The Future I See

I’m still scoping out log home plans and liking this one quite a bit.

I would extend the porch around the back of the house, but there isn’t a lot I would change about these plans.  Just a simple, open house plan.  I love it!!

I can envision Christmas in this home.  The porch decorated with garland and lights.  A Christmas tree in the window, decorations of gold, green and red.  Baking cookies as Holiday music filling the air.  Songs like . . . . .

“The future you see is the future you get.” – Robert G Allen

My log home in the country just may be in my future after all.

In Full Countdown Mode

Lili has been counting down the days, not only to Christmas, but to Christmas Eve as well.

A couple of years ago we went out for a drive around town to look at the Christmas lights. Upon our return,  there were gifts under the tree. One gift for each of us and inside the gift new pj’s delivered by Santa elves. We assume it’s a Prep and Landing kind of mission. The elves stopping by to make sure the house is decorated and ready for Santa’s arrival and then leaving gifts of pj’s behind.

Last year  the same thing – a drive to look at lights and pj gifts upon our return.  So this year Lili is counting down to Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day and so excited to see what her new pj’s will look like.

It’s the Christmas magic that we all seem to remember year after year.

 

 

Crafting Memories

I decided that this year the girls and I would work on some fun crafts projects for the holidays.  Pinterest is full of wonderful craft ideas, so I went to Hobby Lobby, armed with a list of items we would need to create all I had pinned.

My hope was to complete several different crafts during the week.  It hasn’t quite happened that way, yet we have created some fun things this year.

First we took Styrofoam balls and hot glued small craft pom poms  and ribbon on it to create a pom-pom ornament.  It’s a pretty simple project for kids, although I think it would have been better had I bought smaller balls.

Naomi with her pom pom ornament.
Naomi with her pom-pom ornament.

Then we created snowmen using small terra-cotta pots and wooden balls.  First the girls painted the pots and balls white.  Using our hot glue gun again, we glued the wooden balls onto the bottom of the terra-cotta pots and drew eyes and a mouth to create the face.  The girls each chose a small button and glued it onto their snowman to create the nose.  Buttons were glued down the front of the snowmen and fun sparkly yarn was used as a scarf.  To complete the ensemble, I cut the heel and toe from a pair of Naomi’s outgrown fuzzy socks.  We glued the top of the socks onto the snowmen heads, stuffed with a little fiberfill and tied it at the top with sparkling elastic string.

I happen to think they turned out pretty well and the girls are very proud of their snowmen.

Lili with her snowman.
Lili with her snowman.
Naomi with her snowman.
Naomi with her snowman.
Snowmen taking their place among the snow globes.
Snowmen taking their place among the snow globes.

Over the weekend we tried our hand at creating some fun ornaments.

First we cut festive tissue paper into small pieces, then put the pieces into clear glass ornaments.

Word of warning . . . . .

Sometimes, there are sharp pieces of glass inside the neck of the ornaments, so please check carefully.  Fortunately, no children were injured during this project, but an adult may have received a tiny cut.

DSC_1121

Cutting and stuffing ornaments with tissue paper is more time-consuming then we thought, so we switched to another ornament project.

This time, I cut up small pieces of crayon and we put the pieces in ornaments.  Using a blow dryer, we melted the crayon and rolled the ornament around to create different color combinations.

The girls were in charge of the blow dryer and I held the ornaments using hot pads because the ornaments get really hot when melting crayons.

I’m not sure, but this may have been the girls favorite Holiday project, although the snowmen ranked pretty high as well.

DSC_1119

If our schedule permits, we hope to complete a few more projects over the next week.  This is such a wonderful way of  way of building up the girls stash of holiday decorations that they can take with them into adulthood.  And even more important, we’re creating lasting memories that we will carry with us throughout our lives.

I think the fini

Gifts

As hard as we try, we just seem to be drawn into the commercialism of Christmas.  My best intentions of finding or making the most creative gifts tend to get pushed aside.  Amazon becomes my new best friend in an effort to avoid the long lines in the stores.  Still, there is that tiny spark of creativity in me that is fighting to be ignited.  The spark that wants to do something different this year, even if it’s a gift for one or two people.

