A very THANKFUL advent

A little November flashback for sentimental purposes.. and because it's fun to see it all in one place! :)  Last year, Thanksgiving was quite overlooked for us.  I'm not sure if it was because of the lack of seasonal changes, hot apple cider and donuts, or the fact that no one in Brazil cares about an American holiday.  It was one of those "little things" that I didn't even think about and it made me homesick for the first time since we'd been here.  So this year, I decided to take it up a notch by creating a Thanksgiving Advent calendar to help us count down to the big day!  This is one tradition that we will definitely keep!  The count down is half the fun.. maybe more!  It made for one very thankful, and very FUN month!!!  Each bag had a slip of paper in it with something we are thankful for and a corresponding activity to do that day:
November 1st - "We are thankful for our FRIENDS!" .. Play dates for everyone :)
November 2nd - "We are thankful for our TOYS!" ..after a quick organizing of the toy room, the kids decided to construct a tower using EVERY Lego in the bucket.  Trust me, this is harder than it sounds!
November 3rd - "We are thankful for our MOUTHS!" ..make and share a yummy treat together.  Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies anyone?? :)
November 4th - "We are thankful for our GRANDPARENTS!" ..sadly due to the 5hr time difference we couldn't reach anyone via Skype, so we left messages instead.
November 5th - "We are thankful for our NEIGHBORS!" ..our very PATIENT neighbors who have yet to complain about all the noise I'm sure they hear on a daily basis!  Nothing says "thank you!" quite like a fresh batch of Snickerdoodles!
November 6th - "We are thankful for PARKS!" ..and off we went to enjoy a beautiful sunny day at one of our favorites! :)
November 7th- "We are thankful for our FAMILY!" ..play a game together as a family.  Jenga is one of our favorites!
November 8th - "We are thankful for SNUGGLING!" ..snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together.
November 9th - "We are thankful for DADDY!" ..make a special surprise for daddy.  The kids wrote messages and drew pictures to decorate the door for when Brandon arrived home, and I had a very lovely, very LARGE homemade cheese pizza waiting for him (sadly we were out of toppings.. we aren't usually that boring - no offense to cheese lovers!). :)
November 10th - "We are thankful for ICE CREAM!" ..out to ice cream we went, courtesy of McDonald's!
November 11th - "We are thankful for TEMPLES!" ..enjoy a picnic outside the Sao Paulo LDS temple. :)
November 12th - "We are thankful for our TEACHERS!" ..words can't express how true this really is!  Each of my kids have the PERFECT teachers to help bring out the best in each of them.  These were peanut butter cookies.. I was in a crazy baking mood all month I swear!
November 13th - "We are thankful for our HANDS!" ..do a project using your hands :) - turkey hand prints soon covered all of our glass windows and doors!  *Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE washable paint?!  What would childhood be without it?  Truly.
November 14th - "We are thankful for JESUS!" ..read stories about Jesus and sing songs to him. :)
November 15th - "We are thankful for NATURE!" ..Sadly Miss B didn't get to join us on our nature walk scavenger hunt today since she was on a play date, but the kids did save her a few treasures! :)
November 16th - "We are thankful for TURKEYS!" ..make a turkey craft!  Turkey apples are a favorite in this house! :)
November 17th - "We are thankful for HEALTHY BODIES!" ..the hubster took the kids out for a little fitness testing.. a 7month prego woman just didn't seem to quite fit the bill for this activity!
November 18th - "We are thankful for our BRAZIL!" ..take a trip to Rio!!! :)  This was the most anticipated bag for us - the kids of course had no idea and it was SO fun to surprise them!  Of course I had to get it on video.. just don't mind my over excited "RIO!" squeal.  Lol
November 19th - "We are thankful for CULTURE!" ..go on a sightseeing adventure.  Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) - DEFINITELY a must see!!! :)
November 20th - "We are thankful for the BEACH!" ..a trip to the infamous Ipanema beach seemed quite fitting. :)
November 21st - "We are thankful for BOOKS!" ..one of the many reasons I love having kids is that it gives me a legitimate excuse to read all of the great children's books that are available!
November 22nd - "We are thankful for FOOD!" ..enjoy a Thanksgiving feast!!!  With the backdrop of my girlfriends beach house, this was by far the most amazing and relaxing Thanksgiving we've ever had!  Princess P was pretty wiped out from all the beach and pool fun.. poor thing fell asleep before even tasting the amazing meal!
In conclusion, if you've ever contemplated an advent calendar to spice up the holidays, I only have one thing to say:  STOP CONTEMPLATING AND JUST DO IT!!!  Seriously.  You won't regret it!  Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.


  1. WOW what an amazing November! You are supermom! I'll have to keep this in mind for next year.

    1. Thanks Paige - you're too cute! You are entering the mega fun zone with little Fox! Preschool age is the best!!! :)

  2. I will have to try it out next year too. Thanks for the idea. :)

    1. Anytime! I'm glad you liked it! ;)