December First!!! HOORAY!! I absolutely love the holidays, and I'm looking so forward to a month of fun, food, fellowship, friends, and family. This year we are doing Elf on the Shelf for the very first time. Our elf, Rudy, arrived this morning and we celebrated with a North Pole Breakfast.
We had snowballs (donut holes), homemade hot chocolate with chocolate dipped marshmallows, and cinnamon twists. Rudy brought a few surprises to town with him....an elf plate and a monogrammed ornament. Emma bit into a snowball and lost yet ANOTHER tooth! It's crazy. If she keeps this up we are going to have to put dentures in her stocking!
Our distinguished guest.......naturally. Although, Rudy told us in his letter that he is scared of dogs. YIKES! Penny is sure to win him over.
Rudy is very fun, and I have found lots of cute ideas on Pinterest for elf mischief.
Preparing our hearts and minds to observe the birth of the Christ child is our TRUE reason for celebration around here. This year I downloaded an advent study from Truth In the Tinsel. That study will be the main focus of our homeschool this month. Each day, we will do the devotional together, then make an ornament to hang on our advent tree. We are also reading applicable stories from our various children's Bibles. I will share more about our advent tree in the next few days. Our advent focus will most likely replace FIAR studies for the next few weeks. (I'm still debating about doing one book.)
We also started a new read aloud today....The Boxcar Children. Such a beloved classic!
A tremendous cold snap blew into town this morning, so we stayed inside ALL day, reading and crafting. I even skipped a Faith Keeper meeting tonight. (No guilt, which is rare!) I was so incredibly wiped out from Thanksgiving that I just hit a wall late this afternoon. The boys had a meeting tonight, so Emma and I stayed home alone. We curled up under a fuzzy blanket by the light of the tree and watched Winnie the Pooh Christmas and made foam snowflakes. (Thanks Oma, for the ornament kit!) IT WAS DIVINE, and I said a little prayer that the peace and relaxation and gratitude that I felt tonight would set the stage for the next 31 days. :-)
I tend to get energized by the chaos of the holidays. I know not everyone loves the extra bustle, but I delight in the baking and crafting and decorating socializing and list making. I think it is super important to keep Jesus at the center of it all and put the brakes on (like tonight) if it stops being fun and starts to feel overwhelming. Otherwise, I relish the arrival of December the first and gladly slip into the vortex of the Christmas storm!!