Archive for November, 2011

First Week of Advent 2011 – Thursday

November 30, 2011

Possum is 5 year 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

Today is the 1st of December and for many the start of the Christmas Countdown.  This is certainly the day that most Advent Calendars start.

I have a lovely felt advent calendar.  Each day you add on another piece until you have a beautiful and busy Nativity Scene for Christmas.  Unfortunately, in the past few years, pieces seem to move, disappear and randomly re-appear somewhat quashing the build-up.

So this morning in the Countdown to Christmas Box

TA-DA!  A creche built with stickers, day by day.

image

One for each of the boys (well, each of the little boys – not for DH!)  And they have certainly been a hit, if I do say so myself.

 

First Week of Advent 2011 – Wednesday

November 29, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

You might remember this book

image

from last Advent.  Well today it appeared in the Countdown to Christmas Box, complete with the accompanying Advent calendar.  The first story in the book is for the 30th of November, so we read it tonight.

We have been using this book since Possum’s first Advent, and there is something lovely and comforting about revisiting it each year.  I think each year I get something more out of Little Bear’s journey, let alone the kids.

 

image This is the calendar.  The picture is of Benjamin Bear and his Mum.  Each night he opens a window on his calendar to find the same picture that we find, and his Mum tells him the next adventure of Little Bear following the star to Bethlehem.

Mighty Ape

November 29, 2011

image

 

Have you heard of “Mighty Ape”?  It is an online shop.  I have done a bit of shopping with them and have been happy with their prices and their service.

They also have a referral programme and I have signed up.  This means that if you follow a link from my blog to an item on their site and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  I will still try to find the cheapest prices for things from the online shops I use, but this is what happens if you use Mighty Ape.

First Week of Advent 2011 – Tuesday – The Christmas Shop

November 29, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

The Christmas Shop Edition

Oh dear me!  Did I mention our trip to the Christmas Shop a little while back?  I went in with the brave words, “No we aren’t buying anything today, we are just looking.  After we have put up our decorations we might come back and get something.”  Well, it seems that “something” can be reinterpreted as “the whole shop”, it is all in the emphasis.  Apparently.

Anyway, today was “Grandparents and Special Friends Day” at Possum’s Kindy.  I hated Grandparents Day when I was a child.  I always resented that I had never had any living grandparents.  Given that all our children’s living grandparents are elderly and mostly in failing health, I was glad that my Mum could make it along.

clip_image002

After morning tea and entertainment at the Kindy, they came home for lunch.  The afternoon’s entertainment was The Christmas Shop.

My sister managed to do something useful – buy a whole lot of Bon-bons for the extended family.  Me on the other hand… *sigh*

Somehow we managed to come home with a Christmas Train.  It is very nice, but somewhat cheaply made.  It isn’t meant as a toy, but as a decoration.  Have you tried explaining that to a 3yo train-nutter?  Anyway, the boys love it.  (I can’t believe I haven’t any pictures.  Must rectify.)  In the interim, we are going crazy to the tune of high pitched Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  Oh-la.  What a crazy Mum to put in the batteries.

And then there is this:

IMG_1964 I must admit, I am entirely to blame for this one.  Just as the boys have been talking up the train since our first visit to the shop, I have been hugging to myself the secret that this guy would be parachuting across our front room.  I am a sucker for kitsch.

Yes, the boys liked him, but there wasn’t the request to bring him home.

The idea is that a well placed clap will set him off, sailing across the cable, kicking his little legs and singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (not compatible with the train).  The boys have worked out that various loud noises (a well placed “La”, a nasty pitched growl, a blood curdling scream) will also set him off.  *bliss*  And the irony?  I can’t set him off with my voice, while the kids can from a different room, or even in one instance today, from outside the house.  Maybe I don’t yell as loudly as I thought.

 

IMG_1961

We also bought this:

IMG_1963 IMG_1965  

It is lit up with optical fibres and it is really very, very pretty.  And quiet.  Did I mention QUIET??  Crazy thing is, I reckon it should play Silent Night or Away in a Manger or something.

Finally, there is the Christmas Turkey.  I haven’t got a picture of him yet, either, but gosh I think he is funny, and Little Princess loves him to bits.  I can’t wait to take it along to the family Christmas!

A Frosty Update

November 28, 2011

I had wondered how long those crystals would last on the windows.  Answer: About a week.

