Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nevan's First Tree

Nevan just got her own place and we when we were talking the other day, she told me that she wanted to get a real Christmas tree this year.  In light of my 25 days of Christmas activities, this worked out great for me.  You see, I would love for my kids to have the experience of a real tree, but no mess for me (crazy childhood experience on my part, but that's an entirely different story).  There is a Christmas Tree farm in Tuttle that I had heard of which entails cutting down your own tree and other Christmas fun (hot cocoa, etc.).  I thought that would be the perfect place to go and suggested that we go with her.  Sadly enough, when the day came, I called the farm to see how late they were open and they informed me that they closed at five.  The Christmas Tree farm was not going to happen...

It was okay, though, because we just decided to get a tree from a Christmas Tree LOT (take that, tree farm!)  We actually went to not one, but TWO different lots and bought our own hot chocolate.  The first lot we went to was a boy scout lot down the street and then, just to comparison shop, we went to another lot in Moore.  Oddly enough, after all of our lot shopping, we ended up getting a tree at Walmart.  However, we still got the experience of walking through all the trees and the kids had a really good time.  We finished up the night with some shopping at Hobby Lobby (they had all Christmas decor 50% off!) and we even helped Nev put it all together.  I was happy to be able to spread my Christmas cheer to others. :)  This was a really great night. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Children's Play and Christmas Dinner

This was a BIG day in the Marlett house.  This was the day that our very shy son had his first speaking part in a play at church.  Not only did he have a part, but he VOLUNTEERED for the part.  Imagine our surprise when he informed us of his decision a couple months ago.  It went a little something like this:

(I get in car after church.  My family is already there.)

Brian: "Chance has something he wants to tell you."

Me: "What, Chance?"

Chance: "I'm going to be one of the hosts in the Christmas play."

Me: "WHAT?!?" (but at the same time trying to sound very positive and casual...) "That's so awesome buddy.  I love it!" quietly to Brian, "UMMM...does he realize that he is going to have to do this in front to the entire church??"

Brian: "yes, yes he does.  They told him if he's the narrator he doesn't have to sing."

Me: (this is making more sense to me now, but I'm still scared and have my doubts) "okay, very good!"

Secretly, I was terrified that it would sound like a good idea to him all through the practices and up to the very day...that is, until he saw all the PEOPLE and realized they would all be looking at him.  Don't get me wrong, he was definitely nervous on Sunday and he wasn't crazy about the whole scenario, but he had a quiet resignation about him and that's when I knew that everything would be okay.  Perhaps he would not go screaming from the church minutes before the play started.  It was going to all be okay...and it was!  He said he was really nervous, but I couldn't tell at all.  He did all of his lines without a hitch.  The program was very cute.  Ava was in the choir and she did an amazing job with all her songs.  When I asked Chance if this was the beginning of many more speaking parts in various plays, he insisted this was the one and only, but we'll see. :)

That evening, after the play, we had the annual church holiday dinner.  I thought these centerpieces made by the kids in the after school program were absolutely adorable. 

Chance isn't such a fan of church dinners.  He would rather have pb&j.  I think he was also still exhausted from his trying morning. :)

Don't ask...I'm not quite sure what's going on here...

Christmas Party

What says Christmas fun like yummy food, dirty santa, and LOTS of Christmas movies?  Well, that's exactly what we did on Saturday night.  We had some of our extended family and friends from the college over to our house for some Marlett Christmas fun.  A good time was had by all, especially the kids, because, unlike our annual Halloween scary movie event, they could attend all of THESE festivities.  They ate with us, watched fun Christmas movies and were our official helpers during the dirty santa game.  They were great and I think they had a really good time. 
This is the kids' official eating spot so they don't spill anything on the rug but can still watch t.v.

Bryan and Amanda brought over a basket of Christmas "happies" for us.  One of the things they brought for the kids was washcloths compressed into shapes that expanded in water...the kids and Amanda were trying them out.

Chance and Ava were the present-passer-outers.

They were waiting for the next number to be called...

Guess what I won?  A Sonic gift card.  How appropriate!  Someone loves me...

Ethel the mouse...a thrift store find.  Look for it at another dirty santa game near you coming soon! :)

Also funny: a used bigmouth bass.  Sometimes it sang the way it was supposed to and other times it made a horrible sound which made the whole thing even funnier.

Amanda was also a lucky winner of the night.  She got a Starbucks card.  woohoo

A Christmas Favorite

I got the idea for the Christmas candy countdown from a friend last year and the kids LOVED it, so, of course, I had to do it again!  I used to do a Christmas chain with them every year, which they did like, but the one with candy is even better (and cheaper than an advent calendar).  

All you do is pick out your candy of choice (the kids like Hershey Kisses, Daddy likes Reece's Peanut Butter Cups).  Then you cut a long piece of plastic wrap and line the candy in a row according to how many days you need.  Wrap the candy in a line and separate each piece with curling ribbon.  Then every night before bed, cut off the bottom piece and enjoy! :)

The kids cut the ribbon and line them up for me, but always want me to to the tying.  They get too tired and their hands hurt.  We drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music, too, so there is even more Christmas fun to be had.  I was really proud of myself for finding an awesome hot chocolate sampler at Sam's.  It had tons of flavors and will definitely last throughout the season.  Unfortunately, I guess it was too fancy because the kids have been unimpressed to far.  Back to the basics for them.  They want just plain jane hot cocoa.  Alas, it is going to be up to Mommy and Daddy to finish off the entire box.  (At the rate I'm going, I could probably finish it myself.  It is quite yummy!)

Well, there you have it.  Christmas fun day #4! :)

O Christmas Tree

I usually don't have little trees for the kids' rooms, but when I saw these very cute, tiny trees at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, I couldn't resist!  It took me quite awhile to figure out which of the numerous mini accessories to get, but I finally decided and hence: Christmas fun day #3.

 The kids were very excited to have their very own trees this year.  I think their very favorite part is that I actually got them lights to put on, too (a nice touch on my part!).  They keep them on all the time and the little trees provide a nice Christmas glow when they sleep.  Both insist that they no longer need the bathroom light for a night light anymore...we'll see about that.  It THAT were true, these trees may be a double bonus (and perhaps we'll just keep them in their bedrooms year round!) :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hanging of the Greens

For our second day of Christmas fun, we went with Daddy to Hanging of the Greens at Mid-America.  This is a fun time of snacks and crafts (ornaments, gingerbread houses, hot chocolate, fried donuts, pictures with Santa, etc.).  This is also a nostalgic event for Brian and I, something that stems back all of the way to our dating days!  The kids (especially Ava) like to go every year, so we make it a priority even though it is kind of late for them to be out.  They both made ornaments and Ava spent a good chunk of her evening making a gingerbread house that turned out really cute!  One of the highlights for me was spending some quality time with Chance who was done with his crafts after, ohhh...about 5 minutes!  Sometimes he's not crazy about being around crowds of people, so we just sat on the floor and talked for quite awhile.  He really seemed to open up that night and told me about all kinds of things that he usually keeps to himself.  It was very nice to spend that time with my son.  I love it when he lets me peek into his life.  He is getting older all the time, and I am acutely aware that he is not my "little" boy anymore.  I am very proud of the person he is becoming.

Just a side note, Justin (Brian's brother) was also in town this particular evening for a business trip.  This was a really big deal because he hasn't been to Oklahoma since Brian and I got married.  Unfortunately, it was a really quick, busy trip for him, so there wasn't a lot of time, but we did go to dinner before the stuff at the college and he got to come to our house for about 5 minutes.  It was great to see him and I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures.  It was a good evening all around. :)