Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Stockings!!!

When Luke and I got married, we bought Christmas stockings at Target. When Silas was born, we never got him a stocking because we couldn't find one that we loved. Well fast forward four years. None of our kids have Christmas stockings... and this year, that all changed. A good friend of mine from high school owns a stocking company, so I decided to check out what he sold. There were so many great options, it took me awhile to narrow it down. Our stockings arrived on Friday- and they are beautiful! I love how they look, I love the great quality, I love that they are personalized, and I love that they are stockings we can use for many years.

Close up of my stocking.

We were excited to see that the stockings
were lined, which means no stretching out!

If you are looking for Christmas stockings this year, check out Merry Stockings. My favorite stockings are the Modern Stockings. I know you will find something that you love. Did I mention that all of the stockings come personalized? And the best part is, it's not too late to order for this year. If you order by Wednesday, December 14th (tomorrow!), you will receive your stockings in time for Christmas. And you can receive 10% off your order by using the discount code ELF. Shop over at Merry Stockings today and support a great small business (based in Minnesota!).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Christmas

Here are the 25 special things we will be doing for Christmas (see my last blog post about the Christmas Advent house we got this year.) This is the plan for now. I will probably make changes in the order of things, as our month goes along and our schedules change. One thing that is not listed yet is we are planning to do something as a family at a rescue mission downtown. I am waiting to see what that looks like... It might involve on going to the place and doing something. It might be buying presents for kids who will spent their Christmas at the mission. Since we aren't sure what this is yet, I haven't added it.
1- Decorate Christmas tree for playroom 
2- Make Christmas cookies
3- Go to a Christmas parade
4- Get out Little People Nativity set, read Christmas story from the Bible
5- Present: new Christmas sock
6- Present: Christmas Bereanstean Bears Movie
7- Do a Christmas craft
8- Go to the Broadmoor Hotel to see Christmas Lights and make s'mores
9- Christmas candy!
10- Go visit Santa Claus at the Bank
11- Watch a Christmas Veggie Tales
12- Make Christmas cards
13- Make Christmas cookies and presents for teachers
14- Present: Stockings (my kids have never had stockings and we finally ordered some this year. More to come on that later.)
15- Read Christmas stories and have hot chocolate
16- Go to the Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
17- Christmas Shopping as a family
18- Present: "It's a Meaningful Life" Christmas Veggie Tales
19- Decorate Gingerbread House
20- Go to Polar Express Night at Chick-fil-a
21- Make cut out cookies and decorate
22- Bring cookies to the Fire Station
23- Drive around and see Christmas lights
24- Make cupcakes for Jesus’ birthday
25- Read stories about the first Christmas and open presents
So we will see how this all works out! My point is to have something fun everyday from now until Christmas. Lots of this is regular stuff we would be doing anyways, but doing it like this will be extra fun for the kids. 
What are some special things your family does each Christmas? What are some new traditions you are starting within your family?

Three Things on Thursday

1. This fall, I overcommitted myself. I went from doing nothing in the summer; Just play dates and shopping at Target to doing way. too. much. At the end of August, Silas started speech therapy once a week, about 25 minutes from where we live. I also started working, about 10 hours a week. In September, I started doing Bible Study every Wednesday morning, a small group every Wednesday night with Luke, and MOPS every Thursday morning. Somewhere in there I committed to helping with Children's Church every week, which isn't a lot of hours, but just something else on my plate. So not only was I busy, I was dragging my children all over the place too. The end result of trying to do this much has been, I have not done everything well and I have been flaky about some of my commitments. In January, I am doing less so that I can really enjoy what I do commit too.

2. During the last few months of being busy, I have also noticed that when I am overcommitted, I spending way less time with my children. (I know, that should have been pretty obvious to begin with. Sometimes I am a slow learner.) And then when I do have time with them, I am tired from all I am doing (and from my insomnia), that I feel like I am giving my children my leftovers. And I am not ok with that. I can hardly fathom that Silas will be in kindergarten next fall. Life speeds by and I am staying at home with my children so I can spend time with them and enjoy them. This fall I have allowed myself to by too busy doing "stuff." But even good things can take away time from what really things that are really important- like my family.

3. Christmas. My absolute favorite season of the year. I love everything about it! I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love the time with family. I love the music (and start listening to it, often, in October). I love snow. I love Christmas plays and musicals at church. I love all the cookies and candy. I love Christmas Eve church services. I love shopping to buy special gifts for family. I love traditions. I. LOVE. IT. ALL. Tomorrow is December 1st which is exciting. We are starting a new tradition in our family. I bought an Advent calendar that we are filling with special things for each day until Christmas. Some of the things do relate to the real meaning of Christmas- and some of them are just fun. Here is a picture of the one I bought. (And I was so happy to find a picture of it tonight on the internet because I was not feeling very committed to taking a picture of it myself to upload.)

It looks like it belongs in the game "Candyland." Silas calls it the candy house. If you know me, you know that I shop and buy, and then often return if I find something that I like better or if it's a better deal. So when I bought this house, that is sort of what I had in mind. Well, once we had it, it was ours. Silas loved it and there was not going back!

Tomorrow I will post the list of what we will be doing for the 25 days. The kids are excited and I am too!