Monday, December 24, 2012

Advent Activities

Every year we try to keep up with our tradition of doing an Advent Activity each day in December.  It’s another way of counting down the days until Christmas.  It also helps us make the most out of the season since December always seems to be so busy and over before we know it.  The ideal set up would be to have the activity in the Advent Calendar in the morning so the kids can read it when they wake up but this year was so busy and crazy with all of these teenagers' schedules that many days we just had to wing it as the day went on.

Day 1 {Festival of Trees}

Gavin had this great idea of taking the stroller to see if Morgan would sit in it.  We haven’t tried her in a stroller for a few years.  She loved it.  Not sitting in it, but pushing it. It’s always so crowded at this event and Morgan kept pushing the stroller into strangers who were walking slowly in front of us.  We will remember next year-- no stroller!

The kids stopped to see this darling “Tangled” tree and then I saw Heather Probst’s picture and realized it was a tree for my sweet friend’s daughter who passed away this fall.  She had Down syndrome and Leukemia and loved Tangled!
 We waited and waited and waited in line to see Santa.  After almost an hour, and not really moving anywhere closer in the line, we decided we’d see him another time.  Mia didn’t want to get out of line but luckily we saw Santa's elf on our way out and he was nice enough to give Mia a candy cane and pose for a picture.  Happy as can be.

 Day 2 {Seal Family Christmas Party}
We had our party early this year but the kids loved having their gifts early and getting to play with them for the entire month.  We hosted this year and had pizza and salads for dinner and then the gift exchanges:  cousins, grandkids and white elephant gifts.  Somehow several people left their white elephant gifts at our house which makes hosting this event even that much better.  Who wouldn't want  self-help cassette tapes and car gas tank covers?  I accidentally opened up a bottle of cold duck that was left from the gift exchange. I didn’t know it was vintage and fermented.  As always, it was a fun night with Gavin’s family.  Sparkly, green jackets and all.

Day 3 {FHE with missionaries}
 A Very Brady Christmas and Family Home Evening lesson with the missionaries

Day 4 {Ware’s Christmas Party}
Dinner and “Minute To Win It” games

Day 5 {Peppermint Sugar Cookies}
Had to have something quick and easy for this night since I had a fun MNO dinner with my Down syndrome group of moms.

Day 6 {Movie Night}
We all went to see Rise of The Guardian together.  Fun movie.

Day 7 {Build A Bear}

Day 8 {Ward Christmas Dinner and CHS friends}

Day 9 {Gingerbread Cookies with Grandma}

Day 10 {Christmas Shopping for Siblings}
The kids all drew names and then we headed to Hobby Lobby to find that perfect gift.  I think they all actually had fun looking for a gift that one of their siblings would like.  We left with some fun stuff and then they got to go home and wrap the gifts and put the first presents for the Christmas season under the tree.

and we ended the night with more peppermint treats . . . Fat Boy Peppermint Ice cream Sandwiches.

Day 11 {Jack Frost}

Day 12 {Mia’s Preschool Program}
Mia loves to sing and was so excited for her very first preschool program.  She sang every word and was so cute doing all of the actions.  She is having so much fun in her preschool class this year.  She goes three afternoons a week but asks every day if she has preschool that day.  It’s fun that she gets to go with her cousin, Abi and two of her friends, Lily and Hallie.

Day 13 {The Hobbit}
We took the oldest three kids with some of their cousins to the opening premiere of The Hobbit

Day 14 {Sandy Hollow Elementary}
I spent most of this day glued to my TV and computer.  Waiting to hear more details about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hollow Elementary school in Newtown Connecticut.  It was nice to get a break from all of the news and get Morgan back in her cheer uniform for her dress rehearsal.

The kids wore green and white, the school colors of Sandy Hollow Elementary, in memory of the students who died in this tragic shooting.

Day 15 {UDSF Christmas Dinner}

Day 16 {Stewart Christmas Party}

Day 17 {William Joseph Piano Concert}
We went to a benefit concert with The Wares.  The pianist was very talented and it was a fun night.  We finished the night with pictures with William Joseph and buying his piano music and CD.

Day 18 {Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt}
We had fun doing a scavenger hunt with Christmas lights and decorations with the Debrys.  After lights, we went to our house for hot chocolates and games.

Day 19 {The Nutcracker}
This is one of my favorite traditions of the season.  Seeing The Nutcracker with Hadley.  We got great seats this year, in the cheap section, and enjoyed watching the show together.  We went to dinner at PF Changs with all the girls -- Savanna and Matisse, then ran in the cold to the theater.

We warmed up after the show with some hot chocolates at Little America’s coffee shop

And while we were out enjoying our night out on the town, Gavin took the little ones to Macy’s to write their letters to Santa.

Day 20 {Morgan’s Cheer Recital}
Morgan had her first performance of the season.  She looked so cute out there even if she still needed a little more time to warm up and learn the routine.  She even attempted a cartwheel which isn’t part of her cheer.

Day 21 {Let It Snow}
We saw a light show set to Christmas music in the dome theater at the Clark Planetarium.

Day 22 {Christmas Pictures}

Day 23 {Make Gingerbread Houses}

Day 24 {Christmas Eve}

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