Only 5 days to go! I hope the kids make it. They are just full of anticipation, I tell you. And that is leading to some frayed nerves, I'm afraid. We have a big wooden castle thing (I don't know if I should call it an advent calendar, really, but I guess that's essentially what it is) with 24 doors that I fill with candy and little nutcracker ornaments. Each day the boys open a door and hang the little nutcracker on little pegs at the top of the castle. I'm ashamed to say it took my then 7-year-old last year to figure this out. Last year we tried hanging these tiny little things on the Christmas tree each day and that was just silly. Then J. (I'm tired of the nicknames, by the way) asked - on Christmas day, after we'd been doing this all month, what are the little door knobs on top for? I had one of the moments where you go, "DUH!" and counted them. Sure enough. There are 24 pegs. You hang the ornaments there! So we've been doing it right this year. Here's what it looks like so far:
Those little figures in front are part of a miniature manger scene. Starting about the 19th the kids also find parts of that scene each day in the little doors, culminating with the manger and baby on the 24th. Unfortunately this little fun thing was the cause of the fussing and fighting this morning. M. wanted to set it up one way, and J. didn't like it, so much weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued until I had to step in with some suggestions - "Just let him set it up how he wants and you can change it later! This is supposed to be a fun thing, I don't mind if it changes every 20 minutes until Christmas comes, just be nice to each other and enjoy it!" The boys totally ignored that and more weeping and gnashing continued until I told them they had lost the priviledge of playing with it at all. Bummer. They get to try again tomorrow - after a cool down period I talked to them about how this is supposed to just be a fun thing, and I think they get it now. We'll see. Such drama around here today!
I went ahead and did that baking I mentioned the other day, and I was ready for J. and M. to help, but they decided they would rather play army men in the playroom and build a gigantic fort with the blocks. Fine. By. Me. I got the M&M's blondies mixed and in the oven, and have just now pulled them out, smelling yummy. And the boys have been playing together so nicely for at least the last hour. And R. has been down for a long nap for over an hour - this is a big deal since she's been giving me about 20 minutes at the most the past few days. Ahhhhh.
Oh, here's a picture of the boys with their gingerbread houses they made when they spent the night with D.'s (Hubby's) parents so we could go out to dinner for our anniversary:
I took the picture this morning. Notice the shorts and short sleeves. We are having a much warmer than normal Christmas break this year, obviously.
And, just so the baby isn't left out here's one of R. playing with the stockings that fell off the fireplace the other day:
Oh, and here's one I forgot to post back when M. had his Christmas concert at school. He's the one in the Santa hat with the great smile:
And now I must bring this very long post to a close as the "Happy time" for the boys is apparently drawing to a close and I think a moderator (ME :-)) is going to need to step in shortly. Merry Christmas!