Tag Archives: how many days until Christmas

Countdown to Christmas 2013

One of my favorite things to do in December is counting how many days are left until Christmas. This year, my mom helped my kids by giving them an Angry Birds Christmas advent calendar. It was a BIG surprise and a BIG hit. Even our elf on the shelf Wink had fun with the new toys a couple of days ago.

Our elf on the shelf playing with angry birds

Our elf on the shelf playing with angry birds

This year I decided to use our wall white board as a countdown to Christmas (remember how I used it for Thanksgiving?). With a little help from Google images, it only took a few minutes to create a new countdown every few days. My first countdown helper was Rudolph the red nose reindeer. That’s when I realized how hard it was not only to draw with thick dry erase markers, but also how to color with them.

Countdown to Christmas board with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Countdown to Christmas board with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

A few days later, we brought our Elf Wink home. He felt eager to help out with the countdown to Christmas so he drew himself during the night. The boys loved his self-portrait.

Countdown to Christmas board with the elf on the shelf

Countdown to Christmas board with the elf on the shelf

Nothing says cold winter days like a penguin, and penguins are very cute so this little black and white guy was my next pick.

Penguin counts down to Christmas

Penguin counts down to Christmas

I then opted for a snowman. That should be Christmassy enough, right?

Countdown to Christmas with a snowman

Countdown to Christmas with a snowman

Well, my youngest didn’t like it so much (it’s boring, Mama!) so the next day he asked me to draw a “cute baby polar bear” instead. Thank Google images for the great ideas…

Christmas countdown: cute baby polar bear drawing

Christmas countdown: cute baby polar bear drawing

Of course you can’t have a countdown to Christmas without Buddy the Elf. Unfortunately dry erase markers don’t come in human flesh color, so Buddy looks like he needs a little sun. Not much of that in the North Pole in the winter anyway.

Countdown to Christmas with Buddy the elf

Countdown to Christmas with Buddy the elf

Today, we’re only one day away from Christmas so Santa is making his first apparition, at least a partial one.

One day until Christmas: Santa coming down the chimney

One day until Christmas: Santa coming down the chimney

I can’t wait to draw Santa wishing us a merry Christmas tonight after the kids go to bed. We have so many small and big presents under the tree, I told my kids they could open a couple of them tonight, so that should be fun. And Christmas morning will be fun of magic once Santa delivers the last presents under the tree.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.

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Fall in San Diego: mountains, apple picking and pumpkin patch, here we come!

I know I’m going to jinx it by saying this but I think fall has finally arrived in San Diego. We got our first rain storm of the season last week, when we usually don’t see a drop of rain until some time in November. Now that’s something to celebrate! The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are warm, fall is in the air!

These past couple of weekends, we’ve done a few things to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. First we took a daytrip to the mountains and visited the small town of Idyllwild, where we vacationed this past June. I was wondering what it would look like after the two large wildfires they suffered during the summer but the town was untouched and most of the wooded areas around were left intact. And what a beautiful day we picked to go there! Take a look at the view as we were making our way up the mountains. Not a single car on the road in front or behind us, beautiful pine trees bordering the road, and a great blue sky.

On the road to Idyllwild, California

On the road to Idyllwild, California

We had breakfast in town, then went hiking, enjoyed a picnic in the woods, and hiked some more. While hiking in Idyllwild Park, we volunteered to fill a paper bag with acorns. The oak trees produced a lot of them this year and if too many new oak trees start growing, they will take away precious water from the older trees, which may dry up and become a fire danger. As we were picking acorns off the forest grounds, my 7-year old compared the activity to an Easter egg hunt, but with acorns. Very observant boy!

In exchange for our hard work, we were offered to fill two small bags with polished rocks. BEST reward ever for “helping to save the forest”, as my oldest said. Here’s our stash. Hey, there are even a few pink and purple rocks for me!

Earning polished rocks for picking acorns in Idyllwild

Earning polished rocks for picking acorns in Idyllwild

We continued our taste of fall last weekend by visiting the town of Julian, California, about an hour east of San Diego. The very hot, very strong Santa Ana winds were in full force that day, blowing dust all over the place. The boys got to experience their very first windstorm but we had to find places that were immune to the wind drafts in the morning. One of them was Mom’s Pie Restaurant, where we bought a boysenberry pie. It was still warm out of the oven and so the three of us got forks and started digging into the pie for a midmorning snack. Best pie ever!

Berry pie at Mom's Pie in Julian

Berry pie at Mom’s Pie in Julian

The winds died down in the afternoon so we took this opportunity to go apple picking, and get fresh fruit off the tree. When I got home, I baked apple pie and made applesauce with the leftover apples. As you can see, I had my work cut out when it came to peeling these delicious apples!

Apple picking and apple pie in Julian, California

Apple picking and apple pie in Julian, California

The day after was a no-school day so we went on another fall adventure, this time to visit Bates Nut Farm, a very popular pumpkin patch in San Diego. It was deserted on a Monday morning and the perfect time to go!

Fall decorations at the pumpkin patch

Fall decorations at the pumpkin patch

Of course, you can’t go to a pumpkin patch without visiting the pumpkin fields. That’s a lot of giant pumpkins! And that was only one field out of two.

Field of giant pumpkins

Field of giant pumpkins

Do you know how much fun it is to play with the pumpkins? Oh, look, this pumpkin has bunny ears!

Pumpkin with bunny ears

Pumpkin with bunny ears

I know this is just the beginning of fall in San Diego, as Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. But guess what my favorite sight at the pumpkin patch was? The Christmas decorations inside the store! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s only 71 days away!

Christmas decorations at Bates Nut Farm

Christmas decorations at Bates Nut Farm