Monday, December 1, 2014

Be a Restful (& FUN) Place of Thoughtfulness...

{source: me. our advent almost done...#reallifeyall)

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
Well, it's December 1st...what??? How did that happen!? Wasn't summer 2014 just ending...

Today we are all cooped up inside as Branson quickly shuts down life when old Mister Winter comes to town. I kind of don't mind...pjs, lazy mornings, snuggles and lots of play time.

So with December 1st comes for our family the 24 fun filled days of our Advent. I started this when little #1 was 3 years old. It's been something fun and easy and not stressful. Please don't let an Advent calendar stress you out. I just search, pin and print. Then I add small, not expensive little activities to each day with a verse that we read together each day as a family that always brings conversation of the true meaning of Christmas. I am not a present hater or against Santa. That is one of our days is to go do our annual screaming kids picture with Santa at Bass Pro. They give you a free pic! Love that! Anyways, we are learning any chance we can we want to point the 4 little hearts we have in our home to Jesus...not presents, but Jesus. Not trees, but Jesus. Not cookies, but Jesus. Not Santa, but Jesus. Oh how we all need Jesus.

So why do one? It's by no means a requirement. It's just THOUGHTFUL. Oh how I want to be described as thoughtful...but I really have to strive to do so. It's so easy for my thoughts to be geared towards me, what I want, all my to-do lists, my kids' christmas gifts, and the list goes on and on. But as a momma...we have to stop and be thoughtful or our days with our kids slip through our fingers. Who am I kidding I already feel like I blinked once and #1 is 5 years old? I will do anything to slow down life a bit and embrace daily memory makers for my kids...our advent is filled with silly things like dance party to Shake it Off, make a video of us singing carols for their grandparents, late night donut run (late night means like 7:30 pm to our house), and one more dance party with fort building. We also have more serious ones like take food and gifts to our Giving Tree family, watch our Wedding video (our anniversary is this month) as a family, write our missionary friends a letter, color a coloring page (it's the same one each year. Thank you Diane Cooper for this idea). They don't take much effort or money. Just THOUGHTFULNESS.

So don't have one yet? It's not too late. 2 years ago I didn't start till December 10th. It's okay! Embrace imperfection (do you see the picture above...we haven't actually put ours together yet.) and do what you can!

Here are some ideas.

The Kanakuk Institute did an amazing job with an daily devotional advent calendar. You could just add the activities/memory makers to the back of them once you print them. Shay (my hubs and K1 director) is sending an email with the PDF attached. So check your inbox. If you don't get his email, email me and I'll forward it to you.

 So this is what ours will eventually (hopefully today as our December 1st activity is to put together the advent calendar) look like. So cute and little. I don't need anything huge in our house with 8 little hands all over! I just printed these out, cut, taped a toothpick and wrote out our activities and daily verse on the back. So easy!
Okay above is a list of activities and a reading plan if you have the Jesus Storybook Bible for kids. So cute. And again super easy! I must admit I just tried finding it on her blog sight and couldn't find it but I'm sure it's somewhere and I'm just very blonde and sleep deprived. You can find the picture on Pinterest by typing in Advent verses and scrolling down just a bit.
This is another great one I found on Pinterest. Just search Advent Verses or even free printable advent. Hundreds come up and they range from lots of craftiness required to not-so-much required. One year I used a shoe holder over the door, clothes pins and just circles with numbers.

This is an awesome list of activities! So easy and so memorable!

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
Kanakuk is better than the North Pole!

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