The last post was a little a heavy, so let's lighten it up with the start of Christmas fun!! I have a lot of blogging to do to get caught up. December is always a full and fun month with Dopey the Elf and our 25 days of Christmas activities. This year I kind of slacked a bit with how creative I got with Dopey and with our activities, but Dane never complained and he seemed to love it all, so I cut myself some grace this year.
Dopey arrived on November 30th right after Dane hopped onto the bus, and right before Jace and I headed out to run errands that quickly turned into the day from Hell. We were at the hospital all day and got back pretty late, so I had forgotten that Dopey was out for his arrival party. Dane was over the moon that Dopey chose to come back and that it was a "day early" since it wasn't December yet. He kept telling us over and over that he knows that Dopey came early because he knew we were having a bad day and we needed to be cheered up. Seeing Dane so happy that evening gave us a little burst of sunshine on a really hard day.
Jace got a Santa shirt also from Dopey, but he fell asleep in the car on the ride back from the hospital and went straight to bed. Poor little guy was worn out.
Taco Tuesday... Dopey set up a taco stand and left us a taco kit for dinner.
Instead of counting down to Christmas like we normally do we counted up and did 25 Days of Christmas this year. Dane looks forward to doing this all year long. He loves everything about it.
December 1st was the 1st day of our 25 days of Christmas. And we started off the season with Grinch Night! We had Grinch cookies, Grinch punch and watched both of our Grinch stole Christmas movies... Dr Seuss and the Jim Carrey movie.
Both boys had more than their fair share of cookies. Jace thought that the tray of cookies was just for him, he kept hoarding cookies and would tell Dane NOOOO when he would try and get one. HAHA
The next morning Dopey was hanging out in our Christmas tree. He left a couple cryptogram worksheets that Dane had to fill out to get answers to Christmas jokes.
Random Act of Christmas Kindness
We put together a fun little package that had a pack of popcorn, hot chocolate and a promo code to get a free movie at the red box and Dane picked 4 friends to give them to. He wanted to make it into a sneaky mission where he would deliver the goodies, ring the doorbell and run away before they got to the door. He loved this day!! He was so excited about dropping off the goodies and running away before they saw him. I only got pictures at 3 of the houses because the last house had several cars parked on the street so I had to pull over a bit of a ways down. His friend Liam just happened to be outside playing with neighbors so Dane got to hand deliver that one.
He rode in the front to drop off the first one. His friend Chris who lives in our neighborhood, but around the corner. Chris is a good friend to Dane. He is a year older, but they have always sat together on the bus since Dane was in kindergarten. I can't tell you how many times Dane has left something on the bus and Chris takes it so it doesn't get lost and then rides his bike over to hand deliver it. He's a good kid, so I was happy to drop off a little goodie bag to him.
We pulled up to Dane's bestie Liam and he was outside playing with his brother and neighbor. Liam was so excited to see Dane and begged and begged for him to stay and play. We had a few more deliveries and it was a church night, so we promised that we would get them together soon to play. Liam was in Dane's kindergarten class and they have been besties ever since.
Then we went over to Van's house. Van was on Dane's baseball team this past year and they have become good friends, and always seem to find each other at recess. I was a little nervous that Dane wasn't going to find the right apartment door and I couldn't get out because I had Jace with me in the car and he had fallen asleep. So, we practiced the apartment number over and over, and I went over that it was the 2nd door in that hallway on the left over and over but wasn't sure if he would get confused with all the doors. HAHAHAHA!! Someone would get a little treat, just wasn't sure if it would be Van or not! :) But, I got a message from his mom a couple days later thanking me for the sweet gift, so Dane did it right!!
Our last stop was his friend Andrew. Andrew was in his 1st grade class, and they play together a ton at recess. I didn't get any pics because there was a lot of cars on the road and I had to pull over a ways down. But his mom happened to be over at the neighbors house talking and was standing on the porch. Dane didn't see her, but she messaged me later that she saw Dane running to her house and he had the biggest smile she had ever seen. She said she had no idea what he was doing, but watcing him run and throw something on the porch and ring the doorbell all while smiling and giggling brightened her day. Dane loved it and it was a super easy way to spread Christmas cheer!