Today I did it.  No, it’s not a handmade gift, but it’s a gift that will keep on giving throughout the year.  It’s a gift that will allow my girls to express their own creativity and one that I’m quite sure they are going to appreciate each and every month.

Even though I was little late getting it ordered, each of my girls are getting Kiwi Crates.  http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=DebraW5

I came across the company about a year ago and thought “What a great gift idea,” but I didn’t do anything more.  When I came across the company again this year, I started looking thru the website and read this . . . .

Kiwi Crate was built out of a passion for hands-on fun that encourages creativity and curiosity in children. I had a deep appreciation for these projects, but often found that my greatest intentions fell short. It was tough to find the time to come up with engaging hands-on activities, let alone get the materials.

So, as I started to develop creative projects with my kids, I thought, “why not share them with friends, who are also busy?” At playdates, the kids had a bunch of fun, and the parents appreciated having all of the materials and inspiration for the projects provided. Several parents mentioned, “I wish I could do this at home with my kids!”

Kiwi Crate was created to fulfill that wish and to celebrate kids’ natural creativity and curiosity.  We want to make it fun, easy, and delightful to spend time building, exploring and creating together.  Since its inception, the Kiwi Crate team has grown.  We’ve added creative parents who dream up the projects, valued experts who review them, and a community of kid testers who keeps us on our toes and ensures the projects are fun and engaging.

We love working on Kiwi Crate and cherish the involvement that our kids and friends have in bringing the product to life. We’re excited about the opportunity to help provide these types of experiences for your family to share too.

Happy exploring!

Sandra

Founder, CEO, Mother of Two

My girls love crafts, but they happen to have a mom who isn’t the most creative crafter in the world.  I’m great at pinning things on Pinterest though, just not so great at gathering things together to make all the things I’ve pinned.

Since my girls love getting things in the mail and love crafting, this seemed like the perfect gift.  It’s not something made by one of the big toy manufacturers that will be placed under millions of trees this year only to be soon forgotten.  This is a gift they will look forward to receiving and working on each month.

If you have a craft loving child in your life and are looking for something a little different, check out Kiwi Crates http://www.kiwicrate.com/Refer?i=DebraW5.

Now, to try and ignite that spark a little more and try my hand at a homemade gift.  🙂

 

 

Elf on a Shelf

We don’t own an Elf on the Shelf, but this time of year Pinterest and blogs are full of creative ideas on things cute little antics for the Elves. I’ve chuckled more than a few times at some of the ideas parents have come up with.

However, there is something I don’t quite understand. If the whole idea of Elf on the Shelf is for the elf to watch kids and then give Santa a naughty or nice report on the children, why are the elves put in positions of looking naughty themselves?  Shouldn’t they be setting good examples for the children they have been tasked to watch?

Examples. . . . .

elf on a shelf
Kids who haven’t thought about putting a straw in the syrup and drinking it, now have that idea planted in their little heads.
Elf on a shelf
Roasting a marshmallow over a candle in the house? Probably not a good idea kids.
Must DO!! ELF on a shelf
And now Woody is involved!!! I’m sure any mom and dad would love walking in to find their kids having a marshmallow fight like this.
Elf on a shelf ideas
Okay, most kids are able to make messes like this without help from the little elf.
Elf on a shelf.
Maybe this wasn’t isn’t so bad. Teaching kids all about becoming an entrepreneur.
Elf on a shelf syrup
We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.
Elf on a shelf prank
Yes kids, it’s okay to draw on portraits.

Yes, I know Elf on the Shelf is a fun way of passing the time until Christmas arrives.   I think in many if not most cases, it’s most fun for the adults in the house.  Even though we’ve chosen to not participate in the Elf on the Shelf craze, I have no doubt that coming up with fun and creative ideas for the elves, setting them up and waiting for the kids to find them brings a lot of laughter to homes.  I’m also sure that parents are spending time explaining how the elves antics should not be practiced by the children in the house.  Still, I can’t help but wonder how many parents have found their kids doing the exact thing their elf on the shelf did the day before?

Elf or no elf, I hope all are having a wonderful holiday season full of smiles and laughter.