Sunday Stealing: The "Are You?" Meme
Field Trip: Lion Country Safari

Every Day Is A Gift.

Christmas is coming.

Every year, or just about, I try to do a different Advent calendar with the kids. Usually I make them, but this year I bit the bullet and got them each the LEGO one. Jack is an enormous LEGO fan - almost exclusively LEGO City - and the girls are LEGO Friends fans, so I knew this would be a Mom Win.

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Of course, I was right. They were doing a countdown to Advent for a week before we started, having seen the calendars arrive in early November. On the first of December, they were up early, begging to open the first day's slot.


I managed to get a shot of one of the girls' calendars before it was opened. (They are both the same, and I thought about having them share one, but that's not really fair...)


My dad put together this three-shelf case when he was here last week, and it's supposed to go into the girls' room for books when they get it clean enough. For now, though, it is acting as LEGO Advent Calendar holder. I don't know where I'm going to put them when they get that room clean, but the way that is going, I have nothing to worry about.


Putting together the first day's treat


Sophie showing off her "Mia" minifigure


That same night, Monday, I told the kids if they did something homeschool-y (I know that's vague, but I can't remember what it was), I'd let them open a present of my choosing. I find it so hard to resist giving presents early! Naturally, they wanted a present and achieved whatever goal it was, so I arranged the four of them on the living room rug to open their gifts.


The girls love the NERF Rebelle series of toys, so I gave them these rapid-fire toy guns, "Rapid Red." They haven't been put away yet, so I guess that was a good choice!


Jack's reaction looks lukewarm, but really it was the camera operator's error. He was stoked, having wanted earphones for an age and a half!


Indeed, my little blond boy has been using them with his Kindle ever since.


Victoria's reaction to this aquarium actually was rather lukewarm, until we put batteries in it and the fish lit up and started "swimming," and then she seemed more into it. I hope she was...

I gave her little sisters, Belén and Melodie-Grace, their presents that night also, but I didn't get photos of those. Belen was given some Frozen-themed activity books, and Melodie-Grace got "Baby's First Christmas" booties.


I couldn't resist the great deal I got on yet another Advent calendar, this time from Starbucks. That came on the 3rd day of December, so we had some catching up to do! (No Longer Available?)


So far, every day has had a chocolate piece in it, and you know what? Rob and I don't mind a bit.


On Thursday, the 4th, I let my kidoodles have another present. I just couldn't resist, you know? It's hard.

Chloë chose to open a big one, which turned out to be another NERF Rebelle toy: the "Agent Bow" and arrow set. It was hard for her at first, but once I watched her and realized she was letting go of the arrow but not the bowstring, she's been Katniss Everdeen-ing around the house ever since.


Just a bit ago, during the writing of this post, she shot at the table full of recyclables. Um, oops?! (Turns out the kid has good aim!)


Jack, who clearly needs a haircut beyond badly, chose his smallest visible present: This quad-copter hover-crafty thing that is as cool as it is small. (It's tiny!)


Jack says it flies really well. He's completely enamored with it. If you have a mechanically-inclined, remote-control vehicle-lover on your gift list, I heartily recommend this one!


Ever since Jack opened his matching blue headphones, Sophie has been asking begging for a pair of her own. Little did she know... so I steered her toward that package Thursday night, and she was delighted when she opened it!


Like Jack, Sophie has also been living in her headphones ever since, every chance she gets.


Last night, I gave them these Minecraft Creeper keychains I had made for them by a maker on Etsy. I was trying so hard not to give them anything else before we actually started our Twelve Days of Christmas on the 14th, but alas, I fail at gift-withholding. I didn't think they would be super excited about these small trinkets, but they all were! Yay!

(Note to self: turn off the flash, so the kids don't blink and look less enthused than they really are!)

That's it for now. I haven't photographed the daily Advent openings, but I'm hoping to get a shot of everything all at the end, on Christmas Eve.