Monday, December 22, 2008

One more wreath

OK, I know, you're all sick of advent wreaths, but I promised to post a picture of Ruth's fabulous wreath when I got one, so here it is (her second wreath isn't quite done yet).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We bundled everyone up, drove out to the tree farm, grabbed a big saw, and headed out towards the fields of trees to conquer and drag home the Christmas of our dreams. But, we only got as far as the gate before Go-go cried, "I'm so cold! I don't want a Christmas tree! I'm too cold!" We decided that the pre-cut trees in the barn would be more than good enough.

Then it was time to decorate the tree (and ourselves) and play in pajamas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More advent calendar wreath

A few people have asked for more specifics on the watchmaker tin advent wreaths. I'm a little hesitant to provide instructions because that's not the kind of crafter I am (I wouldn't say I'm a crafter at all). The fun for me is making it up as I go along. If I saw the list of everything I did, I would have said, "That takes way too long and is way too Martha Stewart - I'll just go buy something at Target." But, I know that there are all sorts ways to craft - so I'll let y'all know what Ruth and I did and you can take it from there.

First are the watchmaker tins. We bought them from a wholesale supplier (Darice), but you can get the 2-inch size at Michael's or JoAnne's (in the wedding department), or you can get a variety of sizes online here. They just have pop off lids, so they're easy for kids to open (maybe too easy). A variety of sizes looks nice. We used 2-inch and 1 1/2 inch tins (we ordered some 3-inch tins as well, but they were out of stock). It's hard to find candy that can fit in the 1 1/2 inch tins, so we actually skipped the candy part at my house and just did Christmas activities.

The base is a flat wreath form we found at Michael's and then spray painted. You could also use a standard foam wreath form wrapped in ribbon, but it would be a very different look and the tins would all face slightly different directions (which could be a good thing).

Next, you just play with your tins and doo-dads until you have a look you like. Then hot-glue everything in place. For a sturdier wreath that will last season after season, you could also screw the tins down to the wreath form (be sure to use tiny screws). Inside the lids, we used scrapbook paper stamped with the numbers. I think it might look better with numbers cut out of contrasting papers. One problem I had was adhering the paper to the lids. I used spray adhesive, but it left a residue that made the lids look sticky and yucky. You could tape the paper into the lids or use a tiny bit of glue just around the inside rim.

On the red and green wreath, the star doo-dad is an ornament we found at Joanne's and spray painted silver. The curly-cues are just some decorations we found at Walmart and bent around until the look was right. I fell in love with the white berry sprays at Michael's and then chose ribbon that looked good with it for the silver/blue wreath. Just look for Christmas stuff that makes you happy and go from there. The fun is in the designing and creating.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advent Calendar Wreaths

We have been loving December and our Christmas Advent activities. Go-go can't wait for Daddy to get home so that he can go "open the paper". I promised I would post pictures and I am finally making good on my word. Ruth and I were inspired by the wonderful tins on this wreath, but wanted to put our own spin on it. We each made two wreaths (I will try to get pictures of Ruth's too - they are incredibly cute [update - here's a picture of one of Ruth's wreaths]). Here are mine (we're currently using the red and green one):

(more info on how we made the wreaths here)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lucie's wedding

Erik's sister, Lucie, got married the week before Thanksgiving, so we got to spend the holiday in California (mmm, warm California). The wedding was beautiful, Dan is a great guy, and we had a fabulous time.

Mui-mui looked gorgeous in a dress that Grandma Virginia made for her:

And Go-go was so handsome in his fancy clothes:

Of course, sliding in the mud at the reception can improve even the fanciest of suits:

Despite the mud and mess, we had a great time doing the wedding thing and visiting with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Later in the week, we went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco with Aunt Aimee and cousin Brett:

And Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! (but I don't have any pictures - you'll just have to imagine it)

While I'm posting cute pictures of my kids, here are two more taken after we got back home:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mui-mui walks and Go-go Snaps

Friday night, Mui-mui suddenly decided to stand up and walk. She just kept getting up, falling down, and starting over again. She tried again at church on Sunday, but hasn't been interested today. In this clip, Go-go is following her around with the i-phone trying to take her picture.

Speaking of Go-go taking pictures, he has been obsessed with the camera lately. Luckily, digital photos are cheap and easy to delete. Here's a tour around our house through the eyes of a 3 year-old.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Simon says.....

.....leave a comment. Bonus points if you are first or can manage to engage a commenter (whom you've never met) in a back and forth exchange.

Monday, December 1, 2008


So, it's December 1st and it's the perfect time to count down to Christmas. You all would be absolutely amazed at the advent calendar wreaths that Ruth and I made (I promise to post some pictures soon), and last night Erik and I planned Christmas activities for the month. A lot of these are things we'd probably do anyway, but this gives us a schedule and something to make it seem like a Christmas adventure. This is the first year that Go-go really has any notion of time and looking forward to events, so we're really excited to make it fun. And I think Mui-mui will enjoy it too, even if she'll have no idea what's going on. It's also the first time in almost a decade that we'll be home for Christmas - now's the time for us to establish our own holiday traditions.

So, here's what you'll find on little slips of paper along with the chocolate in each days ornament:

Make Paper snowflakes
Dance to Christmas music
Watch Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer
Make Christmas cards for friends and family
Feed the missionaries
Take family pictures
Watch the Prophet's Christmas message at the church
Make a paper chain for the tree
Bake cookies
Drink hot chocolate
Watch the Grinch
Drive through Christmas lights
Go to the Christmas Tree farm and go to the ward Christmas party
Decorate the Christmas tree
Buy a toy for 'toys for tots'
Wrap presents
Drink Eggnog
Family game night
Make a list of 10 things we're thankful for
Go to the Niagara Falls Christmas Displays
Read the Christmas story from the Book of Mormon
Sing Christmas carols
Bake cookies for neighbors
Read the Christmas story from the Bible and do a Nativity Pageant