Adjective:   Done on purpose; deliberate
Synonyms: Deliberate - Willful - purposeful - intended

This word is our word for December.  Dave and I are longing for a bit more "intention" in our lives.  How purposeful are we each month?  each week?  each day?  We have found in the craziness of our lives, if we are not intentional with our time, our money, our words, our actions, our date nights, our compliments, our smiles, our hugs & kisses....then really.....they get glossed over.  I am putting a ban on this for me and my fam!  I want my kids to say one day, "My Mom was really intentional in the way she loved me....not perfect....but intentional".  That would make this Momma very happy!  So we have decided that this December we were going to launch this new practice for our family.  And that is exactly what it will take.....practice.  I know, I know, when I went to Interlochen Arts Camp, in one of the practice huts was written on the wall, "Practice makes perfect, yet nobody is perfect, so why am I practicing?"  Hahaha!  I am sure that those words were written by a crazy instrumental major who had been practicing for hours on end!  But there is some truth in the cycle of it all right?  I mean....we never will be perfect.....but striving to be the best we can be.....that is what I am going for.  So some days will be great.....and some days I will have to go back to the practice hut(aka: chair I do my quiet time) and practice the basics....review my goals....remind myself my intention.....renew my Spririt.  

I am implementing something I learned last year from a gal who was in my BSF group, Wendy.  She completed everything for the Christmas season in the month of November.  That has stuck with me and this year.....I'm doin it!  So.....today......I ordered our Christmas cards and already got the shipping confirmation.  My goal is to have them and address a few each week!

Now getting ready for Advent!  I sort of love all things Christmas and I also love all things tradition.  Talk about something my Mom was GREAT at was traditions!  My sister and I still carry on many of what Mom started.  I mean.....who doesn't love matching PJ's on Christmas Eve??  Love it!  But one thing we always did was an Advent Wreath.  My plan is to make one of those for our family to have and light each week together.  But I also wanted to take the plan a bit further......

ADVENT DECEMBER: (although Advent begins November 28th this year)
At MOPS a few years back we made a creative Advent Calendar.  It was really easy.  Supplies Needed:
Long ribbon (Cute of course)
28 Envelopes
Fun paper (think Scrapbook paper)
Glue Stick
28 clothespins
Blank notecards or paper
And numbers to print off and cut out (You could also write them)
Then take the Envelope, place some cute scrapbook paper in the center, glue, then place the number on top of the cute paper and glue that on.
I always string mine above the fireplace right under the mantle

Then you will need to have activities for your family to do each day/night together and place those cards inside the envelope.  You could use notecards or slips of paper.  Type them out or write them out.  I am planning on filling the notecards each Sunday night.  That way I can look at how our week is shaking out and fill accordingly.  Keeping in mind that the big ones will happen on weekends.  
Here is my list so far.....not sure if I will add or subtract as we get moving.
**NOTE:  Each Sunday of Advent our activity will be to light the candle and read the scripture that goes with that candle.  
1.  Pick a dinner to make
2. Watch a Christmas Movie with popcorn
3. Christmas sing-a-long night
4. Get a Christmas Tree and decorate
5.  Fingerpaint
6. Make a Christmas wreath out of handprints.  Trace handprints on green and red paper, cut it out then arrange in a wreath and glue!
7.  Hot Chocolate with all the fixings
8. Indoor picnic
9. Mani and Pedi Night (we have two girls who love painting their nails)
10. Make a snowman (weather permitting of course)
11.  Smore night
12.  Play a family game
13.  Build a Gingerbread house
14.  Read a Christmas book
15.  Color Christmas pictures
16.  Make a card and send it to a loved one of your choice
17.  Gather up items and take them to Goodwill
18.  Take cookies to a local fire department with a thank you card
19.  Dinner with extended family members
20.  Sleep over with Grandma and Grandpa (date night for Mom & Dad)
21.  At dinner go around and say something you love about each person
22.  Make cards and send them to soldiers http://projectrudolph.org/letters.html
23.  Make Chocolate dipped pretzels and deliver to neighbors
24.  Dance party night to Christmas music (I'm thinking NSYNC Christmas album or Mariah Carey here.  Hahaha!)
25.  Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Would love if you had any other ideas or your own family traditions!

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