Archive for December, 2008

Horse Drawn Wagon Ride

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

A fun horse drawn ride through fields of tiny white lights lining fences and sleigh bells and hot cocoa.  Throw in the farm experience with goats and horses and pigs and it sounds so festive and great for the whole family.  And apparently a lot, a whole lot of other people thought so too. 

 

And I’m sure the kids won’t remember that we stood in line for 2 hours waiting for our 10 minute ride in the very very bitter cold.  Sure, the kids and their cousins got a bit ‘wild’ waiting in line that long at night, and the baby got really unhappy about an hour and a half into it and I our toes almost froze. 

 

But the kids really loved it and want to go help volunteer at the farm so they can spend more time with the animals, and that’s all that matters, so it was worth it.

Thru My Eyes — Cookie Crumbs

Monday, December 29th, 2008

 

This Santa guy supposedly loves cookies, but he must have been getting full by the time he got to our house because he sure left a lot of crumbs.

 

Not one to let good food (no matter how stale) go to waste, I cleaned the plate off for him. 

 

Besides, they were my cookies.  Mom didn’t bake any Christmas cookies this month, she used mine…without asking…what’s up with that?

Quick Wreath Ornaments

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

After a week of sitting on our front porch getting covered with snow, then ice, and then more snow, we were finally ready to put up our Christmas tree.  Somehow it turned into a all weekend project.  We put it up Friday, put lights on it Saturday and did the ornaments yesterday.   It’s done now, well, except for the star, but that’s my fault because I didn’t want to use the little old bought star we have, I thought the kids and I could make one that’s bigger, maybe we’ll start a new tradition and put the star up on Christmas Eve.  (That gives me 2 more days to get it done!)

While decorating we realized that the tree was a little top heavy, with all the breakable ornaments hung up out of the reach of an 18 month old standing on a bench (because I know she would pull the bench over to get whatever ornaments she could.)   We decided to make some  ‘Alexandra friendly’ ornaments that couldn’t be easily destroyed that we could hang near the base of the tree.  What we came up with were some of these cute little wreaths.

I had these tiny grape vine wreaths from a craft store a few years ago and since they looked rather plain, they never made it to the tree.   So we ventured into our scrap craft box and found some ribbon and lace and flowers and with a glue gun came up with a bunch of these cute little things in less than an hour.

They are so darn adorable, next year we may have to make some as gifts!

And if you don’t have little grape vine wreaths, just take a thin piece of pine (white pine branches work great) and wrap into a little circle to decorate.

Stained Glass Cards

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

 

The Christmas cards are finally finished.  Yeah!

 Not mailed mind you, not even stamped yet, for that matter, but at least the ‘artwork’ is done.

 

I know I had originally been planning to choose between three types of card ideas I had found, but I had a crayon project in the back of my mind that I saw on Martha Stewart’s page a few months ago and that gave me inspiration.   I guess I just love the idea of doing something with crayons besides picking them up off the floor and scrubbing them off the walls. 

 

 

Somehow the idea for stained glass windows on a church popped into my head amongst all the daily clutter.  So I had the twins each draw several churches with big windows  Then we chose one from each of them to use for the cards, and I traced them with permanent marker.  We had photocopies made on card stock paper, two cards on each sheet.

 

Back at home the kids colored the churches with colored pencils and we cut out the windows.  Next, the fun began, making the crayon melts.

 

 

All we had to do was choose colors, get crayon shavings using a pencil sharpener and then put them between waxed paper.

 

We put several sheets of newspaper under the wax paper, and then two sheets on top before ironing the crayons. 

With a medium heat iron you only need to press on the crayons for about 5 seconds, but you can lift the newspaper and check to see if they are melted enough.

 

 

One tip, watch the colors you use so you don’t end up with blacks or browns.  Red and green colors will make brown.  We found that our best ‘stained glass’ used yellow, light green and then some pink or purple and some blue.

 

After melting we let them cool a minute then cut and taped a piece of stained glass on the inside of our card.  Then we cut a piece of white copy paper and glued it over that page of the card to cover the back of the stained glass.

 

We think they turned out pretty neat.  In fact we had to hold each individual one up to a window to see just how pretty and unique each one of the ‘stained glass windows’ really looked.

 These make such pretty cards that could be used for Christmas or Easter if you stick with a church theme, but I’m sure you can think of other cards to make with this technique.

Visa Gift Card Winner

Monday, December 15th, 2008

There were so many special childhood Christmas memories shared in our giveaway comments and it seems the simple things are the most memorable.  Whether its driving around looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations or singing Christmas carols on the way to a relatives house or around the Christmas tree children remember the family time and love that go along with the holiday.

 

So even though Christmas is just 10 days away, you still have plenty of time to start or continue some holiday traditions this year that your children will cherish forever.

 

Thank you to everyone who entered our Visa Gift Card giveaway.

 

And our winner of a $25 Visa Gift Card to do some last minute Christmas shopping (again drawn by the scientific process of my mom picking a number) is number 25! 

 

Congratulations Miranda!   

Kids Helping at Christmas

Friday, December 12th, 2008

With way too many things to do as the holidays approach, wouldn’t it be nice to be like Santa and have your own little elves to help you get ready?

OK, so there are no elves south of the North Pole, but if you have kids or grandkids (or access to anyone else’s kids) then you can make your own elves!

