Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sharpie 'Back' Story

For those who saw my facebook photo and wondered about the back story...here it is:

We didn't deserve it.  But we witnessed a miracle today!!  We had become increasingly suspicious of Silas being diabetic over the last number of months.  He was experiencing all the symptoms: constantly thirsty, constantly hungry, fatigued, cranky, hadn't gained a pound in over a year, itchy all over, saying he "wasn't feeling well" often or "I'm so tired..."etc..  

I wasn't sure if I was just being a over-concerned mom or if my nursing instincts were starting to kick in. 

So we took Silas to our doctor last week and she did a random glucose check (finger prick).  As I worried and expected- his sugar level was abnormal.  

I was trying not to panic, but the thought of Silas being diabetic was overwhelming.  Not just because of the uncertainty it would bring but in some ways, the certainty (being a nurse and seeing what this would look like for a 2 year old).

We returned the next day bright and early to the lab to get his fasting blood sugar checked.  They wouldn't do it at the lab.  Jason then left for the weekend to Ontario so we decided to wait until afterwards to get it checked.

Having the extra time this weekend to wait upon God put me in the position to need to pray, believe, trust, have faith, and hope for healing.  

This is not an easy work for Jason nor I. 

I constantly battle anxiety, the 'what ifs' and have to lean heavily on scripture for comfort and hope ex: "God is our merciful Father and the source of ALL comfort."  2 Corinthians 1:3.

Healing is something Jason and I have been wrestling with over the last year: we believe that God does miracles today- and is willing and able to answer when we ask for the 'improbable' the 'impossible' or the 'unlikely' (in this case- Silas' full healing), but we also know that He allows difficulty to shape us.  Which situations do we accept and surrender to and which do we believe healing for?  Is the answer both?

This is a hard issue and I won't even begin to discuss it on this blog.  We've seen miracles before- Jason and I, and we've also been waiting for ones in other areas that have yet to come.  This is not an easy topic.  I've suffered through continuous physical ailments, I know.  This post is more an act of obedience to give thanks to whom it's due.

I haven't been sleeping well while trying to fight off anxious thoughts with scripture and trying to be still in the arms of God.  Hence the 'what if' post.

Another opportunity for faith, for trust, for hope.

TODAY we took Silas to the clinic to get his blood glucose checked.  The normal is 4-6 and if he is indeed diabetic, we would expect to see a high number.  Silas was super brave.  The result was 3.8.

I nearly burst into tears of gratitude.

I believe that God has healed him.  Oh, some may argue that maybe he didn't even ever have diabetes- but I know God has healed him and I'm gonna praise HIM for it.  We're gonna choose to press in and press on believing that God has, is, and will continue to heal Silas.

This has been an overwhelming time for us for sure: needing to trust God each day as I go back to work, as we leave our children in others' care, as I step out in faith to teach for the first time, and with Silas' health. 

But Praise God for His nearness, His comfort, His strength [in the waiting] and for His joy, His peace, and His rest [in the answer to prayer].

And...then I got carried away with the sharpie and decided that I want to visibly have a reminder, in ink, on our dining room table, of God's answer to prayer.  I want to continue in this tradition through the years so that His goodness to us is ever before us, under us, whenever we commune together at the table.

Monday, November 26, 2012


So I'm basically freaking out about the fact that in one week I am back to work.  By freaking out I mean:

trying to do some Christmas advent prep
cleaning the house from top to bottom (hopefully?)
making a meal rotation plan
shopping, stocking up, organizing
studying (or actually, blogging even though I should be studying)


It just dawned on me though, why am I freaking out? Going back to work means I'll be working into the night, be on my feet for 12 hours, get germs all over me, not know what I'm doing, constantly be multi-tasking, at peoples' beck and call...

Wait!  Stop!  That has been my stay-at-home-mom job description for the last year.  Phew.  No need to panic.

Except I'll be paid.  And have a coffee break.  And no one will be watching me when I pee. (Score!)

I'm actually dreading it more than I am letting on.   The very notion of carving out a new normal, weaning my baby boy, and being gone for much of December brings me almost to tears.  But then I breathe and remember that life will go on and that I AM excited about adding teaching to my 'back to work' jobs.  BCIT hear I come!

But besides crying, freaking-out and planning, I've been trying to distract myself from the inevitable return to work by...

