I grew up with an advent calendar that my mom made. It was one of my many neat family Christmas memories from growing up. I remember that there were always 2 little red and white candy canes in each pocket counting down to the big day. Well, this year, with a little encouragement and help from my sister in law, Kristen, I made one for the kids. A project that I thought would take an hour or two, turned into more like 5-6, but Halie loves it and hopefully it will hold up for a few years! I made the mistake of sticking full size candy canes, oops. Mom, now I see why you put small ones in ours, a 4 yr old does not need to eat a full size candy cane almost every day of December! Austin got a sucker in his, and he did not need that every day either, but it sure makes them happy (and quiet!). By the way, I moved the calendar to the fireplace to get a pic of it, that is not where it lives. I couldn't get a good pic in the hallway where it hangs. We had an activity to do each day, some small, others more of a project, but they have all been fun and I am excited to have a new tradition with the kids. We have had some movie nights, read some Christmas books, made Kringla, a specialty of my Grandma. We went over to her house for an afternoon and she showed us how to make her cookies. We ate way too much that day! All 3 of us! We made a gingerbread house. We got a surprise snow fall one morning. Note Halie's naturally beautiful hair on this snow day, she honestly had just gotten out of bed. I am jealous, God has a sense of humor I think. I am just thankful she got Paul's nice locks - makes life easier on me! Last year Halie and I spent the day making cinnamon rolls for our neighbors and ourselves.... So, I thought that could be another new tradition we could start. Austin got to go spend the day with Nana, and Halie and I baked, hung out and played games. She was a little jealous that Austin got to go spend the day with Nana and she didn't, but by the time 3:00 rolled around and Austin returned home to take his nap, she had decided, "maybe getting to spend a whole day with mom all by myself isn't that bad after all!" We had a good day. Paul should be calling any minute, he was suppose to be done taking his last final about 15 minutes ago. It will be so nice to have "finals paul" gone and "daddy paul" back. Law school really does a number on you.... Going to go finish up a little last minute on-line shopping now.