Here are some fun ideas of how the kids can help you prepare for the holidays that will keep them busy and will use up a bit of all the excess Christmas energy.

Wrapping Paper.  Give them some brown or white craft paper then let them stamp, finger paint, color, draw or sticker it up for some unique, festive, and most likely very colorful, holiday gift wrap.  

Gift Tags.  Give kids a sheet of self stick address labels that you put through your printer.  On the left side they can do stamping, stickers or they can draw a little tree or ornament, and next to it they write the ‘To:’ and ‘From’.   For some special recycled gift tags, let the kids cut out pictures from old Christmas cards and write to and from on the front or back.

Homemade Decorations.  Have the kids make fabric wreaths and garlands for on the doors and fireplace.  All they need is a wire hanger bent into a circle and green fabric cut into about 100 1 inch by 8 inch strips that they tie on the hanger.  For the garland use a string of lights and they’ll need 5 strips of fabric to tie between every two lights.  You’ll have beautiful decorations, and the kids will be so proud of themselves.  Or have them make some old favorites like paper chains, stringed popcorn, or gingerbread houses (from a kit).

Festive Containers.  If you need to wrap up homemade cookies and candies then everyone will appreciate if you put them in pretty hand-decorated containers.  Have the children use modge podge (or a mixture of 3 parts elmers glue and one part water) and tissue paper, or scraps of wrapping paper to decoupage small boxes and containers.   Oatmeal containers, baby formula containers, cleaned pickle jars, and most any container will do.

Christmas Cards.   Homemade cards are always special, and there are a variety of cards children can make.  There are websites for making pop up cards, cards with spinning snowflakes, and cards made from old wrapping paper.   You can do a quick search for ‘homemade Christmas cards’ to find dozens more great ideas from the simple to the more elaborate.

So whether your elves are little or big, let them help you create a more unique and less stressful Christmas season this year.

Plastic Wrapped Ornaments

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

With just two weeks till Christmas and the knowledge that we’ll be getting our tree this weekend, it was time to start thinking of some ornaments for the twins to make.  I got out the clear ornaments and was ready to get out the paints to put in them when a roll of Reynolds colored plastic wrap got my attention.  It was in the craft ‘closet’ for another project that was nixed and it looked lonely.

Knowing I wanted to do something really quick and not at all messy, I wrapped an ornament in the colored plastic.  It looked really cute!  And I can just imagine the lights twinkling through it on the tree.

The twins loved it too, and so we made a few of them up in red and green and some ribbon.  We’ll be making some in blue for Jarod and purple for Makenna as soon as I get to the store for more plastic wrap.

The best part is I was thinking we could use the plastic wrap to recycle some old ornaments that we have that aren’t as shiny or colorful as they used to be.  And, the plastic wrap isn’t permanent like paint, so if we want to change the colors to have all blue ornaments next year we could do that.

Ready for Christmas?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

May I be honest and admit that I got absolutely nothing done towards Christmas this weekend.  Not one cookie baked or decoration pulled out of storage or even one minute of working on gifts.  I admit it.  I think it’s one of those things that qualifies me as a bad mother…not having any decorations up when there’s only two weeks till Christmas. 

 

It wasn’t my fault though.  We were planning on getting the tree this weekend.   Really, but then  the addition on our house is finally finished and after 8 months of living cramped in my parent’s house I just had to get some of the stuff moved in the new rooms.  I had to be able to sleep in a room that wasn’t wall to wall furniture and clothes and boxes everywhere. 

It’s so nice.   Now if I could just lock myself up in there and not have to move all the other stuff that has to be unpacked and rearranged.

 

So if I’m a bad mother, I can live with that while I sleep in my nice new, uncluttered bedroom. 

The tree will just have to wait till next week.

Giveaway - $25 Visa Gift Card

Friday, December 5th, 2008

 

Since our first kidoozy giveaway was such a success and I had so much fun reading all the comments about our projects,  we have decided to do one again.

Our newest giveaway keeps in mind that Christmas is just around the corner,  and with it, comes so many little expenses in so many places.  Whether it is ingredients for the holiday dinner, gas to get to grandmas, or fabric for that last minute gift you still have to make, extra money is always needed.

So wouldn’t you love a $25 Visa Gift Card to use whenever and virtually wherever you want in that last week leading up to Christmas?

To enter Kidoozy.com’s $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite childhood Christmas memory.  I’m always wondering what types of things to do with my children to create the best memories for them, and what better way to get ideas than to find out what grownups remember best from when they were kids.

You need to leave your comment by 11:59 EST Monday December 15, 2008. 

One winner will be chosen at random on December 16, 2008 and will be notified by email.

Thru My Eyes….Naps

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

“Let me just start by saying, I love my mom…but, what is this woman’s obsession with naps!  Every day around 11:30 it’s the same thing, ‘naptime!’, she announces, like it’s something special.”

 

“Now you would think she could take a hint when I start kicking and screaming as she drags me in to my crib that I don’t want a nap.  But, mom’s a little dense when it comes to such things.  It’s like she’s living vicariously through me.  Is it my fault that she would like to take a nap and never has time?  Ok, maybe that is a little my fault.  But still, it’s not fair.”

 

“I need to talk to the twins.  Word is that they stopped taking naps at 18 months and I’m almost that, so I have to hear how they managed it.”

 

“For now I give in to her and sleep for about 45 minutes, not because I need to, but just to get her off my case.”