Sunday, November 25, 2012


Natasha’s Advent 2012

Please don’t chat with my kids about this Advent list, it is a surprise each night!

Meaning of Advent: Advent is a Latin word meaning, “Coming”. Advent celebrates the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. As Christians we are expectantly waiting and preparing for the coming of the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

For all families Advent looks DIFFERENT!!! There is no right and wrong here! You can focus more on family time, Bible time, education, crafts, outings, missions and more. This is our forth year and we have found a balance that works for us and you will see that below. 
These activities are just what we are doing- pick and choose what you would like. And except for the first night and the Christmas Eve service, I do all the rest in whatever order I want depending on how the evening is going time-wise. We use an Advent box with little doors, but you can do envelopes, mittens, stockings- google ideas for Advent boxes.
It is 25 nights focusing on His coming with everything from Bible time to being silly. However you want to lace this together, it will be beautiful.

Natasha 2012

1. Decorate the house and string up Christmas cards. The first night of our Advent box is always to decorate the house. We decorate the tree and the house on Dec 1st. We put string between the dining room windows to display Christmas cards from family and friends. You can play Christmas music too while you decorate the house as a family.
2. Names: Name meanings and nicknames. We are going to talk about each person’s name in the family. What the name means and its origins. We are going to tell the stories of how God lead us to each of the children’s names. We are going to write it down and keep it posted over Advent. We are also going to write down all the nicknames for each person.
3. Mini gingerbread houses. We are going to use small milk cartons this year. Hot gluing graham crackers to the milk carton with frosting and candy. We saved a bag of Halloween candy for this night- great tip for next year!
4. We will talk about how God made the seasons. One of the cool things about winter is snow. How each snowflake is unique and different, just like the people God made all over the world. We make snowflakes (and a huge mess) and then cover the front window of our home and you can see them from the street. I love how it looks so festive.
5. Chinese Jump Rope- We are going to talk about childhood games. Different games throughout history and different games around the world. Then I am going to teach them how to play Chinese Jump Rope, which was my favorite childhood game.
6. Making chin people- Lay upside down. Put a winter stocking hat over your eyes and nose. Leave only your mouth exposed. Draw eyes on your chin. Read bible stories, sing songs, tell funny stories.
7. Shadow Puppets- lights off, huge flashlight on, hand puppets. Again put on a funny show, read stories, be silly.
8. Package to overseas! We have special people in our life who live overseas. We are going to put together a small care package for our overseas family and send it to them.
9. Make our “Cookie” Family presentation with cookies to hand out. This is for our CC homeschool. We are going to make a family poster and go over our family presentation.
10. Minus 10 night. Give away 10 things each. Acts 20:35,  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
11. Purchase something for a village from a Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. LOVE this catalog. We will decide as a family what we think is a great gift from this catalog. We will pray together for this village/people and then purchase a gift to help meet one of their needs.
12. Clay sculptures, Isaiah 64:8, He is the potter we are the clay. Making our own nativity scene out of clay. Let dry and paint it. Of course, I am really excited about this art keepsake.
13. Notes of encouragement. We are going to make 12 envelopes, labeled Jan-Dec. We will write each person in the house 12 notes. One the first day of each month for the next year we will open an envelope with 5 notes inside. Hew 13:3, Encourage one another daily.
14. Play “Mother may I, yes you may” game. – Lev 19:3, “Each of you must respect your mother and father and observe My Sabbath. I am the Lord your God.”
15. Heart hide and seek. We write this verse on a cut out heart, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against You.” We talk about it and then we each take a turn hiding them around the house and we all have to go hunt for them.
16. Christmas Play on Christmas Eve. We all really enjoy attending a Christmas performance at a local church. (And we pen stockings on Christmas Eve as well., I know this should be #24, but seriously these are not in order! )
17. David and Goliath. Read 1 Samuel 17. Talk about God preparing David in the wilderness and victory.
18. Foot washing. Read and discuss John 13:1-17. We are going to put our names in a hat. We will each draw out a person in the family whose feet we will wash.
19. Driving around looking at lights. We fix hot chocolate and drive around Tulsa looking at Christmas lights.
20. Little book ornaments. What we are thankful for and put on tree.
21. Christmas movie. We make pallets on the floor and watch one of the many Christmas movies.
22. The box is empty. Talk about Jesus who rose from the dead. John 20.
23. Red, yellow, black and white. Paint on wood picture frame. Take a piece of wood. Paint a red stripe, yellow stripe, black and white stripes. Paint over the top, “Red and yellow, black and white, They are precious in His sight.” Hot glue a framed picture of your children to the middle, or a world map or a picture you find of many children from all over the world together.
24. Mini globes keychain, pray for the world. Do a Bible search for “to the ends of the earth.” These are over 30+ references to this in the Bible. Discuss the world. What God is doing throughout the world and pray together for those in the world who do not know Him or have rejected Him.
25. Birthday cake for Jesus. Oh yes, a big birthday cake and eat it!

