Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Day 9 - Making cookies and giving them away

Last week I was talking with Little N's teachers asking if it would be okay for us to bring cookies in to share with his class so that my kids could learn about giving and then also so that we could just share cookies with everyone.  She told me it was fine and asked when we would do it.  I told her that we would be making the cookies on Monday so we could bring them in on Tuesday. 

After picking up the kids from school we started making cookies - the kids had fun rolling the ginger snap and snicker doodles into balls and then rolling those balls in sugar and then placing them on a tray.  Then we started to make our cut out sugar cookies and they helped me for the first 2 dozen cookies and then they decided that they couldn't do anymore and wanted to quit.  So we turned out Jake and the neverland pirates to watch.  We had fun sampling all the cookies and then getting the cookies ready to bring to their classes.  Once all the cookies were done we collected a variety of the sugar cookies and put them on a tray to bring down to our guard station to give to the staff in our community.  The kids weren't quite sure what we were doing but the staff came up to us and told us Thank you in Chinese.   After I put the kids to bed I got a tray of cookies ready so that I could share them with Victory churches staff members.  When I was finished I collapsed and went straight to bed. (No pictures of our end product or the process because I was frantically trying to be in the moment with the kids PLUS I just forgot.)

When we woke up in the morning we saw that Cat in the Hat was trying to make sugar cookies with our playdough.  He made quite a mess of our table with all the flour and and cookie cutters. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Day 8 - Make a snowman marshmallow and drink hot chocolate

It's the second sunday in Advent and I was so sad that I missed the church service (I was on duty for teaching Sunday School and had to get things set up and bring Little H to the Chinese Nursery so that I could teach without having to worry about her!) but thankfully at our small group bible study we lighted two candles and talked about the second candle of advent.  So thankful for our small group and just the conversations that we are able to have. 
 When we got home from small group we quickly at our dinner and then proceeded to our bedtime snack/advent activity, which was making marshmallow snowmen and drinking hot chocolate.  The kids had a blast making their snowmen and then eating them.  I think so far this activity might be Little H's favorite activity because of all the sugar she got to eat.
 Little H is a snowman eater! 
Little M was happy that he got to have marshmallows in his hot chocolate.
 Little N worked hard to make the perfect snowman.
 I enjoyed my hot chocolate and marshmallow in the peace and quiet of our house after the kids had gone to bed for the night.  It was SO good!!

This evening Cat in the hat decided that it was time to play with marshmallows and the angry birds. Pretty sure that the kids will be excited to eat Cat in the Hat's bounty in the morning think it's pretty funny that Cat in the Hat is playing with their angry birds.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent day 7 - Make a fun and special kid meal

It's hard being a single parent and hats off to the moms and dads that do this day in and day out.  It's a no picture day of our activities because it was so hard trying to involve them and look after them as they were cooking and making our dinner for that night that we just were in the moment and didn't take pictures.  We made breaded chicken, mac and cheese, homemade crescent rolls and some fruit and vegatables.  I've started to give Little N a little bit more freedom in the kitchen, so I cut the chicken into strips and then he helped me to cut them into bit size pieces.  Little M and N then helped to me to bread and place the chicken onto the baking tray so that we could cook our chicken bites.  After the chicken is finished we made crescent rolls (like the pillsbury rolls) and I have to say that they were delicious and I was so surprised that I was actually able to make them.  The kids and I had fun rolling up the crescent rolls and then again putting them on a baking tray to cook.  We had lots of fun cooking and I'm glad that we can do it but man does cooking take lots of patience with kids. (I'm SO sorry mom for the trouble I gave you when you were teaching me to cook!)
 Look at my yummy rolls (I put some cinnamon and sugar on one batch!) 
 Cat in the Hat enjoyed the fruits of the kids work by eating some macaroni and cheese. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Advent Day 6 - Listen to Christmas Songs

There are times when life just gets to busy and you lose track of time and forget all your plans.  Today was that day.  We were invited to go over to a friends' house for food and conversation.  While we were over there house I remembered that our advent activity was to listen to Christmas music and sing Christmas songs.  Thankfully we listened to Christmas songs in the car and then we also listened to some beautiful Christmas music while we were at our friends' house.  So thankful for their friendship and their kindness in letting my family eat and play at their house. Thankful also that my kids are starting to learn some beautiful Christmas songs -- I love it when they are singing out Away in the Manger.
 Cat in the Hat was a little annoyed with us that we went to someone's house and we didn't bring him with so he decided to play some basketball and got stuck in the hoop with the ball. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent Day 5 - Making "Snow Creatures"

Today's activity was to play with some beautiful snow playdough creatures.  Little N made a snow fort like he had made with his dad back in Cooperstown, I really think he misses the snow and really misses his dad.  Little M was excited to make a pink snowman, he created a flat snowman on a piece of paper.  Little H just had fun playing with her playdough and I spent most of my time with her making sure that she didn't eat the playdough.  
 Later on we had friends come over to help us with different projects.  The kids and Joel made an igloo, they were very precise in making the squares and building the igloo until it started caving in on itself then we grabbed a cup which is now permanently with the igloo at least until the igloo disintegrates. My friend Maryke came over and at first she was going to help make something with the playdough but then we were talking about how I didn't have any place to put the leftover pieces of paper from our Advent Calendar, so she decided to make a fireplace pocket so that we could put our pieces of paper we already used in the fireplace.  It turned out really year I'll get more organized and take pictures of the advent calendar because it's so cute. So thankful because friends came over to visit with me and entertain my kids.
 The Cat in the Hat decided that he needed to play with the play dough and he decided to make a snowman. He had lots of fun making his creation. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Day 4 - Making Snowflakes

With John in the air flying to america we decided it would be fun to make our own snowflakes in Taiwan.  The kids had fun and I learned that Little N had already made some snowflakes at school.  It was so much fun and the kids were so creative.  The surprised me with how good they were at cutting and creating patterns to make their snowflakes. 
 I love the concentrated look on Little H's face..she is trying so hard to cut the paper and playing with scissors.  I love how big she is getting! 
 Little M has gotten so big and was so excited to cut out his own snowflake.  
 Little N had fun cutting out his snowflakes and creating his designs. I am so proud of him, he made two different types of snowflakes. 
 Here are our beautiful snowflake creations. 

