Friday, December 30, 2011

Just a quick Hello to tell you we didn't run away, we travel back to WI for the holidays to see all our friends and family, so I wanted to let you know I will be back next week.  Most likely Monday night  :)  

I have some fun projects I did to share with you, so "stay tuned"  :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traditions worth doing....

We have several traditions in our family, but two are really fun, precious and memorable in our household.  The first is the BEST way hand down to get your kids IN bed and STAY in bed Christmas eve!  Challenge me...but I warn you, my kids are pro's at getting out of bed excuses.  All the way down to using the potty on the OTHER side of the house!

Anyhow back to Christmas...I guess I should put a disclaimer, that they still need to "believe"...I mean who doesn't?

So when you are all ready to snuggle down with your hubby and you want those hyper excited lil ones in their beds, the best this...pj's!

So what happens in our house, is shortly before bedtime we usually hear a knock, thump or some other sort of noise outside.  When someone goes to check there is a package on the doorstep.

On it in a pretty Santa looking envelope holder is this "poem".  Then the children listen intently as this poem is recited...

I made it up myself and I am pretty proud of it..  It is cute if I do say so myself.

Now some years, most of them, I am that cheesy mom who makes her whole family wear matching jammies.  However this year, I just got ones that everyone would love.  Yes daddy is included.  This below picture would have been adorable, but see my then sweet 2 year old throwing a mega Christmas sized tantrum.  Ahhh what a memorable picture.  :)

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Now on to the sweetest tradition.  One that brings the day right back around to the Reason for the Season....

We just started this last year and the girls LOVED it, still talk about it, and it really brought home, after opening all those presents, WHY we were here in the first place.

It is Jesus's birthday cake.  We "make" the whole thing in the morning and have it for a late breakfast!

So here goes, this is how you make a cake for Jesus:

You will need:
12 Red candles
An angel
A star 
Greenery (or at least green frosting)
Chocolate cake (prepared round)
White frosting
Lighter (for the candles)

First you want to have it all out on the table, and just chat a bit about birthdays.
Then you want to tell the story of Jesus’ birth either in your own words or with a story book. For older children have them read it from the Bible (Luke 1-2).

As you put the cake together explain all of this:

Round Cake – The shape of the cake is round with no end, showing that God’s love is never
ending. He loved us so much that he sent his only Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).

Chocolate (dark) Cake - Before knowing Jesus, our hearts are dark, kind of like this cake, and we couldn’t get into heaven with our hearts so full of sin (Romans 3:23).

White frosting – (While frosting the cake, talk about the meaning of the white frosting.)
God did a wonderful thing when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Now all the
darkness is covered up, and Jesus washes our sins white as snow. We are pure white in the
sight of God. When we ask Jesus to forgive all the bad things we’ve done, we are white
like this frosting (Romans 6:23).

Angel Decoration – (Place the angel decoration on the cake or have a child do it.) The
angel reminds us of the good tidings that were brought to the shepherds that night. It
also reminds us we can be like the angel sharing the "good news" to others (Luke 2:10).

Star – (Place the star decoration on the cake or have a child do it.) The star reminds us of
the star in Bethlehem and how the wisemen followed it and worshiped the Lord Jesus. It
reminds us that we should worship and follow Him everyday. We can do this by praying,
reading our Bibles, and going to church.

12 Red Candles – (Place the candles on the cake.) The red color reminds us of Jesus’ blood
that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Because He died and rose again, we can
have eternal life and go to heaven if we believe (Romans 5:8).

Evergreens – (Place evergreens around the cake.) Evergreens around the cake remind us
of something living and growing. If we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, we are going
to grow and get to know Him more. How can we grow to know Him better? By praying,
going to church, reading our Bibles, and sharing Him with others—(John 15:5 or 2 Peter

Light the Candles – ( As you light the candles, say…) Jesus can shine in our hearts if we
just ask Him to be our Savior. The 12 candles remind us to let His light shine every month
of the year, not just at Christmas time (Matthew 5:16).

