Thursday, January 10, 2008

new year, new blog focus

I'll be blogging over on my family blog from now on. Less time to focus here and more interesting info (not to mention cute photos of my kiddies!) will be regular over at Maravilla Family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekly Plans: reason for the season

Afton and Abel are fully aware of the general jolliness that Christmas brings. This week I wanted to focus our learning and activities on the Savior, for my own benefit as well as theirs.

We began by watching Mr. Krueger's' Christmas for family night. During the part where Mr. Krueger is talking to the Baby Jesus, Afton and I were crying and she said "this Baby Jesus part is making me upset!" We talked for a minute about how the Spirit whispers to out hearts during special moments like these and it's good to feel happy sadness.

We will be playing with our new Little People Nativity and learning more about the story of Jesus' birth.

The Friend has great stories and activities this month to bring Christ into your Christmas. I especially like the poem (we learn a poem each week that relates to our theme)

Christmas is coming.
It soon will be here.
News of Christ’s birthday
Has filled us with cheer.
With joy we are singing—
Our songs fill the air.
Soft sounds are ringing
From chimes everywhere.
We are all happy
That Christmas is near.
Jesus is born, and we’re
Glad He is here!

Why can't Christmas be in the summer?

Guess what? I don't like snow. With the exception of the first snow of the season, the sight of snow stresses me out. Snow equates to messes, cold, probable falling and way too much time spent indoors. When complaining of this to Patrick last week, he reminded me that we live in the Rocky Mountains so I should get used to it. I've tried getting used to snow but my childhood snow expectations and my adult snow realizations just don't match up. Snow should come, stay for a day, then politely leave. That what it did in the grand state of Washington. Life halted to greet the snow.

So my snow grumpies are getting in the way of my peaceful week. Well, my week was supposed to be peaceful until my dearly beloved jetted off to the swanky warm town of LA for an entire week, leaving me to wrap, bake, CANCEL THE HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR OUR FIRST NIGHT OUT SINCE HAVING CHILDREN, and prep for familial arrivals. I guess the snow it just adding to my unpleasantness.

Thank goodness my in-laws arrive in 2.5 days to rescue me. And thank goodness none of my neighbors will be receiving the hot fudge sauce I'm making them until July.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deal of the Week: toy coupons

Here are some coupon links for those of you still Christmas shopping (or for thsoe of us who keep finding good reasons like these coupons to keep on shopping!):

$5.00 off Polly Pockets (no minimum)
$5.00 off $50 at Target
Target toy coupons (like $5.00 off Leap Frog, $10 off playmobil, $500 off Barbie stuff and more)
Walmart is shipping most toys for 97 cents!!

Happy Shopping!

If you know of other deals, please post a comment.

weekly plans: embrace Christmas like no other

I was going to try and prolong the massive Christmas craft weeks until next week, but Patrick's work put on a Christmas bash for the munchkins who rarely get to see their CP+B parents, and now I've got the itch, the kids have itched their itch and we're loading up the week with crafts, themed worksheets and cooking galore. (I've not been ignoring the jolly season up until this point, we have been doing something every day, lest you think I'm a bah humbug.)

This is why the kids LOVED the party today

Santa had presents waiting for them (and no actual interaction with Santa was required which made Afton's day. Abel did sit on Santa's lap, but only because he was eating a cookie therefore wasn't paying good attention to anything else). Abel got a T-Ball set (who, of course, preferred the box to the actual game) and Afton a princess castle, which already broke so we'll return for something a bit more sturdy tomorrow.

Here is Abel showing off his Christmas cheer by biting off pieces of an ornament then realizing googly eyes are not as tasty as they appear to be.

And thanks to growing cousins, we inherited a Little People nativity today (up to this point we have been living a very secular Christmas since our nativity snow globe broke last year). I've always wanted one for the kids, but never want to spend more money on more toys in thanks a bunch to my sister-in-law who gave this to us.

Anyway, on to the plans:
1. Make a new ornament: we'll roll Styrofoam balls in glue then glitter. Easy, glittery and fun.
2. Make Reindeer hats from hand prints
3. Decorate a Santa face with cotton balls
4. Finish family gifts (snow globes have been so much fun to make. Check here for details.)
5. Create some homemade gift wrap for presents from the kiddies. MS has great ideas. My fave is using lined writing paper, with childs handwriting on it. We happen to have a ginormous stack of this stuff, hooray!

And here is my favorite worksheet site. Afton loves writing her name on worksheets, and is big on following instructions (in fact if I'm doing something she doesn't agree with, she tells me, "No Mom, that's not the instructions!") and will get a kick out of all the Christmas ones this week.

What's your favorite Christmas craft to do with kids?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Deal of the Week: Holiday Edition

The gift card is one of my favorite inventions. I love giving and getting them to almost any store. My parents usually load us up on great gift cards for Christmas to places like The Cheesecake Factory, Blockbuster, Starbucks and Red Robin. Putting a stamp on an envelope and mailing a gift, makes me very happy too.

A $5.00 gift card is a great inexpensive gift. And is appropriate for lots of people on your list. Here are some of my favorite places to grab five bucks worth of cheer:

1. Cold Stone- perfect for someone sweet in your life to get their own sweet treat.
2. Starbucks- covers a couple cocoas
3. McDonalds- this used to be my stand by gifts for my oldest niece and nephew
4. Sweet Shop or other candy store- kids flip for this, of course

Do you heart the gift card giving as much as I do? What is your favorite store to gift?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas pillowcase

I was chatting with a friend this week, who shared the great idea of sewing a Christmas pillowcase for her kids to use during the month of December. Bringing the Christmas cheer into kid's rooms can be a bit tricky so I love this fun way of giving kids something Christmasy of their very own.

My sewing plate is a bit full this season, but I'll definitely pick up some clearance fabric in January and make these for next year.

The pillowcases featured in the photo are available at Garnet Hill.