The Holidays is a great opportunity to make memories.  When we preserve these memories, we create traditions.

 

This is the Advent Calendar I made for our family to hold the Advent cards we use to decide what events or activities we will participate in.  We made it so that would have the flexiblity to change our minds.  

 

I am most pleased with this system because there are no promises to break.  With the versitility to more cards around,  it allows for greater opportunity and the unexpected which can also prove to be  a great memory.  

 

Families can focus on their own individuality and uniqueness and not make comparisons with other families that could cause insecurities later in life.  

The Advent Calendar

Caramel Apples
Caramel Apples

As a Scrapbooker, I could go all out with this project, but when I'm crunched for time, I'll used boxed cards and just embellish them to add a little personalizing.

Seafood Salad
Seafood Salad

Soup or salad - same ingredients, no different. It just all depends on how you prepare it.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

I boil the potatoes and place them in a bowl uncovered, then refrigerate. The next day, I pour off all the collected water from the bowl. then prepare my mixture, fill, and bake.

Vanilla Shake
Vanilla Shake

My two daughters and I were having a movie night, so I sneaked away to make these milk shakes. I used just what I had on hand. Vanilla ice cream, a can of cherries, cool whip, and peppermint candy canes!

Caramel Apples
Caramel Apples

The whole purpose of the calendar is to create memories, therefore you want to make sure that you do have what you need when you need it.

Frozen Seafood
Frozen Seafood

These are the basic ingredients I use when making salad or soup, scallops, shrimp, seafood medley, clams, and crab meat.

Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie

This is my pride and joy. I boil the potatoes the day before to let the water release and drain, then I peel. I've never used a recipe other than my own, but I'll pick up a ready made pie crust in a minute!

Milk Shake Anyone?
Milk Shake Anyone?

I just happened to have everything I needed! Yeah right! My baking cabinet is usually stocked with items for deserts and entertaining, this way I can whip something up in a flash - always know what you have!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it comes to baking, I base my decision on time, energy, mood, or inspiration. I can be inspired by a recipe, or I can be motivated by the Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Dough from the freezer aisle!

Home Made Brownies
Home Made Brownies

The best brownies I ever made was from a recipe I got from a friend, but this is a boxed brownie recipe. I added raisins, nuts, white and dark chocolate morsels, for a home made taste.

Snapshot
Snapshot

Although I was standing in front of the mirror, I was not trying to get myself in this picture - I was just checking out the view.

Christmas Cards
Christmas Cards

I do this each year with my kids. I teach them the importance of people. This is often how I find out who they like and who, "I'm not giving them a card, they don't deserve it - to!"

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Excellent! We put them in decorative bags that helped keep them fresh, then stored the individual bags in a container with a tight lid. These treats make great favors!

Brownies
Brownies

The recipe allows for both cake-like and fudge brownies. I go right in between, this was it's not to gooey, it's will be just right!

Taking A Snapshot
Taking A Snapshot

I'll do this when I decorate, just to get a peripheral view of the room. Then I make changes if necessary.

Advent, Christmas cards
Advent, Christmas cards

I collect Christmas cards all year long. I like them to be interesting, but also say what I would say; however, I really enjoy making my own, if I could nab the time!

Memorizing Scripture
Memorizing Scripture

When I home schooled, I would teach my kids Bible verses through rhythm - as in a song, or poem. Till this day, even my older kids will recall the verses in the same way!

Food Shopping
Food Shopping

I admit, we spend a lot of time in the grocery store. We're friendly with the managers, cashiers, and other people you only see when you go grocery shopping. It's where the neighbors meet!

All Dressed Up
All Dressed Up

I keep a section in my closet for gowns and dressy items. I love to get decked out!

Gift Wrapping
Gift Wrapping

With 13 kids, you could imagine that it was tiresome at the very least! Now we have 17 grand children. You know what I've been using....that's right, decorative BAGS.

The Christmas Story
The Christmas Story

You can't leave this out, otherwise it's not Christmas! In my home, I work hard to keep it Christ-centered!

Grocery Shopping
Grocery Shopping

This is my local grocery store. I always have fun when I go, especially if I have my daughter with me.

A Night Out
A Night Out

With the teens of course! My Hubby and I spend a lot of time with our teenagers. We've got great memories!

