Welcome Winter!

Yesterday started out a sunny 78 degrees. Around noontime we had some strange weather roll through. The clouds blew in and the winds picked up quite a bit. Our small lake in the back was looking more like an angry ocean cove than a calm quiet lakefront. We had a ten minute shower and suddenly……COLD. I believe it must have dropped 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. What a way to bring in the new season!

Hailey took great joy in changing the ornament that our seasonal angel holds from a fall leaf to the snowflake.

seasonal-angel

Our pumpkin is returning to the earth.

pumpkin

Lots of snuggles and napping…..

c_napping

With Christmas only days away we will be working on Gingerbread houses today. In seasons past I have gone a bit overboard with gingerbread decorations. This year I am pledging to be calm, cool, and simple in decorating the gingerbread houses with the kids!

Hope that you have a wonderful Christmas week!

Advent Tree

We started this last year after my futile search for an appropriate advent calendar. I had two wishes for our advent calendar – It should focused on the nativity and it should not break the bank! As I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for I went in search for other ideas.

Last year I ran in to these adorable little pockets and decided that they would be perfect for holding small nativity scene characters. So I ran to Target and got some extra plastic animals to include in the pockets.

adventpockets

Each night we took one pocket down, placed the figure enclosed under the tree in the nativity scene, and placed the pocket into a basket on the side.

Unfortunately my cutie little advent pockets had milk spilled all over them before I put them away for the year. So, this year I decided to go with a simple little buckets that I picked up last year after Christmas.

adventtree

They were about $ 0.25 each in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby and they are only about an inch and a half tall, perfect for the little tree. When we aren’t using them during the Christmas season I keep¬† them in craft drawer to hold little odds and ends.

Our Jesse Tree

So, this year is the first year that I had ever heard of a Jesse Tree. What a wonderful way to weave the meaning of Christmas into the busy holiday season! By placing a new ornament with a meaningful symbol on our tree each day we are sure to take the time to reflect on what is really important.

I am going to use the same tree that we started using as our advent calendar tree last year. So we will have our advent pocket ornaments covering the tree to begin with and replace them with the Jesse Tree ornaments as the season progresses.

jessetree

Many folks take the time to make their own ornaments using sculpey or by finding items that fit the theme from around the house. Of course, I am going to go the simple route this year or it might remain one of those things that we had every intention of doing, but just couldn’t find the time. I found some free printable ornaments here. They also have a sample sheet of reflections to use through the month, or you can change it to suit your family needs.

jessetree2

I laminated the sheets with my very addicting new laminating machine that I got from Walmart,  cut each ornament out, and punched a hole in the top for a piece of ribbon to hang from the tree.

I love that we are going to be able to do a wonderful review of the Old Testament in preparation for the birth of baby Jesus.