We have had some exceptionally wet weather in that time, so I am quite impressed.

I still have some Epsom Salts left over, some of them coloured after making the lumieres.  I think I might have to do a touch up!

First Week of Advent 2011 – Monday

November 28, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 10 months

 

So, what was in The Box today?

IMG_1954

Jig-Saw Puzzles!

This set has 6 puzzles (3 double-sided ones), but today I gave them the 12 piece set.  One side has the scene of The Visitation, the other side has Mary and Joseph (“Jophus”) travelling to Bethlehem.  It was great.  They didn’t have a picture, but they worked out the puzzles, then we got to discuss the parts of the Christmas story that they depicted.  Yay.

First Sunday of Advent 2011

November 27, 2011

Possum in 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 10 months

 

At last Advent is really here!  Now we really can start getting into the mood.

Today our “Countdown to Christmas Box” appeared.  The idea is that this is where we will find each day’s activity.

IMG_1929 IMG_1928

Today we discovered our Advent Wreath!  Possum was so excited!  (I think that my boys are closet pyromaniacs.  Actually, I think it is part of being Catholic… )

IMG_1930

Yes, that little 4-tealight burner is our Advent Wreath.  I know it isn’t really a wreath, but it is remarkably sturdy (and safe on the table) and it works very well for us.

Under the Advent wreath was…

IMG_1934 STICKER BOOKS!  One each for Possum and Bandicoot.

Anyone who knows us personally will know that we have been having a hard time at Church for the last month due to inability-to-sit-silently.  Can I just say that Bandicoot LOVED this book.  He has already finished most of it.  That’s okay – that’s what it is for.

And finally, being the First Sunday of Advent, we took some goodies to Church for the Mountain of Love.  Our Church regularly supports one of the local Christian Aid Agencies, but at the beginning of Advent we do a special appeal where everyone brings Christmas goodies along.

IMG_1935

We took along some of our favourite party foods as well as some complete baking sets for Christmas biscuits.  My kids love baking gingerbread men, and if you are struggling to put meals on the table, wouldn’t you love a chance to treat your kids with an afternoon of baking?

Of course, we got it wrong.  This year the Mountain of Love is on the Second Sunday of Advent.  Never mind.  Better early than late – it will still go to the same people.

Polar Express Book Giveaway on Little Adventures Preschool

November 27, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 10 months

image

I mentioned the movie “Polar Express” the other day.  (I am still waiting for our copy to arrive, but really it has only been a few days.)

Over at Little Adventures Preschool blog, Amanda is giving away a copy of the book of this wonderful story.  (I have to say, I am a little reluctant to write this blog, after all, if you enter I will have less chance of winning won’t I?  Tee hee hee)

Head on over there and check it out!

Advent – Truth in the Tinsel

November 26, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 10 months

image

If you are a fan of the Homeschool Blog of just about any Christian Mumma, you have probably heard about this.  Well I bought my copy yesterday.

Amanda over at Impress Your Kids has put a lot of effort into producing this eBook.  I wish I had have found it last year!

Each day there is a symbol or a word (a “clue”) for the kids to listen out for in the story (part of the Christmas story).  Then there is a craft activity to do to reinforce this idea, with gentle conversation tips that promote the meditation.

I just love the ideas in here!  You might be interested, too.

Pre Advent 2011 – Mummy Time

November 25, 2011

Possum is 5 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 10 months

 

Well, Little Princess is a bit better today (another trip to the doctor involved).  It has been hard going, but hopefully she is going in the right direction.

DH has gone out for some much needed R and R tonight, with some friends he hasn’t played with for a while.  They are the kind of friends we used to go out with all the time in life Before Children.  Now we are all on the other side of that defining moment, and catching up once or twice a year for a Boys’ Night seems pretty amazing.

The kids finally settled into bed has given me some – shh!  Don’t say it too loudly! – Free Time!  So I am finally getting to this craft project.  I am planning on bringing mine out one at a time for the 12 days of Christmas.

IMG_1959

I have to say that I really, really enjoyed doing these.  They haven’t turned out as well as Amanda’s.  I could probably do a second coat of crystals on them, and I could definitely use an eye-dropper with my food colouring (instead of my current method – winging it with dripping it from the mouth of the bottle…)  Still, I am pretty chuffed.

Who knew Epsom Salts could be so much fun?

 

This blog entry is linked to the Crafts at:

image