Monday, December 6, 2010

Check & Check

We knocked two things off our "wanna do this Christmas list" this weekend! The girls and I made Christmas cookies:

Please don't let these pictures fool you into thinking that it was a storybook experience. It wasn't. I need to embrace the mess and let go of the images in my head of baking with my girls! Hopefully I learned a thing or two from this year's experience and next year will go more smoothly!

Secondly, our sweet friends, Mr. Tom & Ms. Ginger, came to help the girls do gingerbread houses:

The girls had a blast with Tom & Ginger and their houses turned out so cute! Best of all -- I didn't have to do a thing! Thanks, guys!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Easy Christmas Craft

I had to put together a Christmas craft for a play group we had this morning. The unique aspect of this particular group is that the kiddos ranged in age from 6 all the way down to teensy-tiny! I wanted a craft that everyone could participate in and, for the most part, do for themselves. We hit Hobby Lobby up for glass ball ornaments (24 for $5.99; can you beat that?), raided our craft stash, and picked up a few things from the dollar store. Loved the finished products:

Other ideas using these glass balls:

~~drop in a little watered down paint and let your kids shake them.

~~add stickers (letters for initials are super-cute)!

~~for an "adult looking" ornament carefully stuff in an entire sheet of printed tissue paper (think animal print or something else out of the ordinary).

~~paint markers work great on these ornaments, so you can pretty much personalize them however you'd like!

I have about a dozen left, so we'll be crafting a few more this season; would love to hear your suggestions if you have any!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Time!!

Thanksgiving is over.

(Let me insert a little parenthesis here while I jump up on a soapbox: There is a holiday between Halloween and Christmas, people! It's called Thanksgiving -- it celebrates a significant time in the history of our nation -- it gives us a chance to emphasize gratefulness before our kids start asking for every toy in every catalog!)

Thank you. End parenthesis. Stepping down from the soapbox!

We spent the month of November, like we've done in years past, writing down things we are thankful for. On Thanksgiving morning, we spread out our collections from the entire month and read Psalm 100. After reading, we took some time to do what the Psalm told us to do: we prayed together, sang together, and testified to each other about the things we were thankful for. It was a sweet time and one of my favorite memories from our Thanksgiving weekend!

But, as I began: Thanksgiving is over!! Christmas has arrived!

Lest you think I'm some sort of Scrooge, I am ready for Christmas; in fact, we've already started the celebrating!! Every other year my side of the family celebrates Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. It makes for a crazy busy weekend, but a sweet time for the kids with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. One of the perks is that my Christmas shopping is half done by Thanksgiving!

In addition, we've hunted out, cut down, and decorated our 2010 tree!

We've much more planned: Christmas cookies to bake, cards to mail, gifts to wrap, books to read -- today is December 1, so we'll start our Jesse Tree tonight! We're counting down the days until we leave for snowy Michigan, where we'll celebrate Christmas Day!

Tomorrow . . . a craft idea!