[1] Attending our amazing women's Christmas brunch book swap.  Pinterest inspired decor, amazing speaker and song-writer Carolyn Arends, two new books to take home [Poisonwood Bible & the Guernsey...], incredible brunch food and a great entry into the Christmas season.  Way to go NLCC!

[2] Decorating for Christmas.  I love re-purposing old decor in new ways.  I have to say that I still adore the colour combo of gold and burgundy.  I'm not so much into the modern addition of purples, blues and silvers.  Not my style.
my mantle:
(p.s. the 'sign' is pinned to the back of our usual picture on the mantle. Maybe tacky, maybe brilliant)

Oh, and with the kitchen renovating yucks behind, I'm super happy with an open shelving concept now because I can jazz it up seasonally.  So fun.

[3] Taking-in extra kids.  But I mean, how cute are they?
(future daughters-in-law on board!)

[4] Baking
Dairy consumption is getting so close I can almost taste it on my lips (and feel it on my thighs).  I have been dairy-free for almost a year because of Toby's allergy.  I'm actually getting so used to it I was thinking of continuing to abstain...but then I saw this and this on pinterest.  What better season to re-introduce dairy into my diet? Good-bye self control.  

But this is still dairy free baking.  As you can see, Silas has a sweet tooth like mine:

[5] Re-doing my blog
Notice any changes?  Why has it never occurred to me that my husband works in I.T. and can do fancy things with a computer and websites (and therefore ask him to help me fix my blog?)  Or maybe it was my secret plan all along...woo him with baking and then sabotage all his free evenings with my own internet projects.  Mua ha ha ha.

(Notice any changes?)  Trying to think up a new way to make my banner and organize it all.

[6] Starting the advent madness!
Silas and I packed a compassion box the other day which was very fun.  I love that we prayed together and that he's learning about giving.  I need to be a better model of giving on a regular basis...
Yes, he is asking if he can have one of the suckers

[7] Chasing these crazy boys.

[8] Reading about random things.  Including (but not limited to):

All this to say: my head is full, my days are busy, my prayers are many and it's all about to get a bit crazy.  If you don't hear from me on my blog, well, that's why!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What if...?

Lately I've been overcome by fear and anxiety.  The 'what ifs' of living in a ruthless world have been hunting me down and strangling my contentment to the ground.

Love is vulnerable.  I could lose those I love in a heartbeat, in an instant. In fact, the very things I most take for granted (my home, my family, my health) can be snatched away.  Right now.

I've been overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of despair and uncertainty that this world offers as its foundation.

Wait a second, don't I believe in a good God?  Yes.  Doesn't He turn all things good?  Yes.  He doesn't allow suffering in our lives does He?  Sometimes.  That doesn't make sense.

So as a Christian, once I believe in God, everything will be ok right?

But He never promised it would be easy, or perfect, or well- that my life and journey would in any way go as I planned.  At all.

I have so little control of our circumstances.

But this, THIS truth is like gold to me.  Found in Joshua 1:9.  Do you know what is better than guaranteed perfect outcomes?  Perfect wealth and health?  Better than a guarantee of having no sickness, no disaster, no loss, no death, no (insert hardship here):____________?  Do you know what truth is better than anything this broken world has to offer?

I will tell you.
In a poem.

We'll call it "Ever felt...?"
In the alley,
far from home,
lost and hurting
in a place unknown.

Broken, beaten
by death's blows,
lonely, hidden
where no one knows?

Heart is aching and
throbbing with fear,
anxious, betrayed
no one is near.

Abandoned, forgotten,
stolen away,
ravaged and abused,
left in dismay?

Oh hollowed out woman
Oh child left in the dark,
Oh spent, wearied wounded
Oh broken lonely heart.

In all the dark places
Where wind, rain & woe
rattle the windows
and flatten you low.

In all the deep valleys
while swallowed by pain
when bruised and beaten
by life's ruthless terrain.

One promise alone
will be the flickering light,
will shoulder the weight
of this endless cruel night.

Wherever you are,
in the places unseen
whatever has happened
how ruthless and mean.

(here it is!)

My God, He is with you.
You are never alone.
His love and His comfort
Is your new home.

When all is uncertain
and the very ground gives way
Cling to Jesus, your only savior
in every breath, of every day.

No hurt is too heavy,
No fear is too strong
His arms, they will surround you
All the night long.