Dopey has grown up quite a bit over the past year, and has turned away from all mischievous behavior and is wanting to spread Christmas cheer. He left Dane's first secret mission of the season. Dane was all over these missions. He wanted Dopey to leave him one every day.
Mission #1 was to find someone who didn't have anyone to play with and invite them to play with you. Dane's school has a buddy bench out on their playground for those kids who are needing a friend. They go to the bench and the kids are encouraged to be looking for kids sitting there and invite them to play. I love that his school does this. I mention it all the time because I want Dane to not be oblivious to those needing friends.
Dane came home and the first thing he talked about was his mission. There was a girl sitting there, and he said he invited her over with his friends. He said she played for a few minutes, but then found some girls to play with. I guess him and his buds were being too rowdy HA! Hey that's ok!! I told him that at least he asked her and included her.
Home Alone Movie Night
This was a low key day. We made hot chocolate and watched the movie. No fancy treats or anything. And I originally felt guilty that I wasn't making the night "special". But the feeling quickly went away when l I realized that Dane didn't care!! It was special to him without me doing anything extra. He was excited that we were all going to sit in the same room and watch a movie together. Home Alone is by far his favorite Christmas movie. He watches it multiple times through out the season.
And yes he is definitely Kevin McCallister. Has been since he was a little one. Looks and acts like him.. and could definitely be ok if accidently left at home. No doubt in mind he would figure it all out and not be scared for even a second.
Dopey taking a bubble bath in the hot tub
Angels of Light
Our church's main campus that is in Houston has an event called Angels of Light every year. This year we volunteered to help as one of our Christmas activities. Kevin and I have done it a few times over the years, but this was Dane's first year to participate. The church collects thousands of gifts from all of the campuses, and then for a whole week Second Baptist buses in thousands of families from all over Houston. Most are families that live in shelters or neighborhoods that are really low income. Each campus for Second Baptist has a night that they are hosting, and so that campus brings in volunteers from their church to help run the event for that night. The families are brought in and fed a meal, they get to watch a show from the Power team which is the Christian body builder group who break bricks and do all those crazy stunts, and then there is a short church service where many become saved. It's an incredible night for these families. While the families are eating and watching the show there are people filling up their buses with groceries, gift cards for clothes, and presents for all the kids in their seats. We volunteered in the gift distribution area this year which is the "fun area" for kids. The chapel is filled with presents. They are all organized by gender and age group in the pews of the chapel.
The adults spilt up and are in charge of all the pews making sure the correct gift is given to the correct bus. The kids are the runners and they are given the slips of papers that have the kid's gender and age on it. They run to the front and get a kid's info and then run to the correct pew to get a gift and then run to the area for that bus then run back to get another kid's info and it continues on until every seat in every bus is filled. While the kids are getting gifts they are also able to watch a big screen of the kids getting off the buses and watch them throughout the night and see them get back on their buses and opening their gifts. It's extremely fast paced because there are about 20 buses that come every night filled with families. Most of the slips of paper have a wish list for the kids, and they really try their hardest to fulfill the wish. It's a great night for the families, but it's also a great night for the volunteers. When you are blessing someone you usually get blessed too.
Our church provided childcare for those who were too little to help so Jace got hang out with some friends while we worked.
Huge tree and awesome trains set up in the main foyer area at the main campus.
Dopey having a little fun with Dane's shoes. It wouldn't have mattered if he had hid the shoes or not, Dane wouldn't have been able to find them regardless. He can never find his shoes ever, even when they are right under his nose. I actually had to give hints after an hour went by and he couldn't find them like "have you checked the cabinets", and then I finally said "will you get a cup for Jace" so he would go to the correct cabinet that they were in. HAHAHA!!
I'm afraid he gets it honestly from his dad... both are always looking for something and 9 times out of 10 I can tell them exactly where it is. :)
Lots more coming soon!