Saturday, December 3, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

The kids wanted it pitch black for the lighting of the first candle on our Advent wreath.  You can't see much, but you can hear Emily singing...  By the way, she insists on singing all 7 verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel each night.  Here is a sampling of the first verse.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We travelled to Dallas for Thanksgiving to spend time with my family.  Tony and Leisa graciously hosted again this year and made it really fun for the kids with holiday activites just for them.  I was too busy visiting and eating to take any pictures of the feast itself, but I did manage to get some of the kids enjoying the festivities.  Here is Lia and Leisa working on their gingerbread house.  Lia was really excited about this project and loved every minute.

Here is my cousin Nichole and Max.  They look like they know something the rest of us do not...  ;-)
I think I may have caught Max with a mouthful of frosting!

And then, the kids made Christmas ornaments like last year.  You dribble paint into clear glass ornaments and swirl it around to make really festive Christmas decorations.  The kids wrote their names on the outside with the year so they can identify them later on the Christmas tree.

Sweet Kate.  She was the our social butterfly this year.  I think my heart melted when she toddled over to me and asked to be picked up.  Then she promptly told me where she wanted to go (outside) and when and where she wanted me to put her down.  I think she has very strong leadership skills for a one year old!

And this handsome boy, is baby Lane.  He has big blue eyes and was very smiley... just not for the camera...

Getting Ready for Advent

We decided to make our own advent candles again this year.  Ready-made purple and pink candles tend to have a floral scent, which we don't like, so we buy plain white unscented candles and try to represent the purple and pink creatively.  Last year, we tied colored colored ribbon around them and that worked well... but I wanted to try something new this year.  On Catholic Icing, I had found a post about melting crayons and then painting plain white candles.  We have lots and lots of crayons lying around here so that sounded like a good plan.  Here's what we did:

We peeled and chopped purple tone crayons and put them in an empty tuna fish container I had saved.  The Tuna tin was to be my 'disposable pan' so I didn't have to ruin one of good ones.  The smart Mommy over at Catholic Icing always has the best ideas!

Then I put my makeshift pan over low heat on our stove.  The crayons melted beautifully.  Eventually, I figured out to put a cookie sheet over the burner and then place the tuna tin on that so I had a flat surface.  That worked much better.

Very carefully, and working quickly with a cheap paintbrush, Emily painted our candle with the melted purple wax.  The lessons I learned, however, is that you really need to keep the melted wax warm over the stove as you work.  If you don't, the wax starts to harden very quickly and then you can't paint with it very well.  You can heat it back up a few times but eventually it stops working.

So... Emiy did the first candle and I did the rest because I didn't want her working by the stove.  This isn't really a good kid craft.  It is more like a 'frugal' Mommy craft because you can get plain white candles at Walmart really cheap.

Here is our finished product with greenery from our front yard.  Thank you kids!

My Little Helper