{Advent Activities + Free Download}


I did not grow up with an Advent Tradition in my home. So a few years ago, when our dear friends the Kaetzel's invited us over to light an Advent candle, read Scripture, and sing songs together, I knew I wanted to start a tradition of our own. I loved the idea of being more intentional with focusing on the birth of Jesus, and also focusing on family during the busy holiday season.

{Elijah James - 21 Months}


Elijah James, you are 21 Months!

In just three months you have gone from about 15-20 words to having a vocab that we cannot begin to count. You are constantly parroting what you hear around you, whether it is from mama, papa or what you hear at school. You even put together your first three word sentence when mama had gone out one evening. You stood at the baby gate and said "Mama Bye-Bye Park".

In this new season of life you are typically at school for 2-3 days a week and at home with mama the other days. On Thursday mornings, mama has a Bible Study she attends and you enjoy being in a class with your friends Dominic and Evalina. 

At school you enjoy playing with anything that you can stack and build with, the play kitchen, and the climber. You also enjoy making art, doing crafts and playing at the sensory table. And of course whenever you can get outside you are a happy camper.

A silly new development is that you know that we ask Alexa (our Amazon Echo) to play music. You often stand at Alexa and call up to her "Alexa, Alexa". Your favorite songs you like to hear are: The Wheels on the Bus, Baby Bumblebee, Downtown by Macklemore and Happy by Pharrell. Sometimes Alexa lights up when she hears you calling, but you are not quite able to give her a command. You now have your own playlist!

A few weeks after you turned 18 months, mama went to Austin for a long weekend with a friend. You had some extra time with papa while I was gone. One scary moment that we can laugh about now is that when papa was letting Charlie outside to potty - you locked papa out of the house. You flipped that screen door lock and papa had no way back into the house. Mama was on a plane so papa couldn't reach her to get access to the spare key. So, papa called the fire department and they climbed through our second floor window and saved the day!

Elijah you are making the connection with on and off, especially when it comes to light switches. You love to flip them up and down at watch the light come on and off. You will say "light on" or "light off". 

On the days we are home, you definitely miss your papa. You have started pulling photos down and will sit and look at papa and point him out to me. It is so sweet!

You have started enjoying being read to. Your favorite books right now are Brown Bear Brown Bear, Polar Bear Polar Bear, From Head to Toe, Bedtime for Tad and Peekaboo Baby. This has been a fun development and we think that story time at school has helped you find your love of books.

Elijah, you are now very aware of what toys are "yours". You are able to verbalize "mine" and this is very evident if we have a friend over to play. It is very hard for you to not try and take every toy that your friend is playing with. Sharing is definitely a hard concept for you. You seem to do better if it is a neutral space or at a friend's house, because you know those toys are not yours.

You are still our good eater, though not always adventurous. However, once papa is home from work you always asks for bites from his plate or sips of soda water. It makes me laugh that you would not eat certain foods for your own dinner, but now that they are on papa's plate you will try them. You also are feeling very independent because you can climb in and out of your high chair all by yourself. You are even working on buckling yourself in.

We recently introduced you to your first TV Show - Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Papa and I laughed because you sat still for 8 whole minutes before you were up and on the move! However, you really seem to enjoy the show and ask for it a lot. We do not watch it often, but it is nice to have as a back up activity. You especially love when any songs are being sung on the show. You are not a fan of when it switches from the cartoon portion to the kids in real life portion. You seem to think the show is over and keep asking for more Daniel.

Elijah, your days have been busy these last three months. You have gone to the park, the zoo, the children's museum, the pumpkin patch, celebrated Halloween as a dragon, enjoyed a harvest meal with your classmates, celebrated Thanksgiving with Friends, and started preparing for Christmas!

In the next few months, we think you are looking forward to spending more time in the Toddler 2 classroom, celebrating Christmas, our annual New Years trip with the Kaetzel's, potty training and celebrating your 2nd birthday!

Here are some photos from your last few months:

 Looking at Papa's Photo!
 Checking out the River Otter at the Zoo

Kissing the goat at the zoo!
 Sharing a bite of your doughnut with your buddy Dominic
 Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

 Halloween as a dragon

Somehow you got the chopsticks to work for you!
Exploring the Christmas decorations at Swanson's

Helping decorate the tree by stacking the ornaments