December 9, 2013

My Favorite Things: Rhonda Bramell

Today, my favorite thing is Rhonda Bramell. I met Rhonda in Arkansas. This girl always has a smile on her face ... even when she's relating how her minivan almost blew up on a windy Arkansas road! Then I saw her in Listen To Your Mother. She's funny and she's fresh and she makes you want to hang out with her and her kids and just have a grand ol' time. Enjoy her. She's one of My Favorite Things.

The Advent Calendar:  Easy For Mom and Fun for the Kids

I saw a discussion awhile back on Minivan Momma’s Facebook page about Advent calendars, so I thought I’d share our family’s calendar.  I’ve wanted an Advent calendar since my oldest child was born, but knew I needed to wait until she was really old enough to understand the meaning of it.  As I shopped around for a commercially-made one, I realized two things:  1) they were really expensive or 2) they were really cheap-o and involved giving my kids a piece of candy or a small trinket they would either break or choke on.

Last year, we found ourselves stranded at home over the long Thanksgiving holiday due to our own beloved minivan being in the shop.  I needed something to entertain the five-year-old and crafting is her thing.  Thanks to this little thing called Pinterest, I’d found several pins of homemade Advent calendars by those moms who have perfectly decorated homes and children.  So, off to Hobby Lobby we went to gather up our supplies. 

Instead of giving the kids candy every day, I wanted to have activities for us to complete as a family. However, I knew that with a five-year-old and a couple of two-year-olds, that our Advent activities needed to be simple, easy for them to complete and have some sense of “specialness” to them. 

Our supplies included felt in many colors, decorative embellishments, dowel rods, hot glue, a Sharpie and blank tags to write our activities on.  You should know that I don’t sew; the hot glue gun is my friend. 

We spent the better part of two afternoons cutting, gluing and decorating our Advent calendar.  The kids did so great with it last year and loved each activity we completed.  Here is a partial list of some of our activity tags:

·       Drink hot cocoa after dinner
·       Sing a Christmas song
·       Do something nice for your brother & sister(s)
·       Watch a Christmas show on TV
·       Eat dinner in your PJ’s
·       Drive around and look at Christmas lights
·       Choose some toys to donate to others

This works well for us now, but I’m sure the activities will change as our kids get older.  Our Advent calendar made its appearance last night while they were sleeping—yes, a day late…but that’s how I roll.  I’ll give them a piece of candy to make amends.

Rhonda lives in Northwest Arkansas and works full-time outside the home in retail marketing. In her spare time, she writes at Bramell, Party of Five where she's been blogging for over six years. You can find her blogging about everything from the funny things her kids say to Pinterest projects with her kids to occasional product reviews and giveaways. She's your typical southern gal turned minivan-driving mama. Live with twins plus one is a crazy, busy life but definitely provides her with a lot of creative inspiration!


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