End by singing Happy Birthday Baby Jesus
And lastly......have CAKE for breakfast!  YUM!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reason for the Season Advent Calendar (DIY)

I got to share this over at Naptime Crafters.  I am really excited about it, but thought I would share it with you here, even tho it is a bit late for it.....

 Soooo, I will get to it.  I LOOOVEEE Christmas, everything behind it.  The reason, the lights, the decoration, the pretty packages, annnd the advent calendars.  I know it is weird.  But there are SOOO many cute ones out there that I have seemed to develop a collection of them.  I need to come up with ideas since a ton of candy and toys is NOT what my little princesses need! So I have a fairly simple craft for you today.  It originated from an idea my MOPS got off the internet, and I ended up making it on my own.  I call it the "Reason for the Season" advent calendar.  However if you are a perfectionist like me, be warned, the simple craft can turn into a lengthily project!

That being said, it is super cute and super easy to do.  If you love scrapbooking at all you are going to be giddy about this calendar.

The Reason for the Season Advent Calendar

First you are going to want to head over to trusty old Wal-Mart.  (seems to be the only place I have found the muffin tin) and get yourself a mini muffin tin.  Make sure it has 24 holes and not 18.  It runs about $5.

Then grab some pretty scrapbook paper for the holidays.  I used my seemingly endless supply.  While you are at it find yourself some embellishments.  The possibilities are limitless!  Old buttons, tiny decor presents, old gift tags you have been hanging onto forever and didn't know why, stickers etc.  I also added in some ribbons.

You will need magnetic sticky paper. (or a frugal way around this to make it less expensive is to collect all those magnetic business cards you get over the year, and cut those up and glue the paper on instead of "stick")
Whatever you decide the squares need to be approximately 2 1/4 x 2 1/4

Once you have all those out, you have to cut your pretty papers into 24 2 1/4 squares as well.

Very carefully tear off the backing to the magnets and place your scrapbook paper on top. (or at this point glue them on)  Now you have your little covers for the "muffin" holes.

Now the easy, or for me tedious, fun part.  You can decorate each square any way you please.  You also can get sticker numbers, or just write them on as I did.  And it didn't even turn out that bad!  (I can't stand my handwriting)

That's it!  You are done!
Don't forget to take scissors or an exacto and cut your corners rounded to they fit smoothly.

You can either have your wonderful hubby drill (ok well you can do it on your own, I'm just not that talented) holes in the top and add pretty ribbon to hang.  (I had this great red and white ribbon to go together, but the little stinkers have some weird obsession with taking ribbons and tying them everywhere and I can't ever seem to find what I am looking for) Or go to the dollar store and purchase a decorative plate stand and stand it sideways.

(He asked me through that grin if I was gong to be putting him on my blog...hehe uh, yes honey)
Now you can fill this little treat with Hershey's kisses, or other small treats your kids like. 

Or as I did for this one (I already have a treat one) I put activities I can do with the kids each day to remind them the real reason for this Holiday Season.  it doesn't have to be big or complicated.  Lord knows my holidays are already filled with that (ie, three girls, traveling by plane and car for holidays, school concerts, dance recitals, Christmas shopping, Santa activities and the list goes on)
Cut out your activities and put them in single strips, Curl them on your pencil and place in the little tin for a day of fun!

 Now you're done and ready for some family fun time to share in the season!


Below is a list of  ideas I have either found or come up with to share with you.

Do you have any ideas of your own that aren't on here?  Please do share!  What are some of your best holiday traditions?

Thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoy the project!


