Create a fun Christmas season with an Advent Calendar | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

advent | calendar two

When I reminisce about my own childhood, many of my favorite memories surround traditions.  Combine traditions with holidays, and you create a magical combination.

Therefore, this year, I wanted to embrace the popular Advent Calendar and create a December to remember!  Many of these activities are ones that we would have done anyway, but this year I want to be a little more purposeful about the holiday season.

Create a fun Christmas season with an Advent Calendar | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

…and with this calendar comes lots of grace.  If I don’t (and I’m sure I won’t) get to every activity, I will let myself off the hook, because mom guilt is the worst.  And my babies won’t know the difference anyway!

Great ideas for a FREE advent calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

For a FREE downloadable PDF, click HERE.

Great ideas for a FREE advent calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

For a FREE downloadable PDF, click HERE.

 

  1. Read about the birth of Jesus, watch THE NATIVITY (found on YouTUBE: 48 mins), make & eat haystacks.
  2. Watch THE SANTA CLAUSE and write letters to Santa.
  3. Listen to Christmas music all morning.  Decorate Felt Christmas Tree with Felt Ornaments.
  4. Make Christmas ornaments together.  This year’s ornament: Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments.
  5. Watch A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and decorate the small, kid’s Christmas tree.
  6. Make banana bread (or other baked treats) for friends and deliver.
  7. Go meet SANTA at the mall and get pictures taken.
  8. Watch and read THE POLAR EXPRESS.  Eat cookies and drink hot chocolate while wearing pajamas.
  9. Help put up Christmas decorations at a local retirement center with our Community Group.
  10. Watch RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER and make reindeer treats/reindeer chow.  Play reindeer games (marshmallow toss/pin the nose on the reindeer/candy cane hunt).
  11. Go to the Fayetteville Square to look at the Christmas lights and take pictures.
  12. Make fingerprint/footprint/handprint Christmas cards to mail to Grandparents.
  13. Watch ELF and eat spaghetti for dinner.
  14. Watch MICKEY’S ONCE/TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS and eat puppy chow (in honor of pluto).
  15. Make small THANK YOU gifts (mason jar gifts) for our Church staff and deliver.  Give M&M thank you to our mailman.
  16. Watch and read FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, eat popcorn out of snowman cups (sharpie on a clear plastic cup) and make snowman cloud dough (Pinterest).
  17. Read THE GINGERBREAD MAN stories and make a gingerbread house or cookies.
  18. Attend a CHRISTMAS PARTY with friends.
  19. Drive around our city, look at Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, and end the night with an ice-cream family date.
  20. Watch and read HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (original cartoon) and make GRINCH slime!  Grinch Kabobs for a snack (grapes/bananas/strawberries)
  21. Watch HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS ( Jim Carey) and make breakfast for dinner (green eggs, green pancakes, and green milk).
  22. Throw a BIRTHDAY PARTY for Jesus.  Bake a cake, sing Happy Birthday, and read the Nativity Story again.
  23. Attend our church’s Christmas Eve Eve services.
  24. Open Christmas Eve Box (new pajamas to wear that night, and a new Christmas book/movie), make cookies, drink hot chocolate.  Put out Santa’s Christmas plate full of cookies/milk/carrots/and THANK YOU note to Santa.
  25. Eat a large breakfast, open gifts, take naps, play games — ENJOY every moment!

After I made this list, I realized I completely left off one of our family favorites — HOME ALONE!  So at some point we will also squeeze in watching Home Alone and buying tooth brushes to put in our stockings.

Having a plan also helps me to be able to keep my eye out for great deals on things to help assist in our Advent Calendar.  For example, while at Hobby Lobby yesterday, I was able to find a magnet Nativity scene kit that we can use on a large baking sheet to help retell the story of Jesus’ birth as well as a couple of great books…all at HALF OFF!  They also have a great Happy Birthday Jesus section that we can go and get some goodies for our Birthday party for Jesus.  Win, win, win.

Advent Calendar 2015 | www.ponytailsandpajamas.com

Hobby Lobby 2015 — half off Christmas sale!

Here is to the best Christmas yet!

*If you missed the inspiration behind this all, be sure and check out my previous post ADVENT | CALENDAR ONE*

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

#fbf | farmland adventures

When we first had kids, it was my goal to document our family adventures so that we could look back on these years and have real, tangible memories/stories to share together. My memory is less than stellar, so documenting our life is the only hope I have of savoring these moments.

This interesting thing happened, however.  Our first child came at the tail end of my first year of teaching, and only 10 1/2 months into our marriage.  Fast forward seven months, and suddenly I was staring at another positive pregnancy test.  In a blink, we had two in under a year and a half.  I have simply been trying to catch my breath ever since.

Now that Eisley is a year, and Copeland two and a half, I finally feel like I can actually be productive again.  The blinding fog is beginning to lift.  Hallelujah!

Therefore, I have decided to embrace the #FBF (non hashtag users, that stands for flashback fridays) and dedicate the occasional Friday posts to memories of days past.

Because when my babies are no longer babies… I want to remember these hardest days of my life.  Even in living through some hard momma days, I know the saying is oh so true.

These are the best days of my life.

…and I don’t want to miss a blessed thing.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

…and remembering why this sweet little face was so excited is worth the time it takes to document it.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

Farmland Adventures 2014

Our first Flashback Friday post is in honor of this beautiful Fall we are having.  I love this time of year.  The cool crisp air feels good in my lungs and does magical things to my soul.

We loved the idea of starting a family tradition of visiting a corn maze/pumpkin patch every year with the kids during the fall and decided 2014 would be the year to start.

We found a local farm that spends a significant amount of time on their amazing corn mazes as well as has a lot of other activities available such as a petting zoo, pig races, wagon ride, pumpkin patch, etc.

Eisley was only three weeks at the time, so she spent her day being worn by Mommy while Copeland explored.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

This animal loving boy was in hog, or maybe goat, heaven. He loved feeding and petting the animals and could not wait to see what was in the next pen.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

And this sweet face that I love so much.  This face was during the pig races.  Y’all, I don’t know a thing about how the races went.  I simply could not get enough of him.  There is something so special about watching the world through a toddler’s eyes.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

The corn box was another favorite.  He loved it so much that I half considered making one for our back yard.  (Let’s be real… I only half considered.  My sanity returned quickly.) We may have picked corn off of him for the next day or so but it was completely worth it.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

We finished up our morning with pony rides.  I know that these pictures don’t show a smiley, happy boy… but oh man.  Copeland cried such huge tears when his turn was over that I am pretty sure I heard my heart break in two.  We immediately let him ride again, but as anyone with a newborn knows… when the baby says it’s time to go, it’s time to go.  With a little Daddy, and a little distraction, our boy did well saying goodbye to his furry friends as we left our first Farmland Adventures outing.

And thus was the beginning of our first fall tradition.

farmland adventures | ponytailsandpajamas.com

As an added perk, the pumpkins we picked from the pumpkin patch made for a pretty cute little photo session later on at our house.  😉