Our children’s school offers an Outdoor Ed. class once a week for students in Kindergarten – 3rd grade, and I volunteer as a helper for both James’ and Clara’s classes.
This year, one of the teachers made an amazing “nature-inspired” Advent Wreath for the outdoor ed space.
Isn’t it fantastic!?
There’s a common misconception that Christian schools are the same as public schools — just with a Bible class tacked on at some point during the day — but that really couldn’t be further from the truth.
Every subject, every extracurricular activity, and every learning opportunity throughout the day is infused with evidence of the Creator. Our children are able to see Christ in all aspects of their school experience.
It’s fun to be on the parenting side of Christian education after being a student for 17 years (including college), a daughter of a Christian school teacher for 30+ years, and a wife of a Christian school teacher for 17 years now.
Seeing my children learning a variety of “secular” subjects through faith-filled lenses is one of my favorite things!
FAVORITE MOMENT = A New Nativity
Would you believe that I’m down to just ONE bin of Christmas decorations!?!
I have a few different Alpine trees, but just one bin of decorations for our entire house.
Even still, our home feels festive with the twinkling tree lights, it sounds festive with Christmas music playing in the background, and it smells festive as I usually light a candle this time of year — so I really don’t need to go overboard on decorations.
I’m committed to keeping our Christmas decorations to a minimum for now — but I did find THE cutest Nativity on Facebook Marketplace… yup, I bought it!
It’s the perfect Nativity for my farmhouse style — and very different from our other Nativity (which Dave’s Grandma made for us).
FAVORITE TRADITION = Candy Countdown
Last week, someone asked about our favorite holiday traditions, and I had to stop and think for a bit because we don’t have many true traditions that we do year after year.
We don’t open our gifts at a certain time, we don’t drive around and see the lights on a certain day, we don’t have Christmas parties on the same day each year… but then I remembered our Candy Countdown Chain!
I started this a few years ago and it’s always a HUGE hit with the kids (and SOOOO easy to throw together!)
This year, I really surprised them by starting on December 1 — with 25 different types of candy!
In previous years, I’ve stuck with 12, or even 10 if I get a late start — but I just so happened to be at the dollar store right after Thanksgiving break and realized I could stock up on candy and start the countdown on December 1.
It cost me $16 for all the candy — I had the plastic wrap and ribbons in the house already — so for $16 and 20 minutes of work, I get to give all 4 kiddos a fun treat every day until Christmas.
I’d say that’s a pretty good return on my investment.
This candy countdown chain is a really fun, simple, frugal, at-home, clutter-free tradition that helps to build anticipation for any upcoming event (birthday, back-to-school, summer bread, Christmas, vacation, etc.)
RELATED READING: How to make a candy countdown chain.
PAST FAVORITE = One-Line-A-Day Journal
I’ve always enjoyed writing and have kept some sort of journal since I was in 7th grade.
In my younger years, my journal entries could be pages and pages… but these days, I have better things to do than spend 45 minutes a day journaling about my life.
I came across the idea of a one-line-a-day journal several years ago and have loved it ever since.
The idea is to write just one sentence or thought every day… and stick with it for 5 or 10 years (with the same date’s sentences eventually ending up all on one page for easy reference later on).
This would be such a fun, simple, and frugal Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list!
FAVORITE CLOTHING = Fingerless Gloves
I’ve worn my favorite fingerless gloves for a decade now…
I absolutely LOVE these gloves!
They are lightweight, yet still soft and warm on the inside.
They are black — so they don’t show dirt, and they are easily washable.
Best of all, they have a removable thumb covering as well!
I have actually driven back to the grocery store to hunt through dozens of carts in the parking lot in order to retrieve these gloves when I accidentally left them in my cart — they are that valuable to me!
Seriously, life without thumbs is really hard — and thumbs inside mittens aren’t super usable.
I purchased a pair for Nora for Christmas — I hope she loves them as much as I do!
FAVORITE BOOK = Kisses from Katie
I officially got my first book recommendation from Nora!
She read Kisses From Katie and then passed it on to me — it’s very inspiring.
I heard about Katie Davis when I was in college — she’s only a couple years younger than I am and went to Uganda right after high school. When Dave and I were just married, she was in the process of adopting 13 Ugandan girls (as a single woman).
If you’re looking for an inspirational story to read over Christmas break, try Kisses From Katie.
READ THE BOOK: Kisses From Katie
FAVORITE MEDIA = Home Alone
Truthfully, it’s really not all that “wholesome” — rich-snob kids who are disrespectful and disobedient to their parents, negative family dynamics, swearing, etc. but I do love how the family eventually all rallies together at the end (as well as Kevin’s unlikely friendships with the neighbor man and the pigeon lady).
Our boys especially just can’t stop giggling from the time the robbers enter the home until the end of the movie. It’s more fun for me to watch THEM than it is to actually watch the movie.
FAVORITE RECIPES = Christmas Cookies
I didn’t do much baking over the summer, and I haven’t made all that many cookies this fall… so everyone is excited that I’m baking again for the holidays!
If you’re looking for easy, family-friendly holiday treats that use ingredients you probably already have in the house, let me hook you up!
Simple Christmas Favorites:
- The perfect cut-out sugar cookies
- Spiced molasses cookies
- Creamy lemon bars
- 4-layer caramel peanut butter fudge
- The most delicious (from a box) bundt cake
RELATED READING: Find your new favorite recipe in my virtual recipe box!
FAVORITE ARCHIVED POST =
We continue to scale back on gifts each year — but there are always those few people you absolutely must give a gift to, even though they don’t need anything.
If you have a few of those people on your list, this archived post should help!
Read the post: 5 Simple Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has Everything
That’s all for this month.
If you’re interested, you may scroll through all my Favorite Things posts HERE!