Christmas 2015 Advent

I love being creative.  This semester at school was a light one.  I finished my 100% online class within the first week of the semester (BOOM!) – And so I really only had one class to focus on.  Lots of down time in that class.  Still hard, still lots of busy work, but with only one class.. I had lots of free time compared to other semesters!  Yay for getting stuff done early!

So I knew I wanted a really creative Advent calendar.  I have done books in the past, and that was really neat.  I started to scour the Internet (Google and Pinterest) looking for ideas for the perfect Advent.  I found it.  It was a post from 2012, the Mini Tree Advent Calendar – and I fell in love with it.  I HAD to do it!  Definitely visit that blog for professional-like pictures.  Below is my interpretation of this (and less professional-like pictures.. but still pretty neat!)

Advent Calendar 2015 (2)

Yes!  I loved it!  I bought the boxes and little trees off Amazon.  My daughter helped me hot glue the little trees onto the boxes.  The tags I got from the blog linked above, and I simply cut those out and stuck them in the trees (didnt glue those).

Advent Calendar 2015 (5)

Sooo cute!  And I had to get a little red car.  I knew CVS Pharmacy had a section of red cars.  I wanted the old, classic, red car that is often seen in TV ads and such.  But, my daughter said it was ugly.  Of course she did.  So we ended up getting a Prius.  Yep.  Why?  Because I have a Volt and all about the electric cars.. so a Prius seemed fitting.  Sort of.

Advent Calendar 2015 (3)

You may be asking.. what did I put in the boxes?   This was the fun part.  I do not believe in a lot of candy.  Sure, some candy is fine, but even the child expecting an itty-bitty tiny piece of chocolate EVERY SINGLE DAY bothered me!  Have a treat every now and then.. not every day!  So, I went to the most wonderful candy store in San Antonio and bought some candy, and put it in individual bags.  The rest of the items were found at various places including The Container Store, World Market, Bath & Body Works,  Michaels, and Hobby Lobby.  They were randomized in the boxes.  The only one that was not randomized was the silly putty (from Toy Werks) that included 5 $2 bills in the box – This one was last for December 24th.  (Money not shown)

Advent Calendar 2015 (1)

My daughter loved doing this!  She looked forward to seeing what craft, candy, or toy she would get every morning!  It was so much fun doing this Advent calendar and I’m thankful for other sharing their wonderful ideas on Pinterest!

Advent Calendar 2015 (8)

We will definitely be doing this next year.  I’m one box short now.. as the dog got a hold of a box, but I will probably order another batch of boxes because it is bound to happen again!  After Keri opened the box for the day, she would simply put the flag inside the box.  So at the end of December, only a few flags would be shown.  It made it so neat to look at!

Elf on the Shelf 2013

She’s back!  Yep, Sparkles returned and we had so much fun with her this year!  I work now on weekends, so even my husband was involved with the elf!  Here are the adventures of Sparkles for 2013.  And, great news.. I have a picture of every day this year!  Yippie!

Day 1:  Sparkles Arrival.  Today Sparkles arrived.  I wrote a nice little arrival note (okay, I took a picture of the elf.. but not this note.. sorry!) – but again, the note is basically saying Sparkles is here to have fun with Keri, report back to Santa about when a good time for him to visit would be, what kind of lights we have on the house for the sleigh team to find us, what the weather conditions are like here, etc.  I do not do the whole “elf shows up and reports back to Santa if you have been good / bad” or using the elf has a weapon towards getting good behavior.  Dont do that in this house!  Elf is purely for fun here.. and we sure did have FUN!

Day 1 - elf arrival

Day 2:  Sparkles decided to get the Christmas bows, hang them on the cabinets in the kitchen.. and hang upside down from them!

Day 2 - Hanging Bows

Day 3:  And.. begins the weirdness.  Yes, I am weird; therefore, Sparkles is weird.  Ha!  This is one happy elf.. putting post it notes all over Keri’s door!  NOTE:  If you try this one.. you will need tape!!  We did this shortly after Keri went to bed, and about 1/3rd of the post it notes already fell off – Had to tape up several before I went to bed.  The stickiness is not enough to last the whole night.. much less a couple hours!  So, use tape to put them on the door.  And before you ask, yes, my very observant daughter notices there was tape on some.. and not others.  Awesome.  SO… double sided tape, use a long piece and loop it around on the back.. whatever you gotta do!

