Saturday, December 8, 2012

How we're waiting

In our home, we're waiting not-so-patiently for Jesus' birth and the birth of another little baby thousands of miles away whose arrival could come at any second (Ahh! Please join me in praying we have a few more weeks!).

So to get my mind off of things, I have spent what seems like every free moment, as of late, planning for Advent fun. Only problem - I didn't finish until the seventh day. That's okay. You can get away with a lot when you're kids are still very young :)

Because money is tight as you prepare for an adoption (especially when there's no tax credit any longer - thanks congresspeople!), you've got to be creative. So I made this Advent calendar from my sewing scraps...


When I finished it (it took a lot longer than I expected) I realized I had no idea what to do with it! I pictured the actual calendar I wanted, but I hadn't gotten as far as what to put in the pockets. So the first day I tried little chocolate Santas, just until I could come up with something a little more, well.. spiritual.

But it took all of five minutes for Clara and Luke to find the chocolate and ransack the calendar.

So I scoured the internet and came up with activities and crafts for every day. Or almost every day. It's a work in progress.



The first day (which was really the seventh day), we made our Advent wreath. This is about as low-budget as you can get with an Advent wreath...


The foam circle cost about a dollar at the craft store (all my Advent supplies added up to $11 total), and the candles are leftovers from birthdays past. I couldn't believe we had three purple and a pink! The kids painted it and then we waited, a loooong time. Apparently poster paint on a foam floral thingy takes like 12 hours to dry.


Today, in honor of the Immaculate Conception feast day, we made rosaries out of pipe cleaners and beads. I found the idea here.

They LOVED making them. We seriously made like ten.


At one point, Clara looked at me and said, "Mommy, I love you. And I love making Rosaries."



You obviously have to be careful with the beads, but I discovered we're finally at a point where neither kid attempted to put them in their mouth. Score! I still won't ever leave them alone with the Rosaries, though. And we'll soon find out if they try to take them apart during our nightly decade.

One thing's for sure - I have a feeling they're going to ask me to make Rosaries again soon.


Also in today's pocket - watch a Christmas movie tonight with popcorn. Can't wait! And tomorrow we learn to sing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and light the wreath (let's hope the foam part doesn't go up in flames!).

What are you doing for Advent? Anything I can steal? ;)

22 comments:

  1. I love you advent calendar! So cute and creative :)

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  2. Love the calender! Its so cute! And congrats on baby # 3! Can't wait to hear details as you continue your exciting adoption journey. You'll be in my thoughts this Christmas!

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  3. Awesome projects!!


    And I LOVE that Clara is dressed so nice and girly and Luke is in a Thomas t-shirt!!

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  4. Fantastic Advent ideas. Love it when the children take to a project that is not too messy! Your Advent wreath is priceless!

    One Advent, one of our sons ended up in the ER with a concussion when the two youngest were deciding, in a brotherly way, who was going to open the Advent calendar door. The older one decided his younger brother needed his head knocked against the back of the breakfast bench. LOVE Advent!

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    1. hilarious! really in the spirit of the season. :)

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  5. Growing up we put straws (pieces of yarn) in the manger/stable for Jesus for every good deed we did. I am trying to implement this tradtion with my boys (ages 2 & 4). They get it some days and other days not. Feel free to use this idea. Prayers for you and your family during this special time.

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  6. Super cute! Love the pictures and your ideas. :)

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  7. we made an Advent wreath for the front yard! You can find a photo of the first candle on my blog: www.with-my-needle.blogspot.com

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  8. So creative! Looking forward to following your journey to your third child and hearing more how it came to be. What a blessing for all of you!

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  9. you are so good! E already ransacked our Advent calendar and ate all the chocolate, too. So she is getting socks in that calendar but I love the craft/activity idea! We made salt dough ornaments and just decorated them with glitter glue (from the dollar store). It was really fun!

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    1. I'm going to have to google salt dough ornaments. The dough ornament recipe I have calls for a LOT of cinnamon. Which seeks like it would be expensive!

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  10. The tax credit thing hurts us so badly. Our adoption won't even be finalized until after the new year, so even though we got him in July, we will get nothing. Unless you know something we don't. If you do, please share.

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    1. No, unfortunately. From what I understand, it's tied up (with everything else) in the whole fiscal cliff thing. It has bi-partisan support, but nothing's getting passed. And you're right about having to wait until it's finalized to file for it (when it was there). We dealt with that with our first adoption. Hoping something changes and we both get it! We're saving everything just in case!

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  11. Love the advent calendar and the thriftiness of all your projects- a woman after my own heart! praying for a smooth adoption...

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    1. Thank you! And yes, creativity is definitely born out of thriftiness in my house :)

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  12. I love all your crafty ideas! I am so impressed at how beautiful everything turns out ... I hope you know I'm stealing all your ideas. :-)

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    1. Aw, thanks. And go for it! I stole them myself ;)

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  13. What a lovely idea. Hmm...read the Christmas story from Luke? (I realize they can't read yet - so that may not keep their attention.) Bake cookies? (Obvious.) Go sit on Santa's lap? Make paper snowflakes? (This involves scissors. I could teach you if you don't know how...but it would not be easy over the internet! Although I remember a kiddie version that just involved gluing short strips of paper together ad nauseum. It wasn't symmetrical, though, so I wasn't much of a fan.) I thought caroling for shut-ins or in nursing homes was one of the best pre-Christmas activities ever, but they may be too small. And...can you bring cookies to nursing homes? Can the residents have sugar? We cut our own Christmas tree every year when we were kids. Well, we didn't get a turn at the saw until we were in our teens. We always watched the Grinch. Sometimes our parents would help us make Christmas presents for people, but your kids may still be too small. We were in a Christmas pageant at church a few years when we were really little; that took up quite a bit of time. Uh...you've probably already got better stuff than this :).

    Anyway - gorgeous calendar! What if you hung it too high on the wall for them to reach, so they had to be lifted to get ONE piece of candy each night?

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  14. Cute ideas! I am going to steal some of these when C is older. :)

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  15. please open an etsy shop, K! We will all be your customers! You make such beautiful things!

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  16. We do the Jesse Tree every year. I made a banner very similar to yours. An evergreen tree on the top and four rows of seven pockets plus one extra pocket right at the botton, one for every day of Advent. I also used scraps of fabric and felt that I had around the house. In each pocket is a disc with a reading on the back and a picture on the front that relates to the reading. The readings trace Jesus' family tree, starting with Jesse. The readings are primarily all of the prophesies that foretell the coming of Christ. We do one reading each day and then the disc is hung on the tree above the pockets from star shaped buttons sewn on.

    You could start it next year, as Advent is more than half over and by next year, your two (hopefully older, fingers crossed) kids will have a bit of a longer attention span.

    This is a book that my mother wrote about the Jesse Tree, with suggestions on how to make your own. The picture on the cover is of the Jesse Tree that my siblings and I made as children.
    http://www.amazon.com/Jesse-Tree-Family-Craft-Advent/dp/1453657762/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355519931&sr=1-4&keywords=Jesse+Tree

    Here's another source for instructions:
    http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19971201/FRIDGE/FRIDGE1.HTM

    We also have an Advent Wreath on the table and light the candles during dinner time.

    I'm hoping to do the 'O Antiphons' this year. Every year I forget, but last year I put a reminder in my calendar to do it this year. We'll see how it goes.
    http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19991201/FRIDGE/o_antiphons.htm

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