Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

It's Christmas Morning, let's see what tidbits I can get in on this most wonderful of days.

We slept past 8:30.  A great start to the day.

Maggie came and snuggled with Jeffry and I after Jack shouted at her.  Snuggle may be too strong a word.  Maggie is not really a snuggler.  She's a chipper morning chatterer.  In reality then, Maggie came into our bed and talked to us.  It was fun though, because she is in a good mood in the morning.
Jack, on the other hand ......

After getting the kids cleaned up and dressed, and tending to the beds, Auntie Caryn called!  I got to talk a long time while the others in the house were able to wish her a Merry Christmas.  To keep the kids from interrupting my conversation, Jeffry showed them "The Little Drummer Boy".  After getting off the phone and putting the turkey in the oven, I started working on waffles and dishes.  (Yes, simultaneously, are you surprised?)

Maggie came up once the show was over and informed me; "The lamb died." (with a dramatically sad face).  Moments later, I believe she said; "The lamb's okay!" (cue dramatically happy face)

At breakfast, Jeffry and I were discussing Santa.  Maggie states; (cue sad face) "Santa died.  He got stuck in the chim-min-nee."  Backtracking ...... On Thursday, there was a party at my work for the students.  I don't normally work on Thursdays, but I was responsible for the food so I went in.  My boss understands that I don't usually have childcare on Thursdays and since I wasn't actually instructing ... Jack and Maggie got to come to the party too.  One of my co-workers gets really festive at the parties, so he had a hat on that looked like a chimney with boot-shod feet sticking out of the top.  If he presses a button, the legs wiggle and "Santa" says something about being stuck.  Maggie and Jack were of course terribly amused by the hat, and Maggie just put two and two together when Jeffry and I were discussing Santa over our waffles.

Moments later, Jeffry took some of Maggie's applesauce (cue genuine sad face accompanied by tears).  We laughed, which in retrospect wasn't very kind.  Poor little girl.

11:48 am, I suppose I ought to get to the dishes and dinner preparation ... back for more in a bit.

I put tights on Maggie, then decided that since she was close enough, I'd try to clean her ears.  One down, and as I attempted to get at the other one, she tells me; "You break me!"  (Huh?)
Then I put slippers on her feet and she informs me; "I go in space!"  (I'm wondering if Dad has said something about the slippers looking like moon boots?)

Later, Maggie mentions space for the second time.  When questioned, she suggests it's in the living room.  Upon further investigation, she says; "a Jesus house."  Yes, Maggie, space is in Jesus' house.

Leesha came home from being with her dad in order to join us for our meal and gift opening.  It was nice to have her home.  She was quite pleasant.

Our gift opening was nice.  All three kids got home-made placemats.  Jack and Maggie got capes that I made, as well as a Cars car from Leesha.  Jack's other gifts were a new GI Joe guy with vehicle, a Smurf figure and the green pig from Angry Birds (from Great Grandma Smith).  Maggie got a Tinkerbell doll and 3 Smurf figures (from Great Grandma Smith).  Leesha's gifts were money (thanks Great Grandma), a rag quilt and digital camera.
Leesha gave Jeffry and I certificates for time with her.  We'll have to cash in on those.

It's bedtime now, so I'm going to wrap it up.

More humor for the day:  I've suggested that Jeffry try some non-anti-perspirant deodorant that I got at Trader Joe's.  He used my "powder scented" deodorant instead.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 for Christmas

25 days until it is Christmas.

I've finally getten to the point where I want to make crafts with the little ones, and build some memories.

I know it's ambitious to think we can handle a project a day until Christmas arrives, but here's what I have in mind so far (in no particular order) ...

1. Pom Pom Peef 
My kids absolutely love Peef the Christmas Bear (and subsequent books) by Tom Hegg.  They're with our stack of Christmas books, and are a re-re-read annually.  It's difficult for me to believe that nobody has thought of this yet, but a couple of Google searches didn't bring up anything like what I've in mind (although you might be surprised at what it does bring up.)  I'm thinking multi-colored pompoms glued together in the shape of a bear.  How simple is that?

