Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012 wrap up

"Wrap up".  I crack myself up with all my "witty" puns.  I realize I'm the only one amused and I accept this.

Well, since tomorrow is New Years Eve I figured I better get all the Christmas festivities updated on the blog, especially since we packed up Christmas at our house on Christmas night after the boys went to be bed.  That's right, our Christmas tree and decor was put away on Christmas night.  That might make me a bit of a Grinch, but I like to wake up on the 26th with a normal house so that I can clean clean clean.

I'll try to make this short and sweet with lots of pictures-  I got the idea from Pinterest to do a small Polar Express type experience with the boys at home.  We read the book, then I made special golden tickets and hid them in their beds.

We put them to be early so that we could take them to Santa Land (which Jackson still thinks is the North Pole) to see Santa.  I honestly didn't think this little idea would be a big deal to the boys because they don't really care for The Polar Express book yet, but Jackson freaked out when he realized he had a golden ticket.  He didn't even know what it was for and he was jumping up and down with joy, literally.

  I also made them bags with candy and treats inside for them to eat on the way to Santa Land.

We arrived at Santa Land, aka the North Pole, and Jackson was so excited to see Santa!  I even told him we have a LONG wait to see him and he was excited the whole time

First, we got in line and we stayed there for 2 hours!  Oh. my. word. it was a long wait, but the boys did really well.  Austin fussed a little the last half hour and Jackson got a little crazy at the end too, but all in all they were excellent.  To pass some time Daddy took them to see all the cool sights and lights while I kept our place in line.

Here we are just waiting...

Austin pretending to sleep...

Austin really falling asleep...

And then finally, just after 10pm (2 hours after bedtime) we were finally next in line to see Santa.  Jackson spontaneiously did a happy dance when he realized he was just about to see the Big Man which made the whole 2 hour wait worth every minute.  Austin hated Santa and Jackson was so excited, but more so tired, so he couldn't even muster a smile, but I promise that was one excited little boy.

Jackson told Santa he wanted a Leappad for Christmas and Santa delivered!  He came to see us a few nights later and filled the boys' stockings.

Austin was fascinated (and still is) by a little candy light saber that Santa brought him.

And Jackson kept asking to play with his stamp set all. day. long.  And to be honest we still haven't even opened that stamp set.  I have to do that tomorrow.  Mostly, I just loved this face that he made-

And my favorite part of Christmas morning, the snow!!  We woke up to snow then it snowed even more as the morning progressed.  LOVED IT!!  Every last snowflake!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Making salt-dough ornaments

So we made some salt-dough ornaments last weekend and Jackson has far better ornament making skills than his mother!  I kept messing up, but time and time again his ornaments came out perfect.  He's a chip off the old crafting block!

Austin didn't want anything to do with the dough, but he had a good time chewing on the cookie cutters.

This face is so cute!  I just want to squeeze this little boy all day!  Look at those sweet little cheeks.

Jackson's perfecting his dough ornament skills.  Seriously, he made no mistakes.  Not one.
He gives his brother a run for his money on the cutest little face in town!

Jackson with our ornaments this year.  Look at the humongous hand print- I swear his hands are almost as big as mine already.  He's so big!

Jackson wanted to take a picture of the ornaments all by himself.  He did a pretty good job.  And check out those ornaments- I told you he's an ornament making champ!

Jackson's school activities

I can not say enough how much I LOVE Jackson's school!  I like that it's a Christian environment so they have REAL Christmas activities and programs.  The kids are so excited this time of year and I like that even at school Jackson is reminded that Christmas is about Christ.

Jackson had his first Christmas program.  It was the story of Christ's birth.  SO SO SO cute!!  I get so emotional when I think about how much Jackson has grown up already.  Just being at a school for a program for him made me tear up while I waited anxiously to see him.  Then I saw him walk out in his little angel outfit and I cried uncontrollably.  In fact, I'm tearing up again just thinking about it.  What is wrong with me?!?!  Jackson did perfectly!  He was loud and irreverent.   He wouldn't keep his little angel halo on and loudly told his teacher that he no longer needed it right in the middle of the program.  He picked his nose (which, honestly, he doesn't even do at home- I guess that's for special public occasions only).  He loudly told the music teacher that he wanted to go sit with his mommy and daddy (several times).  And he yelled sang so loudly that I could hear him above all the other children.  But my most favorite part was when he first took his place on the stage and then started frantically looking for Jim and me.  You could see excitement and relief on his face when he finally saw us.  I was so proud of my beautiful boy even with the nose picking and acts of irreverence.  Oh, how I love my real life angel!

