Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reading for the Season

I love books!  I love Christmas!  So, why not combine the two.
Every year, I look for a special new hardcover book to add to my Christmas collection.  I have a red bucket in the living room as part of the "decorations" that I fill with the books for December.  I love reading them with the kids, discovering the magic all over again (We haven't read these books for a year.).  My criteria is different every year- great artwork, moving story, remembering the true meaning, and sometimes just fun.  Sometimes, a books meets more than one objective.  Here's the collection that's amassed over the years (thankfully, my Mom has enjoyed adding to my collection as well).

For the message: (Watch out, some may make you cry)
Mary's Treasure Box by Carolyn Walz Kramlich
Tonight You Are My Baby by Jeannine Norris
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie
God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love
Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado
The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury

For the artwork:
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell

For the fun of it:
The Teachers' Night Before Christmas by Steven Layne
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
Santa Mouse by Michael Brown
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
The Tree That Came to Stay by Anna Quindlen

This is just my collection.  I've also put a basket under the kids' tree with fun Christmas themed stories they've collected over the years.

I haven't decided on a book for this year yet.  Any suggestions?

**All links and artwork from**

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Icemageddon 2013

Yes, the weathermen are calling this ice storm "Icemageddon."  While it is beautiful to look at outside, it's cold and slick.  Kevin came in from a work trip and had to park on a more level part of the street, since our driveway is frozen and steep.
For about 10 minutes at a time, we got a little outside time.  The kids were fascinated by the ice everywhere.  The "ice skated" in the yard, tried to make "ice angels" and just happily ran around.
I love the juxtaposition of fall and winter.
 The most fun they've had was "sledding" down the driveway on the recycling box lid.  Giggles, squeals, and a little whining when they put their hands down in the small stream of melting ice on the street.  But, SO much fun!
Thankfully, we've also enjoyed some warm inside time, snuggling by the fire.  It was kinda nice to keep the television off yesterday.  Instead, we read books, played games and just hung out.  Today, more games, more reading, baking cookies, indoor picnic and watching Christmas movies.
We were planning a great visit with Yaya and Popi, but we've had to postpone it.  Church even got canceled this weekend, postponing the kids' Christmas play.  We are really looking forward to this ice melting!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Elf Antics

Well, I thought I would keep blogging, but there hasn't been anything too exciting to post.  Now, after this weekend, look out, we've got lots of fun.  Ok, that's IF the roads melt enough for us get out safely.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Tinsel, arrived the day before Thanksgiving.  The kids were worried that he wouldn't come.  This is the 5th Christmas season we've had Tinsel.  For the most part, he behaves pretty well, just resting in a spot and watching the kids.  But.... every once in a while he gets into some silly places.
Going for a ride!

I had some candles set out for a lesson the next day, and Tinsel decided to roast some mini marshmallows.  They looked pretty tasty.

Oh, Target sells a few outfits for elves.  You just have to set it out where your elf can see it, and they put it on before they head to the North Pole that night to report in.  I think Tinsel likes his "Team Elf" jersey.