12 Days of Christmas (pt 2)...

Our celebration of the 12 days of Christmas continue...

December 19
Only 6 days until Christmas – Spread holiday cheer with the HMMs

The year Caroline was born, Cindy and I decided that we wouldn't trade Christmas presents between the kids. We knew that we loved each others' kid(s) and that they loved each other, too. (Plus we both already have lots to take care of during the holidays and need another toy like a hole in our head).

Instead, the first few years we donated to the charity of our choosing. Then we decided that we wanted the kids to actually see and participate in an activity that gave back to our own community so we decided to donate food to the Brazos Valley Food Bank. We started this tradition last year and the bigs seemed to "get" it.

This year we met at "Old MacDonald's" to eat pre-shopping (because what really says "stop hunger" more than eating at a multi-billion dollar fast food chain) then headed to the HEB to do some shopping.

We let the kids pick out some items that they liked to eat to donate but also purchased staples like rice and tuna fish that the Food Bank needs year round.

(I love how Caro photo bombed this pic as they were "driving" by!)

Please note that Millicent is 16 months younger than Emersyn but her head is about 3 inches higher. 

This has become one of my favorite holiday activities. I think next year we will try to spend an evening at the Food Bank so the kids can see how much food they have but how much more they even need. 

I look at our kids and I see health and happiness. We don't exchange gifts because they really don't need one single thing. We bought baby food and diapers to donate as well. Can you imagine not having anything to feed your infant child? 

It makes me cry to just think about it and I hope that we are teaching our kids about what needing something really looks like.

Only 5 days until Christmas – Make new ornaments for Alfie’s tree

A few weeks ago we came back into town from Waco to find that Alfie, our Elf, had left the kids a tree. (Now before I go any further, I feel the need to clarify that we aren't really one of those families that gets crazy with the Elf. He typically just moves from living room to kitchen but he has left them a few fun things. I think we are a good happy medium. Ok - I feel better).

I found this felt Christmas tree on Pinterest and it has been one of my FAVORITE projects and activities for the kids. Super easy, super cheap, super FUN! Last week we decided that it needed more ornaments so away we went.

The kids picked out the shapes they wanted me to draw (so no judging - I made one B in my entire life. It was in art) (Well, except college, but let's not discuss those grades) and then cut away.

Using scissors is definitely a favorite activity of theirs. 

She wanted "pul-ple hawts and staws".

Landry provided great support!

Emmy actually did really well. I would move the felt around and she just cut away.

(Photo cred below belongs to Radley)

Not too bad.

Then she wanted to do it "all by myself."

This seriously kept us busy and happy for over an hour. 

Radley insisted on having a picture of me by the tree too since I helped so much. Isn't he the sweetest?

Only 4 days until Christmas – Sleep under the Christmas tree

I was looking forward to this activity the most on our countdown. I knew that Radley would be over-the-top excited and well, I obviously wanted to take a picture.

I enlisted the help of a former student/current photog to get the Fstop, ISO, shutter speed, etc.. all ready to go. We did a few practice shots while they were watching a movie and then all we had to do was wait.

I'm pretty sure I took 100 pictures of the tree like this.

And when it was time for them to sleep, wouldn't you know that they INSISTED on turning it off because it was so bright? HA!

So at 2:30am we woke up, plugged it in and snapped this picture above. The lights made Radley sit up, but he fell right back asleep and woke up so happy the next day!

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