Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I have to be honest, I'm a traditions girl. Even the thought of a Family Tradition feels warm and cozy to me.

One of my favorites as a child was when my mom would start an advent calendar with us. Oh heavens, is there anything more exciting than opening that little window and finding a sweet piece of chocolate inside?? Well, it turns out, yes there is. My (much) older sister (hehehehe), started an advent calendar with her children many years ago. Instead of including sweets or special treat, she wrote an activity for the family to do together that day. So for everyday in the month of December, the family all participated in some spirited event. When I married my husband, Becky gifted us with our very own Advent calendar. The. Most. Fun. Thing. Ever!! Holy smokes, we now have 24 days of traditions leading up to the main event!

The activities you choose to do with your family are totally up to you. Extravagant or simple. Here is the calendar I've put together for our family this year. Since Jackson and Adelynn are really getting into the years of understanding and loving the Christmas magic, I can't wait to get started! Ahem... Please note that I wrote all of these to be read to my 3 and 1 year old. Please don't judge my over excitement and/or goofy wording. ; )

Wednesday, December 1st- Hooray! Only 24 more days until Christmas. To kick off the season, choose your favorite Christmas carol and sing it for the family after dinner.

Thursday, December 2nd- Let's snuggle up with hot chocolate and watch ELF.

Friday, December 3rd- Severna Park is lighting the community Christmas tree tonight. We will be there!

Saturday, December 4th- Santa is flying in from the North Pole!

Sunday, December 5th- Let's all go help Dad cut down our Christmas tree. Maybe we'll even see Reindeer today!

Monday, December 6th- Take a minute to remember how blessed we are this Holiday. Pick a toy out at the store and donate it to Toys For Tots.

Tuesday, December 7th- It's Jack's special day. Pick your favorite thing for Mom to make for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, December 8th- Today is Adelynn's lucky day! Pick your favorite thing for Mom to make for dinner tonight.

Thursday, December 9th- Get out the flour and sprinkles galore, it's time to bake some Christmas cookies!

Friday, December 10th- It's our Playgroup Cookie Exchange!

Saturday, December 11th- Bundle up! Tonight is the Parade of Lights in Annapolis!

Sunday, December 12th- Toot! Toot! All aboard the Santa Train!

Monday, December 13th- Could that be Santa whizzing by on the Fire Truck? Listen close all day so we don't miss the big man in red!

Tuesday, December 14th- Mom's turn to pick her favorite! Mmm, what will I make??

Wednesday, December 15th- Hop in the car, we're off to see the Lights on the Bay!

Thursday, December 16th- Jackson is a super star! Let's go see our boy perform at his preschool show!

Friday, December 17th- Another awesome Christmas light display! Let's go check out the "Christmas Street"!

Saturday, December 18th- Can you hear the jingle bells ringing? Let's go see the Polar Express in 4D!

Sunday, December 19th- Today is the big day! I hope you've been nice... We will go tell Santa our wish list this year.

Monday, December 20th- Our town looks so beautiful for the holidays! Get in the car and drive around to look at the lights. When you see something spectacular, leave the family a thank you note!

Tuesday, December 21st- Invite your friends over to decorate gingerbread houses. Try not to eat all the gumdrops, please.

Wednesday, December 22nd- What would Dad like for dinner tonight? It's his turn to pick his favorite!

Thursday, December 23rd- A special day with Grandpa, Didi, Carly and Kyle!

Friday, December 24th- Merry Christmas, to our little Family! Enjoy the day and be good to one another. Wait to see if the Jammie Fairy will come tonight, then ask Daddy to read you "Twas the Night Before Christmas" before bed.

However you celebrate the holiday season with your family, I sincerely hope it's a magical one!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Under the Sea Birthday Bash!

My little boy Jackson turned three last month and to celebrate I put together an Under the Sea party that I hope he won't soon forget. Since the beginning of time, Jack has loved everything that involves the water. In fact, his first birthday was a rubber ducky themed party since he loved bath time so much! I guess his obsession with ocean life was then a natural progression. : )

The Dessert Table doubled as the Party Favor Bar. I wanted to cut down on the amount of sweets at the party since my "clients" were only three ; ), so I did the favor bar in conjunction with the desserts. The kids took a bucket and were able to pick and choose prizes to take home. Since we live in Maryland, home of the blue crab, I obviously HAD to use a crab basket as a cake stand and centerpiece.

Cupcake Cookie Toppers by The Cookie Jar

"Shark Attack Snack Mix. Includes Sharks, Fish and Life Preservers. Don't swim too far from the shore!"

Cookies to match the Cupcake Toppers, also by The Cookie Jar!

Fresh Sushi

 Many of the children had a younger sibling that came to the party. A beanie baby and a book were for our youngest guests.

And then our Menu:

Sand Dollars, also known as Pop Chips.

Sparkling Octopus Ink

A re-purposed Halloween Trick or Treat bag from PBKids became our napkin & utensil holder

And of course, nothing better to wash your lunch down with than "Freshly Bottled Ocean Water"

The Party Space, Game & Craft:

Jelly Fish floating above the table.

 "GOLD FISH BAR: Take a box and make a mix, Sea creatures are the perfect hunger fix!"

The kids each made their own "mini" ocean to take home.

So there you have it, we all had fun and I am now the very proud Mommy of a THREE year old!! Oh my gosh, how is he three already??... Look out for A Super Jackson Saves The Day Party... in another 11 or so months. : )

All photographs courtesy of Destinee Thurston, Cellar Door Photography!