Thursday, November 29

little advent envelopes

On November 30th, after the kids are asleep, I put up a ribbon and hang 25 little envelopes on it. Inside are little things to get the kids thinking about family, neighbors, friends and those in need. The next morning, the kids take turns opening and reading the cards inside and we follow the instructions. These are some of the things the cards say:

- Make and hang edible gifts for the birds

- Make potato stamp cards for family and friends

- Collect some toys and clothes of your own and give to someone in need

- Bake cranberry oatmeal cookies and share with neighbors

- Sing Christmas songs together as a family and drink some eggnog!

In today’s culture there is so much emphasis and focus on one’s self and I think it has gone a bit overboard. To counteract this tidal wave of materialism and consumerism I try to get the kids to focus on giving, getting them excited about ways serve others and enjoy simple family activities together!

This simple advent calendar activity is a way to implement all of those ideas in easy ways that work for our family. I customize each day’s activity according to who will be around and available that day. If it is an especially busy day, I slip in an easy peasy activity that doesn’t take up a lot of time and energy.

Here are a couple other things we did here, here and here!

This is where I got the inspiration to do this! There is an envelope template included!


Tuesday, November 20

being busy, thankful and not enough

I have been in more than I have been out over the last two weeks.
And it’s o.k.
I have packed quite a bit in since August and I am relishing this time of slowing down.

A brief rundown of things that filled the last three months:

Started up another year of home school

Signed the boys up for a weekly gym class – best thing ever!

Threw a fantastic 40th birthday party for my husband

Multiple trips to parks and nature hikes

Science Center field trip

Mummified an apple

Volunteered a lot at our church for various ministries

Slipped a lot of money under pillows – the boys have lost a lot of teeth lately

Ordered more home school books

Went to a women’s conference and heard Sharon Betters speak! She has written some very powerful books! If you have lost a child or endured incredible challenges lately, I strongly encourage you to get one of her books!  

Filled the role of a roadie twice

Was down and out with a terrible head cold for a week

Did a photo shoot that challenged me to figure more stuff out with my new camera

Did a ton of science experiments with the boys

Baked homemade cinnamon rolls, pretzels and pizzas

Said goodbye to our very old and dear television

Balanced wearing the nurse hat while two of my boys got sick

Pulled out and went through the boy’s winter clothes and was perplexed why all of my boy’s pants are now capris

Promptly measured my boys and smiled when I realized that they had both grown over an inch over the last four months

Became the landlord of a snail

Threw an Egyptian themed birthday party for my youngest

Hunkered down and survived Hurricane Sandy

Carved spooky pumpkins

Co-hosted a friends 40th birthday party

Tried out new recipes from Pinterest


Went to a campfire, sing-a-long, s’mores-fest!

Endured a painful, oh-so-painful root canal


Some pictures...

Fall weather has settled in Maryland quite nicely.
Tangerines, pomegranates and bags of mixed nuts at the grocery store confirm that fall has indeed arrived. Around this time of year, I succumb to my urge to crochet something and I pull out my yarn and hooks and begin to create something, anything.
Crocheting is relaxing to me and I am a big believer in keeping hands busy!

I am very thankful for lots of things in my life right now but mostly for knowing that I do not have the strength to do any of this stuff in my life by myself. I am reminded of that daily. I am human and constantly fail at reaching my personal level of achievement. I see it, my husband sees it, as do my kids. This keeps me grounded.
But at the same time it gives me hope knowing that I can draw on my Heavenly Father’s strength at any time, know that I am forgiven and that He sees me as perfect!

This song has been on my heart lately. Enjoy!

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! ~ Inge

Oh, and I am making my delicious Carrot Soufflé again!!
Click here for this mouthwatering recipe!