Day 3 - Happy Elf

Day 4:  Keri lost a tooth!!  This was an impromptu elf improvise because of that.  I made the little tooth box for her a long time ago, before she started to lose any teeth.  The box makes it a lot easier to find the teeth at night!  She also gets two $1 coins for each tooth.  So, Sparkles decided that she was going to help out the tooth fairy and cut out a bunch of teeth and put in the box to get more money.  Didnt work.  Nice try Sparkles!  (Whatcha think of the note the Tooth Fairy left under Keri’s pillow?  Loved it!!)

Day 4 - Elf meets tooth fairy

Day 5:  Sparkles hanging from Keri’s slinky from the top floor.. Just hanging around!

Day 5 - Elf hanging from slinky

Day 6:  Keri wrote a note asking Sparkles for eggless donuts from the North Pole again.  So, someone woke up at 5:00am to make eggless donuts for Keri.  (HINT:  It wasnt the elf!).  Even made a tiny donut just for Sparkles.. isnt it cute?!  They werent bad donuts – they were made from the refrigerator biscuits.. just fried, and chocolate frosting.  They would have been better to eat immediately after making – but about 2.5 hours elapsed before we had them.  She still loved them though.. thought they were the best thing ever – but, she doesnt know any better since every single donut place here has eggs in it!

Day 6 - North Pole eggless donuts

Day 7:  The Cats Will Not Eat Me.  Oh yes, we brought the cats into the elf shenanigans.  You have probably seen the notes by now.. Yep, I used notes this year to communicate with Keri!  Well, this day the elf came was a very very bad mistake.. You see, Keri had a beautiful picture of Santa, her elf, etc. on the chalk board.  But, it was so early in December.. I didnt think she made it for Santa!  I thought she was drawing, so didnt think twice about erasing it.  So.. I erased it.  When Keri woke up and saw this, she broke out into tears!  She was very angry and sad at Sparkles for erasing her drawing.  Oops.  I felt so bad!!!  I tried to make light of the situation with the cats will not eat her thing.. kinda helped, but note to all parents out there.. if your child draws a picture on the chalk board.. do not erase it!

Day 7 - The cats will not eat me

Day 8:  So this note has a lengthy P.S. about being sorry about erasing her picture.  Anyways – so Sparkles decided that she wanted to take all the candy canes to feed to the reindeer at the North Pole!  Guess she didnt get out in time!

Day 8 - Elf taking candy canes

Day 9:  Sparkles returns back from the North Pole.. with all the candy canes, plus more, stating that Santa sent her back refusing to give the candy canes to the reindeer b/c they make them hyper.  Ha!

Day 9 - elf returns candy canes

Day 10:  Sparkles wraps up the TV!  It was all great and awesome.. until after she went to bed when I had an hour to waste until I could take it down and move Sparkles around!!

Day 10 - wrapping the tv

Day 11:  Okay, this one.. I have no idea what is going on here.  I was bored, didnt know what to do with the elf – so.. just set up a bunch of shoes and put Sparkles in the front.  What she is doing with the shoes.. I have no idea!  Being weird!

Day 11 - doing something with shoes

Day 12:  Sparkles raided Keri’s socks and hung them on the counter.  What, what?!  Weird little elf.

Day 12 - got bored hung socks

Day 13:  Sparkles had a rough day.  She fed the cats catnip.. and they chased her all night long due to being hyper.  Oops.  The note also mentions how awesome Keri was for helping to clean her room.. made it easier to put the socks away!

Day 13 - Sleepy Elf

Day 14:  We had a Christmas Party this day, so I needed Sparkles to be out of the way and hidden.  The only way I knew how to do this was to have Sparkles in daddy’s office!  The elf decided that she would have fun in daddy’s office making copies of herself and hanging them on the wall!  Silly elf!

Day 14 - elf making copies

Day 15:  So this one had a note that accompanied it.  In case you cant read it.. Santa came to that Christmas Party yesterday!  So, Sparkles is explaining how hard it was to keep it a secret that Santa was coming, that she was proud of Keri for sitting on Santa’s lap (Keri first cried when Santa came over!!).  She also told Santa that Sparkles is weird and crazy.  So, Sparkles is defending herself saying she is not weird.. the cats are weird.. she is not.  Love this little elf!!