And here are the ones from the past...

Natasha 2011

28 Ideas- I have realized that some nights just don’t work due to time. So I have added in some really quick ones for tough nights and long ones for when we have extra time.

1. Sugar cone trees. Making these with upside-down sugar cones, green frosting, candy. Instead of a gingerbread house this year.
2. Making camels out of toilet paper rolls, crumpled up paper, brown papersack and glue. Read about the camel from the bible.
3. Heavenly angels. Making cones out of paper, attach head and halo.
4. Turning all regular Christmas cards into an ornament. Use a cup or bowl to trace a circle. Cut card out and punch hole and hang.
5. Ice cream spoon snowmen. Painted white, red yarn, black/orange marker.
6. Mini stockings from a finger of a glove. Find a random glove, cut off fingers, push paper into shape of a stocking (or may need to use like a cereal box cutout for a form, then add tissue). Fold over top and decorate.
7. Drawing and painting three wise men bringing gifts to Jesus.
8. Write 2011 thankful mini-card. Hang as an ornament.
9. Heart hide and seek. Hidden your Word in my heart Ps 119:11.
10. Globe charm from Mardel. Talk about going into all the world, the Great Commission.
11. Sunday nights last year we watched movies, here are some ideas for this year: The Very First Noel, Grinch who stole Christmas, Polar Bear Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, Greatest Story Ever told, The Nativity.
12. Shepherd- Talk about God as our Shepherd. Blow cottonball into bag.
13. Crazy Dress-up picture. Everyone go get wild and silly. Come together to take pictures. Make into an ornament for the next year.
14. Looking at Christmas lights.
15. Christmas cookies.
16. Cross with prayer written inside it. Talk about how Jesus allowed us access to talking to God. Then share prayer requests and pray for one another.
17. Make own Christmas cards for family, make Christmas present tags.
18. Zacchaeus- read story and share how he looked hard for Jesus and God honored him.
19. Christmas around the world. Share facts about how other countries celebrate Christmas and make a Christmas dish from another culture that you have never tried.
20. Flashlight- talk about darkness and the lost and that Jesus is the light of the world.
21. Rock- David and Goliath, how God trained him in the wilderness and how he was victorious
22. Pop popcorn, eat some and get out needles and thread and string your own popcorn. Talk about how in the ol’ days this was decoration.
23. Make own placemats and have them laminated.
24. Jesus loves the little children. Sing it, then paint children in red, yellow, black and white on paper.
25. Empty (nothing inside the Advent door) talk about how Jesus’ tomb was empty!
26. Open Christmas Eve presents and stockings
27. Bake a cake for Jesus.
28. Read Christmas story from Luck 2:1-20
29. Make snowflakes for window.