Wrap It Up
Wrap It Up

I like to give my kids wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and tape, and let them she how it feels to give!

Mr. & Mrs. Claus
Mr. & Mrs. Claus

Two years ago, my Hubby and I wanted to show our appreciation to the cashiers who had served us all year, so we gave each one of them a Christmas bag with 3 pairs of different-colored leg warmers. They were so excited, but we were Blessed!

Holiday Bear
Holiday Bear

This was an idea my son came up with. One evening he dressed his bear in his clothing. His shoes were even on the bears feet. We had a good laugh, I'm so glad I photographed that memory!

Pop Pop and Angelyna
Pop Pop and Angelyna

Our daughter gave birth to twin girls, so she now has 5 daughters. The Hubby and I went over to her home to give her a helping hand. What did she need dad to do? "Why to take the braids out Angelyna's hair!"

Decorate The Tree
Decorate The Tree

When it comes to decorating and design, I agree, that you can't rush art. My Hubby would often ask me, "What are we gonna do with this or that, and I would say, 'Honey, I'm not up to that stage yet!"

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

This year, we had our shopping cart filled with gifts to give out to our favorite cashiers and customer service representatives!

Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear

My son is 14 now, and he still has a stuffed animal hanging from the wall in his room!

Pop Pop Combing Hair?
Pop Pop Combing Hair?

This will forever be a special memory for our grand daughter Angelyna. She complained a it, who wouldn't, he's got big hands!

Decorating
Decorating

About 5 years ago, I started decorating my tree while listening to Amy Grants Christmas and Donna summer. Though I put them away for the season, these CD's are close enough for me to reach them.

Play A Game
Play A Game

My kids loved to play outside in the snow. But what I don't miss is the water puddles on the floor each time they went in and out. You see, that's another memory right there.

A Family Tradition This has been a tradition in our family to come together at the table and read the Biblical account of Salvation. This is really what Christmas is about. The supernatural birth of the Son of Man and the Son of God.

Decorate The House
Decorate The House

When it comes to decorating, this gets put on the schedule too!

Jesus Birthday Cake
Jesus Birthday Cake

No, He's not coming down to eat the cake any more than the fictional character of Santa will eat the cookies and milk laid out on the table or left by the fireplace.

Playing in The Snow
Playing in The Snow

This photo was taken 5 years ago. It may still be a fresh in their mind, but the more time that passes by the more meaning each memory will have.

Bible
Bible

"This is my Bible, I am what it says that I am and, I can do what it says, I can do!"

Red Lights
Red Lights

I've decorated with clear, blue, pink, yellow, green, but of all the colors, Red to me, is the most comforting. But if we're talking celebratory, it's the clear, which I use on my artificial trees all year long!

Baking A Cake
Baking A Cake

A box cake can take 15 minutes from start to the oven. This is one of the easiest things to do!

Go for a ride
Go for a ride

Our youngest children are teenagers. We are still parenting and creating memories for them.

Hair Do or Don't
Hair Do or Don't

As I was doing Diamond's hair, she thought she looked like one of the characters in the Grinch Christmas from Who-ville.

Dressing Up
Dressing Up

I always get excited when December 25th, lands on a Sunday. This means that everyone has to have a Christmas outfit for church!

Car Ride
Car Ride

Great time to go visiting, but don;t show up at someones' home empty handed if you plan to stay awhile, bring a dish!

Family Fun Ride
Family Fun Ride

My 25 year old daughter is a comedic actress, but she could care less about acting!

Who-ville?
Who-ville?

My daughter's got a sense of humor!

The Christmas Coat
The Christmas Coat

By the time I got this outfit for my daughter, she was having a growth spurt. This coat came with the matching hat and gloves. Too bad she was the youngest of our 7 daughters, no one to pass it on to.

The Car Ride
The Car Ride

We love to ride around during the Christmas Holiday and look at all the beautiful decorations. I even have videos from years ago!

Advent Cards
Advent Cards

This is a photograph of the Advent cards I made to go inside the pocket of my Advent calendar. Each year I add other events because life is always changing.

