Advent 2014 & Christmas Decor

Hello dear ones! Here’s our Advent list and Jesse tree devotions for this year. Enjoy and may you be inspired!

We kept our Advent activities in the Advent Christmas tree. I got it at Michael’s craft store and my son Michael painted it. Each day Michael opened a drawer to read the activity.

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Jesse Tree, devotions by Ann Voskamp, and Advent wreathe. We read the devotions each night and Michael would put an ornament on the Jesse tree.

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We also did this names of Jesus chain. We read a verse and one of Jesus’ names. Then Michael would write someone to pray for on the back. Each night our chain got longer. Links for printables at the end.

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First off, this year wasn’t nearly as busy as last year. Some of the activities on our Advent list we never got to but that’s okay. If peace means skipping an activity then it’s worth it. Advent should not bring stress. It is a time to remember Christ’ birth and to look forward to Jesus’ second coming.

Last year was a bit hectic but we did have fun. Here’s the link for last year:
Advent Week 1

There are 4 posts but the rest of them are at the end of the first post. So you can hop to each one. We had some nifty parties for the Grinch and the Nutcracker. We also did some fun random acts of kindness.
This year we repeated a few activities and added some new ones. I’m just doing one post this year. Here we go!

Advent 2014

1. Leeland’s ultrasound, Christmas shopping, and watch a movie.
Our precious miracle
Leeland21weeks

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2. Read “The Gift of the Christmas Cookies” & make cookies.

You can find a detailed post on the Christmas books we read this year here:
Six Inspirational Christmas Books with Activities
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3. Decorate Chris’ office, give out cookies, & fill a shoebox online.

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4. Nativity play at group.

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I did a whole post on this here: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/jesus-our-precious-gift-an-interactive-christmas-drama-2014/

5. Broadway Holiday (take canned goods) & make cornstarch ornaments.

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Fake snow
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6. Decorate a gingerbread house & sew primitive ornaments.

We never made the primitive ornaments but Chris and Michael did put together this gingerbread house kit.

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Also, Chris and I had a date night. Details here:
Christmas Date Ingredients

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7. Army band concert and donate to World Vision, VOM, & Valley Rescue.

We didn’t make it to the concert because Michael felt under the weather.

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8. Read “The Legend of the Christmas Tree”, make tree crafts, & watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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9. Read “The Message of the Birds”, take a winter walk, & do bird crafts.
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10. Watch Frosty, have a snowman ice cream sundae, & do snowman crafts.

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mason jar snowglobe~ it was hard to get a good picture.
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tea light snowman ornament
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11. Group book club, drink mistletoe cider, and watch The Christmas Box.

We didn’t make it to our group because Michael still had the sniffles.

The Christmas Box is one of my favorite stories. My Dad read it to me one Christmas. It’s about a busy father who realizes he’s missing out on his daughter’s childhood. We got the movie this year on a dvd with other Christmas movies. I’ve read the book to my family once and will hopefully do that again some day.

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12. Read “The Candy Maker’s Gift”, make candy cane crafts, & eat candy cane treats.

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13. Christmas parade & movie marathon.
We didn’t make it to the parade. We intend to each year but usually don’t. Ah, it’s too cold anyways! Chris and I did make it to our Sunday School Christmas party. We played the white elephant game and that was fun. Here’s me and my buddy Carrie.

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14. Christmas kid’s choir at church.
Well, after a busy weekend and a full morning at church we decided to stay home that night. I did go with the guys to the archery place after lunch. I had promised Chris that I’d go some day.
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I shot once and…
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found, archery is not my cup of tea. I broke the arrow. I came, I saw, and…next time I’ll stay home. At least there was a nice recliner.

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15. Read “The Lil Match Girl”, make luminaries.

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16. Fantasy in Lights.

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens is a spectacular drive thru light show with over 8 million lights! The last time I rode through was when I was pregnant with Michael and Chris was in Iraq. So it was neat this year to take the guys to this AND to be pregnant again!

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We stopped in the Christmas village for some hot chocolate and treats.

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17. Watch The Hobbit, have Christmas treats at bookstore, & visit the Pet store.

I didn’t get any pics for this. Michael got some Christmas money from grandparents and used it to buy himself a book. We took a quick trip to the pet store before going to the movies. Maybe I will write a review on the third Hobbit movie…

18. Scholars Christmas party and bookswap.

Hannah reading to the kids.

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Chris holding Miriam, Hannah’s baby.

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23 weeks

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19. Watch Seasons of the Heart, Make paper Holly garland and mini paper angels.

Mom & Michael

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20. Christmas recital & give gifts to Nana & Grandad.
Michael played “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
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I played a few sing along tunes for fun.
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Gifts with Nana and Grandad

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21. Instrumental Christmas program.

Our church has a large orchestra.

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22. Read “The Christmas Owl” and do owl crafts.

We read the book but didn’t do any crafts. So instead here are some pictures of my lil snowman! 🙂
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23. Read “Mortimer the Christmas Mouse”.

I let Michael start nibbling on his gingerbread house since Mortimer the mouse lived in one.

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24. Christmas Eve, Read/watch The Nativity Story, living room camp out, & family games.
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We set up a big manger scene.
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Chris preparing the chicken. We also had leftovers from Thanksgiving.
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Family game time
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We each opened one gift.
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Okay this was staged lol. They were not actually asleep ;). We all ended up in bed because my lil dog has a gas problem….sigh.

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25. Christmas Day! Holiday breakfast & funny movie marathon.
It’s almost time!
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Michael has been playing his harmonica all day, that Aunt Jenn got him.
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I think he likes our present :).
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Stocking time! (Annabelle)
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Tessa

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Chester

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Annabelle…not cooperating.

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The guys putting together a transformer and then…
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the big Lego set. It took awhile.
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But it was worth it.

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Christmas decor etc…

So I was going to make this part a whole ‘nuther post but decided to keep this simple and put it all into one. It’s kind of late to show all our Christmas prep but what the heck.

Lights on the house
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Outside the door…

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Painting the Advent tree
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Stockings are hung…

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Christmas village on the piano

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Christmas tree and Nutcracker forest

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Chester modeling in his box

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New Christmas bedding. Yaaa!

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Chester…doing finances?

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Tree chain on the homeschool room door

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Michael likes to decorate his bedroom too.

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Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! Merry Christmas! ~Amber Dover

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