Sunday, December 9, 2012

Family Christmas Bucket, Week 1

This was our first full week celebrating the Christmas season and advent with some sort of activity from our Christmas bucket you can read more of an explanation of the bucket here. I have thoroughly enjoyed this week. Having one planned activity every day plus our regular weekly things makes life feel busy, but I'm loving it. I feel like we are starting traditions, making memories and getting some good, quality time together. Here's what this week has looked like:

December 3:
We started off the week by making then playing with play dough together. It honestly was rather easy to make. Within a few minutes, we had really soft, smooth play dough to use. For the recipe I used click here: Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe. You do have to cook the play dough for this recipe, but it's not hard. The hardest part was adding the food coloring. We made some white and added glitter to be "snow" so once that was finished I sent Little Lady off to play with it while I added the red and green food coloring. It took a LOT of food coloring to get the vibrant colors I was looking for and my hands were stained for a couple days, but we've already had lots of fun playing with it.

December 4:
On Tuesday we got up and as soon as Daddy left for work, we started making clay ornaments. Here is the recipe we used for the ornaments: Clay Christmas Decorations. This was also a very easy recipe, but I would caution anyone to be careful you do not cook it too long or the dough becomes very crumbly, which makes it more difficult to work with and makes a huge mess. I'm all about messy crafts, but it sure helps when I'm mentally prepared for the mess. I really wasn't thinking today's activity would be a big mess, but I was wrong! I even bought some sequins to use instead of glitter thinking that would also be less messy... once again I was wrong. We did end up having some fun together though and ended up with some really cute ornaments. If we do this one again next year I will be better prepared!
Part of the time she was just doing her own thing.
Part of the mess :)
December 5:
After making Christmas cookies on Saturday, play dough on Monday and ornaments on Tuesday, I was ready for Wednesday's activity. Little Lady opened a box of "Favorite Little Golden Books for Christmas," which consisted of five books... "The Little Christmas Elf," "The Night Before Christmas," "The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas," "The Animals' Christmas Eve," and "The Christmas Story." We read all five together right away. I'm so thankful for a little girl that loves to read. So far, "The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas" is Little Lady's favorite, but she also really likes "The Animals' Christmas Eve."

After all our baking and creating, we realized we had a lot of everything! No need to keep it all to ourselves. We made little bags of play dough, cookies and ornaments and delivered them to a few of our little friends. Little Lady actually got really excited about doing this. I love seeing her get excited about her friends and even giving things to them.
December 6:
Sticking with the spirit of giving, today's activity  was to give away a toy. After opening the envelope with today's activity on it, we pulled out a brand new toy Little Lady had never seen before and explained to her that we were going to give it to another little girl that probably needs it more than her. I'm not sure how much she understood, but she accepted it and didn't seem upset by it. We put it in the car and took it to Potter's House for them to use for their Potter's House Christmas. Potter's House is an amazing ministry our church has. Matt and I have both been privileged to be part of this ministry in different capacities the 2 1/2 years we have been living here. You can learn more about Potter's House here: Potter's House. Even if Little Lady didn't comprehend exactly what we were doing that day by giving away a new toy, we hope to instill a spirit of giving and generosity in our kids, and we have to start somewhere. I pray we have children who grow up thinking about other people, not just themselves.
December 7:
Friday evening as soon as Daddy got home from work, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed out to the Fayetteville Square for some festive fun! Our town square is decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights each year. It looks like a Christmas wonderland and includes pony rides, camel rides and carriage rides as well. Little Lady got very excited about the lights, but I think her favorite part was getting to ride a pony. The girl really loves animals. She also thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate we shared.

The hot chocolate was way too hot.

December 8:
On the agenda for Saturday was a Christmas parade and to make another (much easier) batch of cookies. We got up and headed to Bentonville for breakfast and the parade. Little Lady loved the parade. I think she spent almost the entire hour waving to all the people passing by. She especially got excited when the horses and puppies passed our way. Of course the parade ended with Santa, which also thrilled Little Lady. (Matt and I aren't sure how she knows to get so excited about Santa, but she does. Maybe I'll write more about Santa sometime.) Admittedly, the parade was a little less exciting than I had hoped. We still had good family time and would not be opposed to going again. After Little Lady and Daddy went grocery shopping and Mommy had a nap, we made another batch of cookies (these are specifically for our activity on Monday, but we aren't saving them all for that). I will easily admit that we eat way too much sugar this time of year, but it's all so yummy and fun to bake... it doesn't count during the Christmas season right?
Waiting for the parade to begin.
Dancing... one of her most recent favorite activities.

And waving
And waving.
December 9:
It's Sunday again, which calls for another pizza and movie night. Little Lady opened up a collection of Veggie Tale Christmas movies today, and that's what we watched tonight. The collection includes six short movies, but we only made it through three of them tonight. We also had some sweet friends over, which called for a good amount of playtime. This meant there might not have been as much attention paid to the movies. That's fine though. We had fun, and I'm sure we will watch them all again.

Hope that's not picture overload for anyone reading this. I'm already looking forward to this next week!

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