Advent Day 15.

I got a day behind on my Advent posts but I’m still going to say “today’s book” or it gets too complicated.

Anyhow, today’s (= yesterday’s) treat was to have a tea party with Grandma Gibbs via Skype. It’s nice to know that, even though we are separated by many miles, we can still make sweet memories with the grandparents.

A tea party with grandma.

Bea joins in the fun.

Today’s book: Madeleine’s Christmas, Ludwig Bemelmans
Today’s activity: A tea party with grandma

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Advent Day 14.

The weather took a turn for the chilly so we had to bundle up for our walk.

Walking in the cold.

In the process, I discovered a Christmas elf and the smallest and cutest species of bear.

Bearsuit!

Even with pink noses, a good time was had by all. (Although, now that Bea is getting grabby, I foresee things getting more difficult in the double jogger. Sister was more fun to sit next to when she didn’t try to take your stuff.)

Sometimes I just love the blinky photos.

Today’s book: The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
Today’s activity: Finish Harry Potter (probably mostly for my sake!)

Advent Day 9.

We discovered a local toddler jewel today: the third floor of the T.T. Wentworth Museum. It’s set up like Pensacola in the 1700s (I think) with a fort, a cottage, a trading post, a wooden ship, and a Native American village. Everything is kid-sized and relatively safe, there’s play food, play tools, baskets, etc. everywhere, and it is FREE. I cannot believe we didn’t know about this last summer when we were wracking our brains to come up with something fun and air-conditioned! It is so annoying to me that searches for “things to do with kids in Pensacola” don’t mention places like this. At least we know now.

Needless to say, Camilla, Bea, and I had a very nice day that finished with one of my favorite church services of the year. Now we are looking forward to seeing friends and family tomorrow.

Today’s book: Whoops! I completely forgot…we will have to read two tomorrow.
Today’s activity:  Visit the museum

Advent Day 8.

I feel as though my life is so full of good ideas and intentions right now but I can only make about 25% of them happen. I wanted to start making some Christmas presents but after looking at my list this afternoon I just don’t know how I can do that and not feel really stressed out at a time when I want to be simplifying and thinking more about spiritual things instead. I don’t know why, but little unfinished projects just eat away at me even at times when I can do absolutely nothing about them and should be completely focused on whatever task is at hand. And when I’m stressed I get snappy, and I don’t want to be that kind of wife/mother/friend.

Lately I have been realizing all over again that it is just impossible to make everything that you want to happen, happen. Even if you feel like your list isn’t all that big and really should be easily attainable. There are too many factors beyond our control, along with the fact that Time itself is not ours. Even if everything I want to do seems good, important, or even essential, there are some things that I need to just let go. As a little example, I am NOT going to make pillow covers out of the lovely plaid wool blankets I found at the thrift store. It was a great idea, but I don’t need new covers and I don’t have the time. I am not postponing the project for three weeks. It is just. not. going. to. happen. this. year. And if there’s not a good spot to store the blankets  next summer, they’re going back to the Goodwill and it’s not going to happen next year either. It sounds silly, but it is so hard for me to give things like that up!

The Advent calendar was so time-consuming and had so many setbacks that it almost didn’t make the cut, but in the end I adopted an I’m-only-going-to-sew-it-once attitude and stopped ripping anything out and that helped things to go a little faster. It also (ahem) made them a bit wonkier, but I think there’s a sort of cheeriness to wonky felt. Plus, as soon as I put the ornaments in the pockets the whole thing sprouted new lumps and bumps and refuses to hang straight, so I guess it doesn’t really matter what it looks like underneath. I just wanted to make something something that the girls will look forward to seeing every year, and hopefully this is it. The tree is still missing a trunk, the dowels need to be trimmed somehow, and the activity cards haven’t gotten written/put in the pockets, but I think those are some of the things that are just going to be let go this time around.

The 40-day Advent calendar.

Ornaments in the pockets.

Today’s book: A Treasury of Christmas Songs and Carols
Today’s activity: Invite Beatrice’s godmother over for dinner