The Season of Advent

I love the season of advent. Last year my children enjoyed working on a Jesse Tree my good friend Rowena had shared. This year Rowena has just announced an advent ebook available! Rowena is one of the most creative people I have ever met, and I can not wait to enjoy her book over the next four weeks.

Here are some other favorite ways to count down to Christmas:

  • The Advent Wreath. Three purple (traditionally catholic) or blue (traditionally protestant) candles and a single rose candle with an evergreen wreath around them. Light a purple for the first week of advent and add a candle for each week. The rose candle is lit on the third week. 
  • Paper Chains. My children love making them and ripping off a link for each day. We made ours last night. I love how they festively drape around their rooms at the beginning only to disappear as their excitement grows. 
  • The Jesse Tree. Twenty-five bible verses that tell the story of the bible through the resurrection. Each verse is accompanied by a simple symbolic craft to be hung on a tree branch. There are many variations on this. 



If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.
~W. Clement Stone

This year has been full of miracles big and small. 
I am thankful. Simple as that. 

My sister's blog on her family's experience with pediatric liver transplant. The beginning of her story starts here

Screen Time

Recently, we've been fighting a nasty cold virus so our routine is off. As my kids draped themselves over couches and complained of boredom, they began to ask for movies or video games to help pass the time. I tend to cave easily to sick, pleading, stuffy-nosed, little voices. Unfortunately, increasing their screen time has never been a good idea no matter what the circumstances. After a couple of days of relaxing our no screen-time until 4:00pm rule, the bickering started. Arguments of what to watch, leads to general crankiness over anything. Soon I was getting nothing but whine. They wanted to do nothing but watch shows and play video games. The problem is that even though they are getting better, their taste for video games and movies has only increased. After a really bad day of tantrums we've decided to ban all leisure screen time for one month. They can have an occasional nature or history documentary and can use the computer for education and research, but no more shows, movies, or video games. Yes, mom and dad are doing this too. I've already been busted too. I was just checking my messages on Facebook when I saw a video my friend had posted. I clicked. I laughed. I got busted by my son. He is still gloating. I have no idea if we will really make it an entire month, but cutting back will definitely be a good thing for us all.

How do you do screen time in your home? How do your kids change after too much screen time?