Thursday, December 29, 2011
|Em's behind the purple feather :)|
|Emma's glasses are reflecting ;)|
Sunday, December 25, 2011
This year was on my top favorites list. All day the feeling of peace, calm, joy washed over me again and again. So many things contributed to this being all I could wish for, I am not sure I could account them all...
* Most of the presents my children wanted this year were within our ability (and blessing) to provide. We wanted for little and hoped for less. They relished each gift with gusto, as the number of gifts received was small, but wished for. Why we ever tried to do more than they ask for I will never know.
* BIG: For the first time in over 3 years... all the bills that were due this month were actually PAID this month... (before Christmas!)... and we did some Christmas (with some special angels help) for our family and even though our first bill is due at the begining of January... there will be no bills carrying over to next month. PEACE. A.m.a.z.i.n.g. I could not ask for more. And no credit card bill waiting for us come January. I had forgotten how *important* something so small is to the well being and peace of mind of a soul.
* We were happy with what we have... instead of wishing for more.
* Each of our "events" with family were on seperate days. There was no hurting anyone's feelings, no rushing from house to house, no schedules to keep. We got to enjoy each family event to the fullest, without stress and guilt. It was perfect and it made me so very happy inside. We have the best family to love and support us. We are so very blessed.
* Emmy and I got to sing the Ward Choir today... the program was perfect! I could not keep the tears from steaming down my cheeks. How very choice to be able to attend Sacrament meeting on Christmas Day. *LOVED* it.
So many other tender mercies made this holiday one I will never forget. It was completely perfect!!
Monday, December 12, 2011
|WOW! I have gotten big :P|
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Christmas all Month Long Ideas:
* Sugar cookie day
Cut out/decorate the sugar cookie dough I made while they are at school. We either share them with neighbors or leave the on the counter to snack on for the week ahead.
* Bless the Birds Day
Take pine cones and spread them with peanut butter and roll them in bird seed. We hang them on the trees for the birds holiday season
* Snowflake day
We each cut out a bunch of snowflakes and hang them all over the dining room ceiling from sewing thread. (It's really pretty because the heater vent in the ceiling makes them "dance" all month long.) If we can afford it I try to find snowflake designed paper plates/cups to eat on for dinner that night.
* "Muppets Christmas Carol" Night
(our most favorite Christmas movie!)
We watch the DVD while eating pizza and drinking root beer.
* Secret Santa Night
We always give a Nativity Set, one piece at a time, for the 12 days of Christmas - 1 piece from the Nativity set for each night with a story telling about each piece - so this night we read them all together (take turns reading), wrap up each piece, get it ready and under the tree for quick delivery in the nights to come (I have copies of the stories for them if you would like them)
* Christmas Puzzle Night
I bought a couple of puzzles from the Dollar Store and we spend an evening putting them together and snacking on pretzels and M&M's. Caleb is a puzzle whiz!
* Best Decor Award
We take a box of Chocolate Orange sticks, or other store bought wrapped treat and a computer generated certificate with us in the car and drive around the neighborhood and deliver it to the home we think has the Best Lights/Decor - we usually do this the week before Christmas as some people wait until then to put up their lights! The families are always SO surprised! It is fun!
* Emma Cookie Day
* Cody Cookie Day
* Cameron Cookie Day
* Caleb Cookie Day
(They get to pick what kind of cookies we make. I try to do the cookie days once a week the whole month to spread them out)
* Polar Express Night
Watch the DVD and make Hot Cocoa to drink - we also "must" get up and dance to the Hot Chocolate song LOL
* Temple Square/Traxx
We always have this one on our to-do's and never quite make it! Hopefully this year! - usually someone is sick that night! :( XXcrossing our fingersXX we make it this year... I think Caleb would be THRILLED to ride the train.
* Christmas Caroling Family Home Evening
We used to hit our own neighborhood, but now that they know so many people, we don't - the kids like not knowing who they sing to! LOL
* Neighbor Gifts Delivery
* Game Night with Friends
Last year we had dinner together on a Sunday night and my friend brought this dough (I have the recipe) to make cut out cinnamon scented ornaments - similar to sugar cookies, but non-edible, and baked them. They made my house smell terrific for days! LOL and you could smell them all season from the Christmas tree. Then we played our favorite games & ate treats.
