It is fair to say that I am on Pinterest all the time. This time of year is no exception as the anticipation of the holiday season begins. I really try to get my shopping and meal planning for Christmas done before Thanksgiving so that I can enjoy making things with my kids during the holidays. I also spend some time planning out and preparing for specific crafts so that the kids have an easy and festive craft-break afterschool.Read More
I’ve been hoarding craft ideas for the kids on Pinterest. You know how it is. Someday, I should totally make this with the kids. Then you forget and are reminded when you pin the same thing again. My youngest daughter is on to me. She’s started nagging me about making things. I literally can’t say “we could make that” or “we should make this” without her harassing me until we do. And so it was when the recent Paper Source catalog arrived in the mail with an adorable paper watermelon banner on the front cover.Read More
My youngest children turn four today. Four. Just yesterday they were little bugs and now they are big bugs with minds of their own and (strong) opinions and language and incredible fashion sense.
And they really like superheroes. I mean really like superheroes. They have been talking about having a superhero birthday party for the last three months. They wanted to invite practically everyone we know to their birthday party. I agreed. I pinned. I planned. I was going to go all out. And then, with three weeks to the big birthday, I had no kitchen and half done floors and no idea when I might be back in my house. I caved. I just couldn’t throw a party. Total fail as Mother of the Year.Read More
When we left off on Tuesday, Mom and I had finished gussying up a basic Old Navy knit dress for Théa's Belle costume. Abby's costume was a little more involved in that I was unable to find a yellow dress for women that was anywhere near cute. Or anywhere near something that Abby would actually put on. I know, I know. She's willing to dress like a princess to go to Disneyland, but really, she's most comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts. So that's what we found.Read More
When my husband and I decided to take the kids to Disneyland over spring break, we thought they would be excited. You know, like kids going to Disneyland excited. The initial response? “Ho, hum. I’m a teenager and I don’t get excited about anything.” Even the little kids were nonchalant about it. I think Théa actually said that she would stay with Gran while we went on our trip. What on earth was going on here?Read More
I am now on year three of Project Life and I can’t tell you how much I love it.
I have not always been a scrapbooker. In fact, my husband still calls it “crap booking”. But seven years ago, I decided to open a paper store in our cute little town. I envisioned walls of letterpress notecards. Beautiful paper with whimsical sayings. I would throw in some craft items – solid cardstock, beautiful wrapping paper, rubber stamps, tags, every color of ribbon. Things changed dramatically as I painted the store and installed the shelves. People peaked in every day to ask if I was opening a scrapbooking store. I knew absolutely nothing about scrapbooking. But if the people were going to shop, I was going to make it available.Read More
Have I mentioned that I like to do a little craft from time to time? I know I’ve mentioned that I am a total sucker for paper. And there are no paper stores to speak of where I live. So last week, when I needed (for ridiculous reasons) to spend an entire day by myself in Salt Lake City (what!? a whole day to yourself!?), I hit some paper stores....Read More
Like almost everyone else in the country, my plans for yesterday went sideways due to the weather. What do you do with a day at home that you didn’t know you were going to have? Well, first you take a nap. Then you make valentines. Lots of them.Read More
(Hi there! If you are new to Susie Makes Supper and looking for a dinner plan for the week, you will find it here. We are off this week on a crazy trip to New York. No cooking for me! Yippee! But you can still follow along on our adventures….Keep reading! We’ll be back with a dinner plan and reviews on Monday, December 8.)
Sunday was the first official day of advent, but I have been preparing for the season of preparation for at least the last month. I know, I know. Put the list down. I plan to do just that during advent, at least I am going to try.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. As a kid, we spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house in Louisiana. My grandmother would deck out the house from top to bottom. She changed out pictures on the wall, hung garland on the stairs and the front porch, and had a tree that reached the top of the ceiling. We would turn on the air conditioning, light the fire, and crank up Johnny Mathis.
What I did not realize until I married and had five step-kids was how much work went into Christmas every year. I remember presents stashed all over my grandparents’ house…I never thought about how much time my grandmother spent shopping and cooking and decorating. With seven kids and sixteen grandchildren, she must have started in January just to get it all done. And my mom somehow packed for the family to travel across the country while making sure that my brother and I never saw a gift prior to Christmas.
Fast forward twenty years and the list started to get the better of me. We didn’t make cookies or enjoy the lights or build gingerbread houses. I didn’t enjoy putting up the tree. It all just became a chore. So after years of complaining about it, I decided to incorporate fun into every day of advent. I know what you are thinking. More work? Longer list? Yes. But I forced myself to do the work before December 1 so that we could enjoy the season of preparation rather than spend it shopping. Amazingly enough, it worked.
The girls and I made an advent calendar with an activity for each day. We also made one for my aunt’s family in Maine.
Our activities were very simple and included certain things that we were planning to do anyway like decorating the tree and watching Charlie Brown. Some days, we forgot to check the calendar. But for the most part, I enjoyed the season more than I had in a long time. And the kids enjoyed making a package of activities for their cousins. We started to put giving back into our Christmas. We started to re-focus on the fun of the season.
This year, I was lucky enough to share our advent tradition with our church. I helped a group of amazing women make forty advent calendars for families in our parish.
The response has been so positive that we are hoping to make more for next year. It’s not too late to make your own advent calendar. Try a paper chain or envelopes. You can even put activities on strips of paper in a jar. It doesn’t have to be a complicated calendar. The most important thing is to enjoy the season of preparation. Do something silly together. Start a new tradition. Make something. To get you started, here are the activities we used for the St. Thomas calendars.
1. Start a new tradition.
2. Decorate your windows with snowflakes.
3. Collect food for the foodbank.
4. Learn a new Christmas carol.
5. Read a Christmas story.
6. Pass out candy canes.
7. Take a family photo.
8. Read about St. Nick.
9. Help a stranger.
10. Make an ornament.
11. Ask someone older about Christmas when they were young.
12. Tell 10 people "Merry Christmas."
13. Watch a favorite Christmas movie (preferably in your Christmas pj's).
14. Shop for a family in need.
15. Make a nativity.
16. Drink hot cocoa with at least one meal.
17. Build a snowman.
19. Find the best Christmas lights.
20. Camp out in your living room (preferably under the tree).
21. Play in the snow.
22. Tell someone you love "thank you."
23. Bake cookies for Santa.
24. Sing carols of joy!