Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Change of plans

I found a site that I like even better than the one I posted about in my first plans for December post. This site has an advent calendar loaded with information and activities for every day. One of the features they have is a song of the day, which was one of the things I wanted to do. At first I wasn't planning on using their actual calendar. I was just going to use their list of songs and maybe their around the world feature. We started yesterday doing that but then today I decided to check out the features on the calendar for today, and we're hooked. :)

Yesterday we learned about the Christmas carol "Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel". I didn't realize it but that song is one of the ones DD is singing with the choir in the canata this year. We also read and discussed some Russian folk tales about their Snow Maiden. From this site we learned that it's not too early to go Christmas tree hunting. We like to have a real tree and I've been putting DD off saying it's too early to get it yet, but according to this site it's okay if the tree is properly taken care of so the next nice day we are going tree hunting.

Today we enjoyed reading and discussing the scripture passages and we reminisced about the year we did a Jesse tree. We tried to check out the devotional by Elizabeth Eliot but couldn't get the link to work. We did have a little discussion of who Elizabeth Elliot was. We also spent some time admiring the beautiful artwork of Thomas Kinkade. We also learned some history of the carol "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and also the history of Christmas tree lights.

Along with the learning and fun from following the online advent calendar, we have our own little advent activites that we came up with on our own and are implementing this year for the first time. One of them we planned and prepared after Christmas last year but I had forgotten all about it until DD reminded me on Sunday.

I am a jigsaw puzzle fanatic and one of my favortie Christmas presents is a new jigsaw puzzle to work on. Last year I came up with the idea of using a jigsaw puzzle for an advent activity. After Christmas DD and I found a Christmas themed puzzle to use for it. We put it together and then took it apart one section at a time and bagged the peices of each section in separate bags. We had a 500 peice puzzle and we wanted 25 bags so we put about 20 peices in each bag. We stored the bags in the puzzle box and packed it away for this year. Every day we take out a bag and put together the peices that are in it. We store our puzzle on a Roll-o-puzz and pack it away every day. We are really enjoying doing it and wishing we had a bigger puzzle so we may try to find a bigger one to prepare for next year.

Another thing we've decided to do is to make some kind of cookie or food item every day. Monday we made gingerbread cookies. They were a big hit and were gone before today ws through. We're going to have to make them again and try to store some away this time. Today we made Nan H's special snowballs which are made with a german chocolate cake mix, coconut, and graham wafer crumbs. They're yummy! We got two ice cream containers from the batch and I have one ice cream container of them store away hoping nobody finds them for a while. Today we discussed possibly taking pictures of the cookies and making special recipe cards of them to be used as an advent idea for next year.

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