Holiday Advent Cards

A Prayer Request
A Prayer Request

Who doesn't have a prayer request? None of us are self-sufficient, we can't even sustain ourselves.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

I do this all holiday long. Sometimes people are surprised when I say, "Happy Thanksgiving, or Merry Christmas" as if they forgot what season we're in.

The Good Bag
The Good Bag

I make treats for the holidays and then put them in Goody bags. It's a nice Favor!

Bored Games
Bored Games

Our Family favorite is Boggle! It's when the kids quiet don, focus, and concentrate. I good exercise!

Prayer Request
Prayer Request

Since they were little, I have always taught my children to pray. The Bible says that men are always to pray, and not give up!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

My daughter and grand children are so excited this Christmas Eve.

Brownies
Brownies

After we made the Brownies, we packaged them in cellophane paper.

Game Night
Game Night

I love games that make you think!

Prayer Request Anyone?
Prayer Request Anyone?

Prayer is simply talking to God, but here Diamond is writing a list of things she wants!

Wishing You A Merry Christmas
Wishing You A Merry Christmas

My two boys and my neighbor's grandson have been friends for 5 years now. They still stay in touch and communicate often on their Play Station 4.

Brownies
Brownies

When you have a large family, order, structure, and quick and easy with out cutting corners is always the way to go!

Game Night
Game Night

What's great about the Advent Calendar, is that you can do as much, or as little as you want. On this day, we were able to have family devotion, and talk about what we're thankful for, and play a game.

Movie?
Movie?

I'm sure they remember what they watched. I just remember a lot of noise coming from the family room!

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

I had 3 of my seven daughters and a grandson over for dinner this Sunday afternoon. We decided to stop at ShopRite for a few items, then we ran into Santa! My grandson Camryn was overjoyed!

Beauty Bath Splash
Beauty Bath Splash

A 29 years ago Tradition began with my 4 oldest daughters. Christmas Morning we'd have a Beauty Day. Bath, fragrances, and a Christmas Outfit. Now, this photo was taken of Diamond 3 years ago, my 7th girl!.

Gingerbread
Gingerbread

This was another great memory, when my sons worked together building a ginger bread house in my craft room.

Watch A Movie
Watch A Movie

At least that's what they said they were doing, I guess it was on the cell phone! lol The did, finally settle down and watch movie. My daughter Jada lives on her own and is unmarried, so she comes over often.

Wishing You A Merry Christmas
Wishing You A Merry Christmas

This was a nice memory, and an unusual combination. I'm glad I took this photo because this set of siblings hardly cross each others paths on random days of the week!

Beauty Day
Beauty Day

This photo was actually taken on Diamond's 13th Birthday. I invited her best friend Kathryn over, and we had a beauty day. I did their hair, nails, and even a pedicure. Then dinner, a movie, and gifts.

Building It Together
Building It Together

This is a memory my sons will have that will keep their relationship strong. They have also learned that these types of activities are not just for girls! As a home school mom, I took care of that!

Frosty Maker
Frosty Maker

Automation in the kitchen. I am not one of the wives that would be insulted if I didn't get a diamond.... although I'm due for another one! I'll take an appliance too!

Dressing Up
Dressing Up

I have always loved to get dressed up, as a matter of fact, I am due for a makeover. I have been contemplating about this for about 4 or 5 months and I'm ready to experiment with a new look!

Holiday Bear
Holiday Bear

As a mom, I always tucked a cuddly stuffed animal under my babies to keep them warm and help them feel secure. My 25 year old still has hers from when she was 9.

Jokes
Jokes

I'm sure he was cracking up about something, but I don't remember what it was.

Shake Machine
Shake Machine

My daughter gave me this machine that is perfect for blending all kinds of shakes. It even crushes ice, that's how I made this frosty!

Me and My Girls
Me and My Girls

This photo was taken 5 years ago with 5 of my seven daughters. We have such an awesome fellowship when we get together!

Lamb Chops
Lamb Chops

My daughter loves Lamb Chops. We she stays over nigh, her brotherslike to hide Lammy. Her Dad always makes jokes about being on the grill. Jada will go balistic when she can't find Lammy!

The Love of My Life
The Love of My Life

I'm always taking snapshots of my Hubby, even when he's sleeping. We have a lot of laughs together, and always enjoy each others company.