Be comforted and healed
Though life's hardness remains
When everyone else leave's you
He will stay.

There you have it.
I was wandering around (internally) lost and confused again because I was looking at my circumstances.  Life is going to be hard.  I will experience disease, loss, death, and will leave this life covered in mud and mess.

But my gracious God came into the mud with me and will stay with me the whole way.

All praise is due Him.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Back to Work

One whole year (thank God for Canada) at home and now IT is upon me.

Back to work.

I remember being very excited about this with Silas.  I remember feeling thrilled to use my nursing skills, relieved that I could have a few days out of the house, and I remember that at first it was hard- but then it was no problem.

This time?

I mainly feel overwhelmed.  It's been a 4 month frustrating, praying, discerning, waiting process of trying to find a part-time situation that would work for the kids and us.  I finally found two great part time jobs, but that means orientating to two new jobs.  At the same time.  Over Christmas.

Did I mention I haven't weaned Toby yet? Gulp.

I have had a few emotional ups and downs over these past few days trying to cope with all the changes ahead.  I've Worried.  I've tried not to worry.  I've been anxious.  I've tried not to be anxious.  I've stayed up late being harried and frantic: trying to organize myself without giving myself an ulcer.

I remind myself:
The kids will be fine.
I will be fine.
I will feel like an idiot for awhile but then I will learn the ropes again.
I will feel guilty at times when something's going on with the boys and I can't be there.
And every night, I'm sure, I will speed home (within legal limits) and get excited about the thought of seeing 4 little limbs running over themselves to greet me at the door.

It's hard, already, being a working Mom.  Half of me feels silly for not advancing in my career more.  Half of me feels guilty for leaving the kids at all.  I guess I should always shoot for 50% contentment?!

I was told that you cannot simultaneously feel fear and gratitude at the same time.  And that frantically thinking about something doesn't change it.  It will be what it will be.  I will have to accept whatever the new normal is.  So to counter the rising emotional wave of agony and anxiety rising up in me, I will hold tight to the many things I have to be thankful for:

  • Awesome friends and family willing and able to take care of the boys so we have to pay minimal childcare costs. 
  • An incredibly involved and supportive husband who is more than capable and able to watch the kids while I'm away
  • Jobs to return to- so that I can help pay for our living costs
  • A new opportunity to teach students at BCIT- so excited.
  • Fun, already planned Christmas advent activities to distract the kids, entertain the caretakers, and get us all focused on what really matters instead of my absence
  • Healthy boys
  • An incredible career, which I love, to return to.

This weekend Jason is away.  But it's also my last weekend with the kids before work starts.  So rather than dread his absence, I'm gonna choose to wring out every drop of the weekend.  I'm gonna savor all the moments, cherish all the snuggles, and live in all the moments with them and not worry about what's over the next hill.

Or at least, I'll try.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monkey Party

Monkeys monkeys everywhere.  We hunted for bananas hidden around the room, spread PB on them and decorated them with yummy treats. We read monkey stories, ate monkey cupcakes, played with 'monkey dough' and Toby ate cake for the first time.  

Too fun.

Having a themed birthday may just become my new addiction...
 Loved decorating for this.  Will include a link to tutorials here later.

Happy Birthday Toby

I don't think a single year of my life has gone as fast as this one.
How is it that my precious, sweet cheeked, blue eyed, cuddly baby has turned into a 1 year old?

I cannot get over this kid.  In four words: he is just delicious, delightful, daring, and determined.  He is sweet and cuddly and constantly on the move.  We have a four chair barricade at the bottom of our stairs and he still doggedly finds his way through, over, or around them.  As soon as the outside doors are opened he is right there- trying to get out.  He loves his little hockey stick and cries when you take it away.  He climbs into the fridge or dishwasher as soon as the door flies open and if you leave a toilet paper roll or toilet unattended...well...he's sure to get to them.

He is not very vocal or excite-able but is generally quite content, curious and stubborn.  Try changing this kid.  No really, try it.  It's a full on 15 minute ordeal trying to keep him still.

He is right in the thick of things- standing with the boys, in the lego house Silas is building, hanging on my leg while I cook in the kitchen, and always trying to do what Silas is doing.  He can already build lego towers!

My oh my.  What a sweetheart, what a gift, what a joy, what a fast moving little life.

