Advent Treasure Hunt!

Today is the first day to check off on your Advent Calendar!!! You may have seen my Advent Guide – if not, I’d love for you to check it out! I look forward to celebrating the Christmas season with my kiddos pretty much all year long, and typically start coming up with fun ideas in mid October. I always, however, end up working on my plans at the very last minute at the end of November. The Advent Guide helps me have a general plan already in place, and keeps me inspired to create a fun holiday atmosphere at my house each year.

This year we are doing clue hunt and I just spent about an hour (interrupted about a million times) coming up with some ridiculous rhymes for my older two to solve. I’m sharing them mostly just for fun, but also to encourage you to think about ways that you can create a fun holiday spirit at your house. These silly clues will be in our advent calendar and will lead them to the day’s Note. The Notes explain a little something about Christmas, God, Jesus, or some other faith based tidbit and may be accompanied by a small gift or surprise activity for the day. Check out our previous posts about Advent for more ideas!

So, here ya go! A list of silly rhyming clues for our Advent Calendar hunt this year!


  1. Decipher this clue if you are able, and find your first note under the __(table)____.


  1. A clue hunt is a very fun thing – to find your next note look under the __(swing)____.


  1. What could today’s note have in it? You’ll find out if you look in the living room _(cabinet)____.


  1. Hiding in a spot that is snug as a bug, today’s note is beneath the front hallway _(rug)_____.


  1. Today’s special note you don’t want to lose! Look in the cabinet where you keep your _(shoes)_____.


  1. When Barrett is poopy and smells really bad, we lay him down on his changing _(pad)______.


  1. If you play these alone it’s just not the same – go look in the cabinet where we keep the __(games)______.


  1. If someone sat on you, it would make you say ‘ouch!’ – It’s much better to sit on the big leather _(couch)___.


  1. Can you find today’s note? I think you can, maybe. Look in the spot where we dress our sweet _(baby)__.


  1. You’ll figure out this clue bc you are clever and smart. Go to the room where we do our _(art)____.


  1. When it is really cold outside, we wear super warm clothes. We put these things on whenever it _(snows)__.


  1. Without four-on-the-floor, you’ll get a stare – so don’t rock back and forth when you’re in this _(chair)__.


  1. This note you will find with one little look under the basket where we keep library __(books)____.


14. Are you done with this game, or would you like more? If you do, see what you’ll find on the back _(door)___.


  1. When Barrett’s clothes get dirty from a big diaper ‘fail,’ we put them into his new jungle __(pail)___.


  1. When Mommy is nursing it’s easy to find her, she’s usually sitting in the big brown __(recliner)____.


  1. Clue hunting isn’t as tough as you think – today’s note is waiting in Granmama’s bathroom __(sink)___.


  1. When you mail a letter you must use a stamp. When you light up a room, you turn on a __(lamp)____.


  1. A pillow is a great place to lay down your head, when you climb into your mom and dad’s __(bed)___.


  1. If you tend to get chilly, turn the heat up a smidge, bc today’s note can be found in the __(fridge)___!


  1. When you are dirty you must scrub-a-dub-dub, look for today’s note in the bathroom _(tub)___.


  1. Our dressers are all lined up in rows, in the big room where we wash all of our __(clothes)____.


  1. This is the last clue! It is Christmas Eve! Look where Santa leaves presents if you __(believe)____!


***Please disregard any poor grammar or spelling – or sentences that make no sense in this post. Our house is totally nuts tonight and I find it impossible to think with my new little human protesting the distance between us. 😉




Advent Guide 2013

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving 2013. For the past two years I have been sick from about Thanksgiving through January. It’s a talent. This year I am GOING to be healthy if it kills me. I refuse to get sick. So don’t breathe on me. 😉   smashwordscover2013If you would like to freshen up on the advent guide posts that I provided last year, all of the information in the Guide is included, you just can’t access it as easily as the downloadable or printable versions. I have been busy this year and haven’t edited the POD version of the Advent Guide yet, but hope to get around to it in the next few days, because I really like to have the book to hold. It is nice to not get on the computer more often than necessary while we are celebrating, in effort to create a more unique and ‘special’ atmosphere for the holidays.   I have, however, updated the text only ebook version. If you would like to be able to download the ebook, it is available on Smashwords for $3.99, and FREE for the first 5 people that SHARE this post either on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or with an email announcement to your circle of friends that may be interested in joining in on the fun! Simply like and share this post, then comment to let me know and I will give you your very own coupon code for your free copy.   Soon we will have a version available with the photos, but not today. 😉 christmas paper houses Of course, I have some new ideas for making our own calendar again this year. Wouldn’t want to make it easy on myself and use one of the previous three years’ calendars. 😉 I momentary considered the $1 felt calendar at Target this week, but I actually really enjoy crafting…and I feel cheated if I don’t allow myself to pick a new project each year. So, here is one more suggestion for a fun advent calendar to create this year, if you want to follow along. 🙂 I like to have a calendar that makes is clear to my little people that the days are disappearing and the big day is creeping up, so I am holding off on the one piece calendars with pockets, doors, or drawers. I have done three styles of calendars so far: foam pocket ornaments (these are the original directions in the guide), traditional chain links, and handmade scrapbook notes folded as envelopes with notes inside. We have a ton of holiday scrapbook paper from some previous craftiness, so this year we are going to make paper houses. calendar with houses   I will cut the paper, write the advent notes on the ‘wrong side’ of the paper, fold them into houses, and number them. We will then proceed to organize them in the appropriate order and open one each day. I’m hoping that it turns out as adorable as I imagine…but you know how that goes, if you have ever tried to recreate something you saw on Pinterest. I will post photos for you all to feel thoroughly inspired by (or mock 😉 ) as soon as I actually get it done. I’m waiting until after Thanksgiving this year. I know…so unlike me. But I’ve been busy turning pumpkins and the cardboard that our new window came in (you may recall the grouse incident) into traditional Thanksgiving decorations. In fact, I’ll leave you with that. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy your holiday, and I look forward to hearing about how you plan to incorporate the Advent Guide into your Christmas celebrations this year. 🙂



