Favorites of 2011

So, here we are at the end of the year… crazy, huh? I can’t believe we’ll be ringing in the New Year tonight! I thought we should share a few of our favorite posts from this year but first I want to tell you about my new favorite Christmas tradition

I was a little late to the game this year on the whole Advent Calendar thing, but when I saw this post from Lindsay at Southern Lovely, I knew I had to make one for my kids.

The temps were freezing outside, so I decided to go ahead and paint this frame in my kitchen :) I used one of the cans of Krylon’s Glitter Blast that I won a few months ago {see my winning project entry here}.

I managed to get one coat of paint on before my kids woke up from their naps, and with the fumes in our kitchen, I decided I had to work with what I had :) {I opened the windows and took a trip to Target to let the house air out!} To add some bling to the inside of the frame (and cover up the white primer), I hot glued some ribbon in the same citrus green color to the edges. Then, I added a glitter bow I already had and I was done! It is a lot of glitter, but I think it was a fun pop of color & shine in our dining room this Christmas season. I made the numbered tags to match our red, citrus green, and turquoise decor this year. Then I printed off our activities on white cardstock, attached them to the back of the pre-cut white cards (found at Michaels on clearance) and pinned them to the twine with mini clothespins.

OK, those are the logistics of the project.

But here is the best part, the unexpected results of another “crazy craft project” of mom’s….. We actually USED it! Every day my kids were SOOO excited to turn over the new card and find out what we would be doing together that day. We created tons of fun memories this Christmas season because of this Advent board. I mean, I always have intentions of doing these things with my family at Christmas time, but many times we’ve run out of time, trying to cram in all the traditions into the last week! By spreading them out over the entire month, we had time for the important things… service projects, making cookies, caroling, visit to Santa, and then we had plenty of room to add in some silly things :) Making a fort and eating dinner inside was one of the kids’ favorites! Here are all the activities we had on our calendar this year:

One of the things I enjoyed the most was a few days before Christmas, we took our electronic coin jar that we had been adding spare change to all year, and GAVE IT AWAY! Each kid got a small bag of coins to take to the store. Then we took the rest of the change to the Coin Star money changer and got cash (I think it ended up being around $25). Watching all the coins being sorted in the machine was pure entertainment for the boys :) After we got our cash, each kid had fun putting their own pennies, dimes and nickels in the Salvation Army bell ringer’s collections outside the store. They were so excited to have their own coins to donate!
Then we headed over to our local shelter and asked what they needed for the children for Christmas. Much to our kids’ delight, they needed “cars and trucks!” We had fun letting the boys each choose a few cars and trucks at the store, then we paid for the items with our $25, and delivered them to the shelter.
The whole activity only took about an hour, but it was one of my favorite memories from this season. Our boys were able to see some of the children who lived at the shelter, and I think they felt really good that they were able to spend money they had been saving throughout the year to buy gifts for some of those little boys.
There were so many other moments and memories created this past month from the activities we did together as a family… I can’t tell you how glad I am we started this tradition. And I can’t wait to do it again next year!
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays with your loved ones, and thank you for reading and following along our new blogging adventure in 2011 :) Here are some of our favorite posts/projects from this year:
We’re just getting started, and can’t wait to share more projects and ideas with you in 2012! Happy New Year everyone!

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