 The cat in the hat also desired to make snowflakes and made his snowflakes with tails and all sorts of different shapes. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Day 3 - Do a Christmas Learning Sheet

 Last year I had printed out a whole bunch of Christmas learning sheets that I thought that the kids would really enjoy doing but we ended up not doing them so I saved them for this year.  So after the boys nap they woke up and started coloring and cutting their Christmas worksheet and then we did a small math activity (using probability...I didn't tell my kids that we were working on probability but they had fun and they are building onto their different skills.)  I don't have pictures of our games because I was in the moment playing with the boys and having fun.  But I'm super impressed with Little N's precision with cutting stuff out.  He is very meticulous with trying to cut out on the lines and doing it just right!  Way to go are such a smart little guy!
 Today was also a tough day for the whole family because John left late at night to fly out to the US to spend time with his grandpa.  The kids were upset and angry because Daddy was leaving them and that they couldn't go to America to see their grandparents.  I was sad and upset because I knew that I was good for John to go home but I also longed to go back to the US to his side of the family.  Little N was really sad because he was going to miss out on snow.  Thankfully for a wonderful and helpful distraction we had two friends come over to play some games and to hang out with the kids.  One of those dear friend's is this guy, Joel.  He went on the Thailand mission trip this past summer with John and we really bonded with him.  He has been our buddy ever since.  He loves to read to the kids, cause them to think - he would really like the boys help to build stuff having to do with electronics...just so that they know how it works.  He also love Little H - he calls her the little princess just because she is so girly and she has taken a shine on him. All the kids love him and we are so thankful that he is a part of our life.
Nothing elaborate for Cat in the Hat tonight, he just wanted to be able to do the Christmas learning sheets also.  So he wrote his name and then tried his best to fill in the learning sheet. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Day 2 - Set up the Christmas Decorations

 Today after the boys were done with school and had cleaned up a little bit of all the toys and stuff laying on the floor we decorated for Christmas.  We got our three boxes of Christmas stuff (yup we have three boxes of stuff!) and hoped that we would discover no mold on any of our Christmas stuff.  Thankfully we were good, the desiccate packs worked really well to keep the mold away.  The boys were really excited to take everything out and decorate.  Little H was so confused and wanted to help but just wasn't able to find out a way she could help.   The boys loved setting up the play nativity set and that's where Little H was for most of the time while we decorated the rest of the house playing with baby Jesus and Mary.  

Little N and John had fun decorating the Christmas tree and I basically let the boys decorate the tree how they wanted to (even though it killed me not to have some of the ornaments that I loved in front that I loved and wanted everyone to see.  Little M was so excited to hang up the stockings and had fun deciding who's stocking went by who.  In case anyone is wondering it went Me, Little M, Little H, John and Little N.  
There is something so special about watching the lights blink and flash on the Christmas tree.  We stared at the Christmas tree for a while and then John lighted a candle and explained what the first candle of Advent meant.  It was a chaotic time but just a meaningful time trying to ready our hearts for Jesus' birth.  
 In the morning the kids will discover that Cat in the Hat wanted to be a part of the Christmas tree decorations, also that he wanted to decorate the Christmas tree.   

Sunday, December 1, 2013

VEF Thanksgiving Potluck

Today was the first Sunday in Advent, preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus' birth.  These 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas are some of my favorite times.  Listening to the meaning of each candle and preparing our hearts for Christmas Day makes me so happy and reflective. 
 Today was a super busy day! We had morning service, Sunday School, (nap for the kids) and afternoon service for John, and then we got ready for the VEF thanksgiving potluck.  Thanksgiving this year was really late and we just weren't able to make it work the Sunday before Thanksgiving so we enjoyed our Thanksgiving the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  We had turkey and all sorts of other yummy things to enjoy!  We were also able to enjoy some games, some singing and of course wonderful fellowship with others.
 We had our map to mark where people were from around the world and this year I'm not sure how many countries we had represented.  However many people there were we sure had fun!

Advent Day 1 - Memory Verse

 The boys found the Cat in the Hat and were very excited for two reasons.  One Little N was able to read a couple of the words.  Two the Cat in the Hat was moving around and wrote them a special message! :-)
Day 1 of our Advent activities and get our hearts ready for Christmas Day (Jesus Birthday).  Sunday's are a super hard day for us....we usually just are running around crazy so I try to do easy things on Sundays during the 25 days of Advent and preparing our hearts.  I've been trying to write a memory verse on our board every month to memorize and look at and pray about.  This month's memory verse is Luke 2:11 -- Such a beautiful message!  
 The boys will find that Cat in the Hat is waiting for them to set up all the Christmas decorations so he decided to help by taking out the Christmas wreath and take a nap in our Christmas wreath on our door.  
Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!


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