Natasha 2010

December 1st. Tree: We got out the tree and decorated it.
2. Heart: Played hide and seek with cut out hearts, talked about Psalm 119, "I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I will not sin against you."
3. Band-aid: Read the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17. We wrote with marker on our band-aids, "Jesus is my healer." And then wore them to bed.
4. Q-Tip: Read the story of Mary and Martha listening to Jesus and which was better. Then we cleaned out our ears so that we could listen to Him.
5. Popcorn kernel: Family movie night. We watched Elf and had popcorn. The movie was too adult. Although it is hilarious, we will not watch it again as a family.
6. Mend: I cut the letters m, e, n and d out of fabric. We read through Ecc 3 that there is a time for everything. A time to tear and a time to mend. We got out fabric and needles and sewed.
7. Prayer bracelets: Our church was doing Toys For Tots that week and each person in the church got a bracelet with a child's name. We put on the bracelets and prayed for each child.
8. Music note: We listed to Christmas music while we cleaned house.
9. Gingerbread house picture: We used candy to decorate a gingerbread house.
10. Jesus: We made birth announcements about Jesus' birth. I taught them out to make little feet using their hands and fingertips.
11. Snowflake: We traced circles, folded and made snowflakes. Then we hung them on the tree.
12. Empty: I said it was stolen by the Grinch. Then we watched the old Grinch who stole Christmas movie.
13. Gift tags: They made homemade gift tags with paper and glitter.
14. Little book: We made our own little books, about 5 pages in each book. They are about 3 inches by 4 inches or so. We decorated the front then wrote all the things we were thankful for from 2010. We then punched a hole and hung them on the tree.
15. Three: We pulled out the tree pictures of the children we support. One lives in Vietnam, one in Kenya and one in India. We talked about their Christmas and prayed for them to have forever families.
16. Lightbulb: We hopped in the car and went around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.
17. Net: I took an apple net/bag and we Read Luke 5 about becoming fishers of men.
18. Star: We got out the paints and black paper and painted our own nativity scenes.
19. Red nose: (It was a human nose in drawn in red marker, so they had to figure it out.) Then we watched the old Rudolph movie.
20. Sheep: Made from the end of a Q-Tip. We talked about we are the sheep and God is our shepherd. We then took a straw and blew the "sheep" into their pen.
21. World: Talked about being the light of the world. We turned off all the lights and had one small flashlight. We each took turns playing with it in the dark and that we are the light in the darkness.
22. Soap: We talked about having clean hands and a clean heart and what they meant to us. We then washed our hands with the soap.
23. Sugar Packet: Baked a birthday cake for Jesus
24. Present: Talked about the wise men and that they gave Jesus 3 gifts. Said they would be getting three gifts each from us tomorrow.
25. Cross: Read the Christmas story from Luke 2.

Natasha 2009

Band-aid: Jesus is our healer. Read Jesus heals the 10 lepers in Luke ch. 17 (p.s. this went over really well since she got to put her band-aid on before bed!)
2. Pecan nut: God taking care of animals. Matthew 10 & we have a book with kids thanking God for nuts to feed the animals. (Then she will get to eat the pecan)
3. Leaf: Noah's ark. Dove went out and brought back the olive branch, new life.
4. Butterfly: Read story Hermie and Wormie. Transformation, we are like the caterpillar to the butterfly. (we have a butterfly hair clip)
5. Light bulb: God made the light/dark in Genesis and Jesus is the light of the world.
6. Rock: David and Goliath (her favorite story right now)
7. Hay: Jesus born in a manger. Story of His birth in Luke.
8. Cup: the wedding feast where Jesus turns water into wine for His first miracle.
9. Bread: Give us today our daily bread. Prayer in Matt 15.
10. Q-tip: Sit and listen to Jesus. Mary and Martha with Jesus in Luke
Day 11. Heart: Psalm 119:11. I have hidden Your Word in my heart.
12. Nail: Unless the Lord builds the house- Psalm 127:1. Then build and decorate a gingerbread house. (Without nails of course... you may have thought it was for Jesus's hands- we are not ready for that yet!)
13. Candy: Psalm 34:8. "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
14. Map: Mark 16:15. "Go into all the world and preach the good news."
15. Bar of soap: Having a clean heart. Psalm 24:4-5 (she loves taking baths with actual bar-soap, so she will get to use it next bathtime.)
16. Key: Paul and Silas locked in prison and then released. Acts 13 and 16
17. Cotton ball: Psalm 100:3. We are like sheep.
18. Ring: Isaac and Rebekah get married. Genesis 24.
19. Torn piece of paper: Ecc 3. A time for everything. It is torn and she will get to mend it with tape.
20. Net: Matt 4. Called to be fishers of men. (I am using an avocado net)
21. Two silver coins: The good Samaritan gives 2 coins, Luke 10.
22. Little wash cloth: Jesus washes his disciples feet. John 13
23. Empty: the tomb is empty, so nothing will be inside. Matthew 28.
24. Sugar packet: Bake a cake for Jesus.
25. Star: The star of Bethlehem. Matthew/Luke's story of Jesus' birth on Christmas morning and we might even let them eat cake for breakfast- ahhhhhhh!


The Perryman's