amberdover

The High King Lives

Advent 2014 & Christmas Decor December 26, 2014

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:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/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
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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:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/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:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/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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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

Links:

 

Advent Week 1 December 15, 2013

In this Post: Several advent ideas (activities, food, and random acts of kindness). Also links to help you start your own advent fun! 🙂 Please come hang out.

*Note: Advent is a countdown to Christmas and for Christians it is a time to remember Christ’ birth and to look forward to his second coming (advent).  The wreathe and candles have special meanings. A Jesse tree helps tell the story of Jesus’ family tree while counting down to Christmas.

Hello dear ones! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday. I hope this holiday will be less stressful than the one before and that my family will learn to give and be content. So this year we decided only one gift per family member. So I only have two to shop for…easy peasy and one is already done.  Also I tried to focus our advent activities around random acts of kindness not just fun. I couldn’t get everything we did on camera but below are some pictures of week one.  Here’s a list of what they are and links for ideas! 🙂

  1.  Get out the Jesse tree and start advent/Jesse tree devotions. We read these each night and lit the first candle which reminds us that Christ is King. Purple for royalty :).
  2. Watch Frosty the Snowman and drink hot chocolate. (no pics 😦  )Also fixed the advent wreathe. Our Advent devo. had a neat activity where the guys tried to keep a balloon between them while moving. They had to stay close to keep the balloon from falling. It related to us staying close to God since we need His help. Pic bottom right.
  3. Build a shoe box online with Si Robertson for Operation Christmas child. Also donate to World Vision in someones honor. Michael helped me pick how to donate and then WV sent cards to our family members we honored. There are so many options: donating nativity animals, helping the hungry, protecting girls from slavery. Seriously there is a world of good that can be done.             http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoebox-with-uncle-si/     and   http://www.worldvision.org/
  4.  Make gingerbread cookies, have a gingerbread man hunt, and decorate the window with gingerbread clings. Pics on the left. We also watched the Gingerbread man.  http://www.pinterest.com/doverette/christmas-units/
  5.  Decorate Chris’ office tree and give out gingerbread cookies to his fellow employees.  (bottom right)
  6. Send Christmas cards to heroes (soldiers) through Red Cross. We actually did this earlier. It’s too late to send them now but maybe you can do this next year.  Pic of Michael on the left.    http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes                                                                     Our friends came over for dinner. We ate gingerbread cookies and Michael played Noel for them. Pic in the middle. The best thing was feeling my BFF’s tummy and the lil one rolling around inside.
  7. Read A Christmas Carol and see the play at the opera house. Pics on the left. We actually read the book the week before Thanksgiving. We dressed up fancy (pic to the left of title). I was able to get a picture of the carolers (actors) and the theater. It was a marvelous production.

You’ll probably have to click on the picture to see it well.

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Even more Advent ideas here: http://www.pinterest.com/doverette/christmas-traditions/

and here: http://www.pinterest.com/doverette/christmas-crafts/

The cookie mix I use each year is here: http://www.dominosugar.com/cookiestarter/

The gingerbread man hunt was a fun addition. You take the cookie out of the oven and leave a note as if he ran away. Each note has a clue to the next spot but lo and behold the critter has out ran you again! Then the last clue leads to the oven and he’s “magically” back in the pan. I love the look on Michael’s face. We know it’s just make believe but what fun :).

We’ve seen The Nutcracker ballet each year but we might not be able to see it this one. I’ve gotta say…I like A Christmas Carol better. The animated movie with Jim Carey freaked Michael out but only one scene bothered him in the play. The scene with the ghost of Christmases yet to come is always a bit unsettling. I wish I had a picture of that ghost to show you. They were really creative. I hope Michael and I will have special Christmas dates even when he’s an adult. 

Well, more advent activities next time. There are so many neat ideas I can’t wait to share.  I’m too impatient. Here’s our list for you to download and get a sneak peek before I post them ;).

Advent 2013

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Advent Week 2https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/advent-week-2/

Advent Week 3https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/advent-week-3/

Advent Week 4: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/advent-week-4/