* Home Alone Double Feature
With LOTS of laughs and Lots of popcorn!
* Dorius Family Party OR Ward Party
If his G'ma does theirs another night besides Christmas Eve, if not we don't count this one and often replace it with the Ward Christmas Party.
* Ewell Family Party OR Visit with Santa
G'pa Ewell always dresses as Santa at their party... so you could make a visit to a Santa for this night :) that's the highlight of this night anyway... LOL and it helps me know for sure we are on the right track for the kids gifts LOL
* Festival of Lights
We put the seats down and all load in the back of our car - usually with our old friends the Throckmorton's - yes it is very squishy - and sing Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs - you know...to annoy the dad's in the front seats *giggle*- and go see the Festival of lights. We open the back window once we are there and let the littlest ones peer out... it's way fun and cheap!
* Make your own Ornament and give it away
This year I got 2 kits at the Dollar Store that makes 3 ornaments for $1!
* Kids Shopping Trip
I take 2 children at a time and they buy each other a gift for Christmas from the Dollar Store and wrap it. I take them usually & then we hide out in my bedroom while they wrap. The ones who stay home watch Christmas cartoons with Dad.
* Temple Anniversary "Date"
We were sealed on the 6th... so we used to go drive around the temple and talk about our family's sealing and such. This year we want to take the 2 older kids to do some temple work the week of our Anniversary.
* Santa Cookies!! - Done on Christmas Eve Eve (LOL)
We have to make Santa cookies the day before we need them! LOL Usually I just use pre-made dough and they place them on the cookie sheet, but then we turn on Christmas music and dance in the kitchen while they cook.
* Read the Nativity - while they act it out - by "candle light" - (Christmas Eve)
(I bought the battery operated candles you can get at the Dollar Store. They loved to read the Scriptures about Jesus' birth by candle light right before bed and each use their own candles to go to bed with. Last year they also wanted to act it out and it was a hoot! I am sure they will want to again this year... puppy Sophie makes SUCH a good baby Jesus! LOL! It also nice because the candles all take 2 batteries each, so I am guaranteed to at least have 8-10 AA's for Christmas morning! LOL)
I learned to NOT tell the kids which day was for what for most of these, or even that I was planning it, so if it did not work out they weren't disappointed. They just love the surprise of Mom saying "let's go/do..." And often it took less than 15-30 min. but they were THRILLED!
* Yearly Christmas Ornament
Each year our kids are each given a new Christmas Ornament to put on the Christmas Tree. It usually has something to do with what has happened in their life that year. It is fun to keep a running list of who's ornament is who's and why in the ornament box and read it as we put up the Christmas tree.
* Read Christmas Stories Every Night by the Christmas Tree
One thing we have done since they were babies is read Christmas stories at bedtime every year. We have a couple of books that has a story for each night of December (Thank Aunt Becky & FLYSistah Allie!). We often miss one or two nights because, well, that is just how it is in December! LOL! But they love it! We usually turn off all the lights but the Christmas tree and just before family prayer we gather around the Christmas tree and read a quick story and say our prayers. It really makes for a great season!
* Preparing Jesus' Manger
We have a wooden manger that we keep under (or near) the Christmas tree. We have a bunch of yellow yarn cut into 2-3" lengths. Every time we see someone do something kind/they do something kind or an act of service that no one knows about, one that would make Jesus happy, we put a piece of "straw" in the manger for "baby Jesus Christmas morning". Anyone is allowed to do it, anytime of day. The first year we did it, it was hard for Caleb because he would fill it and empty it all day long, he just liked being able to play with it! LOL The kids would get SO annoyed at him! But last year they all did really well at it. We all laughed one day when I was at my wits end and I marched into the living room... and grabbed 5 strands of yarn and put them in the manger. The kids all wanted to know why... and I answered because I really wanted to yell at each one of you all and decided not to! They burst into giggles and it really lightened the mood. It is a fun tradition.
I hope you enjoy the ideas I try to use! If you have any others I would *LOVE* to hear them! :) Happy Traditions Planning!