Read Luke 2:1-15. Make an angel ornament
Act out the Nativity
Make a Christmas door hanger with your name.
Pop some popcorn and watch a favorite Christmas Movie.
Make a button tree ornament.
Play fun Christmas music and have a dance party
Make a Christmas card for the mailman
Make snow globe soap.
Make Reindeer donuts.
Make paper snowflakes and hang them all over the house
Read the legend of the candy cane and make a lapbook.
Make a jingle bell wreath
Use dry erase markers to decorate your windows
Make snowflake print paper. Jesus makes us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)
Pop some popcorn and string it on your Christmas tree.
Make peppermint marshmallow hot chocolate stirrers.
Make peppermint bark to give to a neighbor
Go Ice Skating
Make snow candles and read a Christmas story book by
Make and decorate a gingerbread house.
Make a nativity set from recycled materials.
Make a pinecone bird feeder to hang in a tree outside your home.
Sleep under the tree lights. Jesus is the light of the world
Read the Christmas Story from the Bible (Luke 2)
Read Matthew 2:1-12. Make a star ornament.
Have an indoor dinner picnik and watch a Christmas movie
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, or any good christmas show
make spiced cider.
Make Christmas Cookies for friends.
Address and Mail Christmas Cards
Go to Borders and Pick out one new Christmas CD.
Make Thick Hot Chocolate and Homemade Marshmallows
Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards
Donate canned goods
Give neighbors a present
Put up a wreath
Make a Gingerbread house
Make a popcorn garland
Make hot chocolate and read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Sing (or listen) to favorite Christmas songs
Drive around to see neighborhood lights
Go out and see public light display
Read Christmas story from the Bible
Open a gift (new stocking or pajamas or pillowcase)
Make a family traditional dessert
Eat out at a festive restaurant
Go to a seasonal movie
Tell stories of childhood Christmas around the fire
Make decorative sugar cookies
Sign up to purchase gifts for a needy child
Host a Christmas dessert party
Write out a Christ-centered goal to start early for the New Year
Go to a Christmas Concert
Attend City tree lighting event
Have a full traditional breakfast while listening to Christmas music

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hug your family ~ Life is too short

That is what I am asking as I sit here and reflect tonight.  Go hug your kids, and maybe more importantly, your husband.  Really.  How often do you do that randomly?  You need to go do it now, and often.

This is my beautiful family, and I am doing that at this moment....

This one is a serious note folks...

Hubby and I were sitting in church today, and I leaned over to nudge him to get off his phone cuz he was reading emails, again.  Only this time, it didn't end in playful submission.

He handed the phone over to me, displaying something that shook him up a bit.  Bad news about a guy he worked for, but even before that was friends with, we had even attended their wedding years ago.  I remember talking with his wife who had a little one at the time I had Alia.  They are such nice down to earth real people.

He was a Badgers fan just like my hubby, the only difference, he held hockey tickets and Brandon has football ones.  But both lived in Green Bay and are loyal fans.  He would go back a handful of times for the games, just like he did this Saturday.

The only thing is, he never made it home.  He was killed at 10:45 pm on the way home.  On a road the hubs and I drove thousands of times.  Some of them probably tired and not playing attention too.  They said nothing (foul) was involved.  Seems like he might have just simply fallen asleep at the wheel.

How tragic though.  He has two little ones similar ages to mine, and a loving wife he is leaving behind.  Such a good man, such a horrible thing to happen.  And this time of the year...I honestly can tell you I have NO CLUE how I would survive with out my Brandon.  He is my light, my whole world.  My everything.  Really.

So to honor Chris's life, all I can do, the best I can do, the most I can do, is to tell you to NEVER EVER think that this life isn't short.  And in doing so HUG, KISS, LOVE, talk with, spent TIME with your family, your kids, your husband, and OFTEN!!  TELL them you love them and cherish them and appreciate them.

This life is too short to do nothing else.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We had a visitor

She was tiny, has wings, swims in water, wears a purple dress with lots of glitter (has dark hair according to Alia) and puts fun treats under your pillow.

Can you guess who it is?  It's not a tinker bell, or barbie or anyone of the sort, and no I am not seeing things....most of the time.

I read a while back about the neatest idea to really get the magic and wonder of childhood going.

What is the first right of passage for a lil one?  In my limited experience I would say it is the loss of your first tooth!

