Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent Season Begins

I'm really excited about this year's Christmas season. We don't have a ton planned and we aren't traveling. I'm excited because William is starting to understand what is going on around him, and he's soaking it all up.

I'm excited to start an Advent calendar of sorts with him this year. It's more or less a reading plan to go with his Jesus Storybook and an activity for each day, but it should be fun. I hope he gets into it. (I hope I get into it too!)

This weekend we started decorating the house. Yesterday was cleaning day in preparation for the tree and everything else. (Am I the only one that waits to dust for this occasion?) The nativity has been set up and played with and reset up, the stockings are hung, and we have a tree! We haven't had a tree for the past two years because we were traveling for Christmas and we didn't really have the space. But we've rearranged since then (i.e. our bedroom is now in the living room and we are down to one couch) so a tree fits and our little boy hopefully won't try to eat it or the ornaments on it!

Here are a few photos from our tree-outing:

Today was the First Sunday of Advent and our sermon at church was about Thanksgiving, and not just for the food. I was really struck by how shallow my thankfulness runs sometimes and how much I actually have to be grateful for. And there is only ONE to thank . . . and it's not me. 

Here's to a great season of anticipation, of thankful hearts, and making memories!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 Fall Festivities

Fall is underway and now that the air has a chill and I've succeeded in making at least one pumpkin dish a week, its time I stop to share some of my favorite fall festivities and photos with you! (And I'm just really far behind and late in doing so).

During the last week of October, we headed to the pumpkin patch in the city for an afternoon of fun (earlier attempts to go elsewhere failed). The patch had numerous halloween displays and all types of pumpkins you can imagine. They had a hay-bail maze, hay rides, and even pony rides, most costing a pretty penny. We watched other kids doing each for a long time but we didn't go on the rides this year. William attempted the maze, but didn't quite enjoy it (and may even got stuck and/or lost for a minute).

We spent a good deal of time looking at all the pumpkins. He loved feeling them, picking them up, and claiming them as his own. Eventually we found the perfect one to take home.

The next day, we painted it! Last year, we just did a hand print, but this year, William was ready to be more involved. I used masking tape to make a "W" on one side and a face on the other. As much as he loves painting, he didn't get into it as much as I had expected and needed a lot of encouragement to keep going. But he loved the finished product and we've been getting out our paints a lot more frequently since!

On Halloween, we invited a few friends who had children over to hang out and eat goodies. We had chips and quac, apple slices and spider web brownies. Nothing over the top, but still fun and festive. 

William dressed up as a dog, a hand-me-down costume from a good friend. He was so cute and did quite well wearing it for most of the party (without the hood). Chris and I "dressed up" as a cat and mouse and William loved that idea. He had been pointing out all of the animal's tails in his books so I knew he'd like our costumes. He often asked to wear my ears and tail on top of his dog outfit. 

After the party, we took William for a little stroll on Cortland Avenue - a fun street in our neighborhood where all the merchants were participating in handing out treats. The sidewalks were super crowded and almost everyone was really dressed up; our little ears seemed a bit small. We had fun walking around and seeing the decorations and having William grab us candy. (I'm sure we'll have to share it next year!)

 We spent the month reading Halloween themed books and drawing pumpkins. Now, we're moving on to turkeys, leaves, and more delicious food! Happy Fall!