Mary, the pregnant donkey, and other manger scene buddies…

One of the churches in our area provides the public a free walking tour Live Nativity every year. This was our first time, and I have to say, they do a pretty good job with it!


There was a hayride from a shopping center parking lot..after a bit of a wait in line, but not too is Hadley being silly while we wait “patiently” –


During the hayride, we were intercepted and followed by “Roman soldiers” on horseback inquiring about our intentions. The kids thought that was pretty awesome.



Once we arrived in the Battlefield park we had a guided walking tour through 10 reenactment scenes, including Angels, the Holy family, sheep, camels, and yes…even a pregnant donkey named Mary.



I loved it, and for the most part, I think the kids thought it was pretty neat…my only regret was informing them at the outset that there would be cookies and hot chocolate to be had. Every three or four minutes on the tour, Hadley whispered up to me, “Mommy, where are the cookies? I thought there were going to be cookies?” When we finally arrived at the hospitality tent at the end, the nice lady at the front of the cookie table told my children they could have as many cookies as they wanted. Hmmm…not sure that was a good plan. lol (They remind me of the Herdmans in this picture. 😉 )



The good news for them is, they got to have a wonderful first holiday adventure…and the good news for me?…they were plum tuckered out. This little human turns into the Tazmanian Devil’s evil twin sister most night’s at bedtime…and any night that she falls asleep without bouncing off the walls is good for me. 😉



I hope that your first few countdown days went well! Let me know how it goes!

Ta-Da! Your very own copy of the Advent Guide AWAITS!

So today is the big day, right? Did any of you start your Advent Calendar Countdown today?

The plan, on my end, is to post pics of what really goes on at our house when we do our Advent activities. 😉 My goal when starting projects with the little people is to help them have fun, and try my best to have fun too…and not to focus on perfection.

Today, I provide you with the link to the ebook! It may be purchased for $3.99 – and the first five people to like this blog entry will receive a coupon code for a free copy!

Enjoy! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

making gb houses

God made you special!

Hadley has the rather unfortunate fate of being a December baby. His original due date was actually Christmas Day – no kidding. Thankfully he was ready to come out a good deal before then, and he has over a week between birthday and Christmas.


We have worked diligently to make his birthday special and unique. Rather than rolling it into one big month of Christmas, we switch the Advent Calendar Notes around a bit to do God made you special on his birthday, rather than the 23rd. Of course, we include Afton in that, as well.


That is one of the great things about the customized calendar you are creating – you adapt it to meet the needs of your family. Use what you want, when you want it, and leave the rest for another time.


If only I could figure out a way to convince my three year old that it isn’t HER birthday, too…we may have a little challenge on our hands this year!


Day 23

God made you special



Talk with your child about the day of his or her birth (or how they came to be a part of your family), how long you had to wait to meet them once you discovered they were coming, and how special it was when they finally arrived. Explain to them that God also knew them and loved them before they were even born! Talk about how God knows the number of hairs on their head, and every little thing about them, and how much God loves them because God made them special.


Psalm 139: 1-5, 13-16

New Living Translation


1O LORD, you have examined my heart

and know everything about me.

2You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

3You see me when I travel

and when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

4You know what I am going to say

even before I say it, LORD.

5You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.


14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

16You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.



John 3:16-17

New International Version (NIV)


16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me! this I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong;

they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me!

The Bible tells me so.




Day 24

Celebrate Jesus Birthday


If you include Santa in your holiday activities, you get a two for one deal with today’s activities!


Invite your child to bake with you in the kitchen today, creating birthday cookies for Jesus, which you can then leave a few of for Santa. Remind your child that tonight is very special, not only because they will be presents in the morning, or even that you get to spend time together, but because it is Jesus’ birthday. Place a candle in one (or a small stack) and sing this Happy Birthday, Jesus song  and allow your child to blow the candle out.


If you are of a mind to include Santa, snuggle up before bedtime to read T’was the night before Christmas together as a family. Set out your cookies, carrots, and milk, and tuck those kiddos into bed!


Now it’s off to bed with you, too, right?!?




Try your best to enjoy this night of pre-Christmas morning prep, getting as much sleep as possible before your little angels come to announce the sunrise!


Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We’re glad you came to earth.

We take this very special day

To celebrate your birth.


What is your favorite Christmas Eve tradition? Do you open one gift? Do you attend a church service? Do you read a special book or story? We’d love to hear what your special plans are! You just might inspire someone else!