25 Days of Christmas


It seems this time of year you see a lot of fun things to do all month long to help kids enjoy the season.  It can be overwhelming.  Even the simple ideas are more than I care to do!  However, this is MY favorite season so I’ve started trying my hand doing the same.   Feel free to add you my ideas to your pile of ideas you collect when trolling the internet.

We just have one “special” thing for the day.  Most of the time it is super simple, as you will see.  Each night I look at what we have going on the next day and then I decide what our special activity will be.  This helps relieve some stress of having to plan too far in advance and then having it fall through.  I write our activity on a piece of paper, put it in a gift bag, and set it on the table.

Normally I start off December with the first few verses of Luke 2.  I post it on the wall.  Then periodically through out the month we will read more of the story and post it on the wall.  This way we get at least five days to stop and remind ourselves the real reason for celebrating Christmas.

There are some things that we will always do, like our annual Christmas cookie making day with the cousins and Guster’s birthday and birthday party.   We let each kid go Christmas shopping along with one of us to pick out what they want to get each other.   One day is going to the library and reading books (bonus if they are Christmas).

There are some bigger activities.  We like going to Bass Pro Shop to see the Christmas village and get a picture with Santa.  Or going to see some gingerbread displays or seeing a Christmas play.  These bigger activities depend on what is happening in a particular year.

Other traditions we have are looking at Christmas lights, watching a Christmas movie, and sleeping by the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.  Typically something will come up that fills in voids, like going to cousin’s violin concert or maybe a Christmas party.

Today was our first snow fall since Thanksgiving.  I knew it was suppose to snow (even though only a dusting) so I planned for a paper snowflake day and then we taped them to the window.


We also have a day (or two) of making cookies or some goodies at home too.


There are always loads of things to do when you start looking.  There are still some things on my list for another year, like seeing a live nativity and going ice skating.  I try not to do it all, just enjoy the moment. Don’t try to force any magic.  It will be magical just because it is Christmas time.



Pumpkin Coloring

Not being in the mood to carve pumpkins we got out the colored markers.  We colored in the front yard and back.



JJ wasn’t happy about being left out.


Done! Time for a cute picture with all the kids and pumpkins.


Well, at least this picture is good for a laugh.

One Years Old

Baby JJ is now one!  I know it’s cliche, but seriously, where has the time gone?!

One day I’m flying kites in the yard with the family,


and the next morning we are meeting this little guy.


He plays contentedly with his siblings for a few weeks and then suddenly he is turning one and getting into stuff.

SONY DSC                SONY DSC

Happy 1st birthday!

We love you 🙂


Daddy brought home a surprise.


A green American Tree Frog had made its way to my hubby’s work.  Poor frog had an injured leg so he got a new home with us.  Girls named him Ribbit.


We all learned about Tree Frog habitat and diet.  The kids also learned how uninteresting it can be to have a nocturnal pet (to quote Lulu “he doesn’t move”).  It was quite fascinating to watch Ribbit hunt and catch food.  That was probably our favorite part of having him.

Ribbit stayed with us for a few weeks.  Then I realized I do not want to keep a pet long term that requires live food.  We found another loving home for Ribbit.  It was fun while it lasted.

Chicken Broth

Last year I discovered homemade chicken broth.  My hubby had been suggesting it for several years but I just never got around to it.  Silly me.  It is so amazing!  I love it so much that I just had to share.

We live on a strict budget.  One way of stretching the grocery budget is by cooking a whole chicken (crockpot= done) and taking the meat off to be used in several recipes.  All this time I just threw the bones away.  NO!  Save them to make chicken broth.

So easy you’ll kick yourself for not doing it before.

Big pot: chicken bones, several carrots in big chunks, several celery stalks in big chunks, water to cover it all, and some salt, pepper, and thyme.  Let it simmer for several hours.

Strain out the broth so you are left with this to throw away:


And left with this delicious broth for whatever recipe calls for chicken broth:


For us there is a secret ingredient 🙂  After you take the chicken out of the crockpot, keep all the juices at the bottom and put it in with your broth as it simmers.  You ever hear “fat adds flavor”? Yum!