Day 15 - elf in lemonade dispenser

Day 16:  We had a problem with sharpened pencils.  Seriously.  We had soooo many pencils in this house.. and not a single one was sharpened!  So, I bought a brand new pencil sharpener, and Sparkles (i.e. me) decided to sharpen every single pencil in the house for Keri.  Problem Solved.  Except for Sparkle’s little toe.. dont poke yourself with a sharp pencil, that hurts!

Day 16 - Sharpening Pencils

Day 17:  Photo shoot with bunny!!  Bunny is Keri’s stuffed animal she has had since she was about 13 months old.  She has loved this little bunny and she sleeps with it every single night.  Well, Sparkles decided to do a little photo shoot using my photo back drop of bunny!  You can see my awesome photo back drop.. sort of.  The photo back drop was there to take pictures when Santa was here a few days ago.  And yeah, the camera actually had pictures of bunny on it when we reviewed it!  Sparkles is a good photographer!

Day 17 - Bunny photo shoot

Day 18:  Seriously, what does the fox say?!??  I love this song.  I can’t get enough of this song!  When I found out there was a book coming out of this song, I knew I had to get it!  I had this planned out in a month in advance.. just waited for that book to come.  Also bought a little stuffed animal fox, of course.  Although, to set the record straight, I disagree with the elf’s lesson.  The fox really does say “ring a ding ding” – why else would there be a song AND a book about it if the fox didnt!?

Day 18 - what does the fox say

Day 19:  Do you know how hard it is to make paper airplanes?  No?  I gave up.  Yep.  I cant make them.. at all!!  I watch a YouTube video.. made one.. and immediately forgot how I made it, and gave up.  Here comes husband.. he made all the rest of the paper air planes – I wanted them all different!

Day 19 - airplane circle

Day 20:  I knew they had an elf coloring book.. and I wanted it!!  So, I used this opportunity to say “good job” to Keri for reading her book, and to get her this coloring book.  She has done quite a few activities / coloring pages in it – so yay!  (Even after Christmas, she still continues to color in it.

Day 20 - Elf coloring book

Day 21:  Talk with Furby.  Furby is annoying.  Seriously.  (And, to top it off, she requested (and got) a Furby Boom for Christmas.. b/c this Furby – the older version – was “lonely”.  Awesome.)  So of course the elf was trying to decipher what Furby was saying.. I dont think the conversation went anywhere.   All this Furby says is “blah blah blah!”

Day 21 - elf talking to furby

Day 22:  This one my husband did b/c I was at work.  At least it is a picture.. but not the best picture (sorry!) – so let me describe what is going on.  In my daughter’s art room, we have a huge bulletin board that she can pin all her artwork to.  (You can see that in the background here).  I copied 8 selfie pictures of the elf and told him to hang them on the bulletin board and have the elf look at them.  You can see one in the picture.. I promise there are 8 of them hanging!

Day 22 - elf admiring self

Day 23:  Husband did this one again.  Needed an easy one since I was going to be at work – so he set up Sparkles fishing with the fairies.

Day 23 - elf fishing with fairies

Day 24:  Sparkles said good bye!  Except, it wasnt the good bye that we had planned.  Keri caught the flu!  On the 23rd, we went to go see the nutcracker, and between intermission and the time we came home, she spiked a fever.  I knew it was the flu b/c two other kids from her class had confirmed cases of the flu just a few days prior.  So, she went to bed on the 23rd with a fever and feeling horrible.  Sparkles left her a goodie bag on her last day there and a nice little good bye letter.  Keri took it much better this year compared to last year.. no tears!  But, I think it may have been b/c on Christmas Eve when she woke up and saw this, she was still running the fever and felt horrible all day!  Nevertheless, we will miss you Sparkles – Thanks for the awesome and amazing times!

Day 24 - Elf says goodbye

As always.. I shall leave this post with a couple pictures of my beautiful little girl and her elf.  She loved the adventures of Sparkles – and I loved every moment of planning to improvising to last minute changes with this elf.  We love you Sparkles!

photo 3Keri with her eggless donuts.  Mmmmm!

photo 2

Keri coloring a page for Sparkles – Loved this moment!  She sat and spoke with Sparkles for quite some time and colored a bunch of pages for her!

photo 1

I wanted a picture of Keri with her beautiful Christmas outfit and Sparkles.. this was all she gave me, ha!

<Have one more picture of Keri and Sparkles.. on another camera not downloaded yet.  Will get that on here soon!>