In celebration of this little explorer, we're having a family 'monkey' party.  I may have spent too much time on this and let my creativity go a little nuts but once you start making a theme, well...there's no going back.  Having a banana hunt, playing with monkey 'dough,' eating monkey munchies, decorating bananas, you know- all too much fun!

Here is this little hero:
In the sprinkler...  
Why not eat puffs off the floor? 


Goin for it! 

Can I? 
Neighbors' garden looks good

Clearly not understanding the word 'barricade' 
Helping me garden of course! 
This is often the look on Toby's face: perpetual surprise.

On a bike already?! 
Always wants to do what his brother is doing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

25 days of Advent

Cause I can't wait any longer...
And here it is: our Family Activity Advent list.
Enjoy it.  Copy it. Take from it, suggest more for it.  Would love to hear what your Christmas traditions are!

1. Get out and play with our new nativity scene (got it off ebay). Hope this will pass on as a family heirloom.  Can't wait to have Silas play with it, add to it, and watch his face each day as we move the camel closer and closer to baby Jesus.
2. Pack boxes for our compassion child   Found out those will be sent in late November.  I plan on doing this ahead of time with Silas and reflecting on it on this day.
3. Have dinner by candlelight.  Bought some yummy Christmas/discounted candles from Bath and Body works!
4. Make Christmas ornaments!  I wanted to make this (too expensive) and would love to make this (yeah right) but with a 1 year old and almost 3 year old, we'll stick with  these (and these).  I also got Silas a little ornament set from Michaels cause it was easy, on sale etc.  I hope to keep some to have Silas give away.  
5. Invite friends or family to go ice skating 
6. Make homemade marshmallows and give some to someone working outside with hot cocoa mixes. (And have some ourselves)
7. Make snowflakes and hang them in the window.
8. Put up Christmas lights.
9.  Dance party to Christmas music [Looking for some good kids' Christmas tunes- any ideas?]
10. Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn.  I found 'The Nativity' for a buck at Salvation Army (still new in a package).  Hope it's good.  BUT that will most likely be for us adults in the evening.  Any good suggestions for kids' Christmas movies?
11. Make gingerbread men to give away.
12. Go sledding with friends or family.
13. Stamp and mail Christmas cards - get my small children to help!
14. Cut down Christmas tree.
15. Make cinnamon ornaments to hang on tree, string popcorn for the tree, put up the main decorations
16. Pick an international need to give money to.  Look at it on the map, pray for them, do something to celebrate that culture
17. Snowman pizza for dinner and gingerbread (graham cracker) houses for dessert
18. Make and decorate Christmas cookies to share with neighbors.
19. Ride the Stanley Park Christmas train
20. Pick something off this list to do.  This site is incredibly inspiring and I hope to move in this direction... 
21. Make a fire and sit by it to read stories and look at the tree
22. Get hot chocolates, get in our jammies and head in the car to look at Christmas lights
23. Give away day!  To strangers, to family, to friends....ornaments, cookies, 
24. Fondu with friends, maybe make a birthday cake for Jesus [thanks Renauld family!]
25. Puzzles, games, family, food, music, cake, stories, walks, worship, celebrate =)

Not sure where work and regular life fit into all this [especially since I just found out I am orientating for two new jobs], but you know, we'll make a way.  This isn't 'stuff to do, and I don't want to 'make sure it gets done.'  In fact, if we miss a day- no biggie.  Just a fun guideline.

P.s. that other link I provided with the 100 list?  If you need a list to have this advent, pick hers!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Advent Part 2

A few posts ago I wrote about the Christmas Advent Journey we've started this year.  I have been busy shopping, creating, planning and conspiring since then.  So far, I've compiled my 25 days of Christmas activity list (but it still needs some fixing), I've found a bunch of fun gifts to include and started collecting supplies for all the fun activities we'll do.  I also found a bunch of used Christmas kids' books (to wrap up for each day) and splurged on one new one.  I think we'll buy the kids one new Christmas book every year.  

But the main thing I needed to do asap was actually make our advent calendar boxes.

I found a bunch of cheap (1-2 dollar) boxes from the dollar store, found some christmas cookie tins from Value Village and Salvation Army (as well as some in the back of our tupperware cupboard).  I also had some old jewelry boxes my mom donated.