Today was Jackson's first school Christmas party.  He had a lot of fun and made a cute snowman and ate really good food.  He was so excited!

Well, since it's Christmas and Jackson now has a teacher we got to make his teacher an ornament for a gift.  Jackson painted the letter "K" (for Mrs. Kennedy) gold all by himself.  I might have done a little touching up, but he pretty much painted it by himself.  The ornament turned out so cute I made an "N" for our tree.  I think this might be the start of a Christmas tradition- the boys will make their teachers ornaments.  You can never have too many ornaments.

He was so proud of himself.

Here's the final product.  I told you it was cute!  We have run out of Christmas cards so I made Mrs. Kennedy a card.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St Nicholas Day 2012

St Nicholas day this year was a little difficult.  If you're not familiar, it's a German tradition that children leave their notes to Santa in their stockings and an elf comes and takes the note back to Santa.  The elf leaves a treat if the child's on the good list and rocks (or coal) if the child is on the naughty list, and then the child has the next 2-3 weeks to get back on the good list.  Well, Jackson has had a rough week and yesterday was no different.  He finally cleaned up his attitude and started making good choices just in time for me to call Santa and tell him he can stay on the good list.  ...for now.  I really thought this was going to be Jackson's first year for rocks, but he saved himself in the "Nick" of time. hahaha, pun intended!

Last night we let the boys pick out some toys that they want out of some toy ads and then they glued them on to paper to give to Santa.  Here's Jackson with his stocking and letter last night.  He was so excited that I couldn't get him to sit still...

This is the first year that Jackson was so excited he couldn't sleep.  Bless his heart, he was worried that the elf wouldn't come and that he might get rocks because I told all day that rocks were in his immediate future if his attitude didn't change.  And yes, I would have told Santa to send the elf with rocks if he didn't change his attitude.  Jackson called his dad into his room last night a few times to ask if the elf had come yet.  So cute!  I remember clearly when I was 4 and how excited I was for Christmas.  It was the first year I didn't sleep much.  I'm so excited that Jackson has reached this stage!  This morning he was surprised and thrilled that the elf left him and Austin some candy last night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let the Christmas festivities begin!

I LOVE this time of year and I LOVE that the boys are both big enough that they can both participate in fun Christmas activities!

 First, we started the 24 days of Christmas on the 1st of December. It's basically just a song and a Christ centered activity every night that leads up to Christmas. The first night Jim and I both got a little teary and it was only a little 5 minute video clip along with the song "Away in a Manger". Anyway, you can join in the 24 days of Christmas anytime, here's the link.

Second, I want all of our December FHE's to be about Christ's birth.  Yesterday's FHE was SO MUCH FUN!!  Jim and I had just as much fun as the boys did.  I got the basic idea from Pinterest and kind of made the rest my own.  After prayer and a song (Away in the Manger again- it's my and Jackson's favorite) we read the story of Christmas from the book The First Christmas by Carol Heyer.  It has great pictures and tells the story a little bit easier than the actual scriptures.  Then, we had a scavenger hunt to find all the pieces to their manger scene.  Ahead of time I put together some clues and hid the pieces.  If you'd like, I'll send  you a copy of my clues, just leave me a message with your email address.

The top clue in the picture is of Mary on our bookshelf- here's Mary hiding.

And Jackson wanted me to add a picture of the 3 wise men hiding in the window.  They kept trying to escape to follow random stars... ;)

After the Nativity scavenger hunt, the boys put together their own manger scenes on paper.  It was just a nativity scene that taught shapes and cutting.  You can find the activity here.

I tried to get a good picture of the boys with their nativity pictures and their Little People nativity set, but once again, these are the faces we got from them.  I don't know why they just won't smile for me.  Oh well, at least you can tell their happy and had a good time...

This is Austin's best Popeye face-

Another idea I had this year was to do a fun Christmas activity every weekend as a family leading up to the big day.  This weekend we made Christmas trees with ice cream cones, green icing, and M&Ms.  Unfortunately, the icing melted and our M&Ms all fell down, but it was fun!

Jackson was concentrating on his Christmas tree masterpiece.

Austin actually decorated a tree all by himself.

But mostly, he just ate M&Ms.  

It was a lot of fun!  Here's our melty trees (from left to right:  Austin's, my tree, Daddy's, and Jackson's)

I think we're also going to make all kinds of ornaments, become our own nativity scene, and create a Nuffer family Polar Express experience.  I hope the boys enjoy!