just in case we want to get involved.
I know for sure we'll be watching the movie "Elf"... it's a favorite!
And I'm going to buy the DVD edition of "Little Women," (the Winona Ryder version)
cause my VHS is wearing out.
A few years back, I asked what everyone's favorite Christmas movie was.
I also asked everyone if "Little Women" counts as a Christmas movie, and everyone said it did.
So it's my favorite... what's yours?


Lastly, I need to switch out my fall wreath for a wintery one.
I'm trying to ignore the fact that one son is on the roof and the other has no shirt.
I guess that is how the manly people decorate.

Do you have any special traditions you are looking forward to?
What's going on over at your place this December?

7 comments:

hannah singer said...

correct, never too late to begin the advent readings and activities! awesome!
love your festive decorations. ornaments might be my favorite things. and? i have christmas robots, too! ha! i should blog them:)

xo

Susan said...

That last picture is priceless!! It looks edited.
So much goodness in this post...we watch It's a Wonderful Life every year. And, ummmm, Four Christmases. Both classics, non?!? Lol.

Megan said...

How cute! Your house looks so welcoming and festive :)

I am looking forward to visiting my family soon and helping them decorate the house. My mom and I always put up the ornaments on the tree together while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot cocoa... I miss that! :)

Denise said...

i love your decorations, that they tell stories of you.

kidney stones! i'd rather go through childbirth than have a kidney stone. i had a kidney boulder last year. you should read about "sharon stone" herehttp://victoryrd.blogspot.com/2010/07/romancing-stone.html. sometimes cracking jokes is necessary when you are in horrific pain.

ummm, your kid is on the roof!!!
that freaks me out.

ChristyB said...

I loved looking at your Christmas decorations. Hope you're feeling better!

Jodi said...

I couldn't tell your tree was fake - I noticed it was quite gorgeous though!
Love Little Women and LOVE Elf - my fave Christmas movie.
I went the the Nutcracker ballet once and all I remember is that it was soooo loooong.
And that's all of my random thoughts at this time :)

Cassi said...

I love your tree!

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