I got some gold spray paint from Michaels and hosed down the tacky boxes from the dollar store and bought a few sheets of scrapbook paper.  Then I went to work making some cute/scrap book style numbers for each box.

And presto, here is our advent calendar:

They were super fun to make and will be even more fun to fill.  I hope these will bring about a lot of fun family memories.

Back to the workshop I go.
[I plan on including daily/weekly collages of all our December activities!]

Next up: a birthday party for Toby who turns 1 in a week!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Busy Bags

An oldie but a goodie: 
This summer I attended my first busy bag making party. What a great way to meet new people, swap some fun tot-stuff and get my creative juices flowing.  

I made 8 of them.  Silas loved playing with them while I put them together:
This was the one I made: dyed pasta, cut up straws, beads and pipe cleaners.  

Favorite moment over the summer with it?  On a dinner cruise where few other families had activities for their kids.  It went longer than expected and I whipped out this 

Crowd pleaser.  Soon I had 10 kids surrounding me and fighting over pipe cleaners.  Good times.  

One received from my friend: cupcake decorating!  (Good one Michelle!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

28 Reasons for Joy

Didn't get a chance to post this yesterday because I was too busy having an awesome day.  Thanks for all those who messaged me, visited, and made my day! Yesterday's post:

I am a lucky woman.  Truly.  I have had many joy-filled, life-changing, wonderful moments and memories in my 28 years of life.   I've been inspired and loved by incredible people.  I've been to amazing places - exploring and discovering.

This post is probably more for me than anyone- collecting reasons I have to be thankful.  It's a fitting way to spend my few free moments alone on this 28th birthday of mine:

1. First day in Hawaii on a family vacation.  Strolling the beach early in the morning with my dear Father.  Sharing, talking, buying cinnamon buns.
2. Fighting about a sewing machine with my mom.  It was such an infamous episode of ridiculous mis-communication that we still laugh our heads off about it. (This moment and staying in a hostel in Italy with my Mom are my two fav memories).
3. Stepping off the plane into my new life in Ottawa. I was leaving home as a new high-school graduate.  Exhilarated and terrified.  On the edge of the unknown and though I didn't know it yet, at the beginning of some of the best years of my life.
4. A surprise birthday party thrown for me only three months into freshman year at Carleton University.  An incredible community of friends.  A new winter coat.  Felt so blessed and treasured.
5. Long drives on country roads, music blaring with a new driver's license   Tears streaming.  Meeting God in some lonely times and places.
6. A cabin in the woods.  A retreat with University friends.  Late nights of sharing, meal making, games, wrestling in the snow.  The best weekend. Singing my heart out while Jason played guitar [not yet dating].
7. Summers at kids camp as a counselor.  The best.  Qwanoes rocked.
8. Long cozy evenings snuggling together [Jason and I of course], all bundled, next to a river in Ottawa.  And then, he said "I love you" for the first time.  [Sigh].
9. Hiking the West Coast Trail.  Fresh air, tiring days, beach combing, ladder climbing, misty mornings, chocolate trail mix.  It was incredible.
10. Hours on my bike as a kid.  Thinking, dreaming, praying, writing poetry and songs.  Exploring, discovering, pondering.  Still love my bike.
11. Meeting and falling in love with Jason's family.  Blonde heads, big hugs, warm smiles, game playing, hikes, talks, love them all.  Each one.
12. Breezing through Costa Rican treetops (zip-lining) on our incredibly adventurous honeymoon.
13. First time to Africa.  Safari in Tanzania early in the morning with the sun rising over the savanna   It was unbelievable, poetic, and inspiring.
14. My first missions trip. (Mexico)  Serving, caring, giving, in community.  Was so fulfilling.
15. Hugging my brother.  I dunno, it still makes me want to cry every time.
16. Deciding to change directions and go to nursing school.  Haven't regretted that decision for a second.  After a good days' work of mental, emotional, physical exertion it always feels amazing. I'm doing exactly what I was made to do.
17. First kiss.  Burnaby mountain, with the man I now call husband.  So totally awkward and so incredibly innocent and priceless.
18. Riding on the back of a motor bike in rural Burkina Faso to deliver health care.  Hilarious. Memorable.
19. Hiking around Arches national park.  How is that place real?
20. The pure relief and the flood of emotions overwhelming me the moment I held Silas for the first time.  I could not stop crying.  Such joy, such an incredible sense of meaning. Awe.
21. Hiking in Cinque Terre.  The sunshine, the exertion, the sea-air, exploring such an incredible landscape with Jason.  My favourite place in the world (thus far).
22. French pastries, consumed in France. Need I say more?!  Chocolate...butter....
23. Graduating from highschool was a huge high.  So much before me, so much behind me.  I had so many great times as a youth with incredible friends and support.  Sports, academics, friends...and at grad: a future wide open.  Dry grad was amazingly fun.
24. Snuggling up with Toby on my chest.  This boys' dimpled cheeks, curly soft blonde hair, bright blue eyes and chubby cheeks fills my heart in places I never knew were empty.
25.  Arriving in Ouagadougou knowing that we were going to be living in Burkina for 6 months.  New sights, new sounds, warm community, new language, new life...
26.  Running a half marathon around Stanley Park with Jason at my side.  Beautiful day, awesome adventure.   (City chase was equally fun!)
27.  Being there when a person passes from this life to the next.  Caring for someone dying is incredibly spiritual.
28. Biking around the gulf islands with Jason.  Romantic, relaxing, lovely.

