Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Scrapbooks

It turns out that my Mom was way ahead of the recycling bandwagon.  For years and years my Mom (and sister too) has been making Christmas Scrapbooks out of Christmas cards.  (as always, click on pictures to make them bigger)

I believe the scrapbooks were originally the brainchild of a dear family friend, Bevy, and my Mom has improved a few verses and tweaked the layouts a bit.  The books are actually alphabet books about Christmas and each verse has "scenes" to go along with the theme.

The books turn out beautiful and are just lovely to browse through.  I think that any child my Mom makes one for should count themselves as lucky!

P.S.  Friends far and wide give my Mom their Christmas cards to use.  However, I'm not sure what's going to happen since picture cards have become so very popular.  Fortunately, she has hundreds of cards as backup!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa's gifts

Christmas Eve day the children received a letter from Santa.  It had clearly traveled far and the children were thrilled to receive news from the North Pole.  He sure didn't disappoint on Christmas morning either!  The children were thrilled with their gifts and now we are trying to find a place to put it all (thank goodness we did our annual purge)!  Of course, they didn't need any of what they got but they did seem to love it all!

(the cat is not from Santa- he's just always there!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grandparents gift- a calendar

For the past six years the children have made homemade gifts for their grandparents.  When choosing what they will make, my goal is for the present to be something that their grandparents can use and enjoy.

This year we made calendars.  We divided the year up between Harris and Grace and they each drew 6 pictures to go with their assigned month.  Originally, I was planning on using zazzle to make the calendars but about 10 minutes into working on it I was already frustrated and realizing that it was going to take awhile to put together.  That's when our Mac swooped in and saved the day!  On a whim we decided to try the calendar option in iphoto and within 10 minutes (no exaggeration) we were done and it was ordered.  I believe that it turned out beautifully!  I thought I would share with you the pictures that Harris and Grace drew for each month (plus, we didn't order one for ourselves and I want a record of them!).


I love the groundhog sticking up from his home!

The leprechauns make me smile!


The three people on the ground are myself and the children's grandmothers.  Harris wanted to include them for Mother's Day.  He also wanted to make sure that I realized he put me in a skirt!

The is a picture of the children's school but my favorite thing is the couple who are celebrating their anniversary (that's us!).  I love that he has a gift behind his back!

How great is the person diving into the pool?


Again, the children's school from Harris' perspective this time.


Harris' handprint turkey.

I love the rooftops at the bottom.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sibling Gifts 2010

{Hugs after gift opening}

One of my favorite things to do throughout the entire Christmas season is to help the children plan and make gifts for each other.  We started making sibling gifts several years ago (here, here and here) and it has been hugely successful.  In fact, they are the first gifts the children want to open when we start opening family gifts!

This year Grace made an i pod touch pouch for Harris.  Everyone in the family shares the i pod touch but Harris usually takes it to Grace's ballet class to play while we wait for her to finish.  She embroidered the front, sides and sewed the button on!

Harris' gift to Grace this year turned out adorable and she absolutely loves it.  We took two pictures of our cats and using iron on transfers put them onto t-shirts.  I have to give full disclosure on this on- it turned out that this was a lot more work for Bryce than it was Harris.  It took a long time to figure out how to do it without photoshop (we have iphoto) and there wasn't much for Harris to do until it was time to iron.  He was still very proud of them!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I just wanted to pop in and wish each of you a Merry Christmas! I hope your day was filled with happiness and wonder. Thanks for sharing this little corner of the internet with us!

P.S. Grace and Harris both got oranges in the toe of their stockings. Grace was especially struck by what a "perfect" orange it was from The North Pole Orchard.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Party

Yesterday was the children's Christmas party. Since the invitations featured the one and only Santa Claus we decided to make the whole party centered around him. I tried, and feel like I was successful, to keep the party simple. The party was only one and a half hours and in that time we fit in a snack, craft, and two fun actitivities.

The Food

As many of you know, the food is one of my favorite things to plan for a party! I only served three things as the party was after school and before dinner! Bryce and the children drew a North Pole scene on our chalkboard that served as the backdrop for the food table (the whole party was in our attic).

I found directions for really easy and cute North Pole cupcakes at One Charming Party.

The children and I made a Santa Hat party mix that was very festive. Originally, this idea was created using Bugles but since they are made with corn I used Hershey Kisses to create the Santa Hats. Aren't they darling?

Perhaps my favorite Christmas snack of all time are these Santas made from Babybel cheese. I mean really, how cute are they? They were a snap to put together too. I found them here.

I put coconut around the rim of the drinks to look like Santa's fur trim. I'm about 99% sure that not one child noticed that detail but it made me happy.

The Craft

I picked up these cute Santa masks at Michael's for 50 cents each. I put out a bunch of paint and pom poms and the children decorated them. I love that they were all so individual!

The PhotoBooth

This was a really fun activity for the children and me! Using printables that I purchased on Etsy the children used props and posed for pictures with each other. We moved the food table and used the North Pole scene as a backdrop for the pictures. After the party I emailed them their pictures.

Reindeer Food

Our last activity was making reindeer food to leave out for Santa's reindeer. We packaged it up, along with a cute poem, to send home with each child. I found the printable here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cheery Packages

{Thanks everyone for your encouraging words, today was indeed a better day!}

This year when I sent packages to family for Christmas I followed this advice on how to make them look like wrapped packages. It's so simple but so clever! I think the packages looked extra cheery- they certainly made me happy sending them out. I hope they made those who received them smile!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Favorite (Christmas) Things #4

I've had a bit of a bad day. A gift I ordered the first week of December is suddenly "out of stock" and will not be here, I've been giving Harris cookies that have corn flour in them (I still don't understand how I missed that), so his scope will most likely have to be rescheduled, and I accidentally dropped a friend's camera (I know!) and now it's not working.

To make myself feel better, I compiled a list of a few of my favorite Christmas things. It's working already...

My new Christmas apron. I swear I end up wearing it all day and feel like a domestic diva while doing so!

A foot switch for turning the tree lights on and off. This devise is genius and has turned turning the tree on and off into much less of a hassle (think hands and knees, and sappy tree branches poking you). I got ours several years ago at an Eckerd drug store!

The children's Christmas pajamas combine Christmas and frogs, two of my favorite things in one!

Flannel Christmas sheets for the children. We got these at Pottery Barn Kids on an after Christmas sale several years ago and the children look forward to putting them on their beds at the beginning of the season. Flannel sheets rock- especially in our drafty, chilly house!

My Christmas dinnerware. I have Christmas china that I adore and think is absolutely gorgeous, but for everyday we use our Christopher Radko dinnerware that I bought at Target eight years ago. We use these dishes everyday during the Christmas season and I never tire of them.

What are your favorite Christmas things?
Blogging tips