A few days ago I had a conversation with Alia as she was getting ready for school:

Alia: (in a funny lisp type tone) Mama I need you to pull this tooth out, it keeps flapping in my mouth.
(poor kid, it was laying flat)
Me: Uh, I don't think so, go to school and have Mr. Mark pull it for you (those things give me the heebe jeebes)
Alia (in her best annoyed teenage impression) UGH fine I'll just go do it myself

And so she did, she came out screaming happy shouts.  "I am REALLY a big girl now!"  She thinks she is grown, and she sure looks older to me!

Anyhow, the wonder on her sweet face the next morning was worth a MILLION dollars.

Instead of putting the tooth under the pillow, who thought of that anyhow, they are near impossible to find; you put it in a glass of water next to your bed.

Then when the tooth fairy comes, her dress turns the water its color. Your possibilities are endless!  Alia's first tooth fair wore a purple dress, and then I added some glitter to the water, around the glass and a small trail leading to her pillow.

The pictures really don't do it justice, it was hard so late at night to get a good one

Under her pillow she got a GOLD (I'm rich mama) coin, a pack of trident, and some wisp tooth brush thingies

She saw all that with the trail of glitter and she couldn't stop talking about it.  She had to call her grandma right away, and her papa, and anyone else who would listen about her magical fairy.

So I highly recommend using this fashion for the tooth fairy.  The childhood innocence and wonder attached with it was truly amazing, made this mama smile from ear to ear!

Do you have any tooth fairy, or other such traditions that others may not?  Please share away!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I get to Guest Post!

Hey all.  I'm so excited.  I get to do my very first guest post.

And I couldn't be more excited as to where.  I got the priveladge to meet Amy from Naptime Crafters in the fall when I went to that blogger party at the Cheesecake factory.

She has such amazing talent, her crafts and sewing are amazing, I aspire to be like her  :)  Anyhow she has me guesting over there, so if you want to see a neat project I did head on over.  While you are there, check out her awesome site!

If you do, let me know what you think!  Thanks!  Have a great day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Crazies

Hey all, yes I am still alive!  I know I haven't posted in wayyyy too long, but I swear I have some good excuses.  The last time I talked to you I believe it was when my sweet lil poodle man tried to commit suicide.  Didn't see that?  Make sure you do if you are a doggie lover!  (Don't let your dog get sugar free gum)

Anyhow as if that wasn't enough in itself, we have had a ton more of that flavor of excitement lately.  I am not sure how much more excitement my hubby hubby's wallet can take.

The same day as poochie decided to chew gum, my furnace decided to bite the big one as well.  Cha Ching.  However I love my new cozy warm furnace!

Then we traveled home.  For Thanksgiving.  Which in itself was wonderful visit with family.  Then there was the ride home.  We left in plenty of time to get to the airport (almost 4 hours away)  The kids were sleeping and all was right with the world.  Until my husband notice as we just passed that last exit that traffic was backing up.  And there wasn't another exit for 8 miles.  Still shouldn't be a problem right?

Kids stirring, kids awake, kids asking when are we going to be on the airplane?  Hubby growing fidgety.  Clock ticking ticking away.  Clock reading times that aren't good.  We mist have read it wrong, right?  I mean this clock says that we have stood STILL for the past HOUR! Make that hour and a half.  Make that longer!

We finally pass what was holding us up on the back country highway WI.  A semi and two car accident.  Thankfully no one was supposedly seriously injured.  However, we pull up to the airport as our plane was about to take off.  So ching ching add that to the expense books.

Kids are happy though, they get to swim in the pool, and eat gourmet meals!

At least our room was big enough for them to run off some of their sitting for 5+ hours energy.

Finally on the flight home, we got the VERY last seats on the plane, so for that I am thankful, however a lot of people go to the bathroom in the two hour flight!

As you can see though, they can sleep through just about anything!

Finally home, we are in the midst of Christmas hub and bub.  Lights, check, cameras, check, Christmas concerts, check, shopping, check....and my list goes on....

So here I am to tell you...I'm baaaacccckkkk.

Please stop back often, as I am again on my game, until Christmas at least...and I have some fun things coming up.  

How have your holidays been so far?