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
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.
Soup or salad - same ingredients, no different. It just all depends on how you prepare it.
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.
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!
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.
These are the basic ingredients I use when making salad or soup, scallops, shrimp, seafood medley, clams, and crab meat.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!"
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!
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!
I'll do this when I decorate, just to get a peripheral view of the room. Then I make changes if necessary.
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!
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!
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!
I keep a section in my closet for gowns and dressy items. I love to get decked out!
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.
You can't leave this out, otherwise it's not Christmas! In my home, I work hard to keep it Christ-centered!
This is my local grocery store. I always have fun when I go, especially if I have my daughter with me.
With the teens of course! My Hubby and I spend a lot of time with our teenagers. We've got great memories!
I like to give my kids wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and tape, and let them she how it feels to give!
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!
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!
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!"
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!"
This year, we had our shopping cart filled with gifts to give out to our favorite cashiers and customer service representatives!
My son is 14 now, and he still has a stuffed animal hanging from the wall in his room!
This will forever be a special memory for our grand daughter Angelyna. She complained a it, who wouldn't, he's got big hands!
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.
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.
When it comes to decorating, this gets put on the schedule too!
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.
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.
"This is my Bible, I am what it says that I am and, I can do what it says, I can do!"
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!
A box cake can take 15 minutes from start to the oven. This is one of the easiest things to do!
Our youngest children are teenagers. We are still parenting and creating memories for them.
As I was doing Diamond's hair, she thought she looked like one of the characters in the Grinch Christmas from Who-ville.
I always get excited when December 25th, lands on a Sunday. This means that everyone has to have a Christmas outfit for church!
Great time to go visiting, but don;t show up at someones' home empty handed if you plan to stay awhile, bring a dish!
My 25 year old daughter is a comedic actress, but she could care less about acting!
My daughter's got a sense of humor!
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.
We love to ride around during the Christmas Holiday and look at all the beautiful decorations. I even have videos from years ago!
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
Who doesn't have a prayer request? None of us are self-sufficient, we can't even sustain ourselves.
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.
I make treats for the holidays and then put them in Goody bags. It's a nice Favor!
Our Family favorite is Boggle! It's when the kids quiet don, focus, and concentrate. I good exercise!
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!
My daughter and grand children are so excited this Christmas Eve.
After we made the Brownies, we packaged them in cellophane paper.
I love games that make you think!
Prayer is simply talking to God, but here Diamond is writing a list of things she wants!
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.
When you have a large family, order, structure, and quick and easy with out cutting corners is always the way to go!
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.
I'm sure they remember what they watched. I just remember a lot of noise coming from the family room!
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!
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!.
This was another great memory, when my sons worked together building a ginger bread house in my craft room.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
I'm sure he was cracking up about something, but I don't remember what it was.
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!
This photo was taken 5 years ago with 5 of my seven daughters. We have such an awesome fellowship when we get together!
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!
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.