How can I complain, ever?
I am rich in more ways than most people around the world will ever have the privilege of knowing and experiencing.
Filthy rich.

I deserve none of it but thank God for all of it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Party Goer

A busy weekend of parties and creating for 'em.  I loved getting the creative juices flowing again.  Here's some evidence of the messy merri-making madness.
  • Baby shower cupcakes.  Yes I made some in baby jars.  No, I wouldn't do it again.  They were cute but hard to eat.  However, it was fun and I enjoyed using up those accumulating jars in my cupboard.

  • 40th birthday bash.  I tried this on pinterest and it failed.  Oh Martha.  How do you make it look so easy? [Where did she buy easy-knotting chives from?!]  I ended up with this instead:  
Tooth picks stabbed into tiny bits of vegetables?  Done.  Did it take longer than it should?  Head nod.  I also gave a humorous gift for the birthday boy: 40 suckers with a list of "40 things that suck worse than turning 40" which included random things like this 
[the list was completely assembled sans pinterest]:
1. having rabies
12. sinking your car in a very large puddle*
17. battery operated toys
18. vomiting out your nose
23. burning your nipple with a hot iron
26. decaf coffee
33. getting your tie stuck in an automatic door
*true story
Not a glamorous presentation, mind you.
  • It's my birthday tomorrow and when hubby asked me what I wanted, I told him that I wanted him and my 2.5 year old to make me a cake [this was largely because Silas loves baking and loves cake].  I didn't realize Jason had never ever in his life made one before. Result?
Vegan chocolate yummy-ness and fun family to enjoy it with.  Good job dear! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Advent and the Christmas Countdown

More time together.  More anticipation.  
More planning.  Less spending.  

I've been inspired by a lot of Advent Conspiracy videos and a lot of the home-made, crafting ideas found on pinterest - especially this and this.  How can we return Christmas to it's true meaning, it's true beauty?

Silas is almost 3 and I am so excited to start making some Christmas traditions happen.  I've done lots of reading and have started planning.  We want to teach him the true 'magic' of Christmas:
giving, loving, family, thankfulness, worship, joy, peace, Christ.

Here's the plan:
  • Each morning, the 'wise men' on camels will move a little bit from one corner of the house to the nativity scene (as they came from far away).  First thing in the morning he will get to see where they are and we will also share a bit about the Christmas story. 
  • Each afternoon Silas will open a box for advent (big or small) with the name of the activity we are going to do that day, with a little present (that most likely will contribute to that activity in some way), and an ornament to hang on the tree (ones we already own)
  • Each evening we will do an awesome, family-fun activity that is in the spirit of true Christmas
  • Each bedtime Silas will get to un-wrap one of 25 Christmas books (most used, most that we already own, some from the library, all wrapped up fancy-like) and we'll read them together
So excited.

First step:
Make advent boxes. I have collected 15 boxes so far which I will wrap up or paint (haven't decided) and have started searching for cheap Christmas tins as well.  I'll affix numbers on them and decide where to put them.  Stay tuned for our mega-exciting, anticipation building, fun-filled 25 day activity list.  Post to come...

Any activities we must have on the list?  What are some of your favourite Christmas activities?

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