2. Hand Reindeer Ornament
I'm stealing this one from my friend Sarah, and her blog: http://keepacookie.blogspot.com/.  Here's her link for the craft: http://kidsstuffworld.com/2010/12/handprint-reindeer-ornaments/  And, to give credit where it is due, this whole idea is a knock-off of hers.  Thanks Sarah.

3. Picture Frame
I love the Dollar Tree, and they're sure to have a wooden frame we can paint and decorate for a framed memory.

4. Felt Snowman
Why not create a snowman out of felt, with accessories out of felt that they can decorate and re-decorate? For that matter, why not a reindeer, gingerbread person, etc.

5. Paper Plate Wreath
My house will be decorated after all.

6. Felt Christmas Tree
Again from my friend Sarah.  Here's the link: http://emptybobbinsewing.com/2010/12/12/o-christmas-tree-o-felt-christmas-tree/  Our house is not big enough to accommodate an actual tree (that's just one of our excuses for not having one), yet the kids would really like to do one.  They can help with most aspects of this one.

7. Paper Snowflakes
Remember these?

8. Bell Wreath 
I've no doubt will become a bracelet, anklet, or tambourine, and eventually, annoying.

9. Sculpey something or another
Love Sculpey

10. Popsicle Stick Reindeer
And more reindeer: http://www.christmasdecorationcrafts.com/Reindeer_Ornaments.html

11. Candy Cane and Felt Mouse

12. TriBead Ornaments

13. Salt Dough Ornaments
Why am I coming up with all these ornament ideas when we have no tree?

14. Pipe Cleaner Tree
That'll fix par of the problem mentioned above.  Here's an idea of what I think my kids can handle making, but there are some really pretty trees out there that they could hang ornaments on. http://kidoozy.com/blog/?p=2983

15. Stocking
I'm sure these are available at the Dollar Tree too.  I'd even go so far as to make one out of felt or foam that doesn't even open since we don't do stockings around here.  For that matter, we could do a big open-able one the first day, and each subsequent day could have the craft supplies for the days project inside.

16. Glue and Shaving Cream Snowmen (why stop there? Tree, Wreath, Reindeer, the list goes on!) http://www.oopseydaisyblog.com/2010/12/book-advent-day-9-snowmen-at-christmas.html

16. Donut Hole Snowman
If you haven't already, see above link, and scroll down.

17. Christmas Hat
Can you say glue and glitter?

18.  Reindeer Antlers 
I'm sure there are some $1 headbands out there.  Pipe cleaners should cover the rest.  Bells are up to you.

19.  Cookies
There are too many to list.

20. Treats
How about these: http://www.mommysavers.com/2011/11/kids-in-the-kitchen-chocolate-acorn-treats/ or these: http://amysfinerthings.com/rice-krispies-treats-ornaments

21. Gingerbread Men (pain free, unless you burn yourself)
I bought pre-cut gingerbread men at Target, as well as the tiny tubes of decorators frosting.  Bake, cook, decorate, enjoy.

22. Felt Gingerbread House
I'm thinking of starting here http://www.flickr.com/photos/27999808@N07/3988438949/, and finding decorations the kids can use to make it their own, again and again.

23.  Mixes in a Jar
Do you have any idea how many things you can put in a jar?  What an excellent gift idea, and kids can really be involved in this.  Just search for "mixes in a jar" and go for what you like.  For those in Minnesota, Fleet Farm has good prices on the Mason Jars.  I think Cub might be pretty similar.

Paper Chains

Pointless, I know, but remember how fun they were?  (Not to mention how time consuming it can be, to provide a few "mommy minutes")

25. Coloring Sheets
Let's make it easy for these last few days, shall we?

In my research, I also came across:
I think I might even be able to get my teenager interested in some of those.
In the last couple of years, she's made personalized keyrings and bookmarks, as well as reversible baskets.

Funny how I just typed "Happy Holidays!" 
then deleted it knowing full well I need to wish you and yours 
A Very Merry Christmas!  

Because, if it weren't for the birth of Christ, we wouldn't have reason to celebrate at all.  It's not the tree,  wreaths, stars, candles, crafts, gifts or consumerism at all.  It's not even the time together with friends and family, although that is a tremendous blessing.

It's Jesus, plain and simple.

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